Happy trails

As the election campaign enters a hiatus, a look at where the leaders have been and why.

As the Easter/Anzac Day suspension of hostilities begins, it may be instructive to look at where the leaders have travelled during the campaign’s preliminary phase. Featured over the fold is a display listing the electorates that have been targeted, as best as I can tell, and a very brief summary of what they were up to while they were there. Certain entries are in italics where it is seems clear that the area was not targeted for its electoral sensitivity, such as Bill Shorten’s visit to Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel project to get some good vision presenting him as a champion of infrastructure, which happened to place him in the unloseable Labor seat of Gellibrand. There are also a few entries that clearly targeted more than one electorate, in which case the margin for the secondary elected is listed on a second line.

What stands out is that Scott Morrison has hit a number of Labor-held seats, consistent with the optimistic impression the Liberals are presenting about their prospects – an assessment which, on this evidence, does not look to be fully shared by Labor. The only activity of Shorten’s that had Labor territory as its primary target was his visit to the Northern Territory on Thursday. Of equal interest to Shorten’s pattern of travel is the clarity of Labor’s early campaign theme of health policy, in contrast of the grab bag of messages promoted by Scott Morrison.

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.

720 comments on “Happy trails”

  1. @Alpo:

    “Andrew, “neoliberalism” (written: neo-liberalism) was used by Milton Friedman of the Chicago School of Economics way back in 1951, for instance in the article: “Neo-Liberalism and its Prospects” published in Farmand, 17 February 1951, pp. 89-93. It’s not a word invented by the critics of neoliberalism (“high priests of the American pop left”??), it’s a word invented by the neoliberals themselves!
    The neoliberals did stop using the word at some stage, which is a good reason to keep using it. The neoliberals believe that if there is no name for their ideology, it’s more difficult to pin it down and criticise it.”

    Friedman wasn’t the first economist to use the word. Or the last. It’s meaning has been rather malleable for about 90 years. In recent years it has seen a revival as a pop left gizmo word to group together a number of different recent historical ideas and people and label them collectively. It’s the way the left seek to settle scores and ease the butt hurt of losing for the past 70 years.

    Hence Reagan = Thatcher = Howard = Hawke = Keating = Blair. All “same same”. All terrible ‘neoliberals’. Gough only gets a leave pass because he had the decency to run an omnishambles of a government and was sacked. There is nothing the left love is a martyr, even if not a martyr to the ‘true cause’.

    ‘Neoliberalism’ is now a little more than a debased slander word of the pop left: one Swanny and others would do well to avoid. It’s revival is a post facto attempt to blacken everybody and every idea that the left hates: the new left wing word for ‘evil’. For all Swan’s eloquent words distinguishing the Hawke Keating government from other governments across the Anglosphere of the same era the pop left will still label them together. Propeller Cap Boy Nicholas did exactly that earlier tonight.

  2. Spence says:
    Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 8:45 pm
    Outside observers noting the LNP-Labor same same analysis or the LNP – Greens same same analysis (or enemy of my enemy is my friend path to the same conclusion) on PB would mostly be rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

    Working people in the suburbs have heard the Gs. They know the Gs campaign against Labor. They are politically literate. No matter what the Gs say of themselves, they read as an anti-Labor expression. The Gs have chosen this. No-one, least of all Labor, forced this upon the Gs. The result is the Gs manifest as an ally of Labor’s other opponents. The G-party may not like it. But this is how they are seen. For mine, this is how they should be seen. They are the tactical allies of Labor’s historical opponents. They are the friends and adjuncts of Labor’s enemies.

    They do not accept this. But it is a fair survey from the viewpoint of Labor-loyal voters.

    It is precisely because of this positioning that the Gs have failed to gain any more votes from the Labor-positive. They have dressed themselves in a shade of blue.

  3. Puffy:

    The ALP is hoovering up all the low hanging progressive policy fruit. No wonder PB’s Greens are reacting with foam-flecked outrage. 🙂

  4. Negative advertising does work – and Labor does have a lot of potential targets. Dead fish in the Darling is an obvious one.

    But yes, stay positive and on message three-fifths of the time. Hope may well beat fear in the end.

  5. Diogenes says:
    Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 9:11 pm
    Spence
    Freud had a term explaining the GreenLaborShit we see on PB; he called it the Narcissism of Small Differences.

    The Gs are determined to prove to themselves if no one else that Labor need them.

    They will go to great lengths to achieve this because it will validate their political strategy and make up the futility they otherwise feel.

    They are spectators to their own irrelevance. It must drive them nuts.

  6. Like getting a tattoo to show your individuality.
    Now there exists a bigger industry getting rid of them.
    The Greens no longer have a point of difference. They have a progressive Labor party, an unprogressive coalition and have become an ordinary group past their used by date. In a world where nobody wants to be ordinary.
    A convoy just like Alan Jones, in fighting to rival the Libs, no momentum and a fringe mentality, at risk of disintegrating.
    Labor has the baton so the Greens call them fake. It ain’t much. Just saying.

  7. The recidivist cynic in me notes that if this “Emma Dawson” character had written that post about Donald Trump rather than Bill Shorten, most of us would probably assume her to be a badly-disguised Russian bot…

  8. Toff, on the northern front when we say we hope for change, voters agree. They say they want the same thing. We hope for change together; we subscribe to hope and to change that is necessary, desirable and possible.

  9. Prior to today’s developments on water-gate, the Coalition were $4.60 on Betfair but have now drifted back out to $4.90. I’m expecting them to drift even more after tomorrow.

  10. BW,

    Thankyou for reminding me of William Robinson. He does for dense forest what Fred Williams does with sparse dry forest. Both brilliant, I think.

    Re the election,
    I, like briefly, have been doorknocking during the past week. The overall attitude here amongst punters is “we’re sick of it”. Little enthusiasm, but in Dobell at least, a strong sentiment for, ‘let’s give the other lot a go’, as well as a surprising, to me, level of awareness of who happens to be the current, Labor, Member. The lovely and approachable Emma McBride.

  11. The coalition are still in with a chance of winning the May 18 election and write them off as much as you like but come election night they will be back in government as the ALP will blow themselves up and hand the election to Morrison on a place and he will be our PM for another three years

  12. Wayne @ #4643 Saturday, April 20th, 2019 – 10:41 pm

    The coalition are still in with a chance of winning the May 18 election and write them off as much as you like but come election night they will be back in government as the ALP will blow themselves up and hand the election to Morrison on a place and he will be our PM for another three years

    I think the Waynebot means “hand the election to Morrison on a plaice “. It is complaicent and fishier than usual. I blame Barnaby. CARP!

  13. We now have many trade agreements (I refuse to call them “free trade”, since they clearly are not) which contains these odious ISDS provisions, often courtesy of the LNP and SeeNoDonors.
    A Labor Gov’t should start renegotiating to rid us of these strictures which grant foreign companies greater rights than the locals will ever have.
    Defending the Philip Morris case over plain packaging cigarettes cost us $39M (and this was a Labor trade agreement with Hong Kong)

    The case below sprang from the US-Aust. Trade agreement.

    A US energy company’s controversial and unprecedented attempt to sue the Australian government has collapsed, leaving taxpayers with a $44,000 bill.

    In 2017 Florida-based APR Energy became the first company to attempt to sue the Australian government under the Australia-US free trade agreement, demanding $344m in compensation for Australia’s treatment of its gas turbines.

    The action was made possible by deeply controversial provisions contained in many trade deals – known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS – that allow foreign corporations to sue a government for actions or policies that hurt them commercially.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/20/us-companys-attempt-to-sue-australian-government-collapses

  14. The idea that people will see us arguing Labor vs Green here and be put off is rubbish. If you are reading pollbludger you are a politics junkie and already have strong opinions that won’t be swayed easily.

    Having said that after a certain point it is all fruitless talk.

  15. Suzie Gold
    ‏ @GoldSuzie
    14h14 hours ago

    Media statement on Eastern Australian Agriculture water purchase – Department of Agriculture and Water Resources http://www.agriculture.gov.au/about/media-centre/on-the-record/eastern-aus-ag-water-purchase
    50 replies 110 retweets 105 likes

    Peter Harden – Keyboard Che Guevara.
    ‏ @hardenuppete
    Replying to @GoldSuzie

    @MichaelWestBiz DAWR staff working on a Saturday to challenge accuracy of #Watergate reporting.
    9:26 AM – 20 Apr 2019

  16. AE hates neo- liberalism being mentioned because it embarrasses him, now that his heroes, such as Keating have walked away from it. It was the big shit in the middle of the room left by his right faction.

  17. Time for a Stop Adani update!

    The Stop Adani convoy is well and truly underway and is attracting huge support as it heads up towards Qld. There was a huge rally in Western Sydney today where the people sent Labor and the Coalition the message that they demand and end to this environmental vandalism.

    In Western Sydney.

    Aussie legend Bob Brown arrives in a Tesla electric car.

    Greens’ leader Richard Di Natale arrives in another electric car to a rockstar reception!

    Onya Bob!

    Bill Shorten gets sent a clear message! Stop Adani!

    Vote to Stop Adani! Vote 1 Greens!

  18. Clem

    What would you like to see changed in a Labor Party platform if they should form government? Specifically on policy and budget management?

  19. “AE hates neo- liberalism being mentioned because it embarrasses him, now that his heroes, such as Keating have walked away from it. It was the big shit in the middle of the room left by his right faction.”

    Have a read of this. You smudge the party you vote for by falling for the pop left gimmick of confusing Australian Laborism with Reagan-Thatcher via the smudge of ‘neoliberalism’:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/14/the-hawke-keating-agenda-was-laborism-not-neoliberalism-and-is-still-a-guiding-light

    Do better comrade.

    All of the ‘evils’ you attribute to ‘neoliberalism’ in your earlier post could be best described as examples of hyper capitalism: they are not necessarily born from the same economic theory or political ideology.

  20. “Wayne says:
    Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 11:33 pm
    No they will win the May election and will be in for another three years”

    Earlier you said “as the ALP will blow themselves up and hand the election to Morrison on a place”.

    In other words, you think the election is there for Labor to lose.

    Yes, thats probably correct. However, I don’t see any lit fuses …. at least not leading to the Labor bandwagon.

    Keep trying mate. I am sure you are converting many here on PB to your cause.

  21. “The Gs doing what they like most – playing token politics.”

    What do you reckon the chances are that HiVis workers in central Queensland – the ones contemplating coming home to Labor after voting LNP for the past 3 elections will make of that caravan Briefly? Personally I reckon they’ll look at the $250,000 Tesla Model S’s, the psychedelic weirdness of the free range bohobos and their slogans threatening to hold Shorten and labor over a barrel and think “yep” – it’s not worth it and continue to vote LNP.

    I reckon Laundy, Big George of Manila etc will be begging for that caravan to pass through and stay a while stinking up their electorates right up to Election Day. I reckon they’d actually pay the wiggle to stick around.

  22. I think the mine workers will open up the charge port and piss on the terminals of Bob Brown and RDN’s EVs while they are distracted by one of The Greens self-congratulatory rallies. 😀

  23. “I reckon Laundy, Big George of Manila etc will be begging for that caravan to pass through and stay a while stinking up their electorates right up to Election Day. I reckon they’d actually pay the wiggle to stick around.”

    I think the problem with Stop Adani convoy is that they are heading up into a region where there will be a real degree of hostility from some locals. Look to “counter demonstrations” to be happening. Will all tap into “dividing the country” type assertions that the Libs will lap up, and doing a Unions BOO / Thugs running the ALP type campaigning.

    I’m waiting for it to be “arranged” such that Bob Browns Telsa doesn’t have access to a charger in some town they pass through. Images if that being towed won be good.

    Hey, a good way to protest something like Adani,……… but in terms of the main objective of getting rid of this FWARKED UP Coalition Govt i don’t think its at all helpful for this to be happening during an election campaign.

  24. “Shouldn’t they be using public transport?”

    Haha oh dear. You just can’t please everyone can you! EVs are the future and are only getting cheaper and more efficient. That’s why the Greens have a policy for 100% of NEW cars to be electric by 2030.

    Note: NEW cars. We’re not taking your damn ute or weekend lol and neither is Labor with their 50% version of the Greens’ plan.

  25. “Hey, a good way to protest something like Adani,……… but in terms of the main objective of getting rid of this FWARKED UP Coalition Govt i don’t think its at all helpful for this to be happening during an election campaign.”

    Let’s not kid ourselves. Getting rid of this government is not the Greens main objective. Far from it.

  26. So are The Greens transporting the EVs on a Flat Bed truck between PR appearances, Firefox? I wouldn’t imagine there are heaps of Recharge stations all the way up to the Galilee Basin. 🙂

  27. “I think the mine workers will open up the charge port and piss on the terminals of Bob Brown and RDN’s EVs”

    Yuck, conjures some nasty images and i suspect most mine workers would be aware of and shy away from any possibility of electrocution via Young Lord William of the Downstairs. 🙂

    But….wouldn’t discount the possibility of some Young Lib from their Black Ops and Dirt Unit making the attempt.

  28. “I think the mine workers will open up the charge port and piss on the terminals of Bob Brown and RDN’s EVs while they are distracted by one of The Greens self-congratulatory rallies. ”

    I sure hope nobody is silly enough to do that!! They might be in for quite a shock!! Zap!! :O

  29. “Let’s not kid ourselves. Getting rid of this government is not the Greens main objective. Far from it.”

    Yeah. That’s why ~90% of us Greens will preference Labor well ahead of the Coalition like we always do. Good one mate.

  30. imacca,
    Maybe the mine workers might try and gum up the works with other human by-products then? 😉

    The Young Libs ARE partial to pissing contests Otoh. 😀

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