Lockdown miscellany

Top end preselection news, a date set for a Queensland state by-election, and the latest on federal and state redistributions.

As a new financial year dawns, it’s all happening on Poll Bludger — in addition to this post, there is:

• A new post by Adrian Beaumont on Britain’s Batley and Spen by-election, French regional elections and the New York City mayoral election;

• A post on the new draft state redistribution for Victoria, including my calculations of party vote shares for the new boundaries;

• A post on the federal redistribution for Victoria, which has now been finalised, and which likewise comes with an accounting of party vote shares under the new boundaries, and some analysis of how the changes affects the Greens prospects in Macnamara and Higgins; and

• The regular bi-monthly donation drive.

Further developments:

• The Northern Territory Country Liberal Party has preselected Jacinta Price as its Senate candidate at the expense of incumbent Sam McMahon, who came to the position at the 2019 election. Price is the deputy mayor of Alice Springs Council and head of indigenous research at conservative think thank the Centre for Independent Studies, and ran unsuccessfully for the CLP in Lingiari at the 2019 election. McMahon was in the news last week after her unsteadiness while in the Senate chamber prompted allegations she was drunk, although she insisted she had in fact been suffering symptoms of severe hypertension.

• The mayor of Alice Springs, Damien Ryan, has been preselected by the CLP as its new candidate for Lingiari, which will be vacated with the retirement of Labor veteran Warren Snowdon. Labor’s new candidate is Marion Scrymgour, former Deputy Chief Minister and current chief executive of the Northern Land Council.

• Federal parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has published the report from its inquiry on the future conduct of elections operating during times of emergency situations. After considering the recent experiences of Queensland council elections, the Eden-Monaro by-election and general elections in Tasmania and the Northern Territory, it offers fairly modest recommendations: to give the Electoral Commissioner the power to extend pre-polling periods and allow for no-excuse postal and pre-poll voting (which exists de facto in any case) should the circumstances demand it, and to change the Electoral Act to change the date of an election in an emergency, giving better effect to a power that already exists under the Constitution.

• July 24 has been set as the date for Queensland’s Stretton by-election, which will fill the vacancy created by Labor member Duncan Pegg’s resignation after a terminal cancer diagnosis in May, followed weeks later by his death. The by-election will be contested for Labor by James Martin, a former electorate officer to Pegg, and for the Liberal National Party by Jim Bellos, a police officer and former Queenslander of the Year. Labor’s margin in the seat is 14.8%; I’ll be publishing a guide to the by-election soon-ish.

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.

2,534 comments on “Lockdown miscellany”

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  1. Lizzie @ #960 Sunday, July 4th, 2021 – 9:06 pm

    I am finding it very difficult to see the loving, forgiving Jesus in the harsh souls of the conservative Christian Liberals.

    They aren’t, ‘What would Jesus do?’ New Testament Christians. They are more like, ‘God smote’ Old Testament Christians.

  2. lizzie

    For many years, I had a cartoon on my fridge depicting Christ delivering the Sermon on the Mount and the crowd yelling out ‘Wet!” “Do gooder!” “Bleeding heart!”

  3. At a time when I should be reporting and continuing to extend help to families in India through my relief work, I am engaged with a battery of lawyers to fight the legal cases and summonses slapped on me.

    Sound familiar? Just replace India with Australia.

    Another similarity, it’s the leader of the country using religion, and the law, as a sword to vanquish his critics:

    During the virtual Group of Seven summit a couple of weeks ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a joint statement to promote “freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression.”

    “Democracy and freedom were a part of India’s civilizational ethos,” Modi said during the conference.

    A couple of days later, I faced a criminal investigation over a tweet.

    On June 15, the police in the state of Uttar Pradesh accused journalists, a publication and even Twitter in India of criminal conspiracy, promoting “enmity,” insulting religious beliefs and provoking riots in an attempt to destabilize the country.


  4. C@t

    “What a surprise. Not. That another ‘Lame gay Churchy Loser’ (thank you, Bridgey Abbott), gets a slot to take their place in the Lame gay Churchy Loser government of Scott Morrison.”.

    Not going to work for them this time.

    The more fundamentalists they put in the better.

    Voters are not stupid,and they have a whiff of this very smelly government.

  5. Been There @ #970 Sunday, July 4th, 2021 – 9:38 pm


    “What a surprise. Not. That another ‘Lame gay Churchy Loser’ (thank you, Bridgey Abbott), gets a slot to take their place in the Lame gay Churchy Loser government of Scott Morrison.”.

    Not going to work for them this time.

    The more fundamentalists they put in the better.

    Voters are not stupid, and they have a whiff of this very smelly government.

    You have to wonder how long it will be before they realise EVERY new candidate for Morrison’s government, has been chosen precisely because they are a Christian!?!

  6. poroti

    Thanks for the picture.


    That clown posing in the kangaroo robe disgusts me.

    Any Aboriginal person who thinks this government represents our people is seriously misguided.

    Wyatts interest in Aboriginal affairs is very minimal!

    Take note Pollbludgers.

  7. Zerlo
    Sunday, July 4, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    The man dubbed America’s “most prolific” conspiracy theorist, Texan Alex Jones, named Dr Anderson as “the woman running projects with weaponised COVID” and claimed she “ran all the censorship for Facebook … and silences the president”.

    Dr Anderson, who has extensive experience in bat-borne virus research, was one of two scientists asked to examine claims in the New York Post that the People’s Liberation Army had dispatched Major-General Chen Wei to Wuhan “to try and put the genie back in the bottle” after the SARS-CoV-2 virus escaped the lab.

    Zerlo.. it’s not Alex Jones behind this it’s Sharri Markson.. she has been running bat shit crazy conspiracy articles for Rupert.. they are all feeding off each other, aided by ex State Dept investigator & The Hudson Institute (a politically conservative ) American think tank operative David Asher.

  8. Ms Forrest has pitched herself to voters as a Christian and promoted the party as not standing for “grievance, special interest, tokenism and wokeism”

    The greatest lie the Right have ever told was that the other side were the ones obsessed with identity politics and their own social grievances.

    In the above statement alone, the person is saying “Vote for me because of my religious identity” also the usual whiny word salad at the end is basically them projecting their own grievances. “I reject wokeism” is basically code for “It’s actually my feelings that matter and I want them exclusively pandered to.”

    I also note that there is not a single thing about the economy or jobs in that statement. The Right are the real identity politics addicts – they always have been. They just are sulky because they don’t get exclusively pandered to in that regard anymore.

  9. “How easy it is to forget.

    Or to not have remembered in the first place.

    Or to not care.

    Or to ignore history.

    Or to play cynical games with American democracy.

    A flood of thoughts came over me in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision this week to further gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I thought of my time covering the front lines of the voting rights fights in the early 1960s, of white men in uniforms carrying the power of government and law enforcement turning away Black voters seeking to exercise their constitutional rights. I thought of state-sponsored violence to deny the vote. I thought of the heroic actions of my old friend John Lewis, now sadly gone when our country is so desperately in need of his voice. I thought of Medgar Evers and the many times I marveled at his calm determination to tear down the legal and social barriers to enfranchisement. And then I thought of seeing Evers’ wife and young children in the immediate aftermath of his murder. I thought of the Freedom Riders. I thought of long lines of Black faces waiting to vote in election after election. I thought of struggle, and sacrifice, and the faint flickering of hope. ”-Dan Rather

  10. Some unflattering comments about Sinopharm in this..


    Authorities in Bahrain and the UAE said late last week that a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine would be administered to people who had not come down with the coronavirus, six months after they received the second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine, starting with front-line workers, the elderly and those with preconditions that make the virus more dangerous.

    Confidence in the Chinese vaccine has fallen to the lowest level in Bahrain and the UAE. Bahrainis have taken to calling it “Marqdoush,” a traditional drink that was previously believed to cure several diseases but was later found to be ineffective. In the UAE, it is mockingly said of some who received the Sinopharm vaccine that they took a dose of “water and salt.”

    Dr. Rajesh Mundan, an Indian doctor working in emergency medicine in Bahrain, told The Media Line, “The Sinopharm vaccine only alleviates the severity of the virus, but in general it does not prevent it.”
    “We have received emergency cases of people infected with the virus, and they suffered from severe oxygen deficiency, despite receiving the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine,” he added.
    “There have also been deaths of infected people who received the vaccine. We did not see any deaths for those who received the Pfizer, Sputnik or AstraZeneca vaccines,” the doctor said.
    “The percentages announced by the manufacturer of the Sinopharm vaccine are not real. They initially indicated that its effectiveness may be 88%, but the percentage may not exceed 60%, and it is not useful for the elderly, but it may be useful to employ it as a booster dose for those who have recovered from the virus,” Mundan said.

  11. No Christ in the Old Testament. Just smiting.

    The politicians that most seek the Christian vote, don’t really seem to follow much in the way of the teaching of Christ

  12. I’d characterise these power-seeking right-wingers professing fundamentalist Christian beliefs as “Christianists” rather than “Christians”, people who follow or purport to follow a particularly conservative, authoritarian and exclusionist interpretation of Christian beliefs and who seek to impose their version of Christian life on the broader community through attainment of political power: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianism

  13. C@t

    Religion, whatever type is the cause of all the planets wars.

    Any contradictions please forward to the millions who have lost their lives due to religious wars.

    The world would be a better place without this stupid belief in a superior being.

    Apologies to the indoctrinated.

    Seek help if your religious reality doesn’t correspond to real life.

    Sorry C@t to use your previous comment to unload.

  14. Steve777

    “I’d characterise these power-seeking right-wingers professing fundamentalist Christian beliefs as “Christianists” rather than “Christians”, people who follow or purport to follow a particularly conservative, authoritarian and exclusionist interpretation of Christian beliefs and who seek to impose their version of Christian life on the broader community through attainment of political power: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianism

    Good quote.

    This belief in a non existent being is ridiculous.

    Some here have been indoctrinated through their education, the fact it has been carried on with further education, ie reality, is inexcusable.

    University educated people believing in a superior being!!!

    Let alone astrology??


    Where do go with this crap?

    Absolutely nowhere!

  15. Rossmcg says Monday, July 5, 2021 at 12:35 am

    Never heard of Ben O’Connor? Might hear a lot tomorrow.

    Well at least Fremantle and WA have something to celebrate tomorrow.

    I watched the last 20km or so. It was a pretty good performance in atrocious conditions.

    Tadej Pogačar seems pretty impressive, and still very young.

  16. Been There

    The fact that I understand the theory of Christianity does not mean that I am an adherent of any religion.

  17. Lizzie

    Like me you can understand all we like.

    At the end of the day it is all superstitious rubbish.

    Any evidence of JC’s return at your neck of the woods?

    Anyone else, any sightings?

    Been a long time.

    Just let us have faith though, it will happen.

    Would dumb and stupid sum it up?

  18. Very good article in The Conversation by Professor Blakely


    I fully agree with him. But, what he’s calling for is a continuation of strong public health measures well into late 2022 (if we are to have more people from overseas).

    What he’s not modelling is apathy. I have my doubts that people will continue to wear masks or will happily cooperate if they are made mandatory. And what really concerns me is that his modelling depends on the continuation of strong public health measures. Gladys has indicated she wants to gut our tracing/isolation system along with its timely information and exposure sites and all that.

    I think the modelling is also premature. We need a few months to get a better handle on the precise parameters – something we can only do imprecisely from inference from overseas data. We need more data.

    I also think the modelling needs to take into account the differences in vaccines and it needs to consider a booster regime early next year.

    Note that Germany has now recommended that Pfizer be given as a second dose to those who had AstraZeneca as a first dose and both the UAE and Bahrain are now going to give a third (booster) shot to those who got the Sinopharm vaccine. Its time we had an open, honest and nuanced discussion about the differences between vaccines, rather than “don’t mention the war”…

  19. Love the Shovel:
    Calling it a ‘new deal’ for Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined the roadmap for Australia’s pathway to the journey towards our passage that will take us to the finish line.

    “We now have a map to get us to the four-stage horizon pathway,” Mr Morrison announced, being careful to point out that he doesn’t actually hold the map.
    “While we don’t know how long it will take to get there, or how we will get there, or where we will get to when we get there, or why we’re going, or when we’ll leave, or who will be coming with us, Australians should feel reassured knowing that, after 17 months, we now have a clear course towards the highway horizon outcome. I won’t be taking any questions. Thank you”.

    The new approach will begin at some point in the future and has already started. It is subject to change.

  20. The problem with today’s Christians goes back to the reformation because while the old Catholic Church was corrupt but before the reformation it took the role of looking after societies sick and poor seriously and that was lost with the dissolving of the monasteries and governments have struggled with social policy ever since.

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