Australia news live updates: big push to count remaining votes in three seats in doubt; Nationals spill leadership

Speaking of Barnaby Joyce, the Nationals leader was up on Sunrise this morning alongside Labor MP Tanya Plibersek.

Joyce said he remained “sanguine” about today’s leadership spill.

I’ll let the party room make up its own mind … we won every seat we had before the election, we have three retiring members and still won seats … the Liberals lost 19 seats, in the last two elections that I’ve been the leader … we must really be something right but the job is not over, we’ve got to make sure we lock the process in and make sure we have the proper guide rails on policy, we have the proper ministries, the proper resources so we have the capacity continue on.

Asked whether Joyce had the numbers to retain the leadership role, he replied:

That’s hubris, you don’t run around telling people you’ve got the numbers, you leave that to the room.

Zimmerman said candidate for Warringah Katherine Deves was a distraction the party “didn’t need and shouldn’t have had”.

I was blindsided by it, it was a flaw in that whole process … to this day I don’t understand it because leaving aside the complex issue of trans women in sport, having a candidate with such inflammatory views in an electorate that had a history of supporting equality in our community made zero sense to me.

Part of the challenges for candidates like me is if I was talking to national media top of the list was talking about Katherine Deves not what I was offering my community of North Sydney.

Asked if he knew Morrison’s intentions in handpicking Deves, Zimmerman replied:

At worst it was some very clumsy attempt to create a distraction that obviously failed and did us enormous harm.

Zimmerman said while former prime minister Scott Morrison was undoubtedly unpopular, the real lesson of the election was a “policy one, not a personality one”, with climate change at the top of the list.

There was an underlying concern we hadn’t pursued an integrity commission, and underlying concern we got it in relation to the needs and aspirations of women in our community … which was detrimental to my prospects and the government’s prospects overall.

Blaming an individual may mean we don’t learn the lessons that need to be learned.

Zimmerman said Peter Dutton would have a “hard path ahead of him” to win the confidence of electorates back.

He comes at the conservative end, I’ve disagreed with him in decisions he’s made in relations to refugees and home affairs but I also know Peter has a pragmatic streak … he knows we have to regain the trust of voters in electorates like mine if we ever have a path to victory … I think it’s important he’s a constructive opposition leader.

Trent Zimmerman urges Liberals to accept Labor’s mandate on 43% emissions reduction target

Former Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman is up on Radio National.

He said it was a “clever ploy” by teal independents to link Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce with more “moderate” Liberals.

There’s a whole package of reasons as to why we lost inner-city seats like mine and clearly climate change was one of the key issues the fact the national party leadership and individual members were seen to not be genuinely enthusiastic about our net zero commitment … undoubtedly had an impact … particularly during the campaign I thought Matt Canavan’s intervention was one of the killer moments for us.

There was an underlying suspicion people like Canavan and Barnaby Joyce would somehow prevail if we were re-elected.

Zimmerman said it would be a “small comfort” for the Nationals to have retained all their seats when the Liberal party saw such heavy blows, placing the Coalition in opposition.

He said it would be the “democratic” thing for the incoming Liberal leader to accept Labor’s current climate targets as bipartisan.

Having a sensible approach to climate change has to be at the top of the list. There is now bipartisanship on the end goal but the easy step the opposition could take is the government has a mandate for its 43% target.

Trent Zimmerman.
Trent Zimmerman. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Twelve leading economists have penned a letter to treasurer Jim Chalmers recommending a number of measures to be implemented for the upcoming Reserve Bank of Australia review.

They say the review should be wide-ranging, independent, headed by a foreign expert and consider the interaction between fiscal and monetary policy:

I, along with 11 other economists, sent this letter to the Treasurer, @JEChalmers yesterday calling for the upcoming review of the @RBAInfo to be wide-ranging, fully independent of the bank and government, and headed by a foreign expert. There are many foreign precedents.

— Steven Hamilton (@SHamiltonian) May 29, 2022

Chalmers swiftly responded on Twitter:

As I work through the best model and terms of reference, weigh up all these issues and discuss with the PM and our colleagues, the RBA, Treasury and others, I’m grateful for the advice and input. I’m keen to get the ball rolling relatively soon if we can. Thanks. #auspol #ausecon

— Jim Chalmers MP (@JEChalmers) May 29, 2022

Incoming Greens MP Stephen Bates appeared on Sunrise earlier this morning, “raring to go” after winning the seat of Brisbane.

He said he “always had a feeling” the three seats won by the Greens in Queensland were obtainable.

We were campaigning for a solid year, we knocked on thousands of doors, spoke to thousands of people … getting as many people’s opinions as we could and you could sense … people were angry, they felt like the government wasn’t doing anything .. they liked that we came to the door and asked them what they thought.

Bates said climate change was “far and away” the biggest issue people brought up with him “completely unprompted” during the campaign, and said he was looking forward to pushing for greater action.

People saw other countries around the world doing so much more than we were doing and people were sick of getting left behind.

The Greens’ MP for the seat of Brisbane, Stephen Bates.
The Greens’ MP for the seat of Brisbane, Stephen Bates. Photograph: Dan Peled/Getty Images

Good morning

Caitlin Cassidy here to guide you through this morning’s news, starting with the mop-up of the federal election. The last three seats still in doubt could be decided today, with big surges of remaining votes to be counted.

The seats of Gilmore, Deakin and Macnamara remain hanging in balance. Liberal candidate Andrew Constance is a whisker ahead in Gilmore but Labor could well close the gap, while Deakin is also a tight two-way contest between Labor and the Coalition.

Over the weekend, the Greens took the seat of Brisbane and still have their eyes on Macnamara. If Labor come in first or second they will win the seat. As it stands, the Liberal party has taken the lead, while the Greens are catching up on Labor. Labor needs to win one of the three seats to secure a majority government.

Meanwhile, former defence minister Peter Dutton will be elected unopposed as opposition leader today, as the Liberal and National parties meet to form the parties leadership roles.

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is fighting to retain his position, with a new poll showing three in five voters view the New England MP as an electoral weakness. Deputy Nationals leader David Littleproud and Victorian MP Darren Chester are expected to throw their hats in the ring for the top job.

The prime minister Anthony Albanese will finalise his cabinet on Wednesday, including the highly speculated role of Speaker.

There’s much to get to, so let’s dive in.