New year news (week two)

A bunch of state polling, particularly from Victoria, and two items of preselection news.

Another random assortment of polling and preselection news to tide us over until the federal polling season resumes:

• Essential Research has broken the poll drought to the extent of releasing state voting intention results, compiled from the polling it conducted between October and December. The results find Labor ahead in all five states, with Tasmania not covered. This includes a breakthrough 51-49 lead in New South Wales, after they were slightly behind in each quarterly poll going back to April-June 2016; a 51-49 lead in Victoria, after they led either 52-48 or 53-47 going back to October-December 2015; a 52-48 lead in Queensland, from primary vote results well in line with the state election held during the period; and a new peak of 57-43 in Western Australia. In South Australia, Labor is credited with a lead of 51-49, from primary vote numbers which are, typically for Essential Research, less good for Nick Xenophon’s SA Best than Newspoll/Galaxy: Labor 34%, Liberal 31%, SA Best 22%.

The Age has ReachTEL polls of two Victorian state seats conducted on Friday, prompted by the current hot button issue in the state’s politics, namely “crime and anti-social behaviour”. The poll targeted two Labor-held seats at the opposite ends of outer Melbourne, one safe (Tarneit in the west, margin 14.6%), the other marginal (Cranbourne in the south-east, margin 2.3%). After excluding the higher-than-usual undecided (14.5% in Cranbourne, 15.5% in Tarneit), the primary votes in Cranbourne are Labor 40% (down from 43.4% at the last election), Liberal 40% (down from 41.3%) and Greens 7% (up from 4.2%); in Tarneit, Labor 43% (down from 46.8%), Liberal 36% (up from 26.4%), Greens 10% (up from 9.0%). Substantial majorities in both electorates consider youth crime a worsening problem, believe “the main issues with youth crime concern gangs of African origin”, and rate that they are, indeed, less likely to go out at night than they were twelve months ago. The bad news for the Liberals is that very strong majorities in both seats (74.6-25.4 in Tarneit, 66.5-33.5) feel Daniel Andrews would be more effective than Matthew Guy at dealing with the issue.

Rachel Baxendale of The Australian reports on the latest flare-up in an ongoing feud between Ian Goodenough, member for the safe Liberal seat of Moore in Perth’s northern suburbs, and party player Simon Ehrenfeld, whose preselection for the corresponding state seat of Hillarys before the last state election was overturned by the party’s state council. The report includes intimations that Goodenough may have a fight of his own in the preselection for the next election, with those ubiquitous “party sources” rating him a “waste of a safe seat“, particularly in light of Christian Porter’s dangerous position in Pearce.

• Not long after Andrew Bartlett replaced Larissa Waters as a Queensland Greens Senator following the latter’s Section 44-related disqualification, the two are set to go head-to-head for preselection at the next election. Sonia Kohlbacher of AAP reports that Ben Pennings, “anti-Adani advocate and former party employee”, has also nominated, although he’s presumably a long shot. The ballot of party members will begin on February 16, with the result to be announced on March 26.

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.

2,222 comments on “New year news (week two)”

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  1. People Are Reminding Ivanka Trump Of Her Father’s Sexual Assault Allegations After She Praises Oprah’s Speech

    The obvious problem here is that her own father has been accused of sexual harassment and/or assault by over 20 women. Not only that, he’s also supported other men who’ve been accused of the same. Most recently, he formally endorsed Alabama Republican Roy Moore, whose numerous alleged victims included minors, for state senator.

    Once again, Ivanka was hit with thousands of posts on social media reminding her of her own father’s actions.

  2. Mueller insider: ‘Loose cannon’ Trump will ‘leap blindly’ on landmines laid by special counsel’s office

    One source who is described as having “knowledge of the Mueller investigation” tells New York Magazine’s Cristian Farias that Trump is the kind of client that gives attorneys nightmares because he will “humiliate you and destroy you because he just can’t follow directions.”

    “He’s a loose cannon,” the source told Farias. “No matter how much you prep him, no matter what small words you use to explain to him the potential landmines he could step on … he will leap in blindly and say whatever pops into his head, and that could be a potential disaster.”

  3. Christopher Steele alerted FBI to dossier because he worried Trump was being blackmailed

    A former British spy handed over his research dossier to the FBI in July 2016 because he feared the Republican Party was about to nominate a candidate who was being blackmailed.

    Christopher Steele had been hired by opposition research firm Fusion GPS to look into Donald Trump’s background, and what he found so alarmed him that he alerted U.S. law enforcement.

  4. Explosive Fusion GPS testimony details Trump’s alleged ties to international money laundering operations

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released the full transcript of testimony that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee — and it contains explosive allegations that President Donald Trump has direct ties to international money laundering operations.

  5. Michael Wolff explains why Trump relies on Fox News: ‘He doesn’t read and he doesn’t listen’ unless it’s on TV

    Michael Wolff, who spent weeks in the White House researching his book Fire and Fury, said Trump’s staffers struggle daily to distract him from the television long enough to engage him with crucial information he needs to perform his duties as president.

  6. ‘It’s a trap’: Fox News legal analyst begs Trump to ‘NEVER, NEVER, NEVER’ take interview with Mueller

    “My argument is, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER — in caps — should he do that,” Napolitano said of a potential Mueller interview. “He cannot know what Mueller and his team know about the case, he cannot know what kind of evidence they have. And one lie — or one close-to-a-lie — about a material matter, and he’s facing a potential indictment.”

    Napolitano then said such an interview would be particularly dangerous because of Trump’s notorious lack of impulse control and his propensity for simply saying whatever pops into his head.

  7. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    The Berejiklian government will tell investors, but not the public, how many motorists are using the first section of the WestConnex motorway. Come on Gladys, lift your game!
    And what a monument to mismanagement is the train system shambles in Sydney!
    The SMH editorial has its say about it.
    In a very long contribution Ben Eltham reveals Turnbull’s five policy failures of 2017.
    Rob Burgess writes “When the Australian people are being lied to, you’d hope that the bulk of the mainstream media would swing into action to expose the liars. But that did not happen during the Coalition’s phoney defence of negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts before the last election.”
    Nicholas Stuart says we need to know where our politicians stand on climate change and big data.
    Terry Banes says that the bellicose Australian Medical Association needs to be put in its place. He describes the AMA as the CFMEU of the white-coats. Google.
    Rob Stokes is questioning the selective public schools system.
    Richo says that Pyne needs to up his political game in 2018. Google.
    Centrelink has a really soft touch at times.
    Jeff Kennett defends Dan Andrews’ right to take a break. Google.
    Nearly 5,000 public servants witnessed corruption in their agencies as the number of bureaucrats reporting cronyism, nepotism and other misconduct grew in a new survey.
    The Adani coal project is not quite dead yet.
    Michael west looks at the effect of lack of regulation on gas pipelines.
    How workplace bullying can affect the body.
    And when HR practitioners stand up for fairness, they may sometimes be standing on precarious ground with respect to their own careers.
    The Australian Council of Social Service is mounting a last-ditch lobbying campaign to convince Senate crossbenchers to oppose the Coalition’s welfare overhaul, warning the changes will reduce payments for up to 80,000 people.
    Michael West examines what happened to Joe Hockey’s $8.8b gift to the RBA.
    No Africans? No outrage!
    Events are moving so fast at Retail Food Group that management is having trouble keeping up, as shown by the second profit downgrade within a few weeks.
    The desire of thousands of gravely ill Australians to die without pain and surrounded by family is going unmet because palliative care services fall badly short, the national peak body has warned.
    The ATO has warned partners in law, accounting, engineering and medical firms who reduce their tax bills by income splitting with their spouses that the rules are being reviewed. Good!
    John Harris opines that Theresa May can rally her troops, but the Tory party is dying on its feet.
    Child protection and family services should focus on assisting vulnerable families as opposed to removing children, says Gerry Georgatos.,11090
    Stephen Koukoulas tells us that Australia’s international trade position is getting markedly worse.
    Controversial former sheriff Joe Arpaio announced on Tuesday that he would run for the United States Senate in Arizona. And he’ll probably get up.
    Debate about the early release of superannuation has ramped up after it emerged that a rising number of Australians were raiding their retirement funds to pay for non-vital procedures such as weight loss surgery and
    Telecommunications companies have reduced their prices, with some customers saving an average of $120 a year, following last month’s national broadband network wholesale price cuts.
    MP Ian Goodenough has accused a Liberal rival of breaching electoral law, in the latest development in a bitter feud. Google.
    Kate McClymont with more on the McLachlan problem.

    Cartoon Corner

    Cathy Wilcox and the apparently lenient treatment of sex crimes.

    Mark David’s been busy!

    Peter Broelman has a job for Dolly.

    Matt Golding and Genius Trump.

    Alan Moir and the School for Nats.

    David Pope really hands it to Turnbull and his cronies.

    Pat Clement and Trump’s new challenge.

  8. Morning bludgers,

    Thanks for the round-up BK.

    I had the pleasure of 50 minutes stuck on a train stopped between McDonaldtown and Redfern stations yesterday on my way into work.

    When I see the cascading effects of the new timetable on services, I am professionally offended and appalled that such contingencies are not explicitly considered in the timetable scheduling process as security constraints. We routinely do this in power systems planning and operations. I largely works, until some some non-credible events occur (such as several large generators tripping off simultaneously with a major line outage, as in SA in 2016).

    Needless to say, I took the option of a bus home. The bus service is one that the Libs want to privatise.

    The image of a train network melting down while the Govt pledges to spend $3b rebuilding two sports stadia is stark, and the absurdity of it is lost on no-one in voterland. Sydney Trains has handed NSW Labor a very large stick with which to hit the Libs.

    I saw Foley saying enough to make these points, but not so much to sound shrill. This is good. This issue is a slow burner, and the election is still over a year away, and Berejiklian was once the transport minister.

  9. Catherine Deneuve would know a thing or two about fending off unwanted attention from men.

    She doesn’t defend rape, or abuse of power, but does point out that men can be obnoxious and clumsy about sexuality without any intent of perpetrating sexual assault, as can women.

    Men can also misread what they see as “signals” from a woman, and vice versa.

    But does this mean that the simply clumsy or mistaken should be publicly vilified, and their careers – plus potentially the careers of other members of a cancelled production, for example – be ruined for the sake of an unrequited attempt at seduction?

    In essence she asks whether to line is being drawn too severely at present, and whether public shaming or the introduction of potential over-regulation is the most appropriate method of sorting out one of the oldest and most basic human situations.

  10. Libertarian Unionist,
    I think I was on the train in the morning that may have started the cascade of schemozzle which lasted all day it seems, because I was put onto a train coming home to the Central Coast, which wasn’t supposed to have been there because they were supposedly doing trackwork between Berowra and Gordon and so buses were necessary! So the head bods at Transport for NSW must have told them to naff off so they could get people home, as the buses weren’t cutting it!

    However, what they scheduled for us was an all stations, and that means all stations from Strathfield to the Central Coast, train, that had so many people waiting to get on that not everyone who wanted to get on could!

    Then the bleedin’ train was arriving, then it wasn’t and the arrival was put back 3 minutes! I’ve never seen anything like it! And the B Team in the State Coalition used to complain like stuck pigs when Labor couldn’t keep every train, every day, running on time to the minute! But Labor never had anything go wrong like this clusterfuck I experienced yesterday! Yes, trains lost power in electrical storms, but yesterday resulted, I think, as I alluded to earlier, from one brainless idiot thinking it would be smart to stop the automatic doors closing on a City Circle train in the morning. So the train was delayed for 27 minutes while the problem was fixed.

    Actually, the train driver came on the loudspeakers after the train finally got going, and, without swearing, gave whoever it was that did it a very big piece of his mind! It was a classic in controlled rage. 😀

  11. But does this mean that the simply clumsy or mistaken should be publicly vilified, and their careers – plus potentially the careers of other members of a cancelled production, for example – be ruined for the sake of an unrequited attempt at seduction?

    Rubbing your penis against a woman under the cover of some sheets onstage, is no ‘attempt at seduction’. Which is what Craig McLachlan is alleged to have done.

    The getting undressed in front of other cast members I can kind of understand, but not that. There’s nothing seductive about it, it’s just sleazy.

    And, yes, a career where you are allowed to get away with that sort of thing is one where the acting community is better off without the actor in question. Until they get their boundary observation act together.

  12. The weather in Sydney was fine most of the day! The problems had started way before any stormy weather. Anyway, there was trackwork on that line and no trains were running on it yesterday, so why a lightning strike on that line would have been the cause of the chaos is hard to fathom. It’s electrical system should have been shut off to enable the trackwork.

    I smell a NSW Coalition lie.

  13. Lizzie

    It is an excellent piece summarising Turnbull and Co perfectly.

    As I had mentioned in past few days, the govt have achieved a fair bit of their agenda so far.
    Next issue off the blocks in changes to university funding and tax cuts.

  14. I was hoping that team Labor have a strategy to get Michaelia Cash to be accountable for the confected raid etc on the AWU. I am not sure at what stage the case is in the federal Court, but was really wanting the whole shit show to be exposed.

  15. “Telecommunications companies have reduced their prices, with some customers saving an average of $120 a year, following last month’s national broadband network wholesale price cuts.”

    … or they just replaced their NBN “25Mbps” plan with “50Mbps” for the same price.

    That’s not a bad thing; there was little incentive to switch to NBN if you already had a fast (~20Mbps) ADSL2+ connection, and didn’t want to pay more for a 100Mbps plan.

  16. ABC 7.30 was in cheap magazine mode last night, virtually repeating all the salacious detail about McLaughlin from the night before. Is this what Guthrie wants? I’m not defending him, but his lawyers might object.

  17. It was obviously the tainted electrons from a wind generator getting into the wires that caused the whole Sydney trains schemozzle yesterday.

    And why hasn’t our PM made a dramatic intervention into this NSW disaster like he has a wont to do in Victoria?

  18. Morning all. Good to see Democrats grow a pair and stare down Republicans by releasing the Fusion GPS transcript.

    Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) made a fateful decision acting unilaterally with a phony “criminal referral” of Christopher Steele, a Brit over whom the United States has no jurisdiction anyway and whom they never saw testify, not just because it made them look like partisan hacks. They set a new standard that anyone on the committee could act independently and without bipartisan consent of their colleagues. So Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Cal.) did them one better.

    Plus 7 things Republicans didn’t want out there in the public domain. Next time perhaps they’ll take their Senate committee responsibilities with less partisan vigour and more detached professionalism?

  19. “Mr Cliche said that figure represented “a really great story” because fewer motorists were switching to the toll-free Parramatta Road than expected. He said traffic figures had dropped 25 per cent on the M4 since tolling started, compared to a forecast 40 per cent drop.”

    Hang on. They widened a road, expecting that this would mean less people would use it? Don’t you usually widen a road so that more people can use it?

    Can anyone explain why people paid to reduce the throughput of a road?

    What is in the water up there?

  20. Fess

    The old adage rings true. If they have nothing to hide, why are they trying so hard to derail anything and everything attached to the Investigation?
    And what I find even more interesting is that Lindsey Graham who is the very best friend and colleague of John McCain, is behaving in polar opposite to him in this whole imbroglio.

  21. vic:

    Most Republicans are just acting like Trump flunkies putting party before country.

    What I’m finding truly disturbing is how many people are getting behind an Oprah candidacy!

  22. This is just taking The Revenge of the Old White Men too far! The guy will be 86 years old if he wins a 6 year term in the American Senate!

    Joe Arpaio, the fiery former sheriff from Arizona, will run for Senate

    Joe Arpaio, the longtime Phoenix-area sheriff whose headline-grabbing approach to immigration made him an ally of President Trump, will run in the 2018 Republican primary to replace Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).

    Arpaio, 85, made the bid official in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

    There are no fresh ideas in a mind that old.

  23. I always enjoy Tea Pain’s contributions…………

    Tea Pain
    Tea Pain
    FUN FACT: Glenn Simpson of #FusionGPS said it only took him 72 hours to find Trump’s ties to the Russian mob. Imagine how much the FBI & Mueller has on Trump by now! #TrumpsToast

  24. Fess

    Those in GOP putting party before country, are most likely complicit.

    The Oprah for President bandwagon is not surprising, but not what the USA needs to indulge in right about now

  25. Libertarian Unionist says:
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 8:56 am

    For the first time this year

    Are you sure it wasn’t the one before, an hour late?

  26. ‘Absence of Empathy says:
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 1:55 am


    Just responding to some of the drivel you have posted in recent days…

    1. You can’t blow up an oil tanker from a dinghy with an RPG.

    2. Australia’s oil supply is relatively safe, in spite of anything you, or our newly elected warmonger of a Senator might wish to scare people with.
    No country, with the exception of the United States, nor any combination of countries, has the naval capacity to blockade the Straits of Malacca.
    If for example China, or Russia, or China + Russia gave even the slightest hint that they were thinking of doing so, the entire rest of the world’s navies would blow them to kingdom come.

    3. You can’t erect a wind turbine in open ocean, in a Typhoon zone, for obvious reasons…


    4. There is no way in hell that Japan will EVER “co-operate” with China to situate it’s energy production on the Chinese mainland.
    Doing so would be the dumbest strategic decision since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union or perhaps when Hirohito didn’t stop the Imperial Navy bombing Pearl Harbour.

    You seem to hold some sway over the minds of certain posters here, who assume you to be an authority on most things.
    Although I can’t for the life of me understand why.

    To me you seem little more than an overblown, boorish nitwit.

    Have a nice day…’

    Fancy that. P1 disappears into his nuclear eco bunker and zero empathy leaps out of the trenches brandishing umbrage like a Mountain Gorilla a branch ripped from some unfortunate rainforest tree.

    1. We are headed towards 100% dependence on POL imports. We are doing so based around the just-in-time philosophy. We have very little POL reserves in storage. This basically means that within weeks of POL imports being disrupted by a war our economy will start to fall to pieces. (Astute observers will recall the massive disruption to Australian air traffic when a single shipment of avgas was found to be tainted). The vast majority of our mining, cropping and the larger part of our distribution systems increasingly depends on imported POL.

    Molan, whom I despise, is right in this matter of POL strategy.

    There is not a lot of point to having lots of submarines when there is no diesel to make them go, or when the population is starving because there is not enough diesel to make the tractors harvest the wheat or to get the wheat to the millers, let alone to the tummies. Other astute observers will have noticed how very little disruption is required to cause vast crowds at train stations and airports and queues at petrol stations and empty supermarket shelves. In most ways we live on the edge of a just-in-time economy. In peace time this does not matter. In fact, it is efficient. In war time it is an existential risk. Mr Molan, despite his rather unfortunate social values, is no dope when it comes to strategic assessment. Confusing the cognitive domains here and attacking the chap because you believe he is a nasty piece of work is rope-a-dope stuff.

    2. The guy in a dinghy with an RPG can set a super tanker on fire. Not a problem. If he is cunning as well as determined, he can be in a fishing canoe and can whip out the RPG at the last minute. (When you fly over the relevant waterways at night the mass twinkling of the fishing lights are like the stars above.) What the tanker does after that would be of visual interest, at least. And it would only take a couple of incidents like that to make the costs prohibitive. The disruption to our economy would be massive. In some of the relevant SEA choke points you would not even need a dinghy. The entire Singapore Strait, through which most of our POL travels, is visible from land on both sides. You could even strap a couple of kilos of something very simple but very nasty onto a $200 drone and fly it over.

    3. I did not recommend open ocean wind turbines in typhoon zones. Nice straw man stuff, BTW. Plus a verbal. As for where the Japanese ARE siting their wind turbines, that is up to them.

    4. I did not suggest that Japan and China would, or could, co-operate. In fact, I stated precisely the reverse. That makes another straw man plus another verbal.

    As for your coarse manners, were I your mother, I would give your bottie a jolly good spanking.

  27. I am very uncomfortable with the way in which the msm is covering the Craig McLaughlan allegations. He has stepped down from his roles and the police are investigating. Nothing further should be said about the matter in my view. The he did, she said, is not very helpful.

  28. Don’t know if this has been commented on already, I’ve been offline for a while. I heard of the passing of Tandberg yesterday. A real loss. RIP.

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