A political earthquake struck the state of New South Wales in Australia at 6 pm yesterday after the close of the state election. It was soon followed by a tsunami which none of the residents in NSW have seen in the last one and the half decade. The toll of many defeated Labor politician kept rising as ballot boxes were counted and electorate results televised throughout the evening. The final toll might not be known for sometimes until the search and rescue team of the Labor party go through the election wreckage to determine just who has survived the carnage of yesterday election.
Aftershocks continued through the evening and were felt across the state after Barry O’Farrell led his Coalition Party to a historic wipeout of Labor. As the state’s 43rd Premier, Barry O’Farrell promised his victory speech to “rebuild NSW” once the dust had settled. But if O’ Farrell lives up to his promise, it will be month – not years, before the residents start to see a difference in public transports, traffic congestion and hospital waiting list.
The tsunami caused by Coalition snatched away as many as 29 seats from the Labor and was heading for a statewide swing of about 17 per cent, although the Labor hoped to retain as many as 21 seats – eight more than the worst prediction, Luke Foley, the Labor’s campaign director conceded: “The heartland is gone.”
The outgoing Premier Kristina Keneally survived the earthquake in her electorate but struggled in her seat, suffering a swing of at least 10 percent. She quit as labor leader last night as she admitted in her concession speech Labor had deserted voters.
“The truth is the people of NSW who entrusted us with government for 16 years, did not leave us,” she said. “We left them.” My mind is still preoccupied with her conceding statement while I blog, but at the same time begin to wonder about the coming general election back home. What can we learn from this political earthquake and tsunami?