Morgan: 59.5-40.5

Not exactly hot off the presses with this one, but Friday’s poll from Roy Morgan (who seem to have returned to their weekly polling habits of old) has Labor’s two-party lead at 59.5-40.5 compared with 60-40 the previous week. The primary vote movements are bigger than you would expect from this: Labor is down 2.5 per cent to 49 per cent, and the Coalition is up 1 per cent to 36.5 per cent. The slack is taken up by “independent/others”, up from 3.5 per cent to 6 per cent. Perhaps South Australians are telling survey takers they’ll vote for Nick Xenophon. Elsewhere:

• Speculation continues to mount that former WA Health Minister and Attorney-General Jim McGinty (left) will shortly be calling it a day, initiating a by-election in Fremantle to coincide with the state’s May 16 daylight saving referendum. On ABC television news, Peter Kennedy reported that rumoured preselection contender Peter Tagliaferri (right) met with McGinty and ALP state secretary Simon Mead to “discuss the possible vacancy”. However, Alan Carpenter is offering point-blank denials to speculation he might also vacate his seat of Willagee, which puts the prospect of a dangerous preselection stoush between Tagliaferri and LHMWU state secretary Dave Kelly back on the agenda. Steve Grant of the Fremantle Herald reports:

Alan Carpenter says he will remain in state parliament till the next election. He ruled out the possibility of a by-election for his safe Labor seat of Willagee … He shrugged off speculation that he and Fremantle MP Jim McGinty were contemplating mid-term retirement to make way for new Labor blood, “you might not believe me, but often I’m the last person to hear about these things”. It seems Jandakot Liberal MP Joe Francis could be more tuned in to Labor machinations than the former premier, becoming the third person to tell the Herald that LHMWU secretary Dave Kelly was being groomed to take over a Labor seat.

• What’s more, Robert Taylor of The West Australian has mused on the possibility of star Gallop/Carpenter government minister Alannah MacTiernan moving to federal politics by taking on Don Randall in Canning, where redistribution has shaved the Liberal margin from 5.6 per cent to 4.3 per cent.

• Staying in WA, the Liberal Party is having an interesting time dealing with jockeying ahead of preselection for the safe southern suburbs seat of Tangney. Sitting member Dennis Jensen (left) lost the preselection vote ahead of the last election to Matt Brown, former chief-of-staff to Defence Minister Robert Hill, but the result was overturned by prime ministerial fiat. As Robert Taylor puts it, “this time there’s no John Howard and Dr Jensen looks decidedly shaky”. Against this backdrop, local Liberal branches have been inundated with membership applications from “Muslim men”, who are believed – certainly by the Brown camp – to be enthusiasts for the incumbent. A compromise reached at the state executive saw admission granted to half the applicants, who can apparently thank Julie Bishop for arguing that “many of her east coast colleagues with big Muslim populations in their electorates were nervous about the outcome”. Taylor says a Brown supporter told him “the new members were associated with ‘strident anti-Israel statements’ from the Australian National Imams Council”.

• With independent MP Rory McEwen to call it a day, the Liberals would be pencilling in his seat of Mount Gambier as a soft target at next year’s state election. However, the Border Watch reports Liberal candidate Steve Perryman, the mayor of Mount Gambier, might face an independent challenge from Don Pegler, the mayor of Grant District Council, who has perhaps been inspired by Geoff Brock’s boilover in Frome. Grant covers the electorate’s extensive rural areas outside of the City of Mount Gambier, although the latter accounts for three times as many voters.

Andrew Landeryou at VexNews offers a colourful and detailed account of the gruelling Liberal preselection jockeying in Kooyong.

• Landeryou also notes conflicting reports on the prospect of a Right-backed preselection challenge by Noel McCoy against Phillip Ruddock in Berowra.

• Andrew Leigh and Mark McLeish have published a paper at Australian Policy Online which asks a most timely question: Are State Elections Affected by the National Economy? Using data from 191 state elections, they find a positive correlation between low unemployment and success for the incumbent, “with each additional percentage point of unemployment (or each percentage point increase over the cycle) reducing the incumbent’s re-election probability by 3-5 percentage points”. Furthermore, “what matters most is not the performance of the state economy relative to the national economy, but the state economy itself”. That being so, it seems voters “systematically commit attribution errors – giving state leaders too much blame when their economy is in recession, and too much credit when it is booming”.

• The Parliamentary Library has published a note on the redistribution of WA’s federal electorates.

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.

632 comments on “Morgan: 59.5-40.5”

  1. How neat. Vanstone lets an alleged Mafia boss stay then jets off to where he didn’t want to go … but now she may want to stay where he’s permitted not to go …

    … despite losing his legal battles to remain in Australia, Francesco Madafferi would never be deported home to Italy. In November 2005, Amanda Vanstone used her ministerial discretion to overturn the previous immigration minister’s decision and overrule her own department. Despite having stayed in Australia illegally and being suspected of Mafia involvement in both countries, Francesco was granted a visa in November 2005.

    Then a “complainant” turns up with some information for the AFP (regarding a conversation they had had with a Liberal party insider).

    The complainant offered to sign a witness statement (and later signed a Victorian statutory declaration, which has been obtained by The Age). The complainant also gave police a copy of a file saved onto their computer in early 2004, recording what the Liberal Party insider had confided. The file named two politicians – NSW Senator Marise Payne and Amanda Vanstone – and stated:

    “In exchange for (alleged) criminal Frank Medaffery’s (sic) release from Villawood detention centre and the granting of his application to stay in Australia, the Liberal Party received donations from Medaffery’s (sic) associates and business partners within the Italian community. (Mention Nick Scali as an example).”

    It’s right that this case has been reopened.

  2. Dio

    There was a report on the Workcover fund a year or two ago. Both your concerns are true. There is a lot of waste on lawyers fees too. The big problem is that people can stay on the benefits far too long; long after they should have returned to some form of work. There is no incentive to do so. You are right – fees are very high here.

    The S&P thing is a ludicrous over reaction. Qld has borrowed a lot for projects in recent years (about $18B I think) and there is some risk they may have to step in and cover losses on some of the Brisbane City Council toll projects if Airport Link goes bust. That woudl put the state budget well into debt and be embarrassing. But they still have over $50B saved; they won’t go broke.

  3. Adam

    Those are very high standards. It’s almost impossible to ever prove that someone knows the opinion they express is not what they really think. I was hoping that the “she’s a politician so she says what she has to” meme would morph into “she’s a politician so she does what’s best for her”, hence contradicting her statement. But no cigar today.

  4. It’s interesting that Glen picks on Swan’s presentation, or one slip up, but can’t find one he said in response to hockey’s questions to criticise him on. Swan beat Hockey today where it counted, on substance.

  5. [Those are very high standards. It’s almost impossible to ever prove that someone knows the opinion they express is not what they really think.]

    Quite so. That’s why you should refrain from calling people liars unless you can prove that they are. It debases the currency.

  6. But Gary, Hockey is a superior media performer (Grahame Morris told us so just this morning). As Big Joe well knows, what you sell is immaterial. How you sell it, and – crucially – how much of it you sell is the key measure of your success.

  7. [It debases the currency.]

    I’m very impressed. Knowing you, it’s not a coincidence that “Debase the currency” was the advice given to Diogenes by the Oracle of Delphi.

  8. “get out of my light”

    That’s what Diogenes said to Alexander the Great who came to pay homage to him while he was in the tub. Alexander the Great said he would do anything for Diogenes that was in his power and Diogenes said “get out of my light”. It is probably apocryphal.

  9. Bad news, bludgers. A big chunk of Victoria is burning and an outer part of Melbourne is in danger. I noticed someone earlier was whinging about people in parliament focussing too much on the Victorian bushfires. All I can say is, you’ve got absolutely no idea.

  10. HSO

    How are you doing? It’s easy enough to do what you/we do for a few days and say you’re just doing your job but it must me getting pretty tough by now.

  11. Just who are the 20% who prefer Turnbull? 😉

    [Mr Rudd (64 per cent) topped Mr Turnbull (20 per cent) – a 44 point margin – as preferred prime minister.]

  12. It’s crap for everyone, Diog. Just wanted to alert people it’s very nasty again. We’ve had people injured and more property losses, though just one house, but likely to get worse again on Friday, high temperature and high winds from the North and North West. No one needs to know some of it.

  13. From The Cynics:

    “Diogenes is standing at a riverbank with a distant city in the background. Crouched before him, a boy is drinking water from the river with a cupped hand. Diogenes’ drinking cup has fallen to the ground, and Diogenes is fixed in contemplation of the figure of the drinking boy.”

    Shuffling back to his tub, Diogenes was heard to say “well, that’s another effing thing I can do without.”

  14. Ummm, anyone got any idea WTF we do if the entire state gets wiped out by the fires? Local ABC has got Melbourne in some trouble, really. Bloody hell, we’ll all have to immigrate and really bugger up the redistributions.

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