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. Emma Husar calls out Labor:

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/they-didn-t-defend-one-of-their-own-husar-calls-out-labor-on-women-20190106-p50pvy.html

    Labor’s outgoing member for Lindsay, Emma Husar, has accused her party of hypocrisy over its attack on the Liberals for not supporting enough women, claiming few colleagues came to her aid when she was “slut-shamed” in a report leaked to the news-site BuzzFeed last year.

    She says the ALP is making much of its near 50/50 make-up on the parliamentary benches, but in the back-rooms it’s a different story, despite the NSW branch of the party being run by a woman, Kaila Murnain.
    :::
    Ms Husar, a single mother, said she was “nauseated” at her party colleagues coming out now “claiming to be the be-all and end-all” on gender equity.
    :::
    “So many of the senior women in the party came privately and had a little chat and said they had been a member of the party for decades or whatever, and had never seen anything like it. Well get out there and say it publicly, use your voice to back me up, otherwise this will be the same story for the next poor schmuck who comes along, gets plucked out of relative obscurity, out of my single mum life with a child on the spectrum and an estranged ex-partner, and told hey, we are going to use you to show what great people we are .. and then throw me in the deep end and leave me there.”

  2. Jeepers the pictures in Hillary’s bloody book are not scuttle butt. There is one picture in HER book which shows him very very close.

    Oh well, that proves it then. 🙄

    Now, people, when Judge DTT is on the bench, make sure you don’t get a photo taken from an angle which makes you look too close to someone! Or else you will be forever condemned!

    And don’t take the word of an American Left Wing environmental group who has carefully scrutinised a candidate and concluded their campaign made an honest mistake in accepting money from individuals whom they were unaware whose day job was as fossil fuel company employees. Nope, nope, nope, a numpty from Brisbane in Australia knows better! 🙄

  3. Greensborough Growler @ #2450 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:37 pm

    Groupers were anti-Communist right wing Catholic activists controlled by Bob Santamaria who infiltrated the Union Movement and the ALP during the late 40s and 50s. The Split and the formation of the DLP were the consequences of the ALP trying to purge themselves of their influence.

    Ah! Thanks. So, nothing to do with the modern ALP then?

  4. Ms Husar, a single mother, said she was “nauseated” at her party colleagues coming out now “claiming to be the be-all and end-all” on gender equity.

    Has anyone actually made that claim? Like, in those specific words?

  5. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/07/st-kilda-rally-a-fascist-movement-can-only-be-kept-small-if-we-call-it-by-its-name

    Perhaps Sunderland, and others like Mike Carlton, are afraid of over-inflating the importance of a poorly organised group. This idea is related to the notion that fascist groups will perish in the absence of attention from media and counterprotesters.

    As recent experience in the United States and elsewhere has shown, these ideas are delusions. Attention is precisely what leads these groups to come apart.
    :::
    For now, the movement that Erikson, Cottrell and others preside over is small.

    It will only be kept small if we call it by its name and support those who show up to oppose it.

  6. Player One @ #2454 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:42 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #2450 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:37 pm

    Groupers were anti-Communist right wing Catholic activists controlled by Bob Santamaria who infiltrated the Union Movement and the ALP during the late 40s and 50s. The Split and the formation of the DLP were the consequences of the ALP trying to purge themselves of their influence.

    Ah! Thanks. So, nothing to do with the modern ALP then?

    These days it’s just a code word used mostly by anti Catholic bigots.

  7. Greensborough Growler @ #1590 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 4:37 pm

    Player One @ #2440 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:28 pm

    C@tmomma @ #2421 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 4:40 pm

    Jeez, how old is this clem attlee clown!?! ‘Groupers’!?! You’d think he could come up with a more contemporary contemptuous slur! 😆

    Doe anyone know what a “grouper” actually is? Apart from the bloody great fish, I mean … or is that what they mean?

    Groupers were anti-Communist right wing Catholic activists controlled by Bob Santamaria who infiltrated the Union Movement and the ALP during the late 40s and 50s. The Split and the formation of the DLP were the consequences of the ALP trying to purge themselves of their influence.

    I think that those who exhibit extreme Russophobia and Chinaphobia are responding to grouper memes that were very powerful until the mid 70s.

    I see Abbott as a classic progeny of the groupers -he makes no apology about it and was a santa maria fan, as of course was Keating. Remember there was no split in NSW so the NSW right retained their strong “grouper” connections. I feel the grouper tag only applies to people over 60. Younger people with similar views tended to join the LNP.

  8. Greensborough Growler @ #1598 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 4:45 pm

    Player One @ #2454 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:42 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #2450 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:37 pm

    Groupers were anti-Communist right wing Catholic activists controlled by Bob Santamaria who infiltrated the Union Movement and the ALP during the late 40s and 50s. The Split and the formation of the DLP were the consequences of the ALP trying to purge themselves of their influence.

    Ah! Thanks. So, nothing to do with the modern ALP then?

    These days it’s just a code word used mostly by anti Catholic bigots.

    Rubbish GG. there may be an overlap but i aply to to people who have a phobia about socialism and support a very centrist economic model. It has come back to the front of mind because of the rise in Russophobia which is so reminiscent of 1955, that the revival of the grouper tag is almost guaranteed.

  9. C@tmomma @ #2453 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:41 pm

    Now, people, when Judge DTT is on the bench, make sure you don’t get a photo taken from an angle which makes you look too close to someone! Or else you will be forever condemned!

    I find it extremely odd that DTT routinely defends a nasty, immoral, dishonest and sleazy back-stabbing criminal like Trump, or a vicious and immoral kleptocrat like Putin, but sees nothing wrong with smearing someone like Joe Biden just because he’s an honest, open and affectionate person 🙁

  10. Clem @ 4.26pm,
    There’s a lot of truth in what you say about Labor wanting to preserve the status quo, and not really being interested in social change. Although the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison years are hardly representative of the status quo in historical terms. Shorten will probably settle for the Rudd-Gillard years as his status quo. Keating or Whitlam would be an absolute no-no for Bill.

  11. Bonza @ #2432 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:04 pm

    Thank you C@t I hope we can still be friends 🙂

    Not a problem. 🙂

    I was just trying to get the facts out there. And the FACT that 2 left wing groups attested to the fact that they believed the campaign didn’t know the big individual donors worked for fossil fuel companies, is good enough for me.

    I’ve been in a campaign just recently myself, and have worked on others and I know that, firstly, you, the candidate, assign the role of campaign bursar to someone whose sole job is to look after the donations coming in, because, secondly, you are flat chat out every day campaigning for votes. So, you can hardly blame the candidate for an oversight, and it seems the bursar was unaware of who the individual donors were and what their day jobs were.

    Also, knowing that the O’Rourke campaign raised the most in donations of any campaign in the Mid Terms, $23 Million, I can believe that such an oversight was possible. I believe the environmental groups who scrutinised the campaign donations.

  12. Rubbish GG. there may be an overlap but i aply to to people who have a phobia about socialism and support a very centrist economic model. It has come back to the front of mind because of the rise in Russophobia which is so reminiscent of 1955, that the revival of the grouper tag is almost guaranteed.

    ____________________________________________

    You can apply it to whoever you like, but it is a stupid and meaningless term of abuse directed at anyone you want to traduce because they don’t think like you (people you always call ignorant or stupid or some other term of abuse). It’s the equivalent of calling someone a ‘pinko’ in the USA if they are not a rabid right wing nutjob.

  13. TPOF

    but it is a stupid and meaningless term of abuse directed at anyone you want to traduce because they don’t think like you

    You should know…much like your “virtue signalling” jibe directed at me yesterday.

  14. P1,
    Yeah, totally bizarre, if you ask me. dtt will staunchly defend a leering, old Republican perve of a POTUS, who thinks that being powerful means you can grab women by their genitals and they’ll let you, but, be a Democrat who hugs people too closely and watch out! Don’t even think about running for President!

    Bizarro World stuff.

  15. Pegasus @ #2468 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:57 pm

    TPOF

    but it is a stupid and meaningless term of abuse directed at anyone you want to traduce because they don’t think like you

    You should know…much like your “virtue signalling” jibe directed at me yesterday.

    No one could ever be silly enough to say you’ve got virtue.

  16. C@tmomma @ #2465 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 4:53 pm

    Bonza @ #2432 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:04 pm

    Thank you C@t I hope we can still be friends 🙂

    Not a problem. 🙂

    I was just trying to get the facts out there. And the FACT that 2 left wing groups attested to the fact that they believed the campaign didn’t know the big individual donors worked for fossil fuel companies, is good enough for me.

    I’ve been in a campaign just recently myself, and have worked on others and I know that, firstly, you, the candidate, assign the role of campaign bursar to someone whose sole job is to look after the donations coming in, because, secondly, you are flat chat out every day campaigning for votes. So, you can hardly blame the candidate for an oversight, and it seems the bursar was unaware of who the individual donors were and what their day jobs were.

    Also, knowing that the O’Rourke campaign raised the most in donations of any campaign in the Mid Terms, $23 Million, I can believe that such an oversight was possible. I believe the environmental groups who scrutinised the campaign donations.

    Sorry cat but that is a very naive thing to think.

    if you or any candidate signs a pledge then it is utterly incompetent not to carefully consider all donations. Someone should have been delegated to check that all donations conformed and it indicated a level of incompetence in the campaign that does not bode well for the future. if it was not incompetence then it was hypocrisy. They are your only two choices.

    Stop fudging – you like the pretty boy and you are a centrist yourself so you support him. Fine but do not try to argue that an orange is really an apple or that the parrot is alive.

  17. You should know…much like your “virtue signalling” jibe directed at me yesterday.

    ________________________________________

    Poor Peg. You must have really taken that hard. At least it’s a current put-down; not a throw-back so far in the past that half the people on this board thought the subject was being called a (mostly) protected fish.

    For the record, I regard virtue signalling as the act of demanding a form of action or behaviour from someone else where it costs you nothing and typically makes you look noble while costing the subject a lot in financial or political terms.

    For example demanding that Labor make pointless and ineffective statements about asylum seekers from opposition when your own party has already demonstrated how pointless and ineffective such statements are without the power to do something.

    Of course, your party can make these statements and all YOUR (small number of) voters shout hooray – what a noble party with noble members!!! Labor, with a real chance of winning the next election and actually doing something for these asylum seekers being held hostage by a vicious potato, is concerned not to give said vicious potato an opportunity to lie about Labor before it can be elected and actually do something.

  18. C@tmomma @ #2470 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 4:59 pm

    P1,
    Yeah, totally bizarre, if you ask me. dtt will staunchly defend a leering, old Republican perve of a POTUS, who thinks that being powerful means you can grab women by their genitals and they’ll let you, but, be a Democrat who hugs people too closely and watch out! Don’t even think about running for President!

    Bizarro World stuff.

    Cat

    Are you actually able to READ. I made the OBVIOUS point that the very fact that the anti Trump movement gave rise to the me-too movement has brought others into sharp focus. I am not particularly keen on Biden but it is not because of his being touchy feely – as with Trump i do not think that short of stuff matters much BUT democrat women do care and they care a great deal.

    Are you unable to grasp that one can write objectively describing what public sentiment may be without actually sharing that sentiment.

    Clearly you lack that analytical skill.

    Now my objections to Biden is that he is fairly conservative, a little too old and has not demonstrated a strong campaigning record. He is also too pro Israel for my taste (as is Trump). He is also an old cold war warrior so like Hillary he scares me. I also think that there is still a mood for change in the USA and someone as completely inside the Washington beltway as Biden is probably NOT the answer.

  19. I should add to my past post that the noble and glorious Greens Party got together with Tony Abbott back in 2012 to kill the Malaysian people swap. Both groups claimed major humanitarian concerns for doing so.

    And thought it was a good thing for more boats; more drownings; Manus and Nauru being reopened because Labor had no other political choice and refugees being stranded on these hell-holes for five years or more because the Greens helped pave the way for a border-obsessed political policy to dominate through the Coalition’s election.

    But the gleaming white horse remains gleaming and white – and that’s what matters.

  20. Poor TPOF, I didn’t take it hard at all. Just highlighting your hypocrisy and double standards.

    I made no demands. I have no regard whatsoever for your character assessments of me, or your creative imaginings about what I think or believe.

  21. Poor TPOF, I didn’t take it hard at all. Just highlighting your hypocrisy and double standards.
    _______________________________________

    FMD! A green spokesperson talking about hypocrisy and double standards.

    What’s next? Trump talking about the sanctity of marriage?

  22. DaretoTread @ #2476 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 6:11 pm

    I am not particularly keen on Biden but it is not because of his being touchy feely – as with Trump i do not think that short of stuff matters much BUT democrat women do care and they care a great deal.

    You are truly astonishing. Simultaneously defending Trump for doing the very same thing you are accusing Biden of doing … and at the same time putting down “democrat women” for caring about such things.

    Words fail 🙁

  23. Is DTT suggesting Joe Biden is a pedophile based on the alt-right loon conspiracy theorist websites?

    She might like to think about how those kinds of allegations posted here may impact upon William and his blog….

  24. ‏@BevanShields
    4h4 hours ago

    New statement from Scott Morrison: “I support entirely the views expressed yesterday by Acting PM Michael McCormack, condemning Senator Anning for attending the racist rally in St Kilda and associating himself with extreme and offensive racist views that have no place in our society. He is a repeat offender on these issues. Australians are not anti migrant nor racist.”
    “Genuine concerns held by fair minded Australians about immigration levels, border protection or law and order should not be used as cover or be hijacked to push hateful and ugly racist agendas. As I did yesterday, I’ll always be prepared to call out extremism in all its forms.”

    It’s taken Morrison a while to work out what to say…

  25. TPOF

    Here’s that link I provided for you yesterday:

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/confessions-of-a-virtue-signalling-leftard-social-justice-warrior-20170221-guhcee.html

    And beyond that, there is a great irony to using ‘virtue-signalling’ as an insult.

    Most people who use it that way are themselves virtue-signalling. They’re proclaiming themselves to be part of a group who’ve decided, as a political cause, not to put up with this loud leftist compassion any more. They’re adopting the alt-right vocabulary to declare that they share this political awakening.

    They’re warriors for the cause. They’re newly virtuous.

    If only we had a handy insult for that

  26. “Is DTT suggesting Joe Biden is a pedophile based on the alt-right loon conspiracy theorist websites?

    She might like to think about how those kinds of allegations posted here may impact upon William and his blog….”

    DTT is definitely Bludger After Dark’s very own BBish.

  27. Peg

    This might come as a shock to you, but I don’t agree with that journalist.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    I hope your collapse to the floor didn’t hurt too hard 🙂

  28. Oh, dtt, thou art stupid. Let me count the ways.

    Sorry cat but that is a very naive thing to think.

    Or I know what I am talking about and you don’t but you are so full of yourself, and, like Trump, don’t want to be thought foolish, that you are singularly incapable of climbing down from your original inane assertion and admitting you may be wrong.

    if you or any candidate signs a pledge then it is utterly incompetent not to carefully consider all donations. Someone should have been delegated to check that all donations conformed and it indicated a level of incompetence in the campaign that does not bode well for the future. if it was not incompetence then it was hypocrisy. They are your only two choices.

    No, there’s actually a third option. The one that the environmental groups in the US who started the No Fossil Fuel Donations Pledge acknowledged, that is that it should apply to individuals who hold down positions in the fossil fuel industry as well. Some thing that, no doubt, the campaign will adhere to observing next time.

    However, as you seem to think that a first time campaign for the Senate who have signed a pledge should have been all seeing and all knowing about all the ramifications of that pledge when even the guy who started it agreed that it was opaque about individuals, well then, that’s all it can be then, huh?

    Stop fudging – you like the pretty boy and you are a centrist yourself so you support him. Fine but do not try to argue that an orange is really an apple or that the parrot is alive.

    And there is where you plumb the depths of banality. To suggest that I support Beto O’Rourke, a happily married man, just because he is handsome, only serves to project in neon lights how shallow and banal YOUR thought processes are.

    You are a shallow thinker, dtt, who believes that great screeds of prolix prose somehow suggests that you are a deep thinker. You are as deep as a puddle of water in the midday sun in Charters Towers in summer.

  29. “Genuine concerns held by fair minded Australians about immigration levels, border protection or law and order should not be used as cover or be hijacked to push hateful and ugly racist agendas. As I did yesterday, I’ll always be prepared to call out extremism in all its forms.”

    Why did Morrison feel he needed to add this bit? His second attempt statement was just fine with the first part. No need to talk about immigration levels, as that wasn’t what the white supremacists yesterday were protesting about.

  30. Andrew_Earlwood @ #2490 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 5:27 pm

    “Is DTT suggesting Joe Biden is a pedophile based on the alt-right loon conspiracy theorist websites?

    She might like to think about how those kinds of allegations posted here may impact upon William and his blog….”

    DTT is definitely Bludger After Dark’s very own BBish.

    Andrew
    No I am NOT but I am pointing out to the Biden fans that there might be a nasty attack on him. Now yes you might well argue that there will be an attack on everyone which is true. Perhaps it will come to nothing but only a bloody idiot would ignore it – sorta like the Nats ignoring Barnaby or Broad.

    I might also call you out because lawyer you may be but you will note that i never, never never used the p word and would never, ever, ever have done so. You should bloody well apologise for even suggesting it and indeed I think YOU have breached William’s guidelines.

    Talk about someone making wild accusations.

    Shame on you Andrew. You should know better.

  31. BertBe @ #2277 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 4:58 pm

    AR if you happen to drop in, does your chrome plugin work on an Android tablet?

    It’s not intended to. But if your Android tablet lets you install Chrome extensions, it might.

    Easiest way to test is to go to:

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore

    If you get a message like “Customize Chrome on your desktop computer” (which is what I see on my phone), then it won’t work. If you get a page showing ‘recommended extensions’ you can at least try it and see what happens.

  32. Confessions @ #2495 Monday, January 7th, 2019 – 6:32 pm

    “Genuine concerns held by fair minded Australians about immigration levels, border protection or law and order should not be used as cover or be hijacked to push hateful and ugly racist agendas. As I did yesterday, I’ll always be prepared to call out extremism in all its forms.”

    Why did Morrison feel he needed to add this bit? His second attempt statement was just fine with the first part. No need to talk about immigration levels, as that wasn’t what the white supremacists yesterday were protesting about.

    The right will always try to conflate the two issues.

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