Newspoll Dickson poll and Liberal party room vote entrails

Newspoll finds the prime ministership would have been a handy thing for Peter Dutton to have in his tight race for Dickson. Also featured: a closer look at how that failed to come to pass.

The Australian has a large-sample Newspoll for Peter Dutton’s election of Dickson, conducted Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 1846, partly in expectation that things would have played out a little differently. On a standard voting intention question, the poll shows Labor with a two-party lead of 52-48 (a 3.6% swing from 2016), from primary votes of LNP 37% (down from 44.6%), Labor 37% (up from 34.9%), Greens 9% (down from 9.9%) and One Nation 10%. But when asked about voting intention if Dutton were Prime Minister, this became 50-50, and did so because of a 5% primary vote transfer from One Nation to the LNP (Labor gained one point, and the Greens were unchanged). The Australian’s report also reveals Dutton did better on the first night of polling than the second, and surmises this was the effect of the Section 44 story taking hold. However, the changes quoted are not statistically significant, and appeared to be bigger for the Turnbull-as-PM question than for Dutton.

Now a guide to who did what in the party room leadership votes on Tuesday and yesterday, drawing on four sources – starting with a table laying it all out, followed by the gory details. Cabinet ministers are in bold and underlined, outer ministry members are in bold, assistant ministers are in italics. An asterisk denotes those who, while identified as Turnbull backers, are among those The Australian thinks might have been the sole abstainer in round one (more on that shortly). Arthur Sinodinos’s two asterisks denote the fact that he was absent in the first round, though I presume he would have voted for Turnbull if present.

The first of the three sources is a list published in The Australian on Wednesday identifying how each member was believed to have voted in the Turnbull-versus-Dutton round the previous day. If I understand correctly, The Australian believed it had a handle on every vote, with one complication: one member out of a list of fifteen suspects abstained rather than voting for Turnbull. Second is a list of the forty-three signatories to the petition calling for a party room meeting has been doing the rounds on social media.

Thirdly, the Fairfax papers have published lists of how members were believed to have voted in Morrison-versus-Dutton. This has more holes than The Australian’s list, with seven listed as “unknown”. The fourth source, from The West Australian, lists how WA Liberal MPs voted, which plugs three of Fairfax’s gaps. It also disagrees with Fairfax in placing Slade Brockman in the Dutton rather than Morrison camp – I’m going with The West here. That leaves four still down as unknown, and assuming all the foregoing is correct, three of them must have voted for Morrison and one for Dutton.

Nine members who appear to have voted for Turnbull in the first round were signatories to the petition: Mathias Cormann, Michaelia Cash, Ian Goodenough, Slade Brockman, Andrew Laming and John McVeigh, who moved to the Dutton camp; Mitch Fifield, who voted for Morrison; and Warren Entsch and Jane Hume, who are down as unknowns. The forty-three signatories included everyone who voted for Dutton in either vote, with two exceptions: Christian Porter and Bert Van Manen, the latter presumably relating to his position as Whip. Porter is reported as having switched from Turnbull to Dutton; Van Manen is not disclosing who he voted for, but The Australian and Fairfax both identify him as being in the Dutton camp. Scott Buchholz voted for Dutton against Turnbull and signed the petition, but is down as unknown for Morrison versus Dutton.

Significant home state effects were evident in that Morrison won 14-6 among the New South Wales contingent, while Dutton won 12-4 (plus two unknowns) among Queenslanders. However, Julie Bishop apparently struck out entirely among her WA peers in the first round, her eleven votes having been sourced elsewhere (except her own). I’m not aware of any record of who the eleven were. Western Australia otherwise distinguished itself in having a substantial bloc switch from Turnbull to Dutton, most conspicuously Matthias Cormann and Michaelia Cash. They were apparently joined by Christian Porter, who kept a lower profile about it, along with Slade Brockman and Ian Goodenough. However, Ben Morton went the other way, supporting Dutton in the first vote and Morrison in the second. All told, the state split 11-5 for Turnbull over Dutton, then 9-7 for Dutton over Morrison. The South Australians broke 6-2 to Morrison.

Of seventeen lower house members with margins of 6% or less, nine voted for Morrison and six for Dutton, with a further two unknown. Four of Dutton’s six were from Queensland; the only Queensland marginal seat holder not in the Dutton column is Warren Entsch, down as unknown.

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.

1,932 comments on “Newspoll Dickson poll and Liberal party room vote entrails”

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  1. An analysis of the U.K. Election last year suggested that rather than class being a determinant of voting it was age. Under 45 voted heavily for Labour and over 45 for Conservative. If the Roy Morgan figures can be believed it seems like the same trend here

  2. I don’t think Abbott sees himself as a wrecker. I think he sincerely believes he isn’t sniping or undermining – he is simply an ex PM, with a wealth of experience and his finger on the pulse, offering advice to the party as to the best way forward.

    So, no, he isn’t going to stop.

  3. Even Dutton now has to focus on his own seat: more destabilisation will make impossible his already difficult task.

    He probably has to decide whether to sell the business or not.

    Irrespective of what he says its odds on he will lose his seat come the election.

  4. Good old Mike Carlton:

    Mike Carlton


    Now, step forward, please, all those “commentators” who were shouting a month ago that the SuperSaturday by elections would be the acid test for Shorten’s leadership and Labor chaos.

  5. Lenore Taylor
    ‏Verified account @lenoretaylor
    18h18 hours ago

    Liberal leadership spill an utterly pointless political assassination

    Lenore is right 🙂

    The Betoota Advocate
    Follow Follow @BetootaAdvocate
    Rich White Dude From Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Replaces
    Rich White Dude From Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs As PM:

  6. More from Morgan:

    preferred PM.. by state

    Shorten 54% Morrison 46%
    Shorten 49% Morrison 51%
    Shorten 46.5% Morrison 53.5%
    South Aust
    Shorten 52.5% Morrison 47.5%
    Shorten 55.5% Morrison 44.5%
    West Aust
    Shorten 50.5% Morrison 49.5%

  7. jeffemu 647am – theoretically if all the crossbenchers voted with Labor to refer Dutton (once Turnbull has left) they would still be on 74, Coalition on 74 (minus speaker), so I don’t think it will happen, and if Dutton loses in general election it will be forgotten. If he ever plans to run again though, I’m sure he will have quietly changed all these financial relationships.

    meher baba

    From 2017 when Labor was consistently ahead in the polls I expected Abbott to try and wrest back the Liberal leadership, and I almost hoped he would as it would make Labor’s task easier. But I have slowly thought that in fact it would be better if a bitter Abbott took over the Liberal remnants after an election loss, and tried and sell his out-of-date wares from Opposition. Had Dutton won and then lost his own seat in a rout I think this may have happened. Now I think it is more likely if the Coalition lose that they will stick with Morrison initially.

    But slowly and surely, Abbott will begin the process again, and undermine Morrison until he (or one of his acolytes) reclaims the Liberal leadership. Then he will start running the same lines from 2009-2013, even as nearly all of Australia has moved on from this bitter throwback.

  8. I’m wondering if there is a direct connection between the loss of parly pensions and leadership destabilisation.

    Once upon a time, after serving a couple of terms, an MP could look at an election loss with at least a certain degree of equanimity. Yeah, you’d always rather win, but if you didn’t you knew that you weren’t going to be penniless.

    Now, however, you either have to have something to fall back 0n – a business in the family name, a deal with a prospective benefactor – or losing your seat is a personal disaster.

    The first class of pollies will thus have divided loyalties; the second class will panic if the polls look even a little dodgy and desperately try and find a way to cling on a little longer.

    It also means that ex pollies are out there in greater numbers touting their wares to the highest bidder.

  9. LB‏ @laurenbull_ · 19h19 hours ago

    I worked in immigration and refugee law during Morrison’s reign as Immigration Minister. He’s as heartless, as punitive, and as racist as Dutton. He’s also been all of those things in social services AND treasury! So can ppl please stop being grateful for his win. He’s horrific.

  10. Sky after dark talk about reducing immigration as being part of what Morrison needs to do.

    I call bullshit.

    The business backers of Sky are all about more immigration. Increasing profits for them depends on more people
    This is just double speak to get the one nation crowd on board with the fiberals.

    Labor should not for one second buy into it.

    I would recommend Labor simply say that the levels of immigration need to be looked at.
    No discussion should be entered into as to what that exactly entails. Not to increase reduce or stay same.
    Just that levels of immigration need to be looked at.
    Cos the crazies on the right want this bullshit argument to form part of next election and want to trap Labor into a position. And they would be hoping Labor say levels to stay same or increased.
    Either of these responses will get them going

  11. Another amusing aspect to all this is the whingeing about the process – how Turnbull “surprised” them on the Tuesday, and then the (extremely clever) delaying tactics. At the end of the day they had a vote, and Dutton lost. Dutton and Abbott’s supporters in the Parliament and outside can rant and rave about the process, but the Liberals had a choice and they lost. If the “delays” that Bolt and co complain about made them lose, it is only because maybe a few people came to their senses in time and were not rushed in to a crazy (from the perspective of the Coalition’s election chances) decision. But of course a rush job was the plan.

    The whole unsavoury episode demonstrates how political plotters win – they approach members saying “Our candidate has the numbers, you’d want to be on the winning side, and maybe get a ministry, and if you don’t join us, when we win you may lose your preselection, so ‘Will you join in our crusade?’ “. Enough wavering suckers fall for this spiel, and then they do get the numbers, and those waverers are none the wiser that it was a sham to begin with. I think the example of Cormann, Fifield and Cash is the perfect example of this – Cormann was convinced by the plotters that Dutton already had the numbers, which he clearly didn’t, and thus they gave the plotters three more high profile names and a press-stop which got a lot of attention.

  12. I know vox pops aren’t really much use, but it’s interesting how many people stopped in the street have no idea who Morrison is — and yet he was Treasurer for over two years.

    Everyone knew Costello and Keating.

  13. mundo @ #49 Saturday, August 25th, 2018 – 8:27 am

    The counterpoint to all this is the apparent ‘campaign’ by the media at large and individuals to starve the ALP/Shorten of any attention/relevance.
    It is as though Her Majesty’s opposition doesn’t exist and we must somehow find a way to make government work with the Liberal party because there is no other option.

    Contrast this with the commentary during the Rudd/Gillard war which was all about Tony and the glorious government in waiting…..
    The hard sell of Scrote and Joshie has already begun.
    Expect to hear alot of Scomo Scomo Scomo Ooi Ooi Ooi! from most media outlets in the coming months.

    Indeed, and all the cries of ‘election now’ etc etc during the Gillard/Rudd years are now conspicuous by their absence.

  14. Rocket Rocket:

    FWIW PvO has said the whole push to remove Turnbull was Abbott’s doing, not solely for revenge, but because he wants to be leader again. The theory goes that if Turnbull had won the election his position as leader would be reinforced and be stronger, while if he lost, there would be a strong push within the party for generational change. Both scenarios would see Abbott’s chances at becoming leader again significantly diminished, if not reduced to zero.

  15. zoomster:

    Most people at work yesterday when we were talking about the ballot had no idea who Morrison was either, or that he’d been Treasurer.

  16. zoomster

    A populist ploy from Latham, embraced by a panicked Howard, and of course which was never going to affect either of them due to “grandfathering” provisions.

    The Chartists in the mid 19th Century in Britain campaigned for (among other things) Members of Parliament to be paid. Because they were unpaid only the rich could afford to be in Parliament.

  17. zoomster @ #69 Saturday, August 25th, 2018 – 5:53 am

    I know vox pops aren’t really much use, but it’s interesting how many people stopped in the street have no idea who Morrison is — and yet he was Treasurer for over two years.

    Everyone knew Costello and Keating.

    I saw the ABC do some yesterday in Cook.

    The ones they showed were glowing for Morrison.

    The reporter said at the end that there were some disapproving of Morrison which they didn’t show.

    Maybe the language they used wasn’t fit to be broadcast! 🙂

  18. Remember debt and defict (which has blown out) and great big tax (carbon pricing)?

    This was reported repeatedly

    Only time Shorten is discussed is when equated to Steve Bradbury

  19. Morning all. Thanks William for some really usefull analysis on who did what. The term “one of the Dutton coup plotters” will be damning and can be used by Laabor in the next campaign. And it should be – they were all selfish, and self-deluded, political vandals.

    And where does this all leave the Liberal Party? Outside Frydenberg and one or two others, centrist liberalism is seen to be dead in the Liberal party. The real centrist candidate – Bishop – got 11 votes out of 85.

    Instead William’s voting lists expose that the Liberal party is dominated by factions. Except that the two main Liberal party factions are not right and left. They are far right economic rationalist (Morrison) and extreme right religious bigots (Abbott-Dutton). Those are your choices – the mad monk or trickle down economics. No wonder Turnbull could not govern them.

    In the short term this is a bit scarry. What good will Morrison do in office? What will he be allowed to do? With such deep divisions, the only purpose of the Liberals clinging to power seems to be to retain the trappings of office, and to keep using treasury to donate hundreds of millions to their business buddies. So more GBRFs.

    In the long term this is a gift to Labor. They just have to keep their noses clean so they cant be dragged down by scandal in the next year. No doubt Murdoch will have people going over every Labor candidate and MP for dirt in a desperate attempt to portray both sides as being as bad as each other andd hoping to return a minority government. Discipline will win the day.

  20. It is possible that ScoMo is going for a minimalist change in the ministry, meaning:

    Dutton remains Home Affairs
    Bishop FM
    Greg the Lyin’ Health
    Cormann Finance
    Porter AG
    Nats keep who they have in what they have

    Questions on Communications and Jobs ‘n’ Growth – Fifield and Cash May swap
    Environment and Energy is a vacancy – no surprise to see the portfolio split, new face in Environment (Angus Taylor or an old Sussan Ley) and Queenslander in Energy (Stuart Robert)
    Defence may go back to single ministry – Marise Payne may be gawn
    Fresh faces in the outer ministry, and a round up of females into the Asistant Minister camp – Henderson, Hume, Flint…

    At risk is Cash and Connie FW, who will probably be saved by gender.

    Abbott is the n*gger in the woodpile. Special Minister of State may be a slot, though with Cosgrove’s term expiring, ScoMo may offer him Governor General 🙂

  21. Victoria, phoenixRed:

    Obviously an unfolding story, but still.

    Fernand R. AmandiVerified account@AmandiOnAir
    3h3 hours ago
    Holy moly. I just learned that Weisselberg wasn’t just granted “use immunity” but rather “complete immunity from prosecution” – which my legal pal @KatiePhang will surely confirm only happens when you’ve got ALL the goods #FollowTheMoney

  22. Amazing how Murdoch’s Oz, DT, CM and HS all happened to have the same picture of Morrison & family on the front page of their dead tree editions:

  23. Oh, and when Turnbull ousted Abbott in 2015, he did offer the London High Commissioner role to Tony. Abbott declined, as we now know to exact revenge on Malcolm.

    If only he had accepted the sinecure….

  24. Sprocket

    Marise Payne I would wager has actually done well in defence. Given that ministry tends to be a rolling stuff up and a bit of a graveyard for pollies the fact shes not in the media spotlight is probably a good sign. That being said shes a moderate and would probably have to go out to appease the conservatives with an extra minister.

    Also – is Abetz going to be excluded again? They should give Colbeck something if they really want to mess with Abetz.

  25. On his past history, I can’t imagine Morrison changing anything.
    (Female type comment – I think he has a cruel mouth.)

    Behrouz Boochani‏Verified account @BehrouzBoochani · 19h19 hours ago

    Four PMs changed since we were sent to Manus and Nauru in 2013. Nothing’s changed for us, we are still are here. Its time to close your bloody camps and let us free. None of us wants to go to your country, you’ve given us more pain than one could even imagine. Just let us go.

  26. Fess

    Mueller was the one that took down the Gotti crime family.
    His modus operandi with Trump is the same.
    NYC is a run by mobster orgs, which Trump was one.
    Everyone in NYC knows this and on some level it is business as usual.
    But having mobster Don as President of the USA, well that is a bridge too far.
    And of course it doesn’t help when the other mobsters of organisations are actually Russian. National security is paramount.

  27. Also on the Dickson poll – the swings do look very similar to Longman, and suggest little if any personal vote for Dutton. So Qld Liberals are in trouble (still). Dutton like Abbott, can be seen to have acted for purely selfish reasons.

    This leaves some very clear memes that will run from now till election day:
    Liberal coup plotters
    Qld seats at risk
    Liberal party factions
    Divided party
    Centrism dead in the Liberal party
    Selfish coup plotters

    And to me Dutton faces more than s44 eligibility questions. What about the conflicts of interest?! His family finances have been set up to rort millions out of a Commonwelath funded child care system. Did he vote for it? Did he declare the millions he had at stake in it? He should be booted from Cabinet on many grounds.

  28. Citizen

    I saw the front page of the Morrison family.
    Not wanting to say anything nasty, but what era are the fashion sense of partner and children. Goodness me. I laughed out loud!

  29. It beats me to hell that Mr. Morrison is described as being of a religious bent.

    I can go with the bent part of the above but I would like to suggest that his is a case of religiosity rather that religion.

    Whatever may be the truth (refer Johnny Cash – What is Truth ) lying, conniving, manipulation and contriving to deprive others is apparently at the heart of it.

    Here endeth the lesson. We will now sing Hymn No 42.

    😵Dropkick Me Jesus. 😵

  30. Ides

    I haven’t seen Abetz mentioned seriously, most people think he’s a cranky old tosser. Tasmania will remain a problem for the Libs as long as his narrow casting views prevail.

  31. Vic:

    Jonathan Swan had this to say about the matter:

    Why it matters: This is a very significant story that’s already causing waves in the legal circles around the White House. Unlike Cohen, who was involved in quixotic projects and sleazy side deals to hush up women, Weisselberg has true and deep visibility into the Trump Organization. Trumpworld’s greatest fear is that U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) investigators will start prying deeper into the president’s business affairs. And Trump can’t shut down such an investigation by firing Robert Mueller. This one’s out of his hands.

    The bottom line: If there are any fishy payments for any purpose going back decades, Weisselberg would know about them. That’s why Trumpworld is on high alert about this. Concerned texts are flying around now from sources in the President’s orbit.

  32. Final comment – isn’t it ironic that in 2018 the single biggest faction in the Liberal party is the Santamaria inspired DLP groupers? They are not a majority, even in the conservative Liberals. But they appear to have more numbers than any other single group.

    Liberalism is dead. Long live the Grifters! Have a good day all.

  33. Craig Emerson‏ @DrCraigEmerson

    A NewsCorp editor tonight: “We run opinion pieces from all sides of the spectrum … such as Miranda Devine … and Andrew Bolt”. That’s not a very broad spectrum in my book

  34. Murdoch today seems to promoting Morrison as hard as his literary hacks can manage.

    Fairfax seems to be attempting to differentiate itself from Murdoch, at least at the present time. Maybe this is linked to Uhlmann’s outburst on Channel 9, the soon to be owner of Fairfax.

    The ABC? A mixed bag but they will be nervously looking at what a Morrison government might do to them.

  35. meher baba says:
    Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 7:00 am
    I’m no great fan of Annabelle Crabb, but I reckon she’s written the most insightful piece on the events of yesterday. (It’s on the ABC website.)

    As she says, the anti-Turnbull push wasn’t about policy or even personality. It was about the “vibe.”

    I’d take it even a bit further: the conservatives in parliament and the Lib Party branches are itching for a fight with the left side of politics. They’ve seen Trump pop up and are mad keen for something like that here.

    I don’t think there’s much chance that Morrison can satisfy this craving. But it’s also hard to see how another attempt to install Dutton or Abbott or whoever can succeed before the election, especially as the conservatives clearly don’t have the numbers.

    It’s a pressure cooker waiting to explode.

    Probably the best thing for all concerned is for them to lose office and then install Abbott as leader again to run the line they want. He can then have one more crack at it in 2022 or whenever – and, bar another R-G-R extravaganza – lose convincingly.

    And then, having gotten that out of their system, the Libs can move on.

    Good post Meher.

  36. My info (from someone who says he is unfortunately related to him) is that Sukkar and a few others were indeed celebrating on Thursday night in the understanding they had the numbers for Dutton – including by the bullying and threats of Sukkar to his fellow Victorian MP’s as to pre selection

    Now to get this cancer out of Deakin and out of Australian politics

    The candidate Sukkar faced in 2016 had one mail out during the campaign (one of my sons did not know who the Labor candidate was until the mail out in the last week of the campaign)

    Sukkar had a mail out in the post every day

    Sukkar is very well resourced financially by his religious roots

  37. So, it’s 52%ALP-48%LNP in Dickson, with Morrison at the helm… A significant shrinkage of the vote for the LNP is expected federally in Qld then, which won’t be compensated by any gain elsewhere, not even in NSW, with a Morrison (a hard conservative with a tendency of betraying his hard conservative mates) leadership.

    The Abbott camp have got it right. A trashing is inevitable at the election next year, this will be blamed on the failed leadership of Scott Morrison who will be forced to resign….. and that will be the moment for Abbott and the Hard Conservatives to truly take over.

    In the background, watch the minions of IPA frantically moving to try to take over the party under the cover of chaos (a very Bolshevik tactic)…. But, unbeknownst to them, the Hard Conservative tidal wave will wash away any other alternative within the Liberal party. The historical loss at the coming federal election is a turning point for the Libs…. and a turning point for the worse.

  38. Sprocket

    Very true. Someone smart in the Tas Libs needs to realise Abetz turns off middle ground voters and turf him. Also a clear indication of generational change needed in the Tas Libs.

    That being said he went balistic with Colbeck and threw him down the senate ticket and then went balistic again when he got back in when Stephen Parry got s44’ed. If Colbeck gets the only Tas ministry it would make Abetz explode and thats a funny thing.

  39. Victoria says: Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 9:15 am


    I saw the front page of the Morrison family.
    Not wanting to say anything nasty, but what era are the fashion sense of partner and children. Goodness me. I laughed out loud!


    Almost Amish ???? …..

  40. sprocket_ @ #74 Saturday, August 25th, 2018 – 9:01 am

    It is possible that ScoMo is going for a minimalist change in the ministry, meaning:

    Dutton remains Home Affairs
    Bishop FM
    Greg the Lyin’ Health
    Cormann Finance
    Porter AG
    Nats keep who they have in what they have

    Questions on Communications and Jobs ‘n’ Growth – Fifield and Cash May swap
    Environment and Energy is a vacancy – no surprise to see the portfolio split, new face in Environment (Angus Taylor or an old Sussan Ley) and Queenslander in Energy (Stuart Robert)
    Defence may go back to single ministry – Marise Payne may be gawn
    Fresh faces in the outer ministry, and a round up of females into the Asistant Minister camp – Henderson, Hume, Flint…

    At risk is Cash and Connie FW, who will probably be saved by gender.

    Abbott is the n*gger in the woodpile. Special Minister of State may be a slot, though with Cosgrove’s term expiring, ScoMo may offer him Governor General 🙂

    Well I think that Morrison would be foolish if he kept most of those. There is one vacancy left by Turnbull

    Cash needs to go on the grounds of idiocy. That gives him two obvious spots. in Cabinet

    I would promote Ken Wyatt to Cabinet
    He can maybe rehabilitate Sussan Ley to get his numbers of women up.

    I agree leave Hunt the humbled and Keenan. Porter too and Bishop if she wishes. I would keep Ciobo.

    I would NOT keep Dutton. He should rusticate along with Tony. I think that if I were Morrison I would bring back Kevin Andrews to replace Dutton – you need someone from the right.

    Break up that super department – give some of the functions to Py/ane defence duo

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