Election plus 11 days

Late counting, a disputed result, new research into voter attitudes, Senate vacancies, and the looming party members’ vote for the state Labor leadership in New South Wales.

Sundry updates and developments:

• As noted in the regularly updated late counting post, Labor has taken a 67 vote lead in Macquarie, after trailing 39 at the close of counting yesterday. However, there is no guarantee that this represents an ongoing trend to Labor, since most of the gain came from the counting of absents, which would now be just about done. Most of the outstanding votes are out-of-division pre-polls, which could go either way. The result will determine whether the Coalition governs with 77 or 78 seats out of 151, while Labor will have either 67 or 68.

• Labor is reportedly preparing to challenge the result in Chisholm under the “misleading or deceptive publications” provision of the Electoral Act, a much ploughed but largely unproductive tillage for litigants over the years. The Victorian authorities have been rather activist in upholding “misleading or deceptive publications” complaints, but this is in the lower stakes context of challenges to the registration of how-to-vote cards, rather than to the result of an election. At issue on this occasion is Liberal Party material circulated on Chinese language social media service WeChat, which instructed readers to fill out the ballot paper in the manner recommended “to avoid an informal vote”. I await for a court to find otherwise, but this strikes me as pretty thin gruel. The Chinese community is surely aware that Australian elections presume to present voters with a choice, so the words can only be understood as an address to those who have decided to vote Liberal. Labor also have a beef with Liberal material that looked like Australian Electoral Commission material, in Chisholm and elsewhere.

• Political science heavyweights Simon Jackman and Shaun Ratcliff of the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre has breakdowns from a big sample campaign survey in The Guardian, noting that only survey data can circumvent the ecological fallacy, a matter raised in my previous post. The survey was derived from 10,316 respondents from a YouGov online panel, and conducted from April 18 to May 12. The results suggest the Coalition won through their dominance of the high income cohort (taken here to mean an annual household income of over $208,000), particularly among the self-employed, for which their primary vote is recorded as approaching 80%. Among business and trust owners on incomes of over $200,000, the Coalition outpolled Labor 60% to 10%, with the Greens on next to nothing. However, for those in the high income bracket who didn’t own business or trusts, the Coalition was in the low forties, Labor the high thirties, and the Greens the low teens. While Ratcliff in The Guardian seeks to rebut the notion that “battlers” decided the election for the Coalition, the big picture impression for low-income earners is that Labor were less than overwhelmingly dominant.

• As reported in the Financial Review on Friday, post-election polling for JWS Research found Coalition voters tended to rate tax and economic management as the most important campaign issue, against climate change, health and education for Labor voters. Perhaps more interestingly, it found Coalition voters more than twice as likely to nominate “free-to-air” television as “ABC, SBS television” as their favoured election news source, whereas Labor voters plumped for both fairly evenly. Coalition voters were also significantly more likely to identify “major newspapers (print/online)”.

• Two impending resignations from Liberal Senators create openings for losing election candidates. The Financial Review reports Mitch Fifield’s Victorian vacancy looks set to be of interest not only to Sarah Henderson, outgoing Corangamite MP and presumed front-runner, but also to Indi candidate Steve Martin, Macnamara candidate Kate Ashmor and former state MP Inga Peulich.

• In New South Wales, Arthur Sinodinos’s Senate seat will fall vacant later this year, when he takes up the position of ambassador to the United States. The most widely invoked interested party to succeed him has been Jim Molan, who is publicly holding out hope that below-the-line votes will elect him to the third Coalition seat off fourth position on the ballot paper, although this is assuredly not going to happen. As canvassed in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Financial Review, other possible starters include Warren Mundine, freshly unsuccessful in his lower house bid for Gilmore; James Brown, chief executive of Catholic Schools NSW, state RSL president and the husband of Daisy Turnbull Brown, daughter of the former Prime Minister; Michael Hughes, state party treasurer and the brother of Lucy Turnbull; Kent Johns, the state party vice-president who appeared set to depose Craig Kelly for preselection in Hughes, but was prevailed on not to proceed; Richard Sheilds, chief lobbyist at the Insurance Council of Australia; Mary-Lou Jarvis, Woollahra councillor and unsuccessful preselection contender in Wentworth; and Michael Feneley, heart surgeon and twice-unsuccessful candidate for Kingsford Smith.

• Federal Labor may have evaded a party membership ballot through Anthony Albanese’s sole nomination, but a ballot is pending for the party’s new state leader in New South Wales, which will pit Kogarah MP Chris Minns against Strathfield MP Jodi McKay. The members’ ballot will be conducted over the next month, the parliamentary party will hold its vote on June 29, and the result will be announced the following day. Members’ ballots in leadership contests are now provided for federally and in most states (as best as I can tell, South Australia is an exception), but this is only the second time one has actually been conducted after the Shorten-Albanese bout that followed the 2013 election. As the Albanese experience demonstrates, the ballots can be circumvented if a candidate emerges unopposed, and the New South Wales branch, for one, has an exception if the vacancy arises six months before an election. Such was the case when Michael Daley succeeded Luke Foley in November, when he won a party room vote ahead of Chris Minns by 33 votes to 12.

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.

999 comments on “Election plus 11 days”

  1. Alpha Zero says:
    Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 9:49 am
    Briefly,

    Try welcoming them in rather than trying to repel.

    This has failed already. They do not wish to work with Labor. They wish to destroy it.

  2. briefly

    Scapegoating the Greens for Labor failures will not help Labor to move on.

    Thats about as sensible as I can get with your ravings ignoring we don’t have first past the post voting but rather preferential voting and that the preferences of Greens voters keeps getting Labor people elected.

    Yes I have to say ravings because you are ignoring this simple fact of arithmetic that gets Labor members elected and in fact Greens like Adam Bandt elected as Labor people preference Greens too.

  3. lizzie says:
    Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 9:51 am
    There is no way the Greens can be totally blamed for Labor’s defeat.

    They were one of several factors. But they got what they wanted, which was disruption in QLD. They convinced QLD that Labor is opposed to their economic interests. The prize for their success is a new LNP Government. They got what they sought – the defeat of Labor.

    Not a single G voice has denied this. Not one. They want it. They are delighted by it.

  4. lizzie

    The beauty of “It was all the Greens fault” means that losing the election was all “somebody else’s fault” . 🙁

  5. poroti @ #602 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 9:55 am

    lizzie

    The beauty of “It was all the Greens fault” is that losing the election was all “somebody else’s fault” . 🙁

    No one hear ever said that and you know it. Labor has copped a lot of the blame, as they should have, but The Greens need to man up and accept their fair share.

  6. An element of dysfunction on the Left is denial that it exists. It does exist. It will keep Labor from power for as long as it operates.

    We’re fucked, ladies and gentlemen. We are fucked.

  7. Cat

    You do denial well. Labor losing a Federal election because of what the LNP describes as feral or extreme Greens being a Labor fail says it all about how much Labor is letting the LNP and the right run Labor’s narrative about politics.

  8. YBob @ #595 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 9:48 am

    Hiya all, just a random thought, the ABC’s “well take you there” jingle samples and totally destroys one of the great Ska tunes “liquidator”

    Because everything the ABC appropriates from Britain gets traduced and devalued. Look at QandA. Now just a mouthpiece for questions BY Liberals, TO Liberals.

  9. briefly

    An even more dangerous enemy now is the rise of the religious right: the narrow-minded, supercilious tribe such as Ferranti Wells and Morrison.

  10. guytaur @ #605 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 9:59 am

    Cat

    You do denial well. Labor losing a Federal election because of what the LNP describes as feral or extreme Greens being a Labor fail says it all about how much Labor is letting the LNP and the right run Labor’s narrative about politics.

    As if.

    Your snippy little epithets run straight off this little black c@t’s back, guytaur. You don’t have all the answers. No one does. Which is kin of what I was trying to say. Obviously it went straight over your head.

  11. Voice Endeavour @ #579 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 9:17 am

    @ltep – it’s possible they will amend the Act.

    I believe the main argument they took to court is that mounting solar panels (not connecting them) is mechanical work, not electrical. Therefore the electrical safety act can’t apply.

    It’d be pretty hard to amend the electrical safety act to apply to mechanical safety without opening up several cans of worms and looking foolish.

    I think they’ll chalk it up as a loss and work out some other subsidies for coal miners and coal mining regions (such as the royalty freeze in return for the voluntary pork barreling as discussed in the budget)

    This argument is not about the coal industry. The regulation was sought by the ETU to protect the jobs of electrical tradespeople, who are apparently not as worth of protection as coal miners.

    If you want to criticise it as “protecting union mates or something), at least get the facts right

  12. Cat

    Your reply again shows exactly my point. Labor is letting itself be labelled as running the Greens agenda.

    If Labor does not agree with the Greens agenda it should say so not blame the Greens because the issue got aired during an election.

  13. C@t, indeed, although I think they have just ripped a tune from some random “band” that itself ripped off the original and then totally destroyed it.
    Either way, I the jingle annoying and not a patch on the original.

  14. YBob @ #613 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 10:06 am

    C@t, indeed, although I think they have just ripped a tune from some random “band” that itself ripped off the original and then totally destroyed it.
    Either way, I the jingle annoying and not a patch on the original.

    Is nothing sacred any more!?! 😆

    At least Coles play the originals. I heard Madness’ Our House this morning. Bliss. 🙂

  15. It would be more than a little strange if Jim Chalmers family responsibilities prohibited him from being deputy leader, but allowed him the time to commit to a shadow treasurer’s position.

  16. While I’m on random thoughts, have any other Bludgers had the mis-fortune to stumbled across the Youtuber called “Heise Says” ?
    The bloke seems to be a Alan Jones wannabe. Based in QLD, I think, he has the same vomit inducing obsession with Melbourne’s “African Gangs” that Dopey Dutton has.

  17. If the rest of Australia recognised that the prejudices of Queensland need to be respected above all other things there would probably still be an apartheid system up there.

  18. “briefly says:
    Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 9:38 am
    Matt…..you’re mistaken about the Lib-kin. They originated as a Labor breakaway. They detest Labor and hope to destroy it. They despise working people and contrive to thwart them politically and in every other way. Labor will not win another federal election if the Lib-kin have anything to do with it.”

    This must be a double bluff. Are you really Green-kin?

    You are helping them mightily on this forum (to those few on PB who do not have set-in-concrete views)

    Silly, IMHO

  19. C@t, of course The Specials did a splendid cover of Liquidator. Not much beats the music that came out of Brittan in the late 70’s and early 80’s

  20. Not Sure @ #616 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 10:10 am

    It would be more than a little strange if Jim Chalmers family responsibilities prohibited him from being deputy leader, but allowed him the time to commit to a shadow treasurer’s position.

    Was thinking along the same lines.
    Expect Scrotty to resign any day now because he has a young family.

  21. guytaur @ #612 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 10:05 am

    If Labor does not agree with the Greens agenda it should say so not blame the Greens because the issue got aired during an election.

    On the one hand, sure. On the other, it was really poor strategy by the Greens to run their caravan thingy in the middle of an election campaign the election campaign that could have delivered a more workable, left-wing government for them to deal with.

    And also really poor politicking from both Labor and the Greens for not playing up the harassing and violent acts committed against the caravan and tarring the Coalition and all of the right with them. Especially each and every time the right uses their overboard hyperbole to describe the greens as extremists who are “worse than One Nation”.

  22. It may turn out that my intuition of 77 seats was on the money. Lol!
    I was really hoping that it was going to be in the Labor column, even though my instincts were telling me otherwise. Sigh………

  23. ar

    The point is it does not matter how good or bad the Greens strategy is. Its not Labor’s strategy and Labor has to stop letting the media and the LNP say it is.

  24. Jesus, here come the happy clappers and religious nutters. Amusing to see Abetz planning a law to prevent employers enforcing their own policy framework.

  25. Ybob

    I haven’t seen him yet. Doubt I would learn anything from listening to him either.

    It would be refreshing if these problems were looked at in the context of what are the real issues.

    What really irks me generally is that the problem in Melbourne is much like other places.

    The scourge of organised crime encompassing drugs, extortion rackets and car jacking of luxury cars on behalf of these crime syndicates. These young African guys are the patsies and doing the bidding of the bikie gangs and crime syndicates. It has nothing to do with a race issue.

  26. lizzie says:
    Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:01 am
    briefly

    An even more dangerous enemy now is the rise of the religious right: the narrow-minded, supercilious tribe such as Ferranti Wells and Morrison.

    ON attract religious bigots, who run alongside – really, are twinned with – National Socialists. It is expressed as Islamophobia. It is Pentecostal zealotry. The zealots occupy parts of the LNP and ON. They are a threat to humanist, liberal values. They despise Labor. They despise the Lib-kin.

  27. Dan Gulberry

    I’m still spewing missing out on seeing The Cure at vivid in Sydney this past week.
    Due to son getting married and all. Damn it!

  28. Vic, This person seems to be a Shock-Jock wanna be, you’re not missing much if you haven’t heard him yet.
    But I cant understand the obsession that QLD LNP types have about Melbourne.

  29. Ybob

    The obsession is because Queensland voters might learn something. So its label and demonise Melbourne people. Divide and conquer. No lets listen to an outsider they might actually have a point.

  30. PaulTu says:
    Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:12 am
    “briefly says:
    Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 9:38 am
    Matt…..you’re mistaken about the Lib-kin. They originated as a Labor breakaway. They detest Labor and hope to destroy it. They despise working people and contrive to thwart them politically and in every other way. Labor will not win another federal election if the Lib-kin have anything to do with it.”

    This must be a double bluff. Are you really Green-kin?

    You are helping them mightily on this forum (to those few on PB who do not have set-in-concrete views)

    Silly, IMHO

    The Greens make no bones about it. They want to stop the election of Labor. Ask them. The result is not anomalous. They sought it. Their campaign was intended to produce defeat for Labor in QLD. It worked.

    As long as dysfunction persists, Labor will not win another election.

    The Right are winning. The Greens are helping them do it. Everything that Labor achieved in the 20th century is at risk. Everything.

  31. “a r says:
    “Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:18 am
    guytaur @ #612 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 10:05 am

    If Labor does not agree with the Greens agenda it should say so not blame the Greens because the issue got aired during an election.”

    On the one hand, sure. On the other, it was really poor strategy by the Greens to run their caravan thingy in the middle of an election campaign the election campaign that could have delivered a more workable, left-wing government for them to deal with.”

    Yes to this.

    The Caravan thingey might not have hurt the Green’s vote directly (perhaps in Qld, but offset elsewhere … maybe) , but probably did hurt key Green objectives.

    Not a deliberate act, but just a poorly thought out strategy (if much thinking actually happened).

  32. a r @ #623 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 8:18 am

    guytaur @ #612 Thursday, May 30th, 2019 – 10:05 am

    On the other, it was really poor strategy by the Greens to run their caravan thingy in the middle of an election campaign the election campaign that could have delivered a more workable, left-wing government for them to deal with.

    Whereas I agree that the Convoy Of Stupidity didn’t help, I think you’re overemphasising how much damage it did.

    Most of the damage was done by a set of policies, which while economically sensible, were electoral poison and never fully explained. Bowen uttering “if you don’t like it, don’t vote Labor” was a far more stupid act than the Greens stunt.

    These things coupled with a campaign that was the weakest I’ve ever witnessed from Labor and the unions, alongside a far more effective media blitz from the Libs and Palmer played a far greater role.

  33. Ybob

    It’s actually very easy to see why they focus on this. Pure racism.

    The police here in Victoria have a good track record of catching these types of criminals. What happens thereafter in court, is beyond their control.

    Areas where results are not as forthcoming or out in the public arena, relate to shootings between factional groups in the underworld.
    Obviously as this area of crime enforcement is much more convoluted and complex.

    You only have to look at the whole Mokbel gangland war era to see where that is all headed.

  34. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/folau-s-law-coalition-mps-push-for-bolder-action-in-a-new-dawn-for-religious-freedom-20190529-p51s9m.html

    The Labor Party should oppose this attempt to normalize bigotry. However it should engage with religious conservatives in a respectful way, why such bigotry is unacceptable in this society, along with the questionable interpretations of certain biblical passages to justify it as well. Since a lot of them can be reasoned with and generally aren’t hateful people as such, unlike a lot of One Nation voters (who are frankly quite racist and hateful).

    Anthony Albanese I have read is really good at this, for example; he is willing to debate Greek Orthodox Priests about Same Sex Marriage. I have no doubt if he took the challenge, he would persuade a lot of Conservative religious people, that Homophobia and other forms of bigotry are wrong.

  35. I am at pains to implement guytaur’s strategy. Labor have to make it very clear that they are not Pale Green. They have to make it clear that it is not possible to support the Greens and Labor at the same time; that G-campaigns are inimical to Labor, to social justice, to social democracy, to economic progress, to effective action against climate change.

    The Gs are an opponent of Labor. This has to be expressed in the strongest terms.

  36. briefly

    You are at pains to make out I am a Green party person. Its far from the case and is in fact another sign of your delusion.

    The fact you keep trying to label someone who is just a voter putting his personal opinion as a Green party spokesperson says it all about your out of touch approach to politics and why you drive voters away from Labor.

  37. @ajm. There were multiple aims.

    Help the ETU was one of them.

    Supporting the government owned coal generators was another.

    Subsidies for coal mining communities was another.

    I was only focusing on one, when you are right, I should have been criticising them for all three

  38. guytaur says:
    Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:41 am
    briefly

    You are at pains to make out I am a Green party person.

    No I’m not. I don’t give a rats what you are.

  39. This is why Australia needed to vote for the ALP. Climate action needs global agreements in an era when international relations is a house of cards. Australia skipping class on climate action will have a noticeable effect on global efforts which is already under pressure from the greatest threat to the future of the planet – Trump.

    The Ohio House approved a bill Wednesday to gut clean energy standards and subsidize at-risk nuclear and coal plants after a last-minute push from a Trump reelection official to secure its passage.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/29/ohio-coal-nuclear-trump-1347274

    Australia does matter. We do count. We must act.

  40. nath says:
    Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 10:11 am
    If the rest of Australia recognised that the prejudices of Queensland need to be respected above all other things there would probably still be an apartheid system up there.
    —————————————
    Nath, If a convoy of Queenslanders drove down to Victoria to campaign against the use of brown coal what sort of reception do you think they would get. The damage done by the Bob Browne convoy of arrogance can not be ignored. Even Queenslanders who oppose Adani were angered by it. The Greens once again showed their complete absence of political nous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *