Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Amid all the chaos attendant to the leadership change, another round of major Labor preselections looms.

UPDATE (ReachTEL): ReachTEL, which had the Coalition ahead 58-42 in its last federal poll on May 3, has published an automated phone poll of 3018 respondents which has it down to 52-48, from primary votes of 38.3% for Labor, 44.1% for the Coalition and 8.7% for the Greens. As noted by Possum, extrapolation of state breakdowns produces a slight Labor majority on seats, thanks to the yield to be gained from a swing to Labor in Queensland. Kevin Rudd leads Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister 51.6-48.4, with Abbott leading Julia Gillard 59.4-40.6. Views on the leadership change are finely split, with 44.1% agreeing and 42.4% disagreeing. A clear majority (56.9% to 30.2%) still believe Labor cannot win the election.

Roy Morgan offers state breakdowns on the no doubt over-analysed SMS poll it conducted immediately after Wednesday evening’s leadership vote, showing Labor’s two-party vote at 47.5% in New South Wales, 49.5% in Victoria, 51.5% in Queensland, 41% in Western Australia, 50% in South Australia and 63% in Tasmania (off progressively less convincing samples). It also provides rare state breakdowns from the multi-mode poll published on Monday, which you can observe by following the link.

In addition to the turmoil evident at the macro level, the week’s upheaval has transformed a number of contests at the electorate level:

Lalor (Labor 22.2%): Julia Gillard’s exit from politics creates yet another Labor vacancy in a plum Melbourne seat, in this case the electorate covering Werribee and Melton in western Melbourne. The Australian reports that factional and affirmative action considerations mean the seat is very likely to go to a woman from the Right. According to a Fairfax report, a “highly likely” nominee is Kimberley Kitching, a former Melbourne City councillor currently tasked with restoring order to the Health Services Union No. 1 branch as its acting general manager. Kitching is also “wife of notorious blogger Andrew Landeryou and a close ally of Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten”, and an unsuccessful candidate for the preselection to replace Nicola Roxon in Gellibrand in April. Fairfax reports that while Shorten “may” back Kitching, Conroy “could back another candidate”, as he did in Gellibrand. That could be Peter Khalil, “a former policy adviser during Kevin Rudd’s first period as Prime Minister and now director of corporate affairs at SBS”. Others mentioned are Hobsons Bay deputy mayor Luba Grigorovitch, a possible starter from the Left, and Katie Hall, the unsuccessful Roxon-backed candidate in Gellibrand.

Perth (Labor 5.8%): Yesterday’s retirement announcement by Stephen Smith created a vacancy in the least unsafe of Labor’s three WA seats. Early talk of possible nominees has included Tim Hammond, a Slater & Gordon lawyer who ran unsuccessfully for Swan in 2010, and Matt Keogh, vice-president of the Law Society of WA. Perhaps more speculatively, there are suggestions the opening might be of interest to state Shadow Treasurer Ben Wyatt, whose uncle Ken Wyatt is the Liberal member for the neighbouring seat of Hasluck, and Alannah MacTiernan, the former senior state government minister and unsuccessful federal candidate for Canning in 2010. MacTiernan called on Julia Gillard to resign on the night of Labor’s heavy defeat at the state election in March.

Rankin (Labor 5.4%): Craig Emerson’s exit creates a rare opening for aspiring Labor hopefuls in Queensland, in this case for a southern Brisbane seat which the party will be a lot more optimistic about now the local favourite is back in The Lodge. Tony Moore of Fairfax reports the contenders are likely to include Jim Chalmers, executive director of the Chifley Research Centre and a former adviser to Wayne Swan, and Barbara Stone, who held the state seat of Springwood from 2001 until her defeat at the March 2012 state election. The Australian also mentions Linus Power, a former adviser to Kevin Rudd who ran unsuccessfully in what had appeared to be the safe seat of Logan at the state election.

Kingsford Smith (Labor 5.2%): Peter Garrett is bringing down the curtain on a three-term parliamentary career as member for the electorate centred around Maroubra in southern coastal Sydney. Ean Higgins of The Australian reports Senator Matt Thistlethwaite might see the vacancy as an opportunity to switch houses. Bob Carr and Kristina Keneally, whose old state electorates wholly or largely corresponded with the seat, quickly scotched any suggestions that they might be interested. Carr’s successor as member for Maroubra, Michael Daley, is being “touted” for a possible move to the federal seat, while Keneally’s husband, Botany mayor Ben Keneally, has ruled himself out.

New England (Independent 16.8%) and Lyne (Independent 12.4%): The morning of the leadership change began with the unrelated dramas of Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott announcing they would not seek re-election after a term spent contentiously propping up a minority government unpopular with their own constituents. That presumably clears the way for the respective Nationals candidates, Barnaby Joyce and David Gillespie, to straightforward victories at the coming election.

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.

1,425 comments on “Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on”

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  1. Morning all. A quick look in. A zillion things I would like to say. Starting this morning, coincidentally?

    ABC’s Business interview with Michael Malone of IInet and his start up and success.

    Later and I as it happened, the assinine Abbott and declaring for his very own tech head.


    Sarah Robert’s gem at 1236 will do for now. Exactly in my mind at end of day.

    Michaelia Cash. An impressive contender for the current title holder, Mary Jo Fisher.

    And the other in my mind. Beautiful, Sarah.! Did not imagine they would dream of trotting him out. But Fantastic! To quote you.

    ‘But, I did manage to catch Matthias Cormann.

    Fair dinkum, he was so irate a translator was desperately required.

    It went like: something something . . .. .xxx xx batts, l. . . . debt. . . . *up a notch higher* . . . xxx xxx . . . live cattle . . .

  2. BEMUSED 1399
    GREAT STUFF You have summed it up well

    The media is now in Rudd’s hands..and one waits for a new statement every few hours…on Pensions for single parents/a referendum on Same Sex Marriage/whatever

    The shock of Abbott and Co is very amusing to watch and even tonight we had Lord Downer of Cyprus wheeled out from his Stately Home in the Adelaide Hills to speak about the coming war with Indonesia.
    .Now Rudd is to make a quick trip to Jakarta …amazing stuff…and all this against a background of polls which will panic the Libs…..
    and the story that Turnbull invented the Internet is pure Al Gore
    one couldn’t make this up

    BTW is there any word of our lost friend GG

    One hopes he’s OK

  3. Psephos
    [That doesn’t mean that the rest of the world can use us as a dumping ground for unwanted people.]

    I never cease to be amazed at the levels to which a Labor insider can sink these days. You are a disgrace.

  4. pedant@1026

    While we are on the subject of MIAs, has anything been heard of Mr Bushfire Bill? I would be interested to read his take on things.

    Maybe his head exploded?
    Or is he off sulking at his echo-chamber blog?
    Either way, I am not missing that bloviating charlatan.

  5. Yes. There are a few missing PBer new right types since the action against the hollow wing. They should have known it would come to this. Several of us with insight into the party have been saying it for 3 years.

  6. Seems Rudd as changed the narrative and focus on boat people issue. Now it is about Abbott policy and its risks. Now they are complaining about Rudd going too far, which is fine, since the focus has now shifted.

    Coming from anybody else Rudd’s comments would come in for some ridicule maybe. But the public see Rudd as intelligent, and a FA guru so they will at least listen to his comments rather blow them off as pure fear mongering. Listen long enough to get maybe get the reason behind the comments, especially as Abbott’s policy now has to be talked about in trying to defend against Rudd.

    Rudd goes to Indonesia shortly, will come out all smiling and hand shaking, so the Coalition wont be able to rant about Rudd and Indonesia.

    Plus he may come out saying he assured Indonesia that Aust would always respect Indonesian waters and guarantee Aust wont be dragging boat people into Inon etc..

    He will no doubt make a good dovetail between what he has and will say here and what he does in Indonesia.

  7. I would leave comments about other bloggers alone…unless they attack you…or unless they are The Finnegans…where you are granted one comment.. 🙂

  8. j.v.

    I never cease to be amazed at the levels to which a Labor insider can sink these days. You are a disgrace.

    Labor has always been such a charming party in the past.

  9. Having spent the evening with a mate who is a country town mayor in CSG territory (NSW),
    I have much more knowledge of coal seam gas politics, and a lot of sympathy for him. This stuff is changing everything across huge areas.

  10. My work-life balance is currently stuffed, and going back to work tomorrow morning, even in mainly a volunteer capacity, is again at this hour making me already feel exhausted in advance.

    But – I did just catch the news of the grenade that Rudd tossed at the Opposition today and it has made me smile. Or smirk!

    I once met a guy who had fought in the “Konfrontasi” and he was always a little bemused by veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars saying that they were forgotten by the Australian people.

  11. jaundiced view

    “I never cease to be amazed at the levels to which a Labor insider can sink these days. You are a disgrace.”

    Rudd will be saying pretty much the same thing as Psephos soon as he cannot hide behind Carr forever. Brace yourself.:)

  12. Rocket Rocket

    I imagine that there are many things which have and will happen. For our light and dark delicitation.

    Smile is nice, smirk is delicious.

    Take good care, Rocket Rocket. Must you go?

  13. Seriously, hands up anyone who thinks Rudd is going to be kinder to asylum seekers on boats than Gillard was.


    The left has comprehensively lost this battle of ideas and if you think Rudd is going to sacrifice his chances of election for boatloads of non-voters you’re sorely mistaken.

  14. Since the tone of the debate has changed I did want to make a suggestion to what I always thought the campaign ads should be:

    They say negative ads still work without paying any attention to
    i) the extreme cynicism throughout the public
    ii) the ability of social media to quickly contradict/oppose any spin

    So, I would simply have Tony Abbott in his own words; no horror movie music, no black and white vision etc. just vision of Tony Abbott plainly saying “don’t believe everything I say” or other quotes, from “Battlelines” for eg.

    Perhaps with the kicker, if possible, “Spoken by Tony Abbott, for the Australian Labor Party, Canberra”.

  15. Anyone else feeling back in the game? 🙂

    [A Fairfax ReachTEL poll conducted on Thursday found a turnaround of about 10 per cent for Labor in four key seats – Melbourne’s Maribyrnong and Chisholm and Sydney’s McMahon and Blaxland – since Mr Rudd regained the top job.

    The poll showed that Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten had climbed back to an 8.6per cent two-party preferred lead in his electorate of Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s west. Mr Shorten controversially shifted his support from Ms Gillard to Mr Rudd at the last minute in the leadership showdown.In Chisholm, Speaker Anna Burke was ahead 55.2 to 44.8.

    The poll suggested the leadership change has impressed enough Labor heartland voters in western Sydney to save key Rudd backer and new Treasurer Chris Bowen and rising star Jason Clare, the Home Affairs Minister who holds Paul Keating’s old seat of Blaxland.]


  16. [
    Sean Tisme
    Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    How is Rudd going to:

    1. Stop the Boats

    2. Fix the Carbon Tax

    3. Fix the Mining Tax

    4. Bring the surplus back to black

    5. Stop Union corruption


    Well look at that, one of the slogens is more than three words.

  17. BT:

    [And it seems he used the wrong form of “its” too. Fran Barlow won’t be impressed.]

    I noted this at the time, though as its a tweet, this could be an auto-correct mistake that slipped through unproofed.

    Go to spare parts at Ikea, Rhodes and see the same mistake in a sign that was produced through artwork and is presumably available in all Australian stores.

    Yes, I did complain.

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