Miscellany: polls, preselections and the Coalition’s Gen Z problem

New research argues the Coalition will need to do something dramatic to win favour among emerging generations if it ever wants to govern again.

We’re probably due a Resolve Strategic poll in the coming week, and Newspoll’s quarterly aggregates with state-level results and other breakdowns will likely be upon us shortly. For now, there’s the following poll-wise:

• A JWS Research poll finds 46% intending to vote yes in the Indigenous Voice referendum against 43% for no, with 11% uncommitted. Even allowing for small samples, the state breakdowns have unintuitive results, showing clear leads for yes in Western Australia and no in New South Wales, and statistical ties in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. The poll was conducted from June 2 to 6 from a sample of 1122. This comes attached to the pollster’s quarterly True Issues survey on issue salience, which as you might expect finds housing and interest rates continuing to track upwards while hospitals, health care and ageing continues to decline from its pandemic-era highs. Thirty-seven per cent rate the government’s performance as very good or good compared with 23% for poor or very poor, both results unchanged on last time.

• The weekly federal voting intention numbers from Roy Morgan have Labor’s two-party lead steady at 57-43, which is presumably influenced by a change in preference flows, because the primary votes have Labor up one to 37.5%, the Coalition down two to 32% and the Greens steady on 13%.

Other news:

• A paper by Matthew Taylor for conservative think tank the Centre for Independent Studies reached the headline-grabbing conclusion that the Coalition stands to lose the next six federal elections if present generational trends continue to play out uninterrupted. While the paper finds evidence that Generation X (born 1965 to 1980) is following the previously established trend towards conservatism as it ages, its analysis of Australian Election Study survey data paints a distinctly unpromising picture for the Coalition among Millennials (born 1981 to 1995) and especially Generation Z (after 1995). The former started from a lower base of Coalition support than previous generations and is showing only tentative movement to conservatism with the onset of middle age (more discernible is movement from the Greens to Labor). The starting point for Gen Z was lower still and has, from an admittedly shallow pool of data, since collapsed altogether, to the extent that Coalition support is now 25% lower than for the population as a whole — although the movement has been to the none-of-the-above category rather than Labor.

Matthew Killoran of the Courier-Mail reports that right-wing Queensland Senator Gerard Rennick faces four preselection challengers for his third position on the Senate ticket at the Liberal National Party’s state conference next weekend. In addition to those already reported — Nelson Savanh of strategic communications firm Michelson Alexander and private investment fund director Stuart Fraser — are Mitchell Dickens, a former staffer to Rennick and party operative based on the Sunshine Coast, and Sophia Li, a former political adviser who has made a few guest appearances on Amanda Stoker’s program on Sky News. Incumbent Paul Scarr is also under challenge for his top position from Li and Fiona Ward, who was recently overlooked for the Fadden by-election, but is not reckoned to be in any trouble.

• Following earlier reports of a challenge from Mary Aldred, the Sentinel Times reports South Gippsland mayor Nathan Hersey will also run for preselection against Russell Broadbent, the 72-year-old Liberal member for the Victorian seat of Monash.

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.

1,021 comments on “Miscellany: polls, preselections and the Coalition’s Gen Z problem”

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  1. Asha:

    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    While I won’t piss in your pocket, for a something 40-year-old, you post a lot of sense, seemingly unconcerned with the politics of this blog. I’m off.

  2. Socrates @3.26

    I’m going to be slightly obscure and just say information technology. I’m rather easy to identify if I’m any more specific as my particular field is extremely specialised (but in very high global demand, hence why I can step out of academia).

  3. ShellBell

    I understand the Waterhouses were invited by the Royal family to Her Majesty’s funeral, due to a common interest in thoroughbreds.

    Any inference that the doyennes of NSW corruption had any business relationship with the Windsors is scurrilous.

  4. Asha. What about combining your interest in politics with your creative writing skills. Political Fiction.

    Speaking of which. Does anyone know the name of a book published in the 70s or early 80s involving a military coup in Australia. I read it a long time ago at age 13 or something and can’t recall the title.

  5. Socrates
    My sister’s FIL nabbed the trainer of Fine Cotton HH in the riverland. He knew Rodger the dodger quite well.

  6. All sounds legit to me..

    Bill Waterhouse was also a successful commercial and residential property developer and hotelier, building the first strata-titled home unit development in New South Wales and the top hotel licensee in Australia in the 1960s.

    Other ventures have included mining licences and international betting shops.

    His diplomatic post of Honorary Consul-General for the Kingdom of Tonga arose from a friendship at Sydney University’s Law School with the young heir to the throne of Tonga.[He has received several awards from Tonga including the Grand Cross of Queen Salote, from King George Tupou V in 2009.


    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Waterhouse

  7. Mavis says:
    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 6:59 pm
    TPOF:

    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    [‘For the extremely ignorant or of limited intelligence…’]

    You lost me there!

    _________________________________

    Fair enough. Sad you have trouble reading more than three sentences. No wonder you like Rexsplaining.

  8. I couldn’t venture an opinion on whether Hanson has breached 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (although I think Faruqi will find it hard to credibly maintain her feelings were really hurt by anything said by Pauline Hanson) but I am not at all worried about the constitutional argument. If anything the current High Court has been walking back the implied freedom of political communication and doesn’t seem really thrilled it’s in precedent anyway, but in any event the idea that someone’s right of political communication is unfairly burdened by preventing them from racially abusing people is not going to get up.

  9. Great stuff, Asha.

    If you like American political biographies as well, I recommend Robert Caro’s book about Robert Moses (the New York infrastructure planner who became immensely powerful) and of course his series of volumes about LBJ. Elegant prose, compelling narratives, and deeply researched.

  10. For a while I’ve been curious about trying to obtain this book about Victorian Premier Dick Hamer.

    https://i.imgur.com/06aQDZB.jpg

    He was a couple of decades before my time, but seemed to be a very popular Moderate Liberal Premier in the 1970’s. And I’d like to know the story about that, especially since the previous long term regime of Henry Bolte and Arthur Rylah seemed to be as far right wing as Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s government.

  11. That Louise Waterhouse was duchessing GladysB, introduced by her secret lover Daryl Maguire, over Badgery’s Creek land proves that the apple does not fall far from the tree…

    Waterhouse was cleared of rumours surrounding the doping of Melbourne Cup co-favourite, Big Philou in 1969, when it was shown by Australian Jockey Club (AJC) officials he was not working on the race, by then being a Sydney bookmaker and did not stand to lose on Big Philou in the doubles business run by his staff.

    Waterhouse was the father of bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse, and the father-in-law of horse trainer Gai Waterhouse. In 1984 Waterhouse and his son Robbie lost their bookmakers’ licenses when it was alleged they had ‘prior knowledge’ of the Fine Cotton ring-in and the AJC revoked their licenses, before waiting for the results of the Queensland police inquiry into the ring-in. However, it was never alleged they had any involvement in the actual ring-in.selWaterhouse always maintained his innocence.

    He was reinstated as a bookmaker in 2002 at 80 years of age when he announced he was coming back to train his grandson, Tom Waterhouse, as the fourth-generation Waterhouse bookmaker. They became Australia’s largest on-course bookmakers in 2007 and 2008

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Waterhouse

  12. Nicholas says:
    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Great stuff, Asha.

    If you like American political biographies as well, I recommend Robert Caro’s book about Robert Moses (the New York infrastructure planner who became immensely powerful) and of course his series of volumes about LBJ. Elegant prose, compelling narratives, and deeply researched.
    _______
    Seconded. The early volumes on LBJ in particular are unsurpassed.

  13. Nothing to see here, move along…

    An email to Gladys Berejiklian from a racing heir who had been told to send it by the NSW Premier’s secret lover in order to get a “tickle from up top” has gone mysteriously missing.

    Gladys Berejiklian’s chief of staff first told the Independent Commission Against Corruption the email had been deleted, but later clarified that was just an “assumption”, according to newly tendered evidence to the inquiry.

    The email from Louise Raedler Waterhouse to Gladys Berejiklian’s personal email address was sent on 15 November 2017.

    That fact is clear from a printout from the racing heir’s end, seen by ICAC investigators looking into the dealings of the Premier’s secret ex-boyfriend, former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.

    But investigators, keen to know whether the Premier saw the email or took any action related to it, sent out a request relating to the email to her office on 2 September of this year.

    Mr Maguire gave Ms Waterhouse the Premier’s personal email address on November 14, 2017. In an intercepted phone conversation, Mr Maguire told the racing heir, referring to the Premier: “Then she will then give it a tickle from up top.”

    https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/politics/mystery-deepens-over-email-from-louise-waterhouse-to-gladys-berejiklian/news-story/59ecc5e35da3c3372a974007385bfe03

  14. Eston Kohver:

    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    [‘I’m going to be slightly obscure and just say information technology. I’m rather easy to identify if I’m any more specific as my particular field is extremely specialised (but in very high global demand, hence why I can step out of academia).’]

    Oh FFS – please stop the crap! If that’s so, why would you post. I categorically refuse to suggest you’re a wanker.

  15. sprocket_says:
    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 7:27 pm
    All sounds legit to me..

    Bill Waterhouse ……
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I took the call from Bill Waterhouse when he rang our family home one evening and said we could have my mums very valuable stolen government bonds back for a third of their value.

  16. I once read a book on Bolte. It used alternating chapters – someone’s memories of Bolte, then an interview of him.

    So there’d be Bolte talking about how he was always respectful of women, then someone describing how he yelled in the face of a perfectly innocent woman who approached him in public.

    One anecdote was that he knew it was awkward if a pollie arrived at a function early, so would often have Vic1 parked beside the road for a while if they were running early.

    One of the Vic1 drivers said he’d driven Bolte, so I asked him about this.

    From his reaction (he wasn’t allowed to say anything that might breach cofidentiality…) I’d say it never happened.

  17. Nath
    Do you mean “His Excellency’s Pleasure” by Donald Horne [1977]
    Not so much a military dictatorship but a satire on the Dismissal with the Governor General ruling under a literal interpretation of the Constitution which gives him dictatorial powers.

    It all eventually falls apart when Charles III turns up and assumes control. The UK has long since broken up and he is the hereditary ruler of London and the Home Counties

  18. Thanks OC. That looks interesting but it’s not the one I remember. I think the military coup thing was at the end, I think it was mainly political in nature, but I can’t really recall any further details.

  19. nath says:
    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 7:41 pm
    That’s not a bad offer Dr John.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Your becoming an even cheaper investment.

  20. I loved this from Nick Byrant’s opinion piece on “Brexitball” https://www.watoday.com.au/sport/brexitball-what-lord-s-loutishness-says-about-britain-s-decline-20230704-p5dljj.html:

    Nor, confessedly, am I a great fan of Bazball, the cavalier style of play pioneered by England’s Kiwi coach, Brendon “Baz” McCullum, and embraced by its brilliant buccaneering skipper, Ben Stokes. Indeed, there are times when I think it could just as easily be called “Brexitball” because it seems to be based on a lot of bravado, an excess of wishful thinking, some rash decision-making and regular acts of national self-harm.

  21. My family anecdote about Bolte was that my grandmother was a nurse on duty in the Ballarat hospital in 1984 when Bolte was admitted after a head-on car collision near Meredith. Initial samples were taken where Bolte’s blood alcohol was reported to be over 0.05, and he had a reputation for drink driving.

    But when the police arrived later to collect the samples, they had been substituted and lost, so he was let off. She said she had no involvement in that.

    Thinking about her makes me feel sad too. Knowing her when I was a child, she was such a jolly, loving woman. And toward the end she was pretty much like Bronwyn Bishop. Bitter, spiteful, nasty, we had to turn off the news because she’d start yelling whenever Bill Shorten appeared on the screen.

  22. Kirsdarke says:

    Thinking about her makes me feel sad too. Knowing her when I was a child, she was such a jolly, loving woman. And toward the end she was pretty much like Bronwyn Bishop. Bitter, spiteful, nasty, we had to turn off the news because she’d start yelling whenever Bill Shorten appeared on the screen.
    _________________
    Sounds like a lovely woman to me.

  23. @nath

    She also had similar views with Mark Latham about gay people so that was when I decided to not visit her as much, especially during the plebiscite.

  24. TPOF @ #959 Tuesday, July 4th, 2023 – 7:31 pm

    Mavis says:
    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 6:59 pm
    TPOF:

    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    [‘For the extremely ignorant or of limited intelligence…’]

    You lost me there!

    _________________________________

    Fair enough. Sad you have trouble reading more than three sentences. No wonder you like Rexsplaining.

    He’s now been insulting to Eston Kohver. He’s really on a roll today. Yet he has the bare-faced hide to pass judgement on others!

  25. Henry Bolte was one of a number few bluff, even bombastic, right-wing Coalition Premiers we had back in the day. Others were Bob Askin (see upthread) and Joh Bjelke Petersen.


  26. zoomster says:
    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 7:42 pm
    ….
    One anecdote was that he knew it was awkward if a pollie arrived at a function early, so would often have Vic1 parked beside the road for a while if they were running early.

    One of the Vic1 drivers said he’d driven Bolte, so I asked him about this.

    From his reaction (he wasn’t allowed to say anything that might breach cofidentiality…) I’d say it never happened.

    It definitely did happen. When I was a kid we were all lined up to great the man and the word came, his car was stopped at the 4 mile bend waiting for the correct time to arrive.

  27. Asha at 5.57 pm

    Lazarus Rising has some of the fictional qualities of a Latham “diary”.

    This was pointed out publicly soon after publication by Menzies’ daughter. Howard claimed to have met her for a significant discussion which she said never occurred.

    Then check p 451 of that tome. Howard recounts a meeting with Kofi Annan (UN Sec Gen) in New York in May 2003, but chose to hide the fact that he suggested to Annan a way of reforming the composition of the Security Council without enlarging it. E.g. he suggested a new permanent non-vetoing position for Indonesia, but nothing for any African country.

    The story is written up in the last chapter of Australia and the United Nations, eds J. Cotton and D. Lee (2012).

    Try to find a copy of a biography of Stanley Melbourne Bruce by David Lee. An excellent book.

    Until 2007 Bruce was the only Australian PM to lose his seat. Very fond of the British state.

  28. Down 2 nil, England must of course win the three matches to regain the ashes. Weather notwithstanding, this means that for the rest of the series, England can ill-afford another poor innings batting. To this end, they almost certainly have to ensure wickets that provide the optimum chance of decent scores. The only problem is that Australia also have a very sound batting lineup.

    England have reached the point of high risk (even more so than the way they’ve been playing thus far) whereby almost everything must go their way for the remaining 15 days of cricket. In any event, the cricket will be entertaining and continued measured play by Australia might frustrate England further.

  29. ItzaDream at 5.22 and 6.47 pm, Oakeshott Country at 6.09 pm and Arky at 7.16 and 7.32 pm + note for Asha

    Mabo v Qld No. 1 (1988) was the key case, confirming Koowarta’s 1982 case against Qld’s racist government. It was only 4-3 in Mabo No. 1, with Sir Ronald Wilson in the minority. No High Court will revert to Sir Ron’s uninspired reasons then.

    However, when Howard and Abbott, acting via Heffernan, slandered Michael Kirby in a disgusting way, Ron Wilson was the main one to publicly defend Kirby against the slanderers.

    Asha your bookshelf could be extended to the biographies of Kirby by A.J. Brown and Wilson by Antoni Buti (Armadale MP).

  30. “I’m now self-employed and make a relatively meagre living through DMing Dungeons & Dragons games (yes, really) and doing the occasional freelance writing. I suspect the only classes I would be qualified to teach would be on how best to avoid my many poor life decisions.”

    DMing in downstairs room of an old suburban arcade?

  31. Cronus, that means their best chance is green tops on which you are a chance to get out at any time no matter how good you are. Then hope one of your sloggers gets going for an hour or two

  32. Toyota has unveiled ambitions to halve the size, cost and weight of batteries for its electric vehicles following a breakthrough in its solid-state battery technology.

    The Japanese carmaker’s top battery expert said on Tuesday that simplifying the production process for battery materials would bring down the cost of its long-awaited next-generation technology.

    “For both our liquid and solid-state batteries, we are aiming to drastically change the situation where current batteries are too big, heavy and expensive,” said Keiji Kaita, president of Toyota’s research and development centre for carbon neutrality. “In terms of potential, we will aim to halve all of these factors.”

  33. Mundo says:
    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 8:27 pm

    Nath
    Goodbye Paradise I think it was.
    Made into a film starring Ray Barret.
    Written by Bob Ellis?
    _______
    Thanks. But that’s not it. I guess the mystery goes on.

  34. Political Fiction Asha.

    Perhaps an alternate history. Bill Shorten wins the 2019 election and slowly a police state emerges. Somewhere in Melbourne a handsome, swashbuckling hero emerges to bring down the megalomaniacal Littlefinger.

  35. Holdenhillbilly,

    Sounds great, but “ambitions”, “aim to” etc. is all a bit wishy-washy, as is “believes”.
    Hopefully there’s some substance behind it other than a PR exercise to ward off the wolves.

    Toyota claims battery breakthrough in potential boost for electric cars

    Japanese firm believes it could make a solid-state battery with a range of 745 miles that charges in 10 minutes

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jul/04/toyota-claims-battery-breakthrough-electric-cars

  36. 98.6 says:
    Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at 12:03 am
    Almost forgot !
    I predicted 12 out of the last 13 RBA decisions that they took on interest rates.
    I’m going for another rate hike today.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Well if Meat Loaf reckons ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad’,
    then I’m happy with 12 out of 14.

  37. Nath:

    Political Fiction Asha.

    Perhaps an alternate history. Bill Shorten wins the 2019 election and slowly a police state emerges. Somewhere in Melbourne a handsome, swashbuckling hero emerges to bring down the megalomaniacal Littlefinger.

    How big are his ears?

  38. I have only read one book about a politician. Watson on Keating. Riveting from start to finish. There hasn’t been a politician worthy of a book since.

    His travel book (trains in the US) was good too although not as good as Theroux.

    Want to read that one on LBJ – heard great things. But no time.. Be great if they made a tv miniseries on it.

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