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2016 Federal Election: The Oncers Who Have Become Twicers

Most of the first-term members of the previous parliament have been returned to the new 45th parliament.

Of 42 members elected for the first time at the 2013 federal election, 31 (73.8%) were re-elected on July 2, 2016.

Eight members (19%), all Liberals, were defeated at the election. [Read more…]


ALP Wins Herbert By 37 Votes; Turnbull Government Re-Elected With Barest Majority Of 76 Seats

The ALP has won the seat of Herbert by 37 votes, following a recount that finished this morning.

O'TooleThe ALP’s Cathy O’Toole (pictured) defeated sitting LNP member Ewen Jones, who has held the seat since 2010. O’Toole had 44,187 votes after preferences, to Jones’ 44,150. There was a swing of 6.19% to the ALP.

The ALP’s victory takes it to a final total of 69 seats in the House of Representatives. The Turnbull coalition will have 76 seats and there are 5 crossbenchers.

The 45th Parliament meets for the first time on August 30. After providing a Speaker, the government will have 75 votes on the floor of the House. The ALP and crossbenchers will have 74 votes. Three crossbenchers – Bob Katter, Cathy McGowan and Andrew Wilkie – have committed themselves to supporting the government on Supply and matters of confidence. [Read more…]


Bronwyn Bishop Defeated In Liberal Party Mackellar Preselection; Jason Falinski Ends 29-Year Parliamentary Career

After 29 years in Parliament, Bronwyn Bishop has lost her preselection to Jason Falinski, following a Liberal Party ballot in her Mackellar electorate tonight.

FalinskiBishop faced three opponents, Jason Falinski, Walter Villatora and Bill Calcraft. Falinski was seen as the candidate of the moderate wing who control the NSW Division of the Liberal Party, whilst Villatora has connections to the right-wing and Tony Abbott.

There were three ballots. The first ballot results were: Bishop 37, Falinski 40, Villatora 12 and Calcraft 2. Falinski defeated Bishop 51-39. It appears that the hard right votes for Villatora ended up with Falinski, not Bishop. [Read more…]


Duncan McGauchie Wins Liberal Party Preselection For Murray

Duncan McGauchie has won Liberal Party preselection for the Victorian rural electorate of Murray.

McGauchieHe will be seeking to replace Sharman Stone, the retiring Liberal member who has held the seat since 1996.

McGauchie is a “policy and communications expert” who has worked as an adviser to former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu.

He is currently employed by Newgate Australia, which describes itself as “working at the interface of business, politics, markets and media”, with a “proven methodology..based around objective research, which guides strategy and campaign development and implementation”.

His Newgate profile says his areas of expertise “include issues management, government relations, public policy and regulatory communications, stakeholder engagement and corporate communications”.

McGauchie is also a member of the advisory board of the Broadmeadows Schools Network.

Murray is a northern Victorian electorate, bordering the Murray River, that includes towns such as Boort, Shepparton, Cobram, Echua. Kyabram, Mooroopna, Murchison, Nathalia, Rushworth, Violet Town, Wedderburna dn Yarrawonga. It borders Mallee to the east, Wannon, Bendigo and McEwen to the south, and Indi to the east. [Read more…]


Julian Leeser Wins Liberal Preselection For Berowra; Succeeds Philip Ruddock

Julian Leeser has won Liberal Party preselection for Berowra and will succeed the long-serving Philip Ruddock at this year’s election.

LeeserLeeser easily won the contest against three other candidates, winning the votes of 97 of the 114 preselectors. Robert Armitage won 10 votes, John Bathgate 4 and Nick McGowan 3.

Leeser is currently Director of Government Policy and Strategy at the Australian Catholic University, a position he took up in 2012. Prior to that, he was Executive Director of the Menzies Research Centre (2006-12). He worked as an advisor to Philip Ruddock when he was Attorney-General in the Howard government (2004-06). He also worked as an advisor to Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott in 2001, before spending two years as a solicitor with Mallesons Stephen Jaques (2002-04). He was an Associate to High Court Justice Ian Callinan in 2000.

Leeser was a Councillor with the Woollahra Municipal Council (1995-99). He came to public notice during the 1999 Republic referendum when he was a member of the Prime Minister’s “No Case” committee. [Read more…]


Bob Baldwin, Liberal Member For Paterson, Announces Retirement

Bob Baldwin, the Liberal member for Paterson, has announced that he will retire at this year’s election.

BaldwinBaldwin, 60, won Paterson in 2013 with 59.78% of the two-party-preferred vote. He secured 53.86% of the primary vote. However, under the recent NSW redistribution, Paterson is now notionally a Labor seat, with a margin of 0.4%. Baldwin’s announcement is not altogether unexpected.

The abolition of neighbouring Charlton, held by the ALP’s Pat Conroy, led to Jill Hall retiring from Shortland, allowing Conroy to transfer there and thereby allowing Joel Fitzgibbon to remain in Hunter, which now absorbs much of the old Charlton.

The ALP has preselected Meryl Swanson to contest Paterson.

Baldwin first won the NSW electorate in 1996 but lost it at the 1998 federal election, before regaining it in 2001. The seat takes in Neath, Kurri Kurri and Williamtown in the south, and along the Hunter River and Port Stephens in the north. It includes Maitland, Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace. [Read more…]


James Paterson Sworn In As Victorian Liberal Senator

James Paterson has been sworn in as a Victorian senator, filling a casual vacancy left by the retirement of Michael Ronaldson.

Paterson, 28, is a former official of the Institute of Public Affairs. He won preselection last week.

Under Section 15 of the Constitution, the casual vacancy is filled by a vote of the two houses of the Victorian Parliament sitting as one. Since the referendum of 1977, casual vacancies must be filled by a person from the same political party as the departing senator.

Paterson will see out the remainder of Ronaldson’s term which runs until June 30, 2017, barring a double dissolution this year. He is expected to secure a winnable position on the Liberal Party’s Senate ticket. [Read more…]