Budget minus three days

No Morgan poll this week – in a half-baked attempt to tie the headline to the post, here’s a link to an analysis by Possum posing the question, “is there a polling budget effect?&#148 (short answer: no). With that out of the way:

Greg Roberts of The Australian reports on the demise of a Queensland Coalition deal in which Barnaby Joyce was to move to the lower house and Liberal Senator Russell Trood was to maintain the existing balance in the Senate by joining the Nationals. The Liberals’ end of the deal was reportedly vetoed by federal Liberal president Alan Stockdale, prompting Joyce to angrily declare he would not be moving from the Senate. Trood’s factional ally, former state Liberal president Bob Carroll, says he would stake his life on Trood never agreeing to sit in the Nationals rather than the Liberal party room. This would seem to be a pretty big call, given that Trood’s alternative is to stay in the surely unwinnable fourth position on the Liberal National ticket.

• Fans of factional argybargy can unearth a motherlode of detail on Labor’s western Melbourne fiefdoms from the Victorian Ombudsman’s report into Brimbank City Council. Among the matters examined is the highly fraught preselection for last year’s Kororoit by-election, with the Ombudsman recommending an investigation into a possible breach of the Local Government Act by failed aspirant and former mayor Natalie Suleyman. It is alleged that a funding decision for a sports ground redevelopment was influenced by a desire to win the support of Keilor MP and Right powerbroker George Seitz, and that efforts were made to withdraw the funding when Seitz failed to come through.

Peter Kennedy of the ABC notes that preselection nominations for federal Liberal seats in WA close in less than three weeks, so those gunning for the removal of Pearce MP Judi Moylan and O’Connor MP Wilson Tuckey don’t have long to get their act together. Matt Brown tells Kennedy he hasn’t made up his mind whether to launch a second challenge against Dennis Jensen in Tangney, although jockeying in local branches suggests otherwise.

Bernard Keane of Crikey reports that Bronwyn Bishop’s hold on the larger branches in her electorate of Mackellar has “slipped”. One of the potential challengers, believe it or not, is former state Opposition Leader John Brogden. Another is a blast from an even more distant past – Jim Longley, who preceded Brogden as member for the local state seat of Pittwater.

• Western Australia’s minority Liberal-National government lost a vote in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, which I believe to be the first defeat for a government there in 17 years. At issue was a highly contentious bill to replace preferential voting at local government elections with first-past-the-post. However, the defeat resulted from the absence of four ministers from the chamber, and the bill was passed on a second attempt later in the day. The subject of the bill itself is obviously worth discussion, which I will attend to eventually. For whatever reason, the seemingly retrograde measure has the support of the Western Australian Local Government Association.

• A report by the Youth Electoral Study for the Australian Electoral Commission finds 20 per cent of youths aged 18 to 25 are not enrolled to vote, and “close to half” wouldn’t vote if it wasn’t compulsory. Those who went to private schools or were subjected to civics classes were somewhat more enthusiastic.

• You might recall some chat last month about a looming referendum on the introduction of a Hare-Clark style electoral system in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Well, that’s happening on Tuesday.

• Possum’s favourite word, “spiffy”, doesn’t do justice to his infographic electoral demographic displays.

• If it’s analysis of major party submissions for the federal redistribution in New South Wales you’re after, Ben Raue of The Tally Room is unequivocally your man.

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.

596 comments on “Budget minus three days”

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  1. Thanks Stock and Land. 🙂


    [THE federal Nationals will stand alone from the Liberals on more and more policy issues and increasingly vote separately from them as the business relationship deteriorates in the wake of the Liberals’ “anti-regional” boundary redistribution submission.

    National party executives and MPs are furious the Liberal submission proposes the abolition of the southern NSW seat of Riverina, held by The Nationals’ Kay Hull, be merged predominantly with the Liberal-held electorate of Hume, to make a new big southern seat known as “Bradman”.]

    The Nats still seem to think they are relevant. 😉

  2. Barnaby says he will support the budget until Rudd goes insane. 👿

    [Senator Joyce says the vast majority of the Government’s Budget will be passed, but the Nationals will draw the line at excessive debt.

    “If they come back with a ridiculous extension [of] where the debt is, then I believe the Australian people will scream at us and they’ll just say stop, stop it, lock up the cheque book, get away from it, you are insane,” he said.]


  3. The problem for Turnbull is that if the Nats split from the coalition a number of Libs might go along just for the ride.

  4. Did anyone else see the add on the channel 7 news starring Barnaby and Mr X.

    I thought I had seen everything, but was horribly mistaken. lol

  5. Rua we were able to govern well from 1996-2004 without a Senate majority. The ALP were often there to support our legislation.

    We didnt often deal with the Greens.

  6. If the Nationals will not support any ETS, where will that leave Turnbull?

    Hanging by the ceiling in his undies in the Green Room of Parliament House LOL.

  7. [National party executives and MPs are furious the Liberal submission proposes the abolition of the southern NSW seat of Riverina, held by The Nationals’ Kay Hull, be merged predominantly with the Liberal-held electorate of Hume, to make a new big southern seat known as “Bradman”.]

    What the? Bloody Liberals. Why get rid of two original federation divisions? Tools.

  8. [Rua we were able to govern well from 1996-2004 without a Senate majority.]

    Thank the Democrats Glen.

    But it’s still an unknown how well a sole Green balance of power Senate would function. I’m sure things would be almost if not just as difficult if the current BOP was Democrats-Fielding-Xenophon.

  9. Scorpio,

    “Did anyone else see the add on the channel 7 news starring Barnaby and Mr X.”

    Which was the organ grinder and which was the monkey?

  10. Glen

    You are correct, most Govts. get the majority of their legislation passed with opposition party support.

    If the unthinkable happens and the Libs win an election in the next decade, who cares what the National’s policy is? 😉

  11. Scorpio

    Who’s paying for that stupid ad? I hope it’s not the taxpayer. Of all the things for Mr X to make an ad about, I can’t think of a dumber one.

  12. Diogenes @ 566,

    That’s an interesting question you pose there. The add was very professionally done and in “prime time” so wouldn’t have been cheap. (certainly not peanuts)

  13. [Seven said the $58 billion figure was official.]

    The first budget leak to a TV station!

    $58 billions is pretty much what people were expecting. Most of the speculation was on $50-60 billion.

  14. PolyQuats, I didn’t say everyone would get a bonus payment, I was refering to the people making comments in Gary’s article link who were complaining about not getting something in both Stimpacs.
    eg [Self-funded retiree Stuart Robley received a bonus about Christmas time but was disappointed he would not receive anything in the current package.]
    My sister also says she misses out as she is a self funded retiree, she put in a tax form for the medicare levy but didn’t actually pay tax.

  15. [Who do we think will be on the 7:30 Report?]
    Hockey probably, considering that Swan will be interviewed tomorrow night.

  16. Please, please. I hope the avuncular one is on 7.30 tonight. I love his blaming the media for Rudd’s popularity line. 🙂

  17. The government is re-introducing the alcopops legislation tomorrow morning.


    Judging by the article it appears there will be two separate pieces of legislation – one will be the same as last time for a 70% increase on RTD’s and the other will be to validate the previous months tax.

    Bit weird they’re introducing it now – surely the next few days and weeks are going to be completely dominated by other budget measures. Unless, of course, they expect it to be delayed for another month or so and to get to the 3 months they need for a DD.

  18. Hockey has become unwatchable (maybe he always was). He has totally lost that Sunrise nice guy persona and is now presenting as bitter twisted and nasty. Bring him on as opposition leader!! Cmon Newspoll, give us a question on it!!

  19. Oz,

    I believe they will have to pay the tax collected back if the legislation to hold onto it is not passed this week.

    I presume splitting the legislation enables the Government to play the same game again this year.

  20. [I believe they will have to pay the tax collected back if the legislation to hold onto it is not passed this week.]

    Ah ok, makes sense.

  21. [The X and B ads were, funded by Optical Superstore founder Ian Melrose.]

    Why would he do that? What’s his agenda?

  22. [Why would he do that? What’s his agenda?]

    He’s got bucks, his prerogative to spend them on whatever he likes? X and B seem to agree that foreign ownership is bad. Tossers. 😛

  23. It appears he has a history of funding ads for things that he has an interest in.


    [Ian Melrose paid around $30,000 for a 30-second television commercial, which received maximum exposure during last night’s Australian Open men’s quarter finals. The ad claims the Federal Government has stolen $2 billion in revenue from the East Timorese.]


  24. [How many original Federation electorates are left?]

    Wentworth, Parramatta, North Sydney, Robertson, Werriwa, Macquarie, Newcastle, Hunter, Cowper, Richmond, New England, Hume, Eden-Monaro

    Melbourne, Melbourne Ports, Kooyong, Flinders, Gippsland, Indi, Ballarat, Bendigo, Corio, Corangamite, Wannon

    Brisbane, Moreton, Wide Bay, Capricornia, Herbert, Kennedy, Maranoa

    Perth, Fremantle, Swan, Kalgoorlie

    (1903) Adelaide, Hindmarsh, Barker, Wakefield, Grey

    (1903) Denison, Franklin, Bass

  25. I’m guessing next week we’ll get a couple polls – even Nielson per chance? Does Galaxy only come out to play in election periods?

  26. Wilson Tuckey trying to hang onto his job.

    [Yet we are urged by anonymous business leaders to replace older and more experienced MPs with those of a younger age.

    It would appear to me they might better serve Australia by withholding such advice and offering their services to the Australian people by seeking preselection to win a seat in parliament, whatever their political leaning.

    Were they, say, as in my case, aged 45 with 25 years of previous successful personal business and life skills experience, including 16 years of volunteer local government service, they should be ready to provide the management our nation requires.

    Having presumably seen their children through university and accumulated some investments, they should be able to survive on the very limited remuneration the Australian people are prepared to pay politicians, and which is only otherwise attractive to those younger persons whose long-term employment prospects would not provide an income in, say, excess of $50,000 to $70,000 a year. They are often to be found in the rear offices of the trade union movement and the parliamentary offices of some serving MPs.

    Such persons are well trained in the art of politics but deficient in the area of business management that the nation requires. ]


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