Phoney war dispatches: endless wait edition

• The past fortnight has seen much talk emerge from the Coalition camp of encouraging internal polling in sensitive seats. Tony Barrass of The Australian today reports that a Crosby-Textor poll conducted a fortnight ago had the Liberals on track to retain their 10 seats in Western Australia while also gaining another of the remaining five, Cowan. On Saturday, The Australian reported a “jump in the party’s support in the crucial seat of Bass”. This was apparently putting Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull under pressure to approve Gunns’ proposed Tamar pulp mill, regardless of the damage this would cause to his own position in Wentworth. The “senior Liberal source” behind the story reckoned that Turnbull’s seat was “not in trouble”.

• And yet, on the other hand, we also have reports the Liberals have begged Jackie Kelly, Warren Entsch, Kay Elson, Geoff Prosser, Trish Draper and Barry Wakelin to abandon their plans to retire, to improve the party’s chances of retaining their seats of Lindsay, Leichhardt, Forde, Forrest, Makin and Grey. Remarkably, Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that Liberal polling showed Grey, held by a margin of 13.8 per cent, would be lost unless Wakelin stayed on. It was further reported he had briefly agreed to do so before changing his mind again, with his nominated successor Rowan Ramsey urged to smooth the path by stepping aside.

• On the other side of the fence, Paige Taylor of The Australian talks of Labor polling which shows it set to double its margin in Brand, the outer southern Perth seat being vacated by former leader Kim Beazley.

• Labor MP Gavan O’Connor, who lost preselection in his seat of Corio to ACTU assistant secretary Richard Marles, raised eyebrows by declining to farewell parliament during last week’s presumed valedictory speech. Mark Davis of the Sydney Morning Herald speaks of “a frisson of anxiety in Kevin Rudd’s office” at the thought of O’Connor standing against Marles as an independent.

• A huge round of applause for Luke Miller and his revamped Cassandra Senate election calculator, which allows us to set quotas and input our own preference tickets. This means it can be used to play out any hypothetical scenario not only for both half and full Senate elections, but also for all mainland state upper houses.

• I abandoned the practice of fisking newspaper commentary on opinion polls early in the history of this site, because it seemed too much like shooting fish in a barrel. Give thanks that Possum Comitatus harbours no such qualms.

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.

382 comments on “Phoney war dispatches: endless wait edition”

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  1. VoterBoy of Over the Water : That will be the headline probably followed by a correction – Liberal hard-right revealed in manipulation of on-line polls in an effort to undermine Howard and install Kevin Andrews as new leader.

  2. Here it comes, the race card. Dealing from the bottom of the deck we have one Alan Wood, ‘economics editor’ of the GG.,25197,22482184-7583,00.html

    According to The Australian, acting as proxy for the Liberal Party, ethnic diversity is ‘strongly negative to social capital’. Labor will adopt corrupt immigration practices and the country will be flooded with dusky demons, yellow yoiks and burnished barbarians.

    Can someone please get on the blower to Richard Pratt and inform him that he has been declared a negative to Australia’s ‘social capital’ and that he is destined to end up in some street gang?

    It’s going to get dirty folks, and Rupert has the whips out…

  3. How any journalist with any professional self-respect can work for The Australian after its total prostitution to the Liberal party this year is beyond me.

    You know… I don’t think it’s helping either. It’s like reading the Al-Jazeera website.

  4. #348 VoterBoy of Over the Water Says: September 26th, 2007 at 12:30 am

    I’ve just revised my opinion on tomorrow’s Oz story.
    New headline: “Labor in Online Vote-Rigging Scandal”
    Lede: “OPPOSITION LEADER Kevin Rudd was dealt a new blow last night as evidence emerged of an orchestrated campaign by Labor supporters to rig online polls in favor of his party.
    “This comes just a few days after one mainstream poll indicated a shift back to the Government following a series of stumbles by Rudd and allegations of a sex-smear campaign against a prominent Federal minister.”
    (This stuff just writes itself, believe me…)

    Dude… don’t let us stop ya. That kind of talent deserves money! Sell the idea to the highest bidder! Milne needs a break… this could be just the headline he needs!!!

    I’ll understand.

  5. Yeah Mr Q 355

    That WA state voting intent is bizarre.

    The WA Liberals are effectively leaderless as Omodei has been publicly warned by his party to shape up and has been just as invisible since then.

    The Labor govt is getting a bit of criticism in the media for new laws which are claimed to legalise prostitution (but which do not).

  6. Pi #347. Glenn Milne last week managed to write a story that called on the Labor Party to dissociate itself from a sex smear with which (according to the very same Glenn Milne story) it had nothing at all to do. He then effectively accused Kevin Rudd of encouraging the spread of such smears, based on the fact that Rudd had not disciplined a union hack who had been smearing … umm, err … Rudd.

    I cannot hope to match Glenn Milne, Pi. He is in a league of his own. Increasingly, it sounds like the League of Rights, alas…

  7. The old racism card.

    Nothing else has worked so far. The people failed to go all xeonphobic and fearful over Haneef, are now embarassed over our detenion centres and The Australian wants to be Howard’s proxy purveyor of xenophobia?

    The GG no longer has journalists, it is hard to describe what they are. They must sit around every day trying to think of ways to help Howard back into office.

    Trash paper which I no longer will buy and I shall stop buying goods from their top 3 sponsors [once I work out who they are] and write to them and tell them so and, for what reason. Damned if any of my money is going to help the GG and damned if I will buy anything from people who give them money.

  8. #
    kina Says:
    September 26th, 2007 at 2:15 am

    Damned if any of my money is going to help the GG and damned if I will buy anything from people who give them money.

    Careful now. I hear that that sort of secondary boycott is illegal these days.

  9. 51-49 aye? Get Julie bishop over there and they’ll be a shoo-in.

    Any word on a NSW state newspoll? from previous years there has always been one released in September. I’d expect that to be close (If not having the coalition in the lead)

  10. Baz @ 280.

    Nice one. Either they squeak through with a few broken timbers, or they are crushed and thrown into the angry maw of the ocean.

    I still like Antonty’s original image as well. He could still use it, but not use its name.

  11. Showson #324

    Australia will meet its Kyoto target because it has the highest target of all countries (108% of 1990 levels).

    Therefore out of all the countries Australia had the ‘easiest’ job in terms of reaching their target. Despite that the protocol was still ignored by Howard.

    Regardless, IIRC Australia is using some spurious accounting to claim they will meet the target. Some will argue Australia will far exceed the target rather than meet it.

    Despite what Howard/Bush say, is very important. Without it the world’s ‘thinking’ on the subject would be light years behind what it is now.

    I did my PhD thesis on the economics of climate change and it is very frustrating to see the amount of disinformation about climate change in the media.

  12. @ 368 Jarusa Says:

    I did my PhD thesis on the economics of climate change and it is very frustrating to see the amount of disinformation about climate change in the media.

    I agree Jarusa. The one that really fires me up is that energy efficiency would cost too much. When in fact a lot of money can be saved.

  13. Australia will meet its Kyoto target because it has the highest target of all countries (108% of 1990 levels).

    And also because of the one-off emissions reduction created by the reduction in land clearing in Qld and NSW.

    Kyoto sceptics like to bag the performance of Canada relative to Australia but interestingly if you exclude the Land Use, Land Use Change & Forestry Sector (which many people say you should because it is highly influenced by arbitrary starting points for the accounting) the performance of the two countries is almost identical.

  14. It was reported in today’s ‘Weekly Times’ that Danny Lee, who’s the public spokesman for an irrigation group in the Mildura area, is going to run as an independent in Mallee. I don’t know anything about him other than some (rather inflammatory) quotes reported in the Melbourne papers, but one might imagine that an independent with a reasonable profile, running a populist campaign on water issues, could have some potential in that seat (this could also apply in other irrigation seats, of which Murray, Riverina, Farrer and Barker would be the most significant).

  15. I’ve been sent an email by the Climate Change Coalition advising of their new website
    and announcing candidates for the election.

    Does anyone know anything about this group? Are they a front for someone, or an attempt to divert greeny voters away from the Greens? In the NSW state election, where did they direct their preferences?

  16. The Climate Change Coalition are a frount for the ALP,

    The Climate Change Coalition lied about their preferances to voters on polling day

    The Climate Change Coalition directed preferances to the ALP and stoped the Green getting up in Port Jackson

    The CCC are an ALP frount

    The CCC cozied up to Green worker and plonked their HTV’s ,A-frames next to The Greens.

    The CCC workers were seen taking off ALP T-shirts and putting on CCC T-shirts.

    The CCC booth workers were paid $100 for the day.

    Bus loads of backpackers were trucked in.

    Photos to follow.

  17. 374 envy Says: September 26th, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    The Climate Change Coalition are a frount for the ALP,

    I’m sorry Envy… but wasn’t it the liberal supporters that handed out deceptive how-to-vote cards to green voters, different from the actual green party how-to-vote cards, in order to get their preferences?

    The liberals are in not position to point fingers at anyone, regarding their relationship to green issues, or green parties.

    Recommendation 48
    The Committee recommends that the AEC review sections 340 and 348 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act with a view to addressing issues of “misleading conduct” on polling day.
    Several electorates on polling day 2004 saw the distribution of how-to-vote cards which were clearly designed to mislead voters into voting for a party they did not intend to vote for. This was particularly obvious when the manner in which these cards were distributed is taken into account. The Government members of the Committee devoted a great deal of time to expounding their view that the Government candidate in the Division of Richmond was defeated as a result of a deceptive how-to-vote card distributed by the Liberals for Forests group. We do not believe that the Government members proved this to be the case, but we agree with those Government members who argued that the manner in which a card is distributed must be taken into account, not just the content of the card itself, as the Act currently provides.
    Government members tried to have it both ways on this question, by condemning what they saw as the misleading distribution of the Liberals for Forests card in Richmond, while condoning a clearly well-orchestrated campaign by the Liberal Party to deceive Australian Greens voters in the Division of Melbourne Ports by the blatantly misleading distribution of a green-coloured how-to-vote card. It was probably not a good idea for the Liberal Party to organise this stunt in the electorate of the Deputy Chair of this Committee.

  18. electorial misbehaviour practiced by both ALP/LIB, directed at the Greens, is proof of the threat the Greens pose to the snug 2PP regime opperated by the powers that be.

    Thanks for the link Pi.

  19. I don’t have faith in the Labor Party anymore…

    All I know is Howard has to go… but I think the Nat Executives of the NSW Labor Party Branch … (well one inparticular) is a lying… manipulative… snake…

    Go the Greens?

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