Essential Research: 54-46 to Coalition

Essential Research’s rolling fortnightly average continues to swing between 54-46 and 55-45, this week’s move of the pendulum being in Labor’s favour. Labor is up a point on the primary vote to 35 per cent, with the Coalition down one to 47 per cent and the Greens down one to 9 per cent. Also featured are questions on the outlook for 2012 for the economy, the parties (good for Liberal, very poor for Labor and the Greens), political leaders (poor for Tony Abbott, very poor for Julia Gillard, about neutral for Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull) and respondents personally. Most interestingly, only 26 per cent expect Julia Gillard will still lead the ALP in 12 months’ time against 55 per cent who think she won’t. The respective figures for Tony Abbott are 41 per cent and 34 per cent. Thirty-two per cent expect a federal election in the coming year, against 42 per cent who don’t.


• Newspoll reports that supplementary questions in its December 2-4 poll had 14 per cent expecting their financial position to improve over the next year (up two from last year), 57 per cent expected it to stay the same (up six) and 28 per cent thought it would get worse (down seven). Coalition voters were solidly more pessimistic than Labor supporters.

• A Liberal Party preselection vote on Saturday for Craig Thomson’s central coast NSW seat of Dobell was won by Gary Whitaker, former Hornsby Shire councillor and managing director of a local educational services company. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Diary reports this as a defeat for Chris Hartcher, state government minister, Terrigal MP and local powerbroker, as his preferred candidate had been WorkCover public servant Karen McNamara. Also reportedly in the field was Matthew Lusted, managing director of a Central Coast construction company.

Michelle Grattan of The Age reports Russell Broadbent, the Liberal member for the western Gippsland seat of McMillan, is likely to pay for his ideological moderation with a preselection challenge. However, Broadbent is thought likely to prevail, as the conservative forces being marshalled against him (“local Catholic members” apparently featuring prominently) will largely be ineligible to participate in the preselection because they have not been party members for two years. Any preselection vote is likely to take place in February and involve 300 local branch members.

• Brett Worthington of the Bendigo Advertiser reports Greg Westbrook, director of legal firm Petersen Westbrook Cameron, has nominated for Labor preselection in Bendigo, to be vacated at the next election by the retirement of Steve Gibbons. Lisa Chesters, a Kyneton-based official with United Voice (formerly the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union), is also rated a possible starter.

• There is mounting talk that Lara Giddings’ tenure as Tasmanian Premier is in jeopardy just a year after she replaced David Bartlett. Matt Smith of The Mercury has reported that David O’Byrne, who entered parliament at the March 2010 election, fancies himself as the apple isle’s answer to Kristina Keneally, and has secured backing from party room colleagues Michelle O’Byrne (his sister), Scott Bacon, Graeme Sturges, Brian Wightman, Craig Farrell and Brenton Best. This leaves only Michael Polley and Doug Parkinson in Giddings’ corner, while Bryan Green and Rebecca White remain on the fence. Bruce Montgomery, a former state political reporter for The Australian, writes in Crikey that public sector unions have been angered by Giddings’ pursuit of job cuts to balance the budget, and are hopeful of a more sympathetic hearing from O’Byrne, a former state secretary of the LHMWU. Kevin Harkins of Unions Tasmania, Chris Brown of the Health and Community Services Union and Tom Lynch of the Community and Public Sector Union are identified as critics of Giddings by The Mercury. However, O’Byrne has more recently denied any plans for a challenge.

• With former SA Treasurer Kevin Foley officially resigning from parliament, a by-election in his seat of Port Adelaide has been set for February 11. There is an expectation that Mike Rann’s resignation will follow shortly so that a by-election can be held for his seat of Ramsay on the same day.

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.

2,596 thoughts on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Coalition”

  1. I see that public policy concerns are being raised about why students are avoiding science degrees.

    There has been a suggestion that science is ‘boring’.

    Hello out there?

    When you have the reactionary MSM and AGW denialist politicians constantly bashing scientists, and scientists getting death threats, and public science investment being cut, and get-rich-quick-finance-spivs being the reactionary heroes, why would any young person go for a science degree?

    Hey mate, it is not boring to get death threats. It is not boring to be harrassed. It is not boring to be belittled.

    Get real.

  2. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    I buy presents for my loved ones whenever i feel like it anytime, anyplace, so why i need to Xmas. Bizarre
    1 minute ago

  3. Aguirre #2445: that is an EXCELLENT summary.

    Abbott loves to be seen getting the high and mighty doing his bidding.

    Be it as trivial as being able to force Gillard to sit down by getting Pyne to stand up and make a point of order in QT, or trying to force her to abandon her holidays, he’s in it like a rat up a drainpipe.

    He is obsessed with politics.

    It’s very hard to have a normal life when your opponent is obsessed.

    It’s very hard for a nation to have a normal life when its Opposition leader is obsessed.

    It goes without saying that it’s very hard for the Opposition leader to claim to be normal, when he’s so obsessed.

    At the moment, the nation, the government, the media and many of the people are all up in arms and angry over something that could have been solved a long time ago but for Abbott’s obsession with himself and his career.

  4. [The Greens can help prevent that happening, just negotiate instead of being as pig headed as Abbott.]

    I don’t think it’s in the govt’s interests to negotiate with the Greens on this issue. They’ve repeatedly reiterated that they oppose offshore processing, even when it’s clear that the arrangements we have at the moment are just encouraging a business model which puts peoples lives at risk.

  5. SHY in the Senate told a story of how a people-smuggler got an unsuspecting poor fisherman to take a boat to Australia. The way she told it, he didn’t know he was heading for Australia. And now he’s been charged here for people smuggling.

  6. [The Greens can help prevent that happening, just negotiate instead of being as pig headed as Abbott.]

    Fess, SHY was slapped by her Leaders for saying She supports “Regional Solution”, then disappeared. Horsey also disappeared.

    SHY = Horsey? 😆

  7. 1934 I fully understand the concept but can’t agree that 800 potentially genuine refugees get sacrificed in the process. I know many people think 800 people is a fair price to solve a problem however I don’t agree and furthermore don’t believe it will solve the problem in any case. Unless you come up with regional agreements to make people smuggling unattractive to those who ply the trade then it will at best only slow the process for a period.

  8. BB:

    At the moment, the nation, the government, the media and many of the people are all up in arms and angry over something that could have been solved a long time ago but for Abbott’s obsession with himself and his career.

    That one needs to be said loud and proud before it gets lost in the ether. Abbott had a chance to negotiate in parliament; he had a chance to negotiate after that when the ALP offered and he said “No No No”. And he’s not offering to negotiate now either. He’s just putting Nauru back on the table.

    He had plenty of chances. Let him explain what’s different now – what else he’s offering besides a solution that won’t work – before he wastes everyone’s time again. This is too important to play politics with. It’s time Abbott realised that.

    That’s the message the ALP ought to be putting out there over and over. “We’re been ready to negotiate for weeks but it has to be in good faith.”

  9. Something to think about: Nauru’s population is 10,000 odd

    Andrew Metcalfe (the guy who runs the Dept of Immigration and Citizenship) said to Abbott that if Nauru was used for offshore processing, 7,200 asylum seekers would arrive per year …

    Abbott still advocates for Nauru …

  10. [latikambourke Latika Bourke
    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott wants the PM to break her holidays to negotiate on asylum seekers – will only accept Nauru, not Malaysia.]

    And there we have it. The real reason he’s been carrying on.

  11. [Unless you come up with regional agreements to make people smuggling unattractive to those who ply the trade then it will at best only slow the process for a period.]

    And in the meantime more people die? A regional solution would be years off even if there was good intentions on both sides of politics.

    I say give the Malaysian solution a chance. If we can’t physically stop the boats (Abbott is simply bullshitting when he says that he will STB) then there must be a significant deterrent to setting off on the journey.

    The only other alternative is the Greens solution which is for the Australian air force to run a daily shuttle service between any country where AS might originate and bring to the mainland anyone who wishes to come.

  12. Hansard for 25 November (last sitting day):
    Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (14:15): I rise to speak on the Deterring People Smuggling Bill 2011. I put it squarely on the record that this bill should not be debated today and should not be passing this parliament. It is a terrible piece of legislation and I want to give an illustration of why. I want to tell a story about a man I will call Wawan, which is not his real name. He is about 35 years old. He lived in a small village of around 50 families on the island of Sumbawa. He lived with his mother and was the sole provider for the home as his father died when he was a small child. He had survived a very impoverished upbringing in which he had worked from a young age to support his mother. As a result, his formal education finished before the end of primary school. The home he shared with his mother was a small one—a one-room bamboo hut with a dirt floor. There was no electricity and the only running water was outside in the village.

    Wawan was a fisherman who often travelled for work. His mother suggested that he go to Sumba to fish for octopus. In Sumba, on this occasion, he was sitting in a coffee shop when he was approached by a man called Mohammed, who asked if he would be interested in taking a boatload of passengers to go diving in Kupang. Wawan agreed, thinking that this was a way to make money, more money than fishing for octopus would bring. When the passengers arrived, Wawan was surprised to see that none of them were Indonesian. However, he did not ask any questions as Mohammed was his boss and he knew to just do what he was told.

    When they set off there were about 40 passengers on board the boat as well as another Indonesian man who had been recruited in a similar way. Mohammed followed in a larger boat and after two days he came aboard Wawan’s boat and handed him a compass, telling him to continue to sail at 180 degrees. Mohammed then turned around his boat and headed back towards Indonesia. Wawan had never used a compass before; however, he still believed he was heading to Kupang, so he continued to follow Mohammed’s instructions. Wawan and the other Indonesian man followed Mohammed’s directions for another two days until they were intercepted by the Royal Australian Navy off the coast of Western Australia. This is an illustration of the experiences of people who are currently being held in Australian detention centres and Australian prisons awaiting their court cases because they have been accused of people smuggling. …

  13. [At the moment, the nation, the government, the media and many of the people are all up in arms and angry over something that could have been solved a long time ago but for Abbott’s obsession with himself and his career.]

    And trying to destroy a female leader to boot. Its like every day of Gillard being PM gives him existential pain.

  14. Is Paul B the only #MSMhack who has the gut to ask:

    [PaulBongiorno Paul Bongiorno
    Can anyone tell me when ‘Turning back the boats” will ever be safe ? And does the sloganeer really care?
    4 minutes ago ]

    Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    @PaulBongiorno [Can anyone tell me when ‘Turning back the boats” ever be safe] paul, glad u asked, i been asking that. Indonesia said NO
    2 minutes ago

  15. What I find bizarre is how The Australian claims the government has given ground on Nauru and it is generally accepted by the ABC, and many here.

    This is, just to remind everybody, the paper that is devoting itself to ‘regime change’.

    I would not believe one thing they say, apart from the date at the page top.

  16. Nine news are running a news headline piece saying 100,000 extra people out of work next year, with the unemployment rate going up to over 5%. I waited to heart who, what, where the figures came from but there was nothing, just this announcement left hanging in the breeze.

    Anyone here know about it, or is the msm just trying to scare Xmas shoppers into stashing their credit cards under the mattress?

  17. [PaulBongiorno Paul Bongiorno
    Caught up with Robert Manne, confession is good for the soul. But “dud”and “cruel” still apposite for Nauru.
    2 minutes ago]

    Aguirre I sent him your summary post on the last page. Hope he reads it.

  18. Steve if people dieing at sea and on rocks is not deterring desperate people from trying to get here I am not sure taking a chance that you wont be one of the unlucky 800 will be much of a long-term deterrent. It was very hear-breaking hearing one of the survivors of the latest tragedy saying they intended to try again as soon as possible.

    People will still try and people will still die. It’s tragic but it’s the reality of what these people will do to escape from where they come from. What do we do? We lock them up. We want to send 800 back to the end of a queue we were told doesn’t exist.

    God we can be a tough-hearted bunch at times.


    Puff, its from this

    [Unemployment catastrophe: Up to 100,000 jobs to be slashed after Christmas
    By Phil Jacob
    From: The Daily Telegraph
    December 22, 2011 12:00AM


    The comments come as top research firm CoreData suggested the number of unemployed people in Australia will jump by nearly 106,000 next year, assuming the labour force grows at its current rate and the unemployment rate rose to 5.75 per cent, as predicted.]

  20. And Puff take note that the Herald Sun refers to getting this from the Daily Telegraph.

    I have no doubt that the Daily Telegraph is the Liberal mouthpiece.

  21. Scene is now set for an honest broker to arbitrate the deal. I’m thinking someone like Pell or Tim Costello. Has to be someone both sides can trust. Shane Warne???

  22. [Finns, I want to know how turning back boats, even if it can be done safely, is consistent with our UN refugee obligations.]

    Triton, you cant. If the boat is our water, then it has become our responsibility.

    So i suppose Abbott was saying that we turn them back before they enter but The Indonesians have said NO. That is that. the #MSMhacks really are not doing their job for not pinning down Abbott on this issue.

    They just let him getaway with this slogan.

  23. The Malaysian option will certainly deter rich middle class refugees from Iran and possibly Iraq who will make the judgment that it is wiser to stay put or head for Europe.

    It will probably not deter desperate Hazaras who will just fly straight to Malaysia.
    Sri Lanka depends on the ethnic tensions but is quiet for the moment.

    In other words the Malaysian approach will deter those for whom seeking asylum is 30% fear and 70% economic but nothing for those where it is 70% fear and 30% economic. This may be a good thing. Don’t hold me to percentages, it is just that every person who seeks asylum does so based on a mixed bag of reasons some involving real fear for life or liberty and some seeking a better economic future.
    Malaysia will deter those for whom a better economic future is a dominant reason (even if still in real fear). Malaysia will do nothing to stop those in immediate fear of their lives.

  24. Puff the Reserve Bank this week, or one of the Directors, said they expected the economy to slow more in 2012, down to 2.6% I think, and the unemployment rate to increase to 5.5%. I didn’t hear any specific job loss number mentioned though.

  25. Puff

    The crisis is I think sadly very real. I was told this last week by a very senior lawyer. Insolvency is all the go next year. Firms are shifting their staff into that area.

    Sad but true. It is not our fault here and I would really fear an Abbott led government.

    Hard times ahead

  26. Nine news is saying that Min Bowen hasn’t actually said Nauru is on the table, just that the gov’t has said “everything is on the table”, then they showed Abbott saying that Gillard doesn’t need to talk to him, wtte now she has seen the light “she should just pick up the phone to Nauru”. Nine then did put the gov’t side, that they contended that Nauru wouldn’t work as AS do end up in Australia and was not a deterrence, while the (sic) 200 sent to Malaysia we would lose all right to ever to come here and the gov’t believes this is the stronger.

  27. Victoria

    It has a lot to do with geography and also cost.

    Sri Lankans have no where else to go other than Australia (India is close but too poor to cater for AS).
    Afghans being Muslem will fly to Indonesia or Malaysia (or into Pakistan but that is just a holding spot). They cannot fly to Europe

  28. “As I said earlier, I have not seen Bowen actually say Nauru was on the table”

    Nothing to quote so they just make up stuff.

    The truth be known, the government has had Nauru on the table for Tony to eat if happens to win the next election. He would need to pass legislation to allow that, though.
    He refuses.

  29. DTT

    Those with immediate fear of their lives, usually go to the closest destination, despite whether they can cater for them or not. When the Tunisian conflict erupted, thousands sought asylum on the closest island off the coast of Italy. The Italian govt was ill equipped to cope with this influx as thousands landed on their shore, and hundreds drowned in the process.

  30. DavidWH

    People smuggling is not really the issue.

    It is the push – pull factors that must be addressed. If people fear for their lives then they will find people willing to smuggle them – either freely or at a price

    While Australia is economically strong, there will be pull factors.

    It is a hideous dilemma and I am very torn in my own views.

  31. The Finnigans
    [So i suppose Abbott was saying that we turn them back before they enter]

    In international waters? What legal right do we have to do that?

  32. [Paul Bongiorno @PaulBongiorno

    Can anyone tell me when ‘Turning back the boats” will ever be safe ? And does the sloganeer really care?

    Space Kidette @SpaceKidette

    @PaulBongiorno Have to say Paul the media have not been doing much asking for details as to how this would be achieved, safe or otherwise.

Comments Page 50 of 52
1 49 50 51 52

Comments are closed.