ReachTEL: 53-47 to Liberal in Bennelong

The latest Bennelong by-election poll suggests John Alexander is set to hold on in the face of a solid swing to Labor.

The Sydney Morning Herald today has results from a ReachTEL poll for the Bennelong by-election, which credits John Alexander with a lead of 53-47 on respondent-allocated preferences – a swing to Labor of nearly 7%. The primary votes, after allocating a forced response follow-up from the (unusually small) 2.4% who initially professed themselves undecided, are 41.3% for John Alexander (down 9.1% on the election), 36.3% for Kristina Keneally (up 7.8%), 7.5% for the Greens (down 1.6%) and 14.9% for the rest. The poll was conducted on Tuesday from a sample of 819. This is the second ReachTEL poll of the campaign, the first being conducted a month ago and showing Alexander leading 54-46. The other two published polls, a Galaxy poll at the start of the campaign and Newspoll this week, both had it at 50-50. Multiple reports suggest party polling has been nearer to ReachTEL’s findings.

For all the background you could want, my Bennelong by-election guide is now updated and much expanded.

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.

1,222 comments on “ReachTEL: 53-47 to Liberal in Bennelong”

  1. Diogenes @ #1069 Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 5:44 pm

    JM
    It’s a pretty massive ask to expect someone to give up their job as a priest if they are unlucky enough to get in that situation. As you say it’s not binary as the priest could try hard to get the abuser to fess up, talk to others etc to try and make sure it got out but that might not work. They could even send an anonymous letter to the police which would allow them to keep their job and most of their conscience clean. It’s not easy unless the Church changes its rules.

    I agree that the change has to come from the top. It is a real burden for individual clerics of good faith and decency – and they do exist – to have to make that choice.

    Though not as much of a burden as for the kids on the receiving end of this grand moral drama about confidentiality being played out by the adults.

    The conflict arises because it is an inherently binary zero-sum choice, it can only be a win-lose, there is no realistic compromise on the table, one side must fully submit on this issue.

    zoidlord @ #1074 Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 5:48 pm

    Umm

    jA has not declared his 100 hectare property which is earning him $1400 a day and you say KK is corrupt?

    I see what you did there. But you gave the game away by using punctuation at the end of your sentence.

  2. Why anyone would vote for a clapped out old tennis player is beyond me. I’ve never seen a more disengaged candidate. JA would be better off sunning himself in Bondi or pottering around his country estate.

  3. Have the Guardian put up a paywall? Every time I try to access it today I get the yellow please donate screen and can’t seem to close it.
    Edit: normally use Firefox. Just tried chrome and it appears to be a sizing problem. Will do some fiddling.

  4. Zoid

    The Catholic Church has been on the wrong side of history for centuries.

    Is there any social issue they have had a win on?

    In my lifetime three big things they have railed against have been contraception, abortion and now marriage equality and they have lost on them all.

    The weight attached to the church’s views far outweighs the influence it seems to have over its members.

    Perhaps the bishops would be well advised to take a leaf from the book of the church’s founder and spend more time on following his basic principle of “love they neighbor”.

  5. MikeHilliard

    JA will still have his $5m spread in the country. Where did he get the money for that? Tennis prizemoney wasn’t that flash in his day and surely Channel 7 didn’t pay him millions for his TV commentary.

    I reckon if he was a Labor man questions would be asked.

  6. poroti

    Could loose Labor the by election?

    Should have had a big d*ck drawn on it, wouldn’t have mattered if it was pointing down and been perfect for that shot behind Mal

  7. JA’s only allegiance to the LNP is to keep Mal’s arse on the treasury benches, otherwise he’d rather be home having a quite nap, or sunning himself in Bondi or mowing the lawn at his country estate.

  8. If you’re conflicted between your religion and doing absolutely everything within your power to prevent further sex abuse of children that should tell you you’ve picked the wrong religion.

  9. Diogenes @ #1068 Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 7:14 pm

    It’s a pretty massive ask to expect someone to give up their job as a priest if they are unlucky enough to get in that situation.

    I don’t agree. Pity the poor priest? The priest before the next child to be abused? The priest should see it a test of his holiness, which is what being a priest should be all about, not the job part.

  10. Barney

    I just read that. My fear is that if the worst comes to the worst and the coalition manages to win another federal election the forces of darkness will prevail.

  11. Wayne says:
    Friday, December 15, 2017 at 8:39 pm
    I want JA to Kick KK to the gutter where she belongs

    Wayne, I’d rather you did not say things like that. Did your mother never teach you to be a gentleman?

  12. rossmcg says:
    Friday, December 15, 2017 at 8:08 pm
    Zoid

    The Catholic Church has been on the wrong side of history for centuries.

    Is there any social issue they have had a win on?

    In my lifetime three big things they have railed against have been contraception, abortion and now marriage equality and they have lost on them all.

    We could add divorce liberalisation and state-support for single mothers; the de-criminalisation of homosexuality and now its de-stigmatisation too. Soon the very idea of sin will be repealed.

  13. JM
    I agree that the change has to come from the top. It is a real burden for individual clerics of good faith and decency – and they do exist – to have to make that choice.

    It would have been harder for those individuals when they could see how widespread the coverup was without having express knowledge of it. To have suspicions may not have been enough, many have expressed surprise at the extent of the church cover up of their crimes.

    There clerics who do good , funny epugh the ones who do good can be the most naive in believing that others are as good as them.

    I remember going to a service for my kid’s assembly when this was starting to break and the priest’s expression was one of anger, confusion, fear and despair which I took as
    anger that he would be viewed as a predator, I didn’t see him as such,
    confusion over the widespread crimes being exposed and possibly how he did not know
    fear for how he was viewed and the future of the church
    despair, almost tears over what was happening.

    For those who had direct knowledge of the rapes, there is no excuse, it is not like turning a blind eye to workmates taking stuff home, helping themselves to a taxi fare from the till or other rorts, it was children being raped and they ignored it and in their actions empowered the rapists.

  14. Wayne says:
    Friday, December 15, 2017 at 8:39 pm
    I want JA to Kick KK to the gutter where she belongs

    Pure Liberal sexism there, W. Pure Liberal hate for those who oppose them. It is precisely because Liberals speak with such malice that voters have left them.

  15. JA let’s give KK a big kick into the gutter where is belongs and also send the five labor MPs to the High court to see if they were elected properly and I want to see five by election so the LNP can increase there majority to six

  16. Most people who predicted a Keneally win here did so in the full disclosure that it was more wishful thinking than hard headed analysis. But now the vibe, albeit from the disadvantage of my distance from the electorate, is so strange that I can’t help hoping there might be a real boilover.

  17. wayne

    I want JA to Kick KK to the gutter where she belongs

    Dear oh dear, Waynie. Was mummy nasty to you?
    You mustn’t hyperventilate when you think of mummy. Best thing is just to put a bag over your head and breathe into that for a while. (Preferably a thick plastic one.)

  18. rossmcg says:
    Friday, December 15, 2017 at 8:50 pm
    Briefly

    You might be on the money. Back in the 60s I was sure I would end up in hell. Now the Catholics don’t even talk about it.

    The spooks are gradually losing their franchise, I reckon. Participation in religious ceremonies of all kinds continues to decline, steadily reducing the pastoral campaign opportunities available to the clergy. They are now just another voice among the many, for the most part. I really like it. Freedom from the puritans and the straighteners, freedom for self-expression and self-realisation are alive, especially among the young. It’s a great joy to me.

    Of course, there’s still a very long way to go. Change is always difficult…

  19. Just watching Paul Murray live he says JA will win tomorrow and LNP will have the numbers to send five labor MPS to the High court and say LNP will win longman from ALP

  20. Briefly

    Indeed. But the various churches still seem to wield power in the conservative ranks beyond their status in the community.

    Off the the top of my head there was a core of around 60 coalition MPs in the lower house who fought the ME reforms all they way in the interest of “protecting religious freedom”.

    From what I read in our own state if you have political aspirations but are not a god botherer forget about joining the liberal party.

    The pre-selection for Cottesloe to replace Barnett has already seen the locals telling Cormann and his clique to get lost. Hopefully they prevail.

  21. shiftaling @ #1114 Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 6:56 pm

    If you’re conflicted between your religion and doing absolutely everything within your power to prevent further sex abuse of children that should tell you you’ve picked the wrong religion.

    Nailed it. Any theology or philosophy or ideology that justifies accepting abuse of the weak by the strong is corrupt and malevolent, and only fit to be destroyed.

    Boris @ #1124 Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 7:17 pm

    It would have been harder for those individuals when they could see how widespread the coverup was without having express knowledge of it. To have suspicions may not have been enough, many have expressed surprise at the extent of the church cover up of their crimes.

    There is some (some) truth in that. It can be hard for an individual, especially low down in the ranks, to be certain about such things when there is a culture of denial and cover up right up to the highest level. Complicated, in some cases, by collusive secular law enforcement.

    One of the truths that needs to come out about all this is how many individuals tried to do something but were thwarted by greater powers?

    There clerics who do good , funny enough the ones who do good can be the most naive in believing that others are as good as them.

    {snip}

    For those who had direct knowledge of the rapes, there is no excuse, it is not like turning a blind eye to workmates taking stuff home, helping themselves to a taxi fare from the till or other rorts, it was children being raped and they ignored it and in their actions empowered the rapists.

    Agree with that.

  22. Personally I don’t have a lot of faith in the Australian electorate. Too often they’ve let me down. Easily led… easily hoodwinked… easily misinformed. Tomorrow I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Good luck to all the PB volunteers. Have a great day.

  23. shiftaling says:
    Friday, December 15, 2017 at 8:58 pm
    Most people who predicted a Keneally win here did so in the full disclosure that it was more wishful thinking than hard headed analysis.

    There are many factors that make a Labor win a real possibility. They include:

    – a great Labor candidate, with high recognition and strong personal appeal
    – a dull-as Liberal, who barely seems to believe he should be doing the job
    – Labor’s ground campaign and its ability to make personal contact with every voter
    – the antagonistic tones struck by the Liberals in relation to China
    – the prevailing sense of decay, division and incompetence that has come to characterise the Turnbull government
    – the effect of Right-Splits on the core Liberal PV
    – the fusion of these things into anti-incumbent expression

    If the PV splits as Newscorp suggest – at 50/50 Labor/Liberal – then KK will almost certainly win.

  24. Wayne @ #1133 Friday, December 15th, 2017 – 4:59 pm

    Mikehillard that will be JA win not dirty corrupt KK

    Do you understand the law?

    You directly accuse KK of a crime?

    This is a very serious accusation and there can be serious consequences for you if your claim is false.

    Do you have evidence of such a crime?

    She has never been accused, charged or convicted of any crime despite wide investigation of the NSW Parliament during her time there.

    In fact she has been praised by some of those investigations for the evidence she provided about those who were corrupt.

    You must be studying Liberal law as you seem to have little understanding of actual law.

  25. On the polling, and considering the effect on pref-direction of shifts in PV, KK could probably cede a point or two to JA on th PV and still win, but it would get very tight.

    It will be very interesting to see whether the Hard-Right-Split vote – the Cories + CDP – matches expectations.

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