ACNielsen: 55-45

The Fairfax papers today carry their monthly ACNielsen poll, which shows a narrowing of Labor’s two-party lead from 58-42 to 55-45. Labor’s primary vote is down from 49 per cent to 46 per cent, while the Coalition is up from 39 per cent to 41 per cent. The movement most likely represents a correction from a somewhat excessive result last time. Now please, for the love of Christ, no more polls until next Tuesday …

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.

558 comments on “ACNielsen: 55-45”

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  1. Glen

    This is no beat up. I know. I have written them, but years ago. Wipe the spittle from your mouth and face the real world.

    Isn’t this fun!

  2. Glen Says:
    August 14th, 2007 at 10:28 pm
    This is a beat up…

    This is no beat up. I know. I have written them, but years ago. Wipe the spittle from your mouth and face the real world.

    Isn’t this fun!

    Glen, it looks like your side have had it.

    Why don’t you come over here to the “Dark Side”. It’s a lot more enjoyable over here and you will be able to write a lot happier, more enjoyable posts.

  3. Looks like the Coalition’s {woes} leaders are going to dominate the media throughout August the way things are going. I wonder what Costello will have to say about it. How many times did Peter deny knowing JC ? 3 TIMES . Ironic.

  4. Downer in damage control mode on Lateline. Something about wisdom and experience. Didn’t look too happy to be there. It looked like he had sucked a lemon at the start. Still, he knew what was coming. I thought he handled it pretty well. I agree with scorpio, this’ll be all over the MSM for the next coupla days. Just what is Costello doing?

  5. Robert Lowe had a political career in England after returning from NSW. He had already served in the NSW Legislative Council pre-self government.

    Adam, the recent changes tightened the use of names for parties like ‘Liberals for Forests’. However, the change couldn’t be done retrospectively to de-register parties. So the trick adopted was to de-register all parties that did not have parliamentary representation somewhere in Australia and make them re-apply under the new rules. Same result but overcomes a couple of procedural fairness issues that a court might have taken an interest in.

  6. Hehehe. Jeez, anyone would think Costello wants Howard to lose.

    Is this the biggest political kamikaze mission since Latho, or wot?

    Keating was right. All tip. So much for Smirker’s bollocks about the “best interests of the party”.

    He’s just a coward.

  7. There was some argument about the Liberals for Forests in the seat of Federal Seat of Richmond in NSW in 2004 i believe the Nationals made this statement about misleading voters in that marginal seat…im not sure whether they were founded or not.

  8. Lefty E

    That’s why Keating called him ‘Deputy Dawg’ and all Tip…by the way i suggest you watch some old episodes of Deputy Dawg on youtube they are quite amusing…

  9. GLEN says —

    “The problem is the ALP will have ads on TV saying if Costello doesnt think Howard will win why should you?”

    What they will do is nothing of the kind. The media will do it for them.

    If Costello wants to make those kind of comments to 3-4 senior journalist’s 2 years ago and not expect it to mean anything now he would have to be politically ignorant or naiive at best, neither of which you would want anyone to say about the wonderful member for Higgins.

    He could have said. “Yes, that may have been my view of the political landscape 2 years ago, but my position has changed since then”; It would have diffused the matter somewhat and become next days fish and chips wrapper as Downer tried to reduce it down to on Lateline tonight.

    Instead, he LIED again or at the very least left enough room in the mind of the average punter to wonder if he is lying about it. With Howard’s public credibility shot and Costello’s again up for speculation, I would have thought saying

    “Yes, that may have been my view of the political landscape 2 years ago, but my position has changed since then” would have been much more beleivable, done a lot less damage, and for a shorter period of time, than flat out denial of something consistent with his ‘biography’ statements.

    Costello has created a monster out of this thing – his already tardy public perception as ‘unpopular’ now gives the swinging voter reasonable cause to question his integrity, whether he is in fact telling the truth or not. Tardy.

  10. Yes Antony that’s what I was trying to explain. My question is, since I have not been following this in detail since last year: have LFF re-registered under that name? Brandis for one will be very annoyed if they have, given the effort he put into necking them at JSCEM hearings last year. (If I learned one thing in Canberra it is do not make an enemy of George Brandis – I watched him absolutely skewer Bob Brown one afternoon, he is a very smart guy, if a bit sinister.)

  11. What a fool Costello is – he has broken a basic rule of politics: do not call senior journalists liars to cover your own arse. They will totally do him over now.

  12. Well if Costello lied then STROP you will also have to agree that Rudd LIED to Rosanna Harris…he used her for a photo op and said she’d pay 50bucks less on her rent…what he didnt tell her was that it is for new houses being constructed and only for 50,000 spots out of 500,000 renters who are stressed…

    If thats not a lie i dont know what is…

    The media have run with Costello about this issue throughout the Howard era…leave it alone and get to the issues…i think people care about interest rates and employment and health and education more than what Costello did or didnt say over dinner 2 years ago.

  13. Quite so, Adam. Brandis is one of the sharp ones.

    And incidentally, he coined the term “Rodent” – so its a Liberal party endorsed insult that should bipartisan support on all psephoblogs!

  14. Howard’s effort in smoothing the issue over after the “Biography” revelations, even though people didn’t buy it too much, and putting up a vision of a workmanship relationship between himself and Costello is all shot to pieces now.

    The media and the Australian people won’t buy it now.

    I wonder what effect it will have on Friday’s poll and Tuesday’s Newspoll.

  15. Glen, your assertion that Rudd lied to Roseanna Harris is untrue:

    Mr Rudd’s office circulated a transcript of the opposition leader’s conversation with Ms Harris, in which he clearly told her that the scheme only applied to new investments. (Fairfax website)

    I await your retraction.

  16. Adam, Antony – I’d love to hear more about the l4f (re)registration. Some years back, 3 Federal Court judges, sitting as the AAT, held that the name wasn’t likely to mislead. It’s not clear to me how the Liberal Party will reverse that decision, except that the re-registration process will allow them another throw of that dice. Presumably they’ll throw in evidence from Richmond or elsewhere to allege that l4f has changed from its original inception and may now be a shell or front.

    Otherwise they can’t get over the hurdle that terms like ‘Liberal/liberals’ aren’t proprietary.

    Is that ACT based libertarian mob, the ‘Liberal Democratic Party of Australia’ being registered?

    Brandis SC taught me once (Rawls ‘Theory of Justice’). He’s smart the way any good barrister is, hence he’s made his name cross-examining pinned insects in committees, rather than in policy. Interesting to watch a man once wedded to welfare-liberalism seek to make his way in the Howard Liberal government.

  17. Glen I fear your best Treasurer ever (sic) has an achilles heel, no political sense.

    As Adam rightly assessed:

    What a fool Costello is – he has broken a basic rule of politics: do not call senior journalists liars to cover your own arse. They will totally do him over now.

    Even my wife with no interest in politics said tonight “Oh no, Howard will be better off without Costello, nobody likes him” after watching the 7.30 report. I think she shows more political nouse that Costello, and she couldn’t tell me who won the election in 2001.

  18. Derek Corbett Says:
    August 14th, 2007 at 11:09 pm
    Oh dear. What a mess. When Andrew Bolt calls for Downer to take over, one knows that things are crook.

    Hey Derek, have you got a link to Bolters comments. It sounds verrrry interesting!

  19. Hardly Adam…even the great Laurie Oaks said Rudd’s last minute confirmation of Labor’s policy sounded more confused than Hewson stuffing up the GST with the cake and the icing…

    If your statements were true Adam…why did we here this….

    Rudd: how much your rent?
    RH: $260
    Rudd: so you’d get 50bucks off your rent
    Swan: it will get you off the merry go round where you have nothing else to spend your money on…

    I’m afraid that if Rudd told the truth he would of said…Rosanna im sorry but you dont count you get zip from this policy because existing renters get nothing from it…its only for new houses built 4 years from now effecting only 50,000 from 500,000 stressed renters…but did he do it NO!

  20. Hey Lefty ,

    I think you might be right. Costello has piled up the bile for so long that it’s “so what, who cares”. He also probably realises the punters will run a mile if he tries to kiss their babies. As they say in the bush: “Nah. Scare the horses.”

  21. For me – tonight’s little Lateline chuckle was seeing Pyne claiming that Costello is “our greatest Trevor esherer”. Trev the Tip. Could catch on…

  22. Gusface, at a fed election, a candidate can be ballot-labelled ‘independent’, but not ‘independent Labor/Liberal’. It’s explicitly forbidden to register a party with such a name.

    Candidates used to use ‘independent Labor/Liberal’ in their advertising: eg old Ed Casey, Labor MLA in Mackay Qld, turned ‘independent Labor’, turned back to Labor leader.

    It’s a moot point if such advertising would unlawfully mislead voters in casting their ballots. I doubt it – so a candidate could publicise themselves that way. ‘Independent’ clearly qualifies ‘Liberal/Labor’. If not, the Act wouldn’t have had to explicitly ban such terms as names for party registration.

  23. I think this says it all in a nutshell.

    Liberal leadership tensions to erupt

    {Liberal leadership tensions look set to erupt again after a new airing of claims that Peter Costello threatened to destroy John Howard’s leadership unless the prime minister stepped aside within a year.

    Mr Costello is alleged to have told a group of journalists in 2005 that he wanted Mr Howard to stand aside by April 2006, threatening to challenge the prime minister if he would not go willingly.

    The revelations could be even more damaging for the Liberals, coming so close to the next federal election, and could sound the death knell for Mr Costello’s leadership hopes.}

  24. Gusface, an Independent can only call themselves an Indepdnent, EXCEPT in S.A., where they can call themselves Independent followed by up to five word, such as Independent Ban Duck Shooting. Indepdnent Labor and Indepdnent Liberal are allowed.

    And another exception. Queensland and Victoria only allow party names to appear. Independents simply appear with no affiliation, the word Indepdnent is not used. Independents appear in NSW, WA and at Federal elections.

    Adam, Libs for Forests have not re-registered. Section 129(da) was included to make it very difficult for the party. I don’t know if they have tried to re-register.

    In 2004, Liberals for Forests in NSW had become a vehicle for Glenn Druery, the man behind the 40 odd parties registered for the 1999 NSW Legislative Council election. The preference deal he directed to Labor was part of a swap for the LC. Very very byzantine. But by standing in a couple of lower house seats, he got LFF slightly ahead of the other flotsam and jetsam in the Senate, allowing the preference deals to come into play.

  25. Glen, since I cannot access the statement Rudd has issued about what he said to Ms Harris tonight, this discussion will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime I can tell you what will be all over the media tomorrow morning, and it won’t be that. Tomorrow is going to be a very bad day for the Liberals, and once again it’s all their own work.

  26. Good night all. Im going to rest my eyes for the morning’s papers; Ekka Day -public holiday-get paid- read the papers- sleep in- Can’t get better than this-oh hang on, it will when I see the back of the member for Higgins.

    I met his brother (Tim) and saw him cry genuine tears at a youth conference some years ago at Melbourne Uni after reading stats on youth suicide in Australia. It is a shame the wrong Costello is at the helm of our economy, he has heart. Peter may beleive in what he is doing too, but his arrogance and joy at announcing labour costs had not increased at the last Federal Budget typifies his view that its ok to screw some people to get ahead. IT ISNT. So says a leftie.

  27. Howard needs to bring out a big policy tomorrow…flood the airwaves like Rudd did with his policy announcement when the Government made up ground in the polls…

  28. Adam:

    “Glen, since I cannot access the statement Rudd has issued about what he said to Ms Harris tonight, this discussion will have to wait until tomorrow.”

    Ch 10 News showed the piece of Tape where Rudd mentioned the bit about it applying to new tenancies but said she would still be able to get it if she got a new Tenancy Agreement or words to that effect.

  29. re re-registration of Libs for Forests: they will not succeed with the name. Section 128 of the CEA (1918) states:
    (1) The Commission shall refuse an application for the registration of a political party if, in its opinion, the name of the party or the abbreviation of its name that it wishes to be able to use for the purposes of this Act (if any):
    (a) comprises more than 6 words;
    (b) is obscene;
    (c) is the name, or is an abbreviation or acronym of the name, of another political party (not being a political party that is related to the party to which the application relates) that is a recognised political party;
    (d) so nearly resembles the name, or an abbreviation or acronym of the name, of another political party (not being a political party that is related to the party to which the application relates) that is a recognised political party that it is likely to be confused with or mistaken for that name or that abbreviation or acronym, as the case may be; or
    (da) is one that a reasonable person would think suggests that a connection or relationship exists between the party and a registered party if that connection or relationship does not in fact exist; or
    (e) comprises the words “Independent Party” or comprises or contains the word ” Independent” and:
    (i) the name, or an abbreviation or acronym of the name, of a recognised political party; or
    (ii) matter that so nearly resembles the name, or an abbreviation or acronym of the name, of a recognised political party that the matter is likely to be confused with or mistaken for that name or that abbreviation or acronym, as the case may be.

    Note parts (d), (da) & (e). The intent is to refuse parties registration that have names that contain other party names ie; Libs for Forests, brendan Raynor’s Green Liberals, the Curtin Labor Alliance etc. This was achieved, as was stated previosuly, by deregistering all non-parliamentary parties and forcing them to re-apply for registration.

    Also note the detmination of the AEC in relation to the attempted registration of Brendan Raynor’s Green Liberals:
    Ignoring the fact that they couldn’t pass the membership test, they also failed in respect of the name:
    “Because the proposed name and abbreviation contain important elements of the names of political parties already registered at federal and state level, the AEC sought legal advice on whether the provisions of section 129 would prohibit the name Brandon Raynor’s Green Liberals or the abbreviation Green Liberals being registered.
    “The advice provided was that the operation of section 129(1)(da) would prohibit the registration of the name “Brandon Raynor’s Green Liberals” or the abbreviation “Green Liberals” because it would be open to a reasonable person to think there is a connection or relationship between a party with that name and/or abbreviation and the Liberal Party of Australia when no such connection or relationship exists. ”

    This section of the AEC website also has information regarding the registration (or refusal of registration) for other parties as well.

  30. Actually Adam i agree with you for once…Bishop should be made Deputy Leader of the Liberals for this….

    Costello was right about one thing he’s destroying Howard’s leadership but from the front bench…the Brian Burke saga ended up helping Rudd…the comments in the Howard biography…some left wingers will make a connection and say Costello has been out to do this from the beginning…

    Costello should be punished for this he should stay as Treasurer but Julie Bishop should be made Deputy Leader of the Libs to counter balance Gillard…

  31. Agreed Adam.

    Peter Costello: “Why couldn’t i have been sent to a country where people wear nice clothes and speak English?” (*)

    * – unashamedly borrowed from a Saturday Night Live sketch

  32. Costello should be punished for this he should stay as Treasurer but Julie Bishop should be made Deputy Leader of the Libs to counter balance Gillard…

    That should be fun Glen.

    After Bishop’s comments about Julia Gillard the other day, it should ensure a good old cat fight or two. Painted fingernails bare”d across the dispatch boxes. The imagination runs wild with anticipation. lol

  33. Scorpio

    Passing ref on tonight’s 7.30 Report. A. Downer interviewed. Yes, interesting considering that Mr Bolt is a hand-picked blossom.

  34. Downer as leader right now would simply be the funniest thing ever! The Libs would be lucky to keep ANY seats with the bumbling private schoolboy prefect in charge!!!

  35. further to last nights post on “independents”

    “All they’re saying is that the Government has screwed things up and the Opposition won’t do any better,” he said.

    “And let’s face it. Nothing has changed since the state election.

    “We’re still screwed.”

    Mr Eaton previously stood for the seat of Dobell as a Liberal Party candidate at the 1996 election. He was defeated by 117 votes by Labor’s then incumbent Michael Lee.

    The seat is held by Liberal MP Ken Ticehurst. Other challengers for the seat so far are Craig Thomson (Labor) and Scott Rickard (The Greens).

    maybe the first of many?

  36. 420
    Just Me Says:
    August 14th, 2007 at 5:21 pm
    345 J-D Says:
    Are there really many Anglo-Celtic Muslims? Can you name six? In fact, can you name _any_ six people who are Anglo-Celtic?

    I can name one. Me. My ancestral stock is English, Scottish, a little Irish, and one swarthy Moor (you know, a Muslim).

    OK, so there is _one_. I still doubt there are many.

    (Do you actually think of yourself as ‘Anglo-Celtic’?)

  37. A couple of points in defence of Costello:

    Whilst he hasn’t done himself any favours by not trying to grasp the leadership from Howard at various times in the past, I think he genuinely wanted to avoid the turmoil that dogged the Coalition in the 1980’s. There should have been a real succession plan organised within the party, but I don’t think anyone within the party had the authority to try to impose that on Howard.

    Having said that there wasn’t anyone in the ALP who was happy to do it to Bob Hawke, and it wasn’t until Keating was really after him and it was clear that Hawke was no match for Hewson and “fightback”, that Hawke’s supporters could see the writing on the wall. Still, it went to a vote, and Keating didn’t get there by as much as Rudd did.

    Maybe that’s the only succession plan politicians understand.

    Also, I don’t think he said Howard couldn’t win the election, I think he said, Howard couldn’t win the election without him (Costello), whereas Costello believed he (Costello) could win without Howard.

  38. Gee, the Coalition’s rapidly making up ground in the published polls – and doing even better in their own polling – and suddenly three hacks break another tired old story about the Liberal leadership. What a coincidence. A pity for them no-one takes the media in this country seriously.

  39. J-D

    Still, off topic, but actually you’re largely right: Celtic as an ethnicity is largely an affectation. Nonetheless it has a conventional usage.

    I’m not sure if you are contesting the point that there are many Muslims of Anglo(+) ethnicity, but I can certainly name the (more or less) famous Sarah Cartland, Bilal Cleland, Timothy Winter, Jemima Khan and Peter Murphy (of Bauhaus) as well as the infamous David Hicks, Jack Thomas and Abdul Waheed.

  40. Stewart J #535, I don’t know if it’s so clear. The AEC’s advice on ‘Green Liberals’ is just an advice. Doesn’t the dominant precedent remain Woolard’s case:

    It’s not binding. Sub-paragraph da, which you rightly focus on, is new. And because the AAT doesn’t bind itself. But it was 3 judges – the weight of a full Federal Court.

    The judges said: ‘the confusion contemplated by s 129(d) extends to confusion as to whether some relationship exists between two registered political parties the names of which appear on the ballot paper’. So they took into account – even prior to the law being changed – that confusing similarity of names included any potential for mistaken assumptions that ‘liberals 4 forests’ were some sub-set or affiliate of ‘Liberal Party of Australia’/Liberals’. Admittedly they went on to state a possibly narrower test, based on confusion as to mistaken identity.

    But the judges’ determinative conclusion was that ‘It may be that some persons will draw the inference that members of ” liberals for forests ” are former members or have some affiliation with the Liberal Party of Australia …. It is unlikely that any elector, seeing the two names on a ballot paper, will draw the conclusion that ” liberals for forests ” is a political party related to the Liberal Party of Australia or any of its State divisions’. So they held there was no real risk voters would assume an institutional connection, even if they thought that some ex-Liberals were involved in l4f.

    The judges were also strongly against the idea that ordinary political terms like ‘liberal’ could become in effect owned by some party.

    That said, the Liberal Party will likely win if they present credible statistical evidence that enough voters read ‘liberals 4 forests’ and imagine an institutional link with ‘Liberal Party’

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