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. Rex,
    You and Wayne should get together and write a handbook on election campaigning. Looking forward to something other than vapid comment from both of you – fat chance I guess.

  2. frednk

    I agree Palmer has a credible shot at a Qld Senate seat depending how things fall. And this own goal by Morrison won’t hurt his chances.

    But a billboard in Glebe (that disappears as the campaign commences) That’s not exactly targeted advertising. How much of that $50 million(if that’s the figure) spend has been blown outside of Qld and/or in areas with no affinity for PHONies or Palmerism? Like Joh for Canberra, something Clive would know about, all it will do is confuse and demoralise the coalition troops

  3. Clive is chasing the politicaly disengaged vote. To judge his campaign agaist the real parties is a mistake. 6 months of advertising before the election period is about name recognition, It doesn’t matter how many people get annoyed. The job now is to get a few stories and other people talking about him. Doing actual campaigning now would be a mistake.

  4. This was a comment under the KM article in the smh.

    28
    29
    A colleague who is pretty well connected to the Liberal Party organisation [I know, I know; but surprisingly adept at his job] told me last night that internal polling is so dire that long term campaign workers are walking away before the half way point. This would explain the histrionics and desperation of the few trapped in the shelters at Menzies House. It is rumored that Bruno Ganz has been approached to play the role of Scott Morrison in a future biopic.

  5. subgeometer @ #398 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 5:00 pm

    frednk

    I agree Palmer has a credible shot at a Qld Senate seat depending how things fall. And this own goal by Morrison won’t hurt his chances.

    But a billboard in Glebe (that disappears as the campaign commences) That’s not exactly targeted advertising. How much of that $50 million(if that’s the figure) spend has been blown outside of Qld and/or in areas with no affinity for PHONies or Palmerism? Like Joh for Canberra, something Clive would know about, all it will do is confuse and demoralise the coalition troops

    UAP is a paper tiger. Palmer built a movie set town with 151 façades to fool the one person he needed to fool. Now he can move on to his next step. (To paraphrase Wong, Morrison-Palmer are soul mates.)

  6. KayJay

    Thanks for trying distraction, but that story on the two MKR finalists is another beat-up. “Neither of them could cook.” Sure, sure.

  7. phoenixRED
    says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 4:50 pm
    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
    ****************************************************

    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
    __________________________________________

    Life was not easy for Nath. I didn’t go to a 30k a year school like Xavier. I left high school early and worked for many years in the circus. Eventually I found enough security to go finish my VCE and pursue a higher education. I graduated from Bovine University with a B.A and M.A and then a Ph.D under the acclaimed academic Dr Hamburgler.

  8. @phoenixRED Wait, what? “Bill Shorten, who I believe has a … working class background”. Ummm… Shorten’s mother was a university academic and lawyer and his father was a marine engineer who managed parts of the docks. Shorten went to Xavier College, one of Melbourne’s most exclusive private schools.

  9. AngoraFish
    says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 5:23 pm
    @phoenixRED Wait, what? “Bill Shorten, who I believe has a … working class background”. Ummm… Shorten’s mother was a university academic and lawyer and his father was a marine engineer who managed parts of the docks. Shorten went to Xavier College, one of Melbourne’s most exclusive private schools.
    _________________
    get with the program angora. Bill didn’t really go to Xavier, and if he did, he snuck in and paid for his tuition digging graves at night at Fawkner cemetery before getting up and doing 4 paper rounds. On summer holidays he worked the seas in a trawler. Any spare time was spent logging in Gippsland to make ends meat.

  10. Cat@Momma,
    While I acknowledge the legitimacy of including those particular extra players and thank you for pointing this out, they are not as genuinely same same as Rex and Wayne who are so remarkably well matched. Peas in a pod.

  11. in Qld nats preference onp
    in Aust all lnp to preference uap
    how many votes will they lose?
    they also give these rather weird parties chances where they didn’t exist before

  12. Those of you who haven’t read the excerpt from Peter Brent below about how Clive has gamed Newspoll should have a read. He’s nowhere near as popular as he pretends.

  13. nath says: Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    phoenixRED

    Life was not easy for Nath. I didn’t go to a 30k a year school like Xavier. I left high school early and worked for many years in the circus. Eventually I found enough security to go finish my VCE and pursue a higher education. I graduated from Bovine University with a B.A and M.A and then a Ph.D under the acclaimed academic Dr Hamburgler.

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

    THANK YOU – appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and list your so called academic qualifications …….

    Bovine University and Dr Hamburgler ?????????????????????????

    YOU are obviously what’s best described as a “Sexual Einstein” – translation – ‘ A F**Kin Know It All ‘

    In simpler terms – A know-it-all is a person who obnoxiously purports an expansive comprehension of a topic and/or situation when in reality, his comprehension is inaccurate or limited.

    and like Morrison – just a vacuous bag of wind with ZERO CREDIBILITY here …. as well as being the dictionary perfect example of a totally sociopathic TROLL ….

    From this experience when I was prepared to give a person the benefit of the doubt – Avoid any interaction with him – trolls are just RELEVANCE DEPRIVATION DISORDER NUTTERS who feed off knowing they are upsetting others … and you obviously enjoy spending your NEGATIVE life doing it on PollBludger …..

  14. Probably my last thought on Palmer/Morrison. You need your mark to want to be fooled, and then all you need is to make it easy for him to believe.

  15. nath:

    [‘I left high school early and worked for many years in the circus.’]

    An impertinent question, if you will: what did you do in the circus?

  16. phoenixRED
    says:

    YOU are obviously what’s best described as a “Sexual Einstein” – translation – ‘ A F**Kin Know It All ‘
    ___________________________
    ‘Sexual Einstein’. Love it. Now if only I could get the wife to agree. 🙂

  17. Mavis Davis
    says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 5:42 pm
    nath:
    [‘I left high school early and worked for many years in the circus.’]
    An impertinent question, if you will: what did you do in the circus?
    ___________________________________
    Pretty much everything Mavis. I was not a performer. But what is known as a ‘hand’. So setting up everything, taking everything down, feeding animals, tickets, everything.

  18. nath says: Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    Pretty much everything Mavis. I was not a performer. But what is known as a ‘hand’.

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

    And WE, from todays performance, all know what YOU did with that hand ……..

  19. I did that from age 17 to 23. Best time of my life, pay was shit, but you travelled. And there was always different girls at the next town.

    Oh well, I’m the type of guy who will never settle down
    Where pretty girls are, well you know that I’m around
    I kiss ’em and I love ’em cause to me they’re all the same
    I hug ’em and I squeeze ’em they don’t even know my name
    They call me the wanderer
    Yeah, the wanderer
    I roam around, around, around

  20. phoenixRED
    says:
    *********************************************
    And WE, from todays performance, all know what YOU did with that hand ……..
    ___________________________________
    I will never reveal what went on with the bearded lady…..never

  21. Roger Miller
    says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 5:52 pm
    Once a shit sweeper, always a shit sweeper.
    ______________________
    Yeah swept plenty of shit. But hey a lot of people deal with shit, janitors, plumbers. You know what’s worse than sweeping shit? people who look down on those who do those jobs. Especially when they say they vote Labor. Scum.

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

    So Rex you want to go back to the good old days where Labor changed leaders like they changed underpants. You know what I say to that. F#$@ that!!!!

    The fact is Bill Shorten is the first Labor federal leader to contest back to back elections since Kim Beazley contested the election as Labor leader in 2001. I’m glad the party has put an end to the instability. In fact not only I’m glad about it but I’m also proud of it.

  23. I have just been to Kooyong and view some of the leaflets. The Liberals must be in a panic as they have been putting out leaflets that Burnside wants to decriminalise Heroin…. plus a heap on death taxes.

    Plus the streets are covered in Frydenberg posters on telephone booths, massive billboards and real estate type signs. These can’t be cheap.

  24. Out and about today and the only corflutes I have seen so far are for the Labor candidate, although today I saw one for Australian Christians. This is unprecedented. I know Rick Wilson has been putting up his corflutes because he’s posted on Facebook about it. Perhaps he’s putting them in the more rural parts of the electorate, or maybe the party’s budget for safe seats has been slashed to enable more branding and advertising in its more marginal electorates.

  25. Political Nightwatchman @ #428 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 5:55 pm

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

    So Rex you want to go back to the good old days where Labor changed leaders like they changed underpants. You know what I say to that. F#$@ that!!!!

    No, I just question the rationale of installing Shorten, given his questionable pathway through the ranks.

    The fact is Bill Shorten is the first Labor federal leader to contest back to back elections since Kim Beazley contested the election as Labor leader in 2001. I’m glad the party has put an end to the instability. In fact not only I’m glad about it but I’m also proud of it.

    small mercies

  26. The Liberals must be in a panic as they have been putting out leaflets that Burnside wants to decriminalise Heroin

    I thought the Greens policy is to decriminalise illicit drugs?

  27. Have not seen any Labor corflutes in Eden-Monaro as yet. Mike Kelly has been about though making statements about the reinstatement of maternity facilities in the local hospital and making commitments for funding (matched by LNP) to upgrade the water filtration system. The Lib and Greens have their corflutes up, with the Lib candidate has gone all-out and I’m surprised the local cats don’t have corflutes attached.
    Mike did well last campaign in Yass and maybe his effort is being micro-targeted in areas more strongly right wing.

  28. MrMoney @ #2813 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 5:17 pm

    This was a comment under the KM article in the smh.

    28
    29
    A colleague who is pretty well connected to the Liberal Party organisation [I know, I know; but surprisingly adept at his job] told me last night that internal polling is so dire that long term campaign workers are walking away before the half way point. This would explain the histrionics and desperation of the few trapped in the shelters at Menzies House. It is rumored that Bruno Ganz has been approached to play the role of Scott Morrison in a future biopic.

    Appropriate – since Ganz is dead.

  29. A more encouraging day on the Northern Front today. Voters have noticed all the negative ads from Palmer and the anti-Labor campaigning from the media. The Labor-loyal have not bought it. Lib-committed have a brighter mood, but disaffection with the Liberals is deep and wide. The disaffected are hesitating. They are persuadable for Labor. They are very offended by the fight-spectacle and want something much better. They are happy to see red shirts, to have their say. They still hope for change, though their doubts have been stirred by the Lib messages.

    I think we’re still winning….and I think the Libs also believe we’re winning. But every vote now counts more than ever. It’s a real contest.

  30. Because briefly is working in WA marginals with a natural Lib lean?

    If these seats are easy pick-ups, we’d be looking at a Labor count in the 90s… we’re not, so they’re going to be a contest.

  31. Boerwar @ #2828 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 5:43 pm

    Hola Bludgers
    Camped next to the mighty Balonne… yet another ex river. General interest in the election campaign?
    Zilch.

    G’day BW. Spotted the remains of any Beetroot CARP in the vicinity? I believe that is where the pest species was first introduced – after being spawned in the Walcha annex of the UNE bioweapons labs.

  32. UAP is a paper tiger. Palmer built a movie set town with 151 façades to fool the one person he needed to fool. Now he can move on to his next step. (To paraphrase Wong, Morrison-Palmer are soul mates.)

    Beautifully put, Latey.

  33. So @billshortenmp & @Mark_Butler_MP announce that the tax haven based multinational gas cartel running gas will get a new $1.5bn capital subsidy to build pipelines to export even more LNG. This subsidy goes to a royalty evading industry that also pays next to no corporate tax!— Tim Buckley (@TimBuckleyIEEFA) April 23, 2019

    Gas sector the worst tax cheats of all. Exxon, EnergyAustralia, Santos, Chevron, BG are on the MW Top40 Tax Dodgers. Origin lucky to have missed it. This reeks of donations https://t.co/Qa1dqT3NaX— Michael West (@MichaelWestBiz) April 27, 2019

    Anyone care to put a positive spin on this.. ?

  34. Desperation, or sheer stupidity?

    Cheryl Kernot
    ‏@cheryl_kernot
    3h3 hours ago

    McCormack, Dubbo. “People can always trust the National Party to do the right thing on water.”
    #Watergate

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