tip off

Seat of the week: Fisher

Despite an avalanche of controversy, polling indicates Mal Brough will have little trouble winning the Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher from its equally contentious incumbent, Peter Slipper.

Fisher covers the southern part of the Sunshine Coast, from Caloundra north to Mooloolaba on the coast and inland to Maleny and the Glass House Mountains. It originally extended inland to Gympie and Kingaroy when it was created in 1949, but assumed a progressively more coastal orientation as a result of the area’s rapid development. The seat was a fiefdom of the Adermann family for the first 35 years of its existence, being held for the Country Party first by Sir Charles until 1972 and thereafter by his son Evan. Evan Adermann moved to the new seat of Fairfax in 1984, and Fisher was retained for the Nationals by Peter Slipper.

The seat was one of a number of gains for Labor in Queensland amid the debacle of the 1987 Joh-for-PM push, which had found an ardent proponent in Slipper. For the next two terms it was held for Labor by Michael Lavarch, in which time the eclipse of the Nationals progressed. A redistribution in 1993 made the seat notionally Liberal, prompting Lavarch to move to the new seat of Dickson. Slipper then made an improbable return to the seat as a Liberal, and enjoyed double-digit margins between a 14.0% swing in 1996 and the statewide crunch in 2007, when there was a 7.9% swing to Labor.

Slipper managed to win promotion to parliamentary secretary for finance and administration after the 1998 election, despite lingering memories John Howard may have had of 1987, but he was pushed aside to make way for Peter Dutton after the 2004 election. He became increasingly marginalised thereafter, copping an avalanche of bad press in the local Sunshine Coast Daily newspaper and receiving the smallest swing of any Queensland LNP candidate at the 2010 election, when his margin went from 53.5% to 54.1%. It was reported during the campaign that Howard government minister Mal Brough, who had lost his seat of Longman in 2007, had sought to have Slipper disendorsed in his favour, but that Slipper’s position was secured by the terms of the Liberal National Party merger which guaranteed endorsement to all sitting members.

With a clear expectation that he would not again win preselection, Labor identified Slipper as a weak link in the Coalition after losing its majority at the 2010 election, and bolstered its position slighty by successfully nominating him for the deputy speakership at the expense of Coalition nominee Bruce Scott. Shortly afterwards, Brough confirmed that he would contest preselection in the seat. In November 2011 the government went one better in persuading Slipper to take on the Speaker’s position at the expense of incumbent Harry Jenkins, resulting in his expulsion from the LNP and a fierce campaign against him from elements of the media, most notably Sydney’s News Limited tabloid the Daily Telegraph.

In April 2012, a staffer to Slipper, James Ashby, launched legal action claiming he had been sexually harassed by Slipper, and presented evidence purportedly showing Slipper had misused Cabcharge vouchers. The matter soon embroiled Mal Brough, who initially dismissed suggestions he knew of Ashby’s actions in advance before conceding he had met him on multiple occasions and sought legal advice on his behalf. In December 2012, a Federal Court judge dismissed Ashby’s sexual harassment charge on the grounds that it was an abuse of process in which Brough had been directly involved.

None of this prevented Brough from winning a strongly contested LNP preselection in July, after spearheading a vigorous local recruitment drive which reportedly doubled the local party membership. The preselection contest played out against a backdrop of conflict going back to Brough’s tenure as president of the Queensland Liberal Party before the Liberal National Party merger was effected, which saw Brough stand down from the position over dissatisfaction with the terms of the merger.

A surprise late entrant in the preselection race was James McGrath, who had been the director of the LNP’s hugely successful 2012 state election campaign and was thought to be set to secure preselection for the neighbouring seat of Fairfax. McGrath’s backers included Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey and Julie Bishop. Brough was nonetheless able to win the support of more than half the 350 preselectors in the first round, and McGrath has since been accommodated with Senate preselection. Also in the field were Peta Simpson, director of a local recruitment agency, who had backing from Brough foe Barnaby Joyce; Richard Bruinsma, a former adviser to Slipper; and Andrew Wallace, a barrister.

Labor’s call for Brough to be disendorsed after the Federal Court ruling on the Ashby matter met short shrift from Tony Abbott, who contented that Brough had been “quite transparent and upfront about his involvement”. The following month, Slipper received a Federal Police summons concerning the allegations he had misused Cabcharge vouchers.

In the immediate aftermath of the Ashby ruling, a ReachTel automated phone poll of 661 respondents suggested Brough was unlikely to suffer electoral damage, putting him at 48.4% on the primary vote against a derisory for 2.7% for Peter Slipper (who remained publicly committed to seeking re-election as an independent), 21.2% for Labor, 11.7% for the Greens and 7.4% for Katter’s Australian Party. Brough was viewed favourably by 41.8% of respondents against 34.0% unfavourably, while the respective figures for Slipper were 6.9% and 75.5%. Brough’s involvement in the Ashby matter made 37.3% of respondents less likely to vote for him, against 39.8% for no difference and 22.6% going so far as to say it had made them more likely to vote for him.

852
  • 51
    clements steve
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    ‘Fess. would the answer be those with most to gain?

  • 52
    Phil Vee
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    The usual dynamic between radio and newspapers is a one way agenda setting process, where the radio people take what they are given and run with it. The PM’s interview with 2UE /Syd Mng Herald (Leroy@ 18) shows how the stuff from talkback can now feed back quickly to the newspaper. (See below for example)

    In this particular case it did not rate a mention on smh.com.au because print journos are above normal people and don’t need to acknowledge them, as we know. As time goes on Management pressure will force journos to react to talkback issues and write about them. This is a business imperative driven by the structure of the company.

    On its own this is neither good nor bad, but who knows how it will play out especially in the heightened tension of an election campaign. Maybe the widespread exposure of talkback memes will cause them to shrivel in the sun. Or the little buggers will multiply.

    Example
    (Paul Murray asked a question about how the carbon tax impact on refrigerant gas is huge and how retailers are frightened of blaming the new tax for their higher prices. You may be wondering where this came from.

    Both 2GB and 2UE have had callers this week ringing in to complain about the increased pricing of refrigerant gas. They all discovered this at the same time across both stations and had lots of figures to prove their case, and they all blamed the carbon tax. They also complained that they are not allowed by law to blame the carbon tax so they are really suffering. I just wrote it off as a normal astroturfing exercise when I heard it earlier in the week, a bit of Gish Galloping. Then I saw Murray asking the PM about it. )

  • 53
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    steve clements:

    Absolutely.

    I’m not in Brisbane so have no idea, but I also wonder how much demographic change in Lilley is eating away at Labor’s margin there, much like Bennelong throughout Howard’s time in the seat. There was a time when Labor lost Lilley, but Swan won it back at the next election.

    Of course Howard lost his seat, so clearly he wasn’t well liked by the voters either. :D

  • 54
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    clements steve

    I am expressing an opinion it is just as I see it.

    I have kicked around in the political sphere for a very long time and have been a candidate as well in a Local Government election. Something I must say that I didn’t really want to do but agreed to do to strengthen the ticket.

    I certainly don’t get my opinions from the Press,

  • 55
    Doyley
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    MTBW,

    Every one is entitled to their own opinion and so be it.

    I find you and a small number of other so called labor voters a real pain in the arse.

    I would really hate to get you and a couple of other so called labor people in the same room as you would suck all the goodness and positivity out of it.

    You never fail to come out with negative comments re the party, in fact I have in my memory never read a positive post from you about the party.

    You and the rest of the gloom and doom merchants are the past, not the future.

    Get with the programme or get out of the way.

    Just my opinion.

  • 56
    Steve777
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    The Government can win from here but it will be a huge challenge. My estimate of the probability of an ALP victory in the next Federal election has gone from zero in mid 2012 to maybe 10% now. Howard has won from worse positions in polling but he didn’t have 70% of the media and large parts of the business community actively working to oust him. Any ‘X’ factor that pops up (e.g. the Tampa in 2001) will be blown up by the media if it hurts Labor and minimised if it helps. It won’t be easy.

  • 57
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Doyley

    I find you and a small number of other so called labor voters a real pain in the arse.

    And I am so fond of you!

  • 58
    clements steve
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    MTBW, I don’t disagree with your statements, generally. I DO think that the perception is that Swan is unpopular, but this view is powerfully spread by a very vocal minority, as the polls would suggest.

  • 59
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    I am expressing an opinion it is just as I see it.

    And others are merely showing you that your opinions are based on flawed assumptions, and are therefore misinformed.

    Being well liked by the electorate means nothing when you occupy a safe major party seat, as zoomster was trying to explain to you by referencing the odious Member for Indi.

  • 60
    clements steve
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Fess, Swan may lose his eaat at the next election. My gut feeling. like yours, is that his fate is linked to that of Labor’s , and this is borne out by election results. *** He won in 1998, 2001, 2004 when Labor lost ***

    On the face of it, you would have to say he has been extraordinarily successful, and popular in his electorate.

  • 61
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    confessions

    And others are merely showing you that your opinions are based on flawed assumptions, and are therefore misinformed.

    No they aren’t they are expressing their own opinions which is the way it should be.

  • 62
    Doyley
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    MTBW @57,

    As I said i have no problem with people expressing opinions.

    That is what this blog id all about.

    I have no interest in a argument or a loop the loop name calling exercise, I was just expressing a opinion. Just as you are entitled.

    However before I move on I must say you have really scared me off with the intellectual and biting comeback of your post.

    You really are the future of the labor party, not.

    That is all from me on the subject.

    Cheers.

  • 63
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Doyley

    Cheers to you as well!

  • 64
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Doyley

    Well I am fond of you. :D

  • 65
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    He won in 1998, 2001, 2004 when Labor lost ***

    On the face of it, you would have to say he has been extraordinarily successful, and popular in his electorate.

    Yep. And here again is the logical fallacy in MTBW’s ‘opinions’.

    As I implied earlier, in MTBW’s logic, Howard having lost his seat naturally means he was not well-liked by voters. It’s just a stupid, empty and inherently flawed assumption for MTBW to make.

  • 66
    Doyley
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    victoria,

    And me of you and other true labor people !

    (smiley face )

  • 67
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Chris Murphy reckons reachtel is dodgy

    Swan lose seat? Here’s Reachtel City of Sydney poll. Compare result. Shocker. 17% out #auspol reachtel.com.au/blogs/sydney-b… en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_st…
    http://www.reachtel.com.au/blogs/sydney-by-election-neck-and-neck

  • 68
    BK
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    This is a company that was previously an investor in. At both AGMs I attended I had cause to complain about their management style. I sold out at $1.68 at about break even.
    They have traded between 6 and 12 cents over the past year. Believe me, they were rooted well before the “carbon tax”. The pathetic attempt at deflection by the CEO, Guy something or other, was symbolic of his performance.
    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/penrice-to-stop-sa-soda-ash-production/story-e6frfku9-1226556655180

  • 69
    clements steve
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    BK, the story you tell is similar to many re Labor – unpopular, incompetent, yada yada yada. Finn’s bisons, and Kouk’s figures. Grog’s, too, suggest otherwise.

    Your story, though, highlights the particular nature of one indivisual in particular. We are seeing a very similar story played out about Lance Armstong.

  • 70
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    victoria:

    Thanks for that tweet. Always nice to have context. :)

  • 71
    Leroy
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    victoria – Chris is over reaching, Reachtel is reasonable, still has a MOE like anyone else. Closest thing to compare it to would be a small sample Morgan phone (not f2f) poll.

    Chris is usefull for tips on nefarious Sydney going ons, but what he “reckons” on polling is no more worth than anyone here.

    That said, I don’t take too much from this poll, other than its trouble making at work, a wasted effort but certain people.

  • 72
    Leroy
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    …a wasted effort by certain people.

  • 73
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    ReachTEL was of course mischief making.

    Swan will only be in danger if the ALP lose the next election, which of course has always been a possibility (and according to our Old Media experts, a certainty not just a few months ago).

    So what?

    It was like looking “underneath” the 60-40 polls and having fun with which seats or states were dire… Of course a disastrous headline figure means a lot things at a state level or seat-by-seat level must also be by definition disastrous.

    Outside the deranged talk-back set and the hysterical press gallery, did anyone think Abbott would get such a margin in an actual election?

    Of course not.

    The headline polls have returned to normalcy, so yes, I guess it’s fair enough to start having fun with seat-by-seat polls – but let them do a survey with a decent sample and without robots — who have an even worse response rate (if it were possible!) than standard pollsters.

  • 74
    ajm
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Swan is a very successful and experienced politician. Naturally his opponents want to spread bad thoughts about him. I don’t see why anyone here except the declared Libs would want to contribute to these bad thoughts.

    I don’t know enough about inter-union politics, but I suspect the AWU, with which Swan is associated, is in competition for members in some areas with United Voice.

  • 75
    leone
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    The refrigerant gas/carbon tax outrage thingy is confected, just the latest stage in government bashing.

    Around July last year someone smart said that there were cheaper alternatives to whichever gases are more costly after a carbon price. Greg Combet said that there was no carbon price on one particular gas, despite a price rise ,
    http://econews.com.au/news-to-sustain-our-world/govt-refrigerant-gas-price-not-carbon-tax-related/

    There were a lot of scary comments from refrigerant gas suppliers for a while, all saying the world would end, but it all died down. No more more was heard until this week. Suddenly it’s topic of the week among the shock jocks, strangely enough during their first week back at work. A whole bunch of caller-inners have been rounded up to ring in and whinge. Naturally the ignorant and ill-informed will fall for the spin.

    Here are some links from last year giving info you won’t hear from Jones, Murray, Blot and their ilk.

    A company gets done for bunging up their prices and blaming it on the carbon tax, even though their product was not affected.
    http://www.afr.com/p/national/accc_finds_refrigeration_company_5jPf6ldJX50WF9Py2v6LmM

    Greg Combet provides some technical information and a lot of facts.
    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/minister/greg-combet/2012/transcripts/July/TR-187-12.aspx

  • 76
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see why anyone here except the declared Libs would want to contribute to these bad thoughts.

    They always turn up on bad polling for Labor, yet are silent when it comes to positive polling for the govt.

    It’s inexplicable to me.

  • 77
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    They always turn up on bad polling for Labor, yet are silent when it comes to positive polling for the govt.

    It’s inexplicable to me

    Yep, it’s like clockwork that Two Bob Watch or that mysterious “voter from Parkes” come out of the woodwork if there is a sniff of a bad poll for Gillard Labor.

  • 78
    Phil Vee
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Leone @75
    I should also add the PM knocked it on the head in a few sentences by saying it was all worked out in the compensation package, regassing is done infrequently, and businesses can say whatever they can prove. Short sharp and to the point. Well done PM.

  • 79
    shellbell
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Chris is usefull for tips on nefarious Sydney going ons, but what he “reckons” on polling is no more worth than anyone here.

    Was many moons ago. If nothing blogs and tweets have breathed some life into bygoners like Murphy, Bob Ellis even Evan Whitton who still thinks he is in the Old Banco court with an unique insight into the mind of Lionel Murphy while on trial.

    The reality is that these gentlemen say any old shit with impunity. Good on them too. It is a free country.

  • 80
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Darren:

    It’s even more inexplicable to me when it comes from those who claim to be Labor voters!

    That I cannot explain.

  • 81
    J M
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Despite all of the Labor huffing and puffing (remember Fitzgibbon and Husic saying that he wouldn’t be the candidate after Christmas) Brough will steamroll through that seat, and there isn’t a damn thing that Labor can do about it. That’s a very safe LNP seat, and a poll had Brough on 49% of the primary vote.

  • 82
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Darren:

    It’s even more inexplicable to me when it comes from those who claim to be Labor voters!

    That I cannot explain.

    Two words:

    C*ncern tr*ll

  • 83
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Despite all of the Labor huffing and puffing (remember Fitzgibbon and Husic saying that he wouldn’t be the candidate after Christmas) Brough will steamroll through that seat, and there isn’t a damn thing that Labor can do about it. That’s a very safe LNP seat, and a poll had Brough on 49% of the primary vote.

    The drover’s dog could win Fisher for the LNP?

    You are ever so kind to Mr Brough.

  • 84
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    confessions and Darren Laver

    I don’t see why anyone here except the declared Libs would want to contribute to these bad thoughts.

    Declared Libs don’t get employed by three ALP Politicians.

    They don’t do the job of Branch Secretary for the better part of twenty years.

    They do not get the job of Secretary then President of the Federal Electorate Council over a period of fifteen years.

    They do not run campaigns for a number of pollies in different electorates in NSW and nor do they run against the delightful Eric Roozendaal for the postition of State Organiser at the NSW State Conference and achieve 42.8% of that vote where the Delegates from the Right wing of the Party had to show and tell in pairs to beat the candidate who was running for the Left.

    And what have you done?

  • 85
    The Finnigans
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    George, like this? RT @GeorgeBludger Abbott is a repugnant gutter politician of the worst kind – http://t.co/Rl5jZPuf

  • 86
    J M
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Darren – it’s true. Like anyone would win for Labor in Lalor and Scullin. Way too safe.

    Face it, Labor looked pathetic in trying to bully Brough out of that seat.

  • 87
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    confessions and Darren Laver

    I don’t see why anyone here except the declared Libs would want to contribute to these bad thoughts.

    Declared Libs don’t get employed by three ALP Politicians.

    They don’t do the job of Branch Secretary for the better part of twenty years.

    They do not get the job of Secretary then President of the Federal Electorate Council over a period of fifteen years.

    They do not run campaigns for a number of pollies in different electorates in NSW and nor do they run against the delightful Eric Roozendaal for the postition of State Organiser at the NSW State Conference and achieve 42.8% of that vote where the Delegates from the Right wing of the Party had to show and tell in pairs to beat the candidate who was running for the Left.

    And what have you done?

    Well I ran against Menzies once in Kooyong!

  • 88
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    And what have you done?

    Shown how flawed and misinformed your ‘opinions’ are, to which all you can do is cite your out of date resume at me.

  • 89
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Darren

    Good on you for having a go!

  • 90
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Adam Carr Election Archive:

    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
    LEGISLATIVE ELECTION OF 9 DECEMBER 1961
    ====================================================================
    KOOYONG, Vic 49,283 enrolled, 46,972 (95.3%) voted
    ====================================================================
    Suburban Melbourne: Balwyn, Canterbury, Deepdene, Kew
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    1958 two-party majority: Liberal over ALP 24.7 e
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thomas Brennan DLP 6,968 15.2 (+01.8)
    Darren Laver ALP 11,938 26.0 (+03.8)
    Goldsmith Collins 237 00.5
    Rt Hon Robert MENZIES * Lib 26,328 57.3 (-06.1)
    William Tregear CPA 458 01.0 (-00.1)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    1,043 (02.2%) informal 45,929 20.4 e 04.3 to ALP
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Look at the small swing I got for the ALP, MTBW!

  • 91
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    confessions

    Would you like to cite yours?

  • 92
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    ShowsOn:

    [Like anyone would win for Labor in Lalor }

    The sitting member for Lalor is the Prime Minister.

    Maybe you really are 81 and living in the back of beyond. :lol:

  • 93
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Darren

    At least you had a go that is all that matters.

  • 94
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    MTBW:

    I’d be much happier if instead of doing LOOK OVER THERE! you could at least acknowledge that you are wrong.

  • 95
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    confessions

    I do not take my instructions from you!

  • 96
    Martin B
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see the need for medicare

    I don’t pretend to be in the political centre myself, but I can say for sure that anyone who opposes Medicare is entirely unrepresentative of the Australian electorate.

  • 97
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    ShowsOn:

    [Like anyone would win for Labor in Lalor }

    Fess,

    Is ShowsOn now J M?

    I’d assumed J M was that old Tory “John of Melbourne”…

  • 98
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Instructions?! I’m just looking for honesty in your stated ‘opinions’.

    FMD are you 5 years old or something? Your views have been comprehensively shown to be based on flawed assumptions and you’re still sat here with fingers in your ears refusing to face reality going ‘nah-nah-na-nah-nah’ like some child.

    Seriously MTBW grow up.

  • 99
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Darren:

    I’m convinced of it.

  • 100
    clements steve
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Traditionally – I think – Lalor has been a seat occupied by Labor’s Left faction. JG is my local member, and I have a sgined letter of thanks from her.

    Previous members have included Jim Cairns (DPM) and Barry Jones. Quite approrpriate for JG to get the nod.

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