Essential Research: 55-45

The latest weekly Essential Research survey has Labor’s two-party lead steady on 55-45 after the previous week’s sharp drop from 59-41. Further questions probe “firmness of vote” (slightly stronger among Coalition voters); satisfaction with Labor and Coalition positions on asylum seekers, climate change, the economy and things in general; relative impact thereof in determining vote choice; and party with which respondents most closely identify (37 per cent Labor, 31 per cent Coalition).

Other news:

• The Mike Rann situation is sufficiently volatile that alternative leadership scenarios are being discussed. Writing in Crikey, Hendrik Gout of Adelaide’s Independent Weekly indicates Treasurer and Deputy Premier Kevin Foley may have ruled himself out with his recent revelations of personal problems: a deal between Left and Right could instead see the job go to Patrick Conlon of the Left.

George Megalogenis of The Australian probes recent Newspoll data for trends since the start of the Oceanic Viking saga:

In the three Newspolls that followed, Rudd shed a little more skin each time. By last weekend, the score was 56 per cent to 34 per cent. In other words, his net rating—the gap between those who like and loathe him—had almost halved from plus 43 per cent to plus 22 per cent. Scary stuff until you consider the unpublished splits for Labor and Coalition voters. Rudd’s net rating among Labor voters has barely moved. It was plus 84 per cent six weeks ago, now it is plus 81 per cent. All the loathing has been on the Coalition side. His net rating among those who were already voting Liberal or National was minus 13 per cent six weeks ago; now it is minus 38 per cent. Incidentally, Greens voters are also down on Rudd, with his net rating crashing from plus 60 per cent to plus 18 per cent in the same period. This isn’t the first time Rudd has antagonised people other than Labor voters. The same ripple of disrespect was detected after Labor’s first two budgets, in May last year and again this year. He arouses the enemy when he is forced to defend a specific policy.

• A Galaxy poll commissioned by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry finds “nearly six in 10” respondents believe an emissions trading scheme would cost jobs and force up electricity prices, and 54 per cent believe legislation should be delayed until after Copenhagen.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports the Right is expected to throw its weight behind Adam Searle, Blue Mountains mayor and member of the “soft Left”, in the battle to succeed the retiring Bob Debus in his federal seat of Macquarie. Debus and the hard Left want the seat to go to Susan Templeman, with Debus in particular having a long record of conflict with Searle.

• Salusinszky also reports state party secretary and rising Left figure Luke Foley has denied suggestions he might seek to fill a casual vacancy created by the expected departure of the Right’s Henry Tsang from the state upper house later this year. The Right would have the seat go to Shaoquett Moselmane, a Rockdale councillor and Lebanese community leader who has in the past sought to unseat Frank Sartor from Rockdale.

• The NSW Liberals have eyebrow-raisingly preselected Chris Spence, former One Nation candidate and president of its national youth wing, in the highly winnable state seat of The Entrance. Andrew Clennell of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Spence worked for David Oldfield in his time as a state MP, and is currently a staffer to Terrigal MP Chris Hartcher. Spence also took statutory declarations in his capacity as a justice of the peace from Iguanas staff who complained about John Della Bosca and Belinda Neal. He describes his past involvement with One Nation as “a mistake”.

• The ABC further reports local mayor Chris Holstein, who ran unsuccessfully in 2007, has been endorsed as the Liberal candidate for Gosford.

• The ABC reports four candidates have nominated for Liberal preselection in Bennelong, with Steven Foley and Melanie Matthewson joining the previously discussed John Alexander and Mark Chan.

• The Manly Daily reports Bronwyn Bishop has not been opposed for preselection in Mackellar.

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.

4,201 comments on “Essential Research: 55-45”

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  1. [No, and I’m unable to get hold of a copy at this time. What gives?

    It involves the willagee thread and a certain mp3 🙂

  2. The wife:

    [“On another occasion in March 2005 before he announced the engagement to Sasha, the Premier invited her to his office. Once there, he moved the table and chairs aside so they could have sex on the floor. ‘We were both naked and it was much more intense and passionate than the first time we had done it in his office,’ she says. “]

    The husband:

    [SNIP: Legally dangerous extract deleted – The Management.]

    The mother :

    [“Michelle’s mother, who was visiting from America at the time and knew about her daughter’s relationship still has a diary entry from that day, detailing Michelle’s visit to the Premier’s office”]

    Deja vu? Sounds familiar? Family affair? The boy in the balloon.

    The children: “We did it for a show”.

    SNIP: Legally dangerous comment deleted – The Management.

  3. George Megalagonis’ analysis suggests that the electorate has done what poll bludger has done in recent weeks – become more polarised. Once again, another good analysis from George. After the events of this week, one way or the other, I suspect the electorate will start shifting back the other way again, as coalition supporters are reminded of what they have left in parliament.

    As for Copenhagen, it is headed towards CopenOut as I feared. This will lead to genuine efforts to give the illusion of reaching a meaningful agreement. Peter Hartcher sums it up well:

  4. [It is widely understood in Adelaide political circles that Rick Phillips – the father of Chantelois’s children – has “put her up” to selling her story]

    Yes, I was wondering why the SA libs weren’t making political capital of this.
    They have refused comment, maybe because they got burnt by the fake scientology docs. But the issue of whether Rann lied is serious and should be one the libs would pursue unless they have strong doubts about the veracity of the woman’s claims.

  5. Today is the second anniversary of the defeat of the Howard government.

    However labor supporters should refrain from celebrating and gloating over the victory as there also people who lost a lot from that election and our thoughts should be with them.

    Jannette lost her lovely harbour views from Kirribilli house, John lost access to the Kirribilli wine cellar as well as his seat. Abbott, Downer, Hockey et al suffered a tremendous drop in wages from a ministers pay plus extras to a lowly backbencher salary. The liberal parrotts in the MM lost credibility and access to government thinking.

    Let our thoughts be with them on this day.

  6. Should be a very interesting day / week – sounds as if Labor will give the Liberals the majority of what they want with Chainsaw just saying he is happy with the deal. Turnbull will win in the party room, the debate in the senate will be interesting with the Nats / Greens / Independents – well at least Fielding / and a few Liberals voting against with some abstaining – Labor and the rest voting for which means it will get through.

    Overall, we end up with a pretty ordinary ETS which over compensates and doesn’t cut enough – it’s pretty pathetic but I guess the argument that something is better than nothing kind of works although only just. The scheme has to hurt people so that they change their ways, from all accounts so far – this scheme won’t.

    Greens should be able to capitalise on it at the next election and will hopefully get the balance of power in their own right so that they can horse trade and make some changes.

    As to the Libs – divided they fall

    Bring on the Australian Sex Party 🙂

  7. [Greens should be able to capitalise on it at the next election and will hopefully get the balance of power in their own right so that they can horse trade and make some changes.]

    Even with the balance of power the Greens will be unable to make substantial changes because no Government will agree to anything so politically difficult. Today will almost certainly see us locked into failure on climate change action. I don’t think this bothers the Government however.

  8. The bill puts in a place a carbon pricing mechanism, which is all that matters for now. The rest is just money. If there is a global agreement, we will all be back in a couple of years to amend the bill to tighten the screws on the emitters. If there is no global agreement it doesn’t matter what Australia does.

  9. I know someone who works closely with the Premier and she told me if something was going on – particuarly in his office – then they would have known about it. You can’t have sex in an office that people are walking in and out of at all hours of the day or night and not get caught. She also said the door has never been locked when he has been in there, so that discounted another of my theories.

    I’m beginning to have my doubts about this woman’s story now. It sort of made sense when I heard it the first time, but her own behaviour over the past couple of days has made me doubt her, then I talked to my friend and am further convinced that it isn’t all it seems to be.

    The story about the husband also makes sense given what has been said and done recently.

  10. [SNIP: Quote from other commenter deleted on grounds expressed below – The Management.]

    Now THIS is defamation.

    Word round Adelaide? Some dodgy website as the news source? Please.

    I heard down at the pub just now that Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny were having an affair.

  11. [I heard down at the pub just now that Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny were having an affair.]

    Why arent you out in your tinnie defending our shores!

    Surely you dont want to be overun by da hordes

  12. Jerry, Jerry, Jerry- is my comment on the Rann thing
    ETS will pass, but the coalition will be a mess
    TRU energy have taken out full page ads on the end of the world for Vics under CPRS- I say to everyone here swap electricity suppliers, pass it on, that will show them. I think my parents are with TRU….Origin will be the winners

  13. [Let our thoughts be with them on this day.]

    Castle – you’ve just made me weep. I wish I’d thought of all this sadness before I voted. How will I cope now!! rofl.

  14. Oh to be a fly on the wall at the Coalition Party Room meeting this morning!
    I imagine that Rudd will have a plant in there, he always seems to have something in QT to embarrass the Opposition with. 😉

  15. I’ve been in a Premier’s office for a supposedly private meeting.

    For a start, there was a staffer there at all times.

    Secondly, there was a fairly constant stream of people going in and out – not so much as a knock or a head round the door. A door locked for more than 30 seconds would cause comment.

    Thirdly, huge amount of floor space. No need to move furniture around. And nice couches, so who’d use a desk?

  16. [I’ve been in a Premier’s office for a supposedly private meeting.

    For a start, there was a staffer there at all times. ]

    menage a trois?

    [Secondly, there was a fairly constant stream of people going in and out ]

    everyone was into it?


  17. Rann looked convincing to me! I’m thinking more and more that this is a scam dreamed up by the woman and her nasty husband!
    In comparison I could tell Clinton was telling porky pies when he initially denied the affair with Lewinsky.

  18. For some reason this gave me a laugh.

    [Asked if Mr Turnbull would remain leader by the end of the week, Dr Jensen said: “That’s probably likely.”

    “You can never say anything is a hundred per cent, he could, God forbid, get knocked over by a car tomorrow,” he said.]

  19. [Rann looked convincing to me! I’m thinking more and more that this is a scam dreamed up by the woman and her nasty husband!]

    Is that why it took him a week to deny the claims?

  20. Castle I actually felt sorry for Howard’s humiliation on election night. What a way to end a political career……but I don’t now, I see him as the P#$%k that he is..

  21. [I can see the T-shirts now: I had Sex with Mike Rann]

    You can get a R rated spoof of the Elliott Spitzer scandal! I noticed this on a certain adult related site! 😉

  22. “Rann looked convincing to me! I’m thinking more and more that this is a scam dreamed up by the woman and her nasty husband!
    In comparison I could tell Clinton was telling porky pies when he initially denied the affair with Lewinsky.”

    If memory serves, Clinton didn’t threaten/take legal action over his scandal because he knew it was all true. The more I read of her claims, the more rediculous they sound.

  23. While we wait for the Coalition Party Room decision, this article may shed some light on why McFarlane is committed to negotiating a CC deal which includes Carbon offsets (Qld gov policy) “green” farming/ land management (though the project nominated is not in his electorate). Offset industry waiting on change Sorry, couldn’t find a MSM article on “green farming”, or carbon offsets etc in the New England area.

    A recent shift in voting in rural-urban seats with significant ed (inc. HE) & rural-industry research (uni & other) has been to “progressive conservatism” – an oxymoron, I know; but not if deconstructed: progressive approaches to the industry and landcare; but socially conservative. Economic Darwinism & 2 decades of drought have just about stripped the Tablelands areas of SEQ & NEngland of less savvy farmers & amalgamated many in marginal areas into big conglomerates. Howard’s attitude to The Bush & to rail/road/etc infrastructure on which rural industries depend cost the Coalition several such seats, usually to Independents. I McF still holds his for the Libs, but by a decreasing margin.

    Though it might’ve been lost to urbanites, such CC initiatives as carbon credits & trading, windfarms, “selling back to the grid”, and “green farming” are BBQ-stoppers in progressive rural areas like NE-DD and, since good farmers are internet-savvy (what else is there to do after sunset but switch on TV/ Internet), references to such OS (esp UK & European) initiatives are frequent. I wonder if I McF nearly choked on his cuppa when some of his colleagues came out with the Australia shouldn’t go it alonememe.

  24. Ozpol
    Good points there.

    Bill Heffernan was here last week (NSW central coast)and addressed the lib faithful which went down a treat so Ive heard, and did a radio grab for the local abc.

    He basically didnt support the idea outright of CC but was not a denier. I was quite surprised as he has seemed to be a bit of a dinosaur and quite regressive,he incidentally supported ,obliquely,the NFF stance

    His weight in the senate may sway some waverers but his being so quiet is interesting.

  25. I did not feel sorry for Howard on election night. No-one made him become a politician. He had a very good run – 33 years an MP, 19 years a minister, 11 years as PM. He alone decided to stay and fight another election when it was in his party’s interest that he retire. Hubris —> Nemesis.

  26. Howard’s concession speech was dignified, so was Rudd’s victory speech!
    I was just so pleased to see the Rodent lose that I was a little charitable to him that evening! 😉

  27. Gary: Where was the “None of them” option in that poll? 😀

    Turnball is currently winning by a landslide, not that he should take any comfort from that, it’s just that he’s the least worst option. 😉

  28. GB – so did I. norty, I know but those silly polls need to be treated as such.

    Of course I voted for the most important Kevin 2 years ago today and it still feels sweet.

  29. I guess that Chantelois’s past will now be the subject for some intense trawling:

    why did she leave the US?
    did she ever work in the escort business?
    what do her old school friends have to say?
    what do her ex co workers have to say?
    has she ever filed a false insurance claim?
    has she ever operated a failed business?
    what do current and previous neighbours have to say?

    Just some of the questions that rival TV shows will be asking and researching. For her sake she had better have lived the life of a nun – up to her ‘indiscretion’. From what I’ve seen so far she looks and sounds like a fantasist.

  30. How about this from Dr Jensen?

    [Dr Jensen said: You can never say anything is a hundred per cent]

    Except making the same demands of the climate scientists. 90% certainty is not enough regarding the reasons for the warming of the planet. Only 100% would suffice, it would seem.

  31. Steve K – I heard Ms Chantelois on ABC this am saying that she now wants all this to stop to protect her family. What the heck!! What did she expect. Those few little words make it all sound more suss.

  32. Bolt was on radio this morning making a big deal about the e-mails. Apparently he will have more revelations in his column tomorrow. Can’t wait – not.

  33. Schieffer Brains has pulled out of the Texas gubernatorial race:

    [AUSTIN – Fort Worth Democrat Tom Schieffer has decided to end his bid for governor of Texas, The Dallas Morning News has learned.

    Schieffer has struggled to win money and support, and he began calling campaign supporters to confirm his plans to abandon the race.

    “He just couldn’t get traction,” said Houston Rep. Garnet Coleman, a Schieffer supporter.


    Some Texas Democrats have never warmed to Schieffer because of his longtime ties to George W. Bush. Schieffer was a partner with Bush in running the Texas Rangers baseball team. After Bush was elected president, Scheiffer was appointed ambassador to Australia and Japan. ]

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