Calm before the storm

A Seinfeld-ian post about nothing, as pollsters hold their fire ahead of tonight’s budget.

There seems to be a hardening view that Scott Morrison will take advantage of what he hopes will be a positive response to tonight’s budget by calling the election later this week, for either May 11 or May 18. Whenever the election may be called, its proximity makes this an awkward time for us to go a week without new poll results. Newspoll is set for a highly unusual four-week gap, having held off last week due to the New South Wales election and this week due to the budget, while Essential Research is in an off week in its fortnightly cycle. The dam is set to burst next week, with Ipsos joining the two aforementioned with post-budget poll results.

For now, all I can do for you in the way of poll news is to relate what James Campbell of the Herald Sun offered on Liberal internal polling last Thursday: that Pauline Hanson scores net approval ratings of minus 62% and minus 63% in the Melbourne seats of Deakin and Chisholm – and, incidentally, that Peter Dutton has been known to record minus 50% in Melbourne. Beyond that, there is one item of important preselection news to relate, in that the New South Wales Liberals are set to endorse child psychologist Fiona Martin as their successor to the retiring Craig Laundy in Reid. The Australian reports Martin has been chosen ahead of Tanveer Ahmed, a psychiatrist, and Scott Yung, candidate for Kogarah at last week’s state election.

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.

2,286 comments on “Calm before the storm”

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  1. Zoid,

    The Wren account was posting fake documents bearing official govt, not LNP, letterhead, which directly insinuated that federal govt departments and their heads would act in cahoots with the govt to specifically target Labor and Shorten. The document you posted was not the one which the account posted which caused its ban.

    The Wren account was/ is an abject dumpster fire., loved only by peak brokens. It posted misogynist, sexist, racist crap and expected a pass mark because its owner supports Labor and the left (allegedly). If the same stuff was posted from a Tory account, Labor supporters would rightly want it shut down. It’s an embarrassment to the ALP that the account even supports it. If it transpires some Party operative or staffer has been running it, then it will be a major embarrassment. It’s basically every shit thing we like to think Tories do online, but badged under Labor.

  2. Good Morning

    I see in my break the “Green Purists” nonsense has gained with the trolls. Anything to excuse the fact Labor is not listening to the science.

    There may be political reasons for that I however doubt it. You can win Wentworth with good climate policy and people know the carbon tax was a lie and journalists on twitter are questioning that government line.

    Don’t blame the Greens because voters were sold a pup due to the media not exposing the lie. They were busy with the self imposed mistakes of Gillard saying “you can call it a carbon tax” if you like”

    To continue with this the Greens are pure nonsense and never compromise is to promote the Newscorpse line that the Greens are extreme. Never forget parroting the Teena McQueen line is doing Labor no favours.

    There is no comparison between the Greens and One Nation.

    So stop using the BS lines from Newscorp and pretending the Greens never compromise in the face of the evidence.

  3. To get to the politics of today.

    The LNP can see the light at the end of the tunnel and they know its a train.

    This budget is a desperate political campaign launch and responsible economics will be there are enough to be a fig leaf to use as a slogan. No more

  4. Of course, the big reply to this budget is this: who says it’s going to pass parliament?

    This is a minority government, and doesn’t get to decide such matters on its own.

  5. Burgey

    I would have thought that Wren having a column in the Independent Australia would be enough for the die hard fans.

    My response to one particular twitter person attacking another twitter person for supposedly “reporting” the account was to take it up with twitter its their platform. Rather like posting here is with the rules that William enforces.

    So any complaints should go to twitter and Wren has posted on Independent Australia on the subject so its not like his voice has been shut down. In my experience it takes a lot to get removed from twitter and Labor people should think about that.

    The “Brokens” as you put it.

  6. The House Judiciary Committee plans to vote Wednesday to authorize subpoenas to obtain the full report of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, escalating a feud with the Justice Department over a lengthy document detailing findings about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced plans Monday for the panel’s vote, which would take place a day after a deadline the committee set for Attorney General William P. Barr to share the report.

    Barr pledged last week to release a redacted version by mid-April, well after Nadler’s deadline. Nadler’s committee is seeking to obtain the “full and complete report,” which spans nearly 400 pages, as well as underlying evidence.

  7. Zoomster

    Are you a troll?

    The science is clear. You can disagree with the politics of what Labor can do to get as much of the science put in place. However Bill Shorten has been crystal clear about his politics. He is going with Turnbull’s scheme. The one so lambasted by Labor rusted on’s when Turnbull launched it.

    The NRMA the car lobby has said Labor should move faster on electric cars. Norway already has 50% electric vehicle take up. The only delay should be how fast we install a charging network. We have only a nascent EV car industry here and many overseas manufacturers already producing excellent electric vehicles today.

    The only reason not to move faster is the politics. This is a judgement on Labor’s part and could well be the best way to get a foundation established to build the house if you assume the LNP are going to be around at the next election with enough “moderates” to make a difference.

    Don’t confuse that with what the science is telling us. The science is telling us as Congresswoman Cortez keeps saying we have only twelve years to act.

  8. Nath looking on the bright side, because Shorten really is the only game in town if we want things to start to change in this country, I’d say that he learns from his mistakes and that the Gillard Rudd thing was a learning experience that should have taught a lot of people about features of human nature/behaviour and how context is so important.

    It’s good though, I think, that you get in early and flag areas that need to be addressed to counter the criticisms that could be made about him. The thing is that none of us are perfect and we build character by coping with difficult situations and learning from them.

    I had an survey email last night from DiNatale with a few questions asking me to rate the importance of current issues. It was disappointing that I couldn’t note anywhere that the option of forcing Labor to be more progressive is absolutely not my priority.

    From where I live and I have to tell you it is character building in some ways for me to live out here in the electorate of Groom in regional Qld, where people can’t even think about the Greens without becoming unhinged, and there isn’t a lot of support for Labor, that for Labor to become more progressive would not be a good thing.

    Of course there is no chance for Labor or the Greens that anyone but the nondescript incumbent will be elected here but I do sense a lessening of the confidence that the rusted on have in the LNP as the saviours of the country and a lowering of the hysteria about the left and their dreadfulness.

    People say the things they say like “Labor hate small business” without the level of hate that I used to hear in their voices.

  9. However, if the purism of the Greens and their associated activist groups, are successful in their aims to suffocate the message of Labor on every issue and the only issue people hear about is about a mine that has not been able to start for six years and signed off by the LNP Newman Government; then there is a very good chance the consequence will be that Labor will not win Government. Another consequence could be an increased presence of Liberals, Nationals, PHON and other right-wing Independents in the chamber.

    Well the Greens’ answer to every question in the Batman by-election was to scream ADANI! and that didn’t work. And besides, Bludgertrack shows their vote declining, so constantly carping on about Adani obviously isn’t working nationally either.

  10. briefly

    Yeah yeah. The Greens don’t agree with Labor so therefore they are campaigning for the LNP.

    I would have thought that you would have at least listened to Tony Burke on QandA last week

  11. Confessions

    Labor has a real problem if the Greens are suppressing the Labor messaging and its got nothing to do wit h the Greens.

    Rather its Labor not having the right message.

    Stop blame the Greens for everything and start looking at why Labor campaigns fail.

    (Of course you show the logic of this argument by pointing out Labor won Batman)

  12. Andrew Earlwood

    The mirror doesn’t look so good maybe just maybe you will reflect on what your posts look like.

    i won’t hold my breath

  13. Bushfire Bill
    Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 7:53 am
    One would have thought that the simplest answer to yesterday’s government blather, bluster and bullshit regarding the cost of Labor’s carbon abatement policies would be to refer to the cost of NOT doing anything.

    You will be pleased to know the Shorten grab the ABC TV news selected last night were words to that effect.

  14. The Gs are campaigning against Labor. They want to prevent the election of a Labor Government. This is their game. They play it 24/365. They do not campaign against the LNP.

  15. Labor has a real problem if the Greens are suppressing the Labor messaging and its got nothing to do wit h the Greens.

    Except the Greens are not suppressing any message other than their own.

    Frankly I’m happy for the Greens to constantly talk about a mine that has no hope of operating because it’s worked so well for them in the past (not).

  16. Despite what gets posted here I see Labor is getting its message out with another good presser.

    Most of what Labor says I do agree with I just get so sick of the Greens are evil and can do not good nonsense that gets peddled here because they dare to have a different platform to Labor.

  17. Just wait. The LNP will deliver their political statement today. Labor will reply. The Greens will attack Labor. Nothing is more predictable.

  18. The Gs do not have a ‘platform’. They have decoy positions from which they attempt to assault Labor. These are fake positions. They are just an anti-Labor gizmo dressed up in green.

  19. guytaur

    I’m not a troll, as you well know. (Hmmm….I think in the past you’ve called for apologies for such accusations, but I don’t expect you to live up to your own standards..)

    The NRMA has welcomed Labor’s initiative on EVs.

    Others have pointed out that (looking at ‘the science’) that Labor’s targets are ambitious, given the present state of development of EV infrastructure and sales in this country.

    For EVs to be a benefit to the environment, rather than a negative (using more electricity equals burning more coal; petrol creates less emissions than coal) the growth in renewable energy needs to be ahead of the take up of EVs. Otherwise – particularly in states such as Victoria – EVs will increase emissions. (There are studies which show this).

    It would be perfectly possible, of course, to reduce emissions by the amount required and do nothing with EV cars, so your assertion that acting on EVs is somehow denying the science is a strawman argument.

    EVs are, of course, only one part of Labor’s package. You seem to be ignoring that.

  20. From the last thread …

    C@tmomma @ #1418 Monday, April 1st, 2019 – 7:37 pm

    booleanbach @ #1413 Monday, April 1st, 2019 – 7:29 pm

    Damn, Barnaby and his cronies in the Nats will not be happy:
    “The rapidly dropping cost of renewable energy has upended energy economics in recent years, with new solar and wind plants now significantly cheaper than coal power.
    But new research shows another major change is afoot: The cost of batteries has been declining so unexpectedly rapidly that renewables plus battery storage are now cheaper than even natural gas plants in many applications, according to a report released this week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).”

    P1 won’t be happy either. 😆

    Sorry, but any article that refers to something as nonsensical as “dispatchable peak power” is clearly written by someone who has little clue 🙁

    The fact that in some cases new wind is cheaper than fossil fuels is not really news – this has been true in specific instances for some while. The interesting bit of the actual Bloomberg report – which for some reason never seems to get a mention – is that despite the drop in price, renewables are not by themselves going to be sufficient allow us to keep global warming under 2 degrees.

    Doing that will rely on us actively forcing the closure of coal plants, and in many cases replacing them with gas plants – with up to four times as much capacity as we currently have. Greens don’t seem to like that bit – it doesn’t fit with their “purer than pure” ideology.

  21. A serious and prolonged attempt to find out details of the intense Govt lobbying that saw the GBR ultimately get past an imminent listing as endangered is thwarted by an obstructionist FOI. All we really know is that the icing on that cake cost the best part of half a billion buckeroos.

    A legal expert has slammed Australia’s freedom of information regime after spending two years and more than $1,000 trying to shed light on Australia’s enormous lobbying effort to prevent the Great Barrier Reef from being listed as “in danger”.

    In 2014-15, Australian government officials spent more than $100,000 visiting and lobbying members of Unesco’s world heritage committee to keep the Great Barrier Reef off the “in danger” list.

    A group of Australian and US environmental lawyers had found the dangers to the reef overwhelmingly met the criteria for such a listing, but Australia’s lobbying was ultimately successful.

  22. Zoomster

    I am sorry I thought you would get the sarcasm about trolls.

    I just pointed out one area where its plain as the nose on your face that Labor could move faster on electric vehicles. Precisely because the car lobby is saying go faster.

    I did not claim that electric vehicles were the whole of Labor’s climate policy response.

  23. Zoomster

    I am sorry I thought you would get the sarcasm about trolls.

    I just pointed out one area where its plain as the nose on your face that Labor could move faster on electric vehicles. Precisely because the car lobby is saying go faster.

    I did not claim that electric vehicles where the whole of Labor’s climate policy response.

  24. So Bill Shorten had to put a bit of effort into getting into a position of becoming a Labor Prime Minister. Colour me not surprised.

    Ever met an olympian? I just doesn’t kinda sorta happen.

  25. Apart from the inevitable findings around extreme temperatures and the impact on people’s health, I’ll be interested to see what else is concluded from this inquiry.

    A Chief Health Officer’s Inquiry into the impacts of climate change on health in Western Australia will be conducted by the State’s former Chief Health Officer, Professor Tarun Weeramanthri.

    The inquiry will review the health system’s capacity to respond to the effects of climate change and make recommendations for improvement.

    The inquiry was a key recommendation of the Climate and Sustainability Forum held in July 2018, which identified that changing climate conditions, including more frequent and intense extreme weather events, can lead to increased injury and illness patterns including infectious diseases, airway diseases and heat-related illness.

    The inquiry will aim to strengthen how communities and health services address key climate change vulnerabilities, and make preparations to reduce harmful health impacts for Western Australians.

  26. I’d say Labor’s messaging is pretty much bang on, thanks guytaur. They’ve been ahead in every poll since just about the last election, have set the policy agenda as much as anyone can from opposition and they’re on track to form government.

    So, you know. I sort of think they’re doing ok right now.

    And again today, we see people in the media talking about challenges for Shorten, etc etc. Underestimating Shorten as a political player will be looked back upon as one of the greatest missteps ever by the Canberra Press Gallery and their acolytes in the mainstream media.

  27. I think the ALP would be happy to be attacked by GRN on the environment. It makes them look like the sensible centre AND creates the overall impression that they are the government.

  28. Burgey

    Look at my post in the whole. The bit in brackets was the giveaway about the point I was making. However thanks for reinforcing the point.

  29. @jmodoh tweets

    Senate watchers say Fraser Anning’s censure motion (and a Greens push to suspend him) won’t happen until tomorrow, due to senate business this afternoon. @SkyNewsAust

  30. guytaur

    You haven’t shown why Labor is out of step with ‘the science’.

    The one area you nominated – EVs – suggests it isn’t.

    And a target is a minimum. It can be exceeded, if the technology and the infrastructure are in place.


    The biggest omission is the lack of a plan to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Fossil fuels, particularly the mining and export of coal are Australia’s biggest contribution to climate change. Yet the ALP’s policy contains only two mentions of coal, nothing on coal exports, and no mention of gas. Labor is evidently still sitting on the fence on the future of the controversial Adani coalmine, and on the question of fossil fuel subsidies more generally.

    While it might be politically convenient to let the Coalition tear itself apart over coal, the scientific reality is that to have a hope of limiting warming to 1.5℃, Australia needs to rapidly move away from coal both domestically and for exports. This is not something Labor will be able to ignore for long.
    While there is no doubt that Labor is far ahead of the Coalition on climate change, this package is far from what the science (and schoolchildren!) are telling us is needed.

    As bushfires, floods, droughts and protests are all set to continue, don’t expect this issue to go away after the federal election.

  32. zoomster

    Your post in response is precisely the reason the Greens have a platform Labor has let it be open for them.

    The science is move fast on climate change the clock is ticking tick tock.

  33. Most Budgets disappear without trace within a few days of announcement. Not really much different this year. The MSM use the annual circus around the Budget for long pontifications and emphasising their own prejudices. They make all sorts of breathtaking claims about how the voters will react. From my perspective, they’ve been batting zero on that score for a long time.

    Shorten’s Climate change policy seems to have hit the Goldilocks Code of not being too radical and not too conservative; just right for the circumstances.

  34. Thanks again BK for the Dawn Patrol.

    Confusion reigns once again as the mighty pen tells us that while the current mob have doubled dept – they are busy trying to reduce the dreadful debt and deficit caused by Labor.

    Prognostications for the projected Budget tonight include
    More Money In The Pocket.
    to test this I include the following photo of the KayJay pocket
    Before the Budget

    Followed by projected overflowing pocket tomorrow morning –

    On the strength of that I will now make a fresh cup of coffee in anticipatory gratitude.

    Raining again in Newcastle so I plan on watching episode 3 and 4 of Project Blue Book to catch up on the latest in scientific research.
    🔬🔭🌠🌃🦉 (that’s the owl previously referenced in Episode 2).

    BTW I remain convinced that I will not be disappointed by Mr. Josh Frydenberg’s speech tonight. 😵

  35. Carbon offsets:

    Buying up cheap offsets in developing nations at US$3.50 per tonne in 2013 is a short-term solution that only postpones the necessary phasing out of fossil-fuel dependence in wealthy nations, at a time when such action is becoming urgent. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions in poor countries is not enough to prevent further global warming. We should be giving first priority to becoming less dependent on fossil fuels in Australia through changing the way we generate electricity and making manufacturing less energy intensive, as well as promoting alternatives to automobile travel and truck freight.

    Carbon offsets are a greenwashing mechanism that enables individuals to buy themselves green credentials without actually changing their consumption habits, and nations to avoid the more difficult structural and regulatory change necessary to prevent further global warming.

  36. Labor’s plan for transport emissions is long on ambition but short on details:

    As Australia currently lacks federal policies to reduce or reverse petrol emissions, these goals are laudable. But it’s unclear how Labor will actually achieve them, especially if they remain reluctant to impose costs and tariffs on high-emitting cars – one of the most successful international strategies.
    Australia is a global standout in its failure to regulate emissions standards; we are the only OECD country with no minimum fuel standard. More than 80% of the global vehicle market has adopted fuel standards.
    Labor is already certain to face strong resistance from industry groups, and this uphill battle will be complicated by the fact that stamp duty and annual registration are regulated by state and territory governments.

    If Labor wants to change Australia’s deeply entrenched market of high-emitting vehicles, they’ve got an awfully long road ahead.

  37. briefly @ #72 Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 – 9:40 am

    The Gs are campaigning against Labor. They want to prevent the election of a Labor Government. This is their game. They play it 24/365. They do not campaign against the LNP.

    They can campaign for and against who they bloody well like in this farce that we call democracy.

    Get over it and quit whining all the time!

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