New South Wales election

The Morgan Poll has Mike Baird’s LNP a clear leader at 57.5-42.5 over the ALP, so an even race would be unexpected. If the win turns out to be 51-49 or even 52-48 questions will be asked about the influence of Abbott’s leadership travails, but that looks extremely unlikely.

Of interest will be whether the Greens can get themselves into second place in one or two of the northern seats and win on preferences.

Antony Green points out that there is a second election taking place, one that is crucial if the LNP is to proceed with it plan to privatise half the electricity distribution system. NSW of course has an upper house, the Legislative Council, where the LNP has only 19 of the 42 members. The ALP has 14 and the Greens 5, leaving the balance of power with the Christian Democrats (2) and the Shooters and Fishers(2).

After the LNP elects one member as president it has only 18 votes, hence has needed both minor parties to get the required 21 votes to pass legislation. An important sticking point is that Shooters and Fishers Party opposes the privatisation of electricity.

A term in the Legislative Council is eight years, so half the members face election each time. This time the LNP has 11 continuing members and 8 facing election. It needs to elect 9 to have the numbers to pass its privatisation legislation with the help of the Christian Democrats. Green reckons the LNP needs about 39% of the first preference vote to get 9 members elected. Morgan has them on 49% of the primary vote, so with the quota 4.55% it should be a cake walk. On that basis they could get 11, as they did last time. If so they’ll be home free without needing anyone else’s vote.

With 9 members elected the LNP would be in a situation where it could pass any legislation with the assistance of just one of the minor parties, assuming that both the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers elect one member each to add to their continuing single members. These minor parties typically need just 2 to 2.5% of first preference votes to achieve a quota of 4.55%. In 2011 Pauline Hanson failed on 2.5% because she attracted very few preferences.

Oddly other polls seem to favour the ALP less than Morgan. Essential has the LNP ahead only 53-47. Newspoll is on 55-45.

Altogether, though, it looks like a good news day for the LNP.

Elsewhere, Peter John Chen has a more comprehensive review of the election and the issues involved.

Saturday salon 28/3


An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. Scientists at Large Hadron Collider hope to make contact with parallel universe


The LHC is being fired up again after two years down time when it was refurbished and enhanced. In their first experiment they hope:

a completely new universe will be revealed – rewriting not only the physics books but the philosophy books too. It is even possible that gravity from our own universe may ‘leak’ into this parallel universe, scientists at the LHC say.

As mentioned at Mark’s Facebook, if they want a parallel universe a plane ticket to Australia might be cheaper.

2. Crazy polls

Either opinion is swinging wildly or the pollsters have lost it.

Two weeks ago there was a significant crossover of Newspoll and Morgan. Now they’ve crossed back again.

Morgan has a 2.5% swing to to ALP, putting them on 56/44 TPP.

Newspoll has a 4% swing the other way to leave Labor barely ahead on 51-49.

Essential has a 2% swing to Labor this week to leave it comfortably ahead on 54-46. Essential’s weekly poll has been reasonably steady over a four-week period.

3. ‘Supertide’ at Mont Saint-Michel

Mont St Micael_slide_411974_5196966_free_600

They call it the tide of the century, but it actually happens every 18 years. Mont Saint-Michel is a tidal island off the coast of Lower Normandy. Acessible by a causeway at low tide, the tide comes in at the speed of a galloping horse. Mont Saint-Michel receives over three million visitors each year.

4. Native title threatens Adani’s Carmichael mine

Adani’s Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin is planned to mine 60,000 tonnes of coal per year, creating 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. Adrian Burragubba as spokesman for the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council says that under native title they do not approve of mining in any shape or form and no amount of money will change their mind.

We’re concerned that it will devastate the land beyond repair.

It will destroy the waterways and our totemic animals and beings that are on that land and our ancestor dreaming stories and those things that are associated with our culture and heritage.

And it will also destroy it beyond repair to the point where we’ll be displaced forever from that land as the original custodians of that land.

It seems that the native title claim substantially overlaps with another native title claim lodged by the Bidjara people. If the claim cannot be settled between the groups then the Federal Court will test the matter at trial.