Morgan: 60-40

Like Essential Media before it, Roy Morgan‘s first poll of the year shows no significant change from the last polls of 2008. The face-to-face survey has Labor’s two-party lead steady at 60-40 and their primary vote down one point to 51.5 per cent, while the Coalition’s is down half a point to 35 per cent. The Greens have recovered two points from the curious slump they suffered in the first poll after the government’s emissions trading scheme announcement, which brought them down from 10.5 per cent to 6 per cent. What’s more:

• South Australia’s first state by-election since 1994 will be held tomorrow in Frome. Read and comment about it here, and tune in to this site for live coverage of the count from about 6.30pm local time.

• It appears a contest is on to fill Petro Georgiou’s Liberal preselection vacancy in Kooyong, with reports emerging that merchant banker Josh Frydenburg is not the shoo-in many had assumed. Frydenburg pursued a membership recruitment drive before the last election in an unsuccessful bid to topple Georgiou, but sources quoted by Andrew Landeryou at VexNews say two-thirds of these memberships have lapsed. This leaves Frydenberg vulnerable to opposition from Institute of Public Affairs director John Roskam, previously an unsuccessful candidate for Senate preselection (and more recently mentioned as a successor to Peter Costello in Higgins), who stands poised to garner support from Georgiou and the locally powerful Ted Baillieu/David Davis faction. Also mentioned is John Pesutto, described by Melissa Fyfe of The Age as “an industrial relations lawyer who led a rewrite of the Victorian Liberal Party’s constitution last year”.

• Liberal Senator Judith Troeth has announced she will retire when her current term ends in mid-2011, adding a new dimension to the Victorian Senate preselection contest for the next election. The Nationals are likely to secure an extension of the agreement that will give them second place on a joint Coalition ticket, leaving the Liberals with the safe first position and the dangerous third. Michael Ronaldson is presumably likely to retain pole position from the 2004 election; Troeth’s departure enhances Nationals renegade Julian McGauran’s chances of taking number three.

Marc Moncrief of The Age on the race to fill Evan Thornley’s vacancy in the Victorian upper house region of South Metropolitan:

Labor’s factions are also in a battle over how to fill the vacancy in the upper house created by Mr Thornley’s departure, with confusion over whether the Southern Metropolitan seat will be delivered to Labor’s right-wing Unity faction or to the Socialist Left. Unity faction powerbroker Michael Danby, the federal member for Melbourne Ports, is believed to have collected a number of names including Julia Mason, former candidate for the federal seat of Goldstein. However, one member of the Right faction said the Left was more likely to have a claim to the post, as Unity now holds all three of the top positions in Parliament – Premier, Deputy Premier and Treasurer. If the Left is given the nod, it will have to ensure the choice is a member who can keep the relatively conservative seat at the next election.

• Other ructions in the Victorian ALP: forces of the Right associated with Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy have formed an alliance with the Socialist Left, freezing out what The Australian’s Rick Wallace describes as “the portion of the Right aligned with state frontbenchers Tim Holding and Martin Pakula and the shop assistants’ union”. More commentary plus an intermittently interesting comments thread at VexNews.

• Large parts of the media remain convinced that Anna Bligh will shortly be calling a Queensland state election. Mark Bahnisch at Larvatus Prodeo/Crikey isn’t so sure, while fellow local Possum deems Lawrence Springborg to be no better equipped to pitch to Brisbane as leader of the Liberal National Party than he was as head of a fractious coalition.

• The silly season news cycle has been awash with talk of Barnaby Joyce seeking a berth in the lower house to assume leadership of the Nationals, at the urging of John Howard. Joyce himself has mentioned Labor’s 2007 gains of Leichhardt, Dawson and Flynn. More intriguing has been talk of a move south of the border to take on independent Tony Windsor in New England, which locals quoted by Matthew Clayfield of The Australian had no trouble recognising as a most courageous proposition. Possum notes that any such move might cost the Nationals Joyce’s Queensland Senate seat in the event that the Liberal National Party disintegrates following a state election defeat.

Peter Tucker at Tasmanian Politics gets in early on this year’s Tasmanian Legislative Council periodic election action. This year is the turn of Derwent, a Hobart seat held for Labor by Treasurer Michael Aird; Windermere, which extends from outer Launceston up the eastern bank of the Tamar River to the sea, and is held by independent Ivan Dean; and Devonport-based Mersey, held by independent Norma Jamieson. Jamieson’s retirement after one six-year term sets the scene for an unpredictable contest likely to attract a Melbourne Cup field. Aird and Dean are almost certain to be re-elected, potentially without opposition in Dean’s case.

• The indefatigable Ben Raue at The Tally Room has moved to his own domain.

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.

294 comments on “Morgan: 60-40”

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  1. njl

    I am assuming you lean towards supporting the Liberal Party. So get used to being in opposition for about 10 years.

    We are over a third of the way into Rudd’s first term and your team has gone backwards. The divisions have not been healed – they have widened.

    If Bill Leak was doing his boxing ring cartoons they would show a King hit to Labor every day. Maybe with Ferguson swinging wildly then kicking the poor opponent in the goolies or Tanner doing the death spin. The to top it off Garrett wrapping his T-shirt over his head and giving Hunt a “liverpool kiss”.

    What happened to John Anderson’s review of the National Party? Oh thats right Barnaby kicked Warren in the cods.

    Turnbull needs to exert his authority over his party – except he has none.

  2. AAP spin on Essential’s Poll

    “JOHN Howard is on a winning streak – days after receiving a Medal of Freedom from US President George W. Bush, he’s been voted Australia’s favourite prime minister.

    An online poll of 1000 people, conducted last week by Essential Research, found almost a third of people rated Mr Howard as the best prime minister since World War II.

    Second in line was Kevin Rudd, with 20 per cent of the vote.

    Larrikin Bob Hawke beat his Labor colleagues Paul Keating and Gough Whitlam, while Liberal stalwart Robert Menzies can still pull a crowd – 11 per cent of people rated him No.1.

    The poll also found almost a third of people think they will be worse off in a year’s time as a result of the global financial crisis.

    Older people and those not working were more likely to be worried.

    But overall, most people thought they would be “about the same”, or better off.,25197,24933182-12377,00.html

    Jeeezus wept. 🙁

  3. I’d imagine that has a fair bit to do with it it Greeny! Even on the jobs front – in a severe recession the overwhelming majority of jobs are still fairly secure, so it’s pretty understandable why we still get solid majorities not going negative in the polling despite the global economic environment.

  4. But how much weight you can give it is questionable given Kevin Rudd got 20% but i assume that has more to do with the fact he is the current PM.

  5. Rua that is only because Menzies was PM from 1949-1966…that is a long time since WW2 we’ve been in power for longer so meh!

  6. Glen

    It is entirely consistent. About a third of people think Howie was super-dooper, about a third of people will vote for the Libs.

    The other 66% are the one’s that Turnbull needs to worry about. 😉

  7. njl

    Now your first line of your #220 acurately was:

    “Judith, the position maketh the man. George Bush is a down to earth kind of fella who treats his dog like his youngest child.”

    I thought it was a ridiculous comment about a guy who sanctions torture , renditons , gitto , iraq etc …and that was my mesage to you njl in replying , what uyou said was “fashionable nonsensense” (and for my friend Judith to see what njl was trying to “spin” in replyin to youse)

    Now i only proceeded to continue talking about Bush thereafter , because your WHOLE para only menoned Bush, and no one elkse …but you now claim somewhere in middle of it you started talking about Rudd , so you expect me secondf guess an intelectual now …so njl if you want to talk about Rudd at all then for godness sake at least mention his name in th para , thats th high english stansdard we hav here njl

    THEN you say 2 other coments in your #247 post First was something about simpleton , well njl when someone as you did “George Bush is a down to earth kind of fella” it IS simple to see you said it and obviousley believe it…but i tink its nonsense

    THEN you say “Point was that being down to earth, able to relate with the common man like Judith said Kevin could doesn’t really mean squatt considering Bush CAN…”

    You said it again praising Bush in a secnd post NO ONE can relate to th “common man” and at th same time sancton torture , renditons and treat Iraqi civilian deaths with non huimanising terms like ‘insargents’ or somtimes just plain ignore there ar actualy any inocent Iraqi deaths at all You actualy confuse Mugabe/Putin talking TO th peoples (for a photo media snap) with ‘relating to’ or “being in sink with” th aspiratons & standards of th common man So your analogying of Bush ( a politcan faking talking TO peoples with that ‘grin’) to Rudd ‘relating to th common man’ is diferent planets

  8. GG

    I’m loving the GFC. My mortgage payments are much less, petrol is cheaper, I don’t own any shares and don’t have super and the Ruddster sent me a $1000 for Christmas. The Christmas sales are going on forever and everything’s cheap.

    It’s all good!! 😀

    The only problem is that Borders have been taken over and their new owners are dumbing them down. I can’t buy a decent book locally anymore. 🙁

  9. Ronster

    It is quite appropriate that it falls to you to point out the grammatical and syntactical errors in njl’s posts. I struggled with that paragraph of his/hers until you so mellifluously explained it to me.

    But I have to agree with njl on one thing. Even I find GWB engaging and likeable. It doesn’t stop me from detesting him though.

  10. Diog

    Thanks for the earlier post – another scam that “Big Pharma” use is intravenous drugs, when they are available as oral drugs with the same effect. Guess what it costs more to go to the infusion chair than to pop a few pills.

    Or subcutaneous injections of monoclonal antibodies – instead of intravenous.

    But that is another topic. 😉

  11. Essential poll here. 55 per cent of respondents to the best PM poll backed a Labor PM against 45 per cent Liberal. Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and Rudd stole Labor votes from each other, whereas Liberal voters were only interested in Menzies and Howard. Being pre-1970 is obviously a big disadvantage.

  12. vera


    “Amazing how the only Essential Polling mentioned by MSM is the one and only one that has the Libs AHEAD in something”

    Hi Vera …th MSN ar wrong again , th liberals were NOT ahead , they were behind
    When you adds th table below up , its Labor PM’s 55% vs Lib PM’s 45% so we in front !

    Prime Minister Term in office %
    John Curtin 7 Oct 1941 – 5 Jul 1945 4%
    Ben Chifley 13 Jul 1945 – 19 Dec 1949 2%
    Robert Menzies 19 Dec 1949 – 26 Jan 1966 11%
    Harold Holt 26 Jan 1966 – 19 Dec 1967 1%
    John Gorton 10 Jan 1968 – 10 Mar1971 1%
    William McMahon 10 Mar 1971 – 5 Dec 1972 1%
    Gough Whitlam 5 Dec 1972 – 11 Nov 1975 9%
    Malcolm Fraser 11 Nov 1975 – 11 Mar 1983 3%
    Bob Hawke 11 Mar 1983 – 20 Dec 1991 12%
    Paul Keating 20 Dec 1991 – 11 Mar 1996 8%
    John Howard 11 Mar 1996 – 3 Dec 2007 28%
    Kevin Rudd 3 Dec 2007 – present 20%

    Now other thingy about that is 11% voted for Menzies , like he retired in 1965 so reckon that says also there demograpgics ar getting old , and more of oz youngsters of today ar ‘with it’ to Labor

  13. Diog

    “But I have to agree with njl on one thing. Even I find GWB engaging and likeable.”

    diog , when you said you baracked for BOTH AFL footy teams in a 2 team town ,
    i thought that just could not ever be surpased for th politcaly corect ‘fashionable fairness’ of th intellegentsia set

    …. but you’ve set a new benchmarrk in politcal correctness of “fashionable fairness” with your GWB likability , I mean next you’ll say without a smiley you actualy ‘sympathise’ for Peter Costello’s in his current irrlevance ….just to be politcaly corect “fair”

  14. Ron

    I know you can’t divorce a person from their politics but if you could, GWB would probably be quite fun to be around. He’s witty and quite charming in a buffoonish sort of way. We all knew kids like that. I don’t mind Tony Abbott either…

    I really hated Howie, Andrews, Reith, Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld so I’m not indiscriminately magnanimous.

    On another topic, this just shows how clumsy the alcopops tax is. Smirnoff are putting out a “malt-based” alcopop (evidently a “malternative” so it is taxed like a beer) which is colourless, citrus and 6% alcohol which costs $3. Their vodka-based alcopop which is colourless, citrus and 7% alcohol costs $5. Nicola Roxon is not amused. Aren’t humans ingenious?,22606,24931898-5006301,00.html

  15. [Darling warns of economic collapse without latest banking bail-out

    The government is also making a three-pronged effort to stimulate the mortage market. Up to £100bn will be provided to underwrite new mortgage lending, the existing £200bn scheme will be extended, and state-owned Northern Rock is being given a new mandate to increase its lending.]

    I say what is wrong with Rudd Govt. It has spent only tens of billion dollars to save the economy. Whereas other countries are spending hundreds of billions, in the USA case, it has spent about 2 trillions. The G8 and some of the G20 are no longer talking about starving off recession, it’s DEPRESSION they are trying to starve off.

    So what is wrong with OZ here, we are not even in recession yet. The Rudd Govt has to really try harder so we can at least join the recession club. Gee, we have it really tough here in OZ.

  16. Diog

    I didn’t know that about Borders – that explains a lot. I have also noticed a decline lately.

    All teh posts about recessions being exagerrated are right – this isn’t the depression and nobody is going to be malnourished in Australia other than through socially dysfunctional communities, not lack of food. The financial press panics because a recession reduces THEIR income a lot. For the rest of us with normal permanent jobs its not that bad.

    However there are groups that suffer unfairly – I feel sorry for new entrants to the job market at this time and some people (not merchant bankers) in sales and business support areas like IT could lose their jobs. But overall, as I said previously, this is not the 1970s and we were close to full employment with shortages of skills in some areas (including mine). So unemployment will not go back above 10% again. In fact, this might be a good time to train some more people in areas of skill shortage.

  17. Finns

    Dead right. I did some sums a few weeks ago that as of christmas if we had spent the same per capita as the US on the GFC we would have spent $150 billion US in Australia, as opposed to our $20 billion. Plus we are spending at least half our money on stimulus measures which will give us a benefit at the end – better internt, transpor infrastructure etc – whereas their cash has been blown bailing out corporate criminals (unprosecuted ones).

  18. Dio, Tony Abbott!!!!! i mean Tony Abbott, hell man hes a vicious, evil tongued d/h who speaks down to women as if they’re dirt, he’s like a pirahna ready to chew a hunk out of you, all he’s done since going into opposition is whine about his pay not being enough and whinging about the portfolio he’s been handed, c’mon Dio surely you’ve got more taste than that.
    even with putting my bias aside i cant find anything likeable about Bush, he comes across as fairly thick to me, i dont mind thick people as a rule i’m one of them, but the man set himself up as a leader of his country and did untold damage {i should put that as his brother rigged it for him to become leader} then again i detested Howard so there it is, guess i’d better stick to sticking pins in their pics and keep my opinions to myself.

  19. Ruawake you may think whatever you like of my views. But I’m fairly certain you’d have a hard time of finding anything I’ve said which really flatters John Howard. I think i might have said he exploited the Tampa skillfully from a political perspectives omwhere along the track but thats about it, and I certainly don’t approve of what he, Lord Downer and Ruddock did. I believe Turnbull has election winning capabilities, but the day he won that leadership ballot I thought his hopes were over. His fatal mistake was that he couldn’t wait.

    Is it any wonder that having spent over a decade in power the federal libs are now percieved as hapless and incompetent, and that the longest serving state government suffers almost as bad a fate. Meanwhile the young and much fresher Mike Rann is the most popular labor premier going round?

    I would be extremely surprised if the Rudd government served less than five years, and very surprised if they served more than ten. He’s a pretty good politician, has a pretty strong frontbench, Tanner and Smith have been just what a prime minister wants although I think Swanny could be a casualty of the first reshuffle. But if the machine can pick the right people at any election after the next they should win. It’s not a criticism of Rudd or Labor, nor a belief in some formidable liberal party formula for winning elections. I just have far less faith in the intelligence of the Australian people than you do. I expect that once a government is more than five years old not withstanding a national crisis they lose elections from there on in. The exception is when oppositions go gaga and gamble a Hewson or a Latham or try and a Joh for Canberra campaign.

    So if in 2012 they all shutup and line up behind Joe and the big bear himself doesn’t get carried away they should form government. But I shouldn’t be surprised and a half if they did something dumb like make Tony Abbott or Julie Bishop leader. And really, it only takes an opposition to lose the plot for six months every three years to keep an old government in government. I mean, all these adoring laborites here don’t like to talk about Mark Latham I’ve noticed, they like to think him an aberration.Never mind the glorious deputy prime minister who thought a Latham leadership was a good idea, the loveable minister for state, the genius trade minister and the attorney general. All these popular, clever cabinet ministers in this slick, well oiled machine thought Mark Latham was the man.

    But never mind you probably were one of those who thought Latham was going to stick it to Howard, knock him off his game, tell like it is and sweep to government.

    You are right about Turnbull not being able to assert authority over the party. And therein lies the paradox the coalition suddenly suffer, staunch conservatism is far too unpopular now but the conservative factions dominate the party. Hardly know what you expect Turnbull and Hockey to do, maybe Turnbull can try and buy out the conservative wing of the liberal party, I dunno it’s a tricky business.

    Ron, perhaps you should tell Judith then how ridiculous it is that a man supposedly inspired by Dietrich Bonhoffer locks refugees up in prisons and gets around granting them the basic rights of prisoners by detaining them under an adminstrative act isntead of a criminal act. Or perhaps you can accept that a politicians personal life and the politicians politics are two different worlds which seldom overlap. And I’m sorry I tried, I really tried to make sense of the last paragraph but I just can’t speak pigeon.

  20. Soc, even the Arabs are now crying poor. I read few days ago that the Fin Ministers of the Gulf countries met and said they have collectively lost $2Trillions in their investment in the West in the last 12 months and also have to cancel few hundred billions of projects.

    Trust me, i cried and cried for them (from joy).

  21. njl

    You may care to rewrite history but Howard beat Latham on the “Interest Rates” sham. A ploy which eventually lead to his losing office and his own seat.

  22. Judith

    I agree with every word in your post. I just find Bush and Abbott likeable. Perhaps I need therapy. Abbott did give an organisation I’m associated with quite a lot of money to prevent and improve treatment of burns in indigenous communities.

  23. Ruawake I fully understand now. All conservative election wins are on the back of dirty tactics exploiting the better nature of these idealistic, noble progressives and every progressive win is a classic case of the honest, fair tactics of these saints triumphing as people see through the cheap, tawdry, manipulative conservatives.

    Bloody hell, if you can’t even recognise Latham as an incompetent oaf you’re a lost cause.

  24. [All conservative election wins are on the back of dirty tactics exploiting the better nature of these idealistic, noble progressives and every progressive win is a classic case of the honest, fair tactics of these saints triumphing as people see through the cheap, tawdry, manipulative conservatives.]

    der 🙂

  25. [Govt to provide more stimulus to push demand

    Already two stimulus packages have been rolled out by the Centre to neutralise the impact of the global financial meltdown on the country and the Reserve Bank of India, through a series of monetary steps, released about Rs 3,20,000 crore in the system.]

    I say one more time, what is wrong with the Rudd Govt. Even the Indian Govt is spending US$64 more Billions to stimulate the economy.

  26. “Ron, perhaps you should tell Judith then how ridiculous it is that a man supposedly inspired by Dietrich Bonhoffer locks refugees up in prisons and gets around granting them the basic rights of prisoners by detaining them under an adminstrative act isntead of a criminal act.”

    Dietrich Bonhoffer ? so i am suposed to know who this guy is , and even if i did I’m supposed to see th relevance of him to Bush….and then you want me to explain to Judith

    Well working bockwards in logic , I note Judith already agrees with me on Bush as she cann’t see anyting likable about him at all either So i’m still sticking to view your coment that GWB is likable is nonsense

    Next i see this guy Bonhoffer inspired someone , let me assume it was GWB….so ? I mean njl , George bush goes to church as well and is probably inspired as well there by Jesus and th groups , …so ? that has nothing to do nothing at all to do with fact that George Bush endosed torture and lied to invade to iraq etc THAT REELY IS th essense of this man his attrributes his standards his morales his view on innocent lives killed his idea of justise in gitto so whoever and what even this Dietrich guy is did or inspired whether it was good or evil does NOT change George bush’s attritbutes in public arena …and they ar deplorable , and not likeable one litle bits

    So just because AGAINST that Bush “appears” to be ‘nice’ or a dic.khead in 10 seconfd TV grabs ….geez he is a US politcan he’s trained to ‘appear’ ordinary’ to th punters and doesn’t even do that well , just how nany hours of indepth interviews hav we seen of this guy , but reality is he is a buffoon but what he did his actual actons is how one judges and th pudding his none of his actons were legal , moral , equiteble , fair , humane blah blah , thats th guys standards morales , so not likeable is his legacy for mine And BTW , which widow in Iraq gives a st.uff if George walks th dog every mornin or is inspired by whoever

    As by friend amigo GG said now i ralize in checking first for once and in just one line , and acurately as always to th pointy end re George Bush…It is a bit like lipstick on a pig. It might seem funny (GWB) , but it’s still a pig.”

  27. tutt, tutt Dio, theres a name for people that can be bought lol.
    Swanny seemed to do ok on 7 30 report, he stuck to his script even though he was being talked over and had enough nous not to gild the lily, he’s grown into the job, especially when you remember that the opposition thought he’d be a very weak link and Bishop would have him on toast.

  28. I don’t really think anyone ever thought that Julie Bishop would have Swan on toast. That sounds like a fantasy.
    But having toast with Julie Bishop? That’s a totally different fantasy.

  29. Ronster

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian who joined the Resistance against the Nazi’s and was executed by them before the end of the war.

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