Federal preselection and electoral law developments

Federal preselection news from New South Wales, not all of it about the Liberals, plus plans to lower the voting age to 16 in the ACT and much else.

The mercurial Roy Morgan organisation put out a newsletter this week saying its fortnightly poll had Labor leading 56.5-43.5 and would be published in full within 48 hours, but nothing more was heard. However, there is no shortage of other electoral news to relate, even without getting too deep into the developing situation of the New South Wales Liberals’ federal preselection tangle, which was covered in depth here. Note that I also have a separate post dealing with the imminent Super Saturday of four New South Wales state by-elections.

• The Liberals in New South Wales have at least resolved their dispute to the extent of proceeding with plans for a preselection ballot for Bennelong, which David Crowe of The Age reports is likely to be held in March. The candidates are Gisele Kapterian, former chief-of-staff to Michaelia Cash and current executive at software company Salesforce; Craig Chung, a City of Sydney councillor; and Simon Kennedy, a former partner at McKinsey.

• Labor also has a few loose ends in New South Wales, having yet to choose candidates to succeed retiring members Sharon Bird and Julie Ovens in Cunningham and Parramatta. A membership ballot for Cunningham will be held on February 19 between Misha Zelinsky, Australian Workers Union assistant national secretary and former criminal defence lawyer, and Alison Byrnes-Scully, staffer to Sharon Bird (and wife of state Wollongong MP Paul Scully). Zelinsky has been in the news over social media posts and an e-book he co-authored nearly a decade ago which featured jokes denigrating women. The Guardian reports that Labor is struggling to find a candidate in Parramatta that the party hierarchy considers up to standard, having lately been rebuffed by Cameron Murphy, prominent barrister and son of Lionel Murphy.

• Northern Territory Senator Sam McMahon, a Country Liberals member who sat with the Nationals in Canberra, resigned from the party last week and is leaving open the possibility of contesting the election either for a different party or as an independent. McMahon lost her preselection last June to Alice Springs deputy mayor and conservative media identity Jacinta Price.

Noteworthy matters of electoral law and administration at state and territory level:

• A headache looms in South Australia ahead of its March 19 state election, with no contingency in place for voters put in COVID-19 isolation who are unable to meet the deadline for a postal vote application. A bill to allow for voting to be conducted over the phone in this circumstance was passed by the lower house and amended in the upper, and the lower house had not considered the amendments when it rose in early December. The Advertiser reports that Labor says it would be a simple matter for the house to reconvene and agree to the amended bill, but Premier Steven Marshall says there is not enough time to pass legislation before the government enters caretaker mode ahead of the election. Marshall blames Labor for supporting the amendments, but it appears to me that the government chose to sit on the bill for the last three days of the session.

• The Canberra Times reports Labor has “indicated a willingness” to support a Greens bill to make voting compulsory for 16 and 17 year olds in ACT elections, notwithstanding the local electoral commission’s evident horror at the resulting administrative burden.

Remy Varga of The Australian reports the Victorian government is taking a stand against the pernicious practice of political parties handling postal vote applications so they can harvest data from them.

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.

1,236 comments on “Federal preselection and electoral law developments”

  1. Thanks William.

    I was surprised about this info:

    “The Guardian reports that Labor is struggling to find a candidate in Parramatta that the party hierarchy considers up to standard, having lately been rebuffed by Cameron Murphy, prominent barrister and son of Lionel Murphy.”

    You’d think it would be or should be easy for the ALP to find a quality candidate for a n HR seat that is reasonably secure for a long term Parliamentary career. It may raise the question of what “up to standard” means in the NSW ALP.

  2. “The Canberra Times reports Labor has “indicated a willingness” to support a Greens bill to make voting compulsory for 16 and 17 year olds in ACT elections, notwithstanding the local electoral commission’s evident horror at the resulting administrative burden.”…

    Right now the ACT is shaping up as the most progressive jurisdiction in the country. Should people be able to vote at 17 (or even 16)? Well, you can be a learner driver at 16-17, so being able to vote at the same age is not all that scary. What’s truly scary is to see how many adult voting morons there still are in this country who keep voting against their own interests….

  3. “You’d think it would be or should be easy for the ALP to find a quality candidate for a n HR seat that is reasonably secure for a long term Parliamentary career. It may raise the question of what “up to standard” means in the NSW ALP.”

    It is NSW whatever is going on won’t be good.

  4. Thanks William for the update –

    A sexist advice book for women co-written by a union official vying for a safe Labor seat in NSW ‘hasn’t improved with age’, Senator Kristina Keneally has warned.

    That would be unfortunate if Zalinsky won pre-selection in Cunningham, a very safe Labor held seat. If KK says he hasn’t improved with age you can read that as ‘he is still a sexist pig’. Looks like both sides are dragging their feet on candidate selection or I am just getting impatient for this crap to be over.

  5. Alpo

    I was playing with this idea once so I asked students – from a range of schools – what they thought.

    Resounding ‘no’.

    I’d go for non compulsory voting for 16-18 year olds.

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Not too much worthy stuff today, I’m afraid.

    According to James Massola, angry Nationals MPs will tell Barnaby Joyce to “lift his game” in a party room meeting on Monday, after the damaging release of a text message in which the Deputy Prime Minister called Prime Minister Scott Morrison a liar and a hypocrite.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/angry-nationals-party-room-will-warn-joyce-to-lift-his-game-20220205-p59u2l.html
    And Massola wonders if anyone seriously believes the Barnaby Joyce-Scott Morrison mess ends here. He says he parallels with the late-stage Rudd-Gillard government are starting to pop up regularly.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/after-15-years-in-parliament-together-barnaby-joyce-finally-has-an-opinion-on-scott-morrison-20220205-p59u1p.html
    Barnaby Joyce’s leaked text calling Scott Morrison a hypocrite and a liar would be damaging in any circumstances, but it’s doubly so because it feeds into the already well-fertilised narrative about the prime minister’s character, says Michelle Grattan.
    https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-barnaby-joyces-text-puts-another-grenade-under-scott-morrison-176511
    Governments usually run on their record, not from it, writes Mark Kenny.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7608494/governments-usually-run-on-their-record-not-from-it/?cs=14264
    The Age’s editorial says that Morrison must learn from his mistakes after a disastrous week.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-must-learn-from-his-mistakes-after-disastrous-week-20220205-p59u2i.html
    Tony Wright says Morrison will have to do more than hold a hose at a hairdressing salon.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-pm-will-have-to-do-more-than-hold-a-hose-at-a-hairdressing-salon-20220205-p59u2j.html
    The first post-recession election in almost 30 years will ensure economic issues are front of mind for Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese, writes Tony Wright.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/it-s-the-economy-stupid-an-election-in-a-time-of-economic-turmoil-20220202-p59tai.html
    The first post-recession election in almost 30 years will ensure economic issues are front of mind for Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese says Shane Wright.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/it-s-the-economy-stupid-an-election-in-a-time-of-economic-turmoil-20220202-p59tai.html
    A large swing against Liberals may create ‘uncomfortable questions’ before the next state election, writes Michael McGowan
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/feb/06/were-preparing-for-it-to-be-bad-perrottet-missing-in-action-before-nsw-byelections
    Rapid tests won’t be good enough for close contacts anymore as SA authorities declare they’re ordering people back onto their “gold standard”.
    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/coronavirus/sa-covid-close-contact-testing-rules-set-to-change-again/news-story/bde027d79f433d97e26876d2653a5811
    A group of researchers has published a study that showed COVIDSafe did not make a meaningful contribution to the COVID response in NSW during 2020. Instead, the app created a high workload for no clear benefit. (About as useful as sunscreen?)
    https://theconversation.com/the-covidsafe-app-was-designed-to-help-contact-tracers-we-crunched-the-numbers-to-see-what-really-happened-172242
    With COVID cases now in the hundreds of thousands, there’s something lacking in the narrative when it comes to tackling all the new variants that will come in 2022, warns Rober Weir.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/repeated-failures-by-coalition-government-expose-us-to-covid-risk,16017
    Catholic bishops are misguided in their insistence on being legally permitted to discriminate against individuals to protect the “ethos” of their schools, says the group, Catholics for Renewal.
    https://johnmenadue.com/discrimination-even-by-bishops-is-contrary-to-the-message-of-jesus/
    Australia is more corrupt than ever, but the media stays quiet, complains Noel Turnbull.
    https://theaimn.com/australia-is-more-corrupt-than-ever-but-the-media-stays-quiet/
    Justin Langer should have announced his resignation months ago and gone out a conquering hero after the Ashes, writes Malcolm Conn who says Langer’s resign was a car crash waiting to happen.
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/langer-and-cricket-australia-should-have-seen-this-car-crash-coming-20220205-p59u1z.html
    The Duke of York is due to give evidence under oath next month as part of the US civil sex assault case against him. Andrew will face a deposition on 10 March in London, in what has been described as a neutral location.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/feb/05/duke-of-york-to-give-evidence-under-oath-as-part-of-civil-sex-assault-case

    Cartoon Corner

    Peter Broelman
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/images/transform/v1/crop/frm/RXMuw2JbrrS7ELSxSY9rkR/933a4954-d15a-491b-be82-7fd69c5191a5.jpg/r31_0_2331_1533_w600_h400_fmax.jpg
    David Pope
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/images/transform/v1/crop/frm/RXMuw2JbrrS7ELSxSY9rkR/c1dfb21e-0e03-4b38-a18c-d3b1937e9bb6.jpg/r18_0_1523_1003_w600_h400_fmax.jpg
    Matt Golding
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_840/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/6c7667b909c62f00adfcb1995dba0176ce040e78.jpg
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FKzRTsxVEAAU0Wf.jpg
    Matt Davidson
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_840/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/fdfac5ec2e2383ab21c6cfeb361ac211e94019bf.jpg
    A good gif from Glen Le Lievre
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1489761107539800065
    Mark Knight
    https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/9b25ba271f20f2d95ed1ddf8870ff544?width=650#image.jpg

    From the US

    https://mediacloud.theweek.com/image/upload/f_auto,t_single-media-image-desktop@1/v1644002042/20220203edbbc-a.jpg
    https://mediacloud.theweek.com/image/upload/f_auto,t_single-media-image-desktop@1/v1644001705/20220202edhan-a.jpg
    https://image.cagle.com/259622/750/259622.png

  7. …which, of course, means things mightn’t turn out the way the Greens assumes it will.

    Drafting a cohort of voters who don’t want to vote is likely to have them marching to the ballot box voting to overturn the decision.

  8. The Liberals in New South Wales have at least resolved their dispute to the extent of proceeding with plans for a preselection ballot for Bennelong, which David Crowe of The Age reports is likely to be held in March. The candidates are Gisele Kapterian, former chief-of-staff to Michaelia Cash and current executive at software company Salesforce;

    Too funny. Liberals want to choose an executive from a Labour Hire software company to stand in Bennelong. I thought WorkChoices was ‘dead, buried and cremated’?

  9. Interesting that NSW EC is mailing every voter a postal vote, as noted by William here.
    https://www.pollbludger.net/2022/02/06/new-south-wales-by-elections-minus-six-days/

    I do wonder if the federal AEC is expecting a large postal vote in the federal election, & whether AustPost is ready for it.
    Or will they be ‘shocked & amazed’ by the ‘unprecedented’ demand for postal votes.
    Morrison’s Liberal government seems to be permanently stuck in amazement, a fact noted by one of the journalists ( when asking about RATs) at Scotty’s NPC lunch last Tuesday. Said journalist asked our useless PM why the government couldn’t do its job of predicting what may happen, & thus preparing for it.

  10. Australia has now clocked up 1,500 deaths in age care facilities with 13,996 active and recovered cases while Scomo was playing with a woman’s hair at a hairdresser. Meanwhile Barnaby Joyce hides under the doona and Scomo sends a woman [Karen Andrews]to face the music on Insiders today. Cowards. It’s not Laura Tingle, it’s the wet lettuce David Speers.

    https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/case-numbers-and-statistics#cases-in-aged-care-services.

  11. They don’t teach classics much these days but people are making do…

    The Grain
    @middlebackrow
    · Feb 4
    Replying to @Murdoch_RC
    Scott’s Horrible Anus
    (I don’t know Latin)

  12. “The Canberra Times reports Labor has “indicated a willingness” to support a Greens bill to make voting compulsory for 16 and 17 year olds in ACT elections…..”

    Labor supporting a Greens bill? OMG, that will make a few Bludger’s heads explode. The end of the world is nigh!

    Did they not get the PB Memo?

  13. https://www.pollbludger.net/2022/02/06/federal-preselection-and-electoral-law-developments/#comment-3813654

    Hmmm, Labor or capital share …, who was it again that said there’s a class war on and my class is winning?

    https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/detailed-methodology-information/concepts-sources-methods/australian-system-national-accounts-concepts-sources-and-methods/2020-21/chapter-19-productivity-measures/data-sources-and-methods/capital-and-labour-income-shares

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-29/anthony-albanese-fact-check-real-wages-scott-morrison-australia/100242448

    Here’s the RBA from before Wuflu, https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2019/mar/the-labour-and-capital-shares-of-income-in-australia.html

    https://www.oftwominds.com/photos2015/wages-GDP9-15.png from Zero Hedge

    https://www.pc.gov.au/research/supporting/income-prosperity

    https://www.oecd.org/economy/growth/Capital-Wealth-Growth-and-Inequality-in-the-21st-Century.pdf, https://www.oecd.org/g20/topics/employment-and-social-policy/The-Labour-Share-in-G20-Economies.pdf

    https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2013/10/31/labour-pains

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_accounting

    Let’s see [if] there’ll be a Green New Deal/ UBI for the many, or AUDoD/ po lice/ private security guarded gated communities for the few.

    WW1/ Pandemic/ Great Depression/ WW2 … GWOT/ GFC/ Great Recession/ Pandemic?

    Expect more calls for more short-term visa holders, cutting green and red tape … I guess you missed that freshly gong-ed mining heiress being concerned about wage rises?
    The Fibs/ Nats, of not labur but capital, blowing humanity up, agriculture, resources, are always about socialising losses, privatising profits, like through Indue cards, toll roads, always less to the people, more do courtiers/ acolyte transaction costs, ultimately merchant kings/ warlords/ donors?

  14. DRDR @ #16 Sunday, February 6th, 2022 – 8:12 am

    “The Canberra Times reports Labor has “indicated a willingness” to support a Greens bill to make voting compulsory for 16 and 17 year olds in ACT elections…..”

    Labor supporting a Greens bill? OMG, that will make a few Bludger’s heads explode. The end of the world is nigh!

    Did they not get the PB Memo?

    Labor has supported The Greens’ ideas on large Councils before, so no biggie. 😀

  15. Morrison must learn from his mistakes after disastrous week

    Jeebus what a gold medal ‘No shit Sherlock’ bit of advice. I guess that’s why they earn the big bucks.

    On the other hand feck the MSM’s presstitutes and their writing as a coach/advisor rather than, GASP ! , a reporter .

  16. Yes, David Speers would have had a lot to work with if BaJo had turned up:

    A third MP, a critic of Mr Joyce, said he had angered party members by offering his resignation to a Liberal.

    “Only the Nationals party room can take away his leadership. That sounded like it was crafted by the PMO,” said the MP. “The fact that he said he didn’t know Scott until now doesn’t hold water either.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/angry-nationals-party-room-will-warn-joyce-to-lift-his-game-20220205-p59u2l.html

  17. Confessions says:
    Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 8:09 am
    Thanks BK. Sounds like Barnaby pulled the pin on Insiders rather than turn up and make matters worse.

    What a rabble!
    ———————
    Yes he pulled the pin yesterday. Probably one of the few sensible decisions he’s ever made. Politically it would have been all pain, no gain. The best thing Barnaby could ever do from the point of view of self-preservation would be not to make a statement about anything, anywhere, anytime, unless it’s first been vetted by an adult.

  18. Labor frequently support Greens bills without anyone’s head exploding – they also support indie bills.

    It’s when they support government Bills – which all Oppositions have done in the past, with the majority of legislation being bi partisan – that the Greens heads explode.

  19. “zoomstersays:
    Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 7:14 am
    Alpo

    I was playing with this idea once so I asked students – from a range of schools – what they thought.

    Resounding ‘no’.

    I’d go for non compulsory voting for 16-18 year olds.”…

    You should have asked those students marching in the streets for better climate change policies, or those marching for women to get more respect in society… In the end, the ACT experiment may be interesting as it will be able to address all the a-priori arguments in favour or against decreasing the age of compulsory voting. … They should go ahead and let’s see what happens.

  20. zoomster at 8:26 am
    What matters is WHAT the pieces of legislation are. Numbers and volume as a metric are pretty meaningless

  21. max:

    There was also that attack on the leaker written by Barnaby’s partner that was in the Murdoch media yesterday that was completely undermined by Barnaby’s admission on Friday.

    As C@t says, Speers would’ve had lots to work with if he’d been able to interview him.

  22. Insiders should just come clean and rename itself ‘Warroom – Australia’, I’m sure Steve will give them the Australian rights for cheap.

  23. If I was the liberals I’d give voluntary voting for 16 – 18 years old the tick as quickly as possible, I think they’ll get an advantage based on turnout.

  24. Fess

    You can’t make this shit up

    partner of Barnaby Joyce, penns an article in the Murdoch papers, calling on the cabinet minister who called the PM a “psycho and fraud” to resign.
    This is at same time it is revealed that Barnaby called Morrison a “liar and hypocrite”.

    You really can’t make it up. It is beyond parody.

  25. In a mostly useless measure of how bad the LNP is going;
    A family member who has voted for them for 50 years and rarely even tries to be objective say, he doesnt see how they can win.

    If life-long supporters are giving up the fight before the official campaign, its looking like its going to be like a ruddslide… an albolanche

  26. Vic:

    Yes they are even more of a rabble than they were 2 years ago.

    The problem with Barnaby’s partner’s article is that sections of our media are just too close to our political leaders to be impartial observers. Her writing as a columnist for the MSM about politics is a total conflict of interest. She can’t possibly be impartial.

  27. Fess

    Yes indeed. Apart from that. How can Ms Campion not even read the room as far as her partner goes. She lives with the person. Surely she has a sense of who he is, and how that all plays out with respect to the govt he is part of.

    And in all seriousness, what possesses a young person to fall for a man who is not even aging well for his demographic. I am a mature woman and Barnaby makes my skin crawl,

  28. Karen Andrews about to front Insiders in lieu of Joyce. Stand by for plenty of these.
    “I do not accept the premise of that question”
    “I will leave that for others to comment upon”.
    “We should move on”

  29. WWP @ 8.37am
    “If I was the liberals I’d give voluntary voting for 16 – 18 years old the tick as quickly as possible,”
    “I think they’ll get an advantage based on turnout.”
    “I think” is probably not a reliable indicator of anything.
    Particularly as last week indicates “thinking” is not a strong point for many.
    Leave the sixteen and seventeen years old to be kids.

  30. Vic:

    Looks aside, Barnaby does not strike as a likeable individual. He’s said and done some pretty horrible things over the years, I can’t imagine anyone being attracted to him.

  31. Victoria @ #37 Sunday, February 6th, 2022 – 8:51 am

    Fess

    Yes indeed. Apart from that. How can Ms Campion not even read the room as far as her partner goes. She lives with the person. Surely she has a sense of who he is, and how that all plays out with respect to the govt he is part of.

    And in all seriousness, what possesses a young person to fall for a man who is not even aging well for his demographic. I am a mature woman and Barnaby makes my skin crawl,

    Not everyone has good taste. Also, what is it they say about ‘power being the ultimate aphrodisiac’? It also looks like BaJo has opened a few doors for Ms Campion, from Croc Country in FNQ.

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