This is, for Labor, at once both the best of times and the worst of times.
They won - terrific! It's impossible, however, to imagine a less inspiring or underwhelming victory than this: Anthony Albanese limpidly tripping into the Lodge with less than a third (32.81 percent) of the first-preference vote, half a percent less than Bill Shorten's defeat three years ago.
As it appears at the moment, never since the development of the two-party system has a government been elected with a smaller percentage of the primary vote than Labor.
Yet the Liberal party has been pulverised. A dysfunctional and incompetent government was emphatically thrown out as people voted enthusiastically for change, and that's why it's important to understand what actually occurred on Saturday.
It became a Teal and Green revolution.
The country wants to leave the politics of the past behind, just as they did in France when they voted for Emmanuel Macron. A third way. Energised social and environmental policies offering women a central role in charting our way forward.
If traditionally Liberal electorates (Warringah, Mackellar and Wentworth in Sydney; Goldstein and Kooyong in Melbourne; Curtin in the West) had not demanded integrity, today we would have a Liberal government.
If others (Brisbane, Ryan and Griffith) had not witnessed environmental catastrophe lapping at their doors, today we would have a Liberal government.
Winning the Teal vote alone could have delivered Morrison government but instead he courted the fringe.
He thought the fastest way to the Lodge was using Craig Kelly and Pauline Hanson to triangulate Labor, and relied on politics to beat policy. He failed.
If, instead of waving his precious lump of coal around in parliament, Morrison had offered some suggestion he had some environmental consciousness, he might have won. But rather than bothering to answer questions and admit there are genuine issues the former PM (oh, how good it feels to write that!) always pretended he was on top of everything, had all the answers, was doing all that needed to be done.
On Saturday night the mirage he was so energetically building collapsed under the mass of lies and fabrications required to support it.
This nation, dramatically, overwhelmingly, and almost impossibly (in an electoral system that so determinedly acts to reinforce the two-party system) has voted for vision.
It's important to understand why the country embraced change, because this has lessons for both major parties. We enthusiastically backed immediate climate action, political probity, and genuine economic reform simply because it's the right thing to do. Instead of the coal-fired political slush-funds, car parks and patch-up local projects, voters want the government to simply do the right thing.
It's now up to the new government to deliver.
We voted for a new future, not the past. Labor's challenge is to listen to this message, hear it, and act. It can no longer afford a relaxed approach, using this term to slowly ease itself into government and establish its credentials while leaving genuine reform to the next. Australia has voted for action on climate, integrity, reconciliation, and housing. Now, today, and not put off until some indefinite time in the future. And how we voted!
Deconstruct the swings themselves - what actually occurred in the ballot booths as we voted - if you want to see where the country is headed. Yes, we've ended up with Albanese in the Lodge but that's not where the enthusiasm resides.
There was a huge swing against the Liberals (minus 4.47 percent, first party preferences) but a swing of 0.53 against Labor as well. And even though the coal party, oops, the Nationals, didn't lose any seats they also waved goodbye to 0.38 percent of their vote. So why? What explains this swell of disaffection for the major parties?
The problem was that Morrison has frog-marched the Liberal party away from its roots and, far more significantly today, any possible moderate who could take the party back to the middle. Its future leadership has been crippled as a result of this rejection of hard-line conservatism.
Every electorate that turned teal saw the loss of a man to an intelligent, forward-thinking woman.
There's a lot of talk about Albanese's capacity to wrangle parliament because that's what he did during the last minority parliament, but don't forget the result.
First Labor tossed out its leader (Julia Gillard) before being dismissed by voters.
Albanese can enjoy his miracle today but more of the same won't win the next election. He needs to change and act. A failure of ambition will not unite the country.
Albanese is carrying a lot of old-fashioned, factional dead wood onto the front bench with him. He should give them all - and himself - eighteen months to either make good or be shuffled out. It's his only way to survive.
This election has demonstrated this is a moderate, progressive country, non-ideological and concerned about the environment, integrity and fairness.
Kristina Keneally's appalling result in western Sydney demonstrates that diverse communities won't lie down and accept the imposition of wealthy white women on the party's whim.
It's up to the government to live up to the high standard of this cleansing wave that's washing through parliament.
And the former government? What hope for them, now?
Well if they choose Peter Dutton to lead them, probably none.
Scott Morrison set out to win the votes of so-called 'ordinary Australians' but this is a country of extraordinary people. Aiming your sights at the lowest common denominator was never going to deliver victory.
As well as the contractors, Christians and conservatives, the former prime minister thought he could cobble together a winning message relying squarely on self-interest, but keeping Barnaby Joyce happy was never going to be enough.
If Morrison had been capable of infusing his message with genuine liberal values he'd probably be returning to work this morning. Instead he flirted with Katherine Deves and may have won a couple of votes - but he didn't win any seats.
Let's hope we've finally reached the end of revolving government.
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