Bouncy bouncy

Time for a new thread I guess. Not exactly news, but let the record note that Friday’s Roy Morgan face-to-face survey was the best for the Coalition since January, their primary vote hitting 40 per cent and the two-party gap a mere 55-45.

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.

186 comments on “Bouncy bouncy”

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  1. It’s the law of averages that Liberal treasurers are predominantly Lawyers.

    The frontbench is full of lawyers, so the treasurer is likely to be one too.


    Speaking of Bob Woods, he was my local member for a time. I can remember the members for Lowe back to Michael Maher and all of them (Liberal and Labor) had a personal vote and were quite well respected in the community. He is the notable exception. Everyone I know who had anything to do with him seemed to dislike him intensely.

    Lowe was one of the seats that Labor won in the miracle election in 1993 and I’ve often wondered how much of it was due to the anti-personal vote of Bob Woods.

  2. So let’s assume the impossible happens and Labor loses -anyone care to guess who will give the game away?

    I’ll start with Arch Bevis, Simon Crean and Robert McClleland.

    If the Libs go down I’ll nominate:


  3. Cadman Calls for Inquiry
    Hills News

    By Col Allison
    Retiring Mitchell MP Alan Cadman’s call for an inquiry into the recent preselection in his seat is seen by some in the Liberal Party as ‘sour grapes.’ It adds fuel to the fires surrounding the so-called Christian Right’s push to control the party at all levels. And it follows the Cook electoral fiasco in the preselection of Michael Towke, the Right’s now discredited man.

    FEDERAL MP Alan Cadman, has called for an inquiry into the recent Liberal Party preselection, which he lost after 33 years in power.
    Mr Cadman, 70 on Thursday, says branch stacking forced his resignation from the seat of Mitchell.
    `Branch stacking was so strong,’ he told Channel 9 News on Saturday. `I knew I had no chance of winning.’
    The winner was the party whiz kid Alex Hawke, 29, a former state and national president of the Young Liberals, a sub-lieutenant of the hard Right faction in NSW run by MLC David Clarke.
    In what some party insiders say is `a classic case of sour grapes,’ Mr Cadman’s call follows a behind-the-scenes whispering and emailing campaign by at least one other failed
    Mitchell candidate.
    Concerns centre on the Beaumont Hills branch stacked with 543 right-wing members for the state election seat of Hawkesbury, which was won by Baulkham Hills councillor Ray Williams and then used for the Mitchell preselection.
    A letter circulated among Liberal members, a copy of which the News has received, says that in one day June 27, 2006 some 197 members were admitted to the branch and that they were
    mainly Lebanese families who had their fees paid for them.
    This ‘news’ has been reported previously in this media and on the ABC and elsewhere.
    Mr Hawke, meantime, has just returned from a gruelling trek along the Kokoda Trail.

  4. Can you imagine what The Australian and the Tele would be saying if a *Labor* preselection in Sydney had involved massive ethnic branch stacking? It would be the greatest electoral scandal since it was discovered that Old Sarum had had no voters at all for 200 years.

  5. It will help Labor win Bass, Braddon, Eden-Monaro and McMillan, plus it will win votes in rural and pronincial city areas generally. It will piss of the Greens and their supporters, but that doesn’t matter because they will still preference Labor.

  6. To be fair, the Oz and Tele seem to be running the Towke story more than the Fairfax press. Although, admittedly, they’ve focused more on Towke’s relative obscurity than the branch stacking that secured his victory.

    The Hawke-Towke fiasco is gold for Labor. Hawke in particular is far more dangerous for the Libs than Labor and Labor must be loving the fact that he’s been preselected.

  7. Agreed with Adam, the forestry policy is good news for Labor.

    What WAS Latham thinking in 2004? Did he really think that mainlanders cared that much about Tassie’s forests? And for those that did, did he really think they would preference the Coaliation over Labor anyway?

    Another very good, and very targetted, move by Rudd.

  8. I got the impression over the weekend that the ALP was going all out to get a lot of bad press for the coalition. Are they trying to get a boost in the Newspoll that would scare the Coalition into dumping howard? I’m not sure they would be better off – I think they have howard covered right now.

    Incidently the bureaucracy seem to leaking like Sievx at the moment.

  9. It certainly seems that they think Costello would be easier to defeat than Howard, so they are pouring as much petrol onto the leadership dispute. Why else would they release polling of that sort Glenn Milne?

  10. I hope (for once) that the forestry policy is a “non-core” promise from Labor. The CFMEU needs to be put in its place, and Tasmanian Labor doubly so.

    We are currently presiding over the annihilation of one of the most pristine areas of wilderness on Earth to save a few jobs and make a few $$.

    Only the federal govt will ever have the guts to do something about it – let’s hope the Greens win back the balance of power so that whichever major party is in has to do a deal with them.

  11. The police stuff-up and the Howard biography have been the big news last week. I don’t think Labor’s internal polls are going to make any difference to Newspoll. If the internal polls were that far out, the Coalition would have refuted them. Coalition and Newspoll research has already confirmed a big drop in youth support for the Coalition, so Labor’s research makes sense in the light of the public polls. Labor’s leak is to create panic in the govt benches.

  12. Going back to the posts of several hours ago regarding ministerial and potential ministerial talent.

    There will never be a ministry that will be extremely talented – the gene pool is just not big enough. There are those who should never have been appointed to the ministry – Adam makes a good point nominating Danna Vale and Jackie Kelly – there are some who will always be high fliers – Peter Costello and Paul Keating are obvious examples, some who have effective ministerial careers and then come crashing down (Ralph Willis and John Kerin), and those who are effective in opposition and reasonably disastrous in government (Bronwyn Bishop, Amanda Vanstone and Wilson Tuckey are examples). Should labor win office, we will find out who falls into the latter category – though I suspect Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard may, but it is too early to say And there are those post government who just can’t hack it – Gareth Evans!! As ESJ said above, I just can’t see Mick Minchin sticking around, though I suspect Downer, Abbott and Nelson are there for the long haul – not sure about Costello. Also it is much easier to go from the senate, if the libs lose the last thing they need is a string of uncomfortable by elections.

    And like the backbench, there are the plodders in the ministry who get the job done, and won’t make it into either the cabinet or the top half of cabinet.

    Election losses are part of the political rejuvenation process and what makes the process so interesting.

  13. I’m not a Green, but I agree with Patrick. Paul Lennon is an odious man who looks like and acts like a bouncer. The environmental damage in Tassie is horrendous, and will affect tourism eventually. I’d like the Greens to win balance of power in Tassie at the next Tassie election; a pity they didn’t do very well at the last one.

  14. I would not like that – blackmail by a far left group such as the Greens in a balance of power position is as bad as any blackmail by a far right group.

  15. …… and why is Rudd making this announcement today is it to kill off the current discuusions on Haneef and past conflict between Howard /Costello or to hide behind it and limit fallout?? Or is there another option?

  16. I don’t know what made me think Lynch was a lawyer. Thanks to the poster with the long screen-name for the correction. Still, it doesn’t change the general pattern I was commenting on.

    Adam, Old Sarum, as a burgage borough, had _voters_; it just didn’t have any _inhabitants_.

  17. Surely Ruddock will retire if the government loses. In fact he could even go before the election if the polls stay this bad / good.

  18. The Libs ugly, self obsessed, inner turmoil is now on display for everyone to see. The Haneef fiasco is unwinding as an unmitigated disaster for the Government.

    Why wouldn’t Rudd introduce a bit of house cleaning policy to demonstrate the break with the past and to prove that he is fair dinkum about protecting the interests of working families?

    After all, that’s what he is there for! It might win him two seats in Tassie.

    Go Kevvie!

  19. Liberal supporters would also have to admit that a loss is neccessary for the reform of the party before it is lost into the hands of the hard right.

    However a win for Labor is far from certain. We will not have a clear idea until after an election is called which I hope is after Howard has his photo opportunity with GW Bush.

  20. Oppositions seldom look like they have a frontbench capable of being a ministry, until they actually get elected, and have a whole public service and a pile of ministerial advisors to support them.

    And the current Howard ministry contains quite a few members who weren’t even in Parliament when the government was elected. So it’s clear that governments evolve quite quickly once they come to power.

    On another issue…I don’t known why there’s such frenzied debate about Labor’s deputy leaders over the years. Deputies seldom influence the voters. For instance, the deputy Prime Minister is Mark Vaile. I don’t think voters will give a thought one way or the other at the next election as to whether the government is worth re-electing because its deputy leader is Vaile.

    My gut feeling is that Gillard is popular, as an outspoken single woman who reflects the lives and aspirations of many younger voters. I was always baffled why Jenny Macklin made no efforts to excite the public in her years as Labor deputy. I would not underestimate the popularity of Gillard (and people like Garrett) among younger voters, who are more directly concerned about WorkChoices and environmental issues than us old people who worry most about our mortgages.

    I also think rents are a big sleeper issue. I have seen queues of people several blocks long lining up to inspect properties for rent in Melbourne, and I presume it’s even worse in Sydney, Canberra and Perth. There are simply not enough properties available for the people who want them, and that’s why both mortgage costs and rental costs are high, and rising further by the day in the major cities (and it’s even worse in regional areas like Mackay and Karratha). At least Kevin Rudd is acknowledging the problem. There’s really not a lot a government can do in the short term to solve these problems, but Howard and Costello are acting as though things have never been better. People resent this. They get pissed off that they’re earning good money, and are still treated like dirt by real estate agents when they apply for a rental property. And I don’t blame the agents for this – the ones I know often have to choose a suitable tenant for a property when there are at least 20 applicants who’d be fine.

  21. Phillip Ruddock retire? That’s a little odd given that he has in fact been void of life for the past 11 years – hence his cryogenic charm. The government de-frosts him to make (backward) policy announcements then hastily re-freezes him before the public cotton on to the deceased nature of his being.

    It’s a little like the movie A Weekend at Bernie’s.

  22. Gary Bruce Says:

    July 23rd, 2007 at 10:22 am
    Strop you don’t understand— funny Gary. Thanks.. I forgot sensible people ONLY vote for the Coalition. Cheeky bugger !!

  23. Excuse my ignorance but has Rudd released an Environment Policy

    I am assuming he has taken a different tack to Latham’s disasterous effort what, 1 week out from an election, which most concede cost Labor 2 seats in Tassie- at least.

  24. Id like to see Gillard in my face on TV and in the papers if Labor are not considering her a vote killer-

    Maybe my perception that she suddenly dropped off the radar is consequential to the WorkChoices issue taking a back seat to other issues in recent weeks ?

    Lord know there has been enough of them to keep the fireman (putting out election losing fires) in Liberal Party Central working overtime week in week out for awhile now, even if you leave out the ‘bad news polls’.

    The worst Rudd et al have done in my recollection over the past couple of months has been Rud persisting with his ” I this” and “I that” statements when announcing policy and Swanny (Wayne Swan) leaning forward in his seat every time he said “No Laurie, we cant guarantee..” on the Sunday program.

    I dont think Gillard is a vote killer – I was just wondering where shes been lately.

  25. Fagin Says:

    July 23rd, 2007 at 8:19 pm
    Phillip Ruddock retire? That’s a little odd given that he has in fact been void of life for the past 11 years – hence his cryogenic charm

    Oh I hope (but doubt) that Ruddock does pull the pin if the Coalition goes bye bye this year. He is always so snide and angry at anyone questioning his policy on anything;arrogant little shit that he is.

  26. Edward StJohn Says:

    July 23rd, 2007 at 4:32 pm
    So let’s assume the impossible happens and Labor loses -anyone care to guess who will give the game away?

    I’ll start with Arch Bevis, Simon Crean and Robert McClleland.

    If the Libs go down I’ll nominate:


    How about Brendan “Texas Gold” Nelson – the coalition’s new spokesman on Oil Resources, oops, I mean Iraq. But I guess they would have to find him first…..


  27. For those attacking the Labor front bench, here is the shadow ministry that Howard took into the 1996 election:
    Leader of the Opposition: John Howard
    Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Treasurer: Peter Costello
    Attorney-General and Justice: Amanda Vanstone
    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs: Chris Gallus
    Communications and the Arts: Richard Alston
    Consumer Affairs: Warren Truss
    Customs, Tourism and Aviation: Warwick Parer
    Defence: Jocelyn Newman
    Defence Science and Personnel; Veteran’s Affairs: Wilson Tuckey
    Education, Science and Technology: Robert Hill
    Employment and Training; Family Services: David Kemp
    Energy and Resources: Peter McGauran
    Environment, Administrative Services and ACT: Rod Kemp
    Finance: Geoff Prosser
    Foreign Affairs: Alexander Downer
    Health and Human Resources: Michael Wooldridge
    Housing, Northern Development and External Territories: Tambling
    Industrial Relations: Peter Reith
    Industry and Commerce; Public Administration: John Moore
    Infrastructure and Regional Development: Ian MacDonald
    Local Government: Bruce Scott
    Primary Industry: John Anderson
    Privatisation: Bronwyn Bishop
    Schools; Vocational Education and Training: Michael Ronaldson
    Small Business: Judi Moylan
    Social Security and Senior Citizens: Phillip Ruddock
    Sport and Recreation and Youth Affairs: Ian Campbell
    Superannuation: Connolly
    Trade: Tim Fischer
    Transport: John Sharp

  28. For those interested in QLD politiking theres another push to offload the beady glasses man leading the Liberals up here (Brucie babe Flegg) BEFORE the Liberal-National ‘Conference’ is held in a Queen Street phone box on Friday.

    Even now, with the Coalition on the nose at a Federal level and an election around the corner, the local blue veins are completely obsessed with stealing the helm of the Laviathan in order to be the next losing State Government leader up here. I thought NSW was a mess, this State blue vein kintergarten is just plain embarressing: they should at least close the front door (leaking like a seive) and install goggles and flippers.

  29. Infested Leviathan: A leviathan that has has been found to be infested with a vile disease, its insides half-consumed. The pilot has been driven mad, and has itself been partially consumed (disarmed), somewhat affected by the plague but alive, and the ship seems to be adrift, but those who go aboard this derilect often regret it.

  30. Thats worth cuttin n pasting Cynic-

    PRIME Minister John Howard has dismissed a claim in a new book that cabinet knew in 2005 the government’s Work Choices laws would hurt some workers.

    In their biography of Mr Howard, academics Wayne Errington and Peter Van Onselen write that some ministers were concerned the laws would be detrimental to some workers.

    Another fire to put out – the hits just keep on comin’. At this rate it is going to be harder and harder to ‘interpret’ what did what to produce any changes in the polls. We might as well sit outside Coalition Central and just count the number of fire trucks leaving the building.

    According to the biography, Mr Howard pushed ahead with the introduction of the laws because he wanted them bedded down before the federal election later this year.

    Mr Howard today said he and Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews believed the book was wrong.

    “Mr Andrews and I both, after discussing that report in the book, dispute that version,” he said.

    “But look, we have a fairness test which says that if any worker is asked to give up penalty rates or overtime loadings they have to get fair compensation and the great generality of people have benefited enormously from the changes.”,23599,22123060-29277,00.html

  31. Julia Gillard was on the ABC Saturday night TV news: her first appearance in weeks.
    Who is the ALP Shadow Forestry Minister? Does it really matter? Rudd makes all the policy announcements LOL If it wins him back Bass and Braddon, it’s worth upsetting the Greens(and let’s face it, they’ve got nowhere else to go but preferencing the ALP).
    We wait with anticipation for Newspoll in tomorrow’s Government Gazette, and Shanahan’s latest pro-Howard spin.

  32. I have been analysing the ebb and flow of Muggle government from a British perspective. As you probably know, my parents lived in Australia for quite a few years, and they did very well out of the economic boom that was presided over by your Prime Minister.

    It’s very interesting how some people are clamouring for Howard to go. After all, he’s only 68, which was about how old Reagan was when he first became President in the US. Labor have to win 17 seats without losing any of their swag of marginals. And of those 17, Bennelong and Wentworth are probably out of their reach. So they require a huge swing, perhaps 7%, which I really can’t see them doing.

    But let’s just say that Howard DOES go. Well as you probably know Margaret Thatcher went and the Conservatives still won the following election in 1992, despite what the stupid polls said. And that was following the ultra-unpopular Poll Tax. WorkChoices is nothing compared to that. So either way, the smart money stays on a Coalition win.

  33. Hopefully in minutes

    Strop the bio is explosive,but i fear a lot of gems will be lost in the avalanche of shoite about to descend on J Rodent Esq

  34. Tonight on the Agenda program on SkyNews Michael Kroger tipped the election to be in early December.

    Does he have any inside info or is he just making an educated guess?

    I reckon the public will be sick of the election campaign by then. It may look like the government is clinging to power, frightened to go to the polls. The last election was on 9 October 2004. Beyond mid-October the government really has overstayed its 3 years.

    The media will go feral if the election is delayed beyond early November.

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