Highlights of day one

Two new polls, one new poll aggregation, and some ads.

A quick replay of yesterday’s polling:

Essential Research has two-party preferred steady at 51-49 to the Coalition, from primary votes of 38% for the Labor (down one), 43% for the Coalition (down one) and 9% for the Greens (steady). The survey finds only 44% saying they will definitely not change their mind, with 30% deeming it unlikely and 21% “quite possible”. Respondents were also asked to nominate the leader they most trusted on a range of issues, with Tony Abbott holding modest leads on economic management, controlling interests rates and national security and asylum seeker issues, and Kevin Rudd with double-digit leads on education, health, environment and industrial relations. Kevin Rudd was thought too harsh on asylum seekers by 20%, too soft by 24% and about right by 40%, compared with 21%, 20% and 31% for Tony Abbott.

Morgan has Labor down half a point on the primary vote to 38%, the Coalition up 1.5% to 43%, and the Greens up one to 9.5%. With preferences distributed as per the result at the 2010 election, the Coalition has opened up a 50.5-49.5 lead, reversing the result from last week. On the respondent-allocated preferences measure Morgan uses for its headline figure, the result if 50-50 after Labor led 52-48 in the last poll.

• BludgerTrack, which was formerly updated weekly but will now be brought up to date whenever substantial new data arrives, records no change on two-party preferred from the addition of the two new polls, although the Greens are up on the primary vote at the expense of Labor. However, there’s a fair bit of movement on the state seat projections, with Labor up one in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania and down one in Queensland for a net gain of two seats. That leaves two state-level projections at which one might well look askance: a finding of no gains for Labor in Queensland, against three gains for them in Western Australia. Whereas poll results in the weeks after the Rudd takeover had Labor outperforming the national result in Queensland as often as not, I now have five data points over the past fortnight all of which have them below. And while three gains in Western Australia certainly seems hard to credit (for one thing, the model is not adequately accounting for Labor losing the Alannah MacTiernan dividend from 2010 in Canning, which at present is rated a probable Labor gain), all five data points from the past fortnight show Labor improving on the 2010 result – a pretty solid result given how noisy small-sample state-level data tends to be.

• As far as I can tell, Labor and Liberal each had one television ad in business yesterday, and they read from much the same tactical script: both are positive, showcase the leader, and appear tailored to launching the parties’ rather nebulous campaign slogans. Kevin Rudd speaks to us of “a new way”, Opposition Leader style, while the actual Opposition Leader makes like Luke Skywalker and offers us “new hope”. The latter effort is a fairly obvious exercise in image softening, but what most stands out for me, having grown accustomed over the years to “face of Australia” advertising being served with a thick layer of political correctness on top (Qantas being an acknowledged leader in the field), is that all but a very small handful of the 50 or so faces in the ad are white.

UPDATE: ReachTEL has published the results of an automated phone poll of 702 respondents in Kevin Rudd’s electorate of Griffith, and it points to a 4% swing to the Liberal National Party paring his margin back to 4.5%. The primary votes from the poll are 45.6% for Kevin Rudd, 41.0% for LNP candidate Bill Glasson and 8.0% for the Greens.

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.

1,369 comments on “Highlights of day one”

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  1. centre only companies will like this tax I presume its not small business

    the people will see for what it is typical liberal

    like sheriff of Nottingham now that could be a good name for joe

  2. [(I base my assessment on younger voters on my interaction with uni students, many of whom are undecided but would support the SSM party)]

    So do I Carey. For that generation, the current situation is almost an affront to their conception of order: they cant quite believe it isnt already legal. The are economically conservative in some respect, but very socially liberal.

    Its a sleeper issue among Gen Y voters – and non-enrolled Gen Y. Rolls close next Monday!

  3. [Stephen Spencer ‏@sspencer_63 1m
    Day 3 of the campaign will see Rudd in Sydney and Abbott in Adelaide. #Ausvotes #tennews]

  4. I guess there are a lot of sole contractors and small operators who run their businesses companies (as against discretionary trusts) and would like a tax cut. But really, tax cuts when the budget is in trouble? Will they increase the deficit or cut spending? How is this affordable? This makes the fiscal problem worse…something that voters supposedly take quite seriously.

  5. My say it’s any business with a company structure, small to large. For the largest of companies it means no change as they fund the silly Abbott PPL.

  6. matt31


    But if Abbott will submit his costings and show how he can offset (afford) lowering coy tax – I’d be prepared to listen!

  7. Most punters know why the RBA reduced rates. Perhaps a few think that sound economic management is the reason but I doubt it

  8. [Someone as historically learned as ‘Psephos’ could hardly be ignorant about the settler battles/massacres of indigenous Australians, so I’m amazed he’d play semantic games about it.]

    I don’t consider settlers massacring unarmed people, or using firearms on people armed with spears, to be a “war.” There were occasions on which troops were deployed on the frontiers, but most of the violence was done by settlers and their employees, many of them ex-convicts brutalised by the convict system.

  9. fiztig 22m
    So the LNP are going to cut company tax by 1.5% and then hit companies with a 1.5% tax to fund their PPL scheme… o_O #lateline

    Retweeted by Bridget O’Flynn

  10. [1250

    I’ve known David Johnstone since childhood, for example.

    Briefly, if you’re still here. As you may know I worked as chief of staff to Senator Feeney as Parl Sec for Defence, and I sat in a number of meetings with Johnstone as shadow defence minister. He struck me as unpleasant, pompous and rather thick. Is that a fair comment? (I’m obviously biased, but I have met smart Liberals.)]

    You’ve found the Senator’s good points, Psephos. 🙂

    His main failing is in thinking we are all as thick as he is, and can be taken in by his self-inflating bluster.

  11. Only the larger companies fund the PPL and there will be many small and medium sized businesses which will benefit. Over time it should be a positive for business sentiment and most, if not all, of that lost tax revenue will be clawed back. What Australia needs are policies that build business and consumer confidence. Pretty well Economics 101.

  12. Sean Tisme
    Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm | PERMALINK
    What does that mean? It sounds like a baptism or something.

    I know one LNP member who baptised his nether regions

    sounds normal for them to me

  13. davidwh

    So in effect. Abbott will need revenues to fund his PPL, because there is no net difference to coy tax for the largest companies, and he will need revenues to to fund the lowering of coy tax for other businesses?

    It’s comedy gold – tell me it’s all a comedy act, it’s just got to be ;lol:

  14. this is so funny so we know now they can add and subtract

    the ppl costs 5 percent say we take 5 percent but ‘you have to give to woman of well todo means to stay home
    on 75 th year to make more liberal babies

    is that how it works

  15. so Robb peter to pay paul or to pay the rich ladies to have babies

    gosh hope the gov, think of this by the morning any one good at tweeting stuff

    to mr rudd or albo

  16. [What Australia needs are policies that build business and consumer confidence. ]

    How ironic given it is the coalition which has spent the last 3 years talking down our economy and business confidence.

  17. My say I’m way past needing PPL and besides I think Abbott’s scheme is too generous given current economic circumstances.

  18. [1257

    Most punters know why the RBA reduced rates. Perhaps a few think that sound economic management is the reason but I doubt it]

    The RBA are about 18 months late with their rate cuts. Hopefully Labor will come out with a sensible infrastructure policy and then we can have both fiscal and monetary policies pulling in the same direction, creating jobs and driving future income growth.

  19. Right: systematic, govt backed attacks in the pursuit of land isn’t a ‘war’. And ‘semantics’ isn’t the victory of form over substance in language?

    I have a technical question for someone out there. Isn’t a bookmakers odds on an election a product of the prior betting patterns? How could present odds in the ALP v LNP headline betting market not be distorted by the pre-Gillard-exiting money? Or did bookies somehow recalibrate their odds after Gillard’s exit (ie deliberately and not simply as a result of opportunistic money seeking out the juicy odds on the ALP in the interim)? To put it another way, how do betting markets rationally deal with discontinuous shocks like this – akin to a scratching in a three horse race?

  20. Interest rates move up and down with the economy.JWH beleives that his govt policies would keep rates lower than labors. Its Quite simple really

  21. [1271

    What Australia needs are policies that build business and consumer confidence.

    How ironic given it is the coalition which has spent the last 3 years talking down our economy and business confidence.]

    Exactly, confessions. They have done a lot of harm even while in Opposition. Hopefully they will never get the chance to carry through with their policies of division. They are experts in the politics of punishment and spite.

  22. It’s sad My say, it would have been my mother’s first trip overseas- she’s 70 now and may never get another opportunity…I will try and persuade her to go, but may not be able to overcome her Abbott- fear

  23. Centre you can wrap them together if you like but it not necessarily a valid comparison. What you have to look at over time is the loss in government revenue due to the tax change verses the additional tax revenue generated as business grows. Cuts in company tax tend to lead to increase business investments and hence additional business revenue and profits.

    So the government may take a short-term him for a greater benefit in the longer-term.

  24. [Murdoch will (over time) lose his dominance as a content provider/distributor, and the financial and political advantages it currently brings him.]

    I suspect that will happen, eventually. But if they can nobble the NBN by having it built to the inferior FTTN model, then sold off in bits by the Coalition (where Murdoch aligned companies are possible bidders), they can amass very considerable market power in the content owning business. They probably want to work towards something like the Coles/Woolies situation.

  25. [They are experts in the politics of punishment and spite.]

    Especially this lot. I loved Mungo’s description of the shadowy ministry:

    [How many people are aware that David Johnston would be Abbott’s defence minister, or that Peter Dutton would be running health? Do they have any policies in either area? For that matter, do they even exist?

    And these are just the ones in some of the more important portfolios. Others, like Michael Ronaldson (Veterans’ Affairs), Bruce Billson (Small Business and Consumer Affairs) and Michael Keenan (Justice and Customs) seem destined to pass their lives in total obscurity.

    Then there are the revenants from the past whom Abbott seems to have consciously concealed from public view: Kevin Andrews, Bronwyn Bishop and, incredibly, Phillip Ruddock, who, after nearly 40 years as an MHR, is apparently determined to stand again in the hope that he may retain his sinecure as Cabinet Secretary. This lot are not so much stable as fossilised. Abbott may boast about the breadth, width, depth and capacity of his team, but he is curiously unwilling to wheel them out into the sunlight.]


  26. @davidwh/1280

    Tax Cuts I think are like FBT, it allows a permanent ripp off the goverment revenue system.

    Leaving GST as the primary revenue.

    This cannot be fixed unless Employment levels and revenue is fixed.

  27. [Right: systematic, govt backed attacks in the pursuit of land isn’t a ‘war’.]

    You should read both David Day and Henry Reynolds on this question. Both the London and Sydney governments tried, albeit ineffectually, to prevent squatting and protect the Indigenous people from the settlers. That’s why there was a legal “limit of settlement” in NSW. That’s why the settlement of Port Phillip was forbidden from Sydney. That’s why settlers were given pastoral leases and not freehold title. But the land hunger of the poor Irish and Scottish immigrants and the ex-convicts was too strong for the weak colonial state to control. You should also read Don Watson’s book on the Scottish settlement of South Gippsland. The highlanders were on much the same cultural level as the Indigenous, and they fought an actual tribal war for control of the land. But the state had almost nothing to do with it. It’s a mistake to project a 21st century understanding of the power of the state back to the mid 19th century.

  28. I think we will win this lyanna
    make sure you mum talk s to her friend re their
    pension with abbott and co the pension will not be indexed

    now its a good pension then with howard it was disgrace
    around 300 or less a fornight when he left office

    the liberals I think hate us ordinary people and only like the rich and powerfull

  29. I think the only way the LNP will pay for their promises is by putting the GST on food…or raising it from 10 percent…

    Otherwise none of their sums make any sense…

  30. davidwh

    [So the government may take a short-term him for a greater benefit in the longer-term.]


    That is a far too speculative assumption.

    Don’t forget, the Rudd stimulus which avoided a recession is still in negative territory from that investment.

    By all means aim to lower all coy tax – but show how that will be affordable and submit your policies for costings.

    If Abbott is fair dinkum, he should scrap his crappy PPL for starters and do not deliver on Direct Action…after all…he is the bestest friend the environment ever had 😆

  31. 1205
    crikey whitey

    Thanks. 🙂

    [It is possible, more likely probable that subsequent and maybe intermittent signal loss is caused by any number of beyond your antenna factors. Among them, radio stations, power lines, transformers and so on.]

    Lots of 15-20 m trees around here too.

    Also definitely related to weather conditions. The daily and seasonal pattern is firming up after nearly 3 years with a digital signal (just recently gone digital only). Though some channels are just shit all the time.

    Looking at some building extension work here next year, so will probably incorporate a 3-4 m antenna mount extension. (Because you can never have too many lighting rods on your house in the monsoon tropics ). Will get a proper assessment of the signal, and hopefully find the best place to put it, before adding the mount point.

    Or, enough of us vote Labor and we march proudly into the Glorious Era Of NBN Happiness (with bonus IP TV). 😀

    NBN supposedly starts construction here at the end of this year, so might even get NBN before a higher antenna. 🙂

    [Let me know.]

    Remind me, you have some professional connection to this matter?

    [Un Bel Di.]

    Today was pretty damn nice here. 🙂

  32. There is a bucketload of investment ready to go. It will go if certainty and a small incentive is in place. It will stay exactly where it is if investors are unsure of govt policy. This potential investment would more than likely generate more revenue than the small co tax cut.

  33. To give you the upshot of that video I linked to: John Birmingham interviewed some bookies, and discovered that while all the big bets are going on the LNP, three times as many *people* have been betting on the ALP.

    Make of that what you will.

    Either way, I find myself in rare agreement with Confessions: I think we’ll have a much better sense of the lay of the land after the next round of polls, when the reality of an imminent election has had time to settle in.

  34. Zoidlord I don’t agree when it comes to company tax because they have a direct impact on business ability and confidence to invest in and grow business. To the extent that a cut in company tax leads to increased business and therefore increase profit and tax it’s a win/win for the economy and government.

    It’s a balance however what we need badly at present are conditions that encourage business investment and growth. Taxation is part of that although much more needs to be done in compliance, IR and productivity. That will take time though.

  35. liyana

    Yes but the GST is allocated to the States.

    Of course they could still raise the GST and not make available any other funding to the States for health and education.

    That’s what will happen. There is absolutely no doubt that the Coalition will increase the rate of the GST.

  36. @Davidwh/1294

    I disagree.

    So you rather put the GST higher, so that ordinary people pay more rather than those who run a company get a tax break ?

    If something has to give, I rather both get an increase, not one or the other.

  37. [ I think we’ll have a much better sense of the lay of the land after the next round of polls, when the reality of an imminent election has had time to settle in.]

    That’s true. But one thing is already apparent. Rudd’s tough line on boat arrivals has not led to the surge in support for the Greens that many predicted, and which even I expected to some extent. William’s tables show a 3% drop in their vote from 2010, and only a very small uptick in support over the past two weeks. This shows that the overwhelming majority of Labor voters, even those who subscribe to the boatist narrative, accept that what the government has done is both right and necessary.

  38. davidwh

    [Conroy briefing Albanese would have to be a plus for Turnbull.]

    Wouldn’t be too sure about that.

    Conroy attained a degree of technical mastery over his portfolio that few ministers ever do. Conroy advising, with Albanese fronting, could be a very effective combination.

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