Cabinet and counter-cabinet

As the dust settles (for the most part) on the election count, both sides get their line-ups in order.

There is a post below from Adrian Beaumont on the unfolding drama in British politics and another one here relating the last scraps of counting for House of Representatives seats. As for this post:

• Both sides now have their front benches in place, the announcement of the Albanese government’s front bench last Monday resulting in promotion to cabinet rank for Murray Watt and and Clare O’Neil, respective beneficiaries of Left and Right vacancies caused by the electoral defeats of Terri Butler and Kristina Keneally. Anne Aly of the Left and Anika Wells and Kristy McBain of the Right have been promoted to the outer ministry, filling vacancies created by the promotion of Watt and O’Neil and the relegation of Shayne Neumann to the back bench as his Left faction sought to achieve gender balance.

• Peter Dutton’s shadow ministry was unveiled yesterday. The Nationals’ relative electoral success resulted in them gaining a sixth position in cabinet, their new entrants being Susan McDonald in resources and northern Australia, Perin Davey in water and Kevin Hogan in trade and tourism. Seven Liberals won promotion to shadow cabinet: Jane Hume in finance and public service, Andrew Hastie in defence, Julian Leeser in attorney-general and indigenous Australians, Jonathan Duniam in environment, fisheries and forestry, Ted O’Brien in climate change and energy, Michael Sukkar in social services and NDIS and Sarah Henderson in communications. Angus Taylor was rewarded for his record of integrity with Treasury and Alan Tudge is definitely in education now. Stuart Robert (Liberal) and Andrew Gee (Nationals) have been demoted to the outer shadow ministry, Alex Hawke, Linda Reynolds and Melissa Price (Liberal) and Keith Pitt (Nationals) are relegated to the back bench, and Marise Payne is now shadow cabinet secretary after apparently having “asked not to be considered for a prominent role”. Others formerly present and now absent: Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg, Ken Wyatt and Greg Hunt.

The Australian reports Scott Morrison is “expected to weigh up his future in the coming months, but is understood to be in no immediate rush to quit politics”.

UPDATE: A discussion of various matters relating to the election between me and Ben Raue of The Tally Room:

Honeymoon polling and state by-election news

The first embers of polling since the election record strong support for the new Prime Minister and his agenda.

US pollster Morning Consult, which conducts monthly international polling on world leaders’ domestic personal ratings, has found Anthony Albanese with an approval rating of 51% and a disapproval rating of 25%. Its final result for Scott Morrison was 40% approval and 54% disapproval. The poll was conducted May 23 to 31 from a sample of 3770.

Essential Research published its usual fortnightly poll this week, which had nothing to offer on voting intention or leadership ratings, although it did find that 23% rated themselves more likely to vote Coalition with Peter Dutton as leader compared with 27% less likely. Questions on attitudes to Labor policies found 70% support for increasing the minimum wage and 69% support for a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption, with only 9% opposed in each case. Fifty-two per cent felt Labor should “look for opportunities to rebuild relations” with China, with only 19% favouring a more confrontational position and 12% favouring the current set of policies. Support for the Uluru statement was found to have increased significantly since November 2017, with 53% supporting an indigenous voice to parliament in the constitution.

Some notable state news that got lost in the federal election rush:

• A by-election will be held on June 18 for the Queensland state seat of Callide after its Liberal National Party member, Colin Boyce, moved to federal politics as the Nationals member for Flynn. This is a very safe rural conservative seat, but Labor has nonetheless endorsed Bronwyn Dendle to run against Bryson Head of the LNP, a 26-year-old mining industry geologist. Also in the field are candidates of One Nation, Katter’s Australian Party, Legalise Cannabis and Animal Justice.

• The by-election to replace Vickie Chapman in the safe Liberal seat of Bragg in South Australia has been set for July 2. The ABC reports four nominees for the Liberal preselection: Jack Batty, adviser to the Australian High Commissioner in London; Sandy Biar, national director of the Australian Republic Movement and public affairs officer with the army; and Melissa Jones, a law firm director; and Cara Miller, former co-owner of a radiology business.

• Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff has announced he will introduce legislation this year to increase the size of the state’s House of Assembly from 25 seats to 35, reversing a change made in 1998. The move has the support of the Liberals, Labor and the Greens.

Week zero plus one

As the Liberal party room prepares to anoint Peter Dutton as Opposition Leader, the first poll of the new term suggests he has his work cut out for him, in Western Australia at least.

This is one of three new posts I have on offer, providing a thread for general discussion. The other two featured below deal with the ongoing counting for the House of Representatives, with Labor’s potential parliamentary majority remaining up in the air, and the race for the Senate, in which I expect Labor and the Greens to account for half the seats between them, but with a number of outcomes depending on complex flows of preferences.

Election results aside, the main item of news to relate is that the Liberal and Nationals party rooms will hold their first meetings to sort out party leadership positions. Peter Dutton and Sussan Ley will be confirmed as Liberal leader and deputy leader unopposed, but a contested vote looms for the Nationals, in which David Littleproud and Darren Chester will seek to depose Barnaby Joyce. In Joyce’s favour is the fact that the Nationals retained all their seats at the election; in Littleproud’s is the fact that Joyce had a lot to do with the Liberals losing so many of theirs, leaving the Nationals in opposition; Chester I’m guessing is a dark horse.

Thanks to The West Australian, Peter Dutton can be welcomed to the opposition leadership with the first published opinion poll of the new era, conducted on Thursday by Painted Dog Research from a sample of 1354 Western Australian respondents. It finds only 19% rating Peter Dutton a “suitable candidate” to lead the party, compared with 58% who registered a view to the contrary. Dutton’s positive ratings were 16% among women and 23% among men.