There are no simple messages to take from the weekend's election results and new national polling.
In Tasmania, the Liberal Party won a handsome victory, sweeping Labor out of power after 16 years in government. The Greens had a bad night, suffering an 8% swing away from the party.
In South Australia, a two-party-preferred overall vote of around 53% for the Liberals may not be enough to hand them victory. At this stage the most likely result is 23 Labor seats, 22 for the Liberals and 2 independents. The result won't be known for sure before tomorrow, but both major parties will be speaking to independents Bob Such and Geoff Brock about the likelihood of forming a minority government. The result was not a good one for the Liberals.
The new Nielsen federal poll, unlike several other recent polls, has the Coalition ahead in two-party preferred terms: 51-49. Even so, this represents a 2.5% swing against it since its September election victory. Pollster John Stirton, combining all of the polling conducted since the election, has called it the worst poll start for a federal government in 40 years. There was no honeymoon period at all.
And on streets around the country, many thousands of people voted against the government with their feet, in the March in March. But like other the indicators across the weekend, the message from the protests was somewhat mixed: 'General dissatisfaction', if we were to try putting it into words.
"Tony Abbott warned independents in South Australia not to “cheat” voters by forming a government with Labor as Jay Weatherill credited the prime minister with helping the Labor party achieve a much stronger result than expected in the state’s election. Labor won 23 seats in Saturday’s election; the Liberal party took 22, both short of the 24-seat majority needed to take power."
"Pollsters tell us that jobs remain the central concern of voters. But Labor, both federally and at a state level, have not been able to persuade that they have any better way of assuring those jobs than the Coalition. That shouldn’t really be a surprise. After all, Tony Abbott’s tough message about the need for business to be competitive – that it is business that ultimately creates jobs, not governments – is the message Labor once preached."
Also: Worst poll start for new government in 40 years (John Stirton)
"The federal government's promise to cut $1 billion in red tape annually will be put to the test on Wednesday when it begins repealing more than 8000 redundant regulations and laws. Prime Minister Tony Abbott will begin the repeal process this week with the introduction of an omnibus red tape repeal bill."
Also: Ending mining tax will damage jobs (Ross Gittins)
"The royal commission into the Rudd government's home insulation program will begin hearing evidence today in Brisbane, with senior public servants among those due to appear. Former and current federal department chiefs and former ministerial advisers have been named on a proposed witness list of 20 people for the first three weeks of a possible five-week hearing."