Leave means leave

Mounting suggestions that the disappointment of Labor’s election defeat could prompt an end-of-year rush for the parliamentary exit.

By-election watch:

• In her column in The Australian yesterday ($), Niki Savva wrote that unspecified Labor MPs were convinced Mike Kelly would “be gone by Christmas and that his resignation could be the trigger for others such as Mark Dreyfus and Brendan O’Connor”. This raises the prospect of by-elections for, respectively, the famously marginal south-eastern New South Wales seat of Eden-Monaro (Labor margin 0.8%), the Melbourne bayside seat of Isaacs (6.4%) and the western Melbourne Labor stronghold of Gorton (15.4%). Savva also canvasses the prospect, noted here last week, of Eden-Monaro being contested for the Nationals by state party leader John Barilaro, who holds the corresponding seat of Monaro and is said to hanker for the federal leadership.

• A move to federal politics, successful or otherwise, by John Barilaro would also require a state by-election in Monaro. Labor held the seat from 2003 to 2011, and Barilaro eked out only modest wins in 2011 and 2015, before a 9.1% swing blew the margin out to 11.6% in March. That could just be the beginning of things on New South Wales by-election front – as Andrew Clennell of The Australian ($) reported yesterday, John Sidoti’s difficulties at the Independent Commission Against Corruption are likely to result in a vacancy in the safe Liberal seat of Drummoyne (margin 15.0%), and there are suggestions Labor MP Nick Lalich “might want to retire early” from his safe seat of Cabramatta (margin 25.5% against Liberal, 12.9% against independent Dai Le). There were also said to be rumours an unspecified Liberal MP was “suffering an illness”.

Latest from the event-packed preliminaries to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters’ inquiry into the federal election:

• A submission from the Australian Electoral Commission has raised the possibility that counting of pre-poll votes might begin before the 6pm close of polls on election day. This would address the growing issue of election night being a two-stage affair in which most of the election day booths are done counting by 9pm, while the larger pre-poll voting centres can be delayed by several hours beyond that.

• A submission from the Liberal Party has called for the number of pre-poll voting centres to be reduced ($), and the pre-polling period to be cut from three weeks to two. Labor’s submission has also noted a three-week period places “significant pressure on political parties’ ability to provide booth workers”.

• GetUp! remains in the sights of the Liberal Party, and indeed much of the conservative end of the news media, with the Liberals aggrieved that the organisation has escaped classification as an associated entity of the ALP, despite it targeting exclusively Coalition members.

• Labor is correspondingly unhappy with the Australian Electoral Commission’s determination that the Liberal election day advertising that has prompted the challenges to the Chisholm and Kooyong results is beyond the reach of the section of the Electoral Act dealing with “misleading or deceptive publications”.

• The Greens want political truth-in-advertising laws adjudicated by an independent body, campaign spending caps and fixed three-year terms.

• A submission from Facebook has sought to address Labor complaints that the service was used to disseminate misinformation about Labor’s plan for a “death tax” by saying “thousands of posts” making such claims were demoted to give them less prominence in their news feeds, thanks to the work of its “third-party fact checkers”. It also claims to have shut down two accounts for spreading fake news, without providing any further detail.

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.

533 comments on “Leave means leave”

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  1. I no longer live in Sydney or NSW. I now live in Qld in the Wide Bay/Burnett region. NSW does have the best beaches in Australia, from Yamba to Eden. However, I would never live in Sydney again.

  2. sprocket_
    I still remember smothering myself in Coconut Oil!

    I eventually graduated to the South Coast beaches, where my boyfriend, who came from Croydon Park, would go to his parent’s holiday house with a couple of mates and their girlfriends for the weekend. The boys would have a couple of cones before breakfast, go out for a surf, come back, have a big breakfast, then we’d hang around playing Pong on the TV and listening to music. For dinner we’d all go to the local pub.

    Of course, somewhere in there I was supposed to be studying for my HSC. 🙂

  3. BB,

    Bushfire is a very topical monicker up your way – my father-in-law in Tuncurry got evacuated today with an emergency level fire on the north side of the river. Thankfully the firies did a great job and he has been allowed to go home.

  4. Stanwell Park was a good beach C@t. Not too crowded but a bit of a hike across the sand.
    Apart from Jibbon never hit the Royals beaches. Nothing like the Bundeena ferry to terrify you.

  5. Unkind people say burning Tuncurry to the ground would be the kindest thing. Not very funny when the real prospect actually presents itself, though.

    Today was so miserable up here. Hot, dankly overcast, and windy, it was a day better forgotten. With all that, we gave up the idea of a seafood lunch in Newcastle apres hospital visit, and headed home in case we needed to clear out our valuables.

    Imagine our astonishment when it poured, monsoon-like, right along the length of the Lakes Way… right up to near where the fires were. Then it stopped. Go figure! Anyhow, we are 35k’s south, near Bluey’s, so all we had to do was put up with the smoke.

    Our grandson, who’s staying with us for a while, slept through the whole drama. He had a 21st party to attend last night and got home not having slept.

    “Wow, that sounds bad,” was all he offered, eating his breakfast Weetbix at 4pm.

    Ah, the confidence of youth that all will be well, if you can just retire to bed for the duration.

  6. “Apart from Jibbon never hit the Royals beaches. Nothing like the Bundeena ferry to terrify you.”

    The Bundeena ferry’s great fun. Then there’s the coast walk South from there to Marley, Burning Palms, Wattamolla and points South.

  7. My sons still go to the beach almost every day during the summer months. I don’t so much any more. And we can walk there. No need for public transport for us! 🙂

  8. Mavis
    I kept waiting for the All Blacks to step up a gear. Why did they keep kicking? Just couldn’t run with the ball. Their wingers looked like they had concrete boots. May looks like a big loss for England though.

  9. Diogenes:

    They were done on all fronts, as the stats reveal. I dips my lid to Jones. If you go back to the match between England and Oz, the result was predicated on defence. Tonight’s match though didn’t depend on that as the Kiwis had precious little possession. I would add, however, that the English had by weight a distinct scrummage advantage. If England wins the cup each player is guaranteed nearly half a million – not a bad incentive.

  10. Aqualung:

    [‘We were a bit summery earlier Mavis. So why not sport?’]

    True, though the moderator would not, I think, like my rugger ravings(?).

  11. Ahh. The sun’s over the yard arm.
    Or not. Saturday night. A coupla drinks.
    Hair let down etc.
    Not that I’ve got any to let down.

  12. Aqualung

    “ I pride myself on never having been stung by a blue bottle. ”

    Oh dear, under section 44 you must be ineligible to sit!

  13. Kevin, so we can conclude that the libs and nats are not quite joined at the hips. I’m not sure if that’s reassuring or not.

  14. Yes the Nationals and the Liberals each do their own defective vetting.

    I’ve checked every MP now I think. Two Libs and a Nat it is. One ALP had the right family background but mother too young to be caught by it.

  15. A Christmas general election is becoming more likely in my opinion. I am predicting in such an election, the Tories winning at least a narrow majority, with Labour losing at least 65-70 seats, maybe up to 100 or more. The Liberal Democrats could win as many as 60 seats, along with the SNP making a near clean sweep of Scotland.


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