New Research Paper On House By-Elections

The Parliamentary Library has released a new research paper on House of Representatives by-elections since 1901.

The paper is titled: House of Representatives by-elections: 1901-2015. It is writted by Stephen Barber of the Statistics and Mapping Section.

The paper is displayed below, in accordance with its Creative Commons licence.

The paper’s updated statistics show that the party complexion of a seat has changed on just 35 occasions out of 149 by-elections. The average two-party preferred swing against the government of the day has been 4.0 per cent.

Other data shows that that the average number of nominations for by-elections has grown from 2.2 to 11.6. [Read more…]


The Myth Of The Ten-Week Election Campaign In 1984

A popular view of the 1984 Federal Election is that Bob Hawke and the ALP suffered a swing against them because of the “long ten-week campaign”.

In just the past few weeks, as speculation about Malcolm Turnbull’s intentions has grown, the claim has been made repeatedly.

SMH

Monash University academic Nick Economou said Hawke “called an election that ran for ten weeks”.

The estimable William Bowe, in Crikey, referred to “the 10-week marathon” in 1984.

Writing in Fairfax Media, Michael Gordon discussed “Bob Hawke’s experience in 1984, when he went into a 10-week campaign with soaring approval ratings and suffered a 2 per cent swing and lost a swag of seats.” [Read more…]


Senator Arthur Sinodinos Denies Wrongdoing Or Illegality

Senator Arthur Sinodinos has issued a statement denying that he has broken the law in relation to the NSW Electoral Commission’s decision to withhold public funding to the Liberal Party because of undisclosed donors.

Sinodinos is Cabinet Secretary in the Turnbull government and a key backer of the Prime Minister. He says the Electoral Commission did not accuse him of setting up a slush fund or breaking the law. “I have never been accused of corruption. I deny any wrongdoing or illegality.”

The statement from Sinodinos is shown below.

Statement from Senator Arthur Sinodinos (Liberal-NSW).

Statement – NSW Electoral Commission

SinodinosIt is for the NSW Division of the Liberal Party to deal with the NSW Electoral Commission’s decision to withhold funding.

Despite what Labor says, the NSW Electoral Commission decision does not accuse me of setting up a slush fund or breaking the law. I have never been accused of corruption. I deny any wrongdoing or illegality.

Regrettably, parts of the Electoral Commission’s Summary of Facts used loose language which could convey erroneous impressions. [Read more…]


Sharman Stone, Liberal Member For Murray, Announces Retirement From Parliament

Sharman Stone, the Liberal member for the northern Victorian electorate of Murray, has announced that she will retire from Parliament at this year’s election.

StoneStone, 64, has held Murray since 1996, through seven terms of parliament. She was a parliamentary secretary in the Howard government between 1998 and 2006, when she was appointed Minister for Workforce Participation. She has been overlooked for ministerial positions in the Abbott and Turnbull governments.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paid a fulsome tribute to Stone today, describing her as a “tireless, enthusiastic representative” and a “stalwart defender of local industry”. Turnbull’s full statement is shown below.

The electorate of Murray is based on Shepparton and Echuca, and includes the towns of Boort, Bridgewater, Cobram, Euroa, Kyabram, Mooroopna, Murchison, Nagamabie, Nathalia, Numurkah, Rochester, Rushworth, Tatura, Violet Town, Wedderburn and Yarrawonga.

Stone held the ultra-safe electorate in 2013 with 70.87% of the two-party vote, up 1.29% on her 2010 margin. The Liberal Party primary vote was 61.41%. [Read more…]


NSW Electoral Commission Blocks Liberal Party Funding Over Failure To Disclose Donations

The NSW Electoral Commission has blocked payment of $4.4 million in public funding to the Liberal Party because it failed to disclose the identity of all major political donations in 2011.

In a statement, the Electoral Commission said: “The Party will remain ineligible until it discloses all reportable political donations in relation to its 2011 declaration. These donations include some made by donors identified during the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s (ICAC) public hearings in Operation Spicer.”

In particular, the Commission is seeking information regarding the identity of donors to the Free Enterprise Foundation. It says: “Since 11 February 2016, the Liberal Party was given opportunities to rectify its declaration but it declined to do so. [Read more…]


Turnbull Recalls Parliament On April 18 And Moves Budget To May 3; Threatens Double Dissolution On July 2 If Bills Not Passed

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dramatically seized the political initiative in his confrontation with the Senate by advising the Governor-General to recall Parliament on April 18 and threatening a double dissolution election on July 2 if industrial legislation is not passed.

Turnbull made his announcement at a 10.30am press conference. He said he had advised the Governor-General under Section 5 of the Constitution to recall Parliament. This overrides a motion passed by the Senate on Friday that prevented a recall before May 10.

  • Watch Turnbull

Parliament will prorogued on April 15 and then summoned again for a new session on April 18. Prorogation clears the Notice Paper. [Read more…]


Growing Together: ALP Releases Policy Agenda For Tackling Inequality

The ALP has released a policy agenda for tackling inequality.

MacklinThe document, Growing Together, was launched by the Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, Jenny Macklin.

Macklin said inequality is at a 75-year high and 2.5 million Australians live below the poverty line, whilst hundreds of thousands are unemployed.

The Growing Together statement puts forward seven key pillars for tackling inequality: jobs, early childhood, life-long education, work-life balance, longevity, communities and modernising policy development and governance.

It argues that “the current social policy framework was built for, and belongs to, a different era”. The statement claims Growing Together “is an integral part of modern Labor’s policy renewal”. [Read more…]