Morgan phone poll: 65-35 to Coalition in NSW

Roy Morgan has conducted a “special Australia-wide telephone Morgan Poll of 1,287 electors”, half of which was conducted way back in October 26-27, and the other half on Tuesday and Wednesday. It has today published New South Wales and Victoria state-level figures from the results – I presume they’re building up to something here. The sample for the New South Wales poll covers 365 respondents (margin of error about 5 per cent), the Victorian poll just 146 (over 8 per cent). I’m not going to bother with the latter, but the former is just worth hanging a new thread off. It has Labor on 22 per cent of the primary vote, the Coalition on 53 per cent and the Greens on 13.5 per cent, with the Coalition’s two-party lead at 65-35.

More to the point, there’s a mountain of preselection action to report on. From the Labor side of the fence:

• Former minister and leadership hopeful Frank Sartor today announced he will not recontest his seat of Rockdale.

• Nathan Rees, who by any measure has an eventful debut term in parliament, appears to have seen off a threat to his preselection in Toongabbie after the party’s national executive stepped in to take control of the process. The intervention is universally expected to result in the rubber-stamping of his endorsement. The Ferguson Left faction had been pushing for Rees to make way for local migration officer Susai Benjamin, and had received support from outgoing Right faction warlord Joe Tripodi. Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald described Tripodi’s effort as a “final bid for revenge” over Rees’s dumping of him from cabinet during his brief tenure as Premier. The national executive intervention was considered essential to Rees’s survival due to his foes’ domination of local branches. Nick Soon of the Blacktown Sun reported that of the local party branches, Toongabbie, Seven Hills and Wentworthville branches supported a motion calling for a rank-and-file ballot, with only Lalor Park backing a rival motion declaring support for Rees. According to Heath Aston of the Sun-Herald, Rees was saved by a mobilisation of support from Left rivals of the Ferguson camp including Anthony Albanese and John Faulkner. Nick Soon of the Blacktown Sun reports Benjamin is now considering running as an independent.

• The exodus of Labor members who have announced they will not seek re-election has included two serious political liabilities for the party, one being Paul Gibson in Blacktown. Bryn Kay of the Blacktown Advocate reports Gibson made a last-minute decision not to run due to his mother’s deteriorating health. There was widespread speculation he was about to be shown the door by the party in any case, but he claims he would have run as independent if that had transpired. Gibson’s muscle within the party has been widely credited to his ability to raise funds from the hotel industry, which has been banned from making party donations under new campaign finance reforms (which I summarised in an earlier post). His departure creates an opening for Transport Minister John Robertson, who is looking to move to the lower house to pursue leadership ambitions. However, Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald reports he will have to fend off a rival preselection aspirant in Stephen Frost, an electrical contractor and manager of the Nirimba Business Centre.

• The second outgoing political liability is Joe Tripodi in Fairfield, who stands to be succeeded by Guy Zangari, “pastoral care co-ordinator at Freeman Catholic College in Bonnyrigg”. Press reports have been keen to note that Zangari is “the brother of former Labor ministerial adviser Peter Zangari, who worked for Mr Tripodi for 12 months when he was the minister for housing”.

Di Bartok of the Parramatta Advertiser reports local member Tanya Gadiel is confident her preselection will be referred to the national executive. Imre Salusinszky of The Australian says Gadiel “would struggle to win a rank-and-file ballot, due to the influence of the Ferguson forces in her branches”. However, the only report I’ve seen of rival candidate was Granville MP David Borger, who now appears locked in to defend his existing seat.

Soraiya Fuda of the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser reports Labor’s head office has been lobbying potential candidates to run for preselection in Campbelltown in opposition to the acknowledged front-runner, local councillor Anoulack Chanthivong, which is rumoured to have been motivated by concern local voters will reject the Laotian-born Chanthivong because of his ethnicity. Former mayor Aaron Rule is named as one of those approached, but it is reported that he “flatly refused”.

Joanne Vella of the Canterbury-Bankstown Express reports local mayor Tania Mihailuk has won Labor preselection unopposed to succeed Bankstown MP Tony Stewart, another who recently announced he would not re-contest his seat. Mihailuk was an unsuccessful candidate for federal preselection in Blaxland before the 2007 election.

Denice Barnes of the Central Coast Express Advocate reports David Mehan, a “business manager with a not-for-profit superannuation fund” who has a background in the union movement, has won a preselection ballot to succeed retiring member Grant McBride as candidate for The Entrance. Other candidates were Peter McCabe, chief-of-staff to Water Minister Phil Costa, and Sue Kealy, an organiser for the Community and Public Service Union. Mehan ran for the corresponding federal seat of Dobell in 2004 and challenged its current member Craig Thomson for preselection before the last election.

• Lawyer Michael Vassili, who ran unsuccessfully in the federal seat of Greenway in 2007, has won Labor preselection for Riverstone, to be vacated at the election by the retirement of John Aquilina. Nick Soon of the Blacktown Sun reports Vassili won “nearly 80 per cent” of the preselection votes ahead of local party activists Chris Quilkey and Allison Roberts.

Len Ashworth of the Lithgow Mercury reports Dale Turner, operator with his wife of a property conveyancing business, has won Labor preselection for Bathurst without opposition. The seat is being vacated at the election by the retirement of sitting member Gerard Martin.

• Solicitor Katie Smith has won Labor preselection unopposed in Gosford following the retirement of sitting member Marie Andrews.

• Michelle Harris of the Newcastle Herald reports Newcastle University corporate development and community partnerships officer Marcus Mariani has won Labor preselection unopposed in the seat of Lake Macquarie, held by independent Greg Piper.

• Despite earlier talk of a challenge, Noreen Hay has won preselection unopposed in Wollongong. Angela Thompson of the Illawarra Mercury reports University of Wollongong project manager Tania Brown and BlueScope Steel engineer Neil Barnett were late withdrawals.

• The Newcastle Herald reports Jodi McKay’s endorsement has been referred to the party’s national executive for rubber-stamping, in “a move most NSW officials have backed”. An ABC report opens with talk of “anger among Newcastle Australian Labor Party branches” about the decision, before conspicuously failing to provide evidence of any.

Shellharbour Labor MP Lylea McMahon faces a December 11 rank-and-file preselection ballot against rivals identified by Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald as “a United Services Union organiser, Anna Watson, and a Wollongong Hospital nurse, John Rumble”.

• Another December 11 preselection ballot will take place in Cessnock, to be vacated by the retirement of Kerry Hickey. Michelle Harris of the Newcastle Herald reports the candidates are local councillor James Hawkins, former Transport Workers Union Newcastle sub-branch secretary Mark Crosdale and Port Stephens council officer Clayton Barr.

From the Coalition:

• Liberal staffer Dominic Perrottet has won preselection for Castle Hill, to be vacated by the retirement of Michael Richardson, ahead of Ashley Pittard, a fund manager to Frank Lowy. The preselection had widely been billed as another pitched battle between the candidates’ respective backers, the David Clarke “hard” Right and the Alex Hawke “soft” Right. Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald earlier reported the latter camp was “terrified at the prospect of a Perrottet victory, which would mean a state MP working against Alex Hawke on his patch”. Louise Hall of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Pittard subsequently quit the Liberal Party, quoting a Liberal source describing this as a “real blow” to the party in light of his fundraising record.

• Local mayor Nick Berman has announced he will run as an independent in Hornsby after making a late withdrawal from the Liberal preselection contest. Chartered accountant Matthew Kean, a factional moderate, comfortably defeated Hornsby councillor Steve Russell of the Alex Hawke (“soft”) Right in the ensuing vote. Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald quotes Berman saying “faction fighting” was behind his decision, although his own bid was said to have been backed by the David Clarke (“hard”) Right. Berman appeared to have frozen out by a deal between moderates and the soft Right in which the former agreed to back Ashley Pittard in Castle Hill.

• Moderate candidate and barrister Mark Speakman has won Liberal preselection for Cronulla, to be vacated by the retirement of Malcolm Kerr. Brian Robins of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Speakman won the preselection vote 82 to 74 over the hard Right-backed Stephen Mutch, who was member for the federal seat of Cook from 1996 to 1998. Robins further reports the hard Right backed Mutch as it feared Speakman might emerge as a rival to Greg Smith for the position of Attorney-General. The preselection was a rematch of the preselection stoush for Cook in 1998 in which Mutch was challenged by Speakman, which was resolved with the installation of moderate faction compromise candidate and Greiner-Fahey government minister Bruce Baird.

• Local dentist Roza Sage has been preselected as candidate for Blue Mountains ahead of local councillor and midwife Fiona Creed and former Blue Mountains Grammar School principal Stuart Walker.

Di Bartok of the Parramatta Advertiser reports University of Western Sydney associate dean Geoffrey Lee has won Liberal preselection for Parramatta after defeating solicitor Sid Hawach in a party ballot 49 votes to 45.

Brian Karlovsky of Fairfield Advance reports the Liberal Party has been “forced to use new rules” to install Dai Le as candidate for Cambramatta after local branches voted 8-5 against endorsing her, despite her being the only candidate. Le was also the party’s candidate at the October 2008 by-election that followed Reba Meagher’s resignation, at which she picked up a 22 per cent swing.

• The Tenterfield Star reports the Nationals have endorsed farmer and accountant Charlie McCowen to run against independent member and Legislative Assembly speaker Richard Torbay in Northern Tablelands.

Kate Carr of the Inner West Courier reports Risk Consulting Company principal James Falk has defeated Leichhardt councillor Vera-Ann Hannaford for Liberal preselection in Balmain.

• The Inner West Courier reports the Liberals have preselected Charles Casuscelli to run against Virginia Judge in Strathfield. Casuscelli is an army major who is “currently appointed on a part-time basis as an Australian Defence Force liaison officer to NSW” with the rank of major”.

Simone Roberts of the Liverpool Leader reports local councillor Mazhar Hadid is thus far the only Liberal candidate for preselection in Liverpool.

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.

38 comments on “Morgan phone poll: 65-35 to Coalition in NSW”

  1. William

    2 corrections:

    – the electorate is called Bathurst not Lithgow where Gerard Martin is stepping down
    – the retiring MP for Castle Hill is Michael Richardson

  2. For the sake of completeness, in the state’s most marginal seat, Port Stephens (68 votes last election) Kate Washington was preselected, unopposed, for the ALP.

  3. What self-indulgent drivel
    [KRISTINA KENEALLY has implored voters to ”take a second look” at her four months from the state election, while promising to remain in Parliament for a full term if re-elected, whether or not Labor is returned to power.

    In an interview to mark her first anniversary as Premier, Ms Keneally said she had reunited a party that had ”indulged itself” and was ”fractured” by the turmoil over electricity privatisation.

    She apologised for the political instability it caused, which forced the resignation of the then premier Morris Iemma.

    ”I do say to the people of NSW, I’m sorry it happened,” she said. ”It did not need to happen. The fact that we’ve just concluded the closure of bids for the energy transaction shows there was a solution and it didn’t need to get to the point that it did.”

    Ms Keneally also admitted she had been wracked by uncertainty before the coup that brought her to power a year ago.]

  4. Great compendium, William. One thing – in the para on Castle Hill, I think you’ve got “hard” and “soft” right the wrong way around.

  5. [Meanwhile, veteran state MP Richard Amery has avoided the clean-out of Labor’s ranks and will stay on to fight the election.

    Mr Amery, the member for Mount Druitt, has become the notable exception among the exodus of long-serving Labor MPs including Joe Tripodi, Paul Gibson and Tony Stewart, forced out as part of the Premier’s quest for renewal….

    ”I’ve expressed my interest in staying and head office has been supportive,” he told The Sun-Herald.

    ”Preselection for my seat has not yet been called and no final decision has been made.”

    The Sun-Herald understands he has the backing of the Premier.]

  6. [What self-indulgent drivel]

    I don’t see anything self-indulgent or drivulent about an apology, even a qualified one, for the debacle of electricity privatisation. If she hadn’t done it, no doubt you’d accuse her of arrogance, not listening etc etc, as was said about Brumby when he dared defend his government’s record. Labor politicians can’t win with some people whatever they do.

  7. Psephos,
    Labor politicians have been shown to be all spin and very incompetent.
    NSW Labor is prime and center.
    65 TPP is probably alot worse with optional preferencing
    Changing the election funding laws to exclude caps of the unions, and remove funding linked to number of vote (clearly because Labor won’t get many) is the most cynical and partisan act I have heard of in a long while.
    KK is confusing focus group suggestion like an apology with policy.

  8. That’s not a response to the point I made, just a piece of Liberal Party verbiage. Most politicians, Labor and Liberal, are reasonably competent; some are incompetent. Most politicians are spin-driven, because that’s what the current media environment has forced them to be.

  9. psepho

    It is spin when the whole party had done absolutely nothing for 15 years

    I have brought my baseball bat, and so have entire community in my area

    Everyone I have spoken to want to take these garbage out and say good riddance

  10. [I have brought my baseball bat, and so have entire community in my area

    Everyone I have spoken to want to take these garbage out and say good riddance]

    Is there anywhere that isn’t thinking like this at the moment?

  11. Psephos
    [Labor politicians can’t win with some people whatever they do.]
    Perhaps. My own view, although very intolerant, is a touch more narrowly defined. I suspect that this would come close to my view:
    [Kristina Keneally can’t win with me, whatever she says]
    This probably applies to most NSW state labor politicians. I have had enough of her and her lot. I don’t care if she is arrogant, is apologising, is contrite, is whatever. I’m not listening; the metaphorical baseball bat is at the ready.

  12. Hamish

    If a Liberal government is half as incompetant as this Labor government, I would be out with baseball bat too

    They went to the last election promising a new leader a renewal …. promising they will do more for the community…. and then did nothing for 3.5 years

    They have lost complete trust with the community, simple case of a government lying to stay in the office and staying 1 or 2 elections too long

  13. [This probably applies to most NSW state labor politicians. I have had enough of her and her lot. I don’t care if she is arrogant, is apologising, is contrite, is whatever. I’m not listening; the metaphorical baseball bat is at the ready.]

    I am getting a t-shirt with a baseball bat on it printed

  14. Dovif,

    With respect and while I agree that the first two years of this term were only average, I think the past twelve months have been pretty productive for NSW. The metro was rightly scrapped, though at great cost; the light rail is being rolled out; social/environmental things such as a number of new national parks/same-sex adoption has passed parliament; MyZone has been really good for me and I understand a lot of other people who use public transport; NSW remains as the state with the best national school results and hospitals that most frequently meet national benchmarks; Keneally is rightly standing up to Gillard regarding the role of unions in NSW; she got good concessions from the Commonwealth at the COAG Health Reforms; a significant increase of funds have been invested in social housing and the disability sector.

    Given that state governments are essentially charged with delivering services, I maintain that Keneally has done well. Where they have failed has not on the whole been the delivering of services, but that they have continually done stupid things that don’t affect the state (Campbell, McLeay etc), which is the very thing that commercial media in particular thrive off.

    The Libs are quite the opposite, playing small-target politics – no policies, stay out of the public eye. They are truly a miserable lot of visionless north-shore types. People may well bring the baseball bat to the polls, but what they get won’t be any better.

    I’m not saying that the Government has performed miracles, but the fact is that if Jesus ran for NSW Labor people still wouldn’t listen or believe him. It’s the curse of old Government. Sadly, in my opinion, Keneally’s good performance will be washed away with a 16yo legacy.

  15. The most worrying part of this debacle is that presumably it’s quite likely that Labor’s abysmal primary vote in the lower house will be closely matched by an abysmal vote in the upper house, meaning it’s likely that the coalition will likely have an absolute majority in the upper house.

    I sincerely hope that even though people have baseball bats out for Labor in government that they do something creative with their upper house voting.

  16. re my post 8/ dovif @ 15
    you didn’t answer the question……… in terms of party discipline the libs are similar to the Alp…… they just pretend they see things differently. The name Liberal is not a correct description of that party…… conservative or tory is more apt

  17. Not sure if you have all these William, although I think you have covered most-
    From the NSWALP monthly political briefing:
    Bathurst- Dale Turner
    Cabramatta- Nick Lalich
    Londonderry- Allan Shearan
    Menai- Peter Scaysbrook
    Mulgoa- Prue Guillaume
    Riverstone pre-selection after preferences- Chris Quilkey 4, Michael Vassili 20
    Smithfield- Ninos Khoshaba
    The Entrance pre-selection after preferences- David Mehan 28, Peter McCabe 22
    Baulkham Hills -Tony Hay
    Castle Hill – Ryan Tracey
    Clarence – Colin Clague
    Coffs Harbour – David Quinn
    Cronulla – Stefanie Jones
    Hawkesbury – Peter Wicks
    Lismore- Andrew Moy
    Penrith – John Thain
    Pittwater – Pat Boydell
    Ryde – Jerome Laxale
    Vaucluse – Pauline Neill
    Auburn – Barbara Perry
    Blacktown – Awaiting pre-selection on 11/12: Stephen Frost, John Robertson
    Cessnock – Awaiting pre-selection on 11/12: Clayton Barr, Mark Crosdale, James Hawkins
    Fairfield- Guy Zangari
    Gosford – Katie Smith
    Shellharbour – Awating pre-selection on 11/12: Lylea McMahon, John Rumble, Anna Watson
    Wollongong – Noreen Hay
    Lake Macquarie – Marcus Mariani
    Tamworth – Paul Hobbs
    Dubbo – no nominees
    Port Macquarie – no nominees
    Northern Tablelands – No nominees
    Bankstown- Tania Mihailuk
    Newcastle – referred to Federal Executive
    Tooongabbie- referred to Federal Executive

  18. The current Legislative council is:
    Labour – up for election 10: continuing 9: Total 19
    Coalition – 7 : 8: 15
    all others: 4 : 4: 8
    So the coalition will need 14 of the 21 seats up for election to gain a majority or a vote with preferences of the eliminated parties of greater than 63% – it would be an amazing feat but it won’t happen.

  19. Yeah, the main worry is if the Liberals get enough upper house seats that they can form a majority with the Shooters, CDP and Family First. (Speaking of which, how are Gordon Moyes’ chances looking? Does anyone care about that sort of thing?)

    [ Penrith – John Thain ]

    Jeez, that bloke must be a glutton for punishment. If you’re comparing to the by-election result, he might just get Labor’s only positive swing in all of NSW. 😛

  20. This mornings news from the ICAC shows that there is an ever growing stench emanating from the NSW ALP government. Kristina Kenneally could at least demand that the MP resign from parliament and so save the public purse several months worth of salary and entitlements. It is a pity that there will not be a by election so that the people can judge. Perhaps parliament can be recalled so that she can be expelled from the parliament.For all Kristina Kenneally carrying on ab out a new start , she has form in not enforcing standards. I think this morning, those baseball bats went back a bit so that there will be a more force when they swing.

  21. blackburnpseph

    I think you are being infair on KKK.

    After all, the SMH is reporting that she is “arguing that it was not her role” to demand her resignation. KKK is only the Premier. But she is “angry and frustrated”; “serious findings”.

    See comment #4 under heading “self-indulgent drivel”

    [The commission found Ms D’Amore and a staff member Agatha La Manna “engaged in corrupt conduct by falsely claiming sitting day relief payments”.

    It recommends “action be taken against Ms La Manna as a public official with a view to dismissing, dispensing with or otherwise terminating her services”.

    Premier Kristina Keneally says she is “angry and frustrated” by the development.

    While Ms Keneally said she had instructed the Labor Party to suspend Ms D’Amore’s membership, she refused to call for Ms D’Amore’s resignation from Parliament, arguing that it was not her role to do so.

    But she has asked that Labor’s general secretary, Sam Dastyari, not consider Ms D’Amore as a Labor candidate at the March election.

    “These are serious findings,” Ms Keneally said.

    “What I say to the people of Drummoyne is this: I acknowledge that the member for Drummoyne has broken the trust between the community and their elected representative.”

    Ms D’Amore, who is the sister-in-law of retiring Fairfield MP Joe Tripodi, was investigated over signing false expense claims in three periods between August 2006 and June 2007.]

  22. Not such a big deal, since the Libs will almost certainly win Drummoyne in March anyway. Why provoke even more factional bunfights and potentially cause another disastrous by-election when you can quietly let her get booted out in 3 months’ time?

  23. I don’t suppose people could stop calling the Premier KKK? It’s cheap and juvenile.

    Can’t really see what was ‘self-indulgent’ about that piece either, it looks like standard political fodder to me.

    MDM is pretty well spot.

  24. [I don’t care if she is arrogant, is apologising, is contrite, is whatever. I’m not listening; the metaphorical baseball bat is at the ready.]

    So you might feel free to slap “What self-indulgent drivel” on top of anything she says, regardless of its content – perhaps even without making the effort to read it.

  25. MDM

    Agree that Drummoyne will most likely go in March. Am aware that there is no time now for a by election but a resignation would save the taxpayer 4 months salary and probably not disadvantage the people of Drummoyne too much.

  26. Well yes, I have readily admitted to have a decided mind on Keneally/Labor NSW Govt.

    But, the Independent Commission Against Corruption finds that the State Member of Parliament engaged in corrupt conduct and that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should be sought in relation to prosecuting Ms D’Amore for two offences of misconduct in public office, the Premier (it is reported) “refused to call for Ms D’Amore’s resignation from Parliament, arguing that it was not her role to do so“, and that is sort of OK – she can get “quietly let her get booted out in 3 months’ time” and it is “standard political fodder”.

    That is the way to deal with political corruption? Gosh.

  27. So I finally know who my candidates are (I’m actually in Keneally’s seat). We’ve got a Green who came to my attention by writing to my local paper blaming the state Government for not doing enough community consultation for a Botany Bay Council DA – that is currently undergoing community consultation – she seems either completely ill-informed or blatantly trying to mislead the electorate; and a 28 year old Liberal candidate who I read moved to Sydney from Perth 8 weeks ago and lives in Ultimo. Wonder if she’s even been to the electorate? For all people say about MPs in safe seats, the quality of opposition doesn’t exactly help.

  28. Hamish

    Well, if you suggest that MyZone is one of the highlights of this government, it shows how abysmal this government has been, 80% of people did not benefit from the new ticketing system. In fact fares on most line were raised 4 weeks (1/1/10) before the announcement of MyZone, or else 80% of people would pay more under MyZone. I could argue that the govenment cost taxpayers more money by having 2 ticketing prices changes, just so they can sell MyZone better.

    As for the debacle that cost taxpayers $10 million, ie brouchure was printed that record the wrong distance between City and Paramatta. That was just embarrasing, the distance between Parramatta and the City had not change, the fact that State Rail, the Government both somehow got the distance wrong, shows the total incompetence of this government

    As for standing up to the unions in NSW, the electrical union of NSW seems to control the parliamentary party, the fact that NSW ALP could not sell the electricity generators is laughable. If we sold them 10 years earlier (like Victoria), we would have got $10 Billion more, enough to build the NW railroad, key infrastructure that the state need that support population growth, keep car off the street, and create job

    As for the 11th Transport blueprint started by Kennelly, considered that nothing came of the first 10, and taxpayer had paid about $20 million on those blueprints. Maybe they should have gotten me to do the blueprint for $1. How hard is it to tell the truth? “NSW ALP plans on doing nothing for the next 4 years”, it is better than announcing the NW Railroad for the 10th time.

    As for the give her a chance, she will be better the next 4 years, it might have worked except they tried it with Iemma, Reese etc already and nothing has change

    This has quite simply been one of the worst government in Australian history, costing taxpayer billions of dollar, everything they seem to do had been bad. Whether it is stuffing up the blueprint of the Bathhurst and Orange(?) hospital, getting sued by the operators of the Xcity tunnell, whose owner vowed to never do business in Australia against. Or deciding to build the M5 as a 2 lane road, when the RTA told them that 3 lanes were needed, which causes mass congestions on the M5 and Southern Cross Drive.

    People of NSW will be out with baseball bats, and it won’t be because this government is old, it is because this govenment is incompetant

  29. I disagree.

    MyZone has been a success and has cut prices for most commuters. That there was a cpi increase a few weeks before is beside the point.

    A printing error is hardly justification to throw out a government.

    Your assertion that Labor is run by the ETU is just strange. Don’t forget that it was in fact the Libs that blocked the sale of NSW’s energy generators, that now remain a liability to the public purse.

    Your other accusations about too many blueprints and relatively minor issues with roads are poor examples and typical bluster; similar things happen to all old governments. They were mistakes, yes, but those things happen in a public service.

    Nonetheless, I do take your point Dovif and understand that most media commentators take the same view. Given the coverage, it’s hard not to. But, again, with respect, I disagree and, more to the point, I think the Lib team is completely visionless and will be worse for NSW.

  30. [ Penrith – John Thain

    Jeez, that bloke must be a glutton for punishment. If you’re comparing to the by-election result, he might just get Labor’s only positive swing in all of NSW]

    I have briefly met John Thain. Seems to be a lovely guy.

    But his opponent also is lovely- and doesn’t come from the corrupt side.

    I wonder (out loud) if it is OK (defamaation wise) to call them the ‘corrupt’ side. I guess given how many MPs have been found corrupt by ICAC, then it is OK.

  31. New Antony Green post here, on rats and sinking ships:

    [ The 2011 NSW election is set to see a record number of MPs retire from the Legislative Assembly, and depending on the result, could also see a record number of new MPs.

    So far 24 MPs have announced they will not re-contest their seats at the 2011 election, 17 Labor MPs, 5 Liberals and 2 Nationals. There are also 3 Upper House Labor’s MPs retiring, and a 25th lower house MP seems certain to pull the plug. Labor has announced it will not re-endorse the sitting Labor MP for Drummoyne, Angela D’Amore, who has recently had an adverse finding made against her by the ICAC. More than a third of Labor’s lower house MPs will not be contesting the election. ]

    I’m guessing when he says MP, he means MLA – slightly confusing. 18 Labor MLA’s is a hell of a lot, out of only about 50.

    Also, via a quick Wikipedia search, I just saw Angela D’Amore has been kicked out of the ALP, so now sits as an independent. If she runs for Drummoyne against the official Labor candidate, with OPV and the left-wing vote getting split three ways (including the Greens), Labor are gonna get exterminated there. 20% swing, maybe?

    Also, Tanya Gadiel is yet another to quit lately (#19 according to the Australian – it’s easy to lose count). Not sure if that’s been mentioned here yet.

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