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. Rex:

    I think free or subsidised dental care for those in need should be a priority of any party, with some 7 million Australians unable to afford it, and apparently the waiting list is as bad as the public housing register. Ditching those darn subs would be a good start.

  2. Confessions

    Not necessarily fake. Barnyard may well be all for CARPageddon and there is every intention of going ahead with it. That bit from October may just be a move to delay it.

  3. “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 know there was a lot of argument on this. From what i remember the virus is ok, its the scale of the fish kill they expect from it, and the vast amount of rotting fish in the river at once that may be a huge problem. Rotting, de-oxygenation, and that killing non-target species.

    Look….its just the kind of thing that the Libs would do just before the election campaign simply to set the tone. 🙁

    The program may have some merit, but I’d be surprised if they do this while there is a drought on?? Would think you would do it late Autumn…IF you have reasonable rain forecast in the catchment to help flush things, or a load of water from the Snowy earmarked for that??

  4. imacca

    Re timing, from article.
    .
    “The virus operates between about 16-28 degrees Celsius, so within that temperature range the virus can replicate in carp and cause disease and that’s great, but cooler than [or] warmer than that and a carp can become infected and not die, but become a carrier.”

  5. The Australian Greens understand the need for affordable dental care and has been advocating for dental care to be treated like Medicare.

    Denicare policy / Growing dental care in Medicare: https://greens.org.au/sites/default/files/2018-06/Denticare_0.pdf

    Millions of Australians put off essential dental care because they can’t afford it, leading to serious health problems. The Greens believe your income should not determine your health. We have an affordable plan to give more Australians access to the dental care they need, when they need it

    The Greens believe that dental care should be an integral part of our health care system. The exclusion of dental care from Australia’s public health system causes hardship and poor health outcomes for millions of Australians. The Greens’ affordable plan will provide access to essential dental care for millions more Australians.

  6. briefly @ #1005 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:32 am

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-deal-conservatives-moderates-warning-theresa-may-eurosceptics-a8639171.html

    The most interesting observation in this article is that there is no majority in the commons for anything in relation to Brexit – no majority for “no deal”; nor for May’s deal; nor for remaining. The Tories have created chaos.

    The sooner Corbyn forms Govt the better… for the many, not the few.

  7. Completely different from noxious Carp…..well

    Firefighting stuff.

    In the US they pay prisoners $1 / hour to volunteer to fight fires. Major resource in terms of bodies on the ground. The personnel they get from Oz are trained incident managers which they run short of during the fire season. Apparently US and Oz both use much the same control and management systems so we can help each other out, as well as sharing aircraft.

    However, once a prisoner, ( who on release may be a multi year experienced firefighter who has actually been right in the thick of it ) has served their sentence, they cant be employed as a firefighter because they are ex-cons. Seems silly to me.

    Saw this reported in the context of various states changing their voting rules that disenfranchise ex prisoners.

  8. Pegasus @ #1006 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:34 am

    The Australian Greens understand the need for affordable dental care and has been advocating for dental care to be treated like Medicare.

    Denicare policy / Growing dental care in Medicare: https://greens.org.au/sites/default/files/2018-06/Denticare_0.pdf

    Millions of Australians put off essential dental care because they can’t afford it, leading to serious health problems. The Greens believe your income should not determine your health. We have an affordable plan to give more Australians access to the dental care they need, when they need it

    The Greens believe that dental care should be an integral part of our health care system. The exclusion of dental care from Australia’s public health system causes hardship and poor health outcomes for millions of Australians. The Greens’ affordable plan will provide access to essential dental care for millions more Australians.

    Peg, a lower house Labor majority with and upper house environmental/socialist balance of power is the best we can pragmatically hope for.

  9. “The sooner Corbyn forms Govt the better… for the many, not the few.”

    When you think Rex is probably right, all the known evidence suggests it, but you don’t have a mental construct where that outcome can be compiled.

  10. Confessions says:

    I’m always sceptical of anonymous or unnamed people on social media making overhyped claims of armaggedon.

    Armageddon is not just from the “unnamed people’ when it comes to the carp and Barnyard is very keen on the idea.It has been delayed , at best, not cancelled. With luck Barnyard will be gorn by the time the ‘further study’ has finished.
    .
    Australia’s carp herpes plan dubbed ‘serious risk to global food security’
    UK academics say introduction of herpes virus could also cause ‘catastrophic ecosystem crashes’ in Australia
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/24/australias-carp-herpes-plan-dubbed-serious-risk-to-global-food-security

  11. Mavis Smith @ #1009 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:36 am

    [‘Hours after Trump spoke, a State Department spokeswoman called the news reports about the CIA’s assessment “inaccurate”, without giving any specifics.’]

    Now, why would he disagree with the CIA’s assessment of Khasoggi’s brutal murder(?).

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/white-house-split-over-khasoggi-killing-response-to-saudi-arabia-20181118-p50gqk.html

    follow the money…

  12. WeWantPaul @ #1011 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:39 am

    “The sooner Corbyn forms Govt the better… for the many, not the few.”

    When you think Rex is probably right, all the known evidence suggests it, but you don’t have a mental construct where that outcome can be compiled.

    Of course if the British people want a continuance of May and the DUP, then so be it.

  13. Mavis

    Now, why would he disagree with the CIA’s assessment of Khasoggi’s brutal murder(?).

    Thoughts about Iraq ? 😉 Actually he gave the reason on a sound bit played on RN this morning. They are ‘great allies’ and the US gets a whole lotta money and jobs from them.

  14. If there is a majority in the commons on one thing, it is the existence of the anti-Labour coalition. It is the barest majority. At the moment, the prospect of an election seems very far off indeed. This is not least because a Corbyn-led government would be no more able to solve the Brexit deadlock than the Tories can.

  15. Shorter Trump: “we have a beautiful climate, the climate is fine. I want our climate to be beautiful for everyone and it will be. It’s going to be great for everyone, we’re all going to love it. Now build that wall”.

  16. poroti:

    There are quite a few things on the govt agenda that should be quietly set aside over the xmas/new year break. Of most concern however, is their stated intention to underwrite a coal fired power station.

  17. Rex:

    [‘follow the money…’]

    Mueller’s doing exactly that. I’m hoping he’ll present indictments this week, notably against his no-good son, Don Jnr. Then we’ll witness more unravelling of Don Snr. Though they could be delayed until re-run elections are held – can’t be seen to be political.

  18. briefly @ #1018 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:46 am

    If there is a majority in the commons on one thing, it is the existence of the anti-Labour coalition. It is the barest majority. At the moment, the prospect of an election seems very far off indeed. This is not least because a Corbyn-led government would be no more able to solve the Brexit deadlock than the Tories can.

    Is that your round-a-bout way of endorsing May for another term…?

  19. The Australian
    1 day ago.

    Barnaby Joyce is pushing for the immediate ­release of a deadly herpes virus to kill wild carp, despite scientific warnings against it.

  20. Confessions @ #1020 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:48 am

    poroti:

    There are quite a few things on the govt agenda that should be quietly set aside over the xmas/new year break. Of most concern however, is their stated intention to underwrite a coal fired power station.

    Given the corporations and unions associated with coal would be thrilled with a govt funded coal fired power station, it would seem very likely to proceed.

  21. It’s gratifying to see Vic-Labor beginning the process of extending dental care on a needs basis, of socialising dentistry. This is a really good idea. The public sector should provide dental services in the same way that it offers hospital care.

  22. I’m hoping he’ll present indictments this week, notably against his no-good son, Don Jnr. Then we’ll witness more unravelling of Don Snr.

    The usually circumspect Van Jones said yesterday on Real Time that Trump is scared of something in the Mueller investigation. Granted, he said, we don’t know whether it’s illegal goings on about to be revealed, or something that is merely embarrassing for him coming out. But he is scared of the Mueller probe.

  23. “Of course if the British people want a continuance of May and the DUP, then so be it.”

    That is kind of how democracy is supposed to work.

  24. It will be very interesting to see the verbal gymnastics from Bill Shorten and Labor re the proposed Govt funded coal-fired power station.
    No doubt the big coal associated unions will ultimately have their way when it’s all said and done.

  25. Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 11:54 am
    briefly @ #1023 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:50 am

    Rex….nah. Just practicing my arithmetic.
    Nah… you’re just confused

    Lol
    Not by you, Rex.

    UK Labour is also badly divided by Brexit. The most important division is between the leader, who is a Leave-leaning romantic, and the rank-and-file, who want to protect their jobs and are Remainders.

    The reactionaries have precipitated chaos in the realm. This manifests politically – in the parties and among their representatives. But far more importantly, it will disrupt social and economic life for tens of millions for many years to come. They have been romancing the past. It never works.

  26. confessions:

    [‘…Trump is scared of something in the Mueller investigation.’]

    With Don Jnr. admitting he thinks he’s going to be indicted, the POTUS would be very worried.

    Although I doubt his son would turn on him for a better outcome, some become disloyal, unhinged when facing incarceration – eg, Cohen, Manafort.

    In Queensland, for instance, a sentence can be reduced by up to 50% if they dob in another (aka co-operation) – see ss. 13A, 13B of the Penalities and Sentencing Act (1992) Qld. A similar regime applies in the US.

  27. “It will be very interesting to see the verbal gymnastics from Bill Shorten and Labor re the proposed Govt funded coal-fired power station.
    No doubt the big coal associated unions will ultimately have their way when it’s all said and done.”

    Interesting take, I was in a room with Bill this month, and he was asked about energy prices and he said ‘what Australia needs is lots more cheap renewable power’. And someone said ‘well that is a matter of opinion’ and Bill said ‘No it is fact’.

    So perhaps a bit of research will lift the level of your trolling.

  28. Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    It will be very interesting to see the verbal gymnastics from Bill Shorten and Labor re the proposed Govt funded coal-fired power station.
    No doubt the big coal associated unions will ultimately have their way when it’s all said and done.

    From the Tory ensign,unprompted, we get…..Unions, Boo!

    The trouble for RD is the unions – especially the CFMEU and the AWU – are good to go on strong climate change policies. This is true right across the spectrum, from the left to the right in the labor movement. There is a high degree of solidarity.

  29. WeWantPaul @ #1035 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 12:12 pm

    “It will be very interesting to see the verbal gymnastics from Bill Shorten and Labor re the proposed Govt funded coal-fired power station.
    No doubt the big coal associated unions will ultimately have their way when it’s all said and done.”

    Interesting take, I was in a room with Bill this month, and he was asked about energy prices and he said ‘what Australia needs is lots more cheap renewable power’. And someone said ‘well that is a matter of opinion’ and Bill said ‘No it is fact’.

    So perhaps a bit of research will lift the level of your trolling.

    The verbal gymnastics in your room clearly entertained you.

  30. The way things are going, I’d be surprised if Jeremy Corbyn even makes it to the next election. I’ve been fairly supportive of the guy in the past, but – since 2017 – I’ve been grown increasingly unimpressed with what seems to be total inability to capitalize on the endless fuck-ups and internal chaos and general fail that of the Theresa May government, to the point where UK Labour share of the vote has been steadily going backwards. His ineffectual stance on Brexit does him no favors whatsoever either.

    Like Bill Shorten, he’s a fairly dour and uncharismatic figure who doesn’t have much broad support within the electorate. Unlike Bill Shorten, Corbyn does not appear to have the self-awareness and tactical nous required to compensate for that fact and get his party into a solid, election winning position, despite the UK government being even more of a shambling, disunified wreck than our own.

    Most likely, Theresa May will be gone before the next UK general election. The internal tension and cavalcade of Brexit-related issues will still remain, but her replacement may well have the capacity to appeal to the public and unify the Conservatives – at least for the short-term – in a way that May never could. If that happens, I think Labour under Corbyn won’t have a chance in hell. I like a lot of the things Corbyn stands for (a major exception being his limp stance on Brexit), but I think he’s had his shot, and it’s time for someone new.

  31. Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 11:49 am
    briefly @ #1018 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 11:46 am

    If there is a majority in the commons on one thing, it is the existence of the anti-Labour coalition. It is the barest majority. At the moment, the prospect of an election seems very far off indeed. This is not least because a Corbyn-led government would be no more able to solve the Brexit deadlock than the Tories can.

    Is that your round-a-bout way of endorsing May for another term…?

    _____________________________

    It’s bleedingly obvious that the problem with Brexit is Brexit. Hard Brexit would be catastrophic for Britain in the short to medium term and probably forever. Soft Brexit cannot be delivered in a way that is palatable for most British people (those who are mad for Brexit and those who are madly against).

    Brexit is an ideological construct and the most powerful arguments against it are all real world, not anti-globalist theology.

    Unless and until Corbyn AND Labour go to the polls promising a second referendum Corbyn can do no more to come up with a better Brexit than May. A Labour Government would be preferable for many other reasons, but would not do Brexit better. That is patently what Briefly was saying and only a blinkered ideologue would read it any differently.

  32. briefly @ #1036 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 12:13 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    It will be very interesting to see the verbal gymnastics from Bill Shorten and Labor re the proposed Govt funded coal-fired power station.
    No doubt the big coal associated unions will ultimately have their way when it’s all said and done.

    From the Tory ensign,unprompted, we get…..Unions, Boo!

    The trouble for RD is the unions – especially the CFMEU and the AWU – are good to go on strong climate change policies. This is true right across the spectrum, from the left to the right in the labor movement. There is a high degree of solidarity.

    😆

  33. “UK Labour is also badly divided by Brexit. The most important division is between the leader, who is a Leave-leaning romantic, and the rank-and-file, who want to protect their jobs and are Remainders.”

    Didn’t the rank and file reelect him after a challenge? I’m pretty sure the remainers are bringing more lies and distortions to the ‘please make it best of three’ than the leavers did in the campaign.

    Rather than make all this silly stuff up my strategic advice would be to focus the illegal behaviour of the leave campaign. If you can nail that home, then you have a foundation to rerun the vote, if you can’t it is just sore losers asking for a doover cause the voters were dumb and duped and that isn’t how democracy can work.

  34. It seems that a big part of JG post politics life is to receive Honorary Doctorates, degrees and Fellowships from Universities. How charming to spend your time travelling to applause events and putting on endless numbers of funny hats. #wearepaying for this.

    Curtin University
    Deakin University
    Victoria University
    University of Adelaide
    University of Canberra
    Aberystwyth University
    Open University, Wales
    Brookings Institution
    University of South Australia
    King’s College, London

  35. “Unless and until Corbyn AND Labour go to the polls promising a second referendum Corbyn can do no more to come up with a better Brexit than May. A Labour Government would be preferable for many other reasons, but would not do Brexit better. That is patently what Briefly was saying and only a blinkered ideologue would read it any differently.”

    Hasn’t Britain brexited long before the next election?

  36. WWP, as we know, facts are superfluous to trolling. The art of trolling is to provoke emotive responses regardless of the facts. I’ve learned quite a lot about trolling watching RD, N, Peg, Bree, Clem, dtt among others. They provide object lessons in baiting, skimming and chumming.

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