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”

  1. [did anyone listen to the poodle tonight on Lateline?]

    OH and I did. I loved his line that the Coalition had been in power for most of the past 14 years!! He didn’t look very happy tho and. surprise, surprise Leigh even cut him off at one stage.

    Stephen Long’s comment that had the costings black hole been known before polling day then a few marginal seats may have shown a different result.

  2. [He didn’t look very happy tho and. surprise, surprise Leigh even cut him off at one stage.]

    What did she say? Don’t interrupt adults when they are speaking?

  3. Cheers victoria,

    Used to live in Abbotsford. A nice part of town with an amazing gothic convent on the river. Not far also from the Collingwood ground but mostly far enough away to avoid Collingwood supporters. Even those going off on a tangent 😉

  4. [Stephen Long on LL:]

    VP: The other thing he said the costings debacle might of cost them votes. He said those seats that were very close, within a hundred or so votes maybe would look different today had the coalition’s policies been properly costed and in the public domain before the election. I guess we’ll never know, but LAbor have to beat this for all it’s worth for the next few years.

  5. Honest Bastard

    I know exactly which convent you are talking about. Very nice. Collingwood supporters are to be found in every nook and cranny of Melbourne. There are so many of them!

  6. [I guess we’ll never know, but LAbor have to beat this for all it’s worth for the next few years.]

    The Coaltion’s costing’s black hole is the new black!

  7. VP: The other thing he said the costings debacle might of cost them votes. He said those seats that were very close, within a hundred or so votes maybe would look different today had the coalition’s policies been properly costed and in the public domain before the election.

    That’s a bit rich for Long to talk. I didn’t hear HIM (Long) ringing the bells over erroneous Coalition costings during the election. Long was out there writing he-said/she-said rubbish like the rest of them.

  8. the spectator

    I agree. I would not mind seeing Saints or Bulldogs winning the flag. It has been a long time since they have experienced a Premiership. Geelong have had enough success. Another team deserves a shot.

  9. as soon as caretaker is over the Government needs to establish a parliamentayr inquiry into improving the Charter process.

    It could help that committee bu alowing Treasury to brief it fully on all the pitfalls Opposition can AND HAVE fallen into.

    By then Treasury will have looked at the other so called saves.

    Do it as a joint committee with lots of independents and point to the report for years to come.

  10. I said before the election that in federal elections the relationship between the two-party swing and the number of seats to fall was generally pretty close, and that local anomalies tended to cancel out. That was certainly true in 2007. This time, however, Labor seems to have beaten the swing. There was a two-party swing of 2.7%, and that should have cost Labor 19 seats. In fact Labor had a net loss to the Coalition of of 14 seats, and those five seats have made the difference between defeat and victory. The key to this was NSW. There was a 4.8% swing in NSW, which should have cost Labor eight seats. In fact Labor lost only four seats – Bennelong, Gilmore, Macarthur and Macquarie. The swing was largely confined to Sydney, and much of it was wasted in safe Labor seats or seats the Libs already held. The crucial “saves” for Labor were the two Sydney marginals Lindsay and Greenway, and four seats outside Sydney, Robertson, Dobell, Eden-Monaro and Page. I know the reasons we held Eden-Monaro: a strong sitting member, and the popularity of Labor’s infrastructure spending, the NBN, and renewable energy projects in regional areas. I expect the same was true in Page.

  11. [If the media had done their job before the election, the result would surely have been different.]

    Sweet irony tho, Victoria. Never again will the Coalition be able to get away with talking about being great economic gurus.

  12. BH

    That has definitely been the small miracle of this hung parliament. The coalition have been stripped bare for all to see. Delicious irony!!

  13. I watched Wilkies interview with KOB from last night, he said something v interesting.

    After the election he went into negotiations with an open mind, however a big factor was the negotiation process/tactics of either side, and wtte between ALP and the Libs there was no comparison.
    I think this will be a major factor with the other Indies.

  14. After the May 1974 election the Fibs leader Bill Snedden said
    “we didn’t win, but we didn’t lose”

    He also said “We have a mandate – a mandate to oppose!”

    Malcolm Fraser knifed Bill in March 1995.

    If Tone is not the PM next week how long will he last – more than 10 months?

    Zardos

  15. Sweet irony tho, Victoria. Never again will the Coalition be able to get away with talking about being great economic gurus.

    The scary thing is they WILL get away with it.

    They will continue to assert that interest rates and deficits will always be lower and sur[pluses will always be higher under them, and much of it will stick.

    The media are almost completely unable or unwilling to criticise these absurd claims, even to mildly criticise or question them.

  16. [another team deserves a shot.]

    Agree Victoria saints or bulldogs would be good. if it is torrential rain as forecast tomorrow collingwood vs bulldogs will be interesting.

  17. Diog.
    I think this process will be a positive for the ALP , if they get back into Govt I think ( hope) they will now do it right.

  18. [Sweet irony tho, Victoria. Never again will the Coalition be able to get away with talking about being great economic gurus.]

    Sadly, they still will. Maybe slightly less successfully but the toxic media will do its best to try to play the issue down.

  19. [But the SAINTS won – can we get that Official as a scruitineer]
    Ugh, just got home from the game, i feel like ive been robbed of a good evening. The good week had to end i guess…

  20. the spectator

    It will be raining in Melbourne, but not sure if it will be torrential. But if so, it will certainly be a gamechanger.

  21. Victoria (in Victoria, I suppose).

    And lo, it came to pass. Saints!!

    And, Oh, Victoria, your later post….

    May the rain beat very hard and may you have a tin roof! If it rains hard enough, no one will hear your undoubtedly contented and gentle snores.

    Cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed the rain raining here in South Oz…just like the olden days.

    It is the start of our Adelaide Show. Once upon a time, the Show (think it was Royal then) heralded a deluge.

    Years passed.

    Almost no rain happened.

    And now, on the first day of the Show, WOW, how it poured and poured.

    If this is Climate Change.

    I love it.

    Even if I drown.

    XXX

  22. [I think this will be a major factor with the other Indies.]

    Maybe, but maybe Abbott also thought Wilkie’d be a: a naive pushover because he is new or b: would need a big incentive after how JWH treated him way back when.

    I am sure that despite Abbott’s combative style, he’d be a bit more circumspect with the 3 other indies … but maybe I am being a pollyanna (heaven forbid since I am talking about the evil force of darkness and hate) too.

  23. [They will continue to assert that interest rates and deficits will always be lower and sur[pluses will always be higher under them, and much of it will stick.

    The media are almost completely unable or unwilling to criticise these absurd claims, even to mildly criticise or question them.]

    which is why the ALP must not hide under a bushel. they should be selling the economic achievements day in day out so it is clear to the public what they have done which is incredible as the US UK Europe limp along. Never trust News Ltd meet their agression head on.

  24. [After the election he went into negotiations with an open mind, however a big factor was the negotiation process/tactics of either side, and wtte between ALP and the Libs there was no comparison.]

    Yes. Julia looks to have great negotiation skills. 🙂

  25. I agree Victoria,
    however I am trying to look at things from an Indies point of view.
    (read I am trying not to assume anything until the decision is made)

  26. If Abbott fails to become PM now, he’ll be gone within a year. No Liberal leader other than Menzies in 1946 has lost an election and survived as leader. Liberal insiders know that Abbott has been a net liability as leader, despite Labor coming close to defeat at this election. Labor’s troubles have all been of our own making. We were lucky that the Libs had a leader with zero credibility while we had our, um, little spot of difficulty.

  27. I think a lot of sensible Liberal number crunchers have figured that Bandt and Wilkie would go with Labor.

    Which raises the question – what were their tactics going to be in having to get all 3 of KOW on board?

    Strange there have been almost leaks on what the Fibs have been promising KOW. I’ve been waiting all along to see what they would desperately cobble together for a broadband policy without just simply admitting that NBNco was the right approach.

  28. John Reidy

    I am quietly confident, but of course, until they declare their hand, we can’t make assumptions.

    We just need to be patient for a few more days, and hopefully, we will be rewarded with victory.

    Night all.

  29. [If Labor get KOW on side, will there be cheers of “Three more years!” or will there be humility.]

    The former privately, and the latter publicly would be my guess.

  30. BB – I wonder if they will. Windsor, Wilkie, Oakeshott and Katter have been putting the MSM back in its box the past week. Windsor shrugged them off as penpushers (I bet that went down well!). Oakeshott he doesn’t take any notice of what they write and Wilkie told Fran Kelly to stop the spin this morning. Great stuff.

    Julia G seems firmer with them and this morning Stephen Loosley told Kerry Chika… to belt up when she raved on about the costings being correct. There are subtle hints and I think what has happened to Labor over the last few months may have taught them to handle things differently.

    Have a listen to Nicholas Gruen on Counterpoint (RN) – fantastic insight into Labor’s inability to sell itself. He’s given a lot of food for thought.

  31. Oooops……Fred Nile may have got it wRONg.
    [ “I have not accessed or viewed any of those sites but my researcher has, particularly the Sex Party, Eros Foundation and others, and those sites do have links to hardcore pornographic material which (those websites) support.”]
    Nile to reveal list of websites visited

    BUT…..
    [ Sex Party president Fiona Patten also denied the existence of links to pornography on the party’s website, saying remarks to that effect by Reverend Niles were “verging on the defamatory”.]
    Sex Party calls for MP Fred Nile’s resignation

  32. [I thought pork was the new black?!]

    Confessions, no, that is so yesterday’s new black. The Coalition’s black hole is todays’ and tomorrow’s new black. A wonderful shade of black it is too.

  33. I’m off for another power nap

    Can someone ring me if the editor of the Oz calls

    c u all 2morrow night

    SAINTS – THIS IS THE YEAR

Comments are closed.