Election minus three weeks

A Senate poll, and reporting on the Coalition’s struggles to identify a pathway to victory.

Now that the public holiday period is past, hopefully the floodgates will open on opinion polling very shortly. Certainly we can expect a Newspoll, presumably tomorrow evening, and surely an Essential Research to boot.

What we have for now is the rarity of a Senate poll, courtesy of the Australia Institute. This is part of a quarterly online survey conducted through Dynata, on this occasion targeted 1945 respondents. Nationally, the poll has the Coalition on 30% (35.2% in 2016), Labor on 34% (29.8%), the Greens on 10% (8.7%), One Nation on 7% (4.3%). The United Australia Party is only credited with 3%, though that may be because it hasn’t captured a recent surge in support. Based on these numbers, the Australia Institute’s overall assessment is that the Coalition will win 14 to 17 seats (plus 16 ongoing), Labor will win 15 (13 ongoing), the Greens five to six (three ongoing), One Nation one to four (one ongoing), the Centre Alliance zero or one (two ongoing). Derryn Hinch isn’t predicted to win, with only 3% support in Victoria (I wouldn’t be too sure about that myself, given the small sample here), and Jacqui Lambie is only a maybe (ditto). Cory Bernardi, we’re stuck with.

Latest horse race calling in the news media:

• Despite its cheerful headline (“Written-off Liberal back in the fight”), a report on Liberal internal polling in Victoria by John Ferguson of The Weekend Australian is almost all bad news for the Liberals, with a party source quoted saying “not much has changed since the start of the campaign”. The best news the report has to offer the Liberals is that Sarah Henderson only trails in Corangamite by “about three percentage points” (the recent ReachTEL poll showing the Liberals with a 54-46 lead was “highly unlikely to be right”), and that the Liberals believe themselves to be in front in Deakin. Elsewhere, the report restates the now established wisdom that Labor will win Dunkley, which neither leader has bothered to visit; says the Liberals will “struggle to hold” Chisholm, which is at the more favourable end of recent assessments for them; and implies they are behind in La Trobe, and perhaps also Casey. Furthermore, there is “increasing concern” about Greg Hunt in Flinders, and double-digit inner city swings that place Higgins “in doubt”. Josh Frydenberg is reckoned likely to surivive in Kooyong, but clearly not very convincingly.

Aaron Patrick of the Financial Review reports the Coalition’s strategic reading of the situation as follows. Chisholm (Liberal 2.9%, Victoria), Dunkley (notional Labor 1.0%, Victoria), Forde (LNP 0.6%, Queensland) and Gilmore (Liberal 0.7%, NSW) are conceded as likely losses. Seats that are “must wins”, in the sense of being gained from Labor or independents, are Labor-held Herbert (Queensland, 0.0%), Lindsay (New South Wales, 1.1%), Bass (Tasmania, 5.4%) and Solomon (Northern Territory, 6.1%). This gets them to 76, if they can hold all the seats on a “must retain” list consisting of Corangamite (notional Labor 0.0%, Victoria), La Trobe (Liberal 3.2%, Victoria), Petrie (LNP 1.7%, Queensland), Dickson (LNP 1.7%, Queensland), Reid (Liberal 4.7%, NSW), Robertson (Liberal 1.1%, NSW), Flynn (LNP 1.0%, Queensland), Banks (Liberal 1.4%, NSW) and Capricornia (LNP 0.6%, Queensland).

Eryk Bagshaw of the Sydney Morning Herald reports the Nationals have “all but given up hope” of holding off Rob Oakeshott in Cowper. In neighbouring Page, internal polling is said to show Nationals incumbent Kevin Hogan with a lead of 52-48 “in a worst case scenario”. Remarkably though, Hogan “has left the door open to sitting on the crossbench if Bill Shorten wins”.

• Going back nearly a week, Annika Smethurst in the Sunday Telegraph reported that “Labor and Coalition strategists admit the opening days of the federal election have hardly shifted a vote”. Both sides also agree that, thanks to his attack on Labor opponent Ali France in the first week of the campaign, Peter Dutton is “in serious strife” in 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.

685 comments on “Election minus three weeks”

  1. C@tmomma says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    And there I was thinking that nath had studied under Dr Turdburglar.
    ___________________
    He was brought in as an associate supervisor. 🙂

  2. @pbweather

    Rain stops play!

    For the first time in months it’s raining, proper rain.

    Coming down a mountain felt one drop, immediate u turn back to the cafe I’d just passed, arrived dry, but the mountains had disappeared.

    I’m now relaxing, watching the rain and those less fortunate who are arriving soaked. 🙂

  3. Briefly is doing the hard yards in Perth’s north.
    There is no sign of the Liberal candidate in the seat of Perth.
    The local Labor guy is out and about, but really, there is no real sense of an election at all.
    I have seen one lonely visual for the Liberal guy in Stirling – next door to Perth – but this is one of the new Liberal depictions – all blue but without any obvious mention of the Liberal party, let alone Scot Morrison.
    I think the picture is clear. The Liberals – despite the best efforts of the West newspaper – are on the defensive. That Porter’s seat is up for grabs is not surprising but the recent seat poll in JB’s old seat is a real smack in the teeth for the Libs. Whether the Blue Bloods are that angry enough to go for an independent I doubt, but it is one more sign that they are not happy chappies.
    The Stoke’s organised debate on the 29th runs the risk of being totally one-sided with all Stokes’s people running the event – Basil Zempilas as the Main Man is a total joke. One only has to listen to his 6PR breakfast efforts to know his blood courses Liberal blue. Riley has been a long-time Liberal apologist and the lady, Lanai Scarr, is so-say the Political Editor for the West – new to the game here. If Bill does not lose 50 -0 then these three will not have done their jobs for Stokes.

  4. Tricot @ #457 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 6:55 pm

    Briefly is doing the hard yards in Perth’s north.
    There is no sign of the Liberal candidate in the seat of Perth.
    The local Labor guy is out and about, but really, there is no real sense of an election at all.
    I have seen one lonely visual for the Liberal guy in Stirling – next door to Perth – but this is one of the new Liberal depictions – all blue but without any obvious mention of the Liberal party, let alone Scot Morrison.
    I think the picture is clear. The Liberals – despite the best efforts of the West newspaper – are on the defensive. That Porter’s seat is up for grabs is not surprising but the recent seat poll in JB’s old seat is a real smack in the teeth for the Libs. Whether the Blue Bloods are that angry enough to go for an independent I doubt, but it is one more sign that they are not happy chappies.
    The Stoke’s organised debate on the 29th runs the risk of being totally one-sided with all Stokes’s people running the event – Basil Zempilas as the Main Man is a total joke. One only has to listen to his 6PR breakfast efforts to know his blood courses Liberal blue. Riley has been a long-time Liberal apologist and the lady, Lanai Scarr, is so-say the Political Editor for the West – new to the game here. If Bill does not lose 50 -0 then these three will not have done their jobs for Stokes.

    The seat poll showing the Libs with a 20% swing against will only fill them with joyful anticipation.

  5. I’ll let you all into a little secret, Basil is not that smart – box of hammers material.

    He’s best at talking football with a box of anvils, but sometimes they’re smarter than he is.

  6. Confessions says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Does anyone know where you can find where the leaders are campaigning the next day?

    Well considering the press attached to Morrison don’t even know when they’re in the air, I doubt it!

  7. Barney in transit @ #461 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 7:07 pm

    Confessions says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Does anyone know where you can find where the leaders are campaigning the next day?

    Well considering the press attached to Morrison don’t even know when they’re in the air, I doubt it!

    Are there any safe Liberal seats to hide out in? Would the local candidate want him to be seen?

  8. Am annoyed the Secular Party isn’t running in WA for the Senate. Honestly, we are always left with the detritus of rightwing nutjob parties or parties of dubious/unknown policies. The Western Australian Party being a classic case in point.

    Where are all the progressive minor parties? At this rate I’m going to have to give my 2nd preference vote to the flippin Greens!

    *sigh*

  9. GG:

    This is why I cannot wait for when (if) Morrison campaigns in Melbourne. Which of their at risk seats there will welcome him with open arms?

  10. If Labor picks up Hasluck, Swan and hopefully Pearce, it should be enough to seal the deal. Stirling with 6% is on the cards IF there is a general swing to Labor. Despite all the banter over the years, if the East swings, so does the West and in the same direction. Some in the West delude themselves that we will make or break the government 2 hours later. It might happen, but it will be against the run of the green as it were.
    I do not know enough about Cowan, but I have not seen anything on the horizon to suggest there is a general swell of support for the Liberals and this should be a Labor hold. While it is only a seat poll, the ReachTel this morning even made the West newspaper sit up and take notice in JB’s old seat. Julie, come back. All is forgiven………….hah!
    If the Liberals win or hold here in WA, I apologise ahead of time as there is absolutely nothing in the air at present that I can pick up which suggests there is, at yet, any real movement to the Libs. Of course, I have been through enough elections to see the Libs come from behind and win in the last gasp, but there are just so many people doing it tough, the boom has gone, and the economy while on the mend, has been gutted. Just too many empty commercial properties to think otherwise.

  11. In the absence of real poll data this blog is not really travelling that well is it …

    I’ve been away for the last week because I have been bedridden sick and then busy with real life but I notice that there’s a lot of anxiety and edginess among you – which is perfectly understandable, considering the election and stakes.

    I just hope you are all looking after your health during this. Both physical and mental. This kind of stuff can take a toll on ones mental health and I hope you’re managing that if you are vulnerable but also it can be a period when you can fall into unhealthy habits like bingeing (whether it’s alcohol, tobacco, other drugs or even junk food) and neglecting physical fitness. Look after yourselves and, I know it sounds patronising, but take a break from here (and other political places) for a day or two if necessary.

    (Just to make clear: my sickness was related to a virus, not any election-related anxiety)

  12. Confessions @ #467 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 7:18 pm

    GG:

    This is why I cannot wait for when (if) Morrison campaigns in Melbourne. Which of their at risk seats there will welcome him with open arms?

    Libs are contemplating a save the furniture strategy right now.

    Morrison is committed to the debte in Perth on Monday.

    So, if they spend a lot of time in NSW after that, you know they know they are gone!

  13. “Where are all the progressive minor parties? At this rate I’m going to have to give my 2nd preference vote to the flippin Greens!”

    This time i check the HTV, but vote above the line and trust the ALP people to have worked out the prefs to avoid the worst of the RWNJobbies.

    Sometimes, like when the ALP put Bullock above Louise Pratt i’ll go below the line…but not this round.

  14. Keep in mind group voting tickets are gone (in the sense of directing preferences to candidates from other parties) so if you want to maximise your vote you should number as many groups above the line as you’d be happy receiving your vote.

  15. imacca says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    This time i check the HTV, but vote above the line and trust the ALP people to have worked out the prefs to avoid the worst of the RWNJobbies.

    It don’t work like that anymore.

    If you just put 1 against Labor above the line your vote exhausts after all the Labor candidates have been elected or excluded.

    It’s up to you to decide you preferences and it doesn’t matter if you vote above or below the line.

  16. “No worries mate, there is nothing that a Newspoll of 54% for the ALP can’t fix!…. ”

    A 53 or 54% for the ALP tomorrow night / Monday and things will go off!!! 🙂

    I suspect out Lord William may be studying things like the UK Brexit plans to craft an emergency response to such?? 🙂

    52 to the ALP and things will be more subdued and steady as we go i think…but the naths / waynes of the world will no doubt be coming in with any way possible to blame Shorten…again…..

    51 and we are in for full on mundo the paranoid android with glee from the Bree Bot.

    Be interesting to see how the upcoming (i hope) polling numbers affect the mood at the “debate” on monday??

  17. Some enterprising journalist should do a study of donations that LNP candidates have made before being pre-selected. It is really starting to look as if you can basically buy your way into Parliament.

  18. Murdoch is attacking Van Badham?…. Wait a minute, a self-confident Murdoch and his little Neoliberal-Conservative minions would have never wasted their time with somebody like Van. They would have just brushed her aside with a superior waving of their right hand…. and a smirk.

    What’s going on?… Do they feel that they are under attack from just about everywhere and don’t know what to do to stop the irresistible advance of the Labor army?

    Hey, Rupert and ScuMo, take this…. it’s a white flag!….. 🙂

  19. Back when the option was vote above the line with a singular ‘1’ and let the parties sort out the preferences or vote for every candidate below the line, I always chose the latter. Usually didn’t change much and my manual preferences more often than not coincided with the general preference flow dictated by the party.

    Now the system has changed, I am tempted to just rank above the line as I have no feelings about the individual candidates. Then again, there are only 42 BTL candidates in my state this time, so it’s not exactly a tablecloth I will have to work with, so I am undecided.

    Either way, I will rank all the choices until I get to the far right parties, then I will leave the rest blank. I don’t really want to have to decide who gets the lowest pref out of the likes of Rise Up Australia and One Nation and, frankly, if my vote is being decided between the far right parties, I’d rather it just exhaust.

  20. “It don’t work like that anymore.”

    True. But then i am the kind who ALWAYS reads the instructions on a new scratchie ticket and ALWAYS checks the directions on a ballot paper no matter how much i think i know.

    I figure that unless there is anything egregious on it i will follow the ALP HTV card which is pretty muc h the current equivalent of the old 1 above the line.

  21. I still don’t understand why UAP would run a candidate in seats like Sydney

    The same reason the Greens run everywhere even though they’ve only a shot in a handful of seats, Labor run in solid Coalition seats and the Coalition likewise do the same in solid Labor seats: to increase the statewide Senate vote.

  22. Rational Leftist @ #494 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 5:47 pm

    I still don’t understand why UAP would run a candidate in seats like Sydney

    The same reason the Greens run everywhere even though they’ve only a shot in a handful of seats, Labor run in solid Coalition seats and the Coalition likewise do the same in solid Labor seats: to increase the statewide Senate vote.

    Plus the funding they get for votes received.

  23. Federal elections n Australia are all pretty well decided by the swingers ie that (about) 2% in the middle ie those who will turn a Coalie score of 49% or Labor score of 49% into something like 51-49 depending on which way they go.

    These may be hard nosed voters or frivolous voters (regarding the national metres) but they are self interested and have allegiance to neither side.

    Such voters won’t find anything to boost their self interest in pics of Morrison at church, shearing sheep, tossing hay or picking carrots on a farm, wearing a cap or going to the footy. Morrison’s “great” campaigning shown on the nightly news will fall on their deaf ears.

  24. BK

    I couldn’t even bear to read that Sheridan article when I saw the headline.

    Back from the footy – Saints started well but you just overwhelmed us. Taylor Walker kicked four goals I think – he doesn’t look 100% fit, but a Crows fans near me said he never looks 100%!

    I just hope Jack Lonie has not totally destryed his knee.

  25. According to Paul Bongiorno, Clive claims that he’s got the $7 million in a trust account and it will be disbursed after the election. I wonder if there is some legal impediment to Clive paying out the money now. My understanding is that he does not PERSONALLY owe the money. Rather, the company does. So, if he pays the money out now, maybe it would be construed as an electoral bribe?

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