Newspoll part two

The Australian today brings us a second round of figures from the weekend Newspoll survey. It shows that in spite of everything, the Prime Minister is rated the leader “more capable of handling Australia’s economy” by 48 per cent to Kevin Rudd’s 33 per cent, while Peter Costello leads Wayne Swan as “most capable of managing Australia’s economy as federal treasurer” by 53 per cent to 21 per cent. The Prime Minister is also rated the leader “most capable of keeping interest rates lower”, although his lead over Rudd has narrowed since last month.

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.

693 comments on “Newspoll part two”

  1. 641
    Autocrat Says:
    October 3rd, 2007 at 4:38 pm
    I have no doubt that a Labor government will fix up this mess pretty quickly.

    I hold no such optimism. The ALP’s history on refugee processing is hardly what I’d call glorious.

    While I didn’t grow up in this country, I know that the Labor party has had issues in the past. Imho, though, when held up against Naru (sp?) and sundry dentention camps through out mainland Australia and Howard’s immigration policies, anything looks good. Autocrat, I will always remain optimistic. There is only one way to go with immigration policy at the moment and that is up, getting better.

  2. The number of immigrants under Howard have hit record numbers, he uses refugees to hide this figure.

    Will the Govt. release figures on 457 visas?

    Another case of look at the facts, not the words.

  3. Hugo @ 648,

    It isn’t quite that easy. I just wouldn’t feel right doing it, calling her out on it, I mean. However, if it comes up again in conversation and I am not the topic raiser, I will ask her to explain to me why she feels that way. It might help me to understand a little bit. Then I can make a better determination if it is possible to change her viewpoint on it. I am not going to fight a loosing cause by trying to change the view points of someone who is a rusted on believer and supporter of something.

    If someone came along and tried to convert me to NRL, it wouldn’t work. My footy = AFL only. Same logic.

  4. It is racist and it is dog-whistle politics. There was no need to announce this through the media, with the underlying assumption that foreigners = bad.

    Australia is a multicultural nation. Even if all immigration were to stop now that fact would remain, and that needs to be acknowledged for starters. There are people of many ethnic backgrounds in Australia, and the policies of the government should be about making a symbolic and material attempt to give us a sense of nation in which we all can live. (btw the last census figures showed about 42% of Australian have at least 1 o/s born parent).

    This is a sad and desparate thing to do on the eve of an election…maybe even more mean than the Haneef bungle, and I hope Howard and Andrews get doubly punished for playing a game like this. Petty, petty men.

  5. Julie, I’d quietly drop her. No big deal… just “unavailable” for future social occasions. I’ve done this a couple of times – on the same subject – in the past few years.

  6. Also, a movement from the orthodoxy of Australia’s multicultural policies of the last several decades (and they are still there in spite of Howard’s stance) would be more radical than the so-called evils of mc. Howard would do anything to shift this, however the economy, and the way that Australia functions will not let him. Have a look at this Gittins article for a few basic numbers, including Howard’s initial cut of immigration, then its swift (but quiet) reinstatement (notwithstanding the fact that the word ‘multiculturalism’ seems even more difficult for him to pronounce than ‘retire’):

  7. Julie (652) – I’m not suggesting that you try and “convert” your fellow bowler, but rather that you tactfully let your friend know that racist diatribes are not really your thing. This doesn’t have to mean the end of your friendship, but it will let the other know that they can’t just mouth off to anyone. The fact that you two are close-ish means that she may well listen to you. I know from similar experiences that you are highly unlikely to change her mind on this topic, but hopefully she will no longer assume that everyone agrees with her. I can understand your reticence – no one likes to make a scene – but remember the old saying that evil prospers when good men (or in this case women) do nothing.

  8. BushFireBill, sounds like a plan. Hugo, I am not that close to her, there are about 6 dozen ladies in my club and all but 4 or so are older, much more so, than I am [I’m 46]. In our club, it is more polite chit chat rather than good friends, if that makes any sort of sense? And at any rate, it will be a moot point soon, I am moving house this summer and will be necessity be at a different club come February (and a different electorate too). I have just learned to make no assumptions at all about anyone from this experience ;-).

    I have, however, made another fast political friend at the club when I was able to put the puzzle pieces together a month or so ago to figure out one lady was a rusted on Labor voter. Hardly any of the elderly ladies at my club are so it was a pleasant fact to find out, for both of us ;-D

  9. @ 607 ShowsOn Says:

    If Labor want to end the government’s senate majority as soon as possible, why don’t they put the Green candidate at the top of their senate tickets for N.T. and the A.C.T.

    @ 608 Call the election please Says:

    … possibly because they want their own candidate to be elected?
    If a Greens candidate is elected along with the Liberal/CLP candidates then it makes no difference. What’s needed is for the Greens to win the seats over the Lib/CLP candidate.

    What if the ALP were to run only one Senate candidate in the ACT?
    Could that help?

  10. Julie (658) – fair enough. In truth, I was just using your situation to make a more general point. For a long time I used to get highly uncomfortable when things like that get said, but I never said anything. However, as I’ve got older (I’m now 41), I’ve got a bit braver. It’s not in my nature to have a go at someone I don’t know so well over politics, but racism is another matter. It’s nothing but ignorance, with pernicious effects, and it needs to be challenged whenever we come across it.

    However, I’ll grant you that your subsequent games of bowls might be a bit uncomfortable….

  11. Haven’t had a chance to read Poll Bludger all day, but I liked this:

    Howard Hater Says:
    October 3rd, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Labor will be doing well to get 80 seats, but something closer to 100 would be especially sweet.
    I’ll stick to my prediction of:
    79 Labor
    69 Rodent’s Forces Of Darkness
    2 Windsor/Katter

    Sounds like a sequel to Tolkein 🙂

  12. Bill,

    Not that I’m doubting you but how do the Greens win Kingston when you were even out polled by Family First at the last election? How do you win a seat with only four and a half thousand votes?

  13. In relation to post 622:

    The Woolworths CEO Michael Luscombe was having a bob each way on inflation today. While saying internal inflation was low, he also predicted big hikes in the prices of bakery goods, meat, eggs and others.

    So either prices are just rising a little, or they’re going up a lot because of the drought.

  14. paul k Says:
    October 3rd, 2007 at 6:57 pm


    Not that I’m doubting you but how do the Greens win Kingston when you were even out polled by Family First at the last election? How do you win a seat with only four and a half thousand votes?

    Wink! LOL

  15. #616 Hugo,

    Yep, I agree. The other thing Rudd is doing is reminding people of international law and institutions like the International Criminal Court. Under the Howard regime, these have been treated with utter contempt.

    Ah, dare we hope for a PM who actually respects such institutions? Someone who is inclusive of the world community, rather than divisive and a clone of G.W. Bush?

    Oh, please, please. Rudd has the makings of a statesman, something Howard could never be.

  16. Julie, IMHO, never, never, ever, let anyone get away with rascist comments, no matter how uncomfortable others may feel, because a rascist comment unchallenged, is a rascist comment endorsed, i.e., “silence gives assent”. A useful tactic in these sort of situations is to ask, very politely, whether the person has any direct experience of X group, what was that experience, are they relying on what has been relayed to them by others, have they ever experienced the same sort of difficulties themselves, have any member of their families ever experienced such difficulties, and so on. You keep up the questioning, ever so politely, until they splutter to a standstill. What will be revealed is that there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity, one of them is curable. Graeme at 650, I was also puzzled and somewhat uncomfortable about this. I thought, well yes, he’s pitching to the vote of people affronted by Holocaust denialism and making some sort of stab at how Labor might address the potential threat of a nuclear armed Iran, but really, what a way to do it. Like I said on an earlier thread, ages ago, about the small target response to the Tamar Valley pulp mill proposal, when he could have said something like “We’ll wait to see what the evaluation says”, speaks to me of him trying too hard and doing stupid things. Oh well, I suppose we’re all entitled to do something stupid from time to time, we’re just exercising our rights, but I just want Rudd to think more of his responsibility ( to win) than his rights at the moment.

  17. The rank and file members are worried that the ALP will shaft us and we wont have a voice under an ALP government. Just received a letter from the national office wanting me to help the ALP om polling day HAHA. interesting though they promote the ALP but say that parts of their policy disappoints them. No mention of the Greens policy or the Senate. looks like the AMWU will dissolve into the right during an ALP government then Adam etc can dance for joy that there wont be an opposition

  18. Bill Weller –
    just want to send you good wishes. i had my launch last night for a senate spot for The Greens (held in a v. conservative electorate). The response was fantastic. i think people are fed up with the manufactured pollies – got a great response from non-Greens. We don’t flood them with glossy, tabloid rubbish and we work and live in local communites. And we are not secretly radical evangelical Christians.
    all the best, and fingers crossed.

  19. Labor will have do whatever it takes to win this election. No point at all in appearing ‘right’ but always in opposition seeing more and more wrong being done.

    Rudd could dress in drag and profess faith in the devil if that will give Labor victory. After victory it is of course a different story.

  20. Has anyone read this from the Bulletin. It was produced by a lobbist firm who is going to send it out to 1000 businesses. It has a complete run down of Rudd and his relationships with the media, shadow ministers, tips on how Rudd would want to streamline the government by bringing Senior Treasury and other senior department heads under the Prime Ministers department for wider consultation.

    It’s fascinating reading.

  21. Bill Weller,

    You are right to be worried. Many of our fellow commenters appear to be an ironic echo of 1983 “jobs’jobs’jobs” except it will be staffer jobs for party hacks.

  22. Adam,

    Will you be putting your hand up for something if Rudd wins?

    Will you be silenced if you do? Or is it hagiography for you from now on? (Unless Sanjay and the Possum force you out?)

  23. I would have thought the first and only order of the day is to defeat the Howard govt or forever and ever hold our peace, because there wont be much of a chance after that.

    It is total madness at this stage to make assumptions about what Labor and Rudd have really changed [you wont know until after the election] and it ignores that Rudd’s strategy is 100% to keep all the horses quiet, the wedges in shackles and to gut Howard.

    It is a little cute to worry about the color of the guns in the midst of a battle.

  24. Kina, agree. Defeated, humiliated, caste into the electoral wilderness, drawn inexorably into the political vortex of ‘go away and have a very long and hard think about what subscribing to neo con politics gets you’, and come back later when you’ve got something useful to say. Much later.

  25. [ The rank and file members are worried that the ALP will shaft us and we wont have a voice under an ALP government. ]

    Ralph Nader killed Al Gore’s chance to be President by robbing Gore of valuable votes from the left which would have put him over the line and won him the election. End result the lefties got their failed candidate Ralph Nader and one President George Walker Bush.

    In the same way, I always shudder when I hear these far lefties carry on about not trusting Rudd and how superior they are because they don’t want to be pragmatic when it comes to trying to win the election. If the extreme lefties had it their way Howard would be PM for ever and a day. The left is it’s own worst enemy.

  26. #675 Kina…a good post. Now you are talking like a pragmatist and about something all ALP barrackers have to keep in mind until election day. Good politics (of the winning elections variety) is not a moral crusade. It is about compromise, finding the middle ground and eschewing extremism which, unfortunately, exists in (equally) bad and repugnant measure on both sides of the political spectrum. Usually your posts are far too partisan so I am now looking forward to more objective and persuasive analyses from you.

  27. 679
    kina Says:

    It is a little cute to worry about the color of the guns in the midst of a battle.

    Well put. I’m beginning to think the hard left and hard right deserve each other.

  28. 679 Kina

    Fighting for the new jerusalem are we?

    You remind me of those who got purged by Stalin many went to the firing squad saying “if only comrade stalin knew..”

    Your football team might win but so what! How is life going to be different? I dare say if people want the conservative alternative they’ll vote for the real thing not the imitation Coke!

    Perhaps you’ll find Yasmine Anadyr there too comrade.

  29. Julie, on this stuff.

    Three years ago I met an absolute Liberal voter woman, many years my senior, we have developed and sustained a firm friendship.

    Yes, we argue about politics, from our opposing sides, but respectfully, and agree on certain things. She challenged me recently, casting me as one who would never vote other than Labor. I gave her instances of doing exactly that and provided my reasons for so doing.

    All taken in and challenged her to think otherwise. Most of it is about stuff like Labor destroying economy, fear of unions and other nonsense.

    I talk about direction and vision.

    Her late and second (academic) husband was an ardent Labor voter who suffered terribly before his death with auto immune condition. My friend looked after him at home, no matter what.

    I pointed out to my (senior) friend that she could hardly regard the services she and her husband had received as ideally arranged or delivered under the various HACC and other programs. As she well knows and she is looking to her future.


  30. [ if people want the conservative alternative ]

    Edward St John,

    People don’t want a conservative alternative. They want a moderate government which puts the nations interests first. They aren’t getting that from Howard. If Rudd can convince people he not beholden to the left or the right he’ll win. Rudd is closer to being a true moderate than Howard. Howard is a reactionary, not a conservative.

  31. Paul K 687

    Hello?? “Rudd is closer to being a true moderate than Howard.”

    What part of I am an economic conservative exactly dont u understand?

  32. I have voted both Labor and Liberal [even Howard] over the years and will continue to chop and change but this election is really the only one that has ever had me concerned.

    Many of us are concerned as to what will happen to our democracy if Howard was given another 3 years [not to mention WorkChoices], we are worried about the weakening of the position of opposition and their ability to compete in the future.

    I hope Rudd wins and is a great success but even as a failure his victory would serve a greater good, by breaking the hold of the LNP and their control over so many things. Hopefully it will also serve to reinvigerate the unions and their membership and, I am hoping he has a policy later to help promote this. You bet I am partisan.

  33. Oh Dear 🙂

    [A Labor candidate in Western Australia has apologised to Kevin Rudd for referring to him as a “filthy Liberal” earlier this year.

    The Labor candidate for the federal seat of O’Connor, Dominic Rose, made the comment when writing for his university newspaper, The Pelican, saying Mr Rudd had abandoned the party’s left-leaning principles.

    But he says he was ignorant when he wrote the article, and was just trying to be sensationalist.

    Mr Rose says Mr Rudd now has his full support.

    “A very misinformed position I was coming from, a lot of the things I said in the article couldn’t be backed up, and I really was just trying to be controversial, that’s all,” he said.

    “There was nothing in particular I was referring to, I’ve apologised for my statement.”]

  34. Edward StJohn

    Rudd is attracting small l Liberals because he is a moderate. Howard is losing them. If you can’t recognise that Rudd is the moderate and Howard is the extremist than it says more about your own mindset than anything else.

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