D-day minus 2

• The Australian has published the latest cumulative Newspoll with state-by-state breakdowns. Most interesting of the state-level results is a correction following a mid-campaign Labor plunge in New South Wales.

• Marcus Priest of the Financial Review on the dispute over George Newhouse’s eligibility in Wentworth (UPDATE: A learned refutation of what follows from Grace Pettigrew in comments):

One option for Turnbull to avoid a new election would be to argue that rather than go back to the ballot box there should be – according to an ancient common law rule – a recount that excludes the disqualified candidate. The High Court has not been willing to do this in other successful challenges but left the door slightly open in the (Jackie) Kelly case, and it has occurred in England before. For this to occur it would require Turnbull to put Wentworth voters “on notice” before the poll that Newhouse was ineligible.

• Having raised genuine concerns about Newhouse, the Coalition broadened the attack to 12 other candidates who websites indicated were still on the public payroll (“based on investigative public records searches”, as Andrew Robb would have it): Sharon Thiel (Kalgoorlie), Mark Reynolds (Tangney), Tony Zappia (Makin), Belinda Neal (Robertson), Yvette D’Ath (Petrie), Ross Daniels (Ryan), Garry Parr (Hinkler) and Shayne Neumann (Blair), Rob Mitchell (McEwen), Alan Neilan (Kennedy), Mark Buttigieg (Cook) and Peter Conway (ACT Senate). Most seem to have had little trouble refuting the claims, Reynolds saying his piece in comments on this site.

• More and worse late-campaign desperation from Lindsay, where Labor operatives have photographed outgoing member Jackie Kelly’s husband Gary Clark and party state executive member Jeff Egan distributing a bogus pamphlet, purportedly from Muslim extremists praising Labor’s support for the “unjustly” treated Bali bombers.

• Meanwhile, Michael Bachelard of The Age reports being contacted by a “Liberal campaign source” spreading smears about Rodney Cocks, Labor’s candidate for the finely placed outer Melbourne seat of La Trobe.

• Michael McKenna of The Australian reports that the Liberals are so alarmed about their outer Brisbane seat of Forde, which outgoing member Kay Elson won by 13.0 per cent in 2004, they have “abandoned their candidate” and told the local to get behind Nationals candidate Hajnal Ban, who has “won traction with voters”. At the end of October, Tony Wright of The Age wrote that Liberal polling from the seat was “whispered to have sent a bolt of fear through the party”.

• A study of Australian voting patterns by the Australian National University’s Andrew Leigh and Oxford University’s Amy King finds that “female candidates in major parties tend to get 1.5% fewer votes than their male colleagues, all other things being equal”.

• Nick Xenophon’s seemingly effortless journey to the Senate has been rudely interrupted by Ann Bressington, the unanticipated victor of a second No Pokies seat at last year’s state election. According to John Wiseman of The Australian, Bressington claims Xenophon “guaranteed that her entry into politics would cost her nothing, only to tell her after she was elected he wanted $50,000”. She has also criticised him for abandoning state parliament just after he became eligible for the pension granted upon 10 years’ service.

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.

1,111 comments on “D-day minus 2”

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  1. No mention of Rudd in the media today! Where’s he campaigning? Or is he keeping his head down and letting the Liberals take all the crap?

  2. I don’t think the lying Rodent should be too hard on the Kellygate culprits. After all, he has built a career on the politics of hate, fear and war-mongering. They were just doing what they thought their Fuhrer would want. Victory at any cost.

  3. I too think it’s at least possible that Racehategate could have been planned to pan out this way. And even if it wasn’t, Howard is intentionally using it to smear Labor with supporting terrorism: he’s used that same long, awkward denial sentence linking Labor and the Bali bombers twice today already.

    However, I don’t think we should worry about this being planned because I think the negatives are hugely outweighing the positives.

    The average swinging, non-political voter is not going be all over this issue today like we have on PB, and like journalists have. For evidence, just look at the top stories on news.com.au, where the Kelly affair was only number three (a giant prawn was at number one). The average swinging voter is going to take home a simple message — Lib trickiness being caught out. That at least is the spin that’s been given to this by DT in Sydney: great cover, just “Libs busted”. Not drilling down into the boring details, just putting the Coalition in the sh*t.

    And the other great benefit, probably the best benefit of all, is that this affair completely overshadows any potential slip ups tomorrow. It’s our very own rubberised playground safety mat.

  4. just watching ABC video about the leaflets. That’s some good streaming video they have. I hope more sites use that sort of video. Anyway, the pamphlets seven words.

    1. evil
    2. reptillian
    3. kitten

    (still following?)

    4. eaters
    5. from
    6. another
    and, 7 planet.

    I hope that makes sense to someone. Enjoy your election, Australia. A lot of babies are accidetnally concieved on election nights like this, so be careful.

  5. The Kelly revelation is a fitting metaphor for the mean, tricky and devious government that we have had to endure for over 11 years. We can only wonder what else that they have managed to get away with in past campaigns. But on a more positive note, I have a few musings…
    For the religious –
    We’ve been wandering in the desolation of the wilderness for 11 long years, and this is the manna from heaven
    For the gourmets –
    This is the icing on the cake
    For the true believers –
    Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus!
    For the long suffering –
    Good things come to those who wait.
    And hopefully we won’t have to wait this long again …ever.

  6. Dyno 972 – speak for yourself please!! A lot of us are Howard’s age and we have far more mental acuity (in the right directions) than Howard does. He is truly a one dimensional person and I fear he will fall in a hole without his daily dose of political power. What else does Howard have in life – history is certainly not his strong point as it differs markedly to my remembrance of what has happened during his and my lifetime. I have never forgiven him for his remarks about Nelson Mandela being a terrorist and I won’t forgive him for many other things – including standing back while Bernie Banton and his workmates battled a big company. Be gone, damn spot.
    So Dyno – I can assure you that when you are 68 you will still be springing around, with all your faculties and still enjoying yourself. I will be gone but I hope that history is not too kind to John Howard. I rely on you guys to make sure it isn’t.

  7. HH,

    Rudd is in Brisbane today, but he’s doing an interview with David Speers on Agenda at 4:15.

    If I was him, I’d let all questions relating to the Lindsay thing through to the keeper and let his minions (shadow ministers) do the dirty work for him. He’s got to keep up the perception that he’s above all this dirty mudraking…

  8. From the Australian article:

    “Mr Howard said no public funds were used in preparing the leaflet.

    “I do not believe and I would be perfectly astonished if any public funds had been used,” he said.”

    Why why why can’t they see these 2 sentences don’t equate? He didn’t say no funds had been used… he said he didn’t believe funds were used. This means if it is later proved they were he can say “I wasn’t aware that they were used… I didn’t lie”.

  9. Dyno
    If the Brisbane line was Curtins idea he could not have been very good at reading maps. He must have thought Kokda was just south of grafton and so sent the troops there to hold the line while he brought our main divisions back from the Middle East

  10. [Exactly, would have been the Hanson expulsion all over again in my view, with Howard looking (to many people) like a reasonable guy whoโ€™d dealt firmly with the idiots in his own party.]

    But Hanson went on and won the seat with an even bigger margin.

    Oh and she has been quiet in the last 24 hours ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. How’s this for a conspiracy theory?

    Jackie Kelly hates John Howard.

    So she got her husband to put out this flyer, and tipped off the Labor Party.

    The result: Howard torpedoed. Of course, he was cactus anuyway, but this might just tip the balance in his own seat.

  12. [Well Whitlam did hang the East Timorese out to dry in 1975 he let the Indons invade them.]

    Are you saying we should’ve gone to war with Indonesia?

    [ShowsOn we did that cos Menzies wanted nuclear technology.]

    WTF do we need nuclear weapons for?

    Oh, to bomb Indonesia.

    Idiot.

    [1036 SO,
    Exactly, would have been the Hanson expulsion all over again in my view, with Howard looking (to many people) like a reasonable guy whoโ€™d dealt firmly with the idiots in his own party.]

    Rudd should be DEMANDING than Howard sack the candidate for Lindsay. He should say that Howard needs to show some leadership, and that the candidate SHOULD take responsibility for the actions of her husband, just like Howard expected Rudd to take responsibility for the actions of his wife’s companies.

  13. ShowsOn are you saying they should disendorse Chijoff in Lindsay? Because Kelly is an idiot? Or do you think Chijoff is in on it?

    And is that how you spell Chijoff?

  14. the brisbane line was a mad idea of eddie ward one of the most unpleasanr people ever to be in parliamenr and he was an ALP man.

  15. I’m loving the tit-for-tat Labor did this, the Libs did that stuff – good for a laugh.
    Glen, why do whine about how there are more important things to talk about than the pamphlet disgrace? Did you think this wouldn’t be the issue of the day? If so, you are an incredibly naive fool.
    Poor old Glen – trying to disrupt discussion about how embarrassing his beloved Libs have become. Keep trying pal.

  16. Frank @ 1049.

    And that’s from the GG. It is as soft as it is going to get.

    Glen, it is time for you tories to go bungee jumping without the rope.

  17. “the brisbane line was a mad idea of eddie ward one of the most unpleasanr people ever to be in parliamenr and he was an ALP man.”

    jesus, what rubbish. at least you could do was go read the wikipedia article about it before you talk sh*t.

  18. 12 seats in N.S.W, not counting Hughes:
    Parramatta
    Lindsay
    Macquarie
    Eden Monaro
    Bennelong
    Wentworth
    Dobell
    Page
    Robertson
    Macarthur
    Paterson
    North Sydney?

  19. ladies and gentlemen,
    please enlighten me.
    Howard played the race cards in the past (Tampa, Children-Over-Board, Sudanese/Africans…) and they helped him back then.
    Would he pull it through this time? Why yes? Why no?

  20. No i knew it would be because the media have had it out for him in his 4th term especially in 2007 they’ve gone hell for leather and it was sad that our democracy has come to this questioning the PM on something as trivial as this instead of scrutinising his 5th term policy agenda. But what do you expect most media jurnos dont vote for the tories anyway.

    This is on par with the abuse by one of Newhouses staff on Mrs Turnbull and another of his staff members having anti-semitic views IHMO.

  21. This whole thing comes from the fact that Kelly has manure for brains and always has – she learned about racism and politics from JWH at the Tampa election and this is her and her husband’s ham-fisted attempt to play a similar card. Pathetic losers!

  22. Glen

    I can’t feel sorry for Howard on this one. He has brought it on himself. Here is an excellent and accurate quote from Andrew Bartlett at the ABC website:

    “But Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett says the situation in Lindsay shows it has now become acceptable in Australian politics to play the race card.

    “I’ve got no doubt the Prime Minister, as the person who takes ultimate responsibility, has fostered an environment where these sorts of things are seen as acceptable or worth a shot within the Liberal Party,” he said.”

  23. Re 1066,

    Howard Hater Says:

    November 22nd, 2007 at 2:16 pm
    I hope Rudd is in Petrie, Dickson or Ryan.

    Spears said last night that the interview would happen in Bris-Vegas.

  24. [But Hanson won it as an independent. You can hardly blame Howard or the Liberals for that.]

    Hanson was disendorsed after the printing of ballots, so she appeared as a Liberal.

  25. Re 1075,

    John of Melbourne Says:

    November 22nd, 2007 at 2:17 pm
    Lets say JWh scrapes in this weekend how would you Labor voters feel?

    NOT going to happen. Jackie Kelly and company put paid to that ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. [Hanson was disendorsed after the printing of ballots, so she appeared as a Liberal.]

    WEhich will be the case in Lindsay if she was disendorsed.

  27. I do not have to read Wikipedia but David Day’s very good biography of John Cutin makes the point as does asny book about the period.

    Eddie Ward was both a nutcase and a very unpleasant man

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