D-day minus 37

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports that Liberal polling conducted last month has the Prime Minister “staring at defeat in his marginal northern Sydney seat of Bennelong”, with two-party support for Labor’s Maxine McKew said to be in “the low 50s”.

Ewin Hannan and Rick Wallace of The Australian talk of Labor hopes of winning five seats in Victoria, where hostility to WorkChoices is said to be driven by the state’s “egalitarian nature, strong unions and left-wing political roots”. The five seats are Deakin, La Trobe, Corangamite, McMillan and McEwen.

• Labor yesterday made an announcement on Queensland roads funding that focused on Brisbane, committing $500 million to the Northern Link tunnel joining the Western Freeway at Toowong in Ryan to a bypass at Kelvin Grove in Brisbane, and $70 million to connecting the Gateway Motorway to the Pacific Motorway in Bonner and Moreton. The former commitment has won applause from Brisbane’s Liberal lord mayor, Campbell Newman.

• Roads are also looming as a key battleground elsewhere: Ben Packham of the Herald-Sun reports that Labor will “today unveil a $600 million plan to upgrade the Western Highway in the first election pledge aimed squarely at Victoria”. The promise does not seem too finely targeted as far as marginal seats are concerned, although a big ticket upgrade between Melton and Bacchus Marsh is not far north of Corangamite.

• Local news site the Geographe Gazette reports that “former Liberal candidate for the state seat of Collie-Wellington, Craig Carbone, has informed Nola Marino that she is within ‘inches’ of being dropped as the candidate for Forrest”. There has been much talk that Marino might be threatened by independent candidate Noel Brunning, much of it coming from disgruntled Liberals.

• Rogue candidate corner. In Leichhardt, Ian Crossland of the Nationals has been rapped on the knuckles by party leader Mark Vaile for saying the Cape York Peninsula seat was “not an electorate for a woman”, referring to Liberal candidate Charlie McKillop. In Mallee, Labor’s perennial candidate John Zigouras has told local paper the Wimmera Mail-Times that the area is “redneck country surrounded by neo-Nazis”. In Corio, Liberal candidate Angelo Kakouros has told the Geelong Advertiser that “union bosses dictate similar to the way Hitler did during the world war about how we should live our life” (though he claims he was misquoted).

• Speaking of Leichhardt, a Cairns Post poll of 310 respondents from September 22 had previously escaped my attention. It had Labor candidate Jim Turnour on 44 per cent of the primary vote, with Charlie McKillop on 37 per cent and Ian Crossland on 5 per cent. With the Greens on 10 per cent, this would suggest a comfortable win for Labor.

• Bob Brown has told the National Press Club the Greens will run fewer open tickets at this election than in 2004, meaning more preference recommendations to Labor.

• The always unmissable George Megalogenis unpacks the electoral significance of the oft-mentioned “working families” in The Australian.

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.

664 comments on “D-day minus 37”

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  1. If $34 billion couldn’t buy 3 points of the 2PP vote, it would be inflationary. Watch for the Murdoch press and the coalition flunkies relax. Early days

  2. Hmmmm. 53% TPP to Labor equals a 14 seat majority according to Antony Green’s calculator. And with the vast majority of the budget surpluses already committed to the tax cuts, don’t expect many more big ticket promises.

    No wonder the resident Liberals are so chirpy.

  3. The Senator is very pleased, he is giving all of us tomorrow night off as a reward. The Senator believes blogs lead public opinion by about 5 days.

  4. Arent so chirpy now chaps? Your weak as …. ? I think you all need Adam to come back from dinner and rally you together at this moment of crisis!

  5. ESJ it’s not that much of a crisis. The ALP is still in front and has been in this position earlier in the year. I appreciate you’re trying to stir up a reaction though. Good effort.

  6. 590
    Bluebottle Says:
    October 18th, 2007 at 9:31 pm
    Any leaks on tomorrows poll out there yet ?

    Not on the Sky News Agenda program. Stayed up on William’s tip but they didn’t say a word. Guess Lateline is the place to stay and watch now?

  7. 599
    A-C Says:
    October 18th, 2007 at 9:38 pm
    ***Herald Sun – Galaxy Poll***

    53:47 ALP lead.


    I am hoping that that 53-47 poll will not be evident in other polling until maybe a week out from voting day. If ACNeilsen says 56-44 or 57-43 I will sleep better tomorrow night.

    As the article A-C kindly linked for us indicates, 53-47 would provide a 23 seat gain if uniform which it never is but give Labor some space (7-8 seats) for lost seats and States that go against national sentiment and seats that get a swing but are already in Labor hands.

    I would not want to see the other polls {ACNeilsen, Newspoll, Morgan} swift too close to 53-47 if I was a Labor strategist, at least not until the wind has gone out of the sails and everyone has switched off completely.

    The dude from ACNeilsen indicated on big ears program that there has been a very consistent story in the polls to date- no reason therefore to assume the polls will get to 53-47 a week out from the election. I just hope the 5 percent swing JWH hopes to collect in 7 weeks of campaigning comes up 2-3 percent short.

    The tax policy appears to be the only salvo they have in their shed, apart from the ‘evil unions’ rhetoric and tinkering with health initiatives along with the usual porkbarrelling Rudd is equally good at offering.

    Ah but the election campaign is but a pup, more twists and turns to come.

  8. Just to digress- Did anyone see on the ABC news tonight, and hear Glenn Middleton say “Increasing Housing costs are putting the squeeze on people being able to pay mortgage costs” when he said “squeeze” Howard was squeezing a plastic sauce bottle on a bread and sausage… thought it was hilarious at the time, typical media pun….

  9. Personally I think that’s a great result for the ALP. It takes into account the biggest pork the libs had in their bag and it’s still in landslide territory for Labor. I was fearing worse than that.

    That’s the low mark and ALP is yet to announce their big policies which will just send it back up again.

    Now await Neilson and if that is steady as rumoured then it’s game over for Howard

  10. the election is starting to warm up in grey
    a liberal advertisement in local paper stating howard’s full support for the local liberal canditate even though howard was reputedly ringing the retiring member to reconsider and run again only a couple of weeks ago.
    have recieved in the mail a couple of liberal pamphlets , curiously the envolpes have the retiring members face on the front, gives the impression he is running for the seat, a bit sneaky
    has anyone else recieved likewise mail from retiring members

  11. This is nothing for any side to get excited about really. The vote was never and will never be anything like the 55/45 we been seeing. Let It End your deluded if you think its good for the ALP to lose that much love so quick. Shows how soft their lead really is.

  12. Chris Curtis, Thank you for your thoughtful response, which I agree is a bit off pseph point of this blog. So I’ll be quick in response.
    1. Education is not the same as Health in terms of how you address anything from recruitment, training, retention. Anything across the continuum of care required in health cf. to the continuum of education required across the population, simply dealt with in those silo ways will just get us more of the same. If something like SARS broke out here, it would not matter what anyone’s nurse/patient or teacher/pupil ratio was. There would be death on a massive scale, because I can tell you right now, even given a reasonably sophisticated system in Victoria, we would not cope.
    2. I am a manager in the health system in Victoria, of course I have to compromise, but that’s politics, i.e. the art of compromise.

  13. My dear Paul K,

    I unlike others did not quibble about the polls.

    The point about the polls is that they are a snapshot in time only. The trend of course is what counts. Clearly Labor has been consistently in front on the trend for ages and this may be a one-off poll.

    I have always thought it would be good if KR “earned it”. You may have noticed I have never personally criticised KR. I think he needs to prove his mettle to win – he’s had it way too easy. It may be that the polls lulled him into a false sense of security and Labor didnt do enough of the hard yards – I suspect we will know in about 3 weeks.

    The Labor/union thing he just has to wear – obviously in December of last year to now was not enough time to confront it. If he loses he may rue knifing Beazley in December and should have waited to get it cleanly after a 2007 election loss and then really put the cleaners through the party.

  14. Anyone remember a previous critical moment when a slightly more favorable Galaxy arrived right on cue to boost coalition morale? Are we seeing a pattern here? And it sank without trace after the next poll. Can always be explained away later as an outlier if it fails to have the desired effect.
    On the other hand, if the Neilsen goes the same way, we may have to reconsider.

  15. You know GG, funny you should mention that I had my suspicions too…
    but I shyly felt it best to leave them unsaid.

    Sometimes the Senator likes to have teams operating independently of one and other

  16. Greensborough when you argue, please do so in a sensible way …. and for your information i am a Member of the Labor Party… and will be voting Labor but it does not stop me from being critical of the party… which i believe is heading in the wrong direction…

  17. Edward,

    Thanks for your sensible response. I too don’t pay too much attention to the ups and downs of the polls, but prefer to rely on the trends. I think Rudd will win comfortably regardless, whether it be by 5 seats or 50 seats is of no real difference. Not so long ago Labor would have been happy with just cutting Howard’s majority down, today they all want to wipe out the Libs. I’ll settle for a win even a small majority.

  18. I declare myself an active Labor Party supporter [some of us are out there doing stuff for Kevin 07 Adam along with being petty b…]. I do not discount the distinct possibility that JWH could be elected again.

    Of course the whole idea turns my stomach, but political reality being as it is politics is perception more than anything else and at election time that perception has the iq of a 12 year old.

    The Adamesque ‘moron voter’ is completely unpredictable once you get past the hip-pocket-nerve. This thing could go anywhere and everywhere before election day.

    Workchoices v Evil Unions and Rudd v Howard… debates and perceptions will wander in and around these 2 key themes which will do well to hold the attention of the ‘moron voter’ for more than 3 seconds perhaps a week out from election day.

    The rest is merely alternative entertainment for political tragics and journo’s selling newspapers. Better to be doing something to support your nominated brand than worrying about shifts in polls at this late stage in the game. Go find a moron voter and tell them why they should vote for X. It is better than watching Home and Away with the Mrs I assure you.

  19. Returns to find I have missed the sexual jibes. Curses.

    Re the Galaxy poll: I said that if the Libs got a 2% boost from the tax cuts giveaway they would still be alive. Pending confirmation by ANC and/or Newspoll, it looks like they did, so they are still alive, just.

    The best example I’ve found yet of a communist sympathiser running as a Green candidate.
    Vlaudin Vega is the Greens candidate for Fowler, and a big fan of Castro and Chavez.

  20. Actually if this poll gives the Libs better odds with the betting agencies in the next few days it may be a good chance to put down some money on Labor before the odds move back again.

  21. I still think, watching the behaviour of John Sturton tonight, that there really is a move to Labor in the poll, and if so, the Coalition are going to go into melt down, as I so fervently hope.

  22. So Chavezs’ free healthcare and education for the poor is terrible Adam… and returning oil resources to the ownership of Venezeula is terrible… Getting out of the IMF and World Bank terrible… At least Chavez has the guts to bring back ownership of resources to its rightful place… Pity we don’t do it here instead of selling it to the Chinese and then buying back the finished products to the detriment of our economy…
    And your a member of the Labor party… Don’t believe it…

  23. Again, supposedly the ACN poll shows the Coalitions primary ‘improving’. If the ALP and Coalition primary both improve, the best we can say is that we don’t know what’s going on.

  24. Chavez is a thug and a tinpot dictator who will lead his country to the same kind of ruin that Castro has led Cuba to unless someone is brave enough to kick him out first.

    And in case you hadn’t noticed, Labor is a social democratic party not a marxist party. If you want to support marxist dictators go and join the CPA or the SWP (or the Greens).

  25. Adam in 2003 a coup occurred in Venezeula, and it was orchestrated by the Americans’, Chavez returned to government two days later when millions of poor people came down from their shanty towns and demonstrated seeking his return… and he was reinstated… Chavez is not leading a marxist government it is socialist.. totally different from Cuba.. If you know the difference between marxism and socialism that is… The poor like chavez because at last he is using Venezeulas’ resources for the needs of his country and not for the needs of a group of individual wealthy people and solely for the Americans’.
    Again the poor are getting free education and heathcare.. please tell me if this terrible…
    Adam i am socialist and not a marxist.. marxism is abhorrent and i will never support it… My socialist values are similar to what they practise in some of those scandinavian countries.
    And finally if you have evidence that Chavez is a thug please provide it… Never hear Castro being called a thug or a person who takes people away in the middle of night and torturers them…

  26. Herald Sun Article on the latest Galaxy says that:

    “The Coalition appears to have won over more uncommitted votes than Labor while also picking up votes from the minor parties. ”

    Anyone know what the figures breakdown for this one is? Would be interesting to see if ALP lost much or if most of it has come from non- alp vote.

    I’m certainly not panicking as yet. 5 more weeks and lots more polls to go people.

  27. I just heard Tony Abbott explain on Lateline why he joined the Liberal Party and not the ALP. I think the real story is, if the NCC had not split in the early ‘eighties between the Santamarians and the Groupers, he would have joined the ALP.

  28. “Never hear Castro being called a thug or a person who takes people away in the middle of night and torturers them…” Marky Marx, what planet do you live on?

    Freedom of expression, association and movement continued to be severely restricted. At least 69 prisoners of conscience remained imprisoned for their political opinions. Political dissidents, independent journalists and human rights activists continued to be harassed, intimidated and detained, some without charge or trial. (Amnesty)

    The Commission on Human Rights should pass a resolution under Item 9: condemning Cuba’s imprisonment of individuals based on their exercise of fundamental rights to free expression, association, assembly, or movement; calling upon Cuba to release persons incarcerated in violation of their rights; and pressing Cuba to undertake legal reforms to bring its domestic laws into compliance with fundamental international human rights norms. (HRW)

    In Cuba, any journalist who does not work for the official media is considered to be an “enemy of the state” or a “mercenary”. The changeover at the summit of the state between the Castro brothers and the promises made by Cuba in relation to human rights at the Non-Aligned Summit in Havana have unfortunately done nothing to alter this state of affairs. There are currently 24 of them who have paid with their freedom for having founded an independent news agency, written for a dissident review or spoken to a media in the Cuban diaspora. Some are serving prison sentences of 14-27 years. Others are being held without trial. Another, despite being put on trial, has never been told what his sentence was. All of them however suffer the same overcrowding, appalling prison conditions and mistreatment from the prison authorities that are the lot of more than 300 prisoners of opinion on the island. (Reporters Without Borders)

  29. Okay, some evidence of illegal and repressive action in Cuba now Venezeleua please… Give you that…
    And some evidence that the Greens are Marxist party…
    Nonetheless Adam you should also include CIA, American actions around the world on democratic regimes… bet you Amnesty has a huge list…

  30. Of course the Greens are not officially a marxist party. They are a party of well-meaning idealists which is being infiltrated by marxists – specifically the Trotskyists of the SWP (or whatever they’re called now), who are past masters at this game. They took over and destroyed the old Nuclear Disarmament Party and they’re doing the same trick with the Greens.

    Venezuela shortly.

  31. Venezuela:

    http://hrw.org/doc/?t=americas&c=venezu (HRW, lots of good reading there)

    Human rights violations, including torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances perpetrated by members of the security forces remained unpunished. Human rights defenders continued to be threatened and intimidated. In May the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reiterated its concern at threats and other open hostility towards human rights defenders by government officials who publicly referred to human rights defenders as “coup plotters” and agents of instability. Threats and attacks against journalists continued. (Amnesty)

    The spate of laws pushed through by the government in 2004 and 2005, greatly curbing press freedom, began to be applied during the year after being little used until then. A Caracas court on 23 January accused 10 media outlets, including two state-owned TV stations, Canal Metropolitano and Venezolana de Televisión, of “obstructing justice” and banned them from broadcasting anything about the investigation into the November 2004 murder of Judge Danilo Anderson and from citing the name of a key witness. The move was based on the November 2004 broadcasting media social responsibility law than can fine offending media outlets between 1 and 2% of their previous year’s income. An appeal against the decision by the national media workers’ association was rejected on 14 February. (RWF)

    In 2005, President Hugo Chavez continued promoting his anti-U.S., anti-free trade, policies while stressing his close ties to Cuba and left-wing groups in the hemisphere. Chavez expanded his political base during the year by denying opponents state jobs and services. Meanwhile, the government strengthened its control over sectors of Venezuelan life, including the content of broadcast media programs. (Freedom House)

    All the usual hallmarks of incipient dictatorship.

  32. Greensborough Growler,

    I can’t see Tony Abbott as Opposition leader or as PM – too far to the right for a Liberal Party that just might want to recover from its likely defeat in five weeks – but I can see him as a Liberal deputy leader.


    Hugo Chavez as the hero of the Left takes me back to my days at La Trobe, when Mao was the God. Why can’t so many people on the Left see through frauds – all the way back to Lenin?

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