One day in November

As you’re all no doubt aware, the Prime Minister has just held a press conference announcing the election will be held on November 24. Didn’t hear the whole thing, but after all the justified outrage about the government’s changes to electoral laws, I am surprised to learn that the legal formalities will be conducted on a timetable that will leave the rolls open until October 22.

UPDATE: Those who have had time to think about this point out that the writs will be issued on Wednesday, so the deadline for new enrolments is 8pm that evening. The October 22 date invoked by the Prime Minister is the closing date for amendment to existing enrolments.

UPDATE 2: An AEC press release announces: “If you’re not on the electoral roll and you’re entitled to enrol, you must fill in an enrolment form immediately and return it to an AEC office by 8pm, Wednesday 17 October. If you’re already on the roll but still need to update your address details, to ensure your vote you must complete an enrolment form and return it to an AEC office by 8pm Tuesday 23 October”.

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.

726 comments on “One day in November”

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  1. Perhaps now that an election is now called, the public have come to their senses and realise the consequences of changing parties. It allows ample time for more voters to enroll to vote for Howard.

  2. Watching Howard’s speech and particularly the Q&A sessions was like Chinese water torture. The man has no vision and only looked comfortable when attacking Rudd. What sort of leadership is that??? Can’t announce policies for the future, but can happily resort to negative statements about others. Makes my blood boil.

    Only 41 days to go.

  3. I’ll post this here, its far more relevant.

    Reading the telepathic entrails of Howards speech, I reckon he’s going to ban traditional law everywhere in the country on the grounds of human rights, and use the foreign affairs power to give it constitutional teeth.

    It will be an attempt to play well to the Hanson set because the “everyone would be treated the same” line, while he tries to play to the leafy safe government seats with the “increasing the human rights standards” line.

    It’ll flow into the Ratty The Uniter spiel.

    There’ll be more wedges in this campaign than a golf shop.The reconciliation thing was done for tactical reasons (apart from the leafy vote shoring up) because that’s the way Howard works.I reckon something like this will be one of them – it sounded like he was hinting at something like this with the remarks on indigenous people in todays speech.

  4. And the worst part was when he said that Rudd doesn’t accept responsibility for anything and always blames others. And he thought that made Rudd unsuitable for leadership. So what have we gotten for the last 11 years out of Howard? A continuous stream of avoiding blame on just about everything! Rank hypocrisy.

  5. I agree Possum.

    It was really a terrible speech. He looked soooo uncomfortable and didn’t want to be answering the questions people were asking him.

    Anyone have an idea when Rudd’s press conference will be?

  6. Good afternoon tragics and welcome to the campaign.

    I think we’re all a bit too worked up, not to say one-sided, to be objective analysts of how the punters will see this speech. No doubt there’ll be a snap opinion poll soon. This will be the big test for The Narrowing theory. Will the voters suddenly say “OMG Labor is a trade union based party! We never knew that!”? Well, maybe. We’ll soon find out.

  7. yes possum. you’re right. howard hasn’t even begun inflicting his agenda on this country. wait for workchoices mk 3, stolen generation mk 2, and the complete eradication of land rights.
    the revenge of this vindictive little man is not complete. and when he wins, as he will, australians will get what they deserve.
    nasty, self-hating little nation, inhabited by people too ashamed to utter the truth of the fear and greed which motivates their every move, every thought and decision. and ruled by the runt that it is its emblem.
    the polls are a joke.
    howard is a shoo-in.
    don’t kid yerselves.

  8. If the youth vote (18-25) is 70% against JWH, why leave the polls open for so long if the intention was to disenfranchise as many as possible first time voters? Is JWH trying to avoid criticism of the “unfair” new electoral laws? Or does he realise he is toast anyway, so let the bloodbath begin? Or is he really Captain Whacky who has a Youtube campaign ready to launch and win back the youth vote?

  9. Us? One-sided? Surely you jest sir! 🙂

    Well there will be a newspoll out this week. I got polled this morning before the election announcement.

  10. Watching Howard’s speech and particularly the Q&A sessions was like Chinese water torture. The man has no vision and only looked comfortable when attacking Rudd. What sort of leadership is that??? Can’t announce policies for the future, but can happily resort to negative statements about others. Makes my blood boil.

    Probably a better description of Howard’s performance during question is that of an autism sufferer with Tourettes: every response was effectively “Rudd is f*cked”.

    (And apologies to all sufferers of autism and Tourettes for besmirching you with Howard!)

  11. Does leaving the electoral role open till the 22 also alow government advertising up to that date or have I just become far too synical? Shorely the latter, right?

    William, was wondering what you’d call this post-hole-thingy. ‘One day in November’: simple. Is this an American phrase?

    Finally – the END GAME. Shows On! Tis phoney war, no more. Battle stations, etc.

  12. Question of the day:

    Q. What percentage of a future Labor frontbench would be ex-union officials?

    A. You’re joking aren’t you. JWH only mentioned it 10 times in that boring speech.

  13. I dont think it takes an unobjective mind to see that news conference as cranky and more than a little hesitant. Everything he touches turns to shit now. The desperation is just too obvious for punters to choke down.

  14. 10
    SJP Says:
    October 14th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    If the youth vote (18-25) is 70% against JWH, why leave the polls open for so long if the intention was to disenfranchise as many as possible first time voters?

    I was surprised at this too. I would have thought denying the youth vote as much as humanly possible would be a coalition strategy. But now they’ve given everyone a week to get organised. Could be a mistake.

    Yes Adam (8) – I’m worked up. Apologies for that. It’s been too long, and too many years of putting up with this man as PM.

  15. I dont think it takes an unobjective mind to see that news conference as cranky and more than a little hesitant. Everything he touches turns to sh*t now. The desperation is just too obvious for punters to choke down.

  16. Blah Blah, Howard is terrible.

    The entire Labor strategy has been directed towards minimising the perceived risks of change for the Australian electorate and making it “safe” for people to change the vote in a time when they have clearly grown tired of JWH.

    Of course Labor will spin the result but it will be no more than an implicit promise to leave the basic policy settings untouched. Hence WorkChoices will largely stay as will other Howard policies in the event Labor wins. The question will be if they win will KR be able to enforce the position he won on in government?

    You can expect Labor to claim it was about WorkChoices or climate change but it will be nothing more exciting than people wanted a change after 12 years. Clearly hugging the Liberal policy positions mean all JWH can run on is the fear of change/ dont risk it etc – shades of PJK indeed. There has been no positive agenda at all from Labor – no Medicare, no accord, no nothing – its Bob Carr Labor in the federal arena.

    This will not give Labor any kind of mandate and those who think it does are having themselves on.

    Expect large scale disenchantment in Labor’s equivalent of the doctor’s wives, the inner urban school teacher and public servants within 3 years – on the other hand if a win goes to their head expect Whitlam revisited – in which case it will be a 3-5 year government.

  17. I dont think people get the deal with work choices. Howard has introduced the fairness test and ran all these ads etc. But when he was riding high there was no fairness test, no ads explaining it. He told people to get a new job if they got their wages cut. People remember that.

  18. Rudd needs to turn Howards unemployment spiel against him from day 1.
    “The unemployment rate is low, the quantity of jobs available is exceptional and the government should be congratulated for letting the global boom flow into Australian households via job creation.But now, the challenge facing Australia, the challenge of our times is how to improve the quality of those jobs.Only an education revolution can increase the long term quality of the jobs that will be available to all Australians, only a strong national investment in broadband can allow Australia to generate more 21st century jobs with 21st century wages and income levels.And only tearing up Workchoices can deliver 21st century standards of fairness in the workplace and provide the type of the work/life balance that we’ve all been hearing about for 11 years, but which the government has failed to deliver.

    Mr Howard claims that its just the number of jobs that are important, Labor recognises that its not just the quantity, but the quality of those jobs that will deliver rising living standards for all Australians into the 21st century.And only Labor has a plan to bring these new, high paying jobs of the 21st century into the households of AUstralian families.”
    That sort of spiel, if done well would kill Howards ‘Jobs,Jobs,Jobs’ line stone cold dead.It brings its positioning back to the ALP strong points of infrastructure, education, IR and future vision.It turns the economic into the personal.

  19. Just imagine how many people will try and defraud the AEC between now and the 22nd – that was the given reason for the law change wasn’t it?
    Non-core reason?

  20. Just wondering if anyone could enlighten me unto the options left to someone basically moving interstate on election day. Basically going to be in the car dawn till dusk, so is that a good enough excuse for me to lodge some form of postal/absentee ballot?


  21. Now that the race is on perhaps you can all take a step backwards and try and evaluate the two parties. Why does the youth vote seem to have gone to Rudd? Probably because they can’t remember how suffocating it was with Keating and his rainbow coalition of supporters, including most of the so-called intellectuals, especially the losers who run the ABC.
    The other point to remember is that the people who will make the decisions mostly live in the suburbs that the Howard haters couldn’t find, let alone go near. They’ve shown they trust Howard in the past, if he can paint Rudd&Co as dangerous lefties, he’s probably still in with a chance.

  22. Nostodamus#1

    But didn’t you say,
    “The sea will not be passed over safely by those of the Sun, Those of Venus will hold all Africa: Saturn will no longer occupy their realm, And the Asiatic part will change.”?

    This appears to totally contradict your post.

  23. 16 ESJ

    The reason doesn’t really matter does it?
    The fact that there are so many different reasons, and that they are different for each demographic and location.
    Death by a thousand wedges?

  24. At last !! Let the games begin!
    Thought the Rodent looked very uneasy at the beginning of the confrence, not his usual cocky self on such occasions.
    Nostro you’re going to be sooo disappointed on election night, this is’nt 96, 01 or 04, this is 72, 83 and 93 rolled into one .
    41 day and counting indeed !

  25. Obvious themes for the next 6 weeks will be

    Negative Campaign
    1. 70% union officials in Labor party
    2. Wall to wall labor governments
    3. Inexperienced team/uncertainty

    Positive Campaign
    1. Experience & team leadership
    2. Unemployment with a “three” in front of it (note that he gave a firm commitment to this aka interest rates in 2004)

    I can picture the TV adverts now

  26. Boring!!! I hope the next 6 weeks on this blog isn’t going to be the same emotional rantings as today. Does anybody have anything sensible to say or are we just all going to go on all day about how horrible Howard is? I’m not voting for Howard but it would be nice to see some well thought out comments instead of what we’ve had all morning.


    You of all people should try to keep your head above the fray and provide some in depth analysis instead of just trying to think up campaign slogans and ideas for ads.

  27. 21 Trav

    “Early vote

    Electors can cast an early vote in person or by post in the following two ways.

    A pre-poll vote is cast before election day at a pre-poll voting centre. A postal vote is cast before election day by post. These types of votes can be cast by an elector who will not be within their home State or Territory on election day, is seriously ill, infirm, unable to leave work, or for religious reasons is unable to attend a polling place.

    At the last election there were 516,458 postal votes cast. This represented approximately 3.96 per cent of the total number of votes.

    The AEC must wait 13 days after election day to receive postal votes before counting can be finalised. This ensures that electors in remote areas and overseas are not disenfranchised.”

  28. ESJ you right-wingers are still delusional after all this time.
    The Labor party could not believe its luck the day JwH announced “WorkChoices”. As Drop By has previously posted here before, “WorkChoices” is one of the longest suicide notes in political history, the other being “Fight Back”
    Bye, Bye John Winston Howard.

  29. paul k – I suggest you visit Possum’s site, Antony’s ABC site and (he added modestly) my site, for all your intelligent news and comment needs. With due respect to William, his liberal approach to content means that this blog is going to be mostly nyah-nyah-nyah for the next six weeks.

  30. I don’t like either side much, but I thought Howard performed pretty well, actually.

    Certainly his speech at the start was 100% on message, thumping home Coalition positives, no extraneous references – one ‘climate change’ the only time he gave a Labor issue air – and if he can stay that focussed for six weeks he should certainly be able to shore up his base. Sounds like there might be some ‘mortgage relief’ type stuff forthcoming. Focus will be on economy/cost of living and ‘the right leadership’ which sounds like the core line for the campaign.

    I think his unemployment spiel will not have much impact though. The people whose employment prospects will be damaged by Labor’s IR policy are mostly in safe Labor seats – ergo their votes are irrelevant. Plus they probably don’t know enough about policy to understand the potential for it to harm them.

    Expecting lots of ‘fresh’, ‘future’, ‘forward-looking’ etc from Kevvie.

  31. Paul K, unemployment is Howards only link between the abstract concept of economic management and the actual lives of pundits that is still seen by those punters in a favourable light.

    If the framing of that relationship turns negative for Howard, the entire real world connection between Howards biggest strength and punters perceptions shatters.

    If that happens, the entire Coalition campaign disintegrates.

    That’s why I expect Rudd to take that angle.

  32. What is it with the Australian press??? Every swinging dick knew there was going to be an election called today. You would think that they could have had it miked properly. All it does is make Howard seem more authoritarian and he could answer the question anyway he wanted too and not be seen to be avoiding the questions. The yanks are much better than this.

  33. I see Mumble, Ozpolitcs and Possum were all posted in real time on this. What a bunch of tragics we all are on a our Sunday morning. Still it’s going to be a memorable ride especially if it ends in a change of government.

  34. 25 paul k

    I’m interested in the coalition idea that this will focus change.
    To me this does make some sense – if people are basically conservative, but not particularly principled in their intentions then I can see a drift.
    Those swingers, however, are going to barbecues and attending Christmas parties where there’s a majority of ALP support (according to the polls) and in fact the majority is even higher for the majority of working Australia. This tends to suggest that the deciding sheep may flock with the herd?

  35. Possum,

    Thanks for pointing out the bleeding obvious. I’ve only heard all these arguments 8000 times.

    I’ll think I’ll take Adam’s advise and go elsewhere until emotions cool down. Somewhere there’s got to be a site with serious comment.

  36. 20 seats only, a majority of 6 or 4 whoever you look at the independents. He will retain bennelong but then resign losing it in the bi-election.
    Tassie2, Victoria2, SA 3-4, WA2, NT1, NSW5, Q5.
    The bookies would agree too.

    thats an ALP win of course

  37. Funny to see all the party hacks overruning the news ltd blog sites. Mostly from the Liberal party, mind you. Methinks the Young Libs have been given marching orders to step up the blog war, so as to give a false sense of public opinion.

  38. So – the first question is – if the Newspoll on Tuesday is 55/45 or 54/46, does Howard have the early “momentum” in this campaign?

  39. Edward StJohn: “This will not give Labor any kind of mandate and those
    who think it does are having themselves on.”

    As demonstrated many times in the past, “mandate” is measured by
    “bums on seats”.

  40. Well, here we go.

    41 days = 6.8 weeks. An almost 7 week campaign is a relatively long one (at least as far as I can remember. I’m happy to be proved wrong on this one). A suppose that a longish campaign will give the coalition enough time to attempt to sure up support in marginals.

    The question I put to the forum is: “could this long campaign strategy back fire?”. Will the average punter appreciate almost 7 weeks of letterbox drops, door knocking and TV ads? Will it turn them off the incumbent? Or will it give the coalition a chance to solidify support in marginals?

    From the point of view of smaller political parties (Greens!), I think a longer campaign is better, as it allows more time for us to rise through the general chatter of the two party federal campaign and connect with voters, who we would probably miss in a shorter campaign. However, I suppose it could also lead to a dilution of the protest vote, as people’s anger at certain policies does diminish over time.

    Anyhow, I’ll stop musing now. Enjoy the campaign everybody!

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