My two bobs worth. I have little to add to the post I wrote when Rudd was deposed (where I pointed to an Abbott win) and to my Gillard's five rookie errors post two weeks into this ill-conceived campaign. In recent weeks, I felt more buoyant about Gillard's chances. Gillard's persistence and resilience in the last few weeks were impressive and I thought that this determination, and Abbott's failure to do anything but oppose, would see her win the election, even win it by a comfortable margin (at the height of my optimism last weekend I thought Labor might get 80 or 82 seats). It was not to be. Abbott out-campaigned Gillard in the last week and in the end Julia could not overcome the fatal flaws on which her leadership was built. And the failings of the Government in which she was Deputy PM, and which she trashed with that dopey "lost its way' message which simply endorsed and validated every complaint by every disaffected voter and commentator in the country. Positive messages about the Government on the GFC and so on just never got out from under that 'lost its way' nonsense.
Now Abbott is promising that the Coalition will deliver stable and predictable government, given that he will face a hostile Senate and rely in the House on the vote of Bob Katter the future in Canberra looks like being the very opposite of stable and predictable. Add to this, Abbott and his team are committed to delivering big surpluses in the next few years (which will require deep cuts in expenditure) and you have a recipe for some pretty turbulent times. Weak governments do not deliver stability.