Note the post below from Adrian Beaumont on today’s momentous French presidential run-off election. Closer to home:
• As the Liberal Party divides on Warringah candidate Katherine Deves and her contentious pronouncements on transgenderism, Chip Le Grand of the Age/Herald observes a related debate as to “whether a Coalition government could be turfed out of its inner-city electorates in Sydney and Melbourne but take enough ground in the suburbs and regions to stay in power”. Whereas some rate this as “electoral madness”, an unidentified conservative is quoted as saying Kooyong is “just a seat” and “certainly not the jewel in the crown anymore”. Those of the latter view point to Boris Johnson’s success in the “red wall” of northern England and the epochal populist-driven realignments in the United States and France.
• David Crowe of the Age/Herald reports front-benchers on both sides have identified the following seats as “still in play”: “Reid, Gilmore and Parramatta in NSW; Corangamite, McEwen and Chisholm in Victoria; Swan, Pearce and Hasluck in WA; Longman, Leichhardt and Brisbane in Queensland; and the Tasmanian trio of Bass, Braddon and Lyons”. This includes five seats held by Labor along with ten by the Coalition. A Labor source says they would “prefer to be us than them at this stage”, not least because the teal independent insurgency had the Coalition “fighting on two fronts”, but that defeat remained possible.
• Further to the above, former Queensland Labor state secretary Cameron Milner writes in The Australian that the Liberals are pursuing Labor-held Lilley in Brisbane, Lingiari in the Northern Territory (where Scott Morrison campaigned yesterday) and Corangamite in western Victoria. Milner also describes Scott Morrison’s support for Katherine Deves as “brilliant foghorn politics”, deployed to “virtue-signal their values” to One Nation and Clive Palmer voters whose preferences will be up for grabs. Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review likewise offers that “in the suburbs, the regions and the religious communities, the government – and Labor – believes the Deves issue is going gangbusters in Scott Morrison’s favour, messy as it may be”.
• A Labor online attack against Gladys Liu, who holds the Melbourne seat of Chisholm for the Liberals on a margin of 0.5%, has been described as a “desperate, dishonest, racist attack ad” by Josh Frydenberg and a “sewer tactic” by Scott Morrison. While these claims are receiving sympathetic coverage from the news media, the contentions raised in the ad do not seem especially misleading.
• Ben Raue of The Tally Room has interactive colour-coded maps recording the extent to which seats have swung towards one major party or the other since 2004. It can be observed that Labor has strengthened in the growth areas of Melbourne but weakened in central Queensland and Sydney’s inner west and south.
• Following the publication of full candidate details on Friday, I have finished fleshing out my federal election guide with further photos, candidate details and full lists of candidates in ballot paper order.