The day of the happy event

So May 21 it is. Featured herein: New South Wales Liberal preselections, News Corp seat polls, internal polling from South Australia.

To mark the occasion of today’s announcement of May 21 as the date of the federal election, I have given my federal election guide a thorough overhaul, which it needed, having not been seriously updated since January. A great many candidates have been announced since then, among the most notable being those Liberal candidates in New South Wales whose positions were not confirmed until Friday, when the High Court definitively quashed a long-running challenge against the manner of their selection. In addition to confirming incumbents including Sussan Ley in Farrer, Alex Hawke in Mitchell and Trent Zimmerman in North Sydney – the first two being cabinet ministers – a further nine candidates had been rubber-stamped by a committee consisting of Scott Morrison, Dominic Perrottet and former party president Christine McDiven, including five in seats of actual or potential interest:

• Jenny Ware, a moderate-aligned lawyer who works at Georges River Council, will run against Craig Kelly, now of the United Australia Party, in Hughes. The choice of Ware appeared to throw a bone to the local party membership, who were angered by earlier plans to impose Manly-resident PwC Australia management consultant Alex Dore on the electorate. They were nonetheless deprived of the preselection ballot that would otherwise have pitted Ware against state Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons, presumably reflecting Perrottet’s determination that there should be no by-election for Gibson’s existing seat.

• Jerry Nockles, Pharmacy Guild executive, navy veteran and former staffer to politicians including Senator Jim Molan, will be the candidate for Eden-Monaro. Dan Jervis-Bardy of The Canberra Times reports a rival candidate, former Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council deputy mayor Mark Schweikert, withdrew his nomination after the cancellation of a rank-and-file ballot, saying he did not wish to be seen to endorse the national executive’s takeover.

• Maria Kovacic, Franchise Council of Australia director and former owner of an ANZ franchise, will face off against Labor’s Andrew Charlton in Parramatta. Another nominee for the preselection was Charles Camenzuli, engineer and brother of Matt Camenzuli, who had pursued the legal action against the takeover of the preselection process.

• Katherine Deves, a lawyer and co-founder of a group that campaigns for strict definitions of biological sex in women’s sport, will seek to recover Warringah from independent Zali Steggall. Deves was given dispensation to run despite not having been a financial party member for the requisite six months, as the party hierarchy cast around for an option better suited to local sentiment than arch-conservative Lincoln Parker.

• Pradeep Pathi, a project manager at Westpac, will run against Labor’s Michelle Rowland in Greenway, where he might find himself buoyed by the results of a new seat poll, on which more below.

Another legal issue worth noting is that the Liberal Democrats have found a loophole in legislation designed in large part to force them to drop the word “Liberal” from their name, and will accordingly contest the election under their existing name. Antony Green relates that the party withdrew its voluntary application to change its name on March 22, compelling the Australian Electoral Commission to lodge a notice to deregister it for falling foul of the new law, initiating a process that will not be complete by the time the existing register of parties is set in stone by the issue of the election writs.

Polling news:

• The News Corp papers yesterday published four seat polls by Redbridge, which were a mixed bag on voting intention, to the extent that the reporting allowed this to be discerned. A poll for Bass had the Liberals on 36% (down 6.3% on the 2019 result) and Labor on 36% (up 1.3%); in Paterson, Labor were on 38% (down 3.1%) and the Coalition were “0.58% higher”, which I think means 33%;; in Greenway, Labor was on 38% (down 7.9%) and Liberal were on 40% (down 0.6%); and in Longman, the Liberal National Party was on 34% (down 4.6%) and Labor were on 33% (down 1.1%). This suggests Labor would knock over a 0.4% margin in Bass but fail to defend its 2.8% margin in Greenway, while falling slightly short against a 3.3% margin in Longman and suffering a survivable swing against their 5.0% margin in Paterson. Results on economic questions seem to be worse for the Coalition than usual, with Labor “neck-and-neck” on economic management, cost of living and interest rates, and no majority support for the notion that the Liberals were “a safe pair of hands in these uncertain times” or that “taxes will always be higher under a Labor government”. The polls sampled “between 800 and 1000” respondents and were “conducted in the past week&8221; – further clarification on both counts will shortly be forthcoming when Redbridge publishes its methodology statement.

InDaily has published results of a Greens-commissioned uComms poll from across South Australia showing Labor with a lead of 58-42, a swing in their favour of 7.3%. The primary votes were Liberal 33.2%, Labor 39.4%, Greens 9.6%, United Australia Party 3.6% and One Nation 3.1%, with 5.6% undecided. The results in 2019 were Liberal 40.6% (plus 0.3% for the Nationals), Labor 35.4%, Greens 9.6%, United Australia Party 4.3% and One Nation (who ran in only one seat) 0.8%. Also featured was a result on Senate voting intention, which was remarkably poor for Nick Xenophon: Liberal 32.2%, Labor 36.1%, Greens 11.6%, Nick Xenophon 5.2%, Rex Patrick 3.0%, One Nation 3.9% and United Australia Party 2.7%, compared with 2019 results of Liberal 37.8%, Labor 30.4%, Greens 10.9%, One Nation 4.9%, United Australia Party 3.0% and Centre Alliance 2.6%. The poll was conducted on Tuesday from a sample of 1052. InDaily reports the result were at odds with Labor internal polling conducted before Nick Xenophon announced his run, which found 16.3% would vote for him if he did so, along with 30.8% for Labor, 27.7% for Liberal, 8.9% for the Greens and 5.2% for One Nation.

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.

544 thoughts on “The day of the happy event”

  1. “Steve777says:
    Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 7:31 pm
    “It seems quite a few remaining Labor partisans are finding themselves to the left of Labor.”

    That’s not surprising. Just as the Liberal base it very right wing, mostly well to the right of the party’s official positions, something similar applies to Labor partisans.”

    As soon as you’ve grown up to know that winning government and actually implementing real progressive outcomes is more important than having an imaginary platform you’ll never get to implement you would grasp:

    1- how easy it is to reconcile having different “ideals” from the ALP’s election platform
    2 – how inane a vote compass based on policy platforms is (particularly where one non-party of government is priveleged with inclusion in such a comparison)

  2. “For a start, she’s not Tim Wilson.” Who cares Rex, she’s just as right wing as him economically and that is what counts, it always has.

  3. C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 5:53 pm
    Does Adam Bandt realise that a Greens’ power-sharing arrangement with Labor is a Coalition talking point? Amplifying it plays right into their wheelhouse.

    Of course Bandt is aware of this. That’s why he does it. He wants Labor to lose. This is one of bids political/electoral aims.

  4. Asha

    Really glad to hear that; it really is an important message to reinforce. I do get the sense, at least at this point, that this is a very switched on Labor campaign.

  5. The Vote Compass plays an important role in that it makes people feel superior when they put shit on it and point out it’s obvious flaws.

    This builds the national confidence, no doubt leading to people having a greater estimation of themselves than what is really warranted. This uplift in confidence leads to new business loans, new spending and is an important driver of the economy.

  6. Re Covid cases, no one’s talking about them, least of all the Morrison Government.
    – Australia quietly passed five million total cases yesterday, three months after one million was “achieved”
    – NSW quietly passed two million cases today.

    The mortality rate seems to be about 1/800 since mid December.

    The Federal Government has quietly decided to let it rip. We can’t hide from the Virus forever, but maybe the Government should come clean with their plan. There’ll likely be another 5 million cases in coming months, about 4,000-8,000 deaths. The Government has presumably know this and they’re not telling us.

  7. Some Resolve quarterly polling coming in the morning, with this David Rowe teaser..

    The campaign begins with the Coalition on the defensive in crucial electorates across the country based on new analysis showing it has suffered a 7 per cent swing since the last election, enough to sweep it from power and install Mr Albanese in The Lodge.

    The quarterly analysis from the Resolve Political Monitor, to be released on Monday, reveals the threat to the Coalition in Queensland and Western Australia at the start of the campaign when Mr Morrison is relying on a pitch to regional voters – backed by billions of dollars in budget spending – to gain ground and block Mr Albanese from gaining a majority.

  8. Firefox says:
    Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    The Greens will campaign for the re-election of the Morrison Reactionaries. We know that. There’s no need to make up excuses for it. We really do understand that the Greens are opposed to Labor and angle for their defeat.

    Hopefully you and the Reactionaries will be disappointed this time. We will have to deal with the Senate…and will do just that.

  9. ” Ugh! Commercial/Club carpet!”

    I was going to say something like that but I thought it might be construed the wrong way.

    If that photo is to be used in publicity, promotional material or in house publications, suggest cropping the carpet (but keeping the people of course).

    EDIT: maybe this –

  10. Shaun Micallef

    The back-to-back interviews across tonight’s news services contrast the primary difference between the two candidates for leader. One ticks off his bullet points regardless of the question while the other at least makes some effort to connect them to what’s being asked.

    As clear-eyed as ever.

  11. Just read a claim on twitter relayed from Michael Kroger that Labor’s vote has crashed in tomorrow’s Newspoll (32 m) hearsay – so dont know how true?

  12. The media will not allow for the race to start 55:45, it’d be boring. Expect ‘fiddling’ until the first few weeks of the race is underway.

  13. Rossmcg if u read the twitter ac – it doesn’t sound like a Liberal. He was questioning the truth of the comment from Kroger – maybe he heard it on Sky ?

  14. 😆 Oh gawd. Headline top of the page in The Daily Tellsmecrap.

    Federal Election
    ‘We love you Scott’: PM finds friends in Nowra

  15. If you read even more alternate commentary on what Kroger said, it related to last weeks ‘crash’ in NewsPoll, followed up by Kenny saying ‘but if another 3% came off, we’d be looking good..’

    But hey, what can you believe on Twitter?

  16. That sounds more like wishcasting on Kroger’s part rather than him hinting at the actual result, but I guess we’ll find out one way or another in twenty minutes.

  17. “One ticks off his bullet points regardless of the question while the other at least makes some effort to connect them to what’s being asked.”

    One of the secrets of Morrison’s success is he is one of the best I’ve ever seen at talking about what he wants to talk about, not what the interviewer wants to talk about, and absolutely no compunction about doing it.

    There are zero votes in answering the questions asked, and few if any interviewers in this market who will do you damage for not answering the question.

    My point is that not only is Micallef’s observation nothing new, it actually reflects a political weakness of Albanese (hardly unique to him, mind you) and a political strength of Morrison.

    How many times have you heard an ALP leader end up having to discuss nothing but the Coalition talking points put to them by journos, while Morrison will never let a question about climate policy or treatment of women prevent him from getting back to his preferred theme within 7 seconds?

  18. Griff, if you’re about, thanks belatedly for the Vonnegut Palm Sunday piece. I’ve been out enjoying one of those rarest Melbourne phenomena- a genuine beach day in April – so only just saw it. Great article.

  19. Regarding Micallef’s comments, Morrison is essentially uninterviewable with the techniques used today. What it needs is someone prepared to say “SHUT THE FUCK UP WITH YOUR BULLSHIT & ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION!”. Dunno where you’ll get one of them.

  20. Bludging’s ridiculous claim that the Greens somehow support the Coalition in helping keep Labor from winning a federal election is plain crazy. The Greens urge people who prefer the more progressive policies of the Greens and vote them 1 on their ballot paper to then give their second preference to the Labor candidate. Usually this is followed by 80% or more of Greens voters. If, as Bludging says the Greens are anti-Labor, why would the Greens How to Vote cards put Labor 2nd and the Coalition near the bottom of the Greens how to vote cards???

  21. I am confident that Cave Dwellers will give the Libs a well deserved kicking on election day.

    It looks like Billionaire Stokes newspaper might think so too. This is the lead in to an opinion piece behind the paywall;

    “Scott Morrison’s initial support of mining billionaire Clive Palmer’s border challenge will be front of mind for WA voters and could play a decisive role in the election outcome, say Federal Labor”.

    I have read elsewhere that local ALP adverts will feature Palmer’s legal challenge to our border closure, that he lost, and was funded by Morisson to the tune of $1,000,000 of taxpayers money.

    Just another example of Liberal waste and mis-management.

  22. ”Regarding Micallef’s comments, Morrison is essentially uninterviewable…”

    I’d agree with that. He wants to be able run through his talking points uninterrupted while the interviewer listens in respectful silence and doesn’t follow up. Also, doesn’t ask any awkward questions. And worse, pretty much all “interviewers” comply. Don’t know what the answer is.

  23. @Asha – I remember watching footage from 93 with Kroger broken hearted over Labor’s fear campaign and he hoped that wouldn’t become normal.

  24. Liberal Party elders Jeff Kennett and Michael Kroger claim early voting is breaking in favour of Victorian Coalition leader Matthew Guy, who joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Bourke Street on Tuesday in a last-minute push for an upset victory.

    Both Mr Kennett and Mr Kroger said that based on their latest intelligence, the Coalition could still steal power, and the best Labor’s Daniel Andrews could hope for was a coalition with the Greens, who they predicted could pick up three to four seats …

    “Labor’s vote is slipping,” he said. “They don’t have many people on the ground, the crime issue is biting hard, cost of living is biting hard, [Daniel] Andrews is unpopular and will be lucky to win his own seat,” Mr Kroger said.

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