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30 November 2014
by Michael Taylor

Will Tony Abbott have the courage to accept some blame for the Victorian loss?

Federal politicians have always been quick to point out that party losses at the State level have been, and always will be, because of State issues. Federal politics and personalities play no part whatsoever in the election and the subsequent result; it’s fought on State turf.

Yet . . . federal politicians have also been quick to point out that victories at the State level – for their party – were delivered as a protest vote against the ruling federal party, should of course, they themselves be in opposition at the time.

Or they could go completely overboard – such as Tony Abbott did after Labor’s loss in the Tasmanian State election – and announce that they single-handedly won the election for their State counterparts.

(Mind you, when the South Australian State election didn’t go the way Abbott had hoped, he went to great pains not to comment on suggestions his involvement in the campaign had a negative impact on the Liberals’ result).

News is now in that the Napthine Government has been kicked out after only one term. Already members of Abbott’s Government have distanced themselves from the result. Head on over to Twitter and look at the ‘it wasn’t us’ tweets.

I live in Victoria and this is the first Victorian State election I’ve voted in. However, I haven’t been here long enough to have much of an idea about State issues and what issues the parties have campaigned on. So I went against my ‘norm’ and registered a protest vote against the Federal Government, and in particular Tony Abbott.

I wasn’t alone. Speaking to polling-booth volunteers, the message was the same: people weren’t voting against Napthine – they were voting against Abbott (or his government/Hockey’s budget). In the word of one voter, just to “watch him squirm”. Again, head on over to Twitter but this time look for the ‘it was them’ tweets. They dominate Twitter.

Pre-election it was forecast that Abbott could be the factor that will lose the election for Napthine. It looks to be the way.

But will he squirm? I doubt it.

Either he won’t have the courage or he is so full of hubris that he is blind to the simple fact that he’s totally on the nose. In 2016 he will join Napthine as the leader of a ‘one-term’ government.

Nonetheless, I look forward to what he has to say about the Victorian election result.

Is he in hiding?