Midweek mélange

New fronts open in the Liberal Party’s internal warfare as it scrambles to prepare for an election looking increasingly to be in May.

As we wait for the 2019 polling machine to get cranking, a review of recent happenings:

• Indigenous leader Warren Mundine is to be installed as the new Liberal candidate for the marginal seat of Gilmore in southern New South Wales, supplanting the existing candidate, Grant Schultz, by decree of the party’s state executive acting at the behest of the Prime Minister. Schultz promptly quit the Liberal Party when the news broke yesterday and announced he would run as an independent. Schultz’s dumping was also blasted by Shelley Hancock, member for the corresponding state seat of South Coast, who spoke of “one of the darkest days of the Liberal Party”. A local real estate agent and son of the late Alby Schultz, former member for Hume, Schultz was preparing a challenge to the preselection of incumbent Ann Sudmalis last year, and was the only remaining nominee after she announced her retirement in September. Mundine was national president of the ALP in 2006 and 2007, but quit the party in 2012 and moved ever further into the conservative orbit thereafter. It is expected the seat will be contested for the Nationals by Katrina Hodgkinson, former state member for Burrinjuck and Cootamundra.

• Following Kelly O’Dwyer’s retirement announcement on the weekend, it appears accepted within the Liberal Party that it needs to pick a woman to succeed her. Katie Allen, a paediatrician and medical researcher who ran unsuccessfully in Prahran at the November state election, has confirmed she will nominate. Michael Koziol of The Age reports other names being discussed include Caroline Elliott, state party vice-president and daughter of businessman John Elliott, and Margaret Fitzherbert, who lost her upper house seat for Southern Metropolitan region at the state election. Senator Jane Hume has reportedly encouraged to put her name forward, but announced yesterday she would not do so.

• Anne Webster, founder of young mother support organisation Zoe Support, was chosen as the Nationals candidate for Mallee at a local preselection vote on Saturday. Webster will succeed one-term member Andrew Broad, who announced his impending retirement last month after he became embroiled in the “sugar baby” affair. Rachel Baxendale of The Australian reports Webster won in the second round of voting over Birchip accountant and farmer Bernadette Hogan and Mildura police domestic violence taskforce head Paul Matheson, with three other candidates excluded in the first round.

• Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie has announced she will not contest the lower house seat of Indi, contrary to expectations she would do so if independent incumbent Cathy McGowan announced her retirement, which she did last weekend.

• Two notable independents have emerged to challenge Tony Abbott in Warringah: Alice Thompson, a KPMG manager who worked in the Prime Minister’s Office under Malcolm Turnbull, and Susan Moylan-Coombs, founder and director of indigenous advocacy organisation the Gaimaragal Group.

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.

1,977 comments on “Midweek mélange”

  1. Barney in Go Dau:

    [‘You wouldn’t recognise it these days.’]

    Nor would I. I would, though, like to see it again, in the absence of the days where we were the enemy.

  2. Barney in Go Dau @ #1896 Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 7:32 pm

    Confessions @ #1890 Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 6:30 pm

    Law enforcement raided Stone’s house, and CNN witnessed uniformed and armed law enforcement approach his house just after 6 a.m. ET in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

    Pounding on his door, one agent said: “FBI. Open the door.”

    Stone opened the door.

    This story is breaking and will be updated.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/25/politics/roger-stone-arrested/

    Early hours of the morning too.

    Media tipped off, just like here! 🙁

    FWIW Stone’s lawyer said media found out before they did.
    https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1088762835558113280

  3. Maybe not the next to go, but Dutton might be wanting to “spend more time with his family” rather than be in opposition … or be kicked out.

    Speculative, gleeful, wishful thinking.

  4. Upnorth:

    [‘Am I correct in remembering that you dwell Upnorth?’]

    Yes, Upnorth, I live in a trailer park on the Goldie. How far north are you?

  5. This could refer to anything, really.

    By in or around June and July 2016, STONE informed senior Trump Campaign officials that he had information indicating Organization 1 had documents whose release would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. The head of Organization 1 was located at all relevant times at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, United Kingdom.

  6. Mavis Smith says:
    Friday, January 25, 2019 at 10:49 pm
    Upnorth:

    [‘Am I correct in remembering that you dwell Upnorth?’]

    Yes, Upnorth, I live in a trailer park on the Goldie. How far north are you?
    ———————————————————————————-
    A bit further – now Thailand but in a previous life North Queensland (from Mackay North). Wanted an opinion on Dawson and Herbert.

    My old man told me he had a robo-call from George Christensen (Dawson) last night. “I knew it was a bloody recording but I told him to piss off anyway”. Tories may be worried about him.

    In Herbert it will come down to One Nation and Katter preferences IMHO

  7. steve davis @ #1915 Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 7:56 pm

    Tom
    Any Lib is possible in this climate.

    My prediction is that a lot of Libs will resign AFTER the election when they come to terms with being in Opposition with so few seats as to become an irrelevance.

    In the resulting by-elections the new Lib candidates will be massacred adding more seats to Labor, along with a few Independents, and maybe a Green or two.

    After that the Libs will implode as a party and be confined to the rubbish bin of history.

    BRING.

    IT.

    ON.

  8. Upnorth: you’re so far up north as to make you up north. Good to learn your old man’s on to the prevarications of those no-good Tories, with a little help from you.

  9. “The head of Organization 1 was located at all relevant times at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, United Kingdom.”
    Assange mates with Trump and Putin? Probably.

  10. My reasoning is that he’s been through a loss before so probably won’t want to repeat. He has been constantly slagged off by a lot of the QLD LNP, so some eroded loyalty there. He’s 69 and his main issue has been resolved, mission accomplished.

  11. Re Dan G @11:04PM. I would dearly love to see that. Especially the bit about the “Liberal” party disintegrating. It could well happen this time. And unlike the incoming Rudd Government, the incoming Shorten Government should show no mercy. Certainly no Mr Nice Guy. Think “What would Abbott have done?” and if it doesn’t involve lying, do it.

  12. Roman QuadBike tweets (looking forward to his pending book)

    “I couldn’t give a rats about the prospect of LNP at the next federal election, but the poltroonery and pussillanimity displayed by the current governing political class in abandoning ship in the face of defeat is symptomatic of why this government is bereft of leadership.”

  13. Rick WilsonVerified account@TheRickWilson
    2m2 minutes ago
    I await the “conservative” Trump media’s “everybody lies to the FBI and Congress under oath” explainers today.

  14. Mavis Smith – it’s a family tradition to dislike Tories. As Grandad used to say…

    “Always paint your house white and always vote Labor”.

  15. On the Oz at last

    Federal government minister Michael Keenan has become the latest Liberal MP to depart the Morrison government after announcing he will quit politics at the election.

    The Human Services and Digital Transformation Minister is retiring for family reasons and follows the resignation of Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O’Dwyer less than a week ago.

    “I have been an absent father in the lives of my children and now is the time for this to stop. With a newborn child – our family’s fourth – it is unworkable for my family,” Mr Keenan said in a statement on Friday.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/liberal-minister-michael-keenan-to-quit-politics/news-story/2756d41a7acf301937827107939e1f17

  16. I cannot see why people think Julie Bishop is going to quit. She is not going to give Porter an easy out from Pearce and she keeps saying she is the endorsed candidate for Curtin. After the election she might consider it but she will make sure she vacates the seat only if she gets to choose her successor and prevents the WA power brokers and their acolytes putting in their choice. In my view Julie’s about payback to the WA Lib MPs that humiliated her in August.

  17. William Bowe @ #1914 Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 6:50 pm

    This could refer to anything, really.

    By in or around June and July 2016, STONE informed senior Trump Campaign officials that he had information indicating Organization 1 had documents whose release would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. The head of Organization 1 was located at all relevant times at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, United Kingdom.

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    I’m sure it will be the source of much conjecture and debate.

  18. Dan Gulberry @ #1919 Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 7:04 pm

    steve davis @ #1915 Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 7:56 pm

    Tom
    Any Lib is possible in this climate.

    My prediction is that a lot of Libs will resign AFTER the election when they come to terms with being in Opposition with so few seats as to become an irrelevance.

    In the resulting by-elections the new Lib candidates will be massacred adding more seats to Labor, along with a few Independents, and maybe a Green or two.

    After that the Libs will implode as a party and be confined to the rubbish bin of history.

    BRING.

    IT.

    ON.

    I’m not sure we will.

    It almost seems like they have thrown in the towel, so anyone not wanting to hang around in Opposition is likely to go now rather than go through a whole reelection campaign.

  19. I don’t know who’s next to depart the sinking ship. Maybe everyone over 60. Will the Asbestos Lady (age 62) want to stick around in Opposition, even if offered the top job? Seems unlikely, with lots of glittering openings of fridge doors to attend.

  20. Barney, you’re right; we should’ve not been there – the government of the time shit scared we’d transgress the ANZUS Treaty, Australia at the time worried about the “Yellow Peril”, the disingenuous domino strategic theory.

  21. Barney in Go Dau @ #1936 Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 8:23 pm

    William Bowe @ #1914 Friday, January 25th, 2019 – 6:50 pm

    This could refer to anything, really.

    By in or around June and July 2016, STONE informed senior Trump Campaign officials that he had information indicating Organization 1 had documents whose release would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. The head of Organization 1 was located at all relevant times at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, United Kingdom.

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    I’m sure it will be the source of much conjecture and debate.

    What do you mean by this?

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