Federal election minus six months (probably)

Tales of preselection action from Hughes, Indi, Cowper, Bennelong, Chisholm, Longman and New England.

Roughly six months out from a likely federal election, a gathering storm of preselection action. (Note also the thread below this one on the Victorian election campaign).

Phillip Coorey of the Australian Financial Review reports Scott Morrison has sought to save Craig Kelly from a preselection defeat in Hughes, but that moderate backers of challenger Kent Johns are not to be deterred. According to a source identified as one of his conservative allies, Kelly “has been remiss in looking after his branches and would be lucky to have 25 per cent of the vote”. Quoth a moderate: “As far as the moderates are concerned, Malcolm Turnbull saved Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Angus Taylor and Kelly last time, and look what they did to him.” Among the quandaries this raises are that Kelly may react to his defeat by moving to the cross-benches, further weakening the already shaky position of the government.

• There have been a few suggestions that Barnaby Joyce may fall foul of a new candidate-vetting process the Nationals have introduced, ostensibly to prevent further Section 44 mishaps. Figures in the party appear to have been putting it about that Joyce might face trouble due to the fear that even after the events of the past year, there remain “skeletons in the closet”. However, inquiries by Richard Ferguson of The Australian suggest that “a few members on the NSW Nationals’ 84-people-strong central council do plan to refuse to endorse Mr Joyce but they are in the minority”.

David Johnston of the Border Mail reports nominees for a Liberal preselection vote for Indi, to be held on December 8, include Steve Martin, project manager for the Mars Petcare Wodonga plant expansion and Seeley International’s relocation from Albury to Wodonga, and Stephen Brooks, a local businessman. Another potential nominee is Greg Mirabella, husband of former member Sophie Mirabella. The seat’s independent member, Cathy McGowan, has not yet committed to seeking another term. The report also raises the possibility that Senator Bridget McKenzie, who is preparing to move her electorate office to Wodonga, might run for the Nationals.

Christian Knight of the Nambucca Guardian reports the Nationals have preselected Patrick Conaghan, a local solicitor who was formerly a police officer and North Sydney councillor, to succeed the retiring Luke Hartsuyker in Cowper. The other candidates were Chris Genders, a newsagent; Jamie Harrison, former Port Macquarie-Hastings councillor and owner of an electrical business; and Judy Plunkett, a Port Macquarie pharmacist. Conaghan appears to have won over half the vote in the first round.

• Labor has recruited Brian Owler, neurosurgeon and former Australian Medical Association president, as its candidate for Bennelong. The party had initially preselected Lyndal Howison, communications manager at the Whitlam Institute and the party’s candidate in 2016, but she agreed to step aside for Owler.

• Gladys Liu, director of Blue Ribbon Consultancy, has been preselected as the Liberal candidate to succeed Julia Banks in Chisholm, having emerged “the clear winner in the field of eight candidates”, according to Liberal sources cited by Benjamin Preiss of The Age. Other candidates included Theo Zographos, a Monash councillor, and Litsa Pillios, an accountant. James Campbell of the Herald Sun reports Liu had backing from party president Michael Kroger and conservative powerbroker Michael Sukkar.

David Alexander of the Pine Rivers Press reports the Liberal National Party has preselected local small businessman Terry Young as its candidate for Longman. The party recorded a portentously weak showing in the seat at the Super Saturday by-election on July 28, for which Young was an unsuccessful preselection candidate.

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.

1,348 comments on “Federal election minus six months (probably)”

  1. Nath as one of the serious high speed rail people, I can tell you that I object to well off people getting tax benefits from speculating on multiple existing houses.


  2. Pegasus says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    frednk

    Victorian Labor obviously prefers to enable the election of right-wing party candidates to parliament instead of progressive Greens candidates.

    Whoever the may be; they are unlikely to pull the same stunts the Green party has.

  3. If the Victorian Legislative Council ends up with a gaggle of micro party people in it, It is going to make getting legislation much more difficult for Labor as opposed to having the Greens having the balance of power.

    The Sustainable Australia party aren’t xenophobic at all, they just advocate a zero population growth policy on the basis of environmental sustainability, much like the Greens 20 years did.

  4. ‘Tristo says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    If the Victorian Legislative Council ends up with a gaggle of micro party people in it, It is going to make getting legislation much more difficult for Labor as opposed to having the Greens having the balance of power.’

    Really? The Greens have left a trail of wreckage whenever they have enjoyed the BOP.

  5. Jackol et al
    Sustainable Australia isn’t xenophobic looking at their website. There weren’t even any hints.
    Their immigration policy contends that the major parties’ immigration policy is a Ponzi scheme to “grow the economy” endlessly without improving wages or standards of living.
    It’s a reasonable argument.

  6. Boerwar @ #1297 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 7:47 pm

    ‘Tristo says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    If the Victorian Legislative Council ends up with a gaggle of micro party people in it, It is going to make getting legislation much more difficult for Labor as opposed to having the Greens having the balance of power.’

    Really? The Greens have left a trail of wreckage whenever they have enjoyed the BOP.

    Labor/Greens/Reason have been wonderful for Victoria over the last 4 yrs.

  7. Boerwar @ #1301 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 7:47 pm

    ‘Tristo says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    If the Victorian Legislative Council ends up with a gaggle of micro party people in it, It is going to make getting legislation much more difficult for Labor as opposed to having the Greens having the balance of power.’

    Really? The Greens have left a trail of wreckage whenever they have enjoyed the BOP.

    This is the nub of the argument.

    The Greens play our way or no way games.

    Everyone else is prepared to deal.

  8. Rex Douglas @ #1299 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 7:35 pm

    Rural Australia is changing.

    Indeed it is. Farmers are changing their opinions as global warming become apparent to even the most obstinate deniers. You might not see it in the cities yet, but it is now blindingly obvious in the regions.

    Also, I don’t think it has made the headlines yet, but there is a flight of Tree Changers and Sea Changers (BB and me are good examples) fleeing the cities and moving to rural and regional Australia. We are often “post” baby boomers. There will be more of us in the coming decade or so. We are left-leaning and pro-environment.

  9. @Boerwar

    How have the Greens left a trail of wreckage in the time they have the balance of power in the Victorian Legislative Council?

    I believe Labor is going to regret it’s decision to preference these micro parties ahead of the Greens. Especially given some of these people elected are either going to become independents or switch parties sometime during the next parliamentary term (look at the federal senate lately).

  10. The economic framework that every nation should aim to implement is an MMT-informed steady state economy.

    What that means is that is your national government issues its own currency, enforces taxes in that currency, and does not peg its currency to something that it could run out of. This
    makes it a monetarily sovereign government.

    The nation should aim for a stable population.

    The nation should aim for decreases in total waste generation and total resource depletion.

    The nation should aim for improved quality of social outcomes and environmental sustainability.

    In advanced nations economic development would consist of increasing the quality of production, social value, and environmental sustainability.

    There would not be increased resource depletion or increased waste generation.

    Advanced economies already have sufficient per capita consumption to achieve optimal subjective wellbeing. For those nations, the priorities are distribution of income and wealth and optimal priorities of public spending.

    For nations with very low per capita consumption, economic development will involve lifting per capita consumption of real resources to a level that is consistent with a good standard of living.

    An excellent MMT-informed economist who writes about steady state economies is Philip Lawn. You can find his publications here:

    https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=-GLwZuMAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra

  11. Were the Greens to preference the Coalition of environment and climate vandals, buccaneer capitalists, banking and property spivs, religious nutters and racists, their vote would collapse.

  12. The Australian Battlers Party seem to be right wing populists who want the safe schools program abolished.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/victoria/life-coach-with-sights-on-upper-house-wants-10-year-bond-for-migrants-20181115-p50g99.html

    Plus who knows what the Transport matters people who could get elected would demand for supporting Labor legislation. Then you have the possibility of a Liberal Democrats candidate being elected into the legislative council.

    The balance of power in the Legislative Council could change from having parties either on the center or center left and mostly supportive of Labor. To one that is center-right to right populists and hostile towards Labor and especially the Greens.

  13. Nicholas
    MMT is not necessary, actually.
    As with Europe, all you need is a Marshall Plan and US troops stationed on your soil and Bob’s Your Uncle.

  14. Also, I don’t think it has made the headlines yet, but there is a flight of Tree Changers and Sea Changers (BB and me are good examples) fleeing the cities and moving to rural and regional Australia.

    That is definitely apparent here, esp in the coastal parts basically from Busselton through to Albany. Climate change is accepted as a reality here, the evidence of our drying climate plain for everyone to see. Furthermore Albany people continue to tell anyone who cares to listen how much we love our natural environment; we live in a beautiful part of the country, and don’t want to see that ruined by coastal erosion.

  15. Tristo @ #1307 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 7:59 pm

    The Australian Battlers Party seem to be right wing populists who want the safe schools program abolished.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/victoria/life-coach-with-sights-on-upper-house-wants-10-year-bond-for-migrants-20181115-p50g99.html

    Plus who knows what the Transport matters people who could get elected would demand for supporting Labor legislation. Then you have the possibility of a Liberal Democrats candidate being elected into the legislative council.

    The Aussie Battler Party is a marketing con aimed at the not too bright in the same way PHON operates.


  16. Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    What is it about the irrational conservative Labor right ?

    Same same same same same; next time you post such crap; think.


  17. Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    What is it about the irrational conservative Labor right ?

    Next time your going to post something to try an undermine labor; think.

  18. @Rex Douglas

    I might be inclined to agree with you, however look at how the One Nation candidates who elected to the Federal Senate have behaved. Personally I would rather have people like Mehreen Faruqi, Sarah Hanson Young or Fiona Patten holding the balance of power in federal senate and Victorian legislative council, rather than the Pauline Hansons, Corey Bernardi’s David Leyonhjelm and Fraser Annings. Since the former represent the views of many more Australians than the latter.

  19. Hi C@t , I posted this earlier, but you may have missed it, or perhaps you have blocked me. Oh well.

    Hi C@t,

    What did you think of the party?

    Flipping noisy, and both the coleslaw and mayonnaise ran out before I got any. Bummer.

    The chicken skewers were good, and the little bruschetta things, and the avocado mini-blinis.

    I was one of the 30 or so blokes with thinning hair and whitish beards. You may have noticed me getting around with a bin to clear off the paper plates, and helping with the food distribution. Or possibly not (noticed me, that is). I am not quite so evil, in the flesh.

    There was a certain sameness about the speeches, but they are a pretty good lot of reps, on the whole.

    Liesl is beaut, and I have a lot of time for both Emma and Deb.

  20. Tristo @ #1316 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 8:07 pm

    @Rex Douglas

    I might be inclined to agree with you, however look at how the One Nation candidates who elected to the Federal Senate have behaved. Personally I would rather have people like Mehreen Faruqi holding the balance of power in federal senate and Victorian legislative council, rather than the Pauline Hansons and Fraser Annings.

    As would I. Not sure if the Labor right agree though

  21. @Steve777

    Right-wing populism in Australia is ideologically and intellectually bankrupt, it can be easily challenged. The proper response would be left-wing populism which whose’s message is about challenging the power of top 1% who actually rule this country at the expense of the 99%.

    @Rex Douglas

    I believe the Labor right are a bit of problem for the party, they are preventing it from adopting a more left-wing populist agenda similar to what Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn advocate. They are a bit too close to social conservatives and especially big business.

  22. The monthly poll shows Labor remain in an election-winning position despite the gap narrowing. It leads the Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, based on how preferences flowed at the last election. This is closer than the 55-45 lead a month ago, suggesting the Coalition is still in the contest.

    The nation is also divided over Muslim immigration in the wake of the lone-wolf terrorist attack in Melbourne the week before last.

    The poll finds 46 per cent believe this intake should be reduced while 49 per cent believe it should either be kept the same or increased.

    Morrison v Shorten

    The poll of 1200 voters, taken from Thursday night to Saturday night last week, shows Labor’s primary vote is 34 per cent, the Coalition’s is 37 per cent and the Greens are on 13 per cent.

    Scott Morrison leads Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister by 47 per cent to 35 per cent, but his one approval ratings are slipping. His approval rating fell 2 percentage points in a month to 48 per cent and his disapproval rating rose 3 points to 36 per cent.

    Mr Shorten’s approval rating was down 1 point to 40 per cent and his disapproval rating was also down a point to 47 per cent.

  23. Rex Douglas

    The Greens have got to the point where no-one trusts them. No one actually knows what they stand for.

    This is the party that has a leader that thinks it is acceptable to pay Au Pair’s $150 a week; tell me Rex do you support that?
    This is a party that has Young Greens resigning ‘in disgust’ over handling of sexual misconduct; tell me Rex do you support that?
    You clearly support continual harassment of the Labors opposition leader you have been at it for years.

  24. I think the federal election will end up with Labor winning around 53-54% of the two party preferred and a result on the scale of 2007 or even 1983. Although the results will be a bit patchy with MP’s such as Warren Entsch retaining their seats, while others such as Tony Abbott, Andrew Hastie and Michael Sukkar losing theirs.

    I reckon Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains tax proposals are suppressing the vote a bit.

  25. Australians dumb enough to vote for Abbott……you betcha
    Dumb enough to vote for Morriscum……you betcha….hang on folks, it’s going to be a white knuckle ride…..

  26. Puffy,

    Exactly.

    Greens at 13% gives a hint.

    Cannot really complain as last month had labor 55-45 and I lauded it as a fantastic poll.

    Take the ups with the downs re Ipsos.

    Cheers.

  27. Based on preference flow at the last election

    Based on preference flow among those polled 53/47

    So they give the headline figure to the most positive result for the Coalition

    It says something when you place more credibility with a Murdoch published poll

    Manipulation

  28. frednk says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Rex Douglas

    The Greens have got to the point where no-one trusts them. No one actually knows what they stand for.

    This is the party that has a leader that thinks it is acceptable to pay Au Pair’s $150 a week; tell me Rex do you support that?
    ______________________
    A little known fact. The $150 was in addition to a fully self contained unit, not just a room, an entire unit with kitchen, bedrooms and lounge. With utilities Di Natale estimated the whole package as worth $500 for 25 hours work a week. I’ll leave it for others to work out if that is fair.

  29. That Ispos poll isn’t credible. A 3% shift in a month(?). What could have caused it? Labor on 34, just above its 2013 nadir. Pretty unlikely. Greens 13? Ditto.

    No conspiracies, it’s likely an outlier on the low side. If the sample size is about 2,000, the MOE is about 2%, if 1,000 about 3%. It is possible that last month’s 55 was high. Both results are consistent with a Labor 2PP of 53-54.

    A back of the envelope calculation on those numbers:

    ALP 2PP = 34 + o.8*13 + 0.45*16 = 51.6.

  30. nath says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 7:04 pm
    frednk
    says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 6:56 pm
    Pegasus
    Given the continual attempt to wedge labor, the continual same/same crap do you think labor really cares what happens to the greens?
    ________________________________
    I wonder how the ALP would like it if the Greens preferenced the Libs in marginal seats.

    The Gs could try that. Their support base would evaporate overnight.

  31. It is very reasonable for Australia to aim to stabilise its population, reduce its total resource depletion level, and reduce its total waste generation level.

    There is nothing racist about that.

    Some societies do not have enough per capita consumption to provide decent standards of living. In those nations, increases in per capita consumption of real resources are sustainable and morally justified.

    But for advanced societies the imperative is to reduce the total amount of resource depletion and the total amount of waste generation.

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