BludgerTrack: 52.1-47.9 to Labor

Not much happening on the poll aggregate this week, but lots of news to report on preselections and related party shenanigans.

I’ve been a bit tardy updating BludgerTrack this week, but as you can see below, you haven’t been missing much. The moral of the story is that a single Essential Research result is unlikely to change much under the new set-up, particularly when, as present, it accounts for 16 out of 20 available data points. Things may be different when, presumably, Newspoll comes along either tonight or tomorrow night. No new numbers this week on leadership ratings. Keep reading below the fold for a whole bunch of material on party games, and also note that there’s a separate post below this one for presidential election discussion.

bt2019-2016-10-19

Other news:

• The Victorian branch of the ALP last week signed off on Kimberley Kitching as Stephen Conroy’s Senate replacement, following the Right faction warlord’s surprise retirement announcement in mid-September. Kitching is a lawyer with Cornwall Stodart, and was formerly a Melbourne City councillor and general manager of the troubled Health Services Union. The royal commission into trade union corruption recommended charges be pursued against Kitching relating to allegations she completed tests for workplace entry permits on behalf of union organisers, but none have been forthcoming in the two years since. Kitching was effectively unopposed in the vote by the party’s Public Office Selection Committee, as factional arrangements reserve the seat for the Right. She had won the Right’s backing ahead of Diana Taylor, former Clayton Utz lawyer and a director at the Geelong Football Club, who had support from Richard Marles, federal front-bencher and member for Corio. According to the Herald Sun, other nominees included “Warrnambool city councillor Jacinta Ermacora, former state member for Benalla Denise Allan, Maribyrnong councillor Sarah Carter and 2010 Young Victorian of the Year Wesa Chau”.

Kitching and her husband, Andrew Landeryou – whose VexNews blog trod on many a toe until he retired it in 2013 out of deference to his wife’s political ambitions – are both close to Bill Shorten. Reports have identified widespread criticism of Shorten’s actions within the party from mostly unidentified sources, although Anthony Albanese declined an opportunity to endorse Kitching, saying her preselection was “a matter for the Victorian branch”. Albanese also said there was “a case for ensuring that members have votes in Senate pre-selections” – true of the his own branch in New South Wales, but not in Victoria. Sarah Martin of The Australian reports that a Left-sponsored motion at the Victorian party’s state conference next month will propose “giving members a greater say in Senate preselections”.

Labor sources quoted by Katherine Murphy of The Guardian claim Shorten’s backing for Kitching was motivated by a desire to harness HSU numbers as he seeks to plug the gap in his factional network created by Conroy’s departure. James Campbell of the Herald Sun earlier reported that the sudden exit of Conroy was causing ructions in the Right, owing to a power-sharing agreement that had been reached between the secretaries of the Australian Workers Union, National Union of Workers, Transport Workers Union and the power bloc associated with state MP Adem Somyurek. It was understood at the time that the TWU vote was a proxy for the broader Conroy group, but it now stood to fall entirely to the union’s secretary, John Berger, leaving Conroy’s other allies out in the cold. Berger’s favoured candidate was Bill Baarini, TWU union officer and former mayor of Hobsons Bay, but Shorten concurred with a view that this would violate the party’s affirmative action rules.

• Further argybargy is unfolding in the Victorian ALP courtesy of a Left faction split between the “National Left”, associated with Anthony Albanese, and the breakaway “Industrial Left” of Victorian Senator Kim Carr. This was formalised after the election when a Left majority resolved to dump Carr from the front bench in favour of Linda Burney, the former New South Wales deputy state leader and newly elected member for Barton. Bill Shorten ensured Carr was accommodated by expanding the front bench, reflecting the importance of the “stability pact” between Carr and the Shorten-Conroy axis in managing affairs the Victorian branch’s affairs. However, the split meant Carr ally Gavin Marshall no longer had Left support to retain his position as Deputy President in the Senate, which has instead gone to Sue Lines from Western Australia.

Marshall last week foreshadowed preselections against Victorian members of the National Left, who include two shadow cabinet members in Jenny Macklin (Jagajaga) and Catherine King (Ballarat) and a junior front-bencher, Andrew Giles (Scullin). As James Massola of Fairfax reports, Marshall confirmed he was organising a challenge to Giles, although no candidate has been identified; claimed there was “discontent in Ballarat”, and that it was a “possibility” he would back a challenge to King; and suggested Macklin could be sure of being spared only because it was “well known that she is retiring”, which a spokesperson for Macklin denied.

• Bob Day, Family First Senator from South Australia, announced last week he would resign from his position after his home building group went into liquidation. Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reports that Day hopes to be succeeded by his chief-of-staff, Rikki Lambert, who shares his zeal for a pro-business line on workplace relations. However, he faces opposition from Robert Brokenshire, a Liberal-turned-Family First member of the state parliament, and perhaps also Lucy Gichuhi, a Kenyan-born lawyer who was Day’s running mate at the July 2 election.

• A motion moved by Tony Abbott at yesterday’s state council meeting of the New South Wales Liberal Party calling for democratised preselections was reportedly defeated by 246 votes to 174. This was pursued despite the concurrence of Malcolm Turnbull and Mike Baird that the proposed measure should feature among a range of reforms to be considered at a party convention next year, to which state council agreed. Abbott’s proposal would involve plebiscites of party members for all preselections, which is broadly favoured by the party’s hard Right and opposed by the centre Right and the moderates, since it would diminish the importance of the latter’s control of the state executive.

• A poll conducted by Research Now last month for the Australia Institute asked 1426 respondents to list their first and second favoured options for the government to negotiate with in getting legislation through the Senate, which found 54% rating Labor first or second compared with 42% for the Nick Xenophon Team, 32% for the Greens and 29$ for One Nation.

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.

707 thoughts on “BludgerTrack: 52.1-47.9 to Labor”

  1. Doyley and others:

    Thanks for the support.

    Lizzie:

    I certainly wasn’t counting you or Vic among the handful of commenters who routinely dedicate their efforts here to derailing discussion into their own personal obsessions. Neither of you behave like that.

  2. Bemused, you should throw off early 21st century shackles, and get on board with the aspirants who are changing the paradigm in the ballpark, to allow an integrated, holistic approach to the cognitive processes of all stakeholders. This is what it means to be agile, and innovative!
    Double somersaults with pike also help!

  3. ImaX,
    I argued with many of these Engineers turned managers/execs that they were wasting their talent moving to management. Some of them were great at managing engineering projects and terrible at managing company ‘units’ or ‘groups’ yet they saw this as the normal career path to be followed. I often wondered how well business managers with management degrees would have done instead.

    I have heard of an Australian Law firm that sacked all its execs from management roles, returned them to legal roles and brought in contract managers. Many of the lawyers were offended and grumbled until they realised their stock returns increased substantially.

  4. Bemused is, as per usual, correct.

    Confessions seems to have never had an original thought in her life, existing in this place for little reason other than to plagiarize ideas and to weakly insult those she deems to have less of a life than she claims to have.
    When called out, more often than not her and her defenders manipulate the discussion into a juvenile and irrelevent argument over the primary sex organs of those involved.
    Confessions is a bully, a pathetic one at that and I would think, a sadly insecure person.
    Her enablers compound and support the problem, rather than help her find a resolution to it.

  5. bemused @ #97 Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    simon katich @ #96 Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks Bemused. I shall have a look.
    I was privileged to watch an engineering company during the time it re-branded. Watching Engineers turned managers take on management fads and a large rebranding operation was a lesson in how stupid smart people can be.

    I always, stubbornly, tried to write and speak plain English without resort to management cliches and jargon. I just find them repulsive.

    See if you can locate the Ockham’s Razor segment. It gives you a good idea of what it is about.

  6. SK

    I have the same attitude to school principals, who (at least in Victoria) are now the equivalent of CEOs.

    If you wanted to be in management and not teaching, why do a teaching course in the first place?

  7. Wasn’t that Jeff Fenech
    as distinct from the great Roycie Simmons who said:
    “I’ll have a beer with youse all”

  8. gippslander @ #103 Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Bemused, you should throw off early 21st century shackles, and get on board with the aspirants who are changing the paradigm in the ballpark, to allow an integrated, holistic approach to the cognitive processes of all stakeholders. This is what it means to be agile, and innovative!
    Double somersaults with pike also help!

    English translation please. 😆

  9. Ted Whitten once said, “We stuck it up’em” following a victory over South Australia.
    Fess is no doubt feeling the same about all her detractors.

  10. zoomster @ #107 Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    SK
    I have the same attitude to school principals, who (at least in Victoria) are now the equivalent of CEOs.
    If you wanted to be in management and not teaching, why do a teaching course in the first place?

    It is good for a manager to understand the industry they are supposed to be managing. Any teacher inclined to pursue management within the education sector should ideally do some further education in management.
    But as in most professions, there should also be non-managerial career paths.

  11. I don’t know why Ministers reveal their ignorance so easily. Don’t they have advisors who look things up to prevent them putting their feet in their mouth?

    Senator Fifield, the minister with portfolio responsibility for the ABC, said he was “troubled” the public broadcaster did not accept Mr Dutton’s offer of a live interview during last Monday’s program.

    The ABC has already provided the explanation. Fifield must be taking Dutton’s word for it. Not very smart to take the word of the greatest conspiracy fan in the cabinet.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/mitch-fifield-wants-answers-about-four-corners-troubling-asylum-seeker-episode-20161022-gs8hqb.html

  12. Bemused, I found the Ockham’s Razor program – only transcript available.

    The Engineering company I knew actively discouraged staff from doing MBAs.

  13. OC
    Ahhhh, Royce Simmons. The great Pillow with Feet. Isnt there a photo of him in passionate embrace with Mark “The Tap” Geyer. And they say footy players are homophobic.

  14. Having wreck the joint for years along with fellow wreckers Pyne,Hockey,Morrison,Andrew,Bernardi,Briggs,Hunt etc.(i could go on forever) , the Lying Friar is finally being called out by most of the media for what he always has been, a boofhead bullyboy. Who could forget all those fawning journalist(i use this word loosely) failing in their duty to the voters to properly report his contempt for most of the conventions and customs that makes Australia what it is (or used to be). But instead of wrecking a legitimate, competent Labor goverment with their urging from the sideline, we now have the Lying Friar lashing out like beached shark but this time they are in in full defence mode for Talcum.
    I only wish Abbott is successful in wrecking this train wreck of a government but without people of integrity in the media i doubt this will ever happen.

  15. Simon
    Same thing has happened with IT and Business. IT employees moved to business manager roles (CIO) when their expertise is clearly not in managing. Universities have tried to respond to this by creating hybrid Business/IT programmes (and other hybrids across other disciplines) so at least the IT staff can be familiar with business jargon (marketing, HR etc) and vice versa. This creates a managerial class who are across several different aspects of the business but not specialists. Interesting to see in the real world there may be some reversion to more specialised roles.

  16. my translation was evidently lost in the aether. it might help to know that the original was in NewSpeak, a language designed to disguise a lack of meaning

  17. simon katich @ #114 Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Bemused, I found the Ockham’s Razor program – only transcript available.
    The Engineering company I knew actively discouraged staff from doing MBAs.

    There is some useful content in an MBA.
    The Finance, Strategy and HR stuff was good. Didn’t think much of Marketing.

  18. Greensborough Growler
    Re the coal industry’s supposed supporters on twitter, did you see after BuzzFeed expose, Matk tweeted all of the supposed tweeters accounts were deleted

  19. Simmons and Geyer
    http://consumer.fairfaxsyndication.com/archive/Royce-Simmons-and-Mark-Geyer-2F3XC5CD8C_4.html
    Apparently both were concussed during much of that epic grand final. Geyer said his last memory was having baked beans for breakfast and simmons said that other great line during his victory speech “Me! I scored them two tries! Me!”
    Compared to 1991 Rugby League is now a game for pussies or at least those who have been educated passed primary level”

  20. I must say that having semi-retired from being a surgeon to being a medical administrator, 35 years of being on the front lime was excellent preparation. I see my colleagues who have only worked for 2-3 years before going into administration struggle to understand how surgeons and other specialists think.

  21. Re: ABCC

    The key fact here is that in the long run labour market regulation (labour law) is substantially endogenous – that is it is a reflection of the development of the economy and not an imposition upon it. See:
    http://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/centre-for-business-research/downloads/working-papers/wp367.pdf

    It follows that labour market laws survive only if and when (and for as long as) they reflect community standards. Governments can impose changes only at the margin: for example if the Howard government had restricted itself to redefining the border of a small business as 25 FTE employees (cf. the then operative standard of 20 employees with unspecified hours) instead of 100 employees (hours still unspecified) they might have made a change that stuck.

    Now Labor has work to do in the construction industry: same situation as faced them in the 1980s, when the then government got on with it. The Rudd-Gillard approach of shutting down the original ABCC slowly, slowly, slowly … won’t cut it.

    The CFMEU has a lot of personally courageous people (in the trenches one wants a CFMEU member ahead of almost anyone else) and this is the basis of their effectiveness but it is combined with a culture that is troubling to many Australians, including what appears to a collection of tactical decisions to support the Greens (now apparently recanted).

    Unlike Rudd (who knew nothing whatsoever about unions) and Gillard (a union lawyer pursuing her clients’ interests) Shorten spent a decade outcompeting the CFMEU via a win-win approach. There’s no reason to believe he won’t do the same in office.

  22. Oakeshott

    I must say that having semi-retired from being a surgeon to being a medical administrator, 35 years of being on the front lime was excellent preparation. I see my colleagues who have only worked for 2-3 years before going into administration struggle to understand how surgeons and other specialists think.

    Alternatively they couldn’t cut it (pun intended) and so went into a less personally demanding job at which they are also sub-par. Unfortunately whilst it is less personally demanding to turn up for work as an administrator, the decisions made (in hospitals at least) have significant effects on health outcomes for the served population. There is a general problem in professional occupations wherein the least capable of the competent end up in positions having the most leverage.

  23. Relax, everyone. What Nicholas was trying to say was that the Greens have reached the 95% irrelevance threshold. In other words, Nicholas has just recognized an unpleasant fact: the Greens are useless.
    Labor, having been burned badly by the perfidious Greens in previous parliaments, now acts both as the official Opposition and the swing vote, the latter giving it the capacity to do what the Greens cannot do: negotiate some useful compromises with the Government.

  24. — There is a general problem in professional occupations wherein the least capable of the competent end up in positions having the most leverage —

    On one of my first projects leading a small team within a large engineering project I round myself having problems with the 2IC project manager. It was a senior draftsperson who took me aside and explained that I simply needed to ignore him and everything he said just like everyone else in the company ignored him.

    Why? I asked. Because his promotion to 2IC PM was to get him away from roles where he could cause actual damage and harm.

  25. OC
    LOL
    You just casually wiped off a couple of hundred thousand people as being incapable of doing anything.
    My guess is that you probably got through your primary and secondary education without a single teacher coming anywhere near you.
    BTW, real managers know that the most difficult class of people to manage effectively are narcissistic, insensitive, arrogant professional technical types who know everything already all the time, especially those the advanced people skills of a Trump.
    See? It is as easy as to trot out a few dreadful stereotypes.

  26. As I went to a school where 5 priests ended up in the slammer for kiddie fiddling it is probably a good thing I kept my distance
    You have described many if not most surgeons to a T, although I would add that they also have the emotional intelligence of a less developed adolescent – much easier to manage when you have been one yourself

  27. OC
    Bloody hell, that was a risky environment.
    Why would having been a surgeon make it easier to manage surgeons? I can think of reasons for and against the proposition.

  28. An anecdote
    Orthopaedic surgeon (strong as an ox and twice as smart) came to see me and wanted the public hospital to spend a lot of money on the latest toy.
    His arguments:
    a. You are endangering people’s lives by not buying this
    b. The private hospital is doing this do you think that public patients should receive less treatment than private
    I can well imagine that someone without a lot of experience of hospital politics might be intimidated by this approach but I said “I used to write this stuff. You have left out the next one: ‘”c. If it was your mother you would want her to have this.'” Appeals to emotions have little place in deciding how the public health dollar should be sent but if this is a valid argument you should be able to put together a business case that we can consider”
    Of course an adolescent often has episodes of enthusiasm that quickly disappear and are replaced by something else and so it was with this.

  29. I went to a school where 5 priests ended up in the slammer for kiddie fiddling

    It says something about this country that there are a substantial number of schools that could fit this description.

  30. Were you all aware that bird is the word and that Ecuador cut Jullian Aassange’s internet access along with his magazine subscription – Wild Girls 4 Well Hung Nerds that William is senior editor of? Heads up – only some this is true…

  31. Confessions – you need to apologise to all the old white and entitled crusty males with false teeth that smell like stale couch fart before they all…..err….die?

  32. Nina,

    When they die they don’t know they are dead and feel no pain . Only, their friends and relatives feel the pain.

    It’s the same when they are stupid and posting on PB.

  33. William – Can you please pressure the IT folks and enable full use of our emoticons. It’s 2016, I can’t live like this…

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