Election timing and more seat polls

Lingering legal issues continue to make life complicated for Scott Morrison, plus new and new-ish seat polls for Curtin, Mackellar, Braddon and the ACT Senate race.

The expectation that the Prime Minister will call an election no later than Sunday for either May 14 or May 21 was complicated yesterday by the High Court’s decision to hear an application this afternoon seeking to invalidate a Liberal Party federal executive intervention that has determined preselection outcomes in twelve New South Wales seats. Should the court decline to proceed to a full appeal, Scott Morrison’s path will be clear. Otherwise, the early part of a campaign that commenced over the coming days would be complicated by a legal process requiring resolution before the closure of nominations ten days after the issue of the writs. But with May 21 being the last possible date for a normal election for the House of Representatives and half the Senate, and an imminent resumption of parliament to be avoided, he may not let that stop him.

The action is being pursued by Matt Camenzuli, a factional conservative whose bid to overturn the intervention was dismissed in the New South Wales Court of Appeal on Tuesday. The intervention empowered a committee consisting of Scott Morrison, Dominic Perrottet and former party president Christine McDiven to determine preselections including those of two cabinet ministers who would otherwise have faced challenges: Environment Minister Sussan Ley in Farrer and Immigration Minister Alex Hawke in Mitchell, both allies of Morrison. It also spared factional moderate back-bencher Trent Zimmerman in North Sydney, while further installing new candidates in Eden-Monaro, Parramatta, Hughes, Warringah, Fowler, Grayndler, Greenway, McMahon and Newcastle. For his efforts, Camenzuli was expelled from the party on Wednesday. The Age/Herald reports that lawyers for Scott Morrison argued in the High Court yesterday that Camenzuli’s newly acquired status of non-party member meant he did not have standing to pursue his appeal.

A parallel wrangle on the other side of the fence was resolved last week when the a takeover of Labor’s Victorian preselection process by the national executive was upheld by the High Court, dismissing a request for an appeal against an earlier finding by the Victorian Court of Appeal. Among other things, this process has confirmed the selection of Jana Stewart to succeed the late Kimberley Kitching in the Senate and Linda White to take the other position at the top of the party’s Victorian ticket at the expense of veteran incumbent Kim Carr. The process was imposed in response to the Adem Somyurek branch-stacking scandal and has been chased through the courts since by unions broadly associated with Bill Shorten on the Right and Kim Carr and the Left, who were excluded from a power-sharing arrangement in the Victorian branch and have duly done poorly out of the preselections that have ensued.

While head office interventions have been upheld by court rulings in both New South Wales and Victoria, Michael Bradley of Marque Lawyers noted in Crikey earlier this week that courts in the two states were sharply diverged on the important question of the justiciability of political parties’ internal affairs. Notwithstanding precedent going back to 1934 that parties are merely unincorporated associations whose internal affairs are purely “domestic”, the Victorian Court of Appeal found the matters had been changed by the modern Electoral Act’s requirement that parties must register and have written constitutions. However, the New South Wales Court of Appeal was expressly of the view that its Victorian counterpart had erred, and that these facts did not convert political parties into legal entities. Bradley’s conclusion: “We must hope that the NSW case goes to the High Court so it can resolve the issue of principle definitively.”

Polling news:

• An Utting Research poll for The West Australian found Celia Hammond, Liberal member for the blue-ribbon Perth seat of Curtin, was under serious pressure from independent challenger Kate Chaney, whom she led by just 51-49 after preferences. The poll credited Hammond with 42% of the primary vote (down from 54.0% on the AEC’s redistribution-adjusted result from 2019) and Chaney with 24%, with Labor on 20% (up from 18.6%), the Greens on 9% (down from 15.3%) and the United Australia Party on 2% (up from 1.3%). The poll was an automated phone poll conducted on Tuesday from a sample of 718.

• The Canberra Times reports two polls conducted for the Climate 200 (for which I am conducting work ahead of the federal election – note the disclosure notice in the sidebar) show Liberal Senator Zed Seselja well short of the 33.3% quota he will need to be assured of re-election in the Australian Capital Territory. Redbridge had Labor on 32.7%, Liberal on 22.7%, the Greens on 12.8%, independent David Pocock on 9.9%, independent Kim Rubenstein on 5.8%, the United Australia Party on 1.6% and others on 3.7%, with 10.8% undecided. Community Engagement was similar except that the United Australia Party appeared to be boosted by the absence of an “others” option: Labor 30.9%, Liberal 21.5%, Greens 13.0%, Pocock 11.7%, Rubenstein 5.3% and UAP 6.0%, with 11.5% undecided. With sufficiently strong flows of preferences between non-Liberal candidates, such numbers would put Seselja under pressure from Pocock or Tjanara Goreng Goreng of the Greens. The Redbridge poll was a live interview phone poll conducted on March 24 from a sample of 708; the Community Engagement poll was an automated phone poll conducted March 23 to 25 from a sample of 1331.

• The Financial Review reports a uComms poll for independent candidate Sophie Scamps’ campaign has her at 23.9% of the primary vote in Mackellar, with Liberal incumbent Jason Falinski on 35.2% (down from 53.0% in 2019) and Labor on 18.0% (up from 16.9%). Out of an unspecified undecided component, 28% said they were leaning to Falinski and 25% to Scamps. The poll also found Scott Morrison at 40% approval and 52% disapproval. Based on this incomplete information, the results seem to imply a lead of around 55-45 to Scamps if preferences flow as they did in nearby Warringah and Wentworth when independents squared off against Liberals in 2019. The automated phone poll was conducted on Tuesday from a sample of 833.

• Shortly after similar polls showing Labor ahead in Boothby and Sturt in South Australia, a uComms poll for the Australia Institute finds Labor leading 53-47 in the Liberal-held Tasmanian seat of Braddon, albeit that it was conducted two to three weeks ago. Combining results with the initial voting intention question and a forced response follow-up for the 3.9% undecided, the primary votes are Liberal 35.9%, Labor 34.0%, One Nation 7.3%, Jacqui Lambie Network 7.9%, Greens 5.5%, and independents and others 6.7%. The automated phone poll was conducted March 17 to 21 from a sample of 829.

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.

1,653 comments on “Election timing and more seat polls”

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  1. Taylormade @ #1581 Sunday, April 10th, 2022 – 9:52 am

    Lynchpinsays:
    Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 11:22 am
    Boerwar I am surprised Bluey is still around after his particularly disastrous prognostications in 2019.
    _____________________
    So am I.
    But he might come in handy this time around. Whatever Bluey says, assume the opposite.

    Is Bluey Rex?

  2. “What seats are people in and a quick one liner about your seat…..I’m in Makin, fairly safe Labor now but wasnt always so.”

    ***

    Richmond – Northern Rivers of NSW. People here are frustrated and furious after the bushfires of 2019 and recent floods. There’s a lot of anger over the continued lack of action to address the climate emergency from Labor and the Coalition. Only days ago during the budget sitting, Labor and the Coalition once again teamed up to reaffirm their commitment to giving out $300m for fracking the Beetaloo Basin. CSG is utterly toxic up this way at the best of times – it played a significant role in the Greens picking up the state seat of Ballina a couple of elections ago.

    Thankfully, we have an incredible candidate here in Mandy Nolan, who is mounting the best Greens campaign for this seat that I have had the privilege of being a part of. There’s a real enthusiasm for change around here. Definitely one to watch on the night.

    https://i.ibb.co/rxrb4qJ/273931145-317834877028525-1822265365929236514-n.jpg

  3. The notion that Scotty will serve a FULL TERM if re-elected can be broadcast on repeat to the nation as far as I’m concerned!

    You betcha!

  4. ParkySP says:
    Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 11:50 am
    Anyone on the ‘demise of Melbourne’ bandwagon should look away this weekend.

    Melbourne is bursting at the seams.
    —————
    Agreed. I had to get on a train at a middle suburban station yesterday morning. I expected it to be almost empty but it was anything but. But for most people wearing facemasks it felt like pre-COVID times.

  5. We only have the ABC up here – and that’s the Youtube variety that doesn’t always carry the news. No Sky and no Ausssie commercial TV here. Our local English rag the “Bangkok Post” is a bit light on re Australian Politics.

    So its a skim of the Online Newspapers for me and of course PB for my political fix. BK’s Dawn Patrol is essential reading with my morning Thai Tea.

    I’ve lurked in PB for the last 3 years. Forgot my password. Because it hurt last time when that liar won. Very much so. Hurt me and hurt most Australians over the proceeding term and the democracy we all love.

    I told Mrs Upnorth I wouldn’t fall down the Rabbit Hole again this time – but I’m back – it’s in my DNA.

    Personally I think there are signs from Buddha that three years ago a grave mistake was made in Australia. Fire, Flood, Pestilance, War and Plague. Now It’s Time to kick the Tory bastards out.

    Whilst we still have very strict COVID Rules up here, our little band of Labor supporters will assemble and get HTV’s somehow into the hands of the couple of thousand voters that will vote at the Embassy.

    Good luck to all my fellow travellers back home in Oz or wherever you are in this world. If your thinking of voting Green or some Independent make sure you put Labor ahead of the Tories with your preferences.

    If your voting Tory – shame on you – and may Buddha have mercy on your soul. Satu (Amen)

  6. @It’s Time – it’s Sunday lunchtime, people aren’t sitting by their TVs. It’s about the news tonight.

    Doesn’t matter if Albo went five minutes or five hours after. Virtually no one is going to see much from today until then.

  7. Ff

    Saw Mandy Nolan on the tv the other day.

    Seems very bubbly and outgoing. Charismatic and engaging as well.

    Future leader if she can get a seat in either chamber …?

  8. @meher baba:

    Assuming he meant “North Adelaide” and not merely small-N northern Adelaide, that’s very much not public housing. North Adelaide is the one specific suburb in the upper barrel of the figure eight of the Park Lands, and it’s where the money’s lived in Adelaide for as long as we’ve had money. I read that as not only did we let Nazis in but a lot of them ended up doing quite well for themselves.

    (“Northern Adelaide”, meaning basically every suburb to the north of North Adelaide that isn’t the Port, does have quite a bit of public housing, but it’s far too large an area for a mere hundred people to be worth mentioning, however reprehensible they may be.)

  9. The Greens will probably do okay in places where there is no major teal candidate so seats in Northern NSW and around Brisbane.

    Is Mandy the one that made the video looking like what someone did to a campaign poster.

  10. max @ #673 Sunday, April 10th, 2022 – 12:05 pm

    ParkySP says:
    Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 11:50 am
    Anyone on the ‘demise of Melbourne’ bandwagon should look away this weekend.

    Melbourne is bursting at the seams.
    —————
    Agreed. I had to get on a train at a middle suburban station yesterday morning. I expected it to be almost empty but it was anything but. But for most people wearing facemasks it felt like pre-COVID times.

    Last weekend there was so much on that people could not get to their destinations in the city or park. Lots of comments on Monday about that. People missed shows because of it.

  11. Taylormade @ #1579 Sunday, April 10th, 2022 – 11:52 am

    Lynchpinsays:
    Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 11:22 am
    Boerwar I am surprised Bluey is still around after his particularly disastrous prognostications in 2019.
    _____________________
    So am I.
    But he might come in handy this time around. Whatever Bluey says, assume the opposite.

    Whatever Taylormade says, assume the opposite.

  12. laughtong @ #1613 Sunday, April 10th, 2022 – 12:14 pm

    max @ #673 Sunday, April 10th, 2022 – 12:05 pm

    ParkySP says:
    Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 11:50 am
    Anyone on the ‘demise of Melbourne’ bandwagon should look away this weekend.

    Melbourne is bursting at the seams.
    —————
    Agreed. I had to get on a train at a middle suburban station yesterday morning. I expected it to be almost empty but it was anything but. But for most people wearing facemasks it felt like pre-COVID times.

    Last weekend there was so much on that people could not get to their destinations in the city or park. Lots of comments on Monday about that. People missed shows because of it.

    It’s the weather.

    Sunny 25-30 degrees all summer. Magnificent.

  13. Morrison bullshitting again!

    Henry Belot
    @Henry_Belot
    Hmmm, the Prime Minister just said Alan Tudge is “still in my cabinet”. But early last month, he said this:

    “Minister Tudge agreed to my request to stand aside from the Ministry… he is not seeking to return to the frontbench, and I support his decision.”

  14. @c@t: I think pushing back on the welfare thing was the limit without dog poo on my garden every day, especially after my wife followed it up by positively mentioning Monique Ryan. These old Liberal biddies can be vicious.

  15. Arky @ #1623 Sunday, April 10th, 2022 – 12:20 pm

    @c@t: I think pushing back on the welfare thing was the limit without dog poo on my garden every day, especially after my wife followed it up by positively mentioning Monique Ryan. These old Liberal biddies can be vicious.

    I know. My late husband’s extended family lived in Toorak. Funny thing was, the father and mother were solidly Liberal but the kids went on to being very strong Labor supporters…after they left the nest.

  16. “Saw Mandy Nolan on the tv the other day.

    Seems very bubbly and outgoing. Charismatic and engaging as well.

    Future leader if she can get a seat in either chamber …?”

    ***

    Yeah she has very good public speaking skills and is quick on her feet, so to speak. Being a stand-up comedian has given her those abilities that many politicians don’t develop until they’ve been in the job for awhile. Getting out in front of a crowd and trying to engage with them is what she does for a living, so it just comes naturally. Can handle being put under pressure and being put on the spot. Definitely has great leadership qualities for sure.

    I think this may be the interview you’re talking about: https://auspol.co/mandy-nolan-greens-for-richmond-heres-my-entire-interview-with-abc-breakfast-from/

  17. Arky
    By the sounds of it she doesn’t know how well paid tradies are and doesn’t know about the need to be qualified to be a tradie.

  18. I live in the North Sydney electorate. I wholeheartedly want ALP to win the election, but I’m really not sure whether to vote 1 ALP 2 Ind or vice versa.

  19. Firefox says:
    Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    “What seats are people in and a quick one liner about your seat…..I’m in Makin, fairly safe Labor now but wasnt always so.”

    ***

    Richmond – Northern Rivers of NSW.

    I was in Richmond on 13 March 1993 helping Neville Newell, the first term MP who unexpectedly knocked over the Stamp Licker Charles Blunt in 1990 (yes with Green preferences) and held teh most marginal seat in the country.

    Larry Anthony was running and the Tories were as cocky as buggery about taking the Dynastic home back – all the commentators said Richmond was a fluke for Labor and would be the first seat Hewson claimed from Labor that election.

    We cleaned em up that day. When Keating spoke that night and called it a “Victory for the True Believers” there wasn’t a dry eye in the room – we knew it was aimed at us. I rate that night along with Wayne Goss’ 1989 victory as the best election parties I have ever been to.

    Funny story post election as we were doing postal votes and re-checks, the Nats couldnt quite fathom they had lost. I was srutineering wearing an Anti-GST shirt. Doug Anthony who was scrutineering for his son objected saying it carried a Party logo and wasn’t allowed in the booth. I could have argued back that there was nothing Labor on it, but hey we won, so I changed into a spare white shirt outside.

    I came back to the count to see a grinning Doug Anthony and then pointed out to the Returing Officer that Mr Anthony was wearing a National Party of Australia Tie. Doug went outside and never came back.

  20. Boerwar I am surprised Bluey is still around after his particularly disastrous prognostications in 2019.
    ———-
    Yes, indeed. I thought octopies only lived for a year! This must be Bluey’s grandson!

  21. For crying out loud, Mega canvassing the downside of Albo winning too big. To channel one of our regular Bludgers, that’s # 9743 on my list of things to worry about:

    “While Albanese would not want to get too far ahead of himself, he must now weigh the risk of winning big. He has been around long enough to know what happens to incoming governments that secure a landslide beyond their wildest expectations, but without an active policy program to see out their first term in office.”

  22. Megas comments making me reflect on past Qld state elections. Lnp landslide due to Anna Bligh being on the nose, 3 years later massive swing back to Labor as Newman was despised.

    My biggest take out of these reflections is that Qld punishes disliked leaders. Will be interesting.

  23. Jiminy Krikkitt / meher baba

    To clarify – when I said North Adelaide I meant North Adelaide, not northern Adelaide, vaguely north of Adelaide or anything else.

    North Adelaide is 1.38 sqkm – so with 100 Nazis therein it is 60 something Nazis / sqkm

    Current North Adelaide population is about 6,000. City of Adelaide population has grown quite a bit recently, so it would have been less than 5,000 at the time of Bob Greenwood’s investigation (probably quite a bit less). At 5,000 population (to be conservative) it’s a 2% Nazi rate.

    Both are likely world records: how good is that?

    As for MB’s comments:
    – bringing in anti-communist populations was indeed a national project (State and Federal), but this was different: known war criminals
    – it was indeed the case that public housing (and more generally, housing for shelter, as opposed to wealth creation) retained bi-partisan support for much longer in SA than elsewhere. One reason Mr Marshall lost the SA election was the attempted takeover by the “True Liberals” (who hold to the truth that the only legitimate purpose of real property is wealth expansion by the already wealthy), which crippled the government in a visible way

  24. I’m watching Channel 9 atm and it’s Albo advertising aplenty. People will certainly know who he is and what he stands for by tomorrow!

    Meanwhile, Morrison is off trying to organise who his education Minister is atm.

  25. They are covering a variety of policy areas, including industry, education , manufacturing, Medicare Tafe….. Very Albo centric.

    At this stage they are works of art deserving to win major awards.

  26. I’ve enjoyed ‘Admiral Prune’’s four part series on the ADF appearing in ‘Pearls and Irritations’ over the course of the past week. Much better than Anthony Galloway’s breathless anti ChiComms warmongering effort in 9/Faix a couple of months ago.

    This is just a quick (for me) post on one aspect of part 3 of Admiral Prune’s series:

    https://johnmenadue.com/admiral-plumedefending-australia-part-3-of-4-what-sort-of-adf-do-we-need/

    Two preliminary points to be made first:

    1. I agree that the Government and the ADF must urgently prioritise a comprehensive ‘Anti-Access / Area Denial’ (A2/AD) doctrine and that that must be the core philosophy guiding all defence procurements for the next 15 years. However, I do not believe we should in any way abandon the ‘balanced force’ doctrine. One never knows exactly what the threat will be that the government of the day will ask the ADF for options to counter; if there isn’t the capability in existence at the time that question is asked; it far too late to change the situation. I especially think that the increased likelihood of land based ‘proxy wars’ in our region will mean we need to maintain and enhance both our amphibious warfare capability and the rotating combat brigade force posture that has been rolled out under Plan Beersheba over the past decade.

    2. Unfortunately, for all his good intentions, Admiral Prune has fallen into exactly the same trap as Generalissimo Dutton-kofp: nothings suggested (ie. Arleigh Burke Destroyers, new conventional submarines) can ever delivered in sufficient numbers before 3035-40 and yet the current think is that is the period 2022 (ie. now) and 2035 when Australia is going to be most at risk.

    In my view, whatever shape the ‘future submarines’ program finally takes we need to lease/buy up to 4 existing submarines that can be overhauled and upgraded to Australia’s requirements for the period 2026 to the late 30s before any new subs actually enter service. Late model Los Angeles class, Trafalgar class or Rubis class boats need to be considered and the ability to provide 3-4 boats to the RAN over this time-frame should be a key criteria in deciding who exactly australia will partner with for the overall future submarine program. The other essential criteria in my view relate to the capability of the prospective partner nation’s shipyards to build between 2-4 boats THERE as we get our ducks in a row at Osborne to build the rest of the future fleet locally.

    I disagree with Admiral Punce’s recommendations to pivot to the Arleigh Burke Destroyer (or the South Korean destroyer equivalent). In two key ways the Hobart class has more capability than the Arleigh Burke – it is a far superior submarine warfare platform and secondly it has a ‘command and control’ function that the US Destroyers lack, Moreover, with the planned upgrades to the VL system and to Aegis Baseline 9.0 it will bridge the gap to the Arleigh Burke in all aspects other than – obviously – the total number of strike missiles that can be carried. IF this problem – the lack of missiles carried – is the real issue, then we shouldn’t be bothering with such a small incremental change: we should be acquiring strike missile cruisers. By happy coincidence there are up to ten such cruisers that are likely to be available for sale and immediate refit between now and 2026: The American navy Ticonderoga class: each of which have 122 VL tubes and carry exactly the sorts of missiles we want and for which we have already been cleared by congress to buy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ticonderoga-class_cruiser

    If we acquired 3 missile cruisers, immediately started building 3 more Hobart class AWDs (and i suggest that one each be built at Osborne, Newcastle and Williamtown shipyards) then by the second half of this decade we could have a navy that included the following elements for A2/AD fleet operations:

    – 2 x LHDs (which could embark a small squadron (of 8) F35Bs, plus naval loyal wingman drones, plus spare ASW helicopters)

    – 3 x strike missile cruisers

    – 6 x Hobart AWDs (which in addition to carrying surface to air missiles could carry 24 medium to long range strike missiles, plus up to a dozen shorter range NSMs);

    – 10 x submarines (4 nuclear boats, 6 Collins class) all carrying both short range (Harpoon) and long range (tomahawk baseline 5.0) missiles

    – 8 x Anzacs (with towed sonar arrays, ASW helos, plus NSMs and maybe, perhaps even naval LRASMs)

    – (up to) 6 Arafura class OSPV’s with weapons upgrades to carry NSMs and a modular towed array with either a manned ASW helo or an autonomous drone with ASW capabilities (a dipping sonar and perhaps even a single light torpedo) – and teamed with either the Hobarts or ANZACs to effectively expand their areas of operations substantially.

    These assets would represent a very significant capability and would surely make even china think twice about projecting force into our A2/AD areas of operations (ie. the Arafura Sea, the Indonesian archipelago, the Bismarck and Philippines Seas, and now the Coral Sea).

    Later on (ie. after 2035), these assets can be complemented and replaced by the future subs, the US’s future Strike Cruiser program, future frigates, even more Hobart Class AWDs and the like.

  27. @Andrew_Earlwood:

    The Tics are being retired because they’re pushing 40 years old these days. There’s only so much that refits can do to make an elderly hull battle-worthy, not to mention that a lot of the integrated equipment is now obsolete and would cost a motza (and take plenty of time) to replace/upgrade.

    I’d rather see if the USN is interested in selling the Zumwalt-class DDG (all 3 of), since they’re shifting to the DDG(X) program which is well underway already – it’ll be far easier for them to expand their already-planned build by a few hulls than to keep the Zumwalts compatible with the rest of the USN. I shouldn’t imagine that any reluctance couldn’t be addressed by tossing a bit more money at it – we are, after all, a “loyal friend and ally” (read: dependable client state) for the US. For that matter, given how big they are, asking for permission to build a half-dozen Constellation-class frigates (the base design already being tested & ready as the FREMM frigates in Europe) locally makes more sense than acquiring Ticonderogas.

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