ACNielsen: 58-42

Comedy alert. What follows is a parody. It seems some readers actually thought it plausible that this was written by Chris Mitchell.

Guest post by Chris Mitchell, editor of The Australian.

Kevin Rudd’s prime ministerial ambitions lie in tatters today after yet another devastating opinion poll, this time from ACNielsen. For all the ignorant whingeing levelled at the government lately by out-of-touch ivory tower eggheads, loony left “web loggers”, civil libertarian do-gooders, bludgers and parasites from the Aboriginal industry and (SNIP – maybe I was a bit harsh on poor old Chris with this last one), the Coalition primary vote is still on 39 per cent. This is profoundly significant because, as those who really understand opinion polls can tell you, only four of the previous nine changes of government occurred after ruling party support remained steady in the last month before the election whose name began with a J.

Minor details of the poll include a Labor primary vote tapping on the door of 50 per cent, a further widening of the two-party gap from 57-43 to 58-42, growing opposition to Australian involvement in Iraq, little support for the notion that high house prices are caused by “inadequate land releases by governments”, and – this can’t be right – movements away from the Prime Minister on those all-important performance approval and preferred leader ratings.

In other news, it seems not even The Age can spell ACNielsen (I beg your pardon if this has been corrected by the time you read this).

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.

166 comments on “ACNielsen: 58-42”

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  1. If anyone can supply me with a decent photo of Janelle Saffin, or any photo at all of Colin Robinson or Michael Towke, I would be grateful. (The NSW Liberal webmaster obviously thinks the identity of their candidates is a state secret.)

  2. “Howard’s job approval rating remains close to 50% (49 in this poll).”

    Graeme, 49% of people polled approve of the job Howard is doing of getting himself kicked out.

  3. Adam (wrt Robinson) can you think of any Liberal parliamentarians, or prominent candidates, who have been members of a trade union? (excluding the AMA of course 😉

  4. No, but some must have been – those who have been police officers such as Wood and Parry, for example. Paul Marek (National, Capricornia 1996-98) was a local officeholder in the AMWU and a member of the CFMEU.

  5. The entry on your site is a fake. It has been repeated on other sites as it appears on yours. There is also a fake comment from Dennis Shanahan.

    It would be reasonable to expect the entries be removed or marked as a fake.

    Sid Marris
    The Australian

  6. Abbott may well like to dissolve the people and elect a new bunch but they are only half way through repopulating Australia under the 457 visas and, half of them only speak Mandarin. Maybe he can transfer some across from his parallel universe.

    Costello wont win and may do more damage than good. Turnbull is too new to gain the people’s confidence. The rest of the Rodent Pack are simply too frightening to consider. I suspect they are stuck with Howard who will be the best one to limit the damage.

    Maybe they should take advantage of the bad situation to split the party into Facists and Liberals.

  7. Well, there’s definitely a solid trend for the ALP here.

    I don’t know what the betting market thinks it’s doing, but I’d say the smart money is on Labor at this point.

  8. Thanks for the pointless interjection by Sid Marris. It seems more than a few at The Australia are still coming to grips with ‘the internets’, and the concept of satire.

    I now understand what the infamous editorial meant when they said political bloggers are “self appointed”. The Australian wants the power to appoint and regulate them by determining what is “reasonable”, and determine what they can and can’t write on their own blogs!

    Or maybe Sid Marris post in this thread was satire, and thus should be marked “FAKE”?

  9. You’re telling me that WASNT Chris Mitchell?!?

    But but but… it sounded exactly like him and everything.

    I’m afraid the circle of trust has been broken William – I heard you were one of those online political bloggers that doesnt own Newspoll and thus doesnt understand the yooniverse.

    Thank god Sid was around to save me from my own gullibility.

    I’m canceling my subscription to this intertube site and am going to read a real journalist….. like Piers.

  10. The essence of Shanahan’s rebuttal blog post last week was that he had to ignore margins of error because he had to report SOMETHING. In other words, in his view, the Truth should be subservient to confecting a story at all costs. With that sort of attitude he should be somewhere in France teaching post-modernism in a cultural studies institute.

    Yet when obviously satirical material is posted on a blog, all of a sudden there should be disclaimers and provisos informing the public that the post doesn’t actually bare a relation to reality! If that standard applies, why don’t Shanahan’s articles appear on the opinion pages, or at least carry disclaimers that say “there is no statistical basis supporting the claims made in this article, this is an opinion piece”?

  11. Martin B,

    I believe that Tony Abbott was a member of the Liquor trades Union and of the Australian Journalists Association. I wouldn’t read too much into it. It’s bit like Victorian principals being members of the AEU. Hardly any of them have any commitment to the principles of unionism, to the principles of their profession or to their classroom “colleagues”, but they still see benefits in being union members.


    I am quite accepting of being excluded from he more experienced and respected pseph people, but I have already posted more than once my prediction that Labor will pick up 22 seats. This is not a call, but as the months roll by, it becomes less likely that John Howard can do a miracle, and a miracle is what it will take. If these figures occurred throughout the lead-up to the 1998 or 1996 or 1983 election, no one would be considering the possibility of a Liberal victory. It’s only Mr Howard’s miraculous clawbacks in 2001 and 2004 that make anyone consider him a possibility.

    The state breakdowns in Newspoll are for three months and thus have larger samples, which should make them a little more reliable than ACNielsen breakdowns.

    Some posters have made absurd statements about terrorist attacks being organised to help with the election, statements so nutty that they do not deserve a response. I am certainly not part of that conspiraphile group, but I wonder how the news of today’s ordered release of Dr Haneef on bail by the magistrate and his subsequent incarceration on the ministerial order of Kevin Andrews will play out politically. Given the evidence so far revealed in the public domain, it’s a big call, even Kafkaesque. Some may see it helping the government by creating fear in the community. I think it is more likely to create ridicule and outrage – and not just from the usual suspects.

  12. Liberal union members: Dennis Napthine was a an office-bearer in the Victorian Public Service Association. I would presume that Liberal MPs who are ex-teachers were probably mostly former union members. From the 1980s it became Liberal policy to discourage union membership and thus Liberal candidates were less likely to have been union members but before then Liberal MPs from unionised occupations would probably have been union members.

  13. Fulvio not all who work at the Oz are rightoid righties-some even have a sense of social justice-notice i said some!

  14. An agent of the GG posting to a blog to correct quite obvious satire… omg what is that proverb about interesting interesting days? Or is it a curse?

    William can I write a fake editiorial from the AG suspending all legal processes in the country and determining that the AG will be the sole legal deciderer (Bush style)?

  15. They just don’t understand the internet. Putting blogs on your home page (then closing them after 16 comments) because they are kewl doesn’t automatically mean one has embraced the free exchange of ideas that, at its best, the internet enables.

  16. “…can you think of any Liberal parliamentarians, or prominent candidates, who have been members of a trade union?”

    It’s going back a long way now, but Askin was originally a bank clerks union (as I think it was called then) official. Askin claimed that he once tried to asffiliate with the trades & labour council but was ignored and/or laughed at. Then along came Chifley’s bank nationalisation attempt and most went firmly into the Liberal camp.

  17. I noticed Sid Marris, made a complaint that the article at the top of this thread was a fake and,

    “It would be reasonable to expect the entries be removed or marked as a fake”.

    Now to be certain of the correct definiton of the word “fake”, I turned to my trusty Pocket Oxford Dictionary, fifth edition 1969.

    After dusting off the cover and removing the beads, love, peace and flower stickers and other assorted regalia from that decade, including the phone no. of a girl named Mountain Dew, I looked up the word.

    Fake = do up, make specious. So then I had to look up “specious”, which is defined as fair-seeming or plausible.

    Now if I understand this correctly, the complaint is that the article is trying to “do up” the content and make it seem plausible and fair-seeming, which if logic follows; rather than William Bowe being censured for his efforts, he should be offered a position on staff at “The Australian”. Perhaps even the political correspondent, dare it be said?

  18. This post has disappointed me.

    I expect so much of pollbludger and to see juvenile villification of someone just because you disagree with them has really lowered my opinion of the site in general.

    The post implies he holds these type of views, even if it is done tongue-in-cheek.

    It’s very unfair and childish, and I think most of you realise this, behind all the schoolboy snickering.

  19. Sorry, cynic, I read Sid Marris’ post as being accusatory rather than informative, but I now see both interpretations are open.

    And I too am sure there are some good people at The Australian .

  20. To Martin J and Lord D, thank you, I have misread the numbers it was Coalition 52 – ALP 48 reported in The Age for QLD tODAY.

  21. Maybe there is someone out there with a much better grasp of opinion polling stats than I have that can help …

    If AC Neilsen samples are proportionally correct, there is something odd about the numbers given this morning.

    Assuming that NSW is 33% of the sample, Vic 25% of the sample, and we have state breakdowns for those states, this leaves the ALP on 56 – 44 in the rest of the country. Now they have already said QLD on 48 (on a small sample), and it is generally accepted that WA is not good for the ALP, and they don’t poll in Tasmania or the ACT (as they always refer to 5 capital cities).

    The question is …..

    1. Is SA over represented?
    2. Is NSW over represented?
    3. Or has the sample generally gone a bit askew?

  22. Fortune – everything we have written about DS and the GG over the past 12 months is of their own doing. A reasonably sound and accurate political analysis has been driven into self gratifying crock of bubbly poo. The stoush last week showed how incomprehensibly bad the journalism and editorial abilities had become. The retributive “attack” on Crikey, Mumble and bloggers in general was evidence of that.

    The rubbish posted above by Sid only fans the flames. Personally, I thought the original post it quite clever.

    It was a joke – obvious, tame and quite disproportionate to the reaction of yours. May I suggest we remember 2 things – you have don’t have to agree with what is written and you don’t have to come to the blog at all.

  23. I just talked to a senior Liberal from Lismore whom I have known for many years and he believes Janelle Saffin will win. I think he’s right.

  24. One would assume that Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to pipe Clarence River water to SEQ would help the coalition in Page.

  25. The problem with your introduction William is that it was TOO good. It sounded too much like a political analysis from the Australian, so the satire would have been lost on the poor little things 🙁 Oh well .. it’s good to know that they know we’re keeping an eye on their reporting. Who knows? We might be able to assist them in their commentary.

    Anyway, my thoughts on AC Nielsen.. Howard’s history .. somethings gotta give soon… I’m amazed at how calm they all seem… at least in public. Except for Tuckey, but he’s a loose cannon at the best of times.

    And has anyone noticed how quiet Rudd has been lately? Have I tuned out or do I detect a whiff of the small target strategy given his handy lead in the polls (and probably a little burnt from the IR policy fiasco, so not wanting to reveal too much that might be criticised)?

  26. That blog entry by Mr Marris is weird… ACN ‘vindicates’ the Oz? Bizarre. Truly bizarre.

    If the polls are reflecting real voting intention, Rudd could go into a monastic retreat for the next four months and still have a good chance of winning.

  27. All I will say on the Government Gazette and their fragile egos is that if I hadn’t cancelled my subscription to their newspaper a few months ago, I would certainly be doing it now.

    On the polls, it’s another shocker for Howard – but that’s hardly news. This government needs a COMPLETELY different strategy. The scare tactics, the character assassination, the heavy-handed paternalism, and all the war and terror talk is not working. The public has changed. They are not just looking for a set of new faces in the top jobs but a new brand of politics, especially one that does not involve lies, exploiting the weak and vulnerable, and appealing to the worst sides of human nature. People want to feel good again. They want HOPE, not fear. And they want to feel proud of their country, instead of being a weak and hopeless appendage to George Bush and the US Republican party just so Howard can have his little ego boost.

    In short, the country has shifted a little to the left while Howard and his old dogs have shifted far to the right, almost in fascist territory. What did we do to deserve such a grubby government?

    Frankly, I don’t think Howard knows how to be or do anything other than his old tricks. The Libs are now firmly stuck, that is, unless they get rid of Howard.

  28. From the description of Michael Towke, I thought I might have tutored him in Engineering mathematics at Sydney Uni about 5 years agom and after seeing a photo from the link, yes, I did tutor him.

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