It was a very small rural by-election over the weekend, but according to many in the Australian political establishment it had all the hallmarks of Donald Trump's shocking presidential election victory.
As Trump's election upended US politics, it appears to have also had the knock-on effect of casting a long shadow over Australian politics. Party insiders, analysts, and journalists are jumpy and seeing Trump in everything.
Take, for instance, opposition leader Bill Shorten's speech on Saturday to the Victorian Labor conference, where he announced that Labor would be taking an "aggressive Australia-first approach to policy".
No Australian politician has felt more vindicated, and energised, by the Trump victory than One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who celebrated the US election result by sipping champagne on the Parliament House lawns.
Then there was the former prime minister Tony Abbott, dumped by his party last year due to poor polling, who held up Trump as proof there was a kind of "silent Abbott vote" that had been overlooked by pollsters.
TONY ABBOTT: If you don’t have a strong centre-right party, people looking for what broadly might be described as conservative positions will find other voices to represent them. I think this is something that mainstream politicians ignore at their peril.
ABC HOST FRAN KELLY: You saw this, you tried to tune into it … but you failed in the polls, we had a very close election here in Australia
TONY ABBOTT: Donald Trump was constantly failing in the polls. This election, both the UK election of last year, the Brexit vote of this year, and the Trump vote this year are a good sign that we should not be ruled by polls. What we have seen in all three cases were people who weren’t upfront with the pollsters because they saw the sort of excoriation that the non-politically correct obviously didn’t want to tell pollsters what they really thought.
Senior lecturer at the University of Sydney's US Studies Centre Dr David Smith told BuzzFeed News that Australians should be wary of making the easy Trump comparison.
"The paradox of Trump is that he promised a total break from politics as usual, while running at the head of one of America's two major parties," Smith said.
"Loyalty to a political party is a huge part of how Americans vote, even when voting for someone who is trashing that party.
"The party setup in Australia doesn't really allow the same thing to happen, because the selection process of party leaders is almost entirely determined by party heavyweights.
"Someone coming in with a slogan 'Make Australia Great Again' would be a bit weird. The things that someone like Hanson promises are pretty modest compared to what populist nationalists in the US, Britain, or France promise: the restoration of national greatness."
Mark Di Stefano is a Media and Politics Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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