D-day minus 20

• In the midst of the Friday morning poll flurry, I somehow failed to take note of the Advertiser poll of 778 voters from Wakefield. Labor’s Nick Champion led Liberal MP David Fawcett 58-42 on two-party preferred, from 47 per cent to 33 per cent on the primary vote. Yesterday the Advertiser ran a front-page item complaining that South Australia was being overlooked because its three Liberal marginals all looked like foregone conclusions for Labor. One might protest that Sturt and Boothby are in play, but the article informs us that “neither is expected to change hands unless the political stocks of the Government deteriorate even further in SA”.

• Speaking on Lateline on Friday night, Michael Kroger claimed “people in the Liberal Party and around the traps generally” were “more and more confident that the two high profile seats in NSW of Bennelong and Malcolm Turnbull’s seat in Wentworth will be won by the Government” – although Rod Cameron wasn’t so sure. Kroger also rejected talk Labor might have its eyes on Casey and Aston in Melbourne, as their campaign focus was entirely on more marginal seats.

• The Age economics reporter Josh Gordon on the targeting of recent election promises:

In the past week alone, the Coalition has announced a $15 million south coast sustainable regions program (for the NSW electorate of Eden-Monaro), $300,000 for a Beaconsfield Heritage Museum (for the Tasmanian seat of Lyons), $400,000 for palliative care in Geelong and Colac (for the Victorian seats Corio and Corangamite) and $16 million to extend the Tasmanian freight equalisation scheme to include King Island (for the Tasmanian seat of Braddon). Those states with more marginal electorates have generally faired best. Queensland has been the overwhelming winner. It has been promised $878.7 million by the Coalition, including hundreds of millions of dollars worth of road funding announcements. Western Australia has also been the next major beneficiary, with a $405 million plan announced to extensively upgrade Perth’s roads. Victoria, where there are no Coalition seats held by a margin of less than 4.9 per cent, has been promised $238 million by the Coalition, despite its 25 per cent share of Australia’s population and economy. Labor has been just as expedient with its spending plans. Its policy promises tally to about $47.6 billion. As with the Coalition, the vast bulk would be soaked delivering tax cuts. A significant chunk of the remaining cash – about $4.3 billion – would be used to fund spending decisions targeting specific states. Again, Queensland has been the major winner, with more than $2.6 billion on offer. Victoria, where there are eight Labor seats held by margins of less than 5 per cent, would fare relatively better under a Labor government, with about $724 million promised.

• I don’t get too excited about ballot paper placement, but it’s nonetheless interesting to note that Maxine McKew is last out of 13 in Bennelong. Notable candidates elsewhere: long-standing Liberal preselection aspirant Michael Darby running for the CDP in Dobell; former Greens MPs Michael Organ in Cunningham and Robin Chapple in Kalgoorlie; former state Noosa MP Cate Molloy, running as an independent in Wide Bay; and perennial trouble-maker Stephen Mayne in Higgins. No sign of Kelly Hoare in Shortland. In the Senate, former Labor member for Kalgoorlie Graeme Campbell is on a ticket in Western Australia along with former state One Nation MP John Fischer. The fourth Labor New South Wales candidate I was wondering about the other day turns out to be Pierre Esber, a Right faction Parramatta councillor who had long coveted the Bennelong preselection. The all-important Senate preference tickets will be revealed this afternoon.

• Sue Neales of The Mercury reports that “internally, Labor remains confident about winning Bass back from the Liberals … but gloating about a Labor clean-sweep of all five Tasmanian electorates is gone”. This is roundabout way of saying that Braddon is still in play, although the Liberals suffered a blow there this week when the government was forced to delay its much-touted Mersey Hospital takeover.

• There has been a spike in chatter lately about the possibility of the Liberals losing their ACT Senate seat, following recent Morgan results showing the party’s vote at a parlous 24 per cent. With 33 per cent needed to secure a seat, that would turn the second seat into a contest between Labor and the Greens. As territory Senators’ terms are tied to the House, this would mean the Coalition would lose its Senate majority immediately, and not with the changeover of state Senators in the middle of next year.

• Shame on me for not yet having linked to Peter Tucker’s self-explanatory Tasmanian Politics website. Go look.

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.

328 comments on “D-day minus 20”

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  1. “I dont think we can conclude anything from these developments.”

    Correct Tofk, they are fluctuations in a market that will become increasingly more volatile till the result is absolutely beyond doubt, say by the morning news cycle on Friday Nov 3. when big punters/savvy investors will be all over the overnight odds-on certainty.

    If ALP suddenly drift out to $1.70 anytime between now and then, concern might be in order. Till then I suggest that sweating minor “fluccies” is not woth the salt, and the big picture is the one that tells the story.

  2. Zedder you raise a valid point in regards to immigration being unsustainable under Howard who, despite his rhetoric, has presieded over the highest immigration rate in contemporary history. Environmental sustainability, in terms of food and water supply, is a powerful argument for immigration restriction from the left. How it can be properly implemented seemlessly is an issue for debate though.

  3. Thats the conclusion Im leaning towards enemy. It looks static, while there was a definite move towards Labor on thursday night before AC was released.

  4. I was listening to red-neck radio 3AW’s news tonight and Steve Price was defending himself against allegations of having a political agenda in that his wife works for Hockey. All of a sudden his cred is shot.

  5. Howard is staying away from the Melbourne Cup for two good reasons.

    There is more coming out on the Equine Flu, warnings that Howard and co ignored about privatising the quaranteen service, their inadequate first response to the crisis, no vaccine in the country, Vaille thinking it could be cured with one injection. Many people have been hard hit by their ineptude.

    Howard would risk facing an angry crowd composed of horse owners, trainers, jockeys, attendants, ground workers, staff and punters. Getting loudly booed on national TV on Melbourne Cup day is not a good image in the middle of the election campaign.

    It would also not be a good image look to be whooping it up at the Cup and have your picture across the papers the next day showing you drinking champers under the headline RBA raises interest rates.

    Howard will work in his office and get a nice shot of him at his desk on Melbourne Cup day.

    Maybe he will be trying to think of ways to combat inflation, oops no, he’s raised the white flag on that.

  6. 310
    Gary Bruce Says:
    November 4th, 2007 at 11:31 pm
    I was listening to red-neck radio 3AW’s news tonight and Steve Price was defending himself against allegations of having a political agenda in that his wife works for Hockey. All of a sudden his cred is shot.

    He seems to have history too – someone said he had video of Latham’s bucks party when he did not.

    Saffron should do another joke on him.

  7. According to Morgan the current (2pp) polling for Solomon is

    L-NP 35%
    ALP 65%

    And for Lingiari it is

    L-NP 54%
    ALP 46%

    Both those sets of numbers are difficult to believe.

  8. Wasn’t ESJ raving on about having his own blog site at the GG starting Saturday?

    He mentioned it a number of times Friday night, but after having a good look there, I could only see the usual suspects with their regular blogs.

    Has anyone got any info on this at all?

  9. {Saffron should do another joke on him.}

    Kina, I would hazard a guess that it will be open season on Steve Price from now on.

    Could be a good target for the Chaser crew and he would go well on Rove Live, especially if he is p*ssed.

    I think his days as a political pundit are finished though. Fancy too, getting offside with 60% of your listening audience or potential audience.

    What a tool.

  10. {Scorpio, believing something ESJ said was your first mistake…}

    I never said I believed him.

    Just that he has been conspicuous by his absence.

  11. I checked the figures for my electorate if Capricornia.

    Roy Morgan Two Party Preferred
    Total L-NP T.P.P 28% Total ALP T.P.P 72%

    Would love to see figures like that in about 110 electorates.

    The libs and Bookies would break out in hives.

  12. That is a fantastic set of numbers, the telegraph wont be hard to read tommorow and with time running out, it will be fun to see wat the GG and conservative commentators have to say now. Kroger has little to spin out of this

  13. Galaxy have been mean on the Labor primary all year in comparison to Newspoll and AC Neilsen. 54/46 for Galaxy is probably 55/45 otherwise.

    In other words basically little change since the begining of the campaign.

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