The ALP loss in NSW was expected but never the less sends a clear warning for Victoria and the future of the ALP Gillard Government.
Victoria managed to hold back the landslide and catastrophe that was waiting to happen in NSW. Victoria was spared in part because of Gillard. Had it not been for Gillard the Victorian ALP would have seen a blood bath last year as we are now witnessing in NSW.
John Brumby managed to hold back the tide. He should have won the November State Election and only fell short by one seat in what would have under different circumstances been a similar fate to what we have seen in NSW this weekend.
The reason Brumby failed to be re-elected was primarily due to the ALP 's State Office and the lack of solid leadership coming from the State Secretariat. As highlighted by George Droukas, ALP strategist, in his assessment review of the State election - former ALP secretary Nick Reece lost Brumby the election. Reece also contributed to the slide in Federal support in 2010.
The ALP is facing a long cold spell in Victoria and unless things improve we could see a repeat of events that occurred in NSW this weekend.
A 10% swing away from labour will see the ALP lose a number of Inner City seats including Melbourne Ports. A fact that has not escaped the attention of the ALP power brokers that be.
With the Greens on the eve of assuming control of the Senate in July and the smell of power within the grasp of the Liberal Party pressure will be on to force a double dissolution of the Federal Parliament later this year.
If there is to be a fresh Federal election then Gillard will be defeated, swamped by the tide of disaffected voters nationally. Julia Gillard like Kristine Keneally is highly capable and skilled at providing a leadership role. Keneally's short lived premiership was impressive. Like Brumby she was weighed down by a governemnt that had been in office for over three terms and was let down by her back bench and the lack of professional administrative support.
It is this lack of engagement with the party and the broader community that is depleting the ALPs support and seriously placing at risk the next Federal election. If the level of disengagement and lack of professionalism continues we will soon see Melbourne without any ALP representation.
The prospect of Australia facing a new Federal election in six months is real.
Unless the issues of professionalism and management are addressed the ALP will be left out in the cold for many years to come.