Newspoll: 52-48

The Australian reports Newspoll has Labor’s two-party lead at 52-48, down from 53-47 and back to where it was a fortnight before, although both parties are up a point on the primary vote – Labor to 40 per cent and the Coalition to 41 per cent. Dennis Shanahan reports this is because “a slump in support for the Greens detracted from Labor’s second preferences”. More later.

UPDATE: Full results here, including nifty Flash display of results. Greens down three to 9 per cent. Tony Abbott is up three points on preferred prime minister to 30 per cent – the first time in the Rudd era it’s had a three in front of it, as noted in comments – while Rudd is steady on 55 per cent. Abbott’s also up four points on approval to 48 per cent, though disapproval is also up one to 38 per cent. Rudd has recovered a point from last fortnight’s approval low of 50 per cent, with disapproval steady on 40 per cent.

Today’s Essential Research has Labor’s lead at a new low of 53-47, down from 54-46 last week and 55-45 a week before. A question gauging Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott’s attributes records little change since December, while other questions find hostility towards population growth and support for means testing the private health insurance rebate.

Have I got news for you. From New South Wales:

Simon Benson of the Daily Telegraph reports Labor’s national executive is expected to abandon plans to impose its preferred candidate to succeed Bob Debus in Macquarie, instead allowing the matter to be decided by a rank-and-file ballot. This is a win for the Anthony Albanese Left over the Mark Arbib Right, as it is believed the former’s preferred candidate, Susan Templeman, has the numbers in the local branches. A national executive imposition would have installed Blue Mountains mayor Adam Searle, who in the past has been identified with the “soft Left” but is evidently backed in the current instance by the Right. Searle was previously thwarted in his bid to succeed Debus as state member for Blue Mountains when Debus drafted Phil Koperberg. Benson paints Templeman and Robertson nominee Deb O’Neill as part of a move to follow the Howard-era Liberal strategy of having marginal seats contested by “soccer mums” rather than professional politicians.

• Labor Right faction convenor Matt Thistlethwaite will quit his position as New South Wales party secretary after the federal election and seek preselection for the Senate. Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports Thistlethwaite’s current position has become untenable after he lost the confidence of Luke Foley, deputy secretary and member of the Left, plus many on the Right when he “moved against Mr Rees last December but then backed NSW Environment Minister Frank Sartor for the premiership rather than the eventual winner, Kristina Keneally”. He will be succeeded in his current position by 27-year-old Sam Dastyari, a protéegé of Employment Participation Minister and Right faction heavyweight Mark Arbib. The evident certainty that Thistlethwaite will secure second postion on the Senate ticket behind John Faulkner means Graeme Wedderburn will not get the Senate seat he was promised when lured from the private sector to serve as chief-of-staff to Nathan Rees. In either event, the seat was to come at the expense of one of two incumbents: Steve Hutchins or Michael Forshaw.

• Labor sources tell Imre Salusinszky of The Australian that Robertson MP Belinda Neal has suffered a blow in her bid to survive Saturday’s preselection challenge from academic Deborah O’Neill, as 2005 attendance and membership records from the Woy Woy branch cannot be located. The branch is considered loyal to Neal, and the records are necessary to establish that members have attended meetings for at least four years, as required of preselectors by party rules. The sources say this could cost her up to 40 votes in a ballot of about 150 preselectors.

Belinda Scott of the Central Coast Advocate reports Labor’s unsuccessful candidate for Cowper in 1998 and 2007, training consultant Paul Sefky, has expressed interest in running again. Sefky appears to harbour a grudge against the paper for its reporting of the manner in which he replaced local area health service worker John Fitzroy as candidate two months out from the 2007 election.

Ben Smee of the Newcastle Herald reports Health Services Union organiser and former ambulance officer Jim Arneman has won Labor preselection for Paterson unopposed. Arneman was also the candidate in 2007, when he fell 1.5 per cent short of toppling Liberal incumbent Bob Baldwin. The redistribution cut the margin to 0.4 per cent.

• State upper house member Robyn Parker has been confirmed as Liberal candidate for the lower house seat of Maitland. Michelle Harris of the Newcastle Herald reports rival candidates Bob Geoghegan and Stephen Mudd, of Maitland City Council, and Brad Luke, of Newcastle City Council, withdrew ahead of the preselection meeting last Saturday. Maitland mayor Peter Blackmore says he will decide soon whether to run again as an independent, after falling 2.0 per cent short of toppling the now retiring Labor member Frank Terenzini.

• Reporting in the aftermath of last week’s preselection win by upper house member David Clarke against challenger David Elliott, Andrew Clennell of the Sydney Morning Herald said Elliott’s supporters were aggrieved at moderate elements, in particular Fahey government minister Michael Photios, for encouraging him to stay in the race so as to give the faction leverage in other preselection battles. Such leverage was used to secure preselection for Greg Pearce in the upper house and Robyn Parker in Maitland, in exchange for moderate support for Clarke at the expense of Elliott.

From Queensland:

• Nathan Paull of the Townsville Bulletin reports the Labor preselection for Herbert will be determined in the normal fashion, by a ballot divided between rank-and-file members and a central electoral committee, apparently following the intervention of Right faction powerbroker Bill Ludwig. This comes as a blow to former mayor Tony Mooney, who has the backing of the Prime Minister and was looking set to take the position on the intervention of the national executive. Emma Chalmers of the Courier-Mail reports Townsville councillor Jenny Hill is “believed to have more backers” in the local party than Mooney. John Anderson of the Townsville Bulletin reports that the Left has been directed (by whom he does not say) to fall in behind Mooney, despite the faction’s long-standing antagonism towards him. The candidate from 2007, local McDonald’s franchisor George Colbran, is yet to decide whether to nominate.

• The Whitsunday Times reports former Whitsunday Shire councillor Louise Mahony has expressed an interest in Labor preselection for Dawson, which James Bidgood is vacating after one term as member for health reasons. Whitsunday Regional Mayor Mike Brunker has ruled himself out. The Liberal National Party endorsed Mackay regional councillor George Christensen in November.

• An “LNP insider” tells Russel Guse of the Central Telegraph that Ken O’Dowd, owner of Busteed Building Supplies in Gladstone, is expected to be a candidate for preselection in Flynn, following the withdrawal last month of Colin Bourke for “personal reasons”.

• Emma Chalmers of the Courier-Mail reports Labor preselection in Ryan loom as a contest between Steven Miles and Martin Hanson of the Right, the latter being favoured by Rudd but the former apparently having the edge in the branches.

From the Australian Capital Territory:

• James Massola of the Canberra Times rpeorts Jenny Hargreaves, a public servant with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and wife of former ACT minister John Hargreaves, is considered likely to win the Centre Coalition faction’s endorsement for Labor preselection in Canberra. His rivals are Michael Cooney, chief-of-staff to ACT Education Minister Andrew Barr, and Gai Brodtmann, who runs communications firm Brodtmann & Uhlmann Communications and is married to ABC reporter Chris Uhlmann. Massola says Hargreaves is a friend of the present incumbent, Annette Ellis, and is believed to be close to securing her endorsement. CFMEU industrial officer Louise Crossman has won the endorsement from the Left, and David Garner and Brendan Long are the main competitors for the endorsement of the Right, but it is the Centre Coalition which is believed likely to be decisive. Massola reports Hargreaves’ nomination points to a breakdown in relations between John Hargreaves and Andrew Barr, who are both figures in the Centre Coalition.

• In the ACT’s other seat of Fraser, to be vacated by Bob McMullan, Nick Martin is said to be the favourite after winning endorsement from the Left; George Williams has the backing of Labor Unity (not to mention Malcolm Fraser); and David Peebles and Chris Sant are the front-runners for the Centre Coalition. The preselection for both seats is likely to be determined in late April.

From Victoria:

• After a traumatic final term in parliament, ALP Victorian upper house member for Northern Metropolitan Theo Theophanous has made a surprise decision to quit parliament nine months before the election. His vacancy will be filled by Nathan Murphy, plumbers’ union official and ally of Bill Shorten, who had already been preselected for the election.

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.

4,092 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48”

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  1. Mad Dog
    – #200
    Where do you get that information from? Is he a CPA – Certified Practising Accountant or a Certified Public Accountant? Is there a publicly viewable website which lists these people?

  2. Ron @ # 188

    You are spot on with that post.

    I have read a number of times calls from the “anti-religious” that those who have religious beliefs be excluded from acting in public life in accordance with their religious views unless they undertake not to pursue issues on the basis of their religious believes.

    The immature part of that is that those advocating such an approach pursue policies which are impacted and by their own views.

    This means that they wish to denying to those who may have religious views the right to act in accordance with those views if they are in public life while at the same time arguing that those with views that accord with there own beliefs have no such restrictions.

    Ron @ # 189

    The problem with the insulation issue is that the perception is that the scheme was mismanaged. It is irrelevant that the reality is different as was demonstrated by Poss ( where he showed that the instances of fire attributed to that program administered by Garret would have to reach 400 before it was worse than what occurred under the Liberals. This has been ignored everywhere while outside of Poss and here I have not seen it mentioned.

    I had a boss once who always said that perceptions were everything reality comes a distance second.

    Sadly this is true.

    It does not matter in the minds of many that the Government has been more effective that just about any other Government is getting us through the GFC. The perception, encouraged by the Liberals is that it was not a crisis at all and all the Government had to do was sit there and do noting. In this case the Governments success has been its downfall in that because the effect of the GFC here was minimal, because of the Governments actions, many believe the spin put out by the Liberal and perceptions trump reality yet again.

    I am sure you can think of many other instances where perceptions trump reality.

  3. the essential abbott is seen less trust worthy( well doesn’t that tell you the most about a person)

    I think sometimes , for a person who is very intelligent as Mr. Rudd is
    he thinks that people know what he is saying .
    I have a very intelligent son in law like that in the medical profession, and he talks away and thinks we all understand what he talking about.
    And is quite surprised when we say what do you mean.
    so this may be the case.

    But not saying i am intelligent by any means just ordinary but Mr Rudd way of speaking a doing things at home and abroad makes me a very proud Australian

  4. Barnaby holds a degree in Commerce with a major in Accounting, and had his own business as a Certified Practising Accountant, prior to entering Parliament

    So this mean s he has been to uni?????

  5. Here’s a bit of food for thought, although the writer is biased and definitely more optimistic of a good result for the Libs than I am!

    [Mark Westfield is a former senior adviser to former opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull]

    [Seats will change hands both ways through a combination of circumstances including the retirement of previously popular members, Labor ‘oncers’ who skated in on the swing towards Labor in 2007, and other one-off factors peculiar to particular seats – such as the emergence of a strong coalition candidate, or a change in an electorate’s persuasion due to the redistribution.

    The coalition is likely to lose nine seats:

    Greenway NSW – redistribution makes this a Labor seat, sitting member Louise Markus to contest neighbouring Macquarie.
    Macarthur NSW – Pat Farmer retiring, likely loss to Labor.
    Latrobe VIC – marginal seat made notionally Labor by redistribution.
    McEwen VIC – kept in coalition hands by strong candidate in Fran Bailey who is not recontesting.
    Bowman, Dickson and Ryan, QLD – all likely to move to Labor due to redistribution.
    Herbert QLD – Peter Lindsay, with very strong local following, retiring).
    Wentworth NSW – if Malcolm Turnbull decides not to recontest.

    The coalition may win six seats:

    Solomon NT – strong coalition candidate Natasha Griggs.
    Leichhardt QLD – Warren Entsch, former Lib MP with strong local following preselected.
    Bass Tas – Labor sitting member not recontesting after disastrous term; strong Lib candidate.
    Dawson QLD – lacklustre Labor member retiring, strong LNP candidate.
    Robertson NSW – Belinda Neal issues.
    Hasluck WA.

    Also up for grabs are:

    Swan, Stirling WA.
    Bennelong and Gilmore NSW.
    Boothby and Sturt SA .

    Surprise potential wins for coalition could be:

    Wright QLD.
    Deakin VIC.
    Macquarie NSW.

    The ‘up for grabs’ and potential surprises for the coalition all hinge on whether Kevin Rudd and his leadership team begin to convert their policy inaction of the last two years into tangible reforms, but time is running out.

    Finally, a coalition win is unlikely, but should not be ruled out.]

  6. Mad Dog 200

    That is incorrect… the CPA has to sit an exam too, they sit a CPA exam, …. but the pass rate of those exams are about 85%

    The difference between CA and CPA are the CA is mainly for public practice, and you must be mentored by another CA, while the CPA can be sat by anyone working in accounting public or corporate.

    They are both accountants, I have met CA (mainly auditors) who has no clue about the real world, and I have met some smart CPAs.

    It is like classifying lawyers/scientist based on the University they went to

  7. ruawake UNIVERSITY;corporate institution with the power of conferring degrees.

    oxford dictionary

    so we here in tas shorten it to ( UNI) ver sity so sick of you all having a go at me.

  8. Ratsars,

    I am an atheist. I do not follow any “creed” i.e set of beliefs. I can see no scientific or cultural justification for religion. But if people want to be religious, I extend to them the same courtesy I expect them to allow to me.

    What I do not want is any “creed” or set of private moral convictions to affect purely secular matters – such as what we call politics. I don’t do it and I don’t want anyone else to so do.

    I subscribe to secular human rights as the cornerstone of the polity.

  9. [so we here in tas shorten it to ( UNI) ver sity so sick of you all having a go at me.]

    My say, it was a lame attempt at humour by me. University of New England = UNE. 🙂

  10. [Herbert QLD – Peter Lindsay, with very strong local following, retiring).]

    Not if they are running Tony Mooney.

    Are Labor completely stupid? Tony Mooney went head to head against an Independent candidate in the Mayoral elections and lost.

  11. I am certainly not in shock and awe regarding Barny’s tertiary qualifications and hence his implied ability to manage a trillion dollar economy…I completed 1st year economics (4 Units) as 3rd year engineering elective…and that was only because the chicks doing engineering were aesthetically challenged and heaps of good looking sorts did economics. (apologies to any attractive female engineers – you were by far the exception than the rule in the 1980’s)..I only attended about 3 lectures all year (the novelty of the good looking economics babes wore off pretty quickly) and got a credit for my efforts. The economics department even wrote to me to consider a combined Engineering/Commerce degree…Barny reminds me of the character Dennis Denito in “the Castle”…Totally incompetent in his profession, you just wonder how he obtained his degree, and he lucks into a situation that he is totally unqualified to handle…..Would just love an interview to go like this…

    KO’B : Senator Joyce, you seem to make a habbit of mistaking your millions, billions and trillions…Are you sure you are qualified to comment on the Rudd Governments budget forecast.

    Barny : Kerry… well Kerry, you now its the (pauses)…Its the vibe

  12. Scorpio 209 – that bloke left out one loss for the Libs. Paterson on 0.4%. I aim to see that happens. The bloke who contested for Labor in 2007 has been preselected (uncontested).

  13. [Robertson (NSW) should be a shoe-in for the Libs so we’ll mark that one down as a Libs gain.]

    Unless Labor gets its act together and dumps Neal, in which case it’s a real contest. They’re running out of time, though.

  14. [I am in Hunter, but close to Paterson in Maitland. Do you think Jim Arneman is likely to beat Bob this time?]

    Benji – I really think he can. Arneman is a terrific candidate. Baldwin doesn’t like debating him and, with the redistribution, Paterson has moved slightly more into traditional Labor territory. It also loses parts of the rural hinterland I think.

  15. If they retain Neal, Robertson will be unwinnable at the next election

    It takes a really incompetant politician to cause a scene in her own electorate, and then have her face pastered over the front of all newspapers in the state.

    She should have just retired

  16. BH,

    Yes Paterson lost Gloucester and pickup parts of East Maitland. Lets hope we see some more campaigning by the ALP around Maitland. There was not much until the last week of the 2007 campaign. Plenty of Your Rights at Work posters, but nothing of the ALP candidate. I think it affected the vote in East Maitland and other western parts of the Paterson electorate, and there is ground to be gained here.

  17. For all the Barnaby fans out there.

    Abbot’s lament (Dulce Et Decorum Est)

    Bent double, like old boxers under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed Barnaby’s sludge,
    Till on the taunting media we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Joe marched asleep. Bronwyn had lost her boots
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the bells
    Of disappointed doorstops that dropped behind.

    Debt! Debt! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy earmuffs just in time;
    But Barnaby was still yelling out and stumbling
    And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
    Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
    As under a greenback sea, I saw him drowning.

    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the debt truck that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the garbage
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of crazy, unfathomable claims on innocent tongues,–
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To young libs ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    (apologies to Wilfred Owen)

  18. Yes I think that Turnbull adviser has got it about right. Not sure about Wentworth though, I’ld be very suprised if ALP won that one. So a net gain of about 3-5 for gov which is good.
    I’ld put Aston in as a smoky too.

  19. [I think the bloke making the predictions was talking about Qld.]

    Amazing! And how exactly did you come to “that” conclusion?

  20. [I’m sure Belinda Neal is a first class local member.]

    She may or may not be, I don’t know. But don’t you think the media will run her out of town?

  21. [If they retain Neal, Robertson will be unwinnable at the next election]

    Let her stay I say.

    I want to see the look on her face on election night when the punters hand her arse to her on a silver platter. It might even make it to my DVR(Digital Video Recorder) collection.

  22. ltep #203


    Barnaby holds a degree in Commerce with a major in Accounting, and had his own business as a Certified Practising Accountant, prior to entering Parliament

    In addition, that degree was from the rigorous pre-Dawkins UNE (started as a SydneyU adjunct when Sydney was Oz’s top uni & in the top International cohort; then modelled itself on Oxford) and specialised in rural commerce: Barnaby’s State of Origin is NSW & area of origin New England. To a UQ grad doing postgrad degrees at 1970s UNE (the only Oz Uni then offering them by external studies), suddenly faced with staff addicted to rigorous referencing & red ink, UQ seemed like overboiled spaghetti in comparison.

    He’s also a Riverview graduate at the time when it was in the top Oz cohort of selective-entry (intellectual) schools – with eg Fort Street High Sydney, Melb’s Uni High, Perth Modern; ie the same school Abbott attended. Keep that in mind when you read the next para/s

    I’ve also posted previously on the reality of the 2004 Q Senate results, in which the Nats stood on a separate ticket – that the combined national vote was c30,000 behind the combined Pauline Hanson + One Nation vote. Had there been an “above the line” preference swap between PH & ON, Barnaby would not have been elected. That election result is the key to understanding what turned a very acute politician from another – but more articulate – Tim Fischer, into a Joh PB-Pauline H cross. To beat PH/ON’s rabid racist right, he had to win over that rabid right – and it’s probably at its most rabid in his home Fed Electorate, Maranoa.

    For those from cities & Oz’s saner parts, Maranoa encompasses one of Q regions most affected by:

    * The wreckage of UK’s EEC entry & loss of “Empire preference” contracts, esp dairy, fruit, grain, meat;

    * The post 1978s’ 2nd Oil Shock, farm-commodity price and market bust, recession, Swiss Loans affair & bank foreclosures;

    * Broad-acre grain & cotton farming (low worker participation), especially use of “contract harvesters” & involvement of big national & international Ag companies and non-local managers (comparable to “cane belt” job losses when human cane cutters were replaced by contactors with cane-cutting machines; though The West lacks the tourist trade that absorbed much of Coastal Q’s post-machine unemployment)

    * Crippling drought that began with the 90s & is only now ending (in most but not all parts)

    * Severe rural depopulation, taking with it bank, insurance & rural agent branches, and professionals like doctors.

    Maranoa’s also a hotbed of ALoR, DLP, La Rouche-CEC, “Rum Pig” & sexist stickered horns-on-the-huge-front-bumper Ute, racist, gun-loving, Confederate Flag-flying International Conspiracy of Communism, Capitalism, the World Bank, UN, World Council of Churches, One World Government believing (straight out of the USA’s Southern “Evangelised” Religious GOP “It’s all The Government’s fault”/ “Government Conspiracy” theorist regions’) poor-whites – as decades of Letters to the Ed in The Chronicle’s & other Regional newspapers ably demonstrate.

    Remember the John Howard, post-war Oz’s worst Treasurer, infamous for public (& private) lying & buck-passing, remade himself to become successful PM Howard of the Commodities boom, as long-term loans expired – though he remained the same lying, devious, buck-passing, never-my-fault polly Oz voters finally saw-through & rejected.

    And Howard didn’t have the benefit of Barnaby “Riverview OB” Joyce! Notice that he & Abbott are similarly tongue-tied, stutteringly gaff-prone, especially when stuck in a position where they are lying (with mental reservation) and out-doing the Three Weird Sister at equivocation.

    If the national mood changed enough for Barnaby’s current behaviour to imperil his Senate seat, I’d bet on The Return to the Pre-Election04 Barnaby

  23. [To come out like Chris Pyne has and throw out mind numbingly meaningless and ignorant statistics about how many times a certain phrase is used is nothing more than a dog whistle to the right-wing talk back radio hosts.

    It is dishonest and gutter politics, and it also displays by Pyne a complete lack of ability to intelligently debate education policy. Not only should he wear the dunce cap, he should also be forced to write out 100 times: “I should not talk about things I don’t understand” (but then I doubt we’d ever hear from him again…)]

    Thanks Grog – terrific. Interesting discussion on RN between Kelly & 3 blokes who had input to the draft policy. The comments about Pyne and the Libs’ reaction to the draft policy were wtte “Libs petulance and unconstructive”.

    Policy will include students learning to understand content and context whereas Christopher Pyne had shown a “very poor reading of the document, its content and context”.

    The Libs running the line ‘black arm band view of history is just “reviving a slogan as a substitution for thinking about the document and discussing the issues”.

    Betcha Chrissie Pyne and Abbott just loved that summation

  24. [Plenty of Your Rights at Work posters, but nothing of the ALP candidate. ]

    Benji – I think he was trying to concentrate on winning along the coastline which was heavily Baldwin territory. He made big inroads and, in fact, where I was handing out the vote was extremely close for the first time ever. A few more and its gorn.

    Not having to travel the hinterland will give him more time.

  25. [The coalition is likely to lose nine seats…Wentworth NSW – if Malcolm Turnbull decides not to recontest.]

    Big call

  26. Possum @ # 204

    The difference in professional terms is substantial – akin to a Doctor and a nurses assistant

    The NIA there days take those without Uni degrees

    To become a CPA today you need a degree

    It is a little more complicated than what you have argued. Today to become a CPA you need a degree. Those who are CPA without degrees would have joined many years ago and would now be coming to the end of their professional life

    CPAs are more like General Practitioner while specialists are those who have completes those specialist courses like “A Tax” (wether they are charted Accountant or not). Charted accountants can be specialists by doing Charted Accountant courses but they can also be General Practitioner who runs the local Accounting firm. They are a bit like the Doctors Reforms Group or the Rural Doctors Group trying to differentiate their niche in the accounting field.

    It is worth noting that simply holding a Batch of Business may not qualify you to be a CPA. These days there are a number of different streams one my follow to complete such a degree.

  27. My say, it was a lame attempt at humour by me. University of New England = UNE.

    sorry my husband says i am very slow on the uptake re tongue and cheek.
    now i know he is spot on.

    as my computer is loosing my log in again every time i leave proably want write much.
    Gees i bet you r all glad about that.

  28. Bananaby Joyce saying his accountantcy degree qualifies him to run the national finances is like Sarah Palin saying she knows all about Russia because she lives in Alaska.

  29. i may be wrong but i think the polls will return in about June to last year.

    when it gets cold people start thinking about security work choices
    Hospitals flu etc.

    I know you think this is silly but the other day I found tones star predictions and it said
    march his is best month ever. so this is now. Then we will see.

  30. [The Bureau of Statistics retail sales figures for January rose 1.2 per cent to $20.14 billion, seasonally adjusted.

    That was well ahead of the median economist forecast of 0.5 per cent.]

    What qualifications do you need to be an “economist” ? Plus why are they nearly always wrong?

  31. [s my computer is loosing my log in again every time i leave proably want write much.]

    mysay – try refreshing the page every now and then. It doesn’t matter that you are slow on the uptake. We all are at times. Your comments, especially re Tassie, are valuable. Your belief in Labor cheers me.

  32. The Newspoll is not surprising given recent media, yet even so, I’d say to Labor – don’t panic! They have been a good government so far, and will still get re-elected with an increased majority if they stick to the practices that got them in front in the first place.

    To the Liberals, I’d say you will still need ot invent some credible policies between now and election day, becaues this result represents Abbott and the media attacking Labor, not a realistic assessment of Tony Abbott as first Prime Minister of Catholicstan.

    Labor has handled most economic issues well so far, but there remains one elephant in the room that might harm its vote with the young – house prices, which are absurdly unaffordable, especially in Melbourne. Reform to the silly negative gearing rules is required, and increased investment in housing construction (and transport), to counter the growing population. No doubt people in Treasury have already looked at it, but some kind of cap on negative gearing is crucial.

    The other issue that causes me irritation with regard to Labor is climate change – promises must still be delivered. An ETS restricted to Australia (+NZ?) actually has many advantages, including defeating criticisms of leakage of money to unreliable nations.

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