Sources for courses

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald informs us that Labor internal polling conducted a fortnight ago points to an unlikely sounding 13 per cent swing in North Sydney, enough to tip Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey out of his blue-ribbon seat. This might easily be dismissed as a Labor diversionary tactic, but the report also refers to “suggestions in the Liberal Party in recent weeks” that Hockey might be in trouble. I was about to protest that such talk is familiar from the 2004 election, but Coorey’s source again pre-empts me: Hockey really had been struggling going into that campaign, but “Mark Latham’s attack on private schools helped revive his fortunes”.

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.

776 comments on “Sources for courses”

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  1. This is it. Don’t tell Crikey:

    Christian Kerr writes:

    More and more, the consensus is that parliament will return the week after next. And why wouldn’t it?

    Crikey understands that the Government’s internal polling has it lagging nationally by 10.6%. We are told of one safe seat with a buffer of almost 14%, where the swing against the government is currently running two points higher at 16%.

    “We are still governing. We are doing things,” the Prime Minister said on ABC Radio in Brisbane a couple of days ago. “If we were not governing, if we were spending every day just attacking the Labor Party and not making any announcements and not doing our job as the elected government of the country, then you would have a right to say to me ‘Stop mucking around, Mr Howard – name the date’. “

    He’s got a point. It’s Labor drumming up election fever. Why wouldn’t they?

    The PM is trying to look strong. Labor wants to make him look scared. Voters will decide who is more convincing.

  2. The discussion this afternoon about the election being called made me think about how Howard always uses qualified language so that he can later reinterpret what he really said to show that black actually means white.

    I’m willing to bet that the PM’s Office has been poring over the transcripts where he said the election would be held by early December – looking for example at whether he mentioned which year…

    At this stage every day that you delay holding the election is a day longer sitting in the big white car, flying with 34 Squadron (‘The people’s airline’), having flunkies grovel to you, amassing more superannuation, and, most importantly, living at Kirribilli, which Hyacinth adores.

    And given that only a miracle can stop you losing all this, every day that you delay holding the election is one more day in which a miracle may occur.

    Come to think of it, I bet that the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is having another look at the Constitution and Commonwealth Electoral Act just to check whether the provisions which say that the election must be held no more than 68 days after the expiry of the House really are quite that categoric …

    And Hyacinth is still saying each morning when the PM wakes up: “it would be so nice to have just one more Christmas and New Year at Kirribilli”…

  3. Howard has said the election will be early December at the latest. “Early” could mean either the 1st or the 8th. But it would be hard for him to make it the 15th.

    If he leaves it until January he will lose by 50 – 60 seats, including his own.

    I still don’t think parliament will be recalled. Most likely he will announce the election Sunday week. What would he gain by recalling parliament?

  4. Maybe everyone could kick in $10 so Morgan can pay his excess download fees… he should try the Paypal thing.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the Morgan Reactor worm? Do a pollbludger reactor to the reactor!

  5. Im waiting for my poll
    26 marginals on the go
    Up to Yarralumla, 125
    Feelin sick and dirty
    more dead than alive
    Huh, Im waiting for my poll

    Hey PM, what you doin uptown
    Hey PM, you chasin the swingers around
    Pardon me sir, its furthest from my mind
    The ads are government business, not mine
    Im waiting for my poll, come on!

    Here he comes, he’s all dressed in track
    Nike shoes and akubra hat
    He wont call early, and we need a date
    First thing you learn is that you always gotta wait
    Im waiting for my poll

  6. The Morgan Poll headline says “Labor Primary Support Remains Above 50%”, which doesn’t tell us much given it was reported at 54% last week!

  7. Ha, that’s funny. 66/34 doesn’t seem that far off really, does it? I’d like to see 61/39 on a galaxy poll… that would be fun to watch.

  8. Yes, Crispy, I too am surprised that Gary Morgan is sticking with that one. Plus he’s pointing out that some 20% of voters make up their mind on the day. Can’t understand why a pollster would (effectively) say “really there’s no reason to believe my figures at all”.

  9. I think all of the pollsters are having difficulty believing their own figures. Can the polls really be that bad for the coalition? I think the polls will close over the campaign from a total wipe out to a conservative annahilation.

  10. Re ruawake:

    “National Party down to 2% – Sorry just getting in before Glen”

    He’s really behind the 8-ball this week! Morgan’s thrown him off by releasing late. Not to worry… I’m sure we’ll get to see this argument played out all in good time.

  11. I know Morgan has been weird of late, but 2 weeks in a row with the same value (gives a MOE over the 2 weeks of about 2.3%) does seem something might be up. Maybe people aren’t seeing the ‘Howard/Costello Team’ that was promised, so the vote is moving back to pre-leadership speculation heights. Any further drop in LNP primary has to be rust so the question remains, anyone know a good rust remover? That way we can get maybe the LNP primary down below 30%. Most rust you just have to cut out, some of the surface rust can flake off.

  12. Lefty E,

    “Here he comes, he’s all dressed in track” has made my day.

    I have never before thought of JWH and the Velvet Underground in combination. It is an hilarious thought.

    If Crikey reckons Liberal polling is 55.3/44.7 (look Ma, I can do maths!), why do we keep hearing that their internal polling is different? That is well and truly on line with all the public polls.

  13. # 764 – Hey Crispy, more and more it is apparent to me that the electorate believe the country is headed in the right direction because they believe the country is about to elect the Ruddmeister as PM.

  14. Yeah, CB, I think Morgan is into a fair amount of arse-covering, given the very high gaps in the numbers and certain previous unfortunate polling train wrecks. Or perhaps Gary can’t help joining the govt cheer squad from time to time.

    There’s a bizarre piece in Crikey today from their betting market ‘commentator’ Percy the Punter, which is pure govt boosterism. The election ‘race’ hasn’t even started, we don’t know the jockey’s colours, we don’t know the weight in their saddle bags apparently.

    As if the election hasn’t been running for weeks. As if something’s going to change magically when the writs are issued.

  15. Snakeboy slithers in! And on the money, too! Conversely, the 5% of Liberal voters who say the country is ‘seriously heading in the wrong direction’ are thinking of the same Rudd victory. Poor sausages.

  16. Matt D
    that 55.3/44.7 internal Lib poll was in their words “nationwide” . Now I’ll bet that they didn’t bother polling in safe Alp seats.. but we know they did poll in at least one safe (14% margin) Lib seat.
    This would mean that a complete poll would show figures close to, or worse than Morgan’s.
    I’d like to say “roll on Nov 24”, but JWH seems to bunkered down at Kirribili sending frantic counter attack orders to the Afrika Corps, which was unfortunately deported by K Andrews.

  17. KT #747
    “The implication in the email is that the margin of said seat is around 14% (swing is 2% more than margin). McPherson is around there, though I think Grey is a good candidate (and that would explain Howard begging Wakelin to stay).”

    Here is an interesting factoid I’ve heard [which I presume is accurate].
    Only 1 retiring [Coalition?] member has NOT made his/her valedictory speech.
    Barry Wakelin of Grey.

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