Toil and trouble

Federal Coalition. Today’s Liberal leadership contest is of course being amply covered elsewhere. I will say only that the 6-to-1 odds on Brendan Nelson from SportingBet look remarkably attractive from what I’m hearing. Warren Truss is set to take the Nationals leadership unopposed following the withdrawal of Peter McGauran. No by-elections loom at this stage, but I suspect they will be happening sooner or later in Higgins, Mayo, Berowra and perhaps Lyne.

Queensland Liberals. The state Liberal Party has been plunged into a constitutional crisis by a four-all leadership deadlock between incumbent Bruce Flegg and challenger Tim Nicholls. Flegg and his three supporters voted down a leadership spill motion yesterday, prompting state president Warwick Parer to declare he must “do the honourable thing and stand down”. The two groups might end up holding separate party room meetings today, each claiming official status. Nicholls is associated with the Santo Santoro/Michael Caltabiano faction of the Queensland Liberal Party, and is supported in the party room by John-Paul Langbroek (Surfers Paradise), Jann Stuckey (Currumbin) and Steve Dickson (Kawana). Flegg represents the moderate “western suburbs” faction and is supported by Mark McArdle (Caloundra), Ray Stevens (Robina) and Glen Elmes (Noosa), at least for now: the Courier-Mail reports Flegg’s supporters are united by animus towards the Santoro faction, and would be willing to back a candidate other than Flegg to keep Nicholls out.

Western Australian Liberals. It had long been understood that the looming federal election was the only thing preventing a challenge against Liberal leader Paul Omodei, and the talk is that a spill will be on next week. On Tuesday the ABC reported that Omodei was about to be tapped on the shoulder and asked to make way for Vasse MP Troy Buswell. Omodei – a dangerous man to be around at times – today told the media any colleagues who did so would be “very lucky if they don’t get a good right hook, and they’ll be lucky to get out of the room standing up”. Like his Queensland counterpart Tim Nicholls, Buswell is a first-term MP. Meantime, former leader Colin Barnett has announced he will not seek re-election for his seat of Cottesloe at the state election due in February 2009. Barnett has told The West Australian he has thought better of retiring immediately, because it “wasn’t the right thing to do and a lot of people in my electorate want me to stay”. His enemies in the Liberal Party say he’ s only staying to block any move to recruit Julie Bishop to the state party leadership by having her take his seat at a by-election.

Northern Territory ALP. Clare Martin and her deputy Syd Stirling have both pulled up stumps and moved to the back bench. The Northern Territory News reports that leadership rival Paul Henderson delivered Martin a “gentle ultimatum” a few weeks ago. Martin accepted this without demur as she had lost her enthusiasm for the job following the federal government’s intervention into Aboriginal communities. Mutterings first emerged last November that Martin’s inaction in indigenous affairs had cost her the support of the most of the Aboriginal members of caucus, and that a challenge by Henderson would win the support of 10 out of 19 party room members. Martin and Stirling have both vowed to remain in parliament until the election due in mid-2009, so it does not appear we will be treated to by-elections in Fannie Bay and Nhulunbuy.

In late election counting news, Labor’s Jason Young is back in front of Andrew Laming in Bowman, if only by 21 votes. The pattern of voting in 2004 suggests Young has cleared his biggest hurdle now that pre-polls have been counted (mostly if not entirely), and should be able to keep his nose in front on remaining postal (where he has performed strongly so far), absent and provisional votes. In Herbert, Defence Force votes have slashed Labor’s lead from 528 to 36: the outlook appears better for Labor’s George Colbran now those are out of the way, but like Bowman it’s still close enough that anything could happen. Liberal member Peter Dutton’s lately acquired lead continues to widen in Dickson, and the Liberals are home and hosed in La Trobe and Macarthur. The only reason McEwen is not on the list is those votes we were told about which were wrongly sent to Scullin, on which I have heard nothing further. Defence Force votes have cut Labor candidate Damian Hale’s lead over CLP member Dave Tollner in Solomon from 718 votes to 427, but he should still get up unless there’s a surprise lurking in the remaining pre-polls. The trend in Swan contains to favour Liberal candidate Steve Irons, now 136 votes in front, although there will be very little in it either way. Anyone wishing to discuss these results is encouraged to use the dedicated threads linked to in the sidebar.

A couple of other seats worth noting. The Greens camp has been talking up a possible late-count boilover in O’Connor, where Nationals candidate Philip Gardiner could theoretically overtake Labor’s Dominic Rose and surf over Liberal veteran Wilson Tuckey on preferences. At the moment Gardiner is some way behind Rose, 20.42 per cent to 18.37 per cent. It is argued that most of the 9.28 per cent vote that went to various minor candidates will go to Gardiner as preferences, although a good many went straight to Tuckey in 2004. The other question is how many of the 6.68 per cent who voted Greens followed the card and gave their second preferences to the Nationals. If the combined 15.96 per cent from minor parties delivers the Nationals 2.06 per cent more than Labor, Gardiner might be in business. In 2004 there was an 18.8 per cent minor party vote that split 7.8 per cent Labor, 5.7 per cent Nationals and 5.3 per cent, but the Greens were running split-ticket how-to-vote cards as opposed to their direct recommendation to the Nationals this time.

A late-count surprise has been a narrowing of Labor’s margin in Flynn, where postal votes have split over 70-30 in favour of the Nationals. This is because postal voting is a favoured method of voters in isolated rural areas, although the size of the gap is still a surprise. Whether or not the Nationals are still a show depends on whether there are more postals to come. Today’s Courier-Mail states that “postal votes were counted today”, which sounds like it means they were all counted, in which case the remaining 590-vote Labor lead should be enough. Pre-polls have in fact been running quite heavily in Labor’s favour, and absent votes are unlikely to buck the overall trend.

Corangamite is now on the AEC “close seats” list with pre-polls and postals having favoured the Liberals 57-43, cutting the Labor lead from 2217 to 767. However, there should be few if any remaining pre-polls and postals, and Labor did quite a lot better on the uncounted absent and provisional votes in 2004.

There has been no significant progress in Senate counting this week, but it might yet be worth keeping an eye on the Australian Capital Territory. The Liberal vote is clear of a 33.3 per cent quota on 34.1 per cent, which will need to drop at least 1.5 per cent if the Greens are to sneak through for an upset. At the 2004 election it actually increased by 0.22 per cent.

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.

1,082 comments on “Toil and trouble”

Comments Page 21 of 22
1 20 21 22
  1. Glen i will agree with you on one thing when Rudd starts speaking he waffles on, i thought on election night he was unbearable, on and on about nothing, on the other hand old sneaky spoke well and was very gracious.

  2. Glen quoting yet more News Ltd anti-Rudd polemic isn’t going to cut any ice here. We’ve had a whole year of that shite and no-one believes a word of it. (Has Caroline Overington been sacked yet?)

  3. 994 And you thought the Liberals were going to keep him accountable. It’s a new era Glen, it is a new league that the Liberal Party and the journalists will struggle to keep up with.

  4. #
    Greensborough Growler Says:
    November 29th, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Glen, you have the attention span of a gnat.

    If Moses was talking about the Ten Cmmandments you would only be interested in the best three.

    Only one of them mentioned “you shall ensure Howard loses his seat”

  5. 1001
    Marktwain – he hardly wasted 6b dollars, SuperHornets are good aircraft, the US still uses them as Aircraft Carrier jets.

    Oh and last time i checked Lord Nelson doesn’t like eating ear wax lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Adam – this isnt being critical of his policies just that he waffles on and on about working families and the like he doesnt get to the point i mean he’s going to have to get used to this because he’s only had to ask questions in Parliament not answer them.

  6. Agree Adam …the ‘oz’ is very similar to ‘fox News” in the USA also owned by Murdoch….very ‘right wing’

    except George Mega who I find logically critical of both Partys

  7. I hope unlike the Victorian Parliament Labor and the Howard Government, Labor uses HOR responsibly and answers the questions because really the Howard Government treated the house with contempt.

  8. All I can say Glen is that the Tories had better learn to run on two or three hours sleep. If the Tories bludge along at the rate they have this year Rudd will eat them for breakfast and they will never be able to handle him.

  9. Unfortunately I have no faith any Party will remedy the appalling question time in the Reps. Actually the Senate under both Labor & Liberal Governments have been a lot better

  10. [Marky, good luck if Keating wasnโ€™t going to do it why will Rudd?]

    Keating used Question Time brilliantly, he wouldn’t of won the 1993 election without it.

  11. [Unfortunately I have no faith any Party will remedy the appalling question time in the Reps.]

    It is nothing but theatre, always has been, always will be.

    [Shows on. Has Mega George left the โ€˜GGโ€™?]

    No. I was referring to the passing of Matt Price.

  12. Talking about Murdoch, Kenneth Davison in The Age wrote an interesting piece regarding Rupert when he said and i quote
    Murdoch gets his power by owning two thirds of Australia’s capital city daily news paper circulation and is reinforced by the gullibility of our politicians.
    Rudd is no exception. After Murdoch run a blatant campaign in favor of the coaltion it failed to shift public opinion. Therefore Murdoch editoralised on the eve to support Labor in three of his most influential papers, to ensure he backed the winner.
    In return Rudd has indicated he will willingly support much of his agenda. It remains to be seen how much transalates into commercial advantage for News Ltd.
    ( The Age, Monday 26 November, Page 6, Business Section).

  13. Glen, look and weep.

    THE HOWARD Government’s controversial decision to go against the advice of Australia’s air force chiefs and buy 24 Super Hornet fighter jets is likely to be investigated by the Commonwealth Auditor-General.

    Ian McPhee said he would consider examining the circumstances surrounding Defence Minister Brendan Nelson’s decision to spend $6.6 billion on the Super Hornets. If he did investigate, it would be in the 2008-09 financial year.

    In response to a request for an investigation from Opposition defence spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, Mr McPhee said the Super Hornets were a major defence aquisition. If an investigation were held, it would focus on governance issues related to the decision to buy the jets.

    Last November, Dr Nelson stunned RAAF chiefs when he told cabinet’s National Security Committee that Australia needed to buy an interim fighter to ensure a “capability gap” did not emerge between the 2010 retirement of the F-111 fighter bomber and the 2013 arrival of the Joint Strike Fighter from the US.

    Just weeks earlier, the nation’s two most senior air chiefs said an interim aircraft such as the F/A-18 Super Hornet was not necessary.

  14. Correct, Ron Brown, and most of the winners are photographers. Picture tells a thousand words, I think the saying goes. We journos really are up ourselves.

    That being said, Thomas’ series on Haneef was good. Balanced out the absolute tripe his Newsie colleague, Paula Doneman, did on the “SHOCK TERRORIST PHOTOS OF GOLD COAST APARTMENT BLOCK AND GLORIOUS OCEAN VIEWS” scuppered scoop. That was hilarious. Not.

  15. Very cynical of 3 Murdoch papers to support Rudd on election eve …AFTER producing a negative Labor presentation during the campaign

  16. How disappointing that the likes of Nelson, Bishop and Haase will go down in history having voted against the sorry to the stolen generation people. It will happen soon enough anyway regardless of their good or ill will. What a mean bunch. By the way some of these stolen generation people have actually been enormous contributors to our society despite the damage done in their childhoods.

  17. 1009 Marky -[ I hope unlike the Victorian Parliament Labor and the Howard Government, Labor uses HOR responsibly and answers the questions because really the Howard Government treated the house with contempt.]

    They did indeed treat the House with contempt – continuing a trend begun under the previous Labor govt it must be said, but the extent to which it was taken over the past 11 years is not comparable.

    Generally though – we can go on about personalities and details, but the main game now is – can the Rudd govt bring back the ‘fair go’? Can they bring back more of our lost laconic egalitarian atmosphere that can reduce the difference between the poorest group and the richest? They have not started well in education policy, which is where this starts, and will continue the obscenity of open slather for first-start religious schools apparently. If any area needs a rethink and a good dose of leadership, it’s this one. No-one here can applaud the ‘education revolution’ if any mug group of freaks can continue to apply for and get govt money to start a new school. This has been going on for not quite 11 years, but for a good part of it. If anything will hasten the classification of Aussie society it will be a failure by the new Govt to fix that. I know they won’t cancel state aid, but the rort of the start-ups and the excesses of across-the-board subsidies must go.

    Whew, sorry about the rant.

  18. example of Murdoch bias:

    the $420 million ‘regional rorts affair” did NOT get published in the Melbourne sun at all

    the $281 million tax payer funded work choices adds got no lead articles

    the AMA in Tassie repeatedly said the mersey hospital transfer could not go ahead
    as there were not enough speciaists

    the WA union leader expelled in the campaign got front page in the Melbourne Sun


    but Garretts joke got headlines despite a channel 9 witness supporting Garrett version

  19. Hahahahahaha….me first

    Thanks for voting, here are the results so far:

    Do you think Brendan Nelson will male a good opposition leader?

    0% (0 votes)
    100% (1 vot

  20. #
    marky marky Says:
    November 30th, 2007 at 12:08 am

    Very little about Jackie Kelly Gaffe in the Melbourne Papers as well and for memory not on front page of Australian.

    You are 100% right

    As you say the bias is not only what is written but also what storys are omited

  21. Try not to read his papers, never buy them, just look at headlines. But Murdoch is the person who inhibits change for the better in this country and it is time our governments did something about his influence.

  22. 1033 – they must have quarantined it to Sydney – the Sydney Tele had plenty of it. I wish I’d known the full reporting picture because I upped my forecast of ALP seats from 100 to 104 on the back of the Lindsay spectacular!

  23. Oh Dear, Trouble in paradise for the Federal Opposition!

    THE Queensland Nationals have thrown another match into the firestorm engulfing conservative politics, threatening yesterday to walk away from the federal Coalition.

    At the end of a week which has upended the national political landscape, Nationals powerbrokers will meet today to discuss their radical threat to effectively create a new party in Federal Parliament if maverick Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce is not promoted.

    Meanwhile the state Liberal Party remains deadlocked over its leadership options as Bruce Flegg continues to defy the wishes of the executive and refuses to quit.

    And the federal Liberal Party is set for a testing time under its new leader Brendan Nelson, who yesterday edged out ambitious former minister Malcolm Turnbull after also seeing off a challenge from another former frontbencher Tony Abbott โ€“ who vowed to be back. Dr Nelson dodged questions about how he and new deputy Julie Bishop would guarantee stability in the party, after winning the leadership ballot by only three votes from Mr Turnbull.

    “Well, you will just have to watch and see what I do and how I do it,” Dr Nelson said.,23739,22844647-952,00.html

  24. By the way – it wasn’t a Jackie Kelly ‘gaffe’ – it was the NSW organisation caught red-handed in what they have been doing for some years – breaking the law and every moral and ethical standard through false publications associating their rivals with bad things such as terrorism.

  25. A week is along time in politics. Remember a week ago the Lindsay scandal was all over the media. I never realised how much of a bimbo Jackie Kelly really is.
    Today we got a new cabinet ready to be sworn in & a opposition falling like 10 pin. How sweet it is!

  26. 4 Corners did a program on the Super hornets and its replacement the F35
    The progam suggested that australia has had air superiority for 60 years but when the F35 arrives it will be inferior to the russian supplied equivalent many Asian countrys have ordered

    leaving us for the first time in our history from 2012 lacking air superiority. The US airforce have another fighter 9think F25) which is the best in the world but will not sell it except to Israel

  27. Ron Brown the F-18 Super Hornets are stop gaps, ie extra defence until we receive our 100 or so F-35s. You are critical of buying F-35s but if the US wont sell us F-22s what are we to do buy Russian aircraft no thankyou!

  28. 1044- Glen we didn’t even investigate the F22’s.
    The Japanese were interested and the US would have sold it to them.

    Australia didn’t even bother.

    Luckily the incompetent corrupt Liberals are now out of power.
    Royal inquiry time.

  29. So it has finally been revealed that Howard himself was behind the problems of the Queensland Liberal Party currently playing out.

    A DEJECTED Liberal leader Bruce Flegg agreed to resign during last year’s state election campaign, it has been revealed.

    The offer came after talks at Liberal Party headquarters on Saturday, August 26 โ€“ two weeks before polling day.

    A resignation speech and media release were even drafted.

    But hours before Dr Flegg was to front his colleagues and the media, then prime minister John Howard strongly advised against dumping the failing leader โ€“ despite polls predicting the Liberals would lose every seat except one on September 9.

    Dr Flegg yesterday said it was “preposterous” that a leader would be asked to resign during an election campaign and said he “couldn’t recall” being asked.

    But two Liberal Party heavyweights yesterday independently verified the plan, but refused to comment publicly.

    The plan came after Mark Textor, managing director of campaign strategist and pollster Crosby/Textor, provided polling indicating that all but one state Liberal โ€“ Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek โ€“ were set to lose their seats.

    State director Geoff Greene called the snap meeting with Dr Flegg, state party president Warwick Parer, former MP Ian Prentice and former state president Bob Tucker.

    They agreed then-MP for Chatswood Michael Caltabiano should lead the party.

    But later in a teleconference, Mr Howard persuaded Mr Greene not to proceed with the rash move, calling it political suicide.,23739,22844882-3102,00.html

  30. Asanque, last time i checked the US have not sold any F-22s to anybody and even if they did they would take out what makes it so good (stealth capabilities)!

    Anyway Rudd is locked into the F-18Cs and the F-35s.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 21 of 22
1 20 21 22