Westpoll: 53-47 in WA

The West Australian today carries its monthly Westpoll survey of around 400 voters, which shows Labor’s two-party lead in WA increasing to 53-47 from 51.6-48.4 last month. Compared with the 2004 election results, this points to a swing to Labor of 8.4 per cent – which would shift Stirling, Hasluck and Kalgoorlie and endanger Canning (which most reckon more likely to fall than Kalgoorlie, despite the margins). However, Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 47-41 to 45-43. No primary vote figures are provided.

Hat tip to Barry.

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.

527 comments on “Westpoll: 53-47 in WA”

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  1. The run of news has been against Howard this year.

    Droughts and water shortages
    Hicks and Haneef
    No boats on the horizon but equine flu slip in from left field
    Interest rates keep ticking up

    on it goes

    No killer blows but they have all eaten away and the govt and provided no wedge issues – no tampas this year.

    Swings and roundabouts I guess. Howards was lucky with S11 and the Tampa (although you have to credit him with the rat cunning to exploit them) he was lucky with the “Latham experiment”. This year nothing Labor has learnt its lessons and is playing a very controlled game – not even the Wallibies can give him a boost.

    I recall in 1983 the drought broke only after the ALP was elected. I wonder if the fates are repeating themselves.

  2. Arbie, i must admit i avoid both the Albritchsen and Akerman blog sites like the plague, why waste my time reading spite when i know it’s spite, i can tolerate Shanahan in small doses he’s not in the same catagory as them, he does try to hide his bias sometimes, Price can be a tiny bit biased at times but at least he’s amusing

  3. The Australian’s “invisible candidate” Nicole Cornes had another big photo in the Sunday Mail today. Her street corner meeting of about 40 Boothby constituents is reported under the headline ‘I’ll be there for you: Cornes’. She says she’s strong and tough and won’t let them down.

    On the same page it’s reported that Family First has had talks with Cornes, Labor’s Kingston candidate Amanda Rishworth and Adelaide MHR Kate Ellis. Family First MLC Dennis Hood said preferences would be decided on a candidate-by-candidate basis rather than on party lines.

  4. Judy

    Piers and Shannanhan both appear to block posts they don’t want, Shannahan has a few times closed his comments early when he was getting hammered for his views. Piers site looks like he is talking to himself at times. Tim Dunlop, and William here will allow all views to be expressed, which is good as it means that dubious posts do not go unchalleneged.

  5. I was pleased to see two from the Right on Insiders. I’d like to see some debate between two from that side of the political spectrum.

    Piers Akerman is still going on about the Heiner Affair on his blog. Some background will provide the context for my comments. The National Party Government of Queensland set up an enquiry into the management of a youth detention centre. The enquiry was into management, not child abuse. The enquiry was in the hands of a magistrate, Mr Heiner. When the Goss Government was elected, it was advised that the enquiry had not been properly set up and that those making statements to the enquiry did not have legal privilege. The Cabinet was advised that it could legally order the destruction of the documents to protect those persons and it did so. There is legal opinion that in doing so it acted illegally. This is a matter of some importance and there have been all sorts of enquiries into it over the last 17 years.

    Its resurfacing now as a smear requires two further tenuous connections: an alleged rape and Kevin Rudd as the Labor leader. A girl at the centre being enquired into was allegedly raped and has never had the alleged rapist charged. The alleged rape was not part of the enquiry and the magistrate conducting it has said that there was no evidence of it in any of the material that came before him. In other words, the shredding of the documents has no bearing on any rape case. Kevin Rudd was chief of staff to Wayne Goss at the time the cabinet ordered the destruction of the documents, not a member of the cabinet, not someone with executive authority. If you read the various blogs on the whole affair, you will find it hard to find any actual allegation against Kevin Rudd, but you will find three things mentioned in a way to create a connection in your mind: 1) the alleged rape, 2) the destruction of the (irrelevant) documents, 3) Kevin Rudd’s position in the Queensland Government at the time.

    The only person I am aware of in the media running the story is Piers Akerman. (Andrew Bolt has mentioned it once some time ago.) Liberal attackers like Tony Abbott don’t mention it. Even Bill Heffernan has not mentioned it. This suggests the Liberals realise that there is no mileage in it at all.

    The girl who was allegedly raped deserves justice, but none of the commentary is really about her. If you want to see how the smear is presented, google “Truth of Sydney”. In fact, it was only last week that I learnt the shredded documents made no mention of the alleged rape so misleading has been the presentation of comments on this matter.

  6. If I were Lenore Taylor I would have let rip at Mr Toad this morning. That slimy grin on his face as he deliberately twisted her words into an attack on John Buchanan was enough to set me off.

    Insiders would be greatly improved if they sacked Akerman. Unlike Henderson and Bolt, he doesn’t even *try* to be his own man. Cringeworthy.

  7. It is pretty poor having Akerman as a commentator. However it was interesting how the dynamics changed with the two conservatives on the panel – Barry didn’t seem to need to moderate and control on their behalf and ripped in a little more than usual. He wasn’t at all happy about Andrews, and gave Piers much less rope than he usually does.

  8. “I recall in 1983 the drought broke only after the ALP was elected. I wonder if the fates are repeating themselves.” #401 Albert.

    Funny you should mention that, Albert. In our local rag, The Warrnambool Standard, yesterday one of the lead stories was on an interview with an Aboriginal Ranger at Tower Hill Reserve.

    He mentioned that kangaroos and various native birds are breeding, and a long-necked turtle has been sighted (and photographed in the story), the first of any such activity at Tower Hill in several years. He said that kangaroos have a biological mechanism which switches off from breeding during drought periods. He claims it’s a sure sign that more rain is to come. (Actually, the Warrnambool district has done pretty well for rain in the past month anyway.)

    So, maybe that’s yet another positive omen for Labor.

  9. Political Reporting for Bubs (pp4, The Sun-Herald, 7/10/07) by one Michelle Singer.

    Howard points out he is still governing the country and there is more work to be done before calling an election.

    Last par: “I made a very important announcement on autism last week; it’s been very warmly received. Three or four people mentioned that to me this morning as I wandered around the shopping centres.”

    Two points: 1) Take a break, mate. The work to be done requires heavy lifting and a strong, capable team. 2) Old codgers should not be allowed to loiter around shopping centres. Unhealthy.

  10. “I recall in 1983 the drought broke only after the ALP was elected. I wonder if the fates are repeating themselves.” #401 Albert.
    Another follow up to that comment came from Alan Kohler the other night on ABC News. Australia is wetter under an ALP Government! Apparently the stats have been collected on average rainfall under Labor and Liberal and we get more rain when we elect Labor Governments. I think it would make a good advertising campaign for Labor in the bush.

  11. [The only person I am aware of in the media running the story is Piers Akerman. (Andrew Bolt has mentioned it once some time ago.) Liberal attackers like Tony Abbott don’t mention it. ]

    Barnaby Joyce tried to table documents relating to the Heiner affair in the Senate, however it was rejected by both the Liberal and Labor parties.

  12. 13
    Mr Squiggle Says:
    October 6th, 2007 at 7:51 am
    Hi BlueBottle,

    I have to say I agree with you about WA not having much for labor, but can’t agree about the need for three states.

    Aren’t the numbers showing Labor will get ovet the line just on VIC and NSW alone?

    Hi Mr Squiggle:

    I am speculating as everyone is at this point about what Labor needs to do to get over the line. I maintain my view that Labor will be relying on QLD, SA and NSW to take JWH’s powerbase back to the Labor Party.

    To get a majority of seats in those States Labor [or close to it] they will have to pick up 4 seats in NSW [25 of 49], 3 in SA [6 of 11] and 9 in QLD [15 of 29]. I dont see Labor getting 9 in QLD so Labor will need the others [Bass, Braddon, Solomon etc] to balance up any Labor losses at the 2007 election.

    I accept your point that the polls indicate a much stronger swing against Howard is imminent, but the translation of that swing into seats is the critical point which gives me good reason to be ‘conservative’ in my thinking.

    I think Labor must and will win a majority in SA and NSW and leave only QLD and WA the only states with a Coalition majority after the 2007 Federal election. As for Victoria, any seat gains there will be added gravy.

  13. Even if true that Kevin Rudd stredded documents the odds are they would have no bearing on any court case for several reason.

    1- The primary source in a court case comes from the Police who gather the evidence required via interviews etc.

    2- Most office places use Electronic filing therefore shredd all but the most important documentation.

    3- Just because Kevin Rudd runs an office does not mean he would be able to tell what becomes of every piece of paper in that office.

    If I’m right we have a newspoll this week which I suspect will show nothing new.

    I was looking at some interesting graphs from ‘Ariotale’ (sorry if spelling is wrong) which pretty much comfirm what we are all expecting.

    I have given up trying to pick the election date, I suspect we should all enjoy the claim before the storm.

  14. Don Wigan 409

    Tower Hill is an amazing place. A friend and I spent a couple of days there a few years back at the birdwatching blind. Glad to hear it is still going well.

  15. the liberals will not take any seats off labor anywhere….. so it depends on
    How many seats they lose … 14 seats would probably lead to a ALP
    minority govt (16 ALP majority)
    At the present moment I think between 40 to 50 seats are in play there
    will be some seats on margins lower than the state wide swing which
    will not change members and some on higher margins that might
    In recent times 2004 Labor has had poor votes in SA, WA, QLD and a relatively poor vote in NSW , a swing back there is very likely
    If Labor gets close to 50% 2pp in QLD they will win lots of seats there
    I would treat any seat in QLD with a margin of 10% or less as in doubt

  16. At present I see no Liberal gains

    I see the following ALP gains with a few roughties thrown in

    Bass, Braddon, Corrangamitte, McEwan, McMillan, La Trobe, Deakin, Casey, Goldstein, Edan Monaro, Page, Cowper, Dobell, Roberson, Paterson, Lindsay, Macquarrie, Wentworth, Hughes, Bennenlong, McPherson, Moreton, Bonner, Bowman, Blair, Forde, Dickson, Petrie, Herbert, Hinkler, Flynn, Leichart, Solomon, Makin, Wakefield, Kingston, Stuart, Grey, Kalgoolie, Hasluck, Stirling, Canning

    42 gains for the ALP with Calare going to the Nats.

    Now there are several seats which if the polling is right will come into play that I haven listed, also several of theabovementioned seats I can see remaining with the Libnats

  17. Was very, very impressed with Tony Bourke on Insiders. He would make a very good minister I think. Cassidy tried repeatedly to bait him on the racist line but he was incredibly calm and on message, and made Andrews look like Frank Spencer in comparison.

  18. Dario, I agree. He spoke as a leader, outlined a hopeful message and harked back to a time before we were all ‘relaxed and comfortable’ about being bigots, when politicians being as shameful as Andrews were just humiliated by being shown up as lightweight muck rakers. And if and when Labor reinstates the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the Department of PM and Cabinet, Burke’s role might be an important one.

  19. I have been watching my DVD of “House of Cards” again with actor Ian Richardson as the Tory UK Prime Minister Francis Urquhart. The characterisation by Richardson is more redolent of Howard every time I watch it. (well apart from Richardson being erudite, polished, suave, articulate etc)

    This gem, is a soliloquy, when Urquhart has won an election and pegged back a 13 point deficit in the last 3 weeks of the campaign, after he has arranged to bump off by car bombs 2 of his closest advisers who have the dirt on him:

    Well, what would you have me do? England must be governed and you know who will do it best. If you will the end, you must will the means.

    These things happen all over the world. Believe me, it’s all for the best.

    What’s the matter, you do trust me, don’t you?

    Of course you do.

    Sound familiar?

    During the campaign, if Howard promises for example to bring back conscription to get those “useless/layabout/drug pushing/indolent/black/gay/ Muslim/lefty/ YOOF ” off the streets, you can bet he’s been watching “House of Cards.”

  20. Gee, the latest in Julia Mudraking.

    [SCRAPPING the ANZUS treaty, twinning Melbourne with Leningrad and introducing a super-tax on the rich were among radical policies devised or backed by Julia Gillard as a student activist.

    Labor’s deputy leader was a key figure in a socialist group that pushed radical policies and social agendas in the 1980s and early ’90s.

    Founded in 1984 as a pressure group within the ALP, the Socialist Forum also wanted to sever Australia’s alliance with the US, remove the spy base at Pine Gap, introduce death duties and redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor.

    The Sunday Herald Sun has gained access to the forum’s archive – held in the Baillieu Library at the University of Melbourne]


  21. Those who keep comparing the pulp mill decision to the Franklin dam issue need a history lesson. The fight to save the Gordon below Franklin River grew out of the failed campaign to save Lake Pedder. The campaign was fought over many years culminating in the 1983 election. The Tasmanian Wilderness Society handed out how to votes in targeted seats and Bob Hawke famously said that there would be no dam built in south-west Tasmania, although it was the High Court which ultimately stopped the dam through the use of external treaty provisions.

    The one similarity might be a comparison of the relative power of the corporations involved. The Hydro Electric Commission had enormous influence on the political and economic interests of Tasmania.

    If one were to compare The Franklin dam case with anything it should be the removal and destruction of Aboriginal art on the Burrup Peninsula of WA. There are areas in north west WA which are internationally recognised for its environmental and heritage status which are being systematicaly exploited to feed the growing economies of India and China but you would be hard pressed to hear about it.

    I note that Turnbull is getting much of the derision but no mention has been made of the role of the Department of Industry and Resources who have been assisting Gunns through Investment Australia’s Major Project Facilitation programme. Minister Macfarlane announced in June 2005 that the project would be granted a project of national significance and would be given assistance to streamline the projects development in Tasmania.

  22. For those interested in whats happening in Kingston. We had a green stall at a local fair, with the ALP , Libs and YR@W also in attendance. The people that talked to us and there where many where very shitty with the go ahead of the pulp mill in Tasmania. The thing which made it interesting was that people where upset with Turnbull but Damn angry with Garrett. This was the best our stall has ever done even with a lower community attendance

  23. Pancho, no way Labor will bring back the department of multicultural affairs. The Right-wingers in the ALP are just as concerned with pandering to the Hansonites and persuing their own neo-con intergrationist agenda as the Libs are. Xenephobia has been so successful at keeping the pigions eating out of the Libs hand that Labor will be just as keen to take whatever messures they can to exasibate the problem for their own cause. Multiculturalism brings forth a world where we all live together in peace and harmony – thats the last thing they want.

  24. I don’t see much evidence that Turnbull is getting “derision” for the pulp mill decision. He is getting furious denunciation from the Greens etc etc, but that was to be expected. Given the situation in his seat, this decision actually took some courage and he deserves credit for not fudging it until after the election. Garrett also deserves credit for not pandering to the Greens and supporting the decision, which both boosts employment in Tasmania and protects the environment. A good outcome all round, I would have said.

  25. Molotov, with all due respect, that is a deeply ignorant comment. Speaking as an ALP right-winger, I reject any notion that I pander to Hansonism, or that anyone of any significance in the ALP does so. You obviously know nothing about ALP immigration policy, or what a neo-con actually is. Nor can you spell.

  26. [ their own neo-con intergrationist agenda as the Libs are ]

    OMG. The conspiracy theorists are alive and well. Now anyone right of the Greens is a Neo-Con Racist! What next? Reports of secret Nazi rallies at Liberal and Labor Party Head Quarters?

  27. Gippsland needs a swing of 7.7, which appears to be within reach of the swings currently being suggested in Victoria. The La Trobe Valley towns swung heavily against Labor in 2004 because of Latham, forests, and also the loss of Zahra’s personal support in the areas which had been shifted from McMillan. I would expect WorkChoices to drive that socially-conservative blue-collar vote strongly back to Labor. So you’d have to give Labor a chance, although I don’t know anything about the candidate. McGauran has been around a long time, but he doesn’t live in the electorate and I gather he is not particularly popular.

  28. Molotov:

    “On 29 November 2006, Labor announced that, if elected, it would create an office of citizenship and an office of integration and multicultural affairs, which would be set up in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.”

    From Lenny Roth. ‘Multiculturalism’, (NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service, Briefing Paper No 9/07)

  29. Burke, quoted in the same document, from an address to the Fabian Soc. I think:

    ‘when we started to drop the concept of integration from our own speeches, when we started to talk about diversity as a strength in itself without saying that diversity also strengthens the community as a whole, then we ourselves were complicit in it becoming the missing ingredient.

    It has allowed the Government to have been talking about integration as though integration and multiculturalism are mutually exclusive. This is wrong.’

    I’m interested in his take, and the fact that Labor are pragmatically constructing the arguement that multiculturalism is integration, rather than its opposite.

  30. There is no conflict between integration and multiculturalism. Obviously we want all migrants to integrate into Australian society, in the sense that we want them to take part in the society and not live in self-contained and isolated ghettoes – is that what Molotov wants? On the other hand we want to encourage migrant communities to retain their own cultures and thereby enrich Australian culture and society as a whole. That’s been ALP policy since Al Grassby’s day and it hasn’t changed, and certainly won’t change under Burke as minister.

    From Labor’s Platform:

    Australia is and will remain a society of people from a rich variety of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. Australia is and will remain an multicultural society.

    Australia is also a society that has traditionally enjoyed a high level of social cohesion. Social cohesion means a society in which the vast majority of citizens voluntarily respect the law, one another’s human rights and core values.

    Labor’s multicultural and integration services policy agenda aims to ensure social cohesion through maintaining Australia as a tolerant, fair and united nation.

  31. Adam our social cohesion was lost when we Whitlam and Fraser had the bright idea of bringing people into Australia from non European/Western countries…

    I can accept Asian immigration as we are so close to Asia but African and Middle Eastern immigration should be curtailed in my view…

  32. By the way as a Liberal i thought Tony Burke did a reasonable job on Insiders this morning even for a Union stooge who ran the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association but hey maybe i thought he did a good job because Labor was supporting the Coalitions immigration policies i dont know…

  33. Charlie at 408

    The Bufo marinus (cane toad) was his usual glandular self on Insiders this morning, and providing comic relief with his bloated fawning over all things Howard.

    He even makes Hendo look, well, normal!

    I love the way he’s ALWAYS seated on the far right of the set so the viewer can see where he sits, except when Bolt is there of course.

  34. Completely agree with your point about the compatibility of multiculturalism and integration. This is starkly seen when comparing the levels of integration in Canada as compared to the U.S. (under any number of indicators – eg as migrants as a percantage of officeholders, or percent of o/s born who have become citizens). But I think that for a long time such an argument has been left aside, and a false normative misunderstanding of multiculturalism as dangerous and fracturing has been allowed to run by populist politicians – not only here, but in many nations. And places such as Canada which have had positive and stong enough leaders to get beyond initial fearmongering have been able to implement (comparatively) amazing policies. I have been working on multiculturalism and rhetoric for the last year, and have been very impressed with Tony Burke’s seeming positions, and his desire to put Australia back on a path it was wdged off about 11 years ago.

  35. Piers does block posts to his blog, in my personal experience. Avoids answering direct, to-topic questions that do not suit him too.

  36. 439
    Glen Says:
    October 7th, 2007 at 4:31 pm
    Adam our social cohesion was lost when we Whitlam and Fraser had the bright idea of bringing people into Australia from non European/Western countries…
    And before this, Holt, Gorton & MacMahon. Glen, are you suggesting that our society is not cohesive? I think the only obvious things that are not cohesive are your powers of reason and knowledge of the world.

  37. Glen, the policies are pretty different actually. For a start, Howard has removed all mention of ‘multiculturalism’ from government language, as compared with mentions of Burke posted above. You wont beat me on this one if you wish to go into it. 🙂

  38. You know how there’s Nostrodamus and Nostradufus well I make the same switch myself only without bothering with a name change, if you could be bothered going through the archive you’d see much varioty within my postings. I know perfectly well the ALP are not Neo-Con, quit being so defensive! I make no apologi for the poor spelling!!! OK fine, In light of comment 436 I retract my attack. Nothing wrong with the occasional Troll post, I’m just letting my anger out against the world, OK? _ SORRY!!!

    paul k Says:
    What next? Reports of secret Nazi rallies at Liberal and Labor Party Head Quarters?
    Didn’t one of the Coalition’s (disendorsed) candidates at the last Qld state election have some Nazi affiliation or something? (im a little hazy on the detail and like I said admittedly I think he/she was disendorsed)

  39. 441
    Glen Says:
    October 7th, 2007 at 4:34 pm
    By the way as a Liberal i thought Tony Burke did a reasonable job on Insiders this morning even for a Union stooge…
    Glen, do you know what a stooge is?

  40. Still Pancho its not often that the ALP supports Liberal Party policy on immigration lol but the ALP will sell its soul to win an election so it doesnt surprise me…nuff said…

    Clearly our multicultural society cannot be as socially cohesive as other countries who do not allow immigration like for instance Japan however we have enough to hold us together thankfully still i dont think it was as strong as it was before…after all the only thing that divided us in the 1950s and 1960s was whether you were Catholic or a Prody…lol!

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