Viewing entries tagged

Telephone Town Halls

Transform Phone Calls into Engaging, Educational and Interactive Events

The town hall meeting has been a political home run for candidates on both sides of the political landscape for hundreds of years. However, the use of telephone marketing within a political campaign has also shown to be effective as well by creating telephone town hall meetings.

As such, it stands to reason that infusing both the personal connection of a town hall meeting with the advanced communications technology that exists with telephone voter marketing would provide a campaign a powerful weapon in which to truly engage, educate and interact with potential voters.

With Gravis Insights Australia's Telephone Town Halls, you will experience live interaction with thousands, potentially millions of people while receiving instant feedback. Our telephone town halls are designed to help you reinforce your message by integrating a telephone town hall with your direct mail, phone list, and other media. The more media channels your message is communicated through, the higher your chances of making your point.

The Benefits of the Gravis Telephone Town Hall:

  • Pre-screen your audience
  • Field last-minute questions from undecided voters – even the night before an election.
  • Real-time polling and real-time participant data reporting
  • Customized phone messages to your target audience, allowing them to join your live conference
  • Question screening, live polling and real-time reporting with data that is saved to your account.
  • It saves you overhead costs and time – you don’t have to find a location and prepare for a large number of people.
  • You can have millions participants listening in to your message without distractions.
  • …and much more.

Gravis Provides Moderators and Screeners for your Telephone Town Hall

Gravis Insights Australia works with political consultants, campaigns and public affairs organisations. Telephone town halls are used by campaigns ranging from school board to president. Telephone town halls are being used by campaigns and public affairs organisations throughout the world.

Members of Parliament have used telephone town halls for years to connect with constituents. Now the strategy is rapidly gaining traction with a wide variety of other groups.

  • Labor unions and consumer advocate groups use them to connect with the membership.
  • Non-Profit Organisations use them to connect with donors, volunteers, staffers, partners and like-minded organisations.
  • Local political campaigns use them to connect with their local voting segment to streamline costs and save their voters time.
  • Local Councils use them to inform tax payers, residents and local business owners of events occurring within the cities they live and work.
  • Sport teams use them to connect with season ticket holders.

The virtues of innoculation

The old adage starts out “an ounce of prevention…”  The wisdom is thainoculation theory t a pound of cure, after exposure to a harmful element, is far more expensive and painful than the cost of dealing with the issue before it becomes harmful.

When Ben Franklin first imparted his advice, he did not limit it to medicine.  Far from it.  His statement is an analogy that is relevant in nearly every facet of life – including politics.

When deciding to run for office, candidates must be honest with themselves.  They must take stock of their shortcomings and their “youthful indiscretions.”  Candidates must take full account of their controversial decisions and votes.  They must inventory their own “derogatories” because any opponent with a scintilla of common sense will have their own catalog of your shortcomings with which they might attack.

Once a candidate knows his own points of weakness, he can evaluate which ones might be the most damaging in a campaign.  Of those damaging issues, a candidate can narrow down the ones that the opponent most likely knows.  Of those, which ones are best documented?  Of the issues left, which ones does the opponent have the moral high ground, meaning she does not have the same shortcomings?  Finally, a candidate must evaluate how much money the opponent likely has and how much of that budget they might be willing to spend on an attack.

A campaign should be able to identify the one or two issues most likely to be used in an attack.  Once this is known, creating a plan to mitigate or even prevent an attack is imperative.

In politics, this process is referred to as “inoculation”.  Inoculation can come in many forms, but the idea is that a campaign take control of an issue, and tell its own story, before the opponent decides to go on the attack.

Direct mail is an excellent venue to deliver an inoculation.  A campaign should be able to target the audience deemed most important in order to win a campaign.  A campaign can pinpoint, with amazing accuracy, the precise households that will be most receptive and impacted by an inoculation message.

As with television and the Internet, direct mail is a visual medium.  A campaign must be able to tell a story with powerful images, while using as few words as possible, to achieve its goals in direct mail.  If a candidate wishes to inoculate against a youthful indiscretion, for instance, using a photo of a youthful candidate while describing the “offense” is an effective way to contrast with a more mature candidate now.  Another critical element in an inoculation effort is to explain how the recovery from the youthful indiscretion makes the candidate a stronger, better choice than if the incident never occurred.

Another reason direct mail is an excellent medium to use is the fact that it is more difficult for an opponent to track.  When a campaign purchases television or radio, a public record exists that is available to the opposition.  The opponent will know the exact audience that the campaign is trying to reach, and that allows the opposition to mount a counterstrike.  With direct mail, the mailing list that a campaign uses is proprietary.  Unless the opponent is engaging in some level of unlawful espionage, the mail list is known only to the campaign manager and the mail house – both of whom have professional obligations of confidentiality and nondisclosure.

In some cases a campaign may want to increase the effectiveness of its inoculation message.  A corresponding digital campaign can be targeted to IP addresses associated with the mail list used for the inoculation direct mail piece.  This tactic ensures that the same households targeted for direct mail will also be targeted for the digital ad.  The digital ad can link to the candidate’s web site, social media, or another location that is designed to tell the same story in the direct mail.

The nature of inoculation means that a campaign is choosing to be proactive before the opposition wages an attack.  There is never a guarantee that an opponent will go on the attack.  However, a compelling case can be made to create an inoculation when the issue in question is one that will move voters.  The motivation towards inoculation becomes stronger if the issue is one that is available in public records.  Another factor to assist in the decision to create an inoculation message is the resources of the opposition.  By studying publicly available finance reports, a campaign can evaluate if the opponent has enough resources to issue a negative message.

Whether or not to issue an inoculation is a decision that a candidate should not make on his or her own.  Objective, experienced, and skilled consultants can help guide a campaign in tough situations such as these.  The professionals at Gravis Insights Australia are experienced and trained to handle the most difficult campaigns.  No matter what situation you are facing, Gravis has been there.  Gravis can help you tell your story, and Gravis can help you identify the exact audience for each story.

New Zealand Election Update

New Zealand elections are conducted using the MMP voting system - Mixed Member Proportional. Its defining characteristics are a mix of MPs from single-member electorates and those elected from a party list, and a Parliament in which a party's share of the seats roughly mirrors its share of the overall nationwide party vote.

It is a proportional system, which means that the proportion of votes a party gets will largely reflect the number of seats it has in Parliament.

Each voter gets two votes.

The first vote is for the political party the voter chooses. This is called the party vote and largely decides the total number of seats each political party gets in Parliament.

The second vote is to choose the MP the voter wants to represent the electorate they live in. This is called the electorate vote. The candidate who gets the most votes wins. They do not have to get more than half the votes.

Under current MMP rules, a political party that wins at least one electorate seat OR 5% of the party vote gets a share of the seats in Parliament that is about the same as its share of the party vote.

For example, if a party gets 30% of the party vote it will get roughly 36 MPs in Parliament (being 30% of 120 seats). So if that party wins 20 electorate seats it will have 16 List MPs in addition to its 20 Electorate MPs.

Coalitions or agreements between political parties are usually needed before Governments can be formed.

Going into this election, National governs with the Support of United Future and its MP for Ōhāriu, Peter Dunne, Maori Party and their MPs and Co-Leaders Te Ururoa Flavell, MP for Waiakiri and Marama Fox who was elected as a List MP and is the Maori Party Candidate for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti and David Seymour from ACT who is the MP for Epsom. 

This election comes on the back of some major changes in New Zealand politics. Firstly, with the mid-term resignation of John Key and the ascension of Bill English to the top job. In this election, he seeks a mandate in his own right. Secondly, we see the mid-campaign resignation of Opposition Leader Andrew Little and the ascension of his Deputy Jacinda Ardern. Her rise to the leadership with Kelvin Davis as her Deputy Leader has given the Labour campaign a new momentum and energy that Labour has not seen since the election defeat of Helen Clark.

This has seen Labour's poll numbers rise to 32.5% according to Roy Morgan, 37% according to UMR and 33.1% (Reid Research). While UMR traditionally has a Labour bias, all three polls show National falling but Labour making most of its gains from the Green Party who have seen support fall since the resignation of one of its Co-Leaders, Metiria Turei.

At the last election, National achieved its best result under MMP, winning 60 seats and Labour had its worst election ever. The Labour Party’s share of the vote in 2014 (25.1%) is the lowest it has achieved in any MMP election to date; it is also the lowest share for the Labour Party in any election since 1922 when its 23.7% vote share was third-highest behind the Liberal and Conservative parties.

There are 25 MPs who have self-identified as being of Māori descent or 21% of the total Parliament; there are a record eight MPs who identify as being of Pacific Peoples ethnicity, or 7% of the Parliament; there are five MPs who identify as being of Asian ethnicity, 4% of the Parliament.

Our analysis of recent NZ wide polling is that either National or Labour would need the votes of New Zealand First and Winston Peters to govern.

Newshub-Reid Research poll has New Zealand First at 9.2% and third in the party standings. This poll has neither the Greens-Labour Coalition and the National-ACT-United Future Coalition couldn't govern without New Zealand First. 

According to the TVNZ-Colmar Brunton poll the Green Party could be out of Parliament as a result of the Labour new leader's popularity and the fall-out from Metiria Turei's resignation. The Greens have dropped 11 percentage points to 4 percent, according to the TVNZ-Colmar Brunton poll - its worst result in the poll since 2009. In this poll, New Zealand First polls at 10%.

With United Future Leader, Peter Dunne resigning from Parliament as the MP for Ohariu; this leaves National in a dangerous position of not having enough support party MPs without Winston Peters.

It should be noted that in neither poll, National polls over the 45% 'firewall' it needs to be sure of its majority against the Labour-Greens Coalition.

What we are seeing in New Zealand with the rise of Ardern is similar to what we saw in the United Kingdom, the condensing of the vote around the major parties as voters sure up their major party and move away from 'split' voting, which is normally voting differently between the electorate vote and the party vote. 

Therefore, with an election on September 23; people should be watching for the following:

  • How high can the 'Jacinda Effect' take Labour?
  • Can the Greens recover? 
  • Can the National vote get above 45%

We also say to people to watch the debates. John Key was an excellent debator and gained momentum from the debates. Right now the momentum is certainly with Ardern and with Bill English moving to centre his campaign on spending commitments to arrest the momentum back from Labour, the debates will be key. 

Kenyan Election Update: Military Rigging Claims

National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga said there was a plan to rig the August elections. The opposition leader tabled details of alleged rigging plans involving security forces to aid Jubilee hold on power in an operation named Dumisha Utulivu (Keep the Peace). The statement by NASA and the accompanying documents immediately went viral among Kenyans on social media.

The document presented to the public by NASA indicated that a number of officers and soldiers will be participating in the plot. It mentioned the selection of 'regime-friendly' soldiers and the use of signal-jamming equipment in selected areas mainly in Central Kenya, which is perceived to predominantly support the Jubilee regime.

According to Raila, the soldiers are being trained on how to cut off power and water in Kibera and Mathare slums and keep people out of city centre.

“Also included will be 226 new soldiers, being trained to be deployed in this mission. The soldiers don’t have networks in the military. Because they are new, they will readily take any orders, and at the same time cannot be identified, nor can they communicate with other soldiers who might not be privy to the plot and would oppose it,” Mr Odinga's running mate, Kalonzo Musyoka, claimed.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy President, William Ruto, dismissed the rigging claims saying Raila has sensed defeat and is now discrediting the polls at every opportunity.

In a move that surprised many, on Friday, Kenya Defence Force (KDF) spokesman, Colonel Joseph Owuoth, reportedly confirmed the authenticity of documents presented by NASA on the “Dumisha utulivu” operation. However, he said they were quoted out of context and that military was apolitical and professional.

With just about 10 days to the elections, IEBC Chair, Wafula Chebukati, said the Commission had put “strict measures” in place to prevent rigging. The IEBC chair said IEBC had no plans of deploying KDF anywhere in the electoral process.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo disowned the documents presented by NASA, saying she had not seen them and that the KDF were not plotting anything outside the law.

Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi expressed worry about KDF's admission of the authenticity of a letter presented by the Opposition on an alleged rigging plot.

"Military documents do not leak. And if they leak, military never confirms that they are authentic."

He added via Twitter on Saturday: "KDF Spokesman executing a scheme. Worrying."

NASA politician, Prof. Anyang Nyong’o, claimed that KDF Spokesperson Colonel Joseph Owuoth, who, the previous week, confirmed the authenticity of documents presented by NASA, had gone missing.

Prof. Nyong'o claimed at a press briefing in Kisumu that Col. Owuoth was ordered to go on compulsory leave right after issuing the statement confirming NASA’s allegations. He was also ordered not to talk to the press and to go to his home in Koru.

The Colonel was said to have been in constant communication with his sister until Monday morning. He boarded a public transport vehicle in Nairobi and went silent once he reached Nakuru (or was assumed to have reached Nakuru), and was not heard from again.

These claims caused considerable concern, since they were made just days after the IEBC ICT manager went missing and was later found dead.

Col Joseph Owuoth resurfaced at a press conference at Defence headquarters alongside Defence CS Raychelle Omamo, and dismissed claims by his family and politicians that he is missing. He also said that he was okay and still on duty and not suspended as claimed by NASA leaders.

NASA's Prof. Nyong’o had told journalists in Kisumu that the family of Owuoth has reported him missing, a day being sent on compulsory leave.

The Defence CS, at the same press conference, said that the ministry had "carried out investigations to establish the veracity, authenticity and source" of the documents presented by NASA, and that the ministry "can state categorically that these documents are fake in all aspects."

Kenyan Election Update: Extra Ballots

Thirdway Party Presidential candidate, Dr. Ekuru Aukot, accompanied by his running mate, Emmanuel Nzia, addressed the media at Ridgeways Baptist Church, Kiambu County on Sunday 30th of July 2017. The candidate accused the IEBC of printing extra ballot papers beyond the 1% contingency provision made for spoilt votes. 

Dr. Aukot added that the 5.7% extra ballots should be a cause for concern. 

"IEBC must now turn its attention to the KIEMS (Kenya Integrated Elections Management System) to ensure that voting is credible. Used, unused and spoilt ballot papers must be reconciled properly and results tallied transparently and transmitted without any hitches," he said. 

The electoral commission said the one per cent additional ballot papers were meant to cater for ballots that were reported as spoilt before they are cast. The commission explained that the ballot papers are bound in booklets, each booklet having 50 papers, hence the commission's decision to round off the number to 50. 

The IEBC communication manager, Andrew Limo said that for uniformity purposes, the commission had to round off to 50 because there was no way to print unmatched numbers for different counties. 

Via Twitter on Saturday, the electoral agency said they had printed 416,360 booklets of 50 ballot papers each, thus totalling 20,818,000 papers. This is to cater for 19,687,563 registered voters, meaning there is an extra 1,130,437 papers.

National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders on Monday 31st July claimed that the printing of additional papers could be another plan to rig the General Election. 

The Orange Democratic Movement's National Chairman, John Mbadi, the Secretary General, Agnes Zani, and the Wiper Vice Chairman, Mutula Kilonzo Jr, asked the IEBC to explain the extra ballot papers and warned that this could affect the credibility of the polls. 
"Does this then mean ballots for the other positions will not be spoilt? Why only the extra for the presidential (ballot papers)?" asked Dr Zani. She faulted the electoral body for not involving all stakeholders before deciding to print extra ballot papers. 

The electoral commission on that Monday released a document detailing the packaging of the presidential ballot papers. The document lists each of the 290 constituencies, their respective total number of registered voters, and number of ballot papers to be delivered. It further detailed the number of ballot booklets to be delivered to all the polling stations spread across the country and how the commission reached the rounded off figures.

Commissioner Roselyn Akombe said the ballot papers and result forms have been customised for each polling station, making it impossible to use those not meant for a particular polling station.

Kenyan Election Update: Ballot Paper Dispute

On Friday, July 7th 2017, the High Court nullified the tender for the printing of presidential ballot papers for the August 8, 2017 presidential election to, Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company.

In its ruling, a three-judge bench hearing a judicial review filed by the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) found that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed to conduct adequate public participation in the tender process, a move that they said goes against constitutional requirements. Further, the bench found IEBC’s decision to meet representatives of Jubilee and NASA at the exclusion of other parties fielding presidential candidates was inappropriate.

The court ordered the IEBC to commence the procurement process afresh.

NASA had also argued that President Uhuru Kenyatta has a relationship with Al Ghurair, which  influenced the award of the tender to the firm. The court ruled that the evidence provided to support this claim fell short of the evidentiary standard required to prove it.

High Court judges Joel Ngugi, George Odunga and John Mativo found that public participation in the direct procurement process was necessary for free, fair elections.

In response to the court ruling, President Uhuru Kenyatta warned the Judiciary against what he considered a plan to frustrate the IEBC in order not to conduct the General Election on August 8th.

The President said Kenyans would not accept any attempt to postpone the polls from the date specified in the Constitution.

Speaking at a rally in Baringo County on Sunday, 9th July, President Kenyatta said the Judiciary should not take them for fools for being silent as the courts make decisions that could lead to the postponement of the elections.

(On NTV's talk show 'Press Pass' the next day, commentator Patrick Gathara pointed out that the 2013 General Elections were not held on the day specified in the Constitution, but on a day set by IEBC following a court ruling.)

"I want to tell those in the courts that because we have respected you for a long time we are not fools.
We cannot accept the courts to be used by those not interested in the elections to frustrate IEBC," said the President.

The President said it was strange that the IEBC had been allowed to go ahead with printing ballot papers for other elective positions but not for the president.

Chief Justice David Maraga, in his Twitter handle on the same day, termed the President's accusations as unfortunate.

"I would not ordinarily respond to statements made by politicians in the course of campaign activities, but these accusations are particularly unfortunate, based that they are on completely wrong premises."

The CJ said that he had at no time asked the IEBC not to proceed with the printing of ballot papers, contrary to statements by Deputy President William Ruto in Baringo on that Sunday.

"The comments I made in Mombasa and elsewhere, which were either deliberately or inadvertently taken out of context, were in reference to the courts' efforts to expeditiously clear the numerous petitions arising from the party primaries in order not to inconvenience the printing of ballot papers," said Maraga.

He added: " I have always been at the forefront of defending the cardinal principle of decisional independence of judges, and at no time have I ever directed any judge or judicial officer on how to determine the cases before them."

On Monday 10th July, Jubilee Party leaders accused judges who handled the tender case of conflict of interest.

The Jubilee leaders said that Judge Odunga’s wife is Siaya Senator James Orengo’s niece while Judge Ouko is related to NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga's wife, Ida.

Speaking at the party’s headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi, the leaders led by Secretary-General Raphael Tuju said that Judges George Odunga and William Ouko should have recused themselves due to conflict of interest.

The IEBC appealed the High Court decision on the ballot paper printing tender, arguing that the judges erred in finding that public participation is a mandatory precondition to direct procurement conducted as provided under the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act. 

On Thursday, the 20th of July, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court judgement and allowed the IEBC to proceed with the printing. 

The Court of Appeal said the High Court decision did not take into consideration the constitutional timelines within which General Election must be held. The five-bench judge also ruled that public participation is not a requirement in direct procurement, which was the procedure used by the IEBC in awarding the contract to Al Ghurair. 

The appellate judges did, however, agree with the High Court that newspaper cuttings are insufficient proof of a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Al Ghurair bosses and that such a meeting influenced the award of the tender.

The Future of South Africa

Open any South African newspaper or visit any South African news website and things do not look good.  On every page, there is something depressing and with an initial glance, one would assume things are getting worse.

But, are things getting worse in South Africa?

The answer is “yes” but it will not stay that way.

The Guptavisation of South Africa

Perhaps the most prominent name in South Africa today is that of Gupta. The Gupta’s are a family who arrived in SA in the late 1990’s with nothing, made friends in the right places and rose to become one of the most influential business families in the country.  For many years their business efforts and now exposed, alleged dodgy dealings were of little concern, until a Gupta owned Jet landed at the Waterkloof airbase in Pretoria full of guests for a wedding, a wedding too that has since come under the spotlight funded by corrupt, government money.

A flurry of media activity around the jet soon began to unearth the shadier side of the Guptas, President Jacob Zuma and a gravy train of ANC Politicians and heads of state owned enterprises. In recent weeks the so-called #GuptaLeaks emails have shed further light on the shady dealings of the Gupta Family and their associates of influence in Government and cast a shadow over the once valiant, now deemed corrupt, ANC.

The political space in SA is alive and a young democracy is showing it can work. However, weak leadership in the ruling party and mounting allegations of corruption are putting the democracy to the test. Recent downgrades in the South African currency, the Rand, are in many ways a result of the now political infighting and the results of poor decisions, lack of investment partly due to corruption and the lack growth that stem from this.

President Jacob Zuma is considered to be at the very heart of problems South Africa is facing, and his party, the ANC, is divided over his role as president and this too is beginning cause challenges in the country. There are calls for Zuma to fall with a growing list of over 700 accusations of fraud that the president and his cronies are fighting to keep out of court to enable corrupt gains to continue, and yet time and time again the “Teflon President” still remains in his seat.

Things will get better

Despite the political turmoil and the ever-deepening piles of emails and documents that sway the argument that corruption is rife and state capture has happened, there is hope. This hope is what makes South Africa the country it is and it is this hope that any investor in SA needs to appreciate.

In the middle of the 1980’s the escape out of Apartheid seemed impossible; in 1994, the dream came true. The people rose up and made South Africa new, or as new as they could. This fighting spirit remains in South Africa today, 2019 sees a general election and recent politics and the truth coming out about corruption are reasons for a change in SA.

The ANC, as it stands at this moment, has little chance of securing a majority and should corruption charges against many ANC Members be proven people should think twice about their vote. The rhetoric from other parties is becoming a powerful “don’t vote ANC” with both the DA, the official opposition and EFF, a breakaway from the ANC each gaining significant ground in recent municipal elections with major cities changing hands. These changes have unearthed appalling levels of mismanagement that are being put right, this is something any investor must acknowledge as a sign of things to come.

The view of SA for investors is clouded by smoke from the political situation. However, SA is a place where long term investment will yield good returns and shrewd investors will reap a just return with the right financial, social and humanitarian strategy behind their investment. The Rand, despite plummeting in recent months due to crazy political decisions should not be the deciding factor on investment; it is in fact fairly stable despite its value. One needs to look at the stability of the country outside the world of politics and that there is a nation hungry for jobs and a better country.

A change of government may not necessarily be the panacea investors are seeking to the problems in SA, nor is it something that can be assured of, and one needs to consider much more. The corruption in South Africa is now known to exist and people are aware of it, this will be further addressed as the democracy matures and those at the heart of it are ousted. Right now, is a time where clever money will receive a long-term reward while some of the problems are being fixed, now is the time to get a head start and have some patience.

Structures need to be put in place, the power utility, for example, has to turn itself around along with good governance and either investment or privatisation. South Africa cannot survive at all without this and many other current State Owned Entities that have been milked through corrupt dealings. There comes a point, and many will say it is coming soon, where the people of South Africa will have to rise up, bring the change they want and grow the country again as they did in 1994. Any investment will surely understand the importance of that.

Many lessons have been learnt in the last twenty plus years, these will be used to move forward and that makes South Africa a place that will be hungry for investment especially from investors with a heart for change not just profit.



Nawaz Gone: What's next for Pakistan?

The morning of July the 28th will be long remembered as a real watershed in the history of Pakistan’s politics. After having kept the country’s Prime minister waiting for months on scaffold, the Supreme Court- country’s apex judicial body- has finally decided to disqualify him on account of corruption. Nawaz Sharif, one of the most powerful premiers ever, was just months away from completing his 5-year tenure to become the first elected Prime Minister ever in the country’s history to serve a complete term in office. The decision was largely hailed by the opposition parties and the people alike. Since the verdict was announced, the country’s atmosphere has been rife with sanguinity that the decision marks the beginning of accountability process for all and sundry, even the oligarchs.

But is it really that simple?

The ruling party has tried to dispel the impression that this move is yet another assault on the nascent democratic process which has been hardly allowed to strike root. Former cabinet colleagues and party loyalists have also recorded strong reservations against the entire investigation process and the judgement itself. The opposition parties, however, are contending amongst themselves to take credit for the decision. Each one of them claims that the movements led by their party culminated into PM’s disqualification. Nevertheless, it’s PTI, led by Nawaz’s arch rival Imran Khan, who bags the maximum credit in terms of popular opinion.

The whole episode started with Panama Papers leaks which stated the Prime Minister’s children held offshore companies and properties in London and British Virgin Islands. Petitions were filed in the apex court demanding probe into the matter which the court rubbished, calling the petition ‘frivolous’. Only two months later, as the momentum against the Premier started to build up, the court decided to take up the case. After listening to the arguments from both sides, the court, in April, decided to order a probe into the matter by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The JIT presented its report three months later, in July, and after a few final hearings, the verdict was announced.

Although a popular one, the verdict still raises serious questions regarding the efficacy of the judicial system.

 The fact of the matter is that the court has not unseated the Prime Minister on account of corruption or money laundering. In fact those cases against the Prime Minister and his children have been transferred to National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which has been advised to file the references in an accountability court. The Premier is disqualified, however, on account of concealment of ‘assets’. The country’s law sanctions the declaration of sources of income and assets of persons who want to run for the parliament. But the law does not define what an ‘asset’ means. In Sharif’s case, the assets turned out to be his unwithdrawn salary of merely AED 10,000 which he had to receive from a Dubai-based company where he had served at a ceremonial post. To fetch this definition of an ‘asset’, the Judges made recourse to Black’s Law Dictionary which said ‘receivables’ also are tantamount to assets. The court even went further to define the terms ‘receivables’ and thus established that an unwithdrawn salary amounts to assets.

The Prime Minister was thus found guilty of concealment of assets, but perhaps the most damning thing about the verdict was that the court found the Premier not ‘honest’; Article 62 of the Constitution demands that the parliamentarians shall be ‘honest’ and ‘truthful’. This was the article which was ridiculed by the same court during the hearings of a petition in 2014, citing that ‘honest’ and truthful’ are vague terms and if they are applied in their stringent meanings they could lead to the disqualification of the entire Parliament. Even the PTI leader Imran Khan has said similar things in the past, but he won’t have scruples celebrating the same clause if it serves his own political ambitions.

The kind of love this nation has for conspiracy theories have encouraged some of the politicians and journalists to once again point the fingers towards the Army; the difference between the civilian and military’s outlook on Afghan and Indian policies being the rais onde Tre. It is a fact that the country has a long history of Army rule. It is also true that every putsch was backed by the supreme judiciary. But mere speculations cannot help reach the judiciary’s contention to pass such a stringent verdict.

It is too early to say how significant an impact this decision can cast on the voter base of the party, especially in the bellwether state of Punjab. It will depend largely on how successfully the ruling and the opposition parties can present their case in front of the people. Needless to say, the ruling party’s argument that this decision is a blow to democracy is a bit too overstretched to comprehend; in fact it can be a blow to dynastic politics. Having a majority in both the houses, the ruling party has enough choice to pick the Premier of its choosing, and the democracy can move forwards.

In run-up to the elections which are due next year, it is unlikely that there is a discontinuity in government policies; domestic and foreign. According to one argument, the Punjabi business interests have also grown too strong in recent years to let the ruling party change course abruptly. The military establishment might have a bargaining leverage in foreign policy if the incoming PM failed to assert himself. However, there is no significant change in the domestic policies expected in the foreseeable future.

Whether the judiciary has finally taken a decisive step to hold the political elite accountable or has it proved itself to be a media-courting agency, yet again, which could give in to public pressure? The answer to the question can perhaps be better sought once free trails in relation to graft and money laundering against the accused are conducted and the culprits are brought to the book.

Kenyan Election Update

Speaking at a political rally in  Kajiado on 15th June 2017, National Super Alliance (NASA) Presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, said that the people of Kajiado sometimes felt compelled to sell parts of their land, not out of their own desire, but because of poverty. He said that NASA would change that, so that people do not sell their land. He also asked why the land buyers were coming from their places to the sellers' area and that those would-be buyers should remain in their areas. 

Video clips of part of his speech were shared on social media and Jubilee leaders and supporters alleged that Raila was calling for the eviction of 'outsiders' from Kajiado. President Kenyatta pointed out, at a subsequent rally, that the Constitution allows any Kenyan to buy land and settle in any part of the country. Some leaders called upon the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and the Directorate of Public Prosecution to probe Raila for incitement.

Mr. Odinga and NASA officials said that the presidential hopeful had said nothing wrong, and that he had only said NASA would end poverty so that people do not sell their land. Mr. Odinga further added that President Kenyatta's Jubilee administration must implement the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation's Commission's report on land injustices.

Just days after Mr. Odinga's remarks, leaflets calling for certain communities to leave Kajiado County by the 7th of August 2017 - the day before the elections - were found in circulation. Kajiado County Commissioner Harsama Kello said the government was seriously investigating the matter.

Presidential poll results for each constituency will be announced at constituency level, the Court of Appeal ruled on 23rd June, upholding an earlier ruling of the High Court.

The Court of Appeal said that it was hypocritical for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to doubt the honesty of its own staff to give this as the reason for the Commission 'verify' the results from the constituencies that it receives in Nairobi.

This matter was brought before the Court of Appeal by the IEBC after the electoral body disputed the ruling made in April by the High Court which stated that results announced at constituency tallying centres would be used to determine winners. 

A three-judge bench of the High court ruled that presidential election results announced at constituency tallying centres would be final in respect of the constituency and could only be questioned by the election court. The IEBC argued that the Constitution gives it powers to collate the presidential votes from the constituencies before they are pronounced as final. It also argued that IEBC had a responsibility to verify the results since only one court — the Supreme Court — can hear presidential election disputes.

The case in question was filed by human rights activists Maina Kiai, Khelef Khalifa and Tirop Kitur against the IEBC and Attorney General challenging the constitutionality of Section 39 of the Elections Act and Regulations 83(2), 84(1) and 87(2)(c) of the Elections (General) Regulations 2012 that essentially granted IEBC powers to confirm, audit or even verify presidential election results sent by a Constituency Returning Officers.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga had welcomed the April ruling saying that the results at the polling stations can be picked up and relayed to the public by the media and that this is the norm in other jurisdictions around the world.

Kenya is to hold General Elections on August 8th 2017. The Kenyan polls body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), awarded a tender to print about 120 million ballot papers, election results forms and poll registers for the elections to a Dubai firm, Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC. 

The National Super Alliance (NASA) on Thursday 22nd June filed a lawsuit against the IEBC to block the tender. The suit seeks to cancel the tender on account of alleged fraud and lack of consultation with the main political parties. Presidential candidate Raila Odinga accused IEBC of ignoring voices of suspicion and fear over the involvement of the firm in the electoral process and alleged links to the President Uhuru Kenyatta's family.

On Friday, Justice Odunga asked the Chief Justice to constitute a three-judge bench to hear the dispute over the ballot papers.

This tender has not been without controversy. In October 2016, IEBC awarded the tender to Al Ghurair but the decision was nullified by the High Court in February 2017, following a suit filed by the opposition's Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) (CORD later joined others to form NASA). 
In its suit, CORD argued that the ballot papers tendered for were not in compliance with the amended Election Act which requires the papers to be in conformity with the integrated system. Judge George Odunga directed that the tender process start afresh.

Citing time constraints, the electoral commission opted to use restricted tendering where select firms were invited to bid but that also ran into trouble weeks later, when the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board nullified the process on grounds of faulty tender papers. The Board also accused the Commission of blatantly violating the law.

But later, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced the IEBC would go for direct procurement after consultation with stakeholders.

On June 9th IEBC said it had taken into consideration several issues before settling on Al Ghurair. Among the considerations are the capacity of the firm, history of work done in Africa and the region, logistics and pricing.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga denied that the opposition was consulted.

Opposition leaders said senior Jubilee officials are involved in the Sh. 2.5 billion tender.

Chebukati announced that the IEBC will sponsor representatives of stakeholders to travel to Dubai and witness the printing of the materials.

NASA lawyers said their coalition would not honour IEBC’s invitation to accompany them to Dubai to witness the ballot printing process, maintaining their call that the tender should be awarded to another firm. Jubilee leaders also said they would not be part of the trip.

Thirdway Alliance Party of Kenya also called on the IEBC to cancel ballot printing tender to avoid chaos in the country. Party leader Ekuru Aukot asked for the tender to be awarded to an independent printing firm that has no links to any party contesting in the August elections. The party proposed that the United Nations supervises the tender process.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party claimed that the Opposition was frustrating the process so the tender could be given to a South African company of their choice. Jubilee has also accused the Opposition of plotting to have the elections postponed.

On Friday June 23rd, Chief Justice David Maraga, as requested by the High Court, named Justice George Odunga, Justice Joel Ngugi (presiding) and Justice J.J. Mativo to form a three-judge bench to hear the case. Maraga authorised the judges to sit beyond working hours, if necessary, in light of the matter's urgency.

NASA lawyer, who is also the Senator for Siaya County, James Orengo, said that the remaining six weeks before the polls were enough for another firm to print the ballot papers.

"Printing ballot papers is not rocket science. We even print money here in Kenya," he said.

He added that in previous elections, nominations used to be done three weeks before the polling day and the polls body still managed to have ballot papers printed in the UK.

Tech in Politics

Politics and media are both fields that are constantly in a state of flux, growth, and change. A brief re-cap of the history of digital electoral campaigns provides a useful starting point for exploring the role that social media plays in political campaigns. Political use of the internet in electoral campaigns started in ninety’s, however, from the year 2000 onwards, the increasing prevalence of the internet was the catalyst for a new level of electoral tactics in social media. With millions of internet users around the world, various countries started to consider the use of social media much more prominently in their political campaign strategies. 

In 2008, campaign for the United States presidency marked a significant shift in the importance of social media in electoral campaigns. When Barack Obama ran for president, social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter were at the center of a huge investment in his strategy. Robertson, Vatrapu, and Medina conducted an in-depth examination of campaigns of presidential candidates Obama, Clinton, and John’s Facebook walls and what individual users wrote. The study concluded that President Obama had significantly higher engagement than his counterparts. It is clear from this study that the level of followership significantly increased engagement, which in turn helped to secure the win. 

Since then, monitoring boom of social media began on the back of evidence from political and communication strategies around the world that showed the contribution that social media could add to campaigns. Tools that are available to these politicians to carry out social media analysis play very important roles such as; they are predictive rather than reactionary, and they are far more accurate. These tools have the ability to help politicians by raising awareness of their campaigns and establishing a platform for dialogue. In addition to that, social media also may have the ability to predict the actual outcome of an election. A study by Tumasjan, Sandner & Welpe (2010) examined several key ideas such as Twitter as a reflection of political sentiment and whether Twitter could predict the results of the election, which demonstrates that the number of mentions the party received matched very closely with the results of the election polls.

As more and more people use social media to communicate their view and perception of elections, researchers have increasingly been collecting and analyzing data from social media platforms. When a political party engages its constituent using social media channels, they would be benefited by gauging whether the policy idea works immediately. They will know instantly the climate of those conversations, they can see how successful their message was delivered and how it got their constituents engaged in conversation. Once they have determined that, then they can craft next strategy according to what was popular and what was not.  

Last but not least through monitoring social media one can access the data collected using third party cookies of the audience producing a demographic report. This report can give valuable information about audience’s gender, age and most vital their interest of helping politicians orient a successful campaign. 

Liberian Election 2017

2017 represents the first election after 10 years of rule by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as President. She has been credited for her championing of women's rights in her time in office and bringing together a fragile peace in the aftermath of Civil War. However, she has been attacked by the CDC and others for being weak on corruption and for dealing with elements that were involved in the Civil War. 

From the GIA perspective, we look forward to working with our consultant Bobby, the CDC Australia and the wider CDC Liberia team to help George Weah become the next President of Liberia. We believe that the 2017 election campaign will be one of the toughest in Liberia's post-civil war history. With the end of the Presidency of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after a decade in office, there is already 20 candidates for the Presidency.  This will be George Weah's second tilt for the Presidency after taking the CDC from nothing to the second biggest party in the Liberian Congress after running for President in 2005 and Vice President in 2011 and being elected as a Senator in 2011. With so many parties running, the fact is that this will be a battle between the Weah Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Leymah Gbowee who is not affiliated to a political party but is a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize or the nominated successor of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf which is most likely to be Vice President Joseph Boakai.

We see that election as being a competition between the following competing questions to the core of the election. That is, do voters believe that George Weah is competent enough to become President against the backdrop of who is the best to fight corruption. 

Then will come the need for any party in this cycle to master the art of 'down ticket' campaigning. That is, the art of using the headline act (the Presidential campaign) to ensure that the seats are won in order to ensure a working majority. This is something that any observer to western campaigns (Australia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom etc) is used to. However, in emerging democracies the art of doing this successfully will determine how elections are won or lost. 

Emails in political campaigns

Email Marketing: A Modern Communication Vehicle That Saves Your Campaign Time and Money

In the not-so-long-ago days, telephone calls and postal mail were the only means of mass communication with your voter base. But email marketing has dramatically changed that landscape.

Now – in a fraction of the time it takes a volunteer to place a single phone call – you can email your message to hundreds of thousands, even millions of voters. For less than the cost of a single postage stamp you could send untold millions of email messages. The savings of both money and man hours saved through utilizing the technology of email are almost incalculable.

No one can dispute the benefits bestowed by the technology. But what exactly is meant by the term: Email marketing?

Several Ways to Use Email in Political Campaigns…

Every political campaign has the need to reach out to its voter base, and for multiple reasons. Some of the most frequent include:

  • Fundraising: Using email in your fundraising efforts can pay dividends beyond just simply reducing costs. In your fundraising emails you can include simple one-click payment options for donors. Making the donation process quick and easy for donors helps boost the success of a fundraising campaign.
  • Get out the vote: The day you’ve worked so hard for is here – voting day! And with just a click of a mouse, you can instantly send a ‘get out and vote’ reminder to everyone on your list, whether thousands or millions. Don't forget to attach a how to vote card as well!
  • Advertising. Your email communications don’t have to be limited to people already in your voter base. You can also use email to recruit converts to your cause through advertising messages. It’s a far more targeted form of advertising than through broadcast mediums.

Ignore the Benefits of Email Marketing At Your Peril

The advantages offered by utilizing the benefits of email are truly astounding – particularly when compared to the old standbys of direct mail and telephone.

The old standbys still have their place. But any modern campaigns that seek to get by with just the old standbys are flirting with disaster – and making easy prey of themselves for the competition.

2016 Local Government Election wrap up

The takeaways from the the 2016 Council elections are as follows:

  • This is a cycle for incumbents, however, weak first term incumbents were vulnerable (particularly in 1-1 races)
  • Undivided Councils provide higher turnover of Councillors then divided ones in this cycle
  • Economically depressed councils in CQ (Mackay and Gladstone) had major changes.
  • Changing dynamics of Councils will be determined by new Councillors that have won vacant seats
  • Teams can't win without strong Mayoral and Council candidates to win the divisions/wards.
  • Late runners don't beat incumbents.
  • 2020 will see major changes in some major regions.


For this we show the fact that in Cairns Division 9, Greg Fennell has lost his seat to an independent (Brett Olds) and not to the Cairns Connect team candidate which has come a disappointing 3rd in this race. The Cairns Connect Team which is backed by the Cairns Labor/Greens movements has failed to win a single seat on the Council and only secured 33.5% of the Mayoral vote.

The Cairns Connect team did take Cr. Jessie Richardson's margin down to 395 votes.

We are also still waiting for a declaration in Division 1 which is a tight race between Independent Sandra Charlton and Unity's Brett Moller. If Division 1 comes in for Moller, it is widely predicted that Mayor Bob Manning will try and install Moller in as Deputy Mayor and try and run Brett Moller as a Mayoral Candidate in 2020.

The GravisPolitics team did pick the tight races in Division 1 and 8 and we also picked the easy win for Mayor Bob Manning.

We predict in 2020, if Moller wins, that we will see a Mayoral race between Brett Moller and Richie Bates. However, also don't rule out runs from popular conservative independent Linda Cooper (Division 6) and/or Cathy Zeiger (Division 3). Despite the fact that these two are not Unity, they are both nominally conservative Councillors. The question will be, who can form teams (Cairns elects Mayors with teams in modern times) and what type of campaign can be waged in the divisions.

You can't win a city without winning the divisions (Something the BCC Labor Campaign forgot!)


The GravisPolitics team predicted on election day that Jenny Hill would win in a coronation and she did scoring 59.52% of the primary vote against Jayne Arlett who scored 35.23% of the primary vote.

All of Jenny Hill's team candidates are easily ahead in all of the divisions bar one (Division 8) which gives Mayor Hill a major mandate to govern.


Mayor Bill Ludwig was predicted by the GravisPolitics team to win in a coronation and he did. However, to add to the vote of confidence in the Mayor, all of the Councillors have also been returned in a 0 change election from the de-amalgamation election of two years ago.


This has got to be one of the strangest elections in this cycle of local elections. Largely unpopular Mayor Strelow has got back reasonably comfortably seeing off a challenger from inside the ALP (Michael McMillan) and from repeat (nominally conservative) candidates in Dominic Doblo, Lea Taylor (Former Mayor) and Bruce Diamond.

The first thing we noticed was the bad graphic designs in this race.

Between the striking similarities between the Team McMillan advertising and Dan Murphys ads, the out of date advertising of Lea Taylor and some absolutely shocking ads from Dominic Doblo - there are many examples to see of what not to do in political advertising.

In terms of videos, the case in point is this video that was put on Facebook by Dominic Doblo.

The Council results also show what can happen when good Council candidates link themselves to poor Mayoral candidates and who should reconsider running as independents in 2020.

The first of these is Tory Acton, Team McMillan Candidate for Division 2. Tory is the daughter of the late Graeme Acton who was incredibly well known right across Central Queensland. Now, running against long time incumbent, Neil Fisher is always going to be a tough ask. However losing 58-42 on 2CP is not good enough for someone of this pedigree. One can only think that untied from McMillan, Tory could do a lot better.

The second is Leyland Barnett who was the Lea Taylor (Regional Independents) candidate for Division 5. Firstly the artwork for Leyland and Lea was not good. Also the short run of both campaigns meant that despite the quality candidate, the result was poor with Leyland only scoring 6% of the vote and coming 3rd after Cr. Cherie Rutherford and Bob Pleash of Team McMillan.

The big winner of the elections in Rocky was Cr. Rose Swadling who was returned easily in Division 1 (as predicted by the GravisPolitics) team. This is a division that Team McMillan challenged in and scored 24.13%. This is a race that exemplifies also the power that incumbents also have had in split races (eg. where an incumbent faced more then one challenger).


The GravisPolitics team predicted that Gail Sellers would lose the Mayoralty and she did so comfortably. In an angry electorate, there was no way that the Gladstone Regional Council would not see major changes.

With the election of Matt Burnett into the Mayoralty, we see someone who represented change with experience to an angry electorate and despite being the Mayor's deputy, won easily.

With major changes in this Council the GravisPolitics team saw that Natalia Muszkat, Kahn Goodluck and Desley O'Grady as a group would see a winner from in. In fact, this group saw two winners with Kahn Goodluck and Desley O'Grady both winning.

We also note 2 time federal ALP loser Chris Trevor winning a seat easily.

Natalia Muszkat has ultimately lost because her campaign was too short and not well enough funded to mount a big enough campaign. The Gravis2020 tip: Natalia will be a lot more of a serious contender in 2020 with a longer campaign.


This is another very angry electorate and an undivided Council has seen a number of Councillors and Mayor Deidre Cummerford losing. This election has not only seen Greg Williamson win with his message of restarting the Council but it has also seen his get 5 Councillors elected giving his team a majority on the Council as well.


GravisPolitics predicted it, Sportsbet had it at $1.10 and everyone expected it - Jack Dempsey won the Mayoralty in a coronation.

Sunshine Coast:

GravisPolitics predicted that Mark Jamieson would be re-elected as Mayor and he was convincingly against a very weak field of candidates and a Green push which didn't win anything but sucked up 'anti-development' votes across the Coast from better suited challengers.

GravisPolitics predicted that John Connolly would see off the Jamieson endorsed challenger Geoff Peters and husband of radio personality John Hutchinson and (at this moment, without preferences being distributed), we would predict that this prediction has come true.

GravisPolitics also predicted that the only races which would be challenges for incumbents were Division 3 and Division 9. This has come to fruition. Division 3 is likely to see Cr. Peter Cox re-elected, despite good campaigns from Steve Barclay and former Councillor Andrew Champion (both of whom scored 20%+) but preferences will need to be distributed next week.

Scott Larsen has come a comfortable second in Division 9 but Cr. Steve Robinson has been easily re-elected with a 50% primary vote. The Greens have destroyed Larsen's chances by scoring 20%+ of the primary vote and challenging Larsen for the anti-development challenger mantle in the minds of voters. Larsen has probably done enough this time to warrant a second run, however, we would be recommending a second campaign from Steve Barclay and Scott Larsen for Division 3 and Division 9.

Gravis2020 predictions: If Mark Jamieson does not re-contest the Mayoralty, see Division 8 Councillor Jason OPray run (and probably win) the Mayoralty. If the Greens want to get anti-development, environmentally friendly people elected they wont stand branded candidates. This election has shown that they have shot their cause in the foot.

Noosa Council:

The GravisPolitics team predicted that Tony Wellington and Sandy Bolton and that has come to fruition with there being less then 900 votes between the two of them on the primary vote. The GravisPolitics prediction of all of the incumbent Councillors being returned also came to fruition.

Moreton Bay Regional Council:

The GravisPolitics prediction of Mayor Sutherland winning a third MBRC term has come to fruition in a pack of poor challengers.

The empty races have seen some very 'LNP' new faces come to the table with Brooke Savige winning Division 1, Denise Sims winning Division 7 and Darren Grimwade winning Division 11.

We would also encourage Talosaga McMahon to run again in Division 7 against the newly elected Denise Sims but put together a much stronger version of a campaign then the one she put together for this election. This is an example of a good candidate that has put together a campaign that has given her last place in a 5-way.  She should be able to do a lot better then this.

The other race we wish to pass comment on is Division 5. Redistributed this is a seat that goes from Scarborough and Redcliffe through to Mueller College and up to Deception Bay. Cr. James Houghton (Cousin of Mayor Sutherland) has held this seat since amalgamation in 2008. After seeing off LNPer Jackie Bowden and former long term Councillor Peter Houston, this 2016 field was significantly weaker. If you want to beat someone with as long term links into the seat as a Houghton in Redcliffe, candidates will need to do a lot a better.

The Your Community First ticket has proven to be an absolute disaster. It has won nothing and has been run by former Mayor of Caboolture Joy Leishman. Moreton Bay is ripe for an independent ticket of candidates but it will need to stand in every seat and be a lot better put together then this attempt.

The final prediction of the night was the Division 8 was a potential boilover. Now whilst Chris Kelly will go down to Mick Gillam after being about 600 short on the primary vote count, the fact that he has come so close to such a long serving Councillor is proof of a great campaign and proof of our thesis that really you need 1 on 1s to beat Councillors with long careers in Council outside of Brisbane.

Gravis2020 tips: Koliana Winchester for Mayor! (Well our team believes she would make a great candidate for it). Also see a major tussle for Division 3, especially if Kimberley James wins it after preferences.

Brisbane City Council:

On election day we stated that this would be the coming together of a bad LNP central campaign coming together with a bad ALP ward campaign. Labor's "Harding or bust" strategy was shocking politics as was the dismal expectations management process of briefing media outlets of a closer election then what wound up transpiring.

The places GravisPolitics predicted Labor could pick up seats, they have not. However, they have picked up major swings in those seats identified. However, the calls that Labor would suffer a major swing against it in The Gabba has come to fruition (where Labor has lost) and the prediction that the LNP would hold Doboy ward has come true.

You can't win in a place like Brisbane without running a competent ward strategy across the city. The Labor strategy of resource misallocation, briefing the press of swings that didn't exist, constant message shifting and then only targeting wards in the final week don't work in Brisbane.

Gravis2020 predictions: The impact of a non-Quirk candidate for Lord Mayor will need to be handled with a lot more care then this election if the LNP want to control the administration post 2020. Look to see the ALP gun to take back Northgate, The Gabba and Doboy. These are three wards that Labor should never have lost when they did.


GravisPolitics predicted that Paul Pisasle would be re-elected and this has come true. We also predicted that Wayne Wendt would come back to politics and this has happened.

We also wish to note the significance of Ipswich electing Kerry Silver. Kerry is a Yugambeh woman and represents the first Indigenous Ipswich Councillor. We do however recognise that this race is subject to a challenge from Labor Left challenger Jim Dodrill and that the ECQ has not made a declaration in this race.

Gravis2020 tip: See a big challenge for Mayor if Pisasle doesn't recontest. Also see a big contest in Division 9. The impact of Springfield will be felt. Also expect to see the Labor Left, the left of the union movement through the supporters of Jo Anne Miller making another move in this part of the world.

Redland City Council

This is a race that has been dominated by Karen Williams re-election in a coronation against Greg Underwood who ran and underwhelming campaign that just didn't bite on the ground.

Also the impact of Don Brown and Andrew Laming's meddling in the election has seen major distortions in the Council votes by the divisions.

Going into the night, all the 'Williams team' had to do was hold on to everything and hold Division 3, this did not happen.

We predicted that Division 3 was a race to watch and it was. It changed hands and has been won by Paul Golle (ex-LNP/KAP, anti-development candidate) over Penny Donald (Laming staffer).

However, due to a misallocation of resources/bad planning Alan Beard was left resourceless and vulnerable and has lost his seat to former ALP Candidate for Redlands, Tracey Huges.

GravisPolitics also predicted that the Ashley Madison scandal and the scandal around the Council phone storing pictures of Craig Ogilvie would see him go down to 'Switch to Mitch' Peter Mitchell and this has happened, despite the anti-development lobby Redlands2030 standing another candidate (Tom Taranto) at the last minute.

GravisPolitics also predicted that the Laming challenger in Division 6, Stephanie Eaton would lose and she did (coming last) and Labor challenger in Division 7, Janine Healy (who we predict we wont see the last of) denying Sharyn Doolan a clean shot at Murray Elliott.

Sharyn Doolan ran an amazing campaign in one of the toughest seats in the Redlands and we hope that we have not seen the last of her in politics.

Gravis2020 predictions: There will be a new Mayor here in 2020. Karen Williams will not have a good time with a hostile Council. See Wendy Boglary as a potential Mayoral candidate. Also see Division 6 Councillor Julie Talty considered for higher level of government.

Logan City Council

GravisPolitics predicted Luke Smith would win on the back of Pam Parker's endorsement and this has happened.

The GravisPolitics team did miss the strength of Cr. Phil Pidgeon's primary vote in Division 9 (in what is further proof of the fact that challengers struggle to beat long term sitting Councillors in split fields) and how close Cr. Steve Swenson has come to losing in Division 3 winning by a margin of 7 votes.

GravisPolitics also predicted that Divisions 2, 5 and 6 where the ones to watch. Russell Lutton has been returned handily despite a solid showing from Josephine Aufai. The split field denying her the clean air in the campaign to push Lutton.

Jon Raven has been elected in Division 5 on the back of a lacklustre campaign from Mark Tookey and the withdrawal of Blaise Itabelo from the race and strong support from Labor in the seat.

Division 6 has seen former LNP MP for Waterford lose on preferences to Stacey McIntosh (running mate of Division 4 winner Laurie Koranski).

Gravis2020 tips: Cherie Daley to become Deputy Mayor. Supporters of Brett Raguse that have been elected not causing to many ructions but a year long campaign against Luke Smith in 2020. Blaise Itabelo and Josephine Aufai getting re-runs in 2020 and doing a lot better. We also predict that in a condensed field, Kathleen de Leon would, with a longer campaign push Phil Pidgeon to hold Division 9.

Gold Coast City Council

GravisPolitics predicted that Tom Tate would win the Mayoralty again in a coronation and he did. We also identified Divisions 5 and 11 as races to watch. Division 5 will probably see long term LNP staffer Felicity Stevenson lose in Division 5 but ex-Tom Tate staffer Hermann Vorster win in Division 11.

Gravis2020 tips: We would encourage Chris Walker (former Titans player) to make good on his twitter declaration and mount a campaign for Mayor in 2020.

Toowoomba Regional Council

GravisPolitics predicted that Paul Antonio would be coronated as the next Mayor of Toowoomba and this happened.

The team predicted that one of Megan O'Hara-Sullivan, Chris McGaw and Ben Apsey would be elected and Megan O'Hara-Sullivan has been elected.

Expect to see McGaw and Apsey contest the 2020 elections in a much bigger and more refined way then their campaigns in 2016.

Gravis2020 tips: Expect this to be a tumultuous time in Toowoomba when Cr. Nancy Sommerfeld seeks the LNP preselection for Toowoomba South and now Cr. Megan O'Hara-Sullivan seeks the ALP preselection for Toowoomba North.

The potential for a byelection here is high so be on alert for the need for a quick campaign.

Gravis2020 tips: Expect to see Geoff McDonald stand for Mayor, new alliances formed and the campaigns that the can best deliver the overlap between Labor and LNP voters in a 50:50 city win.