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@t

    It’s tiring isn’t it, when people come to this blog and just reiterate the shop-worn memes about Bill Shorten, as if they have been blinded by their own enlightenment and must communicate it with us?

    That’s what happens when you go from a private boys school straight to the Menzies House without see the real world on the way

  2. The fact that Hartcher is signalling pretty strongly that he wants on to the Labor drip bigly makes me loath the bloviating flog even more than before. If that were possible. Same with the rest of the CPG.

  3. Lol – politics is all about scheming and number counting. No one gets to the top job without a) wanting it badly b) having dirty hands.

  4. Sceptic
    says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 2:26 pm
    C@t
    It’s tiring isn’t it, when people come to this blog and just reiterate the shop-worn memes about Bill Shorten, as if they have been blinded by their own enlightenment and must communicate it with us?
    That’s what happens when you go from a private boys school straight to the Menzies House without see the real world on the way
    ____________________________
    Shorten went from a private boys school to a lawyers office? Is that similar?

  5. ajm @ #298 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 2:22 pm

    sprocket_ @ #283 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 2:04 pm

    Scotty leaving Dubbo, destination unknown.

    ….and the Morrison media jet out of Dubbo. That’s both media jets in the air *at the same time*. Quick, somebody make a gaffe! Nobody will ever know!

    There’s an Alliance Airlines Fokker 70 showing no flight numbers that left Dunno a little while ago and it’s heading for Sydney. Alliance do a lot of charter work so presumably that’s Morrison’s plane.

    Where did Shorten take off from?

    If my theory is correct, Morrison just landed in Sydney.

  6. The Country Party is doooomed.. bad news has been unrelenting for 6 years..

    @theprojecttv
    Follow Follow @theprojecttv
    More
    Waleed: “Could you name a single, big policy area where the Nats have sided with the interests of farmers over the interest of miners when they come into conflict?”

  7. Just watched that Bill & Albo press conference from Hobart, not bad. Classic Albo calling Clive a tosser. The image of Morrison directing Lib preferences to a con man who has ripped off workers and tax payers is just election gold for Labor. Fingers crossed they’ve kept their nose clean on this.

  8. It’s all about values.

    What do you value? People? Family? Health? Happiness? Equality?

    Or do you value wealth? Selfishness?

    And what do you devalue? People? Family? Health? Education?

    Are you so self-centred that you fear others will take what you value?

    Are you so preoccupied with image that you devalue substance?

    It seems to me those of a generally r-w “selfish” bent who fear others will take what they feel they deserve, are the cruellest, least democratic members of our society. These people want to accumulate in order to ensure their own comfort to the detriment of others out of fear and ignorance. These people also tend to focus on superficialities as an excuse not to look at their own deeper selfishness.

    EG Clive Palmer

  9. What I can’t work out is why clive doens’t fork over the $7 million now. It would be better value than spending $7 million on more advertising.

  10. PVO tweets…

    JOURNALIST: Should Clive Palmer, given he’s spending $50 million in advertising, pay the $70 million back to the Commonwealth plus the $7 million he owes to workers?

    PRIME MINISTER: Clive Palmer is making his own statements on those matters.

  11. “Bill Shorten ate nath’s firstborn!”

    More like:

    “nath! I am your father, nath! Fulfill your destiny and join me on the dark side”

  12. “PVO tweets…

    JOURNALIST: Should Clive Palmer, given he’s spending $50 million in advertising, pay the $70 million back to the Commonwealth plus the $7 million he owes to workers?

    PRIME MINISTER: Clive Palmer is making his own statements on those matters.”

    Hmmm. ScoMo brought Clive Palmer. ScoMo owns Clive Palmer.

    This is not going to end well, is it.

  13. Meanwhile Bill is touring Tasmania distributing pork – which the Taswegians have become accustomed to. Should move the dial back in the State of Gerrymander.

  14. ajm @ #191 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 2:22 pm

    sprocket_ @ #283 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 2:04 pm

    Scotty leaving Dubbo, destination unknown.

    ….and the Morrison media jet out of Dubbo. That’s both media jets in the air *at the same time*. Quick, somebody make a gaffe! Nobody will ever know!

    There’s an Alliance Airlines Fokker 70 showing no flight numbers that left Dunno a little while ago and it’s heading for Sydney. Alliance do a lot of charter work so presumably that’s Morrison’s plane.

    Where did Shorten take off from?

    Dunno

  15. @Sceptic

    The baseball bats are especially out in Western NSW, I do wonder if Labor can pick up Parkes. Shooters Fishers and Farmers aren’t standing and it has a Nationals margin of 15%.

  16. sprocket_ @ #313 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 2:44 pm

    PVO tweets…

    JOURNALIST: Should Clive Palmer, given he’s spending $50 million in advertising, pay the $70 million back to the Commonwealth plus the $7 million he owes to workers?

    PRIME MINISTER: Clive Palmer is making his own statements on those matters.

    Yes but he’s not making any actions to follow those statements up!

  17. sprocket_ @ #313 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 2:44 pm

    PVO tweets…

    JOURNALIST: Should Clive Palmer, given he’s spending $50 million in advertising, pay the $70 million back to the Commonwealth plus the $7 million he owes to workers?

    PRIME MINISTER: Clive Palmer is making his own statements on those matters.

    Which just goes to prove what a spineless jellyback of an opportunist, Scott Morrison is.

  18. Andrew_Earlwood,
    When it looks like someone very likely your father, Bede Hartcher, was federal Director of the Liberal Party for 5 years, it probably takes a lot of mental effort to come across to the dark side, even if only for the drip. 😀

  19. Like most of Scotty’s BrainFarts ™ he hasn’t thought through the consequences of the Clive Palmer preference deal. It may be his Latham handshake, John Hewson’s birthday cake moment.

    For the sake of saving a few Queensland seats, maybe, he has gifted a line of attack to Labor which goes to his judgment, what type of government he would lead, dozens of quotes over the years where Clive and the LNP are at each other’s throats – and the biggest mistake of all – knocking Rupert’s momentum of its wheels.

    And the punchlines. Labor were rehearsing some today – the debates, interviews, doorstops from now on will have the punchlines thrown in to round out answers with an image of Clive and Scotty, with Pauline Tagging along.

  20. PRIME MINISTER: Clive Palmer is making his own statements on those matters.

    So it’s one or more of the following:
    “Don’t ask me!” (shrugs)
    “I don’t care!” (glares)
    “I don’t want to talk about it.” (looks down)
    “That’s his problem.” (grins)
    “Sorry. Not my problem!” (turns away)

  21. I voted for the Greens in 2010. It was a mistake that I will not make this time.
    According to Vote Compass my ideals align closest to Greens policy. I know that, rightly or wrongly, a great many voters consider those policies extreme. To implement them immediately would require blackmail. Or a dictatorship. I prefer to stick with democracy – even if our current version is flawed.

    In a democracy, if you don’t gain support of sufficient of that middle ground, you cannot expect to form government. For Labor to win government, its policies need to have appeal beyond the true believers. They need to reach to the centre. Centrism may be a dirty word to some but it is a reality of the democratic process.

    There can be no instant gratification of my ideals. I accept that. With a Labor Government I know I will not, in one term, see everything I want achieved. There may even be decisions I disagree with. The steps may be small but mostly we should be heading in the right direction.

    And, if enough of the populace see the value of what is achieved, if they see unity and integrity from the government, then they may just trust it enough when it proposes further steps next time along the same path.

    First though, we do need to have a Labor Government elected. And with sufficient authority to implement its policies. That would be so much easier to achieve if left wing warriors would sheathe their swords, ignore the nay-sayers and look for ways to work together. That includes burying the absurd leadership grumblings. Surely, after the evidence of the last 12 years, every intelligent progressive knows that is an absolute no-no.

    I would much rather see a few tentative forward steps than a perpetuation of the dismal backslide of the past six years.

  22. It really is amazing that many well educated contributors on PB do not know the value and importance of preferences. I understand the main parties HTV will usually just show the minimum because that makes it easy and reduces mistakes. But if ever there is an opportunity to explain the value of preferences then it should get a run. Of course educating the RWNJs is not a good idea. There is every chance they will be splitting their first votes and sending preferences all over the place which could wipe them all out.

  23. Sprocket – Agree, this is totally dumb. I think it also shows how bad the internal polling is for the libs. If they were clawing their way back, they might be more conservative. But, right now, they’re hoping for a puncher’s luck.

  24. Well, James Campbell did say the only reason the Liberals have done a preference deal with Clive is because their primary vote is so low.

  25. Scotty really, quite fundamentally, does not think that, as Prime Minister, he has to show any moral leadership whatsoever. He thinks he’s entitled to pull any corrupt stunt he wants to hang onto power and that the electorate will swallow that. His solipsism is truly amazing. That is why he is the most unfit Prime Minister this country has ever had. As said before, even Billy McMahon had a bigger concept of the Prime Ministership than this turkey.

  26. Sara @_sara_jade_
    26m26 minutes ago

    Nationals leader Michael McCormack said “The UAP is far closer to the government’s supporters than Labor or the Greens.”
    What does that say about those who support Morrison and his government? I feel sick!

  27. So Morrison’s too cowardly to hint that Palmer should pay his debts – and anyway doesn’t care if people miss out on wages. This is your future PM.

  28. antonbruckner11 @ #333 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 3:09 pm

    Scotty really, quite fundamentally, does not think that, as Prime Minister, he has to show any moral leadership whatsoever. He thinks he’s entitled to pull any corrupt stunt he wants to hang onto power and that the electorate will swallow that. His solipsism is truly amazing. That is why he is the most unfit Prime Minister this country has ever had. As said before, even Billy McMahon had a bigger concept of the Prime Ministership than this turkey.

    Abbott owns “Nope. Nope. Nope.” For Morrison it’s
    “Whatever It Takes”. (And both are a glimpse into the character of their man.)

  29. And you think the ABC is biased? At least they try to cover it up!

    Bruce King
    ‏@bruceking54
    23h23 hours ago

    Can’t believe what I just saw. Ch7 weatherman while doing the beach report on the 4 o’clock news just said in Monday’s debate my money is on Scomo. Is this even allowed?

  30. Clever lawyers. “the inadequacy of techniques to sample microscopic species that live underground.” Nor so clever enviro department gave Melissa wriggle room.

    A Cameco presentation to the department, released to the Greens through Senate estimates, shows the government proposed approving the mine with a condition the company must first demonstrate that no species would be made extinct during the works.

    Cameco Australia said this did not recognise “inherent difficulties associated with sampling for and describing species”, including the inadequacy of techniques to sample microscopic species that live underground and challenges in determining whether animals were of the same species. It said the condition was “not realistic and unlikely to be achieved – ever”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/27/uranium-miner-coaxed-government-to-water-down-extinction-safeguards?CMP=share_btn_tw

  31. Labor partisans should relax.

    Morrison and the Coalition are just trying to limit the damage.

    It’s been obvious for weeks that all they’re doing is trying to hold as much of their base as possible.

    The panic here is amusing at times.

  32. lizzie @ #337 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 3:16 pm

    And you think the ABC is biased? At least they try to cover it up!

    Bruce King
    ‏@bruceking54
    23h23 hours ago

    Can’t believe what I just saw. Ch7 weatherman while doing the beach report on the 4 o’clock news just said in Monday’s debate my money is on Scomo. Is this even allowed?

    Channel 7 gives you Democracy Monday! Our latest Reality TV, and it’s a team sport, and you can have a bet! Tune in and pick your winner! How good is that!
    end-sarcasm

  33. Terri Butler MP @terrimbutler
    3h3 hours ago

    Fraser Anning is spreading hate in Griffith today.

    This is what happens when the LNP preferences like One Nation. They’re responsible for giving the politics of division & hate a megaphone.

    Mr Morrison might put up with extremists, but our community won’t.

  34. Labor partisans should relax.

    the future of the country, even the planet, it literally on the line, it isn’t a time for relaxing.

    We recently saw the suicidal stupid NSW electorate decide to elect an LNP, so we have reason to have no faith in NSW voters, on balance we got to see that they are useless, and well we are nervous they aren’t alone.

  35. WeWantPaul @ #345 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 3:29 pm

    Labor partisans should relax.

    the future of the country, even the planet, it literally on the line, it isn’t a time for relaxing.

    We recently saw the suicidal stupid NSW electorate decide to elect an LNP, so we have reason to have no faith in NSW voters, on balance we got to see that they are useless, and well we are nervous they aren’t alone.

    There has been NO Govt as bad as this federal L/NP Govt of the last 6 yrs.

    Bill Shorten WILL be PM in 3 weeks time. GUARANTEED !!

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