Saturday, October 09, 2004

Pre-count lassitude

I'm hoping for the best and prepared for the worst in tonight's election count. Although what the worst result actually is is hard to say; Latham seems to be in a competition with Howard to appear to be the most conservative populist. Whoever gets in I expect a fairly right-wing flavor, which isn't, as you might gather, to my taste. Leavened, of course, with ample amounts of vote-buying pork. Witness my soon to be posted second part of "A demoralising election campaign".

Nonetheless, there are differences in the parties and the real consequences for Tasmania's old growth forests alone is enough to have me gunning for a Labor victory. But it's looking like an outside chance from here. While the latest newspoll has the race at exactly 50-50, the "Latham is sure of defeat" meme has already taken root and these things have a knack of being self-fufilling prophecies. And if the overall vote is locked, what really counts is the votes in the swing seats, and the internal whispers about Labor's polling in those are not exactly encouraging.

Nonetheless, nobody knows the future and I'll be watching the coverage, waiting for the conventional wisdom to be proved wrong. It never has yet, but there's always a first time.