Federal election plus five weeks

An already strong result for government in the Senate may be about to get even better, as Cory Bernardi eyes the exit. And yet more on the great pollster failure.

I had a paywalled article in Crikey on the conclusion of the Senate election result, which among other things had this to say:

The Coalition went into the election with 31 senators out of 76 and comes out with 35 — and may be about to go one better if there is anything behind suggestions that Cory Bernardi is set to rejoin the Liberal Party. That would leave the government needing the support of only three crossbenchers to win contested votes.

That could be achieved with the two votes of the Centre Alliance plus that of Jacqui Lambie, who is newly restored to the Senate after falling victim to the Section 44 imbroglio in late 2017. Lambie appears to be co-operating closely with the Centre Alliance, having long enjoyed a warm relationship with the party’s founder Nick Xenophon.

Such a voting bloc would relieve the Morrison government of the need to dirty its hands in dealing with One Nation — though it could certainly do that any time the Centre Alliance members felt inspired to take liberal positions on such issues as asylum seekers and expansion of the national security state.

Since then, talk of Cory Bernardi rejoining the Liberal Party has moved on to suggestions he will leave parliament altogether, creating a casual vacancy that would stand to be filled by the Liberal Party. Bernardi announced he would deregister his Australian Conservatives party on Thursday following its failure to make an impression at the election, and told Sky News the next day that it “might be best for me to leave parliament in the next six months”, although he also said he was “unresolved”. Paul Starick of The Advertiser reports that sources on both sides of the SA Liberal Party’s factional divide say the front-runner would be Georgina Downer, daughter of the former Foreign Minister and twice-unsuccessful lower house candidate for Mayo. The party’s Senate tickets usually pair moderate and Right faction members in the top two positions, and Downer would take a place for the Right that was filled in 2016 by Bernardi, with the other incumbent up for re-election in 2022 being moderate-aligned Simon Birmingham.

In other news, Simon Jackman and Luke Mansillo of the University of Sydney have posted slides from a detailed conference presentation on the great opinion poll failure. Once you get past the technical detail on the first few slides, this shows trend measures that attempt to ascertain the true underlying position throughout the parliamentary term, based on both polling and the actual results from both 2016 and 2019. This suggests the Coalition had its nose in front in Malcolm Turnbull’s last months, and that Labor only led by around 51-49 after he was dumped. An improving trend for the Coalition began in December and accelerated during the April-May campaign period. Also included is an analysis of pollster herding effects, which were particularly pronounced for the Coalition primary vote during the campaign period. Labor and Greens primary vote readings were more dispersed, in large part due to Ipsos’s pecularity of having low primary votes for Labor (accurately, as it turned out) and high ones for the Greens (rather less so).

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.

1,716 comments on “Federal election plus five weeks”

  1. Lizzie

    Folau gave up on Rugby to play AFL for huge dollars. When it turned out he was a bona fide dud, and could not play the game. He returned to the Rugby fold. He worships money. He ain’t loyal to anything else. The legal action he is embarking on now is to recover lost money and compensation.

  2. @PrisonBlogger

    Five dead in recent weeks in Corrective Services NSW prison system:
    Ho Pan Chan, killed in Silverwater prison
    Ryan Fennell, killed in Silverwater
    ’24 year old man’, overdosed in Kempsey
    Geoffrey Fardell, killed in Kempsey
    Dwayne Johnstone, shot dead by prison guards, Lismore

  3. Ewin Hannan@EwinHannan

    Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell to urge Christian Porter to back a cut to max compensation paid to unfairly sacked workers, changes to allow employers to more easily dismiss staff, and a new non-union agreement stream for small business. @australian

  4. “What we are getting is below average growth from a below average Government.” #auspol #ausecon
    So?

    As long as my side can get elected, I don’t care how Labor or the elitists think.

  5. The man and his 23-month-old daughter lay face down in shallow water along the bank of the Rio Grande, his black shirt hiked up to his chest with the girl’s head tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments.

    The searing photograph of the sad discovery of their bodies on Monday, captured by journalist Julia Le Duc and published by Mexican newspaper La Jornada, highlights the perils faced by mostly Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty and hoping for asylum in the United States.

    According to Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, frustrated because the family from El Salvador was unable to present themselves to U.S. authorities and request asylum, swam across the river on Sunday with his daughter, Valeria.

    He set her on the U.S. bank of the river and started back for his wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, but seeing him move away the girl threw herself into the waters. Martínez returned and was able to grab Valeria, but the current swept them both away.

    https://apnews.com/2f8422c820104d6eaad9b73d939063a9?utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_medium=AP

  6. After decades of rightwing dominance, a transatlantic movement of leftwing economists is building a practical alternative to neoliberalism.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/jun/25/the-new-left-economics-how-a-network-of-thinkers-is-transforming-capitalism

    There is a dawning recognition that a new kind of economy is needed: fairer, more inclusive, less exploitative, less destructive of society and the planet. “We’re in a time when people are much more open to radical economic ideas,” says Michael Jacobs, a former prime ministerial adviser to Gordon Brown. “The voters have revolted against neoliberalism. The international economic institutions – the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund – are recognising its downsides.” Meanwhile, the 2008 financial crisis and the previously unthinkable government interventions that halted it have discredited two central neoliberal orthodoxies: that capitalism cannot fail, and that governments cannot step in to change how the economy works.

    A huge political space has opened up. In Britain and the US, in many ways the most capitalist western countries, and the ones where its problems are starkest, an emerging network of thinkers, activists and politicians has begun to seize this opportunity. They are trying to construct a new kind of leftwing economics: one that addresses the flaws of the 21st-century economy, but which also explains, in practical ways, how future leftwing governments could create a better one.
    :::
    The new leftwing economics wants to see the redistribution of economic power, so that it is held by everyone – just as political power is held by everyone in a healthy democracy. This redistribution of power could involve employees taking ownership of part of every company; or local politicians reshaping their city’s economy to favour local, ethical businesses over large corporations; or national politicians making co-operatives a capitalist norm.

    This “democratic economy” is not some idealistic fantasy: bits of it are already being constructed in Britain and the US. And without this transformation, the new economists argue, the increasing inequality of economic power will soon make democracy itself unworkable.
    :::
    The result, the new economists claim, will be an economy that suits society, rather than – as we have at present – a society subordinated to the economy. The new economics, suggests Berry, isn’t really economics at all. It’s “a new view of the world”.

  7. Nicholas says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 7:29 am
    QE is useless because all it does is swap one asset for another. The non-government sector gives up bonds and the central bank hands over reserves in exchange. The net financial position of the non-government sector does not change at all. Only the composition of the portfolio changes.

    The reason why central banks have dedicated so much attention to QE is that governments refuse to do what is desperately needed: sustained fiscal expansion to achieve full employment and deliver improved public services and infrastructure. So central banks have to manipulate levers that don’t really do anything.

    There is a prior question. Perhaps it’s a few prior questions?

    Why is the level of activity in the global economy what it is, and not at some other level – a higher or lower level?

    The level of activity is obviously not determined by labour supply. If it was there would be no unemployment. However unemployment is very high, taken globally, and the growth rate is too low to use all the labour that’s available. Why is the growth rate so low? Can it be lifted? Is there an to alternative higher growth that will absorb the available labour supply?

    Even in very affluent economies, such as this one, where there is no shortage of capital, where there are very few barriers to business formation and expansion, where despite a long period of decline and stagnation incomes are still high, unemployment is endemic.

    Why is unemployment so persistent?
    Why is endogenous demand for labour inherently less than the endogenous supply?

    There is very obviously persistent market failure in the labour market. Why?

  8. Sprocket_ says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 2:01

    …”I recall when nath first appeared the poor sod was recovering in hospital and had some idle time, and the claim was made that nath would disappear when the convalesce completed”…

    Who fucking nominated you queen of what is said and by whom and when they are permitted to say it?


  9. Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 7:29 am

    QE is useless because all it does is swap one asset for another. The non-government sector gives up bonds and the central bank hands over reserves in exchange. The net financial position of the non-government sector does not change at all. Only the composition of the portfolio changes.

    It puts money that the government has taken out of the economy ( by allowing people to park it in government bonds) and puts it back in. Hardly a waste of time .

  10. C@tmomma says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 6:39 am

    …”I’d really like to know what clem attlee thinks of the truly uncharismatic female Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian. Or is he just another drive-by slagger of Labor”…

    And you might also like to go and have a good hard look at your own behaviour.
    What right do you think you have to bully anyone and everyone who doesn’t conform to your myopic little view of how things should be?

  11. Why is growth in demand for labour so persistently less than growth in the population and its correlate, the labour supply?

    Unemployment has been determining elections in Australia. The political impacts of this economic and social phenomenon cannot be ignored.

  12. because Scott Morrison has wasted no time engaging in a Culture War

    Technically the culture war started before Morrison was re-elected, and it was probably aimed at wedging the (presumed to be) incoming Shorten/Labor government. Ironically it was Shorten at the time who engaged more with the issue, at least feigning concern over Folau’s dismissal. Morrison dismissed it as a straightforward contracts matter, and surprisingly has more or less continued to do so.

    Of course, I’m pretty sure Morrison’s “move along, nothing to see here” noises are just for show (“look at how fair, unbiased, and objective I am; how good is that!”), and that when we get to the pointy end of things he’ll come down hard in favor of adding whatever “religious protections” will make Folau and the RWNJ’s happy.

  13. beguiledagain:

    [‘…Briefly-bashers out there. How many potential voters did you meet and attempt to persuade them to vote Labor? How many front doors did you knock? How much rejection in that process did you risk?’]

    Many others do their bit, in their individual way, including moi. It’s not a matter of bashing briefly: it was/is a request to him to move on from the election result, which he now appears to be doing.

  14. Unemployment is likely to get much worse in Australia. There are no new sources of demand available that could lift the growth rate, except expanded public demand. But the Liberals will not lift public demand. So demand, the growth rate, incomes, consumption and the labour market will be ‘repressed’. There will be spillover effects in savings and in proxies for savings, such as the market for land.

    This is very serious for working people, who must expect their living standards to decline. The political fallout from this has already been felt. It will become more pronounced.

  15. Mavis…..For the remarkably little it is worth, I’m not grieving. I was relieved on the day and remain relieved that the defeat was not much worse. We failed very badly. We let ourselves down. We let the country down. I am very troubled by the difficulties we face. There are very serious problems in the economy and the environment. Labor is in an historically very weak position, and has no clear path back to strength. The Right are ascendant. The Left-of-centre is beset by dysfunction. We have every reason to be concerned for the future.

  16. Why is unemployment so persistent?
    Why is endogenous demand for labour inherently less than the endogenous supply?

    There is very obviously persistent market failure in the labour market. Why?

    The cause of unemployment is always the same: the currency-issuing government isn’t spending enough to create jobs for all who want to work.

    Even at the peaks of the greatest booms in the history of employment relations the private sector has never – NEVER – created jobs for absolutely everybody who wanted work.

    And of course it is a lot worse during downturns.

    The currency-issuing government needs to step up. A Job Guarantee is an absolute necessity. An unconditional offer of minimum wage employment to all who want to work. Lift the minimum wage from $19.49 per hour to $25 per hour. Make the scheme federally funded but locally administered. Make the employers of the scheme not-for-profit organizations: local governments, state governments, NGOs, cooperatives, not-for-profit social enterprises. Allow people to be paid to care for their children, their relatives with disabilities, their elderly relatives. Allow people to be paid for doing the work of planning, developing, launching, and building a small business. Create a vast array of jobs in social and community services, environmental services, artistic and cultural services, and small-scale public works. There is no shortage of useful work for people to do. It will not be difficult to create jobs that are interesting, fulfilling, and socially valuable. We need to be creative and imaginative and positive about this. There is far too much defeatism about the task of creating jobs for people.

  17. I do not consider the Morrison Government to be in a dominant position. They are vulnerable because they are determined to avoid doing the one thing that is desperately needed: to increase the federal government deficit very substantially and to target the extra spending at job creation.

    It looks like the government will muddle through with inadequate fiscal policy, which will allow the chronic unemployment and under-employment to persist.

    Discontent with the government will grow. There is an opportunity here for the Opposition to seize the initiative.

    Jim Chalmers does not inspire confidence. He is economically inept. But if someone else in the Opposition took over the Treasury portfolio and campaigned on full employment, the Opposition would be in a strong position.

  18. C@t @6.35am

    Well after Mr Bowe spoke to you on Monday night, you were reasonable yesterday, but didn’t last long did it.

    You’re back to tricks starting the day with an ad hominem to someone who has an opposing view.

    As it turns out, I have some knowledge of Ms McKay, and it is such that I voted for CM sight unseen, rather than her. IMHO she is in the grade below lightweight ……. featherweight I think it’s called.

  19. Nicholas….I know the issuing Government can do all those things. I agree with most of them in part or all.

    The question is, however, why does the economy almost never absorb the available labour?
    This is another way of explaining why the program you advocate is not only desirable, but is also necessary.

  20. Nicholas @ #1376 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 10:09 am

    I do not regard the Morrison Government as being in a dominant position. They are vulnerable because they are determined to avoid doing the one thing that is desperately needed: to increase the federal government deficit very substantially

    The problem with that analysis is most voters don’t share your “deficit good!” mindset, and neither major party wants any part of it. I’m pretty sure even the minors aren’t picking that one up and running with it. 🙂

  21. Nicholas, the dysfunction on the left-of-centre means the Liberals must be favoured to win any election. The Labor plurality is about 41%. This includes 7-8% from an ostensibly Left party that contrives to defeat Labor in any case. Labor cannot win in these circumstances.

    The Right are winning. The anti-Labor voices now hold 2/3 primary votes. This is the reality.

  22. Jim Chalmers may or may not be economically inept. I don’t yet have enough evidence to judge. But when the comparison is with Morrison and Frydenberg, it gets a bit irrelevant.

  23. @a r

    I believe many who hold currently hold ‘deficit bad’ view, will change to a ‘deficit good if it means more jobs’, if he enter a severe recession or depression and unemployment rises to double digits.

  24. briefly:

    [‘We failed very badly. We let ourselves down. We let the country down.’]

    No argument there. Apart from the tax policies not being prosecuted well, it was Palmer’s preferences, particularly in Queensland, that hurt Labor. I’m not sure if you recall, but well before the election, I suggested that Labor should do something to counter his ubiquitous ads. Yet he was left to promote his lies almost unchallenged, save for his face being superimposed on those of Morrison, Dutton, Turnbull. But all’s not bad. If you add the combined primary vote of Labor and the Greens they well exceed the total Tory vote, with the result that the progressive side of politics is far from the death knell.

    As for the future, Morrison won a presidential-style election, with only a couple of ministers allowed to appear throughout the campaign. But governments only work if they have competent ministers, no better evidenced than by the Hawke ministeries. I anticipate that the Morrison Government to fall on its face among voters fairly quickly, due to the sheer incompetence of its ministers. Yes, it will most likely serve out its term, but with an economy that’s faltering, and with the only fiscal stimulus proposed being tax cuts, I’m confident that come the next election, Labor will be well placed to win.

  25. Victoria says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 8:50 am

    The AFL targeted Folau as part of their GWS strategy. It was worth it just for the publicity. You cannot blame the young player back then going for the amount of money that was on offer.

    I love both codes and don’t hold any resentment against Folau for the decisions he made in relation to either.

  26. Not Sure,
    Who made you the blog monitor droog?

    Nice of you to also call out those who regularly attempt to humiliate me.

    Oh that’s right, you didn’t.

    So excuse me if I just ignore your attempts to also put me back in my box. I don’t take dictation from numpties on the internet.

  27. The question is, however, why does the economy almost never absorb the available labour?

    Profit-seeking firms are only going to hire a person if it is profitable to hire them. It would be pretty amazing – a real fluke – if it just so happened that the entire available workforce could be profitably employed by the profit-seeking private sector and there was no need for a public sector at all. It has never happened. We will always rely on the public sector to ensure that everyone who wants work has work. Currently we allow the public sector to be needlessly small.

    There is a vast amount of potential work that would be immensely valuable if it were done, but nobody can make a profit from doing it, so it will either be done by the public sector or not at all. There is a vast scope to expand the public sector. Sadly the public sector has been denigrated and diminished by neoliberal jibes and ignorant attacks. We need to reclaim the public sector as an instrument of good. We should be proud of the things that the public sector is currently able to do despite the restrictions that are placed on it.

  28. lizzie says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Jim Chalmers may or may not be economically inept. I don’t yet have enough evidence to judge. But when the comparison is with Morrison and Frydenberg, it gets a bit irrelevant.

    He’s a Nobel laureate when placed in that company! 🙂

  29. Lizzie….the Liberals will use high unemployment as a pretext to entirely dismantle the tax and welfare systems and social spending in health, education and other areas. Tight policy suits their goals.

    Labor have to create a new set of themes.

    We’re getting killed on the current ones.

  30. Up to 20 million manufacturing jobs could be lost to robots by 2030, according to a new report by Oxford Economics.

    Key points:
    The report estimates each industrial robot eliminates an average 1.6 manufacturing jobs
    There will be a disproportionate toll on lower-skilled workers and on poorer local economies
    The report suggests governments tackle this by increasing worker training and increasing welfare, including a universal basic income

    CEO and chief economist at Oxford Economics, Adrian Cooper, said, while the rise of robots would boost productivity and economic growth by creating jobs in yet-to-exist industries, existing business models across many sectors would be seriously disrupted.

    “For both people and businesses, the effects of these job losses will vary greatly across countries and regions, with a disproportionate toll on lower-skilled workers and on poorer local economies,” he said.

    “In many places, the impact will aggravate social and economic stresses from unemployment and income inequality in times when increasing political polarisation is already a worrying trend.”

    …But the report found that jobs in less structured environments — and which demand compassion, creativity or social intelligence — were likely to be carried out by humans for decades to come.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-26/sa-among-worst-hit-by-20m-jobs-lost-globally-to-robots/11245092

  31. briefly says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 9:36 am
    “Unemployment is likely to get much worse in Australia. There are no new sources of demand available that could lift the growth rate, except expanded public demand.”

    So, rising iron ore, oil and gas and gold prices will have no impact on those sectors? Rising sheep, beef and wheat prices won’t have any impact in those sectors?

  32. Oh briefly, John Howard plus Family First, plus added to that any other RW party, also had a stonking Primary Vote between them after the 2004 election.

    You do realise what happened at the next federal election don’t you?

  33. ‘Bucephalus says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 9:22 am

    The Charity Watchdog has been asked to look at ACL because..?’

    Bless my socks, Bucephalus, no need to pretend you have an equine IQ!

    The Charity Watchdog has been asked to look at ACL because..?’ in the sense that Jesus Christ would understand it, the ACL is uncharitable.

  34. Folau’s adventure in AFL was just an indicator of the arrogance of the sport’s administrators.
    This is a belief that the only reason that AFL isn’t the world’s number one sport is because the world hasn’t seen it. Put a team in Western Sydney and the locals will flock to it. Wait here’s an idea.. the largest ethnic group in Western Sydney is an assorted group of islanders… if we pay Izzy millions of dollars, we are even more likely to attract the locals
    Folau was quite wise to take the fools’ money, even though Islanders generally are not the thin necked beanstalks who play AFL

    GWS remains a bottomless money pit for the AFL. If you buy petrol in Western Sydney on the Friday before a game you will be offered any number of free tickets

  35. Aussie Rules has demonstrated what a unique game it is.

    It’s very difficult to transition to from another one as the skills required are so different from most others.

    It’s not surprising that the most successful have been those coming from Ireland and a Gaelic football background.

  36. Cultural acceptance may be the key – or starvation.

    Cricket crisps and buffalo worm burgers could be as fashionable as sushi within a decade due to falling prices and a waning “yuck factor”, which analysts believe could push the bug protein market to a value of £6bn by 2030.

    A report has shone a spotlight on a market enjoying bumper growth, with sales increasing by about 25% a year as high-protein, low-calorie bug-based snacks and staples shake off their association with I’m a Celebrity-style bushtucker trials.

    “We see scope for insects to reduce the environmental burden of our food system,” said Emily Morrison, one of the authors of the report by Barclays. “Although there are numerous hurdles to overcome – notably regulation, price and cultural acceptance – we see insects as a viable middle ground for consumers wanting to make their diets more sustainable.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jun/25/insects-tipped-rival-sushi-fashionable-food-of-future?utm_term=Autofeed&CMP=soc_568&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1561508773

  37. Emma O’Sullivan
    @emma_os
    13m13 minutes ago

    CFMMEU boss John Setka has been ordered to pay a fine of $1000 to a family violence prevention legal service, and he must complete a behavioural change program. Magistrate said she took into account his remorse and efforts to seek help through counselling. @10NewsFirst

  38. “We see scope for insects to reduce the environmental burden of our food system,” said Emily Morrison, one of the authors of the report by Barclays. “Although there are numerous hurdles to overcome – notably regulation, price and cultural acceptance – we see insects as a viable middle ground for consumers wanting to make their diets more sustainable.”

    Objectively there’s merit in that idea.

    But also nah. Imma keep eating mostly chickens. The chickens can eat the bugs and worms. 🙂

  39. Boerwar says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I’m actually interested to know on what legal or regulatory grounds there is a problem. Do you know?

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