An eight per cent swing against you is a bad election result, in anybody’s language.
Except if you’re Christine Milne.
Because the leader of the Australian Greens reckons it’s a positive turnaround for her minor party.
And if others viewed it as a rebuff, well, it was all Labor’s fault anyway.
On the Monday after Saturday’s twin state elections, the losers are doing their best to find something positive out of losing as everyone else analyses what happened in Tasmania and South Australia.
In Tasmania, the result was about as clear cut as you can get in an election: The Liberals recorded their best result in 60 years; Labor one of its worst and; the Greens were punished.
Not so, Milne argues. In fact, losing voter support and maybe three of its five seats in the assembly was a positive.
Why? Because the party improved its position from the September federal election when there was a near 10 per cent swing against the Greens in Tasmania.
So winning 13.5 per cent of the state primary vote in 2014, as opposed to 21.5 per cent in 2010 is a positive “turnaround”, says Milne.
Who cares if others saw it is a negative anyway, she says.
Tasmanian voters wanted to be rid of a Labor government and the Greens were just collateral political damage.
Conveniently forgotten was the fact that the Greens were in the government as well, holding two seats in the Giddings cabinet.
Milne also argues the new Liberal government, having won 51.4 per cent of the primary vote, didn’t have a mandate to tear up the regional forestry agreement even though premier-elect Will Hodgman told voters that’s what he would do before the election.
Why? Because an opinion poll last week showed the vast majority of Tasmanians wanted the agreement retained.
Over in South Australia, there were no winners.
But federal Labor claimed voters had endorsed its industry assistance and jobs policies, while rejecting Tony Abbott’s approach of telling business to get its house in order before asking for government handouts.
Trouble is, about two in three voters supported a party other than Labor.
The Liberals though could end up with nearly 53 per cent of the two-party preferred vote and still be in opposition.
Alexander Downer, the party’s state president, was doing his best to explain away the disappointment when asked about the most likely wash-up from Saturday.
It was possible the Liberals could form a majority government after pre-poll and postal votes were counted, he said.
But not probable, he admitted. Truthfully.