Morgan: 57.5-42.5

Morgan’s fortnightly face-to-face poll of federal voting intention shows no change on Labor’s 57.5-42.5 two-party lead in the previous survey. Both parties are down 0.5 per cent on the primary vote since the previous face-to-face poll, Labor to 46 per cent and the Coalition to 36 per cent. Morgan also provides preferred leader ratings which show a substantial improvement for Kevin Rudd since the survey conducted three weeks ago, immediately after Malcolm Turnbull became Liberal leader. Rudd is up from 55 per cent to 62.5 per cent, while Turnbull is down from 30 per cent to 24 percent.

Other news:

• The Western Australian Liberal Party is apparently set to extend its dismal record on female representation following Deidre Willmott’s withdrawal from the race to fill the retiring Chris Ellison’s Senate vacancy. Willmott stood aside as candidate for Cottesloe before the state election to allow Colin Barnett to go back on his retirement plans and assume the party leadership. The party thus emerged from the election with two women in the lower house out of 24, both back-benchers in marginal seats. The West Australian (which made three passing references to the state of the Liberals’ female representation during the state election campaign, two of them favourable) reported earlier this week that Willmott withdrew from the Senate race after “internal discontent with her move surfaced following the Liberal Party’s State council meeting”. This prompted Willmott to say she believed it would be “difficult to get the level of support required”. Today’s Financial Review reports that the race is now between two state party office holders, senior vice-president Anthony Jarvis and treasurer Dean Smith, with the former starting favourite.

• Frequent Poll Bludger commenter and occasional Greens candidate Ben Raue has started an excellent new psephological blog called The Tally Room.

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.

241 comments on “Morgan: 57.5-42.5”

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  1. Mayo I have just been reaing Krugman and you may be right – certainly Europe and the US are in recession. But I still think that Australia could go close to avoiding it if its carefull. Hard to know.

  2. Up to (say) six weeks ago I thought the chances of an Australian recession were about 50-50, and that anyone who said they knew (one way or the other) what was going to happen was kidding themselves.

    At the risk of having the above statement applied to myself, surely an Australian recession is now looking more likely than not?

    We’ve always needed two things to happen for a recession to be avoided here: (1) the big four banks to stay in healthy enough financial shape and (2) commodity prices to stay up reasonably well.

    (1) I think would have happened, anyway, but Rudd’s guarantees have effectively made sure of it (whatever the long-term ramifications)

    But unfortunately it’s now looking like the resources boom may not save us. Commodity prices are falling sharply. The Chinese are realising that America’s problem is, in large measure, theirs too.

    I would have thought Rudd’s played the politics fine so far. In fact in some ways this crisis seems to be giving his government a bit more purpose, which is probably beneficial electorally.

  3. I wonder how many people actually realise that we are basically gambling with whatever we do or whatever happens with the stock market. And when you invest in your Super, lol you are gambling on your fund manager as well. Keating turned this nation into a pack of gamblers. 🙂

    Well I’m going to spend the rest of the day laying Weekend Hussler on Betfair. I don’t think it can win.

    Have a good one guys

  4. bob1234, even if we accept your cherry picking of one poll as being ‘rogue’ you’d have to admit your previous statement that all polling has had Labor at 55-45 is not factually correct. You’d need to wait til the next ACN poll at least to know whether the last was ‘rogue’.

  5. In one of the papers this morning an anonymous Lib was quoted as describing Turnbull as “our Latham experiment”. Good to see some realism in the party!

  6. I’ve been waiting for the Latham comparisons! I think there will be more when it’s all said and done. They’ll say the same thing for Turnbull as they did for Latham – Should’ve waited a few more years.

    Anyway, the SMH and The Australian both had glowing reviews of Rudd today, calling him decisive, strong and doing what needs to be done.

  7. [What would you say is the reason interest rates are going down at the moment?]

    Oh Itep, you’re getting all Socratic and diagloguey on me. Hoping I’ll fall into another one of your brilliant intellectual traps?

    Interest rates have fallen recently for several reasons.

    The first (and biggest), 1% rate decrease of about 2 weeks ago (translated into a 0.8% retail rate decrease by the big 4 banks) was as a result of concerted action by world governments to simultaneously reduce rates. The Rudd government was a part of this concerted action, indeed Australia was first cab off the rank in reducing rates dramatically, and a direct contributor (via Swan’s presence at the G20 finance ministers’ meeting) to the discussion that stemmed from it inNew York among the world’s financial ministers. Additionally, smaller banks and non-bank lenders (BBB-rated, therefore suffering from inter-bank rates more than their larger cousins) were able to nearly match this, due to the $4 billion cash injection announced by the government in the week before.

    The latest rate decrease (yesterday’s ANZ rate fall) was specifically because the government had guaranteed their deposits (and this was acknowledged as such by the bank intheir press release) leading to a relaxing of inter-bank rates charged to them. The government instituted this guarantee. The other 3 majors will have little choice but to match this if they wish to remain competitive. And all turnbull can do is quibble around the edges about what they might have done if he was PM, which he is not: your classic Rainmaker scam.

    If these three interest rate reduction scenarios, all acted out in the past fortnight or so, are not “putting downward pressure on interest rates”, as promised, I don’t know what is.

    Sure there’s a meltdown going on (fuelled, in large part in this country, by the whingeing and carping by the Opposition and their sycophantic supporters in the media, spreading unwarranted doom and gloom to create their perfect self-fulfilling prophecy), but this shouldn’t be confused with the main message of the Rudd government: they are putting downward pressure in interest rates by their actions and their policies, while keeping the banks functioning in this time of crisis.

    You could say (and I bet you’d like to) that there’s no alternative, or that Rudd can’t take the credit for reacting sensibly to the current economic situation, but I take the opposite view. To get the economy going again, by allowing banks to trade with each other (and re-start lending to customers) is a pretty good effort. Australia was among the first to do this in the world (if not the first with a dramatic reduction).

    And besides, if your argument is that the Labor government is just a cork on the water, floating this way and that, you’d have to abandon your view that it’s all Rudd’s fault. It can’t be both the government’s fault when something goes bad, and NOT the government’s fault when something goes well (as the brilliant Shadow Treasurer, Julie Bishop said today). The only corks we should be seeing around the place are the champagne corks that will start popping when this country recovers first from the economic mess the world is in, and its people wake up and realise they made a very wise decision to elect the Rudd government to see us through it successfully.

  8. In support of the above argument, the operations chief of the ANZ bank, Brian Hartzer said today:

    [“As the details of the guarantee become clearer, we think it is likely that that risk premium will begin to fall pretty significantly, so we are confident enough to take a gamble and pass on 0.25 points,” he said.

    “We are not out of the woods yet, we are still in for a bumpy time, but there is no question that what the Government has done has played an important role in reducing our funding cost,” said Mr Hartzer.]

    Sorry for not posting the link earlier.

  9. @105

    Ok, i’ll admit that not ALL polling has been 55-45. Almost all polls have been 55-45 or better. All polls since Rudd became Labor leader have consistently had Labor at 55-45 or better minus the occasional blip. Newspoll is the most reliable one and that currently has Labor on 55-45.

    The Howard Liberals could only have dreamed about such popularity. Maybe it’s because they never had any policy substance and worked on populism.

  10. Two years plus of exceptional polling, a nice win taking out a Gov and it’s leader (admittedly, a smelly GOV)

    Practical (well received) interventions by the Gov during a (once in 50yr?) International finance meltdown

    Kept every promise made during election (even the dumb ones)

    Yep, sounds like a one-termer to me

  11. Oh yeah I forgot, gave $1000’s of $ to pensioners 2 weeks before Christmas (my mum hated the guy 3 weeks ago, she loves him now. She wouldn’t change her vote to the opp if Kev rocked up one night pissed, full of bad manners and meth and strangled her puppy

  12. Have just returned from working ticket gate at the local Campdraft. Coalition seat but surprisingly marginal after 24/11 – great Labor candidate who we will work harder for next time.

    Lots of seniors came through gate today and quite a few mentioned that they were happy to pay to come in because ‘Kev is giving us a bonus at Christmas time’. I was very diplomatic in saying ‘we’ll all have to remember that in 2010’ and they agreed.

    Wow, what a turn around for this electorate. Up until 24/11 not many openly wanted to say a good word for Labor/Greens.

    Go Kev, Wayne and Lindsay – it is great to feel so proud of Labor. I now agree that it was worth losing the 2004 election. We had the wrong person for the job.

  13. I have bought a copy of the AFR these past two weeks but have been a little disappointed. Seems some of these guys have gone into defensive mode obviously feeling guilty for being of the class of greed sycophants at the trough this past decade.

    Now they reckon Rudd has failed the leadership test….etc (notably straw man arguments as well) but it is instructive that one of the articles is written by somebody from the Institute of Public Affairs, more accurately known as the ‘Institute of Neocon Sycophants’ and whose opinions are is barley worth 5 cents and only purpose in life is to oppose anything to do with Labor and to implement extreme right wing politics.

    Don’t know why a financial paper would want to take political sides since its readers will likely have formed political views anyway, but I guess at the moment they are feeling pretty guilty, being the uncritical flag wavers of our favourite merchant bankers and part of the problem of the system.

    Any financial paper that takes up political sides automatically negates the worth of its financial opinions. Very much like pollsters who do the same – their opinions become worthless when they are designed to favour one side over another. So the AFR information and advices I wont trust.

  14. Here we go with wonderful bankers and CEOs doing their stuff and, of course they have to be paid huge sums as it takes a special skill to produce such incompetent results.

    [French bank loses $A1.17b in bad trades
    Saturday October 18, 2008, 8:57 am
    French bank Caisse d’Epargne said it lost about 600 million euros ($A1.17 billion) in a derivatives trading “incident” last week, prompting France’s president to warn heads must roll.

    The dramatic loss suffered by the mutual bank, which counts almost one in two French savers as a customer, was the latest blow to confidence in a sector already ravaged by the credit crunch.

    And President Nicolas Sarkozy warned that bank chiefs must “bear the consequences”, telling a press conference at an EU-Canada summit in Canada’s Quebec City that the loss was “unacceptable”.

    “Everything points to an absurd lack of responsibility,” Sarkozy added. “I have said that in this crisis, everyone must assume their responsibilities, regardless of their position.”]

    So I should ask the neocon AFR who are sticking up for Executive payrolls – would offering a fixed wage of $5m to a top CEO get you a person of appropriate competence than if you paid $33m? It is joke to suggest that if you only paid $3m of $5m etc that you will get somebody incompetent and need to pay $20m and more.

    These guys have an over inflated opinion of their own importance and of the skill that is required to run a company.

    It is quite amazing that a company can just oops, lost $1bn dollars, sorry about that, lets pay the executives millions and by the way we need to cut costs, bye bye, 5% staff reduction. Pigs.

  15. I think the “Caisse” is the privatised Post Office savings bankof former days. How ironic if it needs to be renationalised.

  16. I notice Itep has done a bunk, along with his questions.

    The only thing keeping the Rainmaker and his mob afloat now is the determination by the ABC to relevantize them (to coin a word). Somewhere, a long time ago (well, a long time in political terms), someone made it known to the ABC chiefs that “balance” was defined as giving equal time and inclination to the Libs, whether or not they had anything relevant to say, or anything useful to contribute by way of concrete action.

    We are nowhere near an election. Even in their wildest fantasies, the Opposition is about 2 years away from even having a shot at national leadership. There is no handover, or caretaker period imminent. so why should they be given equal treatment? Why, in Heaven’s name, should they be given a seat (fer Chrissake!) at any national economic forum?

    They’re trying it on; attempting to see how far the limits of political chutzpah can be taken before someone calls their bluff. When that bluff is called, the deman for “10%” will go down to “5%”, and then to “2%”… it’ll sink as far as it needs to, as long as they come out of the haggling session with more than the zero they had when they came into it.

    It almost makes you hanker for the days of Howard. At least he had stones, as in cojones… as opposed to gallstones, as in sheer. bloody, gall.

  17. Nevertheless, B.B., it just ain’t working if the polls are anything to go by. I have suspected for some time that Rudd and his advisors, not forgetting a member of the team, Maxine McKew, may have seen the writing on the wall in relation to the current functioning of the ABC, and decided to go directly to some of the commercials and chance his arm there, till some more reasoned definition of balance can be restored.

  18. Profiles of Great Opposition Scare Tactics, No. 4,792:

    The solar panel rebate coffers are empty. Three years’ worth of subsidies have been spent in six months. So much for the weeping and gnashing of teeth we all heard about the imminent demise of the solar industry just a little while ago.

    Naturally, the solar panel guys are still whingeing. No, no, no not about the rebates. apparently they don’t even need them anymore:

    [The solar industry no longer prefers a rebate because it falls prey to government whim and will become less necessary as the advance price of panels starts to fall (which is expected in the next two years).]

    No, it’s the next step they want. From not being happy about the rebate disaster that never was, they’re not being happy now about the lack of the rebate… or something…

    [“We are a company that is growing around the country,” said Richard Turner, chief executive of Zen Home Energy Systems. “We have $60 million dollars of investment subject to some sort of rebate or tariff. We can’t understand why the Government has not come up with an announcement about the next step. Are they prepared to let the solar industry in Australia collapse?” ]

    Oh, youse figure it out. I’m going to bed.

  19. [Are they prepared to let the solar industry in Australia collapse?]

    Yes, that’s exactly what they said about the rebate changes. Crying wolf one too many times methinks…

  20. Talking down The Economy No. 11,531

    The top story in the SMH on-line this morning has the front page headline:

    [200,000 jobs to go
    More Australians will be out of work by the end of next year due to the world financial meltdown, experts predict.]

    Inside the fold it gets even more expansive:

    [200,000 jobs to go as businesses hit wall

    Written by Matthew Penn (whoever he is), the story promises a tale of awful doom and gloom to the reader who progresses past the headers.

    Turns out that the “experts” listed in the sub-head are “NAB economists”.

    [NAB economists predict growth will drop to just 1.25 per cent by the middle of next year with an interest rate cut to 4.5 per cent and unemployment at about 6 per cent by the end of the year, meaning 200,000 more people will be out of work.]

    That is, they all work for the same firm, and so could be presumed to have a collective, single opinion. I looked in vain for more economists’ and “experts'” opinions to back up the “NAB economists'” claim that “200,000” would be out of work by the end of the year, or indeed within the next year… or in any period at all. Instead we got these:

    [But NSW Business Chamber spokesman Nigel Blunden said: “The people of NSW are remarkably resilient, particularly at that time of year….A lot of those are feeling the effects of the downturn but we are hoping the interest rate cut and Federal Government payments will inject confidence into consumers.”]


    [A spokesman for eBay, Daniel Feiler, said: “It is hard to predict what will happen in this economic climate. People will still be buying presents for Christmas and will be looking to make their dollar go further.]


    [Professor Guay Lim, from the Melbourne Institute for Applied Economic and Social Research… said Australia was protected from the worst of the fallout by the Government’s stimulus package, interest rate cuts and a boost in exports caused by the fall in the value of the Australian dollar… We expect slow growth and an increase in unemployment. We think unemployment will go up a notch to 4.8 per cent or 5 per cent by the middle of next year.“]

    So, we have the “NAB economists” department defined as “experts” (plural) and then three others who say they either don’t know what’s going to be happening, or that the government’s package, plus interest rate reductions, plus a fall in the dollar will help out. The “NAB economists = ‘experts'” say 6% unemployment by Christmas, but the others quoted say it won’t be as bad a a lot of people think. In fact unemployment might go up “a notch”, but nowhere else is anyone saying “200,000” out of work by “the end of the year”.

    Yet the headline is:

    [“200,000 jobs to go as businesses hit wall“]

    This is an example of the kind of relentless, downbeat (one might even say apocalyptic) reporting that is splashing the front pages of our newspapers and media outlets. I’m all for telling it like it is, but one of the main reasons for the fluctuations in market prices for stocks, housing sales slumps and general lack of confidence in our economy at the moment is loss of positive sentiment.

    Somebody at Fairfax (especially) is trying to nobble the economy. They send out reporters to get the dirty on how things are going. The reporters find a department of one bank who says “We’re rooned!”, turn this into “experts” (well, I presume the NAB has more than one economist, but aren’t they all singing from the same song sheet? Should they be counted in the plural?), gives the others he interviews room for their more upbeat predictions, and the the subby wraps it up with misery.

    Not only does this headline not match the predictions out there for the Australian economy, it doesn’t even match it’s own data, where two out of four people consulted disagree with the NAB and the other is non-committal.

    Sex, war and misery sell. The economic meltdown is the new “Iraq” for the frustrated economics reporters who, denied an actual war to report from, go for the next best thing: misery. They use similar terms – “disaster”, “meltdown”, “bloodbath” and so on – and are seemingly jostling each other out of the way to get a front page or head-of-the-bulletin story up that will destroy confidence and keep despair on the boil for longer.

    I’ve known a couple of reporters in my time. They’re violence junkies. They wax on afterwards in interviews, choking back emotions, about the poor little children wiped out by a cluster bomb. They tell horrible stories about how a whole village was razed to the ground by accident. Then they stiffen up and tell us how brave they were to keep their cameras clicking. As I said: junkies, tough-guys. They know most of their readers wouldn’t want to go near a war zone and they feed off that (perfectly reasonable) fear, to show they’re better than we are, braver, tougher, more well-informed… and modest about it, too.

    What we’re seeing on the economy reportage is the same thing. Expect Alan Cohler to turn up on the next ABC TV news in a safari suit, with three days stubble on his face after being in the trenches. Expect this Matt Benns to be kidnapped by insurgent stockbrokers, held in an undisclosed location for ransom for trying to cover the unemployment figures. That’s the image they have of themselves, and it is doing our economy, our nation, no good at all. It is feeding the fire of irrationality that has taken over our society.

    And it might just be making their employers richer. They sell more papers with misery hogging the front page, and they can pick up share bargains when it all goes belly-up. Sure, times are bad, or at least not good, but there’s no reason to throw more misery on the fire when misery – irrational, contagious and deadly – is the one thing that we don’t need right now.

  21. HAHAHA.

    Turnbull just now: “If John Howard were PM he would have given a ministerial statement and allowed the Opposition to debate”.

    What’s this attempt to re-write John Howard as some kind of open, transparent leader, always ready to lead the Opposition criticise and score points.


  22. Shhh, everyone, don’t mention the chance of a recession in front of Bushfire Bill.

    I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it …

  23. Blind Freddy can see there’s a decent chance.
    Whether it’s a blow for Rudd depends on how he plays things. He seems to be doing ok so far.

  24. Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’m talking about talking down the economy against even your own evidence (as presented in your own article). It’s a death wish mentality and in an atmosphere of irrational fear, irrational doomsaying can’t do any good.

    Cohler is on Inside Business right now looking incredulous that “Tim The Expert” could have anything positive to say. He keeps asking him about recession (or “The ‘R’ Word” as Alan is wont to call it). Poor Tim is trying to give a balanced assessment, but Alan only wants the misery.

    Tim’s is how the reporting should be: mixing the good with the bad…in other words, the truth as he sees it. Articles like the one I cited above deliver the (mostly) goo with some of the bad, and then go totally negative anyway. That’s what I’m complaining about. very time someone right on the edge with their mortgage, or up to their eyeballs in credit card debt, maybe in a razor’s edge industry like motor vehicle manufacture sees a headline like “200,000 jobs to go as businesses hit wall, without reading the actual article and learning that there’s a lot of hope and contrary expert opinion around that this won’t happen, it adds to the general level of fear, gut wrenching adrenalin and discontent in our society. As this irrational “flight-or-fight” reaction to gloomy, predictive stories is exactly what is causing the roller-coaster ride at the moment, I think there’s a good case for journalists to cut it out and just deliver the facts, using headlines that accurately reflect their stories as written. After all, it’s not like accurate reporting isn’t their job.

  25. Adam in Canberra – had to leave yesterday (visitors). My post 122 – the electorate is Paterson. Gawd I hope it changes next time.

    BB – thank goodness for your input. I heartily agree re the ‘downtalking’ in the media. Shouldn’t they be acting a little like statesmen and encouraging the mob to forget the panic?

    Skyte Business Channel had Harvey Norman bloke on this morning. Helen Daley tried all ways to get him to say that people should be panicking and howling gloom and doom. He was fairly upbeat and kept pointing out that things always turn around and there are great opportunities coming up. She would not be deterred tho. Silly woman – more buildup of fear from her.

  26. Not trying to be too “Malcolm” about all this, but Peter Martin’s post (linked-to in #139 above) pretty well covers – point by point – my post (#111) in response to Itep’s disingenuous question as to why I thought rates had gone down.

    Next up: Drought will end tomorrow (please pay me to find out more).

  27. Adam – hope so. He is invited to a lot that is going on up here in the northern end of the electorate. His name is being kept in the forefront. He seems a very decent guy and people respond well to him. I live in what was always heavily populated with Nationals but the response from local shopkeepers and others was positive about Arneman. If he was asked a question during the election campaign and he didn’t have the info on hand, he always followed up and provided it. Went door to door quite a lot which is unprecedented. Hopefully he will front up again.

    I call Bob Baldwin ‘the pieman’. Only times I have seen him he has had a pie in hand or 2! Of course he is heavily promoted on radio by his mate, Graham Gilbert, who William told me had once been a Liberal candidate in Tassie. It helped me understand the ‘adoration’ for Baldwin by Gilbert.

  28. One of my themes in recent posts has been “all we need now is an asteroid to hit the Earth.”.

    In true Rainmaking style, I now take credit for predicting this celestial event.

    “It came from Outer Space”

    Please help the Bushfire Bill benevolent fund by making out cheques to Rainmaker Monthly Magazine (special “Doom, Gloom, La Niña and Asteroid Catastrophe” edition).

    All the rain that special influence and mysterious insight can make happen.
    We predict it, so you don’t have to.

  29. The Dwarf is at it again:

    [… for both Howard and Rudd was that they came to office with a set of policy ideas, but not with an overarching vision for the country. The brutal truth is, that without that “vision thing”, both Prime Ministers were – and are, in Rudd’s case – vulnerable to the shaping force of (British PM, Harold) Macmillan’s “events”.

    Rudd’s defining “event” has been the collapse of global confidence in the international banking system. And, in purely political terms, it hasn’t come a moment too soon. We are now, indisputably, in an “events-driven” cycle of politics.

    This crisis may just save the Rudd government.,22049,24516267-5001031,00.html

    What a piece of crap! “… may just save the Rudd government”?

    Glenn’s been on the turps again. I suggest checking in to Odyssey House. They have vacancies right now.

    Either that or he’s been reading too many of his own stories, and is starting to believe them.

  30. Translated, that means: “Rudd has handled this difficult situation brilliantly, both in terms of the substance and the politics, and has left the Libs and their media parasites without a pot to piss in, politically speaking.”

  31. Gee, I got so excited I didn’t read past my quote from the Dwarf’s story.

    The next words are “That sounds counter-intuitive”. In Dwarf World, anything that does not end with the triumphant re-election of a Coalition government is “counter-intuitive”. Amazingly, as evidence, TPD dismisses the polls as evidence of anything. They were only good for Rudd because Nelson was so pathetic. But… but… the polls haven’t changed since Nelson was ditched and Turnbull was elected leader in his place. If anything, they’ve improved for Labor and Rudd personally.

    Seriously, this guy must assume his readership has a retention span of three milliseconds and that they don’t read anything else in the newspapers except his convoluted, twisted spin on behalf of the Coalition (and perhaps Pies as well).

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