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. sd

    It is partly the sickness which goes with realizing that you have been completely and utterly dudded by a combo of the Far Right and the Far Left.
    Labour’s popularity is at least partly based on the fact that Corbyn and Labor have yet to confront the electoral consequences of their Brexit double-cross of the British people.
    It is not only capital strike and capital flight that is happening.
    Human capital flight has also commenced – particularly high end human capital and entrepreneurial human capital.
    Those 700,000 Poles who were such a wonderful asset to the British economy are starting to think twice and are starting to drift out.
    In three cases that I know particularly well, Britain’s loss is Australia’s gain – high end knowledge economy/creative economy persons.
    Of course Farage and Johnson have thoughtfully arranged their bail out escape hattch by securing second citizenships.

  2. Lizzie
    I dont think they felt conned.They just thought that Brexit would be swift,decisive and over within a shorter time period. It was always the case that if the Brits had a chance to leave the EU,they would vote leave.No one I came across approved of joining Europe in the 70s in the first place whilst I lived there.

  3. sd
    They were conned into thinking that Brexit would be simple, painless, and replete with gain.
    Hello? Lied to were they?
    Both the Far Right and the Far Left were complicit in this.
    Corbyn, by deliberately adding to the fog, and by continuing to deny that he cannot deliver anything better than May is routinely complicit.
    He is selling his country down the drain in exchange for becoming the prime minister.
    He has all the moral stature and leadership qualities of a Chamberlain.

  4. 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.

  5. MS from your link

    ‘British Prime Minister Theresa May says she sees no alternative to the Brexit deal she presented last week, amid reports that some of her senior ministers want her to renegotiate the draft agreement before meeting EU leaders next weekend.’

    Gormless. Her senior ministers say they want to do the same as Corbyn – renegotiate with the EU. Why do the Brits continue to act as if there is only one real party to these negotiations? The EU response is already clear: take it or leave it. There is no third negotiation option.

  6. It’s interesting Rupert has his Blairites in a dictatorial position to the British people who’ve democratically concluded their Brexit position.

    Ruperts Blairites aren’t interested in democracy – just their own corporate interests.

  7. Thanks Leroy, I hadn’t even thought of Hanson, but you are right! It’s utterly insane and now it will put her into the same privileged category.

  8. It was the Tories that wanted the vote in the first place.Cameron was trying to shore up his prime ministership so he gave in to UKIP by promising a referendum if he won the 2015 election.If Labor had won that election Brexit might never have come about.

  9. steve davis

    No one I came across approved of joining Europe in the 70s in the first place whilst I lived there.

    I had left long before the 70s, but never approved of joining Europe.

  10. Confessions @ #1104 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 2:08 pm

    The Blue Tsunami came on the back of all women, not just educated white women.

    First of all, Democrats did not win simply because white women with college degrees rebelled against Mr. Trump’s misogyny, sexism and disrespect for women. Nearly every category of women rebelled.

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/17/opinion/sunday/trump-is-beginning-to-lose-his-grip.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    The US’s only hope is more elected genuinely progressive women.

  11. Boerwar
    Of course they were lied to and conned.What else do expect from the Tories?The punters there have been conned by the Tories there for as long as I can remember and they still dont get it.

  12. Rex:

    The Republican caucus in the House is 90% male, whereas the Democrat House caucus is nearly 50% women. But it would seem that working class women and men were prepared to vote for the Democrats this year:

    Working people are not fools, and Mr. Trump promised them a Republican president who would never cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid; who would repeal Obamacare but provide “insurance for everybody”; who would get rid of bad trade deals and “drain the swamp,” as he never tired of saying. Instead, had Mr. Trump’s effort to replace Obamacare passed, it would have imposed vast cuts in retirement programs and driven up health insurance costs. His tax reforms were heavily weighted to large corporations and the top 1 percent. So it is no surprise that more than half of white working class men now believe that Mr. Trump is “self-dealing” and corrupt.

  13. New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit

    For two years, observers have speculated that the June, 2016, Brexit campaign in the U.K. served as a petri dish for Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign in the United States. Now there is new evidence that it did. Newly surfaced e-mails show that the former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, and Cambridge Analytica, the Big Data company that he worked for at the time, were simultaneously incubating both nationalist political movements in 2015.

    Emma Briant, an academic expert on disinformation at George Washington University, has unearthed new e-mails that appear to reveal the earliest documented role played by Bannon in Brexit. The e-mails, which date back to October of 2015, show that Bannon, who was then the vice-president of Cambridge Analytica, an American firm largely owned by the U.S. hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, was in the loop on discussions taking place at the time between his company and the leaders of Leave.EU, a far-right nationalist organization. The following month, Leave.EU publicly launched a campaign aimed at convincing British voters to support a referendum in favor of exiting the European Union. The U.K. narrowly voted for the so-called Brexit in June, 2016. The tumultuous fallout has roiled the U.K. ever since, threatening the government of the Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May.

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/new-evidence-emerges-of-steve-bannon-and-cambridge-analyticas-role-in-brexit

  14. billie

    Coal fired power station using coal out of Galilee Basin and undersea cable to Port Moresby – you bet!

    Coal lovers united, will never be defeated!!

  15. billie @ #1110 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 2:18 pm

    How is Australia going to connect Papua New Guinea to the electricity grid?
    Solar and wind micro grids – nah
    Coal fired power station using coal out of Galilee Basin and undersea cable to Port Moresby – you bet!

    Here is Scott Morrison making the announcement in PNG today on Sky
    https://twitter.com/SkyNewsAust/status/1063976750919540736

    It’s a bit like selling cheap potato chips to the obese.

  16. 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!
    _______
    Did they form a close personal relationship during morning prayers?

  17. So many people in the UK want to leave the country and Brexit is just another nail in the coffin.
    The foreign embassy has reported an average of 4000 visa applications per week for people wishing to move abroad, compared with just 300 per week ten years ago.

  18. Mavis Smith @ #1095 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 12:33 pm

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/may-says-no-alternative-to-brexit-plan-as-opponents-do-the-numbers-20181118-p50gqx.html

    In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron were to meet on Sunday to bolster their alliance and promote European unity as fallout from the Brexit deal continues.

    In this one sentence I read that Britain is not part of Europe. This seeming fact is so ingrained it is unremarked. I find that odd but if that is the emotional map of Britain, then OK. Stating the obvious now, Brexit is about extracting Britain from Europe. It seeks to redraw the political map to match the emotional one.

    This is a problem for Ireland, part of which wants to be politically in Britain and the other part of which wants to be politically in Europe, while emotionally and practically it wants to be united, not divided. Being politically inside Europe allowed Ireland to be politically and emotionally united. Brexit undoes that. I can’t see a pain free solution for those opposing desires.

    Perhaps Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland could get together and provide the leadership to allow Brexit to work. Either Ireland would unify and no part would be ‘in’ Britain, or Ireland accepts a hard border dividing Ireland. The will has to be Irish.

    Or maybe Britain could decide it is part of Europe after all, and the other EU countries might forgive them.

    If I am honest with myself, they’re screwed.

  19. steve davis @ #1115 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 2:27 pm

    So many people in the UK want to leave the country and Brexit is just another nail in the coffin.
    The foreign embassy has reported an average of 4000 visa applications per week for people wishing to move abroad, compared with just 300 per week ten years ago.

    They’re most welcome to settle in our regional areas.

  20. Diogenes @ #971 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 7:19 am

    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….

    Abbott missed out on qualifying for a PM pension by about 10 days from memory.

    For those who are still looking for something positive that Brian Trumble did, that’s it. He saved us having to fork out on a PM pension for Abbott. That’s all though.

  21. The US government is conducting counterterror activities in 76 countries
    Just imagine what the MSM would be saying if it were the Chinese or the Russians (or even the EU) doing this?
    I know Australia & the EU participate in some of these but the main player by far is that ‘exceptional’ nation; the US.

  22. Lizzie JohnsonVerified account@lizziejohnsonnn
    35m35 minutes ago
    Today, President Trump visited #Paradise. He didn’t back down from his claim that too little clearing of fuels was making fires more likely and more dangerous. (Climate change plays a huge role). #CampFire

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/President-travels-to-Paradise-to-view-wildfire-13401646.php

    What’s that saying about fiddling while the place burns? Meanwhile all those regulations Obama initiated to reduce GHGEs have been overturned by Trump.

  23. Barnaby would have been a strong supporter of releasing rabbits, lantana, cane toads; you name it.
    And would never learn the lesson from them, so why should he start now with the carp herpes virus?

  24. Good afternoon all,

    Interesting that Morrison is going to support PNG with funding for electricity and Internet infrastructure.

    Given the crap NBN Australians have to cope with and ever rising power prices I am sure the punters in the ‘ burbs and in rural and regional areas across the country will be dancing and celebrating in the streets at this announcement.

    Cheers.

  25. lizzie says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    steve davis

    No one I came across approved of joining Europe in the 70s in the first place whilst I lived there.
    I had left long before the 70s, but never approved of joining Europe.

    ________________________________________

    Therein lies the problem. As anyone who has ever been divorced knows, it is not just a matter of tearing up the marriage certificate. Whatever people thought of joining the EU in the first place it was done. And it was done many decades ago and a lot has happened since which means that the clock cannot simply be turned back.

    The remainers did not think anyone would be so stupid as to not understand what was involved in disentangling from Europe, let alone keeping alive the fantasy of still being able to get the good bits out of being a member but not the crap bits. And the leavers out and out ignored the complexities and the down side when not out and out lying. Who could forget that stupid bus which pointed out how much it was costing Britain to be in the EU without mentioning how much was coming back through other means and processes.

    As discussed yesterday, the people in a democracy are not locked in forever by their votes and certainly not when they wake up after the vote or election and discover they have been lied to.

    Now that the British actually know the real dimensions of what leaving the EU involves, not just the lies, dissembling and romantic fairy tales that were spun they should have a chance to decide if it is still a good idea.

    It’s not about getting it ‘right’, it’s about the opportunity to decide whether the lies they were told matter or not to them. If they still want to go with a lot more information and facts available to them, then that is fine for them.

    But the way in which the far right and the far left seem to be keen to press ahead reminds me of the contempt that both the Nazis and socialists had for anyone in the middle in the late ’20s and early ’30s. And why Hitler and Stalin could do a deal – which left everyone caught between them in Poland utterly crushed.

  26. BK says:

    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!
    _______
    Did they form a close personal relationship during morning prayers?

    The two Evangelicals nutters would have been filled with the holy spirit. Yeee haw we have biblical prophesies to fulfil . From wikipedia.
    .
    “1995, he and his family had joined an evangelical megachurch, the Grace Evangelical Church…….Pence told his colleagues “… I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.”……….Pence adheres to the Billy Graham rule, in which husbands avoid spending time alone with women to whom they are not married”

  27. Corbyn should not go anywhere near a new referendum; let the Tories wear all the guilt. It was (whatisname) who initiated it (to please his right wing backbench – sound familiar?) and he & the Tories shot themselves in the foot. If Corbyn were to hold another and more chaos (inevitably) ensued then the Rupert Press and lots of others would immediately transfer all the blame to him.

  28. Tory policies are being copied here. If Libs get back in, there’s worse to come.
    Ian Lavery MP
    ‏@IanLaveryMP
    8h8 hours ago

    Remember we’re the sixth largest economy on this planet, it’s 2018 !! Poverty is blighting our communities. The unemployed & working families with small children have to plead for food !!.

    The Tory Gvt are acutely aware but care little about this.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1063882573334659073

  29. Tony Abbott lost the Prime Ministership three days short of what would have been his second anniversary as Prime Minister. However, I don’t think that there is anything special about 2 years as far as pension entitlements go. I recall this being discussed here at the time.

  30. TPOF @ #1125 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 2:38 pm

    lizzie says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    steve davis

    No one I came across approved of joining Europe in the 70s in the first place whilst I lived there.
    I had left long before the 70s, but never approved of joining Europe.

    ________________________________________

    Therein lies the problem. As anyone who has ever been divorced knows, it is not just a matter of tearing up the marriage certificate. Whatever people thought of joining the EU in the first place it was done. And it was done many decades ago and a lot has happened since which means that the clock cannot simply be turned back.

    The remainers did not think anyone would be so stupid as to not understand what was involved in disentangling from Europe, let alone keeping alive the fantasy of still being able to get the good bits out of being a member but not the crap bits. And the leavers out and out ignored the complexities and the down side when not out and out lying. Who could forget that stupid bus which pointed out how much it was costing Britain to be in the EU without mentioning how much was coming back through other means and processes.

    As discussed yesterday, the people in a democracy are not locked in forever by their votes and certainly not when they wake up after the vote or election and discover they have been lied to.

    Now that the British actually know the real dimensions of what leaving the EU involves, not just the lies, dissembling and romantic fairy tales that were spun they should have a chance to decide if it is still a good idea.

    It’s not about getting it ‘right’, it’s about the opportunity to decide whether the lies they were told matter or not to them. If they still want to go with a lot more information and facts available to them, then that is fine for them.

    But the way in which the far right and the far left seem to be keen to press ahead reminds me of the contempt that both the Nazis and socialists had for anyone in the middle in the late ’20s and early ’30s. And why Hitler and Stalin could do a deal – which left everyone caught between them in Poland utterly crushed.

    The Democratic Dictatorship – you will keep voting until you get it right ..!

  31. Pamela Anderson has blasted PM @ScottMorrisonMP in an open letter, calling his behaviour smutty and lewd.

    So now he will be known as Smutto or Lewdo.

  32. Me: It’s not about getting it ‘right’, it’s about the opportunity to decide whether the lies they were told matter or not to them. If they still want to go with a lot more information and facts available to them, then that is fine for them.

    Rex: The Democratic Dictatorship – you will keep voting until you get it right ..!

    Me: Fuck you are an ignorant illiterate goose.

  33. Mavis Smith @ #1094 Sunday, November 18th, 2018 – 10:31 am

    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.

    They have a better understanding of it than boerwar will ever have.

    A second referendum whatever the outcome will tear Britain apart. No matter what the polls say, there is still a sizeable chunk of the populace who want to leave the EU. They are going to be mightily pissed off if their vote was overturned by a second vote.

    As for Corbyn, the best thing he can do right now about Brexit is absolutely nothing. The Tories fvcked it, they can fix it.

  34. Pamela Anderson has blasted PM @ScottMorrisonMP in an open letter, calling his behaviour smutty and lewd.
    ___________
    Can we expect to see Morrison wearing this at his next photo-op?

  35. “lizzie says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    steve davis

    No one I came across approved of joining Europe in the 70s in the first place whilst I lived there.”

    There was a UK referendum (after the event), and it was overwhelmingly in favour of joining.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum,_1975

    I was unable to vote at the time (being too young), but I would also have voted yes.

    However, knowing now what that meant for Australia and the other “Commonwealth” countries….

  36. ‘booleanbach says:
    Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Corbyn should not go anywhere near a new referendum; let the Tories wear all the guilt. It was (whatisname) who initiated it (to please his right wing backbench – sound familiar?) and he & the Tories shot themselves in the foot. If Corbyn were to hold another and more chaos (inevitably) ensued then the Rupert Press and lots of others would immediately transfer all the blame to him.’

    It is not about guilt or blame. It is about getting it right.
    If Corbyn stopped lying about Brexit and if Corbyn did a bit of leadership, Britain and the EU would be spared the consequences of Brexit.

  37. ‘A second referendum whatever the outcome will tear Britain apart.’

    The first referendum, which was based on lies, disinformation and a lack of information is doing just that.
    A second referendum would be fully-informed and therefore legitimate.

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