ReachTEL: 54-46 to Labor

A GetUp! commissioned poll records the government sinking, One Nation nudging into double figures, and widespread hostility to the government’s shakedown of welfare recipients.

The Fairfax papers report that a ReachTEL poll commissioned by GetUp! has Labor leading 54-46 (I wouldn’t normally give a non-media poll its own post, but you take what you can get at this time of year). When responses for a separate follow-up question prompting the 7.8% undecided are integrated into the result, the primary votes are Liberal 33.8% and Nationals 3.2% (a combined 37.1%, compared with 42.0% at the election), Labor 35.0% (up 0.3% on the election), Greens 9.8% (down 0.4%) and One Nation 10.6%.

The poll also finds 46.2% supporting and 31.8% opposing the government “stopping the automated debt collection system”, though I wonder if the wordiness of the preceding explanation* and the negatively framed question might have caused confusion, resulting in opposition being understated. Certainly that might help to explain the finding that more respondents (49.8%) said the system had made them less likely to vote for the Coalition than said they wanted it stopped. Of the remainder, 14.4% said it had made them more likely to vote for the Coalition, while 35.8% said it would make no difference.

A GetUp!-styled money shot question found 82.2% responding that “cracking down on corporate tax dodging” should be a “higher priority for the Turnbull government”, compared with 17.8% who favoured recovering debts from Centrelink overpayments, with even Liberal voters dividing two to one in favour of the former option. A further question had 78.6% responding that the burden of proof in establishing wrongful overpayment should fall on Centrelink, compared with 21.4% for the recipient – though here too the question is a bit wordy for my tastes**.

The automated phone poll was conducted on Thursday from a sample of 2126.

* “The Turnbull Government recently started using an automated system issuing tens of thousands of letters to Australians about alleged debts from Centrelink overpayments. The Government admits that at least 20% of these letters are incorrect, but the burden is on Centrelink clients to correct the information or pay the debt. Do you support or oppose the Government stopping the automated debt collection system?”

** “The Turnbull Government has acknowledged significant errors in the Centrelink automated debt collection system. Where there are potential errors, do you think the burden should be on Centrelink to verify their claims against information they already have on file or on the individual to defend themselves, which may include accessing pay slips and employment records from up to five years ago?”

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.

2,415 comments on “ReachTEL: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. Comments were made yesterday in my household about whether there was a ‘fix’ on with the cricket given Australia’s woeful performance and Pakistan’s somewhat incredible turnaround.

    If Smith didn’t wear every dropped catch, missed chance, run conceded on his face then I’d be inclined to buy into that. But you can tell looking at Smith that that was a genuine loss.

  2. The right wing of the LNP have a large sway on Mal at the moment. I wonder how far to the right would they take policies if they had the political numbers in both houses. What would the public s right wing support be?

  3. What do the Liberals do if the polls continue in this vein – change leaders? Tough it out? Go down swinging?

    History shows that they go for the first alterntive.

  4. I think LNP is turning me back into a doll bludger, my job pays me $18.20 an hour working 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week.

    I get roughly $1000 a fortnight under section 24 (single income Pension till my wife gets stage 2 visa), after my wife gets her stage 2 she is eligible for her Centerlink stuff.

  5. itzadream @ #14 Monday, January 16, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Excellent links from Frednk and Barney to start the day, and well worth re-reposting it here from the old thread.
    The Hamptons are indefensible”.

    It’s a very interesting watch, but full credit goes to Frednk.
    I watched a few videos last night and mistakenly thought his was one of the follow ons when I reposted it. 🙂

  6. It’s a pity that social media bloggers like Andrew Elder and Urban Wronski can’t have their work recognised in a national awards forum like the Walkleys. Though they probably wouldn’t want it, being as it’s such an exemplar of the things they rail against.

  7. The Centrelink debacle is a perfect example of government run as a business rather than, you know, the representative body for a whole bunch of actual people.

    Rising star and numbers whizz Porter is tasked with outsourcing the recovery program to external management consultants (in this case BCG) who advise that 25% is an “acceptable” error level.

    Any politicial operator with an ounce of common sense would immediately realise that this would result in hundreds of thouseands of incorrect assessments and is grossly inadequate. How many “dead” or otherwise ineligible people incorrectly received cheques in the Rudd stimulus program? Would a 25% error rate been “acceptable” to the media and Opposition at the time?

  8. Is the PHON still practicing the policy of voting against sitting members? If so, then it’s a REAL threat to the Coalition (they poll better in Coalition seats, IIRC).

  9. Bob’s Uncle

    Rising star and numbers whizz Porter is tasked with outsourcing the recovery program to external management consultants (in this case BCG) who advise that 25% is an “acceptable” error level.

    This is a joke, of course.

  10. Morning all

    Hard to tell with the latest SNL skit with Alec Baldwin reprising his role as Trump, what part is parody! Scarifying.

    Anyhoo five days to inauguration. Still feel that the Trump Presidency is going to be undone and that Mike Pence won’t be Next in line either. We are living in interesting times

  11. Are you up and about Kay Jay

    I meant to tell you that yesterday my 7 hour drive was to walk the “halls” of an institution at which you would have been at home. Nursies everywhere, big and little, young and old, men and women.

    To reflect on Yes Minister, it was a 1:1 ratio ward, so thankfully quite few of those terrible patients who ruin the efficient operation of good, decent hospitals, and plenty of nurses with all of whom I am sure you would have established an instant rapport, if not a deep relationship.

  12. psyclaw @ #67 Monday, January 16, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Are you up and about Kay Jay
    I meant to tell you that yesterday my 7 hour drive was to walk the “halls” of an institution at which you would have been at home. Nursies everywhere, big and little, young and old, men and women.
    To reflect on Yes Minister, it was a 1:1 ratio ward, so thankfully quite few of those terrible patients who ruin the efficient operation of good, decent hospitals, and plenty of nurses with all of whom I am sure you would have established an instant rapport, if not a deep relationship.

    I am up and about. I have finished the first of four lawn sections.
    See my email address above.
    Am very interested in your considered advice.
    I loved the nursies and I had one of the old timers here the other day. Wonderful.
    I being No 14 trolley man used to run the patients (on trolleys) up a slope from the emergency ward to the main section of the hospital at a fast trot, approaching a gallop. Cetain selected customers only and at no extra cost. They loved it.
    Bye
    KJ
    Tooroo podna.

  13. @ Lizzie, that’s what I’ve heard from someone apparently in the know. Is it at all surprising ? BCG are the Libs’ consultants of choice and we know there has been a 20% error rate in practice. It makes sense that their ongoing defence of the program would be based on it actually operating within acceptable error levels.

  14. Uncle Bob
    I don’t know where the 20% figure comes from, but the way the centrelink system is set up I would not be surprised if it was closer to 100% error levels.

  15. ‘It’s a pity that social media bloggers like Andrew Elder and Urban Wronski can’t have their work recognised in a national awards forum like the Walkleys. Though they probably wouldn’t want it, being as it’s such an exemplar of the things they rail against.’

    Indeed on both points.

    Speaking of the media, I was gratified to hear the dulcet tones of Chris Richardson on the sweet soy sauce manufacturer this am, assuring us that we had nothing to fear from Brexit or Trump, at least until 2018.
    It’s good to know, when it comes to sticky black liquid, the recipe always remains the same.

  16. Zoomster,
    Great point earlier regarding some MPs lack of a moral compass with regards to expenses and the questions it raises about how they perform their other duties.

  17. Something really interesting as a counter-Trump in French politics:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/15/french-progressives-dare-to-hope-as-maverick-macron-surges-in-polls

    Interesting TPOF. I think one thing that may have been getting lost in the despair at Trumps rise is that there is ALSO room for the Left to exploit some of the same political factors that have got him where he is.

    The RW talks about being smart and “agile”. I suspect we will see more of that on the Left over the next couple of years. Certainly i think that’s what we are seeing from the ALP here with the apparent emphasis on policy (Jobs) rather than wanky crap like 18c. If the Left focuses on things that matter to people at grass roots (inequality) the RWNJ are going to find themselves in deep manure once the Trump / Brexit gloss wears off.

  18. If rural communities acknowledge climate change is happening, where do people like Barnaby stand on this? Why aren’t the Nationals representing them?

    Ninety per cent of people living in rural and regional Australia believe they are already experiencing the impacts of climate change and 46% believe coal-fired power stations should be phased out, according to a new study.

    A poll of 2,000 people conducted by the Climate Institute found that 82% of respondents in rural and regional Australia and 81% of those in capital cities were concerned about increased droughts, flooding and destruction of the Great Barrier Reef due to climate change, and 78% of all respondents were concerned there would be more bushfires.

    About three quarters of all respondents – 76% in capital cities and 74% in rural or regional areas – said ignoring climate change would make the situation worse and about two-thirds said they believed the federal government should take a leading role.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/16/climate-change-90-of-rural-australians-say-their-lives-are-already-affected

  19. adrian @ #80 Monday, January 16, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I’d like to know what this ‘moral compass’ is that everyone refers to.
    Is there an app for it?

    You don’t need an app – just a piece of paper and a pencil. Draw an arrow on the paper. Hold the paper in front of you so the arrow is pointing at yourself. Turn around. See?

  20. ‘If rural communities acknowledge climate change is happening, where do people like Barnaby stand on this? Why aren’t the Nationals representing them?’

    The great con of Australian politics.
    Neither the Libs or Nats actually represent the constituents that they claim to represent, and never will. It is only with the collusion of most of the media, and a gullible public that they manage to get away with this conjuring trick time and time again.

  21. Moral compass is a sense of right and wrong that is in sync with community expectations, you can’t hope to have a well calibrated moral compass if you’ve spent your whole life avoiding being tainted by the community (whether that hiding is in a union or a foreign consultancy).

  22. The satire grows…

    Pauline Hanson ‏@PaulineHansonOz · 7m7 minutes ago

    Because of my duties to the people of Queensland & Australia I’m still deciding if I can attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump #auspol

  23. [Neither the Libs or Nats actually represent the constituents that they claim to represent, and never will. It is only with the collusion of most of the media, and a gullible public that they manage to get away with this conjuring trick time and time again.]

    I agree completely but that doesn’t stop a reasonably large portion of the constituents still supporting them. It is a WA story but I know a guy who is running a astruggling small business in a locality called Ellenbrook. Govt promised the train 8 years ago. If it had been built his business would be fine if not booming. The member for the relevant electorate is a total moron, really makes Barnaby and Corman look like geniuses in comparison. But this guy is liberal through and through.
    Part of this problem is Labor’s fault. In that 8 years Labor has only been involved in the community for two short election cycles and absent at all other times. The libs might fail small business but they are there listening to them and having sundowners with them all year round every year regardless of whether or not they hold the seat.

  24. Imacca

    If the Left focuses on things that matter to people at grass roots (inequality) the RWNJ are going to find themselves in deep manure once the Trump / Brexit gloss wears off.

    Dead right. My biggest problem with Sanders was that he was too old and too inexperienced in government to be a competent President. It will be Trump’s downfall in the end too. Especially under the weight of the other problems he takes into office (that his voters turned a blind eye to).

    There is plenty of room for a centre-left inspiring charismatic leader who is not part of the existing ‘governing class’ to get the attention and enthusiasm of those people who are totally disenchanted and disdainful of the ‘governing class’. I use quote marks for the ‘governing class’ because the reality is that these people actually know how government works and genuine, committed public-spirited administrators are critical to keeping the underlying political and governmental systems running, however badly.

    The next person to be elected President of the USA (or of France) will not look like Hillary Clinton or Nicholas Sarkozy.

  25. …other issues like SSM can be pursued but well paying jobs are key.
    In that context projects like Adani must be attacked on their capital intensive, low employment nature.
    As an example how many jobs are in the new LPG export plants? I do not know but I expect it is minimal.
    Construction jobs, as we now know are short term and disappear on completion.

  26. Sheesh folks, it was a joke, based on the apparent lack of one these days – I do happen to understand what a moral compass is.

  27. Good Morning

    On US politics and experience. Sanders had no problem with experience. He would have kept most of the advisors from the Obama era in place. It has been the first scandal free eight in recent US political history. Despite right wing attempts to manufacture one.

    As we have seen voters will discount experience if they get angry enough.

    The problem with the LNP is as I said when Abbott first became PM. Sack public servants because you believe in small government incompetency follows.

  28. [The next person to be elected President of the USA (or of France) will not look like Hillary Clinton or Nicholas Sarkozy.]
    They won’t look nearly as capable or qualified. And although Bernie Sanders certainly ticks the not nearly as capable or qualified box with a massive big tick, they wont look like him either. But Corbyn is almost a control experiment for that, we’ll get to see how he goes.

  29. “Because of my duties to the people of Queensland & Australia I’m still deciding if I can attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump #auspol”

    Thanks for sharing, Pauline. I’m filing this under ‘I Don’t Give A F*ck’.

  30. bob’s uncle @ #73 Monday, January 16, 2017 at 10:08 am

    @ Lizzie, that’s what I’ve heard from someone apparently in the know. Is it at all surprising ? BCG are the Libs’ consultants of choice and we know there has been a 20% error rate in practice. It makes sense that their ongoing defence of the program would be based on it actually operating within acceptable error levels.

    This ‘someone in the know’ can reliably inform you that Labor also use BCG.
    So your point is?

  31. Above video linked is about former Bush advisor stating that Trump is going to be in violation of constitution if he doesn’t divest by Friday.

    Speaking of next President, when it is found that both Trump and Pence are ineligible to be President, the most logical next step is Speaker Paul Ryan

  32. TPOF

    Sanders was not too old. However I don’t see him running in 2020.

    I think someone like Senator John Lewis should run. A man with real substance popular and respected across the political spectrum.

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