ACNielsen: 54-46

Today’s Fairfax broadsheets bring the Rudd government its most uncomfortable opinion poll yet, with ACNielsen showing Labor’s lead down to 54-46 from 56-44 a month ago. The poll also offers a preferred leader rating for Brendan Nelson with a two in front of it, and yet more results on emissions trading.

Other news:

• A by-election looms in the north coast New South Wales seat of Lyne as former Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile joins the exodus. Labor are presumably not in a hurry to take on the Nationals at another by-election, but the contest could yet prove interesting in other ways. Rob Oakeshott, the Nationals-turned-independent state member for Port Macquarie, says he is “considering a tilt” – much as he did before the 2004 election without following through, though perhaps he will be more tempted now he does not have Vaile to overcome. Then there’s the prospect of a challenge by the Liberals, which Antony Green discusses in depth.

• Labor has confirmed it will sit out the by-election for Alexander Downer’s seat of Mayo. Yesterday’s Liberal preselection was won by Jamie Briggs, former adviser to John Howard on industrial relations, whom Jon Wiseman of The Australian reports prevailed by 46 in a ballot of “almost 300 branch members”. The runner-up was Iain Evans, who was dumped after one year as state leader following the 2006 election. Evans’ state electorate of Davenport partly corresponds with Mayo, and it was thought his local numbers combined with concern over Briggs’s WorkChoices association might stand him in good stead. Antony Green has a Mayo by-election page in action, and will presumably follow with one for Lyne very shortly.

• Yet more from Antony Green, this time on the “growing prospects” of an early election in the Northern Territory “in late-August or some time in September”.

Glenn Milne offers internal Nationals research from “pre-polling and exit polling in Gippsland”, and lots of it.

• I have belatedly noticed my debut entry (and perhaps also Possum’s) in The Australian’s Cut and Paste section, from July 2.

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.

69 comments on “ACNielsen: 54-46”

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  1. Beat me to it, Vera. 😉

    Should add, that the result is a foregone conclusion. The chances of the opposition winning this time around are essentially nil.

    The only real unknown is the seat count. My best guess is that the government will lose 2, maybe 3, seats.

  2. Interesting they call your blog labor friendly William.

    What would they call the Bolt, Ackermann and Milne blogs, bi-partisan, unbiased and open?

  3. Rod, I’m a Liberal voter and I think William’s Blog rules! True there are lots of Labour voters here probably the vast majority in my opinion but I for one enjoy my time here and think that William is doing a great job. Keep up the good work Big fella (William). 🙂

  4. Perhaps the only Nat that can win Lyne is one with a strong local profile: Andrew Stoner.

    He’d also be a potential federal leader.

  5. Swordfish,

    Stoner would be the Nats best bet – but if Oakshott runs, Stoner would sacrifice being a front bencher and head cow cocky in the next NSW government for a tilt at years in the wilderness at the Federal level where he still wouldn’t be the favourite to win Lyne.

    If you were Stoner, would you roll those dice?

  6. G’day JOM,

    FWIW i think this blog is pro Labor with a distinct green tinge. I’m sure William would prefer a balance of opinion but I believe the MSM seems to cater more than adequately for the pro Liberal, right wing view.

    That said, I enjoy your contributions and hope you and others of your ilk continue to post here.

    I may not agree, but I enjoy the challenge.


  7. Seems every poll shows rudds popularity going lower and lower and nelsons slowly going higher and higher. Its only a matter of time before the libs get over the 51% 2PP

  8. Possum – Stoner would be taking a big gamble as he is almost sure to be the next NSW Deputy Premier, and it is unlikely he would get a shot at being Deputy PM for quite some time – he’d be spending even more time in Opposition (I don’t think he was in state parliament when Greiner/Fahey were around).

    It may well be that is pushed into it for the sake of the party/sense of duty or whatever.

    Also, if Oakeshott does run – would Port Macquarie revert to being National?

  9. That’s a good question about Port Macquarie. It seems more Liberal than National these days, but in any hypothetical of Oakeshott leaving and a by-election being called – whether the State Coalition parties would fight out a three cornered contest is debatable.

    If it was a three way, my guess is the Libs would win – probably beat the Nats by about 5-10% on primaries before running away with it in TPP terms over Labor.

  10. #67,68

    If Oakeshott contests Lyne, Labor could just organise to leave Port Mac vacant until the Lyne by-election has been run. If Oakeshott lost, he could then re-nominate and probably win Port Mac, thus preventing the Coalition from gaining a state seat.

    Also, from what I understand, Oakeshott is considered by some to be a de-facto Liberal. Is it possible he could run for Lyne (or Port Mac for that matter) under the Libs’ banner?

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