Essential Research: 50-50

The latest Essential Research survey has the two parties locked together on 50-50, suggesting Labor has not received a dividend from its success in forming a minority government. The more recent part of the rolling two-week survey was conducted from last Tuesday, when the rural independents’ made their announcements, until yesterday, and it has dragged Labor down from the 51-49 recorded in the previous survey. However, the primary vote figures suggest there is unlikely to have been much in it either way: the Coalition is up a point to 44 per cent and Labor steady on 39 per cent, with the Greens down a point to 10 per cent. Approval or disapproval of the independents’ decision was predictably split on party lines, for a total of 41 per cent approve and 45 per cent disapprove. Respondents were asked to rate the performance of the parties since the election and for some reason the Coalition rated better than Labor, recording a net positive rating of 9 per cent compared with 4 per cent for Labor. However, Julia Gillard was thought to have shown “more leadership abilities during the period since the election” than Tony Abbott, 47 per cent to 35 per cent. Forty-five per cent of respondents rated the increased strength of the Greens as good for Australia against 38 per cent bad, which goes against other polling conducted earlier. Conversely, 44 per cent agree the independents will hold too much power, with only 36 per cent disagreeing.

Elsewhere:

• Anna Bligh has raised the prospect of a return to compulsory preferential voting in Queensland, with The Australian reporting the matter is likely to be considered by a (Labor-dominated) parliamentary committee. Bligh notes concerns that the operation of different systems at state and federal level causes confusion and a higher informal vote, and it is indeed the case that the optional preferential states of New South Wales and Queensland generally have a slightly higher informal rate at federal elections than other states. However, that hasn’t been the case this time – in Queensland the informal vote was 5.45 per cent, against 5.55 per cent nationally (the national total admittedly having been pulled up by a 6.82 per cent rate in New South Wales). It is clear that Labor’s sudden enthusiasm for compulsory preferential in Queensland is due to their parlous electoral position, and the very high likelihood they will bleed votes to the Greens that might not return to them, as they mostly did at the federal election. As an opponent of electoral compulsion in all its forms, I would much sooner the confusion be resolved by a move to optional preferential voting at federal level – though Labor is most unlikely to be keen on this, as it would have cost them three seats at the federal election. UPDATE: As Kevin Bonham correctly notes in comments, it would also have saved them Denison. Note that Peter Brent at Mumble has expressed sentiments almost identical to my own.

• A by-election looms in the Western Australian state seat of Armadale, which Alannah MacTiernan vacated to make her failed run for Canning. Armadale is Labor’s safest seat, and the by-election will not be contested by the Liberals. Labor’s candidate is Tony Buti, a law professor at the University of Western Australia. Also in the field are Owen Davies for the Greens, Jamie van Burgel for the Christian Democratic Party and independent John D. Tucak, who polled 298 votes as an upper house candidate in 2008. The by-election will be held on October 2.

• Another by-election following from the federal election is for the Brisbane City Council ward of Walter Taylor, vacated by newly elected Ryan MP Jane Prentice. Emma Chalmers of the Courier-Mail reported on August 18 that even before his defeat in Ryan, dumped Liberal Michael Johnson was sizing up the seat. The Liberal National Party will hold its preselection tomorrow. The by-election will be held on October 23.

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.

682 comments on “Essential Research: 50-50”

Comments Page 3 of 14
1 2 3 4 14
  1. Diog

    The common thing skeptic thing to say is:

    1. I believe in CC but I am not yet sure that humans are the principle cause
    2. Humans may be the principle cause but the level of investment required is not worth the benefit of cooling the globe
    3. Humans may be the principle cause but we shouldn’t turn the Oz economy upside down if no one else is.
    4. Humans are the principle cause, we should make changes to the Oz economy but we have to make sure we protect Industry/town/company x, y and z.

  2. [Dr Good
    Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
    Australian climate change domestic policy is a side-show.

    The work to be done is to convince China and US to get serious.

    Hopefully Rudd will be on the case.]

    Which is so easy to do when your emissions are bad and growing.

  3. It seems the government did such a crap job selling the need for action on climate change to the public at large, that even some of its own members aren’t [au fait] with what should be done.

  4. Diogs,

    You’re clearly the one in denial here as your unsubstantiated bullshit masquerading as informed opinion is exposed.

    Red herrings don’t get you off the hook for straight out lies about Ferguson.

    You’ve been pinged on this one before.

  5. And anyway at a national and global level the challenges with
    Climate Change are all economics, and politics (both
    convincing the populations and managing conflicts of interest).

    The issue is not one of understanding the science.

  6. I’m willing to give the new government at least 6 months to get going, the cross party committee to be established etc.

    If, after this length of time they’re still sounding like they will do nothing I wll judge them then. The fact that the Opposition are not even going to allow any of their MPs to take part on the committee isn’t a good start.

  7. Gary,

    You don’t just get rid of coal you replace it. And as all the energy infrastrucutre leads straight from a coal mine it is unlikely that there would be a loss of jobs locally in the transistion.

    And in 25 years time when coal is viewed the same globally as asbestos it might have been good to think about alternative industries way back in 2010, instead of prolonging it.

  8. [I’m not buying this line that people are disenfranchised with both major parties, it’s pretty clear that Labors the one on the nose… you can’t lose 16 seats and then say all is hunky dory, you just can’t.]
    Any opposition worth its salt would have won that election under the circumstances that evolved over the last couple of months. A government down and out, on its knees but still in government. Remarkable effort that, by both sides. Not only Labor was on the nose.

  9. [You don’t just get rid of coal you replace it. And as all the energy infrastrucutre leads straight from a coal mine it is unlikely that there would be a loss of jobs locally in the transistion.]
    It sounds so simple. Now detail how that will happen.

  10. [And anyway at a national and global level the challenges with
    Climate Change are all economics, and politics (both
    convincing the populations and managing conflicts of interest).

    The issue is not one of understanding the science.]

    Dr Good, Check out possums post on the decline in belief in CC and the corresponding community feeling for the need for climate action.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/01/20/when-climate-change-scepticism-changes-political-opinion/

  11. [Gary
    Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
    You don’t just get rid of coal you replace it. And as all the energy infrastrucutre leads straight from a coal mine it is unlikely that there would be a loss of jobs locally in the transistion.

    It sounds so simple. Now detail how that will happen.]

    A carbon price (ETS or tax- I don’t care).
    Bad energy = more expensive.
    Good energy = subsidied and therefore cheaper.
    Technology investment = good energy becomes cheaper.

  12. Blue-green there are many examples where someone
    engaging in a counter-productive activity needs to
    convince others to work together for a different
    framework in which everyone desists.

    Eg, a nuclear power entering into negotiations
    with the enemies to
    make a cut back in weapons.

    Eg, an alcoholic arguing that licensing hours
    should be restricted

    Eg, the international agreement to stop
    using CFCs

  13. King of the Ostriches (aka GG)

    Ferguson has also said that the mining industry would not be touched until CCS was up and running.

    You have lost your way. Even the PM has said so.

  14. GARY – As I’ve said before, Labor has been like a league team that spent a WHOLE GAME coughing up the ball on the first tackle and still managed to win. Now it’s just got to hold onto the pill for a few sets of six and it should be alright.

    Don’t know about you, but I find these crap football analogies very calming

  15. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to expect ALP MP’s & senators to accept climate change, but at the same time oppose measures that have the potential of harming the livelihoods of Labor voters.

    The reason why the ALP was set-up in the first place was to give a decent standard of living to working class Australians. Throwing coal miners on the dole is totally counter to this basic purpose of the party.

  16. [Burgey
    Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
    It seems the government did such a crap job selling the need for action on climate change to the public at large, that even some of its own members aren’t [au fait] with what should be done.]

    Burgey,

    Like Dave, I think many in the public and govt think it is all too hard (politically, technologically, economically). Thinking that way does make it harder to achieve.

    The interesting thing is that Rudd’s rating did not collapse when Abbott started his GBNT line, it collapsed when he obfuscated on the ETS.

    Its not too hard people.

  17. As I said BG the issue is managing the understanding of the
    issue in the population, not requiring the politicians
    to be climate science experts.

    In fact, the last people I would get to explain climate science
    to the population would be scientists.

  18. [ I’m not buying this line that people are disenfranchised with both major parties, it’s pretty clear that Labors the one on the nose… you can’t lose 16 seats and then say all is hunky dory, you just can’t. ]

    Howard lost 20 seats in 1998, and the 2PP. Then look what happened – we got another 9 years of the Rodent, and wall-to-wall state and territory Labor govts along the way.

    By 2013 (if the parliament lasts that long) the Labor govts of NSW and Qld will be gone. The political landscape will be very different when federal Labor is up for re-election. Here in NSW, the state Opposition is a complete shambles. They’ll win next year for sure, but they’ll be just as incompetent as the current mob. I have no doubt Langbroek &co will be the same in Qld. Both have been in opposition for a VERY long time.

  19. [Australian climate change domestic policy is a side-show.

    The work to be done is to convince China and US to get serious.

    Hopefully Rudd will be on the case.]

    The trouble is it is pretty hard to exert much (any?) influence on such things when we haven’t even got our own act into gear!

  20. [Dr Good
    Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Blue-green there are many examples where someone
    engaging in a counter-productive activity needs to
    convince others to work together for a different
    framework in which everyone desists.

    Eg, a nuclear power entering into negotiations
    with the enemies to
    make a cut back in weapons.

    Eg, an alcoholic arguing that licensing hours
    should be restricted

    Eg, the international agreement to stop
    using CFCs]

    Doesn’t work so well for a middle power always at the top of the rich-bad guys-for-carbon-emissions list.

    I think the international scene is an interesting one. The US is politcally charged and is poorly placed for some serious CC legislation. Conversely though it is well placed to develop alternatives to oil. (It seriously feels threatened by its reliance on Arab states).

    China is a pain in international neg’s and yet is ahead on the domestic climate policy.

    I agree Rudd is the right guy.

  21. [ Australian climate change domestic policy is a side-show.

    The work to be done is to convince China and US to get serious.

    Hopefully Rudd will be on the case.

    The trouble is it is pretty hard to exert much (any?) influence on such things when we haven’t even got our own act into gear!]

    Exactly. Why would they listen to us when we haven’t done anything and our next step is to ask 150 random bogans what they think?

  22. Martin Ferguson, let’s just say, would appear to have less passionate belief in the need for climate action than some others:

    Energy Minister Martin Ferguson used a taxpayer-funded letter to slam a push for zero emissions as “faith based”.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/09/21/ferguson-urges-science-not-green-faith-in-letter-to-batman-residents/

    And then there was the book launch in 2007 at Parlt House of miner Ray Evans’ denialist book about ‘9 lies about climate change’ Ferguson and Dick Adams were the only Labor members who turned up, apparently. Ferguson was careful to choose his words carefully, but he was there:

    A GATHERING of climate change sceptics in Parliament House yesterday drew politicians from both major parties, including Finance Minister Nick Minchin and Labor MP Martin Ferguson.
    “I don’t know about global cooling, but I’ll know about global warming in the Labor Party caucus if I don’t watch my Ps and Qs this afternoon,” Mr Ferguson said at the launch of former mining executive Ray Evans’ book Nine Facts About Climate Change.

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/climate-change-sceptics-get-a-warm-reception/2007/02/28/1172338709359.html

  23. [The reason why the ALP was set-up in the first place was to give a decent standard of living to working class Australians. Throwing coal miners on the dole is totally counter to this basic purpose of the party.]

    Treasury modelling has shown that no-one will end up on the scrap heap by cutting emissions.

    Please check your sources before making such statements.

    Did you march in the street prior to the demise of the typing pools?

  24. Interesting fact I have observed: the last 10 years have been a decade of leadership changes. From 2001-2010, every year there has been a change in a federal party’s parliamentary leadership.

    2001 – Simon Crean became ALP leader.
    2002 – Andrew Bartlett became leader of the Australian Democrats.
    2003 – Mark Latham became ALP leader.
    2004 – Lyn Allison became leader of the Australian Democrats.
    2005 – Kim Beazley became ALP leader, Mark Vaile became Nationals leader, Bob Brown formally became Greens leader.
    2006 – Kevin Rudd became ALP leader.
    2007 – Brendan Nelson became Liberal Leader, Warren Truss became Nationals leader.
    2008 – Malcolm Turnbull became Liberal leader.
    2009 – Tony Abbott became Liberal leader.
    2010 – Julia Gillard became ALP leader.

    I wonder if that trend will continue next year?

  25. [Neither Grattan nor Fran Kelly think Gillard’s criticism of the media failure to unearth Costingsgate is fair.]

    Welll… they would say that, wouldn’t they. 😛

  26. Diogs,

    You said Ferguson is a climate sceptic which is a lie as I pointed out. The man refutes it himself in a direct answer to a direct question. I’m pretty sure psephos has taken you to task about your inability to understand facts about this matter.

    Abusing me and trying to change the subject isn’t going to take the facts away, comrade.

  27. [workplace relations has been downgraded and lumped with education (or rather ‘skills’)]

    Did Kohler actually say that? Surely he knows that Workplace Relations has been with Education for yonks, at DEEWR – Dept of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. JG’s old Dept, surely he knows that.

    Nothing much is going to change at DEEWR, apart from losing Schools, Early Childhood Education and Social Inclusion. I imagine DEEWR’s Higher Ed Group will continue to fund the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (through which Higher Education Providers receive their main funding), financial assistance to under grad and post grad students, Commonwealth Scholarships, and a range of grants for specific purposes including quality, equity, structural adjustment, capital works and infrastructure, learning and teaching, research and research training programs.

    The former Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (IISR) retains the Australian Research Council, but is now just called Innovation, Industry and Science (IIS).

    To describe the unchanged portfolio responsibilities for Higher Ed. in terms of undergrad/postgrad is overly simplistic.

  28. 117 – no it isn’t too hard, but when the consensus was broken by Abbott, it became apparent that the government hadn’t really hammered home to the public in simple terms the details of what they were planning to do, making Abbott’s line about GBNT easy to swallow.

    I think it was one classic case of the government failing to sell itself in the first term.

  29. jv,

    I’m sure your definition of CC denier would incorporate 90% of the population.

    From what I can see, Ferguson is more focussed on how you deal with CC rather than spouting dogma and simplistic solutions which is your speciality.

  30. [A carbon price (ETS or tax- I don’t care).
    Bad energy = more expensive.
    Good energy = subsidied and therefore cheaper.
    Technology investment = good energy becomes cheaper.]
    Let’s take a little look at this “detailed” approach. The people of Noddyland will love a GBNT. Yes, people really want to pay more taxes and will reward a government for making them pay more. The opposition will will agree to everything the government brings in and not use the GBNT to win an election.
    Good energy will be cheaper and everyone will swtch over to the good energy. The bad energy workers, as their jobs disappear will automatically get a job with the good energy companies. No-one will feel threatened, the opposition will not try to make political capital out of the jobs losses and the transition will be seamless.
    Do I have the scenario correct?

  31. Burgey

    [117 – no it isn’t too hard, but when the consensus was broken by Abbott, it became apparent that the government hadn’t really hammered home to the public in simple terms the details of what they were planning to do, making Abbott’s line about GBNT easy to swallow.

    I think it was one classic case of the government failing to sell itself in the first term]

    I agree that a politcal consensus was broken. A community consensus was not. A plurality of Australians still suport climate action including the ETS. (and that when we had the PM on the Bully Pulpit saying such inspiring words “we have a climate change policy. Its called an ETS”)

  32. [I actually think that the Emerson quote is so obtuse that I still do think he is a climate sceptic. ]

    blue_green, I missed my chance to enter the early debate because I had to go out and collect chook eggs 🙂

    I do find that the people who say “I want to hear all the arguments first and then I’ll decide” are CC sceptics in green clothing. Fielding is a shining example.

  33. Diogs,

    I notice you didn’t use the word fact.

    Your reality is a personal distortion by your mind. Someone in touch with the real world would have stopped digging that hole, comrade.

  34. Gary

    OK,

    Its all too hard. Lets give up. Political and social change is just not worth it. Is it?

    Its much, much better when our political leaders don’t make any decisions.

    Especially when some uses the brilliant and incisive line “Great Big New Tax”

  35. There remains two large hurdles with your simple solution Blue_Green. The job losses and the tax. Neither of which any Green I know of has resolved in a satisfactory way.

  36. When you read comments here from the Labor faithful, you quickly realise that there really is no difference between the Labor faithful and the COALition on CC. They really don’t want anything to happen.

  37. BIG QUESTION: If Labor (and the greens) go back to the electorate in, say, three years time without having introduced a carbon tax, do they have a hope in hell.

    My “guess” is no, because:
    1. The climate ain’t gonna get any better;
    2. and People will have had enough of bullshit excuses.

    What I think is desperately important is that something is done ASAP, so that we’re not still debating this thing close to the next election.

  38. [I do find that the people who say “I want to hear all the arguments first and then I’ll decide” are CC sceptics in green clothing. ]

    That’s the very definition of a skeptic though. Forget the clothing colour.

    When you want to see evidence or hear compelling argument before agreeing with an assertion, it is skepticism. Skepticism is natural, wise and important to scientific progress.

    However, when you are presented with adequate evidence and reasoning, and still insist the assertion isn’t true, then you are being a denialist. Denialism is unhealthy and is what causes people to believe that Adam and Eve lived with the dinosaurs in the garden of Eden after God just created the universe 10,000 years ago.

    Believing in something and not doing anything about it is just lazy and/or negligent.

  39. I’m not going to argue with you, Pebbles. I just don’t like using the term denialist because I think it plays to the CC is a religion stupidity. Should have used greenwashed instead of green clothing. Wimps is another label…

  40. [TSOP: What made you think of looking that up? It’s pretty amazing really, thanks for posting that.]

    The last decade list of leadership changes? Just occured to me. Especially considering the prospect presented by both sides of Gillard/Abbott losing leadership and the prospect of another election next year…

  41. Gary, people feel threatened by any change. That’s not a reason to avoid change or pretend that we can achieve change without some pain.

    The bottom line is that we either choose to genuinely try to tackle CC or we just give up. A half-way approach achieves nothing.

    We’ve had the economic analysis telling us that it won’t be the end of the world for jobs or the economy. Yes, jobs will be lost in one area, other jobs will be created in another area. Blacksmiths, typists, ice salesmen, fletchers; sometimes jobs just disappear. We don’t need any more “we can’t do it because we’ll lose a few thousand jobs in X industry” or “economic growth will be 2 percent lower over 20 years than it otherwise would have been so we can’t afford it”.

    We can do it, it won’t even be that hard, if we just commit to doing it properly, and doing it now. (Oh and if we ignore CCS).

  42. [Diogenes you mean like the Greens and the coalition last year?]

    The coalitions CC policy for this election actually reduced CO2 emissions by more than Labor’s did. The Greens reduced it by even more.

    Labor is petrified of losing a single coal mining job.

  43. And if people think that a no change position on climate change is good for the ALP they should consider that when

    Rudd dropped the ETS
    the 2pp went from 54 to 49
    and Rudds net approval went from +9 to -1

    when JG dropped the ETS (take two)
    the 2PP went from 55 to 52
    and JGs net rating went from +6 to +1

    So the GBNT fear was unfounded.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 3 of 14
1 2 3 4 14