The Right has done well across the world since the economic crisis struck. The two exceptions were the USA and Australia. That's beginning to change. Earlier this month Obama suffered the worst mid-term result of any US President for seventy years. In Australia Labor became the first first-term government to lose its majority since WWII. It is now clinging to power on the basis of support from green and independent MPs.
The Australian Liberals took another step forward at the weekend when they seized control of Victoria (on a very narrow 45 to 43 seat majority). Victoria was the part of the nation where Liberals under-performed at the general election but they ended eleven years of Labor rule in a surprise win. All polls point to the Liberals winning New South Wales in March. After being out of government in every part of Australia in 2007 they will then control three states (including Western Australia).
A top reason for Labor's unpopularity is that Julia Gillard, the Labor PM, has promised action on climate change to the Green Party that will mean higher energy prices. The ABC called it a cost-of-living election;
"Just look at where the big swings against Labor kicked in; in the south, the west, as well as the north and the east of Melbourne. These were uniformly the outer metropolitan seats neglected by Labor as they attempted to sandbag the regions and fight off the Greens in the inner city. The people in these seats, according to senior Liberal figures, were overwhelmingly preoccupied with crowded cost of living pressures that included sustained spikes in interest rates as well as water and electricity prices. They are the same voters whose opinion of Gillard is starting to harden in the negative."
Liberal leader Tony Abbott offered the same conclusion:
“I think that obviously, there’s a message here about cost of living. The public expects government not to add to cost of living pressures. There’s also a message here about waste. The public are sick and tired of governments, Labor governments, which look like they can’t be trusted with public money.”