Eden-Monaro by-election minus four days

More reports of alleged party internal polling, plus other developments on the by-election front.

As the campaign enters its final week, I have given my Eden-Monaro by-election guide an overdue overhaul, such that it now offers a thorough account of the Coalition’s preselection tangles and full detail on the various reports of opinion polling that have emerged, along with the usual charts, results map and historical detail. Other news worth noting:

The Australian ($) reports the Nationals are hawking internal polling showing a surge in their own support potentially great enough to push the Liberals over the line. Their candidate, Trevor Hicks, was said to have risen from 6% a fortnight ago to 11.5%, clipping Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs from 36% to 34.3% and Shooters Fishers and Farmers from 7% to 4.6%. Labor’s Kristy McBain was said to have slumped from 36% to 29.3%, with the Greens up slightly from 7% to 8.7%. The more recent poll was conducted on Thursday from a sample of 630; the sample for the earlier poll was said to be rather larger.

• A borderline comical spam email attacking Labor candidate Kristy McBain is the subject of an Australian Federal Police investigation. Purporting to be from McBain’s campaign manager, the email claimed she had withdrawn as a candidate after being hospitalised with COVID-19, before holding her largely responsible for fabricating the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. Complaints under the “misleading or deceptive publications” provision under the Electoral Act are ten a penny, and invariably fall foul of the limitation that the falsehood must be “in relation to the casting of a vote”, (which the Australian Electoral Commission contentiously determined did not apply to Chinese language Liberal Party advertising in Melbourne at last year’s election). In this case though, the material clearly crosses the line in asserting that votes for McBain will be invalid.

• The Australian Electoral Commission has so far processed 16,098 postal vote applications, compared with a total of 7426 at the 2019 election. The thirteen pre-poll voting centres now in operation have already received more than 21,000 votes; last time a total of 35,114 votes were cast at eight locations.

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.

60 comments on “Eden-Monaro by-election minus four days”

  1. Helen Kuiper @ #25 Wednesday, July 1st, 2020 – 4:32 pm

    As for the focus group research, Labor should win easily after the fires, coronavirus and the usual anti-government protest vote in by-elections. So we’ll see. And in reply to ‘boerwar’ (going under a pseudonym I assume, talking about courage), we’re all aware that the Nationals are undergoing a fight back against the left wing people who have moved into the Party in disguise. And McCormack’s insecurity led to lack of support for Barilaro. Barilaro would have walked the seat in and it’s to his credit that he’s still out there fighting for the Nats.

    At least the Nats are fighting back for their Party whereas the Labor Party isn’t game to stand up to the radicals who have taken over their Party. All good.

    Wow, this one has drunk the green and gold Nats brand ultra conservative Kool Aid!

  2. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jul/02/john-barilaro-refuses-to-say-if-he-voted-labor-ahead-of-liberals-in-eden-monaro

    John Barilaro refuses to say if he voted Labor ahead of Liberals in Eden-Monaro
    Paul Karp
    Published on Thu 2 Jul 2020 16.00 AEST
    Two days out from byelection, NSW Nationals leader and deputy premier praises his retired Labor MP ‘mate’ Mike Kelly and refuses to rule out running for Eden-Monaro at the next election

    https://insidestory.org.au/wholl-be-the-real-winner-in-eden-monaro/

    Who’ll be the real winner in Eden-Monaro?
    Peter Brent 2 July 2020
    Interpreting Saturday’s result is all about context

  3. Predictions are fool hardy in modern politics but for what it’s worth I’m predicting a Labor hold on about 50.5 2pp with the bushfires being the deciding factor

  4. From the same poll:

    “Labor has retained a focus on poor management of the bushfires over summer and $84m of cuts to the ABC.

    The uComms poll found that 56.4% of voters in Eden-Monaro believe the ABC should receive more funding, 23.8% said less and 19.8% said its funding is about right.

    That compared with 62% in the treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s seat of Kooyong who backed increased funding, 61.4% in Liberal-held Wentworth and 58.5% in independent-held Warringah.”

  5. In Eden-Monaro, which Labor’s Mike Kelly won by 1,685 votes or 0.85% at the 2019 election, the poll suggests Labor is ahead of the Liberals on primary vote, 38.1% to 37.5%, followed by the Greens (7.3%), the Nationals (5%), and the Shooters Fishers and Farmers (4.2%).

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jul/03/labor-has-nose-in-front-leading-into-eden-monaro-byelection-poll-finds

    Phew!

    Labor also gets the preferences of the SFF, the Greens and the Nats. 😉

  6. Just another Ultra Conservative Molan protege:

    Kotvojs has come under increased scrutiny over her views about reducing fuel loads to prevent bushfires, climate change and religious freedom, and her long-running opposition to “green tape” including urging her local council to push forward with a new rural land plan despite numerous Rural Fire Service concerns.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jul/03/labor-has-nose-in-front-leading-into-eden-monaro-byelection-poll-finds

  7. If Labor wins E-M, watch a whole lot of Morrison’s promised funding not being delivered.

    Today commercial radio reports funds for various road upgrades in the electorate and Canberra Times says “Headquarters Joint Operations Command in Bungendore to get $31m upgrade”.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6817141/defence-base-in-eden-monaro-to-get-big-upgrade/?cs=14231#gsc.tab=0

    (This defence facility is off the road between Queanbeyan and Bungendore and beside the train line into Canberra).

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