Election minus five weeks and one day

Almost three weeks into the campaign, the Coalition parties in New South Wales are still yet to finalise the order of their Senate ticket, while Labor finds itself with a situation vacant in the Northern Territory.

I’ve finally gotten around to updating BludgerTrack with the leadership ratings from Monday’s Newspoll, so the finalised weekly reading of that can be found at the bottom of the post. As well as that, a small number of campaign news snippets to relate:

• The Coalition parties in New South Wales are still yet to resolve the order of their Senate ticket, which is proving problematic with respect to the balance between the Liberals and the Nationals, and competing Liberal factions. Liberal incumbents needing to be accommodated are Connie Fierravanti-Wells, Marise Payne and Arthur Sinodinos, and they are joined by Nationals Senators Fiona Nash and John Williams of the Nationals, for whom inter-party arrangements appear to have secured the second and fifth spot respectively. However, the Centre Right faction of the Liberal Party is also very keen to find a place for newcomer Hollie Hughes, who won top position for the half-Senate ticket at a preselection vote in March, before agreeing to a swap with second-placed Fierravanti-Wells, a member of the hard Right. With a full ticket now required for a double dissolution, Hughes and Fierravanti-Wells are battling for fourth place, with the loser set to be relegated to sixth, with first and third set to go to Payne and Sinodinos. Joe Aston of the Financial Review today reports that Hughes is likely to miss out, with both Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison pushing for Fierravanti-Wells, despite Morrison’s factional alignment with Hughes. However, Sarah Martin of The Australian reported earlier this week that the situation was up in the air because moderates were split between competing desires to honour their alliance with the Centre Right by favouring Hughes, or support the leadership by favouring Fierravanti-Wells. The matter is being determined through a ballot of the party’s state executive conducted by email, the result of which is expected at any tick of the clock.

• The Northern Territory News reports that two candidates have formally declared for the preselection to replace Nova Peris as Labor’s Senate candidate in the Northern Territory: Malarndirri McCarthy, a former ABC journalist and member of the Northern Territory parliament from 2005 to 2012, and Kon Vatksalis, president of the Northern Territory Leukaemia Foundation and a member of the territory parliament from 2001 to 2014. Also considering there options are Marion Scrymgour, a former Deputy Chief Minister and member from 2001 and 2012, and Ursula Raymond, Peris’s chief-of-staff. Fleur Anderson of the Financial Review noted that Scrymgour was “regarded as an unpredictable candidate” because she had sat as an independent for a period in 2009 following a disagreement over government policy concerning remote communities. Katskalis presumably starts from a disadvantage in that all other candidates are indigenous women. The matter will be determined by the party’s chief executive.

• After lingering rather too long on its starting odds of $1.35 for Labor and $3 for the Greens, Sportsbet is now offering $1.50 on the Greens and $2.50 on Labor in David Feeney’s seat of Batman.


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.

611 comments on “Election minus five weeks and one day”

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  1. We may be slipping down the league tables when it comes to student performance, but we still thrash the US (and, indeed, most Western and European countries).

    Why we then look to countries who perform worse than we do on every metric always bewilders me.

  2. Even if the Corangamite poll is repeated on election day (and the National Poll), all it means is that Victoria swung to Labor less than elsewhere. At 52/48 you’re past the point of being able to sandbag enough seats to hang on, even in minority. For every marginal you successfully sandbag another seat further up the pendulum falls in it’s stead.

    I’ve always agreed with Drs Bill and Kev that the Libs would likely win with anything 49.something, but if we’re into Labor having high 51s or better then Bill will be calling the movers.

    and that damn trend eh. It just keeps on truckin. Eventually it will level out and even turn back up for the Libs. But not this side of the election. Their fate is pretty much sealed. Turnbull will continue to disappoint the more people see of him, and slogans won’t satisfy people whose pay hasn’t kept pace with inflation and are afraid for the jobs and are being asked to sacrifice their healthcare and education to deliver tax cuts to their ‘betters’ and the businesses they own.

  3. This poll will be a good morale boost for labor and its supporters but still a long hard campaign ahead.

    A good start to the weekend however.

    Cheers and a good night to all.

    Off to a BBQ with a rabid group of labor supporters.

  4. @Darn

    2PP by last-election prefs is c.50.6 to ALP (50.8 if correcting for NXT)

    According to Kevin Bonham

  5. Re Corangimite: counting ‘leaning toers’, ALP 36.5, Lib 41.0, Green 9.3

    Asuming 7.5 of the Greens come back to ALP in preferences (81%), that’s ALP 44, Lib 41, X/other 15. Libs would need 13/15 of X/other to get to 54. It doesn’t look right.

    On the other hand, electorate-level polling in 2013 was way out (in favour of the Liberals) as I recall.

  6. I still think Barry Cassidy has a valid point on Queensland. Right now on Sportsbet it has Labor will hold all six seats and will win Capricornia and Petrie. I think if things fall apart for the Liberals in Queensland then Malcolm Turnbull will push the panic button.

    However, none of the polls or commentators picked up Labor would win an extra 10 seats in Queensland in 2007. I still think there are alot of undecided voters and soft liberal vote that is up for grabs.

  7. Steve777, Corangamite primaries are not those you listed, check the link posted by Leroy. Primary for LIB is around 45.7

  8. Cannot believe what some of you people are saying. You don’t have to know who all the candidates are when you send out your first postal vote letter. That’s just to collect names of potential supporters. Politics I. Last time Kate Ellis sent out three lots of such letters.
    I hear that the sleeping giant, aka the ALP, is currently printing heaps of stuff for posting but it’s way too late and it didn’t have to be. Someone deserves a kick up the derriere.
    Diogenes may be right about the ALP running dead in Sturt. There were some Matt Loader corflutes in strategic positions before they were legal. Matt took his down and now can’t be seen anywhere. Pyne defied the law and is everywhere.

    A bit of good news. One of Pyne’s one-time school chums I know has returned from the UK determined to vote Labor for the first (and probably only) time. His mother too has seen the light and is switching her vote against Pyne.

  9. Cupidstunt
    Friday, May 27, 2016 at 6:49 pm
    Imagine if Newspoll goes to 52-48. Shanahan and hacks will poo their pants.

    I expect Newspoll to go to 53-47.

  10. A bit of good news. One of Pyne’s one-time school chums I know has returned from the UK determined to vote Labor for the first (and probably only) time. His mother too has seen the light and is switching her vote against Pyne.

    Good to hear TT.

  11. diogenes @ #404 Friday, May 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    So getting the Mexicans to build a wall to keep themselves out of the US was just Trump being taken out of context?

    Frankly there is very little difference between building a wall and “turning back the boats”, except that about a thousand times as many people go over the border than travel by boat.

    Dio, quit with the bullshit already.

    You know that does not answer the question. I expect better from you. I am disappointed.

  12. Doyley – ReachTEL has recently starting headlining their polls with respondant allocated preferences, not preferences as distributed by the last election voting patterns. They seem to think that this is more accurate at this stage of the cycle, but who knows? Pollsters have been burnt both ways, although *usually* last election prefs are more predictive. However it’s worth noting that, when both can be worked out, there has been a recent trend to respondant allocated prefs being worse for the govt than last election prefs, the opposite of when we were still in Mal’s honeymoon polling period. I don’t think the Libs will get higher prefs from the Greens or other minors than 2013 in 2016, which was recently a popular theory.

  13. I’m with the “still a long way to go” crew. Been around long enough to have seen Labor lead 52-48 a couple of weeks out only to see the depressing reports of ‘late swing back to the government’ ( i.e. the LNP) to knock the stuffing out of a Labor surge. It is encouraging to see a raft of polls being stronger for Labor than the Coalition, but the electorate has not switched on yet. I just don’t get any feeling that anyone is really thinking “election” at the moment and while there is a general disenchantment for the LNP I don’t get the vibe – yet – as was the case when Hawke/Rudd were making progress to a Labor win. Here’s hoping in any event. However, I do get a general sense that the Libs are on the nose in WA……..but whether this translates votes/seats is yet to come.

  14. Corangamite, shorangamite. Read anything that William, Antony or Kevin B have said about single-seat polls -they don’t seem to have any faith in them at all.

  15. Question
    Friday, May 27, 2016 at 6:52 pm
    Friday, May 27, 2016 at 6:49 pm
    Imagine if Newspoll goes to 52-48. Shanahan and hacks will poo their pants.

    I expect Newspoll to go to 53-47.

    I think that’s a bit over optimistic Question. But if you’re right you will get full bragging rights.

  16. Slav G @6:45, my post @6:42 was referencing Ruawake @6:04 (I can’t see post numbers) and I took percentages from there. I forgot to refer to that post.

  17. Last time Labor breached 53 in a real Federal election was 1983 when 53.2. Gough got 52.7 in 1972 and Rudd 52.7 in 2007.

  18. Shorten was touted in the early days as a talented future labor leader.Hopefully its coming to fruition.

  19. The motion continues to be in Labor’s direction. This makes sense. The Liberals have nothing to campaign on. Labor’s themes are all about family well-being and security, construed in various ways. The juxtaposition has been working for Labor for months. It will keep on working for Labor.

  20. Reachtel is great news for Labor. If the LNP primary is 37.5 they’re toast.
    My spirits are up.
    Also 60% think Shorten got Trump just about right. This doesn’t hurt at all. Add Malcolm saying imagine if a US President said this about an Australian PM & everybody thinks “but, Abbott”!!
    This all plays straight into the ALP’s favor.

  21. I’m still saying we’ll (Labor) win.
    Something that no one, as far as I can tell, has commented on, is how disparate the different marginals are, which is why I find William’s seat breakdowns so informative. Thanks, Billbowe.

  22. Darn
    I predicted 53.5 for July 2 🙂
    Ipsos do 2 polls a week apart? that sounds like hard work…

  23. Glad to see Reachtel result. Good way to go into the weekend.

    By Sunday Morning Barrie Cassidy may have worked out that Morrison’s train wreck of a presser is more damaging than the Feeney mistakes.

    I am ignoring the seat poll for all the reasons mentioned above.

    Remember that pundits saying marginals are better for the LNP are probably listening to the LNP spin merchants. I have never seen the LOTO so happy while campaigning and yes it does come through.

    The attacks on Shorten over his Trump comments are probably because they wish they said it first.

  24. Sorry, my bad, I misread a poorly worded article in an attempt to post the figures before reachtel posted them.

  25. I live in safe Labor seat of Gorton in western suburbs of Melbourne. ALP here has run a postal vote campaign. I have helped out in ALP office and one of the jobs there is to collect data with postal campaigning like email, phone numbers etc. It is time consuming and costly but if you have the resources you should always run a postal campaign.

    In 2013 Libs ran the postal campaign as well. I also remember getting a phone call from Libs. I knew we were in for a bit of a hiding when Liberals were using resources in safe Labor seats.

  26. Denise Shrivell ‏@deniseshrivell 9m9 minutes ago
    Denise Shrivell Retweeted GhostWhoVotes
    LNP’s going to need a bigger cat… #auspol #ausvotes

    Tee hee 🙂

  27. steve777 @ #580 Friday, May 27, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Last time Labor breached 53 in a real Federal election was 1983 when 53.2. Gough got 52.7 in 1972 and Rudd 52.7 in 2007.

    In principle there’s no reason the Labor vote will not approach or surpass this level. The LNP actually have no policies at all. They have criticism of Labor but this will not register strongly with voters, who hear nothing but rowdy criticisms and invective from one week to the next even between elections. Criticism is easy. Voters know it and they’re either bored or angered by it. Mostly, negative rhetoric is a signal to voters to disengage, which is exactly what they do.

    They’re also highly mistrustful of the claims made by and of politicians. So the negative claims made of Labor by the LNP will subjected to a very heavy discount. Since the LNP have no positive themes, the policy messages will be dominated by Labor and this will impel voter choice.

    I cannot think of an election in which so little has been proposed by the LNP. They are trying to run and win without a campaign platform at all. It’s extraordinary.

    It’s notable the LNP have scarcely uttered a word on health or education. These are Labor territory. To campaign on them is to campaign for Labor. In WA, they have also had to give up on “Jobs and Growth” because these are also Labor themes this time around. Really, they have no messages that are relevant to voters that are unequivocally Lib-positive.

    The longer the campaign runs the more obvious this will be to voters and the less impressed they will be with Turnbot. There is great upside here for Labor as long as they can continue to promote their messages.

  28. So where is the swing back to the libs going to come from? Are people going to say: at least they’re a known quantity; at least they offer stability? I doubt it.
    Always said that my biggest worry was that Malcolm wouldn’t get enough exposure. He’s dying out there on the hustings.

  29. Massola says Turnbull has a ‘commanding’ 54.9 to 45.1 lead as PPM, but neglects to say that he had a 81-19 lead four months ago. Comic writer.

  30. Most of the reachtel state breakdowns are within about 0.5% of morgans, with exception of WA (heaps out)

    So maybe Morgans wasnt rogue, even thought its state results had a good trend (which adds legitimacy IMO), and it was a single week instead of previous two, i was starting to question it.

    There is often a swing back to the government at the last minute, so libs still have a chance, but trend is your friend, not sure what else they can try other than more fear.

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