Scott Ryan’s retirement boils Victorian-era Liberal Senate preselection; Work lines up its ducks in New South Wales; a federal poll on ACT voting intentions; And much more.
We start with the unusually complicated situation arising from Senate Speaker Scott Ryan’s announcement yesterday that he will step down from politics before Parliament returns next month, having planned to do so at the end of his term in the middle of next year. The Victorian Liberal Party now has the task of both filling its vacant post and determining its Senate ticket to the next election, with the latter process having been put on hold due to the lockdown. Candidates for Ryan’s vacant post are expected to include Simon Frost, a staff member of Josh Frydenberg and former state party director, and Greg Mirabella, a farmer from Wangaratta and husband of Sophie Mirabella.
The Coalition secured three long-term Senate positions in the 2016 double-dissolution, which went to Mitch Fifield, Bridget McKenzie of the Nationals and Scott Ryan. Fifield left politics after the 2019 election and her vacancy was filled by Sarah Henderson, recently defeated in her seat in the Corangamite lower house. With the second position on the ticket reserved for Nationals, and therefore McKenzie, Henderson urgently needs to earn first place on the ticket.
The Age’s Rob Harris reports that she’ll likely need a base ballot to make this happen, as she’s unlikely to win a board vote if he exercises his power to take matters into his own hands. . The same apparently applies to Frost in his attempt to fill Ryan’s vacant position, which would seem to suggest that the Administrative Committee would choose Mirabella both to fill the immediately vacant position and to end up at the top of the Senate ticket in the process. the election. It would be a hugely controversial decision, however, given the resentment over the refusal of preselection ballots ahead of the last election.
Other news from the preselection:
â€¢ Daniel Repacholi, a former coal miner who represented Australia in pistol shooting at the Olympics, was confirmed as a Labor candidate to succeed Joel Fitzgibbon in Hunter by the party’s national executive yesterday. The Australian reports that Repacholi “will present himself as a non-factionally aligned candidate, but he has the support of elements from the right, including Joel Fitzgibbon, and also from the left, including Mr. Albanese and the CFMEU.” Shortlisted candidates thwarted by the move include Stephen Ryan, Newcastle lawyer and former Cessnock adviser; Morgan Campbell, former lawyer and city councilor; and Jo Smith, executive director of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers and an unsuccessful candidate for Lake Macquarie in the 2019 state election. A late withdrawal was Cessnock nurse Emily Suvaal, whom the Guardian reports had the support of unions aligned to the right. The national candidate for the seat is James Thomson, 28-year-old community relations officer at Maitland Christian School; One Nation, which recorded 21.6% of the vote in 2019, backed Singleton hotelier Dale McNamara, who ran for the party in the Upper Hunter by-election in May.
â€¢ As reported in The Australian, Gordon Reid, a local Aboriginal heritage physician, was unopposed to run as a Labor candidate for Robertson, held for the Liberals by Lucy Wicks by a 4.2% margin. The preselection for Reid, held by Fiona Martin with a 3.2% margin, will be contested between Sally Sitou, a PhD student at the University of Sydney and former ministerial staff of Jason Clare, and Frank Alafaci, president of the Australian Business Summit Council. . In Banks, held by David Coleman on a 6.3% margin, will be disputed between former diplomat Xian-Zhi Soon and Georges River adviser Warren Tegg.
â€¢ The West Australian reports that Ian Goodenough, a Liberal MP for Moore’s seat on the northern outskirts of Perth, won a preselection ballot ahead of Vince Connelly, whose current Stirling seat is to be abolished in redistribution, by a margin from 39 to 36. Goodenough is known for his network of support among local Pentecostal churches and his association with a larger group within the State Party known as the â€œClanâ€. The report says Goodenough owed his victory to support from young liberals and conservative religious broker Nick Goiran. Further contested preselections for seats held by the Swan and Durack Liberals will follow over the next fortnight.
â€¢ The Greens have announced candidates for the two Melbourne seats they could potentially win over the Liberals: Piers Mitchem, an employment lawyer at business law firm Thomson Geer, will run against Josh Frydenberg in Kooyong , that Julian Burnside was 5.7% ahead of the party in 2019 after overtaking Labor; while Sonya Semmens, owner-director of a fundraising consultancy, will run against Katie Allen in Higgins.
â€¢ Law scholar Kim Rubenstein crossed the new and improved 1,500-member threshold to register a party called Kim for Canberra to support his bid for a Senate seat in the Australian Capital Territory.
â€¢ An automated uComms telephone poll of 1,057 voters in Canberra, commissioned by the Australian Institute, records the results of federal voting intentions for the Australian Capital Territory which are surprisingly similar to the 2019 election. forced response follow-up results for the undecided initially, the poll shows Labor at 41.1% (up 0.2% from the election), Liberals at 31.3% (down 0.8 %) and the Greens at 16.9% (up 0.4%. One Nation, which didn’t field any candidates in 2019 and likely won’t do so next time either, was at 3.9% The poll also assessed voting intention in the Senate, which had 41.1% of Labor (down 3.4%), Liberals 31.3% (down 2.6%) and Greens of 16.9% (up 3.5%), with independents at 7.4%, One Nation at 4.0% and others at 1.7%. However, the disparity between the results House and Senate levels would be typical of a problem common to Senate polls, which often inflates support for minor parties. Either way, both suggest the usual outcome, in which Labor wins House seats and the two Senate seats are split between Labor and Liberals.
â€¢ Also from the Australia Institute, an orderly display of Essential Research COVID-19 survey data, including time series graphics from the regular question on the handling of the situation by federal and state governments.
â€¢ Final results of Daly’s by-election in the Northern Territory: 2,022 votes for Labor candidate Dheran Young (56.1%), 1,582 votes for the country’s Liberal Party candidate Kris Civitarese, for a switch to Labor 7.3%.
â€¢ A look at the federal election from CGM Communications’ Daniel Smith builds on the trend calculations from state-level polls I provided, suggesting Labor is running to win 13 seats based on current numbers .