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. Thanks GG, you’ve just answered my question about Abbott’s Captain rubbing up against Steggall.

    If I’d known it was that Orange Crush character I’d not have even asked.

  2. Yeah, the opinions of people with clear biases who spend all of their time posting on a political blog are the real pulse of the electorate. I forgot. How silly of me.

  3. Rational Leftist says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    Yeah, the opinions of people with clear biases who spend all of their time posting on a political blog are the real pulse of the electorate. I forgot. How silly of me.
    ___________________
    Is the aim to discuss politics or to mirror the ‘pulse’ of morons?

  4. We have two election Captains at the moment. KK is Shorten’s ‘Bus Captain’ and the other side have Captain Getup. I think one is going better than the other.

  5. We have had two polling companies call our landline this afternoon, the latter a robopoll. Plus a call to my mobile and probably my wife’s mobile (she didn’t answer). Seat is Swan.

    I told them all I don’t comment on politics 🙂

  6. Bluey is 100% indifferent to Greens’ negging of occies.
    On Bluey’s current scoring, Labor will bound ahead and the Greens will go backwards.
    Which would be pretty well on the mark. Neggers never prosper.
    Bluey might have to revise his scoring approach because he has the Coalition bogged down on zero change. That has to be wrong.

  7. 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”?

    It has been posited that we should leave enough enough coal and oil in the ground to allow future generations to restart the industrial revolution after a global disaster – nuclear war, bolide impact, whatever.

    Given that most delusion-makers couldn’t give a stuff about generations already born, let alone the remoter future, that ain’t going to happen.

  8. Ch 7 news showed a clip of Morrison walking along a balcony to Queensland LNP HQ today. He certainly looks overweight and unfit. That’s not surprising as he seems to indulge in junk food and beer. Another five weeks of that diet and he could have trouble maintaining the frantic pace demanded of politicians campaigning.

  9. C@t:

    Given the juvenile, anti-women creeps who infest the coalition parties and their most ardent supporters, I can well imagine how puerile the clip was. Esp if it was too puerile even for today’s Liberals to remain on that twitter feed!

  10. citizen @ #1266 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 7:06 pm

    Ch 7 news showed a clip of Morrison walking along a balcony to Queensland LNP HQ today. He certainly looks overweight and unfit. That’s not surprising as he seems to indulge in junk food and beer. Another five weeks of that diet and he could have trouble maintaining the frantic pace demanded of politicians campaigning.

    He also lives on very little sleep and none to very little exercise. Further causative factors for weight gain.

  11. If anyone else is betting on the individual seats, I found Spence has the ALP at 1.14 at the moment on Ladbrokes. It is on a 17% margin. So it is fair to say there is easy money to pick up there.

  12. Confessions @ #1269 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 7:08 pm

    C@t:

    Given the juvenile, anti-women creeps who infest the coalition parties and their most ardent supporters, I can well imagine how puerile the clip was. Esp if it was too puerile even for today’s Liberals to remain on that twitter feed!

    I can describe it to you, if you are interested.

  13. GG
    It is hard to remember anything quite as bizarre, as dumbass or as self-defeating.
    It is the sort of thing some failing ad man would come up with.

  14. Captain Getup is funded by the Advance Australia, who are “independent” of the Liberal Party….. so it makes the Liberals look like morons whilst they have no control over him.

    Also it is a strange Asian American accent I thought. Possibly an International School accent.

  15. I see Angus Taylor is threatening journalist Margo Kingston for retweeting some allegedly defamatory information. Only problem is Margo denies reteeting and there is evidence to support her response. This looks like another Liberal heavy handed cockup!

  16. Greensborough Growler @ #1277 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 5:18 pm

    Anyone else think that Captain Getup may be demoted to Private and drummed out of the campaign?

    What purpose does he serve? I can’t imagine how coalition supporters can think he is helping their cause. Unless of course, their campaign strategy was implemented by Young Liberals.

  17. Pfft. They call that a threatening letter? It’s pretty clear from the content that they’re not suing and have no intention of doing so.

  18. Does anyone know about water buy back schemes & those allegedly profiting from them?

    A twitter account on the matter has been closed however there seems to be PDF of the thread in archives.

    Will the story develop?

  19. The Black Wiggle.

    Personally I don’t mind folk on the left of me because I realise we we need to make common cause across the ideological divide.

    Then there are the Greens. Planning for a Gillard era redux: “sorry middle Australia. You voted for a government that was going to do X by 2030 and Y by 2050 and had a plan to acheive that [thereby moving the Overton Window from reactionary to progressive]. SURPRISE: you are going to get Y by 2030”.

    For the Wiggle, Pegarex, bites Quoll and Firefox its all about “forcing”, and “pressuring” labor. Call me old fashioned but that’s just attempted blackmail by terrorists.

    Greens. Go. Get. Fucked. Labor’s offer to you is this: nothing.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/14/richard-di-natale-warns-bill-shorten-he-ignores-the-greens-at-his-peril

  20. Andrew_Earlwood says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Greens. Go. Get. Fucked. Labor’s offer to you is this: nothing.
    ______________________
    I wonder how Shorten’s going to go getting anything through the Senate without Greens support. 🙂

  21. Confessions @ #1283 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 7:26 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1277 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 5:18 pm

    Anyone else think that Captain Getup may be demoted to Private and drummed out of the campaign?

    What purpose does he serve? I can’t imagine how coalition supporters can think he is helping their cause. Unless of course, their campaign strategy was implemented by Young Liberals.

    Steggall is a mother and an Olympic Medallist. She’s a candidate and someone whom I would not personally vote for. However, this disgusting performance needs to be condemned across the political spectrum. What is it about Liberal supporters and victimising women?

  22. Threatening letters from lawyers:

    “I will huff and I will puff and if that doesn’t frighten you, I will huff and I will puff some more.”

  23. Mark O’Brien Legal seems to be successful in giving the allegations good publicity.was that their intention.

    Has Angus Taylor actually denied them?

  24. nath @ #1292 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 7:36 pm

    Andrew_Earlwood says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Greens. Go. Get. Fucked. Labor’s offer to you is this: nothing.
    ______________________
    I wonder how Shorten’s going to go getting anything through the Senate without Greens support. 🙂

    By using the Greens/Turnbull political smartarsery back at them. 🙂

  25. It’s particularly egregious of Angus Taylor and his band of merry lawyer thugs to threaten Margo Kingston, who has only recently recovered from severe PTSD due to intimidation, verging on the violent, from Liberal thugs threatening her previously.

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