A couple of things

Three, actually:

• Malcolm Mackerras has told the Heidelberg and Diamond Valley Weekly he expects the Federal Court to order a by-election when it hears the McEwen appeal on March 20 (hat tip to commenter Unicorn). Mackerras states: “The ALP does not need to prove fraud, just that enough voters were disenfranchised by no fault of their own. The court is unlikely to simply kick Fran Bailey out though. A byelection is much more likely.” Which to my mind at least raises the question: if there has to be one by-election, why not several?

• The Rudd government has earned itself some Poll Bludger brownie points with its move to cut the threshold for public disclosure of political donations to $1000. The 2005 increase in this threshold from $1500 to $10,000 was as good a demonstration as any that the Howard government had run its course. The Prime Minister has also floated the possibility of a cap on donations, although I suspect he might lose his enthusiasm for this one in the fullness of time. I have been too busy to give these matters the attention they deserve, but Michelle Grattan provided an excellent overview in Saturday’s Age.

• A Galaxy poll in Sunday’s News Limited tabloids painted a depressingly familiar picture for Brendan Nelson, who was favoured as Liberal leader by just 9 per cent of the 400 respondents, against 24 per cent for Malcolm Turnbull, 19 per cent for Peter Costello, 11 per cent for Julie Bishop and 9 per cent for Joe Hockey.

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.

266 comments on “A couple of things”

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  1. The polls from here on will only be relevant to the likes of Turnbull, Minchin and Nelson and the leadership competition. The next rat-king has yet to foul the nest.

    Rudd would be nuts to follow the polls from hereon as inevitably they will fall back to something like 55/45 in three years time. Managing policy to polls over three years is a sure way to suicide.

    Rudd’s language all along has been long-term, considering the future and hopefully he will keep this rehtoric when implementing policy as LNP attacks will be grouned in the short term – the contrast will be apparent to the public.

  2. Sounds like some people still actually read Shennannigan’s crapload.

    Unrelated topic but not psephologically. Anyone notice the role of blogs in creating a sea-change in the electoral/political scene in Malaysia? Joh’s Queensland was a model of true democracy compared to the situation over there.

  3. [I don’t really call how the press behaved when other governments first came to power but it is truly tiresome to continually read cynical political reporting.]

    Actually Howard’s first term wasn’t great. He had to replace a number of ministers due to his strict ministerial code. The media had a field day with this, but Howard did get a lot of positive press with the gun control laws following the Port Arthur massacre.

    But I don’t recall the same level of cynicism of the new government that exists right now.

    Unfortunately, the media are applying old rules to new situations. I do believe that Australians are hungering for the optimistic, the positive and the bipartisan. They are sick of fear and want to hear solution-focused talk from politicians and the media. Many of them don’t care about which side of politics puts forward a good idea, only that the idea is put into action with a minimum of fuss. And most are sick of the partisan divisiveness that characterised the Howard years.

    Rudd understands this well, which is why he is now PM.

    But the media are still in the Howard mold, trying to tear apart ideas rather than being constructively critical, generally being obstructionist, injecting too much partisan politics into their framing of news stories, and acting not in the national interest but in terms of party political interest. All CLASSIC Howardian stuff.

    The media will get the message eventually, but only when some braver souls take the lead with a new approach that actually matches public sentiment. Until then, expect many Rudd-bashing campaigns to fail.

  4. With 2yrs 8mths before the next election I doubt if Kev will be too worried about what the likes of OO spin. Same goes for the opinion polls.
    Actions speak louder than words and his government will only get stronger as time passes.
    Changes will start to have an effect. People will feel they’re jobs are safe and they have fair working conditions once again. When the health and education systems get a shake up with a co-operative approach with the states and when climate change issues such as the Murray are dealt with and when the many other social and humanitarian issues are brought out from under the carpet so us Aussies can walk the world stage feeling proud and not ashamed, then I think the positiveness will return as St Kev leads us out of the darkness.

  5. No 259

    Even if they feel their jobs are safe, nothing is going to stop the impending outrage over increases to energy prices as a result of global warming.

  6. 260 You are right there GP, another example of twelve wasted Tory years where action could have been taken when it was cheaper to do so.

  7. 260
    The majority are willing to tackle global warming and personlly I think all this outrage talk is just another beat up. I’m sure there will sweetners to encourage those who need encouraging and the rest off us will take up the challenge with vigor!

  8. Turnbull is becoming a Turnass:

    TREASURY secretary Ken Henry has today rejected as “false” claims by Malcolm Turnbull that his department advised the Rudd Government to nominate a specific dollar figure in its submission to the minimum wage case.

    Rejecting repeated claims by Opposition Treasury spokesman Malcolm Turnbull that Treasury recommended an $18-a-week increase for low-paid workers, Mr Henry has broken his traditional silence on such matters to declare the claims false.

    “I refer to recent claims that the Treasury recommended to the Government that it nominate a specific dollar figure in the Government’s submission to the Australian Fair Pay Commission on minimum wages,” Mr Henry said in a statement. “These claims are false.”

  9. “The latest Morgan Poll Federal Vote finds that ALP primary support is down 2% to 53.5% following the bad publicity surrounding the Government’s alleged plans to cut payments to carers and the elderly became public earlier this week — its lowest primary vote since January — while support for the embattled Coalition is at its highest level (34%, up 3.5%) since January.

    It is quite funny that Roy Morgan has been the only one to be honest in as much he has said that a plan to cut carers payments was – an allegation as opposed to fact.

    The lead is still a stratospheric an unrealistic 61/39

    I heard Turnbull on AM this morning and do not believe that the public will find him that palatable. He still has that arrogant business man talking down to the staff approach.

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