Not the Wentworth by-election thread

Some preselection news, and a thread for discussion of political matters not directly related to the Wentworth by-election count.

For discussion focused on the count for the Wentworth by-election, which turns out not to have been as over as you thought it was last night, the live results thread is still in action. For general political discussion, I offer the following post, with my usual semi-regular updates of preselection news.

Phillip Coorey of the Australian Financial Review reports a New South Wales Liberal Senate preselection next month is a three-way contest between Jim Molan, Andrew Bragg and Hollie Hughes. Molan found a place in the Senate last December by the grace of Section 44, after securing only the unwinnable seventh position on the Coalition ticket at the 2016 double dissolution, to the chagrin of conservatives including Tony Abbott. Then followed the disqualification of Nationals Senator Fiona Nash, followed by the determination that the sixth candidate on the ticket, the aforesaid Hollie Hughes, was likewise ineligible due to a position she had taken on the Administrative Affairs Tribunal. Now it appears Molan is primed to take top spot, and since the third position is reserved for the Nationals, this leaves two and four to be fought out between Bragg, whose decision to withdraw himself from consideration for preselection in Wentworth is now looking pretty good, and Hughes, whose Section 44 complication is behind her.

• The Port Macquarie News reports three candidates have nominated to succeed retiring Luke Hartsuyker as Nationals candidate for Cowper: Patrick Conaghan, a former police officer and North Sydney councillor who now works locally as a solicitor; Chris Genders, a newsagent; and Jamie Harrison, former Port Macquarie-Hastings councillor and owner of an electrical business.

• The Burnie Advocate reports Gavin Pearce, who has been described as a “farmer and ex-defence force member”, has been preselected as Liberal candidate for Braddon ahead of “Devonport business identity Stacey Sheehan and property developer Kent Townsend”.

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.

1,550 comments on “Not the Wentworth by-election thread”

  1. @Dio numbers do seem high but average 45/55. KB on Twitter:

    The #Newspoll figures out tonight will be quarterly (or so) aggregates. Not fresh data and will include the worst of the post-spill polling.

  2. Ha!
    Adam Liaw@adamliaw
    I’m as surprised as anyone that the battlers of Vaucluse, Point Piper and Double Bay weren’t moved by the LNP’s commitment to getting their power bills under control. #QandA

  3. I think the quarterly aggregates are released, well, quarterly, so I doubt there’s any fiendish Murdoch plot at work.

    And the numbers of respondents for Tassie and NT, even after aggregation, are probably too small to be meaningful.

    If the numbers look dodgy the most likely answer is always ’rounding’, but who knows.

  4. The three month average is 55-45 but there hasn’t been a Newspoll worse than 55-45 and some have been closer.

    Actually, the first two of the four Newspoll results under Morrison were both 56-44. This will be compiled from those four polls. The quarterly breakdowns typically come from six polls, which is why the South Australian result especially should be treated with caution here.

  5. I think the quarterly aggregates are released, well, quarterly, so I doubt there’s any fiendish Murdoch plot at work.

    Not this time. Because of the disturbance of the leadership change, results were published immediately after from Turnbull’s last three polls, which came after the previous quarterly breakdown result from April-June.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/turnbull-axed-as-coalition-closed-the-gap-on-labor/news-story/487dd05cd4dc95693bd6c55b44bfbe88

    Now we’re getting the other half, so to speak, of the quarterly aggregation.

  6. Call it economic conservatism, call it neo liberalism or any other name, what it is in essence is the idealogy that austerity results in confidence and that confidence results in growth

    This idealogy has been argued against by the likes of Stiglitz now supported in Australia by the likes of Bernie Fraser and Michael Keating

    And those who identify the division and dislocation of that idealogy are gaining traction because the effects are impacting across society, if not parents their children and their children

    This is an issue of social conscience which is gaining traction, putting previously safe Liberal seats in jeopardy

    Then you arrive at the collateral subject matter – starting with Climate Change

    Remember that those in their 70’s, now well heeled were born after WW2 and are differently educated – and more particularly their children now in their 30’s and 40’s are differently educated

    The demographic the Liberal Party resorted to last week, a 104 year old spruiking Menzies, Commonwealth and White Australia and comment on Howard that he benefited taxpayers including with middle class welfare instead of infrastructure was telling

    Those now in their 70’s associate Menzies with Vietnam and conscription, because that was 1965

    Then you get to whatever they call their economic agenda – and that Stiglitz, Fraser and Keating (among other notables) are calling that idealogy out and that calling out is resonating

    This dysfunctional government may be very good at shouting their advice at us but the measured tones of those calling out neo liberalism are winning the day

    Hence no Liberal seat is safe

    And the RBA is also buying in which should not be underestimated

  7. Guys, the Newspoll aggregate state figures is just from the last 4 Newspolls, including the worst of the post spill polls. Confirmed by ghost and images from The Oz. There is no new poll from last weekend.

    This is the peak. The next proper set of quarterly state level Newspoll fed figures won’t be so wild.

  8. WB
    Thanks
    A bit concerning how my mind just dismissed the two 56-44 results, being kind of irrelevant to the long term outcome, and chucked them out of my short term memory.
    And the SA result would only be on a sample of about 600 if it’s just four polls.

  9. https://reneweconomy.com.au/wentworth-wipe-out-wont-shift-coalition-idiocy-on-climate-and-energy-47342/

    Morrison has now surrounded himself with an energy minister, Angus Taylor, who is sharp but has spent most of his career campaigning against the very technologies that Phelps says we should adopt – renewables.

    The environment minister, Melissa Price, is proving to be hopeless: not across her brief, and completely out of her depth on the floor of parliament.

    She hasn’t a clue how Australia is going to reduce its emissions to meet the Paris target and admitted to not even reading the IPCC report that had been sent to the government in final draft form four months earlier, and whose summary had been scrutinised word for word by the team she sent to South Korea for a week-long review.

    Price still believes that “clean coal” will emerge some time in the future, in the same way that Morrison’s Pentecostal church believes that only God can change the climate.

  10. PCC, voters are well-aware the climate change is the gaping hole in Tory policy. They’re cross and they’re worried. For the Liberals, it’s a fatal combination. For Labor, it’s a challenge to which they must respond.

  11. https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/the-nbn-and-the-common-good–fending-off-the-forces-of-privatisation,12017

    Some of you who have followed my comments on the NBN will have heard me say over the last two or three years that to return the NBN to an economically viable situation, a roughly 50% write-down is needed. There are even people arguing for an 80% write-down.

    I am no longer alone in making such statements. PcW, Standard & Poor’s and the Productivity Commission have all said the same thing, but during the PM-ship of Malcolm Turnbull – the architect of this second-rate solution – this was not discussable. Now, the opposition has cautiously indicated that a write-off might indeed be needed and this has not elicited the usual response from the Government. This time they decided to stay quiet on the issue, an admission that something needs to be done to save the NBN from financial disaster.

    A write-down would also provide a better foundation for the job to be finished over the next five to ten years, either with fibre-to-the-home or fibre-to-the-curb technologies.

    This is a respected industry analyst.

    What I want to ask you guys is..

    1. Why is this not getting enough attention when it is the single biggest bit of economic vandalism committed by any Australia Federal government?

    2. What is Labor going to do? If you read the article it should be fairly clear that Labor should write down NBNco’s assets (FTTN is worthless) and reinvest in NBNco to build a future proof network. Its also clear that Telstra should not be allowed to get its hands on the network.

    Does Labor have the expertise and understanding? Does it have courage?

  12. briefly I’m not convinced about a couple of things.

    In the noise of an election will climate change be a decisive issue given there are always going to be more bread and butter issues?

    More importantly. What proportion of the population still believes that renewables equals higher power prices? My suspicion is a lot fewer now believe this than 5 years ago but there are still a large slab of “low information” voters who still work on this assumption.

    In other words, to what extent does Labor not only have to put forward its policies but actually do some basic education (and of certain parties in the media too) that renewables are now in fact cheaper.

    I’d love to believe that it has totally escaped the Liberals the shift in public perception about this renewables vs power bills issue. Even if this is partly true, its going to be toxic for them. And deservedly so.

  13. PCC, the issue is live for many, many voters and this cuts right across party affiliation/preferment. Voters are well aware that there are trade-offs between climate change policies and other values. But they also know that the Liberals propose to do exactly nothing except make a very difficult situation even worse.

    So many people work in businesses or industries where carbon emissions are in focus, one way or another. The information exchange on this is social, it is pervasive and it extends right through the age strata. This is becoming an existential issue for many, when considered in terms of the outlook for children and grand children. Any party that ignores this is inviting widespread voter rejection.

  14. The Oz

    Scott Morrison faces an epic challenge to restore confidence in his shattered government, with new polling analysis showing a collapse in support for the Coalition in every mainland state and across every demographic group since the leadership spill.

    Analysis of four Newspolls since the August 24 leadership spill casts a bleak picture for the government six months out from an expected May 2019 election.

    The data, based on the two-party preferred swings since the 2016 election, reveals the Coalition faces the prospect of losing 25 seats across the nation, eight held by current frontbenchers.

  15. Which seats would fall

    Seats held on a smaller margin than the state 2PP swing against the government

    Seats within one percentage point more than the state swing against the government

    NSW

    Swing: -3.9%
    Party Seat Name Margin
    National Gilmore Ann Sudmalis 0.37%
    Liberal Robertson Lucy Wicks 1.14%
    National Banks David Coleman 1.44%
    Liberal Page Kevin Hogan 2.3%
    National Cowper Luke Hartsuyker 4.56%
    Liberal Reid Craig Laundy 4.69%

    Victoria

    Swing: -4.8%
    Party Seat Name Margin
    Liberal Corangamite Sarah Henderson 0.03%
    Liberal Chisholm Julia Banks 3.4%
    Liberal La Trobe Jason Wood 3.5%
    Liberal Casey Tony Smith 4.5%

    Queensland

    Swing: -8.1%
    Party Seat Name Margin
    National Capricornia Michelle Landry 0.6%
    Liberal Forde Bert van Manen 0.63%
    National Flynn Ken O’Dowd 1.04%
    Liberal Petrie Luke Howarth 1.65%
    Liberal Dickson Peter Dutton 2%
    National Dawson George Christensen 3.3%
    Liberal Bonner Ross Vasta 3.39%
    Liberal Leichhardt Warren Entsch 4%
    Liberal Brisbane Trevor Evans 6%
    Liberal Bowman Andrew Laming 7.7%
    National Wide Bay Llew O’Brien 8.3%
    National Hinkler Keith Pitt 8.4%
    Liberal Ryan Jane Prentice 8.8%

    WA

    Swing: -8.7%
    Party Seat Name Margin
    Liberal Hasluck Ken Wyatt 2.05%
    Liberal Swan Steve Irons 3.59%
    Liberal Pearce Christian Porter 3.63%
    Liberal Stirling Michael Keenan 6.12%
    Liberal Canning Andrew Hastie 6.79%

    SA

    Swing: -5.7%
    Party Seat Name Margin
    Liberal Grey Rowan Ramsey 1.9*%
    Liberal Boothby Nicolle Flint 2.8%
    Liberal Sturt Christopher Pyne 5.89%
    * Margin against CA

  16. PCC

    1. Why is this not getting enough attention when it is the single biggest bit of economic vandalism committed by any Australia Federal government?

    – Totally impossible to explain, except to people who have signed up to Fraudband and are getting an inferior service to what they had before. There are a lot more of these people than there should be, but not enough YET to make an impact. People don’t get the future damage caused to this country by Abbott and Turnbull because they cannot fully imagine it.

    2. What is Labor going to do? If you read the article it should be fairly clear that Labor should write down NBNco’s assets (FTTN is worthless) and reinvest in NBNco to build a future proof network. Its also clear that Telstra should not be allowed to get its hands on the network.

    – Who knows, but any policy to spend billions in fixing Fraudband and returning it to a future-ready system would be suicidal if proposed from the Opposition.

    Does Labor have the expertise and understanding? Does it have courage?

    – It may or may not have the expertise and understanding. But there is nothing courageous to expose yourself to high risk for a low likelihood of return. There will be more opportunity when Labor is back in power and has the opportunity to actually assess the damage.

  17. Pseudo Cud Chewer
    1. Why is this not getting enough attention when it is the single biggest bit of economic vandalism committed by any Australia Federal government?
    _____________________________
    People are getting over the internet anyway. My children have started weaving and learning traditional arts and crafts. Just not long ago my eldest expressed the desire to be a blacksmith or stonemason. This is not an isolated case of youth rejecting the techno craze of Netflix, texting and fortnite. My neighbours 14 year old teenager got rid of all her devices and began a small farm in her backyard where she has turned out some rather nice pumpkins. I think this trend will increase.

  18. Shamahan’s take on the Newspoll Aggregates

    The Wentworth result and the latest state-by-state and demographic breakdown of Newspoll surveys since Morrison became Liberal leader combine to make one point — the Coalition is facing a generational wipe-out.

    Of course the Wentworth result is not going to be extrapolated across the nation with a 20 per cent swing. That would cost 71 seats and reduce the Coalition to a pimple on a rump with maybe three Liberals and one Nationals MP. It’s not going to happen.

    But the possibly of a generational wipeout based on state-by-state swing, costing 25 or so MPs their seats and removing not just a slew of Coalition MPs but also the potential Coalition leadership, is more real.

    The latest breakdown of Newspoll surveys taken since August shows the Coalition going backwards on primary vote and two-party-preferred support in all the mainland states.

    If the uniform statewide swing is applied to the existing margins, the Coalition would lose 10 seats in Queensland, including Peter Dutton’s seat of Dickson, and five in Western Australia, including those of four ministers and regional seats.

  19. Oh Dear

    Environment Minister Melissa Price has emerged as parliament’s fly-in, fly-out MP, racking up more than $450,000 in travel costs to visit her rural electorate while ­living in a $1.59 million luxury home in Perth.

    The Liberal member for Durack, whose West Australian seat is the biggest in Australia, charges taxpayers every time she spends the night in the electorate, while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on flights and hire cars.

    Travel records show that the recently appointed minister, who sparked a furore last week after ­insulting a visiting Pacific Island dignitary, has spent about $192,000 on commercial flights to and from her electorate since her election in 2013.

    Ms Price, who brands herself as a “WA regional Liberal”, claimed more than $104,000 on travel ­allowance for 301 nights in her seat, and a further $159,000 on charter flights and car hire to get around the electorate.

  20. I haven’t made a prediction yet but I’m torn between 53 and 54. The former is more in keeping with the trend and the latter is more in keeping with the way the government is behaving.

  21. briefly says:
    Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 12:38 am
    Banks and Gilmore are held by Liberals, not Nationals…

    Straight from the Oz – not me…..

  22. There are 31 seats on that list. If they all fell to Labor, and the effect of the redistributions is included, Labor would have 102 seats in the next Parliament and if all the Independents hold their seats (including Phelps), there would be just 43 LNP lower house MPs.

    It’s possible the Liberals could lose several more than has been listed, either to Labor, to Independents or by desertions from their own ranks. How great that would be. That would shock them to the foundations.

  23. briefly says:
    Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 12:56 am
    There are 31 seats on that list. If they all fell to Labor, and the effect of the redistributions is included, Labor would have 102 seats in the next Parliament and if all the Independents hold their seats (including Phelps), there would be just 43 LNP lower house MPs.

    It’s possible the Liberals could lose several more than has been listed, either to Labor, to Independents or by desertions from their own ranks. How great that would be. That would shock them to the foundations.

    Shorten would have three terms at least – the Liberal Party could well split

  24. Upnorth says:
    Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Shorten would have three terms at least – the Liberal Party could well split

    I think we’re seeing a rolling split…a split that’s real but not yet led to open separation. Their losses to Independents in SA, Vic and NSW are not simply accidental. They reflect genuine voter rebellion. And there are deep schisms between the RW/Crazy Branches and the rest. There are splits along religious lines and over climate policies. Their are deep personal antagonisms and tensions between the Nationals and the Liberals and over ON. They are broken, really. They cannot function as a government. And voters have worked it out. They will not elect a mob that cannot govern. They are already fragmenting.

  25. Looking at the Bludgertrack TPP curves, and thinking about the 2013-2016 term one, what strikes me is that after Abbott’s initial big win he quite quickly fell behind after his May 2014 budget. He famously lost 30 polls in a row, then Turnbull rode in to save the day, and after Turnbull’s initial long honeymoon he barely scraped over the line in the July 2016 election, then fell behind also and never caught up again.

    But Morrison has not had the start of either Abbott or Turnbull – I think he has just regressed the Coalition to their pre-Turnbull trough of around 46-47 and not going anywhere. I have found him to be surprisingly inept, and I think he has really locked in a very solid non-Coalition vote for the 2019 election. I am half expecting Abbott to challenge before the election, but the thought of a massively reduced Liberal caucus turning to Abbott after a loss gives me hope that Labor would not then squander their advantage like they did after the 2007 election win.

  26. briefly

    It reminds me of 1987 when the Nationals were torn by Bjelke-Petersen, and the Liberals were still torn over Peacock-Howard. I think if the Nationals do reinstate Joyce that will worsen the problems within the Liberals.

    I am going to be especially interested in the swings in the seats of Dutton, Sukkar and Hastie.

    The Liberal Party has lasted much longer than any of its conservative predecessors – I think the only thing really stopping either side breaking away is that they don’t want to lose name and prestige of the Party. It is much harder to gain credibility as a start-up – note the example of Cory Bernadi’s “Party of One”.

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