Phoney war dispatches

Another old thread title reactivated, for the want of a newer and better idea. It’s looking like the war won’t be phoney for long, with a growing sense that the Prime Minister will be forced to break the circuit next week by calling an election for late October. Keeping the faith is Christopher Pearson at The Australian, who still expects a “narrow Coalition victory”. This is based on the fact that Newspoll got it “horribly wrong” in 2004, when its final poll overstated the Labor vote by 1.4 per cent and understated the Coalition vote by 1.7 per cent.

Bass (Tas, Liberal 2.6%) and Lyons (Tas, Labor 3.7%): The Australian reports Shadow Environment Minister Peter Garrett has backtracked on suggestions the proposed West Tamar pulp mill would be subjected to an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, under a party policy covering new projects producing more than 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. According to reporter Matthew Denholm, this “apparently” followed “the intervention of Kevin Rudd’s office and a backlash by timber groups and pro-logging Labor MPs”. On the other side of the fence, the Liberal candidate for Lyons, Ben Quin, does not appear of a mind to back down after his party threatened him with disciplinary action for publicly stating his opposition to the mill.

Moreton (Qld, Liberal 2.8%) and Bonner (Qld, Liberal 0.7%): Labor has promised to commit “up to” $300 million to begin construction of an underpass at the junction of Mains and Kessels roads in Macgregor in Brisbane’s south. The junction is located just inside Moreton and near the boundary of Bonner. The Courier-Mail records the following reaction from embattled Moreton MP Gary Hardgrave, who claims the resumption of businesses in the area will cost thousands of jobs: “I couldn’t believe my luck. I was always going to win the seat but this now ensures the swing is on”.

La Trobe (Vic, Liberal 5.8%): While Labor is wanting for low-hanging fruit in Victoria, Rick Wallace of The Australian reports this outer eastern Melbourne electorate has been upgraded to target seat status, although “well-placed Labor sources say Labor has made greater gains in Queensland”.

Ballarat (Vic, Labor 2.2%): Labor member Catherine King suffered a self-inflicted wound last weekend when Kevin Rudd’s office ordered the withdrawal of a television ad which attacked Liberal candidate Samantha McIntosh for having a $2.2 million property on the market.

Newcastle (NSW, Labor 8.7%): The Daily Telegraph reports “prominent Newcastle businessman and city councillor Aaron Buman” is considering standing as an independent.

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.

403 comments on “Phoney war dispatches”

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  1. Two things, thanks for correcting me of course Bracks won in 2002 and my comment should have been read seats the ALP had never won before.

    Seymour, Ripon, Gisbourne

    If Nelson says 57-43 then that matches the average, so the status quo is maintained.

    So on that bases depending on the campaign the ALP will win somewhere between 55-60 TPP unless Howard runs a blinder of a campaign and gets it back to 52-53.

  2. Rudd is a cricket fan (used to be a wicket keeper in his youth apparently, though his penchant or otherwise for sledging is not recorded). He no doubt also has a politician’s affectation of favourite footy teams, I’d imagine the Broncos (NRL) & Lions (AFL), seeing as he’s a Queenslander, and you can probably throw in the Queensland Roar, or whatever the soccer team’s name is – what is it with these naff mascot names – and the Qld Reds.

    However I imagine he won’t be quite the sporting whore that is our incumbent PM.

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