Election minus four weeks

Another seat poll emerges crediting the Liberals with a surprise lead – in a seat neither side expects them to win, according to media reports.

First up, two seat polling anecdotes to relate, one new, the other not so much:

• The Geelong Advertiser yesterday published a ReachTEL poll from Corangamite, showing Labor trailing 52-48 in the must-win seat. After exclusion of the 3.5% undecided, the primary votes are Liberal 42.1%, Labor 34.9%, Greens 8.2%, United Australia Party 5.7% and others 5.6%. The results are radically unlike those of the last such poll in December, which had primary votes of Labor 42.8%, Liberal 33.7% and Greens 11.7%. The poll was conducted “earlier this week” from a sample of 788.

• Further results have emerged from the uComms/ReachTEL poll of Bass, conducted for the Australian Forest Products Association and covered here in a post on Wednesday, have emerged: specifically, the full primary vote totals, both for the initial question and the forced-response follow-up for the undecided. However, there was evidently an error in the latter set of results, as they added up to 131.4%.

Other assessments of the situation from around the place:

• Contrary to a growing view that the Coalition might be back in business, David Crowe of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Labor is confident it can win more than 15 seats, which includes “a handful in Victoria, some in Western Australia and several in Queensland, not least Peter Dutton’s seat of Dickson”.

• On Tuesday, Michael Koziol of The Age said the consensus from Victoria is that the Coalition would lose three to five seats: “Corangamite and Dunkley seem likely to fall, Chisholm too, while La Trobe and Casey are marginal”. Not included in the list is Deakin, where Liberal sources cited in The Australian, also on Tuesday, said they were “fairly comfortable”. Contra ReachTEL, the Liberal sources rated Corangamite a “near-certain loss” – an assessment that did not stop Scott Morrison campaigning in the seat that very day.

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.

776 comments on “Election minus four weeks”

  1. The Senate was constituted as the States House

    So Lower House numbers where the most populated States returned the majority of Members has a check whereby they could not act detrimental to the interests of the States which returned lesser Lower House Members

    This presumed that, where required, the States would vote as a bloc – not on Party political bias

    It could therefore be argued that the purpose of the Senate has been prostituted

    That said, the ability to block in the Senate presumes the Major parties oppose each other

    And I would put that the Liberal Party of today and the National Party are predicated on opposing every Labor proposal – since Abbott as Leader at least, that opinion supported by the Wong/McFarlane negotiation scuppered when Abbott replaced Turnbull as Opposition Leader and more recently the NEG progress where Labor supported but the Liberal Party then fractured and the proposal was dead in the water (excuse the pun). As soon as Labor signalled support that was the end of that (and the end of Turnbull to boot – again)

    Maybe, in the next Parliament, some may have the gumption to cross the floor in support of government legislation which was the agenda taken to the election, successfully

    To establish credibility for Members and the Parliament

    In that way “splinter parties” would lose influence – and the Senate may return to its constituted purpose

    And, noting the Liberal Party in Victoria is still attacking the abandonment of a road project taken to the electorate by a State government as a referendum issue in 2014 where they were voted out of Office and again taken to the electorate in 2018 when they were thrashed – and a State issue when it is a Federal Election

    Such is the policy free zone the Coalition is today – an Opposition in government no less

    If Labor do or propose we oppose – on principle

    Well, over the journey you learn that everyone is not right (again excuse the pun) all of the time – and no one is wrong all of the time

    And positions are negotiated

    The Wong/McFarlane exercise was a case in point – and the body politic was ultimately damaged by Turnbull being replaced by the Minchin forces and the “God makes” brigade who decry Climate Change (and abortion and same-sex marriage and other social issues which are individual decisions based on the circumstances of the individuals taking such decisions)

  2. Morrison is a total hypocrite especially about crying on his knees for asylum seekers.It is enough to make you puke all the way to the election.

  3. https://www.pollbludger.net/2019/04/21/election-minus-four-weeks/comment-page-15/#comment-3139052

    Australia is not going to have a unicameral Parliament, for two reasons:

    The current set up with a proportional Senate a a single member House of Reps (with 4 state level versions) has very little effective opposition because we have minor parties across the spectrum and that means abolishing the proportional Senate is out of the question without introducing it in the House of Reps, which the major parties strongly oppose.

    The smaller states get representational benefit from the Senate and would veto its abolition on those grounds alone and any state could veto the abolition of the Senate.

  4. One of the journos said that they weren’t allowed into the happy clapper festival, that only the photographers were (they should find and stick to a meaningful definition of journo) and only for a brief time. Which means the photo was essentially staged rather than just a random moment in a long religious service. But why?

  5. Re Zoidlord @11:05

    #HelloWorld, #Palladin, #Reefgate and a couple if others would have been dominating the headlines for months, like Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson did in 2013, had it been a Labor Government. The Noise Machine would not have let up. But they’ve gone strangely quiet.

  6. My suggestion of a unicameral MMP Parliament for Australia is admittedly unicorn thinking. Regrettably the constitutional straight jacket referenda requirements make it just about impossible to achieve I reckon. Alas.

  7. ABC radio news at 6pm played a clip of Morrison going over the top about what occurred in Sri Lanka. I would not put it past hime to try and obtain some political benefit from the tragedy.

    In contrast, Macquarie network news at 8pm on redneck radio made no mention of Morrison’s comments.

  8. Zoidlord @ #747 Sunday, April 21st, 2019 – 9:05 pm

    Scott Williams
    ‏ @ScartWilliams
    Apr 20

    How CORRUPT is the LNP govt?

    #PaladinAffair

    #WaterGate

    #ReefGate

    #AWUraids

    #HelloWorld

    #ChristmasIsland

    #Serco

    #Adani

    #HomeInternet

    #AuPairs

    #CashForVisas

    #Rolexs

    #Lobsters

    #PrintingServices

    #FrankingCreditsInquiry

    #TravelRorts

    #auspol #ausvotes #ausvotes2019
    53 replies 797 retweets 1,205 likes

    Forgot #Parakeelia.

  9. AE

    We could do the Tasmanian System for the lower house. I don’t buy the crap about politicians having to cover large electorates. They have to do that now anyway.

    Vital to include the Robson Ballot too.
    Despite some political battles approaching Brexit passions the Tasmanian System has worked well.

    It may not be as much of a unicorn to do for the Lower House

    Edit: this also means Albanese and Plibersek could still get elected and not have to fight the Greens for survival due to name recognition

  10. Instead of the Robson Ballot and making the counting harder I am wondering about if making a party vote count equally for all of the candidates in the party still in the count would work instead.

  11. ABC news WA made a half arsed attempt to link the Sri Lankan abomination to “Muslims” by suggesting it could have been ISIS members who escaped Syria making their way home.

    Contemptible association, given there is absolutely no evidence upon which to make that link, and that ethnic and religious demographics in Sri Lanka would very strongly indicate the contrary.

  12. Catprog @ 11:32 pm

    “Instead of the Robson Ballot and making the counting harder …”

    Once you use optical character recognition for the counting, as is done both in the ACT and for the Senate, Robson rotation really doesn’t make much difference to the counting. In fact, even when ballot papers are being sorted manually it’s surprisingly easy to count a rotationally printed ballot.

  13. “The Senate was constituted as the States House”

    The funny thing is that the concern was that sweeping majorities in the particular places NSW and Vic would overwhelm the rest, so the Senate would be a states’ body, but what has turned out to be the case was that campaigning for government in the Reps has always been tight, so that Executive governments have always been keen to look after smaller states, while the Senate system, despite its malapportionment, now reflects the national view much more closely.

  14. @C@tmomma: The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) aren’t especially religious in any direction. The Tamils of Sri Lanka are mostly Hindus, while the majority Sinhalese people are Buddhists, but religion was never the LTTE’s central rallying-point. The LTTE was founded primarily on ethno-separatism more than anything else, after the (Sinhalese-dominated) Sri Lankan Government passed a series of anti-Tamil and pro-Sinhala laws almost immediately upon gaining independence in 1948.

  15. How far down the right wing regime track have we travelled and are the voting public caring?
    If you’re wondering just have a look at the main articles in this mornings traditional newspapers. Spend an hour listening and looking at skynews. Opinion dress as news.
    The opinion piece to get rid of the two strike rule exemplifies my point. Or perhaps thd Helloworld fundraiser. Or the bucket of money thrown at the GBF.
    Wage growth has stalled and unions largely outlawed. Corporate profits have never been healthier.
    Taxation avoidance is an everyday occurrence and actively practiced by politicians.
    We have an unelected PM.
    The government is using public money to fund a propaganda campaign.
    Upper house election voting is no longer transparent.
    The public broadcaster has been privatised in all but name.
    The private health insurance industry is a scam.
    Water security is non existent and has unworkable governance.
    Gas petrol and electricity companies are unrestricted monopolies.
    Airports are privately run fiefdoms which the defence forces pay to use.
    Transparency is almost never apparent.
    Immigration policy is a racket.
    Politicians distort at best and lie as a fallback.
    The interests of the nation are dismissed regularly.
    Foreign influence is practised without hindrance.
    Politicians, current and retired, rort without hesitation.
    What a surprise it would be to see the defence forces rolled out or have we already seen that with border security.
    How concerning is all this?
    The fact that the LNP is even being consider to be returned as a government representing the voting public is how far down the track of a right wing regime we have travelled.
    Is anyone else concerned?

  16. Goll, in my experience many people are concerned.
    Your summary is depressing, but rings true.

    Members of my family would be typical. Some, especially the younger ones, are very worried.
    Others, older, retired, and consumers of Murdoch propaganda, focus on distractions (immigrants not integrating, EVs, costs of attacking causes of climate change, the usual stuff), instead of the the bigger picture you describe.
    The costs of not addressing climate change never get a run; no one ever asks why insurance companies have raised property premiums in areas hit by increasingly frequent, and worsening, storms.
    Life insurers knew smoking killed people long before most people dropped their denial of reality.
    And so it is with climate change.
    In Australia, the fascists continue to rule, with Murdoch our latter day Goebbels

  17. Mr Denmore
    ‏@MrDenmore
    12h12 hours ago

    You social media dilettantes providing a running commentary on politics are getting in the way of journalists interviewing each other and providing a running commentary on politics #AusVote2019

  18. The Australian @australian

    Scott Morrison has allowed cameras inside his Pentecostal church for the first time, giving voters a rare glimpse of the PM #auspol http://bit.ly/2PtNXdT

    1. It’s not HIS church.
    2. A RARE glimpse? If only…
    3. How many people would welcome a publicity photo when they are at prayer?
    4. Is this virtue-signalling by a hypocrite leading a cruel government?

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