Further Friday free-for-all

Amid an otherwise quiet week for polling, a privately conducted ReachTEL poll offers further evidence the Liberals are on shaky ground in Wentworth.

It’s been a quiet week on the poll front, and indeed it’s worth noting that polling generally is thinner on the ground than it used to be – the once weekly Essential Research series went fortnightly at the start of the year, neither Sky News nor Seven has been treating us to federal ReachTEL polls like they used to, and even the Fairfax-Ipsos poll has pared back its sample sizes in recent times from 1400 to 1200. I suspect we won’t be getting the normally-fortnightly Newspoll on Sunday night either, as these are usually timed to coincide with the resumption of parliament, for which we will have to wait another week. I can at least relate the following:

• The Guardian has results from a ReachTEL poll of Wentworth conducted for independent candidate Licia Heath, conducted last Thursday from a sample of 727. After exclusion of the 5.6% undecided the results are Dave Sharma (Liberal) 43.0%; Tim Murray (Labor) 20.7%; Kerryn Phelps (independent) 17.9%; Licia Heath (independent) 10.0% and Dominic Wy Kanak (Greens) 6.6%. The poll also comes with a 51-49 Liberal-versus-Labor two-party result, but this a) assumes Tim Murray would not be overtaken by Kerryn Phelps after allocation of preferences, and b) credits Labor with over three-quarters of independent and minor party preferences, which seems highly implausible. The poll also reportedly finds “as many as 52% of people said high-profile independent candidate Kerryn Phelps’ decision to preference the Liberals made it less likely they would give her their vote”, but this would seem to be a complex issue given Phelps’s flip-flop on the subject.

• The Guardian also has results of polling by ReachTEL for the Australian Education Union on the federal goverment’s funding deal for Catholic and independent schools, conducted last Thursday from a sample of 1261 respondents in Corangamite, Dunkley, Forde, Capricornia, Flynn, Gilmore, Robertson and Banks. The report dwells too much on what the small sub-sample of undecided voters thought, but it does at least relate that 38.6% of all respondents said the deal made them less likely to vote Liberal.

• Back to Wentworth, I had a paywalled article on the subject in Crikey, and took part in a mostly Wentworth-related podcast yesterday with Ben Raue of The Tally Room, along with Georgia Tkachuk of Collins Gartrell, which you can access below.

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.

1,606 comments on “Further Friday free-for-all”

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  1. The “Malaysia Solution” was a policy Eldorado that was supposedly going to stop boat journeys and not involve Australia needing to resettle many people. The thing would never have lived up to the claims of the fabulists who pushed it. These days the Malaysia Solution is cited only by small minds who don’t handle complexity all that well.

    Even in a big year for boat arrivals, Australia has never had to cope with an unmanageable number. We are insulated by geography and that gives us the luxury of processing arrivals on the mainland and deciding which people we will accept and which people we will deport. We don’t need applicants to be detained during the application process. They can live in the community and be provided with access to services, income support, and job opportunities.

    Australia need not have panicked in 2012. Australia’s attitude to boat arrivals in 2012-2013 was a hysterical over-reaction to a modest number of arrivals. Political leaders have a responsibility to reassure and inform the public – an obligation that they refused to meet in 2012-2013.

  2. Nicholas
    A very sane post.
    The trouble with boat people is they have become political manna for the Liberals and the Greens. The only solution is to ignore the spell.

  3. I see the asylum seekers who arrive by boat, because, hey, that’s the most romantic construct, Polyannas, are still denying political reality. That being, the more they push the #LetThemCome line, the more it pushes for a Coalition government to be returned at the next election due to the FACT that over 70% of the Australian people, those that they obviously look down their noses at as ‘the great unwashed and bogans’ and not of the delicate sensibilities that they possess, are quite happy with the present policy of Australia taking a decent share of the world’s refugees in a structured and orderly fashion so that we don’t see the chaos and calamity that was occurring previously.

    However, as The Greens and their camp followers appear to have abandoned any pretense to caring for the environment, because the carrying capacity of the Australian environment to absorb an unfettered number of boat arrivals and the world’s refugees is poor, especially considering the prospects for the effects of Climate Change on this country, I guess we must simply conclude that they have found their wedge issue to run with before the federal election in order to cleave off the unrealistic voters who believe their shallow but dangerous proposition.

  4. Oh, and the Regional Resettlement Plan was not a ‘policy El Dorado’ as it took the prospect of settling in Australia if you came by boat, off the table. It thus encouraged refugees to respect the level playing field, where each of them had the same advantages and prospect of being settled in Australia, as the other.

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    In a sobering contribution Catherine McGregor writes that our strategic circumstances are deteriorating rapidly, yet we are seemingly oblivious to the rapidly changing world.
    David Crowe looks at the vexed question of us becoming a republic.
    Paul Karp reports that Michael Kirby has blasted the Coalition for failing to release the Ruddock review, warning that secularism is at threat and Australians are right to be “suspicious” the government has not stated its plans on religious freedom.
    Almost three-quarters of undecided voters in eight Liberal party-held marginal seats say they disapprove of the federal government’s $4.6bn funding deal with the Catholic and independent school sectors, according to new polling data.
    Michelle Grattan looks at Morrison’s prospects for the next election.
    Greg Jericho says that CEOs should reveal how much more they earn than their average worker. He has a telling chart comparing real wages and productivity indexes.
    Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert has been charging taxpayers more than $2000 per month to use the internet at his Gold Coast home. There’s something seriously wrong with this guy!
    Peter Hannam bemoans Australia’s efforts on climate change,
    And he tells us that a plan by Australia’s largest coal-fired power station to expand its ash dam over a disused coal mine has won approval by the environment watchdog even as consultants identify potential “major hazards”.
    Nicole Hasham reports that Australian and South Korean officials have discussed drumming up investment in the controversial Adani mega-mine.
    A severe drought in the Murray–Darling Basin has raised concern among SA irrigators as water storage levels have dropped dramatically in the past 24 months.
    The Bureau of Meteorology drought report reveals near lowest year-to-date rainfall in the Basin, second only to the Federation Drought of 1902, combined with the warmest January to September.
    The SMH editorial says that one consequence of the political instability in Canberra over the past decade is the explosion in the number of living former prime ministers with time on their hands.
    Christopher Kraus reveals that a former senior adviser to Tony Abbott is working as an in-house lobbyist for the tobacco giant Philip Morris, but flaws with the lobbying rules mean he is invisible to the oversight regime covering federal parliament.
    David Crowe explains how Labor has ramped up its pitch to families on education policy with a pledge to scrap upfront fees for students who become preschool teachers.
    In a feature article Gabriella Chan writes on how to change the game on responding to drought. She says it’s not about more money for farmers. It’s about long-term settings for a changing climate – and taking the politics out of it
    Michael Koziol outlines what makes our new race discrimination commissioner tick.
    Ruth Williams writes that the departing tax watchdog has stepped up calls for increased oversight of the Australian Taxation office to address concerns regarding too much power being concentrated in one individual, the Commissioner”
    US Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said that the FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the “product of an incomplete investigation”. Who would have thought?
    Emma Koehn explains how company directors will be compelled to register for a lifetime ID number or face penalties including a year in prison under a Commonwealth plan to fight phoenixing activity.
    More than $25 million in ­taxpayer-funded Great Barrier Reef contracts were handed to companies linked to a prominent Liberal National Party donor and his wife while she served on the board of the government agency controlling the funds.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz tells us how Trump’s bubble may affect mortgages in Australia.
    Sarah Danckert reports that National Australia Bank’s has again been hit by an alleged mortgage fraud with two people facing criminal charges after so-called “liar loans” were filed with the bank.
    Victorian Nationals MP Tim McCurdy will stand trial over allegations he used deception to secure a near-decade-old real estate deal that earned him $375,000 in commissions. They certainly have standards!
    Freedom of speech can be detrimental to the progress of an enlightened society unless it is used responsibly, writes John Lord. He wonders why the Ruddock report has still not been released.
    NBN customers have been warned to brace for price hikes and worse internet congestion when NBN Co’s discount on 50 megabit-per-second plans ends later this month. One NBN expert told The New Daily consumers could be paying up to $10 more every month – or up to $120 a year – and face more regular buffering and dropouts in the evening when most people are online. It’s a national disgrace!
    Buyers of apartments in Brisbane’s tallest building – AMP Capital’s Skytower are trying to sell out of their properties for as much as 10 per cent discounts – with some buyers being Asian speculators who may be struggling with finance. The canary in the coalmine?
    The Independent Australia tells us that this Coalition Government may have had several incarnations but it seems all three of them – the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison versions – have been hell-bent on destroying the ABC.
    New class actions set to hit the mining industry over casual entitlements will require lawyers first make a 250 per cent return on their costs before claimants see any money.
    US TV news anchor Connie Chung reveals her sexual assault in an open letter to Christine Blasey Ford.
    The US Justice Department has announced the indictment of seven Russian military spies on cyber hacking charges linked to the leaking of Olympic athletes’ drug test data in an alleged effort to undermine international efforts to expose Russian doping.
    Gladys Berejiklian is set to cede the electorate of Wagga Wagga, held by the NSW Liberals for more than six decades until last month’s devastating byelection loss. Quite a capitulation.
    A veteran NSW judge says she fears her colleagues will be driven to suicide if pressure isn’t lifted on the state’s overwhelmed court system.
    The chairman of an airline industry group has accused Canberra Airport of running a gold-plated monopoly, forcing airlines to love it or leave it. Airlines for Australia and New Zealand chairman Graeme Samuel said overdevelopment and a lack of consumer competition regulation at Canberra Airport had meant higher costs for airlines.
    Jenna Price on the perils of teenage parties.
    James Adonis explains how managers can build better sales teams.
    Here are the winners of this year’s “Shonkies” awards.
    And for the sixth year, Tigerair has scored the dubious title of being the most complained about airline in Australia.
    Today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    I love May’s footwork in this David Rowe contribution.
    A good one on the tampon tax from Peter Broelman.
    Paul Zanetti on Morrison’s aid to Indonesia.
    Glen Le Lievre and our efforts on global warming.
    David Pope with what drives Mitch Fifield on ABC board appointments.
    A very snarky Johannes Leak effort.
    More in here.

  6. In a surprise that isn’t, the PR PM is going to make the most out of Harry and Meghan’s trip to Australia:

    The loved-up couple will attend every event in Australia together bar one: a climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge to plant the Invictus flag on October 10.

    Harry will make the climb with a less glamorous partner: Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

    Morrison will make the most of the PR opportunities from the royal tour, with his schedule crossing Harry’s at least three times. Canberra is not on the calendar for Harry and Meghan but they will use Admiralty House as a base and meet the Governor-General, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and the Governor of Victoria during a day trip to Melbourne.


  7. The Public School system is fighting back already against Morrison’s deal for the Catholic and other religious schools. They have new signs up on their fences for ‘A Fair Funding Deal for this school now’, or something similar.

  8. Tristo
    The sighs of relief will furiously spin the wind turbines. There will be enough electricity to power the nation.

  9. Tristo

    Why? The Liberals SHOULD win Wentworth in a canter. If there’s a swing against them in a blue ribbon toff seat like Wentworth, they’re in real trouble.

    Impending doom is a bit of a morale killer.

  10. Zoomster:

    I doubt a moderate swing against them that still results in a comfortable victory for Sharma would worry the government much, but otherwise I agree.

  11. William, with the relatively sparse polling as of late, have you considered bringing back Seat of the Week to provide some more material for new threads? I always liked those articles, and I imagine there’s been a few redistributions since the last time it was done.

  12. Morning all. Looks like Kavanaugh is moving closer to being confirmed.

    A pair of key Republican senators expressed satisfaction Thursday with a new FBI report, increasing the odds of Senate confirmation this weekend of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee who has faced sexual misconduct allegations.

    Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), one of three Republicans who had not indicated how they plan to vote, said Thursday that “it appears to be a very thorough investigation, but I’m going back later to personally read the interviews.”

    Shortly afterward, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who requested the investigation, told reporters that “we’ve seen no additional corroborating information.”

    Collins, Flake and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are the critical votes that could ensure Kavanaugh’s ascension to the nation’s highest court.


  13. When Australia finally has the courage to close down its oldest coal plants and mines, we will be left with a terrible environmental legacy, with unviable farmland and undrinkable water courses. I can recall all sorts of elaborate mitigation treatments being promised when these sites were approved (when I first started working in government in the 80s). Most treatments are never carried out unless the mine or plant is forced to do them. You can bet that in the wind down of a declining industry, no NSW, Qld or Vic State government, Labor or Liberal, will enforce the law on their owners.

  14. Tristo

    If you’re sitting on a margin of 5% and there’s a swing of 10% against the Liberals in Wentworth, you won’t care if they win the seat – you’ll be in full panic mood.

    One of the unfairnesses of political life is that it doesn’t really matter much how brilliant a local member you are, if the swing is big enough, you’re gone.

    …A friend of mine who worked for Vic Labor used to visit his home town regularly.The seat was held for Labor with a reasonable buffer. For about three years before the 2010 state election, guys at the local pub would tell him, “We love X (the local member). He’s done a great job for us, can’t fault him. But we’re voting him out at the next election.” The next question was, naturally, “Why?” and the answer was, “Not really sure, we just are.” And they did.

  15. Good Morning

    Labor you must speak up on AS policy of indefinite detention being torture.

    See Trump as to why.

    That does not mean you are for open borders. Any more than the Democrats who are speaking up and taking action. Don’t be scared of the boats issue. Its unravelling for the LNP and polls today show that AS is not the boost they want.

    The torture of children ignoring the AMA etc are all downsides to them.
    All Labor has to claim is that the boats have stopped we don’t need to do detention torture. This as Christmas Island Detention centre has closed.

    You have strong ground to show your empathy and humanity.

  16. zoomster and tristo

    I would prefer Labor to win in Wentworth to Phelps. However given the voters are the Turnbull leather jacket type of voter I think Phelps is the best chance to oust the Liberals for the first time in the seat.

    Its good to see polling with Labor in front but never forget its the preferences that will do it.

    Those LNP preferences are going to be the decider and I think Phelps not Labor will get the majority of those. I hope I am wrong but thats how I see it.

  17. Lynchpin

    Its good the Greens are having this fight for Labor.

    They will come up with an argument where you can criticise the Chinese Government without being accused of racism. After all if the Chinese are attempting to influence ethnic Chinese people in Australia thats not racism.

    Thats pointing out what a dictatorial government is doing in Australia.

  18. Observer @ #2034 Thursday, October 4th, 2018 – 10:23 pm

    And I agree that Vietnam and the deaths of Conscripts along with those maimed and otherwise damaged finally impacted on just so many Australian families that a change of government was a given

    The Liberal Party needing an enemy, hey

    Look at the bothersome, bumbling Borrison – including today

    Its’s worse then that though.

    Australian Historian Paul Ham writes in his book, “Vietnam – The Australian War” that the LNP, specifically lobbied the US for preferential trade treatment for Australian Diary exports.

    That was the *value* they placed on the lives of our troops.

    FMD indeed!

    The Yanks rejected the idea very quickly, but gave preferential treatment to NZ Diary products – and they hadn’t even asked for it.

    Ham also points out the the LNP Government of the day never gave instructions to the ADF as to what their mission was or what they sought to achieve.

    Think about that……

    The tories invited themselves to brown nose the US and sent the bill to taxpayers and our young troops – whom they refused to even bring home the dead for return to their families and burial, initially anyway until public backlash caused a backflip.

    Voters don’t come out of it all very well either. The War was initially popular, those who refused or resisted conscription were branded cowards.

    Later voters changed their minds and turned on the troops. Spat at them and threw red paint over them when they returned – and through it all re-elected the tories.

    Voters don’t always get it right.

  19. Petrol is on track to hit $2 a litre within about a month. Petrol is a sticky economic good (usage can change but takes time to adjust). This is going to hurt the “battlers” a lot and it won’t help the government one iota. Expect cost of Living to be a major talking point shortly.

  20. Oh Nicholas:

    “The “Malaysia Solution” was a policy Eldorado that was supposedly going to stop boat journeys and not involve Australia needing to resettle many people. ”

    Your post jumped the shark in its very first sentence. If you want to be taken seriously, stop constructing ridiculous straw men. The Malaysian solution was meant to be a circuit breaker, to work in conjunction with other policies.

    It has been my personal view that the Malaysian solution in combination with Rudd’s June 2013 announcement would have worked to satisfy the public’s insistence on border security, broken up the people smugglers business model and provided a sensible path to INCREASE the number of Australia’s refugee intact in a way that was acceptable to the Australian public.

  21. I wonder how many Australia had/has

    The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

    Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.


  22. Ven

    I think its going to be very interesting when the vote actually happens.

    Who knows Senator Flake may end up facing some more voters in a lift.

    The GOP have put lots of police sweeps in place to prevent protestors showing up and doing that.

    The pressure on those Senators is immense from both sides. Thus I cannot predict which way they are going to vote. We have had reports before right up until Senator Flake made his motion delaying Kavanuaugh’s nomination with a background check reinvestigation.

    Odds still are with the nomination happening but the odds of the Democrats having the House to impeach and the Senate to do the trial are increasing for both President and Judge.

  23. Spat at them and threw red paint over them when they returned…

    My understanding is that that response was a US one. Did any such action ever happen in Australia?

  24. guytaur says:
    Friday, October 5, 2018 at 8:14 am
    Thats pointing out what a dictatorial government is doing in Australia.

    Chinese Government is a dictatorship. After Xi is elected President for Life now we have situation similar to Mao’s times, where Mao was Chairman for life. With the wealth they acquired with help and de-industrialisation of Western nations, they are now bullying all their neighbours.

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