Sunday Mail: Labor “holding firm” in SA marginals

Adelaide’s Sunday Mail newspaper has conducted a poll of 1600 voters across the state seats of Mawson, Adelaide and Light, which shows much more encouraging results for Labor than recent surveys from Newspoll and The Advertiser. Labor is reportedly set to increase its 2.2 per cent margin in Mawson to 6 per cent and its 2.4 per cent margin in Light to 5 per cent, while in Adelaide its margin is set to be cut only from 10.2 per cent to 9 per cent.

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.

92 comments on “Sunday Mail: Labor “holding firm” in SA marginals”

  1. The proof is in the pudding. There is indirect bickering over nothing of any substance, unlike an NSW govt thread, or a federal previous Lib govt thread.

  2. What about Water? We have a complete moron in charge of doing nothing about our water supply. “Buckets” Maywald, Rann and Wong have sold SA down the river, literally.

  3. Diogenes @ 52

    The SA govt have done the best thing they could – hand over the management to the federal government, the other states will follow suit (another already has), then we can get rid of mismanagement by each state handing their own water, and hold one government directly accountable to it. Less hands is better, and there is less conflict when 4 parties (states) becomes one party (federal).

    What would MHS do for water? Governments cannot make it rain.

  4. our judiciary needed shaking up quite a bit, ive been in and out of court for the past 29 years and believe me it was really bad in the past, it’s certainly improved these last few years, Rann has cracked down on offenders as he promised he would, i have one of our leading criminal lawyers as a good friend and he admits something had to be done, Rann has never seen eye to eye with Palaris, two men with massive egos, i get on well with both–not that i need to have much to do with them, ive known Rann for years but i’ve only met Palaris a few times, even those times his ego comes across, both are dominant males.

  5. my lawyer pal has seen both sides of the coin, he represented us in the very first inquest all those years ago and sat on the board of VOCS for a few years because i asked him to, we have some good debates on the pros and cons of our system, especially when he’s representing a big case, my family claim that Steve is the only person who can shut me up.

  6. Why has Rann let unfunded Workcover liabilities blow out to $1B? Isn’t this really a huge budget deficit? We have amongst the highest employer contributions in Oz. Why hasn’t the Workcover CEO been sacked? And the board? How can you run a company into $1B debt and keep your job. The State Bank fiasco is rearing it’s ugly head again.

  7. Diogenes
    I don’t know what goes on inside the Rann government but I don’t entirely agree with your last two criticisms:
    – SA has no ability to influence the water outcome, with upstream states having over-allocated the resource before the Murray crosses the border. The problem long pre-dates Rann but I don’t think any (SA) state government can be blamed. Our only hope is a federal solution, so the handover is correct.
    – Workcover is a serious problem due to a (compared to other states) too generous scheme with a very legalistic (hence high admin cost) adminsitrative system. Rann has fought to change this one, but the problem does lie within other bits of Labor IMO.
    – this is not to defend financial adminstration in SA, which has a long proud history of incompetence from before the State Bank to the recent cost overruns. Three states nearly went broke in the early 90s (SA, Vic and WA) but this is the only place that sent nobody to jail. It wasn’t for lack of guilty parties. But as the Gerrard tax affair shows, SA is run by an old-boys network lacking in financial competence on both sides (Liberal and Labor). It reminds me of Queensland before the Fitzgerald inquiry. The problem IMO is a climate of cronyism, defensiveness, and resistance to change. It goes far beyond Rann – look at Adeladie city council, and their partisan decisions on developmetn applications, one made recently with the planning officers not even present in the room.

  8. Diogenes, i have never seen you so angry against a government, not even Howard, you are by far usually more even handed and balanced than this, i know a lot of specialist doctors like yourself are angry and upset at the present time, i dont know enough about the circumstances except the bare outline to comment, is this colouring your posts right now? i know i get very biased here at times as i admitted on a previous blog on this thread, none of us believe Rann is a paragon and his decisions pss all of us off at times –but really have you taken a good, hard unblinkered look at the opposition we have here, we need a good spot on opposition to keep the government on it’s toes but the lazy hopeless lot we have certainly don’t cut the mustard, they leave the Advertiser do all their work for them, the dead wood {and theres heaps of it} should all retire, they’ve been there far too long and they should let some new keen blood in to energise the party, until then the status quo will rule.

  9. Socrates

    Rann has had seven years to fix Workcover and hasn’t. He has no excuses. The buck stops with him.

    On Water, Rann has sat on his hands for seven years as well (as did the Libs before). What has Rann actually done about Water? What happens to our stormwater? It goes out to sea. Rann was too lazy and thick to realise that putting in infrastructure to capture rainwater would provide Adelaide with almost all of it’s drinking water.

  10. JB

    The opposition is even worse than Rann. And that’s saying something. As you say, many specialist doctors who have never voted Liberal are likely to vote for MHS. Still, a couple of hundred doctors is hardly going to make a difference (most live in Lib seats anyway). The problem with so many doctors who hate Rann, Hill and Sherbon is that there are increasingly going to be leaks to the media and Vicki Chapman (for all the good that will do). There’s a lot of bad stuff the public don’t know about.

    I would never compare Rann with Howard. Howie was infinitely worse.

  11. Diogenes, the Salisbury council under ex mayor Tony Zappia {now a federal government backbencher} with government encouragement made the Salisbury wetlands, it’s now a template that experts come from OZ wide to see and copy, it’s taken years to set up properly but now it filters stormwater and it’s selling plenty of pure clean water, the native flora acts as a filter and it’s now a wonderful protected reserve for both flora and fauna, you can walk all over the area via bridges and raised walkways,if other councils follow suit it wont be the full answer to our water problems but it would be a huge help, Mawson lakes {again under the Salisbury council} have two water supplies, one is the normal one and the other outdoors garden tap gives recycled waste water for gardening etc, again that system can be copied, all of this has been done with the government help and encouragement, what did the previous government do?

  12. But for all the bluster, the Liberals supported Labor’s WorkCover changes. The Liberals would have made even deeper cuts in to entitlements for WorkCover. It is not an issue that plays in to the Liberals hands. Votes will peel off to the Greens rather than the Liberals over this one.

    And the disabled/people on benefits are usually Labor voters anyway. Swinging voters won’t care too much for WorkCover as it doesn’t directly affect them.

  13. Greens would want to do a lot better in SA next time. A lot of Nick Xenophon’s vote will have followed him to the Senate (unless Ann Bressington and whoever the other guy is have made themselves very popular), and the last ever Democrats MP is gawwn. If the Libs and ALP don’t change much, there’ll be a lot of room for the Greens to expand. Family First, too.

    Any word on how the remaining lower house independents (Bob Such, Kris Hanna) are doing?

  14. Bird of paradox

    Ann Bressington won’t get too many votes, certainly not enough to get in. Bob Such and Kris Hanna (esp Hanna) are getting a lot of good publicity. Bob Such has had prostate cancer but seems to be fine.

  15. Diogenes – unfortunately Anne Bressington is not up for re-election in 2010. If ever there was a need to get rid of the Red Morgue, she is the case in point.

    Bob Such is as safe as house – they all love him in the south. (and he actually says sensible things)

    As for Hanna, my guess is he would be in some danger of losing his seat at the next election. Not because people don’t like him – more that he runs the risk of falling into 3rd place behind the liberals. He beat the liberal candidate by 3.9% on primaries last time. One would assume the liberal vote would improve next time. If he falls into 3rd, labor would almost certainly win the seat. Definitely one of the only true 3-way contests likely in 2010.

  16. sykesie

    Don’t tell me we’ve got another three years of her after 2010! I’ve got a friend who’s a prominent campaigner for pill testing and harm minimisation. He tells me she’s only just learnt to discuss drug policy without crying when she’s wrong.

  17. A 3-way contest is where there are 3 candidates are capable of winning so if the ALP would almost certainly win then it is not a 3-way contest (Who did the Greens preference in the last election).

    Our preferential voting system does seem to eliminate 3-way contests.

    The only possible future 3-way contest seat I could name would be Prahran where it could turn in to a Liberal verses which ever of the Greens or ALP beats the other in the three candidate preferred.

  18. Mmmh. On a different note, I did bet someone a dollar that Obama would win. About 10 months ago. Offsetting my big win or loss on that score, I have backed at a dollar each way, Melbourne Cup roughies Bauer, Barbaricus, Ice Chariot.

    Good luck!

  19. I think Hanna has a reasonable chance of retaining Mitchell. The dissatisfaction with the Labor government will move votes to the Greens and left-leaning independents, of which Hanna has been both at some stage as an MP in his electorate. I expect to see Labor primary votes fall to Hanna in Mitchell with the Liberals net stagnant.

  20. I’m not so sure Bob – a decent amount of Hanna’s support at the last election came from ex-liberal voters (Liberals -17% from 2002 election). Presumably quite a few of these will vote Liberal next time with the expected improved showing. If its Hanna v Labor then presumably Hanna will win on Liberal preferences. Labor v Liberal then Labor would win on Hanna+Green preferences. So its all about who comes second. The Liberals managed a woeful 20.7% in this electorate in 2006 – they must be confident of getting that up to 30% next time. Mitchell has some decent conservative voting territory, so there is no reason why the Liberals couldnt improve their vote by that amount. That would give Hanna a problem in my opinion.

  21. It really is hard to say. In metro seats the Liberal vote is pretty much stagnant, as shown by the polls – it’s in the rural areas that the Libs are gaining much of the ground (naturally). With Hanna much more well established as a left-leaning independent, with the 2010 election ripe for Greens and left-leaning independents (ie WorkCover which plays in to the hands of the left, not the Liberals), some of the Labor vote could easily go to Hanna.

    Would I be so bold as to predict Hanna v Lib on 2pp in 2010?

    I think not.

    But Hanna is very much a good chance for re-election.

  22. So, Labor holding firm in SA metro, Labor holding very firm federally, and Obama is president of the US with a majority in both houses.

    There’s only one way from here – down.

  23. Well you’d presume Labor could go ‘up’ federally at the next election given the right circumstances. For instance, the election of Tony Abbot to the Liberal leadership. Apart from that, yes I think the only way for most state Labor is down, given their current positions.

  24. In practical terms, Labor cannot go up federally. They have a majority in the lower. It is impossible for Labor to win the upper, it hasn’t happened since proportional voting was introduced by Labor in 1949.

    Though a Labor-controlled lower and a Labor/Greens-controlled upper could be considered going ‘up.

  25. So could Obama. My point is in practical terms. Sure seat numbers can go up here federally but it makes no practical difference. The only practical way for federal Labor to go up is to decrease their reliance on non-Labor Senators.

  26. Which would almost certainly happen after the next election. The next election will probably result in the Government only needing to negotiate with the Greens, which should be a lot easier than negotiating with the Greens, Xenophon and (*shudders*) Fielding.

    I’d imagine Federal Labor would consider winning additional seats in the House of Reps an ‘up’.

  27. Probably, but again I was talking in practical terms, from my own point of view.

    Xenophon is actually pretty decent unlike Fielding. I hope he isn’t re-elected come the next election. Honestly, one Senator blocking legislation, on less than 2% of the Victorian vote in 2004, how is that democracy?

  28. Are elected in the same way as any other senator, by receiving a quota from votes distributed by a lawful system. Fielding has as much of an entitlement to put his views and vote as he chooses as any other rightfully elected senator.

  29. If you were going to say democratic, that’s neither here nor there. People argue the electoral methods of the lower house are undemocratic (compulsory voting, compulsory assignment of preferences, disproportionate representation in comparison to vote received etc. etc. etc.) It’s all a matter of opinion. What matters is that people are lawfully entitled to exercise power.

    Fielding’s exercise of power is no less democratic than any candidate who receives less than a quota and any senator from a major party that is elected on the resdistributed votes of excluded candidates.

    But yes… very off topic.

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