The Australian has a large-sample Newspoll for Peter Dutton’s election of Dickson, conducted Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 1846, partly in expectation that things would have played out a little differently. On a standard voting intention question, the poll shows Labor with a two-party lead of 52-48 (a 3.6% swing from 2016), from primary votes of LNP 37% (down from 44.6%), Labor 37% (up from 34.9%), Greens 9% (down from 9.9%) and One Nation 10%. But when asked about voting intention if Dutton were Prime Minister, this became 50-50, and did so because of a 5% primary vote transfer from One Nation to the LNP (Labor gained one point, and the Greens were unchanged). The Australian’s report also reveals Dutton did better on the first night of polling than the second, and surmises this was the effect of the Section 44 story taking hold. However, the changes quoted are not statistically significant, and appeared to be bigger for the Turnbull-as-PM question than for Dutton.
Now a guide to who did what in the party room leadership votes on Tuesday and yesterday, drawing on four sources – starting with a table laying it all out, followed by the gory details. Cabinet ministers are in bold and underlined, outer ministry members are in bold, assistant ministers are in italics. An asterisk denotes those who, while identified as Turnbull backers, are among those The Australian thinks might have been the sole abstainer in round one (more on that shortly). Arthur Sinodinos’s two asterisks denote the fact that he was absent in the first round, though I presume he would have voted for Turnbull if present.
The first of the three sources is a list published in The Australian on Wednesday identifying how each member was believed to have voted in the Turnbull-versus-Dutton round the previous day. If I understand correctly, The Australian believed it had a handle on every vote, with one complication: one member out of a list of fifteen suspects abstained rather than voting for Turnbull. Second is a list of the forty-three signatories to the petition calling for a party room meeting has been doing the rounds on social media.
Thirdly, the Fairfax papers have published lists of how members were believed to have voted in Morrison-versus-Dutton. This has more holes than The Australian’s list, with seven listed as “unknown”. The fourth source, from The West Australian, lists how WA Liberal MPs voted, which plugs three of Fairfax’s gaps. It also disagrees with Fairfax in placing Slade Brockman in the Dutton rather than Morrison camp – I’m going with The West here. That leaves four still down as unknown, and assuming all the foregoing is correct, three of them must have voted for Morrison and one for Dutton.
Nine members who appear to have voted for Turnbull in the first round were signatories to the petition: Mathias Cormann, Michaelia Cash, Ian Goodenough, Slade Brockman, Andrew Laming and John McVeigh, who moved to the Dutton camp; Mitch Fifield, who voted for Morrison; and Warren Entsch and Jane Hume, who are down as unknowns. The forty-three signatories included everyone who voted for Dutton in either vote, with two exceptions: Christian Porter and Bert Van Manen, the latter presumably relating to his position as Whip. Porter is reported as having switched from Turnbull to Dutton; Van Manen is not disclosing who he voted for, but The Australian and Fairfax both identify him as being in the Dutton camp. Scott Buchholz voted for Dutton against Turnbull and signed the petition, but is down as unknown for Morrison versus Dutton.
Significant home state effects were evident in that Morrison won 14-6 among the New South Wales contingent, while Dutton won 12-4 (plus two unknowns) among Queenslanders. However, Julie Bishop apparently struck out entirely among her WA peers in the first round, her eleven votes having been sourced elsewhere (except her own). I’m not aware of any record of who the eleven were. Western Australia otherwise distinguished itself in having a substantial bloc switch from Turnbull to Dutton, most conspicuously Matthias Cormann and Michaelia Cash. They were apparently joined by Christian Porter, who kept a lower profile about it, along with Slade Brockman and Ian Goodenough. However, Ben Morton went the other way, supporting Dutton in the first vote and Morrison in the second. All told, the state split 11-5 for Turnbull over Dutton, then 9-7 for Dutton over Morrison. The South Australians broke 6-2 to Morrison.
Of seventeen lower house members with margins of 6% or less, nine voted for Morrison and six for Dutton, with a further two unknown. Four of Dutton’s six were from Queensland; the only Queensland marginal seat holder not in the Dutton column is Warren Entsch, down as unknown.