Election minus five weeks

Candidates on both sides of the aisle drop out of contention, Peter Dutton suffers a self-inflicted wound in Dickson, and Shooters Fishers and Farmers rein in their expectations.

Two days in the campaign, and already much to relate:

• Labor’s audacious gambit of running former Fremantle MP Melissa Parke in Curtin has proved short-lived, after a controversy brewed over comments she had made critical of Israel. Parke announced her withdrawal after the Herald Sun presented the Labor campaign with claims she had told a meeting of WA Labor for Palestine that she could “remember vividly” – presumably not from first-hand experience – a pregnant refugee being ordered to drink bleach at a Gaza checkpoint. Parke is also said to have spoken of Israel’s “influence in our political system and foreign policy”, no doubt bringing to the party hierarchy’s mind the turmoil that has lately engulfed the British Labour Party in relation to such matters. In her statement last night, Parke said her views were “well known, but I don’t want them to be a running distraction from electing a Labor government”. James Campbell of the Herald Sun notes the forum was also attended by Parkes’ successor in Fremantle, Josh Wilson.

• Meanwhile, Liberal Party vetting processes have caused the withdrawal on Section 44 grounds of three candidates in who-cares seats in Melbourne. They are Cooper candidate Helen Jackson, who dug her heels in when told her no-chance candidacy required her to abandon her job at Australia Post, so that the integrity of executive-legislative relations might be preserved; Lalor candidate Kate Oski, who is in danger of being Polish; and Wills candidate Vaishali Ghosh, who was, as The Age put it in a report I hope no one from overseas reads, “forced to step aside over her Indian heritage”.

• Peter Dutton has been under fire for his rhetorical overreach against Ali France, the Labor candidate in his marginal seat of Dickson. Dutton accused France, who had her leg amputated after being hit by a car in 2011, of “using her disability as an excuse” for not moving into the electorate. France lives a short distance outside it, and points to the $100,000 of her compensation money she has spent making her existing home fully wheelchair accessible. Labor has taken the opportunity to point to Dutton’s failed attempt from 2009 to move to the safer seat of McPherson on the Gold Coast, where he owns a $2.3 million beachside holiday home, and by all accounts spends a great deal of his time. Dutton refused to apologise for the comments yesterday, while Scott Morrison baselessly asserted that they were taken out of context.

Greg Brown of The Australian reports Robert Borsak, leader of Shooters Fishers and Farmers and one of the party’s state upper house MPs, concedes the party is struggling to recruit candidates, and will not repeat its state election feat of winning seats in the lower house. Nonetheless, it has Orange deputy mayor Sam Romano lined up as its candidate for Calare and plans to run in Eden-Monaro, Parkes and possibly New England. This follows suggestions the party might pose a threat to the Nationals in Parkes and Farrer, which largely correspond with the state seats of Barwon and Murray, which the party won at last month’s state election. Calare encompasses Orange, which Shooters have held since a November 2016 by-election.

• “I don’t trust our polling at all”, says “a senior federal Liberal MP” cited by John Ferguson in The Australian, apropos the party’s prospects in Victoria. It is not clear if the source was being optimistic or pessimistic, but the report identifies a range of opinion within the Liberal camp extending from only two or three losses in Victoria – likewise identified as a “worst case scenario” by Labor sources – to as many as seven.

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.

1,433 comments on “Election minus five weeks”

  1. @Nath

    I agree with you, although I am a sot of guy who predicts that Jeremy Corbyn will be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Also I believe both Pete Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard will do very well in the 2020 Democratic primaries in America.

  2. I’ve become of the view that Albo is our Abbott. Pure party man who the converted love but I don’t know how well he’d connect either, honestly.

    My reasoning in 2013 (despite knowing some of his dirt) was that I felt we needed someone to go feral on Abbott and make the path easier for the next LOTO to actually win.

  3. Yeah – as with so many ‘what ifs’ I think the rose-coloured expectations about Albo are just that.

    I too voted for Albo but I am now very firmly of the belief that the caucus did the right thing in choosing Shorten.

  4. And I believe that the Greens would have done much better under Almost Anyone other than di Natale. But he’s their leader, and what is trumps what might have been.

    Albo would have been taken apart by the Liberals bit by bit – and given his NSW connections, and his dodgy behaviour during the Ruddstoration, I’m not sure he would have stood up to close examination.

  5. Honestly there is only Australian politician who have the kind of effect that Jeremy Corbyn has had on the British political landscape and that is Senator Mehreen Faruqi. Imagine if she was leader of the Australian Labor Party, hell imagine her as leader of the Australian Greens. I predict that the Australian Greens would be around 15% of the total vote and 40% among Millennials.

  6. Jesus, can we please do away with using the “If my guy was in, we would have won by a bajillion percent!” fanfic as a serious argument?

  7. Thanks for the link to the betting markets. It was nice to see Sturt at:
    Liberal 1.73
    Labor 2.00

    Still unlikely but I have noticed Pyne’s deputy poodle, James somebody, has a lot of coreflutes out and is clearly not assuming certain victory.

  8. @zoomster

    Honestly, I have following Mehreen Farqui closely as a Senator and if she was leader of the Australian Greens the party would be polling around 15% of the total vote currently. Imagine if she was leader of the Federal Australian Labor Party, the ABC, Fairfax and Murdoch media would be foaming about the mouth about her.

  9. I thought there was a hot spot somewhere under Chile – so maybe the next supervolcano will be on the other side of the Pacific, in which case the tsunami should be spectacular.

  10. I am another who voted for Albanese. I was wrong, wanting the sugar hit of aggression. Shorten has built stability and has built up Labor to have a very deep bench.

  11. C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Albo has form that a Liberal Party Dirt Unit would have gone to town on in this election.
    ____________________
    Just pure baseless innuendo from a Shorten worshiper.

  12. zoomster says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 6:06 pm
    Albo would have been taken apart by the Liberals bit by bit – and given his NSW connections, and his dodgy behaviour during the Ruddstoration, I’m not sure he would have stood up to close examination.
    ________________________________________
    What like Shorten did in backing Rudd after knifing him? At least Albo remained certain, and correct over the leadership.

    Of course, if Albo had won the leadership, I’m sure you and C@t would be saying the same thing about Shorten. OOHH, too much dirt on him. PLease.

  13. Katharine MurphyVerified account@murpharoo
    23h23 hours ago
    I can’t decide whether @TonyAbbottMHR constantly face planting on social in this campaign is a sign of acute stress or a cunning strategy to ensure people keep talking about him. It really could be either.

    Malcolm Farr said this morning that Abbott needs to get rid of whoever it is running his social media campaign. I disagree. We have whoever that person is to thank for the vision of Tony stumbling across a Free Library and exclaiming in wonder at its existence. 😆

  14. “I voted for Albo in the 2013 ballot, but the way Shorten has led the party has impressed me.”

    #metoo

    I also ran the Centre Unity for Albo Facebook page.

  15. I am another who voted for Albanese. I was wrong

    No you weren’t. You made a choice. He didn’t win but you weren’t necessarily wrong.

  16. Spence
    “Socrates – what do you think of the priority and cost effectiveness of the various South Road projects?”

    Short answer – not much. If you are going to do it all the priority should be in remaining northern sections. There is hardly any freight traffic south of Cross Road. So Cross to Ayliffes is very debatable – high cost low benefit. Anzac to Torrens River makes sense in terms of completing the link (higher benefit) but will either cut a swathe through Thebarton and Hindmarsh or require a tunnel costing billions. If they do it, I hope it is a minimalist four lane surface treatment with ITS demand management on approaches, not another six lane plus service lanes monstrosity. We are not Melbourne. Look at the Superway, after eight years show me any adjacent development?

    I really think it is an obsolete project. When Rann first proposed it Mitsubishi and other plants still ran in the south, so better linking them to the port might have made sense. But they are all closed now. So why do it? Nobody in DPTI wants to say that because some peoples’ jobs depend on delivering it. I have never seen a detailed traffic modeling or economic analysis released to the public. Does it have a BCR above 1 or is it another EW Link? My concern with South Road is that after spending billions we will have nothing to show for it except more tarmac to maintain, which we can barely pay for now.

    I think we would have gotten far better value completing AdeLink. The tram extensions definitely resulted in some new development in town and at Bowden. But AdelInk should have been done as an LRT (exclusive lanes) not shared with traffic. Caving it to Norwood Council and a few lobbies is not a good way to plan transport infrastructure.

  17. I will say that Albo is not seen as a king-slayer unlike Shorten is in the electorate. Which is view that Scomo has in the electorate.

  18. Nobody knows how well or badly Albo would have alternately been as ALP leader, as that happened in a different timeline. While you’re welcome to your beliefs, understand they’re not sound arguments. Just fanfiction.

    Same goes for Sanders in the US, or any of Corbyn’s leadership rivals in the UK, and so on…

    Imagination is not reality.

  19. The hypothetical budget of 400billion for a UBI sounds like a lot but lets look at the current welfare budget

    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook45p/WelfareCost

    ‘ and around $191.8 billion in 2019–20. ‘

    ‘(the Australian Government is responsible for just over half the NDIS expenditure of $21.6 billion in 2019–20 with states and territories funding the rest).’

    So their is 170 billion out of the 400 found.

    Raking the tax rate to a flat 45% finds another 185 billion.

    355 billion dollars from just two policies.

  20. My theory re polling is that their won’t be one tonight, but next Sunday.
    Then working backwards from the election, the night before and the Sunday before that. IPSOS will be similar.
    It is really a question of how much money they want to spend.

  21. zoomster@6:06pm
    Rememver Albo’s panic in 2016 election when Greens mounted their challenge by selecting a militant unionist as their candidate. Daily Tele came to his rescue. As a last resort he took the help of PJK. One slapdown by PJK of Greens turned the things in his favour and calmed his nerves.

  22. Bluey Report Day 4

    Bluey reckons that the Bill Bus gathered momentum on Day 4. KK drew first real blood for the campaign when she forced Dutto to apologize. This is the first time that that has happened since Dutton’s mum made him put sixpence in the swear jar and washed his dirty mouth out with soap. Bluey allows that this is hypothetical and is predicated on Dutton having had a mum.

    The campaign zeitgeist was obvious both on Speers and Insiders this morning. Cormann said ‘tax’ and ‘strong economy’ about 100 times each, each time with a rather grim rictus. But after that, what? Is the Coalition going to bore the electorate into some sort of stupefaction for another 34 days, less Good Friday, Resurrection Day, Easter Monday and ANZAC day? The only substantive announcement was that Morrison was going to re-open some youth employment centres that the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison governments had already closed. Except that they are going to be rebadged as ‘youf training hubs’. Bluey reckons they are pork hubs for the Norf Queensland seats. How very, very pathetic that this is all that is left to the Coalition.

    Bluey notes that Morrison headed into Queensland while Shorten is doing NSW and Vic. There has to be a reason.

    Bluey applauds Shorten’s refusal to name the name that shall not be named. Astute. Ms Plibersek did call him ‘failed ad man’.

    In the latest bit of political judo, Morrison has attacked Labor for its record on Global Warming. Bluey reckons really? This is a unicorn for the Coalition’s dying Great Barrier Reef.

    Labor announced restoring the billions stolen from hospitals by the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison governments cos changes to the Fed/states ratio from 50/50 to 45/55. Bluey reckons that Labor can do this because it has done some hard yards on tax. The Coalition can’t do this because it gave the stolen money to the filthy rich.

    Bluey reckons that Cormann, Speers, Coorey, Kudelka, Bowers, James, Farr, Kelly, Savva, Smethurst, Kenny and Cassidy all shared the view that the Coalition is going to get beaten and that the only question is by how much. Bluey reckons it was a body language thing and a general funereal air.

    Coorey spent a bit of time carrying on about how hard it is going to be for Labor to get their neg gearing stuff through the Senate. Bluey reckons it will be easy as. Labor will do the US trick of tying things in a bundle. So the neg gearing reforms go up in a package tied to the Cancer spend. The hospital funding goes up in a package tied to the Health spend. And so on and so forth. Bluey is available to help wonderful Wong with this tactical stuff anytime she needs some octowisdom to deal with Senate recalcitrants.

    Bluey reckons how miserable was the Green’s Negneg on Insiders? DiNatale spent most of his time attacking Labor AND demanding that Labor work co-operatively with the Greens. Bluey wonders how Lib Lab can be same same when Lab is always worse than Lib? Bluey reckons cognitive dissonance eat your heart out. Di Natale did drop one massive porky. He reckons that the Greens ‘have delivered.’ Bluey reckons that the Greens, having sniffed the polling, are retreating on the electoral front and are going back to their core business of Labor bashing, while hoping desperately that they might not lose too many seats in the Senate.

    Bluey hesitates to provide advice to the Greens but he suggests that $400 billion per annum for the UBI, $50 billion per annum for their housing plan less $60 billion per annum in coal exports stopped might turn into a budgetary problem. The Magic Money Tree might help in the short term.

    The biggest story for the day came by way of the Nine network using an FOI. Turns out that Australia’s deadliest ever suite of environment ministers: Hunt, Frydenberg and Price, have succeeded in setting up the Reef for ‘collapse’. Bluey knows this first hand. His rock pool is rooted.

    Abbott managed a slew of bugger ups. No discipline. He promoted Shorten to Prime Minister and then provided pictorial evidence that Murdoch, by way of the ethereal Akerman, is working for the Liberals. Both cockups were duly deleted. That footage of Abbott’s Captain rubbing himself up against Steggall is, quite simply, vile. Abbott followed this up with an unguarded pub comment that what is depressing wages and increasing house prices is immigration. Bluey reckons that four cock-ups in Week 1 is four cock-ups too many.

    Bluey notes that Morrison is a sharks fan and therefore your typical occie hater. At least the Greeks give respect by eating occies. Morrison only had to turn up and the Sharks got thrashed. Gotta be an omen. While Bluey is on the topic of the interface between sharks and animals, he wishes to advise humans about a saying used among occies to put down louche occies: they ‘breed like humans’. Bluey reckons that if humans want a term that is not a slag they could use ‘philoprogenitive’.

    Bluey reckons that someone ought to tell Smirko that he should stick to frightening babies and that, if he keeps sticking his tongue down the throats of the unwary, he will get #metooed, get sued, catch venereal oral warts, or possibly even all three.

    Bluey reckons that voting for the Coalition or the Greens makes about as much sense taking unvaccinated kids to a measles party.

    Score for the day: Labor 1; Coalition 0; Greens -1.
    Progress score: Labor 4; Coalition 0; Greens -1.

  23. laughtong @ #719 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 1:01 pm

    Confessions @ #940 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 12:42 pm

    sprocket_ @ #938 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 10:41 am

    Scotty’s backdrop poster holders seem to have a scattergun of motherhood messages..

    <a href="<a href="” rel=”nofollow”>” rel=”nofollow”>” rel=”nofollow”>

    From the expressions on their faces you’d think Scotty was giving a eulogy at someone’s funeral!

    Are they Tony’s paid interns? If this is in Sydney certainly possible

    Scotty’s no Robert Palmer is he? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JRXkfpEOJU

  24. nath @ #1217 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 6:18 pm

    zoomster says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 6:06 pm
    Albo would have been taken apart by the Liberals bit by bit – and given his NSW connections, and his dodgy behaviour during the Ruddstoration, I’m not sure he would have stood up to close examination.
    ________________________________________
    What like Shorten did in backing Rudd after knifing him? At least Albo remained certain, and correct over the leadership.

    Of course, if Albo had won the leadership, I’m sure you and C@t would be saying the same thing about Shorten. OOHH, too much dirt on him. PLease.

    l-
    Another porkie from the Nath the Liberal Troll – you just don’t quit do you .. loser.

  25. Bushfire Bill @ #1048 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 2:46 pm

    Has anyone given a thought to what might happen – as far as electricity production is concerned – if there is, say, a major volcanic eruption, or perhaps a largish (but not extinction-level) bolide collision with Earth causing a “nuclear winter” that substantially limits solar radiation reaching solar cells worldwide?

    And yes, I know there will be many other ramifications, such as crop failures, storms etc.

    But I guess what I’m asking is whether we shouldn’t keep at least some fossil, and perhaps nuclear generation capability as a national “reserve tank”?

    No. If an event like that happens and it manages to blot out the sun to the point where solar becomes ineffective (modern panels actually do quite well even under overcast conditions) then it was probably cataclysmic to the point that there’s also extensive damage to structures, including the grid’s poles and wires, buildings generally, and any mothballed power plants. The “reserve tank” is useless because it’s either destroyed outright or unable to deliver power to where it’s needed.

    You’re actually better off with distributed solar panels and batteries and micro-grids in that sort of scenario, because then at least you can have scattered islands of functionality in places that have been lucky enough to avoid cataclysmic damage to their basic infrastructure. Or with stockpiling food and water underneath a mountain somewhere.

    Though the best insurance policy against that sort of event is to not worry about it. The odds of it actually happening are astronomically small.

  26. Pica @ #1110 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 4:19 pm

    Simon² Katich® @ #1100 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 4:05 pm

    Can we have dibs on where the next supervolcano will blow?

    Put me down for, in order;
    Lake Toba
    Mount Gambier.
    YellowStone.

    Mt Gambier part of a long line of extict volcanoes that occur in west Vic and se SA. I grew up next to one of them so it better not blow or all the living and deceased members of my family will get incinerated……I am pretty sure they are all very dormant however (famous last words…..)

    No, I believe they are not classed as extinct but dormant.
    About 10,000 years since any last erupted.

  27. Nath
    You wandered into fantasy land.
    You are confused and suffering from disorientation.
    You have no knowledge of the Labor people you are obsessed with.
    Under Labor your rehabilitation and healing will be less costly.
    At this moment we’ll be here for you. Remain calm.

  28. EGW @ #996 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 6:42 pm

    Pica @ #1110 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 4:19 pm

    Simon² Katich® @ #1100 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 4:05 pm

    Can we have dibs on where the next supervolcano will blow?

    Put me down for, in order;
    Lake Toba
    Mount Gambier.
    YellowStone.

    Mt Gambier part of a long line of extict volcanoes that occur in west Vic and se SA. I grew up next to one of them so it better not blow or all the living and deceased members of my family will get incinerated……I am pretty sure they are all very dormant however (famous last words…..)

    No, I believe they are not classed as extinct but dormant.
    About 10,000 years since any last erupted.

    News Limited offices in Sydney when Shorten wins the Election for labor!

  29. Actually I couldn’t give a stuff about internal party machinations back in 2010 or whenever. The priority is turfing the mob now in power before they do more damage.

  30. Thanks Boerwar. I take a slightly different take from Bluey about this:

    Bluey reckons that the Greens, having sniffed the polling, are retreating on the electoral front and are going back to their core business of Labor bashing, while hoping desperately that they might not lose too many seats in the Senate.

    Bluey must’ve missed RDN’s excitement about his Adani Convoy, indicating that yes the Greens are going back to their core business of Labor bashing, but also that the party has not learned the lessons of the Batman by-election where the Greens simply shouted Adani! to every question. That didn’t work then and will not work now.

    That footage of Abbott’s Captain rubbing himself up against Steggall is, quite simply, vile.

    I have not seen this. Who is Abbott’s Captain?

  31. Actually I couldn’t give a stuff about internal party machinations back in 2010 or whenever.

    That’s what the view outside of the bubble is. People are concerned about 2019, not 2010.

  32. I’ll add that maybe there’d be some doubt about Labor’s ability to keep its shit together and govern effectively, if the Libs didn’t shoot themselves in the foot and go through their own infighting and PM-changing.

  33. Rational Leftist says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Actually I couldn’t give a stuff about internal party machinations back in 2010 or whenever.

    That’s what the view outside of the bubble is. People are concerned about 2019, not 2010.

    _________________________________
    Indeed. let’s adopt the political mindset of people ‘outside the bubble’. Preferably in some outer suburb where the folks coundn’t tell you who their local member is.

  34. Mt Gambier last erupted about 5,000 years ago. It may erupt again. It is not a super volcano though, a pretty ordinary volcano. It is considered dormant.

    Mt Warning last erupted 70 million years ago. The 360 degree view from the top is amazing. I can’t imagine how anyone could have seriously entertained logging the area. Actually, there were big bucks to be made, with a corrupt Coalition Government in NSW at the time, so yes I can.

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