We keep hearing our recently elected Prime Minister for Opposition in Goverment talking about his “Mandate”.
Assuming he is not talking about his relationship with Rupert Murdoch, the subject must be the results of the election held on 7th Sepember.
The one in which his Liberal Party won 58 seats compared with the Labor Party’s 55 seats. By cobbling together a ragtag of the Queensland Right and a group of Agrarian Socialists he has been able to create a coalition controlling 90 of the 148 seats available.
This is variously described as a landslide or a mandate for any of the half explained though-bubbles put forward by Peta Credlin’s mouthpeice prior to the election.
We have seen the raw figures which show that 53% of the voters voted for one of the parties now in the Coalition while only 47% voted for the Labour Party.
But what does a landslide consist of? How many seats gives a mandate for everything? The Labor Party fell short of another hung parliament by 19 seats. Is that what makes for a landslide?
Remembering that there are around 75,000 electors in each electorate this table of the nineteen closest seats in Australia creates a little food for thought.
Over those nineteen seats, if just 30,000 voters had voted differently, the Coalition would not be in power in their own right.
It is up to you if you want to call a result determined by less than half the people who live in a single electorate a landslide or a mandate for thought bubbles.
I have often called democracy a “Dictatorship by the small majority”.
The Opposition does not need to win millions of votes back from the Coalition. They just need to win a very specific 30,000 votes!
Tony Abbott, seeing his apparently overwhelming team of 90 within the House of Representatives is forgetting the very real, very slim margin which gave that outcome.
He needs to be very ware of hubris.