Seat of the week: Eden-Monaro

This fortnight’s Seat of the Week is Eden-Monaro, renowned throughout the land as the “bellwether” seat that invariably goes the way of the party that wins the election. It is not immediately obvious why it should have this reputation, as its record in this regard is far exceeded by Macarthur, which has gone with the winning party at every election since its creation in 1949. One reason is that Eden-Monaro’s broad mix of elements make it arguably representative of the state at large, if not the entire country: it includes suburban Queanbeyan, rural centres Cooma and Bega, coastal towns Eden and Narooma, and agricultural areas sprinkled with small towns (as well as the ski resorts at Thredbo and Perisher, which have many visitors but few voters). Furthermore, the area covered by Eden-Monaro has been remarkably little changed over the years, whereas Macarthur’s varying fortunes have largely been determined by redistributions. Eden-Monaro’s boundaries have always been defined by the ocean in the east and the Victorian border in the south, and its relative population decline has roughly cancelled out the effects of the increasing size of parliament.

The most significant aberration was when it acquired a north-western spur that took in Goulburn between 1934 and 1977. The 1998 redistribution left it with boundaries that were almost identical to those it had before 1913; the current redistribution, which saw New South Wales lose a seat, has for the first time expanded it westwards to include Tumut and Tumbarumba, formerly in the safe conservative seat of Farrer. These areas produced a two-party Liberal vote well into the 60s at the last federal election, and their addition has seen the Liberal margin increase from 2.2 per cent to 3.3 per cent, despite the loss of the Liberal-leaning Batemans Bay area to Gilmore. Labor’s strongest area remains the Canberra satellite town of Queanbeyan, not counting its outer suburb of Jerrabomberra where the 60/40 split in Labor’s favour is reversed. The coastal area can be divided into a finely balanced northern half, including Narooma and Moruya, and a strongly Liberal south, including Eden and Bega. Cooma and other inland towns are also solidly conservative. The 2004 election produced little change in voting patterns throughout the electorate, with the Liberals recording an overall swing of 0.4 per cent.

Eden-Monaro was held by conservatives of various stripes for all but one term until 1943, the exception being Labor’s 40-vote win when Jim Scullin’s government came to power in 1929. Allan Fraser won the seat for Labor with the 1943 landslide and held it against the tide in 1949 and 1951. He was defeated in 1966 but was back in 1969, finally retiring in 1972. The loss of his personal vote almost saw the seat go against the trend of the 1972 election, with the Country Party overtaking their conservative rivals for the first time to come within 503 votes of victory. The Country Party again finished second in 1974, this time coming within 146 votes of defeating Labor member Bob Whan (whose son Steve unsuccessfully contested the seat in 1998 and 2001, and is now the state member for Monaro). However, 1975 saw the Liberals gain strongly at the expense of the Country Party as well as Labor, and their candidate Murray Sainsbury won the seat with a two-party margin of 5.6 per cent. Sainsbury held the seat until the defeat of the Fraser government in 1983; the same fate befell his Labor successor, Jim Snow, who was swept out by a 9.2 per cent swing when Labor lost office in 1996.

The seat has since been held for the Liberals by Gary Nairn (left), who cut his political teeth in the Northern Territory as president of the Country Liberal Party in the early 1990s. Nairn moved to Queanbeyan and joined the Liberal Party in 1995, moving swiftly to secure preselection at the following year’s election. Within a year of entering parliament he landed a significant role as chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, but he then had to wait until October 2004 before being made a parliamentary secretary. Nairn was further promoted to the outer ministry position of Special Minister of State in January 2006, in which capacity he has expanded his authority in relation to electoral matters. He has also had to deal during the current term with the loss of his wife Kerrie to cancer, at the age of 53.

Labor made national headlines in April when it announced its candidate would be Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Kelly (right), a military lawyer who had been credited with efforts to warn the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about the AWB kickbacks scandal, and the Australian military about possible abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. Kelly was installed as candidate a week after the party’s national conference empowered the state executive to appoint candidates in 25 key seats over the heads of the local party branches. The preselection process had already been considerably delayed because the party did not wish for it to coincide with the March state election. The front-runners to that point had been Kel Watt, a former political staffer linked to the Right faction who had been the candidate in 2004, and Andrew Beaumont, a Treasury official who had won backing from former member Jim Snow and Fraser MP Bob McMullan. The high-profile independent mayor of Queanbeyan, Frank Pangallo, said in April that “senior party figures” had encouraged him to throw his hat into the ring, due to what Andrew Fraser of the Canberra Times described as a “growing feeling” that Beaumont and Watt “might not have what it takes to win”. Less fancied candidates were Graham Shannon and Toni McLennan, both public servants.

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.

197 comments on “Seat of the week: Eden-Monaro”

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  1. Adam’s argument is a bit like the Monty Python skit, ie “You think you did it tough we lived in a shoe box …”

    I dont think the Liberal party needs my humble efforts for its propaganda. Both parties are stuffed or rooted. In my book success if measured by what you do not how many elections you win.

    The alienation of Australians from politics is something I think most posters on this site agree is a fact. “Best in the world” you are a victim of relativism – just because Australia may be better on one statistic or other does not make it acceptable in an absolute sense. Are we truly to be compared to America?

  2. No reason at all, and I wish you luck. But that idea in itself is a recognition that the current branch-based structure is obselete, non?

  3. Absolutely, Adam. We are in full agreement on that point. We just have different ideas on how branches can be circumvented whilst still getting people involved in one way or another.

  4. “In my book success if measured by what you do not how many elections you win.” I’ve seen some asinine comments on this blog, but that is about the asininist. In a democracy a political party is an organisation for winning elections and forming governments. It has no other purpose. It cannot “do” anything unless it can win an election – ask any opposition leader.

  5. Bill, FF will only get seats if Labor’s primary senate vote is low and they receive Labor preferences.

    And Adam’s remarks are a good hit of common sense that is worlds apart from some of the other chit-chatter on here.

  6. “People who join the Labor Party could join a policy committee or a campaign team, but they would not choose candidates.”

    Adam, what would your version of the ALP look like? Who would choose the candidates? Who would choose those who determine candidates and party policies?

  7. “I know there are many problems with this method, but I think it is more in touch with the realities of modern politics than is the 19th century model we have at the moment, based in a working-class movement and culture which no longer exist.”

    I used to be very attracted to a primary-style selection of candidates. A problem with it, though, is that one would require substantial amounts of money to run in the primary (although this would be lessened in electorates with small numbers of electors). An advantage of a primary is that, by definition, many people would have already supported the eventual candidate over other candidates – the candidate would probably have more mass appeal than one who only had to win the votes of party members.

  8. Sacha,

    Why the answer is obvious, some learned, pragmatic and in tune in with common sense and middle class wisdom – why someone like Adam of course!!!

  9. Western Suburbs Magpies Says:
    June 10th, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    “So i believe if the ALP wins this election we will see the beginning of a new or amalgamated workers/community party which will make politics very interesting.”

    I assume I’m not the only person to read the word after workers/ incorrectly… and then re-read it to notice I was wrong by a letter.


  10. “But that misses my point Charlie – there are no “grass roots members” in any real sense, only a hard core of factional activists and an outer circle of pensioners and drones, whose opinions on what is a suitable candidate are, frankly, not up to much. To repeat myself, the days of the mass-based political party are over, and cannot be brought back by any act of will by the parties. This is true all over the world.”

    Adam, what are the relative proportions of “factional activists”, “pensioners”, “drones” and others? You appear to think that there is, in any real sense, no-one else. Is this true? I agree that the days of the mass-based political party are over. What, in your opinion, would be a good structure to replace it and why?

  11. To answer Sasha: candidates would be chosen by voters. In the US when you register to vote, you register as a Republican, a Democrat, a Communist or whatever you like. That entitles you to vote in your party’s primary election to choose its candidates. So, to take me as an example, I would register as a Labor voter, and I would vote in a statewide primary to choose Labor’s Senate ticket, and in a constituency-wide primary to choose the candidate for Melbourne Ports. The same would apply to state and council elections. Since we have compulsory voting in Australia, this would ensure that the candidates chosen would have the support of the majority of the party’s supporters. I would support a cap on primary election spending, but experience in the US shows that this is not very meaningful – you can’t stop people raising and spending money to support candidates if they want to. I don’t think it matters much. As Malcolm Turnbull has shown, it’s perfectly possible to buy a federal electorate under the present system. On the other hand, if money was all that counted, Ted Baillieu would be be premier of Victoria.

    I pass over Edward’s puerile sneering – if that’s really the best Liberals can put up they will lose another 20 elections in a row.

  12. Sacha is right in that winners of primaries would have to be proven vote winners. As they would have to communicate with a wider audience,they would also have to developed some policy positions, or positions relative to the wider party policy position. One difficulty with a primary system would be that it would work well in safe or winnable seats,but frankly who would contest the liberal primary in Calwell or Fowler, or the Labor primary in Bradfield?

  13. Youd probably also see an increasing independance of view and thought from candidates and members.

    a good thing i think, but some may not agree

  14. An interesting debate and I am going to throw caution to the wind and suggest that the ALP is not broken, the Libs are not broken (just morally bankrupt under Howard) and our democracy is healthy and thriving (omitting Howard’s attempt to disenfranchis voters at the next election which is clearly a disgrace that only someone abusing uncontrolled power would try).

    I don’t think that the public is largely disengaged from politics, is a sign that there is anything wrong with our democracy. It presents a risk, and something good governments (ie Labor Governments) will take into account to ensure ordinary Australians aren’t exploited.

    I say a risk because a really bad Government might do something silly assuming everyone is asleep and disengaged and then find polling putting it anhiliation territory.

    The only thing I would change about the ALP is that instead of endless ‘anti-stacking’ rules (all looking to limit membership) I would want to see much much much more recruitment of members and growth of branches.

    Yes most people don’t want to sit in meetings but there are enough interested people in most communities who will, and far too few of them are Labor party members. In fact they end up at local chambers and thinly disguised liberal party meeting.

    And as for the Liberals well I find their informal branches thru local chambers and largely member free community groups to be very effective but; but just a little bit dishonest.

  15. One aspect of a primary system is that an eventual candidate will be popular amongst the section of the population voting in that preselection which doesn’t necessarily mean the whole electorate. A good example of that is the Democratic Senate primary for Connecticut for the last Congressional elections. (All readers here would well remember that story and the outcome of the actual election.)

  16. Adam, I see you are proposing that voting be compulsory in the primary as well as the final election. This would certainly deal with the problem I raised (that very few voters would bother to participate in most preselections). However, while I think that optional primaries are a possible, although long-term, project I cannot see the faintest chance that Australians will ever accept being forced to vote in party’s preselections.

    In which case surely all this muttering about primaries as the solution is not much different from trots babbling on about how everything will be better after the revolution, without any serious effort to achieve practical reforms.

  17. Yasmin says: “I would want to see much much much more recruitment of members and growth of branches.” This is a fantasy. There is no way this can be done in the kind of society we now live in.

    Sasha says: “an eventual candidate will be popular amongst the section of the population voting in that preselection which doesn’t necessarily mean the whole electorate.” Well of course not. Just because I win the Labor primary in Kooyong doesn’t mean I will win Kooyong. But it does mean I will probably by the candidate best-placed to maximise the Labor vote in Kooyong. I don’t see the relevance of the Connecticut primary. Registered Democrats, being strongly antiwar, voted for Lamont, but the voters of CT disagreed and re-elected Liebermann. So?

    Stephen: Turnout in US primaries varies enormously depending on the situation. Not many people vote in the Democratic Senate primary in Utah, because everyone knows that Utah always elects Republicans. The same would be true here if primary voting was voluntary. If there had been primaries in the Labor seats where sitting members were challenged this time (Maribyrnong, Corio, Hotham, Charlton, Blaxland etc etc), or where sitting members had retired (Fremantle, Port Adelaide), I think the turnout would have been quite high.

  18. I think primaries would be a good addition to the Australian political scene, and have expressed that view previously too.

    The one thing I would caveat though is that in many of the high profile preselections I have seen on the Liberal side, the preselectors have been proven to have gotten it right, even if they are only shown to be right after the preselection.

    Who would rate Pru Goward better than Greg Smith after her spectacular entry into Macquarie Street?
    Who would rate Peter King better than Malcolm Turnball?
    Very few Liberals at this point from what I can tell.

  19. One big advantage of the primary would be decentralising the power of the parties, while local branches will retain their critical role in harnessing support for individual candidates (even if less formally).

    It could also have the impact of reducing the advantages of incumbency (especially if primaries were more than 6 months prior to elections), and give name recognition to non-sitting members. It would also add credibility to the situations where a sitting member is challenged, as the challenger would be shown to have the support of a majority of their voters in the area.

    The only problem is that the media would have to lose some of the fake outrage that comes when political parties (and their voters) democratically decide who should represent them, rather than giving individuals a seat for life.

  20. I’m pretty cold on the idea of primaries in Australian.

    As I think someone may have mentioned before, forcing intra-party contests to a popular vote forces the candidates to differentiate themselves from one another. Which means that candidates, even after they’ve won the primary, are as much running under their own banner as they are their party’s.

    This fosters an independent mentality amongst MPs which I believe has more downside than up. My core concern being that these quasi-independent MPs will work more towards the narrow interest of their own constituents than the national interest.

    Also, contrary to what some have argued, the primary system entrenches incumbency. In the US, primary challenges to sitting members are rarely successful. The recognition factor of a sitting member proves difficult to overcome. This is also true of general elections, where the recognition factor boosts incumbents.

    Western Suburbs argues that challengers would have greater name recognition under a primary system. But this is superficial. You’re comparing a system where name recognition is important, to one where it’s of lesser value.

  21. Did anyone get the details (figures, pollster, number polled) of a poll taken in Western Australia recently? Apparently it wasn’t good for Labor. Thanks.

  22. Adam wrote: “I don’t see the relevance of the Connecticut primary. Registered Democrats, being strongly antiwar, voted for Lamont, but the voters of CT disagreed and re-elected Liebermann. So?”

    It’s an example of where the views of the primary voters don’t reflect the views of the electorate – so while many more people (as a proportion of the total electorate) voted in the Connecticut Democratic primary than in any Australian preselection, it didn’t mean that the candidate was necessarily more electable. Of course, Lamont winning the primary meant that he was preferred by the registered Democratic voters instead of the relatively few local members of a notional Democratic Party.

    One benefit of a primary – it involves many more people choosing the candidate.
    One drawback of a primary – it involves much more campaigning and thus money, probably leading to greater incumbency factors.

    The focus on individuals in a primary may mean that the Primary winner is more independent of their party than at present, which could be seen as positive or negative.

  23. Sorry Adam – while I agree there is no way to do it easily, and yes it may be a dream, but your position frankly, and with all due respect for the embedded ALP warlords who would find a real growth in branches threatening, you ‘it is impossible’ view shows all the leadership of Howard. That is stand behind a crowd and quietly follow.

    Those with the power and the money in the ALP are those least interested in recruiting members, and most interested in creating ‘anti-stacking’ rules that are essentially anti-member rules.

    Now remember I said the party isn’t broken, and I don’t want to sound like it is, but if there is an impediment to membership it is the party itself, not community attitudes and beliefs, and lifestyle.

  24. Sorry Swordfish, by ‘informal’ I mean run by Liberal Party operatives, attended largely or exclusively by Liberal Party members and operatives, but not actually branches of the Party.

    Again the turnouts at these kind of events, show people are not incapable of public activity in evenings, they are not as disinterested as the male powers that be would have us think, and they are looking for ways to be part of their community. The male powers that be are much more interested in pretending there is no community so they can move mates around seats and city’s without local consideration.

    Labor would be much better of, and much stronger if it was a bit more active on membership, as opposed to being institutionally disinclined to it.

  25. In the US, it is well known that voters in primaries are more likely to be committed activists, and can drag the party away from the mainstream to an extremist position. I recall reading that in Minnesota, Republican primary voters are very right wing, and Democrat voters very left wing, to the point where the endorsed candidates did not reflect mainstream view, and Jesse Ventura came down the centre.

    Lets apply an Australian example, imagine for some reason that the primary voters (for either major party) in Melbourne Ports voted for a candidate that was actively anti – Israel. Of course, it may attract some voters, but it would largely repel the 30% of Jewish voters in MP. Said candidate would lose big time, that is an example where the primary voters would not reflect the wishes of the constituency at large.

  26. Gary – that’d be the Westpoll. Bear in mind that the paper that runs it specializes in character-assasination of state ALP government ministers and pretty much calls for the Premier to resign on a daily basis. I can’t supply the figures because I didn’t buy the paper.

  27. OK Yasmine, I await your prescription for reversing a decades-old, worldwide sociological and political trend (disengagement from active participation in political parties) and restoring a genuine mass membership base to the ALP, or any other party. Vague aspiration is not enough, let’s have some specifics.

  28. I think perhaps you take a step too far Adam with ‘mass membership’, but I’ll start of with ‘more membership’ (perhaps I got a bit effussive and gave a grander vision but hey gotta have a grand vision to take baby steps) and see how it goes from there.

    Rewrite the rules in every State to encourage membership of branches, rather than discourage because everyone wants to talk about the ‘elephant in the room’ (that is branch-stacking)but no-one could be bothered measuring it or enforcing the existing rules. Freeze the 50:50 at current numbers and then have a formula so that union representation is effectively diluted down to 70:30, but only slowly over time by real increased measurements. Make state secretaries and presidents responsible for leading recruitment campaigns with KPI’s and bonuses dependent on hitting targets towards 70:30.

    Something like that. Unless you are too elitist to want to listen to the community you must see the party only gets richer from increased membership and participation.

  29. Sorry Adam had a late brain wave, essentially I’m saying do what is necessary to run the organisation like a business what wants members and wants to listen to them, and run the parlimentary party exclusively like a party that wants to win Government.

  30. I’m sorry Yasmine but none of that will cut it.

    * “Rewrite the rules in every State to encourage membership of branches.” More vague aspiration. Rewrite them *how*?
    * “Freeze the 50:50 at current numbers and then have a formula so that union representation is effectively diluted down to 70:30, but only slowly over time by real increased measurements.” I *think* this means “give branch members more votes at state conferences vis-a-vis the unions.” How will that increase membership? Have you ever been to a state conference? I’d rather be boiled in oil than sit through another.
    * “Make state secretaries and presidents responsible for leading recruitment campaigns with KPI’s and bonuses dependent on hitting targets towards 70:30.” I have no idea what that means.
    * “run the organisation like a business what wants members.” Businesses exist to make money, and people join a business in expectation of material reward. I don’t see any useful analogy.
    * “run the parlimentary party exclusively like a party that wants to win Government.” What does that have to do with increasing membership?

  31. Sacre Bleu -70-30 rule, Yasmine have you joined the forces of the reformation?

    It is indeed time to let the winds of change into the ALP, good for you!! Slowly painfully the ALP will come to adopt something exactly like your position.

    No doubt there was a significant element in the 60’s who believed the national executive would never yield leadership to the parliamentary party so there you have it.

  32. Gentle slow improvement Edward gentle slow improvement.

    Rewrite the rules : isn’t technically obscure, I think if you’d stayed awake at the State Conferences you’d have notice amendments to the rules probably happened at some point or another. Pretty traditional mover / seconder debate vote stuff.

    If you are saying the powers that be just aren’t going to change, I’d probably agree with you, the numbers to do it aren’t there; but that doesn’t provide support for position.

    Sorry if I was too brief, essentially if you give an incentive for increasing membership, ie, so that increased membership diluted the 50:50 rule over time, then it is an incentive to enrol branch members because if you grow the membership then the State Conference membership votes increase, no membership growth no increased vote no dilution.

    That unions would probably form a large chunk of these branches and increased membership is quite irrelevant the votes have moved from the unions to political branches. Not rocket science, not in the interest of the powers that be but still a way to encourage rather than discourage membership.

    It doesn’t really matter if I’ve been to State Conferences or not. I assume that was an intend slight which I will recover from in due course. Although wait I mentioned above the State Secretary at a recent State Confernce mentioning poll bludger … so I at least know they occur.

    KPI’s and targets. You don’t understand organisations having goals and measuring the performance of staff against those goals? Are you serious? I guess I should know what you do for a living, but I don”t. I will say however if you can get me a job in the unmeasured untargeted world you inhabit please send me an application pack.

    OK my apologies for using a business metaphor, in my circles Government and Organisations are told they are supposed to run like businesses, but then they have targets and performance measures, so I’ll apologise for living in the business world. All I mean is that the aim of the organisation is to add additional members it, in and of itself would be an improvement. If you then make measures of that and tell key people and staff they are going to be evaluated against those measures and performance and you have carrots and sticks at your disposal then you can actually acheive.

    Finally my last point was to clearly identify two different focii and aim for them with different body’s and efforts. If a large blobby organisation has no goals or isn’t really sure what is goals are it is not really going to go anywhere. If you have two organisations both exclusively focused on winnning Government you’d have massively declining membership of …. oh wait didn’t we already do that?

    I’m not trying to cut anything honey. I’m trying to suggest that the party I love has a organisational culture and structure that actively works against membership, rather than the other way around. It still is a great organisation, it still does great things and seems at the moment to have a great record of success baring Cth elections.

    And if you key point is the powers that be aren’t going to give up power, and aren’t going to focus on getting more members and more input and deliver a better party you are almost certainly right. If you are suggesting this is either good or inevitable then I fundamentally disagree with you and would beg you to go and join some other party.

    If your key thesis is that communities have no interest in their own community and politics I think you are wrong; and while high standards of living, relative peace and relative stability is going to reduce participation through increased satisfaction, I know in the communities I’m part of there are lots of passionate active people who should be in the Labor party but the Labor party needs to go to them and recruit them, they are not going to come to us.

    For goodness sakes about half of the people that manned the booth I ran at the last Federal Election, standing in the hot sun were not even party members. Why would that be Adam? They care enough to stand in the sun and had out HTV’s for some factional hack who has barely visited the electorate and who they’ve never heard of but they don’t join the party? Not surprisingly the particular seat moved from relatively safe to massively safe based on the last effort.

    My key thesis is that if we take serious steps to recruit them we are better off. No I don’t think it is going to happen, but I object strongly to any attitude that suggests we shouldn’t even try.

  33. I certainly agree that Ahern pulling off a surprise re-election has some lessons for Australia – I have never said that this election is in the bag for Labor. It isn’t and it won’t be until Rudd survives the shitstorm of negative advertising and Murdoch attack-journalism he is going to get during the campaign. But I agree that the peculiar nature of the Irish election system make comparisons difficult.

    Yasmine, well you may be right, it may be possible to bring about some recovery in branch membership, but this is swimming against the very strong tide of civic disengagement that has been flowing since suburbanisation, the postwar baby boom and TV killed off the old culture of civic participation. I wish you luck. I still think that primaries are a better solution to the problem of candidate selection than attempts to recruit more branch members.

    (Someone has now told me what a KPI is. I thought it was a brand of fried chicken. My previous occupation was politics, so of course I know nothing of such things.)

  34. Adam,

    KPI, KSC, ETWR, transformational leadership – it doesn’t matter. If you go to the satire section of, you will find about fourteen editions of Bull**** Bingo, provided by the hard-working cynics of Hampton Park Secondary College. Almost every one of the, perhaps 500, terms, comes from education, but they all have that meaningless businessspeak about them.


    I think you will enjoy them too, even if you are a believer.

  35. OK you have caught me out.

    The KPI stuff well what can I say. I agree with Chris without going his source. And yes in business and more so in Government it is mostly, um bingo rubbish. I have been a captive of this world too long they have infiltrated my brain.

    Without the stupid jargon I got caught out on, my point is at the moment in the State I know best if membership drops, the powers that be probably don’t go to the office bearers and say “OMG membership has dropped WTF have you been doing?”

    If they noticed odds are they’d say “Fantastic 200 less drongos this year, should be much neater as we move amendment to rule X to ensure that members must line up at Chicken Treat between 3.30 am and 4.00 am on the 27 June to renew there membership which only may be paid in West Coast Eagles Football Cards to the value of $100.” Just think how this measure will be fantastic to reduce branch stacking… ha ha ha … we wont have branches … ha ha ha.

    I think this is the wrong direction. I don’t think the tide can be turned I’m too cynical and old for that but my most critical point is there are, I know I meet them, people who should be in the Labor Party, they believe what we believe and many live it and put it into action even better than us, but we have to go to them and listen to them and promise to try to do better. But we don’t we sit back thankful the branch meeting finished in 10 mintues and hope the Admin committee don’t notice we have the full cast of cheers signed up as members for next year.

  36. 15 or 16 or 17 seats to win Government ? WHO CARES !!!! Whoever wins the 2007 Federal Election is historically speaking not going to have to play footsies with Independents-it will be a clear majority-that is my contention> What do i have to back up my contention, what empirical evidence ? Australian Election history for one thing.

    What bothered me and drove me to make this God awful [totally unsound and inverifiable] contention is the very real concern I have about what happens if Rudd loses this Election- at the next Election ?

    Will the ‘damage’ done by Latham’s lame effort be repeated- More Coalition seats taking an unexpected shift toward ‘safe’ space ? More voters opting for the [protest-oh bloody hell, their both hopeless] Greens ?
    Family First getting a run at another Senate seat in 2010 ? And the ALPs chances of winning next time being improbable ?

    Latham’s anti-logging thing did damage in TAS and parts of VIC and elsewhere – Bass, Braddon et al- but can the ALP win either back ? Hindmarsh, Swan, Bendigo, possible LOSSES–grrr !!! Corangamite, Kalgoorlie, Bennalong, no way– Bonner, Blair ? Ha !! Eden Monaro- perhaps; Wentworth, please God Wentworth, Im sick of his face on the TV;
    Page, dont think so; Solomon ? perhaps; how depressing, scratching together a few ‘gain’ seats for the ALP.

    Cross referencing between Adam Carrs seat by seat prognosis, rogue and other polls, The Poll Bludger, a 6 week solid analysis of 2001 and 2004 election results in fine detail, and the coal face I stare at out here in the bleachers here in sunny SE Brisvegas where i function as a social worker in a very prominant Federal Government department i conclude that any ning nong who wants to predict the outcome of this Election needs to be either Nostradamis love child, very good at reading tea leaves, or a bloody idealogue with a personal bent for one or other of the 2 contenders-that is, one you can safely ignore as ‘biased’.

    Please win Mr Rudd, Im sick of looking at little Johnny and that smug faced Costello telling us with great pride that the share of the economic pie going to ‘the worker’ fell away and the share of the pie going to capital improved yet again. Its not us v them -stupid way to view it- adversarial approaches to capital-labour relations is just ignorant- just as ignorant as voting for one side or the other because of the colour of their ties , red or blue, or even [ewww] green. I worry for the next election if Rudd loses this one- yes loses. Imagine another 3 years of Howard/Costello- OMG-wheres my Prozac !!

  37. Howard reckons he’s winning Eden-Monaro.

    No-one had bothered to comment on the PM’s recent prognostications to his party room. He may have been making it up.

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