By the time I headed off to bed last Saturday the federal election was effectively over, with Labor leader Bill Shorten conceded that it was unlikely that Labor would win the seats required to form government.
The election result came as a surprise to many political pundits, given that most polls had predicted a comfortable Labor win in the run-up to the election.
As I write this, the Liberal/National coalition has secured 78 seats, ensuring a majority for the new Morrison government in the upcoming 46th Parliament of Australia.
Waking up to a cold Sunday morning with the previous day’s election result rattling around in my head I decided that a ride to the hills was in order. Donning copious layers of cycling gear to ward off the chill, I pointed my trusty bike in the direction of Eltham and off I rode.
Leaving early, my route took me through a still sleepy Brunswick, the inner-city suburb just north of Melbourne, out through Heidelberg and finally to Eltham, nestled at the foothills of the Shire of Nillumbik in Melbourne’s outer east.
Elated in Eltham, Bummed in Brunswick
Eltham sits in the electorate of Menzies, and the incumbent Liberal candidate, Kevin Andrews, comfortably retained his seat with a Two Candidate Preferred (TCP) vote of 57%. Having a well-earned brekky at the Eltham shopping strip it was hard not to notice two distinct themes.
Firstly, I was surrounded by people in their mid-fifties and beyond, a demographic oft-labelled “Baby Boomers”. Secondly, these Boomers were (from their demeanour and the bits of conversation I caught), thrilled that the Coalition government had been returned for another term in office. It was fair to say that the mood in Eltham that Sunday morning was positively “chipper”.
The ride home took me through the heart of Gen Y-centric Brunswick, in the electorate of Wills, where Labor’s Peter Khalil held off a stern challenge from The Greens. There the cafés lining ultra-hip Lygon Street told a very different story.
The mood in Brunswick was distinctly more sombre, with none of the energy pulsating around Eltham. Poker-faced twenty and thirty-something Millennials sat huddled in cafes in quiet contemplation.
In the few short hours I spent riding that day I saw the two sides of the election outcome; the winners and the also-rans. And as a Gen X, wedged between the Boomers and their Gen Y kids, I find myself asking one question: what exactly happened on Saturday 18th May and what does it mean for the various generations?
Read on to find out…
Continue reading “Frankly, the Election was a Boomer Victory over their own Kids”