Dec 18, 2017

Poll Bludger: what just happened in Bennelong?

Both sides are busy spinning the weekend's byelection result, but the Liberals' claim to bragging rights is outwardly more compelling.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

By the historic standards of federal byelections, the 5% swing against the Liberals in Bennelong on Saturday lands almost exactly in the middle of the range.

As such, it gives both sides enough elbow room to plausibly spin the result, but should ultimately be regarded as a non-event for the rest of us.

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19 thoughts on “Poll Bludger: what just happened in Bennelong?

  1. old greybearded one

    Labor stupidly fielded a candidate with a great deal of baggage. I thought Keneally was a serious risk and the aftermath of the Dastyari scandal, which was made much of by the media in comparison to all the Liberals who drank from the same cup.

    1. Norm

      Yep, and now Bill is going to make Malcolm’s task a bit easier by replacing one NSW Right faction aparatchik with a NSW Right faction aparatchick. Doh, Bill! Oh Maxine, where wert thou?

  2. klewso

    How many “typical by-elections” have included “the incumbent”?

    1. zut alors

      Excellent point.

      I believe there is plenty sympathy in the Oz electorate for MPs caught by Section 44. With the notable exception of Malcolm Roberts(on).

      1. bref

        I agree. While I have little time for the liberals, I don’t think Alexander or any of the others (except Roberts) deserved to go out this way. And its typical that neither major party is making any strides toward changing the rules. Every little thing seems to be beyond them, let alone the big things…

    2. F Blair

      You said it. It’s bizarre how bum-fuzzled commentators are in the face of this fairly significant fact! Time to stop relying on opinion-polls to dictate action and belief and actually stand for something!

      1. klewso

        And they continue to be paid by the ejaculation.

  3. AR

    Surely Mini Mr Bean was a plus for Labor, showing that their apparatchiks stay bought.
    K/K not withstanding.
    For JA to have had a personal vote would have required that he have a personality.

  4. lykurgus

    More compelling? That cardboard cutout copped a 5% hit from a candidate whose dodginess is still remembered; but Truffles holds JAs hand aloft because his iWatch told him that’s what victors do. Come to think of it, didn’t he do that when he blew his 20-seat lead?
    No wonder JA looked like he didn’t want to be there.

  5. Kenneth Piaggio

    ‘By the historic standards of federal byelections, the 5% swing against the Liberals in Bennelong on Saturday lands almost exactly in the middle of the range.’
    Historically, by-elections do not have a sitting member contesting their seat as an endorsed candidate of their original party. There is no historical equivalent to a by-election being required because of a technicality – the dual citizenship issue – which seems to leave a degree of voter sympathy and understanding.
    It seems to me, in this context, a swing of 5% is highly significant. I do not think the current Government can receive any comfort from this result.
    The author made comment about the ‘full-blooded campaign’ by the Labor Party for their tilt at this by-election.
    I understood Labor was outspent by the incumbent party. Is this correct?

    1. Andrew Owens

      There is actually a precedent – Lindsay in 1996. It produced a swing to the government.

  6. Keith1

    While Burke’s “Chinese booths” argument depends on too many ifs and buts for me, I still think Labor can be pleased. Five percent is more significant than in a typical by-election because (a) the incumbent stood and (b) this was a by-election that could have brought down a government. The typical 5% can be made up almost entirely of message-senders who have no real wish to change the government.

  7. Di Keller

    I have a feeling her vote might have been a bit higher without the rumours about her possible senate selection.

  8. IanG

    And how pleased must Turnbull be that JA told him publicly “my win will rejuvenate your Prime Minstership” – nothing like being reminded of ones failure even when winning!

  9. Lady White Peace

    Actually it was the ABC ‘s incorrect How to Vote info that made a lot of votes ineligible! As Chinese voters followed them !

  10. Peter Wileman

    It hasn’t taken them long, post Bennelong, to institute cuts to education and social services. What part of ‘democracy’ do they not understand? ‘Demos’; The people. Not the parasitic multinationals, or the dishonest banks.

    1. klewso

      Malfoy sat on those “surprises” and whined about “Labor’s dishonest campaign” : mind you what he said about Shorten, being a threat to the national economy and security, and dragging the distraction of Dastyari back into the fray (14 months after it was first aired), he seemed to think was justified?
      What odds that hypocrisy being brought to greater attention by our media?

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