We have a date for the Super Saturday by-elections – and it’s not soon… for a variety of reasons and on advice of the AEC, the Speaker has set the date for the Perth, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Braddon by-elections for July 28, 2018. This is controversial for a variety of reasons which I won’t go into here, but does trigger some tweaks to the Voter Choice Project.
The by-election study is still going ahead, but is no longer a pilot (as the results won’t be known before the main study is well and truly underway). So it’s now being merged into the main study.
If you are in Perth, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Braddon, you will have different questionnaires that ask you about the by-election for the first two months, and you will have one extra questionnaire compared to everyone else. Then in August, you’ll transition to join everyone else in the main study.
For the rest of the country, we’re still beginning the study in June, and specifically on June 1 for everyone who has already signed up, the same date as the by-election study will start.
The July 28 date makes me very nervous. It’s one week before the general election could be called on August 4. By calling the general election, which Malcolm Turnbull can do at anytime, the by-elections will be cancelled and everyone moves to the general. The writs for the by-election will also not be issued for at least another two weeks, which means that anything could happen in that time. For this reason, we are proceeding as though there could be an August 4 election, and starting the panel June 1.
Yes, the Prime Minister keeps saying he’s not going to the general election until next year, but I’ve said elsewhere I think that’s unlikely.
Thank you to everyone who has already signed up to take part! Not long now. Haven’t signed up yet? Do so here. The last date to sign up for the by-election study is June 30.