Weekend miscellany: redistribution and referendum latest (open thread)

Referendum results displays; progress in the federal redistribution process; party registration news.

I suspect we’re entering something of an opinion poll drought, with media polling budgets having been exhausted in the last stages of the referendum campaign. On that subject, my live results feature continue to update on a daily-or-so basis. There is also Simon Jackman’s, which includes an impressive feature allowing the user to observe relationships between booth results and various electoral and demographic measures.

Other news:

• The federal redistribution processes for Western Australia and Victoria, which will respectively increase the state’s representation from 15 seats to 16 and reduce it from 39 to 38, moved along a notch this week. Submission deadlines for suggestions have been set at November 17 for Western Australia and November 24 for Victoria; supporting information including the enrolment data that will set the quotas for enrolment (both current and projected to 2028) have been published for Western Australia and will follow for Victoria on Wednesday. The deadline for suggestions in New South Wales, which reduces from 47 to 46 seats, is this coming Friday.

• The former Liberal Democratic Party, which has lost the right to have the word “liberal” in its name following legislative changes before the last election, is seeking to register as the Libertarian Party (with a proposed logo that looks to be rather a lot like that of Queensland’s Liberal National Party). This is now its formal name in Victoria, where it boasts one seat in the Legislative Council, though it retains its old name in New South Wales, where ditto.

• The Australian reports the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters will bring down its final report on the 2022 election next month. Most of the terms of reference were addressed in the interim report, the exception being “proportional representation of the states and territories in the Parliament, in the context of the democratic principle of ‘one vote, one value’”.

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.

236 comments on “Weekend miscellany: redistribution and referendum latest (open thread)”

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  1. If anyone is looking for an interesting book to read may I again recommend Allan Gyngell’s “Fear of Abandonment”, especially the updated edition published in 2021, which adds. coverage of the eras of Morrison and Trump.

    There are so many historical details I knew little of, from the Indonesian confrontation in the 1960s to Australia’s view of the Suez crisis. Gyngell combines this concise modern history of Australia with insightful views of all the key leaders and their motivations.

    Reading the final chapter on the recent past, which I have just gotten to, it is hard not to conclude that AUKUS makes no sense, even if they gave us the subs for free. It closes so many doors for us. Evidently France had arranged a joint Australia – France – India alliance, which was scuppered. This might have given us many defence advantages.

    It is clear that the pro-UK and US militarists are running Australia’s foreign policy, despite their dismal failure to prepare our military for their desired future. Labor needs to change this, and get DFAT running foreign affairs again, as it did well in the Gareth Evans era.

  2. Tom Emmer must be a good man and not willing to be beholden to Donald Trump:

    Former President Donald Trump privately conveyed to allies on Friday he does not back House Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s bid for speaker, throwing another wrench into an already chaotic process to find the next person to hold the gavel.

    Trump’s conversations come as Emmer has begun privately expressing his interest in the post. The Minnesota Republican, who has been making calls to fellow lawmakers, has emerged as an early frontrunner, having received the endorsement of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

    But a sustained offensive from Trump, if one materializes, could spell doom, as any candidate for the job can only afford to lose a handful of votes.

    The former president’s top allies are already working to thwart Emmer’s candidacy. Trump supporters have begun passing around opposition research on the congressmember, and the pro-Trump “War Room” podcast on Friday afternoon turned into an Emmer bash-fest. During an appearance on the program, top Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn noted that Emmer had yet to endorse Trump in the Republican presidential primary.

    “If somebody is so out of step with where the Republican electorate is, where the MAGA movement is, how can they even be in the conversation?” Epshteyn said. “We need a MAGA speaker. That’s what it comes down to. Because if you look at the numbers, if you look at the energy, if you look at the heat, this is the Trump party, this is the MAGA party. It is no longer the old-school khaki establishment Republican Party.”

    Steve Bannon, a former Trump White House adviser and the “War Room” host, chimed in to call Emmer a “Trump hater.”

    Others close to Trump said Emmer as speaker would open a breach between House Republicans and their likely presidential nominee. Emmer “has no relationship with Trump,” one adviser said.


  3. Newspoll have provided updates.
    In past 6 mths Labor’s lead in Vic have dropped from 58-42 to 54-46
    In WA 57-43 to 53-47.
    NSW holding up at 56-44
    SA 57-43 is cooked for the Libs there.
    TAS bad for Libs.
    QLD no figures yet.
    Labor still well in front.

  4. Paul 7.48 pm

    “It is likely that Russia has suffered 150,000-190,000 permanent casualties (killed and permanently wounded) since the conflict began, with the total figure including temporarily wounded (recovered and due to return to the battlefield in some capacity) in the region of 240,000-290,000. This does not include Wagner Group
    or their prisoner battalions who fought in Bakhmut.”

    Add in Wagner PMC casualties:

    “ A total of 78,000 PMC Wagner fighters participated in the Ukrainian mission. Of these, 49,000 were prisoners from the camps. At the time of the capture of Bakhmut (20 May), 22,000 fighters were killed, 40,000 wounded”

    What’s your point, Paul? Or do you just like counting dead Russians?

    It occurred to me that when most people who can’t sleep at night are counting sheep, you’d be counting dead Russians.

    But then I thought you’d never get to sleep because you’d be getting too excited.

  5. That is a very bitter response from the Uluru dialogue. They have a right to be disappointed in the loss but they may have taken it a little far. To suggest that Albanese should have condemned 60% of Australians is foolish. And there is a failed to acknowledge mistakes were made by the Yes side as well.

    It is no wonder that it is unsigned letter as I can’t see some of the leaders wanted to be associated with that. I dare say the drafters will become known in time and that will damage their ability to make and maintain relationships with the current government. They might not like the place they are currently but it is the reality they are now in.

  6. You can’t tell the voters they’re wrong, that they’ve been taken in by disinformation merchants, even if they are and have…

  7. Who put Crosby “Children Overboard” Textor in charge of the YES campaign? Seriously, after all the time and effort and money that went into the Uluru process, who was it that made that decision?

  8. Rainmansays:
    Sunday, October 22, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    No, that’s not the reason. There are around 80,000 – 90,000 Australians with Russian ancestry (both born here and back in Russia/USSR). I am informing however many of them who read this of the cost of Putin’s war upon their own population. I hope that, so informed, they will do what they can to dispel the lies about the war spun by Putin and his Kremlin to any people they may happen to know back in RF. It’s a long shot, I know, but I firmly believe every little bit can help.

  9. “Do the Democrats also vote for Speaker?”
    Yes, they have been voting for Hakeem Jeffries of their party, while Republicans keep screaming at them for not voting for a Republican.

  10. Can’t the Democrats vote for a non-nut job Republican then? Like someone Trump doesn’t want? Why did the Dems vote out the last guy?

  11. If the far right really cared about whales, they would be dropping demands for nuclear powered submarines. Their very high powered active sonars have in the past been cited as possible causes of mass whale beachings.

    Submarines – aka the “Silent Service” – don’t use active sonar unless absolutely necessary. “Nuclear” is a red herring.

    Submarine-hunting surface vessels are another matter.

  12. Diogenes, here’s an explainer I found for why the House Dems voted to oust former Speaker McCarthy:

    “… Democrats voted unanimously alongside Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and seven other GOP members to remove McCarthy as Speaker. Despite talk over the weekend that some Democrats might cut a deal with McCarthy to save him, the Speaker ultimately refused to offer members of the opposition party any concessions, leaving Democrats united against him. In the narrowly divided House, only a handful of Republicans needed to join Democrats to create the majority needed to win the vote.

    Even though the effort to oust McCarthy was instigated by Republicans, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries urged House Democrats to join them in voting against the Speaker. In a statement released before the vote, Jeffries explained his reasoning, saying McCarthy had brought this on himself by using his short tenure as Speaker to cater to extremists in his party. He pointed to the chaotic 15 rounds of voting that the House endured back in January to pick McCarthy as Speaker, a process in which McCarthy made concessions to far-right Republicans, including allowing any one member to force a motion to vacate.

    “It is now the responsibility of the GOP members to end the House Republican Civil War,” Jeffries wrote. “Given their unwillingness to break from MAGA extremism in an authentic and comprehensive manner, House Democratic leadership will vote yes on the pending Republican Motion to Vacate the Chair.”…

    … In the end, no rank-and-file Democrats felt moved to help McCarthy or his party get out of a mess of their own making.

    “I think he’s likely the most unprincipled person to ever be Speaker of the House,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat, told reporters ahead of the vote. “He’s disdainful, he lies about us, he lies about the process of governance. It’s not even a question of whether or not we should take any particular action.””


  13. Diogenes @ #213 Sunday, October 22nd, 2023 – 9:39 pm

    Can’t the Democrats vote for a non-nut job Republican then? Like someone Trump doesn’t want? Why did the Dems vote out the last guy?

    That might be the compromise that happens in the end, just to at least keep the lights on. However, until then, it’s the Republicans’ mess – they’re the ones who need to clean it. The other problem with the idea is there aren’t too many “non-nut job” Republicans who’d be willing to cross the floor in such a manner (or the handful that would be required to get the votes over the threshold), especially if they don’t want to be primaried out.

  14. Pueo

    True enough about subs and active sonar. Though they still test them occasionally.

    I allowed my total distrust of everything Scott Morrison said to bias my words.

  15. Oakeshott Country at 7.59 am, meher baba at 8.36 and 9.31 am et. al. re sophomore seats in NSW 1998

    Here are all the NSW seat results for the 1998 federal election:


    The Lib primary HR result across NSW was down 7% but Labor’s primary was up only 0.56%. It was not just the sophomore effect. The Hanson charade got 9%. So the broad problem for Labor in NSW was that they could not get enough preferences from the stupid voters who fell for Hanson’s rubbish.

    But something quite different had occurred only 4 months previously in the Qld State election, when Hanson got 22% and the LNP lost 11 seats compared to Labor’s 1. Qld then had optional preferential.

    Antony Green has a subsequent review of 1998 seats lost, written nearly two decades later, at:


    Since 1996 was a landslide there were 11 possible sophomore effect seats in NSW in the 1998 election.

    In one seat, Lowe, the potential sophomore named Zammit was dumped by the Libs, who lost the seat, partly because Zammit took nearly 16% as a disgruntled entrant.

    In one seat, Paterson, Labor won with the same candidate who had lost by less than 1,000 votes in 1996. There was arguably though a sophomore effect in that seat.

    In one seat, Eden-Monaro, Labor’s candidate Steven Whan, lost by 262 votes after a nearly 4.6% swing. The swing against Gary Nairn was above the state average so hardly a sophomore effect guy.

    The swing in Gilmore was 2.2% against the Libs’ Gash, i.e. half the statewide swing; sophomore tick.

    In Hughes the Libs’ Vale got a swing, so maybe sophomore, but Labor’s candidate was a bureaucratic has been named David Hill, who perhaps lacked energy as well as inspiration.

    There was no sophomore effect in Macarthur where former NSW Premier John {“Sid-en-nee”} Fahey suffered a 5% swing, losing nearly half his margin.

    Macquarie was similar to Gilmore with half the state wide swing toward Labor, so likely a sophomore tick. Labor ran the same candidate as in 1996, Maggie Deahm, who increased her primary vote by only 1%, while the Lib vote dropped 5.3% and 10% went to Hanson.

    Page was the only National seat in the list, where the small swing against Causley’s win was probably due more to the Libs not standing.

    In Parramatta the odious Ross Cameron retained against a 2.8% swing on a 3.9% margin, against the same Labor candidate as in 1996 Paul Elliot, whose primary vote dropped by 1%, partly because the Hanson vote was over 6%, whereas the anti-immigration vote had been under 3% in 1996.

    In Robertson the notorious Belinda Neal managed to regain only 1.5% from a 9% swing to Libs in 1996. Poor Labor candidate was a bigger factor than any sophomore effect for the dull Lib winner.

    So, excluding Lowe where the sophomore was scratched by the Libs, of the 10 seats above there were only three (Gilmore, Hughes, Macquarie) where the sophomore effect was most probably decisive. The supposed effect was less clear in Page and arguably also in Parramatta. The sophomore effect existed in Paterson but the margin was too small for the Lib to retain. That makes 4 clear sophomore effect seats, counting Paterson but not counting Parramatta.

    In three seats the sophomore effect was minimal (Eden-Monaro, Macarthur and Robertson). Even with Parramatta counted, the sophomore effect bounce was evident in only half the potential bounce seats (counting Paterson as a bounce).

    The other seat in the list was Lindsay. Here local knowledge, as previously expressed up the blog, is against the sophomore effect being decisive, because Labor ran a complete dud as a candidate.

    In Lindsay Jackie Kelly’s margin after the 1996 election (not the subsequent by-election) was 1.6%. Kelly survived by 1.3% in 1998 off a very small TPP swing to Labor of only 0.3%. This in an area where cost of living pressures in the form of a GST might have been regarded as a major factor.

    Others have noted the faults of the Labor candidate in Lindsay in 1998, Cathy O’Toole. The swing to a loony candidate relative to Labor speaks for itself. In the 1996 by-election a nonentity calling himself Steve Grim-Reaper got 270 votes = 0.38%, while an anti-immigration group got 6%. Barely two years later in 1998 Mr Grim-Reaper increased his primary vote by nearly 1% to 1.36%. Labor’s O’Toole reduced the Labor primary by 1.2%, in a field of 12 candidates compared to 11 at the by-election, with the Shooters (who got nearly 3% at the by-election) laying low. Perhaps the Reaper got some of those, but Hanson got 10% so the seat was decided mainly by Hanson preferences.

    Hence Lindsay in 1998 can hardly be considered as a seat where the sophomore effect was decisive.

    Overall, a 50% strike rate for the sophomore effect in NSW Lib marginals is not the main reason why Howard could wear the crown of Mr Never-Ever of the GST. Other factors, including poor candidates in Lindsay and Robertson and an inadequate postal vote campaign in Eden-Monaro, were important.

    Perhaps Labor’s campaign team did not devote enough attention to Eden-Monaro because they were pushing dud candidates uphill in Lindsay and Robertson.

    However, the bigger factor by far was Labor’s inability to attract enough preference votes from the Hanson celebrity show in key seats like Eden-Monaro and Lindsay, where the Hanson vote was 10%, at a time when Hanson was less obviously merely a preference conduit for the Libs than she is today.

  16. I suppose it’s never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake as well. It does look cynical and deliberately bad governance though.

  17. It seems to be particularly drawn out for US politics because of the tradition of the US House to call on each member for their vote one at a time in alphabetical order at the speed of a school roll call.

    It seems quaint compared to even our own government in Australia where we rely on tellers to count up ‘aye’ and ‘nay’ votes and give them to the Speaker.

    But they’ve insisted on keeping with a system in slowly having to count the votes of each of the 435 Reps like that.

  18. In regard Pratt, it should not be forgotten that his father caused a change in law to include a prison sentence for price fixing activities

    At the time Pratt and his business interests were fined the largest amount ever in Australian history

    The reporting was of clandestine telephone calls made from public telephone boxes among other activities

    Mind you, the fine was insignificant to Pratt – and any damage to his reputation was fleeting including non existent in business circles (and politically?)

    It was a Labor government which included the jail provisions

    In Victoria, Pratt was paid to accept product for recycling then charged China for that waste product

    That arrangement fell over because what China was receiving was not selected waste product but the whole, unsorted

    So, you could offer, a river of gold for Pratt which came to an end when China said enough, we are not your rubbish dump

    Local Councils (and Ratepayers) paid the price of that disaster, for starters

    Plus there was a political fall out where, again, you could offer that media coverage was not what it could have been given a presentation of contributing events

    Richard’s wife (as distinct from his mistress) was a doyen of the arts, of integrity and close to Shorten, hosting events for Shorten at Kew – the site of alleged events during lock down – to the absolute chagrin of the Liberal Party and their elite identities (does that feed your nonsense 24/7 on this site obsession with Shorten, Nath? And I would suggest that there are many others more worthy of your purile attempts than Shorten if you know where to look including who is socialising with who and where – which you would not see given you are 24/7 on this site)

    Money, hey?

    Or more to the point some who have money – because there are others who contribute minus the audit of “what’s in it for me” and deliberately minus any publicity

    More to the point of the revelations is the characteristics of Trump identifying his ego and his belief that his importance places him above the law

    Not that Trump is the only one with such characteristics

  19. Diogenes, it would only take 5 moderate Republicans to vote with the Dems to install Jeffries as Speaker. That’s another way to create stability instead of more Republican chaos. I don’t really see why the Dems should be blamed for refusing to help the Republicans resolve their own mess.

  20. Looking through the results for the WA local council elections, there seems to be a lot more councils than usual being re-elected unopposed, mostly in the country where so many local newspapers have closed down post-Covid. Makes you wonder if people knew there was an election coming up, or if they only found out after nominations had closed?

  21. Outsider says Monday, October 23, 2023 at 12:06 am

    Diogenes, it would only take 5 moderate Republicans to vote with the Dems to install Jeffries as Speaker. That’s another way to create stability instead of more Republican chaos. I don’t really see why the Dems should be blamed for refusing to help the Republicans resolve their own mess.

    Any Republicans planning to do that could probably kiss their chances of winning their next Primary good bye.

    The only hope might be if the majority of Republicans put up a reasonable candidate and the Democrats abstained.

  22. [‘Secret tapes have revealed Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt’s extraordinary private dealings with…Trump, a $1 million promised payment to Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and financial dealings with then-Prince Charles in the hope he would become king.

    After recent allegations Trump had leaked classified US submarine fleet details to Pratt, the covert recordings reveal the billionaire claimed the former president also disclosed non-public details about US military action in Iraq and a private conversation with Iraq’s leader.

    The tapes, along with internal documents from Pratt’s company, Visy, and briefings from over a dozen sources in the US and Australia, reveal how the packaging titan uses relationships with powerful figures to obtain an advantage in global business and politics.

    Pratt gained access to Trump by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on membership and event fees at the ex-president’s private Florida club, Mar-a-Lago.

    Pratt is heard on the tapes simultaneously admiring and besmirching Trump and comparing him to a mafia figure “with balls” who uses henchmen to do his dirty work.

    In claiming he had paid a fee of “about a million bucks” to Giuliani in return for the Trump lawyer attending Pratt’s birthday party, the Visy boss explained that “Rudy is someone I hope will be useful one day”. This year, Trump and Giuliani were both charged with criminally subverting the 2020 presidential election.

    King Charles is another powerful figure Pratt has cultivated — while he was a prince — with documents listing a “final payment” to “HRH” [His Royal Highness] of $182,000 in 2021.

    “My superpower is that I am rich. So I am useful to him [Prince Charles], right?” Pratt said of Charles on the tape.

    Leaked documents show how Pratt has also pursued local political influence, revealing consulting payments to two former prime ministers, Tony Abbott and Paul Keating.

    Abbott was hired, the files show, weeks after losing his parliamentary seat in 2019, on a retainer of $8000 a month, while Keating’s monthly retainer is $25,000.

    In 2022, Pratt budgeted $1.2 million to pay his in-house government affairs and political adviser, Richard Dowdy, who is a former Abbott staffer.’]


    Pratt’s loose lips have certainly exposed the machinations of some big players, and SC Smith will certainly be interested in this evidence in furtherance of the classified documents indictment that’s being overseen in Florida by Trump-nominated & Trump-friendly judge Cannon, who’s doing her darnedest to extend his trial date – not that more evidence is needed in this prosecution: it’s a fait accompli.


  23. VW to stop selling fossil-fueled cars in Norway
    October 22, 2023

    Volkswagen (VW), long one of the major car dealers in Norway, has announced it will stop selling all models fueled by gasoline and diesel after New Year. The German producer and its Norwegian importer point to the massive rise of electric car sales in recent years.

    “As a final farewell to fossil cars, the last order for a Volkswagen Golf will be taken towards the end of the year,” said Ulf Tore Hekneby, director of Norway’s importer of Volkswagen cars, Møller Bil. He called sales of electric cars in Norway “a formidable success,” while the market for fossil-fueled cars has all but crashed.”

    Yet only weeks ago VW was saying it had to cut back on EV production lines in Europe because buyers didn’t want them. This of course contradicted the facts surrounding very significant increases in EV sales in most European countries.

    I can attest to the fact that Oslo’s streets are noticeably incredibly quiet. It’s far easier playing spot the ICE vehicle rather than spot the EV here.


  24. Diogenes @ #213 Sunday, October 22nd, 2023 – 10:09 pm

    Can’t the Democrats vote for a non-nut job Republican then? Like someone Trump doesn’t want? Why did the Dems vote out the last guy?

    If the Democrats voted for a Republican that Trump doesn’t give the tick of approval to then there would be a Motion to Vacate put up so fast by one of the members of the Crazy Clown Caucus, his head (I’m assuming it’s a He), would spin. The Democrats realise that.

  25. C@tmomma @ #235 Monday, October 23rd, 2023 – 5:19 am

    If the Democrats voted for a Republican that Trump doesn’t give the tick of approval to then there would be a Motion to Vacate put up so fast by one of the members of the Crazy Clown Caucus, his head (I’m assuming it’s a He), would spin. The Democrats realise that.

    That doesn’t make sense though. So one of the members of the Crazy Clown Caucus puts up a motion to vacate. All Democrats and whichever Republicans they teamed up with to install the non-crazy Speaker in the first place then vote against it. Motion defeated.

    I could only see an immediate motion to vacate succeeding if the Democrats managed to get a non-crazy Speaker up by stealth. Like don’t talk to any Republicans about a compromise candidate, just read the room and if there’s a moderate GOP member who seems likely to catch 7-8 protest votes then vote as a bloc for that person. Then maybe you get an outraged, knee-jerk response where a motion to vacate is instantly successful.

    But even in that case, who cares? It’s less boring than having no Speaker at all. Less risky than waiting for the GOP to coalesce around a Speaker from the crazy aisle. The Democrats will look smart for outplaying the Republicans. The GOP talking point about how Democrats are to blame for not propping up the Speaker will be dead and buried. If Republicans nuke the consensus Speaker, they own it and everything that flows from it.

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