The fortnight before Christmas

Another pre-Christmas election theory, a court ruling brings some clarity to Labor’s preselection process in Victoria, and the latest on New South Wales’ looming bonanza of state by-elections.

Seemingly nothing doing on the polling front this week, though I would have thought we were due the monthly Resolve Strategic poll from the Age/Herald. That may yet come – perhaps even very shortly – given the publisher’s unpredictable past treatment of it. I need a new post sooner than that though, so here are some relevant recent developments:

• Anthony Albanese has reportedly told his party to be prepared for the possibility that Scott Morrison will call an election for December 11 after he returns from the Glasgow climate summit early next month. Andrew Clennell of Sky News describes this as a “ploy”, and says the genuine view within Labor is that the election will most likely be held in March. Kevin Bonham notes that the proximity of this date to Christmas and New Year would complicate the protracted process of Senate counting, and that it would not allow time for new laws requiring registered parties to have at least 1500 members to take effect.

• The Victorian Supreme Court has thrown out a legal challenge against the Labor national executive’s takeover of the Victorian branch’s federal preselection process. This had been pursued by the factional bloc of the Right associated with Bill Shorten, which The Age reports is considering an appeal. Assuming the ruling holds, it confirms the preselection of former state party secretary Sam Rae in the new seat of Hawke, and allows the party to proceed with other federal preselections that have so far been in limbo.

• The Sydney Morning Herald reports that candidates for Liberal preselection in Hughes are likely to include Jenny Ware, moderate-backed director of legal services at Georges River Council, and that there is also likely to be a factional conservative in the field. This complicates matters for Melanie Gibbons, who will quit her state seat of Holsworthy to run, and has the backing of Scott Morrison.

New South Wales by-election latest:

• There is now a fifth state by-election on the way in New South Wales, and the first in a Labor-held seat, after Jodi McKay announced her intention to resign five months after losing the leadership to Chris Minns. This will create a vacancy in her seat of Strathfield, which she held at the 2019 election by a 5.0% margin. Anton Rose of Inner West Courier reports potential preselection candidates include Sravya Abbineni, multiculturalism adviser at NSW Government Health and former staffer to McKay; John Faker, mayor of Burwood; and Jennifer Light, the party’s national assistant secretary.

• The Nationals have preselected Nichole Overall, a local historian, communications consultant and freelance writer, to succeed John Barilaro as the party’s candidate in Monaro.

• In addition to the previously noted Gail Giles-Gidney, the mayor of Willoughby, the Sydney Morning Herald reports candidates for the preselection to succeed Gladys Berejiklian in Willoughby will include Tim James, factional conservative and executive general manager of the Menzies Research Centre.

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.

2,419 comments on “The fortnight before Christmas”

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  1. 54-46. Slight improvement for Labor. Only going to get worse for Morrison with Glasgow, Gladys, Barnaby, Porter and the various sexual assault charges. Wayne will be here shortly with an update.

  2. Morrison: Approve 46 (-2) Disapprove 50 (+1)

    Albanese net -9 (37-46)

    Preferred PM: Morrison 48 (+1) Albanese 34 (0)

  3. Is mundo OK?

    But seriously – they know they’re in trouble and they absolutely needed to feign they’re serious on net zero… come what may.

  4. Maybe the Australian version of a Trump/Biden election, ie neither choice is very appealing but Labor falls over the line.

  5. Douglas and Milko @ #2340 Sunday, October 24th, 2021 – 7:05 pm

    Before you take P1’s opinion about how effective Fiona Phillips is as a local member, you should be aware that she lives in Gilmore ….

    … and therefore very likely has a more realistic perspective on Gilmore than most posters here.

    I don’t mind that you disagree with my opinions.

    I do mind that you just make shit up for your own purposes.

  6. @wayne:

    “Is there a newspoll tonight if so i think our great LNP will be leading 51/49”

    how do you like them apples?

  7. So the reason the Coalition has a process for agreeing a net zero 50 target in Cabinet is because Pitt the Youngest is has been promised a Cabinet position?

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