Not even the most supreme optimists in Labor dreamed of this. A thumping victory, a “bloodbath” as Labor’s health minister, Jill Hennessy, put it. Labor luminaries looked not just pleased, but stunned.
A swing to Labor of around 6%, around 60 seats in an 88-seat parliament, the Coalition reduced to a rump of 20, with several still in doubt. Although the counting of prepoll votes might bring back the scale of the win a little, Labor’s early worries about being forced into minority government proved laughable.