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”

Comments Page 1 of 3
1 2 3
  1. I don’t know if we are ready for predictions yet. But I predict the Libs will win. 12 years is a long time even for a good government. 16 years is just too much.

    I couldn’t envisage this happening before, especially given the amazing performance that the Federal Labor Party did here in Victoria. But nonetheless, it will happen. A new Victorian government and a moderate Lib Premier.

  2. I haven’t seen or heard Louise Asher at all during the campaign. Now I understand why

    Louise Asher accused of snobbery over jibe at regional Victoria

    DEPUTY leader of the Victorian Liberal Party Louise Asher has been accused of snobbery after saying her constituents were turning up their noses at regional Victorian accommodation.

    The Brighton MP and Coalition tourism spokeswoman said she represented many wealthy people looking to travel, but who were going overseas because of the state of Victorian facilities.

    “I represent people, not all, but I represent people who earn a high income and do look for tourism experiences,” Ms Asher told a tourism conference last week.

    “You know they (Brighton residents) are not going to stay in low-rate accommodation.”

  3. I think the coalition has buttoned up just about everyone, not just Asher. Jon Faine wanted to talk to someone, anyone, from the coalition on some policy last week early in his shift, but got no one and was told that Ted Baillieu would be available later on (a couple of hours later I think). This incensed Faine, who gave them a big serve for gagging their front bench.

    From what’s been reported I don’t think the defamation action has a leg to stand on. Labor appears to have been very careful to state only the facts in the ad.

  4. There is definately something about Bailleau, he doesn’t project leadership in my view. He reminds me of Simon Crean when he was opposition leader.

  5. [I couldn’t envisage this happening before, especially given the amazing performance that the Federal Labor Party did here in Victoria.]
    I still can’t. I wouldn’t be taking any notice of a few shonky polls. Everything has to go right for the Libs for them to get over the line. I just don’t see or feel the community has baseball bats at the ready.

  6. [He reminds me of Simon Crean when he was opposition leader.]

    I don’t think Baillieu’s personality deficit is quite that dire. With Crean as the reference, Baillieu oozes charisma.

  7. ‘A face only a mother could love’: unlike that Clooneyesque Bob Carr, Pitt-look-alike John Howard, Cary Grant-style Don Chipp… 😉 the voters aren’t that superficial… look at how Tony Abbott’s ratings went a bit backward when he posed in budgie smugglers. Now eventhe most anti-Abbott fan would admit that he is in remarkably good shape – but the female voters felt patronised.

    Having said that, the Onion probably gets it right (I can’t post websites) but the headline was ‘Naked woman wins election’

  8. I hope the ALP enjoys being taken to the cleaners through the courts Baillieu if he had balls would file immediately and sue the ALP for defo.

  9. Glen,

    Labor is saying ‘bring it on”.

    Liberals using the courts to closed down free expression. Is this what we could look forward to under the Libs.

    I seem to remember Kennett came a cropper over something similar.

  10. Free expression does not entitle you to use defamation and slander.

    [Labor is saying ‘bring it on”]

    Another reason why they ought to lose.

  11. So all these ‘vox pops’ are running in one direction, to the Greens. Its just momentum and unless there is something dramatic in the last week the trend should continue, . It doesn’t really account for much, I expect Brumby to be returned with between a 2 (worst possible case) and 10 seat majority.
    The libs/nats will get about a 1.5-2% swing to them in the primary and will split almost immediately after the election. The toorak toff will resign and create a very nasty bi election in which the ALP won’t run and the Greens will get a huge vote. they won’t win but it will just continue the momentum.
    Other coalition leadership figures will also consider their position.
    I suppose we can expect a Nielson state poll of the back of the federal on in the next two days, and a newspoll on the day of the election.
    Its all over citizens apart form some micro stories in inner melb, gippsland, mildura etc.

  12. I don’t think SA does want the Grand Prix again. Corporate sponsers have collapsed and the annual taxpayer bill has jumped from $40m to $50m for next year’s event.

    And VECCI trumpets that $17m is generated by the Grand Prix. Good thing they aren’t involved in business decisions… Not much bang for your buck there.

  13. Glen

    I heard something on ABC radio, suggesting that Labor were very careful with that advertisement. They are sure it is accurate.

  14. [Gary read the newspapers there is no link and they’ll be sued big time because of this IMHO.]

    You certainly can’t say there was no link, Glen, if you read the newspapers. There doesn’t appear to be any doubt that Baillieu benefitted from his interests in DBF and its interests in, and subsequent sale of, Frank Knight.

  15. That’s what I said Ted will have to prove it in court but if he’s taking them to court he wouldnt be doing it if he couldnt prove Labor have slandered him.

  16. [That’s what I said Ted will have to prove it in court but if he’s taking them to court he wouldnt be doing it if he couldnt prove Labor have slandered him.]
    If Ted is so sure why is it still an “if”?

  17. victoria,

    However, it now becomes a test of Ted’s character.

    Making idle threatsnot following through on a supposed matter of principle and whingeing because the other children call him nasty (but truthful) names only makes him look weak.

    Not suing proves the accuracy of Labor’s advertising claims.

  18. Glen, the ad shows a “Baillieu Knight Frank” sign in front of a school, because that was the real estate company selling the school. No problem there. Then it says that the same company sold a hospital. That might be misleading, since Baillieu was no longer a director, but it’s true, and Baillieu was a director of another company that was a shareholder in Knight Frank at the time. The ad simply states facts. The question is whether what the viewer might perceive from those facts is enough to satisfy defamation law. Anyway, are the Liberals saying that there’s anything wrong with being the agent selling a property that the government has already closed? By implication, they are, otherwise what is the defamation? The decision has been made and it’s a purely commercial action by the agent selling it and says nothing about the attitude of the individual directors to the closures. Are they saying that Baillieu has some in-principle objection to selling a hospital but not a school? Of course he doesn’t. If he’d still been a director he’d have been happy to have his name on the sign. How has he been defamed?

  19. Glen,

    Baillieu and your precious Libs are the ones making the song and dance and claiming to be defamed and that they will sue.

    If they don’t, in this heated political environment, it means they haven’t got a feather to fly with.

  20. Herald Sun picks up the story on the pathetic Greens ad that stereotypes non Green voters

    But Greens MP Greg Barber rejected the call for an apology and offered for Bob Katter to come down and star in the next video.

    “We outpoll the Country Alliance three-to-one even in their best seats so I think we know what country people want more than they do,” he said.

  21. as much as i would love a liberal government in victoria, i dont believe there is a big enough “its time” factor to remove the ALP.

    having just spent a week in the chadstone, glen waverley, vermont area im not sure there is a huge upsurge against labor and believe that the swing if any to the liberals in the city areas will be minute and nowhere near enough to win an election.

    from what ive been hearing in the regions though suggests there could be some areas that could have huge swings against labor. however the nats are in trouble in mildura and will not win Ingrams seat.

    still believe the most interesting aspect is how the greens poll in the inner city electorates.

    however come this saturday i think everything points to a slighly reduced majority but i would love to be proved wrong and having baillieu as premier

  22. The jibe about The Greens being anti-fun or puritanical is unfounded.

    Nobody said anything about banning these events. As a Green I simply see no reason to subsidise them. They have an enormous carbon footprint, essentially privatise public space, and contribute almost nothing to the public good that could not be had by watching the sports channel.

    In my opinion, there should be a complete separation between elite sport and the state. If the promoters can raise the money privately and meet various planning req’s then go for it.

  23. Fran,

    Spoken by someone who has no interest in elite sport???

    What the Greens need to understand is that Major Events promote the City, provide opportunities for employment across venues and in our hospitality sector, and enhance Victoria as a tourist destination for overseas visitors.

    Being humourless niggard down in the mouths is what Greens are all about.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 1 of 3
1 2 3