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. Player One @ #3039 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 6:18 pm

    yabba @ #3039 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 6:12 pm

    It is quite amusing to me, that, every time I mention the word M****, there is a big pile on.

    Which I guess is why you keep doing it. But it is incredibly tedious for everyone else 🙁

    Incredibly tedious!?? You must have an incredibly low incredulity quotient. I suggest that you insert an incredulity resistance in series. About three Wows should do it. Try that, and if it doesn’t work, up the dose a little, but be wary of overdoing it. You could end up like GG, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

  2. C@tmomma @ #2992 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:15 pm

    Player One @ #2987 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:11 pm

    C@tmomma @ #2986 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:08 pm

    Player One @ #2978 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:50 pm

    Now, you’re the expert on fossil fuels, so tell me, how did the source of fossil fuels originate in many instances?

    ???

    Mass Extinction events. The like of which we are able to experience in real time these days but which have been happening for millennia. Some of the deposits are made of fish. 🙂

    C@tmomma @ #3023 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:52 pm

    Player One @ #3021 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:49 pm

    C@tmomma @ #3008 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:33 pm

    Don’t be a gormless git, P1.

    Formation of fossil fuels
    Crude oil, coal and gas are fossil fuels. They were formed over millions of years, from the remains of dead organisms:

    coal was formed from dead trees and other plant material
    crude oil and gas were formed from dead marine organisms

    https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/guides/z27thyc/revision/1

    Maybe instead of gasbagging about Maths and Physics, some revision of Chemistry and Earth Sciences is in order? 🙂

    If you think fossil fuels are a result of “Mass Extinction Events” then it is not I who am being a gormless git 🙁

    No, I didn’t say that. There is a cycle, as I alluded to to a r. However, mass extinction events , plus millions of years of heat and pressure can produce rich veins of fossil fuels eventually.

    Sorry, I thought you were able to join the dots yourself. 🙂

    Rubbish. Oil and gas formation has nothing to do with mass extinction events. Stop getting your science from comic books.

  3. Rex, yes your posts are often pot-stirring … not because they are an alternate view (that’s fine/valid), but because the posts often parrot thoughtless memes without justifying arguments to back them up. I liken many to ‘headlines’ from the telegraph. Meant to get attention. Like verbal caricatures.

    Nath often posts in a similar vein.

    I suspect that you both giggle to yourselves whenever you get a reaction from the the usual combatants.

    That said – the platform lends itself to this. And also to the perception of group speak because to agree with another poster gains attention too.

  4. @Matt

    I’ve been on PB for rather a while, if inconstantly, so I hope people will take this observation seriously.

    The level of toxicity in the comments here is very high, and has been growing over time. This has led to poster after poster being driven out of the PB commentariat over the years because they can’t handle the levels of abuse directed at them for not falling in-line with the groupthinking. Some of those people we’re better off without. Most of them were simply people who disagreed with us on some issues, and speaking for myself, I somewhat miss the ideological/viewpoint diversity.

    I personally hope that every Bludger will at least try to start 2019 with a concerted effort to tone it down – no matter how innocent of toxicity we think ourselves to be (everyone’s always the hero of their own story!). Because we’re already largely an ideological monoculture here – and I fear that the alternative is that we become an online club of angry old people who always agree, with the only thing keeping us together is a shared disdain for the ‘outside’ world. None of us want to be those people. So let’s try to avoid becoming those people. Please.

    Matt, I agree with you, and before I post something, I look to see if it is “Ad Hominem”. Alternatively , am I playing the person rather than the ball?

    Apparently before I joined PollBludger the level of rancour was much higher, on Poll Bludger after dark. I actually do not have a problem with this, as in the “Wit of Whitlam”, or Paul Keating’s pithy put-down mode, but before posters engage in this type of strong discussion, they should be sure that their adversary is also up to the game.

    Chasing away people by group ad hominem attacks when they simply express a point of view does not help to sustain this blog. And if the blog becomes marginalised to a few posters with a very narrow point of view, then William may just give up. And we really do not want this to happen!

  5. Douglas and Milko @ #3055 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 7:22 pm

    @Matt

    I’ve been on PB for rather a while, if inconstantly, so I hope people will take this observation seriously.

    The level of toxicity in the comments here is very high, and has been growing over time. This has led to poster after poster being driven out of the PB commentariat over the years because they can’t handle the levels of abuse directed at them for not falling in-line with the groupthinking. Some of those people we’re better off without. Most of them were simply people who disagreed with us on some issues, and speaking for myself, I somewhat miss the ideological/viewpoint diversity.

    I personally hope that every Bludger will at least try to start 2019 with a concerted effort to tone it down – no matter how innocent of toxicity we think ourselves to be (everyone’s always the hero of their own story!). Because we’re already largely an ideological monoculture here – and I fear that the alternative is that we become an online club of angry old people who always agree, with the only thing keeping us together is a shared disdain for the ‘outside’ world. None of us want to be those people. So let’s try to avoid becoming those people. Please.

    Matt, I agree with you, and before I post something, I look to see if it is “Ad Hominem”. Alternatively , am I playing the person rather than the ball?

    Apparently before I joined PollBludger the level of rancour was much higher, on Poll Bludger after dark. I actually do not have a problem with this, as in the “Wit of Whitlam”, or Paul Keating’s pithy put-down mode, but before posters engage in this type of strong discussion, they should be sure that their adversary is also up to the game.

    Chasing away people by group ad hominem attacks when they simply express a point of view does not help to sustain this blog. And if the blog becomes marginalised to a few posters with a very narrow point of view, then William may just give up. And we really do not want this to happen!

    PB is what it is. Deal with it!

  6. jenauthor @ #3054 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 7:21 pm

    Rex, yes your posts are often pot-stirring … not because they are an alternate view (that’s fine/valid), but because the posts often parrot thoughtless memes without justifying arguments to back them up. I liken many to ‘headlines’ from the telegraph. Meant to get attention. Like verbal caricatures.

    Nath often posts in a similar vein.

    I suspect that you both giggle to yourselves whenever you get a reaction from the the usual combatants.

    That said – the platform lends itself to this. And also to the perception of group speak because to agree with another poster gains attention too.

    You see my criticisms as ‘pot-stirring’ because you see them from a partisan Labor point of view.

  7. C@t @5:58 PM “I’ve been told Josh has been ringing Chris Bowen for advice, since he became Treasurer. Chris told him to rack off after the first week.”

    Naturally, he wanted advice from the most recent competent Treasurer.

  8. You see my criticisms as ‘pot-stirring’ because you see them from a partisan Labor point of view.

    Oh come off it Rex. I view the vast majority of your comments as pot stirring and not only do I not care what you have say about the ALP or whomever its leader happens to be, but I have publicly defended your entitlement to state them!

  9. Rex Douglas @ #3057 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 3:41 pm

    jenauthor @ #3054 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 7:21 pm

    Rex, yes your posts are often pot-stirring … not because they are an alternate view (that’s fine/valid), but because the posts often parrot thoughtless memes without justifying arguments to back them up. I liken many to ‘headlines’ from the telegraph. Meant to get attention. Like verbal caricatures.

    Nath often posts in a similar vein.

    I suspect that you both giggle to yourselves whenever you get a reaction from the the usual combatants.

    That said – the platform lends itself to this. And also to the perception of group speak because to agree with another poster gains attention too.

    You see my criticisms as ‘pot-stirring’ because you see them from a partisan Labor point of view.

    Funny, I thought she said the opposite!

  10. D&M @5:58 “My story though is that one series of maths lectures ended after 8 weeks when our lecturer announced we had covered everything, and what did we wish to do for the remaining 4 weeks. We could continue and cover more material which would not be on the exam, spend the four weeks doing revision, or stop there. Everyone said, keep going! It was just fun to learn, and of course to do a bit of bragging.”

    Back when I was a student, I might have said “Go on”. That would be what my heart would say, maybe my head would want to include 50% of the time as revision. In today’s world of HECs debt and fierce competition, I’d say “Revise revise revise!”.

  11. “I suspect that you both giggle to yourselves whenever you get a reaction from the the usual combatants.”

    Oh yuck! That conjures an image of unattractive not very bright people sitting around doing thar thang in a smelly room dressed only in their underpants. 🙁

    Coalition Party Room Inhabipants??

  12. this site is interesting in especially when it covers probable election results….. but bad where it decends into personal abuse ” you are a grouper” “no I am not you are” the concept of groupers came from the 50s and 60s labor split I was only 10 in 1965…… I suspect people here would even if 10 years older than me… would be too young to be involved. There is some times a purer than pure attitude by some greens supporters here…. they like the labour party are an imperfect organisation who have made mistakes. Excuse the rant but remember the group think here is about a just and fairer society

  13. William Bowe @ #3062 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 7:54 pm

    I’ve finally sorted out the leadership ratings trends on BludgerTrack. So as well as being updated for the first time in over a month, it now finally has a Scott Morrison net approval trend.
    https://www.pollbludger.net/bludgertrack2019/leaders.htm

    William Bowe @ #3062 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 7:54 pm

    I’ve finally sorted out the leadership ratings trends on BludgerTrack. So as well as being updated for the first time in over a month, it now finally has a Scott Morrison net approval trend.
    https://www.pollbludger.net/bludgertrack2019/leaders.htm

    William, iirc, I am sure I read on here in the last few weeks comments relating to the benefit of incumbency on leadership ratings. I can’t recall if it was you commenting or Kevin Bonham. But if I remember correctly, the figure given for the value of incumbency was something like 16%. Can you comment on this?

  14. Itzadream

    Yes! We have almost destroyed this country. It must cause immense pain to the Aboriginal inhabitants.

    I would like the Commonwealth Government to treat it as a security crisis more crucial than terrorism. We should be on the equivalent to a “war footing” to restore Country..

  15. swamprat
    says:
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 8:10 pm
    Itzadream
    Yes! We have almost destroyed this country. It must cause immense pain to the Aboriginal inhabitants.
    I would like the Commonwealth Government to treat it as a security crisis more crucial than terrorism. We should be on the equivalent to a “war footing” to restore Country..
    __________________________________
    It’s fascinating to learn about environments before human devastation impacts upon them. I had always thought the Scottish Highlands were windswept grasslands and peat bogs as a natural phenomenon. Then you learn that the whole region had once been home to the Caledonian Forest. Check out this vid to see a grand effort at restoring it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDtsExXe93Q

  16. PvO on Lleyonhjelm’s move to the NSW parliament. Obviously a politically calculated move as he’s seen his political obliteration if he decides to recontest the Senate.

    https://twitter.com/10NewsFirst/status/1082523945440403457

    And I’m not thinking PvO moving to Ch10 is a good fit for him. It seems somewhat a step backwards given he’s hosted his own programs on Sky. I wonder how he’d go hosting Qanda or Insiders if Cassidy chose to retire.

  17. Mavis Smith @ #3068 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:42 pm

    Saudi teen’s plight looking better:

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/saudi-teen-detained-in-bangkok-could-realise-her-dream-of-living-in-australia-20190108-p50q9b.html

    I’m so glad those fake news tweets posted earlier about her plight amounted to nothing.

    I do wish commenters were more circumspect when copying and pasting stuff from their twitter timelines. I get the instinct to post stuff that aligns with your perspective, I’ve been guilty of it myself. But as we so often see, early adopter tweets by anonymous nobodies frequently are found to be nothingburgers in terms of actual real information.

  18. Senator David Leyonhjelm has defended Fraser Anning, declaring the independent senator is not “anti-Semitic or a Nazi’’.

  19. https://outline.com/vpb8mv

    MEMBER for Maranoa David Littleproud has confirmed he has separated from his wife of 20 years, as he prepares to re-contest his seat in the federal election this year.

    Mr Littleproud confirmed he and wife Sarah, who have three young boys together, had been estranged for “some months”

  20. In Adelaide, High-profile commentator and radio presenter David Penberthy has lashed out at fellow radio announcer Andrew Reimer for his comments on a far-right rally in Melbourne. On Saturday, police made three arrests after hundreds of far-right and anti-fascist protesters faced off at Melbourne’s St Kilda Beach.

    Mr Reimer said the rally was about “gangs of people new to this country attacking innocent individuals”.

    Mr Penberthy, who is married to Labor MP Kate Ellis, accused the weekend nights presenter of being “a weirdo” who was “too stupid to realise the swastika is a symbol of hatred”. Mr Penberthy, who hosts the breakfast program on commercial station FiveAA alongside Will Goodings, called for Mr Reimer to be sacked from the station.

  21. Serkan Öztürk

    ‏ @SerkanTheWriter
    11h11 hours ago

    Hold tight everyone. Working on another SMALL story about another politician who should not be PROUD of their actions of late. I don’t like seeing wealthy politicians threatening to sue people on the taxpayer dime, especially when the ppl he is threatening are not lying. #auspol

  22. Confessions @ #3071 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:54 pm

    Mavis Smith @ #3068 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:42 pm

    Saudi teen’s plight looking better:

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/saudi-teen-detained-in-bangkok-could-realise-her-dream-of-living-in-australia-20190108-p50q9b.html

    I’m so glad those fake news tweets posted earlier about her plight amounted to nothing.

    I do wish commenters were more circumspect when copying and pasting stuff from their twitter timelines. I get the instinct to post stuff that aligns with your perspective, I’ve been guilty of it myself. But as we so often see, early adopter tweets by anonymous nobodies frequently are found to be nothingburgers in terms of actual real information.

    They referred to the Potato when he is no longer the responsible Minister, so they were doubtful from the beginning.

  23. Thanks nath.

    I walked a day in Cairngorms where there is still some of the Calendonian forest. But yes much of the Highlands are given over to deer hunting estates.

  24. [‘The policy has been attacked by large numbers of self-funded retirees who claim the move will slash their incomes while supporters argue it will force retirees to use their superannuation rather than save it as a form of wealth accumulation.’]

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/franking-credit-change-could-wipe-billions-from-banks-citigroup-20190108-p50q84.html

    Labor should stick to its guns on ending cash refunds for excess franking credits, and the proposed change to captial gains, noting the sources of this ‘research’. And, moreover, the cohort in receipt of these tax benefits would in the main vote Tory in any event.

  25. Barney in Go Dau @ #3075 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:58 pm

    Confessions @ #3071 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:54 pm

    Mavis Smith @ #3068 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:42 pm

    Saudi teen’s plight looking better:

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/saudi-teen-detained-in-bangkok-could-realise-her-dream-of-living-in-australia-20190108-p50q9b.html

    I’m so glad those fake news tweets posted earlier about her plight amounted to nothing.

    I do wish commenters were more circumspect when copying and pasting stuff from their twitter timelines. I get the instinct to post stuff that aligns with your perspective, I’ve been guilty of it myself. But as we so often see, early adopter tweets by anonymous nobodies frequently are found to be nothingburgers in terms of actual real information.

    They referred to the Potato when he is no longer the responsible Minister, so they were doubtful from the beginning.

    Thanks Barney. I missed that aspect of the twitter ‘reporting’.

  26. Thanks Itza and swampy, I’m watching that vid now and just found something new to hate; grouse hunting. Imagine how much carbon a fully restored Caledonian forest would hold.

  27. Dennis Atkins
    ‏Verified account @dwabriz
    4h4 hours ago

    Tony Abbott said without blushing, apparently:
    “I don’t know what the rules are here – certainly I think it was pretty poor judgment for the Senator to go to Victoria on the taxpayer for something like this.”
    This from someone who used taxpayer money to promote sales for his book

  28. If the health of a business or a sector of the economy depends upon subsidising real estate speculation, disguising income as capital gains so people can pay half tax, and giving dividend holders refunds of tax they didn’t pay, well, they’re totally stuffed. Tough – they should have known the party won’t go on forever.

  29. Mavis Smith

    If the ‘sacred’ self funded retirees lose income then they would be eligible for some part pension payments. Unless of course they are so loaded they still do not qualify. In which case tough titties, they have had a feast of tax advantage gifted to them from The Rodent and The Hammock Dweller

  30. lizzie @ #2994 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 2:17 pm

    Tony Abbott
    ‏@TonyAbbottMHR
    5h5 hours ago

    People on unemployment benefits are supposed to be looking for work. Applying for one job a day is hardly unreasonable. These proposed changes show Labor is now the welfare class party not the working class one.

    This fool actually believes the jobs are out there waiting for the unemployed to step up.

    Let him be on the receiving end at an organisation that receives thousands of such application a week from manifestly unsuitable for any role that would potentially be on offer at that organisation THEN he can talk about what is reasonable or not.

    A mere annoyance in an organisation with suitable IT and numerous dedicated IT staff, a major problem for smaller organisations.

  31. Barney in Go Dau @ #3116 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:01 pm

    Zoidlord @ #3073 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:56 pm

    https://outline.com/vpb8mv

    MEMBER for Maranoa David Littleproud has confirmed he has separated from his wife of 20 years, as he prepares to re-contest his seat in the federal election this year.

    Mr Littleproud confirmed he and wife Sarah, who have three young boys together, had been estranged for “some months”

    Big deal!!!

    It mightn’t be, except didn’t he threaten to sue someone for saying as much just a few days ago? Got all indignant about how they were doing lies and defamation, etc., etc.. And now we see it was actually Littleproud doing all the lying and defaming.

    He should at least apologize to that person he threatened with legal action.

  32. I think they did cancel her tourist visa. As they should have. Whether she is to be admitted on a humanitarian visa – not a refugee visa – from Thailand is a separate issue.

  33. Zoidlord @ #3075 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:56 pm

    https://outline.com/vpb8mv

    MEMBER for Maranoa David Littleproud has confirmed he has separated from his wife of 20 years, as he prepares to re-contest his seat in the federal election this year.

    Mr Littleproud confirmed he and wife Sarah, who have three young boys together, had been estranged for “some months”

    Yes, but how long has he been poking the hired help? More than ‘some months’?

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