Last orders

Sky News’ NSW Votes 2007 program reports tomorrow’s Newspoll will have Labor ahead 54-46 (UPDATE: Actually, it’s 56.5-43.5 – see update below), with Labor leading 42 per cent to 35 per cent on the primary vote). The program consisted of an extended interview with Anne Davies of the Sydney Morning Herald and Simon Benson of the Daily Telegraph. Asked for predictions, both agreed Menai was "a problem" for Labor, but Benson said he expected them to hold Miranda. Both agreed that Labor would lose Tweed to the Nationals and Newcastle to independent John Tate. Benson said the Liberals would recover Pittwater, but Davies disagreed. Davies described Manly as "touch and go".

Two more Campaign Updates to wrap up the election eve festivities:

South Coast (Liberal 1.6%): Has Labor really been silly enough to launch a late-campaign attack on the husband of Liberal member Shelley Hancock over alleged appearances in pornographic films? Such appears to have been the case after the Nine and WIN TV news showed an excerpt from one of the films on Thursday night, reportedly at the prompting of Labor "sources". However, Morris Iemma has denied all knowledge of the accusations. It should be stressed that the Hancocks say the scenes were "spliced into the movies without Mr Hancock’s knowledge or permission", and that he was "fully clothed in all the scenes from the movies, as were the actors". This matter first emerged during the 2003 campaign, when the Daily Telegraph reported that two 1990 newspaper clippings were anonymously sent to the media calling attention to "the production of pornographic films on the south coast, including the holiday resort once owned by Mrs Hancock and her husband Oswald. The Hancocks’ H-Ranch Motel, near Milton, featured in movies including Aussie Vice, Bushwhacker, Dick Tracer and True Blue". Shelley Hancock said at the time that she and her husband "vigorously denied any knowledge of the pornos and said the producer had said he was making a documentary". Nothing was said at the time of her husband’s appearance in the films.

Newcastle (Labor 15.4%): Allan Morris, the former Labor member for the federal seat of Newcastle, says Labor has "effectively given up" on candidate Jodi McKay in deciding to direct preferences to John Tate, lord mayor and independent candidate. The race had previously looked to be a three-way contest between McKay, Tate and the sitting member, Labor-turned-independent Bryce Gaudry, whose dumping as Labor candidate was loudly criticised by Morris. The field has most likely been narrowed to two after Gaudry was frozen out on preferences not only by Labor, but also by Tate. The significance of this has not been lost on punters: Tate’s odds have gone from $5 to $2.40 in the course of the campaign, while Gaudry has blown out from $2.25 to $3.10. In spite of everything, McKay is a slight favourite on $2.35.

UPDATE: I swear the display on the Sky News screen said Newspoll gave Labor an 8 per cent lead on two-party preferred, but as The Australian reveals, it’s actually 56.5-43.5. The primary vote figures are 42 per cent Labor and 35 per cent Coalition; interestingly, it is reported that "independent and minor-party candidates (excluding the Greens) enjoy 26 per cent of support in electorates outside Sydney, compared with 17.5 per cent at the 2003 election".

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

33 comments on “Last orders”

  1. If the polls are correct not only will Labor be returned in NSW, but Federal Labor will go on to win the big one later in the year. This is not my area so would like to know if this is a first. That is, and please correct me if I’m wrong, Labor will be in power in every state, territory and federally came 2008? To me this seems extraordinary.

  2. Jim, Labor has never done it. The Coalition did it in 1969-70 for a period of about 13 months. Mind you, there was no self-government in the Territories then.

    It could well be that the ACT stuffs it up. They’re due to go to the polls later this year, aren’t they? I would think the Stanhope Government is no sure thing to be re-elected.

  3. There are plenty of ALP “bogans” already in Newcastle defending us from the Tate4State campaign.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Everyone is writing off Newcastle for Labor. But I think the 2 Independent campaigns will cancel each other out and due to clever preference deals, Bryce Gaudry’s sheer-bloody-mindedness decision not to direct preferences and optional-preferential McKay will get up – just.

    If she tops the primaries with 33% as predicted she will win, remembering 33% is much closer to 50% under optional-preferential.

    I’ve decided that the biggest hypocrit of the Newcastle campaign award should go to the Newcastle Herald which spent the majority of the last few years referring to Bryce Gaudry in terms such as “politically inept” and “politically crippled” only to go soft on him after he was left stranded by his own faction.

    3 years ago there was tragedy at a local rail crossing in Newcastle. Gaudry went on radio to respond to criticisms as to why the Government had not replaced the crossing with a tunnel or overpass. He told the listeners that if people really thought it was a problem they should write him a letter. Next day, the Herald wrote an open-letter to Mr Gaudry and put it on the front page, with the embarassing headline “Dear Bryce”.

    Between them Gaudry and Tate have 42 years in public office with not much to show in my opinion and there is no evidence that either will be more effective than a Labor member actually part of the Government and sitting on a tight margin. Clover Moore’s recent history as Lord Mayor of Sydney is possibly a good example that they might actually be less effective.

  4. I suspect Labor might hold on to Miranda: Barry Collier is said to be a very hardworking local member.
    Tweed and Camden will be the two seats I’ll be watching tomorrow night.

  5. It is a tragedy for Australian democracy and good government that the seats to watch in the NSW election will be counted in single figures … and probably closer to the 0 end than the 10 end!

  6. Charlie the ACT poll is a fixed date which is 18 October 2008. What are the opposition like there? A year and a half is an eternity in politics.

  7. Ah, just looked it up – had missed the move to fixed four-year terms.

    I have to admit that I don’t know anything about the Opposition, but Stanhope certainly hasn’t gotten any positive press lately. As you say, though, 18 months is a long time.

  8. Here’s a juxtaposition for you lot: the SMH are editorialising against Iemma, yet just now there is a banner ad slamming Debnam’s public service cuts. Curiouser and curiouser…

  9. Late mail: despite sightings of a number of late-model vehicles bearing Victorian number plates beginning with “TWU. . . ‘ Karen Chijoff will carve a huge chunk out of Diane Beamer’s majority, if not win outright, the seat of Mulgoa. The Labor Party have been asleep at the wheel in Mulgoa, and appearances by the disliked Roozendaal from Vaucluse haven’t helped any. . . Hhmm m . . . Maxine Mackew and Bob Hogg from Mosman, Bob Hawke from Northbridge. . . Reba Meagher from Cremorne, er, Cabramatta. . . Keating living it up in Paddington. . . has anybody read Animal Farm!?

  10. The SMH was more remarkable in print form, where their election editorial saying “vote Liberal” is at the top of the front page, and right above it is a sticky thing saying “don’t risk Debnam”.

  11. The NSW Liberal had just run the worst run election campaign by any party probably in the world.

    The Labor’s theme was pretty much, we have done nothing for 12 year, everything is broken, it was Bob Carr’s Fault, Iemma will be better. Debham might be worst (do not know how that is possible)

    Yet the Liberal fail to join the dot for the voters, that Iemma was part of the government for 12 year and can be linked to the multitude of disasters that had been cause by this government.

    Ads with Iemma and Carr together would have helped, ad linking the sole infrastructure project promised in this state (desalination plant) to the likely winner (Macquarie Infrastructure) to which Bob Carr is a director would have helped.

    Instead of attacking the lone shining light of the Labor party and saying we can do better, the Liberals did nothing. THey are incompetant and if it end up being 53-47, it is a miricle

  12. Here’s a juxtaposition for you lot: the SMH are editorialising against Iemma, yet just now there is a banner ad slamming Debnam’s public service cuts. Curiouser and curiouser…

    2GB where also happy enough to take Labor’s cash while giving the Government such a hard time that Iemma refused to go on the station – no great loss as he didn’t answer a single question in his other radio appearances.

    Iemma is actually Italian for Khrushchev.

  13. It’s about 1.30 on polling day in Sydney, and I’m off to vote. But before I do my bit at the ballot box, here are my tips.
    At the moment, I’m tipping just five seats to change hands. I tip the Libs to win Penrith and Wollondilly from Labor, because I suspect unpopularity to some degree on the part of the Labor candidates, and the Libs will take back Hawkesbury from the disendorsed Steve Pringle; I tip Labor to take back Macquarie Fields from the disendorsed departee Steven Chaytor; in the meantime, I tip Independent local mayor John Tate to win Newcastle from Labor and the disendorsed Bryce Gaudry. Barring a protest vote, I can’t see any other seats changing hands.

  14. It’s early days yet, but has anyone looked at the Legislative Council results? It appears that the Shooters Party have nearly hit a quota, which if true is rather unexpected.

  15. None of the newspaper websites appear to have a call of the board – does anyone know where to find a full list of what’s won/lost/changed hands? Be great if a link could be posted in the main part of this blog.

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