Limbo dancing

While you wait:

• The media has finally awoken to the possibility the Steve Fielding might yet win the race for the final Victorian Senate seat, which is the only result of the election still in doubt. The ABC projection has John Madigan of the Democratic Labor Party winning the seat after narrowly escaping exclusion at “count 21”, where he keeps ahead of Fielding with 3.29 per cent of the vote against 3.14 per cent. If Fielding gets ahead – and there is reason to think name recognition will boost him on below-the-line preferences – it will be he rather than Madigan that snowballs to victory with the help of the other preferences. However, Antony Green reckons it more likely whoever gets ahead will ultimately land short of the third Coalition candidate, Julian McGauran, who will benefit from the Coalition’s traditional strength on late counting. More from Andrew Crook at Crikey. Those wishing to discuss the Senate count are asked to do so in the dedicated post below.

• Government formation negotiations have turned up a number of agreements on campaign finance and electoral reform. The Labor-Greens alliance proposes that the two parties will “work together” to enact reforms that were blocked in the Senate last year by the Coalition and silly Steve Fielding: lowering the threshold for public disclosure of donations from $11,500 to $1000, closing the loophole that allows separate donations below the threshold to be made to multiple state party branches, shortening the gap between receipt of donations and disclosure, tying public funding to genuine campaign expenditure, banning foreign donations and banning anonymous donations over $50. Julia Gillard has said the deal she has offered to the independents, which has not been made available to the public, is along the same lines. According to The Age, “Tony Abbott has signalled he is prepared to consider significant reform but is yet to reveal the specific options he is putting to the three rural independents”.

• Also in the Labor-Greens agreement is a promise to “consider” a long-standing Greens private members bill which proposes to abolish the “just vote one” above-the-line Senate option that commits the voter to the party’s registered Senate ticket, to be replaced with preferential ordering of at least four party boxes above the line (seven at double dissolutions). This would result in votes exhausting where no further preference is indicated, rather than locking every vote in behind the sometimes highly obscure candidates who survive to the final stages of the count.

• Labor and the Greens also promise to “work together” to enforce “truth in advertising”, which the Greens have been very keen on since Labor targeted them with a smear campaign before the March state election in Tasmania. Establishing the terms of such a measure would be highly fraught, as noted recently by Robert Merkel at Larvatus Prodeo.

• Labor has agreed only to “investigate” the possibility of legislated fixed terms; the rural independents are calling for the length of the current term to be set by “enabling legislation or other means”.

Tim Colebatch of The Age fancies Senate figures suggest Labor should ultimately win the two-party arm wrestle, the results of which won’t be known to us for at least a month.

• Tasmanian firm EMRS has published one of its regular polls of state voting intention, which has the Liberals down from 39.0 per cent at the election to 35 per cent, Labor down from 36.9 per cent to 34 per cent, the Greens up from 21.6 per cent to 26 per cent – overstatement of the Greens being a feature of EMRS polls. The firm suffered a further dent during the federal election campaign when its poll failed to detect the strength of support for Andrew Wilkie.

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.

4,048 comments on “Limbo dancing”

Comments Page 1 of 81
1 2 81
  1. Great news re the costings blowout for Julia.

    Now they need to get Wilkie onboard which may be a bit easier after the costings fiasco. Hard to see where Abbott will find the $$ for the Hobart Hospital now and if Wilkie isn’t carefull he may not end up with a deal for anything if the story regarding a possible defection from the fibs for the speakers role is true.

    Captn 3 boats will struggle to get his Weet Bix down this morning for sure. 😉


  2. Victoria Senate

    Oh Please. Fielding (FF) is over 2,000 votes behind the DLP. Where and why do you think he is likely to get elected. Sure is there as a double he would. This is just proverbial hype. Even taking into account the flaw into the way the Senate vote is counted and the distortion in the calculation of Th Surplus transfer value and the method of distribution of excluded candidates preferences Fielding comes in eighth.

    What you can bet on is that the next Senate election will be a double dissolution. Then yes FF will be elected assuming the vote remains teh same..

  3. I’ve been following this blog since election night & found it the best way to keep up to date with what’s happening.
    My joy at the release of the treasury costings last night led me to decide it was time to join in so as to share my happiness with those who have anonymously kept me upto date on what is going on for the last 2 weeks.

  4. Hopefully the indies will view these costings from the perspective that had they been done & released prior to the election, the ALP would now have a clear majority.

  5. The “Black Hole” transcript

    ‘Some argument’ with Coalition costings: Windsor

    [But what Treasury are saying is that the Coalition went to the election with something like $3.3 billion of new money in terms of commitments to projects. And what they are essentially saying now is that they had intended to scrap the equivalent amount – as I understand it, anyway – of $3.3 billion in relation to projects.

    So they went into campaign with a view to scrapping certain things but didn’t tell anybody what they were. And according to Treasury today, they weren’t prepared to tell Treasury what those particular projects were that they’d intended to scrap.

    So Treasury have done two sets of numbers, I guess – one based on the assumption that those projects were to be scrapped, and one based on a number that they’ve come up with themselves.]

  6. the wingnut’s presser: confessions or preaching only options: Wingnut’s presser will either be yet another major backflip or a continuation of the vitriolic attack rhetoric on Teasury, ALP & Greens either way he’s gonna look pretty damn silly, whatever he’s doing in secret (unlike ALPs public positions) says it all really

  7. Fran on ABC RN said they will replay parts of the interview with TW (I didn’t hear it),
    In an except on the 7:00 news TW said “a big factor is trust”

  8. Predictably, the MSM is going with the lower $7b than $11b. Whilst still terrible, the lower figure assumes that the coalition will scrap $3.5b of UNNAMED programs. Until Abbott tells us what those programs are, the black hole is $11b

    The delicious thing about this is that the MSM can minimise and Abbott can rationalise but its not the voters they can fool this time, its the indies that decide. And Windsor broke the news HIMSELF. I dont know why, if you were leaning to Abbott you would break this damaging story personally

  9. Correction. DLP is over 3,000 votes ahead of FF on last count. FF receiving the lioness share of other minor party preferences that flow to both the DLP and FF. (I do not see the Democrat votes jumping ship or Green votes preferencing FF ahead of the ALP/LNP or DLP. Sex party likewise. I think you have also underestimated the value of the SEX party who by name association and preferences received much votes prorate then they deserved

  10. Mick he will go with 95 % of costings right, the treasury dont understand the opposition, and/or more evidence of treasury’s bias/incompetance.

    Is he saying that 7-11b doesnt matter if you got the rest correct?
    What are the 3.5b of program he will cut (otherwise the black hole is $11b)

    BTW this scrutiny should have happened PRE-ELECTION. The MSM should have put so much pressure on Abbott to treasury cost his promises that he caved.

  11. I winder how the so called independent LNP auditors are reacting to this 7-11 Billion holes in the data. (Who were they again? – Australia’s fourth biggest auit firm we are told – What other companies do they audit) I agree the LNP and Abbott have an obligation to mention where the money is coming from and what areas will be cut to make up the shortfall in funding. But it is all a bit late now that the election is over.

  12. I still favour KOW to support the Coalition; even eleven billon dollars is miniscule when it is compared to the total spending over a term in government. The Howard Government were responsible for freeing the nation of its enormous debt accumulated over previous Labor administrations ad Abbott would be a natural continuity to the Howard era.

    With Wilkie still not willing to support Labor, I think it is still pretty much all over red rover for Dullard.

  13. Centaur, amazingly, Grattan doesnt even mention the $11b in the fine print. Funnily enough there is a ten news video embedded in the article that uses the figure.

    Windsor was very clear last night. The black hole is up to $11b. Grattan is a disgrace

  14. Herald sun going with $10b online

    Nostra, I’m sure the scores of voters that voted to reduce the debt will be happy to hear that $11b is nothing. I really really hope Abbott says what you have said

  15. I think Wilkie will declare for Labor by lunchtime today……..TW & RO will join in either Friday or Monday morning & Katter will either join them or side with no-one.
    I really can’t see them going with Abbott after the BH being revealed.

  16. Betfair last price 2.26 for Labor and 1.68 for Coalition
    well after the latest events
    Why do they still have the Coalition still clear favourite?
    It’s for a REASON!
    Your (Labor supporters) desperate clinging onto hope is not going to work!

  17. A couple of things:

    1. Damn you, Andrew! I’ve scrolled through about 500 posts before I came to write this, and at the 500th you say what I was going to!!

    The ‘black hole’ stuff shows how pathetic our media has been throughout the election. The indies broke this story, but the msm should have done so weeks ago.

    Anyone who followed the Libs’ policy releases (and how was that? not like there were many of them) would have noticed the common theme, right from the beginning, of promising to spend more without really cutting much at all or raising revenue.

    So joining the dots meant an early conclusion (or should have) that either the Coalition was hiding cuts or they didn’t understand basic economics.

    When they failed to hand over their policies for Treasury costings, the msm should have shouted as one, “Ah! We thought so!” and begun their own speculations about what the black hole might look like.

    A few headlines along the lines of “Opposition policies to cost $15 billion” or whatever would have either flushed Hockey et al out (“Of course it’s not $15 billion! It’s half that!”) or become accepted fact (just as the NBN costing $43 billion now is, in media world).

    That the msm failed to do any of this means that they are either incompetent, or they were actively working for an Abbott victory.

    2. Abbott painted himself into a corner with his accusation yesterday that Gillard’s alliance with the Greens was reprehensible because to come to the agreement she broke an election promise.

    Even the media present could see (and questioned him along those lines) that this logically rules out any deal between the indies and the Coalition, as Abbott cannot break any of his election promises without being hypocritical (I know the fatal flaw in my argument….)

    So either Abbott must out himself as hypocritical and therefore untrustworthy to form an alliance with the indies or he has to stick to his moral principles and refuse to deal with them.

    Gee, which scenario is the more likely?

  18. Nostro if you werent so busy panicking you would realise that (a) it destroys their plans to have a better surplus than Labor and (b) it destroys their economic credibility

  19. TW on ABC National said least amount $7b, worst estimate a little under $11b There is a PDF file of the Treasury costings on Age site – hard to untangle for non-specialists but it’s all there in Black & White. Isn’t there someone out there in PB land who should be seasoning their hat ready for eating?

  20. I’m not panicking! You’re (referring to left/Labor supporters) are the ones who are panicking, about the prospect of another decade of conservative rule which is about to start in a few days, or at most a week or two.

    I hope you enjoy Mirabella in a senior cabinet post as well. Would you like to nominate what would be a good one for her to have?

  21. Victoria Senate FF vs DLP

    If you look at the 2007 results

    You will note that the percentage split on Ordinary votes compared to Absentee FF goes backwards from 2.63 to 2.45 DLP increased their split from 1.01 to 1.40. Now in all honesty on what basis does William and Crikey claim FF will rise to the ascendancy or is this a scare tactics to try and sell Crikey subscriptions. 🙂

    Much better if you write about the influence of the Sex Party ho favoured the DLP over FF

  22. Sorry to steal your thunder zoomster. Many of us here were doing back of the envelope calculations before the election and it WAS clear there was a hole. Even the leaked $600m hole was public knowledge. The MSM completely dropped the ball. They could have pressured Abbott to have the costings released, or estimated a black hole and made him defend it. Swan erred in not coming up with a figure, as I suggested at the time, although the MSM wouldnt have run with it in any case

  23. Andrew

    yes, I know we knew. I knew. I’m talking about the failure of the msm.

    My grief was that you had got round to fingering their failure about a post before I was going to do so!!

  24. Surely even our lazy MSM can work this one out. If Abbott is prepared to outline the $3.5b in programs he would cut (or which taxes to increase revenue), the black hole is $11b (ch 10 says $10.6b).

    Nice little cherry on top is that Labor’s bottom line came out better than they had initially indicated

  25. DemocracyATwork @ 18

    [i]I winder how the so called independent LNP auditors are reacting to this 7-11 Billion holes in the data. (Who were they again? – Australia’s fourth biggest auit firm we are told[i/]

    Hogwarts. Accountancy,Wizardry & Magic.

  26. zoomster, but look at the karma. Windsor releases the BOMBSHELL himself, so they cant shoot the messenger. Now why again did they ask for the costings as #1 on their list, when they knew Abbott had “issues”?

    In a campaign fought (and won) by the coalition of economic management (i think this a far more important factor than boats), for the MSM (a) to let them get away with not releasing their policies to treasury and (b) to not highlight the already identified holes, beggars belief. But guess what, the MSM cant help Tone any more

  27. Hogwarts had a disclaimer that they accepted all of the coalition’s assumptions. That’s what they will say. Very dodgy but all they did was list what the coalition said

    But I’d love to see them asked for comment today!

  28. So that scuttlebutt I got yesterday avro about the libs being close to panic was pretty close to the mark after all ??

    No way Wilkie & WOK’s can go with abbott now 🙂

  29. dave, we dont want to count our chickens. But the achilles heel for abbott was always the costings, and the indies put it a #1. what else could have been expected to come from this process than the discovery of a hole?

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 1 of 81
1 2 81