Morgan: 57-43

Roy Morgan’s latest face-to-face survey of 1799 voters has Labor’s lead up to 57-43 from 55-45 a fortnight ago. Labor is up 1.5 per cent on the primary vote to 47 per cent, and the Coalition down 2 per cent to 37.5 per cent.

Other stuff:

• I appeared yesterday before the Perth hearing of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters’ inquiry into the federal election, where I argued the increasingly problematic STV Senate system should be replaced by good old-fashioned list system PR with seats allocated using the New Zealand-style Sainte-Laguë formula. Not a chance in hell of this happening of course, but as Homer Simpson would say, at least I’m out there doin’ stuff. Perhaps I would have done better to have fallen in behind the Greens’ Commonwealth Electoral (Above-the-Line Voting) Amendment Bill 2008, which I hadn’t given due consideration as I wrongly believed it required full numbering of above-the-line preferences. When told it was optional preferential, I instead argued it would amount to a New South Wales-style de facto “largest remainder” system, with the potential to produce disproportional results: for example, parties which get 1.5 and 0.6 quotas on the primary vote could win one seat each despite the former party having won well over twice as many votes (as Antony Green puts it, methods like Sainte-Laguë ensure that “each MP represents roughly the same number of voters”). However, I now see it requires that a minimum of four boxes be numbered, which might solve or at least alleviate this difficulty – although there remains the likely problem of a higher informal vote. I remain open to persuasion on any of these points, and might yet make a supplementary submission.

• The Electoral Commission of Queensland has finalised its boundaries for the state redistribution. The new electorates which were named Macrossan, Samsonvale and Dalby in the original proposal will instead be named Dalrymple, Pine Rivers and Condamine.

Christian Kerr of The Australian reckons blogs, and “polling blogs” in particular, contain “paranoia about certain journalists, certain newspapers (and) certain pollsters”. What a thing to say …

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.

339 comments on “Morgan: 57-43”

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  1. #248 “South Ossetia and Abkarsia would/have democratically vote to support some form of independence and Russian alliance”

    as opposed to some form of independence , but within Nato ?
    ps / they were actualy autominous provinces already , what we do know is Russian incursions & mischief for past 4 months to stir Ossettian unrest & provoke Georgia designed to actualy prevent there Nato membership What we do not know for sure because news & truth becomes a casuality in ‘war’ , is what set off hostiliteies & what degree of non Russian caused unrest there was in Ossettia & what was extent , obviously there were some grievances which I’m suggesting would hav been more fairly addressed under Nato protocols and more fairly then enforsed

  2. nath @ 236

    Sorry, my post was not meant to bait you or stir up a debate about whether Indonesia would invade Australia.

    My point wasn’t that I thought that the Indonesians are at all likely invade Australia. I don’t think it has any such intention, even if General Benny Murdani did have a map on his wall with ‘South Irian’ written across Australia. I trust he enjoyed his little joke.

    Actually, most of the Dutch do speak English and the Dutch were allies with the US at the time, and had fought with the US as allies in the same general area in WW2. The Dutch had, and still do, a tremendous admiration for the role of the US in liberating them in WW2 and in protecting them from Russia during the Cold War. When there was a minute of silence for the victims of September 11 in Holland, the whole country, all vehicles, all pedestrians and all workers came to a complete stop. US flags hung from every third or fourth building. It was an astonishing thing to witness.

    The point is that the US did not support the Dutch in the fighting; they did not even just leave the Dutch to their own devices; they actively forced the Dutch out, virtually forced West Irian into Indonesian hands and ensured generations of suffering for the Irianese.

    The main point I was trying to make is that we cannot simply assume that when it comes to a crunch there is an automatic guarantee that the US would side with us.

    In the very highly unlikely event that Indonesia and Australia engage in a shooting war, the US should consider that Indonesia is the most populous muslim country in the world. And, as they should in their own best interests, the US should think twice about getting into a shooting war with them on our behalf. Apart from anything else, even the US is probably beginning to understand that it would not pay them to generate yet another whole new bunch of anti-US jihadis.

    The US should also consider that Indonesia would be in a position to stop, disrupt or delay, the flow of mid-east oil to China and Japan, and what the consequences would be for the world’s economy. Again, my main point is that none of this is at all likely to happen, but if it did, we could not take for granted that the US would automatically come to our assistance.

    Apart from what happened to the Dutch, the best relevant precedent for this bit of caution is what the Brits did in WW2. England first, and the defence of Australia as a strategic priority? 8th or 9th, or something like that, as I seem to recall. The hard reality is that Churchill was quite prepared to defend India before defending Australia. Quite rightly too, from the English point of view.

  3. GG

    Why would any peoples chose some form of independence and Russian alliance , over having an autonimous province within a Nato alliance Its th trojan horse Amigo one always needs to look for

  4. Boerwar @ 234 –

    I would question the assumption that seemed to be implied in some of the posts above that the US would support us automatically against Indonesia.

    Agreed. The only certainty is that should push come to shove the Americans will support whichever side they believe best serves their interests. If they decide it’s to their advantage to support the Indonesians, or indeed to studiously ignore the bun fight then we’ll be up poop creek without a paddle, Anzus Treaty or not.

    That is not a criticism, BTW. If only our governments would adopt the same policy!

  5. GG , had in mind bigger fish , did you see Laurie Oakes imploring Cossie to take on th Liberals leadership , almost like a deciple or a Journo itching to write about some reel (alleged) contest with Rudd

  6. Here is a classic example of just how inflated the egos are of main-stream commentators and the fantasy world they live in, thinking that they alone are the movers and shakers in the political system and how they can manipulate the political process.

    {Christian Kerr from Crikey writes:

    Who are the people in politics and the media who will really decide the outcome of this year’s election?

    There are the obvious big names of the Gallery and the frontbenchers, their advisers and their backroom teams – but what about the people with more diffuse or more localised power?}

  7. When we have the media deciding elections we might as well all give it away as a bad joke. The Libs would be in power forever.

  8. Boerwar & MayoFeral

    Every PM & defense Minister since 1951 hav intepretated ANZUS as an attack on ‘oz’ triggers USA defence , including there subsequent autobiographers Whitlam , Keating & Hawke

    Treaty has to be read in full context and then take up Articles 3 and 4

    In any event , NO Country looking at that ANZUS treaty could imply USAwould noyt do so anyway , and so no country would dare take th risk , so further tightening of th words is therefore academic

    MayoFeral ”
    If only our governments would adopt the same policy”
    Not sure which policy you ar refferring to , if us following USA into Iraq I agree with you , and Kim Beasley did oppose that

  9. Gary Bruce

    “When we have the media deciding elections we might as well all give it away as a bad joke. The Libs would be in power forever”

    Gary I agree with you However I think they over ratee there importance because ‘oz’ ran hard against Kevin07 for all of 2007 with weekly very biased slants on political newsa pro Howard , and it did NOT alter Polls at all for last 6 months

    Just maybe , they ar writing to themselves only trying to convince themselves they’re influencing , especialy when there circulation hits 0.50% approx of population

  10. (Christian Kerr from Crikey writes: Who are the people in………….the media who will really decide the outcome of this year’s election? ….. )

    Let me see. If the media is in the business of deciding elections how on earth can they then claim neutrality and honesty in reporting and analysis?

    I wonder if they really believe they are not bias or, that consistent reporting and analysis to favour the Liberal party is somehow the natural order of things and nobody should be criticising them for it.

    I think what they can’t stand is that they now know there are people out their who can see through them and know much of their work is low quality rubbish and if not rubbish simply promotional material for the Liberal party.

    It is a sign of the simplistic minds that they think this only exists in blogs and that in earlier days people didn’t have any problem with them. What they should understand is that blogs is just giving voice to what people have been thinking for years.

  11. 260 Ron – I agree with you on the power of the media. I don’t think they determine elections either but if/when they do …….

  12. MayoFeral @ 254

    Agreed. They should consider their best national interests. So should we.

    Ron @ 260

    I am sure that every Australian PM and Foreign Affairs Minister has interpreted the ANZUS Treaty to mean just that. In the same way that every Australian PM and Foreign Affairs Minister before WW2 genuinely believed that the British would give Australia a high priority. Just as I am sure that the Dutch would have had a warm and comforting glow from NATO. (As a matter of side interest, Dutch F16s are protecting Aussie troops in Afghanistan and Aussie troops have been protecting Dutch reconstruction teams on the ground… but I think the Dutch may have seen the light. Not sure about that.)

    A shooting issue, in the unlikely event that it arises, would almost certainly not be black and white and could easily give the US wriggle room it would need. Here are a couple of scenarios:

    If the Indonesians armed a few Indigenous groups (PNG or Northern Australia), kept them supplied with weapons and money and then came to their assistance when the Indigenous groups were attacked by wicked Australia? (Not all that dissimilar to the West Irian model).

    Now, if the Indonesians said, ‘Hang on, Ashmore Reef is ours by rights and by tradition since time immemorial’, and plants a few soldiers there, and waits for Australia to evict them with armed force, who starts the shooting? (Similar to the Konfrontasi model).

    If Indonesia had decided to fight the Australians when we invaded ‘their holdings’ in East Timor would the US have started the shooting war on our behalf?

  13. It is good to see that the Australian is following Kerr’s advice on balance, nuance and fact.

    The balance bit:

    There are five letters about global warming published in the main letters section of today’s OO. Four are from global warming sceptics. This more than reverses the weight of scientific opinion, but serves the basic disinformation purpose of keeping alive the notion of a ‘debate’.

    The nuance bit:

    The sceptic letters were all in hot praise of an article published by the Australian ‘Case of the warm and fuzzy’ by Jennifer Marohasy which used ‘statistics’ and not words to present the sceptic case. Turns out she bodgied the presentation of the stats to cook up the ‘case’.

    The fact bit:

    On the opposite page, there is one article on global warming, heading: ‘Job loss the hot issue in climate policy’. They don’t mean job losses as a result of a cooked planet. That fact is missing.

  14. William,

    I have read the link you porovided to the Sainte-Lague proportional allocation method, and I am not at all sure that it is a good system. Not that the one we have is much better, but I was unimpressed to note that in the hypothetical run-through, Parties C and D each got one seat, despite the fact that Party C got nearly 3 times the votes of Party D.

    As regards Mr. Kerr, plainly he’s never read Pollbludger, the toad.

  15. Marohasy is from the Institute of Public Affairs. They are holding a lecture on the science and politics of CC by a Professor Aynsley Kellow, their resident expert on CC. He seems to know quite a lot about politics but nothing about science. Surprisingly, Kellow is not a scientist and his publication list doesn’t have a single reference to an article on the science of CC. So the best they can come up with is a non-scientist who hasn’t published on the science of CC as their “expert”.

    They could have a look at this to strike off their sceptic arguments before they spout their sockpuppet arguments.

  16. My “sockpuppet” comment may have sounded a bit harsh, I’ve found something to back it up. There’s a familiar story here. Think-tank gets money from industry. Doesn’t disclose this to government as conflict of interest. Lobbies government. Advice to government results in favourable outcome to industry providing funds.

    For all their talk of ‘transparency’ though, the IPA has beem embroiled in controversy over failure to disclose funders of its work. In June 2004 it was revealed that Australia’s largest irrgation company, Murray Irrigation Limited, contributed $40,000 to the IPA. The IPA’s environment unit director Jennifer Marohasy played a critical role in persuading a government committee to overturn recomendations to increase the volume of water released into the Murray River.

    However, Marohasy did not disclose the donation to the committee. When asked by the Australian Financial Review about the MIL donation, Marohasy would not confirm or deny whether she knew about the donation while writing her report or giving evidence to the committee. She said she did not take “an interest in who funds IPA”.

  17. Fairfax papers have been reasonably balanced in the political reporting but I wonder if that might change should Turnbull become opposition leader given that it was he who sunk Kerry Packer’s bid to take over Fairfax back in the early 1990s?


    Boerwar @ 268 –

    If the Indonesians armed a few Indigenous groups (PNG or Northern Australia), kept them supplied with weapons and money and then came to their assistance when the Indigenous groups were attacked by wicked Australia? (Not all that dissimilar to the West Irian model).

    Or the South Ossetia model! Or Kosova!

    >i>Now, if the Indonesians said, ‘Hang on, Ashmore Reef is ours by rights and by tradition since time immemorial’,

    You have sort of hit I what I see as the main external threat and that is the use of historical association to establish property rights, what I call as the Israeli model. There is evidence that the people of our region have had long standing trading relations with northern Aboriginal tribes which may have involved them setting up shop there for extended periods.

    I don’t believe Indonesia has, or ever had, any desire to invade us provided we leave them alone. However, climate change could well change that in the future. Most thinking on the subject is that as CC worsens people will tend to migrate to higher latitudes and when it comes to SE Asia the only dry bits nearer the South Pole is what we’re sitting on. The fact that Australia is hardly going to be a Garden of Eden is probably irrelevant. If this isn’t causing sleepless nights at Defence, it bloody well should be.

    As for the Anzus Treaty, nowhere in the document does it state that the other parties are required to come to the aid of a member that is attacked. They are only required to consult with the victim. So if Indonesia, PNG, or Antarctica penguins were to invade us, all the Americans and New Zealanders have to do to fulfill their treaty obligations would be to phone the PM, ask him how things are going and wish us well, or a fond goodbye.

  18. Well, well, well. Who provides donations to the Institute of Public Affairs? Given their climate change scepticism, I’m sure they would want to remain independent of the major polluters. Then again, maybe not. According to SourceWatch;

    Major mining companies – BHP-Billiton and Western Mining Corporation;
    Pesticides/Genetically modified organisms: Monsanto
    Tobacco companies – Philip Morris and British American Tobacco
    Oil and gas companies: Caltex, Esso Australia (a subsidiary of Exxon) and Shell and Woodside Petroleum; and fifteen major companies in the electricity industry
    Forestry: Gunns
    Murray Irrigation Ltd

    Personally, as soon as I see that an organisation is taking money from Philip Morris and BAT there is very little more that needs to be said.

  19. MayoFeral @ 274

    Thank you. I didn’t know that point about the ‘requirement’ of the ANZUS treaty. The kiwis must be shaking in their boots. *grin*

    Cf whether Defence is on its toes, I suspect that ‘red’ country or ‘blue’ country would sometimes be configured appropriately.

  20. There was an interesting article in the SMH on Paul Keating’s speech on Saturday that highlighted the need for inclusion regaring the west dealing with China and Russia.

    Keating expressed far better than I what I feel was the problem with Georgia. Yes the Russians have behaved badly, but that is the consequence of bad western policy towards them. This is not to defend Putin, but it explains how leaders like him can become popular in countries which have been belittled.

    Democracy alone is not an adequate criteria for deciding who are the “good guys” and bad guys” on foreign policy. Democratic governments can do bad things; look at Bush. Likewise non-democratic governments can do good, as much as we would wish for them to become more democratic. Of course, non-democratic despots like Mugabe are worst of all, because you can’t get rid of them. Even so, overall I wish the west’s policy towards both China and Russia had been more constructive in recent years. I wonder how many members of the Bush administration would be in jail themselves if international law were applied to them.

    China in particular is quite complex. People tend to focus on the central government and forget the importance of their provincial governments. There is a big difference between them; some of the more progressive provincial governments are quite reasonable.

  21. Diogenes @ 272, 273 and 275

    Excellent stuff. And I thought the stuff I was seeing in the Australian this morning was ‘random’. *Wry grin.*

    I am sure that any day now we will see an article in The Australian by the balanced, factual and nuanced Christian Kerr exposing the rotten corruption at the heart of ‘right intellectual’ think tanks, their industry puppetmasters, their MSM parrots, and their corrupt lobbying practices.*Holds breath, waiting.*

    It reinforces my view that the libnat senators will try to make sure that the enquiry TOR will be doctored to avoid such nastiness coming to the light of day. They will most likely be abetted by labour senators who will be seeking to protect their state labour counterparts.*thinks, should find out tomorrow when Mr X and the G’s put their proposal up*

    My bet: the TOR will focus strongly on why the Rudd Government failed to maintain the lower lakes as freshwater lakes when there was water available in the system.

    What is really needed is a Royal Commission into the whole rotten mess. *Commences waiting for porcine quadrupeds to fly.*

  22. Oh yeah a Royal Commission so a couple of corpulent QC’s can add to their Rudd Government provided tax free superannuation plans.

  23. Kerr’s criticisms only go to show that sites like ‘Real Clear Politics’ are certainly needed in Australia – people need a way to by-pass the partisan nonsense and misinformation pumped out to support the political leanings of editors, journalists and media owners.

    If anything the media needs to be held to account more strongly and criticised more robustly when there is reason.

  24. The fact that Australia is hardly going to be a Garden of Eden is probably irrelevant.

    Don’t agree. If anything it is one of our best defences. Australia is rich only because of our small population, and we already stress this environment quite a bit to get that wealth and lifestyle. Not to mention the hostile world opinion toward any invasion of Oz, and the long-term difficulties of controlling a strongly hostile occupied population the size of ours.

    It is not really in Indonesia’s (or anybody’s) interest to invade us, the overall cost/benefit ratio is quite poor. We are worth far more to them as a good neighbour and trading partner.

    Which is not to say we should not be prepared for such possibilities. Of course we should. But they are not possibilities I will be losing much sleep over.

  25. “If anything the media needs to be held to account more strongly and criticised more robustly when there is reason.” I agree and the “We were wrong” mechanism should be strengthened so that the “We were wrong” should appear on the same page number as the original article and in as prominent position and type.

  26. Now that the Libs are in opposition Edward has discovered cheap populism – attack lawyers, attack the rich etc etc. I don’t think this will cut much ice for a party with a Malcolm Turnbull as shadow Treasurer.

  27. Just Me @ 285 –

    I could have explained it better.

    Was watching a doco recently covering a number of our northern neighbours. One segment of the reporter asking locals about various aspects of their lives was interesting. I don’t remember the nationality of one bloke but his answer to a question about what he knew about surrounding countries has stuck. The only foreign land he’d ever heard of was Germany. Not any of the neighbouring countries, and not us. Only far off Germany. Knew bugger all about it, but at least he’d heard of it.

    If, or probably when, changed climates make things too hot for some, or the monsoons fail and their land turns to dust, people will move. They’ll have to. Few of their governments have the means to insulate them from the harsh realities the way ours can with, for example, imported food or desal plants.

    It won’t be an orderly migration, nor will they be deliberately heading for Australia, but just following the climate south until they inevitably land on our doorstep.

    At least I hope that’s the way it happens as it does allow some planning. However, the ‘tipping point’ theory of CC suggests it may well be more dramatic than that. Most of these people rely totally on what they grow with little or no reserves of food or money to buy any. What happens if in a new climate state the rains totally fail across Asia this summer and don’t come back? Sure, next year the world would likely chip in to avoid disaster. But what about the year after, especially if North America, Europe and we are also gripped by drought? And the year after….and….?

    Not an unlikely scenario. In fact we’ve been having a small taste of just this recently which is why people have been rioting over high grain prices, though admittedly things has been exacerbated by grain being diverted for bio-fuels.

    The thing is no climate scientist can tell you what will really happen as the planet warms. Their models assume a gradual, graduated change which probably won’t be the way it will be. But even if it is, what does it mean for, say Filipinos, if in ten years time local temperatures are another 1 degrees warmer than today’s already global warming inflated averages? European temperatures during the ‘Little Ice Age’ were only about 1 degree less than the 20th Century norm, yet the effect was dramatic.

  28. MayoFeral @ 289


    Might we be the ones to have to ask them politely for somewhere to settle down? Perhaps the irrigators and dryland farmers who are being dislodged from the southern MDB could think about migrating to South-east Asia?

    ‘Paradise’ would be a little bit in the eyes of the beholder. There is a lot of grazing or ‘waste’ country in Northern Australia which could carry a lot more people than now if the people used traditional South-east Asian farming techniques rather than our beef raising techniques. I’m not sure how long-term it would be because the soils generally are not very robust. But that would not matter if you didn’t have any other choice.

  29. That’s it.

    I’ve heard everything now.

    In an article by Samantha Maiden saying Turnbull has been given the nod by senior Lib power-brokers – if he stops losing his temper – Maiden writes:

    “… writing from the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Florida, where he is serving a sentence for fraud, former Fairfax boss Conrad Black says he thinks Mr Turnbull is “intelligent and energetic enough to do well in so exalted a position (as prime minister), but fifteen years ago there would have been some question about his judgment”.

    I rest my case. They’ve gone start, staring bonkers at The Australian.

    Cue question from journalist at Parliment House doorstop:

    “Mr. Turnbull, convicted criminal, current jailbird and all-round arsehole Conrad Black has endorsed you for leadership of the Liberal Party from his prison cell in Florida. Would you care to comment?”


  30. 253 255 Ron and GG. A fairly high proportion of residents of S Ossetia and Abkasia currently have Russian citizenship. Small nations/autonomous regions are always getting pulled and pushed into bigger neighbours arms.

  31. Bushfire Bill @ 291

    Thank you for the link. Makes highly entertaining reading.

    One person quoted in the article opines that Malcolm does not suffer fools gladly. Malcolm must be doing a lot of not suffering gladly at the moment.

    The article looks like a bunch of people have figured out that Tiptoe is exiting stage right, that Nelson is dead and the water, and that maybe, maybe, Turnbull is their only hope, except that he has all these undesirable personal qualities: arrogance, bad temper, refusal to listen to others and so on.

    As for quoting Conrad Black, lol, bizarro.

  32. Bushfire Bill @ 291 –

    Apparently, Four Corners are tonight outing Turnbull as the bloke who supplied the Broadcasting Tribunal with info that scuttled Kerry Packer’s Fairfax bid back in 1991 allowing Black to eventually take over the company, so of course he thinks Mal is a wonderful fellow.

    Actually think Black was a bit unlucky. Sure he’s a thieving no good dirty rotten scoundrel, but that seems to be par for the course when it comes to media proprietors, especially in this country.

  33. [Was watching a doco recently covering a number of our northern neighbours. One segment of the reporter asking locals about various aspects of their lives was interesting. I don’t remember the nationality of one bloke but his answer to a question about what he knew about surrounding countries has stuck. The only foreign land he’d ever heard of was Germany. Not any of the neighbouring countries, and not us. Only far off Germany. Knew bugger all about it, but at least he’d heard of it.]

    While that may be true, wars don’t tend to get started by the guy in the street…

  34. #292 “A fairly high proportion of residents of S Ossetia and Abkasia currently have Russian citizenship.”

    Yes because as part of Russian destabization Russia has FREELY offered it

    Fact is when Georgia regained its independence , WITH Russian blessing , S Ossetia and Abkasia became part of Georgia So any argument it is somehow part of russia is false

    I made add ethnicly they ar NOT Russian either

  35. I must say I’m disappointed that in conversations with journalists after his arrest and release today, Chopper Read did not offer a judgement of Turnbull’s leadership credentials. (This would have been more reliable than Black’s, I would have thought; certainly more colourful.)

  36. Socrates

    Paul Keating did not mention Georgia , what he said was West had not handled either China or Russia well

    Ar you or is ANY poster suggesting th Russian bear has th right to invade another soverign Country to protect that Country from committing alleged humanitarian abuses

    (with such alleged human rights abuses as determined by Russia alone) ?

    I am suggesting Russia’s own history gives it no such right whatsoever

  37. Given that Talcum was General Counsel for Packer at the time of his “Deep Throating” of the Broadcast Tribunal. What does this say for his “loyalty” ?

    He also has allegations to answer re HIH. Due around the next election.

    Just how many skeletons can one person have? 😛

  38. On Four Corners tonite , sleezy Malcolm unclothed , but there is a quote of quotes to savour:

    said by Tim Costello when working with his toffyiness on th Republic :

    “Malcolm Turnbull was this utter force of nature , so when you’re on th wrong end of Malcolm its terrifying , th thunder in th face….Malcolm was th Grand Ayatollah”

    Given Cossies lack of ‘ticker , it could hav been Cossies own words of his inner courage

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