Morgan: 63.5-36.5

The latest Morgan face-to-face poll has Labor’s lead at 63.5-36.5 – down from the record-breaking 65-35 at the previous such poll early in the month, but up from 61-39 at the phone poll conducted a fortnight ago. Other conversation starters:

• Special Minister of State John Faulkner has announced a package of electoral reforms confirming moves to cut the campaign donation disclosure threshold to $1000 (which the Howard government outrageously lifted from $1500 to $10,000 in 2005), along with bans on donations from overseas companies and various other measures. It is also announced that the government will “kick-start a green paper process to reform and modernise our electoral processes”. The first part of this, to be released for discussion in July, will look at “disclosure, funding and expenditure issues”; the second, to be released in October, will examine “a broader range of options aimed at strengthening other areas of our electoral laws”.

• Morris Iemma has taken talk of reforms to campaign donations a step further by suggesting they be banned altogether, perhaps in conjunction with caps on electoral spending. Jack Waterford of the Canberra Times presents the case against.

• A big week for the New South Wales Liberal Party: charges laid against five over the Lindsay pamphlet outrage, rising star Scott Morrison deemed too civilised for membership of his local branch, and suggestions that Peter Phelps might emerge as a contender for the party’s state directorship. Would it be overdramatic to suggest that the forces of respectable conservatism in the state should abandon the whole rancid operation and start again from scratch?

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.

318 comments on “Morgan: 63.5-36.5”

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  1. Regardless of jurisdiction, Hicks never could have been charged, much less convicted in Australia, as it was a retrospectively defined offense, which breaches our legal conventions.

  2. I see Brendan (that’s what he wants us to call him) is starting his chat tour. I wonder if the same political commentators criticising Rudd for having a talkfest and using arguments such as – “isn’t that what members of parliament are for?” “Doesn’t he have ideas of his own?” etc. will criticise Brendan. Me thinks not.

  3. Gary

    He reached a plea bargaining agreement with the US military tribunal, which effectively represents pleading guilty before a (military) court. I don’t wish to quibble about that.

    The real question is whether the process would have met any standard of justice or fairness, to which independent legal observers from US, UK and Australia all said “No”. Thus anywhere else, the conviction would have been quashed on appeal. The US chose to invent (after the fact) an offense (supporting terrorism) and a legal process (the tribunals) which were outside the normal legal processes (hence no recourse to Australian or US appeal Courts) and used methods (retroespective offences) which are not normally permitted in the legal practice of any of the three countries. Still, I guess it was good enough for Phillip Ruddock to decide that one of our citizens could be tried under it.

  4. I’ve just been going over the polling figures before tonights Newspoll comes in – using a revolving Morgan/Newspoll two party preferred average and looking at the difference between the first 18 weeks of the Howard and Rudd governments poll results, the highest result for Howard is less than the lowest result for Rudd.

    The average two party preferred gap between Rudd and Nelson has been 21 points compared to the average gap Howard held over Beazley of 15 points.

    What’s interesting is that these results aren’t new for Rudd – they’re just a repeat of his poll highs leading up to the election being called.

    I wonder if these polls might not not be exaggerating the level of support for Rudd that most (dare I say it) “Honeymoon” period polls do for any new government?

    If these polls are only exaggerating the true political margin of Rudd by 50%, it makes it a high probability that the talked about imminent by-elections of Gippsland and Higgins would fall to Labor, Mayo would be tight and Lyne would be really really open to an independent taking the seat if they could come third in a three cornered contest.

  5. Steve,

    A defecting MP is surely a blessing for the Qld Libs – it breaks the four-all deadlock amoung the current eight MPs. Besides, then they’ll be able to cal them “The Magnificent Seven”. ROTFL

  6. Steve at 257

    If Dickson jumps ship to the Pineapple Party, at least the Libs wont have to contemplate tossing a coin to decide the party leader in the near future!

    I can see the headline:

    Leadership Stability – Odd Numbers Deliver!

  7. It truly is rediculous. The Qld Libs who are almost extinct still cant unite, the NSW Libs have gone tribal and the Federal Libs cant stand each other as well as having no ready talent and still unable to let go of Workchoices type IR.

    Why on earth is the media supporting these people? All they do is encourage them to continue unchanged. They ought to be honest and tell the public that the State and Federal Liberal party are a total faction riven mess lost in sundry ideological caverns and, that they must sort themselvs out to be a viable and healthy alternative government.

    If there happens to be a judicial inquiry into any one of the dodgy events of the Howard years god help them. The muck will come to the surface very quick. Odd that Downer has poked his head up over the barricade given that the AWB bribery scandal could still get a further judicial going over.

  8. Possum

    To think they made jokes in 1986 that the Qld Liberals didn’t have enough members for a cricket team (ten members!). There are so many great headlines if Dickson leaves the Liberals:

    – The Magnificent Seven
    – Become a Liberal, and you too can be a Shadow Minister
    – Eight is too much
    – They can still form a Netball Team!
    – Where is Snow White?

  9. “Sunshine Coast Federal Liberal MP Peter Slipper says he is also disappointed a full vote was not authorised, so he is staging his own plebiscite of local party members on the merger issue.”

    But he knows about swapping partys, he was once a Nat. 🙂

  10. The typical stuff that Crickey seems to serve up now days is decidedly anti-Rudd a childishly so. No wonder people have stopped subscribing.

    [Good news on the diplomatic front. As The Sydney Morning Herald reports today:

    Kevin Rudd has repudiated the foreign policy style of the Howard government by announcing Australia will push for membership of the United Nations Security Council in five years.

    Ooh! Ooh! The Security Council … oh the wonder of us! Let’s settle for a moment. We are talking here about the rotating 10 elected seats on the Security Council. Which is to say that in five years time we might be taking the seat recently vacated by Michel Kafando, the ambassador from Burkina Faso. Or we could have a crack for Belgium’s seat, or Libya’s, or Croatia’s, maybe even Panama’s? Ah yes, the giddy heights of middle power diplomacy. One day all this will be ours.]

  11. The fact that we have no managed to get a seat is therefore an even greater shame. We can’t get a seat because we are in the Western Eupore and Others group and the Europeans tend not to like the Others to get a look in too often if so, it is Canada or NZ.
    Crikey has been a rag since Mayne sold up (or should I say more of a rag).

  12. Kina, sorry don’t agree with your crikey assessment, I find it balanced.
    Here is one of Crikeys’ stories today-

    Regarding Rudds’ trip overseas- yep he certainly is rolling out the big ideas,
    talks to Bush about making it quicker to travel to America for Australian tourists and a seat on the security council, yep lets be a part of United Nations security council which rarely does anything and come up with immediate decisions and if it does who really takes any notice..
    Rudds’ trip is about one thing showing himself to the world, how important he is, that he is the Prime Minister of Australia.
    And Horatio Nelson response – typical Nelson childish and juvenile, Nelson you are an dill. Carping about not visiting Japan, fair dinkum who really cares about our leaders we have here, the vision they provide is breathtaking.

  13. #258 Gary Bruce
    There was an Agenda a few weeks ago in which David Speers seemed to relish sticking the boot into Labor over carers, calling it a backflip or the like when the government hadn’t actually made a decision yet, and he pushed it a bit when his panellists (I forget who) didn’t quite share his enthusiasm for the task. Maybe I’m not watching with enough of a critical eye, but that sort of attitude hasn’t jumped out at me very often, and during the election campaign they gave plenty of time to both sides. I don’t think they’re another Fox News yet.

  14. Hmm, B.S.F. What about Nelson PPM being 10%, still arguable given our friend the MoE. What about Primary being about what it was at the election, and TPP being about the same. Interesting Possum’s earlier comments. Probably bugger all movement I’d guess, despite the wholesale negative garbage emanating from the OO and parroted by the ABC, despite protestations from people saying they work for the ABC and it’s not really like that. If all you can do is parrot the OO, the ABC has become rubbish, and is likely to become even more so under Mark Scott’s signalled changes.

  15. 276 marky marky,
    You really are a drop kick.

    How else do you expect to influence the decisions the security council makes? By protesting here at Poll Bludgers? For %$#@’s sake! Get real!

  16. So you really think one seat on the security council will make a difference Steve K, fair dinkum what next. Yep as usual resort to crude comments when someone criticises the party, just like the factional thugs.
    Steve K get out in the real world.

  17. Nelson should have improved and so should have the LNP simply because of gravity and, also because of the concerted effort in some parts of the media to misrepresent Rudd and Labor and provide continual negative reports.

    If the LNP figure doesn’t improve noticeably then the people really have categorised and filed them under unelectable loonies.

  18. I think becoming a member of these things is simply becoming part of the international world. Involving ourselves in these things at least gets us some increased voice. It I gather fits with Rudd’s plan to make Australia more active.

  19. Found this link at Uncle Kenny’s RTS. While slightly off-topic, one posts it in order to enhance via the mechanism of humour, trans-Tasman relationships going forward.

    “Man sentenced over wombat rape claim
    A New Zealand man has been sentenced to community service after telling police he had been raped by a wombat and the experience had caused him to start speaking “Australian”.”

  20. Gary @ 258, Triton @ 231

    I think I must get Gary’s (biased) version of Sky News. I thought it pretty clearly favoured the Coalition at the last election. David Speers was and is the most blatant culprit but it shows in general story selection and slant. It’s not always obvious – the Australian 24-hour-news audience isn’t large and segmented enough for Sky to explicitly target conservatives, as Fox News does, without affecting its ratings – but it’s there in all the Murdoch media.

    Keiran Gilbert is an honourable exception – for example, today he seemed to go out of his way to mention that the PM was keeping up a hectic schedule in the US, and didn’t say “day x of 18” or some similar snide remark like so many have. (There are other honourable exceptions too.)

    The media focus on the length of the PM’s mission is not just proprietor-driven political bias though. The overriding focus for all the commercial media is ratings (or circulation or hits) because this drives advertising revenue and profitability. There’s nothing illegitimate about this, but the profit motive creates an incentive to promote and appeal to existing beliefs and prejudices, because it helps attract and keep viewers (or readers). One of the oldest examples is the “pollies’ lurks and perks” story, of which the “overseas jaunt at our expense” is a variation. They come out every year, like clockwork, when updated travel registers are released or when there’s a new menu at some Parliament’s dining room. It’s a real pity the ABC gets infected though.

    Getting back to Sky News and the last election campaign, I seem to remember the nightly Election Agenda show suddenly being co-hosted by both Speers and Gilbert during the last few days of the campaign, instead of just Speers. I wondered at the time whether this was a bit of backing-off by the Murdoch media, perhaps after some irate phone calls from the Rudd campaign. As someone else mentioned above, the Murdoch papers did this too, going at Rudd the whole way through then editorialising for him at the last moment when the result was beyond doubt. How they could do it with a straight face is beyond me. The hide!

    I don’t think the answer is to ban foreign investment in the media though, MayoFeral. Murdoch excepted (and he is a special sort of foreigner) I tend to think that overseas proprietors are actually less interested in promoting their own political agendas than Australian proprietors, either because they’re personally just not that interested in Australian domestic politics or to reduce sovereign risk. Foreign investment in the media broadens the potential pool of proprietors. I’d rather a foreigner in it for a buck than James Packer, who reportedly joined the Liberal Party Point Piper branch as one of Turnbull’s stacks when the Wentworth preselection was being contested.

  21. I have no problem with involving ourselves with world affairs, or trying to influence the decision making process. The united nations is so irrelevant these days, to me it means little, it continues to make decisions regarding Israel, and rarely are they ever taken heed of to me the United Nations is a waste of time, and if one thinks that Australia will tell me America to take a different stance on international affairs or siding differently to America than they are kidding themselves. Decisions made will be in Americas’ or British interests. Independent stance i doubt it.

  22. I think one of the key points is this: if politics becomes (?continues to be?) as one-sided as it currently seems to be, what will all the political journos do? After all, people lose interest quickly in any game where one side appears to be winning.
    So it’s in the journalists’ interest to make it look like a contest, assuming they want to keep their prominence (and ultimately, their jobs).
    Another point is this: it’s generally only the government that actually does things at this stage of the electoral cycle. Sure, Nelson gets his weekly or fortnightly humiliation in the polls, and the Liberals keep the slapstick coming in places as diverse as Qld, WA and Sutherland, but at the end of the day they don’t have to have settled policies yet, so the ALP is the only major party with any actual positions that can be criticised. And the currency of political comment is complaints, not too many people are going to pay to read a story that says Rudd had another good/ok/nondescript week. But they might pay to read that the government are ripping us off, even if it turns out to be a beat-up.
    The only thing the Coalition can actually do is use its Senate majority. But that will be sparingly used, at the most.

  23. Dyno says
    The ALP is the only major party with any actual positions that can be criticised.

    That is exactly right Dyno, they are the party in government and if you cannot criticise the policy decisions they make it basically means you do not care about the future decisions that are made. That is why i come on here and say my bit.

  24. Marky Marky you say ‘you think one seat on the security council will make a difference?’ then you say ‘I have no problem with ……trying to influence the decision making process.’ So you thihnk we should just lobby from the sidelines and not get a vote, whereas having a seat will get us a vote and more influence…. Yes the UN has been sidelined under Bush, but in reality the Republicans aren’t going to be in the White House next year, so everything will change (hopefully).

    Part of Sarkozy’s and Brown summit last week was spent discussing the reform of the UN SC (permanent seats for Brazil and Germany etc. etc.) – if they want it to happen it probably will.

  25. Dyno, I agree. There are all sorts of pressures and factors at play at the same time. Regarding [So it’s in the journalists’ interest to make it look like a contest] I think you can add that “conflict” stories and angles rate better more generally. “News with a pulse”, it’s called on Fox News according to their promo.

  26. Nothing on the Australian website. No report on Lateline. Nothing on the wire services. Dennis is talking about Bush eating crow.

  27. Oooh Aaah! Swan is actually arguing with the redoubtable Tony (let’s take a swipe at vulnerable failed Labor candidates) Jones. Geez, that was a class act on election night, was it not?

  28. Molesworth @ 284 – My comments about foreign ownership were directed mostly against Murdoch. Apart from Prisoner 12345 Conrad Black we’ve not had much experience with others.

    I don’t have a problem with Rupert pushing his political views, per se. For all I care headline in all his papers could be ‘Kevin Rudd is the Antichrist’ everyday from now until the heat death of the Universe. Nor do I have a problem with him using all legal means to get he best deal possible out of our governments for his Australian businesses.

    But I do have a problem with him using his shrills to apply political muscle here (and elsewhere) to, for example, go easy on the Chinese over human rights abuses when he was trying to move into the Chinese market a few years ago. He did much the same thing in supporting the case for war against Iraq in Britain and, to a lesser extent here, at least partly to cement his relationship with sections of the U.S. political system (and partly for $20/barrel of oil).

  29. Gawd, are we going to have to call him the ‘downward pressure swan’? Heads down and bum up is a pretty dangerous position, I would have thought.

  30. No matter who is in power in America Chris, Australias’ stance will be the similiar to the United States. My view is about Australia taking an independent stance and this i doubt.
    And spending money to get their, my thinking it should simply be not on the agenda, when we have so many problems regarding the economy and inflation, yep lets get on the security council meanwhile we are cutting government spending and retrenching people for budgetary savings.
    Some of these people may have mortgages to pay or credit cards to service, sorry doing this should be just left alone the timing is poor.
    After watching Four Corners i come to realise that the next economic meltdown will be a depression, because of our debt. And yep it is the banks and other financial organisations who are to blame. Again why did ever privatise the Commonwealth Bank?
    I nearly own a home and have continued to receive phone calls for further credit, equity loans, and not forgetting the credit card letters in the mail, and the bank teller trying to get you to take another loan. Of course i hang up on them or tear the credit card letters up, but many others cannot say no to their persuasive tactics and actions.
    These people who ring or get you in the bank cue have targets to meet and if they do not meet expectations their chances of bettering themselves in the workplace is reduced.
    All of this is because governments no longer own assets or do anything, that we leave everything to the market to do, the exactly same consequences before the 1930’s depression. Luckily unlike the 1930’s we have welfare but in the years to come many Australians will be living of welfare unless Governments start taking responsibility for the economy again.

  31. Nup, nothing on Lateline about Newspoll. Perhaps it’s become very precious. Can only be interpreted by those who own it. Sniggle.

  32. Is it too, too dreadful to even think of not, not listening to ABC?

    And not watching ABC?

    Particularly in its current affairs coverage.

    Am I playing into the hands of those who wish the viewing audience diminished to the point that ABC no longer matters?

    I note, the television. It is April. It is only eight months away until the ABC shuts down again, and begins its repeated repeats, not only the latest year, but well before.

    Apart from the currentest of affairs, I have, over the last two years, not bothered to listen to ABC Radio on an ongoing basis, confident that I will hear everything that was to have been heard, repeated over the summer months.

    Excluded are programs as excellent as Life Matters, Book Talk, Bush Telegraph, National Interest. A credit more to the presenters than ABC itself. Philip, natch.

    Cannot include Australia Talks, still craven. That’s it.

    And now, even in April of this year, the ABC continues to feature ancient repeats. And we finally have the beginning of an Australian series. However short and perhaps short lived.

    Mark Scott needs a good, hard shove. Forget the Board, have a word with Kevin.

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