Double dissolution (maybe) minus 12 weeks

Weekend preselections have delivered a series of disappointments for religious conservatives in Western Australia and Queensland.

As best as I can tell, we have a lean weak ahead for opinion polling (at federal level, at least), as media outlets hold their fire ahead of the resumption of parliament next week. In lieu of that then, here’s a fresh new post-about-nothing – except perhaps for the following preselection news of the past 24 hours:

• The WA Liberals’ state council has overturned the result of last weekend’s local preselection vote in the new seat of Burt, at which Liz Storer, a Gosnells councillor linked to a rising religious conservative faction centred around state upper house MP Nick Goiran, defeated Matt O’Sullivan, who runs mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s GenerationOne indigenous employment scheme. Gareth Parker of The West Australian reports that state council will now determine the matter for itself, on the basis that the 25 branch delegates that determined the vote were insufficient in number. State council otherwise confirmed last week’s locally selected candidates, including Ben Morton who has deposed Dennis Jensen in Tangney. Also decided was a fiercely contested preselection for the state seat of Bateman, in which members of neighbouring seats sought the safer of two berths as set by the redistribution. This resulted in a victory for Dean Nalder, Transport Minister and member for abolished Alfred Cove, over the existing member for Bateman, Matt Taylor. Like the decision in Burt, this represented a defeat for the Goiran faction.

• The Toowoomba-based seat of Groom will be contested for the Liberal National Party by state MP John McVeigh, who won a preselection vote yesterday ahead of David van Gend, a local general practitioner noted for socially conservative views. This will necessitate a by-election in McVeigh’s state seat of Toowoomba South, which McVeigh held on a margin of 8.9%.

• Another important Liberal National Party preselection will be held today in Wide Bay, the seat of retiring former Nationals leader Warren Truss. The candidates are Damien Massingham, chief executive of Tourism Noosa; Tim Langmead, director of external relations at Fortescue Metals; and Llew O’Brien, a police officer. Steven Scott of the Courier-Mail reports Massingham is supported mostly by Liberals, and in particular by Attorney-General George Brandis; Langmead’s backers include Matthias Cormann, along with Fortescue Metals boss Andrew Forrest; and O’Brien is (ahem) supported by Truss.

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.

1,113 comments on “Double dissolution (maybe) minus 12 weeks”

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  1. After watching Australian Story on the Port Arthur massacre, I am tears again. At the time I avoided all news sites, newspapers and radio reports so much of the nitty gritty of the events is new to me. I knew I did not have the mental strength to cope with it, and I feel so bad for the survivors who, as can be expected, are still in physical and mental pain from it.

    I would be happy if there were no guns of any sort except for registered sport target shooters and farmers who could have a single shot .22 rifle for dispatching feral animals and injured stock.

    If people reckon shooting is a fun hobby, do it on a computer. They can shoot what they like there.

  2. [Well looking on the positive side, BBishop being re-elected means a much needed woman in the partyroom!]

    Dick Smith will be interested to hear he’s a woman and will be sitting in the Liberal partyroom

  3. I wonder if we ask Mr Bowe nicely would he issue all the Poll Bludgers with LNP Policy bingo cards?

    What are some of the entries? Multi Function Polis, an IPA Policy School on an Australian University campus? What others can you think of?

    I am open to suggestions for the prize(s).

    Come on bludgers, get those ideas rolling in 🙂


  4. [887
    Greensborough Growler


    The best outcome for Labor is for Bronnie to triumph.]

    The best result would be for BB to run for Liberals and lose to an Independent in the election.

  5. In SA, Labor must be a bit worried about Mr X. Butler has come out against SA Labor’s suicidal Transforming Health “reforms”. He did this shortly after the Mr X candidate came out supporting the Save the QEH campaign. It has made things very difficult for Snelling who is now extremely isolated.

  6. C@tmomma @872:


    Coming. Apart. At. The. Seams.]

    It’s very telling that nearly every position the government takes lately winds up with a slew of backbenchers publicly going against the party line.

    If its like this now, just imagine how shambolic things will get during the general chaos of an election campaign!

  7. I see that the ads have started. The Australian Government promoting some waffle about innovation (I’m sure that the timing is a coincidence), while the Australian Education Union is urging us to help save the Gonsli reforms.

  8. Diogenes @910
    Rubbish I was at the same state conventions as butler where he voted for transforming health he now has concerns about and just because your comrades in the medical union say Snelling is isolated doesn’t make it so. Transforming health will proceed.

  9. briefly,

    An even betterer outcome would be for the Labor candidate to win.

    However, WTF we would do with the seat once we won it would be a challenge.

  10. We have had nearly three years of Government that is confused, divided and unfocussed. Running PR campaigns now that are vague, uninspiring and more confusing does not help the Government.

    Let them run!

  11. dtt, 900

    Unfortunately QLD is OPV so it doesn’t count. Else we could count Noosa and a whole host of Northern Sydney seats too (as well as, of course, Lismore and Ballina).

  12. Re. MacKellar, if I recall what I read on the weekend, in a 3 way contest with ~100 votes BB one of the other contenders (Walter V I believe) are on 30 and the other candidate on 15-20.
    Bishop has picked up numbers in the last week.

  13. Maybe this is the Fairfax equivalent of a Newscrap tabloid ‘outrage’ story stoking class warfare over the fantastic benefits and conditions enjoyed by welfare recipients / asylum seekers / prisoners / other group targeted for demonisation – taxpayer subsudies for elite private schools:

    But this is a balanced article with some interesting information, for example:

    [“According to the NSW Department of Education it costs taxpayers $17,000 a year to educate the average public high school student, while taxpayers contribute about half that for each private school student. Sydney’s wealthiest schools charge parents up to $30,000 a year in school fees.”]

    Parents have a right to choose private education for their children. However, they don’t have a right to have, as a well known (and colourful) Liberal identity put it, their “lifestyle choices” subsidised.

  14. Labour has stepped up demands for an independent inquiry into the Panama Papers leak after it emerged the head of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was previously a partner at a law firm which represented a number of offshore companies – including Blairmore Holdings, the fund set up by David Cameron’s father.

    HMRC has been given in a lead role in the £10 million taskforce launched by Mr Cameron to investigate allegations of wrongdoing linked to the Panama Papers leak of more than 11 million files from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

    Edward Troup, the new executive chairman of HMRC, is a former partner at Simmons & Simmons, whose clients have included the Panama-registered fund created by the Prime Minister’s father Ian, the Guardian reported.

  15. Neat appointment by Cameron, who better to head the body charged with catching tax dodgers than the lawyer who gave advice to tax dodgers…. at least he knows how the system works.

  16. Agricultural businesses run with high debt, always have always will it is the nature of the business consequently it takes only a couple of hard seasons for farmers to go to the wall, and many of them do and the one’s that don’t live there lives under the burden of high debt, they are always aware of it and debt is always on there minds. In National party territory Banks are hated, the nature of banks is that they see things in black and white and do not have a good understand of seasonal variances and the issues farmers face. The back benches that are supporting the Banking RC have won thing in common they are all rural seats this is not the usual disunity that has been happening, these members are just supporting there constitutes. It is a Coalition and differences of opinion are expected this is not part of the disunity that has occurred since Turnbull took over.

  17. Bill Shorten’s eulogy at the graveside of Bob Ellis..

    [To all the members of Bob’s remarkable family that he loved so much, thank you for sharing him with the rest of us.

    Oh, how I will miss Bob’s one-sentence emails – and his three page emails.

    Sometimes sent miraculously seconds after a press conference or a parliamentary debate.

    I will miss his unflinching support and loyalty.

    I will miss his advice – but also his ability to listen – to lend an ear and share what he called ‘night thoughts’.

    I will miss his unerring knack for saying something wickedly, shamefully, brilliantly, impossibly rude about our opponents – past and present.

    In fact, if I had a dollar for every killer line Bob had sent me over my years in politics, I’d almost be able to afford the legal costs of using them.

  18. [924

    Once again Labor has put forward a proposal that not only resonates with the electorate but also exposes divisions of opinion in the LNP. The contrast could not be clearer. Labor speaks with one voice to the wide public. The LNP speak at cross purposes with one another.

  19. And, bloody hell, the whole concept of derivatives trading was develop in the context of crop futures contracts, which were intended to allow farmers to mitigate their risk. The first standardised as market tradable futures contracts were for grain in Chicago.

    Farmers pretend to not know how to handle variability in output, but they do know how moral hazard works.

  20. @RaaRaa #806

    In the old days, they would say “too many chiefs, not enough Indians”. Not sure if that is un-PC these days, so I tend to say, “too many chef, not enough wait staff”.

    How about “Too many leaners, not enough lifters” ?

  21. QandA needs another place on the panel for political members of parliament who are not the Labor or Liberal party. Not just every so often. There are plenty of state: Greens; Ex Pup; conservative independents; and progressive independents to fill such a position.

    Instead we just got blame Labor or not as tax debate a third voice would have kept the debate fully on the issue not the major party blame game.

  22. No Jackal I said it was politically motivated. What is it about the left and exaggeration it is in nearly every sentence of a more than a few here.

  23. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade backs up the claims made in the OECD report. “Australia provides agricultural produce to world markets without the high levels of financial support, protection and other trade-distorting practices used by some countries,” it said. “This has resulted in Australia being one of the world’s most efficient agricultural producers.

  24. MolksTVTalk: Between him calling Emma “Anna” & Cliev stating the team at @BetootaAdvocate were fine journalists this i/view has had EVERYTHING. #Lateline

  25. Steelyday an 937

    The ‘efficiency’ and lack of financial support that you speak of is one of the reason our farmland ends up being sold to the Chinese and other foreign entities.

    Our farmers deserve the support they need, to be protected from predatory banks and protected from cheap, sub-par dumped produce.

    We are looking at an Australia that won’t own its own farms and has no manufacturing or food processing. Just real estate & retail – what a lucky country.

  26. [Just real estate & retail – what a lucky country.]

    Don’t forget dry-cleaning. We can always do each other’s dry-cleaning.

  27. [ It is a Coalition and differences of opinion are expected this is not part of the disunity that has occurred since Turnbull took over. ]

    Who cares? It LOOKS like disunity and further undermining of the Liberal leadership which in the run up to an election is a good thing. Remember SteamSteely, the main game for us “lefties” in 2016 is regime change.

    The fact that the ALP would come into Govt with actual policies and a program for governance is not something i would expect you to understand anyway, but it IS actually a good thing so dont you worry about that. 🙂

    Also, it just so happens that an RC into the Financial Services Industry (hmmmmm…and maybe even foundations and “charitable trusts” that get used as vehicles for dodgy dealings????? ) is actually well overdue and good policy. Bit of liposuction on the fat cats…good for their health. 🙂

  28. Those who have prsided over or encouraged the collapse of Australia’s manaufacturing industry are guilty of TREASON.

    Talk all the economic mumbo jumbo you like, the reult puts Austalia as a nation at risk.

    Is the penalty for treason still hanging, drawing and quartering. Hope so. Should be a real Madame Defarge witnessing as all IPA and 95% of university econpomists are so treated. Big Jo too.

  29. [946
    Bushfire Bill

    Just real estate & retail – what a lucky country.

    Don’t forget dry-cleaning. We can always do each other’s dry-cleaning.]

    And that staple, surf-life-saving.

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