Senate and Page polls

Morgan has published a survey of Senate voting intention aggregated from its polling over October. As usual the minor party figures look a little inflated, while major party support reflects the slight improvement the Coalition seems to have managed during the campaign. We also have a poll of 300 voters in Page conducted by Grafton’s Daily Examiner and Lismore’s Northern Star, which they stress is “not intended to be scientifically accurate”. It shows Labor’s Janelle Saffin with a decisive primary vote lead over Nationals candidate Chris Gulaptis, 44 per cent to 41 per cent. A poor level of recorded support for the Greens is not of interest in itself, but it elicits an admission from candidate Theo Jongen that the party’s vote is “running at six per cent”, compared with 10.8 per cent in 2004.

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.

986 comments on “Senate and Page polls”

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  1. In the Higher Education supplement to GG today, Snitch’s column, there’s an account of last week’s higher education forum at Macquarie. Organisers were ‘shocked and disappointed’ that their local member, one JWH, didn’t attend. However, seven other Bennelong candidates appeared, including Maxine, who ‘hit a soft spot when she said it was time academics were treated better and not as an “irrelevant cultural elite”‘. 500 people attended. And OK, many of them would vote Labor anyway, but can’t do any harm to Maxine’s prospects in Bennelong. Especially combined with the excellent Higher Ed news in Rudd’s speech today.

  2. Withnin minutes after Labor launching their campaign, SportingBet has updated Labor/Coalition odds: 1.32 / 3.35
    That is pretty much the odds during last week (1.32 / 3.35). On Monday, when Howard launched his campaign, his odds improved a bit at 1.33 / 3.2
    But now the odds go back to what they were last week. Things can only get worse for Howard from now on.

  3. Why are various people finding it so hard to understand what Lose The Election Please is saying? If I may paraphrase…
    Computers good… but neither necessary nor sufficient. Noone did well at school without being enthused by at least one good teacher. Good teachers are hard to keep in the private system, let alone the public one, so teacher’s pay needs to be addressed with at least as much committment as computers in classrooms.

    LTEP – feel free to correct me.

  4. I don’t disagree with LTEPs sentiments – its just that the reality is, they are irrelevant in the campaign context.
    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not denigrating those points. I’m just saying that it is an argument that needs to be made to a Labor Government, not to a campaigning opposition.
    God knows, if the argument is made to a coalition Government, it will fall on deaf ears.

  5. [ALP have an Aboriginal singer with a beautiful voice doing the National Anthem. What does that say about the place of Reconcilliation in a Rudd government? :):)]

    I’d laugh if it was Bilie Court – the adopted daughter of ex WA Liberal Premier Richard 🙂

  6. Dangerous 904

    I’m hip. I was merely suggesting that addressing teachers pay in a political campaign is too much at this stage. Small steps, Karl Popper and all that jazz.

  7. OK. I get the politics of it. Also, better a capital expenditure than a recurring one from a long-term political viewpoint.

    However, I hope that a Labor government will try to do some joined-up thinking – spending a heap on computers will not produce a massive improvement in education outcomes on its own.

  8. 863
    mike Says:
    November 14th, 2007 at 3:58 pm
    Interesting point re oil prices and inflation”

    The thing is mike, high oil prices can’t be both inflatioanry and deflationary at the same time. In the US, economists are currently worried that high oil prices will tip the economy into recession (because high gas prices suck discretionary demand out of household spending). They have the same effect in other economies. If prices rise and wages do not follow, then real wages by definition will have fallen. Falling wages (household incomes) will depress aggregate demand.

    Certainly, wage increases can outgrow the capacity of the economy (ie, grow faster than productivity gains). This can be because of shortages of labour or because workers can bargain for high wage increases. They could seek to do this in response to higher current prices for goods and services – including fuel and other items – or because they expect prices to rise more quickly in the future. But in themselves, higher product prices do not lead to higher wages or vice versa.

    In any case, were wages to start growing at pace that was beyond the capacity of the economy, the RBA would increase interest rates in order to reduce aggregate demand and put downward pressure on prices, employment and wages.

    The other factor that has to be taken into account is labour supply. This has expanded enormously in the last decade and is probably the major single factor that has limited wages growth even though labour demand has been growing very rapidly at the same time.

  9. During excavations, we often uncover small fragments of slate with worked edges. During a dig in Tasmania, whole slate “tablets” were revealed. They were ruled and some still bore the traces of the children’s writing. Slate “pencils” were found in the same strata. An early school. Probably about 1840-80.

    John Howard’s approach to education reminds me of those wonderful, but out-dated, tools for learning …

    To date, nil computers, any strata. Hope this helps.

  10. Re the oil price – A high oil price acan be both inflationary or deflationary, depending on the circumstance

    The oil price can be high because of either an increase in demand or a decrease in supply.

    When the oil price rises because of a decrease in supply, this tends to be inflationary (eg the 1970s). Businesses which used to be profitable are now not becuase the inputs are higher – so the they pass on prices. There is no extra production or, in fact, reduced production.

    When the oil price rises becasue of increased demand this is less inflationary. It represents the market determining WHICH businesses and uses get the finite resource. Since these tend to be prices associated with increased growth/production they are less inflationary.

  11. Just heard Tony Wright, nat affairs ed, the age, complain on ABC774 that Rudd spent $2.3 billion and was painting himself as a fiscal conservative. Ie – $2.3 billion is TOO MUCH!! Tut tut, Kevin. (Tony shaking his head)

    LTEP – that is a spin on today’s spending that you didn’t predict. 🙂

  12. Lose the election please Says:
    November 14th, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    As I keep saying, all the computers in the world mean nothing without teachers.

    I doubt the goal is teachers or computer.

    1) There are good programs to replace the graphic calculator, which seems to be a requirement these days.
    2) Just perhaps the syllabus could be change to cover discrete mathematics a little better. Perhaps deal with the floating point errors.
    3)The real benefit is access to the internet.

  13. 912
    Rates Analyst Says:
    November 14th, 2007 at 4:38 pm
    “Re the oil price – A high oil price acan be both inflationary or deflationary, depending on the circumstance…”

    Rates analyst, I think this view is mistaken. The inflation of the 1970’s preceded the huge jump in oil prices. This shock occurred at a time when the global economy was already overheating and interest rates had begun to rise. The first oil shock was deeply deflationary and helped tip the global economy into recession. The response of governments everywhere was to try to stimulate demand with a some Keynesian pump-priming (fiscal expansion). But at the same time markets and central banks drove interest rates to record levels in response the inflationary pressures that had been building right through the late 1960’s. The global economy was under a lot of stress, culminating in the abolition of the gold standard in the US. The following depreciation of the US currency, recession in Japan and widespread fiscal and monetary dislocation caused a lot of distress but it is certainly not true to say this was caused by sudden jump and then decline in the oil price.

    The more recent rise in oil prices reflects the usual interaction of demand and supply: demand has been growing (along with global output) but supply has not kept pace. Global economic output is now less oil-intensive than it was in 30 years ago, so the oil price is less of a factor in the calculation of overall inflation, but it is nonetheless a sign of inflationary pressure in the global economy, as well as a reflection of prolonged USD-weakness.

  14. Dangerous… that’s pretty much exactly what I was saying. Computer’s are always good… but, to put it into perspective, computer’s aren’t everything and the root of our education system lies with teachers.

    It’s still better than the $800 hand-out (which is pretty much all I remember about the Coalition’s launch)… but to me a good government actually attempts to correct problems, no matter whether they’re going to gain any political points from doing so.

    Is the $800 going to solve anything that’s wrong with our education system? No… it won’t even come close. The computers are a step in the right direction… but the real problems we face are to do with teacher shortages and standards.

  15. Blindoptimist / rates

    we seem to have a chicken before the egg argument here. If the oil prices (or another factor) weren’t inflationary, then the RBA wouldn’t pull the trigger on putting downward pressure on demand. I guess the issue is whether that can keep the genie in the bottle in a predictive sense. With the time it takes for rate rises to actually affect the demand side, it takes the RBA a fair bit of crystal ball gazing. Anyway my point was simply that at present I feel it would be inflationary 😉

    Anyway I am so sick of the attack on labor from an economics perspective. The Hawke / Keating governments deserve much applause and hopefully in time will receive it. Personally it doesn’t worry me the slightest which side claims to be better managers. I am much more concerned about Hicks, Iraq, AWB, Tampa, complete degeneration of funding for education… and the lists goes on…

  16. Letp @ 917

    “to me a good government actually attempts to correct problems, no matter whether they’re going to gain any political points from doing so”

    I agree with you mate, that is exactly what good governments should do.

    Good oppositions on the other hand do what they need to do to get into government. We are lumbered with a BAD government at the moment, and Labor being pure as the driven snow is no good to any of us if it ensures another 3 years of the Coalition.

    Next election hold them to a higher standard as they should be able to advocate for what is right better with the benefits of incumbency. Until then we have to cop less than the best for the greater good.

  17. LTEP, let’s be perfectly frank here. Your comments about teacher retention are bang on the money. But what was this launch about? It was about making Howard look like a fuddy-duddy who just throws money at people to get them to vote for him. I think it worked.

    Having said that, I think Rudd and the rest of the caucus do actually give a toss about funding an education boost–after all, nothing convinces like conviction.

  18. 918
    mike Says:
    November 14th, 2007 at 4:59 pm
    “Blindoptimist / rates
    we seem to have a chicken before the egg argument here.”

    I agree about Labor, mike. They did a really good job in spite of everything in the 1980’s and early 90’s. The coalition have been able to coast along and play their disgraceful political games.

    Regarding the oil price – or any other price for that matter – in the absence of a change in wages, it is axiomatic that an increase in the price of a commodity results in a reduction in real wages. Likewise, a fall in prices will result in increased real wages.

    So the rise in oil prices hurts people’s pockets. That is, their disposable incomes are reduced unless or until they can get a wage rise to compensate. So rising prices hurt ordinary households. That is why stopping inflation should be a major goal of any Labor government. That was one of the major and enduring accomplishments of Paul Keating and Bob Hawke.

    I need hardly add, in my view, the general rise in inflation in recent years is the stand-out failure among the many bungles of JohnHoward.

  19. blindoptimist, I’m sure the Labor launch did its job, but I believe Fairfax online polls about as much as I believe polls in the Daily Telegraph.

  20. Generic

    Don’t actually care much for Hicks at all. I do however care very much for the rule of law and its operation. I guess you take the ends before means approach, which is fine, but I find it abhorent that he spent nearly 5 years locked away without charge. As a liberal in the political sense of the word that action rings alarm bells… but so do keeping the extended police powers in NSW that first eminated after the cronulla riots which is a labor state government decision I am not excited about… On Hicks to be semantic he was not convicted of terrorism either, but I guess that is not your point. I take it you support the role the government played in dealing with Haneef as well?

  21. Generic Person Says:
    November 14th, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Actually it wouldn’t be a bad thing if children were forced to undertake handwriting and diction classes.

    Grandparents should take keyboard classes, grandparents and parents should take SMS classes (I’m a stick in the mud no way I’m going to learn how to do it).

    Get over it GP, the world has moved on, in Australia the abortion debate ended in about 1980, educated people travel freely around the would making scare campaigns more difficult and the Liberal culture wars are now history.

    Pity the Liberal party didn’t stick to what it did well, building capital infrastructure instead of getting mixed up with a bunch of religious nutters.

  22. Shoot me down people, but I believe that Libs – as opposed to small-l libs – are actually anti-education. They simply do not believe in the notion that every kid in Australia deserves an education, as a right. Sure, a selective education – catholic schools, nutter factories, “correct” religious dorms, no swarthy types and, particularly, no kid from a Labor background is worthy of an education … hence the long-going attack on public schools.

    Dunno about Nantucket, but by god’s teeth I wish them a sleigh ride to their hell. Dante. Inferno.

    Noted that that … thing … Andrews … could not be dislodged from his hole today about the Tony Tran case. Gutless little creep. End rant.

  23. Who needs Big Brother?

    The federal government has pledged to fund an extensive security camera network in Melbourne’s troubled suburb of Noble Park if re-elected.

    Justice Minister David Johnston said the coalition would provide $120,000 in funding for CCTV cameras to be installed around the Noble Park area if it is returned to power on November 24.

  24. No 937

    1. Perhaps Hicks could have been tried much earlier, but I have absolutely no sympathy for the guy. Never have never will.

    2. I believe the Haneef affair was an embarrassment and that Andrews should be sacked.

    But, in light of those two statements, neither is an election issue because the government’s policies in relation to terrorism and national security are well supported in the broader community.

  25. No 939

    What a ridiculous statement to make. The Liberals have always supported education, but the key difference is that they support parental choice which necessarily means making the funding follow the child whether it been in the private or public sector.

  26. Let’s hope that the righteous voters of Menzies take matters into their own firm hands and dispose of Andrews next weekend. He is a disgrace.

  27. No 943

    As far as I was aware, though correct me if I’m wrong, the ALP’s rebates were linked to Family Tax Benefit A which means it does not go to all parents.

  28. “816
    Will Says:
    November 14th, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Blacklight, perhaps I could do a Tabitha here:

    Liberal voters read The Australian
    Labor voters read The Age


    well the libs should be panicking then, ’cause 90% of the posts in the blogs
    are going Rudd’s way!

  29. Generic Person

    Which statement was ridiculous? Gutless little creep? Large L Liberals don’t believe in education for kids? Define please, Sonny Jim … I am at a loss as to your meaning. Please explain …

  30. Blindoptimoist

    I concur. Heard Julian Burnside today on radio talking about the Tony Tran case. He’s calling for a Royal Commission.

  31. Generic Person said:

    No 918

    It is also telling that you would care so deeply about a convicted terrorist.

    Both the former Judge Advocate General of the ADF, and a former Commonwealth Solicitor General care so much that they are – with others – actively investiging whether members of the current government can be charged with the war crime they believe was committed in the Hicks detention and ‘conviction’ They are not alone.

    Should you believe this is of little importance I would remind you that the protection afforded by the Geneva Conventions only apply to those countries that themselves honour them. Any political or military leader who treats them with contempt has no regard for the men and women who serve in the country’s armed forces. This is why war crimes are offences under sect. 268 of the Australian Crimes Act.

    In an earlier post you admonished someone for comparing Howard with Germany’s WW2 leader. The comparison is more apt than you may realise.

    There is a strong case for charging JWH with two of the four war crimes that would have been bought against A.H had he lived, a possible case in relation to a third, Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War, and while a case couldn’t be substantiated on the fourth – genocide, IMHO, there is a deal of moral equivalency in the treatment inflicted on asylum seekers, especially when you consider that few if any of the true illegals arriving here earlier this decade, the estimated 200,000+ European & North American migrants who arrived by air clutching tourist visas, were even sought much less locked up in Pacific hellholes.

  32. Generic Person,

    Like most people I don’t have an issue with the funding following the child. But what the Coalition is essentially saying by making private school fees partially deductible is that they have no faith in the public system. It would of course also follow that faith-based schools are going to teach a more conservative view of the world and a Tony Aboot-esque moral outlook on things like abortion and euthanasia.

    But you see, my parents raised two kids and bought a house without a homeowners grant, and then sent us to a catholic high school after what was a very good state school primary education without any help from the government outside of the standard family payments made during the 80s and early 90s.

    If you can’t afford to buy a house without the government chipping in, then rent until you can. If you can’t afford to send your kids to a private school, then send them to your local public schools. I’m all for choice, but if you can’t afford your preferred choice, then why should my taxes help you out when there’s a fallback option that my tax dollar already pays for?

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