Grattan on Wentworth

In assessing the leadership ambitions of the member for Wentworth, Michelle Grattan provides the following intelligence:

Before any post-election events, Turnbull has the challenge of holding Wentworth. It’s on 2.6 per cent – although in practice rather more, because in 2004 then incumbent Peter King ran as an independent. Turnbull is locked in battle with lawyer and Waverley mayor George Newhouse. Liberals say Turnbull’s polling is good. Labor polling a few weeks ago had Turnbull on 47 per cent, Newhouse 42 per cent and Greens 11 per cent.

On those figures, Newhouse would still win the seat if he received 73 per cent of Greens preferences. Labor was shown to have received 74.8 per cent of Greens preferences at the 2001 election in a study by the Parliamentary Library.

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.

64 comments on “Grattan on Wentworth”

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  1. I can only speak for myself, but when Rudd and co leaped onto the scene a few months ago, I found myself drifting back towards Labor over the Greens. However, the last couple of months have seen the release of many policies by the ALP that I strongly disagree with, as well as the ALP heading back to many of its old habits that gave it the title of the “machine”. It is the disregard for rank and file members and the coseying up to big-biz I can’t stand and this has driven me back to Greens. I would consider my mind 99% made up on this (failing some dramatic chain of events).

    I have seen a slight increase in the Greens vote across the polls recently (see this ozpolitics post I wonder whether this is a rebounded from the slide seen when Rudd became opposition leader based on more people, such as my self coming to the same conclusion about the ALP, or is something else happening? Either way, the trend hasn’t been going for long enough to make a call on this yet.

  2. Adam: “But of course the purpose of the Labor tilt at Wentworth is not really to win the seat, tho that would be nice. The point is to divert Liberal time and money.”

    I’m with Pseph. The ALP is making a bona fide lunge for Wentworth. It’s no decoy, to divert Lib resources (though that’s a fringe benefit). The boundary changes have made it get-able for ALP (on paper, anyway).

  3. Kevin Rudd is a social conservitive and he is an economic conservitive. This does not bode well with the left and he will drive them towards the Greens.

  4. “Kevin Rudd is a social conservitive and he is an economic conservitive. This does not bode well with the left and he will drive them towards the Greens.”

    From that perspective, Howard is the evil of the two lessers.

  5. Alan, are you saying that the Green voters will preference the ALP? Thats what it sounds like. And we already see that.
    The question is wether the Green primary will rise or fall. Adam seems to think that it will fall.
    I think it will rise. The reasons aren’t that complex. No matter what the Greens say they are still seen as a pro-environment party.
    Climate Change will increase their vote, as will all other environment issues as both parties occupy the same position on the the environment(more or less).
    Work Choices will help them too I think since they are not seen to be hand in hand(controlled) by Unions or big business. YR@W will help them too as they have been part of it from the start, while the ALP have only been seen to be part of it recently.

  6. Speaking of honesty, Rudd stated he was only in the strip joint for an hour, then he said he was too drunk to know what happened, then they find some “doorman” who says he was there for no more than 15 minutes, and acted like “a gentleman” even though he was paralytic!. But not too drunk to notice a girl taking off her dress, but, wait! He suddenly declares “This is no good” and decides to leave, even though his mates wanted to stay! So, he leaves, even before finishing his beer!
    Now, come on Kev! You really do take the average Aussie for a dummy! Whoever wrote that little scenario (probably the same author as the Bourke excuse) should try out with Speilberg!
    In a word Kev, it is a load of CRAP!

  7. I note that a former advisor to JWH is now going to run in Wentworth on a anti-pulp mill / green ticket.

    I think the ALP will be very happy with this as it will split the conservative vote and some preference will enititably leak away from turnball.

    Prior to this annoucement I would have said Wentworth would only fall in a complete landslide – but now I think Malcom is genuinely vunerable.

    Anyone here have a handle of whether the independant can get a decent slice of the vote?

  8. I posted earlier that the pulp mill go a head by the UN-environmental and dirty water minister, “borne to rule” Malcolm Turnbull, migh cost the Liberals 1-2%,
    after he said this today:- arrogant bullies trying to intimidate the democractc process with their millions of dollars.
    I think Turnbull has compleatly lost the plot and Wentworth.
    That sentance alone has got to be worth 3-4%

    If Labour can catch the drift away from the Liberals is in question.
    Greorge Newhouse has gone missing coulden’t be contacted to-day and ran away from the Waverly Council vote to condem Howards invasion of the NT.

    Last person standing is the multi-tallented Greens candidate Susan Jarnason

  9. If can Susan and out poll the independant green and they collectively out poll the ALP then Susan could actually win the seat. I’m presuming that the independant will direct first preferences to her.

    Now that would make it interesting if the election does end up being a cliff hanger.

  10. It is interesting watching the Labor state Premier’s and Federal opposition’s reactions to new innovations proposed by the Federal Government.

    If the idea is a good idea, the collective chant from the State Premiers is “They have had 11 years. Why hasn’t it been done before”

    The best the Rudd minders can come up with is “We need to look at the details before we commit to anything”!

    This tells us two things.
    First, the State Premiers have no concept of the damage debt can do, and the recovery process required to extract their jurisdictions out of it.

    They are content to assume the Federal government “will fix it”, and second, the Rudd opposition is incapable of compiling a workable economic policy and are content to cling onto the coat tails of the Federal government.

    This country need a government that is competent, and able to make sound social and financial decisions. Not “flip flop” vacillations that do nothing but create a cause of international ridicule!

    The innovation announced by the Prime Minister will set this country up to be immune from the Keating style economic disasters that we experienced in the 80’s, and ensure a sound future for generations to come, and that means students will have even greater opportunities to excel in world class facilities!

    We need a leader who can not only manage the economy, but anticipate the potential disruptions and shortcomings ahead.

    We have that now in John Howard and Peter Costello. “It just gets better and better”

    Oh, I believe that pulp mill is the one Labor is backing?
    I think Kev has got them caught in the mincer again!

  11. If can Susan and out poll the independant green and they collectively out poll the ALP then Susan could actually win the seat.

    But they won’t. Won’t, won’t, won’t, won’t.

  12. Albert F

    I don’t think Cousins is going to run as a candidate against Turnbull, more as he said, he will campaign against him, ie finance advertising material and such.

    On the other hand it is quite unusual, what is Howard up to in getting his former adviser to come out like this against Turnbull. Maybe he will run as a pretend independent that one of the others bloggers was talking about, to try and feed the protest vote back to Turnbull.

  13. The explanation given by Rudd regarding his sleazy junket to Scores Strip joint is nothing more than an insult to the intelligence of any thinking voter.
    Had he stuck to his original story of being paralytic at the time, and unable to recall the events, even if he had assaulted the lap dancers, he would have retained some semblance of credibility.
    But no, when he realises the effect his antics is having on the voting public he has to try and wriggle his way around the issue. Even going to the extreme measure of obtaining a supposedly “exonerating” denial from a purported “employee” of the establishment.

    In doing so, he has been too clever by half, as he had previously admitted on national television that his actions were stupid, and he can only throw himself on the mercy of the electorate, as he had done with his partner the next morning when he called her. (See transcripts from Laurie Oakes on Sunday)

    Now, we have to decide, which actions were stupid and childish?

    A) Getting himself into a sleazy situation where by his own admission he had no control over his actions, and accordingly, his discussions to the extent that he felt the need to apologise the next morning, OR

    B) Deciding after less than 15 minutes that seeing naked lap dancers “would not do” and leaving before finishing his beer? (Not the normal action of someone who has admitted he was so inebriated he could not recall the rest of the evening), OR

    C) Expecting the Australian public to believe his hastily concocted and lame excuse to attempt to recover some credibility, when it would be obvious he was lying through his teeth to save his political skin!

    Perhaps we could take a poll on the choices!

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