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”

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  1. Saudi citizens disgusted by government’s Khashoggi ‘fist fight’ murder excuse served up to appease Trump

    Not only is the American media and public not buying a Saudi government explanation of a “fist fight” in a consulate that led to the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but citizens of the country are also disgusted and appalled at how the story keeps changing in order to appease President Donald Trump.

    According to a report at Bloomberg, the slow drip drip drip of information that has come trickling out is widely viewed as damage control because the Saudi rulers are looking for ways to sweep the murder under the rug in order to keep their relationship with Trump — and U.S. weapons manufacturers — on an even keel.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. What a rout!

    David Crowe says that this was a swift and savage message to Scott Morrison that puts him in a diabolical position in Parliament and sets him on course for catastrophe at the next election.
    Tony Wright says those on the hunt for a scapegoat should start with Peter Dutton.
    Not holding back, Katharine Murphy opines that the Wentworth byelection isn’t just a loss for the Liberals. It’s a disaster she says.
    Michelle Grattan says that the byelection fiasco will re-open fractures in the government and threatens a damaging burst of infighting between Liberal conservatives and moderates.
    The Australian’s Brad Norrington says the Wentworth by-election result smells like one just before a change of government. Bill Shorten’s popularity doesn’t matter now. He says Morrison has lost his first test.
    Phil Coorey tells us about the punishment meted out in Wentworth.
    Paula Matthewson has her say on the ballot box bludgeoning delivered to Morrison and his government.
    Tess Lawrence wrote yesterday that the KKKoalition has signed its own death warrant.,12018
    Alexandra Smith reckons Marise Payne’s husband is lining himself up for a tilt at Gladys’s job. But it’s fraught with danger she says.
    Jacqui Maley writes that most voters, particularly urban ones, will have watched with nauseated incredulity as speculation about the Nationals’ leadership mounted this week and she goes into the questions that remain regarding Joyce.
    Is there a place for waste-to-energy schemes on Australia?
    In Smith declares that when it comes to Manus and Nauru enough is enough.
    Peter FitzSimons tells us what the royal visit really says about Australia.
    In a rather angry contribution Matt Wade explains how the boom is long gone but it doesn’t mean Australia’s anxiety about housing affordability has disappeared.
    Ian Warden says all Australian palefaces should be grateful to Senator Hanson for her motion and then for her inarticulate but passionate defence of it next day on one of those breakfast TV shows that get simple-minded viewers’ days off to such a sparkling start.
    Australia’s National Broadband Network has been problematic for too long, our own Government interfering with the common good, writes Paul Budde.–fending-off-the-forces-of-privatisation,12017
    The Washington Post’s Paul Parhi warns us why the saga of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi resonates with all of us.
    The Australian government has decided it is “no longer appropriate” to attend a summit in Saudi Arabia in light of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    Simon Tisdall writes that Miss Marple would demolish in minutes the Saudi story of a fistfight gone wrong.
    Timothy Boyle is far from impressed with the American influence on sport in Australia.
    eBay has accused Amazon of using “illegal” tactics to poach sellers using eBay’s very own database against them, puzzling analysts who claim the juvenile feud will have little impact on where consumers choose to shop.
    Tell me this is not true!
    And for today’s “Arsehole of the WeeK” nomination we have . . .

    Cartoon Corner

    Mark David with another trophy for Morrison.
    Peter Broelman in Wentworth.
    Zanetti with Morrison’s last gasp in Wentworth.
    A couple of good ones from Matt Golding.
    A few more in here.

  3. William you would probably be unsurprised to know that the only people I met in Washington DC who knew who Australia’s PM was were a few very politically engaged Australians. In Europe so far – none.

    Hard to blame them – if I am asked the question I really do have to pause and think for a second, wondering if all the shenanigan in August were just a dream.

    If Wentworth stays in the “lost” column I expect Abbott rather than his patsy Dutton to challenge for the leadership before the next election, rather than his original plan of taking the reins after the wreckage of an election loss. By the time of this challenge the Nationals under Joyce will be threatening to leave the coalition unless the Liberals elect a “strong” leader – someone like Abbott.

  4. Good Morning Bludgers 🙂

    I hope those Liberal candidates at least get a guided tour of Parliament House before the election. I don’t know if they’ll be seeing much of it after. 🙂

  5. Rocket Rocket says:
    Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 7:05 am

    ….By the time of this challenge the Nationals under Joyce will be threatening to leave the coalition unless the Liberals elect a “strong” leader – someone like Abbott.


    It would not do the Nationals any harm to reelect Joyce, then defect from the coalition ahead of the next election.

    This would put all Liberal seats in play for the Nats, whereas some are denied to them now under the terms of the present agreement.

    The Nationals might then well get an increased vote and number of MPs – or at least more than they would get otherwise, given that a landslide to Labor looks likely.

    Then after the inevitable defeat at the next federal election, even of the by-then-notional Lib/NP coalition, the Nats could renegotiate the terms of their contract with the Libs, and be happy families again but on better terms than before.

  6. And I hope Labor take back into the fold the guy who ran Kerryn Phelps’ campaign. They could do with him against a government run by a guy, and with the support of the original creators of Fake News and Scandal, that will do anything and say anything in the run-up to, and during, an election campaign that will be vital for them to win on behalf of those who own their show.

  7. Well, that was a bit disappointing.

    I expected to watch for an hour or two at least, but it was all over almost before it started. Naturally Zimmerman and a couple of reporters tried the “Bill Shorten has questions to answer”, as did Morrison in his speech (thanks for the link, steve davis).

  8. ….By the time of this challenge the Nationals under Joyce will be threatening to leave the coalition unless the Liberals elect a “strong” leader – someone like Abbott.

    You mean this guy?

    Tony Abbott has needled the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to publicly endorse the Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma as the critical byelection contest enters its closing week.

    Abbott used his regular spot on 2GB to urge Turnbull to spruik Sharma on social media, contending he owed that to the Liberal party and his former constituents in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

    “I know he doesn’t want to get too involved with Australian politics, I understand that, I know he is probably enjoying a bit of R&R with Lucy in New York, but I reckon he owes it to the party and the people of Wentworth to give Dave Sharma a solid, clear personal endorsement this week in particular,” Abbott said on Monday morning.

    A leader so ‘strong’ no one took any notice of him last week.

    Although, you never know, by ‘strong’ they could have meant, ‘on the nose’. 🙂

  9. I wonder if nath and Rex Douglas will believe Michelle Grattan:

    Labor, which ran dead in the campaign to give the maximum chance of Phelps defeating the Liberals, was on 11%, down nearly 7 percentage points.

    …The thumping in Wentworth, although there were special circumstances and it is not a typical seat, will be devastating for government morale and is another major fillip for Labor.

    Probably not. It doesn’t suit their spiteful Kill Bill agenda.

  10. C@t

    I wonder if Morrison’s strategy will change at all. Will he continue to pump the air and shout “I’m the greatest”, or will he settle down and try to turn his team (sic) into a real government?

    Or will he continue to blame Bill (the devil incarnate)? 😆

  11. Good Morning

    Morrison’s speech was music to my ears. All that denial and trying to link the Invictus games to Liberal Warriors showed Morrison and his team are not getting the message.

    The Right Wing of the LNP is unelectable.

    At last the Canberra Press Gallery have woken up and are now reporting on the actual fight for the soul of the Liberal Party.

    It was also great to see the Murdoch propaganda fail in the bluest of blue ribbon seats too 🙂

  12. Morning all. Intriguing those late booth results. My prediction may not have been so far out, Aunt Mavis 🙂

    As I said yesterday though, if Phelps or Murray even got close in Wentworth, that was a disastrous result for the Liberals. And it still is.

    At this point it is no exaggeration to say that neither COALition party has a stable leader, and electoral survival requires them to adopt a climate change policy their main financial supporters will not tolerate.

    Thanks for the roundup BK. Cat thanks for smuggling that video out of Liberal candidate boot camp.

  13. Cat
    “And I hope Labor take back into the fold the guy who ran Kerryn Phelps’ campaign. ”
    I agree. Phelp’s campaign was well organised and slick, right down to having Bananas in pyjamas turn up for photo ops on election day.

    I really think Sharma was a skilled candidate whom Labor will need to watch out for in future, but the Liberal campaign was a dogs breakfast. Stay on message? What message?

  14. lizzie and Soc,
    Scott Morrison has already pivoted away from Wentworth and back to Kill Bill. As has been the commentary from much of the CPG today, because the Coalition don’t have anything else and what policies they do have is anathema to what the electorate wants. That is, policies which address the problems we face.

  15. Greg Jennett on News 24 is making the case that minority government is not chaos.

    To be fair he did say it was going to be tough for Morrison starting from when Parliament sits tomorrow.

  16. Morning all and thanks BK. Seems like it isn’t over in Wentworth just yet, the intrigue continuing thanks to postal votes.

  17. Anecdotal news from another Liberal electorate.

    @ikkyg tweets
    @BevanShields Almost everyone I talk to in Warringah is frustrated that @TonyAbbottMHR does not represent their views. I am running as the Greens candidate, and many people are frustrated with Lib/Lab politics.

  18. What the heck.
    I Just checked into the Wentworth thread.
    I thought it was done and dusted.
    There is now chance postals can get libs over the line

  19. Victoria

    Until proven otherwise I am going with the hard heads of the LNP who decided that Antony Green was right and conceded defeat. They would have some idea about those postal votes.

  20. Victoria

    Until proven otherwise I am going with the hard heads of the LNP who decided that Antony Green was right and conceded defeat. They would have some idea about those postal votes.

  21. Interesting that David Speers is openly saying that he has held back details of the knifing of Turnbull in his new book until after the Wentworth by-election.

    Pressure from his employer? Fondness for the party he supports? A bad look for his journalistic integrity no matter what the reason.

  22. C@t, re (non) policies – it was interesting to watch the Sharma campaign struggle to find anything meaningful to say. They started with the small business schtick, backgrounded by motherhood stuff like what a nice guy Dave was, with a wife and children, duh, and finally they were pushing for “stability” and a “secure future”, which is exactly what they don’t offer. Even mentioning the future was a mistake, with voters desperate for tomorrow’s safe hands.

    Meanwhile (to make this non-Wentworthy), the future is in the hands of people like this:

    “Unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and they say, ‘Let’s all of us get smart and let’s none of us develop those weapons,’” he said, “but if Russia’s doing it and if China’s doing it and we’re adhering to the agreement, that’s unacceptable. So we have a tremendous amount of money to play with with our military.”

    He added: “Russia has not adhered to the agreement, so we are going to terminate the agreement and we are going to develop the weapons. If we get smart and if others get smart, and say ‘Let’s not develop these horrible nuclear weapons,’ I would be extremely happy with that.

    “But as long as somebody’s violating that agreement then we’re not going to be the only ones to adhere to it.”

    Such foresight, such diplomacy, such leadership.

  23. If Morrison is going to try to tough it out as a minority government, then Labor has a host of unresolved issues it should raise. Start with those it knows Phelps will agree with . See
    – climate change policy (Phelp’s is not far from Labor or Greens policy)
    – ABC funding and board
    – schools funding
    – super rules and banking RC fallout
    – a federal ICAC!

    The COALition will have kittens over these but that is the point. They will either have to agree to progressive change or further isolate themselves from the electorate.

  24. Thank you BK for this mornings Dawn Patrol.

    Timothy Boyle is far from impressed with the American influence on sport in Australia.

    He pumps air into his gun and cups his ear at the stands. There is a general baying for noise mostly for noise’s sake. Somebody behind him performs a backflip while Wendy’s vouchers parachute into unsuspecting laps and, at the free throw line, a group of 12-year-olds twerk. Only seconds before the stadium transitioned into this amphetamine dream, the spectators were watching basketball.

    I’ m shattered to think that I have missed the delights of such brilliant entertainment – as –

    The Black Eyed Peas (originally simply Black Eyed Peas) are an American musical group, consisting of rappers, and Taboo. Originally an alternative hip hop group, they subsequently changed their musical sound to pop and dance-pop music …………..

    I expect that Mr. William Esq. will have taken note of this article and the evidence will be in yer face at his next —————- * (pick from list below *). Subsequent to his (William’s ) venture into the seamier side of artistic expression, as compounded by one Nath with references to such dainties as “Lubricated Horse C***ks” I would be stupefied were the aforementioned cannon not firing the finest of designer knickers to amaze and delight the thronging crowd of delirious Poll Bludgers, consorts and assorted hangers on.

    As to the evidence of God/Not God – how can one explain the TV reception Chez KayJay failing for much of the ABC24 coverage of the Antony Green Show last night ❓ That and the fierce storm that raged – who can say that the prayers and exhortation of Mr. (you know who) were not the prime motivator for this event which was apparently designed to frighten not only the horses – but cats and dogs aussi.


    I think I have found the root cause of the current Governments apparent failure of policy development.

    What happened is this:-

    In a daring 3 A.M. raid with the participants black clad and ski masked – the plans for a policy making machine were stolen from the headquarters of the Make Australia White party.
    The raid was successful as the wallopers have been either unable or unwilling to prosecute the perpetrators.
    Under the care and tutelage of Mr. ………….the scientist and technicians of the …… carefully built the machine and, immediately after the Federal Election in 2013, turned it on.

    A succession of what can only be kindly described as f******ups eventuated – but as these coincided with what was termed Adult Government nobody detected anything amiss.

    Careful analysis set in motion by the Minister for Prayers and Thoughts has, at last brough about a breakthrough. The machine is supposed to be negative to ground and, by mistake, the builders set it up with (in the usual Party manner) with negative connected to positive.

    Has anybody put the kettle on ❓ ☕ 😇

    My Mx Revolution Mouse has just announced that it urgently requires recharging. I suspect an angry Deity.

    E &OE

  25. Socrates

    One good thing. If Antony Green is proven right then the right Religious Freedom push died last night.

    Only Katter would be on side with that one.

    Ignoring the message of the conservative electorate of Wentworth will destroy the Liberal party that swing was just massive.

  26. Hah Mark Kenny is calling the Greens a mainstream party now.

    Does this mean they will be at leadership debates hosted by the National Press Club?

  27. Guytaur

    Agreed, and it won’t only affect Wentworth. People say Wentworth is unusual but not so much by inner urban seat standards. In my perception Melbourne is more progressive than Sydney. Wealthy inner Melbourne seats will fall like dominos if half this trend holds in a general election.

  28. Speers holding back in what he knew is standard CPG operating procedures when it comes to the Coalition. The same way Barnaby’s exploits only came to light after the New England by-election.

  29. Jericho has a warning for a future Labor govt.

    It’s a good example of how the government remains very clearly on the side of employers, and has put full faith in the market delivering wages growth at some stage.

    It’s a position that opens itself up very much to charges of being ignorant of why, in the face of low unemployment, the voters are not giving them credit.

    But it is not just about the government. The ALP has sought to make the issue of flat real wages and incomes growth an issue – essentially arguing that all the good news is flowing to companies and owners and not to workers. That might be a winning political argument, but the disconnect of unemployment and wages will be their issue should they take government. And as governments around the world have found, it is a tough problem to solve.

    It means governments might no longer be able to rely on previous measures of economic strength to get re-elected. And it means the ALP will need to deliver on its promises of wages growth – while also keeping unemployment low.

    If they could do that without also becoming a clown car of a government, that would also be rather appreciated by voters, I suspect.

  30. Fess
    As per guytaur. Surely the fibs would not have conceded defeat so readily if there were a chance the postal votes were projected to come out strongly for them

  31. US Republicans join with ScumMo in asking people to pray for the Liberal party. Dog and Rupert are listening.

    Have a good day all. Beautiful morning here in Adelaide.

  32. Socrates

    Yes Wentworth is unusual. Thats why it has been described as the bluest of blue ribbon seats. Melbourne equivalent is Kooyong or what ever the electorate is around Toorak.

    Thats supposed to be Liberal heartland. Red meat central to use an American term

  33. Hugh Moran
    Excellent point.
    I always imagine what the CPG does were Labor is concerned. No such courtesies are ever applied to them

  34. @TonyWindsor tweets

    Amusing to see Peta Credlin , the architect of anarchy in the Gillard minority parliament now crapping on about how Morrison should work with the Independents … if ever there was a living example of what went wrong with the Libs she is it , a shocker .

  35. @TonyWindsor tweets

    Amusing to see Peta Credlin , the architect of anarchy in the Gillard minority parliament now crapping on about how Morrison should work with the Independents … if ever there was a living example of what went wrong with the Libs she is it , a shocker .

  36. There is a sense of an urgent need for the county to change direction. Like the Rabbi said: ‘vote for the future’. And that turned a few heads I can tell you.

  37. @PNSlipper tweeted last night

    One tip @drkerrynphelps – watch your back! Vested interests within Australia will not be happy unless you play their game. #WentworthVotes #KerrynPhelps #phelps #auspol

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