Poll-sized void leaves eerie calm

IT'S a strange new world we live in.

My letterbox is no longer crammed with glossy propaganda.

I haven't had a robocall for at least 10 days.

And, suddenly, a drive along the Bass Highway does not involve seeing Adam Brooks's face every 500 metres.

A colleague likened this post-poll wasteland to the period that divides the cricket and footy seasons.

The drone of the politicians' promise and counter-promise has been replaced by a new sound: air whooshing into a very election-sized void.

Instead of pledges from Kim Booth, Peter Gutwein and Brian Wightman, prime-time ads detail the advantages of sandwiches, labradoodles and used cars.

When I walk through the mall, I only have to dodge charity muggers, not a pamphlet-wielding gauntlet of Bass candidates.

The quiet of post-election week can be eerie and disorientating.

The campaign carousel has halted after months of spin, speculation and aggravation, giving way to a slight inertia as we digest the end of Labor's 16-year reign in Tasmania.

In short, it was a runaway whomping from the Liberals, one that the new opposition could take several terms to recover from.

Personally, I feel dishevelled and bloated - not unlike an extended morning-after - as a result of the minute-by-minute information gorge for four straight months.

A colleague likened this post-poll wasteland to the period that divides the cricket and footy seasons.

Alex Druce.

Alex Druce.

Fair point - this week's headlines were tumbleweeds compared to the full- blown news tornado that was March 15.

Still, things haven't been entirely dull.

Liberal leader Will Hodgman wasted no time in flexing his premier-elect-sized biceps, using his first media conference as top dog to take a swipe at political opponents and green groups, and reaffirm plans to scrap the forest peace deal.

Surviving Labor and Greens MPs have made doubtful noises about the Liberals' promises, but mostly they've been licking their wounds.

Meanwhile, members of Clive Palmer's PUP blamed their shock loss not on flimsy policies or a dearth of solid candidates, but unfair treatment at the hands of the media.

So where to from here?

With counting continuing for absentee and postal votes, the Liberals hold at least 14 seats in the House of Assembly, Labor six and the Greens three. Another two seats will be decided on preferences within the next few days, after which Mr Hodgman should be sworn in and ready to announce his ministry.

Once things get going, expect talk to turn to the state budget and the red and green tape that is apparently wrapped around our island.

For now, however, we are left with a strange dynamic.

The government we blamed all our problems on is no longer there, and it feels a little too soon to start blaming the new guys.

I guess you could call it apolitical flux, a rare occasion when the electioned-out masses can kick back and appreciate what makes this state great.

I say enjoy it while it lasts.


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