On the morning before the joint party room discussion on same sex marriage I received an email from the Courier Mail with the headline
Pack your bags Tony
- OPINION: Tony Abbott is toast. He pleaded for six months at the start of the year. That time is up and John McCarthy says he is now in an even worse position. Do you agree? Join the debate from 6am
It was an invitation to a debate with John McCarthy and Des Houghton.
McCarthy reckons Abbott is finished. Houghton reckons don’t write him off. He can rebuild from here. The best thing he has going for him is Bill Shorten.
Seems like a choice between unelectables, but it’s bit of a surprise that the Murdoch press is capitalising on Abbott’s discomfort. What brought it on was Newspoll with Labor ahead 54-46 TPP.
Adrian Beaumont has a useful compilation at The Conversation. Beaumont shows Morgan with 54.5-45.5 to the ALP. That’s when preferences are allocated on the basis of the last election. Morgan asks respondents to allocate preferences, which conceptually I prefer. For some reason the difference is greater than usual this time.
Newspoll had a tie on the better PM question, while ReachTEL gave Shorten a 17-point lead. Beaumont explains:
- This is because Newspoll had an “uncommitted” option, so this poll had Abbott and Shorten each with 38%, and 24% uncommitted. In ReachTEL, there is no uncommitted option; respondents are forced to choose between Abbott and Shorten. It is clear that voters who dislike both leaders prefer Shorten to Abbott, with Shorten leading by 58.5-41.5 in ReachTEL.
According to Beaumont, this Newspoll is the third “new” Newspoll. It is now conducted by robopolling and internet panel methods. He thinks the new series appears to have a slight lean to Labor relative to other polls. I’d suggest it is too early to tell.
In leadership terms, Abbott’s handling of the same sex marriage issue seems aimed to shore up his core conservative support. In doing so he has upset everyone else in the party. The word is that games are now being played amongst the leading contenders to position themselves for the post-Abbott era.
Meanwhile Roy Morgan has done a series of state polls. The governments of popular premiers Mike Baird and Daniel Andrews have large leads in NSW and Victoria, while all other States are close.
Of interest, Annastacia Palaszczuk has improved 3 points to head Lawrence Springborg 64-36 in the preferred premier stakes. Go Stacia!
Her popularity is up there with that of Mike Baird and Daniel Andrews. Her party, however, only just has its nose in front at 51-49.