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”

  1. DaretoTread @ #2340 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:28 pm

    Now it was all probably very innocent but you can still see the republicans making a meal of it.

    However as the Republicans don’t give a shit about truth or accuracy in the first place they’d make exactly the same meal out of anyone the Democrats put up. Which makes the point kind of moot.

    They’ll dig for any dirt they can find, and when they can’t find any they’ll just manufacture some. The same thing happens whether they’re against Biden, or Beto, or Warren, or Hillary, or Sanders, or anybody else the Dems put up. The Dems need to work on their counterpunching more than they need to try to avoid being hit.

    And also, fucking hell. For every one picture of Biden looking creepy, there’s got to be a dozen of Trump doing something worse.

  2. Cat
    I haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody the movie yet so can’t answer that.

    FYI. Antonio Arellano is a Texas Democrat. I saw a few Beta O Rourke tweets from him. 🙂

    I like his style.

  3. poroti says: Monday, January 7, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    phoenixRED

    Patiently waiting for Mueller Godot ?

    *****************************************************************

    Anything I have ever read on Robert Mueller as a person, a soldier and a dedicated public servant of the US gives me the confidence that he and his dedicated team of proven history investigators will come up with a fair and honest report on the legitimacy of the last presidential election and the factors that decided the result.

    I know you have stated on here a number of times of it all being a ‘nothingburger’ and as much as you and I generally agree on many issues and personalities in history and present day , I feel compelled to wait and see if there is any possibility to outside/foreign factors/campaign collusion that may have compromised the outcome of the 2016 election …..

  4. It will be interesting to see how the US media handles the democratic primaries;
    Is Bernie ‘too old’ while Biden (1 year younger) is still young enough?
    Is the need for a fresh face like Harris no longer the apparent risk it was in 2016?

  5. AR

    Why? As voters showed with the SSM vote they can accept way more diversity in parliament than people think.

    Yes that means a man who has separated from his wife can become PM. At least thats what I think and I want to see very good reason that we should discriminate against anyone just because they have broken up. (Assuming they were married)

  6. a r @ #1493 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:35 pm

    DaretoTread @ #2340 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:28 pm

    Now it was all probably very innocent but you can still see the republicans making a meal of it.

    However as the Republicans don’t give a shit about truth or accuracy in the first place they’d make exactly the same meal out of anyone the Democrats put up. Which makes the point kind of moot.

    They’ll dig for any dirt they can find, and when they can’t find any they’ll just manufacture some. The same thing happens whether they’re against Biden, or Beto, or Warren, or Hillary, or Sanders, or anybody else the Dems put up. The Dems need to work on their counterpunching more than they need to try to avoid being hit.

    And also, fucking hell. For every one picture of Biden looking creepy, there’s got to be a dozen of Trump doing something worse.

    Not even Donald has photos of him touching little girls. Sorry but in this era of me too anyone who has this sort of reputation is a non starter. I could post links to the images but that only gives them more credence and I do not want to spread the allegation. However like his age is is a negative factor.

    Look it is probably simply that he has a genial “uncle Joe” personality which is touchy feely with women – part of his overall charm really, but we live in puritanical times and I do not think it meets today’s rigorous (and probably rather straitlaced) standards.

  7. Yes that means a man who has separated from his wife can become PM.

    Trump has been divorced three times and he became president of the most powerful nation on earth.

  8. guytaur @ #1502 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:45 pm

    AR

    Why? As voters showed with the SSM vote they can accept way more diversity in parliament than people think.

    Yes that means a man who has separated from his wife can become PM. At least thats what I think and I want to see very good reason that we should discriminate against anyone just because they have broken up.

    Well Bill Shorten is into his second marriage so it is not really an issue.

  9. Donald Trump’s unsettling record of comments about his daughter Ivanka

    ‘If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her’

    When Donald Trump was watching his 16-year-old daughter Ivanka host the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant, he turned to the then-Miss Universe and asked: “Don’t you think my daughter’s hot? She’s hot, right?”

    In the almost 20 years since, Mr Trump has called his eldest daughter “voluptuous”. He’s said it’s OK to describe her as “a piece of ass”, though she is a senior executive in his business empire.

  10. @Rex:

    “Klobuchar is a better matchup than Biden against Trump.”

    Agreed.

    The three most viable candidates (in both beating Trump and winning back the Senate) at this stage would be from the Red-Purple states: O’Rourke, Klobuchar and Brown.

  11. Rex Douglas @ #2350 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 11:33 am

    Barney in Go Dau @ #2346 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 3:28 pm

    Rex Douglas @ #2320 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 10:52 am

    guytaur @ #2316 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:36 pm

    @SkyNewsAust tweets

    .@SenatorWong: If @ScottMorrisonMP is serious about standing up to these sorts of extremist views that Fraser Anning is supporting, then he should be making it clear he is not going to be doing deals with him.

    MORE: https://bit.ly/2GYvCVC #newday https://twitter.com/SkyNewsAust/status/1082116286379773952/video/1

    Using the nazi’s to score political points… ?

    Standards you walk past, blah, blah, blah.

    But we wouldn’t want you to be consistent! 🙂

    I won’t be voting 1 for nazi fascists or to politicians who allow torture in offshore camps.

    You on the other hand….

    So you’re voting informal then!

    Me, I’ll be voting for someone who will be in a position to make a real difference.

  12. Andrew_Earlwood @ #2375 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 3:53 pm

    @Rex:

    “Klobuchar is a better matchup than Biden against Trump.”

    Agreed.

    The three most viable candidates (in both beating Trump and winning back the Senate) at this stage would be from the Red-Purple states: O’Rourke, Klobuchar and Brown.

    O’Rourke and Brown, while better than Trump, aren’t the answer.

  13. dtt

    ‘I could post links to the images but that only gives them more credence and I do not want to spread the allegation.’

    Seriously? You’re the only one here who has ever raised it. If you really didn’t want to give them credence, you wouldn’t have.

  14. guytaur @ #2357 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:45 pm

    Why? As voters showed with the SSM vote they can accept way more diversity in parliament than people think.

    Could just be my U.S. background speaking, but:

    The last bachelor elected to the White House was Grover Cleveland in 1886, but he married in his first term. James Buchanan, elected in 1857, was the only unmarried president to stay single his whole life.

    Either (U.S.) voters don’t go for unmarried candidates, or (U.S.) parties aren’t willing to risk putting one up as a presidential candidate.

  15. Gees Albo and Carmel’s kid is 18 now! I remember the spoilt brat running up and down the hall outside our suite in Parliament House screaming his head off with Albo pandering to him. Time sure flies.
    Both being pollies most of the time they were together would have made it a difficult marriage to manage I would think.

  16. So that’s where Hillary went wrong….
    ____________________________________

    One of her many unforgivable sins, it seems, was that she stuck by her husband.

  17. a r @ #2361 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 12:42 pm

    Ven @ #2352 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:39 pm

    Will this separation cost ALP any votes?

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/anthony-albanese-announces-split-from-wife-carmel-tebbutt-20190107-p50pye.html

    No. But it may cost Albanese any chance he had of succeeding Shorten. Damaged goods, now.

    What makes you think he’s damaged goods. There are no shortage of people in Parliament who’ve burned though numerous long term relationships and it hasn’t done their prospects any harm.

  18. @Rex:

    “O’Rourke and Brown, while better than Trump, aren’t the answer.”

    Depends what your question is, doesn’t it?

    As a centrist, Beto makes for a pretty good progressive (disregarding the grubbing half truth misleading hatchet job the BernieBros are attempting to pull on him), whereas Brown has consistently beaten Republicans in Ohio and yet is a genuine progressive – probably the closet democrat colleague that Bernie has in the senate.

    They’d make a good team on the hustlings. Better still, I think they’d make for an effective Whitehouse administration.

  19. Julia Gillard was unmarried, and she was elected PM. I don’t think marital status is as much of a leadership impediment today as it was years ago.

  20. An update on a refugee with some good news.

    @SarahRubyWrites tweets

    THE PLANE HAS DEPARTED.
    RAHAF IS STILL IN HER HOTEL ROOM.
    #FreeRahaf

    NOW WE NEED @REFUGEES TO ASSIST HER URGENTLY.

  21. a r @ #2378 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 12:57 pm

    guytaur @ #2357 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:45 pm

    Why? As voters showed with the SSM vote they can accept way more diversity in parliament than people think.

    Could just be my U.S. background speaking, but:

    The last bachelor elected to the White House was Grover Cleveland in 1886, but he married in his first term. James Buchanan, elected in 1857, was the only unmarried president to stay single his whole life.

    Either (U.S.) voters don’t go for unmarried candidates, or (U.S.) parties aren’t willing to risk putting one up as a presidential candidate.

    Or the sample size is too small to make any meaningful conclusions. Particularly historically, very senior politicians have been at the much older end of the human age range and as such, much more likely to be married/partnered.

  22. One thing about politics here, but especially in the USA, is that a voter who does not want to vote for X will use any alleged conduct to justify their position (no matter how insignificant) and if they do want to vote for X, they will forgive, excuse or even laud behaviour that they would think totally reprehensible of someone in their own circle, let alone in the party they oppose.

    Trump has smashed all norms of behaviour expected from the President of the USA and 40% of the population still think he’s great.

  23. grimace @ #2385 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 4:00 pm

    a r @ #2361 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 12:42 pm

    Ven @ #2352 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:39 pm

    Will this separation cost ALP any votes?

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/anthony-albanese-announces-split-from-wife-carmel-tebbutt-20190107-p50pye.html

    No. But it may cost Albanese any chance he had of succeeding Shorten. Damaged goods, now.

    What makes you think he’s damaged goods. There are no shortage of people in Parliament who’ve burned though numerous long term relationships and it hasn’t done their prospects any harm.

    God will be disappointed, therefore he is unworthy.

  24. Quite a big chunk of Americans won’t vote for an atheist. In fact there are a few states that were it is illegal for an atheist to hold public office.

    We’ve had an atheist PM.

    Big difference in the priority of voters between the two nations.

  25. zoomster @ #1517 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:56 pm

    dtt

    ‘I could post links to the images but that only gives them more credence and I do not want to spread the allegation.’

    Seriously? You’re the only one here who has ever raised it. If you really didn’t want to give them credence, you wouldn’t have.

    Bloody rubbish

    Mavis and others are boosting Joe Biden as a presidential candidate. Therefore like every other candidate you need to judge the likely attacks from the opposition as well as his policies and campaigning skills etc.

    Now the fact that there has already been a campaign against him it is obviously a factor. So too is your dislike of Bernie and his “socialist” policies and i think that all the left wing types will cop this. Now as one who fully supports their views i am not antagonistic but i am not such a bloody idiot that I deny the reality that it might be a negative factor for Cortez and Warren and Sanders.

    So in making a judgement you need to weigh up the impact of negative attacks versus their capacity to “sell the message”. We KNOW that Sanders can sell the message, but age is against him. Now i like Warren’s style but I have not actually seen her on the campaign train , so I am reserving judgement. Age and sex is against her.

    Cortez seems a strong performer but she may be seen as too young. Make a great VP choice.

    As for the various middle of the road candidates they do little to inspire me. Which is fine because I do not share their views. However I have a bit of a gut feel that the era of middle of the road candidates has passed and only those with a bit more colour will seriously resonate. I might be wrong but I think harking back to the good looking frat boys of the 60s-90s may be last century politics and as outdated as bell bottomed trousers.

  26. poroti @ #2313 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 2:35 pm

    don

    Bugger ! Just noticed the second ‘white’ .Should be ‘male’ !

    I didn’t notice either. But I read it the way you meant it.

    There are one or two here who think it is a crime. Not sure why, and not sure what I am expected to do about the situation. In any case I am happy to be all three, and make no apologies for my situation.

    Being male is part of my DNA, as is my skin colour, and any day you don’t wake up dead is a great day!

  27. It’s quite likely we haven’t heard the name of the next Democrat Pres yet.

    Both Bill Clinton and Obama were basically unknowns when they made their runs.

  28. Rex Douglas says: Monday, January 7, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    No. But it may cost Albanese any chance he had of succeeding Shorten. Damaged goods, now.

    God will be disappointed, therefore he is unworthy.

    ************************************************

    God does work in mysterious ways then

    Albanese separation – he is unworthy

    Adulterous philandering Trump – banging porno stars while his pregnant wife sits at home, gets elected as President

    WOW God sure picks winners then …..

  29. @Rex:

    “A Klobuchar-Warren ticket.

    It’s time.”

    Warren doesn’t bring anything to a ticket headed by Klobuchar.

    It’s time … for Warren and her ilk to step aside.

    Klobuchar-Brown is what I’m leaning towards at the moment.

  30. DaretoTread @ #2392 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 4:09 pm

    Mavis and others are boosting Joe Biden as a presidential candidate. Therefore like every other candidate you need to judge the likely attacks from the opposition as well as his policies and campaigning skills etc.

    Since the worst you can come up with seems to be that he must be a kiddy fiddler because he has been seen to hug children in public, I don’t think Biden has a lot to worry about.

  31. phoenixRED

    I have no problem at all believing a Nooo York entrpenoor like Trump would have a cemetery’s worth of financial skeletons. I’m very meh on the Russia claims though. So for the next 6 months it is riding the wait and see train for me 🙂

  32. Hey Earlwood, if you keep supporting right wing sentiment and using DLP like rhetoric, I will continue to call you and other right wingers out on it.

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