Morgan: 60.5-39.5

The latest fortnightly Roy Morgan face-to-face survey finds Labor maintaining the remarkable upward trend it has recorded across recent polling: its primary vote is up 2.5 per cent to 52 per cent, the Coalition’s is up 0.5 per cent to 34.5 per cent, while the Greens, Family First and independent/others are all down. On two-party preferred, Labor’s lead has edged up from 60-40 to 60.5-39.5. The pattern is further demonstrated by the latest Reuters Poll Trend aggregate, which finds Labor’s two-party lead has crept steadily upwards since June, and has now increased to 59.0-41.0 from 58.0-42.0 a month ago. George Megalogenis of The Australian offers an exquisitely simple hypothesis: “the women swing first, then the men”. This was apparently the pattern when the current governments in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia were elected (I suggest One Nation complicated the picture in Queensland and Western Australia), and it gives every appearance of playing out at present federally. However, there is the curious exception of men under 35, many of whom seem to have abandoned Labor since the onset of the financial crisis.

Other news:

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Julia Gillard is “working behind the scenes” to save the career of Laurie Ferguson, a fellow member of the “soft Left” faction who backed the Rudd/Gillard coup against Kim Beazley in December 2006. Ferguson has been left high-and-dry by the effective abolition of his western Sydney seat of Reid, the redrawn seat of that name being the effective successor to its abolished neighbour Lowe. However, Ferguson’s efforts to find a new home are being resisted by the “hard Left” faction of Anthony Albanese. Coorey reports Ferguson believes he has the numbers to win a local preselection vote in Fowler, to be vacated with the retirement of Julia Irwin, but it seems at least as likely that this and other contentious seats will be filled by the decree of Kevin Rudd and the panel of factional leaders which was empowered to make final determinations through a recent change to the party constitution. VexNews intimates that if denied, Ferguson might look at “obtaining support for a potentially expensive and spectacular legal challenge”.

Paul Sheehan of the Sydney Morning Herald had an interesting piece last week on the Liberal preselection for Cook ahead of the last federal election, which saw the dumping of the initially victorious Michael Towke and his eventual substitution with Scott Morrison. Towke’s Right faction lost the PR battle at the time (as my own electorate profile attests), but as Sheehan tells it, talk that Towke had fudged his CV had little or no foundation in fact. Rather, he was a victim of “a view among some senior Liberals” – evidently including John Howard – that “a Lebanese Australian could not win Cook in a tight election”. It will be recalled that the expanse of southern Sydney covered by the electorate includes Cronulla. Sheehan also relates that the Daily Telegraph’s reporting of Towke’s preselection led to a defamation action which was settled out-of-court with a payment of $50,000.

Peter Caton of the Tweed Daily News reports the Nationals are struggling to find candidates to run against Labor incumbents Justine Elliot, in the one-time party stronghold of Richmond, and Janelle Saffin, in its marginal neighbour Page. The only known candidate for the latter is Kevin Hogan, who according to The Northern Star “runs his own finance business from his Clunes cattle farm”.

• Pat Farmer, the Liberal member for Macarthur, has as expected been soundly defeated for preselection by Russell Matheson, a police sergeant and former mayor of Campbelltown. The margin was 22 votes to nine.

Rick Wallace of The Australian reports the Victorian ALP will follow the footsteps of the NSW Nationals by choosing a state election candidate through a US-style primary. Whereas the Nationals are still to decide which seat in which to conduct their experiment, Labor has earmarked the Liberal-held marginal of Kilsyth. The decision stems from a cross-factional committee report which also recommends reinvigorating the party organisation by slashing membership fees.

VexNews reports that Louise Staley, who has previously sought federal preselection for Wannon and Menzies, is now hoping for a state berth in the country seat of Ripon, which Labor’s Joe Helper holds on a margin of 4.4 per cent. Staley is a former state party vice-president and Institute of Public Affairs agriculture policy expert. Also said to have nominated are “John van Beveren, a local winery owner and education professor and Vic Dunn, the local inspector at Maryborough”.

• The Australian Review of Public Affairs has published my review article on Australia: The State of Democracy, written by Marian Sawer, Norman Abjorensen and Phil Larkin through the auspices of the Democratic Audit of Australia and published by The Federation Press.

Plenty happening in Tasmania:

• Labor’s troubled first-term member for Bass, Jodie Campbell, has confirmed she will not contest the next election. Geoff Lyons, a staffer to Senator Helen Polley, has been mentioned as a possible successor, which would see the seat’s factional alignment transfer from Left to Right. The Liberals have preselected Steve Titmus, a former television news reader and PR consultant for Gunns Ltd. The winner will be the seat’s sixth member in less than two decades. UPDATE: The Launceston Examiner reports that the new candidate is likely to be determined by prime ministerial fiat “after the dust settles”, and that there is a second potential candidate in Winnaleah District High School principal Brian Wightman, who is currently pencilled in as one of six candidates for the Bass state election ticket.

• Terry Martin, independent member for the northern Hobart upper house division of Elwick, faces criminal charges which regardless of their merits are politically lethal by nature. Martin was elected as a Labor member in 2004, but was expelled by the party in March 2007 after crossing the floor to vote against the government’s fast-tracking of the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill. He is due to face re-election at the next round of periodical elections in May; a by-election need not be held if the seat is vacated after January 1.

Sue Neales of The Mercury reports the Liberals have finalised their state election ticket for Denison, adding “renewable energy lawyer Matthew Groom, businesswoman and former Miss Tasmania Sue Hickey, and high-profile school parents advocate and Glenorchy councillor Jenny Branch” to the already announced Michael Hodgman (the sole incumbent), Elise Archer and Matt Stevenson.

• Tasmanian government legislation for fixed terms has been referred to a committee, scuppering any chance of it being passed in the week remaining before a recess that will last until the election. Premier David Bartlett nonetheless swears that the election will be held on March 20, again locking the psephological community into the headache of simultaneous elections in South Australia and Tasmania.

Elsewhere on the site, note that it’s all happening on the Willagee by-election thread, while things are ticking over more slowly yet still surely on the Bradfield and Higgins threads. Observe also the New South Wales Newspoll post immediately below.

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.

1,130 comments on “Morgan: 60.5-39.5”

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  1. [If anyone thinks this discussion here re asylum seekers is a little willing, have a read of this:]

    That is the most disgusting argument he’s ever run.

  2. Diogs,

    I think Roxon is sending a message to specialists that their hoarding of productivity gains is no longer going to be tolerated. The Health budget will be under enormous pressure during the nest ten or twenty years as our ageing population flows through and Governments of any persuasion will be looking for savings.

  3. For the Bludgers who are interested in the Melbourne Cup,

    the mail has arrived.

    The tip is (you are not going to believe this)

    The tip is ………….

  4. Grog

    He’s been running that one ever since Rudd became PM.

    It creates a huge problem for people who argue against the Left by saying we can’t relax our immigration as it encourages the leaky boats and deaths.

    They then have to turn around and argue that Rudd having a more humane approach is not leading to more leaky boats.

  5. With reference to #1004 and #1046
    I was told a couple of months ago I have arthritis in both knees when I complained to the doc about the pain.

    Coincidentally the dog has just been diagnosed by the vet as having arthritis in her hind legs.

    Now guess who gets more sympathy and cuddles from friends and rellies?

  6. [He said they would need to go into international waters where they would be free to force them off.]

    What? Make them walk the plank straight into the ocean? 🙂

  7. Diogs,

    The rhetoric is ramping up to even more obscene levels.

    My suspicion is Bolt is a Fox news wannabee and looking to provoke the same outrage that Beck and the others claimed when the Obama administration put them in their box.

    Bolt has lost all credibility in my view and I won’t bother clicking on his site from wherever it is linked. I advise others to exercise the same self control.

  8. [Is Diogenes still picking it?

    I want to know because if he has changed his mind, I am going to put more on it.]


    Jumped off it two hours ago for Roman Emperor.


    The suggestion was that they take the OV into international waters and transfer the refugees onto an Indonesian ship there.


    Quite seriously, it is a difficult argument for people fixated on the smugglers. They can’t argue that the Green-style softening of refugee laws will lead to more smugglers and drowning, and at the same time say that Rudd’s softening compared to Howard won’t have the same effect.

  9. It could be bad news Finns. Diogs could actually finally crack it and be right for the first time ever.

    If Alcopop does not win, Diogs will enter into the Eternal Hall of Fame for always being WRONG AGAIN!

  10. Psephos

    [You know, Diogs, even flatworms can learn from their mistakes. But not you.]

    Sadly, the experiments that showed flatworms can learn by cannibalising other more learned flatworm have been shown to be flawed. Flatworms can’t learn from their mistakes.

  11. Diogenes,

    [The suggestion was that they take the OV into international waters and transfer the refugees onto an Indonesian ship there.]

    Mmmm! I’m sure that will go well?

  12. [You know, Diogs, even flatworms can learn from their mistakes. But not you.]

    The only way Diog can learn is to become the worm under the Knowledge Tree 😛

  13. [Jumped off it two hours ago for Roman Emperor]

    Yeah, that’s my tip too

    [The suggestion was that they take the OV into international waters and transfer the refugees onto an Indonesian ship there.]

    If the OV was an Indonesian ship, would they be able to use force to remove them right now? Of course. So why not an Australian ship if the captain and Indonesians consent? It’s utter rubbish.

  14. Ricky Ponting has just run himself out in the ODI with India. He is trying his darn best to get the Indians to take more Tamils. What a great patriot.

  15. So far we have:

    GG Roman Emperor
    Diogs Alcopop, Roman Emperor
    Vera Mourilyan
    Centre Alcopops
    Grog Shocking
    Finns Not sure whether to back or eat Mourilyan.

    Any further opinions.

  16. Diogenes,
    [The suggestion was that they take the OV into international waters and transfer the refugees onto an Indonesian ship there.]

    That might not be such a good idea. The seaworthiness of Indonesian craft seems to be somewhat suspect.

    We might have to go and rescue them all over again. Sort of “groundhog day” all over again!

    And, I would recommend that you desist from posting links to Bolters’s site.

    The milk in my coffee curdled!!!

  17. [Finns Not sure whether to back or eat Mourilyan.]

    GG, at Mt. Aso on the island of Kyushu, Japan, they eat horse meat, sashimi style. i did try.

  18. [Any further opinions.]

    Nah! I think I’ll go with Kevin Rudd. Shocking!

    There’s definitely an omen hidden somewhere in all the low grade smears etc that Kevvie has been suffering. Shocking, really!

  19. [“Some fifteen worms were placed in a small aquarium over which hung an electric light and which was equipped to give its occupants an electric shock. The light went on two seconds before the electric charge came, and very quickly the worms started to react characteristically to the shock from the time the light went on. Using scissors, the experimenters cut each worm in half and put the severed heads and tails into separate aquariums. The experimenters found that all the regenerated worms, both those building from the original tail and those from an original head, retained the memory of this training.”]

  20. Dario

    [So why not an Australian ship if the captain and Indonesians consent?]

    The Indonesians have said they don’t consent to the Australians using force, hence the problem.

  21. So far we have:

    GG Roman Emperor
    Diogs Alcopop, Roman Emperor
    Vera Daffodil
    Centre Alcopops
    Grog Shocking
    Finns Offerring Japanese fried horse to the losers
    Dario Shocking

    Will update later.

  22. (And I hope the horsies throw off the nasty little jockey guys and run away, thus causing all you sillies to lose your money. Failing that I hope it rains all day.)

  23. [The Indonesians have said they don’t consent to the Australians using force, hence the problem]

    I don’t believe that’s true. They’ve said they won’t be using force, but they have not said that about the ships crew doing so.

  24. GG, before receiving my late mail, I had selected Roman Emperor from Daffodil with best roughies C’est La Guerre & Basaltico (as I said in a post yesterday). But I now elevate Alcopop above all those.

    Diogs switching is perfect. What a way for Diogs to be WRONG AGAIN! It’s a promotors dream 😀

  25. [Diogs Alcopop
    Vera Daffodil
    Centre Alcopops
    Grog Shocking
    Finns Offerring
    Dario Shocking]

    This is the first time I’ve heard you people’s surnames.

Comments are closed.

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