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. Some more numbers to chew on
    The results, published in a preprint on 19 August1, suggest that both vaccines are effective against Delta after two doses, but that the protection they offer wanes with time. The vaccine made by Pfizer in New York City and BioNTech in Mainz, Germany, was 92% effective at keeping people from developing a high viral load — a high concentration of the virus in their test samples — 14 days after the second dose. But the vaccine’s effectiveness fell to 90%, 85% and 78% after 30, 60 and 90 days, respectively.

    The vaccine developed by Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in Cambridge, UK, was 69% effective against a high viral load 14 days after the second dose, falling to 61% by 90 days.

  2. @SimonBanksHB tweets

    For some people’s mental health, I wouldn’t recommend watching it

    But there is a complete unhinging going on @SkyNewsAust right now

    Attacking @ScottMorrisonMP plus Labor Leaders too

    So unhinged from what Australians think, it’s comedy gold

    Good for my mental health

    Stay safe

  3. Cud chewer,

    That is what I think is happening. Vaccines help reduce the likelihood of infection, but are not reducing onward transmission of delta. Those that get delta, will still pass it on to the same extent. So with the typical formula: Calculated overall reduction in transmission = 1-(1-Ei)*(1-Et), we see Ei being at 0.8 or so but Et being a problem. Et is NOT 0.65 according to Doherty.

    Helps explain the spikes we are seeing internationally and the need for higher vaccination rates.

  4. guytaur @ #711 Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 – 9:48 pm

    @SimonBanksHB tweets

    For some people’s mental health, I wouldn’t recommend watching it

    But there is a complete unhinging going on @SkyNewsAust right now

    Attacking @ScottMorrisonMP plus Labor Leaders too

    So unhinged from what Australians think, it’s comedy gold

    Good for my mental health

    Stay safe

    Jeez, who do they want to rule Australia then? Pauline Hanson and Craig Kelly!?!

  5. poroti,

    That is an issue, We can see attenuation. Some mischievous people have extrapolated the lines to show Pfizer dip below AZ in efficacy. But we don’t have the longer term data yet.

    My gut feeling is that there is a thought to vaccinate with the best coverage as we can, then let it rip and boost efficacy via breakthrough infection endemically. Win for opening up, win for vaccinated people. Not so great for those unvaccinated.

  6. I wonder how a Government would function with the House BoP held by Tree-Tory indies, but the Senate BoP still held by Hansonites and other evolutionarily-challenged beings, lol.

    I have to say the combo of the Sydney weekend trip, the Moderna delay being highlighted through the Murdochracy, their weird shift on climate and now overt criticism from the After Dark troglodytes … the fuck is going on?

  7. “I knew him back in the day when he was a struggling comedian and a devout supporter of Labor. Fast forward to him making bank and he turned on a dime. To the extent that he’s quite happy to do his radio show with Jim Molan’s daughter now. You know, the one who went down to Cobargo, to host a radio show after the bushfires, to drum up support from a sceptical community for Scott Morrison.”

    He’s a comedian? Since when has having an irritating whiny voice been considered funny? He’s a cancerous polyp attached to the anus of TV and refuses to be lanced.

  8. Scott Morrison (ScoMo)
    Yesterday at 15:50 ·
    The stories, expertise and experiences being shared at the Women’s Safety Summit over the next two days are critical to Australia’s next National Plan

    There we have it… Australia’s next National Plan..
    SfM election strategy exposed… base ball caps replaced by endless stream of “National Plans”… all given a dry run prior to election at tax payers expense.

  9. “ Win for opening up, win for vaccinated people. Not so great for those unvaccinated.”
    Not a win for the vaccinated if you get long Covid (we don’t know the rate in the vaccinated).

  10. Poroti yes iron ore prices down but,
    Thermal Coal prices at $US180/tonne this week – a massive spike
    Coking Coal prices at $US274/tonne a massive spike – Our comrade Xi is paying $US400/tonne for inferior coking coal shipped huge distances – what an imbecile.
    LNG prices have gone through the roof as well in the last few weeks so everything is not too bad currently.

  11. Griff

    I’ve always been under the impression that the main influence of a vaccine is to reduce your viral load and that’s how it reduces retransmission. If it also has the mechanism of preventing you from being infected when exposed, that’s a good thing. But I’m agnostic about that.

  12. Diogenes @ Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Very fair point and thanks for bringing it up. Long COVID is very much an unknown harm with respect to Delta. We should consider this in our risk quotient.

  13. Griff

    “That is an issue, We can see attenuation. Some mischievous people have extrapolated the lines to show Pfizer dip below AZ in efficacy. But we don’t have the longer term data yet.”

    Even my doctor tried to sell this – until I pointed out that they don’t have enough data. My main concern is that with waning immunity we’ll get into a scenario where we get used to a certain level of restrictions and where the government is slow to see the signs of waning immunity, do nothing and then hit the panic button.

  14. Cud
    You’d hope that the our government would have the same information (or better), hold discussions like this, and plan ahead. Pity it’s the Coalition …

  15. Cud Chewer @ Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    That’s the theory. Lower viral shedding equates to lower onward transmission. Evidence of the benefit of vaccination on decreasing viral load is there for Alpha, but not Delta. So, looking at the situation where vaccination decreases the likelihood of infection with Delta, but if PCR positive, the viral load is similar to in an unvaccinated person, the thought is that we have a threshold effect happening.

    Edit: This is simplistic, perhaps overly so. One could look at the dynamics of infectivity and we have assumed a consistent infectivity response to viral load. Perhaps the vaccine alters this. But no evidence that I am aware of so KISS.

  16. Diogenes @ #1210 Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 – 10:46 pm

    “ Win for opening up, win for vaccinated people. Not so great for those unvaccinated.”
    Not a win for the vaccinated if you get long Covid (we don’t know the rate in the vaccinated).

    Half the rate as in the unvaccinated seems to be the current theory. With the unvaccinated rate being anywhere from 3-10%.

    Any way you slice it, it’s a lot of people with long-term health issues.

  17. a r

    Did you see my longish post last night weighing up the possible scenarios and coming to the conclusion that the possible scenarios that involve “most people getting it” are rather unlikely?

  18. https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/mrna-vaccines-could-offer-personal-treatments-for-some-of-the-words-cancers/

    “Tailor-made mRNA vaccines are an exciting form of personalized medicine to treat cancer, and involve taking a tissue sample from the patient’s tumor and analyzing it for mutations. This not only hones the immune system into the cancerous cells, but differentiates them from healthy, non-cancerous cells.

    The result is that the messenger RNA creates proteins shed from the exterior of the tumor and brings immune cells like T cells up to speed on how to fight it.

    “One of the things cancer does is it can turn on signals to tell the immune system to quiet down so the cancer is not detected,” explains Daniel Anderson, a biotech scientist at MIT, to National Geographic. “The goal of an mRNA vaccine is to alert and gear up the immune system to go after the characteristic features of tumor cells and attack them.”

    Currently, phase-one clinical trials are running for metastatic melanoma, GI-tract cancer, colorectal cancer, pancreatic and ovarian cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer.”

  19. Am convinced that Morrison enjoys deliberately provoking the left, not unlike Ivanka with her ‘don’t care’ jacket. The constant outrage distracts us , a la Trump.
    Because he believes he’s the ‘chosen one’ , he’s using all means foul in buying loyalty and making deals .
    The use of that Father’s Day tweet with the ‘white dove ‘ is not accidental, but rather from say Roger Stone’s playbook.
    Must watch “The Family” on Netflix again, which documented the covert way in which Pentecostals infiltrated the US system to gain power.

  20. Quasar,
    I think the world’s getting pretty pissed off with the Pentecostals. I know America is. Their latest Census pin-pointed the decline in numbers proclaiming to identify as Pentecostal. And ‘genius moves’ like the Texas Anti Abortion Law are putting up in lights their malign agenda if they get their hands on power, for the world to see.

    We just have to have faith in our own ability to be a force for good.

  21. Morning all. There should be a special place in hell for the fossil-fuel shills who dreamed up wind turbine noise derangement syndrome. A cynical political tactic on their part has been latched onto as reality by some in rural areas who oppose wind farms and suffer from disturbed sleep.

    These people are 1 to 2 km or more away from the turbines. If the noise level is found to be a nuisance, no farmhouse should be allowed to have a fridge or TV.

  22. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Australia is one of the most prosperous nations on earth, yet it’s failing the young, explains Matt Wade who looks at the effects of the pandemic.
    Shaun Carney says Mattew Guy has quite a job ahead of him and that he must challenge old culture of state Liberals.
    With Commonwealth-state politics at play over the vaccine rollout, Scott Morrison will likely face state premiers entering the federal election campaign, pitching their popularity against his record, writes Jack Waterford.
    The SMH editorial says that Morrison cannot stop women’s safety being an election issue. It reckons that if he is saying that he wants to take women’s issues off the political agenda, he is dreaming.
    In the likely event of an acquittal, the fury which gathered around Brittany Higgins must be channelled beyond marches and petitions and instead directed at changing Australia, opines Jenna Price.
    Australians will begin using an international vaccine passport within weeks to prove their immunisation status overseas and on their return as the Prime Minister flags home quarantine will be key to reopening borders, reports Rachel Clun.
    Emergency doctor, David Berger, pooh poohs the use of the phrase “underlying health conditions” that he says applies to most of us. It’s quite a spit.
    Victoria’s biggest coronavirus outbreaks are spreading in areas with the lowest vaccination rates as doctors fear Melbourne’s northern suburbs will face an explosion of infections within weeks.
    Tom Burton writes that Victoria claims it has ICU capacity of 4000 beds, enough it says to meet tens of thousands of cases a week, as the state braces for a surge in demand for acute care and local infections continue to rise sharply.
    Sarah Martin reports that doctors are warning that hospital emergency departments in New South Wales will face almost five times the number of Covid patients than intensive care wards, as the sector calls for a coordinated approach to manage surging demand.
    David Crowe tells us that new figures show NSW got extra Pfizer doses above its share of the population, with the government promising to make it up to other states by November. Dan Andrews was certainly not impressed and let his feelings be known.
    But Hunt is unapologetic about the vaccine allocations.
    This GP receptionist tells us about the abuse he or she has been getting with vaccine appointment interactions.
    Jeremy Howard extols the virtues of improved masks in preventing the spread of Covid.
    The Liberal Government has a new tactic in the effort to reopen our country — convincing the public that COVID-19 deaths aren’t a big deal, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
    Michael Koziol has a dip at Morrison’s trip to “see the girls” on Fathers’ Day.
    Victorian police officers spent hours outside a Ripponlea synagogue, where up to 100 worshippers were marking Jewish New Year. You’ve gotta wonder!
    Guy Sebastian’s withdrawal of support for the new #VaxTheNation campaign – organised by leading entertainment industry figures and urging Aussies to get vaccinated so live entertainment can return after crippling COVID lockdowns – is weak and bizarre, says an unimpressed and expressive Kate Halfpenny.
    Elizabeth Knight points out that one of Australia’s highest profile businessmen, Ziggy Switkowski has learned the hard way that there is a career curse associated with working for Packer-controlled Crown Resorts, as just ten days after signing up to chair the troubled and disgraced gaming giant he has been effectively run out of Melbourne university RMIT, where he held the prestigious role of chancellor.
    Katina Curtis writes that Grace Tame is launching a campaign to get all governments across Australia to adopt the same definitions of consent, grooming, the age of a child, and sexual intercourse as the national women’s safety summit calls for recognition that ending violence against women is everybody’s business.
    Sexual assault survivor Grace Tame says the Morrison government has made a “grave mistake” in appointing a new human rights commissioner who has expressed concern about affirmative consent laws. Katherine Murphy tells us why.
    And Rebecca Hutley reckons Lorraine Finlay’s appointment as human rights commissioner is a gobsmacking choice. Understandable, give the appointment was via the lovely Michaelia Cash!n
    Jane Gilmore says. “No, Prime Minister. Women don’t need another national plan. We need action.”
    Nick Toscano tells us that AGL, the nation’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitter, is set to face pressure from shareholders to commit to stronger decarbonisation targets. Last year, more than 20 per cent of AGL’s investors supported a motion filed by the ACCR calling for the company to bring forward its coal exit plans.
    Peter Dutton has, without quite saying so, given us a new defence doctrine. For the first time, we are going to embrace asymmetric warfare as the offensive party rather than the defensive party. It’s a revolution, lauds Greg Sheridan.
    For the first time in many years, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)’s overall migration caseload showed a substantial decline in 2020-21 — but the asylum seeker backlog continues to grow to new record levels, explains Abul Rizvi.
    One of Australia’s largest advertisers, supermarket giant Coles, has welcomed signs of an imminent shift on coverage of climate change by News Corp
    Peter Hartcher writes that, while the world was watching Kabul, Beijing set the scene for the next US humiliation.
    Justin Trudeau, trailing in opinion polls, has vowed not to back down against the “anti-vaxxer mobs” as he was struck by gravel thrown by a group opposed to vaccination mandates.

    Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding

    David Rowe

    John Shakespeare

    Cathy Wilcox

    Glen Le Lievre

    Mark Knight

    Peter Broelman

    John Spooner

    From the US

  23. C@t:

    Am catching up on the Bulwark which I’ve neglected the past couple weeks, in particular the podcasts in the wake of the Texas abortion ban.

    Tim Miller mentioned something that I hadn’t thought of: how far further right does this mean potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates will have to go to beat Abbott in the primaries? This is assuming Trump doesn’t run of course.

  24. Emergency doctor, David Berger, pooh poohs the use of the phrase “underlying health conditions” that he says applies to most of us. It’s quite a spit.

    Thanks BK.

    He has eloquently articulated something I’ve been musing about for a while now: obesity, and in particular how this might impair their body’s ability to fight Covid if they contracted it. And seeing as so many Australians are overweight or obese, theoretically there are many more people than we might think with these “underlying health conditions” that are used to excuse away the deaths every day.

  25. As summer always follows spring, NSW is trumpeting how many “lives have been saved” by the extra Pfizer shots. Did Greg Hunt provide the text?

  26. Socrates,

    I remember reading somewhere that farmers that host wind farms on their land don’t suffer from it; the royalties must drown it out. 😉

    I discovered recently that I suffer from “The Hum”:
    I initially thought it was a neighbour’s reverse cycle air conditioner, but it followed me interstate… I think it’s a form of tinnitus, but venous hum is a possibility.

  27. Having lived in an area with windfarms close by for 15 years, I can say in all honesty I’ve never experienced turbine syndrome myself, nor have I ever met anyone else who has.

  28. Re wind farm syndrome – a “communicated” disease”:

    ”…we list 247 different diseases and symptoms in humans and animals which have been attributed by wind-farm opponents to wind farms and particularly to sub-audible infrasound. These include lung cancer, skin cancer, haemorrhoids, gain- ing weight, losing weight and my favourite, disoriented echidnas.”

    And it seems to mainly affect Anglophone nations.
    (My interpolation) – mainly Murchoch-polluted nations?


  29. As posited by Dan Andrews yesterday, will Greg Hunt make good on rectifying the huge disparity with vaccine allocation for Victoria.

    Also Qld and WA want their fair share too.

  30. Yesterday, was expecting Casey Briggs to tweet his usual daily
    roundup of the vaccine percentages for each state.

    He didnt do it. Wonder why?

  31. From what was said on ABC Breakfast, Morrison’s announcement about vaccination passports soon being available for travellers may just be another of his announcements.

  32. For the geeks interested in vaccine passports, this is the international standard apparently Australia is integrating with..


    And the article which indicates separate regime(s) for onshore vaccine passports to the international ones..


  33. Lizzie

    Are we to believe anything Morrison says?

    We were at the front of the queue in respect to vaccine procurement.

    Then when it was apparent, they didn’t procure enough vaccines. It wasnt a race.

    Then when Victoria and other states were doing short sharp lockdowns for outbreaks, he applauded GladysB for not following the same path.

    Then when it is out of control in NSW, he is all for lockdowns.

    In the meantime, All states signed up to a national plan to open up.

    This is whilst the govt has given NSW over and above what they publicly allocated.

    Then Morrison and co, together with GladysB and the obliging media have the nerve to go out and admonish other states for being behind in the vaccination stakes.

    They are despicable.

    Election now!

  34. Having lived in an area with windfarms close by for 15 years, I can say in all honesty I’ve never experienced turbine syndrome myself, nor have I ever met anyone else who has.

    According to the paper I linked at 7:32, Wind Turbine Syndrome does not affect people in WA.

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