In Australia, the Liberals are the conservative party, and so it was the conservatives who won a surprise victory. ” In the U. On Sunday, in fact, The New York Times led with the story “It was supposed to be Australia’s climate change election. Labor was When Australians went to the
polls over the weekend, it was universally expected that the left-wing Labor
Party would emerge the winner.
To the shock of the
pollsters, however, the left lost.
In Australia, the Liberals are the conservative party, and so it was the conservatives who won a surprise victory. In a 151-seat House of Representatives, the Liberal Party, with its longtime coalition partner the Nationals, have so far won (or lead in) 78 seats, with Labor well behind at 67 seats, and six seats going to minor parties.
The Labor leader, Bill
Shorten, has already resigned, saying, “It
is obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next government.”
The current and now future prime
minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, said simply, “I’ve always believed in
Morrison ran a canny campaign
that allowed his party to recover after it ousted Malcolm Turnbull, the former Liberal
prime minister, last August.
A social conservative and devout Christian, Morrison’s appeal was folksy, with slogans like “a fair go for those who have a go.” In the U.S., we’d say “a fair deal if you try.” Different words, but the same sentiment.
Labor, by contrast, ran mostly on climate change. On Sunday, in fact, The New York Times led with the story “It was supposed to be Australia’s climate change election. What happened?”
What happened was very
simple: The silent majority turned out to be more interested in prosperity and
job creation than they were in promises to clamp down on coal mining.
That majority was very silent. Labor was ahead on every single election poll for the past month. It even led in the exit polling. The Australian people did not want to tell the pollsters that they had voted conservative, but they did actually want to vote conservative.
Apart from the stunning
Liberal victory, the most surprising thing about the election was how well two smaller
parties did. The big parties all lost votes. The Liberals lost 0.6% of their
vote from the last election in 2013, while Labor lost 0.9%. The Greens were
also down 0.2%.
The only parties that gained a
significant number of votes? Two right-wing populist parties, the United
Australia Party and the One Nation Party, which together picked up 5.1% of the
The Australian conservative
victory wasn’t the only significant election result in Asia over the weekend.
India also finished its long election process, and there, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi appears to have won a major victory, winning between 280 and 315
seats in Parliament. Modi needs only 272 seats for a majority.
When coupled with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory in April elections in Israel, the electoral results of the past few months have seen surprising victories for conservative parties.
Australia, India, and Israel
are remarkably different places. Their definitions of “conservative” also
differ. You can’t draw any big lessons from all of these victories-except that parties
from the right end of national political spectrums are often more popular than
the pollsters recognize.
But certainly, the lesson
from Australia for the beleaguered Conservative Party in Britain is clear.
Being behind in the polls is not a death sentence.
Conservatives need to avoid
fashionable causes, and emphasize the basics-economic competence, fairness for
those who try, law and order, national defense, and national sovereignty.
While one can never be certain about what has caused changes in voting intention, it is hard to avoid the obvious conclusion that they are shedding support to more unambiguously pro-Brexit parties like UKIP and the Brexit party. . Across the board, Conservative support seems to be falling away.
Here’s a tip for our British
Conservative friends: Conservative parties that do conservative things win
elections. Conservative parties that don’t do them, or don’t know what to do,
don’t win elections.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has completely failed to do conservative things, and so, 63% of her own supporters say she has been a poor or a terrible prime minister.
May’s time, as that pollster
put it, is therefore “essentially up.” Her successor had better learn the
lesson from Australia-and learn it fast.
The post In Australia, Conservatives Won a Shock Victory. There’s a Lesson Here for Conservatives Worldwide. appeared first on The Daily Signal.