Squiz Today / 20 May 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 20 May


"Some days are grumpier than others.”

No, that’s not an update from Labor leader Bill Shorten… The owners of Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce) announced the death of one of the world’s most famous felines. With 11 million social media followers, fashion collaborations, books and a movie, the seven-year-old kitty kat had a lot to smile about


It was the result no one saw coming. And it seems few participants did either - except maybe for PM Scott Morrison himself. But a Coalition victory in the 2019 federal election is where things have landed, albeit with no clarity on the final numbers quite yet. And while the Coalition is keen to get back to Canberra to get its tax cuts up and running, Labor is looking for a new leader with Bill Shorten stepping down after six years as its frontman.

Like Arnold Schwarzenegger on the weekend, the Coalition's opponents came at it with both feet flying – but it didn't have much of an impact.

• The ABC’s Antony Green currently has the Coalition on 75, Labor with 65 and the minor parties/independents with six seats. Which means five seats are in doubt. The Electoral Commission has the Coalition on track to win 77 seats, which would see it in a majority position.

• Labor picked up just one seat from the Coalition - Gilmore on the NSW South Coast (if you don't count Corangamite and Dunkley in Victoria which were notionally Labor's after a boundary redraw). Instead of celebrating, it now has to pick a new leader and regroup.

• The most notable loser other than Bill Shorten? Former PM Tony Abbott lost his Sydney seat of Warringah to independent Zali Steggall. Voters delivered a 12% swing against him, but he’d “rather be a loser than a quitter,” he told his supporters, perhaps in a veiled swipe at another former PM and former colleagues/detractors who had announced their decision to quit politics months before the election...

• The polls got it wrong. Going in, the two-party preferred prediction was about 49:51 in Labor’s favour. Instead, voters delivered the reverse. Experts yesterday said that’s because the decline in telephone landlines has made it harder to get good data. Add to that the betting markets and Burt the psychic croc getting it wrong, and the result was a surprise to many.

• Money can’t buy a seat in the parliament. With reports saying Clive Palmer spent $80 million on his United Australia Party’s campaign, he didn’t enjoy any success in the lower or upper house. GetUp and the unions also struggled to convert their spending to success.

• And we may not see an opposition present themselves for election with a big pre-announced policy agenda again anytime soon… Various senior Labor members said it left them too open to attack by the Coalition. But others said Shorten and his team didn’t adequately explain what the changes were and why they were required.

That will do for today, but you can bet the bones of election 2019 will be picked over for some time to come…



With the federal election (almost) over, isn’t it great to have Brexit back on the agenda? There’s a lot of jostling going on with UK MPs set to vote on a new bill in a couple of weeks that PM Theresa May says is “new and improved”. If that doesn’t work (like the many attempts that went down in flames before it…) the default position is the UK will leave the EU on 31 October without a deal - and no one thinks that’s a good idea. It’s not looking promising for May with talks with the Labour opposition breaking down on Friday. And her Conservative colleagues are circling again demanding a timetable for her departure as prime minister. If you want a refresher on where it’s up to, look no further.


The groundwork was laid a couple of years ago when Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry - and it gave the parliament until this week to enact the change. It’s been a rocky road with a referendum last year rejecting the move, but the bill is seen by campaigners as a step in the right direction even though it doesn’t give them everything they wanted like full adoption rights. The move makes Taiwan the first in Asia to pass same-sex marriage legislation.


Wallaby Israel Folau has had his $4 million four-year contract terminated by Rugby Australia as punishment for his breach of the players' code of conduct when he posted that ‘sinners' would go to hell on his Instagram account. Rugby boss Raelene Castle said she was left with little choice but to take action because; "People need to feel safe and welcomed in the game, regardless of their race, background or sexuality." Folau said; "Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country." He has until 3pm today to appeal the decision.


In a move that’s headed off a diplomatic incident (that’s the way we’re choosing to look at it…), Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke finished Eurovision in ninth place. Victory could have caused all sorts of issues with the winner serving as the host of next year's comp, and with Australia being so southern hemisphere, it was polite of her. The favourite, Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands, won the night. Miller-Heidke was happy with the result, but there’s no word on whether her mum was awake for it this time… Not so well reviewed was Madonna’s performance - but don’t worry about her eye, the patch is just farshion darrrling…


If the names Stark, Targaryen and Lannister mean nothing to you, and the prospect of 73 hours of television drama populated by dragons and zombies leaves you cold – you’ll be a bit meh to learn that what some have called the greatest television show of all time draws to a close today. Yes, fantasy lovers, it's the hotly anticipated Game of Thrones finale and it has a good part of the world in a frenzy of anticipation. If your workplace is strangely bereft of colleagues today, you can bet it's because they’ve stayed home to watch who ascends to the Iron Throne at 11am (AEST) - and to see if their favourite show’s finale manages to live up to expectation or suffer the disappointing fate of many mega-shows before it. What’s the Iron Throne you say? Trust us when we say it’s a thing.


Restoration of Independence Day - Timor-Leste

World Bee Day

Schizophrenia Awareness Week

National Volunteer Week

Spinal Health Week

National Palliative Care Week

And read the email every day this week and you'll go into the draw for a $100 gift card from Country Road.

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