Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition

This week’s Essential Research shows no real change in voting intention on last week, with the Coalition up a point on the primary vote to 49 per cent, Labor and the Greens steady on 31 per cent and 11 per cent, and two-party preferred steady at 56-44. The poll also measures Bob Brown’s approval rating at 42 per cent and disapproval at 34 per cent (including very favourable figures among Labor voters of 60 per cent and 15 per cent); has 31 per cent favouring Kevin Rudd as Labor leader over 16 per cent for Julia Gillard (Gillard leads 40 per cent to 33 per cent among Labor voters); and 30 per cent favouring Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal leader with 23 per cent for Tony Abbott (Abbott leads 39 per cent to 26 per cent among Coalition voters). Further questions on the mining boom have 66 per cent believing it has benefited them “not at all”, 51 per cent supporting the mining tax (down one on mid-March) and 29 per cent opposing it (down five).

Federal preselection happenings in New South Wales:

• The NSW Liberal Party state executive has voted to dump Garry Whitaker as its candidate for Craig Thomson’s seat of Dobell. He has been replaced by Karen McNamara, a WorkCover public servant who reportedly has backing from the party’s right, who was defeated by Whitaker in the original preselection vote in December. Whitaker has since been struggling with allegations he had lived for several years without council permission in an “ensuite shed” on his Wyong Creek property while awaiting approval to build a house there.

• More proactivity from the NSW Liberal state executive in neighbouring Robertson, a seat the party was disappointed not to have won in 2010. Local branches have had imposed upon them Lucy Wicks, who herself holds a position on the executive by virtue of her status as president of the party’s Women’s Council. Wicks was identified by the Sydney Morning Herald last year as a member of the “centre right” faction associated with federal Mitchell MP Alex Hawke, which in alliance with the moderates had secured control of the state executive. Like the Dobell intervention, the imposition of Wicks occurred at the insistence of Tony Abbott – local branches in both seats have called emergency meetings to express their displeasure.

Michelle Hoctor of the Illawarra Mercury reports Ann Sudmalis, the candidate backed by retiring member Joanna Gash, won Liberal preselection on Saturday in Gilmore with 16 votes against 10 for her main rival Andrew Guile. Rounding out the field were Alby Schultz’s son Grant, who scored four votes, and Meroo Meadow marketing consultant Catherine Shields on one. For those wondering about the small number of votes, the NSW Liberals’ preselection procedure involves branches being allocated a number of selection committee delegates in proportion to their membership, rather than a massed rank-and-file ballot.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports the Nationals are in the “‘initial stages’ of discussions with popular independent state MP Richard Torbay about endorsing him for a tilt at independent federal MP Tony Windsor in New England”. Torbay has been the independent member for Northern Tablelands since 1999, and served as Legislative Assembly Speaker during Labor’s last term in office.

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.

5,940 comments on “Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition”

  1. V

    [Without knowing Much about these things, could the hire company have a separate book for Clients such as Slipper, who use the service all the time?]

    There would be three possible things:

    (1) a paper book of dockets issued to people such as Mr Slipper
    (2) a bit of plastic issued to people such as Mr Slipper
    (3) a paper book of dockets held by taxi drivers in case the electronic system breaks down.

    If the book of dockets was issued to Mr Slipper, one would expect sequential serial numbers on the dockets as they are used.

    If the dockets with sequential numbers was sourced from a taxi driver, this would make sense only if Mr Slipper happened to use the same taxi driver in the same place and no other cabcharge user used that taxi driver during that time.

    This would not be impossible, IMHO. Obviously, the AFP have a job of work to do. This would leave the disproportionate costs for the trips, the lack of dates and times on some of the dockets (as I understand it??), the apparent or real differences in handwriting to be explained. Not to speak of the apparently uncanny habit of the system being down while Mr Slipper was using the paper dockets. (The dockets are only supposed to be used if the electronic system is SNAFU. There may well be reasonable explanations for all these.

    But they would take time.

  2. [http://www.scribd.com/doc/91343332/Statement-by-the-Speaker-of-the-House-of-Representatives]

    There impressed – through the slider using a voucher by the taxi driver

    The bit in the top left (impressed) says ‘M&PS – Slipper 1 account’. – thays the details from the card he has.

    ie Cabcharge will sent the invoice to Ministerial & Parliamentary Services at DoFA for payment.

    That they’re sequential is not surprising – the actual voucher blank supplied by the cab driver who did three tips for Slipper in a row without the driver having another passenger in between that he needed to provide a blank voucher.

  3. In a turnbull doorstep interview, Turnbull in his reply gave an indication and leadership challenge is more likely now after this slipper affair

    interesting reply to one of the questions-

    Well that’s true and Tony Abbott has said the party was managing, was not going to reindorse him and I think that’s one of the things that made Peter to take on the Speaker’s role. Now look, Peter Slipper may well be completely vindicated by this. There are plenty of claims, it’s easy to make a claim, it’s much harder to sustain it.

  4. [all from the same driver because he likely uses the same driver all the time]

    No they aren’t Burgey.

    Details and scans of the dockets are @ Besieged Slipper releases Cabcharge vouchers There are several companies in different cities/ states, and they cover at least 2 of the 3 dates nominated by Ashby in his complaint, and there are some on which the date is illegible. They look like manual (creditcard slider-style) copies.

  5. Meguire Bob

    [In a turnbull doorstep interview, Turnbull in his reply gave an indication and leadership challenge is more likely now after this slipper affair]

    What? Liberal or ALP leadership challenge? I don’t follow your post.

  6. Meanwhile Mr Abbott is talking about the Coalition’s plan for a more cohesive society. With a straight face. The most divisive, lying, destructive the most persistently oppositionist LOTO in our history, has gall.

  7. SK. same as you. has cabbies number and a pile of charges given to me by dept administrator in sequential order. standard practice.

  8. The only way there can be a leadership challenge on Gillard is like before, enough factional heavyweights get together and decide to withdraw support.

  9. SK

    [There is no arguement. The dockets clearly state they are the account of Peter Slipper No. 1 account.]

    It is strange that veteran investigative journalist Speers would not notice that.

  10. bluegreen @ 5574

    The only way there can be a leadership challenge on Gillard is like before, enough factional heavyweights get together and decide to withdraw support.

    The other alternative is that panic sets in and a majority of members factional obedience/loyalty is overcome by survival instinct.

  11. [The other alternative is that panic sets in and a majority of members factional obedience/loyalty is overcome by survival instinct.
    ]

    One preceeds the other

  12. bemused

    If that is going to happen it will be in November or December after months more of polls in the same position.

    A prediction I am not willing to make.

  13. Lynchpin @5564

    an liberal party leader challenge

    Going by turnbull’s comment Abbott’s claims about slipper will be very hard to sustain

    the libs are starting to put the blame on abbott

    Abbott is gone after this slipper affair

  14. The original allegation was “blank vouchers handed out” Now proven they werent blank. But hey, who cares, WTF we just want #RegimeChange

  15. 5582 Meguire Bob
    Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink
    Lynchpin @5564

    [an liberal party leader challenge

    Going by turnbull’s comment Abbott’s claims about slipper will be very hard to sustain

    the libs are starting to put the blame on abbott

    Abbott is gone after this slipper affair]

    I seriosuly doubt it.

  16. guytaur @ 5581

    bemused

    If that is going to happen it will be in November or December after months more of polls in the same position.

    A prediction I am not willing to make.

    I am not making a prediction either.

    But it is something that cannot be dismissed as impossible.

  17. [Glad you are taking one for the team. I cannot bear to listen to that man!]

    Vic, i am watching Hannity instead 😆 at least he is just trashing Obi not PM Gillard

  18. Wrong on the account, SK.

    The account is:

    “M & PS NUMBER 1 ACCOUNT
    PETER SLIPPER”

    where “M & PS” = “Ministerial and Parliamentary Services”

    (as M & PS is the relevant department).

    The card is in Slipper’s name, i.e. it is for his use, but it is not his account. It appears to be a government account.

    I’d assume Bill Shorten’s (for instance) card would have:

    “M & PS NUMBER 1 ACCOUNT
    BILL SHORTEN”

    on it.

    The companies mentioned are all cab companies (Legion Cabs etc.). Yet Slipper was taking a limo, i.e. not a cab.

    It’s either the cab companies have limo subsidiaries, which do not carry meters in them, or the private limo drivers swap dockets with cab drivers working for cab companies, using them as currency with their cabbie mates (as Miranda Devine’s “expert” says happens).

    Bottom line:

    Slipper is entitled to take a hire car. Simple security surrounding an important constitutional office (The Speaker) would dictate this, as would protocol and “pomp” if you like.

    Should Slipper catch the bus to the airport? The train? Wait on a street corner for a cab? All these could be security risks, or simply not appropriate to his high position’s “package”.

    If Slipper is entitled to take a limo to and from the airport etc. then how it is paid for – whether by docket, account or electronic funds transfer – seems a petty quibble, to me.

    $85 to or from the airport is right on par with limo companies’ published charges for an upmarket hire car. It would include time lost getting to the airport, time lost after the fare was dropped off, and something for the quality of the vehicle (in this case, according to Slipper’s driver of 19 years duration, an upmarket Audi).

    There are 13 dockets produced by Slipper. Some are in sequence, some not. I’d find it hard to believe Slipper only used hire cars 13 times in a few months. There may be other rides that were paid for electronically.

    The fact is that the dockets for the 27th of January – those specifically alleged to be dodgy by Ashby – appear to be in order. If they are in order, then Ashby has no contractual claim for “angst” for being forced to witness “fraud” (or however he put it) against the Commonwealth.

  19. Meguire Bob, I think BG is right. Abbott has not frothed over this like Turnbull did. He has left it to the media to carry this can.

  20. Noting crazy about the number of dockets or the costs involved. Slipper is probably in the habit of getting the limo, then using it as you would your normal car – keep it waiting as you attended to to your business/activities/have a nap.

    That way he could possibly have the limo for anywhere from 2-8 hours.

    You can’t supply only one cabcharge docket for the total – which on the 27/01/12 totaled a measly $265-00, because there are probably amounts above which the dockets are flagged, and payment probably delayed. Evidence of Drivers taking home less than $100-00 a day is well documented. It should arguably be legal for them to rort the system, but I doubt that they do.

    So Slipper, and many other pollies I would presume, helpfully oblige by filling out multiple dockets. It is the decent thing to do to assist a worker that is seriously underpaid, and reliant on prompt payment.

    David Speers’ breathless revelations are simply concocted cr*p. They never bothered to canvass any alternative explanation except their “so Slipper would have to be the unluckiest person ever to have the eftpos machine not work every time he used a cab” shtick- Yeah … him and numerous other politicians. Probably happens all the time. We should not forget that this is all to coral the support of people who use this system all the time – not the general population.

    Also the “suburbs to city” detail provided makes sense when the actual trip may have involved considerable waiting time. How do you enter details for the charge of $265.00 for a trip from the airport that ended in the city, when such a trip would normally cost somewhere in the $30-$45- vicinity? Simple, you give general detail, and in the event of a real dispute, interview the driver and examine the GPS data.

    I seriously doubt there is criminality here, just some very minor procedure lapses as the players try to make a rigid system conform to the reality on the ground.

  21. [Not at all.

    My suggestion amounts to the factional heavyweights being ignored.]

    Factional heavyweights lose their seats too.

    It only needs enough of them to shift. Some will have to be put to the wall though. 🙂

  22. There will be sufficient distance between Abbott’s office and the spear carriers in the Slipper story. The damage is done. The polls will go down for the ALP. The clean air it had re the Aged Care announcment and the Budget has gone. Gillard’s credibility can be assaulted again, egged on by Grattan et al. It is politics. Abbott is winning.

  23. lynchpin

    Abbott has been contradicted by his senor front bench and also the yhave not abbott,like they used to

    Gives the impression they been waiting for something like this

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