Six months after Labor received fewer first preference votes than the Liberals at Australia's general election but cobbled together a coalition of independents (Don't you just love AV?), sixteen years of Labor rule in the state of New South Wales has ended.
Labor wasn't just defeated in the populous state that includes Sydney, the party was routed. Current projections suggest Labor will fall from 50 to 17 and the Liberals will go from 37 to 62 seats.
"The fallout from the destruction of the Labor Party in NSW today will be almost nuclear. The once-mighty ALP has been smashed to bits in what was regarded as its home state, the place where it had held power for 52 of the past 70 years, the place from whence the NSW Right had dominated the party’s national factional landscape, making and breaking both premiers and prime ministers. Both the party and the faction have now been reduced almost to the status of a marginal fringe organisation."
The main reason for Labor's rejection in NSW was length of continuous office and the sleaze that came from thinking they were undefeatable. Nonetheless, a contributor factor was the national debate raging about Prime Minister Julia Gillard's u-turn on introducing a carbon tax.
The carbon tax row initially caused a big slump in Labor's support nationwide but there are now signs of recovery – perhaps, some say, because of the strident campaign against it from Liberal leader, Tony Abbott. Tune into 3 minutes and 35 seconds into this video for Tony Abbott's demolition of Julia Gillard's honesty, on climate change and other issues: