tip off

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
  • 101
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    adrian

    Abbott being censured by the parliament will have no choice but to explain his actions about slipper in 2010 in parliament ,

    i agree with you again adrian its very unlikely the government will censure him,

    They will want abbott to lose the coaliton the election by default

  • 102
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

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

    MB you seem to have the stutters today
    _____________________________________________

    David :)

    I blame Abbott :) he gets me fired up so easy

  • 103
    adrian
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    So Psephos I’m gratified to hear that you are a supporter of democracy and freedom as opposed to dictatorship and tyranny.
    So what part of 54.5% of the vote do you not understand?

  • 104
    gigi
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    It would be good if P Slipper could come out and divulge everything he knows about TA. But this won’t happen.

  • 105
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

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

    There are elections and there are “elections.” Chavez (unlike the Castros) allows a facade of electoral process, but the full resources of the state are deployed to ensure Chavez wins, and his opponents usually end up in jail or in exile. Chavez is a dictator, not a democratic politician. The only things which could remove him would be a coup (which was tried but failed) or his death.

  • 106
    Doyley
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Further to my post at @100

    From time to time I have not seen eye to eye with Rummel.

    I include him in the thousands of ordinary Aussies out there today just doing his job without fuss.

    Good on him and I wish him and his mates well.

  • 107
    Meguire Bob
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Gigi @ 104

    Slipper may need abbot as an witness

    Abbott said this when defending slipper

    “I’m satisfied (Mr Slipper) has acted within his entitlements. My understanding is that he’s acted within his entitlements.”

  • 108
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    adrian@103


    So Psephos I’m gratified to hear that you are a supporter of democracy and freedom as opposed to dictatorship and tyranny.
    So what part of 54.5% of the vote do you not understand?

    Adrian, you don’t get it!
    Psephos prefers the US to install governments in such countries as the population gets confused by abstract concepts, such as democracy, and does not choose Presidents and governments that will act in the US interests.

    Got it now? :D

  • 109
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    In other news, Malta goes to the polls on 9 March. My Malta correspondent assures me that this time Labour will win, but he said that last time, too. Actually Labour did win last time, in terms of votes, but was robbed by the election system, as we have discussed before.
    http://www.partitlaburista.org/home

  • 110
    gigi
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    MG

    I’m looking forward to TA being called as a witness. Again, I don’t think that will happen. And the statement made by him that you quote will probably not appear in the news. TA seems to be a protected species these days.

  • 111
    poroti
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    A very telling non answer from Abbott. I’ll take it as a “Yes”.

    The Opposition Leader said it was important his top political staffer Peta Credlin had came forward to share her struggle with IVF, to show solidarity with Australian women.

    But Mr Abbott refused to say whether he had encouraged Ms Credlin to give interviews on his behalf, amid ongoing Labor attacks on the Opposition Leader for his perceived “problem with women”.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/people-need-to-understand-me-tony-abbott/story-fn59niix-1226549412733

  • 112
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Psephos,

    What does your Malta correspondent think about Labor’s chances in Australia around September this year?

  • 113
    Catalyst
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    There is a Senate enquiry into practises at The ABC Public comments are invited- catch is it closes Jan 18th. I would lkie to comment on the fact that the ABC is no longer impartial ( or respected) and that straight reportage of facts has gone by the board. Word choice is deliberate and shows negativity to the Pm and Labor. Can anyone please advise HOW to phrase a submisison?

  • 114
    Gecko
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Meguire Bob

    Your point is fair and reasonable. My take is that his constant carping and stupid one-liners work against him. He may appeal to the diehard loyalists and perennially thick but the swing voters (the ones he needs) are a tad more discerning. Let’s face it, the guy is a total smart arse… the more he talks the more he digs.

  • 115
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Catalyst,

    “It’s not fair that they are saying things with which I disagree”.

    http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/?s=abc+trust

  • 116
    Von Kirsdarke
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    That’s interesting about Malta.

    Speaking of European elections this year, the Italian one is on the 24-25 of February and it looks like Berlusconi’s coalition will be destroyed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_Italian_general_election,_2013#Opinion_polls_for_year_2013

  • 117
    Dee
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Poroti

    But Mr Abbott refused to say whether he had encouraged Ms Credlin to give interviews on his behalf, amid ongoing Labor attacks on the Opposition Leader for his perceived “problem with women”.

    Mmmm……and I thought it was a strategy cooked up by Credlin.

  • 118
    Gecko
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Catalyst

    Did you see the fairly comprehensive Newspoll survey of the ABC that William posted in the heading of the last thread. Click on Ghostwhovotes for the PDF.

  • 119
    imacca
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    gigi@110


    MG

    I’m looking forward to TA being called as a witness. Again, I don’t think that will happen. And the statement made by him that you quote will probably not appear in the news. TA seems to be a protected species these days.

    Agreed. Media and the ALP wont go Tones for a while as he is doing fire fighting duties today. And really, there are more important things happening in the country at the moment and surely the Slipper cab thing will blow over pretty fast??

    I’d think that a magistrate hearing this, IF they record a conviction at all, is going to require the $900 be paid back, and at worst put him on a short good behaviour bond with an admonishment to become more familiar with the rules .

    Hmm….will be interesting if when presented with the evidence Slipper just says:

    “Yup, did that, should have known better but i didn’t then and i do now. Here’s $900 and an apology. Next time i’ll take a comfy ComCar and not a cab so this wont ever happen again.”

    Magistrate says:

    Prosecutor, you should consider agreeing to this as it gets a minor matter dealt with fairly and expeditiously and out of my court.

    Storm, Teacup, over.

    So has anyone heard any comment from that paragon of legal opinion George Brandis SC??

  • 120
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    The last Italian poll I saw had the Left at about 35%, Berlusconi below 20%, and the clown guy Beppo on 15%. Translated into the Italian election system, the result is anyone’s guess.

  • 121
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    World’s only election map of Burkina Faso.
    http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/b/burkinafaso/burkinafasomapsindex.shtml

  • 122
    adrian
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Yes bemused, I do get it, but thanks anyway. Democracy’s only suitable for some enlightened nations.

    I assume that Malta has a Psephos approved electoral system, or if not I suppose that he’ll be likewise gloating over any impending death of an elected official over there?

    What about the UK? I hear Mrs Thatcher’s not going too well.

  • 123
    Diogenes
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I just noticed the last header post. The pedant in me has insisted that I point out that animals becoming dormant in summer is referred to as aestivation, not hibernation.

  • 124
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Adrian, you do of course realise that my post was really targeting Psephos. :P

  • 125
    gigi
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    imacca

    It is hoped that P Slipper, who is in many ways the victim of a vendetta, will eventually win.

  • 126
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Diogs,

    So, you got another dictionary for Christmas?

  • 127
    Diogenes
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    GG

    Actually I pointed it out last year. No one listens.

    This map looks pretty terrible esp in NSW and ACT.

    That’s a lot of fires. I hope the weather improves or this could get very serious.

  • 128
    Diogenes
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/bushfire-danger-at-maximum-in-much-of-australia/story-fndo1sx1-1226548178110

  • 129
    Gecko
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Ruawake

    How certain are you that the time for an Ashby appeal is up? Just before Christmas they said they would appeal mid January when the courts return. Check the vid.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/judge-in-slipper-cost-case-steps-aside/story-fndo4eg9-1226541721531

  • 130
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    @abcnews: As NSW residents face a “catastrophic” fire danger, explore current fire incidents with our interactive map http://t.co/Fj0y72LY

  • 131
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Actually I pointed it out last year. No one listens.

    It’s the pedant’s curse, always to be right and never to be listened to.

  • 132
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    “@NSWRFS: EMERGENCY WARNING – Ryan Road Fire, Munyabla (Lockhart) http://t.co/YzrFR0Mz Shelter in place. It is not safe for people to leave now.”

  • 133
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Diogs,

    Apparently, there’s a new air conditioning app. You just have to open Windows!

  • 134
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    There should be an Australian version of this.

    @NewMediaExpo: Join us at Podcast Awards hosted by @leolaporte, live music 6p, awards 6:30p at #NMX Rio Pavilion #11, refreshments at end #NMX

  • 135
    confessions
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    The ashby appeal close off is jan 17.

  • 136
    lizzie
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Diogenes

    I apologise that I only acknowledge your pedantry with silent appreciation. You are not alone ;)

  • 137
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Psephos,

    Are you pedants revolting?

  • 138
    briefly
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    The pedant can be right as much they like and remain anonymous. If you want to gain attention, try making mistakes. That will usually get you at least a slap in chops.

  • 139
    adrian
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Yes bemused I get that too!

  • 140
    Gecko
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Confessions

    Bueno.

  • 141
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    @smh: #Heatwave latest: It’s now more than 40 degrees in #Sydney. http://t.co/4NKXOMec

  • 142
    adrian
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I find that pendantry can be a bit of a millstone around your neck at times.

  • 143
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    The Libs strategy exposed (if you hadn’t guessed).

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/abbotts-big-fightback/story-e6frg6z6-1226549140197?sv=c1e9a0dc99439aa7eaceb09007ff68a9&utm_source=buffer&buffer_share=bacd2

  • 144
    leone
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Doyley @ 100

    I agree. It must be really annoying for hard-working firies to have to deal with Abbott and a camera crew while they are trying to do their job. Abbott would rarely bother with his RFS duties. He just turns up a few times a year – with cameras – when he wants attention. What a user!

  • 145
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    @anthonybaxter: There’s now a Google Crisis map mirroring the @NSWRFS map at http://t.co/GSEfUVmK – keeps load off RFS website if you’re “just curious”

  • 146
    confessions
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    The fire situation in nsw looks frightening. I hope rummel is ok.

  • 147
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    The Libs strategy exposed (if you hadn’t guessed).

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/abbotts-big-fightback/story-e6frg6z6-1226549140197?sv=c1e9a0dc99439aa7eaceb09007ff68a9&utm_source=buffer&buffer_share=bacd2

    I managed to make it a third of the way through that article without throwing up, which is a first for me with Chris Kenny. Though I didn’t push my luck by reading any further.

  • 148
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    “@mansillo: @TonyAbbottMHR is that because @barryofarrell sacked 260 firefighters and you have to pull a double shift during your photo op? #nswfires”

  • 149
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    William,

    Yeah, Kenny went a bit existential (justifying himself as some sort of political savant) towards the end.

  • 150
    Catalyst
    Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    GG and Gecko-
    I dont want them to agree with me – I want plain facts – I’ll supply my own opinion/ commentary.
    News shoudl be A said this B said that- let’s the viewer decide who it is they believe.But one persons ‘backflips’ and another ‘breaks a promise’ and another ‘changes their positon’ then its NOT a level playing field.
    Gecko thanks for the link to the ABC survey which I hadn’t seen – I see that their results are going down- maybe too much reliance on Murdoch media? And it is a smallish survey – would have loved the ability to comment Meanwhile no one has answered how to put a submission to a senate enquiry.

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