EMRS: 61-39 in Tasmania

Tasmanian market research company EMRS has today published one of its surveys of 1000 voters covering about 200 in each of the state’s five electorates, showing Labor on course for a clean sweep. This would mark a return to the state of play from 1998 to 2004, when Bass and Braddon fell to the Liberals. Coalition supporters wishing to find solace in the possibility of a dud sample should observe that the same outfit has produced a poll of state voting intention, conducted at the same time and presumably from the same sample, with disastrous results for Labor. Paul Lennon’s disapproval rating is at a terminal 66 per cent, with 64 per cent expressing disapproval for his government’s contentious fast-tracking of the Tamar Valley pulp mill. Those of a suspicious mindset will no doubt point to the fact that the poll was commissioned by Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill.

It’s always advisable to read these polls in totality rather than as five separate electorate-level results; nonetheless, I do not begrudge EMRS its attempt to read significance into its figures for Braddon, site of the federal government’s Mersey Hospital intervention, where Labor’s two-party lead has narrowed to 54-46 from 64-36 at the previous poll in June. After weeding out the undecided and non-voters (11 per cent of the total), seat-by-seat results are as follows:

Total 61 39 51 36 11
Bass (Liberal 2.6%) 59 41 52 36 11
Braddon (Liberal 1.1%) 54 46 47 44 9
Denison (ALP 13.3%) 64 36 53 32 14
Franklin (ALP 7.6%) 61 39 52 37 11
Lyons (ALP 3.7%) 61 39 52 36 13

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.

103 comments on “EMRS: 61-39 in Tasmania”

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  1. If the Libs did change leaders to say Costello or Turnbull then they could argue about going to the polls on January 19th 2007 without making them look too desperate but i suspect in the end the Libs will either win with Howard or lose with Howard…

    I do not like the idea about having elections for everything in one day…while we might be able to keep up with all the issues because we’re interested in politics how is the average punter going to fair with having to vote multiple times for multiple levels of Government…if your going to have fixed terms for every level of Government you might as well move to the United States they vote for everything on the one day though their Congressional elections for the HofR happens every two years which is a joke…mind you i do like the idea of voting more often but thats just me and i like elections…

  2. [how is the average punter going to fair with having to vote multiple times for multiple levels of Government]

    It’s not that hard. There could be a simple TICKET vote so you just select a party, and that gets applied at each level.

    Or you could perhaps vote for different parties at each level.

    Or you could vote for individual candidates at each level.

    So it could be as simple or complicated as the voter wants to make it.

  3. Before we all get too excited about labor and the greens in Tasmania it may pay to look at Howards strategy there and past liberal, Exclusive Brethren and Family First advertising specifically targeting the greens.

    Howards first step is this phoney war between Cousins and Turnbull, gives Howard the opportunity to delay or propose a new site for the mill, the hoped for effect of this is a decrease in labor primary and an increase in the green vote.

    The second step is the concentrated attack on the greens, the articles below show examples of the similar advertising of the Exclusive Brethren, Family First and the Liberal party. Painting the Greens as pro drugs, the recent Ice campaign by the Govt will help in the fear factor, and anti-family.

    The third step is promotion of Family First as a party that respects family values to grab the green vote, we will probably also see “independent” candidates running on an anti-mill campaign and with Family First feeding votes back to the libs.

    Tassy is still up in the air, the campaign by the Exclusive Brethren, Family First and the Liberals against the Greens had an effect at the last federal election, and the Tassy and Victorian state elections.

    Some links and stories below on the campaigns run by Exclusive Brethren, Family First and the liberals against the Greens.


    Exclusive Brethren ads zero in on Greens’ policies on sex issues, such as sex change operations to be funded by Medicare, and on drugs, such as the trial of prescribed heroin to registered users .
    The Exclusive Brethren reportedly spent $500,000 in the last New Zealand election, campaigning against both the Greens and Labour, and more than $US500,000 in the last US election, shoring up support for George. W Bush.
    Australian Greens leader Bob Brown says. “They have supported the far Right with huge amounts of money, nationally, in the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, without saying who they are, and are now secretly intervening in Tasmania and supporting the Liberals, some of whose pamphlets are very similar.
    “As a church group they are deliberately misleading the electorate by publicising Greens’ drugs policies which changed months ago, and are now very similar to both Liberal and Labor policies.”


    Family First have been accused of bigotry and homophobia following the launch of the party’s state election campaign in Victoria.
    Their campaign urges Victorians to “beware the extreme Greens”, who Family First leader Steve Fielding believes will “destroy family life” with radical policies supporting gay school students and same-sex marriage. He also labelled the Greens “anti-business”.


    The pattern is the same the world over: the Brethren unleash a last-minute ad splurge aimed at a left-of-centre party, with startling parallels to the ads of conservative parties (the term “socially destructive policies” was used by the Breth in the Australian and New Zealand national elections, then by the Tasmanian Liberals in March while the Breth ran with “will ruin society”, and has now been taken up again by the Breth in Victoria – it’s called slogan-swapping).


    The ad on the site is typical of the campaign.
    However they have spent quite a bit of money in placing ads in the papers (see above). The Age reports that “Though they do not vote, the Exclusive Brethren members have recently begun advertising in state and federal elections in Australia and internationally to support conservative parties and oppose the Greens.


    We know that the Prime Minister met with Peter Harris of Family First before the election. Media reports said that Mr Harris would provide $1 million for an advertising campaign to attack the Greens, and that preferences would be exchanged between Family First and the Liberal Party.


    Then there’s the Queensland Senate candidate John Lewis, an Assemblies of God pastor who wrote to other church ministers urging support for Family First, and revealing that if elected he would be a voice in Canberra, upholding the family unit based on “biblical standards.” He also claimed that if a Labor government was elected and the Greens held the balance of power in the Senate, drug use would be decriminalised, same-sex marriages legalised, sex change operations provided on Medicare and the Lord’s Prayer removed from Parliament

  4. MelbCity, I struggle to figure out whether you are talking about state or Federal elections, as you talk about the SEC publishing Senate figures. And I can’t tell you what happened in 2004, but I can tell you what will happen in 2007.

    At the 2007 Federal election, the AEC will only be publishing totals for each group in the Senate on election night, and they will not be publishing polling place results. What you say regarding how the Senate ballots are counted in polling places may be correct. But if that data is entered into the AEC computer system (and I’m not sure it is), it certainly is not released on the night. I have clarified these issues with the AEC in the last week to deal with election night versus post-election night processing of the XML files. The AEC’s computer people tell me that all that will be in the feed on election night is a group total, with no differentiation between above and below the line votes, and they do not have a file on election night with polling place data. And they also tell me that they do not publish Senate figures by booth on election night. That data only becomes available once the data entry of below the line votes is complete for each booth.

    Now I am just not going to have an argument with you on this. This is what the AEC tell me, and I’ve been discussing it with them for 18 months. If you don’t like what they are doing, or you just think I’m talking rubbish, I suggest you complain to the AEC.

    After the 2006 Victorian election, you kept insisting the AEC published Senate figures by booth on election night in 2004. I finally asked the AEC because you were so insistent, and they told me they didn’t. Who am I supposed to believe, you who say you saw it, or the AEC who say they didn’t publish it?

    I don’t intend to offer one more comment on this topic on Poll Bludger, as he has more than enough bandwidth problems without cloggin it up with such an esoteric debate.

  5. William

    I’d be very hesitant about acknowledging any significance in the result for Braddon compared to the previous result. The sampling error for a sample of 200 from the electorate is around 7%.

    On the Tas statewide sample of 1000, with an approx 3% sampling error, you’d have to say that the overall state-wide ‘move’ of almost 4% away from Labor between polls may not be statistically significant but is consistent with a small drift to the Govt in most national polls over the same period.

    The conclusion I’d draw is that the Govt still seems to be going down the gurgler in Tas just as elsewhere.

  6. My issue – back on Tas -but my issue is really – I like the Labor candidate for Bass (my electorate) deeply: she’s intelligent, personable, grassroots, articulate – everything you want in a politician. The problem is this f^%&#$@#$%$^ing pulp mill. Jodie can only tow the Lennon/Rudd party line. The trick here is that the Green vote in Bass is about to go through the roof. I have, in my 30 years, never EVER heard so frequently on the street, at work, just “around” about “civil disobedience”, “it’ll never get up – we’ll block it – physically block it” – not violence, mind – but pro-active, risky tactics on a wide-spread, middle-class, non-tree-hugger basis. Admittedly, I’ve seen these tactics harnessed by the Hobart Ferals (to be expected… they’re from Hobart … and note the capitals), but safe, conservative, watercolour art-class Launcestonians??. This pulp mill thing is huge. I’ve never seen people so angry and talking/railing against/blaspheming about “an issue” so frequently, so loudly and so passionately. The Result: Jodie Campbell will get in on preferences from the massive primary vote expected from the Green candidate – Tom Millen. The sad thing is, she’ll probably do nothing to halt this unbelievably stupid mill idea. Really. It’s stupid.

  7. Ive heard the Lib candidate for Lyons say that the people in Braddon would welcome the pulp mill in open arms if the moved it to an already considered site that was rejected because of transportation costs, perhaps Malcolm can move the pulp mill away from Bass and move it to an area that will cause less damage to the environment?

  8. My bet for the post-election Liberal wash-up…
    Costello for leader of the Opposition –
    Mr. Costello makes life hell for the new government (which will have its fair share of mistakes anyway…)
    Mr. Costello forces a double-dissolution with 18 months (“this is your second-chance Australia”).
    Mr. Rudd wins.
    Mr. Costello resigns from Parliament.

    What odds would I get for this?

  9. [Ive heard the Lib candidate for Lyons say that the people in Braddon would welcome the pulp mill in open arms if the moved it to an already considered site that was rejected because of transportation costs, perhaps Malcolm can move the pulp mill away from Bass and move it to an area that will cause less damage to the environment?]

    Apparently Gunns is refusing to set it up at that alternate site. I guess the feds could hand then a few hundred million to change their mind. Corporate socialism is fine if it helps win an election….

  10. NSW is not a bad government. It is just honest, nuts and bolts are on display for all to see, mistakes and all. That is why it won the election, people knew its shortcomings, but they were outweighed by their achievements.

    TofK, I’m sorry to say as a former ALP officeholder that NSW is an appalling Government – it is both corrupt to the core and full of incompetent hacks. The only reason it won the election earlier this year is that the NSW Liberal Opposition was even more talentless, and people could see that.

  11. ” 41
    Melb city Says:
    August 24th, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    William William will you be adding discussion on the Victorian forthcoming by-electons soon? ”

    Am I missing something? What on earth would you expect to talk about the by-elections for? It’s not a contest. The Libs aren’t even running. Just a bunch of independent no hopers against Labor in safe Labor seats. What’s the point of scrutinising a race between a bound to win candidate against a bunch of bound to be losers.

  12. They would have won with John Brogden but unfortunately it wasnt to be…

    I agree with you paul k for once…there is no point talking about the by-elections when the State Libs run up the white flag…granted they werent going to win them anyway but as you say whats the point…the greens wont win them so its business as usual on Spring St.

    Since Labor are being vetted by many as the next Fed. Government shouldnt you then scrutinise those Labor MPs would would become Ministers???

  13. I’m with Antony and the AEC – I’ve never seen booth-by-booth figures (and I doubt even HofR electorate figures) for the Senate on election night. We only get a State/Territory total figure.

  14. If Labor win office they will have access to a whole lot of information with which to reveal Govt dirty secrets and no doubt those pesky WorkChoices stats. Costello might not want to cause a DD.

  15. ” Glen Says:
    August 24th, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    I agree with you paul k for once…”

    Glen, there may be hope for you yet. Leave the Dark Side and come over to the light. There’s lots of other ex-Howard voters over here.

  16. Glen shouts ‘Testify’ (with hands waving in the air)

    Actually ill stick with the Libs lets face it on the current polling Paul they’ll need every Senate vote they can get in Victoria…my HofRs vote counts for jack squat because i live in Melbourne Ports but hey…

  17. Antony I am referring to your submission to the Victorian State Parliament. I am amazed at your lack of information or misinformation. Of course the polling booth data is entered into the system on election night. It forms part of the poling place return., Without access to the detailed polling place data how do you expect the SEC or Vector derive summary data? I trust they do not make it up as they go… lol

    Seriously there are a number of flaws in your submission, hopefully I will have time to summarize and review it in more details when I make my submission.

    I have just noticed that they have also included local government into teh terms of reference and I need to rework my earlier submission which for some reason was not published. Could be because I submitted it early.

    My submission will be significantly more critical of the administration and the conduct of the election. But then I do not have a conflict of interest. I was also surprised that you do a check against enrollment. I generally do a check against enrollment and if the data is available against the published returns and number of ballot papers issued. IN respect to the VEC election they failed the due diligence test in the most basic task. Tallying teh results to the number of ballot papers issued was the first requirement that all polling place RO are required to do. It seems to me that if the AEC collect this data then it should be readily available as is data related to the lower house. I definitely recall the AEC publishing Senate results which means they have the polling data. it is a question of maintain an open and transparent elections system and hopefully avoid the missing and found bundle of 50 votes.. I have never encountered an election where the number of ballot papers issued was not known and the data not provided. One the night if not adjusted in teh days to follow. in most cases the polling place return data should indicate in full teh number fo ballot papers issued and the number returned should tally or an explanation /declaration as to why and when ballots went missing. The way in which the VEC conducted the election leaves the election very much open to speculation. Thankfully we have computers to assist in the tabulation of elections result. BUT electronic systems can only be effectively scrutinised if the data and information of made available in a timely fashion. It is not a case of feeding the media but ensuring teh process is open and transparent in order to facilitate proper scrutiny and maintain public confidence.

    If you are familiar with the provision of the local Government elections regulations the VEC is required to undertake such a check before it executives the tally process. The software clearly does not meet the standards and requirements of the act. more later.

  18. Re by-election there is some very interesting inside power struggles going on . you should read http://andrewlanderyou.blogspot.com blog. Andrew has exposed the dirty deals between the greens and teh liberal party. Looks like the greens have come to bed with the libs on most issues and as I understand it they think they might have a better chance with the libs out of the way. Fact of life is it is easier for a so called independent to win a “safe seat” then it is to win a margin seat. Look at Wills and the attempt at winning Melbourne. Williams town might be impossible but with the right candidate not the one they had last time the greens might make a go of it… But somehow I think that without teh liberal party directing preferences they might not secure the vote. It is best if the liberals run low as opposed to not running at all. John Thwaites was not the best of local members and there was a lot of internal discontent with his performance. He really did not play a major role in policy development. He was more of a door stop to keep the left at bay. A substitute for lesser talent. Labor real strength in government lies with Brumby and Lenders. The main thing the ALP has going for it is that it has adopted a deliberate policy of renewal. new talent is being brought in at every election. personally I think by-elections are a waste of limited public resources. With fixed elections we could have a system were the party of a vacating candidate could nominate a stand in or the resigning candidate holds office until the next round of elections (Local Government or State) at which time the vacancy is filled. The Albert Park and Williamstown could been held in conjunction with teh federal campaign, Serious each electon can cost up to one million dollars and you must ask yourself is it really justified partially if teh overall result in the parliament will not change?

    Re Polling place booth data I think you are wrong.

    You have to have polling place booth data to obtain the summary data.

    The summary can not come before the booth data. Think again.

    There is no justification and reason why the polling place data is not available unless they fixing the data in cyberspace. Scrutineers need this information as early as possible in order to plan their scrutiny strategy.
    Yo know disclosure of election data is not just about meeting the needs of the speculative media. It has a fare more important role. I am confident teh government will review this issue as many politicians have expressed dissatisfaction in the way the VEc and Steve Tully in particular has handle the election. His abuse or administrator process is well known as his 3 mths delay in publishing data that should have been available on the night. 3 Months is a long time and non of the data published tallied. more http://melbcity.topcities.com even Malcolm Mackerras express concern about this delay. You see Anthony is a one night wonder..

    Further teh upperhouse data on election night was previously provided ans as I have stated the information is available and it is not computer intensive ans Antony Green makes out, This is a false statement. Maybe Antony is still working with a medfly.

    Had the VEC provided this information which they should and could have, and had the VEC undertaken due diligence they would not have made teh stupid mistakes they had. Their refusal of the Vector to release this information only gave rise to the question WHY? Elections MUST remain open and transparent, All available information Must be readily available. NOT THREE MONTHS AFTER THE FACT. I not that there are a number of submission that have touch on this issue. I hope to go into more depth. Similar concerns have been expressed in relation to the local government elections.

  19. I have rebuilt my computer since 2004 but I might have copies of teh data in my emails I sent to various people .I assure that the AEC have this data and if they told you otherwise they are bluffing when they tell you that this data is not available. The data is sitting there waiting for the button to be pushed.
    Do you really believe we can just be feed that BS and believe it to be true.. Please come om….
    Again how can they obtain the summary data without the details polling booth results , I do not think they add it all up on paper and then publish teh summary. The time and resources in summing up the polling booth data is second ifr not less then a minute. I add up the whole state in less then on minute on my laptop I am sure a minfram costing millioosn of dollars does it quicker then my $2,000 laptop. I have all the polling booth data that has been released. Who is lying to who here… surely even you can realise that the information you have been feed is wrong… and now your trying to sell us the same BS. Sorry does not wash or hold water. I suggest you question them more. Never take no for an answer when you know they are lying… the AEC ried the same same tactic but when they were brought before the VCAT they son changes their storey… again the booth by booth available on the night and results are fundamental to a good and proper scrutiny the upper house vote should tally the lower house vote as booth captain I always made sure that the information provided by the polling booth RO included the tally of the votes issued and the number of votes received back. In most cases I ask for the issue tally before they commence or whilst the sorting process is being undertaken. the VEC most ceratinly publkished polling pace data on the night for the upper-house in previous elections.

    All this information including the break down of lower house and upper house votes form part of the polling place return. This data is then transferd to the AEC/VEC and entered into the thier database and in order to calculate the the summary data. And you trying to say that this information is not available. lol lol wake up…

  20. re Tasmania…

    Cant we hold a referendum or something and either give Tasmania to New Zealand or merge it with NZ and make it the New Zealand Tasman island state… 🙂 seriously how can we justify a state the size of a municipality. and to think it still has what 22? local councils… Tasmania has been over represented and subsidised for far too long.

  21. canberra boy Says:

    I’d be very hesitant about acknowledging any significance in the result for Braddon compared to the previous result. The sampling error for a sample of 200 from the electorate is around 7%.
    On the Tas statewide sample of 1000, with an approx 3% sampling error, you’d have to say that the overall state-wide ‘move’ of almost 4% away from Labor between polls may not be statistically significant but is consistent with a small drift to the Govt in most national polls over the same period.

    Your ” ‘move’ of almost 4% away from Labor between polls” is laughable. You have selectively used the Labor’s primary vote from 2004 and compared it with primaries in the poll. DID YOU HAPPEN TO NOTICE THE GREEN PRIMARIES IN THE POLL!

    Labor 2PP in 2004 was 54.2%. These poll numbers look a lot like 60% 2PP.
    You say a move away from Labor of 4% – I say a move TO Labor of 5.8%.
    Talk about clutching at straws!

  22. Found an interesting post via Ozpolitics blog feed but the link to Simon Jackman won’t work

    “Simon Jackman » Tasmanian arbitrage?

    Posted 9 hours ago

    Centrebet currently has Labor tipped to win in each of the 5 Tasmanian House of Reps seats, but their “clean sweep of Tasmania” market has prices of 1.90/1.72/301.00 Labor/Neither/Liberal (and so an implied probability of 0.47 of a Labor clean sweep). This is an interesting: the only Tasmanian seats in any real doubt are Braddon (1.50/2.40 ALP/LIB, implied probability of … [Cache] [Link]”

  23. Beedle (post 68) I was referring to the difference between the Tasmanian EMRS poll figures in this post (61 to 39 2pp) and the June poll (which William also linked above). Although William didn’t present a statewide total for the June poll, you can derive a 2pp of 64.8 to 35.2 assuming the samples were the same size for each electorate (which seems to be EMRS methodology). Hence my “almost 4%” change between the two polls.

    I agree about the swing since the last election. Labor will probably win all 5 Tassie seats.

  24. Galaxy just researched a family member and asked the following:

    Voting intention, first preference only

    The $17 billion budget surplus is that as a result of good economic management or high taxes?

    The strip club affair, answer yes or no to the following

    Will it change your vote?

    Showed poor judgement?

    Showed Kevin Rudd to be a normal bloke?

    Was unlucky to be caught?

    This was followed by a range of questions on state issues.

  25. I’m a Labor supporter, but I’ll be very happy to see Lennon go. Hopefully, the Greens will win enough seats to hold balance of power at the next Tassie election.

    On Braddon, I think it’s more probable that the June poll over-estimated Labor’s vote there, and the August poll has under-estimated their vote. The MoE for single seats is 7%. The hospital takeover may have made some difference, but I doubt it’s worth 10%.

  26. Melb City,

    Do you think you could carry on your correspondence privately one to one with with Anthony? I’m sure it’s of great significance to you but for the rest of us I’m reminded of a Groucho Marx line: “A 4 year old child could understand this. Run out and get me a 4 year old child. I can’t make head nor tail of it.”
    And having made 2 comments today i will kick into the can William.

  27. Aristotle, was that question order above the same as the Galaxy question order?
    Specifically, was voting intention the first question?

  28. MelbCity, I will be drawing a line here under any further comment on the VEC polling booth data issue. A lot has changed at this site since you were last frequenting it late last year, which has prompted me to become less liberal in my comment moderation policy – I am now getting literally 10 times as many comments, which is placing greater demands on both my bandwidth and the patience of my readership. Without wishing to belittle your legitimate concerns, this issue is off-topic and extremely esoteric, and I do not imagine anyone who comes here is interested in reading about it in such depth.

  29. William,

    MelbCity is likely to think you’re part of the VEC conspiracy to deny him his precious data.

    Re: Bandwidth

    The site seems to becoming more popular. Might I suggest a reasonable limit on the numbers of comments any one person can make unless they’re will to donate for bandwidth?

  30. “John Rocket Says:
    August 25th, 2007 at 12:43 pm
    Aristotle, was that question order above the same as the Galaxy question order?
    Specifically, was voting intention the first question?”

    Yes, voting intention was the first question asked.

  31. Galaxy Push Polling??

    See these two questioins and guess what talking points News Ltd will promote on monday.

    The strip club affair, answer yes or no to the following:
    Will it change your vote?
    Showed poor judgement?
    Showed Kevin Rudd to be a normal bloke?
    Was unlucky to be caught?

    The $17 billion budget surplus is that as a result of good economic management or high taxes?

    This doesnt give the option – the mining boom or gloabal boom.

    The first makes the suggestion that Rudd deliberately set out to go to a Strip joint when the truth his he was taken there and left in 15 minutes after realising what it was.

    So on Monday News Ltd will go with the story x% think Rudd showed poor judgement. AND x% believe Govts good economic management.

    Now I know why I dont trust Galaxy polls.

  32. I don’t to hear ONE MORE WORD from Melb City and his endless droning on about the VEC and the AEC etc etc etc. These bodies do not exist to pander to psephological obsessives. There is no reason why we need to have Senate booth figures on the night. Their job is to count the votes, as slowly as is necessary to get an accurate result. We can afford to wait a few weeks to get all the figures.

    On the Vic by-elections: I live in St Kilda and as I’m sure people know I am an ALP member. I can assure everyone that the ALP is not taking Albert Park for granted at all. The Greens are a serious threat in a seat where they got 19% last year against a popular local member in Thwaites, and where the Libs are not standing. No doubt Glen and the other 34% of Albert Park voters who voted Liberal last year will be voting Green this time in hope of embarassing Labor by giving the seat to the Greens. Since 34 + 19 = 53, this is a serious threat. And don’t say that Liberals would never vote Green – that is exactly what happened in Cunningham in 2002.

  33. If Labor lose both bye elections in Vic, will it change anything? Not really, except for a few bruised egos.

    The main game is the federal election.

  34. It would be a pretty serious embarrassment for state Labor, but of course the federal election is the main game. Melbourne Ports is perfectly safe. The only issue the Libs can use against Danby is Jewish schools, and Rudd has now promised them a pot of money.

  35. The really interesting question is whether a Jewish candidate in George Newhouse and improved funding for Jewish schools can make any inroads for Labor into the Jewish Liberal vote in Wentworth. For historical reasons they’re more conservative than Melbourne Jews. Newhouse and Turnbull have been tripping over each other at Jewish functions in Dover Heights all year.

  36. Given Lennon’s apparent unpopularity, I would not be too stunned if Federal Labor soon comes out against the Gunns pulp mill, at least on its proposed Tamar Valley site. It would also not surprise me if Turnbull has the same reaction, but Rudd may try to beat him to it. I noticed Rudd has been saying he supports the pulp mill, provided it meets the proper environmental standards. That leaves him an out. The head of Gunns has been suggesting the pulp mill won’t be built if a decision isn’t made soon.

    I think both Federal Labor and Liberal parties would like to sit on the fence on the pulp mill issue, but it may not be possible. That could, in itself, spell an end to the mill. Only the Lennon Government would be really spitting chips (so to speak) about that outcome, and it’s clealy on the nose anyway.

    I agree with other bloggers that the latest Tassie poll, and the disparity between the outcomes of the last state and federal elections in Queensland, prove voters can easily distinguish between state and federal issues. I think they’d only use a Federal poll to punlish a state government in circumstances of extreme economic concern, as in Victoria in the 1990 Federal election.

  37. [It would also not surprise me if Turnbull has the same reaction, but Rudd may try to beat him to it.]

    Gunns opposition to the alternate site seems to be transportations costs. Rudd could propose to cover those costs in an attempt to get them to shift the mill. I know tihs sounds like corporate socialism, but hey, it is an election year, and Howard is probably thinking of doing it himself.

  38. WILLIAM SAYS: After weeding out the undecided and non-voters (11 per cent of the total), seat-by-seat results are as follows:

    Something screwy with Lyons though.

  39. William, Re Lyons… I doubt that preferences can flow that strongly, and Table 5 in the link shows that the Liberal vote should be 39 (assuming I have picked the right table).

  40. I have major reservations about EMRS polls. Their inadequacies in state election polling are well known (for instance the extremely high undecided rate in most state polls, which apparently mostly represents soft support for the incumbent Labor government) but my concern goes further than that after another, and quite unusual, poll the firm produced this week.

    This poll, no full breakdown of which I have been able to find, was commissioned by Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill, but the question was approval or disapproval of Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon (http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,22299618-5007221,00.html).
    Supposedly the result was only 24% approve, 67% disapprove, 9% uncertain. However, the Mercury’s reporting also claims 55.6% of full-time workers in Tassie approved of the Premier’s performance.

    In 2005-6, 38.6% of Tasmanians over 15 were employed full-time. Presumably the proportion of voting Tasmanians employed full-time is higher than this since not that many 15-17yos would have full-time jobs, and also presumably the percentage hasn’t changed that much since then. On those assumptions (which could be quite wrong without making an enormous difference to my point), if the EMRS poll sampled a represntative number of full-time workers, then that means Paul Lennon’s approval rating among the remaining 61.4% is only about four percent! And, jokes of the “why would anyone approve of Paul Lennon’s performance?” type aside, that is just not credible. If the Mercury’s reporting was correct this poll must have been massively and fatally flawed in sample selection, and is useless.

    Even assuming there is nothing dodgy about EMRS’s samples methods, comparison between EMRS state and Morgan polls supports the idea that the “undecided” vote is mostly soft support for the incumbent government (eg see http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/weblog/comments/poll-worse-for-lennon-than-for-labor/). I suspect that the same applies at Federal level and the statewide 61-39 is really 57-43, meaning Labor can still take neither Braddon nor Bass for granted – although I personally expect them to win both.

    As for extrapolation to Senate results (assuming the poll has any validity at all), a 3-2-1 result to Labor in the Senate should not be assumed too readily on any figures as the Liberals in Tasmania have polled far far better in the Senate than in the House of Representatives at the last tweo elections, and indeed in every election for quite a while that was not contested by Brian Harradine. In 2001 Labor outpolled the Liberals in the Reps by 10.1% on primaries but were outpolled by them by 2% in the Senate. In 2004 Labor outpolled the Liberals in the Reps by 2.6% but were thumped by 12.5% in the Senate. Even in 1998 (a Harradine year) the Liberals’ Senate standing relative to Labor was not as bad in the Senate (-7.8%) as in the Reps (-10.7%). So even assuming Labor’s thirteen-point lead on primaries in Tasmania as claimed by EMRS is real, that may only leave the partis somewhere around level on primaries in the Senate. If so, Family First preferences could put the Liberals over the line for the third seat. (This should be taken with some caution as incumbency may have been a factor in Labor’s good performances in the House, and they only have three incumbents this time instead of five, but it does indicate that 3-2-1 for Labor is no foregone conclusion even if they get their 5-0 shutout in the Reps.)

  41. Glen – #51.

    I can’t believe it, but Glen you’re spot on. I agree with everything you have written, especially about the need to keep elections separate.

    John Rocket – #58.

    Spot on. I reckon a DD in March 2009.

    Melb City – #various

    Please rent yourself a rock to live under. Your essays have no relevance to the topic of this thread.

    For me the interesting statistic in these polls are the Baddon figures. The government cannot throw anything more at this electorate and yet they still trail by 8% on the TPP.

    Clean sweep in Tassie looks inevitable.

  42. Topic :’Everybody Knows’. Acknowledgements Leonard Cohen.

    # 56 stuart Says: August 24th, 2007

    ‘I have, in my 30 years, never EVER heard so frequently on the street, at work, just “around” about “civil disobedience”, “it’ll never get up – we’ll block it – physically block it” – not violence, mind – but pro-active, risky tactics on a wide-spread, middle-class, non-tree-hugger basis’.

    Thanks, stuart, for prompting this post. Coalition hopefuls may consider stuart ‘s observations.

    Perhaps unlike politicians immersed in focus groups, many of we ordinary folk actually hear the general talk and read its meaning accordingly.

    Let me add a few observations as a South Australian.

    All who care for the beauties of Tasmania will have experienced a collective shiver at the proposed desecration of the Tamar Valley and the waters of the Bass Strait.

    Equally shivery, maybe a nuclear cooling tower or two, once the deed is done. Feelings of dread about what may yet come extend beyond the voters of Tasmania. More affect, and this matters a lot.

    I need not go into the views of my Labor friends, except to say that those of us who refused Labor our primary vote in the previous Federal Election are determinedly focussed on a Rudd Labor Government.

    I will say this of my friends who are Liberal voters.

    None think a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley a good idea. None think Gunn’s takeover of a pulp mill site in the deep and clear waters of Mt Gambier a good idea. None think Work Choices is working out so well. All acknowledge that the Dr Haneef thing was a cynical plan gone nowhere but wrong. None think the NT intervention or the Mersey Hospital to be motivated by anything but politics. Most frown at the cost of a university education and the subsequent impact for the young in the housing market. Most profess to believe the interest rate theory.

    These pretty well heeled older Liberal voters have especially been the beneficiaries of Howard Government’s largesse in middle class welfare, superannuation opportunities et al.

    Yet some see their middle aged children, hard working, Liberal voting kids, suddenly ousted from their jobs with no recourse. Some gift money to help them get through day to day. Some put up money to ensure their grandchildren an apprenticeship, to underwrite them in a poorly paid and long hours job, to secure their accommodation.

    All deride Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard especially, whether it be on IR, climate change, nuclear, etc. And this derision gets into the ugly and personal. Yet few believe the PM on much at all anymore. Most understand pork barrel politics and those in ‘safe’ seats feel a little jealous. Most are tired of John Howard’s pervasive presence.

    Not for a moment would a die hard Liberal convert. However, they may well restructure their vote. Not to the ALP, but to whomever they think allows a little tilt towards an expression of a certain unhappiness.

    Now, I cannot pretend this to be any kind of poll, as we know it. But, like stuart, this is the sort of stuff I hear.

    If this sense of unrest is reflected at all by those leaning towards Labor, I guess the results are well and truly predictable.

    PS ‘Undecideds’ tempted by mere cheap thrills for their electorate need only read ‘It’s all or nothing’ Shaun Carney, The Age, 25/8/07.

  43. Slightly off topic. But does anyone have an opinion of what the effect of a delay in the spring racing carnival would have on the election date.

    Assuming a Nov 24 election. If the spring carnival were delayed by a couple of weeks it would take up a lot of air time in the last couple of weeks of the election. I suspect this would favour Rudd as it is Howard who needs to make the running in the home straight.

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