Essential Research: 58-42

Essential Research has produced its final weekly survey for the year, ahead of a sabbatical that will extend to January 12. It shows Labor’s two-party lead down slightly from 59-41 to 58-42. I might proudly note that they have taken up my suggestion to gauge opinion on the internet filtering plan, and the result gives some insight into the government’s apparent determination to pursue this by all accounts foolish and futile policy. Even accounting for the fact that this is a sample of internet users, the survey shows 49 per cent supporting the plan against 40 per cent opposed. Also featured are questions on the government’s general performance over the year, bonuses to pensions and families, optimism for the coming year (surprisingly high) and the target the government should set for greenhouse emission reductions (only 8 per cent support a cut of less than 5 per cent). Elsewhere:

• The West Australian has published a Westpoll survey of 400 WA respondents showing 60 per cent believe the federal government’s changes in policy on asylum seekers have contributed to a recent upsurge in boat arrivals in the north-west. However, only 34 per cent supported a return to the Pacific solution against 48 per cent opposed. Sixty-nine per cent professed themselves “concerned” about the increased activity, but 54 per cent said they were happy for the arrivals to live on Christmas Island while they were assessed for refugee status. Fifty-one per cent were opposed to them being processed on the mainland. Westpoll also found that 62 per cent of respondents “definitely” supported recreational fishing bans to protect vulnerable species, with “nearly eight out of 10” indicating some support. I suspect The West Australian commissioned monthly polling in advance expectation of a February state election, and has tired of asking redundant questions on support for the new government.

• Imre Salusinszky on Bennelong in The Weekend Australian:

The experience of Labor in 1990, when Bob Hawke was mugged in Victoria by the unpopularity of former Labor premier John Cain, shows there are occasions when a Labor state government can throw an anchor around the neck of its federal counterpart. According to Newspoll figures published in The Australian yesterday, federal Labor’s primary vote in NSW is running at 41 per cent, nearly four points down on its level at last year’s federal election. Although this is still much higher than the 29 per cent primary vote recorded in a Newspoll last month for the state Labor government – which, as it happens, was precisely the party’s primary vote in Ryde – it certainly suggests Rudd has problems in NSW. Given Rees’s recent decision to scrap plans for a metro rail system linking central Sydney to the city’s northwest, some of those problems could manifest in Bennelong. And while Howard was a formidable adversary, it would be possible to argue his presence assisted McKew by encouraging every gibbering Howard-hater in the country – including the activist group GetUp! – to get involved in the battle for Bennelong.

The key, obviously, lies in the calibre of candidate the Liberals manage to put up. Two names that have been mentioned are former state leader Kerry Chikarovski and former rugby union international Brett Papworth. Chikarovski represented Lane Cove, which falls largely within Bennelong, from 1991 to 2003; Papworth is a son of the electorate who began his playing career there. But if there is one candidate who could give McKew a fright, it is Andrew Tink. Tink represented the state seat of Epping, which falls largely within Bennelong, from 1988 until last year’s state election. A true-blue local, Tink would be able to exploit a lingering perception of McKew as a celebrity blow-in. Tink appears to be enjoying his second career as a historian of NSW politics, but there have been approaches from senior Liberals who would like to see him make history of McKew.

• Noting the difficult position of the Canadian Liberals as they pursue power behind an interim leader, Ben Raue at The Tally Room looks at differing methods used overseas for selection of party leaders and offers a critique of Australian practice (part one and part two).

Possum: “ETS – Why 5% in two charts”. Even shorter version: it all comes down to the Senate.

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.

1,208 comments on “Essential Research: 58-42”

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  1. If 2010 electon is held say end aug 2010 when initial ETS efect from July ist 2010 start coming , and Coppenhaggen late 2009 does not fully agree which is possible , then potentialy Rudd may face 2010 electon with USA/China etc having agreed to nothing and having sacrificed nothing …and with rudd with his 5% ETS costs apparent , with Libs scaring th full ETS flow on costs hav not yet all hit

  2. and on nuke power debate that I’ve comented on tonite , its proven safe energey alternative in many countrys as I’ve mentioned previously , however I wouldn’t suport these fission nuke plants in oz because I wouldn’t trust a future Lib Govt building nuclear weapons using a false pretext With R E instead of nuke power plants th Libs can’t ever make nuclear weapons and there’s no waste left for future genrrations Alos as previously said th sun is free and is always around

  3. Hmm, have yet to see a straight answer from any of the Ruddstars here on what
    (a) the MDB disaster means
    (2) what the forestry disaster in BC means
    (3) what the Arctic Summer Minimum Sea Ice Extent means and,
    (4) what the couple of hundred million people who are dependent for their livelihoods on glacier summer melt water are going to be doing for a living by 2030.

    I acknowledge that I have noted plenty of: ‘Don’t worry, be happy, we have an ETS’, but it does not address my issues. *pauses to grin hugely at the disjunct between the ‘practical’ realities*

    Too hard, I suppose. It is far easier to just to get into the safe confines of the party political vacuum flask.

  4. For those counting on the europeans to anything sensible, think again. The 20% in real terms is very likely to end up being something like 4% – 7%. The rest will be smoke and mirrors.
    Strap yourselves in folks. We are in for a wild ride.

  5. Piping Shrike, at various posts.

    You have brought a refreshing approach to this blog – the idea of Rudd following the majority of people who voted him because he recognised that climate change was the elephant in the room and said he was prepared to do something decisive about it. He doesn’t need to lead on this. He just needs to follow effectively.

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