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. I think the Grand Prix is Grand Boring.

    When was the last time a F1 car actually overtook another.

    It would be infitely better to spend the money building a giant water slide theme park every year (or perhaps a few hospital beds).

  2. So again, we have a close election, and again, Labor runs dead on the economy. What is wrong with this party. The liberals are cleverly borrowing from the waste and mismanagement theme that the feds used. And Labor has not counteracted this, instead choosing to rehash the Baillieu real estate ads from last time.

    If they do lose this one (and i still think they will sneak home), its because of a failure to counteract the Libs are betting at managing the economy theme. And this is a government that has managed the economy very well.

  3. And the Greens criticise Labor’s preference deals.

    “Eyebrows continue to be raised over Greens preference deals in the lead-up to Saturday’s Victorian state election, none more so than in the seat of Essendon where candidate Rose Iser is listing an anti-abortion advocate who was last year embroiled in a racist email controversy as the second pick on her how-to-vote card”.

  4. [
    “Eyebrows continue to be raised over Greens preference deals in the lead-up to Saturday’s Victorian state election, none more so than in the seat of Essendon where candidate Rose Iser is listing an anti-abortion advocate who was last year embroiled in a racist email controversy as the second pick on her how-to-vote card”.


    More politics as usual from the Greens

  5. On Nine news the Liberals managed to get their policy announcements for the day overshadowed with their legal action. The main campaign stories were the Liberals suing Labor and John Brumby visiting the under construction Olivia Newton-John Cancer center with ONJ herself. Barely a mention of any Liberal policies.

  6. I think people are being unfair to Louise Asher for her comment is true, many Brighton people do have a deem view of rural accomendation.

    This should not shock anyone.

    Where can I find a link to the Green ad that is said to be the dumpest thing ever.

    Also I note in Richmond the Greens posters are most visable than during the federal election and i agree with the earlier comment why does the ALP never seem to take ownership of the economic debate.

  7. I’m an F1 fanatic (watched every race live this year) so I’m biased. But in my considered and sober view … all you Green voting kill joys can eat Seb Vettel’s carbon foot print. The F1 is well worth the outlay. 😆

  8. After this post by confessions yesterday I wondered how long until the “media” found the story
    [Posted Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm
    The Greens winning friends and influencing rural voters.
    Please tell me this is not an actual advert.]
    Who believes they don’t come here for scoops and story ideas?

  9. #50 GG

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

    Talk about being humourless I don’t ever recall you ever making me laugh or even being the least bit funny 😉

  10. #68 mexicanbeemer

    The poor Greens just don’t get why the bush doesn’t vote for them.

    The bush is not exactly in love with the ALP either.

  11. In a real turn around the Herald Sun has been quite soft on Labor in recent months. The Age still see themselves as the official opposition.

    Meanwhile, the Coalition are planning a new gaol despite crime stats going down significantly. Nationals leader Peter Ryan makes up for Ted’s soft centre.

  12. kevin.rennie

    Agreed. The Herald Sun have even endorsed Labor to be re-elected! Go figure. On the other hand, The Age, did not commit, but said if forced to chose, Labor should be given another go.

  13. Pollbludger posts per week on State elections 2010

    Tas – 51 – 129 – 19 – 62 – 422 = 683

    SA – 96 – 520 – 423 – 1113 – 2200 = 4352

    Vic – 202 – 477 – 664 – 750 – 138 (so far) = 2231 [the 202 are on the weekend before official start of campaign)

    As I suspected, people were a lot more “fired up” about the SA election.

  14. [madcyrilPosted Monday, November 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm | PermalinkWhen are the weekday papers Editorial’s on who they are backing published. The Friday before voting day?

    If they publish on a Saturday – it will be on Election Morning.

  15. “The Herald” (evening paper that combined with “The Sun” in late 1990 to make the “Herald-Sun”) famously backed Hawke in March 1990, prompting Andrew Peacock to say something along the lines of “That’s the sound of Melburnians burning their copies of The Herald”

    What is it with conservatives and book/paper burning?

    Especially when Peacock at that election was himself campaigning to reduce greenhouse gases!

  16. vic, That was the Sunday Herald Sun and the Sunday Age yesterday. I think they are differant to the weekday papers. In other words you get two endorsements. I stand to be corrected on this?

  17. Mick S – Before Black Saturday I would have predicted the ALP would have lost a swag of country seats but since then the Government appears to have gained ground.

    I think this election will be similar to the last SA election with big swings against the ALP in safe seats currently held by both sides and a general swing towards the Greens in the ball park of what we saw in the last federal election.

  18. The best outcomes for federal labor is for state labor in Vic and state labor in NSW to lose. Here’s hoping for the first. The second is a formality.

  19. Interesting chat to someone with a link to the Liberals. According to him they’re very concerned they won’t make any inroads to seats outside Melbourne metro area. And their projected pick-up has fallen in the past week from 11 seats to 8. Not much confidence around the party that they’ll do enough to keep Brumby from a majority.

    And I don’t know if this is news or not, but he seems to think Brumby will hand over to Hulls after about 18 months.

  20. Centre, you shouldnt put state Vic and NSW govt in the same sentence. No comparison, and no, the Vics dont deserve to lose, and it wont help the party if they do.

    On the general theme of “its good for them to lose”- its complete bull butter (nod to Glen). Look at the fed libs, how good was it for them to lose? How much renewal have they done? None. How much policy work/change have they made? None. I dont know why some folks here peddle these false theories.

    Kevin rennie they are talking about new prisons, ie. more than one. The problem is that they have not established there is a problem, and even the Herald Sun wont help them out

  21. Centre

    No, it would be good to lose in NSW but not in Victoria.

    This would establish clearly that Victoria, not NSW, is the Labor powerhouse and see a shift away from Sussex St domination.

    Lose in both states and it can be argued that there is no cause for change.

  22. More fine work from the Greens star man Greg Barber.

    A GREENS candidate in the Latrobe Valley has launched an attack on the party’s Melbourne-based MPs, accusing them of proposing ”highly simplistic” climate policies that have not been endorsed by the party’s state council.

    Cheryl Wragg, a former Labor member and former adviser to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, is running for the Greens in the upper house seat of Eastern Victoria. She said a plan to close and replace the Hazelwood coal power plant by 2014 crafted by Greens MP Greg Barber was not part of the party’s platform.

    Mr Barber has called for Hazelwood – one of Australia’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters – to be closed in stages over four years using the Environment Protection Authority’s powers to regulate emissions.

    Ms Wragg, who calls herself an ”industrial Green”, suggested that Mr Barber’s stance was pitched at inner-city voters and did not reflect the views of people in central Gippsland.

  23. From Tim Colebatch’s article

    AFTER the sheer awfulness of the federal election campaign, Victoria’s campaign has been a breath of fresh air that almost restores your faith in politics. Two decent, intelligent and capable leaders. Policies that address real rather than image problems. Mostly positive messages rather than negative ones. We could almost be living in a different time.

    I know I’m probably in the minority but I agree with Colebatch. It’s been a blessed relief to experience a good old fashioned election that hasn’t feautred the kind of bizarre media driven rubbish we saw in the Federal election. By that I mean Mark Latham, leaks, stop the boats etc.

  24. The Vic campaign has been much better because it’s been so low-key. Federal campaigns are x10 the intensity and attention, and that makes them a completely different animal for campaign directors and politicians. The focus is also different. State govts deliver services, so people just want them to be better. It’s a lot easier to run a “real” campaign at state level.

  25. [More fine work from the Greens star man Greg Barber. ]


    I could be wrong about this, but I get the feeling Greg Barber has no authority over his own State Branch. Offensive adverts, odd preference deals, now conflict over policy. It reminds me of Tone in relation to the NSW Libs, and how idiotic decisions taken cost them winnable seats in NSW.

  26. Confessions

    I’m not sure what’s going on with the Greens at state level.

    They’ve always said that they don’t have a leader, although Barber (as the only male) seems to have taken on that role for himself.

    Don’t hear a squeak from the other two, so not sure how they’re arriving at decisions.

  27. GG said:

    [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.]

    We need “understand” no such thing, especially since it is utterly bogus. This is textboox handwaving. What you need to do is to show how much every dollar of public expenditure on these fandangoes contributed to the provision of public goods, and what the negative externalities were.

    What yiou and your kind are seeking is to stick your snouts into public funds — to have the public fund your private amusement.

    Personally, if I were inclined to subsidise your amusement, I’d sooner subsidise you eating out or visiting a country motel or perhaps that water slide someone above mentioned. Most of us regard these as private expenditure rather than core state business though.

    But if you are really interested in attracting visitors to Victoria from across the world, there’s one very fun policy that I could endorse but which would horrify the backers of the F1 and other elite sport … 😉

  28. [
    What yiou and your kind are seeking is to stick your snouts into public funds — to have the public fund your private amusement.

    From the Greens policy list

    It’s great to see public money supporting our established arts institutions like the NGV, MTC, and various festivals, but forging a place in the arts takes a lot of dedicated work with little to no pay. We want to see our next generation of emerging artists better supported by dedicating more public funding to small projects and individual artists at the grass roots level, which is where our artists are nurtured. We will continue to push for a secure future for the VCA.

    I agree, the public funding of private amusement must be stopped. No more public money for the private amusement of inner city trendoid arts lovers. Personally if I were inclined to subsidise the Greens amusement, I’d sooner subsidise more Motorsport events, especially Rally events held in pristine forests

  29. fran,

    You just want everyone to live in your version of the Greens Gulag. Smiling prohibited. Only activities approvd by the Central Committee to be conducted.

    If you haven’t noticed there is a whole Government Department responsible for developing Tourism. The reason is because there are jobs and investment in it. Major events are regarded as a significant part of the process. Why? Because they attract people to an event who then go on to other destinations within Victoria and Australia. All the time spending their dollars.

    Your issue seems to be people enjoying themselves while spending money to make money.

    Your lack of economic commonsense is compounded by your earnest disapproval of fun. Greens really are the new Wowsers.

  30. [Don’t hear a squeak from the other two, so not sure how they’re arriving at decisions.]

    And this rabble holds the balance of power in your upper house? 😮

  31. I am having trouble accessing Antony Greens Upper House calculator.
    Is anyone else having the same problem?
    The problem seems to be at the ABC website

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