On and off again

The 2019 federal election pollster failure gets probed and prodded, as the dust settles on the Queensland election

The site experienced issues yesterday that prevented comments from appearing, which are now more-or-less resolved. However, this involved a lot of plugin updates that might cause certain of the site’s features to misfire for a while. One issue seems to be that comments pagination wasn’t working on the previous thread, hence the need for a new thread despite me not having all that much to relate. Except:

• The Association of Market and Social Research Organisations has published its report into the 2019 opinion poll failure, which is important and a big deal, but such has been the pace of events lately that I haven’t had time to really look at it yet. Kevin Bonham has though, and he elaborates upon the report’s analysis of historical federal poll performance by looking at state polls as well, which fail to replicate a finding that polls have a general skew to Labor.

• Recounts in the Queensland cliffhanger seats of Bundaberg and Nicklin confirmed Labor’s narrow victories, by nine rather than the original 11 votes in Bundaberg, and by 85 rather than the original 79 in Nicklin.

Simon Benson of The Australian reports privately commissioned post-Queensland election polling by JWS Research found 24% rated “economy, jobs and living costs” as the most important issue, with COVID-19 on 15%, the state’s border arrangements in response on 14% (one might well think the results for these two responses should be combined), environment and climate change on 9%, health on 8% and infrastructure on 6%.

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.

1,015 comments on “On and off again”

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  1. Trump is going out the way he came in: A loser, a liar and a cheat

    It’s an astounding fact that more than a million Americans have been diagnosed with the coronavirus since Trump lost to Joe Biden on Election Day. More than 10,000 have died

    There are now estimates that at the rate we’re going, 400,000 Americans will be dead of COVID by the end of the year.

    President-elect Joe Biden has appointed a new coronavirus task force, but his transition team is being prevented by the Trump White House from coordinating with the various departments of the federal government, like the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services, that are dealing with the surge in COVID infections now rampaging through the country. Trump’s petulant refusal to admit defeat and allow the legally mandated transition between his administration and Biden’s is costing the lives of thousands of American citizens. It’s not a temper tantrum. It’s a crime

    We’ve got more deaths from this virus than the number of soldiers killed in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The president of the United States we just voted out of office is sitting around watching Fox News, filing phony lawsuits, firing people he thinks are “disloyal,” and running a new scam on his way out the door to line his pockets with dollars from his adoring base. Donald Trump is living up to every expectation we ever had about him. He’s going out exactly the way he came in: lying, cheating and stealing.


  2. If I never have to see the sex doll mannequin pursed lips of Donald Trump again it will be too soon!

    I tell you, there’s a PhD in analysing all the ways Trump facilitated the adoration of his fans. You can bet there have been people who have coached him into habits, such as with the way he moves his hands, the way he looks, the way he moves, the mannerisms when he speaks, the way he constructs his sentences to mean more than one thing at a time (quite the talent), and no doubt a whole lot more. Sort of like a metastasised cross between Hitler and the Demtel man. His whole ‘reign’ was like one long infomercial for what he was selling. Himself.

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Eryk Bagshaw tells us that Australian businesses, universities and healthcare providers will be given access to 14 countries in the largest free-trade deal ever signed, as the federal government attempts to turn the new trading bloc into a circuit-breaker in its spiralling trade dispute with China.
    The SMH editorial thinks the signing of this trade pact is a monumental step forward.
    Jacqui Maley reckons Scott Morrison never got the memo about mansplaining.
    Jennifer Duke writes that former Labor MP Kate Ellis is calling for urgent reform in Parliament, warning female staffers often don’t complain about inappropriate behaviour because they fear hurting the party’s reputation or harming their own ambitions for a political career.
    And John Lord writes, “It is the males of the Coalition who have had a long-established “masculine problem” of entitlement: specifically, a white male problem that believes they are allowed more superiority over women than women of today want to be subjected to.”
    Jobmaker will make life harder for workers over 35, and Greg Jericho says the Coalition seems happy about that.
    Nick O’Malley looks at the relationship between coal and politicians.
    Australia could face a carbon border-tax and must prepare for global carbon price urges Richard Holden.
    The inventor of a range of light-weight solar panels believes Australia will achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of the century despite the federal government not yet signing up to a formal target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
    Experts have again queried the Victorian government’s maintenance of strict mask-wearing rules in the state. The role of masks has been debated this week after Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said they remained a valuable safety net, reports Roy Ward in The Age.
    The 2020-21 federal budget has projected a sharp fall in net overseas migration in both 2020-21 and 2021-22. This news has been greeted with doom and gloom from politicians, media and most economists, writes Hamish Burns.
    Peter FitzSimons’ weekly column is worth a read.
    The Guardian revels that Australian rideshare drivers have been found to be earning $12 an hour and at significant risk of harassment and assault. They shouldn’t worry though, I’m sure Michaelia Cash has their backs.
    Efforts to paint Australians as too lazy to take fruit-picking jobs have been blown apart by an experienced fruit-picker who has revealed he was lured to a Queensland farm on the promise of making more than $3,000-a-week only to be paid less than the minimum wage.
    The Coalition government is pushing hard to get rid of responsible lending obligations, but it doesn’t seem to realise that removing these obligations will pull the rug out from one of its signature pieces of legislation that Scott Morrison championed when he was treasurer – mandatory comprehensive credit reporting. Elizabeth Minter reports.
    Sue Warham posits that Australia goes to war far too easily.
    Cancer-causing arsenic and poisonous heavy metals have been found in a drain less than a kilometre from a popular NSW beach.
    Dominic Cummings left Downing Street after his relationship with the prime minister “fell off a cliff”, a former cabinet minister has said.
    The New Daily reckons Biden’s plan to handle Trump is to simply ignore him.
    In a cracker of a contribution, Ian Warden gives us the Shakespearean tragedy of Donald Trump.
    Joe Biden plans to reach across the aisle – but is he walking into a Republican trap, wonders David Smith.
    Rather than someone playing to win, Trump looked like he was going through the motions – and running down the clock, writes Matthew Knott following Trump’s Rose Garden performance yesterday.

    Cartoon Corner

    Simon Letch

    Matt Davidson

    Matt Golding

    From the US

  4. Amee Vanderpool

    Kayleigh McEnany
    thinks that there are one million racists marching in DC right now (on thetop). But, this is what more than a million looks like (on the bottom).

  5. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany refused to acknowledge that President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as US president in January 2021, insisting instead that President Trump will attend “his own inauguration.”

    Speaking to Fox Business on Friday, McEnany said that she is confident President Trump’s many legal challenges will eventually turn the election around, adding that the current administration only wants to “lift the hood of the car” on the results.

    When asked by Fox Business host Stuart Varney whether Trump would attend the inauguration in January, McEnany responded: “Again, that’s many steps away here. We’re talking January and President Trump believes he will be President Trump, have a second term, and litigation is the first step, many steps away from that.”


    Oh boy! 🙄

  6. Thanks Mr Bowe.
    And BK.

    Reposting this. It follows on C@t’s post; getting old news now, but the truth never ages.

    On the 7th day, as 16 assistant US attorneys general told Bill Barr to get stuffed, he came and gave a concession speech, sort of …

    “time will tell”


  7. Morrison might regret the campaign to encourage people to go fruit picking – it’s exposing the real problems with the pay and working conditions.

    ‘Noah Wun, 33, is a fit, experienced picker – he’s been up and down Australia’s harvest trail chasing the season since he was 18.

    In September he saw a news headline touting a ‘$3800 a week job no one wants’ picking fruit and decided to follow it up.’

    ‘…He signed up that week with the farm through MADEC, a not-for-profit contracted by the federal government to link growers and pickers.

    The contract he signed stipulated he would not complain if he was paid under the minimum wage for ‘piece work’ – where pickers are paid on the number of boxes they pick.

    “They got us to sign an agreement stating the horticulture award does not guarantee a minimum wage, and we understand we might not make a minimum wage on the piece rate,” Mr Wun told The New Daily.

    “There was a clause that said I’m not signing under duress.”

    The minimum casual wage in Australia is $753.80 per 38-hour week.

    Mr Wun was paid nearly 25 per cent less than that – just $577 – and that was after he threatened to go to take his case to the Fair Work Ombudsman because they had underpaid him.

    “At first [they were going to pay] under $300, and then I contacted MADEC and put the wind up them about contacting Fair Work,” he said.’

    ‘…“They rectified part of my pay, but it wasn’t a minimum wage. My friend made around $80 dollars for the week and he worked 60 hours. This is the ‘$3800 job a week that no Aussie wants to do’.”

    ‘…the federal government’s farm work policies have made it hard for Australian citizens to get picking jobs.

    “When they extended the working holiday visas to include more countries, it got harder,” he said.

    The farmers started contracting the backpacker hostels to provide the labour, the situation became that you could only get work if you’re staying at the backpacker hostel.”

    Australian job seekers have told The New Daily they’ve applied for farm work recently, but have not been able to land work because they had their own accommodation or lived locally – and the contract said they had to stay at the hostel.’

    The article goes on to outline the accommodation charges at the hostels and the basic conditions they provide. It further claims that some work hire firms are advertising picking jobs for visa holders only (so Australians don’t even get to apply).


  8. I see that the company providing farm work MADEC is a not for profit organisation, which means that they don’t pay tax. I wonder what MADEC pays their Admin staff and CEO.

  9. Things we won’t see: The “Guardian” with a “We Were Wrong” headline.
    Browsing their site this morning I spotted a a link for Gay Alcorn captioned ”
    ‘Still stand with Dan?’
    Curious, I went in and saw this:
    “It is a truism that oppositions struggle at times of real crisis, and the Liberals in Victoria have swung from making sensible suggestions to the worst of politics – the reliable Tim Smith declared the state was “governed by a bunch of totalitarian leftwing nutters who are going to destroy Victoria”. But the opposition senses that this is the moment when Andrews – the most dominant leader in the state since Jeff Kennett – is on his knees.

    “Still stand with Dan?” Liberal leader Michael O’Brien retweeted, and that is indeed the question.”

    Then I closely examined the byline: Wed 8 September 2020.


    Read this and learn how many were spouting claptrap.
    Lots more nonsense in there. Gay Alcorn really put in a shameful effort (viewed in hindsight) – but why are they still displaying the item as if it was current? This really deserves a BIG retraction.

  10. Linda Burney MP
    Labor will oppose the Government’s legislation to make the #CashlessDebitCard permanent and roll it out across the Northern Territory.

    Linda has laid out the case against the Card on Twitter. I do hope that Speers will give her a chance to put it clearly.

  11. Wow! Sam Maiden just let fly at the double standards wrt similar cases that related to a male MP(Alan Tudge) and a female federal MP(Emma Husar) and the media’s politeness towards the male MP that they never displayed when it came to the female MP.

  12. The Cashless Debitcard. Another money-making scheme for the LNP friends, tax dollars coming back to the LNP via political donations. They can certainly run a business but they cannot run a country. The ALP Premiers and to some extent the LNP Premiers have saved the Fed LNP’s arse.

  13. Sam Maiden just called out the Finance Department as being ‘a toothless tiger’ when it comes to disciplinary matters relating to MPs as well and said that it is where political leaders send matters for review because they know nothing can be done by Finance!

  14. Yes the ALP made a grave error with regards to Emma Huser. They should have supported her instead they were eliminating any bad publicity. They still lost.

  15. Karen Middleton
    Not only can Dept of Finance not take action if a bullying or harassment complaint is upheld, they send the report to the minister/MP in question & refuse to disclose the findings to the complainant. Where’s the natural justice? See @SatPaper yesterday. @InsidersABC #insiders

  16. Greg Jericho
    Good work by
    pointing out the incredible double standards going on this week #insiders
    Greg Jericho
    was absolutely hung out to dry in a way blokes *never* are
    Patricia Karvelas
    There IS a problem with misogyny and sexism in Parliament House. #Insiders #auspol

  17. Hacking happens. Good job WB getting things sorted. (Been there. It can be frustrating and nerve racking.)

    After two attempts at replying to CC and OC I gave up and typed my reply into Notepad. On the off chance that last night’s discussion is still relevant, the context is a back of the envelope calculation for when Australia might return to a post-covid normal on the assumption there will be an effective vaccine available in mid to late 2021.

    Thank you for your more realistic guesses on achievable inoculation rates.
    CC: Your link gets me to 50,000 per day.
    OC: 1,000,000 per day is a lot of people lining up. But maybe that’s an upper bound.

    Bracketing, and acknowledging these rates won’t be achieved on day 1 and represent the average over the period in question:
    50,000/day: 1 year 4 months
    500,000/day: 2 months
    So maybe by December 2021 we will be in a safer state or it might take until December 2022. But that’s still a lot better than my first guess of a decade from now.

  18. Late Riser @ #NaN Sunday, November 15th, 2020 – 9:29 am

    Hacking happens. Good job WB getting things sorted. (Been there. It can be frustrating and nerve racking.)

    After two attempts at replying to CC and OC I gave up and typed my reply into Notepad. On the off chance that last night’s discussion is still relevant, the context is a back of the envelope calculation for when Australia might return to a post-covid normal on the assumption there will be an effective vaccine available in mid to late 2021.

    Thank you for your more realistic guesses on achievable inoculation rates.
    CC: Your link gets me to 50,000 per day.
    OC: 1,000,000 per day is a lot of people lining up. But maybe that’s an upper bound.

    Bracketing, and acknowledging these rates won’t be achieved on day 1 and represent the average over the period in question:
    50,000/day: 1 year 4 months
    500,000/day: 2 months
    So maybe by December 2021 we will be in a safer state or it might take until December 2022. But that’s still a lot better than my first guess of a decade from now.

    I reckon all the Covid Clinics will be turned into Vaccination Clinics. Seems sensible to me.

  19. Is MADOC set up as a charity
    Ie pays its office workers a stipend (not taxable) with a generous credit card for expenses

    Is MADOC set up by LNP maates

  20. Morning all. Very stiff and sore this morning after a long night of dancing in heels. Have to remember I’m not 25 anymore LOL.

    This is what Biden is up against in his quest to unite the country – from a rural town in Texas which I’d bet echoes the sentiment in similar Trump Country across the US.

  21. Now that’s a photo of a sad old defeated man. Is my imagination or does he look like he’s getting fatter?


    Or there’s my favourite line from a Washington Post piece –

    ““He drove right past me. I saw him. He waved right past me,” one man said, squatting to collect himself.”


  22. I once went to a Union ball, attended by several male MPs.

    Women were throwing themselves at them.

    I absolutely acknowledge that there is a power imbalance in politics and that this is exploited by (some) men, but I’m also worried we’re getting into a strange space where women are simultaneously free sexual beings who make their own decisions and frail naive beings who are ripe for exploitation.

    The old fashioned view of women explains the treatment of Emma Husar (and Craig Thompson, too).

    Whilst exploitation of women and hypocritical behaviour from those who profess Family Values should certainly be exposed, we need to tread a fine line here.

  23. Another day of no new COVID-19 cases in Victoria

    Victoria has entered its 16 consecutive day of no new COVID-19 cases or lives lost.

    There are just three active cases in the state according to figures over the last 24 hours.

    There were also no cases with an unknown source.

    The figures come as Melburnians break through the “ring of steel” and escape to the regions for the first time after restrictions lifted last week.

  24. …yes, one of my missing posts was about Brett Sutton being turned away from a local brewery (twice) yesterday under his own regulations.

    Apparently he was very sporting about it, as there are selfies with him taken by the staff.

  25. [“The Secret Service would escort him off, they would treat him like any old man who’d wandered on the property,”…]


    Given Trump has endangered their health through exposure to C.19, I’d imagine many would revel in escorting him from the WH.
    But it’s highly unlikely such will ensue, his last presser pointing to a broken man, who knows he has no option but to vacate the W.H.

  26. Rex

    The party room is for elected Labor MPs. Joel Fitzgibbon is an elected Labor MP.

    It is for the electorate to turf him out of it, not Albo.

  27. Some posters here should reflect on this:

    Ingrid M
    after framing misogyny in public interest terms, Speers goes on and on about the member for Hunter, which is of no public interest outside the Hunter and journos who love nothing more than feeding Labor leadership and climate policy into the conflict journalism machine

  28. The treatment of Craig Thomsen and Emma Huser was similar in only that lies were reported as truth one by Fairfax and the other by The Guardian. Thomsen was initially supported by the ALP until it was no longer possible. Huser was never given support to try and find the truth.

  29. Morning all. Late Riser I posted a comment yesterday that suggested, extrapolating from the rate of Flu vaccinations in 2019 (nearly 12 million in 3 m,onths) that a vaccination rate of about 120,000 a day was realistic.

    This story is about a Federal “promise” to build a rial line that deserves investigation. It was a thought bubble for an election that had not had any planning or business case done. Cost was underestimated by 200% ($500 million vs now $1.5 billion). It also needs land acquisition, more rolling stock and track work on the preceding line to be feasible for any reasonable level of services.

    We are seeing this sort of thing often from Morrison, and before him Turnbull with Snowy II. Have a good day all.

  30. I was told last night that Joel Fitzgibbon’s problem wasn’t that he is in Labor and Labor have a more Progressive stance on Climate Change policy it’s that he is a lazy, no good Local Member.

    But we all intuited that already. 😀

  31. Muskiemp

    I was talking about their treatment by the media – Thomsen was stalked and harassed, with the media camped outside his home.

    Emma was supported by the party; it was her decision to not recontest her seat. She then changed her mind, after a new candidate had been declared.

  32. Re Confessions @9:42.

    Certainly bizarre. They clearly don’t think that they’re putting off a large proportion of their customer base. I’d drive past to the next one unless I had a near empty tank.

    P.S. Other points of note: petrol at the equivalent of $A0.65-70 per litre.

    P.P.S. I couldn’t dance when I was 25.

    P.P.S. Who’s the (black?) guy sneaking up on Trump from behind with his hand on Trump’s shoulder?

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