Highlights of day one

Reports this morning of a looming preference switch by the Victorian Liberals in favour of the Greens, and a line-ball internal poll in the new Perth seat of Burt.

UPDATE: Essential Research has the Labor lead down from 52-48 to 51-49, with the Coalition up two on the primary vote to 42%, Labor steady on 38% and the Greens steady on 10%. One of many questions on the budget records 20% approval overall and 29% disapproval, with 35% for neither and 15% for don’t know. All the others, together with questions on detention centres, can be seen on the full release. We also have a poll today in The Guardian for Lonergan, conducted Friday to Sunday from a sample of 1841, which reaches 50-50 on two-party preferred from primary votes of Coalition 42%, Labor 35% and Greens 12%.

In response to Radio National Drive host Patricia Karvelas’s desire to refer to yesterday as day one of the election campaign, a listener helpfully offered that the actual day of the announcement, Sunday, might be deemed “day zero”. That works for me, so there’s your headline. However you care to number it, here are some highlights:

Andrew Probyn of The West Australian reports a Liberal Party internal poll derived from “15-minute interviews with 600 people on April 30 and May 1” recorded a dead heat on two-party preferred in the new electorate of Burt in southern Perth. The report also cites optimism from Liberal insiders about Cowan and Hasluck, where “the advantage of incumbency and strong local campaigns” are expected to make the difference.

• In other internal polling news, Mark Riley of Seven News reported on Thursday that Liberal polling conducted on April 29 showed the party trailing 53.1-46.9 in Eden-Monaro, but leading 50.3-49.7 in Reid, 50.9-49.1 in Banks, 50.2-49.8 in Gilmore, 51.6-48.5 in Bennelong, 51.2-48.8 in Lindsay and 58.8-41.2 in Hughes, with Barnaby Joyce holding a 53.1-46.9 lead over Tony Windsor in New England. The report copped a more than usually vehement response from Liberal pollster Mark Textor, who denied any such polling had been conducted by his own firm, Crosby Textor. Riley said in his report that the polling was “delivered to New South Wales Liberal executives by campaign guru Lynton Crosby yesterday and leaked to Seven News”, to which Textor retorted that Crosby was out of the country. Riley responded that he had “at no stage said it was your polling”, and insisted it had been distributed to prominent members of the party. In his report the following evening, Riley said “Liberal-National director Tony Nutt said it wasn’t commissioned by the party and rejected the numbers”.

Ellen Whinnett of the Herald Sun reports the Liberals are “on the brink” of a deal in which they will direct preferences to the Greens in Batman and Wills, while the Greens run open tickets in marginal seats in the Melbourne suburbs. The former half of the bargain returns to the Liberals’ usual practice before 2013, but for the Greens to fail to direct preferences in marginal seats is a little more unusual. However, the impact of the former will be far the greater. When the Liberals flipped their preference recommendation in 2013, the Greens’ share of their preferences in the Melbourne electorate slumped from 80.0% to 33.7%. This would have gouged about 10% of Adam Bandt’s two-party vote against Labor, but the improvment of his position on the primary vote was sufficient to exactly cancel it out. In Batman and Wills, the Greens’ share of Liberal preferences in 2013 was 32.6% and 28.7% respectively. If that changed to 80% with no alteration to the primary vote, David Feeney’s 10.6% winning margin over Greens candidate Alex Bhathal, who opposes him again this time, would reduce to zero, while Labor would hold on to a 3.5% margin in Wills. By contrast, the Greens running an open ticket appears to reduce Labor’s share of their preferences by only 3%. The Greens vote in Labor’s Victorian targets of Deakin, La Trobe and Corangamite was in each case a fraction above 10%, so the difference is likely to be 0.3% to 0.4%.

• Crikey founder and shareholder activist Stephen Mayne has announced he is running against Kevin Andrews as “a pro-Turnbull, liberal-minded independent” in the eastern Melbourne seat of Menzies. Andrews is currently embroiled in a branch-stacking scandal that has resulted in the resignation of his electorate officer, Ananija Ananievski, involving elderly Macedonian immigrants who were reportedly unaware of their party membership. In an article in Crikey yesterday (paywalled), Mayne wrote that Georgina Downer, a lawyer, former diplomat and daughter of former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, was “hoping Kevin Andrews is removed and she can be slotted in as a last-minute replacement before nominations close on June 1”. Downer was an unsuccessful candidate for the recent preselection to succeed Andrew Robb in the seat of Goldstein, which was won by former Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson.

• Liberal MP Dennis Jensen, who was disendorsed as the party’s candidate for his Perth seat of Tangney in favour of former party state director Ben Morton, announced yesterday he would run in the seat as an independent. He declined to resign from the Liberal Party in doing so, but state director Andrew Cox said yesterday that he had cancelled his membership in announcing his intention to run against an endorsed candidate of the party. Jensen foreshadowed yesterday’s actions in a speech to parliament last week, in which he called Morton “the Liberal branch stackers’ and powerbrokers’ candidate”, criticised the government’s record on tax reform, called for a royal commission into the banks, and spruiked himself as “a candidate who has deep Liberal values, but who will fight for constituents first and foremost; a free thinker who will be their voice in parliament without fear or favour”. Andrew Probyn of The West Australian noted a fortnight ago that running at the election would mean Jensen continued to draw a salary up until the day before the election, which would earn him around $35,000.

• The state council of the Liberal Party in Western Australia determined the order of the double dissolution Senate ticket on the weekend, and delivered a defeat to former Defence Minister David Johnston by relegating him to the highly loseable sixth position on the ticket. The order of the ticket will run Mathias Cormann, Michaelia Cash, Dean Smith, Linda Reynolds, Chris Back, David Johnston. All are incumbents, reflecting the party’s consistent success in winning three seats at half-Senate elections, and the difficulty it faces accommodating all of them at a double dissolution election that is more likely to net them only five. Many in the party had hoped that Johnston, who was dumped as Defence Minister in December 2014, would lighten the burden by retiring, but he failed to oblige. Johnston was more gracious in the face of disappointment than some, conceding he was “in the twilight of my career”, and telling the ABC: “The Liberal Party has been very, very good to me and I’ve had 14 years in Parliament which has been a fabulous adventure.” The state council’s decision reportedly ran ran contrary to the recommendation of its four-person selection committee, which proposed that Johnston take fourth place and Back take sixth. Joe Spagnolo of the Sunday Times reports one of the members of the selection committee, party state president Norman Moore, stormed out of a state executive meeting last week and threatened to resign as it became apparent the recommendation would not be supported, before apologising for what he conceded was a “dummy spit”.

Mark Coultan of The Australian (paywalled, I’m guessing) reports that the Liberal member for Barton, Nick Varvaris, has finally decided after much prevarication that he will seek re-election in the seat he won from Labor in 2013. Varvaris has been poleaxed by the latest redistribution, which has turned his 0.3% margin into a notional Labor margin of 5.2% by adding territory around Marrickville. Mark Coultan also reports the Liberals are still yet to endorse candidates in the competitive seats of Paterson and Kingsford Smith, but are likely to do so this weekend.

Jared Owens of The Australian has a useful article (probably paywalled) on the state of the parties’ double dissolution Senate tickets. While many remain to be finalised, Coalition tickets are now set in Victoria (incumbents Mitch Fifield, Scott Ryan, James Paterson and Bridget McKenzie, followed by newcomer Jane Hume, who recently suffered a surprise defeat to Paterson in her bid to fill Michael Ronaldson’s vacancy), Queensland (Ian Macdonald, George Brandis, Matt Canavan, James McGrath, Barry O’Sullivan and Joanna Lindgren, all of whom are incumbents) and South Australia (Simon Birmingham, Cory Bernardi, Anne Ruston, David Fawcett and Sean Edwards, all incumbents). Labor’s ticket in Queensland will be headed by two newcomers in former state MP Murray Watt and former party state secretary Anthony Chisholm, who are repectively of the Left and the Right. Behind them are incumbents Claire Moore and Chris Ketter, with another newcomer in Jane Casey in fifth place.

Stay tuned for the regular Tuesday poll release early this afternoon from Essential Research, which will probably be followed by a bit of a lull after the weekend storm. A full update of BludgerTrack, incorporating the latest state breakdowns, should follow a few hours after.

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.

797 comments on “Highlights of day one”

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  1. Morning all. So Labor is correct – negative gearing is a threat to our economy.

    It seems our Great Economic Managers have been warned about negative gearing by the RBA since 2014! They did nothing for two budgets, since this goes back to when that great big negative gearer himself, Joe Hockey, was still Treasurer.

    The full text of the RBA briefing note (so it surely went to Hockey’s office and probably PMC and Corman) is worth reading.

    – speculation and bidding up of house prices was mentioned
    – financial security and instability were concerns
    – capping or “any change” to reduce NG were advocated by RBA
    – increase in rents was only “potential?” So not a great fear.
    – the first two pages are redacted so there is more dirt out there. Did the RBA warn about risk to our credit rating being at risk as well?

    This is a scandal. Joe Hockey was too personally conflicted by his own investments to do his job properly as Treasurer. Neither Morrison nor Turnbull have attempted to fix the mess since.

  2. It would be interesting to do a similar FOI application on Treasury now, though under the more partisan Fraser I expect they will stonewall. Someone should FOI the RBA about our AAA credit rating, as I bet they have warned on that too. Have a good day all. This will be National Denial Day for the Liberals. Maybe Bumpkin Barnaby can be fooled into opening his mouth?

  3. Just heard Cormann angrily stating that the Reserve Bank negative gearing memo “precedes Labor’s policy and doesn’t refer to Labor’s policy”

    Kind of like a BIS Schrapnel report then

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Peter Martin on the RBA’s concerns about negative gearing and CGT discounts.
    Bandt gives Turnbull a free kick saying he’d be amenable to a Labor/Greens coalition.
    See what I mean? Google.
    Boats and climate – Mark Kenny looks at Day 1 of the campaigns.
    Some interesting observations from Lara Tingle. Google.
    We have our first debate – Turnbull vs Shorten in western Sydney on Friday.
    Kelly O’Bigmouth and Innes Willox justifiably got a hard time from a QandA audience member last night.
    Latika Bourke has the goss that some Liberals want Peter Hendy to lose in Eden-Monaro because of his closeness to Tony Abbott.
    Turnbull’s budget has seriously turned off 18-24 year olds.
    John Birmingham really criticises negative gearing.
    The NAB agrees with Chris Bowen that Morrison’s budget puts our AAA credit rating at risk.

  5. Section 2 . . .

    How Turnbull plans to stay in power.
    The next tranche of Panama papers – the A list you don’t want to be on.
    A searchable database of the Panama papers has gone online.
    Australia’s two big tax -break reforms need to be linked says Rob Burgess.
    “Sex appeal” candidate Fiona Scott accused of stabbing Abbott in the back.
    The Huffington Post has already had enough of the “Jobs and Growth” mantra.
    Michelle Grattan on Albo’s difficulty in holding his seat.
    Turnbull is upset by criticism of his PaTH plan.
    Local government in SA is getting tough over the premature erection of election corflutes.
    “View from the Street” wonders which party will undermine itself today.

  6. Section 3 . . .

    A budget of dodgy assumptions and double dealing.
    Centrelink fesses up to making a big error on youth payments.
    Subject yourself to Peter Reith if you want to.
    Peter Hartcher on what Google has become.
    This guy who seems likely to be the next leader of the Philippines looks like he’s a shocker!
    Turnbull must reject the antidemocratic attack on environmental groups.
    Trump is a real piece of work.
    The new London mayor says he won’t be able to visit the US if Trump wins.
    Come on Eddie. DO IT!

  7. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    John Shakespeare with Google’s tax arrangements.

    Ron Tandberg on the RBA’s warning on negative gearing.

    Ron Tandberg gives us trickledown economics.

    David Pope thinks the slogans are going to be a bit overworked.

    Cathy Wilcox as Americans realise what they have done.

    Matt Golding takes biometric identification one step too far!

    Mark Knight farewells Reg Grundy.
    Jon Kudelka with a gorgeous effort on the demise of Tony Abbott.
    David Rowe on Day 1 (or is it 2?) with boats and climate.

  8. I heard a comment from talk back last night which sent a worrying signal.

    Caller said wtte although he was disappointed in Turnbull’s leadership at present, he was sure that if re-elected PM, Turnbull would change and fulfil all previous expectations.

    Turnbull’s fans still hoping for a miracle and believing that winning the election will bring out the ‘real Malcolm’? Maybe this is partly why he remains so popular. They’re voting for their mythical hero.

  9. Guardian Lonergan poll finds TPP at 50-50. Primaries LNP 42%; ALP 35%; and Greens at 12%.

    Also had questions on reaction to the budget and budget reply

    Malcolm Turnbull’s budget turns younger voters off Coalition, poll shows


  10. From the previous thread:

    #1076 Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 12:38 am

    Are there any wheel bolts holding their wheels on?

    If they start talking about asylum seekers a lot you know they are losing.

    Cue the front page of ‘The Daily Terrorgraph’; in Sydney today.

  11. Of course the LNP are desperate. Last night caused permanent damage.

    The RBA email and the courage of Duncan on QandA putting a human face on budget cut impacts.

  12. guytaur @ #12 Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 7:46 am

    craigthomler: Labour MPs say they’d rather be Opposition than in government in coalition with Greens. May get their wish #auspol https://t.co/8IQcuvd9wM

    No, if Labor say they would do a coalition agreement with The Greens, they WILL be put into Opposition again by the electorate.

    Adam Bandt was simply being scurrilous( making or spreading claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation) last night on qanda. At the very least, mischievous.

  13. catmomma

    Bandt was being honest. Scary in an election campaign I know. The he was exactly right when he said the big question is would Labor be up for it.

    The answer of course as everyone knows is if a hung parliament happens Labor will grit its teeth and accept power rather than give it to the LNP.

    Thats the truth. In the meantime Labor has to say its out to win or else be seen as conceding defeat. Shows how stupid election commentary can be. Its a hypothetical but thats the LNP scare campaign for you the Greens are evil not to be trusted.

    I would like Labor to say the Greens are not evil incarnate and that the LNP scare campaign is just that. However its not going to happen because of political competition during the campaign.

    The only honest part of the scare campaign we get from the LNP is when Joyce mentions the Independents. Thats because of Windsor of course. However it puts the lie to the Greens evil meme as it shows the good policy out of the hung parliament was bipartisan it was just the LNP saying boo evil

  14. So, Tricky Dick Di Natale is again using weasel words to explain his preference deal with the Liberal Party. The Greens won’t preference the Liberal Party in any seat…but if any local electorate council makes a different decision that’s up to them.

    Also, as Mr Bowe has kindly pointed out, the ramifications of The Greens’ deal with the Liberal Party in Victoria favours their candidate more than a little:

    In Batman and Wills, the Greens’ share of Liberal preferences in 2013 was 32.6% and 28.7% respectively. If that changed to 80% with no alteration to the primary vote, David Feeney’s 10.6% winning margin over Greens candidate Alex Bhathal, who opposes him again this time, would reduce to zero, while Labor would hold on to a 3.5% margin in Wills.

    However, I expect Labor’s candidates in Wills and Batman to do better on the Primary Vote this election than they did in 2013, which should still see them prevail over The Greens and their grubby deal with the Liberal Party. Maybe even go up as disaffected Greens’ voters express their dismay at the deal. 🙂

  15. lizzie: I would suggest to you that all the Lib supporters endlessly whinging about Malcolm – be they disappointed moderates or delcons mourning Tony – will, come Election Day, hold their collective noses and vote Liberal.
    The only electors whose votes matter are the swinging aspirationals. It’s a little difficult to work out their mood at the moment. I think they’re mostly pissed off with everyone and everything to do with politics. I expect that, if the Libs can stay united and campaign ok, they’ll attract enough of these voters by Election Day to win.
    But there’s absolutely no guarantee of the Libs holding it together: I put that possibility at no better then 60/40.
    Shorten needs to keep working on improving his image and reminding people of the disunity and confusion within the Libs.
    And trying to get negative gearing into the background: I know most on here don’t agree with me, but I still believe this issue is a booby trap for Labor.

  16. Guytaur,
    Adam Bandt can be honest AND mischievous at one and the same time. He knows the power of words and how the timing of them can affect the news cycle. The media are all over it today as a result. Especially the Conservative media.

    All’s fair, I guess. But still.

  17. Guytaur,

    I would like Labor to say the Greens are not evil incarnate and that the LNP scare campaign is just that.

    When The Greens are targeting good Labor Left candidates like Albo and Tanya, it’s hard not to think it.

  18. catmomma

    Bandt does not believe he is evil incarnate so has no reason to lie about a hypothetical.

    The fact is the media is doing the LNP wedge for it. However its still a wedge.

    The best bet for Labor to make the wedge go away is to gain in the polls. To get that they should dismiss Kroger’s statements just like the Greens have for propaganda. This is a case where just pointing out Kroger saying brink of deal is no deal and the Greens have been clear.

    Facts should count. Labor should start using them a bit more its working so well with the RBA leak backing up good policy.

    The issue the distraction of the Greens wedge is trying to get Greens fighting Labor and vice versa instead of concentrating on the LNP.

  19. I’m with the Labor people here on this latest kerfuffle with the Greens. Although I’d like the Greens to have more power and influence, this is a secondary consideration to the more important task of deposing this government. It seems like terrible timing and a really risky game. Maybe the Greens believe there is time to get the power plays over early in this very long election campaign without risking such a huge backlash on election day. In any case, there would be many among the softer Green support base that will be shaking their heads.

    It does raise the question though, how will Labor respond to the inevitable demand from interviewers and debate opponents that they declare they will refuse to countenance relying on the Greens to form government if necessary?

  20. Lizzie@ 7:38am, I am not sure how many swinging votes listen to talk back or call in. This one certainly does not and my knee jerk was this is a ploy to shore up support to Turnbull.
    Regarding the ABC compass – I know where I sit and thats centre left. But I was ranked well to left of the greens. I your dreams as some of you would know from my posts on the Bali 9 and gun control. Given the ABC recent form is the compass skewed to tar everyone with the dreaded lefty brush? BTW I had deliberately provided far right responses to asylum seeker questions as well.

  21. Meher Baba

    lizzie: I would suggest to you that all the Lib supporters endlessly whinging about Malcolm – be they disappointed moderates or delcons mourning Tony – will, come Election Day, hold their collective noses and vote Liberal.

    I agree.

  22. Catmomma

    Take the blinkers off. Greens targeting Albo and Plibersek seats not the politicians themselves. The simple answer is if Labor has been doing well by its electorates then they will win and the Greens will lose.

    If not it will go the other way. Thats democracy.

  23. Morning all.

    Peter van Onselen ‏@vanOnselenP 2h2 hours ago
    Is a hung parliament in the offing? My piece in today’s @australian

    You’ll need to do the google thing to access it.

  24. I would suggest to you that all the Lib supporters endlessly whinging about Malcolm – be they disappointed moderates or delcons mourning Tony – will, come Election Day, hold their collective noses and vote Liberal.

    Yep, all those supposedly moderate Liberals in my family who bemoaned the Abbott years still voted Liberal in each of the elections he was leader.

  25. Keyman

    ‘Talkback’ was my shorthand for a listener’s call to Ellen Fanning. Not your usual commercial stuff.

  26. Guytaur,
    Maybe you should instead direct your good advice to The Greens to tell them to stop fighting Labor and start fighting the Tories. We see scant evidence of it. Instead The Greens constantly lump Labor and the Liberal Party together as ‘the Old Parties’. It’s a cynical ploy for their own benefit and disingenuous in the extreme. The Labor Party and the Liberal Party are NOT the same but you never hear that from The Greens. The only allusion to it is when politicians like Bandt say that a coalition with Labor that adopts Green policies would suit him just fine.

  27. Guytaur,

    If not it will go the other way. That’s democracy.

    And with the election finely poised it could come down to such political butterfly wings that determine the outcome.

    Oh, and I added the appropriate apostrophe for you. 😉

  28. In relation to the idea that the people who are complaining about Turnbull will vote for Turnbull, this is not, IMO, a foregone conclusion.
    The reason is that the ALA folk will pick up a lot of the raving right disaffecteds.
    In addition it is likely that other raving right minority parties will pick up votes.

  29. Shiftaling

    Plibersek has given the only answer Labor can give. Refuse to engage in the hypothetical. Say they are out to win in their own right.

    What Labor should say as deflection when that does not satisfy is that if voters don’t want a hung parliament they can vote Labor. Labor will respect the election result as it should in a democracy.

    The truth is no matter what answer Labor gives the LNP will still say the Greens are evil incarnate and the whole schtick they are running today of Greens Labor government. There is nothing Labor or the Greens can do to stop the LNP doing this.
    They are desperate and will use anything to win an election. Abbott proved how low they can go. The only thing Labor can do is protect itself by not engaging in this Labor Green war and concentrate on the LNP.

  30. Would we have to go back to the polls if neither of the major parties wanted to do a deal with The Greens to form government in the Lower House?

  31. catmomma

    Its not the Greens running wedge articles in newspapers to stir up a Green Labor war. Its the LNP.

    Telling the Greens not to fight for every seat it can get is just stupid and ignores reality.

  32. Re the RBA note: it looks To me like a briefing – possibly only a draft – for an internal symposium (I’m told the RBA and Treasury love to have internal free-ranging intellectual discussions on hot topics). I doubt it would ever have gone anywhere near a Minister: the RBA doesn’t brief the government on tax policy.
    The author’s main concern seems to be the size of the CGT discount, working in combination with neg gearing, at a time of rapid price rises in the housing market. And that this might distort investment patterns away from the stock market towards housing.
    All fair enough points IMO, consistent with the Henry Report.

    It also raises the risk of rent increases and dostinctly does not say that these won’t happen if existing properties are grandfathered (that’s a wilful misreading by some commentators).
    In summary, I guess it’s a little bit helpful to Labor’s cause, although it was clearly written in the context of a more heated housing market than we have now.

  33. Guytaur
    The Australian can run any anti-Labor agenda it chooses. And it always chooses anti-Labor agendas.
    Why, exactly, do you think that The Australian is today featuring prominently the Greens claims that they would form a coalition with Labor?
    The Greens should stop being serially dishonest with themselves: they are helping the Liberals to gain power.

  34. boerwar @ #35 Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 8:25 am

    In relation to the idea that the people who are complaining about Turnbull will vote for Turnbull, this is not, IMO, a foregone conclusion.
    The reason is that the ALA folk will pick up a lot of the raving right disaffecteds.
    In addition it is likely that other raving right minority parties will pick up votes.

    Correct. I know of a young Plumbing Tradie friend of my son who will vote for the Libertarian Liberal Democrats because of their Guns and Smokes and anti ‘Nanny State’ stance. The ‘Freedom to kill yourself any way you want’ principle is strong in the young who are not wedded to The Greens.

  35. BW

    Labor should be honest and realise the Australian would run such articles no matter what the Greens say.

    We know this is true they used the Green tail wagging Labor dog line when the Greens had no balance of power role in the HOR.

    The Greens cannot stop the propaganda from Murdoch any more than Labor can

  36. BW. But voters who switch from the Libs to RWNJ parties are unlikely to preference Lab over Lib.
    It might matter in the Senate in some states.

  37. Re greens and liberals preference deal?
    Come on guys think it through; the greens always run open tickets where it is to their advantage.
    The Liberals stuffed up; they want on about putting the greens last; it is Labor that will form government not the greens; and now that it is tight they want to retreat and preference the greens when it is to their political advantage.
    We have a Liberal smoke screen and a lot have fallen for it.

  38. A little late gift from Kennett.

    Melbourne’s biggest road project has hit a major stumbling block, with late wrangling over an obscure Kennett-era compensation clause threatening to derail the $5.5 billion Western Distributor plan.

    Talks with tolling company Transurban to build the toll road have entered a final phase after Victoria last month pledged to build it without help from the Turnbull government.

    But in an eleventh hour sticking point, Victoria is believed to be insisting the deal will only go ahead if the so-called Material Adverse Effects (MAE) clause is dumped from the existing CityLink concession deed.

    The clause – leaving the state liable to pay compensation if it builds competing infrastructure that could bleed traffic and profits from CityLink – has long been blamed for inhibiting the state’s ability to plan for future projects.


  39. Guytaur
    The reason that The Australian can run the story about a possible Greens/Labor coalition is because Bandt and Di Natale have raised it deliberately and provocatively in public. The Greens are dishonest about this. They run in, stab somebody, and then turn around and say, ‘Who, us?’

  40. Malcolm Turnbull’s media minders will plot a course through a supermarket right down to which aisle the Prime Minister will walk down. It rarely involves the fresh fruit and veg section.

    Such is the fear that raw onions can strike in an Australian political leader in 2016.

    So Brisbane’s wholesale fresh food markets was not without its dangers for Turnbull on day one of the campaign, with its pallets of onions.

    In an insight into the level of mothering that goes into a campaign set piece, Turnbull had been advised by his staff not to accept food from strangers, no matter how friendly the market seller.

    In the event, a juicy bit of watermelon went down the nation’s first hatch and Turnbull looked the other way as he passed the onions.

    Wholesale markets have become a mainstay on Coalition campaigns as they are almost literally packed to the rafters with small business people.


  41. Frednk
    The Greens have three choices for a ticket:
    Preference Labor
    Preference Liberal
    If the Liberals can’t get the preference Liberal ticket, which of the remaining tickets would the Liberals prefer.
    The Greens are being dishonest here. The Greens are behaving in ways that make it more rather than less likely that the frackers, the Duttons, the reef killers will maintain power.

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