Road to nowhere

The past few days have seen a lot of discussion in the media about the state of play in all-important Queensland. On Monday, Michael McKenna of The Australian reported that the Liberals’ internal polling was worse in blue-ribbon Ryan than in any other Coalition-held Queensland seat, apart from Bonner. Liberal member Michael Johnson reportedly blames this on the government’s determination to solve western Brisbane’s traffic problems by building the Goodna bypass rather than upgrading the Ipswich Motorway, a decision made with a view to shoring up the Ipswich-based seat of Blair. As Graham Young puts it at Online Opinion: “People in Ipswich refer to the current motorway, which serves as their major link to Brisbane, as a carpark, and people in the western suburbs of Brisbane are happy to live in a quiet cul-de-sac and don’t want another link road with connections to them put through their area”. The Australian report also brings us the surprising news that Liberal polling has Gary Hardgrave leading in Moreton, held on a margin of 2.8 per cent.

Elsewhere, Labor strategists quoted by Dennis Atkins of the Courier-Mail say polling in regional Queensland points to “two party preferred votes north of 55 per cent”. Presumably this refers to the target marginals of Blair (5.7 per cent), Herbert (6.2 per cent), Flynn (7.7 per cent) and Hinkler (8.3 per cent). Also in the Courier-Mail, Madonna King says Liberal insiders “struggle to dispute” Labor talk that Bonner, Moreton, Blair, Herbert, Flynn and even Leichhardt (margin 10.3 per cent) are “in the bag”, although Labor is apparently less confident about Longman and Petrie. King says three-cornered contests in Leichhardt and Flynn are an “electoral gift to Labor”, while Lisa Allen of the Financial Review quotes a Liberal source lamenting the departure of Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch and his “98 per cent name recognition in that electorate”.

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.

378 comments on “Road to nowhere”

Comments Page 8 of 8
1 7 8
  1. Stupid question for scrutineers:

    If a voter fills in the ballot upside down, is the vote formal?

    Say they write all the numbers correctly, they are sequential, and fill all the boxes, BUT the numbers are upside down. Does it still count as a valid vote?

  2. Mate,

    I have seen “Don’t Dam the Yarra” and upside down voting is par for the course.

    Somehow, the will of the people always prevails.

    Rule No. 1 Don’t be a prat.

  3. On the election declaration national aspiration. I think I’m onto something. When is the last episode in this series of the Chaser’s War?

  4. William, are you making any progress on installing an “ignore this user” option on this blog? You said some time ago you would look into it.

    Yeah, I was kind of hoping you’d forgotten about that. It looks like you’re going to have to continue ignoring people the old-fashioned way.

    It is called ‘killfile’. Don’t ask me how it works, I don’t use it.

  5. “Senator Heffernan was educated at Christian Brothers College, Junee, where he learned the true meaning of discipline and was one of Father O’Driscoll’s favourite pupils, an experience which formed many of his current attitudes. While working as a wool-classer he developed a close affinity for sheep, which naturally led him to the Liberal Party. His service on the Junee Council, during which he reintroduced the stocks and public floggings, gave him an extensive experience of dams, potholes, sheep, barbed wire, sheep, flies and bovine excrement, which laid the foundations for his many legislative achievements in the Senate. He is particularly noted for his extensive knowledge of Comcar schedules, the workings of the judiciary, the laws of defamation and parliamentary privilege and rentboys. He is the Prime Minister’s adviser on sheep, sodomy, Barnaby Joyce and judicial appointments.”

  6. Bit miffed. Can we have a list for really dedicated lurkers please William? Can’t you note refresh button stabbings by IP address or something?

    I mean I live in Grayndler… nobody wants dozens of posts of on-the-ground assessments of Anthony Albanese’s chances. Or do you? Hmm.

  7. The 1967 referendum on breaking the Reps-Senate nexus was spoiled by a very effective (and misleading) DLP campaign “no more politicians”. With their then entrenched position in the Senate, they feared its being downgraded even symbolically.
    A perennial problem with referendums is that opposition by either major party is usually the end of the matter; typically such opposition occurs on opportunistic grounds, even when there has been prior agreement through all-party committees.
    Of course now that JH has emerged as the great centraliser (enough to make EGW blush) we can expect that the age of Rudd will usher in an era of unprecedented constitutional reform (tongue planted firmly in cheek)!

  8. ShowsOn 352

    Given that any good scrutineer will be scrutineering their opposition’s vote the correct answer is of course that it is invalid. You would be amazed how many AEC workers rely on scrutineers to make determinations for them.

    In reality I believe it would be a valid vote though.

  9. Kevin Andrews dog whistle is being blamed for the bashing of a Sudanese kid. The gang stole his mobile phone and sent offensive SMS.

    The Sudanese community are asking for an Andrews appology [not given] AND there was another Sudanese bashing to death as we already saw. Channel 9 tonight.

    Howard’s call to xenophobia may well backfire in a rather unpleasant way.

  10. More cynical economic garbage from Costello. He has flagged handing out $500 one off payments to pensioners:

    “PETER Costello has offered disability pensioners hope, after he flagged extending to them the $500 one-off bonus offered to aged pensioners.”,25197,22566215-11949,00.html

    If I was Rudd, the first thing I’d do as P.M. would be to legislate to ban one off payments. They are at best a bribe, and at worst a complete admission of policy failure.

  11. [“PETER Costello has offered disability pensioners hope, after he flagged extending to them the $500 one-off bonus offered to aged pensioners.”]

    I’ll gladly take the $500 but will still vote for Rudd.

    It’s interesting to note that the Continence Aids Assistance Scheme pays $470 for Blaader & Bowel products (I have Spina Bifida).

    It’s supposed to last the Financial Year, but but because of the high cost of some of the products, including $120 for a leg bag, and $60 odddollars for glue for same, I now have $55 left which has to last me till the 1st of July next year. Oh and you’re only allowed 4 free orders as well. If Howard was dinkum, the CAAS payment should be $1000 per annum, with Free Delivery for all orders during the 12 month period, plus allowing any unpaid monies to be rolled over into the following year’s payment.

    More info here.

  12. 352 Showson

    If I was scrutineering I’d be looking to see if all the numbers were all filled in. If so, I would be satisfied that there was clear intent regarding the vote and would argue that it be accepted – even if it was for the other side. It is when the intent is really borderline that the arguments start.

  13. Alex McDonnel at #87 says

    The so-called upgrade of the Pacific highway is a complete furphy. All Howard is doing is re-announcing (re-gifting) the Auslink 2 money allocated last year.

    Thanks for that info. I remember the $2.4billion figure being bandied around earlier in the year but couldn’t remember the circumstances.

    Roy Orbison at #99
    RE: New England Hwy as the National Road instead of Pacific Hwy.
    I’ve always believed that Ian Sinclair made this designation when he was Transport Minister in the 1970s. (of course, I may be wrong on this).

    BTW. The section of road at Cowper (village) where the bus accident occurred was bypassed by a dual carriageway in the early 1990s. The section is about 3km long and was one of the few sections of dual carriageway built by the coalition state government.

    Socrates @ #120 says

    The total cost is then at least $6 billion in 2007 dollars i.e. even if there is NO INFLATION! In short, it can’t be done for $4.8 billion, let alone $2.4 billion. (For the record, I don’t know the details of the Pacific Highway, but am a practicing civil engineer and do this for a living.)

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. The proposal for the remaining section north of Ballina includes dual tunnels of about 5km long.
    After reading your post, I checked the RTA website. The estimated cost for this section is about $400million. That’s for just 23km. Doesn’t leave much for the rest of the Highway!

    Apologies for discussing Pacific Highway upgrades on a Qld thread. It’s almost Qld 🙂

  14. A couple of hundred entries after the Ryan question went North, but what the hey. 23 % ish are your 18-25ers and plenty of youngish renters out there being snapped up by retirees and property investors taking advantage of the extremely inadequate rental property availability here.

    BUT remember that a good proportion of those young people living over there are International Students attending UQ, Griffith and QUT on study visas etc so they won’t be voting at the election.

    As for the ones that will vote, when I was at UQ in the Student Union in 2004 they surveyed the student body and estimated 28-30% were not registered to vote.

    Towit, if I was running for Ryan I would offer some Labor Party wannabe students at those institutions a free booze night in the Red Room etc in exchange for a couple of weeks of handing out AEC enrolment forms and a pen to fill it in and follow them around campus till they hand it over.

    And I would do it now, before they realise they havent done diddly squat in terms of writing major papers or preparing for end of year exams yet by which point the election will mean less than it already does to most of them, nada !!


    I have put in my real world (pre-election campaign proper speculations) on State by State swings toward Labor at the upcoming election into Antony Green’s calculator gadget and come up with a reasonable estimate based on the last 10 months polling being only half right come election day. And here it is –

    NSW (6.4) VIC (4.4) QLD (5.8) WA (3.2) SA (6.2) TAS (3.1) ACT (1.5) NT (4.8). This equates to a National swing of 5.3 percent and an 80 (ALP) seat to 68 (Coalition) outcome with 2 Independent’s making up the 150 seats up for grabs at the 2007 election.

    In summary, Labor to gain 20 seats and win comfortably. I could live with that outcome.

    Hubris Glen ? No sir, just speculation based on a reasonable probability that a National swing of 5.3 % is not unlikely at this election.

  16. Is it just me, or is the quantity of noise from the govt reaching fever pitch.

    We’ve got roads, history, hospital announcements + attacks with a little bit of sticking power on KRudd.

    Are we building momentum to an announcement on the weekend?

    Surely this level of activity isn’t able to be sustained for another week?

  17. The UK average is 74,000… almost 85,000 people voted in Melbourne Ports last year alone thats 11,000 over the average of another country…

    But OTOH, the US Reps has only 435 members for a population of 301.2 million, so nearly 700,000 per congressman. There are only 100 senators, too.

    Plus, these guys are actually trying to rule the other 6 billion on the planet as well!

  18. @ 286 Glum sez:

    Coalition governments

    Shome mishtake shurely? You mean “Coalition Government” singular seeing as there is only one of them.

    However, everything you have said about the need to reduce the size of Federal electorates is true. If they get much bigger in NSW and Victoria especially as compared to the size of electorates in Tasmania it will bring our polity into disrepute as the pocket boroughs did in Engalnd a couple of centries ago.

    That the nexus cannot be broken is a given: we have to face the fact that the number of senators will have to increase. Personally I don’t think that this a “bad thing”. It might even be positive in that the reduced quota will mean that the place will be more representative of our true political diversity.

    The real danger is the two major parties will choose to rort the electoral system (as they did in Tasmania) and fix it so that small parties and independents can’t get up in the senate. Proportional representation and Hare-Clarke are not mandated in the constitution.

  19. Re S at 374

    I was at a community function with Hockey and Bailey last night

    Hockey said that there would be an announcement about the RNS before the election – so I think there’s a big bit of Health legistlation coming next week.

  20. It took John Howard and Peter Costello to get us out from Labor’s debt. No way will the Australian people go back to that.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 8 of 8
1 7 8