New year news: Gilmore, Pearce, Mayo

The Liberals get candidates sorted in two key seats, while a poll suggests Rebekha Sharkie has little to fear in Mayo.

First up, please note two other important posts above and below this one: the former asking for money, the latter offering an opportunity for on-topic discussion about the Senate election to mark the happy occasion of the publication of my new Senate election guide, complementing the already published seat-by-seat guide to the House.

With that out of the way, three new items of federal election news to ring in the new year:

• State MP Andrew Constance is now effectively confirmed as the Liberal candidate for the key seat of Gilmore on the New South Wales South Coast, which forms a major part of the government’s re-election strategy given its hope that Constance can recover a seat that was lost in 2019. His main rival, Shoalhaven Heads lawyer Paul Ell, withdrew from the race last week, saying he had formed the view that Constance was best placed to win, a view that was backed by a Liberal source quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald based on party polling. Others to withdraw over the past fortnight were Jemma Tribe, a charity operator and former Shoalhaven councillor, and Stephen Hayes, a former RAAF officer and staffer to Christopher Pyne, who said he was concerned he would face Section 44 issues due to his business dealings with the government.

• The Liberal candidate to succeed Christian Porter in the northern Perth seat of Pearce is Linda Aitken, a nurse and Wanneroo councillor who has run unsuccessfully three times for the state seat of Butler. Peter Law of The West Australian reports Aitken won a ballot of local party members ahead of Miquela Riley, a former navy officer who ran unsuccessfully for the state seat of Fremantle in March, by 31 votes to 23. Aitken is a member of the Victory Life Church, founded by tennis champion and noted social conservative Margaret Court. Riley had conservative credentials of her own, with earlier reports suggesting she had support from The Clan, the factional group that achieved notoriety after an extensive WhatsApp discussion between its principals was leaked to the media.

• Elizabeth Henson of The Advertiser reports a uComms phone poll of 828 respondents for the Australia Institute suggested Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie to be headed for another comfortable win in her Adelaide Hills seat of Mayo, with a 58.5-41.5 lead over the Liberals on two-party preferred, compared with her 55.1-44.9 winning margin over Liberal candidate Georgina Downer in 2019. The primary vote figures quoted are 30.9% for Sharkie, 30.8% for the Liberals, 13.3% for Labor, 7.7% for the Greens, 6.5% for One Nation, 3.3% for the United Australia Party and 3.0% for independents, with the spare 4.5% presumably being undecided. As reported on the Australia Institute website, the poll also found overwhelming support for an integrity commission and truth in political advertising laws.

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.

3,489 comments on “New year news: Gilmore, Pearce, Mayo”

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  1. Steve777says:
    Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 10:57 pm
    Steely Dan:

    Australia has better vaccination rates than most countries in the world which provide limited protection against omicron

    booster shots are available. Limited availability, in spite of the lessons from the late and slow early stages of the vaccine rollout which allowed Delta take hold.

    We are fortunate to also have one of the lowest death rates in the world. So far. Tracing has collapsed. Testing is collapsing. Hospitals are under severe strain. We’ll see how it holds up in coming weeks. I would not put it beyond the Morrison and Perrottet Governments to suppress or falsify the statistics. They will at least employ a bit of “creative accounting”.

    Our ICU and on ventilator rates are still low. Come back in a fortnight. Of couse, by definition, the numbers won’t exceed capacity. How many who need it will be triaged out? We’ll see in coming weeks.

    God what world do you live on. The protection for Omicron after two vaccination rates and a booster means you will not die.

    Just went on holidays in QLD walked past about 20 different Chemists offering walk ins for boosters.

    Yes we will wait and see for the last two. At the end of this Australia will still have one of the lowest death rates in the World and I absolutely believe that Hospitals will be able to handle Delta and Omicron. Not sure about the NT it is a basket case.

  2. My friend has COVID.

    One of those types who said it was nothing previously and didn’t fear it at all.

    They’re now struggling to breathe. They called paramedics today and were told they were on the edge of needing to go to hospital (I.e. should’ve been admitted but couldn’t due to low capacity). My friend feels faint when walking and like they’re going to collapse.

    Double vaxxed. No pre-existing health conditions. Omicron variant.

    Omicron May be “mild”, but this is only in terms of relativity to Delta. This “mild” BS is designed to lull people into thinking it’s not that bad, when for some, it will lead to avoidable death.

  3. Steelydan (AnonBlock)
    Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 – 11:04 pm
    Comment #3450
    As for business confidence it is still high and the ASX and world share market they are going gangbusters. Hardly a commentator that believes that business is not going to bounce back very quickly. Obviously many businesses have gone to the wall during Covid but that is the world over.

    This message is authorised by the AFR. The stock exchange being the only indicator of economic prosperity worth paying attention to if you live in North Shore.

    Do you have any original thoughts or do you prefer to just parrot Sky Nooz, The Financial Review and Liberal Party trolling workshops ?

    See how you go when you can’t buy toilet paper or new outfits for you Tony Abbott doll.

  4. The early strains of Covid up to and including Delta had a case mortality rate of about 1% in developed counties. That’s about 30 times worse than flu. Hospitalisation from Covid in Australia in 2020 was about 12%.

    Omicron is “milder”. Like flu, What, 30 times milder? Only apologists for “let it rip” are saying so. The factor seems to be around 3-5, but no one knows.

    We’ll see in coming weeks.

  5. Mr Mysterious, sorry to hear about your friend

    Women in their 30s ride Covid out, slightly boring

    People in their 60s struggle with covid, especially if they are overweight

  6. Well Elmer you have me there the AFR is my paper and I do not watch SKY I probably would have a flick if I had it but I don’t.

    What is your paper the Guardian.

  7. Global stock markets are forward looking and is helped by loose monetary policy so its not a real indicator of economic health but a prediction on the future.

  8. The testing devices were banned by the WA Chief Health Officer in September because they “may adversely affect the prevention, control and abatement of the serious public health risk presented by COVID-19.”

    People using RATs to self-test for COVID-19 in Western Australia face fines of up to $20,000.

    Interesting. WA may not only have to reverse this but start ordering some RATs or he could cope it big time from PB’s. McGowan should have seen it coming 🙂 and ordered well biggest mobs not fine people for getting a test.

  9. Djokochair shufflers might need a new job:

    Update on #AusOpen2022…The Federal Government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia.We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.1/2— Jaala Pulford MP (@JaalaPulford) January 5, 2022

  10. Thanks Steely for your expert analysis. Having been on holiday in Newcastle in the peak week of summer and it running less than 50% you may just want to wait for the next set of accounts.
    You see Josh also lies. I’m yet to understand quite why. It’s a little odd but he seems a man that’s intimidated by taller men with confidence. Don’t get me wrong I can be too but then of course…


  11. Mexicanbeemersays:
    Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 11:30 pm
    Global stock markets are forward looking and is helped by loose monetary policy so its not a real indicator of economic health but a prediction on the future.

    Absolutely and they predict the future is bright.

  12. Jaala Pulford MP
    Update on #AusOpen2022…

    The Federal Government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia.

    We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.


  13. We’ve always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the Federal Government, and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors.


  14. And dkojovic is due to land around midnight. The only way he can stay is if he’s fully vaccinated or if the Morrison Government bends the rules for him. Bending the rules personally for him would be a very bad look.

  15. we’re seemingly on a strategy of herd immunity via mass infection, gambling on most cases being omicron vaxxed not requiring hospital (or very quick hospitalisation with no oxygen) and therefore no triage required and betting on a southafricy kind of sharp peak – sharp decline

    could turn out that way, but no way one can say that it wont (sustained peak, meaningful deltas, high penetration of unvaxxed). everyone i know with serious expertise in this field is in doubt on healthcare system catastrophe/extreme triage outcome over next few weeks

    when you simply cant be sure, whats the better side to err on? i cant believe it is this one, feels like an all in poker bet before the flop holding a pair of 7s

  16. Gross incompetence and criminal negligence has brought us to the current state of affairs. We must ride the ***** wave? @#$@#*&$$#@ ! Royal Commission required ASAP. We probably can’t send anyone to jail – incompetence isn’t illegal and the Morrison Government’s negligence probably doesn’t meet the definition of criminality, although some instances of its corruption most likely do.

    However, if the truth were to be revealed in full the Coalition would be rendered unelectable for a few terms while competent adults take charge. At least in a sensible world. We live in a world where a large fraction of the population think that Trump was a good President, so what would I know?

  17. nath @ #3120 Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 – 10:08 am

    Mexicanbeemer says:
    Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Andrews problem is he went on record that the players needed to be vaccinated so indirectly he owns this decision even if the final decision was made by Canberra.
    Andrews created the loophole by implementing an independent panel. Did not the government hold a veto power?

    You seem to be suggesting that people who have a medical reason preventing vaccination should be shunned and ostracised from society.

  18. Elmer @ 9.56
    Last evening I heard a commentator, not sure if from the AMA, (tuned in late) on the ABC blasting the PM for trying to redefine the pandemic out of existence.

  19. Andrew_Earlwood @ #3473 Thursday, January 6th, 2022 – 12:06 am


    Novax apparently submitted the wrong visa, one that does not allow for a medical exemption. B0rder force contacts the Victorian Government to support Novax entry visa and they said… Yeah Nah. Apparently Border Force can let him in anyway without the Victorian Government’s consent…Too little too late ?: sounds like our Federal Government.

  20. Griff @ #3462 Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 – 10:38 pm

    Djokochair shufflers might need a new job:

    Update on #AusOpen2022…The Federal Government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia.We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.1/2— Jaala Pulford MP (@JaalaPulford) January 5, 2022

    Made me think of Pistol and Boo.

  21. As for failures Victoria has done worse than all other States and from today the infection rate in QLD, Victoria and maybe SA is worse than NSW.

    Have you always talked through your arse Steelydan, or did you only recently develop a fistula?

    The NSW numbers are far higher than Victoria’s both on a daily rate ( 35,054 v. 17,636) and in aggregate (307,173 v. 230,919), and the NSW rate per 1000 population (38/1,000) is also higher than Victoria’s (35/1,000).

    Queensland (7/1000), SA (2/1000) and WA (0.5/1000) are all vanishingly smaller than NSW also.

    You are letting your biased imagination get the better of you, or you are deliberately lying. But whatever it is, you’re giving your sphincter a great workout, Steely. You must have steel underpants to come out with bullshit of that quality.

    As for business confidence it is still high and the ASX and world share market they are going gangbusters. Hardly a commentator that believes that business is not going to bounce back very quickly. Obviously many businesses have gone to the wall during Covid but that is the world over.

    Kindly explain all those whingeing cafe proprietors, hairdressers, tourism operators, Air B&B owners, gym managers, cab and Uber drivers, cinema operators and all the rest we see nightly (and their employees), elbowing each other out of the way to tell their “Woe is me” stories every night on the TV.

    Unless you mean Harvey Norman, or Solly Lew, who pocketed millions in Jobseeker money while sacking staff and lining true executives’ pockets?

  22. Andrew_Earlwood @ #3472 Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 – 10:55 pm

    This galoot has somehow gotten himself embedded in the University of Sydney and now 9Faix is giving him a soapbox. Centre for Independent Studies and Quadrant contributor as well:

    This from his Wikipedia entry.

    He has supported Trump’s populist approach [9][8] and has described Ashli Babbitt, killed in the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, as “an American hero”.[10]

    Odd article too. On the one hand he equates the Jan 6 attack on Congress with the US Civil War, on the other he acts surprised that his (you get the feeling they are his) lot got arrested when so many others didn’t, in other demonstrations in other cities. And he’s miffed they weren’t pardoned for the crimes of sitting on furniture and stealing envelopes.

    Best avoided.

  23. Following a request from the Feds, Andrews rejects the request to sponsor Novax’s bungled visa. It could be back to Belgrade for “The Joker”. If Morrison directs the responsible minister to exercise her discretion by overriding Andrews and as a consequence things go
    pear-shaped, it’ll be yet another nail in his political coffin.

    [‘A visa bungle on Wednesday night cast doubt over Novak Djokovic’s entry into Australia, with the Victorian government rejecting a late-night request to support the world No. 1’s visa hours before he landed in Melbourne.

    The world’s No.1 tennis player, who was granted an exemption to play in this month’s Australian Open, landed at Tullamarine about 11.30pm.

    Novak Djokovic’s posted to Instagram confirming that he had been granted an “exemption permission” to play in Melbourne.

    However, earlier in the evening the Australian Border Force contacted the state government after learning of an issue with the visa submitted by Djokovic’s team.

    The 20-time grand slam winner was attempting to enter the country on a visa that does not permit medical exemptions for being unvaccinated, a source briefed on the matter told The Age and the Herald.

    As a result, Border Force sought Victorian government support to facilitate his entry. The federal agency asked for the Andrews government’s support because Victoria partners with Tennis Australia in running the event that Djokovic’s visa pertains to.

    Federal authorities contacted Victorian departmental officials asking them to formally back his application. Victorian officials asked the federal authorities to put their request in writing and eventually rejected the request to sponsor Djokovic’s visa.

    The decision not to do so reflects the anger towards Djokovic among Victorian ministers and senior officials. It also highlights their sensitivity to being seen to assist Djokovic’s bid to play at the Open despite his outspoken vaccine scepticism and non-disclosure of the reason for his exemption.

    Border Force officials have the discretion to allow Djokovic into the country despite the Victorian government move. While he will likely be allowed off his plane and into Melbourne, the bungle delayed Djokovic’s entry and by midnight the situation was ongoing.’]

    Andrews should be steadfast in his decision as this is yet another
    example of Morrison attempting to pass the buck.

  24. BB
    I was talking about positivity rate which is what everyone on here is saying is the most important indicator.

    I was wrong for Victoria but I have only jumped the gun by a day I will get back to you tomorrow on Victoria positivity rate. I don’t think anyone really doubts Victoria will also once again claim the mantle of the most cases in Australia as well

    Vic – 17,636 cases 59,682 tests positivity rate of 29.55%
    05 Jan 22 17,636 59,682 29.55%
    04 Jan 22 14,020 60,515 23.17%
    03 Jan 22 8,577 44,168 19.42%
    02 Jan 22 7,172 48,252 14.86%
    01 Jan 22 7,442 63,026 11.81%
    31 Dec 21 5,919 66,774 8.86%

    NSW – 35,054 cases 108,844 testes positivity rate of 32.21%
    05 Jan 22 35,054 108,844 32.21%
    04 Jan 22 23,131 83,376 27.74%
    03 Jan 22 20,794 96,765 21.49%
    02 Jan 22 18,278 90,019 20.30%
    01 Jan 22 22,577 119,278 18.93%
    31 Dec 21 21,151 148,410 14.25%

    I will keep you updated BB you can count on it.

  25. Don’t bother Steely. You make up numbers as you go, change your arguments, shift the goalposts. It’s unimpressive.

    You wrote what you wrote, trying to bamboozle us with numbers, shopping around for something to pin on Andrews thinking no-one would check. Well, someone checked. Now you’re trying to weedle out of it.

    Besides, it’s pretty obvious that with the chopping and changing of testing protocols, particularly with the new policy direction that discourages virtually random precautionary testing in favour of targeted confirmation testing, the ratios are already virtually meaningless, except now as rough trends.

  26. SteelyDan it was NSW WHO wanted to open up because the economy and it looked bad for LIBERALS AND SCOMO.

    Also Fed Libs pushes the county to open and refuse to lockdown ever again or wanted any restrictions

    Ya fuxkwit.

  27. I am perplexed by the Dokovitch affair.
    He has what seems a valid exemption from. two ‘blind’ professional boards.

    We don’t know the reason for the exemption, which has left the door open for speculation of favoritism.

    The public are understandably angry to this possible favouritism.

    The PM, sensing the mood, cancels Dokovitch’s visa. He does not say why, other than going all Hairy Chesty.

    It is time to calm down and get all the facts on the table, including Dokovitch teing us on what grounds he was exempted.

    I am no Dokovitch fan, but if Morrison is going to make decisions on emotion, then it is time to send that refugee family back to Biloela.

    The most likely ground for exemption is having Covid19 in the last six months.

    So what is really going on?

  28. Ouch!
    From Guardian

    The dramatic move comes hours after more than 150 military veterans wrote to the Queen to ask her to strip Andrew of his honorary military

    The letter concludes with a pointed and personal request to the Queen, who has long been reported to regard Andrew as her “favourite” son. It states: “We understand that he is your son, but we write to you in your capacity as head of state and as commander-in-chief of the army, navy and air force. These steps could have been taken at any time in the past 11 years. Please do not leave it any longer.”

    It’s the 11 years that really cuts

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