Morgan: 57.5-42.5

The Poll Bludger is still in Summer Edition mode, so pardon me for being less than timely with the news that Roy Morgan attached a question on voting intention to its recent 715-sample phone survey on consumer confidence, which had Labor leading 57.5-42.5. Something like normal service will resume as of tomorrow night’s Newspoll. Other news:

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that “branches in the Sutherland Shire seat of Cook are being furiously stacked in what moderates say is an attempt to ward off a potential challenge by the far right to the sitting Liberal member, Scott Morrison”. However, Right sources deny any such plan and instead argue the stacking is being conducted in pursuit of the moderates’ own designs against Morrison. Central to the ongoing dispute is Michael Towke, whose preselection win upon the retirement of Bruce Baird at the 2007 election was overturned by the party’s state executive following reports of branch-stacking activities and extravagant claims made in his CV. The seat instead went to the well-connected but factionally unaligned Morrison, who went on to suffer humiliation at the hands of the local Right-controlled branches which refused his membership application a few months after he entered parliament. Talk of ongoing Right designs on the seat received further impetus when Towke secured the position of Cook electoral council secretary. Coorey reports there are rumours afoot that the Right will seek to have state upper house MP Marie Ficarra depose Morrison, making her own position available to Towke – although this was “laughed off” by a “senior Right source”.

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports the Labor national executive has given Kevin Rudd and the five-member national executive committee (Anthony Albanese, Mark Arbib, Mark Butler, Bill Shorten and Bill Ludwig) extensive powers over federal preselections. State branches will not be able to start preselection processes without the permission of the committee, which will further have the power to replace sitting members – significantly including Belinda Neal, the troubled member for Robertson.

Andrew Landeryou at VexNews reports that Victorian Liberal leader Ted Baillieu, director Tony Nutt and president David Kemp have moved without reference to the party’s administration committee to truncate the preselection process for next year’s state election from eight weeks to four. Baillieu opponents say this is a move to shore up the position of his backers Andrew McIntosh (Kew), Helen Shardey (Caulfield) and Kim Wells (Scoresby). Landeryou also relates rumours about the possible departure of Liberal deputy leader Louise Asher, the member for Brighton.

• Liberal Party members in the Victorian federal seat of Corangamite, which the party lost in 2007, will today vote for a candidate at the next election. The front-runners are said to be Sarah Henderson, former 7:30 Report host and daughter of the late former Geelong state MP Ann Henderson, and Rod Nockles, internet security expert and former Howard government adviser. Others who have been mentioned at various stages include Victorian Farmers Federation president Simon Ramsay, more recently mentioned in relation to Wannon; former Kennett government minister Ian Smith; Graham Harris, head of the Corangamite electorate council; Simon Price, unsuccessful Colac Otway Shire Council candidate and former electorate officer to Stewart McArthur; and Michael King, owner of Kings Australia funeral services. (UPDATE: Sarah Henderson wins. See Andrew Landeryou and his comments thread for much confusion over who backed whom.)

• There was renewed talk this week that Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden could be moving to the lower house. It was initially suggested he would take the seat of Keilor, expected to be forcibly vacated by controversial Right faction numbers man George Seitz. However, Madden has ruled this out, saying it would not be a good look for him to take the seat given the role of his staffer Hakki Suleyman in the Brimbank City Council controversies which are set to initiate Seitz’s departure. Madden said he did not want, but would not rule out, taking the retiring Judy Maddigan’s seat of Essendon. Prior to the 2006 election, it was planned that Madden would be accommodated in Bundoora due to the reduction in the size of the Legislative Council, but a rearrangement following Mary Delahunty’s departure from Northcote saw him stay put.

• The New South Wales Nationals’ annual state conference has resolved to proceed with an exciting plan in which a candidate in a yet-to-be-determined state electorate will be chosen by an American-style open primary, in which all voters in the electorate will be able to participate.

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.

879 comments on “Morgan: 57.5-42.5”

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  1. Is there any truth in the rumour that the Greens are sponsoring the re-make of The Greenacres?

    Starring Christine Milne as Eva Garbor and Bob Brown to complete the odd couple.

    😉 😉

  2. Fielding linking his religious anti-science views to being an engineering again…

    Engineers across Australia jump off the roof.

  3. [• The New South Wales Nationals’ annual state conference has resolved to proceed with an exciting plan in which a candidate in a yet-to-be-determined state electorate will be chosen by an American-style open primary, in which all voters in the electorate will be able to participate.]

    The Nationals tried something similar in the seat of Farrer after Tim Fischer’s retirement, where they held a series of community forums across the electorate before voting on the candidate.

    The media breathlessly reported on it at the time as a powerful process which would ensure that the candidate selected had broad community appeal and support.

    Of course, in the end, only voters interested in who the Nationals candidate might be turned up (i.e. the candidates and their close personal friends) and the final vote was left to National party members, who (predictably) elected someone exactly like themselves and chose a candidate OLDER than the retiring Fischer who was soundly trounced at the election by the middle aged woman preselected through the Liberal party’s far more restrictive process.

    The point with the American primaries is that they’re electing a President, not a local member. Even then, it takes a huge effort by candidates to get people to turn out and vote and they spend millions making that happen. In the end, it’s still largely the party faithful who rock up.

  4. Here is a link to an article by Juan Cole at Informed Comment stating that the Iranian election was solen. He explains how their system works, and some irregularities in the official results that give good reason to believe his claim. Mousavi’s results in Tabriz are implausibly low.

  5. Oz

    I’m at the point where I don’t really want to hear what Fielding said most recently, athough fortunately I haven’t seen any reports yet. I think its getting to the point though where Engineers Australia needs to say something to distance the profession from Fielding and his claims.

    To fight Fielding with facts, here is an excerpt from Engineers Australia’s official CC policy:

    “Engineers Australia believes that Australia must act swiftly and proactively in line with
    global expectations to address climate change as an economic, social and environmental
    risk. Our role has been, and will continue to be, in leading capacity building to innovate for
    more sustainable, eco-efficient and less polluting outcomes in engineering practice. We
    believe that addressing the costs of atmospheric emissions will lead to increasing our
    competitive advantage by minimising risks and creating new economic opportunities.

    Engineers Australia:
    – Supports the Australian Government’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and supports
    the formulation of a further international agreement.
    – Strongly encourages the direction of energy policy reform, recognising that there is
    some way to go before achieving the stated policy objectives of: providing efficient,
    reliable and competitively priced energy; responsibly developing Australia’s energy
    resources, technology and expertise; and mitigating environmental impacts of energy
    production, transformation, supply and use.
    – Strongly encourages actions to address the on-going growth in energy demand. It is
    essential that the rate of growth is minimised, if not reversed, and clearly linked to
    improvements in efficiency and demand management.
    – Agrees with the position taken by the Stern Review that climate change is an
    economic, social and environmental problem.
    – Believes that it is in Australia’s interests to move quickly to limit greenhouse gases.”

    The full policy is here:

  6. I doubt Fielding is a Member of Engineer Australia? If he was I wonder if action could be taken for breaching the Code of Ethics?

  7. I can guarantee you Engineers Australia won’t make a public statement on its own accord. You, and all other sensible engineers should drop them a line.

    I can see the media picking it up, even if it’s ironically.

  8. [If he was I wonder if action could be taken for breaching the Code of Ethics?]

    I don’t think anything in membership binds all members to every facet of Engineers Australia’s policy.

    It’s not the Labor Party!

  9. [Madden said he did not want, but would not rule out, taking the retiring Judy Maddigan’s seat of Essendon.]

    An interesting challenge, this. A sentence with a parenthetical clause in the middle must be grammatical if the clause is removed. “Madden said he did not want taking the retiring Judy Maddigan’s seat of Essendon” is not grammatical. It should be “Madden said he did not want to take the retiring Judy Maddigan’s seat of Essendon.” But the sentence must also grammatical and logical with the parenthetical clause included, and “Madden said he did not want, but would not rule out, to take the retiring Judy Maddigan’s seat of Essendon” is neither. The problem is that there is no form of the verb “to take” that can grammatically follow both “did not want” and “would not rule out”, so the sentence must be restructured. “Madden said he did not want to take the retiring Judy Maddigan’s seat of Essendon, but would not rule it out” would do the job. Moral: parenthetical clauses are tricky and should be avoided.

  10. Not bound to policy but i’m pretty sure members need to agree to the code of ethics. Correct on number 7.
    “Tenet 3. Members shall act only in areas of their competence
    and in a careful and diligent manner;”

  11. [“Tenet 3. Members shall act only in areas of their competence
    and in a careful and diligent manner;”]

    Ok let’s start a campaign for Fielding to get thrown out of Engineers Australia. Or if he’s not a member, a public repudiation, so everyone knows he’s talking crap when he says “Being an engineer…”.

  12. Oz

    This is from Engineers Australia Code of Ethics titled “Public Cometn or Statements”, page 7:

    “Members should display restraint in the manner in which they comment on engineering matters, especially in circumstances where the member, by explicit reference or implication, gives the public reason to believe that their comments are made on the basis of relevant knowledge.”

  13. Fielding is commenting as a politician which is clearly his primary job. And we should welcome dissent from any organisations policy, not discouraging it. Engineers Australia could publicly disagree with Fielding but he is entitled to his opinion.

  14. More Costello watching in the Melbourne Age. The most interesting quote being:

    “For now, Costello is keeping his powder dry. Judging by the problems looming for the Coalition, this could prove the most most sensible strategy, assuming he is acting in self-interest.

    As one veteran puts it: “The party has almost no money, it has no research, it has almost no federal staff. Labor would have 100 political campaign staff around the country. We’ve got about 10. Our campaign infrastructure has just basically disintegrated and we’ve lost some seriously experienced people. The loss of corporate knowledge has been huge.”

    Hardly a tempting prospect, fighting an election that could come as early as March with almost no money, few policies, little research, few campaign staff and little chance of winning.”

  15. GG

    Why would they need researchers? The sheer intellectual firepower on the opposition front bench should be ample to come up with their own new ideas and policies. Plus, being down-to-earth middle class types, they will already know exactly how conditions are for the man on the street 😀

    Seriously though, I am not surprised about the loss of people. After the Qld state result I heard one of their senior campaign staff left despite to me running a fairly good campaign right up to the part of the final debate where Springborg simply couldn’t state how he woudl fix the debt. It wasn’t the staffers’ fault they had the wrong candidate. That sort of scapegoating won’t encourage anyone with a brain to work for them.

  16. and this:
    [preparing to relaunch his memoir with a new chapter discussing the global financial crisis and future directions for the party]
    a relaunch! hopefully this will be out before christmas.

  17. There is a poll in the South Australian Sunday Mail this morning trying to drum up the “independents threatening safe labor seats”, doing polls for State Seats of Port Adelaide (Treasurer Foley) and Cheltenham (Minister Weatherill). Both more or less failed to do so..

    In the true spirit of advertiser/sunday mail polling they failed to provide the sample size and did not exclude the informal/refused or unsure’s from the primary vote totals. Nor is it available online and it contains some horrible push polling!

    Cheltenham | calculated percent | 2006
    ALP 53.0 58.2 62.7
    LP 19.0 20.9 17
    GRN 7.0 7.7 6
    DEM 2.0 2.2 4.4
    FF 5.0 5.5 9.9
    Ind 5.0 5.5 0
    informal 1.0

    ALP 70 (75.3 2006)
    LP 30 (24.7 2006)

    Port Adelaide
    Published | Real | 2006
    ALP 51 56.0 63.6
    LP 22 24.2 18.7
    GRN 5 5.5 6.6
    DEM 2 2.2 0
    FF 4 4.4 5.7
    Ind 7 7.7 1.8 (one nation)
    informal 1

    Two Party
    ALP 67 (75.7)
    LP 33 (24.3)

    Part two coming (with the push poll questions!)

  18. GG
    They would be better off spending the money finding a new candidate. I don’t think Rann has been a great premier (though Conlon and Foley have done good jobs) but what chance has MHS got? He has come up with one grandiose scheme after another and even the Advertiser has grown reluctant to give him unlimited support. Maybe they shoudl run a “Pauline Hanson” type campaign and bank the savings 😉

  19. 3

    The Americans hold primaries for the candidates for the major parties for most elected offices. The president is the only one that gets real international coverage.

  20. [Fielding is commenting as a politician which is clearly his primary job. And we should welcome dissent from any organisations policy, not discouraging it. Engineers Australia could publicly disagree with Fielding but he is entitled to his opinion.]

    He’s entitled to his opinion, but if he is using his status as an ‘engineer’ and is an EA member (I would sincerely hope not) then he has breached their code of ethics and should be called on it

  21. Alrighty each poll had 4 questions, one of them was just the “how likely are you to change your vote before the next election”

    Doesn’t really say anything useful, but I was wondering if someone would be able to use the numbers to calculate the sample sizes used in the polls by working out the only valid combination for the minor parties.

    Cheltenham ALP LP DEM GRN FF
    Ver Likely 04% 05% 00% 10% 04%
    Qui Likely 13% 16% 10% 09% 28%
    Not Likely 82% 75% 90% 81% 53%
    dontknow 01% 04% 00% 00% 15%

    Ie logically the Democrats had 20 votes, 2 and 18 making a sample size of 400?

    Pt Adelaide ALP LP DEM GRN FF
    Ver Likely 02% 09% 25% 00% 04%
    Qui Likely 13% 08% 15% 45% 28%
    Not Likely 83% 81% 60% 55% 53%
    dontknow 02% 02% 00% 00% 00%

    Anyone wanna prove there maths ability?

  22. Socrates,

    Yes, policy development and research for the Libs has always been regarded like an ashtray on a motor bike.

    The Liberals don’t do “losing campaigns” very well. Unfortunately, it is the only thing they do well at the moment.

  23. Even if he’s not a member EA should restate their position on climate change. He’s got a national platform for espousing his crackpot views and linking them with the profession of engineering.

    If he was a doctor and was jumping up and down shouting about some hokey medicine and getting headlines, I doubt the AMA would sit there quietly, nor would you expect them too.

  24. Fielding is irrelevant. Turnbull is the target. The CPRS bill will not pass unless Turnbull backs down, and that’s where pressure needs to be applied. Soon we will discover whether Hunt and his fellow moderates have any gumption.

  25. Ok onto the push polling!

    First to the epic fail.

    Question was asked to respondents that indicated they voted ALP in 2006.

    Port Adelaide
    “Will the state government’s handling of the Diver Derrick Bridge cause you to vote for or against sitting member Kevin Foley or won’t it effect your vote at the next state election”

    Vote against Foley…. 3%!!!
    Wont affact my vote 91%
    Vote for Foley 4%
    Don’t know 2%

    Yeah not seeing a indie running on that are we…


    “Will the sale of the Cheltenham Park Racecourse cause you to vote for or against sitting member Jay Weatherill or wont it affect your vote at the next state election.

    Vote Against Weatherill – 15%
    Wont affect my vote – 73
    Vote for Weatherill – 6%
    Dont know – 6%

    I think the mail were looking for a much bigger number than that, still not the epic push polling fail that the Foley question was.

  26. 24

    That poll has Not likely for both Labor and Liberal for a minimum of 57% of Cheltenham and a minimum of 64% for Port Adelaide. I would think that this is unlikely to be the reality.

  27. The point with the American primaries is that they’re electing a President, not a local member. Even then, it takes a huge effort by candidates to get people to turn out and vote and they spend millions making that happen. In the end, it’s still largely the party faithful who rock up.

    I’m not sure where this idea came from, but candidates for just about all US offices are selected by primary – house, senate and president among them.

    It’s also pretty far from the truth to suggest that it’s the party faithful who vote. In the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary, held this week, turnout dropped immensely from the last presidential primary – and there were still about 300,000 people voting. Primaries done properly generally make sure you get the most electable candidate. Having a few old fogies at a community forum select a candidate isn’t even a primary at all.

  28. GG – won’t Malcolm just pay for the election himself?

    Perhaps Cossie could throw in some of the lovely lucre he is making from his books. lol.

  29. vote1

    There’s a renegade radiologist, Dr Sebben, who works at the QEH and he’s always threatening to run against whoever is the member for the QEH area (I think it’s Foley). He could get quite a few votes from the “save the QEH” bandwagon. For some reason, the people out there love that dump. Personally, I think it should have been bulldozed ages ago.

  30. BH,

    You sometimes wonder that if Costello and Turnbull did a “dodgy” donation plea a la Brown whether the punters would choose to let the Libs die.

  31. “Attack of the Renegade Radiologist” – who would play the radiologist? Who would play the heroic Rannman, who stops the evil Renegade Radiologist armed only with a fishfork and a media release?

  32. [CONFISCATED drug money was used by the former government as a slush fund to pork-barrel Labor electorates, an audit has allegedly revealed.

    It found more than 80 per cent of cash doled out as part of the criminal property confiscation grants program since 2003 went to groups in Labor electorates.

    Just over $9.2 million of overall funding of $10.8 million went to groups in Labor constituencies, according to the special audit, which included investigations by the department and the office of the attorney-general.],21598,25631650-948,00.html

    Party line, Frank?

  33. Probably most of the punters would, GG – the diehards would still throw in the cash.

    I hope Joe Ludwig reintroduces the bill re declaring donations openly above $1,000. I’ve always thought we need to know exactly where the money comes from for all pollies.

    William’s piece above re Scott Morrison is interesting – I thought Morrison was always part of the religious right. Am I getting him mixed up with someone else who is already in Canberra.

  34. Morrison is a *relative* moderate. He’s well to the right of Bruce Baird, but he’s not nearly rightwing enough for the nutters now running the NSW Libs. The far right are also linked to the Lebanese (Christian) mafia which provides their branch-stacking fodder. That’s how a shonk like Towke got pre-selected in 2007, even though everyone knew he would probably be de-selected, and that he’d lose the seat if he ran.

  35. Psephos – do you care to comment on whether you think they will ‘do’ Morrison?

    Where do I get the link for this morning’s interview – Oakes and Gillard please

  36. I have no personal knowledge of this, but I doubt they will succeed in rolling him (although they did roll Stephen Mutch after one term in this seat in 1998). If they do roll Morrison it will be a sure sign that the loonies and crooks have taken over the NSW Libs – which is the one thing that might save NSW Labor.

  37. [But Mr Hyde said neither he nor Mr McGinty had recommended payouts based on whether groups were located in Liberal or Labor electorates.

    He said his electorate received so much cash because the headquarters of many groups who received funding were based there.

    He said all the guidelines and rules had been followed.

    Mr Hyde said funding for a bus had been approved for a Christian group that did not want to apply for LotteryWest funding because it did not believe in being a recipient of gambling monies.

    “Certainly I or Jim McGinty never looked at whether it was Labor or Liberal,” Mr Hyde said.]
    How do you prove otherwise (36) Oz?

  38. 42

    No the UK was not electing people other than the Tories, UKIP, Labour, the LibDems, The Greens, the BNP, the SNP, Plaid, Sinn Féin, the UUP and the DUP.

  39. Tssk, tssk…shouldn’t make comments about American politics, which interests me hardly at all* and thus occupies only a few of my brain cells. Apologies for talking a load of twaddle.

    What I said about Farrer is true, however, and it didn’t work the way it was supposed to.

    * I know it should, but it doesn’t. Although I am reading Hillary’s autobiography at the moment.

  40. Oz is pissed off because it was confiscated drug money being spent in Labor electorates. Given the source, it should have gone to Green electorates. 🙂

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