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. Bushfire Bill
    You might have announced spoiler alert before your critique. Some people are looking forward to seeing it! And I enjoyed it!

  2. Peter Stanton @ #337 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 2:54 pm

    Confessions says:
    Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    If your iceberg lettuce has no flavour you need to change your greengrocer. Fresh ice berg has a subtle herby flavour and a lovely fresh crunch. Buy it at farmers markets and avoid any grown by aqua culture.

    I use baby spinach and/or rocket instead of lettuce and cannot understand why people continue to buy lettuce.

  3. Barney in Go Dau @ #294 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 4:25 pm

    lizzie @ #289 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 12:16 pm

    The Dutch are smart.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1080662364519915525

    It’s not all doom and gloom, we can do things smarter.

    At the risk of inciting Boerwar, I will just point out that there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye. It is too large a subject to more than skim over here (and it has been canvassed extensively before!) but here are a few things the story does not mention …

    – The Netherlands are the largest exporter of agricultural products. But they are nowhere near the largest producers of same. Not even in the top 10. Possibly not even in the top 20, except possibly in a couple of specialised areas (e.g. potatoes, flowers).

    – A significant proportion of their total “agricultural exports” are not actually food. They are materials, systems, technical knowledge, training & expertise etc etc. Also flowers.

    – A large proportion of their actual food exports are the kind of things you grow using hydroponics and other “high intensity” techniques – they are high water content and nutritionally poor. But they do tend to be high value. For instance, the Netherlands are famous for their tasteless tomatoes.

    – The Netherlands has amongst the worst environmental record in Europe. They are improving slightly now (because the EU has insisted), but their record of biodiversity loss and environmental degradation to date is simply woeful.

    – The C02 emissions of the Netherlands are high and rising. Rising emissions in agriculture contribute about 25% of the total rise.

    Agriculture in the Netherlands is geared to maximize profit, not feeding the maximum number of people. Is this a model to aspire to? I don’t think so!

  4. Bushfire Bill @ #328 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 5:41 pm

    We watched both Das Boots in the last couple of weeks.

    I found the Director’s Cut “movie” the better of the two. Both had many equivalent scenes and parallel situations, but the movie had more verisimilitude than the more recent TV series, which ended up being quite far-fetched and frankly unbelievable by the time the lesbian affairs, double agents, smarmy Nazi Gestapo leer merchants, insane Communists, mutineering captains back from the dead, mid-Atlantic rendezvouses, mass executions, dud torpedos, and corrupt Vichy officials, all interspersed with lots and lots of shouting in waterlogged circumstances came to its ending-with-a-predictable-twist.

    Far better was the complete series of Hornblower on YouTube (most of it in 1080p) which, while just as unbelievable as the Das Boot series, and shamelessly “Boys Own”, was at least more fun to watch.

    I was initially quite pleased to watch the TV series (Das Boot) but by the end of part two was completely disenchanted and abandoned the project. I obtained the six part director’s cut of the Das Boot movie which I quite enjoyed ( ❓ ).

    I might try to get the Hornblower series – only if I can get subtitles for it.

    I have, of late, been quite picky about watching TV and various movies on TV – and I think I may have a little project to appeal to the most jaded and sensitive of viewers.

    The project requires somebody who loves me/you and and will be able to steel themselves to ignore our pitiful, agonised (insert z if you will) cries and will also be able to tie or chain us down in front of a very large screen TV on continuous loop playing old episodes of The Today Show and Millionaire. I think a couple of day of this should do the job – something/anything with a rating (Rotten Tomatoes) of 10% should then become manna to satisfy a torture soul.

    If the loved one can also display no pleasure then Oscar glory awaits for one with such artistic and rigid adherence to method acting of extreme perfection.

    Quite warm in Newcastle. I wish for rain – but will take what I get.

    ———————————————————–
    Harry “Snapper” Organs
    Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 6:06 pm
    Comment #346

    There have been other comments over the last couple of weeks about Das Boot.

    I’m pretty sure that few, if any, would be deterred by comments by a couple of disparate Poll Bludgers. ☮ ✌

  5. In my view, it would be to the long-term benefit of the ALP and to the country if the formal link between the ALP and the trade union movement was broken. What percentage of Australian workers are trade union members? I think it’s something like 11%. Then add on the 30% or so of adult Australians who are not in the workforce. Why should the leaders of these organisations which represent so few Australians have 50% of the voting power within the ALP? It’s wrong. I understand the history and the money the unions bring, but the reality is that times have changed, most people who vote for the ALP are not union members. How would people feel if 50% of the votes in the Liberal party were held by employer organisations?

  6. Player One. I haven’t noticed a post by Boerwar since before Christmas, before which he was prolific. Hopefully just down to taking some time off.

  7. It is a nonsense to say that any country’s agriculture is geared toward profit.

    All agriculture is geared toward yield and demand.

    Besides – ascribing ‘intent’ across the board is silly.

  8. I haven’t been around much the past few weeks but I recall Boerwar commenting the last time I was here while still over east, which was a few days ago.

  9. Fr Rod Bower
    ‏@FrBower
    20m20 minutes ago

    Here is Neil Erickson’s plan to use the “patriots” to create the violence at #StKildaBeach on Saturday. People of good will just stay away. Engage your better angels #Auspol

  10. Harry “Snapper” Organs,
    We watched the 8 part SBS series of Das Boot and found it excellent, although threatening or violent most of the time. I thought the lesbian scenes very well done. It’s the sort of program that makes Breaking Bad look like comic relief.

  11. lizzie:

    I noticed Blair Cottrell’s comment on that fb page. Here’s his tweet obviously related to the same planned beach outing:

    Blair Cottrell @blaircottrell89
    3h3 hours ago
    More
    UPDATE ON SATURDAY ST KILDA BEACH RALLY: The Federal Police have tried contacting me twice and the main promoter Neil Erikson just lost his Facebook page, indicating desperation from the establishment.
    Rally still going ahead at 1pm. Follow me for updates.

  12. Sohar @ #362 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 3:35 pm

    Harry “Snapper” Organs,
    We watched the 8 part SBS series of Das Boot and found it excellent, although threatening or violent most of the time. I thought the lesbian scenes very well done. It’s the sort of program that makes Breaking Bad look like comic relief.

    Is there only 8 episodes? Episode 8 did not seem to have a finale feel about it.

  13. And on a related matter, on our last day in Coffs we got takeaway fish and chips and went to a local park to eat so my brother’s kids could skate around afterwards. Nearby was a huge group of Sudanese men and women having a lunchtime BBQ. They were playing awesome music and the men were dancing, the women were sitting off to the side by themselves yammering away.

    It looked just like your typical backyard ‘Aussie’ BBQ with the men congregating at the BBQ and the women off chattering amongst themselves. No violence, no discomfort either by our group or others like us who were content to just come and go and didn’t think anything of the Sudanese group. Clearly the Cottrells and the Eriksons of this world simply cannot tolerate anyone who doesn’t look like their version of Australia, and for whatever messed up reason want to cause disharmony within the community. Instead if they just chilled out and didn’t get their panties in a knot they might find they have more in common with their supposed enemies than they think.

  14. Rex

    The ALP is indeed what he describes.

    ___________________________________

    This is how Mr Compton describes himself:

    https://everaldcompton.com/about/

    Now, his background sounds like a good, old-fashioned Liberal supporting conservative. Forget that his father was a unionist – that’s irrelevant and a fake attempt to steal some reflective cred that has not been earned.

    That’s all fine, but the fact that our resident same/same happily endorses conservative views tells us everything about who he regards the real enemy is.

  15. There are more unionists than graziers, mining magnates, banking executives, real estate developers, private health fund executives, media tycoons, etc. etc.

  16. lizzie:

    Yes like those soccer players (??) from the other day being filmed without their permission. I’m sure if I were to have filmed the Sudanese BBQ the other day I could’ve selectively inferred all manner of things about their behaviour which were neither accurate nor reflective of their overall gathering.

  17. Roman Quaedvlieg continues to make excellent learned remarks – like these.

    Prakash is a terrorist & was, and potentially still is, a threat to Australia & deserves the full punitive effect of the law wherever he can be prosecuted. But, the Australian government has breached international convention & its own policy by rendering him stateless.
    and
    Deflective rhetoric about him ‘rotting’ in a Turkish jail cell and being on the wanted list of other countries does not abrogate the Australian government obligations under those conventions; nor does it excuse the belligerence & gross discourtesy to a neighbouring country.
    and
    Think about the tension between ‘Foreign Affairs’ and ‘Home Affairs’. They are fundamentally contradictory in their raison d’etre. Mostly issues are reconcilable with nuanced policies & reasonable Ministers focused on common interests, but not when neither exist.

  18. “You might have announced spoiler alert before your critique. Some people are looking forward to seeing it! And I enjoyed it!”

    I’m not sure what BB’s point is about the unrealistic lesbianism. It’s not as if lesbianism is a modern thing: it may have been verboten in the Reich officially, but history attests to a hotbed of underground gay activity in Berlin and Hamburg. It doesn’t seem that remarkable that a female international brigade member would be gay either.

  19. About 30% of ALP Fed MPs have worked in a Union. 15% of the workforce is Unionised. Seems reasonable.

    As for Union influence over the ALP due to their 50% delegates at conferences…. it has been argued that it is the other way around and that due to political realities of needing to win elections the ALP actually influences the Unions. Exhibit A – the workplace policies of the Hawke/Keating years.

  20. “Clearly the Cottrells and the Eriksons of this world simply cannot tolerate anyone who doesn’t look like their version of Australia…”

    They’re probably also not too keen on people who can spell, punctuate or write grammatically.

  21. You culinary philistines have clearly not tried my za’atar roasted carrots with Kale, freekeh and blood orange maple dressing.

  22. Parramatta Moderate @ #355 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 2:17 pm

    In my view, it would be to the long-term benefit of the ALP and to the country if the formal link between the ALP and the trade union movement was broken. What percentage of Australian workers are trade union members? I think it’s something like 11%. Then add on the 30% or so of adult Australians who are not in the workforce. Why should the leaders of these organisations which represent so few Australians have 50% of the voting power within the ALP? It’s wrong. I understand the history and the money the unions bring, but the reality is that times have changed, most people who vote for the ALP are not union members.

    I have never understood people’s animosity and aversion to Unions.

    If you are a worker anywhere then your conditions have resulted from actions of Unions.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re a member or not the benefits flow through.

    Continued Union presence in the ALP ensures a focus on workers, which is a lot more than 50% of the population.

    How would people feel if 50% of the votes in the Liberal party were held by employer organisations?

    I’d imagine that they’d be really happy.

    At the moment is seems more than that is held by just one!

    Rupert. 🙂

  23. grimace @ #351 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 6:02 pm

    @ Don

    Is there any realistic prospect of a viable alternative to Joyce in New England?

    We are all hoping for the leader of the National Farmers Federation, Fiona Simson, to throw her hat in the ring.

    She would be a very viable alternative. Other than her, there are no others on the horizon at this point, to my knowledge.

  24. Steve777 @ #375 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 4:08 pm

    “Clearly the Cottrells and the Eriksons of this world simply cannot tolerate anyone who doesn’t look like their version of Australia…”

    They’re probably also not to keen on people who can spell, punctuate or write grammatically.

    I dunno, I thought Erikson used ‘hork’ quite appropriately.

  25. Steve777 @ #378 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 3:08 pm

    “Clearly the Cottrells and the Eriksons of this world simply cannot tolerate anyone who doesn’t look like their version of Australia…”

    They’re probably also not to keen on people who can spell, punctuate or write grammatically.

    I’d imagine a grammar nazi would raise much suspicion within the organisation. 🙂

  26. Confessions @ #390 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 3:37 pm

    Barney in Go Dau @ #384 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 4:29 pm

    It seems with these questionable foods, you have to cook the crap out of them to make them palatable. 🙂

    Even though I’ve never tried it, I’d bet London to a brick cooked iceberg lettuce and snow pea sprouts would be way worse than the raw version.

    You’re one of the first people I’ve heard, who put an iceberg lettuce in the the questionable column.

    As for cooking lettuce that’s as bad as cucumber in stir fry. 🙂

  27. Barney:

    You’re one of the first people I’ve heard, who put an iceberg lettuce in the the questionable column.

    As I said earlier, what is the point of iceberg lettuce? It is without taste, and its only function appears to be to fill out salads. Baby spinach, rocket, hell even butter lettuce is preferable salad gear.

    I’ve had a week with my brother whose kids love iceberg lettuce, hence it was a staple at just about every meal we ate. Yech. I tried to educate them that iceberg lettuce is good only for sang chao bao where it is flavoured with filling, but alas my pleas fell on deaf ears.

  28. Confessions @ #393 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 3:53 pm

    Barney:

    You’re one of the first people I’ve heard, who put an iceberg lettuce in the the questionable column.

    As I said earlier, what is the point of iceberg lettuce? It is without taste, and its only function appears to be to fill out salads. Baby spinach, rocket, hell even butter lettuce is preferable salad gear.

    I’ve had a week with my brother whose kids love iceberg lettuce, hence it was a staple at just about every meal we ate. Yech. I tried to educate them that iceberg lettuce is good only for sang chao bao where it is flavoured with filling, but alas my pleas fell on deaf ears.

    Probably more reflective of your dying taste-buds,

    they say kids taste-buds are much more sensitive! 🙂

  29. Regarding Joyce.
    New England may go with Joyce, however I suspect his voter numbers will be ripped out from under him. A complete jerk with not even enough sense to read the writing on the wall. Joyce like Dutton, Andrews, Abbott, Corman and other RWNJs just don’t get it. The voters will annihilate them whenever the next election is called.
    Union membership has dwindled due to the punters reluctance to pay up, a completely biased press, persecution paid for by the LNP from public funds and indiscretions by union officeholders. Don’t be fooled into thinking more than just the union membership appreciate the role of the unions.

  30. Confessions @ #394 Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 – 7:23 pm

    Barney:

    You’re one of the first people I’ve heard, who put an iceberg lettuce in the the questionable column.

    As I said earlier, what is the point of iceberg lettuce? It is without taste, and its only function appears to be to fill out salads. Baby spinach, rocket, hell even butter lettuce is preferable salad gear.

    I’ve had a week with my brother whose kids love iceberg lettuce, hence it was a staple at just about every meal we ate. Yech. I tried to educate them that iceberg lettuce is good only for sang chao bao where it is flavoured with filling, but alas my pleas fell on deaf ears.

    In my household, we adults began using Iceberg Lettuce as a replacement for grain wraps on burrito night and it has become such a popular choice that it has basically replaced a majority of our bread requirements. It has a very low calorie/kj count, so that’s a bonus.

  31. Parramatta Moderate.
    Most votes within the Liberal Party are held by members of the IPA. Are they not a union in kind. Unions need to be amalgamated and welcomed within the political environment as a respected and equal member of the decision making processes.

  32. Iceberg lettuce is wonderful as a wrapping for a number of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes. Iceberg has a great crisp texture and clean taste. 🙂

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