Joe Biden withdraws

A thread for discussion of developments in US politics — one development in particular.

Adrian Beaumont update at 11:40am: I’ve done an article for The Conversation on Biden’s withdrawal.  It’s too early to analyse polls of Harris vs Trump as Harris hasn’t been a presidential candidate until today.  Economic data is improving, and Harris is much younger than Trump.  But it’s a very risky move as Harris hasn’t been battle-tested in primaries, and failed in 2020.  However, Democrats needed to take the risk as Biden’s age is of great concern and he’s already behind.  US Senate polls have the Democrats doing well, implying Biden was a drag.

Joe Biden has announced his withdrawal from the presidential election race, “to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term”.


Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor, Freshwater Strategy: 51-49 to Coalition (open thread)

Concurrence between Newspoll and Freshwater Strategy on a close race, with Newspoll further offering the novelty of best leader polling for both Labor and the Coalition.

The Australian reports the latest Newspoll has Labor with an two-party of 51-49, unchanged from the last poll three weeks ago, from primary votes of Labor 33% (up one), Coalition 38% (up two), Greens 13% (steady) and One Nation 6% (down one). Both leaders record improved personal ratings, with Anthony Albanese up two on approval to 44% and down two on disapproval to 51%, and Peter Dutton up three to 41% and down five to 49%. Albanese’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed slightly, from 46-38 to 46-39.

Respondents were also asked to pick favoured Labor and Coalition leaders out of lists of six contenders, with Anthony Albanese recording 28% as preferred Labor leader ahead of 13% for Tania Plibersek, 10% for Bill Shorten, 8% for Jim Chalmers, 4% for Richard Marles and 2% for Chris Bowen. Peter Dutton likewise scored 28%, with Jacinta Price on 14%, Sussan Ley on 6%, Angus Taylor and Andrew Hastie on 5% apiece and Dan Tehan on 3%. The poll was conducted Monday to Friday from a sample of 1258.

Also out today is the monthly Freshwater Strategy poll from the Financial Review, which has the Coalition leading for the first time on two-party preferred at 51-49, after the previous results had it at 50-50. The primary votes are Labor 31% (down one), Coalition 40% (steady) and Greens 13% (steady). Anthony Albanese is steady on approval at 34% and up two on disapproval to 48%, while Peter Dutton is at up one to 36% and down one to 39%. Albanese’s lead as preferred prime minister is at 45-39, out from 43-41 last time. The poll was conducted Friday to Sunday from a sample of 1060.

Weekend miscellany: NSW by-elections, Fatima Payman polling, electoral reform, preselections (open thread)

A second NSW state by-election looms in a traditionally safe Liberal seat; a mixed bag of polling concerning Fatima Payman; and the government gears up for long-delayed electoral law reforms.

Newspoll should be along from The Australian this evening if it follows its usual three-weekly pattern, and we’re also about due for a Freshwater Strategy poll overnight from the Financial Review. For the time being, there’s the following electorally relevant news from the past week:

• Former New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet announced his resignation from parliament on Friday to take up a position as US head of corporate and external relations for BHP. This will necessitate a by-election for his safe northern Sydney seat of Epping, presumably to be held concurrently with that for former Treasurer Matt Kean’s nearby seat of Hornsby.

Nine Newspapers reports further numbers from last week’s Resolve Strategic poll showing 41% believe Fatima Payman should relinquish her seat to a new Labor Senator, compared with 29% who support her course of remaining as an independent. However, 54% believe Labor should allow caucus members more freedom to vote in parliament as they wish, with only 16% holding the contrary view.

• It has been widely reported that the government will introduce a package of electoral reform legislation next month, although Michelle Grattan of The Conversation reports it will not include the blockbuster proposal to increase the number of territory Senators, which has failed to find support, and is unlikely to be in place in time for the next election. What will be featured are truth-in-advertising laws on the South Australian model; a reduction of the threshold for public disclosure of donations from the current $16,900 to $1000, together with much stricter time frames for disclosure, reducing to daily at the business end of the campaign period; and a system of spending caps limiting the amount that can be spent on campaigning in any given electorate to $1 million. The latter is most obviously targeted at Clive Palmer, but teal independents have complained of their potential to hinder crowd-funded campaigns against major party incumbents, with Monique Ryan and Allegra Spender’s respective campaign spends in Kooyong and Wentworth at the 2022 election each having exceed $2 million.

Federal preselection news:

• Warren Entsch has confirmed he will not recontest the far north Queensland seat of Leichhardt, which he has held as a Liberal for all but one term since 1996. The Australian reports Labor’s candidate is Matt Smith, former professional basketballer turned Together Union organiser, who was preselected unopposed last week.

• Deloitte director Madonna Jarrett will again be Labor’s candidate for the seat of Brisbane, which Stephen Bates won for the Greens from the Liberal National Party in 2022.

Jack Dietsch of The West Australian reports that Liberal preselection contests loom for the Labor-held Perth seats of Swan and Hasluck, both of which were won by Labor in 2022, with respective margins of 9.6% AND 10.7% under the proposed new boundaries. The candidates in Swan are Nick Marvin, former chief executive of the Perth Wildcats basketball and Western Force rugby league clubs; Matthew Evans, an army veteran who now works for Mineral Resources; and Mic Fels, a grains farmer. The candidates in Hasluck are Philip Couper, a contracts and procurement consultant and former adviser to state One Nation MLC Colin Ticknell; David Goode, a Gosnells councillor; and Ashutosh Kumar, a credit assessor at Westpac. Pearce, which was gained in 2022 and has a margin of 9.1% on the proposed new boundaries, and Cowan, which Anne Aly has held for Labor since 2016 with a new margin of 9.7%, have each attracted one candidate: respectively, Jan Norberger, who held the state seat of Joondalup from 2013 to 2017, and Felicia Adeniyi, manager at St Luke’s GP Medical.

Jack Dietsch of The West Australian reports Labor has preselected the top three candidates for its Western Australian Senate ticket: Ellie Whiteaker, the party’s state secretary, who is aligned to the Left faction Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; Varun Ghosh, a Right-aligned former barrister who filled the vacancy created by Pat Dodson’s retirement in February; and Deep Singh, a staffer to Cowan MP Anne Aly aligned with the Left faction United Workers Union. The party’s two members elected in 2019 to terms that will expire in the middle of next year were the aforementioned Pat Dodson and Left-aligned Louise Pratt, who announced in February that she would not seek re-election.

YouGov: 57-43 to LNP in Queensland

The tide continues to go out on Labor in Queensland, despite improved personal ratings for Steven Miles.

The Courier-Mail has a YouGov state poll for Queensland that is slightly worse for Labor than its already quite-bad-enough result from the last such poll in April, crediting the Liberal National Party with a two-party preferred lead of 57-43. The primary votes are Labor 26% (down one), LNP 43% (down one), Greens 14% (down one) and, interestingly, One Nation 13% (up three, and up five since the October poll). Steven Miles’ personal ratings have nonetheless improved, up six on approval to 31% and down three on disapproval to 44%, while David Crisafulli is steady on 40% and down three to 23%. Crisafulli now leads Miles 40-29 as preferred premier, in slightly from 40-27 last time. The poll was conducted last Monday to this Monday from a sample of 1019.

Resolve Strategic: Labor 27, Coalition 37, Greens 15 in Victoria

Victorian Labor continues to struggle in the latest bi-monthly state poll, which finds support for its housing targets but strong opposition for raising the age of criminal responsibility.

The Age reports Resolve Strategic’s bi-monthly read on Victorian state voting intention finds no respite for Labor after a plunge last time, their primary vote down a point to 27% with the Coalition steady on 37% and the Greens up two to 15%, suggesting a two-party preferred result of around 50-50. Jacinta Allan’s lead over John Pesutto as preferred premier has narrowed from 31-26 to 31-28. Further questions find 57% supporting and 22% opposing the government’s housing targets and 28% supporting and 57% opposing raising the age of criminal responsibility. The poll combines results from Resolve Strategic’s last two monthly polls, with a sample of 1000.

Polls: Resolve Strategic, Roy Morgan, Essential Research (open thread)

Labor gets its worst poll for the term from Resolve Strategic, but a better one than last week from Roy Morgan.

Nine Newspapers reports the monthly federal poll from Resolve Strategic gives the Coalition its best result for the term, with its primary vote up two points to 38% while the Labor remains stuck at 28%, the Greens are down one to 13% and One Nation is steady at 6%. A two-party preferred calculation based on preference flows from 2022 produces something close to a dead heat. The poll also records Peter Dutton retaining the one-point lead on preferred prime minister that he attained for the first time in last month’s poll, now at 35-34 from 36-35 last time. Albanese’s combined very good and good performance rating tumbles five points to 32% with very poor and poor up three to 54%, while Dutton is respectively down three to 39% and steady on 40%. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Saturday from a sample of 1603.

The weekly Roy Morgan poll has a better result for Labor than last time, putting them ahead 50.5-49.5 on two-party preferred (UPDATE: I have this the wrong way round – it’s the Coalition leading 50.5-49.5)) compared with a 51.5-48.5 Coalition lead last time. This is based on respondent-allocated preferences, the pollster’s calculation based on preference flows at the 2022 election putting Labor ahead 51.5-48.5. The primary votes have the Coalition down two points to 37.5%, Labor up two-and-a-half to 31%, the Greens down one to 12.5% and One Nation steady at 5%. The poll was conducted Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1758.

The Guardian reports the fortnightly Essential Research poll focuses on attitudes towards Australian democracy, with 37% reporting satisfaction, up five from March, 30% dissatisfaction, down one, and 33% neither, up one. Voting intention results from the poll will be along later today.

UPDATE: Voting intention from the Essential Research poll has Labor at 29% (down one), the Coalition at 33% (steady), the Greens at 13% (up one), One Nation at 8% (steady), the United Australia Party at 3% (up two) and others at 14% (down two), with the balance undecided. On the 2PP+ measure, the Coalition’s lead is out from 47-46 to 48-46.

Weekend miscellany: federal preselection news (open thread)

The race for the new WA seat of Bullwinkel takes shape, five Liberal candidates line up to succeed a retiring member in the SA seat of Grey, plus more Victorian redistribution aftermath.

Federal polls may be coming down the line shortly from Resolve Strategic in the Age/Herald and Freshwater Strategy in the Financial Review. Until then:

The West Australian reports three potential contenders for Liberal preselection in the new seat of Bullwinkel in Perth’s eastern hinterland, which by my reckoning has a notional Labor margin of 2.9%: Matt Moran, an Afghanistan veteran and former Ten Network reporter who ran unsuccessfully for the Curtin preselection in February; Holly Ludeman, a veterinarian and activist in the campaign against a ban on live sheep exports; and Jonathan Crabtree, a commercial and estate planning lawyer who led the Senate ticket of Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives in 2019. The paper earlier reported that Labor preselection would be contested by Kyle McGinn, a former Maritime Union of Australia organiser who has served in the state Legislative Council for Mining and Pastoral region since 2017, and there are suggestions the Nationals candidate will be former state party leader Mia Davies.

InDaily reports five candidates for Liberal preselection in the regional South Australian seat of Grey, which will be vacated with the retirement of Rowan Ramsey, its member since 2007: Dean Johnson, mayor of Kimba and president of the Local Government Association; Tom Venning, Barunga Grains farming manager; Rikki Lambert, former chief-of-staff to Family First senator Bob Day; Matt Sampson, a Whyalla police officer; and Suzanne Waters, who ran in the seat for the United Australia Party in 2022.

Nine Newspapers reports on expectations that Michelle Ananda-Rajah will run in Liberal-held Deakin or Menzies with the proposed abolition of her existing seat of Higgins, which she gained for Labor from the Liberals for the first time in the seat’s history in 2022.

• Labor has announced candidates in its Coalition-held targets in Brisbane: disability advocate Ali France in Peter Dutton’s seat of Dickson, where she also ran in 2019 and 2022; Rebecca Hack, a former school principal now of the Queensland Teachers Union, in the Greens-held seat of Ryan; and Rowan Holzberger, electorate officer to Senator Murray Watt and candidate from 2022, again to run in Forde.

Newspoll quarterly breakdowns: April to June (open thread)

Newspoll’s quarterly breakdowns record Labor sloping downwards in four states while recovering in a fifth. Also: the aftermath of Fatima Payman’s resignation from the ALP.

The Australian today publishes Newspoll’s quarterly state and demographic breakdowns, the latter encompassing gender, age, education, income, working status, language, religion and housing tenure. This encompasses four Newspoll surveys conducted from mid-April to late June, with a combined sample of 4957, breaking down to 1567 for New South Wales down to 368 for South Australia.

The results show Labor deteriorating by a point on two-party preferred in four of the five mainland states, with the Coalition leading for the first time this term in New South Wales, by 51-49; increasing its lead in Queensland to 54-46; and continuing to trail in Victoria, by 54-46, and South Australia, by 53-47. Conversely, the volatile small sample result for Western Australia has Labor back in front by 52-48, after a 54-46 Labor lead in the last quarter of 2023 became a Coalition lead of 51-49 in January-to-March.

A few other bits and pieces from the past fortnight:

• The resignation of Western Australian Senator Fatima Payman from the ALP this week was the party’s first defection since it came to office, reducing its numbers in the 76-seat chamber to 25, with the Coalition on 31 (down one since the election with the resignation of Victorian Senator David Van in June 2023), Greens 11 (down one since February 2023 with Victorian Senator Lidia Thorpe’s resignation), One Nation two, Jacqui Lambie Network one (down one since March with Tasmanian Senator Tammy Tyrell’s resignation), United Australia Party one and five independents (the four aforementioned plus ACT Senator David Pocock).

Nine Newspapers reports an alliance of Muslim groups that has been in talks with Glenn Druery “plans to run candidates against half-a-dozen Labor MPs in the lower house and in the Senate”. Alexi Demetriadi of The Australian reports target seats include Tony Burke’s seat of Watson, Jason Clare’s seat of Blaxland, and Wills in Lalor in Melbourne. The groups in question include The Muslim Vote, modelled on a similar enterprise in the UK that contributed to the loss of four Labour seats to independents yesterday in areas with large Muslim populations. The BBC reporting Labour’s vote share fell 23 points in seats where Muslims accounted for more than 20% of the population. Fatima Payman said she had met with the group last month, but said yesterday she did not intend to collaborate with them.

Sean Ford of the Burnie Advocate reports Burnie deputy mayor Giovanna Simpson has nominated for Liberal preselection in Braddon, which will be vacated after incumbent Gavin Pearce announced his retirement a fortnight ago. Simpson ran in Braddon at the state election and polled 2.6%, the highest out of the non-incumbent candidates on the Liberal ticket.

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