Action-packed mid-week stop-gap thread

So much going on at the moment that it can’t wait for the next opinion poll post:

• Brendan Nelson’s announcement he will vacate his blue-ribbon northern Sydney seat of Bradfield at the next election could initiate another of the classic preselection clashes for the NSW branch of the Liberal Party has become justly famous in recent years. Party sources quoted by Imre Salusinszky of The Australian say the preselection will be “the most open and hotly contested since Bronwyn Bishop succeeded Jim Carlton in the neighbouring seat of Mackellar in 1994”, with no clear front-runner and neither Right or Left controlling the seat. However, it is also “understood party bigwigs are intent on avoiding a repeat of the preselection debacle in 2007 in the southern Sydney seat of Cook”. Salusinszky’s report floated the possibility of his paper’s conservative pundit Janet Albrechtsen taking the field, but she promptly ruled herself out. Live possibilities apparently include another connection with The Australian in Tom Switzer, former opinion page editor and staffer to Nelson; Arthur Sinodinos, John Howard’s legendary chief-of-staff; Nick Farr-Jones, former rugby union international; Julian Leeser, executive director of the Menzies Research Centre; Geoff Selig, former state party president; Alister Henskens, barrister and local party office-holder; David Elliott, former Australian Hotels Association deputy chief executive; Paul Blanch, a sheep farmer who ran in Calare in 2004; and, as always, Adrienne Ryan, former Ku-ring-gail mayor and ex-wife of former police commissioner Peter Ryan. The Sydney Morning Herald reports we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for a result:

A state executive meeting tomorrow is likely to discuss the timetable for the preselection race but because of a redistribution of seats in NSW, the final ballot will not be held until the end of the year. Because of that, most Liberal insiders believe the final candidate has yet to emerge.

• The Electoral Commissioner’s federal electoral determination has been published, confirming redistributions will need to occur to remove a seat from New South Wales and add one to Queensland. There seems to be some confusion abroard as to whether this scotches any chance of an election this year. As Antony Green explains, it is indeed the case that Queensland cannot be deprived of the seat which it is constitutionally entitled to at the next election now that the determination has been made, and it is indeed true that a redistribution process takes the better part of a year. However, the Electoral Act lays out a set of procedures for “mini-redistributions” in these circumstances, in which the two most or least heavily enrolled adjoining electorates in the state are either divided into three or merged into two. This has never happened before, and there would be obvious political difficulties in justifying an election held under such slapdash arrangements if it could possibly be avoided.

• Could Western Australia’s May 16 daylight saving referendum be the catalyst for a super Saturday of state by-elections? It certainly seems war clouds are gathering over the electorates of the two most powerful figures in the defeated Carpenter government: Jim McGinty, the member for Fremantle, and Alan Carpenter himself, who holds the neighbouring seat of Willagee (surely I have not so pleased the Lord that He would grant me neighbouring same-day by-elections in my own backyard?). According to Jenny D’Anger of the Fremantle Herald:

In the face of persistent rumours that veteran state Labor MP Jim McGinty is about to trigger a by-election for Fremantle by announcing his retirement, the Greens have called a war cabinet to talk tactics and anoint a candidate. It is all but certain they will choose South Fremantle’s Adele Carles, who came within a whisker of taking the seat at last year’s state election … Ms Carles says if the powerbroker is considering calling it quits he should do it so the by-election can coincide with the daylight saving referendum in May, saving thousands of dollars … The tom-toms have been beating for weeks that Fremantle mayor Peter Tagliaferri was the shoe-in as Labor’s choice to replace Mr McGinty. But more recently a senior union figure has emerged as a front-runner, which a Labor insider says had Mr Tagliaferri threatening to run as an independent (Word around the campfire is that this refers to Dave Kelly, one of McGinty’s successors at the LHMWU – PB). The Herald’s Labor source said Alan Carpenter also had to be taken into account: If the former premier decides to quit politics the union figure may prefer Mr Carpenter’s safe Willagee seat, which is not threatened by the Greens. This would leave Fremantle open for Mr Tagliaferri. But both Mr McGinty and Mr Tagliaferri are denying a by-election is imminent. “It’s no more than rumour-mongering,” Mr McGinty barked down the phone, adding he stood by the Herald’s report last November that he had no plans to go early but was unlikely to run again in 2013.

• Killjoy Harry Quick has gone back on his threat to run against Treasurer Michael Aird as Greens candidate in the looming upper house election for Derwent. According to the ABC, Quick says “his family has played second fiddle to his political aspirations for too long”. An earlier report said he was “understood to be ready withdraw his nomination due to family pressure to stay true to the Labor Party”.

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.

1,270 comments on “Action-packed mid-week stop-gap thread”

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  1. [Your assertion that people vote the way therer parents vote is WronG (hope i got that right)]
    Oh I am sure there are exceptions, and people may change over time (generally drifting from Lab to Lib as they get older). But parent voting is one of the best ways to predict the voting patterns of children. It correlates very strongly, like somewhere between 80 – 90%
    [Shanahan having a go at Turnbull yet again, is he doing Cossie’s bidding?]
    Maybe Milne ghost wrote the article? 😀

  2. Bree, first of all he wouldn’t be the one losing the seat, and secondly the only people who would then be likely to take the seat are the Greens, who would not be of much assistance to the Lib/Nats/Ind coalition.

  3. I rate the chances of either freo or willagee going blue as great as churchlands and cottesloe being won by the ALP. The real danger for the ALP ain’t blue, it’s green.

  4. No 8

    Obviously the article ruffled a few feathers – GetUp have since been scrambling to appear to be doing something with the $50,000 they have thus far amassed but with which they have achieved nothing.

  5. Showson from previous thread
    [I was thinking of this today, major party politicians who either defected, or joined different parties to their parents.]
    Wasn’t Kev’s dad a member of the Country Party?

  6. Alan Carpenter wasn’t actually considered a foregone conclusion when he first ran in Willagee in 1996, when the notional margin was only 2.3 per cent. That said, it’s been redistributed in Labor’s favour since then.

  7. [Alan Carpenter wasn’t actually considered a foregone conclusion when he first ran in Willagee in 1996, when the notional margin was only 2.3 per cent. That said, it’s been redistributed in Labor’s favour since then.]

    And with the purpoted staff cutbacks to Fremantle Hospital being leaked in the last week or so, would do any prospective Liberal candidate any favours.

  8. Gary Bruce , realized you’d replied & had intended to reply earlier

    • Gary Bruce
    “Some people seem to forget that the voters at the last election had a chance to have Costello as their NEXT PM. ..The voters didn’t think much of Costello then did they?”

    Gary Bruce
    #1237 “If people really believed Costello was the next big thing in politics they would have voted for him. They didn’t. He wasn’t that popular…”

    I did not believe Costello as a potential futre PM or his popularity/unpopularity affectd th 2007 result …and in my #1269 listed numerous vote defining issues I felt did affect th result , and none of them Costello’s unpopularity/ possible futre PM to be

    • 1292
    Gary Bruce
    Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Ron #1269 “You ar suggesting 2007 Electon voters in voting for Rudd were influensed by Costello potentialy becoming PM , and so it was a referendum on Costello as PM”

    Gary Bruce “I don’t recall suggesting that. “
    (Gary Bruce I read your #1160 & #1237 that way , & why I disagreed)

    Ron “There were numerous vote defining matters of 2007”
    Gary Bruce “Couldn’t agree more and the thought of having Costello as PM and/or being world’s best treasurer for most of the next term, keeping us all safe, did not persuade people to vote FOR them”
    (Costello) neither for them Libs or against them Libs voters minds is my thoughts

    …there were W/C , CC , ‘its time’ , interst hikes etc in peoples minds as vote changers so disagree I do feel & agree however as said HAD Costello been Leader then voters pre existing antipathy for costello would then hav come into play as he would be then be deemed th actual Leader , and agree a bigger Labor vitory would have occured …so unpopularity was there indeed indeed by voters , but was not needed to be expressd seeing there choice was facing Howard as a reality , w/c , cc , rates rises etc decisions

  9. Costello turns all protectionist again:
    [Malcolm Turnbull said the deal [to let Chinalco invest in Rio-Tinto] must be carefully scrutinised, while former Howard government ministers Peter Costello and Ian Macfarlane said Chinese government ownership presented real problems.]

  10. I live in Booragoon, where even the beggars are right wing, and that was in Carpenter’s electorate in 1996, and I think so were substantial parts of Murdoch (the suburb) and Kardinya.

    Different now.

  11. I also have the dubious pleasure of having some South African uranium mining fanatic named Jensen as my Federal member (for Tangney).

    Does anyone know if he is still alive?

  12. ShowsOn:

    Court told MP’s lover a ‘murder ‘suspect’ 19/2/2009 –,22606,25076213-5006301,00.html

    [FORMER federal Liberal MP Trish Draper took a man, who had been interviewed by police over the murder of a model, on a taxpayer-funded European trip as her spouse, a court has heard.

    The man, who said he was in a brief sexual relationship with Ms Draper at the time of the trip, has told the Supreme Court Ms Draper organised a diplomatic passport for him ahead of the 10-day journey in August, 2000.

    Ms Draper in 2004 was engulfed by a political row over the trip but The Advertiser can now reveal the man has been identified as a suspect in Corinna Marr’s murder.

    The man, whose name has been suppressed, told the court he was unaware Ms Draper had nominated him as her spouse for the trip, which was publicly funded.

    She was endorsed in August last year as the state Liberal candidate for the northeastern suburbs seat of Newland.]

  13. [Does anyone know if he is still alive?]
    Yeah I saw him interviewed at parliament last week.

    He is perhaps the biggest climate change denier in the federal parliament.

  14. I’d certainly be more worried about Freo, than Willagee for the ALP. There were not a lot of votes in it last time around and for a while it looked like Carles had just scraped into second place on primary. I think there were 3-400 votes in it at the end???

    What annoys me is that the issue that basically gave her a profile in the area (South Beach / ANI Foundry site remediation) turned out to be a complete beat up non-event. Clean up was well planned, safe, and over and done in 3 days once they got started with no contamination off site. Yet she and her bunch of nimbys had been jumping up and down for months about it.

    If there is a by-election here soon, the issue will likely be shipping Lead Carbonate through Freo. It caused massive contamination in Esperance (bad thing this) but it was dumped loose in a shed and loaded by conveyor into the ships hold. Lots of dust generated that drifts. In Freo the proposal is that its double bagged, sealed in drums, then sealed in shipping containers, delivered to the port by rail. IF a train derailed, container, drums and bags split, then all they need to do is wet the site down while they clean up and there is no issue. And at the speed that trains like that actually move through Freo, worst case is just not going to happen.

    I think Tagliaferri and Carles will each try and out-do the other in their opposition to it being transported out of Freo and it will get pretty silly. Carles came SO close last time that a lot of ALP voters who thought that the ALP would get their vote by preference even if they put the Greens first, got a fright and wont piss around this time. Instead of Green 1 ALP 2 they will switch to ALP 1 Green 2. Libs to lose ground in primary vote to both Greens and ALP.

    I think the ALP should run Tagliaferri rather than someone completely unknown in Freo. Dave Kelly would do alright in Willagee i think, but would be a liability in Freo and hopefully the ALP have learned that they cannot take Freo for granted.

  15. I saw that our friends, Bree/GP/Glen etc, have raised the white flag on the hopelessness of the current crop of the Liberal leadership.

    May i suggest to the comrades that future leader of the Liberal is not yet born. So a “Dalai Lama” style, nationwide/worldwide, search should be commenced immediately to identify the future leader.

    [Searching for the reincarnation – The search for the 14th Dalai Lama took the High Lamas to Taktser in Amdo Palden Lhamo, the female guardian spirit of the sacred lake, Lhamo La-tso, who promised Gendun Drup the 1st Dalai Lama in one of his visions that “she would protect the reincarnation lineage of the Dalai Lamas”

    In the Himalayan tradition, phowa (Tibetan) is the discipline that transfers the mindstream to the intended body. Upon the death of the Dalai Lama and consultation with the Nechung Oracle, a search for the Lama’s reincarnation, or yangsi (yang srid), is conducted. Traditionally it has been the responsibility of the High Lamas of the Gelugpa Tradition and the Tibetan government to find his reincarnation. The process can take around two or three years to identify the Dalai Lama, and for the 14th Tenzin Gyatso it was four years before he was found.]

    maybe the reincarnation of the old MING. If not, clone Howie.

    PBs could help here by suggesting what the Libs should be looking for.

  16. Shanahan this morning:

    [While Turnbull said yesterday “the issue is closed”, he knows it’s not. Costello will continue to loom from the back bench, feeding paranoia about the leadership.]

    And I am sure Dennis will be there, feeding the chooks.

    I still don’t get it about Costello. Why is he so revered? Why do even his enemies continue to say things like, “Oh, Peter can do whatever he wants. He’s earned the right…” and so on?

    Costello’s “strong, silent type” act, coupled with the knowing smirk, the mysterious “I know something you don’t” performance is doing irreperable harm to his party, resetting them back to zero every time it crops up, which is often.

    He is so clearly not the man to save the Liberals, no Winston Churchill in the wilderness. He’s a sook, with no guts for a fight who is causing trouble whenever he appears. What’s the fascination with the man among Libs?

  17. [In explosive revelations, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi said Mr Pyne once told him he would have joined the ALP “if I lived in a Labor seat”. Senator Bernardi also recalled Mr Pyne saying his “only motivation” for entering politics was to become prime minister.]

    Keep dreaming Mr Pyne. It’s never going to happen.

  18. Also not sure whether this has been discussed last night, but a slight change to the Government front bench, with John Murphy resigning as Parliamentary Secretary and being replaced by Senator Mark Arbib.

  19. It seems we’re out of the weird alternate universe of the past few weeks where the AIG and Labor were in an alliance against the Coalition.

    [The Australian Industry Group yesterday spoke out against Labor’s Fair Work Bill, identifying seven areas it argues are unworkable and should be dumped.

    AIGroup chief executive Heather Ridout said all seven — including compulsory arbitration for low-paid industries, increased union access to worksites and obligations on employers to deal with unions — were not released prior to the election.

    The AIGroup has identified 60 provisions of Labor’s bill where the role and power of unions have been increased, while employers had received virtually nothing. ]

    Surely that’s the point? The powers of employers were increased dramatically previously and to rectify that you’re hardly going to increase them further. I want to see the Liberals try a new union fearmongering campaign. I think there might even be a boost to union numbers given the state of the economy and rising unemployment.

  20. Court told MP’s lover a ‘murder ’suspect’

    William, this is Adelaide remember where all sorts of odd things happen, Trish Draper’s office was caught up in a libel action a couple of years ago, some notices to the media were alleged to have been sent from there, the notices claimed a couple of state pollies and two high ranking policemen were pedophiles, all very untrue, i personally know one of the accused cops, Trish Draper denied any knowledge of them and said her office was used without permission … SNIP: Rest of comment removed due to legal concerns – The Management.

  21. And if I were you William, I’d remove that Judith barnes post before cascading libel writs go any further. That last sentence is a very serious claim that shouldn’t be made without evidence.

  22. No-one seems to be mentioning Julian Leeser’s background with the pro-monarchy side of the Republic referendum. Not sure Malcolm’s going to want to see him rewarded with a plum safe seat.

  23. [I still don’t get it about Costello. Why is he so revered? Why do even his enemies continue to say things like, “Oh, Peter can do whatever he wants. He’s earned the right…” and so on?]

    Desperate times call for desperate measures…

  24. The allegation that Trish Draper’s lover was a murder suspect was published in the SMH just before the 1994 election but couldn’t be used in SA for legal reasons. Backed by Family First, Draper narrowly won that election from Tony Zappia, who finally made it in Makin in 1997.

    Now Draper’s the Liberal hope in the critical seat of Newland in next year’s SA election.

  25. ShowsOn, on the last thread you put a list of defectors/party changers. You had Mia Handshin in there as Libs to Labor. Where is her link to the Libs, I am curiosu about where she has come from. My undertstanding is that she has only ever been a memeber of the ALP. please enlighten us.

  26. Greensborough Growler (#36)
    Your example of Andrew Bolt clearly ambling along with Peter Costello makes me shake my head. Does he not realise that it takes the edge of his political analysis? Maybe he doesn’t know, doesn’t care or doesn’t claim to be independent but it makes it difficult to see his writings as not much more than political partisan rants. It’s one thing to share similar views as a political party but to jump into bed with them as well doesn’t really help the cause in my opinion.
    Another glaring example was of Janet Albrechtsen’s job application letter for Liberal Party candidature for the Federal Seat of Bradfield in The Australian yesterday (“Liberal renewal starts with Bradfield”). Indeed I was impressed with her cross promotion of The Australian when she cited her colleague’s ( Imre Salusinszky) article – though I noticed she couldn’t bring herself to just say that “…Imre put my name foreword as a possible candidate too…”. Rather she listed almost every other name except her’s… Like a man donning a dress and high heels but refusing to wear lipstick incase some one notices… Bazar!

  27. According to this article, Trish Drapers “friend” considers Howard & Costello as “friends & acquaintances” the plot thickens.

    [The man named as a suspect told the Supreme Court today that he was “devastated” by the reaction of many friends and colleagues who saw the Today Tonight promotions.

    He told the court of a number of high-profile friends and acquaintances he ceased contact with.

    They included state Labor MP Vini Ciccarello, late cricketer David Hookes and Mr Howard and former Treasurer Peter Costello – who he said he had chatted with at official functions. ],22606,25067431-5006301,00.html

  28. Antony @ 38,

    There was fairly comprehensive coverage of what JB said in that last sentence, barring actual references to JB herself which is her own personal experience/opinion.

    By the way, thanks for your reply but I was more suggesting commentary similar to Morris, Henderson type commentary. I can very well understand any reluctance to get involved in appearances such as you described.

    There is nothing worse as far as I am concerned than to watch two pollies trying to talk over the top of each other and totally ignore the questions posed by the mediator. Current Affairs producers seem to like the confrontational type interview but I think they are appalling and an insult to the viewers intelligence.

    I do though like considered, intelligent, balanced analysis which was what I was suggesting in your case in that previous post. Cheers, Scorpio.

  29. It may be JB’s personal experience, but if I were William, I still wouldn’t publish it in a blog. There’s an accusation of intent there.

  30. And another hint for William about his Queensland election guide. Be very cautious with anything you say about Bundaberg Hospital. There’s a trial underway.

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