Reuters has just issued its semi-regular Poll Trend, a weighted composite of results from Morgan, Newspoll and ACNielsen (but not Galaxy, which has been kinder to the Coalition in recent months). Their current figure has Labor ahead 57.3-42.7; the long-term trend looks a little something like this:

Despite Monday’s ACNielsen, that much-touted trend towards the Prime Minister as preferred leader is evident in other polls:

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.

364 comments on “Flatliners”

Comments Page 7 of 8
1 6 7 8
  1. On Haneef, Rudd has played a totally dead bat. He has said, “assuming the government is acting in good faith, on the basis of advice from the AFP, we support their actions.” That is the correct position to take in a national security matter. But it leaves open the possibility of breaking with the government if and when it emerges that they are *not* acting in good faith. I suspect that will eventually turn out to be the case, but we are not there yet. Labor has not joined the leftist pack of ABC journalists and lawyers who insist that Haneef is innocent without seeing any of the evidence, and so long as they stick to that position they can’t be wedged by Howard. In any case i think Howard’s credibility is so shot that his ability to wedge on anything is greatly reduced.

  2. That’s true Adam, but I’m guessing that Rudd is feeling a great deal of pressure from sections of the community and within the Labor party to start sinking the boot into the government.

    But of course, the way things are going, and presuming that the government or the AFP are not withholding evidence about Haneef, hoping or waiting for Rudd to take the bait, then Howard will fall on his own sword.

  3. Just on that Adam If Rudd wins who is he going to take a lead from then?Maybe he could retain Howard on a consultancy basis if he wins!

  4. Noocat, yes of course he is – from the 10% of the community that controls most of the media and the universities etc. But Rudd knows better than to be sucked in. The lesson of the Tampa election is that the 10% do NOT speak for the 90%. Even the Labor Left has learned that lesson.

    Cisco, if Rudd wins he will be the same Rudd he is now. As Blair said in 1997: “We won as New Labour and we will govern as New Labour.”

  5. Here’s one for you

    I met the PM today. No kidding. He was in the foyer at Panthers in Penrith (isn’t Lindsay as good as lost for the libs) for the NSW Liberal Council meeting.

    I shook his hand as he was on his way out. I can tell you he has a “wet fish” handshake i.e. not strong.

    I wonder what they were talking about in that council meeting (bearing in mind Abbott and Hockey as well as lib “luminaries” were there

    Does anybody wanna have a guess what they were talking about (serious and funny answers accepted…LOL)

    PS He is a little taller than I thought he was, there must be some tall timber in the liberal party (LOL LOL LOL)

  6. Surely any consideration of a future leader of the Liberal party would have to take into account the leanings of the survivors of a loss, if there is a loss at the coming election. What would be the influence of the “uglies” in any possible coalition caucus? Would the “uglies” support Turnbull the republican? Are they a stalking horse for Abbott? Would Julie Bishops private life stand up to public scrutiny? Can Costello ever win (or even summon up the courage to contest) a leadership ballot with the new lead in his saddlebags? Will the Victorian Libs support another New Southwelshman again so soon?

    there are many facets to this question which have not been raised so far.

  7. Adam I don’t know how he is going to find the time to govern with all those inquiries. As Keating said his advisors can’t get out of bed without first checking the polls Rudd can’t get out of bed without first launching an enquiry! LOL

  8. I agree Rob. I think we need to include Cisco in that. I don’t mind people with opposing views but at least be fair and reasonable in debating.

  9. Adam Its not that hard one more time for the beginners
    Rudd’s answer to house prices ENQUIRY
    Rudd’s answer to food prices ENQUIRY
    Rudd’s answer to petrol ENQUIRY
    Rudds’s answer to putting on his pants Brown chords or grey flairs ENQUIRY
    Hey Gb What a pity Mike Carlton doesn’t blog here you two have got so much in common

  10. Edward

    These guys are stirrers. They do not respond to others’ posts. They do not add to the debate. If they were leftie ratbags I’d say the same. Don’t purge their posts, just treat them with the contempt they deserve.

  11. I think the Murdock papers might be taking a stand against some scary implications that even they might be concerned with – of the govt in this Haneef case:

    1. Ruddock threated to change the laws to put people in jail Judges would let free on bail – as a response
    2. Andrews put Haneef in jail straight away – a slap in the face for our legal system – puting political expediency before democracy.
    3. Willing to ‘fit-up’ an innocent person for the sake of winnning votes. [the obvious ‘errors’ or should I say deliberate misrepresentations in the AFP’s submissions to court and the lie about the SIM card – it wasnt an accident since the SIM card in the car was used in an ‘argument’ put to the magistrate and not as simple mistatement of fact.

    These are all the elements of a Despot and Authoritarian govt. Add to this the Government’s politicisation of just about everything [judiciary is obviously their next target] and their arrogance towards FOI and accountability.

    Brisbane Courier Mail Editorial goes so far as to suggest this:
    “…third scenario – that the Howard Government has actively conspired with the AFP to manufacture a case against Dr Haneef for base political ends – is by far and away the most villainous. There is no hard evidence of such a conspiracy, but many a talkback radio caller and letter-to-the-editor writer firmly believe that a conspiracy exists. For one, there is no history of the AFP ever doing the Government’s bidding; for another, it is difficult to imagine how such figures could conspire. We have faith in our system of government, justice and law enforcement. We have to; it’s what separates democrats from despots…”

  12. blackburnpseph Says:

    July 21st, 2007 at 7:10 pm
    Two points for tonight:

    1. If Malcolm Turnbull should lose Wentworth, and assuming, he would want to continue a political career, either Berowra or Mackellar, would be a reasonably good fit, especially the latter. If Malcolm and Lucy don’t own a house in Palm Beach, one would be very surpised. And of course, Lucy’s old man Tom Hughes was the first member for Berowra, 1969 – 72. Good symmetry that.
    2. On Peter Costello losing Higgins – in 2002 when the libs were annilhilated in Victoria at a state level – Robert Doyle still had a 15%+ majority in Malvern – a much greater majority than any other metropolitan seat. Enough said.

    I think you will find Robert Doyle came out of 2002 with a margin of 10% after taking a 7% swing against.

  13. The SMH did a piece in 2003 I think giving a talley of about 153 enquiries requested by the Howard government. Of all these enquiries it acted only on one item on one report. So it seems the Howard govt loves enquiries as a diversion.

  14. I seen to recall a report into Palliative care ordered by Minister Andrews was sat on for ages, this was of course the same guy whom wanted a Palliative care revolution until he became Minister then found it a little to hard.

  15. No surprise (hopefully without stirring up the ‘whats wrong with The Australian thread’ again ) that the Oz is back to its normal channels again. Dennis Shanahan demanded 4-5ths of the front page of the Oz Weekend Enquirer and what was there.

    (a) An 8×6 photo of Howard in 2004 election win glory with his hands raised in the air like Julius Ceasar and powerless Pete (Mr Costello) standing just outside the glow of his countenance clapping his hands with that wonderful smug grin I have come to love to hate. Oh, the glory days !!

    and (b) the text content ? sorry, got distracted by the photo and JWHs illumination for a moment. The text consisted of a (rough guess) 500 word lecture on “the fundamental strength of the economy” which (along with three other factors) will “assure a Liberal succession”.

    These pearls of wisdom from Shanahan are
    1. Relying on the fundamental strength of the economy;
    2. Grinding away at the ‘risk’ of electing Kevin Rudd PM;
    3. The apparently widespread “fear of Union power” and
    4. The 63% of voters who watched Sky News yesterday and offered an opinion that personal relations between politicians didn’t matter to them.

    I kid you not- Shanahan had to draw on Sky News voters watching yesterdays Sky News to substantiate his view that the Howard biography blow up “didn’t matter”.

    No wonder Shanahan himself concluded that Howard-Costello must stick to a “glumly determined path”. Things are pretty glum when you have to cite Sky News opinion polls to support a tragic, glum lecture.

  16. The inquiry angle is one that is being pushed on other blogs, inquiries can be useful in the right circumstances.

    For instance an inquiry into the effect of Howard offering massive tax subsidies to investors would have found this would have caused house prices to double and triple within a short time and put home ownership out of reach of the ordinary Aussie. Maybe Howard and Costello would have then rethought their policy, maybe not.

    Similar with an inquiry into the effects of Work Choices and its effect on the ordinary Aussie would have been a good idea, it took Howard over a year to realise Work Choices hurt people and he only acted due to the electoral damage.

    Perhaps an inquiry into the skills shortage and ways to overcome it would have been good too,instead of relying on bringing hundreds of thousands visa workers each year. Likewise an inquiry into these visa workers, can we effectivlery monitor them to ensure they are not bringing in diseases which no longer exist in Australia such as polio, can we monitor them to ensure we are not letting in terrorists, can we monitor them to ensure they are not being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers.

    Sometimes when you are going to make a major policy change an inquiry is right to ensure that you have covered all the bases and the effects.

    Bringing in major policy changes becasue it feels right or it is something you have always have a itch about is not good government.

  17. Pssstt… Edward. Did you scroll back..do you still think Im about to crack the top off the bubbly ?

    Healthy debate is good, and your contributions are often substantive- I cant say the same for Noturanus and/or (still working on a nickname for) Steven Kaye.

    I dont hope for “fair” debate Rob; But reasonable debate means you have to speak with the bounds of reason and some semblance of reality and both Noturanus and Steven O Kaye (Eureka, I have it) fail on both counts.


    “You can do it, its all up to you o Kaye,
    With a little help you can change ur life to day
    Dont spend your life addicted to smack
    Homeless on the streets giving…..jobs for crack
    Just follow my plan my plan and pretty soon you’ll say
    Its easy o Kaye.

    Very appropriate, slightly distasteful, but appropriate. I wont be responding to Noturanus or mr O Kaye either- waste of time.

  18. No harm with an Inquiry Arbie so long as they back it up with actual responses that bring about positive change. Government’s have a tendency to spend big dollars on an Inquiry into….

    An Inquiry makes it look like they are doing something, until it disappears off the political radar when something else takes over, and hey presto, they spend say $2M on an “Inquiry” instead of say, $50M actually addressing the problem.

    The NT shemozzle is a classic example of that kind of politiking typical of both sides of Government in this and other places. There were at least 2 major Inquiries into Indigenous problems before the most recent one which JWH decided was worth some electoral mileage in responding to. At least that is my (cynical I suppose) view on the politics of the Inquiry.

  19. “The secret polling by the Labor Party suggests Mr Howard may be in terminal decline with “soft Liberal” voters, the blue-collar and mortgage-belt base the Liberals built four consecutive election wins on.”

    If this were truly true why on earth would the Labor party leak it? You would want to keep it secret – better the victory you ‘know’ you might get than something new and uncertain.

  20. At first I came to the same conclusion as Kina, then I thought wait one maybe the plan is to make the Government backbench panic.

    I will add there is nothing in that which we didn’t already know along with the reports of young voters and safe seated Liberal voters turning toward the ALP.

    This is starting to look scary for the Liberals.

  21. From Simon’s link to Glenn Milne above

    Mrs Howard’s observations are fascinating for what they tell you about the way Team Howard operates. Apparently it’s all right to leave the impression you are going to do something if it gets what you want and then renege later on.

    It’s not a big step from there to the infamous notion devised by Howard of “core and non-core” promises.

    Slicing and dicing the truth is apparently acceptable in the Howard household.

    Exactly what I said earlier in the week. What a disgrace.

  22. Go Cadel!

    The Federal Police should shut their mouths and go about their business. Leaking this stuff obviously has only one purpose – to imply Haneef is guilty of planning something thus recover their ‘righteness’ or maybe the govts. If they have a case then present it to the court, not the newspapers.

    This is what happens when agencies get over politicised – they figure it is their job to re-elect the govt of the day – or at least defend them.

    No wonder Rudd has stayed out of this – it would have been a trap.

  23. Maybe Milne sees the next couple of weeks as his best chance of becoming Costello’s press secretary, so he is making a move now. 😛

  24. Again the tussle for power between the Victorian and NSW branches of the Liberal Party indicate a willingness to be defeated as long as it takes the other bugger out with them. Costello-Howard, what a mess.

  25. Simon Howson Says:

    July 22nd, 2007 at 2:59 am
    Maybe Milne sees the next couple of weeks as his best chance of becoming Costello’s press secretary, so he is making a move now.

    Funny Simon: can he keep sober enough at awards (election) nights to find his way to the Airport to get home to Victoria where he would have to live ?

  26. Jason Koutsoukis wrote–

    Costello’s course of action after the first challenge should have been to make Howard look like he couldn’t win the next election without him. Costello and his supporters should have used every opportunity to leak against Howard, undermine him and show everyone in the Liberal party room that he was prepared to bring down the government to get what he wanted.


    Looks like Costello is now going to contribute to bringing down the Government and still not get what he wanted- Howard could still win (I doubt it) but if he does it will not be thanks to Peter Costello.

  27. Talking of leaks… Please, no spoilers by leaking Le Tour results on a political blog.

    Some of us spend all day avoiding the news so we can find time to watch the tapes of the overnight stage!!

  28. First, enquiries: Governments in power almost always have enquiries before a policy change. It’s de rigeur. Rudd will almost certainly have public enquiries into a number of matters if elected. It’s the usual process.
    They have enquiries to protect themselves if policy changes go wrong. It also allows all interested parties to have their input, even though these inputs are so often ignored.
    Second: Did you see the photo on page 4 of the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday? It was John Howard at a rally of party faithful in Adelaide.
    It said it all. I challenged a nine year old to find a smiling face in the crowd. I offered her a dollar. After considerable and minute examination of the photo she said “you win”.
    Almost evey face was downturned as John Howard’s usually is in his photos.
    Almost every photo you see of Kevin Rudd is of him smiling.
    If we were to vote on faces only, which one would you vote for – the smiley one or the glum one?
    Howard’s grim face makes him look older, like a grumpy old man.
    True though he does not have too much to smile about these days.
    Well, we’ll see what the people have to say about these latest events in the next polls. It most likely won’t be good news for John Howard.
    I still think there’s a chance he will step down.

  29. blackburnpseph Says:

    July 21st, 2007 at 7:10 pm
    Two points for tonight:

    2. On Peter Costello losing Higgins – in 2002 when the libs were annilhilated in Victoria at a state level – Robert Doyle still had a 15%+ majority in Malvern – a much greater majority than any other metropolitan seat. Enough said.


    No, not enough said.

    Remember that Malvern is only one of a number of seats in Higgins. The other seats in Higgins are all held by Labor at a State level:
    – two-thirds of Prahran (Tony Lupton)
    – parts of Burwood (Kennett’s old seat, currently held by Bob Stensholt); and
    – parts of Oakleigh (held by Ann Barker).

    The swings in each of those seats at ’02 and ’06 respectively, were:
    Malvern: 6% to the ALP, 2.1% to the Libs
    Prahran: 9.2% to the ALP, 0.8% to the Libs
    Burwood: 11.9% to the ALP, 1.4% to the Libs
    Oakleigh: 13.2% to the ALP, 2.8% to the Libs

    Of these, only Malvern was below the statewide average. As a guess, the swing within the Higgins boundaries would have been between 8% and 9%. The swing back in 2006 would have been between 1% and 2%. Costello’s margin is a healthy 8.8%.

    Guestimating the Liberal 2PP results from the state elections (always hazardous):
    1999: 58%-61%
    2002: 50%-52%
    2006: 51%-54%

    More generally, Higgins is a diverse electorate, containing public housing tenants, middle and upper middle class families, a large gay population, Toorak, lots of apartment residing inner urban professionals, doctors wives, significant Chinese, Greek, Italian, Turkish and Jewish communities…Should I go on?

    My point in saying all this is that not that I expect a result like the 2002 State election but simply that we should not assume that Higgins (and other seats like it ) does not contain Labor or swing voters.

    I don’t want to suggest that Costello is in trouble (I doubt it at this stage) but the potential is there. If the swing is on, Costello will probably have a tight race but will most likely win.

    If you’re going to make claims like “enough said”, make sure you have appropriate and accurate evidence to back your case up.

  30. Further to Melbalp point about Higgins, when this seat is discussed People always talk about Toorak, with due respect Toorak is barely 10% of the seat.

    The ALP problem in Higgins is its very poor vote around Malvern and Camberwell and the northern end of South Yarra.

    The ALP candidate has proven to be a dill and therefore will struggle to halve the margin.

    There is a major issue in parts of this seat and thats the cost of renting, also the seat is home to a great many people on $30,000 to $50,000 whom may feel unimpressed enough by Workchoices to vote against Costello/

  31. Story in today’s Fairfax papers: the Howard government would like to deport Haneef immediately, before he becomes too much of a political negative for them, a la Hicks.
    So, is this an admission Haneef isn’t the evil terrorist scourge threatening Australian liberty?
    I live in Ruddock’s electorate: what’s the chance of a big swing against the Liberals in Berowra?

  32. I’ve just copied this paragraph from an article in today’s Age newspaer on Mortgage stress.

    “Even Treasurer Peter Costello’s seat of Higgins, which would require a swing of 8.8 per cent for him to lose it, has substantial pockets of mortgage stress, particularly in Malvern and Prahran.”

  33. # Kina Says:
    July 22nd, 2007 at 1:39 am

    “The secret polling by the Labor Party suggests Mr Howard may be in terminal decline with “soft Liberal” voters, the blue-collar and mortgage-belt base the Liberals built four consecutive election wins on.”

    If this were truly true why on earth would the Labor party leak it? You would want to keep it secret – better the victory you ‘know’ you might get than something new and uncertain.”

    Kina, Labor apparently believe that they have a better chance of beating Costello as PM than Howard, so leaks like this add to the general momentum against Howard, which might either lead to Howard stepping down or being challenged by Costello.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 7 of 8
1 6 7 8