Old, new, borrowed and blue

The AEC contentiously green-lights a party called the New Liberals, plus the resolution of the Tasmanian state election and Upper Hunter by-election.

Four entirely unrelated items of electoral news after a week without new poll results:

• The Australian Electoral Commission has approved the registration of a party called the New Liberals. In doing so it rejected a 55-page Liberal Party submission that included CT Group polling to support its argument that voters would confuse the new party with the old. The judgement cited the similarly unsuccessful bid to deny Liberals for Forests in 2001, in which it was determined that a ban on words as generic as “liberal” and “labour” demanded “clear language” from the Electoral Act – although it conceded the name New Liberals landed “much closer to the line”. The Howard government’s dissatisfaction with the 2001 ruling resulted in a new clause targeting names implying a “connection or relationship” with an existing party, but the AEC has ruled this doesn’t catch the New Liberals. The judgement also expressed reservations about the CT Group survey, in terms implying a dubious attitude to much of the modern practice of opinion polling. The Liberals can now apply for an internal review, followed by an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

• The count for the Upper Hunter by-election has been finalised, confirming a 5.8% winning margin for Nationals candidate David Layzell and a two-party swing to the Nationals of 3.3%. Antony Green crunches the ballot paper data (a welcome feature of NSW election counts) to determine how each candidate’s preferences divided between Nationals and Labor, which in aggregate was very similar to the 2019 election.

• Resolution also for the Tasmanian state election, which had a post-script after elected Adam Brooks was charged with firearms offences the day after his election was declared, prompting him to decline his seat. This was resolved through Tasmania’s recount procedure for lower house vacancies using the ballots that elected the outgoing member, which naturally went overwhelmingly to other Liberals. The result was a win for Felix Ellis, a member of the previous parliament who initially failed to win re-election, finishing the distribution with 5881 votes (53.4%) to Stacey Sheehan’s 5132 (46.6%). The party numbers remain Liberal 13, Labor nine and Greens two, with one independent.

• I had a paywalled piece in Crikey yesterday on the recently launched Australian Polling Council’s new code of conduct. Both council and code draw inspiration from the British Polling Council, though to my own disappointment it does not follow the British example in requiring members to publish full breakdowns and weighting bases for each poll. However, pollsters will be required to publish a range of other detail that is often absent from media outlets’ reporting of polls they commission, including margin of error calculations that account for demographic imbalances in the sample. The nine pollsters who are members of the council include most of the familiar names, but not Resolve Strategic and Roy Morgan.

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.

1,573 comments on “Old, new, borrowed and blue”

Comments Page 2 of 32
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  1. Scovax: any vaccine that is less effective than other vaccines, which arrives late, or which does not arrive at all.

  2. And the really sad part about all this, is that middle aged people who should be more discerning and wise, have bought into it hook line and sinker.

    Yes, it’s hard to believe but it was interesting to read in some of the court filings for the Insurrectionists that the massive and prolonged lockdown in the US served to isolate these people, whereupon the algorithms of You Tube and facebook led them down the rabbit hole to the point of believing everything they read and saw and resolving to do something about it. They were psychologically manipulated by some real experts. And they’re still out there doing their dirty work.

  3. Cartoons from Around the World:

    From the UK:

    A letter to the Guardian:


    South Africa:

    New Zealand:

    A lone Kiwi knight is set to take on multi-millionaire Sir Russell Coutts over copyright claims on animation graphics that brought America’s Cup races to life for global TV audiences.



  4. The New Liberals seem to be an actual liberal party. Unfortunately the name “Liberal” had been taken by hard right reactionaries so they needed another name.

    It will never happen, but, man, would it be hilarious if these court cases resulted in the Liberal Party being forced to change its name.

  5. Chief of Defence, Angus Campbell, is a Coalition cat’s paw. I’m not so confident that he would be a bulwark against Dutton’s orders.

  6. lizzie says:
    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 8:35 am


    Cue Incitatus being incredibly upset about the treatment of Ms Higgins by this government.

    On the other hand, what’s an alleged rape in a Minister’s office and a contemptuous release of a report into highly credible claims that the PM’s office harassed her partner out of a job in revenge compared to daring to question the spending of public money to provide a job for Mrs Morrison’s bestie to keep her company?

  7. Frednk

    Without knowing test amount for today.
    From 29th May to 3rd June, (6 days) nearly 300,000 tests have been conducted.

    This lockdown like others, usually affects dine in restaurants, pubs, clubs, hairdressers, beauticians, and gyms.
    These are the workers that need financial support.

    Retail stores are also affected but click and and collect together with online shopping continues.
    My delivery guy has advised that they have been run off their feet.

  8. Bucephallus couldn’t care less about Brittany Higgins. He will probably say it proves she wasn’t up to the job she had been given by the Liberal Party, or some completely insensitive bs like that.

  9. I can’t say I have a high opinion of the “New Liberals”, however. Their website is, er, something else. Check out that opening spiel which lovingly describes a hypothetical Australia after decades of New Liberal rule:


    Also, this bit from their economic policy statement jumped out at me:

    We believe that the economic policy, embraced by the Liberal Party of Australia, the Australian Labor Party and the Greens (variously know as Monetarism, Thatcherism or Raeganomics), is a deception

    Lib-Lab-Grn Same-Same-Same?

  10. they can attack the vic govt all they like. It is stupid considering this….

    See new Tweets
    Richard Willingham
    The ⁦
    ⁩ says there are still 8 cases of virus spread between strangers in this outbreak. ⁦

  11. Meanwhile on the topic of women:


    Brittany Higgins has been hospitalised to safeguard her mental wellbeing after months of unrelenting scrutiny following her explosive allegation that she was raped by a colleague at Parliament House in 2019.

    The former Liberal staffer, who triggered a #MeToo moment in the Australian parliament, was hospitalised last Thursday night to address serious concerns for her welfare. Higgins’ partner, David Sharaz, told Guardian Australia she was recovering “and receiving the support she needs after months of sustained political pressure”.

    The hospitalisation follows a sequence of taxing events, including the tabling in parliament of a report by Scott Morrison’s chief of staff assessing whether members of the prime minister’s media office backgrounded negatively about Higgins or her partner after the rape allegation became public. There has also been a fortnight of Senate estimates hearings which have produced new revelations.

    Higgins remains engaged with the Australian federal police and it will be known within weeks whether or not her sexual assault complaint will be prosecuted.

  12. Zerlo
    The CPC Congress is more than 95% male.
    Western parliaments are much, much better than that at gender balance.
    What is wrong with your CPC that it can’t get the most basic gender justice?

  13. Yeah cos the vic govt likes locking down.
    What is not to like. Upsetting victorians and making it less likely to vote for them at next election.

    You know it makes sense.

  14. And if the covid safe app actually worked, this would have helped greatly in tracking down stranger to stranger transmission.

    Remember large supermarkets have countless people going through the corridors at any given time.

    Another big fail by Morrison and co,

  15. boerwar says:
    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 8:50 am

    The west only has women in because the media put them in the spot light recently.

    And when there is women in Parliament, they are sexually assaulted.

    You defending that BW?

  16. ‘BK says:
    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Another scalp for Morrison and his boosters!’
    Makes me sick at heart.

  17. RonnyB
    Can someone tell these ill-informed journalists (& TV announcers) that thousands & thousands of pathology tests for ALL KINDS OF ILLNESSES can produce a false-positive result, not just #COVID19 so stop making out it’s something really unusual. #melbournelockdown #auspol

  18. Speaking of the New Liberals, this is, um, ambitious of them:


    “If you know any of the 3 million people living below the poverty line, please encourage them to register for our Job Guarantee Scheme, where anyone who wants a job will be guaranteed one, and at a good living wage, providing more than enough for rent, food and all other requirements of a dignified life. When we get into government or in a position to influence government, they will be ensured of early placement in the Scheme.

    Please enter whichever contact details you wish below, so we are able to contact you when the time comes.”

  19. VicGovDH
    Reported yesterday: 4 new local cases and 2 new cases acquired overseas (currently in HQ).
    – 24,169 vaccine doses were administered
    – 49,439 test results were received

    More later: https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-coronavirus-covid-19-data

    Nearly 350000 Covid tests for one week. Amazing.

    04 Jun 6,673,311

    03 Jun 6,623,872

    02 Jun 6,566,353

    01 Jun 6,515,320

    31 May 6,472,621

    30 May 6,428,747

    29 May 6,383,446

    Week 49,498


  20. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/06/02/gaetz-obstruction-federal-probe-491705

    Joel Greenberg, who pleaded guilty last month to a host of crimes, including sex-trafficking a 17-year-old in 2017.

    The obstruction inquiry stems from a phone call the witness had with Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend. At some point during the conversation, the ex-girlfriend patched Gaetz into the call, sources said. While it’s unknown exactly what was said, the discussion on that call is central to whether prosecutors can charge Gaetz with obstructing justice, which makes it illegal to suggest that a witness in a criminal case lie or give misleading testimony.

    The witness later spoke with prosecutors, the sources said.

    Gaetz has denied all wrongdoing, including obstructing justice or having sex with the trafficked 17-year-old, who was a friend of both Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend and the witness prosecutors interviewed.

    The obstruction probe is the latest development in the ongoing federal investigation into Gaetz, a top ally of former President Donald Trump who has come under increasing scrutiny due to his relationship with Greenberg — now a cooperating witness. The obstruction inquiry signals how wide a net federal prosecutors are casting to possibly ensnare the congressman.


  21. lizzie @ #78 Friday, June 4th, 2021 – 8:57 am

    Can someone tell these ill-informed journalists (& TV announcers) that thousands & thousands of pathology tests for ALL KINDS OF ILLNESSES can produce a false-positive result, not just #COVID19 so stop making out it’s something really unusual. #melbournelockdown #auspol

    Can someone tell these ill-informed journalists (& TV announcers) that the Liberal party are a pack of lying incompetent turds.

  22. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jun/02/officers-accused-of-sexual-abuse-must-face-investigation-says-police-chief

    All serving police officers accused of domestic or sexual abuse should face misconduct hearings as well as criminal investigations, according to the most senior police officer for domestic abuse in England and Wales.

    Last month it emerged that nearly 150 women have come forward with claims of rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse by ex-partners in the police force. Louisa Rolfe, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead on domestic abuse, said she was “horrified” by the allegations and “doubly horrified” at reports they had not been properly investigated.

    She said forces must ensure there was “no conflict of interest [and] investigators have no connection with the perpetrator” if a report of abuse was made against a serving officer.

    Asked if officers should also automatically face an internal investigation, she replied: “Yes, they should, they absolutely should.” Unless a criminal investigation had concluded there was no case to answer, officers should be formally internally investigated for misconduct even if there was not strong enough evidence for a criminal trial, she said.

  23. https://www.arabnews.com/node/1825566/world

    LONDON: London’s Metropolitan Police on Sunday defended its handling of a high-profile protest calling for greater public safety for women, after male officers were seen scuffling with the crowd and physically restraining female demonstrators.

    Hundreds defied coronavirus restrictions on Saturday night to gather on Clapham Common park to mark the death of Sarah Everard, who went missing nearby as she walked home earlier this month.
    The 33-year-old marketing executive was later found dead. A serving police officer with the London force has since been charged with her kidnap and murder.
    But widely shared footage of uniformed police officers restraining and handcuffing some women marking Everard’s death with a candlelit tribute has triggered outrage.
    Protest organizers Reclaim These Streets condemned the actions of officers “physically manhandling women at a vigil against male violence.”


    Wow UK going to shit.

  24. mundo says:
    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Asha Leu @ #70 Friday, June 4th, 2021 – 8:50 am

    By going your posts, you support the liberal party.

    I’m a member of the Labor party.


    Sure. random poster.

  25. Tiananmen Amnesia Has Its Limits

    Hong Kong has banned the annual vigil commemorating the crackdown in an attempt the emulate the way China has erased its memory. Good luck with that.

    For the first time in 32 years, Victoria Park in Hong Kong is likely to be largely empty on the night of June 4. Silent open spaces across the grass and soccer pitches where tens of thousands have gathered every year to commemorate the military crackdown on the Tiananmen student protests will be, for the city’s Beijing-backed authorities, the sign of a job well done. Appearances may be deceptive.

    It’s the second year in a row that Hong Kong has banned the annual Tiananmen vigil, ostensibly for Covid-19 and public order reasons. Last year, thousands turned up anyway. Any large-scale repeat is unlikely. Authorities have made clear that the cost of participation will be prohibitive: Prominent activists such as Joshua Wong have been handed months-long jail terms for their part in last year’s peaceful and socially distanced event. A year ago, China had yet to enact its national security law for Hong Kong. That judicial sword of Damocles now hangs over all who would dare to defy official warnings.

    That doesn’t mean that Beijing has succeeded, or will succeed, in its objective of consigning Tiananmen to a largely forgotten footnote of history. The police and government can prevent overt displays of commemoration (a June 4 museum closed Wednesday, three days after opening), but they cannot erase the knowledge of 1989 from the minds of a people who have been accustomed to living in relative freedom.

    For Hong Kong, the lessons of Tiananmen have never been more relevant.

    Beijing’s tarring of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement parallels how it heaped calumnies on the young, idealistic and patriotic students who once crowded Tiananmen Square in search of a better China.

    Such dispersed acts of defiance might seem like crumbs. They included arresting a 65-year-old activist known as “Grandma Wong” this week for taking part in an unauthorized assembly after she staged a one-woman protest, according to local media reports.

    The central flaw in the party’s Tiananmen and Hong Kong orthodoxy is that there was an either-or choice between the status quo and chaos. Only the unreformed, iron rule of the party could ensure stability and prosperity.

    A brittle system that brooks no alternative power base cannot but deny any intermediate possibility, and ignores the inconvenient fact that almost all the world’s richest countries by per-capita income are democracies.


  26. BK @ #15 Friday, June 4th, 2021 – 7:12 am

    John Kelly writes an open letter to Labor MPs. It demands that Plibersek be installed as a leader who can actually win the election against Morrison.

    I understand and agree with the sentiment, but it is probably too late for Labor to change leaders now. They should have done it six months ago. Now, it’s Albo – sink or swim. Predominantly, sink.

  27. Her observations are always interesting.

    White small square

    The Qanon angle is a red herring. The story is about much more than arm’s length connections to Qanon.

    Much more.

  28. Scott @ #50 Friday, June 4th, 2021 – 8:40 am

    Steve777 says:
    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 8:33 am
    The New Liberals seem to be an actual liberal party. Unfortunately the name “Liberal” had been taken by hard right reactionaries so they needed another name.


    It was once called the Turnbull Coalition Team, could it be called

    Morrison Coalition Team ? or Dutton Coalition Team?

    Love the way the media refers to ‘the federal government’ when talking about stuff that’s not so great. But reverts to ‘the Morrison government’ if it’s something that sounds good.

  29. Can someone explain how TPlibersek is the answer in getting Labor elected. Cos I’m not seeing it myself.

  30. “If the main pillar of the system is living a lie, then it is not surprising that the fundamental threat to it is living the truth,” the former Czech President and one-time dissident Vaclav Havel wrote in his famous 1978 essay, The Power of the Powerless.

    “This is why it must be suppressed more severely than anything else.” Heavy-handed reactions such as the arrest of a solitary elderly woman holding a placard give the lie to the notion that peaceful assemblies are a danger from which the community needs to be protected.

  31. poroti says:
    Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:11 am


    Western countries consist of:

    * Lawyers.
    * Business owners.
    * Came from rich families or elite schools.

    Your point is mute.

  32. No idea what the GP administered to my parents who both had their first shot yesterday. AZ or Pfizer.
    During the evening they both seemed okay.
    We shall see what today brings.

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