Morgan: 60.5-39.5

Morgan’s latest survey combines two sets of phone polling conducted in the middle of this week and last week, producing an unusually large sample of 2231. Normally their phone poll figures consist of only one such set of polling. It shows Labor leading 60.5-39.5 per cent on two-party preferred – down from 61-39 at the phone poll of March 11-12, and from 63.5-36.5 in the more recent face-to-face survey released last week.

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.

314 comments on “Morgan: 60.5-39.5”

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  1. [I’m getting the distinct impression Rudd has enemies in the press corp and they are out to get him politically. ]

    They have been trying to for almost 18 months now.

    Not very effective, I would think. The constant high poll results would support that conclusion.

  2. Scorpio

    You could find as equally many negative articles about Howard especially during last years election campaign.

    This one from News Ltd had the headline “I was drunk at work” and then the picture of him tripping during a visit to Perth. Doesn’t leave much to the reader’s imagination as to why he tripped.,23739,22130111-952,00.html

    There were similar headlines from the biography, I don’t recall Hawke getting such headlines despite his known frinking and his daughter’s drug problem.

    Australian today also has the headline on McGauran getting the job with the horse industry and quite clearly questions this because of the $200 million plus he provided to help compensate for the equine flu crisis. Australian also pointed out other conflicts of previous Howard ministers, eg Reith.

  3. Maybe there’s nothing to get him on – what you see is what you get. If that’s the case and if his brand of politics is popular with voters then you have to wonder why he is relentlessly attacked over non issues. Could it be that he won’t play along with some unwritten set of rules that the journalists and Howard had in place – something about mutual back scratching?

  4. Quote #247:

    How about having a constructive go at the substance Michelle?

    Because their basic tactic is to get Rudd at the base, rather than a frontal attack.

    If you take out the bottom card of a house of cards the rest will fall.

    Witness Milne’s constant carping on about Burkegate, his frenzy over Rudd supposedly having been “thrown out” of the strip club (never repeated, by the way). Abbott’s attacks on Rudd’s christian beliefs. Pies’ fixation with the Heiner non-event.

    And now we have salutes and use of jargon.

    With Beazley Shanahan tried his brain illness, the short aggregate hours he had spent with Suzy Annis, his wife and the supposed “fact” that BEazley would miss Perth too muvh to be Prime Minister. Then came “Karl Rove”.

    All of these are used to try to prove that the target has character flaws which, while they have only so far manifested in small matters, will loom large when the big issues emerge. They go to “character”. If you show “poor character” in buying the paper clips, or going out for a night when in New York, or allegedly missing your home town too much, then what are you going to be like when the sh*t hits the fan and the country’s at stake.

    Of course when the journalists’ own character flaws are pointed out to them they say, “True… but I don’t want to be Prime Minister.” Hence Pies can be a fat slob. Milne can be a drunken biffo boy. Abbott can have illegitimate affairs while training to be a priest. Shanahan can completely ignore facts and write about a parallel universe. The rest can be drunks, serial adulterers, wife-beaters, dog rapers… whatever you like, but they “don’t want to be Prime Minister,” so they excuse themselves from the normal measure of moral equivalence.

    Milne is on record as saying he’s trying to find some sort of cover up to pin on Rudd. Whetever it is Rudd will be “covering-up”, Milne will make sure that only the “cover-up” is discussed, not the original innocuous offence (a la Clinton/Lewinsky where a lie under oath about a blow job – surely something that just about every one of his accusers had experienced, and a great many of them while married – was turned into Presidential impeachment). Milne will be hoping to catch Rudd out in answer to a parliamentary question. Then it becomes “misleading Parliament”.

    This is also why Pies was trying to get Heiner on the record in Parliament.

    In the meantime they chip away, probing and nitpicking, keeping their target softened up for the big one, gradually wearing away at the “Boy Wonder” image the public has of Rudd until they can land what they hope will be a killer blow. then they’ll trot out all the other non-stories about Rudd and “put it all together” into one giant character assassination. “We’ve been telling you he’s no good for years, but you wouldn’t listen,” they’ll say, as they remind us of every single hiccup, gaff, purported lie and alleged hypocrisy they have levelled at him over the past 18 months.

    The current accusations are all just going into the Dirt File on Rudd, to be trotted out one day when he’s on the back foot and regurgitated afresh to harm him.

    I hope this answers your question.

  5. 253 Steve K
    I thinks it’s generally all about the ‘government as a business’ mantra that Rudd seems to work under. If you’re running a business, the last thing you’re going to be devoting time to is journalists, because there’s a belief that you’re going to be judged by your peers based upon your actions and results. Time spent on pressers is time you’re not making money.
    Now the press might be valuable occasionally, but that’s ‘dirty’ business, and does you no good in the long run. I actually think that it’d be great if political reporting could be divorced from the tabloids

  6. Bushfire Bill at #254
    Congrats, that is the second time [at least] you have summed up the media tactics admirably.
    This one, and the previous, should be filed somewhere for easy access.

  7. 252 Rod – scorpio was resonding to my posting which concluded ” I don’t recall Howard receiving this much negative attention in his early days.” Note the words “early days”.

  8. Fred (256) Post 254 would have been more persuasive if had summed up ‘media tactics’ as it affects any person in a leadership position, whether Labor or not. In that respect, I thought BB’s earlier post (231) referring to Glenn Milne’s column on the Governor of the Reserve Bank, was the more illuminating.

  9. Rod Says: @ 252,

    Rod, what you have posted here just demonstrates even more so, the abysmal level to which much of the MSM commentary has sunk in the past 15 years.

    The majority of these commentators have almost sunk to the level of leaving themselves open to public ridicule with the dramatic and accelerating lack of informed, accurate , investigative commentary.

    The greater majority of Australia’s quality investigative journalists have either passed away or retired during the last 10 years.

    That they have not been replaced by others of comparable quality says much about the system of mentoring and qualification for position of the current lazy, incompetent hacks.

    They seem oblivious to the damage they are doing to the country’s social structure and cohesion with their biased, juvenile and meaningless rants that we are being exposed to on a daily basis.


    Howard wins $54,000 for good PM-ing

    You have to love this quote from Howard in relation to Kyoto:

    “You need a new Kyoto Protocol with all the major emitters committed to it. Then you are cooking with gas.”

    I’m sure he’s not aware of the humorous nature of this remark.

    The rest of the article is about how good he was for stripping ordinary people of basic work place justice and the like.

  11. Living costs more important than republic: Nelson

    People like Nelson will always say there’s something more important than this nation becoming a Republic. Maybe it’ll be a cat stuck up a tree or a kid with his big toe stuck in a plug hole; no time to follow that Republic business.

    Two things I though were refreshing about Costello:

    1. He supported an apology
    2. He supported the move to a Republic

    Fortunately Nelson and his kind at a diminishing breed.

  12. More interestingly in that piece, Steve, is that Nelson seems to be saying that we need to concentrate on other issues apart from reforming our constitution, while Kevin Rudd yesterday stated that ‘The Republic’ was not his top priority.

    Therefore, Brendan Nelson gets media coverage, seemingly almost ‘adversarial’, for agreeing with Kevin Rudd’s assessment of when to pursue constitutional reform.


  13. 259 David – I take it you have many examples of Howard in his first year being subjected to the same treatment Rudd is copping from the media now?

  14. #259 David Charles, ah yes, Stevens of the Reserve Bank.

    No matter how ong Stevens lives, no matter what he does with his life, Milne has him pinged for playing the guitar at Sunday church services. There is no way Stevens can wriggle out of that. Once – in his boyhood – a boring Protestant, always a boring Protestant.

    House of cards. Pull out an anecdote from a man’s childhood and you ruin him for life.

    Take Rudd’s childhood narrative. Father killed when he was a boy. His mum forced to leave the farm. The landlord had to make the leased land pay, so out went the Rudd family.

    So what to do?

    Write a story that says the landlord was a nice guy, well-respected in town, and that Rudd is making it all up. Suddenly – from boyhood – Rudd has the taint of hypocrisy.

    OK, so it didn’t work, but it’s still trotted out (especially by Pies). When you string them all together the bogud narrative goes something like this:

    “From boyhood Rudd has been a dreamer and a liar. He made up a story about his family’s circumstances and a lot of rot about sleeping in the car. Whether this was true or not, it was trun in little Kevin’s mind. He began to hate money, power, doctors who had killed his father by allowing an infection to progress), and capitalism. So he naturally turned to Labor politics to fix problems which his warped mind had generated all by itelf. How ruthless he was is shown by his nickname ‘Dr. Death’, bestowed up him when he closed down Queensland hospitals one by one when working for the Goss government. People died, Rudd lied. Then came the Heiner affair, establishing at an early time Rudd’s complicity n a cover up involving the rape of an aboriginal girl. So much for his ‘Apology’ now. Rudd has been a serial abuser of aborigines since his early days in government and is showing base hypocrisy by claiming to love them now. It was not always thus. As if this hypocrisy wasn’t enough, Mr. Goody Two-Shoes, Rudd the ‘Christian’, has involved himself with convicted criminals in the WA LaborParty, Brian Burke and his associates. While it is not illegal to talk to Burke, anyone who does should be suspected of criminal intent themselves. Everybody knows what Rudd was up to in Perth, but still he denies it. More lies and more deviousness from Rudd. While never having been inclined to the military he hypocritically tried to usurp the glory of our Diggers by staging a fake event in Long Tan on last Anzac Day. More hypocrisy, more lies. His wife is fat and looks ugly in her frumpy clothes, but has made millions exploiting the unemployed and has ripped them off at every opportunity. Don’t tell me Rudd didn’t realise what was going on. What a hypocrit! What would he know about ‘struggle’? He’s the millionaire Prime Minister, claiming to be a man of the working class. But what kind of working class man speaks using fancy language like Rudd does? Did you hear him the other day in Brussels? What a phoney. All those big words like some swot that you all used to hate at school. This person is a fraud, a disgrace to the battlers he claims to support. Finally we have his two-faced attitude towards America. He never stopped carping on about John Howard’s relationship with George Bush but when he got the chance, was worse than Howard ever was, saluting Bush when he thought the cameras weren’t switched on. He only ever does things like this when he thinks people won’t notice, like his whispered offer to help Hilary Clinton which heros of the press gallery managed to filter out of their recordings from the background noise. More insincerity. This man has a life-long history of deceit, lies, two-facedness and betrayal of those who trust him. All of this from boyhood. Rudd is fatally flawed and is not fit to be Prime Minister. We have been telling you of this for years now, but it has taken this latest incident [here insert whatever it is they’re on about re. Rudd at some future date] to make you realise it.”

  15. #253
    Steve K Says:

    Could it be that he won’t play along with some unwritten set of rules that the journalists and Howard had in place – something about mutual back scratching?

    You know I think you have hit it on the head. Rudd pretty much got elected by bypassing the “The press Gallery”. The press gallery have now turned on him hoping to prove they are required, that he should pander to their wims.

    What happens if the polls don’t move, will they then start acting in a professional manner, start reporting the ideas and the politics instead of boring us to tears with nit picking personal details and lets be honest that is where it’s been at for years; or have they discredited themselves so badly that recovery is impossible and what we are seeing are the death thrashings of fish out of water, of a section of the media that is no longer relevant.

  16. Bushfire Bill @ 254

    A very good summary. However, I wonder if, at least with some of the ‘journos,’ there isn’t also an element of blackmail.

    It’s no secret that a few of them were virtually having their copy written for them by former ministers (or rather, their press secretaries) and they must be struggling now, or will be following anticipated retirements.

    Not only aren’t they getting their columns handed to them, but they’ve also lost access to the seats of power so they’re having to work hard for the little information they do get.

    Writing the piffle they are currently passing off serves two purposes. One, they don’t have to actually make any real effort, just let their warped imaginations run riot on crap like the salute, and secondly, the continual attacks may just wear down the current government enough to offer them a similar deal to what they had with the previous lot.

  17. If the Libs keep this sort of thing up, the polls are going to be stuck at 60/40 or above, indefinitely. Groundhog day forever.

    [THE Coalition has guaranteed it will go to the 2010 federal election proposing to reinstate individual workplace contracts, previously known as Australian Workplace Agreements.

    Arrangements in the contracts will not be limited to those in awards or collective agreements but will be subject to no-disadvantage tests to protect workers from exploitation.

    Brendan Nelson yesterday repeated his declaration that the Howard government’s Work Choices industrial relations laws were dead and buried.

    But the Opposition Leader said a future Coalition government would revert to industrial relations arrangements similar to those put in place by the Howard government in 1996, which included no-disadvantage tests.

    His comments came as Opposition industrial relations spokeswoman Julie Bishop, speaking in Melbourne, offered an impassioned defence of the Coalition’s industrial relations record, insisting reforms widely seen to have contributed to its loss of government were good for the country. ],25197,23481579-5013871,00.html

  18. Not surprisingly, here is someone else who disagrees that John Howard was Australia’s best PM.

    Unfortunately for her and the Howard camp, most of us don’t agree with either choice.

    [Ms Henderson responds: “It will come as no surprise to you to know that my reaction to John Stone’s article Our Greatest Prime Minister is that no one can hold a candle to my father Menzies. ],25197,23475425-5013947,00.html

  19. Howard was the most divisive PM in our history – deliberately so as it was his modus operandi. It didn’t matter who got hurt in the process (refugees accused of harming their own children as one example) so long as it achieved the aim i.e. to embolden the racist or to disenfranchise the needy.

    Stone is of course one of key players in the conga line. This line:

    (Howard was) the greatest prime minister title for being a leader who “gave us back our sense of pride in being Australians” makes me laugh. Howard made me cringe with embarrassment when he represented this country overseas.

    At least Menzies was a man of his time. Howard was a man from another era

    Chifley is my nomination for greatest ever PM – a man with a vision for the long term future rather than simply the next election.

  20. I’m getting sick of listening to the constant negative nit picking, name calling commentary in regard to Rudd by the 3AW announcers and the so called political journalists associated with the station. They have an agenda and they’re following it through to the letter. I’ve just sent an e-mail to them stating this. It’s just bloody incessant. If anyone elese feels inclined try here.

  21. The numerous commentators who have been bagging Rudd’s overseas trip must be getting all their information off the Liberal Party web site.

    {AUSTRALIA and the EU will upgrade their relations through a new partnership deal announced by Kevin Rudd and EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso this morning. ]

    {Mr Barroso, meeting Mr Rudd for the first time, told a joint press conference that “we really want to give an important upgrade to relations”.

    The pair put out a joint statement, a rarity for the EU Commission chief and a foreign leader, stressing Europe and Australia’s “common values and close historical, political, economic and cultural ties”.

    They have agreed in the statement “to intensify our work to upgrade EU-Australia relations through a new Partnership Framework, including priorities for cooperation on international security, trade, development issues, the Asia-Pacific region, climate change and energy, science and education, aviation and the movement of people, including visas”.

    Mr Barroso said the EU-Australia relationship was “a key partnership both for Australia and for Europe”. }

    If this and the other milestone discussions and agreements that Rudd has achieved so far, don’t count as an improvement on what went before, I’m astounded. And there is still the China talks to go yet.,25197,23476583-5013947,00.html

  22. Went to watch Tony Jones (lateline) launch the book he edited last night (The best australian politicla writing 2008)….he really did give a serve to the press gallery and how ministers were practically writing their stuff for them and how he could pick quite easily where information came from………he really did rubish their integrity and deservingly so it would seem……..

  23. Looks like there is not much joy for the Libs in SA at the moment either.

    [With the first anniversary of his ascension to the leadership this Friday, the Liberals trail Labor by 37 points to 41 on the primary vote, the Newspoll finds.

    When preferences are allocated, Labor would comfortably win an election, with 53 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote, against 47 per cent for the Liberals.

    Mr Rann also stretched his lead over Mr Hamilton-Smith as preferred premier. The latest Newspoll shows that 54 per cent of voters backed Mr Rann, up from 50 per cent in October-December, against 24 per cent for the Liberal leader.

    Mr Rann’s satisfaction rating as premier also rose two points to 53 per cent while fewer voters, 31 per cent, disapproved of the way he’s doing his job.

    Satisfaction with Mr Hamilton-Smith’s performance as Opposition Leader increased by three points, returning to 45 per cent after dipping in the previous quarter. ],25197,23495407-5013871,00.html

  24. [The Newspoll underlines the magnitude of the task confronting the Liberals to defeat the well-entrenched Rann Government at the next state election in March 2010.

    Newspoll’s Martin O’Shannessy said the figures showed the Opposition was not cutting through with voters and that Mr Rann remained one of the most popular premiers in the nation.

    He said Mr Hamilton-Smith was yet to deliver in any significant way for the Opposition.

    Polling across the country showed the conservative parties in each state in similar situations, with Labor governments remaining strong.

    “The analysis we’re seeing is clear that the Liberal Party … at a state level and at a federal level isn’t presenting a coherent argument against the governments.” ]

    Says it all really.,25197,23495407-5013871,00.html

  25. It looks like the Libs are now trying for the “sympathy vote”. Trouble is, I don’t think they are likely to get much sympathy from any quarter.

    This article is worth bookmarking for future reference.

    [SOON after the federal election, John Howard confided in one of his former lieutenants that losing Bennelong was a silver lining in the thunder cloud of defeat because it spared him the grisly humiliation of returning to Canberra.

    “It’s been agony, sheer agony,” admits Peter McGauran, who yesterday announced his departure from the shambles of Opposition. “Mind-numbingly frustrating,” he says, rifling for words to convey the landscape of oblivion from rock bottom.

    “You can soften the blow by talking of the privilege to serve, but there’s no escaping the loss of constantly challenging work, almost overnight … this is the hardest thing to adjust to, harder than the loss of prestige. You couldn’t walk 10m in Parliament House as a cabinet minister without being stopped and engaged. Now, you’re left on your own. It’s a weird feeling that’ll only get worse.” ],25197,23484820-5013871,00.html

  26. Curtin, without a doubt, was our greatest PM.

    A devout socialist (due to experiences in 1890s recession) self educated in economics he created economic reforms that are still with us, stuff like the Reserve Bank (tho he dealt with the Commonwealth Bank in the 30s & 40s) and uniform income tax across all Australia.

    When Menzies eventually returned from the UK Curtin refused to join in a National Coalition War government (all responsibility but no power.)

    When he became PM he steered through a hostile Senate the Bills that implemented his economic reforms, reforms still with us today. Curtin, in the middle of conducting the war operations still thought of the future and the post war immigration, Snowy Mts Scheme etc all arose out of his work, others like Chifley implemented them post war but it was Curtin’s planning for the post war resettlement that was underneath all that.

    As war time PM he defied Rooseveld and Churchill together and separately over the destination of the convoy of Australian troops: Curtin wanted these back in Australia, C&R wanted them to go to Rangoon where, without their transport and heavy equipment the Japs would have had no trouble defeating & capturing them. These divisions eventually started reaching the Kokoda Trail just at the time the Japanese advance was both at its closest to Pt Moresby and faltering, the regular troops then began pushing the japs back and eventually out of PNG.

    Chifley accepted changes to the Electoral Act that led to the Labor loss in 1949, pushing to nationalise the banks etc did the rest. Menzies then coasted on Curtin’s & Chifley’s work and when he did interfere caused 20% inflation which then required a credit squeeze (just when we rocked up in Australia in mid 1957!)

  27. Scorpio

    Is the fact that they lost the election finally sinking in? The first sitting of parliament gave the opposition some media, because it was a novelty.

    I have “Google News Alerts” set up for most shadow ministers they have become almost silent in the past few weeks.

    Opposition is difficult and I doubt that any opposition members who have had ministerial responsibility will be there after the next election.

  28. Has anyone here heard the whispers concerning Kennett?

    This campaign by the MSM is starting to have a certain MO that has a familiarity about it…is one retired or retyred???

  29. Re: #280

    McGauran should spare us the crocodile tears he cries for the jolt of changed employment conditions, from being in government to opposition.

    He supported abolishing protection for workers from Unfair Dismissal, effectively exposing any and every employee to summary dismissal at a moment’s notice – no reason even required.

    At least he had ample notice of his impending changed employment conditions – a luxury he and his conservative cohorts were only too keen to deny to other workers.

    Sympathy for Coalition members (supporters of WorkChoices)? Come off it!

  30. No need to answer, but I have wondered for some time now how many ex or current politicians are active on this site. Methinks quite a few.

  31. Well, nothing specific, but many people appear to have inside knowledge of the workings of government, and some pre-empt political and policy announcements. Some, like I thought Ruawake did, appear to speak from personal experience.

    I could be wrong, I often am…

  32. 280 Scorpio
    That article is fan-bloody-tastic! Congratulations Kate Legge.
    Someone should take a copy of it and send it around with a handwritten “this is journalism” scrawled across it. Insightful analytical, and opening a window without being an “exclusive expose”.

    People Skills:
    “Even if you are by nature reflective there isn’t time for introspection,” Abbott says. “The routine breeds it out of you. You’re so busy advocating, listening to other people’s problems, we lose some of the emotional tools to enter deeply into our own experience … We don’t read as widely as we should. We’re unfamiliar with the language.”

  33. ruawake,

    I think there is still some degree of disbelief remaining with many of the Coalition Members, but I think there is a partial realization that their demise was largely of their own doing.

    There is certainly “relevance deprivation syndrome” being experienced by previous Ministerial and Secretarial Members but they have to accept that their fate was predominately in their own hands and they just have to come to grips with it.

    Claims that they need counseling etc to help them adjust is just confirmation that they were not fit to govern anyway and the Australian electorate certainly recognized that. It’s time that these sooks also come to grips with that fact and move on.

    [“We all need grief counselling,” says Tony Abbott in the first week of the new parliament. “It’s like a bereavement. Not as bad as losing a child or a spouse but up there with losing a parent. It’s very hard. ]

    Poor old Downer doesn’t miss all the “hard work”. What a joke.

    [“I don’t miss the sheer volume of work, mountains of work, simply massive intelligence reports,” he says. “There is never a day out of 365 when you can’t be doing cables, letters, signing submissions.” ]

    Most people would find it very hard to accuse Downer of being a workaholic. He couldn’t even take the time to read the e-mails and correspondence relating to the oil for food scandal with AWB.,25197,23484820-5013871,00.html

  34. 293
    Scorpio – no Cabinet Minister reads every email and cable he is sent not even Stephen Smith, get over yourself!

  35. The problem for ex-ministers is that they have the Department removed from them.

    This means the policy advisors for various facets are on the other teams side. Do not underestimate the power of Govt. Departments to de-politicise issues. I know someone in Agriculture who’s job was to make sure GM crops were not a political issue for instance.

    Most politicans can not or will not accept the “de-motion”.

    There are a few exceptions, the Creans, Beazleys etc. who were/are professional politicians – perhaps Howard also falls into this description.

    Maybe Tony Abbott, Chris Pyne and a couple of others will hang in for the long haul. Turnbull will because he sees politics as an exercise in ego.

    Politics is a blood sport – not many handle defeat for an extended period. 🙁

  36. It is starting to sink in.

    On the nose Australia-wide. No-one they can pay to be their friends anymore. Expect more heads to self-lop.

  37. Glen,

    I don’t think that any reasonable person would expect a Minister to read “every” e-mail directed their way but.

    Most reasonable people would “expect” that any significant communication would be brought to a Minister’s attention and subsequent action.

    That that did not occur in this particular case and that of the Trade Minister and PM, is a sad reflection upon the competence of not only them but their support staff also.

    Either there was incompetence of the gravest order or their was corruption within Government.

    You can take your pick of which one you favour, but there is “NO” degree of grey that can be attributed here.

    Cheers, Scorpio.

  38. 279
    Scorpio Says:

    “The analysis we’re seeing is clear that the Liberal Party … at a state level and at a federal level isn’t presenting a coherent argument against the governments.” ]

    But do you win government by presenting coherent argument against the government or by presenting yourself as a better government, one with competent people and better policies.

    No use complaining unless you have a viable alternative. In a lot of cases Rudd avoided the need for a better alternative by saying I will do it like that.

    The present lot is complaining about a salute and a wifes choice of cloths, as if anyone cares.

  39. Scorpio 270:
    Interesting that even being so far behind hasn’t held the the LNP from handicapping themselves with ‘WorkChoices Mk II’. This is still a plan to sideline unions as Nelson hinted at the first time he revealed this ‘new’ policy.

    It will be all too easy for Labor to paint this as WorkChoices. The LNP will be spending half their time during an election trying to say that it isn’t WC.

    And if we do have any sort of a slow down with increasing unemployment the people are going to feel a little bit scared of WorkChoices come again.

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