Pestilential as anything

Democracy battles on in the face of adversity in Queensland and (at least for now) Tasmania, as a poll finds most Australians believe the media is exaggerating the crisis (at least for now).

The campaigns for Queensland’s local government elections and Currumbin and Bundamaba state by-elections next Saturday are proceeding in the most trying of circumstances. My guides to the by-elections can be found on the sidebar; I’ll find something to say about the Brisbane City Council elections, which I have thus far neglected entirely, later this week. Updates:

• The Electoral Commission of Queensland relates that 560,000 postal vote applications have been received for the statewide local government elections, which compares with 260,680 postal votes cast at the previous elections in 2016. However, not all applications will result in completed votes being returned – the conversion rate in Queensland at last year’s federal election was 86.0%. There have also been more than 500,000 pre-poll votes, exceeding the 435,828 cast in 2016 with a week left to go. To those understandably reluctant to turn out on so-called polling day next Saturday, the commission has been expanding opening hours at pre-poll booths. All of which will make the results that come in on Saturday night particularly hard to follow.

• A ban has been imposed on the dissemination of how-to-vote cards and canvassing for votes at polling booths. Booth supervisors may allow the material to be displayed at the booths “in a manner deemed appropriate”.


• An international poll by Ipsos on attitudes to coronavirus finds 34% of Australians strongly agree, and 35% somewhat agree, with closing borders until the virus “is proved to be contained”, which is about average among the twelve nations surveyed. The survey has been conducted over four waves going back to early February, in which time the number of respondents identifying a very high or high threat to them personally has risen from around 10% to 23%. However, Australians recorded among the highest response in favour of the proposition that the media was exaggerating about the virus, which actually increased over the past fortnight from the high forties to 58%. A notable outlier in respect of all questions is Italy, where only 29% now say the media is exaggerating the threat, slumping from around 80%.

• Tasmanian Attorney-General Elise Archer announced this week that May 2 elections for the Legislative Council seats of Huon and Rosevears are “safe to proceed”, with “significant measures being put in place to maintain public safety”.

• A Roy Morgan SMS poll of 974 respondents asked whether respondents trusted or distrusted a list of current and former politicians that included Jacinda Ardern, but was apparently otherwise entirely Australian. All we are given at this stage is a top ten list of the best net performers, which is headed by Jacinda Ardern and otherwise notable for not including a single male conservative. However, this is all pretty useless without hard numbers, which will apparently be forthcoming “in coming days”.

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.

2,185 comments on “Pestilential as anything”

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  1. D and m

    Anything like my grand daughter ask. She has informed her mother that grandpa is her slave. At the moment it is art for her. At that age their love for learning is still strong.

  2. DP

    Love Sky. Saw them in the 80’s at the Perth Concert Hall with special guest Rick Wakeman on keyboards.

    I was at the same show…remember it well!

  3. I don’t believe the we should all “stick together” meme so the Lib/Nat shitheads get away with what they have created over the decades.

    Neo-liberal economics is cooked.

    The Lib/Nat bastards went after the workers, they kicked the shit out of Rudd and the Labor party on the GFC for a decade.

    They wrecked the NBN on Gollum’s direction.

    They went after the votes of bogans by torturing the poor.

    Now the country is rooted they are having an epiphany?

    The Lib/Nats don’t deserve an inch of understanding, I don’t care about the nice prayers article by Murphy, or how hard things are by the rest of the media in Australia.

    They engineered it with their ideology.

    Fuck them.

    Happy to be a union member.

    Sorry for the rant.

  4. Looks like the update for Australia is in on the JHU tracker. 1682 now. Massive jump since yesterday. Our curve is looking a lot like the U.S. curve.



  5. US Fed has promised unlimited QE.

    It might be necessary to keep credit markets functioning, but it will be worth nothing if there is no demand stimulus.

  6. “but it will be worth nothing if there is no demand stimulus.”

    True, but a concept well beyond the LNP brain.

    Still, not to spank then without reason. Timing of funding is pretty critical. No good applying demand side stimulus when everything is shut down and no demand.

    Rather than the bullshit announced so far:

    Right now:

    Increase Newstart permanently by a hundred and fifty or so a week. Relax mutual obligation completely for the duration.

    Lose your job / casual hours cut…straight on the increased Newstart. Payments to the affected person not business.

    Substantial loan guarantees from Govt to the banks for loans to tide over business for a few months.

    REpayment / interest pauses on mortgages.

    A bit later as lockdowns are relaxed and there is the potential for demand to come back.

    Direct cash to all households $1-2k. Biased towards mid/lower income earners.

    Business investment incentives / fast asset write down.
    Something BER like to provide jobs now, and some long term investment in infrastructure while borrowing is so cheap.
    Raise the minimum wage substantially.

    Very substantially reduce tax foregone across the board. Hit the rich, miners and fossil fuels/gas exporters. Rich take a haircut as the price of doing very well over the last decade or so. Time to put back you lot.

  7. imacca says:
    Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 1:58 am

    This is nowhere near enough….the hit to the private economy will exceed 50% of production for at least 3 months, possibly as long as 6 months. The increase to benefits for workers should be to around 80% of median wages, or more. There should be cash grants to businesses – delivered monthly, probably – and structured to enable clamped businesses to continue to meet their rent and other basic overheads. There should be adjustment loans available with a 5 year zero interest payback. There should be generous loans available for inventory accumulation, so that firms can produce even though demand has been slammed shut. It’s not possible to do too much.

  8. Speaking of obscure bands.. one of my favourites is a band called Sky.

    Saw them on their “Sky Across Australia” tour at the Melbourne Concert Hall, 1983 (from memory.)
    No John Williams, which was disappointing – but saw him in concert there several years later.

  9. Just done my daily IGA run, can’t get paper delivery here and husband has to have paper. Two new issues
    Lovely lady serving me was unaware that reusable bags should be washed, she was surprised when I bought a plastic bag. She then commented that she didn’t, see the point of wearing gloves because virus adhered to them. Didn’t know they are to protect her and didn’t know she should be changing them regularly, had been wearing same pair for two hours.
    Where is the education of the masses re cleaning, stopping spread by knowing how it spreads.
    I am feeling increasingly frustrated and fearful.

  10. “my prayer knees are getting a good work out,“

    Are Pentecostals issued with “prayer knees”? I thought they did their beseeching standing up with their arms in the air!

    While this idiot should never had been made leader but looking for an intelligent and compassionate person in the Liberal Party to be a suitable leader is a fruitless exercise.

  11. Latest WA number – increase from 205 to 231

    The last 7 day increases are below. The growth looks like it may be slowing here. I suspect it’s still the reduction in imported cases.

    12, 26, 30, 20, 35, 30, 26

    23 recovered

    4 cases from cruise ships. 51 cases directly from cruise ships.

    Doubled in roughly 5 days – 120 cases on 22/3 to 231 today. (90 cases on the 21/3)

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