BludgerTrack: 53.2-46.8 to Labor (still)

No new grist for the BludgerTrack mill this week, but there’s a Greenpeace-sponsored federal poll and some preselection news to relate.

There haven’t been any new polls this week, so the headline to this post isn’t news as such – the point is that a new thread is needed, and this is it. Developments worth noting:

• We do have one new poll, but it was privately conducted and so doesn’t count as canonical so far as BludgerTrack is concerned. The poll in question was conducted by uComms/ReachTEL for Greenpeace last Wednesday from a sample of 2134, and has primary votes of Coalition 38.8%, Labor 36.7%, Greens 9.7% and One Nation 6.1%. A 53-47 two-party split is reported based on respondent-allocated preferences, but it would actually have been around 51.5-48.5 based on preferences from 2016. The poll also features attitudinal questions on carbon emissions and government priorities, which you can read all about here.

• The Greens have landed a high-profile candidate in Julian Burnside, human rights lawyer and refugee advocate, to run against Josh Frydenberg in the normally blue-ribbon Melbourne seat of Kooyong. This further complicates a contest that already featured independent hopeful Oliver Yates, former Liberal Party member and chief executive of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

• The Liberal preselection to choose a successor to Julie Bishop in Curtin will be determined by a vote of 60 delegates on Sunday. Initial reports suggested the front-runners were Celia Hammond, former vice-chancellor of Notre Dame University, and Erin Watson-Lynn, director of Asialink Diplomacy at the University of Melbourne, which some interpreted as a proxy battle between bitter rivals Mathias Cormann and Julie Bishop. However, both have hit heavy weather over the past week, with concerns raised over Hammond’s social conservatism and Watson-Lynn’s past tweets critical of the Liberal Party. Andrew Tillett of the Financial Review reports that some within the party believe a third nominee, Aurizon manager Anna Dartnell, could skate through the middle.

Tom Richardson of InDaily reports moderate faction efforts to install a male candidate – James Stevens, chief-of-staff to Premier Steve Marshall – in Christopher Pyne’s seat of Sturt are prompting a slew of conservative-aligned women to nominate against him. These include Deepa Mathew, a manager at the Commonwealth Bank and state candidate for Enfield last year; Joanna Andrew, a partner with law firm Mellor Olsson; and Jocelyn Sutcliffe, a lawyer with Tindall Gask Bentley. However, Stevens remains the “overwhelming favourite”.

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.

2,867 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.2-46.8 to Labor (still)”

  1. Nath

    This is not a comment on Vogon Poets thinking.

    Aanyone that thinks a Jew A Muslim An LGBTI Black/Indigineous and any others I have missed can only run in electorates that are made up of that group is a bit of a worry.

  2. Kate says:
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Probably the main problem with that quote Barney is that, however accurate it may or may not be, it was made by someone convicted of “crimes against humanity”.

    I would rather hear progressive politicians quoting more admirable sources.

    So if the quote was attributed to someone more personally palatable you wouldn’t have a problem?

  3. So flicking through that Greens GMO policy, their position seems to be:

    1. GMOs might be ok, but we need to be careful.
    2. We need a process for verifying they are safe for use which does not depend on self-regulation from people who are trying to make money with them.
    3. Use of genetic modification to enforce biological ‘DRM’ is a terrible idea, as is major corporate control of our food.
    4. If people want the choice about whether to grow or consume GMO-based products, they should have it.

    What the hell is wrong with any of that? Sounds perfectly sane to me.

  4. What’s really weird here (though not weird at all, given the style of debate entertained here) is that whatever the Greens do, they’re wrong.

  5. ratsak @ #347 Thursday, March 7th, 2019 – 3:35 pm

    I really do wonder if Josh Fraudenboy isn’t treasurer simply as a favour to Joe Hockey in order to make his stint look good.

    There really isn’t any other logical explanation.

    Josh is the future of the Liberal Party! Could be Leader of the Opposition in the next Parliament. Surely, you wouldn’t deny Shorten this gift?

  6. As a Labor supporter, my preference is that Labor take Kooyong.

    If that is not to be, then if the choice is between Burnside and a Liberal light independent, I would prefer to see Burnside take the seat.

    Burnside may be politically naive, but he’ll have learned from his current discomfiture, and will be the better for it. And there is no doubting the integrity of the man in his search for social justice. It is a matter of record.

    Whoever takes Kooyong this time, there is no doubt in my mind it will revert to Liberal the election after next, if it does not remain Liberal this coming election.

    Whether he represents the Greens or any other party, my assessment is that on social issues he will vote with the good guys, no matter what his party’s position is.

    He is his own man, for good or bad, and the Greens will have a headache with him.

    We are wasting energy on this issue which in my view would be better spent attacking the common enemy.

  7. Burnside’s point is an excellent one and it has been made by many here at PB. It’s pretty tacky to use a Goering quote to make it though as it dog whistles an equivalence between Australia and Nazi Germany.

  8. There’s one thing that Burnside and others could learn from Trump. The real problem you have with hysterical criticism is not always the criticism, it’s often the impression created when you shrink and apologise and treat it as legitimate. His position about this issue should be, “that’s ridiculous, and anyone calling me an anti-semite is themselves harming the interests of the jewish community by trivialising a very serious issue” and then move on.

  9. ‘Astrobleme says:
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Boewar

    “This will destroy the cotton industry. But as soon as the destruction of the cotton industry IS mentioned the Greens ignore the GMO policy and start talking about water.”

    You keep jumping around on different topics. You’re the one who brought up cotton! And then argued how important it was to grow cotton. It’s just not.’

    There have been two large flame wars on the Greens policies on GMOs. This is the third. During all three I have been remarkably consistent.

    1. The Greens get away with having all sorts of purist policies because no-one bothers challenging them on them.
    2. Removing all GMOs is a Greens policy.
    3. All cotton grown in Australia is GMO cotton.
    4. None-GMO cotton uses more chemicals and more water and is not competitive as an international commodity with GMO cotton.
    5. Removing all GMOs from the environment would therefore remove the cotton industry from Australia.
    6. If the Greens want to eliminate the cotton industry from Australia because of water policy, they should state exactly that.
    7. If the Greens want to eliminate the cotton industry from Australia because of GMOs, they should state exactly that.
    8. They do neither. Yet the real world consequences of their GMO policy would destroy the cotton industry.
    9. This, IMO, is a dishonest that threatens a dozen or so inland towns with economic destruction.
    10. In terms of policy slip-slides, the Greens move seamlessly between the GMO and water policy arguments, mostly without realizing that they are doing so. (This has once again, happened in to today’s discussion.) I assume this is because the Greens know instinctively that the cotton industry needs to be destroyed on moral grounds so any old policy argument will do.

    On MDB water policy I have also been remarkably consistent so I won’t bore long term posters with restating my solutions. I doubt very much that a single thinking Greens would quarrel with any of my nostrums.

  10. “We are wasting energy on this issue which in my view would be better spent attacking the common enemy.”

    Sadly elements of the Labor right and elements of the Greens are unable to see this viewpoint (but both regard the other as the source of this problem).

  11. “2. Removing all GMOs is a Greens policy”

    I just read their policy thanks to the helpful link a few pages back and this is not contained anywhere within it. They do not oppose the use of GMOs.

  12. ‘Patrick Bateman says:
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    There’s one thing that Burnside and others could learn from Trump. The real problem you have with hysterical criticism is not always the criticism, it’s often the impression created when you shrink and apologise and treat it as legitimate. His position about this issue should be, “that’s ridiculous, and anyone calling me an anti-semite is themselves harming the interests of the jewish community by trivialising a very serious issue” and then move on.’

    Moving right along with the practical political smarts thing, let us quote Goering and then let us all learn from Trump.

    You know it makes sense.

  13. ratsak
    says:
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 3:43 pm
    I for one hate Illinois Nazis

    Darc’s reference went over my head, but that one I remember. 🙂

  14. Diogs,

    In politics, words are bullets. Burnside fired blanks by using that quote regardless of the aim and the quality of the weapon.

  15. I’ve never been a respecter of Godwin’s Law, which has been turned into a Gotcha mostly used, ironically, by the political Right. All Burnside did as far as I can see is throw in a well known quote. So what?
    If I’ve missed some aspect of this I apologise.

  16. PB,

    I think most engaged people would be fine with real, permanent environmental flows, a cap and trade for the rest, and a ruthless rooting out of corrupt and lazy bureaucrats and their farmer mates.

    Yep

  17. Burnside mentioned Goerring because he knew it would draw attention and get his comment reported. Same thing as he does all the time on refugee issues, where it is probably useful.

    Having done so, he can’t really complain if people use it to turn the attack back on him.

    The genius of Shorten has been that he has largely avoided situations where his words can be turned back on him by framing issues in his own way and not relying on using a popular “trope” to gain attention.

    It might be less effective n terms of the current news cycle but it allows building a longer term and consistent story.

  18. All I ever manage to see is a cynical but valid comment on Morrison’s possible electoral strategy.

    The point is not and never was that calling out the techniques being employed is wrong.

    The point is that using a quote from a Nazi, no matter how accurate and illuminating, is an own goal.

    As soon as you do that the bullshit artists will do exactly as Josh (a man whose only skills seem to be in the art of bullshit) has done and turn it all into a ‘you just called me a Nazi’ Godwin argument. Those pigs just love to get you wrestling in the mud with them on shit like this. And they do so because most people aren’t going to bother with the nuance and most likely will call it a draw at best or think ‘the Jewish guy isn’t a Nazi’ at worst. And all the while you’re left defending and explaining yourself rather than hitting them in their political soft spots.

    As a mere advocate Burnside can easily get away with a tweet like that. Once he has stood up as a high profile candidate looking to knock off the guy most likely to be the next Liberal Party leader, not so much.

    I reckon the Libs will be going over Burnside’s statements and writings with a fine tooth comb to find everything else they can possibly distort as we speak. And they’ll find stuff they can work with. Burnside isn’t Jaime Diaz yet, but I really do get the feeling Kooyong is not the right seat for him as a candidate and he’s going to get a damn good going over before the election.

  19. ‘Patrick Bateman says:
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    “2. Removing all GMOs is a Greens policy”

    I just read their policy thanks to the helpful link a few pages back and this is not contained anywhere within it. They do not oppose the use of GMOs.’

    Uh huh.

    ‘The Australian Greens want:

    A moratorium on the further release of GMOs into the environment until there is an adequate scientific understanding of their long term impact on the environment, human and animal health. This includes the removal as far as possible of all GMOs from the Australian environment and food supply while the moratorium is in place.’

    Removing all cotton GMOs is 100% possible so the consequences are 100% clear here.

    ‘The Australian government must prohibit the use of ‘terminator’ technologies (Gene Use Restriction) that prevent seeds from germinating when planted.’

    GMO cotton uses terminator technologies.

    Put the two together and you have killed off an industry.

    That some Greens are still saying that destroying the Australian cotton industry is not a direct consequence of their policies demonstrates exactly what I have been saying: the Greens get away with purist policy positions because no-one inside or outside the Greens bothers to analyze the consequences of their positions.

    As for the Greens policy on GMOs, so for Olympic Dam which would receive an increase in costs and a decrease in gross income by about a quarter, and so for the ADF which is to be turned into a kamikaze-type ‘Light Mobile Force’.

  20. ‘ratsak

    I reckon the Libs will be going over Burnside’s statements and writings…’

    They already have. Too easy. Read the Mocker in today’s Oz.

  21. Josh is the future of the Liberal Party! Could be Leader of the Opposition in the next Parliament. Surely, you wouldn’t deny Shorten this gift?

    True. But it’s also true that whoever the Libs pressgang into the leadership will be a gift to Bill.

  22. Diogenes says:
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Burnside’s point is an excellent one and it has been made by many here at PB. It’s pretty tacky to use a Goering quote to make it though as it dog whistles an equivalence between Australia and Nazi Germany.’

    Cracker.

  23. The genius of Shorten has been that he has largely avoided situations where his words can be turned back on him by framing issues in his own way and not relying on using a popular “trope” to gain attention.

    It might be less effective n terms of the current news cycle but it allows building a longer term and consistent story.

    Precisely this ajm. Shorten is a pro.

  24. Instead of belting Shorten on refugees, why did Burnside not attack Frydenberg on his record?

    He was the environment minister who speeded up Australia’s contribution to the Anthropocene Extinction
    He was the energy minister who gave us rising emissions.
    He was the energy minister who gave us neither an energy policy nor an emissions policy.
    He is the Treasurer who is giving us a record debt.
    He is the Treasurer who has delivered per capita recession.

  25. Ratsak @3:56,

    I’m not sure the political orthodoxy will work this time. I think getting the Herald Sun, the Oz, and Alan Jones types hyperventilating is not really going to hurt in the current climate. And as you say, he probably has plenty of similar quotes for them to trawl through anyway.

  26. guytaur @ #381 Thursday, March 7th, 2019 – 4:09 pm

    Rex

    Yes. It will be interesting to see hoe the Union woman does.

    Should go better. It helps to have facts on your side.

    Waleed demolished McCormack on Nats selling out farmers to miners – now McKenzie getting shredded as well. Regional folk need to have a good look at their Independent candidates.

  27. For our friends Over East, with Labor possible to win between 2-4 seats here in the Golden West in May, if Labor are not home and dusted in the East, before close of polls/counting here, then things will have gone very badly awry in NSW, Vic and Qld.
    For years and years, we locals have been told “our vote is crucial” but the reality is, by and large, if the swing is on, one way or the other, it is reflected here – perhaps amplified.
    That silly old blowhard, Sir C. Court, at the height of a particularly bad poll for Labor, shot his mouth off to the effect, that Labor would cease to exist as a political party.
    It was with pleasure, not so long after this ,that Labor came to power in Canberra and around the same time locally.
    However, this said, it will be the cherry on the cake if the polls are borne out both here and in the Eastern States as they are placed at the moment.
    Stokes and the West are doing all they can to crank up support for the LNP and neutralise Labor, but my gut reaction is that people here have stopped listening…………….

  28. Diogenes

    ” It’s pretty tacky to use a Goering quote to make it though as it dog whistles an equivalence between Australia and Nazi Germany.”

    well, actually the Goering quote is pretty appropriate here. It’s what they did to secure support; the point is that you can dismiss criticism as unpatriotic.

  29. Boewar – he is allowed to attack him on refugees, that is what he believes.

    I am a Labor voter and have no problem with this criticism from Burnside…..it is the Labor supporters such as Boewar etc who come across as quite prescious. Let’s be honest refugee policy can be improved get over it and move on – a lot here are giving it a lot more coverage than it is worth.

  30. ratsak @ #376 Thursday, March 7th, 2019 – 4:05 pm

    The genius of Shorten has been that he has largely avoided situations where his words can be turned back on him by framing issues in his own way and not relying on using a popular “trope” to gain attention.

    It might be less effective n terms of the current news cycle but it allows building a longer term and consistent story.

    Precisely this ajm. Shorten is a pro.

    ‘There’s a role for coal…’

  31. ratsak @ #369 Thursday, March 7th, 2019 – 3:56 pm

    All I ever manage to see is a cynical but valid comment on Morrison’s possible electoral strategy.

    The point is not and never was that calling out the techniques being employed is wrong.

    The point is that using a quote from a Nazi, no matter how accurate and illuminating, is an own goal.

    As soon as you do that the bullshit artists will do exactly as Josh (a man whose only skills seem to be in the art of bullshit) has done and turn it all into a ‘you just called me a Nazi’ Godwin argument. Those pigs just love to get you wrestling in the mud with them on shit like this. And they do so because most people aren’t going to bother with the nuance and most likely will call it a draw at best or think ‘the Jewish guy isn’t a Nazi’ at worst. And all the while you’re left defending and explaining yourself rather than hitting them in their political soft spots.

    As a mere advocate Burnside can easily get away with a tweet like that. Once he has stood up as a high profile candidate looking to knock off the guy most likely to be the next Liberal Party leader, not so much.

    I reckon the Libs will be going over Burnside’s statements and writings with a fine tooth comb to find everything else they can possibly distort as we speak. And they’ll find stuff they can work with. Burnside isn’t Jaime Diaz yet, but I really do get the feeling Kooyong is not the right seat for him as a candidate and he’s going to get a damn good going over before the election.

    He had his stylish hair going for him as per Menzies and Peacock. Poor old Josh was a done dinner on that score. But, then Burnside opened his mouth and gifted the Libs the opportunity to flay him. So sad.

  32. ‘Scout says:
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Boewar – he is allowed to attack him on refugees, that is what he believes.’

    Sure sure. Kill Bill. Morrison Burnside same same.

  33. Patricia Karvelas is running hot. Took a potatoe head junior scalp yesterday and now giving the deputy Nat leader a hiding.

    She won’t answer directly on big stick policy for energy and says over and over the only thing stopping the divestiture policy is BILL SHORTEN [huh] and on the proposed Hunter Valley coal mines she says “its a NSW Government decision”. Last time I looked the Nats were in Coalition with the Liberals weren’t they ? and the Federal Nationals are connected to NSW State Government Nats. Right ?

  34. Rex Douglas @ #391 Thursday, March 7th, 2019 – 3:13 pm

    ratsak @ #376 Thursday, March 7th, 2019 – 4:05 pm

    The genius of Shorten has been that he has largely avoided situations where his words can be turned back on him by framing issues in his own way and not relying on using a popular “trope” to gain attention.

    It might be less effective n terms of the current news cycle but it allows building a longer term and consistent story.

    Precisely this ajm. Shorten is a pro.

    ‘There’s a role for coal…’

    Yes. A rapidly declining one.

  35. Bit sensitive Boerwar , as I said it is what he believes and it is a democracy – get over it. If he wasn’t able to speak up such as Shorten did in Parliament with the medivac bill we would be in trouble.

    You could argue (and I do not but you are opening yourself up for it) that Shorten pushing medivac through has opened up this whole debate therefore Burnside and Frydenburg have a platform.

  36. Question,

    It’s a matter of opportunity cost as much as anything. It will reduce his opportunities to have his message heard over the Godwins.

    And it’s still very much a blue blood seat. I get the feeling that sort of thing will feel far too radical to the good folk of Kooyong.

    But enough of Burnside. As I said yesterday I don’t for a second believe he’s a legitimate chance to win. What will be interesting is how this sort of exposure of Burnside affects Yates (if at all). I could see it helping him by making him seem a much more safe harbour for disaffected Liberal voters. But that’s purely speculative. It’s more probable that he’s heading for getting his deposit back and not much else. He’s not Steggall or Phelps in terms profile nor deep dissatisfaction.

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