Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor in Victoria

The Australian reports the latest Victorian state Newspoll has Labor with a two-party lead of 52-48, a return to reality after the 55-45 lead they recorded in the July-August survey. However, the headline-grabber is the 19 per cent Greens vote (up two), dragging Labor down three points to 35 per cent with the Coalition up four to 40 per cent. John Brumby’s personal ratings are 45 per cent approval and 42 per cent disapproval, down three and up one on last time, while Ted Baillieu is on 39 per cent (steady) and 42 per cent (up one). Brumby’s preferred premier lead has narrowed from 52-27 to 49-31.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, we can now draw seat projections from Antony Green’s state election calculator, which asks of us two-party scores for both Labor-Coalition, which Newspoll gives us, and Labor-Greens, which it doesn’t. However, Newspoll does paint a beautifully straightforward picture of the Greens gaining 9 per cent on the primary vote since the 2006 election and Labor losing 8 per cent, with the Coalition treading water – making it a fairly simple matter of crediting the Greens with a two-party swing of 8 to 9 per cent. This puts Labor on 47 seats out of 88 and has the Greens right on the cusp of winning Northcote, to add to the lower hanging fruit of Melbourne, Richmond and Brunswick (and pushing them into second place in a brace of Melbourne Liberal seats). Assuming three seats as a more realistic scenario, and taking the re-election of independent Craig Ingram in Gippsland East as a given, hung parliament scenarios begin to occupy a big chunk of the two-party bandwidth: from 50.8 per cent for Labor at the top end (where the calculator gives Labor 44 seats out of 88 in scenarios where the Greens win three) to 48.0 per cent at the bottom. And that’s leaving aside the possibility of major party applecarts being further upset by the emergence of new independents.

However, all of this rests upon the assumption that the Greens will continue to receive Liberal preferences, and a growing chorus of voices can be heard within conservatism urging them not to. This was joined yesterday by John Howard, who said his party had “nothing to gain” from assisting a party that was “worse than Labor” – not that he was ever observably squeamish about the practice in his own time. Mixed with any genuine concern about a Greens threat to the fabric of society is frustration that the Liberals get nothing in return for their generosity, either in the form of preference deals or a realistic prospect of parliamentary support in the event of a hung parliament. Exercising their preference muscle, the Liberals would hope, would help keep Greens minds focused during such negotiations in future.

The threat certainly gives the Greens a lot to think about, providing Bob Brown with further cause for distaste about the preference negotiation merry-go-round. Adam Bandt’s victory in Melbourne rested heavily on the Liberals playing their normal preference game: Labor’s Cath Bowtell had a narrow lead when their candidate was excluded at the second last count, but obedient Liberal voters then proceeded to break 80-20 Bandt’s way on preferences. Without these preferences flows, seats in the lower house would become a distant prospect indeed – and they would also find life that little bit harder when competing with Labor for final seats on their more familiar upper house turf.

UPDATE: Now we have a small sample Morgan phone poll which concurs with Newspoll’s 52-48, but gets there from very different primary vote figures: 40 per cent for Labor, 42.5 per cent for the Coalition and 13 per cent for the Greens. Preferred premier is similar to Newspoll, with Brumby leading 47.5-32.5, but both leaders’ personal ratings are much worse: Brumby is on 36.5 per cent approval and 49 per cent disapproval, with Baillieu on 33 per cent and 46 per cent. The poll was conducted in two stages over the previous fortnight with a sample of 415 and a margin of error of about 5 per cent.

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.

141 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor in Victoria”

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  1. Tom at 48:

    [ Hawthorn is not at risk for the Liberals this election because there is a swing to the Liberals this election and they got 56.1% primary last time. The Greens could overtake the ALP to get 2nd place though. ]

    I’d go further and say Hawthorn’s not ever at risk. The only time a safe seat becomes suddenly much less safe is when a left-right top two becomes two left or two right parties. That’s the case both for ALP-Lib contests becoming ALP-Grn, and Lib-ALP or Nat-ALP contests becoming Lib-Nat. The Greens overtaking Labor for second place is just swapping one left-wing party for another; the Libs will beat the Greens by a similar (large) margin as they would Labor. You can actually see examples of this in the NSW seats of North Shore and Vaucluse, which had Lib-Grn margins in 2007.

  2. 52

    Hawthorn would only be at risk in a 2002 type election because it is not the safest of Liberal seats (the ALP won it in 1952 and I believe came close in the 1980s as well) but otherwise I agree.

  3. Well its not quite the Forsa polling in Berlin,

    AKA Green 30, Labor 26, Liberal 16, Socialist 15

    but there does seem to be Green growth trend at the moment. There are some things Conservative Liberal voters like about the Greens such as oposition to GM. Not all Liberal 1st voters are unhappy about preferencing Green. Most probably don’t mind a Green-Labor coalition as at least the Greens might try to keep the ALP honest and open (in their minds).

  4. In considering what the Libs will think when considering whether they would prefer to have a Lower House seat won by Labor or by the Greens, look to the current federal Parliament.

    Despite some understandable complaints from some Libs that they preference Greens over Labor in Melbourne and got nothing in return, they actually have got something in return. They have a Labor minority government with one less guaranteed vote on the floor of Parliament than would otherwise have been the case.

    Or to put it another way, even if the Greens supported Labor to form government in Victoria (which is more likely, but not certain) in the event of a hung Parliament, this would still be better for the Libs than Labor holding government in their own right.

    As we are seeing already at federal level, at least the opportunity would be there for the Libs to have some legislative wins, and also to be in a far better position to reduce secrecy and stonewalling by a Labor government.

    So in that sense, it’s in the Libs interests to have the Greens take seats off Labor – just as it was in Labor’s interests to help the WA Nats take a seat off the Libs or to help Independents take seats off the Nats, regardless of who might theoretically be closer philosophically. (or to use a reverse example from Victoria from a while ago, for the Libs to help the left-wing Independent Phil Cleary take a seat off Labor)

  5. Barking @47

    Your assessment has proven tp be spot on – the troll has gone from giving comments barely worthy of a Vexnews wingnut to posting Vexnews links direct.

  6. Last time I voted green, Not this time. Vote ALP

    [If the Greens win Prahran it will be on ALP preferences. ]

    The Greens will never win Prahran. It is a seat for the liberals taking. Clem Newton brown has done nothing to win it. He seams to think he can just sit back and ride a wave for a desire of change. Yes this is a seat that the ALP could lose BUT not to the Greens. The Greens can only win a seat on the basis of outpoling either the Liberal Party or the ALP. It is easier to in a so called “safe seat” then it is to win a seat that is hotly contested. All seats won by third party candidates are/were considered “safe seats”. Who would have thought that Burwood would be won by the ALP let alone held on to, John Howard’s seat, Bob Hawke’s seat. the list goes on.

    Southern metro

    If you look closely at Southern metro there is a difference of around 2,000 votes in it. If the Greens preference the LNP or issue a split ticket they will hand the LNP a third seat.

    Eastern Metro

    Eastern metro the LNP could lose one seat most likely will be the status quo.. Someone has to be the wasted quota and its a close tipping point.

    Western Metro

    In 2006 The Greens won a seat on a recount. 500 votes went missing between count A and Count B. (Either they double counted or votes were removed from the count – The tallies do not tally). The Greens won by less then 150 votes.

    Corruption or just a stuff up?

    The VEC refused to provide copies of the preference data files. as requested, for count A. When the Parliament requested a copy the VEC claimed they were deleted/Overwritten (Which sounds like BS) No backup copies made. Without access to this data it was impossible to determine where the change occurs. The AEC certainly does not delete/overwrite its data files. WHY WAS A BACKUP NOT MADE. ANY PROFESSIONAL ORGANISTAION WOULD HAVE ENSURED COPIES OF THE DATA HAD BEEN MAINTAINS. This raised questions as to what value we have got from the VEC duplicating software that the AEC already had and also raised questions as to its certification. This issue is not over and an inquiry should be held.

    South Eastern

    Status quo

    Northern Metro

    The Greens are close to a second seat but I suspect they will be the wasted quota.

    Rural Regions

    I do not think the Greens can win in Rural Victoria. The DLP may hold ground if it can secure preferences flows. I suspect an Independent may win seats in in three rural seats – depends on who nominates. Watch for a “Murray” Water basin Candidate.

    Senate Vote

    Again look at the Senate vote. This is the Greens high tide mark. I am happy to publish some of my analysis once the preferences are known. less then 3% vote below the line. I do not think the Green vote can exceed the Senate vote in Victoria. Many of the other minor parties will be thinking twice before they preference the Greens. the Sex Party will play a significant roll in the outcome as will all other minor parties (The Greens have entered into the main stream. I would think the “ex democrats” vote ill think twice before preferencing the Greens.

    Optional Preferential is an issue that to date has not played its hand. This election it could.

    Split tickets are a con. It’s like putting equal weight on the balance scale each one cancels out the other. William wins out. Might as well do away with preferences all together and just preference on party only. A party list system by default.

  7. 59

    In 2006 the Greens got 20%, the ALP 36% and the Liberals 41%.

    At the 2010 Commonwealth Election the Greens got 24.9%, the ALP got 32.6% and the Liberals got 42.5%.

    If the Liberals take about 2% from the ALP and the Greens take 3% then there is a real chance of the Greens winning.

  8. GG @ 58

    [LIKE many Victorians I have watched the growth of the Greens vote with increasing concern. In the recent federal election the Greens claimed historic success, with Adam Bandt elected as the member for Melbourne on the back of Liberal preferences.

    The Greens also appear to be on the rise in the state election and there is talk of a Green-Liberal deal to secure government. The reality is that the Greens need Liberal preferences to win any seats.

    I hope that the state Liberal leadership, in its considerations, will ask what service to Victoria’s future would be done by delivering seats to the Greens with Liberal preferences.

    Green policies need to be exposed for the radical fringe they represent. No voter should cast a vote for the Greens without knowing that despite the mask of Greens branding, heroin injecting rooms and death duties are high among their priorities.]

    Senator Helen Kroger

  9. Tom @ 50

    You need to look closer at the Senate vote and allocate it to the relevant Upper-house regions. In Southern metro the ALP receives around 28% of the vote the Greens 18-19% In 2006 they had 14%. Quota is 1/6 (16.67%). I have done an analysis including the BTL vote and the BTL vote does not effect the outcome. The ALP in Southern Metro has two of the best members of the upper-house. The Greens if they issue a split ticket will be handing the LNP a third seat. This will in turn reduce the Greens primary vote but they will still delievr the LNP a win against the ALP. This is not a state secret. It’s there for all to see.

  10. Some right wing labor supporters seem unable tp cope with the rise and rise of the Green vote in the polls..and their closeness to the Liberal’s( see Kroger article from Greensborough Growler) just provides another example of why the Greens are on the rise..and Labor is on the slide !

    In Vic. the Brumby Govt has proved deaf to most pleas on a range of issue
    The shameful matter of the installation of new electric meters which will end up by giving higher readings and bigger users is a big one..and will only enrich the power companies.

    Yet Minister Batchelor has given endless media statements in classic spin-style telling a host of lies about this matter..and I believe that it is a critical issue for many people.,.a real sleeper…just listen to the way it surfaces in talk-back programs.If the Libs had hired Batchelor he could not have done a better job for them or the Greens in showing such an arrogant face to the public

    Brumby’s arrogance was shown recently in his infamous reply as to the cost of new trams.It was” I know,but you don’t have too know “..a statement that will haunt him in the campaign.

    Many former Labor voters like me will vote for the Greens for their policies like that on euthenasia
    Here both major parties are scared stiff of the religious groups,who force their opinions of the public..even though we know euthenasia has majority support..quite like the way they behave in places like Iran.
    I think people are sick of religious groups operating in our secular society.and the Green are a new secular alternative party,and scorn the religious lobby groups.

    I think it’s just becoming obvious how alarmed Brumby is now.and how great the leakage of votes from Labor is to the Greens
    Of course Bailleau and The Libs are better of to see Brumby lose his majority.
    It might be that the right-wing Libs will actually save Brumby if they stop the Greens winning seats from Labor.
    I have just recently come to the view that
    Brumby may go down to defeat..despite the hopeless campaign of the Liberals….just as Bracks defeated Kennett in 1999 when nobody expected it…

  11. 62

    In 60 (I presume you mean 60 not 50 which I did not post) I am talking about Prahran (I probably should have mentioned that in the post).

    The Greens are highly unlikely to have a split ticket in any region for the LC.

  12. Tom @ 60 and 64

    For the greens to win Prahran they would need to secure over 34$ of the Primary vote. Prahran has always in the past been the litmus test for which party wins government, I cannot see the Greens winning Prahran. both the ALP and the Liberal party vote is too high. In Melbourne the Liberal Party had just 19%. I think the Greens could win Melbourne and maybe Richmond but only with Liberal party Support. there is a strong ground swell within the Liberal party that is opposed to LNP preferencing the Greens. This is not just a case of Brumby calling on the Liberal Party to reject Green preference deals this is the grass root membership. The Liberal party vote could very much collapse if the liberal party are seen to favour the Greens being elected. Business supporters are all ready expressing concern over it. Even my Liberal friends are opposed to such a move. They believe they can in the government without a deal with the Greens. They no that the greens can not deliver votes to the Liberal Party in the lower house. They also do not support increasing the Greens influence, if they elected to the lower-house they could hold the balance of power.

    Liberal Party supporters do not want this, they know that it would bring the state close to the brink. watch this space there will be a grass root revolt if the Liberal party are seen to be supporting the greens. This will have a negative impact on the Liberal Party.

  13. DemocracyATwork@59

    I disagree that Clem Newton-Brown has “done nothing to win it”. I see Clem Newton-Brown all over the place. I would be hard pressed to name the ALP member (Shardey (retiring) or Lupton?). I’m not saying he is good or anything, just that I see him more than other candidates around the place.

  14. D@W:

    [ Prahran has always in the past been the litmus test for which party wins government, ]

    In WA. Bunbury was a seat that went with government for about three decades. In 2005 it broke the cycle, then in 2008, after a redistribution made it notionally Labor, it clobbered Labor with the biggest swing to the Libs in the whole state. It doesn’t look so much like a bellwether seat no more, as one of the safest Liberal seats in a hung parliament. Just because it was doesn’t mean it will be. Think about it. Federal seat of Denison up to the 80’s, same deal.

    [ I think the Greens could win Melbourne and maybe Richmond but only with Liberal party Support. there is a strong ground swell within the Liberal party that is opposed to LNP preferencing the Greens. ]

    I’m gonna guess this groundswell doesn’t include the Liberal candidate for Richmond. He runs a gay bar in Collingwood, and has run previously for Yarra council (unsuccessfully – beaten by Socialist, Green and Labor, in that order), as himself, a gay businessman.

  15. 56 Andrew

    Yes, the Federal Liberals get that out of having Adam Bandt, and the oportunity to whinge about a “Labor-Green” government. Who knows, eventually that might help them in their campaigning. But I think in the long term they are damaging their own side (which I am quite happy with!) by “fertilising” the Greens. The Senate looks to be Labor-Green for a long time, and I think the Liberals are helping the community accept this as the norm for Government across Australia over the next decade or so (except NSW!)

  16. I do not think people vote on the basis of their sexuality. To govern the ALP its dues they have removed all legal forms of discrimination based on Sexualoty. The only issue in dispute is the term Marriage, But in all other aspects there is equality of legal entitlement.

    I have never seen Clem hanging around and he has not knock on the door of any of my friends who live in the electorate. No one in the public housing in Prahran knows him. The only sight of his campaign has been his bicycle illegally parked with a sign obstructing the pedestrian crossing near the Prahran Market. A car liability bordering on negligence should an accident occur. The Greens are no where near 34% in Prahran. Antony Greens calculator is misleading as it does not take into account a shift in the Liberal to Green Vote. Is is a poor reflection of the state wide pendulum and misleading applies a even swing state wide. It would be much more accurate if it had a three way control for each of the upper-house regions as the swing will be different in each region.

  17. Gee, those Greens must really have something to offer if both the Libs and the Labs are gunning for them instead of each other! You don’t often see both the major parties so frightened of the success of a third that they are even prepared to climb into bed with each other!

    Definitely looks as if someone is trying to climb the wall of their previously exclusive club and just might succeed!

  18. @ 46 Greens are mounting their biggest campaign yet in Broadmeadows and have a good candidate, so stay tuned – could be a bit over 10%. There is even a Greens Branch up there now!

    @ D@W The style hasn’t changed in 25 years and I presume the content hasn’t either, so I cannot believe you have ever voted Green. 😉

  19. marg,

    Simple question for a simplton.

    Will the Greens have their wishes properly costed?

    Probably not, because that would be showing responsibility.

  20. RR @68

    It is true that “the Senate looks to be Labor-Green for a long time”, although that gives the false impression that the Greens side with Labor against the Libs all the time, when of course things are much more dynamic than that.

    However, that’s mostly due to the rise in the Greens primary vote rather than being “fertilised” (or assisted) by the Libs. In any case, the question here is who would the Libs rather have win a seat – Labor or the Greens. I think in the Senate case, they would much prefer to have the Greens in balance of power than have Labor with a majority in their own right (although it is worth noting that the Libs in Tasmania did put Labor ahead of Greens in the Senate last election, not that it affected the outcome)

    Lower House seats are a bit different, as they determine who forms government. Obviously the Libs will decide for themselves – and if they have any sense they won’t announce what they are doing until as late as possible in the campaign – but I think on balance they would prefer a minority Labor government to a majority one, and whilst they would prefer not to see the Greens prosper, given they are (at this stage at least) mostly threatening Labor seats and taking Labor votes, it hurts Labor more than it hurts them – which means it is a net positive for them.

    Probably what bothers them most is that they get little in return from the Greens when it comes to preferences, although the Greens practical options are somewhat restricted.

  21. If the Labor imbeds at PB spent their time and energy building their party instead of raving hysterically, lying, abusing and trying to “shoot the messenger”, perhaps their poll figures wouldn’t look so dismal.

  22. Greensbough your spot on. The Greens in Victoria are a real threat to political stability in Victoria. Tasmania is a Medium sixed Local Coumcil and does not deserve conideration as a tate. It is electoral system is fundamentally flawed in that it is at best semi proportional. The only reason t6he Liberal party would prefernce the Greens is if the Greens could give them something back in return. The only thing they can deliver are upper-house seats. Division within the Liberal Party is growing and unless Bailout can addresses this issue he will lose support. A host of other alternative groups and independents will be running in this election. Minor Parties will think twice before preferencing the Greens. The Nationals may even go it alone.

  23. About time someone proposed the obvious solution to Melbourne’s formally excellent – but rapidly deteriorating – public transport systems.

    Privatisation has been a complete failure. The oublic knows it – and the Greens are saying it. Return it to public ownership, reinvest the income in infrastructure for a growing urban centre.

    The VIC ALP should be worried: this is a BIG vote winner. People in Melbourne are sick to death of this inefficient, shambolic private monopoly. JEven neoliberals would agree there’s absolteuly no logical reason why a private monopoly should deliver a good service. End this stupid Kennett policy, Brumby – or the Greens will!

  24. GG @ 71 and 73

    In answer to your question, probably not. I ask you another question. Why should they? The opposition at every level may submit costings, but these are gerally wrong. Libs federally 2010, ALP have as much as admitted doing the same thing when they have been in opposition.

    So, the Greens have to prove that its possible but the opposition doesn’t?

  25. GG, here some costing for you: Lyn Kosky admitted publicly last year that privatizing melb rail and trams has not save the VIC govt a single cent. thats on record.

    Meanwhile, private operators rake profits, while providing an abysmal service. Thats on record too.

    The state should take those profits, and reinvest it in the network. The state continues to pay those costs out of general revenue today – so you do the sums.

    Incidnetally, We have a treasury which costs policies and provides advice to govt. Dont fall for that Costello-invented nonsense that parties must cost every last detail in advance. it was solely designed to trip up oppositions – not to improve budget management.

  26. Incidentally, how is it “pie in the sky” to return to a system that has been in place for 90% of Melbourne public transport history??

    The only pie is see flying is the eye-rollingly illogical notion that a private monopoly with zero competition and no public accountability might ever provide a good service.

    How many millions do late trains in Melb cost the VIC economy annually, in productivity losses? No one’s counting, since private operators are completely let off the hook.

    Turn the lights back on I say.

  27. GG asked:
    [Will the Greens have their wishes properly costed?
    Probably not, because that would be showing responsibility.]
    Here you go – fully costed:
    Public Transport Plan for Melbourne’s East

    [The Victorian Greens believe the reallocation of $6 billion of public money
    from the proposed North-East Freeway, to the public transport projects outlined
    in this plan (and elsewhere), is the most economically, socially and environmentally responsible action to take for Victorians.]

    I spent yesterday morning handing out a Greens Party flyer outlining its public transport plan to commuters. There was a lot of interest 😀

  28. Andrew 74

    The current Senate is very unusual, I think it’s due to two successive 4-2 (left-right) results in Tasmania. The Coalition’s 39-37 Senate was also a bit of an anomaly – as long as we have these “even number” half-senate elections it is very rare that anyone can get a majority. Antony Green wrote about this in respect of the Victorian Upper House – odd numbers are much more likely to produce “local” majorities, and overall majorities, but at the same time they are also much more likely to reward third parties such as Greens or Democrats (or new DLP in Vic) with the last seat.

    I don’t think Labor will ever have a Senate majority. There are many in Labor who are glad of that – as you know it makes it easier to say to sections of your party that “Don’t even bother wth that, it will never get through the Senate.”. I felt in 2004 that Howard’s 39-37 Senate would be his undoing, and so it proved.

    I am sure the Libs will preference the Greens and if the Coalition don’t win they will have created a minority Labor government. I suppose then they are hoping for a repeat of Greiner’s post-1991 experience rather than Brumby post-1999.

  29. Andrew

    On that even/odd Senate thing, do you think it is time to expand the House and Senate? In 1984 the House expanded from 125 to 148 to accommodate the Senate going from 64 to 76.

    Australia’s population was 15 million, or 101,350 per lower house seat (120,000 per seat before change) – 197,000 per senator (234,000 before change)
    Population now is 22.5 million for 150 seats (150,000 per seat) – 296,000 per senator

    To go “odd” would make 6 x 14 + 4 = 88 senators (at least, though ACT and NT should probably go at least to 3 each for 90 total), which by the Constitution would force a Lower House of about 180 – 125,000 per seat and 250,000 per senator.

  30. A primary reason why many governments like privatised transport systems has nothing to do with costs or other economic issues. It has a lot to do with accountability. If the public transport system is run by government then it can be an easy target for electoral dissatisfaction when it doesn’t work as well as people wish it would. If it is owned by private enterprise (usually a large international company far removed from any real vulnerability to public grumbles and more concerned about the bottom line than its overall value to the community) however the Government is one step removed from such criticism.

    Such views, of course, are understandable from a political perspective, but they lead to some serious “inefficiencies” when it comes to meeting real community needs.

    It is, I think, worthy of note that the core assets and operators of the almost all of the best public transport systems in the world are publicly owned. London, Paris, New York, Toronto, Vienna. Tokyo rail was partially privatised, but very substantial components remain in public hands.

    For all the faults of the NSW Labor government, it is worth noting that its own, publicly owned, transport system is now generally regarded as superior to Victoria’s – something that would have been unthinkable twenty years ago.

    Re-privatising the system here has a lot to recommend it. Like the NBN there are some things that are really done far better by government than private enterprise. But I know real Labor supporters have understood that for decades! It is a pity that some Labor governments haven’t been as prepared to admit it and need the Greens to remind them! Might provide a very effective way of differentiating themselves a little more from the “free enterprise uber alles” party, in fact!

  31. I live in the suburb of Northcote in inner Melbourne. It is located in the Federal seat of Batman, which was until recently the safest seat for Labor in Australia. There was a swing of about 6% to the Greens.

    I must confess (sorry to all my ALP member friends) that I was part of the 6% this time. I have voted Green in the Senate before, but this was the first time that I didn’t vote ALP for the House of Representatives.

    My decision was despite the fact that I don’t see the Greens with rose coloured glasses. I sometime found their hectoring ‘holier than though’ hectoring towards Labor irritating. I would read letters in the “Melbourne Times’ with passionate anger of Green members/voters who were ALP. Like lovers spurned they saw Labor as something that was a betrayal and had to be despised. Well that’s easy for you to say. Try to get enough votes to form a government.

    At this stage I am certainly going to vote Labor. My local member, Fiona Richardson seems to have worked for the electorate and not taking it for granted. Personally, as a commuter cyclist, she has the runs on the board successfully advocating for a major roundabout and a bridge over Merri Creek which makes cycling much safer and quicker. Unlike Martin Ferguson she sounds progressive on many issues. And generally the ALP government has been remarkably stable and affective, despite being in power for quite some time (of course there are negative areas, which is inevitable for a government which has been in power for some time). So it will be interesting to see if other voters in Northcote and the other seats in inner Melbourne sees it like me, or whether the Green surge will be unstoppable.

  32. Rod Hagen

    If the Coalition don’t win and Labor is in a minority government supported by the Greens I think it may well be Labor’s “saviour” to avoid the end-game now being played out in NSW (and maybe Qld). There could be a real “shakeup” of both policy and people, and a re-invigoration of government. Things that have been put in the “too hard basket” may at least get discussed finally, and some Bob Hawke “consensus-style” politics involving people across the political spectrum may eventuate.

    Otherwise if Labor wins outright, this election will probably seem like 1988, and a tired party out of ideas will get annihilated by some Kennett-like figure in 2014.

  33. Yep, pretty close to my own thoughts on the matter, Rocket Rocket (and that is not just because Ruby Tuesday is one of my own favourite Stones / Melanie songs! 😉 )

    Let’s hope it works out. The Libs are bound to get their act together some time, and labor are looking ever more frayed around the edges. A minority Labor government would probably be the best possible result for Victoria IMHO, and for Labor, too.

  34. On the election in general, what a benefit fixed terms are! Without them, Labor would have been tempted to call an early election when its support was in the high 50s!

    This election is going to be close. The Liberals have a small chance of winning and won’t want to spoil it by preferencing the Greens, which would upset some of their supporters. On the other hand, it is only a “small chance”, and they might focus on the following election instead.

    On balance, it is in the interests of the Liberals to preference the Greens. If Liberal preferences helped force Labor into a minority government dependent on the Greens for survival, Labor would be pushed to the left and thus the Liberals would find it easier to win in 2014.

  35. GG,

    Good idea! As the sign in Target says, “Every Australian has the right to look good and feel good about the way they dress and live”. Just add “eat”, “inject”, whatever to the human rights list.

  36. [I sometime found their hectoring ‘holier than though’ hectoring towards Labor irritating.]

    Me too,and Im a Greens member (Im not sure that attitude exists as much as critics make out – though it does a bit). Me, I want Greens to be hardarse toe-cutters, and play to win, and go in hard, and take no prisoners. I *like* the more stick less carrot approach to private operators. They’re mostly bludging rent-seekers anyway.

    I support the Greens cos Im left wing. I vote green cos i like the progressive policies.

    PS I personally hate tofu, and eat meat just about every meal – except sometimes breakfast. So shoot me.

  37. [ore uncosted Greens policies. Why not free Tofu for all.

    “The Greens candidate for Richmond, Kathleen Maltzahn, says under her party’s uncosted policy, there would also be less “carrot and more stick” when performance targets are not met”.]

    So, GG, you reckon the current Victorian PTS is as good as gets? I suppose if you are in Greensborough the problems might not be as obvious as they are in Eltham (a train every 20 minutes) or Hurstbridge (a train every 40 minutes and bugger all bus services to complement them) so your views might be understandable.

    No real improvements beyond Greensborough in the last twenty years from what I I’ve experienced, despite very substantial population growth.

    Buggered if I can see what tofu has got to do with it, and I’m a devout carnivore myself. Quite a bit to do with prolonged inadequate infrastructure spending by state governments both Labor and Liberal, though, followed by a period in which the private sector has been singularly unimaginative in doing anything to fix the problems.

  38. Rod,

    I don’t deny that the public transport system is poor or that it should never have been privatised, but we don’t get many trains in Hurstbridge because not many people live here. A city of Melbourne’s population density cannot have a system like the London Underground. While a very powerful alliance of the Greens and the development industry want to squash us into “medium density”, most of us would prefer a bit of greenery, which is why some of us live in places like Hurstbridge, despite the infrequent rail service.

    Perhaps, consumers could be offered free tofu on the trains. Better still, bring back first class carriages!

  39. Rocket # 83

    The next election will be a double dissolution. I know that porotcial prostitutes like Bartlett think otherwise. (The thought there was going to a be a double in 2010 cell)

    Referring to Tasmania as a State is a joke, It is nothing more then a medium sized mainland municipality that is over stated. It;s electoral system is not proportional and last “last bundle” counting system is outdated and unnecessary. why should the last segment of votes determine the distribution of preferences. if I vote for a candidate and they are elected with a surplus later in the count why am I denied a right to determine the allocation of their surplus in proportion to the value of my vote? I contributed to their surplus and as such I should have a say. The Senate system is worst in that it inflated the value of the main party ticket vote. In NSW Senate the system delivered an additional 14,000 votes to the LNP ticket vote above and beyond the real value. In 2007 the method of distribution of preferences denied Larisa Waters the right of representation (Something that Bartlett also Denys) I want an open, accurate and fair voting system not the bastardization system that is pass off as being proportional when it is not. I want all votes open to proper scrutiny and information made available so as to ensure the count if accurate and honest. If 500 votes go missing between count A and count B I ant to know what happened and I certainly want to have access to the data-files that allow me and other to review the count. It is unacceptable for a electoral commission to claim that the data is not available because it was deleted /overwritten and that no backup copies were made. no doubt Bartlett thinks this is acceptable also because the Greens were the benefactor of the count. LOL such is the hypocrisy of the Greens.

  40. The same applies in Diamond Creek, Chris, which has a substantially higher population. THe developments around South Morang and Mernda were similarly allowed to occur without the infrastructure being developed in a timely fashion to meet the needs (and much the same applies in other outer Melbourne areas with a high growth rate).

    Yep, intensification of inner city development has a lot going for it environmentally, but that doesn’t mean that the system shouldn’t be designed to cope with the existing needs.

    As for the tofu wisecracks, it might well have had some meaning ten years ago (and I used to say the same things about The Greens back in those days , too) but these days its simply cheap nonsense used by the two major parties to try to protect their duopoly. I’m not a Greens member, and my own personal position floats around the point where the left of Labor and the practical end of the Greens meet, but the silly nonsense like this is really hugely counterproductive for Labor. Most people these days know it is nonsense and all it does is undermine the credibility of those who use it instead of properly trying to argue their case on the merits.

  41. Could someone put DemocracyATwork out of his misery and prevent him from making a fool of himself by stopping him posting vitriolic, silly, diatribes whenever he happens to see Andrew Bartlett’s name in a thread in any forum , in any thread? Surely there must be some technical solution available!

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