Today we saw the first test of the Rudd government with the by-election in the rural Melbournian seat of Gippsland. It has traditionally been a safe National seat, but the Liberals and Labor live in hope of an upset.
After one hour of counting (and 43% of votes recorded) it looks like the Nationals will retain the seat with an increased majority. Antony Green has called it for the Nationals. Not sure what this means, except that Brendan Nelson (leader of the Liberal-National opposition) will keep his job for a bit longer.
But the more interesting information for libertarians is the performance of the LDP candidate Ben Buckley. At the moment he has 4.8% of the vote. This is above the magical 4% barrier which determines which political parties receive public funding.
(Note: While the LDP is opposed to the idea of public funding for political parties, it is not viable for us to be the only political party rejecting the money.)
7:30pm UPDATE: 55% counted; 6.3% swing to Nationals; LDP on 4.8%
8:20pm UPDATE: 65% counted; 7.3% swing to Nationals; LDP on 4.6%
03 July UPDATE: 87% counted; 6.2% swing to Nationals; LDP on 4.2%