Victorian election minus five days

The first editorials are in: the Sunday Herald-Sun backs Labor, while the Sunday Age wimps out. Other than that, we have a fair bit of micro-polling going on:

Stephen McMahon of the Herald-Sun reports a 500-sample Galaxy poll commissioned by the Victorian Association of Forest Industries shows Labor with a two-party lead of 51-49, from primary votes of 36 per cent for Labor, 42 per cent for the Coalition and 16 per cent for the Greens. The margin of error is approaching 4.5 per cent.

• The Sunday Herald-Sun has conducted a dubious “survey of 200 people across the electorates of Mitcham, Mt Waverley, Melbourne and Bendigo”. We aren’t given any details on the methodology, but the fact that 20.5 per cent were rated “yet to make up their minds” makes clear the poll was uninformed by expertise of any kind. Of the rest, 45 per cent backed the Coalition (compared with 43.5 per cent across the four seats in 2006), 34 per cent Labor (36.5 per cent) and 22.5 per cent Greens (13.5 per cent). Even if the poll were conducted properly, the margin of error would be approaching 8 per cent.

John Ferguson of the Herald-Sun quotes a senior Labor source identfying the significance of the “f— you vote”, voicing fears that wavering late deciders might collectively “decide the Government’s had enough time”. Ferguson’s report also tells us that “Labor does not expect the two Ballarat seats to be in play but senior Liberals have indicated that seats such as Yan Yean might swing sharply”. Bendigo East is rated “in real danger of falling”, with “questions also over Bendigo West”. It is also suggested the Nationals might be a show to unseat independent Craig Ingram in Gippsland East, but they might again lose Mildura to an independent after having recovered it from one in 2006.

James Campbell of the Sunday Herald-Sun reports on findings from focus group research conducted by John Scales, formerly of Morgan and Crosby Textor. This suggests Labor has done well out of its television advertising, particularly the “blank slate” attacks on Ted Baillieu and ads designed to “humanise” John Brumby. The “boot camp” policy is said to have gone down well, but Myki, the desalination plant and Labor’s performance federally all loom as negatives. John Brumby was found to be more popular among swinging voters than his party. Michael Bachelard of The Age reports both parties are believed to have spent an “average” amount on television advertising of “perhaps $3 million to $4 million each”. Labor has favoured humourous negative ads over the traditional “formula of grainy black, white and red colouring and a gravelly voice-over”, as it feared being seen as “bullying”.

The Age reports the Coalition has threatened to sue the ALP for defamation unless it drops a television accusing Ted Baillieu of benefiting financially from the sale of schools under the Kennett government. The latest version of the ads, which recycle an attack waged during the 2006 campaign, further link Baillieu’s real estate firm to the sale of the Preston and Northcote Community Hospital, despite the fact that he was no longer a director by that point. The Age notes Baillieu “remained indirectly linked to Knight Frank through a shareholder and alternate director of holding company DBF Holdings, which in turn was a shareholder of Knight Frank”.

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.

107 comments on “Victorian election minus five days”

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  1. It needs fixing pronto.
    Its a vital aid in assessing the upper house election outcome.
    I have a horrible vision of it being down on election night when we will all really need it.
    Makes me realise our dependence on technology.

  2. 1/ St Kilda Seat Greens prefs n front of Labor ,
    The Greens have also decided to preference St Kilda triangle activist Serge Thomann in Albert Park, which could cause Greens supporters concern owing to his equivocal VIEWS on action to tackle climate change.

    2/ Essendon Seat Greens pref in front of Labor ,
    Greens 2nd pref Paul Giuliano, who on his campaign website slams the idea of a carbon tax as “not the solution” to climate change,

    So in both Seats Greens pref anti CC candidates in front of Labor , Greens care re CC ?

    but Essendon cbnndidate not only CC skeptic but ALSO

    Giuliano and Iser are listed number 2 on each other’s cards, lodged with the Victorian Electoral Commission on Friday.

    “His website contains a prominent link to a Right to Life website, featuring pictures of a newborn baby with the words “kill her now it’s murder, kill her before birth it’s ‘abortion’” at the top of the page. Her website contains a slate of OFFICIAL Greens policies that badly chafe with Giuliano’s stance.”

    and there is more on this 2nd Greens pref guy over Labor

    “Last year, Giuliano, in his former role as Moonee Valley mayor, hit the national headlines after he forwarded an email to his entire address book imploring Muslims to “speak English”. He later explained away the controversy by saying the email was only meant for his fellow councillors”

    so he’s anti CC , anti over zealotey anti aborton , and racist

    state wide Greens toping it off , Greens tried to do a pref deel with Liberalsd to incr chanses of a Lib Govt , just for Greens to pinch 4 Labor seats

  3. [The Greens have also decided to preference St Kilda triangle activist Serge Thomann in Albert Park, which could cause Greens supporters concern owing to his equivocal VIEWS on action to tackle climate change.]

    Apparently this isn’t so. The person in question strongly affirms the need for the Victorian government to address climate change:

    His policy says in part:

    [The Victorian government should get serious about sustainability. Let us begin with the important question of climate change.

    There is consensus among scientists that there will be major changes in our physical environment over the coming years because of changes in our climate brought about by global warming caused by human activities like coal fired power stations. The power to influence these changes is largely in the hands of the Federal government but there are precautionary actions that the Victorian government should be taking.


    The precautionary principle must apply. Although we aren’t sure exactly how and when all these climate changes will happen, there is enough evidence, like the cause and effect between smoking and lung cancer, that we should act now; we can’t afford to wait until everything is proved and our suburbs are under water.

    Since the Commonwealth Government has decided to delay the introduction of greenhouse gas emissions legislation, I believe that the state government can act to fill the void. I support the Victorian Climate Change White Paper – The Action Plan released in July 2010, which targets a reduction in Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The target is a 20% reduction below year 2000 levels.

    I support the Climate Change Act 2010, which will implement this target by amending existing environmental legislation such as the Environment Protection Act 1970. This would give the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and embed climate change considerations into Government decisions. The EPA’s first step in exercising these powers would be to set an emissions intensity standard for new power stations that will effectively prevent the construction of new brown coal generators in Victoria. This is important as electricity generation is the largest source of energy-related greenhouse emissions.}

    In short, Mr Thomann is not equivocal about climate change or an action on the issue.

  4. Planning and development is an issue that will come into play in many electorates.

    Greens top SOS? ?planning poll ?for ?Essendon? candidates:

    Save? Our ?Suburbs ?and ?Citizens ?for ?a ?Liveable ?Melbourne rated ?the ?candidates ?in ?the?
    electorate ?of ?Essendon ?in ?response ?to ?a? questionnaire ?which ?focused ?on ?changes ?to ?planning ?legislation ?and ?the? democratic ?rights? of ?councils ?and? residents ?to ?have ?their ?views ?incorporated ?into ?new ?planning? policies ?and? laws.
    ?Greens? candidate ?(Rose? Iser) is ?the ?only? candidate ?who? bothered ?to ?answer ?the ?questionnaire:

    Justin Madden the Minister for Planning provided a late reply but did not answer the questionnaire.

    No ?response ?at ?all ?was? received ?from ?the ?Liberal ?Party?.

    Independent ?Paul ?Giuliano ?merely ?referred SOS ?to ?a ?planning ?statement ?on ?his ?website?.

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