Highlights of days three and four

Pre-election High Court action, reports of a Labor surge in the Melbourne seat of Dunkley, Labor’s candidate crisis in Fremantle, and a closer look at Labor’s now-finalised Senate tickets.

Noteworthy developments since my last federal election post 24 hours ago:

• Ahead of the High Court’s ruling on Senator Bob Day’s challenge to the constitutionality of Senate electoral reform, to be delivered at 10am today, Jeremy Gans at the University of Melbourne portends its rejection. Gans notes the court has failed to issue orders in advance of written reasons, as it likely would have done if its ruling was anything the Australian Electoral Commission needed to know about.

• Another, less publicised election-related High Court challenge met an unsuccessful conclusion last night, with the rejection of a bid to keep the electoral roll open beyond its scheduled close of 8pm on Monday. The challenge sought to build on the High Court’s ruling during the 2010 campaign which invalidated Howard-era amendments that closed the roll to new enrolments on the evening the writs were issued, and to updating of addresses three days subsequently.

• A report by Rick Wallace of The Australian talks up Labor’s prospects in the Liberal-held outer Melbourne seat of Dunkley. The seat is being vacated with the retirement of Liberal member Bruce Billson, who narrowly retained it through the Rudd-Gillard years and bequeaths a 5.6% margin to the new Liberal candidate, Chris Crewther. According to Labor sources cited in the report, “one recent sample of a tracking poll in the southeast Melbourne seat had the ALP in front 52-48 per cent after preferences” – though based on what I know of tracking polling, the sample in question would have been about 200. Nonetheless, the Prime Minister is taking the seat seriously enough that he campaigned there yesterday. Notwithstanding Labor’s apparently strong show in this seat, the report also relates that concerns remain about the Melbourne seats of Chisholm and Bruce, where Labor is losing sitting members with the retirements of Anna Burke and Alan Griffin.

• The Australian’s report also says the Nationals are “increasingly optimistic” that their candidate for the seat of Murray, state upper house MP Damian Drum, will win the rural seat of Murray, which is being vacated with the retirement of Liberal member Sharman Stone. However, Labor is said to be dangling a carrot before the Liberals by offering to direct preferences to their candidate ahead of Drum, in exchange for the Liberals dropping their plans to preference the Greens ahead of Labor in the inner northern Melbourne seat of Wills.

• Labor has a new candidate for Fremantle following the disendorsement of Maritime Union of Australia organiser Chris Brown, who failed to disclose past convictions on his candidate nomination form. The national executive convened yesterday to replace him with Josh Wilson, deputy mayor of Fremantle and a staffer for the seat’s outgoing member, Melissa Parke. Brown won the initial preselection through the support of the Left unions on the party’s state executive, despite Wilson defeating him by a 155-110 margin in the ballot of the local membership. On Tuesday it emerged that Brown had spent convictions dating from his late teenage years for assaulting a police officer and driving under the influence. Brown claims to have raised the matter with party officials in April, only to be told spent convictions did not have to be disclosed (although the question on the nomination form is whether the prospective candidate has “ever been found guilty of any offence”). He also claimed his contact with the police officer arose accidentally while he was defending himself from an unprovoked attack by three assailants, and said the court had recognised mitigating circumstances when it gave him a good behaviour bond. I had a lot more to say about this in a paywalled article in Crikey today. One of the issues dealt with was the notion that Labor’s troubles might cause the seat to fall to the Greens, despite their modest 11.9% share of the vote in 2013. While the Greens were sufficiently strong in the immediate vicinity of Fremantle to win the state seat at a by-election in 2009, support for the party is a good deal lower on those parts of the federal electorate not covered by the state seat. This is indicated by the map below, which shows federal boundaries in red and state boundaries in blue, with numbers indicating polling booth locations and the Greens primary vote.


• Labor’s national executive has signed off on its Senate preselections today, capping a process that has produced two particularly contentious outcomes: the return of Don Farrell in second position in South Australia, and the sixth placing given to incumbent Lisa Singh in Tasmania. In turn:

New South Wales: 1. Sam Dastyari (Right), factional powerbroker and former general secretary of the state party branch, who filled the casual vacancy created when his predecessor as general secretary, Matt Thistlethwaite, moved to the lower house seat of Kingsford Smith at the 2013 election; 2. Jenny McAllister (Left), former party national president and technical director of a civil engineering firm, who came to the Senate in May last year in place of John Faulkner; 3. Deborah O’Neill (Right), member for the Central Coast seat of Robertson from 2010 until her defeat in 2013, who filled Bob Carr’s Senate vacancy in November 2013; 4. Doug Cameron (Left), former Australian Manufacturing Workers Union national secretary who was elected from number two in 2007 and 2013; 5. Tara Moriarty (Right), state secretary of United Voice.

Victoria: 1. Kim Carr (Left), leading figure in the Victorian Left, elected from number two in 1993 and 1998, and number one in 2004 and 2010; 2. Stephen Conroy (Right), an ally of Bill Shorten’s in the dominant sub-faction of the Victorian Right, who filled a casual vacancy in 1996, held top position in 1998, then second position in 2004 and 2010; 3. Jacinta Collins (Right), a former official with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association who entered the Senate in 1995, lost her seat from the number three position at the 2004 election after the party’s preference deal with Family First backfired (ironically, given her renown as a social conservative), won it back from top position in 2007, and held second position in 2013; 4. Gavin Marshall (Left), former Electrical Trades Union official who entered the Senate in 2002, and had top position in 2013; 5. Jennifer Yang (unaligned), scientist and former mayor of Manningham who unsuccessfully sought preselection for the lower house seat of Chisholm, and ran for the state seat of Mount Waverley in 2014; 6. Louise Persse (Left, I assume), former national secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union.

Queensland: 1. Murray Watt (Left), Maurice Blackburn lawyer and state member for Everton from 2009 until his defeat in the cleanout of 2012, who last year defeated incumbent Jan McLucas to win the Left’s endorsement for top position on the half-Senate ticket; 2. Anthony Chisholm (Right), former party state secretary who last year won Right endorsement to succeed Joe Ludwig after he announced he would not seek another term; 3. Claire Moore (Left), who was first elected in 2001 and held second position on the ticket in 2001, 2007 and 2013; 4. Chris Ketter (Right), former state secretary of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, who was first elected from top of the ticket in 2013; 5. Jane Casey, who I can’t tell you much about, except that she’s fron Mackay.

Western Australia: 1. Sue Lines (Left), former assistant national secretary of United Voice, who filled Chris Evans’ Senate vacancy in May 2013; 2. Glenn Sterle (Right), former Transport Workers Union organiser, elected from number two in 2004 and 2010; 3. Pat Dodson (unaligned), indigenous leader and former Roman Catholic priest, anointed by Bill Shorten to fill Joe Bullock’s Senate vacancy in March, which he eventually filled a fortnight ago; 4. Louise Pratt (Left), state upper house member from 2001 and 2007, elected to the Senate from top of the ticket in 2007, then relegated to what proved to be the losing proposition of number two in 2013; 5. Mark Reed (Left), director of campaigns and communications at United Voice.

South Australia: 1. Penny Wong (Left), the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, first elected from top of the ticket in 2001, relegated to number two in 2007, and promoted to number one only after a backlash against Don Farrell’s initial preselection win in 2013; 2. Don Farrell (Right), former state secretary and national president of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union, elected to the Senate from number one in 2007, then voluntarily bumped to number two in 2013 (see above), from which he was unexpectedly defeated; 3. Alex Gallacher (Right), former state secretary of the Transport Workers Union, elected from top of the ticket in 2010; 4. Anne McEwen (Left), former state secretary of the Australian Services Union, elected from number on 2004, re-elected from number two in 2010, and now shunted to number four to accommodate Farrell; 5. Michael Allison (not known), network controller for SA Power Networks and delegate for the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union.

Tasmania: 1. Anne Urquhart (Left), former state secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, first elected from number two in 2010; 2. Helen Polley (Right), former staffer to Premiers Jim Bacon and Paul Lennon, first elected from number two in 2004, re-elected from number two in 2010; 3. Carol Brown (Left), who filled a casual vacancy in August 2005, was elected from number two in 2007, and re-elected from number one in 2013; 4. Catryna Bilyk (Right), a former state political staffer, elected from number three in 2007 and number two in 2013; 5. John Short (Left), state secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; 6. Lisa Singh (Left), elected to the state lower house in Denison at the 2006 election, defeated in 2010, and elected to the Senate from third position in 2013, then contentiously dumped to fourth position at the half-Senate preselection in June last year.

Australian Capital Territory: 1. Katy Gallagher (Left), the territory’s Chief Minister from 2011 until her resignation in 2014, when she resigned pending her transfer to Senate in March 2015 on the retirement of Kate Lundy.

Northern Territory: 1. Nova Peris, former Olympic hockey player and sprinter, who was installed as candidate at the 2013 on the insistence of then Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the expense of the incumbent, Trish Crossin.

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.

862 comments on “Highlights of days three and four”

Comments Page 1 of 18
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  1. Will it be possible for those who don’t subscribe to pay TV to view tonight’s debate in full anywhere?

  2. I’ve just seen the bits the ABC have of Credlin last night on Sky.

    She blitzkrieged Turnbull. ‘Mr Harbour Side Mansion’.

  3. Youse know it makes sense… at least the Tele:

    Buyers AND sellers ‘WORSE off under Labor’
    FEDERAL ELECTION 2016: THE real estate industry has officially declared war on Bill Shorten over negative gearing in what could be a repeat of the mining tax campaign that helped kill off Kevin Rudd

    If you sell you’ll get less. And if you buy you’ll pay more.

    How could Labor manage to do both?

    I dunno. I didn’t read it.

  4. Turnbot’s sorties into actual electorates have not gone so well….first the stuff-up in Penrith and then being accosted by Melinda in Dunkley. He’s no natural street-level campaigner…far from it.

  5. I am being required to login with monotonous regularity.

    Luckily chrome keeps the name and password in its cache.

    Is this happening to anyone else?

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Lots of good stuff today.

    Credlin fires her first retributive shot at Turnbull and his minders writs Mark Kenny.
    Shorten unveils his secret campaign weapon – Chloe. Meanwhile the seemingly cold and distant Lucy disappeared from the scene. There is a genuineness of a loving relationship on show between Bill and Chloe that stage management just can’t buy.
    As our kids fall further and further behind the rest of the world on STEM subjects Labor pledges $400m to develop better teachers.
    Jess Irvine wonders which of the two party policies will better boost the economy. Labor’s education push comes out on top.
    Mark Kenny examines them in a different way.
    Michelle Grattan looks at the first week of campaigning.
    This industrial relations lawyer reckons Turnbull’s internship program will create a new working underclass. And he may well be breaking the law!
    This SMH editorial looks at climate change policies. It says that Turnbull must silence the deniers and move towards a carbon pricing model.
    Laura Tingle hopes this election being, so far, fought on policy grounds will lead to better journalism.
    The Grattan Institute’s modelling shows the Coalition’s company tax reductions will have a miniscule effect on GNP.
    “View from the Street” on Turnbull’s problem with the Panama papers. The PaTH program gets a serve too.

  7. Section 2 . . .

    Greg Jericho says you’re not a “bludger” if you pay no net tax.
    The pursuit of Duncan Storrar reveals the savagery of class warfare in Australia. Regardless of what sort of a person he is, what he said on Q and A stands. As do the disgraceful efforts of O’Bigmouth and Willox. The Australian and other Murdoch rags are still at it today.
    Josh Gordon broadly agrees with my comment.
    How Turnbull cashed in on the Panama registered Star Mining.
    The ACCC is having another close look at Coles’ petrol pricing.
    Alan Fels writes that the outlook now for aggrieved 7-Eleven employees is grim.
    7-Eleven is not the only nasty company to whom a blind eye has been turned.
    Oh dear! Defence Department people have been sprung abusing credit cards over the last three years.
    I have no idea where this dispute over milk pricing is going to end.
    Here’s the Australian Twitter Index for April 2016.

  8. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Mike Baird fires the gun as he sacks 42 councils and draws fire for “tracsing local democracy”.
    Elizabeth Warren is turning out to be a good foil against Trump.
    Waleed Aly writes on the false authenticity that Trump is trying to sell.

    Ron Tandberg on milk pricing.

    Tandberg well captures the public’s opinion of the mantra.

    Cathy Wilcox on global warming.

    Pat Campbell at sea with Syrians.

    David Rowe takes us on the campaign trail.

    David Pope has more fun with the toaster bus.

  9. BB

    The daily tele is known to be a pathetic shit sheet. But i didnt think the Herald Sun would stoop below it today. The Duncan who asked the question on qanda (and funds raised for him which I thought was kinda stupid), is on the front page and they do a demolition job on his character and the such. Pathetic. How a big news organisation has decided to pick on a person such as him who would bec considered a loser. Why? Cos he made ODwyer and Innes look stupid, which obviously wasnt hard to do.

  10. Thanks BK as always.

    Yes, Don it happens to me as well. Unfortunately the remember me thing doesn’t seem to work on Firefox.

    The forced council amalgamations and sacking of democratically elected councillors for no reason should be a huge issue in NSW.

  11. briefly

    Melinda from Seat of Dunkley had better watch out. News corpse will be after her, the same way they are going after Duncan.

    Actually it is making me sick in the gut. From what I have seen of Duncan, this sort of attention could push him over the edge. Seriously News Corpse are disgusting

  12. BK,
    I see you have chosen, wisely, to exclude The Courier Mail’s story today about Bill Shorten’s moobs. ‘Image Consultant’ opinion and all.

    I guess if I noticed it, others would have too.

    Anyway, if I were Bill’s people I would get to a Rebel Sport store toot sweet and get him a pair of Skins.

  13. The macro business site,linked to on previous page has a ‘tude, on the WA and Federal budgets
    The WA iron ore price forecast is $42.70FOB versus $55FOB for the Feds. They’re both still drunk – with the best guide to future pricing, the Singapore 12 month swap now at $35 – but one is quietly swaying as it holds up the bar whereas the other is cavorting on a stool with its pants down, projectile vomiting over the room.
    It will be interesting to see the PEFO.

  14. This crystallises the problem with the Greens, for me.

    “There is a pattern of people who have become candidates for the Greens who haven’t come through the environmental movement, or through the green movement, but who have come through revolutionary marxist parties,” Albanese said.

    “And that’s okay, but the distinction that I draw is between


    people joining the Greens –


    not really changing any of their ideological positions on the way through – as opposed to political organisations that are involved in parliamentary politics.”

    Albanese said he respected Greens like Bob Brown and Christine Milne with a long history of environmental advocacy, but he said his challenger is a different breed, and one which is more interested in “playing politics”.

    Responding via email, Casey said that “the Greens are a political party, not a conservation group”.

    “That means we concern ourselves with the drivers of inequality, with the issues that make life harder for the community, and we pursue ways to make Australia fairer, more respectful and more sustainable,” he wrote. “Anthony really needs to come up to speed with today’s political landscape.”


  15. Don

    I don’t have repeated requests to log in, but I often get the message that Crikey isn’t ‘available’. After a short wait, it backs down and loads. I’m wondering if this is a relative of the old posting too quickly hang-up.

  16. lizzie @ #21 Friday, May 13, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I don’t have repeated requests to log in, but I often get the message that Crikey isn’t ‘available’. After a short wait, it backs down and loads. I’m wondering if this is a relative of the old posting too quickly hang-up.

    Yeah, that is a ‘feature’ which I get sometimes too.

  17. I watched half-an-hour of 24 Breakfast this morning. I won’t do it again. It seems the producers have decided we’re all excited about Eurovision. So boring.

  18. Son rang up last night. Said he’d watched the Budget reply.

    “Why did I have the idea that Shorten wasn’t a good speaker?” he said. “I’ve listened to him twice now, and he’s really good.”

    Hopefully that’s a common experience!

  19. Craig Emerson ‏@DrCraigEmerson · 12h12 hours ago

    MSM demanding that all election candidates must all their lives have had same view as their party’s current policy. Robots wanted.

  20. That is two very substantial cases Anthony Murphy has run, or in the case of East-West link in Melbourne, tried to run in the High Court. He is 0 for 2.
    On both occasions he has been ordered to pay costs.
    Presumably that is a notional order.

  21. Re the Panama Papers and Malcolm Turnbull. I think the point hasn’t been very well made yet by anyone in the media, and that may be because the media is predominantly Murdoch-owned and aligned, is that what the revelation yesterday that Turnbull and Wran turned to Mossack Fonseca, for whatever reason, for help, what it shows is that it is evidence of a pattern of behaviour from Turnbull.

    No, it is not evidence of malfeasance per se, but what it does show is that Turnbull knew of Mossack Fonseca, way back then, in particular out of all the world’s ‘Financial Services’ companies and it was to them that he gave his business.

    This pattern of behaviour appears to have continued unabated to this day, ending up at the Cayman Islands skating around the edges of legality, where impropriety is to be found. And an old political saw should be reiterated as a result, and that is that, as the Prime Minister you set the standard, the example and the tone of behaviour that the rest of the nation looks to.

    Which is why it will remain as a stone in Turnbull’s shoe but not, as he was at pains to point out yesterday, a hanging offense.

    As Laura Tingle said though, it’s all about the vibe, and this is not sending out good vibes, especially linked to the image of a poor Single Mum pleading with a Plutocrat PM for more. And especially especially especially when that same PM wants to give fellow plutocrats $50 Billion that could have gone to that Single Mum instead.

  22. From previous thread:

    henry @ #1505 Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Baird in NSW has shattered his credibility with his council mergers.
    The process has been farcical, rushed and in many cases politically driven.
    Barnaby Joyce’s local area has been spared forced amalgamation as has Kiama council, in another marginal federal coalition seat.
    The whole process stinks – my local inner west Sydney council has been merged with another two for no logical reason. My local council was well managed, balanced it’s books and invested in community facilities – libraries, roads, parks etc.
    Baird’s hubris may have way too far here. It’s extraordinary.

    Someone on Reddit mentioned that among the LGAs being merged are those around the WestConnex development and among those that oppose it.

    By replacing the councillors with administrators until LGA elections take place, they’ll pretty much agree to WestConnex.

    I haven’t verified this.

  23. BK

    I have been saying for a while that Chloe Shorten would be invaluable for Shorten’s campaign. She is very simpatico. She excudes such a warmth that is a winner. Cant say the same for Lucy.

  24. Hear bloody hear. I am frankly disgusted!!
    44m44 minutes ago
    Hazizi ‏@haztalk
    If anyone thought @theheraldsun isn’t an evil, sleazy stain on the great city of Melbourne, today’s front page should dispel that notion

  25. Of course, when the Panama papers were first released, Turnbull should have come out on the front foot and said that yes, he would be one of those named, because a company he’d been involved in had had dealings with the legal firm involved, but he was happy to reveal his connection, because there was nothing dodgy about it.

    Waiting to be asked suggests you’re hoping you won’t be.

  26. don @ #5 Friday, May 13, 2016 at 7:08 am

    I am being required to login with monotonous regularity.
    Luckily chrome keeps the name and password in its cache.
    Is this happening to anyone else?

    Hmm. Not happening to me. (Also using chrome.) Perhaps though it is because I use LastPass, which is set up to manage logging in for me.

  27. zoomster

    And what is particularly galling is that our esteemed media thought it extremely important for JGillard to be grilled relentlessly about her time as a lawyer. Yet now it is being suggested that Turnbull’s involvement was this was over 20 years ago. Move along. Nothing to see.

  28. Substandard and Poor ‏@64AnthonyP · 12h12 hours ago
    One wonders, if Abbott had been scrutinised by #newscorpse in the same way Duncan was, would we be talking about toasters, now? #auspol

  29. lizzie @ #39 Friday, May 13, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Substandard and Poor ‏@64AnthonyP · 12h12 hours ago
    One wonders, if Abbott had been scrutinised by #newscorpse in the same way Duncan was, would we be talking about toasters, now? #auspol

    No. I mean, if I and others know things about Abbott that we dare not say due to the fact we don’t want the Duncan treatment to befall us, then it just goes to prove your point about him. He is a Protected Species.

  30. As posted above the DT goes hard on negative gearing, the front page and across 2 pages of their election coverage, because we know it has been a major issue this week.
    Expect it to feature in tonight’s ‘town hall’s, probably that, moobs and boats.

  31. Is Vivien Thomson the farmer still running for a senate seat for Labor? It’s just I don’t see her name on the list. And why is Labor announced only five candidates? Shouldn’t it be standing at least six like the LNP even if six may be impossible for them to win in a double disillusion.

  32. From a Gilmore Labor insider, Sudmalis LP (Gilmore electorate) is on the nose and the swing will give the ALP a win.
    As an aside, I live in the Gilmore electorate and Sudmalis has never visited my village since she was elected, Gash was a regular.

  33. Bushfire Bill
    Friday, May 13, 2016 at 6:56 am
    Youse know it makes sense… at least the Tele:
    Buyers AND sellers ‘WORSE off under Labor’
    FEDERAL ELECTION 2016: THE real estate industry has officially declared war on Bill Shorten over negative gearing in what could be a repeat of the mining tax campaign that helped kill off Kevin Rudd
    If you sell you’ll get less. And if you buy you’ll pay more.
    How could Labor manage to do both?
    I dunno. I didn’t read it.

    Actually the image of the DT front page claims not only buyers and sellers but also RENTERS and LANDLORDS.

    To be fair, the DT does not claim that there will be plagues across the land and all firstborn sons will be killed. Almost as bad, however.

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