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. Whether or not he had a bad day (and in my subjective opinion he didn’t) is one thing. Whether or not he was a fool is entirely another.

  2. GG

    I thought it looked pretty stingy. Rudd/Turnbull at 3/1 on is unbackable IMHO, and to only get 16/10 on Rudd/Cossie looks way under the odds.

  3. Gillard sticks in the knife:
    [“In a choice between macho and mincing I would have gone for macho myself,” she said.

    “The leader of the Opposition faced with the choice of a doberman or the poodle has gone for the poodle.”]

    I notice the article also quotes Hockey saying
    [This is a nervous treasurer out of his depth]

    I heard Dutton say the same thing, obviously the memo had been sent around… Oh well they’re been saying it for 14 months now… and yet no dent has been made/

  4. [432 covers the Bligh comment which has been downgraded from lying to intellectual dishonesty at the appeal tribunal.]

    Not in my book. There’s a blatant lie in there somewhere – either today, or a few weeks ago when she was saying the exact opposite.

    From my vantage point today at work (a place from where I cannot post) I wasn’t sure what to be least surprised about:

    (a) a Labor Premier lied so obviously you could only laugh at the cynicism of it all
    (b) various Laboristas on this site trying to spin it as something else, or
    (c) it was Diogenes who was doing the hard yards and pointing out the bleeding obvious, somewhat to the annoyance of the Labor types.

    Good work (as usual) Dio!

  5. Give Bligh a couple of years, when she gets offered some sinecure and decides to move on.

    Then it will be “the ongoing global financial crisis makes it essential for the good of Qld that I move on and hand over the reins to “.

    And there’ll be Laboristas here, nodding their sincere agreement and murmuring approval.

    Come on people, open your eyes! She lied!

  6. Dyno,

    If only you Liberal cheer squad had been forensic about, “never a GST”, “children overboard”and “interest rates always being lower under a Liberal Government”, then we could give your opinions some credence.

    In the meantime, Dios charges have been further downgraded to “truthful in the context of what was known at the time”.

  7. [Come on people, open your eyes! She lied!]

    Mate, if that’s the thing that most upsets you ATM then you’ve got nothing to worry about. She’s a politician for goodness sake. Get over it.

  8. [Grog even that was a lame attack, Gillard is capable of doing better…]

    True, but she is working off a pretty high base.

    And let’s be honest, it is true – the Govt benchers were laughing at all of Pyne’s points of orders – especially when he coudln’t help showing off that he had spent all weekend studying the standing orders like a little swot before the first day of school.

    He even made a point of order when Albo was talking about the flood relief (ok, he was taking a while, but it was hardly partisan).

  9. Once because Nelson couldnt cut it so we had to draft in Turnbull…
    Then Bishop because she had a bad start and never recovered she did more damage to herself than from anything Swan said so she quit and ran and now we have Joe who is destroying Swanny in QT lol

    I say again Swan is not a fool, because a fool couldnt memorise handouts from Treasury like Swan can do so well…so i take that back but he still looks bad when put next to Joe…

  10. Still have to think Bligh is looking good to be the first woman elected Premier.
    (and gotta say it’s pretty good that that is not even mentioned as an issue).

    except by err ummm me…. whoops 😆

  11. Grog she’ll only win because she has a buffer of 22 seats it would have to be a massive landslide for the LNP to win but i hope they bring it to less than 10 seats to win next time so then without the Borg they could get in…

    Bligh is very sneaky going so early, she should get a lot of criticism for doing so, but she’s the premier and she can go when she wants…

  12. [If only you Liberal cheer squad had been forensic about, “never a GST”, “children overboard”and “interest rates always being lower under a Liberal Government”, then we could give your opinions some credence.]

    Not the point, GG. The point is certain people being in denial about what happened.

    Politicians lie. All sides do it. Let’s not pretend otherwise and let’s not cr*p on about “truthful in the context of what was known at the time”.

  13. No, Glen, Swannie doesn’t look bad against Joe. Joe is clearly a bit of a fibber with facts. He will say anything that takes his fancy and will exaggerate it to the high heavens. I don’t think I can really take as fact much of what he says.

    I did have a laugh at Swannie stumbling over ‘rhinoceros’ tho. But a nervous performance – I don’t think so. Joe will need to lift his game because Swannie has accurate facts and figures to wave whenever Joe spouts the fibs.

    A few mentions before about Cameron and Eric Walsh. I really enjoyed Cameron but poor old Eric was a bit old by the time he got there and I was glad he moved on – it wasn’t his fault that he couldn’t look a little more ‘modern’ for a changing society but, if I remember rightly, we got Don out of it and that was a bit exciting for some time.

    Someone argued about the color of Don’s shorts the other night – they were pink and bought by a guy called John Ceruto. Whenever he landed in my office the girls hung around the door thinking that he was a Greek God (but sadly, he had feet of clay).

    Poor Lawrence Springborg – heard him on the teev tonight. Unfortunately for him his voice is a bit morbid. Is that why he has lost previously.

  14. Sorry William, will do

    [I say again Swan is not a fool, because a fool couldnt memorise handouts from Treasury like Swan can do so well…so i take that back but he still looks bad when put next to Joe…]

    By that logic, Costello would look bad next to Joe.

  15. Glenn wrote :

    “The only thing in Bligh’s favour is the fact the LNP needs 20 odd seats”

    …and that is ALL that matters in any election.

  16. Grog but the difference between Swan on the one hand and Hockey and Costello on the other is that they werent limited to a script approach they could talk freely about economics without flubbing around and looking like a goose as Swan did today…

  17. [Politicians lie. All sides do it. Let’s not pretend otherwise and let’s not cr*p on about “truthful in the context of what was known at the time”.]

    Dyno, Dio

    Repeat after me 50 times, labor good liberal bad, then go to your rooms and don’t ever criticise or question a labor leader again.

  18. [the other is that they werent limited to a script approach they could talk freely about economics without flubbing around]
    Hockey has already flubbed, he didn’t know the difference between the current account deficit and a budget deficit.

  19. Castle – that is ab it unfair. I think Labor often get chastised here. I’ve always thought that Labor doesn’t do the ‘nasties’ as well as the Libs. The Libs go for the jugular, whether they are being factual or not, they defend their record to the death even the botched bits.

    Labor on the other hand did not defend Keating’s stand during the 91 recession. They let the Libs get away with the 17% mantra and it penetrated voter’s minds for a long time and still resonates in some quarters.

    But in the end the Libs went too far with IR and that has made a lot of people take another look at their economic record. The talk I hear constantly is ‘what in the heck did they do with all that money’. Never take the mob lightly – their are more intelligent than a lot of the dumbo journos we have around the place.

  20. dyno

    Bligh seems a good sort so I’m moving on. The $1.5B writedown on the budget came in between the two statements. What worries me is that she must have been spooked badly by some economic news since she came back from holidays. She knew all about the GFC for a while but she made a comment during her press conference that no-one could have foreseen the effect it would have on Qld’s economy.

    And I’m saying that mainly as a Croweater because I think we’re going to get even more bad news here. There’s a lot of talk of SA’s $1.6B of Workcover liabilities being about to blow up in our faces (I don’t know how that would be triggered economically). I bet Rann would be going early here if we didn’t have fixed terms. If you combine the $1.6B Workcover loss and our $1.5B budget deficit (which looks like getting worse), we’re into State bank territory. And that was REALLY BAD. 🙁

  21. I heard Grahame Morris on the radio this morning talking about Hockey’s superior communication skills. Not once did he discuss the Shadow Treasurer’s economic expertise. Now we all know that Howard’s former chief of staff is an incurably partisan little spin insect, but surely a gesture – if only a limp symbolic one – could have been made towards this fundamental shadow ministerial job requirement.

    (I should note that if Big Joe were the shadow spokesperson for Barbecues, Buffoonery and Being Everybody’s Mate, he might legitimately claim some expertise.)

  22. Dio – do you get much revenue over there from Roxby Downs. Surely with CC there will be a continuous market around the globe.

    And how is the Ad/Darwin railway going now. Was that supposed to shift the ore or just passengers.

  23. Adam

    You lose the bet. She said;

    [This is not about my political interests.]

    You can’t possibly argue that isn’t a lie! That’s been the basis of all the excuses for her other comments. 😛

  24. Dio

    I certainly wouldn’t attempt to defend the honesty of any premier, but I think the comments on Qld debt are a bit excessive. They are the only state with public servant super liaibilities fully funded. They are in debt now because they are spending on infrastructure for the growth, and revenue is down. But in a normal budge cycle they will be fine.

    SA debt is not that bad. Even if what you fear happens that is a $3B debt now. When the State bank went bust it was a $5B debt against a state budget half the size it is now. In real terms the debt now is far less than in the early 90s. The Workcover fund does need to be overhauled in SA – its too generous/easily rorted. But that is a political fix. The really big long term debt risk for every state (except Qld) is paying off the super when al the baby boomer public servants retire. That is why I find S&Ps decision to rate Qld AA+ and the other states AAA all teh more amazing. It should be the other way around.

  25. Diogoines
    Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    “Ron I didn’t actually direct my poor language at Adam directly”

    Understand , you sort of directd them at Adam , but not actualy It makes perfect sense to me I’m on your side here

    So what you’re saying is having only sort of directed them at Adam , that he was over reacting to you being “precous”

    but Adam #470 said “you’re just being precious,”…as well

    But then , “pecious’ would be for you to give us th Bligh lying quote

    Perhaps you’ll find she used an ‘Obamaism’ , so on your criteria of Obamism nuanses never being a lie that makes Anna Bigh truthful So you were wRONg , again

  26. BH

    We get plenty from Roxby but quite a lot has gone on infrastructure to support it. Rann and Foley bend over backwards to keep mining happy and it’s paying dividends. Rann’s problem is that everyone knows we should be rich from the mining boom and things still look grim. He’s getting the same criticism Howard and Bligh are getting about blowing all the money during the good times and having not enough to show for it (one of the reasons I’m fascinated in the Qld election).

    They’re losing money on the Darwin-Adelaide railway. It’s about $1400 one way for a sleeper.

  27. [ Glen
    Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Permalink
    Grog but the difference between Swan on the one hand and Hockey and Costello on the other is that they werent limited to a script approach they could talk freely about economics without flubbing around and looking like a goose as Swan did today…]

    Glen, you are correct – Swan is limited in what he says – unlike one ex-treasurer with the alledgedly squeaky voice and Joe ‘work choices’ Hockey – he sticks to the truth 🙂


  28. [without flubbing around and looking like a goose as Swan did today]

    Come on Glen – you can’t have it both ways – he’s either a Swan or a goose.

  29. [Adam

    You lose the bet. She said;

    This is not about my political interests.]

    Au contraire. That is an expression of a political opinion. It is impossible to know (a) whether the statement was true or false and (b), if it was false, whether she was conscious of telling an untruth when she said it. That may seem a high standard to set, but that is the meaning of the word “lie” – a factually false statement made in the knowledge that is false.

  30. Socrates

    I can’t work out the Workcover thing. I’m told that our employees contributions are on the high side compared with other states. I’m also told that our payments for people off on Workcover are on the low side. So it’s either being VERY badly run or there are too many claims.

    I know S&P are low on credibility but given Foleys adoration of our AAA rating and the lower interest rates it gets you, I wondered if the loss of Qlds AAA rating signified something really bad as they were the only ones to lose it.

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