Galaxy: 56-44

The latest Galaxy poll, published in today’s News Limited tabloids, shows Labor’s lead easing imperceptibly to 56-44 from 57-43 last month. There has also been a one point exchange on the primary vote, with Labor down to 46 per cent and the Coalition up to 40 per cent.

Sept 24
56 44 46 40
Aug 27
57 43 47 39
July 30
54 46 44 41
July 2
55 45 46 41
June 4
53 47 44 42
May 14
57 43 49 39
April 23
58 42 49 37

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.

548 comments on “Galaxy: 56-44”

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  1. 267
    Dario Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 5:46 pm
    Julie, I don’t see how Turnbull could possibly have the numbers. The reports of the cabinet ‘fireside chat’ that discussed Howard getting the tap on the shoulder intimated that while Costello wasn’t seen by all as the next replacement, Turnbull had no support.

    Yes, I figured as much Dario. I am not exactly sure what he thinks he is up to though. Usually when someone waffles with an answer, and especially a minister, they have something to hide. Maybe Turnbull thinks that at the very least if he does something sometime, even if not successful, it might bloody Howard to the point where Costello would have to take over. At the very least, though, it puts the leadership question squarely back on the front burner as far as the press is concerned and the Libs don’t need that distraction ;-D ….. (and if Turnbull is seriously thinking about it at all, it proves the point all of us have been making recently, that they are in this for themselves this election and not looking out for the party interests)

  2. 300#
    Most people dont give a rats about politics most people only think about it when it comes to having to vote…i dont think Labor has very many members either its only the diehards like people on this blog who want to be members of a political party…

    Labor doesnt need to pay anybody to hand out pamphlets because they have Union members to do it for them lol…thank god for 457s lol!

  3. Piping Shrike, if you’re implying that the ALP is less policy-void than the Liberals, please explain. I’m intrigued.

    Apart from signing the now useless Kyoto agreement, moving around a few hundred troops in the Middle East, pushing for universal broadband and tinkering with education, I have absolutely no idea what the ALP is going to do once they get into power. This, along with the fact that we’ll literally become a one-party state concerns me.

  4. Re Grey
    the seat contains the Iron triangle cities of Port Pirie
    Port Augusta and Whyalla the alp vote last time in Port Augusta was bad
    What would a 70% Labor vote in Port Augusta do?
    I suspect it would by itself almost swing the seat

  5. Glen – yes, you’re right. Shock! Horro! The ALP is full of union members! What’s more, those people actually HELP the ALP at election times and do it for free!

    But that’s the union movement for you, Glen. It’s full of people who are prepared to put their money where their mouth is (via membership fees), not just to protect themselves, but to help improve the working conditions of ALL people, regardless of whether or not they are, themselves, members of a union. The essense of unionism is people helping each other; it’s how it all started in the first place. I am a proud unionist and will be until the day I die. Solidarity forever, baby.

  6. A-C

    Ask Spotlight about horrendous messes. Or 30,000 letters with the wrong employer, or the letterhead that hasn’t been designed yet stopping people getting letters ect. ect.

  7. Tim (298): I think that brain-storming party-room meeting you’re referring to was interesting. I think it was mainly done to cheer them up. I don’t think Howard was listening to a single thing they were suggesting. He is not running a marginal strategy, he is trying to save the party in the safe seats. But I agree that it shows the vacuum they are operating in if the backbenchers thought it was a worthwhile exercise!

    A-C (304): I’m not unsympathetic to what you’re saying. Rudd has a bit of something going on with federalism and co-ordinating state services, centralising the awards system and is more in tune with international political changes (Iraq, climate change), but not much else.

  8. Mayo is one of the safest seats in the country

    Sections – Mt Barker, Littlehampton and Nairne are also very fast growing with many now on huge mortages. It might have been interesting had Lab endorsed a well known candidate about 12 months ago and campaigned moderately hard. I know many here would be pleased to see the back of the ‘Idiot Son’

    Remember that the Dems nearly unseated him 2 or 3 elections back.

  9. Derek Corbett,

    I’ll take the snags on election night every time; a local ALP branch member is a butcher, and has the tastiest, freshest snags this side of the Murrumbidgee.

    It’s a thankless task helping out deep in Nats country, but a task I’m happy to do – without payment – at every single opportunity.

  10. Ian: That may be true, but if the swing in SA turns out to be as big as polls are indicating, it will at least be a marginal seat. I’m still not ruling out Downer retiring after the federal election anyway.

  11. i really hope lab wins fairfax need a 9% swing but can be hopeful. one of the most arrogant born to rule members { alex somolay] you would ever meet

  12. At a quick estimate, about a third of the votes in Grey come from the Iron Triangle towns (Whyalla 15%, Port Pirie 11%, Port Augusta 8%). The rest come from the farming areas and the far north. There’s certainly potential for big swings in these towns. In 2004 even Whylla only voted about 50% Labor – the best booth was 55%. Labor carried no booths in Port Augusta and only one in Port Pirie. Outside the Triangle Labor carried only Coober Pedy. Even most of the indigenous remote mobile booths went to Wakelin. The question is, how much was this due to a humungous personal vote for Wakelin and how much to the intrinsic conservatism of blue-collar workers in these towns? Will WorkChoices drive these people back to Labor? It would need someone with local knowledge to answer these questions.

  13. Anyone see Malcolm “look at me” Turnbull on SBS? Totally unconvincing: “Everyone else is wrong, I’m right.” I doubt this plan is going to win over anyone who is concerned about climate change, especially as they’ve tried to trump Labor’s plan, which is going to set a higher target anyway. I really don’t know why the Libs bother with climate change policies, I don’t think they have a lot of credibility in this area.

  14. RE: paying for people to hand out on election day.

    The libs have to pay people to do it, the ALP does not. Seems to me that says something about the difference between the two parties.

    This is a minor point in this elevated debate and that’s enough from me on this.

    Glen @302

    Is that Glen 1 or Glen 2? Act not together. You need a seamless change from one operative to another. Have you briefed Glen 2? The question was about ethics. Suggest Oxford dictionary. It’s under E.

  15. Tim @ 313:

    I’m still not ruling out Downer retiring after the federal election anyway.

    Me either, especially if it’s a Lab landslide. I can’t see him hanging around knowing it’s probably going to take at least 3 elections for the coalition to get back to striking distance. George or Condie may find him a nice easy high profile job on some international body. Maybe Blair’s sidekick in bringing peace to the Mid East, the gods help them and us!

    And I’m expecting Costello to jump ship into some lucrative directorships too after a ‘suitable’ interval.

  16. I don’t know that you can interpret much from Turnbull stumbling on a question. The guy is physically incapable of giving a simple and straight answer to a question. He makes Beazley look like the strong, silent type.

  17. libsrok

    Alex (who) Somlyay is my local member as well. Fairfax is on my sleeper list. I expect Peregian Springs and Twin Waters to swing heavily to Labor. (Negative equity – interest rates). 🙂

  18. I too think that Downer won’t hang around for long after the election. Perhaps just long enough for him to convince himself that there’s no hope of ever regaining the leadership.

    Ruddock is also an obvious one to go. What about Abbott? Minchin? Andrews? Are the rumours of Julie Bishop going into state politics for real?

  19. If there is a uniform swing in SA, then I think whatever seats the Liberals hold on to will either be marginal or very close to being marginal…but that’s only if the swing is uniform. Not sure how much anti-Liberal sentiment is in Barker.

  20. Given that the ASX hit a new record high today, and assuming that it continues to make gains, will Costello’s recent argument that you need “safe hands” in times of economic turndowns be made redundant? Or will his argument morph into something like “you need safe hands in order to continue the growth of the ASX”?

    He can’t have it both ways and expect people to take him seriously (not that they ever have).

  21. There were comments (I think at the last SA state election) that Minchin should lead the Liberal Party here in SA. I don’t know how serious it was, but given the talent of the state liberals here (ie. none whatsoever) I wouldn’t be at all surprised if at least one of the SA Federal Libs came home to put Rann in his place (they wish).

  22. Am I the only person here who is sick of claims that we’ll become a ‘one party state’ should Labor win government?

    Do these people actually realise what a real one party state is?

  23. The Chinster, i had to smile when you wrote solidarity forever, ive still got my old union Tshirt i bought during the wharfies fiasco, is anyone from here going to the Annual Hawke Lecture in Adelaide on the 10th? Michael Kirbys the speaker– it should be good.

  24. Fagin @312

    All power to your thumb. My sentiments exactly. Fight on. We do not expect – or get – thanks. Send snags.

    Chinster @ 308

    Well said! God help us if that catches on. Might lead to the dreaded F word. That is, fairness in the workplace. Heaven forfend!

  25. Piping Shrike this has happened in the past hasn’t it? The Liberal Party held all governments around Australia. What happened is that eventually governments returned to the ALP.

    I just don’t understand why if individual state parties make themselves unelectable we should rule out voting for another party at a different level of government. It makes no sense.

    I don’t think it’s particularly unimaginable for any of the states to change government at the next election. I mean we only have to look at the federal sphere and think how hopeless it looked for the ALP after the last election to see that political fortunes can change quite quickly.

    The whole thing is also thrown out of whack by the fact that the government controls the Senate. To me, this places democracy at a far greater risk, if only for examples of extremely shoddy drafting. At a recent lecture by Sir Anthony Mason, he mentioned that he expects the Northern Territory legislation to be a legal minefield in the future largely due to the way it was rushed through parliament with little scrutiny.

  26. Someone earlier was asking about the Libs. funding difficulties. I had asked the same on the Responses to Morgan thread and had a very informative response from Possum at 132. A number of others also commented, Julie and Envy from memory and someone else (sorry I can’t recall exactly who – put it down to a day in the world of people who struggle with reality and I don’t mean the Coal., the former I actually really admire and respect on the whole!)

  27. Mick, 306. On Grey very rough and hasty estimates ignoring absent, postal votes. Labor would need 12K extra votes to win, but only 18K votes in total cast in the Iron Triangle and Labor has about half of them in 2004. Even a huge swing there would leave Labor well short although I hope my figures are wrong. The outback pastoral-mining seats look a lost cause, although if Katter wasn’t running Labor would be a good chance in Kennedy.

  28. I don’t think technically we’re looking at a one-party state but there is a sense where the normal two-party system has been suspended at the state level (at least in some states).
    The Piping Shrike 328

    You can’t blame Labor for that, they were all elected in a fair democratic process. Suggest you cast the stones at the utterly incompetent state oppositions.

    And I just saw a short grab from Tony Abbott on the news, he looked like shit. Is he sick at the moment?

  29. Re Grey

    Nick Minchin seemed concerned today on ABC radio. If as others have said it is not possible for the swing to happen in the Iron Triangle does this mean that the bush is deserting the coalition?

  30. CTEP (330) I think the difference between now and say the late 1960s when Labor was out of every government (I think) was that then Labor still stood for something and state politics was about politics e.g. role of unions, state spending etc. I think now state politics is about nothing more than provision of services, Labor has a natural advantage with its government sector links and the Liberals stand for absolutely nothing. I can’t see the basis for Liberals providing an alternative government. Federally, it’s a bit different because of the international factor, but there are some similarities. In short, I think the Liberal party is redundant, but I just can’t see what is taking its place.

  31. CTEP, yes the Libs will recover, but it might take a while.

    Labor recovered only when the Left ceded to the Centre. this was , and still is, hard for lefties like me to swallow. But it has made Labor the dominant Party again.

    Now that Labor have made this transition, The Libs will only recover when the Hard Right cedes back to the Moderate Right.

    Knowing the Far Right’s current fanaticism inside the Party, that might take a while.

  32. Interesting poll on Yahoo:

    What do you think is the most important election issue?
    Thanks for voting 9800 votes since Sep 23 2007

    Economic management 28% 2768 votes
    Health 18% 1779 votes
    Climate change 18% 1731 votes
    Education 7% 658 votes
    Workplace reforms 25% 2496 votes
    National security 4% 368 votes

    Arguably, Yahoo is a fairly neutral website. Also arguably, are the leading parties in these issues:

    Lib/NP: Economic management (28%), National security (4%) = 32%
    ALP: Health (18%), Climate change (18%), Education (7%), Workplace reforms (25%) = 68%

    So in this particular poll, the ALP has the lead, or perceived lead, in more than two thirds of the issues. Make of it what you will.

  33. Re 281

    According to well documented scientific analysis 1925 was the hottest year of the 20th century and in recent years there has been a distinct cooling trend (perhaps this is why the talk is mostly about climate change these days rather than global warming!).
    As an earlier comment suggested most people make up their minds about an issue based on emotion and don’t take the time or trouble to try to base their opinions on facts, which they rationalise to be either wrong or inconclusive.
    Personally I think both sides are jumping on the very emotional environmental bandwagon. Maybe some of them actually believe it.

    My guess about the election date is Dec 1. and failing that Jan 19., on the basis that JWH will look for a substantial turnaround before setting the date and I don’t believe the polls will oblige.

  34. RU

    The bush has been deserted by Howard and the Nats especially on water.

    The state labor governments asked Howard back in 2003 for money to buy out Cubbie Station to release more water into the rivers and asked for funding for pipelines to divert water to where it was scarce. They were refused on the basis that the pipelines would stay in government hands, the libs wanted a private enterprise input.

    The AWB fiasco stuffed our international trade reputation and the Telstra sell off dudded the bush.

    The equine flu is the last straw, it is not just race horses at risk, it is the show horses and working horses, for the first time ever horses were not at the Adelaide and Melbourne shows and the government was warned of the risks back in 2003.

    Their reaction to the EI epidemic has been the usual chaotic panic reaction, how would these jokers react if there was a major outbreak of bird flu.

  35. CTEP

    Good questions.

    When did the Liberal Party hold all governments in Australia? Federal and State? In modern times, let’s say cut off point 1947.

  36. Arbie Jay, I definitely agree about the water issue, it is especially live up in rural SA in seats like Grey and in the Mallee where farmers are blaming Howard for not stopping the use of Murray water by ‘big business’ (as they see it) for water consumptive activities like rice-growing. I think the government hasn’t a clue how much it is being blamed for the impact of the drought in rural regions. I also think the Nats’ grip in the eastern states never fully recovered after One Nation.

    Derek: I thought I was right about it being in the late 1960s, when Dunstan lost/gained government (if I recall my history).

  37. Dr Good, Been There may have been citing recently tweaked temperature figures for the US. But of course the US is only 2.5% of the earth’s surface area.

    Anyhoo, let’s not have a climate debate lest William get really stoppy.

  38. if Howard tries to go in January there’ll be a riot, everyone’s sick to death of this pretend campaign, Diana {325} your right, Martin Hamilton Smith isnt much better than the others– just a tad noisier.

  39. Bring on the one-party state I say. Let them rot in opposition till their teeth fall out from chewing on the bitter dregs of defeat etc etc etc – however, none of this has happened yet. Let’s learn a lesson from the mighty Cats and KEEP A LID ON IT.

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