Friday, December 4
LATE: Michelle Grattan of The Age reports Liberal sources believe the situation in Higgins to be lineball.
EARLY: Apologies for lack of updates. Malcolm Mackerras is tipping a Greens boilover: he says the Liberal vote will sink to 44 per cent, and presumably expects something like 70 per cent of preferences to go to the Greens. That would entail a 10 per cent drop on the primary vote, which is not dissimilar to what happened in somewhat similar circumstances in Mayo last year. However, Higgins is notable for its lack of volatility, so Mackerras is taking a bold punt on the force of the Abbott/ETS backlash. I can’t help recalling Mackerras’s prediction of a John Kerry landslide in 2004, which appeared to be rooted in a conviction that voters would prove as angered by the Iraq war as he was his talk of resentment at climate change denialists strikes me as being cut from the same cloth. I’m tipping an uncomfortable night for Kelly O’Dwyer, but expect she will get up. At this point, Greens supporters with long memories will be recalling I said much the same thing before the Fremantle by-election.
Word on the ground is that the Liberal campaign has focused on O’Dwyer’s positives, rather than attack Hamilton as an extremist as might have been expected if they were really worried. However, it seems the party has embarked on a significant change of tack in the past week, with O’Dwyer issuing a last-minute mail-out to voters to assert her views on climate change.
As always, tune in tomorrow night for live coverage.
Tuesday, November 17
Blogger and former Liberal Party activist Tim Andrews offers a colourful take on the Greens preselection process, alleging widespread discontent in local branches over the imposition of Clive Hamilton.
Friday, November 13
The ballot paper draw has been conducted, and the order of candidates can be viewed here. Candidates I hadn’t known about: independent Peter Brohier (lawyer), Isaac Roberts of the Liberal Democratic Party (accountant) and Democratic Labor Party regular John Mulholland (psychologist).
Friday, November 6
AAP reports Steve Raskovy, a 72-year-old former Hungarian wrestler and refugee, will run for One Nation. Antony Green has embellished his by-election page with candidate details.
Wednesday, November 4
From Friedrich in comments we learn that Joseph Toscano, Anarchist Media Institute director and prolific writer of letters to the editor, is seeking the local residents’ signatures required to lodge a nomination.
Tuesday, November 3
LATE: The Australian Democrats have announced their candidate will be David Collyer, who contributes regular posts to the blog of the party’s Victorian division.
EARLY: Climate Sceptics announces that Stephen Murphy, a Melbourne computer programmer who speaks five languages, will run as an Independent Climate Sceptic.
Thursday, October 29
Antony Green weighs in on the by-election, adding further voice to the consensus that the Greens’ nomination of Clive Hamilton is tactically unsound. Danielle Crowe of the Manningham Leader reports Crikey empire founder, Manningham councillor and perennial deposit non-recoverer Stephen Mayne has not ruled out running as an independent. Nominations close November 12, with the ballot draw to follow the next day.
Monday, October 26
Speaker Harry Jenkins has confirmed that the Higgins and Bradfield by-elections will be held on December 5.
Saturday, October 24
A wide-ranging chorus of critics has chimed in to argue Hamilton’s decidedly non-liberal political and economic philosophies are a poor fit for the electorate he has chosen to contest. As Carlton’s lone classical liberal Andrew Norton puts it: It’s not often that Pollytics, Andrew Bolt and Catallaxy blogs all reach the same conclusion. Christian Kerr of The Australian reports similar sentiments from RMIT University economist and Institute of Public Affairs senior fellow Sinclair Davidson, who argues voters in Higgins (which as Kerr notes includes Chapel Street, Toorak Road and the High Street strip) are unlikely to respond to the ascetic and spartan lifestyle Hamilton demands to ward off ecological apocalypse, to be achieved if need be by the suspension of democratic processes. On top of which, his views on internet filtering could potentially alienate parts of the Greens’ core constituency, particularly if they have an alternative candidate to turn to.
Friday, October 23
The Greens have unveiled a high-profile candidate in Clive Hamilton, founder and former executive director of left-wing think tank the Australia Institute and current professor of public ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics.
Thursday, October 22
Labor has slightly surprisingly decided it won’t be entering the fray. Andrew Landeryou at VexNews reports: Labor insiders who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that the widespread presumption of demographic change in Higgins, and a big swing more generally, was not substantiated by the party’s secret polling, presented on Powerpoint to the Prime Minister recently, which showed a likely Liberal victory even in the tough circumstances in Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberals find themselves.
Monday, October 19
Peter Costello formally tendered his resignation today to Speaker Harry Jenkins, who is expected to announce an election date of November 28 or December 5 in the coming days.
Saturday, October 10
Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Peter Costello will officially resign when parliament resumes on October 19. Given a campaign of average length, this will mean a polling date of November 28 or December 5: after the final two-week parliamentary sitting in which the Coalition if it doesn’t filibuster will have to vote on Labor’s emissions trading scheme. Antony Green at the ABC and Ben Raue at The Tally Room have guides to the by-election posted.
Wednesday, October 7
Samantha Maiden of The Australian reports Peter Costello is set to resign from Parliament today, which will most likely result in a by-election for his seat of Higgins on the same yet-to-be-announced date as the one for Bradfield. Costello holds the eastern suburbs Melbourne seat with a margin of 7.0 per cent, having suffered a swing of 1.7 per cent at the 2007 election. The preselection to replace him at the next election was held a fortnight ago and won by his former staffer Kelly O’Dwyer.
484 comments on “Higgins by-election: December 5”
I think Labor should run a candidate. If they come within a few percent of winning that would be the end of Turnbull.
The million dollar question is:
Will the ALP field a candidate ?
Is this a Costello Dare ?
So much for looking after the people of Higgins.
That’s three leaders gone – Howard, Nelson and Vaile – one could’a-been going today – Cozzie – and one about to jump – Turnbull.
And one in waiting… the stuff of nightmares as to who it might be.
Not a bad effort for KRudd… what with him being a oncer, phoney, hypocritical, language-mangling, toxically-boring, globe-trotting, junketeering, clueless, Manchurian Candidate nerd with no sense of politics or leadership, whose honeymoon is well and truly over.
[Is this a Costello Dare ?]
The fact Costello is leaving just suggests he thinks the Liberals are a bunch of no hopers who are shooting foot bullets at each other over the ETS that by the time they are next in government they will support.
Big “if” ShowsOn.
The ALP hasn’t forgotten the lesson of Gippsland. They’re not going to hand the opposition an unnecessary PR win. Let the Coalition waste money on another self-imposed by-election (their fifth this term).
[The million dollar question is:
Will the ALP field a candidate ?
Is this a Costello Dare ?]
No and no. Now where’s my million dollars?
You can add Fran Bailey to the list of retirees. Pushed out for Dutton?
Sorry, here is the link;
[I think Labor should run a candidate. If they come within a few percent of winning that would be the end of Turnbull.]
Rarely does the incumbent government get a swing at a by-election.
And 57% 2PP for the Liberals in 2007 was the closest in the seat’s history.
Costello clears the decks for more Turnbull misery
Talk about ‘twisting the knife’.
Costello is a real ‘bastard’ for doing that to Turnball, although I guess its payback…
Anyway, I’ll just pop out to the shed to grab my beach chair and some beers so I can sit back and watch the Liberal Party self combust.
[Big “if” ShowsOn.]
Well I reckon Costello has a personal vote that the Liberals will lose, even he suffered a 1.72% swing at the last election. Also, the economy is doing well, and the Liberals are a complete rabble.
I completely agree with not bother to run in Bradfield, but I think Higgins is much closer.
Also, Labor holds some Victorian seats that cover the same area like Prarahn.
[And 57% 2PP for the Liberals in 2007 was the closest in the seat’s history.]
And now Costello has gone making the Liberals even less competitive in the seat.
Costello got 53% of the primary vote, even if Labor forces the seat to preferences that will make Turnbull look bad.
How much of the margin in 2007 was Costello’s personal vote? Without that, and with the recent polling figures, this electorate could actually be competitive. Not that I think Labor will run a candidate, but it would be interesting to see the results if they did.
Can Kelly O’Dwyer take over the leadership when she gets into Parliament?
Hurray!!!!!!!! Mal Brough can get in McEwen 😀 😀 😀
[How much of the margin in 2007 was Costello’s personal vote?]
Well I don’t think personal votes are much, say 2.5% tops.
[Not that I think Labor will run a candidate, but it would be interesting to see the results if they did.]
I agree, but I hope they do run a candidate because I think they have a better chance winning the seat now than at any other time. The Liberals are seriously at their lowest ebb at the moment.
[Can Kelly O’Dwyer take over the leadership when she gets into Parliament?]
Turnbull should give her shadow health at Dutton’s expense. Dutton needs to free up time so that he can try to win Dickson.
Tom, I doubt Fran is making way for Dutton. The Liberals are lucky to have held McEwen as long as they have. They parachute ANY queenslander in and its a safe ALP seat.
That includes Mal Brough most likely. He is Victorian, but not for long enough.
The Libs need an Andrew Robb or better to hold it I reckon.
Will Cossie be on 7:30 tonight?
[Not a bad effort for KRudd… what with him being a oncer, phoney, hypocritical, language-mangling, toxically-boring, globe-trotting, junketeering, clueless, Manchurian Candidate nerd with no sense of politics or leadership, whose honeymoon is well and truly over.]
Bill, You forgot the other descriptor thrown the man – he’s also a Nerd. 😉
I recall Nelson musing at a door stop interview after his announced resignation but before leaving parliament that both he and Costello had been to Rudd’s office at different times for a chat. The speeches on Cossie’s last day will be interesting as well as the PM’s announcement the following day.
[I will be sad to say farewell. Although I will return to private life I hope to continue some measure of service to the public in the future.]
Is that a job application? 😉
BB, Apologies – you had the nerb bit covered. Very through.
Goodness the home page for the OO is a classic
Bishop will forever be Cat Woman in my mind.
[Is this a Costello Dare ?]
For Gor’s sake!
There’s more skullduggery imputed to Costello than the hand-wringing over Dennis Connor’s tactics in the America’s Cup.
He’s lost. That’s it. And he’s getting out.
Why anyone would think he gives a fig about the Liberal Party (except as objects of mirth) is beyond me. They rejected him when he had a chance of being PM, and only welcomed him when he had none. He’s played them for suckers. They look like fools, in their hair-shirts and ashes, waiting on top of the mountain for the Messiah who doesn’t want them and never really did.
Fran Kelly sees the writing on the wall too. She’s exiting stage right as well.
They’re leaving a party riven with internal hatred, unable to even organise a preselection for a “leaderhip candidate”, so up themselves that they think opposing the ETS will will them votes, with the barbarian hordes from Queensland about to commence their regular, suicida, raping and pillaging of the South.
There’s no dare, or test, or ulterior motive. It’s suave qui peut.
The rats – the few that are left, that is – are deserting the sinking ship.
Yay, I live in Higgins so I get to vote! Here’s hoping Labor does field a candidate so I don’t have to vote for, uhg, The Greens.
[You can add Fran Bailey to the list of retirees. Pushed out for Dutton?]
[Hurray!!!!!!!! Mal Brough can get in McEwen]
The Liberal Party holds McEwen by a bee’s dick and Labor is every chance of capturing it in 2010. It aint no prize for an aspiring Liberal frontbencher. (Let alone a blow-in from Queensland.)
I don’t know why the ALP would want to fight a Higgins by-election. They are unlikely to win it and unlikely to do well in it. Best to leave an independent or Green to do the embarrassing, if any is to be done.
McEwen of course if a by-election were to be held must be contested as the ALP would hope to gain it at a general election and to not contest it would be bad form. I wondered whether Fran Bailey might not have held it even though it is the most marginal seat.
[he fact Costello is leaving just suggests he thinks the Liberals are a bunch of no hopers who are shooting foot bullets at each other over the ETS]
Costello, I believe, is also against the ETS, for all the value his opinion has with the Liberals these days.
The ALP arent going to win Higgins and think of the money the Libs have to spend money they cant spend next year on trying to hold seats and win marginals.
The last thing Rudd wants is to have a result go against him.
No way Labor will contest. If they lose ground, as is likely in by-election, it’s a ‘victory for Turnbull.’ If they gain ground Turnbull is in no more trouble than he is now. Better to let the Greens and O’Dwyer fight it out.
[Well I reckon Costello has a personal vote that the Liberals will lose,]
Be serious. This is a blue ribbon – sorry, ribband – Liberal seat.
[even he suffered a 1.72% swing at the last election.]
Which is pretty good considering about 145 other seats also swung to Labor at the last election. The swing was pretty muted in this part of the world; Kooyong for instance barely swung at all.
[Also, the economy is doing well, and the Liberals are a complete rabble.]
So what? The same could have been said for any Labor by-election held during the Howard years. Did the Coalition win any of those? No.
[I completely agree with not bother to run in Bradfield, but I think Higgins is much closer.]
To run in Higgins and not Bradfield, sends a message that the ALP thinks it can win the former. They’d be on a hiding to nothing.
[Also, Labor holds some Victorian seats that cover the same area like Prarahn.]
And the Liberal Party holds other overlapping state seats by much larger margins. Prahran is not representative of Higgins. As you can see from Psephos’s booth map:
[Costello, I believe, is also against the ETS, for all the value his opinion has with the Liberals these days.]
Cuppa, what’s the basis of this belief?
If true, and the peace talks are on the 18th – the day before his parliamentary announcement – what impact will he have on the discussion?
A good “Independent Labor” candidate on a budget funded by Labor sympathisers should make it very interesting. If he/she came close, it would be demoralising for the Libs and would put the Greens back in their shoebox.
If he/she didn’t, no skin off the Labor nose and no reflection on Rudd.
[Better to let the Greens and O’Dwyer fight it out.]
But the Greens are hopeless at fighting for House of Reps seats!
Will the National Party stand a candidate? 😉
The anti-government swing that usually occurs at by-elections regardless of popularity will more than cancel out Costello’s personal vote. And 2007 was the closest in history on 57%. Downer had a personal vote too with a closer margin, Labor didn’t contest that, I doubt they will this.
But all you little Labor hacks are so cute and cuddly with your undying neverending optimism 🙂
I don’t know about Higgins but I certainly think Labor should stand in McEwan. Even apart from the shift since the election and recent events, Fran Bailey was anything but a gracious winner, remembering that the margin was less than the number of disputed votes. Add in demographic shifts in the two years since and presto, I’d think that Labor was starting from in front, even though it would be unwise to admit that.
Sorry, I was wrong. He supports waiting …
Interview with Jon Faine, 774 ABC, 20 April 2007:
[Peter Costello: “… I think there is a lot to be said for a national emissions scheme … “]
He argues that Australia should wait and see what “the big polluters” do, before doing anything ourselves.
Socrates, Labor will be standing in McEwen. And every other seat at the 2010 election…
[The Federal Liberal member for McEwen in Victoria, Fran Bailey, has announced she is retiring at the next election.]
Rua, if both the Greens and the Nats contest Higgins, wouldn’t that just fragment the anti ETS vote?
Fran Bailey hasnt said she’d force a by-election only that she’d quit?
Agree that a Labor nobody wouldn’t have a hope in Higgins but what about local somebody with Labor leanings who they could sign up post haste – Eddie McGuire for example. I’m sure there are some celebrity lefties living in Prahran or environs who could give Kelly O’whatever a run. Barry Jones lives in Armadale – maybe he’d be interested to have another run at it.
[Sorry, I was wrong. He supports waiting …]
His piece in today’s SMH says the same:
[Fran Bailey hasnt said she’d force a by-election only that she’d quit?]
She is retiring at the next election.
[with Labor leanings who they could sign up post haste – Eddie McGuire for example. ]
He would probably win given the Liberal brand is worthless at the moment.
[Barry Jones lives in Armadale – maybe he’d be interested to have another run at it.]
Vex News has an interesting take
T’S TIM? Could Peter Costello’s brother crash the Liberal party in Higgins?
I’d vote for Tim Costello.
If Labor doesn’t run (as seems likely), I would vote for Tim Costello running as an Independent ahead of the Greens.
With McEwan, two celebrity names that might be considered are Nathan Buckley or Andrew Demetriou.
[Rua, if both the Greens and the Nats contest Higgins, wouldn’t that just fragment the anti ETS vote?]
The people who want a stricter ETS would be voting Green. The people who don’t want any ETS would be voting National.
[If Labor doesn’t run (as seems likely), I would vote for Tim Costello running as an Independent ahead of the Greens.]
So would I.
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