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. Lizzie

    Taylormade always looking for an angle
    And always but always ends up looking like the biggest fool. Each and every time.

    I almost feel sorry……

  2. Taylormade,
    Do you really want us to start dredging up past comments from the Liberals that haven’t aged well either?

    Also in August, when that article was produced (and funny how you seem to have allegedly incriminating articles to hand, not, long after they have faded into the mists of time), the RATs were not as reliable an indicator, in a Delta pre Omicron world. So, the Victorian CHO was absolutely correct to state what he did at that time.

    Now, can you actually come back to us when you have a valid point to make, rather than the sort of shape-shifting, time blurring guff you have come out with today?

  3. BK, Soc,
    With covid cases expected to peak here in mid Jan, and so many not able to get boosters, children struggling to get first doses, testing and iso chsnges… thoughts turns to school.

    Rumours abound – will all schools open in Feb? Which turns my attention to the installation of proper ventilation in classrooms and reduced numbers of kids in classrooms long talked about by experts.

    But I am sure Morrison and Marshall are all over this. No doubt Morrison has been in the school classroom air ventilation market for many many months. And Marshall has done an audit of class ventilation. Nobody has seen the results of that but I am sure a gloss brochure of how to reduce the risk will by a cure all.

  4. SA has already extended close contact definition::

    ▪ household and household-like contacts and intimate partners
    ▪ those who have been in a setting where there has been significant transmission of COVID-19 (and there has been greater than 15 minutes face-to-face contact)
    ▪ those in high-risk communities/settings/workplaces where someone has tested positive to COVID-19 (and there has been greater than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact)
    Most close contacts will receive an SMS from SA Health. However, if you know you are a close contact, please do not wait for the SMS – get tested and isolate immediately.

    If someone you have been in close contact with tells you they have tested positive to COVID-19, you must follow the advice below.
    Unvaccinated and vaccinated close contacts must:
    ▪ immediately quarantine for 7 days since they had contact with a COVID-19 positive person or were at the exposure location
    ▪ get an initial PCR test
    ▪ get a PCR test again on day 6 if initial test negative (a negative day 6 PCR test is required to be released from quarantine)
    ▪ get a PCR test again immediately if symptoms develop (be mindful of symptoms for up to 14 days)
    ▪ not attend high risk settings or COVID Management Plan events for 14 days after exposure
    ▪ wear a surgical mask when around others
    ▪ avoid contact with vulnerable people, avoid non-essential activities where possible and avoid shared spaces and maintain physical distancing on days 8 to 14 after exposure.
    Do not attend an Emergency Department, unless it is an emergency.
    In an emergency or if you have symptoms such as difficulty

  5. Do ya’ll see why this blog needs folk like Meher Baba?

    Without him, we’d be left the dregs like Taylormade, Steely and the irritable two step of L’arse-naff for a conservative/libertard/contrarian POV.

  6. Alpha zero

    I knew that there was going to be a surge during xmas and the new year, but I didnt expect these figures. Sigh……..

  7. HH
    I am hearing many stories of people who checked in to cafes, have been served by someone who later found out they had covid. Staff are told to isolate but the customers are not getting notified at all.

    These may be one offs. The rumour is that SAHealth are not bothering with such contacts.

    There may be some sense to this where testing resources are under such pressure. If people are wearing masks then the risk should be low with short and distanced exposure like that.

    However, I am noticing mask wearing is getting slack. Masks are appearing to be old and tatty. And…. if sahealth aren’t following up on such exposures – why bother with QR codes?

  8. It’s hard to discern trends over the holidays, but Victoria’s daily Covid numbers have increased by a factor of about 3⅓ in the past fortnight, i.e. about 9% daily. Things aren’t quite as out of control as they are in NSW but probably will be before long.

    NSW passed Victoria’s total Covid numbers since the start of the Pandemic, about 187,000 vs 177,000. Time for the Herald Sun, Daily Telecrap and the other usual suspects to switch their attacks from Dan to Gladys-Dom.

    Not that that would be particularly useful. Both will likely be closing in on or North of a million by the end of January.

  9. sprocket_says:
    Friday, December 31, 2021 at 9:03 am
    No wonder Domicron and Scovid want to reduce testing…

    F$#k F$#k F$#k.
    We will “meet and beat” Health Hazzard prediction of 25,000 cases / day in the the beginning of January instead of end of January. Well done DoPe and Crappy.

  10. Simon katich

    Masks continue to be the easiest and cheapest measure one can take to minimise risk of catching or passing on virus.

    Putting on mask as soon as we walk out the house has become second nature for our household.

    We have at least 50 different cloth masks on standby. Different colours and patterns if one is in the mood to match an outfit. Lol!

    After each use, they end up in a zip lock washing bag for laundering.
    We also have a supply of hospital grade masks just in case.

  11. Some good news:

    The South African government said Thursday that data from its health department suggested that the country had passed its Omicron peak without a major spike in deaths, offering cautious hope to other countries grappling with the variant.

    “The speed with which the Omicron-driven fourth wave rose, peaked and then declined has been staggering,” said Fareed Abdullah of the South African Medical Research Council. “Peak in four weeks and precipitous decline in another two. This Omicron wave is over in the city of Tshwane. It was a flash flood more than a wave.” The rise in deaths over the period was small, and in the last week, officials said, “marginal.”

    Some scientists were quick to forecast the same pattern elsewhere.

    “We’ll be in for a tough January, as cases will keep going up and peak, and then fall fast,” said Ali Mokdad, a University of Washington epidemiologist who is a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist. While cases will still overwhelm hospitals, he said, he expects that the proportion of hospitalized cases will be lower than in earlier waves.

    Omicron, bearing dozens of troubling mutations, was first identified in Botswana and South Africa in late November. It rapidly became dominant in South Africa, sending case counts skyrocketing to a pandemic peak averaging more than 23,000 cases a day by mid-December, according to the Our World in Data project at Oxford University.

    As of last week, Omicron appeared in 95 percent of all new positive test samples that were genetically sequenced. It has spread to more than 100 countries, infecting previously vaccinated and previously infected people, and its proliferation has strained hospitals and thinned work forces in countries like the United States and Britain.

    In South Africa, overall case counts have been falling for two weeks, plummeting 30 percent in the last week to an average of less than 11,500 a day. Confirmed cases declined in all provinces except Western Cape and Eastern Cape, the data showed, and there was a drop in hospitalizations in all provinces except Western Cape.

  12. Martin Foley said on Wednesday that the Vic Govt had bought 37 million RAT kits for Victorians which will be free of charge.

    Yesterday it’s announced that you have to pay for the kits .

    WTAF ?????

  13. The letters page of the Hobart Mercury has contributions written before yesterday’s Morrison debacle. If this is any reflection of the mood in previously Plague-free states…

  14. WRT excessive queuein for tests, it’s good that South Australia has the sense to ignore Morrison’s shape-shifting definitions, BUT surely someone needs to wake up to the problem that remains – of sending contacts for “Immediate” PCR Testing – i.e. everyone being told they must have a test before it could possibly be positive.
    This adds to disease burden of course, by giving some people false reassurance, given ignorance of incubation periods. [despite 2 years of available information!]

  15. Rex Douglas

    Have you missed the commentary regarding Morrison and RAT? He came out of the meeting yesterday stating reason why they could not be free.

  16. Vic, I was in a local supermarket yesterday evening. The guy being served had his mask protecting his chin only. The next guys mask was a tatty dirty disposable that looked worse for wear than my favourite 10+yo shorts. The lads that were served after me had no masks on when they entered the shop but at least the one buying put one on at the checkout.

    Admittedly this was not a peak time. But I felt for the young chap serving.

  17. Ven @ #40 Friday, December 31st, 2021 – 8:54 am

    We know that P1 was critical of current ALP MP in Gilmore and the incompetence of current LNP government. So P1 invented this schtick of vote 1 Independent. As per above WB report every other contender other than Constance has withdrawn. Since Constance is not technically imposed on Gilmore, P1 can vote for some no name Independent 1 and preference Constance over ALP MP with an argument that Constance wasn’t imposed from Top like KK.
    You have to give it to Libs they have perfected the art of changing leaders mid-stream with out causing public anger and imposing candidates without making it appear so to give fig leaf for people like P1.

    That’s right. I invented the Teals just so I could preference Constance over Phillips.

    Honestly, you are astounding.

  18. P1 “Vote 1 Independent and you get action on climate change.”

    If the Coalition candidate gets in off your preferences, you might as well have voted for Barnaby Joyce.

    Consider voting for a centre or leftish independent if Labor has no chance in your electorate, but put the Coalition candidate last behind his/her fellow travellers One Nation, Palmer, Christian Taliban and Nutjob.

  19. VIC, Dan Andrews might be preparing to pull the rug from under Morrison by waiting till he’s got the truckload of kits and announcing they are free to the citizens – due to being abandoned by the Feds.

  20. You can’t blame Rex for not being across it. didn’t Morrison promise to 50-50 fund any state purchases of RATs ?

    Morrison speaks Weasel. WTFKs what he will actually do or not do.

  21. Gee I wonder which headline is from a non Rupert newspaper 😆

    NSW Covid-19 cases spike to 21,151

    Chilling surge to massive 21,151 infections in NSW

  22. There are no “idiots” posting here. People are for the most part saying what they think, based upon experience, principles and a greater or lesser depth of knowledge. Some seem to be trying to niggle or provoke other posters, some are trying to change minds and votes (a vain project if ever there was one) and some are following an agenda which they don’t disclose but which is to a greater or lesser extent plain.

  23. Just for Taylormade

    Lib/nats corrupt propaganda media units and their puppets got it wrong

    But infectious disease expert Peter Collignon said he found it “hard to believe” cases could even reach that high and called it a “gross overestimation”.

    “There is no evidence that vaccines in the real world are failing us against Omicron – we need to take into account the things that matter and they are serious illness and death and there is evidence that vaccines are protecting us against these risks,” he said.

    “We’ve got a level of fear that is not proportionate to the data.

    “With the current measures in place the whole state would grind to a halt if we hit 25,000 cases a day. There’s no way it would happen and no way contact tracers would be able to follow up those many people.”

  24. Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, December 31, 2021 at 9:37 am
    Has Tim Pallas done a backflip on free RAT kits ???

    no Morrison overruled the states not allowing them to be given for free

  25. Pandemic modelers WRONG AGAIN.

    Looks like it’s going to be 25,000 cases per day at the START of January, rather than the end.

    Sheesh… can’t they get anything right?

  26. No, Morrison overruled the states in not allowing them to be given for free

    He couldn’t find a way to limit it to preferred electorates or demographics.

  27. if Morrison and cronies denying this , expect this to happen

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has weighed in on new modelling that shows Australia could reach 200,000 COVID-19 cases a day, labelling the prediction as “very unlikely”.

    “The modeling that’s been reported is a very unlikely, extreme case scenario that assumes that nobody does anything; nobody gets boosters, there are no changes that take place, no one exercises common sense,” Mr Morrison told Sunrise.

    “The chief medical officer and I just want to assure people that those sort of numbers aren’t what we are expecting.”

  28. Can someone explain to me how Morrison has overruled the states in giving the RATs away? As it is a TGA approved product or something?

  29. Steve777 at 9:47 am

    No, Morrison overruled the states in not allowing them to be given for free

    He couldn’t find a way to limit it to preferred electorates or demographics.

    Oh yes he did. People will need multiple tests and how many test kits do you think people on median and below incomes could afford to buy ? If there is a shortage then the $$$s makes sure ‘his people’ are the ones that can get them.

  30. Will the Morrison government defenders Coatsworth and Collingnon now admit that they were wrong when they stated that it was very unlikely that NSW would approach 25000 cases a day?

  31. Re the Teal independents (and I’m sure that William or Kevin Bonham or others can explain this better than me):

    In electorates such as Goldstein, Wentworth, Kooyong, etc, anti-Liberal voters – be they rusted-on Labor, Greens or simply people who normally vote Liberal but are sick of Morrison – have the choice of either voting 1 for the Teal or else voting 1 for their preferred Left party (ie: Labor or Green), which is effectively voting 1 Liberal because they are making it more difficult for the Teal candidate to run second. And, of course, there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of Labor winning any of these seats in the foreseeable future.

    IMO, there are two good reasons for left-leaning voters to prefer a Teal member in an otherwise safe Liberal seat.

    1) The Teals will not support the Coalition without certain policy changes, particularly around climate change. Being more concerned about climate change than any other issue, I reckon that would be a terrific outcome: but I would have thought people to the left of me would also mostly feel the same way.
    2) There is no guarantee that every Teal member will support a Morrison Government and, even if they do, the situation will be unstable (particularly in light of my point 1) and could easily come unstuck at any time.

    Indeed, building on point 2), it might well be the case that the Coalition will be unable to bring itself to make a deal with the Teals on climate change, and might prefer to go into opposition. I expect that this would then lead to an arrangement in which Albo could become PM with some sort of agreement from the Teals and other cross-benchers re not supporting no-confidence motions and guaranteeing supply. All sorts of possibilities arise, none of which can occur if Labor finishes second in all the seats targeted by the Teals and thereby guarantees that the Liberal members are returned.

  32. Player One says:
    Friday, December 31, 2021 at 9:24 am

    All that hard work that last coalition did is entirely undone already

    I will never vote for independents because of their betrayal when shit hit the fan.

    What is still left by legislation wise?

  33. Why did the Premiers and First Ministers agree to Morrison’s edicts re no free RATs and the new “close contact” rules? Surely they could have told him to get lost, given the degree of dissension there appears to be in the community. They didn’t, so I assume they are, in the main, ok with the way things are going.

    Pressure brought to bear, perhaps? Kow-tow, or else?

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