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. Good result for the Liberals in Newspoll. Though, it is only peripherally interesting, given that they’re basically back where they were at the 2007 election.

  2. I am not too surpirsed by this poll for there has been a slight narrowing over the past three months or so and a lot of this has to do with the Economy and to a lesser extent the debate around ETS which is still a secondary issue to the Economy.

    so based on Antony Green’s site this is a six seat gain for the ALP not a bad result for a Government that has had a very large economic down turn.

  3. so the The Oz has tried to link the movement in primaries to the Joel Fitzgibbon resignation

    thats a bit of stretch, even for a paper than wanted him gone…..more likely to be a rogue poll

  4. [thats a bit of stretch, even for a paper than wanted him gone…..more likely to be a rogue poll]

    But wasn’t the dirty work done by The Age/Hearld and weren’t they calling for his head ?

  5. I actually think Cossie leaving might drop the Libs polling in the short term. Lots of voters think he’s a great economic manager and he was part of the reason Howard won 4 elections. They’ll see it as a drop in talent in the Liberal Party. And lots were hoping he would step up to the plate during the GFC.

    Turnbull is obviously thrilled, and so would many in his party be but I don’t think swinging voters will be.

  6. No 862

    Interesting point. You may well be right.

    I think Turnbull needs to but some more dries on the front bench. Get rid of Pyne, for one thing.

  7. I just posted a comment on the WA thread on the Four Corners show. (Silly me). Well I don’t see how anyone not being paid to do so would want to defend Labor on this one. A man dies in horrid circumstances, while being transferred after being denied bail on a minor drunkenness charge. That is indefensible. I thought both the former (Labor) minister and the departmental executive looked pathetically weak, one protesting that failing to do her job was not her job, the other mouthing off a meaningless apology obviously concocted by the departmental lawyer.

    IMO the former Labor government is to blame; they failed to allocate the resources, despite years of warning and booming budgets. If they were not to blame for this then you presumably don’t blame them for the mining boom or the rail line. At least after the Jayant Patel scandal in Qld, Beatty admitted there was a problem and tried to fix it. This one is government failure, like it or not. Trying to spin around it only discredits the spinner, and exposes their lack of ethics. Passing the buck to a private contractor, however negligent, when the government has done the contracting out in the first place, is arguing in bad faith.

  8. Glen, Rudd and Gillard should display more delight. Cossie was your security blanket.

    Now you are all alone, like a completely unknown, like a rolling stone. How does it feel?

  9. Well, cant say i’m thrilled at 53/47. Be interesting to know why?? The only really negative thing that seems to have happened during the period seems to be Fitzgibbon going and a change in Defence minster isn’t going to shift 4% of primary vote. Cant see CPRS shifting votes away from the ALP at the moment. News on the economy has been pretty upbeat.

    Although the trend for the ALP has been down for a while, it will be interesting to see if this is a consistent shift (i dont think it is) or a low outlier. Suggesting this an outlier isn’t whinging by the way. We know there are high ones and it follows there will be low ones. I’m genuinely interested in what PBers think may be the reasons behind the result.

  10. No 870

    Alex Hawke, perhaps? Although, he’s too inexperienced. If Ciobo can bring in more cardboard Kevs, he can be the MOB. 🙂

  11. Finns it feels as though a huge weight has been lifted off the Party and we can now go out boldly into the future and get on with it….

    Going to Costello now or after 2010 would have been like going to Kimbo after 2004 a waste of time…

    Time to look to the future…

  12. No government stays popular forever.
    Perhaps Possum can enlighten us on the longest period over which a government has stayed ahead in the polls. If Rudd hasn’t already broken the record he must be close to it.

  13. Well there you go: Talcum finally shuts up for a few weeks, and his numbers improve! It’ll be that, plus a bit of stat noise, if you ask me.

  14. Imacca! The Economy

    Lets remember that if the ALP had 57% support that has now dropped to 53% that could well be Liberal voters who at first like aspects of the Rudd Government but are now not happy with increasing job insecurity comfirming in the short term at least that the ALP are indeed a high debt high unemployment government.

    As you write the poll numbers move around and we know that Rudd is well in front but considering the current let of issues facing the Government this is actually a good poll result remembering the next election is next year.

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