Well, that’s the way I read the situation in Australia. The (Non)Liberals have 72, so do Labour. There’s one Green and the three “Haystack Amigos” (Independents). There’s one seat left to declare, which is too close to call.
So, assuming the worst case for Gillard – i.e. that she loses the last seat to declare – she’ll still be equal with the Liberals when you count in the Green, who will align with her.
So it’s down to the Three Haystack Amigos, one of whom, Bob Katter (see photo above), often wears a hat almost as big as those worn by the original “Three Amigos”. They’ve clubbed together (which means they are probably not technically independent) and come up with seven demands for coalition talks with the two big parties.
Number one on their list is access to confidential Treasury documents. Labour, under Gillard, say they can have that. The Liberals say “no” and loudly criticise Gillard for conceding this.
So that’s that then. Game, set and executive jet to Gillard. It might seem.
But, then again:
a) there will no doubt be more surprises
b) goodness only knows how long Gillard will survive by the strength of three rural independents.
The whole thing is hilarious.
…And to think that Kevin Rudd was riding high only a few months ago!