Victorian election minus eight days

Liberal candidate hassles, upper house preference shenanigans and (a bit) more.

News and observations:

• In a campaign in which far too much news space has been spent on so-what indiscretions by who-cares candidates in no-chance seats (more on this by ousted Greens candidate Joanna Nilson in The Guardian), the Liberals have suffered a genuinely consequential setbaack with their disendorsement of their candidate for Yan Yean, an outer northern Melbourne seat held by Labor on a margin of 3.7%. Meralyn Klein had appeared in a video by the far right Australian Liberty Alliance in which she complained of an incident involving two youths who were “of a culture that didn’t accept white Australian women”, which was used to promote the party’s call for a “ban” on Muslims. When Klein sought to distance herself from the party, one of its candidates, Avi Yemini, said the party had “numerous meetings with her”, and was hoping she would defect to it once elected. The deadline for nominations having passed, Klein remains on the ballot paper as the Liberal candidate.

• I had a piece in Crikey yesterday on Labor’s curious reluctance to reform group voting tickets for the Legislative Council. The definitive guide to the preference deals and their potential electoral consequences is provided by Kevin Bonham; Antony Green’s ever-reliable election calculators are available here; and Nick Casmirri offers revealing colour-coded summaries of Labor and Greens tickets across the eight regions.

• Liberal state president Michael Kroger was in unusually bullish form in assessing the situation for Patrick Durkin of the Financial Review. On Kroger’s telling, the confluence of Bourke Street and James Gargasoulas had voters primed for the Liberal law-and-order campaign just as they began flocking to the pre-poll booths in unprecedented numbers (see below). Kroger went so far as to say that Daniel Andrews would be “lucky to win his own seat” of Mulgrave, which he holds on a margin of 4.5%.

• The Victorian Electoral Commission relates that 238,559 votes have been cast in the first three days of pre-poll voting, compared with 119,640 at the same point in 2014.

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.

141 comments on “Victorian election minus eight days”

Comments Page 2 of 3
1 2 3
  1. Last state election didnt have CFA dispute.

    Either way ALP is running a good campaign so far and avaipable polling is all one way.

    This doesnt have the same feel as 2010 which had high profile problems with desal plant, myki ticketing, poor public transport and smart meter roll out. Also election coincided with a federal ALP that was just about to become unpopular.

  2. Interesting to see the bookmakers odds change in the past week. I’ve been keeping an eye on trends, and some have changed again in the past 24 hours.

    Sunday 11 Nov:
    sportsbet: ALP 1.30, L/NP 3.10
    BetEasy: ALP 1.22, L/NP 3.95
    bet365: ALP 1.30, L/NP 3.50
    Ladbrokes: ALP 1.30, L/NP 3.10

    Thursday 15 Nov:
    sportsbet: ALP 1.30, L/NP 3.10
    BetEasy: ALP 1.22, L/NP 3.75
    bet365: ALP 1.30, L/NP 3.50
    Ladbrokes: ALP 1.25, L/NP 3.50

    Friday 16 Nov:
    sportsbet: ALP 1.25, L/NP 3.30
    BetEasy: ALP 1.20, L/NP 4.00
    bet365: ALP 1.25, L/NP 3.85
    Ladbrokes: ALP 1.25, L/NP 3.50

  3. Gorks, you dont remember the Liberal party making the CFA dispute partisan ?

    The Liberal party actual ran a fundraiser for the CFA and redirected money to their campaign, it was big during last 2 weeks.

  4. @Bug – yep, that was the 2016 federal election.

    I’ll be honest – in contrast to two years ago, I haven’t heard any noise about the CFA dispute this time round except on election nerd sites like this one.

    If we just recap what we all already know – it was huge in 2016 around the federal election, with the Herald Sun giving out the “Support the CFA” free bumper stickers and the Libs pouring cash into it. And who could forget the “donation” page that looked like it was for the CFA, but actually if you read the fine print was going into the Libs’ campaign coffers.

    The federal Libs were down here (despite being a state issue), Julie Bishop marching with the CFA firies, and the Hun claiming it was going to kill off Labor in a number of seats.

    And yet, after all that, those seats all swung *towards* the ALP.

  5. On the subject of the upper house voting system, I can clearly remember the brief conversation I had with the woman handing out the ballot papers at the last election

    Her : “Number 1 above the line, or 1 to 5 below the line.”
    Me : “I can number more than 5 below the line if I want to, can’t I?”
    Her : *pause* “Er…yes.”

    I just wonder how many people are misled by comments like hers into believing 5 is the maximum, not the minimum.

  6. @Michael – The 56-44 poll was conducted on 13 November, after the Bourke St incident. The biggest impact of that incident would likely have been in the immediate days after it and that’s when the poll was conducted so I imagine it did the Liberals more harm than good thanks to how they so obviously exploited it.

  7. On the basis that those commiting traffic offences should not be bailed to appear at Court on a later date, but should be jailed does this mean John Elliott, the Liberal Party icon should have spent time in jail until today, when his drink driving matter went to Court?

    And then we have a discounted cost on new electrical appliances for those on low incomes

    Does this include self funded retirees who do not submit tax returns and those who engineer their taxable income thru Trust distributions and Negative Gearing etc etc?

    Or include our student youth in part time employment?

    Or children in full time education with no income?

    What is “low income earner”

    And perhaps, when buying a new appliance you could always ask a low income earner to purchase for you, offering them $20- to order for you, so a whole new industry for low income earners selling their status for cash

    And if my memory serves me correctly Kennett sold to Engie and others – Company’s which are exiting coal globally for the reasons they are

    Look at General Electric in the USA and you will see the reason these
    International Companies are exiting coal

  8. “Unitary State says:
    Friday, November 16, 2018 at 7:38 pm
    Todays news flash that the terrorist was on bail is a huge blow to labor, arguably.”

    He was on an ASIO/AFP watch list, having had his passport cancelled. If they didn’t track his appearance before the magistrate and intervene to argue against bail, then politically speaking, it’s all the fault of Dutton and by implication, Guy and the Victorian Liberals.

  9. But Guy is saying he is going to deport criminals with overseas heritage

    Perhaps Guy should look in the mirror and start with himself – then he can go back to using his real name

    The individual is a con – an out and out con

  10. The clear take from this Hun headline is that Dutton failed to inform Victoria that the man was on a terror watch list.

    “Bourke St jihadi freed just weeks before attack
    RADICALISED JIHADI Police who bailed Bourke St killer Hassan Khalif Shire Ali just weeks before he launched his murderous ­attack were unaware federal authorities had deemed him a terrorist risk.”

  11. I really think those of you who think Bourke Street worked in labors favour are thoroughly delusional. The opposite can only be the case.

  12. The Liberals are trying to make the attack an election issue but it is a horrible clumsy look. Anyone who was going to vote on the law and order issue probably had already made up their mind. But there are voters who will find it repulsive and it will further damage the Liberal brand.

  13. Unitary State @ #68 Friday, November 16th, 2018 – 9:20 pm

    I really think those of you who think Bourke Street worked in labors favour are thoroughly delusional. The opposite can only be the case.

    This is a pseph site and people tend to believe polls as an indication of what will happen next week.

    Everything I’m seeing says Libs get smashed.

    How about you produce evidence rather than feelpinions

  14. @Greensborough Growler

    well almost everyone acknowledges this is a very close race. You seem to be the exception in that regard if anything

  15. Unitary State @ #74 Friday, November 16th, 2018 – 10:04 pm

    @Greensborough Growler

    well almost everyone acknowledges this is a very close race. You seem to be the exception in that regard if anything

    What do the polls tell you?

    You seem to think your feelpinions trump the clear and unequivocal message.

    The Bookies have the Libs on the drift.

  16. Spouse robopolled today – So I’d say a poll being published next few days.

    They got sick of it after about ten questions and hung up so not sure whether that non-Labor vote is going to be counted in their final tally.

  17. My guess it is a blow out. And the money my bookmakers have taken does too.

    One fact is simply the Federal Liberal party is in such disarray and polling terribly (national is bad, so it is problem a ton worse in Victoria where the Sydney-centric government has never been very popular), that there has got to be some blow back at state level.

    Plus the last three months of polls has had Labor ahead by a fair margin. The demographic shifts in a few key seats have worked mostly in their favour.

    And Law and Order was a good TV show, but not a great basis for a campaign unless it is truly out of control.

  18. Puhleeze, the idea that anyone might take Neil Mitchell seriously as a political commentator …. And, of course, he opens by parroting Jeff Kennett’s totally baseless feelpinion.
    Also, I note the vague reference to improving private polling for the Coalition – but without anything so much as resembling a number. Miranda Devine did much the same during the bastard plebi-survey: constantly referring to the No campaign’s private polling to suggest that they weren’t going to get beaten like red-headed step-children. I can believe that after Bourke Street law and order is increasing in salience as an issue and/or that the Coalition’s rating on it is improving – or even that Guy’s personal approval rating is improving – but unless we hear some figures for primary votes or two-party preferred then you can safely ignore it.

  19. ALP tightening to 1.20 favourites for Nov 24 on Beteasy. Shortest theyve been I believe. The Kroger / Mitchell / Kennet spin about a late LNP surge?..

    ALP were 2.0 six months ago when I had a small punt…

  20. @Rossmore

    by the same token in 2015 in QLD, The LNP were on not much more than a dollar compared to labor which were more than 6 dollars in the final week of the campaign. We all know how that turned out.

  21. The Federal Government agencies had identified this person as a security threat, and had cancelled their passport to prevent them travelling to Syria, believing they were possibly going to fight for ISIS.

    The Victoria Police had charged this same person with a series of traffic offences, but had him on bail awaiting trial (which I understand is the usual case for traffic offences).

    Which of these two organizations had greater reason to suspect this person may commit some terrible violent crime?

  22. Just reading the history of the now resigned Liberal candidate in Yan Yean. Apart from the anti-muslim rants, I was stunned to read this bit of her past history in Crikey:

    “the Herald Sun brought up an incident in 2000, in which Klein — who, bear in mind, has campaigned for tougher sentencing — got away with just a $150 fine after “hitting a parking attendant with her car and dragging him 15 metres outside her children’s private Christian college”.

    And she complains about muslims being a danger to the community? Did they do any checking of candidates?

  23. Rocket

    The stabbing case suspect’s history proves exactly what I said last week – the entire Border Farce / AFP farce has grown into a giant bureaucracy that is not improving our security. We would be better off with having federal intelligence linked to an anti terror unit in each state police force. That way there would be less right hand/left hand stuff ups and the real police would have access to the information they need to do their jobs.

    Dutton’s disastrous leadership fantasy has hidden the fact that he has been a massively unsuccessful minister.

  24. Mr Bowe in Crikey:

    Victorian Labor has been fairly consistent in its reticence to let go of group voting tickets.

    Three years after Senate electoral reform brought the merry-go-round to a halt at federal level, the game of micro-party preference manipulation is in ruder health than ever in Victoria.

    Talk of reform of the upper house voting system began before the 2014 state election. All talk and no action.

    Would Labor’s reticence for change have anything to do with the strength of the inner city Greens vote which is threatening once safe Labor seats?

    Labor has decided it would rather risk having a slew of right-wing micro party candidates elected to the upper house than having a Greens balance of power.

    If the Andrews government is re-elected it will reap what it sows if that scenario occurs.

  25. I reckon the most likely outcome if labor will end up with multiple paths to getting their legislation through the upper house.

    There is a real risk but significantly declining risk of a minority government. An outcome where the greens are reduced to, say, 2 in each house would be the sweetest justice.

  26. Scorates – I must say the Yan Yean candidates running over a lollypop person was just the icing on the cake. She was clearly a bit loony…. to the extant that the Liberty Alliance were trying to distance themselves from her – saying she approached them to defect not the other way around. She probably actually had less chance then the margin suggested because the voter growth has mostly been in the less conservative areas.

  27. If Labor wins this election it will prove without doubt that mianstream media’s influence is over. I’m sick to death of anti-Labor propoganda spewed by both major newspapers and radio talkback shows.

    They are now trying to suggest bail for traffic offenses was the reason someone got killed in terrorist attack, trying to link it to Andrews and government. I’m seriously sick to death of this bullshit.

    I also think they are not releasing polls because they are not getting the results they want and trying to ‘massage’ the poll as much as they can by controlling news coverage to show a tightening.

    When The Age and Herald Sun die off it will be a good day, I won’t shed one tear for The Age despite a few good journalists in there.

  28. @Pegasus

    Dealing with a bunch of micro party MLCs – most of whom will, based on all previous experience, be independents within a year of the election – will actually be far easier for any government than dealing f with a large block of posturing puritans who denounce any suggestion of negotiation or compromise.

  29. In Victoria if a bill is blocked by upper house, there is a possibility of joint sitting of both houses AFAIK, so if Labor gets a big majority in Lower house they can use that to force minor parties to be reasonable.

  30. bug1

    I am no constitutional expert – but is the process a bit more complicated?
    From the Vic Parliament website –

    A Deadlocked Bill can be dealt with in two ways:

    The Governor can, on the advice of the Premier, dissolve the Legislative Assembly, causing a new election to be held for both Houses of Parliament, a process known as a double dissolution; or
    The Premier can withdraw the Deadlocked Bill until the following election.
    The Government can again present the Deadlocked Bill to the Legislative Assembly following the ‘double dissolution’ election or the next fixed term election. It can be presented in either its original form or the revised form put forward by the Dispute Resolution Committee. If the Legislative Assembly passes the Bill, it becomes law if also passed by the Legislative Council.

    If the Council does not pass the Deadlocked Bill within two months of it being passed by the Legislative Assembly, the Governor can, on the Premier’s advice, call for a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament to consider the Bill, where it must be passed by a majority of the total number of Members from both Houses to become law.

    Of course since the changes to the Legislative Council, every election is effectively a “Double Dissolution” election.

  31. Antony Green:

    Mr Druery has worked with a slew of micro-parties to organise cash-for-votes deals that could see Victoria’s upper house descend into what ABC election analyst Antony Green described as an undemocratic “farce”.
    The ABC’s Mr Green said the voting system was being gamed and, rather than reflecting the will of voters, “represents the will of the party organisers’’.

    “It’s really disturbing, it’s mystifying people shrug their shoulders as this is an outrage’’.

    Pressure for reform of upper house voting is now mounting after Labor and the Coalition failed to tackle electoral reform since 2014.
    Mr Green encouraged voters to vote below the line for individual candidates in the upper house rather than voting above the line and allowing parties to direct preferences.

    In Victoria, voters only need to vote 1 to 5 below the line rather than placing a preference beside all candidates as was previously required in Senate voting.

    Bipartisan agreement in 2014 to reform the upper housing voting system.

    Bipartisan agreement in 2018 to continue supporting an undemocratic voting system.


  32. Hahaha! I reckon they should retain the current upper house voting system if only to soak up the delicious angst it causes the greens political party and its fellow travellers

  33. Unitary State @ #82 Friday, November 16th, 2018 – 10:59 pm

    Surely you can’t see the difference between QLD 2015 and VIC 2018? The biggest of which, the party in front was on the nose and had a tougher run the closer the election got, whereas with Andrews, while there are definite detractors, I can’t really see many people who swung to him last election being unhappy enough to vote against him in droves sufficient enough to overcome new votes for Labor.

    The two elections are chalk and cheese and to be honest, I called the hung parliament at the 2015 election in QLD before election day as I could feel the mood in the electorate.

    If you want to say the Liberals have a chance, I’m happy to hear you out if you’re willing to argue which seats will swing their way to make up the numbers.

  34. ABC RN Saturday Extra with Geraldine Doogue:

    The successful duo who helped Cathy McGowan take the federal seat of Indi in 2013 are working behind two female independents who are hoping to follow in her footsteps and gain entry into the Victorian parliament come next Saturday.

    Guest: Ben McGowan, campaign manager for independent candidates Tammy Atkins and Jenny O’Connor

    Tammy Atkins, 42, was a founding member of Voices for Indi, the group formed to strengthen local democracy before McGowan challenged Mirabella in 2013. She has conservative roots, once working as a media adviser for Mirabella before joining the National party. She was still a National until 2016 when the party chose to run against McGowan when she sought re-election.
    O’Connor’s path to independence was from the left. She stood for the local Indigo shire council as a Green, and ran against McGowan at the last federal election for the Greens. But when she became mayor of the shire two years ago, she let her membership lapse because she worried conservative voters would assume she would pursue political, rather than community, interests.

  35. Roger

    No angst here.

    However, your glee at the prospect of an increase in the number of right-wing parliamentarians being elected to the upper house perhaps at the expense of having progressive Greens parliamentarians speaks volumes.

Comments Page 2 of 3
1 2 3

Leave a Reply

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