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. BK

    The reaction must have been humongous for the videos to be withdrawn. Usually there’s just a stubborn refusal to react.

  2. Health Minister Greg Hunt will meet with members of the Essendon Football Club next week, hoping to gain tips on how to successfully inject a large group of people quickly and effectively.

    “I think we can learn a lot actually,” Mr Hunt said, confirming he had set up a meeting with former coach James Hird and sports scientist Stephen Dank.
    “One of the differences I’ve noticed between their injection program of a few years back and our vaccination program now is that they didn’t talk about it at all and yet managed to inject all of their playing group within a day. Whereas we talk about our program non-stop but haven’t managed to inject anyone.

    “I’m hoping they’ll come on board to manage the program actually, because they seemed to get 100% compliance. Not a single complaint. So I’ll be asking about that as well.

    The Health Minister said he was also hopeful of getting some useful contacts. “I’ll be asking them if they know any other sources, because none of the guys at Pfizer or Moderna answer my calls”.

  3. The reaction must have been humongous for the videos to be withdrawn. Usually there’s just a stubborn refusal to react.
    Maybe Jen and the girls panned it!

  4. “Samantha Maiden
    BREAKING “milkshake” ad REMOVED from website after @newscomauHQ
    broke story on Monday @FairAgenda
    the campaign cost $3.7 million”

    Well that was $3.7 million well spent. Thanks Dan Tehan and Alan Tudge.

    I would have thought Tudge of all people would have better examples to use in such a video. An affair with a female staffer who was your direct subordinate would be very relevant. Perhaps a cameo in the next video, Alan?

  5. Do taxpayers receive a refund for the cost of making the ‘not fit for purpose’ milkshake videos?

    They might be able to sell a few copies at the Reject Shop.

  6. “No you say that’s what I am saying. I keep saying Labor should follow Biden’s approach.

    You just keep getting confused because there is so much in common with Greens policy.”

    Exactly. In the context of climate, Biden’s approach is parts of Bernie Sanders’ and AOC’s approaches, and includes parts of the Green New Deal, which is the approach of the Greens, both here and in America. That’s not to say that the Biden admin’s policy is the Green New Deal, it’s not, but it does contain parts of it and is heavily influenced by it thanks to Bernie Sanders and AOC. Recognising and promoting the role of job creation as part of the transition to renewables is a huge part of that.

    Make no mistake, the US still has an enormous mountain to climb, but at least they have started climbing. Labor and the Coalition are still stuck at Base Camp waiting for someone else to do the hiking for them.

  7. The problem is that the sort of people who could have produced effective material on this issue are not the Coalition’s sort of people. Wrong connections. Wrong ideology. Wrong culture. Not the sort of people the Coalition would normally turn to, and would be reluctant to even approach.

  8. Native forest logging across the country would be exempt from national environmental protections under a bill proposed by Nationals Senate leader Bridget McKenzie.

    In an unusual move for a member of the government, the proposed changes were lodged as a private member’s bill and would reduce the powers of her colleague in the Environment portfolio, Sussan Ley.

  9. This might might help C@t have confidence that Albo’s low (read non existent ) profile policy on coal is correct

    Secretary of state says countries investing in new coal ‘will hear from US’
    Antony Blinken says Biden administration will challenge those failing to cut reliance on coal as Scott Morrison emphasises costs of action

  10. Thanks KB.

    I dont mean to suggest the new pollster is biased, but, is it to much to ask for Nine/FFax to find someone less politically connected?

  11. Is anyone surprised Morrison’s milkshake ad was removed …?

    We all know by now you just CAN”T TRUST the Libs with ANYTHING ..!!

    Yet more evidence of Morrison’s WASTE and MISMANAGEMENT.

  12. Labor cannot put climate on the back burner of policy.

    Today’s speech by Albanese is recognition of that.
    Labor can go Boo Greens!

    It’s not going to get climate and energy policy off the top of the Coalition campaign efforts. Yes the media will take it seriously as they should. Labor can only be on the right side of history or deny science like the LNP.

    That’s what Biden and Xi are enforcing. In this Labor can be seen as weak or strong aka genuine on the environment. Labor simply cannot be weak on climate policy. Remembering the Biden climate policy was the weak position in the extreme partisan first past the post US political system.

  13. “as Scott Morrison emphasises costs of action.”

    Morrison lives not just in a bubble, but an alternate universe. The two States with the most renewable power are SA and Tassie. And what is the trend in their power prices? Down! In fact SA at times in the last year has had the lowest wholesale power prices in Australia. only the disastrous power grid privatisation of the Olsen Liberal government in the 1990s prevents SA from having the cheapest power of any mainland state.

    PS speaking of Morrison, that man lives in an inner city mansion on Sydney harbor (Kirribilli) rent-free at taxpayers expense. Yet he criticises other inner city residents as being elitist. The man has a thick hide, and a gift for unintended irony.

  14. In the light of last night’s 4 Corners exposing the Chinese government hiding 100,000 infections, refusing to limit the Lunar New Year exodus of millions to all four corners of the world, and their clear duplicity in all areas of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, I re-post my first post after arriving back to the Mid-North Coaston January 25th, from a few days in Sydney last year.

    Bushfire Billsays:
    Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    ScoMo on the telly news assured us “Everything is being done” to stop coronavirus from spreading in Australia…

    … everything but stopping plane after plane direct from Wuhan flying here, it seems.

    We mustn’t upset the Chinese, must we? Can’t cause them to lose face by us banning their A380s from coming here from epicentres of a new disease that we know virtually fuck-all about: how it’s transmitted, what it’s incubation period is, how to immunize against it, what host it originated from.

    It’s becoming obvious that the Chinese government is “doing a Chernobyl” on this one. They appear to be chronically unable to admit there’s a problem, until it’s FAR too late. Video of their “War Of The Clones” uniformed goons standing in front of railway stations stopping access is strangely un-reassuring.

    I don’t know whether that “100,000 cases” tweet is true, or not. But somewhere between “Not yet declared a medical emergency” and “Judgement Day” the truth is to be found. Let us hope the inalienable right of Chinese to flood the world with pushing, shoving revellers every Lunar New Year doesn’t lead to millions of avoidable mortalities.

    We now know it’s THREE MILLION victims, and counting.

  15. BK at 3:13 pm

    Murphy: “For those things we had certainty about there are elements of uncertainty”

    He was on ABC radio recently.So many fine words and yet utterly devoid of substance. Aerogel pollie waffle at its purest. It was impressive.

  16. BKsays: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Murphy: “For those things we had certainty about there are elements of uncertainty”.


    Murphy pulling a Donald Rumsfeld :

    “There are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. … that is to say there are things we know we don’t know …… But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

  17. BK

    I recall seeing Brendan Murphy’s Linkedin profile mentioning some role with the business community, when I looked a year ago. Can’t seem to find that now. Any info?

  18. ‘BK says:
    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Murphy: “For those things we had certainty about there are elements of uncertainty”.’

    haha… or is that ahah?

  19. Sceptic @ #1299 Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 – 2:56 pm

    This might might help C@t have confidence that Albo’s low (read non existent ) profile policy on coal is correct

    Secretary of state says countries investing in new coal ‘will hear from US’
    Antony Blinken says Biden administration will challenge those failing to cut reliance on coal as Scott Morrison emphasises costs of action

    Thank you, Sceptic. 🙂

  20. What DID impress me about the Four Corners show last night was the porous nature of the information control mechanisms in China. The controls could not beat the ideals of Confucious. They could slow the truth getting out. But the truth would out.

  21. poroti:

    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    Mavis wrote:

    [‘Contrary to popular perception, the Italians weren’t cowardly but they were poorly led, supplied, in consequence of which, morale was at a very low ebb.’]

    poroti responded:

    [‘You will be pleased to know you and Rommel are on the same page. I read his diaries and he described “the individual Italian soldier is as brave as any man,” .His lamentations were for when they were in large groups. Whenever he mentioned the Italian High Command and/or senior officers I got the feeling a lot of FMD!!s were left or edited out ‘]

    I’m pleased to learn from you that Rommel’s diaries do not match the widely held perception of Italian soldiers as being cowardly, the butt of many jokes. Those in command must bear the lion’s share of responsibility for this perception, plus Allied and Nazi propaganda. Moreover, Italian civilians never really supported the war. Italy has an enviable military history lasting circa 1000 years. Incidentally, I have no Italian heritage – Anglo-Celtic, yes.

  22. Fantastic! A simple and easy to comprehend message. Covers all eventualities.

    And…. free.

    Tea Consent
    Award-winning and viral video with over 100 million views across platforms. This is a free resource for education and non-profit groups. To use it, please fill out our licensing form:…….

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