Newspoll and ReachTEL: 51-49 to Labor in Herbert and Flinders

Seat polls show Labor with their nose in front in one seat where they won by a whisker in 2016, and another where they haven’t won in since 1983.

Two new seat polls today, with due caution for the fact that seat polls tend not to perform very well:

• The Australian has a small-sample Newspoll from the Townsville-based seat of Herbert, which Labor won by the barest of margins in 2016 for the first time since the Hawke-Keating era. The reason this seat in particular has been targeted appears to relate to Clive Palmer’s expensive bid to re-establish his political career, to which Townsville is relevant given the failure of his nickel operation there. The poll has the 50-50 result from 2016 turning into a Labor lead of 51-49, which I’m guessing is based on respondent-allocated preferences, as the primary votes look a little more favourable for Labor than that. Labor’s Cathy O’Toole is on 32%, up from 30.5% in 2016; the Liberal National Party is on 32%, down from 35.5%; One Nation is on 9%, down from 13.5%; Katter’s Australian Party is on 9%, up from 6.9%; the Greens are on 7%, up from 6.3%; and Palmer’s United Australia Party is on 8%. The poll was conducted Thursday from a sample of 509.

• The other poll is a uComms/ReachTEL poll for the CFMMEU, which targets Greg Hunt’s Melbourne fringe seat of Flinders, which he holds on a post-redistribution margin of 7.1%. As related by the Herald Sun, the poll credits Labor with a lead of 51-49, with the Liberal primary vote at 36.8%, compared with 51.6% in 2016 – although this is probably complicated by an undecided element. Hunt’s primary vote is only 32.7% among women, compared with 41.2% among men. I hope to be able to obtain full results over the next few days. The poll finds 47.8% less likely to vote for Hunt due to his role in the move against Malcolm Turnbull, compared with 34.4% for no difference and just 17.8% for more likely. The poll was conducted Thursday from a sample of 627. The Herald Sun report also reveals that Julia Banks, the Liberal-turned-independent member for Chisholm, is considering running against Hunt.

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.

924 thoughts on “Newspoll and ReachTEL: 51-49 to Labor in Herbert and Flinders”

  1. BTW, ages ago when I was lurking there was a discussion about Shorten moving into Kirribilli, and some mistakenly said it was the home of the PM. It was for Howard, but the Lodge is the home of the PM.

  2. Question…the Right is disintegrating. The urban elite, who have funded, populated, managed, supported and voted for the Liberals since 1946, will regain control of their party. They will purge the crazies. They will set out to make themselves relevant and electable again.

    And the breakaway groups will gradually decompose.

    The people that will drive this are the affluent urban bourgeoisie. They have begun already – in Wentworth and in Melbourne’s wealthy suburbs.

  3. From what I can see, Zali Steggall will not support the reforms of negative gearing, capital gains tax, imputed dividend refunds & she supports company tax cuts for big business

    All of which is moot, because Tony Abbott won’t support those things either and the only plausible options are Abbot or Steggall.

    Of course she’s not going to turn a safe Liberal seat into a Labor seat. But she can get rid of Abbott. That’s a worthy end in and of itself.

  4. Far right does not just mean yobs marching around booing immigrants. Far right also covers the supporters of ‘screwing over the workers’ economics .They can be very well dressed and well mannered but they will do more damage to society than the yobs. As well as reducing the quality of life for most people their policies greatly increase the chance of a rise in extremist politics and politicians.

  5. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/28/australia-recognises-juan-guaido-venezuela-president

    Australia has recognised Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, joining the United States, Canada and Venezuela’s South American neighbours in rejecting incumbent Nicolás Maduro.

    The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, also urged countries to “pick a side” in the crisis.

    Maduro retains the support of Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and Turkey and still has the backing of the military

    Hmm.

  6. If I was Murdoch / Stokes looking to protect my personal wealth, influence and continue the endemic corruption, I’d want a LNP split pre-election, I’d brand the split as centrist, and frame the old LNP and the ALP as dangerous partisan crazies on both sides. I don’t think they have time to split and organise, and win this year, but they are not completely without hope.

    Boy if I was Stokes and Murdoch I’d have my little propaganda slaves waving a cheque book, finding candidates, working the phones trying to make it happen. I might even try and use the Center alliance to house them for this election before the work to house and make the new party function after the election. In fact they don’t even really need to win this time, but if they could be a significant, or main opposition party they could easily be in place to challenge for Govt in three years (with essentially the full support of the entire Australian media).

  7. briefly 1:38,

    Totally agree, that’s why my thought bubbles about strategies for fixing #LibSplit all come back to recasting the Liberals in the traditional mould. Sooner or later they will recapture the loon preferences.

    I think Australia led the world in moronic right wing wankery and is also the first to get over the fad.

  8. rhwombat @ #252 Monday, January 28th, 2019 – 12:28 pm

    Confessions @ #1364 Monday, January 28th, 2019 – 11:31 am

    Oops link:
    http://digg.com/video/alex-honnold-el-capitan-video

    The film Free Solo is now being shown locally. I highly recommend it. Excellent film, looking at the personal dynamics as much as the act of focus that soloing El Cap represents. I identify quite strongly with Honneld, but Chin & Chai Vasarhelyi have made a remarkable film independent of the vicarious vertigo. The challenge isn’t the risk of death (spoiler: he doesn’t) it’s the concentration to climb at extremes for hours without making a single slip or error. He’s done other remarkable things, like the first complete traverses of the Fitz Roy and Torre massifs in Patagonia, without fanfare, but the El Cap FS effort is all his and completely unparalleled – so far.

    Yes, it’s nuts – but I wish I were that insane.

    Nope. Nope. Nope.

  9. A R @ #351 Monday, January 28th, 2019 – 1:40 pm

    Of course she’s not going to turn a safe Liberal seat into a Labor seat. But she can get rid of Abbott. That’s a worthy end in and of itself.

    Agreed. The Liberals routinely damage the fabric of our society in order to enrich themselves, but Abbott did something worse – he damaged our political system, which is what we are supposed to be able to rely on to correct and repair such damage.

    Abbott has to go. I’d vote for anyone capable of dethroning him.

  10. Question @ #345 Monday, January 28th, 2019 – 10:34 am

    Fess,

    The question for me is how electable can the Liberals become in the first term. And what do people like Rupert think is the quickest way for them to do that? Getting rid of Abbott would be a good start. And don’t worry, I won’t be crying about it.

    It remains to be seen whether the party will reform and do the hard policy work it should’ve after the 2007 election. But there are many other variables on the Liberals becoming electable again in its first term in opposition, including but not limited to:

    – How the Shorten govt fares
    – The Senate composition (in part links with above)
    – The scale of their election loss
    – Retirements by long-standing MPs, opening the way for less ideologically-bent fresh faces
    – What the Liberals decide to do with the Nationals – is the coalition still working for it?

  11. I think Australia led the world in moronic right wing wankery and is also the first to get over the fad.

    Weather vanes?
    #weatheronPB

  12. Wonder if you could enlist Julie Bishop as a kind of defacto leader of the very independent not ultraconservative indes?

  13. Bill Shorten says Labor will consider preferencing independent Warringah candidate Zali Steggall, calling her intervention a symptom of “chaos” and “disunity” of the Morrison government.

    The Opposition Leader said Labor would look at the former Olympian’s policies in considering who to preference in the blue-ribbon seat. But he urged voters in the affluent Sydney electorate to back Labor if they want a government that will take action on climate change.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/zali-steggall-aims-to-form-united-front-of-independents/news-story/a3e5c7d22ca1f5c316088bae33089ed0

  14. “This is an independent, she has just announced she is running yesterday, we will examine her policies. One thing is for sure, Labor is committed to supporting action on climate change,” Mr Shorten said.
    Read Next

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    Jessica Cortis

    “Only Labor can form a government, the independents can’t.”

    Mr Shorten said it was “significant” Ms Steggall decided to contest Tony Abbott and called her a “very strong and capable person”.

    “Clearly Labor doesn’t agree with every point of view that she holds, but I congratulate her for standing up and I think that will be a pretty exciting contest to watch,” Mr Shorten said.

    “But Tony Abbott is a formidable and tough campaigner, I would not write him off either. What I think is important here is that every day, day after day, we see fresh chaos and continuing disunity in the government.

    “If it’s not members of the government walking out the door, it’s other Liberal supporters running against the government as independents. This is a government that is lurching from crisis to crisis. And in the meantime, the big issues are not being addressed.”

  15. @SwannyQLD
    3h3 hours ago

    Hunt’s defunding of the three dedicated Prostate Cancer Research centres in Melbourne, Brisbane & Sydney is just another reason why voters in Flinders should give him the flick. #auspol

  16. In fact they don’t even really need to win this time, but if they could be a significant, or main opposition party they could easily be in place to challenge for Govt in three years (with essentially the full support of the entire Australian media).

    Particularly if the wave can be taken off the top of the ALP win, as is predicted by most with the historic, ‘inevitable’ narrowing, then if between a few ‘not at all ultraconservative indies’ and a poor senate, you could probably stop the ALP doing anything for their 2 1/2 to 3 years and win back Govt as soon as late 2021.

  17. PB Newspoll-Poll 2019-02-03

    PB mean: ALP 54.4 to 45.6 LNP
    PB median: ALP 54.0 to 46.0 LNP
    No. Of PB Respondents: 39
    Since: 08:00AEST
    ALP / LNP
    56 / 44 autocrat
    56 / 44 briefly
    55 / 45 d-money
    54.5 / 45.5 ICanCU
    54 / 46 Onebobsworth
    55 / 45 Quasar
    54 / 46 Red13
    53 / 47 Sohar
    55 / 45 Wayne
    ======
    (more errands, back later…)

  18. One of the reasons that Banks is likely to run in Hunt’s seat of Flinders rather than Higgins is that the electorate profile of Flinders is more attuned to the targetted seats of the Perfumed Mafia in terms of this Blue on Blue blue that has emerged in traditionally safe Liberal seats.

    Higgins, on the other hand is changing demographically as blocks of units and more renters choose to live there. I’m hearing Labor are quietly confident of picking up Higgins due to the successes in Hawthorn and surrounding seats at the last Victorian Election. There is also that single seat pole that is showing encouraging signs for Labor.

    If Banks runs in Flinders she’ll get plenty of support and let’s not forget Hunt was expecting to emerge as Deputy PM following the Turnbull putsch. I doubt whether Turnbull will have forgotten or forgiven!

  19. I’ve just removed myself from MyHealthRecord. I wasn’t going to originally, but after seeing a couple of incorrect comments my doctor wrote on medical references for me, and her comment that she couldn’t find the results of previous pathology tests, I decided that there was too much room for error, and it would certainly be useless for research.

  20. nath

    I’m sorry you’re incapable of reading what I actually wrote. Obviously there is no point trying to explain it to you further.

    A ‘sorry, zoom, you were right and I was wrong’ might be good, too.

  21. Question @ #349 Monday, January 28th, 2019 – 1:37 pm

    BTW, ages ago when I was lurking there was a discussion about Shorten moving into Kirribilli, and some mistakenly said it was the home of the PM. It was for Howard, but the Lodge is the home of the PM.

    Exactly. Kirribilli House is for the PM to stay in when he has business in Sydney to attend to. Just like the Governor General stays at Admiralty House.

  22. Annabel Crabb
    ‏@annabelcrabb
    25m25 minutes ago

    I cannot be the only person who thinks it would be more fun if the seat of Warringah were decided by means of a modern pentathlon rather than the customary ballot. Just this once.

  23. The Venezuelan Government and Venezuela’s private sector foolishly borrowed large amounts of foreign currency, which compromises the monetary sovereignty of Venezuela’s Government. The government should have avoided borrowing in foreign currencies and should have prohibited or put tight restrictions on the private sector’s borrowing in foreign currencies.

    Venezuela’s real living standards have depended too much on the volatile global price of a single commodity: oil. The government should have been investing in other industries to diversify Venezuela’s production and foster good quality domestic substitutes for critical imports.

    Corruption has bedevilled Venezuela’s productive capacity, particularly in the most important sector (the oil sector). Low quality people were appointed to important posts in Venezuela’s oil sector, causing this crucial resource to be mismanaged.

    The way forward is for the Venezuelan government to default on foreign currency-denominated debts, ban the private sector from taking on unhedged foreign currency-denominated debt, diversify Venezuela’s economy, invest in good quality domestically produced alternatives to imported products, clean up corruption, use import controls and capital controls as needed, reject all offers of IMF “assistance”, and put social value and ecological sustainability at the centre of decisions about what to produce and how to produce it.

    It would be a big mistake to privatize Venezuela’s oil assets. The assets need to remain in public hands and they have to be managed competently with a view to providing energy to everyone at the lowest possible price that is consistent with environmental sustainability in the context of a developing economy. Privatising the assets would not serve any public interest.

  24. GG,
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Greg the Lying Hunt had his goons bully Julia Banks, either, and her running against him was payback. He’s a nasty piece of work behind the wet-behind-the-ears facade.

  25. lizzie @ #373 Monday, January 28th, 2019 – 2:04 pm

    I’ve just removed myself from MyHealthRecord. I wasn’t going to originally, but after seeing a couple of incorrect comments my doctor wrote on medical references for me, and her comment that she couldn’t find the results of previous pathology tests, I decided that there was too much room for error, and it would certainly be useless for research.

    This is precisely the reason I have heard doctors themselves give for their decision to opt out of MyHealthRecord. A system like this with such inadequate security is so open to error that it is not just useless – it is positively dangerous.

  26. zoomster
    says:
    Monday, January 28, 2019 at 2:05 pm
    nath
    I’m sorry you’re incapable of reading what I actually wrote. Obviously there is no point trying to explain it to you further.
    A ‘sorry, zoom, you were right and I was wrong’ might be good, too.
    ____________________________
    Still waiting for my apology from yesterday regarding the role of certain Macedonians.

  27. L R,

    I’m going to leave my prediction until the last minute.

    Where is KayJay to fix the PB Mean? Surely some time to reflect can only be bad for the L-NP? 🙂

  28. Roman Quaedvlieg has just stepped up a notch,
    “The US is the king of global trolls; expresses national outrage at the irrefutable evidence of Russian influence in its democratic processes, but is now seeking to notch up around its 80th regime change since WWII. Venezuela needs change no doubt, but not more US intervention.”

  29. laughtong: I mentioned rumor of a press conference tomorrow with Morrison and (other dude), which was speculated might have related to calling an election for March, but the source (from reddit) has since deleted the post. So looks like the rumor was a fail.

  30. The thing is that there isn’t a simple solution to the Liberal split.

    The party didn’t get overrun by loons because the members are sane but just thought ‘let’s give these crazy bastards a bit of a go, what could possibly go wrong?’

    The membership is more reactionary, more racist, more sexist, more misogynist, more homophobic and more insane than their elected representatives. Now what you’re seeing is the more sane Liberal voters that just were never passionate enough to bother joining the party are organising to overcome the crazies that the even crazier membership foist on them.

    And that’s before you get to the point that these more moderate small l independents rely on voters who wouldn’t have a bar of the Liberals voting tactically to win.

    A Steggall can’t just walk up and join the Liberals. She’s not just campaigning against Abbott. She’s campaigning against all the people in the party that put him there and continue to support him. She can’t bring all the teal t shirts with her into the party to overcome the crazies, they aren’t interested.

    I think Zali has an extremely high probability of winning (I described a Zali shaped object as being almost certain to be found and to probably beat Abbott back in September). But she and others of her kind that come along can’t heal the Liberals in even the medium term. If anything a victory for her will likely accelerate the exodus of sanity from the party that has gone insane.

    But an Abbott victory can’t help the Liberals either.

    tl; dr, the Liberals are fucked. How the right realigns itself will be one of the most important political stories of the next decade.

  31. Grunt is a nasty little Kermit behind closed doors.
    .
    .
    Greg Hunt’s temperament is of the “street-angel, house-devil” type. … . he is known for private outbursts of temper, and has now been rather dramatically “outed”.
    http://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-winners-and-losers-on-the-tests-of-judgement-temperament-and-character-97567

    …..have privately expressed concerns there could be further tales of temper tantrums
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/health/rift-between-greg-hunt-and-exhealth-chief/news-story/4251ffde63c99527bbe81baf4b1b3160
    Greg Hunt admits to ‘strong conversation’ with department head………….e, Catherine King says she believes Greg Hunt has a problem with his temper:
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2018/may/31/greg-hunt-brian-burston-coalition-labor-politics-live

  32. Lizzie posted this earlier today:

    lizzie says:
    Monday, January 28, 2019 at 9:21 am
    Sandi Logan
    ‏@SandiHLogan

    If you think you’re seeing a lot of government advertising on your TV, on radio & popping up online, you ain’t seen nothing: at least four major campaigns about to roll out which have nothing to do with anything other than making the government look like it’s doing stuff.
    ______________________________

    Why there won’t be a March election. Scummo has already set aside too much of our money to waste on futile advertising campaigns to sell their uselessness.

  33. bug1 @ #389 Monday, January 28th, 2019 – 2:18 pm

    laughtong: I mentioned rumor of a press conference tomorrow with Morrison and (other dude), which was speculated might have related to calling an election for March, but the source (from reddit) has since deleted the post. So looks like the rumor was a fail.

    Thanks Bug1. It looks like we are waiting until May then – unless something dramatic happens once Parliament returns.

  34. ratsak @ #391 Monday, January 28th, 2019 – 2:21 pm

    The thing is that there isn’t a simple solution to the Liberal split.

    The party didn’t get overrun by loons because the members are sane but just thought ‘let’s give these crazy bastards a bit of a go, what could possibly go wrong?’

    The membership is more reactionary, more racist, more sexist, more misogynist, more homophobic and more insane than their elected representatives. Now what you’re seeing is the more sane Liberal voters that just were never passionate enough to bother joining the party are organising to overcome the crazies that the even crazier membership foist on them.

    And that’s before you get to the point that these more moderate small l independents rely on voters who wouldn’t have a bar of the Liberals voting tactically to win.

    A Steggall can’t just walk up and join the Liberals. She’s not just campaigning against Abbott. She’s campaigning against all the people in the party that put him there and continue to support him. She can’t bring all the teal t shirts with her into the party to overcome the crazies, they aren’t interested.

    I think Zali has an extremely high probability of winning (I described a Zali shaped object as being almost certain to be found and to probably beat Abbott back in September). But she and others of her kind that come along can’t heal the Liberals in even the medium term. If anything a victory for her will likely accelerate the exodus of sanity from the party that has gone insane.

    But an Abbott victory can’t help the Liberals either.

    tl; dr, the Liberals are fucked. How the right realigns itself will be one of the most important political stories of the next decade.

    Agree. The Libs can’t reform themselves until they go in to Opposition for a prolonged period to work out what they stand for. This may involve a split post election as those remaining after the coming electoral purge work out where they stand. Some of the more Conservative types may defect to Cory Bernardi’s team of merry Conservatives. Some might join One Nation. The others may go in to a loose coalition of convenience with other moderate independents. Eventually, some Menzianic figure will emerge (Alex turnbull?) and a compromise position will emerge again for a new moderate Conservative party and the game will begin again.

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