Morgan: 57-43

Roy Morgan has come through with the first poll of this election year, and it’s a peculiar beast combining face-to-face results from last weekend and the distant weekend before Christmas (December 19/20). Labor’s primary vote is down 3.5 per cent to 45.5 per cent and the Coalition’s is up 1.5 per cent to 37 per cent, with the Greens up two to 10 per cent. On two-party preferred, Labor’s lead is down from 59-41 to 57-43.

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.

1,640 comments on “Morgan: 57-43”

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  1. Also blue-green

    “I think this policy is a reach out to those people- moderate coalition voters who would have been mightily pissed by the takeover.
    It is NOT a reach out to Greens or soft labor voters.”

    if you tink those Greens voters voting Labor up to 80% , ar going to switch from Green , and by pass “left” Labor…and jump a politcal grand canyon all th way over to “right” consevative , no

    Labor even when Greens run dead hav NO Greens How to vote card for Greens voters to pick up/copy from , still get about 75% of greens prefs when there is no Greens HTV They wil not switcharoo , and Bob Brown knows this fact also

    so if policy is aimed at Greens voters , it will fail shocking for abov

    now for getting ‘soft’ labor voters you say , well first Rudd would hav to be on th nose And he is not Has an av 2TPP of 58/42 Reely thats a no go eithr , due to curent politcal cycel

    Conservaton is very important and suport your details re land degrad being pushed , soam with you there

    But consevaton should be PART of th CC program and not a once offa thing because it then becomes part of th soluton plus delivers econamic benefits in efecient use of agric land , or preservin naturs wonders for th kids to see in person , not just in a photo

    Abbott to be sucessful would hav to be a CC believer with finkum CC polisys , which he can not hav being a CC denier

    i suggest what Abbot is after , in 2007 Libs LOST , since then they hav lost anothr 5% of there combined primary vote !! a further 5% unbelievable Abbott after that 5% (and not Greens prefs from Greens 2nd prefering Labor which is politcaly unacheivable curent)

    My opinon electon will be closer to 54/46 2PP and he’ll get some of that 5% , and none of curent Greens prefering 2nd to labor

  2. Have just eyeballed People Skills’ speech; my surprised eyes caught by,

    Of course, Australia has a role in reducing global emissions but we can’t save the world from climate change on our own.

    “Hang on a mo,” I thought. “Isn’t he the bloke who, only recently, reckoned “Climate Change is crap”? Geez, that was a few weeks back; in Tony Weathervane’s Abbott’s terms, an eon in politics!

    Naturally I looked for the “Overturning Bligh’s Wild Rivers legislation” … and looked … and then decided it must be covered in

    actual environmental improvements are more likely to come from conservative governments (that get things done) than from Labor ones (that have a tendency to lock land up without maintaining it)

    because Bligh’s legislation could (at not so much a stretch as a contortionist’s Gold Medal effort) be seen as that.

    A cynical observer might be inclined to dismiss “Wild Rivers” as Tone’s early Week 2, Jan 10’s “Look at moi, look at moi” publicity stunt. Now it’s Thursday (& his “Wild Rivers” stance bombed with greenies, green-leaning other voters, national & State Parks, anyone into conservation of tropical “wild country”, everyone who hates People Skills) it’s “been there, done that; now we’re onto the MDB” … after 2 years of “Rudd inaction” and 12 years of Howard’s.

    The big problem with the Murray-Darling, more specifically the Darling, is that there wasn’t any “Wild Rivers” legislation to “lock it up” before anyone decided to farm / graze/ build cities & towns near / pump water from it.

    A good long look at a map of the Darling’s catchment, length, geography and climate; a check of catchment & river water loss through evaporation & seepage into the Great Artesian Basin ought to convince anyone that the Darling’s water supply will always remain problematic – unless, somehow, climate change greatly increases rainfall in its catchment areas (fat chance!) Even then, much will still be absorbed by the GAB.

    Who the heck is Abbott trying to win over to the Coalition cause? The already rusted on & converted? The lunar Right? Who the heck’s advising him? I can see why his party preferred nelson & Turnbull!

    BTW, that pdf’s a CSIRO publication. A L Herczeg Background Report on the Great Artesian Basin: A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields project. September 2008

    Recommended if you want to understand the MDB, and why so little of the Qld & N-NSW flood waters in the Darling catchment basin reach the river. Buying back properties along the Darling & its QLD tributaries will not significantly increase the amount of water that exits the Menindie Lakes for SA.

  3. OzPol tragic. I am certain that Tony is trying to win back the greenish tinged Libs in the safe lib seats who go the their local national tree day. I think these guys abondoned the libs during the ETS kerfuffle.

    Otherwise i think there might be some rogue local electorate results in seats like joe hockeys and greg hunts.

    Next step is the 5% climate strategy without the ets.

  4. OzPol Tragi
    [there wasn’t any “Wild Rivers” legislation to “lock it up” before anyone decided to farm / graze/ cbuild cities & towns near / pump water from it.]
    A drive through the cotton areas of the N-West of NSW is all that is needed to understand the uncontrolled “big suck” that has given us the dry Murray-Darling system.

    I’ve seen many huge pumping stations with multiple pipes 2 feet in diameter with their own electrical sub-station. The taking of water – for unsuitable crops – that mostly evaporates out into the Tasman Sea instead of supporting native bird colonies in ancient wetlands downstream is heart-breaking.

  5. blue-green

    “Next step is the 5% climate strategy without the ets.”

    CC mitigaton can NOT be done Internatonaly efectiv without an markey based ETS Mitigaton soluton requires an econamic soluton model

    Its one of th many negs against th only othr option a carbin tax , to need to be able to “trade” , and also carbin taxes do not reduce usage eg cigies , and carbon taxes do not hav caps to ensure mitigaton

    If Abbott wants a CC polisy without an ETS , then clearly he showing , again , he is a closet CC denier , only spinning falsely for to gets votes

  6. OzPol Tragic @ # 1504

    Who the heck is Abbott trying to win over to the Coalition cause? The already rusted on & converted? The lunar Right? Who the heck’s advising him? I can see why his party preferred nelson & Turnbull!

    It would appear that he has won over Green Senator Hanson Young.

    The accompanying headline is “Greens back Abbott’s environmental push”

  7. [ou did invite to th threesome , imagine couldn’t find , so settled for Vanstone]

    Amigo Ronnie, Gus can testify on my behalf that i do like meatballs.

  8. Pedant@1428:

    [The notion that all politics is local looks like just another attempt to transplant a concept from America. The Howard government tried that technique by the bucketload in its dying days – not just the Mersey hospital, but also the attempt to have plebiscites all over Queensland on local government amalgamations.]

    Thanks for that insight, I think that is right. The difference is that in the US the candidates are tied much more closely to their electorates’ wishes than they are here, and they have a much greater propensity to pork barrel their own constituencies than here (though obviously it occurs).

    Also I’d forgotten about the Mersey hospital fiasco, what it did was to galvanise everybody else with a less than perfect hospital system to say “what about me?” and was a net minus, so far as I could see at the time.

    In the US, that would have been seen as par for the course, I suspect.

  9. jaundiced view #1506

    I suggest you read the CSIRO report!

    Early white explorers tried to find the Great Inland Sea & failed; not because there isn’t one; there is, one of the world’s great freshwater lakes – The Great Artesian Basin – an important source of water, it is the world’s largest and deepest fresh water basin – but because it’s underground (where it can’t evaporate) fed by the vast inland Qld & N-NSW Darling-Lake Eyre catchment. Luckily, most of the GAB is regulated! Very much so! It provides Easter Australia & parts of NT & SA with a fall-back drinking water supply. (BTW: In a few weeks’ time, when the SEQ WaterGrid water pipeline up the Great Divide is completed, it will join the Toowoomba -> westward pipeline to the GBD near Surat.)

    The main Darling problem occurs not in the areas its vast underground lake services, but SA Riverland & Adelaide. Even were Cubby & other big stations along the Darling (all the way well past Bourke) shut down, very little if any water would reach the Menindie Lakes, much less SA – in fact, due to evaporation & seepage into GAB, very little of Cubby’s water would make it down the riverbed as far as Bourke! Likewise, most of ag water “saved” by closing down Bourke stations, won’t (due to evaporation and seepage) exit the Menindie Lakes en route to SA! BTW: Those cotton farms’ major environmental impact isn’t their water storage, it’s contamination of water, soil & (sometimes) air from massive use of fertilisers & insecticides!

    So water in y’r actual, above-ground Darling River with its very high evaporation & seepage rates, is only really a problem when the Murray flows into SA are insufficient to feed its agricultural & human needs – as has happened during the last two decades of severe drought. The question, therefore (before “What happens to the Darling’s above-ground water before it joins the Murray”) is “Is SA doing everything possible to attain water self-sufficiency?”

    * Is SA proposing to shut down farm industries – in the same way as it’s demanding that Qld & N-NSW shut down valuable export crops – so SA gets their water; ie is SA shutting down water-hungry industries (ag & others) replicating those in Eastern states where water is less of a problem?
    * Does SA insist that all industries, inc ag, have systems which minimise water use (eg, is below-ground drip-irrigation the system enforced, in all suitable circumstances, even in home gardens?
    * Does it recycle all possible water to meet industrial, farm and, if necessary, human needs?
    * Does it maximise rainfall capture in all buildings, inc apartment complexes and business & manufacturing buildings?
    * Can it access more Artesian water?
    * Can proposed/in-construction desalination plants meet its urban needs?

    I’d excluded discussion of the Murray, since it only becomes relevant to discussion on the Darling at and after confluence.

  10. i noticed the greens as predicted here will jump in to bed with any one.
    no wonder this party does not attract too many to its ranks. How can you when they only see whats in it for them, What about tones other policies re gay rights which they fought tooth and nail for, What about the rights of woman in general.
    The greens infuriate me.
    yes i had not thought about this before tone does mix up his environment and global warming has no idea.
    Can you just see it shovel in one hand bucket in the other and banner saying follow me.great cartoon i would think if it wasn’t so serious it would be funny.

  11. [i noticed the greens as predicted here will jump in to bed with any one.]

    No, they are not a branch of the ALP, sorry to say.

    *rolls eyes*

  12. jv @ 1506

    [A drive through the cotton areas of the N-West of NSW is all that is needed to understand the uncontrolled “big suck” that has given us the dry Murray-Darling system. ]

    Demonstrating a total misunderstanding of how the system works!

    The reason that cotton and rice are grown in NSW and not Vic is due to different water regimes. NSW does not guarantee the allocation of water, Vic does. So NSW attracts ‘opportunistic’ crops like cotton and rice, Vic has permanent plantings.

    So when there isn’t adequate water in the system, cotton and rice are not grown.

    Given this scenario, there is no problem growing these crops in Australia.

    I’m all for Australian grown over imports. I like to know that what I’m using comes from a supervised regime with high standards governing things such as pesticide use, land clearing, fair wages for workers, etc.

    So – in years when the water is there – I’d way prefer to buy Australian cotton and rice rather than imports.

  13. PY @ 510

    [It does NOT maintain expensive state trade offices in overseas countries, unlike Qld, WA, SA and Victoria.]

    Which may be why these states are creaming NSW economically.

  14. Zoomster
    [Given this scenario, there is no problem growing these crops in Australia.]
    That assumes that the surplus in high inflow years is not desperately needed for other things downstream in the M-D basin. Sadly, this is not the case.

    The whole economics of growing cotton and rice on the Murray is crazy. They give farmers a good return per acre when they are grown. But we are not short of land we are short of water. So we should be looking at return per litre of water, not return per acre. In which case coton and rice are very bad crops to grow in a dry land. We would be environmentally and economically better off if many of those cotton and rice farms just closed down, no matter how little the farmers concerned may like hearing it. Knowing how damaging it is, I don’t buy Australian rice or cotton if I can avoid it.

  15. I’m not sure that rice is too bad a crop water wise (always pleased to be enlightened) – the water is mainly used for paddies and then released again. So there would be some loss through evaporation but probably no more water wasteful than beef etc.

    Which is an important point. One of the biggest (if not biggest) users of irrigation water is beef cattle. Far more damaging environmentally than cotton or rice, with far less return per kilo and far fewer people employed.

    I’d agree that our whole system needs rejigging (I personally push kangaroo ‘farming’) but it needs to be done on a rational basis whereas a lot of what’s driving the rice/cotton debate isn’t (not lumping you in there, Soc, a general comment).

  16. #1520

    [i noticed the greens as predicted here will jump in to bed with any one.]

    Bob1234 said
    [No, they are not a branch of the ALP, sorry to say.]

    The original proposition was so preposterous as to be unworthy of comment.
    However, if people really want to get down into the gutter, then I am quite happy to stoop down to their level. It would be difficult to know where to start.


    OK, out there, educating myself:

    the figures are:

    Water use in MD basin:

    Cotton 20%
    Dairy 17%
    Pasture 17%
    Rice 16%

    (This was one year, but we’ll use it as standard).

    It was noted that cotton and rice were highly variable in their water use, I assume for the reasons I’ve already noted.

    Interestingly, 100% of our rice is produced on the MD, can’t find a figure for cotton.

  18. [The original proposition was so preposterous as to be unworthy of comment.]

    Don’t worry, it’s only natural that the masses attack what they are afraid of – a party of the left now consistently polling over 10% of the vote and continue to be on track to hold the sole balance of power after the next election. 🙂

  19. His speech perpetuates the fiction that Australia is in danger of leading the world in climate change action. In fact, Europe has a well-established emissions trading scheme that has little or no impact on jobs and wealth.

    from this piece. i always think australian have no idea what they do in europe
    analysis here of Tony Abbott’s approach to the environment.

  20. Ratsars

    OzPol Tragic @ # 1504
    It would appear that he has won over Green Senator Hanson Young.

    The accompanying headline is “Greens back Abbott’s environmental push”

    What a nice “lying by omission” headline – BTW, Abbott’s being RC, “sins of omission” are as serious as “sins of commission” (as in this on a google search -thought you might enjoy considering it when listening to/ reading Abbott’s statements 😆 :lol:)

    Catechism of the Catholic Church – Sin
    Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to … and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. … 1864 ….

    Back on the topic: Wahoo! I thought. Sara HY’s supporting the repeal of Qld’s Wild Rivers Legislation? Be very afraid Franklin-below-Gordon! But NO! Not that mad yet!

    Below the headline & Their ABC’s positive spin for Tony, we find:

    Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young agrees with the Opposition Leader’s critique of the Government.

    “They have done little on tackling the Murray Darling Basin – a lot of talk and no action,” she said.

    Senator Hanson Young says both ideas have merit, but the Liberal’s track record on environmental issues undermines Mr Abbott’s message.

    “The problem is both he and the Liberal Party have practically no credibility when it comes to the environment,” he said.

    Constitutionally water is a state government responsibility

    The contentious issues of use and governance of the Basin almost stalled the formation of a federation. When Australia federated in 1901, the Australian Constitution vested water resource management powers to the individual States and Territories. Section 100 of the Australian Constitution deals with state water rights and provides that, “the Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade or commerce, abridge the right of a State or of the residents therein to the reasonable use of the waters of rivers for conservation or irrigation”.

    so a successful referendum would be necessary for Federal control (as Tony proposes). Any other action depends on the 4 relevant states’ either voluntarily relinquishing control to the Feds (but not in such as way as to initiate a flood of High Court challenges) or the MDB committees/ commissions’ state reps (esp Victoria’s & SA’s) put state differences aside to tackle the problem. Currently, a referendum success seems more likely, although it has None/Nunn & Buckley’s of succeeding. No way Barnaby’s mob would vote for it – or, for that matter, QLD, NSW & Vic individually or as a whole.

    So any carping (esp Greens’) on about the lack of Federal Government response over the MDB is nothing but Green (& SA) spin & grandstanding!

    Sarah HY is a SA senator, and SA issues dominate (and how!) her posts on the MDB. As you might gather from my #1517 post, I’m less than impressed by SA’s constant carping about its right to MDB water (especially from the Darling) when suggestions (close down all ag in the upper western Q & N-NSW catchments) defy what we know about Darling River evaporation & seepage, and SA State Government’s own self-help efforts, esp in recycling & halting Eyre peninsula desertification are, to put it mildly, underwhelming, especially if one’s paying SEQ’s huge water bills & living with continuing restrictions!

    Despite my own reservations re Traverston, especially re the lungfish’s preservation, I’m even less impressed after the FEDERAL Greens intervention in the STATE Traverston Dam issue especially when Greens offered no alternative, long-term, cost-effective replacement! Given that the easiest alternative – since the whole SEQ will, within weeks (if not days) be joined to the GAB at Surat – is drawing water from the GAB or tributaries of the Darling, it hardly fits the Greens’ image or helps SA’s cause!

    That aside, I decided to re-read the Greens’ relevant policy, the main plank of which, despite its position in a list, is public ownership and control of all major water supply, distribution, drainage and disposal systems. Hey, read the Federal Constitution, will ya!

    In Qld (can’t speak for other states), to the best of my knowledge State ownership is still in place, as it had been for as long as I can remember (ie, QLd meets that green policy criterion). In fact, I’m almost certain that river etc banks have been inalienably owned by the State Government since the Land Acts of the 1880s (which stipulate gov ownership of the number of Imperial chains – c 20 meters – from water for each bank); initially as an anti-“peacocking” law. My understanding is that almost all states introduced similar anti-peacocking legislation. In fact, given the Constitution, though states might sell off water infrastructure to private enterprise, they cannot alienate control of rivers (except into World Heritage listings) without facing HCA challenges – successful, I’d presume.

  21. “the Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade or commerce, abridge the right of a State or of the residents therein to the reasonable use of the waters of rivers for conservation or irrigation”

    So all the Commonwealth needs is a court ruling that the States’ use of the MDB is not “reasonable”, and then the Commonwealth can take enough control to return water use to “reasonable” levels?

  22. #1538

    Reading Newspapers 101 – Headlines are designed by sub=editors to attract readers attention. They headline may bear little resemblance to the story presented by the journalist.

  23. I’m a little surprised that The Aus hasn’t got more coverage of Tony’s speech splashed across it’s online site. Maybe the hard copy does the honour?

    The Federal election is going to interesting: It’s looking like Abbott will either be the savour for the Coalition or the guy who provided them with an extra term on the Opposition benches…

  24. Zoom

    FYI this presentation gives a pretty good explanation of how complex understanding the watrer usage of different crops is. It talks about “water footprints” of different crops and products:

    There is a good “bottom line” table on page 3. The key point is:
    1 kg of wheat = 1 cubic metre of water
    1 kg of rice = 3 cubic metres of water

    Calculating the cotton “footprint” is mre complex but usually it is even worse than rice.
    1 kg of cotton = 4 cubic metres of water (extrapolated from tables on page 9/10)

    anyway you can see that growing high water requirement crops here is crazy. We would be better off growing wheat, grapes, citrus and other grains and buying in rice from SE Asia.

  25. Socrates,

    What’s the difference between wet- and dry-field rice growing?

    Both in water use and in productivity?

    Sorry if it was in your link, but my ancient computer, slow link & dodgy browser Adobe plug-in couldn’t get it open.

  26. OzPol – you have written some really interesting and informative stuff today re water.

    Can I suggest you go on the site the greens have set up for public comment and give SHY your info on the GAB (which I learnt about in SA schools til I knew it back to front) – please.

    She is showing a lot of immaturity and needs to be told when she is wRONg or at least made aware of her lack of real knowledge.

    And the ABC need a few emails to get them to correct their headline. As usual the headline does not reflect the story. Makes me mad as h.ll and I hate taking it!!

  27. zoomster #1532
    OK, out there, educating myself:
    the figures are:
    Water use in MD basin:
    Cotton 20%
    Dairy 17%
    Pasture 17%
    Rice 16%

    Pleeeeeeease! MDB water used for irrigation can come from TWO different sources
    (1) above ground as in rivers, lakes, dams etc
    (2) below ground ie, the Great Artesian Basin

    While both come from the same source – rainfall – and river waters feed the GAB via seepage; the GAB does not increase the supply of water in the rivers! Thus irrigation using GAB water does not take water out of the rivers!

    In some cases, GAB water needs to be held in settlement dams and/or treated, as it’s high in minerals (I have the copper-blue loo you get, not from a toilet-block colourant but GAB mineral-rich water!)

    Note that rivers flowing towards Lake Eyre also augment GAB water supply!

    Unless MDB water usage figures differentiate between sources, they are fairly meaningless unless the source of the water (river or artesian) is given!

    Pleeeeeeeease, pleeeeeeease try to think in terms of TWO MDBs, the river system and the much greater underground lake system.

  28. Evan, I have found a better station Than 2GB when it comes to government bashing and pushing the coalition barrow. From 7:00 pm weeknights on 2HD (Newcastle) and through the Radio News network which from talkbalk callers reaches through NSW and into QLD. I know they are only catering for their demographic which appears to be retirees and “ruston ons”, but last night a comment took the cake. A lady came on and related to listeners that she has a fixed line which is silent and she and her husband had only distributed the their contact number to family and friends. Apparantly someone sent a text to the effect “All Retards to be shipped overseas in 2010” (or somesuch). Then she reminds us that she is a regular caller who has a disabled son and who calls (talkback) often complianing about the Rudd govt. So with some really bizarre sleuthing she puts 2 and 2 together and gets Planks Constant, and surmises that the telco provider has provided the Govt with her number, and someone within government has sent her the nasty text in retalliation for her anti labour stances…Mind Boggling

  29. Kersebleptes

    Sorry I don’t know the answer on wet- and dry-field rice growing. Obviously there are different production methods, some more or less demanding of water, for all crops. But the point is that some crops by their nature need more water than others. Rice and Cotton are crops that need a comparatively large amount of water.

    The gist of the report I linked to is that the world as a whole is better off if people grow the crops that suit their environment best, and import crops that are better suited to other climates. This is a world wide issue; not just Australian. The 70s/80s trend towards “cash crops” distorted agricultural patterns badly.

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