A matter of time

An early federal election either likely or not likely, depending on which papers you read.

Writing in InQueensland, press gallery veteran Dennis Atkins lays out the case for a November 27 election, observing that the imminent passage of technical electoral law legislation will “put the final duck in place for Morrison to call an election from the next weekend, with an announcement on either Saturday, October 23 or the following day”. With New South Wales’ super Saturday of state by-elections sure to be set for December 4, this would be the only feasible date for an election this year, at a time when “the balance of risk tilts further and further towards a poll in 2021” – at least in Atkins’ assessment.

Conversely, James Morrow of the Daily Telegraph reckons the by-elections have “dramatically shrank (sic) the chances of an early federal election”. Unspecified “insiders” point to the risks of “election fatigue”, together with the hope that the government’s stocks might be boosted by the opening of national borders early next year and summer weather keeping case numbers within acceptable limits.

Other news:

• As noted in the post below, Andrew Constance will resign from his state seat of Bega to contest preselection for the corresponding federal seat of Gilmore, which Fiona Phillips gained for Labor in 2019 by a 2.6% margin after a 3.3% swing against the trend. Constance is particularly helpful for the Liberals in this seat due to the sympathetic media attention he received after nearly losing his Malua Bay house in the 2019/20 bushfires, which devolved into a public relations disaster for Scott Morrison. However, he will first have to face a local preselection ballot, which the state party is loath to deny its members after imposing Warren Mundine on them in 2019, only for him to lose the seat. He has a rival contender lined up in Paul Ell, an associate with law firm RMB Lawyers. The Guardian reports Ell has “strong support of moderates in the branch”, such that “some senior party sources say an intervention will be needed to ensure Constance is preselected”.

• There has been much speculation that Gladys Berejiklian could line up as the Liberal candidate for Warringah, which Tony Abbott lost to independent Zali Steggall in 2019. However, David Crowe of the Sydney Morning Herald reports a consensus that this will not be feasible until the Independent Commission Against Corruption brings down the findings of investigation into her, presumably under the assumption that such findings would be favourable, which it is not likely to do for several months. The Daily Telegraph reports the preselection front-runner is Jane Buncle, a Manly barrister and factional moderate who is “understood to believe climate change is real”, although a number of others are named as potentially competitive starters.

The West Australian reports Liberal MP Melissa Price had no trouble seeing off a preselection challenge for her seat of Durack from Busselton councillor Jo Barrett-Lennard, winning the party ballot by 47 votes to three.

• Karen Grogan, national political coordinator with the United Workers Union and Left faction convener, has been officially confirmed to fill the South Australian Labor Senate vacancy caused by the death of Alex Gallacher on August 29.

• The Age/Herald have published Newspoll-style quarterly breakdowns of federal voting intention by state from their regular monthly Resolve Strategic polling. This might have been interesting if they had included results from the smaller states, but they are in fact only provided for New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, breakdowns for which are already provided in the regular monthly release.

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.

2,582 comments on “A matter of time”

  1. And I have moved from #TeamPelican to #TeamPeregrineFalcon. I don’t think it’s got a chance against the Superb Fairy Wren, the Gang Gang Cockatoo or the Tawny Frogmouth, but I’m an underdog kind of gal. 🙂

  2. Last week, Linda Burney was lucky enough to get interviewed on RN’s breakfast show. This week, Mark Dreyfus got the gig. Who will be the lucky Labor spokesperson to get next week’s spot?

    While we wait to find out who it will be, this morning we can listen to dills like Jason Falinski and Barnaby Joyce being subjected to a tummy rub.

  3. Lars Von Trier will disappear if you keep reminding Lars Von Trier of this

    Anthony Albanese
    It’s been more than a thousand days since Scott Morrison announced a National Anti-Corruption Commission and he’s delivered nothing.


  4. Stuart

    I used to enjoy Afternoon Briefing, but when it deteriorated into a whinge about Melbourne’s lockdown, and the same small group of pollies “fought it out” each week, I lost interest. There’s only so many hours of my life I can afford to lose by listening to Tim Wilson talk over Anne Aly.

  5. Sam Wilkinson
    NSW premier Dominic Perrotet has just told @BreakfastNews that the facemask rules in the state will be eased earlier than planned. This is among some changes to the roadmap that will be announced later today as NSW hits 70% double-dose vaccinations

  6. You are perpetuating a myth there, Dr Bowe. Andrew Constance did not lose his house to the 2019/20 bushfires. It’s a good story though and will no doubt help Constance to have people believe that this was the case.

  7. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    In a wide ranging contribution, Niki Savva guffaws over Morrison’s praise of Berejiklian who she says despised the man.
    Despite the headline, David Crowe muses over not very much with respect to the analysis of the SMAge’s polling over the past several months.
    Where is federal Labor headed under Anthony Albanese? (And will it win an election?), writes politics professor, Paul Strangio.
    Kristina Kennealy has written an excellent op-ed on women leaders and Gladys Berejklian’s resignation.
    What surprised Peta Credlin most following the abrupt departure of NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian wasn’t that she quit but that party insiders underestimated the degree of genuine grief in the community over her resignation.
    Gary Sturgess argues that a federal ICAC must end the confusion between integrity questions and corruption.
    Alexandra Smith explains why the Nats’ quiet achiever Paul Toole, now Deputy Premier, will be a blessing for Perrottet.
    The SMH tells us that Dominic Perrottet will overhaul and rename the NSW crisis cabinet to focus on economic recovery ahead of Sydney’s reopening, with the state’s chief economist set to advise the powerful committee Perrottet also flagged changes to the NSW COVID-19 road map on Wednesday, with the former treasurer promising to prioritise business and consumer confidence in the months ahead.
    Nino Bucci reports that Daniel Andrews, has rejected calls to stand down over reports the state’s anti-corruption body was probing his dealings with the firefighters’ union.
    Law professor Ron Levy says that legal challenges to vaccine mandates are unlikely to hold water. One by one he examines the arguments being put forward and tells why he thinks they will not succeed.
    Higher vaccination levels in Victoria are reducing the health system impact of its outbreak by nearly a half of what was experienced in NSW, according to The University of Melbourne academic analysis.
    Steven Marshall plans a big Christmas gift for South Australians – most double-vaccinated interstate visitors will be allowed to enter the state without quarantine.
    Legal services are being bombarded as NSW police are being accused of handing out unfair Covid fines and targeting young people.
    So much for superior economic stewardship from the Morrison team. Many services are underfunded while government mismanagement is resulting in a massive waste of money on other programs, complains Michael Keating.
    The ascension of Dominic Perrottet as premier comes at a critical hour in the campaign by the Catholic Church to control NSW cemeteries for the next 200 years. Callum Foote reports.
    Law enforcement agencies would be banned from accessing QR code check-in data under a bill to be introduced by the Greens after police used the applications on at least six occasions as part of criminal investigations, reports Anthony Galloway.
    France’s ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault will return to Canberra to “help redefine the terms” of the two countries’ relationship, following the controversial axing of a $90 billion submarine contract last month. But there was little sign of a broader thaw in President Emmanuel Macron’s frosty diplomatic fury, as his ministers, officials and some business leaders snubbed visiting Trade Minister Dan Tehan, writes the AFR’s Hans van Leeuwen.
    Jordan Baker reports that confidential departmental documents show NSW government schools face an unprecedented lack of teachers and are likely to “run out in the next five years”.
    The ACT Court of Appeal has struck an important blow for transparency and the public’s right to know in a judgment on Tuesday in the case of Bernard Collaery, the lawyer who blew the whistle on Australia’s illegal spying operation against East Timor, says the SMH editorial.
    The world is living through the first major energy crisis of the clean-power transition. It won’t be the last, explains Bloomberg.
    We need to get real about carbon offsets in Australia – they won’t stop climate change, writes Richard Denniss who says saving a few trees is no substitute for real emissions reductions, except if you’re Scott Morrison.
    Trashing the planet and hiding the money isn’t a perversion of capitalism. It is capitalism, declares George Monbiot.
    Cynical conservative strategies in US politics have well and truly made their way into Australian discourse — just look at the demands of the rioters in Melbourne for Ivermectin, says Lucy Hamilton.
    The SA Liberal Party has been forced to issue an apology for posting misleading information about the Opposition on its “SA Labor Lies” Facebook page.
    Josh Butler writes that the Australian Electoral Commission has blasted “misinformation” emanating from a former One Nation senator, who has spread false claims that American ballot machines at the centre of a Donald Trump conspiracy theory would be used in the next federal poll.
    Paul Karp writes about yesterday’s court proceedings that saw Peter Dutton in the witness box.
    The Australian tells us that Attorney-General Michaelia Cash is pushing the states to make urgent reforms to the nation’s defamation laws to reverse a High Court ruling that has exposed governments and publishers to legal action over the offensive ­social media comments of third parties. She has written to the state and territory attorneys-general this week to urge them to take a nationally consistent ­approach to defamation reform, arguing the current laws are “not fit for purpose’’.
    The AUKUS security pact is crippling our nation’s sovereignty and perpetuating our position as a lapdog to the United States, writes Dr Geoff Davies.
    France will send its ambassador, Jean-Pierre Thebault, back to Australia after withdrawing the envoy in a row over a submarine supply deal. “I have asked our ambassador to return to Canberra… to redefine the terms of our relations for the future,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
    Latika Bourke reports that Boris Johnson has urged voters to embrace the pain of Brexit in exchange for the longer-term gains of higher wages. He also falsely claimed that closer defence ties with Australia would not have been possible if Britain were still in the European Union. Johnson had a pointed dig at pig farmers who he said are paying the price for using cheap labour for so long.
    And the UK Guardian tells us that business leaders have rounded on Boris Johnson for lacking a coherent economic plan after he delivered a boosterish conference speech that made barely a mention of the supply chain crisis.
    Rob Harris writes that carmakers are urging the federal government to resist further entrenching the market power of dealerships, arguing that young Australians want the chance to buy their new wheels online and are no longer interested in haggling over the price. (This should also rid buyers of much of the parasitic add-ons that dealers push hard om buyers).
    Shane Wright says that APRA has taken the first step to take some heat out of the runaway Australian property market has been taken – and the modesty of that step is a testament to the economic and political issues at stake.
    And Warren Hogan reckons APRA is just getting started on the runaway house market.
    “Your smartphone has a built-in frailty that will force it to fail in approximately 2-3 years.” Manal al-Sharif reports on how Big Tech designs products to fail so they can sell us another again.
    The US debt ceiling threatens to be an ill financial wind blowing Australia’s way, explains Greg Jericho.
    Sport can’t hit the snooze button again on abuse claims, declares Greg Baum writing about the latest allegations.
    Lisa Bryant argues that we must stop the growth of corporate childcare that puts profits above children.
    Melissa Davies reports that the peak body representing general practitioners has warned against using “pop up”, telehealth websites that promise to deliver consultations for “vaping scripts in minutes” because they can disrupt continuity of care for patients.
    The principal of an independent primary school who repeatedly invited parents to send their children to school while the city was in lockdown has had his teaching registration suspended.
    Facebook is a harmful presence in our lives. It’s not too late to pull the plug on it, advises Jathan Sadowski.
    Just as predicted, poor women and victims of sexual assault and abuse are suffering most under Texas’s draconian new law, writes an abortion doctor in that state.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe
    Cathy Wilcox
    Peter Broelman
    John Shakespeare
    Matt Golding
    Mark David
    Andrew Dyson
    Glen Le Lievre
    Alan Moir – an old one
    Mark Knight
    Warren Brown
    Dionne Gain

    From the US – it’s a Facebook pile on!


  8. Lizzie
    The Drum last night was a revelation: a group of intelligent adults discussing current issues. Unusually, there was no Liberal party stooge running interference on behalf of the government.

    Joyce is serving up a word salad on RN now, if you are interested.

  9. “Constance is particularly helpful for the Liberals in this seat due to the sympathetic media attention he received after nearly losing his Malua Bay house in the 2019/20 bushfires”
    I remember that Constance was a real media luvvy during that period, more interested in promoting himself/saving his seat than fighting fires.

  10. The ascension of Dominic Perrottet as premier comes at a critical hour in the campaign by the Catholic Church to control NSW cemeteries for the next 200 years. Callum Foote reports.

    From the above article it appears quite a few current cemetery operators are going insolvent. Can someone clarity why is it important who controls cemeteries especially Catholic Church?

  11. Her view is worth no more than yours or mine. Unfortunately she has $billions at her disposal to promote her views.

    Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart has said humans do not cause global warming and warned against climate change “propaganda” in a speech to students at her old school.

    The iron ore billionaire said the students at St Hilda’s in leafy upmarket Mosman Park in Perth were “overwhelmed by media and propaganda” regarding climate change and urged them to “research for the facts”.


  12. Thanks BK.

    Morrison desperately needed Berejiklian to succeed to give him his best chance of winning the election. As a loyal Liberal, despite her personal antipathy, regardless of her complaints to confidantes that she felt patronised, bullied and undermined by him, that he sanctioned briefings by his office against her – or did it himself – she would have nevertheless turned out to campaign for him. Refusal would only have invited retribution.

    Morrison cashed in on her popularity and traded on her reputation when he could benefit, then he or his surrogates trashed it when it suited.


    What a nasty individual Scott Morrison is! What is it about the deeply and overtly sanctimonious religious types that they are invariably the most vindictive?! So much for their much mooted christian spirit.

  13. Constance is particularly helpful for the Liberals in this seat due to the sympathetic media attention he received after nearly losing his Malua Bay house in the 2019/20 bushfires”
    I’d never heard of Malua Bay before. Constance was interviewed on the beach foreshore earlier in the week. From locked down Melbourne, watching the surf crash on the beach and the cliffs in the background (with the volume turned down) was mesmerising. The South Coast of NSW is stunningly beautiful. On the proclamation of the independent citizens’ republic of Victoria I’m hoping that the south coast might secede from NSW and join us.

  14. It’s obvious where PHON are coming from these days, the fever swamps of America and facebook:

    Josh Butler writes that the Australian Electoral Commission has blasted “misinformation” emanating from a former One Nation senator, who has spread false claims that American ballot machines at the centre of a Donald Trump conspiracy theory would be used in the next federal poll.


    Nek minute. Pauline Hanson wears THAT t-shirt. 😉

  15. ‘fess,
    What would Jesus do?

    Cast Morrison out of the temple I reckon.

    Funny how the parable of the Pharises doesn’t get much mention these days in the New Religious World Order? 🙂

  16. Morrison cashed in on her popularity and traded on her reputation when he could benefit, then he or his surrogates trashed it when it suited.
    It’s hard to know which is worse: an empty vessel/purely transactional Liberal politician like Morrison or an ideological zealot like Abbott.

  17. Can someone explain to me why mask wearing is such a big issue with the “God makes babies” brigade and the right wing, “we will not be told” cohort

    This virus is going nowhere (even Hazzard offered that to media)

    Because it transmits from human being to human being

    The interruption of the transmission from human being to human being is surely the consideration?

    So we all do what is necessary

    Is personal hygiene and physical distancing where and when appropriate also opposed?

    Then again these cohorts oppose vaccination

    And they get the publicity they do

  18. Perrottet on ABC radio this morning – Anastascia’s response will be interesting.

    Mr Perrottet told ABC News Breakfast he’d give Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk a call today.

    He plans to talk to her about reopening the state border to people from NSW:

    “I’ll say, ‘How you going?’ and ‘I want to have a great relationship with you’.

    “And I’ve had a very good relationship with every Treasurer across the country, Labor and Liberal. And I know a lot gets made of division and that gets headlines.

    “But one of the pleasing aspects of the pandemic which has not really been publicised is the collaboration that we’ve all had together, and the information-sharing…”
    (ABC updates)

  19. maxsays:
    Thursday, October 7, 2021 at 8:30 am
    Morrison cashed in on her popularity and traded on her reputation when he could benefit, then he or his surrogates trashed it when it suited.
    It’s hard to know which is worse: an empty vessel/purely transactional Liberal politician like Morrison or an ideological zealot like Abbott.

    I don’t know whether Morrison is empty vessel or not. But Empty vessel like Trump did the most harm to US than any other US leader although some may argue an idealogical zealot like Mitch McConnell did more harm than Trump.

  20. Gabrielle Chan
    New definition of transparency. “We have been very transparent in relation to the car parks program,” he said, while also refusing to release key documents related to the awarding of the projects.

  21. casey briggs
    if the federal government is able to routinely drop selected vaccine statistics to journalists before 8am, why can’t it publish the full vaccine statistics before 3pm every day

    And all that stupid refreshing I do from 2pm

  22. Victoria has recorded 1,638 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections and two deaths.

    The deaths take the toll of this outbreak to 70.

  23. Paul Toole’s father (Trevor Toole) was a regular National Party candidate in the 1980’s & 90s.

    Although never elected to Parliament, Trevor did achieve that other mark of success in the NSW Nationals, an ICAC appearance. The ICAC found that Trevor wasn’t corrupt but he did have the other of a qualities of a National Party leader.
    “While cleared of corruption, ICAC did find that Mr Toole’s role “exhibited a high degree of incompetence and carelessness”.”

  24. C@tmomma @ #23 Thursday, October 7th, 2021 – 8:27 am

    What would Jesus do?

    Cast Morrison out of the temple I reckon.

    Funny how the parable of the Pharises doesn’t get much mention these days in the New Religious World Order? 🙂

    Yeah, the overtly religious tend to pick and choose the parts of the bible they wish to live by.

  25. I am finding the chatter for a November election to be very interesting. While I am not convinced of it happening, I think it’s a more interesting prediction than the far safer prediction of it not happening until some time next year.

    You’d think the current harsh polling would put the idea to rest but it doesn’t seem to be much of a concern from what I see. Maybe there’s some credibility to an idea I floated the other week that that lead by Labor might be an illusion or at least soft – that it’s more just midterm protest against the government and, once voters are required to make a real decision, they’ll start rallying behind the incumbent, especially after an effective campaign scaring voters against supporting Albanese and Labor. Or it could be overconfidence in the above case and those numbers stay reasonably solid, leading to a government death by miscalculation. Maybe they don’t trust polls at all after 2019. Or, alternatively, it’s all a bunch of fantasy and an election is still months away.

    It’s interesting to think about. I guess we’ll know within the next few weeks.

  26. “But one of the pleasing aspects of the pandemic which has not really been publicised is the collaboration that we’ve all had together, and the information-sharing…”

    They can agree they all loathe Morrison. 😆

  27. Fiona Katauskas
    At a recent P&C we were told that schools have been finding out covid policy by watching the 11am briefings on TV

    Now NSW has abandoned those?

  28. Perrottet seems to have all the same instincts as Morrison wrt opening up “for the sake of the economy”.

    Has he sung a song of praise for him yet?

  29. I don’t claim to know much about Tasmanian politics, but Labor seems to be in an awful mess down there, at least at state level. I see the ALP state president has just been sacked by federal Labor over a sexting scandal, while the party’s former leader David O’Byrne resigned earlier this year over historical sexual harassment allegations, after getting trounced in the state election. What does this mean federally? There is precious little low-hanging fruit for Labor federally, but Bass (0.4%) and to a lesser extent Braddon (3.1%) do look like good opportunities. If Labor is in the shit in Tasmania, and Bass and Braddon are Liberal holds, and maybe Lyons (ALP 5.2%) comes into play, the road to 76 seats looks very challenging. Does anyone have an inside view on what’s happening in Tasmania?

  30. Prof Esterman Reff tweet

    It’s cloudy with a top of 22 in Adelaide. We have 1638 cases for Victoria today, with sadly, another 2 deaths. The 5-day moving average is 1483, and the Reff is 1.20, the 5th day of the Reff going down. It is still looking a bit peakish!

  31. Is it just me? I look at the new Premier and because I have a son the same age, I make a comparison and Parrot Tits looks old and shrivelled.
    Is it the religious fervour? Is this what being a conservative does to you?
    My son is a Lt.Colonel in the army, so used to working at a reasonably responsible level but he’s much younger in both looks and attitude.

    Is the state going to transition to masklessness by mandating by implementing a period of wearing the mask below the nose?

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