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.
• 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.