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. “If we adjust the 2002 number to account for boats that not only attempted to make the voyage, but ended up detained within the Pacific Solution system using the numbers provided by the Select Committee for an inquiry into a certain maritime incident 2002, we can add 1546 to the 2002 number”


    Does anyone actually check Possums sources, or do you guys just take it for Gospel?

    The “Select Committee for an inquiry into a certain maritime incident 2002” Paper he quoted was dated FEBRUARY *2002*. It’s amazing apparantly the Senators had a crystal ball and could project into the future.

    But hang on what does the paper ACTUALLY say? It says that there were 1546 boatpeople in the Pacific Solution detention currently, dated February 2002. Well this is indeed correct, there was 1546 people in Pacific Solution detention dated February 2002, roughly 440 of them from the Tampa which arrived early September *2001* and another thousand in the following months leading up to the end of 2001.

    It’s a major flaw in his argument that the 2002 numbers were fudged, using a paper dated February 2002. It’s a shame he made such a mistake yet won’t listen to people such as myself and fix his errors.

  2. TheTruthHurts, perhaps you could try contacting him directly and raising it in a polite way? I’m sure he’d update accordingly if he agreed with your analysis.

  3. [@abcmarkscott any chance of the abc following the vanstone story???]

    just tweeted this

    will let youse know if i get a reply.

    ps i have given up on the OO changing its poll numbers (flash app.) on its politics page.
    (I have sent 2 emails asking to explain/why dont they show latest figure,not mays)

  4. “TheTruthHurts, perhaps you could try contacting him directly and raising it in a polite way?”

    I did on his blog and he blocked me, as polite as I was. I don’t really think this is the place to discuss his blog, yet someone quoted from it, so I thought i’d attempt a correction on the claim.

    I often hear different numbers thrown around, but the source from my information comes from the Federal Labor Government itself. They wrote a paper on this topic just back in July. You can read the numbers for the various years yourselves, but 2002 clearly is marked as only 1 Boatperson arrival total.

  5. So that means they will be housed, helped to find jobs, given healthcare, centrelink payments etc just as they would have been under Howard. Good.

    The Church groups, etc. will not be happy about the TPV2 and neither will I. These people can’t find peace unless they feel secure. 3 years in limbo does not make for security.

    Wonder how this will go down with the good people of Bradfield/Higgins who didn’t like the last Lib policy.

  6. [What CC stories are there at the moment? There are usually stories of some sort on the ongoing negotiations but there’s really very little to discuss there.]

    Oh I don’t know. Massive infighting within the Liberal party, goings on prior to Copenhagen?

  7. [Oh I don’t know. Massive infighting within the Liberal party, goings on prior to Copenhagen?]

    This is all routinely covered on the ABC, as are the stories Adrian mentions above. Like it or not, the OV is a matter of political controversy at the moment and stomping your feets, closing your eyes and labelling it ‘unimportant’ won’t change that. That’s really the last that I intend to comment on ABC bias.

  8. Hmmm, Safe Haven Visa. I can just imagine Alex tapping away at:

    [Whippoorwills call, evenin’ is nigh
    Hurry to my Blue Heaven

    Turn to the right, there’s a little white light
    Will lead you to my Blue Heaven

    You’ll see a smilin’ face, a fireplace, a cozy room
    Little nest that nestles where the roses bloom

    Molly and me, and the baby makes three
    We’re happy in my, in my Blue Heaven]

  9. TheTruthHurts… thanks for that link. I’m curious as to why you think there was a spike in boat arrivals in the 1999-2001 period. Or do you agree there could be push factors as well as pull factors and argue that all that is important is how arrivals are dealt with?

  10. Downer piece just replayed on World at Noon.

    Said they got the Navy to TOW the boats back into Indonesian waters!!

    Is that breaking International Law, Zoomster

  11. The real nasty about TPVs was that under them, recipients could not work in Australia or receive government benefits, so all their costs had to be covered privately, usually from charities.

    MT hasn’t explained whether his ‘non permanent visa’ will have similar provisions.

    Remember, to get a TPV, you had to prove you were a genuine refugee.

    So you had left your country, proven that this was because you would face persecution if you returned, been assessed as a refugee and you were allowed to stay in Australia as long as you didn’t cost the government anything.

  12. Malcolm just cant help it. Just as Kevvy was under pressure on the other side of the field, he just scores another own goal with his SHV.

    All pressure will be off Kevvy and Malcolm is now the issue, especially in next week QT.

  13. The Outer Limits guys was banging on about a report dated “FEBRUARY *2002*”

    No it wasnt -the figures derived from just that report were as of April 2002.

    Then there’s the other UNHCR stuff on top for later dates.

    That’s why your banned – because you make shit up. There’s a lot of other piffle as well, but I’m pretty much over boat people and the idiots that wash in on the conversational tide with them.

  14. “I’m curious as to why you think there was a spike in boat arrivals in the 1999-2001 period.”

    I don’t believe there was a spike in the 1999-2001 numbers, I believe this was the people smugglers ramping their business up into top gear. The 2002-2008 should have been just as high, if not higher, but the Pacific Solution put a dent into the business, and the media coverage of how “evil” and “bad” it was played great for the government and put a perception out there that if you came to Australia illegally by boat, you would be treated poorly(most of it was hype, but it worked great).

    Now back in August 2008 the Rudd government made it very public in the media and elsewhere about going soft on boatpeople. This is why these people now have in their heads that Australia is now a soft touch, so they have begun flooding here once more.

    So 1998-2001 wasn’t a spike, it was a warning. Fix up the illegal immigration problem or the flood of boatpeople will increase.

    I speculate that next years number of boatpeople will be around the 5000 range, and Rudd will certainly have even more criticism from the Australian public.

  15. [I don’t believe there was a spike in the 1999-2001 numbers, I believe this was the people smugglers ramping their business up into top gear.]
    So the numbers didn’t increase subtantially but they did?

  16. “The Outer Limits guys was banging on about a report dated “FEBRUARY *2002*”

    No it wasnt -the figures derived from just that report were as of April 2002.”

    April…. February… close enough.

    Either way it doesn’t actually say those people ARRIVED in 2002 which is a claim you made. It simply says they are in Pacific Solution detention, and we know 440 of those were from the Tampa and most of the others between Sept 2001-Jan 2002

  17. [So 1998-2001 wasn’t a spike, it was a warning.]
    So the numbers didn’t increase subtantially but they did?
    ltep is right. “Well I don’t see the point in debating with you any further. It’s clear you are illogical.”

  18. gaffhook

    Read em and weep. Rudd is guaranteeing resettlement in three months for the SL on teh OV if they are refugees. If you are in Indonesia you normally wait a few years. That is SPECIAL TREATMENT.

    There is none who is as blind as those who will not see.

    [KERRY O’BRIEN: But I have read the proposition that you put to these people on the Oceanic Viking. What you are saying is, “Go to Indonesia now, and if the UNHCR says yes, you are a refugee, we’ll make sure that you are resettled in three months.”

    Now that is not what you are offering every person in Indonesia claiming asylum seekers status, and that is what Malcolm Turnbull is saying, is an open invitation.

    CHRIS EVANS: No, we’ll that’s not right. People assessed by the UNHCR in Indonesia as genuine refugees, and found to be so are referred to settlement countries for resettlement. 1300 or so have been resettled out of Indonesia in recent years, under the Howard Government and under the Rudd Government.

    KERRY O’BRIEN: But have they all been resettled within three months?

    CHRIS EVANS: No, no, there’s no doubt some of them have taken longer, and that’s why we’ve been working with Indonesians to deal with the protracted case load, to work through the numbers who have been left for too long. And what we are saying …]

  19. Ummm

    can we not descend to calling other posters “it”.

    I think william is trying to maintain a certain decorum,and IMHO calling someone a “troll” or “it” is unhelpful and demeans this sites ethos

    just saying


  20. [Published under Department of Immigration letterhead and signed by Australian diplomat Jim O’Callaghan, it promised those already declared refugees would be resettled within four to six weeks.

    Those whose claims were subsequently successful would be resettled within 12 weeks.

    The letter does not promise a particular country, but sources close to the negotiations said the bulk – if not all – would end up in Australia.

    Immigration Minister Chris Evans acknowledged Australia would take a “sizeable amount of the load”.

    And AS in Indonesian camps who aren’t on the OV are getting nothing like that. The spin and BS people will swallow if it comes from Labor is unbelievable.

  21. Diogenes, the fact is the Government needs to get these people off the OV in some way. I suspect they will be far less likely to do favours for Indonesia in this area in future. To put it another way, they got themselves into a mess and need to get themselves out of it.

  22. I notice Rudd was very quick off the mark to criticise Turnball’s much hyped Border Protection policy. I wonder if Labor has its own mole in the shadow cabinet?

  23. And guess who isn’t happy with Turnball? The right wing radio shock jocks!
    Steve Price spent all morning whining about Turnball being no better than Labor LMAO
    Methinks Turnball wedged himself very badly, he’s pissed off both the far left of his party(Georgio, Judith Troth) and the right wing nutbags(who hanker back to the navy towing boats out of our waters).

  24. Downer’s interview on Radio National was frankly disturbing, what a creep!
    It makes you very grateful Smith is now Foreign Minister.

  25. [Downer is one of the few things that detract from one being a South Aussie.]

    The only bad thing about living in Berowra: being represented by Ruddock.

  26. “So the numbers didn’t increase subtantially but they did?
    ltep is right. “Well I don’t see the point in debating with you any further. It’s clear you are illogical.””

    Do you agree your 2002 numbers are wrong?

    Even your own citation: Includes the MV TAMPA in the numbers you claim arrived in 2002.

    Another 140 were transferred from Christmas Island detention centre to the Pacific Solution in 26 January 2002, so you can knock those ones off your list as 2002 arrivals.

    Then we have Siev 1 – 10. I’ll be happy to do your research for you and actually find out when they arrived if you like. May take some time though.

  27. As an exercise in the handling of emergency situations by the PM, the Oceanic Viking Incident is as good as any other.

    That it is an emergency situation is pretty-well beyond dispute. It’s not every day that a large ship like the OV has a mass sit-in staged on it. It’s not every day that the Indonesian government renegs on a deal, or that the New Zealanders say “No”, with a backhander to our PM boot. It doesn’t have to be a life-threatening emergency to be an “emergency”, although there has been mention made of the SLs resisting to the death any attempt to remove them from the ship.

    So we have a real, but not Earth-shattering set of inputs given to Rudd to mull over, and we see how quickly and effectively he can come up with a solution. This is all to the tune of constant media harassment, bootstrappers and a public opinion not exactly benign towards any asylum seekers, especially the recelcitrants who’ve occupied one of our Customs ships at great cost to the public purse.

    So I think it’s fair enough that this incident is in media focus at the moment. I don’t think it’s a “big yawn” out there in Voterland. That’s wishful thinking. People don’t want to see our government humiliated and at the beck and call of a bunch of ingrates who we rescued and who then turned the tables on us.

    If Rudd can get all the occupiers off the boat, then good on him. Already we hear that arrangements have been made for a few to leave. That’s a plus.

    As for the remainder, time is running out. Already it’s a bit of a farce. It’s not Rudd’s fault, as there is no practical way he could get the people off the ship without use of force, and using force means the Indonesians won’t accept them anyway. TTH’s “plan”, for civilian Customs officers, or perhaps the SAS to go in, guns-drawn, and perhaps blazing if the occupiers carry out their threat to die rather than be removed, is ridiculous. Rudd won’t do it, and suggesting that Howard would have is not only completely hypothetical, but also a very, very long bow to draw. Using force within Indonesia’s territorial waters is the kind of thing that causes really major diplomatic strife.

    So, my idea still stands. If, by the end of the week, the remaining occupiers haven’t left the ship, we bring them back to our waters and prosecute them. They’ve had their chance, made their bed, whatever you want to call it. Enough is enough.

  28. (Advanced warning that this is not a dog whistle and should not be over interpreted)

    There is a story in The Economist about a gallup survey on where people want to live. In a world wide survey about 16% of adults (translates to 600m people) would prefer to live somewhere else. Richer countries are usually preferred. Over 25M would liek to make Australia home.

    The point is, we can’t take veryone, so we must have some system to humanely deal with people who want and/or need to find a home. Most will inevitably miss out.

  29. Just heard Downer on the radio, talking about towing boats back to sea and giggling about it.
    This guy was a Foreign Minister? Breaking international laws is amusing?
    Hasn’t learnt much since the ‘things that batter’ days.

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