Bradfield 2009 Archive

Junk psephology

From today’s Crikey “Tips and Rumours” section:

The Liberals have decided to preference the Christian Democrats. This is a high risk policy as if they don’t get an absolute majority initially all the preferences will keep flowing to the Christian democrat even from the Greens as I understand it. Fletcher might be responsible for electing the first Christian democrat(?) to the Federal lower house.

I don’t think I really need to explain how many different things are wrong with this story. Although to be fair to Crikey it was in their ‘tips and rumours’ section, so I’m not suggesting this is what their journos think. Still…

22 Candidates in Bradfield

Candidates were announced today for the forthcoming Bradfield and Higgins by-elections, and an amazing twenty-two candidates have nominated in Bradfield. In Higgins, a more reasonable ten candidates have nominated in Higgins.

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CDP only running eleven candidates in Bradfield

Because twelve would be silly.

This week’s North Shore Times reports that Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party plan to nominate multiple candidates in the Bradfield by-election. Why? Well, why not? Apparently they have already chosen two candidates and could choose as many as nine more:

Campaign manager Michael Darby said the party would run multiple candidates, with the maximum of 11 being chosen because it was “the number of loyal disciples”

“We don’t want a Judas,” he said.

It’s an ingenious strategy. If one CDP candidate can poll 4%, imagine how much eleven candidates can poll.

Meanwhile, One Nation aren’t falling for the mainstream media bait. It might be typical for candidates to be announced to allow them to get media attention and campaign, but One Nation are smarter than that. They don’t want the media to ‘crucify’ their candidate, so they aren’t telling anyone who their candidate is. Genius.

Article over the fold.

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Higgins by-election guide posted

Primary vote for the Greens, 2007 election, by booth. Below-median booths are coloured yellow.

I’ve just posted my guide to the upcoming Higgins by-election, including booth maps. Go comment.

Fletcher favourite for Bradfield

The Herald this morning is reporting that the favourite for today’s Liberal preselection for the Bradfield by-election is communications executive Paul Fletcher. Liberal Party sources have also confirmed to me that number crunchers following the preselection believe Fletcher has the numbers to win.

Fletcher is not a Bradfield local and opponents have raised the spectre of his candidacy triggering a local backlash.

In other news, other Liberal preselections have also closed, with Concetta Fierravanti-Wells expected to safely win the #1 spot on the ticket with Bill Heffernan being challenged by Pfizer executive David Miles.

Dead-wood MPs Phillip Ruddock, Bronwyn Bishop, Alby Schultz and Pat Farmer have all renominated in their seats of Berowra, Mackellar, Hume and Macarthur respectively, although there are rumours that both Ruddock and Farmer may be challenged.

Update: Fletcher has now been preselected.

Greens preselect Bradfield candidate

The Greens tonight chose their candidate to run for the Bradfield by-election later this year. The Greens have chosen Susie Gemmell, who was the Greens candidate for Bradfield at the 2007 federal election and the overlapping state electorate of Ku-ring-gai at the 2003 and 2007 state elections. Gemmell is an advisor to Greens MLC and Senate candidate Lee Rhiannon. Her media release announcing her candidacy in 2007 said:

In 2004 Susie began working with Greens MP Lee Rhiannon in the NSW Parliament. Prior to this she worked in the IT industry as a software designer, trainer, documentation writer and project manager. She holds a Bachelor of Communications (UTS) and has also worked as a journalist and computer teacher. Susie is currently studying post-graduate Environmental Studies at Macquarie University.

Update 17 September: I posted this a few days ago but took it down when I realised I had posted it before they were planning to announce.

Bradfield by-election guide

I’ve posted a guide to the Bradfield by-election on the blog, apart from the regular blog postings. I’ve included a breakdown of votes according to each part of the electorate, as well as booth maps for both the Liberals and the Greens. Obviously it will be updated as we get closer to the by-election. Go over there to comment on the by-election.

Nelson resigns, triggers Bradfield by-election

Phillip Coorey at the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Brendan Nelson will resign from Parliament today, with reports of a press conference planned for 2pm. Nelson had previously announced that he would retire at the next election, and Liberal figures had begun manouevring for the preselection for one of the party’s safest seats, but the preselection was delayed until after the redistribution is concluded. Thus there will be a Bradfield by-election this year, and the Liberal redistribution will be brought forward.

Bradfield is a northern Sydney seat, particularly centred on Ku-ring-gai. It has been held by the Liberal Party since 1949, when it was created, first held by former PM Billy Hughes for the last years of his life. It has never even gone to preferences. Prior to the redistribution, Bradfield is the fifth-safest Liberal seat and eighth-safest Coalition seat. It ain’t gonna fall to Labor.

I can’t see any circumstance in which Labor would run in this seat. They avoided Mayo and Lyne after the disastrous result in the much more marginal seat of Gippsland. They simply won’t win, and in all likelihood Bradfield won’t swing as much as we would expect in the average seat. The Greens will certainly run (I say that without any inside knowledge on the local group’s plans, but we always run in these by-elections) and will gain a whole bunch more votes, but we’re not about to win. This isn’t Mayo.

The most interesting element, then, is determining who will be the Liberal candidate. William Bowe at Poll Bludger has summarised the leading candidates:

By all accounts the two front-runners will be Arthur Sinodinos, legendary former chief-of-staff to John Howard, and Tom Switzer, opinion page editor for The Australian. However, other names were recently put forward by Phillip Coorey: Menzies Research Centre executive director Julian Leeser; Paul Fletcher, director of corporate and regulatory affairs at Optus; and David Coleman, an executive with the Packer family’s Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (last I heard) who is associated with the Left faction and the other side of the town, having run for the federal Cook preselection and been mentioned in connection with the state seat of Cronulla.

Another factor will be if an independent stands. I don’t know much about local politics, but commenters might have knowledge about any figures who could challenge the Liberal dominance in the seat with Greens preferences. It will be interesting to see.

Elsewhere: A quick post from Antony Green.