AEC Loses 1,375 Votes In WA Senate Count; Mick Keelty To Investigate

There has been an extraordinary development in the Western Australian Senate count, with 1,375 votes missing and Mick Keelty, the former Federal Police Commissioner, called in to investigate.

KeeltyThe Australian Electoral Commission says 1,375 votes “could not be located, rechecked or verified”. The total included 120 informal votes and 1,255 formal above-the-line ballots.

The Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn, described the lost ballot papers as a “serious administrative issue”. He said he had reassured himself “that exhaustive efforts have been made to find the missing ballots at all premises where WA Senate votes were stored or moved during the 2013 federal election”. [Read more…]


Seats Changing Hands At The 2013 Federal Election

The table on this page shows the seats that changed hands in the 2013 House of Representatives election.

A total of 23 seats changed hands. However, the LNP won Fisher from Peter Slipper, who had left the LNP to sit an independent, so 22 might be regarded as the correct total.

The ALP lost 17 seats, compared to its 2013 federal election tally of 72. One of these, Dobell, was technically lost between the elections when Craig Thomson sat as an independent.

The Coalition won 19 seats, compared to its 2013 tally. It won 17 from the ALP and 2 from Independents, but lost 2 (Fairfax to Palmer United, Indi to an Independent). One seat (O’Connor) moved from the Nationals to the Liberal Party. [Read more…]


Deborah O’Neill Appointed To Fill Bob Carr’s Casual Senate Vacancy

Deborah O’Neill, who lost her seat at last month’s election, has been chosen by the NSW ALP to fill the casual Senate vacancy created by the resignation of Bob Carr.

O'NeillO’Neill is the defeated member for the House of Representatives seat of Robertson. She won Robertson in 2010, after defeating Belinda Neal in a preselection challenge. She was defeated on September 7, suffering a 4.93% drop in her primary vote to 34.83%. There was an overall two-party-preferred swing against the ALP of 4%, reducing it to 47%. The new Liberal member is Lucy Wicks.

O’Neill reportedly won the ALP endorsement by 36 votes to 1 at a meeting of the NSW ALP Administrative Committee today. She was endorsed last night by the Right faction. Reports say that Belinda Neal and her husband, John Della Bosca, attempted to thwart the nomination at the meeting.

Mike Kelly, the defeated member for Eden-Monaro, pulled out of the contest yesterday.

O’Neill will serve out the remainder of Bob Carr’s term until June 30 next year. The position was originally held by Mark Arbib who resigned in February 2012. O’Neill will then serve the full 6-year term Carr was elected to on September 7. She will not face election by the voters until 2019-20.

A former education teacher at the University of Newcastle, O’Neill is 52. She is aligned with social conservatives in the ALP and is regarded as an opponent of issues such as same-sex marriage.

Casual Senate vacancies are made under Section 15 of the Constitution.


George Wright: ALP’s 2013 Federal Election Analysis

The ALP National Secretary, George Wright, has addressed the National Press Club on the outcome of the 2013 federal election.

Wright said the party’s polling had showed it was likely to lose more than 40 seats and be reduced to 30 seats under Julia Gillard. He said the ALP “cauterised” its losses by returning to Kevin Rudd. “He did make a difference,” Wright said. In the end, the ALP lost 17 seats and will have 55 members in the new House.

Wright

Disunity and division crippled the ALP’s election chances, Wright maintained. He said issues such as the carbon tax, aslyum seekers and debt were lesser order issues than Labor’s conduct in office. [Read more…]


The State Of The Federation: Ted Mack

This is the text of Ted Mack’s Henry Parkes Oration, delivered in Tenterfield tonight.

MackTed Mack was an independent councillor and Mayor of the North Sydney Council in the 1970s and 1980s.

He was elected as the independent member for North Shore in the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1981 and was re-elected in 1984 and 1988, retiring two days before he became eligible for a parliamentary pension.

In 1990, he was elected as the independent member for the federal seat of North Sydney, defeating the incumbent Liberal, John Spender. He was re-elected in 1993 and retired in 1996.

In this speech, Mack argues that “no serious observer of politics in Australia, except those with specific interests, can pretend that we do not have major problems with our system of government or that we are incapable of achieving any improvement after a century of experience”. [Read more…]


Carbon Tax Was Socialism Masquerading As Environmentalism, Abbott Tells Tasmanian Liberals

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has addressed the Tasmanian Liberal Party State Council, his first major speech to the party since winning the September 7 election.

Abbott congratulated the State Council on the 11.3% swing to the Liberals in the election. The party won three seats (Bass, Braddon and Lyons) from the ALP. Abbott said: “So 50 days on, it’s clear that Australia is under new management, it’s clear that Australia is open for business and it’s clear that the only people who are still the same is the Australian Labor Party.”

Abbott called on the ALP to pass the carbon tax repeal legislation in the Senate, saying it was the “best Christmas present that Bill Shorten could give the people of Australia”. [Read more…]


Women In The Media: Lisa Wilkinson’s Andrew Olle Media Lecture

Lisa Wilkinson, co-host of Channel 9’s Today show, has delivered the 2013 Andrew Olle media lecture.

Wilkinson

Wilkinson spoke at the Australian Technology Park, in Redfern, Sydney. Her speech focussed on the role of women in the media. [Read more…]