Though no poll has been taken since the Gidding-Hodgman debate (though ReachTel’s nattering machines rang on landlines, bizarrely, two thousand octogenarians not watching it that same night) and all polls before it showed one in four undecided, and though Gidding won it decisively 62 to 28, we are told the Liberals will, under Hare-Clark, are bound, under Hare-Clark, to pick up fourteen seats, and govern alone, by even Antony Green.
I don’t think this is so. The latest polls preceded the Qantas sackings, the Manus massacre, Abbott’s declaration of war on the trees, Turnbull’s ‘Kool-Aid’ sneer at poor Hodgman, the Morgan showing Abbott losing forty seats, the Redcliffe by-election showing him losing eighty, and, of course, most importantly, Clive Palmer vowing he would go to gaol in freedom’s name, and Gidding’s, and Hodgman’s, fool vow to put him there.
What he heinously did, it seems, was to found a party which, in the course of an election, wrote some letters to constituents which mentioned opponents’ names. He can lose his seat for this wickedness, and do six months in chokey, and Gidding thinks he should.
In this, she may have erred. The elderly, scaly, mouldering hippies who are twenty percent of Tasmania’s people have a democratic tendency and will switch some votes because of this to Palmer. And, though I haven’t been been there and sniffed the wind, and so can’t guarantee this, it’s my belief that this will alter everything, and Palmer will now win two seats, Labor seven, the Greens six, and the Liberals ten.
And this will mean that Gidding will stay in power, invite a PUP into cabinet, and rule with Green support for a year and call, if need be, a new election.
Tasmanians are pretty old, and poor, and snarky, and underemployed. And Abbott’s abolition of twenty jobs an an hour since his election, that’s four hundred and eighty jobs a day around the clock, will not have pleased them, nor Turnbull’s coming demolition of the NBN and their hopes therewith of a hooked-in civilization, a part in the Great World they now, alas, can’t have.
And there is no rusted-on love of the Liberals there. And Hodgman’s plucked, ever-lofting eyebrows will have disgusted, oh, a hundred thousand women by now. And so will his promise to gaol Clive Palmer, while Clive Palmer, thus far, is doing well.
No-one has ‘got’ yet why Clive is doing well, but I have. It’s not just that he’s a billionaire, and must have some clues on how to make money. It’s not just that he wants to raise the Titanic, resuscitate dinosaurs, give boat people a fair go, save Qantas and murder Campbell Newman. It’s not just that he’s the fastest talker of common sense on television. It’s that he has the nicest baritone, since Bob Brown and Bob Carr left, in politics.
And he will do well as a threatened eccentric in Tasmania, which has been over time a hive of threatened eccentrics.
And we will see what we shall see.