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The voters have spoken. They didn’t say what most of us expected them to. The return of the Morrison government is the most unexpected election result Australia has seen since John Hewson lost the “unlosable election” of 1993. It will take a while for us to fully understand what happened.

It may be that Labor lost the election for the same reason that Hewson lost in 1993. They proposed an ambitious plan of tax reforms. Their opponents launched an all-out scare campaign which misrepresented the taxes, created fear, uncertainty and suspicion, and won the election. If that’s the explanation for Labor’s shock defeat, it is a bad sign for the chances of future reform — and hence, for the quality and well-being of Australian society.

At most, seven seats remain in doubt. More in doubt is whether Scott Morrison will lead a majority government or a minority one. As of Sunday morning, the Coalition was ahead in seventy-six of the 151 seats. Labor was ahead in sixty-nine, and others in six. That’s very tight, especially when in Bass, the Coalition led by just over three hundred votes.

Read the full article on Inside Story.

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