Federal election plus two months

Western Australia and the Northern Territory set to lose seats in the House of Reps; Liberals jockey for Senate preselection; foul cried in Kooyong; and latest despatches from the great pollster crisis.

Quite a bit to report of late, starting out with federal redistribution prospects for the coming term:

• The Australian Parliamentary Library has published a research paper on the likely outcome of the state and territory seat entitlement determinations when they are calculated in the middle of the next year. The conclusion reached is as it was when I did something similar in January: that Western Australia is sure to lose the sixteenth seat it gained in 2016; that Victoria will sneak over the line to gain a thirty-ninth (and its second in consecutive electoral cycles, a prodigiousness once associated with Queensland); and the Northern Territory will fall below it and lose one of its two seats.

The West Australian reports Liberal and Labor will respectively be lobbying for Burt and Hasluck to be abolished, though given the two are neighbours, this is perhaps a fine distinction – the effect of either might be to put Matt Keogh and Ken Wyatt in competition for an effectively merged seat. The view seems to be that an eastern suburbs seat would be easiest to cut, as the core electorates of the metropolitan area are strongly defined by rivers and the sea, and three seats are needed to account for the state’s periphery. (There was also a new set of state boundaries for Western Australia published on Friday, which you can read all about here).

• The predicted outcome in the Northern Territory, whose population has taken a battering since the end of the resources construction boom, would leave its single electorate with an enrolment nearly 30% above the national norm – an awkward look for what would also be the country’s most heavily indigenous electorate. The Northern Territory has had two electorates since 1996, but came close to losing one in 2003 when its population fell just 295 below the entitlement threshold. This was averted through a light legislative tweak, but this time the population shortfall is projected to approach 5000.

Poll news:

• The word from Essential Research that its voting intention numbers will resume in “a month or two”. Curiously, its public line is that its reform efforts are focused on its “two-party preferred modelling”, when the pollsters’ critical failures came on the primary vote.

Kevin Bonham laments the crisis-what-crisis stance adopted by The Australian and YouGov Galaxy upon the return of Newspoll. My own coverage of the matter was featured in a paywalled Crikey article on Monday, which concluded thus:

In the past, YouGov Galaxy has felt able to justify the opaqueness of its methods on the grounds that its “track record speaks for itself”. That justification will be finding far fewer takers today than it did before the great shock of May 18.

• Liberal insiders have been spruiking their success in winning back the support of working mothers as the key to their election win, as related through an account of internal party research in the Age/Herald. However, Jill Sheppard at the Australian National University retorts that the numbers cited are quantitative data drawn from qualitative research (specifically focus groups), which is assuredly not the right idea.

Preselection news:

• There are six preselection nominees for Mitch Fifield’s Liberal Senate vacancy in Victoria: Sarah Henderson, until recently the member for the Corangamite, and generally reckoned the favourite; Greg Mirabella, former state party vice-president and the husband of Sophie Mirabella, whose prospects were talked up in The Australian last week; Chris Crewther, recently defeated member for Dunkley; state politics veteran and 2018 election casualty Inga Peulich; and, less familiarly, Kyle Hoppitt, John MacIsaac and Mimmie Watts.

• The Australian last week reported a timeline had yet to be set for the preselection to replace Arthur Sinodinos in New South Wales. The Sydney Morning Herald reports Liberal moderates might be planning on backing a candidate of the hard Right, rather than one of their own in James Brown, state RSL president and son-in-law of Malcolm Turnbull. The idea is apparently that the nominee will then go on to muscle aside factional colleague Connie Fierravanti-Wells at preselection for the next election. However, all that’s known of that potential candidate is that it won’t be Jim Molan, who is opposed by feared moderate operator Michael Photios.

• The Sydney Morning Herald report also relates that former Premier Mike Baird’s withdrawal from the race to become chief executive of the National Australia Bank has prompted suggestions he might have his eye on a federal berth in Warringah at the next election. Also said to be interested is state upper house MP Natalie Ward.

Electoral law news:

The Guardian reports that Oliver Yates, independent candidate for Kooyong, is challenging Josh Frydenberg’s win on the grounds that Chinese language signs demonstrating how to vote Liberal looked rather a lot like instructions from the Australian Electoral Commission. The complainant must establish that the communication was “likely to mislead or deceive an elector in relation to the casting of a vote”, which has provided a rich seem of unsuccessful litigation over the decades. It seems it is acknowledged that this is only the test case, in that it is not anticipated the court will overturn the result. Such might have been the case in Chisholm, which was the focal point of complaints about the signs, and where the result was much closer. However, Labor has opted not to press the issue, no doubt because it has little cause to think a by-election would go well for them. Yates’s challenge has been launched days prior to today’s expiry of the 40-day deadline for challenges before the Court of Disputed Returns.

• The difficulty of getting such actions to stick, together with the general tenor of election campaigning in recent years, have encouraged suggestions that a truth-in-advertising regime may be in order, such as operates at state level in South Australia. More from Mike Steketee in Inside Story.

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.

993 comments on “Federal election plus two months”

  1. I’ve also found the conversation that the other quote that has been bandied about by nath, by me, has come from. That is:

    C@tmomma (AnonBlock)
    Thursday, October 18th, 2018 – 5:48 pm
    Comment #524
    I would only pay for birth control for Africans.

    It was made wrt the comment by kezza2 of her dog, Ginnie’s passing. nath made this comment:

    nath
    “I myself have resolved to never have another pet and sponsor several children in Africa and help pay for their education.”

    To which I replied, as above @ 5.48pm. I made the comment that I did because I am a believer in the availability of birth control, and, as such, I said I would rather pay for birth control for Africans, rather than their kids. For those that want it, of course.

    Simple as that really.

    But, oo er, I sound like some sort of crazy eugenicist when the comment is taken out of context, as nath has done. 🙄

    Okay, back to my other bit of detective work.

  2. C@tmomma
    To which I replied, as above @ 5.48pm. I made the comment that I did because I am a believer in the availability of birth control, and, as such, I said I would rather pay for birth control for Africans, rather than their kids. For those that want it, of course.
    Simple as that really.
    _____________
    You didn’t say ‘rather’, you said ‘only’. Thereby saying that the only charitable cause that would get you to give money to Africa would be to limit the population of Africans. Your words not mine.

  3. As usual, TPOF was the voice of reason:

    TPOF (Block)
    Thursday, October 18th, 2018 – 6:25 pm
    Comment #574
    I can’t help but notice how many regular posters have just serenely ignored this outrageous statement

    _______________________________________

    I’ve actually given it some thought now. I don’t see anything wrong with it in a broader context. And by ‘broader context’, I mean the religion-driven denial of any aid program which provides means and education on birth control, especially in places like Africa. If C@t had said something like ‘forced sterilisation’ or the like, it would be justified criticism. But merely making birth control (such as the pill and, horrors, safe and legal abortion) available to women who want and need it but are denied it for gross ideological reasons is something to be cheered for, not attacked with faux right-wing outrage.

  4. C@tmomma:

    [And I tend to think that sometimes you get carried away with being PB judge and jury.’]

    I call it as I see it. I do, though, respect another’s opinion, like yours, due to you being a Labor warrior, though I do descent from time to time.

  5. nath @ #955 Friday, August 2nd, 2019 – 9:41 pm

    C@tmomma
    To which I replied, as above @ 5.48pm. I made the comment that I did because I am a believer in the availability of birth control, and, as such, I said I would rather pay for birth control for Africans, rather than their kids. For those that want it, of course.
    Simple as that really.
    _____________
    You didn’t say ‘rather’, you said ‘only’. Thereby saying that the only charitable cause that would get you to give money to Africa would be to limit the population of Africans. Your words not mine.

    1. I said ‘only’ because the Africans are some of the poorest people in the world, and as I am poor also, I said ‘only’ because if I had to make a choice what to do with my meagre resources I would ‘only’ pay for birth control for poor Africans who can’t afford it. As my clarifying comment from 7.01pm on that day proves:

    C@tmomma (Block)
    Thursday, October 18th, 2018 – 7:01 pm
    Comment #615
    a r @ #566 Thursday, October 18th, 2018 – 6:19 pm

    frednk @ #557 Thursday, October 18th, 2018 – 6:13 pm

    I think of the three options birth control is the winner.

    Yes, but for everyone. Not just for particular regions, countries, or ethnicities.

    Although that original comment seemed to come out of nowhere? An answer to a question nobody had asked.

    Fyi, it came from nath’s comment that he would rather sponsor children in Africa than have a pet. Which is fine for him to think that, his life, his choice and all that. However, it led me to think about what I would rather do if my money went to Africa for something, in the child-related area, and I chose birth control. I thought about adding safe access to abortion but considered that a bridge too far wrt the religious connotations, and, yes, I know birth control is frowned upon as well but not so much.

    And, yes, spread the birth control love around the world! It is one of Science’s greatest inventions!

    So, nath, you can try and make a case out of very thin gruel but I think you’d get laughed out of court.

  6. Andrew_Earlwood says:
    Friday, May 17, 2019 at 10:20 am
    OK – after a fortnight of bed wetting and the squirts I reckon its pretty clear that Labor is headed for a comfortable, but perhaps narrow, win in the wash up. Dispatches from Bluey’s occie pool will prove prescient I think: it m,any even be slightly better than that.

    There are three reasons why I’m confident.

    1. Even allowing for poll herding, there is no evidence that suggests that the Liberal’s scare campaign can get national Labor 2PP vote below 51%. In fact, 51% rely on some dubious polling methodology: It’s going to be closer to 52% at least. Moreover, ‘the narrowing has statistically stalled over the past 3 weeks: “ScoMotion” is at a dead end. I know reckon that the Liberal attack ads did all their damage in the first 3 weeks after the budget and are not shifting any more votes. I hope.

    2. There is no evidence to suggest that the LNP national primary vote is owing to surge way past 40%. The best they have been able to achieve in any poll is 39% and I reckon that’s overstating it: they are looking at a 4-5% drop on primaries since 2016 and are only being kept in the game by heroic assumption of where the ON, UAP, Katter and others vote will preference. The reality is that those crazies are no where as disciplined with their preference allocations in the same way as the Greens are. On the other hand, Ipsos and one rouge Essential poll aside, it seems clear that Labor is looking at a PV of 37-38%: a 2-3% increase over 2016. I reckon the Greens are headed for a status quo on their nation PV. Long story short, that national tide will make it very very difficult for the Government to sandbag enough of its vulnerable marginals whilst also picking up some seats off labor where allegedly Labor is vulnerable. Which leads us to:

    3. This week’s individual seat polls. Seat polls are shit. We all know that. We also know that each of the polling companies that have undertaken seat polls have an incorrect methodology bias that favours the LNP and underestimates support for Labor and the Greens. HOWEVER: the 15 seat polls released yesterday clearly show two important trends: namely that THE SWING IS ON in Victoria, SE Queensland and Perth. Secondly, the LNP’s performance is actually very scratchy in the rest of the country: of Labor’s six most vulnerable seats it is really really difficult to see the LNP picking up more than 3 (my bones tell me that it will actually be 0-1). On the other hand the ‘rest of Australia’ seems to indicate that Labor still has a shot at a dozen or so Liberal seats outside Victoria, SEQ and Perth.

    In short, while I cant predict which of the 16 or so seats in Victoria, SEQ and Perth Labor will pick up I am confident that they will pick up at least 8. I’m also confident that Labor will have a net seat gain over the rest of the country & certainly wont go backwards. That’s majority government right there. The only question is where exactly Labor will land between 77 and 85 seats.

    Of course, Bob’s passing will hopefully remind folk of the time when they understood that pursuing material wealth for themselves and their families is not inconsistent with helping out their fellow citizens and with progressing the National Interest in areas of health, education, infrastructure development and environmental protection. I’m hoping they reflect on that and vote Labor in unprecedented numbers: thereby bringing about my prediction of Labor with 127 seats!
    ________________________________________
    Some people on PB just have N.F.I wouldn’t you agree Mr Earlwood?

  7. C@tmomma says:
    Friday, May 17, 2019 at 10:33 am
    Andrew_Earlwood @ #272 Friday, May 17th, 2019 – 10:27 am

    “#Galaxy Poll Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 39 (+2) ALP 37 (0) GRN 9 (0) ON 3 (-1) UAP 3 (-1)”

    The government is fucked on those primaries. That actually very much looks like a 52-48 result on last election preferences.
    Especially as the trend is not the friend of PHON or the Palmer Party.
    ________________________________________
    and sometimes the camp followers just don’t get it….

  8. Lars Von Trier @ #963 Friday, August 2nd, 2019 – 10:05 pm

    C@tmomma says:
    Friday, May 17, 2019 at 10:33 am
    Andrew_Earlwood @ #272 Friday, May 17th, 2019 – 10:27 am

    “#Galaxy Poll Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 39 (+2) ALP 37 (0) GRN 9 (0) ON 3 (-1) UAP 3 (-1)”

    The government is fucked on those primaries. That actually very much looks like a 52-48 result on last election preferences.
    Especially as the trend is not the friend of PHON or the Palmer Party.
    ________________________________________
    and sometimes the camp followers just don’t get it….

    Honestly? You’re trying that one on? After virtually the whole nation, as well as us here, were misled by the polls!?!

    😆 😆 😆

  9. Well zoomster, I think if you look at the record, I indicated that the Sawford formula pointed to an LNP win and I was shouted down (metaphorically ) on PB.

  10. But! But! nath always had such nice things to say about Bill Shorten:

    nath (AnonBlock)
    Friday, October 19th, 2018 – 9:05 am
    Comment #913
    Bill Shorten may be the next PM but I for one would like an audit of the silverware at Kirribilli when his term is over.

  11. nath says:
    Friday, August 2, 2019 at 10:10 pm
    How’s the search going C@t? Should we set a deadline for your investigation and the delivery of your apology?
    _____________________
    I think that’s fair and I so find!

    Discovery required by 10am tomorrow c@t.

  12. sprocket_ says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm
    The Premier State was always going to come through – my hopeful tips

    Robertson, Reid, Gilmore and Banks to ALP; with Indies in Warringah, Cowper and maybe Farrer. Wentworth back to the Libs, ALP holds Lindsay and everything else. Maybe Page to the Greens.
    ______________________
    Of course little sprocket for once ventured a wildly misinformed opinion instead of the usual copy and paste!

  13. cat:

    [‘‘dissent’. I’m also a spelling nazi. ‘]

    I sin from time to time, yet I never attribute same to that bugger “Grammarly”, that lets me down. From my former profession, now retired, I should know better. But after a few reds, I tend to become human?

  14. C@tmomma says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 5:57 am
    C’mon NSW! You can do it! 53-47! Today is the day, tonight is the night. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And the man is Bill Shorten!
    ____________________
    Is this the post your looking for c@t? Do you have a rough time line your looking for?

  15. Lars Von Trier @ #974 Friday, August 2nd, 2019 – 10:25 pm

    C@tmomma says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 5:57 am
    C’mon NSW! You can do it! 53-47! Today is the day, tonight is the night. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And the man is Bill Shorten!
    ____________________
    Is this the post your looking for c@t? Do you have a rough time line your looking for?

    Thank you for reminding me that I, like about 99% of the rest of Australia, was wrong. 🙄

  16. I’m going to bed.
    __________________
    I’m willing for the investigation to go on for six months or more. You won’t find it. It doesn’t exist.

  17. Is that all you got Lars, you feckless wonder? Wow, I was wrong in trusting the published polls over my political instincts that I had actually posted on this site over the previous three weeks of the election campaign.

    You might also remember my fulsome mia culpa that you complimented me on After the election.

    Anyways, on nath: I don’t always mind his anti labor or anti Shorten digs – told the first time they were often funny; just their repetition – which is only done to get a reaction from Zoomster and C@t.

  18. “This sententious observation is not helpful.”

    Do you have any insight into just how sententious that remark was Nicholas? On par with your comments about anyone not 100% woke with the MMT Kool-aid or with Jezza and the Bern …

  19. I certainly don’t practice law in Bludger Mavis.

    Calling me pretentious is pretty risible coming from you. The Chutzpah!

  20. Lars
    I don’t think there is much to gain for taking cracks at people that got the May result incorrect because based on recent political history and on how the government had performed it was expected by many people inside and outside the political community that thought Shorten would now be PM.

    A few weeks after the election I caught up with a mate that is a blue blooded old school tory with close ties to well known Liberals and he was shocked by the result, he even had money on the ALP to win.

    The result was a surprise because in someways it defied political wisdom about the difficulties for governments seeking a third term with the added difficulty of needing a swing to be returned.

    Morrison’s win was quite remarkable under the circumstances.

  21. Hmmm….. is it nath or LVT that is Andrew Bolt in drag???

    They are both quite unjustifiably full of themselves, have inner bitches that float far too close to the surface. The delusional psychopathology is sick but can be interesting to watch in much the same way as that of the garden variety RWNuttjobbies of the day.

  22. Right, so: somebody holds a gun to your beloved pet’s head and says “Give me a prediction right now for every upcoming election in Australia, or Tiddles gets it!” Here are mine…

    NT: Despite its gargantuan majority, Labor seems to be doing whatever it can to seal its fate as a one-term government. Let’s call it a hung Parliament, with most crossbenchers supporting the CLP.

    ACT: Labor to hold on again, but the Labor/Green majority to be pared back to one seat.

    Tasmania: Despite my personal liking of Rebecca White, I acknowledge her probable status as a political cadaver. Labor to lose again under her, or form a minority government under a new leader.

    SA: Slightly increased Liberal majority, barring any outbreak of “Brown vs Olsen”-style turmoil.

    WA: Labor really have nowhere to go but down – retain with a (possibly greatly) reduced majority.

    Queensland: Fittingly enough, Labor’s reinstatement of compulsory preferential voting to see them defeated via One Nation preferences.

    Victoria: Same as WA, pretty much.

    NSW: Ready to snatch the “jewel in the Liberal crown” title from WA. Another comfortable Lib win, with the Sussex St mob’s reputation remaining as tarnished as ever.

    The big one: Labor may be hopeful based on analyses likening 2019 to 1993 and 2004, but so far, unlike in 1996 or 2007, the opposition doesn’t seem to have learned any of the right lessons from their defeat. Moreover, as sickened as I am by the prospect, I see in Morrison the potential to become the most personally popular figurehead since Hawke. For the time being, I’m predicting an increased Coalition majority.

  23. Tendentious….

    Definition of tendentious. : marked by a tendency in favor of a particular point of view : biased.

    Example….Nicholas, especially his usage of the term “sententious”.

  24. @7NewsAustralia
    · 9h
    The Federal Government has opened the door to Australia developing a nuclear energy industry. 7NEWS can exclusively reveal a joint parliamentary inquiry has been commissioned to investigate whether Australia should build nuclear power plants. @Riley7News #7NEWS

    How many millions does Angus Taylor energy minister expect to make from this development?

  25. itsthevibe

    as sickened as I am by the prospect, I see in Morrison the potential to become the most personally popular figurehead since Hawke.

    What a dreadful thought. He’s not even a genuine larrikin.

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