CPI Strategic director and Field & Game Australia adviser Rick Brown provides commentary on an election result that shocked self-appointed experts, commentators, Malcolm Turnbull, the Liberal Party's gurus and indeed seemingly everybody except Bill Shorten and his inner circle.
The question is whether the results should have been such a surprise.
Before the Liberals committed themselves to the double dissolution path there were those within Coalition ranks who expected to lose between six and ten seats. Thus, the next question is why Labor won more than 10 seats.
One explanation, which neither of the major parties would want to hear, is the vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
The Liberals reinforced how out of touch they were with voters by concluding that the Brexit result would drive voters (as distinct from ‘the market') to seek stability.
The odds are that the Brexit vote gave hope to many in mainstream Australia, who, like their counterparts in the USA, United Kingdom and other western countries, have concluded the major parties do not understand their priorities and concerns.
This mindset not only would reinforce the attraction of minor parties but also favour Labor for two reasons.
The first is that one can only protest by voting against the government even if it is just as bad.
Secondly Labor campaigned on the theme that Malcolm Turnbull was an outof-touch toff and campaigned on Medicare, an issue which struck a chord with voters.
A revolt by mainstream Australia against the inner suburban elites would not harm shooters and some others whose pastimes or activities are labelled politically incorrect.
Last year, the Liberals created a problem when they were sucked into deciding to ban the Adler and therefore lever-action shotguns, a decision that would have had ramifications for classifications of pump-action and leveraction rifles.
The Nationals solved the problem by distinguishing between Adlers with a capacity of up to five rounds and those with a capacity of more than five rounds.
Labor sought to exacerbate the problem by trying to shoehorn Malcolm Turnbull into banning the Adler.
Labor refused to resile from its position even though it was based on incorrect information. It required an enormous effort and holding our nerve to persuade Labor to modify its position at the last possible minute during the election campaign.
Despite this change, we could not have assumed that a review of the National Firearms Agreement would not have been used as a means to tighten current classifications had Labor fallen over the line or formed a minority government.
This experience raises the question of the effectiveness of a policy of supporting individual candidates and members who are sympathetic to shooters, thereby ignoring the policies of and dominant mindsets within a political party.
The events of last year also demonstrated the importance of the influence of the Nationals and the fact its position within the Coalition is now stronger is a good election outcome.
Northern Territory senator Nigel Scullion, a keen hunter and a great supporter, was instrumental in persuading the Government not to proceed with a ban on the Adler last year. His re-election as the Nationals' Senate leader is good news as would be his re-appointment as a Cabinet minister.
So far as the Senate is concerned, the results will not be clear for weeks.
The good news is that the Greens did not do as well as expected. They are likely to lose one senator and possibly two.
However the election of Derryn Hinch in Victoria is not good news for shooters. Nor is the success of Nick Xenophon in South Australia. Tasmanian Jacqui Lambie's views on firearms issues are unclear.
Hanson's success would be good news for shooters, particularly given the success of Hinch and Senator Xenophon and the fact that Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm are only outside chances of being re-elected.