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.

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  • 101
    davidwh
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Confessions I am pretty well around good poll or bad poll for the Libs. There have been very bad polls in the past two years though Morgan FTF excepted.

    Regarding Swan and why he may be in danger of losing his seat. Basically two reasons. First he is associated with JG and all the associated angst coming from QLD’ers. Second he was very savage of Rudd last February and there is likely residual fallout here in QLD over what Gillard/Swan did to our PM.

  • 102
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    confessions

    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.

    Get over yourself! William runs this blog not you!

  • 103
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Hey finny

    Courtesy of. kezza

    Would you tell Finns he missed out the Lindsay Foyle incident from his list:

    When Lindsay Foyle once disagreed with Tony Abbott over abortion, he almost got his face rearranged

    http://newmatilda.com/2012/09/13/abbott039s-punchline-returns

    Ta in advance!

  • 104
    kevjohnno
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    United Voice appears to be targeting Swan as part of their Big Steps campaign. The have had A frame posters & members with placards near his Nundah electorate office for the last couple of weeks. The posters etc specifically call on Swan to provide more funding for child care workers.
    Now this seem a reasonable campaign to me and of course unions need to make use of all pressure points to further the causes of their members but I wonder how their members will feel if Swan loses and Abbot gets to bring Work Choices back.
    Having worked in Lilley for many years, one positive thing I will say for Swan is that he has not become an absent member. He stills keeps a very active presence and involvement in local issues.

  • 105
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Confessions I am pretty well around good poll or bad poll for the Libs. There have been very bad polls in the past two years though Morgan FTF excepted.

    True – and for that you and your views are generally respected.

    It’s the anti-Labor blow ins that are tiresome — if they only turn up when the polls suit, then it can only be trolling to be frank.

    Why else come to a Labor-dominated blog only when Labor is going “badly” if not to stir and indulge in Schadenfreude?

  • 106
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Tweet from Bernard Keane

    Unemployment was 5.5% in Qld when Campbell Newman was elected. Now 6.2%. Participation down nearly 1%. Net 18,000 jobs lost.

  • 107
    J M
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Darren Laver – does Moss Cass ring a bell?

  • 108
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Darren Laver – does Moss Cass ring a bell?

    Dr Moss Cass to you!

  • 109
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    MTBW:

    Fine, you can’t defend your ‘opinions’ other than to do LOOK OVER THERE! foot stomping. I’ll leave it to you to explain why you’d bother offering your ‘opinions’ in the first place if you can’t be bothered defending them.

    In other news, a cool change has eased bushfire conditions in Vic and NSW, which must be a welcome relief for communities in affected areas.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-19/cooler-change-helps-firefighters-contain-nsw-vic-bushfires/4472556

  • 110
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Finny

    As you were. Kezza double checked. You had included it in your list after all

  • 111
    blackburnpseph
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Up at the top of the thread someone wrote that they assumed Slipper would not run again. Under the parliamentary super scheme is Slipper better off retiring or running and being defeated – the latter being almost inevitable.

  • 112
    cud chewer
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    hi blackburnseph!

  • 113
    clements steve
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Wathcing “Prisoners of War” (Israeli drama) on SBS1. Gut wreching stuff.

  • 114
    J M
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    He is the one that stood, not you.

  • 115
    J M
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Wait, there are people that are surprised that Swan is going to lose his seat? I am surprised that he’s on 38%, even though it has generally been a comfortable, though not very safe, Labor seat.

  • 116
    imacca
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Ah JM, our little candle in the dark. :)

  • 117
    Rossmore
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    As I said last night, JM is a caricature or possibly beyond caricature.

  • 118
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    bbp:

    Slipper has been in parliament for decades. Does his super really matter on whether he retires or contests and loses?

  • 119
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Believe in climate change or not, there is no denying that the most vociferous and fanatical arguments come from those kitchen table scientists who do not believe we are on the eve of a catastrophic event. Their media bosses let them loose on anybody who even merely says “it’s hotter today than last week”.

    Somebody must have said such a thing recently; enough to inspire Andrew Bolt to dedicate five of his last eight blog articles to attacking proponents of climate change.

    http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/

  • 120
    J M
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Rossmore – I am not seeing why. I think you lot can’t cope with someone who strays from the usual rusted-on lefty, which it seems 99% of you are.

  • 121
    The Finnigans
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    The BISONs dont lie

    1977 – Barbara Ramjan – he came up to within an inch of my nose and punched the wall on either side of my head. It was done to intimidate

    1977 – Abbott’s goon squad threw me against a wall – Punch witness tells of anarchy in the SRC

    1977 – When Lindsay Foyle once disagreed with Tony Abbott over abortion, he almost got his face rearranged

    1977 – Charge of sexual assault, alleged to have groped activist Helen Elizabeth Wilson

    1978 – Why did student activist now minister Tony Abbott punch Peter Woof?

    1980s – Tony Abbott knocked Joe Hockey out cold with one punch and left him with 2 blackeyes

    2000 – Abbott physically intimidated legless Vietnam veteran Graham Edwards

    2005 – John Brogden – “If we did that we would be as dead as the former Liberal leader’s political prospects.”

    2007 – Bernie Banton – I know Bernie is very sick, but just because a person is sick doesn’t mean that he is necessarily pure of heart in all things.

    2007 – To Nicola Roxon: ‘That’s bullshit. You’re being deliberately unpleasant. I suppose you can’t help yourself, can you?’

    2011 – Susan Mitchell – Abbott’s character: dangerous, is a bully

    This should send Showy wild

  • 122
    J M
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    confessions – I don’t know all off the fine details, but I do know that if the AFP win the case against him in court, he loses heaps, if not all of his entitlements.

  • 123
    sprocket_
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    One of the advantages our Victorian friends have, is that shock jock radio has never really taken off. You therefore miss out on the likes of Ray Hadley.

    Hadley’s CV includes stints as an auctioneer, a race caller and a taxi driver. He now can tell Premier Barry O’Farrell to jump, and Bazza replies “How high?”. Hadley’s mod us operandi is to defame and libel people, bully style, with virtual impunity. Sort of a verbalised version of The Australian – though Hadley’s normal stunt is to read out the Daily Telegraph stories, and invite his pre-screened callers to vent.

    Favourite targets of Hadley’s bully boy behaviour are the PM, Rob Oakeshott and Tim Flannery.

    So why does this matter? Hadley (allegedly) assaulted a 17 year old at a party at the Hadley mansion. A off duty cop, Ray Hadley’s son, allegedly contributed to the assault. A number of witness statements were provided to the local NSW police.

    Despite the assault allegations, the police have dropped any charges against Hadley and his son. At least according to Hadley. Hadley must truly have the gift of the gab to convince police to believe him over sworn witness statements, perhaps the claims should be tested before a court?

    A number of people, including media, intend pursuing this mater further. So stay tuned.

    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/ray-hadley-says-hes-been-cleared-of-assaulting-teen–and-now-he-wants-an-apology-20130118-2cyhz.html

  • 124
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    sprocket

    The closest thing we have to shock jcck radio is Neil Mitchell and Derryn Hinch on 3aw. Compared to the likes of Hadley and Alan Jones, they are tame.

  • 125
    Kevin Bonham
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    victoria@67


    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

    By-elections are very difficult to poll for, especially when there is a new independent candidate who is not well established as such, and when your poll is conducted a month before polling day. Any pollster would have struggled in such circumstances. On the other hand, ReachTEL’s poll for the Melbourne state by-election was excellent (only a few % out on a sample of c. 400).

  • 126
    BK
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    clements steve
    I have recorded the Israeli program and an waiting with keen anticipation to watch it.

  • 127
    clements steve
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    God, I used to listen to Mitchell religiously. Times change. I called him an ‘ambulace chaser’ recently (he has a research team find the most ‘deserving’ sob story on a regular basis). Funny, he blocked me on Twitter :-)

  • 128
    Bugler
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Davidwh,

    While I generally respect your opinions, I’m not entirely sure how you came to the conclusion that there will be a swing against the ALP because of the relationship between Rudd and Gillard. Surely that would have been dealt with in 2010? Why would they ignore all the larger issues in favour of this one aspect? Its something you hear claimed a lot, but this poor Mexican can’t decipher the point of it considering the potential repurcussions.

    Are all elections therefore decided based on personality and internal grievances?

  • 129
    Kevin Bonham
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Actually a possible problem with this ReachTEL is in the wording of the first question. It gives choices simply by party not by candidate, which would water down the effect of Swan’s personal vote.

    I am currently writing a piece about this poll for my site, mainly because the obvious title was too tempting. :)

  • 130
    clements steve
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    BK, I would be very interested as to your thoughts. Atrocities on both sides noted, the human tragedy is almost overwhelming in its intensity.

  • 131
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    My son participated in this event today, he got home this afternoon, had a shower and went to bed. He is still sleeping!

    MORE than 16,000 tenacious competitors are expected to brave the treacherous 20km Tough Mudder course at Phillip Island's Grand Prix circuit over the weekend.

    The enduring participants withstood military-style obstacles, crawled through hundreds of metres of mud wrapped in barbed wire, evaded flaming straw bales and towering 3.5m barriers.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/thousands-brave-tough-mudder-course-at-phillip-island/story-fndo3ewo-1226557255784

  • 132
    Rossmore
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    JM perhaps it’s just me, but I am immune to your charm.

  • 133
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m not entirely sure how you came to the conclusion that there will be a swing against the ALP because of the relationship between Rudd and Gillard.

    Yes, I am not sure what he means by this.

    What, would the vote get worse than 2010? That result already factored in the so-called “knifing”.

  • 134
    blackburnpseph
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Slipper has been in parliament for decades. Does his super really matter on whether he retires or contests and loses?

    Confessions, I am sure it does to him. Methinks he is not the type of fellow to pass up a few grand if he had the choice not to. Even if it is just going through the motions of getting his name on the ballot paper if that is required.

  • 135
    Mod Lib
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Kevin Bonham
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm | PERMALINK
    State KAP preferences probably slightly favour LNP over ALP but it’s hard to tell because some go to GRN. So maybe 52-48.

    So a 5%+ swing away from the ALP?

    The swing in Qld as a whole is only 1.4% according to the Dec Bludgertrack (and might be less now with the first Newspoll).

  • 136
    Mod Lib
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I am currently writing a piece about this poll for my site, mainly because the obvious title was too tempting.

    Swan dive?

  • 137
    Darren Laver
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    So a 5%+ swing away from the ALP?

    The swing in Qld as a whole is only 1.4% according to the Dec Bludgertrack (and might be less now with the first Newspoll).

    Yes, it is out of step with national polling, as a result, should be taken with a grain of cyanide rather than being blindly swallowed up in a Liberal wet dream.

  • 138
    cud chewer
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    blackburnpseph.. are you around atm?

  • 139
    Mod Lib
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see whether the Qld polling goes up or down over the course of this year.

    Will the Qld electorate get angrier with CanDo and take it out on Abbott or will the anger subside?

    Even if the anger does not subside, will the electorate de-couple it from their Federal voting intention? At present at least some part of the reduced LNP vote must be a protest vote against the LNP to send a message to Cando…..will this translate into actual Federal votes for Gillard/Swan?

    Questions, questions….

  • 140
    davidwh
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Bugler I was suggesting a swing against Swan because he is perceived to be close to Gillard. I agree much of the swing against Labor because of the dumping likely showed up in 2010. However I think there is still angst in QLD over the Rudd dumping and Swam’s very public criticism of Rudd last February.

    I think the anti-Swan feeling may be similar to the anti-Fraser feeling prior to the QLD election.

    Having said all that you do need to be cautious of polls with a small sample size like this one. 5% is a fair MOE when the numbers are as close as this poll indicates.

    It’s early days in 2013 and there is much which will happen between now and the election.

  • 141
    Kevin Bonham
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Mod Lib@136



    I am currently writing a piece about this poll for my site, mainly because the obvious title was too tempting.


    Swan dive?

    Naaah, much better!

  • 142
    AJ Canberra
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    So Slipper’s motivation to recontest would be purely financial, in the form of election funding and better super? Does seem to be in character for him, actually.

  • 143
    blackburnpseph
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Cud Chewer

    I am here

  • 144
    blackburnpseph
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Mod Lib @ 139

    It is possible that any protest vote against Newman does not go to the ALP but – especially in the regions – may go to Katter instead. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess.

  • 145
    Mod Lib
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Tory Warrior General Mod Lib: Reporting for duty

    Tory Warrior Major blackburnpseph: Reporting for duty

    Tory Warrior Major davidwh: Reporting for duty

  • 146
    sprocket_
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    KB

    A few observations on ReachTel. I understand that the call starts with Which party will you vote for….

    And you are prompted for choices,

    Press#1 for LNP
    Press#2 for ALP

    All subsequent binary choices had LNP answer as Press#1, and ALP as Press#2.

    Could this be encouraging a donkey vote? Probably too subtle for a push poll.

    But I could be wrong and the choices may be randomly rotated to avoid any such bias.

    The other mitigation of a true sample is the refusal rate, which has been analysed Recently in the US, wher in some cases, only 9% of potential responders conclude the survey.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/09/30/we-are-the-91-only-9-of-americans-cooperate-with-pollsters/

    Are we experiencing the same here?

  • 147
    Mod Lib
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Naaah, much better!

    You are not going down the ugly duckling route are you?

    :devil:

  • 148
    Kinkajou
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    the horror of windows 8

  • 149
    davidwh
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Present General Sah.

  • 150
    blackburnpseph
    Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Mod Lib

    I feel as though I have been press ganged

    Especially as I have been in a ‘pox on both their houses’ frame of mind for quite a while now.

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