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. Hi Alan Shore

    I am older, the illegal drug of choice was marijuana; I was way to conservative to try but I had many friends who did and one that got put in jail for growing the stuff. Jail destroyed his life; but the rest grew up, had kids and as sure as night followed day some kids tried whatever was around.

    They are young and inexperienced, if they have any getup and go they are going to rebel, and we send them out will no life skills.

    It sounds as if you got mixed up with a group that knew how to deal with it. Given the number of deaths clearly that is not always the case.

    the kids need lessons on how to test the shit and what it does. Just say no is bullshit. We are a species that wants to know.

  2. I wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of Trumble Jnr

    Why would I get on the wrong side of Trumble jr 😎 I’m rooting for him 😯

  3. Steve777

    Until and unless he is proven guilty of something (at this stage we don’t know what), he is innocent in the eyes of the law.

    ____________________________________

    Speaking from quite bitter personal experience I could not endorse this statement more!

  4. Rob Oakeshott
    ‏@RobOakeshott1

    How does fighting with Fiji over the citizenship of one person help the global anti-fundamentalist cause? What exactly is our Governments purpose here? RO

    Grandstanding?

  5. Join the dots.

    Domestic incident. Setka. Union. Labor. Shorten.

    Guilt by association.

    The Tories and their cheer squad have nothing to offer but smear.

  6. Nine News Australia
    ‏Verified account @9NewsAUS

    The Federal Government may not be able to revoke the citizenship of notorious Islamic State fighter Neil Prakash, because he isn’t a dual national. @AirlieWalsh #AusPol #9News

  7. Socrates

    When there were slow box rates it was often ‘clever’ Aus. management continuing to squeeze work out of decrepit cranes. At smaller ports part loads were often involved and that slowed it down even further. THE #$!&%#$#! Rodent and the even worse Rieth kept making comparisons with ports like Singapore and Amstersdam. Ports with huge volumes and the latest in automation……………………………..and decent management


  8. Steve777 says:
    Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Grandstanding?

    Exactly. Plus getting ‘Islamic Terror’ back on the front pages.

    That was the goal; and they have made fools of themselves again. Can’t even revoke without stuffing it up.

  9. You would think the government would be desperate to get Prakash back here. It would allow for endless scary stories and opportunities to propose all sorts of totalitarian laws to ‘keep you safe’. Not like those soft Labor sorts. Bill Shorten will have questions to answer.

  10. I don’t give a damn about Neil Prakash. What really gets to me about this decision is the contempt it shows to a Pacific neighbour – and from the guy who made jokes about Pacific nations being devastated by climate change.

    It it was the USA or even NZ, we would not be shoving this problem onto the other nation where the citizenship link is utterly tenuous. Prakash was born here and never made any attempt to get Fijian citizenship, let alone be acknowledged by Fiji as a citizen. Dutton is just giving the Fijians a big FU because he thinks he can.

  11. Shellbell @ #185 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 11:58 am

    To create the testing tent requires no policing of possession or supply so creating an enclave 0f lawfulness.

    I think that should be lawlessness? And also that nobody is proposing to allow the supply of pills; just personal possession and use.

    And in practical terms, that enclave where personal possession and use of drugs is tolerated already exists. I’ve seen police at festivals where people were quite obviously and openly doing things that weren’t the socially approved recreational drugs of alcohol and tobacco. The police don’t give two fucks about that. They’re not there to enforce the law to the letter. They’re there to ensure that everyone has a safe and fun time and deal with real crimes like assault, theft, and so on.

    Completely contrary to the letter of the law, sure. But a much better outcome in real terms than if the police went through the crowd fining and arresting every single person they could find in possession of drugs.

    Why should it be legal to supply or possess drugs in a setting which operates for profit (the festival) but not at home or on a beach etc?

    It doesn’t have to be legal, per-se. It’s more that law enforcement is using its discretion and not enforcing a counterproductive law. Which happens all the time, as with many of these:

    Also, the police aren’t going to come barging into your home looking for drugs unless you’ve given them some other reason to be there first. So for all practical purposes you’re as safe in your home as in the pill-testing tent.

    The beach is a public space (whilst festivals are private/ticketed entry only), so a different kettle of fish. You can’t legally drink your beer on the beach, either, and for the same reason.

  12. TPOF @ #206 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 9:37 am

    I don’t give a damn about Neil Prakash. What really gets to me about this decision is the contempt it shows to a Pacific neighbour – and from the guy who made jokes about Pacific nations being devastated by climate change.

    It it was the USA or even NZ, we would not be shoving this problem onto the other nation where the citizenship link is utterly tenuous. Prakash was born here and never made any attempt to get Fijian citizenship, let alone be acknowledged by Fiji as a citizen. Dutton is just giving the Fijians a big FU because he thinks he can.

    I doubt it, Kiwi’s are one of the main groups affected by the laws that allow deportation after you are released from prison, irrespective of how long you’ve lived in Australia.

  13. a r @ #213 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 10:42 am

    Shellbell @ #185 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 11:58 am

    To create the testing tent requires no policing of possession or supply so creating an enclave 0f lawfulness.

    I think that should be lawlessness? And also that nobody is proposing to allow the supply of pills; just personal possession and use.

    And in practical terms, that enclave where personal possession and use of drugs is tolerated already exists. I’ve seen police at festivals where people were quite obviously and openly doing things that weren’t the socially approved recreational drugs of alcohol and tobacco. The police don’t give two fucks about that. They’re not there to enforce the law to the letter. They’re there to ensure that everyone has a safe and fun time and deal with real crimes like assault, theft, and so on.

    Completely contrary to the letter of the law, sure. But a much better outcome in real terms than if the police went through the crowd fining and arresting every single person they could find in possession of drugs.

    Why should it be legal to supply or possess drugs in a setting which operates for profit (the festival) but not at home or on a beach etc?

    It doesn’t have to be legal, per-se. It’s more that law enforcement is using its discretion and not enforcing a counterproductive law. Which happens all the time, as with many of these:

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    Also, the police aren’t going to come barging into your home looking for drugs unless you’ve given them some other reason to be there first. So for all practical purposes you’re as safe in your home as in the pill-testing tent.

    The beach is a public space (whilst festivals are private/ticketed entry only), so a different kettle of fish. You can’t legally drink your beer on the beach, either, and for the same reason.

    Where did you get that graphic from?

  14. On the pill testing debate, anything that makes it a bit safer is fine by me. I’m a drug user myself but I add everything I use is currently legal. As an extra step in the pill testing why not add Russian roulette into the mix? On one table the tablets you are considering ingesting and on the other a revolver with one loaded chamber. Take your pick, the chances of something going very wrong would be about the same.

  15. I doubt it, Kiwi’s are one of the main groups affected by the laws that allow deportation after you are released from prison, irrespective of how long you’ve lived in Australia.
    _________________________________________

    There is a fundamental difference. Deportation applies to people who are not and almost always never have been Australian citizens. These people are also unquestionably citizens of NZ, which is why NZ accepts them (though with great unhappiness).

    Prakash is/was a citizen of Australia only. It appears he is not a citizen of Fiji, although he might be entitle to Fijian citizenship should he apply for it under Fijian law. If he was in the same position, but might be able to apply for NZ citizenship by descent, I doubt the NZ authorities would accept him – or accept Australia washing its hands of him because he could be dumped there and be a danger to NZ!

  16. Guytaur, you made a reference to a Peewee earlier. I assume it was directed at me as play on my name. Don’t know why you do it, but if it makes you feel superior and clever, please continue. It makes no difference to me.

  17. Prof Peter Strachan
    ‏@ProfStrachan

    No surprises in this headline

    US #fracking data reveals thousands of wells are yielding less than their owners projected to investors

  18. Confessions @ #218 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 12:58 pm

    a r:

    Quite a few of those laws seem too ridiculous to be real.

    I don’t disagree. But a quick spot-check suggests they’re at least partially legit.

    Universal Citation: MS Code § 97-29-43 (2013)
    If any person shall teach another the doctrines, principles, or tenets, or any of them, of polygamy; or shall endeavor so to do; […], he shall, on conviction, be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or be imprisoned in the county jail not less than one month nor more than six months, or both.

    https://law.justia.com/codes/mississippi/2013/title-97/chapter-29/in-general/section-97-29-43

    And:

    Section 255.17

    A person is guilty of adultery when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse.

    Adultery is a class B misdemeanor.

    https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/PEN/255.17

  19. Rupert has sent Barnyard a crate of fine reds and asked him to write an article. The prospect of a Labor gov. seems to have unsettled him 😆 . A sampler…………………

    Chaos is just a vote away
    JANUARY 02, 2019
    By Barnaby Joyce

    It (Labor) is too cunning to be led to a hostile battlefield when it can shoot us in a clear field from its own forest.
    .
    .
    If you believe Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are congested — well, suck it up, because more people from God knows what country are on their way. They will come because they want to and under the circumstances they choose.
    .
    .
    Don’t dare say the words “son” or “daughter” — they are now to be neuter people.
    .
    .
    The Greens want to jail people who export thermal coal.

    https://outline.com/3r99jm

  20. Bert @ #295 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 1:47 pm

    On the pill testing debate, anything that makes it a bit safer is fine by me. I’m a drug user myself but I add everything I use is currently legal. As an extra step in the pill testing why not add Russian roulette into the mix? On one table the tablets you are considering ingesting and on the other a revolver with one loaded chamber. Take your pick, the chances of something going very wrong would be about the same.

    Um.
    No.
    The risk of any toxicity, let alone death, from one “MDMA” pill is at least 3 orders of magnitude less than 1/6.
    Bullshit comparisons do not help.

  21. The Greens want to jail people who export thermal coal.

    Perhaps some time in the distant future we’ll jail people, who with all the evidence available now, continued to be boosters for BIG COAL f***wit barnyard…

  22. Just an obvious point, well it seems obvious to me anyway, but say Neil Prakash comes back to Australia, won’t he be arrested at the airport and immediately charged with terrorism offences under Australian law and be just as quickly placed in custody in the Super Max prison in solitary confinement with no likelihood of bail being granted, thus be absolutely no threat to anyone at all in Australia?

    To which I will add as a tangential observation, that all those supposedly dangerous criminals who have been deported by this government to other countries, that those countries don’t seem to have had any disastrous consequences in the countries they have been deported back to.

  23. poroti @ #789 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 2:28 pm

    Rupert has sent Barnyard a crate of fine reds and asked him to write an article. The prospect of a Labor gov. seems to have unsettled him 😆 . A sampler…………………

    Chaos is just a vote away
    JANUARY 02, 2019
    By Barnaby Joyce

    It (Labor) is too cunning to be led to a hostile battlefield when it can shoot us in a clear field from its own forest.
    .
    .
    If you believe Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are congested — well, suck it up, because more people from God knows what country are on their way. They will come because they want to and under the circumstances they choose.
    .
    .
    Don’t dare say the words “son” or “daughter” — they are now to be neuter people.
    .
    .
    The Greens want to jail people who export thermal coal.

    https://outline.com/3r99jm

    “Fine reds”? Nah. Methanol to compliment his tertiary syphilis – that or he’s transcribing the Skynews werebushpigs.

  24. poroti

    Thanks for proving the link to Barnaby’s drunken waffle. 🙂

    All I learnt was that he lives in a rented house and seems to find it an advantage.

  25. Get your pills tested, or leave yourself open to the potential of a severe case of rhabdomyolysis? If they were on a table in front of me I know which one I would choose.

  26. Mavis Smith says: Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Billy Connolly’s slipping away:

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

    Very Sad Mavis …… I thought Billy to be one of the funniest comedians – he could read names out of a telephone book and make it hysterically funny …..

    I can watch this a 1000 times and still have tears of laughter running down my face

    Billy Connolly and his Incontinence Pants

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGNMeR-BOis

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