Morgan face-to-face: 57.5-42.5 to Coalition

More opinion poll carnage for Labor, this time from Morgan’s face-to-face survey of 951 lucky respondents last weekend. The headline two-party figure is 57.5-42.5, a return to the worst lows of last year. As was the case on those occasions, Labor’s deteriorating primary vote position has been accompanied by a further sag in their already weak share of minor party preferences, which as I have said many times is not what I expect to happen at the election – and indeed, it was again directly contradicted this week by Nielsen, whose respondent-allocated preference result of 56-44 suggested Labor’s preference share was about 70% compared with the 45% currently suggested by Morgan. Using the previous-election method of distributing preferences, Morgan offers a much milder figure of 53.5-46.5. Accounting for the consistent Labor lean in Morgan’s face-to-face polling, the primary vote figures are consistent with the impression from Newspoll and Nielsen: Labor on 32%, the Coalition on 44.5% and the Greens on 13%.

Plentiful preselection action:

• Barnaby Joyce has confirmed he will seek preselection for Bruce Scott’s outback Queensland seat of Maranoa, presumably in pursuit of the party leadership and deputy prime ministership. Scott, who is 69, is yet to make his intentions clear. The party’s current leader, Warren Truss, tells The Australian he will back Scott in any contest between the two, on the basis that “members are entitled to the loyalty of their leader”.

• Unions Tasmania state secretary Kevin Harkins has indicated he is still interested in a Labor parliamentary berth, after being dumped as candidate for Franklin in 2007 and frozen out for Senate preselection in 2010. The guiding hand on each occasion was Kevin Rudd, whose identification of Harkins as a totem of union ratbaggery never entirely added up. A fortnight ago, The Australian reported Rudd had been heard admitting he had confused Harkins with Kevin Reynolds, Western Australian CFMEU colossus and truly the “well-known pugilist” of Rudd’s description. Rudd insisted it was “incorrect to claim that his decision to not support Mr Harkins in 2010 was based on any confusion with Kevin Reynolds”, but Australian Mines and Metals Association chief executive Steve Knott has told The Australian: “Everyone in the IR community and up in Canberra knew that Rudd had mixed up the two Kevins. The problem for Harkins and his political ambitions was Rudd hating to be wrong.” It is now anticipated that Harkins will seek to fill the Senate vacancy to be created at the next election by the retirement of Nick Sherry. Matthew Denholm of The Australian reports a Left-backed push by Harkins would “force sitting Right faction senator Catryna Bilyk to the highly vulnerable No 3 position, potentially sparking a factional brawl”.

Stuart Carless of the Milton-Ulladulla Times reports on the acrimonious withdrawal of two candidates for the Liberal preselection vote to choose a successor to the retiring Joanna Gash in Gilmore. Clive Brooks, owner of South Nowra business Great Southern Motorcycles and reportedly an ally of Gash, complained of “snide, horrible little people” in the local party spreading false rumours about past business failures. Shoalhaven councillor Robert Miller has apparently quit the party altogether, complaining about a letter sent to him by the party’s state director Mark Neeham which treatened him with suspension over rather mild-sounding comments to the media. Still in the field are “Shoalhaven City councillor Andrew Guile, Ulladulla resident Grant Schultz, former Kiama councillor Ann Sudmalis and Meroo Meadow marketing consultant Catherine Shields”. It is said that Gash and Guile are bitter rivals, and that she and state Kiama MP Gareth Ward “exchanged words in a heated argument at radio station 2ST last week”. I gather the subject of the argument to have been a proposal to extend to federal MPs the state government’s mooted ban on parliamentarians serving as mayors and councillors, which would upset her own plan to spend the final year of her term making the transition to the mayoralty of Shoalhaven, which she will contest at local government elections in September.

Heath Aston of the Sun-Herald reports the Liberals will hold a preselection primary for the western Sydney seat of Greenway, which they decisively failed to snatch at the 2010 election. Liberal sources quoted in the report rate this “a calculated bid to prevent the previous candidate, Jayme Diaz, a Blacktown migration lawyer, from running again”. Diaz is reckoned a certainty under normal preselection processes because, as Aston puts it: “Mr Diaz, who arranges visas for clients, has signed many new members to the branches in Greenway and has a ‘stranglehold’ on numbers”. Diaz is a member of the area’s “large Filipino community” and has backing from the Christian Right. It is noted that the Right has suffered a string of preselection defeats of late, and that the effective imposition of another on Greenway “could flare factional tensions”.

• The Liberal preselection for the winnable Sydney seat of Reid has been won by the Tony Abbott-backed Craig Laundy, heir to and general manager of his father’s “$500 million hotel empire”. VexNews reports that Laundy’s rival for the preselection, Dai Le, a frequent preselection contestant and twice candidate for unwinnable Cabramatta, received only nine votes out of 117. VexNews also relates a complaint from an interested party about the NSW Liberals’ poor record in selecting Asian candidates (see also previous entry), which presumably comes from the Right: other accounts paint Laundy’s win as part of the previously noted string of moderate victories over candidates backed by the Right.

• Mario Christodoulou of the Illawarra Mercury reports Senator Bill Heffernan has been taking interest in the preselection for Throsby, a “sign the party believes it can snatch the once-safe Labor seat”. The only contender identified is Larissa Mallinson, “a former press adviser to Gilmore MP Joanna Gash who now works in the office of Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells”.

Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Labor’s preselection primary to choose its candidate for the lord mayoralty has attracted seven candidates. They are Cameron Murphy, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties and the son of Lionel Murphy; Cassandra Wilkinson, co-founder of FBi Radio; “restaurateur Jonathan Yee; a former arts adviser to Bob Carr, Vivienne Skinner; the refugee advocate Linda Scott; the former South Sydney mayor Vic Smith and the academic Damian Spruce”. Nicholls explains the procedure thus:

All 90,000 residents on the electoral roll of the City of Sydney will be sent candidate information and a ballot paper and invited to participate, including attending public debates. Voting will open on May 14 and be held online and in person at booths in the council area … Votes will be tallied and the candidate announced on June 2.

If the government succeeds in its bid to drive Clover Moore from her seat of Sydney by prohibiting parliamentarians from serving similtaneously as mayors or councillors, Labor indicates it will repeat the procedure to choose its candidate for the by-election.

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.

3,132 comments on “Morgan face-to-face: 57.5-42.5 to Coalition”

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  1. Bemused

    Into economic only as an amateur.

    I find I can get into it OK because of an ecology background. Finding patterns in chaos and then working out the drivers for them.

  2. [Additionally, the rate of budgetary constraction Swan is planning is out of sync with the fiscal pathway post-recession for the last thirty years of recessions. Swan is trying to return to post-recession surplus two years earlier than has been done in history. This despite the economy recovering at a slower rate than any of the previous recessions.]

    Swan – stupidty squared.

    Not long ago Rudd Labor did a stimulus package to fill the falling gap in demand due to GFC to keep Australia out of recession whilst the world got its act together. It worked well, except the world economy is in as much trouble as it was from 1929, the other shoe just hasn’t dropped yet, but it will.

    Australia with stimulus done will risk contraction, except this time with a too strong a dollar,

    So now Swan seeing this global softness, the warning signs all around, is going to do an anti-stimulus. He is for the sake of being able to say ‘surplus’ going to throw Australia into recession.

    That is a crass and low as you can in politics, to knowingly risk trashing your country for political points.

    Except, having tossed many out of jobs that will add to those sacked of because of contracting business, reduced govt spending thus reduced funds flowing through the, economy, further loss of consumer confidence closes wallets and etc etc…

    Does he think many will be thanking him? The Coalition will be able to directly point at Swan and say cause and effect. And thus Labor becomes the whole reason of Australian increasing unemployment and any contractions.

    I will expect the polls to read ALP 35/65 come June 2013.

    Swan has since his extraordinary and disgusting attack on Rudd become a total moron.

  3. @TP/3102

    You do realise that the same Treasury is used under Howard Gov.

    The world is still waiting to get their act together.

  4. [GhostWhoVotes ‏ @GhostWhoVotes Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    #Newspoll Jan-Mar Quarterly 2 Party Preferred: ALP 46 (+1) L/NP 54 (-1) #auspol]

  5. [GhostWhoVotes ‏ @GhostWhoVotes Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    #Newspoll Jan-Mar Quarterly Primary Votes: ALP 32 (+1) L/NP 45 (-1) GRN 11 (-1) #auspol]

  6. [GhostWhoVotes ‏ @GhostWhoVotes Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    #Newspoll Jan-Mar Quarterly Gillard: Approve 30 (-1) Disapprove 59 (0) #auspol]

  7. [GhostWhoVotes ‏ @GhostWhoVotes Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    #Newspoll Jan-Mar Quarterly Gillard: Approve 30 (-1) Disapprove 59 (0) #auspol]

  8. TP we need to wait until May. Swan has failed to deliver a tough budget to date despite threatening each year to do so. I expect another round of wealth transfer from middle Australia to those less well off, plenty of hot air and spin and little else.

    However he may surprise for a change.

  9. [GhostWhoVotes ‏ @GhostWhoVotes Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    #Newspoll Jan-Mar Quarterly Abbott: Approve 33 (-1) Disapprove 56 (0) #auspol]

  10. [GhostWhoVotes ‏ @GhostWhoVotes Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    #Newspoll Jan-Mar Quarterly Preferred PM: Gillard 39 (0) Abbott 38 (0) #auspol]

  11. Please note that this aggregates their January to March polling, hence tells us nothing we didn’t already know. State breakdowns will follow, and that’s where it gets interesting.

  12. Zoid

    Not necessarily. It could just mean that the first part of the last three months were better than last week.

  13. FW

    Fair to say its situation normal. Looking forward to seeing what battle field QLD looks like over the last three months.

  14. TP stick to doom and gloom.

    Australia will NOT fall into recession. Just like the USA has not experienced a double dip.

    C’mon TP admit you were wrong about the US and I was right!

    It is imperative that we return to surplus in 2012/13. It signals mission accomplished from the actions that were undertaken during the GFC.

    If our economy slows ever so slightly, interest rates will fall, our dollar will fall, and back to satifactory growth we proceed.

    TP, guess what will happen to our markets when the AUD falls 😀

  15. I realise that except for Henry’s retirement now Treasury is the same.

    This is Labor playing politics now, but the chips the are betting with is not just TPP.

  16. [C’mon TP admit you were wrong about the US and I was right!]

    If you believe this then you are truly truly a fool, and look no further than the pages of The Age and latest stock prices for your analysis of international economies.

    Can’t even believe you said that. It shows a degree of naiveness that is hard to comprehend, and has no excuse since raw global data is readily available, so that you don’t have to rely on the opinions of MSM guy at his desk.

    I sincerely hope you do not have control of anybody’s money but your own.

  17. DavidWH @ 3108

    Swan has failed to deliver a tough budget to date despite threatening each year to do so.

    So is ‘toughness’ an appropriate budget objective?
    What does ‘tough’ mean to you?
    Is is some sort of a masochistic thing?

    The budget should be appropriate for the circumstances and may include some particular measures that will be against the narrow interests of some but assist others.

    Within the framework of overall economic management, I would expect a Labor government to pare back unnecessary middle class welfare and assist those genuinely in need. It that ‘tough’?

  18. @TP/3119

    You’ve been predicting doom and gloom since probably Rudd was no longer Prime Minister.

    Come on, let’s face it, you’re bias.

  19. Oh for goodness sakes TP, the only FOOL here is you!

    There is a whole library of PB storage comprising your sheer utter and ridiculous stupidity.

    You said the USA would double dip. I said it wouldn’t. I was right you were wrong. Admit it!

    Hmm, we have also had a little bubble bust in the gold price since we last spoke TP, just like I told you it would, remember?

    You are a serious lightweight amateur TP, and you know it!

  20. Bemused now is probably not the right time for a tough budget however a tough budget from my perspective would be one that materially attacked both revenue and expenditure. Cut some of the waste in government spending and cut back some of the tax breaks given in recent years. But this year isn’t the year to do it although any time is a good time to cut waste.

    I agree with TP it will be a disaster for the economy if Swan makes a $40 billion turnaround while much of the economy is fragile.

  21. Don’t believe it DavidWH, it is imperative that we return to surplus in 2012/13 and we will, as unfortunate for your mob as that may be.

    We can move on monetary policy if need be. Our dollar will fall which is great news for manufacuring.

    South Sydney have a better chance of winning the comp than we have of going into recession. 😀

  22. [I agree with TP]

    Don’t be fooled by TP’s rhetoric, I will bet the bloke has never studied economics, and knows nothing about the influencing factors of market trading, truly!

  23. [I will expect the polls to read ALP 35/65 come June 2013.]

    Ah now TP don’t be a bashful Tory mate, hows about you really give us a prediction we can believe in?

    ALP -20/120 TPP perhaps?

    You know you want to.

  24. I just loved the comment about free will and sexual choice.

    I’d have dearly loved to have asked “Ok, so you were born heterosexual, but as you say you have free choice.. so you could if you want _choose_ to be homosexual, no?” 🙂

  25. Centre @3125,

    Spot on.

    It should be pointed out that several billion has been bought forward for infrastructure spending this financial year.

    As part of the clean energy package millions will be available for business to develop design and introduce new equipment. Big boost.

    Compensation payments, tax cuts and the raising of the tax free level will flow especially to those who have more of a propensity to spend.

    Treasury v MSM commentators and some private sector economists with a limited record of correctly calling anything ? The very same Treasury that guided Australia through the GFC.

    I will take Treasury over them and others who have read “Economics for Dummies ” and pretend to be experts.

  26. Why is tha t atheists,, get so het up trying to prove they ar e right, none of us will know till we
    Die, but i am glad i beleive there is more to living and dying with only a hole in the ground.
    It sure makes you feel happier,. Mostly christians dont bother trying to prove either way.

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