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. Thanks beemer. I suppose they could still start the redistribution, and if the writs are issued before the process is finished, the election would be held on the old boundaries?

    A redistribution in McEwen would definetely change the closeness of the seat!!

  2. Gorton +14 McEwen +14 Lalor +14

    Gorton and Lalor are next to on another while McEwen is mostly rural with several large towns and growth suburbs like Epping

    I would expect Epping will move into Scullin or Calwall with maybe a new seat

  3. Being as impartial as I can, I think the ALP have done more of a recent cleanout of deadwood than the Libs have. Last time we got rid of Hoare, Hatton, Corcoran, O’Connor, Quick, Sawford and Sercombe – all useless. I can think of a few duds still but not many. Meanwhile the Libs got rid only of Cadman, from memory. They let Tuckey and Bronwyn Bishop stand again in safe seats, plus MacArthur which cost them a marginal.

  4. I would also expect the seat of Holt will need to be made smaller as will Melbourne Ports.

    Actually the next redistribution in Victoria will be quite extensive

  5. The difference is the ALP has a more centralised framework to it unlike the Liberals so it makes it harder to get rid of people who are undesirables…

  6. [The difference is the ALP has a more centralised framework to it unlike the Liberals so it makes it harder to get rid of people who are undesirables…]
    And it makes it easier for extremists to branch stack and get their way.

  7. Yes ShowsOn so i think we should adopt more of the ALP’s party structure it seems to work well for them?

    Finns this is all a media beat up, there is no Costello v Turnbull if Cossie wanted it he’d have taken it instead of Nelson and or challenged after Nelson, he hasnt and doesnt want to give up his seat so he’d be the new Ruddock…

  8. Sara, it is indeed the case that the seven years is counted from the completion of the redistribution. Here’s what Antony Green says:

    [On a final point, redistributions also take place seven years after the previous redistribution even if there is no change in entilment. A redistribution is due to begin in Victoria early in 2010 and South Australia at the end of 2010. However, the Electoral Act also specifies that redistributions due within 12 months of the expiration of a Parliament will be deferred until 30 days after the next election. Both redistributions look set to be deferred.]

    However, it seems the 2002/03 redistribution was gazetted on 29 January 2003, whereas the expiration date for the House of Reps is 11 February 2011. Although I may be missing something here.

  9. Mexican beemer , i’ve numerous postd that bush wrongly swung from Afganistan to Iraq

    But that is then 2002 approx , we ar now 2009 …launching unauthorisied ilegal missile attacks into Northern Pakistan may feel god , but it is against intenational Law , Pakistan objects , and will achiev nohing , ..just will make North Pakistan more anti US more militant and Pakistan does hav nukes

    As for afghanisttan now , BTW Pres Karzi is being propped up and how corrupt is that regime , and not even Kabauil is secure US supported/aided dictator Pakistan President now gone what do Pakistani’s think of USA Now US propps up Afgani President and when he goes by people revultion who will thy turn to and who dislike seeing innocents still die and stil live under US ‘prorection’ in poverty

    obama’s ilegal missile actions ar as bad as same ones Bush did , thet people here (now we see restropectiveley sanctioniously) condended

  10. Keep reading William. In the final paragraph, Antony notes that a Victorian redistribution is indeed due to start early next year. One that has no chance of being completed in time for an election in the second half of 2010.

    Surely parliament will find some way of deferring it.

  11. Dear Glen,

    [Pica i merely point to the fact his religion has guided him throughout his years in Parliament and it hasnt helped him…]

    In the same way religion hasn’t helped Cossie and Howard (Brethren, Pentecostal connections ect)

    When you rate Cossie do you say – ‘Proddy, and a hammock hogging dickhead’, no you don’t, you jut say ‘hammock hogging dickhead’ – so why give Andrews the Mick treatment? Just retract the silly anti-Catholic slur and get back to doing what you do best, being a silly/ brave defender of conservatism in a leftist blog.

  12. Yes, good call, David. Might be an idea to quote that Antony Green update in full:

    [And a final update on the proposed redistribution in Victoria. It looks like the AEC might have to start a redistribution even though there is no chance of it being implemented before the 2010 Federal election. The last redistribution was gazetted on 29 January 2003. Gazetted two weeks later, or if the current parliament had sat two weeks earlier last year, and the whole redistribution could have been deferred. However, lawyers are currently trying to figure out if there is any get-out clause in Section 59 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act that would allow the process to be deferred. The entire clause is legalise of the worst sort.]

  13. Glen,

    There must be, or if there is not, there ought to be syndrome for people like you who deny, deny and deny reality even when hit over the head with the facts.

  14. Two things that article about Turnbull & Costello is a worry for someone is clearly lying or doesn’t know what they are doing therefore are confused

    Ron! The fact that the war in Afghanistan is still going on seven years after is further proof that going to Iraq has lead to the Americans getting bogged down.

    Strictly speaking crossing the Pakistan boarder is not a war crime on the grounds that a combatant force is hiding within the area, this would be a different story if Pakistan opposed it.

  15. I called him a mick big deal he is one Pica.
    I have nothing against Catholics in general but Andrews has taken stances on issues i dont agree with based on his religious beliefs…

    GG what have i denied?

  16. Blame the British!!!!

    The British artificially created Iraq and chopped Kurdistan into 3 pieces. Just as the British balkanised the sub-continent.

    and they had the nerve to make a movie called Carry On Up The Khyber, starring those great character actors: Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Roy Castle, Joan Sims.

  17. Glen might have a point, does Costello want the leadership sure he might have a desire to be PM as all MP’s do but his actions are of a man that really doesn’t want to claim the leadership otherwise he would have taken it on one of the several occasions that have presented in recent years.

  18. GG, if you can present us with a single scrap of evidence that Costello is interested in being the person who leads the Liberal Party to defeat at the next general election, I’d love to see it.

  19. Glen I’m a lapsed Mick because I disagree with most of the church’s statements re social policy, in that regard I expect we could find a whole lot of secular common ground, but I just hate lazy Mick bashing when the other xtian churches are no better, it’s sectarianism plain and simple Glen, so don’t tell me to get over it, I HAVE, you need to get over it.

  20. So GG if years from now Costello is still a backbencher and Turnbull has either been PM or a failed OP Leader you will say i was correct in saying it was a beat up?

  21. Finns,

    The only time partition has worked is when Tasmania was excised from Victoria. Digging Bass Strait was a bugger of a job though.

  22. watched 2 hours today with footy also going of Gen Stevens Reserve Chief HOR hearing …They tried to trap him everywheres

    on no involvment or suport of Bank guarantee Yes not involved direct , but supports , was going to happen evey othr Counrty did

    then on no involvemetn in stimili and it being too big , Yes not involved says our glen but all stats and forcasts do not stair out at you that its out much in total if at all

    then on Dec presents a waste and not spent No says Glen too early to say that but stats to dte eg money into bank outs and ratio’s increases of consumer spending ut by DEBIT card indicate clear increase in spending due to stimili

    then try it mostly saved.. no says Glen , too early to say that but stats to date in line with forcast of approx 50/50 saving to spoend split

    then try well stimilis not econamic way to go …bad bad Lib blue there Our glen says it is way to go , and overwhelm % of econamic ex[perts say so

    then trys stimil won’t boost demand , no says Glen th GDP impact alreedy is obvous and will continue

    so last try IR Laws should be free market on econamics , well says Glen thats th theory in text books but Govts hav toweigh that against ‘fairness’…then glen to make that point repeats fairness is a bakllance factor for govtsd , actualy for all you politcans says Glen

    at end Glen looks a t all those politcans and smiles

    so our OPB blogger here Glen did a mighty job of exposing Lib philosophy & anti govt econamic approach as baseles

  23. [Yes ShowsOn so i think we should adopt more of the ALP’s party structure it seems to work well for them?]
    It does. Combet got pre-selection thanks to intervention, if not Kely Hoare would still be in parliament.

  24. Mexican

    “Strictly speaking crossing the Pakistan boarder is not a war crime on the grounds that a combatant force is hiding within the area,”

    “Strictly speaking”…there is absolutelys no “strictly” about it You missile cross into sovereign Pakistan against Pakistans approval and against its wishs …it is a breach of internationally Law ….othrwise every country in world has that false argument
    You wuld hav condemned bush for doing it , and MANY in fact did do for bush doing it…about time Obama like all US politcans got condemned for CIA ilegal attacks , and not mother coddled by such a blatant breach..and stragetic foolish as well …as was bush”s Pakistan CIA etc attacks

  25. Pica i called him a mick not a blah blah mick i used it as a term to label him…

    I’m bagging his political stances that are based heavily on his decision to become a Catholic…

    This isnt a rant against Catholics in general…and i am over singling out particular religions, they’re all stupid IMHO…

  26. Ron!! I note you seem to have excluded the second part of my remarks! I was clear in writing that only if Pakistan were opposed, in saying that there is something else to consider what is Pakistanis reason for opposing for it may open Pakistan up to the charge of supporting the Taliban therefore they can be seen as possible combatants.

  27. [This isnt a rant against Catholics in general…and i am over singling out particular religions]

    So why did you single him out as a Mick???


    You are a curious mix of masochist and village idiot Glen; I’ve got a really long handled shovel if you want to borrow it to dig yourself in even deeper,

  28. Because he is one and labels himself as one, why else would i use it numbnuts!

    Pica you’re the one who takes things way too seriously, i know when i should ignore people but try to let them see the light!

    Get over the mick thing ok i dont care nobody cares but you…goodnight

  29. “Amigo Ronnie, i take it we do have a “mexican standoff” then in Pakistan.”

    well its a curried verson , so lots of hop stepping on spots …and a banjo playing

  30. Is that a concession Glen? I know Andrews is Catholic, who doesn’t, but I still don’t know why YOU chose to stress it in a disparaging assessment of his political utility? You haven’t explained that because you would have to admit you were a numbnuts to do so, good night Glen, sleep well in the knowledge you have been well and truly spanked, you masochist you.

  31. “I’ve got a really long handled shovel if you want to borrow it to dig yourself in even deeper”

    so you’re gonna bury him alive ..and awake ..least you could do is hit him over th head first

  32. Turnbull cannot promise the fruits of office or even the prospect of the fruits of office. Therefore, he has nothing to justify discpline, hard work and loyalty. Consequently, there are a lot of twirlers with their batons on show waiting to give us all a good time.

  33. [Glen, sleep well in the knowledge you have been well and truly spanked, you masochist you.]

    I knew there is a reason why i keep coming back to PB. It’s all the S&M stuff, you naughty boys and girls.

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