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. “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. ”

    Today’s award for the most pathetic little shit of a human being goes to the dungpile that wrote this.

  2. What’s the point in Corbyn take a remain or leave stance…? Why get bogged down when the people have already decided.

    The people have voted to leave, so he will abide by that in a way that …looks after the many, not the few.

  3. “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.”

    If you haven’t already you should listen to the latest Ezra Kline show with Whitney Phillips it is amazing.

  4. briefly @ #1045 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 12:20 pm

    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.

    You’d be better to focus on determining your own political values and ideology, wouldn’t you ?

  5. WWP

    Hasn’t Britain brexited long before the next election?

    ________________________________________

    Both potentially moveable. Anyway, I was just saying what Briefly was – but spelt out for idiots. Corbyn’s Brexit policy is the same as May’s – so it won’t make any difference who is in power as to whether it can be implemented.

  6. Oh please, the same could be said about most of our ex PMs. Rudd and Gillard are two excellent examples because they were relatively young when leaving the job and we have to support them for many decades. This is the most egregious form of welfare.

  7. I don’t really follow Rugby Union, but it is impressive that Ireland beat the All Blacks last night.

    I think they had lost every time for 111 years, then had an unlucky (NZ score at the death?) tie/draw against them before beating them for first time at Soldier Field in Chicago in 2016.

  8. It’s really good to see the universities affiliating themselves with the values represented by Julia Gillard, who is no longer a hate-figure, a target for defamation by the usual reactionaries. She signifies great strength of purpose and character, applied in difficult circumstances to socially and economically valuable goals, in particular with respect to education, the climate and women’s rights.

    nath and other trolls may deride all that as much as they want. They will fade away as surely as the footpaths dry out after a shower of rain. The achievements and the example of Julia Gillard will endure for decades. She changed politics for women. She therefore changed politics for us all, and very much for the better.

    In the northerly part of Perth, for example, where I’m fortunate enough to campaign, success is being delivered by women candidates, campaign organisers and volunteers. Voters are completely accepting and supportive of women-in-power. Julia Gillard helped break the taboo. One result is that Labor, who recruit, select and support women candidates in great numbers, will very easily win the coming election.

  9. I would like to see Nath, who has a particularly virulent turn of phrase (followed by “Who, me?”), turn his attention to some on the conservative side. There’s much more scope there.

  10. Rex Douglas says:

    What’s the point in Corbyn take a remain or leave stance…?

    One good reason for him to keep out is that the issue could , as with the Tories, rip Labour apart .

  11. Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 12:28 pm
    briefly @ #1045 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 12:20 pm

    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.

    You’d be better to focus on determining your own political values and ideology, wouldn’t you ?

    I try not to be self-absorbed, RD, but to observe events and to try to understand them. I’ve been an activist for most of my life. I like it. It’s exciting and it brings me to other people, which something I deeply enjoy.

    I’ve campaigned against bigotry a lot. In you, I see bigotry as a recurring theme. You’re a hater. You should better deal with that than offer suggestions to me.

  12. poroti @ #1060 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 12:36 pm

    Rex Douglas says:

    What’s the point in Corbyn take a remain or leave stance…?

    One good reason for him to keep out is that the issue could , as with the Tories, rip Labour apart .

    It’s merely AN issue used by the Blairites to undermine Corbyn.

    If not the Brexit issue, the Blairites would find another issue for their treacherous motives.

  13. Fortunately Howard ended most of the parliamentary pension rort in 2004 although it is still galling to see those under the old system sit on welfare and not report their income to Centrelink.

    On the honorary doctorates. Personally, I would not want to accept these things. What an utter waste of time. I guess the pollies cant resist the chance for a bit of applause and some ‘me-me time’.

  14. briefly

    In the Liberals’ market-driven thinking, eventually they should preselect more women in order to win elections, whatever they think about female representation.

    It might take a few election losses at the federal level for the penny to drop though.

  15. Confessions….yes, Gillard is a great example; as is Carmen Lawrence, who I saw again recently. She has lost none of her intellectual force. I really admire her.

  16. Rocket Rocket @ #1065 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 12:42 pm

    briefly

    In the Liberals’ market-driven thinking, eventually they should preselect more women in order to win elections, whatever they think about female representation.

    It might take a few election losses at the federal level for the penny to drop though.

    That doesn’t align with their ‘traditional conservative values’.

  17. Rocket Rocket says:

    briefly

    In the Liberals’ market-driven thinking, eventually they should preselect more women in order to win elections,

    Hurrah ! A legion of Bronwyns,Sophies and Michaelias to look forward to 😀

  18. RR, eventually the LNP will realise they have made themselves irrelevant. But they are highly resistant to change, they are self-centred thinkers, they have no listening skills and they suppose that the electorate is as stupid as they are. I think they will collapse before they reform.

  19. Mavis Smith
    says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 12:47 pm
    nath:
    Thanks for posting those delightful pics of our Julia – she being the goldmark as to how a former PM should behave.
    ___________________________
    That’s ok Mavis. I always liked JG until the SPP cuts which kinda broke my heart. Can’t say the coup was a great idea either. I think she was better before she took over as PM. as a minister and in opposition she looked formidable. The leadership does strange things to people.

  20. While everyone bangs on about how awful Trump is they should keep in mind whatis truly awful. Dubya and his little deputies The Rodent and Tony Blah. Keep in mind also the assistance and enabling of the lies/war by the “Intelligence community” and the MSM.

    The Cost of War
    SUMMARY
    Over 480,000 have died due to direct war violence, and several times as many indirectly

    Over 244,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting

    10.1 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons

    The US federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is over $5.9 trillion dollars

    The US government is conducting counterterror activities in 76 countries

    The wars have been accompanied by violations of human rights and civil liberties, in the US and abroad

    https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/

  21. Confessions:

    Yes, Don Jnr. could be pardonned by his old man, but it wouldn’t be a good look.

    I guess the real question to be determined is whether Don Snr. can pardon himself, a question that would be expedited to the Supreme Court, which although is constituted by a majority of conservative judges, would lose a hell of a lot credilbity if it were to find in favour of him.

  22. Corbyn is promising a Brexit that is consistent with the Labor Party Conference Platform.

    If he knows this is impossible, he is lying.

    If he does not know that this is impossible, he is as thick as two planks.

    What Corbyn should do is support a Real Rreferendum that is:

    1. Not distorted by tens of millions of pounds of expenditure now being investigated for crimes.
    2. Not distorted by the systematic lies of the Brexitees.
    3. Fully informed by the negotiations of the range of consequences. (Of course the current growth rate is half that of the EU and thousands of jobs and much business has already been lost… but it is not too late for Britain to salvage something from the Brexit wreckage.)

    In supporting a Real Referendum, Corbyn would be fully supporting the 53-56% Remainers as polled.
    But we all know that Corbyn has no real interest in democracy.

  23. Big diplomatic blow-up in Port Moresby, I'm told four Chinese officials barged into the PNG Foreign Ministry yesterday afternoon demanding to meet PNG FM Rimbink Pato over wording of final communique. He refused to meet them. Heated scenes.— Stephen Dziedzic (@stephendziedzic) November 18, 2018

    Our relationship with the basket case that is the US really does us no favours with our Asian trading partners.

  24. Boerwar @ #1076 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 1:00 pm

    Corbyn is promising a Brexit that is consistent with the Labor Party Conference Platform.

    If he knows this is impossible, he is lying.

    If he does not know that this is impossible, he is as thick as two planks.

    What Corbyn should do is support a Real Rreferendum that is:

    1. Not distorted by tens of millions of pounds of expenditure now being investigated for crimes.
    2. Not distorted by the systematic lies of the Brexitees.
    3. Fully informed by the negotiations of the range of consequences. (Of course the current growth rate is half that of the EU and thousands of jobs and much business has already been lost… but it is not too late for Britain to salvage something from the Brexit wreckage.)

    In supporting a Real Referendum, Corbyn would be fully supporting the 53-56% Remainers as polled.
    But we all know that Corbyn has no real interest in democracy.

    The people have spoken.

    You Blairites are such anti-democratic bad losers.

  25. More people voted for Remain than voted for the Greens.
    The Far Right and the Greens and the Far Left are same old same old on this.
    Of course the Greens, like Corbyn, have zero interest in real democracy.
    The best course for democracy in the UK is a real referendum: one that is fully-informed and one in which everyone knows the range of consequences that might ensue.

  26. Boerwar:

    [‘But we all know that Corbyn has no real interest in democracy.’]

    We do? Reference thereof is drawn to today’s poll (posted above) which show Labour 3 points ahead of the Tories.

  27. Pence presser lauding the leadership of FauxMo. What a joke, coming close to the prohition of a foreign leader commenting on domestic politics. Go home Pence!

  28. MS
    May and Corbyn are same old same old.
    Corbyn sticks with Brexit while the majority of people polled support Remain.
    Corbyn is totally vague on HIS Brexit which, in any case, is not achievable.
    Corbyn does not giving a flying fuck about the Irish or the Scots.
    Corbyn is the blancmange of British Politics, a policy nothingburger and a one man leadership vacuum.

  29. is Gillard a little pie eyed about accepting so many accolades and honorary degrees?

    what did she actually do to deserve all this? give a speech against abbott?

    does she really believe such superlatives? does she expect/would she take a nobel prize?

    I think she is in bit of denial about harm she caused to the australian political landscape, and any purely feminist account of her demise ignores a few other factors that explain mistrust of australian public in her ascendancy

  30. Boerwar @ #1080 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 1:08 pm

    More people voted for Remain than voted for the Greens.
    The Far Right and the Greens and the Far Left are same old same old on this.
    Of course the Greens, like Corbyn, have zero interest in real democracy.
    The best course for democracy in the UK is a real referendum: one that is fully-informed and one in which everyone knows the range of consequences that might ensue.

    Corbyn is the Labour rank and file champion. Corbyn is the product of democracy. Blairites are the champions of Rupert.

  31. Brexit is like the Australian Greens: huge amounts of noise and grandstanding, destruction all round, devious skulking, and a lot of FIGJAM braying.

  32. Pence?
    I recommend the Pine Gap series on ABC iview if you have not already seen it.
    Yes, it has scads of artistic licence but there are plenty of thought-provoking moments therein.

  33. Boerwar:

    I think you’re being a little hard on Corybyn, my only really problem with him is his age. But he’s dogged, sharing that characteristic with May, who many said she’d be gone some time ago.

    If Corbyn has a majority of his country behind him, I say go Jeremy, anything being better than the Tories.

  34. nath – regarding the pre 2004 federal MPs generous “super” which I think is actually a defined benefit scheme. If Pauline Hanson steps down during the next term or declines to run the election after next and hands over to Latham, it’ll only be after she clocks up 8 total years in Parliament (which includes her original stint March 1996 – Oct 1998) as she’s eligible for the old defined benefit because she first became an MP pre 20o4! I think she will pass 8 years late next term. She’ll have what she was always after, financial security, and won’t have to keep running and getting the public funding for her election campaigns to earn a quid. It was Andrew Elder that pointed this out in one of his blogs a while back, never seen anyone else notice this.

  35. Boerwar:

    [‘Many people support Corbyn because they do not understand that he is a big-time liar about Brexit.’]

    I doubt anyone really understands the full implications of Brexit, including May and Corbyn.

  36. Having been to the UK in August, the Brits see Brexit as just one giant fuck up and are sick and tired of hearing about it.Nearly 3 years down the track and no nearer to being resolved.They have had a gutful for sure.

  37. ‘Mavis Smith says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Boerwar:

    [‘Many people support Corbyn because they do not understand that he is a big-time liar about Brexit.’]

    I doubt anyone really understands the full implications of Brexit, including May and Corbyn.’

    May has a good sense of what is, and what is not, possible about Brexit negotiations – probably better than anyone in the UK.

    Corbyn continues to lie about what difference HE can make in a Brexit negotiation.

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