Sturtin’ over

As Liberal MPs stampede for the exit, some detail on a number of looming preselections.

We may not get a new federal poll this week, with the fortnightly Newspoll and Essential Research having reported last week, and the monthly Ipsos doing so the week before. However, two further Liberal resignations (with widespread suggestions Craig Laundy will shortly follow in Reid) are keeping the preselection news treadmill rolling:

• Christopher Pyne’s departure announcements opens a vacancy in the eastern Adelaide seat of Sturt, which he has held since 1993, when he was 25. However, the loss of his personal vote may damage the Liberals’ chances of defending the seat’s 5.4% post-redistribution margin, with Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reporting a “senior South Australian Liberal” saying the party was in “big trouble” in the seat. Luke Griffiths of The Australian cites “multiple Liberal sources” as saying the preselection is “almost certain” to go to James Stevens, the chief-of-staff to Premier Steven Marshall, who is aligned with Pyne’s moderate faction and has his personal support. However, Pyne’s own former chief-of-staff, Adam Howard, is “considered an outside chance”, and there “might be a push by branch members to preselect a female candidate”.

• The Gold Coast seat of Moncrieff will be vacated by the retirement of Steve Ciobo, who came to the seat in 2001 at the age of 27. The aforesaid report in The Australian identifies four potential nominees: Karly Abbott, a staffer to Ciobo and the reputed front-runner; John-Paul Langbroek, who holds the state seat of Surfers Paradise and served as Opposition Leader from 2009 to 2011; Tim Rawlings, former chief-of-staff to Tracy Davis, then a minister in Campbell Newman’s government; and Bibe Roadley, managing director of a training company.


The West Australian reports five nominees for preselection in Curtin: Celia Hammond, until recently the vice-chancellor of Notre Dame University, whom media reports suggest is the front-runner; Erin Watson-Lynn, director of Asialink Diplomacy at the University of Melbourne, who is said to have backing from Julie Bishop; Anna Dartnell, an executive for resources company Aurizon; Karen Caddy, Stirling councillor and management consultant for BusinX Consulting; and the sole male candidate, Andres Timmermanis, Cambridge councillor and manager for IT firm Scantek Solutions, who has been mentioned in relation to a number of western suburbs preselections over the years.

• The Saturday Paper reports a uComms poll conducted for UnionsACT on January 23 suggested ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja was in danger of losing his seat to an independent or the Greens. The polling is said to show Liberal support at 22.4%, down from 33.2% at the 2016 election and 24.2% in a poll conducted in October; Labor on 33.1%, down from 37.9% in 2016 and 39.3% in the October; the Greens on 19.9%, up from 16.1% in 2016 and 17.0% in October; and independent/other on 17.7%, up from 12.7% in 2016 and 13.9% in October. This leaves 6.9% undecided in the January poll, and 5.6% in the October poll. Seselja is also credited with an approval rating of just 29%, compared with 59% disapproval. Anthony Pesec, “local businessman, former investment banker and renewable energy developer”, announced last week he would run as an independent. Were Seselja to lose, it would be the first time in either of the two territories that the two Senate seats did not split between the two major parties.

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.

2,872 comments on “Sturtin’ over”

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  1. Silly ScaMo, People Smugglers don’t get a wage. They get a fee for service. What the market will bear, and I feel that the market has shrunk over the last 5 years, so they are probably happy to accept less IF the trade starts up again.

  2. Because Abbott has been disconnected from the needs and values of his electorate for so long now, the former PM is being forced to hand out leaflets pleading with voters to return him to parliament at the next election. He’s spent time walking up and down the road connecting his electorate to the city, hoping motorists will hear his pleas.

    There are various forms of representative theories political scientists talk and write about. The two main ones are MPs acting as either trustees or delegates.

    The delegate seeks to reflect the views of those they serve. The trustee believes they know best and ask the electorate to trust their judgement even if they don’t agree.

    The so-called father of conservatism, Edmund Burke, was a trustee. He used his first speech after winning a seat in the British House of Commons to tell the electors of Bristol (his seat) to trust in him because he knew best. They voted him out at the following election.

    In other words, Abbott just arrogantly assumes he should be able to sit in parliament for as long as he likes. Refusing to represent the views of his electorate on climate change action and SSM. Zali Steggall’s campaign seems to be going well so far, and I hope she is able to prevail on election day.

  3. Abortion would be slightly less contentious than gay marriage these days.

    I’m sure Liberal MPs all over the country seeking to break the perception that they view women as chattel will be bombarding Scott Robinson’s phone demanding he fight the election on the rights of old white men to tell ladies what they can do with their bodies…

  4. I’ve seen many many cars with ‘Vote Tony Out’ bumper stickers around Warringah. There seems to a bit of a shift happening.

  5. What is it with the authoritarian Right and abortion? Their concern for life seems to stop at birth, and might be resumed many years later should the former foetus become terminally ill and wish to pass on their own terms. Likewise same sex marriage.

    Surely, if you think that abortion, gay sex, same sex marriage or voluntary euthanasia are wrong then you refrain from doing any of those things. You don’t get to tell everyone else what they should or should not do.

  6. SD, I Was offered by my current ISP today to switch to NBN. One dollar more per month and I will get 20mbps (between 7:00pm to 11:pm) with 100gigabyte downloads.

    Currently, I spend $69 per month, get 135mbps and 200 gigabyte of data.

    They must be stupid to think I will switch one second earlier than I have to. Which will be in September.

    Also the 20mbps download during the peak periods is an admission they can’t even supply the 25mbps which I think is the plan they are offering. This is all provided over the old HFC cable which I currently use.

    Malcolm you have accomplished your objectives extremely well.

  7. iom @ #2756 Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 – 4:48 pm

    I’ve seen many many cars with ‘Vote Tony Out’ bumper stickers around Warringah. There seems to a bit of a shift happening.

    I’ve got family in Warringah who are split down the line. One half reckon Zali Steggall is the real deal and are fully behind her, whereas the other half reckon she’s a Labor stooge, a flake, and are sticking with Tone.

  8. Some facts that 7.30 report didn’t present on Allianz stadium..
    – no architectural design prepared for renovation option.
    – quality surveyor costing on renovation was prepared on a written brief. A highly inaccurate process
    -the Allianz stadium construction system is identical to newly opened SCG Northern stand. Steel frame concrete infill
    – SCG stand is protected by sprinklers, these can be fitted to Allianz
    -Allianz egress can be improved utilising some ground space from adjacent Fox Studio
    – Allianz is operating under an interim Compliance Certificate, it appears to have not had any safety audits for many years. SCG Trust may be criminally negligent for applying this to occur.
    – The SCG has never prepared a Master Plan for the development on the stadium / SCG & surrounding area.
    as a result of this lack of planning new constructed buildings on Moore Park road will be demolished to make space for the new stadium.

  9. Internet users are getting ripped off in this country left right and centre.There should be a public enquiry into the whole industry.

  10. Steve Davis
    “Australia still 60th in the world on internet speeds:”

    When the NBN rollout began ten years ago from memory that number was in the thirties. So about thirty countries have gone past us while we spent tens of billions.

  11. Rocket Rocket says:
    Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Barney in Cà Mau

    I have adjusted my “BarneyTrack” map accordingly. I am fascinated now by this area – it is said to be even more tropical and wet than the rest of Vietnam.

    And remember – if you see any launching – Stop the Boats!!

    Not very tropical at the moment.

    32°C, 52% humidity and not a drop of rain in sight. 😆

    As for boats, I’ve seen a few being built, but they’ve all been flat bottomed ones for the canals.

    Saw some fishing boats yesterday and some looked like they were heading south.

    Also I saw a Border Force ad in Vietnamese the other day, so hopefully the message is getting through.

    I’m heading to the south coast after Ca Mau, so I’ll remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Potato through Poll Bludger. 😆

  12. Not sure how to post pictures properly, but a sign Dutton is in trouble;
    Looks like he is building barricades outside his office to keep the voters away.

  13. On ABC News Tonight (24) they are giving the dismal economic figures a good going over. Refreshing. There is a further discussion of the documents the ABC got on FOI with an economist later. I think those will be the Treasury advice that Labor’s negative gearing reforms were not the bogey ScumMo claimed.

    At this point you just have to say it: ScumMo lies, shamelessly and repeatedly. He lies about the economy, about legislation, about asylum seekers, about climate change, about anything he thinks a single vote is at stake on. He just lies. He is Deputy Trump, complete with cap.

    That is why ScumMo will never cut it as an economic manager. Lies may win votes, but they won’t convince investors who look at evidence to spend money.

  14. So Shorten, at the same Conference as Lowe today, addressed the wages recession and abortion

    Media coverage?

    Or are all our Media outlets enjoying a day on Xmas Island?

  15. Looks like Scott’s plane is heading for Perth. Interesting to see if he bobs up there tomorrow.

    Of course, that’s assuming he only took one plane to CI.

  16. These idiots campaign against reality.

    You might have a few short term wins playing that game, but reality always gets its shit together and hands you your arse for breakfast.

    Reality is really well prepared for this election.

  17. Did Morrison meet any actual Xmas Islanders today?

    And the JHC badge, aren’t they the elite Crusaders Division?

  18. Observer @ #2774 Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 – 8:28 pm

    So Shorten, at the same Conference as Lowe today, addressed the wages recession and abortion

    Media coverage?

    Or are all our Media outlets enjoying a day on Xmas Island?

    Complete speech covered on Sky News Extra, where I watched it, plus the q & A with Phil Coorey afterwards.

    That’s about it except for a small grab on ABC News.

  19. The channel 10 report on Warringah was relatively positive for Steggall, suggesting that 10’s editorial staff won’t mind a whole lot if is Abbott defeated.

    Interesting. The tide is definitely running out for the Crazy Branch.

  20. This is simply unconscionable. I knew anti fluoridation was a thing like anti vaxers, but only at the extreme rightwing fringes, not something a state govt would entertain!

    David Marler@Qldaah
    2h2 hours ago
    In 2012, Campbell Newman changed fluoride for council water from compulsory to optional. 19 councils now have none. Dentists & doctors are now reporting “extensive tooth decay”. Children in indigenous communities the worst impacted. #qldpol

  21. Did Morrison meet any actual Xmas Islanders today?

    I don’t think he was there long enough? It’s about 24 minutes each way from XCH airport to the detention centre (red crabs etc. permitting.)

    And the JHC badge, aren’t they the elite Crusaders Division?

    No; see my update re: 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit (probably.)

  22. briefly:

    Plus the Vote Tony Out mob are increasing their profile locally. There certainly is momentum building around Steggall. It’s no wonder Abbott isn’t as noisy as he usually is – he can’t afford to draw attention to himself in ways that might not be appreciated by his constituents.

  23. C@tmomma

    Complete speech covered on Sky News Extra, where I watched it, plus the q & A with Phil Coorey afterwards.

    That is one thing Sky does bloody well. Back when the ABC was cutting away or “technical problem’ Sky always showed it in full and the questions after. Be it a presser or whatever.

  24. Confessions says:
    Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Plus the Vote Tony Out mob are increasing their profile locally. There certainly is momentum building around Steggall. It’s no wonder Abbott isn’t as noisy as he usually is – he can’t afford to draw attention to himself in ways that might not be appreciated by his constituents.

    Great will be the jubilation when he loses… 🙂

  25. Katharine Murphy is another press gallery journalist who was unimpressed with the expensive Christmas Island roadshow stunt.

    The prime minister led reporters on a tour of the Christmas Island facilities on Wednesday. When pressed about why he was on the remote island, with reporters in tow, for what was self-evidently an expensive public relations sortie, Morrison declared it was “important for Australians to know this facility is up to the job”.

    He said it was important to send a message to people inclined “to game the system to come to Australia using these loopholes”.

    But when reporters asked whether people would continued to be treated in Australia, as they have been under existing arrangements, despite the rebooting of the Christmas Island facilities, Morrison replied: “In the normal cases where people are requiring significant health treatment, I mean, those cases were already dealt with under the previous arrangements”.

    “Where people needed that care, they were getting that care,” the prime minister said.

    Asked if that meant people would continue to be transferred to facilities like the Mater hospital in Brisbane if they were seriously ill, Morrison said “that depends” but he also said there would be no change to existing procedure.

    “It is a case by case assessment by the medical teams which have been in place for years. There is no change to those arrangements.”

    Soooo….why the big scary bogeyman tour of CI? The dog whistle doesn’t work when everyone can hear it loud and clear.

  26. fess,
    what makes it worse is that Can-do’s wife , Lisa, is the daughter of a prominent oral maxillofacial surgeon who was prof of oral surgery at the UQ dental school.

  27. vp:

    And from the little I can recall of Can-Do’s mother, she never gave indication of being an outright loon who would support laws to remove fluoridation from the water supply.

  28. I assume there weren’t any funding announcements on CI for improved health facilities, eliminating Yellow Crazy Ants, transitioning phosphate miners to gainful employment, additional commercial flights from Australia etc.

  29. Newman’s mother was the first example I had of a Coalition Minister saying something in public that went against the advice given by their Ministry.

    I heard her ranting about single mothers in a TV interview so, out of curiousity, I wrote to her office asking for the stats.

    I got back a very comprehensive report which basically contradicted every single thing she’d said in the interview…

    I had a similar experience when Brendan Nelson was Education Minister. He did a rant on declining educational standards. The next day, I picked up a report in the staffroom with an introduction written by him where he said Australia had one of the best education systems in the world.

  30. I imagine the human props at CI are people who have been serving in nicer places and over the last few weeks have been told “pack yer bags”

    AN empty detention centre at CI prob not a sought after posting.

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