Poll positioning

Fraught preselections aplenty as the major parties get their houses in order ahead of a looming federal election.

Kicking off a federal election year with an overdue accumulation of preselection news, going back to late November:

• Liberal Party conservative Craig Kelly was last month saved from factional moderate Kent Johns’ preselection challenge in his southern Sydney seat of Hughes, which was widely reported as having decisive support in local party branches. This followed the state executive’s acquiescence to Scott Morrison’s demand that it rubber-stamp preselections for all sitting members of the House of Representatives, also confirming the positions of Jason Falinski in Mackellar, John Alexander in Bennelong and Lucy Wicks in Robertson. Kelly had threatened a week earlier to move to the cross bench if dumped, presumably with a view to contesting the seat as an independent. Malcolm Turnbull stirred the pot by calling on the executive to defy Morrison, noting there had been “such a long debate in the New South Wales Liberal Party about the importance of grass roots membership involvement”. This referred to preselection reforms that had given Johns the edge over Kelly, which had been championed by conservatives and resisted by moderates. Turnbull’s critics noted he raised no concerns when the executive of the Victorian branch guaranteed sitting members’ preselections shortly before he was dumped as Prime Minister.

• The intervention that saved Craig Kelly applied only to lower house members, and was thus of no use to another beleaguered conservative, Senator Jim Molan, who had been relegated a week earlier to the unwinnable fourth position on the Coalition’s ticket. Hollie Hughes and Andrew Bragg were chosen for the top two positions, with the third reserved to the Nationals (who have chosen Perin Davey, owner of a communications consultancy, to succeed retiring incumbent John “Wacka” Williams). Despite anger at the outcome from conservatives in the party and the media, Scott Morrison declined to intervene. Morrison told 2GB that conservatives themselves were to blame for Molan’s defeat in the preselection ballot, as there was “a whole bunch of people in the very conservative part of our party who didn’t show up”.

• Labor’s national executive has chosen Diane Beamer, a former state government minister who held the seats of Badgerys Creek and Mulgoa from 1995 to 2011, to replace Emma Husar in Lindsay. The move scotched Husar’s effort to recant her earlier decision to vacate the seat, after she became embroiled in accusations of bullying and sexual harassment in August. Husar is now suing Buzzfeed over its reporting of the allegations, and is reportedly considering running as an independent. The Liberals have preselected Melissa McIntosh, communications manager for the not-for-profit Wentworth Community Housing.

• The misadventures of Nationals MP Andrew Broad have created an opening in his seat of Mallee, which has been in National/Country Party hands since its creation in 1949, although the Liberals have been competitive when past vacancies have given them the opportunity to contest it. The present status on suggestions the seat will be contested for the Liberals by Peta Credlin, who was raised locally in Wycheproof, is that she is “being encouraged”. There appears to be a view in the Nationals that the position should go to a woman, with Rachel Baxendale of The Australian identifying three potential nominees – Anne Mansell, chief executive of Dried Fruits Australia; Caroline Welsh, chair of the Birchip Cropping Group; and Tanya Chapman, former chair of Citrus Australia – in addition to confirmed starter Anne Warner, a social worker.

• Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie yesterday scotched suggestions that she might run in Mallee. The view is that she is positioning herself to succeeding Cathy McGowan in Indi if she decides not to recontest, having recently relocated her electorate office from Bendigo to one of Indi’s main population centres, Wodonga. The Liberals last month preselected Steven Martin, a Wodonga-based engineer.

• Grant Schultz, Milton real estate agent and son of former Hume MP Alby Schultz, has been preselected as Liberal candidate for Gilmore on New South Wales’ south coast, which the party holds on a delicate margin of 0.7%. The seat is to be vacated by Ann Sudmalis, whose preselection Schultz was preparing to challenge when she announced her retirement in September. It was reported in the South Coast Register that Joanna Gash, who held the seat from 1996 to 2013 and is now the mayor of Shoalhaven (UPDATE: Turns out Gash ceased to be so as of the 2016 election, and is now merely a councillor), declared herself “pissed off” at the local party’s endorsement of Schultz, which passed by forty votes to nine.

• Hawkesbury councillor Sarah Richards has been preselected as the Liberal candidate in Macquarie, where Labor’s Susan Templeman unseated Liberal member Louise Markus in 2016.

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.

3,175 comments on “Poll positioning”

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  1. briefly
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 11:13 pm
    Yup, there’s no doubt that the LNP wrecked the NBN in order to protect the commercial interests of News Corp, who always campaigned against it.
    So Murdoch engineered that Turnbull would downgrade the NBN to protect a loss making operation (Foxtel) that he only owned 50% of?

  2. briefly @ #3148 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:13 pm

    Yup, there’s no doubt that the LNP wrecked the NBN in order to protect the commercial interests of News Corp, who always campaigned against it.

    And yet, ironically, shot themselves in the foot. They’ve lost far more customers than they’ve gained since then. Plus they are trying to attract customers to their own online version of FoxTel to compete with Stan and Netflix, so a super fast broadband network would actually have been to their advantage. There’s shades of their “investment” in My Space in all of this, in that the nabobs at Newscorp just do not understand the digital economy and are trying to force their 19th century business model on a 21st century world.

    To which I say, fvck ’em.

  3. So Murdoch engineered that Turnbull would downgrade the NBN to protect a loss making operation (Foxtel) that he only owned 50% of?

    Not commenting on the NBN theory, but the highly profitable part of Foxtel was Fox Sports, which he owned 100% of (and the latter’s high licensing fees were a large part of that “loss”).

  4. The launch of the Coalition NBN policy at Fox Studios was a joint Liberal-Murdoch operation, coordinated with Newscrap front page spreads featuring made-up numbers for the then Government’s and Opposition’s plans.

    Then I recall the headlines in following weeks and months. Asbestos found in Telstra pits! Shock horror! They forgot to mention there’s asbestos in everything built before around 1980 and that this would have been planned for. Then screaming headlines “Labor has spent $x billion (or hundreds of millions or trillions – more made up numbers) and only rolled out to 1% of homes”. Of course, that’s how large projects work. You plan first, you don’t start digging on Day 1. Or maybe that’s how “Liberals” do things, in which case no wonder the NBN’s an almighty mess.

    One of the first acts of an incoming Labor Government should be to institute a Royal Commission into the NBN shambles. Maybe they’ll find evidence of a criminal conspiracy. Of course “Liberals” and Newscrap will squeal like stuck pigs, just like the banks, only louder. That would prove the decision to institute a Royal Commission right. With any luck, Newscrap, a corrupt and corrupting organisation, might be forced to sell or shut down its operations in Australia.

    Yes, too much to hope for.

  5. Brexit Watch: 80 days to go

    Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, has discounted the possibility that the government might delay Britain’s exit from the European Union beyond 29 March. … Barclay said: “Yes, I can be very clear that the government’s policy is to leave on 29 March.”


    It seems like the game of chicken continues.

  6. A reason for the conspiracy Newscorp theory is that there was no logic in only doing FTTN when the copper to the house was always going to throttle back the speed. Outcome .. A bit of an improvement over ADSL but not a competitive world system for workers from home … And certainly not worth the coin wasted on it with failed Telstra lib stooges parachuted into senior NBN positions … Labor misses the clarity of thinking and argument Rudd presented … Hope he keeps sticking it up Murdoch now he can … Malcolm might even join in …

  7. Walls seem to be back in the Zeitgeist, one in North America and another in Ireland. The EU perspective is clear.

    “Walls and borders can threaten peace, we believe in the peace-making powers of the European Union,” said Maas, adding that the Good Friday agreement that ended decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland “is living proof of this principle”


  8. I think my butcher sells Tomahawk Beef as “Cattleman’s Cutlets”.

    Regarding Boerwar’s absence these past few weeks, I have a vague recollection of his making a passing reference in one of his posts (perhaps a couple of months ago), to an ongoing, undefined health issue. Hope his absence is temporary and that he has not slipped from us as apparently CTar1 has done.

  9. Red wine is for the night meal. I have some small upright glasses with stylised citrus imagery cut into the outsides. They’re 1950s houseware, bright and optimistic. They are perfect for Shiraz. The images are ready to pick and cut, and have tapered green leaves attached, so they are still live on the tree. These glasses are postwar and post-grief and post-poverty. They are to toast joy and prosperity under the sun; to toast simplicity; to conjugate both the extremity of the past and the eager future.

    I found them on grubby shelf in a shop – actually in a shed dressed up as a shop – stacked with dead artefacts. There were dire vinyls and rusted out lubricant cans, and derelict copies of the original English Womans’ Weekly. The magazines had sold for 8p, when first printed. Now they collect dust in an iron shed in the Swan Valley and are $2.00 each. I wanted them too. There were only about 6 stacked next to the Eftpos machine. I wanted them for their small size and their pink masthead, for their advertisements. I should go back and buy them all. My mother had cautioned me against buying them. I seldom contradict my mother. She is the face of lifelong prudence and her discipline remains undented.

    My mother does not drink at all and has no use for Shiraz tumblers. Instead of drinking, in the evening she bathes her feet and soothes herself with the Testaments and her prayers. These are her refreshments after a day in her garden, in the garden of redemption.

  10. I expect Boerwar wanted some respite from the brawling. He’s got better things to do than to stand as a whipping post for the truculent. He made his arguments full well. There’s nothing to be gained by trying to persuade the obstinate and the intemperate.

    I hope he has a spell and then comes back.

  11. Meanwhile, the Greens vetting process has thrown up another ‘colourful’ candidate in TanyaP’s seat

    Because lapping up empty-headed News Corp beat-ups is perfectly okay, some of the time.

  12. I voted Abbott, Dutton and Porter for the GetUp who do you want to see gone list.

    Too many climate deniers to pick one.
    Also was tempted to click on Lucy Wicks since I’ve talked with her in person and she’s an idiot.

  13. Morning all. In all the political oportunism and backstabbing that the Reichspotato is known for we sometimes lose sight of the mismanagement. The case of the Saudi girl stuck in Thailand seeking asylum in Australia leaves Dutton with many questions to answer.

    Despite jokes about no action because she would not be an au pair, there seems to have been questionable action within Dutton’s department in this case. Who cancelled her Australian tourist visa? She had a legally booked flight and was hauled off her plane in Bangkock. No doubt her Saudi family requested that. But who agreed? Peter Dutton has questions to answer.

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Now it’s Heathrow flights that have been suspended because of reported drone activity.
    The scare campaign on Labor’s dividend imputation policy has kicked off.
    Nicholas Stuart laments that politicians seem to find planning for the future difficult and so they prefer to inhabit a perpetual present.
    Greg Sheridan writes that the Morrison government has made a complete mess of the Neil Prakash citizenship revocation, in a case of such ballsed-up diplomacy that it is much more Monty Python than Yes Minister.
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that the big banks have launched an assault on market rivals, accusing short-term lenders such as Afterpay of shirking regulations as the financial services providers face the double threat of a royal commission and parliamentary inquiry.
    Industry superannuation funds are on track to overtake self-managed super funds to become the dominant players in the $2.7 trillion retirement savings system in the next two years.
    London’s Telegraph tells us that this is the year that mounting hammer blows to the Western alliance system and the edifice of global governance threaten to bring the old order tumbling down.
    Michael Koziol looks at Fraser Anning’s travel a=expense antics.
    How about this for a fatberg!
    The Guardian’s Anne Davies writes that The Australian’s unequivocal denunciation of those who seek to foment anger and intolerance based on race was refreshing. But also a little surprising. Had the editorial writer been reading any News Corp publications during 2018? Had they missed the year-long campaign to demonise the African community in Melbourne as a hotbed of gang activity?
    A Federal Court judge presiding over the Australian ”Dieselgate” class action has ordered Volkswagen to name which board members and those in senior management knew about the scandal.
    An interesting article from Ross Gittins on personality traits and happiness.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz looks at one positive legacy from the volatile cryptocurrency scene.
    Labour market expansion across Australia in 2018 was almost entirely driven by growth in public sector jobs, with private sector employment contracting in the period.
    Commonwealth prosecutors have been accused of acting unfairly in the Witness K case after dumping their brief of evidence on defence lawyers about 6pm on the last working day of the legal year.
    On the basis of this poll Boothby in SA is gorn!
    This Catholic educator says that raising ATAR for teachers won’t raise standards.
    The UK Guardian editorialises that the government has failed on Brexit – it’s time to go back to the people.
    Australia’s fuel stockpiles have dwindled so much that it could affect the country’s ability to react to a crisis, experts have warned.
    Latest figures reveal the country’s onshore storage levels of crude oil are little more than half that of the minimum requirement, putting Australia in breach of international obligations – and at severe risk.
    Idiot Trump is continuing to edge towards declaring a wall national emergency.
    Trump’s claim that his predecessors endorsed his idea of a wall at the Mexican border is getting no support from the ex-presidents’ club.
    Letting you converse with strangers in dozens of languages, Timekettle’s WT2 Plus earbuds ensure you’re never lost for words when travelling abroad.
    The Conversation tells us that almost every brand of tuna on supermarket shelves shows why modern slavery laws are needed.
    ScoMo has opened up on his hopes and dreams for 2019 in a fair dinkum prayer-letter to the man upstairs.
    A woman standing on her own waiting for an Uber in Rio de Janeiro may have appeared an easy target to a would-be thief. The only problem for the perpetrator was his target was a strawweight UFC fighter, who turned the tables on the thief with punches, a kick and a “rear-naked choke” before forcing him to sit and wait for the police. He certainly came off second best.
    And we have a posthumous “Arsehole of the Week” nomination today.
    And a nomination from the land of the living . . .

    Cartoon Corner

    Mark David with a brief history of the Liberal party.

    David Pope tunes up the dog whistle.

    Cathy Wilcox serves it up to Gladys.

    From Matt Golding.

    From the US.

  15. https://www.pollbludger.net/2019/01/03/poll-positioning-2/comment-page-64/#comment-3045338
    nbn/ NBN

    Another royal commission?
    Sounds more like Liebor are happy to sort some of Nbnco by having less fibre copper to the node (and more to the drive way), and maybe take into account changes in terrestrial/ 5G or point to point radio or nano sat wireless.

    Chances are Nbnco will be split up, and pieces flogged to provide a risk-adjusted return to taxpayers and repay the loan. (Around the world lessons from PPPs or privatisations – especially of monopolies or even duopolies – more and more appear in the media.)

    The narrowband/ broadband transition downunder has been serious messed up.
    Though nbn/ NBN – a fed gov wholesale broadband access monopolist with oligopolistic comms services providers – from 2007 isn’t a surprise.
    It is overdue, overpriced (supposedly providing a risk-adjusted return to taxpayers, and payback a taxpayer loan) and fortunately not yet over here.
    Both sides of pollyTICs have much to answer for on infrastructure, be it comms, energy, housing, transport, water. [May be the focus should be on advancing Australia fair, instead of money/ pollyTICs/ media spin cycle, Washminster-style repressive democracy so needs to go more direct democracy.]
    The COALition of LyingN(C)P through their sooner, cheaper, fast enough by … approach have made it 2020 to 2022/ $50B and 88% of premises up to 50/ 20 Mbps rather than 2024 to 2028/ $90B and 7% up to 50/ 20 Mbps.

    Our street still has competition between Telstra HFC (up to 100/ 5 Mbps, we get 50/ 5 Mbps with unlimited quota and even over Wi-Fi usually get better results than that) and DSL, SingTel Optus HFC and wireless. At some stage that’ll be Nbnco (HFC interferences, wireless congested and convoluted in terms of quota) and wireless.
    Mind you not even the various wireless interim or Sky Muster issues stopped Nbnco through Viasat going after Qantas Group in-flight Wi-Fi in a hunt for revenue.
    The fed gov should have gone for competition for extended metro to regional (say Opel Networks of 2007), and holistically tackle rural and remote through sea or tree changes, with adequate subsidy.
    The Netherlands, Singapore, New Zealand (fibre where it is busy, wireless where it is not, actually use carriers and tech vendors through tenders rather than a new bureaucrazy), France and Canada show how it could be done.
    But the privatisation of a vertically-integrated Telecom/ OTC from 1997 set most of this up.
    Of course there was also the no to the Telstra FTTN of 2005.
    Even the offloading of Aussat with something like more than 3 times debt over equity back in the early nineties.

    And then there is the question of state and lemgth of copper, especially if from premise not to the driveway but to the node.
    Though I did see an ITNews post in the last two weeks suggesting that Nbnco is more appreciated in regional to rural to remote than in extended metro. Duh!
    But nbn VDSL2/ FTTN is better if done right than just copper (ADSL2+ in my apartment had about 17/ 1 Mbps a block from the exchange, and that was over Wi-Fi, said building now has a choice of fibre copper from Nbnco and TPG).
    It’ll be interesting what happens to the premises to driveway or street portion, for now it sounds like more FTTC/ VDSL2 or G.Fast.
    Though if all you do is browse/ email/ call rather than game or stream, it would seem something like SingTel Optus Home Wireless Broadband where 500 GB cost $80 is plenty.
    A friend in regional NSW, down on the south coast of NSW, not too far from the Princess Highway, now has Nbnco/ Telstra, and the previous DSL service is now FTTN/ VDSL2. During wet weather it no longer drops out. He’s got 25/ 5 Mbps and gets about 19/ 3 Mbps, as he is close to town. There is also 4G mobile terrestrial wireless.
    Another friend in rural NSW in between Taree and Port Macquarie, from the Pacific Highway through a forest and then up a valley for at least 30 minutes, tried Nbnco interim fixed Ku-band satellite wireless, but whilst on the east coast he was pointed to equatorial and congested IPstar of Thailand SingTel Optus Aussat satellites off the west coast of Australia, only to go back to commercial 4G mobile terrestrial wireless, if without a booster/ antenna.
    He could get Nbnco Skymuster fixed satellite wireless, but this requires yet another Ka-band installation.
    So for now he uses 4G sparingly, or heads to some nearby public Wi-Fi.
    Meanwhile copper still runs through his property further into the valley, apparently still used for PSTN/ calls.

    So what do I expect to happen?
    Kinda akin to all the expenses/ entitlement and other value issues in Versailles on Lake Blwxyz Griffin.
    Some huffing and puffing, but pollyTICs can score more points in other policy areas, and get bigger lobbyist contributions (financial services, healthcare, public safety and security come to mind).
    Essentially changing the puppets in the theatre doesn’t change the show.
    It’ll take a catalyst, which could be holistic regional development, as against ever higher population density.
    Pieces of Nbnco will be up for sale, though presumably lessons from media legislation – tv, radio, papers, internet – or PPPs or privatisations will be applied.
    The regulator will have to be involved in terms of benchmarking of Gbps/ $, TB/ $, latency and jitter, MTBF and MTTR, besides allowable returns. (As in maximum prices and minimum service levels.)
    I/c Nbnco the fifth of premises on all fibre (shared 2.5 GPON, rather than say direct NG/ PON2 etc) up to 100/ 40 Mbps will be left alone. Clearly Nbnco expect to be able to sign up more business services (though that has been competitive since the Telstra/ Optus/ AAPT days in the nineties, though Nbnco will have made more fibre move further into the network).
    The third of premises on HFC (DOCSIS 3.1) up to 100/ 40 Mbps will be sorted, especially where there is no FoxTel and Nbnco on the same cable. I also note that several comms services providers now have wireless as a backup on their Nbnco sourced services as standard.
    The two fifths of premises on fibre copper (FTTN/ VDSL2 or FTTC/ G.Fast) is where some change will occur (last time I checked comms service providers can’t provide a speed indication prior to installation, though Nbnco seems to suggest about 88% will have up to 50/ 20 Mbps). Coexistence between ADSL2+/ Nbnco will become less of an issue.
    No doubt there’ll be some chatter of wireless too. Be it 5G/ newer Wi-Fi/ point to point radio, satellite …

    WHat’s that old joke again, the only reason the world was supposedly created in a week is because there was no installed base to worry about!

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