Miscellany: federal Liberal preselections and new Senate numbers (open thread)

Liberal contenders jockey to succeed the late Jim Molan in the Senate and contest the forthcoming by-election for the Melbourne seat of Aston.

We’re not likely to see anything on the polling front this week, but there is other electoral news to relate following recent parliamentary vacancies and party defections:

• The Sydney Morning Herald reports preselection nominees to fill the late Jim Molan’s New South Wales Liberal Senate vacancy are likely to include Andrew Constance, former state minister and unsuccessful candidate for Gilmore, and Fiona Scott, who held the lower house seat of Lindsay from 2013 to 2016, together with reported front-runner Dallas McInerney, chief executive of Catholic Schools NSW. Constance and Scott are associated with the moderation faction, while McInerney is a conservative. Mary-Lou Jarvis, lawyer and Woollahra councillor, has also written to senior party figures staking her claim as a qualified woman and the third candidate on the ticket at last year’s election, while also criticising the party’s apparent intention to leave the position vacant until after the state election on March 25.

The Australian reports the Liberal hierarchy’s hopes of fielding a female candidate for the Aston by-election stand to be complicated by the entry into the field of Emanuele Cicchiello, who is rated a strong chance by sources close to eastern suburbs conservative powerbroker and Deakin MP Michael Sukkar. However, other unidentified sources, “including some with strong Right faction allegiances”, rubbished the notion. Cicchiello is deputy prinicipal of Lighthouse Christian College, a former mayor of Knox and contestant for the seat of Bruce in 2013 and numerous preselections since. All other noted contenders have been women with the exception of Andrew Asten, a former staffer to Alan Tudge, who has since ruled himself out. Anthony Galloway of the Age/Herald reports the matter could be determined by a plebisicite of local members, which have lately proved resistant to female candidates, if the by-election is set for a date that allows sufficient time.

• Victorian Senator Lidia Thorpe’s resignation from the Greens last week marked the first change to party representation in parliament since the election, with the Senate numbers now at Coalition 32, Labor 26, Greens 11, One Nation two, Jacqui Lambie Network two, United Australia Party one and two independents, namely Thorpe and David Pocock. This leaves the government needing two extra votes when the Greens are on board and the Coalition are not, where formerly it needed only one. Thorpe was elected to a six-year term at the election last May, which will extend to the middle of 2028.

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.

2,987 comments on “Miscellany: federal Liberal preselections and new Senate numbers (open thread)”

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  1. Lars Von Trier @ #2948 Monday, February 20th, 2023 – 10:05 pm

    yabba says:
    Monday, February 20, 2023 at 9:36 pm
    Lars Von Trier @ #2935 Monday, February 20th, 2023 – 9:23 pm

    . I smell like a loser atm.
    True! Surely you mean looser.
    Your just a louse yabba.

    Sorry from your old mate Lars.

    You’d be the expert on them.

    I’m wounded to the quick, but I’ll survive. At least I still have my self respect.

  2. It would be nice to see Australia toss a few more billion towards Ukraine, either in Aide or as a military industrial complex gift card (The sell these at the Raytheon version of Bunnings).
    It’s a worthwhile cause, and the aide we have given has gotten them to today. The Ukrainians need to get to tomorrow with more help. We have lots of cash, we can afford this.

  3. Surprising that the Medical Council is running Teo through the Professional Standards Committee where the penalties are mild compared to the Tribunal where Drs and other medical professionals are being struck off for less than removing the wrong part of the brain

  4. Boerwar says:
    Monday, February 20, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    ‘south says:
    Monday, February 20, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    ABC news 24 just said they didn’t want to show robodebt royal commission because what’s being heard isn’t particularly strong.

    Fuck the ABC for their weakness and bias.’
    I have generally been appalled at the level of reporting of Robodebt.

    Appalling. Unsurprising.

  5. Shellbell
    I guess unsatisfactory professional conduct is easier to prove and harder to appeal than professional misconduct.
    If the current restrictions are maintained his career is effectively over without going through deregistration.

  6. Rex Douglas says:
    Monday, February 20, 2023 at 1:24 pm

    Mother of a Robodebt victim rang Centrelink to tell them her son had died. Centrelink told her she would have to call Dun & Bradstreet herself https://t.co/VRKSG9dt8X— Ben Eltham (@beneltham) February 20, 2023

    The worst failure of public policy ever. This example tells how a government agency drove a young man to suicide and even after he died they couldn’t give a stuff. https://t.co/mE1TLxC3F2— Barrie Cassidy (@barriecassidy) February 20, 2023

    Just a terrible, terrible thing that has happened.

    Let’s be clear here: Robodebt had nothing to do with saving money in the budget.

    It was about two things:
    1) A Coalition need to appear tough on so-called “welfare cheats” so the Coalition’s smug supporters could feel ever more virtuous
    2) An opportunity to wedge Labor on so-called “welfare reform” – further impressing smug Coalition supporters and perhaps chiseling off some Labor voters unsympathetic to people receiving welfare payments.

    BK, the people who instituted Robodebt are worthy nominees for collective “Arseholes of the Decade”.

  7. Lars Von Trier @ #2957 Monday, February 20th, 2023 – 10:28 pm

    You’ve been dying for a little Lars attention yabba. I’m in a generous mood tonight.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    We are all awake to your concocted pustular discharges, and your unctuous simulated rapport, your smarmy fake sincerity, your studied spurious concern, your odious false empathy, your dissembled trumped-up compassion, your nauseating sham bonhomie.

    Stay looooose.

  8. nath says:
    Monday, February 20, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Ministers will be furious Albo didn’t schedule Cabinet for Margaret River.

    Clearly an administrative error.

  9. President Biden’s trip to Kyiv has not gone unnoticed in Russia. But the Kremlin has not sorted out the party line yet, and other voices have rushed in to fill the vacuum:

    “But some Russian pro-war commentators on Telegram used Biden’s visit as an opportunity to launch a careful attack on Putin for failing to visit the warzone.

    “Look, there are two grandpas,” wrote Zastavny, a pro-war Russian blog with more than 110,000 subscribers.

    One of them is old, has all the signs of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and nighttime urination, the whole world makes fun of him. The other grandpa looks very good, has a spring in his step, speaks well, thinks clearly, and has the widely accepted reputation of a strong and brave leader.
    But only one of [the leaders] has actually come to Kyiv. And the other one [Putin] didn’t go to Donetsk, he still hasn’t gone.”


    All is not going well for the hermit in the Kremlin!

  10. Rex Douglas says:
    Monday, February 20, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    Debacle ..!

    Snowy 2.0 is again making headlines with more delays, tunnelling problems and cost increases. So, on the eve of the sixth anniversary of its announcement in March 2017, let’s have a quick recap.

    The vision for this “nation-building” pumped-hydro battery was for it to be built in four years, for $2 billion, with no taxpayer support. It was to generate renewable energy and bring down electricity prices, while incurring minimal damage to Kosciuszko National Park.

    None of those lofty aspirations has turned out to be anywhere near true. During the ensuing six years the news keeps getting worse and worse, with Snowy 2.0 setting many unenviable records and fast becoming one of Australia’s most spectacular infrastructure debacles….

    Brought to you by the Superior Economic Managers!

  11. Snappy Tom,
    Not just the Superior Economic Managers. It was Malcolm “trying to walk both sides of the street whilst chewing the ends of his thick black glasses” Trumble.

    That albatross can hang around his neck. If they’d just build pipes, they’d probably already be there. Or even trenched down and backfilled. Oh wells.

  12. Lars Von Trier:

    Monday, February 20, 2023 at 10:28 pm

    [You’ve been dying for a little Lars attention yabba. I’m in a generous mood tonight.’]

    Dear yabba took the hooks, line & sinker. You’re a stirrer, Lars.

  13. Interesting re that Cabramatta preselection.

    So one of the safest Labor seats in the State has a massive 61 preselection votes. That shows you how atrophied the grass roots membership of the ALP is.

    Presumably its similar or worse with the Liberals.

  14. If you apply that 61 figure across 45 seats (needed for majority govt) it means the active membership base of the ALP is about 2700 people.

    That’s not even a Leninist cadre size.

  15. Subtract from the 2700 about 250 state MP’s and staffers. Then subtract family members of MP’s and wannabe MP’s lets say another 1000 people. Then subtract another 250 for Federal MP’s and their staffers.

    Of the remaining 1200 how many are lobbyists , union officials and other interested parties?

    It’s the perfect circle.

  16. TPOF says:
    Monday, February 20, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    Jesus Taylormade

    You are so negative. Just like Dutton. Is being relentlessly unconstructive taught in elementary Liberal school?

    Said school’s only subject.

  17. Snappy Tom

    “ Snowy 2.0 is again making headlines with more delays, tunnelling problems and cost increases. So, on the eve of the sixth anniversary of its announcement in March 2017, let’s have a quick recap.”

    I haven’t followed Snowy II closely but I have been concerned by what I have read of the recent tunnelling failure. Technically it is a major failure, suggesting the wrong type of tunnelling method was chosen. That in turn suggests either risky cost cutting or a more basic failure in site investigation in planning.

    A colleague suggested to me five years ago that the Snowy II concept was dreamed up with an AUKUS-like lack of detailed engineering planning. Subsequent events suggest that was the case.

    There is no guarantee there will be a cheap fix to the tunnelling problem. It could require a complete reboot.

    If Labor was looking for an excuse to kill off this turkey project, they probably have it.

  18. ”You are so negative. Just like Dutton. Is being relentlessly unconstructive taught in elementary Liberal school?”

    They can’t openly prosecute their real agenda. It’s ballot box poison.

  19. Yabba replies to Lars Von Trier by saying this:-
    We are all awake to your concocted pustular discharges, and your unctuous simulated rapport, your smarmy fake sincerity, your studied spurious concern, your odious false empathy, your dissembled trumped-up compassion, your nauseating sham bonhomie.
    The friction between these two PBs had me thinking about the words to Tim Finn’s song “Fraction too much friction”.

    There’s a fraction, too much friction
    There’s a fraction, too much friction, yeah
    Don’t believe in opposing factions
    What we need is some positive action
    There’s a fraction, too much friction, yeah, oh, yeah

    It’s a very old problem that
    Goes back to the dark ages
    The wages of original sin

    Let’s make it a better world
    Let’s shake it you, boys and girls
    It’s never too late to begin.

    Just because I thought of the words doesn’t really mean I believe in them otherwise PB would be very dull and boring.

  20. Dandy Murraysays:
    Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 12:29 am
    My first car was a TA22. Cost me $200
    I had to google what a TA22 was.
    It turns out it was a Celica.
    I didn’t realise it also was known by those numbers.
    Perhaps the most stylish car of the century.
    I bought mine from Farsely Motors in the Valley (Fortitude Valley Brisbane)
    I saw it from the road one night driving down Wickham St sitting on a circular rotating stand with both doors fully open.
    Iridescent chocolate brown in colour with ivory coloured seats.
    I bought it the next day.
    Unfortunately it cost $3,900 not $200.

    Funny thing was that as I passed other Celicas on the road they would flash their lights which had me worried as to there might be a problem with my car.
    Turns out they were members of the Celica car club and they would all flash when seeing one of their own.

  21. Another unusual story about car lights is that in 1979 I bought a new Volvo which had the running lights on all the time, night and day.
    Volvo were the first cars to have this safety feature, although almost
    every new car does it now, and if I had one person tell me that my lights were on, I had thousands over the 11 years that I owned the car.
    Another feature was their bumper bars which had thick rubber inlaid in to them and in theory were built to withstand driving into a wall at 5kph (or was it 10) without damaging them.

  22. Robodebt RC uncovers yet another alert to its illegitimacy: this time an unambiguous legal opinion from within DHS.

    It was ‘written as “an information piece for the strategic analysis section”’ – but, like all of the other inconvenient opinions, of course it went nowhere.

    ‘Justin Greggery KC began the hearing by tendering an email between senior departmental lawyers in the human services department in January 2017.

    ‘The email was authored by Glyn Fiveash, a senior legal adviser in January 2017, and headed “Debts” that had been written as “an information piece for the strategic analysis section”.

    ‘Mr Greggery said this email was provided to the Department of Human Services’ then-chief lawyer Annette Musolino.

    ‘He said the advice in the email was that “income averaging” could not be used to calculate debts by the department.’


  23. Daniel Brettig gets warm but does not address the board of Cricket Australia’s acquiescence in a dodgy prep.


    Speaking of dodgy, shite first class pitches have been ignored as an issue in the summer. Yesterday for Glenn Maxwell’s return according to CricInfo:

    “A tricky pitch that was largely green but also worn-looking in patches greeted the teams as Victoria elected to bat.”

  24. While Putin cowers in the Kremlin, Biden shows him clearly that he is facing Western resolve he did not expect:

    “ Meticulously planned over several months by a tight circle of key advisers, Biden’s visit was described as “unprecedented in modern times” by his national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, on the grounds that it was the first time a US president had visited “the capital of the country at war where the United States military does not control the critical infrastructure”.…

    … The active war zone is surveilled by Moscow’s electronic warfare aircraft, with Ukrainian society penetrated by Russian agents.

    The risks were apparent from the outset and planned for over “a period of months” by a handful of Biden’s closest aides with input from the NSC, the White House’s military office, the Pentagon, state department, and the intelligence community.

    After Moscow was informed of Biden’s trip, a Russian MiG 30 flew from Belarus, triggering an air raid alarm across Ukraine.

    If that flight was deliberate, it backfired, with the sirens audible during Biden’s visit serving only to underline his resolve.”


    Putin is just a flat-track bully, good at looking good when he’s doctored the pitch like he does with Russian elections, who is being found out in this conflict he gratuitously started.

  25. would be better if charlee tayoe was deregisted with ben fordims track record also suporting the nsw governments worst minister the bomb thrower David elliott who has caused as much to his own side as well as labor where he used a claim of sexual herasment to gget rid of the opposition leader who was abbout to defeat gladis i would notbe to pleased that my loudist defender is the only person in the country who thought morrisons secrit ministries was okay

  26. Doctors have been struck off tayo should be facingtthe tribunal the nsw government must want to give him a eazier run due to his media backing so his defence is he can take risks on peoples lives and heeven though pationts died to early becaus he operated on the rong side of the brain they would have died he seems to lack any empathy or remorse foor his failures a bit like the other person fordum defends who was voted out

  27. teo did more then just make a mistake he made somone worse then before the surgery he is semingly triying to protect his own reputation then admit he did the rong thing

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