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. imacca @ #1599 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 7:09 pm

    Sad to see the level of RWNutbaggery on the Australian over Folau.

    Seems that this is one of those pointless bullshit issues that the “free speech” and “freedom of religion” culture warriors are grabbing with glee. Morriscum and his happy clappers will use this to run their religious freedom distraction bill and its a gift to them.

    Why do they think that religious belief justifies being a homophobic dickhead? Really, they think actual God is actually as intolerant an arsehole as they are??

    And for someone with his assets to go begging for other people to finance a problem he went to some lengths to create is simply pathetic. The grub wants to put other peoples money where his mouth is.

    The Christian extremists now have hold of both Liberal and Labor.

    We know Morrison and the hard right are ok with hate speech and since the election we’ve now learned Labor has fallen into line as well.

  2. Rex Douglas @ #1600 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 7:14 pm

    imacca @ #1599 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 7:09 pm

    Sad to see the level of RWNutbaggery on the Australian over Folau.

    Seems that this is one of those pointless bullshit issues that the “free speech” and “freedom of religion” culture warriors are grabbing with glee. Morriscum and his happy clappers will use this to run their religious freedom distraction bill and its a gift to them.

    Why do they think that religious belief justifies being a homophobic dickhead? Really, they think actual God is actually as intolerant an arsehole as they are??

    And for someone with his assets to go begging for other people to finance a problem he went to some lengths to create is simply pathetic. The grub wants to put other peoples money where his mouth is.

    The Christian extremists now have hold of both Liberal and Labor.

    We know Morrison and the hard right are ok with hate speech and since the election we’ve now learned Labor has fallen into line as well.

    What a load of simplistic nonsense as far as Labor is concerned, Rex Douglas.

  3. C@tmomma @ #1603 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 7:19 pm

    Rex Douglas @ #1600 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 7:14 pm

    imacca @ #1599 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 7:09 pm

    Sad to see the level of RWNutbaggery on the Australian over Folau.

    Seems that this is one of those pointless bullshit issues that the “free speech” and “freedom of religion” culture warriors are grabbing with glee. Morriscum and his happy clappers will use this to run their religious freedom distraction bill and its a gift to them.

    Why do they think that religious belief justifies being a homophobic dickhead? Really, they think actual God is actually as intolerant an arsehole as they are??

    And for someone with his assets to go begging for other people to finance a problem he went to some lengths to create is simply pathetic. The grub wants to put other peoples money where his mouth is.

    The Christian extremists now have hold of both Liberal and Labor.

    We know Morrison and the hard right are ok with hate speech and since the election we’ve now learned Labor has fallen into line as well.

    What a load of simplistic nonsense as far as Labor is concerned, Rex Douglas.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/this-is-what-multiculturalism-looks-like-labor-frontbencher-stephen-jones-backs-folau-stance/news-story/d5e1c81ee69b8a6492bd40bfd72a905c

    Labor frontbencher Stephen Jones has slammed the Australian Rugby Union and the GoFundMe campaign site for their handling of the Israel Folau saga, declaring his religious views are “what multiculturalism looks like”…

  4. Labors capitulation on hate speech began with the dolt Chris Bowen after the election.

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6161268/labor-urged-to-include-people-of-faith/?cs=14231

    Many Australians of faith believe Labor does not care about them and the party must address the sentiment urgently, frontbencher Chris Bowen believes.

    Mr Bowen has highlighted the perceptions of Labor among religious people while bowing out of the race for the party’s leadership, saying it had been part of his motivation for running.

    “I have noticed as I have been around during the election campaign and even in the days since … how often it has been raised with me that people of faith no longer feel that progressive politics cares about them,” he told reporters in Sydney.

    “These are people with a social conscience, who want to be included in the progressive movement.

    “We need to tackle this urgently. I think this is an issue from the federal election that we haven’t yet focused on.”

    The comments come after the Australian Christian Lobby hailed the coalition’s election victory on the weekend as a win for religious freedom…

  5. No, Rex, you said this —

    ‘Labors capitulation on hate speech began with the dolt Chris Bowen after the election.’

    …and then provide a quote which has nothing whatsoever to do with hate speech.

  6. Well Folau violated the conditions under the contract he signed with Rugby Australia, therefore this is a matter of contract law.

    Although the question to me, is wither or not of a quoting of a certain verse of the New Testament, that saying certain groups are going to send to hell after they die, can be considered hate speech.

    I personally support strict hate crime (which includes speech) laws and if what Folau said on social media can be considered a hate crime, then he should face the legal consquences.

  7. If there is a God and that God’s views are accurately recorded in the scriptures then a lot of us will end up in hell. I doubt if Satan will care all that much if we are straight or gay.

  8. adrian

    I like the way he snarks at Labor for requiring MPs to toe the party line, and then snarks at individual Labor MPs when they say something that doesn’t toe the party line…

  9. We must protect against terrorists disguised as bananas.

    Seriously, this seems to be mindless overkill. However with Dutton and his zealots in charge what else can we expect?

    Organisers of a banana festival in northern New South Wales say the cost of implementing new anti-terror ‘hostile vehicle’ measures mean they have had to cancel their annual street parade.

    The Tweed Valley Banana Festival at Murwillumbah has been held for 64 years, with the parade of floats through the town considered by many locals a festival highlight.

    Festival co-coordinator Carol Mudge said for the first time, police have told organisers to implement hostile vehicle mitigation measures, aimed at stopping terrorists from ploughing into the parade’s spectators.

    Ms Mudge said the festival could not afford the $10,000 it would cost to meet the requirements which involved installing barriers.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-26/how-anti-terror-rules-shut-down-banana-festival-street-parade/11245390

  10. Well its overkill until someone, of whatever persuasion, decides to drive their truck down the footpath. Then it becomes police negligence

  11. Kate
    says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 7:58 pm
    Well said Davidwh – from a halfwit
    ______________________________
    Ohh! What wouldn’t I give to be spat at in the face! I sometimes hang awake at night dreaming of being spat at in the face.

  12. So you automatically associate Christianity with ‘hate speech’.

    No, I think the Australian Christian Lobby did that all by themselves

  13. oakeshott Country says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 8:03 pm
    Well its overkill until someone, of whatever persuasion, decides to drive their truck down the footpath. Then it becomes police negligence

    Without wanting to trivialise the issue, these sorts of parades have decorated floats interspersed with people walking or marching. In fact, having crash barriers lining the route would pose a deadly danger to people marching in the parade as they would be trapped should a vehicle driver be a terrorist.

  14. Josh Bornstein from law firm Maurice Blackburn is saying he doesn’t see how Israel Folau’s case could possibly cost $ 3 million. He doesn’t know why the Australian Christian Lobby has set a fundraising target of $ 3 million. Josh Bornstein reckons the case could comfortably be run for $ 300,000 to $ 400,000. He says it will cost less than this if the case is settled, which often happens in this type of case.
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/jun/26/israel-folau-acl-australian-christian-lobbys-fundraising-sparks-complaints-to-watchdog

    I wonder if the Australian Christian Lobby are allowed to keep any left-over money.

    It’s worth noting that Israel Folau’s net worth is $ 7 million.

    It is crass of him to be crowd funding this self-inflicted and completely avoidable expense.

  15. Sorry Citizen I didn’t realise you had better intelligence than the NSW Police (nothing to do with Dutton btw) which were implementing, according to the article, the agreed policy of the Australian-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee.

    I guess the New Zealand government didn’t ban military weapons because, you know, we are just a quiet little backwater

  16. Nicholas @ #1631 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 8:23 pm

    Josh Bornstein from law firm Maurice Blackburn is saying he doesn’t see how Israel Folau’s case could possibly cost $ 3 million. He doesn’t know why the Australian Christian Lobby has set a fundraising target of $ 3 million. Josh Bornstein reckons the case could comfortably be run for $ 300,000 to $ 400,000. He says it will cost less than this if the case is settled, which often happens in this type of case.
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/jun/26/israel-folau-acl-australian-christian-lobbys-fundraising-sparks-complaints-to-watchdog

    I wonder if the Australian Christian Lobby are allowed to keep any left-over money.

    It’s worth noting that Israel Folau’s net worth is $ 7 million.

    It is crass of him to be crowd funding this self-inflicted and completely avoidable expense.

    It bigger than Folau. It’s a further breakdown of society in that Christian extremists and their hate speech have the backing of Liberal and Labor under the guise of ‘free speech’ and ‘multiculturalism’.

  17. Australian Christian Lobby is a world away from the casual Anglicanism & Presbyterianism of my youth and Methodism of my father’s education

    ACL seems to be American Southern Baptist or Billy Graham Evangelical Crusades of the 1960s

  18. ‘oakeshott Country says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Well its overkill until someone, of whatever persuasion, decides to drive their truck down the footpath. Then it becomes police negligence’

    There’s the rub. Our attitude to risk management is stuffed. We should nominate the current rate as an acceptable base rate. That would be, say, two plough ins per, say, 10,000 community crowd events.

    Instead of stopping the events because of crippling costs and instead of spending hundreds of millions on temporary bollards and the like, we accept the probability that there will be a couple of plough ins.

    The cost of this risk management approach are all pervasive: from no longer being able to give birth in country hospitals to an ever-increasing mass of signs that no-one bothers looking at. The local bridge in our erstwhile country locality has something like 20 signs.

  19. Boerwar @ #1629 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 6:21 pm

    DG
    Yes. No life whatsover.

    We’ll never know. Furthermore it won’t be our concern either.

    Seriously though it all depends on how all life became extinct. Nuclear war? Climate change? Collision with an asteroid, comet or other heavenly body? Depletion of natural resources (water, arable soil, etc.), other event(s)?

    What happens next is dependent on which of these, or other outcomes causes the extinction. The planet itself will still continue its orbit around Sol once every 365.25 days I’d imagine, although I could be wRONg on that.

  20. BW
    Perhaps so but it is driven by a blame culture and litigation. The local Police Commanders career would be over if he ignored stated policy and there was even one non-fatal injury

    On the other hand the increased risk aversion that has occurred in Medicine in the last 40 years that I have been involved has saved many lives, There is now a strong safety and quality culture – when I was an intern we literally buried our mistakes and only rarely were questions asked.

  21. Well I just finished reading ‘The Morrison Election’ by Richard Denniss in The Monthly and he makes some very salient points about what lost Labor the election, where they lost it and why. Also where they did well and why. He also puts numbers behind his assertions.

    Firstly, Denniss makes the point that Labor actually won the election on 2PP in a majority of States and Territories. Just not in WA and Queensland (which likely explains briefly’s warped perspective). 11/16 seats in WA and 23/30 seats in Queensland. Most of them coming from UAP and PHON preferences flowing 90% to the Coalition.

    Also, as Richard Denniss points out, Labor suffered from being too broadly appealing. That is, their support was broad-based but that just didn’t translate into seats and the Coalition won seats because their support was concentrated into winnable seats, which they duly won, with the support of UAP and PHON.

    There is also a candid comment included in the piece from Clive Palmer post election and Richard Denniss must have been diligent to dig it up because I haven’t detected a peep out of Palmer. Palmer pretty forthrightly says: “We thought that (a Shorten Labor government) would be a disaster for Australia so we decided to polarise the electorate and we thought we’d put what advertising we had left…into explaining to the people what Shorten’s economic plans were for the country and how they needed to be worried about them…90% of UAP preferences flowed to the Liberal Party and they won by about 2%, so our vote has got them across the line.”

    Finally, Denniss makes the claim that Labor’s famed ground game has finally been matched by the Coalition, via inroads into ethnic communities and the support the churches gave the Liberals.

    He then makes the case that Labor’s policies were broadly supported and they shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, policy wise, but just tweak them and, mainly, explain them better because he thought that Labor fell for the fiscally responsible trap laid by the Liberals, when, post Trump, fiscal responsibility is so passe with the electorate.

  22. It’s quite obvious that the economy fails to demand as much labour as is supplied to the economy. This has been the general rule in capitalist economies, looking back over several centuries. The period of post-war expansion has now been replaced by the long stagnation, now in progress since at least the late 1980s.

    I suppose this is what Marx was trying to investigate. His prediction that mass unemployment would prevail appeared to have been negated by the successes of social democracy in the period from around 1948 until the election of Thatcher and Reagan and the imposition of a high-real-interest-rate regime by the US Federal Reserve. Since that time, full employment has no longer been a goal of policy and unemployment has become endemic in most industrial economies. Maybe Marx was right about the labour market – that the economy, left to itself, would necessarily produce a surplus labour force. The phase of social democratic expansion and full employment job looks to have been anomalous – to have been only temporary and unusual in the longer context.

    Another way to look at this is to consider our experiences of market saturation in this country. The labour market is saturated – that is, it is over-supplied with respect to available labour demand. Product markets are also saturated, as is the debt market, which is probably now super-saturated. The labour market has been saturated for most of the last 30 years, in spite of various efforts to expand demand.

    Saturated markets exhibit price repression/deflation and then the retarding of new demand. This is certainly what we have been seeing in this economy. Prices for all kinds of goods, services, production inputs, including labour and finance, have been falling and a contractionary cycle is developing. Marx also predicted this.

    We are seeing progressively more intense exploitation of the workforce, measured in wage repression, insecurity of work, marginal attachment to work, loss of work and rejection by the market of working people, right across the age and skill spectrums. Marx predicted this.

    The key forecast made was that crisis would be inevitable in capitalism. This appears to be quite right. This is in contrast to the classical market economists, for whom crisis is a theoretical impossibility.

    We should consider whether we have a crisis; whether it’s inevitable; and what the political implications are.

  23. Yeah, I’m not too convinced that Palmer painting himself as a strategic genius after the election should be taken at face value – I mean, the man’s not going to say that he’s a brilliant businessman but just p*ssed tens of millions of dollars up the wall.

  24. ‘oakeshott Country says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    BW
    Perhaps so but it is driven by a blame culture and litigation. The local Police Commanders career would be over if he ignored stated policy and there was even one non-fatal injury

    On the other hand the increased risk aversion that has occurred in Medicine in the last 40 years that I have been involved has saved many lives, There is now a strong safety and quality culture – when I was an intern we literally buried our mistakes and only rarely were questions asked.’

    Both reasonable points, IMO. The question is whether we are crippling ourselves by way of systemic arse covering.

  25. zoomster says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    Dan

    Currently re reading the John Wyndham books. He wiped out the earth’s population in several quite inventive ways!

    _________________________
    The Earth Abides by George Stewart will always be a favorite of mine. Although there are a few scattered humans running about.

  26. Thanks for that summary of the Denniss article C@t. Is there a link?

    Finally, Denniss makes the claim that Labor’s famed ground game has finally been matched by the Coalition, via inroads into ethnic communities and the support the churches gave the Liberals.

    I’m also inclined to believe that all those reports stating the dire finances of the Liberals were also over-egged. Yes Palmer’s advertising helped, but they seemed to be able to do just fine campaign-wise in marginal seats even having to devote resources to safe seats like Warringah and Higgins.

  27. One of the consequences of Palmer’s spend on Sinophobia is that is has worked.
    The most recent figures on our national attitudes to China has shown a marked deterioration in the levels of trust.

  28. zoomster @ #1639 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 8:50 pm

    Yeah, I’m not too convinced that Palmer painting himself as a strategic genius after the election should be taken at face value – I mean, the man’s not going to say that he’s a brilliant businessman but just p*ssed tens of millions of dollars up the wall.

    Did his preferences go 90% to the LNP or not? Someone doing something made that happen. You may not believe it was Palmer but he has been around politics a very long time. Queensland politics. Since Joh. So he’s probably learned a few things about feeding the sheeples what they want to eat, before leading the lambs to slaughter.

  29. Boerwar @ #1643 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 8:56 pm

    One of the consequences of Palmer’s spend on Sinophobia is that is has worked.
    The most recent figures on our national attitudes to China has shown a marked deterioration in the levels of trust.

    The Coalition, in order to get at Labor, have also contributed to it. Though they played a double game with the Chinese-Australian community as well.

  30. “zoomster says:
    Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 8:50 pm
    Yeah, I’m not too convinced that Palmer painting himself as a strategic genius after the election should be taken at face value – I mean, the man’s not going to say that he’s a brilliant businessman but just p*ssed tens of millions of dollars up the wall.”

    Since he delivered so many votes to the LNP he probably intends to call in a few favours over the next three years.

  31. Boerwar @ #1645 Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 6:56 pm

    One of the consequences of Palmer’s spend on Sinophobia is that is has worked.
    The most recent figures on our national attitudes to China has shown a marked deterioration in the levels of trust.

    I was listening to that reported on ABC radio this morning, and straight away thought of Palmer and his overblown rhetoric on China.

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