While, after three years of almost unprecedented stress and adversity, the jubilation felt by many over what is seen as a refreshing change of government and direction is understandable, the Morrison government should be given due credit for saving lives and livelihoods during the pandemic.
And, looking at the bigger picture, it is also important to acknowledge the contribution the long standing two-party tradition has made to developing our strong and vibrant democracy.
Despite the success of the teals, other independents and minor parties Labor is set to win government in its own right. While there will need to be deal-making and compromises in the Upper House that is not a new thing. It dates back to the glory days of the Australian Democrats who paved the way for the teals, the Greens and the rest.
Voters have not rejected the two-party system per se; they have rejected a government they saw as out of touch on climate change policy, integrity and accountability, social justice and respect for minorities.
While many of the casualties were moderate conservatives, particularly in affluent inner city seats, those MPs had consistently toed the party line. The bromide that a vote for even a moderate Liberal such as Dave Sharma was a vote for Barnaby Joyce was devastatingly effective.
This is one reason why, despite the Nationals retaining all their seats and picking up another senator, a cloud hangs over Mr Joyce's leadership ahead of next week's spill. While the spill itself is not unusual - it happens after every election - the fact is a party boss who did a lot more than save the furniture is at risk is.
David Littleproud is being urged to challenge Mr Joyce by some of the more moderate Nationals who see the writing on the wall. They are cognisant of the strong swings against them in many seats and the fact some formerly safe National electorates are now marginal. There has also been recognition that the Nationals' at-best lukewarm support for the 100 per cent emissions reduction target under Mr Joyce's leadership backfired badly on the Coalition.
While not an out-and-out slaughter on the scale of Labor's defeat in 2013, the 2022 results - particularly the drop in the primary vote - is cause for the Coalition to sit up and take notice. It needs to redefine itself in order to remain both relevant and electable. Any failure to do this would lead to a notable imbalance in the body politic, leaving moderate conservatives and small "l" liberal voters with no viable choice.
Will the Coalition, having lost some of its smartest and most moderate people, including Scott Morrison's logical successor Josh Frydenberg, move even further to the right, or can the remaining moderates persuade their colleagues unless there is a major reset they are doomed to at least two terms in opposition and possible oblivion?
One of Mr Joyce's argument for his re-election is he would go hard in protecting what he sees as the Nationals' interests when renegotiating the Coalition agreement. That would mean continuing to drag the chain on climate change, and supporting fossil fuels. This, in a classic case of the tail wagging the dog, would then limit the ability of the Liberals to overhaul their own policy position.
They, in the meantime, face their own dilemma with Peter Dutton likely to be elected as leader unopposed - as much because there are no other obvious contenders as anything else.
Mr Dutton, like Mr Morrison, has promised to change, and to project a gentler and softer persona, if he becomes first the opposition leader and, eventually, Prime Minister.
The voters did not believe Mr Morrison and it remains to be seen, in the event Mr Dutton was to lead the Coalition into the next election, if they would believe him, either.
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