Other stuff

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.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

58 comments on “Other stuff”

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  1. Interesting of 7 posts no one thinks the 2PP will stay at or near 60:40 its just a question of the degree it seems.

    Guess we’ll all be pretty silly if its 59:41

  2. 57 – 43 – interestingly, most don’t seem to agree with Galaxy. Is ACNeilsen definitely due this week?
    Hartcher, to me, always comes across as another cheerleader for the coalition. I think journalists would be on AWA’s wouldn’t they? Boy that hip pocket nerve must be shaking.

  3. “I’m not quite sure about voluntary voting encouraging extremism.”

    I think the point is that in voluntary systems there is an increased focus on mobilising your committed voters (who include some extremists) and correspondingly less focus on appealing to the uncommitted centre, who are more likely to just stay home in the middle of a confusing mud-fest. An example is the importance of appealing to the anti-abortion anti-evolution christian right for Republican candidates.

    “I don’t see how those pushing the “you should already be correctly enrolled” line can credibly argue that ordinary citizens should be more politically engaged than political parties.”

    This is the same government that argues with a straight face that collective bargaining is important for small business, but unimportant for workers… 🙂

    “Guess we’ll all be pretty silly if its 59:41”

    If the election ends up with a 2PP vote of 59/41 the Liberal Party will be dead as an effective organization and there won’t be enough chickens in the country to produce eggs for the faces of the mainstream media *and* the blogosphere… 🙂

  4. Martin B – to be fair to Edward he was only commenting on the next Newspoll. Noone believes such high figures for Labor will be achieved next election. The big question is what will Labor’s solid primary vote will be by the time the election comes around. I’m guessing 46/47, which will be more than enough for it to win the next election.

  5. I think Newspoll will be 58-42 Labor’s way. I expect some reaction to the Kirribilli House budget buffet.

  6. Peter Fuller,

    It may affect the next poll but come election day do you really think voters will remember it? It’s a non-issue.

  7. John,
    I agree, it’s very unlikely to impact on the election outcome. My guesstimate was purely in the context of this thread, i.e. Tuesday’s Newspoll.

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