Of plagues and houses

Results finalised on Queensland’s two status quo state by-election results, and COVID-19 question marks over looming elections in New Zealand, the Northern Territory and for two Tasmanian upper house seats.

Counting has concluded for the Currumbin and Bundamba by-elections of a fortnight ago, with Laura Gerber retaining Currumbin for the Liberal National Party by a 1.5% margin against a 1.8% swing to Labor, and Lance McCallum retaining Bundamba for Labor by a 9.6% margin ahead of second-placed One Nation (UPDATE: Make that a 1.2% margin in Currumbin and 9.8% in Bundamba). As noted previously, the flow of Greens preferences to Labor in Currumbin was relatively weak, though not quite decisively so. Deep within the innards of the ECQ’s media feed, it says that Greens preferences were going 1738 to Labor (72.8%) and 651 (27.2%), though this can’t be based on the final figures since the Greens received 2527 rather than 2389 votes. Had Labor received 79.17% of Greens preferences, as they did in the corresponding federal seat of McPherson last May, the margin would have been pared back from 567 (1.5%) to 215 (0.5%).

I have three tables to illustrate the results in light of the highly unusual circumstances of the election, the first of which updates one that appeared in an early post, recording the extent to which voters in the two seats changed their behaviour with respect to how they voted. Election day voting obviously fell dramatically, as voters switched to pre-poll voting and, to only a slightly lesser extent, outright abstention. What was not seen was a dramatic increase in postal voting, which will require investigation given the considerable anecdotal evidence that many who applied for postal votes did not receive their ballots on time — an even more contentious matter in relation to the mess that unfolded in Wisconsin on Tuesday, on which I may have more to say at a later time.

The next two tables divide the votes into four types, polling places, early voting, postal and others, and record the parties’ vote shares and swings compared with 2017, the latter shown in italics. In both Currumbin and Bundamba, Labor achieved their weakest results in swing terms on polling day votes, suggesting Labor voters made the move from election day to pre-poll voting in particularly large numbers, cancelling out what had previously been an advantage to the LNP in pre-poll voting. This is matched by a particularly strong swing against the LNP on pre-polls in Currumbin, but the effect is not discernible in Bundamba, probably because the picture was confused by the party running third and a chunk of its vote being lost to One Nation, who did not contest last time.

In other COVID-19 disruption news:

• The Northern Territory government has rejected calls from what is now the territory’s official opposition, Terry Mills’ Territory Alliance party (UPDATE: Turns out I misheard here – the Country Liberal Party remains the opposition, as Bird of Paradox notes in comments), to postpone the August 22 election. Of the practicalities involved in holding the election under a regime of social distancing rules, which the government insists will be in place for at least six months, Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison offers only that “the Electoral Commission is looking at the very important questions of how we make sure that in the environment of COVID-19 that we do this safely”.

• After an initial postponement from May 2 to May 30, the Tasmanian government has further deferred the periodic elections for the Legislative Council seats of Huon and Rosevear, promising only that they will be held by the time the chamber sits on August 25. Three MLCs have written to the Premier requesting that the elections either be held by post or for the terms of the existing members, which will otherwise expire, to be extended through to revised polling date.

• The junior partner in New Zealand’s ruling coalition, Winston Peters of New Zealand First, is calling for the country’s September 19 election to be postponed to November 21, which has also elicited positive noises from the opposition National Party. It might well be thought an element of self-interest is at work here, with Peters wishing to put distance between the election and a donations scandal that has bedeviled his party, and National anticipating a short-term surge in government support amid the coronavirus crisis. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may be softening in her opposition to the notion, saying earlier this week it would “depend on what alert level we are at”. There has regrettably been no polling of voting intention in New Zealand in two months, although the government recorded enormously encouraging results in a Colmar Brunton poll on handling of the pandemic in New Zealand and eight other countries, conducted last week.

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.

1,986 comments on “Of plagues and houses”

Comments Page 34 of 40
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  1. Boerwar

    Have you given them a helpful tip on how to halve the amount of time and money they spend on repairs and maintenance ? πŸ˜‰

  2. Bountiful cirrus, Crimson Rosellas and King Parrots calling, locked in children playing happily in their back yard over the back fence, Magpies carolling, balmy temperature, still air. Life is good.

    #WeatheronPB.

  3. So, only 28 people in hospital in WA.

    Would it be reasonable to allow elective surgery to restart, or is the lack of PPE availablity an issue there?

  4. ‘poroti says:
    Monday, April 13, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Boerwar

    Have you given them a helpful tip on how to halve the amount of time and money they spend on repairs and maintenance ? ‘

    Indeed! I just tell them about the virtues and wonders of our $150 tent and how very, very comfy and cosy and warm it is on a hard frosty night out in the bush.

    They just don’t get it.

  5. PeeBee says:
    Monday, April 13, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    My cootamundra wattle has turned a lovely autumnal pink this year and appearing to turn deciduous. Never done that before.

    Dead.

  6. I don’t think the virus was caused by lost of habitat but more likely was caused by animals forced into a noisy foreign setting caged up around other stressed out animals in dirty conditions was the cause.

  7. FFS and bum

    After two days of zero we have a new case. Contracted from a previous known positive. So we are back up to 103.

  8. The (near) future for International travel ?
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Covid 19 coronavirus: Start planning transtasman ‘bubble’ now, says Auckland airport chief

    The New Zealand and Australian governments should start planning now for a transtasman travel “bubble”, even if it’s months before it can safely be put into action, says Auckland International Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood.

    If both countries maintain current, apparent success in containing the spread of the Covid-19 virus within their own borders, the opportunity to open borders to one another would be a major boost to one another’s deeply battered tourism sectors, said Littlewood, who chaired the influential Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum until December last year.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12324415

  9. Player One @ #1646 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:48 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1633 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:27 pm

    Player One @ #1630 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:24 pm

    Boerwar @ #1627 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:16 pm

    p1

    1. Just so we get it all sorted from the outset, whatever you say because you always have the last word and you are always correct.

    Finally, you say something sensible.

    How Donald Trump of you.

    Whereas you still have a ways to go.

    Compared to you, I’m not in the same postcode.

  10. Greensborough Growler @ #1664 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:58 pm

    Player One @ #1646 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:48 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1633 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:27 pm

    Player One @ #1630 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:24 pm

    Boerwar @ #1627 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:16 pm

    p1

    1. Just so we get it all sorted from the outset, whatever you say because you always have the last word and you are always correct.

    Finally, you say something sensible.

    How Donald Trump of you.

    Whereas you still have a ways to go.

    Compared to you, I’m not in the same postcode.

    Compared to me, you are barely even in the same country.

  11. ‘Mexicanbeemer says:
    Monday, April 13, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    I don’t think the virus was caused by lost of habitat but more likely was caused by animals forced into a noisy foreign setting caged up around other stressed out animals in dirty conditions was the cause.’

    There are some people who are more interested in stopping habitat destruction than actually figuring out why and how new zoonotic diseases occur.

    What you seem to be arguing is that the more habitat there is, the more wildlife there is, the more wildlife can be traded in wet markets and the more people there who eat wildlife, the more likely it is that wildlife trade might cause new zoonotic diseases.

    But since that does not fit with the habitat destruction moral imperative you must be wRONg.

    Except, IMO, you are far more likely to be right than the habitat destruction fetishists. Bush meat and wet markets are the zoonotic pandemic schwerpunkt.

    Mind you, I hate habitat destruction and have spent a huge slab of my working life working to delay it. But that does not, IMO, justify marshalling a pandemic that has killed 100,000 to ‘prove’ that habitat destruction was the problem all along.

  12. “porotisays:
    Monday, April 13, 2020 at 4:57 pm
    The (near) future for International travel ?
    ………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Covid 19 coronavirus: Start planning transtasman β€˜bubble’ now, says Auckland airport chief”

    Seems reasonable. Initially might even be able to have a compulsory PCR test on arrival, with isolation until results come in. Presumably by the time this would happen testing could be turned around pretty quickly.

  13. πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† Wanna know what is wrong with Trump’s pressers ? Just heard Dubya Shrub’s press secretary Ari Fleischer reveal the answer. Wait for it…….’Reporters run out of good questions’ so they should be ‘no longer than 30 minutes”. Who says Fox News hasn’t got quality comedy shows ?

  14. p

    Hang on.

    If Western Australia is its own bubble then the trans Tasman bubble would have to exclude Western Australia.

    On a more sober note… how rigorous has NZ been in terms of stopping pacific islander movements into and out of NZ?

  15. Player One @ #1663 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 5:01 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1664 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:58 pm

    Player One @ #1646 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:48 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1633 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:27 pm

    Player One @ #1630 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:24 pm

    Boerwar @ #1627 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:16 pm

    p1

    1. Just so we get it all sorted from the outset, whatever you say because you always have the last word and you are always correct.

    Finally, you say something sensible.

    How Donald Trump of you.

    Whereas you still have a ways to go.

    Compared to you, I’m not in the same postcode.

    Compared to me, you are barely even in the same country.

    Obviously the magpies, sulpher crested cockatoos and lorikeets in my back garden are a figment of your imagination.

    Cheers.

  16. “Seems reasonable. Initially might even be able to have a compulsory PCR test on arrival, with isolation until results come in. Presumably by the time this would happen testing could be turned around pretty quickly.”

    Blobbit

    Probably would end up being a rapid turnaround (1 hour) PCR test in the departing airport. You’d turn up early, wait in a special waiting area and then only be allowed to your gate once you pass.

  17. Poroti:

    β€œWe’re all in this together

    The problem with that is that clustering people together promotes transmission of the virus, and it’s in everyone’s interests not to do this.

  18. Blobbit @ #1643 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 4:47 pm

    “logical reason to ban people isolating at their holiday homes.”

    Extra potential load on rural and regional hospitals.
    People carrying the virus into areas where it may not have spread
    Extra risk of accidents in people traveling

    The first two being the main risks.

    Anyway, shouldn’t we be taxing holiday homes out of existence

    Regional hospitals aren’t being overrun though.
    If people isolate and keep their distance the virus dies.

  19. ‘Diogenes says:
    Monday, April 13, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Only two new cases in SA. One a teacher in a kindy.’

    Oh. For some (not very nice?) reason that affects me emotionally more that 2,000 US citizens dying in a day.

    Is it known whether she got it via her work in a kindy?

  20. Boerwar
    I’m not saying habitat lost is a good thing and from your last past it seems you picked that up but if you take a wild animal that is use to being out in the African bush and ship it off to a wet market which would be as different from the African bush as you could get then the animal will naturally become stressed and scared then you surround it with other animals it has never seen before that are also in a stressed state then that has been suggested as being a possible cause.

  21. Poroti:

    Travel to a holiday home. Essential or non essential ? Seems an easy question.

    But not the right question.

    The right question is whether it reduces or increases disease transmission, and the answer is not obvious.

  22. Blobbit

    Earlier today i heard Ardern speaking about regular contact with Singapore she has been having. From what she said I got the impression they were looking at some sort of future arrangement . A ‘Tri-bubble’ ? Or is that a ‘Tribble .Star Tek ahead of their time πŸ˜†

  23. BK

    If Biden wins, one of the things he’s going to have to do in his first week is issue a series of apologies and reassurances to the rest of the world.

  24. E. G. Theodore @ #1673 Monday, April 13th, 2020 – 5:06 pm

    Poroti:

    “We’re all in this together

    The problem with that is that clustering people together promotes transmission of the virus, and it’s in everyone’s interests not to do this.

    There is a difference between the rhetorical, the emotional and the reality.
    Words mean different thing s in different situations.

  25. I heard an NRL person explain that the footy field was a work place so they should be allowed to play.
    I’m still wrestling with this.

  26. lizzie

    I wonder how many workplaces require you to get hot, sweaty and physically wrestle each other into the dirt? Not many I’d think..

  27. @EddyJokovich
    Β·
    1m
    We need to find out why the decision was made to let #RubyPrincess into Sydney Harbour. And who made it. I don’t think interviewing 2,500 passengers will find the answers. What would they know about what happened behind the scenes? #auspol

    Interviewing 2500 will slow down the investigation very conveniently.

  28. Boerwar

    Early on when they shut the borders it was for all except the Pacific Islands. I suppose at the time they had zero cases so pretty safe. Have not seen/heard what the current situation is. I’d say they toughened up. After the Islands were hit so hard by the measles outbreak the PI people may have cracked down themselves.

  29. Poroti:

    E. G. Theodore
    If people have been asked to avoid non essential travel it is ,as they say, a no brainer.

    Travel one way from very high-density living such as an inner city apartment (shared lifts etc) to the country will reduce the risk that the traveller contracts COVID19 and dies, and will also reduce the risk to those who remain in the city. Both could be regarded as essential to countering the epidemic.

    There is a difference between going on a holiday (which is temporary) and an indefinite move to the country for the duration.

  30. “Regional hospitals aren’t being overrun though.
    If people isolate and keep their distance the virus dies.”

    That’s like saying we don’t need the restrictions on place as there aren’t many cases.

    I tend to think it’s a lower risk activity, but one problem is making sure people stay there once they’re there.

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