By-election latest: Fadden, Rockingham, Warrandyte

Candidates confirmed and ballot papers drawn for Fadden and Rockingham, and Liberal preselection determined for Warrandyte.

Candidates were announced and ballot paper orders drawn for two of the three looming by-elections, an occasion I have marked with guides to the two in question — the federal by-election for Fadden on July 15, and the Western Australian state by-election for Rockingham on July 29. As well as providing a dedicated comments thread for discussion of the by-election, this post offers a summary of the most recent developments from all three, the most notable of which are for the Victorian state by-election for Warrandyte, for which a date is yet to be determined:

• A Liberal preselection held on Sunday to choose a candidate for the Warrandyte state by-election in Victoria was won by Nicole Ta-Ei Werner, who ran unsuccessfully for the party in Box Hill at the November state election. Werner is the daughter of Malaysian Chinese migrants and a former youth pastor with Pentecostal church Planetshakers, who now works as the business development for Empower Australia, a food relief centre run by the church. She prevailed in the preselection vote amid a field of nine, which after progressive rounds winnowed the field down to Werner, Institute of Public Affairs director John Roskam, and 22-year-old law student Antonietta di Cosmo. Werner and Roskam were at this point tied for second, which was resolved with a special round of voting that determined the result for Werner. The majority of Roskam’s backers then fell in behind Werner, who defeated di Cosmo in the final round with 55 votes to 50 (with “some members leaving early”, according to The Age). Labor sources cited by The Age on Monday said Labor would decide if it would field a candidate by the end of the week, but I have yet to hear any further.

• Nine candidates have nominated for Rockingham, the Liberal candidate being Peter Hudson, a 21-year-old resources sector recruitment consultant who ran for the party in Brand at last year’s federal election, and was the only nominee for preselection. Also in the field is Rockingham deputy mayor Hayley Edwards, who was mentioned as a potential candidate for Labor but will instead run as an independent.

• With a crowded field of 13 candidates, Labor has had rather the better of the ballot paper draw in Fadden, their candidate Letitia Del Fabbro placed at the top while Cameron Caldwell of the Liberal National Party is second last.

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.

13 comments on “By-election latest: Fadden, Rockingham, Warrandyte”

  1. I would like to point out that Warrandyte is supposedly the heartland of the Liberal party in Melbourne and they could muster 105 members voting in the final vote. Assuming there were some who didn’t vote or left early, that means the membership is probably only 150.

    Another thing is the seat is called Warrandyte but the bulk of the population in the the seat is in the west of the seat at the Manning & Doncaster East end which has a different demographic make up than Warrandyte and Donvale.

  2. Here are my early tips:

    1. the white shoe brigade LNP will prevail in Fadden. A swing to Labor but the franking credit scammers will get the LNP time server home.

    2. Massive boil over in Warrandyte where the genii of the Vic Livs have pre-selected a South Gileadean foot soldier candidate.

    3. The only issue in Rockingham is the margin. 2pp in the 70s.

  3. I feel like they’re all likely to be “nothing to see here” outcomes.

    I don’t really see the logic for Labor running in Warrandyte. The state Liberals are in a mess, and Pesutto is never going to be able to unite the party and get enough control of his caucus to make them not a mess, so maintaining the status quo practically guarantees Andrews or Allan a clear win in 2025.

    Blowing a ton of party money on a possible but long-shot win in Warrandyte that would oust Pesutto and result in a much less-predictable (but very unlikely to be worse for the Liberals) outcome going forward doesn’t seem like the smart play here. A Battin-led Liberal Party might well fall in behind him if he plays his cards right, since Smith took himself out of the running by resigning to cause the by-election, and Battin’s a bit of an odd ideological mix so it’s hard to predict where he might go if given the opportunity.

  4. On the flip side @Rebecca, wouldn’t there be some advantages to Labor to eat into the margin if not create an upset? Either way, a positive outcome for Labor would mean the Libs would need to focus resources and messaging at the next election on these kind of curent (and former) heartland seats. This would then allow Labor to focus more on winning back some of the disaffected in the Western suburbs from the last election.
    As to thinking of the interests of the Liberal party, the State of Victoria and liberals more specifically – we are all likely to be better off if the whole party collapses under the weight of its own righteousness, religiosity and stupidity. Which will allow for a new party to be created, or the end of the two party system in Victoria.

  5. JM from QLD: Because he’s a director of the IPA. Roskam is about as divisive a figure as it gets in the Liberal Party, which is why he’s lost attempts for preselection umpteen times. The hard right thinks he’s the next Premier; the rest of the party realises that he’s utterly unelectable but that his ambitions would destabilise the state party for the next twenty years. And even the complete mess that is the current state Liberal Party isn’t that keen on providing a long-lasting gift to state Labor on a platter.

    TropicalWonderland: I think it’s short-term thinking reminiscent of what happened with Kevin Rudd. Rudd was so focused on screwing with Malcolm Turnbull (the first time) because he could that he didn’t see the electoral threat of Abbott coming and was completely wrong-footed by it. He’d absolutely had Turnbull’s measure, where Abbott destroyed him, and Rudd and the whole country paid the price. I think Andrews and Allan both have Pesutto’s measure now, and I think there’s at least the possibility of history repeating.

    I think the western suburbs issues aren’t just a matter of state-level resources: the current crop of mostly newish MPs aren’t too bad, and even those who were issues have started to see the danger (see: Nathan Lambert in Preston), with solvable problems for Labor largely concentrated in a couple seats like Pascoe Vale with MPs far too right-wing for the area. I reckon the federal MPs, combined with a history of having taking the area for granted, are damaging the Labor brand – Labor desperately needs to ditch Mulino and Vamvakinou as duds and tell new Hawke MP Rae to get off his backside – I couldn’t even remember who was the MP there until I looked it up on Wikipedia.

    (In other words, to go back to Warrandyte – I don’t think it’s a case of causing trouble for the Liberals for the sake of it actually putting them in any better position to win back the voters they’ve lost out here.)

  6. Perhaps Labor do no want to run because the presumed winning liberal candidate will ultimately be a political asset for Labor as she will be another branch stacked out-of-touch hyper-conservative religious nutter, maybe a Moira Deeming Mark II, creating another headache for Pesutto. Labor don’t need any more lower house members. They have an enormous majority. The further brand damage for the Libs with someone like this in the parliament would be of more value to Labor than another MP.

  7. the ipa guy roscome ran severall times for liberal preselection he lost a lot of influence with his falling out with morrison plus in 2014 lost another state seat to john pessuto

  8. Will the stench, of Corrupt Berejiklian and her Corrupt lover, hanging over the Liberal party, help Labor in the up coming by-elections ?

  9. I met the Greens candidate for Warrandyte on Wednesday night. Great young fellow. 25yo, tall, handsome, erudite, articulate. Deputy mayor out there. The Greens are taking it seriously. According to the daily Rupert, the ALP are still deciding. Meanwhile the MP concerned has only announced his resignation! No date set as there is not yet a vacancy.

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