Newspoll 56-44; ACNielsen 58-42; Galaxy 56-44

An unprecedented triple whammy of opinion polls is disastrous enough for the Coalition to lend force to Dennis Shanahan‘s assertion that “Malcolm Turnbull’s political career has been smashed in just one week”. In turn:

• Arriving a day earlier than usual, Newspoll shows that the Coalition recovery detected a fortnight ago has come to a sudden end, with Labor’s lead back out from 53-47 to 56-44. The parties have also exchanged three points on the primary vote, Labor up to 44 per cent and the Coalition down to 37 per cent. However, the real shock is that Turnbull’s personal ratings have suffered what Shanahan calls “the single biggest fall in the survey’s 25-year history”: his approval rating has plunged from 44 per cent to 25 per cent, while his disapproval is up from 37 per cent to 58 per cent. Fifty-two per cent do not believe that John Grant received preferential treatment from the Prime Minister against only 24 per cent who do. Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is up from 57-25 to 65-18.

ACNielsen, which is hopefully back to monthly polling as we enter the second half of the term, has Labor’s two-party lead up from 53-47 to 58-42. Labor’s primary vote is up two points to 46 per cent while the Coalition’s is down six to 37 per cent. Fifty-three per cent say the OzCar affair has left them with a less favourable impression of Malcolm Turnbull, whose approval is down 11 points to 32 per cent with his disapproval has shot up 13 points to 60 per cent. Turnbull comes third as preferred Liberal leader with 18 per cent, behind Peter Costello on 37 per cent and Joe Hockey on 21 per cent. Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is up from 64-28 to 66-25, and his approval rating is up three points to 67 per cent.

Galaxy has Labor’s primary vote up a point to 44 per cent and the Coalition’s down two to 30 per cent. Sixty-one per cent believe Kevin Rudd has been open and honest about the OzCar affair, while 51 per cent “believed Mr Turnbull had been dishonest or somewhat deceitful”.

Once again, Victoria dominates the latest round of electoral news:

• The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has tabled two major reports which I haven’t got round to sinking my teeth into: the regular conduct of the federal election report, and that into the Commwealth Electoral (Above-the-Line Voting) Amendment Bill 2008.

Rick Wallace of The Australian reports that complicated quarreling in the Victorian ALP has thrown up “rogue challengers” against at least ten state MPs. Keilor MP George Seitz, who faces enforced retirement in the wake of the Victorian Ombudsman’s report into Brimbank City Council, is said to be largely reponsible: Andrew Landeryou at VexNews identifies his state nominees as Tomislav Tomic (against Bundoora MP Colin Brooks), Seeralan Arumugam Gunaratnam (Carrum MP Jenny Lindell), Raymond Congreve (Lara MP John Eren), Rosa Mitrevski (Mill Park MP Lily D’Ambrosio), Philip Cassar (Mordialloc MP Janice Munt), Teodoro Tuason (Narre Warren North MP Luke Donnellan), Teresa Kiselis and Mate Barun (both taking on Northcote MP Fiona Richardson), Josefina Agustin (Prahran MP Tony Lupton), and Blagoja Bozinovski (Thomastown MP Peter Batchelor). For good measure, Seitz candidate Manfred Kriechbaum is taking on federal MP Maria Vamvakinou in Calwell. Other challengers are explained by Wallace in terms the “stability pact” forged between the Left and the Right forces associated with Bill Shorten and Steven Conroy, and counter-moves by rival Right unions seeking to forge ties with some of the more militant unions of the Left. This presumably accounts for Australian Manufacturing Workers Union candidate Andrew Richards joining the aforementioned Kriechbaum in a three-horse race against Vamvakinou in Calwell, Lisa Zanatta of the Construction Mining Forestry and Energy Union challenging Lynne Kosky in Altona, and Kathleen Matthews-Ward of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association joining the Seitz challengers to Fiona Richardson in Northcote. The option of referring preselections to the party’s national executive remains available to John Brumby, who must be sorely tempted.

• Other challenges appear more obscure. A third Labor Unity candidate, Rick Garotti, is listed as a nominee against incumbent Craig Langdon in Ivanoe, in addition to the previously discussed Anthony Carbines. In Preston, Labor Unity MP Robin Scott is being challenged by Moreland councillor Anthony Helou (once of the Socialist Left, but more recently of Labor Unity) and Tamer Kairouz, said by Landeryou to be backed by upper house MP Nazih Elasmar, a principal of a Right sub-faction also linked with Theo Theophanous (not sure if any relation to Kororoit MP Marlene Kairouz). Two Socialist Left members are under challenge from factional colleagues, which Andrew Landeryou suggests can be put down to dealings between the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and unions on the Right: Yuroke MP Liz Beattie faces a challenge from Colleen Gibbs, an official with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, while Darebin councillor Timothy Laurence has nominated against Steve Herbert in Eltham. Andrew Lappos, who in the past has been associated with the Left, is listed as a challenger to the Right’s Telmo Languiller in Derrimut, but it was reported last week that Languiller’s preselection had been secured by the national executive.

• The preselection contest for Brunswick has taken on new significance with the news that Phil Cleary will contest the seat as an independent. Cleary defeated the Labor candidate in the federal seat of Wills in the 1992 by-election that followed Bob Hawke’s retirement and was narrowly re-elected in 1993, before losing to Labor’s Kelvin Thomson in 1996. He has more recently worked for the Electrical Trades Union, which under the leadership of Dean Mighell has disaffiliated with the ALP and given support to the Greens. Three candidates are listed for Labor preselection, each a colleague of outgoing member Carlo Carli in the Socialist Left: Jane Garrett, Slater and Gordon lawyer and former adviser to Steve Bracks; Enver Erdogan, 23-year-old Moreland councillor and staffer to House of Represenatatives Speaker Harry Jenkins, said to be aligned with the Kim Carr sub-faction; and Alice Pryor, also a Moreland councillor, aligned with the rival Left sub-faction associated with federal Bruce MP Alan Griffin. Former party state secretary Eric Locke has proved a non-starter; Andrew Landeryou reports he has withdrawn in favour of Garrett, who would appear to be the front-runner. According to David Rood of The Age, Garrett also has the backing of John Brumby.

• Andrew Landeryou further reports that National Union of Workers state secretary Antony Thow has been “elected unopposed” for the third position on Labor’s Victorian Senate ticket. If that means what it appears to, it’s a significant story the mainstream media appears to have ignored, as Labor would seem very likely on current form to repeat its 2007 election feat of winning a third seat.

• The Moonee Valley Community News reports it is “not expected” that Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden will be opposed in the Labor preselection for Essendon, to which the party has assigned him so sitting member South Eastern Metropolitan MLC Bob Smith can be given a safer seat in Western Metropolitan. Mark Kennedy, a former mayor of Moonee Valley, was earlier reported to have ambitions to replace the retiring Judy Maddigan.

• Federal Liberal MP Chris Pearce has announced he will not seek re-election in his Melbourne seat of Aston. Pearce gave his party a morale-boosting by-election win in the seat in July 2001, limiting the Labor swing to 3.7 per cent – which has since stood as exhibit A in the case that the Howard government’s re-election the following November could not entirely be put down to the subsequent Tampa episode and September 11. He was closely associated throughout his time in politics with Peter Costello, and the fact and timing of his departure have inevitably been linked to Costello’s shock announcement early last week. No discussion yet that I’m aware of as to who might replace him. Dennis Shanahan of The Australian reports that “another swathe of resignations” from federal Liberals is expected when New South Wales and Queensland redistributions are finalised early next year, although no names are named.

• The ABC reports that three Western Australian state Labor MPs, headed by the factionally unaligned Alannah MacTiernan, have moved at state conference for preselection reforms allowing “compulsory secret ballots for preselections, with delegates completing their own papers”.

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.

1,641 comments on “Newspoll 56-44; ACNielsen 58-42; Galaxy 56-44”

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  1. Finnigans
    [Diog, relax. i am only going where you are going, down the lazy river.]
    In that vein you will be pleased to know that having finished work early in Port Macquarie today, and having lots of time before my return flight, I had lunch down by the Hastings River, and two dolphins were playing around beside the seawall for an hour and a half, right beside my lunch cafe, in the warm afternoon sun. Do you know them? I think they were chasing whitebait, because the cormorants were diving. With a couple of Belgian beers as additional company it wasn’t a bad part of the working day (for me, not them).

  2. [NZ Maori also have these common polymorphisms. Can’t see him calling Maori “Mongoloid”.]
    Actually he has
    Mrs G and myself were treated to a private lecture and at one stage Finns did make that point.

    Up until you raised it,MarkT, I was unaware of the negative connotations.

    Which I have now duly noted.

  3. [What does LSD and mushrooms have to do with Newspoll, ACNielsen and Galaxy????]

    It’s how shannas and the PD intepret the data???

  4. Mr. Speaker errrraaa the Members on your right are not being relevant and i ask you to bring them back to the topic Mr. Speaker they are defying the chair…

  5. Glen, I agree. Being am early baby boomer, I have seen this subject debated and discussed ad-norsium for forty years and still no consensus.

  6. The Finnigans
    No, only had the mobile phone camera, which I didn’t think would be up to the task. But I do have a receipt from the cafe I can scan 🙂

  7. [grace pettigrew
    Jul 2nd, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Rudd and Gillard going for News Ltd was good fun, hope they keep it up. And they should also have a look at the ABC News Rooms, where the hourly news bulletins are written, and broadcast across the nation.

    It seems our post-Howard culture wars ABC news writers do it to a set formula these days: first read News Ltd to find out what the news is, like melboure crime dynasty developments, the latest road kill in Argentina, Michael Jackson’s children, and which footballer is confessing to rape today, and then repeat. Alternatively, report a positive government initiative, and follow it immediately with an opposition spokesman frothing about how disgusting this is, and it will mean the end of the world. Follow this with five minutes of reporting on every men’s sport being played on the planet, including all the groin injuries.

    Howard succeeded better than we might be prepared to admit, at least inside our ABC News Rooms.]

    Grace sure nails one of my pet hates here, the incestuous nature of the relationship between News Ltd hacks and the way that the ABC feeds off them for their on-line news service and current affairs, Insiders etc.

  8. Apologies, Glen and other PBers. I was just trying to prove my journalistic genius.

    Fail! Although I will say that Maori people are thought to descend from the indigenous peoples of Taiwan, and they share with me – despite my Celtic descent – a common problem with alcohol.

    And dope. And other thingies I won’t mention here.

  9. Further to my 1230 and Tony Abbott’s bizarre remarks on smoking, I found a source that listed donations from tobacco companies to Australian political parties. Since Latham rejected their cash in 2004 they only donate to the Liberals and National Party.

    Here is the data for the last complete year reported (2006/07):

    2006–07 Liberal Nat Party

    Philip Morris 92,050 30,100

    BATA 161,409 3300

    I think my “cash for coments” theory is confirmed. Abbott isn’t insane, just placating his donors. It would be interesting to ask how much they (Liberals) have received in recent years.

  10. [Fail! Although I will say that Maori people are thought to descend from the indigenous peoples of Taiwan]
    Double Fail markT

    where did the formosans come from???

  11. Great article on the climate change issue in the New Yorker (29 June). About NASA scientist James Hansen who was the pioneer of the science but has few political skills -and also generally on the science/politics clash over what must be done. One sentence sticks in my mind:
    [“Just because the world desperately needs a solution that satisfies both the scientific and the political constraints doesn’t mean one necessarily exists.”]
    Extract here. You need to register to get the full article.
    That’s the place – I was at the right hand side of the most northerly street beside the river – a little inverted U. I could hear the dolphins breathing when they surfaced. Their breath smells of fish actually (what do you know!), having had them all around me on occasions when surfing in days gone by.

  12. You guys, you’re “All Eyeballs – No Insight. You are of limited intellect . You are massively ignorant. Who do you think you are to criticise the main stream media (MSM as you call it). This is war! The newspapers are going to take on the Bloggers head-on on the net.

    Bring it on DINOSAUR 😈

    But you have a slight problem – NOBODY is going to PAY for your lousy content on the net. 🙂 LOSER 😀

  13. I’ve been out of the loop for the last 3 or 4 hours – what’s this bizzo about Rudd (presumably as a response to Hartigan’s diatribe yesterday), charging News Ltd with “journalistic retaliation” today?

  14. Hi Centre. If you don’t like the media, don’t read it. Don’t watch it, don’t listen to it, don’t quote it, don’t refer to anything published in it, don’t respond to anyone else’s reference to it. That means newspapers, radio, TV, blogs, social media, or anything else I’m forgetting that is created by the media.

    I’m sure you’ll win in the end.

  15. Do you guys remember how the Liberals opposed Fuelwatch? Do you remeber how the MSM kept criticising the concept? Well News Ltd intend to provide a subscriber pays web site where you can check for the price of fuel offered by service stations as part of their content.

    Can you believe it!

  16. Poss

    hartigans speech was a boost to the troops

    If anything,and from published data, his comments were aimed smack bang at the advertisers who utilise the news rags.

    by painting bloggers as teh devil incarnate, he cunningly portrayed news as the last bastion of truth justice and the amer ooops australian way

    decomstructing his speech, one is lead directly to what he is implying ie 600k recipes downloaded, versus the big bad wold (read nastyhorribles bloggses)

    I understand he has contacted PJ, to see whether he can play smeagol in the upcoming thriller “the hobbitt”

  17. The news is better from the US (Obama can work: a room, a Congress, and, seemingly, a Senate) and the pressure builds on the Turnbull opposition on the emissions bill:
    [U.S. vote boosts hopes for Australia carbon laws
    Australia’s emissions trading laws look more likely to pass a hostile Senate after U.S. Congressional support for a similar climate bill eroded political opposition in Australia to carbon trading.
    Analysts said the passing of the Clean Energy and Security Act by the U.S. lower house on Friday has forced Australia’s Liberal/National opposition coalition to rethink its policy of stalling the passage of emissions trading laws.
    …Those views have lost some validity now, analysts say.]

  18. JV1569

    Thanks; interesting link. I sometimes worry along similar linesmyself. Economics is so dominant in policy debate that we always look for an economic policy decision to any problem whether its an economic problem or not. It isn’t that great at colective action problems. Why should we expect it to solve scientific problems anyway?

    I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t do the ETS, but I fear we will get nowhere until we force the polluters to stop or instead tax them out of existence. I don’t think as a society we will do that till the evident harm to us becomes too great to ignore. By then it will be too late for places like Darfur and Bangladesh (and Greenland of course).

  19. John Hartigan was a great friend of my dad’s.

    I could tell you some stories about him, but I won’t, coz yous all hates da meeja.

  20. [John Hartigan was a great friend of my dad’s.]

    Lloyd George knew my paternal grandfather (they went to the same school in wales and correspond until his death)

    Cos of the bloody meeja I wont tell you any stories

  21. Gus, my great great great great ….. grand father jumped ship in 1541 when the Ming Dynasty Admiral Zheng Ho visited Broom, WA.

  22. [Gus, my great great great great ….. grand father jumped ship in 1541 when the Ming Dynasty Admiral Zheng Ho visited Broom, WA.]

    Pearls or Piles?

  23. So you don’t want to know about the time my old man and Harto had an alcohol-fuelled all-in brawl over a typo and what happened next?


  24. [So you don’t want to know about the time my old man and Harto had an alcohol-fuelled all-in brawl over a typo and what happened next?]

    pearls or piles?

  25. [my old man and Harto]

    MT, i didn’t realise you have the Indonesian connection with President Suharto.

    Did your old man got any kickbacks from Pak Harto?

  26. Glen

    I respect your honesty re:Higgins though its not just about Brough. Its a bit dissappointing for those of us hoping to see some regeneration and genuine new ideas in the Libs. The seats being parcelled out now could be quite important in the long term for the Libs. They represent opportunities for long term change.

    Consider how long it took Labor to reform after the 1996 loss considering Rudd, Swan and Gillard were not then in the parliament. Any old libs who think the electors will welcome them back into office after trying to scare the country into recession are dreaming. You guys need fresh blood badly.

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