Fog Horn Politics and Sewer Tactics – The Poll Bludger
The Katherine Deves controversy continues to deepen rifts within the Liberal Party and outside.
Note the message below from Adrian Beaumont on today’s French presidential election. Closer to home:
• As the Liberal Party splits over Warringah candidate Katherine Deves and her controversial transgender statements, Chip Le Grand of the Age/Herald observes a related debate over “whether a coalition government could be kicked out of its inner city electorates in Sydney and Melbourne but taking enough ground in the suburbs and regions to stay in power”. While some are calling it “election madness”, an unidentified conservative reportedly said Kooyong was “just one seat” and “certainly no longer the jewel in the crown”. Those of the latter view point to Boris Johnson’s success in the ‘red wall’ of northern England and the populist era realignments in the US and France.
• David Crowe of the Age/Herald reports that MPs on both sides have identified the following seats as “still in play”: “Reid, Gilmore and Parramatta in New South Wales; Corangamite, McEwen and Chisholm in Victoria; Swan, Pearce and Hasluck in WA; Longman, Leichhardt and Brisbane in Queensland; and the Tasmanian trio of Bass, Braddon and Lyons”. This includes five seats held by Labor and ten by the coalition. A Labor source said they “would rather be us than them at this stage”, not least because the teal independent insurgency had caused the Coalition to “fight on two fronts”, but defeat remained possible.
• Further to the above, former Queensland Labor Secretary of State Cameron Milner writes in The Australian that the Liberals are pursuing Lilley, held by Labor in Brisbane, Lingiari in the Northern Territory (where Scott Morrison has campaigned yesterday) and Corangamite in western Victoria. Milner also describes Scott Morrison’s support of Katherine Deves as a “shiny bullhorn policy,” deployed to “signal the virtue of their values” to One Nation and Clive Palmer voters whose preferences will be up for grabs. Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review also proposes that “in suburbs, regions and religious communities, the Government – and Labor – think the Deves dossier is turning in Scott Morrison’s favour, however messy he may be”.
• An online Labor Party attack on Gladys Liu, who holds the Melbourne seat of Chisholm for the Liberals by a 0.5% margin, has been described as a ‘desperate, dishonest and racist attack ad’ by Josh Frydenberg and a “Sewer Tactic” by Scott Morrisson. While these claims receive friendly cover from the news media, the claims made in the ad do not seem particularly misleading.
• Ben Raue of The Tally Room has color-coded interactive maps recording the extent to which seats have swung to one major party or the other since 2004. Labor can be seen to have grown stronger in areas of growth Melbourne but weakened in central Queensland and interior west and south of Sydney.
• Following the release of full candidate details on Friday, I’ve finished fleshing out my federal election guide with more photos, candidate details, and full lists of candidates in ballot order. .