Sooner or later

Odds lengthen on an early election, John Alexander calls it a day in Bennelong, doubts over the passage of the government’s voter identification bill, and more.

A consensus has locked in over the past week behind the notion that the federal election will not be until May, with John Kehoe of the Financial Review reporting public servants have been told to cut short summer holiday plans to help prepare a pre-election budget in April. The government will then be able to “fight the poll on an expected economic bounce-back from COVID-19”.


• Liberal member John Alexander has announced he will not seek re-election in his Sydney seat of Bennelong, which he recovered for the Liberals in 2010 following John Howard’s historic defeat in 2007. The Sydney Morning Herald reports contenders for the preselection are likely to include Gisele Kapterian, a former chief-of-staff to Michaelia Cash and current executive at software company Salesforce, and City of Sydney councillor Craig Chung. Kapterian was mentioned as a possible challenger to Alexander’s preselection earlier in the year.

• The federal government seems to be struggling to get the numbers it will need to pass its voter identification bill through the Senate before the election. With One Nation for and Labor, the Greens and independent Senator Rex Patrick vehemently opposed, the swing votes in the Senate are Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff and independent Jacqui Lambie. While Griff supports the idea in principle, the Financial Review reports that Lambie and the Centre Alliance’s lower house member, Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie, has criticised the short time frame and the government’s prioritisation of the matter over issues including the establishment a federal integrity commission. Independent MP Bob Katter added to the momentum against the measure when he declared it “blatantly racist” due to its disproportionate impact on indigenous voters.

• In the period between his drink driving misadventure a fortnight ago and announcement at the start of this week that he would bow out at the next election, Tim Smith’s Victorian state seat of Kew was the subject of a comprehensive poll by Redbridge Group which had Liberal on 39%, Labor on 31% and the Greens on 12%, suggesting a close contest between Liberal and Labor at the final count to be determined by the unknown quantity of independent and small party preferences. However, the poll also recorded a 40.2% “very unfavourable” rating for state Labor, along with 44.9% for Smith and 49.5% for one of his backers, Tony Abbott. The poll was conducted November 4 to 7 from a sample of 920.

• The Liberals have confirmed candidates for two Hunter region seats that swung heavily against Labor in 2019. In Paterson, where the margin was cut from 10.7% to 5.0% in 2019, the candidate will be Brooke Vitnell, a family law solicitor and former ministerial staffer to Paul Fletcher and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. Shortland will again be contested by Nell McGill, a commercial litigator at Sparke Helmore Lawyers, who cut the margin from 9.9% to 4.4% in 2019.

• It has come to my attention that US pollster Morning Consult conducts a weekly tracking poll of approval and disapproval for 13 world leaders including Scott Morrison, who has lately fallen into net negative territory.

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.

1,037 comments on “Sooner or later”

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  1. Lynchpin @ #992 Sunday, November 14th, 2021 – 9:50 pm

    Cat I saw the last week as Morrison trying out some slogans, including trying to attract the UAP vote with all his “no government “ bulldust.

    It’s a very bad poll for Morrison personally.

    Enter stage right The Plodding Potato Policy Famine.

    The Potato Blight has certainly been showing his petticoat recently. I saw a photo of him the other day smiling again. 😆

    Also, the ‘Can Do Government’ line is really clunky. It’s too soon after ‘Can Do Campbell Newman’ for it to seem fresh enough to resonate positively. In fact, it may well resonate negatively in Queensland.

    And I keep on thinking, if Morrison is so gung ho for government getting out of the way, ie ‘Small Government’, why is he running again? It’s like the ultimate non sequitur.

  2. I haven’t been paying attention for a few months but Albo seems a bit sharper looking. Dark blue suits and so forth and maybe a little weight loss. He still looks a bit old school though, I get a mental image of Ben Chifley when I see him.

  3. People in the electorates of Rebekha Sharkie, Bob Katter, Helen Haines and Zali Steggall would also express their support by putting themselves in the ‘Others’ category too, I would imagine.

  4. The rise in the others vote does make me a bit nervous, but at least it seems to be coming more at the Coalition’s expense rather than Labor’s. (Assuming the polls arn’t all inflating Labor’s primary like last time!)

  5. As far as Newspoll is concerned, the local West is not keen to acknowledge it at all. When things are on the up and up for Morrison the TPP is trumpeted….When the reverse happens, the Preferred PM is highlighted…No sure what they will do tomorrow. My bet is they will not acknowledge it at all, or tuck the report away in a small corner near the 20 pages of Harvey Norman stuff…..

  6. Fulvio Sammutsays:
    Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 9:35 pm
    The Murdoch shills must be having trouble trying to spin this one.

    Routine spin!
    “Morrison swings the pendulum back”
    Benson Oz

  7. Asha @ #1008 Sunday, November 14th, 2021 – 9:59 pm

    The rise in the others vote does make me a bit nervous, but at least it seems to be coming more at the Coalition’s expense rather than Labor’s. (Assuming the polls arn’t all inflating Labor’s primary like last time!)

    I’m thinking it incorporates the ‘Voices Of/We Are’ supporters/ ie Small ‘L’ Liberals who have drifted away from directly supporting the Liberal Party any more, or at least until they get their Climate Change and probity issues sorted properly.

  8. Asha @ #1008 Sunday, November 14th, 2021 – 9:29 pm

    The rise in the others vote does make me a bit nervous, but at least it seems to be coming more at the Coalition’s expense rather than Labor’s. (Assuming the polls arn’t all inflating Labor’s primary like last time!)

    One thing that concerns me is getting a poisoned Senate. Even if Albanese and Labor wins, I’m worried they have to make deals with a nutty crossbench to get anything through.

  9. As I understand, the comment of BB is correct

    You just do not do self promotion at a funeral – and you just do not seek to misrepresent your relationship with the deceased

    You speak with reverence and respect to the achievements of the individual – an individual respected and admired for his self effacing persona and his connection with a generation of Australians

    The mask should have been black as a mark of respect

    Was the Pentecostal with the glass jaw also wearing thongs with the Australian flag adorned?

    I would understand also that the Pentecostal with the glass jaw made certain others uncomfortable in his presence

  10. I still think Albo’s best bet is to link Clive Palmer with the Liberals as much as possible. Some on this blog believe there could be working class voters who identify with UAP anti-vax message. But chances are if they vote for UAP there not going to likely preference Labor anyway.

    The better bet would be to link Palmer to the Liberals. And suggest that Palmers will be pulling the strings for Scott Morrison which is a dangerous mix. The centre/moderate/swinging vote will not like that.

    The last Queensland election Palmer’s UAP’s was running ads against Labor with his ‘Death taxes’ lie. But there were still LNP strategists that had fears about the LNP being associated with Palmer.

    Also don’t take comfort that Palmer is attacking both Labor and the Liberals. The last federal election half way through the campaign Palmer wrote off the campaign and just started spending all his resources attacking Labor. There were UAP candidates reportedly who have said they found it hard to get in contact with the campaign after Palmer changed strategies.

  11. Latest Billington analysis…

    R(eff) in the Sydney “LGAs of concern” has now risen back to 1.27

    R(eff) of Greater Sydney as a whole is back to 1.19

    That blinking red light is getting brighter… wonder when the media will sit up and pay attention?

  12. This political environment is looking less and less the way the Government wants.

    Labor is ahead on the PV, Morrison in negative territory on approvals and Albo within single-digits on PPM, despite going backwards in his numbers. This is about Morrison.

    Morrison, being fundamentally lazy, wants to make 2022, 2019 redux. Use an early Budget to frame the election campaign, and try to achor the campaign on the Opposition Leader. So, far, I don’t see it working.

  13. “#Newspoll Preferred PM: Morrison 46 (-2) Albanese 38 (+4) #auspol”

    If Anthony Albanese can beat or match Scott Morrison on prefer Prime Minster that’s when the Liberals really need to worry. Opposition leaders almost always lose the PM/Premier stakes, but can still win the election. When Opposition leaders is matching or being their opponent it usually means the election is in the bag.

  14. So Scomo – 8 and Albo – 11 with 15% undecided about Albo.

    LNP – 37% and ALP 38% primary

    It doesn’t smell like a change of government – more like alienation and apathy about both major parties. People sick of ScoMo but not attracted to Albo.

    That kind of works well with a negative campaign for the Liberals to finish off Albo.

  15. I am reminded of Hockey saying on the death of Hawke, that Hawke would have voted for Hockey

    Imagine what Bob would have responded from above

    “Bloody Tories” would have been tame – in the extreme

  16. Lars Von Trier says:
    Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    So Scomo – 8 and Albo – 11 with 15% undecided about Albo.

    LNP – 37% and ALP 38% primary
    Looks to me like the UAP are taking some skin off both majors. Or, considering the 2pp, there is a drift of Liberal voters to Labor and a drift of Labor voters to UAP.

  17. Am curious as to how Bridgie’s squeeze Benno will spin this.
    “Coalition holds ground after torrid week”. Or something. The possibilities are endless I suppose.

  18. jt1983,
    Yes it seems as though it’s Morrison who has the albatross around his neck, that he is trying to desperately hang on Albanese.

  19. Goll

    Well before the media does 😛

    Btw the comment about the media was adapted from Monty Python.

    “In a fit of pique, he napalmed Cheltenham. Even the police began to sit up and take notice.”

  20. Asha says:
    Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    Morrison is the albatross.
    Are you telling me his curries have had no impact on you…..then there is no pleasing you.

  21. Commencing tomorrow is the Coroner’s Inquest into St Basils Aged Care Home

    There are 2 Federal Ministers who will be ducking for cover – along with the Federal Government

    This 4 week Inquest has been preempted by prior Inquiries and prior Coroner Inquiry

    Except certain operatives will now be complied to front

    This was a failure of unprecedented proportions – reflected in other privately owned facilities where the deaths occurred (so not all)

    If the next 4 weeks does not claim 2 Federal Ministers there is no doubt “Voices” will be advantaged in trying to rid Australian politics of the perpetrators of the disaster

    What will be divulged will be harrowing in the extreme

    This time the Federal Government will not be able to hide – as it did post the RC by deferring to money (to flow to proprietor pockets) and post previous proceedings which did not make the front pages of our media (at the direction of Morrison)

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