D-day minus 13

Glenn Milne reports in the Sunday News Limited papers that “definitive” Labor polling “shows voter reaction to Mr Howard’s retirement plans has become a ‘blocker’ to the Coalition’s other campaign messages, devaluing the Government’s promises and policies in all key areas”.

• In the wake of Wednesday’s interest rate rise, much was said of marginal seats suffering high levels of mortgage stress. Nassim Khadem of The Age pointed to a concentration of such seats in the 5 per cent to 10 per cent range in Victoria, including La Trobe, McMillan, Corangamite, Deakin and McEwen. The Sydney Morning Herald noted that affected seats in and around Sydney included Lindsay and Parramatta, now all but written off for the Liberals, along with Dobell, Robertson and Macarthur.

Michelle Cazzulino of the Daily Telegraph wrote on Wednesday that “confident Labor strategists are predicting an upset victory in Danna Vale’s electorate” of Hughes, held with a margin of 8.5 per cent. Joe Hildebrand of the Daily Telegraph named it with Macarthur and Paterson among seats Labor was targeting “in a strategy to spook the Government and draw precious resources away from a handful of must-win seats” – namely Lindsay, Dobell, Macquarie and Eden-Monaro.

Dennis Shanahan of The Australian is always good for a dose of cold water. On Wednesday he related suggestions from state front-bencher John Aquilina that “NSW Labor Party polling in marginal seats is not as strong as published polling”. Aquilina would only say that Labor “would win the western suburbs seat of Lindsay and had a chance in Macarthur, Dobell and Eden-Monaro, but he doubted they could pick up more”. Labor’s chances in Bennelong and Wentworth were not rated, and talk of Robertson was dismissed as “a lot of hype”.

• The Coalition has nonetheless targeted Robertson with a promise to repair a section of the Old Pacific Highway at Somersby, which has been closed since a family of five was killed following a road collapse in June. The Newcastle Herald reports that “no dollar figure has been attached to the promise”, but it is expected to be around $10 million.

• In Eden-Monaro, Labor has promised to spend $23 million from Defence Department funds upgrading the road from Queanbeyan to the Joint Operations Command headquarters, which the government stationed in Bungendore in an especially shameless act of marginal seat pork-barrelling. Andrew Fraser of the Canberra Times notes Labor has failed to provide funding for the more dangerous section of the road from Braidwood to Batemans Bay, the business end of which has been redistributed to the almost-safe Liberal seat of Gilmore.

Tim Colebatch of The Age detects good news for Labor in an enrolment boom in McEwen, La Trobe, Corangamite and McMillan. This is because the increases have been concentrated in the urban areas of these mixed electorates, which are the stronger for Labor. Even bigger increases have been recorded in Bennelong and Wentworth, though the impact here is harder to read. Jenna Price of the Canberra Times also notes a sharp increase in enrolment in the Australian Capital Territory, suggesting this increases the chances of a Greens Senate win at the expense of Liberal incumbent Gary Humphries.

• Andrew Burrell of the Australian Financial Review reports that “the Labor Party has launched a prime-time television advertising blitz aimed at saving the highly marginal Western Australian seat of Cowan, amid mounting fears that the retirement of popular MP Graham Edwards could deliver it to the Coalition”. With further Labor advertising focusing on Stirling, Burrell discerns “a sign that Labor is behind in those seats”, and is conversely confident of gaining Hasluck and retaining Swan and Brand (the latter of which has been the subject of some slightly surprising recent chatter). The report also says “ALP figures privately doubt the veracity” of the recent Westpoll survey showing them trailing in Cowan, Stirling and Hasluck. Those three electorates plus Swan have been the targets of the Perth variations on Liberal marginal seat television ads.

Michael Bachelard of The Age reports that the Greens decided on Friday to direct preferences to Labor in every Victorian seat, which it has never done before. The decision was apparently made after Lindsay Tanner succeeded in embarrassing the Greens over split-ticket how-to-vote cards being distributed at a pre-poll booth in Menzies, held by bete-noir of the left Kevin Andrews.

• Sam Strutt of the Courier-Mail reports of “polling indicating a huge swing” in the Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher, which Peter Slipper holds for the Liberals on a margin of 11.4 per cent.

• The verdict from the wind chimes merchants of Dobell is in: “Everyone knows when Labor is in unions run the country&#148. Ken Ticehurst remains remarkably media-shy.

Samantha Maiden of The Australian peruses a Poll Bludger comments thread. All good fun in my view, but the folk at Club Bloggery are not taking it lying down.

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.

1,127 comments on “D-day minus 13”

Comments Page 1 of 23
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  1. Samantha Maiden’s piece shows just how out of touch the Murdoch press is with the real world. Not even a serious attempt to analyse the blogging phenomenon, just name calling and spleen venting. Do they realise perhaps that their days of controlling what people think and read are numbered. The media in this country are a disgrace (witness the gay headline on the weekend), time for some serious enquiry into how they operate.

    BTW, the Club Bloggery response is excellent, worth a read.

  2. โ€ข Michael Bachelard of The Age reports that the Greens decided on Friday to direct preferences to Labor in every Victorian seat, which it has never done before. The decision was apparently made after Lindsay Tanner succeeded in embarrassing the Greens over split-ticket how-to-vote cards being distributed at a pre-poll booth in Menzies, held by bete-noir of the left Kevin Andrews.

    Good on Lindsay ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ……. If this helps deliver some seats to the ALP through preferences from the Greens, it will be a huge plus

  3. Julie, the Greens preference thing highlights that they don’t really want to preference anyone but they need to think through the reaction to preferencing Kevin Andrews for example.

  4. I’m glad that Milne has written a short piece throwing mud at the Labor party. Imagine the amount of copy he would have to produce if he began to seriously write about the factional brawling within the Liberal Party at both state and federal level.

    I would suggest that he could begin with a piece on the Queensland coalition and work his way around the country. Finishing episode ten with a reason on why the Federal Coalition has been unable to resolve its leadership issues and giving reasons why such a rabble has become unelectable.

    Whether anyone would take seriously anything Milne writes is another story.

  5. 8
    Follow the Preferences Says:
    November 11th, 2007 at 7:04 am
    Anyone is better
    Than Kevin Andrews.

    Ditto …… I don’t live in this electorate but surely anyone who does and votes for Andrews has heaps of explaining to do to justify why the actions he has taken in the Haneef affair have been a good thing. Because that is what you would be doing, justifying those actions as alright, IF you registered a vote of (1) Andrews in this seat.

  6. Ave it 07, I guess it’s been a VERY long time between drinks for you Pom Tories. Utterly obliterated in 97, and still below 200 seats in a House of around 640. No wonder Howard’s your hero, but it sure looks like his days are numbered. Oh well, maybe you Pom Tories will get all the way to 250 seats in 2010.

  7. 13 Fake letters have always played a part in Federal election campaigns when there is a big swing on. I can’t personally remember a time that a fake letter helped out a dead or dying rabble who was about to be swept from power.

    Usually it just goes into the mix of reasons why they are out of touch and must exit for the betterment of the nation.

  8. 15 On this basis the Pommy Tories will have a new hero in Gridlock Campbell of Brisbane City Council from November 25. Who will look after their interests from March next year when Gridlock Campbell is swept from office in the final roundup of Liberals by a disappointed public, though?

  9. Does anyone have details of the scheduling time for the debate on Tuesday between Julia and Downer? I know it is Tuesday and is in Sydney, hosted by Laurie Oakes – but what I am trying to find out is the timing. I want to see it but if the thing is on during the daytime, I need to know so I can rearrange my day time schedule.

    I checked 9msn’s website but no details were forthcoming there …..

  10. 12 – Hello Lord D – looking good for us Cons in Britain. Certs to win in 2010 with Camo!

    But you Australians are lucky – you have the chance to elect another conservative government in a few weeks!

  11. Poor MSM M/s Maiden, Shenanaghan et al, tried to stir up the Henny Penny narrative from Team Rodent that the teh evil unions would… (blah blah), but now Foxy Loxy in the form of the electors is primed to lop the heads off those messengers. The King will never get to hear that the sky is falling…(so sad, too bad, never mind)

    And what a narrative it has been: interest rates hikes are good while being simultaneously bad, SerfChoices keeps wages low while simultaneously the workers have never had it so good; [underlying security narrative-we’re killing teh evil terrorists over in Iraq so we don’t have to kill the Dr Haneefs over here]; inflation is so bad that’s why we’re pork barrelling like there’s no tomorrow; vote for moi, Johnny Economic Angel today so I can retire tomorrow (beg beg, plead plead…grovel…plead); only we teh Economic Masters can handle the resources boom by spending it all on pork and Pacific Solutions…)

    As to you scumbag, lying, lefty, evil unionist supporting blog posting filth, non respecters of our MSM Newspoll owning wisdom; communist, “wog” loving, homosexual louts etc etc:

    We find your lack of faith disturbing

    Am so looking forward to some humble pie, crow eating therof from the GG, but then again, a Donald Rumsfeld time will undoubtedly come… “I/we never said that!” will be their ultimate defence.

  12. Well, Crikey’s rumour was right in the end. From the Murdoch Press, only the hit day was a bit later and the target was Julia Gilliard rather than Rudd. Of course, 99% of posts in here predicted it would be Milne. I assume this will backfire even worse than the silly “Strippergate” smear that Milne dished out with all the sanctimony of a John Pilger.

    How many woman out there have either been done dirt by some bastard or at least have close friends or relatives whose heart has been broken by some cad?
    This will only enhance Gilliard’s public “image” as well as undermine any other stupid rubbish which might be thrown from the Coalition’s dirt units.

    According to Hugh McKay, one of the factors in the major shift of Baby Boomers to Labor this election is a return to their ’60’s idealism, a significant aspect of which McKay reckons is the transformation in the status of women. Those Baby Boomers and the children they raised are not going to appreciate seeing a successful baby-boomer woman like Gilliard being slimed.

  13. I see where Adelaide’s ‘Sunday Mail’ has concluded that “VOTERS in a key South Australian election battleground have given Prime Minister John Howard a ringing endorsement, saying they are unsure if Kevin Rudd can handle the role of prime minister.” They used a focus group. How many people in the focus group? SEVEN.
    Real scientific research that.

  14. Sky has announced debates next week between the Education Minister and
    Shadow on Thursday (back to back with the Foreign Affairs debate) and on Friday with the Communication Minister and Shadow. Friday’s affair is on an expanded Agenda late in the afternoon and don’t know the forum for the Thursday Education debate. The Foreign Affairs debate is midday at the NPC in Canberra.

    Still seems that Nelson is the minister that they are hiding =)

  15. To suggest that no one in the ALP would deal with Glen Milne is incredibly naive. Wayne Swan, and stephen Conroy in particular spend an enourmous amount of time and energy cultivating favour with that grub.

  16. I have a feeling that it is starting to come together for Labor. The Murdoch press aren’t exactly on Rudd’s side yet but they are showing signs of acceptance of a Labor victory. On Greet the Mess this morn, Milne and other journo gave Minchin a hard time I thought. It looks as though the negative Labor ads are starting up and they do have lots of ammunition! If Newspoll on Tuesday is bad for the Libs, it’s game over. The Labor win will be seats in the 80s, no huge landslide. But, my inner soul wants to see those lying bastards absolutely destroyed for a long time to come.

  17. It’s about time Sharan put her money where her mouth is.

    Without a doubt, this is the most contentious issue of the election and this workchoices thing should be fazed out post haste.

    I hate this and I”M AN EMPLOYER!!!

  18. How many woman out there have either been done dirt by some bastard or at least have close friends or relatives whose heart has been broken by some cad?

    Just amazing isn’t it. How to make Rudd look human and along comes strippergate. How to make Gillard look feminine and along comes cadgate.

    If things go on like this the labor campaign team will go on strike insisting that the Liberal team stop doing their work.

    Perhaps the labor team could balance things up by doing a few favors for the Liberals.

  19. Please tell me someone has read the article in today’s Sydney Sun-Herald. By Miranda Devine – what John and Janette Howard “really” think of Kevin Rudd. Some pearlers from Howard:

    * The electorate isn’t hostile, but they were when he was Treasurer – “I wasn’t PM then”. Although some people do come up and say you’ve “blanketdy blanked the country” or “I’ve been sacked unfairly blah blah blah blah” (actual quote), but it’s “all part of the fun”. So what if you were actually sacked unfairly, blah blah blah?
    * Kevin Rudd doesn’t stand for anything
    * Keating isn’t particularly intelligent

    Who cares what Janette thinks, she isn’t a parliamentarian and secondly, why is Howard only telling us what he “really” thinks now, if he is so upfront.

  20. Glenn Milne is already being forced to retract part of the dirt story:

    Early editions of the Sunday Telegraph contained an allegation that Ms Gillard had incorporated funds used by Mr Wilson.

    The Sunday Telegraph acknowledges that this allegation is entirely untrue. This error was made by The Sunday Telegraph.

  21. Expect the Coalition to seize on Swan’s acknowledgement that there were economic mistakes made by the Hawke/Keating administrations – and that a Rudd Labor government will learn from them.

  22. I have heard that out of the Howards, Janette is the rampant racist, not John. He has evidently taken many of his more despicable policies to shut her up.

  23. 44 – such an acknowledgement can only go down well. It means Labor have learned form any mistakes made. No government is perfect. This government has made many mistakes and has admittied some, though not enough.

  24. I wonder whether Labor is right now wrestling with the question: “Should we spend significantly less than the Coalition in election promises in the remaining two weeks in order to look more economically responsibe in the light of the interest rate rise and the statement by the RBA?”

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