Morgan: 61-39

Unless I’m mistaken, it looks like Roy Morgan has just unloaded two sets of poll results at once: a phone poll of 1128 respondents conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a face-to-face poll of 2019 respondents conducted over the previous two weekends. The former has Labor’s two-party lead at 61-39, while the latter has it at 65-35: wider even than the 64.5-35.5 recorded in the previous published (face-to-face) survey from February 29, and probably some kind of all-time record for any agency.

In other news, the new membership of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has been announced. The spoils are divided thus: Labor gets three MHRs (Daryl Melham, Michael Danby and Jon Sullivan) and two Senators (Carol Brown and Steve Hutchins), the Coalition gets two of each (Scott Morrison and the Nationals’ Bruce Scott from the House, Simon Birmingham and Mitch Fifield from the Senate), and one is determined by the Senate cross-benchers, which effectively means the Greens (with Bob Brown replacing Andrew Murray of the Democrats). It has evidently yet to be announced which of the Labor members will be the chair: previously the position was held by Sophie Mirabella. The only ongoing member from the previous parliament is Michael Danby.

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.

256 comments on “Morgan: 61-39”

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  1. Folks (incl) Frank Calabrese,

    I am NOT the “Antonio” who posted on Lavarteus Proteo today! I have never posted on that site, though I read it occasionally. I have never been a member of a political party, and I live in Victoria. I have never lived in Queensland and wouldn’t even know where Griffith University was, let alone what happens there.

    It’s funny. I used to call myself “Tony” on this site, till another “Tony” turned up, saying things I didn’t agree with. Then I changed my name to “Antonio” on this site. Now another one has turned up..

    Anyway, I reckon it’s all good fun. I find it interesting that if I say anything that agrees with the Labor line, lots of other people on this blog agree with me. If you say anything that fails to bag the Liberal Party, you get bagged yourself.

    Jen, I am NOT saying that the Liberal-stacked ABC Board does not influence, or try to influence, the organisation’s policies. I’m just saying that it really doesn’t seep down to the micro level. The Board wouldn’t dare try to influence individual stories written by ABC political journalists – you’d have an instant strike. The board’s infleunce is more insidious, I think, and affects complaint processes, management and senior appointments, industrial relations and the like.

  2. [Given that more and more people get their information on-line an on-line presence is the way to go. Any erstwhile sourced individuals out there willing to undertake the task? They will get my subscription.]

    And mine.

  3. I prefer it when discussion sticks to psephology, but I’ll put my two cents in over the question of ABC bias.

    I am a journalist at the ABC. The idea that ABC journos are slanting the interpretation or selection of stories in the Liberals’ favour is laughable. The political make-up of the ABC newsroom is quite similar to that of the pollbludger website – overwhelmingly left-wing. Installing a right-wing board has done nothing to change the culture of the place.

    It’s worth remembering that most people aren’t at the ABC for the money – there’s a lot more to be made working for the commercials. I’m happy to forgo a heftier paycheque because I know I don’t have to compromise my editorial principles. No-one on the ground could give a flying fig what the board thinks – their power is minimal.

    People will find bias in anything if they go looking for it. Senator Santoro was convinced the ABC was conspiring against the Howard government. I can tell you it was a happy day in the newsroom when Santoro fell on his sword.

    What’s also worth noting is that the online section of the ABC is an afterthought. It is under-resourced and often staffed by inexperienced journos. If the quality of the content on the ABC website is poor blame it on incompetence, not conspiracy or institutional bias.

  4. #185 “Paul Armstrong, Editor of The West has been known to personally rewrite journalists copy to fit with his chosen agenda on a story.”

    Of course that happens. Particularly in newspapers, but in other media as well. Strangely enough, that’s called “editing” (though in the West Australian’s case, it’s not the sort of editing I agree with). There is a significant difference between the ABC (and perhaps SBS) and other media – they claim not to take any editorial line, whereas privately-owned media have every right to do so.

    I have been simply trying to make the point that, in radio news, there’s little time (or inclination) by management to change stories. People who think ABC radio or online news is constantly subject to management pressure to take a particular political line don’t really understand the grinding requirements of the job. So much “news” is required to keep radio air time filled that as many viewpoints as possible get aired on major stories.

    Truly, I am not saying that the ABC isn’t subject to insidious board pressures. But to suggest the organisation toes a Liberal Party line would definitely be a surprise to the Liberal Party. As far as I can see, the ABC has been accurately reporting statements made by the Federal Liberal Party. It has also been reporting statements made by the Labor Government, and by the Greens etc. That is its JOB. All these people have been elected by the taxpayers, and deserve coverage from the taxpayer-funded broadcasters.

    Having spent many years being abused by Liberal Party staffers who claim that the ABC is “pro-Labor” (even with a Liberal-stacked board), it is with some incredulity that I learn on this site that the ABC is now Brendan Nelson’s mouthpiece.

  5. Isn’t that the old line, Hass? If you’ve got a choice between human error and a conspiracy, go for human error every time.
    Thanks for the insight.

  6. Thanks Hass. You summed it up pretty well.

    I earned a lot more money when I worked for the commercial media than with the ABC, but at the ABC you have editorial independence. I know there are people who read this blog who do not believe this, but it is true.

  7. I’m only an observer of the ABC like anyone else. I like watching its news and current affairs because I find they are far less prone to conservative or commercial bias, and sensationalism, than the non-publicly funded alternatives. I haven’t detected any great effort on the part of the ABC to undermine Rudd or boost Nelson. If anything, to the extent that the ABC will display bias at all, I suspect it will be in attacks on the Rudd Government for not being progressive enough. “Sell out” stories, not “Labor’s loopy lefties” stories.

    This bias, which is really just the product of individual sympathies and is not particularly strong, may play into Nelson’s hands a little as he tries to paint himself as the caring alternative to Labor’s alleged mates and elites. But not by conscious design or conspiracy.

    In the newspaper business, however, it’s another matter. But I think it’s often commercial interests that drive a lot of the slant here, not just nakedly political interests. For example, did The Daily Telegraph make such a big story out of the Cross City Tunnel issue just because it hates the NSW Government? Or did the ongoing campaign make strategic commercial sense because it lifted the Terror’s readership among affluent, advertiser-friendly Eastern Suburbs residents? Do law and order stories get big play because they help conservatives or because they sell well?

  8. You know Antonio and Hass the reason I don’t believe you is because the clear evidence shows otherwise.
    Take the 6 headline news items I listed at #184 from the ABC.
    Check them out, don’t excuse them, analyse them.
    That is the news items the ABC was running at the time, that day, from their news service
    And every one of the 7 [cos I missed one out, Joe Hockey , complete with pretty piccy, having a go at the RBA] was from a right wing perspective and/or favourable to the right side of the political spectrum.
    Thats straight bias.
    No question about it, its not a matter of interpretation, BB has shown how bias can be detected and there are 2 examples of his ‘Rudd denies….’ bias trick he illustrated in the 7 above.
    It really worries me that experienced journos defend the obviously indefensible and seem unable to recognize blatant bias when its in front of them.
    Don’t they teach you that at journo school, don’t you learn how to detect or create bias from your experience?
    Your denials ring hollow, the evidence is to the contrary.

  9. 204 Hass – I’m just wondering how many other ABC journalists find time during the work day to visit and comment on this blog?
    “Senator Santoro was convinced the ABC was conspiring against the Howard government. I can tell you it was a happy day in the newsroom when Santoro fell on his sword.” Taking you at your word, I wonder if Santoro had a point afterall.

  10. On the second topic in William’s post, I wonder how far Labor will try to go on unwinding the last Government’s electoral law changes? I think some change to the closing of the rolls timing is pretty obvious. I wonder if they will try to remove the new ID requirements? Those requirements would have to deter some lazy sods from enrolling, and some genuinely disadvantaged people too. And I don’t get the sense that rorting of the electoral roll was ever a serious problem previously. There may have been a few people on both sides who forgot to update addresses for internal party rule reasons, although I doubt even much of this lately, but never any effort to alter the outcome of elections.

    I would expect the Coalition to oppose any reform of these laws on self-interest grounds, regardless of the evidence, so the question really becomes, after July, what will Mr Fielding and Mr Xenophon think? Everyone’s gonna have to ask this question a lot more soon. Perhaps Mr Fielding particularly.

  11. Agenda says that Brendan’s figures in opinion polls still woeful even after last week’s efforts. Any idea what polls they are talking about?

  12. Vera you beat me to it – I heard Rudd talking about in Parliament refering to his visit to Dafur etc, the ABC would have heard that as well yet the article is only interested in the headline – intimating a wrong doing.

  13. Good point Vera @ 212. No doubt those ABC lefties like Chris Uhlmann and Michael Brissenden will give this story a good going over tonight.

  14. [Good point Vera @ 212. No doubt those ABC lefties like Chris Uhlmann and Michael Brissenden will give this story a good going over tonight.]

    And ABC 720’s Eoin Cameron who was a Liberal Backbencher in the WA Seat of Stirling and who lost it to Jann McFarlane in 98.

  15. I believe Hass is a good and honest journalist. I dunno why. I just do.

    But this doesn’t alter the fact that after the Iraq War, the ABC was so heavily bombarded by the government – three or was it four inquiries? – that they have been cowed ever since, if not outright stacked against Labor and in favour of the Libs.

    Is this “balance”? Virginia Trioli – a senior ABC journo – once, when challenged by Malcolm Fraser, said it was her job to present the government’s point of view to contradict something Fraser was on about. This was, to her, balance. Fraser retorted that if the government wanted to put their point of view they could come on the Trioli show, just like he did. But why would they bother when their tame monkey, Virginia, was happy – saw it as her duty – to do it for them?

    He-sad-she-saids are always reported on the ABC without comment, but only if they come from the Liberal Party. If one comes from Labor – either in government or when they were in Opposition – it’s immediately replied to by the likes of Trioli, or some wonk at one of the current affairs shows by saying, “John Howard denied the charge and said Labor was against jobs”, or whatever the fatuous, meaningless statement is for that day.

    The ABC was given a very big fright with their reporting of the Iraq War. They had to trawl through thousands of hours of reportage to find even a few token crumbs to throw to the government’s goon squad of “right thinkers”. Then they had to do it again. andthen again until finally someone twigged that the government was out for blood.

    As if that wasn’t obvious, then the Board is stacked. Hass, you may not be scared of the Board, but there can be no doubt that it is filled with the greatest collection of journalistic and administrative lowlifes possibel to dredge up in a short time.

    The truth is not being told by the ABC. They are merely stenographers. Where in the bloody hell is the use of that? I don’t want to know whether someone said something. I can reasd the press releases for that. I want to know whether it’s true.

    The greatest crime the ABC has committed since Howard nobbled it – nobbled it so hard that writers like Hass don’t think it’s nobbled – is to relegate truth to the realm of mere opinion, where anyone’s opinion – whether correct or reflective of truth, or not – is regarded as being equal to anybody else’s.

    And everyone’s entitled to their opinion, right? That’s why so much crapola comes out of the tube and the radio nowadays under the brandname of “the ABC”

  16. [212 Vera Says: Another ABC headline straight from the mouths of the Libs
    “Rudd under fire for sponsored Sudan trip”]

    The ABLC radio report was the same as the on-line report- they avoid all mention of Dafur, world vision. ie they avoid the full truth and instead were intent on presenting a lie by misrepresenting the truth.

    Like I said the ABC Pimps are unhappy about Howard’s loss and upset the remaining Libs are incompetent and, so are happy to prostitutes themselves in the neocon cause. Not fantasy, or imagination – fact.

  17. Well I am really amazed at the bizarre stuff about the ABC that people are coming out with. Sure, the ABC has its faults, but some bloggers here have gone completely whacko.

    After reading how the ABC runs story after story attacking the government and supporting the Liberal line, using headlines designed to hurt Rudd, I just had a look at the ABCNews website.

    Here are the political stories currently running:

    “Govt announces Super Hornets purchase”
    “New IR laws pass Lower House”
    “Rudd urges China to show restraint over Tibet protests”
    “Rudd confirms HMAS Sydney find”

    Golly gosh. Talk about anti-government bias! These are the top four Federal political stories running late this afternoon.

    There have certainly been other times when the headlines favoured the Opposition. That’s the way it goes. It is the news cycle. It is what ABC news does. For those who are sceptical, this style of reporting IS taught at journalism school.

    Where the ABC suffers is that its investigative journalism capacity has been nobbled by a lack of funding. Ironically, the only funding increase it’s received in recent years was when Liberal lackey Jonathon Shier was MD. And he was unquestionably the worst ABC MD in recent history. And you can bet that there’ll be buggerall new funding for the ABC under Labor either.

  18. One way the government can get around this is to split the ABC between News/Current Affair and Entertainment. Leave the Pimp thought police in charge of Entertainment and create another little group of real journalists and media specialist consultants to oversee the New/Current Affair arm that are not intent on deception.

  19. 221 [Newspoll or no Newspoll tonight? That is the question.]

    BSF, Newspoll is due tonight but I thought the question is whether the Nightwatchman’s ppm is 5% or 4%?

  20. Actually Kina, it’s already been done, to a certain extent. Read the ABC editorial policies relating to “News and Current Affairs” and “factual” and “information” programs. It’s all on the ABCwebsite. However, they are still answerable to the same ABC Board.

    It would be better if a board selection process was established at arm’s length from governments, and which paid stronger attention to real media and journalistic experience in selecting board members. Stephen Conroy has made vague allusions to doing this, but it’s really unclear what they’replanning.

    Otherwise, they’ll just gradually replace the Liberal appointees with Labor appointees, and round and round we go.

    And BTW, where does your definition of “News and Current Affairs” end, and where does “entertainment” begin. Where would you place these programs…Catalyst, Australian Story, Virginia Trioli, Jon Faine, Radio National Breakfast, etc?

  21. No, that is the next question.

    If he cracks 10% will we see Dennis tells us about his 33% improvement? If Rudd drops 7% has he lost a “Nelson”?

  22. I see the debate about the ABC Online News and bias in reporting has got a good going over. Splendid post, BB. You’ve read Marcuse, go on, admit it.
    If reporters at the ABC don’t understand how choice of language slants what they are reporting, the key selection criteria needs to be re-visited. If the online reporters are relatively inexperienced, they should either not be, or be supervised.
    It still doesn’t explain other things noted by other posters, such as the length of time negatively slanted stories (for the gov’t) are left on the site vs. reports on what the gov’t has said/done.
    Kerry O’Brien will get stuck into politicians from either side with incisive questions, as he’s currently doing with Joel Fitzgibbon. Jon Faine, Melbourne local radio morning broadcaster, will equally rip into pollies from either side and is noted for not being cowed, but irritates when he speaks over someone he’s interviewing and not processing their response before launching into yet another attack.
    Oddly enough, Red Symmons, brekkie broadcaster on same 774, is genuinely funny and when he talks with someone about something contentious, is very straightforward.

  23. [26 steve Says: 221 [Newspoll or no Newspoll tonight? That is the question.]
    BSF, Newspoll is due tonight but I thought the question is whether the Nightwatchman’s ppm is 5% or 4%]

    I would humbly submit that if the Nelson and the LNP couldn’t get a hit out of the emotive Carers bonus issue run hard by the OO and ABC then they never will.

    Sheer gravity should pull Rudd Labor down, even with no opposition party.

    I would also submit that if the LNP get no hit from the last week or so then a radical change in tactic is called for – I refer them to Blair, Rudd and Obama for hints.

  24. Harry, I can tell you from personal experience that stories stay on the ABC Online site until they’re pushed back in the queue by non-related stories, or superseded by updates on the same subject.

    I suggest a few people pay attention to how long NON-political stories stay on the website. They may start to realise that the political angle of story has little or no bearing on how long it will stay on the front page

    Stories stay longer on the website on weekends because there is less news around, and few staff available to post and update stories. Exactly the same pattern is evident on commercial radio websites, Nine MSN and many newspaper websites.

    Brendan Nelson got a good run on lots of websites over the weekend because he made a number of comments on various issues, and the government took a long time to respond. Under the previous government, there were many occasions where Labor shadow got an excellent run at the weekend.

    In fact, I would have thought Poll Bludger bloggers would have been sufficiently sophisticated to have worked out that Oppositions try to say things when the government is not around, eg weekends and holiday times. You get better media coverage that way.

    I do enjoy your comments, and generally agree with them, BTW.

    And Frank Calabrese…I hope you noted my post #201, just to set the record straight!

  25. Oh and as for Newspoll, I would expect a small improvement in the Liberal vote, based on the carer’s allowance issue. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Rudd’s popularity and ppm rise even higher.

    I hope the carer’s allowance issue doesn’t bite, though, because it was a cheap stunt. If the Libs improve in Newspoll, I reckon they’ll just come out with a neever-ending list of allowances, grants, bonuses etc and allege each in turn will be cut, forcing the government to either deny it and tough it out with a no comment, and get a whole lot of interest groups upset. It’s a traditional pre-Budget Opposition tactic, but made easier this time by the Government’s announcement that there WILL be pain in the Budget.

  26. Kina, I’m only guessing but it is going to be one of the fun Newspolls for sure either way. I think it is a week too late to be any use to the opposition but we will soon know.

  27. I wonder if rates analyst is still here? And if so, what you think the RBA is likely to do next and/or should do? The past rates have bearly started to filter into peoples’ spending decisions, but they are already starting to kick where it hurts, in my opinion. Glenn Stevens would obviously like to prove that he is as hairy-chested as the next central banker, but will he go the extra 25 points? And who will wear the political pain if he does?

  28. Not sure what Stevens is planning to do, but if the US, cuts rates by 100 points this week as someone was suggesting in one of the US papers, the Aussie Dollar is likely to sail past parity in a flash. It will also be a sign that panic has set in in the US, which is not good for anyone.

  29. Blindoptimist et al: There’s a useful article about the banking system/interest rates at

    I have seen clear seens of house prices falling significantly in regional areas of Australia, and the situation may be worse than it seems, because I’ve noticed quite a few houses that were initially for sale are now for rent. In other words, vendors are refusing to sell their houses because the offers are too low.

  30. It’s happening right before my eyes. My once inspiring Rudd Government is transmogrifying into the Coalition.

    First it was the blank cheque support for Israel last week, and today it’s the revelation that Nelson was right about the Hornets after all.

    Someone make it stop

  31. O.K. Antonio, @ 231. I’ll take on board what you’re saying, and watch with interest.
    I was having an interesting converstation with another poster on another thread about what’s laughingly called mental health, which demonstrated that people who work within a specific area will have knowledge about that area, not available to others outside that area.
    Except for what gets reported by the fourth estate, and how that is reported.
    I think you will find that many, if not all, who post here are interested in good governance. That relies on each arm of governance doing it’s job competently.
    I have recent experience, via my bloke indoors, of a prominent court case particular day’s reporting by the ABC, being completely inaccurate factually. Judge very unimpressed and eventually got minimal coverage of the retraction.
    Doesn’t inspire confidence

  32. ” find it interesting that if I say anything that agrees with the Labor line, lots of other people on this blog agree with me. If you say anything that fails to bag the Liberal Party, you get bagged yourself”

    Antonio, few weeks ago poster called gusface who was very pro labor and made posts bit out of field started posting as nemesis from a right wing view because of what you complained about. It is ok for lefties to post vitriolic posts but not righties.

    Funny thing was when he made the point about how his left wing rants were accepted but not his right wing rants others started questioning his sanity.

    Williams blog though does allow all points of view, which is a lot more than certain other blogs will do, either censoring or blocking posts.

  33. Rod
    as someone who was at the end of a lot of them, what I objected to with the nemesis rants was what I always object to – a lack of evidence to back statements.
    William made it very clear that he was considering action on the nemesis posts, not because of their political stance but because of the attacks on other posters (and commented, after ‘gusface’ had outed himself, that his behaviour – not his political stance – was very different as nemesis).
    I hasten to clarify that my post on media bias was not anti Antonio or anti right but was simply stating what I have believed for years – that you don’t (as an editor or proprietor) have to instruct your journos what to write for them to know what you want them to.
    Here in regional Victoria, the ABC is fairly blatantly pro Coalition. That may merely be the nature of the journalists who are drawn to rural postings – but it is still very frustrating. The sitting members, as a result, get a very easy run.

  34. Umm. William, if you’re about, what happened to my reply to Ferny Grover? Did it contain a dubious word or something? Did the intertubes just swallow it as a tasty snack passing by? Did the ABC get it, to be used for gov’t trashing purposes?

  35. Blair @ 235…

    You think the AUD is going to sail past the USD? I’m not convinced. It dropped like a rock today even as the Yen soared against the USD. The AUD is a risk-asset. The market has already started dumping some Asian currencies – the won and the rupiah – and I’d guess the kiwi and ours are in line for the same treatment. The loss of confidence in the USD is going to cause all kinds of trouble, I’d say….

  36. Ferny Grover, I’ll have another go. Get a grip. The gov’t has been left a mix of an economic nightmare, gross incompetence and various rubbish, that could loosely be grouped into swill and sow’s ear’s to deal with. The Hornet decision is one of them. They were snookered.
    Whether or not Labor can get us out of the mess is as yet to be seen. It ain’t going to be easy.
    The biggest glacier in Antartica is melting like an ice cube in a drink in Melbourne. So are the rest of the world’s glaciers.

  37. Relax Harry. I’ve got an excellent grip. I had a chuckle at the glowing endorsement of the Hornets on 7:30 Report tonight. It always amazes me how poiticians can do that with a straight face. It’s a rare talent.

    I didn’t chuckle over the Israeli thing in Parliament though. It was just plain sad. Kudos to the Lib member who spoke for the Palestinians later that night to a near empty chamber.

    As for the economy. Tough decisions need to be made – and last week wasn’t a good look with the mess over the carer’s allowance. The baby bonus is appalling policy that needs to be scrapped. Balls will be required to steer us through this mess. We already know Brendan has none.

    Looks like it’s up to Kev.

  38. 245 – The AUD bounces around, but if the US cuts rates by 1% then it is a clear sign the feces is hitting the fan. A commodities heavy currency like the Aussie or the Loonie will look a lot more valuable.

  39. Weatherman. Kev. Bring it here. Another searing, record breaking day in SA.

    Clouds are forming, ever so slowly. The temperature must be oh, 35, predicted to drop.

    I intend, rule or not, to spray the foliage. Might invite rain.

    Bugger the dollar.

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