Ballot paper draws were conducted yesterday, and full candidate lists have been published by the Australian Electoral Commission and incorporated into my election guide. There are 1203 candidates for the House of Representatives, up from 1056 in 2019, an average of around eight per seat. The United Australia Party is again contesting every seat, and One Nation, which contested 15 seats in 2016 and 59 in 2019, is now contesting every seat but Kennedy and Higgins. Other parties making considerable efforts in the lower house are the Liberal Democrats with 100 candidates, the Australian Federation Party with 61 and Animal Justice with 48.
Conversely, the impact of the 2016 reforms continue to whittle away at the number of micro-parties running for the Senate: the number of columns on Senate ballot papers is down from 35 to 23 in New South Wales, 31 to 26 in Victoria, 26 to 25 in Queensland, 23 to 22 in Western Australia, 16 to 14 in Tasmania and nine to eight in the Northern Territory, though it’s up from 16 to 22 in South Australia and seven to 11 in the Australian Capital Territory.
• With the announcement of nominations, it is confirmed that Liz Habermann, who came close to winning the safe Liberal seat of Flinders as an independent at last month’s South Australian state election, will run against Liberal member Rowan Ramsay in the corresponding seat of Grey.
• Shortly after the publication of candidate details, the Australian Electoral Commission issued a statement noting that Rodney Culleton, who leads the Senate ticket of the Great Australian Party in Western Australia, appeared to be an undischarged bankrupt, contrary to a declaration he signed when he nominated. It has referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police. Culleton was elected as One Nation’s Senator for Western Australia at the 2016 double dissolution, but was found to be ineligible the following February on the grounds that he was awaiting sentencing for a minor criminal conviction at the time of his nomination, which came two months after he was declared bankrupt.
• Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review cites unspecified sources who rate that the strongest possibilities for teal independents are Wentworth, North Sydney and, “to a slightly lesser extent”, Goldstein. A Liberal source is quoted saying these independents would be less at risk of backing a Labor government than Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott proved to be after 2010, having “developed their own network of voters”.
• Mark Riley of the Seven Network writes in The West Australian that Liberal internal polling “shows them coming back in Swan and Pearce, though still trailing Labor”. Similarly, Labor strategists cited by Tony Wright of the Age/Herald merely “hope” they can win Hasluck.