It’s all happening at Greens HQ in Melbourne

Posted on August 21, 2010 by

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The feeling is electric at the Greens election night headquarters in Melbourne, with crowds erupting into applause at any further sign that the party has finally landed on Australia’s political mainstream. I’m writing fresh from watching Richard Di Natale’s media conference with channel Nine, his comments on the Greens’ strong showing almost as impassioned as his earlier speech. Meanwhile Adam Bandt sips a Crown Lager nearby, declaring his intention not to make more media appearances for the night to a keen media duo seeking his insights. A slightly tipsy volunteer ambles up and blurts out that a few people here had called the Melbourne result only just past seven o’clock, when counting had barely begun. There is a sense that change is in the air.

The results so far show problems for the two-party system. The Greens have recorded significant improvements nationally, picking up what looks like an extra four senate seats and their first in the lower house. Additionally, a former Greens member and candidate has taken Denison in Tasmania, and three other independents, Bob Katter, Robert Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, have retained their seats. It looks like being a drawn out few days, maybe weeks, of negotiations to decide the shape and character of what looks to be a new minority government. Will Labor seek the support of the mainly conservative Independents and the Greens, as is their right as the incumbent government, or will it result in a vote of no confidence for the embattled ALP, entailing an alliance between the Coalition and others? All we can deduce now is that it looks like a very interesting time ahead, with Australia’s political landscape as we know it in a possible state of transition.

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