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. Morrison is too arrogant to realise he shouldn’t have turned up for a half hour grilling. No-one can BS on a losing topic against a smarter opponent and not provide plenty of clangers.

    Arrogance is definitely to blame. Plus shouty Morrison facing off articulate and restrained Waleed on a subject where Waleed has the front foot, and Morrison has been more than shouty over in the past 10 years? Was never going to go well with him.

  2. This is a great point from that Guardian article

    “Morrison could not explain why Julie Bishop, who chaired the meeting, ended it by reiterating the Liberal party had a non-discriminatory immigration policy, and it needed to stay that way.”

  3. IDK about anyone’s brand is collapsing, Bludgertrack’s primary votes haven’t much in it for anyone recently, barring a 1% decline for the Greens.

  4. Given that Andrew Robb is the only person to publicly comment on the 2010 meeting then we have to give his recollection a high degree of weight.

  5. One of my favourite programs on ABC RN is The Minefield with Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens:

    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/theminefield/

    Latest program – What does the Christchurch shooting demand of us? https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/theminefield/what-does-the-christchurch-shooting-demand-of-us/10919696

    But perhaps a share of the blame goes wider than these more conspicuous bad actors. What, for instance, of the matter of what could be called the ‘epistemological inconsistency’ in the way we describe, define, report and understand acts of categorical violence committed by those who are ‘white’ (which is to say, one of ‘us’) compared with those who have ‘Middle-Eastern’ sounding names? Why are conspiracies concerning secret designs or nefarious intent on the part of Muslims proving so hard to shake? Or what about the way that supporters and detractors alike have tended to speak of Muslims as topics to be debated or problems to be solved, rather than neighbours to be known or citizens to be heard? Perhaps most disturbingly, why has it taken the sound of bullets fired and the sight of blood spilled to get some to see Muslims as fully human, as capable of placing demands on our attention or claims for our respect?

  6. Davidwh @ #2654 Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – 8:43 pm

    Given that Andrew Robb is the only person to publicly comment on the 2010 meeting then we have to give his recollection a high degree of weight.

    I give very much weight to his recollection that Morrison said to exploit fear and ignorance about Muslims for political gain. I give no weight whatsoever to his subjective interpretation that Morrison meant it in a positive/constructive way.

    The nice thing is that the Coalition hasn’t existed in a vacuum since 2010. One only needs to look and see that they’ve done exactly what Morrison suggested. And definitely not in a positive/constructive way at all.

  7. PJK did a lot for Collingwood. As PM he gave Collingwood a huge money making event. The Prime Minister’s post budget lunch for many years. Collingwood, to our collective shame, betrayed him in 1996, inviting Howard to a President’s lunch and seeking to get his agreement to continue the tradition when he became PM. Needless to say Howard declined. Years later Collingwood apologised to Keating for their dastardly move.

    I will check that out P.S. thanks.

  8. True Poroti but Robb doesn’t have any skin in the game now. Given the outline of Robb’s recollection it is possible to take what Morrison said either way. Also if you go back and read Hatcher’s SMH article of 2011 the two insiders did have different views on the statement.

    Having said that I agree Morrison may have been better just to let Aly’s Initial comments go through to the keeper. It wasn’t the time to get into a racist argument with Aly.

  9. The Holy Trinity of Old Collingwood.
    John Wren, Cardinal Mannix, and Jock McHale.
    Wren controlled the ALP. Mannix controlled the Catholic Church. McHale was the Coach of Collingwood and foreman of the Abbotsford brewery.

    Mannix was painstaking about his appearance. His top hat was carefully poised, using a mirror, before he strode with frock coat and stick from Raheen through Collingwood to St Patrick’s, dispensing shillings to the needy

  10. Watching Morrison trying to twist and turn over the question of how many pedophiles, rapists and murderers are among the Medevac’d AS is just torturous. He can’t say none, therefore he can’t give an actual number.

  11. Burgey says:
    Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Labor must genuinely fancy their chances in Higgins, as I couldn’t see them wasting a candidate that strong in a seat they realistically have no hope in.

    The Liberals will be shitting bricks.

    It also suggests their primary vote is up there with or better than the Greens.

  12. Davidwh
    The issue in not what or what was not said in 2011. The issue in the behavior of the Liberals for the last 10 years. Morrison did not back away from any of that and WA gave him the chance. Dutton has informed us the politics of hate delivered by Pauline Hanson is as bad as whatever it is the greens deliver (and for me that is a mystery). On Monday Linda Reynolds could not help herself, what Q&A needed was another round of political hate?

    The trouble is the politics of hate is bad for the nation and bad for the person delivering. It attacks the soul, in the end it is a shriveled little soul, between life and half life and the owner can’t help them selves, hate is all they can deliver..

  13. The nice thing is that the Coalition hasn’t existed in a vacuum since 2010. One only needs to look and see that they’ve done exactly what Morrison suggested. And definitely not in a positive/constructive way at all.

    And Morrison has been right up there with them. ‘I Stopped These’ boat knick-knacks in his office as testament to his shouty rhetoric about AS, along with his backing up Dutton and Porter carrying on about how the Medevac bill would enable rapists, murderers and pedophiles onto our shores.

    Yet he bald faced tells Waleed he’s actually been actively working to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric.

    Election now. We need to tip this mob out.

  14. But Ad Man from Mad Men THINKS he is exceptional

    In regards Burnside and the Greens, a very well known life long Liberal nominating for the Greens

    The description in the corridors – Hypocrite

    And much laughter

    I do not know that the Labor candidate is a well known rusted on Liberal – or a Green

    If she is or has been no doubt I will hear

  15. nath

    Mannix walked through Collingwood and Fitzroy every day from Raheen to St.Patrick’s cathedral and back (5km each way) – probably a big factor in why he lived to 99.

    On dispensing shillings, which he did, there was a story of him saying to one down and out “I’ll give you a shilling as long as you promise you won’t just go in and spend it at that pub there”. The vagrant duly promised such, got the shilling, then after Mannix was out of sight he took himself to the next pub further down the street instead.

  16. Rocket Rocket
    says:
    Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 10:20 pm
    nath
    Mannix walked through Collingwood and Fitzroy every day from Raheen to St.Patrick’s cathedral and back (5km each way) – probably a big factor in why he lived to 99.
    On dispensing shillings, which he did, there was a story of him saying to one down and out “I’ll give you a shilling as long as you promise you won’t just go in and spend it at that pub there”. The vagrant duly promised such, got the shilling, then after Mannix was out of sight he took himself to the next pub further down the street instead.
    __________________________________
    Probably a relative of mine!

  17. In regards Higgins, the info from an unquestionable source within the Liberal Party, at dinner earlier this week, is that NO Liberal seat in wider Melbourne is in any way safe and specifically “Josh’s seat” was referred to

    There is a real fear that the only seats the Liberals will retain in Victoria are in the Regions – where Indi is indicative of the vunerability

    The strategy is to attempt to damage the State ALP

    And for Ad Man to splash some money looking for a headline

    Plus Murdoch, Costello and Stokes to go ballistic with their media

    So stand by for the last hurrah

    It will be ugly

  18. Scott Morrison’s trying to make us believe that any good works he has done for the Muslim community are all that should be considered when assessing him in the light of the supposed comments he made about exploiting them for political gain.

    What he forgets is that we have realised that he is calculating enough to have figured out that he needed a fig leaf to act as a counter to criticism of his fear mongering of Muslims, which we saw him parlay tonight and that he has been known to thrust and parry with before today.

  19. James Campbell, HeraldSun political editor, saying Higgins is ‘the worst’ of the traditional Liberal seats in Melbourne, with Kooyong ‘difficult’, and the one not being mentioned which is ‘in trouble’ is Menzies, with a big GetUp campaign to turf Kevin Andrews, and an unfavourable distribution.

  20. Gorks,

    I reckon the reason why Slippery Scott didn’t want to commit to putting PHON last is because he needs Pauline Hanson to pass his Budget and to get his candidates over the line in some tight seats. Dutton springs to mind and principle will always run dead last to political expediency in such circumstances.

  21. Gorks @ #2673 Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – 7:21 pm

    The bit about One Nation preferences was pure cringe. I felt uncomfortable watching it.

    Colin Barnett tried a similar dance in the WA election two years ago and ended up getting scorched. Barnett, it must be said is many magnitudes more credible and statesmanlike than Morrison, so I don’t imagine our PM will be able to get away with weasel words on PHON.

  22. Just to add, the cancer of Bastiaan, Kruger and Sukkar lives on

    You do not go to Court as those individuals did and not suffer the consequences – and especially when you lose costing the Party a small fortune it did not have – hence the sale of the jewel in the crown being the CBD freehold purchased when they sold their radio station

    The Libs are as divided as ever – and it is interesting the references to hate because there is hate in the Libs corridors among would be power brokers

  23. Davidwh, Hunt also commented. Problem was, he wasn’t there.

    And I think Robb’s comment can be interpreted a number of ways. I don’t think it strongly supports Morrison.

  24. Cat

    Dutton is from Queensland

    We can be excused for thinking that what works in the Regions of Queensland does not work in WA – or elsewhere

    Therein lies the conundrum for this dysfunctional government

    They are trying to be all things to all people

  25. Will the Coalition ever learn? (I’m hoping the answer is no)

    “Dancing around” the One Nation question by my reckoning has cost them badly at five state elections

    1. 1998 Queensland
    2. 2001 WA
    3. 2001 Queensland
    4. 2017 WA
    5. 2017 Queensland

  26. If Morrison’s current position was the true one he would have said that when the initial stories were reported. He would not have refused to comment. Nor would he have belligerently accused people of lies, either then or now. He would have calmly refuted the story at the outset, either on or off the record.

    The handling of this from the initial defamation threat to the actual interview smacks of someone who either has awful media advisors, or someone who takes no advice and reckons he knows better.

    Every aspect smacks of incompetence, from not wearing a tie to a crucial interview on a very serious subject, to his demeanour and evasion when facing questions that any half competent advisor or politician would have anticipated.

  27. C@tmomma @ 10.37

    I can’t see the budget being a factor in LNP/One Nation preferencing decisions. It’s most unlikely the budget will be voted on by the Parliament before the election, so long as enough has already been appropriated to cover the election costs and normal government running costs. And if the government gets back at the election, the ALP certainly won’t be moving to reject supply in the Senate straight away. If they don’t get back, the LNP budget will be irrelevant anyway. (A returned LNP government might at some point after the election want One Nation support in the Senate to pass initiatives which are part of their broader policy package, but not part of the Budget per se.)

  28. It is sickening watching Morrison trying to being nice, knowing its all an act…
    It will be interesting to see if the general public see through this non-hater version of Morrison, its hard to imagine everyone forgetting his pride in being uncompromisingly hard towards “the boats”.
    Surely there is a good chance they see him for the rank opportunistic hypocrite that he is.

  29. Every aspect smacks of incompetence, from not wearing a tie to a crucial interview on a very serious subject, to his demeanour and evasion when facing questions that any half competent advisor or politician would have anticipated.

    I hadn’t noticed the no tie, I was too caught on the smug, ‘I know better than you’ demeanour.

  30. In the 1998 election, Don Randall ran as the sitting Liberal in Swan. He had publicly affiliated himself with ON. A grass-roots campaign was organised against him – in a way, a pre-cursor to GetUp style campaigns. Randall was defeated precisely because of his attachment to ON.

    If the Liberal Party try to have it both ways with ON, their PV in WA will likely fall to the low 30s or even less. The Liberal machine here is ultra-Conservative. They just do not appreciate how out of step they are with the community, not only in Metro seats but in regional seats as well.

  31. Agree, Lynchpin.

    WayoutWest, your analysis of Morrison’s appearance on the Project is intelligent and succinct. Australian journalists seem incapable of that.

  32. Agree Briefly especially in evangelical dominated branches in electorates like Moore.

    The main problem for Morrison is not the immediate impact, but how it will be brought to the fore again when the inevitable idiot backbenchers screw up with casual racism or preferencing right-wing loons.

    Morrison has trapped himself to the point where he will now have to condemn those individuals or be exposed as a complete fraud (yes, yes, I know) and hand WA seats to Labor. That will be great for Liberal team spirit.

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