In order to spread the comments load, I have hived off those parts of Idle Speculation relating to individual seats from the poll results summary:
The Liberals’ preselection vote for the blue-ribbon north Sydney seat of Mitchell will be held on Saturday. Sixty-nine year old incumbent Alan Cadman is running again, but only the most sentimental of local branch members doubt that he is past his use-by date. Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports that observers predict he could score as few as 10 preselection votes out of a total of 120 if he contests a ballot. Excitingly, the front-runner would seem to be Cadman’s Right faction colleague, Alex Hawke, the staffer for controversial state upper house warlord David Clarke who was widely blamed/credited with the machinations behind John Brogden’s demise. This not surprisingly displeases the Left, who are backing Australian Hotels Association executive David Elliott. Sunday’s Sun-Herald reported that Elliott has the backing of Nick Greiner along with two identities not normally associated with the Left, David Flint and former prime ministerial chief-of-staff Arthur Sinodinos. Also in the field is Paul Blanch, a Killara lawyer and Bathurst grazier.
Another Liberal in a safe seat who faces a challenge on Saturday is Bronwyn Bishop in Mackellar, although Michelle Grattan reports she is expected to have the numbers to hold. Her challenger is Maureen Shelley, convenor of the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s review board. Andrew Clennell of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Liberal preselectors have received a leaflet which criticises Shelley for having a son from a previous marriage who has been jailed for a criminal offence, and for allowing films with ‘real sex, filth and violence’ to be screened in Australia.
The Coalition Senate ticket is yet to be formalised, but is reportedly a done deal with Helen Coonan in first place, John Wacka Williams in the Nationals’ mandated second place (he previously defeated the incumbent Sandy MacDonald for the party’s preselection) and Left faction incumbent Marise Payne in precarious third. The Prime Minister has reportedly used his influence to protect Payne’s position, resulting in the withdrawal of Right faction challenger Scot Macdonald.
Also looming is the preselection to replace the retiring Bruce Baird in the safe southern Sydney seat of Cook. Michelle Grattan reports that the field includes managing director of Tourism Australia, Scott Morrison, who was also NSW Liberal director and is current favourite for the seat; Optus executive Paul Fletcher; PBL executive David Coleman; barrister Mark Speakman; and Peter Tynan, recently returned from working as a consultant in the US, who comes from a prominent business family in the Sutherland Shire, along with a dark horse businessman Michael Towke, a former ALP member who has signed up a big contingent of new members to the Miranda branch.
Also still in play for the NSW Liberals are the somewhat less attractive prospects of Parramatta, notionally a marginal Liberal seat following the redistribution, and Lindsay, held by the retiring Jackie Kelly with a diminished post-redistribution margin. The front-runner in Parramatta is reportedly navy pilot Tim Bolitho; Penrith councillor Mark Davies is reportedly set to replace Kelly.
Labor’s South Australian Senate ticket has been finalised, with Don Farrell of the Right faction Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association in first place, Left faction incumbent Penny Wong in second and journalist Cath Perry taking third with the backing of the Left faction Amalgamated Metal Workers Union. The other incumbent, Linda Kirk, was dumped by her erstwhile backers in the Right to make way for Farrell.
The South Australian Liberal Party’s has rejected Maria Kourtesis’s appeal against her defeat by Mary Jo Fisher, of the rival Right faction, in the vote to succeed retiring Senator Amanda Vanstone. Greg Kelton of The Advertiser reports Kourtesis blamed her loss on a vicious campaign aimed at her Greek heritage and a rumour of being ineligible to stand. Fisher will serve out the rest of Vanstone’s term, which expires in 2011.
Glenn Milne’s Monday column in The Australian was devoted to an unhealthy prognosis for Malcolm Turnbull in Wentworth. This was based on the detailed assessment of former NSW Labor stategist Shane Easson, which can be read at Mumble. Also worth noting at Mumble are Peter Brent’s observations from June 8 about the effect changed electoral laws will have in Wentworth.
Speaking of changed electoral laws, a challenge to the one that disenfranchises those serving jail sentences came before the High Court yesterday. The challenge has been brought by Vickie Lee Roach, an indigenous woman serving a sentence at Dame Phyllis Frost women’s prison in Victoria, with the support of former Federal Court judge Ron Merkel. At issue is that perennial constitutional hot potato, the precise meaning of the requirement that parliament be directly chosen by the people.
Dig the redesigned Australian Electoral Commission site, which has dispensed with the stupid what, who, why, when, how (WTF?) categorisations. In other AEC news, the organisation is being agreeably assertive in raising awareness about the new deadlines for enrolment, as you can probably see if you look at the top right of this page. Clicking on Ads by Google is now officially good for democracy.