Morgan: 57.5-42.5

The latest Morgan face-to-face survey (the accompanying spiel says telephone, but I believe this is a mistake) was conducted over the previous two weekends, and it shows no change worth mentioning on two-party preferred, with Labor’s lead down from 58-42 to 57.5-42.5. Both major parties have gained on the primary vote, Labor up 1.5 per cent to 48 per cent and the Coalition up 2.5 per cent to 37.5 per cent. These gains are at the expense of the Greens, down from 11.5 per cent to 8 per cent. Other news:

• The numbers in Western Australia’s finely balanced Legislative Assembly have changed for the second time in as many months following North West MP Vince Catania’s shock defection from Labor to the Nationals. Labor now has 26 seats out of 59 after the double blow of the Catania defection and the Fremantle by-election, while the Nationals are up from four to five – the same as they had in the last parliament, before one-vote one-value was introduced (at which time they had one member in the upper house, compared with their current five). The Liberals remain on 24, with the Greens on one and three independents. The influence of the latter has accordingly diminished, as the governing parties are now only one short of a majority in their own right. Catania’s defection has inevitably been interpreted as a blow for Labor leader Eric Ripper and another triumph for all-conquering Nationals leader Brendon Grylls. Against the latter interpretation must be weighed the fact that the Nationals have chosen to associate themselves with a man responsible for one of the most grotesque acts of disloyalty in Australia’s recent political history.

• The big loser from the proposed Queensland federal electoral boundaries published yesterday is up-and-coming Liberal MP Peter Dutton, whose electorate of Dickson is set to exchange urban hinterland areas for a Labor-voting chunk of suburbia around Kallangur. Antony Green, who writes at length on the curse of Dickson, calculates that Dutton’s existing margin of 0.1 per cent has turned into a notional Labor margin of 1.3 per cent. Peter Lindsay’s Townsville-based seat of Herbert has also crossed the divide, from 0.2 per cent Liberal to 0.4 per cent Labor. The Courier-Mail reports that one early hopeful for the new Gold Coast hinterland seat slated to be called Wright (although AAP reports the name might suffer the same fate as it did the last time it was suggested) is Logan councillor Hajnal Ban, who attracted a fair bit of attention as the Nationals candidate for Forde in 2007 and now hopes to get the nod from the Liberal National Party. Ban was more recently in the news when it emerged she had undergone an alarming sounding surgical procedure to increase the length of her legs.

• Former Peter Costello staffer Kelly O’Dwyer now looks all but certain to replace her old boss as Liberal candidate for Higgins after the withdrawal of her main rival, Tim Wilson. Rick Wallace of The Australian reports that Wilson “is believed to have pulled out to maintain his focus on advocacy in free trade and climate change through the IPA”. Nominations close next week.

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Philip Ruddock is “almost certain to be challenged for preselection for his safe seat of Berowra”. His likely challenger is former Young Liberals president Noel McCoy, with the local numbers believed to be evenly poised. Another source quoted by Coorey says McCoy might challenge Bill Heffernan’s Senate position if unsuccessful in Berowra. The Herald’s Mark Davis reports Heffernan’s position is in jeopardy in any case as he has earned the displeasure of the leadership of the “religious right”.

• Phillip Coorey further provides a list of possible candidates to replace Brendan Nelson in Bradfield in addition to the oft-mentioned Arthur Sinodinos and Tom Switzer: Julian Leeser, Paul Fletcher and David Coleman.

• The West Australian reports that Tangney MP Dennis Jensen’s pleas to today’s Liberal Party state council meeting for his preselection defeat by Glenn Piggott to be overturned “will fall on deaf ears”, and that he is likely to run as an independent. UPDATE: The West Australian reports that the state council has in fact decided to hear submissions from each of the three candidates (which interestingly keeps Libby Lyons in the loop) over the coming weeks before reaching a final decision.

Michael Owen of The Australian reports that Mia Handshin, Labor’s narrowly unsuccessful candidate for the Adelaide seat of Sturt at the 2007 federal election, is a shoo-in to contest the seat again if she wishes to do so, having locked in the support of Senator and Right faction powerbroker Don Farrell. Handshin says she is “still very carefully considering”. The front-runner for Labor preselection in Boothby is Annabel Digance, a former nurse and member of the SA Water Board.

• Labor’s member for Ivanhoe in Victoria, Craig Langdon, has been defeated for preselection by Anthony Carbines, Banyule councillor, chief-of-staff to Education Minister Bronwyn Pike and step-son of upper house MP Elaine Carbines. Langdon apparently finished one vote behind his Labor Unity colleague after the votes of the party’s Public Office Selection Committee were added to those from local branches, the latter of which I’m told favoured Langdon 71 votes to 46.

• Following the blunt dismissal of a rape charge against him in Melbourne Magistrates Court, it remains unclear if Victorian Labor MP Theo Theophanous will seek to retain preselection for his upper house region of Northern Metropolitan. Not surprisingly, The Age reports that “senior party figures – including supporters of Mr Theophanous – hope he decides to quit politics and give Mr Brumby ‘clear air’ in the lead-up to next year’s election”. Nonetheless, Theophanous has re-nominated for his position. Rick Wallace of The Australian reports that the fight to replace Theophanous is between “forces aligned with federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who want Treasury official Vasko Nastevski, and those aligned with federal parliamentary secretary Bill Shorten, who want plumbers’ union official Nathan Murphy”.

• Wallace further reports that John Brumby is moving to protect Eastern Metropolitan MLC Shaun Leane from Electrical Trades Union assistant secretary Howard Worthing. Worthing’s challenge is said to be supported by ETU secretary Dean Mighell, who was expelled from the ALP after emerging as a political liability in the lead-up to the 2007 federal election, along with a “small pocket of the Right”.

• Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports that federal Liberal Hume MP Alby Schultz has “lost the battle to convince his party to field a candidate in the southeast NSW state seat of Monaro”. This follows an agreement to avoid three-cornered contests which the Liberals’ state executive signed off on last Friday, which also gives the Nationals free rein in the independent-held seats of Tamworth and Dubbo and Labor-held Bathurst. For their part, the Liberals will contest Water Minister Phil Costa’s marginal outer Sydney seat of Wollondilly and get the ninth position on the upper house ticket, which looks highly winnable on current form. The decision by the party’s state council to refer the matter to the executive was behind Schultz’s party-room altercation with Aston MP Chris Pearce.

UPDATE: CityBlue in comments notes that Jane Garrett has won the Labor preselection in Brunswick, as expected, and that Christine Campbell fended off a challenge from Joe Italiano in Pascoe Vale.

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.

646 comments on “Morgan: 57.5-42.5”

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  1. Apparently theres’ been a late change to the gues ton Insiders, it’s now to be Turnbull to talk about the LIb’s ETS position. Not sure who the original was to be.

  2. bob

    It’s not plastic surgery in this case, it’s orthopaedic surgery (although we often use it in craniofacial surgery in infants with a jaw or skull that’s too small causing breathing problems). The process is called “distraction osteogenesis”. I didn’t think anyone did it for making people taller in Oz. It’s more popular in Europe.

    You basically break their leg (with a saw) and join up an external fixateur to hold the bones in place which is slowly cranked out by a few inches and bone fills the gap. It takes up to two years to work.

    Just look at the metalwork involved.

  3. [Well she would put Kate Ellis to shame in the beauty stakes lol ]

    I may be a gay man, but I still sense beauty. Kate Ellis is naturally beautiful. Hajnal Ban looks like the female version of Michael Jackson.

  4. [I wonder whether another QLD MP will step aside for Dutton?]

    Knowing the way the LNP works they’ll be more likely to step on him than step aside for Dutton. Look at how they all stepped aside for Mal Brough when he was left without a seat. The nearest seat Brough could find is in Victoria in 2013.

  5. Ouch not for me but hey.

    It pains me that we have these dud seat warmers who hold safe seats and all our talented MPs have marginals AGH!

  6. If the Libs have a good shakeout at the next election it won’t be such a huge problem
    Glen. The trouble is there was a late swing at the last election that left a lot of deadwood unpruned.

  7. Glen, in Queensland alone the LNP are carrying extra lead in the saddlebags of:


  8. [Rick Wallace of The Australian reports that Wilson “is believed to have pulled out to maintain his focus on advocacy in free trade and climate change through the IPA”.]
    Heh. Doesn’t he have a family to spend more time with?

  9. Glen, what do you make of Tony Abbott’s proposal for a constitutional amendment to increase the power of the commonwealth government?,25197,25831896-12250,00.html
    [Abbott dramatises his argument by seeking a constitutional referendum that enables the national government to pass laws “for the peace, order and good government of the country”. This means the national government could propose laws in any area free from the constraints of Section 51 of the Constitution. As Abbott says, his idea “wouldn’t abolish the states” but would stop them from “jeopardising policy in areas where the national government was determined to intervene”.]

  10. States Rights are a thing of the past ShowsOn but nevertheless abolishing them or completely taking away all their powers would mean not getting to vote an extra time…

    Not that Victoria will be Liberal anytime soon but hey.

  11. Yep Theophanous is in the Northern Metropolitan. Would be hard for him to nominate in the West since those pre selections were done last month by the ALP National Executive.

    Other pre selection results are:

    Brunswick – Jane Garrett defeated Moreland councillors Enver Erdogan and Alice Pryor
    Pascoe Vale – Christine Campbell (incumbent) defeated blow in Joe Italiano

  12. I don’t think Australians will support such a constitutional amendment if it means a more privatised health system, which it seems is what Abbott actually wants:
    [..more commonwealth policy clout means less government bureaucracy, more privatisation and service delivery through private entities. Second, it means smaller government overall.]

  13. MT on Insiders this Sunday!

    I’m looking forward to his gymnastics routine of triple backflip to improve his polling, “hello boys” to appease Minchin and “flat bag” to emphasize the Lib party room split on CC.

  14. [to appease Minchin and “flat bag” to emphasize the Lib party room split on CC.]
    But will he be doing the “battered sav”? The “it’s me; I’m home”, the “hello boys” or the “close the door”?

  15. Being “deadwood” doesn’t automatically equate with age. I don’t think Ruddock is deadwood, for example. Paul Neville is an intelligent and thoughtful member, and also very strong locally. If I was the LNP I’d give him another gallop if he wants it. On the other hand Johnson and Laming are deadwood even though they’re young.

  16. I’ve noticed some annoyance regarding the QLD redistributions. This equates to cricket fans complaining about umpire’s decisions.

    The true answer is the same for both.

    In cricket, perform well enough to take the wickets and score the runs, then “decisions” don’t come into it.

    In politics, perform well enough to get the votes, then redistributions don’t come into it.

  17. Laming is just nuts to be in politics. An eye surgeon in Qld earns more than $1M a year doing cataracts. At least he’s got something to go back to.

    Most docs go into politics early on before they’ve done all their specialist training like Nelson and Southcott.

  18. QLDer are awaiting the coming LNP brawls. They’ve been keeping the CM’s journos in articles (& cartoons) since the beginning of the 80s, when Joh went after Liberal seats, then Liberal sitting pollies on whom he had substantial dirt files. Then the NSW Lib Right spread its poison to the QLD branch, unleashing civil war that grew more vicious as the Libs lost seats, eclipsing even the ALP in its “old guard, new guard, rear guard, mudguard” years. Who can forget the some of the more recent scandals: Santo Santoro, alleged misuse of Fed electoral funding, Flegg’s leadership antics not long before Election07!

    Brough might have been nominated for Wright, had he not been aligned with the right (‘sicilians’), alienated his electorate with “show pony” antics, then followed that up with a spectacular dummy spit when he wasn’t handed LNP leadership on a platter.

    Anthony Green analyses Peter Dutton and the Curse of Dickson nice & rationally, in the absence of any public polling on how Dutton is faring in the existing seat (scuttlebutt is that he’s “doing a Brough” in the Alienating the Electorate stakes).

    Besides, there’s a big “but” about the new seat, Wright’s, being “nominally Liberal”. One would need to count booths in Forde (where National Hajnal Ban scored 12.2) and extrapolate possible National votes from the excised sections of Blair (not contested by in 07 the Nats); but I’m inclined to think “nominally National, with a fair swag of greenies’ & green-hued ALP” is more accurate.

    I know this area well; lived there or on its periphery (Blair’s c7 min drive away) on & off, for all but 4.5 of my almost 70 years. Except for areas covering Brisbane-Ipswich areas, Wright, The Scenic Rim behind Brisbane/Ipswich-Logan-Gold Coast” seat, is national/greenie (tho not Greens) + a leaning towards – yes, you’ve got it – Pauline Hanson. Q Rural Conservatives can’t abide Liberals.

    If Hajnal Ban wants to nominate, she’s likely to be endorsed – unless the Libs want another bloodbath on their hands (The CM & its readers can only hope!).

  19. If it was not for his record as a minister in the Howard government (rather bad) then he would be thought better of by the non-nasties. He was actually funny when the Chaser asked him about some Austin Powers film.

  20. The Coalition Waltons have retired for the night, having been at a family wedding.
    Joe: You still awake, John-Boy?
    John-Boy: Yeah, Joe…can’t sleep with this pesky jet-lag…still think I’m at Lords…
    Joe: I’m sure our cricket team is glad you’ve flown out, John-Boy – the boys seemed to be having Bennelong moments with you hanging around…heh…heh…
    John-Boy: Y’know Joe, for someone whose girth resembles the base of Mt Kilimanjaro, you’re not in a position to poke fun at anyone else…now, whaddya want?
    Joe: I was just going to say, John-Boy, I have severe reservations about the family wedding this afternoon…
    John-Boy: What…you mean about Wild Uncle Willy chucking a spas cos the drink ran out and than whacking the Mad Monk celebrant over the head cos he couldn’t change a bottle of Mount Franklin spring-water into a case of Grange Hermitage?
    Joe: Erm…no, not that, John- Boy…I mean the ‘happy couple’ – cousin Mal and that Ruddle girl, Penny…everybody knows us Waltons and them Ruddles don’t get on…
    John-Boy: Don’t you worry your cotton-pickin’ head about that Joe…it’s only a marriage of convenience anyway, to tide us over until better times come around…I can see a visit to the divorce court on the agenda…hee…hee…
    Joe: But what if the celebrant becomes leader of our family, John-Boy – he’s not too fond of them there divorces…
    John-Boy: Don’t fret, Joe…that’s one divorce he’ll agree to, plus an annulment thrown in for good measure…Good night, Joe…
    Joe: Yeah, good-night, John-Boy…

  21. Well considering she got 12% of the vote as a Nat in a non-rural electorate Forde she’d be a favourite to take over the seat.

    I guess the Dutt-man needs to pray that Slipper or Somalay retires….unlikely though.

  22. ShowsOn @ 29 asked

    Glen, what do you make of Tony Abbott’s proposal for a constitutional amendment to increase the power of the commonwealth government?

    Don’t know about Glen, but I’d still recommend, despite it’s great age, RJ Menzies’ Central Power in the Australian Commonwealth (Cassell, London, 1967)

    While issues may change over the years, basic attitudes to extending the Commonwealth (Fed Gov’s) power, and to state rights, haven’t. Check out A History of Referendums in Australia

  23. [Laming is just nuts to be in politics.]

    Particularly since he’s so bad at it.

    [At least he’s got something to go back to.]

    How long he be out of it before he’s too rusty to go back to it?

  24. The mad monk has zero chance of getting that up.

    Historically, these things are just not popular, and the good ol boys that finance the state parties are onto a good thing, the last thing they want is the feds tromping around in their backyard…

    The states would come out against it, and that would be the end of that.

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