Morgan: 59-41

Roy Morgan seems to have moved to weekly face-to-face polls, today’s offering being a survey of 955 voters conducted on Saturday and Sunday (so before the early week leadership non-event). It shows a 1 per cent shift in the Coalition’s direction on two-party preferred, with both major parties up on the primary vote: the Coalition from 34.5 per cent to 36 per cent, Labor from 49 per cent to 51 per cent.

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 “Morgan: 59-41”

  1. Albert (455) how do you frame a question to backbenchers? Any question to a minister (eg justice) will be met with an easy straight bat.

    Pi: forgive my ignorance, but are you saying the parties strongly favour bi-lingual candidates during pre-selection. There isn’t an electoral law on language proficiency is there?!!

    Glen: For aeons, Quebecers dominated the list of Canadian Prime Ministers (sorry, Premiers Ministres). Trudeau, Martin, even the Tory Mulroney, and Chretien.

  2. Is anyone offering a double on the Labor party victory and the Kangaroos to take the AFL grand final? 😉 ….. if so please post the link :):):)

  3. [Albert (455) how do you frame a question to backbenchers? Any question to a minister (eg justice) will be met with an easy straight bat.]

    You can’t during question time, because it is only an opportunity to ask questions of the executive. Apparently parliamentary secretaries count, but I don’t think any of those three are parliamentary secretaries.

  4. Noocat 500

    Good post.

    I think one of the reasons Howard did the NT intervention was to try and perfume and polish the rancid turd that is his appalling track record in indigenous affairs up to that point, and claim some moral standing. Of course it won’t work.

  5. I think Howard did the team thing for one reason, to buy more time with the party. i don’t think he was thinking about the electorate at all. Now he has to deal with the electoratal problems, the first which is his own seat. When the party stabilises, he will deal with the second, and push Costello back into the background.

    Just Me: Howard is hardly the only one with an appalling record on indigenous affairs, as the results show.

  6. Just Me: Howard is hardly the only one with an appalling record on indigenous affairs, as the results show.

    No federal government of either persuasion in recent times has so studiously ignored and dismissed and belittled indigenous concerns to anything like the degree Howard has. For him to suddenly be so concerned for their welfare, conveniently just before the biggest election fight of his career, defies any credibility. I don’t buy it at all. He is simply desperately trying (in part) to rehabilitate his justifiably shabby reputation in this area, but it is way too late. He will leave behind a greater mess than when he came into office. And then blame everyone else for it, as usual.

  7. The Piping Shrike,

    I was just reading an interesting blog you wrote, On one had its a very sad state of affairs for that reason I’m hoping then Polls are right for the Liberal Party need a good clean out.

    Only problem Rudd will rule in what will look like a one party state for at least 6 years, of course if he governs well then fine.

    Here hoping Rudd does, for the Liberals need to work out what they are about, while the Economy may be strong over all the policy frame work on Social policy of the past 10 years hasn’t worked, and Workchoices is as much a headache for small business as the GST proved to be, while the GST was a good thing, Workchoices was just plainly bad Policy.

    To show how policy lazy the Liberals have come, while some in the UK questioned the Americans in the lead up to the Iraq war, it would appear Canberra didn’t ask anything of substance.

    Look I feel I Peter Costello would have made a very good PM, I don’t consider him that different from his Brother.

    Sitting here looking at the by-election results made me wish tonight was Election night.

    Howard just get on with naming the date, if your returned so be it, but lets just get on with it.

  8. Labor look foolish now supporting the UN Declaration when they couldn’t be bothered arguing the principle when Howard sent the troops to the NT.

    On Howard’s announcement in Bennelong: he is admitting that the Coalition is bound to lose the election. Why else would he not pledge to serve a full-term as MHR? (Sitting on the backbench is the same whether your party is in govt or opposition).

  9. bmwofoz: I just can’t see what Costello stands for. This has been his problem, he has no political basis for launching a challenge to Howard. Every time he gets given the opportunity (Budget, now) he comes out with nothing distinctive. Already Abbott is saying there is no difference between him and Howard, and I think essentially he is right. We already have one-party rule in most of the states, there are signs it could become like that federally, I believe.

  10. Just Me, I agree with you. Howard’s motivation for the Aboriginal intervention was mostly or completely political. He wanted to create a wedge issue for Labor, to remove land rights for future mining exploration, and to bolster his “strong” leadership credentials. If he was genuinely interested in helping, he would have paid at least some attention to the recommendations that were provided by those who wrote the report into child sexual abuse.

    Above all, I think it was mostly for show, and as you say, it is very likely that Aboriginal communities will be ultimately worse off for it.

    Piping Shrike, that is an interesting thought. But I don’t know if the team thing is solely for buying time for himself with the party. It is very drastic if it is a temporary measure, because now Costello will be expected to have a high profile in the coming election campaign. It’s most likely that there are several ulterior motives going on, including a positioning towards sinking the ship with the captain. Howard usually seems to have more than one motive for just about everything he says and does.

  11. The focus groups mentioned in the Fairfax papers today: was it just me who thought most of these supposed swingers seemed like long time Liberal voters? And the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD went out of its way today to be negative towards Rudd, with the exception of Ramsey & Hugh Mackay.

  12. Julie re #502, If you ask the bookie(s) who you bet with, they may get you set, it’s just a matter of multiplying the two odds.

    Parramatta reminded me a little of Rudd tonight. They are peaking at the right time. They were very impressive tonight and have got a better chance of winning the grand final than Howard of winning the election IMHO.

  13. Sure Costello had made several nice warm fuzzy speeches, but hasn’t taken ownership of anything, unlike Keating whom you knew was going to be different from Hawke.

    Like his latest effort about giving the excluded from Economic boom a lift isn’t new, I seem to recall he said simular things 4, 6 maybe 8 years ago.

    This is why I refer to a failed Social policy for Liberal people seem to think that having a job is all that counts.

    When Social policy is boarder than that.

  14. You might recall that after the 1983 election a massive deficit was revealed, which Treasurer Howard tried (successfully) to Blame Fraser for.
    Costelloe is trying even now( eg in the recent biography of Howard) to paint himself as the victim as Howard is putting pressure on inflation & interest rates.
    Three questions:
    1) Do these guys ever take any responsibility for anything that happens on their watch?
    2) How can they blame the ALP in advance for effects that if the Libs were in would be beyond the control of the Govt?
    3) How can anyone believe that these two, whose personal relationship is zero, & whose only common policy goal is to destroy the unions, can form a Team to solve the urgent problems which they denied even existed?
    Most contributors to this Blog would see these as reasonable questions although a few (eg Glen etc) would rate them as less important than I do.
    But what worries me is that the vast public is more interested in whether North is thrashing the Hawks (I hope!). Is it possible that they can be persuaded that there are more important things to decide upon than whether JWH is like their dear old Gran, or that Kevin is just like their nephew, a bit of a nerd, but very warm & loving. It really doesn’t matter that Downer looks like a Dalek stuffed with latex, a funny wig, and a voice from the 5th form at St Dominic’s. What if Julia Gillard looks like a primary school headmistress who’s just discovered the boys are down behind the toilet block smoking & telling sexist jokes.
    I reckon these blogs are a bit like the Fuquawee bird, flying around in ever diminishing circles.
    WTH, at least most of the bloggers are interested in what I think are important questions, even if they sometimes come up with answers that are BS.
    Well, that’s my rant for the week. back to the cleanskin Cab Shiraz, & the bikie and cheese. (how do you spell Biscuit in “Strane?)

  15. I thought on the SMH focus groups, the main thing that they do is confirm prejudices. It confirmed mine that Workchoices is not a swinging voter issue but means more to the supporters of both parties who already know how they will vote. I think the one comment, that it was unnecessary, about sums it up. Swinging voters generally like Howard (which is why it makes no electoral sense to bring in Costello) and do not hate the government, but that is not good news, it shows precisely the problem, they stand for nothing, which is why the age issue is resonating more this time.

    Graeme (510), I thought both your points were pure gold. Absolutely agree.

  16. Howard Hater #513 – if you favour Labor, you wouldn’t want the pool of ‘swinging voters’ to have a history of voting ALP! Labor by definition have to win back people who’ve mostly voted Liberal in the past 4 elections.

  17. Gippslander: I have to say, the interview I saw of Julia this week makes me think she looks like Kath from Kath and Kim. The tone of her voice, and the bobbing of her head like a chicken just made me think of Kath.

  18. Boll, that was what was worrying me.. I couldn’t handle the beard.
    Near the Elizabeth St bikie precinct, there’s a leather shop. Some protester had put up a sign “LEATHER IS MURDER!” underneath was scrawled “so is gravel rash”

  19. Just catching up on the thread. Isn’t Glen hilarious? He wouldn’t mind a nuclear power plant near his home. Tell him that the price of his house will fall by 20% and he may even vote for Rudd LOL.

  20. 514
    Centre Says:
    September 15th, 2007 at 9:50 pm
    Julie re #502, If you ask the bookie(s) who you bet with, they may get you set, it’s just a matter of multiplying the two odds.

    Parramatta reminded me a little of Rudd tonight. They are peaking at the right time. They were very impressive tonight and have got a better chance of winning the grand final than Howard of winning the election IMHO.

    Thanks :):) …… I will swing into a TAB somewhere here in Liverpool this week and check it out. A year ago, Beazely was in charge and we finished 14th on the ladder. What a hell of a difference a year makes :):):)

  21. Noocat: Howard does not deal with failure well – last time he turned to drink and ended up addressing parliament drunk. He has never accepted blame for anything outright, the closest he ever gets is a weasly pseudo appology that pushes blames onto ‘perceptions’.

    The Howard govts intervention into the NT is a quite deliberate and well thought out plan to remove them out of the communities into towns and cities and to take over administration of their land ‘on their behalf’ – read here mining, nuclear waste dumps and etc. First control their income sources, control the income flow, cancel the program that allowed them to do paid work in their own communities, take over the lease of communities and persumably who can and cannot live in them (ie. they exile ‘undesireable’ community members). The whole idea is disposses of money, power and control. Then of course lease/lend to them to buy their own homes in the communities making them further indebted to the govt and so on.

    Howard has neve said ‘sorry’ and refers to the Aboriginal issue as a blemish. There is Youtube exert of one of his speeches on this where he disgusted people there, I think pat dodson as well as the whole crowd (except the hard-right). You can compare this with Keating’s Redfern speech which is still one of the best speeches I have heard from a polly. (this is on Youtube too).

    COSTELLO – is one of the architects of WorkChoices and would like it to go further. Wasn’t he one of the founders of the HR Nicholls society? That neo-con anti-human think tank?

    I would not be so uncritical as to praise him simply because he is ‘not Howard’. We don’t know much about his views on other issues, even after 11 years. There are some issues he is much better than Howard but just the same he could be just as much an ‘economic rationalist/fundamentalist’ pro-industry as Howard. In fact he is likely to be. AND don’t forget he is part of hard-right wing Cabinet and controlled party. HE would last two seconds as PM if he didnt walk a sufficiently proper right-wing line.

  22. Shrike (518) – flattery will get you nowhere!

    The 2-3% that Stirton says are already swayed by WorkChoices are locked in. No serious focus group moderator would include them. Stirton may inflate the number – perhaps it is more like 1-2%. But whatever the number, it shifted the TPP playing field well before Rudd came along.

    They were locked in by the time Beazley boofed it up with his ‘Rip It Up’ billboards. Labor owes that solid basis to the ACTU’s campaign: the Libs know that. That’s why they BELIEVE that Labor will owe more to the ACTU in government than Rudd has admitted in ‘Forward with Fairness’.

    If that couple of per cent were not bedded down, we’d still be seeing Govt Ads of the style of the WorkChoices Mk 1 campaign. We’re not – instead we’re being drip-fed pointless, anodyne and forgettable, post-it notes promoting Ms Bennett.

    Analysts will follow you in blaming the Howard govt’s stalled age for its hefty defeat. But historians will note the springboard was WorkChoices – and footnote your argument that WorkChoices was an ideological splurge implemented in advance of either economic or business demand.

    (That said, I still love your blog – unique and unmissable)

  23. Re #501 & #503 – Questions to Members – you can actually ask a question of a Member, but only in narrowly defined circumstances which would not help in relation to the three possible fraudsters.

    Standing Order 99 Questions to other Members

    During Question Time, a Member may ask a question orally of another Member who is not a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary. Questions must relate to a bill, motion, or other business of the House or of a committee, for which the Member asked is responsible.

  24. A 510 “Labor look foolish now supporting the UN Declaration when they couldn’t be bothered arguing the principle when Howard sent the troops to the NT.”

    Well we all know why they couldn’t argue the point there. All the did was agree with the concept and to see what happened. They of course had no choice but to put up with the nonsense in the hope of winning the election then really doing something useful – which signing the declaration hints at. That there might be a contradiction between signing the declaration and accpeting Howard’s intervention is an intellectual point that wont the minds of the average public at all. Howard will have to be careful as well otherwise he might accidently admit or imply that his intervention is for the wrong reasons.

    Dind’t the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD recently change management – I think they got a more right-wing guy in charge. I think I read that in passing a number of months ago. The incoming guy was complaining I think that they were covering too much on National [probably Rudd] issues than State. Its a bit hazy this recollection.

  25. Canberra Boy – thanks for the clarification.

    One more clarification: Standing Order 98 says a Minister can only be grilled on: “matters, for which he or she is responsible or officially connected:
    public affairs; administration; or proceedings pending in the House”

    Narrowly read, that would mean if Rudd were PM, his strip club adventure would be unquestionable. (It’s an action for which he is personally responsible, but hardly a ‘public affair’ within his responsibility). Am I right in imagining the convention is otherwise?

  26. No Graeme, it is still a convention, sort of. The most hilarious example of how uncertain it is was Turnbull being asked on his view on the leadership, being told he didn’t have to answer it, going back to the seat and the jeers from Labor forcing him back – twice.

  27. Re #530 & #531 – Strictly it would be out of order to ask that of Rudd because it would not relate to his portfolio responsibilites. The Speaker (current and many previous) tends to allow Ministers to answer these sort of questions if they wish, which is why Turnbull got into such a tangle this week.

  28. Kina you are spot on about Costello. He is a founder of the HR Nicholls society. A nest of extreme right wing vipers.The equally dispicable K. Andrews was caught on tape adressing this society and apologising that Workchoices had not gone far enough. He promised they would do better next time,how nice of him.Most of the churches have condemed these laws. These two pose as devout christians,the concept of a loving and caring God appears to have little practicle meaning to them. They are screwing the least powerful and most vunerable as a way to fulfil their own ambitions.A pair of cold eyed and cold hearted ideologues.I hope that they both lose their seats

  29. Now this is a suspicion many of us have had:

    “And there’s this: if the Government loses, Howard will now have effectively hog-tied Costello to the defeat. The Treasurer and putative Opposition leader would emerge from the other side of an election loss as damaged goods. ”

    “It’s a measure of how twisted the politics of Liberal leadership have now become that some Government MPs were suggesting this week that this might even have been the intent of Howard’s strategy.”

    WELL the shock tactic of ousting Howard and bringing in a Costello saviour has been given a still birth by yoking Costello to Howard as some sort of half-leader. [halfling]. The trick won’t work now as Costello is made to look like a gutless gap-filler.

  30. Crispy (484). A national trend will not translate into a Qld TPP of 59% for the ALP. If you look at it on a state by state swing basis, 59% nationally probably would translate to about 55% in Qld. A few weeks ago I did a rule of thumb calculation with the ALP winning 53% national TPP and picking up bigger siwngs in safer seats (courtesy of Possum and others’ magnificent analysis). On that basis Qld would still be about 50% TPP ALP (ie not even the record), but it could potentially pick up about 10 seats. If this sounds dubious, just remember that in 2004 the ALP only got 43% TPP in Queensland.

    Hugo (495) Agree it’s not impossible for JWH to win, but very hard. The SMH swinging vote analysis seems to have a number of people thinking about how soft the vote is. I’d just point out I posted a couple of days ago that the current leadership fisaco has immesurably damaged the coalition, and many people (particularly coalition backbenchers) haven’t yet realised how seriously. Space here is too short to mention the number of quotes and lines the ALP can run here, seriously eroding coalition breathing space. The fact that the ALP stayed totally quiet during the entire period should give an indication of how damaging it is – their main problem at the moment is choosing the most effective way to use it to pummel the coalition.

    On a general note, I disagree with any post here that has suggested the coalition has taken a real interest in indigenous issues, either to help them or for some of the more fantastic notions of land for nuclear waste storage. I think anyone who has suggested these views are doing themselves a disservice. The overwhelming history in Australia has been ignorance and neglect of indigenous issues and areas. JWH’s early comments about the current intervention only costing tens of millions is a classic point in case. It will cost billions to only start to fix this issue, and regrettably no party is Australia is willing to do this.

  31. I think the connection is that the Libs hate Costello for moaning about Howard but not resolving it with a challenge. But it also makes Costello useful to Howard as a way for providing an alternative to keep the dogs away. He wouldn’t dare do that if Costello was a real threat. I don’t think Howard would have ever retired until he was thrown out.

  32. IMO Costelloe will never be PM..Í’ve thought this since he failed to challenge last year… & he’s not such a fool as not to realise this… & of course the farce last week in which he is said not have even been consulted just underlines & puts this in block capitals.
    So why is he going along with the facade? I can’t believe that he’s going to plung the dagger into JWH’s back. Maybe he has to if he wants credibilty as a lobbyist, a la Brian Burke & David White…. I dunno, it’s too deep for me.

  33. Yes Baz (536) – I agree that the leadership fiasco (including the two-headed PM thing) will impact on the Libs. What’s more, it will be a slow drip – more questions will arise, forcing Howard & co to deal with them, robbing them of oxygen to get their message out (whatever that is).

    Which raises that by-now hackneyed question, when will the election be? On one hand, with the polls as they are, the temptation must be to wait (possibly till December) and hope ‘something’ turns up, on the other hand, go now and put the leadership issue to bed once and for all (at least for the campaign). I can see the logic of either approach, but personally I wish we could just get on with it!

  34. Is it possible that Howard really wanted resign? but could not find anyone in the cabinet with (1) a safe enough seat and (2) wanted the poisioned chalice. It seems to make more sense than the debacle we have now.Costello is not a new number 2,he was already that. He has agreed to play a more prominent roll in the campaign to try to reduce the damage and maybe save Howard`s seat.

  35. L.Duce, I reckon if the chalice had been there, Downer would have grabbed it with two hands. He’s such a dill he wouldn’t have realised it was poisoned!

  36. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me if Howard wants out, but wants to have it look like he’s pushed so he can’t be leave a legacy of cutting and running.

    It wouldn’t surprise me that if he was pushed if he’d fall over faster than an Essendon full forward, but he just can’t find anyone to do it. Anyone that wants to lead the Libs after the election wouldn’t want to be doing it on the back of having lost an election first.

  37. I’m still waiting for a cutting cartoon of the double-headed PM. Something along the lines of the ‘Push me Pull’ me creature:

    Or like that ‘Cat Dog’ cartoon:

    with Costello one end and Howard the other – or maybe Howard one end and a rabbit the other.

    Or a two headed frankenstein:

  38. @ 467 bmwofoz Says:

    Call me “Conservative” but I would rather keep my money by some good grog some nibbles then sit back and enjoy what is looking an interesting night.

    Maaaaaaaaaaate… have a small wager on the Libs in marginals they are behind in and either way you’re a winner.

    As for Costello’s “beliefs” you have to remember that he is genetically programmed to be a turncoat and rat: at sometime in the past his Irish Catholic ancestors took the soup and turned Protestant to inherit the family landholding disinheriting the sibs who kept the faith and to prove the point you have to remember he was a card carrying ALP member at one point like the other souper Brendan Nelson.

    Genes and DNA will out eventually.

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