Weekend miscellany

No Morgan poll this week. There is the following however:

• ReachTel continues to pump out the Queensland state automated phone polls. Perhaps emboldened by a recent effort pointing to a 27 per cent anti-Labor swing in Stretton, they have this week targeted two safe Labor seats and elicited similarly dramatic results. A survey of 384 respondents in the seat of Ipswich is fully as bad for Labor as the Stretton poll, showing a 26 per cent swing and a win for LNP candidate Ian Berry over Labor incumbent Rachel Nolan by a margin of 9.4 per cent. In the Brisbane seat of Bundamba, a poll of 371 respondents found a 20 per cent swing which would all but eradicate Labor member Jo-Ann Miller’s margin. Katter’s Australian Party was on double figures in both seats. Last week ReachTel published a poll of 366 respondents in Ferny Grove which showed a 15 per cent swing, easily enough to account for Labor member Geoff Wilson’s margin of 4.3 per cent. It should be noted however that ReachTel is a new outfit using a methodology which is yet to prove its worth, and all the swings mentioned are well over the 13 per cent indicated by recent Newspoll and Galaxy polling.

• John Ferguson of The Australian reports polling by the Victorian Liberal Party shows it poised to win not only the Labor-held marginals of Deakin, Corangamite and La Trobe, but also recording primary votes of 50 per cent and 48 per cent in relatively safe Bruce and Chisholm. Particularly difficult to believe is a funding from Bruce that “Julia Gillard had a minus 22 per cent favourability rating with Mr Abbott at plus 2 per cent”, which compares with Nielsen’s recent Victorian results of minus 13 and minus 25. Ferguson’s report further says that former members Phil Barresi (voted out in 2007 and again unsuccessful in 2010) and Jason Wood (voted out in 2010) are considering comebacks in Deakin and La Trobe. Local councillor Tim Smith is another possible starter in Deakin, and Ernst & Young partner John Nguyen “would be backed by many local members” in Chisholm. John Roskam of the Institute of Public Affairs and lawyer John Pesutto are mentioned as being likely preselection aspirants, though it is unclear in relation to which seats.

Michael McKenna of The Australian reports “lobbyist and former 2007 Liberal candidate for the seat of Brisbane Ted O’Brien and Sunshine Coast businesswoman Peta Simpson” will join Mal Brough in the LNP preselection contest for Peter Slipper’s seat of Fisher, with Brough “expected to easily win”. In the period between his appearance at a local function with Kevin Rudd and his defection from the party, the LNP state executive was considering having Slipper deposed at a snap December 19 preselection, which would have prevented the state election campaign clashing with any move by him to pursue internal appeals processes. However, this failed to take into account that many of Brough’s local branch “recruits” (according to The Australian, “since returning to the party in December last year, Brough has doubled the membership in the Fisher LNP branch to more than 1000”) would have been unable to participate due to the rule requiring 12 months’ membership. According to The Australian, it was “suspected that Slipper may have orchestrated the Rudd visit to entrap the LNP into calling an early preselection to defeat Brough”. Following Slipper’s defection, it is now clear the preselection will now be held after the state election.

Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald reports on the latest exchange in the hundred years war between NSW Liberal Right faction rivals David Clarke and Alex Hawke. The Clarke faction (the “hard” Right) has unsuccessfully sought a Supreme Court injunction to prevent the Baulkham Hills and Castle Hill Young Liberal branches from participating in the preselection for Hawke’s federal seat of Mitchell. These were the very same branches involved in a famous episode before the previous election when the unanticipated arrival of 40 Clarke supporters prompted Hawke to call the police. The Herald report further relates that “up to a dozen” NSW MPs have defected from Clarke to Hawke’s “centre right”, among them Wollondilly MP Jail Rowell and upper house MP Matthew Mason-Cox, as they were “understood to be unhappy over their treatment by Mr Clarke and his colleague, Marie Ficarra”. This is presumably one of the reasons the Clarke candidate in Mitchell, Robert Picone, is not considered much of a chance.

John Ferguson of The Australian reports on a widening in the long-simmering battle over Victorian Liberal Senate preselection. Previously the issue had been whether the number two candidate from 2007, Helen Kroger, would suffer demotion at the expense of the number three, Scott Ryan, who has since been promoted to a more senior parliamentary position. However, a split in the Costello-Kroger faction is now jeopardising the position of the number one candidate, Mitch Fifield. A Liberal source is quoted accusing Fifield of “engineering” Ryan’s push against his factional colleague Kroger, prompting the latter’s supporters to contemplate securing her position by moving to depose Fifield from the top of the ticket. With the Liberals thought likely to win three seats in the current electoral environment, Fifield’s enemies are said to be canvassing possible challenges from John Roskam and, perhaps a little fancifully, Peter Reith.

• A belated note, after much back and forth, about last week’s highly unfortunate Crikey system failures. I am delighted to be able to announce that it’s Ray Hadley’s fault. A story published by Crikey last Tuesday led to a mammoth spray against Tim Flannery and Crikey on Ray Hadley’s program on 2GB the following morning. As a result of Hadley’s outburst, Crikey received a massive spike in traffic to the website – so much so that the site’s servers could not handle the traffic increase and melted down two days in a row. Of course, these have not been Crikey’s only outages, and the broader difficulty remains of the system’s incapacity to cope under pressure. Management are now undertaking server cost analysis and preparing for IT/bandwidth increases.

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.

1,800 comments on “Weekend miscellany”

  1. [Paul Howes
    @howespaul
    Just got home after a huge 3 days at #ALPnc which has set the standard for open, honest, passionate debate in Australian politics]

  2. To finish the night on a positive note…

    Here is a source of interesting survey data on the quality of life:

    http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/auwbi/index.php
    [The western world-view is dominated by notions of progress. Progress is about making life better. That is, improving quality of life and wellbeing. Indicators are crucial to such progress because we cannot know, as a society, whether quality of life is improving unless we can monitor and measure how it is changing. Policies, for example, are judged on how they affect relevant indicators.

    Quality of life is subjective as well as objective, a matter of how people feel about life as well as the material conditions in which they live. Interestingly, however, these two kinds of measurement are normally poorly related. So we need both. There are a plethora of objective measures that relate to quality of life and wellbeing. There is, however, a lack of subjective measures that are rigorous, comprehensive and systematic.

    The AustralianUnity Wellbeing Index is designed to fill this niche. It has the aim of promoting greater public and political awareness of the social factors underpinning wellbeing, as well as enhancing scientific understanding of subjective wellbeing.]
    Links to survey 1 (2001) to survey 25 (2011):
    http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/auwbi/survey-reports/index.php

  3. mari,

    Whatever else kids think of their parents and grandparents, there will always be a mystique for them about us. Trust me!

  4. mari @ 1750

    Who says us grandparents arn’t smart??

    And a really good thing is that with a spread of ages you get to repeat the routine a few times. 😀

  5. Pegasus,

    [bemused,

    All you’ve got are 3 word slogans ]

    So, what’s wrong with 3 word slogans? If they’re good enough for the Opposition, they’re surely good enough for labor. 😉

  6. kezza2 @ 1759

    In your dreams, fruitcake

    You must have an active imagination.

    Refer to my 1715.
    I am really not interested in continuing such an unproductive exchange.

  7. Ducky and Bemused(1754&5) Agree with you re kids and now grandkids, one of the reasons I go over to Scotland as often as I do, so I can see the grandsons over there, although not as much as the Aussie ones of course. The other reason, have a lot of trouble understanding the Scotties/Aussies on the phone and Skype, after a few days over there can understand them easily most of the time

  8. [paddy2
    Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    TLBD,
    Thanks for that. She did a great job here in Qld anchoring Landline. She is originally from Pt Pirie region in South Aus. Her dad played footy in the SANFL]

    I never knew that, paddy. I assume the dad Is Geoff Sara, a pretty useful footballer with West Adelaide in days gone by.

    She’s a gem; young, but maybe headed for the same excellence as Paul Lockyer.

  9. Pegasus re westerm way of life
    ___________________
    A recent cynic said of the American way that it now consists of three things.
    Endless shopping
    Endless debts
    Endless noise..

  10. [bemused
    Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
    kezza2 @ 1708

    bemused and I have had an altercation over my say

    he thinks she is an idiot because he can’t understand what she has to say

    A false assumption on your part.
    [go and have a look at your comments, even when you were told about my say’s affliction – your comments were horrible. Go and look at them, I pointed them out at the time]

    I do admit to being puzzled that some of her posts were quite well written and others very hard to work out.
    I now know the reason why and she has my full sympathy and admiration for ‘giving it a go’.

    I say he’s a reprobate because he refuses to understand what she says.

    So judgemental.

    my say is a labor diehard
    bemused is a labor diehard

    So please explain what you want to argue about? I don’t get it.]
    This is your 1715

    what does it say?
    Nothing.

    As does all you arguments
    Absolutely nothing.

    You defend yourself somewhat, but have a look at your posts
    prior to your knowledge of my say’s RA.

    You have no defence. Nothing. An apology wouldn’t go astray.

  11. scorpio @ 1771

    Garrett has been OK, at least a pass.

    I think Arbib and Ludwig should be dropped.

    Someone made a comment earlier tonight that has been bouncing around in my head, about needing Ministers who can communicate and know just enough about the technical stuff not to get into trouble. It could work if you paired them with a Parliamentary Secretary who could handle all the detailed stuff.

    In a way it is what Rudd PM needed. Him to do the selling and someone else to sort out the detail. But of course he would have had to cede some authority to such a person and that may not have been his style.

  12. [This little black duck

    Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    mari,

    I thought your accent was a bit Scots!]

    Aye- however I can assure you my accent is definitely Aussie, although my daughter now says things like Aye, half seven instead of half past seven, bairn for baby, etc but still comes out with distinctly Aussie saying, especially after I have been over for a visit

  13. You’re not going to believe this

    I just c&p this terrific argument
    only to see the above pasted.

    something I’d already argued.

    As if I;d do that again in a hurry.

  14. kezza2 @ 1775

    You have no defence. Nothing. An apology wouldn’t go astray.

    You asked for it, here it is.
    Kezza2, I am sorry you are so deluded you imagine posts you attribute to me that either never occurred or you have mis-interpreted.

  15. Ps when i type on the computer, I rarely have errors, I have found this key board very annoying as it self corrects, and i have noticed quite a few errors on the post above, yes I should re read and re arranged the words I was remiss,
    But what the heck
    who cares its not sheep stations,

  16. my say @ 1780

    I don’t think i have been put down in my whole life like you have done to me
    Than you for putting my self esteem backwards some what. My mother was a manic depresive
    try living with that,

    I don’t know the relevance of that or much of the rest of your post.

    Plenty of people on PB and elsewhere have burdens to carry.

    Not bad for a bad for a person whom u say says silly
    things.

    You are hardly alone in occasionally saying something silly. I have been know to do the same as I am sure others will agree.

    What has bothered you in the last few days that causes all this now? Is someone agitating you?

  17. [You asked for it, here it is.
    Kezza2, I am sorry you are so deluded you imagine posts you attribute to me that either never occurred or you have mis-interpreted]

    I’m not deluded
    That is such a put-down post
    it’s hardly worth commenting on.

    I don’t “imagine” posts.

    Go back and have a look at what YOU have said to my say over the past months.

    I don’t think she has said that you “have reduced her to tears” on many occasions for no reason.

    I’m not here all the time
    But I;ve seen it before.

    For a Labor voter, I think you have some way to go before you recruit others to the cause.

  18. 1780 My Say
    [This is my last post and I mean it this time]

    I sincerely hope not. You’re a valued contributer, as Puff mentioned earlier.

    You’re as important to the flavour of PB as BB, Finns, Dio, BW, GG, Ian, Space Kidette, OPT, Puff, Danny, Frank, Bemused, Kezza and others too numerous to mention.

    Besides, I may want to visit Tasmania some time, and I’ll want to contact you if I do.

  19. My say @ 1782

    Ps when i type on the computer, I rarely have errors, I have found this key board very annoying as it self corrects, and i have noticed quite a few errors on the post above, yes I should re read and re arranged the words I was remiss,
    But what the heck
    who cares its not sheep stations,

    Just did a bit of checking for you on my iPad.
    You can turn off the ‘auto-correction’ and other keyboard options if you wish. If it causes you problems then maybe you should.

    I hope this is helpful and is seen as such as I intend it to be.

  20. george

    Yes, it’s called a look-and-say sequence. It took me ages to work out. Evidently you only ever get 1, 2 or 3. It never gets to 4.

  21. [1783

    bemused

    Posted Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    my say @ 1780

    I don’t think i have been put down in my whole life like you have done to me
    Than you for putting my self esteem backwards some what. My mother was a manic depresive
    try living with that,

    I don’t know the relevance of that or much of the rest of your post.

    Plenty of people on PB and elsewhere have burdens to carry.

    Not bad for a bad for a person whom u say says silly
    things.

    You are hardly alone in occasionally saying something silly. I have been know to do the same as I am sure others will agree.

    What has bothered you in the last few days that causes all this now? Is someone agitating you?
    ]

    All I’ll say is you’ve lived up to your real ife alter ego.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIqqiK4ncfs

  22. [
    GhostWhoVotes GhostWhoVotes
    #Newspoll Gillard: Approval 36 (+2) Disapproval 56 (+1) #auspol
    1 minute ago
    ]

    [
    GhostWhoVotes GhostWhoVotes
    #Newspoll Abbott: Approval 33 (-1) Disapproval 57 (+2) #auspol
    1 minute ago
    ]

    [
    GhostWhoVotes GhostWhoVotes
    #Newspoll Preferred PM: Gillard 43 (+3) Abbott 36 (+1) #auspol
    52 seconds ago
    ]

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