Highlights of week five

A mixed assortment of public holiday reading concerning the last week or so of the federal election campaign.

With nominations having closed on Friday and pre-polling opening tomorrow, there has been a frenzy of activity with preference negotiations:

• The Australian reports that Labor will not direct preferences in South Australia, and the Liberals will do likewise in South Australian seats safely held by Labor. The purpose of this is to clip the wings of the Nick Xenophon Team, and add some measure of credibility to Malcolm Turnbull’s and Bill Shorten’s insistence that they will not emerge from the election pleading for the support of cross-benchers in a hung parliament.

• In a similar spirit, Malcolm Turnbull has pulled rank on the Victorian Liberal Party organisation by announcing that the Greens will be placed behind Labor on all how-to-vote cards. This maintains a policy that was first adopted at the 2013 election, which slashed Liberal preference flows to the Greens from at least three-quarters to around a third.

• Labor’s part of this apparent bargain is that it will direct preferences to the Liberals ahead of the Nationals in the three-cornered contests of Murray in Victoria, and Durack and O’Connor in Western Australia.

News from the Victorian front:

• Daniel Andrews’ government in Victoria is at the centre of an ill-timed controversy over the state’s Country Fire Authority, which led to the resignation on Friday of his Emergency Services Minister, Jane Garrett, and the sacking of the board of the authority. At issue is a proposed enterprise agreement which would grant the United Firefighters Union powers over the management of the authority, such as it exercises over the non-volunteer Metropolitan Fire Brigade. The CFA board refused to sign the agreement on the basis that the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has ruled its effective bans on part-time work to be discriminatory. The issue is of heightened sensitivity in each of Victoria’s most marginal seats, since the boundary between the CFA and MFB zones runs well inside Melbourne’s suburbs, having been drawn in the distant past. Issues involving the CFA are acutely important in Corangamite, scene of the Surf Coast bushfires between Christmas and New Year; McEwen, which takes in some of the area affected by the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009; and La Trobe, which consists of urban fringe and semi-rural hinterland in Melbourne’s east. The issue is somewhat less pressing in the eastern Melbourne marginal of Deakin, but it nonetheless falls within the zone of the CFA. Corangamite, La Trobe and Deakin were the three seats won by the Liberals in 2013, and McEwen for Labor by a margin of 0.2% in the face of a 9.0% swing.

• In McEwen, however, the Liberals’ job is being complicated by their candidate. Chris Jermyn is back in the spotlight after Adam Gartrell of Fairfax provided a fascinatingly detailed account of his role in a social media project that emerged with nothing to show for $15 million in venture capital funding. The Liberal Party passed up an opportunity last weekend to disendorse Jermyn ahead of last Thursday’s nominations deadline.

• The Liberals are down a candidate in the unimportant northern Melbourne seat of Calwell, held for Labor by Maria Vamvakinou on a margin of 13.9%. This follows the resignation from the party of John Min-Chiang Hsu over a failure to declare a business interest on his preselection nomination form, namely an establishment that purports to be nothing less than the “best brothel in Frankston”. Since nominations close, Hsu will continue to be listed on the ballot paper as the Liberal candidate.


• After bowing out in Lyne at the 2013 election, Rob Oakeshott seeks to re-enter the fray in the seat of Cowper, which post-redistribution encompasses Port Macquarie, where his political career began in state parliament. Cowper is held for the Nationals by Luke Hartsuyker. Oakeshott says he would give Malcolm Turnbull “first go” at forming government if he again found himself holding the balance of power.

• Penrith councillor Marcus Cornish is running as an independent in Lindsay and directing preferences against the Liberal member, Fiona Scott. Cornish quit the Liberal Party in protest against the removal of Tony Abbott, and said Scott had “stabbed him in the back” by supporting Turnbull.

Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reports that Coalition internal polling has Tony Windsor’s primary vote in New England at just over 30%. The report says this would be “enough to topple the Deputy Prime Minister if preferences go Mr Windsor’s way”, but it’s difficult to say exactly how troubling the result would be for Barnaby Joyce without knowing his own primary vote.

• One parliamentarian and two candidates ran into trouble last week over Australian Defence Force guidelines against use of military uniforms in election campaigning. Andrew Hastie, who won the Canning by-election for the Liberals in September last year, refused to desist from using an image of himself in army fatigues on billboards that sold him as “not another politician”, which resulted in his dismissal this week from an army reserve unit. A similar threat has been made to Pat O’Neill, Labor’s candidate in the seat of Brisbane, and attention has been drawn to Labor candidate Mike Kelly’s use of such images in a pamphlet, which he claims to have been permissible by virtue of being “low key”. Fairfax reports that the ADF is considering asking the government to prohibit campainging in uniform under the Electoral Act.

• It has also emerged that Andrew Hastie did not declare his purchase of a home on March 27 before the dissolution of parliament in May 9, when parliamentary rules required he do so by April 24.


• Labor’s confidence about Herbert is said to relate to a promise made on May 10 to contribute $100 million to a 25,000 seat home stadium for the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.

• Barnaby Joyce has been able to shore up his position in New England this week by announcing $8.5 million in funding for a sports precinct in Tamworth, followed by a promise that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority would be relocated from Canberra to Armidale. Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reports that the latter initiative has displeased ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja and the National Farmers’ Federation, “which fears the valuable work done by the agency will suffer because many staff won’t go”.

Phillip Coorey in the Financial Review dissects “$1.7 billion worth of relatively minor announcements” since the campaign began, including a series of major road announcements last Monday. This included $42.6 million in funding for an upgrade of the Hann Highway in north Queensland, which forms part of a direct inland route from Cairns to Melbourne, and is thus of particular interest in Warren Entsch’s electorate of Leichhardt. In Tasmania, the battleground seats of Braddon, Bass and Lyons were respectively promised roads funding worth $4.5 million, $3.0 million and $1.1 million.

Betting markets:

• Sportsbet has responded quickly to the Liberals’ preference announcement by revising the Greens’ prospects downwards in all seats where it is thought to be competitive. In Batman, the payout on a Labor win has been slashed from $2.50 to $1.15, while the Greens are out from $1.50 to $4. The Liberals are now credited with favouritism in Murray, coming in from $2 to $1.50 while the Nationals are out from $1.70 to $2.50

• More generally, there has been fairly substantial movement to the Coalition on betting markets over the past week. On the Betfair exchange, the Coalition is in from $1.34 a week ago to $1.23, or from 75.2% to 81.3% in implied win probability terms. Labor is out from $3.85 to $4.80, or from 27.0% to 22.2%. In Sportsbet individual seat markets, both parties are now on $1.87 in Page, after Labor had $1.65 to $2.15 favouritism a week ago; the Liberals are in from $1.75 to $1.50 in Deakin, while Labor is out from $2 to $2.50; Peter Dutton is in from $1.35 to $1.10 in Dickson, with Labor out from $3 to $6; and Christian Porter is in from $1.20 to $1.01 in Pearce, with Labor out from $4.20 to $12. The chart below provides a measure of three agencies’ implied win probabilities for the election overall, derived from a composite of their odds on the Coalition and Labor.


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.

2,118 comments on “Highlights of week five”

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  1. How have the bookies gone with past tight elections? Did the bookies beat the pollsters in Queensland 2015, for instance?

  2. From the SMH…Fascinating decisions to be made in SA…

    Neither side has said who they will preference in South Australia where the Independent Senator Nick Xenophon is at risk of winning three seats from the Liberals, including the seat of Mayo currently held by the dumped former junior minister Jamie Briggs who was forced to quit after an incident in a Hong Kong bar.
    The Labor source said “There is no deal from Labor to preference the Nick Xenophon Team or the Liberals in SA,” meaning the door is still open to a potential deal.
    Senator Xenophon said (NXT) is maintaining its position to run open tickets for all seats but “reserved the right to revisit that position if the major parties do this deal.” He is threatening the so-called “nuclear option” which would see NXT votes directed against the incumbent MP in all lower house seats if the major parties preference swap each other.
    Neither Labor or Liberal sources were willing to go on record about any negotiations had with NXT.
    Labor is considering directing preferences to NXT in the seats of Mayo, Grey and Barker, which opposition sources believed could help the NXT win the seats from the Liberals. There is also an outside chance that such a deal could put Cabinet Minister Christopher Pyne’s seat of Sturt at risk. In return the Opposition would seek preferences in the seat of Hindmarsh which is lost in the 2013 election.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/federal-election-2016-labor-to-preference-votes-to-the-greens-20160612-gphhk1.html#ixzz4BOzXufV5
    Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

  3. phoenixRED Monday, June 13, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Labor revives hopes for superfast internet

    LABOR has promised to give millions of long-suffering internet users faster speeds while it attacked the present national broadband scheme and its creator, Malcolm Turnbull.

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he could deliver a fibre-to-the-premises National Broadband Network to at least 2 million households without adding to the cost of the current copper wire-based scheme, which he would junk.


  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. From the previous thread.

    America shows once again what a wonderful nation it is.
    It looks like the shooter was mentally unstable.
    Of course Trump is a great help!
    Labor’s preference nominations should not really come as a surprise.
    Nick Xenophon will retaliate massively if the major parties gang up on him says Michelle Grattan.
    Today is the day that the NBN comes onto the election table. And so it should! They should out the icing on the cake and indicate the differences in running and maintenance costs over and above the headline establishment cost.
    Here’s Michelle Grattan on the NBN.
    Jess irvine laments the fact that the economy is front of stage in this campaign.
    The AFR says Turnbull must really step up quickly and explain “Jobs and Growth”. Google.
    Why low interest rates have failed to spur business investment. It’s demand that drives investment more than the cost of money.
    Abbott’s “chaotic, dangerous” MH17 plan revealed – and it’s not pretty.

  5. Section 2 . . .

    Will this potential Presidential candidate “do a Nader” on Trump?
    Surely this will give a good read on the value of the modern donkey vote. The bloody anti-vaxxers snag the top NSW senate paper spot.
    James Massola lets fly at Di Natale’s hypocritical dummy spit.
    Tom Switzer writes on changed attitudes towards the US.
    Let’s ditch the Queen’s Birthday holiday for something that matters.
    The BREXIT poll is a scary exercise in democracy.
    “View from the Street” on the ballot paper ballots, Oakeshotte’s return, Barnaby Joyce and the troubles for some Liberal candidates.
    Andrew Bolt goes troppo over what Turnbull said about the Tasmanian floods. Google.
    Urban Wronski says that Turnbull was wading around in deep water in Tassie.
    Will Trump’s presence lead the US into a new wave of liberal renaissance?

  6. Sorry wrong link on the muslim statement I will look for it elsewhere. Its worth sharing. Far and wide. It may help stop suicide by some young muslim LGBTI youth.

  7. wilw: Shoutout to pro-gun Republicans who took a break from passing anti-LGBT laws to offer thoughts and prayers to LGBT victims of gun violence.

    USAembassyinOZ: We thank Australians for their thoughts and prayers and calls for action. #Orlando https://t.co/hoTzAAGv7u

  8. Morning all. What a delightful character the Texas Governor is!

    A “reap what you sow” tweet from Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick that went out hours after approximately 50 people were killed at a Florida LGBT nightclub has been deleted amid backlash.

    At precisely 7 a.m. Sunday Dan Patrick tweeted a photo with the words of Galatians 6:7. The verse reads, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

    The Twitterverse circled the tweet, commenting that it was inappropriate and insensitive considering the context of the day’s events. The Texas Democratic Party called for Patrick to apologize.

    “Tweeted as new breaks of mass casualties at a gay nightclub. Vile,” one Twitter user said. “Have you no shame?”

    Patrick’s adviser Allen Blakemore issued a statement explaining that the tweet was an unfortunate coincidence.


  9. Sad to see guns destroying lives again. The USA’s stupidity about guns keeps on killing their citizens but they still will not act.
    I am not sure Xenophon’s threat to preference all sitting member’s last would work well enough against the sitting members to stop the deal being done. Even if it did cost the Liberals Hindmarsh having Labor put NXT last would save them Mayo, Grey and Barker. I guess it depends on how the Liberals think they are going in those seats and perhaps Boothby as well.
    However it might be a moot point because Labor might decide to preference NXT anyway as Xenophon’s threat is no danger to any of their seats.

  10. lpolgreen: There was an armed security guard at Pulse, who was unable to take out Mateen. Will be interesting to see how that plays out in gun debate.

  11. MagdaSzubanski: Sympathy not enough @TurnbullMalcolm Send a real message. U talk freedom Give us our rights. #marriageequality #standinsolidarity #lovewins

  12. So what do the hate filled RWNJs in the US (and a few in Australia) do now?

    Do they condemn the gunman because he is a muslim? Or do they not condemn him because his victims were presumably all gay? How will the anti-gay religious right react? Would Trump and others call this a terrorist act if the gunman was a member of the some “christian” group?

    Were Abbott still PM, he would have tried to profit from this shooting in the election campaign. Hopefully Turnbull will not.

  13. $100Million per year for 10 years to ‘save’ the Great Barrier Reef is just pissing in the ocean. $16Billion is what is needed.

  14. ‘Terrific opportunity to see the great southern land’: Anger as $75,000 NBN jobs are advertised in IRELAND.

    Another stuff-up by Turnbull and his Jobsngrowth mantra?

    The Communication Workers Union has hit out against the ads, calling them a pitch to Irish backpackers, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

    Greg Rayner, CWU National Secretary accused the Liberal Government of sending jobs offshore.

    ‘This is Australia’s biggest job creating infrastructure project and with youth unemployment over 10 per cent we need these job here and now,’ he told the publication.

    The communication Workers Union has hit out against the ads, calling them a pitch to Irish backpackers

    The communication Workers Union has hit out against the ads, calling them a pitch to Irish backpackers

    The National Broadband Network is currently in the processing of doubling its construction workforce to 9000 people

    The National Broadband Network is currently in the processing of doubling its construction workforce to 9000 people

    Jim Metcher, the union’s NSW Branch Secretary described the recruitment as a ‘disgrace’ and said jobs will be ‘dished out to workers in Kilkenny, not Sydney.’

    The National Broadband Network is currently in the processing of increasing its workforce to 9000 people.

    It hopes to connect eight million homes by 2020, the publication reported.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3637770/Anger-75-000-NBN-jobs-Australia-advertised-Ireland.html#ixzz4BPIbsgP4
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  15. It’s billion dollar cheques at 5 paces, now. “Working on it for months”, says Hunt. Colour me suspicious.

    MALCOLM Turnbull will today unveil a $1 billion Great Barrier Reef Fund to help farmers cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce toxic chemical run-off.

    In his biggest financial election commitment to date – and one that will boost his climate change credentials – the Prime Minister will travel to Townsville to outline a concessional loan scheme that encourages farmers to make properties more environmentally-friendly and energy efficient.

    The pledge – which dwarfs Labor’s $500 million – will be operated by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which Tony Abbott tried to kill off under his government.


  16. Is Malcolm going to front up to the Lib’s press conference on the NBN? I bet not.
    If Labor is going to 39% fibre, I assume there will be much greater opportunity to purchase a fibre connection (if you have cable)

  17. Oscar Pistorius is set to be sentenced for murder and is looking at 15 years. I found this interesting as to reasons why the sentence should be lenient.

    Also back is Pistorius’s barrister, Barry Roux. He’s likely to rely on the argument that the convicted murderer has already suffered enough.

    Pistorius has lost his girlfriend, income, prestige, and he’s about to lose his freedom. The last time Pistorius was in court, he looked gaunt and pale.

    “lost his girlfriend”?
    Well yes, but only because he murdered her.

  18. and he’s about to lose his freedom

    Um, that’s what rightly happens to murderers who have caused other people to lose their lives!

  19. Lizzie
    Re Turnbull’s 1Bn for Reef.
    Another cynical smoke and mirrors exercise from Hunt and Turnbull which is actually a net negative for the Reef. It actually increases emissions!
    1) The money has been diverted from the Clean Energy Finance corporation – money specifically allocated to reduce the very emissions that are killing the reef.
    2) These are not part of any regulatory action plan to reduce pollution runoff, simply an offer of low cost loans which get repaid, if the farmers can be bothered with getting into debt in the first place, at a fucking profit to the government.
    This is a massive fail for the Reef and should be called out loudly for what it is, a cynical, manipulative exercise by the Master of Disingenuous Bullshit, Mr Greg Hunt.

  20. Trog

    The money has been diverted from the Clean Energy Finance corporation

    I was going to add a note to that effect but had to take a telephone call.

    a cynical, manipulative exercise by the Master of Disingenuous Bullshit, Mr Greg Hunt.

    Couldn’t agree more.

  21. grace pettigrew ‏@broomstick33 · 1h1 hour ago

    #ALP #NBN means Coalition porked electorates now with #FTTN will be left behind as #FTTP rolled out to neglected electorates. Karma #auspol

  22. political_alert: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is in Western Sydney with Jason Clare and Ed Husic to announce Labor’s #NBN plan, 10.15am #ausvotes #auspol

  23. The money for the Reef is from the Clean EnergyFinance Corporation.

    It is not new money. It is money diverted from Clean Energy to environmental issues.

    And by the way, what’s Turnbull doing telling a supposedly independent organization how they can spend their money?

    Or is he just reducing their budget?

  24. So, as I understand it, if you combine cable (about 40 % of the population) and fibre (labor will promise 39%) you will be heading towards a good system because cable can be upgraded a lot more than ADSL (as I learnt on this blog).

  25. Libs pursued Shorten to blacken his name, but…

    Parliamentary staff were working for the Liberal-linked software company that has transferred large sums of money to the party exceeding $1 million, emails obtained by Fairfax Media show.

    The emails suggest that government staff were simultaneously doing work for Parakeelia Pty Ltd, a company that MPs pay $2500 a year in taxpayer allowances to use its Feedback software. Parakeelia has in turn become the Liberals’ second-biggest source of income.

    “Training sessions are provided regularly and there is no cost involved,” a 2014 email from Sallyann Innes obtained by Fairfax reads.

    Ms Innes was operating a private email address linked to Parakeelia and listed as “training and operations” director for Feedback software. She regularly ran support workshops for the software in capital cities.

    But at that time she was listed in staff directories as collecting a taxpayer-funded salary as a government media adviser in Parliament House.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/government-staffers-provided-free-training-for-liberal-software-donor-20160612-gphdz9.html#ixzz4BPWeyUsn

  26. Turnbull on AM this morning gave an ex tempre speech about the Orlando shootings.

    On and on he went, droning endlessly about “our freedoms”, and of course he worked “terrorism” into it whenever he could.

    Quite frankly, whether the shooter was Muslim, Catholic, Baptist or a worshipper of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, shooting 50 people is small-t “terrorism”, and I can’t see why finding out whet it’s small-t or big-T “Terrorism” would make it worse, or somehow better.

    50 people are dead, the guns and ammo were purchased last week, easily… that is the problem. The rest is semantics.

  27. Maybe if we could dispense with the marriage plebiscite, we could reduce the potential for injury to LGBTI people in this country.

  28. Mark Ludlow ‏@M_Ludlow · 2m2 minutes ago

    So, biz case for new Townsville sports stadium says it doesn’t stack up, but PM commits $100m to secure 1 seat in Nth Qld?!

  29. BB:
    You know what I’m wondering? In a land where everyone and their dog carries a gun, why didn’t anyone try to take out the shooter(s)?

  30. Yesterday morning a post from Doyley reported on a Courier Mail item regarding two ReachTel polls, one in QLD and one in NSW, which had been organised by Getup. The QLD result was 51-49 Liberal and the NSW one 50-50.

    I suspected that they were both individual seat polls, but the context of the post seemed to be suggesting that they were state wide polls, which would have been a remarkably good result for Labor.

    I posted a request for clarification on this and monitored the blog until I had to go out for the rest of the day but to my knowledge there was no response. So I want to ask again, can Doyley or anyone else please shed any light on this for me?

  31. DARN – The whole context was of state-wide polls. I wonder if the Murdochracy suddenly realised they were bad news and buried them.

  32. The nightclub in Orlando Florida with the shootings is a gay dance club. Who knows what motives are involved.

    There was an on-duty policeman there and he did return fire. Obviously a bit late, but the impression I got was that he put a halt to it by forcing the gunman to take cover.

    The only problem was that 50 people were already dead.And this is the problem. The Americans are obsessed with punishing the perpetrators, not prevention.

    Many would see that death of the shooter as some kind of weird “closure”, almost evening the balance sheet.

  33. Hope Trent Zimmerman is reflecting on our ‘discussion’ on Saturday morning –

    Labor’s NBN plan hits Turnbull where it hurts, posing big questions on FTTN

    In announcing a policy to ditch Malcolm Turnbull’s favoured method of broadband delivery entirely, Labor has made a political decision that will play well with large portions of the electorate, who have never been sold on the idea that his decision to pursue fibre to the node (FTTN) was technically or financially prudent.

    …..its decision to return large parts of the NBN to fibre …….is a bold move that hits the government (and particularly the Prime Minister) in a notable weak spot.

    While the PM and NBN executives have claimed to have set right a broadband plan that was spiralling out of control under Labor, the government has essentially pursued a policy of making do with a second-best technology option, while at the same time professing to be driving an Innovation Agenda based on Australia becoming a world leader for tech companies.

    …those that have been connected to FTTN already, or who have missed out on the NBN so far in relevant areas, will be back on the path to FTTP under Labor.

    …The Coalition will also inevitably hit hard at Labor’s cost claims and ability to deliver on its plans. It may also make the dubious claim that increased fibre to the premise was already on the cards under its own multi-technology-mix plans.

    Either way it is Labor that will want broadband on the election agenda more than the government. After the ugly scenes of police raids seeking the source of leaks about problems in the FTTN rollout in May, the government will be hoping this policy passes by in the public holiday downtime.


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