Call of the board: the territories

Zooming in on the federal election results for the three seats of the Australian Capital Territory and the two of the Northern Territory, all of which were won by Labor.

Wherein we finally wrap up the Call of the Board series, a slowly unfolding state-by-state round-up every seat result from last year’s federal election. Here we tie up the loose ends of the territories, where Labor achieved a clean sweep of five seats – an essentially foregone conclusion for the Australian Capital Territory (which went from two to three seats at this election), but a strong result for them in the Northern Territory (which may be set to lose its second at the next). Previous episodes of the series dealt with Sydney (here and here), regional New South Wales, Melbourne, regional Victoria, south-east Queensland, regional Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia and Tasmania.

Solomon (Labor 3.1%; 3.0% swing to CLP): The always marginal seat that covers Darwin has only gone the way of the winning party once out of the last four elections (in 2013), this time returning Luke Gosling after he gained it for Labor in 2016. Gosling’s 6.0% winning margin off a 7.4% swing in 2016 was the clearest win in the history of a highly marginal seat, the previous record having been Dave Tollner’s 2.8% win for the Country Liberal Party in 2004. This meant he had enough change to record the seat’s second-biggest margin even after a 3.0% swing back to the Country Liberals. As the map to the right illustrates, the pattern of swings in the seat reflected broader themes from the election: the affluent area around the city centre swung to Labor, but the lower-income suburbs of the north went the other way, and the more conservative new suburbia of Palmerston went further still.

Lingiari (Labor 5.5%; 2.7% swing to CLP): Warren Snowdon retained the remainder-of-NT seat of Lingiari, which he has held without interruption since 2001, his closest shave in that time being a 0.9% margin in 2013. The swings in the two Northern Territory seats have been closely matched at the last election, with a 7.5% blowout in Lingiari in 2016 followed by a 2.7% correction this time. There have been occasions in the past where swings varied widely between Alice Springs and Katherine on the one hand and the remote communities in the other, but not this time.

Bean (Labor 7.5%; 1.3% swing to Liberal): The ACT’s new third seat was created entirely from territory that was formerly in the Canberra electorate, whose member Gai Brodtmann did not seek re-election. David Smith, who had previously filled Katy Gallagher’s Senate vacancy when she fell foul of section 44 in May 2018, had no trouble holding Bean for Labor in the face of a slight swing. Left-wing independent Jamie Christie scored a creditable 8.3%, contributing to solid drops on the primary vote for both major parties.

Canberra (Labor 17.1%; 4.1% swing to Labor): The Canberra electorate covers the central third of the capital, and might be regarded as the true “new” seat since it drew territory from both of the previous electorates. Like Darwin, Canberra offered a miniature reflection of national trend in that the city’s inner area moved solidly further to the left, while the suburbs swung to the Liberals. This was reflected in a 4.6% primary vote increase for the Greens, reducing the gap with the Liberals to 27.8% to 23.3%. This is the lowest yet recorded in an ACT seat, but with the Liberal how-to-vote directing preferences to Labor ahead of the Greens, they would probably have remained out of contention if they had made up the difference. With the departure of Gai Brodtmann, its new Labor member is Alicia Payne, who dropped 2.0% on the primary vote to 40.5%.

Fenner (Labor 10.6%; 1.3% swing to Liberal): Labor’s Andrew Leigh suffered a slight swing from similar primary vote numbers to 2016, the main disturbance being the appearance of the United Australia Party with 4.1%.

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.

1,398 comments on “Call of the board: the territories”

  1. A family member got one of the last Commodores made, and having driven it, I remarked at the time that it seemed a pity that Holden had stopped making cars, because it seemed like they’d finally figured out how to do it well.

  2. Who on the panel on tonights Q&A was the Liberal shrill and scientist who has not noticed any signs of political corruption?
    Who believes that the PM had no knowledge of General Motors intentions regarding the Holden brand?

  3. I think Claire was right to point out there isn’t the corruption that people think there is and there is a reason for that because in many cases our politicians actually agree with the donor and the donor knows that before donating.

    Take the banks and coal miners would know which politicians were friendly and who wasn’t. The same with unions with left wing unions spending more resources on left wing candidates and right wing unions spend more on right wing candidates.

    There are differently cases were an ICAC could be useful but we need to avoid show trials run on little real evidence.

  4. MB

    Clare O’Neil was asked about the influence of political donations which is different from corruption as per legal definition.

    She was asked wtte if political donations do not buy influence and access, then why are they given.

    Both her and Allen hedged and skated around. The audience obviously did not believe either.

  5. nath

    It is ponzi because having a high migrant intake is pretty much all that keeps up GDP growth. Not only but also much of our “wealth” is based on bullshit real estate prices. Guess what sees them propped up ? One day the whole thing will collapse.

  6. After viewing “Four Corners” tonight, where the Head Master of St. Kevin’s College and the Dean of Sport provided character references to a defendant who groomed a teenager, three things come to mind:

    1. In historical child sexual abuse cases, references aren’t worth an iota, as most who appear before a court on these type of charges are usually (until they’re sprung) seen as upstanding citizens, with no rap-sheets, their MO is to use their good-standing to further their perverted sexual needs;

    2. There’s cogent evidence to support the proposition that all-boys schools fail to prepare young men to respect females; and

    3. School authorities need to take far more seriously allegations of sexual impropriety. I mean, they don’t seem to have learned the lessons of the RC into institutional child sexual abuse.

    The young man who was groomed was subjected to vigorous cross-examination by Pell’s former counsel (Ritcher) over a period of two days. This would’ve been very grueling for an adult, let alone a teenager, and where there was evidence (text messages) that he was clearly being groomed by the defendant.

    The one positive to come out of this case is that the complainant’s damages’ suit was settled out of court. It should also be said that the offending was at the lower end of the spectrum for this type of offending, but that’s not to suggest it didn’t have serious emotional effects on the complainant.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-17/investigation-into-teacher-behaviour-at-st-kevins/11972138

  7. poroti
    says:
    Monday, February 17, 2020 at 10:59 pm
    nath
    It is ponzi because having a high migrant intake is pretty much all that keeps up GDP growth. Not only but also much of our “wealth” is based on bullshit real estate prices. Guess what sees them propped up ? One day the whole thing will collapse.
    _________________________________
    That’s not a ponzi scheme. And anyway, how else are we going to keep up GDP growth? Manufacturing. Some people might have the dream of Australia being another Germany. They are deluded.

    As for realestate prices. Migration mainly effects Melbourne and Sydney. The are essentially global cities now and not the beta metros they were in the 1980s. It won’t collapse though. As long as it keeps going it might dip and plateau for periods but as long Chinese want to live here we will be wealthy enough as a country.

  8. Peg
    It isn’t simply about access, its also about supporting those MP’s known to be friendly towards you or your industry. Coal miners would support the LNP because they know those politicians will fight tooth and nail for mining interest.

  9. Mexicanbeemer
    says:
    Monday, February 17, 2020 at 11:06 pm
    Nath
    It could crash but a number of things would need to happen to create such conditions.
    ____________________
    US prices crashed in 2008. They were back at those levels in 2012.

  10. nath

    What a wonderful future you support for the people of Australia, relying on very rich overseas people wanting to buy homes here. Well I guess that means lots of gardening,cooking and cleaning jobs for the locals. Although I wonder how desirable we will be in our climate changed not to distant future.

  11. I know people who have been waiting for the inevitable housing price crash since 1993. They could have bought then but 150k was too expensive! 🙂 oh I could laugh.

  12. MB

    As I already said Labor Clare O’Neill claims these donations are not buying influence and do not affect policy.

    A titter of disbelief from the audience.

    Liberal Kate Ellis essentially runs the same line. Same response from the audience.

    Coal miners would support the LNP because they know those politicians will fight tooth and nail for mining interest.

    And Labor

    ————
    Fossil-fuel industry doubles donations to major parties in four years, report shows
    Coal, oil and gas companies trying to ‘buy political power’, says Australian Conservation Foundation

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/12/fossil-fuel-industry-doubles-donations-to-major-parties-in-four-years-report-shows

    The fossil-fuel industry has doubled its donations to the major parties in the past four years, new analysis suggests.

    A new Australian Conservation Foundation report examining last week’s dump of donations data suggests the coal, oil and gas industry gave $1.9m in 2018-19.

    That’s more than double the $894,336 it gave in 2015-16, the ACF says.
    :::
    Labor and the Coalition took roughly the same amount from the industry over the four years, other than 2017-18 when donations to the Coalition far outstripped Labor. Donations to the Coalition were only slightly higher than to Labor during the 2018-19 election year.

    Fossil-fuel money has also been pumped into associated entities, groups that are aligned to the major parties.

  13. poroti
    says:
    Monday, February 17, 2020 at 11:12 pm
    nath
    What a wonderful future you support for the people of Australia, relying on very rich overseas people wanting to buy homes here. Well I guess that means lots of gardening,cooking and cleaning jobs for the locals. Although I wonder how desirable we will be in our climate changed not to distant future.
    ______________________________
    well I don’t know about the climate changed future but an Australia that does not have a significant Chinese enclave is finished.

  14. alfred venison

    when was the last time anyone here had a look at the meaning of “oxymoron” in a good dictionary like the oxford ?

    Probably about the first time I saw it and a reference to ‘military intelligence’ 🙂

  15. Anyway poroti. I’m not designing my perfect society but trying to see the positives out of what I see as inevitabilities.

    My perfect society would be very different. It would involve lots of trams and everyone wearing William Morris fabrics. Women would outnumber men 3 to 1, just for a better vibe. But it’s not very likely to happen.

  16. Shakespeare replete with oxymorons:

    Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
    O anything, of nothing first create!
    O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!
    Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
    Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
    Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
    This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
    Dost thou not laugh?

  17. nath:

    That’s not a ponzi scheme. And anyway, how else are we going to keep up GDP growth? Manufacturing. Some people might have the dream of Australia being another Germany. They are deluded.

    It’s a choice:
    – Germany chooses to repress land value inflation and consequently is good at manufacturing
    – We choose to accelerate land value inflation and consequently aren’t good at manufacturing
    We can make different choices and will get different outcomes if we do.

  18. nsth:

    I know people who have been waiting for the inevitable housing price crash since 1993. They could have bought then but 150k was too expensive!

    Residential land was underpriced in 1993.

  19. I agree with BW that the Australian housing market is a Ponzi scheme, but with China (and a couple of other cashed-up foreign investor nations) supplying the cash to fuel it, it’s got a while to go.

    So much easier to buy the other bloke out, rather than break the door down.

  20. Pegasus, respectfully, no, not me. more me is : i deplored the purging of lee rhiannon & the forced restructuring of the nsw branch. i’m a staunch believer in the federative priciple as adumbrated by proudhon in “du princip federatif”, especially where he holds that constituent entities should never devolve more power to the center than they retain to themselves. in my view the national office should have accepted & forged a way to work with the nsw branch as it was, that is: different. a product of organic growth influenced by & embodying the historic circumstances of its members’ struggles for progressive causes back to the 70s. and rhiannon as a living embodiment of organisational memory, nsw branch’s deep history of proud participation in progressive causes. that’s the conservative side. i admired the nsw branch policy of senators seeking instructions from the branch before voting. that appealed to the anarchist side. the national branch under di natale & his faction held diversity was unworkable & a that “modern” party to be a contender needed to value “discipline” and top down organisation & got his way. this was utterly anathema to me. and ms kiewa, a staunch unionist & labor voter until they screwed up on refugees, was absolutely furious, livid. i think we are more red than the labor party & rhiannon was our kind of red. i despised di natale for this. imo he’s a liberal lite spiv & a waste of space, and the guy who should have been leader 10 years ago has finally got to the driver’s seat,
    alleluia. i’m not going to paragraph this screed or tart up the structure or grammar, &c., i’m in bed with a bad back & the editing window is dinky. -regards, a.v.

  21. What we always suspected, our glorious Gov’t has now finally admitted in court:
    They really couldn’t give a shit about the most vulnerable Australians in our society.

    The government has claimed it does not owe welfare recipients a duty of care over the robodebt scandal and has denied alleged debtors were placed under “duress”, despite admitting in court documents that some debts were based on “false” assumptions

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/18/coalition-says-it-has-no-duty-of-care-for-welfare-recipients-over-robodebt

    It’s the attitude that allows governments to incarcerate innocent humans in concentration camps, to ignore the suffering of Australians burnt out by bushfires they say are someone else’s problem, to ignore the plight of our aged Australians dying while waiting for care, to mercilessly deprive disabled Australians of the services (to which they are entitled under our law).
    Why?
    So they can spend the money on bribes to get re-elected?
    Possibly.
    Or because they enjoy persecuting vulnerable people?
    Much more likely!
    How very Christian of them.

  22. ” Labor was not the only beneficiary of voters’ move away from the Coalition, with less than half of those changing their vote from the Coalition choosing Labor instead (44%), while the rest opted for the Greens (14%), another party (25%) or did not know who they would vote for (17%). ”
    looks like: “its the climate, stupid.” -a.v.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/18/coalitions-handling-of-bushfires-causes-substantial-decline-in-support-anu-poll-finds

  23. Now that they have outed themselves as callous persecutors of vulnerable Australians who have fallen on hard times, Gov’t members will no longer have to conceal their true feelings.
    Cormann won’t have to hyperventilate about being called a Fascist because he has a German accent ( anyway, he doesn’t, it’s a Dutch dialect of German, but I digress).
    Raiding the underwear drawers of journalists who dare report inconvenient facts will become normalised.
    Prosecuting, and persecuting, whistleblowers? Obviously you have to do this.
    And Paul Parker of Nelligen, who dared mock Dear Leader so publically about his uncaring attitude toward firefighters? Murdoch’s minions will find your vulnerabilities, just give them time.

    Duty of care towards fellow Australians?
    Only if you can do something in return ( donations, directorships, etc)
    Otherwise, you’re collateral damage. Callousness rules.

  24. Maude Lynne

    I had to read the welfare report twice to be sure I wasn’t imagining what it said.
    No duty of care to citizens because social security law makes no mention of a need to exercise “due or reasonable care”.

    It’s all about the letter of the law. No humanity, no imagination. And trying to wriggle out of fault because some recipients had made voluntary payments.

    I’m truly horrified. And Morrison yesterday was proud of himself, putting his “thick skin” on display, but pretending to care about mental health.

    What a thing to wake up to.

  25. lizzie
    Absolutely “no duty of care” is the mantra of the Morrison LNP government.
    Oh, except when overlooking the rorting and corruption among the “some are more equal than others” brigade.
    It makes one wonder “what will it take?”

  26. Mundo
    I suspect it will require much more than a good opposition. So many in voter land have their head so far up their back orifice it will take an event of monetary proportions to elicit a response.
    It’s beyond blaming Labor’s performance as an opposition. The polls continually show it.

  27. A poll from the ANU..

    ‘More than 3000 Australians were asked in January what they thought of Mr Morrison, ranking him negatively at 3.92 out of 10, down from 5.25 in June.

    The government also lost votes, with 35 per cent of people saying they would vote for the coalition in January, down from 40 per cent in October.

    Only 27 per cent of Australians said they were confident or very confident in the government.’

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/deadly-bushfires-affected-75-per-cent-of-australians-says-new-study

  28. Some more from ANU..

    “We already see a shift in views regarding coal mines and the environment, but the big question will be whether these shifts are temporary or permanent.”

    Only 37 per cent of people surveyed were in favour of opening new coal mines, a “substantial” decline from 45.3 per cent when the same question was asked six months earlier.

    Significantly, support among Coalition voters for new mines plunged to 57.1 per cent from 72.2 per cent in June. Support among Labor voters fell from 25 per cent to 15.5 per cent.

    Despite the importance of coal mining to regional communities, just 40.1 per cent of non-capital city voters supported new mines, compared with 35.6 per cent in the capitals. However, the research suggests that direct exposure to fires was not a factor in the decline for support for new mines.

    Amid division over climate change’s contribution to the severity of the blazes, half of voters identified environmental or bushfire issues in the top two confronting Australia, compared with 41.5 per cent in October.

    The poll showed Mr Morrison now had a net negative approval rating, with almost two-thirds of voters thinking he bungled his response to the fires.

    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/voters-want-to-see-new-coal-mines-shafted-20200217-p541ix

  29. sprocket_ @ #1395 Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 – 7:01 am

    A poll from the ANU..

    ‘More than 3000 Australians were asked in January what they thought of Mr Morrison, ranking him negatively at 3.92 out of 10, down from 5.25 in June.

    The government also lost votes, with 35 per cent of people saying they would vote for the coalition in January, down from 40 per cent in October.

    Only 27 per cent of Australians said they were confident or very confident in the government.’

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/deadly-bushfires-affected-75-per-cent-of-australians-says-new-study

    ‘Only 27 per cent of Australians said they were confident or very confident in the government.’’

    So the next poll will have Labor 60/40 in front?

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