Only the memory of Scott Morrison's late surge to win last time made Saturday's Australian federal election anything but predictable.
The polls were clear on a Labor victory, the Prime Minister's campaign failed to catch fire, his rival Anthony Albanese held his own and was judged more empathetic in debates.
But above all this was a familiar tale: A government that had been in power for nearly a decade fronted by a leader who had outstayed his welcome.
Australia has voted for change, and the good showing by the Greens and independents suggests the new Labor government will be on notice to deliver. Moderate independents motivated by climate issues rocked Morrison's Liberals in Sydney.
Yesterday, Labor had 72 seats to the Coalition's 55 with 60 per cent of the vote counted, the ABC projected, in an election that widened representation.
From a New Zealand perspective the closest parallel would be the fag end of the John Key/Bill English National government and the arrival of Labour after long years in opposition.
With high inflation and the cost of living crisis around the globe, a pandemic still hanging around, and the world heading into a period of increased security instability, it couldn't have been a worse time to be an incumbent asking re-election.
However, President Emmanuel Macron, of France, managed it last month with some nimble political footwork promising extra support for hard-hit households.
The current government which most resembles Australia's outgoing coalition is the Conservative-run administration in Britain which has been in power for 12 years, has been beset with scandals and is lagging in the polls. But Boris Johnson doesn't have to face the voters for a couple of years.
Here, Labour can be buoyed by having a fellow centre-left partner to work with across the ditch.
The Government has a bit under a year and a half before having to face the electorate - time for the pandemic to ease and the country to regain more solid economic ground. It has the power levers to make policy. Voters will have more time to judge the alternative parties and National will have to present fresh ideas on what it is for rather than just what it is against.
However, the economic situation could also worsen and fears over crime could deepen as an election issue. A sizeable chunk of the electorate appears to now have negative attitudes towards Labour's stewardship - shaped through the strict controls of the pandemic, climate initiatives and polarising reforms in various sectors.
Morrison couldn't ultimately overcome public dislike for his self-described "bulldozer" persona and his government's approach.
Labor came close in 2019 under Bill Shorten but Morrison's Liberals convinced enough voters that the status quo was the safer option. This time with the highly experienced former minister Albanese in charge, it was safe for those voters to jump ship.
In the interval, Australia has been through devastating bushfires and the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef has become a world symbol of global warming. How Australia changes with climate initiatives under Labor will be interesting. It has the potential with its size and wealth to be a Southern Hemisphere leader on renewable energy.
Australia, like New Zealand, largely did well overall in comparison to other countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, but its great cities - Sydney and Melbourne - suffered through long and deadly outbreaks and lockdowns.
Under Morrison's watch it has a least set itself up well for a future pandemic with a Moderna mRNA medical technology hub being established and regional purpose-built quarantine facilities underway.
Australia's relations with China have nosedived and the defence lean for the region has tilted further towards the United States.
Ultimately Australia has rejected the course it has been on in its leadership and policy and opted for new possibilities.