Six Moments Of Schadenfreude For Progressives After The 2016 Election


With the Senate likely to be dominated by a centre-right and openly bigoted crossbench, progressive voters have been feeling a little blue since the results started to roll in on Saturday.

But before we throw ourselves into (as many as) six years of Pauline Hanson, let’s take a second to reflect on some gloriously moments of indignity endured by conservatives who have been booted from parliament.

1) Andrew Nikolic Is Gone And He’s Having A Huge Sook About It

Nikolic was one of Tony Abbott’s generals and among the loudest anti-multicultural voices in Parliament. He described civil liberties as “redundant” and was dubbed by Peter Dutton as “obviously one of our finest in parliament”.

This hawkish bigot was also selected earlier in the year to serve as head of the all important parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security – the body that is supposed to weigh anti-terror laws against their implications for civil liberties. It’s not hard to guess how much scrutiny Nikolic would have applied to the ever growing security state.

But now he’s gone, dumped by the massive swing that swept three Coalition MPs from Tasmania. The swing against Nikolic was over 10 per cent.

And how did he handle the fall from grace? He got mad.


Like all memory of his brief stint as an MP, the post was soon deleted.

2) Swings And Roundabouts For Dutton

Minister for Immigration, Peter Dutton.
Minister for Immigration, Peter Dutton.

Unlike his mate in Tasmania, Peter Dutton will hold his seat. But, in part thanks to a ferocious campaign from GetUp, the Minister for Immigration suffered an almost six per cent swing against him, reducing his margin to a less than two per cent buffer.

It’s an embarrassing result for such a high-profile member of the government, and shows that the punitive refugee policies he has embraced can still cause political blow-back.

3) Sophie Mirabella Goes Down Again

Obviously not content with her devastating loss in 2013, the former Liberal MP took another shot at rural seat of Indi, fended off by independent Cathy McGowan who enjoyed a 4.5 per cent swing, consolidating her hold on the seat.

It’s not hard to see why. Mirabella started her campaign by implying the electorate had been punished for not returning her in 2013 and claimed $10 million in funding assigned to Wangaratta hospital had been withdrawn. She made headlines again after allegedly shoving McGowan out of a photo opp.

Mirabella refused to apologise for the allegedly violent encounter and instead demanded one from McGowan. She’s never been good with apologies, it seems. As an MP, Mirabella walked out on the national apology to victims of the Stolen Generations in 2008.

In the end, however, the voters of Indi made no apologies for their 2013 decision either, bumping Mirabella back off the national stage.

4) Palmer Sinks Like The Titanic

On the downside, much of the now virtually non-existent Palmer United vote has been transferred to One Nation.

But on the upside, a man who travelled to Canberra with the singular purpose of fulfilling his self-interest has failed. As the Member for Fairfax, Palmer’s major achievement was taunting the government.

There’s something disturbing about a millionaire buying their way into parliament and power. But as Palmer’s demise illustrates, money can’t buy you the love of the people for very long.

Despite the fact we’ll miss your videos, it’s time to say bye bye, Clive, goodbye.

5) Upstart Wyatt Roy Can Finally Start-Up

Aside from the universal joy of seeing a Young Liberal falter, this one seems a rich reward for an MP who early in his career became involved with the darker side of partisan politics.

Now out of the job, perhaps Roy can join one of those start-ups he’s always banging on about. He’ll certainly have plenty of time for innovation and agility after being ousted by an 8.2 per cent swing in the Queensland seat of Longman.

That is if he’s not too busy assisting the AFP with their inquiries into the Peter Slipper and James Ashby affair.

6) Not So Valiant In Defeat

Country Liberal Party MP Natasha Griggs should be congratulated for her optimism. By Sunday it was clear she had failed to retain the NT seat of Solomon, so much so that CLP Chief Minister Adam Giles had acknowledged the seat would fall. Griggs was undeterred, holding on to the point that the NT’s CLP president Tory Mencshelyi was forced to conceded defeat for her.

And still, Griggs held out on Monday, in spite of the fact it was now impossible for her to claim the seat, a fate she finally accepted yesterday.

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