One day in November

As you’re all no doubt aware, the Prime Minister has just held a press conference announcing the election will be held on November 24. Didn’t hear the whole thing, but after all the justified outrage about the government’s changes to electoral laws, I am surprised to learn that the legal formalities will be conducted on a timetable that will leave the rolls open until October 22.

UPDATE: Those who have had time to think about this point out that the writs will be issued on Wednesday, so the deadline for new enrolments is 8pm that evening. The October 22 date invoked by the Prime Minister is the closing date for amendment to existing enrolments.

UPDATE 2: An AEC press release announces: “If you’re not on the electoral roll and you’re entitled to enrol, you must fill in an enrolment form immediately and return it to an AEC office by 8pm, Wednesday 17 October. If you’re already on the roll but still need to update your address details, to ensure your vote you must complete an enrolment form and return it to an AEC office by 8pm Tuesday 23 October”.

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.

726 comments on “One day in November”

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  1. Went to Government House lookout this morning to see Howard drive up. Very exciting to think this time in 6 weeks it might be all over (please!).

    Perhaps we may get the Galaxy leaked tonight to rain on Howard’s parade? (Again… please!)

    This campaign isn’t changing my vote and I won’t be listening to a word Howard has to say. He’s had 11 years to convince me to vote for him, why should 6 weeks make a difference?

  2. Trav at 21

    You can pre poll vote. The AEC usually have two temporary pre poll polling places in each electorate 2 weeks out from polling day. You can also apply for a postal vote. Applications are generally sent out by both parties by direct mail during the campaign. Pre polling is probably the preferred option.

  3. > I am surprised to learn that the legal formalities will be conducted on a timetable that will leave the rolls open until October 22.

    Well if confirmed I wouldn’t be surprised. My understanding (subject to confirmation) is contrary to the narrative over the last few months. I always thought that the writs were *always* issued some days after the visit to the GG, so closing the polls on the day of the writs wasn’t a problem *unless* the PM went for the shortest campaign possible (which leads to the writs being issued almost immediately)

    Now that Howard has been forced – by the old man’s own dithering – to announce the only realistic date about 2 weeks earlier than necessary, he gets “the full benefit of the views of younger voters”.

    As they say:- couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  4. “after all the justified outrage about the government’s changes to electoral laws, I am surprised to learn that the legal formalities will be conducted on a timetable that will leave the rolls open until October 22”

    don’t get too excited. I hate to suggest that our Prime Minister would be at all misleading in his public statements, but I think you’ll find that if you aren’t yet enrolled, you have until 8pm Wed 17th, the day the writs are to be issued. An additional 3 working days are made available if you’re turning 18 or becoming a citizen between the issue of writs and the election, so the rolls don’t completely close out until Monday.

    But if you’re young, and you thought Mr Howard suggested that you had until Monday 22nd, you may just be out of luck. By my reading, you need your form to be with the AEC on Wenesday. Get out there, and enrol tomorrow.

    AEC rules:

  5. 39, Sinic:
    Seeing the hacks out in force is quite amazing. Despite it being a little painful to read, for each one of them spending their time butting heads online, it’s one less Liberal out on the campaign trail doing something productive like door knocking or something. It’s no wonder they can’t get the volunteer numbers to hand out pamphlets or man the booths.

    I’m expecting someone to rig the voting counter, too.

  6. Nice to see Howard portraying himself as a leader who always takes full responsibility. You could almost hear the belly laughs coming from all over Australia.

    What a pity none of the journalists thought to ask him about the AWB fiasco when he and all his ministers developed collective amnesia and like Schultz in Hogan’s heroes insisted they knew NOOOOTHING.

  7. I assume we don’t go into formal “caretaker mode” until Parliament is actually dissolved. So the government ads will run until then.

    Voting: if you are going to be away from home, but within your own state, on polling day, you can vote “absentee” at any polling booth. If you are going to be interstate, you can only vote at the booths designated for that purpose. The booth at the town hall in the capital city is always available for interstate voters. Otherwise you would be better to pre-poll. Pre-polling opens I think two weeks before election day. Ring your MP’s office to find out where the pre-poll booth is in your seat, or check the AEC website.

  8. I see ESJ is pumping the old “mandate” chestnut. I reckon 100+ seats might just give Labor the appropriate numbers to govern in the name of all Australians despite the protestations of our Tory friend.

    As for the Libs, I look forward to the day in twenty or so years when my grandchild, after listening to me again retell the story of how we did over the Liberal Government in 2007, asks me, “What is a Liberal?”

    Hubris, I’ll be soaking in it!

  9. 16
    Edward StJohn Says:
    October 14th, 2007 at 12:51 pm
    This will not give Labor any kind of mandate and those who think it does are having themselves on….

    Hi ESJ. This is not a statement deeply imbued with the spirit of democracy and it is not the kind of sentiment that will win support for Team Blue.

    The normal thing is, if you win, you can implement your program. If you abuse the trust placed in you, the voters will have the chance to rebuke you for it, as His Ozzines The Grump of Kirribilli is about to find out.

  10. This election will be different from Howards previous ones.

    In all of those Howard has stated ‘This election will be about blah blah blah” and the labor party and others meekly followed.

    This time labor will not fall for that and neither will most of the voters, this election will be about whatever the people and the labor party want it to be.

  11. No doubt the collective geniuses in the Liberal strategy bunker have considered it, but this date will be very inconvenient to many tertiary students and some final year high school students old enough to vote. Why? Not because it interferes with exams, but because for most it will disrupt the start of their holidays. I would imagine that will be annoying.

    Perhaps seeing the reported 73/27 anti-government vote amongst the young the Liberals have written this group off. Then again perhaps they’re hoping that those at the beach will not bother filling in an absentee vote.

  12. Glen!
    at last – how are you now that the race is on? You must be quietly confident that 60% of people polled so far are just plain wrong.

  13. re Adam’s post@52
    Is this the reason for the election time table so the Liberal party adds
    funded by the tax payers can continue a little longer?
    I consider the govt is Now in caretaker mode and the adds should
    stop now

  14. GG,

    It doesnt really matter if Labor wins 60,90,120,150 seats. The point is who is going to change anything?

    Its not a reformist agenda, its a conservative agenda that Labor has.

    Whether its Labor or Liberal it will still be a conservative, mediocre consensus in Australian politics. I doubt very much (contrary to JWH’s line) that much of anything will change under Labor. If you have a sense of history that confirms the extent to which JWH has won the culture wars.

  15. 56
    Charlie Says:
    October 14th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    So is parliament sitting tomorrow and Tuesday?

    No. Parliament has been, or will be, prorogued.

  16. A question about enrollment. My partner finally moved out of his parents place today. Now by the time the election is called it would be over a month after he moved out, but that’s not the case at the moment. Where does he stand in relation to this?

  17. ESJ ,
    I’m not sure that some of your brothers-in arms would agree that it doesn’t matter whether it is 60 or 150 seats, given that the more they lose by the longer they are likely to be consigned to the proverbial wilderness. Not to mention the alarming fact that they may end up with Sophie Mirrabellas as leader, as one of the only 2 or so members left.
    I’ll be happy with 100 seats or so, just to keep things interesting.

  18. Well, we know one thing, Costello was on the money when he gave the game away, re election timing, twice in the last couple of weeks.

  19. Edward StJohn: “This will not give Labor any kind of mandate and those who think it does are having themselves on.”

    Howard is the classic flip-flopper (ie hypocrite) on the legitimacy of ‘mandates’. He declared many years ago, when in opposition of course, that the mandate theory of politics is dead. Only to claim a mandate (more than once, if I remember correctly,) when in government.

    Furthermore, Howard ran a small target, dont-scare-the-punters, me-too campaign in 96, yet went on to make some big changes.

    And where was his mandate for WorkChoices? He didn’t mention it prior to winning the 04 election.

  20. Edward – “Whether its Labor or Liberal it will still be a conservative, mediocre consensus in Australian politics. I doubt very much (contrary to JWH’s line) that much of anything will change under Labor.”
    So Edward there is no problem for people like yourself voting Labor then, right?

  21. I hope that nonsense brings you some comfort, ESJ.

    Removing Howard’s authoritarian penalties on collective bargaining will represent major change, even in the Workchoices-lite paradigm.

    Plus you’ll swiflty see how shallow the culture war victories were – and how they were essentially a product of federal bullying, not conversion.

    Expect a national apology within weeks, the instant abolition of Howardite neo-con foreign policy, a return to constructive multilaterialism, signing up to Kyoto 2, and a reprioritisation of public education.

    Howard is so reactionary and outdated, Ruddite centrism will appear quite progressive, and capture the public imagination for at least two terms.

    By that point, any liberal leader in the Howard mould will be completely unelectable.

  22. Howard’s press conference was a poor one – their messages are all over the place.

    A quick look at the Fairfax and news networks and the key themes being reported are:

    “right” leadership – which naturally brings in questions on the leadership changeover. A few questions on this have already been asked this morning, and the responses have been very average.

    full employment – naturally brings in workchoices, again a question was asked on that point straight away.

    balance and union bosses – as others have said, this is about preaching to the converted. It’s not a vote turner in itself.

    There is nothing here that resonates the way it did when he came out in 2004 and asked “who do you trust on interest rates”. There was no overarching theme which he can bang on about until everyone is sick of hearing it, and then bang on about it some more.

    In contrast, Rudd’s “new leadership on climate change, education and states” is resonating. The Coalition will lose badly if they can’t put together something more coherent.

    I agree with Possum that there will be a number of left field announcements. However, in my view indigenous issues are now too muddied by JWH’s recent speech to have a net benefit for the Coalition.

  23. I think history will look back at this campaign as the people have stopped listening to Howard. There is no fervent desire for Rudd at all, if anything he’s a clean skin who is not rocking the boat. As a result it doesn’t really matter what straws the LNP cling to, the mud the throw, the wedges they ply next opinion poll from whoever is shock horror 56:44 2pp.
    This government has had it’s day and there is nothing Rudd can do about it.
    But why? From a conservative, boring, selfish and apathetic electorate like Australia (thankyou Peter hartcher and mukole(9)) would we ever change a government in “such good times”
    Good times for some – particularly those that listen to AM radio (ie oldies, self funded retires etc….) – refer to the voting demographics.
    For the rest of us is the economic factor – higher interest rates and mortgages longer work hours with less conditions and job security – all in the name of flexibility (atleast for the proletariat and middle classes).
    The other side is the moral question – which is why the people “Loathe you more than they Like you ” Mr. PM . – 55% dissapprove cf 45% approve.
    We know what you stand for – Iraq, AWB, WMD and a right conservative agena – the pendulum has swung the other way (from the extreme right to the right) and the bell tolls for thee..

    I’m calling it now – It is all over!! Labor by 30 seats – the next six weeks is just going through the motions and a silly charade.

  24. My fingers are crossed for Tuesday’s newspoll, the government needs a 2-3% increase in primary vote to make this a close election…and no Jen i do not feel good i am sick today no doubt Rudd’s ‘Anything he can do i can do better’ speech will no change my current level of health…

    The Liberal Party website has some negative and positive ads on and just as everyone predicted they are going to do an L plate Rudd campaign…

    I only caught some of the questions from the press gallery and not Howard’s speech but for a goal of full employment that is a good message to bang on about because the economy is the Coalition’s biggest plus.

    No doubt Rudd will bang on about IR, Global Warming how he is a fiscal conservative, how old Howard is ect…same old Labor.

  25. Rudd will be forced out of any attempt to replicate Howard’s neo-conservatism by The Greens getting more in the Senate – a likely vote for those who are not impressed with Me-Too but are desperate to see the end of Howard and his cromies.

  26. This one sentence might be Howard’s own undoing – “Love me or loathe me, you know where I stand”. People will be thinking environment, IR and other things they have been slow on.

  27. Culture Wars? Don’t make me laugh!

    One thing is for certain, there will not be an award winning musical written about Howard.

    In fact, Howard legacy will be quickly forgotten as Labor takes control of the agenda.

    The reason is that the Libs just don’t do History very well.

  28. Edward StJohn (63)
    I agree that it is indeed a conservative agenda on both sides. As an (amateur) student of political philosophy I find the detachment of both sides from any meaningful debate on ideas dissappointing. Nevertheless, that thinking carries with it an implication that is also why I think the Liberals are in such danger.

    If the economic settings are not going to change much under either side, then economics ceases to be a reason to vote for the Liberals. Then it is back to issues like social services, equity, environment etc where Labor would probably feel favoured to win.

    Even more extreme, if it is not about issues at all, then people will simply vote on perception and/or prejudice. In that case, if Howard is perceived (accurately in my view) as dishonest, then he is probably gone. Given his failure to honor his promise to Costello, no interest rate rises promise, and non-core promises of the past, there is ample scope for Labor to attack him on character and honesty.

  29. ESJ@63. I suspect you’re right. Kev and the boys aren’t going to throw this away by turning 180 degrees in their first year. Seems to me it’s like turning a big ship. The change of direction starts slow and gathers pace. The trick is to correct the steering before the turn’s halfway through or you end up in a place where you won’t survive because your “fellow Australians” haven’t followed. Suspect that’s where Howard has ended up (thanks Workchoices) and he’s leaning on the wheel, trying to avoid the iceberg.

  30. St Edward @ 16

    Ahahahhahahaahhahaha, Sour Grapes already mate???

    Yeah make excuses moron, people don’t vote out governments during economically prosperous times due to it being “old”, they vote them out because of junk policies such as “Workchoices”

    Don’t make excuses for your failures, your ignorance got you lot into this situation in the first place, only have yourselves to blame now!

  31. Will, from memory, I think that you have to have lived at a particular address for the set period of time (a month I’m pretty sure) before enrolling there. So you’re partner could enrol at his new address before the rolls close if he’s been there for a month.

  32. “New leadership” logo !!

    Hmmm. Intersting one. Have to refelct on this…. up front thoughts: really focuses it back on Rodent himself, which is good; only slight negative is the association with Keating’s pitch!

  33. For anyone interested – if you break down these Taverner swings by seat using the 2006 census data, 19 seats go with Parramatta the first and Kooyong the last with Dunkley, the 20th a dead heat.

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