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”

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  1. [The Australian reports polling by the Victorian Liberal Party shows it poised to win not only the Labor-held marginals]

    I’d bet the reporting of ‘internal’ polls by parties happens much less often when the results are not favourable. I guess this helps them to encourage their candidates.

  2. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    SMH’s headline: Gillard reasserts control. The OZ’s Gillard loses on sex marriage. Guess who is going for #RegimeChange #auspol
    9 seconds ago

  3. WTF. Another relationship has been added. It’s called De-Facto.

    If i am not wRONg, De-Facto is a relationship that doesnt involve “marriage” but it is legally the same as marriage.

    [The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, and the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, were among the 19 leaders who issued the joint statement last night.

    ”Marriage is the lifelong commitment and faithful union of one man and one woman,” they wrote. ”As such, marriage is the natural basis of the family because it secures the relationship between biological parents and their children. The preservation of the unique meaning of marriage is not a special or limited interest but serves the common good, particularly the good of children.”

    The leaders called on the government to ”not change the meaning of marriage by adding to it different kinds of relationships”]

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/gillard-reasserts-control-20111202-1obhe.html#ixzz1fPQVfzfx

  4. Paul Krugman on the EU and US economies.
    I hope Alan Joyce doesn’t have this tactic in mind.
    [Those crazy kids at Fox News never let reality get in the way of their Republican mouthpiece agenda. After news broke this morning that the unemployment rate had dropped from 9 percent down to 8.6 percent, Fox & Friends decided to round up, showing a graphic saying, “November unemployment rate 9%.”]

  5. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/abbotts-logic-in-a-hole/story-e6frerdf-1226188167571

    [Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey tempting economic armageddon with petty politicking
    by: Paul Syvret From: The Courier-Mail November 08, 2011 12:00AM

    CREDIBLE economic policy is not born of populist sound bites and uncosted opportunism.

    Regrettably, as the level of political discourse in this country continues to deteriorate to one of sloganeering and extravagant half-truths, the federal Coalition risks trashing its credibility in the area of economic management – a policy suite where (at least in terms of public perception) it has tended historically to have the upper hand.]

    Worth a read

  6. It’s not surprising to see that Alan Kohler’s gratuitiously nasty, spiteful article on the MYEFO remains on the ABC on-line banner, while Swan’s comprehensive, level-headed, fact-rich demolition of it is nowhere to be seen.

    Not anywhere.

    Not a mention.

    When faced with the challenge of printing a rant or the truth, the ABC prefers to go with the braying, jeering Kohler’s opinion piece instead of a serious rebuttal that discusses the actual facts. They relegate the Treasurer’s article not to some obscure part of the page, but take it off the page altogether.

    There is no link in Kohler’s article to Swan’s rebuttal, and no mention of it anywhere else with any kind of prominence or even passing reference.

    Welcome to “balance” ABC style.

    If anyone complained they would be no doubt told that

    [“Mr. Kohler is an experienced economics writer who believes in expressing his opinion in a robust manner. Mr. Swan was given equal space to rebut Mr. Kohler’s article. Due to space and time restrictions, it is ABC policy to banner advertise only the ‘most-read’ articles at The Drum web site.

    Thank you for your feedback. The ABC welcomes such feedback. If you wish to take this matter further… don’t bother because we’ll ignore you.”]

  7. Good morning, Bludgers!

    Good morning, Dawn Patrollers.

    Waaaaarr! Still Groundhog Day. Every time I looked in yesterday, Groundhog Day!

    I hope today sees the end of it until Parliament meets again in February, though I feel there’s a much chance of that as there is of my winning A$20 million in lotto next week!

    To one who remembers yesteryear’s wild ALP conferences I’d have gatecrashed the Libs’, too, if they weren’t, even according to rusted-on Faithful, a ‘gentle person’s substitute for sleeping pills) this conference is tame; probably, as was evident from Speers’ interview with Shorten, the MSM, esp any media in which Murdoch has a stake, is only interested in what excites public hysteria and sells papers/ payTV subscriptions.

    I did enjoy one comment – MSM? PB? it’s all a swirling mental maelstrom – which indicated that ALP conf stoushes stopped for lunch. Oh they do, do they? During Rudd’s boring version, maybe. But at a real Labor NatConf? (Here cue derisive laughter).

    Meanwhile, the OO proves that the only difference between it and a Murdoch tabloid is the size of the paper.

  8. [The British media and the Australian media operate within the one moral universe. If the worst of what has happened in Britain – most notably, the media treatment of the parents of kidnapped toddler Madeleine McCann – has no parallel in Australia, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen here. What it comes down to are the cultures of the various media organisations, to what is deemed acceptable conduct, what is encouraged and what a blind eye is turned to.

    Last month, it was reported that News International’s former chief executive in Britain, Rebekah Brooks, was expecting a baby by a surrogate mother. Initially, the surrogate mother was carrying twins but it was reported that one of the embryos had died. In the Telegraph, Pearson outlined what Ms Brooks could expect if she was given the News of the World treatment]

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/the-sad-truth-about-the-morality-of-our-media-20111202-1obis.html#ixzz1fPhixqDb

  9. Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Big Mining. They all pull the strings of “community movements”.

    [THE environment movement says a key organisation campaigning against the Murray-Darling rescue plan should be ignored because it is a front group for big business that is pretending to be community-based.

    The Basin Communities Association, which has emerged as a key player in the debate, is expecting up to 400 people at a meeting tomorrow in the New South Wales town of Griffith, where last year the basin ”guide” was set alight by angry irrigators.

    The Wilderness Society’s river campaigner Chris Daley says the association is a front group for the NSW Irrigators’ Council, which represents most of Australia’s rice and cotton farmers.]
    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/river-communities-group-a-front-for-big-business-20111202-1oba3.html#ixzz1fPi3WYf6

  10. Atkins at least puts Abbott under some scrutiny, suggesting Robb might take over if he falters

    I take exception the “most successful opposition leader” tag for Abbott. He LOST the election, his satisfaction ratings are in the toilet. He is most certainly NOT the most successful. I’d suggest polling wise Hawke or Rudd were much better and they actually WON an election, you know, the whole point of being OL

  11. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/abbotts-logic-in-a-hole/story-e6frerdf-1226188167571

    Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey tempting economic armageddon with petty politicking
    by: Paul Syvret From: The Courier-Mail November 08, 2011 12:00AM

    Ta, leroy.

    The CM’s transformation continues apace! A friend opines that its Briz/Q monopoly may warrant intense Media Inquiry scrutiny. Murdoch controls so much of the rest of the state’s papers, and all have been so blatantly biased for so long, that CM may warrant special attention, possibly a forced break-up of its monopoly.

    That said, Syvret. like Atkins, has always been worth reading; another memory when the CM, though it always was a ‘Tory Rag’, was well worth buying.

  12. Feeling a little sentimental as it was Ali Moore’s last Lateline (I’ve always liked her style) I girded my self to watch Howes and Kroger going the biff.
    Howes did his best to defend Labor and be positive, but its vey difficult when someone like Kroger is telling outright lies. Shacking up with the Albrechtson has not improved him – but did we expect anything else…

  13. lizzie

    I wasn’t impressed by Howes at all then again I don’t like or trust the man.

    [but its vey difficult when someone like Kroger is telling outright lies. Shacking up with the Albrechtson has not improved him – but did we expect anything else…]

    Why then did Howes invite them both to his 30th Birthday bash? Seemed very odd to me.

  14. Reading blogs is having a very bad effect on my spelling – seeing the wrong use of apostrophe so often is leading my fingers astray- should be
    “it’s very difficult”

  15. my say

    Emma Alberici has been the Europe correspondent, used to be 7.30 Report. She’s very good. Very similar intelligence to Ali, I think.

    BTW myefo is the mid-year economic forecast just brought down by Wayne Swan.

  16. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2011/12/australian-political-blog-roll-call-for.html

    [Thursday, December 1, 2011
    Australian Political Blog Roll – a Call for Help

    As some of you would know, I am writing a book for Scribe publishers on social media and politics, policy and journalism. As part of the project I thought it worthwhile trying to come up with a list of all Australian political blogs. Such a thing is actually rather difficult to accomplish. The fleeting and fluid nature of the blogosphere means that many blogs come and go, some will will about politics but then drop it as a topic.


    This brings me to my call for help. Given I am a mere blogger, I have no doubt made a few errors – either in terms of political leaning, sex, and possibly even the title of the blog. I present this list asking for help pointing out errors or mine and importantly errors of omission. ]

    Check out the huge list, contains the links.

  17. lizzie

    I am sorry about Ali Moore going as well she is good at her job. I am assuming she is going to another job with the ABC in Asia.

  18. MTBW

    No clue so far. The media report said Singapore, but that was all.
    I also read that Uhlmann will have total ‘control’ of 7.30 in Sales’ absence and Heather Ewart will ‘return’ to political correspondent. Not happy thoughts!

  19. Well i had better stop listing then lizzie

    I usually have has on my mind f what i should be doing
    Instead of being here

    Have a very full life
    Especially this time of year,, have made 6. Christmas cakes for presents,
    ‘Made the girls 4 cushions a dress each plus helping with new baby

    English perfection. Is NOT one of my things
    But ask me to make a wedding dress and it would be perfect

    I also have Ra, have had surgery on my hands to straighten my thumbs
    6 weeks in plaster, few years ago, my middle index fingers look like banarnas ,

    My toes are all crossed over my feet, but i bless every day, with out a sewing needle in my hand
    And that day may come, I could not imagine the boredom I would face

    So english expression is not my thing, did a writers course 15 years ago though at taffe
    And did quite well,
    But not me i prefer to make things, I am a visual person

  20. lizzie

    I can sometimes cope with Uhlmann but Heather Ewart – I think it is time she gave the game away.

    That Mike Carlton link is a must read he is brilliant.

  21. [But the Right has failed to back the proposal from the party’s review (done by Senator John Faulkner and former premiers Steve Bracks and Bob Carr), for a portion of the 400-strong national conference to be directly elected by the rank and file.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/pm-accepts-gay-reform-vote-20111202-1obkh.html#ixzz1fPqlw8Qn%5D

    The failure to reform the party probable has a greater long term consequence than whatever happens over the redefinition of marriage.

  22. my say

    Your industry does you proud. Considering you have RA, you do an amazing amount of work. You put me to shame as the only thing I’m good at it is cooking and writing (I have RA too).
    Do take good care of your eyes. I would hate the day to come when you can’t use your sewing needle. 🙂

  23. MTBW
    Thank you for the link to Mike Carlton.
    I found these paras interesting wrt membership.
    [Furious opposition to gays and lesbians enjoying the same marital rights as the rest of us will come from the likes of Joe de Bruyn, secretary of the country’s biggest union, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association. Usually, but inexplicably, referred to as “the influential Joe de Bruyn”, he is a devout Catholic renowned for toeing the Vatican line on abortion, IVF, gay rights, euthanasia and all that limp-wristed social policy stuff. Not unlike Tony Abbott, really.

    De Bruyn will no doubt claim he has the support of his union’s 230,000 members although, as far as I can find out, they’ve never been given a chance to vote on it. Which says a lot about union bosses throwing their weight around in the ALP as they please. If you want to know why Labor voters are deserting to the Greens in droves, look no further.]
    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/honchos-hatchets-hot-tuscan-nights-20111202-1ob2o.html#ixzz1fPsXlZ8p

  24. lizzie

    Carlton has a style of writing to die for. He is one smart cookie.


    [The failure to reform the party probable has a greater long term consequence than whatever happens over the redefinition of marriage.]

    Absolutely agree with you. Fingers crossed!

  25. By the way hats off to John Robertson – not one I would usually align with – for being all over the place commending the civil union proposal to everyone and proudly incorporating his gay son into the comments.

  26. Morning all,

    Regarding Kohler, I agree with BB but would also point out, as I have said before, that Kohler is NOT an economist, he is a journalist. I think it is distinctly possible he got his piece so badly wrong through simple human error, and is too embarrassed to admit it. Ego and ignorance could explain the whole thing. That being said, most people interested in markets and finance, as opposed to economics, are in my experience right of centre, and I think this is true of Kohler too.

  27. Their hands would make for an interesting study. Howes’ cut the air firmly and energetically; Kroeger’s fluttered nervously like an oversized pale tarantula.

  28. [@alisonrehn Alison Rehn
    The #ALPnc has carried JGillard’s resolution to endorse a National Disability Insurance Scheme. #auspol
    3 minutes ago ]

    Julia Gillard, Jenny Macklin & Bill shorten spoke on it

  29. Regarding economics, on the good news side, Merkel just made this announcement of a fiscal union emerging soon in Europe. This is big news, a real solution rather than papering over the cracks as has happened to date. This could really help.
    [Ms Merkel said the last gruelling months, packed with market turmoil, the threat of Greek default on its towering debts and political strife in the European Union, had focused minds.

    “Anyone who had said a few months ago that we, at the end of 2011, would be taking very serious and concrete steps toward a European stability union, a European fiscal union, toward introducing (budgetary) intervention in Europe would have been considered crazy,” she said.]
    However I don’t see how everyone will be able to achieve this. Greece for example doesn’t just need new policy, it needs tax collectors who actually collect what is wed, and business people who actually pay it.

  30. Regarding De Bruyn and too many union reps, to borrow Paul Keating’s words, they are unrepresentative swill.

    Winning an internal power struggle is not the same as winning votes in an electorate, and that is why too many of these guys cost Labor so many votes.

  31. [Winning an internal power struggle is not the same as winning votes in an electorate, and that is why too many of these guys cost Labor so many votes.]


    a tad sweeping

  32. Soc

    [Winning an internal power struggle is not the same as winning votes in an electorate, and that is why too many of these guys cost Labor so many votes.}

    I agree with you.

  33. Morning All,

    Debate on gay marriage about to begin, should be fascinating – can the left get the numbers??? I’m watching on ABC24 – is there somewhere else to see it if they don’t show it all???

    Thanks in advance

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