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. LvT

    He said:”Lars, don’t engage with sanctimonious hipster smartarses on PB”

    Unless ‘hipster’ means someone who has had a hip replacement you are not likely to trip over a ‘hipster’ round these parts.

  2. zoomster says:
    Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    If ON gets a nod at 2%, then the UAP must be polling less than that….
    not neccessarily, not even probably.

  3. How would you know about Patti’s thoughts on the matter? There has been nothing reported to this effect – are you a family friend?

    Old friend of a good friend, who was at the funeral and called me this afternoon. Patti is furious at Bert’s funeral being hijacked by Morrison. His pretending to have been on first name terms with Newton was what did it for her.

  4. nath

    They polled around 3% at the last election. Can’t really see any signs that they’ve improved their standing since then.

    In fact, it’s likely they’ve gone backwards in places such as WA.

  5. zoomster says:
    Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 9:41 pm


    They polled around 3% at the last election. Can’t really see any signs that they’ve improved their standing since then.

    In fact, it’s likely they’ve gone backwards in places such as WA.
    It’s very likely that a good portion of ‘others’ is actually UAP.

  6. Would’ve preferred a 55-45. It’s nice see Labor’s primary above the LNP. I do think the prefencing for the ‘others’ is still a crap shoot.

  7. Guy distances Liberal Party …….”

    Not from the anti brigade but from death threats being made

    The Liberal Party, in contradiction of their marketing, oppose vaccination

    They give promotion to those opposing vaccination

    Noting the absolute majority of Australians who have been vaccinated

    So where is the tolerance for this anti movement?

    Who supports them and why?

    Apart from the Liberal Party which is a political party consumed by politics and wedge

    The reference to a question put by Fran Bailey, challenging a candidate from the Sukkar faction (Kroger and Frydenberg aligned for self interest) is indicative of the division within the Liberal Party, noting also the associations of the successful candidate so the IPA

    Who was left for such as Bailey to vote for?

    No one

    As Malcolm Fraser said all those years ago, the Liberal Party is no longer a liberal party

    Once again confirmed

    Hence the Voices movement and in the seats they are active in

    Looking to replicate the exit of Mirabella, Abbott and Downer

  8. “ Newspoll L-NP 37 ALP 38 Green 11 ON 2 others 12”

    53/47 if one applies 2019 preference flows?

    If I recall correctly preference flows in 2019 were somewhat … unusual … the ON-UAP effect (which I believe were more conservative by far than previous elections) … Will the preferences of ON/UAP/Others be as strongly pro LNP this time round? Or will they shift back to something resembling 2016? If the later isn’t the true 2PP something north of 54/46 for labor?

  9. The 14 points Other are more likely to be those enamoured of the Voices of…Independent movement, and sundry balkanised micros.

    Hardly think the fat yellow slug with the furniture salesman out front is polling more than an asterisk

  10. Incumbency is worth ~15 points to the PM on the preferred PM figures (according to Bonham).

    An 8 point gap is a disaster for Morrison.

    If he can’t reverse that decline, he is toast.

  11. My take on this Newspoll is that people are responding to Macron calling Morrison a liar. Morrison’s faux ‘Plan’ to deal with Global Heating and Climate Change. His Neville No Friends performance overseas. The news that Australia was trying to stymie COP26.

    I don’t think Morrison’s election campaign start-up has made much of an impression yet, otoh.

  12. I wonder how long it will be before Newspoll start including UAP in their poling? They still include ON and their support has pretty much evaporated.

  13. zoomster says:
    Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 9:43 pm


    In which case, they’d be separated out, as ON is.
    I wonder why they don’t…….

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

    Hmmmm……Albo catching up in the beauty contest stakes? The Prime Marketer will not like that. 🙂

  15. 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.

  16. So this Newspoll includes a fair bit of Morrison in campaign mode, yet his approval numbers and especially his PPM numbers seem to have taken a bit of a hit. That’s encouraging! Or is just a delayed reaction to the clusterf**k which was his overseas trip?

    The 12% “others” in the PV must be assumed to be breaking pretty solidly to the LNP, for the 2PP to be 53-47. Is that really a justifiable assumption?

  17. I’m also thinking sensible people will see Craig Kelly at rallies such as the one with the gallows’ carrier yesterday and it will serve to depress the UAP vote, rather than enhance it. There are way more people who vote as a result of using their common sense, than via induced craziness.

  18. “The 12% “others” in the PV must be assumed to be breaking pretty solidly to the LNP, for the 2PP to be 53-47. Is that really a justifiable assumption?”

    I would not discount it but it may just be a blip. That said Clive with throw a LOT of $ into this election and there are quite a few low info arseholes out there who will vote for his lot. 🙁

  19. nath

    Because the numbers they’re polling are statistically insignificant.

    I don’t think there’s some dark anti Clive conspiracy happening, though if there was Clive would probably enjoy it.

  20. Slow off the mark perhaps, but it’s just struck me that a great many mainstream commentators are referring quite matter of factly to Morrison’s coming “Scare Campaign”. Everyone knows it’s coming & yet watch them get on the wagon when it does.

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