D-day minus 1

For those of you who have just joined us, we have had overnight national results from Newspoll and Galaxy, who respectively have it at 50-50 (from primary votes of 35 per cent Labor, 44 per cent Coalition and 14 per cent Greens) and 52-48 in favour of Labor (38 per cent Labor, 41 per cent Coalition, 14 per cent Greens). Labor has also been openly hawking internal polling showing it set to lose seven seats in New South Wales and six in Queensland while gaining two in Victoria, which is surprising only in that the projected NSW losses are above market expectations.


• The Canberra Times has published a Patterson Market Research poll for Eden-Monaro, and while it falls well short of the non-credible 61-39 produced by a similar poll at the start of the campaign, it shows Labor’s Mike Kelly with a 52-48 lead over Liberal candidate David Gazard. Both Kelly and Gazard are on 40 per cent of the primary vote, with the Greens on 8 per cent. Patterson also conducted a poll of Paterson (a marginal Liberal electorate on the central coast, for those of you who are confused), which interestingly turned up a Labor lead of 51-49. This squares almost perfectly with the JSW Research poll conducted over the weekend, and helps explain Julia Gillard’s visit to the electorate yesterday. However, both polls had a fairly small sample of 400 and margins of error of about 4 per cent. A similar poll conducted by IRIS Research for the Illawarra Mercury found Liberal member Joanna Gash with a resounding primary vote lead of 54 per cent to 32 per cent over Labor candidate Neil Reilly in Gilmore.

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald:

“Bennelong’s gone,” said one Labor heavyweight as he listed seats believed lost and those that can be saved. The punters agree. A rush of bets towards the Liberal John Alexander and away from Maxine McKew has seen Mr Alexander storm from behind to become favourite in just 48 hours. The western suburbs seat of Lindsay, held by Labor’s David Bradbury, is also on the critical list. It is one of the few marginal seats which was not part of the comprehensive preference deal with the Greens because the local Greens refused to be part of the deal. Labor says should Lindsay be lost, this will be the reason why …

One senior Liberal source said there was a growing fear of a backlash against the Liberals in Victoria and possible South Australia, which would be stronger than anticipated. The reason he cited was growing resentment in the southern states towards the almost-maniacal focus on western Sydney and Queensland. The interests of these people has driven the entire election campaign and their concerns, which include boat people and immigration, are those most easily embraced by the Coalition. “We look like coming up four or five seats short,” a senior Liberal said. A senior Labor strategist said the very same thing yesterday. “Mate, if the election was today, we’d win 71 seats,” he said …

The campaign started well but week two was a disaster. That was when the damaging leaks against Ms Gillard appeared which claimed she had argued against pension rises and parental leave in cabinet. In one week, Labor’s primary vote fell 6 percentage points. In the marginals, the fall was as high as 9 points. “Ever since then, we’ve been trying to get back to where we started,” the heavyweight said. “She’s pulled it back a bit, but it’s tight. There is no margin of error in this.”

• The Liberals have made a late play for Bass, unloading what the Launceston Examiner describes as a “$62.5m Bass splash”: a $60 million early intervention mental-health unit for Launceston, and $2.5 million to address the Tamar River’s silt problem made unconditional on the provision of state funding.

• Labor’s member for Longman, Jon Sullivan, committed an appalling gaffe during a candidates’ forum on ABC Radio in Brisbane while responding to the father of a disabled child, who inquired what the government would do to reduce costs and waiting times for specialists. Sullivan asked the man: “What parent would wait two years to get a child, who they believe has a disability, to get to a specialist?” As the Courier-Mail reports it, he was “drowned out by jeers before he could finish his sentence”. Sullivan subsequently apologised to the man.

• Today’s editorials have split along fairly predictable lines: The Australian, all News Limited tabloids bar The Advertiser and The West Australian have backed the Coalition, while the Fairfax broadsheets and the Canberra Times favour Labor. It can be presumed the Australian Financial Review will favour the Coalition, as it traditionally does.

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.

1,196 comments on “D-day minus 1”

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  1. MWH @ 1054 said;

    [Workchoices is a non-issue if Abbott wins because the Greens and Labor would block any such legislation in the senate.]

    Regulations can be changed by the stroke of a Ministerial Pen MWH – they dont need to go near the Senate.

    That is why Abbott is being his usual lying toady self on this one. And why it is worth putting to him again and again.

  2. [How about we keep the retrospectives (eg. where it went wrong/right, whether or not the polls over/underestimated swings and the Greens vote) until after the election…]

    That’s fine, but what about previous elections?

  3. [The whole gay marriage thing always perplexes me – the debate should really be about civil unions (i.e the civil partnerships that they have in the uk). I think civil unions would have a much better chance of being on the labor platform than gay marriage.]

    Honestly, I think all marriage should be civil unions. If marriage is a spiritual word, then governments should have no control over it. Let it be a civil union contract in law, then if you are also having a religious/spiritual ceremony, they can declare you married or not. That way, conservative religions can still say gays can’t get married, liberal ones can say you can and governments can be neutral and recognise the legal union between any two consenting adults.

  4. [but.. but… but… drisoz, the Libs keep telling us it will cost thousands AND burn down your house!]

    Plus the Oz reckon it will cost $450-$750 to get cat5 cabling to each point in the house. 😆

  5. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)@1072

    Cuppa keeps posting all the terrible things that he thinks will happen if Abbott wins.

    As the Liberals are very unlikely to win control of the senate, and the Greens will not support what he fears in the senate, the only way these terrible things could happen is if Abbott wants them AND LABOR PASSES THEM THROUGH THE SENATE.

    Workchoices is a non-issue if Abbott wins because the Greens and Labor would block any such legislation in the senate.

    So Cuppa, you only need be scared if Labor supports bad things. Do you trust Labor to do so?

    Don’t will still have (most of) the Latham Memorial Senate until next July?

  6. I find the Crikey intro to Essential Shanahanesque: Why would Labor get NO JOY that they are ahead 51/49 and the coalition has made up no ground from last time. I wonder how a 2% drop in Labor/Liberal and 2% increase in Green doesnt INCREASE the 2PP for Labor?

  7. MWH, you forget that until July next year it’ll still be the old senate, which only needs one of the two indies to support the coalition.

  8. sykesie

    I had to think about it, but it is a very minor issue for most.

    It is one word that will cost us absolutely nothing and make all Australians able to celebrate the love within a marriage.

    Nothing against gays, but it is actually rare for them to have long term relationships. Maybe the security of marriage will change this.

    Jenauthor, what do you have against it? Even if 70% are against, why do they get a say in others lives? Only control freaks and their narrow minded readers want to prevent gay marriage.

  9. [That’s fine, but what about previous elections?]

    I think it’s a fair assessment to say historically the Greens are on the rise and probably will yield a better result than in 07. However, whether or not the numbers suggested in the polls are correct is another thing.

  10. Queensland isn’t sounding as nasty towards the ALP as it was a couple of weeks ago. The whole Joh Bjelke Petersen vibe seems to have significantly decreased in my opinion.

  11. [Plus the Oz reckon it will cost $450-$750 to get cat5 cabling to each point in the house.]

    ruawake, seriously??? That is hilarious. LOL

  12. The Green vote will hold up. Why would it not? If anything, it might out-perform. They have run a very successful, tight strategy, paring votes off Labor. Labor have in fact made it easy for the Greens to do this and at this election, will really need the Greens to perform if they are to fight off the conservatives.

    The Liberals and the Greens between them have taken chunks out of Labor on boats and climate change. It is perverse. It is unjust. It is despicable. But it has happened. After the election, Labor will have to figure out how to address this.

  13. [I don’t know. Until I came here, I never really followed the betting agencies that closely.]

    Thanks Pebbles, and sorry for confusing your previous post for a reply to mine.

  14. TSOP – I’m happy for the religious types to have their church weddings – but I agree with you that civil unions would be better. I think Tony Blair recognised this and he should be commended for introducing them in the UK. I hope Gillard gets a chance to do that too. She has been asked about gay marriage about 100 times during the campaign – someone should have asked her about civil unions instead.

  15. An Australian ETS or Carbon tax will be flawed and of no use if not part
    of an international scheme. To save the planet we need to concentrate
    on the (admittedly unpromising) international efforts.

    It is absolutely clear that for that purpose it is better to have a leader who says she
    wants to lead us to putting a price on carbon rather than a leader who
    is an explicit denialist and who leads a party full of denialists.

    Minor and inadequate specific policy announcements for the next 3
    years on CC by all three parties ALP, LNP and Greens are not
    the main game here.

  16. And it is not the bookies who get it wrong. It is the punters betting on an uncertain event. What if, in 10 of those marginal seats, Labor win by a few hundred or less votes… they will get 80 plus seats.

  17. [It sends a message 2 ways:-
    1. In terms of the actual votes.
    2. It does not reward Labor the $2.00 (or whatever the current amount is that is being paid to a candidate for each first preference vote). It sends a “real” financial message to Labor Party that you will not accept 2nd best.]
    Good work Peter!
    Cheers to other Green posters!

  18. Pebbles,

    We’re getting our wires crossed!


    I’m starting to feel the heat. Just need to hear Jules victory speech, then sleep for a week.

  19. have a check what is going on twitter @LaborAustralia #ausvotes Labor caucus confirms support for Same Sex marriage as of 3.30pm. Support came from state mps.

    The acct is fake OMG!!! trashing it’s own name

  20. Aurelianus – that’s only if the Libs can hold their ACT senate seat, which the Canberra Times says that the Greens have a 50% chance of taking. Senate terms are different for senators coming from the territories.

    @skyesie – has Canada imploded since it introduced s-s marriage? No. Same but different is still discriminatory.

  21. Tom Hawkins
    [Abbott is not likely to introduce ‘good legislation’ into parliament unless of course he can buy off the greens which is quite possible as the greens will always support a tree over a human being.]

    Have you any evidence for this?

    The Greens judge each piece of legislation on its merits. They don’t sell out in one area to have a win in another.

    (And sorry for the typos in my earlier posts.)

  22. syksie @ 1116

    [TSOP – I’m happy for the religious types to have their church weddings – but I agree with you that civil unions would be better. I think Tony Blair recognised this and he should be commended for introducing them in the UK.]

    NZ has civil unions now too. Helen Clark’s Labour Government brought them in.

  23. [The Liberals and the Greens between them have taken chunks out of Labor]

    If the Greens did not exist, then Labor would be more “left wing” and the end result of that would be another “central” party from either moderate labor (DLP) or wet liberal (Democrat) and overall Labor’s position would probably be worse.

    The Greens have enabled Labor to move more to the centre, forcing the libs right.

  24. On the individual seat betting markets in 2007 the bookies
    got about 12 seats wrong but there were pluses and
    minuses for each party so that they actually
    estimated 81 to the ALP and the ALP actually got 83.

    On the overall who forms government question they
    got it right in 2007. But they have got that wrong
    in various state elections: eg WA 2009.

  25. [Pebbles,

    We’re getting our wires crossed!]

    I know! I’m sorry drake. I’m all over the place today. Have been busy since the crack of dawn, now relaxing after coming home early. Have half a bottle of Shiraz in me! Sorry!

  26. briefly

    In the UK and NZ examples I referred to, the hypothesis was that a lot of the Green/LibDem supporters polled were young, thus were more likely not to turn up on polling day. Again, this may not apply in Australia due to compulsory voting, and the GetUp! decision may improve things further.

  27. TSOP. i agree on that. whatever version a government sanctions, it should not discriminate against its own citizens based on sexual preference.

    Marriage has two elements. The spiritual/religious for those who have a religious wedding. And the civil, in law element that is sanctioned by government.

    when you get married in a church you get both parts. heathens like me just opt for the government part done by a celebrant.

    I think religions should be allowed to continue to discriminate if they want, yet still be able to prside over both elements in their ceremony’s, as they currently do.

    However IF a government wants to use the term marriage well then it shoud not discriminate based on sexual preference. It doesn’t in (most) financial matters nor in sexual matters, so why should it emotional matters.

    anyway i’ve gone over this too many times on this site.

  28. Damuzz@1122

    have a check what is going on twitter @LaborAustralia #ausvotes Labor caucus confirms support for Same Sex marriage as of 3.30pm. Support came from state mps.

    The acct is fake OMG!!! trashing it’s own name

    Umm, it’s an account created by the Liberal Party.

  29. @1077 mysay
    “‘If you ignore rounding of the primaries, that would signify something around a 0.5% point or so improvement in TPP for Labor, because of the net shift from Lib to Green.’

    so what does that come to”

    Hard to be certain, because (a) they round the numbers (b) you don’t know the result in a particular week. You can be certain in saying that it is slightly better for Labor this week than it was two weeks ago (because both this week’s and last week’s published results contain last week’s data taking up half the weighting) and that the movement would be around twice that apparent from comparing this week’s results to last week’s (because last week’s data take up half the sample).

    So maybe Labor is close to 1 per cent higher in this week’s (unpublished) data in TPP than it was 14 days earlier.

  30. Tom Hawkins
    […he can buy off the greens which is quite possible as the greens will always support a tree over a human being.]
    Keep up the diatribe by all means as it just re-affirms why I and so many others like me now vote #1 Greens.

    I was once one of Labor’s greatest allies, having devoted 2 years campaigning with YRAW to get ALP’s Mike Symon elected in Deakin. This was despite the fact that the YRAW htv advocated voting Labor before Greens.

    ALP policies / legislation, such as income management, ensure that I will not be returning to the Labor fold anytime soon.

    The Greens Party has evidence-based policies that support the interests of the most marginalised and impoverished people in our society.

  31. getluv – don’t get me wrong I support gay marriage. I’m just pragmatic enough to realise that we will be waiting for a very long time for them to be accepted by the Australian parliament. Civil unions are a part-compromise and I understand why some people wouldn’t be happy – but I genuinely believe they would work very well. The vast majority of the gay population would be happy with that recognition.

  32. [If you want to know what percentage of money is on each side, you cannot use betfair as the best example.]
    JV’s explanation is correct. Betfair’s market is a ‘true’ market of current opinions if the market is 100% (which it is). I don’t agree though that there is enough liquidity that major punters will be doing much but agree some layoffs from betting agencies. Plenty of mug money on the back of newspoll and the msm championing of Abbott, some more ‘sophisticated’ money on the back of what they perceive as ‘value’. I disagree with treating the market as such as unlike horse racing there is significant inside knowledge.

    However, if you want the volume invested on the election on betfair it’s $2.33 mill with approx $1.8 mill on Labor. Most at $1.3.

  33. When do you all think william will do and fair assesment of essential and

    can we disregard the crickey intro,
    will go for awhile now hoping willaim thinks that the greens going up in the essential
    helps us go up.

    o was it bernard what his name who did the introduction

  34. Pegasus
    Posted Friday, August 20, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    “I refuse to let this BS be spouted without a response 🙂
    Ron said:

    you cann’t handle truth , Labor introduced an ETS Bill in Senate that could be implamented I was not referring to a micky mouse Bob Brown stunt

    you lot voted against a co2 mitigation bill that wuld be LAW today !! , why dont ypu chek Senate voting records prooving this Dont try to hide your shame with red herings

    you ask what othr lie here ? Julia has repeat said her aim next term is to get its Labor CC polisy of an ETS mechanism in next term (incl saying it YESTERDAY at TV Press Club) , which is contary to what Green bloggers misleadingly say here

  35. skysie – they should make all govt “marriages” civil unions. and i can bet you a gazillion dollars that everyone will just call them weddings and marriages anyway. the piece of paper woudl be about the only thing that used the term civil union.

  36. The scope of any amendments to the regulations is wholly determined by the enabling legislation itself. The regulations only operate to supplement the legislation and effect change generally to matters of procedure.

  37. [The Greens judge each piece of legislation on its merits.]

    Michael Wilbur-Ham, can you suggest any good legislation introduced by the Libs in their last terms in office?

  38. centrebet had ALP @ $1.53 but it’s now back to $1.50. Lots of $$$ going back on Labor – someone’s got inside info on the latest polls

  39. @ Dio

    BS to your BS

    [BS. Gillard said she wouldn’t rule out bringing in an ETS. We can read.]

    She said it yesterday at the press club. From 2012 she would be aiming for that as a minimum.

  40. [centrebet had ALP @ $1.53 but it’s now back to $1.50. Lots of $$$ going back on Labor – someone’s got inside info on the latest polls]

    Now $1.49, must be a nice little flurry coming in…

  41. [Quick question. Bob brown was with his male partner in yesterdays Herald sun. +ve or
    -ve effect?]

    My opinion, neither. No one contemplating voting Greens is going to see that as an issue.

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