Morgan: 57-43

The latest weekly Morgan face-to-face survey of 883 voters shows Labor’s two-party lead down from 60.5-39.5 to 57-43. Labor’s primary vote is down two points to 48.5 per cent, the Coalition’s is up substantially from 34.5 per cent to 39 per cent, and the Greens are down two to 6 per cent. Between Morgan, Newspoll and Essential Research, there is now significant evidence that some of the gloss has come off the extraordinary spike Labor enjoyed from its response to the global financial crisis.


• The Geelong Advertiser reports on the federal Liberal preselection for Corangamite. Prospective nominees: former Kennett government minister Ian Smith, “considering his position”; Graham Harris, head of the party’s Corangamite electorate council; Victorian Farmers Federation president Simon Ramsay; “Moriac district resident” Rod Nockles; Simon Price, unsuccessful Colac Otway Shire Council candidate and former electorate officer Stewart McArthur who lost the seat in 2007.

• Mark Kenny of The Advertiser reports that “pressure is mounting inside the Liberal Party to dump its candidate for the state seat of Newland, Trish Draper”. Draper was federal member for Makin from 1996 to 2007, when she forestalled what seemed to be very likely defeat by retiring. Draper is seen to have been damaged by reports an ex-boyfriend has been identified as a suspect in a murder investigation, which is currently the subject of a defamation case. A Liberal source quoted by Kenny says Right faction powerbroker Senator Nick Minchin has told Opposition Leader Martin Hamilton-Smith to dump her.

• The ABC reports “speculation” that Premier David Bartlett is “planning to visit Tasmania’s Governor on Monday and send Tasmania to the polls as early as April 18”, resulting from the government’s failure to table long-promised legislation to enact fixed four-year terms. Bartlett denies this, and he would have to be pretty silly to ignore the still-accumulating evidence that unnecessary early elections are a bad idea.

• The ABC reports that Labor is courting Beaconsfield mine disaster survivor Brant Webb as a possible state election candidate for Bass.

• An interim report by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters recommends an end to trials of electronic voting for the vision-impaired and overseas defence personnel on the grounds it is too expensive. The report said the 850 votes cast electronically in 2007 cost $2597 each, compared with $8.36 for each non-electronic vote. A dissenting report by Bob Brown argues the government should pursue electronic voting to assist disadvantaged voters, and investigate its use in the Australian Capital Territory and overseas.

• The Australian Parliamentary Library has published papers on women parliamentarians in Australia and the possibility of dedicated indigenous representation, a la the Maori seats in New Zealand.

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.

556 comments on “Morgan: 57-43”

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  1. I’m not sure how anyone can seriously argue that either of the major parties have more credibility on the issue of climate change than The Greens. This is because The Greens have been banging the drum for years, before it was “chic”, and the major parties only got on board out of political necessity. Now if they only did it to win votes, why would you pretend they are seriously going to address it with more credibility then those who stuck by it and actually helped put on the political agenda. The other credibility gap is that Labor’s policy is based on some kind of nonsensical rejection of the science, Garnaut horsetrading in the cabinet room. The Liberals don’t have a policy. The Greens policy has always been to follow the science.

    That The Greens 40% target seems ludicrous is a reflection of Labor’s clever politicking on their own target. Abysmally small, so to make any cuts that are actually needed to keep CO2 levels at a safe level look ridiculous. Having said that, I don’t think The Greens are going to say “We want 40% or nothing”. It’s their upper end negotiating base.

  2. [It’s not our fault the peasants wouldn’t elect her.]

    Ah yes, Bolt’s favourite line “Selected, not elected”. Odd though that he didn’t say it about Palin…

  3. [Are there any others in line?]

    Carmel Tebutt in NSW has reportedly been approached a number of times but to no avail.

    Personally, I think she would have been a better “experiment” than Rees, as she has had high profile cabinet experience and her personality would counteract the whole Tripodi/Obeid issue NSW Labor has.

  4. [Hey, we had a woman premier in Victoria 18 years ago, remember? It’s not our fault the peasants wouldn’t elect her. (Actually it was her fault, but we won’t go into that.)]

    Same in WA, but her own boofhead Brother (Bevan Lawrence) put paid to that idea as well.

  5. [A defeat of the dud 5% ETS in the Senate would inevitably build pressure around the next question, which would be: ‘Now what are we going to do?’]
    498 Boerwar – I believe the only thing it will do is ensure the government will put it off until both major parties are ready to vote for it in the Senate. Neither is going to go all out and adopt the Green’s policy, nor will the independents IMHO.
    Besides, I’ve heard that it maybe too late already. If this is the case why would a government put itself in electoral jeopardy for a lost cause? Either it is a lost cause or it isn’t, which is it?

  6. [I’ve heard that it maybe too late already. If this is the case why would a government put itself in electoral jeopardy for a lost cause?]

    If this is the case, why would anyone bother doing anything?

  7. [If this is the case, why would anyone bother doing anything?]
    So we can slow the process down somewhat, and thus have one more decade to figure out how to decamp to Mars?

  8. As Woody Allen said:
    “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

  9. Swan starts laying the foundations for the budget… am thinking this might be a budget with hardly any surprises…
    [WAYNE Swan has flagged a budget bonus for pensioners and self-funded retirees and another economic stimulus as the Government tries to cushion the nation from the worst effects of the global financial crisis.]

    nice little dig at the hammock:
    [“Economic management is seldom easy, the last decade excepted. Good economic managers don’t live in a dream world or roll up into a little ball,” he said],25197,25229988-601,00.html

  10. Gary

    [Besides, I’ve heard that it maybe too late already.]

    That’s the third Monbiot Stage of CC Denial.

    1. The science isn’t true. It’s not getting warmer.
    2. Even if it’s getting warmer, we shouldn’t make a big effort and jeopardise our lifestyle to reduce carbon emissions a bit.
    3. It’s too late now so there’s no point even trying.

  11. Adam Said

    Hey, we had a woman premier in Victoria 18 years ago, remember? It’s not our fault the peasants wouldn’t elect her. (Actually it was her fault, but we won’t go into that.)

    Ya, she was left carrying the can, the fact that you want to blame her for the result says a lot about you and probable the rest of the Victorian Labor party.

  12. [If it’s true that we have screwed this planet beyond repair, I doubt we deserve another one.]

    Either that or we need to start eating Soylent Green

  13. There are two good reasons to deal with global warming.
    1) It makes dam good economic sense as the resultant activity will stimulate the economy.
    2) The cities will be a lot nicer to live in.

    Stopping the oceans rising is a side benefit that may or may not occur; no one knows what it will take to push the system back, or if we still have time to stop it moving into a new state.

  14. [the fact that you want to blame her for the result says a lot about you and probable the rest of the Victorian Labor party.]

    That was a mildly flippant remark. I forgot to add a smiley. 🙂 🙂

    What really led to the rout of 1992 was that (a) the Cain government had run out of steam after ten years, (b) the 1987 crash had exposed the over-borrowing of the states and the reckless behaviour of the people running the state banks following deregulation, and (c) neither Cain nor Kirner was able to impose the necessary discipline on the ALP factions and the unions they represented. (tram strike, nurses strike) The Victorian ALP has learned the lessons of that time, hence the far greater discipline and success of the Bracks-Brumby government.

  15. 🙂

    I note the Queensland premier is putting another nail in the fractional coffin. Once you lose the power to hire and fire you can only influence the selecti0on by putting up good candidates, it must serve the Labor party well in the end.

  16. [I note the Queensland premier is putting another nail in the fractional coffin]


    I recall back in the early 90s when I joined Young Labor in SA. They cared more about fighting each other than the Libs (that and trying to get a job working for a Senator). I decided that path was not for me.

  17. Bob Brown could have put cc up front and centre years ago – instead, he kept doing deals for preferences on the basis of what was happening to the Tasmanian forests.
    After the deal with Latham, as someone who was agitating madly for a more serious approach to cc within the ALP, I did a lot of ‘straw polls’ of Green voters. I asked them what the most serious environmental problem was facing Australia.
    They always said Tassie forests and (when questioned further) said because BB allocated his preferences that way.
    I’ve found it hard to take him seriously as an environmental campaigner since.

    Oh, and on the J Kirner thing – don’t forget Jeff had control of the Upper House. There were several attempts (by both Cain and Kirner) to put through measures to address Victoria’s problems through Parliament at the time, which the Libs blocked.
    Joan was still preferred Premier a year or so after her loss, however.

  18. No one has noticed Possum has posted the latest Essential Report, Labor up 1 point on primary, 2 on 2PP?

  19. So Tata in India is about to release the world’s cheapest car – The Nano. A 4-cylinder car with a top speed of 105km/h for $3000.

    Indians are pretty excited, but there’s apprehension in the rest of the world regarding the environmental impacts of the Nano. While it’s undeniable that it’ll lead to an increase in GHG emissions, I don’t think we have any legitimate complaint. We can’t say “Hey Indians, you guys have to keep piling your families onto motorcycles and aren’t allowed to drive small, fuel-efficient (apparently) cars, but we’re allowed to own as many cars as we like and drive 4WD’s in the city”.

    This is related to the issue of Australia’s international credibility on tackling environmental issues. No one will take anything we say about “Developing countries tackling climate change” seriously until we demonstrate that we, as a very wealthy country, can ourselves.

  20. [Zoomster, to be fair, no-one thought climate change was a front-rank issue until about five years ago.]
    I can remember being taught about the Green House effect while in primary school in 1992.

  21. Zoomster, Bob Brown isn’t a magician. Who, prior to say 2006, out of the ALP or the Coalition were willing to talk about climate change in public, let alone negotiate preference deals based on their respective policies?

    People expect so much from The Greens and often forget that their resources are a minuscule fraction of those of major parties. And then when they achieve something, the complaint is “Why didn’t you do it earlier?”

    Sure, it’s Bob Browns fault that the ALP until recently had no policy on climate change.

  22. Zoomster is right about how the politics have played out. While I take the view that even if you could get all major governments on board to make meaningful changes, it probably is too late given the length of time CO2 hangs around in the atmosphere, the resulting devastation will probably reduce the population very significantly, and probably in very nasty ways, but that learning to live differently might be of some benefit for those that survive.

  23. [it probably is too late given the length of time CO2 hangs around in the atmosphere]

    There’s no evidence that it’s too late, though it’s close.

    But not too late.

  24. If I haven’t come in a bit late, the other “prominent female Australian” was supposedly Kevin’s better half (unless there was a third).

  25. Gusface, it was supposed to be Therese Rein in lingerie (unspecified!) and glass of wine. I don’t know how these people have jobs as journos.

  26. [I can remember being taught about the Green House effect while in primary school in 1992.]

    And I read about it in Gordon Rattray Taylor’s “The Doomsday Book” in 1970. The fact that the theory was about didn’t make it a “front-rank issue”. Was it an issue in the 1996 US election? The 2000 election? The 1998 Australian election? The 2001 election? The 2004 election?

  27. Couple of interesting questions from Essential this week.

    Quite a lot of “No difference” between Labor and Liberal on the environment, climate change, water, housing affordability and secutiy.

  28. [Gusface, it was supposed to be Therese Rein in lingerie (unspecified!) ]

    The lingerie gives it away

    It was Dolly, I tells ya’s

  29. Oz, I’m feeling a bit gloomy about the human species ATM, so you know. I don’t think any of us really know just where we’re at in terms of the critical tipping points, but from all I’ve been able to glean, the rapidly accelerating processes, the interaction between feedback loops, the long lasting nature of CO2 in the atmosphere, and governments trying to deal with the Global Financial Fiasco, which really, when you think about it is just another symptom of a species out of control.

  30. 1. I was agitating within the Labor party re cc well before 2006 (and it gets a decent mention in Labor’s Federal platform for that election)….and I don’t claim to be as environmentally aware as BB.
    2. BB had written books well before 2006 advocating action on climate change.

    Yes, it’s too late to stop climate change, and very likely (even with no carbon emissions from tomorrow onwards) that we’ve bought into the 2 degree temperature rise and all its associated effects regardless. However, this is neither cause for despair or for inaction. CC will have benefits as well as problems, but we need to act now to ensure that we capitalise on the former and minimise the later.
    The big problem with the cc debate is that we’re ignoring the need to adapt – people seem quite happy to talk about drastic cuts in their lifestyles if they can hold on to the idea that the climate will stabilise. Tell them it’s about drastic changes to their lifestyle AND adaption to a new climate and they go all peculiar.
    Not just my experience, one of my friends is a leading climatologist and she reports the same reaction – everyone’s quite happy to talk about mitigation but start talking about the need to adapt and they become hostile.

  31. Adam! That’s exactly my point – if Brown had made it a preference deal breaker in 2006, climate change would have been a front ranking issue.
    Remember at the time the media was full of pictures of BB taking Latham tree hugging.
    BB was aware of the issue at the time, it’s just (to him) the trees were more important – he was being self indulgent.

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