Miscellany: by-elections left and right (open thread)

As the major parties move forward with candidate selection for Fadden, state by-elections now loom in Victoria and Western Australia.

There are now three by-elections in the pipeline, one federal and two state:

• The Gold Coast Bulletin reports a Liberal National Party preselection vote for the July 25 Fadden by-election this weekend has attracted five candidates: the reputed front-runner, Cameron Caldwell; two widely noted rivals with strong support in Dinesh Palipana and Fran Ward; and apparent dark horses in Owen Caterer, who boasts “a long career in wealth management” including a decade working in China, and Craig Hobart. Labor is now committed to fielding a candidate, after earlier reports that Anthony Albanese would prefer to forfeit, with David Crowe of the Age/Herald reporting that the candidate from 2022, Letitia Del Fabbro, was “seen as the leading contender”.

• In Victoria, Liberal MP Ryan Smith announced his resignation on Wednesday, initiating a by-election in his eastern suburbs seat of Warrandyte, which he retained at the November election by 4.2% with a slight favourable swing. This has yielded the stimulating possibility of a return to politics for Tim Smith, who tested over double the legal blood alcohol limit in 2021 after crashing his car into the side of a house in Hawthorn, and abandoned his seat of Kew at the election. Smith had won favour with conservatives for the vehemence of his attacks on Daniel Andrews during the Melbourne lockdowns, and has presumably continued to do so as a regular on Sky News. His comments professing an interest in the seat were implicitly critical of party leader John Pesutto, who says he would “very much like to see a woman in amongst the candidates”. Between reports in The Age and The Guardian, five such are mentioned: Caroline Inge, one of the party’s federal vice-presidents and a “former staffer and political ally” of Smith; Sarah Overton, a director at KPMG; Michelle Kleinert, a Manningham councillor; Nicole Werner, a former Pentecostal pastor who ran at the election in Box Hill; and Ranjana Srivastava, an oncologist who was recently fortunate to be overlooked for the Aston preselection. The Guardian reports the by-election is “expected to be held between 5 August and 30 September”.

The West Australian reports three Labor preselection candidates have emerged as potential successors to Mark McGowan in his surely unloseable southern Perth seat of Rockingham. These are Matt Dixon, who was the party’s state secretary in 2018 and 2019, and has more recently been a staffer to Stephen Dawson, Emergency Services Minister and a prominent figure in the AMWU sub-faction of the Left; Clem Chan, state president of the United Professional Firefighters Union; and Magenta Marshall, a locally based party official. However, there is said to be concern that Dixon’s candidacy would be “a distraction” due to the circumstances of his departure as state secretary, which followed controversy over the use of funds raised by state parliamentarians on the 2019 federal campaign, and Marshall is quoted saying she is “not sure it’s my time”. Electoral commissioner Robert Kennedy tells The West Australian the by-election is likely to be in late June or July.

Also of note:

• Maria Kovacic, who stood aside as the party’s state president to contest the preselection, won a Liberal Party ballot on the weekend to fill the late Jim Molan’s New South Wales Senate vacancy. Kovacic prevailed in the final round over Andrew Constance, former state government minister and unsuccessful candidate for Gilmore at last year’s election, by 287 votes to 243. Kovacic’s win means a seat formerly held by a factional conservative now goes to a moderate. Constance, who is also a moderate, gained some support from conservatives by promising to abandon the seat at the next federal election for another run in Gilmore, which is still considered likely to do. Anthony Galloway of the Sydney Morning Herald reports the seat would likely have stayed with the right if Dallas McInerney, chief executive of Catholic Schools NSW, had nominated, but in the event the only right nominee was Jess Collins, who narrowly failed to make the final round. Earlier exclusions were Space Industry Association chief executive James Brown, former Lindsay MP Fiona Scott and Shepherd Centre executive David Brady.

• An analysis by former Labor Senator John Black of Australian Development Strategies in the Financial Review identifies Labor’s targets to regain lost primary votes as working families on $100,000 to $150,000 a year, “digitally disrupted families” on $50,000 to $100,000, parents with children at state schools, and Christians who have supported Labor only under the leadership of Kevin Rudd; and the Coalition’s as white migrants, defectors in the teal seats, professional women on more than $150,000 a year, and professionals and the 35-to-50 age cohort.

Rhianna Down of The Australian reports Anthony Albanese told colleagues on Tuesday that Labor’s target Liberal-held seats for the next election are Canning, Moore, Bass, Braddon, Banks, Menzies and Sturt, though presumably hopes for the first two have taken a knock with Mark McGowan’s resignation.

Charlotte Varcoe of Border Watch reports Liberal MP Tony Pasin won a preselection ballot for his South Australian seat of Barker with 284 votes against 58 for Katherine McBride, who owns grazing property with husband Nick McBride, the state member for MacKillop.

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.

744 comments on “Miscellany: by-elections left and right (open thread)”

Comments Page 15 of 15
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  1. Mrmoney

    That’s a pretty standard recommendation for people with cash flow who are looking to build wealth.
    It was the member for Higgins, Michelle Ananda-Rajah, who was revealed as owing six investment properties.
    Given her previous career as a physician that’s hardly surprising. I recall reading once that anaesthetists figure prominently in the property investment field.
    Ms Ananda-Rajah and her partner have likely acquired these properties over a few years as part of a long term strategy.
    Is she required to divest herself now to satisfy the purists?
    She may well be a one-term member.
    The tax treatment of property investment is a minefield that people way smarter than me have failed to negotiate.
    Maybe somebody could find a way of limiting the tax concessions to one. You either get a tax deduction for the interest you pay or the 50 per cent discount on the capital gain when you sell.
    Not both.
    Howard and Costello were responsible for the latter and I guess we know why. Looking after mates.


  2. Mrmoney says:
    Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 7:40 pm
    A accountant friend back in the 90’s told me how to accumulate wealth through housing,
    He had taken out a line of credit 60k bought 2 houses rent to line of credit along with wages ,as soon as credit pay off bought another etc etc at time he told me he over 50 properties,as was buying a new every week.
    Lost touch with him but I’d hate to think how many he has now.
    98.6 recalls :
    When the Ex Labor Lord Mayor of Brisbane died in 2007, it was reported that he owned 104 properties in Brisbane.
    I sold one of those to him in 1998.
    Strange thing was the previous owner who lived by himself died in the bathtub and was there for a long time before being discovered.
    I sold the house without an inspection.

  3. Integrity: “It’s only the Greens who seriously want to change the rules though it seems.”

    Evidenced by them blocking social housing legislation. Which makes sense when you learn that the four seats they have in the lower house are in the cohort of the richest electorates in Australia.

  4. Shogun scribbled. “Like it or not Australia is a capitalist state and a market economy. Under Labor Australia will remain so. If that makes the Albanese government a right-wing government in your view, then perhaps you are actually a communist.”

    Ha, ha, ha! What wit, what verve, what repartee. This is what passes for a rebuttal from the nommos….”you’re a communist.”

    Oh my fucking god. They even debate like Tories.

  5. Sounds like you don’t like labels being applied to you. Which is funny given how much you apply them to others.

  6. 98.6says:
    Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 7:19 pm
    With the release of Operation Keppel by ICAC due before June 30 no doubt every Bludger will be chafing at the bit to be among the first to post their reaction.
    I know my reaction already.

  7. Wondering if the Lars Team ™ each own their own property(s), or taking Phil Lowe’s advice, are sharing digs?

  8. clem attlee
    Ha, ha, ha! What wit, what verve, what repartee. This is what passes for a rebuttal from the nommos….”you’re a communist.”

    Thank you for your kind compliment. Us noms/nommos/centrists are renowned for our rapier wit. As occupants of the political centre, our skills are continually deployed against those at both extremes of politics – so we must keep on our toes. Nukiuchi!

  9. “A two-year-old girl was found dead under the rubble of a house outside the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro overnight after Russian missiles had struck a residential area, the region’s governor said.

    Serhiy Lysak added that another 22 people were injured, including five children, three of whom were previously described as seriously hurt, in an attack that destroyed or damaged several buildings.”


  10. Chris Christie making his move, pissing Hannity right off.

    Chris Christie has promised to take the fight to Donald Trump when he launches a long-shot Republican presidential campaign next week, but he seems likely to have to do so without help from one key voice at Fox News.

    Chris Christie has promised to take the fight to Donald Trump when he launches a long-shot Republican presidential campaign next week

    Though Christie has denied he is a “paid assassin”, aiming to take Trump down, he has made plain that he hopes to put his pugilistic political skills to good use.

    Trump, Christie told Politico, “can’t be a credible figure on the world stage; he can’t be a credible figure interacting with Congress; he will get nothing done”.

    Trump’s vulnerabilities, Christie said, needed to be “called out … by somebody who knows him. Nobody knows Donald Trump better than I do”.


  11. Evening all. I have been out a lot of today but reading comments intermittently.

    On housing, I was pleased to see the Greens cut their housing ambition in half, closer to Labor’s position. That is pragmatic.

    I think that politically, Labor should now negotiate a mid point compromise. Housing is a sensitive issue, not getting any less so with Philip Lowe’s finger on the interest rate trigger. If Labor looks intransigent it will be damaging.

    On negative gearing, there is every justification to cap or limit the benefits in terms of number of properties and/or value of properties. Talk of capitalist purity is laughable when you consider how manipulated the housing market already is.

    On Philip Lowe I don’t think he is corrupt and he is a professional economist with his career at the RBA. However as I have said before it is not just Lowe. The RBA board has been stacked with corporate suits who lean heavily right. It needs structural change.

    Several recent decisions have been questionable and Lowe’s public explanations have not helped, suggesting that fiscal and monetary policy are pulling in opposite directions. That is never good.

  12. Yeah the fat guy will not do the trick. De Santis has to man up and take him down (if he is able to).

    The Republicans aren’t exactly profiles in courage.

  13. Inflation eats away at real wages so really has to be brought down to levels that are consistent with a real official discount rate that is marginally positive. We’ve had many years of negative real rates and this has led to a pronounced mis allocation of capital that has favoured the accumulation of land, excessive housing forms and allied rent-collecting rather than productive sectors. In a low inflation context, economic actors can make choices about their work, their savings and borrowings, their housing and their investments that are consistent with full, stable employment and real income growth.

    It’s really essential that the Commonwealth use all of its financial and economic powers, agencies and other resources to steer us back to a low-inflation/full-employment trajectory in which real wages can increase while also serving fundamental goals in the environment, national security and social justice in its many dimensions .

    This must be at the heart of Labor’s decisions. I’m sure it is.

  14. This is amazing. Breath Tests* for detecting gastrontestinal cancer.

    Hanna said the test exploited the fact that various volatile compounds in the gut changed concentration when a tumour started to grow there. “Some volatiles increase, some decrease as cancer develops,” he said. “We have picked a panel of 15 of these chemicals which are particularly responsive to the arrival of a tumour.

    “When these volatiles change in concentration, that affects amounts that are exhaled. By collecting them and analysing them using special algorithms, we can pinpoint which kind of tumour is forming.”

    “We can detect these materials in tiny amounts – down to a few parts per billion,” added Hanna. “Depending on variations we reveal this way, we can then tell if someone has cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, colon or liver.”


    * (nb final trail stage)

  15. ItzaDream says:
    Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 9:05 pm
    This is amazing. Breath Tests* for detecting gastrontestinal cancer.


  16. The Chinese defence minister agreed to meet Richard Marles in Singapore but not US Defence Minister Austin. Regardless of content, that suggests Albo’s speech and Wong’s recent efforts have gone well.

    Of course China might just be trying to make a point to USA, but it is a better position than we were in under Scomo. This is the first China – Australia defence ministers meeting in two years.

    Also once again, this trip shows that Labor senior leaders are spending a lot more time and effort on dialogue with Asian region leaders. They have done at least one major trip literally every time parliament has finished sitting.

  17. I’m not a fan of negative gearing but we’ve had an election over it. The spivs won. Maybe in labors 3rd term something can be done.

  18. Pi says:
    Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 9:29 pm
    I’m not a fan of negative gearing but we’ve had an election over it. The spivs won. Maybe in labors 3rd term something can be done.


    I am thinking 2nd.

  19. Newspoll Voice to Parliament
    Yes 46
    No 43
    Undecided 11
    That is the worst result for Yes on a two-answer basis so far.

  20. Newspoll 55-45
    Federal Primary Votes: ALP 38 (0) L/NP 34 (0) GRN 12 (+1) ON 6 (-1)
    Preferred PM: Albanese 55 (-1) Dutton 28 (-1)

  21. That Newspoll result is not passing territory. I have say the “Yes” campaign has been extremely bad in the sense that it is just preaching to the choir.
    The approach of going with vague detail was always going to be risky. Although the alternative of having a pre-determined look and feel has its risks too.

  22. The Shoppies are the epitome of everything wrong with the Labor Right!

    I can only wish they would exorcize that massive carbuncle from their backside!

    Then and only then, will we see progress!


    carried on from a previous blog, out of context but thoughts remain the same

  23. Leroy @ #727 Sunday, June 4th, 2023 – 9:44 pm

    Federal Newspoll

    TPP: ALP 55 (0) L/NP 45 (0)
    Primary” ALP 38 (0) L/NP 34 (0) GRN 12 (+1) ON 6 (-1) OTH 10 (0)
    Preferred PM: Albanese 55 (-1) Dutton 28 (-1)


    Steady as she goes!

    Just goes to show that all the day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, of the Lunar Lefties catastrophising about the Albanese government amounts to much ado about nothing. 😀

  24. ” Newspoll Voice to Parliament
    Yes 46
    No 43
    Undecided 11”

    Fear, confusion and lies are going to win again.

  25. Either Labor pulls out all the stops on advertising for the referendum or the Indigenous voice will be sunk.

  26. I’ve noticed that the Public Schools in my area have just begun putting the Yes case on the electric noticeboards outside their schools. That’s a LOT of free advertising!

  27. All in the timing JJ Hall.

    Keep the powder dry they say.

    No point in playing the Grand Final mid competition.

  28. G’day all, no huge surprise about Newspoll tonight. Despite the endless criticism of Albo from those on Twitter and the Labor left, he has done the right thing pivoting the government to the centre ground. Albanese is a smart guy, and he leads a very competent cabinet.
    As for the Voice, the Yes Case is in serious trouble. Enough of the symbolism and virtual signalling and the complacency from them. They need a total overhaul of their campaign direction. And the likes of Noel Pearson don’t help them either.
    Taking the reference to executive government out of the referendum question would be a good idea when the bill gets to the Senate amendment stage, Albanese needs to stand up to the working group.

  29. Hey Evan

    Hope all’s good with you!

    What criticism is Albo getting from the Labor Left?

    ** Note Greens are not Labor Left!

  30. Kevin Bonham on twitter: “Voting intention primaries in Newspoll are stronger than would usually be the case for 55-45. This can be explained by rounding, minor party breakdown effects, state level effects etc. but this is probably on the strong side of 55 for Labor continuing their excellent polling.”

  31. Pi says:
    Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 9:29 pm
    I’m not a fan of negative gearing but we’ve had an election over it. The spivs won. Maybe in labors 3rd term something can be done.
    98.6 agrees :
    Yes, give it a rest. Get on with other things, negative gearing’s time will come.

  32. In 1974, the first time I was qualified to vote @18, was for the Whitlam Government’s proposed referendum to give the Commonwealth powers to control prices and incomes.
    This proposal was roundly defeated.
    This effectively makes the Greens proposal for Rent Freezes illegal under the powers of the Commonwealth Government.
    All legislation has a designated starting date. In the unlikely event that a “Rent Freeze” ever saw the light of day, the opposite effect would occur.
    Rents and leases, for both commercial and residential properties, would go through the roof as property owners attempted to compensate themselves for the loss of income encompassed during the period of the freeze, prior to the implementation date of such legislation.

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