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. Cat

    Yes it’s a big deal.

    You accused me of wanting the LNP to win precisely because you did not like your partisan view being challenged.

    Maybe it will help you be more civil in future and remember this is not a Labor campaign site.

    You know full well I have told you I want Labor to win.

  2. Labor’s lies on the Rudd CPRS systematically debunked….

    If it isnt bad enough to have to scroll past the interminable Greens v ALP sniping that drones back and forth leaving one nauseous, like the rocking of a boat in high seas… we have to scroll past essays as well.

    Essays are for exams.

  3. “I’m unsure what that would have to do with anything. Certainly nobody gets credit in 2019 for things they did or didn’t do back in 2013 (or earlier). What has Bandt done for me lately?”

    Do you live in his electorate of Melbourne?

    And Labor a quick to lie about what the Greens did or didn’t do back in 09-10 with the CPRS. Why wouldn’t a politician’s track record be relevant?

  4. Doyley
    Jonathan Lea looked fraught yesterday. I haven’t seen him today but yesterday he looked on the edge. Needs some of my old Gran’s relaxa tabs?

  5. Michael Madigan makes a good point in the Courier Mail (yes the Murdoch Press)

    “THE high-vis vest and helmet might give way to the stethoscope and white coat in the years ahead as Bill Shorten carves out a new campaign persona in the form of “Dr Bill”.

    And it’s working a treat.

    Labor came up with a great policy to kick the campaign off in the form of a $2.3 billion spend on fighting cancer — a humane and generous gesture that’s wonderfully crafted for a political campaign, in that it’s impossible to argue with without looking like a monster.”

    https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/todays-election-highlights-without-the-boring-bits/news-story/8e37d868960b974ce41da584815f11f8

  6. a r says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Wait, if the lib/nats need 45.6% for a majority, why doesn’t Labor have a similar hurdle to clear? Oh right, Greens preferences. And Labor plus Greens are well over 45.6%

    ——————–

    Libs/nats are the caretaker and can not afford to lose seats the more the libs/nats combined primary vote declines the more seats they will lose, , this election is different from 2016 , the libs/nats need to win seats for a majority , as they were in a minority with 42.6%

  7. guytaur @ #550 Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 – 5:21 pm

    Cat

    Yes it’s a big deal.

    You accused me of wanting the LNP to win precisely because you did not like your partisan view being challenged.

    Maybe it will help you be more civil in future and remember this is not a Labor campaign site.

    You know full well I have told you I want Labor to win.

    guytaur, you are living in La La Land!

    What EXACTLY does this mean!?!

    You accused me of wanting the LNP to win precisely because you did not like your partisan view being challenged.

    Because I have NEVER accused you of wanting the LNP to win. Or are you trying to make that accusation stick because I don’t like my partisan view being challenged…therefore that equates to me believing you want the LNP to win???

    If so, then that’s just bs out of a doolally mind.

    Anyway, I refuse to go on with this with you. You just like arguing.

    Pointlessly.

  8. Burgey @ #319 Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 – 1:03 pm

    Fulvio,

    Rugby in Australia has always been a joke. It’s just we had about 12 years of seriousness from the early 1990s which gave its misguided 17 supporters across the country false hope. We’ve just returned to type since.

    Any sport in Australia which draws 90% of its players from private schoolkids who were carried to games in sedan chairs will always fail when it’s up against countries like NZ who actually draw their players from the ranks of real people whose idea of physicality is more than losing a toe nail.

    Never went to a private school.
    Played rugby for my school and a club at the weekend. No toffs in either team.

  9. Labor won’t get a majority in the senate, so the question is clear.
    Who will you deal with – the RW parties or the Greens/progressives

    I would turn the screws on the Liberals. Make them, each and every one, vote against energy and climate legislation that they have shirked for the last 5 years. Demand that it is time to put this political football to bed – that now is the time for stability in these policy areas.

    Because if I see the same BS about utes (etc) in 3 years time I am going off reservation.

    First, there will be an intense leaflet campaign. Then… now I dont want to do it… but there will be T-shirts printed, benefit concerts and…. yes…. street theatre!

    Thanks to Red Dwarf.

  10. Scrolling past the yawning Labor- Greens wars in PB and the rediculous Liberal parrots of impending doom for Labor and Nath’s kill bill tropes I found something worth reading – finally. I second the motion put by Simon Katich. Can we give the Green – Red war a holiday for a few weeks and focus on the real clear and present danger = Scott Morrison et al

  11. Yes, the green wars are trite and tedious at the best of times, but during an election campaign FFS?
    Time to focus on what matters, and that has very little to do with the Greens.

  12. Okay, so Matthew Doran has just asked Scott Morrison again about The Grattan Institute’s finding that $40 Billion in cuts to services will have to be made to sustain the Coalition’s tax cuts, tax scale flattening and 10 year fiscal projections which will maintain a Budget Surplus, and AGAIN Scott Morrison has referred to the Budget and Treasury. Which ONLY makes projections for the Forward Estimates. NOT the next 10 years!

    So, peddling a lie. Peddling a very, very big lie.

  13. If I were in the seat of Melbourne I would probably vote for Bandt. He has been a very progressive voice in HoR and has not made a habit of grandstanding at Labor’s expense.

    I am in the seat of McNamara. It is a 3-sided contest. A vote for the Green candidate could see her come second on Primaries and see Labor come third. If Labor comes third there is a REAL RISK that sufficient Labor preferences will flow to the Lib candidate for the Lib candidate to win. This is because there are likely to be a number of naturally Lib voters unhappy with Turnbull’s fate/Climate Change to vote Labor but would never vote Green.

    Green preferences are likely to flow more strongly to Labor than Labor to Green.

    Therefore a vote for the Greens in McNamara runs the risk of voting in a Lib. That is not a risk I have the slightest interest in exposing myself to.

  14. Labor have picked up on the IPA’s plans to transform Australia (not in a good way):

    “Steve —

    Today, the Sydney Morning Herald published an article revealing the Liberals’ secret agenda this election.

    The conservatives in the Liberal Party want to:
    • Sell-off of our ABC.
    • Slash company tax.
    • Withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
    • Repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
    • Scrap the Fair Work Act.

    It makes for grim reading, and a grim future for Australia.

    The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is a conservative think-tank which controls the conservatives in the Liberal and National party room.

    Not only does the IPA want to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, it also denies the science of climate change and wants Australia to abandon the Renewable Energy Target.

    If Scott Morrison and his Cabinet of cuts and chaos are re-elected, this is what we have to look forward to.”

    I believe that the IPA says aloud what the “Liberals” say in private, especially the more radical ones (‘conservative’ is a misnomer). It’s what they really want to do when the political environment allows. For example, the Coalition never said that they want to massively jack up tertiary fees (apart from the 2014 Budget after they were safely in office), but since 1996, that’s what they’ve done.

  15. EB @5:32PM ” I second the motion put by Simon Katich. Can we give the Green – Red war a holiday for a few weeks and focus on the real clear and present danger = Scott Morrison et al”

    I third it.

  16. C@tmomma says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 5:16 pm
    BH,
    Isn’t your brother-in-law’s wife your sister?

    ______________________

    I have a few sisters-in-law married to brothers-in-law FWIIW

  17. Cat

    I know what I read.

    Go cool off maybe just maybe you will see sense.

    Much as is hated by posters here the reality is recorded publicly.

    Climate Legislation passed.
    Labor lost the election to Abbott. Most people say that’s primarily due to chaos and division. Dumping Prime Ministers.

    My view is that’s why Gillard made the mistake on the Carbon Tax. As we now know for sure confirmed by PETA Credlin that was a lie. I have always argued the media not calling that out was appalling.

    Its on the same scale as the NBN. Something Rudd was willing to sell.

    The point is none of that was the fault of the Greens.
    Blaming the Greens for that is Labor partisans in denial looking for a scapegoat.

    The exact state the LNP is in today except the LNP have the added bonus of an ideological fight. Unless you know something about that Labor division I don’t

  18. Even the journos like Remeskis realise that the campaign so far is a bit of a damp squib!

    As I said, tomorrow is the final day of full campaigning before the easter break. But I can’t imagine we are going to get a change of pace. One of the key takeaways from this campaign so far, is that no one particularly cares that it is on.

    The political parties know that. It’s why you are getting the same messages over and over again. Like a George Costanza’s answering machine message, they’re hoping that eventually, something will catch on.

    Believe it or not.

    But in the meantime, us stuck listening to the messages over and over and over again are being driven slightly crazy.

    It’s like being stuck in an Escher print.

    (Which is a recurring nightmare of mine, but then again, so is this, so I guess dreams really can come true)

  19. Windhover
    says:
    Therefore a vote for the Greens in McNamara runs the risk of voting in a Lib. That is not a risk I have the slightest interest in exposing myself to.
    ______________________________
    Fair enough. I’m looking forward to how this seat goes on election night. Redistribution favours the Greens a bit from last election but it should be very interesting.

  20. Zoomster

    “You’re welcome to post the alternate ‘facts’. Rex certainly had no trouble finding the information.”

    His post referred to Christine Milne… Not RDN

  21. @SK…….. aahhh….the famous ….Committee for the Liberation and Intergration of Terryfying
    Organisms and their Reintergration Into Society……

    I do have a T Shirt with that on it……lol

  22. I have just been reminded (by the TV Guide) that The Drum last night was about Western Sydney/Paramatta. As I am not familiar with that area I found it fascinating and Fanning did an excellent job IMO.

  23. “As I am not familiar with that area I found it fascinating and Fanning did an excellent job IMO.”

    I saw that and the microphone on her cheek made it look like she was having a Porline Hanson style tick attack. 🙂

  24. Just saw Morrison on ABC 24. He looked very relaxed. He has his lines down pat.

    I haven’t seen Shorten interviewed over the last 2 days, but the reports I have read indicate he has slipped up and been testy.

    What are others’ observations?

  25. Lynchpin says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 5:55 pm
    I haven’t seen Shorten interviewed over the last 2 days, but the reports I have read indicate he has slipped up and been testy.

    What are others’ observations?
    _______________________
    Shortpoleon throwing a tantrum?

  26. “I haven’t seen Shorten interviewed over the last 2 days, but the reports I have read indicate he has slipped up and been testy.”

    My take on that? Nah he’s doing quite well.

    About the only thing thats negative is the taxes / super thing but dont hink that will be a major issue out side of the troll who are “finally he’s slipped up and its all over !!!” brigade.

    seems to be playing it well so far. Libs having far worse days as far as credibility is concerned. Still playing their base and not the uncommited voters.

  27. I’m not making any complaint at all. I’m explaining why Labor doesn’t trust di Natale.

    You can accept that Labor doesn’t trust di Natale or not. It’s no skin off my nose.

    But if you accept that they don’t, then you might understand what happens in the future a little more clearly.

  28. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/dec/03/greens-accused-of-selling-out-over-deal-with-coalition-on-tax-transparency

    The Tax Justice Network Australia, a group of non-government organisations pushing for tax transparency, welcomed the passage of the multinational bill because it did not want to see a delay in a measure known as country-by-country reporting.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-03/coalition-and-greens-strike-deal-on-multi-national-tax-avoidance/6997328

    “The choice is a simple one, we either get nothing or we get significant strides forward when it comes to combatting multinational tax avoidance, simple equation,” Senator Di Natale said.
    :::
    The Greens deal secures the passage of the Government’s bill that will introduce country-by-country reporting by significant multinationals and increase the penalties imposed on those that enter into tax avoidance or profit shifting schemes.

  29. Astrobleme.

    Yes. Labor partisans here were busy blaming the Greens for agreeing to Senate reform. I refer you to William’s article on the likely outcome this election in today’s Crikey.

    Of course the Labor partisan complaint was that it was up to Turnbull when to call a DD was somehow the Greens selling out.

  30. Clem & Rex

    Na, Bowen is an excellent performer and in my opinion a very good communicator. Are you saying that the alternative treasurer of the country should do ‘retail politician’ with slogans? He is measured, across the detail, thorough and fiercely determined. I believe he has likely been mentored to some degree by Paul Keating. I see it in his delivery and mannerisms sometimes. I’m not sure you have been listening too well. I’d say most of the CPG and economic reporters would say the same thing. He will make a great treasurer if Labor wins.

  31. The whining of a few Laborites that the Greens, a political party in its own right with its own policy platform, does not rubber stamp Labor policy or participate in Labor’s political strategy, is tiresome.

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