Westpoll: 54-46 (to Labor) in WA

The ABC reportedly reports that tomorrow’s Westpoll will show federal Labor has shot to a 54-46 lead in Western Australia, the one state believed to have been holding out against the tide. It should be noted that Westpoll is widely criticised for its small samples, usually 400 respondents. How The West Australian managed to get scooped by the ABC on its own poll results is yet to be explained.

UPDATE: News reports that Westpoll has the Labor primary vote at 43 per cent, up from 36 per cent last month, with the Coalition down from 46 per cent to 38 per cent.

UPDATE 2: Westpoll also conducted a state poll from the same sample, which gives us a chance to assess how roguish this poll is. Answer: very. While it is clear that the Carpenter government has the measure of the opposition under its current leadership, it’s hard to credit the spasm shown in the table below. It would thus be wise to add a 5 per cent discount to the vote recorded for Labor in the federal poll.

May 39 39 51.2
Apr 41 38 54.5
Jun 42 40 52.3
Aug 48 30 62.0

Note: The Coalition vote shown for today’s poll assumes a 3 per cent vote for the Nationals, which is an educated guess that might be out by 1 per cent either way. The West Australian has mischievously declined to include this information so it can show a “Liberal” primary vote with a 2 in front of it.

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.

232 comments on “Westpoll: 54-46 (to Labor) in WA”

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  1. Can I go back to the issue of PK coming back from a bad poll in ’93. The one thing that JWH will not point out is that PK had only recently become PM( his first as leader if I recall) and there was a considerable sense of giving him a fair go. JWH has already had a more than reasonable fair go and should have recognised this, instead his ego got in the way. Circumstances are completly different now.

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t the result in 1990 appear to be closer than it actually was on election night, because it was not yet appreciated how strongly minor party preferences were flowing to Labor? I’m pretty sure the result would still have been in doubt when WA figures started to come in. Andrew Peacock didn’t concede until Wednesday, from memory.

  3. I am not a statistician but didn’t the whole rogue cf one end of the MoE discussion happen and wouldn’t the Westpoll MoE allow this to be not rogue?

  4. On WA I don’t see why the Government wouldn’t have surged. No corruption allegations for a week or two, and the liberal squabbling in public, I thought disunity was death … well it would be had to be less united than the WA liberals. It would also be hard to have less capability in a parliamentary team.

  5. Adam, I am agreeing with William and BMW that it was very close on election night and that the libs were holding out for a swing in WA to get them over the line. Also, in 1990 there was a strong election night possibility that Helen Caldicott would win in Richmond. I am not sure if it was apparent on the night, but in 1990 the Dems almost won Cunningham (48% 2pp) on a 13% primary vote.

  6. If William is right and we should discount the Westpoll by 5%, that gives a Labor 2PV of 49%, which represents a 4.4% swing to Labor from 2004. More than enough to win Stirling and Hasluck. Labor will be perfectly happy with that.

  7. Does anybody out there know in which order the questions were asked in the Westpoll? State first or Fed first? Because if it was State first, one would tend to believe that the respondent is still focussed on the first question.

  8. Hoots, the market has gone down as a whole in the US and here and may go further. In other words, no matter how it was invested some of it would have gone by now. Very long term that may not matter, depending on where it was invested. If any of it was invested in sub-prime mortgages then Peter Costello may have to kiss it goodbye.
    It could be a Khemlani style scandal if it was invested badly. That caused huge damage for Whitlam.
    ruawake, we would need an economist to explain to us the mechanisms of reserve banks releasing funds into the market to keep interest rates in check when liquidity is tight. Essentially it is our money, yes. I just wonder how far they will go in releasing funds into the market. Is there a limit?

  9. ru awake Says:
    August 11th, 2007 at 6:45 pm
    I read that the reserve bank injected $5 billion into the share market last night. Can anyone tell me where this money comes from?

    Do they just print more money or do they have a fund that they can play with?

    Maybe someone with more knowledge has the answer.

    Ru awake, The Reserve Bank holds Trading Bank reserves and is the banker for the Commonwealth Government.

    All tax collections are held by the Reserve Bank, so in effect it is taxpayers money they are gambling with to try and forestall any further damaging falls in the market.

    You might remember Costello investing around the same amount in the money market I recall, a number of years ago just prior to a substantial crash which wiped a considerable amount off it.

    The loss was regained over time but there was an opportunity cost to the taxpayer due to this folly. I don’t think he has been game to repeat it since except for the Future Fund investment which I felt at the time was extremely foolish. A number of Dick Chaney’s mates are involved in the Company as well as at least one ex-ENRON Executive.

    One could detect Bush, Chaney and Howard’s hand in this.

  10. It has been said that the election campaign ( official or not ) has gone on too long already. The views i am receiving seem to back that up. People are sick of this already and wish he would call the election ASAP.

  11. Adam and William I think I agree with you both … Hasluck and Stirling will make WA Labor happy enough … Kalgoorlie and Canning would be dreamy stuff. And with west polls margin of error isn’t it possible that 5% real could easily look like 10% given the movement within the MoE, and still not be truly rogue.

    But yes I take the 100 or so posts that tell me to have more salt on my European breakfast as I dream of Don Randall losing.

  12. If John Howard or any pundit out there seriously thinks that there is a parallel between 1993 and 2007 they are deluding themselves. In 1993,John Hewson took the libs into the election with a big policy set piece that was easy to run a scare campaign against .. and Keating did! This time there is no big Labor set piece, the scare campaign won’t grow legs.

    What JWH is trying to do now is put a whole lot of small campaigns together to make a big campaign … and it will not work. It is just the other side of Paul Keatings rainbow coalition that was put together in the last years of the Labor government in the belief that all sorts of minorities will make a majority .. not withstanding that lots of minorities don’t like being pushed out of the mainstream.

    In some ways. JWH is doing a favour for his successor as Liberal leader. The result will be bad and it will be all JWH’s own work – and whoever gets the guernsey as Opp leader will be able to repudiate this 12 month period at will. If the libs should get back, hopefully JWH will be gone in a short while or even on election night (.. and over to you Maxine..) but the successor will be left the unenviable job of untangling what is becoming one almight public policy mess.

  13. The Future Fund is designed tobe at arm’s length from government. To say that losses will backfire on the government is like saying that Peter Costello or any of the state treasurers sit around with the financial pages and decide where the PS super money is going to go that day. It doesn’t work like that. Arms length is best for everybody.

  14. What if?
    One more thing. “Anonymous” said a few days ago that he/she knew something we didn’t. That was that the Coaliton had given up on trying to improve their primary vote but were going to try to improve their preference flow.
    Now we saw that Greens preferences going to the Coalition had doubled in the last Morgan poll after the Rudd forest announcement, to 21%.
    What if John Howard let Malcolm Turnbull have his head and do whatever is necessary to gain more green preferences?
    The Liberals for Forests preferences were responsible for the ALP winning Richmond. The party itself was not formed by Liberal supporters if my information is correct and that’s why the preferences went to the ALP.
    Just what if Malcolm Turnbull were to make a series of last minute announcements giving the Greens what they wanted in some areas?
    What if John Howard wrote off those Tasmanian forest seats as unwinnable and Malcolm trumped Labor by announcing that they would conserve significant tracts of old growth forests in Tasmania after all?
    What if Malcolm Turnbull promoted Cape York for world heritage listing and conservation? What if he made some startling announcements on global warming initiatives?
    The Greens would do the same deals regardless with Labor – or would they? Even if they did, Greens voters are notorious in not slavishly following how to vote recommendations. In any case many Greens voters are former Democrats, half of whom could swing either way.
    John Howard may be desperate enough to go green but could he stomach it?
    He may write off those Tasmanian seats to save mainland seats.

  15. The whole QLD local government amalgamation thing is just the type of thing that can derail a campaign big time .. it might not resonate in Brisbane (Bonner and Moreton are going to go anyway) but may deprive the ALP of oxygen in the next tier of seats (Longman, Hinkler). It was the issue of council amalgamations that turned regional Victoria so heavily against Jeff Kennett. The issue has now achieved enough momentum to take on a life of it’s own. Peter Beattie has either caught the invincibilty virus from JWH at the least COAG or he opened his desk drawer and was possessed by the ghost of Joh…

  16. blackburnpseph Says:

    But “WHO” put the money there? It was supposed to be managed at arms length by a Board, but Costollo was the one who dictated that The majority of it was invested with Bush’s mates in the US.

    If there is a substantial fall in the markets, get set for a whirlwind election campaign as they will call it before too much carnage eventuates and people wake up to potential Future Fund cleanout.

  17. Richard it should be recalled that Bill Heffernan has been an outspoken critic of Gunns and Tasmanian forest policy for some time … and like him or hate him Bill Heff is not the sort of politician who will keep those views to himself.

  18. Bill I see at the Greens website you have grown a beard. Are you trying to alienate moderate voters? Everyone knows voters don’t like or trust men with beards, and especially not know when MGBs are running around blowing things up. Have you grown it out of solidarity with the MGBs? Watch out you don’t get deported.

  19. Richard you forget the Peasants’ Party. They would rather walk out of the Coalition (which would probably be to their electoral advantage at the moment) rather than stomach such things. And if they didn’t, their seats would all be won by anti-Green independents. Trying to please both the Ferals and the Peasants is like straddling a barbed-wire fence, and you don’t need a medical degree to know where that leads.

  20. (100) STROP,

    Your analysis concerning the tactics available to Mr Howard and the Liberal Party seems credible. However, one question you did not address is how did a politician who we all agreed some 6 months ago was extremely talented in developing and constructing an election campaign find himself (and his party) in this position. (Even today many are still unwilling to believe that the Labor Party has a chance to win the election simple because of the perceived talents of Mr Howard).

    In other words how did Mr Howard and the Liberal Party “wedge” themselves?

    From my limited point of view I think that this can be attributed to their view of the economic conditions and how the “average Joe” perceives the affect of these conditions on his life.

    It is clear that Mr Howard and the Liberal party look at the economic conditions through the prism of the employers, believing that what is good for business must, by definition, be good for the employees. They discount the benefit of unions to employees and the attitude of the less well of within society to their positions in life and the control they have over these conditions and perceptions they have over their quality of life.

    This has led to the belief within the Government (in fact held by almost all conservative MP) that as business has “never had it so good” than this applies to the rest of us as well. This has been reflected in the comments of the Prime Minister that “Australians have never been better off” (or words to this effect) or the words of Mr Abbot, “parallel universes” and Mr Dutton “a load of crap” and many other members of the Government echoing this attitude.

    The Government has therefore acted on the erroneous analysis of our attitudes believing that we will “wake up to ourselves” and come back to the fold of the true party of right wing economic policy. However, as was outlined in an article I read recently (forget where – maybe someone can remember where it was – it was a researched out of one of the NSW Universities) the desires of voters is not limited to simply financial concerns. We do care about right and wrong, about the haves and the have nots, about our neighbour. We are not selfish and one dementional – we are caring human beings and all we needed was someone we could trust, to put our faith in, to abandon the dry economic church of Mr Howard.

    It would appear that Mr Rudd is the man we have put our trust in.

    This has given the Liberal Party a false starting point from which to conduct its campaign for the election and it has taken a long time for them to realise this, if in fact they have. They now find that they have limited options for developing a campaign strategy which will over come their misreading of the electorate’s attitude to their gospel of greed is good and all that matters is money.

  21. In The Australian today Adam’s favourite writer (joking) Dennis Shanahan wrote a piece claiming that “ The Liberal strategy appears to be to hold some of its most marginal seats, ..force Labor to fight hard for seats in the QLD killing field…and hold WA as its redoubt”.

    I have been thinking about this strategy being on the cards for some weeks, and recent events confirm it may be what is happening at the moment.

    In this scenario, the first task would be to retain 9 seats won in 2004. These are Kingston (0.1), Bonner (0.6) Braddon (1.1) , Hasluck (1.8) , Stirling (2.0), Bass (2.6), McMillan (5.0), Bowman (8.9) and Greenway (11.0).

    We have already seen JWH try to pork barrel his way out of trouble in the seat of Braddon, a move that seems to have back fired because Burnie residents won’t be happy with the prospect of the viability of their hospital being put at risk by the Mersey Hospital prop up offered by JWH recently.

    JWH has used the amalgamation issue to try to engage QLD voters into voting against a State Government policy by NOT voting Labor. The obvious targets are not so much Bonner and Bowman which are not provincial-rural seats directly affected by the council amalgamation policy. He is targeting more specifically QLD seats won in 2001 [Dickson (9.1) and Ryan (10.4) and in 1996 [Moreton (2.8), Herbert (6.1), Petrie (7.9), Leichardt (10.3) and Forde (13.0). He is also targeting the new notionally National seat of Flynn (7.9).

    With the current polls indicating a strong anti-Coalition swing on in QLD, the amalgamation ‘wedge’ is being used to (perhaps) save Herbert, Petrie and Flynn from being lost to Labor and to protect Dickson, Ryan, Leichardt and Forde from becoming marginal seats.

    Hasluck and Stirling were, until recently, considered to be safe for the Coalition because the conventional wisdom was that WA was resisting the swing against the Coalition evident in other States. In fact, whispers of potential Coalition gains in Swan and Cowan were popular too. The recent Westpoll has put a cat amongst the pidgeon’s, with some now writing off any Coalition gains in WA and a few speculating Labor will gain Hasluck and Stirling without much trouble, could in fact pick up Kalgoorlie (6.3), the only seat lost to the Coalition in 1998, and give the candidate who won Canning (9.5) in 2001 a scare.

    Kingston (0.1) was won for the Coalition in 2004 and Makin (0.9) is the only other seat in SA the Coalition has wrestled from Labor since Keating PM. Howard is yet to fire a shot in South Australia. This is a curios thing, given that Kingston, Makin and Wakefeild (0.1) among the four most marginal seats held by the Coalition. Perhaps JWHs strategists have written these 3 seats off given the paltry margins, the popularity of the State Government and Premier in SA and the strong mortgage belt presence in at least 2 of those seats. Some Labor people are beginning to eye off Brand (5.4) and Sturt (6.8), based on the strong poll indicators of a big swing against JWH is South Australia.

    Most Coalition people could not bring themselves to conceive of the ‘born to rule’ Christopher Pyne being at risk in Sturt, but Brand should get at least a passing gesture of support from JWH somewhere down the track is he banking on surviving by protecting his marginal seats from extinction. Should be interesting to see what JWH strategist’s have up their sleeves for SA, if anything.

    Have you noticed I have not said anything about Victoria or NSW yet ? That is because since the 1996 Federal election, the only seats the Coalition has won from Labor have been the Victorian seat of McMillan (5.0) in 2004 on the back of 5.0 pro Coalition redistribution, Greenway (11.0) in 2004 on the back of 10.4 redistribution in favour of the Coalition, along with Dobell (4.8) and Paterson (6.8) in 2001.

    That is, the Coalition won a grand total of 3 seats from Labor in NSW and 1 seat Victoria in the last 3 elections. NSW is the biggest seat State (50 seats) and not much has changed since the 1996 election in terms of gains for the Coalition.

    It is NSW that Labor may need to recover more seats lost in 1996. These are- Macquarie (0.5*), Parramatta (1.1) Lindsay (2.9) Eden Monaro (3.3) Page (5.5) Robertson (6.9) Hughes (8.8) Gilmore (9.5) and Macarthur (11.1).

    So far, JWH has only tried his pork barreling tactics in Eden Monaro and may be planning to force a State ‘wedge’ on Iemma’s recently published threat to renege on the Murray-Dowling water ‘deal’ (or do I have the wrong Premier in the gun ?).

    9 seats won in 1996 in NSW remain in Coalition hands. Labor will be mindful of this fact and are yet to come up with a strategy to shift the balance of power (seats) in NSW back to Labor. A further 3 seats have been lost to the Coalition since then. Dobell and Paterson has small pro-Labor redistribution swings in 2004 and lost them anyway.

    With other States doing well for Labor, not much attention has been paid to NSW apart from running commentary about Cooke (pre-selection debacle), JWHs seat of Bennelong because he is PM and MM is contesting his seat and distracting him, and Eden Monara after the Saw Mill fiasco and ‘bellweather’ attachments to that seat in election speak

    What does the Coalition have in mind for protecting Macquarie, Parramatta, Lindsay and Page from extinction ? Nothing yet from JWH unless a State Government wedge can be located and capitalised on. Water ?

    In Victoria, Labor will be hoping to recover McMillan (5.0) from 2004, have a chance of winning back Dunkley (9.4) and McEwen (6.4) which were lost in the 1996 Coalition landslide, and perhaps win Corangamite (5.3) for the first time since 1929 (thanks again Adam) on the back of reactions to the culling of Ford factory jobs in the area recently.
    Corangamite seems vulnerable , as does McMillan.

    McMillan was lost on the back of a 2004 redistribution of 5.0 to the Coalition before the election. Latham’s anti logging policy alienated the rural voters in the area. This time around the Coalition will get no redistribution assistance, Latham’s anti logging policy wont be a factor and the RBAs fifth interest rate hike since the 2004 election may help Labor. For example, voters in Pakenham with a high mortgage belt presence who voted for the Coalition in 2004 may swing against the Coalition and make this seat more vulnerable than it looks.

    Victoria has had less attention paid to it in the media scrum and amongst poll addicts and speculators than has NSW. Again, I wait to see what the Coalition strategists will try to do in McMillan, Dunkley, McEwen and Corangamite to save these vulnerable Victorian seats from extinction from a Coalition perspective.

    I don’t think Howard can or will save all 40+ seats I have mentioned in this blog. Only 16 of them have to go for Labor to win Government. So far he has tried a sweeping approach in QLD and made some noise around Eden Monaro and Braddon. Solomon (NT) too if you want to include it in Howard’s ‘must retain’ list.

    The opening bids have been made- it will be interesting to see what JWH does to try and save these seats from extinction in the “Liberal seat-by-seat-struggle”.

  22. WhoGivesaRats Says:

    “This has led to the belief within the Government (in fact held by almost all conservative MP) that as business has “never had it so good” than this applies to the rest of us as well. This has been reflected in the comments of the Prime Minister that “Australians have never been better off” (or words to this effect) or the words of Mr Abbot, “parallel universes” and Mr Dutton “a load of crap” and many other members of the Government echoing this attitude.”

    Rats, I think the Coalition attitude was expressed well when the new Liberal Senator for Queensland (replacing Santo) was interviewed out side Parliament House a day after the pollies pay rise was announced, and she said something on the lines of the ordinary people getting “Pearls”.

    I think it was her first day, so it indicated that she would fit right in with their mindset regarding the majority of the Australian people.

    A bit off subject, I know and apologise, but it has stuck in my mind ever since and worries me a lot that that is where they are coming from in the way that they treat us.

  23. Ruawakw,

    The Reserve Bank has not invested any money in the share market. Nor have the overseas central banks done so. They have made a loan of some $100 billion plus – in one day! – to the other banks to improve financial liquidity. Exactly how it all works is beyond me, but basically the central banks create money out of nothing – which should be obvious to anyone who compares the size of the economy today with that of 100 years ago.

  24. [Do you think the Libs could attract a Green vote on one issue alone?]

    Plus, the Government supports nuclear power, so any gains they make by saving forrests they will lose on the issue of nuclear power.

  25. 89

    The governments internal polling says they have to chase second preferences of independent, family first and incredible as it sounds green voters. The same sort of strategy Bob Hawke used in 1987?

  26. I notice that Labor’s most marginal Queensland seat, Rankin (3%) still has no Liberal candidate. That doesn’t suggest that the Libs expect to win any seats off Labor, Christopher Pearson notwithstanding.

  27. I’m amused by earlier posts (by Laborites) saying ‘wow, who cares about Westpoll’s credibility, this’ll give them a bandwagon factor’. I don’t know of any Australian research measuring bandwagon vs underdog (tho Mr Shanahan clearly believes in the bandwagon). But surely if you believe in a bandwagon you wouldn’t want inflated poll results several months out: because the next Westpoll will be reported as ‘Big swing back to Libs in WA’.

  28. As a Greens fella I’ll consider voting for the Coalition if they:
    1.Increase payments to public education cf private
    2. Develop a real environmental programme [not back of envelope stuff] on water, forestry, fisheries, salinization, soil erosion, air quality and other issues by restricting vegetation clearing, molly coddling inefficient farming and irrigation and forestry
    3. Abolish WorknoChoices immediately
    4 Apologize to the Indigenous people and reinstate [sic] consultation as a preliminary to all programmes
    5 Stop with the homophobic attitudes
    6 Stop with the misogynist attitudes
    7 Stop with the xenophobic attitudes and playing the politics of feat paranoia and distrust
    You get the idea.

  29. They are after your preference Fred, not your primary vote. There are a bucket load of other minor parties and they KNOW that the majority of people have made up their mind.

  30. I am a big believer of “Band Wagon” over “Underdog” as collecting more votes in Australia, we would rather pick a winner and talk about how we liked the underdog.

    Although Graeme the swing back in WA (if it does happen) could re shift momentum toward the coalition, it may get drowned out by National Polling coming through.

    I cant remember the figure exactly but around or over 1 million people are thought to make up there mind at the booth, in 2004 they said well im not sure about this Latham, in 2007 it might me I think Kev looks alright. If it plays out like this Momentum/Bandwagon pressure will work out i thihnk.

  31. They are not going to get the preference vote either until AFTER they satisfy the incomplete list above.
    Actually I wrote it to illustrate that the gulf between the Coalition and greens type voters is not going to be bridged by a few minor non-core nods in the general direction.
    It would be lovely to watch the contortions of the Coalition if they ever considered getting Greens preferences.
    Really the only way it becomes feasible is if the ALP go further to the right than the Coalition already is.
    And of course thats unthinkable isn’t it?
    Well isn’t it?

    ***sounds of crickets****

  32. Re the Reserve Bank’s activities, I think (and it’s a long time since I studied finance) that the banks are required to maintain certain levels of deposits with the reserve bank, and the higher these deposits, the less they have available to lend to people. If the central bank reduces the amount the banks are required to have on deposit, it effectively means there is more money available in the economy.

    If I am wrong I blame all the distractions there used to be at universities in the last days before HECS was introduced…

  33. K David Says:
    “Although Graeme the swing back in WA (if it does happen) could re shift momentum toward the coalition, it may get drowned out by National Polling coming through.”

    There’s a good article in the age which reflects the thoughts of many of the posters here.

    “WEST Australian voters, on whom Prime Minister John Howard was counting to save him from political oblivion, have turned their back on him, with an exclusive Westpoll showing a surge of support for Kevin Rudd.

    If the result of the WA poll was repeated at the election, Labor would not only hold its marginal seats of Swan and Cowan, but would sweep up Hasluck, Stirling and Kalgoorlie.

    An almost 10-point turnaround, as the latest Westpoll shows, would put the safe Liberal seat of Forrest almost within reach for Labor.”

  34. I just can’t see the ALP getting less than the usual 75% or so of Greens preferences. They are willing to ratify Kyoto, and set a long term target for greenhouse reductions. Environmental issues will be more important in this election than last, and that will play into the oppositions hands because they are generally considered more in favour of environmental protection. If Howard says he is giong to protect more QLD rainforrest, or doing something for the Barrier Reef, then Rudd will just match it. The concentrateion on the environemntal issues will just focus more attention onto the opposition.

  35. [152] – I also recall 1990 being considered closer on election night than it turned out to be – there was some discussion that Kennedy, where voting in some booths was delayed by floods, might be critical. You could make a case for 1998 as well, if only because the behaviour of postal and absentee votes was made a bit more unpredictable because polling day was in school holidays in most states and on a long weekend in NSW/SA/ACT. The cascading preferences that almost gave the Democrats Cunningham weren’t spotted until several days afterwards, but then analysts were less attuned to the possibility then than they would be now.

    One comment on specific seats in my part of the world: I think the margin in McMillan understates the Liberals’ strength there because Christian Zahra had a reasonable personal vote in 2004, especially in the Latrobe Valley (the swing was about 4% bigger in Morwell and Traralgon booths that had been redistributed out of McMillan than it was in Moe booths that stayed in it). I’d regard it as a 7-8% seat rather than a 5% one.

  36. It also gives some good information on party internal polling and comes up with the finding that “Workchoices” is by far the primary reason for an 8 percent swing to Labor. It appears locked in and nothing short of the total repeal of workchoices will get any of them back IMHO.

    “In more bad news for the Coalition, The Age has obtained national polling, conducted for the ACTU between March and July, which found 8 per cent of people who voted for the Coalition in 2004 planned to vote Labor this year.

    When asked what was the most important issue that had caused them to switch, 30 per cent picked industrial relations law. The next biggest issues were health care, ranked first by 18 per cent of people, and climate change (12 per cent).

    When asked their top three reasons for changing votes, 54 per cent included IR laws.

    The results are confirmed by confidential figures from the Government side, provided by the Liberal Party’s research gurus Crosby/Textor.

    In a June 21 research report, OzTrack 33, also obtained by The Age, they found big anti-Government swings among part-time workers, and “lower white (collar)/upper blue (collar)” workers, the classic “Howard battler” demographic.

    “Substantially more vote changers rank the IR laws in their top three issues,” said the ACTU pollsters, Essential Research. “Vote changers are also less likely to rank management of the economy and political leadership in their top three issues.”

    I really loved this quote from Joe Hockey though.

    “Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey dismissed the analysis, saying it was “straight out of the dirty tricks manual” with no credibility.”

    Don’t you just love him! He even dismisses his own party polling. Talk about being in denial.

  37. I think this is pure fantasy. Neither the Liberals’ right wing, nor the Nationals, nor the mining companies etc etc, would stand for it. Howard may be desperate but he won’t ditch his core principles to get re-elected. If he was willing to do that he would repeal WorkChoices.

  38. The Greens are in a symbiotic relationship with Labor. The more Labor moves to the centre-right, the more the Greens prospered. The hard-nuts in Labor know this and play it for all that it’s worth. Short of PR/MMP (or global warming meltdown) the Greens will be preference cows to Labor for some decades to come. Unfortunately for them, preference deals in the Senate stand to keep them from ever having the BOP, at least on their own.

  39. The Greens are being colonised by socialist/marxist types – the more they drag the Greens to the far left the worse things will get for the Greens.

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