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Election date roulette

For those who missed it, here is the business end of an article I wrote for Crikey yesterday concerning the possible date of this year’s federal election.

Having proved more than a few detractors wrong in avoiding defeat on the floor of parliament to this point, the Gillard government must face the polls at some time this year, by no later than November 30. Should it push the election date out as far as it can go, it will have extended its “three-year term” to three years and three months, the date of the 2010 election having been August 21. This is because the clock on the three-year term does not start ticking until the first sitting of parliament, which was on September 28, 2010. Once the parliamentary term expires, there can be a 10-day gap before the writs are issued, as many as 27 days for the ensuing nominations period, and a further campaign period of up to 31 days until polling day. The minority government agreement reached with Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott after the 2010 election stipulated the “full term” to be served should continue until September or October. The Howard government provided handy precedents in this respect, having held out for at least an extra month in 2001 and 2007 without incurring too much opprobrium.

The other end of the equation is how soon the election can be held. In theory, an election for the House of Representatives can be held at any time, so long as one dispenses with the assumption that it will be held concurrently with a half-Senate election (the time where a double dissolution might have been a theoretical possibility having already passed). A House-only election would put election timing for the two houses out of sync, something governments have been determined in avoiding since the last such election was held in 1972. There were theories abroad that the government might nonetheless have just such an election in mind, either to seize advantage of an upswing in the polls or to spare itself the embarrassment of failing to bring down a budget surplus. However, the government’s pre-Christmas withdrawal from the surplus commitment — together with the Prime Minister’s recent insistence the election date will be “around three years since the last one” — make it a safe bet the House’s election timetable will indeed be tied to the Senate’s.

The next half-Senate election will be held to replace senators who were elected when Kevin Rudd came to power in 2007. They began their terms in mid-2008 and will end their terms in mid-2014. The election process must begin in the final year of the six-year term, namely from the middle of this year. Since the process involves a campaign period of at least 33 days, the earliest plausible date is August 3 — less than three weeks before the third anniversary of the 2010 election. School holidays in various states between September 21 and October 12 offer a complication for part of the period nominated by Windsor and Oakeshott, although Howard’s decision to hold the 2004 election on October 9 showed that only the consecutive AFL and NRL grand final weekends were (in Howard’s own words) “sacrosanct”.

The best bets therefore seem to be the first three Saturdays in September (the 7th, 14th and 21st) and the last three in October (the 12th, 19th and 26th), with the proximity of the three-year election anniversary strengthening the case for September over October.

2828
  • 51
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Stop Press

    A result on the ratification vote on the Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disability in the USA . There was majority support for the convention in the US Senate, it failed to get the 2/3 vote necessary because it was blocked by some misguided members of the Republican Party.

    Apparently they want to stick with the ADA

    Sheila King

    Web Co-ordinator

    Australia For All – Accessing The World

  • 52
    lizzie
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I’m getting hints on Twitter that Tony is donning fire-fighting gear and preparing for another stunt.
    Please someone tell me this isn’t true.

  • 53
    lizzie
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I bet he’s taking a camera with him.

    Tony Abbott ‏@TonyAbbottMHR
    I'm now on my way to Sydney to be on standby with my local fire brigade. Important to follow fire warnings and advice today

  • 54
    Tricot
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    And to show just how quickly the OM has lost interest in the Slipper “news” there are no current references I can spot on either ABC news on-line or in Yahoo7.

    Can’t be bothered looking elsewhere.

    Outraged principle can only last for so long I guess.

  • 55
    poroti
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    victoria @45

    Good to see there is at least one OM journo who gives the Sensitive Tony campaign a FAIL.

  • 56
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Here’s a positive way to deal with racism.

    http://www.upworthy.com/racist-chanting-at-a-professional-soccer-player-causes-something-awesome-to-happ?c=ufb1

  • 57
    adrian
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    zoomster @ 47. Funny how the naivety that you describe only normally extends to one side of politics.

    Speaking of batshit crazy, has anyone managed to get through all of Gerard Henderson’s latest diatribe against the ABC? If so you deserve some sort of medal in masochism.

  • 58
    leone
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    For those wondering what the Minchin Protocol is -

    Second part of this -
    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/government-labour-peter-slipper-deputy-speaker/647789/

    This explanation from Gary Gray
    http://www.smos.gov.au/media/2012/mr_282012.html

    And Margot Kingston’s comment -
    http://www.twitlonger.com/show/kkqg22

    There’s more if you search.

    I’d never heard of the Minchin Protocol before. This whole Slipper thing is proving to be very educational.

  • 59
    poroti
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    People in Bega experienced one hell of a temperature shift today.

    In Bega, on the NSW south coast, temperatures rose nearly 20C in just three hours this morning. The city reached 39C at 9am after an overnight low of 15.4C at 6am.

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/national/national-heat-record-expected-by-bureau-of-meterology/story-fndor8bb-1226549102215

  • 60
    Dee
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Thanks Leone! :)

  • 61
    grantplant
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Good grief, I have seen some crap in my time but this piece of unmitigated tripe from well known Lib troll Gerard Henderson in today’s SMH ‘takes the bikkie’.

    According to him you get better political balance on Fox than you do on their ABC which, apparently, is just one big ‘left wing echo chamber’;

    The fact is that there is more real debate on Rupert Murdoch's Fox News than on some ABC programs. The final Fox News Watch program last year consisted of a real political debate between Jim Pinkerton, Juan Williams, Richard Grenell and Judy Miller. Meanwhile, ABC 1's Media Watch program has only had leftist commentators in over two decades. Turnbull, please note.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/abbott-wants-abc-to-flush-out-bias-but-turnbull-does-not-see-its-stacked-deck-20130107-2ccq2.html#ixzz2HL0vfW9T

    Apparently the fact that IPA monopolises such ABC forums as the drum on TV and on the web, that the ABC board is dominated by Howard era apparatchiks and many an ABC news story starts with the words ‘the opposition says’ has passed Gerard by.

    And who does Gerard quote as an authoritatiove source on ABC ‘left-wing bias’? Why the OO of course! What an a-Grade knob-head.

    Pass me a bucket I am going to scream for Huey1 :-(

  • 62
    confessions
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Abbott doing a stunt with his firies. Who was it who predicted this the other day?

  • 63
    Toorak Toff
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Where are the global warming deniers when you need them?

  • 64
    confessions
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Grantplant

    Hendo has been whingeing about imagined abc biases for decades now. Am surprised the smh still allow him to continue with the same crap!

  • 65
    grantplant
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Adrian @ 57;

    Snap! ;-)

  • 66
    grantplant
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Fess,

    It’s like Fairfax have given Hendo a license to spread bullshit as if it were super phosphate.

    Also Hendo spat the dummy about a year back and wouldn’t allow blog comments on his pieces. The sad sack couldn’t ‘stand the heat in the kitchen’ apparently.

  • 67
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Greensborough Growler@56


    Here’s a positive way to deal with racism.

    http://www.upworthy.com/racist-chanting-at-a-professional-soccer-player-causes-something-awesome-to-happ?c=ufb1

    Good one GG, thanks for posting that.

  • 68
    Laocoon
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    ‘fess
    not wishing to big note myself :D

    laocooniii permalink
    BK
    what will next weekend’s advertorial expose of Abbott’s gentle side be?

    My money would be on a balancing stunt; he would not want to be considered a “girlie-man” afterall

    Tuesday in Sydney is forecast to be a hot 38 degrees. Do you think Abbott would be above having a photo opportunity with his local bush fire brigade? I don’t

    http://pbxmastragics.com/2013/01/05/six-years-on-and-nothings-changed/#comment-5436

  • 69
    confessions
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Lao

    I knew i’d seen that prediction! :lol:

  • 70
    DisplayName
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    The whole ‘left wing media bias’ meme (along with ‘left wing academic bias’) has been pushed in a deliberate and concerted effort by right wing think tanks for decades now. It’s not simple whinging or being unobservant, it’s deliberate propaganda.

  • 71
    confessions
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Grantplant

    Agree re hendo. Sad sack indeed.

  • 72
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    People must continue the unrelenting pressure on the media hacks

  • 73
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I’m actually happy to cut Abbott some slack regarding his Firefighting efforts.

    1. He’s done it for years and years. So, it’s clearly a personal committment.
    2 If it draws interest from the community about the dangers of the current fires, then I see that as a good thing.
    3. If it encourages others to become volunteer firies too, then that is a good thing.

    Sometimes you need to put down the guns and acknowledge someone doing the right thing. Continuing a political attack in these circumstances really only alienates fair minded members of the public and probably is totally counter productive to your cause.

  • 74
    Helen Sykes
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Is this the same Tony who, just before Christmas, was sternly condemning the PM for flying all over the country and appearing in stunts for the camera?
    We know that he has no sense of humour, but it seems he has absolutely no self-awareness, either.
    By the way, haven’t there been sharks off Sydney beaches lately? Shouldn’t he be out there on the front line, defending Australia, as only a true macho man can? He could give the media two photo opps for tonight’s news, so that they don’t have to actually come up with a story.

  • 75
    Helen Sykes
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    GG, getting involved in community projects is what MPs do, if they want to hold their seats. In no way would I want to criticise our magnificent volunteers, but I would be more impressed by this particular volunteer if the cameras weren’t always there.

  • 76
    grantplant
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    DisplayName @ 70;

    Yes, you are right. It is deliberate and it is something that has been ongoing for a long time. It is also largely utter shite too and needs to be exposed as such.

    Goeballs perfected the ‘repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth’ meme, it would appear the tactic didn’t die with his wife, kids, dog and him unfortunately.

  • 77
    Laocoon
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I dont think this has been noted here yet…

    Queensland mining magnate and former Liberal National Party heavyweight Clive Palmer has ruled out forming a political alliance with federal Independent MP Bob Katter ahead of this year’s federal election.

    While speculation has intensified in recent months about the two outspoken figures joining forces in a single party or as an alliance against the major parties, Mr Palmer ruled out any coalition on Monday.

    “I don’t wish to align with or join any political party,” Mr Palmer said in a statement.

    “We need all political points of view to work together to protect our democracy and values of the community.”

    Mr Katter said there had been some preliminary meetings with Mr Palmer to “find some common ground” but there were some obstacles on issues such as public ownership of rail assets in the Galilee Basin where Mr Palmer has coal interests.

    http://www.afr.com/p/national/palmer_says_no_to_katter_party_alliance_4Pa6tJzjtcV1TZ8IhuPOcI

  • 78
    This little black duck
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    You might like to ask rummel what he thinks of Tony the Firefighter.

  • 79
    Gecko
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Re the Election – I’m in the October camp. After football finals and school holidays. Oct 26th is my guess… and a guess is all it is.

    Re Abbott’s CFA duties: I’m with GG. Credit where credit is due, good on him.

  • 80
    lizzie
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Abbott & fire duties.
    He’d know that NOT turning up on a day like today would be shocking publicity – IF the OM noticed.

  • 81
    gigi
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Even when your heart isn’t in it, your good deed could inspire others to do the same but with THEIR hearts in it.

  • 82
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/85a6b394-5818-11e2-b997-00144feab49a.html#axzz2HLHVbi4D
    Hugo Chavez is dying. With any luck he’ll take the Castro brothers with him to communist hell.

  • 83
    poroti
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Toorak Toff

    Where are the global warming deniers when you need them?

    They are all in the northern hemisphere at the moment telling people the record cold weather in China “proves” global warming is crap. :(

  • 84
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Abbotts present to labor

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/abbott-rounds-on-pm-again-over-slipper/story-e6frf7kf-1226549388589

    “Why did the prime minister ever think that the gentleman in question was fit and proper to be the Speaker of our country?” Mr Abbott told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday.

    ———————

    Labor needs to put pressure on abbott now

    why did he defend slipper in 2010

  • 85
    adrian
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Arsehole of a comment Psephos.
    I understand that your personality type is a know it all fascists in thinly veiled disguise, but do you really have to gloat over someone’s impending death simply because he’s an ideological adversary?

    Rhetorical question BTW, as in I already know the answer.

  • 86
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Abbott has given labor another free kick

    Why isnt the media onto Abbott

  • 87
    mari
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Helen Sykes
    No problem I have been down for a swim, good to live so close with my grandsons.
    Yes I despair how people blindly accept what MSM tell them. Fortunately new media eg twitter etc is showing a little of the other side. Go onto twitter let me know if you do and will follow you

  • 88
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    but do you really have to gloat over someone’s impending death simply because he’s an ideological adversary?

    Since dictators cannot be removed from power by the usual means, one has to welcome their deaths.

  • 89
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Psephos@82


    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/85a6b394-5818-11e2-b997-00144feab49a.html#axzz2HLHVbi4D
    Hugo Chavez is dying. With any luck he’ll take the Castro brothers with him to communist hell.

    Classy!

  • 90
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Abbott neds to explain

    why does he not support slipper now , as he did in 2010

    Will slipper use Abbott as his witness, that he did no wrong

  • 91
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Abbott needs to explain

    why does he not support slipper now , as he did in 2010

    Will slipper use Abbott as his witness, that he did no wrong

  • 92
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Abbott needs to explain

    Why did he and the libs/lnp keep quiet on slipper

  • 93
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Abbott needs to be made to explain himself in parliament

  • 94
    adrian
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    The media isn’t onto Abbott because the media is using every means at its disposal to defeat Labor, for a variety of reasons. If you’re waiting for the media to play fair, you will be waiting for a long time. Better to wait for its demise ’cause that’s going to happen a lot sooner.

  • 95
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    i agree adrian

    why labor should censure abbott and get him to explain himself in parliament

  • 96
    adrian
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Abbott doesn’t need to explain anything, never has. What makes you think he’s going to start now?

  • 97
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Labor should stop listening to those who say the media will report things fairly

    labor should immediately bring in the new media laws , have an inquiry into the media

  • 98
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Chavez won an election last year with 54.5% of the vote. So dictator is not quite the right term.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/08/hugo-chavez-wins-venezuelan-election

  • 99
    davidwh
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    MB you seem to have the stutters today :)

  • 100
    Doyley
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Every day thousands and thousands of Australians give their time and often money to support others and do good in the community.

    They do it quietly and without fuss.

    I have no time for those who prance around and mouth off about what they are doing.

    Abbott would have had my respect if he had just turned up and did his time with his fire unit.

    However, he had to announce it and make a big deal out of it.

    Howe about the thousands of others out there just doing their jobs today in terrible conditions?

    No mouthing off from them.

    Abbott can stick it.

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