Double dissolution election (maybe) minus nine weeks

To tide us over through a quiet spot, a closer look at the Australian National University’s latest survey on issues of public concern.

We’re about half-way between the weekly BludgerTrack and when I’m anticipating the next opinion poll, this being the period of pre-budget calm before the storm, and a new thread is wanted. So I’ve decided to hang this one off the latest ANUpoll survey, an exercise conducted by the Australian National University two or three times a year to gauge the public mood on a specific area of public policy, and track the salience of various issues over time. The subject of the latest instalment, which was conducted by phone from a sample of 1200 in February and March, is tax and equity in Australia. Among various findings on tax that would be familiar from those who follow Essential Research, the report also finds support for increased spending on social services at its highest level since the series began in 1987. The report also finds that, in spite of everything, 56% consider the existing system “moderately fair”, on top of another 4% for “very fair”, while 22% rate it “not too fair” and 18% “not at all fair”.

The survey also features regular questions in which respondents are asked to name the first and second most important political problems, out of a list that presently includes 27 options. To make this easier to interpret, I’ve condensed results into various categories, which are hopefully generally self-explanatory (particularly economy/budget, environment and better government – security/external covers wars, terrorism, defence and immigration, while services covers health and education and such). The progress of these results since 2008 is shown in the chart below.

2016-04-30-anupoll

From which a number of points are clearly worth noting. Concern about service provision mounted to giddy heights after the 2014 budget, but promptly returned to normal after Malcolm Turnbull became prime minister. The combined result for the various economic issues is at a low point in the latest survey, having peaked in the years immediately following the global financial crisis. Security/external and crime/society, which are largely conservative concerns, are on an upward trend. “Better government”, I’m guessing, was a popular response among Coalition supporters while Labor was in power, but is not a correspondingly popular choice for Labor voters now it’s the Coalition’s turn.

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.

1,251 comments on “Double dissolution election (maybe) minus nine weeks”

  1. Trog & C@tmomma,

    Re the subject of guns in the US.

    As mentioned before I have an American partner and lived for a time in Boston.
    I had heard about the gun culture in the US but was amazed by just how prevalant and accepted it is.

    Even people who are very liberal (US liberal) on other issues will argue like crazed lunatics about their right to own a gun and how having more guns makes their country and families safer.

    A friend of my partner bought her new boyfriend (now husband) over one night we were having a grill and the topic turned to guns as the shocking shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary had happened just the previous week.

    This guy would easily be described as very left leaning on nearly every issue yet when the issue of guns was raised he launched into a rant about how the US is safer than Australia because our govt. had ‘stolen’ all our guns etc.

    When I calmly tried to counter his inane ravings he simply doubled down using the most ridiculous arguments imaginable to defend his right to own guns.

    In the space of half an hour this normally very liberal, mild mannered and open minded guy had turned into a rabid zealot in defense of his right to own and carry a gun.

    The ‘discussion’ only came to a halt after he started talking about his constitutional ‘right’ to own and carry a gun and I loudly told him that I do not give a f@#K about his right to own a gun and I am more concerned about the rights of 6 and 7 year old kids to go to school without being shot in the face by a lunatic with easy access to a cache of high powered weapons.

    Despite some mumbling last words he soon realised that his stupid and selfish defense of his rights was irrelevant to me and the other people around at the time which interestingly included a Canadian couple and a friend of mine visiting from Ireland.

    If that discussion had of taken place with the average group of americans I could almost guarantee that I would of been in the minority and shouted down.

    The gun culture that is widespread and celebrated in the US is still totally unfathomable to me.
    How a country that leads the world in so many areas has such a collective blindspot to the problem of gun violence is a mystery that I can not understand.

  2. Time to get excited, folks!

    Political Alert ‏@political_alert · 1m1 minute ago

    Prime Minister @TurnbullMalcolm will hold a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of France at 1pm, Canberra #auspol

  3. Also from The Monthly editorial:

    The Coalition’s only plan for the car industry was to manage its decline, and now the price for keeping a manufacturing sector in South Australia has risen to $50 billion. “Living within your means” is measured by a different standard when electorates are on the line.

  4. imacca @ #1078 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    What’s the feeling out there?

    Roy, a couple of months ago i would have agreed with you. 20+ seats a big ask/

    The number of seats to be won is essentially a result of the previous election and is irrelevant to the next.
    If Labor wins the votes, it will win a majority of the seats. 51% of the vote should do it and swamp any ‘sophomore effect’.

  5. C@t

    You’re the one who has been banging on and on and on this morning about The Greens’ supposed non-threat to Labor.

    Please don’t lie. I said nothing of the kind.

  6. Roy @ 11.59

    I have a horrible feeling Turnbull will squeak back in, despite his flapping about and his motley crew. I want to say ‘the trend is out friend’, but a lifetime of following Collingwood has left me pessimistic…What’s the feeling out there?

    I was one of the earliest predictors of a solid Labor win at the election. The initial basis of my view was that the only piece of conventional political wisdom that I have ever seen that has not been blown away over 40 years of politics watching is that ‘disunity is death’. It has killed governments before, and countless oppositions.

    Since then, everything that Turnbull and co have done or said has made it clear they are goners.

    I’m long over any idea that the people who decide governments (uncommitted voters in marginal seats) think the same way that I do. I look back over what they have really considered important in casting their vote. And general things like competence and unity score higher than any particular policy with that group. Yes, they pay attention to policy but it is really the generalities that matter to them because very few are actual close watchers of the political scene.

    They pay little notice during most of the election cycle unless a politician does something incredibly stupid, like knighting Prince Philip on Australia Day when everyone is chatting around barbecues. But they do take notice around election time because most Australians take voting – their civic duty – reasonably seriously.

    Well, apart from being disunited, this mob have broken every rule. Turnbull cannot rally his party behind him. They have achieved almost nothing in their term of government. They are trying to sell small increases in spending as generosity when they are fractions of what they have taken away in the last few years. And they are treating the population like fools, and not trying to hide that.

    But mainly they are simply politically incompetent. There are a lot more swinging voters looking for their first home than looking for an investment property. And any individual who has been outbid at an auction by a property investor is carrying a grievance. And if you earn near or over $80k a year, there is a good chance that you can count. It won’t be hard to see that any tax benefit from moving the 37c margin upwards is, at best, maybe a maximum of $500k a year or $10 a week. Probably less (I’ve been generous). Money that means little at $80k a year but a large amount @ $50k a year.

    This is truly dumb, tone deaf politics, the like of which I have never seen before from either major party in my lifetime.

    Finally, there is Turnbull v Shorten and Morrison v Bowen. Except for us Parliament watchers there has been almost nothing to show them in a one on one debate. But anyone who has seen each under pressure can see that Shorten will trounce Turnbull and Bowen will eat Morrison alive, bones and all.

    There is a lot more – particularly that Labor has done its homework and the Liberals have depended on cribbed notes and ghost writing from the IPA.

    So, yeah, swinging voters will turn from Turnbull and co in droves. As long as they are satisfied that Shorten and co are going to be better, even if only a little, then they won’t turn back. As soon as Labor is perceived as electable, it is all over, red rover.

    It won’t be a victory that carries the optimism of 2007, but it may be all the better for that in there there are no over optimistic expectations to be dashed by the real challenges of politics.

  7. DisplayName @ #1088 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    The Greens are a threat to Labor. If they were not, the Greens would barely get a mention, or do some of you really spend so much time and energy on what you claim is an irrelevance? That would be a different kind of idiocy.
    It is quite convenient then, for Labor supporters to believe what they want about the Greens and their supporters (and vice versa, btw). Any such natural inclination should require more critical thinking, not less, to resist (for example) potential confirmation bias.
    I find it laughable that the people who boast loudest of their cynicism are the quickest to drink their own kool-aid.

    It is an amusing diversion to prick the sanctimony bubble of the Greens and listen to them squeal.

  8. Adrian,

    Let us not forget that Leigh Sales has on more than one occasion dined with Malcolm Turnbull often in the company of another useless ABC ‘star’ Annabel Crabbe.

    When it was first publicised Sales defended her actions by saying that it was important that she gets to know political leaders because it is important for her work.

    Despite questioning in the public arena she was unable to name any other political leaders that she regularly enjoys the company of over a meal and a few drinks except that of Tony Abbott.

    So dinner and drinks with Malcolm and Tony but never with Gillard, Rudd, Shorten, Milne or DiNatale.

    One only need see her performance when interviewing Turnbull to know she has a terrible and unprofessional bias and should recuse herself from interviewing Turnbull in the future becasue she is unable to conduct herself in an impartial manner.

    Remember the fawning apology she made in her first interview with Turnbull after he became PM?
    The one in which she coquettishly apologised for interrupting Turnbull.

    Seriously, I have seen porn that involved less fellating and stroking than a Sales/Turnbull interview contains.

  9. Puff, the Magic Dragon. @ #1090 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    bemused, Thanks for that link on the parents too stupid to recognise the opportunity for their precious little Athelrods and Penelopes to get in first with learning about new cultures by trying to avoid non-white dominated schools.
    One of the excellent factors in my daughters getting a Sisters of Mercy education (free, through scholarships) was that it had 52 different nationalities going to it, including refugee’s children and from all classes of people.
    I knicked the link (with attribution to here) to illustrate my latest post over the road , Class or Nationality, Which Divides Us More?
    https://pbxmastragics.com/2016/05/01/class-or-nationality-which-divides-us-more/?replytocom=233912#respond
    (sorry, well not really, Wilbo for the unashamed spruiking).

    Oh dear… you used my name over at ‘The Blog of Batshit Insanity’. You will not be popular and Foghorn Leghorn may even ban you.

  10. I suspect that most people find fanaticism off-putting.

    When I characterise another person, I had better be careful I’m correct or they’ll know straight away that I’m an idiot.

    When you put fanaticism together with publicly stated, potential mischaracterisations, the only people it will appeal to are those whose biases are being confirmed. Everyone else will be repulsed.

  11. Colton,
    Culture often trumps rational thought. Not just the culture of gun ownership, but that of individual rights.

    Now, that may say a lot about the power of culture. It probably says more about the ability of humans to think rationally.

  12. TPOF – Agree with you on all of that (as usual). Giving tax breaks to those earning $80,000 (and nobody below it) is going to be the most spectacular own-goal in Australian budget history. I have never seen a budget in which tax cuts were not shared around. But this nong of a treasurer thinks he can pat poorer voters on the head and tell them they should feel glad he is giving tax breaks to wealthier citizens because they are the real wealth creators.
    Pull the other one!

  13. Colton, sadly that is true, but equally sadly ABC management couldn’t care less; in fact they are probably pleased that Sales is limiting the number of complaints they are likely to receive from the PM’s office, while maintaining the facade of independence.

    It’s no coincidence that Sales was promoted beyond her level of competence, while other more capable presenters are languishing.

  14. adrian

    I don’t agree that Sales is incompetent, because she often does a good job in interviews. Where I do agree with you is her unfortunate ‘friendship’ with Turnbull and Abbott, which cancels out her credibility as an unbiased interviewer.

  15. Bernard Keane in today’s Crikey:

    The two critical elements of the budget will get less attention but are more important in terms of the jobs of Australians over coming years:

    How will the economy fare over the coming 12-24 months? The budget provides us with Treasury’s best guess about the performance of the economy, albeit with some role for the Treasurer (or in this case, more likely the Prime Minister, advised by head of Prime Minister and Cabinet Martin Parkinson and his deputy secretary, David Gruen) to choose guesses from a range provided by Treasury. We know that inflation isn’t a problem, and unlikely to become one any time soon, but will unemployment remain below 6%? Will we return to trend growth? When will the long deterioration in our terms of trade end? Is there any end in sight to weak wages growth? How will investment fare? Remember, this is an economy that has been operating with massive levels of fiscal and monetary stimulus now for several years, via big deficits and record low interest rates.

    What does the path back to surplus look like? Courtesy of the recent surge in iron ore prices, Treasurer Scott Morrison should be looking at lower deficits than Joe Hockey, who had to deal with plunging iron ore and coal prices. But the government has locked in only a slow fall in spending — it’s currently 25.9% of GDP and projected to only fall to 25.3% of GDP at the end of the current forward estimates period, still well above the levels bequeathed to the government by Labor. And there’s a substantial rise in the tax take also on the books already — 22.3% is the estimate this year, well above the burden of tax Labor imposed on the economy, and forecast to rise to over 23%. Will Morrison ever give substance to his rhetoric that Labor is the party of higher taxes, not the Liberals? And given the recent lift in economic growth and better-than-expected jobs data, is the government going to start withdrawing stimulus by cutting the deficit substantially more quickly than merely by whatever lift higher commodity prices provides?

    And all of that is heavily dependent on factors entirely outside the government’s control — the international economy and especially China, commodity prices, even share market volatility. Even small movements domestically or internationally can cruel a budget forecast — the 2014-15 budget predicted a deficit of $30 billion; the final result was $38 billion. By the time that result was in, of course, we’d long since moved on to the 2015-16 budget. Budget forecasting is, as we’ve seen so often, a tricky business, but it helps that we all have such short memories

  16. The number of seats to be won is essentially a result of the previous election and is irrelevant to the next.

    Of all the pieces of ‘conventional wisdom’ out there, the idea that an election win can be too far away because of the number of seats (and votes) that need to be won is the most ridiculous.

    You only have to look back at 2004 (when Howard won the biggest of his four victories) to the following election when he and his party were swept from office to see what nonsense that proposition is. And the best example of all, of course, was one of the most recent, when Labor went from 7 seats to minority government in Queensland in 2014.

  17. ‘I don’t agree that Sales is incompetent, because she often does a good job in interviews.’

    I don’t mean that she’s incompetent, but that there are more highly competent political interviewers on the ABC staff, and that doing an incisive political interview is beyond her level of competence. Compare her with Sarah Ferguson for example and it’s no contest.
    Factor in her level of bias and it’s all the worse.

    She would make a fine 7.30 presenter and celebrity interviewer, but shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near politicians.

  18. If Labor wins the votes, it will win a majority of the seats. 51% of the vote should do it and swamp any ‘sophomore effect’.

    Hmmm……tell that to Beazley from 98. But, i hope you are right.

    Interesting that the French PM has made the stop in Oz after a visit to the Land of the Rainbow Warrior wreck. I reckon this has a ways to go.

    If the costs associated with the French bid are, actually, so much higher than the TKMS bid, AND we still may wind up with 1-2 built in France (which is not actually a position without some technical merit), then i reckon we have actually seen a short-listing to exclude the Japanese and nothing more than that.

    Allows MalPM to go to the election with an assertion that the build (or most of it) happens in Australia. Pure local politics and diplomatic relations be buggered if it saves Pvt Pynes job in the immediate future.

    At a technical level one of the big +’s of the French bid seems to be the pump jet?

    However, thats actually a bit debatable as they dont work in reverse (seriously, manoeuvrability issues??), AND the improvement in radiated noise level for pump jet (from my readings) is actually a factor at somewhat higher normal speeds that may be more relevant to a nuc boat than a conventional boat relying on batteries / AIP where time at higher speeds is an issue. TKMS have their own approach to stealth tech / noise that involves a composite construction propeller.

    Interestingly it seems one of the reasons for the Japanese being excluded is that their hull construction methods and design are quite old fashioned. With their established construction methods / design they are a ways behind in isolating vibration and noise from machinery and changing that was very likely to NOT be a part of their bid. Too great a risk factor for build.

    Anyway. Nice of Mr Valls to visit, but i wouldn’t write of the Germans just yet.

  19. adrian @ #1117 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    ‘I don’t agree that Sales is incompetent, because she often does a good job in interviews.’
    I don’t mean that she’s incompetent, but that there are more highly competent political interviewers on the ABC staff, and that doing an incisive political interview is beyond her level of competence. Compare her with Sarah Ferguson for example and it’s no contest.
    Factor in her level of bias and it’s all the worse.
    She would make a fine 7.30 presenter and celebrity interviewer, but shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near politicians.

    Given her real or perceived friendship with Turnbull, she should have the good sense to step aside and get someone else to interview him. Sarah Ferguson springs to mind, or maybe Steve Cannane.

  20. Maybe we should get some French journalists here on 457 visas, they actually ask questions,
    to Mal:

    Q: Mr prime minister, your team has developed a lot of energy in organising this private trip, this very short trip in Australia. There is no announcement on the details of the contracts so what is the point of this visit?

  21. Vogon Poet @ #1120 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Maybe we should get some French journalists here on 457 visas, they actually ask questions,
    to Mal:

    Q: Mr prime minister, your team has developed a lot of energy in organising this private trip, this very short trip in Australia. There is no announcement on the details of the contracts so what is the point of this visit?

    And the answer was?

  22. ‘And the answer was?’

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, innovation, blah, blah, blah, jobs and growth, blah, blah, blah, blah…

  23. IMV, that photo opportunity with ScoMo, including a teapot and empty mugs, was as artificial as the Rudd-Gillard one.

  24. ‘The ABC is preparing to scrap its fact checking unit following a minor funding [cut?] to be handed down on Tuesday night.’

    This makes perfect sense since the government is allergic to facts.

  25. Well Michael Pascoe has set his expectations low for the budget.

    If his performances over the past few days are an omen, Scott Morrison’s budget show tomorrow night promises to be a dud.

    Whether it was placating the National Party with his non-decision on Chinese companies buying land here, or muffing the public relations spin on the $50 billion French submarine deal, the Treasurer has been making a mess of it.

    If you listened carefully on Sunday, ScoMo pretty much torpedoed the government’s $50 billion South Australian election centrepiece.

    Under pressure from Laurie Oakes with an allegation that the French subs are nearly twice as expensive as the German offering, Morrison said: “This bid we have entered into a negotiation on, so it’s a negotiation now, the designs have not even been drawn up yet on what the submarines might be.”

    So, what was the Adelaide show – just a Prime Ministerial camera op with the biggest-possible dollar sign for PR purposes?

    If Morrison was telling the truth on Sunday and we’ve already agreed a price without knowing what the subs might be, the foundations have just been laid for our biggest defence boondoggle ever.

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/federal-budget/federal-budget-2016-subs-sink-scott-morrisons-credibility-20160502-gojtud.html

  26. Yes, the Libs have been incompetent, divisive and so on. Anyone with half a brain can see that.
    Trouble is, most people are too busy getting on with their lives to take a keen interest in politics. The Libs are expert in appealing to in-built prejudices now that we’re at the cutting edge. Turnbull may be an insincere waffler but he more or less looks the part and he’s dishing the dosh.
    That should do the trick.
    Something unexpected might possibly derail him – though governments usually benefit from emergency situations.
    At the margin, Labor’s campaign will be far better organised than last time, when many Gillardistas resigned overnight and the Ruddites had to throw things together willy-nilly.

  27. lizzie @ #991 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Raaraa

    Selling the Port of Melbourne is expected to generate more than $6 billion, which the Andrews government will put towards removing level crossings across Melbourne.
    Under the federal asset recycling program agreement, states that sell assets and reinvest the proceeds in infrastructure projects will receive bonus payments of up to 15 per cent of the sale price.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/not-new-money-victoria-fires-back-after-feds-promise-857-million-for-metro-rail-20160501-gojmki.html

    I don’t quite agree with selling the port, but even lacking that income stream, the state would still be in surplus.
    And it’s funny that it’s money that’s already been earmarked for Victoria anyway. Quite a lot of that rehashed announcement just for the sake of the election.

  28. Also, am I the only one thinking that the Oz really do owe Turnbull one last Newspoll to help him decide whether to pull that trigger or not?

  29. Raaraa @ #1130 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    lizzie @ #991 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 8:32 am
    I don’t quite agree with selling the port, but even lacking that income stream, the state would still be in surplus.
    And it’s funny that it’s money that’s already been earmarked for Victoria anyway. Quite a lot of that rehashed announcement just for the sake of the election.

    Just a small correction, it is a lease of the port that is being sold.
    In effect the Govt is swapping a lump sum up front for a revenue stream.
    Like you, I don’t agree. It gives the Govt a ‘sugar hit’, but what then? Eventually you run out of the opportunity for such sales and you no longer have the revenue stream from the assets for which you have sold off the lease.

  30. SHIFTALING – Malcolm can’t back out now. Labor has even said it will pass supply, tout suite. Further, imagine the gales of laughter if there is a bad newspoll and Malcolm still has to go and see the GG. It would be hysterical. I think they’ll can the poll for this week.

  31. If Question time hasn’t told Turnbull that tax cuts for the well off is a bad idea, he’s got wood in his head. Can they rush off and reprint the budget papers???

  32. Labor going right to the heart of the budget: tax cuts for the rich. No wonder Turnbull is getting rattled and indulging in personal abuse. Starting to wake up, are you Malcolm?

  33. bemused
    Monday, May 2, 2016 at 12:59 pm
    The number of seats to be won is essentially a result of the previous election and is irrelevant to the next.
    If Labor wins the votes, it will win a majority of the seats. 51% of the vote should do it and swamp any ‘sophomore effect’.

    I agree… TPP is the main game, although you want the average swings to happen in the marginals as much as everywhere else. It does rather annoy me that the ALP now need 51%, when in 2010 (when the sophomore effect was in the favour of the ALP) 49.9% was enough for the L-NP to get a hung parliament. Seems to me the seat distribution is giving the L-NP a 1% advantage (That goes at least as far back to 1998).

    An advatange the ALP do have is that if the result falls within a hung parliament range, then the L-NP won’t be able to cope, even if they do form government it will be a disaster for them.

    It will be interested to see if Kevin Bonham does some analysis on this, although it really is in the splitting hairs area of psephology that is difficult to do with the published information (but easy after the event).

  34. Colton

    I too spent time living in the ‘civilised’ New England are of the US and although most of the locals I met were pro-gun control (although I did have a boss who carried a hand gun on Cape Cod of all places), I was more shocked at ‘lefties’ who were horrified at the idea of socialised medicine or whose indoctrination would not let them admit that the US’s health, education and even political systems were not The Best In the World. They are told they are the greatest at every turn, and even ‘leftie’ publications such as the New York Times or the Boston Globe would report in terms of ‘Even though the US education system is the envy of the world, we were ranked 37th etc.” or “Even though the US health system is the envy of the world, Cuba has a better Dr:Person ratio than us and we are the most expensive in the OECD”. They have been indoctrinated to think they are the pinnacle of civilisation and that all others in the world want to be them and will inevitably evolve into them. Trying to explain the benefits of medicare was futile in most cases – the indoctrinated fear of ‘socialism’ was too deep. I also noticed that the many homeless people and working poor are invisible to most there – you’d say something about it and they’d have not noticed anything unusual about it so it hadn’t registered.

  35. Like Victoria, I am not watching now, but…

    jamespatrickm ‏@dotrat · 1m1 minute ago
    #qt Member from Indi asks a question and the response is an advert for her electoral opposition, Misrabella. Wtf?

  36. [Let’s not forget that Turnbull has been touting the “fairness” aspect of the budget.]
    Let’s not forget that Turnbull and most in Parliament would see $80K as a poverty line existence and think tax breaks are needed there and are fair. It is also their cheapest option for a tax cut, just so they can say they provided one.

    the REAL tax cut will be to businesses. You can also bet that if they close one loop hole they’ll create another for their mates and donors to use – maybe raise the family trust distribution limit that swan tightened – because Trusts are just about saving money for your kids (just like negative gearing) aren’t they?

  37. Question @ #1140 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    bemused
    Monday, May 2, 2016 at 12:59 pm
    The number of seats to be won is essentially a result of the previous election and is irrelevant to the next.
    If Labor wins the votes, it will win a majority of the seats. 51% of the vote should do it and swamp any ‘sophomore effect’.

    I agree… TPP is the main game, although you want the average swings to happen in the marginals as much as everywhere else. It does rather annoy me that the ALP now need 51%, when in 2010 (when the sophomore effect was in the favour of the ALP) 49.9% was enough for the L-NP to get a hung parliament. Seems to me the seat distribution is giving the L-NP a 1% advantage (That goes at least as far back to 1998).
    An advatange the ALP do have is that if the result falls within a hung parliament range, then the L-NP won’t be able to cope, even if they do form government it will be a disaster for them.
    It will be interested to see if Kevin Bonham does some analysis on this, although it really is in the splitting hairs area of psephology that is difficult to do with the published information (but easy after the event).

    49.9% might be enough for the ALP, but it depends on the swing occurring where it is most needed. And that would not be very likely.
    51% should be enough to overcome any odd effects.
    Seat distribution will never be perfect. It perhaps could be at a particular point in time, but then time passes, people move around and it is no longer perfect.
    I never complain about this as it is a case of swings and roundabouts.

  38. Don’t usually watch QT but noticed that PM, Treasurer, and now FM are doing FORCEFUL in a REALLY BIG WAY today.

    Is this how they think they will run over Labor and win the election? Good luck with that. Big turn off for the voters I think.

  39. Very disrespectful treatment of McGowan, accusing her of taking credit for Coalition achievements and spruiking both her Coalition opponents. She won’t be used to that, having had fairly preferential treatment from Ministers in the past.

    On the US: the series ‘Newsroom’ starts with the show’s anchor answering a question along the lines of “What makes America such a goddam terrific place?” with “No it isn’t” and scrolling through a list of indicators where the US rates behind the majority of other countries. Of course this causes mass outrage.

  40. An observation I noticed on twitter

    Rachel Baker
    26s26 seconds ago
    Rachel Baker ‏@astudentnow
    PM is dripping with sarcasm and condescension. It’s embarrassing. . #qt

  41. SF – Agree. How long before Turnbull starts saying that the tax cut for those on $80,000 is piss-weak and isn’t much anyway, so nobody should get upset!

  42. Murphy:

    Pyne is expounding on Labor reintroducing a carbon tax – something that it has never actually done (the clean energy policy was a carbon price with a fixed period, it wasn’t actually a tax), and has no current plans to do.

    But why let facts get in the way? This is question time.

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