Of course Saturday night’s outcome is a shattering disappointment to the ALP. John Brumby was a fine Premier. The criticism that he was arrogant is a reflection of effective leadership. Only indecisive leaders escape the “arrogant ” tag so take your choice. The government performed as well as any in the perpetual balancing act managing endless demands for more spending with the requirements of economic management.
What hurt it was above all the pressure of urban growth – it was Melbourne where it lost its majority – urban sprawl, tower developments and cost of living pressures. The Big Australia implications. Population growth was the driver of Victoria’s growth and the pressure cooker extracts a price. Labor went down in the sand belt seats.
Healthy, however, to see the Green Political Party pay a price for it’s opportunism and not score a lower house seat, a good long term outcome for Victoria.
Victorian Labor can leave with its head held high. Its budgetary management was sound and the government untainted by scandal. Its front bench talent outweighs that of the other side. It has half the seats and the party is united. It can aim to be back within one term.