Affairs of state

One finely crafted electoral news item for every state (and territory) that is or might ever conceivably have been part of our great nation.

A bone for every dog in the federation kennel:

New South Wales

Gladys Berejiklian has backed a move for the Liberal Party to desist from endorsing or financially supporting candidates in local government elections, reportedly to distance the state government from adverse findings arising from Independent Commission Against Corruption investigations into a number of councils. Many in the party are displeased with the idea, including a source cited by Linda Silmalis of the Daily Telegraph, who predicted “world war three” because many MPs relied on councillors to organise their numbers at preselections.

Victoria

The second biggest story in the politics of Victoria over the past fortnight has been the expose of the activities of Liberal Party operator Marcus Bastiaan by the Nine newspaper-and-television news complex, a neat counterpoint to its similar revelations involving Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek in June. The revelations have been embarrassing or worse for federal MPs Michael Sukkar and Kevin Andrews, with the former appearing to have directed the latter’s electorate office staff to spend work time on party factional activities.

Together with then state party president Michael Kroger, Bastiaan was instrumental in establishing a conservative ascendancy with help from Bastiaan’s recruitment of members from Mormon churches and the Indian community. Having installed ally Nick Demiris as campaign director, Bastiaan’s fingerprints were on the party’s stridently conservative campaign at the 2018 state election, which yielded the loss of 11 lower house Coalition seats. Religious conservatives led by Karina Okotel, now a federal party vice-president, then split from the Bastiaan network, complaining their numbers had been used to buttress more secular conservatives.

The Age’s report noted that “in the days leading up to the publication of this investigation, News Corporation mastheads have run stories attacking factional opponents of Mr Bastiaan and Mr Sukkar”. Presumably related to this was a report on Okotel’s own party activities in The Australian last weekend, which was long on emotive adjectives but short on tangible allegations of wrongdoing, beyond her having formed an alliance with factional moderates after the split.

Queensland

There are now less than two months to go until the October 31 election, which is already awash with Clive Palmer’s trademark yellow advertising targeting Labor. Thanks the state’s commendable law requiring that donations be publicly disclosed within seven days (or 24 hours in the last week of an election campaign), as compared with over a year after the election at federal level (where only donations upwards of $14,000 need to be disclosed at all, compared with $1000 in Queensland), we are aware that Palmer’s companies have donated more than $80,000 to his United Australia Party. Liberal National Party sources cited by The Guardian say a preference deal has already been struck with Palmer’s outfit, although others in the party are said to be “furious” and “concerned” at the prospect of being tarred with Palmer’s brush.

Western Australia

I have nothing to relate here, which is worth noting in and itself, because the near total absence of voting intention polling from the state since Mark McGowan’s government came to power in 2017 is without modern historical precedent. This reflects the demise of the aggregated state polling that Newspoll used to provide on a quarterly basis in the smaller states (bi-monthly in the larger ones), and an apparent lack of interest in voting intention polling on behalf of the local monopoly newspaper, which offers only attitudinal polling from local market research outfit Painted Dog Research.

The one and only media poll of the term was this one from YouGov Galaxy in the Sunday Times in mid-2018, showing Labor with a lead of 54-46, slightly below the 55.5-44.5 blowout it recorded in 2017. With Newspoll having recorded Mark McGowan’s approval rating at 88% in late June, it can be stated with confidence that the gap would be quite a bit wider than that if a poll were conducted now. The West Australian reported in late July that Utting Research, which has conducted much of Labor’s internal polling over the years, had Labor leading 66-34, which would not sound too far-fetched to anyone in tune with the public mood at present. The next election is to be held on March 13.

South Australia

I have been delinquent in not covering the publication of the state’s draft redistribution a fortnight ago, but Ben Raue at The Tally Room has it covered here and here, complete with easily navigable maps.

These are the first boundaries drawn since the commissioners were liberated from the “fairness provision” which directed them to shoot for boundaries that would deliver a majority to the party with the largest two-party vote. This proved easier said than done, with three of Labor’s four election wins from 2002 and 2014 being achieved without it. The commissioners used the wriggle room allowed them in the legislation to essentially not even try in 2014, before bending other backwards to tilt the playing field to the Liberals in 2018, who duly won a modest majority from 51.9%.

By the Boundaries Commission’s own reckoning, there would have been no difference to the outcome of the 2018 election if it had held under the proposed new boundaries. Nonetheless, the Liberals have weakened in three seats where they are left with new margins of inside 1%: Elder, where their margin is slashed from 4.5% to 0.1%; Newland, down from 2.1% to 0.4%; and Adelaide, down from 1.1% to 0.7%. Their only notable compensation is an increase in their margin in King from 0.8% to 1.5%, and a cut in Labor’s margin in Badcoe from 5.6% to 2.0%.

Tasmania

Local pollster EMRS has published its quarterly state voting intention poll, which reflects Newspoll in finding voters to be over the moon with Premier Peter Gutwein, who came to the job just in time for COVID-19 to hit the fan when Will Hodgman retired in January. Over three polls, the Liberal vote has progressed from 43% to 52% to 54%; Labor has gone from 34% to 28% to 24%; and the Greens have gone from 12% to 10% and back again. Gutwein now leads Labor’s Rebecca White by 70% to 23% as preferred premier, out from 63-26 last time (and 41-39 to White on Gutwein’s debut in March). The poll was conducted by phone from August 18 to 24.

Northern Territory

With the last dregs of counting being conducted from now through Friday, fully our of the 25 seats in the Northern Territory remain in doubt following the election the Saturday before last, with current margins ranging from seven to 18 votes. However, the actual election result is well and truly done and dusted, with Labor having 13 seats in the bag. You can follow the action on my dedicated post, which includes live updating of results.

Australian Capital Territory

Not that I have anything particular to say about it at this point, but the Australian Capital Territory is the next cab off the election rank with polling day on October 17, a fortnight before Queensland.

New Zealand

Do Kiwi nationalists complain of being treated like the seventh state in Australia? Well, they can now, as I have a new Roy Morgan poll to relate ahead of their election which will, like that of the ACT, be held on October 17, with the originally anticipated date of September 19 being pushed back due to its recent COVID-19 flare-up. If this poll is any guide, this may have knocked a coat of paint off Labour without in any way endangering Jacinda Ardern’s government.

Labour is now at 48%, down from 53.5% last month, with National up two to 28.5%. The Greens are up from 8% to 11.5%, and do notably better out of this poll series than rivals Colmar Brunton and Reid Research, which show them struggling to keep their head above the 5% threshold that guarantees them seats in parliment under the country’s mixed-member proportional representation system. New Zealand First remain well below it at 2.5%, albeit that this is up a point on last month, while the free-market liberal ACT New Zealand party is clear of it on 6%, down half a point. The poll was conducted by phone from a sample of 897 “during August”.

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.

1,590 comments on “Affairs of state”

  1. However ,my favourite small plane story, again in West Vic, was when an Aboriginal Man and I who were seated in the back of the small plane filming what is now world a heritage area, we both went very pale and felt rather sick (those video viewfinders on a plane are bad) …. The Aunties in the front had a better ride and commented that they weren’t surprised to see me white but it was a first for my male Aboriginal companion….they pissed themselves….

  2. Actually, if the Tas. guy is correctly quoted, five, with the NT soon to make it 4, and ACT 3. With SA still counting their fingers after Morrison’s handshake.

    Wait till tomorrow and it will be “Glady and I”.

  3. Danama Papers @ #1500 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 6:54 pm

    Jaeger @ #1454 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 2:59 pm

    So… 7 out of 8 states and territories agree there should be a plan? That’s it?!

    From The Guardian:

    Seven out of eight states and territories in agreement

    And then there were six.

    BREAKING: Qld Premier Palaczszuk says she did NOT agree to discuss the
    @ScottMorrisonMP hotspot plan to reopen by Xmas. Siding with WA. Not on the “bus”.

    https://twitter.com/Riley7News/status/1301801595521257473

    Ironic that the two states that installed these clowns in government are now the ones that are actively defying them.

  4. Let me, since GG hangs with it, put the record straight. I’ve not been struck off. I’ve never commingled trust with general. I’m still on the rolls of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Queensland. The principal of the firm I took over from, however, cheated his clients of around a million, and to a great extent, his dishonesty reflected for some time on my practice. Perhaps I should’ve been less subtle? I mean to say, who would admit to such skullduggery? I trust you’ve got the message(?).

  5. Spray
    “Ironic that the two states that installed these clowns in government are now the ones that are actively defying them.”

    If Scotty keep pushing for border opening before they think they are ready then these states may be the ones that uninstall him.

  6. Mavis @ #1508 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 7:18 pm

    Let me, since GG hangs with it, put the record straight. I’ve not been struck off. I’ve never commingled trust with general. I’m still on the rolls of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Queensland. The principal of the firm I took over from, however, cheated his clients of around a million, and to a great extent, his dishonesty reflected for some time on my practice. Perhaps I should’ve been less subtle? I mean to say, who would admit to such skullduggery? I trust you’ve got the message(?).

    More excuses than a pregnant nun, comrade.

  7. Greensborough Growler:

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    [‘More excuses than a pregnant nun, comrade.’]

    Yes, dear. But I’ve set the record right so as provide you with other arguments other than your meme of ’till tickler’ but knowing you – your form – you’ll persist notwithstanding.
    I wouldn’t dare to suggest you’re as theck (sic) as a brick?

  8. Mavis @ #1512 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 7:38 pm

    Greensborough Growler:

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    [‘More excuses than a pregnant nun, comrade.’]

    Yes, dear. But I’ve set the record right so as provide you with other arguments other than your meme of ’till tickler’ but knowing you – your form – you’ll persist notwithstanding.
    I wouldn’t dare to suggest you’re as theck (sic) as a brick?

    The issue is basically, you are a hypocrite and all the twisting and wording of a seasoned ambulance chasing lawyer, doesn’t hide that one bit.

  9. Aeroplane yarns.

    Decades ago one sister and I were at Victoria River Downs flying from another property up to Darwin. It was a threatening monsoonal January afternoon. We were loaded onto a DC3 (I think) along with an elder aboriginal woman at the rear who by the incessant wailing was taking off in a big silver bird for the first time.

    The strip was marked by four upturned halves of 44 gallon drums painted white. The first run for take off was too little too late, and with not enough speed to get airborne as the end of the runway got closer, he aborted and went around for a second run. Lots of wailing, wailing. This time, he had the tail over the end of the runway, and with brakes still on went full throttle, then on release the whole jalopy lurched forward as the tail shuddered to a tremendous BANG. He’d lifted one of the white half drums off its pins blowing it up onto the tail.

    Ansett rescued us the next day. I don’t recall seeing the poor woman again. She certainly wasn’t accommodated in the main homestead. The segregation was shocking, and their treatment (then) haunts me to this day.

    Then there was the time the plane was struck by lightening – it coils around the fuselage – while on a steep bumpy stormy descent into Buenos Aires.

    And then, then there was the time when the thing depressurised flying from Memphis to Vegas. This was really weird. We were down the back, and suddenly the air crew made like they were preparing for landing: locking things up in the galley, tidying loose ends up. Except we weren’t landing. Suddenly there was the sound of CLACK CLACK CLACK as all the little gadgets overhead opened and released orange oxygen masks. Nothing was said, nothing. By now the plane was on a steep descent, as I worried that with my luck when you pull on it twice to make the oxygen flow, I’d be the one who pulled the whole thing off and end up with a mask and a loose bit of tubing. We actually held hands. This went on till we got down to 10000ft (or was it 5000) and levelled off. Then came an announcement that here had been a problem with cabin pressure, and we would proceed at this altitude, and could take the masks off. They don’t go back up into their little boxes. They just sit there in front of you, swinging orange, all the way to Vegas.

    (The cabin crew said that they had seen the warning signs – mainly passenger restlessness, and I for one had been fiddling with the airflow widget above wanting more air.)

  10. Mavis @ #1509 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 7:38 pm

    Greensborough Growler:

    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    [‘More excuses than a pregnant nun, comrade.’]

    Yes, dear. But I’ve set the record right so as provide you with other arguments other than your meme of ’till tickler’ but knowing you – your form – you’ll persist notwithstanding.
    I wouldn’t dare to suggest you’re as theck (sic) as a brick?

    GG stated, on here, that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was, and I quote him, ‘a populist witch hunt’. His personal viewpoint with regard to morality, and his capability of objective judgement are both open to question.

  11. ‘Australia in recession on GDP-per-capita basis, as 2019 federal budget nears’

    ‘Westpac chief economist Bill Evans is expecting the Australian economy to contract by 0.3 per cent in both the March and June quarters of 2020, marking the first recession since mid-1991.’

    ‘Current projections show a 55 percent chance of a recession in the second half of 2020. The biggest risks are trade war uncertainty and (a) global slowdown. (Odds of a recession between now and the November 2020 election are) 25 percent. The risk of a recession is increasing.’

    ‘The bad news is that growth is just inching along — to the point where one leading economist has described the nation as “teetering on the edge of a recession”.’

    ‘Why we’ve the weakest economy since the global financial crisis, with few clear ways out’

    All of this from over 12 months ago.
    How much more help does Jim Chalmers need?
    Why has Labor allowed the government and the media to spin the recession as the ‘Pandemic” recession.

    Why is Labor so weak?

    Why?

  12. GG:

    [‘Well we know you are only attracted to shonks, don’t we.’]

    You must refrain using the pronoun “we” – that’s reserved for HM & legal practitioners.

    [‘So desperate attempts to traduce me are really just you being you.’]

    As the night progresses, you’re becoming more hyperbolic. Have a Vincents & a lie down.

  13. I think it would be good to give people the option of having a Basic Income if they don’t want a paid job and don’t qualify for the Age Pension, the Disability Pension, the Carer’s Payment, the Sickness / Illness Payment etc. I would set this Basic Income at half the full-time time minimum wage. I would set the Age Pension etc at 100 percent of the full-time minimum wage.

    This would mean that people who for lifestyle or ideological reasons just want to live very frugally and decline paid work have that option. Only a very small number of people would choose to do this. It wouldn’t be a problem for society to support those people. Those unusual, counter-cultural people wouldn’t place an onerous burden on others.

    The advantages of this approach are that it would expand people’s freedom, and it would take the wind out of the sails of the critics who claim that the Job Guarantee would be a coercive form of workfare.

  14. Anyway, GG, I’m sure others are becoming bored with our exchanges. I’ve stated my case apropos of your apparent lack of nuance; it’s for others to come to their own conclusions.

  15. Mavis @ #1523 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:12 pm

    GG:

    [‘Well we know you are only attracted to shonks, don’t we.’]

    You must refrain using the pronoun “we” – that’s reserved for HM & legal practitioners.

    [‘So desperate attempts to traduce me are really just you being you.’]

    As the night progresses, you’re becoming more hyperbolic. Have a Vincent’s & a lie down.

    I’m laughing at you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8UKf65NOzM

  16. mundo says:
    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    “Why has Labor allowed the government and the media to spin the recession as the ‘Pandemic” recession.”

    Really? It isn’t? You’re fucking kidding.

  17. Bucephalus @ #1528 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:25 pm

    mundo says:
    Friday, September 4, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    “Why has Labor allowed the government and the media to spin the recession as the ‘Pandemic” recession.”

    Really? It isn’t? You’re fucking kidding.

    When your political opponents are cutting their own throat, you just let them get on with it.

  18. Pica
    As part of my employment I assist in the movement of indigenous teenagers across the country, mostly in small planes.
    They are fascinated at seeing their land from a height, the connection they get from seeing it is fascinating to watch.
    Always one of the enjoyable moments of my work.
    Great meme by the way.

  19. Nicholas on his other hobby horse, UBI, tonight. Something that has to be said no government will want to do in our lifetimes. That is, give money to people to ‘do nothing and live frugally’.

  20. Spray @ #1506 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 7:09 pm

    Danama Papers @ #1500 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 6:54 pm

    Jaeger @ #1454 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 2:59 pm

    So… 7 out of 8 states and territories agree there should be a plan? That’s it?!

    From The Guardian:

    Seven out of eight states and territories in agreement

    And then there were six.

    BREAKING: Qld Premier Palaczszuk says she did NOT agree to discuss the
    @ScottMorrisonMP hotspot plan to reopen by Xmas. Siding with WA. Not on the “bus”.

    https://twitter.com/Riley7News/status/1301801595521257473

    Ironic that the two states that installed these clowns in government are now the ones that are actively defying them.

    Look, I’ve tried to make sense of this last statement by Spray, but it just doesn’t gel with the facts of the matter. That is, Mark McGowan and Anastacia Palacsjuk are not clowns, and they are supported by the people who elected them. As poll after poll shows.

  21. Greensborough Growler @ #1532 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:49 pm

    C@tmomma @ #1532 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:47 pm

    Nicholas on his other hobby horse, UBI, tonight. Something that has to be said no government will want to do in our lifetimes. That is, give money to people to ‘do nothing and live frugally’.

    The “Mavis” theory of wealth distribution.

    Didn’t Mavis rip money off others to fund a lavish lifestyle until caught? As admitted by Mavis themselves?

  22. C@t, I wasn’t calling McGowan or AnnaPalla clowns, far from it. I was alluding to the fact that it was those two states that elected this federal government.

    Thought that was obvious to be honest, but hey-ho.

  23. Spray @ #1535 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:57 pm

    C@t, I wasn’t calling McGowan or AnnaPalla clowns, far from it. I was alluding to the fact that it was those two states that elected this federal government.

    Thought that was obvious to be honest, but hey-ho.

    Okay, it wasn’t obvious to me who just read it as is. Due to the fact that I have been packing all night and not following the debate heretofore. I am also mentally fatigued, as well as physically, so I probably didn’t comprehend at 100% either.

  24. C@tmomma @ #1535 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:55 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1532 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:49 pm

    C@tmomma @ #1532 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:47 pm

    Nicholas on his other hobby horse, UBI, tonight. Something that has to be said no government will want to do in our lifetimes. That is, give money to people to ‘do nothing and live frugally’.

    The “Mavis” theory of wealth distribution.

    Didn’t Mavis rip money off others to fund a lavish lifestyle until caught? As admitted by Mavis themselves?

    He keeps telling me that it is explainable.

  25. Spray @ #1542 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 9:04 pm

    C@tmomma @ #1542 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 9:02 pm

    Dandy Murray @ #1536 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:58 pm

    C@t, I think spray is referring to the Qld and WA voters who put the Lib clowns in federally.

    Anyway, how ’bout those Lions, eh?

    I prefer the Rabbits. 🙂

    Ah, now you’re talking. Can we finish the Storm off? (Probs not).

    Report from the SMH:

    That’s half time at ANZ.

    An absolute corker of a game here. Souths should be further in front but the scoreboard reads 14-10 at the break.

    Have I told you the story about how my stepfather’s uncle was Clive Churchill? 😀

    However, this game is between the two best coaches of the last 20 years and I’m sure the second half will be as much of a corker as the first.

  26. Mavis, I am genuinely pleased to hear your explanation, which I accept.

    To a large extent you are the author of that wrong perception, though, but enough of that.

    Let’s all move on.

  27. “Up the road, in his shack, the old man was sleeping again. He was still sleeping on his face and the boy was sitting by him watching him. The old man was dreaming about the lions.”

    The Lions are up by 20 at 3/4 time.

  28. Please, please keep him. Give him a life appointment and a mansion in Chelsea. Give him a seat in the House of Lords. Just so long as he stays away from Australia for good.

    The British government has come under further pressure to scrap plans to give former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott a senior trade role amid

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6911297/pressure-on-uk-govt-not-to-appoint-abbott/?cs=14232&utm_source=website&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=latestnews

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