Galaxy: 55-45

It seems Galaxy has settled into a three-week polling pattern, compared with Newspoll’s fortnightly, ACNielsen’s monthly and Roy Morgan’s weekly (usually – they seem to have taken last week off) UPDATE: Sorry, it’s actually been four weeks since the last Galaxy – the previous three were three weeks apart. Today’s Galaxy survey has Labor leading 55-45 – still narrower than other recent polls, but a slight correction from its quirky 53-47 of three weeks ago. Despite the flak Galaxy copped last time, respondents were again asked a question about Labor’s union connections. They were also asked if the Prime Minister was “addressing problems in Aboriginal communities because of the upcoming federal election or because he really cares about the problem”. All revealed here.

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.

314 comments on “Galaxy: 55-45”

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  1. Adam i wont waste space on this but my memory is pretty good- If I find it I will post it- {where you made at least general comments about close election calls be naive or something of that nature]. Until then I will desist from associating you with my observations. Cheers.

  2. It’s hard to know how much weight to put on it now, Adam, but a Galaxy poll about a month or so back rated climate change and water pretty highly, higher than IR, if I remember rightly. Since then, there’s been plenty of rain – so maybe it will recede.

  3. Chris Curtis Says:
    July 3rd, 2007 at 8:20 pm


    Their vote for the GST vote did cause hostility to the Democrats, but as they went into the election promising to support the GST, I have no idea why people became hostile at the fact that they did what they promised to do, albeit with some compromises with the Liberals. It would have been better if the GST had not been distorted by the Democrats’ exemptions because the states would now have even more money to put into health and education.

    As a former Dem member i left after the GST debacle and to this day my workmates who voted Democrat still have a go at me for that. Some believe that the Democrats and the Greens are the same party ( LOL)

  4. I concur with Bill W,

    obviously the Libs will lose seats I just dont see the swing getting high enough to do the Rodent in.

    And then the civil war will begin …

  5. Bill, Edward have a look at the polls. Howard hasn’t had such a trend against him since he’s been in office. Don’t fall for the lib line that 16 seats is too much to win back. Every new govt starts at zero, and with a tpp of 55, the ALP will win 92 seats. I think like many commentators in the press, you have started to believe that JWH is invincible. He is not and as the polls are showing, people are fed up and have stopped listening. The thing that is worrying for the govt is the strength of these polls. They have hardly moved in six months. Attitudes have hardened, and I really believe we are seeing something new with Rudd. If he can hold it all together, Howard is gone for all money. I’m predicting a 53/47 TPP for the ALP.

  6. MARK

    Thanks for your efforts. Your scenario gives Labor 10 certain gains, 13 probables and 9 possibles in a landslide. Generous – they only need a gain of 16 and i note your concession to losses in places like Cowan,Swan.

    Under your ‘certain’ category, my current position concurs with you on 9 (Eden Monaro, Macquarie (NSW); Kingston, Makin, Wakefeild (SA); Bass, Braddon (TAS) Bonner, Moreton (QLD). I have Wentworth (NSW) as opposed to your Lindsay in NSW and I would add Dobell (NSW), giving me 11 ‘certain’ gains for Labor compared to your 10.

    I don’t use ‘probables’ in my second tier category, preferring to use the term ‘possible’. My second tier grouping matches yours on four QLD seats (Blair, Herbert, Flynn; Longman) and one in SA (Boothby). My ‘possible’ category includes Lindsay (NSW) and Solomon (NT), giving me 7 ‘possible’ gains compared to you 13 ‘probables’ .

    3 of your ‘probables’ would go into my third tier ‘bonus’ category (Deakin, McMillan, Corangamite). Other seats that would fit my ‘bonus’ seat category (in the wake of a significant 5.0%+ State wide swing to Labor) could come from Page, Robertson (NSW), Latrobe, (VIC), Hinkler, (QLD). Hasluck, Stirling (WA).

    I wouldn’t give Labor any hope of winning Sturt. I have also excluded Petrie, Bowman, Hughes, Bennalong and McEwin which are on your nominated list.

    In summary, I am counting on all 11 on my first tier ‘certain’ list and 5 of my ‘possible’ list (out of 7 nominated) to win Government for Labor. I am also assuming that any seat losses to Labor (Cowan et al) will be offset from gains in my so-called ‘bonus’ category (10 nominated). Therefore, my ‘call’ at this point would be a net Labor majority of 2-8 seats.
    Funny this is the more astute judges (people who know what they are talking about) are not calling the election yet, preferring to roll their eyes at the naïve offerings of people like me, your average punter who just wants to see a reasonably fair (imperfect, sure) and just Government in Australia. Yes, by implication I consider Howard is neither fair nor just.

  7. PS. That, above, will be my last post on here unless specifically invited to do so. I get the feeling I am particularly welcome here. GO RUDD GO.

  8. Personally I think Labor will get more out of pushing education than either IR or climate change, and Rudd’s obsessive stalking of school students and ‘education revolution’ rhetoric appears to indicate he agrees.


    I will eat my hat if the Liberals lose Petrie, Dickson or Leichhardt, or if the Nats lose Wright or Flynn.

    The other seats you mention all seem at least mildly plausible.

  9. STROP,

    Please continue to post. I find your words thoughtful. A site like this isn’t a room. No one is stuck here listening to a conversation they want to escape from. Stick to the issues, and ignore abuse. No one has to read anything they don’t want to.

  10. OK. So. Watching Kev. Like what he’s saying, but with the NT incursion and Glasgow bombings, is he going to get traction with Nauru, Kiribati and Tonga?

  11. Leo,
    If the Liberals lose Petrie, Dickson and Leichhardt, I’ll fly down and cook your hat for you 😉

    I think Ryan and Blair are gone simply because of Howards Goodna bypass. Qld’ers get a bit parochial when governments attempt to put 4 lanes of asphalt through their leafy neighbourhoods as a political stunt that isn’t even needed. Add to that Johnsons almost wall to wall bad press, a large number of the community thinking he’s a dick, and half the Liberals in the area wishing they could just go and drown the bloke in the bay – the numbers for Ryan don’t quite do justice to the trouble that Johnson is really in.

    Petrie is an interesting seat – culturally it’s almost identical to its neighbouring seat of Lilley (which is where I live), the big difference historically being income, and over the last 10 to 15 years, education. But that is rapidly changing with large swathes of the Petrie suburban environment no longer being Bogan central, but becoming a more diverse socioeconomic mix as a result of the housing boom, greenfields development and the quasi-gentrification of quite a few pre-existing areas – that’s been happening for a while. I think some of the booths in Petrie will show quite large changes in voting patters from the last election, simply as a result of that change accelerating over the last 3 years, let alone Rudd being no Latham and coming from Qld to boot. Add to that any broader swing across QLD which I think is on the cards anyway and Petrie seems to be dog meat for Gambaro.

  12. Strop:

    Stick around. If someone doesn’t like your opinions – who gives a _ ?


    I will eat my hat if .. the Nats lose Wright

    A very safe bet considering there is no such seat. (or was that deliberate?)

  13. I would make sure my hat was made of something nutritious before I bet it on the Libs holding Petrie. My sources in Qld say Labor is increasingly confident about it. I don’t think Dickson is in the frame on its new boundaries. Leichhardt might well be with Entsch retiring, but I have not heard recent gossip about it.

    The new seat of Flynn was initially called Wright, hence the confusion. It was to be named for Judith Wright, but the only Wright the locals had heard of was the charming Keith Wright, so the name was changed to Flynn, after the Flying Doctor guy.

  14. As a pessimist, I just can’t see Rudd winning. It would be a dream come to true to finally see this government out of power, but I was let down in 1998. Let down in 2001. Let down in 2004. I think it’s only fair to assume that the same might be the case for 2007.

    Rudd will win a lot of seats, I am positive of that, but if it stops at a figure like 11, then what are we to do? Attempting to gain 16 seats is a mammoth task when the remaining 6 seem like “possibilities” instead of “certainties”. If Rudd wins many seats, the press will have a “He ran a very good campaign but not good enough” presence to themselves whilst Howard will have escaped yet another election and have 3 years to make up for his losses and poor governance which Workchoices finally becomes entrenched into the Australian system and issues like Climate-Change-denial get to survive for another 3 years.

    A landslide would be lovely and all I can do is hope for such an event, but at the back of my pessimistic mind, it’s a little bit hard to turn this into optimism. This country seems very entrenched with conservatism and Queensland, being one of the most conservative states in the nation and holding lots and lots of seats to the Liberal Party, demonstrates that the fight will have to be tough!

    Rudd needs to be strong. If Howard mentions a “Do you want 500% Unemployment?” line based on spreading fear, Rudd should mention a “Do you want 500 nuclear reactors around your house?” and so on. Either way, it’ll be a dirty campaign and be a very interesting (and apprehensive) election night. If this government is finally elected out, I will honestly have a party. Even if that means celebrating by myself!

  15. Went to lunch. It turned into dinner. So apologies for not keeping up with the conversation. In any event you wouldn’t want me breathing on you this morning.

    Adam & Possum, also think Petrie is a chance but it is gentrifying slowly. Longman is a better prospect. Ryan is interesting but as an ex-Qlder who lived there for quite a while I’ve been astonished at the ALP’s ability to hold most of it three times now at state level because it’s pretty true blue territory. My folks live up on the Sunshine Coast these days and they reckon the demographics are trending Labor’s way so I’d keep an eye on those seats.

    Strop, with J Kelly hanging up her skates the Libs have written off Lindsay. Despite the margins, I have a raft of Victorian seats in range because my sense is that the anti-Howard mood is pretty strong there. My SA mates reckon Sturt is very gettable as well as Boothby.

  16. btw I am officially retracting my previous statement about all the Printgate MPs getting off.. apologies to all bludger-ites.

    My new unreliable gossip from the street is that the names on the brief handed to the DPP were Laming, Hardgrave and Green. Vasta made an “accounting error”.

  17. More on the polls vs betting markets debate.

    A Canberra based group called Portlandbet is offering bets on every single federal set.

    Based on current flow, it reckons Coalition will get 77 seats, ALP 71 and two independents. It puts Coalition at $1.87 and ALP $1.90.

    Puts Howard $1.22 in Bennelong to McKew’s $3.75. Interestingly, for those keen watchers of the pendulum, Eden-Monaro is $1.87 for each, but Dobell is at $1.63 for Ken Ticehurst and the ALP is at $2.20. But it has Greenway Labor’s way ($1.85 vs $1.88).

    According to Portlandbet, only one Qld seat – Bonner – will change hands.

  18. I know this is off-topic, but don’t know where else to post it. Did anyone notice this little gem on the ABC site this morning .

    I admit I did a double take when I first read it, and i’m still shaking my head. I can remember distinctly the outraged editorials at the Oz, especially Sheridan arrogantly dismissing that the Iraq invasion was about oil. Now the truth is out. I have to ask, why now?

  19. This will hurt the Coalition – proof that it was not about people, but Oil (and Oil companies) will not go down well with middle class Australians and will make APEC look even more elitist.

  20. ….On Portlandbet website I thought the odds for the ALP in Macquarie were very good – might put the kids shoe money on Debus.

  21. If those odds at Portlandbet are right get on the Liberals in Greenway. They appear not to have caught up with the redistribution – the Libs should be about $1.15.

  22. Save the oil!

    Save the oil!

    Think of all the poor fossil fuel multinationals!

    I reccomend you read ‘high and dry’ its all expalined in this great book

  23. Well, maybe I go too far in the case of Petrie.

    And given how useless Johnson is, I suppose Ryan is possible in a landslide.

    But I missed Forde first time I read your comment Possum… care to expand? I would have considered it safe even in a ‘worst ever’ result for the Libs.

    Mr Speaker, you are correct, I meant to say ‘Hinkler and Flynn’. Duh.

  24. Surely the 2004 election is the exception, rather than the rule, when it comes to recent elections.

    The difficulty in calling the election based on 2PP polling is that, during the Howard years, (if not earlier), Australia has become a very polarised country, and any swing is likely to be wildly variable and non-uniform across electorates. Speaking as a Melbournian from the Labor side of the river, the previous anti-Latham swings are likely to be corrected, and then some, without any gain in seats for Labor.

    On the other hand, there is a great deal of mythologising associated with Howard. I suspect that he (and some of his senior ministers) have never been wildly popular. If they were not in safe seats and against a lacklustre, infighting opposition, they probably would’ve been in trouble a lot sooner.

    The myth of ‘Howard’s battlers’ is another case in point. Whilst some working class people might have been attracted to Howard a few years ago, I find it difficult these days to find any working class person with a kind thing to say about him. And for all the talk of the ‘chattering classes’ and ‘doctor’s wives’ being attracted to Labor, suburbs like Brighton (Vic) or Woolhara (NSW) are still pretty safe propositions for the Libs. What we see in these electorates is a tendency to favour candidates who are slightly ‘small l’ Libs, such as Georgiou, or Turnbull.

  25. Leo,
    I don’t think the ALP will necessarily win, but I think it will be closer than the current margins suggest.

    The Beenleigh, Loganlea, Waterford and other miscellaneous legoland areas in the seat are those classic low to middle income, dependent rugrats, commodore/falcon/second hand 4wd + Hyundai for the wife type mortgage belts.

    There’s been a bit of greenfields development through the seat since 2004 to add to that as well.

    These types of areas are the ones that really feel the interest rate to disposable income issue, not in terms of housing stress but in terms of the way that growing ratio reduces the household discretionary spending which funds lifestyle. Lifestyle is a big issue in those burbs because that lifestyle contributes to a big chunk of self-perception of living standards.

    Add to that the 1.5 jobs per household nature of the place and general household income levels (which aren’t particularly high for most parts of the area), and Workchoices is probably going to bite there as well through either first hand experience of AWAs at their end of the market, or the uncertainty for income security and conditions that the anti-workchoices campaigns are producing for those on low-middle income levels.

    The mortgage belt parts of the seat will probably swing fairly large against the government (as I expect that demographic to around the country – primarily because of the nexus between interest rates to disposable income, discretionary spending and workchoices). The question for me with this seat is whether that swing in those areas will be big enough to counter the super strong government support in the more rural southern and western parts of the electorate. Adams site has the Warrill View booth returning 83%TPP for the Libs – if you’ve ever been out that way, that vote is just not surprising at all. It’s the Peoples Republic of Agrarian Socialism out that way, even though agriculture is a declining industry for the area.

    I’d be surprised if the swing will be big enough to topple the Libs in the seat (assuming of course the Libs even win it – it might go to the Nats if the burbs really turn against the coalition in some areas, and some of those Liberal urban preferences would then flow onto the ALP if the Nats poll more than the Libs), but it will be big enough to slash that margin to shreds. For me, it all depends on how big the population growth has been in the urban parts. That part of the world is one of the key urban corridors for South East Qld urban growth.

  26. Thanks for the heads up on PortlandBet, guys.

    Some of those odds should (but won’t) dispel the popular myths about the electoral wisdom of the bookmakers.

    I’ve placed large bets on the Libs in Greenway (1.88), the ALP in Macquarie (2.22) and Moreton (2.00).

    And small bets on the ALP in Wentworth (7.00) and Corangamite (10.00).

  27. I forgot to mention that Forde is a three cornered contest this time with Kay Elson retiring. This brings into play something I think is a peculiar Qld thing, where relatively young and attractive female candidates seem to get more of the vote than one would think they ordinarily would. The Nats are running Hajnal Ban in Forde and she certainly doesn’t have a face like clock, so that might do strange things to a few percent of the vote, which might be all it takes to put the Nats ahead of the Libs in the seat, depending on how those conservative areas vote (they vote Nats at the State level)

    Also on this rather politically incorrect and strange point, the Greens Senate candidate Larissa Waters might pick up a bit of the testosterone vote as well.

    And please, no jokes about the sophistimication of Qld voters from you cultured Mexicans 😉

  28. I think you are just honest Possum, I think both sexes have a natural inclination to ‘pretty’ and just you boys take it to silly extremes much more often :-P. If the mexicans haven’t realised this happens then perhaps their lack of sun and lifestyle leaves such self-evident truths in the dark ….

  29. You can of course see the lady’s face, and those of all other candidates who have been good enough to send me their photos, at my website:
    (She looks a bit over-cooked to me, but what do I know?)

    Also for those of interested in French elections, I have now posted detailed returns for both rounds of the Presidential elections, plus maps.
    The Legislatives will take longer: there are 577 seats to do.

    Finally, and totally off-topic, my new website for Third Reich history buffs, based on my recent stay in Berlin:

  30. Portland bet is the only major bookie to have the Coalition as favourites though, so I don’t know how much credence should be paid to that. Also, given that they have broken down the betting in to seat by seat, the pool for each seat is likely to be small, and therefore the odds not neccessarily a true reflection of the betting market.

  31. Portlandbet update:

    Seems pollbludger writers have taken advantage of the generous odds on offer in Greenway. Markus has now shortened to favourite at $1.75. That gives Govt 78 to ALP’s 71 seats. In fact, Greenway has apparently had the most interest of punters today.

    Peter Brent will be interested to know that Andrew Leigh helped put together the odds on offer.

    No bets laid on Bennelong, though.

  32. “I’m not persuaded that climate change is shifting votes in the places where it matters. The rich and educated care about it, but they nearly all live in seats which are safe for one side or the other. (Ironically the one seat where it might prove decisive is Wentworth.) But the “Howard battlers” are much more concerned about IR and housing affordability for their kids, and they are the decisive class in the marginals.”

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that. The message about climate change is sinking in, and people are starting to take notice, it is becoming part of family talk. It may not be a huge factor in this election, but it is not trivial.

    “Rudd will win a lot of seats, I am positive of that, but if it stops at a figure like 11, then what are we to do? Attempting to gain 16 seats is a mammoth task…”

    “Howard hasn’t had such a [poll] trend against him since he’s been in office. Don’t fall for the lib line that 16 seats is too much to win back.”

    Exactly. IIRC, Labor took 18 or 19 seats off the government in 98′. Sixteen seats is a strong possibility this time around.

  33. Climate change can’t possibly be an issue. Why, only yesterday I got a glossy from my (useless) local member – I won’t say who it is, but the $2+ for Debus is like winning the lottery – implying that the govt was much more committed to climate change than Labor because they’re spending much more on it than the ALP budgeted for in 1996.

    There, another irritant neutralised.

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