Stable but serious

Infra-factional argybargy at both ends of the Victorian ALP, plus a poll result for NSW’s Upper Hunter state by-election.

Detailed below are some recent electoral developments, the juiciest of which relate to factional power struggles within Victorian Labor, whose federal preselection process has been taken over by the party’s national executive in the wake of the Adem Somyurek branch-stacking affair. Note also the post below offering a half-time report on the Tasmanian state election campaign.

• Josh Bornstein, employment lawyer and partner at Maurice Blackburn, has pulled out of a challenge against Kim Carr for the safe position on Labor’s Victorian Senate ticket that is reserved to the Left. This followed a report in The Australian that trawled through a decade’s worth of his voluminous social media activity, turning up criticism of party and union figures including Chris Bowen and Penny Wong. The Age reports Left faction unions were divided between Carr and Bornstein, with one or more further challengers likely to emerge. One such is Ryan Batchelor, executive director of the McKell Institute and son of former state MP Peter Batchelor.

• The Age report also says that Sam Rae, a partner at PwC and former state party secretary, is “being encouraged” to run in the new seat of Hawke on Melbourne’s north-western fringe. An earlier report indicated that a stability pact being negotiated between the main factions would reserve the seat for the Right, potentially setting up a turf war between the Victorian Right forces associated with Richard Marles and Bill Shorten, who are emerging as the main rivals for influence within the faction.

• Andrew Laming’s bid to retain preselection in Bowman has predictably fallen foul of the Liberal National Party’s candidate suitability panel.

• I’ll have a dedicated post up shortly for the May 22 by-election in the New South Wales state seat of Upper Hunter, my guide for which can be found here. Results of a uComms poll for the Australia Institute are encouraging for the Nationals, who hold seat seat on a margin of 2.6%. When added together properly, the poll credits the Nationals with a primary vote of 38.5%, compared with 34.0% at the 2019 election; Labor with 23.8%, compared with 28.6%; One Nation, who did not contest in 2019, with 13.8%; the Greens with 10.1%, more than double their 4.8% vote share in 2019; and bookies favourite Shooters Fishers and Farmers with only 8.2%, compared with 22.0%. The poll was conducted on April 7 and 8 by automated phone polling and SMS from a sample of 686.

• A new site called OzPredict offers cleanly presented poll-based forecasting of the next federal election, with the promise of more features to follow.

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.

1,410 comments on “Stable but serious”

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  1. Hi Lizzie from earlier. Had the vaccination last Tuesday and pretty well had the full range of common side effects. Flu like symptoms including head ache, chills for one night, joint pains, tiredness, red swelling around the injection area and muscle pain.

  2. davidwh

    I had almost no reaction at all – at first.
    A day later I was “um.. do I feel off?.. not sure”
    Next day it was yeah, mild chills, some aches, perhaps a bit of a headache.
    And then it got better.

    Had worse from a flue vax, but mostly I get nothing at all out of flu vax.

  3. I had A-Z last week. I was really worried about it but no worries at all. My arm was a little sore next day but didn’t swell as it does with flue shot each year.
    I slept most of the next day which was great and that’s all. I worried for nothing.
    Unfortunately OH had a TIA the day before so Dr has cancelled his shot for now.

  4. This needs to be said about Morrison and his government until people get it:

    After three years, this government has done little to suggest it has any talent for governing. That is unfortunate for all of us, but it does not guarantee an election loss, because government and politics are not identical. You can govern appallingly but still prevail because you are good at politics. But at least some smart Liberal MPs must by now be asking themselves: what if Scott Morrison is good at neither?
    Sean Kelly


    The former US director of national intelligence James Clapper has backed a call by former Australian prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull for a royal commission into the Murdoch media, saying Australia needs to take preventative steps to avoid any slide into “truth decay”.

    In an interview with Guardian Australia, Clapper, a retired lieutenant general in the US air force and the top intelligence official for seven years under former US president Barack Obama, said Fox News was a “megaphone for conspiracies and falsehoods” in America. He said the storming of the US Capitol on 6 January had demonstrated a clear connection between truth decay and the risk of civil disobedience and unrest.

  6. “C@tmommasays:
    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 6:27 am
    This needs to be said about Morrison and his government until people get it:”

    You quoted Sean Kelly wrt LNP.

    The article below is a collection of Shakespeare quotes on his birthday in context of Republican party and its politicians. Those quotes can be applied to Australian politicians

    Republican Politicians

    “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” — As You Like It

    “Who knows himself a braggart, let him fear this, for it will come to pass that every braggart shall be found an ass.” — All’s Well That Ends Well

    “God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another.” — Hamlet

    “Some rise by sin, and some by virtues fall.” — Measure for Measure

    “In thy foul throat thou liest.” — Richard III

    “There’s no trust, No faith, no honesty in men; all perjured, All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.” — Romeo & Juliet

    “One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.” — Hamlet

    “The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.” — Hamlet

    ”I understand a fury in your words. But not the words.” — Othello

    Republican politics

    “Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind.” — King Lear

    “What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.” — Julius Caesar

    “Nothing can come of nothing.” — King Lear

    Republican healthcare plan

    “The miserable have no other medicine, But only hope:
    I have hope to live, and am prepared to die.” — Measure for Measure

    An affordable, substantive, universal Republican healthcare plan

    “Now I will believe that there are unicorns…” — The Tempest

    Republican primaries

    “There’s small choice in rotten apples.” — The Taming of the Shrew

    Contributing to a Republican

    “Do not spread the compost on the weeds.” — Hamlet

    The conservative mind

    “In time we hate that which we often fear.” — Antony and Cleopatra

    Listening to a conservative

    “More of your conversation would infect my brain.” — Coriolanus

    Draft-dodgers who mock the military

    “He jests at scars that never felt a wound.” — Romeo & Juliet

    Whiny draft-dodgers

    “I am a man more sinned against than sinning” — King Lear

    Trump properties

    ”All that glisters is not gold” — The Merchant of Venice

    Lindsey Graham

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” — Hamlet

    Marjorie Taylor Greene

    “Dispute not with her: she is lunatic.” — Richard III

    Mrs. Jerry Falwell Jr.

    “I am one that lov’d not wisely but too well.” — Othello

    Dinner at a Pompeo State Dept soirée

    “I have supped full with horrors.” — Macbeth

    Religious charlatans

    “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” — Merchant of Venice

    The Bible Belt

    “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” — The Tempest

    A preacher who has been busted

    “Give me my sin again.” — Romeo & Juliet

    Chuck Grassley

    “Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.” — King Lear

    Rush Limbaugh

    “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it.” — Macbeth

    Liberal women

    “I see a woman may be made a fool,
    If she had not a spirit to resist.” — The Taming of the Shrew

  7. “C@tmommasays:
    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 7:13 pm
    The Chaser

    “Lattes won’t solve climate change” says man who thinks milkshakes will solve sexual assault”

    Good one. I still don’t understand why so called Green party people ( are they really greenies?)don’t spew so much venom on LNP with its track record on climate change policy when compared to ALP

  8. “davidwhsays:
    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 5:54 pm
    Hi Lizzie from earlier. Had the vaccination last Tuesday and pretty well had the full range of common side effects. Flu like symptoms including head ache, chills for one night, joint pains, tiredness, red swelling around the injection area and muscle pain.”

    I had mine on Monday of this week. Other than running nose on Thursday day morning for about an hour (I am not sure whether it is connected to it because I went out the previous night with just T-shirt), there were no other side effects not even redness or sore arm.

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