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”

Comments Page 1 of 20
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  1. Thanks for the update William, and for your analysis of Banks. My (very tenuous) intel on the ground in Banks says that this will be a difficult seat to win for Labor, because of a relatively Big C Christian population in the seat, who will favour Morrison.

    Cameron Murphy not being able to get up in the (somewhat contiguous?) NSW state seat of East Hills despite the previous Liberal member, Glen Brookes, being forced to resign from the Liberal party during his term for breaching campaign finance laws, supports this supposition.

  2. I can’t imagine the northern territory seats would be easy to poll, although that would be a bigger issue with Lingiari.

    Still these entrails are not too concerning for Labor, only just over a week to go!

  3. Morning all 🙂

    Anyone have any idea why punters have committed to Labor so strongly? Just overall vibe or bills performance in the debates? Seems strange for such a big commitment without and new polling to suggest somethings changed

    PS: fear not c@tmumma I never engage in internet fights.

  4. Form Bonn, the city of Beethoven (well one of the cities), I can give you my anecdotal account of the elections for the European Parliament here.

    Firstly, as far as I can tell (it is not totally obvious), Germany elects 96 members using a proportional representation system. This makes a difference to the campaign.

    The Greens are concentrating solely on the environment, with posters about building a consensus (bauen) to protect the environment.

    The Socialist left are very supportive of Europe for all, and really want to keep the EU together (at least 4 different parties).

    The Christian Democrats and the DFP (Deutche Frie Party) a little right of centre from my calibration, probably are very much in favour of the EU, but are not as upfront in saying it.

    The DKP (Deutch Kommunist Partie) are totally barking mad. I walked past a poster today saying EU = Krieg! We need to be free to be friends with Russia! How these nutters think Russia is anything like communist today addles my brain.

    There is no obvious far right presence.

    One thing that did make me smile was when I was walking to the shops in the centre of Bonn, and young man held out a pamphlet to me. My answer was “Ich bin Australian”. He immediately switched to fluent English, and asked my what I thought of Brexit. My answer was “The Brits are totally barking mad”. I then mentioned that I has some skin in the game, as I am also an Irish citizen. He was then very keen, and asked if I could vote. I had to explain that I could not unfortunately, not meeting residence requirements.

    I missed the name of the party he was handing out for, but he proudly told me that he was from the “Young Socialists”, and they are determined to mobilise the youth of Germany to take an interest in politics.

    I also suspect he is of middle Eastern background, and so the multiculturalism that the EU so proudly supports is really important to him (and me I might add).

    On Saturday I will go back to find the name of the party, and a bit more about them.

    So bizzarre to me that “The Left” in Britain learns towards Brexit, when the left in Europe is desperately fighting to keep the EU together.

  5. I’d imagine it’s the overall vibe, and the fact the polls aren’t narrowing enough at this late stage of the campaign.

  6. Interesting front pages today

    Canberra Times

    All leading with what appears to be the full drop of Labor’s costings + pitch to younger (ie under 40) voters + fast rail redux.

    The SmearStralian
    Murdoch gutter press

    Either don’t have the drop, or are ignoring it. Instead we get this tosh:

  7. Alpine Blizzard,

    From the previous blog, here is my (paranoid) answer to Itep when they pointed out that the betting odds often get it wrong.

    My succeeding comment was:

    Yep, especially if one of our billionaires has a lazy million to spend on convincing people that Labor are home and hosed, and there is no especial need to hand out for party /go out of your way to vote / donate money to party.

    Hope this is not the case, but we still have 9 days to go, and the polls have narrowed.

  8. From the look of things, Morrison is trying on a Menzies “forgotten people” routine atm. (He calls them the quiet people). So, he visits those CWA strongholds talking to pensioners and superannuants re-inforcing their concerns about losing their tax rebates and negative gearing always with that smirk.

    When Morrison was first appointed PM turned up at that meeting in Wodonga presenting himself as the re-incarnation of Menzies and the Menzies dream.

    I’m guessing that in the absence of previous PMs and other political notables, then Morrison will be running his Election Launch as a folksy revival meeting where he preaches to the converted about the righteousness of the Morrison brand of Liberalism with heavy emphasis on his mother, his wife and his children.

    There won’t be any policy. Just the vibe.

    Everyone should prepare for a schmaltz overdose

  9. I didn’t say they often get it wrong, just that they have in the past. They usually get it right when the result is as expected and wrong when it’s a surprise result. Which isn’t that useful in terms of a predictive device!

  10. Douglas and Milko,
    Itep will only make you doubt. He constantly retails the refrain that Labor will throw the election away or enthusiasm will wain. He’s been on that tip since he turned up again. It’s like a siren call. Tune it out.

    Can I just say, as someone on the ground in a marginal seat, that we have more volunteers turning up than we know what to do with and at least 2 to 1 cf the Liberals. Everyone is enthusiastic, committed and doing all we can to make sure Labor wins. 🙂

  11. D&M,

    How are things in Germany and the city of the 18th century Harry Stiles? My wife is heading to Hamburg for work next week. Is it warming up over there?

  12. Phillip Coorey
    Phillip Coorey
    Political Editor
    May 10, 2019 — 12.00am

    Labor will promise a budget surplus more than twice the size of the Coalition’s within four years when it releases official policy costings that will show its proposed tax increases will raise $154 billion over 10 years.

    The costings will also assume that $200 billion will have to be paid in income tax cuts to “working Australians” between 2023-24 and the end of the decade to stop the amount of revenue collected from taxes exceeding 24.3 per cent of the economy.

    The costings, to be released on Friday, are arguably Labor’s most important announcement of the election campaign.

    They will detail how much Labor will raise from its tax changes, how much it will spend on its policy promises, and how much of that revenue will be used to boost surpluses and pay down debt.
    Prepared by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), they will be outlined in Canberra on Friday by shadow treasurer Chris Bowen and opposition finance spokesman Jim Chalmers.

    The costings will show that Labor’s tax plans, which include ending cash refunds for excess franking credits, cracking down on trusts, a three-year increase to the top marginal tax rate, and curbing negative gearing and capital gains tax deductions for future investments, will raise $154 billion over 10 years.

    The government has been claiming taxes would be $387 billion higher under Labor but that figure, calculated by Treasury, includes the $230 billion cost of the Coalition’s long-term stage two and three income tax cuts which Labor does not support.

    Without the $230 billion, the number is $157 billion, almost identical to the $154 billion PBO estimate of the revenue Labor expects to raise.

    Labor’s costings will forecast that if it wins the election, the budget will be back in surplus in 2019-20, the same time as the government plans to be back in surplus.

    But surpluses under Labor will be higher each year onwards and, in 2022-23, will reach 1 per cent of GDP, or about $23 billion. This is more than twice the Coaltion’s budget forecast of a $9.2 billion surplus in 2022-23, which is 0.4 per cent of GDP.

  13. Labor costings project a surplus double the size of Coalition’s by 2022

    Parliamentary budget office estimates reveal Labor has about $200bn to spend on tax cuts beyond forward estimates.

    Labor will better the government’s planned surpluses and have a $200bn war chest to spend on further tax cuts over the next decade, costings to be released on Friday will show.

    As Labor seeks to demonstrate its economic credibility and counter Coalition claims about the risk of a change of government, the party will on Friday reveal projections for a surplus more than twice as large as the Coalition’s by 2022, with its tax crackdown to raise $154bn over the decade.

    The opposition’s pledge to achieve a surplus of 1% of GDP by 2022-23 suggests the party will post a surplus of about $22bn at the end of the forward estimates, compared with the $9.2bn forecast by the Coalition in this year’s budget.


  14. Douglas and Milko @ #2 Friday, May 10th, 2019 – 6:00 am

    Thanks for the update William, and for your analysis of Banks. My (very tenuous) intel on the ground in Banks says that this will be a difficult seat to win for Labor, because of a relatively Big C Christian population in the seat, who will favour Morrison.

    Cameron Murphy not being able to get up in the (somewhat contiguous?) NSW state seat of East Hills despite the previous Liberal member, Glen Brookes, being forced to resign from the Liberal party during his term for breaching campaign finance laws, supports this supposition.

    1. Cameron Murphy very nearly won East Hills, again, despite the concerted attacks, again, directed his way by the Liberal Party.

    2. Not all Christians are of the Evangelical type.

    3. You may have missed that Bill Shorten is a Catholic. He goes to Mass. He prays. I think that makes him a Christian too. Just the better sort who follows the teachings of Jesus and not the Prosperity ‘Gospel’ like Morrison. Which is bad, very, very bad, for this country as a whole if implemented as policy for the nation.

  15. Holden

    The Guardian has the drop – wonder why Murdoch grubby organs don’t? They have to rely on stale 2nd tier scare campaigns.

    For example, Murdoch’s running dog the WestAustralian has an EV story on the front page, saying that some EV cars ‘will take 5 days to fully charge’ – if you rely solely on a certain solar panel config

  16. Here’s the money quote from Phil Coorey:

    The government has been claiming taxes would be $387 billion higher under Labor but that figure, calculated by Treasury, includes the $230 billion cost of the Coalition’s long-term stage two and three income tax cuts which Labor does not support.

    Without the $230 billion, the number is $157 billion, almost identical to the $154 billion PBO estimate of the revenue Labor expects to raise.

    Scott Morrison. He lies. He lies and lies and lies. 🙂

  17. Campaign
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison will begin his campaign day in Rockhampton. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will begin his day in Cairns.

    10:30 AM (approx)
    Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and Shadow Finance Minister Jim Chalmers will release Labor’s policy costings in Canberra.

    Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to respond to Labor’s policy costings in Melbourne.

  18. Whatever happen to the promises of Australians being $55o better off in electricity prices under the libs/nats

  19. GG

    I’m guessing that in the absence of previous PMs and other political notables, then Morrison will be running his Election Launch as a folksy revival meeting where he preaches to the converted about the righteousness of the Morrison brand of Liberalism with heavy emphasis on his mother, his wife and his children.

    I fear you are correct. And it will play well with the “feeling” rather than “thinking” demographic.

    I was very disappointed with the exchange between Guy Rundle and Fr Rod Bower from today’s Crikey (my day, still Thursday here):

    Guy Rundle: Speaking of the other side, how do you relate to a form of belief like Scott Morrison’s?

    RB: Well per se, I’m not going to judge anyone’s way into faith. But I think the Pentecostal attachment to prosperity theology, I’ve got no time for that.

    GR: Prosperity theology, the God-will-guide-you-to-deserved-riches, that doesn’t strike me as Morrison’s thing. I think his faith his genuine, I admire it about him, but it’s still a Sky-God, big daddy sort of thing. And I presume that’s not yours.

    RB: [Long pause] The simplest way to say it is: the best way to be religious is to follow the living example of Jesus.

    GR is Guy Rundle, and RB is Rob Bowers.

    I want to come back to
    “GR: Prosperity theology, the God-will-guide-you-to-deserved-riches, that doesn’t strike me as Morrison’s thing. I think his faith his genuine, I admire it about him, but it’s still a Sky-God, big daddy sort of thing. And I presume that’s not yours.”

    Rundle admits in the article that he does not know much about religion, but to assume that Morrison does not believe in the prosperity gospel, because his “faith is genuine” means that Guy has no understanding of where the Horizon Church and Hillsong (sister churches) are really coming from. They have strong faith, and believe that God will grant them special favours, because they are saved.

    I know, I have been to the churches, and have friends who are believers. Ex-family who gave me books on Pentecostalism as a Christmas present, which I read when I ran out of anything else.

    If Guy or anyone else thinks that Pentecostal churches are benign, and do not see as their prime directive to bring Christ’s Kingdom to Earth, then he is surprisingly naive.

  20. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    According to David Crowe the Labor leader has promised to fix the inequities that punish the young if he takes power at the election, as he accused the Morrison government of presiding over a policy “wasteland” for the next generation.
    And Peter Hartcher chimes in by saying why next week’s election is partly a contest between the generations.
    Adam Carey reports that Labor has promised to spend $1 billion buying land between Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane to build a future high-speed rail link.
    David Crowe writes that one of Morrison’s biggest problems in this campaign: he is the man who has to defend the status quo. On every issue, not only wages and working conditions, he must tell Australians everything is going swimmingly, at the same time he tells them he can make it even better.
    Phil Coorey says that Liberal MPs are angry at The Daily Telegraph, believing its story may be the turning point in the campaign. Certainly, the campaign body language indicates a shift in momentum towards Labor.
    And Jennifer Hewett opines that Scott Morrison needed to clearly be a much, much better campaigner than Bill Shorten. He’s not. And being good is just not good enough given the Coalition’s starting point
    The SMH editorial explains how economic uncertainty is making the election choice harder.
    The AFR says that Labor will promise a $23 billion surplus, more than twice the Coalition’s $9 billion, and its costings imply $200 billion in tax cuts, as a result of its plans to close loopholes for the so-called top end of town.
    Here’s Sarah Martin’s take on the costings Labor will announce today.
    Scott Morrison has “100 per cent” ruled out tax cuts for larger businesses in the next term of Parliament in the face of a new scare campaign from the Labor Party to be run through the final days of the election.
    After a long phoney war in which both major parties struggled to gain momentum, we saw a decisive break in the campaign this week. Labor’s campaign has gathered strength. In contrast, the wheels are falling off for the Coalition, writes Ben Eltham.
    According to the AFR business is anxious about a likely Labor government due to uncertainty over its union-friendly industrial relations agenda and a high emissions reduction goal.
    Jennifer Duke reports that there are claims that the government influenced the ACCC’ decision on TPG-Vodafone in order to shield the NBN.
    Nicole Hasham tells us that the Morrison government plans to slash $150 million from the Home Affairs staff budget, prompting fears the national security agency intends to axe thousands of workers. The department confirmed the spending cut was due to “ceasing measures” but would not say what parts of its operations would be discontinued.
    Waleed Aly has some thoughts on why Bill Shorten’s mum might swing this election.
    Michelle Grattan says Bill Shorten’s moment of “connection” brings back memories of Beaconsfield.
    Tony Koch says he worked for News Corp papers for years and how all he sees is shameful bias.
    The Liberal Party and radical Right-wing nexus charged up a cog this week promoting a yarn about the “crossbench” in the Senate killing off any Labor Government reform program. Lee Duffield says the scheme being splashed in Right-wing news services draws a longbow — it supposes voters are as worked up about the intricacies of politics as certain media are and it predicts that the “crossbench” they want is the one that gets elected on 18 May.
    The RBA will cut interest rates as soon as the election is out of the way, according to fund managers at Ellerston Global Macro who say markets have “totally misinterpreted” Tuesday’s decision.
    Eryk Bagshaw writes that the Coalition has solicited foreign donations after introducing new laws banning them.
    Pfftt! And there goes another candidate.
    And Clive Palmer is proving to be just as astute as Pauline Hanson when it comes to picking candidates!
    Michael Pascoe writes that the Reserve Bank’s decision to leave official interest rates unchanged is understandable. But also perplexing and rather sad. It’s a triumph of hope over experience, an indication the RBA still preferences economic theory over real-world experience, he says.
    Dave Donovan’s contribution today is headlined “PM Clown-boy and his travelling circus: Ten reasons why the show must not go on.”
    Mismanagement of the Murray Darling Basin has now reached such farcical proportions, it’s hard not to be reminded of Mark Twain’s edict “Truth is Stranger than Fiction”. How did this level of ineptitude, cock-ups, rorts and cronyism flourish unchecked for so long? Triskele examines the many angles of the Watergate scandal and reports.
    Patrick Hatch with more on the fraught franchising scene.
    Retailers are attempting to avoid a margin squeeze from higher wages by tightening rosters and cutting costs in stores.
    This is quite an interesting article on what makes a bad manager.
    John Elder explains that millions of people are walking around thinking they have Alzheimer’s disease – and they don’t. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good news story. What they have instead is a newly diagnosed form of dementia that mimics the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but is caused by a different mechanism in the brain.
    Trump said yesterday that the United States would raise tariffs on $US200 billion ($286 billion) of worth of Chinese goods on Friday morning (local time) and begin the process to tax nearly all of China’s imports as he accused Beijing of trying to “renegotiate” a trade deal.
    The US Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed the President’s son Donald Trump jnr to answer questions about his contacts with Russia, two congressional sources say. The panel wants to question Mr Trump jnr about testimony he gave in September 2017 that was subsequently contradicted in public testimony by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, one of the sources said.
    Trump’s America. Will it ever recover?
    The anti-choice movement has taken a sadistic turn in Georgia, where a new abortion ban, called HB 481, has just been signed by Governor Brian Kemp. Signed into law this Tuesday and due to take effect in 2020, the bill effectively bans abortion outright, declares foetuses to be persons with full legal rights and protections, and imposes prison sentences for women found guilty of aborting or attempting to abort their pregnancies.
    At last! The AFL Footy Show has been axed just eight episodes into its new incarnation, Channel Nine announced late last night.
    Here’s a nomination for a new award – “Idiot of the Week” and it goes to this vegan couple whose ignorant fanaticism has severely damaged their baby child.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe with Trump’s constitutional worries.

    David Pope on our erstwhile Environment Minister.

    Nice work from Cathy Wilcox.

    John Shakespeare and a particular ex-PM.

    From the ever-productive and much appreciated Matt Golding.

    Jim Pavlidis with another dig at Melissa Price.

    Simon Letch contrasts the two campaigns.

    Zanetti directs his scorn at the royals.

    Jon Kudelka and the dirt units.

    From the US

  21. Burgey,

    How are things in Germany and the city of the 18th century Harry Stiles? My wife is heading to Hamburg for work next week. Is it warming up over there?

    It is absolutely freezing, significantly below average temperatures for May. However, it will probably warm up next week, after a predicted freezing weekend (2C – 9C). a lot worse in winter obviously, but weird for this time of year.

  22. @sprocket
    Gotta laugh when looking at your image of the DT. Big headline about Scomo cutting power costs by 25% but where’s the article? Page 7, for dog’s sake!

  23. You can set your electoral cycle clock by the high speed rail announcements every three years. And I say that as an Albo volunteer!

  24. C@t,

    I am not as negative as I may seem from the posts. Just war gaming.

    I actually feel that this week has been a turning point for Labor, and we will get over the line.

    I am in Bonn, but still organising things at home. We have spontaneously had a few new branch members join in the last few days, who are keen to hand out. People are taking notice this election.

    The big surprise is my previously apolitical daughter, who decided off her own bat to join the ALP after she contrasted the ALP and Coalition policies on domestic violence support.

    She has decided the ALP is the best party for her, as she intends to develop evidence-based policy to put forward at branch meetings and conference, and is prepared for the long haul.

    She has now taken over a lot of my role in the local branch. She has proudly told her fellow millennial friends, and they have been uniformly positive.

    Anecdotal, but still heartening.

  25. I’m in Cowper. I was chatting to a mate last night – he’s a Norco dairy farmer, bang in the middle of the Nats demographic, and the sort who wouldn’t vote for the Greens and their farm-invading mates, or “wasteful” Labor in a pink fit. He’s not what you’d call a swinging voter, and had never heard of the Labor candidate, who’s run a reasonably visible campaign. He reckons Oakeshott got more done as an Independent for Lyne than any Nat ever got done for Cowper, and is sounds like he’s pretty much decided to vote for him. Nats definitely in trouble if they’re losing someone so firmly in their base.

    Our chat was as we were driving through Page electorate, so we also had a bit of a chat about Kevin Hogan. He’s got his HTV taken out as a big ad in the local paper, and for a guy who went to sit on the crossbench because he thought the extreme right were hijacking the Coalition, he sure has an interesting Senate HTV: Coalition 1, then Fred Nile at 2, Clive at 3, then the LibDems, and Bernardi’s mob. Sure, that’s probably come down from head office, but it’s a bad look for a supposed moderate. I don’t spend enough time in Page to get a feel for how it’s going there, but it only needs a small swing, and I wouldn’t write it off by any means.

  26. Thanks BK! On WB’s comments at the top of the thread, given all the comments on a previous thread about the cone of silence around internal polling, you’d wonder if the info about party polling for Cowper, Banks, Solomon has any value. It’s obviously what the people releasing the info want others to believe. The vibe of the campaign has certainly changed, and the DT disgrace feels like a turning point. We’ll have to wait for the next round of national polls to see how reliable the vibe is. And then we won’t have long to wait for the ultimate test of the vibe on tomorrow week.

  27. Scott

    Whatever happen to the promises of Australians being $55o better off in electricity prices under the libs/nats

    They declared it “delivered” years ago. In true bullshit artiste style they reckoned your electricity bill would have been $550 higher under Labor and so promise delivered.

  28. Not a useful observation for anyone else, but for the first time in his life (50yo) my Brother is voting Labor (Wide Bay), he bemoaned the poor choices with Palmer, Anning and Hansons party making up half the ballot.

  29. Chalmers is doing a better job than Wong as shadow finance minister. Treasury tore her costings to shreds in 2013.

  30. Douglas and Milko

    Thanks for the update from Germany. Is there no local presence of AfD (Alternative für Deutschland)? Their message doesn’t sell as well in the old “West Germany” – but go to the old East, especially around Dresden and you will find they have picked up a lot of the vote by appealing particularly to young unemployed and disenfranchised young men (sound familiar?). In the last general election they actually won I think three individual seats in that area and overall did significantly better in the five states of the old East Germany.

    As regards the Liberal Party launch I think you are right – and you have me picturing one of those Revivalist Hall meetings, with Morrison leading the audience/congregation and finishing each sentence with phrases like “And we will save our franking credits won’t we?” with the enraptured masses, arms in the air, responding “Yes!”. Actually sounds like a bit of a nightmnare, so I’m glad I won’t be watching. Ceratinly seems like all Liberal former PM’s are going to be absent (unles they wheel out Howard as a surprise guest like some sort of election miracle worker from the past).

    Hope your weather improves – and hope especially that your morning on Samstag, 18. Mai dawns bright and stays filled with that subtle German spring sunshine as you follow the news from Australia.

  31. It occurs to me that the unspecified, costed at $200 billion, future tax cuts give Labor a hell of a lot of leverage to negotiate with CA and other cross benchers in the senate to get its plans to curtail tax expenditures and concessions passed: my sense is that there will be a Keating like grand bargain: tax cuts to the head line rates of income tax (pitched towards the middle and lower classes first and foremost) in return for the closing down of various tax black holes. 1984 it was FBT and CGT, in 2019 it will be franking credit cashbacks, superannuation tax shelters, CGT concessions & hopefully beyond that in time things like means testing the private health care rebate (if not abolishing it outright), the diesel fuel rebate, proven boondoggles like the 150% R&D deduction, novated private cars. Also a proper MRRT and ultimately – probably in 3-5 years a price on carbon.

    With the budget back in black, with surpluses in the order of 1% of GNP there is also political latitude for the government to borrow to fund a surge in infrastructure and tie that to a jobs plan to employ long term unemployed and shift them off Newstart – give these people hope: perhaps for the first time ever. Australia has largely been deficits to fund recurrent spending. If the surplus is $25billion per year then the government could borrow an equivalent amount each year and over say 20 years convert that approx $500 billion accumulated debt into an equivalent sized infrastructure investment in the future.

    Now I’m sure that young Nicholas and everybody else that has drunk the MMT cool aid will scream NOOOOOO!!! Just print more money, but politically at least folk expect the government to ‘pay its own way’ and expect balanced budgets over the economic cycle. Also ‘debt’ doesn’t equal ‘deficit’ and I think it political saleable to keep debt at current levels to find infrastructure: in fact that’s the most sensible way to fund big infrastructure. Anyway, need another coffee: I might be more comprehensible after mor caffeine.

  32. Thanks, Douglas and Milko, for your reply. It’s just a bit hard to parse a response as either wargaming or defeatism when you have the rounds of grapeshot pinging past your head, the smell of cordite in the air and the fog of war all around you. 🙂

    Good to hear about your daughter, and, in general, it is so invigorating to us political old timers to see the awakening political consciousness of the Millennial generation at this election. As I’ve been saying to Labor and Liberal volunteers and voters alike, democracy is important and it is a beautiful thing, as is Australia’s now virtually unique Compulsory Voting system, and to a man, woman and young Australian, of whatever gender they choose, they all agree with me.

    Enjoy Deutschland in the Spring but I hope you return to the political spring of a new federal Labor government. 🙂

  33. I wonder (and its the hope talking…) if the swings on the betting market are because some internal party polling is starting to seep out into a slightly broader, but still in the loop, audience, but it hasn’t moved out into the wider world. One way to make sense of the betting moves and what WB identified as a curious silence from the parties on their polling is that, well, the swing is on like Donkey Kong: Both sides have an incentive to keep a lid on this: ALP are holding it together to not cruel the pitch, and the Libs don’t want to destroy the faith of the faithful.

    Well, its a theory…

  34. Alpine blizzard

    There will always be a % of punters that are privy to private polling, and big bets and market movements might be because of this. Impossible to prove though.

  35. ‘Prison is the only answer’ if Don Trump Jr. defies Senate Intel subpoena: Democratic senator

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is fully prepared to jail President Donald Trump’s son Don Jr.

    In a series of remarks to reporters Thursday, Blumenthal noted that the younger Trump lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 when asked about the Trump Tower meeting.

    “I’ve said repeatedly that his answers to the questions and I watched him, were smart-alecky, untruthful, and misleading,” Fox News reporters cited him saying. “So I want to hear about what the truth is”

    “If he fails to comply with a lawful subpoena, he has no privilege, prison is the only answer,” Blumenthal said.


  36. Cat
    “Scott Morrison. He lies. He lies and lies and lies. ”

    Yes he does. As Barnaby would say “liar, liar, liar, liar, liar”.

    The high speed rail is far from our highest transport priority but it should be protected now and if it wins votes for Labor great. At least under Labor the route will not be a Cooks tour of marginal rural subdivisions in NSW country towns.

  37. “Is access to internal polling and then placing bets technically insider trading?”

    very difficult to police.
    I have said it many times, politics betting should be stopped .
    And I aint no wowser

  38. IoM I don’t know but I suspect if the betting agencies detected large bets being placed by party operatives they would be rejected to limit their losses.

    I was looking through a 2016 election betting guide the other day and they did pretty well at a seat level.

  39. Soc,
    I have turned Barnaby’s, ‘Labor! Labor! Labor! Labor! Labor!’ into a shout out to voters at the doors of the Pre Poll. The Liberals don’t like it at all. 😀

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