ANNA Bligh's historic win in Queensland extends to 25 the number of consecutive state and territory elections where conservative parties have either lost to Labor or won fewer seats.
The only aberration came last year in WA, where Colin Barnett's Liberals managed to form a minority coalition government with the independents.
In NSW the Coalition has not won in its own right since 1988, when Nick Greiner defeated Barrie Unsworth in a landslide.
By the time Nathan Rees goes to the polls in 2011, Labor will have held power in NSW for 16 years.
Anna Bligh's feat in becoming Australia's first directly elected female premier has delivered a fifth straight term to Queensland Labor, which has ruled for 18 of the past 20 years.
Bligh has given hope to other long-standing state Labor governments which must face the polls in the next two years: Victoria, SA and Tasmania as well as NSW.
State Liberals around the nation have consistently failed to unseat Labor governments despite a string of scandals and some clear cases of ineptitude.
Labor was returned to power in NSW two years ago with just a loss of a couple of seats. Yet Morris Iemma's government had been running one of the most sluggish economies in the country, failing to deliver on health, education and transport.
Labor governments, which at times seem to do everything in their power to get beaten, have proved unbeatable, often thanks to Liberal blunders.
An inquiry into vote-rigging in 2001 forced the resignation of senior Labor figures in Queensland but even that made no difference.
John Brogden resigned as NSW Liberal leader in 2005 after making racist jokes at the expense of premier Bob Carr's wife, and later attempted suicide.
Former South Australian Liberal premier John Olsen quit in 2001 after an independent report found he acted dishonestly in trying to attract telecom company Motorola to Adelaide.
Victorian Liberals have never recovered from the unforeseen uprising that tossed the autocratic Jeff Kennett out of office in 1999.
Labor's extraordinary run at state level is not because voters have always been satisfied with ALP government.
As one commentator remarked, it's because they have had insufficient faith in any alternative.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
This pessimistic - though I think accurate - piece from conservative columnist/journalist Doug Conway appeared in today's Manly Daily: