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. Diog

    “If Copenhagen comes up with 550 and 10%, it would be an appalling failure”

    About time you ditched USA and th dreamy one with velvet tones , at least for moment Even before GFC frankley i warned there was no hart in 50% of Demcorats incl Biden , Obama etc for CC nor in 100% of Republicons…simply because th USA both see CC as a ‘left’ thingy’ and will hurt USA business Thats your Obama man , and thats most US politcans , God bless America and that blah blah free enterprise stuff for USA interests Its selfish but this not first time USA hav been selfish

    Similar probalms with doah , hurting less dev agric etc Countrys and USA doe not care In fact USA penalise our own MORE competive wheat , beef etc exporters as well …so even there free market principals they ditch when we (an others) ar more competive

    Now yous backed wrong horsey , he and McCain hav made 450 ppg almost inpossible (and Garnaut also says so) , but this horse needs to be negotiated into th ‘game’ via international pessure and reaslistic targets to get USA on th bait…..otherwise without USA agreeing at Coppenhaggen there will not even be a 550 ppg ! You got Rudd at 15% and EU at 20% , makes USA a tough job of saying the;’ll only match ‘oz’ 15% , rather than EU 20% USA ar key , but they must accept comcessions to dev countries

    Also Rudd’s clever offer offers encouragement to india and China , but implicit at initial discounts as dec Countries , in line with Kyoto protocols for dec Countries Geopolitc Rudd today was sensible and clever FOR world CC … Fancy Rudd announcing 20% today and then Coppenhaggen agrees on 10% , tah tah Rudd Govt

  2. Nadia Mitsopolous of Channel Nine filed a fascinating item on the Robert Ray report – it comprehensively recounted every significant aspect of Ray’s findings, with the glaring exception of the stuff about the media.

  3. William are you talking about the WA media?? I guess if it WAS infected by the West Australian, then it proves Ray’s point. It appears to me that the public and the rest of the media seem scaringly unconcerned about the rabid bias of the paper. Has it got ANY coverage in WA???

  4. [Actually, it’s me who’s always wrong.]

    Diog, there is no need to torture yourself, unless you enjoy it, leave that to me and amigo Ronnie.

    Btw: Just watching a bit of the King on Ovation Channel. It reminds me again that USA is really the greatest country in the world when comes to popular music.

    i know we have been bashing USA a fair bit lately. But when comes to R&R, Blues, Jazz, Pop, Folk, C&W, Blue Grass, Gospel, Musical, Broadway, Ballad, Big Band etc etc. yes, USA is the greatest country in the World.

    When you can enjoy music like that stuffed CC.

  5. I was stunned by the 5% target, I must admit.

    I’m now not quite sure why Rudd was making such a song and dance about climate change during 2007.

  6. [Nadia Mitsopolous of Channel Nine filed a fascinating item on the Robert Ray report – it comprehensively recounted every significant aspect of Ray’s findings, with the glaring exception of the stuff about the media.]

    William,

    A Video of Tonight’s Nine News will be up on the Perth Now website from 8pm WA Time which ccan be linked.

    I’ve noticed the WA Today story also omits the Media angle as well

    I think that touched a raw nerve amongst our pathetic exscue of the media, especially in WA.

  7. [I’ll show you mine if you show me your election candidate experience.]
    I never implied I had any.

    So which election did you lose at?

  8. [William are you talking about the WA media?? I guess if it WAS infected by the West Australian, then it proves Ray’s point. It appears to me that the public and the rest of the media seem scaringly unconcerned about the rabid bias of the paper. Has it got ANY coverage in WA???]

    To use the following analogy, if The West australian sneezes, the rest of the Media catches a cold, it is that bad, it has even infected the ABC, where it’s morning Talkback host takes his lead story from what’s on the Front Page of The West.

  9. If the Liberals had any sense (don’t bother even responding!) their optimal course of action now would be a pretty simple two-line statement:

    “We’re pleased that Mr Rudd has finally seen sense and put forward a workable emissions reduction target.

    Assuming the legislation bears a close resemblance to what Mr Rudd announced today, we’ll support it in the Senate without hesitation”.

    Such a statement would be the end of the wedge, and the end (for the time being, at any rate) of climate change as a political problem for the Liberals.

    Knowing Turnbull, however, I’m pretty sure he’ll opt for a far more argumentative, complex and confusing approach. Maybe he’s the captive of the silly Right, I really dunno…

  10. Ditto for me Dyno. Apparently the Greens are protesting outside Rudd’s Brisbane Office tonight and the Queensland Resources Council is bleating about job losses so who knows how this will play out.

  11. [To use the following analogy, if The West australian sneezes, the rest of the Media catches a cold, it is that bad, it has even infected the ABC, where it’s morning Talkback host takes his lead story from what’s on the Front Page of The West.]

    Do you think it will change now that Stokes has control?

  12. I have appreciated the posts since the Rudd announcement, including on the likelihood of the Government being re-elected at the next election. I note that there has been delight at the wedging of the Opposition and the lack of any policies on the part of the Opposition. Then, of course, the greenies have wasted their preferences on labour. And then there is possible pseudo impacts on industry and real impacts on workers. There have been comments on per capita emissions and total emissions. Should we go nuclear or should we not? And then of course we decry any adverse impacts on anyone. Indeed.

    But, of course, the problem is that there will be adverse impacts. No amount of blogging will stop them. Apart from one or two posts, what should have been the main point in this blog, has been missed completely. There is only one big thing on which Rudd will be judged in the climate-changed world we have entered on our ship of fools.

    I have no doubt about Howard’s one sentence in history, one hundred years hence: ‘Prime Minister Howard had the opportunity to do something positive in relation to anthropogenic climate change. Instead he did the opposite, actively undermining attempts at developing effective multi-lateral solutions.’

    I still have some doubts about Rudd’s one sentence in history, one hundred years hence, but it may be: ‘Prime Minister Rudd had the opportunity to do something positive in relation to anthropogenic climate change. But instead of taking a leadership position, he did the opposite, merely following whatever lowest common denominator multi-lateral solutions were on the table.’

    The reason I say ‘may be’ is that I am uncertain about the role Australia is playing in the negotiations.

    Whatever. The Pine Bark Beetles already know something in a way that humanity has yet to cotton on to. Climate change is big.

  13. [I dont think scaringly is a word, but its very scary nonetheless]
    Like all words, if you convince enough people to use it, then it becomes a word.

  14. Showson,

    Dear oh dear, you asked a question at 109.

    Get an answer you don’t like or expect. Easy solution is go the punch.

    You are so predictable.

  15. Boerwar you make some cogent points. I guess Rudd will be judged by how much reduction is achieved, bearing in mind that 5% is a MINIMUM. Rudd has to, of course, be re-elected in order to truly offer a longer term response to climate change, so you cant divorce the political considerations from the government’s response to the issue. Whilst 5 % does appear low and too modest, it is a start, a start that the previous government did not see fit to implement, that recognises the balance between the costs and benefits of action v inaction and that recognised that we operate both in terms of the economy and the environment in a global context. I’m willing to give Rudd and Wong a bit of leeway in this very difficult policy area.

  16. Frank went:

    [To use the following analogy, if The West australian sneezes, the rest of the Media catches a cold, it is that bad, it has even infected the ABC, where it’s morning Talkback host takes his lead story from what’s on the Front Page of The West.]

    Billbowe knows some very snazzy things about that – I reckon you should all hound the bejesus out of him for a post on it!

    (Possum exits stage right before he gets thumped 😀 )

  17. Isn’t is possible that the appointment of Bob Cronin as “editor-in-chief of West Australian Newspaper Holdings” does not actually mean that Armstrong has been sacked as editor of The West? Either way, lest Laborites get too excited about the development, recall that Cronin was the unsuccessful Liberal candidate for Stirling in 2001.

    [Has it got ANY coverage in WA???]

    Yes, the Channel Seven reporter (Rob Newton?) did a shot with The West’s Herdsman HQ in the background discussing Ray’s concerns about the paper’s “toxic” coverage. It was also covered on PM (not online yet), though not on Peter Kennedy’s report on ABC TV.

  18. Every single excuse and dismissal of criticism of Rudd CC White Flag has been used by one-eyed Labor supporters tonight. If Howie made the same announcement the noises would all be different. The hypocrisy is astounding.

    1. It’s good politics. The Libs will hate it.
    2. We’d never get more through the Senate.
    3. 5% is a good start.
    4. We can make it more later.
    5. The GFC meant we had to wimp out.
    6. Obama (who is not in power yet) hasn’t done anything yet.
    7. Rudd is a politician and if you’re not your opinion doesn’t count.

    None of these arguments would have been put forward if Howard had the same policy.

  19. [Isn’t is possible that the appointment of Bob Cronin as “editor-in-chief of West Australian Newspaper Holdings” does not actually mean that Armstrong has been sacked as editor of The West? Either way, lest Laborites get too excited about the development, recall that Cronin was the unsuccessful Liberal candidate for Stirling in 2001.]

    That may be so, but Cronin was Editor right through the WA Inc period between 1986-96, when it was accused of being “asleep at the wheel” in reporting Burkie etc.

  20. [Cronin had the position he’s been appointed to now, giving me more reason to believe that Armstrong might still be there.]

    Yes, but Armstorng has effectively been neuterted 🙂

  21. Diogenes I respect your right to spit chips about the plan, as you should respect other’s rights to support it. Your Howard analogy is meaningless because he never acted and thats the whole point at least Rudd has. If he’s made an error, I think it was to great too great expectations for the first phase of the plan. Would your opinion changes if the target moves to 15 % which is quite possible??

  22. [Dear oh dear, you asked a question at 109.]
    [Get an answer you don’t like or expect.]
    Um, no. It was simply an answer I wasn’t interested in.
    [You are so predictable.]
    You are so predictable when you accuse people of being predictable.

  23. Look, you’re right Dio. Rudd should have put a 25% to 40% percent target on it. He should have ensured the Senate would knock it back and at the same time given the opposition the best ammunition they have had since Keating lead Labor in 1996. He should have ensured the business community and the unions (massive loss of jobs) would mobilise themselves against the government at the next election and to top it all off he should have handed the opposition the next election. Yep that’s what he should have done all right.

  24. Dyno

    “Such a statement would be the end of the wedge, and the end (for the time being, at any rate) of climate change as a political problem for the Liberals.”

    No it wouldn’t there Dyno
    Turnbull would still hav to answer th devils queston…do you also suport Rudds 15% offer , and Liberal party backers will not allow a yes So wedgie is still gonna be there

    Thing about th 15% on Coppenhaggen table is some here foolishly wanted ‘oz’ to commit to a fixed 15% plus target today , which would be econamic , Coppenhaggen negotiating naive and political lunancy , and coincidently most ar appologists for USA politcans like Obama who does not even suport Kyoto ratification at all USA is th problam , and if one follows EU Press you’d realize

    This same lot who hav previuosley said how clever Rudd , Swan , Tanner , Combet , Albanese , Wong , lovely Tania , Penny , our Maxine were …somehow now they ar not Well I tink they understand world politic and Coppenhaggen negotiations better
    than those here And to repeatedly ignore th 15% figure in posts is absurb & quite misleading

    Th 15% is quite acceptable as a Coppenhaggen figure , and is realistic

  25. Actually if Howard had the same policy as Rudd I would have said it was clever politics, which it is. By gee it’s hard to advance a cause when you are in opposition.

  26. [Look, you’re right Dio. Rudd should have put a 25% to 40% percent target on it.]
    Well, what about say 10%, and see if the Liberals had the guts to vote against it.

    If they did that twice, then it would be a D.D. trigger, and an election effectively based around climate change.

    Which major party would win an election where climate change was a major issue?

  27. Gary,

    You forgot the most important part.

    Labor needs to pander to the Greens because,……………………………….

    Something about purity and cleanliness without soap. I forget the rest.

  28. PAAPTSEF, like I said earlier it’s hard to feel any sympathy for Labor and their position in the Senate when they didn’t bother talking to the cross-benchers all year.

  29. [Every single excuse and dismissal of criticism of Rudd CC White Flag has been used by one-eyed Labor supporters tonight. If Howie made the same announcement the noises would all be different. The hypocrisy is astounding.]

    Diog, you are wrong again, as usual. How many times your beloved Obama has to “modify” his policies to suit, eg: Iraq withdrawal, pakistan, public funding etc (no need to trawl over the old ground again).

    Accodingly, Rudd has to modify his policy on CC to suit. No difference, yet you have been behaving as if Rudd has committed a blue murder.

    [None of these arguments would have been put forward if Howard had the same policy.]

    Howard never believed in CC and the urgency to do something about it, so it was and it is irrelevant.

  30. [PAAPTSEF, like I said earlier it’s hard to feel any sympathy for Labor and their position in the Senate when they didn’t bother talking to the cross-benchers all year.]
    I don’t blame them for not talking to Fielding. That guy just makes things up as he goes along.

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