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. The Government looked like they knew they were watching their replacement give his first speech as PM tonight.

    They are right.

  2. Didn’t get to hear the budget reply so am very happy to come here and see Nath’s reaction :-). Must have gone down well.

  3. One reason why Scotty will wait till Sunday, and not Friday to drive down Dunrossil, is that taxpayer funded government advertising ceases when the election is called.

    So another weekend of blatant electioneering on the taxpayers tab. Won’t do Scotty any good.

  4. Remember

    Much more to come from Labor in the campaign.

    I noted the comment about Centrelink and face to face meetings. That sounds to me returning to the old social security. That could mean a return of the CES.

    I could be wrong but the immediate summary always misses stuff while complaining about the lack of detail.

  5. zoomster
    Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 9:00 pm
    Bill acknowledged Albo, at which point the camera panned to him.
    The members choice! Not the factions’.

  6. Maybe they’re saving the big ammunition for a time when fewer people are listening.

    The only people watching the happenings in parliament today and tonight were political tragics. It’s about as ‘fewer people’ as you can get.

  7. Ouch!

    .@MsFionaScott on Labor’s Medicare plan: How is all of this going to be paid for?

    @David_Speers: By not doing negative gearing and franking credits.

    MORE: #Budget2019

  8. Nath, ease off on the dirt, old chum, life will go on for you, even under PM Bill Shorten.

    PS: I loved “Trainspotting” too.

  9. Dennis AtkinsVerified account@dwabriz
    26m26 minutes ago
    Spot on by @samanthamaiden – cancer announcement is the closest thing I’ve seen to vision for a very very long time. A mate only found his guts were riddled with tumours after spending $9500 he didn’t have. Mates had to rally round and other sleights of hand was needed. Appalling

  10. That was in reply to this:

    Verified account@samanthamaiden
    35m35 minutes ago
    My take on Shorten speech

    – cancer hits 1 in 2 people
    – will spark big conversations around kitchen tables and families
    – tax cuts are more generous for average workers – but not by much
    – but nobody stands around talking tax cuts
    – But cancer & Medicare? Yes.

  11. Diogenes: “It looks like a big win for cancer patients, private radiology practices and private surgeons and oncologists. Should take some pressure off the public hospitals.”

    Can something be done such that radiology is electronically accessible nationwide irrespeective of which practice does the scans. I.e. it should not be necessary to send disks from a radiology practice in state A to a consultant in state B (and then get the disks loaded in by techs) just because different software is being used.

  12. nath

    To get elected, Shorten needed – and got – votes from the Left.

    The people who knew and worked with them both made a judgement.

  13. Sprocket, maybe Bill got votes from them as well as from the left!! He showed what you can task the government with addressing when actually have some vision, as well as a level head.

  14. Sprocket

    Kroger gave it a red hot go … I seemed to hear the sound of a deflating whoops cushion while he was speaking (it might have been a metaphorical one … but it sure was loud! 😆 )

  15. Nath, since you’re such a big fan of Albo, and would love to see him administer a portfolio, I take it you’ll be voting for his party, and publicly and privately campaigning for others to do the same?

  16. I have said it many times; Shortens strength is he knows how to run a team. It is a rear talent. He doesn’t win an election by being the preferred PM. He wins it by his team winning the most seats.

  17. I saw Bill’s speech tonight as a giant non sequiter. He completely ignored the government’s challenge on taxes and fiscal responsibility. Just waved them away. Refused to be diverted. They got no argument from Bill.

    Quite clever of him: he simply changed the subject.

  18. Giving people the dignity they need to fight their potential end of life battle with cancer is a big thing. They say that stress is bad for you when you are fighting cancer, well, by taking away financial stress it can only help with the fight.

  19. Murpharoo has some thoughts.

    Katharine MurphyVerified account@murpharoo
    27m27 minutes ago
    Some quick analytical thoughts on Bill Shorten’s de-facto campaign launch tonight. Direct appeals to the base, to women and young people. Many connection points, from tax relief for workers who haven’t got wage rises, the return of lost penalty rates, to the cancer package.

    Katharine MurphyVerified account@murpharoo
    29m29 minutes ago
    The cancer pledge connects with so many people, speaks to their lived experience. It will make disillusioned voters sit up and take notice. It was unclear until tonight how Labor would recalibrate on Medicare. Now we have a sense of how that services campaign will be structured.

    Katharine MurphyVerified account@murpharoo
    29m29 minutes ago
    Shorten was confident tonight, as was the team sitting behind him. Labor is selling a team to voters, not a presidential leader. It’s also framing a positive campaign, in the process projecting itself as the incumbents, daring the government to go negative.

  20. BB, good observation. He could do this because all the Govt did Tuesday night was point repeatedly at some fictitious “scoreboard” of fiscal “responsibility”. This left the field entirely to Labor, to actually articulate what our Australian Government can be tasked with accomplishing for the Australian people, now and into the future.

  21. zoomster
    Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 9:09 pm
    To get elected, Shorten needed – and got – votes from the Left.
    The people who knew and worked with them both made a judgement.
    You mean Shorten did a deal with Kim Carr to get his group on board? Yep, that happened.

  22. nath @ #2130 Thursday, April 4th, 2019 – 9:19 pm

    Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 9:09 pm
    To get elected, Shorten needed – and got – votes from the Left.
    The people who knew and worked with them both made a judgement.
    You mean Shorten did a deal with Kim Carr to get his group on board? Yep, that happened.

    Oh, you poor, pathetic, embittered little man.

  23. Although Labor can’t realistically hope to win a lot of the lower house seats in the bush, it strikes me that the Medicare cancer policy could well stack up quite a few Senate votes from those seats.

  24. If Albo had won over Shorten, do you think the ALP leadership would have been as stable as it has been?
    I don’t know.

  25. frednk @ #2125 Thursday, April 4th, 2019 – 9:16 pm

    I have said it many times; Shortens strength is he knows how to run a team. It is a rear talent. He doesn’t win an election by being the preferred PM. He wins it by his team winning the most seats.

    … and with winning policies. And boy, didn’t he tell Sales exactly that, after her ill judged question.

  26. ajm:

    Yes it will certainly mean a lot to people who have to add travel expenses to the capital city for cancer treatment on top of costs for their actual cancer treatment.

  27. @samanthamaiden

    “… cancer hits 1 in 2 people…”.

    But I would guess 100% of people over 50 are touched by it in some way, through having family or friends who are affected. Even if you aren’t a sufferer yourself, you can see what a difference this could make to the lives of your friends who are doing it hard. So this policy also has the subtle effect of inducing people to vote not just for their own self-interest, but for the interests of others.

    Very, very clever. Far more visionary than anything in the coalition budget which, I suspect, has just been knocked into the middle of next week.

  28. “Can something be done such that radiology is electronically accessible nationwide”..yes it can, there is an industry standard software across imaging that makes it technically not that difficult. I have been on all sorts of committees to get NSW Health connected state wide, links to private services will come.
    Not having a reliable NBN (scans like MRIs are huge data) doesn’t help.

  29. Still on the cancer policy, it would have saved me a couple of grand over the last few months on skin cancer treatment. There will be an awful lot of people with that lived experience, either personally or with a close family member.

  30. Shorten did a deal with Carr’s group to guarantee that he could overcome Albanese’s advantage with the members. Carr’s group split from the left, but Shorten kept Carr in the shadow cabinet in return for support. Carr is now one of Shorten’s lieutenants in the FPLP and in controlling Victoria’s unions. Basically Carr sold Albanese down the river for a future ministerial spot. Something he’s done before!

    From Crikey:
    Carr voted for Shorten as leader and brought a few “Soft Left” members of caucus to sneak Shorten over the line. Carr was propped up in shadow cabinet by the national Right as a way of sandbagging Shorten’s leadership and seeking to protect the “Stability Pact”, rather than out of any loyalty or merit-based argument.

  31. The more the government goes on about how much Labor is taxing, the more stupid questions of ‘how do you pay for it become’ (and they are always stupid to start with).

    4-5 years ago Shorten, Bowen et al have said, fuck it, let’s just make a virtue of taxing the bastards that aren’t going to vote for us any way. In the meantime the government has been out trying to pretend stupidity like lower taxes for businesses and the top couple of percent of earners some time in the middle of the next decade is ‘economic management’.

    The Coalition needed to kill the Neg Gearing, Cap Gains arguments at the last election, and failed. They’ve also failed to kill the Imputation Credit refund removal. They also now need to kill off the idea that tax cuts for rich people in the term AFTER the next one are just nonsense that Labor can and will ignore. And again they will fail.

    And they’ll fail because their whole pitch is to a small minority of the population that are already doing better than everyone else and are already locked in to voting Liberal. After the last six years of idiocy the swinging middle won’t be shedding a tear for the people Labor has targeted to give everyone else lots of nice things.

    This week was never going to change anything. The government is still the same bunch of dumbarses trying to push shit up hill. Labor is still sitting on a massive warchest that they’ve spent years accumulating and planning on how to use.

    Like I always say, Bill knows his Sun Tzu. The Coalition want to fight on tax. Bill says yeah nah, for the vast majority of people we’ll give em as much as you or more. We’re actually going to fight on the cost of dealing with Cancer, on getting into TAFE, on being able to actually access the NDIS, on giving three year olds free preschool, on fully funding Gonski. See ya on our chosen battleground.

  32. Nath, why keep scoffing down those sour grapes? Contrived Labor “leadershit”?? You’re missing the bus big time tonight, my friend!

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