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”

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  1. briefly:

    The more I hear about the Liberal candidate in Curtin the more alarmed I am. She is another Abbott who is ripe for a liberal conservative independent to run against her.

  2. Murdoch’s “Political”reporters cant say it but Holly Byrnes, National TV editor can….

    He came to the top job as Australia’s accidental Prime Minister, who won the numbers to topple elected PM, Malcolm Turnbull.

    But to bastardise parliamentary parlance, the ‘I’s’ have defeated Scott Morrison in the court of public opinion — aka Twitter — after his appearance on The Project with host Waleed Aly.

    Beginning with platitudes about hugging our fractured country back together, Morrison was allowed to “set the agenda” by Aly and quickly made it clear what that would be.

    Enough about Islam, let’s talk about me.

    Sadly for him (and us all), the audience was all over him like Eggboy at a Fraser Anning press conference.

    “Spot the difference on the @theprojecttv,” wrote Dani (@dandysworld).

    “Scott Morrison: I, I, I. Jacinda Ardern: we, we, we.”


  3. Morrison favours the no tie look.

    My late father was a teacher and pretty conservative, still wearing a tie to work each day long after they had ceased to be thought necessary.

    His rationale? He was said to me that I might upset somebody if I was not wearing a tie but nobody would complain if I was.

    My job evolved so I was pretty much office bound and didn’t deal much with the public or have meetings with my bosses.

    I still kept a tie in my drawer just in case.

  4. WayOutWest….the LNP tail is long and is comprised of more than just a few ON sympathisers. ON activists and members are most often former Libs and still have links to the LNP organisation, or what remains of it. These cohorts really want to have their cake and eat it – to be able to identify as supporters of both the LNP and ON. They hope to use ON to change the LNP; to be able to blackmail the LNP. The two really cannot coexist. It’s just not possible for a party of government to align itself with policies of official prejudice, no matter the temptations they have to try. After Christchurch, it is not possible to finesse the issue. The LNP will have to choose whether they want to or not.

    If they are smart, they will dump ON once and for all. We’ll see whether they have the grunt for that.

  5. President Trump has never called Lachlan Murdoch.

    The 47-year-old media scion, best known for being Rupert Murdoch’s son, is finally inheriting the mantle of chief executive of the family business. But while Trump and Rupert speak regularly, the president has not picked up the phone and dialed Lachlan.

    Lachlan’s emergence as leader of Fox Corp. following the close of the Murdochs’ $71.3 billion sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney, puts him on new, inherently political terrain that will test his talents as an executive and invite inevitable comparisons with his father.

    Decades ago he was promised the mantle at Fox, but the company he will run is not what anyone expected, and disappointments have lined his path to this moment. Not only is Lachlan more distant from the White House than his hard-charging father, he will oversee a much smaller company — parent to Fox News, Fox Sports, Fox Entertainment and Fox TV Stations.

    Without its legacy film and television business, Fox Corp.’s most-high-profile division is Fox News, which is in a symbiotic relationship with the president of the United States. That relationship is already challenging Lachlan to deal with what one Hollywood executive called “the elephant in the room” for Fox — the toxic identity of Fox News in a mostly liberal entertainment industry.


  6. Confessions says:
    Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    The more I hear about the Liberal candidate in Curtin the more alarmed I am. She is another Abbott who is ripe for a liberal conservative independent to run against her.

    I haven’t heard much more about her….but if Cormann likes her that is an indictment in itself. I don’t know of any well-credentialed Indy. A couple of likely people were mentioned, but they both declined.

  7. Rossmcg @ 11.19pm

    It’s more than just ties. Mr Morrison doesn’t have a ghost of an idea about is involved in being prime ministerial, never mind looking it. From leading MPs in stupid arm waving stunts in Parliament, though to including “(ScoMo)” in his signature block – has anyone ever seen a letter signed “R G Menzies (Pig Iron Bob)”? – he seems determined to look like a court jester (or, to use the Shakespearean term, “fool”) playing the role of king. Even Billy McMahon wasn’t so clueless: he was a figure of fun in his own way, but at least he wasn’t trying to be a goose.

  8. briefly @ 11.30pm

    The problem for the Liberal Party is that there is nobody in it, from Mr Morrison downwards, who has enough personal authority to make a decision not to preference One Nation and actually make it stick. Once party people have decided that loss is coming and Mr Morrison will be the biggest loser of the lot, nobody has much to fear from defying him. And if an MP decides that s/he needs One Nation preferences to survive, they will be sought, and damn the consequences for any MPs in other seats.

    The Morrison government has been like The Death of Stalin from day one. None of them trusts each other.

  9. ” And if an MP decides that s/he needs One Nation preferences to survive,”

    they were the kiss of death at the last W.A. election.

  10. Pedant….you’re right. As well, those few figures who do have residual authority, like Cormann, don’t want to dump ON. They think they can use ON rather than be used by them. They are completely mistaken. In any case, voters will not have it. They will destroy the LNP if they cleave to ON.

  11. imacca @ 11.45pm

    The problem is that what may well be the kiss of death for a party nationwide may be the kiss of life for a member in some outback seat in Queensland. The ideology of the Liberal Party these days isn’t exactly one of giving greater priority to the common good than to self-interest. And as Tip O’Neill said, all politics is local.

  12. Also, the National Party may well be taking the view these days that if defeat is inevitable, what will matter most after the election is the relative strength of the National Party in the coalition opposition party room. That will actually be enhanced from one perspective if the Liberals lose more seats rather than fewer.

  13. A comment I just saw about Mr Morrison on The Project: “This looked like being an interesting interview, but there were so many pigs flying by in the sky outside that I got distracted”.

  14. Pedant @ #2712 Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – 8:53 pm

    Also, the National Party may well be taking the view these days that if defeat is inevitable, what will matter most after the election is the relative strength of the National Party in the coalition opposition party room. That will actually be enhanced from one perspective if the Liberals lose more seats rather than fewer.

    By all accounts Barnaby has already cottoned onto this if his public statements on coal are anything to go by.

  15. briefly @ 11.56pm

    Indeed. And a thing that’s chilling for many people is that it was really a choice made by the murderer, rather than anything done by our law enforcement agencies, that led to the massacre being in New Zealand rather than somewhere in Australia.

  16. That’s a deeply troubling thought, Pedant. It’s very disturbing. The LNP must carry some of the burden. They have made us less safe….and done so for political reasons. I wonder if this will register with voters…

  17. David P GellesVerified account@gelles
    1h1 hour ago
    At the age of 94 years and 172 days, Jimmy Carter becomes the oldest living former president passing George H.W. Bush, who was 94 years, 171 days when he died last November.

  18. Some of my own family have been living just a few doors away from Perth Mosque. It’s all very close to home…like thousands of others, they’ve left flowers…they’re more reflective than usual; more delicate I guess…

  19. briefly @ #2713 Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – 10:56 pm

    Christchurch has changed Australian politics.

    Yes. I could not have imagined the Morrison-Aly interview a week ago. And changed not just in Australia.

    33 minutes ago

    Five mosques in Birmingham have been targeted in a string of violent attacks overnight and into the morning.

    Chief Constable of West Midlands Police Dave Thompson said: “At the moment we don’t know the motive for last night’s attacks. What I can say is that the force and the Counter Terrorism Unit are working side-by-side to find whoever is responsible.”

    Mr Thompson added: “Since the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, officers and staff from West Midlands Police have been working closely with our faith partners across the region to offer reassurance and support at mosques, churches and places of prayer.”

    This could have been regarded as vandalism, but it is now being named as terrorism, and explicitly connected with the Christchurch massacre.

  20. Dutton probably did the interview.

    “The political staffer accused of writing Fraser Anning’s infamous “final solution” speech and holding an obsession with Nazi Germany is employed by the federal government agency managing Australia’s immigration program, it has emerged.

    The staffer, Richard Howard, is on unpaid leave from the Department of Home Affairs and has left the door open to returning should Senator Anning fail to be re-elected in May.”


  21. I wonder if the media will try to tackle Morrison on the LNPs pref decisions…will they pursue him over ON…it’s a very newsworthy topic…will they be nobbled?

  22. I just watched/listened to Morrison on The Project on my laptop – what a smarmy slimy phony liar that creep is.

    How do you get vomit out of a keyboard?

  23. I also watched the Scummo interview and wonder about the rapists, murderers and pedophiles on Manus and Nauru uncharged and unconvicted in the midst of others we have detained there.
    If they come to Aust under escort for medical treatment, are detained at Villawood then returned to whence they came, can’t see much difference to undesirables in our civilian prisons being escorted to a Court room or hospital then returned to gaol.
    Don’t mention CI. Be nice to Pauline, she might help you retain some seats in Qld. Don’t answer q’s, butt in, deny, talk over and distort / lie if necessary.
    You and your mates have been at this for years Scummo. Your usual election strategy of fear and divisiveness better not show its ugly head after this recent tragedy.

  24. Corbyn has declined to rule out revoking article 50. May has always rejected that option.

    Maybe Corbyn gets to take over as PM by promising revocation and an election.

    Anything is possible, or so it seems…

  25. I know that I’m an incorrigible Polyanna WRT the upcoming Fed election (58-42 – yeah, right), but in the wake of Morrison’s seppuku last night, I’m going to speculate.

    If (when) Gladys loses tomorrow, the LNP will replace Morrison – probably with Frydenberg. They are looking at more than decimation – I think they will lose up to a third of their seats. Given the rolling disaster that is the LNP and their Owners, they may well go to the half Senate election before July (since they have no choice), and delay the HoR as long as possible (? November). This will end them as a viable party, but that never worried The Owners – they can always hire more willing stooges.

  26. Denise Shrivell

    25m25 minutes ago
    Ok – so @BreakfastNews were all over Daley for the People’s Forum & even interviewed the person who produced the dodgy anti-neg gearing report – but nothing on Morrison’s #theproject interview #auspol

    Who thinks that the ABC would have allowed Waleed to interview ScoMo?

  27. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    The SMH editorial has declared on election eve that the Coalition deserves a third term to get the job done.
    David Crowe advises Morrison to not trade votes with One Nation. He says it would be playing with fire.
    Michael Koziol reports on Morrison’s showdown with Waleed Aly last night.
    As does Sam Maiden who says Morrison has confirmed he raised concerns over the”anti-Muslim” sentiment of voters during a 2010 shadow cabinet meeting, but insists it was only to “address them, not exploit them”.
    She also tells us why he Morrison agreed to Waleed Aly’s anti-Muslim grilling.
    The New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia, Dame Annette King, said she was being approached by Australians telling her they felt guilty for the deaths allegedly at the hands of a man born in the NSW town of Grafton. “Australia’s not to blame and New Zealand’s not to blame,” she said. “This is a terrorist, an individual who has caused this grief and death.
    These two university academics explain the problem of what happens when too often commentators and politicians conflate temporary and permanent migration. A good article.
    Jennifer Duke writes that Facebook has criticised media organisations for playing a role in the widespread distribution of footage from the Christchurch terrorist attack while defending live video streaming functions on its platform.
    Michelle Grattan says Shorten’s not getting ahead of himself, but the tape measure is out.
    Michaela Whitbourn reports that David Leyonhjelm will call Senators Derryn Hinch and Stirling Griff to give evidence for him in the defamation case brought against him by Sarah Hanson-Young, even though both men have previously “declined to cooperate” with his lawyers.
    Shane Wright tells us that a pre-election interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank appears off the agenda after the nation’s unemployment rate slipped to its lowest level in eight years, despite signs full-time jobs growth is slowing.
    Former criminal defence lawyer Jesse Smith suggests that In Christchurch’s circumstances, declining to file a terror charge may be in the best interests of victims. It’s perhaps time to acknowledge that modern terrorism laws are inflexible, narrow, and don’t always meet public perceptions of horrific violence.
    Phil Coorey explains how Christchurch has changed politics.
    It appears Milo Yiannopoulos and his touring manager attempted to use their network of powerful conservatives including Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones to lobby the Morrison government to overturn a decision to deny the notorious political commentator a visa.
    There’s been an inevitable backlash against social media in the wake of the Christchurch massacre. Mainstream news organisations have been quick to jump on the bandwagon of blaming Twitter, Facebook and sections of the more obscure “dark web” for the radicalisation of young men into the political orbit of white nationalists. However, Dr Martin Hirst argues we should not blame social media for the rise of Nazi shooters.
    The AFR tells us that the RBA, like the Fed and much of the world’s economics fraternity, is in wait-and-see mode to gauge if the early 2019 global softening is a temporary blip or could turn into a more prolonged slowdown.
    JP Morgan’s decision to seek immunity in the ACCC’s criminal cartel case against ANZ, Citi and Deutsche has an intriguing back story.
    Michael Pascoe explains how the latest jobs-growth figures are yet another confirmation of a weak economy.
    Wayne Swan writes on how history tells us flat wages growth is dangerous for Australia.
    And according to this law professor we’ve let wage exploitation become the default experience of migrant workers.
    Latika Bourke explains how the UK parliament would handle the Fraser Anning issue.
    According to these two financial experts Berejiklian’s claim to have “paid down debt” is both hypocritical and misleading.
    Michael West writes on how ExxonMobil exploits Australia and PNG.
    Students striking against the lack of climate change policy are a strong voice against an ineffective government, argues Peter Henning.
    Rules stopping public servants from anonymously criticising governments risk making leaders less accountable, lawyers for a bureaucrat sacked over her tweets say. The High Court heard rules that brought on the 2013 dismissal of former Immigration Department worker Michaela Banerji intruded unacceptably on free speech.
    Labor says it will contribute $60 million over the next four years to sideline payday lenders and provide cheap and fast credit to the needy.
    Queensland Nationals are warning they will reactivate their campaign urging the government to underwrite coal-fired power unless the Prime Minister budges.
    Jenna Price talks about how to handle racism at a personal level.
    Jennifer Hewett writes that Philip Lowe still believes the fall in house prices, especially severe in Sydney and Melbourne, is manageable for the overall economy. He is backed by the relatively low unemployment rate, re-enforced by the February unemployment figures and a headline jobless rate falling to 4.9 per cent.
    Greg Jericho says house prices keep dropping – and there’s no end in sight. He has some telling charts for us to ponder.
    The Australian government is fighting to hide Tony Abbott’s letters to the Queen about his much-ridiculed bid to bring back knight and dame honours, despite the information watchdog ordering the documents be produced.
    This is not a good look!
    And it gets worse again for Boeing’s 737 Max.
    Farmers have backed the weed killer glyphosate, saying it has revolutionised farming while delivering environmental benefits including reduced soil erosion.
    Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, uses the online messaging service WhatsApp for official business – including communication with foreign contacts, according to a new letter from congressional investigators.
    A “mind blowing” haul of fossils that captures the riot of evolution that kickstarted the diversity of life on Earth more than half a billion years ago has been discovered by researchers in China.
    Research suggests employers should be concerned about the frequency – and quality – of their employees’ sexual activity.
    But one in two Australian men aged 18 to 55 have experienced sexual difficulty in the past 12 months, according to data released this week. The findings are drawn from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health, which included more than 12,000 men. Overall, 54% of sexually active men reported having at least one specific sexual problem lasting three months or more.

    Cartoon Corner

    A telling contribution from David Rowe.

    David Pope and electoral peril.

    Great work from Cathy Wilcox.

    from Matt Golding.

    Jim Pavlidis with Morrison’s problems with Islamophobia.

    Simon Letch’s view on preference deals.

    A good suggestion from Peter Broelman.

    Wow! It’s more than a week since the CFMEU has figured in a Zanetti cartoon.

    From Alan Moir.

    Jon Kudelka and the regional immigration proposal.

    From the US – a much better crop today!

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