Essential Research: 62-38

The latest weekly Essential Research poll has Labor’s lead steady at 62-38. Also included are an interesting question on what Peter Costello should do (34 per cent quit, 46 per stay in various possible capacities), along with very detailed material on economic management. Not only but also:

• A comprehensively briefed Andrew Landeryou at VexNews explains the background to the Victorian Liberal Senate preselection vote to be held this Friday. Michael Ronaldson seems assured of retaining his top position, but Julian McGauran faces an uphill battle for third place against Ross Fox, a Peter Costello backer. The second place is reserved for the Nationals.

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports on a NSW Liberal state executive ruling that new members in Bradfield will not be eligible to vote in the preselection to replace Brendan Nelson, to be held in nine months. Normally party rules require membership for six months for eligibility, but that would be an invitation to mass branch stacking in the current circumstances. Coorey also weighs in on recent shenanigans in the Perth seat of Tangney.

• Tasmanian LHMWU secretary David O’Byrne has confirmed he will seek preselection as a candidate for Franklin at next year’s state election. O’Byrne is a former state party president and brother of Bass MP Michelle O’Byrne. Among the Liberal candidates will be Vanessa Goodwin, who narrowly failed to defeat the now-departed Paula Wreidt at the 2006 election.

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.

1,522 comments on “Essential Research: 62-38”

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  1. How long before Tanner replaces Swan? Not before the budget session but quite likely before Xmas.I’m not sure how Rudd will do it; ill health would be the only save face excuse so I think Rudd will simply have to suffer the short term pain and make the change regardless.

    I’ve no real problem with Swanney – he’s certainly well qualified to be Treasurer but there’s no way he can deliver the message like Tanner. Even Liberals agree that Tanner is The Man.

    A simple swap of portfolios could be the least painful scenario. The Finance portfolio is never in the spotlight to the same extent unless there’s some slash and burn to be done. Let Tanner deal with that this year then make the switch.

    What do others think?

  2. I am disappointed in myself. I actually felt sorry for Malcolm this am – he looked awful in the piccies we saw on telly this am. Costello must be getting to him.

    BH, just remember Turnbull would be breaking out the bubbly if the economy tanks and then he’d paw over the bones to claw his way into the PM’s chair, thats what merchant bankers do, the families and mums and dads that go under and are ruined to Turnbull, would just be collateral damage and to hell with their pain, i bet he prays every night for more economical bad news in the mornings, dont waste your sympathy on that mobile ego, he wanted Nelson’s spot –well he’s got it now and i wish him joy of it.

  3. Steve K

    No way. the Ruddster likes stability and discipline. If he switched over Ministers based on one being better than the other in a given portfolio, there would be a never-ending shuffle. Swan’s doing fine. Tanner would be better but I’m sure Tanner gets enough of a say. Swan has that hang-dog look which makes it hard for the opposition to bash up on him too much. He’s absorbing their feeble punches easily, with help from Rudd, Tanner and Gillard.

  4. Steve K, i very much doubt Rudd will change the front bench very much before the election, it seems to be working in tandem right now like a very well oiled machine, the last thing Rudd would want would be a resentful Swan or anyone else rocking the boat in the lead up to the election, labor has got the opposition on the ropes so why make changes right now, i think any changes will come after the election, Tanner will pop up and say his piece as needed and aim it well, those cameo moments can be relished because he’s not constantly repeating himself as the treasurer must.

  5. The Liberals have done, I must say, a good hatchet job on Wayne Swan. It began when he was Opposition Treasurer with a campaign to ridicule the man and his abilities. I have no doubt at all he is capable, committed and well qualified. But the Liberal campaign has unnerved him, which has affected his public appearances, leading to the image problem he suffers. He may recover and come back stronger than before. It’s doubtful, but I hope he can and does.

  6. SNIP: Religious vilification deleted. Not that I had a problem with it personally, but there’s a law about it in Victoria, and the fact that it would never get applied in regard to the particular religion you have chosen to vilify bespeaks a hypocrisy in the system that I don’t care to buy into – The Management.

  7. Local government politics is not usually interesting but it seems that the new mayor
    Logan Howlett of Cockburn council (in the south of Perth, see
    ) will be tough to deal with.

    From wikipedia

    … Born James Howlett and commonly known as Logan … is a mutant, possessing animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, retracting bone claws, and a healing factor.

    The previous mayor caused trouble for the state Governments (the last one and this one) after a scandal but maybe Logan will also be in the news?

  8. There is nothing whatever wrong with Swan’s performances, in the media or in the House. He is in command of the facts, he is articulate, calm and unflappable. He doesn’t have Tanner’s wit, but haven’t we had enough of comedian treasurers? They make a good double, with Swan as Mr Responsible and Tanner as Mr Headkicker. The team is working well and I can’t see why there would be any change in senior portfolios before the election.

    Catholic Church: sticks to its principles. People who choose to be Catholics know that abortion is against Church teaching, so what do they expect? They’ll be much happier as protestants.

  9. Adam 1450

    I undestand your comments on the US politics of GM, but they are in real trouble. They are flat out making money in their own right now, without the milstone of their pension liaibilities. If the government took them over they might have a chance.

  10. Adam,

    He has at times been nervous and unsure. (He’s only human). I’m thinking of that time he got an 80-second mental blank for the inflation rate. Some of his speeches in QT sound, I dunno, whiney, as though he is pleading with “Mr Speaker” to listen. Not helped, of course, by the insolent unruly opposition thugs with their jeering and catcalling.

    It’s ridiculous that he is expected to be a “performer” when, basically, his job is a glorified bookkeeper. Since when are other bookkeepers expected to be the picture of charisma and headkicking? It’s not right.

    It’s such a dirty game, this politics, that nice guys like Wayne are soft targets. Nice guy, well qualified, earnest, compassionate, rolling up the shirtsleeves. Yet can be brought undone in his expected “performances” by the campaign of an amoral, angry, spiteful “opposition”.

    Makes me sick actually.

  11. i’m with the well oiled machine, no changes till after the election. Tanner will get the guernsey (he is left though isn’t he) next round Swan will get finance and something else, perhaps wongs portfolio- this will not be seen as a consolation prixe as much as this is an important area.

  12. [What have you done to justify your oxygen intake today?]
    I am human, I have inalienable rights that are not given to me by anyone or anything and can not be legitimately taken away by anyone or any institution. I don’t have to justify my existence to anyone.

    What have you done to rationalise your lack of understanding human rights today?

  13. Cuppa, I think you underestimate Swan’s toughness. The Qld ALP is no kindergarten and he’s been banging heads there for 20 years. Ministerial office is not a memory quiz – I get very annoyed when the media play this game (on anyone), and I think the punters do too. What counts is grip on policy, which Swan has and Hockey has yet to acquire (although Hockey is not stupid and his performance on RN this morning was an improvement). If Labor wins next year I presume there will be a reshuffle of some sort but I’d be surprised if Swan was moved. Yes, Tanner is in the left, and that’s a problem for him. The last SL Treasurer we had was Jim Cairns, not a great precedent. Just as people know the possible costs when they become Catholics, so they do when they join the SL.

  14. [What have you done to rationalise your lack of understanding human rights today?]

    What human rights are these people being deprived of by being excommunicated from the Catholic church (after violating one its most basic principles)? The Church doesn’t actually run Brazil, you know. (The great Lula does.) All they’ve lost is the right to perform christophagia once a week.

  15. [“The adults who approved, who carried out this abortion, will be excommunicated,” said the archbishop for the Recife region. ]

    Whereas the person who raped the 9 year girl that prompted the abortion will be canonised.

  16. [What human rights are these people being deprived of by being excommunicated from the Catholic church ]
    I wasn’t referring to them. I was referring to G.G.s comment that I should have to justify breathing (i.e. living).

  17. [Whereas the person who raped the 9 year girl that prompted the abortion will be canonised.]
    They certainly have completely screwed up priorities – removing the excommunication of a holocaust denier, while sacking a guy in Brisbane who isn’t willing to discriminate against women and homosexuals.

    It must take a lot of effort to construct such an upside-down sense of morality.

  18. Swannie should stay. Lindsay is great in his job because he can ‘razor’, if necessary, and explain it well. No-one else can do that job at the moment.

    I watched Swannie at a Press Conference on Tuesday arvo. The whole lot.

    I thought he was good – I didn’t notice any great nervousness. He was clear and even let go a few smiles among the dreary news.

    Of course it was written in the MSM that he gave a nervous performance. Baloney I say.

    Juliem – you are right. I have lashed myself over my rash feeling of pity for the bloke.
    I had forgotten HIH, etc. so will pin a note to my forehead.

  19. Labor is crushing the Liberals in polls about the economy, what impetus do they have to change around their economic team?

  20. I prefer the Treasurer we have now to the last one who thought the only thing a treasurer had to do was cut taxes every election year.

  21. From the article mentioned by Socrates at 1467
    [One way to look at the international situation right now is that we’re suffering from a global paradox of thrift: around the world, desired saving exceeds the amount businesses are willing to invest. And the result is a global slump that leaves everyone worse off.]

    So that does away with the silly argument we heard on QandA last night (was it Sally Warhaft) about spending our way out of a crisis created by spending too much, that had Tip nodding and grinning in agreement.

  22. [bout spending our way out of a crisis created by spending too much, that had Tip nodding and grinning in agreement.]
    Well, I considered it very ironic that Costello was somehow attacking consumerism. Wasn’t he the guy who constantly proposed tax cuts so that people could choose what to spend their money on? Wasn’t he the guy telling people to ahve more children, which implies greater consumption? Wasn’t he the guy that said Telstra should be sold so that more people could buy shares? Wasn’t he the guy that told state governments to cut their taxes so it was easier for people to invest in real estate?

    It’s a bit rich for him tturn around and say that he didn’t mean it.

  23. Swan is fine. And Treasury see him as a very hard worker (in coomparison to Costello). Swan knows what he is doing and understands it. Costello?

    Swan had a few nervous days in Parliament and has not been able to live it down since.
    He isn’t the greatest salesman is his only detraction.

  24. Tanner put in a fine performance on Q&A, but he did look a little tired and jaded. Costello looked fresh as a daisy, and full of vim and vigour.
    Not all that surprising – Tanner had probably come out of a hard day’s work that commenced at sparrowfart, whereas Costello had probably done sweet FA all day/week/month/year.

  25. Kakuru – how true with your last para. Lindsay was right – Costello has been using taxpayers’ money to sit on his backside in a ‘Country Club’. Great surrounding, aircondition comfort, decent food, carparking. Who could want more!

    All that talk of Kroger wanting him out seems irrelevant with the way Costello is carrying on.

    Still, who are we on the other side to complain. While he is disturbing everything Rudd & Co can just get on with it.

    Boy – the Liberal Party office is busy today commenting on Kev’s article in the OO.

  26. [removing the excommunication of a holocaust denier]

    This is a complex one. Williamson wasn’t excommunicated in the first place for being a holocaust denier. He was excommunicated along with other followers of the late Archbishop Levesque for defying the authority of the Pope. The current Pope decided to forgive them for *that*, not for anything else they may have done. It does seem clear that when the forgiveness was issued, the Pope was not aware of Williamson’s odious comments on the Holocaust. Maybe he should have been, but it seems he wasn’t. Since he has become aware, he has taken a fairly tough line with Williamson. As a German, the Pope is well aware of the sensitivities involved.

  27. Poly 1475 – exactly

    Costello’s thinking mirrors the same stupidity that made teh great depression last twice as long as it had too.

  28. Adam

    Well the vows are poverty, chastity and obedience. Nothing in there about honesty or compassion. And poverty and chastity are more of a “be seen to do” kind of thing.

  29. 1460,

    Posted Friday, March 6, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink
    Adam 1450

    I undestand your comments on the US politics of GM, but they are in real trouble. They are flat out making money in their own right now, without the milstone of their pension liaibilities. If the government took them over they might have a chance.

    My dad is a GM retiree and is age 73 at present, living on his pension which includes comfortable health care benefits. I will be watching this with much interest …..

  30. Adam

    regarding 1483 I was referring to the vows of catholic Paulist priests. In the case you refered to and similar recent occurences (eg Brisbane) they are relevant – the catholic church seems far more concerned when priests are disobedient than when they do or say something offensive. In my experience it is widespread amoung catholic bishops. As an ex-catholic atheist I admit I am biased, but this sort of attitude was one of the reasons that caused me to leave. I do not find it a credible moral guide.

  31. [not really the enemy just the opposition]

    As far as oppositions go i think the greens, and sometimes the indies, do a far better job than the libs.

  32. juliem

    Sympathy there. I am not saying that I think the worker’s shoudl lose their entitlements, but the fact is that GM has scandalously failed to put money away for them. They made their finances a pyramid scheme that relied on continual future growth to pay for past obligations. If they wound up the company tomorrow they woudl not have the cash to meet their liabilities by a long way – billions short.

  33. If only they had of listened to me and gone with the Holden Zodiac 9with individual badging) things could have been different

  34. sound the trumpets pop the corks. out of interest what is the biggest margin in Aus fed poll history between gov and opposition?

  35. juliem
    Posted Friday, March 6, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    When someone turns up better than those two men, I will purchase their bio

    Get a hold of John Button’s, it is the best read of the lot.

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