An institute you can disparage

A poll for the Institute of Public Affairs shows mixed views on the ABC, but it may be showing its age. Also featured: updates on by-elections in the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Way back between December 6 and 8, an online poll of 1016 respondents was conducted by Dynata for the Institute of Public Affairs covering myriad issues, results of which have been apportioned out piecemeal ever since. The latest serving seeks to counter the consistent finding of other pollsters that the nation’s most trusted news organisation is the ABC. The results have naturally been received with skepticism in some quarters, although asking respondents if they feel the ABC “does not represent the views of ordinary Australians” only seems dubious in that it’s framed in the negative for no clear reason. The poll found 30% in agreement with the proposition versus 32% who disagreed, leaving 38% on the fence.

The result has been elevated to a vote of no confidence in the organisation by Coalition Senator James McGrath (who I suspect might be surprised if he learned how many of its critics are on the left), while a News Corp report seizes on the result for the 18-24 age cohort to suggest the ABC has lost the esteem of the young. The latter overlooks a sub-sample size that would imply an error margin upwards of 10%. The survey period also predated the worst of the bushfires, which have presumably been good for the broadcaster’s public image. Previous results from the survey have covered the date for Australia Day, local councils making political statements and the powers of unelected bureaucrats and removing references to race from the Constitution.

Some news on state (and territory) affairs, including updates on two of the three by-election campaigns currently in progress, guides to which can be accessed on the sidebar:

• The Northern Territory by-election for the northern Darwin seat of Johnston will be held on February 29, an unwelcome development for Michael Gunner’s struggling Labor government ahead an election on August 22. Much attention was focused on the Greens’ decision to put Labor last on its how-to-vote cards, but it may also prove consequential that the Country Liberals have Labor ahead of the Territory Alliance, the new party formed by former CLP Chief Minister Terry Mills. The party’s candidate, Steven Klose, has been boosted by suggestions the party could emerge as the official opposition if it wins the seat, since it would have three seats to the Country Liberals’ two if Mills is joined by Klose and Jeff Collins, an ex-Labor independent who says he is a “50-50 chance” of joining the party. Tune in to the blog on Saturday for live results reporting with more bells and whistles than you might think the occasion properly demands.

• Labor’s candidate for Queensland’s Bundamba by-election will be Lance McCallum, a former Electrical Trades Union official and current executive director of the Just Transition Group, a government body to help energy workers whose jobs might be lost amid the transition to renewables. Michael McKenna of The Australian ($) reports McCallum was nominated unopposed after winning the endorsement of the Left, to which the seat is reserved under factional arrangements. A rival candidate for the Left faction’s ballot, Nick Thompson, had the backing of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, whose state secretary Michael Ravbar has disputed the legitimacy of the result. The only other known candidate is Sharon Bell of One Nation, who was the party’s federal candidate in Blair last year. No word on a Liberal National Party candidate, but The Australian reports the party is “expected to run”, despite the 21.6% Labor margin. Nominations close on Tuesday.

• A Tasmanian parliamentary committee report has recommended restoring the state’s House of Assembly to 35 seats, from which it was cut to 25 in 1998. Each of the state’s five electoral divisions have returned five members under the Hare-Clark proportional representation system, compared with seven seats previously. An all-party agreement was previously in place to do this in 2010 and 2011, before the then Liberal opposition under Will Hodgman withdrew support as a riposte to government budget cuts. No recommendations have been made in relation to the Legislative Council, which was cut from 19 to 15 in 1998, except insofar as the committee considered the possibility of it have dedicated indigenous seats.

Also, note below this one the latest guest post from Adrian Beaumont, covering recent developments involving the nationalist Sinn Finn party in Ireland and the far right Alternative fur Deutschland in Germany, along with yet another election in Israel.

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.

1,556 comments on “An institute you can disparage”

  1. Mexicanbeemer @ #1548 Monday, March 2nd, 2020 – 10:38 pm

    The Republicans have already said they will be impeaching Biden if he is elected President.

    That’s a poor strategy; for it to happen you need to have President Biden first.

    Also they’re not going to have a majority in the House, let alone two-thirds of the Senate. And it’s not like they won’t carry on about impeaching whomever the Dems put up. So who cares what they say they’ll do? The Democrats certainly shouldn’t.

  2. ar

    But but but a Sanders win will mean lower voter turnout.
    Especially down ballot. It’s the Biden campaign argument.

    Unlike the Biden campaign I think the Nate Silvers 538 model is right about the odds.

    Sanders winning the nomination is 1
    Brokered Convention two
    Biden win 3

  3. I remember when Adelaide lost the racing car Formula 1 Grand Prix to Victoria. We had it for its first 10 years and for most of us it was a party. Street circuit, associated knees-ups, side festivals, black and white checks theme parties and bbqs, watching the pollution settle, food drink, a big street party. Which is how it happens down here. The teams thought they were in paradise, btw. Hotels in the cbd right next to the track and all the city could offer.

    So the Vics stole the race and we were outraged and disappointed. But SA decided to replace it with a number of different events. The big one ended up as the Tour Down Under, road cycle race. It is the first of the season and so has shorter less gruelling stages leading into the years competitions. People flock to it, we get international tv coverage and we have public rides along the routes of the stages.

    Now we see the Vics with a boring curcuit F1 race, with dwindling appeal and costing bigger subsidies.

    The Vics have been stretching out their sticky paws for the TDU, starting with an offer of a shared stage along the Great Ocean Road, but SA has the cleaver out to chop off any fingers getting too close.

    Cars going around on circle tracks is somewhat boring.

    To my dismay, this year I am missing the International Kite Festival held every year along Semaphore Beach.

  4. Help please. I have a global warming denier son. (hides head in paper bag.) quite bright, never went to uni, reads sciency stuff. gone all anti since going up bush.

    I am trying to bring him into the light.

    latest argument. climate is defined as 30 years of data. comparing data, hhmm let me see, “The rate of warming from 1920 to 1970 is identical to the rate of warming from 1980 to 2010” “If a warming trend occurred from 1920-70 before co2 increased, why is the exact same warming from 1970 to 2010 man-made?” “one is totally natural one man made” “The eARTH WARMED EQUALLY BEFORE THE iNDUSTRIAL rEVOLUTION AS IT DID AFTER.”( sorry caps. not rewriting it. )
    I think the last statement is really skewiff because afaik it Eath is still warmimg.

    Anyone got comments and maybe sources, please?

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