Election minus eight days

A tight race in Cowper, mixed messages from Reid, and an intriguing surge of Labor enthusiasm about Leichhardt.

A sense has taken hold in the news media in the past week that the wind has swung in Labor’s favour (and also in the betting markets). Beyond that though, seat-level intelligence on the parties’ reading of the situation has been rather thin on the ground. The exceptions that prove the rule:

Andrew Clennell of The Australian reports the Nationals’ tracking polling has it at 50-50 in Cowper, where sitting Nationals member Luke Hartsuyker is retiring and independent Rob Oakeshott looks competitive or better. However, the Nationals expect to hold out in Page, where their margin over Labor is 2.3%.

• The above report also related that the Liberals are not optimistic about Reid and Gilmore, suggesting by omission that they feel better about Robertson and Banks. However, a profile of Reid in The Australian yesterday by Greg Brown cited Liberal sources saying their polling had them 51-49 ahead.

• According to Aimos Aikman in The Australian, phone polling conducted by “estranged Country Liberal Party operative James Lantry” had Labor leading 53-47 in Solomon.

• No link available, but Brisbane’s Sunday Mail reported Labor was “increasingly confident” about Leichhardt, “where it is winning support over its environmental plans and long-term MP Warren Entsch is being targeted as past his use-by date”. The impression was reinforced by Bill Shorten’s visit to the electorate yesterday to launch a “renewable energy zone” for far north Queensland, despite the seat not having featured much in earlier commentary on potential Labor gains.

Also today: another instalment of Seat du jour, today looking at the Sydney seat of Banks.

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.

961 comments on “Election minus eight days”

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  1. Lev Lafayette
    Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 1:14 am
    The Deadly Serious Party! I was a “junior jurno” in 6PR radio in ’83 and my report was on the DSP. I recall that their policies included a special fund for one-legged seagulls and the replacement of the Defense force with white flags.
    Sounds like they had more sense than most parties.

  2. “If I muse on anything political other than winning the election, it is the defeat of Tony Abbott”

    I’m punting for the trifecta – Abbott, Dutton, Joyce.

  3. “PaulTu says:
    Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 1:19 am
    In many cases where Lab and LNP get 2 seats each (but don’t have a competitive remainder for a third) the Greens get the fifth Senate seat, often on the back of the redistribution of the last remaining Labor candidate. The redistribution of the excess Greens vote can determine which minor party gets the sixth spot. If you don’t give preferences beyond Labor and the Greens then you don’t have a say in the number 6 selection.”

    A real life example as evidence for my statement above. In 2013 (the latest half senate election), in SA, Don Farrell (Lab) was excluded at count 32. His prefernces got Sarah Hanson-Young elected to the 4th senate spot. That left 3 in contention for the last 2 senate seats – Liberal, Nick Xenophon Team and Family First. Bob Day (FF) got the 5th spot and Simon Birmingham (Lib) beat NXT for the last spot.

    If you had only preferenced Labour and Greens candidates your votes would have exhausted after SHY was elected and you would have had no say in the last two senators elected.

  4. 200k+ Labor voters trusted that voting 1 above the line for Penny Wong’s list in SA in 2013 was the best way to support Labor. Unfortunately Labor’s group voting ticket preferred Bob Day and Simon Birmingham (who never supported Penny when she was against government legislation) over Stirling Griff who would have at least prevaricated for a while. The Greens also preferred Bob Day, but as least they recognised their folly and voted to scrap group voting tickets.

    Counts 33 and 34. After electing SHY, those ALP and Green votes were significant in blocking Griff.

  5. “Re: brett says:
    Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 5:04 am”

    Thankfully group voting tickets are gone.

    HTV cards may also have problems if they only go 1 to 6 above the line and largely suggest very minor parties in that list who are likely to be excluded very early.

  6. Catching up on the day in politics in Oz.

    I was idly looking at twitter, and noted some strong concerns / rumours that New Limited is about to drop a “smut” smear on Shorten, probably on what is now today (Saturday) in Australia.

    However, I think the Newscorp over-reach on Anne Shorten may blunt that attack – we shall see.

    This line of attack would make sense as it seems as though Morrison will be doing his launch on Sunday as some sort of Trump rally, with a friendly crowd, and cries of “Lock him up”.

    My best guess is it will not work, but expect a short-term hit in Newspoll, for a day or two.

  7. The Deadly Serious Party was a political party that stood candidates in Australian elections in the 1980s. Its platform included dispatching a flock of killer penguins to protect Australia’s coastline from Argentine invasion, an age freeze, and the appointment of silly people to all the portfolios that matter. It was deregistered effective 2 November 1988 for not having the required 500 members.

    Ah, so that’s who they were. I remember seeing “killer penguins” on a discarded leaflet back in the day, and thought they were a bunch of loonies.

  8. Group tickets may have been abolished but there was a question above along the lines of “am I stupid if I blindly follow the Labor HTV card?”

    To which the answer is of course, if you were to do so and preferenced Bob Day and Liberals after railing against them for years as the devil incarnate then yes, you clearly are.

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