Morgan: 60.5-39.5

Roy Morgan returns to its normal Friday routine with a face-to-face poll of 1055 respondents conducted last weekend, showing Labor’s two-party vote again has a six in front of it after dipping below in the previous week’s phone poll.

Other news:

• The ABC reports the hearing into Labor’s appeal against its 12-vote defeat in McEwen has been adjourned, and will “resume next month”.

• In an article in yesterday’s Australian, former Labor Senator and professional number-cruncher John Black reported on research conducted by his firm Australian Development Strategies indicating that Labor’s pitch to “working families” in fact led to a swing away from it among childless women. This did much to explain the phenomenon demonstrated on this map of swings in Melbourne showing a stable result in the city and inner suburbs giving way to progressively larger Labor swings in the mortgage belt. Black goes so far as to claim, a little extravagantly, that “a continuation of this trend in 2010 could give the Greens enough primary votes to come ahead of the Liberals at the next election and could cost Rudd Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner (Melbourne), Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek (Sydney), Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese (Grayndler) and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson (Batman)”.

• In further number crunching news, Antony Green and Possum Comitatus have drawn my attention to a demographic review of Newspoll data published in March at Australian Policy Online by Ian Watson, freelance researcher and Visiting Senior Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University.

• Yet more number crunching news: the 2007 Australian Election Study, providing comprehensive post-election survey data from 2000 respondents, can be accessed from the Australian Social Science Data Archive.

• Much goodness from the Australian Parliamentary Library: Scott Bennett and Stephen Barber’s research paper on the 2007 election, and electoral division rankings on various measures from 2006 census data.

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.

882 comments on “Morgan: 60.5-39.5”

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  1. Hmm maybe another investigation into AWB, some documents released under FOI? Rendering prisoners to Egypt, Tamap, SIEVX….what did he know?

  2. Regarding fuel prices and 5 cent tax cuts, I can only agree with BS Fairman and others that it is errant nonsense and I hope Rudd and Swan don’t fall for it. Fuel would still be expensive ($1.20+/litre) even if the tax were zero and as Blair said, the budet would then be in deficit with no room to move to compensate those really in need. Nelson still hasn’t said how he would pay for the cut, or agreed to pass the anti-inflation measurs in the budget. I think it is a good marker to identify journalists with a strong right wing bias when they fail to question Nelson about those things.

    Those who have bought large, thirsty 4WDs should bear responsibility for their error, not be subsidised for it. We might as well give tax rebates to gambling addicts. If they can’t afford the fuel they need to buy a more economical car; its that simple. The fuel prices aren’t going down any time soon. IEA forecasts are that after 2012 the rate of price increase for oil wil actually accelerate.

    Its sobering to reflect that Gerge W Bush recently went to Saudi Arabia and convinced them to raise oil output by 300,000 barrels per day. Sounds a lot but its what they use in under an hour! If the USA can’t shift this market we should not kid ourselves that we can.

    The only long term solution is federal investment in pubic transport and shifting to local production of more economcial cars. (At present the former government’s “AusLink” rules mean that Federal transport funds don’t go inot urban public transport.) There is no short term solution to fuel prices other than tax relief for those on lower incomes (in the budget) and fiscal discipline to push interest rates lower (also in budget).

  3. When petrol is $2.00 a litre the suggestion of saving 5c per litre becomes meaningless. This is where Nelson, if he hasn’t already, will lose the argument.
    Pyne, on Lateline was asked to explain how such a plan would be payed for. He couldn’t answer it. Just saying they will cost it before the election is no answer.

  4. He is probably worried about Nelson getting lucky and recovering some ground on Rudd and making it harder for the LNP to dump him.

    The dilemma for the LNP is that they need a night watchman to absorb the punishment but because figures start to recover they find it hard to part with him. They will have to determine if figures recover because of him or because of gravity. Thus when the time comes and lines are drawn…the blood might flow.

  5. Spot on, Socrates. The best way to lower the price of fuel is to reduce demand for it, with genuine investment in public transport. People who do not own cars deserve recognition for the ‘sacrifice’ they make-maybe carbon credits, tradable for free public transport. Better still, the Commonwealth could provide cash subsidies -let’s say at about 100%- for public transport fares.

    Kina, you’re spot on, too. Dr Nelson is a ligature on an aneurism, under internal and external pressure. We should call him Catgut. Eventually, he will dissolve.

  6. 2 points.
    I note that the Parliamentary Library article shows that the Greens received a positive swing from non-metro voters in the 07 election. Seems there may be more support for them in rural regions than often supposed.

    But more interesting perhaps are the results of the poll regarding Downer that the Adelaide Now site has [follow the links from Vera’s post for the poll].
    The results currently are:

    “Do you want to see Alexander Downer:

    Return to frontbench 22% (35 votes) Take over Treasury 5% (9 votes) Take over leadership 23% (37 votes) Quit politics 48% (76 votes) Total votes Total of 157 votes”

    I vaccilated between ‘quit’ and ‘take over leader’.

  7. 54 Constant Lurker, that is the best news I have heard for a while. It would be interesting to see what an open, independent inquiry would make of the AWA saga.

  8. The AWA Saga is a sorry one. I still see little vans running around Sydney with the famous logo on them. I once asked a driver what they did nowadays – AWA – and he told me they were “total systems configurators”, which meant “installers of other companies’ equipment”. A lot of Australian tech companies ended up like that.

    Meanwhile, on Insiders, Barry Cassidy continues to prove that he thinks internal Liberal Party affairs are of paramount importance to the nation. They’ve been discussing Alexander Downer’s federal “leadership” ambitions, Uncle Joe Hockey’s state leadership ambitions, and right now Joe is defending the petrol excise policy, and has just quit putting Swan down as not really a proper economic guru like Costello or Turnbull.

    Both sides of this interview still in denial.

  9. Now Joe is saying the alco-pop tax increase will lead to young girls having their drinks spiked (and then presumably sexually assaulted).

    Why did I get out of bed?

  10. I am well and truly sick and tired of the MSM now taking up the Libs’ meme that Rudd promised to lower petrol prices and the cost of living. He did no such thing. The fact that the media have picked it up when they also know he said no such thing is pathetic.

    And yet again on Insiders we just hear about the Libs: the Libs’ leadership woes, the Libs’ internal debates on policy and economics, the Libs tussle between Dolly and Minchin, blah blah blah.

    Just out of interest, this is Insiders politician interview lineup for 2008 so far:
    25/5 – Joe Hockey
    18/5 – Brendan Nelson
    11/5 – Malcolm Turnbull
    04/5 – Wayne Swan
    27/4 – Martin Ferguson
    20/4 – Julia Gillard
    13/4 – Andrew Robb
    06/4 – Stephen Smith
    30/3 – Brendan Nelson
    16/3 – Lindsay Tanner
    09/3 – Julie Bishop
    02/3 – Nicola Roxon
    24/2 – Andrew Robb
    17/2 – Julia Gillard
    10/2 – Malcolm Turnbull

  11. They’re not talking up the Libs’ meme. They’re talking up the fact that the Libs’ meme is being talked up.

    But not by them of course. It’s always other journalists, the roughneck ones at the other TV shows and the dreaded tabloids who are doing the talking up.

    Insiders merely reports the news that people are saying what they are saying, wiithout feeling the slightest duty or even vague urge to examine whether it’s true or not.

    There’s a difference, apparently. One reports the “fact” that someone said whatever-it-was they said. The other tyoe if journalist reports on whether what is being said is true. Plenty fo the former, but I’ve been hard-pressed to find any of the latter.

    Antonio explained it all to us a few weeks ago. Quite simple, really, when you get the mindset right.

  12. Thanks for that, Fiztig (#64). Interesting. So, 14 programs so far this year. We are in the first few months of a brand new government – and the preponderance of Insiders‘ coverage is given to members of the failed, former government. Wouldn’t political followers (audience) want to be seeing their new government given reasonable airtime for appraisal? Meet-and-greet etc? Staggering the coverage to those just ousted doesn’t make sense (or balance).

  13. P.S. Hilariously, this is most likely Cassidy’s “revenge” for Rudd not going on his show just before the election.

    Oh, flog me with a limp lettuce leaf, Barrie.

  14. bluddy hell! if they keep putting that imitation cane toad Akerman on insiders i’m thinking of giving it up, the man’s a bloated ignorant dill and a waste of airtime, he definately isnt capable of balanced analysis or political nous, it’s bad enough with the dwarf and his ilk but the revered Piers is way over the top, after getting that off my chest i think i’ll go make a good strong cuppa to get my blood pressure down.

  15. The good thing about “Insiders” is that only the politcal tragics are interested enough to watch it. The average Joe couldn’t care less. As far as the MSM is concerned, their view on Rudd is being ignored and has been since Rudd became leader. The polls show this. Piers is good for a laugh. What a waste of space.

  16. The good thing about my Sunday mornings is that I have stopped watching The Insiders. They might as well rename it “Inside the Liberal Party”. If they wish to understand their own minds they should look up the philosophical definition of the “self-referrential fallacy”. I just spend an enjoyable hour reading the SMH instead. Then I logged onto Poll Bludger to read some on line opinions. Good bye TV News-tripe. I won’t miss you.

  17. How often does Insiders get a scoop? Almost never. If a pollie wants to get an important message across that will have a good chance of flying early in the new week it will be via a door stop or 9s Sunday programme. Insiders is irrelevant.

  18. So Dolly Downer wants to be Shadow Treasurer. And we all guessed that budget was going to do Nelson in, but instead it looks like it has done Turnbull in. Nelson has not improve, there is just no clear alternative given how poor a performance Turnbull has given in the past two weeks.

    This can’t be good for them; Nelson is not cutting through and is about as popular as a fart in an elevator (amusing for a little bit but then just stinks). If can’t replace him as there is no acceptable alternative, their pain is only going to get worse.

  19. Speaking of the SMH, there was an excellent article on Peak Oil, or perhaps as it should be called now “Peaked Oil”, beceause we have indeed passed the peak.

    It is worth taking some time to understand this issue, which will have a significant impact on both poltiics and economcis over the next ten years. After that it won’t matter, because we will have either begun to transition the economy to new forms of transport energy or entered a long term recession.

    In my view the best sources of information on Peak Oil are ASPO and the International Energy Agency. Their report “Medium Term Oil Market Report” of July 2007 really started the ball rolling. It can be downloaded from their website at

    There are a couple of points to realise for Australia:
    – world oil supply and demand are now roughly in balance; hence price spikes.
    – on current trends by 2012 there will be a shortfall in oil supply of 11%
    – Australia supplies 60% of its oil internally and imports 40%. However our supplies are light crude so we import a larger share of diesel (over 1/3)
    – biofuels are not a viable solution even ignoring food price impacts. If all the cropland in Australia were converted to biofuel crop production we ‘d have no veggies or grain and still only have 30% of our fuel needs.
    – We use about 75% of our oil for energy, the rest for making fertiliser and plastics. So oil price rises will increase prices of those too. Farmers will hurt.
    – Of transport oil usage (2/3 overall) about half (1/3 overall) is petrol for cars. This can be reduced with more public transport in cities and more economcial cars.
    – About 1/4th of overall oil use is diesel for freight trains and trucks. This is economicaly vital and has no easy substitute without years of work electrifying train lines. I believe the day may soon come when remaining oil stocks will be rationed towards this use.

    So politically, in my view the Australian car industrie’s policy to make big sixes is a dinosaur. As is the AusLink rule where Federal transport funds do not go to urban public transport. At present only the mining-royalty-rich states (Qld and WA) can afford to invest in public transport. Finally, inefficient, incompetent and/or apparently corrupt transport organisations liek Sydney Rail must be reformed. We can’t afford to waste that many resources on something the nation needs to work properly.

    Hope this wasn’t too much of a diatribe, but I work in this area for a living and I am concerned that urgent policy action is desperately needed.

  20. Their ABC Online headlines
    Petrol will always be cheaper under Coalition: Hockey
    Downer leaving job decision up to Nelson
    Petrol prices ‘threatening rural dialysis patients’
    Minchin plays down Opposition fuel tax row

    Then there’s this
    “The Federal Government will review whether the GST charged on top of the petrol excise should be scrapped.”

    Kev is pretty clever, he’s putting the public focus of the fuel prices back on the Libs by first talking about the Iraq invasion as a factor, the other night and now he’s brought up the hated GST on petrol. Everyone associates the GST with Ratty and Smirk.
    I hope they get rid of the GST on electricity bills as well, that would be popular. Maybe if they still had a tax at a lesser rate and called it the enviroment tax. People would accecpt that and it’d help us reach our targets.

  21. Akerman claimed this morning that Rudd supported gay marriage and that he has the quotes to support it. I’ve just tried to find such quotes and all I could come up with were quotes saying he didn’t support it. What is Piers on?

  22. 78
    “when the Brough breaks the baby will fall”???
    Piers wouldn’t let the truth get in the way of his fantasies. I’ll really start to worry when ABC 7pm news starts using him and his quotes in their political news stories!

  23. [Akerman claimed this morning that Rudd supported gay marriage and that he has the quotes to support it. I’ve just tried to find such quotes and all I could come up with were quotes saying he didn’t support it. What is Piers on?]

    In opposition Rudd was going to let the states and territory’s do whatever the wanted to do on Gay marriage or civic unions. But it seems he has changed his mind in Government, and threatened to over rule the A.C.T., which is why they didn’t go a head with their laws.

    Ackerman is wrong to assert that Rudd supported gay marriage. Rather he was just going to leave it as a state and territory issue. I don’t know why he changed his mind.

  24. He changed his mind because the territory didn’t do as he liked.

    Seven News update is reporting that the Government is to scrap the GST on Petrol; I can see this being held up as evidence by the opposition in a few months as the government not doing as it has said. In reality it is just bad Journalism.

  25. After Labor lost the 96 election, the party was strongly united behind Beazley and almost won the 98 election yet spent 11 years in opposition. Labor went on with a further three (Crean, Latham & Beazley again) opposition leaders before Rudd finally became PM.

    The question that I ask is how many opposition leaders are the liberals going to go through before their next PM? Nelson, Turnbull, Abbott, Pyne, Downer, Costello, Hockey etc…

    Julie might go through more partners than Debbie did doing Dallas. LOL

    Maybe the problem could be with the media! The current crop of fat old lazy hacks are just not performing in being able to turn the opinion polls. It might be time for them (the media) to start considering some new talent.

  26. “Petrol will always be cheaper under Coalition: Hockey”

    When Hockey and Howard were in they allowed the petrol market and grocery to be controlled by two companies, little competition, no oversight and the philosophy that “there is nothing wrong with businesses seeking to maximise their profits”, ie charge what you want, it is free enterprise.

    Oil hit over $80 a barrel during the Hockey/ Howard years and petrol $1.45 to $1.50 a litre, oil is now over 50% higher at $135 a barrell, and petrol at $1.55 a litre, probably would be higher at $2.00 a litre if the “maximise profits” mantra of Howard Hockey was still in.

    The petrol/ retail inquiries of Rudd have probably slowed the profit gouging, the Woolworths boss admitted before the retail inquiry that they got a bigger margin (ie higher profits and prices) in Australia than New Zealand because of less competitors. I would assume this would apply to petrol too.

  27. Who knows whether Rudd personally supports Gay marriage (who cares, it’s moot) Once he became leader he made decisions, formed and presented the various bits of their policy platform for election. On GM it was decided that if elected, the Rudd Gov would legislate to remove many/most (all?) of the various unfair doobies that affect gay couples(super, tax whatever) but they would NOT support Gay marriage. They won and he did exactly as was promised

    No fault, no foul

  28. What was great was that when Piers made the claim about Rudd supporting gay marriage on Insiders this morning, all the other panelists (David Marr, Misha Schubert and Barry Cassidy) all reacted with the same ‘what planet are you on and what have you been smoking’ reaction. Barry Cassidy even went as far as saying something like ‘we’ll wait and see the quotes in your next column’.

  29. Gay Marriage
    Yep – I agree that it’s discriminatory, but unfortunately, through many reasons, some purposeful, some not, it’s not that simple any more.
    Sure, the government could show some leadership on the issue, but it seems that they’ve decided that they’re not going to.
    At this point you can either argue with them, or change the underlying reason they disagree, which is very likely populist in origin. Given that they’ve decided they’re only going to go so far, I think pushing them is a bit of a waste of time. It’s the general population’s attitude that’s going to have to change before government will support it.
    Rudd’s personal opinion is irrelevant – he’s the elected representative of an elected party.

  30. Pies is a rather sickly cane toad who because is of his weirdness is not taken seriously except by pathological haters of Rudd.

    I wonder what happened to Cassidy in the past. Maybe Keating gave him a few reality lessons and he has hated Labor since. Certainly his show is all about propping up the Liberals and down selling Labor. He would also be still smarting from the big slap across the face Gillard gave him when he was pouting over Rudd not attending his show. Cassidy ought to sit back and think, why would someone appear on his show when they know the only intention of the was to attack Rudd and Labor during an election period. And Cassidy pouts?

    This 5% excise Nelson is chasing is pure nonsense and everyone knows it, including most of his party, but the press and Liberal spruikers will give it as much positive air as they can whilst trying to keep a straight face.

    Can anyone imagine the state of the country if Nelson and his team were leading? God help us. You would have Bishop pushing WorkChoices 2 and 3 endeavoring to make legal slaves of everyone and, every liberal supporting enterprise being given government hand outs, Murdoch getting even more rewards in legislation and, an attempt to out-law the Labor party aka Thailand through whatever means they could. The economy being flooded with more handouts and middle class vote buying and inflation looking for 8%

  31. And with the LNP now looking to kitchen table issues are getting into a battle about who can help the average Australian the best? If so then Labor has won and ‘turned’ the Liberal party. Maybe Rudd will end up Laborfying the Liberals – except they still need to kill of WorkChoices type stuff permanently. That will still be a killer if Bishop and Co still don’t publicly kill it off.

  32. The blogging scandal in the Victorian Libs is still smouldering.

    “THE Victorian Liberal party descended further into crisis last night, with allies of leader Ted Baillieu seeking to expel the young members involved in the recent blogging scandal, and one of the bloggers vowing to fight to stay in the party.

    Speaking to The Sunday Age, John Osborn, sacked earlier this month along with fellow Liberal staffer Simon Morgan for setting up an anti-Baillieu blog, said last night that he considered moves for his expulsion from the party “as a double punishment for a single act, driven more by a desire for political scalps than regard for principles of procedural fairness”.

    It is understood he will resist any attempts for a suspension or expulsion from the party and make use of all avenues of appeal under the party’s constitution, raising the spectre of months of destabilisation.”

  33. Liberals in Disarray
    In the wake of John Howard’s electoral defeat, the Liberal Party is not only out of power federally, but also in every state and territory. A series of recent blunders and embarrassments by State Leaders and Senior staffers across the states certainly haven’t helped the situation. It’s left the former political party at its lowest ebb ever. Senior members of the party are now scrambling to find a solution to turn the party around.

  34. Interview: Jenny Macklin
    May 25, 2008

    LO: Sure, but Brendan Nelson’s promising a 5 cent a litre cut in petrol excise. You won’t do that. But what about the suggestion this morning that the Labor Government will consider dropping the GST component that’s imposed on petrol above the excise, a tax on a tax? Are you serious about looking at that?

    JM: Well, that’s one of the issues that we will address in this major tax inquiry that the Treasurer announced, and he has announced the detail of that inquiry, that we will look at the issues that you’ve just outline and a wide range of other critical matters that haven’t been looked at for such a long time. So it is very important that we do that. But honestly, you wouldn’t know what the Liberal Party believes. I see that Alexander Downer now is considering coming back onto the front bench of the Liberal Party. He wants to be the Shadow Treasurer. I understand he’s indicated to some in the Liberal Party that he doesn’t think that the fuel policy that Brendan Nelson’s put forward is economically responsible or sensible. So, if Alexander Downer wants to come back onto the front bench, he should renounce that economically irresponsible policy, totally uncosted. It would see the Budget surplus wrecked by the Liberal Party, and I think if Alexander Downer’s serious, he needs to come out and renounce that policy immediately.

  35. onimod Says:
    May 25th, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Rudd’s personal opinion is irrelevant – he’s the elected representative of an elected party.

    Come on get real, the reason why people like Rudd is you actually know what he stands for, even if you don’t agree and the party is in power because of the man.

    Now I know I’m being a little bit blunt here but like it or not hetrosexual relations can involve something more than the relationship between the couple; that is marriage often ends up being about more than the two people involved. What I can understand is why homosexual couples can’t get over it and leave marriage and the family court to couples that are likely to result in families.

    On the other hand if homosexuals want to go for civil unions why not, however as children are seldom involved I can’t see the civil un-union court ever being as messy as the family court.

  36. William,

    Can I suggest that you consider starting a thread on the Australian Joint Standing committee on electoral Matters – 2007 Federal Elections

    The committee is currently reviewing the 2007 Federal Elections.

    The Parliamentary web site can be found Here

    One of the Issues I have placed on the agenda is the need to review the method used by the Australian Government in calculating the Australian Senate Surplus Transfer value and the method used in counting the ballot

    The method of calculating the Surplus Transfer value MUST be based on the value of the vote and not the number of Ballot papers (See submission)

    The other option I would like to see adopted is a reiterative counting system where the count is restarted on the exclusion of candidates the count continues until all vacant positions are filled without the need for further exclusions.

    The current system was designed in the early 20th century to facilitate a manual count. With the use of electronic computerized counting it is possible to review the system used to ensure that the count reflects accurately the one vote one value principle and true proportionality of the ballot. The current system has serious errors built-in to the system that distorts the value and results of the election.

    Hopefully the Joint Standing Committee will address these issues and adopt the recommendation contained in my submission.

    This issue not only e3ffects the senate election but also other multi-member public elections as most tend to adopt the Australian Senate system. the distortion in the counting system currently used is more prevalent in those election where above the line party voting is not used. Ideally this should Abe address prior to the 2008 Victorian Municipal elections. Tis review is also of interest to State elctions

    I would welcome any constructive discussion and debate on this issue

  37. If anyone thought that Joe Hockey might be a goer as leader one day they might think again after his comments on The Insiders this morning.

    Joe reckons the tax on alcopops is going to lead to girls getting the drinks spiked.

    You only need to follow that line of thinking a little way to realise what he is thinking and saying.

    JOE is saying this – If alcopops are too expensive then young girls wont get so drunk on them and so their drinks will be spiked. Huh?

    Who will spike their drinks and why?

    OK so girls not getting so drunk will not do the sort of thing they might do when drunk and so someone will spike their drinks to get them/force them to do what they wont?

    It is fairly clear what Joe is on about with this comment. Young girls not getting so drunk so wont be available for being ‘voluntarily’ abused. Thus thinks Joe men will spike their drinks so as to still have their way, sexual assault, rape.

    What he says can only mean that in Joe’s logic is that it is better for women to get drunk and have wanton sex than to stay sober, be drugged and raped.

    Wonder no one has picked up on this in the press. It is a pretty low comment.

  38. Hockey is a scum bag. I read his comments early today and had a similar reaction. A decent, balanced interviewer wouldn’t let his comments pass without a serious test but he appears to have not been challenged. I’m surprised that he hasn’t advocated for the removal of all taxes on alcopops so that young men and women can get totally smashed for just a few bucks with little or no risk for their health or safety.

    Honestly, this alcopops argument is the worst possible issue that the libs could have taken on board. They really are a shattered lot. Even Nelson knows that it is wrong but he is willing to put the safety of young women ahead of his own political survival – another scum bag for sure.

  39. Did any of my Perth bloggers watch the 7pm news on ABC Saturday night, had TV on and getting ready to hit the town, when I’m sure the presenter of the news said that “the Rudd honeymoon is now over” . Is it possible to get a podcast or whatever of the daily 7pm news?

  40. Just shows how low Barry Cassidy has fallen to let a horrible comment like that pass without seeking clarification.

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