4 July 2016
There’s really not much to say, is there? TDA summed it up from a tertiary education perspective:
Political instability prevails, with the election outcome too close to call and the VET sector in a state of uncertainty after eight weeks of campaigning.
For the tertiary education sector, the uncertainty is compounded by a curious lack of policy commitment from the Coalition, which did not release any training or skills policy or new initiatives during the campaign.
In higher education, it’s a similar situation with the coalition policy subject to the views of an expert panel flowing from a discussion paper.
For international education, there will be more changes, with the Minister for International Education, Senator Richard Colebeck set to lose his Tasmanian Senate seat.
The VET sector and TAFE face a great deal of uncertainty flowing from the ambiguous policy environment and the uncertain leanings among many of the new parliamentary players.
The media reporting of the number of seats won by the various parties is quite curious: the ABC, for example, is reporting the Coalition has won 68 seats, Labor has won 67, Greens 1, Xenophon Team 1 and others (Katter, McGowan and Wilkie) 3, which leaves 11 still in play. Other media outlets are reporting along similar lines. For good measure, Fairfax has the national two party preferred (2PP) vote at 50.07% Coalition to 49.93% Labor.
That’s not what the Australian Electoral Commission is reporting: for starters, it ‘s got the 2PP, as of Sunday, at 50.23% for Labor to 49.77% for the Coalition, with Labor on track to win up to 73 seats (that may not happen, of course, as pre-poll, absentee and postal votes are counted) with the Coalition at 70. Five electorates are deemed too close to call, with Labor leading in 2 and the Coalition in 3.
One of those seats is Chisholm in which the Coalition leads by just 66 votes but the media uniformly consider it will go to the Coalition. Don’t see that at all: Labor had an intensive “boots on the ground” operation going during the pre-poll and for a substantial part of the pre-poll period Labor was leading 51% to 49% in the opinion polls. Could cut either way: the Coalition could end up with 75 seats or Labor could end up with 75 or some other permutation – all short of a majority – such as 72 seats each and 6 crossbenchers.
What all the media seemed to have missed is that there is a strong possibility that a second Xenophon Team candidate will get up in South Australia, in Grey, on the back of Labor and Greens preferences.
We will have a clearer idea tomorrow night.