Miscellany: Groom by-election, Victoria poll, perceptions of US

A by-election looms in an uncompetitive seat; a poll shows Labor maintaining a lead in Victoria in spite of everything; and regard for the United States and its President falls still further.

First up, note the new-ish posts below on a YouGov poll for South Australia and Adrian Beaumont’s latest on the US race.

• A federal by-election looms for the seat of the Queensland Groom, centred on Toowoomba. This follows yesterday’s announcement by Liberal-aligned LNP member John McVeigh, the member since 2016 and previously state member for Toowoomba South from 2012,. that he will retire due to his wife’s illness. With Labor having polled 18.7% of the primary vote in the seat at the 2019 election, it seems a fairly safe bet that they will be sitting this one out. To the extent that the seat has been interesting it has been as a battleground between the Liberals and the Nationals, most recently when McVeigh’s predecessor, Ian Macfarlane, had his bid to defect from the former to the latter blocked by the Liberal National Party administration in 2015. John McVeigh’s father, Tom McVeigh, held the seat for the National/Country Party from 1972 to 1988 (it was known until 1984 as Darling Downs), but it passed to the Liberal control at the by-election following his retirement.

• Roy Morgan has an SMS poll of state voting intention in Victoria, and while the methodology may be dubious, it delivers a rebuke to the news media orthodoxy in crediting Daniel Andrews’ Labor government with a two-party lead of 51.5-48.5. The primary votes are Labor 37%, Coalition 38.5% and Greens 12.5%. The results at the 2018 election were Labor 42.9%, Coalition 35.2% and Greens 10.7%, with Labor winning the two-party vote 57.3-42.7. The poll was conducted Tuesday to Thursday from a sample of 1147.

• An international poll by the Pew Research Centre finds 94% of Australians believe their country has handled the pandemic well and 6% badly, whereas 85% think the United States has handled it badly and 14% well, while the respective numbers for China are 25% and 73%. Twenty-three per cent have confidence in Donald Trump to do the right think for world affairs, down from 35% last year, equaling a previous low recorded for George W. Bush in 2008. Only 33% of Australians have a favourable view of the United States, down from 50% last year, a change similar to that for all other nations surveyed.

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.

671 comments on “Miscellany: Groom by-election, Victoria poll, perceptions of US”

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  1. What! I hadn’t thought of this terrible condition of lockdown. Someone complaining.
    You may get fined if you put out your bins at 10 pm.

  2. Is there no bottom to the sheer stupidity of Adam Creighton. And when this was brought to his attention, his response was that he didnt know who Avi Yemini was. What an idiot.

    Kos Samaras
    Another important point.
    Quote Tweet

    Peter Brent
    · 7h
    The Australian’s economic editor retweeting the far-right dude (convicted of assaulting his ex-wife) & calls on Victoria’s governor to sack premier. All good.
    Show this thread

    Adam Creighton
    How can the Governor of Victoria see this and not sack the government and call an election?

    If people want health fascism at least let them vote for it.
    Quote Tweet

    Avi Yemini Flag of AustraliaFlag of Israel
    · 19h
    Meanwhile, in Melbourne today while we only had 21 new cORonaViRuS cases this man was tackled to the ground and arrested for being a suspected COVID rule breaker.

    I feel much safer after watching this.

    RT to make everyone you know feel as safe as me.

  3. I’m reading ‘Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World’ by Jack Weatherford atm. Riveting stuff.

    Think about the guy – an outcast, a slave, considered the dregs of Mongolian society — who then not only conquered more lands than anyone else, but instituted a series of social reforms as well. Although he was uneducated and illiterate, he understood the importance of both.

    In order to unite the various steppe tribes, he replaced the old aristocratic systems with ones based on merit, and paid particular attention – always – to those who, as he had been, were considered the dregs of society.

    (Killed a lot of people as well, of course…)

  4. Rex

    ‘This is Labor being torn apart.’

    Or engaging in open debate, so that many different views can be aired and considered.

    It’s always difficult finding the balance between decisions being made by ‘thirty faceless men’ and open and honest debate.

  5. Zoomster

    Not at all.

    The only problem is when honest and open debate is falsely used to describe a party as tearing itself apart. There is no balance to achieve.

    Just perception issues.

    All the articles I have read gives the perception Labor is tearing itself apart. It’s the RGR battle for the same reason.
    Backing fossil fuels or not.

  6. Was also going to mention the Cicero trilogy by Robert Harris. And Rex, what zoomster said. LEAN has got a lot of broad support across Labor.

  7. Fitzgibbon said although he supported climate action and understood the science, Labor had lost elections in recent times in part because of its climate change policies. He said the time had come to “stop running ahead of the rest of the world when we are 1.3% of carbon output”.

    “It isn’t the only reason we’ve lost elections but it has had an impact, and you can have the best climate policy in the world but if you are perpetually in opposition it doesn’t make much difference.”

    As far as I can see, Fitzgibbon simply wants to retain his own seat.

    Hunter Valley MP contradicts Labor leader Anthony Albanese and climate spokesman Mark Butler

  8. lizzie @ #541 Sunday, September 20th, 2020 – 2:55 pm

    Australia Post

    I have received a message suggesting that if I haven’t received my parcel (posted on 3/9 and “expected on 11/9) by the 20th Sep, I should get “contact so that we can investigate”.

    These are plants, so may not survive. They had to travel from Outer East Melbourne to Outer East Melbourne, about an hour by car. No doubt they’ve gone to Brisbane!!

    Lizzie I assume you have already lodged an online equiry if you have tracking information. It took them over 2 weeks to deliver a small packet from Diggers Rest to Sunbury. It sat in Diggers Rest PO for a week before my online enquiry got it moving. It then went to a city sorting office for another week.

    Meanwhile a prescription I had received electronically and accessed took 12 days to get from St Albans to Sunbury. Chemist needed the original for legalities.

    An Amazon parcel can be got to me in 2 days though. Go figure!

  9. In reply to V1Julia’s doubts about my Australian Super investment:

    The lump sum is exactly $200,000. It has returned $31,200 per annum income for 2.5 years between the two of us (which is, as I said, slightly more than 15%). At the end of each year the principal has been intact. It now stands back up at $196,000, having sunk to $175,000 around April-May.

    For the principal to be intact at the end of each year, yet with $31,200 paid out each year in the meantime, means it has indeed been earning 15%-plus per year, in my books. It’s been like a superannuation magic pudding. I’m not claiming it has always been thus, but since the start of 2018 those are the results.

    Perhaps V1Julia looked up the wrong rates? Or got the time period wrong?

    One of the things we like about Oz Super is that they do NOT just follow the ASX Index. If this was all they did then there’d be no point investing with them. Anyone could do that by themselves, and cut out the middle man.

    I’m sure some companies (usually non-Industry Funds) do invest this way, and their results reflect this. Oz Super (along with most of the Industry Funds) perform better presumably because they don’t follow the rest of the herd.

  10. @brynnobrien
    So @mpbowers there’s actually an answer to your question about who gave Morrison the lump of coal: it was Brendan Pearson, then CEO of the Minerals Council, now Morrison’s senior advisor

  11. guytaur

    Nonsense. I’ve explained the process to you a zillion times before, I won’t bother again.

    If you go back to this stage in the election cycle at almost any prior era you’d like to nominate, you’ll find the same kind of articles and the same kind of dire doom and gloom views of Labor — and sometimes, they’ve still gone on to win the next election.

  12. Zoomster

    You too need to look up the word perception.

    Just look at the article Lizzie posted.

    Your version of events proves my point. Labor has at the very least a perception problem.

    Edit: your response suggests the journalists are reporting accurately

  13. See new Tweets
    DropletMichael West
    exposes political corruption, makes Liberal Party fundraiser Nine Entertainment the joke #Barilaro #auspol
    Holding comedians to account: Nine and News miss John Barilaro, hit @Friendlyjordies instead
    Once venerable, the Nine Entertainment-owned Fairfax press has sunk to holding comedians to account and protecting corrupt government. Michael Tanner on the rise of vloggers and the stoush between You
    7:37 AM · Sep 20, 2020·Twitter Web App


  14. zoomster @ #555 Sunday, September 20th, 2020 – 3:46 pm


    ‘This is Labor being torn apart.’

    Or engaging in open debate, so that many different views can be aired and considered.

    It’s always difficult finding the balance between decisions being made by ‘thirty faceless men’ and open and honest debate.

    This ‘open debate’ on climate policy has been costing Labor elections. Their own review says so.

  15. Barney

    How many jounalists have written talking about Fitzgibbon.
    How hard is it for you to agree with Rex that yes Fitzgibbon is a problem?

    You don’t have to agree with Rex’s framing or your perception of mine.
    Denying there is a problem does you and Labor no good.

    It’s exactly the same arguments used as when the RGR wars happened. This is how voters are seeing it.
    That’s the perception problem I am talking about.
    Fitzgibbon knows it’s a hostile narrative. Journalists have accurately reported here.

  16. guytaur

    I’ve seen Greens disagreeing with Greens, Libs disagreeing with Libs, National party members disagreeing with National Party members.

    Obviously every political party in Australia is in disarray.

  17. Zoomster

    Thanks for confirming that it’s a party split.

    My argument on perception was based on your argument of it’s just debate. You were so keen on discrediting any argument you didn’t accept the concession in my response of where Rex may and journalists have been over egging the negativity.

    Very revealing about Labor’s partisan view of some posters on this blog.
    Well done.

  18. guytaur has fever dreams about Labor falling apart because HE doesn’t support them anymore.
    However, as the saying goes, in his dreams.

  19. Cat

    I have told you before. Vote 1 Green Labor 2.

    In our electoral system that’s supporting Labor. I know to a rusted on in your bubble you think that’s First Past The Post.

  20. Despite their own election reviews, Labor keeps indulging in the self-destructive climate policy ‘open debates’. The arrogance in this continued indulgence is bewildering.

    It really is past time they detach from the fossil fuel cartel unions and follow the sensible logic of credible scientists and economists.

  21. He said Labor did not need ginger groups like Lean “constantly pulling us to the left”

    Labor: “We have our own environmental faction, so there’s no reason for the Greens to exist!”

    Also Labor: “These LEAN traitors should bugger off to the Greens where they belong!”

  22. The rule is very simple:
    A dissenting voice in Labor = a major party split
    A dissenting voice in the Liberals = sensible policy debate
    A dissenting voice in the Greens = ? No one cares

  23. guytaur @ #592 Sunday, September 20th, 2020 – 2:56 pm


    Do read the conversation. You will look less like an idiot.

    What, you’ve found a Labor MP supporting what Fitzgibbon said?

    Thanks for the reminder, I found your definition of an idiot the other day, so yes, someone reading the article that had your comprehension skills could come away with your perception.

  24. P1

    Some progress has been made in Labor.

    Partisans do recognise the value of social media commentary by Friendly Jordies.

    There has been praise of Kristina Keneally on QandA “destroying” Michael McCormack.

  25. #BREAKING MP Leslie Williams has dramatically quit the NSW Nationals over the ‘reckless and unreasonable’ actions of Deputy Premier John Barilaro and has applied to join the Liberal Party.

  26. Holdenhillbilly says:
    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 5:17 pm
    #BREAKING MP Leslie Williams has dramatically quit the NSW Nationals over the ‘reckless and unreasonable’ actions of Deputy Premier John Barilaro and has applied to join the Liberal Party.

    She could have decided to sit as an Independent but then would have lost her ministerial positions (and the extra money plus the influence that goes with being a minister).

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