Happy trails: episode two

Another look at where the campaign has taken the two leaders, and what that might tell us about the state of play.

Click on the image at the bottom of the post and you will see an updated account of the electorates visited by the leaders during the campaign, more or less (there is an element of subjectivity as to what constitutes a visit). One of the salient points to emerge is the rather intensive focus on Tasmania, which remarkably played host to both leaders yesterday. Scott Morrison has spent three days over two visits – exactly equal to his record for Victoria, where he has targeted the five Liberal-held seats on margins of up to 6.4%, but not wasted effort on Dunkley, which is Liberal-held but notionally Labor. Bill Shorten’s visit to the state was likewise his second, but so far he’s spent two days in the state to Morrison’s three.

Western Australia also logged up some points this week, but this is largely due to the debate having been held there on Monday, and the practicality of hanging around afterwards given the distance involved. Nonetheless, it is notable that Morrison spent fully three days campaigning their compared with Shorten’s two, and that Morrison felt it worth his while to conduct a street walk in the electorate of Canning, situated well up the pendulum at 6.8%.

Bill Shorten is overdue for a visit to New South Wales, where he hasn’t been since he spent the first three full days of the campaign in Sydney. Nonetheless, the prize for the most targeted seat of the campaign so far would appear to be the Sydney seat of Reid, which has been visited three times by Scott Morrison, most recently on Sunday, and was also visited by Shorten on each of his three days in Sydney.

And while you’re about, note also the other new post below this one: episode three of Seat du Jour, covering the Melbourne seat of La Trobe.

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.

1,298 comments on “Happy trails: episode two”

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  1. Without wanting to in anyway upstage BK, if you do nothing else today, have a look at Dave Pope’s cartoon in the Canberra Times

    (Sorry, I still haven’t worked out how to post pics on WordPress and frankly cbf, because as with quoting posts, whenever someone explains it, it looks ridiculously complicated).

    We don’t deserve our cartoonists, They are a national treasure.

  2. Interesting, so far Morrison has visited 18 Coalition seats and Shorten has only visited 13 Labor seats…. I wonder who feels more confident to hold his own seats… 🙂

    On the other hand, Morrison has visited 18 Labor seats and Shorten has visited 21 non-Labor seats… I wonder who feels more confident to snatch new seats from other parties…. 🙂

  3. WB, One minor issue with story;
    “it is notable that Morrison spent fully three days campaigning their compared with Morrison’s two”

  4. @FightingTories

    Queensland LNP candidate Phillip Thompson posted vile racist slurs made about Muslims on social media in which he implied he would shoot them news.com.au/national/polit… via @newscomauHQ

  5. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten begin the day in Melbourne before heading to Brisbane.

    Various times
    School students across the country will take part in the latest round of School Strike 4 Climate protests.

    06:30 PM
    Live on Sky News
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will go head-to-head in the Sky News/Courier-Mail People’s Forum.
    Watch the action unfold LIVE from Brisbane on Sky News at 6:30 pm AEST – Foxtel channel 103 & 600, and WIN channels 83 & 53.

  6. It seems Labor must be across where things stand in NSW gicen Shorten hasn’t been troubled to send a lot of time here since the start of the campaign. Maybe he’ll ramp it up in the couple of weeks left.

  7. @Fozzie

    Umm qld Labor has rejected Adani Again not to sure why you back a Liberals if your issue is Adani.

  8. It’s quite sad that the Liberal Party has been infested with extremists. It’s possible to be sane and still believe in conservative causes so what is causing such problems in preselections?

    Is this going to be increasingly a problem as social media becomes more and more polarising and extreme in an attempt to garner likes, retweets etc.

  9. If Morrison keeps losing candidates, surely there must come a time where it would be more ‘efficient’ to simply formally change the Coalition policies on these issues, and welcome all the banned candidates back!

  10. I don’t believe the major issue is not only the posts by the bass candidate but how Morrison is kicking it down the road by referring to feds re ‘doctoring’

    This should be reported


  11. It might be the morning fuzziness but I’m not able to see the gist of Pope’s contribution. Feeling a bit embarrassed.

  12. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Key Nationals MP and Barnaby Joyce ally Michelle Landry says a new-look party room could reinstall the former deputy prime minister as leader regardless of the election result. Heaven forbid! But the fact that McCormack is an absolute dud presents the opportunity.
    Michelle Grattan says Morrison’s difficulty is that while negativity might have served him effectively in the campaign’s early days, even Liberal-leaning commentators are saying there’s not enough of the so-called vision thing for the next term.
    David Crowe on the rise and rise of independents.
    Katharine Murphy reports that Labor will unveil a National Disability Insurance Scheme Future Fund, promising a “locked box” to ensure all funds budgeted to the scheme are directed to the NDIS.
    Latika Bourke tells us that the Liberal Party has said it will refer the allegation of hacking of Jessica Whelan’s social media accounts. I wonder if the investigation will take longer than 18 May to conclude.
    Morrison is standing by Whelan.
    Media and Communications professor, Mark Davis, has written an article about the hard right is gaining ground through networked hatred and new technology.
    The media is starting to turn politics into a reality TV show, with publicity stunts and celebrity culture at the forefront, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson. She certainly has a point.
    David Rowe reveals that likely Senate kingmakers the Centre Alliance party will consider backing Labor’s emissions cuts if the hit to households and the economy won’t be excessive.
    The SMH editorial looks at Won’s speech in Australia’s relations with Asia.
    Sarah Martin says Shorten has flicked the switch to attack mode.
    Phil Coorey writes that while Malcolm Turnbull hightailed it to New York and Tony Abbott is in witness protection, two old foes have come together for Bill Shorten – Rudd and Gillard.
    “Could a homophobic online rant that resulted in a Liberal candidate resigning help get a gay Greens candidate elected to Federal Parliament?”, asks Adam Carey.
    Australia’s cost of living remains low. Greg Jericho explains why we are still feeling the pinch.
    John Wanna poses the $55 million question: what does Clive Palmer actually want?
    Anne Davies reviews yesterday’s Abbott/Steggall debate.
    Scott Morrison went against Treasury advice not to canvass government assistance to an electricity company part-owned by the coal investor and Liberal party donor Trevor St Baker, documents show. There’s a certain smell about this one.
    Peter Strong of the Small Business Council takes issue with Labor’s plan to address the taxing of trusts.
    The Queensland farm lobby AgForce has deleted more than a decade worth of data from a government program that aims to improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef, in response to state government moves to introduce new reef protection laws. Charming!
    NAB chief Philip Chronican has warned that an RBA rate cut would only further squeeze bank margins, profits and lending capacity without doing much to boost the economy.
    Former MSW Coalition education minister, Adrian Piccoli, has applauded Labor’s $10 billion plan to boost wages for childcare workers, saying the investment is “well overdue” and essential to tackle the staff turnover crisis in the sector.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz writes that National Australia Bank’s dividend cut could have been even harsher if the group hadn’t been able to grow its loan books and cut costs.
    According to this researcher young people won’t accept inaction on climate change, and they’ll be voting in droves.
    Apple has just released some ugly numbers, and questions remain over what the future holds for the company.
    How workplace aggression costs a company in many different ways.
    Those great economic and jobs numbers Trump brags about turn out to be just run-of-the-mill. Carter, Reagan Bush I and II plus Clinton all beat Trump.
    Nancy Pelosi has accused Attorney-General William Barr of committing a crime and an influential committee chairman threatened to hold Barr in contempt of Congress.

    Cartoon Corner

    What a fantastic analogy from David Pope!

    And something similar from Jon Kudelka.
    David Rowe at the Archibalds.

    From Matt Golding.

    Mark David and the Nationals’ carparking solution.

    Jim Pavlidis and strange bedfellows.

    Simon Letch – so much for Morrison’s presidential style campaign.

    Zanetti’s in full flight now.

    Glen Le Lievre does not think highly of the election bombardment in TV.

    Sean Leahy readies for tonight’s leaders’ debate in Brisbane.

    From the US.

  13. More on Jessica Whelan post here


    “I care about our safety,”
    “How about we have a referendum on whether or not we close our borders to Muslims? Now that I would vote for!”
    Another post criticised Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor following the shooting death of Australian woman Justine Damond Ruszczyk.

    “He’s a filthy Muslim!”
    Another Facebook comment appears in response to a news story about 200 Iraqi and Syrian refugees settling in the New South Wales town of Armidale.

    “Don’t bloody send them to Tasmania. We don’t want them.”

    The remark was made on a Facebook page titled “Reclaim Australia Rally”.

  14. I find these scare campaigns debilitating.

    The campaign, from unidentified sources, is spreading on social media platform WeChat


    Spoke to a registered carer from a reputable organisation.
    I was gobsmacked when she said it’s Anning all the way.
    Apparently he’s got the guts to say what everyone is thinking. No Muslims, no darkies! She was not for turning. Good grief!
    On another note
    A Greens’ supporter who had in previous discussions thumped the table & screamed the Coalition will never be forgiven SSM & Climate Change.
    Used aggressive foul language against the ALP for their position on negative gearing. Told me she would be voting LNP then preference any other fruit loops to keep the ALP out. Mind you she only has one negatively geared property, which will be grandfathered but hey, there is no reasoning. Feel for her partner who is an active ALP campaigner.

  15. I’m confused. Is it:

    ..”LABOR’S RETIREE TAX!!!”..




    I’m supposed to be scared by?

    I almost pine for the days when it was simpler and easier to be scared. Bring back Tony Abbott’s:

    ..”LABOR’S CARBON TAX!!!!!”..

  16. I’m not sure if this 1,000 one-on-one ‘chats’ is a poll? If it is just Murdoch tabloid subscribers, it would be worse than self selecting polling

  17. Dog’s Breakfast @ #20 Friday, May 3rd, 2019 – 6:51 am

    It might be the morning fuzziness but I’m not able to see the gist of Pope’s contribution. Feeling a bit embarrassed.

    Just substitute the word ‘Climate’ for ‘Nazi’ and remember that doing something about Climate Change now is as important as doing something about the Nazis then. Then remember all the stupid questions Australian journalists have been asking Bill Shorten about doing things about Climate Change because, as a leader, he knows he must, despite the so-called ‘cost’, and there you have it. 🙂

  18. markjs @ #25 Friday, May 3rd, 2019 – 7:04 am

    I’m confused. Is it:

    ..”LABOR’S RETIREE TAX!!!”..




    I’m supposed to be scared by?

    I almost pine for the days when it was simpler and easier to be scared. Bring back Tony Abbott’s:

    ..”LABOR’S CARBON TAX!!!!!”..

    Don’t worry, think about it this way, the Coalition have gone from 3 word slogans, to 3 letter slogans/scares…TAX!

  19. Meanwhile in the United National Party../

    By Michael Koziol
    May 3, 2019 — 12.00am
    Key Nationals MP and Barnaby Joyce ally Michelle Landry says a new-look party room could reinstall the former deputy prime minister as leader regardless of the election result.

    Meanwhile, her colleague Keith Pitt lashed out at Nationals leader Michael McCormack for contentious remarks that the National Party’s policies “closely aligned” with One Nation.


  20. ltep: “It’s quite sad that the Liberal Party has been infested with extremists. It’s possible to be sane and still believe in conservative causes so what is causing such problems in preselections?”

    I believe that this trend has a number of causes, the most significant being the disengagement of the bulk of people under 50 from all forms of community organisations (clubs, political parties, charities, etc). In the case of the Liberal Party, this has led to its membership becoming increasingly dominated by two groups: the over 65s and a cadre of younger people who are ideologically-driven and, as we now appear to be seeing, not infrequently holding extreme views on some issues.

    It’s rather weird that, while the Coalition still appears to have a realistic shot at retaining government, the Liberal and National parties look to be in a very bad organisational state: insufficient campaign funds, woefully inadequate vetting of candidates, etc.

    It’s not a good situation for the health of the Australian political system as a whole.

  21. How much of a glass jaw does Abbott have? After all the shit he’s associated himself with over th years, he cries foul at some similar posters directed at him.

    Get in the bin, champ.

  22. And might I just say that the TAX! Scare is just Neoliberalism Redux. They are just trying to brainwash people that ‘Tax is bad! M’ok?’ When it isn’t. You need a reasonable level of taxation to enable a society to function effectively and equitably. Eliminating taxes is a step on the road to Anarchy and a brutal sort of Neo Darwinism. All of which we should resist very, very strongly indeed.

  23. Dog’s Breakfast

    Pope just posing ‘what if’ Churchill took the same approach to the nazis as the Coalition (and Mordor Media) has to the threat posed by Climate Change. How would that have turned out ?

  24. They better put that David Pope cartoon on Talking Pictures this week or they can justifiably be accused of running away from the truth on Insiders.

    poroti @ #35 Friday, May 3rd, 2019 – 7:18 am

    Dog’s Breakfast

    Pope just posing ‘what if’ Churchill took the same approach to the nazis as the Coalition (and Mordor Media) has to the threat posed by Climate Change.

    No it’s not. It’s what if the media and journalists took the same approach to the threat of Nazism and Churchill as they have to the threat of Climate Change and Bill Shorten here in Australia now.

  25. Frank Weisel: “Perhaps the government thinks that a tax is the best form of defence.”

    — Yes, Minister.

  26. C@tmomma

    Nah, Churchill has their approach and so the question is asked what would have happened if he had been like the Coalition/Murdoch.

    Well for a start NewsCorp would be readying a welcome for ‘our new overlords’ and extol their hard line against ‘criminals’ and ‘johnny foreigner’ 🙁

  27. Tristo @ #42 Friday, May 3rd, 2019 – 5:29 am

    I would argue why the Coalition is competitive in the opinion polls at the moment

    Is because a lot of people who would vote happily for Labor, have a lot to lose from Labor’s proposed Franking Dividends and especially negative gearing reform proposals.

    I’d argue that it’s because a lot of people get their information from the MSM which is heavily biased towards the Coalition.

  28. C@t & BK..

    ..my point is that the Coalition has taken a ‘scatter-gun’ approach to its scare-campaigning this election..

    ..it was clear in 2013 with Abbott’s “Carbon Tax” scare. And again in 2016 with Labor’s “Mediscare”..

    ..I suspect the Coalition was set to go the full: “BOATS!!! …BOATS!!!! …BOATS!!!!!!” this election, but the Christchurch tragedy put the kibosh on that one, and they haven’t been able to work up a replacement..

    ..Peta Credlin pointed out recently that their “Carbon Tax” scare took about six months of mind-numbing repetition + umpteen SSO’s before it really began to bite..

    ..Coalition has effectively f#%ked-up their main attack strategy..

  29. Bevan Shields
    Breaking: Jessica Whelan axed as the Liberal candidate for Lyons #auspol #ausvotes

  30. Dog’s Breakfast says:
    Friday, May 3, 2019 at 6:51 am

    It might be the morning fuzziness but I’m not able to see the gist of Pope’s contribution. Feeling a bit embarrassed.


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