Liberals by any other name

Electoral law changes rammed through parliament, New South Wales state boundaries finalised, and some by-election news.

Significant electoral developments of the past few days:

• The federal government’s package of four electoral bills, which were explained in this earlier post, whizzed through parliament this week with the support of Labor (UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me that one of the four, dealing with the threshold for registering as a political campaigner, was in fact not considered). Most contentiously, this will give the Liberal Party exclusive rights to the word “liberal” in their registered party name, with the effect that the Liberal Democrats and the New Liberals will have to change names before the next election. It is unclear what the former plans to do, but Victor Kline, leader and registered officer of the New Liberals, says the party will simply identify itself as TNL.

• The new laws also mean that parties will need to have 1500 members to maintain their registration unless they have a sitting member of parliament, which by the reckoning of Kevin Bonham could affect as many of 24 out of the 45 currently registered parties. Those privy to the sitting member exemption include Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, thanks to former Liberal MP Craig Kelly’s decision join, along with the Centre Alliance, Jacqui Lambie Network, Katter’s Australian Party and Rex Patrick Team.

• The state redistribution for New South Wales has been finalised, without much change to the draft boundaries that were published last November. Antony Green has a pendulum with estimated margins for the final boundaries.

Two minor by-elections coming up:

• For the Northern Territory parliament: a by-election will be held on September 11 for the Darwin hinterland seat of Daly, where Country Liberal Party member Ian Sloan has retired due to ill health a year after an election at which Labor was returned to power. Sloan held out against Labor by 1.2% at the election, at which he succeeded retiring CLP member Gary Higgins. The CLP’s candidate is Kris Civitarese, a Barkly councillor; Labor’s is Dheran Young, a former advisor to Chief Minister Michael Gunner.

• For the Tasmanian Legislative Council: a by-election will be required for a yet-to-be determined date early next year for the seat of Huon, encompassing the southern edge of Hobart and its hinterland, after Labor member Bastian Seidel announced he would quit parliament at the final sitting for the year in December. Seidel has complained of a “toxic environment” and “obvious problems” in the party, which would appear to refer to the sexual harassment allegations against David O’Byrne, who was compelled to resign as party leader in July after just three weeks in the job and is now facing calls from within the party, including leader Rebecca White, to quit parliament.

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.

1,527 comments on “Liberals by any other name”

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  1. cud chewer,

    Could you point to where she said it depends on cases please? Here is her quote: “So there will be opportunities for us to move levers up and down, but no way will we need a statewide lockdown once we get to 80% double dose. And that is the key number that we need to get to.”

    I mean, I really hope I am wrong, but I have seen what narcissists can do. Shocking casual cruelty, if it is in their own best interests.

  2. Ronzy

    There are many things which frustrate me or leave me feeling decidedly powerless.

    However, as a Christian (a member of one of the main stream churches), the thing which makes me the most angry are the Christian versions of the Islamists. Those who so totally misrepresent the teachings of Jesus (who was totally unafraid of speaking truth to power) – unconditional love, concern for the vulnerable and marginalized members of the community, speaking truth to power without fear or favour – these are who truly make me angry, especially when they purport to speak for “all Christians”. The harm they do to the reputation of the Christian faith and ethos is devastating.

    Where is the voice of the Australian Christian Lobby speaking out against oppression, the incarceration of refugees, exploitation of workers, the obvious corruption and dishonesty of our political leaders? – Nothing Naht Zip.

    Perhaps what is needed is a counter “Lobby” of Christians who are just as vocal and forthright in lobbying government on behalf of the “Widows and Orphans in their Distress” and anyone else suffering the negative consequences of government policy and “big business” exploitation.


    Thank you for this post. The ACL only represent the weirdo fundamentalist pentecostal imports from the US. Oh, and those low church bastards from Moore College. And maybe Opus Dei?

    Unfortunately , John Howard took a big pivot to the religious right, and gave legitimacy to the ACL as the voice of “Christians”. An interesting position for a Big C Christian man who was (allegedly) known for his affairs with young Liberal women.

    I have amazing Christian churches near me, who are kind, caring, and preach the social gospel.

    And let us finish with a great Kev Carmody number that I hope will become a hymn:

    Actually, the Uniting Church is ahead of me:

  3. Fair enough cud chewer. Worth reading that article I linked from The Guardian. The direct quotes by Gladys Berejiklian provides the opposite impression.

  4. The model I’m following shows infections peaking about 3/4 of the way through September, at about 2500/day. It then takes about 4 weeks for daily infections to drop below 1000/day, as vaccination rates keep increasing. It looks like the media strategy for Gladys is to just completely ignore infections, and hammer away at how wonderful it is that so many people are getting vaccinated, with a few slight relaxations of restrictions here and there. So she’s got a few more weeks to tough it out, then it might get a bit easier for her. Unless the health system collapses under the weight of hospitalisations in the meantime, that might be hard to hide. You’d expect the daily death toll to climb too, that will also be hard to sweep under the carpet. Unless you are a Daily Telegraph reader, in which case you may not be aware that NSW is in the grip of a pandemic.

  5. TPP: L/NP 46 (-1) ALP 54 (+1)
    Primary: L/NP 36 (-3) ALP 40 (+1) GRN 10 (-1) ON 3 (0) OTH 11 (+3)

    Newspoll: Coalition’s fortunes fall as Scott Morrison on the rise
    Simon Benson Political Editor
    August 29, 2021

    Popular support for the federal Coalition has fallen to its lowest level this term with a swing to fringe minor parties amid record Covid-19 cases and debate over bringing an end to lockdowns.

    But personal support for Scott Morrison has lifted as the Prime Minister seeks to wrest control of the national agenda with almost 60 per cent of the country’s population living under some form of social restriction.

    An exclusive Newspoll conducted for The Australian shows the Coalition primary vote falling three points to 36 per cent.

  6. you’d really expect a Christian to not want to involve themselves in causing the death of others by deliberately spreading a deadly virus.

    I admit I’m not super familiar with he Bible, but wasn’t there a commandment about that?

  7. If you’re a Daily Telegraph reader you will be in the grip of Footy Fever and the Let Latrell Mitchell plays in the Finals campaign. 😐

  8. Parramatta Moderate,

    Chris Billington’s model is most decent. It does however make a few assumptions that are worth considering. The 80% reduction in overall transmission following full vaccination is a critical assumption that warrants careful consideration. We are at the timepoint at which Reff is predicted to decrease, so let’s hope!

  9. Ven

    Sunday, August 29, 2021 at 8:11 pm
    Ain’t it nice how urgency is the name of the game when ‘naice’ suburbs are under ‘threat’ . Aren’t they lucky they aren’t Aboriginal or disabled or live in the Western Suburbs.
    Eastern suburbs to get Pfizer jab priority as cases spread in record numbers

    Parts of Sydney’s eastern suburbs have been given priority access to Pfizer vaccines for 16 to 49-year-olds as authorities scramble to stop rising case numbers that could see COVID-19 hotspots expanded.

    I argued from the beginning that Eastern suburbs, North Shore and NW Sydney got priority treatment from beginning of this outbreak. But someone on this blog disagreed from the beginning.

    Yep, they certainly did – I know I have benefited from it.

    But what really pisses me off about the priority for Pfizer for the the Randwick LGA (my mum’s apartment block, with the COVID positive cases, is about 300 m from where the Randwick LGA starts) is that **they know ** COVID is rampant around here. But, they do not inform us that it is so.

    As Confessions will attest, the suburbs of Redfern, Waterloo, Alexandria and Surry Hills are acting like there is no COVID here – picnics, doggy play dates – no one is paying much attention to being COOVID safe around here. And from my kids in Randwick and Bondi Junction, it is the same over there (about 3 km away).

    Talked to son in Bondi Junction today. His 2.5 year old is finding it tough. He takes him for a drive, and they go past playgrounds full of kids. Master 2.5 says “They are bad people at the playground daddy, the police will come and arrest them.” Son does not quite know what to say. He has told Master 2.5 that is against the regulations for children to play at the park, but the young’n has made the police extrapolation all by himself.

    But son only has only has on Az dose 2 weeks ago, and DIL and lovely 5 month baby are of course totally unvaccinated.

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