Another claim Tony Abbott has made to back him forming government is that the swing against Labor was very large. “Mr Abbott said that after the ”savage swing” against Labor on Saturday, ”I think that the public expects a change of government”.”
Since the Whitlam Government, every first term government has had some swing against them:
2010 Labor: -5.4% primary, -2.03 % 2 party preferred.
1998 Liberals: -4.83% primary -4.61% 2 party preferred
1984 Labor: -1.93% primary, -1.46% 2 party preferred
1977 Liberals: -3.20% primary, -1.1% 2 party preferred
1974 Labor -0.2% primary, -1.0% 2 Party preferred.
Several of these elections were notable for the rise of minor parties- One Nation in 1998 and the Democrats in 1977.
So the swing in primary vote against Labor was very large, but the swing to the Coalition was barely a ringing endorsement.