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. Piping Shrike at 336. Yes, State govt’s are more about service delivery, and I too can’t see what the Libs/Coal. are going to stand for post their pasting at the Fed. election, since they, under Howard’s stewardship have been about getting their own idealogically driven program through the parliament, and getting re-elected, to do more of the same. My hope, based on what has been indicated by Labor, more than what they can actually state, with any hope of being elected, is a gradual process of bringing people back to broader considerations of fairness and equity, rather than scaring the horses. I suppose it could be considered to be either a naive or cynical position, but I do think that the Australian polity has been so badly damaged by the Howard years that it’s going to take some skill to repair it. If Rudd sincerely believes in what Bonhoeffer was about, we just might have a person, flawed and all as he may be, flawed and all as the Labor Party may be, that could begin to redress the damage and tackle the the really tough stuff that confronts us in terms of the rest of the world, not the least of which is the bloody planet turning into Mars.

  2. Piping Shrike, re argument about the Liberals being redundant:

    The Liberals are a centre-right political party. They are not an anti-union party. Like centre-right parties of a previous era, the Liberal were indeed seen as “the anti union party” during those times.

    However, to contend that they are redundant is in effect to argue that the conservatism or centre-right politics is redundant… While it might be wishful thinking for many on this blog, it is not the case. Just take a look at politics in Western nations, all of them (with the possible exception of the UK where the opposition is a complete embarrassment (I hope Cameron loses) maintain healthy two-party systems.

    After the Liberals get slaughtered this year, they will be back. And it may indeed be sooner than some of you may think, given the fact that the global economy is slowing, coast to coast Labor might not yield many dividends and more importantly, governments will only be able to blame their failures on their own party.

  3. Glen, you obviously have a hatred of union members. Can you tell me why a union member is the low life you seem to think they are?

  4. Piping Shrike @ 345: Right you are – May 1969 (Labor lost Tasmania) to June 1970 (Labor won SA) was a period of wall-to-wall Coalition State Governments. The Coalition was re-elected Federally in October 1969 as well.

  5. 266
    Darn Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 5:45 pm
    Any chance that Glen is really Glenn Milne incognito?

    Na, out Glen can use words with more than one syllable without the need to down a bottle of gin first.

  6. AC, I agree that the Libs are MEANT to be centre-right and not anti-union, but Howard has married his ideology to what the Liberals stand for. For me, John Hewson is an indication of what Liberals should be, although I’ll admit he’s probably more left than the average Lib. I just think that the Libs in their current form are not what they were intended to be – I hope they will learn something in opposition, heaven knows they need to.

  7. A-C, I’m suspecting that the spectre of Workchoices making a comeback will keep the Libs out of power for some years if they lose this election. It will be the Liberal equivalent of Labor’s 17% interest rates until it finally paasses into the trash bin of history, where, by the way, the 17% interest rate scare has ended up.

  8. Derek on SA: Firstly the polls which have been posting swings between 9-12%. Secondly I think SA has been a traditional Labor state that fell away with the SA Bank fiasco which has been corrected at the state level but yet to be done so at the federal level.

    However, I think the most important is the softness of the core Liberal vote and its historic vulnerability to minor parties like Democrats, Family First and independents. I think you are seeing that elsewhere but is more pronounced in SA because it has been going on for longer. I think it suggests the swing will be uneven but the thing that is really putting the wind up the Liberals is that they are getting unsure just who there core supporter base is and I think that is especially a feature in SA. Rann’s use of the independents and Nationals in the government has been helpful for this. But the main reason is the unusual history of the non-Labor parties in SA where due to the Playford gerrymander it never needed to develop a separate Country/National wing like in the eastern states. In a sense the Liberals straddle both city/rural in SA but have a firm grip on neither.

    Jon: I knew Donny D did something terrific.

    A-C: I just don’t know what conservatism is when it is not against something. All I am saying is that it looks as though something significant is happening to the Liberals i.e. a crisis. Maybe like the UK, or perhaps Canada where it had to collapse and remake itself, or something different, but this does not look like just an ordinary defeat coming up.

  9. AC @ 352

    Labor are now the Centre Right Party.

    It doesn’t leave the Coalition much room to assume.

    Labor can implode as individuals though…as all parties can and do.

  10. Dr Good #344
    I don’t have complete faith in Wikipedia, since anyone can change things there.
    If you are really interested go to the following:,

    Not surprising that a majority of reports (but not a consensus majority) believe the NASA data shows that the 1990’s were slightly hotter than other years in the 20th century, given the plethora of media attention. However it was pointed out to NASA that there was a problem with the data reported by them (and NASA subsequently adjusted the data downwards) by the very small amount necessary to negate the argument ( we are only talking about a few tenths of a degree Fahrenheit between the 1920’s and 1990’s anyway).

    I get back to the point. For most people it’s what they want to believe, (emotional) and the facts don’t really matter to them at all. In fairness it is much too hard to ask the average person to establish for him or herself what is really correct. They rely on the media, where unfortunately the ‘squeaky wheel’ syndrome often kicks in.

    That said, this blog is really about the election and “Climate Change” with or without “Global Warming’ is merely a peripheral issue.

  11. Re Grey:
    I wonder if the fact that Rudd is from a farming background and was forced to leave the farm when a child in pecunious circumstances is persuading some farming families to consider him. The drought is biting hard here in SA.

  12. Adam @ 350

    It’s still 16 seats me old mate. Speaking to a ALP candidate the other day in Sydney while handing out, she said: “It’s 16 seats … ” I don’t know if this was just a front, or she was speaking the truth, but she seemed concerned, not entirely confident. From past experience with candidates, it’s always doom and gloom, but …

    From my inept reading of the swings and roundabouts, it appears the libs have at least 16 seats under 5% – so if there is a swing on Howard is history.

    A favour, please. I bags the pleasure of digging a hole to bury his legacy. Once and for all. No privet, no parsley. Just a big rock.

    Hey! Let’s run a raffle … snags and a chook

  13. RE Grey
    thanks for the other comments. it appears that the iron triangle makes
    up less of the electorate than I thought.
    but I think it is still possible for an ALP win
    when Labor last held the seat 1987 & 1990 would they have still won
    on the current boundaries?
    Also what would have been the result of the SA state election figures
    transposed to Grey?

  14. Piping

    Re the water issue in SA, I know wine growers that have invested heavily in water conservation, using pipes and drip feeds when previously it was open trenches. But even with all this time and investment that are still at risk.

    I think Howard and co are also underestimating the horse flu backlash, it is not just the race horses as it looks like the rodeo’s and country shows will be at risk. These events are great togethers for people from the bush, I used to do the shows with stud bulls, drive up with them, sleep on the hay next to them and catch up with a lot of people, I’d say it would also be the same for those with horses. If we start to see more cancellations because of the flu there will be any unhappy people as the shows and rodeos also bring vistors and money to towns.

    All racing in Brisbane looks like it may be cancelled for two months, the news report these stories because of the racing industry but there is not much reported on its effectcs in the bush.

  15. 351
    Monica Lynagh aka Harry ‘Snapper’ Organs Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Monica, the sociologist in me can taste the beginnings of a new social revolution, with the environment issue being the opening act this time as the Vietnam War and the so called ‘second wave of feminism’ was in the 1960s.

    I don’t ascribe to the cynical view that our young people are all hell bent selfish hedonists with no patience. I think they are pissed off, and fair enough.

    Towit, change in what we value and ascribe to is afoot, our generation having gone too far to the right with our reliance on ‘the market’ to decide our fate and the new generations starting to question the outcome of this madness and looking for change.

    Social revolution is preceded by issues that threaten the future, like war. I think we will see a time when social values will overcome economic values once again and a balanced view of the world and the rights of all of its inhabitants will evolve into policy and politics that gives a damn about the disenfranchised once again, like those with mental health issues to live with.

    Why ? Because an economic system based on competition between individuals and groups of individuals [male-female, straight-gay, educated-uneducated, rich-poor, able bodied-disabled, adult-youth, mentally ‘sound’-people with MH issues;factory worker-doctor] must have an end point.

    You can not hide the social consequences of ‘the market’ policy base in ghetto like suburbs or nations forever, eventually you run out of places to corral those who miss out out their share of the ‘economic pie’ and eventually [witness reactions to WorkChoices] enough people will stand against it and demand change.

    Fairness and equity, social justice and looking after those not directly connected to ‘the market’ [the unemployed and unemployable] are returning to our political consciousness in the current ‘youth’ generation , but it will take another generation [20 years] for these core prinicples to return to the centre of Australian and Western world politics, thats of course if we don’t have another world revolution and wipe ourselves out in a world wide Christian-Muslim battle for the right to exist.

    I see in the environment issue hope for change and in Rudd the potential to begin the hard task of returning social values to the centre of our beleif system and our politics once again. Otherwise, we might as well become monks and spend the rest of our days hugging trees instead of trying to alleviate the social consequences of economic inequality, among other things, toss our AASW membership in the loo, get drunk and, stay drunk.

    The savage reaction to Workchoices and genuine concerns amongst our young people about the environment give me reason to hope for these stupid, idealistic hopes that i hold dear and keep me going to work.

    Cheers. No more Bluebottle rants, promise !

  16. As for the personal vote, isn’t it normally assumed to be only a few % points, with about 3% being considered a very strong personal vote?
    (the very rare exception being the occasional independent that does really well) Would like to see some research if anyone has it.

    I would imagine the personal vote (in general) to be smaller in a ‘safe’ seat
    (liberal or labor), as you would expect less activity (than in a marginal) by the local member. Also during election time, parties would not extensively campaign in these seats as it would be a waste of campaign resources (for either side)

  17. Ha Labor is not a centre-right party they have a centre-right ALP leader…all of you trash the Libs for being centre-right but to win if indeed that happens Rudd will have moved the ALP considerably to the right to win so then it is hardly the case that people have rejected right wing politics Rudd’s just moved himself so close to Howard on everything bar IR and the environment, Labor positives….the only thing Labor are really offering that any different is new leadership and a different IR policy if that’s their core policies…

    But if anybody thinks Gillard does not want to be Prime Minister you are living in la la land she helped Rudd become Opposition leader and who knows what kinds of deals KR has made with her…i should hope she doesnt become the first female Prime Minister the Liberals have a far more competent and less rough around the edges (politics is harsh isnt it) alternative in Julie Bishop!

    Julie Bishop has denied she’s going into State politics as a smear by the Labor Party trying to score points against another woeful state Liberal leader Paul Omedei…If the Liberals are beaten i wouldnt be surprised if she was elected deputy leader under Costello…

    It’s looking like General Wenck is being stopped just short of Berlin…still he may yet break through and make it but the longer the polls stay so bad the more potential Coalition voters are going to jump on the bandwagon…

  18. No Glen we don’t trash the Libs for being centre-right, we trash them for being extreme right. Ian Macphee was a centre-right MP, ie a principled liberal in the true sense of the word, and he got dumped for Count Dracula aka David Kemp. Similarly Bruce Baird, who never got off the backbench and is now being succeeded by a Hillsong nutter. Labor is a party of the broad centre – it has a left wing but we keep them on a short leash, while the far right is taking over the Libs before our eyes. You will be very sorry you did not prevent these crazies taking over your party, Glen – they will keep you in opposition for 20 years just as the Old Left kept us in opposition.

  19. I first became interested in politics in the early 1950’s. It seems to me that whenever the conservative side was able to successfully portray the ALP as excessively left (Reds under the beds etc under RGM for example) the coalition has been able to hold on to power.
    If the ALP becomes a true centre party (with slightly left leanings), and the coalition remains a centre/right party (perhaps with a few idealogical extreme right leanings ala JWH) then the make-up of the Australian population suggests that the ALP will become the natural choice for government in Australia and the coalition is likely to be consigned to more or less permanent opposition.

  20. Why can’t the Lib bunker get its s%%# together on those ads I’m paying for?? The ‘union’ heavies so-called , depicted bursting into an unsuspecting shop were sprung as correctional facility graduates. The ads then get pulled. As good a look as the one with the actor who had underpaid sub-contractors – the ads get pulled. Barbara Bennett (OK OK, she’s so smart and good lookin – it must be ‘the law-ah’) but the ads didn’t get a full run. The Workplace Authority ads with the inspector running around ‘checking’ AWAs – and there’s a backlog of tens of thousands of ’em. And thats just the ones with a shred of content. Look – I’m paying top dollar, get it right pls! (But bring back Barb.)

  21. Shrike

    Ta for that. Interesting that you think the bank stuff-up still resonates. Seems to me SA should go ALP. After all, you are civilised over there.

    Glen. Have you found ETHICS in the dictionary? It’s after D.

  22. No Adam the ALP were condemned for 20 years in Opposition because they split their party hahaha rather funny considering Menzies surely would have lost one or more elections had the DLP vote been in the ALP’s bag…disunity is death which is why if the Libs lose they have to stay united and get back to the basics and remind people of how well they ran the country for 11 years…the Howard years have been a success compared with the woeful 13 years of Hawke/Keating where just about all we got was a recession we had to have…

    Adam the problem with your statements about the Liberals being ‘radical right’ has only to do with IR nothing else whatsoever…and it is a weak argument the Liberals have watered its IR laws down and also because the Liberals have increased welfare payments to families something traditional Liberal Governments shunned…Australia still is a conservative country and if Rudd wins it will show how the ALP had to move way to the right to accommodate this fact…also the Libs wont be as far behind as the Tory’s in England we wont be 116 seats away from Government even with a Ruddslide lol!

  23. Nafe Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 11:27 am

    ” What exactly is she talking about, or rather, not talking about? Between 1984 and 1986 she worked full-time for Socialist Forum, a group that formed after another schism in the Communist Party of Australia, with the aim of advancing the socialist agenda in Australia. She served as a member of Socialist Forum’s management committee until 1993, well into her career as a lawyer.”

    Well I suppose that is what you get when a party really is a broad church, a bit of political diversity. She seems like a very intelligent women, she may even come out with some ideas, something a little up market from “look over there a red under the bed”.

  24. Gillard and Macklin must be friends they were both Communists back in the day…typical breading ground for Laborites lol…just as law school is for conservatives…

  25. Glen Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    …also the Libs wont be as far behind as the Tory’s in England we wont be 116 seats away from Government even with a Ruddslide lol!

    Famous last words…

  26. Chris Schacht said on radio today that transposing state election figures on to Grey would leave Labor about 5 percent short – but that Labor had barely campaigned in some of those state electorates such as Goyder (Yorke Peninsula) and Flinders (Eyre Peninsula).

  27. envy Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 6:54 pm
    The ALP used and paid thier poll workers to hand out for the Climate Change Coalition.

    That wrong and you know it

    I think it time to get over Balmain and Marrickville

  28. Sigh…

    Glen, please stop spouting rubbish about the Hawke-Keating governments. Those 13 years produced more economic reform than any other years in the last 40 years. The economic reforms that transformed the Australian economy from a protected basket case to it’s present healthy state. Indeed, your man Howard praised the very economy he took over.

    In 50 years time, when the partisan participants have left the scene, they will be seen as the key years for the rebirth of a competitive Australia.

    The Howard legacy will be written in terms of divisiveness, dishonesty and an unequalled opportunity wasted on the pyre of short term pork barrelling.

  29. Glen Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    “Rudd’s just moved himself so close to Howard on everything bar IR and the environment”

    Too true, the trouble is Labor has the left hand side, the Liberals the right, the right hand side is now so thin the Liberals are unelectable.

    You don’t have to be bright to see that if you move to the right someone will come up on the left. It would seem you have to be brighter than those that have taken over the Liberal party.

  30. Kina, John Key (NZ Nat Opp. Leader) is doing a good job perhaps a Kevin Rudd effort the honeymoon has turned into a marriage over in NZ the Nats came close in 2005 to knocking off Clarke but couldnt do it…hopefully they can smack the Labor Party in the next election…

    Bigbob sounds like the typical Labor criticisms of Howard despite what you think at least people didnt lose their jobs or homes because of the inability of Labor to manage the economy…that’s enough of a rant from me…

  31. Glen (370 and 377),

    General Wenck didn’t bother saving anyone in the bunker. He opened an escape route for ordinary Berliners to reach the American lines rather than be taken by the Soviets. There is no General Wenck to save the Coalition Government, but Kevin Rudd has opened an escape route for ordinary Liberal voters who want a better Australia.

    Perhaps you will revise your comment about Jenny Macklin given that she was supported in her preselection by the unarguably anti-communist SDA (Hello, Bill) against the Labor Unity nominee.

    Been There (372),

    The ALP has been the natural party of government for 60 years. The fact has simply been disguised by various electoral gerrymanders and the idiotic decision of the left-wing controllers in the 1950s to expel anti-communist members from the party.

  32. lol Chris the Liberal Party have since 1945 been the natural party of Government in Australia with a blip in the 70s and 80s…the Liberal Party has to go down as one of the most successful centre-right party’s in world politics…1949-72, 1975-83, 1996- compared to Labor’s 1945-9, 1972-5 and 1983-1996…

  33. Glen @ 375 says:

    Adam the problem with your statements about the Liberals being ‘radical right’ has only to do with IR nothing else whatsoever…and it is a weak argument the Liberals have watered its IR laws down

    Actually Glen, you really are supporting a party that is determinedly moving further and further to the socially conservative religious far right. These are people who are speaking openly about banning abortion and raising the age of consent – just read the link provided by Anthony Baxter (#295) to show the direction that the next generation of Liberals are headed in, and it sure ain’t in the socially progressive direction.

    These are people who are so determined to wrest control of the Liberal Party away from the centre that they preferred to lose the state election in NSW rather than have the ‘wet’ John Brogden win and keep power more firmly in the centre. And I would have voted for a party lead by Brogden, but there is no way in hell that I would vote for a party lead by people who spend most of their time thinking of ways to get involved in my personal life where they’re not welcome.

    If you are a ‘true believer’ Glen, then for the sake of all of us, take back control of your party. Stop these lunatics who are so intent on creating this Frankenstein of a party that wants to remove all regulation of business, but wants to regulate every aspect of a citizen’s private life to suit their peculiar outlook on morality.

  34. I can assure you fiztig i am not a part of the socially conservative religious far right (of which makes up a small part of our party). i am pro-choice and against raising the age of consent…i was thinking of putting money on Brogden to win but oh well…maybe the Libs should recruit him for Federal politics asif the Libs lose they’ll be an exodus of the old guard lots of free seats available…

  35. A-C Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 8:33 pm
    “However, to contend that they are redundant is in effect to argue that the conservatism or centre-right politics is redundant…”

    The republicans in the USA are done for, Howard is done for; center-right politics may not be redundant but they are definitely waining.

  36. Fiztig,


    A bit off topic, but I had a call from some ‘market research’ caller from Employers First (or whatever they call themselves) regarding the keep workplace reform tv advertisements. An interesting way to circumvent the telephone marketing legislation. They managed the recite the contents of each of the 4 advert series currently being run.

  37. And that’s why you, and others like you, need to speak up within the party Glen. Right now your party is being hijacked. That nasty business with the supposed outing of a minister was all about undermining a ‘wet’ liberal minister – they’re playing the numbers right now.

    This nasty little group is not called the ‘uglies’ by their fellow Libs for nothing!

  38. Chris Curtis (386)

    Exactly! For all the time the ALP has been in opposition, (all bar about 16 years since the middle 50’s if my memory serves me rightly), the coalition has been able to convince the electorate that the ALP was too left wing too be trusted in government. The ALP has to be SEEN as a party of the centre despite the other side’s propaganda.

  39. The polls have been consistently showing for 10 months a 2PP vote of 54-56 for the ALP since Rudd rise to the Opposition Leader. Nothing is going to change that, no matter what the Libs do. Every issue being raised currently is the ALP strength – IR, Climate Change, Environment, Health, Education. How ironic that the election may occur a week or two after another rate rise in November – hereby putting the final nail into the economic credibility of the government.

    All the Libs have left is fear and smear – and the people won’t and haven’t accepted this.

    Now we have a position where in 2 weeks it will 3 years from the last election and still no idea when this one is called. How many times has a government gone longer than 3 years? I reckon at most once or twice. JWH is desperatedlu looking like he is trying to hang onto power and this reconfirms that this is all about him and not the people (who it should be not him). JWH is going to see the destruction of his own party if the polls are right with a 8-9% swing (which is what the current 55-56 2PP represents) – what a legacy!

  40. Gollum asking the retiring members to stay on is a bit rich. Half of them are leaving because of him. Jackie Kelly is one of those, she’s been telling Gollum that all is not fabulous in the battlersville (Lindsay) for yonks but Gollum was too consumed with his precious power to listen. Fair play to her for leaving him to it.

  41. I think Howard knows he is about to lose. He is waiting as long as possible , trying to squeeze as many days into the history books as possible.

  42. Glen (387),

    1958 ALP+DLP 52.2 LP+CP 46.5
    1961 ALP+DLP 53.6 LP+CP 42.1
    1963 ALP+DLP 52.9 LP+CP 46.0
    1969 ALP+DLP 53.0 LP+CP 43.4
    = Four extra elections, covering 11 years, in which Labor was the natural party of government but could not win because of the Split.

  43. I haven’t wanted to get too optimistic, but there does seem to be a growing sense of the inevitable. There are a group of three women that I work with in their 30s who have only ever voted for the Libs, and yet they have said they will be voting Labor this time. It’s all about Workchoices – they use the “they went too far this time” kind of phrases.

  44. Glen @ 375

    the woeful 13 years of Hawke/Keating where just about all we got was a recession we had to have

    Really? How about:

    The national super scheme – which in large part has financed our current prosperity, such as it is
    Floating the dollar
    Began winding down tariffs – Howard has stuck to the plan Lab developed!
    Converted the labour market from centralised wage fixing to enterprise bargaining
    Deregulated the banking/finacial system
    Reformed the tax system – which saw Australia become the second lowest taxed OECD country – while we are now more heavily taxed than at any time in our history!
    Reconciliation with aboriginals – which Howard has tried to wind the clock back on ever since he was elected
    The sex discrimination act

    And what has Howard given us? The GST, Workchoices, detention camps and an illegal war. Not much in 11 years, huh?

    PS: And get down on bended knee and thank Whitlam for beginning the process of bringing China into the international community because if it wasn’t for them buying our minerals we’d be in deep economic poop ATM.

  45. For all the polls that we are getting, I can only remember seeing specific public or leaked polling for a few seats in the last couple of months. Does anyone keep an updated table/list on the individual seat polling/leaked polling?

    Something must have scared the horses re: Grey. I would love to see a decent sized poll for the most marginal coalition seats in SA as well. Which are those four or five marginals that Howard reckons the coalition are in front in? Solomon maybe? No doubt they think that they can just hold Wentworth and Bennelong? Where else? Stirling? None of these are entirely out of the question for mine.

    Seats I would like to see polling for, but don’t expect to see include Flynn, Calare, Corangamite, McEwen, Leichhardt and Kalgoorlie. If the Coalition is indeed ahead in some of the more marginals, then they must be in big trouble in a couple of these types of seats.

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