Who’s the least unfairest of them all

No proper Roy Morgan poll this week, but they do provide results on preferred Labor and Liberal leaders. Kevin Rudd scores a surprisingly modest 51 per cent as Labor leader, weighed down by contrary Liberals and a telling preference for Julia Gillard among the small sample of Greens supporters. Among Labor supporters, his rating is 70 per cent. Joe Hockey leads a crowded Liberal field with 30 per cent (up five since July), while Malcolm Turnbull is second on 21 per cent. Possum weighs in with a post on the various Liberal leadership polls conducted since the 2007 election. A separate Morgan release puts Rudd and Turnbull head to head, finding little change since July.


• Liberal MP Fran Bailey has announced she will not contest her Victorian federal seat of McEwen at the next election. Bailey retained the seat in 2007 by a court-determined margin of just 27 votes, but the Liberals would have hoped her local popularity in the wake of the February bushfires might help her hold on at the next election. As it stands, the Liberal preselection is unlikely to be keenly sought. Labor’s candidate from 2007, former state upper house MP Rob Mitchell, was said by Rick Wallace of The Australian to maintain “strong local numbers”. However, the Labor national executive’s suspension of the preselection process a fortnight ago has prompted talk its newly acquired powers might be used to install a candidate of its own choice. Rick Wallace subsequently reported that Andrew MacLeod, a “former soldier and UN disaster expert”, had also emerged as a contestant (UPDATE: Greensborough Growler informs me he was also Labor’s candidate in 2001).

Linda Silmaris of the Daily Telegraph reports senior Labor sources say it is now unlikely Belinda Neal will be forced out of Robertson, an outcome so very recently seen as a foregone conclusion.

Alex Easton of The Northern Star reports local Nationals are hoping Stuart George, Richmond Valley councillor and son of state Lismore MP Thomas George, will be the party’s candidate for the federal seat of Page. Labor’s Janelle Saffin won the seat in 2007 on the retirement of Nationals incumbent Ian Causley with a margin of 2.4 per cent, picking up a 7.8 per cent swing. The redistribution proposal shaves 0.2 per cent off the Labor margin.

• Robert Ellicott, architect of the Coalition’s constitutional strategy in 1975, has written an article for The Australian in which he muses on the prospect of a Governor-General refusing a Prime Minister’s request for a double dissolution. This has prompted a most informative discussion in comments.

• The Australian Electoral Commission has released approximate figures on the age breakdown of the 1.2 million Australians not on the electoral roll, which progressively falls from 30 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 to 4 per cent of those aged over 65.

• The New South Wales Greens have listed nominees for state upper preselection and the vacancy to be created by Lee Rhiannon’s bid for the Senate. Both incumbents due for re-election, Ian Cohen and Sylvia Hale, are retiring. High-profile Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham is reportedly well-placed for a spot, being an ally of the locally based Cohen.

• The Australian Democrats have lost their last remaining parliamentary member after South Australian upper house MP David Winderlich quit to sit as an independent. The party is now registered only in South Australia and New South Wales.

• Keep following the by-election action on the regularly updated threads for Bradfield, Higgins and Willagee.

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.

240 comments on “Who’s the least unfairest of them all”

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  1. in east asia the only language they talk abt is money. Japan needs to apologize for its past then everything else is possible. It will not be exactly like EU with political integration

  2. William,

    You might like to look at this sentence again:

    [The Australian Electoral Commission has released approximate figures on the age breakdown of the 1.2 million Australians not on the electoral roll, which progressively falls from 30 per cent of those aged to 4 per cent of those aged over 65.]

  3. Ahhh, anyone remember the last John Howard days when there were adverts with friendly labor green and democrat people, imploring you to vote for any of them, with all 3 parties preferencing each other first.

    Now that’s the sort of thing I can’t wait to see again, but with or without it, Labor will be able to go through the Greens or the coalition, rather than a record two parties plus an independent totalling 7, including Fielding.

    I hope we’re all going to welcome an easier legislative agenda after the next election! Labor, welcome to the Greens, the new balance of power in the Senate.

  4. http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/piersakerman/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/why_im_with_hamas_and_the_taliban/#commentsmore

    Big LOL to our mates Pies here.

    It seems that Pies is comfortable “palling around with terrorists”.

    Imagine his reaction if any left wing commentator (or even Rudd) made a similar comment in ‘jest’!

    Worse, it’s not even original. Limbaugh and Beck have been pushing this line for over 48 hours. Pies is but a faded copy.

  5. I’m pleased to hear about the prospects of an East Asian cooperative block like the EU emerging. A lot of “collective action problems” like CC can only be solved if there are higher governing bodies with some teeth/ability to reward member nations. The UN doesn’t wualify because it is ineffectual. This makes it possible to provide incentives for nations to act in the common interest. Other examples of where this helps include tax fraud, intellectual property, money laundering, fighting organised crime, environmental and labor laws.

    Of course the biggest benefit by far is to have a venue to defuse tensions and reduce the chance of conflict. There has been quite an arms race in Asia in recent years, so this is a good thing IMO.

  6. Ironically the former Nat Pres of the Democrats tried to get the SA Dems to hold an open pre-selection to replace outgoing MP Kanck – try and get a bit of fission with quality candidates and publicity happening – but Winderlich had the local party elites stitched up and so they told the NP to piss off. The Dems certainly are a tale of missed opportunities and out-and-out greed.

  7. Gusface @1788 previous thread

    Catching up on last night on the carbon capture. I know very little about this topic, and generally this technical achievement does sound positive.

    But I note that the very next paragraph in the section of the article referenced, but not copied here, might, also, be somewhat relevant to the discussion…

    [The economics is an issue. Even a 20% energy penalty in an industry that is already only 35% efficient in producing kilowatt-hours from coal is costly. Much work is needed, and open minds on all sides of this debate.]


  8. Bushfire (1791 previous thread)

    [He reports that the Liberals are so far up their own bums that they want Tony Abbott to be leader. Milne attempts to explain the logic, but really, it’s a hopeless task. What I mean is, you can see a sort-of connection between each step in the decision-making process along the way, but when the ultimate, unavoidable conclusion comes up as “Tony Abbott”, then there’s a flaw in there somewhere, one of gargantuan proportions.]


    Hate to disagree with you BB…the major missing ingredient in the Milne article does not appear to me to be one of logic, rather one of objective – namely no mention by Milne of an objective of the desire to actually *win* an election 😀

    But I wonder whether that is so unusual in oppositions going through severe soul-searching, to pop up a leader who really basically, has low chance of electability but appeals to the party? (maybe to be more neutral, some US examples…Dukakis? Goldwater? Bob Dole??).

    So Abbott might indeed be an absolute shocker, but does not necessarily mean it wont happen! (Having said that, I suspect chances are low :-))

  9. Had to laugh at the coverage on Insiders of the WA Lib conference, with a participant saying “Bring it on” re: a DD to much applause…Cheering as they face anhiliation???

  10. I don’t think that is a case against fixed four year terms. An extra 12 months of a poor performing government is not forever. They will eventually go. Besides what government in its right mind would call an early election whether it be 4 year or 3 year terms and fixed or not?

  11. Well, I dont just dont see the point that, if one is going to have a democratic process, why have less participation, without good reason. 3 year terms seem to be going OK federally

    [I don’t see NSW falling apart and sliding off into the sea right now.]

    I do

    Besides, we would have even less material to work with here at PB 😀

  12. Gusface

    On the CCS thing, there has never been an argument that you can capture CO2. They’ve been doing it for years.

    The problem is transporting and storing enough of the stuff and doing the whole thing in an economical way.

    That’s where the fantasy comes in.

    There’s a good article on how it works at, appropriately enough, HowStuffWorks


  13. three events in the last week or so signify global geopolitics are going thru a seismic shift:
    1 rio wins the olympics

    2 japan moving away from USA and the emergence of east asia bloc of china,japan,korea

    3 obama wins peace prize. Now he MUST not he CAN. Else we farq

    May you live in an interesting time

  14. Three year terms for federal, state and local, hold them on the same day rotating each year. So year 1 is federal, year 2 is state, year 3 is local, year 4 is federal, etc. Call it Democracy Day, make it a public holiday, and celebrate living in the greatest country on Earth.

  15. Spot the error in this very ignorant Liberal Senators argument

    [Senator Birmingham said there may have been a degree of sentimentality in the decision, given that Mr Obama was the first black US president, and a symbolic figure who spoke of hope.

    The award should have gone to Zimbabwean democracy advocate Morgan Tsvangirai or to Aung San Suu Kyi, both of whom had paid a heavy price lately in their pursuit of peace, Senator Birmingham says.]

  16. 23 – Thanks Dio. If there were to be anything else to “leak” from this it would have happened by now IMHO. The fact that they are rehashing the same old story suggests they have bugger all.

  17. GB

    I’m not sure if Mr Phillips’ lawyers could ask Rann about the exact extent of his relationship with the lady during the trial anyway.

  18. Three year terms are too short. Four year terms are too long (especially if the Libs or incompetent govts are in office).

    Answer – 3.5 year fixed terms. Say the first sat in march followed by the first sat in sept.

    C’mon fellas, think outside the square, it’s not that difficult. 🙂

  19. Bolt was spot on this morning. The Libs are cactus, and it is so sad that Turnbull after leading on better economic manager is now miles behind Rudd.

    That’s all I took in on Insiders, I was continually distracted by Annabel who looked stunning.

  20. Havent seen all the details of the Rann stuff, but the man in question shows all the signs of suffering from delusional jealousy…

  21. Andrew @ 30

    [Havent seen all the details of the Rann stuff, but the man in question shows all the signs of suffering from delusional jealousy…]

    Don’t worry..you will !, if Megan Lloyd has anything to do with it !

  22. So a single man (premier) has a fling with a married woman who was estranged from her husband at the time and that is grounds to vote him out? Don’t see it myself.

  23. [That’s all I took in on Insiders, I was continually distracted by Annabel who looked stunning.]

    Thanks for sharing that cogent political analysis with us.

  24. [I don’t see NSW falling apart and sliding off into the sea right now.

    I do]

    Speaking as a resident of NSW, I can tell you that right now there is no detectable seismic activity, let alone of the kind that would lead the state to slide into the sea. Also, the sun is shining, birds are singing, the paddocks are green (in this area anyway), the buses are running on time, the schools will open tomorrow morning, there are police on the beat, and there are kiddies playing cricket and youfs on skateboards visible from my window. In other words, 90% of everything in NSW is just fine. As to the remaining 10%, the people of NSW will give their verdict on schedule in March 2011, and who knows what may have happened by then?

  25. For what it’s worth, I thought Julie Bishop’s answer to this question on Insiders this morning was appalling.

    She kept harping on Obama playing down his own deservedness. Yes, Julie, that’s called modesty. Why not instead display some statesmanship & magnanimity and congratulate the man instead of sneering like some right-wing culture warrior?

  26. Of course Gary is talking hypothetically as no PBer would suggest that Rann’s relationship with Ms Chantelois has been improper.

  27. [Catching up on last night on the carbon capture. I know very little about this topic, and generally this technical achievement does sound positive.]
    Carbon capture and storage will effectively be the same as nuclear. It will cost about the same, and both will produce waste that must be stored.

    Nuclear has the benefit that the waste can be reprocessed into more fuel that can then be used to make more energy. This means the total amount of waste is very small given the amount of energy produced.

    CCS means making enormous amounts of CO2, another extremely dangerous waste product, that must be compressed and put underground.

  28. A thank you to ShowsOn. I quite enjoyed Advise & Consent.

    On that final scene (*spoiler alert*)… I figured that the VP would abstain from using his casting vote but not for the reason he gave, i.e. that he wanted his own man. I would have thought that exercising his duties as VP would have been of dubious constitionality once he’d heard of the president’s death. Perhaps he technically remains VP until he’s formally sworn in as Pres, but, still…

  29. [A thank you to ShowsOn. I quite enjoyed Advise & Consent.]
    No prob! There aren’t many good films that treat politics seriously, I think Advise & Consent is one of the better ones.

    I’ve always liked the ending, I mean you spend most of the film wondering whether or not Leffingwell will get the nomination, and you kind of think he will in the end, but it is a nice surprise ending.

  30. [In the meantime, Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne warned that “loose units” within the federal coalition ranks needed to fall into line or members in marginal seats would be booted out of parliament at the next election.]
    Pyne was obviously thinking of himself.

  31. [Is this a public admission that they will lose the election?

    “Turnbull to lead UNTIL election: Minchin”]
    No. All the Lib-bots quoted are making the right sounding noise. The sub-e is inserting a little observable reality into the headline…

  32. The Asian economies are much less developed and a lot less compatible than the European economies. Also the Asian countries are still political and military rivals, there isn’t the necessary community of political views that emerged in Europe in the 1950s. In economic/political terms, Asia is where Europe was in the 1920s. They should walk before they try to run, starting with mutual tariff reductions. Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, for example, are all trying to build domestic car industries behind high tariff walls. They still have to get past the idea of autarkic national economies.

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