More month of May miscellany

Preselection challenges aplenty against federal Liberals from New South Wales; a potential second Labor membership ballot as the party seeks a new leader in New South Wales; and a state by-election looms in Queensland.

There has been an outbreak of preselection challenges against federal Liberal incumbents in New South Wales, which would appear to be the fruit of new preselection rules that put more power in the hands of the party rank-and-file. However, the branch has not been so democratised as to deny the possibility of federal intervention, which Sarah Martin of The Guardian reports is likely to be invoked by the Prime Minister to protect the incumbents.

• Environment Minister Sussan Ley faces a challenge in her rural seat of Farrer from Christian Ellis, whose conservative credentials extend to an effort to expel Malcolm Turnbull from the Liberal Party after he published his autobiography last year. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Ley has complained of “outsiders” descending upon her electorate with “city-based factional branch stacking” and “a toxic culture which isn’t about the policies or the candidate”.

• Further challenges are brewing against two leading factional powerbrokers: Alex Hawke of the centre right, from conservative-aligned army colonel Michael Abrahams; and Trent Zimmerman of the moderate faction, from both Hamish Stitt, a conservative barrister, and Jess Collins, a member of the centre right.

• In the marginal Sydney seat of Reid, moderate-aligned Fiona Martin faces a challenge from sports administrator Natalie Baini. Apparently at an earlier stage of gestation are potential challenges to Bennelong MP John Alexander from Gisele Kapterian, former chief-of-staff to Michaelia Cash; and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, whose Senate seat is reportedly being eyed by conservative colleague Dallas McInerney, chief executive of Catholic Schools NSW.

• One challenge that will not proceed is the one said to have been of “most concern” to senior Liberals in a report by Sarah Martin of The Guardian. Melissa McIntosh, a member of the centre right faction who won the key seat of Lindsay from Labor in 2019, was said to have been under serious pressure from Mark Davies, Penrith councillor and husband of state Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies, having “lost control of her branches to the conservative faction”. However, Clare Armstrong of reports the conservatives have “done a deal to drop the challenge”, the terms of which are unclear.

Preselections elsewhere:

Tom Richardson of InDaily reports that candidates for Labor’s preselection in the Adelaide seat of Spence include Matt Burnell, an official with the Right-aligned Transport Workers Union, and Alice Dawkins, who works with “a consulting firm specialising in Asian strategic engagement” and is the daughter of Keating government Treasurer John Dawkins. The safe Labor seat in northern Adelaide will be vacated at the election by Nick Champion’s move to state politics.

• A Liberal preselection last weekend for the Adelaide seat of Boothby was won by Rachel Swift, moderate-aligned management consultant and medical researcher. Swift was chosen ahead of conservative rival Leah Blythe, who had the backing of outgoing member Nicolle Flint.

• The Tasmanian seat of Lyons will be contested for the Liberals by Susie Bower, Meander Valley councillor and chief executive of the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone. Bower was a candidate for Lyons at the recent state election, but polled last out of the six Liberal candidates with 3.5% of the vote. Lyons could potentially have joined Bass and Braddon as a Liberal gain at the 2019 election if not for the mid-campaign disendorsement of the party’s candidate, Jessica Whelan.

Other news:

• Jodi McKay’s resignation as New South Wales Labor leader on Friday potentially sets up a second membership ballot for the party to go with the one that will choose Rebecca White’s successor in Tasmania. This depends on whether former leader Michael Daley puts his name forward in opposition to Chris Minns, who would appear to be the clear favourite. Today’s Sun-Herald reports that head office would prefer that Minns take the position unopposed so as to avoid “an expensive ballot of rank-and-file members, which would take weeks”. However, a tweet by Daley yesterday suggested he was not of a mind to oblige them.

• Labor MP Duncan Pegg announced his resignation from the Queensland parliament early this week after a terminal cancer diagnosis. This will lead at some point to a by-election for his southern Brisbane seat of Stretton, which Pegg retained by a margin of 14.8% at the state election last October. Such has been the electoral record of opposition parties recently that one might have thought the Liberal National Party would sit this one out, but they have in fact jumped into the fray with the endorsement of Jim Bellos, a police officer and former Queenslander of the Year. The Courier-Mail reports the front-runner for Labor preselection is James Martin, an electorate officer to Pegg.

• Occasional Poll Bludger contributor Adrian Beaumont has a piece in The Conversation on the apparent trend of non-university educated whites abandoning parties of the centre left in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Sarah Martin of The Guardian reports the Liberal party room was told this week that the election would be held next year.

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.

2,927 comments on “More month of May miscellany”

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  1. The Plague has not been all bad…………..

    ‘This has never been seen before’: Common illnesses wiped out in fight against COVID-19

    Cases of common illnesses have hit record lows as hygiene measures used to stop the spread of COVID-19 have put the brakes on the transmission of many childhood viruses and diseases.
    …………..As few as three cases of whooping cough were recorded in NSW last month, compared to 565 in May of 2019.

  2. There will have to be as many treaties/agreements/whatevers are there are recognised Aboriginal groups.

    There will need to be as many treaties as there are nations in Australia before colonisation.
    This will be the hardest thing for the RWNJ’s to understand. Aboriginal culture is somewhat like “European” culture. Russians, Germans, Nederlanders, French, Spanish etc are ALL European and there is commonality across Europe in many ways but the reality is they are different nations.
    The idea that one person from WA can be appointed the Minister for Aboriginal affairs because he is First Nations and that somehow he can speak for all Aboriginals is like appointing an Estonian to speak for all of Europe. I’m sure the French, Polish, German, Italians etc would have concerns.
    In 1989 I did a Military exercise in the Far North where the area of operations was larger than the entire european theatre of war in WW2. We lost to a company of “orange forces” btw.

  3. BK @ #2399 Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 9:46 am

    Julian Hill has just let fly with “I’ll bet my bottom dollar there’s no doubt that in the next couple of days, he’ll panic is getting desperate. I think even he at some level realises the failure the mess that he’s making. He’ll make some kind of announcement saying: “oh, well, we’ll build a purpose built quarantine facility”. Well he’s had on his desk a report for eight months telling him to do this and he’s done nothing. Jane Halton yesterday called him out for this.

    How can anyone trust anything this Prime Minister says now? Frankly, he’s a bullshit artist.

    He told us last year: “Don’t worry. There’ll be 4 million people vaccinated by the end of March”. He said: “Don’t worry, we’ve got aged care”. Well, when this outbreak started in Victoria, we found that 40% – only 40% – of aged care residents had been fully vaccinated. 29 homes they hadn’t even turned up for the first dose. 2% of people in disability care vaccinated.

    Now it sounds like I’m getting a bit personal with the Prime Minister. And, I am. I don’t like him. I don’t trust him. I don’t think he’s good at his job. He is a very cunning politician, but he is a failure – an absolute failure – as a leader. He failed the country on bushfires. He’s failed on hotel quarantine. He’s failing on vaccines. And now he’s failing Victoria. This bullshit artist is abandoning Victoria in our hour of need.”

    Yeah yeah, promote this man !

  4. A Texas high schooler tasked with delivering the valedictorian address at her graduation ceremony ditched her school-approved speech

    Graduating students have to have their valedictorian speeches approved? Is this common in the land of the free?

  5. Finally got my inoculation yesterday after being boofed around by the upmarket centres of Randwick and Maroubra for weeks. Rang up a centre in Mascot and they said can I get there in 20 minutes. Did that, filled out the form, got jabbed and waited 15 minutes for the world to cave in and when it didn’t, I was on my way. Appointment for second jab all set up for late August.

    Didn’t have any pain or nausea but I believe the day 4-20 period is when things may happen. One thing I did get last night, and it might well be unrelated, was a series of terrible nightmares which I never get. Woke up in the horrors at about 0100 and could not get back to sleep.

    All in all, not bad, but I would rather have had Pfizer because, from all reports, AZ is barely effective against some of the newer strains. I think we will be getting booster shots for the foreseeable future.

  6. Winter is coming for Scott Morrison and his fellow Fossil Fuel dinosaurs:

    Activist investors who dealt a stunning defeat to Exxon Mobil last week secured a third seat on the company’s board on Wednesday when the oil giant announced updated results of a shareholder vote.

    While the first two new dissident board members were oil company veterans, the newest member, Alexander A. Karsner, has strong environmental credentials and is expected to pose more of a challenge to senior management. Mr. Karsner’s election sharpened the investor rebuke of the company’s management, which has produced lackluster returns for about a decade.

    Investor discontent with Exxon had been building because the company has invested in a number of projects, acquisitions and strategies that have not paid off, including Canadian oil sands and natural gas fields. Critics also believe that the company has been very slow to adapt to a changing energy industry and done too little to reduce carbon emissions even as many European oil companies began investing in wind turbines, solar farms and hydrogen.

    The investors challenging Exxon were led by a small hedge fund called Engine No. 1. Last week the activists secured enough votes to put two people on the oil producer’s board, the first time candidates picked by the company’s management have lost an election, according to analysts. Engine No. 1 has sought to push Exxon to move toward cleaner energy and away from oil and gas.

  7. BK
    Theory A) Behind the scenes his minders have to…

    Theory B) It’s the narcissist’s way of reminding journos he is ‘The Boss’ and they merely wait upon Scotty FothN.

  8. poroti
    When I was working in a large organisation there was one general manager who was ALWAYS late to meetings – even those he called himself! So, whenever he was 10 minutes late I would encourage everyone present to get up and leave.

  9. (ABC updates)

    The PM is appearing alongside the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the Minister for Emergency Response David Littleproud.

    He says he’s announcing support for locations defined* as a hot spot.

    * Defined by electorate?

  10. Rex Douglas @ #2512 Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 12:43 pm

    Are 40-50 year olds able to request the AV vaccine if no Pfizer is available ?

    I think it depends on the place and to some extent what time of day you go.

    Thankfully the SA gov has introduced a scheme for regional SA peeps under 50 to get the vaccine. Slow rollout (I was a few days late hearing about it and have to wait a month) but at least it is something.

  11. citizen @ #2515 Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 12:47 pm

    (ABC updates)

    The PM is appearing alongside the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the Minister for Emergency Response David Littleproud.

    He says he’s announcing support for locations defined* as a hot spot.

    * Defined by electorate?

    Defined by Sports Australia.

  12. Has Morrison and Colbeck had their AZ vaccines yet? You know, some sort of show for the over 50’s to say it is safe enough for them so safe enough for everyone.

  13. Chauvin Prosecutors Seek 30 Years in Jail as He Seeks Probation

    The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd last year should be sentenced to 30 years in prison, prosecutors told a judge Wednesday in a filing that followed one in which Derek Chauvin’s defense sought probation instead of time behind bars.

  14. What exactly does “similar” mean in morrisonspeak?

    Mr Morrison has laid out the eligibility for the Temporary COVID Disaster Payment.

    He said a similar arrangement is in place in New Zealand.

    (ABC updates)

  15. Simon Katich at 1:06 pm

    BK @ #2503 Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 12:32 pm

    Why do Morrison’s pressers never start at the advised time?
    Dramatic effect, perhaps?

    Last minute empathy training boost?

    It appears the ‘ETB’ failed to work.

    ago 13:24

    Scott Morrison does not sound very happy at all as he delivers this announcement.

    He can’t even manage the necessary emoting for the line:

    Resilience, strength, character, determination. That is what beats a virus, never fear.

  16. Morrison warns “retrospective compliance activity” will apply to double-check on Victorian workers who access this emergency support payment.Where’s the “retrospective compliance activity” on the jobkeeper payment to massively profitable corporations??— Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) June 3, 2021

    One rule for maaaates, another rule for everyone else.

    These people are something else.

  17. A UBI would avoid all this mess about income for people in a pandemic.

    Workers would have the power to refuse to be sent to multiple work sites and have the foundation to bargain for secure work.

  18. ‘poroti says:
    Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    Something tells me “Dr Jonathan Stoye, group leader of the Retrovirus-Host Interactions Laboratory at the UK’s Francis Crick Institute” would have a better handle on statistics than you ….’
    It does not look like it at all. There is no statistical difference between ‘perhaps impossible’ and ‘perhaps possible’.

    My point has always been about the possibility, not the probability, BTW.

  19. “Resilience, strength, character, determination. That is what beats a virus, never fear.“

    Has anybody asked Sotties physiatrist if he’s still taking his prescribed medication?

  20. Looks like the Government has been forced to make an announcement. But, as usual with this Government it’s not clear who can claim the benefits and there is a whole bureaucracy focussed on ensuring that receiving benefits is almost impossible.

  21. “Resilience, strength, character, determination. That is what beats a virus, never fear.“

    FFS, what a load of hooey.

  22. boerwar

    There is no statistical difference between ‘perhaps impossible’ and ‘perhaps possible’.

    His point was what end of that spectrum he thought the information pointed to, the not bloody likely end .

  23. ‘DisplayName says:
    Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    I seem to recall someone the other week going on at length about personal attacks used to try discredit the authors of an unpublished science paper.

    Doesn’t look like boerwar was paying any attention to that person.’
    Classic example of passive aggressive personal attack launched by a habitual Bludger sniper.
    My point was not the character of the scientist. For all I know he may have all the moral attributes of Bandt.
    My point is that he apparently does not know that there is no statistical difference between ‘perhaps impossible’, and ‘possible’. He should tidy up his language.

  24. Morrison ended his presser with a word salad platter, ending, for no known reason, with praise for the Royal flying Doctor Service.

    The Royal Flying Doctor Services out there, some 80,000 Australian benefited by the work that they are doing.

    We’ve just got to keep working the issue, working together, working collaboratively and [keep] saving lives and livelihoods.

  25. poroti

    His point was that it was possible but extremely unlikely. He should have said so.
    Maybe he has been listening to Scotty from Marketing too much.
    I am not sure why everyone is jumping to the defence of an atrocious bit of science ‘communication’. Maybe it is because they were hoping that he was letting Xi and the CPC off the accountability hook.

  26. Remember. It’s the neo liberal economic model that gave rise to the thinking that a gamble on one vaccine for a mates liberal donor company and the patents denying local manufacturing of vaccines that has caused this human disaster to be worse.

    While I am happy to point out China’s authoritarian failures their system does not have this neo liberal failure to look after people and they have been ahead of us on producing a vaccine.

  27. Do leave him alone. The truth is obvious from what Morrison is saying and we should take him at his word.

    Morrison has been injected with resilience and they are putting jars of resilience into the quarantine stations.

  28. We will fight them on the beaches. Not with guns or tanks, not with soldiers or planes or artillery; but with announcements about resilience, strength, character and determination.

    See this wine? It might look like water and taste like water, but I am here to announce it is wine!

  29. GG

    There is a theory that the thing that is uppermost in your mind finds its way into your speech, without you realising it.

    ScoMo’s word for the day is FEAR.

  30. lizzie @ #2536 Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 1:54 pm

    Morrison ended his presser with a word salad platter, ending, for no known reason, with praise for the Royal flying Doctor Service.

    The Royal Flying Doctor Services out there, some 80,000 Australian benefited by the work that they are doing.

    We’ve just got to keep working the issue, working together, working collaboratively and [keep] saving lives and livelihoods.

    Maybe he is suffering from a Central Processing Unit malfunction?

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