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”

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  1. The Government would not have gone backwards in the polls and you would expect given the recent dramas the LNP would have taken a hit. So either the last poll was over stated or this one is just MOE. Anyway the indication is that Labor continues its substantial lead over the LNP.

    So they have gone with celebrity over competence hoping that Joe will make a better appearance. So that is just another useless stop gap gimmick over substance. Eventually they will have to go with someone with the right sort of competence for Shadow Treasury.

    Message to Joe and Co. I don’t the people want to hear lots of scare mongering in these times or negative attacks on the Govt’s economic moves which some may be starting to use as their security/hope blanket.

    AND think of this Turnbull and Joe – if you do make people scared and confused who do you think they will run to? A stable disciplined outfit, not one having all sorts of troubles and divided amongst themselves. So perversely the Opposition’s attacks on the Govt’s economic strategies, if they do get people’s attention might actually make them flee to the Govt.

    As I said elsewhere. The Opposition should have been playing low keyed me too for the past 12 months to gain some credibility whilst up against a very popular new Leader.

  2. “After the damage that you have done, the best you can now do to help our chances is to leave.”

    So Hewy, you think your friend Malcolm will lead the Coalition to victory in 2010. Hah! Keep on dreaming in la la land mate. You have made a total fool of yourself with this rant Hewy!

  3. [ 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. ]

    That’s a bit out of the blue – is that based on truth, or just a thought bubble from Taylor? Bearing in mind Labor are two friendly by-elections away from forming government, I can’t see it happening, but it is interesting. And, hey, maybe we oughta share her with the east. 😛

  4. I can’t see Alannah unseating a popular federal Liberal. Alannah has too much baggage from Carps. Labor is doomed in WA for a decade at least. It needs to clean out all the dead wood from the state and federal branches (ie, McGinty, Carps). No matter what Labor does, they will not defeat the popular Barnett for at least two terms. WA Labor still has the stench of Brian Burke lurking in the air around Perth.

  5. [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.]

    And I’m wondering if the recent death of Jim McGinty’s father in the last week may also be a factor in deciding McGinty’s political future ?

  6. David Walsh

    You asked GG earlier tonite for any evidense that Costello had designs on leedership , well Hewson article is 2nd indicator

    Hewson is an ‘insider’ One could argue Hewson simply felt Costello’s mere presense in Parliament was a distraction to Turnbull’s leadership creating speculation and costello unwilling to accept shadow Cabinet

    My feeling is 1/ there was th leak of Costello alegedly refusing shadow teaury…For mine it does not matter whether Costello was ever asked or was never asked….its leaking was deliberately anti Costello (by Turnbulll suporters) or deliberately leaking showing weak Turnbull anti Turnbull ( by Costello suporters)…more likely later4 given Costello said Joe was his ‘Junior minister’

    So feel Costello was undermining

    Hewson’s attack is so savage and so wide rangin I feel indicates a deliberate
    PRE emptive politcal assinaton of Costeello to destroy his credibility to stop future undermining of Turnbull

    Both indicate to me costello evidence of interst in Leadership However also show lackof ticker , and expecting Leadership to be handed to him…..proof of that is day Ian Mclocklan annouced his note in his wallett , that was th day for Costello numbers or no numbrs ….to chalenge and like Keating risk all , dare to win (and for hewson , a bonus to payback for being (rightly) rolld in 94 by Downer/costello

    Alternativly you may argure i was a sunny day , and Hewson happened to write a a note to Per Costello ….sharing his warm pro costelo feelings…with 12 million voters

  7. Ron, this is more tea leaf reading than it is evidence gathering.

    Turnbull’s (and his supporters’) insecurity is not evidence of Costello’s plotting.

    I’m not dismissive of Costello’s leadership ambitions by the way. (You’ve crudely condensed my actual challenge.) But I think its clear that Costello is only interested in becoming leader if it makes him Prime Minister. This is why he didn’t contest the leadership in the aftermath of the 2007 election, when had he done so, he probably would’ve been elected unopposed. My guess is he wants to be reasonably sure the government is beatable before taking the mantle. We all know that’s not going to be the case in 2010.

    This also explains why Costello was so impatient to succeed Howard as Prime Minister. He knew the party wasn’t going to remain in government forever.

    All my supposition of course. But one reasonably consistent with the course of events. Those who insist that Costello is gearing up for a challenge haven’t really any explanation for why he didn’t throw his hat in the ring in November 2007 or September 2008.

  8. Julie’s dad comes out fighting on her behalf, like most parents he cant look at the whole picture, but he really cant blame her demise on being a woman, bringing up the couple of months she spent at Harvard as a big plus falls flat, actually it’s a reminder that Julie tried to give the impression she was fully educated at Harvard and only used a Harvard mug for her coffee {that was a bit of snob value},22606,25089700-2682,00.html

  9. when you have the extreme right wing scribes like Akerman, Milne, Bolt and Albrechtson turning on Turnbull then you know his position is terminal, they’re rather like a shoal of piranhas turning on a wounded companion and ripping him to shreds, i thought earlier that this last week would perhaps fade into the sunset as the lib ructions have done before, but with the full force of the right wing brigade ripping in it usually means a messy death.

  10. The Hewson-Costello love affairs continues unabaited 😉
    [You didn’t have the balls to seize the moment then, leaving the leadership by default to John Howard. And you haven’t had the balls, or the numbers, since. It’s no use trying to argue that you had some sort of “secret” deal with Howard that he would move over for you after some “reasonable period”. You know Howard was never in any position to deliver, even if he ever recognised that he had made such a “core” promise.]

  11. Oh geez, it just gets better and better:
    [You are bone lazy. Just count your output – press releases/conferences, speeches, electoral visits and other examples of your work ethic or “availability” – compared with, say, Paul Keating when he was treasurer.

    I also doubt you have the skills, experience or self-confidence to have accepted the obvious job after losing the last election, namely shadow treasurer. You’d be lost without Treasury. You may have delivered 11 budgets but ask yourself honestly how many of them were actually yours, rather than Treasury’s. I am told Treasury is now drawing a sharp contrast between your little interest and involvement and that of Wayne Swan.]

    Talk about great Sunday morning reading!

  12. Grog thank heavens someone is here, i was getting that sort of eerie feeling i was the last person left alive in the world, Swanny’s on meet the press. 🙂

  13. Love the way that the pundits were all calling for Julie Bishop’s execution, and then when it happened they’re all attacking Turnbull for his “lack of even the most basic political skills” (cf. Milne today).

    Gee fellas, we all knew Malcolm was a klutz politically. Just look how he squandered the chance of a Republic a decade ago. You must have known that too.

    I had a nightmare the other night that Peter Costello was again being touted by the commentistas as the only leader for the Liberals, and then when I woke up Peter Costello was being touted as the only leader for the Liberals. The usual suspects going for the complete cleanout: first Bishop, then Turnbull. And then… the Messiah. Only he’s no Messiah. Peter Costello is more suited to the role of destroyer, not leader. As he sits there, apparently thoroughly enjoying the damage he is wreaking, smirk at full deployment, I wonder whether Peter has ever asked himself why he does it like that? Does he hate the Liberal Party so much that he’s prepared to destroy it? It almost makes you feel sorry for Turnbull. I baulk at sympathy for Bishop, but – under the right circumstances – Turnbull could get a little commiseration from me.

    It looks like a seruious wedge of the Libs are seriously thinking that Costello, a man who has shown a profoundly obvious yellow streak on dozens of occasions when it comes to leadership and just plain, old-fashioned having-a-go, is the person to lead them out of the wilderness. At the first sign of rough weather he’d be off, blaming others.

    The only good thing to come out of the present sorry mess is that there’s a chance that somewhere in that Byzantine maze of conflicting hatreds, loyalties and alliances, there might be a core of sensible types who are finally accepting that they lost the election, that the Australian people preferred their Great Leader completely out of Parliament, that the glory days are gone and must be earned back again. As long as their furious spouters in the media keep on proposing quick fixes and rabbits out of hats as the answer to the crushingly competent and popular Rudd government they’ll fail.

    Thankfully I can’t see that happening for a long, long time.

  14. Just here for a bit Judith, getting ht ekids ready to go out, then will be back later on (taping Insiders of course – oh you addict…)

    Unfortunately watched the Crows get done last nght by Geelong on foxtel… not happy viewing 🙁

  15. BB, Cossie wont take over the leadership unless theres an ironclad guarantee that he’ll win the next election and thats not likely, he hates Turnbull, Howie played them off against each other as he did any leadership aspirants to make himself more secure, thats ended up with them absolutely loathing each other and Cossie will quite happily sit there and undermine Turnbull just by being there.

  16. i think we have been too harshed here on Cossie, myself included. So i apologise to Cossie.

    Remember “People Skills” Abbott undying declaration of: “We love him, we want him and we need him” that has also led to the King declaraing for Cossie that:

    The fact is that Cossie himself has been singing loudly: “I love to get out, i want to get out, i need to get out” but NOBODY would give him a effing job.

    And now i can only assume that Hewie & Allbull would not act a referee for him in the smokin’ ruins of the Finance and Investment industry.

  17. Bob is waving his big stick (for what it is worth?)

    THE Greens are ready to break with tradition and direct their preferences away from the Labor Party at the coming Queensland election.

    Australian Greens leader Bob Brown said yesterday his party could not guarantee Premier Anna Bligh its preferences if she were to call a snap poll for March.

    “Traditionally, Labor has got Greens’ preferences, but less and less so,” Senator Brown said.

  18. No party can take for granted another party’s preferences but why would The Greens preference the LNP over Labor? What do they have in common?

  19. Any chance that it wasn’t a union thug who made the death threat to Mr X when he voted against the stimulus package? I can’t see the Ruddster putting on a a fake voice.

    [The Sunday Mail understands a series of threatening phone calls were made to his office two weeks ago as he considered whether to block the Rudd Government’s $42 billion fiscal stimulus package.

    While most were “scornful” and anonymous, at least one caller said words to the effect: “Nick is going to be f****d.

    “He had better watch out when he’s walking the streets of Adelaide otherwise we’ll get him.”],22606,25089705-5006301,00.html

  20. Gary, I can’t think of a thing but I would suppose that what Brown was thinking is that they simply wouldn’t preference anyone? I read the article and it said “just vote ONE” strategy and from memory, I think that is whst it means ….

  21. Dio, doesnt have to be anyone in particular, it could be some nutter who really isnt into politics but who just jumped on the bandwagon, some dills just snatch on the headlines and get their jollies from stuff like that, we’ve had threatening phone calls in the past, more so because i refuse to hide behind a silent number.
    Hockey’s getting a cushy ride in Insiders, though he’s only repeating his Q&A mantra.

  22. JB

    You’ll notice they use the phrase “we’ll get him”. Perhaps it was a very worried Christopher Pyne putting on a deep voice, trying to make make sure the stimpac passed. It could have been one of the bludgers who were spewing about X voting no…. 😉

  23. Boy, it was lucky I watched Insiders!

    Barry Cassidy told me how Howard did an excellent job demolishing Rudd’s essay and exposing for the fraud that it was. I particularly liked the replay of the bit of Howard’s speech where Howard told us all that people had never been better off. He forgot to mention “on paper, that is”, which is what Rudd’s criticism was all about: paper wealth not being quite the same thing as real wealth. No matter, a big tick from Barry.

    Moving on, Joe Hockey has got it all over Swan, whose knees are, apparently, trembling with fear. When Joe got a little bit confused a couple of times, Barry stepped in and told him what he must have been thinking and that there was no contradiction at all. To which Joe readily agreed. Thanks Barry.

    Meanwhile, it’s amazing to me that in a week where the Oppositionalmost completely exploded with internicine hatred, that no-one noticed it was Labor who’s on the ropes, specifically with the backflip on the ETS, which was a talking point among all my colleagues, at least. Again, felicitations Barry, for pointing out that it was really Rudd who lost the week in politics, and Rudd who should be having the nightmares, not the Libs.

    We also heard that everything is going swimmingly for Peter Costello who is just about poijsed to take over the Liberal Leadership. Apparently he was not ready the other dozen or so times it was offered to him on a plate, for the taking. Maybe he wants his colleagues to beg?

    So all in all, thanks to Barry Cassidy, I now know the truth about politics in Australia. The Libs are ready to strike. Labor is in tatters. And the small matter of two and a half years of record polls is a mere bagatelle. Rudd is toast.

    No wonder so many interested viewers are glued to their sets come 9am Sunday morning when Barry sets us right.

  24. BB, Cassidy’s a joke, i cant forget the way he treated Mrs. Cornes on election night, he wonders why Rudd cant be bothered to appear on his show, it even looks like the Q&A audience is weighted a bit, he might as well get up on a soapbox and proclaim his political allegience, it’s gleefully funny that for all his machinations he’s backing a lame dog.

  25. just bluddy fantastic–NOT, the Advertiser/Sunday Mail and ch7 are going into partnership and they’re going to collaborate and launch media campaigns, so now we’ll get a paper version of Barcelona Tonight, whats the bet one of the campaigns will be an assassination attempt on the labor government here, the papers have sunk fairly low over the last few years and this will just finish things off beautifully.,22606,25088427-2682,00.html

  26. from what i remember it was both, Tony mauled her on telly but Cassidy was quite scathing also, i’ve been howled down in the past but i think the ABC board with Howard’s lackys has a lot to do with it, the only reason they cant get to Kerry is his superstar image.

  27. This poll seems to be another good result for Labor but I am also surprised there wasn’t a further shift towards Labor. Does anyone know when the poll was run and what sample size?

    Anyway with all the Liberal infighting in the last few days I will watch the next news poll with interest. If Shanahan doesn’t cover it we will know its grim reading for the boys in blue.

  28. David,

    Sorry I missed your comment last night re Costello v Turnbull.

    Costello’s office this morning confirms that 2008 was basically a sabbatical for Costello (which I have commented previously). He also realised that the Libs would go through some internal turmoil as the remnants of the old regime worked out who’s who in the zoo. I believe that Costello wants to be last man standing in the battle to be Libs Leader and will want to time his run to be PM in waiting. He thinks he can bide his time.

    Consequently, Costello has a vested interest in the continuing turmoil. Liberal Leadership battles are often about personalities as much as ideology and policies.
    It seems that he’s actually doing Turnbull for enjoyment as much as anything else. I also suspect he still has some “business” to administer on Abbott and Minchin before he launches his triumphal ascension to the the Crown.

    The big hold up to his advancement is his relative unpopularity amongst the punters.

  29. I really think it is unrealistic to expect the polls to get worse for the coalition. Hell these polls ARE the worst. It’s the rusted ons that keep these polls at these levels for the coalition. Osama Bin Laden could lead them and these people would remain loyal.

  30. GB, dont you think we could squeeze a tiny percentage or two out of all of this turmoil? what a waste if we cant, surely 40% of voters cant be that rusted on, some must just throw their hands up in horror and move on.

  31. JB,

    It’s an interesting question on how rusted on are the rusted ons. A 60/40 split would have been unthinkable in the past. Now we contemplate whether it is the high point for the Libs. I suspect if there is a breakthrough, the Lib vote might go in to free fall.

  32. [Gee fellas, we all knew Malcolm was a klutz politically. Just look how he squandered the chance of a Republic a decade ago. ]

    I think I’ve shown that I’m no friend of Turnbull, but this rewriting of history is quite offensive. The only good thing Turnbull has done in his life, as far as I know, was the ten years of work he put in on the republican cause. We would never have had the 1999 convention and referendum at all if it had not been for his efforts. The referendum was lost because Cleary and his cohorts decided to support the monarchy rather than accept the majority decision at the convention. No doubt Turnbull made errors during the republic campaign, but to blame him for the loss of the referendum is ridiculous.

  33. Opening sentences from the article quoted by GB @ 41:

    [THE opposition’s new Treasury spokesman, Joe Hockey, has stumbled over a key economic fact in his first week in the job.

    Mr Hockey struggled to name the size of the Government’s $42 billion economic stimulus package.

    “This is exactly why we opposed the size of the $42,000, ah, million dollar, billion dollar, the $42 billion dollar stimulus package,” Mr Hockey told ABC Television today.]

    Holy $hite!

    They are out for blood, aren’t they?

    What a trivial molehill to turn into a mountain!

    But.. but… just as I start to feel sympathy, I harden my resolve: the Libs and their media mates were just as cruel to Swan.

    Hyenas of the press, indeed.

  34. You’re late to the issue, Adam, and a bit overblown in your use of the word “offensive”.

    I never doubted Turnbull’s passion for a Republic, or the good work he put into it in the years before the referendum (if you say so). But you make my point for me: to be outmanoeuvred by an amateur like Cleary was a poor show of political skills, indeed.

  35. For those interested, the Morgan was a face-to-face conducted last weekend Feb 14-15 with sample 828. That was when the focus was still on the bushfires, and the Lib shenanigans of this week hadn’t occurred.

  36. BB, my apologies for not maintaining a 24-hour vigil here.

    So what was Turnbull supposed to do differently? Most of his critics seem to say he should have accepted the demand that the referendum question be for a directly-elected president. But that was not the view of the majority of the convention, and Turnbull wasn’t in charge of the process – Howard was. A direct-election referendum would have lost just as clearly as the indirect election referendum was, because of the split in the republicam majority. Turnbull didn’t create that split. You might argue that he could have done more to repair, but I don’t see how.

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