As Andrew Landeryou reported at 4:11am (and The Age at 8:13am), last night’s Victorian Legislative Council recount in several seats resulted in the DLP indeed losing the last seat in Northern Metropolitan to the ALP, apparently as a result of 6000 Green preferences which had previously erroneously been allocated to the Liberals. However, it was “swings and roundabouts” on the recount because the ALP also lost the last seat in Western Metropolitan, where Labor’s Henry Barlow was defeated by a Greens candidate whom Landeryou describes as “nasty Greens extreme left candidate Colleen Hartland”. The result is that Labor still ends up with a 19 seat minority in the 40 seat Legislative Council, but with the Greens holding the balance of power whip hand with 3 seats (instead of the DLP and Greens each having 2 as it was prior to last night’s recount). The numbers according to Landeryou are now as follows:
This gives the extreme Greens three Members of the Legislative Council, leaves Labor with 19, the centrist DLP with 1, the Nats with 2 and Liberals with 15.
Ironically Bracks would probably have preferred the previous result, because it would have given the government the ability to shop around between DLP, Nats and Greens to muster a majority on legislation the Libs opposed, whereas now he’s stuck with just the Greens (and the Nats in the fairly unlikely event that either of them feel like doing a Barnaby). Anyway, it’s a good thing for democratic checks and balances I suppose, although I must say I would have preferred the balance of power to be held by a moderate, sensible party like the Democrats once were before they self-destructed, rather than either extreme greenies or Catholic God-bothering wowsers.
The other dimension to this story is the way Landeryou has managed (and not for the first time) to beat the mainstream media in straight news reporting. As I observed in a comment last night, whatever you might think of him (and I don’t like the extreme defamation and seemingly malicious personal smear campaigns), Landeryou clearly has some very good sources, including within the Victorian Electoral Commission. Gutter/tabloid though he may be, Landeryou is one of the few bloggers who is actually practising real news/investigative journalism, and I hope he keeps it up. I think he’s a really interesting blogosphere phenomenon and worth watching closely.
I wonder if we’ll see the emergence of more bloggers turning their hands to original news reporting and investigative journalism, as opposed to comment and analysis about the issues already covered in the MSM? Obviously most bloggers have severe time, money, resource and access constraints compared with paid accredited MSM journalists, but diligence, personal contacts and sheer rat cunning can sometimes achieve wonders. For example, there are lots of retirees out there with a lifetime of experience, wisdom, invaluable business and professional contacts, and plenty of time on their hands. It’s a wonder more of them don’t turn to political blogging.
PS - Not everyone has even slightly positive views about Landeryou. Quite apart from Glen Milne and Stephen Mayne, someone has gone to the trouble of hoisting Andrew with his own petard so to speak, by starting a spoof site called Slanderyou which adopts his hard-hitting, muckraking style but applies the smear tactics to Landeryou himself. I wonder who’s behind it? (Actually, further reading of that site reveals that they actually run a second anti-Landeryou site as well, called Make Landeryou Pay – an apparent reference to the (now deleted) Blogger site Make McVeigh Pay which targetted the liquidator of Melbourne University Student Union, in which Landeryou was somehow involved and about which I posted earlier this year).