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.”

  1. So Labor are 100% correct to focus on this:

    Australians are paying more for healthcare than most other developed nations, forking out $34 billion a year on out-of-pocket health costs, an analysis of official data reveals.

    The latest data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that of the $181 billion spent annually on health, 19 per cent is paid directly from patients’ pockets.

    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/missing-out-on-basic-healthcare-australians-spend-34-billion-a-year-on-out-of-pocket-health-costs-20190415-p51ebe.html

    And it would be more, much, much more if the Coalition could have their way with Medicare.

  2. Who’s the liar?
    It seems that yesterday Morrison was asked about his tax plan needing an annual $40 billion cut to succeed. He dismissed the question with “Rubbish!” but spent 10 mins devoted to lies about Labor’s “numbers.” No journo questioned him on it. He’s getting away with murdering truth.

    The Morrison government would need to cut spending by about $40 billion a year by 2030 to afford its big personal income tax cuts and deliver on its budget surplus forecasts, new analysis by the Grattan Institute shows.

    https://www.afr.com/news/politics/national/morrison-s-plan-requires-40b-cut-20190415-p51e6l

  3. @noplaceforsheep
    13h13 hours ago

    Last week I sat on the bank of the Macquarie River & I WEPT AT ITS RUINATION like I’ll never weep for Notre Dame and WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH EVERYBODY THAT WE WEEP FOR A FOREIGN CATHEDRAL AND NOT OUR OWN DYING COUNTRY???

  4. Coalition are being urged to endorse a conservative manifesto that includes selling the ABC, slashing the company tax rate and pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change. brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-electi… via @smh

  5. The IPA, funded by Big Tobacco, Big Dirty, Big Ugly Rupert and Big Gina has come to the rescue of the Liberal Party struggling with policy ideas. IPA alumni like Freedom Boy Tim Wilson, Senators Paterson and Fifield and Mayo grandee Georgina Downer can now go confidently forward and promote the new Liberal agenda..

    By David Crowe
    April 16, 2019 — 11.45pm

    Coalition candidates are being urged to endorse a conservative manifesto that includes selling the ABC, slashing the company tax rate and pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change.

    The Institute of Public Affairs is also calling on Liberals and Nationals to repeal the ban on offensive speech in the Racial Discrimination Act and scrap the Fair Work Act including its provisions on the minimum wage.

    The manifesto, sent to MPs in the past four days, has infuriated union critics who say the “disastrous” ideas should be repudiated at the election because of the IPA’s influence over the Coalition.

    The conservative think tank not only wants Parliament to withdraw from the Paris agreement to reduce carbon emissions but also abolish the Renewable Energy Target and launch a royal commission into climate change data.

    “The Bureau of Meteorology appears to have tampered with temperature and climate data and to have re-written history to make it appear as if the temperature is higher than it actually is, and that it has risen faster than it actually has,” the IPA said.

    “Australians deserve to know the truth about their public institutions. The only way to find the truth about potential temperature data manipulation is to hold a royal commission into the Bureau of Meteorology’s activities.”

    The policy ideas to “fix Australia” are being put to election candidates to secure their commitments and could influence the government if it holds power, given the IPA’s success in the past.

    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/coalition-mps-urged-to-sell-the-abc-and-support-a-flat-tax-in-ipa-call-20190416-p51enu.html

  6. Mr Denmore @MrDenmore

    The media needs to dump the nebulous notion that ‘managing the economy’ is different to ensuring decent standards of education, housing and healthcare, fairness in the workplace and the preservation of our natural environment. If those things aren’t ‘the economy’, what is??

  7. Marcos,
    You wouldn’t have been reading this story would you?

    Labor leader Bill Shorten has sparked a political firestorm over superannuation after telling voters he had “no plans” to increase taxes on their nest eggs despite taking four policies to the election to raise at least $18.9 billion over a decade.

    More than one million Australians could pay more tax on their super under Labor plans, including stricter caps on payments into funds and a bigger contributions tax for workers on higher incomes

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-sparks-political-firestorm-with-superannuation-tax-claim-20190416-p51ery.html

    It’s as plain as the nose on your face that the Coalition are trying to get Bill Shorten in a Julia Gillard pincer, such that he will be forced to say, ‘Well I guess you can call it a tax increase’.

    Bingo! And the Coalition will pounce.

    As the article goes on to say, the ‘expert’ they have dug up calls it a ‘tax increase’, so, ipso facto it is and Bill Shorten should just admit it.

    When, in actual fact, the policy outlines a series of adjustments to the system but NO tax increases.

  8. sprocket

    Bloody hell! The BOM was careful not to mention Global Warming for a long time so that they couldn’t be accused of scare mongering. And this is the thanks they get?

    “The Bureau of Meteorology appears to have tampered with temperature and climate data and to have re-written history to make it appear as if the temperature is higher than it actually is, and that it has risen faster than it actually has,” the IPA said.

  9. The IPA are zealots. The Coalition’s links to the IPA, up to and including MPs and staffers who have come from the IPA, should be made plain.

  10. The bookies haven’t woken up to the Forest Industry polling in Tasmania yet, Sportsbet has

    Bass
    ALP 1.33
    Lib 3.00

    And the overall market hasn’t shifted, despite the Murdoch organs crowing that minutiae of the ALP campaign – gaffes, web site changes – means it’s all over for Red Rover

    Federal election

    ALP 1.18
    lNP 4.75

    The Murdoch shills and their running dogs will be able to retire after they snap up these juicy odds..

  11. I am a bit skeptical about the private poll done for Bass, since the Liberals for the last couple of days have only won seats in Tasmania when Labor loses badly nationally.

    Anyway the only seats I can see the Coalition gaining in this election is maybe Herbert and Lindsay.

  12. C@tmomma says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 6:51 am

    The IPA are zealots. The Coalition’s links to the IPA, up to and including MPs and staffers who have come from the IPA, should be made plain.

    ———————-
    100% agree with you C@tmomma
    Labor, the greens should be doing this , also link Murdoch as being foreign influence to the libs/nats

  13. Tristo says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Anyway the only seats I can see the Coalition gaining in this election is maybe Herbert and Lindsay.

    ——————

    If the recent state elections any indication i doubt the libs/nats will take any seats off Labor

  14. “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.”

    This seems a bit strange, e.g. Capricorn has a 0.6% margin to LNP; Previous primaries LNP=40.1%, ALP=38.1%, GRN=4.7%.
    Similarly Flyn on 1% margin, and Dawson 3% who is represented by Christensen, who is target of Getup campaign and has had bad press for a long time, and has been in Phillipines more than his electorate in recent time, hard to see how he could have a good campaign.

    Doesnt seem right even if it is this driven by pro-Adani supporters… any polls of level of support for Adani in North Queensland (non-SEQ).

  15. Terrible timing by the IPA given the links it has to the govt.

    Finding the Tassie seat poll a bit hard to believe, given the State has had nothing from the govt for six years, why would people turn to them now?

  16. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Crowe on the apparently semantic gaffe on superannuation from Shorten yesterday.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-sparks-political-firestorm-with-superannuation-tax-claim-20190416-p51ery.html
    And Shane Wright says Labor has a policy vision but that doesn’t mean it gets a leave pass on the detail.
    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/labor-has-a-policy-vision-but-that-doesn-t-mean-it-gets-a-leave-pass-on-the-detail-20190416-p51eos.html
    This is a very good contribution from Ross Gittins who is looking at Australia’s standing in many measures.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/the-great-diversion-election-arguments-about-tax-20190416-p51ej6.html
    Felicity Caldwell reports on the radio face-off between Dutton and France yesterday.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/dutton-goes-face-to-face-with-labor-opponent-following-disability-furore-20190416-p51eqz.html
    Labor has launched a ground campaign targeting the annual $40 billion spending cuts needed to deliver tax cuts and surplus budgets.
    https://www.outline.com/EtZgNg
    “Why would rational voters believe talk of hundreds of billions and 10-year timeframes?”, asks Michelle Grattan.
    https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-why-would-rational-voters-believe-talk-of-hundreds-of-billions-and-10-year-timeframes-115578
    Katharine Murphy examines Morrison’s “a fair go for those who have a go” mantra.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/17/the-meaning-of-morrisons-mantra-about-getting-a-fair-go-is-clear-its-conditional
    Tony Wright prick’s Morrison’s bubble.
    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/scott-morrison-is-forever-blowing-bubbles-but-bubbles-tend-to-pop-20190416-p51ek7.html
    And Paul Bongiorno says that unlike the boy in the bubble who depended on his hermetically sealed dome to keep him safe from life-threatening infection, Scott Morrison’s bubble is killing him. He pretends the coup of last August that delivered him the prime ministership is now of interest only to other inhabitants of the political bubble – the Canberra press gallery.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/04/15/bongiorno-sukkar-morrison-bubble/
    David Crowe tells us how Coalition candidates are being urged by the IPA to endorse a conservative manifesto that includes selling the ABC, slashing the company tax rate and pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6065300/coalition-mps-urged-to-sell-the-abc-and-support-a-flat-tax-in-ipa-call/?cs=14231
    The plan to increase the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent will cut the pay of workers by 2 per cent and hit low-income earners the hardest, the Grattan Institute says.
    https://www.outline.com/b6cLVb
    Julia Banks has slammed the Liberal party’s candidate for the seat of Chisholm, accusing her former colleague Gladys Liu of “abhorrent and misleading” comments about LGBTI people.
    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/completely-abhorrent-julia-banks-slams-former-liberal-colleague-liu-20190416-p51ek1.html
    Sam Maiden looks a the role “trust” will play in this election.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/election-2019/2019/04/17/election-morrison-shorten-trust/
    The Reserve Bank of Australia says a rate cut would be appropriate if the unemployment rate started to trend up, which some economists are forecasting.
    https://www.outline.com/fnub6r
    Fergus Hunter reports that Tanya Plibersek faces a potential clash with the states over their spending on public schools, putting billions of dollars at stake in funding renegotiations should Labor win government next month. She has flagged that if elected, Labor would crack down on federal-state funding arrangements that allow states to count costs such as transport, capital depreciation and spending on regulatory bodies towards their education funding contributions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/labor-faces-showdown-with-states-over-school-funding-accounting-tricks-20190414-p51e15.html
    Dana McCauley tells us that analysis of official data shows Australians are paying more for healthcare than most other developed nations, forking out $34 billion a year on out-of-pocket health costs.
    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/missing-out-on-basic-healthcare-australians-spend-34-billion-a-year-on-out-of-pocket-health-costs-20190415-p51ebe.html
    According to Sarah Martin the Greens will push Labor to back key parts of its new environment strategy – including a $2bn nature fund – in exchange for crucial support of the opposition’s climate change policy in the Senate.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/17/greens-propose-supporting-labor-climate-policy-in-environment-deal
    Pallavi Singhal writes that major changes to funding including the abolition of a $1.2 billion fund for Catholic and independent schools and introducing strong consequences for universities that don’t raise ATAR requirements for teaching degrees are part of new recommendations from the Grattan Institute for the next Commonwealth government.
    https://www.smh.com.au/education/cut-catholic-and-private-school-fund-raise-teaching-atars-grattan-20190416-p51em4.html
    Jennifer Hewett writes that the health of Australia’s education system is crucial. Sadly, the prognosis is not positive – and proving ever more resistant to expensive treatment.
    https://www.outline.com/mvRVbh
    The Guardian tells us that despite questions in the Senate, calls for papers and freedom of information requests, mystery still surrounds the reason the former agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce chose the companies he did for almost $200m of water buybacks in 2017.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/17/questions-over-companies-chosen-for-200m-of-murray-darling-water-buybacks
    Within 24 hours of the federal election being called some Australians began receiving application forms for postal votes. The mostly unmarked envelopes didn’t come from the electoral commission, but from local candidates and political parties which enclosed information about their policies and an addressed reply-paid envelope.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/17/political-parties-postal-vote-mailouts-spark-concerns-voters-could-be-misled
    The state government is facing a serious political challenge from the CFMEU, over a dispute with Victoria Police.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/cfmeu-pressures-andrews-government-over-police-dispute-20190416-p51et3.html
    John McDuling explains that News Corp’s global chief executive, Robert Thomson, has used a speech to intensify his criticism of digital giants while taking aim at “muck-spreading” by media rivals of the Murdoch family.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/news-corp-ceo-lashes-tech-giants-and-the-new-york-times-20190416-p51eox.html
    Andrew Leigh has backed Singapore’s pro-business regulatory model to crack down on corporate misconduct without stifling innovation.
    https://www.outline.com/yGEmTX
    The Commonwealth Bank will reimburse millions of dollars to about 8000 staff after underpaying wages and other entitlements due to errors in its systems.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/cba-to-reimburse-staff-millions-in-botched-pay-20190416-p51eq9.html
    Zoe Robinson outlines the youth homelessness problem.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/homelessness-crisis-young-people-are-not-faceless-statistics-20190416-p51eii.html
    Clancy Yeates says that swings in the housing market can have important implications, but the property market is not the economy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/investing/the-housing-market-is-not-the-economy-20190409-p51cfr.html
    It seems Bernie Sanders got the better of FoxNews at a forum it organised.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/16/bernie-sanders-draws-enthusiastic-cheers-in-surprising-fox-news-town-hall
    More than 20 schools in America, including Columbine High School, have been placed on lockout after police officials said they were investigating “a credible threat possibly involving the schools”.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2019/04/17/us-schools-on-lockout/
    I think Bupa has earned nomination for “Arseholes of the Week” with this revelation. The ACCC seems to think so too,
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/bupa-overcharged-thousands-of-aged-care-residents-for-extra-services-20190416-p51ejl.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Cathy Wilcox on the Notre Dame fire.

    And great work from David Pope on the fire.

    From David Rowe also.

    From Matt Golding.





    Simon Letch and the oldies demographic.

    Andrew Dyson’s view of election promises.

    Fiona Katauskas has had enough already.

    Jon Kudelka sorts Clive Palmer out.

    Some bile from Zanetti.


    Sean Leahy on the fire.

    This gif from Glen Le Lievre gives Dutton a serve.
    https://twitter.com/GlenLeLievre/status/1116925844054634497
    Jon Kudelka searches for a reason for the Notre Dame fire.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/e9a686ce623456ad2c51367f06c7a2c5?width=1024

    From the US






  17. Labor could have some fun with a meme about the secret agenda of the IPA Liberal bosses and the Union officials of the IPA in Parliament.

  18. @ABCMELBOURNE:

    The first Vote Compass results have been released examining the top issues for respondents going into this election. Does this tally with your top election issues? #ausvotes

  19. And isn’t it terrific that the IPA has a part that is a legal charity.

    The IPA is funded by its membership, which include both private individuals and businesses. It has a dual structure, with the IPA as a whole reporting revenues of $6.1 million in financial year 2017, while its charitable arm, the Institute Of Public Affairs Research Trust, reported revenue of $0.6 million Wikipedia

  20. Not very heartening that most of the seat based evidence points to few Labor pick ups and difficulties in seats they already hold.

    Again, I’m baffled the Coalition are even competitive after the past few years.

  21. c@tmomma: “When, in actual fact, the policy outlines a series of adjustments to the system but NO tax increases.”

    I think you’ll find that the High Income Super Contribution Tax is definitely a tax. As I understand it, people whose income (including employer contributions) exceeds the threshold ($250k) in a given year are then sent a bill by the ATO. It’s possible (I’m not sure) that they might be given the option of paying the bill directly or out of their accumulated super funds, but I don’t see how that means that lowering the threshold wouldn’t count as a “tax increase”.

  22. Labor just needs to keep on doing exactly what it is doing so far in the campaign.

    Ignore the government and ignore the MSM. They are trying everything to drag Shorten and labor off their game plan.

    Firstly it was EV policy, then Tany P. making some innocuous statement about Adani being a Indian company, then attacking the labor cancer policy announcements, then labor being anti Israel and now Shorten lying about superannuation policy.

    None of the above have or will last more than a day or two.

    Shorten and labor will just rinse and repeat that labor super policy was announced 12 months ago and nothing has changed. That is the policy labor will take no the election. No new announcements. Rinse and repeat. Smooth and calm.

    All good.

  23. ltep says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:19 am
    Not very heartening that most of the seat based evidence points to few Labor pick ups and difficulties in seats they already hold.

    Again, I’m baffled the Coalition are even competitive after the past few years.

    ———–

    You are joking right ?

  24. ltep:

    Someone was wondering the other day whether the large swings against the govt will come in their safe seats, eg Warringah, Kooyong etc, and only small swings in those marginal seats.

  25. antonbruckner11 says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:20 am
    Guardian have connect ed Angus Taylor and eastern agriculture. The net is closing

    ***************************

    I wonder if Malcolm Who is Here to Help (TM) will have anything to say on this issue?

  26. ltep, its still early, but this campaign doesnt seem to have much intensity yet to me.
    It could be that this goes like the Victorian election where voters sleepwalked through the campaign, then voted the way they had always intended to.
    I think we need to see undecided votes to give pollsters legitimacy at this stage.

  27. The only ones who are making noises are coalition supporters who are rusted on , and are not going to vote for another political party or independent no matter what the libs/nats do or don’t do.

    What the pro coalition media and the libs/nats need are non rusted on voters for the other political partys to vote for the libs/nats which is not happening no matter what propaganda the media throws at Labor , the pro coalition media is not getting the voters the propaganda it aimed at.

    if the opinion polling is accurate
    The libs/nats combined primary vote as hit the peak around 38% , which only gives the libs/nats 55 or less seats come federal election time

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