Eden-Monaro opinion poll and other happenings

A poll by the Australia Institute finds next to nothing in it in Eden-Monaro. Also featured: still more coronavirus polling, and the status quo preserved in a Greens plebiscite on how the party leader should be chosen.

With regard to the American presidential horse race, Adrian Beaumont offers all the latest in the post below. Closer to hand:

Tom McIlroy of the Financial Review ($) reports Labor is credited with a statistically insignificant lead in poll of Eden-Monaro conducted by the Australia Institute. Based on response options that listed only party names, the poll reportedly had Labor leading 51.1-48.8 based on preference flows from 2019. No primary votes are provided in the report, but I expect to have that and other detail for you later today. A question on the most importat issue drew modest responses for both coronavirus (7.3%) and bushfire recovery (8.6%), with the agenda dominated by the economy (28.9%), climate change (23.4%) and health (14.0%). UPDATE: After exclusion of the 9.0% undecided, the primary votes are Labor 39.8%, Liberal 34.3%, Nationals 7.3%, Greens 6.7% and One Nation 6.5%. The polling was conducted by uComms.

• The Lowy Institute has a poll on the strategic implications of coronavirus, which records a general expectation that the crisis will tilt the international balance to China (37% more powerful, 36% just as powerful, 27% less powerful) at the expense of the United States (6% more powerful, 41% just as powerful, 53% less powerful) and Europe (5%, 46% and 48%). Respondents were asked if Australia and various other countries had handled the crisis well and poorly, and with the qualification that the uncommitted responses seem implausibly low, Australians consider their own country’s response (43% good, 50% fairly good, 6% fairly bad, 1% very bad) to have been well superior even to that of Singapore (23%, 56%, 15% and 3%), never mind China (6%, 25%, 25% and 44%), the United Kingdom (3%, 27%, 49% and 21%), Italy (2%, 13%, 44% and 40%) or, God forbid, the United States (2%, 8%, 27% and 63%). Respondents were slightly less favourable to the concept of globalisation than they were in a similar survey a year ago, with 70% rating it mostly good for Australia (down two) and 29% mostly bad (up five). The survey was conducted online and by telephone from April 14 to 27, from a sample of 3036.

• The results of a Greens internal referendum on giving the party membership a way in electing party leaders landed in the awkward zone between clear majority support and the two-thirds super-majority required for change. Members were presented with three head-to-head questions between each combination of two out of three options: the status quo of decision by the party room; the “one member, one vote” approach of having the matter determined entirely by the membership; and a Labor-style model where members provided half the vote and the party room the other half. The two questions inclusive of the status quo produced very similar results, with 62.0% favouring one-member one vote (3721 to 2281) and 62.6% favouring the Labor model (3510 to 2101). The Labor model recorded a narrow 3014 (50.95%) to 2902 (49.05%) win over one-member one-vote, but this would only have been operative if the favoured model recorded two-thirds support in head-to-head comparison with the status quo. According to Rob Harris of the Age/Herald, the response rate was 46% out of the party’s 13,143 eligible members.

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.

1,345 comments on “Eden-Monaro opinion poll and other happenings”

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  1. The world’s problem is that we don’t have a majority of leaders who give a tinker’s cuss about the preservation of “nature”.

  2. C@tmomma @ #1139 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 3:10 pm

    lizzie @ #1135 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 3:02 pm

    Tim’s not getting a lot of love for his childish behaviour.

    Tim Smith MP @TimSmithMP

    What’s your preferred label for Daniel Andrews ? Poll closes 6pm Monday.

    Chairman Dan
    Dictator Dan

    Can you believe the Victorian Liberal Pre-selection panel chose him over Mary Wooldridge!?!

    Sort of the best answer here!


  3. Well that was weird..

    Earlier I saw 8 new cases in NSW. Now its been revised to 1 case. That was on two different sites.

  4. frednk

    I didn’t know this.

    To be able to weigh the value of a life against the economic costs of forgone output, from lost jobs and business closures, requires placing a dollar value on one person’s life. This number is called the value of a statistical life.

    In Australia, the government generally uses a value of A$4.9m. The United States uses a value of US$10m.

  5. I grow thornless blackberries. Picking a juicy, ripe blackberry fresh from a cane and popping it into my mouth is always a joy.

  6. SK, I think people on Jobkeeper are not counted as unemployed or their jobs counted as ‘lost’. This may be the reason the unemployment rate is ‘only’ 6.2.

  7. A couple of related items :

    $12 BILLION PER YEAR: We can’t afford Chinese boycott of key industry

    There’s one industry Australia can’t afford to lose in a trade war with China. If they come for it, it will cost us billions.


    AND :

    Coronavirus Australia live updates: China using trade as a ‘weapon of revenge’ on Australia

    China doesn’t seem happy about Australia’s calls for a COVID-19 inquiry and now some commentators believe it is using trade as a “weapon of revenge”.


  8. lizzie
    I didn’t know the US figure, I would like to know where they got it from. There are situations it the US where life has no value.

  9. I used to have something managerial to do with implementing government employment and training programs. Way back in the last century some time.

    While there are swings and roundabouts, this is how it kind of worked.

    We had then about two meters of books of program rules, if you piled the rule books one on top of another.
    There were dozens of programs.
    Every time there was a progam rationalization to reduce and clarify the programs we would end up with more programs.
    Those invested in existing programs made noises about keeping those programs.
    Those who saw an opportunity for creating a new program made noises about creating a new program.
    The pollies usually fell into line.

    There were something like a thousand forms.
    Every time there was a form reform to reduce the number of forms we would get more forms.
    Because there was an insatiable demand for stats.

    Who was rewarded for taking the myriad small risks inherent in making programs work efficiently and effectively?
    Not the front line staff. Not the managers.
    What made the managers tick?
    The stats.
    What made the front line staff tick?
    The stats.

    What was measured?
    Did the stats actually relate to the program objectives?
    Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
    Did the stats actually relate to status and success and failure in the organization?
    Were the stats collected, even when they were in line with program objectives, the real stats?
    Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.

    Who paid for any hold ups?
    Not the managers. Not the front line staff.
    The customers.

    Did it pay customers to develop a good positive working relationship with the lowest paid, lowest risk taking, rule fuhrers at the bottom of the pile, particularly the ones who actually knew how to make the thousand forms and two meters of program rules work?

  10. phoenixRED
    I think Senator Payne did a terrific job on insiders two weeks ago,said what needed to be said without saying anything. Morrison just had to undo her good work and run his mouth.

  11. PeeBee says:
    Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    SK, I think people on Jobkeeper are not counted as unemployed or their jobs counted as ‘lost’. This may be the reason the unemployment rate is ‘only’ 6.2.
    There were several reasons why the number was 6.2

    1) A person on jobkeeper is not counted as unemployed
    2) The survey was conducted at the start of the month before many were laid off
    3) To be counted as unemployed the person needed to have looked that week which for many was pointless because their industries were closed or restricted

    But there were clues to the real number with the number of jobs losses was around 595k and the participation rate fell to 63%.

  12. Richard Denniss

    What the government thinks you’re worth


    Human life isn’t priceless. Yours might be, to you, but as a society we put a price on human lives all the time. Courts, insurance companies, actuaries, CEOs, consulting firms, public servants and government ministers all make decisions about the value of life, and the value of death. It’s not secret, but we don’t talk about it. And while our collective silence allows us to avoid painful truths, collective denial impoverishes our decision-making. Indeed, our fear and silence empower the tiny minority of people (most of whom are economists) willing to put a valuation on your life.
    Our fear of death allows governments to remove freedoms and overspend billions protecting us from terrorism, while simultaneously exposing us to the risk of climate change. It’s easier, and politically more valuable, to prioritise a tiny number of potential high-profile deaths today over an enormous number of likely deaths in the future. Economists have a term for this phenomenon: it’s called discounting. When comparing the value of future lives with current ones, the value of those yet to be born is literally “discounted”. While the morality of this is widely accepted among economists, the size of the “discount rate” for future lives is hotly contested.

    Fear makes it hard to have a public debate about why we spend so much to prevent deaths from terrorism or shark attacks but “can’t afford” to militate against more common deaths from family violence or diabetes or of Indigenous people in custody. All untimely death is terrible, but while many politicians say they will “stop at nothing” to prevent particular unlikely deaths, they take pride in their fiscal conservatism when it comes to the prevention of deaths on worksites or in aged-care centres.

    Until we can openly discuss what kind of lives and deaths we want, we will continue to live in a society that spends millions rescuing sailors who enjoy placing themselves in extreme danger while we pretend we can’t afford to spend more on medicines or mental health policies. Put simply, we never get to talk about how people get to live, who is allowed to die, and whose lives must be excruciatingly lengthened.
    Even so, this figure is selectively applied.

    This is because, contrary to popular belief, not all lives are equal.
    While the calculation of the net present value of future lives saved might seem technocratic and esoteric, there is nothing abstract about the decisions made on the basis of “cost–benefit analysis”.
    While Australian politicians rarely talk about it, the assigned worth of human life is regularly used to ensure that we get “value for money” in the design of our health, disability, workplace safety and transport industries.
    It should come as no surprise that a country that is willing to lock up children on Nauru to “deter” other refugees from seeking help would be similarly calculating when it comes to the design of services for vulnerable Australians.
    Ultimately, all big decisions about life and death, from war and medicine to state funerals and euthanasia laws, will be made by our elected representatives. The decisions will be made with reference to judgement and values, not algorithms or economics. How can anyone believe that democracy and elections are not matters of life and death? How can anyone believe elections don’t matter?

  13. Boerwar reveals the dirty secret of most welfare programs – those in need being lorded over and patronised by those handing out the assistance.

    It has ever been thus.

  14. People on here seem to have no idea how jobkeeper works.
    Individuals cannot apply for Jobkeeper. It is done through thier employer or other type of business structure.

  15. P1 wrote:

    Perhaps you would like me to send all my documentation to you, so that you can review Centrelink’s decision and tell us what we did wrong? Sure thing – just post your email address here and I will be happy to oblige. Oh, and just disregard all those transfers between our Swiss bank account and our Cayman’s Island account – I’m sure they had nothing to do with Centrelink’s decision.

    Of course not. But it’s axiomatic that the reason you failed in your application is contained in those documents.

    Somewhere in them is damning information, or a hint that there’s something you’re keeping back from them.

    I’m not suggesting you have a secret hundred grand buried in a tin in the back yard, or that you have a Swiss bank account (although I did have a US dollar account, with US$2 in it, that I had to close). But if you make them suspect that you have undeclared assets (or something similar), they can’t outright accuse you of it, but it will affect their decision making.

    In my wife’s case the nit they picked was an unused account with $20 bucks in it. This held up her matter for 18 months.

    But it can be anything at all. If their suspicions are raised, they’ll just refuse your application, and the best you’ll get is what it might be.

    You say you have children. If you applied for Child Support at some stage, you might have had to disclose assets you held at the time. Are they still current? Are they less? More? Check this out. Centrelink may have a completely out of date version of your assets that’s stymying your application. And they’ll never volunteer that information. You have to dig it out of them.

    It doesn’t matter whether you actually gave that list of assets to Centrelink, or some other government organization. Assume Centrelink will have it anyway, from whoever you supplied it to. Any discrepancy will make them think you’re deceiving them… whether YOU like it, or believe it’s important, or not.

    But that’s just a “for instance”. It could be anything, P1.

    If you had to fill out a “Company” form (I forget what it’s official designation is), then welcome to Hell. They will go through that company like a dose of salts looking for some asset you can flog off before you can qualify as being poor enough for the dole. Once again, remember legacy assets. They will still be on the record as real unless you can legitimately remove them. Centrelink will not do this for you.

    Cars are another thing. Value cars as the dollar amount you can sell them for at a fire sale, not what they are “worth” at Aussie Fleet sales. Same goes for all other personal assets. Be brutal, but don’t lie either. Unfortunately, if your personal assets are mixed up with business assets, or if there’s any doubt about what’s what, Centrelink will assume the most disadvantageous value to you.

    Their job is to assess your application, not clean it up for you, nor make it as favourable to your case as possible. You get it as perfect and persuasive as you can. They assess it. They only advise how to fill it out, not what info to fill it out with.

    Remember, there are REAL people who really ARE as poor as you only THINK you are, or feel. The simple thing to remember here is that no matter how hard-up you are, there’s always someone harder up. Centrelink want you to be humble, not entitled.

    If you’re humble you’ll get along fine with them. Personal pride and dignity have no place at Centrelink. There is no formula that uses them as a variable.

    This is good advice, P1. Anyone who’s crossed swords with Centrelink will tell you the same thing.

    I’m not defending them. If you think that, you’ve misunderstood me. I’m just giving you the facts. Screaming at me and throwing insults won’t help you. I’m not the person you have to convince.

  16. Of course the Murdochs of the world just get give $25 million gifts without having to fill in a form.
    That is different.
    The other thing is that the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments have been forming Centrelink in their own image.
    They despise leaners.
    Staff sticking it to Centrelink clients are just doing what the boss really wants them to do.

  17. Taylormade
    There is a lot of confusion with jobkeeper and jobseeker. I am not sure if its people being thick or whether they don’t want to understand it but if jobseeker was called the dole and jobkeeper a wage subsidy then it would be clear.

  18. boerwar

    It has been my experience that if you want something you outline your case, ask the person who can give it to you if it is possible and what they need. If you treat people as sentinel beings they tend to react in that way.

  19. Lizzie
    Not so much here but on social media there has been countless times when people have confused the two with Space Kidette doing it in that tweet we talked about a few weeks ago.

  20. Nick Dyrenfurth is the author or editor of seven books, including Mateship- A Very Australian Story and A Little History of the Australian Labor Party. Nick is a leading media commentator, has worked as a Labor Party speechwriter and advisor, and is presently Executive Director of the John Curtin Research Centre.

    Labor’s year of living dangerously close to death spiral


    Labor shows little appetite for the party reform it really requires. There is no effort to recruit suburban and regional working people into its ranks: tradies, small-business owners, hairdressers, nurses, assembly-line workers, teachers, miners, cleaners, musicians, retail employees or plumbers. Many are on the frontline of the war against COVID or people who have been left jobless or lost businesses.

    The same is true of reforming Young Labor. It draws 90 per cent of members from our universities; in other words, not the 72 per cent of non-tertiary degree-holding Australians. There are no efforts to recruit TAFE students, appren­tices and young workers who do not attend uni. This is not an academic point. Young Labor shapes the party’s culture and trains its MPs. Its renewal would revolutionise policy priorities.

    If Labor is to have anything meaningful to say, or the language and people to credibly say it in these troubling times, it needs new people. None of this is an exercise in nostalgia. Labor approaches its most vulnerable period in a century or more. Its federal primary vote could foreseeably drop below 30 per cent for the first time since 1901. Labor is not only fighting a prime minister presiding over a well-regarded response to COVID but also populist minor parties of the right. One Nation, potentially headed by Mark Latham federally, may tip its primary below 30 — a death spiral characteristic of European social democracy.

    Labor must display courage — the middle path between recklessness and cowardice, as Aristotle once noted. The alternative is waiting for the Coalition to embark on another Work Choices or John Hewson-style Fightback flight of ideological fancy. One year into Labor’s third term in opposition, that scenario appears unlikely. The Coalition earned a reprieve at last year’s election — nothing more; nothing less — and seems intent on breaking more Labor hearts. There isn’t always next time.

  21. Mexicanbeemer

    Ah, OK. I thought it was fairly simple depending on who was applying – employer or employee. OTOH the names are too easy to confuse.

  22. Lizzie
    Would love to see the rationale behind the names because they seem to be designed to create a picture that people are not being placed onto the dole.

  23. Pegasus says:

    Nick Dyrenfurth articleis a good one. Do you think these people would be interested in the gas guzzler convoy to Queensland.

  24. Taylormade


    It’s easy to find out how to apply for JobKeeper and what the processes are.


    “The JobKeeper payment is open to eligible employers to enable them to pay their eligible employee’s salary or wages of at least $1,500 (before tax) per fortnight.
    Eligible employers…….
    “You can enrol in the JobKeeper scheme on the ATO website using an online form.

    After you enrol, you will need to identify your specific eligible employees and submit the information to the ATO. “

  25. P.S. To P1…

    It’s quite possible that Centrelink are ADDING your latest asset list to the one you may have made years ago, in relation to another matter, but have forgotten about.

  26. lizzie

    So nice of you to attribute emotions to me when you have no idea. Perhaps, you need to block me as your little snipes about me seem to be increasing in frequency.

  27. Came across this comment in the South China Morning Post. All the comments were interesting but this one just about summed it up. It’s a nice antidote to Peter Harcher’s guff in the SMH. He’s becoming Fairfax’s Greg Sheriden.


    I forget to add the most recent Australian comments to my gaslight analogy below, so here it is along with the original comment:

    No no, I wasn’t abusing you, you big goofy. I was just playing around, you know I love you, stop being so precious and overreacting. Barley and beef at the same time?? You bully, and you have the gall to accuse me of abusing you? Can’t you see you are the bully here and are overreacting, just simply being paranoid about everything? Look I said I was sorry, you don’t know what pressures I am under, why can’t you be more sympathetic and nicer to me? Why can’t you just let it go? Why do you have to be such a bully, such an abuser, being so evil and crazy all the time?
    Why do you always have to keep bringing up the past? We’re talking about this time, this once, I made a mistake ok? I admit it. Why can’t you just be rational and stop bringing up everything I’ve done over the past three years? Look, when you’ve calmed down and stopped being so hysterical I’m here to talk. This silent treatment is childish, baby. You have to learn to say what you want, you can’t just expect me to know you’re unhappy when you say, fine, you won’t come around any more. You know you’re blowing things out of proportion, right?

  28. Pegasus @ #1184 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 2:44 pm


    So nice of you to attribute emotions to me when you have no idea. Perhaps, you need to block me as your little snipes about me seem to be increasing in frequency.

    You’re very sensitive when someone challenges you or tries to guess your motivations.

    As for your post, not one word is your own, even the preamble that appears so, is a cut and past job.


  29. Pegasus says:
    Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 4:50 pm


    Did ND’s article “give you joy”?

    Yes; someone is thinking about it and articulating the issue.

  30. BB I am the approved ‘assistance’ person for three people on Centrelink benefits. One Jobseeker, one Youth Allowance and one Age Pension. Via the MyGov site I can access every single item of data held by Centrelink, with regard to earnings, assets, bank accounts etc.

    The lovely lady over the road from me works at Centrelink, The Entrance branch, in the office there. She tells me that Centrelink are simply overwhelmed at present, and that their computer systems are unreliable, internally contradictory, and just ‘down’ several times a day, for hours at a time.

    In many encounters with Centrelink people and systems I have almost never had a transaction that worked ‘first time’, and have found on multiple occasions that their representatives do no know their own rules, and are rude and dismissive. I have escalated to the manager at The Entrance, in person, several times, to get errors corrected.

    As a specific example of the sort of cock up that is all to common, I attempted to upload a form to do with rental assistance for one of my people electronically last week, that has, stated across the top of it, “This form may be submitted electronically”. Log on to MyGov, go to Centrelink, select appropriate option, get a drop down list of forms. It is not there. Select ‘Other’. Enter form number, as recorded at bottom of form. Message ‘This Form must be submitted in person.’ Traipse down to Centrelink branch. Wait 50 minutes. Get to see ‘consultant’. Consultant says, rudely, ‘You have to submit this electronically’. On demonstrating on their own terminal that this is impossible, response is “I’ve never seen that before”.

    The entire organisation is dysfunctional. Morale is through the floor. Most of the decent staff have taken redundancy, and the ‘contract’ support staff on telephone duty are untrained, and under-supervised. A shambles.

  31. frednk

    “The shutdown is cheaper than the deaths.”

    More to the point, if we didn’t have a shutdown, we’d have had a shutdown. The point is that if the government hadn’t taken action, people would have gone into hiding anyhow. In fact they were doing so well before the government did take action.

    In other words, its inevitable. What our government did wrong was to dither and avoid shutdown for at least 2 weeks longer. And as a result we had 7,000 cases rather than 700. We also dithered on closing borders. Just look at Vietnam and how their earlier actions results in only a few hundred cases. And now they hve eliminated the virus and are back up and running.

    One other thing that the article doesn’t address is what happens when you don’t eliminate the virus. Its assuming we can get nearly all of the economy. What if we can’t? What if suppression menas having the Sydney CBD severely limiting the number of people who can enter daily?

    New Zealand decided to eliminate the virus and it will soon be reaping the reward. Cross your fingers we luck our way into elimination because the next bit – the realisation that the economy has to be hobbled in order to keep the virus at bay – won’t be pretty.

  32. I have to say I much prefer BBs latest offerings than the previous theme of ‘Iwasrightonsocialdistancingandamtotallynotaracistbythewaysogofuckyourselves’.

  33. An interesting quote from that article frednk..

    Weighing against that is evidence that economic crises are associated with declines in overall mortality rates.

    While suicides rise, total mortality, including deaths from heart attacks and workplace and traffic accidents, falls.

    In the specific case of this pandemic there is survey evidence based on respondents from 58 countries suggesting that strong government responses to the pandemic have been reducing worry and depression.

    And yet the media run with the stories about the costs of continued lockdown. No balance in that. We may well find that continuing the lockdown into the end of May, Early June woudl have made all the difference between a crippled economy and one that thrives because we eliminated the virus.

    Again, I hope I’m wrong about this.

  34. Btw I actually think we could eliminate the virus in Australia, even given the present easings, with good leadership, good communication and an absolutely massive testing regime.

  35. Nick Dyrenfuth article is a good one.

    Steve Bracks – dump the unions comments are good too.

    The reality is Labor is unreformable. Your looking for the one party apparatchik who is prepared to tear down the machine to allow a democratic process.

    You have to ask yourself is that really going to come from within the machine, when most of these people only know the machine, have been sustained and funded by the machine etc etc.

  36. Andrew Laming MP, Member for Bowman, has posted an extremely rude and disparaging picture of Annastacia with comments on his personal page. I hope he gets into trouble for it. It’s the sort of action one might indulge in only when drunk.

  37. Yabba

    In the Guardian.

    The government earlier today confirmed two women in Port Macquarie have been charged over allegedly fraudulent bushfire and Covid-19 welfare claims.

    A government statement said it was alleged the women used 25 assumed identities to try to claim more than $27,000 in welfare payments they were not entitled to. The statement said more than $10,000 was paid.

    They allegedly made 25 fraudulent claims for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and one fraudulent jobseeker payment claim.

    After what you have told us, I’m surprised they can catch any real scammers.

  38. lizzie @ #1197 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 3:28 pm

    Andrew Laming MP, Member for Bowman, has posted an extremely rude and disparaging picture of Annastacia with comments on his personal page. I hope he gets into trouble for it. It’s the sort of action one might indulge in only when drunk.

    Probably related to this comment.

    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says reopening state borders would be “absolutely negligent” as the state records no new cases.


  39. ‘frednk says:
    Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm


    It has been my experience that if you want something you outline your case, ask the person who can give it to you if it is possible and what they need. If you treat people as sentinel beings they tend to react in that way.’

    Yep. A little bit of respect goes a long way.

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