A week with no Morgan

I have lately gotten into the habit of providing a bulletin of recent electoral news along with the regular Friday Roy Morgan poll, but for whatever reason Morgan failed to come to the party last week. This is also an off-week for Newspoll, so the following will have to make do on their own:

• In lieu of a poll on voting intention, Morgan gave us a survey on support for a republic showing 45 per cent of “respondents” would prefer a republic with an elected president to a monarchy, versus 42 per cent against. Put Prince Charles on the throne, and the results are 56 per cent and 33 per cent. “Respondents” is in quotation marks because they have gone to the trouble of asking people as young as 14, and have provided separate but near-identical figures for “electors”.

• An in-house poll of federal voting intention conducted by the Adelaide Advertiser shows Labor with 50 per cent of the South Australian primary vote against 31 per cent for the Coalition, translating into 61-39 after preferences. The comparable figures at last year’s election were 43.2 per cent and 41.8 per cent, and 52.4-47.6.

• The Queensland Nationals and Liberals will hold a joint convention in three weeks to decide whether to proceed with plans to merge as the “Liberal-Nationals”. While the proposal will bring the parties together under the existing Liberal structure, former state Liberal vice-president Graham Young says the dice will be loaded in the Nationals’ favour through the creation of 10 heavily malapportioned “regions”. Young does not like the plan’s chances of being approved by the Liberal rank-and-file, but says the party’s Senators have been won over through a deal giving them the top three Senate positions at the next election. This will reduce Barnaby Joyce to the number four position, but he will then fill a casual vacancy created by Ron Boswell’s retirement.

• Greg Chijoff, the only member of the Lindsay pamphlet five to plead guilty, was last week convicted on a charge of distributing unauthorised election material and fined $750 out of a possible $1000. The case against the three who pleaded not guilty will be heard later in the month (the remaining member had the charge against him dismissed).

• The AEC has now published both public suggestions regarding the redistribution of Tasmanian electoral boundaries (which uniquely have effect at both federal and state level) and comments on the suggestions. We are presumably not too far away from seeing proposed boundaries for the Western Australian federal and Queensland state redistributions.

• This Friday is the deadline for submissions to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters’ Inquiry into the 2007 Federal Election. Hats off to whichever straight-talker decided to junk the past practice of naming it the “Inquiry into the Conduct of the 2007 Federal Election and Matters Related Thereto”.

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.

38 comments on “A week with no Morgan”

  1. Well we learned a bit more able the ever changing Pineapple Party today. Seems that the Nationals are hoping to take over the Queensland Liberals with a mixture of an organisational Gerymander, and a guaranteed preselection for sitting members, Senators, also the current Director of the Qld Libs has dealt himself into a new job.


    What we don’t know yet is whether the Hong Kong members who were drafted into the seat of Ryan a few years ago get the same vote as the stud bulls, rams and racehorses that make up the ten thousand members on the Nats roll in Queensland.

  2. No rejoicing from us long-suffering SA lefties. I’ve warned that this is BAD NEWS. Bad Lib polling means we’ll still have to resist the urge to punch something every time we see Dolly’s face.

    “The result could delay any retirement plans by former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer because of the increased risk that his seat, the Liberal jewel of Mayo, could be lost in a subsequent by-election.

    The Advertiser understands Mr Downer is poised to announce his departure within weeks. Mayo is held by a margin of 7 per cent.”

  3. Onimod, you’ve got to remember that Dolly provides his own floor show.

    First, he does the stand up comedy routine, revising his old favorites (‘the things that batter’). This is followed by a dance routine (can can with fishnets); then the lights lower, the baby spot illumes him, and he kicks into a nostalgia routine (‘As Kofi was saying to me just the other day…’, ‘…and now for a little number Condi wrote for me, sitting at her baby grand…’).

    This is a truly rounded performer we’re discussing, not some has been party hack.

  4. the Advertiser always has been a bloody rag– BUT NOW i have to skim past the issues section {it’s only saving grace} on monday mornings to avoid dolly’s fatuous smarmy grinning face smirking up at me and giving me a bad case of indigestion to start off the week, just goes to show even a crappy newspaper like the Advertiser can still slide further down the rungs of the garbage tabloids.

  5. I would think the proposed federal boundaries for WA would still be some way off. The suggestions & comments stages finished only a few weeks ago. (And weren’t there some bloody awful suggestions.)

    The federal redistribution in the NT is at the moment running parallel to WA. But maybe the NT proposal will come out sooner, given what an easy task it is.

  6. 6 judy

    Didn’t you read Dolly’s wonderful article full of praise for that benevolent humanitarian US Government’s response to the Burmese hurricane? It was a masterpiece.

  7. Interesting earlier today when Downer & Robb bagged the Government response to the Burmese cyclone disaster. They compared the response very unfavorably to the “Billion Dollar Ache Tsumami” response.

    Stephen Smith’s counter arguement was revealing to me. Apparrently half of the billion was a LOAN! The other half was to be paid over five years. That very likely means that the last two payments will be made by the Rudd Government.

    It seems they just can’t help themselves. Professional bullsh*#ters.

    there is no way i’d waste my time reading the smug self serving crap that dolly’d serve up, i’ve got some pride and a weak stomach, I lump him in with our female amazon rightwing crusader in the OZ, Janet and the insufferable Piers {he started his career at the Advertiser –that says it all} they’re a waste of time and print, hav’nt you seen the complaints in the letters to the editor moaning about them adding dolly to their stables?
    I’ve given up listening to radio 5aa since dolly infested their studios, just think when he finally vacates parliament he’ll be looking for more gigs to feed his massive ego and make him feel relevant and WE’LL NEVER BE RID OF HIM!!!!!!!!

  9. Um, I noticed that Glen bailed recently (to go OS apperantly)

    Given the recent developments in Vic, I wonder if he was as dumb as some thought? (myself included)

    if so, nice dodge “Glen”

  10. I’ve just read through most of the material on suggestions and comments about the proposed Queensland state redistribution and the overwhelming two major bones of contention are the seats of Tablelands where all the major parties recommended the carving up of the only seat held in the name of One Nation, the other contentious proposal was for the Mary Valley to be integrated into the seat of Nanango. Nanango and the Mary Valley are separated by the Great dividing Range.

    Both proposals drew many heated comments bagging the proposals.

    There was also a bit of discussion around whether Richmond belongs in the Mt Isa electorate and whether Ayr and parts of Thuringowa belonged together.

  11. I sometimes have a little grin to myself imagining the slant Matty Price would’ve written about the goings on in the Liberal camps nowadays, state and federal, if ever there was unlimited material for his clever satirical pen this would be it, theres a terrible void there, gosh Matt we miss you more than ever!

  12. Fresh from stabbing his leader in the back in “bloggergate” (yes I know, but the use of the “gate” word against the Libs really annoys them and I can’t resist), John Osborn, the latter day Brutus, showed his caring and multicultural side today.

    In an article in today’s OZ he is quoted as saying of Susan Chandler, Victorian Liberal State Campaign Director who racially abused then Federal Liberal candidate Adam Held during last years Federal election campaign “I am comprehensively appalled at the clearly anti-semitic nature of ms. Chandler’s email. There is no place in the Liberal Party for that sort of base prejudice. I call on the State President to terminate her employment immediately.”

    This from a man who presumably sat on that very same Email for over six months!

  13. Softer line on Welfare to Work Breaches, and about bloody time as well.

    [THE Federal Government has quietly moved to soften the welfare-to-work program ahead of today’s budget.

    The Minister for Workforce Participation, Brendan O’Connor, last month wrote to job agencies telling them to use discretion when dealing with job seekers who had failed one of the conditions of their welfare payments such as attending an interview or applying for a position.

    The president of the National Welfare Rights Network, Michael Raper, welcomed the change.

    “We are aware that the issue of the unfair and harsh penalty system that was a feature of the Howard government’s welfare-to-work policies is firmly on the Government’s radar,” Mr Raper said yesterday. “From our perspective it is now a matter of the when and the how.”

    For the past three years job agencies have been directed to report every so-called breach to Centrelink. Even people with valid reasons for failing to attend an appointment or complete paperwork – such as being in hospital, lack of child care or failing to take medication – were reported.

    Once a job seeker records three breaches their payments are cut off for eight weeks, leaving many people with no means to support themselves.

    But now job agencies will be able to be more compassionate when dealing with job seekers and will not be forced to report to Centrelink those people who may have valid reasons for not meeting the conditions.]


  14. Can’t see the ALP picking up Mayo. The only time the Libs have come close to losing it was when John Schumann ran for the Democrats and the ALP played dead to get their preferences distributed. The ALP primary vote is probably too high to do that at the moment (to say nothing of the Dems), but I can’t see it getting so high as to convince the rusted-ons up here to vote for Kev. If they still voted for Downer after AWB etc there’s no good reason to think they won’t vote for a new Lib face.

    I doubt that it’ll ever happen, actually. With the demise of the Democrats, all the minor parties have ended up at the fringes – there’s no-one in the centre, and there’s no real room to carve out a position since the ALP swallowed it. We’ve got the Greens on one side and Family First / One Nation on the other. Nick Xenophon probably attracted a fair few centrist votes, but since he’s a bit of a puritan I mentally stick him over the FF side. Perhaps someone who’s watched him in the SA Legislative Council could correct me.

    Anyway, off topic. Mayo won’t fall save for a major redistribution or substantial demographic change. Mt Barker keeps growing, so the first home owners buying up new housing divisions out there might change it eventually, but it’ll take another 10 years for enough new people there to make a difference, even assuming that they’d vote differently to everyone else.

  15. I guess it is appropriate the Rooster is Treasurer as Howard’s chickens start coming home to be roost to be roasted by the Rooster.

    What shall we do with drunken sailor’s hangover?
    Unfortunately, the Howard government lost its way from 2004. When the China boom arrived with soaring commodity prices there was no offsetting tightening in fiscal settings to “bank” windfall revenue gains from mining. The drunken sailors pillaged the budget for political expediency and produced a structural deterioration in the bottom line.

  16. “…Hats off to whichever straight-talker decided to junk the past practice of naming it the “Inquiry into the Conduct of the 2007 Federal Election and Matters Related Thereto”…”

    Not sure I agree William. The precise Title and Terms of Reference for parliamentary inquiries are hard fought over in the back rooms. This truncated version means that the JSCEM can shut down any discussion of “related matters”, such as referendums, redistributions, previous elections etc, and release for discussion only those submissions that deal squarely with the last election.

    Given the JSCEM is the only (and the best) forum for public discussion of such relatively arcane matters, this might be seen by some to be a cunning plan to shut down any inquiry into broader electoral issues, and more evidence of the Rudd Government’s obsession with controlling public debate.

  17. Having now followed your link William, I see that the Terms of Reference do include “related matters”, so my concerns are addressed.

    And I also note that the Terms of Reference are very specifically worded to focus on FAD (Funding and Disclosure) issues, the one area of the Electoral Act where both major parties have been known to agree vigorously, against the interests of the smaller parties.

    Apart from the obvious pledge by the Rudd Government to lower the reporting threshold for donations to ensure greater transparency, it should be interesting to watch those aspects where the Lab/Libs end up agreeing to agree (Andrew Bartlett alert – as if he needs it!).

  18. Costello has developed a touch of the Latham’s


    “Asked by Sky News journalist David Speers if he knew speculation about his political departure was damaging the party, Mr Costello attempted to impersonate the press pack waiving an imaginary microphone as he interviewed himself.

    “Oh do I? Well, you say it is. Why don’t you interview yourselves?,’’ Mr Costello laughed.

    “David Speers: It’s damaging,” the Treasurer boomed.

    “Is it? I say it is. No it’s not. I’ve got to say after dealing with you people for 20 years I just don’t think feel I need to be at your beck and call.”

    Asked by The Age’s bespectacled Michelle Grattan if he was sensitive, Mr Costello lampooned the press pack again.

    “Oh, I’m sensitive am I Michelle? I am standing here looking so sensitive aren’t I – furrowed brow, worried? How sensitve do I look Michelle? You ought to go and get a new prescription,” he told her.

    I’m not surprised Costello is a broken man. Only now has he finally realised that he should’ve challenged Howard at the start of last year. At least he would’ve been P.M. for 10 months.

  19. The amusing thing, for me, about Morgans republic poll was the 64% of 14-17 year olds who SUPPORT the Monarchy. Dear me, and Ms Roxon so happily stated that no new monarchists were being born. Support for the Monarchy rising in general, greatly with the young, support for a republic dropping, particularly with the young, fun times.

  20. Shows On

    I don’t disagree that Costello made a mistake, but I think that should be seen in the context of a party room that gave him little or no support. When you look at the current goings on in the Victorian leader’s office, you have a bunch of people who attack anyone not of their ideology and then wonder why their are no credible alternatives left standing.

  21. [Dear me, and Ms Roxon so happily stated that no new monarchists were being born.]

    What Roxon said is true. By default people think that people should be elected to high office, it is abnormal for people to be appointed by birth.

    [Support for the Monarchy rising in general, greatly with the young, support for a republic dropping, particularly with the young, fun times.]

    This is absolute rubbish. You are confusing support with retaining the current constitution with endorsement of the monarchy, they are two different things.

  22. [I don’t disagree that Costello made a mistake, but I think that should be seen in the context of a party room that gave him little or no support.]

    If he was willing to challenge Howard after APEC he would’ve got the job.

    Only 2 or 3 of the cabinet would’ve voted for Howard at that stage. Howard refused to resign, and insisted Costello challenge. Costello didn’t have the guts to challenge.

  23. Costello wouldn’t have beaten Howard but at least he should have had a crack at him and that alone would have shown he had ‘ticker’. As it is he will be remembered as a bully who failed the true test of courage when it counted most. No wonder he’s a bitter, broken individual.

  24. [ShowsOn, clearly not enjoying the latest polls on a republic as much as I.]

    Oh I’m getting a lot of enjoyment from you consoling yourself by focusing on a demographic that doesn’t have any voting rights. It is a group that probably includes a significant proportion that has no idea what the difference between a monarchy and a republic is.

    I am getting further enjoyment from the presence of the word “Lord” in your screen name.

  25. Ah, so much for the young being the future of the country then. What a way to gain their (our) support for your little movement, denigrate them and call into question their intelligence.
    “Young people support the status quo/Monarchy because they are stupid”

    As it happens I am getting an equal amount of pleasure in the figure that shows support for the monarchy is at 42%, up 6% from a similar poll in January last year.

  26. [What a way to gain their (our) support for your little movement,]

    Mate, your side of the debate includes people like Senator Cory Bernardi who don’t even recognise that the Queen is Australia’s Head of State.

    You’re in with morons of that sort, so I don’t think you are in much of a position to lecture others on the popularity of their cause.

  27. Just how many 14-17 years olds did Morgan’s ‘Republic’ survey actually sample anyway? With an overall sample size of 650, it couldn’t have been more than about 30 people methinks … (assuming the survey was correctly demographically weighted that is)

  28. ShowsOn at 24.

    [“Oh, I’m sensitive am I Michelle? I am standing here looking so sensitive aren’t I – furrowed brow, worried? How sensitve do I look Michelle? You ought to go and get a new prescription,” he told her]

    I do believe I heard today Costello telling Sam, I assume Maiden, that he loves her, he really does.

    I am sure Michelle is endeared. Yet she, unlike another, will continue to provide vision, perspective not available to the unspectacular journalists and reporters who have yet to realise that the Australian world has changed.

    Particularly unilluminating, Chris Ullman, rounding at the end of the Budget, saying that the Treasurer needs to send a big thank you to China. Cannot imagine that he would be saying that to the olden days Treasurer.

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