Houses in order

Early federal election talk portends a busy time on the preselection front over the coming months.

Still very quiet on the polling front, but speculation of a federal election later this year has given scribes plenty to work with over the quiet season:

• A report in the Age/Herald concludes the most likely months are October and November, with Liberal Party officials being told to have their act together at least by August. However, it is noted that “the pandemic could derail any possible plan for an early poll”.

• The above report also relates that the Queensland Liberal National Party’s Senate ticket is to be decided by May 1. This presents the Coalition with a difficulty, in that second position is reserved for the Nationals and duly assured for Matt Canavan, leaving Liberal up-and-comers James McGrath and Amanda Stoker in a high-stakes battle for first and third. The loser will at least be able to console themselves with the knowledge that the Coalition has won at least three Senate seats in Queensland at each of the seven elections since 2001.

• Also noted in the report is a fact that escaped my notice amid the excitement of events in the United States — namely, that the Western Australian Liberals finalised their Senate ticket in early November. This occurred at the same time that Ben Small, a logistics manager at Woodside Energy and owner of a bar and restaurant in Bunbury, was chosen to fill the vacancy created by Mathias Cormmann’s retirement. Small will take third position on the ticket behind Michaelia Cash and Dean Smith, both of whom have gone up a notch in Cormann’s absence. Smith had to overcome a bid by religious conservatives to dump him in favour of Albert Jacob, mayor of Joondalup and former state member for Ocean Reef. Peter Law of The West Australian reported the move was “perceived by some within the party as retribution for the eight-year Senator’s very public campaign for marriage equality in 2017”.

• There are a whole bunch of redistribution processes in train at the moment. At federal level, draft boundaries for Victoria and Western Australia are due to be published by the end of March, respectively to be finalised on July 26 and August 2. The redistributions will increase Victoria’s representation from 38 seats to 39, and reduce Western Australia’s from 16 to 15. A state redistribution process also began in Victoria last month, with draft boundaries due at the end of June and final boundaries to be published on October 14. In New South Wales, submissions are being weighed up to draft boundaries that were published in November, and while no date is set for their finalisation, it could roughly be guessed that it will happen in March or April.

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.

3,068 comments on “Houses in order”

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  1. Lars Von Trier @ #2949 Sunday, January 31st, 2021 – 6:52 pm

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/channel-7-personality-andrew-o-keefe-facing-domestic-violence-charge-20210131-p56y8p.html

    Interesting Seven dumped Ryan Phelan when he was charged with DV (which was painless because he was finishing up work that week). Will they apply the same standard in this case?

    There are allegations at this stage. Lets see how the defence unwinds.

    Typically, you want to destroy someone’s career on unsubstantiated allegations.

    Says everything about you.

  2. Not really GG. I thought my post was pretty factual.

    Procedural fairness is fair enough.

    Like Emma Hussar got from the ALP for instance?

  3. Another view:
    Emma Husar@emma_husar · 12m
    Sad to see a Statesman get rolled in preselection. @kevinandrewsmp has done some impressive work on the NDIS & was always decent to work with putting partisan politics aside to achieve lasting change. #auspol

  4. Staley was one of a few Libs who crossed the floor to save the VAD legislation when the Shoppie Merlino tried to stall debate indefinitely.

  5. Lars Von Trier @ #2953 Sunday, January 31st, 2021 – 7:03 pm

    Not really GG. I thought my post was pretty factual.

    Not really, you assumed he was guilty from the get go and snarked your response accordingly.

    Procedural fairness is fair enough.

    Like Emma Hussar got from the ALP for instance?

    Hussar said she wasn’t standing and then changed her mind after the new Candidate was pre-selected.

    Old adage:

    Never complain, Never explain, Never resign.

  6. Shorten was a better leader, in both policy and leadership style, than Albanese and would have made a better PM than Albanese. Shorten returning would however only magnify the image of him being an untrustworthy factional warlord. Shorten should probably move to the Senate, where he is far less of a leadership contender, if he wants to continue a parliamentary career.

    I don`t know who to replace Albanese with, however it does need to be done.

  7. Tom

    I get tired of Labor leadership talk. The main problem is the organisation and its lack of professionalism and engagement. I never minded Shorten. I liked his policies – as far as they went. I like Albo too. But you might as well appoint a box of cereal as leader if your organisation can’t put together show-stealing policies that completely derail the Liberal’s grasp on the media.

  8. Lars Von Trier @ #2953 Sunday, January 31st, 2021 – 7:03 pm

    Hussar case was spread by dodgy journalism from buzzfeed which now employed by Murdoch.

  9. I don`t know who to replace Albanese with, however it does need to be done.

    We’d just be replacing a Simon Crean with another Simon Crean. Apart from Bill Shorten, I don’t see any other Labor member ready to take on the leadership.

  10. Tom the first and best:

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    [‘Shorten was a better leader, in both policy and leadership style, than Albanese and would have made a better PM than Albanese.’]

    One can’t argue with you there but Shorten missed his chance, so we must move on.

  11. I don`t know who to replace Albanese with, however it does need to be done.

    That in it self is the problem with your answer is changing the leader for the sake of it. I doubt there is polling out there that shows any of the other contenders are showing (Hawke, Rudd) type polling. And I think it’s better to stick with Albo because this election will be hard to win no matter who is leader. Changing leaders just provides material for the usual ‘Labor resolving door’ of leadership that Newscorpse will relish in.

  12. Douglas and Milko @ #3281 Sunday, January 31st, 2021 – 5:12 pm

    Very glad to see the back of Kevin Andrews.

    his solution to the high costs of divorce – marriage counselling vouchers to support this business (and other like it to be fair).

    There is definitely a place for marriage counselling, but as soon as you have an abusive partner in the picture, forcing the counselling does a lot of harm. The abusers (especially the emotional abuse types) are great at using the counselling to gain an advantage. And eventually if the woman (it is usually a woman) does not back down and stay in the marriage, then violence often ensures.

    This is how we end up with around 1 woman a week being killed by a partner in Australia.

    This was Kevin Andrew’s wife. The Patriarchy has a lot to answer for.

  13. It’s an interesting thought. Would the chatter about Shorten stop if he went to the Senate?

    There isn’t chatter except maybe for a couple tory rags. Chatter has to backed by polling. Its the reason there was constant chatter about Kim Beazley replacing Simon Crean because Beazley had better polling.

  14. Lizzie:

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    [‘I’m not suggesting that Bill would want to.move.’]

    The only senator who rose to become prime minister from the Senat was Gorton, who, constitutionally had three months to find a lower house seat – and then there was the Ainslie Gotto affair.

  15. Barney in Tanjung Bunga says:
    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    “What have you got against Australians wanting to return to Australia?”

    This far into the pandemic with almost every plane load bringing in sick people – not a lot of compassion for those that decided to not come back as soon as they were told to start coming back and not keen on continually importing the virus.

  16. Bucephalus @ #2975 Sunday, January 31st, 2021 – 5:03 pm

    Barney in Tanjung Bunga says:
    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    “What have you got against Australians wanting to return to Australia?”

    This far into the pandemic with almost every plane load bringing in sick people – not a lot of compassion for those that decided to not come back as soon as they were told to start coming back and not keen on continually importing the virus.

    So judgemental and absolute.

    When did you have any compassion for anything?

    Maybe it was for your army mates getting caught out killing people.

  17. Kevin Andrews gone is a great step forward for Australia.
    GG
    Labor SA tossed Finnigan when the kiddie stuff came out before he was convicted. It’s not a straightforward decision. It’s easy to say innocent until proven guilty but perception is reality.

  18. Mavis

    The 0.1% of Australians wanting to come back are the greatest threat to the 99.9% here.
    As a utilitarian, you look after the greater number.

  19. Its pretty apparent some people have been able to travel in and out of Australia in the last year – mainly because they are operating “businesses”.

    Offensive to see one of these businessmen happened to spend Christmas with his daughter and her family in London – all reported in the AFR.

    Shutting the gates for the next 9 months other than on compassionate grounds would be sensible. Compassionate grounds doesn’t mean I need to come back for the Australian summer but you have immediate family members dying etc etc.

    It seems pretty clear with the pace of vaccinations – we won’t be out of the covid woods until December 2021 so why have these heightened risks by running a hotel quarantine program.

  20. Diogenes:

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    [‘The 0.1% of Australians wanting to come back are the greatest threat to the 99.9% here.
    As a utilitarian, you look after the greater number.’]

    No argument there but I’m not sure which post of mine you’re referring to.

  21. To get a gig in the upper echelon of the AMA seems to require a unquenchable thirst for media appearances and desire to blaze away on Covid matters.

    The WA bloke is out of control.

  22. I have family members who usually reside in London. They first applied to return to Australia in March or April last year and were repeatedly refused. Eventually, on compassionate grounds, they received approval in late October and returned in November; entered quarantine, and have now decided to remain here until the covid situation improves enough for them to resume life in London.

    Covid has disrupted nearly all of us to some extent and in various ways. It’s now going to suspend normal life in WA for a second and indeterminate time. This will almost certainly recur in the future too.

  23. According to William Summers blog – Andrew’s current MP salary is $211K and his superannuation pension will be $201K.

    Dropping $10K for not having to work is pretty extraordinary.

  24. Diogenes

    The 0.1% of Australians wanting to come back are the greatest threat to the 99.9% here.
    As a utilitarian, you look after the greater number.

    That there seems to me to be a good argument for going to the next level in making quarantine safer, rather than just closing the door.

    The sad thing about this whole argument is that in putting restrictions on the number of Australians that can come home, we’re dealing with returning Australians who are more likely to be infected and far more likely to be infected with a mutant strain.

  25. Federal MPs and senators arriving in Canberra for the first sitting week of the year are being directed straight into quarantine amid fears of a COVID-19 outbreak in Perth.

    A number of MPs were in the air flying from Perth to Sydney as the WA premier announced the shock news that a COVID-19 infected hotel security guard has been roaming Perth triggering a 5-day lockdown.

    Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, Assistant Defence Minster Andrew Hastie, Assistant Minister to PM Ben Morton and Labor MPs including Matt Keogh were on board the Perth flights landing in Canberra on Sunday night and were directed straight to quarantine.

    In a move that could throw Parliament into chaos, they have all been banned from attending Parliament until ACT health decides on next steps and will be tested for COVID-19.

    There were also concerns last night that at least one person on the flight had visited exposure sites listed by the WA government as attended by the COVID-19 infected security guard.

  26. I’m a little cranky that I know of at least 3 people who have had short trips to the US and back in the last couple of months. Two were for a holiday here , returning to work in the US. Took up precious quarantine space that could have been used for those stranded without jobs overseas.
    And , to correct the idea that people ‘chose’ to stay overseas , we had the horrendous experience of trying to fly back to Oz in March as flights bought 8 months prior were just cancelled and then airline prices doubled and more. We were lucky because not only could we afford to pay the extra but we had wonderful Portuguese hotel staff helping us as well. We spent weeks trying to get return flights and the Australian Embassy was absolutely useless.
    I still don’t understand why the Govt couldn’t have done a deal with Qantas early on or helped in some other way. Like the bushfires scenarios ,just sat on their hands.
    I feel really sorry for those stranded overseas.

  27. Lars Von Trier says:
    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    One of the few left on the old Defined Benefit system.

    Paying peanuts now and getting monkeys or dilettantes.

  28. Ghost Who Votes

    Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 50 (-1) ALP 50 (+1

    Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 42 (-1) ALP 36 (0) GRN 10 (-1) ON 3 (+1)

  29. Quasar,
    It’s good of you to point out the reality to Buce. He won’t care to listen to your reality and the reality of so many other expat Aussies stranded overseas because it’s not the talking point he’s picked up from S.A.D. or the Murdoch media in another form and duly regurgitated here.

    Sadly we will have to tolerate Buce until the federal election is over.

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