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.

1,349 comments on “Federal election minus six months (probably)”

  1. I hope Adrian is watching today’s Insiders.

    It must be one of the most consistently swingeing critiques of the Coaltion in any one episode.

    Ever.

  2. My eyes also have very different focal lengths.
    When fully assessing images I have to close one eye at a time as well as change glasses/shift my position, depending on the distance of the image from where I am standing.
    There is no technical word for this situation but ‘My eyes are fucked’ fits the bill adequately.

    BW

    I think we have finally discovered the reason behind your scathing one eyed criticism of the umpires in the 2016 Swans v Bulldogs AFL grand final. 😆

  3. “It must be one of the most consistently swingeing critiques of the Coaltion. Ever”

    Cassidy and his hack mates must be afraid of the certainty of a Labor government. A bit late though. Sack the lot of ’em.

  4. p
    IMO, it reflects reality.
    Shorten and Labor are not putting a foot wrong.
    The Coalition provides endless grist to the mill.
    I assume they could not find any one on the reactionary side to join this panel.

  5. ‘poroti says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Belt and braces. It’s what you go for when you keep finding your pants around your ankles in public.’

    Classic.

  6. For psephers the interesting comment was from PvO.

    The ever-larger number of pre polls will change election campaigns with things like major announcements happening much earlier in campaigns.

  7. Boerwar @ #936 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 9:31 am

    z

    ‘The reason I singled out JG…’

    Is that nath constantly and consistently seeks one form of outcome: to have Bludgers talk about some form or other of ‘Labor Bad’.
    It is called agenda setting.
    It means that Bludgers are NOT talking about Liberal Bad and that Bludgers are NOT talking about Labor Good.
    It is an oldie and a fave for political hacks.

    +1

  8. Boerwar @ #965 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 10:02 am

    For psephers the interesting comment was from PvO.

    The ever-larger number of pre polls will change election campaigns with things like major announcements happening much earlier in campaigns.

    It’s also why it has been a smart move by Labor to continuously feed big policy announcements into the mix and to prime the pump before the election gun goes off.

  9. With respect to the conversation around Labor’s upcoming Energy policy announcement, I found this article today, VERY interesting. In summary, it basically says that the cost of Solar, Wind + Battery Storage is coming down so fast that the best course of action is to retire all Coal-Fired Power Plants and bypass completely Gas-Fired Power Plant building!

    https://thinkprogress.org/forget-coal-both-solar-and-wind-are-now-cheaper-than-new-natural-gas-plants-e281f5485e5f/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tp-letters

  10. Whilst elections will increasingly see early voting Wentworth proved you can still lose an election in the last week of a campaign.

    Lucky for FauxMo, that’s not a problem he needs to worry about at the next election.

  11. Abbott is actually losing money by remaining a MP; if he quit he’d get his PM pension which is more than a backbenchers salary. But then he’d give up his chance to be PM again….

  12. The best of the last 12 months from our cartoonist.

    No surprises to see David Rowe feature several times. He’s easily Australia’s best political cartoonist in my view.

  13. Diogenes says:

    Abbott is actually losing money by remaining a MP; if he quit he’d get his PM pension which is more than a backbenchers salary. But then he’d give up his chance to be PM again….

    Also not being totally irrelevant and unemployable. Priceless.

  14. Abbott is criss crossing Australia on the taxpayer, annoying one Indigenous community after another.

    He has extra staffing resources. He has extra Envoy pay.

    His living away from home allowances while on the road would keep ten Newstarters in clover.

    He gets to inflict punishment on anyone to the left of Pauline Hanson.

    He gets his pain massaged.

    And, best of all, he gets to delay real climate action in Australia.

    What could be more meaningful?

  15. The Liberals and Labor right won’t be happy with Daniel Andrews’ latest socialist policy of subsidised dental care for Victorian Govt school kids.

  16. Dio

    Abbott is actually losing money by remaining a MP; if he quit he’d get his PM pension which is more than a backbenchers salary.

    __________________________________

    Don’t forget the humungous travel allowance he still gets for travelling around the country on his caring and sharing stunts.

  17. Dio: “The best thing about the Australian media is the cartoons”

    Agreed, Dio. However, I’d say it is its only positive feature. The rest is appalling.

  18. More
    The @LiberalAus government plans to release a deadly virus into waterways to kill carp AGAINST the advice of its scientific advisor. @The_Nationals dickhead @Barnaby_Joyce is in favour of it. #FFS why do we have PhD trained experts #auspol if we don’t listen to them #wakeup

    I have no source for this. Surely it’s a joke? But Barnaby…

  19. Victorian Greens election platform includes: Community health by and for communities: working with and in communities to boost access to health and dental services:

    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/agv/pages/18664/attachments/original/1542162919/AGV_Community_health_and_dental.pdf?1542162919

    Andrews is continuing to put out policies in areas the Greens Party has long campaigned on, in efforts to sway inner city electorates where Labor is under threat from the Greens.

    That’s a good thing. It validates my position for supporting a third party advocating for inclusive and progressive policies.

  20. Pegasus @ #989 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:05 am

    Victorian Greens election platform includes: Community health by and for communities: working with and in communities to boost access to health and dental services:

    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/agv/pages/18664/attachments/original/1542162919/AGV_Community_health_and_dental.pdf?1542162919

    Andrews is continuing to put out policies in areas the Greens Party has long campaigned on, in efforts to sway inner city electorates where Labor is under threat from the Greens.

    That’s a good thing. It validates my position for supporting a third party advocating for inclusive and progressive policies.

    Quite right, Peg.

  21. UnsilentMajority
    ‏@The_UnSilent_
    2h2 hours ago

    The man is standing in the middle of a town that still has over 1000 people still missing, wearing a camouflage USA hat, WITH HIS NAME ON THE BACK, talking about “taking care of the floors of the forest”…

    Trump thinks the solution to the fire problem is to ‘clean out the forest floor’.
    “We’re all committed…it’s going to work out well.”

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1063913436214685697

  22. From last month

    Department of Agriculture and Water Resources approving an extension to the development of the carp herpes virus.

    Plans to eradicate carp numbers in Australia have been put on hold for at least a year

    Carp can grow to monstrous sizes in rivers and creeks
    More research will be done to research potential immunity to the virus in carp
    The extension will allow time for researchers to look into the current knowledge gaps and speak with more stakeholders.

    It will also prevent the Government — which dubbed the plan ‘Carpageddon’ — from taking a gamble on current research.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-12/carp-herpes-virus-plans-put-on-hold/10370836

  23. lizzie @ #991 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:11 am

    UnsilentMajority
    ‏@The_UnSilent_
    2h2 hours ago

    The man is standing in the middle of a town that still has over 1000 people still missing, wearing a camouflage USA hat, WITH HIS NAME ON THE BACK, talking about “taking care of the floors of the forest”…

    Trump thinks the solution to the fire problem is to ‘clean out the forest floor’.
    “We’re all committed…it’s going to work out well.”

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1063913436214685697

    How many wildlife species would he wipeout doing that ?

  24. C@tmomma @ #968 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 10:08 am

    With respect to the conversation around Labor’s upcoming Energy policy announcement, I found this article today, VERY interesting. In summary, it basically says that the cost of Solar, Wind + Battery Storage is coming down so fast that the best course of action is to retire all Coal-Fired Power Plants and bypass completely Gas-Fired Power Plant building!

    https://thinkprogress.org/forget-coal-both-solar-and-wind-are-now-cheaper-than-new-natural-gas-plants-e281f5485e5f/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tp-letters

    Sorry, C@tmomma. This would be good news if it were true. But it just isn’t – not yet.

    I know I sound like a broken record on this topic, but it is too important to get this wrong. It would lead to dangerously poor policy outcomes.

    As usual with articles of this type, they consider only the cost of the energy generation, and do not include the cost of “firming”, which requires either storage or some other complementary form of generation. The source article (Lazard) specifically excludes consideration of storage. It says …

    Solar PV and wind have become an increasingly attractive resource relative to conventional generation technologies with similar generation profiles; without storage, however, these resources lack the dispatch characteristics of such conventional generation technologies

    It also warns …

    … direct comparisons against “competing” Alternative Energy generation technologies must take into account issues such as dispatch characteristics (e.g., baseload and/or
    dispatchable intermediate load vs. peaking or intermittent technologies)

    I.e. the costs quoted do not include the cost of either storage, or other firming to make the power generated “dispatchable”.

    In particular, on batteries, this article itself concedes …

    Moreover, the rapid price drops in storage, especially lithium ion batteries, means “we are beginning to see a clearer path forward for economic viability in storage technologies.”

    “Beginning”, maybe (although they provide no evidence of this!). But we are not there yet.

    However, I certainly agree that the best thing we can do is to retire coal as fast as possible. And for those countries like Australia that have foregone nuclear, the fastest way to do that is by using as much renewables as possible (and wind is by far the cheapest, not solar, and also requires less firming), plus gas as a transition fuel (for firming only, itself to be eliminated as fast as possible) while we build the necessary storage (which would mostly be hydro, not batteries).

    But even so, the picture is looking increasingly grim …

    The bad news, though, is that according to IEA’s latest annual energy report, the sharply declining cost of clean energy, by itself, is not enough to avert catastrophic warming.

    We have dawdled for so long ignoring the warnings of top scientists that our current and near-term fossil-based energy infrastructure will, by itself, generate enough carbon pollution to take us to dangerous levels of warming.

    We cannot afford to make any more mistakes. They would not only be costly, they would be deadly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *