Murdoch by-election live

7.58pm. Notional preference count now up to half, producing no change worth mentioning.

7.54pm. Notional distribution of preferences, based on a bit less than a quarter of the vote, gives a Liberal-versus-Greens two-party preferred of 69.5-30.5.

7.51pm. I speak too soon: Murdoch University now in. Only 478 votes, so not sure what took them so long. This turns out to be a good booth for the Greens, which stands to reason, pushing their vote back up to 26.3 per cent.

7.46pm. The only outstanding booths from 2005 are North Lake Senior Campus, which is located in neighbouring Willagee, and the tiny Murdoch University car park booth, which they probably haven’t bothered with this time. So that might be it for the evening. Congratulations then to Christian Porter, former Poll Bludger classmate and (by all accounts) soon-to-be Shadow Attorney-General.

7.41pm. The addition of another booth has reduced the Greens vote from 26.4 per cent to 26.0 per cent.

7.35pm. Welcome to my half-arsed live coverage of the Murdoch by-election, held today to fill the vacancy in the Perth southern suburbs state seat following the death of Liberal member Trevor Sprigg. With a field consisting of Liberal candidate Christian Porter plus candidates from the Greens, Christian Democratic Party and One Nation, the result is a foregone conclusion, so feel free to consider this an open thread on Western Australian politics. We’ve now got nine of 12 booths in, and the Greens might be pleased with their 26.4 per cent share of the vote. However, Porter is obviously home and hosed with 63.0 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.

20 comments on “Murdoch by-election live”

  1. Hi William, hope you didn’t mind my stopgap efforts on the other thread.

    Do you know which are the 3 booths outstanding – is the result likely to get closer or wider?

  2. Actually, the only booths from 2005 that aren’t in yet are North Lake Senior Campus, which I think is in the neighbouring electorate, and Murdoch Uni car park, which they’re probably giving a miss. So that might actually be it for the evening.

  3. Looking at last time’s results North Lake was the only booth the ALP led on primaries, although I think they would have taken one other on Green preferences. It would have been interesting how close the Greens could have gone if there was a booth there (well interesting by the standards of this yawn-fest). Seems we’ll be deprived that.

  4. The Liberals have won something! William did I read correctly that you knew the new MP, if so please could you give a view on his abilities

  5. MB, I only barely knew him. As I recall, we were doing honours in political science in the same year at UWA, he as part of an arts/law degree. I thought he was an impressive young man with an obvious career in Liberal politics ahead of him. Got a bit carried away in debates, but you’re only young once.

  6. To say its a “ringing endorsement” of buzwell’s leadership is a bit of a stretch considering no Labor candidate ran. It will be interesting to see how golden Porter’s parachute turns out when the election is called.

  7. This by-election was a non-event really…..that is when you compare it to whats going on behind the scenes in “ALP pre-selection land”.

    Good local candidates are getting shafted left, right and centre (excuse the factional pun) by the Premiers so-called “wet-dream team”!!

    Apparently you’d make a great member of Parliament for the ALP if you meet the following criteria;

    1. Your not a member of the ALP,
    2. Your a lobbyist or a lawyer,
    3. You have no connection with the community you wish to represent

    I dare say thats a story worth looking into.

  8. I have always thought poll bludger was a terrific web site and always enjoyed reading poll bludger threads but have not until now offered any comments regarding an election. This time as the candidate I have some unique insights that may be worth sharing.

    By and large the contributors that have left comment all seem to me to share a real interest in and respect for the democratic process. Having for the first time been inside the process myself it is amazing to observe that of those comments which are good educated guesses about actual behind the events facts and occurrences many are incredibly accurate. But also many comments which, in being speculative, are also a little off the mark.

    One overall observation I think that is worth making is that I fear some commentators on the site, like many in the electorate, are at times a little overly cynical.

    Particularly, there does seem at times to be this view that pre-selected party candidates, by virtue of having been pre-selected, have attained some long sort after prize which is of utmost value to the candidate themselves. This view tends in turn to fuel a cynicism of the type that manifest itself in some assumption or knowing on the part of the observer that somehow the candidate must have attained the prize at some significant costs to their integrity. That the ascendency (if that’s what it is) is due to some nepotism or some other form of skulduggery or deal doing that damages and taints the candidate. No doubt this is sometimes true in the reality of party preselection but not always and I would like to think untrue in my own case and in the case of many people on both sides of politics including some I know well.

    Yes my grandfather was a Liberal Minister in Queensland and by all accounts a good Minister and an honest man. Yes my father was a State Director in WA of the Liberal Party. But I can assure you that neither of these factors led me somehow to being gifted pre-selection. In my Grandfather’s case he started the Liberal Party in Queensland but as I understand it no-one from the Party turned up to his funeral and he seems, sadly, to be largely a forgotten figure amongst the present Queensland Division of the Party (and is not at all known in WA). In my Fathers’ case I understand he was a hard nosed political operator but one who was very much governed by the rules of the party and that he had a reputation for getting things done and being able to effectively organise campaigns with minimal resources. Being a State Director is often viewed in the Liberal Party as something of a position for the second-class citizen. It is hard work and no matter how fair you try to be you create just as many enemies as friends as ultimately one group or other within the party feels badly done by this or that administrative decision. Chilla now is retired and a Party member but hardly active. As to the fact that many in the Party remember his Directorship and whether this is a help or hindrance to preselection in an overall sense, well the answer is anyone’s guess but probably it is both help and hindrance. As to those who have speculated as to a connection between my preselection and Noel Richton-Brown as I understand the political history of it in 1992/93 (well before I really took much interest in internal party matters) Chilla along with the then President David Honey were the prime movers in Noel’s expulsion. My Father’s view as I understand it was that notwithstanding that he had worked closely and effectively with Noel in several election campaigns over the years, That his behaviour had become unacceptable and terribly damaging to the Liberal brand which my Father and others had worked so hard to build and so he had to be expelled – they have not spoken a word since. For my part I wouldn’t know the bloke if I bumped into him in the street.

    In fact I can say hand on heart I owe no person or group any favours in being pre-selected. The party came to me in an unusual situation and leaving my legal career when it was really where I wanted it to be and departing from wonderful jobs at the UWA and the DPP was agonisingly difficult. I had always thought that there may come a time when I felt that entering public office was the right thing to do but never viewed it as a prize to be obtained and treasured. I don’t much care if it sounds corny but representing electors I have always considered to be a great responsibility. What was put to me by several people in the Liberal Party was that if I believe in liberal principles and believe that effective opposition makes for better government and I did not stand now when would I. This view resonated with me and so I stood. Rather than being cock-a-hoop at getting something I always wanted I am really quite daunted by the task ahead – this ALP government with its massive surplus will be a very difficult one to keep in check. For me the decision means relocating and whilst I make no criticism of those who do not, for one reason or another, choose to live within their electorate it is critical for me to be a part of the community I will represent. And while I grew up north of the river I did so in suburbs just like the ones I will now settle in south of the river and just by campaigning in those suburbs and getting a feel for them I know they will be a fantastic place to live.

    So to all of you who bother to comment on our wonderful democratic system (even in its in more mundane by-electoral manifestations) good on you. I look forward to reading more of your stuff. To my old school colleague I think I was perhaps a little better than a decent student (but hey). To my old honours colleague I agree I got carried away with the debating (that made me laugh – but I am much less enthusiastic now).

    Regards to all from Christian Porter – Member for Murdoch

  9. Wow – nice to hear this side of things…
    To clarify, did I understand correctly that you were approached to stand for the by-election by someone(s) in the party?
    That before you were active/interested in the party someone tapped you on the shoulder and invited you to run?
    And yet you think that your family involvement has absolutely no bearing on your preselection…??? Do you really think that without that background you would have been tapped for the seat?
    That seems somewhat unlikely IMHO.

  10. I think it would be a bit naive to believe that the preselection wasn’t a goal when Porter was held up as the “heir apparant” for cottosloe for a couple of years before the Murdoch seat popped up. Without being the NA’s chosen candidate the chances of a preselection would have been minimal – you don’t get given a seat like murdoch when you have no involvement at the branch level just because you are a good candidate.

  11. I have been involved in the party in the sense that since returning to Perth in 2001 I have been on the Constitutional and Drafting Committee – essentially doing pro bono legal work the Party.

    It had been suggested to me previously that I stand for pre-selection but I had said no until, that is, I was contacted about Murdoch, which all happened very quickly. Until that approach I had been content with my work at UWA and the DPP.

    I guess I will never convince hard core sceptics that I was not any group or faction’s ‘chosen one’ or that my father being a state director some 20 years ago was of anything other than negligible causative effect in preselection.

    What I know is I was asked to stand for pre-selection. I did. I won. I made no promises to anyone I never called a delegate all I did was provide my CV to the State Council of the Party and speak to them as they were constituted as the selection committee in the emergency circumstances that existed. That is a body of in excess of 80 people drawn from every Division of the Party. After my presentation I was elected.

    It may just be possible that an individual can get approached to stand for preselection on the basis that they have particular skills valuable to Parliamentary service and the Parliamentary Liberal Party and fit a particular need at a particular time. It may be possible that the individual preselectors who decide might agree that the individual is worthwhile preselecting. I have degrees in Economics, Arts with 1st Class Honours in Politics and Law from UWA. I studied my Masters in Political Theory at the London School of Economics on a British Chevening Scholarship and topped my class. I have worked in commercial litigation. As a full time Senior State Prosecutor I successfully conducted many serious criminal trials and appeals in all jurisdictions in this State. Later, and while still part time at the DPP, I was a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law and Evidence at UWA. Without being immodest I think few candidates at 37 would have that sort of qualification for the position. Many individuals were keen that I stand for preselection but I was no one group or person’s chosen one and I owe no one or other or grouping in the party any favours.

  12. Again – nice to get this viewpoint.
    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that you are not well qualified – I just think some people (including myself) were a little sceptical about your assertion that your family background had nothing to do with your preselection.
    Also some were septical at your tone hinting that you were plucked from political obscurity – Cinderella like – to sail into a safe seat when your name had previously been linked to other ble-ribbon slots.
    In any event – enjoy the big show. Now get back to work for the good people of Murdoch and stop wasting your time lurking on punditry websites! 😉

  13. I think regardless of the background involved with the preselection, the Liberal party will be happy with the result one would think. At least it will be good to see someone at the front who understands the shambles that is the magistrates court.

  14. Oh – BTW – since you seem intent on lurking here…
    I totally agree about the Law Society and some of their public statements. Lord knows they sure don’t represent my views a lot of the time (possibly even most of the time) – of course, I’m no longer a member of the Society.
    And Average Joe – I too have had to experience the shambles of the Magistrate’s Court – but all things considered I think it works reasonably well for all of its difficulties.

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