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. “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.”


    Labor seem to think the Greens should just fall in line and act like another left faction of their party. Maybe they look across at the Coalition and wish the Greens would behave more like the Nats and just shut up and make up the numbers. Or maybe they’re just so used to pushing their own Labor Left faction around that they get cranky when other progressives won’t tow the Labor Right faction line.

  2. I have always found Fran Kelly to be reasonably balanced and over the details of the issues being discussed. Maybe that just proves she is biased to the right. 🙂

  3. Fran is a living breathing example that the ABC isn’t a hive of lefties.

    Not to mention Lane.

    Yet they got Switzer in for that very reason – to correct for all the lefties. And Vanstone too! And dont lets get started on Macca.

  4. Davidwh:

    I haven’t listened to RN Breakfast for a number of years now, but what turned me off was its stories were always those leading the front pages of The Australian. FKelly is always reasonable when she’s on Insiders.

  5. Denise Allan
    Just talking with a foster mum who cares for a severely disabled boy…wanting respite for Anzac day night…$2400!! For one night! $1400 per night normal night! Out of his NDIS package. Someone is making a killing out of the NDIS. @LindaBurneyMP #auspol #MSM #NDIS

  6. “Scott Morrison will win the election on May 18 with a result of 51/49

    Bill Shorten as lost this election and should do the honour able thing and resign as opposition leader and let new blood to take over for the 2022 election.”

    Ok what the actual f…? Satire? Please let this be satire…

  7. lizzie @ #657 Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 – 5:14 pm

    Denise Allan
    Just talking with a foster mum who cares for a severely disabled boy…wanting respite for Anzac day night…$2400!! For one night! $1400 per night normal night! Out of his NDIS package. Someone is making a killing out of the NDIS. @LindaBurneyMP #auspol #MSM #NDIS

    Public holiday rates?

  8. Ok what the actual f…? Satire? Please let this be satire…

    Wholly sh!t Firefox. Didnt you realise? This whole blog is satire. Everyone, every post. I assumed you were in on it.

  9. @Firefox………….”Ok what the actual f…? Satire? Please let this be satire…”……….

    Welcome to Waynes world………lol……Wayne has variously told us……
    1/ Abbott will win the next election
    2/ Turnbull will win the next election
    3/Morrison will win the next election……….
    ….and all in a landslide….lol

  10. “This constant Greens blathering is only slightly less irritating than the Rudd/Gillard wars.”

    Destroying two decent PMs at once was slightly more than irritating to say the least. I strongly believe that Labor would still be in government today had they not engaged in those unbelievable acts of self harm. Two terms for Rudd followed by two for Gillard. Considering we ended up with the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison mess instead, I’d say calling it irritating is putting it very lightly.

  11. So Notre Dame will be rebuilt just in time for Ad Man from Mad Men’s tax cuts for high income earners to come into force – given he wins this election AND the next one

    Mind you the Liberal aligned Grattan Institute (look at its inception and history) has called out that whilst some gain some will miss out

    I am reminded of Kenneth Davidson from the day’s of Costello summarising that the 630,000 people on disability pensions targeted in the run up to the May Budget will probably be Costello’s first victims

    And so it turned out to be

    Some things just never change

  12. Fran Kelly’s background would suggest someone of a progressive bent and she probably was in earlier years. Then again, so was Rupert. Her year of birth seems to be around 1960. Maybe she’s on the common journey from young left wing activist to old conservative.

    I don’t find her particularly biased. My problem with her show, as with much of ABC programming, is that they seem to be using Coalition-Newscorp talking points to set the agenda. Newsreaders seem to be reading from the pages The Australian.

  13. Confessions says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    lizzie @ #657 Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 – 5:14 pm

    Denise Allan
    Just talking with a foster mum who cares for a severely disabled boy…wanting respite for Anzac day night…$2400!! For one night! $1400 per night normal night! Out of his NDIS package. Someone is making a killing out of the NDIS. @LindaBurneyMP #auspol #MSM #NDIS

    Public holiday rates?

    How much is the respite carer getting paid per night?

  14. I suspect that ‘Wayne’ is another PB who gets infuriated with the red/green shit and adopts this false flag persona making provocative comments to steer everyone back towards the main game.

    Could even be WB, himself?

  15. Day 6: Reality Bites Day

    Bluey reckons that the French do love their patrimoine. The rebuild Notre Dame fund already has over a billion euros worth of private donations. Snarky neggers need not apply.

    Bluey reckons that the sleeper in this election is the actual state of the economy which is not good and which is not going to get any better. The humans are in per capita recession. Real wages for millions of Australian workers are going backwards. Wealth is being destroyed by the housing crash. Record household debt. Record net national debt. Savings gutted. Around 12 per cent unemployed or underemployed. Precarious work is at record levels: around 40% of the total. Wages as a proportion of the economy are the lowest ever. Wage theft is endemic. (Announced today, another 8000 workers are to get some of their money back from some large national company or other). All that can be summed up by the hip pocket nerve. Bluey reckons baseball bat stuff.

    Bluey notes that the Chinese are screwing Australia’s coal imports around because of the Huawei ban. Vale’s get out of jail card announced yesterday, no doubt gifted by the new Hard Right Supremo, brings on a large competitive supply stream. Bluey remembers that the Chinese played funny buggers with the Vale Class carriers. Vale invested a motsa in a class of very large ore carriers. But, from Australia’s point of view, not to worry because the carriers still had to carry the ore much, much further than the Australian competition. But when Vale was well into building several of these behemoths the Chinese announced that they would not fit Chinese ports. Some negotiations followed in which the Chinese became part investors in Vale AND in the carriers, which promptly fitted into Chinese ports after all. Bluey reckons that Australian coal prices are already heading south because Chinese punishment. Bluey reckons iron ore prices are about to follow suit. To cut a long story short, the three big assumptions in the forecasts: wage growth, coal prices, and iron ore prices are ALL optimistic. Whether any of this reality is allowed to intrude in the campaign is doubtful.

    PEFO was not a good thing for the Government. Bluey reckons that several of their larger lies were sprung, including the de facto cut to the NDIS. As for wages growth being plus 3%, Bluey reckons pig’s arse. The Coalition’s sneaky cuts of $40 billion in social spending is getting a good trot because it confirms what everyone already knows about this Government. If they can get away with cutting health, education, social services, environmental care, action on Global Warming and public transport, they will. Bluey reckons that that $40 billion is not going to go away between now and May 18.

    Bluey notes that an independent Report that came out showing that the tree planting investments of the Coalitions Direct Action Policy are a horrible failure. More than just the waste of money, the problem is that the Coalition has been counting very large outcomes in carbon sequestration that have simply not happened. Yet another example today of reality and the Coalition’s ‘truth’ parting ways.

    Bluey reckons that Shorten did a reasonable rescue job of how he misheard the question but that the mishearing is going to keep costing Labor.

    The defeat in the High Court of the Snouters and Developers attempt to enforce the freedom to inflict a free flow of turkeys and champers was good, Bluey reckons. It may also slow down the funny money supply which is all to the good.

    Bluey was interested in Mr William Bowe’s references to the Liu fracas. Bluey knows that language politics in Singapore is a hot button issue and assumes that to some extent it would be for Chinese Australians as well. So Bluey did a bit of the rough and ready Dr Google. In Sydney, 4.7% of the total population speaks Mandarin and 2.9% speak Cantonese. In Melbourne Mandarin is also spoken more than is Cantonese. Now, here is the thing. Ms Liu has Hong Kong affiliations and the main language spoken in Hong Kong is Cantonese. Ms Liu’s Labor opponent, whose name has escaped Bluey entirely, has Taiwanese connections and the majority language there is a Taiwanese variant of Mandarin. Bluey does not have a clue what all this means in term of the Australian Chinese vote.

    That aside, Bluey notes that Morrison refused to criticize Liu for a slew of rabid statements. Morrison now owns them himself.

    Bluey notes that the Greens are demanding that Labor implement the Greens policy platform. Bluey reckons that on a good day 9% gets you 9%. Bluey has noted an inverse relationship between the total Greens vote and the degree to which the Greens campaign activities consist of pestering Labor.

    Bluey heard McCormack talking in Tasmania about ‘planting nails’ and ‘harvesting iron bars’. Don’t ask Bluey. He is just a humble occie. Bluey reckons they should keep him locked up as much as possible.

    Bluey notes that Christensen must have spent as much time in or near the stews of Manila as he did in the House. And how the stews of Manila do stew! Mr Christensen has referred thousands of dollars of his travel spend to the independent umpire for a ruling. The game plan seems to be to get the independent umpire to rule that the $3000 was kosher. This will be followed by Christensen announcing that spending 294 days in Manila rather than in the House does not matter. Bluey notes that there are now something like two or three Government MPs who are refusing to answer some AFP questions, including Mr Christensen. Bluey notes that Sinodinos’ memory has improved out of sight now he is out of the Sydney Water Board ‘context’. Bluey reckons that when humans get older the reverse is usually true and so Mr Sinodinos should donate his brain to science.

    Bluey notes that the Greens seem to think that presenting themselves as a future alternative government of Australia (as promised by DiNatale immediately after the LAST election) consists of the Greens demanding Labor to put in a different lot of Disability RC Commissioners after the election. Bluey is impressed with the Greens sense of proportion and scale.

    Bluey notes that the ABC vote compass has the environment as the number one issue. Bluey reckons that that means Global Warming and that the Coalition is, as usual, on the back side of the wave of history on this one. Bluey reckons that record hot March temperatures, record hot first quarter, record drought, record heat waves and April bushfires are going to help cook the coal dandlers.

    Bluey noted that Fran started the Drum with quite a nasty attack on Labor ‘on the ropes’. She was put right by Van Badham and Kerrie Ann Walsh. Bluey reckons that Fran’s habit of asking a question and then answering before allowing the panel in is sad.

    Bluey notes that once again a Government MP has been caught out handing out fake cheques. Sleaze seems to be their natural metier. Talking of which, Bluey reckons it should be illegal for Australian politicians to have anything at all to do with tax havens such as, for example, the Caymans. The latest, involving a certain water company hoovering up a motsa in profits but not paying a cent in tax is in Bluey’s opinion open to question. Particularly when a certain Water Minister may or may not have been involved in a certain buy back involving extremely low reliability flood plain water being paid for at the very highest price – MORE than high reliability water. Bluey reckons that something smells. No wonder the Morrison Government avoided actually sitting in Parliament. Bluey reckons too bloody dangerous.

    Doing a rough survey of the ex leaders, Bluey reckons that the Labor crew are showing discipline and team work. Rudd, Keatiing, Gillard and Hawke are behaving themselves. Keating is actively working with Bowen. Hawke, who rather looks crook has nevertheless voiced support. OTOH, Turnbull got in a nice low blow against Dutton and Morrison. Abbott stole some oxygen from Morrison. Joyce took some time out to do the same thing for McCormack. Hewson has just gutted the Coalition on The Drum. Plus, Bluey has not seen a lot of Howard, for which he is grateful. Bob Brown popping up for the Convoy thingie served to remind everyone that DiNatale is no Bob Brown. S H-Y has apparently denied plotting to replace DiNatale. She has full confidence in his leadership.

    On a very positive note for Straya, Widodo looks to have won the Indonesian election.

    Score for the day

    Labor rescued the Super tax imbroglio but it still cost them half a point. Other than that, there was some good discussion of their very ambitious Global Warming target: double that of the Opposition. For their willingness to put Global Warming front and centre: Plus one point. Total for the day +.5 of a point.
    Bluey reckons that the Liberals are increasingly under pressure because their lies are running into reality problems: Treasury has now gutted them twice; the PEFO makes it clear that they are skinning spending in the NDIS; the ‘strong’ economy meme is running into the reality of a stuttering economy, and then there is the $40 billion black hole. Minus 1.
    The Greens ranting about the appointment of Commissioners does not fit the profile of a government in waiting. Minus 1.

    Cumulative score
    Labor Plus 5 points
    Coalition Minus 2 points.
    Greens Minus 2 points.

  16. steve davis says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Wayne is Chris Kenny and Paul Murrays lovechild.

    I always assumed he was Chris Kenny.

    The only difference is the name! 🙂

  17. Barney in Mui Ne @ #669 Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 – 5:28 pm

    Confessions says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    lizzie @ #657 Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 – 5:14 pm

    Denise Allan
    Just talking with a foster mum who cares for a severely disabled boy…wanting respite for Anzac day night…$2400!! For one night! $1400 per night normal night! Out of his NDIS package. Someone is making a killing out of the NDIS. @LindaBurneyMP #auspol #MSM #NDIS

    Public holiday rates?

    How much is the respite carer getting paid per night?

    It depends on the respite provider. If staff are expected to work on a public holiday, then unless they work for an organisation that has bargained away their penalty and overtime rates, they would be paid public holiday overtime. And that’s on top of the overnight rates that apply.

    I have no idea as to the context the person is referring to, the organisation that provides respite in that instance, because all that’s been posted here is that one tweet.

  18. “Welcome to Waynes world………lol……Wayne has variously told us……
    1/ Abbott will win the next election
    2/ Turnbull will win the next election
    3/Morrison will win the next election……….
    ….and all in a landslide….lol”

    I am unsure whether I want to laugh or cry right now lol.

    Seriously though, it really is distressing that there are millions of Australians who will vote for the Coalition.

    At least Wayne knows who he supports though I suppose. What baffles me is how there are many people out there who have no clue about who they support. Many don’t even know who Morrison, Shorten, Di Natale, etc… are, let alone what they stand for. I mean how can somebody not know who or what they support?? At least all of us here on PB, no matter who we end up voting for, will be making an informed decision.

  19. ‘fess,

    Yes, but how much is the worker getting and how much does the provider take?

    It’s hard to imagine that the worker gets all of the $1,000 for working Anzac Day.

    Sounds like a nice earner for the provider.

  20. Boerwar:

    Another stellar effort by Bluey! His observations of McCormack planting nails and growing steel remind me of his predecessor’s advocacy for ‘the Weatherboard Nine’! 😆

  21. Hey nath…………..pot and kettle cobber…………………The word “obsession” coming from you is a surprise. I thought harping would fit your persona so much better as you do to on and on………………. As I mentioned earlier – time to opt out of here for as the more ghoulies, ghosties, nutters and have time to talk to one another.

  22. Investors losing money

    BUT, Negative Gearing is predicated on making a LOSS, and the bigger the LOSS the better

    So it is all down to property valuation increases to increase wealth – not that income exceeds expenses and you are building equity by repaying debt seeking an unencumbered asset to sustain you into the future

    Then you get to Franking Credits where the very significant falls in Bank Share prices as an example sees those Investors losing significant wealth – and up to 33% and more

    People who “invest” for tax manipulation purposes – not for the correct investment criteria, the resultant income and the ability to repay debt

  23. You just don’t like what I say because you really deep down you know that our great LNP will win the next election by a 14 seat majority…

  24. Barney:

    Perhaps there are more than one staff member who needs to be rostered on because the person in respite care has high support needs? Perhaps the provider adds on-costs to the cost of providing respite on public holidays (electricity, admin fees etc)? We don’t know from the information that lizzie has posted.

    Personally I think that person should be thankful they can get respite care at all when they need it. If they think they’re hard done by they should try living in a regional centre and seeing how they go getting respite on a regular weekend much less a public holiday.

  25. And the other point is that perhaps the respite provider has to increase its fees substantially for public holidays because the govt has ripped out billions of dollars from the NDIS in order to fund tax cuts for Australia’s highest income earners.

  26. My 10 cents on Greens v Labor:

    It is politically useful for Labor that Labor look for and play up differences with the Greens, since it helps them project a “sensible centre” position, as well as providing cover for them against insinuations by the Right that they are beholden to the Greens. Both these things help them win and retain support among centrist voters. Labor should privately thank the Greens whenever the Greens stir up a fight with them by criticising them.

  27. abc730Verified account@abc730
    18m18 minutes ago
    Labor announced $34 billion-worth of tax on voluntary super contributions back in 2016. Now it has to fine tune those costing based on Treasury’s Pre-Election Fiscal Outlook, which was released today. @latingle #abc730 #auspol ##Ausvotes2019

    abc730Verified account@abc730
    18m18 minutes ago
    “Labor’s problem – releases its policy costings early and give the Coalition free rein to whip up a scare campaign. Releases them late, and loses its ability to claim policy virtue and risk looking sneaky as Scott Morrison suggests,” says @latingle #abc730 #auspol #AusVotes2019

    Aren’t people early voting in increasing numbers every election?

  28. Fresno, indeed. Labor advocates here need to actually put the argument for our policy nuance against that of Greens policy ‘purity’. Labor’s argument should appeal to moderates, the Greens to those further left. My point is Labor should welcome Greens advocacy as an opportunity, rather than a threat.

  29. Barney in Mui Ne @ #672 Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 – 6:58 pm

    Confessions says:
    Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    lizzie @ #657 Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 – 5:14 pm

    Denise Allan
    Just talking with a foster mum who cares for a severely disabled boy…wanting respite for Anzac day night…$2400!! For one night! $1400 per night normal night! Out of his NDIS package. Someone is making a killing out of the NDIS. @LindaBurneyMP #auspol #MSM #NDIS

    Public holiday rates?

    How much is the respite carer getting paid per night?

    F#ck all.

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