Newspoll: ??-??

Following last week’s surprising and almost certainly rogue Newspoll result, The Australian sent its pollster out into the field again over the weekend for an eagerly anticipated follow-up survey. However, when the results were published yesterday, all that was offered was attitudinal results on asylum seekers – although breakdowns by party support made clear that voting intention had also been ascertained. This sent Gary Morgan on the offensive:

Newspoll should have conducted another poll as soon as possible when they saw the dramatic change in their results – and if different, released the data to correct the misconceptions caused by their “rogue” poll … A statistical analysis of the data reported on Australians’ attitudes to “boat people” issues – specifically the breakdown by “Political support” – suggests the ALP vote in that poll was very strong. The percentage supporting each political party clearly should have been released. Polls and their publishers should not seek to set the agenda by selectively releasing polling data. Polls and their publishers are powerful but with that power comes responsibility.

Queried by Andrew Crook of Crikey, The Australian’s editor Chris Mitchell explained that “even Crikey” should be able to understand that a non-fortnightly set of voting intention figures would cause a disturbance in the force. Mitchell further invoked a Beatles-and-the-Stones style arrangement between Newspoll and Nielsen in which they have agreed not to step on each other’s releases. Yet just one month ago, on the same day that Nielsen produced its regular monthly poll, The Australian published a “special Newspoll survey” on the Liberal leadership in between its regular fortnightly polls, and was not in the least bit shy about informing us that the sample produced the same 58-42 split in favour of Labor as recorded the previous week. In fairness, it should be noted that Crikey “understands that on Sunday morning, Newspoll chief Martin O’Shannessy contacted his Nielsen counterpart John Stirton and agreed not to release the two-party preferred vote to The Australian”.

My own concern with all this is that I was hoping for a new poll result to hang my regular set of electoral updates off, and didn’t get one. Here they are:

• The saga surrounding the YouTube Downfall parody aimed at Mitchell MP Alex Hawke over his feud with former Right ally and state upper house MP David Clarke has lifted a rock on preselection manoeuvres for safe Liberal state seats. Hawke-Hitler is portrayed in the video castigating himself for having backed Hills Shire councillor Andrew Jefferies to depose incumbent Wayne Merton in Baulkham Hills. The Clarke forces have been hoping the seat might instead go to Damien Tudehope, who has a not inconsiderable public profile as spokesman for the NSW Family Association – and whose son Thomas has just resigned as Malcolm Turnbull’s media adviser after being linked to the aforesaid YouTube video. The infamous episode where 40 Clarke supporters showed up at a Young Liberal branch meeting at Hawke’s office, prompting Hawke’s staff to call the police, reportedly occurred as part of efforts to secure Baulkham Hills for Tudehope. In Castle Hill, Clarke faction operative Dominic Perrottet (whose brother Charles has just resigned as Clarke’s chief-of-staff after he too was linked to the YouTube video) has been plotting to depose incumbent Michael Richardson. On the other side of the pendulum, Hawke is apparently backing another ally, state Young Liberals president Scott Farlow, for the seat of Drummoyne (which Labor’s Angela D’Amore holds by a margin of 7.6 per cent), while Clarke man Kevin Conolly hopes to again contest Riverstone, where he ran against Labor’s John Aquilina in 2007.

Stephanie Peatling of the Sydney Morning Herald reveals the identity of the abortive Right challenger to Philip Ruddock in Berowra: Richard Quinn, a Hunters Hill councillor. A Ruddock supporter specifically identifies Quinn’s backers as “the Taliban faction”, meaning the forces associated with David Clarke. Quinn has “now expressed interest in Bennelong”, which would put him up against former tennis player and unsuccessful Bradfield preselection aspirant John Alexander, plus another previously unheralded entrant in “businessman Mark Chan”.

Lisa Carty of the Sydney Morning Herald explains Labor’s recent western Sydney preselection shenanigans in terms of a deal in which the Right will retain its hold on Fowler following Julia Irwin’s retirement at the next election, despite the numbers in local branches being finely poised between the two factions. The Right’s favoured candidate for Fowler is Ed Husic of the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union, who was defeated by Louise Markus when he ran in Greenway at the 2004 election. In return for not pursuing a claim in Fowler, the Left will be awarded Werriwa at the expense of Right incumbent Chris Hayes. However, state secretary Matt Thistlethwaite is quoted in the article saying there is “no deal to shift (Hayes) to Macarthur”. That hasn’t stopped an avalanche of reports about whether Werriwa will go to Reid MP Laurie Ferguson, as proposed by Julia Gillard and the soft Left, or Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union organiser Damien Ogden, the candidate of Anthony Albanese and the hard Left.

Andrew Clennell of the Sydney Morning Herald reports claims Labor internal polling of 650 voters in Robertson shows Belinda Neal set to be dumped by a swing of “about 20 per cent”, although this has naturally been denied by state secretary Matt Thistlethwaite. The report also quotes Labor sources suggesting recent talk of a run for the premiership by her husband John Della Bosca has been raised for use as a “bargaining chip” to protect Neal’s position.

• The Queensland Liberal National Party has preselected Hajnal Ban, Logan councillor, Nationals candidate for Forde in 2007 and recipient of an eye-watering Russian surgical procedure to lengthen her legs, as its candidate for the new Gold Coast hinterland seat of Wright. Unsuccessful candidates included Cameron Thompson, the former Liberal member for
Blair (who was presumably handicapped by an understanding that the seat was the domain of the Nationals), and Gold Coast councillor and former children’s television presenter Bob La Castra.

• Former Senator, one-time Democrats leader and blogosphere identity Andrew Bartlett will run for the Greens at the federal election in Brisbane, which Labor’s Arch Bevis holds with a diminished post-redistribution margin against the LNP of 3.8 per cent. Antony Green explains why he won’t win.

Peter Kennedy of the ABC reports Labor preselection nominations for Canning, Cowan and Swan will close on December 1, and candidates will be chosen by mid-December.

• The Macquarie Street blog of Poll Bludger regular Oz informs us that NSW upper house MP Gordon Moyes, long estranged from the Christian Democratic Party from which he was elected, has announced he is joining Family First.

Steven Wardill of the Courier-Mail reports that Anna Bligh will respond to the state’s review on accountability by moving to impose a $1000 cap on political donations unless the federal government does likewise before July 2010, as well as imposing a ban on “success fees” to lobbyists.

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.

1,656 comments on “Newspoll: ??-??”

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  1. But who needs some golfer, when we in Sydney are getting the Indy car race!
    Nathan Rees has locked up the “rev head vote” – the next election is in the bag for Labor.

  2. [But who needs some golfer, when we in Sydney are getting the Indy car race!
    Nathan Rees has locked up the “rev head vote” – the next election is in the bag for Labor.]

    Just like Colin Barnett got at least one vote at the Upper swan Primary Schol booth based soley on hiss promise to hold the V8 supercars in the Perth CBD.

  3. [Really? Awesome!]

    Not if you’re a resident of Homebush Bay!
    This is from the same Premier who claimed he’d rather listen to Brian Eno than watch Tiger Woods – Yep, the mind boggles!

  4. Dario: it’s probably a smart political move on the part of Rees, a lot of those car loving blokes would be Labor voters, and probably from Western suburbs seats too!

  5. When they actually get off the boat wake me, at the moment it’s just rumours.

    They are days away from Kevin capitulating, why get off now.

  6. Chris Pyne – Flaming Bombe Alaska

    You could take asylum seekers to Macquarie Island for a “Southern Ocean Solution”. It would still be Australian territory, though some might see this approach as “cold hearted.

  7. Wiliam@1360:

    [I don’t think there’s any doubt that TTH sincerely believes the arguments he’s advancing, so I don’t see why he should have to suffer being called a troll.]

    As you wish, William, it’s your site.

    I’ll try to keep my thoughts on that matter to myself.

  8. [Well, the first 20 have seen the light:

    20 Tamils to disembark Oceanic viking

    Smart people.]

    If we are to resettle just some of the 78 then I say these 20 should be in our lot.

  9. Chris Evans wasn’t very good with Kerry O’Brien last night, was he? Defensive from the start and stayed that way.

    I think his part of the script should have gone something like this:

    [Kerry, let me say this. We explain to all asylum seekers what Australian government policy is. We explain our obligations and their obligations under international law and practice. If it is relevant, we explain our obligations and their obligations under international maritime law and practice that relates to search and rescue. Any discussions with an asylum seeker are held within those parameters and will vary with individual circumstances. We have done so for all asylum seekers in the past, we are doing it now and we shall continue to do so in the future. I stress, Kerry, this applies to ALL asylum seekers. Our policy is clear: we are tough on people smugglers and humane to asylum seekers. That is our policy: tough but fair. It is the right policy.]

    If you are interviewed by Kerry it is poor practice to wait for him to nail you to the wall, as he will. Be positive.

  10. I wonder if they’ll try resettling some of those 20 very quickly and then get them to make a phone call from their new living rooms to the hold-outs still on the boat.

  11. That was a most remarkable interview that Dolly had with Fran. He totally bagged Kevin Rudd’s asylum seeker policy and told us how wonderful Nauru was and how effective it was to tow boats back out to sea. I guess he’s not looking for Kevin to give him a job.

    He, apparently, was wonderful in his negotiations with the Indonesians: not megaphone diplomacy as Kevin Rudd uses. If I remember rightly, his behaviour in meetings as Foreign Minister was anything but “sotto voce” (that’s the word he used this morning to tell us how diplomacy should be conducted.

    What a dropkick!

  12. Its really sad to see grattan going from one of best commentators to a pale imitation of Shanahan. She overreacts and totally ignores the polls.

  13. [LIBERAL frontbencher Christopher Pyne denies he was the opposition MP who described his opposition colleague Nick Minchin as a “fruit loop”.

    Senator Minchin came under fire earlier this week following a Four Corners program in which he claimed the majority of coalition MPs did not believe humans were responsible for climate change.

    A newspaper report on Wednesday quoted an unnamed Liberal frontbencher saying Senator Minchin came across as a “complete fruit loop” for suggesting climate change was a left-wing conspiracy.

    “Border control is going along a treat and they come out behaving like total f…wits. They don’t know how crazy they look, because crazy people never do,” The Australian quoted the Liberal as saying. ]

    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,26343730-5006301,00.html

    Riiiiight. And they actually used to be in government? Wow.

  14. I disagree that Kerry O’brien rattled Craig Evans.
    If you listened carefully to what Evans said then to me it reflects badly on Kerry O’brien.
    When Kerry asked him about the special deal/offer his reply was;
    Kerry there is no special deal, what we have done is given them a note which spells out the codices of what will transpire/happen WHEN they leave the ship.

    Kerry O’brien and then later on Leigh Sales both spruiked Turnbulls line that it was a special deal to coerce them to leave the ship.

    Leigh Sales asked Lindsay Tanner something like;
    But Lindsay Tanner don’t you agree with Malcolm Turnbull that it sends the wrong message, that we will give them a special deal IF they leave the ship.

    Just two words “When” and “If” make all the difference.

    IMHO Kerry O’Brien and Leigh Sales both did themselves a dis-service last night.

  15. [Its really sad to see grattan going from one of best commentators to a pale imitation of Shanahan. She overreacts and totally ignores the polls.]

    No you’re just blinded by bias.

  16. Sadly the ABC just apes the anti-Labor stance of the commercial stations!
    And they wonder why those of the left have turned to the internet and blogs like this one for more impartial sources of information and discussion.

  17. The Indonesian Solution = The Australian Solution

    He is encouraging people to pay smuggler to come to Australia, that if you get on an Australian boat, you can come into Australia, as long as Rudd doesn’t look bad. I guess after announcing the Indonesian solution, and then having this thing hang around for 3 weeks, Rudd had to do something to save face, even if it make him look incompetent and week

    It is all about spin

  18. No bob, Michelle really is quite a poor commentator. The thing is, she always was. She’s just overrated by some when she says things they like.

  19. Evan 14

    I always throught that the left does not work and relies on the dole, that is why they support Labor and greens and have all the time on the internet

  20. [No bob, Michelle really is quite a poor commentator. The thing is, she always was. She’s just overrated by some when she says things they like.]

    I disagreel.

  21. Gaffhook

    The whole point was that the OV AS ARE getting a special deal and Evans tried to BS his way out of it and Kerry nailed him.

    Evans just resorted to spin and endlessly repeating meaningless phrases like this

    [Our policy is clear: we are tough on people smugglers and humane to asylum seekers.]

    His policy is to give AS who people smugglers have brought out and refuse to get off the boat highly preferential treatment and encourage more people to try their luck.

    There are hundreds of AS on Indonesia who have been waiting to be settled in countries for years. Why wouldn’t that all just hop on a boat now and get rescued by an Australian ship and refuse to get off?

  22. Dovif, Christian Kerr and the Australian have described Peter Walsh as
    [FORMER Labor finance minister ]
    and someone who
    [remade the national economy in the 1980s with Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, is regarded as a tough and uncompromising economic reformer but one who never forgot Labor’s working-class roots]

    It seems they just happened to forget that his is President of the Lavoisier Group – a virulent right wing disaster of an organisation which (as Clive hamilton points out):
    [sees the Kyoto Protocol as a European plot for a “new imperial order” that would see our sovereignty “relocated from Canberra to Bonn”. The Group has links to Exxon-funded organisations in the United States, including far-right think tanks.]

    This article is blatantly misleading

  23. “Kerry there is no special deal, what we have done is given them a note which spells out the codices of what will transpire/happen WHEN they leave the ship.”

    A GUARANTEED resettlement in 4-6 weeks is indeed a special deal.

    Some Reffo’s sit in decrepid U.N camps for 10 YEARS in places like Africa waiting for resettlement, why should some blokes blackmailing the Australian government get special treatment and jump the queue?

  24. Kit

    Is Walsh still a member of the Labor Party? He is certainly named as one of the Dirty Dozen of Climate Change.

    [He slammed Kevin Rudd’s reform credentials and style of governing. “The Prime Minister is an economic illiterate,” he told The Australian, “an economic illiterate and an egomaniac”.

    “He won’t take any hard decisions. He’s capricious. He sees himself as some sort of Platonic philosopher king.”]

  25. Truthiness

    I seldom agree with you but I do on this one. The special deal is a sell-out. What happened to “infinite patience”?

  26. There is no way the government will admit to “special deal.” Just leave it at “individual considerations within our policy framework.”

  27. As I recall, Peter Walsh for years has been a staunch critic of the Labor Party, but typical of News Ltd and the OZ to make a big deal of this. Rupert really does have it in for Rudd – has he done a special deal with the Libs on media ownership, similar to the arrangement News Corporation and the UK Conservatives agreed on?

  28. Apparently Kev doesnt “know” about the latest development on the OV. Sharon Stone and the media have gone banana over this. They really should make up their mind whether Kev is a control freak or not.

  29. Malcolm is putting out a border protection policy today, according to ABC radio news. Must be trying to take the spotlight off the government.

  30. [I seldom agree with you but I do on this one. The special deal is a sell-out. What happened to “infinite patience”?]

    Diog, ooouch, still hurts like hell.

  31. [I seldom agree with you but I do on this one. The special deal is a sell-out. What happened to “infinite patience”?]

    I too have concerns about the political fix, sorry special deal. Why offer a special deal? I have said from the start that Rudd should stick to international law and normal process, being neither “tough” nor “weak”. What has changed to cause a policy flip? This just looks arbitrary.

  32. Looks like the Opposition is going to turn whatever positives they’ve gained from their approach to AS so far (which has probably simply being to shore up the base by sounding nasty) into negatives, by releasing their immigration policy.

    If I was them, I wouldn’t do it now. Looks too much like yeilding to pressure from the government, rather than following a thoughtful policy process.

    The perception seems to be that this will draw the heat off the Oppo next week in Parliament, in that the government can’t answer every question on AS with ‘well, at least we’ve got a policy’.

    Fine, but given the present form of Mal’s team of sparkling policy minds, I’d almost bet the house on whatever policy they’re going to produce being worse than having none at all.

    Which means that next week, the government will be able to answer every question on AS with ‘well, under your policy….’

    Much better to have held off and produce something that doesn’t look like it’s being driven by the political cycle.

  33. “Sharon Stone and the media have gone banana over this.”

    Does Basic Instinct have something to do with this

    Rudd has shown really bad instinct maybe?

  34. Malcolm Turnbull to save Rudd’s bacon again

    Is Malcolm still a member of the ALP?

    Utegate, he open his mouth, to stop it from being a ALP stuff up.

    ETS, instead of letting rudd take all the credit, in case it blows up, Malcolm make it a Liberal issue

    Asylum seeker policy …. I have a bad feeling about this

    I like the fact that he is passionate and is an anti-politician. But he has no instinct as a politician

  35. [Why wouldn’t that all just hop on a boat now and get rescued by an Australian ship and refuse to get off?]

    Your argument is based on the huge assumption that history repeats itself. I would suggest that these circumstances won’t occur again and even under the best of conditions the chance of an Australian ship happening along another load of boat people in the middle of the huge Indonesian zone and taking them to an Indonesian port is not as good as you winning lotto.

    It may be time for some of the vigorous contributors on this site re refugees to take a break. Have a shower, change your clothes and get back some perspective. It’s been a long four weeks and the arguments are starting to sound a little shrill and illogical.

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