Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in Bennelong

The government is not about to face any respite from those bad poll headlines: News Limited papers are today carrying a Galaxy poll which shows the Prime Minister heading for defeat in Bennelong, where he trails Labor’s Maxine McKew 53-47 on two-candidate preferred (a similar poll three months ago had it at 52-48). The Labor primary vote is at 47 per cent, compared with 28 per cent at the previous election (when much of the anti-Howard vote was harvested by Greens candidate Andrew Wilkie), while the Liberal vote is down from 50 per cent to 44 per cent. No quibbling with the sample size this time, either – there were 800 respondents, double the amount Westpoll used to gauge an entire state.

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.

298 comments on “Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in Bennelong”

Comments Page 1 of 6
1 2 6
  1. The media outlets normally sympathetic to Howard appear to be turning away from him. We’ve had a succession of highly publicised polls that have been terrible for the Government. The overall impression is that they are spiralling out-of-control to oblivion. Am I correct in thinking an AC Nielsen poll is due out next Monday? Should this poll also be bad for the Government, I wonder what the Liberals’ response will be.

  2. *does a happy dance*

    [howard signing Kinks]:

    thank you for the days
    and although there gone there with me every single day believe me
    I thank you for the days
    those precious days those sacred days you gave me

  3. I wonder if they believe that the electoral shift against Howard is permanent and may as well start walking the straight and narrow with their partisanship?

    News limited do have some rather large axes to grind with Howard though. Remember the two reporters that were hounded in the courts for not revealing their whistleblower source. Howard would have gone harder on it still if it wasnt an election year. Then their was the confrontation over FOI where all the media joined together to pressure the government, who seemed to treat FOI with contempt. Then there was that attempt to filter out access to ministerial press conferences by putting all journalists through Federal Police checks – who will then decide who gets access. In other words a method to filter out the unfriendly reporters.

    If News limited journalists are smart they must realise once the election is over Howard will go very hardline on FOI, persecuting whistlblowers and journalists and seek to reduce media power/access/information sources on government. The Howard govt will gladly jail as many journalists as he can if they dont toe the line. If the Government can fake evidence in order to character assassinate Justice Kirby under parliamentary priviledge then they are capable of any low trick.

    There are lots of reasons for journalists to be afraid of Howard wining. And probably Rudd appears right wing enough for Murdoch anyway.

    Whatever the reasons, headlines that show Howard as a looser are very beneficial to Rudd’s campaign.

  4. News limited do have some rather large axes to grind with Howard though. Remember the two reporters that were hounded in the courts for not revealing their whistleblower source.

    News Ltd have also done their service, though. Putting aside the spin that emanates from The Oz, there is still the matter of at least one leak that was not prosecuted (and never will be), namely, the DFAT/Andrew Bolt smear campaign against Andrew Wilkie (in 2004, I think). This latter pundit has reported insider-type stuff from DFAT meetings in the past, and has been flown over twice to Iraq, to come back and report the Government line. If that’s not quid pro quo, what is?

  5. The DFAT/Andrew Bolt smear campaign against Andrew Wilkie makes it into the book ‘Silencing Dissent’ a dry but interesting read on the Howard govts destruction of democracy and decency in Australia. The first 23 pages depressed me so much I had to take a break for a day before picking it up again.

  6. Well this is real trouble for JWH. Of all the polls Galaxy has been the most favorable for the Government. It is the only one with a trend line that shows the Coalition with a winning chance late in 2007.
    The accompanying story By Glenn Milne in the News Ltd papers turns up the volume on the bad news “…first sitting Prime Minister to lose his seat since Stanley Bruce…Dangerously 69 per cent of voters have locked in their decision … simply disaffected with the Prime Minister…things are sour in the West …shock swing of 8 per cent to Labor” and on he goes. With Parliament sitting next week and all politicians and media gathered in Canberra just watch the leadership speculation go into overdrive!

    Things have also turned sour for him in the only place where he had Mr Rudd’s measure: the boom state of Western Australia.

    If Mr Rudd’s vote held up elsewhere, it would almost certainly mean a Labor victory.

    The Sunday Mail/SBS Insight Galaxy Poll was conducted in Bennelong on the evenings of August 8 and 9, based on a sample of 800 voters.

    Primary support for Mr Howard is 44 per cent, unchanged since May and down around six points since the last election.

    In contrast, support for Ms McKew is now 47 per cent, a massive 19 points higher than the vote achieved by the ALP candidate at the last federal election.

    Galaxy CEO David Briggs said the numbers highlighted a “dilemma” for Mr Howard.

    “There are people within his electorate that are satisfied with his performance but not prepared to vote for him,” Mr Briggs said.

  7. Willam your awesome, I check in at 2:30am and i get to read 53/47 in benelong, It’s taking me back to a cool Dry Season night in 2005 when DG Burke former CM and Opposition leader lost his.

    Couldn’t actually happen again, Could it?

  8. In the scenario that it’s an extremely close call at this election, with the Coalition just getting across the line. Would John Howard be so willing to retire and risk losing the seat at a by-election?

    I think it’s an interesting case, particularly if there’s only a seat or two in it.

    I’m still predicting a Coalition win (and not a particularly narrow one at that). But I’ll be happy to be proved wrong.

  9. I’m wondering what propaganda megaphones such as Akerman will do if Rudd wins? Will he: a) drift quietly and heartbroken into the night? b) adopt the new (for him) role of questioning and criticising the federal government? It will be interesting to see …

  10. More good news!! Hopefully, tomorrow’s AC Nielson will have a pro-Labor swing after interest rates. If that happens, the boot will be truly be in, and Labor could well win a record landslide.

  11. This represents a 7.3% swing from the last election in Bennelong. If there is this sort of swing in the electorate that the PM would have bit of a following, is it going to be bloodbath in NSW? Are going to see “safe” Lib seats be lost?

    One seat they might be in trouble, and I never thought I would contemplate this is North Sydney. It is a swing of about 10% needed to lose the seat, but if the sitting member (Joe Hockey) cops the brunt of Workchoices dislike (he is Industrial Relations Minister), or has trouble beating a high profile candidate (weatherman Mike Bailey), and there is a big swing on, is he in trouble?

    It’s a longshot, but could Hockey be a little nervous?

    Actually I looked at the map. Bennelong and North Sydney are next to each other! Another Factor?

  12. Mr Howard’s team, the Dragons, lost their seat for the season at the hands of the mighty South Sydney Rabbitohs last night. This result, while not totally unexpected, was a mild surprise. Not much of an omen but they all help…

  13. Sounds like a great omen to me Roy. Although my team Manly are having a great season, they last won the comp in 1996, make of that what you will. Unfortunatly Manly is also Tony Abbotts team, so don’t know what that means.

  14. 53-47 *ouch* look if I was Howard I would be more worry by this poll than the one in May but there is still several months til Election.

    Well some talk about omens, and at this early stage Saturn leaving Leo doesn’t look like its going to save Howard.

    While its a different issue I think with Rudd having come out several months ago against Council mergers in Queensland will limit the damage, I still see several Queensland seats falling to the ALP and with Bennenlong facing a 7% swing against what does this say about the result in other places.

    Tip for Nelsen ALP 57 Lib/Nuts 43

  15. SirEggo Says: One seat they might be in trouble, and I never thought I would contemplate this is North Sydney. It is a swing of about 10% needed to lose the seat, but if the sitting member (Joe Hockey) cops the brunt of Workchoices dislike (he is Industrial Relations Minister), or has trouble beating a high profile candidate (weatherman Mike Bailey), and there is a big swing on, is he in trouble?

    I used to live in Willoughby and Naremburn until three years ago, and I can safely say, there’s very little chance of Hockey losing. He’s a very popular politician in that area, and has lived there his entire life. He’s regularly seen, and has a very very strong support base.

    I think John Howard has more chance of losing his seat, than Hockey has of losing his.

  16. Hell will freeze over before the Libs lose North Sydney and Berowra(my area) – too many oldies and rusted on Liberal voters. However, I’m surprised Hockey’s margin in North Sydney is only 10%. There must be pockets of the electorate where Labor doesn’t do too badly.
    Bennelong: I’ll be shocked if Howard loses his seat, but that area is turning Labor rapidly, so Maxine definitely has a shot at causing a monumental upset. At the very least, it causes the Liberals to divert much needed resources to a seat they probably thought originally they didn’t need to worry about. I suspect Parramatta will be given away, and Liberal Party HQ will stage a last ditch bid to keep Bennelong and Wentworth(Turnball said to be spending hundreds of thousands of his own money on the campaign).

  17. Agree with Pi, Labor have no chance of winning North Sydney even in a large swing. There was a swing in 2004 which would have absorbed a fair potential for movement and there wouldn’t be too many other seats in the country with an electorate so unaffected by workchoices. Also, it is questionable how many resources the ALP would be able to put on the ground. This is the type of area where the growth of the Green vote is eating into the ALP vote big time.

    And while we are on the North Shore, any hope people have of knocking Tony Abbott off would be to some extent neutralised by Warringah now having large chunks west of Middle Harbour in East Lindfield and East Roseville – home of the rusted and fused liberal voter.

  18. One issue the liberals will wish they didn’t have will be that a huge amount of media attention during the campaign will be spent watching Bennelong. Labor’s choice of Maxine McKew does indeed seem inspired.

  19. Perhaps the deal is if Mike Bailey has a respectable showing in North Sydney(a modest swing against Hockey), he gets considered for a more winnable state or federal seat later on. The fact that the guy has name recognition ought to help him somewhat in an electorate full of ABC viewers.

  20. Just when you thought the tide couldn’t go out any further, it did. It has exposed some nasty rocks.
    Once again such headlines give the very strong impression that time’s up for John Howard. This provides more impetus for voters to consider voting for Kevin Rudd.
    These headlines are anathema to the Coalition.
    Some die-hard Libs are hoping the polls are wrong as when Kinnock was expected to win against Major.
    The polls showed Kinnock 5% ahead and he was acting as if he was already elected.
    It was said that some people were too embarrassed to say they were going to vote Conservative.
    Some shrewder Labour insiders realised that the polls were wrong.
    Major hammered away at Labour promising to increase taxes, which indeed they did promise!
    The big difference in this election though is that we have compulsory voting and they don’t. Also we have a compulsory preference system where disaffected voters can go back to their traditional party.
    In the next UK election, Tony Blair and his advisers decided to listen to the aspirationals and tailored the entire campaign around them, just as Clinton did and Kevin Rudd appears to be doing.
    That’s when the front page of Rupert Murdoch’s best-selling Sun came out with big headlines supporting Tony Blair.
    It’s a very similar story right now in Australia.
    It would appear that Rupert Murdoch, or at least his editors, have decided that Kevin Rudd is OK to support, he is adequately conservative, and that he will probably win. The majority of their readers have the same view.
    They too want to back a winner.
    It wouldn’t be a good look for the Daily Telegraph to support John Howard in a gung-ho fashion only to have him lose his seat as well as the election.
    David Penberthy would have to consider his future under such circumstances.
    He may have to consider the New York option.
    The really interesting question now is- just what will John Howard do?
    He’s caught between those rocks and the sandy bank.
    If he hands over to Peter Costello or Malcolm Turnbull and resigns his seat at the next election, his seat will almost certainly go to Labor and that may possibly be the crucial seat. Who really knows?
    His best mate George Bush is coming over two days early and will no doubt talk in glowing terms of his great friend, the man of steel, and how lucky we all are to have him as our PM, but that may even make things worse for John Howard. It might just disgust more people than it impresses.
    More likely now John Howard will tough it out, that is unless his parliamentary colleagues decide enough is enough.
    He won’t be able to spend as much time in those far-flung marginals.
    On North Sydney and other “safe” seats, it is not unlikely,if the swing is as big as it appears, that other totally unexpected seats could go.
    While Jo Hockey and John Howard and Malcolm Turnbull are preoccupied defending their own seats, another one or two with even bigger margins could go down.
    Interesting times

  21. Don’t mean to quibble, William, but does it matter to a poll’s accuracy whether it is 800 voters for a whole state or a whole electorate? (I avoided stats like the plague in my maths degree, but I thought, once over a small population threshold, the accuracy of the sample size was invariant).

    These may be heady days for Labor but I doubt 53-47 at the moment is enough to get McKew over the line, because this election race will tighten over the economic fundamentals.

  22. And as it turns out, Graeme, economic management was far and away the most important issue for those who agreed to be surveyed, with 41% saying it would influence their vote more than any other issue. This is the Coalition’s trump card, especially with interest rates creeping up and the US economy in a spot of bother.

    And Joe Hockey is very secure in his seat, not least because a large number of his fellow Armenians live there.

  23. Graeme, as far as I am aware, the relative size of the sample to the population is irrelevant. It is the ACTUAL size of the sample that matters, in which case, the bigger it is, the lower the margin of error.

    So, a sample of 800 voters in Bennelong will have the same margin of error as a sample of 800 voters across the whole electorate, presuming that respondents in all cases are randomly selected.

    Pollsters should really be aiming above 800 for any survey in order to get a margin of error that is not too big. The recent Westpoll, unfortunately, had a much lower sample, which does make it less reliable than, say the Newspoll.

  24. Tick, tick, tick, three months to go if you think mid November is likely. 12-13 seconds is a long time in politics, let alone 12-13 weeks. JWH has plenty of time to recover a winnable position, but he needs the election gods to be kind and give him something to toss at Rudd and soon.

  25. Whatever makes you feel better Graeme and Steve.
    You failed to tell the whole story on the 41% Steve.
    Thankyou to Glenn Milne.
    “Overall, 41 per cent of voters in Bennelong claim that management of the economy will be the most influential issue at the next election, unchanged since May.
    This is followed by the honesty of the candidates (27 per cent) and the Coalition’s industrial relations reforms (25 per cent).
    So, even with economic management as the dominant issue with Bennelong voters, they still emphatically prefer the Labor candidate, Maxine McKew, over the Prime Minister – 53 per cent on a two-party preferred basis to 47 per cent.”
    So 51% say either the honesty of the candidates (27 per cent) or the Coalition’s industrial relations reforms (25 per cent) will be the most influential issue at the next election, areas in which Howard is struggling at the moment. Still feeling good Steve?

  26. The man of steel is not a tough man. He has always behaved like a bully. The press are starting to turn against him and even Bolty on Insiders today was forecasting a definitive win to Labor. To continue in what is fast becoming a hostile environment with poll results like this in his own electorate would be the mark of a strong person. This Ratty is not. I just can’t see what upside there is for him now. I mean he hates pre-election TV debates as it is, so why on earth would he stick all this out just to get a thrashing on national TV from Rudd?

  27. Graeme, I’m also a stats failure (spent that time in the uni bar that semester).

    But with this nifty calculator ( I can work it out myself.

    Margin of error for a sample size of 800 (assuming population size of 70,000 and no skewing) is 3.44%.

    Now if we play around with the calculator and plug in an estimated national voting population of 10,360,000 (148 x 70,000) you’ll see that the margin of error only increase to 3.46%.

    So the short story is here is that once you get into surveying large populations (say > 20,000) the size of the population doesn’t play much of a role in the margin of error.

    Re possible surprise Labor wins in NSW; ignoring all the Lib seats 10% for Labor.

    Why? Someone might have the actual stats here, but I would think there would be lots of “Howard’s battlers” in this seat, under plenty of mortgage stress, feeling very pissed off and looking to vent their anger at the next election.

  28. Steven, the economic management issue may be playing the other way currently.
    John Howard promised to keep interest rates at record lows, or at least that’s what the placard said and that’s what people believed.
    Many people felt safe to borrow money for a house believing that interest rates would indeed stay low.
    Now we all know that John Howard has very little impact on interest rates and that the Reserve Bank makes decisions in the macro-economic interests of Australia.
    One could argue that he should not have primed an overheating economy with massive tax cuts and also cut government expenditure, but neither would have been at all popular with the voters.
    Even Kevin Rudd is not suggesting that the tax cuts should not have been given back and indeed claims authorship of them.
    It’s a question of John Howard’s credibility.
    To win last time he had to make a massive promise which he had no hope of fulfilling.
    Even his current statement that interest rates will always be lower under the Coalition is demonstrably untrue.
    Most voters didn’t understand that John Howard was not telling the truth last time. They actually believed him when he said he would keep interest rates down.
    They feel very disillusioned. They have lost faith in him.
    Why would they vote for a leader who lied to them?
    He has made the campaign so easy for Labor. Already we are seeing their ads.
    There may even be another rate increase between now and the election.
    How do you think that would go down on top of the latest one?
    Do you really believe they will reward John Howard with their vote?
    Each new poll that comes out makes things worse for him.
    It would be an absolute miracle if he were to win from this point.
    Monday’s poll may confirm his worst fears. We’ll see.
    I wonder what is going through the minds of his nervous backbenchers?

  29. Steven, I certainly think the perception, rightly or wrongly, of the coalition being the better economic mangers, has been their trump card for all but the first of Howard`s election victories. Polling continues to show that they hold a fairly commanding lead in this area. Whether it remains so this time around is debatable.

    Howard`s claims in 2004 re.interest rates have been shown to be the dross they always were. The current spin, with rising interest rates and the sharemarket in some sort of trouble, is that only the coalition can be trusted in economically more turbulent times as well. Of course, this runs counter to the government`s previous claims that they were capable of controlling these things in the first place.

    The coalition has done an excellent job of consolidating in the public perception, often on spurious, cherry-picked evidence, that they are the only ones who can be trusted with the economy. While still holding an advantage here, the difference this time around seems to be that some of the gloss has come off their credentials and Rudd also looks like a very safe pair of hands.

    If Labor can maintain this over the next few months, and neutralise this long-held advantage, I think they will win.

    I agree with you that Hockey looks very safe – Howard must be looking over the electoral boundary with envy.

  30. Whilst a Bennelong loss for Howard will be great news for me, it’s still a prediction, and an unpredictable one at that. Bennelong has always been a Liberal seat but it’ll be interesting to see which of the two sides win the battle: Ryde, a strong Labor zone, or Epping, a strongish Liberal base. But then we have two issues:

    1. Queensland.
    A conservative state; Australia’s Texas; known for being politically immature enough to vote conservative figures like Joh Bjelke in the past and only has single digit Labor seats and double digit (in the 20s) Liberal seats. Now, with the Council Amalgamations, there might be a backlash against any Labor Govt, which to put it blankly, sucks. The only hope here is that they will come to their senses, realise how much of a failure Howard and Co have been, and move to fellow Queenslander, Rudd.

    2. Western Australia.
    The previous poll was good news but it’ll be close and unpredictable, like Bennelong. The state government has strong support (relatively), so who knows how much that’ll transfer to Federal ALP. WA’s the only state that hasn’t bucked the trend for the first half of the year, so I’m not sure what’ll happen here. If for instance Labor makes huge gains in the east, and loses the whole thing in the west.. well… you don’t want to see my response.

    I’d be wholly compensated if Howard loses his seat but the Libs win the election though. Just.

  31. STROP, yes, there is still time for Howard to recover. But one of his biggest obstacles now is a lack of credibility, so anything he says and does will be seen with suspicion, much like the boy who cried wolf just one too many times.

    This election will be Rudd’s to lose. I can only imagine the pressure that he must be experiencing, because he knows that if he puts a foot wrong somewhere, Howard and his hounds will jump all over it to paint him as unfit to be PM. But even for this to happen, Rudd will need to make a very big mistake, because as we saw during the various scandals that the government tried to surround Rudd with earlier this year, there is a lot of public goodwill towards Rudd. It can easily backfire straight back onto the government, as we also saw.

    Personally, I think the determination of a majority of the public to finally dispense with Howard, Costello, Downer, and the rest of these jokers, is strong. And frankly, Howard has made a mess of things this year. With a seemingly unthreatening opposition leader and the loss of his chief advisor, Arthur Sinodinos, Howard seems lost at sea. He really doesn’t seem like the consummate politician that many seemed to think.

    In fact, these last couple of months have revealed Howard to be quite incompetent at both politics and policy.

    But there are still some Liberal supporters who believe enough in the Howard rabbit-hat myths to still have optimism that he will pull off another election victory. But on current course, even the true Howard believers must be starting to have their doubts now, unless they are completely delusional.

    This one is Rudd’s to lose. I hope he manages to keep it together for the next 3 months. So far, he is doing a fine job.

  32. Gary, please don’t assume predilection from prediction!

    I’m an academic who writes a fair bit publicly. So unlike most people here I come not to cheer or lock swords, but to pick up some tidbits and do a bit of trial pontification.

  33. #29 Richard, from what I`ve read, not too many people are predicting a rate rise before an election – on the assumption that it will be held mid-November I suppose. However, if during the election campaign, economists are forecasting a 60-80% chance of another rise in December/January, this could be just as damaging for the government.

  34. Yep, feeling great, Gary, because ultimately the entire issue of industrial relations is a subset of economic management. During the election campaign – when people actually start to switch on to politics – it will be made very clear that Labor’s IR policy will wreck the economy, driving up inflation, interest rates and unemployment. And in the end, voters will always choose the party that will guarantee a strong and secure economy.

  35. Steven, I think you`ll find that industrial relations has never simply been a subset of economic mangement. There are many social, some might even suggest, moral issues involved as well. The government`s failure to understand this, or apparently the strong voter dislike for the IR changes, has been largely responsible for the claims that they are out of touch.

  36. I think you are right Noocat, Arthur Sinodinos may have been the all important factor in John Howard’s previous wins.
    I’ve seen at close hand, where utterly incompetent ministers and members
    (on all sides) were entirely supported by key staffers and advisers.
    Someone asked me the other day if you need to be competent and knowledgeable to be a minister. I said absolutely not. Most are not.
    You need excellent staff and good departmental heads.
    John Howard appears to be floundering as never before.
    The loss of Arthur Sinodinos may be fatal to him. Arthur may well have realised what the likely outcome of this election would be and bailed out with his reputation very much intact

  37. “Labor’s IR policy will wreck the economy, driving up inflation, interest rates and unemployment.”

    Labor’s IR policy mostly involves taking it back to where it was just two years ago, before WorkChoices arrived on the scene. I repeat, just TWO years ago.

    Tell me Steven, was the IR situation two years ago wrecking the economy, driving up inflation, interest rates, and unemployment?

    In fact, Labor’s IR policy puts tighter restrictions on union activity in workplaces and on unfair dismissal requirements than was in place two years ago.

    This whole idea that suddenly the economy will be left in tatters and our lives destroyed if WorkChoices is removed is beyond ridiculous. It is way out there in fantasy land. And yet, the current business-funded ads on TV are hinting at this very thing. It is another Howard lie. Seriously, do you really believe in these exaggerated fears that are perpetuated by the Liberals?

  38. “when people actually start to switch on to politics” – Steve, this old excuse. What next? What the people do know is that they don’t like Howard’s IR policy. Even the government’s own IR ads are making things worse for the government, according to surveys. This a dog of a policy and will continue to haunt the government up to, and if they lose, beyond the election. It will be a millstone around any future coalition opposition’s neck as was Labor’s 17% interest rate (which occurred 18 years ago).

  39. Noocat – Not quiet true. If the population is 100, a sample of 50 is taken the error rate is going to be less than taking a sample of 50 from a population of 1000. But for the effect to greatly occur it needs to be a lot greater than 1% of the total population that 800 out of 80000 is. So basically, you’re right.

    The standard error is 1.6% which means 68% of the time the figures should be within 1.6% each way or within 3.2% of the figures 95% of time. So it works out that McKew 84% more likely to be leading by more than 51.4% or to put it another way, Howard has a chance of leading around 6%.

  40. The problem with the business ads is that the average worker will think that with the IR laws being so popular with business leaders that can only mean they favour business and their profits more than they favour workers and their interests.

  41. Richard, if anything, Arthur’s reputation has been enhanced. Some now see him as the genius behind a very ordinary man, so a VERY good move for him to bail out when he did. He probably knew that WorkChoices was not going to go down well with the electorate. In fact, blind freddy would have easily predicted that if you attack people’s living standards, then you are going to get a backlash.

    The lack of foresight on the part of Howard and the government is almost mind-boggling.

    By the way, regarding Bennelong, I can only echo what some have said on this. All that Maxine needs to do is remind the voters of Bennelong that Howard is unlikely to stay for long after the election (and if the public continue to believe that the government will be changed, as Morgan suggests, then this will further cement the idea that Howard will quit after the election). The people of Bennelong are unlikely to want to go to the polls twice, so they will vote against Howard.

    This another reason why Howard desperately needs to turn the polls around because as long as it looks like the government will lose, the voters of Bennelong will have little confidence in Howard sticking around. So, why waste their vote on someone who won’t be there?

    Placing Maxine McKew against Howard in what is now a marginal seat was a stroke of genius.

  42. Steven, if it is John Howard making it “very clear that Labor’s IR policy will wreck the economy, driving up inflation, interest rates and unemployment” then it is unlikely it will be believed by voters.
    We may be in for some rough economic times anyway depending on whether or not the stock market and its players can shrug off the current woes as just a blip in a bull market. Personally I doubt if it will be that simple. The market is very nervous. The US may head into a recession or worse.
    If the downturn continues over the next few weeks and we are indeed in a bear market, then the RBA may not act. I’m not sure if John Howard would benefit from a sustained market crash though.
    In times of severe economic uncertainty Labor would surely be trusted to look after the worst hit much more than the free marketeers.
    Rather than people rushing back to John Howard, they may rush to Labor to look after them.
    In reality Labor’s IR policy will have precious little effect on the economy, inflation, interest rates or unemployment. The lowest paid should be marginally better off and better protected. The highest paid will still be the highest paid! It’s not in Kevin Rudd’s interest to allow a massive wages break out which would indeed lead to higher interest rates. Inflation is rising now without Kevin Rudd’s help and interest rates will rise higher regardless.

  43. Good point. Vote for Maxine and save taxpayers’ money by avoiding a by-election in a year’s time! John Howard will not hang around in the House whether he wins or loses the election. It is highly likely if he wins he will hand over in about a year and resign. I simply can’t imagine him sitting glumly on the backbench.
    I think quite a number of people are of the view, as mentioned above, that it would be good to get rid of John Howard and yet have a Coalition government with a small margin. The Australian people may even decide that. Time will tell.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 1 of 6
1 2 6