Call of the board: Melbourne

More gory detail on the result of the May 18 federal election, this time focusing on Melbourne, where an anticipated election-winning swing to Labor crucially failed to materialise.

Time for part four in the series that reviews the result of the May 18 election seat by seat, one chunk at a time. As will be the routine in posts covering the capital cities, we start with a colour-coded map showing the two-party preferred swing at polling booth level, with each booth allocated a geographic catchment area by means explained in the first post in this series. Click for an enlarged image.

Now to compare actual election results to those predicted by a demographic linear regression model, to help identify where candidate or local factors might be needed to explain the result. I now offer a new-and-improved form of the model that includes interaction effects to account for the differences in demographic effects between the cities and the regions. The utility of the change, if any, will become more apparent when I apply it to regional seats, which confounded the original version of the model. The coefficients and what-have-you can be viewed here – the table below shows the modelled predictions and actual results for Labor two-party preferred, ranked in order of difference between the result and the prediction of the model.

The main eyebrow-raisers are that the model anticipates a stronger performance by Labor in nearly every Liberal-held seats, to the extent that blue-ribbon Higgins and Goldstein are both rated as naturally highly marginal. While this could prove a portent of things to come in these seats, it might equally reflect a model leaning too heavily on the “secular/no religion” variable to cancel out the association between income and Liberal support in the inner cities.

As in Sydney, the numbers provide strong indications of incumbency advantages, with both Labor and Liberal members tending to outperform the model and thus appear at opposite ends of the table. I suspect this reflects both the obvious explanation, namely personal votes for sitting members, and a lack of effort by the parties into each other’s safe seats. A tendency for parties to perform more modestly when a seat is being vacated is not so overwhelming as to prevent strong results relative to the model for Labor in Jagajaga and Liberal in Higgins.

With that out of the way:

Aston (Liberal 10.1%; 2.7% swing to Liberal): Aston attracted a lot of discussion after the 2004 election when the Liberals recorded a higher two-party vote than they did in their jewel-in-the-crown seat of Kooyong. Now, for the first time since then, it’s happened again, and by a fairly substantial margin (the Liberal-versus-Labor margin in Kooyong having been 6.7%). As illustrated in the above table, the swing places Alan Tudge’s margin well beyond what the seat’s demographic indicators would lead you to expect.

Bruce (Labor 14.2%; 0.1% swing to Labor): Located at the point of the outer suburbs where the Labor swing dries up, cancelling out any half-sophomore effect that may have been coming Julian Hill’s way after he came to the seat in 2016.

Calwell (Labor 18.8%; 0.9% swing to Liberal): Among the modest number of Melbourne seats to swing to the Liberals, reflecting its multiculturalism and location at the city’s edge. Maria Vamvakinou nonetheless retains the fifth biggest Labor margin in the country.

Chisholm (Liberal 0.6%; 2.3% swing to Labor): Labor’s failure to win Chisholm after it was vacated by Julia Banks was among their most disappointing results of the election, but the result was entirely within the normal range both for Melbourne’s middle suburbs and a seat of its particular demographic profile. The swing to Labor was concentrated at the northern end of the electorate, which may or may not have something to do with this being the slightly less Chinese end of the electorate.

Cooper (Labor 14.6% versus Greens; 13.4% swing to Labor): With David Feeney gone and Ged Kearney entrenched, the door seems to have slammed shut on the Greens in the seat formerly known as Batman. After recording high thirties primary votes at both the 2016 election and 2018 by-election, the Greens crashed to 21.1%, while Kearney was up from 43.1% at the by-election to 46.8%, despite the fact the Liberals were in the field this time and polling 19.5%. In Labor-versus-Liberal terms, a 4.2% swing to Labor boosted the margin to 25.9%, the highest in the country.

Deakin (Liberal 4.8%; 1.7% swing to Labor): While Melburnian backers of the coup against Malcolm Turnbull did not suffer the retribution anticipated after the state election, it may at least be noted that Michael Sukkar’s seat swung the other way from its demographically similar neighbour, Aston. That said, Sukkar’s 4.8% margin strongly outperforms the prediction of the demographic model, which picks the seat for marginal Labor.

Dunkley (LABOR NOTIONAL GAIN 2.7%; 1.7% swing to Labor): Together with Corangamite, Dunkley was one of only two Victorian seats gained by Labor on any reckoning, and even they can be excluded if post-redistribution margins are counted as the starting point. With quite a few other outer urban seats going the other way, and a part-sophomore effect to be anticipated after he succeeded Bruce Billson in 2016, it might be thought an under-achievement on Chris Crewther’s part that he failed to hold out the tide, notwithstanding the near universal expectation he would lose. However, his performance was well beyond that predicted by the demographic model, which estimates the Labor margin at 6.6%.

Fraser (Labor 14.2%; 6.1% swing to Liberal): Newly created seat in safe Labor territory in western Melbourne, it seemed Labor felt the loss here of its sitting members: Bill Shorten in Maribyrnong, which provided 34% of the voters; Maria Vamvakinou in Calwell, providing 29%; Tim Watts in Gellibrand, providing 20%; and Brendan O’Connor in Gorton, providing 16%. The newly elected member, Daniel Mulino, copped the biggest swing against Labor in Victoria, reducing the seat from first to eleventh on the national list of safest Labor seats.

Gellibrand (Labor 14.8%; 0.3% swing to Liberal): The city end of Gellibrand followed the inner urban pattern in swinging to Labor, but the suburbia at the Point Cook end of the electorate tended to lean the other way, producing a stable result for third-term Labor member Tim Watts.

Goldstein (Liberal 7.8%; 4.9% swing to Labor): Tim Wilson met the full force of the inner urban swing against the Liberals, more than accounting for any sophomore effect he might have enjoyed in the seat where he succeeded Andrew Robb in 2016. Nonetheless, he maintained a primary vote majority in a seat which, since its creation in 1984, has only failed to do when David Kemp muscled Ian Macphee aside in 1990.

Gorton (Labor 15.4%; 3.0% swing to Liberal): The swing against Brendan O’Connor was fairly typical of the outer suburbs. An independent, Jarrod Bingham, managed 8.8%, with 59.2% of his preferences going to Labor.

Higgins (Liberal 3.9%; 6.1% swing to Labor): One of many blue-ribbon seats that swung hard against the Liberals without putting them in serious danger. Nonetheless, it is notable that the 3.9% debut margin for Katie Allen, who succeeds Kelly O’Dwyer, is the lowest the Liberals have recorded since the seat’s creation in 1949, surpassing Peter Costello’s 7.0% with the defeat of the Howard government in 2007. Labor returned to second place after falling to third in 2016, their primary up from 14.9% to 25.4%, while the Greens were down from 25.3% to 22.5%. This reflected a pattern through much of inner Melbourne, excepting Melbourne and Kooyong.

Holt (Labor 8.7%; 1.2% swing to Liberal): The populous, northern end of Holt formed part of a band of south-eastern suburbia that defied the Melbourne trend in swinging to Liberal, causing a manageable cut to Anthony Byrne’s margin.

Hotham (Labor 5.9%; 1.7% swing to Labor): The swing to third-term Labor member Clare O’Neil was concentrated at the northern end of the electorate, with the lower-income Vietnamese area around Springvale in the south went the other way.

Isaacs (Labor 12.7%; 3.4% swing to Labor): What I have frequently referred to as an inner urban effect actually extended all along the bayside, contributing to a healthy swing to Mark Dreyfus. The Liberal primary vote was down 7.4%, partly reflecting more minor party competition than in 2016. This was an interesting case where the map shows a clear change in temperature coinciding with the boundaries, with swings to Labor in Isaacs promptly giving way to Liberal swings across much of Hotham, Bruce and Holt.

Jagajaga (Labor 6.6%; 1.0% swing to Labor): Jenny Macklin’s retirement didn’t have any discernible impact on the result in Jagajaga, which recorded a modest swing to her Labor successor, Kate Thwaites.

Kooyong (Liberal 5.7% versus Greens): Julian Burnside defied a general Melburnian trend in adding 2.6% to the Greens primary vote, and did so in the face of competition for the environmental vote from independent Oliver Yates, whose high profile campaign yielded only 9.0%. Labor was down 3.7% to 16.8%, adrift of Burnside’s 21.2%. But with Josh Frydenberg still commanding 49.4% of the primary vote even after an 8.3% swing, the result was never in doubt. The Liberal-versus-Labor two-party margin was 6.7%, a 6.2% swing to Labor.

Lalor (Labor 12.4%; 1.8% swing to Liberal): The area around Werribee marks a Liberal swing hot spot in Melbourne’s west, showing up as a slight swing in Lalor against Labor’s Joanne Ryan.

Macnamara (Labor 6.2%; 5.0% swing to Labor): Talked up before the event as a three-horse race, this proved an easy win for Labor, who outpolled the Greens 31.8% to 24.2%, compared with 27.0% to 23.8% last time, then landed 6.2% clear after preferences of the Liberals, who were off 4.6% to 37.4%. The retirement of Michael Danby presumably explains the relatively weak 5.0% primary vote swing to Labor in the seven booths around Caulfield and Elsternwick at the southern end of the electorate, the focal point of its Jewish community. The result for the remainder of the election day booths was 9.7%.

Maribyrnong (Labor 11.2%; 0.8% swing to Liberal): Nothing out of the ordinary happened in the seat of Bill Shorten, who probably owes most of his 5.0% primary vote swing to the fact that there were fewer candidates this time. Typifying the overall result, the Liberals gained swings around Keilor at the electorate’s outer reaches, while Labor was up closer to the city.

Melbourne (Greens 21.8% versus Liberal; 2.8% swing to Greens): The Greens primary vote in Melbourne increased for the seventh successive election, having gone from 6.1% in 1998 to 22.8% when Adam Bandt first ran unsuccessfully in 2007, and now up from 43.7% to 49.3%. I await to be corrected, but I believed this brought Bandt to within an ace of becoming the first Green ever to win a primary vote majority. For the second election in a row, Bandt’s dominance of the left-of-centre vote reduced Labor to third place. On the Labor-versus-Liberal count, Labor gained a negligible 0.1% swing, unusually for a central city seat.

Menzies (Liberal 7.2%; 0.3% swing to Labor): Very little to report from Kevin Andrews’ seat, where the main parties were up slightly on the primary vote against a smaller field, and next to no swing on two-party preferred, with slight Liberal swings around Templestowe in the west of the electorate giving way to slight Labor ones around Warrandyte in the east.

Scullin (Labor 21.7%; 2.1% swing to Labor): Third-term Labor member Andrew Giles managed a swing that was rather against the outer urban trend in his northern Melbourne seat.

Wills (Labor 8.2% versus Greens; 3.2% swing to Labor): The Greens likely missed their opportunity in Wills when Kelvin Thomson retired in 2016, when Labor’s margin was reduced to 4.9%. Peter Khalil having established himself as member, he picked up 6.2% on the primary vote this time while the Greens fell 4.3%. Khalil also picked up a 4.2% swing on the Labor-versus-Liberal count, strong even by inner urban standards, leaving him with the biggest margin on that measure after Ged Kearney in Cooper.

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.

1,431 comments on “Call of the board: Melbourne”

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  1. Thank you for this series of seat post mortems and analysis William. Much appreciated.

    There is an error in the narrative Isaacs ‘swing to’ title, should be Labor.

  2. Mr Bowe may like to have pointed out that Labor’s vote in Melbourne likely went down and over to Bandt as their candidate was forced to withdraw from the race. 😐

  3. It was reassuring to see no religious animus against Peter Khalil in Wills. I wonder also how many people in Hawkie’s old seat voted for Labor as a mark of respect for him?

  4. When Angus Taylor was first promoted to the ministry as Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation in February 2016, he drew on his wealth of knowledge of consultancies to set up the little-known IPFA, the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency. Intrigued by its absence of regular reports, Jommy Tee and Ronni Salt check out this elusive little agency.

    Angus Taylor was also very familiar with performance fees and had established an elaborate web of companies. Performance fees would be paid to companies he had established as the vehicle for his ambitious but unsuccessful attempts to buy Cubbie Station between 2010 to 2012.

    This background is important because when Taylor was promoted to a ministerial position as Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation (February 2016 to December 2017), he drew on his background and in 2017, created one of the least known public sector agencies — the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency (IPFA).

    IPFA is a unique agency. It has no visible achievements, although the management team is paid handsomely, and some in an unusual fashion.

  5. Tanya Plibersek @tanya_plibersek
    Ripping $3 billion from TAFE and training, then putting $70 million back in is not reform
    @ScottMorrisonMP it’s a rip-off.

    When will the Liberals do something serious to fix the skills crisis they have created?

  6. Morning all. Another international travel warning for people going to the US.

    Amnesty International issued an advisory for persons traveling to the United States a few days after a pair of mass shootings in two American cities over the previous weekend left 31 people dead.

    The advisory, published on Aug. 7, was “issued in light of ongoing high levels of gun violence in the [U.S.],” and calls on people worldwide “to exercise caution and have an emergency contingency plan when traveling throughout the USA.”

    Amnesty International urged those traveling to the U.S. to:

    “Be extra vigilant at all times and be aware of the ubiquity of firearms among the population.”
    “Avoid places where large numbers of people gather, especially cultural events, places of worship, schools, and shopping malls.”
    “Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.”

  7. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    It looks like Andrew Hastie’s Nazi comment has upset the Chinese.
    Finding a way to get the China relationship right and not being afraid to talk about the risks in the relationship as well as the opportunities that remain may well be one of Australia’s greatest foreign policy challenges in the next few decades says Professor Anne-Marie Brady who also says Hastie was right to bring the subject up.
    John Hewson begins this contribution with, “Two things are clear in what is happening between the US and China. First, the US is really struggling to come to grips with the rising (risen) China. Second, Donald Trump, contrary to his self-assessment, is not a negotiator’s bootlace.”
    The Age reports that FMMEU chief John Setka will be charged with allegedly receiving secret commissions in another serious blow to the union’s standing. What poison!
    Professor of Workplace Law Anthony Forsyth argues that the @LaLegale High Court decision impacts free speech of all employees.
    Mike Bruce wonders if we heading to a world of zero interest rates.
    The bill to decriminalise abortion passed 59 to 31, but it created a split within the Liberals, with many of the party’s 35 MPs opposing the bill. So it’s upstairs to the nutters now,
    Today the Reserve Bank of Australia faces its toughest parliamentary interrogation yet as both Labor and the Coalition prepare to attack its handling of the economy amid accusations it has failed hundreds of thousands of job seekers.
    The SMH describes how the government’s most recent plan to lift building standards in NSW fails to address the deep problems in the home building industry.
    Bevan Shields looks at the upcoming right wing CPAC conference and who will be there.
    Peter Hannam tells us how a new UN report warns that temperatures over the world’s land areas are warming at about twice the global rate, expanding deserts in Australia, Africa and Asia, and hitting food security hard. Australia is singled out in the report.
    An Australian farming group has called for a fully funded national strategy to deal with climate change and agriculture, warning farmers don’t have enough support to manage increasing risks associated with global heating.
    Michelle Grattan reckons Morrison can learn a lot from the public servants but wonders if he will listen to them.
    A new WA bill on assisted dying draws heavily on the Victorian model. But a few important differences suggest eligible people in WA seeking access to voluntary assisted dying will not have to navigate a process as complex as in Victoria.
    Bob Carr uses this op-ed to laud BHP’s CEO over his position on climate change. But he does bring up the compromising list if the company’s membership of various industry groups that strongly support coal.
    Academic John Langdale writes about the worrying links between Crown casino and the Chinese underworld that is closely related to the high-roller gambling market.
    Meanwhile James Packer’s sale of $1.76 billion of shares in Crown Resorts to Hong Kong gambling tycoon Lawrence Ho is under a cloud as the New South Wales gambling watchdog launches an independent probity investigation that will examine the casino giant’s links to Chinese criminals.
    Richard Denniss posits that conservatives hate red tape – unless it’s to regulate the behaviour of their enemies. A good read.
    The world’s largest ecstasy bust was the result of information from disgraced lawyer Nicola Gobbo, a royal commission has heard.
    In an impassioned contribution Dr Stephen Clibborn writes that tough wage-theft laws will achieve little without greater enforcement.
    Patrick Hatch reports that Coles has accused one of its finance executives of embezzling almost $2 million by brazenly transferring money out of the company and using fraudulent emails in an attempt to cover it up. Top effort!
    Supermarket shoppers love Aldi’s low prices, and that’s a big worry for Coles and Woolworths writes Isabelle Lane.
    Matthew Knott writes that Kevin Rudd has warned us that Trump’s latest tariff hikes and his “dumb” decision to brand China a currency manipulator could plunge Australia into recession for the first time in three decades.
    When Angus Taylor was first promoted to the ministry as Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation in February 2016, he drew on his wealth of knowledge of consultancies to set up the little-known IPFA, the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency. Intrigued by its absence of regular reports, Jommy Tee and Ronni Salt check out this elusive little agency.
    After years of working as a police officer in Kings Cross, Pat Gooley does not want to wind things back to the pre-lockout law days and put lives at risk.
    Here’s an interesting article from James Adonis about danger in the workplace and the ethics of hazard pay.
    Stephanie Peatling reports that the Morrison government will double down on efforts to merge the Family and Federal Circuit courts, with Attorney-General Christian Porter saying “doing nothing is an absolute non-option”.
    Sally Whyte explains how under-staffing, a bureaucratic bottleneck and institutional delays are leading to a massive backlog in applications for the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse, with less than 10 per cent of applications processed to date. She has been told the Department of Social Service has introduced an extra layer between the assessors and the decision maker, with two department staff acting as gatekeepers and creating a bottleneck of applications.
    Meanwhile the consultancy firms McKinsey and KPMG have been tasked with helping the government design its new Services Australia department. What could possibly go wrong.
    And they don’t come cheap! McKinsey partners will charge $16,000 a day (before discounts) for senior partners.
    The Morrison government’s decision on full cycle submarine maintenance threatens to either anger the key Centre Alliance bloc that can hold key government legislation hostage in the Senate – or expose the Coalition’s two West Australian-based defence ministers to accusations they cannot deliver for their state.
    Michelle Pini writes that as details about the recent AFP media raids begin to come to light, Government accountability is retreating further into the shadows.,12980
    AMP financial advisers are planning a revolt against the company’s aggressive strategy to cut adviser numbers and drive a harder bargain with those looking to sell their businesses back to the company.
    Here’s another example of the incompetence of Centrelink. This time families have been left out of pocket – in one case by almost $10,000 – after a nationwide glitch affecting the Centrelink website saw people inadvertently pay back their debts several times over.
    Governments are being dominated by Right-wing leaders, with the USA influencing the global shift in power, writes Davey Heller.–how-the-us-far-right-is-reshaping-the-world,12979
    Julie Smith says that breastfeeding will remain in decline in Australia until gaps in the new national breastfeeding strategy are filled with measures that genuinely value mothers and the work they do.
    Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s ire, sued the FBI and the Justice Department yesterday over his firing.
    Richard Wolffe says that Trump could renounce white nationalism – but he can’t pretend he cares.
    The democracy protests in Hong Kong are now in their second month and show no signs of slowing down despite China’s warnings and “get tough” approach, writes Martin Hirst.,12981
    And for today’s “Arsehole of the Week” nomination we have . . .

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe has been busy.

    Cathy Wilcox and our Hobson’s choice.

    David Pope and certain developers.

    A couple from Mark David.

    From Matt Golding.

    Jim Pavlidis is not impressed.

    Andrew Dyson and the recent High Court decision.

    Zanetti and the NSW abortion bill.

    Sean Leahy and Queensland politics.

    Jon Kudelka with Morrison working on a China position.

    From the US

  8. lizzie
    Friday, August 9th, 2019 – 7:35 am
    Comment #13

    A really good read. Reminds me of “Yes Minister” and the hospital with no patients or staff.

    Or, during my failed military career when I yearned for the days when there were no aircraft or officers.

    On the other hand I now announce that I would like to submit a limited tender to be a Managing Director. $400,000 P.A. would suit me and I could phone in from time to time.

  9. The House inches closer to impeachment.

    “The Judiciary Committee is now determining whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President based on the obstructive conduct described by the Special Counsel.” And in a letter to House Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calf.) praised this action, saying that it “follows the significant step taken last week when Chairman Jerry Nadler filed a petition to obtain the grand jury testimony underlying the Mueller report, for the House to ‘have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise its full Article I powers, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity — approval of articles of impeachment.’ No one is above the law.” Let’s dispense with the nonsense that Pelosi is still blocking impeachment. “That process is underway,” the complaint plainly states.

    Although it is true that the House as a whole has not authorized impeachment, that is not a requirement for the Judiciary Committee to proceed. The lawsuit itself is a model of clarity. “In total, the [Mueller] Report provides evidence of ten separate episodes of potentially obstructive conduct by the President,” the complaint says. “As Special Counsel [Robert S.] Mueller [III] has emphasized, when a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it ‘strikes at the core of the government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.’ ”

  10. Whenever I listen to Scrott talking lately, and that’s not often, I hear a bloke who sounds so utterly confident, relaxed and comfortable it’s obvious he believes he’ll be in the job for a long, long time and that there’s nothing and no one on the horizon to threaten that.
    Amazing really.
    Albo may as well make friends with him like Andrews has and be done with it.

  11. Whilst the likes of Angus Taylor find ways fo fleece taxpayers huge sums or money, law enforcement are going after the big wigs such as union officials who allegedly received building materials for a suburban home.

  12. Farmers started by denying climate change. They went on to contributing heavily to climate change. The have received billions in climate change aid. They are demanding more. For them, the ATM is always open

  13. Boerwar

    I know it is not nice, but everytime the news has a report talking to farmers, everyone watching in my household boo the TV. We dont have any sympathy
    They are always expecting handouts. They should finally understand the risks and deal with them appropriately. I am over them

  14. Victoria @ #31 Friday, August 9th, 2019 – 6:17 am

    Whilst the likes of Angus Taylor find ways fo fleece taxpayers huge sums or money, law enforcement are going after the big wigs such as union officials who allegedly received building materials for a suburban home.

    Corporate justice. It always favours the top end of town.

  15. Confessions @ #34 Friday, August 9th, 2019 – 8:24 am

    Victoria @ #31 Friday, August 9th, 2019 – 6:17 am

    Whilst the likes of Angus Taylor find ways fo fleece taxpayers huge sums or money, law enforcement are going after the big wigs such as union officials who allegedly received building materials for a suburban home.

    Corporate justice. It always favours the top end of town.

    While the likes of Labor’s piss weak front bench can’t knock off a rat cunning little shit like Taylor he can do anything he wants.

  16. Mundo/BK

    I’m all for Andrew’s getting best deal for state of Victoria. Even If it means having a good relationship with Morrison. We are stuck with this mob for another three years, make the best of it I say.

  17. Mundo

    I really want Labor to get stuck into Taylor and his cronies. Everything that I have seen reported so far disgusts me.

    Anyhoo off to an appointment. Talk later….

  18. Just for the record, i predicted on here that Victoria would not be a landslide for the ALP as many had predicted. and was attacked by old mate Bemused for saying so.

  19. Hi BK, here is a report about the world of zero interest rates.

    “Critics of modern monetary theory (MMT) condemn it as “madness, nonsense, mess, garbage, and even voodoo”, says James Montier, the independent-minded investment strategist at US asset manager GMO, in a research note. But what if they are wrong? In Montier’s view, core MMT principles such as “money is a creature of the state” and that “loans create deposits” mean that this new, controversial branch of economics is doing a better job of providing insights into the functioning of the modern economy than conventional neoclassical economics. And its focus on sensible objectives for fiscal policy, physical constraints on the rate of economic growth and the role of excess private debt in creating economic instability offer “a much more accurate and insightful framework” than the “broken orthodoxy” its opponents are defending.”

  20. Shorten, the presumptive Pre-Poll PM, had a 0.8% swing against him in the People’s Democratic Republic of Victoria – says it all really.
    But he still thinks he should be PM and refuses to resign. Albo probably should wear two stab vests.

  21. All Johnson has now is bluff and bluster.

    The EU should show “common sense” and agree to make changes to the Brexit withdrawal deal, Boris Johnson has told the BBC.

    The prime minister said there was “bags of time” for the EU to compromise on the Irish border backstop plan before the Brexit deadline of 31 October.

    He also warned MPs not to oppose Brexit, and to respect the 2016 referendum result.

    The EU has said repeatedly the backstop arrangements cannot be changed.

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