Federal election open thread

179

There’s been a lot of comments on various electorate profiles about the federal election that have been a bit more general than about a particular seat, and I’ve had a few requests for an open thread to discuss the federal election.

I’m working on a couple of other blog posts I’m hoping to put up later this week.

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179 COMMENTS

  1. Neither Labor or the Coalition is getting my after-preference vote at the election after they passed these laws. You cannot make it harder for your opponents to run in elections. They sound like they are running scared. This is the problem with Major parties, They will do anything in their power to stop minor parties from gaining power which is wrong.

    The people are the ones who should decide, The coalition should have gone to a referendum with the new laws and asked the people because there is nothing wrong with a party having the word ”Liberal” in it, Voters are not dumb at all. Compare the Liberal Democrats to the ”Literal Democrats” who ran in the UK in 1994, I can understand how that would be confusing. But not ”Liberal Democrats and the Liberals”

    My Informal vote will the a protest to this, Because I am not happy at all about it.

  2. Presumably the Lib Dems will just revert to the “Liberty and Democracy Party”. And I’ve heard on Twitter that the New Libs are actively considering name changes now.

  3. Daniel its too easy to play the ‘major parties ganging up togeather’ card which some in the media and the minor parties have played.

    The fact is the changes in registering party names and registering 1500 members are backed by politcal expert Antony Green he’s hardly what you could call a Graham Richardson or Michael Kroger.

    Green notes the 1500 number is still lower per person population in registering members then some states.

    My biggest complaint is unlike some states there is no requirement to pay a fee for members. It makes too easy for the Clive Palmer’s to meet the threshold to handing out memberships to freinds, family, associates, workers etc. Or a recruiting drive where where the only threshold to be a member is to fill out a form with your details. Palmer won’t have to worry about this election as noted he recruited Craig Kelly so he has paliamentry representation.

    https://antonygreen.com.au/more-on-minimum-membership-requirements-for-registering-political-parties/

  4. ‘Political expert’? He’s a psephologist. It’s a question of fairness and democratic ideals.

  5. Antony Green is a relatively electable-party-neutral electoral expert. He does however come at this from a NSW perspective. NSW has been most impacted by large ballot paper sizes (at both Commonwealth and state level), is most able to form a single state party with 1,500 members and is least likely to have parties with state specific ambition. NSW is also the only state with state party registration requirements over 500.

  6. I know quite a few people were preparing to dance on the Libs’ grave in NSW when the lockdowns happened, but Resolve still shows them ahead 53-47. While everyone should be right to express skepticism about Resolve’s polling methods, that’s a pretty healthy lead considering the circumstances.

    As I have said, the public have been pretty forgiving when it comes to Covid-19 and I don’t foresee lasting damage to their electoral chances. Because of this, I still don’t think we can say goodbye to Morrison and the Federal Libs in NSW just yet.

  7. Resolve Strategic polls are bullish. The coalition won’t win the election on 39% of the primary. It’s just too low. It doesn’t matter if Labor’s primary vote is even lower because that’s now how it works. If both parties are bleeding too much support to minors and independents we could see the largest crossbench in history IF the votes are in the right places.

    The coalition are in huge danger under 40% of the primary. This also assumes Labor will get better preference flows than the last election. On the primary numbers shown by Resolve I am getting a 50-50 TPP from 2016 preference flows. Unless I miscalculated.

    Not to mention the other polls are too biased the other way as well. I think nationally it leans Labor maybe 51-49 and I think a hung parliament is almost certain at this point. Labor isn’t winning a majority but nor is the coalition.

  8. I wouldn’t even trust Crosby Textor (Liberal cronies) and Lib researcher Jim Reed even if I were became acephalous. It was plainly obvious they were nothing but drivel after:
    1. The last WA poll had a Greens vote of 21%.
    2. The first WA poll had a 6% One Nation vote (where from).
    3. They cite “x% of people supporting independents” yet fail to recognise that not every electorate has one, meaning their polling is technically moot.

  9. Daniel, the gap between the major parties will matter significantly more than the raw numbers.

    Ryan, these concerns have been noted by multiple psephological commentators. I would point out that it doesn’t mean the poll has no value. For one, it at least demonstrates that the herding issue which plagued pollsters in 2019 is no longer apparent. Furthermore, it would be dangerous for those wanting a Labor victory to dismiss contrary data.

    Regarding the predictive powers of polling this far out from an election, I strongly suggest reading Dr Bonham’s and Rebekah Veykh’s articles on this topic. Put simply, incumbents usually (though not always) improve between this time in their term and election day. Indeed, past polling demonstrates that a victorious Opposition will usually have had polling leads in the mid 50s; Labor have yet to reach that number.

  10. I don’t believe that herding together the five smallest states and territories into a supposedly contiguous group is logically sound.
    Each of them have different issues and ideologies at play and the concept that they’re all the same is just the same problem with eastern states-based pollsters, because they could not give a flying flamingo what other people think.
    Did you hear about two Liberal MPs fighting against each other in preselection in WA? Probably not because only the Australian had a tiny article.

  11. > Indeed, past polling demonstrates that a victorious Opposition will usually have had polling leads in the mid 50s; Labor have yet to reach that number.

    That’s because all changes of federal government in recent decades have been lopsided elections. I doubt that rule holds up if you include state elections.

  12. David, the article actually looks at polling as far back as 1949 so I don’t think that’s dispositive. Only time will tell.

  13. So the path to a Liberal Victory

    Hold all current seats (ok so they are already in Government and have a majority so this will be to make sure they have a larger number of seats):
    NSW: Win MacQuarie, Dobell, Hunter, Eden-Monaro, Gilmore, Greenway, Paterson, Shortland, Werriwa, Paterson
    Vic: Corangamite, Dunkley
    Qld: Blair, Lilley, Griffith
    WA: Cowan
    ACT: very unlikely to win any seat and the Senate seat could be doubtful
    NT: Solomon
    WA: Cowan, Perth
    Tas: Lyons

  14. The working assumption has always been that IND candidates have more chance in regional electorates because they are more likely to be able to build a profile across the whole electorate through regional media, whereas in the capital cities they are a small cork bobbing in an ocean. On the evidence, Steggall would have to be seen an an exception, basically down to Tony Abbott.

    The past few elections indicate that IND candidates can get to the low to mid teens, but no more. In Mackellar in 2016, 3 x IND candidates got 15% in total. In North Sydney it was 13% for 1 x IND Candidate. At that level they are not pulling down the Liberal candidate anywhere near enough, nor are they getting into 2nd place – occasionally they beat the Green’s into 3rd.

  15. I think it is obvious that voting patterns are changing and all the old certainties have fallen over. Just some of the changes:

    1 The emergence of the greens obviously, first threatening safe ALP seats but increasingly now safe LNP. They win if they can just edge ahead of the lesser major. So formerly very safe LNP seats such as Kooyong, Higgins, Ryan, Wentworth, Bradfield and Berowra are now potential targets. We already know of the ALP seats under threat, although the Greens have not been making much headway. i suspect that you could pick the seats by the number of traditional professionals- doctors, lawyers, architects etc, for the LNP seats and for the ALP look at teachers, IT people and younger professional.

    2. Almost as a follow on from the above, small l liberals running s independents are also targetting many of the same seats, but with a wider range so you add seats like Mackellar, North Sydney and of course Warringah. In Qld i would think the Sunshine coast could swing independent. Most of Adelaide and Tasmania would be vulnerable I would think. This trend is pretty obvious and the Voices mob are an expression of it, but obviously election of Steggall and Sharkie, indicate its significance.

    3. Regional independents have always been a factor but seem to be growing in significance. Darren Chester’s recent decision should perhaps be seen in that light too.

    4. The emergence of working class angry parties. This demographic once was solidly ALP but now tends towards PHON and similar. This is an unpredictable vote but it has upset all the old assumptions.

    Essentially we now have the following voting blocks:
    i) traditional upper middle class LNP voters, but shrinking in percentages
    ii) traditional LNP voters who see themselves as liberals and progressive. These are he independents voices, who once would have made up the core of the Menzies era LNP
    iii) Small business owners, traditionally to solid vote of the LNP, but adding to them the many tradies who how own their own businesses, who perhaps thirty years ago would have been unionized workers solidly with the ALP
    iv) the religious right, who will mostly swing LNP. Pretty much all religions in this group, excluding perhaps Muslims
    v) angry white me – the protest factions. They will go first PHON but are unpredictable. Populist candidates whatever their policies will capture this mob
    vi) public sector workers – teachers, nurses, etc. generally ALP leaning but also heavily Green
    vii) traditional unionists. This shrinking demographic will still vote Labor
    viii) the seriously disadvantaged. Generally still ALP but also ripe for the taking by the populist parties.

  16. Maverick
    I truly sense that you are getting ahead of yourself here. We need to go over the entrails of the next election before coming to the kind of conclusions you seem to be reaching for. 2019 showed some shifts & indicated new directions.
    Here are some thoughts about your points
    1/ The Greens have gone nowhere for 4+ elections . Their vote is (id like to pronounce “moribund !) as hopelessly fixed (fixated) & hopelessly stuck, as they are themselves. An outward embodiment of failure that reflects a profound inner toxicity, & stasis of consciousness ! The Green vote is stuck at 10%
    2/ Your typification of “small l liberals running s independents are also targeting many of the same seats ” is ridiculous . These are Greens masquerading as faux conservatives, or “centrists”. They have no chance or relevance barring special circumstance ie Wentworth in a by election or Warringah (for 1 term) THEY HAVE LITTLE IF ANY SIGNIFICANCE.
    3/ It is incredibly incautious of you to give Darren Chester any attention at all. Read my post in the Gippsland thread. The man is contemptible. The only light to see anything he does is through the prism of self- interest.
    4/ Trying to measure voting trends through last century class distinction is pretty futile, as it is often contradictory, & very localised. The old tribal, & class divisions have at least blurred, if not eroded.

    i) Maybe
    ii) don’t agree . This comparison doesn’t make any sense
    iii) clearly
    iv) clearly
    v) Wrong i am one such voter. I will remind you that i vote AGAINST POLITICIANS NOT FOR THEM.
    My vote is calculated to be as vindictive as possible . Popularity as nothing i repeat NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. As voters we are clearly the most intelligent & discriminating of all voters in the electorate.
    vi) YES
    VII)YES
    viii) yes
    cheers wd

  17. WD
    Thanks for the reply, however I am certainly not looking just at the last election, nor just federally. My response to you:
    1. The Greens certainly have stalled in the inner city ALP electorates, largely because the ALP have responded sensibly and put up more appropriate candidates eg Jed Kearney rather than David Feeney. However they have been making more progress in the traditional Liberal areas eg Kooyong and Ryan. The Greens themselves have become much more middle of the road, no longer having the NSW socialist wing or even the WA pacifist wing. Moreover in state elections the Greens are still making slow but steady progress. They now have two members in the Qld state LA and came within a whisker of taking a third.

    2. Sorry your response is emotional wishful thinking. There has clearly been an increase in these centrist liberals in recent years and the trends are pointing towards a steady increase. prior to 1990 independents were rare in the federal parliament – one or less per election and mostly made up of people who had lost preselection or quit a major for some reason, or someone who rapidly joined a major (usually the Liberals). The first signs of changes were the emergence of the Democrats and the near miss of Janine Haines in SA, then you had in the early 90s Ted Mack and Phil Cleary – 2 for a few years . 1996 saw 4 independents elected, although only Andren was a stayer. Hansen was significant however. 2001 saw three regional independents – Andren, Katter and Windsor. So the 1990s say 1, then 2, then back to 3 but all stayers. This trend has continued. 2008 added oakshott, 2010 added Wilkie, Bandt and the national from WA (i think we must include the minors as independents at this stage.) . So in the next decade we have seen numbers grow from 3 to 4 to 6. 2013 saw 2 independents lose but two new entrants (mcGowan and Sharkie. 2019 with Steggall raised the total to 7. It is a very big increase since 1990. My prediction is that just as you not the old class lines are blurring, so too are party allegiances and in this context independents and minor parties will increase. I expect 1-3 seats will swing independent/minor, because there is a trend. So yes in Sydeny, Mackellar, North Sydney and Wentworth are vulnerable and of course Hunter to a pro mining independent. In Victoria Higgins and kooyong and perhaps Chester’s seat. The ALP vulnerable seats are complicated by COVID and I wonder how Kahlil will fare. ACT seats are always vulnerable to the Greens. Tas and SA are always a little maverick so just not sure. WA I expect will swing ALP not independent or minor. Qld is interesting. Low hanging LNP seats (to Green or independent) include Ryan, Brisbane, Flynn and Fisher as well as all the Northern regionals which are also maverick. Katter or PHON may score there. The ALP has so few seats to worry about, but I suppose Griffith and Blair are vulnerable to minors.
    3. Sorry Chester is an elected member even if you do not like him. renegades such as Chester rarely win as independents (same for Kelly) but you cannot discount the possibility.
    4. I thought that was what I was doing. the rise of the independents and minors is just such a removal of old class lines.

    As for you comments on my summary
    ii) see above
    v) I was not aware you were a PHON voter. My point still stands. To have electoral success, PHON must capture the populist vote. They will NEVER attract the educated professionals and small l liberals, so they must attract the battlers – those who would once have been solid ALP or perhaps DLP for a while. Plus regions former Nationals.

  18. What will be interesting to see play out is the seats with high mortgage stress. If things go wrong under LNP watch this could spell trouble in seats such Lindsay, Macquarie & La Trobe.

  19. James if that is the liberal path to victory. Then they are in big trouble….
    They would be very very lucky to win 3 seats in nsw only….. I would pick most of those as likely alp hold

  20. Just regarding the discussion over electability of independents – I believe there is one clear issue that can catapult an independent into contention to win a seat and that is – the current member is taking the seat for granted, and by extension showing contempt for its constituents. Whether that’s because of a scandal (Jamie Briggs in Mayo), the member does not pay attention to its electorate (Sophie Mirabella in Indi) or the member’s views are seen as severely out of line with the electorate (Tony Abbott in Warringah).

    Upon the election of the independent, it then comes down to – has the change to an independent been meaningful in getting improvements for the electorate, and also in particular for regional electorates, does the electorate consider the candidate as one of them – see Peter Watson for Albany in WA). If not, and the major party’s new candidate is seen as aligning with the electorate’s views, they’ll switch back (Dave Sharma taking back Wentworth for the Liberals).

  21. @WL

    I still think the driving force for Tony Abbott losing his seat of Warringah is he’d been there too long. He was hanging around parliament undermining Malcolm Turnbull and even voters in his own electorate had tire of his nonsense.

    He simply wore out his welcome. There was even a poll before the 2016 federal election in his own seat that thought Abbott should retire at that federal election.

    Abbott hung around on a misguided hope of being Prime Minister again. Voters were ready to move on and would have supported a new Liberal canidate. But Abbott forced their hand to vote for an independent instead.

  22. Nah I agree with WL. It wasn’t just that Abbott was undermining the Liberal leader, I mean compare his 2019 results to Peter Dutton or any number of the right wing wreckers. The difference was that Abbott was just insolently indifferent to the issues of the electorate he represented. Inner-city blue ribbon voters, tree Tories, whatever you want to call them- they care about the environment, about climate change, about gay rights etc, or at least want a candidate that pays lip service to those values.
    And it could be that lip service is all it takes, and that alone could very well save Zimmerman and Falinski (and I think it will). But clearly they’re happy to yeet the Libs out if the party or the candidate aren’t willing to project a base level of solidarity with some socially progressive values. That’s even more true in Flinders and Kooyong, where there’s already a high floor of left-leaning votes that’s probably rising.

  23. It’s also true that those same voters could come back to the Libs, although it should be pointed out that Sharma won on a much, much smaller swing than what Zali beat Abbott with.

  24. Maverick
    thanks for the reply
    1/ Can’t agree ” The Greens themselves have become much more middle of the road, no longer having the NSW socialist wing or even the WA pacifist wing.” Lee Riannon going still leaves the revolting treasonous Maureen Faruqui & the state MPs . i know Shoebridge & he is in the Bob Brown mould. There is nothing ‘moderate” about these people, that is simply an absurd, if not insane proposition ! Are you serious ?
    The China threat will polarise the electorate, & expose the Greens. The Greens progress in QLD is mostly the result of the abolition of OPV, so i can’t see why you would give them credit for any greater achievement. VIC is different…….! as always

    2/ Ive lived my long life of 61 years in the 3 NSW electorates you have named as at risk so i think iv’e got a feel for what goes on with them No one is going to win them off the libs, to my regret i assure you. My feeling about the MPs concerned are detailed & on the record. So i can confirm to you that “Sorry your response is emotional wishful thinking.” Could not be further from the truth !. In fact that statement is so spectacularly wrong it nearly does my head in….

    I’LL stand by what i said about Lib “centrists”
    The indies you named fall into 2 pretty clear groups
    successful strong personalities , & dissembling pretenders.
    I don’t see any strong personalities atm -yet.
    Stegall & Haines are pretenders & may yet be tossed
    For a minor party to succeed they need to not do what all other parties do
    Be self absorbed, & endlessly talk about themselves (their ideas, spending , politics & other politicians)
    Popular wisdom is that there is room on the ” right” for a new party ie PHON , LIB DEMS etc.
    In truth there is room in the genuine centre providing that the new party can maintain the discipline of being focused on the people & the nation. Now that would be exceptional.
    3/ Chester is irrelevant
    4/ Sorry that’s not how it appeared to me. Recent indies have just banged the “CC drum”( & the inequality/unfairness whinge) to win, & that drum may already be broken, it certainly will by 2025. Its very shallow, venal stuff. It doesn’t have much connection to political change or much else.

    ” I was not aware you were a PHON voter. ” Did you miss my repeated statements that i’m a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT member, & voter ?

    I believe you are failing to distinguish Hanson from PHON. ON in NSW is led by Latham & is already differentiating itself from PHON in QLD. Only small so far… However all the cards of minors are in the air (to put it metaphorically) & it is unclear where they will fall. Or indeed what will emerge.
    cheers wd

  25. Wine
    Some valid points but not all.
    Firstly you seem to equate LDP with angry white men. I do not. I put them more into the Independent category.

    I too have lived in the electorates named so I have a reasonable feel for them.

    I am not distinguishing between Latham and Hanson, because even though they are very different, they still will attract the same demographic. Calwell and Whitlam were very different but still attracted the same core demographic.

    Your attack on the Greens is just a bit emotional. Look here in Qld the Greens have always been fairly centrist, and indeed in their early years looking at sending preferences to the Liberals. When they joined with the nationals that was a bit less likely. of course the change in NSW is significant. It may not be a complete shift but it is not nothing either.

    Your comment about China is interesting. I suspect that it could be make or break for the Greens. If ALP does not differentiate itself from the LNP (which it will not) then the Greens may emerge as the bona fide voice of the old 1980s left. Yes it will be divisive BUT while the population is very keen to curtail China re trade etc, I rather doubt they will be keen for a full on war, which is an still unlikely but not negligible risk just now.

  26. Maverick
    The LDP is in a transition challenge atm. It is in flux IMV. So who knows. There are definitely angry elder people moving in. Disillusioned Libs like Newman, John Ruddick etc.
    You may be selling Latham short as he has the intellectual credibility that Hanson does not. Therefore he may be capable of broader appeal, given the chance
    Your typification of “emotional” I’m uncomfortable with. Passionate or impassioned sits better thanks!

    The Greens are dominated & predominantly reformer/perfectionist type 1 fixations (enneagram) So the certainty of the purity (& superiority) of their beliefs, & the resistance to challenging themselves is their greatest weakness. This will not change anytime soon. My fury at being lectured to, & preached at, is equally unlikely to diminish. They marginalise themselves constantly, by their gross & offensive behaviour . The contention of moderation”or fairly centrist ” is incongruous (even contradictory), enough to send a palpable physical (shock like) sensation through my body ! Perhaps you could explain what i’m missing, when i experience Larissa Waters, Amy McMahon or any others ?
    Mrs WD mk1 has given me 38 yrs experience with this personality type.

    Re China it’s worth remembering that about 20% of Australia opposed war in 1939. PROVOCATIVELY it could be interpreted as evidence that 1 in 5 people would rather live on their knees, than die on their feet !. there is never consensus about war. However the positioning has already happened Japan has sworn to stand with Taiwan, so we don’t get to choose. However i do agree with your risk assessment. Still if China senses an opportunity or miscalculates who knows. My point about China & the Greens is that the Greens position further marginalises them
    cheers wd

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