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 He has been replaced by Karen McNamara, a WorkCover public servant who reportedly has backing from the party’s right, who was defeated by Whitaker in the original preselection vote in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. The coalition under abbott is done he wont be leader by the next election, it can not win and its deep in in trouble in slipper’s dealings

    Most of the coalition supporters know this , and they are here to debate only , what will labor do in government in the years after 2013

    when labor retains government

  2. Despite the best efforts of News Ltd and the LNP dirt unit, it seems Peter Slipper’s cabcharge problem might not reach the threshold of criminal fraud. If it is established that he broke up long trips into smaller ones for the purposes of payment, in order to disguise the length of his trips, and he has not exceeded his cabcharge allowance over all, then what is the crime? I am happy to be enlightened on this, but don’t expect it from reading the newspapers. So he likes being driven around town in a limousine. Ridiculous, yes, but fraudulent expenditure, perhaps not.

    As to the sexual harrassment complaints, to many women of a certain age who have experienced similar indignities from male bosses over working lifetime, and brushed them aside with a snort of derision, Ashby’s whinging sounds pathetic, especially from a 33 year old gay man who has presumably been around the block a bit. The legal process should take its course unimpeded, but presumably Ashby’s character and history will be scrutinised, just as men expect and demand when women raise such allegations in the courts. He might not come out of this too well.

    In the meantime it is hard not to feel some pity for Slipper, despite all his grubbiness and grandstanding. He appears to be a closet gay (which is apparently of enormous prurient interest to the LNP dirt unit and to the Catholic inquisitors in News Ltd) with an interest in dressing up. His desperation for covert contact with younger men is not unusual in such situations and it seems from all accounts that while he might have made some clumsy approaches he mostly backed off when told to.

    More interesting is the suggestion of entrapment by Ashby in asking Slipper to be more specific in his text messages, the dirt file compiled over the years by the LNP, which Ashby probably knew about, and the timing of the lodgement of the scandalous complaint in the lead up to the budget and the July compensation package.

    Annabelle Crabbe has had a few scornful words to say in her Drum column about “online conspiracy theories” regarding these allegations. In dismissing such speculation, Annabelle merely demonstrates her girlish naivete about the dark underbelly of parliamentary politics, and her natural bent towards excusing the conservative right all its sins. Anyone who believes Annabelle is naturally from the left side of politics (according to seating arrangements on Insiders for example, or her “balancing” the IPA shills on Drum TV) is delusional. Annabelle is an entertaining and attractive talking head but not one of the grown ups yet.

    As for the Gillard Government, it should keep on keeping on, driving legislation through to benefit “working families” for as long as it holds power on the floor, and give Wilkie what he wants if the numbers allow it. In other words, don’t panic. And that seems to be the way Gillard is handling this nasty media storm. Good on her.

  3. Many thanks for his answer at 2046 with apologies to Shellbell for my lateness. I was hoping to hear an answer that would result in Howard, Abbott and a parade of Libs being subpoenaed by Slippers’ lawyers.

  4. We have a great country and contrary to popular opinion a government doing its job and getting things done. Then we have :-

    1) an unemployment rate @ 5.2%
    2) interest rates lower than when Coalition lost power
    3) inflation rate now lower than when Coalition lost power
    4) the Aussie $ better than parity (which indicates a strong economy compared to its peers) and higher under ALP than Coalition over its 11 year rule
    5) country not going into recession like the rest of the world following the GFC

    This is the story that needs to be told over and over again. Not these sideshows which the MSM seem to revel in.

    God help us should the ‘Mad Monk’ be given the PMship.

  5. Susan, #2553

    [Anyone who believes Annabelle is naturally from the left side of politics (according to seating arrangements on Insiders for example, or her “balancing” the IPA shills on Drum TV) is delusional. Annabelle is an entertaining and attractive talking head but not one of the grown ups yet.]

    Why do you think i nicknamed her Crabby and said many times she is a B-grade celebrity and a c-grade journo

    [As for the Gillard Government, it should keep on keeping on, driving legislation through to benefit “working families” for as long as it holds power on the floor, and give Wilkie what he wants if the numbers allow it. In other words, don’t panic. And that seems to be the way Gillard is handling this nasty media storm. Good on her.]

    Panic? Do i look like panicking? The BISONs will stampede:

  6. 25 $ will obtain, copies of all war records, i have my great uncles ww one even the dreaded telegram
    The worst bit for me other than my uncle passing was that my g grandmother wtte,
    Nxt tiime a communication came they exected it to be from his father, wtte
    Other parts made me cry, i said out loud all this for a few pennies a day, their pay

  7. Bernard Keane speaking with Marius Benson on Newsradio just now. He claims Slipper is Labor’s problem because it is the present that counts.

    I say Bernard you have been in the Canberra bubble too long. Out in voterland from ancdotal evidence it is the Liberals that are wearing the blame there is to apportion. This being the Libs knew about it and did nothing. Even now the staffer complaining is from the LNP. every time Abbott and Co question Gillard’s judgement on this they look more and more sleazy.

    The public in the wisdom of the crowd tends to use common sense. Not nice legal tricks. Common sense is the Liberals knew and did nothing for almost a decade. The public also sees claims of cross dressing etc as so what? It is the person complaining that has the problem. It is known as homophobia. The public knows this is allegations denied and going to court.

  8. [As for the Gillard Government, it should keep on keeping on, driving legislation through to benefit “working families” for as long as it holds power on the floor,]

    I just wish labor would drop the “working” bit, you can’t affort to be exclusive when you want 50% of the vote.

  9. [Leveson inquiry: the dark heart of this strange affair

    For the first time we have evidence of the Murdochs exploiting their position to apparently win favours from governments]

    [According to Tuesday’s evidence, Murdoch and his lobbyist, Fred Michel, worked their way through every crack in the walls of Whitehall in search of influence and, in Hunt’s office, they found friends who would supply them with information, advice and support, even as Hunt claimed to the outside world that he was being impartial and even-handed.]

    Rupert on tonight – ABC24 doing it live.

  10. Good Morning, Bludgers

    Truth is the firts casuality of war.

    The most appropriate reference I could find, considering today’s commemorations and the Leveson Inquiry Beating the censor – Ashmead-Bartlett’s efforts to reveal the real story of Gallipoli

    [But an incident involving Keith Murdoch, a young Australian newspaperman, father of the present Fleet Street magnate Rupert Murdoch, shows that a determined correspondent could make his protest heard. Suspect though Murdoch’s motives might have been, his report on the bungling at Gallipoli cost a general his job, contributed to the decision to abandon the campaign, and confirmed the opinion of the general staff that war correspondents were dangerous meddlers and that it had been a mistake ever to have imagined otherwise.

    What happened was this: Murdoch, at the age of twenty-nine, was sent in August 1915 to London, to act as representative there for a group of Australian newspapers. It was arranged that he should stop in Cairo, en route to London, and report on the postal arrangements for the Australian troops. While in Cairo, Murdoch, who was anxious to visit the battlefront, wrote for permission to do so to General Sir Ian Hamilton, who was in command of the mixed force that had landed at Gallipoli in April to attack Constantinople and knock Turkey out of the war. Hamilton was reluctant to allow Murdoch to go. Everything had gone wrong at the front, and the British and the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) were hemmed into a few terrible areas of beach and hillside that were permanently under shell-fire. So Hamilton took the course of getting Murdoch to sign the war correspondent’s declaration undertaking “not to attempt to correspond by any other route or by any other means than that officially sanctioned” and promising that for the duration of the war he would not “impart to anyone military information of a confidential nature…. unless first submitted to the Chief Field Censor.”

    Murdoch arrived on September 2, made a brief visit to the Anzac bridgehead, declined Hamilton’s offer to provide him with transport to go anywhere and see anything, and then returned to GHQ, on the island of Imbros, and sought accommodation at the press camp. The camp, in an olive grove just outside Hamilton’s headquarters, housed an interesting collection of war correspondents, including G. Ward Price of the Daily Mail, Charles Bean, the official Australian war correspondent, and Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett of the Daily Telegraph, the most interesting and dominating personality of them all. Ashmead-Bartlett had covered the Russo-Japanese War and was an experienced and highly competent correspondent. He appeared to have an unlimited expense account and used a large portion of it to purchase liquor from the navy. One of the sights of Imbros was the regular line of Greek porters staggering up the hill to the press camp loaded with supplies for Ashmead-Bartlett. He hated the restraints GHQ imposed upon him, especially that imposed by the censor, Captain William Maxwell, and had been fighting a losing battle, since the first landings, to try to tell the British public what was happening. Maxwell, on instructions from Hamilton, would allow no criticism of the conduct of the operation, no indication of set-backs or delays, and no mention of casualty figures; finally, he refused to give permission for any of Ashmead-Bartlett’s messages to be transmitted until Hamilton’s own official cables had reached London. This meant that, at a time when there was more interest in the fighting in France, Ashmead-Bartlett’s Gallipoli dispatches, days late and heavily censored, often failed to appear in print.]

    More in the article

    The Old Man must be turning in his grave!

  11. rummel @ 2523 put up a link to the DT re Slipper. When you read the new allegations you find they are the actual drivers coming out and saying there was no fraud. One driver says the dockets were all correct except that Slipper would do multiple ones to cover the total amount. Therefore no fraud.

    The other is the guy who drove the unmarked car that Ashby was in, when allegedly blank dockets were handed over. He is reported by Steve Lewis as follows;

    Limousine driver Antwan Kaikaty has driven Mr Slipper around Sydney for 19 years, including recent months in a $230,000 Audi A8. He claimed Mr Slipper would supply multiple Cabcharge dockets to pay for travel.
    But he disputed claims by Mr Slipper’s staffer James Ashby in the Federal Court that the MP would hand over blank documents.

    That would seem to be the end of the story. Put that in a court and Ashby is gone. Blank dockets are the basis of Ashby’s allegation.

    ( a minor point…. the photo in the article is of the Speaker in his chair with the PM entering the chamber on his left. This must be photoshopped? )

  12. Re 2003 incident. In ashby’s statement of claim he said that another staffer had complained about Slipper’s behaviour to Tony Nutt and that there was a video of the alleged behaviour. Nutt allegedly said the staffer should, “Forget about it”.

    Nutt is denying he was told anything by anyone atm and has come out swinging.

    If Nutt is telling the truth, the allegations against Slipper which were clearly made to establish some sort of pattern of behaviour for the sexual harrassment are a “crock”.

    If so, then the allegation looks suspiciously like an attempt to out Slipper as a homosexual.

  13. OPT #2572

    Be that as it may in wartime, I’m staggered that the positive significance of today is apparently of no interest to anyone here. It may sound corny but it’s true. We owe the freedom to converse this way to the sacrifice of thousands whatever their individual flaws and intentions, and many many were motivated by love of country and the freedom that some take for granted today. How about remembering them with our thoughts.

  14. James Murdoch will be feeling truly ‘humble’ about now.

    (That is, in between him and Wendy taking turns to go out the Terminal 5 to check the oil and water in the Gulfstream so Rupert can be evatuated after the hearing)

  15. Mick77

    I disagree with you a number of issues. On this you are of course right.
    I fear the media pack in Gallipoli is going to be all Slipper with the PM and no remembrance.

  16. For this one day of the year I am hanging up the cudgels on Australia’s war history.

    Peace to you all, especially those who have lost loved ones or who otherwise have suffered or are suffering as a consequence of wars.

    Lest we forget.

  17. That’s Labor’s BISONs for you:

    [DON’T let the worry warts convince you that lower inflation is anything but good news.

    It doesn’t signal that the Reserve Bank has crushed the economy with ultra-high interest rates and we’re on the brink of a downturn. It does mean the Reserve now has the room to ease up on rates, as it sees fit, to help non-mining sectors of the economy which have been doing it tough from a higher Australian dollar.

    More remarkably, it means Australia is managing to do something we’ve never done before: have a mining boom that doesn’t end in an inflationary puff. Mining booms boost national incomes and put strain on the economy’s relatively fixed supply of resources, including workers and capital. More money chasing the same supply of goods is a recipe for inflation.

    Low unemployment. A budget in balance. Inflation under control. If that doesn’t sound like good news to you, you’ll never be satisfied. ]

    Read more:

  18. [ fredn
    Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    As for the Gillard Government, it should keep on keeping on, driving legislation through to benefit “working families” for as long as it holds power on the floor,

    I just wish labor would drop the “working” bit, you can’t affort to be exclusive when you want 50% of the vote. ]

    I agree. It’s about time they started calling us what we are…The Australian People. A diversified, contrary, intelligent, dim witted, pious, agnostic, cynical and confident mob of humans….in short , humanity…both the best and the worst. And some of us have pimples on our arses. Life.

    I believe this Government is treating us as adults, though, according to the polls, it doesn’t seem to be working. To be called struggling, battling, doing it tough and all the rest is condescending in the extreme and it’s about time it stopped. Make us one promise and keep to it.

    If your in strife…we’ll help.

    That’s all any of us need……and if the liberal/national parties and their supporters don’t like it …..too f%^&*(g bad.

  19. GG

    Seems obvious now why Howard dumped Peter Slipper as his parliamentary secretary in 2003 (hidden by a cabinet reshuffle); there was allegedly video and email evidence of, ye gads, poofterism in the rank ranks.

    [Slipper, the member for Fisher who had been begrudgingly tolerated by his party despite his penchant for stretching the public purse to accommodate premium travel and perks, was officially a turncoat. The gloves were off.

    Among the documents provided to The Australian by political operatives last November was an email exchange dating back to 2003 when Julia Gillard was in opposition and Tony Abbott a minister in John Howard’s government.

    In themselves, the emails are hardly explosive – they evince a warm relationship between two adults: the boss, Slipper, and his employee, Tim Knapp. They discuss plans for a private weekend meeting. It would be thwarted because, as Knapp wrote, “it may be awkward … unless you want me to introduce you as my boyfriend to them all”.

    Slipper asked if “Sat night my place for dinner” would be OK. Knapp replied: “To be honest i am a little unsure of coming to your place for dinner i think we need to keep things within the workplace to keep suspicions at a minimum.”……….]

    But the funniest thing is Nutt’s denial, according to Tony Abbott:
    [the complaint to Tony Nutt, a senior adviser to Mr Howard who was told of the allegations, was not “formal” or made by anyone claiming to have been sexually harassed.]

    They (Abbott and Nutt) still didn’t get their story straight, even after months of preparation. he he

  20. Dear Evan,

    “…engage in increasingly fanciful wishful thinking about the imminent downfall of the Liberal Party/Tony Abbott/News Ltd/Kevin Rudd etc…”

    Newsflash, wanker. Rudds downfsall isn’t immenent. It’s past tense.

  21. Excellent piece by Ben Eltham. Recommended reading.

    It is true that Julia Gillard’s government is unpopular. It is true that many voters don’t like minority government and would like an election to get rid of the current lot. It is true that the current Speaker is accused of serious impropriety and that he was elected to the role as a result of a back-room parliamentary deal. But so what? It is also true that the current government is governing constitutionally, supported by a majority of the representatives voted in by the Australian people, and that the Speaker has so far not been found guilty of anything.

  22. This mornings lesson.

    Phyroze Mohamed ‏ @Phyroze
    Details @johnprescott Did you know the word “Tory” is derived from the Middle Irish word “tóraidhe” meaning “robber” or “plunderer”. Leopard. Spots.

  23. [macca
    Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink
    Happy Anzac Day tomorrow.

    TLM, have is ever been suggested to you that you may be prone to missing the point?]
    I do not find Anzac Day happy, my grandfather was an Anzac veteran who survived with a bullet in his head, my father was a WW2 veteran neither would march and certainly didn’t consider the day a happy day

  24. [rummel
    Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Not looking to good for the murdoc’s.]

    Come on Rummel be more positive, without the Murdoc’s the liberals are stuffed.

  25. ah i must be slow (but faster than most of public who are completely tuned right out to current crisis that might be aim of msm propaganda) – ashby responsible for both charges, harrassment and cabcharge – he complaineth too much – it is a setup

  26. All these drivers coming out the woodwork would want to be careful, wouldn’t they?

    I mean, if the cab vouchers were blank, then isn’t it possible that they too could be charged with, say, conspiracy to defraud the Cth?

    And, God forbid, there is now the possibility of an ex-staffer having signed cab vouchers and handing one out to a flatmate:
    [He (a former Sunshine Coast cabbie) has come forward now as more allegations of Mr Slipper signing blank Cabcharge dockets have been disclosed.

    “She got in the cab and it was obvious she’d never had a Cabcharge docket in her life,” he said. “She said, ‘I’ve got a Cabcharge docket, is it okay to use?'”

    He said the docket was to be charged to Mr Slipper’s office.

    “She said she got it from a flatmate who used to work with Peter Slipper,” the cabbie said.

    The former taxi driver said that a Cabcharge docket was “all we need as cab drivers” to pay for the fare.

    “It’s a piece of paper that is signed – it is the same as its weight in gold.

    “The girl wasn’t even an ex-staffer.

    “She said she got it from an ex-staffer who left.”

    Suncoast Cabs was unable to confirm yesterday that the document was from Mr Slipper’s office.

    However, it might explain how Mr Slipper, who was forced to step aside from his role as Speaker this week, has been able to allegedly incur taxi fares in one part of the country while he was on business in another.

    Using Freedom of Information, a Sydney newspaper found that Mr Slipper took a taxi trip on June 1 in Townsville, but he was in Canberra on the date the taxi fare was booked.]

    Looks like News Ltd is furiously back-pedalling to wipe the shite off the Libs.

  27. [We owe the freedom to converse this way to the sacrifice of thousands whatever their individual flaws and intentions, and many many were motivated by love of country and the freedom that some take for granted today.]


    Are you suggesting that if we had “lost” the war, we would not be free to speak openly on a political website? Really?

    Last time I looked, Germany, Austria, Hungary and the others were pretty civilised countries. I don’t see any evidence of people there not being free to express themselves publicly.

    By all means mourn those who died – the tragic loss of life on BOTH sides – but don’t try to turn it into the “what we have now is because of them” jingoistic BS.

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