How ScoMo Took Australia By Surprise

It’s a day that will go down in history. The chattering class called it the unwinnable election. All the major polls, pundits and papers were unanimous: Labor was certain to take power. Even Sportsbet picked the wrong side, paid punters out early, and lost $5.2m for their troubles.

But by 10pm Saturday night, a nation in shock realised that ScoMo, against the odds, had won Australia’s trust as Prime Minister for another three years.

As a Christian, I can’t fully endorse the Liberals. Like any party, they don’t represent all of my concerns in Canberra. But I am excited to have a spirit-filled PM, and I believe his re-election spells a crisis averted—not just for Christians, but for Australia.

In the aftermath, the question on everyone’s lips is how did he do it? How did Scott Morrison snatch victory from the jaws of defeat while no one was paying attention?

Australians Love Freedom and Family

Some will say Australia voted for ScoMo’s economic credentials. The more cynical have suggested that a vote for the Libs was a vote against the environment, justice and generosity. But that’s not my summary of Saturday. I’m convinced that Australians love freedom and family.

It’s unusual to see major parties campaign around issues like abortion or freedom of religion at election time. But this year, both were in the spotlight.

The Labor party had pledged to make abortion free and available to full term right around the country, and they’d even threatened to defund hospitals that refused to play ball.

And late last year, you might have missed it, but there was a big tussle between the major parties about religious freedom. Labor tried to change the Sex Discrimination Act so that any religious school or place of worship could be taken to court simply for teaching what they always have about marriage.

In response, ScoMo promised that if he was re-elected, he’d introduce a Religious Discrimination Act to protect Aussies of faith from this radical overreach.

But Labor doubled down, setting themselves against religious schools again, hoping to take away the right of schools to choose staff who will teach their values.

Labor also planned to make birth certificates gender-neutral and introduce gender-fluid ideology into schools nationwide—moves that have stifled freedoms in other western nations.

To top it all off, over the last month, Rugby Australia conducted a witch-hunt against Israel Folau, ultimately sacking him from the Wallabies and destroying his career, simply for quoting a Bible verse in private time on his social media account. All of this played out—in the providence of God, perhaps—in the days and weeks leading up to the election.

It was all too much. Australians couldn’t stomach it, and they had their say on Saturday.

The Left Weren’t Listening

We saw it first with Trump and Brexit, and now we’ve seen it with ScoMo. The mainstream media, all the major institutions, and the loudest voices online—most of which lean left—had convinced themselves of their own viewpoint, assuming they’d convinced the whole country.

So much so that anyone with a conservative viewpoint felt they had no permission to speak up. And so the ‘quiet Australians’ spoke up in the only place they felt they could and the only place it really mattered: at the election booth.

People don’t like being told what to think. Hillary Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’ hated it in 2016 and they let her know about it by voting in Trump.

So now is the time for those on the further reaches of the left to lean in and listen. Why did so many back ScoMo? What were the reasons beneath their reasons? Can you find any sympathy with their perspective?

And for all of us: What does respectful conversation between the left and right look like? And now that it’s all over, how can we find common ground to advance Australia fair?

Now is also the time for conservatives not to gloat, but to show the kind of humility we’d all expect from the left if the tables were turned.

An Unprecedented Prayer Movement

Scott Morrison began his victory speech with “I’ve always believed in miracles!” His election was, even by mainstream accounts, an absolute miracle. The word ‘miracle’ has come to define this election.

But few probably realise the amount of prayer that was sent up for this miracle. Back in March, former tennis-great-turned-pastor Margaret Court awoke at 4am, convinced that God was calling the churches of Australia to rise up and pray for Scott Morrison’s re-election.

The response was overwhelming. Warwick Marsh, who helped spearhead the movement, said,

“I have never seen so much prayer and fasting go up in a three week period in my whole life. Totally extraordinary!

“I have never seen senior church leaders push prayer so much either. The united push… by church leaders, large denominations, Christian educational groups and Christian activists groups and individuals was the greatest I have ever seen.”

As Margaret Court herself pointed out,

“Throughout the Bible, prayer and fasting have impacted the course of history and adjusted the spiritual course of nations.”

Looking at the headlines Sunday morning, it’s hard to deny that something truly remarkable has taken place. Christians uniting across all denominations have played a significant role in the weekend result.

With all that could be said about Saturday and its implications for the next three years, it’s reassuring that believers of every political persuasion can still find unity in the promises of God.

“Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.” Psalm 146:3

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7

God bless Australia.

About the Author:

Kurt Mahlburg is a qualified primary school teacher and a freelance writer. He blogs at Culture, Worldviews and Life with Jesus, besides writing for the Canberra Declaration and occasionally The Spectator Australia. He has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same. Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years on a remote island in Indonesia, is fluent in several Indonesian languages, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel.

17 Comments

  1. Jasmine Pillay May 20, 2019 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Christians will learn from this that when they unite in prayer, God hears. Let’s continue this push in prayer, bringing to the Father all the issues that concern us. God Bless Australia and His Church.

    • Eric Miller June 9, 2019 at 12:10 am - Reply

      It was prayer and action, which I think was the motto of the CDP.

  2. Helen May 20, 2019 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this analysis, it is rational and concise. And real.

  3. […] emails, letters to politicians, letters to the editor, social media posts, new articles, comments on existing articles, Instagram posts, Christian petition signatures or tweets can be arrows pointed directly at the […]

  4. Michelle Gibbs May 21, 2019 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    This is a great account for people to understand what God has rescued us from.

  5. Kym Ivory May 24, 2019 at 6:01 am - Reply

    A truly wonderful result for Australia God bless you richly ScoMo we love what you stand for. We are praying for you as you take charge and Govern our nation. Bless your family too…🙏🙏

  6. Sheryl Brown May 24, 2019 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Thankyou ScoMo for couragesly declaring that you believe in Miracles and your prayer to God Bless Australia. The victory was truely a miraculous answer to prayer by the quiet Australians for Justice, Freedom and Truth.

  7. Andrew C May 24, 2019 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Good analysis here. Add in Qld and Adani coal to the mix.

  8. Debbie May 24, 2019 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Very encouraging. Let’s continue to pray for the PM, government, opposition and Australia.

  9. Shane Bekker May 25, 2019 at 12:29 am - Reply

    I believe the timing of the Israel Falou incident was a blessing in disguise even though I am disappointed that Israel was sacked in the end. This incident showed the nation also that religious discrimination in the way it was carried out was not on. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, so glad he Loves the Lord, and certain MP’s would have been appalled at what Rugby Australia did. The Religious Discrimination Act now needs to be entered in and established to secure a better future for all, and I thank God that we do have a reprieve to make the necessary changes and advances to make our nation great and safe and blessed. This was a real eye opener to those who may not even believe in God but would have seen the tragedy of family destructiveness. I believe this was among one of the clear distinctive characterization stories that showed the nation which way we were heading.

  10. Bronwyn May 25, 2019 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    It was wonderful to see a blue Queensland, as I was being bombarded with so much Unionist propaganda and having most of my work colleagues in the Union march here in Brisbane less than a fortnight before the election was challenging my faith as we prayed and fasted. The victory was sweet but a reprieve from what could have been a devastating result if the opposition had won. Much to be done going forward.

  11. Dorothy Green May 25, 2019 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    It was so wonderful to see the answer to prayer. What a miracle. What a joy to see God intervene in the affairs of the country. To see the unity of the faith community is a wonderful thing

  12. Maynessa June 2, 2019 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    I don’t think there had been a single day, since about September, when there wasn’t at least one group, across Catholic and various Protestant denominations, praying for Australia, religious freedom, family values etc. I put them in my phone calendar to remind me, so I can pray with them. At one stage, three were overlapping. Our nation was bathed in prayer for at least 6 months prior to the election, and God graciously heard and responded. “Where there is unity, the Lord commands a blessing”. Thank you Lord.

  13. Brendan Ryan June 11, 2019 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Very very profound & the election result has certainly “snookered” the so called “ progressives “ who were attempting to change the very culture that has flourished in our Christian/ Judaism history & provided us with the values, freedom , opportunities, education etc.
    Thank you God for the quiet Australians ( not the elites)

  14. Dee Jaye June 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Thank you Kurt for your articles. They are very informative & well written.
    Praise God for anmincredible answer to.prayer!! I saw the election as being the most important one in Australian history. Our children stood to lose so much if labour had of gotten in. Praise God for our Christian Prime Minister. I know God is going to do mighty things through Scott Morrison.

  15. […] in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7 (Kurt Mahlburg, “How ScoMo Took Australia By Surprise,” The Daily Declaration, May 20, […]

  16. […] themselves of a left-wing Labor victory. Despite it all, Scott Morrison, a charismatic Christian, won the ‘unwinnable election’. Capturing the moment well, ScoMo’s memorable victory speech began with those beaming words, […]

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