Morgan: 56.5-43.5

Morgan seems to be back to reporting weekly face-to-face polling, at least for the time being: the latest survey of 1014 respondents has Labor down 1.5 per cent to 45 per cent and the Coalition down 2 per cent to 36.5 per cent, changing the two-party vote from 56-44 to 56.5-43.5. The Greens are up a point to 9 per cent, Family First two to 3 per cent.


• Previously believed bound for marginal Macarthur, Labor MP Chris Hayes has now been offered safe Fowler to compensate for Reid MP Laurie Ferguson’s accommodation in his existing seat of Werriwa. This is despite the fact that Ferguson wanted Fowler while Hayes preferred to remain in Werriwa, which was impossible because Fowler’s Right-controlled branches did not want Ferguson on their turf. The arrangement is a win for Julia Gillard and the “soft Left” over Anthony Albanese and the “hard Left”, which wanted Werriwa to go to Damien Ogden of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union. However, the drama may not be over yet: also out in the cold is Ed Husic of the Communications Electrial and Plumbing Union, whom the Right still wishes to accommodate. Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports talk he might replace Roger Price in Chifley. Macarthur presumably available again to its candidate from 2007, Nick Bleasdale.

• Jennie George has announced she will retire at the next election, opening up a preselection contest in her seat of Throsby. A factional deal in place since 1997 has given Throsby to the hard Left and Fowler to the Right; Alex Arnold of the Illawarra Mercury reports the Left has everything in place to deliver the seat to Stephen Jones of the Community and Public Sector Union. The Mercury’s Brett Cox reports “no love lost between factions over the issue, with the Left accusing the Right of a behind the scenes campaign to oust Ms George and discredit Mr Jones’ links to the region”. Local Australian Workers Union branch secretary Andy Gillespie has labelled the Right dissidents “hypocrites”, as they had acquiesced in the imposition Lylea McMahon in the state seat of Shellharbour.

• The Liberal preselection for Bennelong looms as a contest between former tennis star John Alexander and Mark Chan, a 25-year-old manager for GE Capital whose Chinese background is being sold as an asset in the seat. Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports the party has brought the preselection process forward so it can capitalise on Alexander’s exposure over summer as a tennis commentator. This would seem to suggest he is considered the front-runner.

Saffron Howden of the Northern Star reports Pottsville pharmacist Tania Murdock is the “likely Nationals candidate” for Richmond. Tweed councillor Joan van Lieshout is considered a likely Liberal candidate.

• After a state and federal political career stretching back to 1965, Tasmanian Liberal MP Michael Hodgman has announced he will not contest the March state election due to ill health. Despite being 71 and suffering emphysema, Hodgman had remained on the six-person Liberal line-up for Denison when it was finalised last month. The party will now have to find a replacement candidate, and enter the election without a sitting member in the division. Among those who missed out at preselection was Hobart alderman and regular independent candidate Marti Zucco.

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.

2,146 comments on “Morgan: 56.5-43.5”

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  1. [OECD Economic Outlook No. 86, November 2009 – The economic recovery now spreading across OECD countries is still too timid to halt the continuing rise in unemployment. The jobless rate is expected to peak in the first half of 2010 in the US, but it may not be until 2011 that unemployment begins to fall in the Euro area.

    The report says the recovery is tepid because economic activity is being held back by households and businesses repairing their finances and reducing their debts. With a subdued recovery and substantial spare capacity, inflation is projected to continue to fall well into 2010.]

    Excel Table:

    Latest OECD GDP (2009, 2010, 2011)
    Australia 0.8, 2.4, 3.5
    Austria -3.8, 0.9, 2.2
    Brazil 0.0, 4.8, 4.5
    Canada -2.7, 2.0, 3.0
    China 8.3, 10.2, 9.3
    Finland -6.9, 0.4, 2.4
    France -2.3, 1.4, 1.7
    Germany -4.9, 1.4, 1.9
    Holland -4.3, 0.7, 2.0
    India 6.1, 7.3, 7.6
    Indonesia 4.5, 5.3, 5.6
    Ireland -7.5, -2.3, 1.0
    Italy -4.8, 1.1, 1.5
    Japan -5.3, 1.8, 2.0
    Korea 0.1, 4.4, 4.2
    NZ -0.7, 1.5, 2.7
    Russia -8.7, 4.9, 4.2
    South Afrca -2.2, 2.7, 4.5
    Spain -3.6, -0.3, 0.9
    UK -4.7, 1.2, 2.2
    USA -2.5, 2.5, 2.8

  2. [And that brings us to the First Amendment, particularly that verse about “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    That’s the loophole that Scientology gets to exploit. And we have to accept it whether we like it or not, because if we’re going to accept as religions any other belief system that files the right paperwork, then we have to tolerate Scientology on that level, absent any evidence that it is violating its tax-exempt status or violating laws since its establishment as a protected religion.

    So Senator Xenophon would surely fail here. Whether he succeeds in Australia will wait to be seen, but if he does, then perhaps authorities elsewhere will begin to take a closer look.]

    Is there anything in our constitution that protects Scientology?

  3. [Is there anything in our constitution that protects Scientology?]

    I’d imagine not at a state level, unless you took a very broad view of the freedom of political communication.

  4. Finns

    I was watching a show that said in China that there has been lots of factories closed and people make unemployed because of the GFC. But their economy is still booming.

    What’s going on? Is there a net increase in employment and factories but more fluctuation?

  5. Diog, those closed factories were export oriented. The Chinese Govt US$700B stimulus was for domestic economy, no different from Rudd’s stimulus. That is what filling the Chinese rice bowls as well as yours and mine at the moment.

    The danger for the Chinese Govt is how to get the balance right, eg: The property market bubble is emerging and potential large scale corruptions.

    The fundamental remains, if you dont use your capital productively and effectively, you are asking for trouble and that was the root of the GFC.

  6. Finns

    You really are very clever and well-informed. If only you could use your gifts for good rather than evil, the world would be a better place. 😛

  7. Here’s one for Boerwar:

    ‘Flannery calls for population inquiry’

    [Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner has weighed into the population debate, saying it is laughable to argue Australia has too many people at this early stage.

    He says Bangladesh is roughly twice the size of Tasmania but has seven times the population of Australia.

    Professor Flannery says that is a meaningless comparison.

    “Antarctica is bigger than Australia and it hasn’t got any people at all, size isn’t everything,” he said.

    “Lindsay Tanner may well be right but we need the figures. We need the analysis to understand what we can do in terms of a sustainable population living at this standard of living.

    “It’s all very well to wave your hands in the air and say everything’s going to be okay, but show me the data, that’s what we actually need.

    “At the moment … all of our population-related policies, such as immigration and rebates for children, all that sort of stuff are just happening in a vacuum and that’s not good enough.”]

  8. Diog, when i’m good, i am very good, but when i’m bad, i am even better, eg:

    [Aussie dollar ‘will peak at US$1.03’, November 20, 2009 1:32PM – THE already overvalued Australian dollar will reach parity with the US dollar in the next six to 12 months and peak at about $US1.02-03, a currency strategist says.

    State Street Global Advisers head of currency management Collin Crownover says the unit is already overvalued by about 20 per cent and that figure would stretch out to 30 per cent if it reaches the $US1.03 mark.

    “I think we’ll see about a 10 per cent appreciation from where we are now,” the London-based Dr Crownover said in Sydney on Friday.

    “At that point certain dynamics come into play and that becomes an extreme overvaluation. ]

    This is money for jam. When it hits parity, if it hits, buy foreign currency. Plenty of local banks offer foreign currency account these days. Since you are herr doktor, i am sure you have more money than you know what to do.

    Unfortunately, i am a poor dolphin, aint got a single dime. sigh.

  9. [“Antarctica is bigger than Australia and it hasn’t got any people at all, size isn’t everything,” he said.]

    I’m sorry Tim, but that would have to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard

  10. [Is there anything in our constitution that protects Scientology?]
    Scientology should be considered a criminal organisation, and thus its activities subjected to constant surveillance.

    A foundation aim of Scientology is to “clear the planet”, which in Scientology jargon means to convert everyone in the world to Scientology. How is that different from Jamai Islamia or Al Qaeda operatives wanting to convert everyone to Islamic fascism?

  11. [ “Antarctica is bigger than Australia and it hasn’t got any people at all, size isn’t everything,” he said.

    I’m sorry Tim, but that would have to be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard]


    Tanner’s argument is stupid. You don’t work out your population size based on your land mass. Flannery is right.

  12. From the last thread!

    [The ABC puzzles me!
    Sure they claim they’re doing their job of holding the government to account, but I don’t recall the same scrutiny applied to the Howard government’s policies/actions.
    When ABC Online resembles a Liberal Party propoganda montage, I have to ask where is their objectivity?]

    I might be wrong, but I don’t think there is any criteria in the Legislation setting up the ABC that requires it to “hold the Government of the day to account”!

    Nor is their “any” requirement to “scrutinise” Government policies!

    There “is” though, an primary obligation of the ABC to fairly and impartially “report the news of this country as well as internationally!

  13. Half a% rise to the forces of good 😛

    Abbott becoming leader, blocking ETS and going to the next election on the “differences” between Alp and Lib makes sense, NOT.

    If asylum seekers has lost it’s initial shock value, as it seems by the lastest polls returning to ‘normal” and if as you would think, the voters who don’t believe in CC or don’t want an ETS are allready in the 44% of Colalition supporters it would be a wipeout.

    We have just had a what amounts to a 6 week election campaign on AS and it has gained at most a couple of % for the Libs. In a real election I can’t see a repeat perfomance doing much more for the Libs.

    Plus Labor still have Workchoices to beat them over the head with 😉

  14. SO

    I can’t find a single book in print about Scientology from a non-Scientology POV. Have they bought them all out and burnt them or something?

    I’ve only just worked out that Christian Science is completely different to Scientology and I’m keen to learn more about Scientology as a cult-religion but I’m struggling.

  15. Also regarding an earlier question of has Annabel Crabb published a book based on the Labor arty or a Labor identity.

    She has, but I don’t think it was written as to show Labor in a very favourable light!

    [After establishing herself in journalism, Crabb spent several years in the United Kingdom, acting as an occasional (and largely non-political) correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald. During this time, she wrote her first book, Losing It, covering the rise and fall of then Federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham.]

  16. [It’s 43C on my patio, our poles are too hot for dancing today]

    Vera, just took a photo few moment ago. where i am is looking pretty good. :kiss:

  17. Flannery that’s before the Antartic becomes the AS solution. Soon there will be boat loads of people there.

    Seriously though Australia can and should support a much larger population. Our infrustructure has to develop, so develop it!! Secure water supplies and start developing these regional towns.

  18. [I’ve only just worked out that Christian Science is completely different to Scientology ]

    Diogenes, one of the key differences has to be the contribution of Christian Science to Deco era architecture in Australia. I’ve seen great buildings in both CBD Perth and Darlinghurst, and I’m sure there must be others.

  19. And one for the Finnigans:

    ‘US investigates Chinese currency’

    [“They give their back of the hand to the world economy,” said one Democrat.

    “I just think it’s time to get the, get the stick out,” said a Republican.

    The first stick is the request to the commerce department effectively seeking a ruling on whether China’s currency link to the US dollar is a form of protectionism.]

  20. Desalination, pipelines, rainwater harvesting, recycling- you know the usual things you do in countries with low precipitation

  21. Turnbull sidesteps leadership talk

    Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull refuses to be drawn on a new wave of leadership speculation sparked by talk that senior Liberal Tony Abbott is after his job.

    Former Liberal minister Bruce Baird has publicly questioned whether Mr Abbott is eyeing off the leadership after hardening his opposition to the government’s emissions trading scheme.

  22. it was on skynews. Turnbull said abbott dont have a position, keeping changing, and say one thing in public and another in private. Meaning abbott is a two face liar. That’s war

  23. scorpio

    If it’s not in a book, it’s all too hard for me. You just can’t relax and read about something on the internet .


    We can’t even do enough of those for 22M so how are we going to do it for 34M? Why do we want Australia to get a larger population anyway?

  24. Diogenes,

    This mob seems to be more interesting than the other wacko lot!

    [Christian Science is a religious belief system founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1866 and is practiced by members of The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Christian Science asserts that humanity and the universe as a whole are spiritual rather than material in nature and that truth and good are real tangible things, whereas evil and error are unreal. Christian Scientists believe that only through prayer and fully knowing and understanding God will this be demonstrated.]

  25. [ Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull refuses to be drawn on a new wave of leadership speculation sparked by talk that senior Liberal Tony Abbott is after his job. ]

    Is laurie oaks shouting at turnbull to answer the question ?

  26. Rewi

    Thank you for the link. And also thanks for Flanagan for challenging the Rudd/Tanner orthodoxy on population.

    If Tanner thinks that is ‘laughable’ to argue that Australia has too many people now, he must be trying to make Abbott look sensible.

    Here are some laughability tests for Tanner to consider:

    1. The rate of species extinction in Australia. [Big joke, hey Lindsey?]
    2. The rate of contraction of our genetic resources [aka the rate of within-species loss of genetic variability. Whoops, you hadn’t even thought of that one, had you Lindsey? Oh, you don’t know why it matters? It matters because as genetic diversity is sapped out of our ecosystems their resiliance to change goes with it. And, by golly, there is going to be some biophysical changes, hey Lindsay? A good giggle, that one! Oh, and BTW, if this is the biotechnical century, as some say, shouldn’t we be conserving our genetic resources? Nah, grins.]
    3. Rate of per capita water availability. [This one would be worth just a wry smirk, wouldn’t it Lindsey – BTW how full are Melbourne’s catchments at the moment? Everything hunky dory there, Lindsey?]
    4. The contraction of irrigation farming in our main foodbowl. [A hoot a minute for the farmers going broke and with it the livelihoods of country towns. Perhaps even a bigger hoot as Australia becomes a net food importer rather than a food exporter. We are moving in that direction all the time, Lindsey. As they sharpies say in the stock market, the trend is your friend. Except when the trend is not your friend. Talk about laugh!]
    5. Trends in per capita catch rate of our commercial fish species. [No problems there, Lindsey, we can all grin and bear that one by buying that glow-in-the-dark stuff grown in o/s fish farms. Smiles all round.]
    6. Trends in per capita and absolute CO2 emissions. [Guffaws, guffaws, and a 5% ETS to fix it all]. BTW, Lindsey, here is a laughable thought: an extra 13 million people by 2050, @ say 10 tonnes of CO2 emissions per capita, would add something like an additional 30% to achieve a 50% reduction target by 2050. Haw, haw, haw. Laughable alright.]
    7. Trends in temperature. [Well, some like it hot, hey Lindsey? Let’s all smile in the sunshine.]
    8. The rates of wetland loss. [What a hoot!]

    I did not not used to think Tanner was a dunderhead but he has fallen for the typical Aussie population policy sucker punch. I hear it all the time.

    Tanner simply thinks, and talks, in terms of space. Unlike Bangla Desh we have plenty of space, right? Ergo we have room for more people. We need to fit more people in? Then increase the population densities of our major cities. But Lindsey, Kevin, why stop at 13 million? Why stop anywhere? Why not keep going until Australia has 100 million? We would need maybe 1000 million people to get as crowded as Bangla Desh. Maybe that is your vision splendid? More is better?

    People who think like Tanner have empty spaces alright, and not all of it is in the Simpson Desert.

  27. From the article dave linked to comes this in the last paragraph:

    [Speaking as the mercury climbed towards the 40s in Queanbeyan, Mr Turnbull said he believed a heatwave across much of southeastern Australia could be linked to climate change.]

    In today’s crikey, Bernard Keane (I think) had a crack at the Prime Minister for saying pretty much exactly the same thing.

  28. [Why?

    Tanner’s argument is stupid. You don’t work out your population size based on your land mass. Flannery is right.]

    Not solely no, but it is not irrelevant to the equation

  29. Flannery is right to point out that there has yet to be any proper analysis of what this very dry continent can sustain in population. Anyone who has flown inland, say from Sydney to Broken HIll, as I have done many times would understand what I’m saying. The marginal land of the the last half of the 20th century is the new desert, now starting not very far out west.

    This idea that we need larger population should be very closely examined. Some would argue that we must have a growing population to sustain economic growth, but where does that cycle end? Economic growth has to end somewhere too, with finite resources. There is too much being taken for granted, when the evidence in front of us says we have very little viable land.

    Centaur009 – your ‘solution’ lacks credibility, and shows up the need for a proper analysis. You forget the costs of such things, the difficulties of extra food production, the use of the best agricultural land on the coastal fringes for housing, and increasing dryness with climate change.

  30. [6. Trends in per capita and absolute CO2 emissions… an extra 13 million people by 2050, @ say 10 tonnes of CO2 emissions per capita, would add something like an additional 30% to achieve a 50% reduction target by 2050. Haw, haw, haw. Laughable alright.]

    This is the biggy. How seriously should we take a government who argues that climate change is the biggest moral issue facing the nation but then proposes doing something that will make it extremely hard to contain emissions, let alone reduce them to the level required.

  31. While I’m interested in what a population inquiry might find, and have some concerns about how we manage population growth, I’ll just point out that this ‘very dry continent’ does have an existing water source holding fresh water six times the amount of water in the Sydney Harbour in Lake Argyle, and that it’s not always so dry there.

  32. Not sure what a Gotterdammerung is but it feels like we might be having one at the moment.

    There is a howling gale outside. Thunder. Lightning. Short spatters of fat, belting rain drops that evaporate as soon as the hit the ground. The temp is somewhere north of 38; the air is full of dust; there is a smell of smoke; and there is the distant, dull grinding sound of pollies waffling.

  33. Rewi

    ‘Syd Arbs’ as they are known in water policy circles, while they sound bountiful, are actually rather small in liquid quantity, taking a step back-wise.

    Lake Argyle itself is worth a look, if you ever get a chance. It is set in a sandstone-type moonscape. The problem with Lake Argyle is that there is not a lot of prime cultivatable soil downstream of it. There is some, and it is being developed, I believe. But not a lot. Not 13 million people’s worth. The answer to the next question: Why not pump it down south? is: ‘The financial game is not worth the candle.’

  34. Honestly people do you really think that the rest of the world is going to sit idoly by in extreme poverty and starvation for ever while we argue about the cost of prawns going up and I really wish we had that 4th bedroom?
    Our only hope is to convert them allto Christianity so they are happy with their lot in their life. But that aint happening is it.

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