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”

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  1. C@t:

    Glad my grant got announced and rushed through before caretaker period announced, as foreshadowed by the relevant Department staff I’ve been dealing with 🙂

  2. So Adani was the last thing this miserable govt pushed through the day before calling an election.

    Not surprised.

    I hope it never goes ahead.

    I hope the descision haunts them for all time too.

  3. I’m afraid I just don’t feel that confident that enough of my fellow voters are going to see through the deluge of shite that’s coming their way in the next few weeks for Labor to win. The way every media outlet seems to be rooting for Scotty is so sickening.

  4. AFR have had very obviously biased reporting on franking credits, suggestive headlines looking for an emotional response repeated most weekends for months.

  5. EGW
    from the Guardian
    New Zealand MPs overwhelmingly back post-Christchurch gun ban
    MPs vote 119-1 to outlaw most semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles

  6. I personally would go by the betting odds.Sometimes the mood on the ground is telling.If Labor blow out to $1.50 and Coalition to $2.00 then I would be worried.

  7. why would a PM telegraph going to GG to announce the election date tomorrow, even though he wouldn’t need to announce May 18 election until April 15?

    I speculate it’s because their internal polling showed a lift from the EV fracas.

  8. Red13
    People at the Oz are the first to know everything the Libs are going to do.There is a hotline between Scotty and Newscorp. The Oz will be coordinating the Lib campaign.

  9. Labor get a very good run in the mainstream media. It’s frankly hilarious to see Labor supporters speaking as if they’re up against the establishment. You are part of the establishment! Even the Murdoch press (which does undoubtedly favour the Coalition) gives Labor positively glowing praise compared with the dribble they regurgitate daily about the Greens.

  10. Shorten doesn’t do 1 on 1 phots with Huang but visits him surreptitiously at home and attends his daughter’s wedding quietly in the shadows.

  11. It’s on: PM to call poll


    Scotty has been ringing the hotline to Benson as usual.

  12. “Most media – ABC, SBS, Fairfax, Guardian etc. are pro ALP.”
    I’d say SBS and the Guardian are neutral and the ABC and Fairfax right of centre.

  13. The assessment that the AFR (9 Network) is neutral gives commentary to the remainder of the assessment of the bias of media

    GB gave an address in Adelaide today – and I wonder how much reporting there will be of that address

    GB’s comments supported those of Phillip Lowe

    I understand that, in Canberra, Bowen has made reference to the 10 Year Bond Yield and to the level of housing debt in Australia

    Bowen’s address was being monitored by some of influence who were in GB’s audience which, to me at least, was its own commentary

    There appears a sync between the RBA and the ALP and their respective presentations

    I passed obtuse comment on this when Ad Man from Mad Men was on Christmas Island and Lowe and Shorten were on the same stage a couple of weeks back

  14. nath @ #674 Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 – 10:41 pm

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    Shorten suggesting improper links between and Huang and Julie Bishop based on a photo.

    He makes a good point there. This Huang fellow sure seems to have a knack for showing up around Coalition Ministers. And a history of throwing lots of money around near them.

    Occam’s razor says the two things are related. 🙂

  15. Looks like with the election due to be called soon, nath has turned up the bullshit-o-meter.

    Why don’t you take your lying scuttlebutt and stick it somewhere. Hopefully you’ll disappear after the election and we can be spared your boring propaganda.

  16. Yep you can’t make this up.

    Bernard KeaneVerified account@BernardKeane
    19m19 minutes ago
    Having waited an extra 3 days to
    1. launch a scare campaign on EVs so hilariously inept it actually made the case for Labor’s policy
    2. be further embarrassed at Estimates and
    3. literally not mention the budget at all
    @ScottMorrisonMP will NOW call an election.

  17. sprocket_ @ #567 Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 – 6:26 pm

    What’s going on with our ‘sports stars’?

    First Choc Mundine spruiking antivaxxer propaganda, and now Izzie Foloua with another of his off field BrainFarts

    ‘The career of Wallabies star Israel Folau hangs in the balance after he posted a warning on social media saying “hell awaits” homosexuals.

    Do yourself a favour and never meet, in any meaningful sense of the word, your hero’s.

  18. a r @ #577 Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 – 6:37 pm

    Confessions @ #540 Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 – 8:02 pm

    I tried a server in Bali and got substantially lower speeds, lower even than in Perth.

    The further away you get, the more you’re speed-testing things that aren’t the connection running from your home to the node. The best/most accurate result is the one using the closest testing server.

    FTTP still wins:

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    I don’t know how to do the screenshot, at 20:54 my HFC is 95.8/38.5, ping 11 and jitter 1.

  19. I wonder if notion mooted by Antony Green earlier this week that if the government didn’t call the election some State governments might perhaps move to set the Senate election date themselves was starting to get Mr Morrison worried?

  20. Cud Chewer says Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    bc and others, about NBN upgrades.

    FttN is NOT upgradable. To go from FttN to FttP means scrapping everything downstream of the exchange. Including scrapping the Nodes.

    FttC, if properly implemented, can be upgraded to FttP.

    Which is pretty much what I said.

    A FttC network will see the optical split closer to the home. But each FttC splitter may only feed 3 to 4 houses. This means you need a lot more than 12 fibres once you get a couple of blocks further up the network (closer to the exchange). FttN CANNOT be upgraded to FttC because the Nodes only have 12 fibres and feed hundreds of houses each.

    Except, you can upgrade people close to the node to without usng FTTC.

    Also, all the money (billions) that were spent on Nodes themselves, plus the cost of the electricity to run them (a fully fibre network requires no intermediate power source) is money thrown away. To go from FttN to FttC or FttP means you throw away billions of dollars worth of hardware and civil works. You have to go back to the exchange and re-pull all the cables. You have to scrap the Nodes. In some cases you can reuse the concrete pad, but not always since the network will be different. You have to introduce the FDH boxes or FttC splitters.

    I doubt you could even reuse the pad. The node will still be sitting on it and in use until the replacement infrastructure is in place.

    So, just repeating. Turnbull has pissed billions of dollars up against the wall. There’s no upgrade path other than scrapping and starting again.

    Completely agree.

  21. Confessions, that was a pretty frank editorial by the guardian.
    It is getting weird, earlier today wikileaks held press conference explaining they have cooperated with Spanish police to catch a group trying to sell the almost constant video/audio survelance of assange. Included footage of medical exams, meetings with lawyers to discuss strategy in legal case against Ecuador. They water 3m euro, they where asking 8m from other groups.
    Problem for assange is that they want him so bad they are willing to break well established precedents, the law they want to charge him with hasn’t been used for over 100 years iirc. They sucesfully pressured a soverign country to get turn on him.
    Its wishfull thinking that even the uk legal system will give him a fair trial.
    In the eyes of many, Julian won’t be respected until he gets assassinated, its a great tragedy.

  22. Since 2012, Mr Huang and his Yuhu Group are believed to have donated more than $1 million to the ALP.
    Nice coin. Huang’s been a terrific little earner for Labor. Once Shorten’s PM will he get his visa back? watch this space.

  23. There was speculation earlier about the Liberals winning Dobell and Lindsay.

    According to Sportsbet the Libs are $11.00 to win Dobell.
    Lindsay is $1.60 Lab $2.25 Lib.

  24. Mini-Trump re-elected, apparently:

    In the final days of the campaign, Netanyahu veered sharply to the right, pledging to annex West Bank settlements if re-elected, and warning his voter base that the end of his strong right-wing government would signal the beginning of a weak left-wing government.

    Netanyahu fought the election in the face of looming indictments for bribery and breach of trust offenses, which he sought to portray as a witch-hunt led by left-wing elites and fed by the media. The date for a final hearing in the case is yet to be set.

    Sad that people vote for obvious lying crooks. 🙁

  25. “Holden Hillbilly says:
    Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 10:28 pm
    Most media – ABC, SBS, Fairfax, Guardian etc. are pro ALP.

    The Australian & SKY are pro coalition.

    AFR neutral.”

    Herald Sun
    Telegraph Mirror
    Adelaide Advertiser
    They all all need to be added to the list, but not in the Labor column

  26. In Bensons report he says the Libs reckon 3 Tasmania seats are in play.They must be deluded.It was a 50-50 result last time and they didnt win any.

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