Morgan: 59-41

The first Roy Morgan face-to-face poll of Tony Abbott’s Liberal leadership covers the last two weekends of polling, and it fails to replicate the encouraging results for Abbott in Morgan’s two earlier small-sample phone polls. Labor’s primary vote is up two points on Malcolm Turnbull’s last poll to 49 per cent, while the Coalition is up 0.5 per cent to 35.5 per cent. The Greens are down 1.5 per cent to 8 per cent. Labor’s lead on two-party preferred is up from 58.5-41.5 to 59-41.

Festive preselection action:

• Former Davis Cup tennis player John Alexander has won the Liberal preselection for Bennelong, having earlier tried and failed in Bradfield. Despite predictions of a close contest, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the Left-backed Alexander had an easy first round win over local business executive Mark Chan, scoring 67 votes in the ballot of 120 preselectors. As the Herald tells it, “the right split and the hard right deserted Mr Chan”, although VexNews notes the seat is “not a centre of factional operations for either camp”. The also-rans were businessman Steve Foley and financial services director Melanie Matthewson.

• Wanneroo mayor Jon Kelly has withdrawn his nomination for Labor preselection in the Perth northern suburbs federal seat of Cowan, after earlier being considered certain to get the gig. This comes in the wake of a Corruption and Crime Commission finding that Kelly had put himself at “risk” of misconduct through his relationship with Brian Burke. Burke presumably knew what he was doing when he subsequently endorsed Kelly, going on to say he had “sought my help on many occasions and I’ve always been available to assist him”. The West Australian reported the withdrawal was the product of a “mutual” decision reached after “a week of talks with Labor officials”, which included federal campaign committee chairman and Brand MP Gary Gray. Potential replacements named by The West are Dianne Guise and Judy Hughes, who respectively lost their local seats of Wanneroo and Kingsley at the state election last September. The ABC reports a decision is expected in mid-January.

• The Western Australian ALP has also confirmed Tim Hammond, Louise Durack and ECU history lecturer Bill Leadbetter as candidates for Swan, Stirling and Pearce.

• The NSW Liberals have selected incumbents Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and Bill Heffernan to head their Senate ticket, reversing the order from 2004. The Coalition agreement reserves the third position for the Nationals – I am not aware of any suggestion their candidate will be anyone other than incumbent Fiona Nash. Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports Heffernan needed the backing of Tony Abbott to ward off challenges from David Miles, a public relations executive with Pfizer, and George Bilic, a Blacktown councillor.

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald notes Left figurehead Anthony Albanese’s chutzpah in calling for the Macquarie preselection to be determined by rank-and-file party ballot, after the role he played in imposing numerous candidates elsewhere as a member of the party’s national executive. Albanese reportedly believes Left candidate Susan Templeman would win a local ballot, although the earlier mail was that the Right’s Adam Searle had the numbers and it was the Left who wanted national executive intervention.

• Final Liberal two-party margin from the Bradfield by-election: 14.8 per cent. From Higgins: 10.2 per cent. Respective turnouts were 81.51 per cent and 79.00 per cent, compared with 80.12 per cent at the Mayo by-election, 87.41 per cent in Lyne and 89.68 per cent in Gippsland. Question: if the results have been declared, why hasn’t the AEC published preference distributions?

VexNews reports Saturday’s Liberal preselection for the Victorian state seat of Ripon was a clear win for the unsuccessful candidate from 2006, Vic Dunn, who my records tell me is “the local inspector at Maryborough”. Dunn reportedly scored 53 votes against 26 for Institute of Public Affairs agriculture policy expert and preselection perennial Louise Staley and four for local winery owner John van Beveren. Joe Helper holds the seat for Labor on a maergin of 4.3 per cent.

• The Berwick Star reports that Lorraine Wreford, the newly elected mayor of Casey, refused to confirm or deny reports she lodged a nomination for Liberal preselection in the state seat of Mordialloc last Friday. Janice Munt holds the seat for Labor on a margin of 3.5 per cent.

• The Country Voice SA website reports that one of its regular contributors, former SA Nationals president Wilbur Klein, will be the party’s candidate for Flinders at the March state election. The seats was held by the party prior to 1993, when it was won by its now-retiring Liberal member Liz Penfold.

• On Tuesday, The West Australian provided further data from the 400-sample Westpoll survey discussed a few posts ago, this time on attitudes to an emissions trading scheme. Forty per cent wanted it adopted immediately, down from 46 per cent two months ago. However, there was also a fall in the number wanting the government to wait until other countries committed to targets, from 47 per cent to 43 per cent. The remainder “ favoured other options to cut emissions or did not know”.

• Paul Murray of The West Australian offers some interesting electoral history on the occasion of the passing of former Liberal-turned-independent state MP Ian Thompson:

Shortly after the State election in February 1977, allegations began to emerge from both sides of politics about dirty deeds in the seat of Kimberley. Liberal sitting member Alan Ridge beat Labor’s Ernie Bridge on preferences by just 93 votes. The Liberals were the first to strike, claiming Labor was manipulating Aboriginal voters, but the move backfired badly. A subsequent Court of Disputed Returns case turned up scathing evidence of a deliberate Liberal campaign to deny Aboriginals the vote using underhand tactics and the election result was declared void on November 7.

Returning officers in the Kimberley for years had allowed illiterate Aboriginals to use party how-to-vote cards as an indication of their voting intention. What became apparent later was that Labor had put hundreds of Aboriginal voters on the roll and generally mobilised the indigenous community. The Liberals flew a team of young lawyers up from Perth to act as scrutineers at polling booths, with a plan to stop illiterate voters. The Court government pressured the chief electoral officer to instruct returning officers in the Kimberley to challenge illiterate voters and not accept their how-to-vote cards.

The court case turned up a letter of thanks from Mr Ridge to a Liberal Party member, who stood as an independent, saying “a third name on the ballot paper created some confusion among the illiterate voters and there is no doubt in my mind that it played a major part in having me re-elected”. Mr Ridge’s letter said that unless the Electoral Act was changed to make it more difficult for illiterate Aboriginals to cast their votes, the Liberals would not be able to win the seat.

Two days after the court ordered a new election, premier Sir Charles introduced in the Legislative Assembly a Bill to do just that. How-to-vote cards could not be used, nor could an instruction of a vote for just one candidate. Labor went ballistic, saying no illiterate voter would meet the test.

What transpired over nine hours was one of the most bitter debates ever seen in the WA Parliament and the galvanising of a new breed of Labor head kickers – Mr Burke, Mal Bryce, Bob Pearce and Arthur Tonkin, who came to power six years later. On November 10, it became apparent that the government was in trouble when one of the four National Country Party members not in the coalition Cabinet, Hendy Cowan, said he opposed the Bill because it disenfranchised all illiterate voters. When it came to the vote, the four NCP members crossed the floor and the maverick Liberal member for Subiaco, Dr Tom Dadour, abstained. The numbers split 25-25.

From the Speaker’s chair, Ian Thompson calmly noted that the law said when a Court of Disputed Returns ordered a by-election it had to be held under the same conditions as the original poll. If the Government wanted to amend the Electoral Act, it should do so after the by-election.

“Therefore I give my casting vote with the ‘Noes’ and the Bill is defeated,” he said. Hansard unusually recorded applause.

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.

2,931 comments on “Morgan: 59-41”

  1. [But the nationals are a minor party. The argument is over declining support for the two majors.]

    If it is, it shouldn’t be. Surely the issue here is whether people are satisfied with having two blocs alternating in power. I don’t see that any alternative argument is worth having. All you achieve by grouping the Nationals with the minors is to obscure the trend where increasing numbers of people are voting for parties they know are not going to form government.

  2. [But the nationals are a minor party. The argument is over declining support for the two majors.]

    Seems meaningless if it’s not in the context of their electoral prospects. If the Libs/Nats are in coalition they should be treated like the LNP for such comparisons.

  3. Just been catching up on the last couple of pages of posts. Spent today trying to keep the offspring out of the yard while her xmas present was assembled. Glass of wine time!!!

    Saw the links to the articles about Adele Carles in Freo earlier. Sitting on the govt side of the house, having chairman sniff and barnett along to the xmas party?? I dont like Ripper, but i’d have to agree with his “lib in a green suit comment”.

    Ive always seen her as an annoying pollie. Particularly as she came to prominence on such a confected, nothing issue as the demolition and remediation of the ANI foundry site in south freo. Still, labor ran a bad campagin in freo when McGinty left and Tagliaferi turned out be not the greatest of candidates, and the libs chose not to run as a tactical matter. I suppose since she owes her seat to the libs and her only real prospect of keeping it is for them not to run at the next election, (provided the ALP fields a decent candidate) its no real suprise she seems to be sucking up to them.

    But the kicker for me was a couple of weeks ago when i went to the prize night at my daughters primary school. The headmaster got up and said that Melissa Parkes (our Federal member) had apologised as she couldnt make it but had bought the prizes for a couple of the yearly awards which he then presented.

    Adele Carles then got up and presented what she had bought called, “The Adele Carles Citizenship Award” or something like that. She appended her name to a primary school student award!! There were a few shocked looks and a bit of murmuring among the parents at that. I mean, I know she has to build a profile in her electorate but the outright arrogance of hijacking a kiddies award like that was something i found stunning. She had been introduced and we all knew who she was by that stage so it was completely uncalled for. This woman has serious self aggrandizment issues i think, and takes herself far to seriously.

    When i saw those articles linked earlier it brought it all back. Anyway hope all the PB crew have a good xmas. Hope Tony Abbott has one too. He wont be getting too much pleasure out of the new year I think. 🙂

  4. 2297
    If your going to include the nationals then it’s like what William says, it comes down to your start date. Do you start when there were several viable minor parties, after the DLP split, or after the Liberal party was formed.

  5. 2300

    Speeding and drink driving (a bigger problem this time of year) are to of the major causes of road deaths. It is good that the Government cracks down on them to meke the roads safer. The Government needs to get money from somewhere and poele who break the law are a good place to get if from. Would you rather road traffic offences were punished with custodial, corporal or capital punishment? If you don`t want to pay speeding fines do not exceed the legal maximum speed (which is what speed LIMITs are) for the road.

  6. [I accept without argument that support for the nationals has been declining.]

    But support can shift between Libs and Nats either way at different times. What matters in the end is what they add up to.

  7. [triton
    Posted Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I accept without argument that support for the nationals has been declining.

    But support can shift between Libs and Nats either way at different times. What matters in the end is what they add up to.]

    Support for the nationals has been declining; Labor is picking up more regional seats. I’m not so sure all the vote moves from National to Liberal. I know of several cases where if definitely didn’t.

  8. Its a must to add Lib and Nat at national level because the Libs have been winning votes at the expense of Nats for many years. That leaves the “third party” voting block more clearly seen

  9. [But the kicker for me was a couple of weeks ago when i went to the prize night at my daughters primary school. The headmaster got up and said that Melissa Parkes (our Federal member) had apologised as she couldnt make it but had bought the prizes for a couple of the yearly awards which he then presented.

    Adele Carles then got up and presented what she had bought called, “The Adele Carles Citizenship Award” or something like that. She appended her name to a primary school student award!! There were a few shocked looks and a bit of murmuring among the parents at that. I mean, I know she has to build a profile in her electorate but the outright arrogance of hijacking a kiddies award like that was something i found stunning. She had been introduced and we all knew who she was by that stage so it was completely uncalled for. This woman has serious self aggrandizment issues i think, and takes herself far to seriously.]

    Great story imacca and the total opposite to other hard working Greens like Giz Watson who doesn’t make a song and dance about issues – Adele sounds very vain, and what galled me about her was her gloating about being the only lower House MP who voted in the lower house about the Stop and Search Laws when in fact Labor also opposed them once their amendments were rejected, and to which Adele voted against – amendments which would’ve ensured that Parliament had a firm hand against the Police Commissioner alone deciding where the legislation applied. Her actions have ensured that once the legislation is passed in the Upper house (unless a couple of Nats vote against it) that WA would have legislation which would make certain relatives of a Couple of Libs very proud indeed.

  10. [Support for the nationals has been declining; Labor is picking up more regional seats. I’m not so sure all the vote moves from National to Liberal. I know of several cases where if definitely didn’t.]

    If the Lib/Nat sum is reported you don’t have to make any assumptions about what shifted where to justify excluding the Nats, since all that matters in the end is the sum of them. If you just add them together you don’t need to care what any shifts were.

  11. [Frank

    I saw she is going to introduce a bill to ban uranium mining in WA. I assume WA Labor supports uranium mining.]

    No,

    WA Labor OPPOSES Uranium Mining and there was none during the Gallop/Carpenter Reign – Crazy Colin dropped the policy.

    Nice try and being the bearded fellow under the bridges,, and no I’m not referring to a drunk and homeless Santa either.

  12. William Bowe #2254 and GhostWhoVotes #2255. Many thanks for the charts. At the back of my brain I think my original statement to the effect the combined support of the majors was in a downward trend was based on an article I read in an academic style journal. I will keep looking for it, and post it when I find it. However, as there now seems to be general acceptance of that, the urgency of doing so seems to have dissipated.

    #2286
    I too would be most interested to hear what Possum has to say about this downward trend.

    Really, I think the debate should now move on. Really it moves into the field of prediction, namely whether the downward trend line:-
    a. Will continue.
    b. Will plateau around current levels.
    c. Will reverse, and we will see an upward trend line.

    Of course in 20 years time, history may provide the definitive answer to those questions.

  13. Frank – #2316

    [ Nice try and being the bearded fellow under the bridges,, and no I’m not referring to a drunk and homeless ]

    I live quite near a railway overpass that is “home” to numerous drunk and homeless people. I have always found them to be nice people. I don’t understand why you appear hostile to people who live under bridges.

  14. [I live quite near a railway overpass that is “home” to numerous drunk and homeless people. I have always found them to be nice people. I don’t understand why you appear hostile to people who live under bridges.]

    It is an obscure term to describe a word which Starts with T and rolls along, and which William has banned from use.

    I’d suggest you take off that Tin Foil Hat – you look silly wearing it.

  15. [I live quite near a railway overpass that is “home” to numerous drunk and homeless people. I have always found them to be nice people.]

    It is always good to hear of one’s nearest and dearest.

  16. Frank

    [WA Labor OPPOSES Uranium Mining and there was none during the Gallop/Carpenter Reign – Crazy Colin dropped the policy. ]

    I honestly didn’t know that. I just assumed you didn’t have any uranium deposits worth digging up.

    Federal Labor supports uranium mining and export, as does SA.

    What’s wrong with you lot in WA? What is the policy of the other state governments?

  17. PY

    I once spent two weeks in the middle of a ver cold winter in canberra in acton park under some bushes aged 16.(btw The only time in my life that I valued newspapers).

    Love makes one do very strange things.

  18. I’m surprised Gusface is still here!

    I thought he’d be gettin’ ready for the midnight church service, so he can pray that Conroy’s Filter won’t slow net speeds 😆

  19. [I thought he’d be gettin’ ready for the midnight church service, so he can pray that Conroy’s Filter won’t slow net speeds ]

    Centre

    I was actually performing penance for your incorrigible ‘sole.

  20. [What exactly are you implying?]

    Whatever you imply by my attending midnight mass and praying for conroys filter

    [I thought he’d be gettin’ ready for the midnight church service, so he can pray that Conroy’s Filter won’t slow net speeds]

    I can imply better
    😉

  21. Gusface, you do not make sense.

    Me comparing a Manly/Parra grand final with Brook&Taylor was an analogy. Just in case you had a moment of thickness to work that out 😉

    If that had something to do what you are implying.

  22. Socrates – thanks for the link from earlier today.

    My best wishes to all bludgers for a happy and safe Christmas.

    Remember,…drink and eat early, drink and eat often…….have a snooze in the afternoon, and then enjoy a long slow evening…..it can be a geat day.

    Night all

  23. Best wishes, William and All and every one of our relatives and friends.

    Upon the season.

    Be safe, be careful.

    Enjoy!

    Love from me.

    Helen

    xxx

  24. Facts?

    Do you seriously believe that politicians know more than experts in their field. If you choose to ignore Google’s views on the issue, that’s your perogative, but don’t say that the Filter opponents are not basing their arguments on facts.

    Your being utterly ridiculous to do so!

  25. [Speeding and drink driving (a bigger problem this time of year) are to of the major causes of road deaths. It is good that the Government cracks down on them to meke the roads safer]

    The “Road Safety” campaign is a load of rot. It’s a revenue raising excercise performed every year in the guise of saving the poor diliquent public from killing themselves because apparantly during the holidays people are more likely to run into tree’s and kill themselves, but it’s complete and utter rubbish. Last Easter here in Queensland from memory there was either no deaths or 1 death. The police then said they needed to keep up the pressure and there was more work to go. More work to go?!? More like more fear mongering to go because the States are addicted to speeding camera revenue.

    People die every week in Australia in motor vehicle accidents… the ONLY time it is ever displayed to a nation wide audience is during the holidays forcing the incorrect and complete lie that people only die during the Christmas/Easter breaks. Heck we even get stupid “Tolls” with state by state break downs on which state is winning the annual car deaths tally.

    The thing that has reduced deaths from vehicle accidents in the last few years has been the introduction of new safety measures in vehicles. Airbags, Pre-tension seat belts, crumple zones, Vehicle Stability Control, etc etc. We know people are still speeding because the governments speed camera revenue is going through the roof.

  26. 2343

    The government enforces speeding laws all year round. The road toll is usually mentioned in most road death and road safety stories year round (on the ABC at least). You forgot to mention that a significant part of the drop in road deaths has been because of better emergency medicine.

    When people are of unfamiliar roads with their cars more packed than usual (during holidays) many of them have a greater risk because of the difference to their usual driving. Same with drinking and holidays. Many people drink more around Christmas because of all the festivities and so there is a greater number of potential drink drivers to deter or if they do then catch.

    Commit the offence, pay the fine.

    A certain number of people will always break the law and fines at the correct level to deter people are the best way of deterring them. Fines that were as much of a sting to the rich as the poor (income and asset based fines) would be better at dissuading people who have the money to easily pay flat rate fines. Where do you think the fine money should go?

  27. It is reported PM Rudd:
    ……called on Australians to keep in mind the people who cannot be with their families over Christmas.

    In particular I will be thinking of:
    a. All those who are in prison, bail refused and particularly those who are subsequently found not guilty or given a non-custodial sentece.
    b. Those serving prison terms for offences they did not commit
    c. Those imprisoned under unjust laws.

  28. allegory – #2341

    Thanks for that post. I have not followed the health care debate in the US. I am interested to learn more about the present proposals. What I can see from the article is a move to ensure every person is covered by private insurance,by tax incentives and government subsidies plus decreeing that private insurers must take on policy holders and pay out for all treatments, including pre-existing conditions. It looks a bit like the scheme Fraser moved toward.

    My understanding of the prior US system was that the wealthy and the employed (through employer insurance schemes) were well catered for, and the very poor through Medicaid had some form of treatment available. The unemployed, the aged, self employed and middle and upper-lower wealth brackets were at extreme risk however, unless they took out their own policies.

    My cursory examination of the article suggests the new proposals are dissimilar to our dual system – universal care (through Medicare) with optional (encouraged through the tax system) private cover.

    What has always fascinated me is the Singaporean health care system. It has some enormous equity problems, but on the other hand has some obviously attractive features.

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