Miscellany: Fadden by-election, Liberal and Greens candidate selection (open thread)

A date set for the Fadden by-election, and an LNP candidate soon to be as well — along with a Liberal successor to the late Jim Molan in the Senate.

Before we proceed to a brief summary of electorally relevant current events in federal politics, please note the other quality content that it’s pushing down the order: a guest post from Adrian Beaumont on the threat of US debt default and other international events, a post on a Tasmanian poll with a summary of recent events in that state, and a detailed analysis of results from last year’s federal election in thirteen seats in inner Melbourne.

• The Fadden by-election has been set for July 25, with nominations to close on June 23. As was covered in the previous post, a Liberal National Party preselection that has attracted five nominees will be conducted today. Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reports that Anthony Albanese would rather Labor forfeit the by-election for a seat the LNP holds on a 10.6% margin, but must reckon with a local branch “agitating to run a candidate”.

• The New South Wales Liberal Party will hold its preselection this weekend to fill the Senate vacancy resulting from the death of Jim Molan in January. The field have candidates has narrowed to three: former state Transport Minister Andrew Constance, former state party president Maria Kovacic and Space Industry Association chief executive James Brown. The Sydney Morning Herald reports the latter has a long list of high-profile backers including John Howard, Julie Bishop and Dave Sharma.

• The Byron Shire Echo reports comedian Mandy Nolan will again run as the Greens candidate for the Byron Bay and Tweed Heads region seat of Richmond at the next federal election. Nolan added 5.0% to the party’s primary vote share last May to outpoll the Nationals, although preferences from right-wing minor parties pushed the Nationals candidate ahead of her at the final exclusion.

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.

1,384 comments on “Miscellany: Fadden by-election, Liberal and Greens candidate selection (open thread)”

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  1. Cat
    I brought up Michael Mann, a respected climate scientist whom I was sure that you would be aware of, because like you, he had remarked that he thought that Hansen was wrong. Simple as that.

    I think I have a reasonable understanding of how the world and politics work.

    Civilisations rise, civilisation fall and our civilisation is going to be under increasing pressure from climate change which I have remarked before is a consequence of unsustainable economic growth which all governments of all persuasions are committed to.

    Earth Overshoot day is coming up on the 5th of June, for Australia it was the 23rd of March.

  2. “Passos was no ordinary Liberal either.”

    Exemplary use of understatement. The woman made my skin crawl when I met her at the Petersham Portuguese festival.

  3. frednk wrote,

    clem attlee says:
    ..and the Stage 3 tax cuts locked in.

    So sad, chanting S3 tax cuts is all he Greens have to offer. Oh and blocking climate change action and housing action. So so sad. So much noise, so little policy development, destruction that is all that is on offer.

    Two points of correction. I did not write that. It is somebody else’s quote and secondly I am a proud Victorian Labor voter, not a Green. I disapprove of the Greens as much as I do the nominal Laborites.

  4. Anyway: annoyance peaked, so I googled it. This is what all the harrumphing is about. Apparently:


    So: rather than Labour enetering into coalition with the Tories, the national executive has directed that local labour councillors don’t enter into coalitions with any other party.

    A few points. Actually, just two.

    First of all, and to repeat: zero fucks.

    Secondly, whilst not necessarily agreeing, I can at least see the political sense: let the Tories flounder in minority governmnet, be hopeless and utterly destroy them next time around. In truth, in most instances, the Tories have lost control of councils NOT because they were bad, but as a protest against BoJo-Truss-Sunak at a national level. THAT protest will likely disappear by the time these same local government seats are next up for election in four years. So, in the long term, a temporary coalition with either the LDP or Greens will be of little use in these traditionally strong tory areas. Whereas, making them suffer in minority government may cause their support to completely collapse next time. Capice?

    Trust Clem and all the other trot dead heads to turn this into some sort of purity test.


  5. AE wrote, “True or false Clem: you resigned from the Labor Party.”

    Neither, I let my membership lapse. I couldn’t make it to meetings held at a silly, unsocial times. Bringing up two young children had to take priority. Try convincing your Mrs that you have to go to a political meeting at 7.00 pm on a Friday night ( what a dumb time) when there are two kids to feed and get ready for bed. After they were grown up, I couldn’t see the point of attending a talking shop branch meeting. I do however still volunteer my time to help campaigns. Not that I’m answerable to you.

  6. “ I disapprove of the Greens as much as I do the nominal Laborites.”

    Us ‘nominal laborites’ are actually the true heart and soul of the Labour movement. Clem and his ilk are fifth columnist trots. Always undermining. Always trying to take over a movement that owes very little, if anything, to their brand of ‘socialism’. Whenever they succeed, or come close, Labour suffers near death experiences.

  7. “ Neither, I let my membership lapse.”

    So yiou simply lacked the balls to actually quit. All the rest is blah blah. I didn’t attend branch meetings for a decade for similar reasons. But I still kept my party membership current. And did what I could, when I could.

  8. AE, wrote “us ‘nominal laborites’ are actually the true heart and soul of the Labour movement. Clem and his ilk are fifth columnist trots. Always undermining. Always trying to take over a movement that owes very little, if anything, to their brand of ‘socialism’. Whenever they succeed, or come close, Labour suffers near death experiences.”

    Ha, yeah right, up late busy reading those $3000 a day briefs are we AE? Yeah the “heart and soul of Labor”, yeah right?

  9. AE wrote, “but I still kept my party membership current. And did what I could, when I could.”

    Wow a self proclaimed working class hero. What did Oscar Wilde say? “Self regard is no recommendation.”I have never claimed to be a Labor martyr, such as your good self. Lol!

  10. Also: one can understand why the national executive would not be rushing to give either the Greens or LDP a leg up into government.

    It only hurts Labour in the long run.

    The party is better off holding minority Tory governments to account: piling pressure on them to get ordinances through on a bill by bill basis: to justify every single reaction made by the executive. Generally put the pressure on them and make them crack and collapse.

    This is no ‘class betrayal’: just politics 101 – a game of long bowls and patience.

    Better THAT than given some Greens Mayor a high profile to then springboard into stealing a labour seat in the national parliament further down the track …

  11. JB has always had a way with words.


    “The wolf warriors of Holt Street.
    John Birmingham
    26 May 2023

    One of the small consolations of living in these the End Times of our doomed civilisation is my enjoyment of the gradual closing of any rhetorical distance between the senior executives of News Corporation and the wolf warrior spokes-comrades of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    After ABC news director Justin Stevens finally called out News Corp’s ugly racist troll army for weeks of ugly racist attacks by an army of trolls on Stan Grant, News Corp Australasia’s chief executive troll wrangler, Michael Miller shot back, “The ABC needs to stop passing the buck and blaming others for its own internal problems.”

    In form, cadence and po-faced chutzpah, it could have been hissed in heirloom Mandarin parseltongue straight from the Forbidden Palace. Indeed China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesbot hit play on their favourite flex…

    “[Insert imperialist running dog here] needs to stop passing the buck/pointing fingers/stirring up trouble and blaming others for its own internal problems.”

    … at the very same moment that Comrade Miller was demanding the ABC’s revanchist anti-NewsCorp forces abandon their Cold War mentality and accept the wisdom of Chairman Rupert Thought. Yes, China’s Wang Wenbin was urging the G7 to “stop pointing fingers at China… and take a hard look at their own history and human rights record,” but I’ve never seen Comrade Wang in the same room as Comrade Mike, so I remain giddy with anticipation of Miller’s thundering promise that the ABC “will crack their heads and spill their blood on News Corporation’s Great Wall of steel.”

    Even if the Wall is a bit rusty and full of holes.

    A favourite line of the recent attacks on Grant and his employer was NewsCorp’s reporting of the thousands of complaints that ‘swamped’ the national broadcaster after its Coronation coverage.

    There were thousands of complaints. However, only a handful of them were made in good faith and referred to the ABC ombudsman to investigate any “possible breach of editorial standards.”

    That doesn’t mean there was a breach.*

    It just means that the referred complaint wasn’t a tangled ganglion of fever swamp gibberish inspired by NewsCorp’s increasingly deranged culture war agitprop or an ALL CAPS stream of racist abuse copied straight from the comment threads on one of Sky News’ After Dark Youtube conspiracy videos. Over ninety per cent of the complaints lodged with the ABC after the Coronation fell into one of those chum buckets.

    For Stan Grant, of course, the abuse is literally personal. The harassment, racism and death threats don’t just lob onto a corporate contact page; they blow up in his Twitter feed. They drop into his mailbox. They find his family.

    That’s probably why Miller felt he needed to say something. (Well, something other than, “Sorry, Stan.”) Grant’s real and obvious trauma was distressing to watch and could be somewhat awkward if sheeted home to News Corps editorial choices and shrinking but increasingly batshit crazy audience.

    The Murdochs have always played the game for keeps, so it’s not surprising their bosses come off sounding like mafia capos or communist party enforcers. They have an empire to defend. For them, unlike Grant, it’s not personal.

    Fear and loathing is just a business plan.

    The Murdochs have long understood that power is built on scarcity. News Corp makes bank by adding perceived value to information that they alone possess or can deliver faster than anyone else. This used to mean beating other news outlets for access, breaking stories first or finding new angles on existing ones. But in a digital world, where iformation is both infinite and free, it needs something else to sell. Its most profitable product line now is fear.

    Fear of “The Other”, be it refugees, Chinese people, Muslims or Indigenous Australians; fear of change; fear of difference. Fear is always profitable because it targets the oldest parts of our brain, the parts that prime us to survive in the jungle, on the tundra, in a world red of tooth and claw.

    It was Stan Grant this week. Trans kids the week before. Muslims next Tuesday.

    Change, difference, the Other.

    In the attention economy, these things are the new oil. And the Murdochs are done apologising for exploiting them.”

    *(In fact, I’ve just read as I was checking this piece before sending it out that the Ombudsman cleared the ABC on all complaints).


  12. An interesting aspect of the Murdoch/Stand Grant issue:

    The ABC is certainly not blameless here. On multiple fronts the broadcaster failed to head-off the controversy. But the public broadcaster originally decided to feature Grant in its coronation coverage because he’d recently published a book on the same topic called The Queen is Dead.

    And the publisher of Grant’s screed against the Queen, colonialism and the monarchy? That would be HarperCollins Australia, the book publishing arm of News Corp Australia.

    In the never-ending media cycles about the journalist’s views about the monarchy, few (if any) have pointed out News Corp has been playing both sides of the ball. The Weekend Australian even ran a long excerpt from The Queen is Dead for its readers on April 21. The book itself was published on May 3, three days before the coronation, and no one called that disrespectful. It’s since become a bestseller.


  13. Obviously, the only alternative to socialism is a giant swerve to the centre-right. Can’t be any sort of middle ground there, can there?

  14. Japan court rules not allowing same sex marriage was unconstitutional.
    After the world found out about the atrocities committed by Japan during World War 2, you would think they would have learnt to be kinder to all human beings, including gay people.
    They are obviously still a cruel race of people who have no shame.

  15. I think we should move on to a happier, less divisive topic.

    So, US politics, everyone! What are your takes?

    …just kidding!

  16. Pi says:
    Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at 6:58 pm
    BSF: ” I think a royal commission into the use of Consulting firms could be a serious possibility.”
    98.6 agrees :
    I give it a week or two and PM Albo will do just that.

  17. And, FWIW, I kind of agree that – on its own – the UK local council stuff is a bit of a nothingburger, the bigger issue is that it’s just another in a long line of examples of the current UK Labour leadership obstructing anything that remotely looks like progressive policy. (Though, I would question the wisdom of the “let the Tories govern in minority” long game, which would just as likely see them reelected in four years when their voters return home after a few years of nationwide Labour government. Incumbency isn’t something to be sniffed at.)

    I get that the UK electorate has always been rather more conservative than our own, and I get that Labour had to adopt a more moderate stance after the Corbyn disaster, but there’s shifting to the centre a little and then there’s… this. The vast majority of Labour (and Labor) lefties don’t want the means of production seized from the bourgeois class, they just want their party to be an actual social democratic party that pursues slow-but-steady progressive change in a way that’s electorally palatable to a majority of voters.

    To see active members of our own Labor Party (which, however much I may sometimes whinge on here, is certainly much better than present-day UK Labour when it comes to the desire to effect positive change and in actually achieving such change) celebrating what’s happening across the pond, simply because UK Labour look likely to defeat a shambolic joke of a government presently tearing itself to pieces, is rather disheartening.

  18. nath says:
    Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at 2:27 pm
    The declaration follows a number of Labor MPs suggesting to this masthead that the former opposition leader would be encouraged to retire from politics at the next election with an offer of a diplomatic appointment overseas.
    98.6 says :
    With the retirement of Mark from WA, you can never tell what anyone is thinking till they tell you.
    My information is that Shorten is willing to wait for the right time to make his move back to the leadership, even if it takes a couple of terms.
    He is only 56 and Albo is 60, still time is on Shorten’s side. Becoming PM at 61 or 62 is still young in political age.
    Perhaps the Labor MPs suggesting Shorten retire are after the top job themselves and want him out of the way.
    Don’t underestimate Shorten.

  19. Christ, it’s one thing for someone who dislikes Shorten to insist he’s plotting a return to the leadership, it’s a far stranger thing when people who actually like the guy (and, I presume, want to see Labor win further elections) start talking up the Shorten revival.

    Shorten is yesterday’s man. Unless he’s totally delusional, he must be fully aware of that fact.

  20. Maybe in the back of Shorten’s mind he’s thinking of a comeback but it takes more than one person to take back the leadership.

    Even if there were a push to get rid of Albanese (which, let’s be clear, there isn’t; The ALP are enjoying good polling and some policy issues aside, the ship’s sailing fine), it’d be more likely to rally around Chalmers.

    But, as I said, that’s not happening. Not just because of what I mentioned but because it would be political suicide. Considering how much the previous Labor government is forever tarnished by its leadership issues – in particular – the removal of a first term PM seemingly for no reason (no, I don’t need it explained. I know what the narrative was), they’d have rocks in their heads to do it again (I can already see the “Labor haven’t/won’t learn their lesson” campaign and the smile on Dutton’s face as he goes from a probably forgettable also-ran to PM-in-waiting.)

    If and when (i.e. after a couple of elections, should the voters keep Labor in power that long), there’s a serious challenge against Albanese, it will be Chalmers leading it. The only reason it wouldn’t be him is if the catalyst for the challenge was a total economic collapse or something that also tarnishes the Treasurer.

    Either way, barring something unpredictable like a sudden fatal heart attack in the PM’s office, I am pretty confident that Albanese will be leading Labor to the next election (regardless of what may or may not be swimming inside of Shorten’s head.)

  21. Although I will point out to those complaining that it’s a topic of conversation on this board at all that nobody objected to the many, many times “imminent” Liberal Party leadership challenges have been discussed on here over the years – some of which had been based on some really silly and illogical premises.

  22. It was reported in the Australian Financial Review Labor have selected Gold Coast nurse Letitia Del Fabbro as their candidate for the Fadden by-election. Del Fabbro was the Labor candidate at the 2022 federal election.

  23. The Governor-General of Australia is His Majesty The King’s representative. In practice, they are Australia’s Head of State and have a range of constitutional and ceremonial duties. The Governor-General is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force.

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