Spring cleaning

A little on election timing, a lot on federal preselections, and yet more polling on climate change and COVID-19.

Josh Butler of the New Daily reports Barnaby Joyce has “dropped hints to an election being called in January, to be held in the first quarter of next year”, while Scott Morrison apparently told the Liberal party room the election would “come around sooner than we think”. However, it appears to have been made clear that this doesn’t mean the election will be this year, consistent with Joyce’s prognosis.

Here’s what we do know, specifically regarding the parties’ recent candidate preselection efforts:

The West Australian reports Vince Connelly, the Liberal member for the soon-to-be-abolished northern Perth seat of Stirling, will challenge fellow incumbent Ian Goodenough in the neighbouring seat of Moore, rather than pursue Labor-held Cowan as previously indicated. Goodenough is noted for his successes in recruiting members of Pentecostal churches to local party branches and featured heavily in the machinations of the factional grouping known as “The Clan”, whose extensive WhatsApp discussions have now been published in full by The West Australian. The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Connelly’s move had angered unidentified “senior” Liberals, who must be privy to polling remarkably different from any available to the public, since they appear to believe he should be able to win Cowan from Labor.

• A Liberal National Party preselection held last weekend for Dawson, which will be vacated with the retirement of George Christensen, was won by Andrew Willcox, former tomato farmer and mayor of Whitsunday. Willcox won a local party ballot ahead of Chris Bonanno, a Mackay councillor and unsuccessful candidate for the state seat of Mackay last year, and Charles Pasquale, a Burdekin farmer. Meanwhile, the Courier-Mail reports Henry Pike has been endorsed by the LNP state executive to succeed Andrew Laming as candidate for Bowman, which would appear to put to rest suggestions he might be elbowed aside despite having won the local party ballot.

• Labor has finalised candidates in several of the theoretically winnable Queensland seats currently held by the Liberal National Party: Rebecca Fanning, a Queensland government health policy adviser, in Longman (margin 3.3%); Elida Faith, local president of the Queensland Council of Unions and unsuccessful candidate in 2019, in Leichhardt (4.2%); Madonna Jarrett, a director at Deloitte Australia, in Brisbane (4.9%); Mike Denton, Australian Workers Union delegate and Caltex Lytton oil refinery worker, in Petrie (8.4%); and Rowan Holzberger, electorate officer to Senator Murray Watt, in Forde (8.6%).

• Labor also has candidates in place for the two Liberal-held seats in Tasmania, both of which it held before 2019. Bass will again be contested by Ross Hart, who held it from 2016 to 2019 and has since been the principal of a Launceston law firm, while Braddon will be contested by Chris Lynch, Burnie councillor and project co-ordinator at the St Giles Society, a charity assisting the disabled.

• Tracey Roberts, who has spent 10 years as the mayor of Wanneroo, has been endorsed as Labor’s candidate in Christian Porter’s northern Perth seat of Pearce.

Tom Richardson of InDaily reports Louise Miller-Frost, state chief executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society, is “set to receive cross-factional support” to become Labor’s candidate for the marginal Adelaide seat of Boothby, which will be vacated with the retirement of Liberal member Nicolle Flint.

Finally, as we head into what will likely be a quiet-to-silent week on the opinion poll front, a fair and balanced selection of privately conducted polling:

• Polling on the importance of climate change as an election issue and the future use of fossil fuels, conducted for the Australian Conservation Foundation by YouGov from a sample of 15,000, has been published in the form of interactive maps by the Age/Herald. These show results at electorate level, presumably from around 100 respondents each.

• The Centre for Independent Studies has published a survey it commissioned from YouGov concerning “attitudes to a post-Covid Australia”, conducted in early August from a sample of 1029. The libertarian think tank’s take on the results, which are in line with those of a similar exercise conducted by the same pollster for The Australian last week, is that “we are a nation of ‘Karens’ tut-tutting over people not following ‘the rules’”. While it took fine parsing of small sub-samples to get there, the report observes that Coalition voters were the most likely to support “government restrictions on civil liberties because of the pandemic” in New South Wales, whereas Labor voters were markedly more so in Victoria.

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.

2,508 comments on “Spring cleaning”

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  1. Hey fiberals. You guys are aware, we are in the middle of fighting on outbreak here in Victoria. But by all means, you do you.

    Richard Willingham
    Tomorrow looms at spill day tor the Victorian Libs. The moment has been brewing for months. Could get really messy. #springst

  2. Sceptic

    “ since the Prime Minister opened up AZ”… there we have it the PM runs ATAGI., or is that that just Frewen’s view of the world, neutrality never been the Army’s strong point for some reason


    Actually, that is more accurate than the other way around (i.e., that ATAGI makes the decision to “open up”). ATAGI is an advisory body, not a decision maker. it advises the government (with pretty complex analyses of risk) and the government makes decisions informed by the advice.

    The real issue here is that when the government’s decision based on ATAGI advice goes awry, it’s ATAGI’s fault. But when the decision appears to be good, it’s all to the credit of Scummo.

  3. With the additional four million doses coming from the UK, Lieutenant general John Frewen tells @mjrowland68 that supply is no longer an issue.

    “It really is about people coming forward and I really encourage everybody who hasn’t done so to get a booking and get vaccinated.” pic.twitter.com/gNjtds7SVC

  4. Victorian Liberals play whack-a-mole style of leadership.
    As soon as they knock one wannabe on the head another one pops up.

  5. C@tmomma @ #46 Monday, September 6th, 2021 – 7:50 am

    meher baba,
    This is from The Post/The Saturday Paper this morning:

    A NSW Health report warns at least 11% of people in the state with Covid-19 now end up in hospital, a rate twice what Premier Gladys Berejiklian claimed last week.

    What we know:

    *The latest NSW Health surveillance report shows the true rate is at least double Berejiklian’s claim of a 5.5% hospitalisation rate (SMH);

    *The assessment suggests the true rate is likely even higher given the lag between infection and becoming sick enough to need care in hospital;
    There are 1030 patients in hospital, with 175 people in intensive care, 72 on ventilators;

    *That figure leaves out almost 1700 people who are receiving hospital-grade care at home, with a briefing to National Cabinet suggesting the true hospitalisation rate is 15% (The Saturday Paper)

    If she lies about that such things in a pandemic as premier then she should resign in disgrace and apply for a job on SkyFox news.

  6. Victoria records 246 COVID cases as regional restrictions may be set to ease

    Victoria has recorded 246 new cases of COVID-19 as the state races to vaccinate people to curb the spread of its Delta outbreak.

    Contact tracers have so far linked 121 of the new cases to existing outbreaks, but the number of cases who were in the community while infectious is no longer being reported each day.

    The new cases resulted from 42,258 test results processed on Sunday, when 29,955 vaccine doses were delivered at state-run sites.

    Last week the Victorian government shifted away from trying to reach zero cases of coronavirus in the community, and is instead focusing on keeping case numbers as low as possible while getting people vaccinated.


  7. VicGovDH (@VicGovDH)

    Reported yesterday: 246 new local cases and 0 new cases acquired overseas.
    – 26,955 vaccine doses were administered
    – 42,258 test results were received

  8. Sydney’s “LGAs of concern” have worryingly high Covid case numbers. Cumberland (a swathe of Western Sydney extending from Lidcombe to Greystanes and Pemulwuy) has over 4,000 active cases in a population of about 240,000, more than 1/60 of the population. It had 203 new cases yesterday. Canterbury-Bankstown has over 4,000 cases in a population of about 350,000 (so over 1/90). It had 212 new cases yesterday.


  9. Simon Love @SimoLove

    Matthew Guy and Tim Smith resigned from Shadow Cabinet at 8am, @10NewsFirstMelb is told. Could be more to come.. #springst

  10. What would be hilarious is if Georgie Crozier who has been out and about of late, gets the gig.

    The vic liberals should do everyone a favour and start again. There is not one decent MP amongst them.

  11. C@tmommasays:
    Monday, September 6, 2021 at 7:10 am
    You just know though, that if Delta got into WA the media would blow up about the failing hospital system being unable to cope with the influx of patients.

    Is it true that Gladys doesn’t extend invitation to journos, who ask tough questions on COVID, to her daily press conferences on COVID-21?

    I read something to that effect somewhere.

  12. Re Poroti @8:27.

    That picture of George Street, Sydney, has Christmas decorations. It’s a bit early for them. It’s an old picture, maybe last Christmas (when the weather was pretty crap).

  13. Someone on Twitter suggested they meet at a playground. LOL!

    Sharnelle Vella
    It’s all happening. @MatthewGuyMP and @TimSmithMP have resigned from shadow cabinet. Now @michaelobrienmp needs to find a COVID safe room for the vote. @7NewsMelbourne

  14. Jaegersays:
    Monday, September 6, 2021 at 7:47 am
    Moderna to recall COVID-19 doses in Japan after stainless steel contaminants found

    The most probable cause of contamination was related to friction between two pieces of metal in the machinery that puts stoppers on the vials, Moderna said in the joint statement with Takeda. The material was confirmed to be stainless steel.


    Further grist for anti-vaxxers.

  15. From this distance, Matthew Guy seems to be a nasty piece of work. He’s been rejected once by Victorians, even with the mainstream media pretty much openly campaigning for him. The Victorian Liberals can’t find anyone better?

  16. porotisays:
    Monday, September 6, 2021 at 6:52 am
    Our fear mongering Premier has us all terrified . Just look at the Perth Cave Dweller Shelter yesterday. Packed with terrified Sandgropers.

    I saw Arthur Ash stadium in New York for US Open (tennis) and ‘The Oval’ in London for Test Cricket match between England and India are yesterday packed to full capacity with negligible mask wearing.

  17. Steve777

    Matthew Guy was deep into the pockets of the developers in Melbourne and made some shocking decisions, some of which couldn’t be reversed. Georgie Crozier is an empty-headed hater of Labor. At least Michael O’Brien seems useless. 😆

  18. Good Morning

    I hope the YouGov poll ends the whole the Greens are a vote for the Liberals crap the likes of N and BW try and peddle on this forum.

    The good news is that their efforts have dismally failed to get voters to disregard the environment even if you think they are right about the Greens. That poll is a big destroyer of fossil fuel interest politics. The Greens advocating science based policy had to have a payoff at some point.

    Labor has to go for Kevin Rudd style policy campaigning on the environment even if it’s not what the Greens want. The big story is that in a preferential voting system with polling like that on the environment you cannot pretend the Greens are wrong to advocate for the environment.

    So yes Labor people in this democracy you can vote Green 1 Labor 2 and be a real progressive opposing fossil fuel interests. A vote for the Greens is a vote for the environment. It’s a vote for the poor. It’s a vote for refugees and against racism. It’s a vote for unions.

    It’s all of that. The one thing a vote for the Greens is not. It’s not a vote for fossil fuel interests. It’s not a vote for Barnaby Joyce Craig Kelly and Matt Canavan.
    Unlike the LNP the Greens have not looked the other way about anti vaxxers and disinformation. Just as they have not about fossil fuels.

    So in this democracy Vote Green 1 Labor 2 and send Labor a message to get its finger out. Stop listening to the disinformation campaigns and like Labor is doing so well with the pandemic fight the fossil fuel interests.

    Argue all you want that Labor is a better choice for the environment for being the only party that has a chance of being the government to act on the environment. It’s a fair argument. Just don’t lie and say a vote for the Greens is a vote for the Liberals. In our preferential voting system it’s not.

    A lot in common with Labor voters.

  19. Sumeyya Ilanbey @sumeyyailanbey

    Matthew Guy and Tim Smith have resigned from shadow cabinet. Louise Staley, David Southwick and Ryan Smith in the mix for deputy. Libs want Michael O’Brien to step down today, otherwise a spill motion is set to be introduced in tomorrow’s (socially distanced) party room meeting

  20. Cases are doubling every week in Victoria.
    We are in a race to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

    Meanwhile the vic liberals as per usual engage in self indulgent behaviour.

    Absolutely useless.

  21. Truckies aren’t what they used to be

    Speaking of Queensland, their health department still trying to track down five to eight people who were in a nail salon at Beenleigh with a known Covid-19 case, a 46-year-old truck driver, last Monday.


  22. What!!!! Zoe Samios and Rob Harris tell us that News Corp’s local outlets will soon begin a company-wide campaign promoting the benefits of a carbon-neutral economy, marking a major shift in the organisation’s view on the subject.

    As long as Credlin and Jones and many others are on their payrolls that sounds hollow and hypocritical.

  23. @samanthamaiden tweets

    Just heard @peterstefanovic suggest hospitalisation rate as doubled in NSW. Nope just @GladysB quoting entirely bogus 5.5 per cent hospitalisation rate and her office failing to clarify correct figure is 11 per cent. Has been since June. How she gets away with this is a mystery

  24. guytaur @ #83 Monday, September 6th, 2021 – 9:26 am

    @samanthamaiden tweets

    Just heard @peterstefanovic suggest hospitalisation rate as doubled in NSW. Nope just @GladysB quoting entirely bogus 5.5 per cent hospitalisation rate and her office failing to clarify correct figure is 11 per cent. Has been since June. How she gets away with this is a mystery

    Grace and favour politics in Macquarie Street.

  25. Morrison is delivering the keynote address at today’s National Summit on Women’s Safety.

    What can he possibly add? In a different family (such as Malcolm Turnbull’s) his wife could have stepped forward. It could have been Jen’s moment to make her mark.

    Sorry, just for a moment I lost my mind.

  26. @gpaddymanning tweets
    Progress! Rupert Murdoch newspapers, 24-hour news channel to champion net zero emissions


    @Sue0606 tweets

    Pivoting to help get Morrison LNP re-elected then muddying the waters over any real action on climate change. Net 0 by 2050 leaves a lot of wriggle room to confuse the public on meaningful action for the next 30 years

    Edit: TL:DR. Greenwashing.

  27. Sending positive people home to isolate at home was/is always a weak link, esp with Delta. Barrier nursing is complicated enough in hospital.

  28. lizzie @ #86 Monday, September 6th, 2021 – 9:29 am

    Morrison is delivering the keynote address at today’s National Summit on Women’s Safety.

    What can he possibly add? In a different family (such as Malcolm Turnbull’s) his wife could have stepped forward. It could have been Jen’s moment to make her mark.

    Sorry, just for a moment I lost my mind.

    The Irony. I should be renamed the Brittany Higgins Memorial Lecture.

  29. guytaur @ #84 Monday, September 6th, 2021 – 9:26 am

    @samanthamaiden tweets

    Just heard @peterstefanovic suggest hospitalisation rate as doubled in NSW. Nope just @GladysB quoting entirely bogus 5.5 per cent hospitalisation rate and her office failing to clarify correct figure is 11 per cent. Has been since June. How she gets away with this is a mystery

    ‘How she gets away with this is a mystery’
    Not really.
    Minns is suffering Labor inertia.

  30. @Paul_Karp tweets

    The Greens are so fiscally conservative, always trying to finance spending with taxes on this and that.
    They should be more like the Coalition, which just MMT’ed up $90bn for jobkeeper.

  31. Meher,

    I don’t know the answer but it is almost certainly a case of comparing apples and oranges.

    E.g. I’ve seen reports that NSW Health are providing “hospital level” care to COVID patients at home, while Qld have ben hospitalising all positive cases (because we can, at this stage). How are these counted, and how are the international comparisons done…?

  32. The trouble with women can be fixed by blocked investigations, Sergeant Schultz, a lump of coal, torturing a white dove, the Rapture, the divine wisdom of Jen, and two hapless spin daughters

  33. Morrison is so determined to make himself the star of everything that he won’t even give the keynote address to his Prime Minister for Women. That brainfart didn’t last very long.

  34. ‘guytaur says:
    Monday, September 6, 2021 at 9:37 am

    @Paul_Karp tweets

    The Greens are so fiscally conservative, always trying to finance spending with taxes on this and that.
    They should be more like the Coalition, which just MMT’ed up $90bn for jobkeeper.’
    Karp is talking out of his arse. The Greens simply leave out the economic costs of their rural and regional policies on anything from mining to irrigation. The major Greens increase in employment will come from an endless barrage of stultifying committees.

  35. Poroti So it is busy these days ? Have one from last month.

    Sydney roads are certainly quiet. Haven’t been to the CBD in ages and it’s now beyond my 5 km Event Horizon. I could go to the approaches of the Harbour Bridge but I can’t cross it.

  36. Juliette O’Brien’s twitter feed is detailed on hospitalisation stats.

    Chris Billington has provided an explainer on the effect of vaccination on infections on his twitter feed.

  37. Steve777says:
    Monday, September 6, 2021 at 7:53 am
    Re Cud Chewer @3:02.

    People consistently say in surveys like this that they want action of climate change but it doesn’t translate into votes.

    It is because people don’t know the real cost of action and inaction on Climate change.
    Also, in surveys it doesn’t cost them anything to say that they want action on Climate change probably fantasising that it will not cost anything to take action. But they found out that it will cost them something when they voted for Gillard government. Basically what I am saying is that people of Australia want free lunch on Climate change action and LNP promises that and they like it.

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