Fowler – Australia 2022

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  1. It would be a Crikey moment in Australian political history if this seat fell someday. Labor would be reduced to a cricket team if this seat went blue. Labor retain but reduced to around a 10% margin

  2. With Chris Hayes retiring, I’m intrigued as to who the Labor candidate will be? Hayes intimated on retiring that he wanted Tu Le to be the candidate, but I’m not sure whether that will be the case. I can see the Ferguson-Lynch Left in Liverpool seriously putting up a candidate for preselection, and the only one who would fit the bill would be Charishma Kaliyanda who would hoover up the Liverpool vote, but suffer a swing in the Cabramatta end of the seat. Also a chance Labor would parachute an outsider like Hayes was into this seat.

  3. DLH, Le has already been confirmed as the Labor candidate and she isn’t assured of winning the seat. Yes Fowler could fall if things get bad for Labor in Sydney. One to watch, candidates matter

  4. No Fowler will not fall it has a margin of 14 % and sure there is a retiring MP, but this is in the hard lockdown area and this can only hurt the Libs.

  5. You’re probably right Marko but this area did vote for Barry O’Farrell’s Liberals in 2011 (correct me if I’m wrong but it was close for sure) and from what I’ve heard Tu Le isn’t the best candidate for a seat like this.

    This was only 8% Labor in 2010! Not sure why there was an 8% swing back to Labor in 2013 despite a bad year for Labor. Liberal candidate problem back then?

    Labor hold but will be marginal. I also wouldn’t discredit Watson,Barton or McMahon becoming marginal either especially if any of the incumbents retire but they probably won’t flip.

    I still stand my prediction of a big swing to the coalition in NSW of 6-7% I think allot of people are forgetting the NSW disease that infected Labor during the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years and it still haunts them today. NSW state Labor still isn’t out of the woods from the 2011 defeat despite Labor in my state getting back into government after 1 term in 2015.

    Watch for more retirements, I reckon Hayes decided to leave because he suspects the coalition will win again, The party with the most retirements typically lose government. Just look at 2013. 2019 was a shocker since most retiring Liberals like Bishop and Pyne and O’dwyer probably left because they suspected they would have been on the opposition benches if they ran again.

  6. I believe the main reason Chris Hayes is retiring is because of health issues – there was one incident where he collapsed whilst giving a speech in one of the committee rooms in Parliament House

  7. Daniel: Tu Le is actually a great fit for the electorate. ABS data shows it’s 15.2% Vietnamese for starters, and majority women. The huge anti-Labor swing in 2010 could be a byproduct of the Liberal candidate being good and Julia Irwin retiring, given she’d built up an incredibly solid margin there through the noughties.

  8. It should be noted that Fowler’s 2010 boundaries were substantially different from its contemporary boundaries. Two decades ago, Fowler was more or less what Werriwa is now, and in 2010 it was roughly halfway through that transformation. It’s gained suburbs northwest of Humphries Road, gained the rest of Liverpool and Warwick Farm, gained Carramar and Fairfield East, and lost everything between Elizabeth Drive and Hoxton Park Road except Liverpool. So the only overlap between the contemporary and 2010 boundaries is essentially the core Cabramatta area in the southeast of Fairfield LGA.

    Of course Fowler would have been “close” in the 2011 state election. Literally every federal electorate with NSW 2011 state results overlayed onto it would be either Coalition or “close”!

  9. Ryan Spencer”
    “”Julia Irwin retiring, given she’d built up an incredibly solid margin there through the noughties.” Sorry this comment can’t be allowed to pass. The “talentless” Julia Irwin accomplished ,did, & stood for NOTHING. refer to the “Latham Diaries” for a more realistic assessment.
    It is staggering how many seats are occupied on both sides for decades, by MPs with absolutely no prospects, or remotest capacity for advancement. People then wonder at the poor quality of our representation.

    Hayes similarly lacked the intellectual capacity for ministry, so they made him whip cause he could tell the time. Good bye, good riddance.
    Daniel :::::Hayes is so ineffectual he would hardly notice whether Labor was IN GOVT or NOT !. So i doubt whether this is influencing his decision to retire !!
    Good bye, good riddance.

    Nicolas Weston
    Really good accurate analysis.

  10. *Albanese my apologies correction.

    It does surprise me however that she is contesting this as I thought Tu Le was already endorses as thr wikipedia pages states she is the candidate for this seat.

  11. the wiki page was changed a month ago or so when we realised she hadn’t been endorsed yet, probably because of this. I have a feeling the local branches might revolt, given they probably don’t like parachute candidates too much.

  12. As stated on the Werriwa page, I believe that seats like Fowler should go to people who are potentially Ministers. Keneally is in that class. Watching her in Senate Estimates is amazing. I would not like to face interrogation of Wong, Kenneally and Gallagher.

  13. I don’t agree with someone from outside the electorate being dropped in here. Labor should go with Tu Le instead. I’m suspecting that Chris Hayes could have been pressured to retire to make room for Kristina Keneally, however I’m speculating.

  14. Chris Hayes got sick in parliament and was rushed to hospital. He has served his time as a good local member but now someone else’s turn

  15. @Bob

    Bob you are wrong. It was reported Chris Hayes has been pushing for Tu Le to be his successor since March. He certainly didn’t agree to stand aside for Kristina Keneally.

  16. I have never been impressed by KK. She failed in her (admittedly short) time as NSW Premier. She failed as the Labor candidate in Bennelong in what was supposed to be a line-ball by-election.

    Oh how I so hope the branches in Fowler send KK packing back to the Eastern suburbs.

  17. WoS, While I respect your opinion you seriously cannot blame KK for the annihilation of Labor in 2011, If anything she SAVED several seats and yes I believe the outcome would have been much worse under left-faction Nathan Rees. KK was never going to retain government in 2011 but her style of leadership and her parliamentary debate style surely helped Labor save several seats from falling in 2011 which was already one of the worst if not the worst result for Labor in 2011.

    Bennelong was always going to be hard to win as it has been a traditional Liberal seat. John Howard held it for 33 years so it was always going to be hard for Labor to hold on in 2010 let alone win the seat back outside of Labor doing really well. KK never lived in Bennelong and Turnbull was popular in the small-L regions of Australia including north Sydney. this explains why North Sydney really didn’t swing to the coalition at all under a more conservative Morrison.

    Obviously there will be debate on the real reason KK is switching here. I don’t think it’s just the senate pre-selection battle. I believe it’s because she wants to be a higher ranking cabinet member and possible a future leader and prime ministers are never from the senate (Except McEwen IICR) but he was only for the interim.

    I remember Fowler was also the seat Maxine McKew was strongly considering contesting in the early 2000’s but didn’t because she saw Labor as ”visionless” under Beazley and Latham and only gave in when Rudd became leader but she said she wanted to contest a ”marginal” seat.

    Labor could get a swing to them here with KK here, before I thought there would be a significant swing against but now with recent events,polling and KK being perhaps one of the best candidates. They could get a swing to them here.

  18. I share Daniels suspicion that KK is only moving to the lower house in order to pursue a leadership position in the future, or at the very least, to become a member of the closest cabinet inner-circles.

    Whether she’s a good political operator or not, her last tenure as premier of NSW will be nothing short of political poison for any possible ambition she has mentioned prior, which only makes me question why the Labor party machine can’t see this.

  19. I guess there’d be an element of “NSW Labor was fkd for years, KK just inherited the mess”? Perhaps Labor’s banking on that.

  20. Daniel, I said KK failed as Premier of NSW, not necessarily that I blamed her for Labor’s defeat. Yes, her failure certainly encompasses the abysmal result in 2011. Indeed, although Labor were already well on the way to defeat when KK took over, Labor’s poll numbers actually deteriorated quite considerably during her premiership. However, the more important point is that she did almost nothing memorable as Premier. Even other leaders in similar situations like Joan Kirner could name some accomplishments.

    On Bennelong – really? Nearly every published poll had the seat pegged as 50/50. You’d think a former Premier could get a decent swing against a middling government in an unnecessary by-election. Instead she couldn’t even manage an average by-election swing.

    Needless to say if KK is imposed on Fowler, there will be a significant swing against Labor. This area has a long history of reacting harshly to outsiders and parachuted candidates. I’m obviously not a Labor voter, but I sincerely hope they stick with the local pick over KK.

  21. Would it be possible for Tu Le to run as an independent against KK.? She knows the area better.
    When KK was Labor leader, she was flanked by Eddie Obeid who was in jail and another member who was probably likely to go to jail.

  22. it seems like Senator Deborah O’Neill would have beaten Kristina Keneally to get the top spot on NSW Labor’s Senate ticket, Jenny McAllister from left would get the 2nd spot and Keneally would have been 3rd which seems unwinnable for Labor in NSW.

    So Keneally is jumping ship because she knows she can’t win her Senate seat back. And factions are happy to throw a local candidate under the bus to keep Kristina Keneally in.

  23. NSW Labor continues to treat Western Sydney like cattle. A disgraceful decision. Hope Tu Le fights this coronation to the end.

  24. This is no personal criticism of KK but it is sad day for diversity we need a parliament that reflects Australia of the 2020s rather than that of 1990s. Tu Le would reflect the electorate she is a child of refugees who grew up in the area. Fowler has the highest percentage of people born in Non-English speaking countries and the highest percentage of non-english speaking households. It is an area, with the exception of Abbotsbury and Chipping Norton, of high disadvantage. KK can maybe run in Kingsford Smith as she previously represented the area in state parliament.

  25. Nimalan Sivakumar

    Matt Thistlethwaite is the parliamentary convenor of Labor Right, so I’d think not.
    Unless Albanese gets rolled before the next election, the only options for open seats for KK are nowhere near where she lives.

  26. Ryan, Good point about MT. i did not pick that up. Are there any NSW Labor backbenchers that could be challenged for preselection by KK if she fails in Fowler?

  27. KK sure bet to lose…but by how much? When KK said she is going to run in Fowler, she just lost 16% of the votes, when she say she believes in multicultural she just lost another 20% of the votes, when she is churning out motherhood statements she lost another 18% of the votes, when she can’t get rid her american accent, she just lost another 5%..she did not live in fowler, maybe another 7% loss…people in bennelong can’t even stand her….

  28. If Kristina Kenneally is such an electoral asset to the ALP, why not have her run in a marginal Liberal seat – Reid, Lindsay, Banks or “I can see Robertson from my house”.

  29. KK said “I know how to fight for communities like this.” stop patronizing Fowler electorates…we are not dumb thank you.

  30. Why is everyone picking on KK? I think she is a tremendously talented politician. More than that, she is one of the 10 Labor frontbenchers I can name. Any flak should be directed at Labor’s factional system which would put Deb O’Neill and Jenny McAllister above KK. Who?!?!?!

    Also, I have nothing against Tu Le, but no-one, ever, in any party has a right, or destiny to be preselected in a safe seat – no matter her ethnicity.

  31. If Keneally can beat Tu Le on a fair ballot then fine, that’s the local branch’s business. But if no preselection vote is going to be held, and most articles I’ve read about it say she’s being ‘parachuted’, which imples there won’t be, then the naked opportunism and disregard of the local candidate, who’s part of the community and has put in the hard yards for their support, is self-evident. You said it yourself: ‘no-one, ever, in any party has a right, or destiny to be preselected in a safe seat – no matter her ethnicity.’ Exactly. Keneally’s squabbles with the faceless men are her problem.

  32. Perhaps the major parties need to implement US style primary elections where candidates for lower house seats compete for nomination. Voting in these primary elections could be voluntary instead of compulsory, and be held just after the close of roll date. Everyone within the district would be able to have a say on their choice of candidate.

  33. Talk about multiculturalism. Keneally is American. Isn’t she the only american in Australian parliament? That is diversity isn’t it?

  34. Well that’s basically what happened for us in the Qld Greens, The residents of each division voted for who was going to represent the party for them, we had a big list of candidates for the senate and we all got to vote on who was going to be on that list and in what order (only the top spot matters in practice, obviously), we voted, people were picked, and that was that. Doesn’t always work like that, but it’s the simplest and fairest way to run a party.

  35. redistributed,
    I agree with you Keneally should contest Reid, Lindsay, Banks or Robertson.
    Tu Le has lived in the area for a long time so she would be best as she understands the area the best.

  36. It says that Labor care more about their own factional squabbles then actually trying to represent migrants and ethnically diverse people, who Labor have been supposedly supporting for years.
    Given KK is just a female version of Dutton at this point, should migrant and ethnically diverse voters be supportive of a candidate who will continue to be barely compassionate to people struggling to stay alive. Let’s be real, KK went to Christmas Island for the PR, not for actually trying to solve the problem the Muruguppan family faces, the health of their daughter and their inevitable persecution if they get deported back to Sri Lanka.

  37. Furtive Lawngnome

    In the WA Greens we have individual ballots for the first and second positions, and then people within the party can nominate to be in positions 3-6. Unfortunately our self-created bureaucratic nightmare means those who nominate have to be approved by CAG, discussed by ECC, who then pass the choices on to a secret subcommittee, a group of about four or five people, who then choose the positions the people are placed in.

  38. James
    “I would not like to face interrogation of Wong, Keneally and Gallagher.” Ever heard of the cricket term “flat track bully”?. They are good at bashing bureaucrats that can’t hit back. Do they challenge themselves by fronting journos that will ask THEM real questions, & demand real answers ? -Never !
    They wouldn’t worry me. They are all piss weak measured against my first wife she had 7 brothers !

  39. Wine diamond some of those bureaucrats don’t fight back as they don’t understand their portfolio.

    Having worked in Canberra for 7 years I think I should know. For instance the bureaucrat on $250k + with a $700m problem and opening remarks at a workshop to solve the problem “I am not sure why I am here”. I have a number more of those stories.

  40. James
    Fair enough. Given your experience probably right.
    However that doesn’t invalidate anything i put forward. KK’s vanity is peerless Wong is as brittle as humpty dumpty, Gallagher we will see wrt finance. I’m keeping an open mind.

  41. Daniel, interesting point about diversity. Yes Kristina is American but that is not an ethnicity rather a purely civic identity based on Citizenship. Like Australia, the United States is a multi-ethnic/multi-racial society. Civic identity does not tend to be inter-generational unlike ethnic identity. KK is no longer an American Citizen. Tu Le was Australian born but is of Vietnamese ethnicity and if selected would also be the first Buddhist MP so there is religious diversity as well. So yes i agree in terms of diversity she would be foreign born but not in terms of ethnicity but nevertheless it is interesting point. Diversity is in interesting topic so i hope there is more discussion on this.

  42. NS,

    I will pick up the gauntlet on diversity.

    I find it very amusing that KK is not “diverse” enough. It is obvious that being female (ignoring transgender) is now not diverse enough. If I did an industry super “compare the pair” where do you start? KK and TL – both female. KK born overseas TL in Australia. KK one parent born overseas, one in Australia, TL two parents born overseas. TL is a lawyer and presumably has a law degree from an Australian university (along with a whole heap of existing MPs). KK has a Master of Arts in Religious from a foreign university (probably the only politician with such a pedigree. KK is (I believe) a practicing catholic – which is pretty rare these days. TL is a Buddhist – what does this mean? KK is pretty tall at 1.73m (96th percentile). I don’t know TL’s height but given her parents are from Vietnam she is probably relatively short. At the risk of further stereotyping – KK looks the all American Girl and TL looks Asian. TL presumably speaks Vietnamese while KK speaks some form of English that she learnt in America…..

    KK has also been Premier of NSW and a Senator and CEO of Basketball Australia. TL has not had these roles. But neither has anyone who currently lives in the seat of Fowler.

    Where to end? The real diversity issue is that TL is the local candidate and KK is the senate selection problem whose solution is to parachute KK into Fowler as the “head office” pick.

    Few other observations on diversity.

    After watching Ms-resented my only thought was the Liberals and Nationals must be un-electable as they don’t have quotas or targets for females in parliament and that they don’t have any diversity. And then it occurred to me that the LNP have been in power for 19 of the last 25 years. Perhaps it is because they actually have diversity of thought and ideas. With members like Trent Zimmerman / Tim Wilson / Katie Allen / Dave Sharma on one end of the spectrum and Abbott, Abetz and Andrews (and Barnaby) on the other end of the spectrum aren’t they actually very diverse? Once they have argued amongst themselves and reached a compromise then perhaps they actually get “good” policy that is more attractive to voters than the alternative?

    The Liberals in NSW didn’t select Gladys to be Premier when Baird resigned on the basis of her gender. She was elected because a majority of members (predominantly male) thought that she had the best chance of winning the next election – which she did.

    Howard used to say that the only thing that counted in politics was the ironclad rule of numbers.
    KK will get Fowler pre-selection because she has the numbers on the national executive. Not because of any diversity agenda but rather the majority of the decision-making authority think KK is more valuable to the party (or their own positions in it) than TL.
    Alexander Downer said something about becoming PM along the lines of it was not just a case of “’Buggin’s turn’ you have to have a cunning plan”. Dare I suggest TL thinks it is her turn to be the member for Fowler because she “ticks all the right boxes” but KK had a more cunning plan……

    Separately, at the 2019 election Daly “got into trouble” when he was recorded saying:

    “Our young children will flee and who are they being replaced with? They are being replaced by young people from typically Asia with PhDs… So there’s a transformation happening in Sydney now where our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs.”

    My Chinese born wife (moved to Aus when she was 10) reaction was pretty much “what do you expect if one part [Asians] of society work harder and get PHDs”. However, KK sent us (and presumably everyone else on the ALP mailing list) an e-mail trying to apologise for Daly’s comments. I can’t even recall what was in KK’s e-mail but Mrs Pollster was very upset and the words “patronising to immigrants” were used. I did point out that KK was an immigrant but this fact did not placate Mrs P – in fact it enraged her further……

    Finally, now that the Senate is majority female – will parties select more men to ensure that the gender balance is reflective of society (basically 50:50)? I am happy to be a “quota boy” Senator to ensure that the numbers balance.

    NS – hope the above is provocative enough to get the discussion fired up!



  43. It’s not that hard to understand, the representation of non-white people, people of colour, however you define it, is a lot less than their share of the population, particularly if you separate those who are indigenous from those who aren’t, and Fowler is one of the seats where there are the most people who fit that category. The outcry is a bit about that, and a bit about the shameless lack of local ties from Keneally.

    And I don’t see why the Coalition couldn’t have “diversity of thought” if they had a more representative number of women in parliament.

  44. Hi Pollster, I just wanted to say that l loved your post and I think you illustrate well the diversity of diversities and that all of them can add value, and that the focus on diversity as purely a WOC or POC is actually kind of a conservative way of looking at the issue.


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