Idle speculation: 59-41 Newspoll edition

Noteworthy developments of the past however-long-it’s-been:

• For the second time in as many months, Newspoll has defied conventional wisdom that Kevin Rudd’s political difficulties were set to take the shine off his opinion poll dominance. Despite bad press over the Sunrise/Anzac Day affair, today’s poll has Labor’s two-party lead widening to 59-41 from 57-43 a fortnight ago, with Rudd’s lead over John Howard as preferred prime minister up from 48-38 to 48-36.

• The NSW ALP’s decision to delay opening preselection nominations in Charlton, Fowler, Blaxland and Chifley is reckoned by Michelle Grattan to spell trouble for their respective members, Kelly Hoare, Julia Irwin, Michael Hatton and Roger Price. The decision was reportedly made so that turf wars over these seats would not interrupt this month’s national conference. Andrew Landeryou talks of a deal in which Charlton will go to the Left (Greg Combet, if he wants it, which it seems he might), with the others used to accommodate aspirants from the Right, possibly including Warren Mundine and Mark Arbib. Grattan, Landeryou and Adam Carr all concur that Price, an early Rudd leadership backer, is unlikely to be toppled. Carr writes in comments: “I can only guess that he is intending to retire, and the preselection is being held over so the right has time to find a candidate”.

• Bruce Baird, factional moderate, Peter Costello backer and one-time NSW government minister, has announced his decision to retire after nine years as member for Cook. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Baird’s decision was partly motivated by “the possibility he would have been challenged for preselection”, after branch stacking by the Right reportedly swelled numbers at the Miranda branch from 200 to 600. However, the widely rated front-runner for preselection is Scott Morrison, former Tourism Australia boss and state party director, with whom Baird appears to have been on good terms. Morrison has also been mentioned as a possible successor to Alan Cadman in Mitchell. Potential rivals to Morrison reportedly include PBL Media executive David Coleman, Optus executive Paul Fletcher, “consultant” Peter Tynan and barrister Mark Speakman. The Liberals hold Cook with a margin of 13.8 per cent.

• The Queensland Liberal Party has preselected Sue Boyce to replace outgoing Senator Santo Santoro, in what The Australian described as a “comfortable” win over former state party leader Bob Quinn after the “third round of voting”. Boyce has also been promoted from number four to number two on the ticket for the imminent half-Senate election, over the head of number three candidate Mark Powell. This would appear to be a double victory for state party leader Bruce Flegg over the Santoro faction, which switched its backing from Powell to Quinn in its determination to thwart Boyce. Powell will most likely have to compete with the Nationals for a third Coalition seat.

• Laura Anderson of The Advertiser reports that South Australian Senator Linda Kirk has rejected Kevin Rudd’s offer of preselection support for the lower house seat of Boothby, offered as a consolation prize after she lost Right faction support for Senate re-nomination. The Right is reportedly backing Adelaide lawyer Tim Stanley to take the factionally reserved second position at the expense of Kirk, who “broke ranks” with the faction in supporting Rudd’s leadership bid in December. The top position will remain with rising star of the Left, Penny Wong.

• Comments thread barfly Adam Carr has turned his hand to the federal election guide caper, in typically fine style. All the electorate links above lead to the relevant entries in his guide, which I will continue to do until my own effort is up and running (which won’t be for a while).

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.

333 comments on “Idle speculation: 59-41 Newspoll edition”

Comments Page 5 of 7
1 4 5 6 7
  1. Chris and Leopold

    You are quite right about the lack of validity of online polls but it is interesting to contrast the reaction to talk back station calls the monitoring of which by Rehame is often cited by Politicians and pundits as reasons for doing something or other. I would have thought that talk back callers are both self selecting and subject to moderation by the producers and the host.

  2. Two News hacks on Insiders today trying to rationalise the Dirty Digger’s anointing of Kevvie is a hoot and why they won’t be influenced in any way is a hoot.

    Fair and balanced no doubt?

  3. Psephophile, Im sorry but i coudlnt have made that comment more saracastic. I was simply trying to show Adam that people of all religions (and atheists) commit acts of violence. The israeli defence force use cluster bombs. Im assuming the people that are responsible for their purhcase and use might be Jewish. Sorry for not making my comments more literal but Adam’s gross generalisation called for another to prove that such generalisations as a such are wrong

  4. I’m not sure how

    Journo: “Mr Murdoch do you think Kevin Rudd will make a good Prime Minister?”

    Murdoch: “Yeah, sure” (or something to that effect)

    Qualifies as an endorsement for the job. It seems the media have just been looking for something to hang their hat on with this… What an incredible echo chamber that makes this an endorsement.

  5. And Bill, the reason the Newspoll/galaxy/Acnielson polls are more reliable than the online newspaper poll is that a particular newspaper usually has a particular readership with particular underlying assumptions about how the world works. The Age is generally the paper of the educated, left-leaning, while the Herald Sun is generally not. Therefore the statistical sample on papers website usually does not get answered by the people who do not read that paper. On exactly the same issue the Herald Sun and Age will split 80/20 and 20/80 respectively because of this. Even if both were combined it would not include people who do not read papers so it still wouldnt be as good as the Newspoll etc.

  6. The relationship between Murdoch and his editors is a little more complicated than people here seem to think. Just because he has said that Rudd would be a good PM doesn’t mean that he is endorsing him, and certainly doesn’t mean all the News titles will now support Labor. Piers Ackerman may be a grub, but he’s not a lackey. The Tele will go on reflecting his views. The Australian will go on giving Rudd a hard time, because they think that’s their job as journalists.

  7. Gary Bruce Says: I’m a bit dense

    Read the transcript when it posted.

    Adam Says: He’s not the messiah. He’s just a newspaper magnate.

    The history of News hacks being “attuned” to their master’s voice is well documented elsewhere

  8. Idle speculation indeed…

    I have been amusing myself by ‘modelling’ some voting figures for the upcoming 2007 Qld Senate election, compared to the 2004 Qld Senate election.

    ‘Group’ 2004 Quota Swing 2007 Quota

    ALP 31.5% 2.2118 5.71% 37.21% 2.6118

    LIB 38.2% 2.6351 -5.71% 32.49% 2.2351

    NAT 6.6% 0.4625 -1.43% 5.17% 0.3625

    Hanson 4.5% 0.3178 -1.43% 3.07% 0.2178

    One-Nat 3.1% 0.2195 -1.43% 1.67% 0.1195

    Dem 2.2% 0.1542 -1.43% 0.77% 0.0542

    Greens 5.4% 0.3779 1.43% 6.83% 0.4779

    Fam-Fst 3.4% 0.2358 4.29% 7.69% 0.5358

    I have assumed an overall anti-coalition swing equal to half a quota and split 4/5 against Lib and 1/5 against Nat. I expect the ALP to pick up roughly what the Libs lose. I have also predicted a swing against One Nation, Pauline Hanson and the Democrats with the main recipient of those votes being Family First, who should also collect most of their preference flows to emerge as the new (non-coalition) ‘centre-right’ party.

    After allowing for preference flows based on (1) 2004; (2) 2001; or (3) an educated guess, where reasonably compatable figures were not available, I get the ALP and the Libs winning the first 4 spots between them, with the last four groups in contention for the last two quotas being Family First .8104; NPA .7676; ALP .7634 and Greens .6048.

    From there the ALP would have a nose in front to win the fifth quota with Family First by a nose’s hair from the Nationals to win the sixth spot. Of course only a very minor change of votes / preferences would see the final order change.

    My comments: The Nationals would be mad to accept fourth spot on a joint ticket which would give them no chance given anticipated poll results, whereas they are in with a real chance by running on their own. If John Howard is a fair dinkum coaltionist he would offer the Nationals a higher place on a joint ticket, because a joint quota of 2.61 could give them a better chance of securing 3 spots, whereas, as unlikely as it seemed previously, the coalition appears in this scenario to be no better than 50 / 50 of retaining 3 Senate spots in Qld.

    Acknowlegement- 2004 voting figures and preference flow information collected from both the the AEC and Psephos websites.

    All comments, criticisms and rebuttals welcome.

  9. Howardhater writes : The Age is generally the paper of the educated, left-leaning, while the Herald Sun is generally not.

    I understand what you mean but its not true for most people read the Herald Sun regardless of where they live.

    The Australian Newspaper hasn’t always been that kind to the Howard Government but considering the crap the ALP have dished up over the past 10 years I can see why they have been hard on the ALP.

    I don’t have a problem with the media giving it to the ALP, at least they aren’t going overboard like they did with Lathem whom you would that thought was a rock star or a demigod.

  10. “most people read the Herald Sun regardless of where they live.”

    The few times I have seen the Herald Sun not wrapped around the garbage, the person staring at the pages was moving their lips.

    Funny when I lived in Melbairn my moggy flatly refused to eat her food when the The Age was under the bowl but with the Hun it was no problemo. Definitely a non-U cat.

  11. My comments: The Nationals would be mad to accept fourth spot on a joint ticket which would give them no chance given anticipated poll results, whereas they are in with a real chance by running on their own. If John Howard is a fair dinkum coaltionist he would offer the Nationals a higher place on a joint ticket
    The Liberal offer to the Queensland Nationals was third spot, not fourth.

  12. Ack, did it again.

    The last sentence, i.e. – “The Liberal offer to the Queensland Nationals was third spot, not fourth.” – is of course me. (The rest Fargo61.)

    Given the Qld Libs already have a guaranteed two spots going it alone, this is as generous an offer as one could reasonably expect.

  13. Not to be taken seriously – I’m not saying you’re dense. I just wasn’t sure what you were referring to. I now realise who the Dirty Digger is and understand where you’re coming from.

  14. With the swings suggested by The Speaker the likely outcome would be 2-2-1 or 3-2-0(Lib-ALP-GRN) with the other seat taken by FFP or Hansen depending on how each go with harvesting the other conservative minors.

    I suspect the Major party swing to be greater, giving 2-2-1-1 or 2-3-1-0

  15. Why does Hanson run? Federal funding. She’s got enough fans to make a whopping amount of cash just by trying to be elected. Coupled with the income from her book, she’d be living a pretty comfortable and easy life at the moment.

    But she appeals to a fringe in both major camps, and her ticket then streamlines the voters to the right, so she matters.

    It’s self-interest, it’s misleading voters, and it’s dirty.

  16. Mr Speaker, I should hope it doesn’t add to 100% — I don’t want the Queensland Senate election to have a total votes-per-party of 200% of the number of votes! (Does that sentence make sense? It’s meant to point out it should add to 0%. Anyways…)

    Will the DLP make any great showing in Victoria this year? I haven’t heard anything about them since they got themselves into our little Legislative Council down here, but apparently they did better in raw votes at the last Senate election than Family First.

  17. Bill,

    Those who complete on line polls are those with computers, immediately skewing the results away from the views of the poorest people, for example. They also consist of those who are stirred up enough to volunteer an opinion, skewing the results in all sorts of ways.

    On line polls are like internet forums. If you read any of The Australian blogs on WorkChoices for Employers, you would think that 90 per cent of the population was going to vote Labor. Obviously, this is not the case, as many of the middle classes have been conned to think that their interests lie with the capitalist class rather than with other members of the working class.

    The major polling companies interview a random sample of a certain size, in order to have a good cross-section of voters (young and old, male and female, Victorians and others). I believe about 1,000 responses are needed to make the poll reasonably reliable. Opinion polling began, I think, as a way for market research companies to prove how good they were: if they could predict election results, then they must be good at telling manufacturers what people liked about their soap.

    To put it another way: respondents to on line polls choose themselves, while Newspoll et al choose the respondents. There is no point in taking any notice of on line poll results.

  18. Alexander McLeay,

    The DLP will not make a great showing in the Senate election in Victoria. The DLP receives hardly any coverage of its role in the Legislative Council, so the party’s profile has not been lifted by the result of the last state election. This continues the long tradition of denying the DLP coverage. Even when it had federal senators, it was restricted in its coverage by the press.

    Voting figures for the Legislative Council released a few weeks ago show that the DLP had voted with the ALP more often than the Greens had.

    The DLP did outpoll Family First in the 2004 Senate election, but it all depends on preferences, and I agree with Adam: Labor will get 3 senate seats this year.

  19. Alex: Thank you for addressing me using my correct “Mr Speaker” title.

    I predict the DLP vote will jump.. to 3 %. Family First will beat them and get similar/better than their state election vote of 4+%.. maybe even 5.

    If I was the DLP I’d run senate candidates in every state to use as a negotiation tool for getting preferences in Victoria and attempt a harvest.

    If they could get enough preferences to get their hands on FF’s juicy 4%, they’d be on 7 and enter “player” territory. Some coalition preferences and who knows..

    All speculation of course.

  20. Chris, you make it sound like there’s a conspiracy against the DLP! I had assumed the lack of coverage of the DLP was because the DLP is not trying to be covered: Take a look at their website. It gives almost no indication that they’ve got a member now, and seems like tuning into static.

  21. Alexander,

    There’s no conspiracy. There’s just an attitude of mind about who deserves to be covered and who does not.

    Mr Speaker,

    I am glad to see that you have not adopted the PC attitude of the previous Speaker of the Victorian legislative Assembly.

    I can’t see the DLP getting 3 per cent, though I am sure that Family First will do better than in 2004. The FF HTV-hander-outerer I spoke with at the last state election said (from memory) that some 500 of the 800 members of his church had volunteered to help with the election, so I think FF will have a growing workforce.

    There is no DLP in other states, so it would be hard to field a Senate team of any value at all outside of Victoria. Where the DLP members and voters went is an untold and largely unknown story, apart of course from those who produced four of the current nine Labor leaders in the country, a former governor-general and an Italian senator.

  22. Initial french poll results are in Sarkozy on 30%, Royal on 25%. My prediction is so far right but does anybody really care?

  23. Thanks Gary for your early report of the Galaxy Poll. They are excellent figures for Mr. Rudd, yet the Government’s economic credibility relative to that of the Australian Labor Party remains intact. JWH will continue to fight on now that the polling shows a late switch to his deputy would be counter productive.

  24. Chris: A question I’ve been meaning to ask.

    If the Victorian DLP won the court case, so that they were officially recognised as being the ‘real’ ALP, why didn’t they keep the name ?

  25. Mr Speaker,

    The court case was after the 1955 election. Originally the Victorian DLP was known as the ALP (Anti-Communist). It was the NSW party that adopted the name Democratic Labor Party, which I believe it did in order to be more forward-looking rather than be seen as simply a breakaway from the ALP. Victoria fell into line with NSW. In Queensland, it was originally the Queensland Labor Party but it too eventually adopted the DLP name.

    I guess in the beginning if both sections of the ALP had called themselves ALP, the confusion would have been huge. The DLP group was also referred to as the Barry-Coleman Labor Party and the other one as the Cain Labor Party. Perhaps the fact that the premier John Cain snr went with the feds meant in the public mind that his group was the ALP. There was no registration of parties n those days, so no real legal avenue to sort out the correct names.

  26. I think Adam is a trifle confused about who ‘staged’ the Cronulla riot.

    Quick q: which religion is represented by the following statements

    “Abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people”

    “Some of the hysteric and extreme claims about global warming are also a symptom of pagan emptiness, of Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature. … In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.”

    Supplementary: Is Hilali really the only idiotic religious leader in Australia?

    If Adam is saying that *realistically* we should expect to see prejudice expressed for the near future, that is one thing. If he is saying that such prejudice is a justifiable or rational response, then that is a little disappointing.

  27. “There were plentiful gang rapes in Australia before Muslims moved here in large numbers, and people of all religions commit them.”

    Nor are appalling views like “women who dress provocatively are responsible for rape” confined to the Muslim community.

  28. In NSW, the name Anti-Communist Labor Party was the name of the last major manifestation of the Lang Labor Party. The DLP certainly did not want to be seen as Langist.
    Speaking of which, I watched “Curtin” on ABC last night. This was ripe grounds for any political pedant but the simplification of the characters of the Langist ministers (Beasley and Ward) was particularly poor.

  29. Dear ‘Not to be taken seriously’ who was the preselected candidate who bailed from Greenway after the redistribution? And, FYI apparently Ms Markus has announced that she is going nowhere. Some time ago Crikey reported that she may be going to Mitchell to replace Cadman. But since then her actions (ie turning up to the opening of an envelope) in Greenway would indicate she’s staying put.

  30. Have just caught up by reading the whole thread at once, so forgive me if I’m backtracking.

    1. I have a slightly different take on why the Dems collapsed. I think their initial success was largely due to their ability to represent 2 constituencies – the disaffected centre and disaffected left. But this was always tenuous, and they only really got away with it because they were never forced to choose between the 2 in terms of strategy, language, messaging, etc. The rise of the Greens exposed this strategic weakness, and then the leadership was forced to pick sides (and they didn’t agree anyway.) This was exacerbated by a structural weakness at the grassroots – ie, they never really existed in the community in the way that other parties do, only in Parliament and the media.

    2. I am perplexed that the media are not more interested in the likelihood of a Rudd govt facing a hostile Senate. It’s a fascinating scenario. Maybe it’s too speculative or complex, but surely as election day gets closer it will get a run. And how might it affect the actual election outcome? Ie, might voters decide that if Rudd’s going to be PM we should give him the Senate too? Or will they be comforted by the sharing of power?

  31. David Charles – “yet the Government’s economic credibility relative to that of the Australian Labor Party remains intact.” That maybe true David but one explanation could be that people are aware of what the Liberals have done but Rudd, having not been in power is an unknown quantity. It has to be said though that this economic debate has been around for a long time but is not deterring people from supporting Labor, as can be seen in the polls (all four) and in the states.
    I really don’t believe there are many people unaware of the relative merits now. Given that, I find the notion that all the government has to do is remind people of how good they are in the economic area and everything will be sweet to be very simplistic and unrealistic.

  32. Andrew Burke: Good analysis.

    I’ve never thought the GST compromise is what triggered the Dems collapse, however I do think it’s a factor. The GST compromise happened in 98/99. Their vote was only slightly down for the next three years and they continued to win seats in FED/SA/NSW/ACT. Since the in-fighting in 2002, they haven’t won anything.

  33. yeah Hopeful Westie, I wondered about that too.

    Preselections have not been done for much of NSW at all. Indeed, today in Crikey there is a story about jostling in Greenway.

  34. Re: the dems implosion. I think it’s certainly the case that they were both a centrist party and a leftish party, but there big faux pas was finally deciding to adopt a more leftish stance just when the Greens snuck in and stole that space. Had they continued to market themselves as a party that would act as a ‘check and balance’ against the excess of Government to “keep the bastards honest”, they would have maintained their core support. But they appear to have forfeited that mantra and established policies and candidates which blurred the distinction between them and the Greens. The centrist Dems split their votes between the Libs and Labor whilst the leftish Dems backed the Greens.

    I still think there is room for a “centrist” party, free of ideological baggage, to spring up and adopt the role that the Dems used to take. I think this is especially the case given Howard’s control (and misuse) of the Senate and the increasing possibility of a Rudd gov’t facing a Hostile Senate. A force that acts both as an arbiter and a circuitbreker is needed in this context.

    It’s probably too late for the Dems but the “Son-of-Dems” could yet emerge.

  35. It’s one of those completely untrustworthy ‘tips and rumours’ that feature in Crikey. It says there are five nominations (hard to believe – five people putting their toes in the water more like) and that AWU official Steve Bali is the frontrunner. I suspect the piece was lodged by someone who fancies themself as a contender – it has some unrepeatable scuttlebutt and fails to mention that this AWU official also happens to be a councillor.

  36. Gary Bruce, your analysis of the opinion polling on economic credibility may be sound. The reason I highlighted that aspect of the polling was that it gives JWH something to work with in the next 6 months, and whether that aspect is ultimately good, bad or indifferent to the election outcome for him later in the year, he now needs something given the opinion polling on the (consistently good) primary vote for the Australian Labor Party, which we have seen of late from Newspoll, ACNielsen, Morgan and Galaxy.

Comments Page 5 of 7
1 4 5 6 7

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *