Journal article

Sometimes voters are dragged out to adjudicate on a political mess with no clear winner the result. This is the essential story of the 2010 federal election.

An extremely close election can mean many things, of which there are two leading explanations: that voters are evenly but passionately divided between two strong camps or that voters, bewildered by an unappealing choice at a personal and collective level, produce a non-result from what seems like twelve million coin tosses.

This review of three books written about the 2010 election campaign might have been an impossible task in the final stretches of last year, after Julia Gillard formed her unlikely government. Events were too traumatic, too disappointing or too inconclusive to retrace so soon. The task is marginally easier in 2011 as the government settles into place even if its immediate, let alone long-term, future is hard to see.

Image: Leonard John Matthews / flickr

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