Essential Research: 61-39

Newspoll seems to have taken the week off, but there’s always Essential Research, which has Labor’s lead up to 61-39 from 60-40 last week. Also featured are questions on becoming a republic within the next few years (52 per cent support, 24 per cent oppose – the latter sounds a bit low), whether Australia should agree to allow Japan to conduct whaling if it limits its activities to the northern hemisphere (10 per cent agree, 81 per cent disagree), “how would you rate your loyalty to your employer” and “how would you rate your employer’s loyalty to staff”. Furthermore:

• The silly season endeth – Kerry O’Brien and Lateline are back, and parliaments federal, Victorian and South Australian resume today.

• The Australian Workers Union has released a comprehensive survey of workers’ attitudes to the global financial crisis, derived from 1016 interviews conducted by Auspoll. The headline finding is that 40 per cent fear losing their jobs in the next year.

• Parties’ disclosures of receipts, expenditure and debts are available for perusal at the Australian Electoral Commission, at least so far as donations of over $10,500 are concerned. Siobhain Ryan and Imre Salusinszky of The Australian and Bernard Keane of Crikey sift through the evidence; the latter also opens fire on the Coalition over its obstruction of legislation reversing the 2005 disclosure threshold hike. Keane notes that one travesty can’t be pinned on the previous government: that we have had to wait until February 2009 to find out what went on at an election held in November 2007. Anyone who imagines this has something to do with logistics should consider the practice in New York City, where donations have to be declared before election day and “made public immediately on a searchable, online database”.

• Antony Green returns from a fortnight in the wilderness (literally) with a belated post-mortem on the Liberals’ defeat in South Australia’s Frome by-election. As I suspected, independent Geoff Brock owes his win to a peculiarity of the state’s electoral system that saves ballot papers with incomplete preferences by assigning them the preferences officially lodged by their favoured candidate. Without this provision, 258 ballots that were thus admitted the day after polling day would have been informal, leaving Brock 38 votes behind Labor at the second last count rather than 30 votes ahead. Another issue has been brought to my attention by Kevin Bonham, who points to the fact that a certain number of Liberal voters harmed their candidate’s chances by voting Liberal rather than Labor. If 31 such voters had tactically switched to Labor, Brock would have been excluded and the distribution of his preferences would have given victory to Liberal candidate Terry Boylan. Public choice theorists call this flaw in preferential voting “non-monotonicity”, which is elaborated upon here (although Bonham reckons “some of their worked examples are wrong”).

• Antony also gets in early with a preview of Western Australia’s May 18 daylight saving referendum, which combines customary psephological insight with a keen eye for the state’s lifestyle peculiarities.

• Former Labor MLA Kathryn Hay will run as an independent for the Tasmanian upper house division of Windermere (extending from the outskirts of Launceston north to the proposed site of Gunns’ Bell Bay pulp mill), challenging independent incumbent Ivan Dean at the poll likely to be held on May 2. Peter Tucker at Tasmanian Politics reports that one of the the other two seats up for election, the Devonport-based division of Mersey, looms as a clash between Latrobe mayor Mike Gaffney and Devonport mayor Lyn Laycock. Mersey is being vacated by retiring independent Norma Jamieson.

• Staying in Tasmania, a recount has confirmed that the last remaining Labor candidate in Franklin from the 2006 election, Daniel Hulme, will assume the lower house seat vacated by former Tourism Minister Paula Wriedt.

• Mining magnate and former National Party director Clive Palmer is making himself visible as the Queensland state election approaches, having been profiled last week on The 7.30 Report and in a cover story for The Weekend Australian Magazine. The latest salvo in Palmer’s charm offensive is a demand of $1 million in damages for defamation from Anna Bligh, who said there was “something just not right about one billionaire owning their own political party” (the annual financial disclosures discussed previously list $600,000 in donations from Palmer to the Liberal and National parties). Sean Parnell’s Weekend Australian piece describes Palmer as a “notorious litigant”, who “once listed it as a hobby in his Who’s Who entry”. Palmer’s 18-year-old son Michael has been preselected as the Liberal National Party candidate for the safe Labor seat of Nudgee.

Rick Wallace of The Australian reports that Nationals-turned-Liberal Senator Julian McGauran will face a number of challengers in his bid for one of the two safe seats on the Victorian Senate ticket, with other incumbent Michael Ronaldson “widely expected to claim top spot”. The field includes prominent Peter Costello supporter Ross Fox, barrister Caroline Kenny and solicitor Cate Dealehr. Other names mentioned by Andrew Landeryou’s VexNews are Terry Barnes, a “former Tony Abbott adviser”, and Owen Lysaght, who ran as an independent in Chisholm in 2004.

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.

1,780 comments on “Essential Research: 61-39”

Comments Page 35 of 36
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  1. [In addition, ShowsOn, the $42 billion package is of dubious value in terms of long-term economic growth and jobs prospects.]
    That’s not the aim of the package, it is designed to stimulate the economy NOW.

    If you want a package that offers the possibility for greater long term growth, then it won’t be able to be as stimulatory in the SHORT TERM. That was clearly explained by top Treasury officials yesterday.
    [Of all the pressing infrastructure needs of the nation, Rudd is prioritising home insulation and school libraries when we can’t even keep the national transport and power grids online in a heatwave, as the AFR editorial emphatically highlighted.]
    The AFR editorial ignores the fact that we need a stimulus NOW, and that other longer term infrastructure projects would take too long to have an impact on the economy.

  2. #1685 GP
    “…even Mark Latham, lo and behold, criticised the likely “tax-and-spend” legacy of Rudd/Swan”
    I would have expected Latham to one of the first in line to criticize Rudd/Swan.

  3. [ShowsOn, the Rudd government spending package is 4% of GDP.]
    Spread over THREE YEARS. That’s not TWO percent in ONE year.

    Face facts, when it comes to profligate spending during a BOOM, no one did better than Howard and Costello.

    We are now in a BUST, so it is time to spend.

  4. [how bad it is to be unemployed to public servant witnesses rather than ask questions.]
    At least he is consistent, it doesn’t matter which officials are there, he asks the same questions!

  5. No 1701

    Governments should not be doing anything other than considering the long term prospects of their decisions.

    The long term prospects of the $42 billion injection are negligible and leave the nation’s finances in dire circumstances.

  6. [“…even Mark Latham, lo and behold, criticised the likely “tax-and-spend” legacy of Rudd/Swan”]
    GP using Latham as a credible source. LOL.

  7. “That’s because WW2 was the biggest Keynesian stimulus package in history. It kept the US economy healthy until the 1970s. The lesson is that really big stimulus packages work better than small ones.”

    Actually,I have never thought of like that. Of course it was !

  8. GP,

    So, Bush couldn’t even get war right!. Any third grader could tell you war is nation destructing, not nation building.

  9. [Obviously Fielding’s staff can only get him to memorise one question each morning.]
    LOL! 😀
    [Governments should not be doing anything other than considering the long term prospects of their decisions.]
    You mean like cutting spending so we have a recession that lasts 4 years instead of 1 or 0? Yeah great long term thinking there….
    [The long term prospects of the $42 billion injection are negligible and leave the nation’s finances in dire circumstances.]
    They aren’t NEGLIGIBLE. They are predicted to keep economic growth this year and next POSITIVE. Which will save up to 90,000 jobs.

    I’m not surprised that you see the jobs of 90,000 Australians as “negligible”. At the end of the day, economic extremists like you just couldn’t give a duck about living standards.

  10. Again the Lib supporters are twisting the effect of the Dec stimulus package. The cash handout started on Dec the 8th and continued till Dec 16th., so if in a matter of 2 weeks spending increased the Dec quarter by $1B dollars that is a pretty good effort as without the stimulus package the Dec quarter could have been down by $7.7 B dollars on your calculations GP. Where would that have left the retail industry?

  11. [Governments should not be doing anything other than considering the long term prospects of their decisions]

    Did you mean that to come out the way it did? If they did that they would spend all their time “considering” and never doing.

    That’s what you guys have been accusing the Prime Minister of! (False as the accusations are).

    If you don’t want governments to ever do anything, why the interest in politics??

  12. [Did you mean that to come out the way it did? If they did that they would spend all their time “considering” and never doing.]
    They could save time by only handing down budgets once every 5 years!

  13. Shows on said

    But Xenaphone and the Liberals are not talking about a once off tax cut

    Yes they were, you obviously didn’t watch the committee proceedings, or perhaps you were off in Barnabyfieldingland at the time.

    WRONG, they are asking for permanent tax cut, a permanent reduction of tax

    A once of payment will not increase economic movement and will not help the economy.

    I trust people who have Ph.Ds in economics, and who work at the treasury department. I don’t trust your opinion on this issue.

    Wrong, I am a economic major and a tax Master, My study is how the economy and tax system work

    If you are an employer and you know everyone will have $1,000 to spend, would you increase your staff? No, you might increase your part time staff to get as much of this money as possible, you might delay laying off staff this money, but long term the passimism and economy have not improved, and you have blown 20 billion.

    Utter rubbish, and I have a document that proves it, right here:

    Wrong, the budget paper which I read at no stage says that a one-off payment increase permanent demand. It talks about gradual spending. Which every economic text book does

    Please also note the american package includes tax cut as its main platform of getting out of the crisis, do you think Australia (who tried to reduce economic activity 8 months ago … ie Inflation genie is out of the bottle, and interest rate rises) or American are correct

    If you cut tax rate, people have more to spend,

    If you give people a hand out people have more to spend. Except cutting taxes means giving smaller amounts spread out over a longer period of time. Whereas a hand out is a lump of cash given in a short space of time.

    As I said previously, short term spending will delay unemployment, long term spending or tax cut will deliver job, while some short term stimulis are useful, only long term stimulus will help us out of the recession.

    and they will be able to spend it when their wage is paid (much quicker then giving it to the government, who then give it back to you to spend).

    This makes no sense! In April millions of taxpayers will get $950 all at once. Some who have kids will get even more. How is that less stimulatory than giving people say $950 spread over 52 weeks?

    Wrong again you are thinking about short term, if everyone spend $950 at once, it won’t create jobs. the $950 won’t be here in a month and people will get sacked then, it just delay unemployment, and in December it did not even do that. however $950 over 52 weeks and then $950 in the next year will. you do not know how the tax system work, government collects tax (company, PAYG withholdings, GST) It goes into treasury, the treasury then plans how to spend this money, the lag in time between wages earned and the time the government spend the money can be years. If however, you give this tax to an employee, they are able to spend it at the time the wage is earned, which is a much quicker stimulus

    The first stimulus plan was made in November, but it was reported in the Telegraph yesterday, that from November to December, there was an 8% increase in people apply for social benefits.

    And if there was no stimulus plan in November, it would’ve been a bigger increase.

    Do you have any prove of this?

    The more people who are out of a job, the less people are spending money, the quicker we head toward a recession, the job of the government at the moment is to create as much job as possible.

    And that is why the Governmetn plans to spend an extra $42 billion in the next 3 years.

    Yes, but we are arguing about the handout, which is popular, but does little to stimulate the economy, except for clubs and pubs

    An one off payment will not do this, as everyone know it is a one off, and won’t employ more staff because of it. This is what happened with the first stimulus plan

    How exactly is it that you know more than Treasury? Treasury said yesterday that the first stimulus plan DID work, and stopped thousands of people from losing their jobs.

    Again no prove just conjecture

    You can’t hand out tax cuts QUICKLY, that is why one off payments are BETTER if you require a quick stimulus. They are also less damaging on the budget in the long term than permanent tax cuts.

  14. [They could save time by only handing down budgets once every 5 years!]

    That would have suited the tireless Costello right down to the … hammock!

  15. [A once of payment will not increase economic movement and will not help the economy.]

    [Typically in Australia, a 1 per cent of GDP stimulus adds 0.5 to 1 per cent to GDP
    growth and supports up to 75,000 jobs. As stimulus is reduced, the support for jobs
    is reduced.
    Treasury has modelled the impact of the stimulus package on economic growth and
    jobs using their forecasting models. The modelling shows that the Nation Building
    and Jobs Plan is expected to boost GDP growth by around ½ per cent in 2008-09 and
    around ¾ to 1 per cent in 2009-10, supporting and sustaining up to 90,000 jobs over
    the next two years.]
    Box 2.2, Page 15

  16. About time that students working part time got some recognition. They’d be lucky to get a sandwich let alone the milkshake under the alternative plan.

    [Under questioning from the South Australian senator, an official from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs confirmed that a student working part-time could receive a $950 bonus to help with academic costs and a $950 taxpayer bonus.

    “Under eligibility for the back-to-school bonus, the family bonus and the tax bonuses, the eligibility is for each one individually,” Barry Sandison said.]

  17. [why the obsession with pink batts ???

    My insulation is made from recycled newspaper

    Joyce is a tard]
    I’m sure he will get on board if someone tells him there is insulation available made from wool.

  18. No 1715

    Muskie, your figures are pulled from thin air. There is no evidence that suggests retail spending would have decreased $7.7 billion without the stimulus package.

  19. No 1723

    Tertiary students already have 75% of their degrees subsidised and if they never earn over ~40k, they’ll have 100% subsidised. They have more than enough budgetary recognition!

  20. Hey folks… pretty much unrelated question here. 🙂

    Say there’s a double dissolution election in 2010, and each state elects 12 senators at once. Next election in 2013, half of them are up for re-election (after only a 3 year term). How do they tell which 6 are running for re-election when all 12 got elected at the same time? I’ve just been reading about the elections in the 80’s, and I got to wondering.

  21. Yep, section 282 of the Electoral Act authorises the AEC to conduct a second count of Senate votes, using the half Senate quota, in order to establish the order of election to the Senate, and therefore the terms of election.

  22. Does anyone think we will ever have a Double Dissolution ever again? What advantage does a government get from it?

    Surely now it is just used as a threat every now and then.

  23. [Does anyone think we will ever have a Double Dissolution ever again?]

    No, unless the opposition party is really able to block legislation in the Senate by itself.

  24. [No, unless the opposition party is really able to block legislation in the Senate by itself.]
    As I see it, it has no benefits particularly for a Labor government, because there are more miscellaneous right wing parties that will either get elected, or help elect Libs and Nats.

  25. A DD ain’t so good for the Greens, either… at least, not in WA where they have two senators (same deal for Tassie). At a normal election, they need 1/7 = 14.3% of the vote to get either Ludlam or Siewert in each time; at a DD, they need 2/13 = 15.4% to get them both in at the same time, which makes it a bit more difficult.

  26. There have been DDs in 1914, 1951, 1974, 1975, 1983 and 1987. Labor won four of these six elections. In 1914 and 1983 Labor defeated the incumbent non-Labor governments, and in 1974 and 1987 incumbent Labor governments were re-elected. In 1974 Labor improved its position in the Senate and in 1987 there was no change in the Senate situation. Only the 1951 and 1975 DDs, neither of which were called by Labor governments, turned out badly for Labor.

  27. Shows on

    LOL, can you read things CAREFULLY before posting

    This book did not come out of the treasury as you said, it came from Wayne Swann and Lindsey Tanner

    The same Wayne Swann who said in Feb 08 a day before the Reserve Bank meeting, that the “inflation genie is out of the bottle” who asked the Reserve Bank to increase interest rate by .5%, so it can reduce our economic activities.

    This was 5 months AFTER the subprime loan crisis started, and after the first American bank failed.

    And it say the stimulus package under a “FINANCIAL MODEL” will “SUPPORT” 750,000 jobs. ie after it is spend, it won’t support those jobs! The question is that after the “SUPPORT” is gone, what is going to happen to this jobs

    This is saying the financial model says that the stimilus will delay job loss for up to 750,000. But it won’t prevent future job losses.

    This is saying the same thing I have been saying, Short term stimilus will only delay job loss, and only long term stimilus (ie tax cut from Obama) will stop long term job losses

    And as shown in December, the model did not accurately prevent those jobs from being lost. Because the Model is not able to calculate public/employer preceptions.

  28. [The big loser in the Senate at least is usually the Coalition.]
    They got control of the place for 3 years remember.

    I can’t ever see Labor getting the numbers in there.

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