Phoney war dispatches: wacky Wednesday edition

• I failed to mention it at the time, but followers of this site no doubt picked up on the poll of Sydney and Melbourne voters conducted by Nexus Research over the weekend. Well, bless their cotton socks, for they have published their data in a form that allows cross-tabulation of responses to the various questions asked, including age, occupational status and vote at the 2004 election.

• After a nudge from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, the Australian Electoral Commission has ruled it will be business as usual this year for the National Tally Room in Canberra. This now performs a basically ceremonial role, and there have been frequent suggestions it might be scrapped. JSCEM argues that the tally room presents a “visible symbolism of transparency in the election process” (UPDATE: Seems I’m a bit slow here).

Greg Kelton of The Advertiser speaks of a 64-page report which translates last year’s South Australian state election results into federal outcomes, compiled by state parliamentary librarian Jenni Newton-Farrelly. I have not been able to locate the report, but it shows Labor gaining Sturt, Boothby, Makin, Wakefield and Kingston, with the Liberals dropping a Senate seat to “either the Democrats, Family First or the Greens”.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports “evidence of a groundswell of support for Maxine McKew” among voters in Bennelong‘s conspicuous Chinese community.

Andrew Fraser of The Australian reports that the much-touted plebiscites on Queensland council amalgamations will be conducted by postal ballot after the federal election, as the Australian Electoral Commission does not wish for confusion to arise over postal election votes.

• Speaking of which, the Sydney Morning Herald reports the number of postal, pre-poll and absentee votes is expected to top 20 per cent at this election, due to the active promotion of postal voting by the major parties. This increases the chance that the result will still be up in the air when counting closes on election night.

Greg Roberts of The Australian reports that registration of Pauline Hanson’s United Australia Party will not be cleared in time for the election if it is called in the next few days. This would result in her list again appearing under an anonymous group name, which was deemed to have cost her votes in 2004.

• Anyone speak Portuguese?

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.

762 comments on “Phoney war dispatches: wacky Wednesday edition”

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  1. I do speak Spanish, and with the help of Google Translate for some key words, was able to translate the gist of the article.

    The first paragraph basically says “guess the country: south of the equator, has an important economy, massive land area, loves football? Easy, right? (apparently the implication is that he is talking about Brazil). Of course, he’s talking about Australia.

    The second paragraph mentions the coming election and how blogs have offered more in depth analysis where traditional media sources haven’t.

    It also laments the presence of independent bloggers in Brazil.

    …I think… 🙂

  2. The decision by the AEC to put the Qld Amalgamations plebiscite vote to bed until after the Federal election as reported in The Australian will diffuse some of the Howard wedge in QLD marginal seats.

    It gives the voters the opportunity to vote for a local PM candidate in Kevin Rudd at the Federal election [if that was/is their intention before the amalgamations issue arose] and wait until the plebiscite to give the State Labor Government a clear message about their attitude to the council amalgamations later on.

    The fact the country presently has a Coalition Federal Government and all others are Labor Government’s indicates to me that voters can and do make a distinction between State and Federal politics, notwithstanding the fact that the Coalition Opposition are a rabble in most States at the moment.

    The effect of the Howard ‘wedge’ will be blunted in what most consider a State with seats critical to the election outcome including Flynn, Petrie, Blair, Longman and Dickson I hope the AEC holds to this policy decision.

  3. Interestingly, the Nexus cross-tabulation shows a higher level of primary support for the Coalition amongst 18-19 year olds and and 20-24 year olds. Conversely, it shows higher primary support for Labor for 55-59 and 65-69 year olds.

    This seems to be going against what I have read elsewhere – that Labor has the younger vote sewn up . It appears this is only true in terms of 2pp, I had assumed this meant they were ahead in primary votes, given the assumed impact of WorkChoices on these age cohorts.

    The Greens are polling around the 25% in terms of second preference across nearly all age groups , so in 2pp terms, Labor would probably romp home.

  4. Did anyoone hear Kevin Rudd on ABC’s AM program (Sydney) this morning?

    Good interview that was pressing him on policy detail and he performed very well. He is handling the media with ease.

  5. From Imre’s article:

    “Data from the 2006 census revealed Bennelong had become the only Liberal-held seat among the top 20 in the nation for residents who speak a language other than English at home.”

    This I didn’t know. But having lived in Bennelong, it doesn’t surprise me.

  6. Good old Peter Lindsay, Lib MP for Herbert, is in the news for all the wrong reasons. He said that the housing affordability crisis is due to the young people who are ‘financially illiterate’. Perhaps they listened to the government’s spin last election about keeping interest rates at all time lows. Rudd is attacking Peter for his comments.

  7. i thought chris ullman was a bit aggressive towards rudd in the interview, i hope he does the same to howard and costello , would’nt want the abc to be accused of showing bias

  8. Latest news! Another Howard comeback. In a poll of Federal Cabinet ministers the Prime Minister’s approval rating has leapt to 45%. Malcolm Turnbull received one vote.
    At a local level it is interesting that the Democrats don’t seem to have a candidate for Kalgoorlie yet. Also don’t know if former member Graeme Campbell intends standing again. He could be an independent, Australia First (try his website for a scary trip) or join Pauline Hanson.
    If people are looking for an Aussie woman, battler from the bush, to vote for then our ALP candidate Sharon Thiel stands out.
    ‘Labor View from Broome’

  9. The ship had completely come around and after having missed some sizeable cannon-balls doing any damage at all and their manuevre closing the gap considerably between the two ships, Hamster’s crew had a new-found confidence.

    “Fire at will!!” Hamster attempted to order, but the overly enthusiastic crew hadn’t waited for the inconvenience of letting him finish his sentence,
    “BARAAAKKABOOM,BOOOOM,BOOMMM,BOOOOOM!” The air was chaos with the explosion of cannon-fire, the war was on.

    Captain Rudder flicked his annoying fringe and held on as two holes ripped through the upper decks. Incensed, he ordered retaliation,
    “Load up and FIIIIIRE!!!!”. The black ship flying the Jolly Rudder erupted as it returned fire on Hamster’s ship. He knew they still had the upper hand, Hamster’s ship was older and more cumbersome to move. He grinned widely when he saw crew scattering as several sizeable holes opened up on the port side.

  10. Rudder’s crew whooped with joy as they saw debris pour out of the gaping holes in Hamster’s ship.

    “Settle down crew, let’s not get cocky now, we’ve a long way to go!!” He chided the men and women on the deck below as he carefully hid his new office furniture catalogue behind his back.

    Hamster’s crew looked puzzled at the holes in the black ship. They were far larger than they expected with the calibre of Cannon ball they were firing. It almost looked like the hull was made of plastic.. Surely not. Meanwhile, below decks, seats close to the breaches which were precariously balanced were freely falling into the boiling sea below.

    Petty Officer Bullturd was heaving over the side again as Bony ran past slapping him perhaps a little too hard on the back, “Hey, what’s up ya seadog, bit rough for ya, AAARGH! Ho, Ho, y’ll be a good sailor one day when you find your sea legs like Pete an’ the Cap’n!!”. Bullturd shot him a vile glare and heaved once more as a sizeable piece of carrot plopped irreverently onto Bony’s nearby foot.

  11. Chris Ullmann is a tool: that says it all!
    Jim Middleton and Greg Jennett are even bigger tools.
    The standard of ABC journalism has sunk to new lows.

  12. HH,

    I don’t know why you are angry at the ABC journos? KR performed really well. Anyone listening to that interview would have thought he was PM material.

    I have no problem with hard interviews as long as both sides cop the same standards. Then the electorate can really see who is on top of their game.

  13. #7. Yes thought the interviewer was very aggressive towards Rudd. The latter performed well, didn’t get rattled or annoyed and countered all the interviewer’s points.

  14. Oh dear. It’s National Pirate Awareness Day.

    William, eu falo Portuguese un pouco.

    Roughly, the bit you are interested will sound familiar:

    ‘Then, as the election date approaches, a climate of hostility has appeared between trad media .. personified by the magnate Rupert Murdoch (he, the face and owner of Fox, and [idiom?] of the Simpsons) and the new media, the blogs. What’s happening in the land of the marsupials is an increase in the importance of a few bloggers (Mumble, PollBludger, Possum) on political analysis, over [all?] others in the interpretation of opinion polls.’

    Goes on to report that Murdoch, principal shareholder in Newspoll tried to dismiss the bloggers’ qualifications to analyse, saying something like ‘we’re the researchers, only we are suitable to analyse the data’.

    Seems those at a distance think Murdoch is even more the puppeteer than we do! I also like the ‘marsupial’ reference – wonder if the author realised the link to possums?

  15. Is it true the head of Newspoll declared that Rudd’s “honeymoon” is finally over? Doesn’t he read his own polls? Martin, take a look at your polls over the last four months and spot the outlier. While you’re at it take a look at Rudd’s satisfaction rating compared to Howard and also the preferred PM poll.
    You are meant to be an expert. I’d say you are carryting on like a cheerleader for the conservatives. Why am I not surprised?

  16. “Already the blogueiros had not ordered nothing and some with the justinian codes do not possess commitment, can “travel” to the will for the numbers.”

    Hmmph! Well that’s easy for them to say…

  17. this is the second newspoll that has favourable to howard when he desperately needed a good poll to be seen as still in the game
    not trying to be a conspiratist about it but it was a big turn around considering the the liberals behaviour

  18. I don’t tend to believe conspiracy theories surrounding polls. The polling companies have too much at stake on the accuracy of their polling to rig results. However, I think CEO’s of polling company’s should try and stay out of making commentary on the polls.

  19. Does anyone know whether the roughly 70%/85% turnout to the Victorian by-elections is around what would be expected?

    Also, do you imagine if the Liberal Party had fielded a candidate the voter turnout would be higher?

    Also, what do people make of the relatively small vote for Family First in the seats?

  20. I have complained to the ABC a few times about Uhlmann’s differing treatment of Rudd and Howard. A complete waste of time needless to say.
    The guy is (yet another) disgrace to the name of journalism, and a conservative cheerleader from way back. The fact that the ABC can employ him as chief political correspondent shows how low they have sunk.

  21. If it’s costing the AEC $1m to do the national tally room, and they’re saying it’s getting harder to justify the cost, perhaps the government is underfunding the AEC. The government could just as well set aside money for it as part of the money for federal elections.

  22. September 2010, the new head of Newspoll, John Howard, has said the Rudd honeymoon is over as the latest Newspoll revealed a precipitous 1 point drop to 54/46.

    The media has been in a frenzy, The Milne and Shananhan Daily, are predicting a continuing bounce in support for the Oppositon Green party. The minors leader [holding 8 seats in the HOR 6 Liberal, 2 National] Wilson Tuckey has said they would be preferencing Eternal Brethern party candidates at the next election in a bid to become more relevant to their core constituents.

    A senior ACCI spokesperson has said indentured servitude would create full employment in Australia and that the Labor Government was dudding the counrtry by ignoring the various forms of servitude in IR policy. A special Econtech report commissioned by the ACCI has revealed that business profits would soar 10% and employment reach 100% if wages were abolished. The Minerals Council has come out in support of the report. They will be running an ad campaign on fairness in servitude during the up and coming election.

  23. On the ABC interview with the PM in waiting (how is that for hubris – come bite me) the ABC fell into two errors in MHO.

    Firstly having been too scared to ask the PM what day it is on a Wednesday, and on a brave Wednesday, having asked the PM what day it is and either not been told anything, or told it was in fact Tuesday, they have not daring to question the non-answer or answer.

    It is like yesterdays speakers date, good for the country, but not entirely consistent.

    Secondly given we have seen workchoices the whole line ‘oh we know what the government is like we have their record to standby – give us fully costed and timed to the day outlines of every policy area – seems perfectly reasonable once you accept the fundamentally flawed concept that you can trust the Government.

  24. Ref #25.

    The AEC site has some good information on Voter turnout data.

    At the 2004 Federal Election the voter turnout was as follows;

    NSW: 94.7%
    VIC: 94.9%
    QLD: 93.7%
    WA: 92.8%
    SA: 94.8%
    TAS 95.7%
    ACT: 94.95%
    NT: 84.3%

    Nationally it was a 0.04% decline on the 2001 Fed Election turnout. I wouldn’t expect these % to change for this election.

  25. Of course you are right CTEP, but it is a perpetual title, like Lord Downer, not one which in my hubris will be replaced with the actual office sometime in November in Kevin’s case.

    I don’t want Kevin to share my hubris, just my celebration when he defeats the forces of darkness at the ballot box.

  26. The U.S. Presidential Election of 2008


    Maria Berrios (Democrat, Illinois House of Representatives)
    Laurie Funderburk (Democrat, South Carolina House of Representatives)

    Wes Hilliard (Democrat, Oklahoma House of Representatives)

    Cary Johnson (Republican, Clatsup Soil & Water Conservation District, Oregon)

    Adam Koenig (Republican, Kentucky House of Representatives)

    Paul Kohls (Republican, Minnesota House of Representatives)
    Thomas Reynolds (Democrat, Connecticut House of Representatives)

    Thursday 20th September, 6.00 p.m.

    Copland Lecture Theatre, Copland Building, ANU.

    Seven American politicians take time out from their study tour of Australia to give their views on the American presidential election of

    2008. In a wide-ranging discussion, they will cover the state of the political parties, the prospects and possibilities facing the field of potential candidates, the issues, public opinion, and the process of choosing the nominee and electing America’s next President.

    All Welcome

    For Enquiries:

    John Hart – 6125 4469


  27. I was wondering the same thing about that foreign lingo site!

    While Graeme’s translation makes more sense – the google translation is cryptically appealing

    Long live the blogueiros with their justinian codes in the land of marsupials!

  28. 11
    RGee Says:
    September 19th, 2007 at 9:48 am
    Defuse = Removing the triggering device
    Diffuse = Spread out

    Yeah, I still know the difference.

    So counting you and me, that makes two people who do.

  29. Sorry to do this… but can someone please explain how the polls were so wrong in 1999 for the Victorian state election? Is it possible we could see a repeat at this year’s federal election?

    Only saying this because the polls at the moment seem too good to be true…

  30. I don’t remember exactly, but I do recall the polls tightened considerably over the course of the election. Wikipedia says this:
    By election day few people believed that there would be a change of government. When The Australian published a poll which suggested the result would be a cliffhanger, Steve Bracks is said to have stated ‘I hope it’s right, but I think The Australian is on drugs.’

    They cite Megalogenis, G., The Longest Decade for that quote.

  31. So if it was a protest vote based on the good polls for the government… there’s not a chance there could be a big protest vote against the ALP should their polling stay miles in front?

  32. I found the perfect quote for Dennis Shanahan.

    ‘He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts for support rather than illumination.’– Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

  33. well CTEP if there is a hidden protest vote against Howard that is waiting for election day to come out I’ll be a happy happy vegemite …

  34. CTEP: There may well be.
    However, from my recollection as a Victorian, many people were worried that Kennett was arrogant and would become power hungry given a large majority. Most Victorians liked Kennett and his achievements but wanted him to be a bit humbler and thought the ALP were no chance of winning so made a protest vote to reduce Kennett’s majority.

    This won’t happen in this election.

    The good news is that Kennett has now got a better job, being President of the Hawks 🙂

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