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. Bucephalus says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 10:29 am
    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?

    These sectors are not large employers though they have highly concentrated employment in some locations. These locations are not population centres. By themselves, they will not absorb new labour entering the workforce that is already idled.

    We really need to rethink the labour market.

  2. Been away a while, still mourning the opportunity for renewal that Australia rejected the last election.
    Now this:
    “Ultimately the issue for the United States will not be about emotional responses to what China says or does, but rather in its ability to stay on the frontiers of science, the wellspring of future technological development. The federal government is incapable of setting the pace during the dark ages of Trump. It is the decline of scientific thinking, rather than any particular technology, that has made the Trump administration’s policies possible.”
    I can see Australia following this path with the coal loving LNP in charge of our finances.
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/emanuel-pastreich/85320/china-s-belt-and-road-of-science

    So, just as China is ramping up basic science and the US is running from it, we also have a choice.
    The prospects are not really that good.

  3. poroti

    I remember a school friend brought back chocolate coated ants from (I think) Africa after holidays. It’s all cultural. How many Aussies are revolted by liver and kidneys…

  4. Mavis Davis says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 10:21 am
    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 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.

    This confidence is misplaced. The most economically depressed areas in Australia swung firmly to the right. As economic repression spreads, we should expect the appeal of the Far Right will grow.

    There is an assumption that hard times will favour Labor. This is not necessarily so. Hard times in the 1920s and 1930s favoured the Right. They have favoured the Right in the UK and the US. They worked for the Liberals here last month.

    The social democratic/social justice policies of the 20th century and the environmental policies required for the 21st century are being blamed by the Right for economic stagnation. This is working for the Right. Unless we can change this….then we are fucked.

  5. lizzie @ #1210 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 11:02 am

    poroti

    I remember a school friend brought back chocolate coated ants from (I think) Africa after holidays. It’s all cultural. How many Aussies are revolted by liver and kidneys…

    One that I know of – and now I can add chocolate coated ants to my list.

    As for you Poroti posting that photo of Mr. Morrison this morning must count as an egregious act of dastardly ………………..(insert adjective to suit).

    Screen shot (from my phone) of my heart rate from yesterday at the Colonoscopy fun clinic.

    Over. Coffee au lait with mucho sugar is just the bees knees – ☕

  6. Sally McManus and others within the CFMMEU and the union movement have been working behind the scenes for months to remove Setka from his position once the court case was finalised and Setka pleaded guilty. That is still the plan but recent events and interventions have made it harder and more public than McManus would have hoped.

  7. Idle thought: Is this where the expression “not enough lead in his pencil” comes from?

    We don’t even give it the courtesy of a sensible name. “Pencil” is derived from the Latin word “penis” meaning “tail”, because Roman writing brushes were made from tufts of fur from an animal’s tail.

    “Lead pencils” achieve the same effect without needing ink.

    Or, indeed, lead – they actually contain graphite. The idea of graphite on a stick of wood is about 450 years old.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48383050

  8. ‘Bucephalus says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 11:00 am

    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?’

    You are going to have to lift your game considerably. What you are actually interested is trolling any culture war conversation which distracts from the way in which the Coalition is destroying democracy, trashing the economy and wrecking the environment.

    Talk about about being the handmaiden for a pack of vicious, corrupt, inept, venal bastards. Still, your choice, I suppose.

  9. ‘lizzie says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 8:54 am

    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’

    Wages stagnating instead of galloping backwards? Not good enough!

    There are never enough ways for Nath’s, Rex’s and Buchephalus’ mates to screw the poor and the defenseless.

  10. Meanwhile in Trumplandia……

    The special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before Congress next month.

    Mueller agreed to testify before the House judiciary and House permanent select committee on intelligence in an open session on 17 July, the chairmen of the committees announced on Tuesday.

  11. Mueller agrees to testify in public about Russia investigation after House Democrats issue subpoena: report

    On Tuesday evening, CNN reported that former special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify in public about the Russia investigation, following subpoenas from House Democrats.

    “The House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee announced … the special counsel has agreed to appear in public on July 17th in an open session to testify about what he found as a part of his two-year investigation into Russian interference, as well as potential obstruction of justice in the White House,” said CNN reported Manu Raju.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/06/mueller-agrees-to-testify-in-public-about-russia-investigation-after-house-democrats-issue-subpoena-report/

  12. Boerwar

    There are some people whose pronouncements (always said with ‘authority’) I always know in advance that I shall not agree with, and Kate Carnell is one of those.

  13. C@t, at the 2004 election, Labor’s PV, until then the worst since the Great War, was 37.64%. The plurality, including the Green Pref share was above 43%. The Green PV was 7.19%.

    We have lost ground since then….15 years down the pike….

  14. When a society – or large swathes of a society – delights in demonizing prudent regulation and planning as “red tape”, you get problems like structurally unsound apartment buildings, chronic lack of green space in cities and suburbs, lack of recreational facilities and cultural amenities, lack of pedestrian access, lack of safe infrastructure for cyclists, lack of public transport infrastructure, and other major problems.

  15. briefly:

    [‘Hard times in the 1920s and 1930s favoured the Right.’]

    At the height of the Great Depression, Roosevelt won 57% of the popular vote and carried all but six states. Now, I’m not suggesting that the Australian economy is a basket case quite yet, though the RBA is less than discreetly signaling that there’s trouble afoot. Further, it doesn’t necessarily follow that in times economic crisis, the electorate will move to the Right. It just takes a person of the stature of a FDR to lead. I’m confident Albanese is up to the job(?).

  16. lizzie:

    Paul Barratt@phbarratt
    22m22 minutes ago

    Australia open to joining effort against Iran
    We should have no part of this.

    This is a situation entirely of the Americans’ making, and the backstory, going right back to the overthrow of the elected government in 1953, is of US making.

    The history is in fact rather more interesting, and Barratt of all people should know better.

    US policy under Truman was to support the elected government of Iran.
    The British wanted to control Iranian oil, as they had done prior to the war (US already had oil in KSA, of course).
    British attempts to regain control under both Atlee and then Churchill were going nowhere, in part due to US opposition.
    Then Eisenhower is elected POTUS, and whilst he had no particular interest in Iran, he had a very good relationship with Churchill as a result of the shared WWII experience (During the war, Eisenhower was living in London at Claridges for about four years), and as a result Churchill was able to persuade him to change policy. Hoodwinked him into it, in fact.
    Of course the CIA was never gong to let the British win, so they came in and took over the British operation and the rest is history.

    It is false to say the situation is “entirely of the Americans’ making”; initially at least, the principal authors were the British, and Churchill in particular (though if course Churchill was technically half-American…).

  17. lizzie,

    Morrison made it very clear on Monday the IR system was in his sights. Kate Carnell and other business leaders are in lock step with the government to create a union free IR landscape and neuter further the union movement by pushing more draconian legislation through Parliament.

    The MSM and others have been harping on about the lack of agenda of the Morrison government. It has a agenda alright, just one it was not prepared to make public prior to May 18.

  18. booleanbach @ #1402 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 11:01 am

    Been away a while, still mourning the opportunity for renewal that Australia rejected the last election.
    Now this:
    “Ultimately the issue for the United States will not be about emotional responses to what China says or does, but rather in its ability to stay on the frontiers of science, the wellspring of future technological development. The federal government is incapable of setting the pace during the dark ages of Trump. It is the decline of scientific thinking, rather than any particular technology, that has made the Trump administration’s policies possible.”
    I can see Australia following this path with the coal loving LNP in charge of our finances.
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/emanuel-pastreich/85320/china-s-belt-and-road-of-science

    So, just as China is ramping up basic science and the US is running from it, we also have a choice.
    The prospects are not really that good.

    We have a Govt that has relished a gross defunding of the CSIRO and Climate Research when it is the exact opposite of what is needed. Money should be pouring into climate science research, and renewable energies. Turnbull tried to reverse some of the Abbott funding cuts; I’m not sure to what extent he succeeded.

    Science, with the embrace of doubt and hypotheses and the pursuit of truths, has and always will be the bane of religions which rely on certainty to control the uncertain and the fearful. And the more certain, the more they prosper in catering for those plagued by guilt, the currency of fear.

    Give us your money and we can get you out of hell, cos we got a deal with the Judge.

    Seque – the other thing about guilt and fear is the need to find someone ‘badder’ than you, someone God will really want to punish. Hence the recurring need to find unclean women, sexual deviants, and any number of wicked variants of Homo Not Very Sapiens, and remind *them* that hell is for them, and smirking god botherers are saved.

  19. The world is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a report from a UN human rights expert has said.

    Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the impacts of global heating are likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions of people, but also democracy and the rule of law.

    Alston is critical of the “patently inadequate” steps taken by the UN itself, countries, NGOs and businesses, saying they are “entirely disproportionate to the urgency and magnitude of the threat”. His report to the UN human rights council (HRC) concludes: “Human rights might not survive the coming upheaval.”

    The report also condemns Donald Trump for “actively silencing” climate science, and criticises the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, for promising to open up the Amazon rainforest to mining. But Alston said there were also some positive developments, including legal cases against states and fossil fuel companies, the activism of Greta Thunberg and the worldwide school strikes, and Extinction Rebellion.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/25/climate-apartheid-united-nations-expert-says-human-rights-may-not-survive-crisis

  20. E. G. Theodore

    One of the reasons that I enjoy PB is that there is almost always someone who can comment knowledgeably (or argue) about the threads on social media. I have no one else to listen to. 🙂

  21. ItzaDream – thanks for brightening my day.We have two black and tan Kelpies, what wonderful intelligent animals they are! And both rescue dogs.

  22. She’ll be encouraging Morrison to follow Trump into war, then, to give her a higher profile. 🙁

    Christopher Pyne famously declared himself a “fixer”. Now the woman taking over his old job has vowed to go further.

    “It is in my DNA to push projects to be on time and on budget,” the former commercial lawyer told a group of business leaders from the defence sector last night.

    During this year’s election the former environment minister was derided by Labor as an “endangered species” because of her low profile.

    Now the demoted West Australian MP is promising to help deliver “a robust, sustainable and internationally competitive defence industry”.

    “Our plan to invest $200 billion in defence capability, and the introduction of our Defence Industry plans has created and supported thousands of Australian jobs,” Ms Price told the AI Group Defence Council national executive dinner.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-26/melissa-price-dubs-herself-deliverer-replacing-fixer-chris-pyne/11246264

  23. I have confidence in Anthony Albanese’s authenticity. I think he can convince the public of a narrative. The question is what kind of narrative will he tell?

    No matter what Labor says or does, the LNP and most of the media will portray Labor as untrustworthy on the economy.

    So the smart strategic play is to go big – to present an inspiring, compelling, detailed set of plans for full employment, lifting the minimum wage from $19.49 per hour to $25 per hour, free universal primary dental care, free public transport nationwide, big increases in scientific research and development – and present these plans as a necessary investment in our future. The perilous economic conditions make these programs urgent. Labor will be lambasted as big spenders no matter what they do, so they may as well embrace that and propose big plans and get the credit for being imaginative.

  24. ‘EGT
    It is false to say the situation is “entirely of the Americans’ making”; initially at least, the principal authors were the British, and Churchill in particular (though if course Churchill was technically half-American…).’

    ‘entirely’… yeah, nah.

    The Persians and then the Iranians had a bit, and are having a bit, to do with it as well. There was no absolute need for the Persians to employ SAVAK etc, thereby creating the preconditions for the success of the Ayatollahs. There is no absolute need for the Iranians to be such active state sponsors of terror, for example. Nor is there an absolute need for the Iranian state to be a working theocracy only mildly mediated by democratic forms.

  25. So the smart strategic play is to go big – to present an inspiring, compelling, detailed set of plans for full employment, lifting the minimum wage from $19.49 per hour to $25 per hour, free universal primary dental care, free public transport nationwide, big increases in scientific research and development
    _____________________________________
    minimum wage-tick
    free universal dental – tick
    free public transport nationwide- disagree. plenty of wealthy public transport users in inner Melb.
    R&D- tick

  26. Mavis, during the Depression Australians voted for the Right. Our local, contemporary experience is the Right will find a way to exploit economic hardship to promote their agenda. They are already doing it. They are winning quite convincingly with it.

    The Right will create unemployment in order to further their agenda. They are already doing that too.

  27. C@tmomma says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 10:22 am

    …”Not Sure,
    Who made you the blog monitor droog?”…

    It was merely a suggestion.
    And one for which I had little expectation you would heed.

    But I shall try again,

    You are not a victim, rather you are the bully. Bullies always do what you do, and then complain that others are mistreating them, it is a classic behaviour.

    You are the primary reason this blog has degenerated into a tedious and boring waste of time.

    It is also particularly telling that most of those who you seek out to insult, denegrate and abuse (especially the newer posters) are the ones who actually liven the place up.

    Things would be vastly improved if you took it upon yourself to simply depart.

  28. Yes, fully costed. But there is so much unused capacity in the economy at present that there will be no need for any offsets (tax increases or spending cuts).

    We only need offsets if the economy is running hot.

    I would not propose any controversial tax increases or spending cuts at all for the first term. They are not needed and they are not worth the risk.

    Just focus on high quality spending plans that enhance the public purpose.

  29. Our plan to invest $200 billion in defence capability

    For the same money, they could install 20kW of solar panels on every house in Australia.

    Or since 10kW is plenty for most homes and a lot of people already have panels up, they could bring every house in Australia up to 10kW and give everyone 13.5kWh in battery storage.

    “Defence capability” is expensive rubbish.

  30. haha.

    Talking about policy for poor folks as if the thieves are going to share their loot!

    Absolutely NOTHING that any of these charlatans has said since the election is inconsistent with increasing the wealth gap, growing the Underclass, trashing our democracy, and wrecking the environment.
    They are corrupt, venal, incompetent fraudsters.

  31. I heard some fabulous music last night, original music that combines traditional Persian instruments and musical forms with contemporary jazz instruments and idioms. The performers were the Kohesia Ensemble, led by Kate Pass. This is exquisite music. Absolutely brilliant.

    I was lucky enough to get to chat with a couple of the Persian musicians, who live, work, study and practice here in Perth.

    I can hardly think of anything more idiotic and depraved than going to war with Iran.

  32. Australia voted for the right in 1931 mainly because the Scullin government was more of a circus than Whitlam with splits to both the left and right

  33. @Nicholas

    That sort of agenda you argued Labor should adopt, would I predict would rally many Millennial and Generation Z voters. Also they would be happy to join and/or actively campaign and hustle in the hundreds of thousands. That would counter a very hostile campaign by the commerical media and any mass disinformation campaign which would be waged against Labor.

  34. I can hardly think of anything more idiotic and depraved than going to war with Iran.
    _________________________________
    Iran’s potential nuclear weapons are an issue but I wouldn’t mind a bit of regime change there. I’m sure about half of the Iranians would agree.

  35. This is no doubt rather early to be thinking of such things, but the date of the next Federal election is quite possibly closer than we think.

    The last election was, obviously, 18th May, 2019, and Parliament is likely to sit at some point in the next month or so – let’s say by 1st August. This means that the latest the next House election can take place is 1st October, 2022 (which conveniently is a Saturday). Of course, the next House election will be much before that, not least because a half-Senate election must be held by mid-May, 2022 (21st May probably the last possible date).

    However, it’s worth remembering that this year’s election was particularly late, and required the Budget to moved to early April. Taking Easter and school holidays into account, this suggests that the latest the next election will be held would be in early March – say, 12th March.

    Personally, I think that’s a good time to hold elections, given the soporific effect that summer has in Australia (ie, the whole country switches off at Christmas to go to the beach until after Australia Day). It allows governments the chance to govern until the end of the previous year, without being unduly distracted by feverish election speculation, which, when the election is due at the end of the year, tends to run all year.

    For all that, Coalition governments have traditionally preferred their elections in Spring (the last Lib PM to call an election in the autumn was Malcolm Fraser in 1983, and he was the first since Menzies in 1954), which suggests an election in October/ November 2021. Given both Tasmania and South Australia have scheduled elections in the first half of 2022, that seems quite likely to me.

    So, we are only a bit over two years away before we go to the poll again!

  36. briefly says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    “The Right will create unemployment in order to further their agenda. They are already doing that too.”

    During the Howard Government the Unemployment Rate fell from 8.5% in 1996 to 4.4% in 2007.

    During the same period there was record Real Wages Growth.

  37. Not Sure

    We all know that C@t occasionally fires from the hip, but I disagree that she is a bully, as she also apologises when she is wrong. I don’t think that personal remarks about other posters are allowed, except by William. I might be wrong about that, too.

  38. “Iran’s potential nuclear weapons are an issue but I wouldn’t mind a bit of regime change there. I’m sure about half of the Iranians would agree.”

    You maybe right nath, but most Iranians do not want regime change to be brought about by the Great Satan.

  39. I’m having morning coffee at a lunch bar in Wangara, a light industrial area in the north of Perth. About 12,000 people are employed in the small workshops around here but there is enough built space to accomodate about 18,000 workers. There is a lot of idle capacity, a lot of under-employment of capacity. There is also a local charity located in Wangara. Last month they gave out 5,000 food hampers to local families that are unable to feed themselves.

    This is the fruit of Liberal economic policy. Voters In this and neighbouring areas swung clearly to the right last month. They are concerned about jobs, incomes, income security, the cost of living. If they vote for the Right again in the coming State election in the same proportions that they did in May, the McGowan Government will be easily defeated.

    Those of us on the Left-of-centre really need to focus on the economic and political imperatives. Somehow the dysfunction in left-of-centre politics and policy needs to be resolved. If we do not do this, we will lose.

  40. Yes, we must bring them the gift of democracy. Whether they want it or not. Because it worked out so well the last time we did that.
    ________________________
    I should amend my statement that I’m not in favour of an invasion. More like international support for an internal movement.

  41. lizzie @ #1444 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 12:25 pm

    Not Sure

    We all know that C@t occasionally fires from the hip, but I disagree that she is a bully, as she also apologises when she is wrong. I don’t think that personal remarks about other posters are allowed, except by William. I might be wrong about that, too.

    It’s a free for all, except when it isn’t.

  42. Boerwar

    Oh but there was a need to unleash SAVAK. To keep the US puppet in power. The yanks would have been full on backing ,training , assisting equipping the blighters.

  43. I know a number of Iranians – lived and worked with them. Brilliant people. Left Iran because the regime is nuts and the country is buggered. Tehran has some of the worst air pollution in the world. They would like to see the regime changed but there isn’t a viable alternative and the hardliners are a very large group and control everything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *