Phony war communiques

A pre-campaign assembly of polling and scuttlebutt about the respective parties’ prospects for an election that must surely be called very soon.

The window for a May 11 election has passed, which would seem to narrow it down to May 18 or May 25, with the former seeming more likely given concerns expressed in the past about the latter. Some details on where things may or may not stand:

• Roy Morgan has published its weekly face-to-face poll result, normally available only to subscribers, but occasionally sent out in the wild when its proprietor has a point to make. This time, it’s that the government’s position has improved post-budget, with the Labor lead not at 52.5-47.5, from 55-45 last week (it may be observed that the organisation wasn’t duly excited by any of the results that got Labor to that position in the first place). On the primary vote, the Coalition was up 2.5% to 37%, Labor down 1.5% to 35%, the Greens up 1% to 13.5% (Morgan sharing Ipsos’s apparent skew to the Greens) and One Nation up half a point to 4%. The poll was conducted on the weekend from a face-to-face sample of 829 respondents.

• Michael Koziol of the Sydney Morning Herald reported on the weekend of Liberal polling that was “diabolically bad” for Tony Abbott in Warringah. Abbott’s primary vote is said to be down 12% on his 51.6% in 2016, which would indeed leave him a fair way short of competitive. Nonetheless, Liberal sources quoted by Koziol were optimistic Abbott would hang on, in part because of “a $1 million war chest from fundraising and his Advance Australia lobby group allies”. Whether that confidence remains intact now they have had a look at how Advance Australia plans on spending that money is not yet known.

• Other than that, the Liberals appear upbeat about their prospects in New South Wales. The Sydney Morning Herald reports optimism Kerryn Phelps’s win in Wentworth will prove to have been a one-off, now that voters there have vented their spleen about the removal of Malcolm Turnbull. Furthermore, the Sydney Morning Herald report says the Liberals believe they are in front in Lindsay – a claim that is both corroborated by Labor sources, and fleshed out in a report yesterday by Andrew Clennell of The Australian, which says the party’s polling credits them with a lead of 53-47. Clennell’s Liberal sources were particularly bullish, claiming leads in Dobell – on which Koziol’s source was more circumspect – and also to have the lead in their existing seats of Reid, Gilmore and Robertson. A Nationals source cited in Clennell’s report believes the party to be “marginally ahead” in their Mid North Coast seat of Page.

• Nonetheless, Labor is reportedly hopeful of maintaining the status quo in New South Wales, considering that Gilmore or Reid might balance a loss in Lindsay (apparently not rating a mention is Banks, which I for one would have thought vulnerable). Beyond New South Wales, Labor “believes it will win at least nine – and probably more – elsewhere”. Ben Packham of The Australian reported on the week end that Labor feels too secure in Victoria to devote resources to any of its own seats, and will target five held by the Coalition with “full field” campaigns: Dunkley, Corangamite, La Trobe, Chisholm and Deakin.

The Australian reports Nick Xenophon’s Centre Alliance will only field candidates in Mayo, which is held for the party by Rebekha Sharkie, along with Grey and Barker, where they have respectively endorsed Andrea Broadfoot and Kelly Gladigau. The party’s predecessor, the Nick Xenophon Team, polled 21.3% across South Australia in 2016, and finished second in Grey, Barker and Port Adelaide (the latter now abolished).

Jamie Walker of The Australian notes that Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, which has endorsed candidates in more seats than any party other than Labor, has nonetheless left open its Queensland Senate ticket and the Townsville-based seat of Herbert. Palmer earlier maintained he would run in Herbert, but few now expect that to happen, given the certainty he would fail there.

• There’s a redistribution in train in the Northern Territory, which Ben Raue at The Tally Room is on top of if you’re interested.

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.

740 comments on “Phony war communiques”

  1. guytaur

    That is pretty funny. Hopefully a cartoonist joins the dots tomorrow.

    I had almost started wondering today whether Morrison really was planning a separate half-Senate election. But it seems my source on May 18th came through.

  2. I have had the pleasure of being invited to Chinese family weddings

    The Guest Lists have been what they have been – reflective of the politeness of Chinese therefore guests invited because of position far more so than at Australian weddings where invitation is reflective of family and friends

    Different cultures

    The Chinese weddings are lavish, very well attended events and unique down to the changes of attire by the bride and the Mother of the bride

    And you are invited because of who you are, not because of a close association

    Expectations past that?

    The nature of doing business with Chinese is based on politeness and trust – unlike with some others

    They value associations – as do we all

    No matter Nationality

    Given China is our largest trading partner and therefore our reliance’s , the continuing reaction of the Chinese government (and it is a One Party State) to the continual ramping up of criticism of China will be of interest – we are already seeing reaction on a raft of fronts

    When you look back just 50 short years ago to the times of the New Territories and peering across to Communist China the world has changed

    And it will continue to change

    On the other hand we have so called “Free Trade Agreements” with whom we have those Agreements

    So who is “good”?

    And who is “bad”?

    I would also mention Trump, and his “Trade War” with China which no doubt is a catalyst for the anti China sentiment including particularly in Australia with the current Australian Government, which has a vested interest in racism

  3. Finally, so it’s on tomorrow. ScumMo finally makes a decision that moves the country forward.

    Be prepared for six weeks of spin. ScumMo’s bus will be worth more than his surplus.

  4. It is good the election will finally be called. Despite their protestations of fiscal responsibility, the Libs have spent flagrantly on pointless partisan advertising whilst not doing anything worth advertising. In the old days, I remember that government members used to roll up to their day jobs in parliament, and do things (enact legislation and engage in debate, for example), which would be reported and commented upon. If Morrison is elected Prime Minister, how many sitting days will the next parliament have?

    Two other questions. Does Senate Estimates continue tomorrow? Also, do the pollsters produce regular polling during the election?

  5. Has the L/NP Govt failed in the last 5 years?
    Followed Trump in lying about anything. Say whatever. Change position several times a day if necessary. Never answer a question. Admit nothing.
    Finance – the old ” debt and deficit ” and ” jobs and growth” – it all got worse, not better,
    Environment- big NO for Adani, GBR, Murray Darling, renewables
    Social issues – fail on SSM, dignified dying, NDIS
    Fairness – Company and high income earners got tax cuts, funding cuts to TAFE and Unis. Allowed 457 visas with our youth consigned to unemployment queue. Removed penalty rates. Continue coal subsidies. NBN better, faster, cheaper said MT, crap said the Nation
    Other – 3 PMs, few women, Barnaby, cuts, shouting, fear mongering, hate, Paladin, Dutton, S Robert, S Ley, the monkey pod,
    Will voters remember all, some, any of these things??
    Final major approval for Carmichael basin coal mining by Adani ( to be joined shortly by Clive, Gina and friends ) has been completed by Environment Minister Price of the L/NP so she has something to be remembered for.

  6. So according to the Australian, Dutton on 1.3% in Dickson is not a swing seat or potential Labor gain. Macquarie is winnable for the Coalition?

  7. Morrison’s tweet says a lot about him. He claims credit for the past few years when he has only been in office for a few months. He talks of progress when wages are stagnant and social services have been robbed to inflate his surplus. In the accompanying film he is happy for his kids to be political props. The film features lots of young people and talk of better futures. Yet in reality his policy is focused to protecting the financial privileges of older generations at the expense of the young, whilst doing nothing to fix problems that threaten their future, like climate change.

    “I’m proud of how far our country has come over the past few years. And I know there is still more work for us to do to make life better for all Australians. My vision for Australia is about everyone having the chance to realise their full potential.”

    Also note that ScumMo uses the neo-Liberal idea of equality of opportunity while making no mention of genuine equality. And how does underfunding public schools square with everyone having “the chance to realise their full potential?” More lies.

  8. “I’m proud of how far our country has come over the past few years.

    Some journo needs to nail him down and ask him what the fark he is on about.

  9. KB mentions the betting status on his blog;
    “The Coalition are currently not favourites in 25 of their own seats, but are favourite in one seat they do not own, so they are favourites in only 51 seats.”

  10. Are we all breathing a sigh of relief now that the pretence is over? By June we can hope that a real government is in place, one that is willing to work hard for us and not for themselves.

  11. lizzie @ #720 Thursday, April 11th, 2019 – 6:11 am

    Are we all breathing a sigh of relief now that the pretence is over? By June we can hope that a real government is in place, one that is willing to work hard for us and not for themselves.

    Good morning Lizzie.YES YES YES YES YES.

    The longer he waited to call the election the more I thought he would want a longer time as PM on his bust at that Lake in Ballarat – Thank you God for telling him to get on with it,

  12. And the final chum bucket instalments from The Guardian this morning are –

    Appointments made by the government in the last fortnight include:

    Philip Lindsay, a former adviser to Peter Costello, nominated to be Australia’s alternate director to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

    Hugh Delahunty, a former Victorian Nationals MP and state minister, to the board of Sport Australia.
    Malcolm Roberts, the former chief of staff to Liberal minister Ian Macfarlane, to the Productivity Commission.

    Karen Synon, a former Liberal senator, as a part-time independent director to the Australian Housing and Urban Research ­Institute.
    Labor has accused the Coalition of using government appointments – particularly to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) – to show favour to former members.

    In February Porter appointed six former parliamentarians and eight former staffers from Coalition ranks to the AAT.

    Attorney general’s department officials told Senate estimates on Thursday that after that most recent round of appointments a new merit-based process had been introduced.

    These “merit based” appointments were based on a colour chart featuring the colour blue.

  13. Dennis Atkins @dwabriz
    60m60 minutes ago

    Glad @ScottMorrisonMP is calling elections. Got Liberal Party fund raising letter signed by PM. He signs name “Scomo”. Can’t believe it. Is there a chance this mob will jump up mid campaign & say we’re actually a parody act? Gotta be a chance of that. “Scomo”? He signs like that!

  14. Lizzie

    I would be happy if we could just stop the corruption and blatant shovelling of public money to entities owned by mates, or in some cases (Dutton?) themselves. Not to mention a public payed job for every failed Liberal MP.

    In hindsight, the governing had stopped well before ScumMo snuck into the leadership chair. As soon as it was clear Turnbull was going to be rolled within on his energy policy, he should have resigned and an election been called. But any pretense of proper behavioural conventions was abandoned long ago.

  15. Attorney general’s department officials told Senate estimates on Thursday that after that most recent round of appointments a new merit-based process had been introduced.

    Oh well, that’s the end of Liberal Party apparatchik appointments then. 😐

  16. So when are these terrorists goto jail?

    The New Daily:
    Anti-euthanasia protesters have targeted patients and called medical staff “murderers” outside a Melbourne cancer clinic.

  17. Barrie Cassidy
    ‏@barriecassidy
    1h1 hour ago

    It’s all going to happen very quickly this morning with the PM making the trip to the GG before 7 am. ABC News Brekkie will be all over it.

    Edit: constant repeats of ScoMo in a car. ScoMo going through a door. Scomo smirking???

  18. Check out the gaggle outside Yarralumla waiting for Scotty’s ‘secret’arrival

    https://mobile.twitter.com/KerrieYaxley/status/1116078636635791360/video/1

    I’m still getting my head around this ‘secret’ ScottyStunt ™ – lets replay the thought process

    – fly secretly to Canberra in the evening
    – gatecrash Cosgrove late at night and get him to sign the papers
    – secretly fly to Tasmania
    – in the middle of a presser distributing pork to gerrymandered, announce the election

    Are you sure, Mr Prime Minister? That is a unique and brave approach – but as you wish.


  19. Wayne says:
    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 7:14 am

    sky news say that coalition are back in the game to win the 18 May election and they say that the coalition will win that election

    So your the person that still watches.

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