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 He has been replaced by Karen McNamara, a WorkCover public servant who reportedly has backing from the party’s right, who was defeated by Whitaker in the original preselection vote in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”

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  1. [Slipper on the other hand should be briefing lawyers. Hadley for one has just volunteered to pay up handsomely and there are no doubt plenty more easy wins about for him.]


    Prologue:Slipper could have died of old age in that seat. But Tory Central’s Golden Haired Lad Mal Brough – that’s Fed Tory Central, not out in the electorates; every one of those in which Mal tried for pre-selection after his defeat in 2007, turned him down (how’s that for a vote of confidence) – thinks he’s their anointed future PM-in-waiting

    Act 1: Mal doesn’t want to try for a marginal seat (after all, he got ‘done’ in a safe one) or a rural one (he wants a coastal one), so the Libs try to convince Alex Somylay to retire. Alex ain’y goin’ nowhere. He’s one of those Cold War refugees from Budapest, and he’s doing very nicely on the Up-Market northern beaches’ attractions of SEQ’s beautiful Noosa-Coolum strip. Exit, beaten, Tory Central!

    Act 2. So that leaves Peter Slipper’s seat on the more down-market bottom end of the Sunny Coast. Like Alex, Slippery Pete ain’t goin’ nowhere!

    Now Pete’s (a) been in just about every version of the political conservative right (b) he’s a priest of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia and (c) he’s … Well, let’s forget that for a moment; the Libs want that seat for Mal Brough!


    [n 2010 Slipper drew significant local and national media attention over the alleged overuse of his parliamentary travel entitlements. Slipper denied any claim of abuse, and it was reported in the local newspaper, Sunshine Coast Daily, that “…. (Slipper had said) nearly every incident was a consequence of either a misunderstanding or a disputable interpretation of the rules.” Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, initially backed Slipper, but later publicly stated that it was up to each member to adhere to the rules regarding entitlements.

    Slipper has said that he has been cleared of these allegations.]


    Act 3. Just as it appears Mal Brough might manage to clinch the seat:

    [On 14 August 2010, just as the travel abuse allegations were gaining momentum, it was revealed in the Sunshine Coast Daily that a move had been made to attempt to disendorse Slipper in favour of former MP Mal Brough for his seat of Fisher at the next election. However this move was rejected due to an agreement between the Liberal and National parties about guaranteed endorsement for existing candidates. It is claimed that the *Sunshine Coast Daily has led a “savage” campaign to remove Slipper from his seat since the 2007 election when the Coalition lost government.]


    *Sunshine Coast Daily is an APN newspaper, allied with Fairfax.

    Act 4. Slipper, under siege from Brough supporters and the relevant Liberal factions, starts to strike back:

    [On 28 September 2010, Slipper accepted Labor’s nomination to serve as Deputy Speaker of the House of representatives and was elected to that position by 78 votes to 71, defeating the Coalition nominee, Bruce Scott of the National Party. In December 2010, Brough confirmed his intentions to seek preselection, by running against Slipper…

    In September 2011, Slipper raised concerns of alleged branch stacking by Brough, and there was growing pressure over how the LNP would determine preselection of candidates for the seat of Fisher, with Slipper threatening to resign from the party if not re-endorsed …

    In November 2011, Harry Jenkins … unexpectedly resigned as 26th Speaker of the House of Representatives. Slipper was nominated unopposed and installed as Speaker on 24 November 2011. As a member of the opposition, Slipper’s acceptance of Labor’s nomination as Speaker was considered a “renegade” action and opposition leader Tony Abbott threatened to expel him from the Liberal caucus for his action. Slipper resigned from the Liberal National Party on taking the Speaker’s seat]

    (NOTE: Multiple Coalition, NewsLtd, Big Everyone in Mining, Tobacco, Biz, other MSM, AntiClimate Change etc expletives, threats, tantrums, hissy-fits, great Aussie adjectives and Anglo-Saxon swear-words deleted!)

    Act 5. Former Liberal/LNP member (Ashby) with anger issues when protecting the LNP, and one of Slipper’s staffers, having instructed solicitors – and unburned all, with documents & copies of texts, to DT Journo Steve Lewis – of Utegate infamy – goes public with charges of gay sexual harrassment and CabCharge rorting (a criminal offence) against his boss, Peter Slipper …

    O*M*G! Now for the bit that slipped the minds of Liberals, Abbott, the LNP, Ashby, Lewis and others:

    Slipper IS a blo^dy Lawyer & Barrister

    (To be continued)

  2. If Abbott thinks he can just fly into Jakarta like a big colonial buana & start telling the Indos what to do. He’s dangerously delusional

  3. [Mr Hadley and Mr Speers. The government says the cab charge dockets clear Mr Slipper. Are you going to continue to contradict the government?]

    “Contradicting the government” is their job description, Speers in a smarmy phoney “balanced” way, and Hadley in the nastiest way possible.

    Speers has particularly cooked his goose today. His all-round panic when the Slipper dockets came out was a sight to behold.

    2GB (Chris Smith) is currently running the line that Slipper is trying to hide something by using manual dockets. But he had a cab driver get on, saying that manual dockets are often used by politicians.

    Kinda took the wind out of Smith’s sails a bit. He said “Thanks Gerry” and hung up on the guy.

    Speers’ line was that the fares were too high. But as long as they are within entitlement, there’s no problem. Speers’ argument is beside the point (and anyway, hire car fees – as opposed to taxi fees – Slipper charged up are about par for the course for the journeys undertaken).

    Seeing as the allegations center around an unmarked, non-metered car (sounds like a hire car to me), I wonder why the shock jocks are trying to make out Slipper was using taxis? Have they missed this, or are they trying to run a non sequiter?

  4. leone

    Good points about the three different cabs/drivers.

    [The Forces of Darkness really, really want to get rid of Slipper and are frantically clutching at the most fragile of straws. As shown in that ABC link, they now have some idiot complaining that Slipper just used the word ‘suburbs’ instead of writing the actual suburb. This, of course, has to mean that he was hiding the location as a way of over-claiming.]
    Well, ‘suburbs’ obviously means the homo sex industry. Like the limo driver in melbourne took Slipper to Parliament House, then a couple of hours later took him to that hive of sexual activity, Ringwood (a suburb), for half and hour, then drove him back to Tulla.

    But, hey surely Ashby can clear up which “suburbs” they went to. After all, he was there and “forced” to witness so much alleged illegal activity!

  5. [guytaur
    Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    When you have proof the government is lying about the publicly released cab charges then get back to us. LIke Speers and Hadley you have to prove your case.]

    I’m not accusing the government of lying. I’m pulling up your post where you state the government has cleared slipper directly when the government will not move an inch to speed up the Thomson case because of “independent authorities”. So Guytaur, which independent authorities has the government stood on to hurry up the slipper case that they can’t do the same with Thompson?.

  6. davidwh @ 5792

    Mate, it’s a fait accompli. Are you seriously suggesting that now the dockets have been produced that clearly show they were all filled in the by the same person despite being different vehicles and companies (so obviously not filled in by the driver/office) that this is going anywhere. Yeah sure we need the AFP to make it official, but that’s like waiting for the red light to come up from the third umpire when the relays are showing the batsman a foot short when the bails are taken off.

    A specific claim was made, the evidence to disprove that specific claim has been provided by an independent body (Finance). Give it up, it’s over. Learn from Abbott. He’s already trying to get people to forget it was ever raised as an issue.

  7. I am looking for a bit of help.

    Some may be aware of the email going around “authored” by Ross Greenwood concern Australia’s debt and his use of a home loan calculator to work out repayments.

    Now I know it is a lot of guano but a copy has been sent to me to prepare a rebuttal for a mate.

    Now I could go through it and do al the work and fill in all the important bits of information that is (deliberately omitted) but I was hoping someone knew of a rebuttal that I could use or at least use as a base for what my mate is looking for.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  8. Just looked over a recent Essential Poll

    63% of all Australians think we do not need to return to surplus so quickly and this is evenly supported by Greens, ALP and Liberal supporters.

    What I found really interesting is how the partisan views divide about whether the economy is heading in the right or wrong direction.

    Since 2011 the number believing that the economy is heading in the right direction has fallen from 45 to 36%.

    And the number of Liberals (whichincludes a swag of recently former Labor voters) that think the economy is heading in the right direction is just 19% as compared to 65% that vote Labor.

    My hypothesis is that the reason that people have switched allegiance is that people are definetly comparing the ecnomy now, with the ecnomy of Howard, and matching the economy to the political party.

    That is why the key factor for Labor is Swan. They need to be able to sell that things have changed in the world an Labor is best to help them through that change. Swan cannot do that.

  9. [Grattan is a grub. I’d like to hear what comes out of her mouth when she gets her knickers in a knot.]

    You have already – in every article she writes about the Prime Minister.

  10. are they trying to run a non sequiter?

    They don’t need anything to sequor from. By the sounds of it, their “arguments” don’t need to follow a logical course.

  11. Ratsak it’s the job of the FP to test the validity of the dockets or if in fact they are the same dockets referred to in the claim. My guess is that will happen quickly but in the meantime any statements of innocence or guilt are premature.

  12. Guytaur

    I don’t see how ratsacks post clears up how slippers issue of alleged cabcharge fraud can be done and dusted in a week and thomsons case of alleged credit card fraud can be still hidden away for over three years.

  13. OPT,

    Cheers, I well know most of the story your telling, (because unlike our media it seems I pay attention), but I do hope part two has a happy ending with Pete enjoying not just the extra super of an ex-Speaker, but also the windfall of some tidy court ordered payments in his retirement.

  14. Ducky

    Just saw the interview with Speers. Speers so desperately wants Slipper to have committed a fraud. The desperation is palpable

  15. guytaur

    You mentioned plastics. You might find this article on “peak plastic” interesting. There is a gold future in rubbish dumps! 🙂

    [Plastic is more than just water bottles and Tupperware. If you’re indoors, look around. There’s a good bet that much of what’s in your field of view is made of plastic. Paint. Carpeting. Upholstery. The finish on a wood floor. Veneer on furniture. And that’s before you go into your kitchen, or bathroom, and never mind a subway car or a hospital (disposable, sterile medical supplies, anyone?). Plastic is so ubiquitous that it’s almost invisible. ]

  16. SK


    If you are about – what is a typical time frame for a case such as Ashby has pulled on Slipper take to get heard?]

    12 months I would have thought but depends on the following:

    (a) any expert evidence – maybe handwriting!! – that causes delay
    (b) how long to marshall evidence and documents – long here because allegations go back to 2003
    (c) how long the trial will be – a 10 day case fully ready to go are getting 8 month delays in Sydney at the moment
    (d) state of Court list – Federal Courts gets pretty clogged with immigration, tax matters etc

  17. Albo said that there is one date outstanding re slipper. The lag time in the Dept of finance having processed same is reason. If that receipt is in order, than the accusations as made by Ashby dont hold up.

  18. [guytaur
    Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Australian Federal Police is not FWA.]

    Very good point….. Now which one was set up by Gillard again?

  19. The Department of Finance will assess whether proper procedure has been followed in filling in the CabCharge dockets.

    What the AFP wants to do with DoF’s assessment is up to the AFP.

  20. [Just saw the interview with Speers. Speers so desperately wants Slipper to have committed a fraud. The desperation is palpable]

    Should scotch any rumours (if there were any) that Speers is running a “Balanced” ship there at Sky.

  21. OPT @ 5801

    Fantastic analysis.

    And absolutely loved “Coises”

    *still chuckling*

    And what dopey arskes to forget that Slipper (apart from surviving 20+ years of Coalition skulduggery) is a lawyer/barrister.

    *more chuckling*

  22. @bluegreen/5811

    I’m on the fence of returning to surplus.

    But the problem with the Liberals as they have done in States of NSW and in QLD is turning off programs -as you know – I’m a big supporter of the NBN the Coalition/Liberals have no intention of keeping that.

    and Most voters want the NBN (56%-57%) want the NBN to keep going.

    So here you have an issue.

  23. bluegreen

    I think you’ve made the best point in suggesting that Swanny needs to improve his salesmanship. If it’s going to be the economy, stupid, someone MUST cut through all the other bullshit.
    Now I’m a supporter of Labor (mostly), but my attention drifts as soon as Swanny comes on the screen. That has to be a problem.

  24. Speers was arguing that Slipper used expensive option. Albo said that the cost is not the allegation being made. Also, Albo said that a comcar from parliament to the Sky studio which is barely 1000 metres away would cost 80.00. Albo said I cannot assess if Slipper travel expenses are more expensive than say Abbott or Pyne, but that is not what is being alleged

  25. Zoidlord

    [and Most voters want the NBN (56%-57%) want the NBN to keep going.

    So here you have an issue.]

    I want the NBN to continue, though I’m wiling to toss it under a lib bus to get Labor out of office.

  26. [f Abbott thinks he can just fly into Jakarta like a big colonial buana & start telling the Indos what to do. He’s dangerously delusional]

    Fiinigans; that’s “Bwana” for “White Boss Man”.

    Top marks anyway, for using the term.

  27. I am confused about the Koala issue. Sure I want to keep them around but on one hand I am hearing that they are putting them on some form of contraception and another I am hearing they are endangered.

  28. 5815 – rummel – one involves a government department producing the source material from 3 months ago, material which it has in its own records, and sending it to the AFP in answer to a specific allegation. The other involves conduct relating a wide range of allegations into an outside body over however many years, but which took place several years ago now.

  29. davidwh,

    The AFP won’t be testing the validity of the documents. It’s just not that big a deal. They won’t be spending thousands on handwriting experts or other forensic examinations just to satisfy the sick fascination of the reactionaries.

    An officer will get the copies of the dockets from Finance, check them against the specific claim that they were handed over with just a signature to be filled out by the driver. Maybe check them against another docket known to be filled out by Slipper. That’s it. The AFP aren’t there to do the Coalition’s dirty work for them. They have actual important stuff to do. A quick check will reveal that there is nothing worth spending much time or money on. A quick report of ‘no case to answer’ prepared and back to the real work.

    Cross your finger’s and pray for a result if you want, but this ship has sailed.

  30. Shellbell,

    Just had another thought. The 2003 matters in the civil case, is there some kind of statute of limitations on them?

  31. rummel
    [I want the NBN to continue, though I’m wiling to toss it under a lib bus to get Labor out of office.]
    So your reply to leone was, how shall we say, less than honest.
    And was actually meant as saying leone was being dishonest

    You need to pull up your socks.

  32. Speers now on… STILL going on about costs. Irrelevant!

    Also trying to claim that there is no other option BUT that Slipper was trying to defraud or so something otherwise sneaky.

  33. [Which gets more popular support?

    Turn Back the Boats?

    The NBN?]

    If I had to wager, I’d suggest that the ‘Boats’ thing is a primary decision point for many people. The people who support NBN may still view it as a secondary consideration or a ‘nice to have’ policy.

    I don’t think it carries the same weight in the electorate as BOATS.

  34. As I said earlier, if the coalition and tne msm want to start questioning costs of cabs, all MP charges should be looked at. It is a slippery slope pardon the pun

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