Campaign updates: Bass, Chisholm et al.

A private poll turns up a surprisingly strong result for the Liberals in the Labor-held Tasmanian state of Bass, while a Liberal candidate stumbles in a key Melbourne marginal seat.

Latest electorate-level campaign news updates for the Poll Bludger election guide:

The Australian reports a uComms/ReachTEL poll for the Australian Forest Products Association gives the Liberals a surprise 54-46 lead in Bass, the north-eastern Tasmanian seat that has changed hands at seven of the last nine elections, most recently in favour of Labor incumbent Ross Hart in 2016. The primary votes from the poll are Liberal 42.8%, Labor 32.6% and Greens 10%, though I would guess the balance includes an undecided component of around 6% that hasn’t been distributed. The two-party result suggests a much more favourable flow of preferences to the Liberals than in 2016, when Labor received fully 89.2% of Greens preferences as well as about 55% from the other two candidates. That would have converted the primary votes in the poll to a two-party total more like 51-49. The poll was conducted on Monday night from a sample of 847.

Rachel Baxendale of The Australian reports Labor is “distributing postal vote application forms across the blue-ribbon Liberal seats of Goldstein and Higgins for the first time ever”. As for the Liberals’ assessment of the situation in Victoria, you can take your pick between reports yesterday from The Australian and the Daily Telegraph. The former spoke of the Liberals “becoming less pessimistic about a wipeout”, with optimists speaking of the loss of two to four seats. But according to the latter, “the Coalition fears its losses will be worse than it expected before the campaign began”, to the extent of being “seriously concerned about the loss of up to eight seats”.

• The Melbourne seat of Chisholm has been much in the news over the past few days, partly on account of Liberal candidate Gladys Liu’s overreach as she sought to bat off a question about her views on gender identity and same-sex marriage. Liu helped organise anti-Labor activity on popular Chinese language social media service WeChat at the 2016 election, much of it relating to the Safe Schools program, as she discussed at the time with Doug Hendrie of The Guardian. Confronted over her comments to Hendrie, Liu appeared to claim his report was “fake news”, and that she had been pointing to views that existed within the Chinese community rather than associating with them herself. However, Hendrie provided the ABC with a recording that showed Liu had been less careful on this point than she remembered. Thomas O’Brien of Sky News reported yesterday that a planned interview with Liu as part of its electorate profile had been cancelled by party headquarters, following earlier efforts to insist she not be questioned about the matter.

• Gladys Liu’s comments on Sunday were made at an Australian-first candidates’ debate conducted in Mandarin, the first language of Labor’s Taiwanese-born candidate Jennifer Yang, but only a third language of Liberal candidate Gladys Liu, who identifies her first languages as English and Cantonese. Rachel Baxendale of The Australian quoted a Labor strategist saying they expected Liu “use Ms Yang’s Taiwanese heritage against her with mainland Chinese voters”, but also indicates that Labor has a better handle on the importance of WeChat than it did in 2016. The service was also much discussed during the New South Wales state election campaign, with respect to the controversy generated by Labor leader Michael Daley’s statements of concern about the impact of Asian immigration on the employment and housing markets.

• Leaning heavily on the passive voice, a report in The Australian today says it is “understood” Labor polling shows it is unlikely to gain the regional Queensland seats of Capricornia, Flynn and Dawson, in addition to facing a “growing threat” in its own seat of Herbert. However, Labor is said to be encouraged by its polling in the Brisbane seats of Petrie, Bonner and Forde, and believes itself to be in the hunt in Brisbane and Dickson.

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.

857 comments on “Campaign updates: Bass, Chisholm et al.”

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  1. psyclaw @ #849 Thursday, April 18th, 2019 – 12:56 am


    I have been waiting for more than an hour to see who, if anyone, would comment on what Confessions has been writing in 7 or 8 posts about the exorbitant cost being charged for one night of respite.

    At last someone has ….. you.

    This has to be gouging of government funds in the extreme. Like a dog licks himself, they do it because they can.

    I am reminded that the first young man to die in the pink batts installations was a casual employee of a subcontractor of a subcontractor of the mob who actually had the government contract (incidentally, a big real estate company). It’s government money so it is there to be gouged, at every level as the dollars travel down to the coalface ….. in this case, to the person with the disability. The gouged dollars are of course “admin costs”

    Back to tonight, Confessions is defending the indefensible. She appears to have totally missed the point. Her proposition that the case in question occurs because NDIS is underfunded is quite illogical. The tweet posted by Lizzie actually complains that the person has already been allocated adequate funding, but that the allocation is being gouged. It is actually a case of whistleblowing the gouging, not about complaining about the NDIS itself.

    Confessions response that the person should feel grateful to actually have a respite option is an unconscionable argument along the lines “stop whinging ……. at least YOU have someone to gouge your allocation”.

    Confessions evidently works somewhere in the allied health sector. Her enthusiasm to defend this gouging (and on several occasions to blame Lizzie ‘for not posting enough details’) suggests that she may in fact work in the space that this case occurs within, and she may be defending a raw nerve.

    Barney and lizzie were being trolled.

  2. “Let’s see – front-line carers get $25 per hour according to a poster a little while back, so $150 for a 12 hour shift. Double to allow for on-costs. Double again for double time on a public holiday, assuming that they actually do get double time. So there’s $600. If someone’s charging $2,400 for overnight respite care, there’s some profiteering going on, and the money’s not going to the carer.”

    That would be me.

    But it’s not $25 per hour for foster carers, its $25 PER DAY.

    For the foster carer in the story, who has the care of a disabled child, she would get the normal allowance, plus a loading ranging from 25% to 100%, depending on the severity of the disability. The description makes it sound like she gets 100%.

    All up, she gets paid an allowance of about $100 a day to care for her severely disabled foster child – and that is every day of the year, including public holidays. The respite care rate for foster carers is slightly more – around $40 a day – and that would attract the loading as well.

    Note that these are the rates in SA – not sure whether they are the same in other states.

    So, compare the trio:

    $50 per day for the foster carer to look after the child over Easter
    $80 per day for another foster carer to look after the child over Easter
    $2,400 per day for the child to go into institutional care over Easter.

    Now you know why governments are so desperate for more foster carers …

  3. Sorry, bludgers, phone issues. Both of those comments (not intended to be repeated) were in response to

    “di Natale’s approach will mean that, once again, Labor will try and get a package through with the support of other parties – which in turn, will likely be less ‘green’ than if di Natale had been open to compromise.”

    Stay tuned for my thrilling repartee to pages 3-13

  4. the sgc should be increased…….. it has been delayed by the Various anti Labor govts……what would the balance in funds if they accumulated as intended with the benefits of compound earnings……….. the Australia institute is wrong.

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