Federal election minus 30 days

An audience of undecided voters offers a fairly even verdict following last night’s leaders debate, plus sundry other pieces of polling news and campaign detritus.

Polling and other horse race news:

• The 100 undecided voters selected to attend last night’s Sky News People’s forum included 40 who rated Anthony Albanese the winner compared with 35 for Scott Morrison, leaving 25 undecided.

• A uComms poll conducted for independent Kooyong candidate Monique Ryan credits her with a credulity-straining 59-41 lead over Liberal incumbent Josh Frydenberg. A report in the Herald-Sun relates that primary votes of 35.5% for Frydenberg, 31.8% for Ryan, 12.8% for Labor and 11.7% for the Greens, but there would also have been an undcided component. The poll was conducted last Tuesday from a sample of 847. Conversely, Greg Brown of The Australian reports the Liberals concede a more modest drop in Frydenberg’s primary vote from 47% to 44% over the past three months.

The Guardian reports a Community Engagement poll for Climate 200 in North Sydney found independent Kylea Tink, whose campaign Climate 200 is supporting, with 19.4% of the primary vote to Liberal member Trent Zimmerman’s 37.1%, with Labor on 17.3%, the Greens on 8.7%, the United Australia Party on 5.6% and others on 3.8%, with 8.2% undecided. Respondents were more likely to rank climate change and environment as their most important issue than the economy, at 27.2% and 19.7%, with trust in politics not far behind at 16.2%. The poll was conducted by phone on April 11 and 12 from a sample of 1114.

• The Age/Herald has further results on issue salience from its Resolve Strategic poll, showing cost of living the most salient issue for those under 55 and health and aged care leading for those older.

• I had a piece in Crikey yesterday on the recent history of the gender gap as recorded by opinion polls, and the threat posed to the government by the loss of support by women. Right on cue, Peter Lewis of Essential Research writes in The Guardian today that Scott Morrison’s “low standing with female voters … could well determine the outcome of this election”. It is noted that the gender breakdowns from Essential’s current poll have Morrison at 50% approval and 44% disapproval among men, but 39% approval and 51% disapproval among women. There is also a ten-point gap in its latest numbers for the Coalition primary vote.

Michelle Grattan in The Conversation relates detail on focus group research conducted in Wentworth by Landscape Research, which finds participants tended to rate the government highly on management of the economy and the pandemic, but took a dim view of Scott Morrison and favoured a leadership change to Josh Frydenberg.

Nice-looking things on other websites:

• The University of Queensland offers an attractive Election Ad Data Dashboard that tracks the various parties’ spending on advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Through this medium at least, Labor has thus far led the field with 44.5% of spending since the start of the campaign compared with 26.5% for the Coalition, 12% for the United Australia Party and 10.2% for independents, the latter being concentrated in Kooyong, North Sydney, Wentworth and Mackellar. The $15,000 spend on Josh Frydenberg’s campaign in Kooyong is around triple that of any other Liberal seat. The Financial Review quotes Glenn Kefford of the UQ political science department saying Labor’s 2019 election post-morten was “damning of the digital operation and made it clear that they needed to win the share of voice online if they were going to be successful”.

• Simon Jackman of the University of Sydney is tracking the betting markets in great detail, and translating the odds into “implied probabilities of winning” that currently have it at around 55-45 in favour of Labor. Alternatively, the poll-based Buckley’s & None forecast model rates Labor a 67.2% change for a majority with the Coalition at only 11.1%.

• In a piece for The Conversation, Poll Bludger contributor Adrian Beaumont offers a colour-coded interactive map showing where he considers the swing most likely to be on, based on various demographic considerations.

• A report in The Guardian identifying electorates targeted with the most in “election campaign promises and discretionary grants” since the start of the year had Bass leading the field, with the marginal Labor-held New South Wales seats of Gilmore, Dobell and Hunter high on the list, alongside the seemingly safe Liberal seats of Canning, Durack and Forrest in Western Australia.

Everything else:

• The Liberal candidate for Warringah, Katherine Deves, is standing firm against calls for her to withdraw after her social media accounts turned up considerably more radical commentary on transgender issues than suggested by the initial promotion of her as a campaigner for strict definitions of sex in women’s sport. In this she has the support of Scott Morrison, who decried “those who are seeking to cancel Katherine simply because she has a different view to them on the issue of women and girls in sport” (though Samantha Maiden of News Corp notes she has gone rather quiet of her own accord), together with many of the party’s conservatives. Those who have called for her to withdraw include North Sydney MP Trent Zimmerman, New South Wales Treasurer Matt Kean and state North Shore MP Felicity Wilson. A Liberal source quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald dismissed the notion the party had been unaware of her record when it fast-tracked her for preselection last month with the support of Scott Morrison. Barring action by noon today, Deves will appear as the Liberal candidate on the ballot paper.

• An increasingly assertive Australian Electoral Commission has expressed concern about the parties’ practice of sending out postal vote applications and advised voters against making use of them, and establishing a disinformation register responding to conspiracy theories about voter fraud, a number of which are being peddled by One Nation and the United Australia Party.

• Perth’s centrality to Labor’s election hopes has been emphasised by Anthony Albanese’s announcement that the party’s national campaign launch will be held in the city on Sunday, May 1.


• David Speirs, factionally unaligned Environment Minister in the Marshall government, is the new South Australian Opposition Leader after winning 18 votes in a Liberal party room ballot ahead of moderate Josh Teague on five and conservative Nick McBride seemingly only securing his own vote. Liberal veteran Vickie Chapman has announced she will resign from parliament by the end of May, which will result in a by-election for her safe seat of Bragg.

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.

1,162 comments on “Federal election minus 30 days”

Comments Page 11 of 24
1 10 11 12 24
  1. Glen0 has already tackled the fact that the right exercise cancel culture so often and so cruely they consider it business as usual.

    Takes a whole lot of lefties to band together before they have the power that Murdoch and the Tresurer use constantly, and the outcomes are a lot softer when the left do it.

    The Parliament should define and enforce laws against hate speech and did to some extent but the right hates that. They want to be the only ones. They hate democractic exercise of power.

    Employment law should definitely prohibit anyone getting sacked for expressing a lawful poltical opinion. The onus should be on the business to prove they didn’t and the penalties for breach should be crippling. You know why it isn’t this way. The right want to sack people for political positions the employer doesn’t like, they just object to democractic expression of power.

    I’m opposed to banning books as well, I’ll give you a guess who is responsible for the situation where it can happen, and we’ll never know what books publishers and retailers effectively ban.

    It is funny how all these things are fine, unless and until it is an expression of power, either democractic power or people power.

  2. The Solomans is not the only hole in the Pacific Oz has taken for granted….I think the Chinese offered to build an all weather, you-beaut new runway for Kiribati not so long ago….You know the place….Where the US fought the Battle of Tarawa in WW2. Now, while it might not be Oz directly involved, I am aware that Kiribati uses the Oz dollar for currency and this, you would have thought, might have been a bit of a wake up call within the last nine years of the Morrison government?

  3. zoomster says:
    Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 2:20 pm


    Not deliberately.

    Yes, deliberately. Collectives can be considered to have a form of “thought” beyond just the thoughts of the individuals. This is because neural networks and social networks (not in the sense of Facebook, etc, but in the sense of “the people that a person interacts with”) have very strong parallels.

  4. Thanks William

    “ It’s taken some time for political journalists to wake up to the magnitude of the disaster that is the agreement between the Solomon Islands and China — and the fact that the Morrison government is in absolute chaos over it.
    Some foreign policy and defence specialists immediately understood the impact of the agreement — the ABC’s Andrew Greene and Stephen Dziedzic especially. But it’s taken the best part of a month — and a flurry of activity in Washington, and belatedly in Canberra — to wake up political journalists who have been readily transmitting the idea that the government’s “strong on China” tactic would be an electoral winner.”

    In our defence (pun intended) Bludgers, many here saw what our supposed media experts couldn’t or wouldn’t some time ago. Didn’t seem like rocket science to us, perhaps just having slightly inquisitive minds helped. The media could do with some of that methinks.

  5. Doesn’t matter how many times I see this image… I find it very very strange.. a “gender” candidate sitting in a dress that appears to highlight nude breasts under green swirly bits.. is it an accident or deliberate?

  6. Looks like the LNP drawbridge is going up!

    The Slurries
    Marise Payne & Anne Ruston have refused to debate their shadow ministers at the National Press Club.

    Namby-pamby milksops, poltroons and craven cowards.

    Maybe they’ll send Zed Seselja instead, just for a laugh?

  7. Kiribati the place that asked the Australian government to let its population move to Australia because of rising sea levels only to be greeted with a big fat NO.

  8. WeWantPaul says:
    Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 2:27 pm
    I’m opposed to banning books as well, I’ll give you a guess who is responsible for the situation where it can happen, and we’ll never know what books publishers and retailers effectively ban.

    On that point, and the more general equivalent, notice that the Left doesn’t even call for bans of, say, old racist WB/Disney films – they instead push for messaging along the lines of “These films contain racist stereotypes that are no longer considered acceptable – however, to refuse to show them is to pretend it was never an issue, so we present them here, unedited” being attached to the films.

    Where books or films are banned, and it’s not done by right-wing governments, it’s done by the company that owns it, voluntarily.

    Don’t get me wrong, I speak of “the left” as a unified collective, and they’re not. There are certainly some exceptions among “the left” that *would* ban such things, or actively try to destroy someone for saying something bad. But as with so many examples, the mainstream left rejects such people, whereas the mainstream right embraces their equivalent on the far right.

  9. What could have/should have Australia done to prevent SI signing a treaty with China? This clearly was in the wings for some time from at least 2019 when SI switched diplomatic recognition to PRC.

    I understand its going to be an issue in the election campaign – asleep at the wheel etc.

    But it does seem like a sovereign govt , SI and its PM chose to do this notwithstanding representations by Australia.

    I dont buy that it was because of foreign aid (which has increased to SI in the last 3 years including the submarine cable) or because of climate change.

    These things seem like they will become auctions with China. If China is prepared to say give $10bn to PNG – does that mean Australia has to match it? What about if it gives $10m to a Pacific leader as a backhander should we match that too? Clearly China is already targeting PNG

    If it is Cold War 2,0 small states like SI will fluctuate between the 2 alliances depending on who gives the best offer at any time.

    If China does set up a base in SI? What then – should we go neutral? Prepare for war? Make peace with China on its terms? These are all existential questions. Hopefully there will be a national consensus on this post election.

  10. L’Arse gets it arse-about, as usual…

    What would you have the govt do cronus? Invade SI? Hand out cash to the SI parliament? Bomb Honiara? Cut the submarine cable?

    It’s not a matter of how to respond, now that the deal is done (although sending an office boy to do the boss’s work probably added insult to injury).

    The real question is “What could have been done in the years previous, to head it off?”

    Not treating Pacific Islanders as uppity, whingeing fuzzie-wuzzies would have been a start. Respecting their concerns about Climate Change could have helped, too.

  11. Apparently, some person has driven through the front window of Terri Butler’s Campaign Office and driven off.

    Police in attendance.

  12. Another comment from Morrison (re the Deves situation):

    “Sports will make their decisions, but my preference is for girls to play girls, for women to play women, boys to play boys and men to play men,” he responded.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t there now Olympic sports that are mixed of which the great Australian sport of swimming is one?


  13. meher babasays:
    Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 2:25 pm
    Themunz: “James Patterson, Tim Wilson etc,etc.
    LNP incubator for many, many decades.”

    “They’re both quite recent, and both of them qualify under my definition of not being in a particularly senior role. Can you name any others? (I’m genuinely interested.)”

    I suggest you go direct to them and ask, pretty sure they are proud of their achievements.

  14. Pi and P1.

    As someone who has run the renewable energy target and worked in the private sector energy space. I think you both should relax a little. You’re both somewhat correct. Whether that is by luck or experience, who knows.

    Large changes to renewables always appears unviable, before they are developed. It takes time and investment to get big changes down the cost curve.

    On the cable specifically, I have major hesitation is saying it will be viable. Underwater cables are notoriously risky. As an ex commercial diver, I can also say that marine environments are somewhat unpredictable. Rare events happen more often than they are predicted. So I’ll wait until the project is built and operating for a decade before I make up my mind on its viability. It’s a risk, with potential commercial returns. No one really knows until it’s built and operating.

    Anyway, just some thoughts from someone who doesn’t need Google on this topic.

    Now go chill out

  15. “Don’t get me wrong, I speak of “the left” as a unified collective, and they’re not. There are certainly some exceptions among “the left””

    Excellent point.

    One place the left constantly tries to use (overuse to a ridiculous extent) cancel culture is in efforts within the broad left to control narrative and influence. Still not like the Tresurer of the Commonwealth misusing his office to get a political opponent sacked or defunded, but still ugly and unnecessary.

  16. Lars Von Trier says:
    Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    What could have/should have Australia done to prevent SI signing a treaty with China? This clearly was in the wings for some time from at least 2019 when SI switched diplomatic recognition to PRC.

    The government could have offered SI a better deal.

    And to be clear, I’m not saying “more money”. I’m saying that Australia is in a position to offer all sorts of things to help SI out. We’re closer, meaning that we can react better to defend them, should we have such an agreement, and we can also provide better in terms of trade, etc, too.

    Basically, the Morrison government’s attitude was “You either accept our colonialism, or you get nothing”.

  17. Stephen Spencer
    And another one. Payne won’t debate
    Colbeck won’t debate
    Now Cash is too scared to debate
    ‘I won’t be taking questions’: Michaelia Cash squibs election debate

  18. Pawleen Hanson has been anti any foreign aid to the likes of SI for decades. Was mentioned in the PHON debate the other night. She said figure was 15% of GDP, only wrong by about 14.75%. Last 3 prime Ministers cut, cut, cut. Now it’s Scummo lie, lie, lie.
    China won’t do what he wants. Remember barley, wine, crayfish, dairy exports? Disaster.
    Time’s up.

  19. BB – so Australian climate change inaction led SI to sign up with the worst climate change polluter in the world (China)?

    What’s the logic to that – they are doing nothing on climate change so we better sign up with a dictatorship which has a terrible record of increasing emissions?

    In the words of John McEnroe “you cannot be serious”

  20. “Scott Morrison has cited national security reasons for his refusal to say when exactly he learned about Solomon Islands’ security pact with China.

    “I won’t go to the specifics. It goes to national security so I won’t do that,” the PM told reporters in Brisbane.

    “I know a bit about national security. I’ve been on the national security committee for eight years.”

    How to make yourself look stupider and stupider. One is tempted to ask what he was doing then on that committee for eight years, crosswords? Because he sure wasn’t looking ahead to China’s future intent or our relations with our near neighbours.


  21. GO

    Sorry, bollocks.

    It would have to be a very precise form of psychic connection (or whatever) to ensure that what happened was that your collective voting didn’t just vote the government out, rather than cleverly ensuring that they lose enough seats to not quite make it.

  22. It’s looking like next Newspoll will be 59 – 41 2PP after this week’s series Tory gaffes, infighting, resignations, policy failures, leaked emails, and general debacles like the Solomons.

    What a difference three days has made to the smarmies. Even those on PB are a gibbering shell shocked mess of frustration, and incomprehension of the realities facing them.

  23. A better deal Glen o? Sure – that’s basically the auction approach isn’t it ? Who wants the house most will pay the highest price ?

  24. What’s the logic to that – they are doing nothing on climate change so we better sign up with a dictatorship which has a terrible record of increasing emissions?

    Didn’t Coalition ministers get caught sharing a joke about how climate-change-fueled sea-level rise was going to wipe Pacific island nations off the face of the map?

    That would be a pretty good reason to start looking elsewhere.

  25. Mexicanbeemer @ #518 Thursday, April 21st, 2022 – 2:40 pm

    The swim team is mixed but there might be one mixed relay event

    IIRC The Aussies won a medal in the mixed relay at Toyko.
    The concern is more about a previously male trans person competing against those born women.
    There is a large size range already though and as I previously noted Cate Campbell is over 6 foot (I am sure I have read that) She has been beaten by her smaller sister at times for what it is worth.

  26. GlenO: that was an engaging rant, but it didn’t seem to have much to do with anything I said.

    I haven’t defended ScoMo’s use of the term “blessed” and I haven’t defended Deves. I certainly wouldn’t describe the criticism of ScoMo and Deves that has appeared in the media as being “cancel culture.”

    These are examples of cancel culture:





    I could find some more, but these will do for now. All involved a concerted attack designed to destroy someone’s career/reputation after they had expressed themselves publicly in some way that made them vulnerable to this sort of attack. The story of the Washington Post “outing” of the poor woman who made a poor choice of Halloween costume seems to me to be especially egregious.

    Hatespeech is a terrible thing, but were any of the above truly instances of hatespeech? I would have said that, at worst, they were all minor lapses of judgement. But the consequences for the individuals is that they were set upon by a pack of hyenas. And I really don’t like that.

    I therefore share your sympathy with the concerted attack on Yasmin Abdel-Magied, who I’ve defended on this forum in the past. Thankfully, her career hasn’t been totally stymied by the cancel culture against her.: I understand that she recently was awarded an Australia Council grant and also the prized residency at the Keesing Studio in Paris.

  27. Greensborough Growler

    So we can now add Cash to the list of Deves, Payne and Colbeck who are hiding instead of debating their opponents on critical policy issues within their ministries. Time for them to move out of that garage and to book out a small hotel, they’ll need it at this rate.

    Seems like there is an article just here alone on this burgeoning issue of unwillingness of Ministers to debate or take questions regarding their ministerial responsibilities. Any budding young or old journalists interested?

  28. I dont buy the racism argument either a r . Sure Australia has had a patronising attitude to the Pacific nation states and has the big brother thing going too against it. The Chinese aren’t exactly renowned for friendly cuddly diplomacy or lacking in Han Chinese racism either.

    The other thing about an auction is – if we start playing in auctions we will have to do it everywhere. Cold War 2.0

  29. JayC, have a fair bit of experience laying underground cables myself. Worked on the APCN fibre network, and the fibre optic cable connection project of the Philippines. Was also a design manager for the largest buried power cable in the world at the time (a decade ago). Fact: building transmission infrastructure ground is harder than ocean. Harder means more expensive.

    The main issue with Sun Cable that i can see is simply sourcing the cable. But that capacity is building everywhere, because grid capacity expansion is happening everywhere. I expect they’re going to eventually be manufacturing it themselves.

    So no; P1 is talking out of his nether regions, and I called him out on it. He has clearly formed a narrative about the participants in the venture, and the actual project has zero relevance to that narrative. To blather on about that project as some kind of failure because invented reasons, in a time where massive investment in renewables is required everywhere, including in Singapore, is blinkered in the extreme. It should be called out.

  30. Lars Von Triers at 2:52 pm

    I dont buy the racism argument either a r .

    You seem to have forgotten The Rodent Years. Plenty of race heavy shit tossed about re those ‘brown people’ coming here or ‘sneaking in’ via NZ.

  31. Another comment from Morrison (re the Deves situation):

    “Sports will make their decisions, but my preference is for girls to play girls, for women to play women, boys to play boys and men to play men,” he responded.”

    Is anyone in any position of authority to do anything about it saying different?

    If a male-born (ie. XY) 16 stone NRL prop forward decides he’s trans, or whatever, then I doubt whether the WNRL (or is it NRLW?) Board Of Governors is going to let him/her play in the women’s League. I think the vast majority of trans sportspeople would support that position, as well. It’s a simple matter of physical fairness.

    So why is Morrison going on about it, except to get some radical trans activist hot under the collar and demanding the right to play the “W” game?

  32. More mixed sports for the PM to consider at the highest levels:

    Badminton, luge, tennis, ice skating, equestrian, sailing, archery, athletics, shooting, judo, triathlon just to name a few apparently. Just googled it!

  33. Lars Von Trier says:
    Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 2:43 pm
    What’s the logic to that – they are doing nothing on climate change so we better sign up with a dictatorship which has a terrible record of increasing emissions?

    It’s easy to think that China isn’t doing anything on Climate Change, but it’s also false. It tends to be based on people seeing China as having the highest contribution to coal burning in the world, and concluding that they must be doing nothing.

    They have the highest because of their population. In the meantime, Coal now contributes only 57% of China’s energy, which is better than Australia’s 63%. Also, half of the world’s EVs, and 98% of the world’s electric buses, are in China.

    Of course, that doesn’t excuse China not doing enough, at this point. Note, however, that on a per-capita basis, China emitted 7.41 tonnes of CO2 per person in 2018, compared with 15.48 tonnes per person for Australia. China’s not as quick to change their numbers, but it’s also not reasonable to expect them to change as quickly as Australia.

    The Solomon Islands aren’t going to look at one raw number, and draw a conclusion without looking at circumstances, etc.

  34. Oh geez…

    Nick McKenzie
    Huge day in court. Ben Roberts-Smith’s key witness (and fellow suspect) just revealed in the federal court 3 NEW prisoner execution allegations facing RS and this witness from 2010. They have not before been made public. They are in addition to 2 alleged 2009 executions.

  35. I still think Labor would do well to avoid the Solomon Islands issue as much as possible. It’s not clear to me that they have a really good suggestion as to what the Government might have done to prevent this deal from happening.

    Which means that journalists will have the opportunity to frame umpteen “gotcha” questions to Labor spokespeople designed to get them to say something that could be construed as “we would have done better because China doesn’t hate us so much”, which would open the door for ScoMo to blast them with both barrels.

    Labor should leave the business of criticising this disaster to the wonks at ASPI and the Lowy Institute. From what I’ve seen so far, they’re going to be pretty scathing.

Comments Page 11 of 24
1 10 11 12 24

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *