D-day minus 5

Dennis Shanahan and Matthew Franklin in The Australian:

ALP polling in Victoria last week suggested Labor would be lucky to win a seat in the state, meaning that the bulk of the 16 seats the party needs for victory will have to come from NSW and Queensland … Senior Labor officials last night maintained there was a continuing swing to the ALP, as evidenced by the published polls, but said it remained a tight contest in marginal seats across the country. “There is no question we will win seats in NSW and Queensland, the question is how many,” a senior Labor source said … Victorian Liberals and Labor sources suggest extrapolations of up to six seats being won in Victoria are unlikely. Last week, Labor polled the five most marginal seats of La Trobe, Deakin, Corangamite, McEwen and McMillan with a sample of 350 voters in each seat. Labor sources stressed the ALP was not in front in any of the Victorian marginals held by the Coalition. Liberal sources said Labor was finding it difficult to get above the “high water mark” of Labor support in Victoria but they believed three or four seats were still very close … Playing down expectations in NSW, some Labor officials are suggesting a net gain of four or five seats would be a good result. The published polling in Queensland also suggests the high expectations based on Labor’s overwhelming two-party-preferred lead of 10 points for most of the past year have been tempered with the latest estimates of only three or four seats … In the Northern Territory, the Country Liberal Party’s Dave Tollner is expected to benefit from the Coalition’s intervention in the Northern Territory and hold his seat, despite it being one of the most marginal in the country.

Gerard McManus in the Herald-Sun:

Depending on the tightness of the result next Saturday this could still mean that WA, which is three hours behind the east, may determine the final outcome very late on Saturday night. But Labor insiders remain quietly confident the result will be known well before that, with New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland likely to deliver sufficient seats for it to take government. Optimists inside Labor believe the party can take up to three to five seats in South Australia, up to eight in Queensland, and six to eight in New South Wales. And some super-optimists say Labor could take 11 or 12 seats in NSW, including the mortgage-strapped seats of Greenway (11 per cent) and Macarthur (11.1 per cent) … But based on the earlier, more conservative prediction Labor would achieve a comfortable majority of about six seats based on winning its required 16 seats in Queensland, SA and NSW, and also picking up the two Tasmanian seats, one or two in either Victoria or WA, and the Northern Territory seat of Solomon, which both sides expect to go to Labor. Interestingly, Labor is not banking on winning any seats in Victoria because it already holds a majority of the seats in the state, but will not be surprised to see up to three fall “if the swing is on” … An analysis of the critical 30 marginal seats suggests that Labor can still be certain of a definite gain of only a dozen seats and that even the best pundits have no idea of the result in some seats. For example, predicting the outcome in the Prime Minister’s seat of Bennelong, often quoted as a possible or even likely Labor gain after a redistribution cut the PM’s margin to just 4 per cent, has been hampered by the reluctance of Chinese and Korean voters to talk to pollsters. “We have no idea who they will vote for because they simply refuse to co-operate – they are suspicious of polls and questionnaires,” one NSW Labor worker told the Herald Sun this week. Many expect Mr Rudd’s fluency in Mandarin to have impressed Chinese nationals and ABCs (Australian-born Chinese), but others say Chinese typically respect elderly and incumbent leaders. Similarly, Malcolm Turnbull’s affluent Sydney seat of Wentworth has been buffeted by several controversies, including the legitimacy of Labor candidate George Newhouse. Labor insiders say they will be surprised if Mr Turnbull is not returned.

Jennifer Hewett in The Australian:

The strong anti-union message from the Government was resonating into the idea of whether it was worth taking the risk on economic management. Even interest rate hikes were making people just a little nervous about the prospect of making a change. NSW seats such as Eden-Monaro and Page, which Labor must win next Saturday, suddenly looked much tighter. The surge to Labor in South Australia abated. Braddon in Tasmania was no longer looking so much like a near certainty for the ALP. Queensland could only really guarantee four seats rather than six. Victoria was not looking likely to produce any wins at all … in Queensland the estimate from both sides is a probable loss of four government seats (Bonner, Moreton, Blair, Herbert) to six seats (Leichhardt, Forde or just maybe the new seat of Flynn despite the anger there over council amalgamations). In NSW, the estimate is about five seats to Labor but with great nervousness about Eden-Monaro and a little nervousness about Page. Labor is not including Wentworth or Bennelong on its likely list. In Victoria, Labor is not confident of winning any seats, where effective government MPs will be trying to hold out against the tide. In South Australia, both Liberals and Labor expect a loss of three Coalition seats but no more. In Tasmania, Bass looks as if it is gone from the Liberals, but there are different views about whether the Liberals will hold Braddon. In the Northern Territory, the Liberal Country Party’s David Tollner will be trying to hold out against Labor in a typically tough-knuckled fight. And then, of course, there’s WA, where the likeliest outcome, as of this weekend, is a possible loss of Cowan – where the popular Labor MP is also retiring – balanced by a Labor pick-up in Hasluck. But absolutely no guarantees of anything.

• Andrew Burrell wrote in Friday’s Financial Review that Liberal polling showed them narrowly ahead in Stirling, whereas Labor’s had the two parties “virtually deadlocked”. Labor sources are said to be “extremely confident” of winning back Hasluck.

• Google has now added polling booth locations to its magnificent Google Maps election feature.

• Complete results from the weekend’s EMRS poll of the five Tasmanian seats available here.

Simon Jackman has laid his predictive cards on the table.

Andrew Fraser of The Australian gives an overview of the Sunday papers’ record on editorial endorsements, but the good bit is not included in the online article. Here it is:

Sunday Telegraph (News Limited, Sydney): 1998 Howard, 2001 Beazley, 2004 Howard, 2007 Rudd. “The Sunday Telegraph accepts readers believe it is finally time to give Labor a go. But Mr Rudd needs to guarantee our nation several things. He must stare down a Labor cabinet inhabited by many with union and factional allegiances … Mr Rudd must surround himself with a loyal team that will help him deliver on his promises“.

Sunday Herald Sun (News Limited, Melbourne): 1998 Howard, 2001 Howard, 2004 Howard, 2007 Howard. “It is time. Not to change governments, but to resist temptation. It is time to acknowledge that the Coalition is the safe bet in a political contest in which the new, despite its superficial allure, offers less than the familiar”.

The Sunday Age (Fairfax, Melbourne): 1998 N/A; 2001 None; 2004 None; 2007 No call. “On the contenders’ ‘exposed form’, The Sunday Age does not see enough differences between the Coalition and Labor to urge readers to vote for one over the other”.

The Sun-Herald (Fairfax, Sydney): 1998 N/A; 2001 Howard; 2004 Howard; 2007 Rudd. “The Sun-Herald says voters face a tough choice but our endorsement is for the Labor Party. Team Rudd gets our final tick on the strength of its fresh vision for education”.

Sunday Mail (News Limited, Adelaide): 1998 Howard; 2001 Howard; 2004 Howard; 2007 Howard. “Now is not the time to move into untested waters, particularly as the world economy comes under strain next year. The Sunday Mail believes the Coalition is best placed to govern Australia for the next three years”.

Sunday Times (News Limited, Perth): 1998 Howard; 2001 Howard; 2004 Howard; 2007 Howard. “The Sunday Times believes change for change sake is simply not an adequate trigger to throw out a Coalition Government which, while far from perfect, has overseen record prosperity in WA and the nation”.

Sunday Mail (News Limited, Brisbane): 1998 N/A; 2001 None; 2004 Howard; 2007 Rudd. “There is undoubtedly a mood for national renewal and there is a need for national renewal. Mr Rudd has demonstrated he has the potential to undertake that task effectively”.

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.

367 comments on “D-day minus 5”

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  1. Glan said ‘This is the thin end of the wedge here if we mess this balance up between economy and environment we’ll lose lose.’

    Yep, couldn’t agree more. But I’d like to leave some sort of habitable planet for my nieces and nephews to live on. How much has the ‘War on Muslims’ (sorry I meant to type ‘Terror’) cost JWH adnn Bush – and wouldn’t it have been better for that money to have been spent on cliamte change solutions?

    Just a thought – you should try having them Glen.

  2. I sent a note to a young relative via Facebook to vote for a change in govt. She replied that she was going to vote Liberal this time so I fired a long message as to why she should not vote for Howard. Her response “I meant Labour (sic)……Actually I thought Howard was Labour but I will vote Labour”. She’s born and bred in this country!

  3. What Labor really needs right now is an alarmingly close Newspoll, like 52 to 48, just to make the punters realise they need to put their shoulder into it, to be rid of the Coalition.

  4. Uhhhh Glen,

    Sorry buddy, but I actually watched the 7:30 with the sound turned down, basically I didn’t want to get put off my dinner with their usual lefty stuff,

    Seriously, though, she’s cute, I bet if she’s elected she’ll be asked to sit behind Kevin Rein, next to the other one Kate Ellis, they could discuss fashion, or shoes or how to get more of thier sort into parliament, now that they’ve both found a party that makes a joke of pre-selection processes

  5. #283 Yes Flash, it’s a bloody hot week in Victoria, and the forecast is for more warm weather in Melbourne at the weekend. No doubt country areas will be even hotter. election day won’t be a suitable occasion for climate change denial. Dunno whether the bushfires will still be burning on Saturday, but they might be.

  6. More hubris from Glen again,name calling and all.Rudd hugger doesn’t rhyme,Howard Hugger does.But I think,after the 7.30 Report,Costello beat you to the job.What a pair!!!LOL!!!!
    Mate,you are in for an awful shock Saturday night.LOL!!!!!

  7. Oh dear Mr Squiggle, bringing up fashion just because both candidates are young and female? Although I suppose you’d do the same if they were recent male law students/graduates. Right?

  8. #299/#366 Not only is Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley – it’s in the seat of Kalgoorlie. Mind you, 49 degrees is not unheard of there.

  9. 272 PH So you think Howard and the Liberals are like the National Socialist Worker’s party heh?

    So they hate Jews and Christians, worship the environment, and think they are superior to other groups?

    I can think of one party like that in Australia, but it ain’t the Liberals.

  10. I just love the gratuitous sexism of the Liberal losers on this blog. The reason you are losing so badly is that you don’t understand what is really going on in electorate Australia.

    I love it! Talk about work choices, talk about Kyoto, talk about interset rates and how good the Libs are at managing the economy.

    Pout and and maintain your sniggers at the Labor candidates. It just shows time after time after time that you are so out of touch.

    I mean, Howard came out today proclaiming that if you vote him out, his IR reforms will be in danger. Hello, that is why he is about to lose this election. Talk about playing Russian Roulette with six bullets in the chambers.

  11. Generic P. at 241 says:

    “No 240

    I totally resent your comments with respect to saying that the ALP has higher intellectual credibility.”

    Now why did being addressed as “240” when I’d given my name in the post make me feel like a character out of 1984! 😉

    Sorry “Generic 241”, but the other “numbers” (such as an examination of the educational level of Liberal and Labor party voters and a casual qualitative glance over the people who Howard tends to trot out as intellectual luminaries – Windshuttle, Brunton, et al) make this pretty clear don’t you think? Howard wants to dumb down our universities and high schools for a very good reason. People who really think about things aren’t likely to vote for him!

    But the problem is primarily elsewhere. Howello haven’t just lost touch with “Academia”. They have lost touch with the issues that really matter to most Australians,in favour of a sterile, inadequate, neocon travesty of a world!.

  12. Still no poll since the ALP Launch! So we still don’t know if all the aspirational bogans are pissed off because Kevin has stopped the cargo?
    Better take another pill LTEP

  13. LTEP,

    My understanding of Recent law students and graduates is that they couldn’t find their way out of Fletcher Jones store if it involves walking past a mirror.

    Seriously though, isn’t there another one like that running in South Australia? Mia Handshen?

    I mean one is happenstance, twice is circumstance, three times means there is a bunch of lechers on South Australia’s ALP state pre-selection comittee

  14. Thanks all on Fitzroy Crossing. I was more curious as I don’t know a lot about the geography of WA. Speaking of weather though. Where I live in SW Sydney, was previously predicting around 30 and sunshine for polling day. Now they are saying 17 and rain. If anyone else out there has checked their weather for Saturday and has planned accordingly, you might want to check it again in case yours has changed as well. Looks like the umbrella while I wait in line

  15. 316 Rod. Notice the irony in your comments? A little further up the page you have one of yours who doesn’t know the difference between rhyming and alliteration, and a good number think that the opposite of “win” is spelt with two “o”s.

    Roll on with your great intellectual credibility.

  16. Glen Says:
    November 19th, 2007 at 8:46 pm
    All of the Rudd huggers expect so much from this election and since you will not achieve all that you desire you’ll likely be disappointed with the result.

    The Victorian seats wont fall unless it’s a landslide and its not going to be a landslide. Rudd can only win this election from NSW and QLD he needs 10 from them and 3 from SA and 2 from Tassie, even so with 15 seats he loses Katter won’t back Labor, Windsor maybe.

    But Glen, if the ALP win 75 seats they will form government. End of story. Doesn’t matter if Katter doesn’t support them as they have the numbers to defeat every piece of legislation should they hold 75 seats (given they won’t be producing the speaker).

  17. even so with 15 seats he loses Katter won’t back Labor, Windsor maybe

    If the ALP gain 15 seats from last election then they have 75/150 votes in the HoR and a coalition government is unviable. An ALP opposition could pass a motion of no-confidence without independent support.

  18. For crying out loud, the sound of jaws hitting the floor when we have a hung parliament on Sat/Sun and Katter announces he will support Howards govt while hating the man.

    Long way to go before we see a Labor victory. Discuss the issues objectively please!

  19. As any favourite knows, You CANNOT broadcast it. Keeping a lid on it will shore up anyone thinking that the election is a foregone conclusion.

    THings are moving as the ALP would want them to, partic public perception.

    As for the Libs, the Kyoto revolt continues, last weeks disasterous campaign continues into this week.

  20. red wombat: what is the story about the radio story today that Rodney Cocks has sent out a message referring to his “kids” when, it is claimed, he has none?

  21. No 309

    Those of leftist persuasion are hardly barometers of hubris, given their penchant for triumphant gloating in the face of favourable polls for Mr Rudd.


    John Howard who would you turn gay for????

    JWH: Peter Costello of course…I love him…no..no..no…I really really love him. I always loved him.

  23. 326 Chris. I make no great claim to intellectual superiority. I am quite aware of my stupidity. I am just trying to enlighten other people to theirs.

  24. Martin B, Trevor et al,

    Yep 75 is the magic number. There will be at least 2 independents and Windsor has already come out and said he’d support the party with the most seats. The smart play would probably be to hand him the speakers chair, but he’s an honest enough broker to trust I’d say.

    74 is still probably Rudd as PM. Windor has said he’d support the party with the highest TPP if the seats are equal – not likely to be Club Vermin. Katter then has to choose to support the ALP or cause a new election. He’s no fool and knows full well an independent that can parlay a balance of power is going to get a lot more power than an independent in a parliament with a clear majority.


    Peter Costello who would you turn gay for?

    Costello: I always felt a deep bond with Andrew Peacock. He and I have so much in common…

  26. Weren’t you just a second ago wanting 52-48 to stop Tories voting to prevent a landslide, the only poll that counts is on Saturday.

  27. We know from the state breakdown last weekend that its only the wild Victorian numbers that are holding the national TPP at 54-46.

    53-47 or 52-48 as a national vote is on the cards after that state by state breakdown last weekend.

    If the ALP primary is down to 46 already, there is another point or two that will disappear before Saturday

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