Abbott 42, Turnbull 41

Tony Abbott has emerged victorious from this morning’s Liberal leadership showdown after defeating Malcolm Turnbull 42 votes to 41, with Joe Hockey unexpectedly knocked out in the first round. The result joins 1971’s tied no-confidence motion against John Gorton and Mark Latham’s 47-45 win over Kim Beazley in 2003 in the pantheon of leadership ballot cliffhangers. Whether this episode is likely to end more happily than the other two, I leave to others to judge (UPDATE: Tim Blair identifies a more auspicious example). Two factors of immediate electoral significance: a secret ballot held immediately after the leadership vote decisively determined that the Coalition would oppose the emissions trading scheme, confirming the government will receive its double dissolution trigger; and Malcolm Turnbull has announced he will not resign from parliament, thus depriving us of a by-election in Wentworth.

If anyone’s interested, here are some more mundane electoral developments of the past week or so:

• The NSW Greens have chosen Nature Conservation Council executive director Cate Faehrmann to fill the state upper house vacancy that will be created when Lee Rhiannon runs for the Senate at the next federal election. Andrew Clennell of the Sydney Morning Herald notes that Faehrmann ran unsuccessfully for Senate preselection against Rhiannon with the backing of Bob Brown. The party has also finalised its upper house ticket for the next state election: David Shoebridge, barrister and Woollahra councillor, will take the unloseable first position; Byron Bay mayor Jan Barham will take the highly winnable second position; and Orange City councillor Jeremy Buckingham will get the rather more difficult third position. Clennell reports this as a defeat for the “harder left” tendency assoociated with Rhiannon, which backed Rockdale councillor Lesa de Leau. Faehrmann will not be required to run at the next election due to the chamber’s staggered eight-year terms.

Michael Stedman of The Mercury reports that the Left has endorsed Jonathan Jackson, chartered accountant and son of former state attorney-general Judy Jackson, to replace retiring factional colleague Duncan Kerr in the Hobart-based federal seat of Denison. Stedman also names as a possible starter Australian Manufacturing Workers Union secretary Anne Urquhart, previously mentioned as the Left’s nominee for a Senate position after Kevin Rudd vetoed Electrical Trades Union secretary Kevin Harkins. Apparently still in contention are constitutional lawyer George Williams, Kerr staffer and state Lyons candidate Rebecca White, and local state member Lisa Singh.

• Speaking to reporter James Carleton on Radio National Breakfast with Fran Kelly yesterday, local branch president and Wran government minister Rodney Cavalier complained Stephen Jones was to be given the Throsby preselection as reward for affiliating his Community and Public Sector Union with the ALP. Jones has been the only nominee for a position the national executive will rubber-stamp on Friday, having decided to deny local branches a ballot. Sources cited by Carleton also say outgoing member Jennie George was “pushed into retirement under threat of disendorsement”, although George denies this.

Nigel Adlam of the Northern Territory News reports three candidates are believed to be interested in the Country Liberal Party preselection for the ultra-marginal Darwin-based seat of Solomon, where Labor’s Damian Hale narrowly defeated sitting member David Tollner (now in the Territory parliament) in 2007. The three are “Darwin City Council alderman Garry Lambert, Palmerston Deputy Mayor Natasha Griggs and Tourism Top End head Tony Clementson”. Tennant Creek businessman Tony Civitarese is mentioned as the likely candidate to run against Warren Snowdon in the Territory’s other electorate, Lingiari.

Rebecca Lollback of the Northern Star reports Clunes businessman Kevin Hogan has been preselected unopposed as Nationals candidate for Page.

Shannon Crane of the Border Mail reports the Victorian Nationals have preselected Moira deputy mayor Tim McCurdy to replace the retiring Ken Jasper in the state seat of Murray Valley. McMurdy reportedly saw off eight rival candidates, although the only one I can put a name to is former Olympic cyclist Dean Woods.

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.

4,087 comments on “Abbott 42, Turnbull 41”

Comments Page 82 of 82
1 81 82
  1. [On a two-party preferred basis the ALP (53%) retains an edge over the L-NP (47%) – figures barely changed from the last telephone Morgan Poll conducted on November 11/12, 2009 which showed the ALP (52%) ahead of the L-NP (48%)]

    However if there is a systemic Liberal bias in Morgan’s phone polls and this is consistent with the previous poll then this is saying that nothing has changed. ie we are still at 55-57

  2. [The results of the ‘heading in the right direction’ question could be interpreted as supporting the ALP. If I had been asked that question after the Senate voted down the CPRS I would have answered that I thought Australia was heading in the wrong direction and I don’t vote Liberal. So it may reflect some disaffected Labor voters shifting.]

    And why does that question alays remind me of this song ?

    Trivia, Renee blotted her copybook asomewhat by singing the Libs Campaign song Turn on the Lights.

  3. I hastily add to 4050 that I didn’t mean to imply I thought political staffers here were lazy; jsut that they were political staffers. My people skills rising to the fore again!

  4. I think when it comes to govt now days they want to be safe and their departmental execs give them what they want.

    I have seen it many times. Executives know what ministers want to hear and not hear and the type of options they want to see and not see. Dept execs first think of the political ramifications for the govt before doing anything else.

  5. Socrates

    The thing that usually characterises the type of policy development you referred to is that which is designed to cater to the shallowness and laziness of the credulous who typically listen to the shock jocks and/or are happy clappers.

  6. OK, 53-47 Labor

    What’s the phrase I remember, something about bull butter?

    This poll defies logic.

    When do other pollsters release results?

    Nielsen? Newspoll?

  7. Socrates

    I know of one PS Dept. where they had to tell “advisors” not to use wikipedia quotes in policy submissions. That was in Jan 2008.

  8. BK

    True. But I can recall one (Howard government) policy document I saw that went to cabinet and was approved, that referred to the need to get private sector funding involved in the industry as a funding solution, as though this was news. Meanwhile three State governments had already been doing it for ten years.

  9. ruawake

    (Chuckle) I’m not exactly shocked. The same clowns must have moved on from my department’s policy division in the mean time 😀

    As further profo of the trend implicit in your wikipedia comment, the department I worked in closed down the library as a cost saving measure while I worked there (genius!). The books and reports were to be archived (off site, so we coudl never get them easily) or disposed of. The staff responsible stared incomprehensibly when myself and another senior engineer raced down and tried to rescue a lot of unpublished economic reports going back to the 80s before it was too late. So much for corporate memory. The genus of Howard era management at work.

    In fairness I did work with some genuine experts in planning and economics in Canberra. The trouble was they weren’t in the policy division, and generally weren’t listened too. They didn’t say the “right” things to the polciy makers.

  10. For anyone with digital TV and a high quality display …

    ABC3 will be a disaster for video quality. The ABC will be doing 4 channels, and so all the old channels will have a lower bit rate than before.

    Ever wondered why a DVD looks so much better than the ABC? It is all do do with the bitrate, and the ABC is now trying to do too much with what they have.

    And anyone with a Blu-ray player and a good display will probably already have noticed how a Blu-ray has far better picture quality than any free to air HD picture. Once again, the very low bit rates used for the TV HD pictures mean that our TV HD is often closer to DVD quality than HD.

    And now back to your usual program ….

  11. Socrates

    Boom boom. I live in Adelaide too.

    I do think that Canberra is a place that every Aussie should visit just to see how our nation works. Obviously Parliament is important but so is the High Court. I have spent many hours there during my visits to my son who have lived there for 6 years.

  12. This jumping at shadows used to happen time and time again during the 2007 election year.

    One poll would come out and show something completely different to all the previous polls and ALP bludgers were slashing their collective wrists.

    “Howard’s going to get away with it, again!” was the refrain.

    Now it seems, “Abbott’s going to get away with it!”.

    “The shocks jocks have won!”

    Just to calm down those who might be sweating.

    Nielsen Nov 5/7 56/44

    Morg Ph Nov 11/12 52/48

    Newspoll Nov 13/15 56/44

    Nielsen Nov 27/28 56/44

    Newspoll Nov 27/28 56/44

    Morg Ph Dec 3/4 53/47

    Also in the last month there have been two polls conducted in QLD,

    Newspoll Nov 10-13 54/46

    Galaxy Nov 25/26 54/46

    Both showing 3% swings in the State, similar to the 3% national swing.

    Every available published poll for 2 years has shown the ALP with a consistent 3% swing. Every piece of reporting from inside the parties has shown the same thing.

    The Coalition has 20 -25 seats in danger. That’s exactly what Turnbull and MacFarlane were worried about.

    Morgan’s last two phone polls are out of line with the others, because of either the small sample or due to some problem with his sampling.

  13. [But he did say Turnbull only had 10-12 votes last Tuesday. So he is a right dill who can’t count.]

    Amazingly, you are being too kind to Dr. Van O. He actually predicted Turnbull’s vote wouldn’t reach two digits. Shortly after the vote was announced, he simply said something like…..”Gee, Turnbull did much better than I expected”, and then immediately proceeded to grace us with his next pearl of political prognostication.

  14. Quite true Aristotle. Things may shift around between now and poll day but, if Tony Abbott is still leader, I can’t imagine many undecideds voting to make him PM. The man simply has too much baggage. He will especially kill their women’s vote, except in the demographics that already vote conservative anyway, so there is no gain there. And they have to GAIN at least 2% to win. At present, they are headed for the loss of further seats IMO.

  15. Socrates,

    I used to work as an Engineer at the Telstra Research Labs. My career was also one of watching expertise being replaced by “management”.

    I remember one work colleague was offered a management position of looking after local calls. She refused because the technical expert who would have been working for her had been packaged out (he was too difficult), her boss (if she had taken the new job) knew nothing about local calls, and his boss was new and knew nothing about telecommunications.

    She declined the job offer.

    But I’m sure that all who were left were very capable of telling their bosses what they wanted to hear.

  16. [ABC3 will be a disaster for video quality. The ABC will be doing 4 channels, and so all the old channels will have a lower bit rate than before.]
    I thought the ABC has 2 multiplexes? 1 for ABC 1 & 2 and another for ABC1 HD, ABC3, and the two digital radio channels?

  17. Michael W-H,

    Thanks for that information on the bitrate of free-to-air channels. I thought my antenna was playing up. How did you find this stuff out?

  18. ShowsOn,

    At the moment each TV station has just ONE multiplex. So all channels each station shows are on the one multiplex.

    Since digital TV was introduced in Oz the encoders have got a little better, but the number of channels has increased more. So the picture quality for every station has declined. The ABC is trying to do the most, so they suffer the most.

    But the ABC don’t care about picture quality anyway, as is proven by their very large and colored watermarks.

    The ABC HD channel has an even larger watermark with a more intrusive color. For me this is so bad that I watch the SD channel even though I have very top end equipment at home.

    SBS suffers similar problems. Their second channel is very poor quality, and has a more intrusive watermark than their main channel. Their HD channel has better picture quality than their SD channel, but they add a brighter “HD” to the watermark, once again spoiling a better picture quality with a more intrusive watermark.

    And as you can probably guess from my ranting, I don’t even bother to look at the commercial channels.

  19. [Get a new UHF antenna.]

    Had one for 6 years. 😛

    I was a supervising tech for TV stations for 2 decades. I have a friggin great monolith (Mt Coolum) in the way.

  20. Shame you don’t live in NSW ruewake, you could have simply made a ‘donation’ to the ALP and had it removed 😉

  21. Keith

    I wonder if I slipped Alex Somlyay or Fiona Simpson or the pseudo-Green local council member a few bucks. Then maybe they could relent and let a repeater be built?

  22. Dio@3985:

    [The Earth’s magnetic field will reverse]

    That has happened many times in the past. The resulting magnetic stripes on either side of the mid-oceanic ridges were one of the clinchers for the proof that there is continental drift.

    Might make bird migration a bit iffy for a while, but. Some of them appear to use the earth’s magnetic field to navigate.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 82 of 82
1 81 82