Mid-week miscellany: Cook by-election, Morgan poll, SA redistribution (open thread)

Reports suggest the by-election for Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook is likely to be held in April, with a contested Liberal preselection looming.

A second federal by-election is now in the works after Scott Morrison announced his retirement from politics yesterday, adding to the pile of looming electoral events canvassed in the previous post:

• The Sydney Morning Herald reports the by-election for Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook could be held concurrently with the Dunkley by-election on March 2 if Morrison formalises his resignation this week, but Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reports it will “not be held until April at the earliest”. Liberal sources quoted by Alexandra Smith of the Sydney Morning Herald said Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce would nominate for preselection, with one factional moderate rating him a “shoo-in”. However, Simon Kennedy, who ran unsuccessfully for Bennelong in 2022, was also likely to run and would have backing from conservatives. Also mentioned was Gwen Cherne, “who works in veterans affairs”, and former Premier Mike Baird, though it seems entreaties to him are likely to fall on deaf ears.

• The weekly Roy Morgan federal poll has Labor’s two-party lead out from 51.5-48.5 to 52.5-47.5, from primary votes of Labor 32.5% (up one), Coalition 36% (down one), Greens 12.5% (up half) and One Nation 5% (up half). The poll was conducted last Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1675.

• The procedure for a South Australian state redistribution has commenced with the call for submissions, which are due by April 19. Draft boundaries are scheduled for publication on August 15, with finalisation to follow in November.

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.

3,806 comments on “Mid-week miscellany: Cook by-election, Morgan poll, SA redistribution (open thread)”

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  1. ‘… Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce would nominate for preselection, with one factional moderate rating him a “shoo-in”.’

    Michael Towke was likewise a shoo-in. He annihilated the other contender for Cook 84 – 8.

    And yet …

  2. ‘… Morrison has been telling sympathisers he needs a better salary than the basic pay for a backbencher of $217,000.’

    ‘He gets super, depending on his contributions, as well as perks such as an office and a travel gold pass.’

    ‘None of this, moaned Morrison, is enough for educating his two girls, paying off a mortgage and living in the appropriate manner.’

    In the immortal words of another defeated Liberal PM, ‘life wasn’t meant to be easy’.


  3. Scott Morrison will quit politics at the end of February to join global strategic and defence firms with former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former Trump security adviser Robert O’Brien, triggering a pre-budget federal by-­election in the southern Sydney seat of Cook.
    He confirmed to The Australian that he had been appointed vice-chair of American Global Strategies – headed by Mr O’Brien – with a focus on US and Indo-Pacific strategic issues.
    He will also join Mr Pompeo as a strategic adviser to asset management firm DYNE. Mr Pompeo was a former CIA director. “Prime minister Morrison is widely regarded as one of the most consequential world leaders of the last decade, presiding over unprecedented changes to Australia’s foreign and defence policies,” Mr O’Brien said. “As our non-executive vice-chairman, (he) will bring high-level relationships and unique global insights on behalf of AGS’s clients.”

  4. Newly published comedy script…
    “ “The charges are that me and Kaitlyn pocketed $1.3m,” Regalado said in the video published to INDXcoin’s website on Friday. “I just wanted to come out and say those charges are true.”

    Regalado added: “A few hundred thousand dollars went to a home remodel the Lord told us to do.

    “We took God at his word and sold a cryptocurrency with no clear exit.”

    Regalado added that the couple still believes that God will “work a miracle in the financial sector”.”

    Is this the same dog that Morrison hears in his head?


  5. Yep, the Coalition have only got ‘broken promise’ to run with. Just heard Matt Canavan on The Today Show, avoiding entirely the money that will go into people’s pockets explanation for why the government is doing what it’s doing. ‘Cost of Living Crisis’ is so yesterday, apparently. 😐

  6. Good morning lads and ladies, is it worth Labor running a candidate in Cook? I guess if they did, Simon Earl might have another crack at public office, he almost won the state seat of Miranda in the 2023 state election. Comes across as a genuine good bloke and hard worker.
    Otherwise, would a Teal candidate resonate in the Shire?

  7. The lib/nats propaganda media units hacks have gone into a frenzy

    If it happens
    They know this helping the cost of living measures by federal Labor government , has shut out the lib/nats and lib/nats propaganda media units for 2025,2028 federal elections

  8. And C@t, that is why the Coalition will stay irrelevant, when the likes of Canavan or Barnyard are dragged out to push the message. The Libs need some generational change.
    On the other side, Jim Chalmers to me is a future PM, and Andrew Charlton on the backbench is a future Treasurer or Finance Minister.

  9. Democracy Sausage,
    The Coalition thinks they are their best persuaders and retailers of their message. Which is where it is incumbent on journalists to know the facts and put it to them whether they agree that, especially with those two, that their Nationals’ constituents will be the most likely to benefit from the changes. What you get though is a free reign for those sort of politicians to push a line.

  10. Ross Gittens is right. If Albo can’t convince voters that S3 needed recalibrating then he ought to get out of politics.

    I prefer that S3 was scrapped, but the reported changes are a big improvement on the current model and retain a progressive scale.

    Sadly, the ability to fund social services and infrastructure will still take a huge hit.

  11. Oliver Sutton says:
    Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 6:08 am
    “As American Global Strategies’ non-Executive Vice Chairman, Prime Minister (sic) Morrison will bring high-level relationships and unique geopolitical insights to our clients.”

    Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.



    Morrison will be thanking Labor for continuing AUKUS, much to the cost of Australians.
    When very much cheaper and equally appropriate submarines for our needs could have been bought.
    Labor has been against nuclear power. But not now.
    Like Morrison, ex Liberal Treasurer Joe Hockey and ex Liberal Defence Minister Christopher Pyne will be making many tens of $millions out of the $368billion AUKUS deal.
    These and other Liberal and Labor politicians, donors and mates will benefit.
    The need to be tied to the USA, relinquish our sovereignty, support the US in any war is strong in Labor.
    Meanwhile many Australians adults and children are living below the poverty line, attend poorly funded public schools, and struggle to pay for medical, certainly can’t afford dental needs. And many are homeless, can’t afford the ever increasing rent.
    The ALP, the Alternate Liberal Party.

  12. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Now is a particularly good time to announce measures to address the cost of living crisis. We need them because things are a lot worse than the official index suggests, explains Peter Martin who paints a pretty grim picture.
    Meanwhile, writes David Crowe, Anthony Albanese has cleared the way for a furious political fight over tax reform by securing a cabinet decision to offer bigger tax cuts to workers who earn up to about $150,000 a year by amending the stage 3 tax package.
    Ross Gittins declares that if Albanese doesn’t initiate belated changes to make the tax cuts fairer and of greater benefit to those who’ve suffered most from the cost of living, it will show he’s lost touch with good policy, Labor’s professed values and even what’s needed to protect his political hide.
    If Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wants a second term, he will have to fix the causes of the cost-of-living crisis, rather than throw a bit of direct relief at the bottom of the income ladder. It is a bit like giving people walking sticks when they need joint replacements. It might increase their mobility a bit but it will not remove the pain, says Crispin Hull.
    Phil Coorey and Tom McIlroy say that the Albanese government will gut the stage three tax cuts for high-income earners and help those on middle and low incomes, including people earning less than $45,000. A broken promise, no less.
    Paul Karp says that any tinkering of the agreed-to stage-three package sets the stage for a bitter political brawl with the opposition to claim a broken election promise.
    Funding for election commitments is at risk of being held back and departments have been told to cut back their spending requests, as the Allan government warns of another “very, very” tight budget, reports The Age.
    The ABC board has strongly backed its managing director David Anderson following a union-led vote of no-confidence on Monday, with chair Ita Buttrose rejecting claims that the organisation was bowing to external influence when it sacked broadcaster Antoinette Lattouf. The ABC board passed a unanimous vote of confidence in Anderson, and in a statement Buttrose said claims from staff that he did not support the broadcaster’s staff were “abhorrent and incorrect”. That will not be the end of the matter!
    The Greens are increasingly shaping policy in Australia, but very little accountability is demanded on them by other parties, writes Nick Dyrenfurth who says Labor needs to call out the cynical, posturing minor party.
    The Victorian opposition made no submission to the Yoorrook Justice Commission inquiry into land management, despite citing problems with that approvals process as a major reason for its backflip on supporting a treaty with First Nations people. The revelation came as new government data raised further questions about the opposition’s criticism of the cultural heritage system and Coalition MPs voiced frustration at the policy’s presentation to voters.
    Blatant factual errors in an article published by The Australian on the Government’s immigration strategy could have been avoided with simple fact-checking. Abul Rizvi sets the record straight.
    Scott Morrison will quit politics at the end of February to join global strategic and defence firms with former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former Trump security adviser Robert O’Brien, reports Simon Benson.
    Jacqui Maley looks at the political life of Scott Morrison.
    According to Mark Kenny, few will mourn the loss of a truly pointless PM, Scott Morrison. This is a real demolition job!
    “His name at home shredded, Scott Morrison looks overseas for a fresh start. Will he find his people?”, asks Malcolm Farr who says Australian employers are unlikely to see him as an asset, but the Morrison brand could be popular in the US.
    Of course, the editorial in The Australian says that history will be kinder to Scott Morrison than some think.
    Alexandra Smith reckons the race for Cook will probably boil down to a Liberal local and an outsider.
    For all the talk, public and social housing just got worse, writes Michael Pascoe after the Productivity Commission has released a damning report on Australia’s worsening public and community housing disaster. After examining the report, he says that There’s plenty of blame to go round on housing, but most of the big problem can be sheeted home to the Liberal Party’s periods in government over the past three decades. They haven’t changed.
    As Australia Day looms it’s not surprising that Peter Dutton has yet again found another culture war to prosecute – this time against Woolworths’ decision not to stock Australia Day themed goods, writes Noel Turnbull who wonders if Dutton is capable of waging culture wars and chewing gum at the same time.
    The Albanese government’s naming of a Russian cyber thief responsible for the 2022 Medibank Private hack is a belated but welcome first in combating the rampant increase in cybercrime, says the SMH editorial.
    Australia’s airline industry has again let down travellers over Christmas, with the latest performance figures showing another December plagued by delays and cancellations. Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) on-time performance data for last month shows five per cent of flights were cancelled, up 1.6 percentage points on 2022.
    Noel Whittaker tells us that deeming rates are shaping up as a big issue as we approach the May budget. Life expectancies are rising, the number of retirees is growing, and deeming rates affect almost every one of them. They affect the rate of pension paid to income-tested pensioners, aged care fees for everybody, including self-funded retirees, and eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. It’s a bit of a political time bomb.
    There is a crisis in critical minerals, one that does not have an easily foreseeable solution. And Australia is in the thick of it, explains Elizabeth Knight.
    Did the BOM get it wrong on the hot, dry summer? No – predicting chaotic systems is probability, not certainty, explains Christian Jakob.
    Samantha Selinger-Morris has sat down with the Herald’s chief investigative reporter Kate McClymont to discuss the life and times of Roger Rogerson.
    The UN agency reported an enormous increase in numbers affected by the disease, which it said had accelerated in recent months. More than 30,000 cases were reported between January and October last year, compared with 941 cases in the whole of 2022 – a more than 30-fold rise.
    A minor incident in the East China Sea between the Australian Navy and a Chinese ship last year was blown out of proportion by Defence Minister Richard Marles, acting PM at the time, opines Rex Patrick.
    DeSantis had portrayed himself as one of the GOP’s fiercest political brawlers, but he pulled his punches in the most important race of his life, says the New York Times which tells us about the depths of degradation Trump has pumbed.
    A day after ending his campaign for the White House and tepidly endorsing Donald Trump, the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, sank an effort to use his state’s funds to pay off the former president’s legal expenses. Cop that, Don!
    Yes, Trump is dominating the primaries. That doesn’t mean he’ll beat Biden, says Robert Reich.
    Here’s another Rishi Sunak excoriation from John Crace.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Cathy Wilcox

    Matt Golding

    John Shakespeare

    Glen Le Lievre

    Simon Letch

    Andrew Dyson

    Peter Broelman


    From the US

  13. C@tmomma @ Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 6:57 am:

    “Yep, the Coalition have only got ‘broken promise’ to run with. Just heard Matt Canavan on The Today Show, avoiding entirely the money that will go into people’s pockets explanation for why the government is doing what it’s doing. ‘Cost of Living Crisis’ is so yesterday, apparently. ”

    Yep. The Coalition are just a bunch of prefab high school debate ‘rebuttals’ against whatever the Labor Government puts forward – no matter what it is – stuffed into tightly choreographed suits. Potemkin politicians, the lot of them.

  14. No need to apologise, Mr Banducci. You did absolutely nothing wrong about Australia Day:

    “Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci is speaking to ABC RN following the company’s decision not to stock Australia Day merchandise this year. Following this announcement, opposition leader Peter Dutton called for a boycott of the supermarket giant. Banducci said that the company could have “done a better job” in getting its message across about Australia Day. He said he has received thousands of emails with feedback over the decision, and that on-the-ground staff members in stores across the country are facing rudeness and “even aggression” from customers. “It’s critically important that any frustrations are expressed towards me [and not to staff members in the stores].”

    Banducci said there has been a 50% rise in the number of incidents of rudeness and aggression towards staff. Asked if there has been any signs of a genuine boycott to the company, Banducci said “not really”. Our real focus is how our team feel, how our customers feel.””


  15. Dennis vs Innes:

    On RN Breakfast, Innes Bollox declares that Stage 3 tax tweaks are the death knell for tax reform.

    Richard Dennis laughs out loud at him.

  16. Rainman re Van Morrison.
    I am glad that you managed to get a full concert from Van Morrison in Adelaide.
    His performance in Sydney (for want of a better description) is universally considered to be one of the worst concerts ever performed.
    2 hours – we were lucky to barely receive 45 minutes of his presence.
    My wife and I knew something was amiss when his band played a 15-minute medley of many of the songs which the audience was expecting to hear.
    He walked onstage without acknowledging the audience, preceded to perform his new, unreleased album.
    For the bevity of this performance he had his face to his band and his arse to the audience.
    At the conclusion of this ‘performance’ the entire audience rose as one to boo and catcall.
    The spontaneous audience participation was nearly as long as the performance.
    Fortunately, he was the very weak link in a four week stretch, in Sydney which included multiple concerts by Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Bob Dylan & Tom Petty. The latter on a double bill.
    We managed to get multiple tickets for watch of these artists.
    The Bob Dylan/Tom Petty concerts were the only two Dylan concerts, over the years, where he was fully focused upon the performance, and he was great. The discipline of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers may have been a factor.

    Neil and Bruce were at their brilliant best. Neil performed five concerts during one week, Bruce performed eight consecutive concerts and when Neil returned to Sydney for Neil’s final Australian show, Nils Lofgren joined the band for a number of songs and Bruce jammed with Neil for a long and wonderful version of ‘Down by the River’.
    All of these other artists spent a minimum of three hours on stage – and on particular nights, longer.
    Neil donated all of the proceeds of his final concert to charities for disabled children.
    Shame your Joe Cocker experience in 72 wasn’t as brilliant as his Sydney shows.
    No crowd problems with The Stones.
    Two big evening concerts at Randwick Racecourse, with 35 000 per night.
    Black Sabbath was a blast on a very hot, humid and steamy January night in The Hordern, where I managed to reunite with a former girlfriend, which was a tad awkward with the lass with whom I went to the concert.

    As Neils sang, ‘Keep on rockin’ in the free World’.

  17. Late Riser says:
    “Just out of curiosity, what does a Non-Executive Vice Chairman do, or in fact need to do?”

    Well, ‘execute’ means to get something done.

    On that basis, ‘non-executive’ might mean not getting things done.

    A perfect fit!

  18. Am I still asleep, or did Albo just announce yet another ex-Murdoch hack to be in charge of dismantling the ABC?

    Please, please – someone tell me I’m still asleep, and this is just a recurring nightmare.

  19. FUBARsays:
    Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 10:49 pm
    TPOF says:
    Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 10:13 pm

    “the Opposition is vicious and amoral.”

    Cut the self righteous bollocks.

    Right back to ya.

    How can you defend this decision of PM?

  20. Q: Just out of curiosity, what does a Non-Executive Vice Chairman do, or in fact need to do?

    Who knows, but it a meaningless title.

  21. Morning all. Thanks for the roundup BK. I am relieved to hear Albo is facing up to fixing Stage 3 tax cuts. Cost of living is not just a political issue – it is a reality for half the population. Far more will thank Albo than blame him for any change.

    The article by Peter Martin is excellent for pointing out how blatantly the Costello era fiddle with the definition of inflation has distorted our perception. Yes 5.4% is the inflation rate excluding mortgage shifts. But its 9% including mortgage rises!

    Chalmers should act to fix the statistics, asking the ABS to correct the Costello era fudge. This would immediately show inflation is worse than thought, but that is the point – it will help better justify Labor policy. It might also better inform the RBA.

  22. nathsays:
    Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 11:44 pm
    Did anyone determine what the Abbott and Turnbull PM-ships defined?
    Turnbull wanted Australians to be more innovative and agile. Most Australians don’t want to be either of those things. They want to be fat and contented.

    Abbott for ‘shirt fronting ‘

  23. So I’m not dreaming. Bugger.

    Clearly, today is going to be yet another “Let’s put out all the toxic rubbish” day, while everyone is busy dancing on the grave of the stage three tax cuts.

  24. I see the Albo administration is carrying on from RGR in appointing real stinkers to key roles eg RBA and ABC.

    Upcoming poll results will be interesting, the likely significant ALP drop most probably accredited to the S3 changes.

  25. “Mother of all broken promises”

    The banner headline at “The Age” on line (ake “The Liberal Party Tribune”)

    This is based on media reporting of amendments to the scope of the upcoming tax cuts, the residual of a tax cut policy of the Liberal Party when in government

    Not any government announcement, the Government to hold a Caucus meeting today to consider further cost of living relief which will not impact on inflation and where you could speculate Cabinet will put an agenda for approval by Caucus

    Then the business groups, a Liberal Party cartel, join in questioning trust in a Labor government if amendments are made (noting the current Oposition Leader has said that the Liberal Party no longer represent big business!)

    Further down the site, under the banner headline, there is Gittens presenting that if Albanese can not sell amendments to the Stage 3 of these tax cuts he is a failure

    Perhaps, just perhaps, Ross should look at the headline which trumps (!!!!) the headline afforded his article – and put the acid question as to bias to his employer

    I hate to think what the media outlets of Murdoch and Stokes will headline and are headlining

    The common theme in this is attacks on Labor governments by media, a media with a party political bias reflecting the bias of Costello, Stokes and Murdoch, all Liberal Party members

    As an individual I find this “debate” over a tax rate of 37 cents in the $1- at the very best amusing because I am of a generation which, until the Hawke Labor Goveenment, paid an upper marginal rate of 60 cents in the $1- including that there were no Franking Credits (so Dividends and interest in your hands were taxed at 60 cents in the $1-)

    But that digresses

    What we have in Australian Society is a media headline trumpeting at us “Mother of all broken promises”

    Because that is what the Liberal Party say

    And this is media in Australia

    Also giving Trump the headlines he attracts day in and day out (the other side is crooked and I am going to make America great again, waving his hands and pointing for media consumption)

  26. Oliver Suttonsays:
    Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 5:59 am
    Speaking of evangelical spivs:

    ‘A Colorado pastor who is charged with stealing more than $1m from his Christian community in a cryptocurrency scheme has admitted to the fraud but argued that God instructed him to carry it out.’


    So god told him to steal from ‘christian community ‘ and commit fraud. Okay then!
    And these are the kind of people who would vote for Trump. No wonder.

  27. I’m not au fait with Kim Williams’ career.

    On RN Breakfast, PK and Steve Bracks comment that his career at News Corp was brief and did not end well.

    I could ‘Google it, mate’: but maybe other PBers know the history there.

  28. And just to add, Howard and Costello “fiddled” with more that just the reporting of inflation metrics

    All be it that the defence for amending unemployment data was international metrics

    The very same Costello who, under the guise of Future Fund Chair attracts a headline at The Age (which he Chairs) drawing to question the outlook for interest rates

    Why a Future Fund?

    What is its function including how is it providing relief to the citizens of Australia in a time of global inflation (now moderating but sticky?

    Who does it benefit – including by distributing its earnings or some of same?

    Is it investing in the provision of social housing?

    Or clean energy projects and delivery?

    Or just accruing money and presenting how rich the Fund (our money) is?

    Media do not challenge

  29. Surely there is some one in the Labor party, knows there is no way labor is going to appease the foreign own lib / nats propaganda media units.

    No matter which job you give ex-newsltd hacks

  30. torchbearer says:
    Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 8:34 am
    Q: Just out of curiosity, what does a Non-Executive Vice Chairman do, or in fact need to do?

    Who knows, but it a meaningless title.


    This position for Morrison is a thank you for bringing many AUD$billions to the US nuclear powered submarine industry.
    And for all the private consultants that will get a good cut.
    Just flowery language I suspect.
    Morrison may need to fly to the states once a month…..
    Drink coffee, sit in a cafe all day.
    And be well paid many $millions annually.
    Thanks Labor for supporting Morrison after politics.

  31. Oliver Sutton @ #38 Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 – 8:46 am

    I’m not au fait with Kim Williams’ career.

    On RN Breakfast, PK and Steve Bracks comment that his career at News Corp was brief and did not end well.

    I could ‘Google it, mate’: but maybe other PBers know the history there.

    I googled it … this is a bit of a worry …

    In 1995, shortly after the last-minute failure of a deal for the ABC to provide two news channels to Rupert Murdoch’s Foxtel, which Williams had spearheaded on behalf of the ABC, he left the ABC to accept Murdoch’s invitation to head Fox Studios.[5] In December 2001 he became Chief Executive of Foxtel.[7] He remained until 2011 and was praised for reversing Foxtel’s fortunes from a chronic loss-maker to high-profitability.

    So he has form on trying to sell the ABC to Murdoch.

    But there is also this, which I guess is what Steve Bracks was talking about …

    In December 2011, Williams was appointed CEO of News Limited (which became News Corp Australia in July 2013). He resigned in August 2013 amid reports that his management style had alienated many staff members and executives, including members of the Murdoch family.

    My guess is he got on with dad but not son. But whichever, he doesn’t seem to be a good fit for the “not for profit” and “currently troubled” ABC.

    Can’t we find someone without Murdoch connections? Or is the entire Australian pool of candidates so polluted? If so, we should perhaps look a bit wider.

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