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51 responses to “Preferencing, tactical voting, and Indi”

  1. Graham

    “The voters of Indi reflexively vote conservative” – well, yes, but on the other hand, a lot of them are fed up with watching Mirabella make herself (and by extension the voters in the electorate) look like a fool.

    Furthermore, even after a decade in the seat she’s still seen as a plant by the Liberal machine who rarely ventures beyond the larger towns. An interesting contrast with McGowan, who actually is a local, is very community minded and engaged with rural/regional issues, and yet is also capable of playing the game in Canberra.

    The “independents are terrible, look at so-and-so” card will be brought into play but there’s probably also the realisation that an independent will be more likely to bring attention to NE Victoria, since the Coalition has taken it for granted and the ALP has little interest in contesting it.

  2. wilful

    My folks come from that electorate (thoughno longer resident) so I have some views on how the community view her. She is not only awful on the national stage, but also on the local stage. Ken Jasper, recently retired State National member for part of her seat and country gent said that she was a horribly rude person with no redeeming features. She has a bit of a reverse incumbency effect, the more people know her the worse it is for her.

  3. Fran Barlow

    injvolve herself in

    The reasoning is sound, but were I in Indi I’d still not give an effective preference to the ALP or Libs … making my vote informal. That’s something that should change. I’d like a chance to vote for my party at Federal level some day.

  4. Lachlan Rhodes

    McGowan’s main problem is that she’s a rural candidate representing a party set up by disgruntled Nationals, while Indi is really a regional electorate.

    At the last election, over 20% of the votes were cast in Wodonga which is a large, young, and growing city.

    Jennifer Podesta is the Wodonga-based independent candidate, and a local business owner. Worth watching how she polls in the north of the electorate.

  5. Heather

    Will be watching with interest. I’m Labor, but I’d like to see a decent Independent get up.

  6. Tim Macknay

    Given the level of the Liberal primary vote in Indi, it seems very unlikely, but it would be a wonderful thing to behold if it occurred. I doubt anyone in Parliament (of any political persuasion), with the possible exception of Cory Bernardi, would miss her.

  7. Paul Norton

    In terms of tactical voting, the aim would presumably be to ensure that McGowan is ahead of the Green and ALP candidates at the relevant eliminations, and is therefore able to benefit from their preference allocations. This would presumably entail some voters who would otherwise vote Greens or Labor giving their primary vote to McGowan.

  8. Doug

    Tim Macknay – agree that election of an independent is unlikely but this is precisely the sort of electorate that is vulnerable to such a candidate.

    PS just got polled by Galaxy – in addition to voting preference questions on managing the economy , cost of living and attitudes to criticisms of Tony and Kevin.

  9. conrad

    ” I doubt anyone in Parliament (of any political persuasion), with the possible exception of Cory Bernardi, would miss her.”

    Kevin Andrews probably would.

  10. conrad

    oops, I just saw that Andrews left years ago.

  11. Tim Macknay

    Tim Macknay – agree that election of an independent is unlikely but this is precisely the sort of electorate that is vulnerable to such a candidate.

    True.

  12. GregM

    Tim Macknay – agree that election of an independent is unlikely but this is precisely the sort of electorate that is vulnerable to such a candidate.

    If you want to see what can happen look at what happened in the seat of Murray next doorin 1996. It was rusted on National Party until with the retirement of Bruce Lloyd the Liberals put a very well locally-credentialled candidate, Sharman Stone, who took the seat and still holds it.

    Cathy McGowan’s profile is not dissimilar and, in an electorate where these things matter, she can claim five generations of roots in the electorate. Compared to her Sophie Mirabella is a blow-in and, to a lot of them, carpetbagger. Sophie’s abrasive style would not not go down well with many of them and they’d be very happy to vote for any half-decent conservative candidate just to be rid of her. I think that many of them will think they have more than that in Cathy McGowan.

    This is definitely a seat to watch.

  13. GregM

    Jennifer Podesta is the Wodonga-based independent candidate, and a local business owner. Worth watching how she polls in the north of the electorate.

    Since Jennifer Podesta has no hope of running either first or second (or, likely, even third or fourth) in the election can yo tell us, Lachlan, how she plans to direct her preferences?

  14. philip travers

    I have had a lot of connections with that seat in the past.And my old mate from England one, David Irving,if it is the same Lieberman or whatevers, might be going along with you too.But the new sticky name,doesn’t make it hopeful.I feel more let down as the days tick over.A new emptiness.As for Leftiness endorsing befriending Doctors,they must be off their rocker.

  15. Paul Norton

    From Wikipedia:

    Mirabella was born Sophie Panopoulos in Melbourne, Victoria, her parents having arrived in Australia from Greece in 1956. She was educated at St Catherine’s School, Toorak while working part-time at her father’s milk bar. Upon finishing secondary school, Mirabella attended Melbourne University where she studied law and became involved in student activism through the Melbourne University Liberal Club, of which she was President, and as vice-president of the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation. After graduating from Melbourne University with degrees in law and commerce, Mirabella worked as a solicitor and articled clerk from 1995 to 1997. From 1998 until her election to Parliament, she worked as a barrister.

    There are other matters mentioned in the article that it would be both unnecessary and unedifying to elaborate on.

  16. Lachlan Rhodes

    Robert, the combined populations of Wodonga and the city area of Wangaratta and Benalla is almost 60,000. Plus Wodonga is growing fast, and projected to outgrow Albury in ten years.

    Yeah, there were only a handful of small booths where SM polls below a 45% primary (she won a plurality at the majority). But there has never been a decent campaign run against her. The ALP don’t put money into it and choose terrible candidates, and they would never be preferred. But an independent candidate with a decent campaign and some money is novel. I just don’t think re-badged Nationals will be enough.

    Historically, If you look at the preferences of people who don’t primary vote SM or the ALP, they stay very tightly away from Sophie until they have to put her ahead of the ALP. Much more tightly than would be expected. The reduction in SM’s primary vote required for her to lose is less than would be calculated in other electorates.

    But there’s a crazy number of candidates from new parties standing this time, so the only thing that’s for certain is that it will be hilarious.

  17. Terry2

    Slightly off point but a plea to those journalists asking questions at the scheduled Sunday leaders debate : please, please ensure that Mr Abbott actually addresses the questions asked and answers the policy questions rather than drifting off into criticisms of Labor.

  18. billie

    Although the burghers of Bright and Mt Beauty hate Sophie, they are more comfortable grizzling about her than actually voting against her.

    I think Cathy McGowan would be an excellent representative for Indi in the Australian Parliament

  19. David Irving (no relation)

    conrad, I think you’ll find that Kevin Andrews is still very much a member of parliament (and still a cypher, but there you go).

  20. Ambigulous

    FWIW, one of Cathy’s sisters was the energetic and well-respected Mayor of a Shire in West Gippsland, a few years ago. Go, Cathy!!

  21. Casablanca

    Conrad & David

    Andrews is in the shadow ministry (families, housing, & human services). One of the many Howard Has Beens that Abbott will saddle us with.

  22. Shirley Knott

    McGowan has many strong links in Wodonga, through long-term involvement with organisation like Catholic Education Wodonga, and the local credit union. Her strength here would be in taking conservative votes from Mirabella. Lots of them.

  23. PJF

    Conrad,
    I can confirm that David I. and Casablanca are correct. I have the misfortune to be one of the minority of Labor voters in Menzies, and I actually spoke to KA at the draw for ballot positions on Friday. Naturally he drew top of the ballot paper.
    Our one victory over him was that Menzies was one of a handful of electorates which produced a majority yes vote in the Republic referendum, in spite of Andrews’ preference for the monarchy.
    While I think it’s reasonable to infer that he is in the same ideological camp as the unlovely Ms. Mirabella, I don’t know if they are otherwise close.

  24. Bernard J.

    As of mid-afternoon today McGowan is polling just over a thousand votes and 1.4% ahead of Mirabella on the two-party split. 102 out of 103 booths counted, but apparently the remaining one is very large because the ABC is saying that 78% of votes have been counted – unless that last figure is not up-to-date.

    Still, it seems that Mirabella is in danger. Given her abysmal performance as the Coalition representative on science this could be good news for all Australia, although I doubt that even Abbott would have seriously countenanced having her in the Science portfolio…

  25. Bernard J.

    …apparently the remaining one is very large…

    Or there’s a large proportion of postal votes, which is quite likely.

  26. GregM

    Given her abysmal performance as the Coalition representative on science this could be good news for all Australia, although I doubt that even Abbott would have seriously countenanced having her in the Science portfolio…

    Bernard J. he was countenancing giving her the Industry portfolio which is quite a larger thing than the Science portfolio.

    I hope she loses Indi but there would be delight in watching her exercise her graceless charm and non-existent negotiating skills in the industry portfolio as she oversees the dismantling of the Australian manufacturing industry in accordance with Liberal Party policy.

  27. Bernard J.

    …there would be delight in watching her exercise her graceless charm and non-existent negotiating skills in the industry portfolio as she oversees the dismantling of the Australian manufacturing industry in accordance with Liberal Party policy.

    Indeed.

    There may yet be that opportunity, as it appears that the prepoll votes are skewed to Mirabella.

    Time will tell.

  28. Chris

    hope she loses Indi but there would be delight in watching her exercise her graceless charm and non-existent negotiating skills in the industry portfolio as she oversees the dismantling of the Australian manufacturing industry in accordance with Liberal Party policy.

    I wonder how controversial that will really be. For example, Vote compass data was saying that a large majority of South Australians think that government financial support for the car industry should be reduced or removed. And Holden is a pretty big thing over here.

  29. GregM

    Chris without Sophie Mirabella implementing the policy probably not very controversial at all.

    With her negotiating it any half decent industry negotiator wouldn’t have to work too hard to make it look very controversial so as to protect their bailiwick and screw more dollars out of the government.

  30. Katz
  31. Chris

    Katz @ 32 – wow I hope they were found in a secured location. Otherwise with the count so close that would be the sort of thing that I’d expect would lead to a rerun of the election (just for that electorate).

    GregM @ 31 – ah, I see what you mean now.

  32. tigtog

    Auntie’s got the story too, for those who don’t want to give hits to Murdoch.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-11/misplaced-votes-extend-mcgowans-lead-over-mirabella-in-indi/4951666

  33. Ronson Dalby

    They’re not really missing votes, are they? The internet is running wild indicating some secret stash was found under the tea urn or somewhere.

    “Steve Kennedy from the AEC says an administration error is to blame for the discrepancy.

    “On the McGowan box of first preference votes a one was put there instead of a two so it was 1115 rather than 2115,” he said.”

  34. Helen

    Gosh. I’m not really an afictionado of actual polling processes, so I’m not in a knowledgeable position here. If the misplaced votes are all for one candidate, isn’t that rather fishy? Or is there a typical explanation (for people who’ve actually worked with the vote counting – I have womanned a booth and that’s it for me as far as actual election experience)

  35. Ronson Dalby

    They’re not misplaced in the physical sense, Helen. See my post above yours.

  36. Helen

    Oh, I see. Thanks Ronson.

  37. Liz

    So, they were labelled incorrectly? Still a little bit fishy.

  38. GregM

    “On the McGowan box of first preference votes a one was put there instead of a two so it was 1115 rather than 2115,” he said.”

    That might explain 1000 votes, although most people manage to distinuish between the 2 sign and the 1 sign by the time they are five, if not before.

    It does not explain 1003 votes unless someone also confused the 5 sign and the 8 sign.

    You really wouldn’t such a person anywhere near a counting room.

  39. Helen

    Any OCR involved or simply human error?

  40. tigtog

    According to the ABC story, the discrepancy between the recorded count and what was actually in the box was discovered when the AEC realised that there had been 1000 more votes counted for the Senate than they had for the HoR.

  41. Casey

    Sophie must be having conniptions.

    (evil laughter echoes all around the blog).

  42. Helen

    Panoupolos’s box!
    A little fairy called Hope flew out. :) ))

  43. Katz

    http://youtu.be/dVhQBhecL2U

    I linked it because someone had to.

  44. Ambigulous

    The story about the 1003 missing votes on The Age website includes a good video interview with Cathy.

  45. GregM

    Here is a link to the SMH article on the missing votes.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/discovery-of-1000-missing-votes-swings-momentum-away-from-sophie-mirabella-20130911-2tk9g.html

    There is quite a good short interview with Cathy about her response to the news that the votes had been found and her plans for Indi.

    The article mentions that Cathy was lunching with three of her eight sisters in a Beechworth bakery when told the news. We can be sure, I am confident, that it wasn’t just any old bakery but the Beechworth Bakery, a local institution, known far and wide:
    http://www.beechworthbakery.com.au/

  46. GregM

    casey@43

    Sophie must be having conniptions.

    If the Mirabellas have a cat I hope it has had the good sense to make itself scarce and has gone to cover.

  47. Bernard J.

    Hmmm… At the rate that Mirabella is garnering votes in the pre-poll/postal/absentee collection, is could be a photo finish.

    [Shudder]

  48. GregM

    Indi Update:

    They’ve finished counting the postal votes which went 57.6% to 42.4% in favour of Sophie Mirabella. They’re now counting the absentee votes. With 930 counted they are falling 55/45 Cathy McGowan’s way and she has a lead of 895 votes. There will be about 2,000 left to count and if they continue to fall as they have then her lead should be around 1,100.

    After that there are the remaining pre-poll votes (around 4,500 I expect) and disputed votes, of which there were 139 at the last election. Based on the 2010 election results I expect that the pre-poll votes will split 55/45 in Sophie Mirabella’s favour but that won’t be enough to claw back on Cathy McGowan’s lead. Disputed votes won’t make a difference to the outcome however they fall, although at the last election they fell around 50/50.

    It will be tight but I think Cathy will get over the line and is on her way to Canberra.

  49. Val

    GregM I’m having a self imposed ban from commenting on LP (getting too emotionally involved in debates) but had to let myself slip back and say thanks for update – didn’t realise they were counting today. Have my fingers crossed.