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

    Even so each extra seat, each extra vote in the senate, each extra senator, is gold for the nation.

  2. Wow Alice Workman has gone full Murdoch

    The more I see of Alice the more I realise her then buzzfeed home saved her from a whole mountain of very deserved criticism for her idiotic falling for the con and slut shaming Emma. No big surprise Murdoch would pick her up. Even then her buzzfeed former colleagues complained she was taking heat for going into News Corp at the same time decent honorable quality journos were leaving it.

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

    If Palmer and Morrison are announcing preference deal on Monday, will it include Palmer saying he will pay workers before the election so that Morrison can claim credit for it?

  4. A few days ago there were media reports Shorten’s campaign would head to Victoria as the “gap was closing” and people were no longer upset at Turnbull’s ouster.

    Of course that’s completely at odds with other media reports but what’s new.

  5. ScoMo sheared (part of) a sheep. (Is he trying for the longest list of ‘sports’ in three weeks?)

    Lauraine knight @rainey_knight
    3h3 hours ago

    The Media Whore looking like a Try Hard Loser again my Dad would roll over in his grave , 2 knees on a jumbuck , he would be lucky to get a broom in my Dad’s Shearing shed .

    pic.twitter.com/tQtPXthSV4

  6. The tax reform advocate on Real Time is just like tax reform advocates here: the only tax ‘reform’ they’re in favour of is reducing income tax rates for the rich.

  7. Gee it’s a bit rich of people who come here (me included) with a nice, safe nom-de-plume, and accuse a political leader of, what was it, “cowardice and fraud”?
    Yep, good old “Hot Rod” Lincoln, “nath” and a few others I can’t be bothered with, really showing courage and wisdom – not. Just so easy to hide behind a fancy, protected badge while making character assessments for people they know, probably, next to nothing about…………….So, what do we call this? “Pot and Kettle”? “Glass Houses and Stones”? or just plain bad-mouthing hypocrisy?

  8. Sorry if this has been answered earlier but has/can someone explain how Senate primary votes of 30% vs 34% translate to predicted seat wins of 14-17 vs 15? Are Labor usually at a whopping 4% disadvantage to win equal numbers of seats as the Coalition?

  9. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/no-letup-in-bills-wobbles/news-story/02663606568036189cfe77c167bf5a69

    The problem for Shorten is that he will be seen as incompetent and not across detail if he continues to make mistakes.

    This week in Queensland, he was confronted with a tax anomaly and stumbled. It wasn’t a detailed and tricky question about negative gearing, franking credits or superannuation. It was a blue-collar worker with hi-vis stripes on his sleeves who wanted a tax cut for people earning more than $250,000 year.

    The reason the worker at the coal export terminal in Gladstone wanted relief for people earning $70,000 more than Labor’s $180,000-a-year limit on tax cuts was that a “lot of people” at the coal port earn more than $250,000.

    Mr. D. Shanahan has taken over with quoting the vibble, vobbles from that other dude.

    Yairs, Bludgers, you won’t see my heels for the dust just as soon as I get one a them coal loader jobs.

    ♪The working class can kiss ♫ my arse
    I’ve ♫ got a bludger’s job ♫ at last.

    💋💋💋💋💋

  10. briefly
    says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 3:45 pm
    Labor campaigners in the North are agreed on one thing. The Gs are Labor-hostile thru and thru
    ____________________________
    Like all elections it will be over before they start counting in Perth. And the north of Perth might as well be the Cocos Islands for all the relevance it has.

  11. steve davis says:

    Palmer is just a scam artist who doesn’t pay his workers.

    Clive, living the Coalition dream. No wonder they kissed and made up.

  12. https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/stopadani-students-say-elections-must-be-referendum-their-futures

    School students are right in carrying out mass civil disobedience to put the urgency of stopping dangerous climate change on the political agenda.

    The School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) movement is gearing up for its next national day of action on May 3. This time they are targeting Liberal and Labor MPs’ offices.
    :::
    The climate deniers may be kooky, but they are also powerful. Many inhabit the Liberal and National parties, as well as right-wing fringe parties — but the Australian Labor Party includes some too.

    Their mission is to facilitate, for as long as they can get away with it, the narrow business interests of fossil fuel corporations — and their current focus is getting Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin up and running.
    :::
    Gas is another major contributor to that dubious reputation. Australia’s fastest growing source of emissions is leaking methane from gas projects.
    :::
    For years, the gas industry has been warning of the dire consequences of not opening up Australia to gas production. Now Labor is vowing to do just that, with funding from a public resource which should instead be detailed to upscale and massify publicly-owned sustainable renewable energy.

    That Labor intends to abolish a public asset and spend part of the proceeds helping gas corporations tells you that the climate deniers are in the driver’s seat of both major parties.
    :::
    According to the progressive British think tank InfluenceMap, the world’s five largest listed oil and gas companies have spent more than US$1 billion on “climate lobbying” and “misleading branding” since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016.

    The industry catchcry is “say one thing and do another”.

    The same could be said of both the Coalition and Labor, whose climate policies for the May federal election fall far short of what is required for a safe and just world.

  13. https://reneweconomy.com.au/oil-giants-spent-1-billion-on-climate-lobbying-and-ads-since-paris-pact-says-report-98888/

    “Oil majors are projecting themselves as key players in the energy transition while lobbying to delay, weaken, or oppose meaningful climate policy,” Edward Collins, author of the new report, said in a statement.

    “They advocate gradual implementation of market-based and technological climate solutions, but the latest [United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report makes clear that urgent policy action and limitations on fossil fuel use are needed to avoid dangerous climate change.”

  14. C Fox it’s a matter of how many of the RW Others get elected verses how many of their votes flow through to elect a Coalition Senator.

  15. Ah, election time! It’s like the PB equivalent of Christmas. The usual repetitive slanging matches between cheerleaders of various hues merge into the background, as RW partisans who are otherwise rarely seen in the neighbourhood turn up to do some possum stirring, resulting in sworn foes momentarily finding common cause (well except for a few notable hold outs – no surprises there). And lo and behold, even the late lamented Bemused manifests in altered guise, before injudicious admissions result in his being cast back into the outer darkness. And we still have 3 more weeks of thrills and spills to come. Stock up on popcorn good burghers of Bludgerland.

  16. A scare campaign falsely claiming Labor plans to introduce school programs teaching students how to have gay sex is being circulated on Chinese social media, in the latest sign of “fake news” infiltrating the federal election.

    The unauthorised post targeting voters on the popular Chinese-language app WeChat uses well-worn myths about the anti-bullying resource Safe Schools to urge people not to vote for Bill Shorten.

    “Safe School [sic] is to teach students same sex sexual intercourse,” says the message, written mostly in Mandarin and featuring a photo of the Opposition Leader.

    “That men can use women’s toilets. For men to wear women’s clothing. That the following vocabulary cannot be used: dad, mum, older brother, younger brother, older sister, younger sister, uncle, aunt, boy, girl, pregnant, and other gendered words.”

    With three weeks until the May 18 poll, the scare campaign is the latest example of just how toxic the federal election has become – and how easy it is to infiltrate cyberspace with misinformation.

  17. nath says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t hate Bill. I just think he shouldn’t be PM. He wants it soooo bad. Should we reward a mediocre student who plotted his way to be PM? A man who has never done anything apart from scheme and knife and do dodgy deals? All to satisfy his ambition. Nath says no.
    ——————————

    We know only too well your views on the achievements of Bill Shorten.

    And I appreciate the fact that you are not the leader of a national political party or someone who is on the cusp of being Prime Minister of this great country.

    But in order for us to judge the quality of your assessment of Bill Shorten, it would be instructive if you could list for us the achievements you have made. Tell us what you have done with your life, outside of your contributions on this blog.

    Perhaps you could share with us those elements of your character which make you competent to judge Bill Shorten.

  18. max
    Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 4:13 pm
    Comment #256

    Stock up on popcorn good burghers of Bludgerland.

    I bought a couple of packs of microwave popcorn to enjoy at the time of the 2013 Federal Election.

    Disappointment clouded the household and the popcorn sat lonely as a cloud near the subject microwave until the fateful day (a year later) when I gave them to my favourite daughter for her youngest son.

    Imagine, if you will, how I was reviled and castigated for my offer of “past it’s use by date” popcorn.

    “And so” as we say chez Kayjay – what is the tradition method of popcorn consumption on election night ❓

    Should one, at the sixth stroke of six of the clock – place the popcorn in the microwave and immediately subsequent to Mr. A. Green’s opening remarks – push the button to start the carousel.

    Then – over the course of an hour or so munch steadily until a clear result appears and Mr. Green gives a verdict when one could process bag No. 2.

    Advice required please. 🔰 (That’s a Japanese symbol for beginner). 😇

  19. Rex Douglas @ #350 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 3:41 pm

    WeWantPaul @ #349 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 3:39 pm

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

    Even so each extra seat, each extra vote in the senate, each extra senator, is gold for the nation.

    Labor would win even more seats if they’d chosen a different leader.

    The ALP prefers talented and intelligent Leaders instead MP’s like Julie Bishop and Richard Di Natale that prefer to do fashion shoots. Jewells Bishop and the Black Wiggle – same same.

  20. BH @ #354 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 3:49 pm

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

    If Palmer and Morrison are announcing preference deal on Monday, will it include Palmer saying he will pay workers before the election so that Morrison can claim credit for it?

    Yes, that is quite possible. Makes sense. But what about the $70 million the Govt paid out to the workers? I doubt that will be enough.

  21. “Shorten having a sook because Labor tried and was rejected by Palmer to get his preferences. Shorten getting weaker by the day.”

    Desperate stuff.

  22. Wow, coal loaders earning more than $250K……………natural Labor voter no doubt! Good luck to him…….Why bother asking Shorten about this? The CL is earning nearly as much as the OL anyway. This guy should be a paid-up Liberal supporter as he is part of the group of what is it? 10% of the population which owns 60% of the wealth here. I suppose he has 5 investment properties, pays $100K a year school fees, has a huge mansion, big boat and the gear to pull it……………..oh yes, your typical Labor supporter! Who gives a toss what he thinks……………….and what I saw of it, the episode was kind of one-on-one. Just how desperate is the Oz newspaper getting? Still, three weeks to go and this outfit knows how to plumb the depths – if past history is anything to go by.

  23. nath says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 2:04 pm
    Lincoln
    says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 1:27 pm
    Shorten is, in essence, a coward and a fraud. Not across the issues and promoting two contradictory views on his Adani stance, in city and country. He is also not across detail and unwilling to prosecute it in public forums. A true PM must prove the capacity to do this.
    I wonder how many were now wishing that Plibersek or Albanese were now contesting this election. Bill is the biggest liability the ALP has.
    ______________________________________
    Lincoln I could kiss you. I’ve been arguing the same on here for 7 months or so, often attracting quite nasty abuse from people who enjoy staring at that alien-headed fraud.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Nath, I could just kick you, but instead I’ll slap my forehead in disbelief.
    We get it, everyone does, that you don’t like Bill Shorten. Fine. But do you prefer the Libs to him?
    If not, what do you suggest the ALP does? Suddenly replace Shorten mid-campaign with Albo or someone else?
    Now that would be a fine election-winning move just three weeks before the polls close wouldn’t it?

  24. Tricot @ #381 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 4:35 pm

    Wow, coal loaders earning more than $250K……………natural Labor voter no doubt! Good luck to him…….Why bother asking Shorten about this? The CL is earning nearly as much as the OL anyway. This guy should be a paid-up Liberal supporter as he is part of the group of what is it? 10% of the population which owns 60% of the wealth here. I suppose he has 5 investment properties, pays $100K a year school fees, has a huge mansion, big boat and the gear to pull it……………..oh yes, your typical Labor supporter! Who gives a toss what he thinks……………….and what I saw of it, the episode was kind of one-on-one. Just how desperate is the Oz newspaper getting? Still, three weeks to go and this outfit knows how to plumb the depths – if past history is anything to go by.

    It was a missed opportunity for Bill Shorten to cut through with a bit of honesty and character that I believe would have won support.

  25. calumnious fox,

    The coalition is likely to get a swag of preferences from right-wing micro parties that are knocked out early. Labor, on the other hand, won’t get so many preferences because the Greens will be in the hunt for seats so their preferences won’t be distributed. Thus, 30% vs 34% will come to about the same thing after prefs.

  26. beguiledagain – earlier – you a singing a verse of the same song I sang a few posts before. These absolute nobodys (like the rest of us I suppose) come here and pontificate on the character flaws of not just Labor personnel but some from the government, then hide behind a nice safe and secure, anonymous name, and presume to take the high moral ground. They/we luckily can keep our anonymity, poke shit at who they/we like within the bounds of not breaking any libel laws and somehow think this influences anyone else. I have no problem with this but some are just so mind-boring repetitious, smug, and self-satisfied even to the point of self-righteousness. Fortunately, the scroll button obliterates most very quickly.

  27. I should add that a quota is about fourteen and a quarter percent, so in terms of quotas, a four percent gap in votes isn’t very much.

  28. Tricot @ #359 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 4:01 pm

    Gee it’s a bit rich of people who come here (me included) with a nice, safe nom-de-plume, and accuse a political leader of, what was it, “cowardice and fraud”?
    Yep, good old “Hot Rod” Lincoln, “nath” and a few others I can’t be bothered with, really showing courage and wisdom – not. Just so easy to hide behind a fancy, protected badge while making character assessments for people they know, probably, next to nothing about…………….So, what do we call this? “Pot and Kettle”? “Glass Houses and Stones”? or just plain bad-mouthing hypocrisy?

    I like to go with Oxygen Thieves. 🙂

  29. beguiledagain says: Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    nath

    We know only too well your views on the achievements of Bill Shorten.

    But in order for us to judge the quality of your assessment of Bill Shorten, it would be instructive if you could list for us the achievements you have made. Tell us what you have done with your life, outside of your contributions on this blog.

    Perhaps you could share with us those elements of your character which make you competent to judge Bill Shorten

    ****************************************************

    Yes for me too – I hear your seemingly endless criticism of the lack of qualifications of Bill Shorten, who I believe has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University on his working class background

    I personally would be proud to have earned such great qualifications if I intended to be a leader of a political party ( – mine are in non-political industrial/nuclear chemistry )

    For the record – just so I can determine the veracity and comparison of your continual put downs of Shorten, can you please list your academic qualifications so I can gauge if your criticism has some substance in comparison

  30. Jeez I hope Shorten creams Scrott on Monday.
    I hope people who haven’t seen Shorten in action say to themselves Holy shit, that was really something….I hope Scrott comes right off his hinges…

    I can dream…

  31. lizzie @ #267 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 4:37 pm

    I wish people wouldn’t quote Nasty Nath. I don’t want to see his vicious slanders.

    Never mind – a well wisher could visit, bringing genuine “aged in the pack” cup cakes and force you, out of politeness, to listen to her read from the following.

    So bear up – while you quietly recite to yourself

    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember’d;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

    You know, and know full, that this too shall pass ❗ 😎

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