Kicked out: Major swing against Labor powers Abbott to victory

It's all over after an hour of counting; Rudd steps down as Labor leader

Update 07:00 Monday - The current state of play has the Coalition with 85 seats, Labor 54, Greens 1, Other 2, and 8 still undecided. The swing against Labor was 4.1 per cent on primary votes but the Coalition was not the major benefactor picking up only 1.7 per cent on primary votes.

In the Senate it is appearing more and more likely that the balance of power will rest with a gaggle of independents - probably eight! That will make life much more difficult for the Coalition. And it would also appear that with Labor and the Greens having the numbers to vote against the repeal of the carbon and mining taxes that Abbott faces a real problem with pushing through one of his prime initiatives as he will have to negotiate with the independents to get them through.

Currently, the Coalition has 32 seats, Labor 25, the Greens 9, Other 8, and 2 are undecided.

Now here's now it unfolded on Saturday night.


Welcome to the 2013 federal election.

And, blink, it's all over.

19:00 - The 2013 federal election isn't as much as a competition as a slaughter. The Rudd Labor government has been tossed out by the Australian public in a swing that may well be greater than that inflicted on the Paul Keating Labor government in 1996.

After one-hour of counting it was obvious that Kevin Rudd and Labor were on the way out and the Tony Abbott-led Coalition on the way in. Labor are staring down electoral decimation.

The only thing that remains is to see whether as counting progresses it pulls back ground and can hold some of the many seats that are already looking like losses.

How low Labor's final seat count goes seems to be the best remaining form of entertainment for political tipsters and watchers. Our tip looking at early figures is think low,low.

Rudd government minister, Stephen Smith, speaking on the ABC TV coverage, conceded defeat before voting even started.

19:30 - It keeps getting worse for Labor. The party primary vote is currently 33.5 per cent which would be the worst Labor primary vote since World War II. Swings of 3.5 per cent plus to the Liberals everywhere.

20:30 - Projections are around the 60-seat mark in the House of Representatives for Labor. It currently has 71. The Coalition is looking around the 80+ mark. Squillionare Clive Palmer has succeeded in his bid to get a seat in the House of Representatives being elected to the Queensland seat of Fairfax (starts singing songs about money). Unless you are a Liberal supporter this is a depressing night.

21.00 - The Coalition may even make it to 90 seats if projections are correct. Labor now looking at the high 50s only. However, the vote against Labor could have been worse. A tired/inebriated-looking Malcolm Turnbull just made the quote of the night when interviewed on ABC TV: If Labor can't government themselves how can they govern the country.

21.45 - K. Rudd concedes. Manages to avoid most of the traditional cliches. Gets quite Pink Floydian in some of his more flowery philosophising. Points out despite the press tipping Labor would be wiped out in Queensland it actually held all its seats there. And despite the predictions of a complete towelling, Labor has held enough seats to be a force for the future. (When it solves all its problems, Kevin. When it solves those internal problems.) Finally, he announces he is stepping down from the leadership of the Labor Party and will not be recontesting it. So that's it for K. Rudd and Labor. Next T. Abbott's turn to gloat.

22.15 - The reign of Tony begins with a bit of gloating, as predicted - Labor's vote is now at its lowest point in more than 100 years - and a lot of responsibility-style waffle. John Howard gazes with adoration from the floor. Abbott is short and sweet and lacking in detail, as usual. However, he has a commanding mandate. He doesn't mention the NBN but does say Carbon Tax will be well and truly gone by the time of the next election. The question is now: will the Coalition prove to be as big a screw up as Labor; and do they actually have any policies to share with us all now they have won the right to govern? Or will they just make it up as they go?

23.30 - I need to go to bed. Before I do... The all important Senate voting outcome. The great news is that it appears that Independents could win 7 or 8 seats in the Senate, the Greens will only add 4 to the 6 they have. This would mean the Coalition won't be able to rubber stamp its policies without dealing with at least the Greens and, hopefully, all the independents. Thus it remains truly a house of review.

That's it for me. The rest will be history in the making.

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