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.

Elsewhere:

• 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.

Pork-barrelling:

• 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.

2016-06-13-betting-markets

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. [It wouldnt be inaccurate to change the title of Pollbludger to ‘smart arsed anonymous bullshit’.]
    The comments section, that is. Not William’s blogging.

    William is not anonymous.

  2. Colton

    American pundits are saying that Sanders is a hero of the Democratic party not a hero for getting young voters engaged.

    Clinton and Sanders are going to work together. There will be a big role for Sanders in the Democratic Party future. Lost of Senators want access to his email list of voters.

  3. On this Parakeelia scam, which as a liberal voter disgusts me, could the liberal party turn it on labor in that a similar thing occurs with unions? Say for example (and on topic) the UFU in Victoria gets a pay rise from Labor, then the unions then collect higher union fees and can then make larger donations to labor?

  4. STEEL BLADE – Are you saying that, despite the advertised odds on a labor win, if I tried to lay some money the betting sites might not take that bet?

  5. Isaac, it’s not the same as funneling Commonwealth funds to the Liberal party.
    But I’m sure that won’t stop them from trying…

  6. c@tmomma @ #1999 Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I think I’ll try that again *blush*
    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull brushed aside questions about Parakeelia and whether its links to the Liberal Party were appropriate on Wednesday.
    Mr Turnbull said it was a matter for the party organisation.
    However, if every Member of Parliament in the Liberal and National parties has availed themselves of the services of the software provided by Parakeelia, and they are standing for election by the people right now, then the matter becomes one for the people, NOT the Liberal Party organisation to deal with.

    The PM “has questions to answer”. (I think I’ve heard that before.) If the PM cannot satisfy the public with his answers, the public will satisfy themselves with their votes.

    This story confirms everything that voters believe to be true about politicians and the parties that instal them in office…that they are corrupt, deceitful, have the hands in the till and are unaccountable….

    Hopefully, voters will take their resentment, their mistrust and their sense of indignation with them when they go to their polling places…and then vote to remove the LNP from office.

  7. isaac logan @ #2006 Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    On this Parakeelia scam, which as a liberal voter disgusts me, could the liberal party turn it on labor in that a similar thing occurs with unions? Say for example (and on topic) the UFU in Victoria gets a pay rise from Labor, then the unions then collect higher union fees and can then make larger donations to labor?

    No, because it is not a Union funneling money from pay rises to Labor MPs who then donate it to the party. Also, there is no ‘services rendered’ component wrt the transaction. So it’s a duck that won’t fly.

  8. Would I be correct in assuming Malcolm Tunbull’s office also uses the Parakeelia software, and so he’s also paid for it out of his electoral allowance?

  9. The Ziggy and Parakeelia stuff is so inside politics as to be utterly irrelevant, which is why Ziggy wrote the article, why Turnbull doesn’t care about it, and why the Liberals happily fund their political operations from the public purse.

    Voters just don’t grasp that stuff.

  10. Colton, calm the farm!

    Firstly, if Clinton wins, fine – we dodge the Trump bullet and we’ll see if she’s as progressive as she claims and as you seem to think.
    Secondly, yes I know several Americans, ranging from supporters of Hillary to Bernie to non-Trump Republicans. Where are you going with this? The Bernie supporters are concerned about Hillary’s policies, political baggage and falling polls.
    Thirdly, the ‘paid shill’ issue has merit here, given that her PAC was spending large amounts on having people ‘correct’ others on social media.
    I’m hardly a ‘Bernie Bro’ but I don’t see any legit reason to be so vitriolic toward Sanders, even Obama has acknowledged the positive effect he has had on the Democratic party. He could have nailed her on her corruption but instead only attacked on policy.
    Chill out

  11. isaac logan @ #2006 Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    On this Parakeelia scam, which as a liberal voter disgusts me, could the liberal party turn it on labor in that a similar thing occurs with unions? Say for example (and on topic) the UFU in Victoria gets a pay rise from Labor, then the unions then collect higher union fees and can then make larger donations to labor?

    Nah…but the donations by the banks to the Liberals could be counted as payments for services rendered…or as subventions paid to their subsidiaries…

  12. Briefly,

    This story confirms everything that voters believe to be true about politicians and the parties that instal them in office…that they are corrupt, deceitful, have the hands in the till and are unaccountable….

    The thing that gets my mouth agape in disbelief at this is that there must be backroom functionaries in the Coalition whose waking moments are spent dreaming up these scams!

    I hope, therefore, that Bill Shorten gets the chance to go through them like a dose of salts after the election. And their mates in the money-making business aka the Banks and Financial Institutions.

  13. 1934pc @ #1970 Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    “”Another Court decision I like today. Racists lost in opposing mosque in Bendigo””
    I’m more afraid of institutional child-raping christian churches than mosques in Australia thanks. Clean up your own mess before you start drumming up fear in people that don’t pray to the same sky-fairy.
    How about how many Mosques in Bradford England?
    Be afraid be very afraid!.
    http://mosques.muslimsinbritain.org/maps.php#/borough/Bradford

  14. Sanders = Greens
    same same.
    Same historic role: 100% of nothing is better than 50% of anything.
    Same historic role: Turnbull’s besties; Trump’s bestie.

  15. Sorry, this should have been after the quote…

    I’m more afraid of institutional child-raping christian churches than mosques in Australia thanks. Clean up your own mess before you start drumming up fear in people that don’t pray to the same sky-fairy.

  16. Colton: “I will continue to talk Sanders down for as long as he selfishly tries to steal a nomination that he has not earnt.”
    I know you are highly emotional on this issue and probably not open to argument about it. But, from my perspective, Sanders entered a contest that he was permitted to enter, and he did pretty well: winning far more states and delegates than other contenders in past primary processes who have battled on well into the campaign.
    You obviously share the view of many in the Democratic Party hierarchy who basically “annointed” Hillary as the nominee several years ago (almost as far back as when Obama won in 2008) and cleared the decks for her by making sure other credible candidates didn’t run. Sanders was more or less a joke candidate – outside the mainstream and not even a party member until recently – yet he performed extremely well, except in a bunch of Southern states which aren’t going to figure in the November result.
    Although you and many others seem to think it’s the case, the Democrat nomination doesn’t “belong” to Hillary or the Clinton family. I personally believe that, if she wins, Hillary will be a fair average quality President and her election will serve as some sort of a symbolic triumph for American women (albeit tempered by the undeniable fact that a lot of the “brand value” that will have brought her to the White House will come from the fact that she is married to a popular former President).
    And she’s still got to win it yet: she’s not a great campaigner and she carries a lot of baggage, although it seems to me that the Orlando shootings have put Trump onto the back foot at just the wrong time, so her task might be easier than I had thought.
    But I thought Sanders performed very well and can also be credited, unlike Hillary, of really standing for something in a policy sense. His policies are way too left wing for my liking (I much prefer Hillary’s), but I admire the clarity of his message and the way it cut through with voters in the swing states.

  17. teh_drewski @ #2021 Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    The Ziggy and Parakeelia stuff is so inside politics as to be utterly irrelevant, which is why Ziggy wrote the article, why Turnbull doesn’t care about it, and why the Liberals happily fund their political operations from the public purse.
    Voters just don’t grasp that stuff.

    Written and authorised by A Cynical Voter.

  18. “It seems you have a rather low opinion of the voters.”
    It’s funny how quickly that happens.
    About eight months as Prime Minister seems to do the trick.

  19. colton @ #1974 Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 4:45 pm
    Thanks for the advice but if its all the same to you I will continue to talk Sanders down for as long as he selfishly tries to steal a nomination that he has not earnt.
    Cheers.
    Colton, I, like MTBW, don’t want to hear your groupie cheers. When Hillary finally releases the transcripts to her Wall Street speeches, you feel free to post them here.

  20. I’ll cop to being cynical, but next time you’re in your local big city mall, ask an assortment of voters how they feel about Parakeelia and the caretaker conventions, without explaining first.

    I bet “sorry mate not today” tops the survey results, followed by “what’s that about parrots?” and “the what?”

  21. B.C. Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:16 pm
    Would I be correct in assuming Malcolm Tunbull’s office also uses the Parakeelia software, and so he’s also paid for it out of his electoral allowance?

    *****************************************************
    So ????? ……. what if he does – what if he uses Cayman Islands to protect his wealth …. the Australian Media could care less …. hey ….. let us vote who gets kicked off Master Chef or The Voice – that’s MORE important than all this LNP/ALP waste of time crap. ….. bloody waste of a Saturday to have to vote ……. anyways Mal’s already told us on tonights news he has won already …..

  22. Would I be correct in assuming Malcolm Tunbull’s office also uses the Parakeelia software, and so he’s also paid for it out of his electoral allowance?

    That’s something he needs to answer. Hopefully he’ll be sitting stark naked (metaphorically speaking) on qand and will not be able to fob it off or do a runner. Tony Jones will show his true colours if the question is asked. That moment (if it arises) could be a significant point in the election.

  23. Off topic, but this afternoon I received a survey from the Monash Accident Research Centre. “Driver Safety Survey for drivers not involved in a crash (‘control drivers’)”.

    Apparently my car was photographed passing the spot where “a driver suffered a crash” some weeks earlier. In effect, they’re asking me why I didn’t have one at the same spot. It was a straight stretch on a fairly quiet road. I suspect it was a hoon who lost it, but they don’t provide the time of day it happened.

    Very, very comprehensive analysis of my driving history and behaviour on the road. I shall enjoy sharing my good driving record (!) and hope it helps them.

  24. Question; i agree its time for conspiracy theories re Morgan. Look back to December they always release Monday, there where only 2 exceptions, and they came out Tuesday.
    My guess is that they dont want to look bad with a rogue looking poll, they will do an unscheduled release on Monday that may or may not include the two weekends just gone.
    Either way its hard to trust Morgan now, delaying tactics like this are the things Newspoll did in their darkest times.

  25. The questions to Turnbull are simple:

    1. Do you use Feedback in your electorate office?
    2. Do you know who owns and operates the company that produces and maintains Feedback?
    3. If yes to question 2, have you known this from day one? (Plus supplementary)
    Were you concerned at all about invoicing taxpayers for money you knew, one way or the other, would be going straight back into Liberal Party coffers?
    4. Are Liberal MPs required by the party to use Feedback? (Plus supplementaries)
    What happens if someone doesn’t want to use it?
    What happens if someone “bought” it and then leave or are deselected by the Liberal Party (ala Dennis Jensen?)? As a sitting MP, isn’t it his to use, as a taxpayer-funded resource, until he is defeated at an election?

    I would be interested to hear him try to waffle his way out of this. Purchasing and using Feedback is not merely an issue for the Liberal Party Office to deal with. All Liberal MPs sign their life away on the invoice from Parakeelia, authorising the department that manages electorate and senatorial offices to pay the company on behalf of the MP.

    It is not something they can wash their hands of when their fingerprints are all over it.

  26. boerwar @ #2026 Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Boer, I think you’re to kind to you-know-who. Their project is aimed at deconstructing and disabling the political order from within. They are only little jack-hammers in t-shirts and visors, but they are still chipping away all the time at the legitimacy and functionality of the Parliamentary processes. I think the time is approaching when Labor will have to dump them for good and all. They are ill-intentioned…

  27. [Uhlmann’s got the LNP on aggregate losing just ten seats]
    Uhlmann, giving up on journalism and taking up punditry? That has merit.

  28. Colton,

    Post on comrade. Your erudite analysis of the Bernie Sanders and the dribbling whiners known as his Sadersnista supporters is fair , reasonable and understated. they can just continue to suck up the fact that their guy had his pants pulled down.

    Really stick it to the Hillary bashers.

    They’ll love her when she wins!

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