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”

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  1. Here is the (in)famous list: https://ipa.org.au/ipa-review-articles/be-like-gough-75-radical-ideas-to-transform-australia

    Some years ago Crickey ticked off a number of points on the list. Certainly some have been accomplished, some were attempted and failed and some are no longer relevant.

    So 1, 2, 43, 47, 30, 19, 49 and a number of others were done.
    3, 4, 6 and some others were attempted but failed (so far). Re 12, the Government arranged for a pair of racist academics to review the previously bipartisan national curriculum.
    10 (Kyoto Protocol) is no longer relevant. We are part of its successor agreement but the Federal Government is making only token gestures to meet our very weak targets.
    Re 20, the Medicare Co-payment was an attempt to nobble Medicare by stuffing around patients and doctors and ending bulk billing
    … there’s more.

  2. @jonkuldeka tweets

    If only Labor would stop targeting greens seats and focus their energy on the real enemy.

  3. Funny that Labor are trying to remove Bandt, who is easily the most progressive MP in the House of Reps. Says it all really. But it’s not surprising, they’ve been trying to get rid of him for over a decade without much luck. Perhaps Labor should focus on taking seats off the Liberals instead. But it doesn’t really matter who Labor puts up in Melbourne, they will still be representing a tired old conservative party that is backing in coal and which supports the economic status quo.

  4. Mavis says:
    Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    I’m sure you told them the truth and not the bullshit lies being posted here completely misrepresenting what is happening. No?

  5. Rex

    Melbourne is not going to change the government.

    The LNP gutting Medicare will.

    Getting those voters to change in marginals just got much more likely. If I was Labor I know what I would focus on.

  6. Rex
    Bandt hasn’t faced a real candidate so it might not be that safe and Dawson would be a massive improvement on the hack.

  7. Compare this with Bandt’s record of failure…

    Emma Dawson

    Executive Director

    Emma Dawson is Executive Director of Per Capita. She has worked as a researcher at Monash University and the University of Melbourne; in policy and public affairs for SBS and Telstra; and as a senior policy adviser in the Rudd and Gillard Governments.

    Emma has published reports, articles and opinion pieces on a wide range of public policy issues. She is a regular contributor to Guardian Australia, The Age, Independent Australia and The Australian Financial Review, and a frequent guest on various ABC and commercial radio programs nationally. She appears regularly as an expert witness before parliamentary inquiries and often speaks at public events and conferences in Australia and internationally.

    Emma is the co-editor, with Professor Janet McCalman, of the collection of essays What happens next? Reconstructing Australia after COVID-19, published by Melbourne University Press in September 2020. She tweets @DawsonEJ

  8. Greensborough Growler:

    Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 7:05 pm


    How are they hanging?’]

    Don’t take his lure.

  9. Meanwhile Adam Bandt still living off a relatives’s invention…

    ‘The family of new Greens leader Adam Bandt has already made one of the most significant contributions to farmers in the history of Australian agriculture – by inventing the ute.

    “Back in 1932, Lewis Bandt was asked by a farmer to invent something so he could get pigs to market on Saturday and his wife to church on Sunday, so he came up with the ute,” Mr Bandt said.’


  10. BK – i had a look at the wikipedia article, edwards deming is indeed an interesting person. played flute & drums and wrote music , too. developed statistical tools used in census taking.

    i think deming would agree that any organisation worth its salt would keep full & accurate records to support it in its endeavours & that good record keeping is a fundamental under-pinning to the 14 points, or any *effective* project management. i seriously doubt this government is keeping full & accurate records, which i suspect is why they can’t answer basic questions (i.e. like how many & where & who) and don’t know where they are or where they’re going next in their own project. -a.v.

  11. guytaur @ #1456 Sunday, June 6th, 2021 – 7:16 pm


    Melbourne is not going to change the government.

    The LNP gutting Medicare will.

    Getting those voters to change in marginals just got much more likely. If I was Labor I know what I would focus on.

    The election will be won in the burbs – the tradies, the mums, the factory workers, the teachers, the cafe owners, the health care workers.

  12. Steve777 says:
    Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Less than 10%. That’s pretty shit for an organisation that supposedly runs the LNP.

  13. USS Canberra a shiny new symbol of US-Australia relations

    Washington | A new $US500 million ($645 million) warship christened at the weekend will serve as a symbol for the Australia-US alliance as they celebrate the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty.

    The USS Canberra – which is the only US Navy ship to be named after a capital city outside the US – was first announced by then-president Donald Trump in 2018 when then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull visited the US.

    It was built by Australian-owned Austal.

    Mr Trump also presented a model of the USS Canberra to Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his trip to the White House.

    It is the second US Navy warship named in honour of the original HMAS Canberra, which was sunk in August 1942 while defending US marines desperately fighting to defend the island of Guadalcanal.

    In 2001, then-president George W Bush presented John Howard with the bell from the original USS Canberra.


    Earlier clip of it –


  14. The sad thing is that the NSW Liberal Government should be easily beatable, they are absolutely terrible! But Labor are so toxic in the state that there’s hardly any chance of that happening anytime soon. I keep wondering just how bad the Libs will have to get before Labor is competitive again, because they’re already pretty damn bad… It’s going to take a truly monumental stuff up for people to dump the Libs and give Labor another go.

  15. guytaur says:
    Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    “The LNP gutting Medicare will.”

    Seeing as the LNP isn’t going to do that you’re out of luck, Champ.

  16. Bucephalus:

    Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    [‘I’m sure you told them the truth and not the bullshit lies being posted here completely misrepresenting what is happening. No?’]

    I told them a half-truth, that the Tories are out to privatise Medicare – it’s in their DNA. The political problem for them is that this is their Achilles’ heel. They know it; I’d assume that Labor does too. I mean to say, what’s the world coming to if you can’t visit a quack with a cut finger, a self-limiting sore throat(?).

  17. Buce

    If the reports are true the LNP have in my view handed Labor victory.

    The LNP will have given Labor a True Believers election

  18. ABC news just reported that the highset number of deaths in Oz are by suicide.

    If this is true what does it say about the social structures that should be supported by the govt which continually boasts that they are keeping us safe.

  19. Stuffing around with Medicare in the middle of a once in a hundred year pendemic of all times will not go down well at all.

  20. ‘dave says:
    Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    USS Canberra a shiny new symbol of US-Australia relations’
    Not a good choice, IMO. The USN sank HMS Canberra off Savo Island. The Australians believed she could have been saved. Australians were so pissed off that the Brits provided a replacement: HMS Shropshire which became HMAS Shropshire. One of the HMS Canberra’s 8 inch guns resides just outside the AWM.

    Prince Philip had served aboard HMS Shropshire briefly during WW2.

  21. Alfred venison
    Many years ago I had the privilege of attending a three day seminar with WE Deming. I wrote down many of his wise words and have collated them in various categories, supplemented by what I have seen in his books. They are timeless in their wisdom and applicability.
    It’s a long document and I don’t know how to create a link. If you are interested to see them, here is my permission for William to pass on my email address.

  22. The sad thing is that the NSW Liberal Government should be easily beatable, they are absolutely terrible! But Labor are so toxic


    Good thing that the Greens are able to harness that energy and beat the NSW Coalition, with Labor so toxic.

    I look forward to the NSW Greens winning their next election with a policy platform and performance that blows the Liberals out of the water.

  23. Re GG @7:13
    ” If only Labor would stop targeting greens seats and focus their energy on the real enemy.”

    Agree 100%.

    Now it’s sometimes said of every great truth that it’s opposite is also true.

    So vice versa, still agree 100%.

  24. “The LNP gutting Medicare will.”

    Seeing as the LNP isn’t going to do that you’re out of luck, Champ.


    They are not going to do it. THEY ARE DOING IT!

  25. The Daily ToiletPaper has the drop, and is softening people up for LNP Medicare cuts.. and Buce is cheering them on..

    ‘Patients could find themselves over $10,000 out of pocket for common surgeries, as radical changes to the Medicare rebate scheme are introduced.

    More than 900 procedures including hip, shoulder, hand, cardiac and other surgeries are impacted in the overhaul next month, with doctors warning it will create “total chaos”.

    In some areas, like shoulder surgery, one in four of the existing items have disappeared altogether so there will be no Medicare or health fund rebate — patients will have to either pay the full cost or do without the surgery.

    Some tendon procedures for elbow surgeries have also been wiped and with no Medicare or health fund rebate, could cost patients $7000 to $10,000.

    And fee cuts for hip arthroplasty could deliver a $1200 gap.

    Young people and sports people are among those worst impacted, now faced with having to fully fund their own microsurgery for an extremely common hip condition.

    Femoro-acetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) — where extra bone grows along the hip joint causing an irregular shape and painful rubbing during movement — is no longer allowed as a diagnosis.

    Australia has now become the only medically advanced country not to recognise this diagnosis or treatment — through a hip arthroscopy — the Australian Medical Association (AMA) said.


  26. Trumps latest musings was reported on channel nine news too. I didn’t see anything different apart from a man who knows he is going to be indicted. Hence the narrative he will be reinstated as President in August.

    He is so predictable.

  27. Re Bucephalus @7:11

    ”Less than 10%. That’s pretty shit for an organisation that supposedly runs the LNP.”

    My list is not comprehensive. It’s a lot more than 10%.

    Of course the IPA doesn’t run the Liberal Party. It did play a major role in its founding in 1944 and it seems to provide the party’s intellectual muscle. The IPA and the Liberals share people and ideologies. The IPA often says what Liberals won’t say (in public at least).

  28. Would be great if people stopped wasting their vote on unelectable NSW Labor and went with the Greens instead, they’d probably have a better chance of getting rid of the Libs if they did. Voting for Labor is pointless. At least the Greens make an effort to hold Gladys and her shoddy government accountable.

  29. “Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 7:47 pm
    Just heard from one of my Liberal contacts that @GregHuntMP thinks he’s in line for a Nobel Peace Prize. Wow!— Paul Bongiorno (@PaulBongiorno) June 6, 2021”

    Actually somebody misheard. Hunt is in line for the Nobel piss prize, as in ‘piss and wind’.

    (Urban dictionary: piss and wind
    All speech and no action, like many politicians.)

  30. @drkerrynphelps tweets

    This is a shambles
    3 weeks to go and doctors don’t know what the 900 Medicare changes/fund rebates will be, so patients cannot give informed financial consent

    #Medicare review changes: gap payments for medical procedures set to skyrocket
    #auspol #health

  31. Steve777

    SeN Paterson is a typical example of someone who was sheltered in the IPA until he was able to step into a seat.

  32. You’re becoming a trifle paranoid about your team, Bucephalus. The cuts to Medicare have been well-detailed by anor and will become an election issue.

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