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. I don’t think we should be speculating on the reasons for MPs marital separations. It’s kinda icky and totally without class.

  2. a r @ #3095 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:30 pm

    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.

    Ho hum!!!!

  3. poroti:

    [‘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.’]

    I’ll be personally affected by these changes, and I’m not/won’t be eligible to a full or pro rata age/service pension. But I’m not concerned, the pension being for people who don’t exceed the quite generous income/assets test. And that’s the way it should be. I’m also an advocate of including the family home in the assets’ tests, as many are sitting on a fortune, which will pass to their no-good children, with no inheritance tax in place. This is radical but it’s time we came to our senses by implementing a policy of more equitable wealth distribution. I hope I don’t sound too Marxist.

  4. Confessions @ #3104 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 6:44 pm

    I don’t think we should be speculating on the reasons for MPs marital separations. It’s kinda icky and totally without class.

    Disagree in the case of any politician who supported the SSM postal survey farce. In supporting that farce they opened up the relationships of the LGBTQI community to national scrutiny for a period of months. They deserve no mercy when it comes to their own relationships.

  5. Barney in Go Dau @ #3105 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 6:45 pm

    a r @ #3095 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:30 pm

    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.

    Ho hum!!!!

    The tweeter he threatened with legal action went a lot further than just saying he’d split with his wife.

  6. grimace:

    Feel free to speculate away, but I won’t be joining you. Irrespective of a person’s individual views on SSM a relationship breakdown is still a highly personal thing and something that s/he should be allowed to endure in private without the intrusive media attention.

  7. Barney@9:45pm
    He allegedly threatened to sue somebody for revealing the separation before Albo did reveal his separation. But once Albo did he went ahead and did the same.
    This is third Nationals MP who is estranged from his wife (if you count Joyce and Broad as others) and Nationals swear by family values. Just saying.

  8. On a slow night, social media is agog with ShoeGate..

    Exhibit A

    Exhibit B

    Yep, someone in Scotty’s media team thought his Adidas shoes looked, well Bogan, and photoshopped on some gleaming white ones!

  9. Player One @ #3072 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:43 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #3056 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 7:30 pm

    I sincerely hope you are not being bullied by Yabba.

    Bullied by Yabba? No, I get the impression he has spent much of his life in just the opposite situation. For that, he has my sympathy. You would think that might have taught him a thing or two. But apparently not.

    Chortles to himself.

    I was bullied once that I can remember. A big lad named something Dixon, a year above me at Fort Street, ridiculed me about a pretty little girl from the Conservatorium (she played the harp) I had brought to the school dance. I told him to piss off. It has stayed with me always, and has ruined my life. When I was playing breakaway in CHS seconds that year, Dixon was one of the props. I had to push against his leg. Utterly mortifying. I tell you, I almost died of shame. True story.

    A P1-GG love in. How sweet.

  10. sprocket_ @ #3120 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 10:04 pm

    On a slow night, social media is agog with ShoeGate..

    Exhibit A

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    Exhibit B

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    Yep, someone in Scotty’s media team thought his Adidas shoes looked, well Bogan, and photoshopped on some gleaming white ones!

    He wants to be thought of as the Prime Minister of the White Shoe Brigade!?!

  11. Mavis Smith
    The ‘family home;. Now there is a third rail issue. John Howard hinted at it being used to help pay for some aged care scheme he was proposing. You can imagine the clamour from well to do elderly peoples’ children expressing their deep concern about the welfare of their parents inheritance of the family home.

  12. And Roman QuadBike is quick out of the blocks on ShoeGate..

    You know you’ve lost all credibility when your shoes trend higher than your policies. @AntonyGreenABC, is there any electoral rule against a pair of (virtual) non-descript shoes running as an Independent in Cook?

    To which our Antony can’t help himself in responding…

    They must be enrolled to vote, be prepared to pay a deposit, complete a nomination form with the required number of nominators, and sign the declaration on the nomination form.

  13. “Is littleproud the same as being humble?”

    I would speculate that the name dates from Medieval or early modern times and means that the person so named was not guilty of the sin of Pride. It was an appellation of virtue.

    On the other hand, maybe it means he has little to be proud of.

  14. Looks like Morrison might have done the photoshop on the shoes himself.

    Crap job, just like everything else he does.

    I blame Bill Shorten

  15. C@tmomma

    Nope. But if I were going to at some stage inherit a ‘pile’ I would not object to it being used to pay for extra care for my parents. It is after all their money.

  16. Actually folks, the truly amusing thing about shoegate is that the genius operating Photoshop has given ScaMmo two left feet.

    All the better to stuff his mouth with.

  17. I like that the family home is free from assets test, capital gains and inheritance taxes. It is a great incentive for families to own their home. I would much rather they crack down on income producing rorts like Family trusts etc.

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

    “A Greens member describing himself as an “alcoholic f…boii” who goes on “weekends of slut-dropping benders” has been chosen as the party’s candidate for the prime seat of Sydney at the federal election.

    Colleagues of Matthew Thompson, who won preselection for the safe Labor seat in December, went to ground on Tuesday after The Daily Telegraph questioned a number of crude posts sent from his official social media handle.

    It’s understood he is aligned with the party’s hard-left faction which includes Newtown MP Jenny Leong, NSW upper house MP David Shoebridge and former Senator Lee Rhiannon.

    http://outline.com/yW3jMZ

  19. “A Greens member describing himself as an “alcoholic f…boii” who goes on “weekends of slut-dropping benders”
    ____________________
    Ok so clearly he’s a virgin. 🙂

  20. What is it with Australian men and their disgusting attitudes to women and sex?

    Worcester: An Australian cricket player raped a sleeping woman after helping to set up a sexual conquest “game” with friends on WhatsApp, an English court has heard.

    Perth-born all-rounder Alex Hepburn, who plays county cricket for Worcestershire, is alleged to have attacked the woman in a dark bedroom shortly after she had consensual sex with one of his teammates, Joe Clarke.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/australian-cricketer-on-trial-in-uk-for-rape-20190108-p50q5z.html

  21. Lleyonhelm would have to be about the luckiest senator to have won 2 terms. First he gets mistaken for a lib when he scores no. 1 position on the ballot, then next election he gets gifted with a dd election, which requires much lower threshold for him to get elected.

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

    That article is more revealing for the number of Greens MPs and followers who distance themselves from him.

  23. David Leyonheljm has done the maths. In the NSW Upper House, 21 members will be elected in March on a system similar to that for the Senate. The quota would be 1/22 = 4.55%. A bit easier than half-Senate election where he would need 1/7 = 14.3%.

  24. These allegations from former PM Rudd deserve a Royal Commission.

    “A key piece of evidence for Murdoch’s determination to kill the NBN (that is the Fibre to the premises version that we launched) can be found in the compulsory filings by News Corp on the New York stock exchange back in 2013 – the year of the critical election. Under the rules of the New York stock exchange, publicly listed companies have to inform shareholders of any technology based threats to the core business operations of the company. News Corp were therefore required back then to state explicitly that their television operations were subject to significant challenge by internet based competitors unless News Corp acted to protect their interests. From memory that was in July 2013. The election was held in early September. It was no coincidence that when the Liberals came up with an NBN that was only Fibre optic to the node (therefore killing the last link between the node and the household) that News Corp embraced it with open arms. Abbott and Turnbull actually launched their policy at Fox Studios in Sydney, fully owned, of course, by News Corp. I believe it’s critical given the enormous loss to Australia that this resulted in (both in terms of the undermining of this essential piece of national economic infrastructure; plus the sheer waste of billions of dollars of public investment) that it is essential that a royal commission establish all the facts on how this scandal came about.”

    Source: https://twitter.com/NickRossTech/status/1082548857966288896

  25. Cat momma
    Oz men and sex …
    Could be excessive alcohol removing the otherwise socially unacceptable inhibitions of the natural male sex drive allowing fantasies to be enacted regardless of the other party responses. Just my view as a male who has been drunk but fortunately never committed a sexual assault while so … We need to change the alcohol culture and schools are making progress but being hindered by drunken parents …

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

  27. briefly
    says:
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 11:13 pm
    Yup, there’s no doubt that the LNP wrecked the NBN in order to protect the commercial interests of News Corp, who always campaigned against it.
    _____________________________________
    exactly how does that work out?

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

    Never clear it would ever be provable, but yeah 100% obs.

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