Federal election minus two months

No new federal poll, but preselection latest from Curtin, Moncrieff and Sturt in the House, and the Northern Territory in the Senate.

In an off week in the fortnightly cycle of Newspoll and Essential Research, and no Ipsos poll overnight in Nine Newspapers, it looks like poll junkies will have to make do with New South Wales this week. We do have a poll of Senate voting intention from The Australia Institute, encompassing by Dynata from 2019 voters through February and March, which has Labor on 33%, the Coalition on 28%, the Greens on 12% and One Nation on 8%, from which a post-election outcome is projected of 30 to 32 seats for the Coalition, 28 to 29 seats for Labor, eight to nine seats for the Greens, four to five seats for the One Nation, two to three for the Centre Alliance, one for Australian Conservatives, and possibly one for Derryn Hinch, Jacqui Lambie or Tasmanian independent Craig Garland. The poll was the subject of a paywalled report in the Financial Review, and a full report featuring detailed breakdowns will shortly be available on The Australia Institute’s website.

Other than that, some recent preselection developments to relate:

• Last week’s Liberal preselection to choose a successor to Julie Bishop in Curtin was won by Celia Hammond, former University of Notre Dame vice-chancellor, who secured victory in the first round with 51 votes out of 82. The only other competitive contender was Anna Dartnell, an executive for resources company Aurizon, who received 28 votes. Erin Watson-Lynn, who was said to have been favoured by Bishop, received only one vote, after receiving substantial unhelpful publicity for past social media comments critical of the Liberal Party. It has been widely suggested that Hammond’s socially conservative views make her an ill fit for the electorate, which recorded a 72% yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum – hoping to take advantage of the situation is Louise Stewart, who established a chain of health care clinics, and identifies as a moderate and “independent Liberal”.

Andrew Potts of the Gold Coast Bulletin reports eight candidates have nominated for the preselection to succeed Steve Ciobo as the Liberal National Party candidate in Moncrieff, which is expected to be held in a few weeks. Gold Coast councillor Cameron Caldwell is reckoned to be the frontrunner, with other candidates including Karly Abbott, a staffer to Ciobo, and Fran Ward, a “local businesswoman”.

• Labor has preselected Cressida O’Hanlon, a family dispute resolution practitioner, as its candidate for the Adelaide seat of Sturt, which will be vacated with the retirement of Christopher Pyne. The Liberal preselection will be held on Saturday – the presumed front-runner, James Stevens, is backed by Pyne and other factional moderates, and faces opposition from two conservatives, Joanna Andrew and Deepa Mathew.

• The Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory has preselected Sam McMahon, a Katherine-based veterinarian, out of a field of 12 to succeed the retiring Nigel Scullion as its Senate candidate.

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.

2,745 comments on “Federal election minus two months”

  1. ScoMoFaux now saying Waleed is sugar coating – all he is doing is asking questions about the ‘rapists and paedophiles’ coming due to Medivac. How many?

    Scotty loses his shit

  2. If Morrison agrees to a debate with Shorten, the rules will be so constrained as to make any debate meaningless.
    If he is asked tough questions from the audience they will be Labor plants.

    How does Waleed compare to an ABC interviewer?

  3. @Pegasus: I see the Greens are at it again. Unable to win seats on the current system, what’s their solution? Change the rules, of course!

    Mind you, I for one support changing the LC’s election rules – but probably not in a way the resident smelly Greens would like. Making it more like the NSW LC is a good summary; change it to one body, with proportional representation at a low-ish threshold. Possibly weight rural/regional votes’ value, to ensure that rural WA’s communities are still consequential in Parliament, just not to the absurdist extent they are today. The WALC is the most malapportioned legislative body in the Western world; Perth’s 1.95 million residents elect just as many MLCs as the 600,000 rural/regional residents do.

  4. Pegasus @ #2498 Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – 6:58 pm

    Morrison fails to rule out putting PHON below Labor and the Greens despite being asked several times.

    That is a matter for the Party – yeah like parachuting Mundine into Cowper against the locally nominated candidate – that was a matter for the NSW executive. but he WONT put PHON beneath the Greens and Labor in HTVs. By their actions ye shall know their hearts.. BOOM. You just buried yourself into a big hole from which you will not return. Bye Bye asshole.

  5. John Reidy @ #2508 Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – 7:03 pm

    If Morrison agrees to a debate with Shorten, the rules will be so constrained as to make any debate meaningless.
    If he is asked tough questions from the audience they will be Labor plants.

    How does Waleed compare to an ABC interviewer?

    Interesting question. Not watching, but it’s not a very high bar to clear.

  6. poroti @ #2516 Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – 7:05 pm

    OK , can the PB judging panel please hold up their scorecards .Scoring is zero to a perfect ten

    9.2/0.8 for me. Walid could have gone harder at stopping the waffle blah blah blah but i think that just made Scomo look like an angry, patronising bully boy aka Latham – there goes the women’s vote Scomo.

  7. “How does Waleed compare to an ABC interviewer?

    Far better than some. Quietly persistent. Lets Morrison waffle and try to change the subject, then just repeats the question. Doesn’t try to talk over Morrison but waits patiently.

  8. poroti @ #2516 Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – 7:05 pm

    OK , can the PB judging panel please hold up their scorecards .Scoring is zero to a perfect ten

    A triple twist with quadruple backflip whilst showing immense concentration whilst being interrupted by the interviewer at various intervals. 11 out of 10 for the practical. 25 out of 10 for the choreography…

  9. You could see Morrison’s one political messaging strategy is all he has – frame everything around folksy anecdotes. It strikes me as a very American type of political communication. Don’t talk about policy/procedural details, talk instead about Joe the Plumber and how great you get along.

    When Aly forced Morrison to a specific point he simply refused to answer.

    In Aly’s list of “things that your party has done” I’m surprised the “don’t pay for travel to the funeral” from Morrison himself didn’t come up, particularly in the current context and Morrison portraying himself as being so respectful and referring to his history of engaging with the Muslim community; perhaps it would have been too antagonistic.

  10. lizzie says:
    Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    It never happened and no one will put their name to the accusation.
    Oh yeah?

    Payne, Bishop or Turnbull, who’s going to be first? 😆

  11. In case people are wondering what Matt is on about:


    This week Greens MP Alison Xamon will introduce legislation to remove “group voting tickets”.
    Ms Xamon’s bill focuses largely on group voting tickets, but there are other criticisms about WA’s voting system that could also be addressed.

    A group of 12 experts from all of WA’s universities recently wrote a joint letter to every WA MP, calling for a range of changes — including the group voting ticket issue Ms Xamon is trying to address.

    Most critically, they also called for a total change to the way WA’s Upper House is set up.

    Only WA and Vic retain group voting tickets.

  12. So how did the scomo vs Wally snowjob turn out?
    Couldn’t bare to watch.
    I suspect whatever PBers think will be the opposite of how the punters see it…….

  13. Turnbull will confirm the Morrison cabinet rumours about 2 weeks before the election. The lull between the budget talk and the final sprint

  14. @samanthamaiden
    25m25 minutes ago

    That’s it – Scott Morrison has just CONFIRMED he raised anti-Muslim sentiment in the shadow cabinet meeting “to address them” “to seek to alleviate them” @theprojecttv in interview with Waleed Aly. It’s the question he walked out of yesterday @TheNewDailyAu

  15. Meanwhile, Cyclone Trevor looms.
    We had two Cyclone alerts in separate towns potentially in Trevor’s path.
    Neither came to anything.
    This one looks like it might be real thing.

  16. Shorten Suite
    22m22 minutes ago

    Bill has made a call as Labor Leader to put One Nation behind the LNP in every seat in our preferences.

    Morrison refuses to do the same.

    It’s a test of leadership. He’s failed.

    And on that note, good night. 🙂

  17. Scott on concerns (2010) … I said we had to “address them not exploit them “, wriggle room reinforced .. along the lines of passable deniability

  18. While I agree group preferencing isn’t a good system, it’s funny how it only became an issue when it started to benefit other Parties and no longer the Greens!

    Self interest?

    Nah, they’re too pure for that!

    😆 😆

  19. To the credit of Channel 10, the interview went for about 35 minutes (30 mins programmed) without ad breaks. More than ABC would do, I suspect.

  20. How many murderers, rapists & terrorists?
    SM: “They were among those 50.”
    How many though?
    SM: “There only needs to be 1.”
    “Almost 60 that have serious character concerns.”
    How many murderers, rapists & terrorists?
    “There are a number. I don’t have that number at hand.”

  21. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/labor-poised-to-unveil-barrister-fiona-mcleod-as-higgins-candidate/news-story/fd2d41b674cf687382b40d77ec238af7

    Labor is poised to switch to high-profile Melbourne barrister Fiona McLeod as its candidate for the blue-riband Melbourne seat of Higgins as it eyes a potential upset victory.

    Current preselection candidate Josh Speigel, endorsed prior to the shock resignation of Liberal frontbencher Kelly O’Dwyer this year, is understood to have offered his resignation to the Victorian ALP branch late today.

    Ms McLeod, who has represented the Commonwealth in major cases including the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse, is likely to be endorsed party’s national executive as soon as tonight.

    Ms McLeod has previously been president of the Australia Bar Association and head of Australian Women Lawyers.

    She was appointed to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2014.

    Labor’s internal polling is understood to show it is a genuine chance to win Higgins, held by two Liberal prime ministers and a treasurer, for the first time in the seat’s 70-year history.

    Several published opinion polls have had Labor ahead 52-48 on a two-party preferred vote with the Liberals down around 40 per cent.

    A senior Labor source told the Herald Sun while the party was not expecting victory on election day, it now wanted to give itself “the best possible chance” to win Higgins.

    The source said there was no controversy surrounding Mr Speigel stepping aside.

    “Josh is terrific and he’s got a big future, but given how close this race is, we’ll need a heavy-hitter to get is over the line,” the source said.


  22. For Brexit,

    I will try and make a guess tomorrow, after seeing how things pan out during Thursday (their time).

    As luck would have it, I am working in the EU for three months soon. Land 0505 hrs at Heathrow on 26th April. Then Eurostar from St Pancras station to Gare du Nord that afternoon, to spend the weekend with a friend near Paris. Then off to Bonn on the Monday.

    So, will 26th April be before or after Brexit. How will the people at Heathrow treat my Oz and Irish passports? If I am deported, can I ask that it be to Ireland? What of OH who only has Australian passport, despite being half French.

  23. Burgey

    I agree that Gladys would not be happy with Morrison’s performance at the interview a day before the NSW election.

    We’ll see how the MSM write it up.

  24. Rhetorical question I assume.

    Josh Bornstein


    Would #Waleed have been allowed to conduct that interview on the ABC?

  25. D&M

    26th April. Then Eurostar from St Pancras station to Gare du Nord that afternoon, t

    Oh dear, the tunnel will be barricaded shut by then. Not sure which end though 🙂

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