Morrison’s path to victory?

Scott Morrison calls federal election for May 21, setting up battle with Labor’s Anthony Albanese

Is it a personal battle between two leaders?

In large part, yes, because they certainly want to talk about each other, and the media do not want to talk about policy, having settled on the notion that neither side has any, although any journalist who is interested can find Labor’s policies here, the Liberal Party’s story book (plan) here. The Nationals’ Plan is much the same, but slightly different. For The Greens, it depends what you click on when you go to their site, but this is headlined as their Election Policy Platform.

All this is happening in an environment where trust in government, politics and politicians has largely been destroyed.

For example, see:

The research is from the Roy Morgan poll which turned up this amazing list:

Followed by this one:

Anthony Albanese is now in second place, up from eighth in their 2020 research.

However, the real effect of what the Morrison mobsters have done is restore Australians distrust in government, which goes back to the time when Julia Gillard unseated Kevin Rudd, with a brief interlude of trust after the COVID response, only to be broken by parliamentary sex scandals and COVID vaccination delays from about the middle of last year.

I’m not sure that rorts make any difference anymore. Morrison, Joyce et al have normalised politicians making decisions to favour their friends.

This graph shows the pattern from when Roy Morgan started the series in 2007:

I wish to point out that the Australian people twice returned a government with the same party in power when they had little trust in government, Turnbull in 2016 and Morrison in 2019.

Richard Denniss It’s Official: Scott Morrison Has Given Up On Trying To Win Over Young Voters says that the 2022 budget clearly showed who Morrison thinks will vote for him:

    The prime minister clearly thinks that the federal election in May will be decided by voters who are older than average, richer than average, and more likely to live in regional Australia than average. As a result of that cynical calculus, he has aimed an enormous amount of our money at his target voters, while doing little to address the major concerns of young people.

    Australians earning over $200,000 will soon receive tax cuts of more than $9000 per year. People who drive the biggest cars are about to get the biggest benefits from cuts to fuel excise. And business owners who employ a new apprentice will get a $15,000 subsidy for doing so. So, if you’re a builder who earns more than $200,000 per year, drives a big ute, and employs a few apprentices then this is a great budget for you. But for students, renters, casual workers, young parents, and those worried about climate change… not so much.

The budget was about winning the election, nothing else.

There was a smidgen of hope in Newspoll. Read the story in Morrison government receives minor budget bounce, but ALP leads 54-46 in latest Newspoll.

The LNP vote went up from 35 to 36. Labor dropped from 41 to 38, and the Greens went up from 8 to 10.

Morrison has a performance rating of -12 (42/54), Albanese comes out at 43/44. The difference is that only 4% are doubtful about Morrison, compared to 13% for Albanese.

For better prime minister it’s only 43/42 in Morrison’s favour.

BludgerTrack2022 has some interesting information, a special Election overview, and demographic information on individual seats, like ours at Ryan, which shows higher average levels of education and income.

ABC statistician is setting up a site to dazzle us, using a model which Professor Simon Jackman of Sydney University has used for 15 years, while Antony Green continues to ply his trade.

I’d like to bring you a poll conducted by The Australian Financial Review Ipsos in PM starts the election race from well behind: poll on the Wednesday to Saturday after the budget (30 March – 2 April). Here’s the main table:

The whole poll has a margin or error of 2.03 per cent. No doubt the MOE is greater for each of the demographic components, but the trend shows that Richard Dennis was probably right. Morrison and Frydenberg were shoring up their political base by spraying their money around. The only demographics where they lead Labor are the 55+ and males. They are competitive in the regions.

The Greens have done well by regaining the 14% they had in 2019. This is problematic on one front for Labor, but the larger problem is the Other and Undecided, which amount to 21%. This is where the advertising dollars of Clive Palmer, and the advertising guile of Morrison may leave a regular, decent bloke like Albanese standing.

Struggling for air through COVID, the media decided Albanese and Labor were irrelevant. Morrison and gang simply occupied the whole space that was left by the state premiers. Now the COVID has subsided from media view, the premiers have also subsided, leaving Morrison, in typical fashion, claiming success.

Albanese’s budget reply speech provided a salutary example. In his 4347-word speech (transcript here). Around three quarters of the words were not about aged care. Early on he said Australia had been through hard times and needed to be reconstructed, in an inclusive way, based on five pillars.

He chose one part of one pillar to expand in detail – institutional aged care as part of Care (aged care, childcare, medicare, NDIS etc). There again he made five points, but a few words, saying the registered nurses would be introduced 24/7 by 2023, was all anyone wanted to talk about in the media.

This is extraordinarily difficult, probably impossible, and it was a political mistake to say so. 2023 has in fact been culled from the transcript.

Then on Q&A last Thursday (see Election countdown on Iview) Virginia Trioli continually cut Clare O’Neil off, passed her by, and made sure someone else had the last say, and corrected her on the cost of climate change. What Trioli said was simply wrong.

When it came to aged care, which is one of O’Neil’s shadow responsibilities, Trioli became a prize bully rather than the program moderator, cut her off and told her her answer was completely unsatisfactory before O’Neil actually gave her answer (“I would have thought you’d have a better answer worked out on that one.”). What O’Neil was trying to say was:

    We need to bring in somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 additional nurses into the sector. There are 10,000 nurses that left the sector between 2019 and 2020, left the sector or left their current employer. Now, we believe, and we’ve worked up this policy really carefully with the sector and with nurses (Emphasis added)

O’Neil was then cut off, giving the floor to Anne Ruston and then Sam Maiden, with no right of reply to O’Neil.

After Jim Chalmers’ talk to the National Press Club, it was clear that everyone went to sleep, and Laura Tingle started with a question that Chalmers had just answered.

On Insiders today, Patricia Karvelas worried the bejesus out of Richard Marles (“Where is the money coming from?”) when it is not possible to give numbers in opposition, and Frydenberg as treasurer shifts debt around in the tens or even hundreds of billions, wastes billions on companies that needed no help during COVID and paid the French to go away rather than make submarines, and claims credit for extraordinary increased revenue coming from increased prices of mineral exports.

Journalists forget that they are roughly the same in public esteem as politicians and used car sales-persons (usually men). They pick up LNP talking points and use them to attack Labor, amplifying them in the process. Trioli, however, was way beyond that. She should be taken off the program.

Albanese is perfectly right in reckoning himself as the underdog. It’s going to be a seat by seat dogfight. Former Labor Senator John Black explains why in Don’t order sympathy cards for Morrison just yet (probably pay-walled) based on the state polling from the Newspoll quarterly aggregate.

Labor has to win seven seats to win outright. Its basic problem is that many of the marginal seats are held by Labor, so it has to defend as well as attack. Labor needs four to get ahead of the Libs, and have first shot at forming government. Black says:

    The poll summaries for the last quarter show the biggest state swings against the Liberals are in Western Australia and South Australia, at 8 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

    Uniform swings of this size produce three seats for Labor in WA (Hasluck, Pearce and Swan) and Boothby in SA.

The uniform swings in NSW and Victoria yield only Reid and Chisholm.

The uniform swing of 2% in Qld yields exactly nothing, hence the election could be won or lost in Tasmania.

I know that other polls tell different stories. The two major parties determine their effort by professional seat by seat polling. Exactly which seats are realistic targets is closely held within the party. In Queensland The Courier Mail says watch Flynn (Central Queensland), Leichhardt (Far North Q), Longman, just north of Dickson, north of Brisbane, and Brisbane (central city). I think Labor ambition spreads a bit further than that.

Mike Seccombe in The Saturday Paper reveals that The Greens, while contesting all seats to boost their senate vote:

    consider eight [in the lower house] to be realistic possibilities. Four are currently held by the Coalition: the electorates of Ryan and Brisbane in Queensland, and Kooyong and Higgins in Victoria. Four are Labor: Griffith in Queensland, Macnamara in Victoria, Richmond in NSW and Canberra in the ACT.

They can concentrate their major effort on a very small proportion of the 151 seats, relying on Labor to do the business in the rest.

Brisbane and Ryan on the numbers are also gettable by Labor. Currently Labor is ahead of the Greens in both in primary votes.

The Coalition needs to worry about 20 candidates supported by Climate 200. One of them is left-leaning independent Andrew Wilkie, and one is more conservative Rebekka Sharkie. Three are senate candidates.

I addition we have Bob Katter, Helen Haines and Zali Steggall.

There has been talk of conservative independents doing a deal with the Coalition on confidence and supply. However, I would rate that unlikely, because they would make demands on climate and a national integrity commission which would be unacceptable to some Liberals and the Nationals as a party. Part of the deal would be to shed Morrison and Peter Dutton as leaders. Josh Frydenberg may not be there if one out of the Greens, Labor and independent Dr Monique Ryan get up on preferences. The seat is considered marginal by Antony Green.

So a lot of balls may go up in the air.

One thing is certain. I can’t see Labor doing a deal with the Greens, as per Gillard, in return for supply and confidence. Nor should a small proportion of voters (apart from Adam Bandt, less than 30% in a handful of seats would do it) determine the policy we all live by. If their arguments are good, and politely put, that would be a different matter.

If a small minority of voters can determine policy for Labor in power by coercion, then Labor can never be taken seriously on policy again.

Seccombe does point out that the Greens only have three senators retiring, six continuing, with a good chance of electing six more to make 12, and possibly the balance of power in the house of review.

I haven’t looked at the senate, except in Queensland it looks like two each from Labor and the LNP, plus a Green, then the final spot is fought out by Pauline Hanson, Clive Palmer, Campbell Newman, or the Liberal Amanda Stoker.

I’d put a bit on Clive Palmer if I were a betting person.

Finally I’m told on good authority, Albo’s opening speech Australians deserve better was inspiring. So far I’ve just gotten past seeing the back of someones head for nine minutes.

Let us hope Australians do get it.

Sorry, Albo’s speech is here.

Update 2: The AFR has an article What polls tell us about the race.

Pollsters have sharpened up their methodology since 2019, are more cautious and more humble, and have agreed to always give information on sample size and margin of error. The article has this compilation:

William Bowe says with those numbers Labor would win. The polls can’t be that wrong. If the election was held on those polls.

John Black has done further analysis based on demographics and such. He reckons Labor will pick up 11 and lose one on present polling. He likes the prospects of about five of the Climate 200 candidates, reckons they could end up with two or three. He doesn’t see any success for the Greens, pointing out that there is a drift of young Greens to Labor once they pass 40.

I think he underestimates their capacity to knock doors, phone, and blanket the target seats with pamphlets and corflutes.

Update 3 (27 April 2022):
AFR-Ipsos has a poll dated 20-23 April.

In the article Phillip Coorey says:

    The Coalition’s belief it will hold all or most of its seats in Queensland has been buttressed by the latest poll which shows it is the best-performing state for the Morrison government at this stage.

He’s wrong. In 2019 the LNP blitzed Labor 58.4/41.6.

Whichever way you cut the latest poll it’s pretty much even, which would have to mean something in terms of seats. They have been acting like a bunch of crazies.

Meanwhile the Greens would be encouraged by their 14% showing, compared to 10.3 at the last election, although the margin of error tempers any conclusions that might be drawn.

51 thoughts on “Morrison’s path to victory?”

  1. New post up. A bit long, but I won’t get many chances to write in the next few weeks.

    I must say the talk on radio today is mostly on policy. Morrison, however, while he has a smooth patter citing questionable statistics, has two main scare campaigns.

    One, we are doing well economically, don’t risk it all on Labor.

    Second, Albanese is not the man to handle foreign affairs in these uncertain times. It needs strength (of a natural bully?)

  2. I’m trying very hard not to bury my head in the sand. Ahead I expect we will see Palmers gloomy head, Morrisons glib lies and Albo trying a little too hard to look electable.
    I had hoped some time ago that Plibersek would be the opposition leader.
    It would be nice to see the Greens as an option.
    A friend has declared that he will vote informal so that his entire vote will not be counted at all, and nor will any preference dribble down to unwanted spots. ‘Not how I want to vote but I can understand his idea.

  3. G’day Geoff. My wife and eldest son presently with us, have both said they don’t want to hear or see anything about the election.

    My son, who knows heaps about this stuff, says he saw Morrison’s first campaign video ( I think he couldn’t avoid it). He said it was brilliant in terms of video production and story line. They have slowed the tape a bit to deepen his voice and give it more gravitas.

    Highly professional and seriously seductive, he said.

    Anyway I’ve added an update, possibly the last bit of hope before the whole thing starts to slide, as it did in 2019:

    The AFR has an article What polls tell us about the race.

    Pollsters have sharpened up their methodology since 2019, are more cautious and more humble, and have agreed to always give information on sample size and margin of error. The article has this compilation:

    William Bowe says with those numbers Labor would win. The polls can’t be that wrong. If the election was held on those polls.

    John Black has done further analysis based on demographics and such. He reckons Labor will pick up 11 and lose one on present polling. He likes the prospects of about five of the Climate 200 candidates, reckons they could end up with two or three. He doesn’t see any success for the Greens, pointing out that there is a drift of young Greens to Labor once they pass 40.

    I think he underestimates their capacity to knock doors, phone, and blanket the target seats with pamphlets and corflutes.

  4. Yesterday Tom McIlroy covered the Greens opening salvo in the AFR – Greens bid to govern alongside Labor:

      Mr Bandt kicked off the minor party’s campaign in Melbourne, pushing to oust the Coalition and install the Greens as the decisive vote in the Senate.

      Promising tens of billions in new spending and a $4.5 billion tax avoidance crackdown on multinationals operating in Australia, he said the Greens would force Labor to address the rising cost of living, add dental care and mental health to Medicare and improve access to housing.

      The Greens also want to scrap the Coalition’s stage three tax cuts and spend billions abolishing university loans.

    ‘Forcing’ is the bit that won’t go down well. There may be civil discussion in the HRH and Senate, but on the basis of bills that Labor puts up based on its policies.

    Actually there is scope for amplification and variance in Labor’s policies. Labor has always said they would follow the science. The last time the parliament has had comprehensive scientific advice was in 2014 from the Climate Change Authority, which Labor would reconstitute.

    Much depends on who they appoint. It needs to be someone, I think, with paleoclimate knowledge who fully understands the risks of having 450+ ppm of CO2.

    There will be a social/political tipping point at some stage.

  5. Geoff: I expect the Greens to win a second senate spot in NSW and my guess is that they may win a second senate spot in Qld (Comment Brian?) They may also win a second house of reps member if Mandy Nolan wins Richmond. Also hold out hope that the Greens may win Ryan in Qld. Simply do not know what is happening elsewhere. Brian may have a different view.

  6. John, on the senate, a couple of psephologists have said the Greens should be good for a senator in each state, which will make 12 in all.

    My son, Mark thinks the Green will win the third spot on the left in Qld. I’d agree, but rate his opinion above mine. She’s from Central Qld, which will be good for them in the future.

    From what you say, Richmond could well go Green.

    My understanding is that Bandt and company see Macnamara (Labor, Victoria) as their best bet, then Griffith in Qld (Labor), with Ryan and Brisbane as a possible bonus.

    That’s essentially what Adam Bandt said at the meeting I attended.

    We, ie Labor, are going to give Ryan a red hot go, although I’m too old and useless to do much.

    In the end of the day I would not be surprised to see 3-5 Greens in the lower house, maybe even 6.

    I’d hope the Member for Kooyong (one Josh Frydenberg) might be a casualty. The Greens won a number of booths last time. The Climate 200 independent may draw some of the Liberal vote and pass it on to the Greens in preferences.

    However, if Labor drops out first, I would think preferences would boost the independent.

    One to watch!

  7. John, there is an article in the AFR today quoting Bandt as saying that they have narrowed their focus to just five seats – Griffith and Ryan in Qld, Richmond in NSW and Macnamara and Higgins in Victoria.

    It also says the money for Greens ambitious spending program will come from a 6% “billionaires tax” raising $40 billion and a super-profit tax on business, raising $338 billion.

    Labor would be slaughtered if they went along with that.

    John Black has another look with reduced Labor lead to 53/47.

    He still gets the same outcome, Labor plus 11 and minus one. Still ignores the Greens.

    I’m thinking a hung parliament with Indies and Greens, with Labor ahead of the LNP, but it is early days.

  8. Election huh? That’s a depressing thought, considering the options. My 2 hot buttons are climate action and affordable housing.
    Climate action 15 years on from 2007 when this was the hottest hot issue, I just had a look, Australia’s electric car fleet is 0.1%, and renewable energy, supposedly at 24% (electrical not including motive energy) and by some reports enthusiasm fading

    Housing Affordability: In 2020, house prices defied forecasts of a coronavirus-induced crash and went up by 7.5% and then last year, median values grew by a staggering 22.7%. With prices in Sydney and Melbourne hitting 10-year highs, the average buyer is having to spend more and more to service a mortgage.

    Having been overseas for more than 2 years with an indefinite return date, I am considering taking myself off the voter roll, partly because I see no hope for political quality in Australia, and more importantly projecting forward based on the past 15 years of performance as a non voter should there ever be a class action against the electorate on the disastrous political outcomes achieved for Australia, I can’t be held accountable.

    Brian I do believe that I have said many times that Albanese is the wrong person to lead the Labor Party (wishy washy comes to mind along with no vision, zero charisma, and a blowing in the wind level of conviction).

    Waiting for change in Australian politics is like watching reefs grow (and die).

  9. Hey BILB2, how’s it going?
    I don’t think my idea of voting informal is helpful, so on that logic, I’d discourage you from dropping off the electoral roll. You know the cliche “…it only takes a few good men…”
    JD I’ll almost certainly go green again and watch my preferences.

  10. Hiya Geoff! There is a war with a murderous lunatic (another one) within 2000 klms of where I am living, and with the possibility of a Nuclear detonation some time, maybe, the Antarctic is melting with determination, US politics is a ghastly disaster with wanna be kleptocrats on every street corner, Australian politics is bitterly disappointing, Housing Affordability has dropped off a cliff, and there is a crisis in physics. Apart from that things are OK, and I am heading into Summer here in the Netherlands.

    How are things with you? Did you sort out Kiribati’s problems?

  11. Ah bibl2, I TRY not to worry about stuff I can’t change, lest I damage my remaining years. There are, doubtless, other interesting places on earth but Oz suits me fine. I’m off to the US in June and not really looking forward to it because the once mighty USA no longer is God’s Country to me. Maybe never was…
    About Kiribati, I started to do something. I rang the Australian Commissioner and explained what I wanted to do. He made it very clear that I should f**k off. Apparently, something was going on and he (maybe) thought I would mess things up! Maybe China or a new government. And the new boss of Kiribati on ascension declared that the country was not sinking and that God will save them. Like I said, I don’t worry too much about what I can’t change. Kiribati is not sinking, sea levels are rising and will render their land unlivable. And the likelihood of Divine intervention is probably extremely close to zero.
    That said, there was a report on their future that the Commissioner spoke of but at that time it was unavailable to mortals.

  12. Bilb2: Wikipedia on Adam Bandt
    “Adam Paul Bandt (born 11 March 1972) is an Australian politician and former industrial lawyer who is the leader of the Australian Greens and federal MP for Melbourne. Previously, he served as co-deputy leader of the Greens from 2012 to 2015 and 2017 to 2020. He was elected leader after the resignation of Richard Di Natale in February 2020.[2]

    Bandt won his seat in the 2010 federal election, becoming the first member of the Greens elected to the House of Representatives at a federal election, and the second overall after Michael Organ, who was elected at a by-election. Bandt first contested the seat in 2007 and narrowly lost to the Australian Labor Party’s Lindsay Tanner. Following his successful 2010 election, Bandt retained the seat in 2013, 2016, and 2019 elections, increasing his majority each time. As of 2019, he holds the seat by the third largest margin of any Australian MP, receiving 72% of votes after preferences.”</strong
    His background is equally impressive “Bandt moved to Perth at about the age of 10 and attended Hollywood Senior High School.[3] He graduated from Murdoch University in 1996 with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees, and was awarded the Sir Ronald Wilson Prize for Academic Achievement, “which is given to the graduate who best combines distinguished academic performance in law units with qualities of character, leadership and all-round contribution to the life of the university”.[5]” And the list goes on including working in industrial relations for Slater and Gordon and various political activities.
    Then check Wikipedia on Morrison and Albanese.

  13. Good lord, Geoff!!

    Bilb, I’m not as impressed as you are with Adam Bandt as a politician. I think he has the order of business wrong.

    I’m quite impressed with Jim Chalmers, who has a natural, relaxed style. Can any other politician talk for half an hour with such shape and eloquence, citing statistics all the way, without looking at his script?

    Labor has a string of people on the front bench who are more articulate than Albo, but there we have it.

    I’ve just finished another post, except I don’t know what to call it and how to end it.

    Maybe in the morning.

  14. I 100% agree Brian. Chalmers is a guy who can piece together a real narrative, put forward an ambition to strive for. That is a winner. I had been admiring the mural, he brought that into his vision. Very impressive. I haven’t got to the Albanese part yet.

  15. Albo is a good honest bloke, introduced Infrastructure Australia to end political rorts in that area, is a good strategist in parliament, and was loyal to both Gillard and Rudd.

    However, he is not the front man Labor needs. When Jack Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in the presidential TV debate in 1960, when those who heard it on radio thought Nixon had the better arguments, political campaigning changed forever. Labour has disregarded that to nits detriment.

    One time they did not was when Hawke replaced Hayden. There is no certainty the drovers dog would have won.

  16. Labor suffers from “It’s my turn’ism”. “Good honest bloke” won’t defeat a Sociopath who will say anything but the truth to win.

    Albo, will do the standard Labor line of Health, Education, and Worker’s whatever, but he will not talk about the white hot issue of Affordable Housing because he doesn’t have any ideas or solution other than throwing the “bandaid” fistful of money at it. A solution that is awkward when the election theme is deficits.

    Australian housing has become a Luxury, even rental accommodation is in the luxury category. What do people do when they can’t afford to shop in the Luxury part of town? They go to a cheaper shopping area, but for accommodation there is just one market, and it is too expensive for most people.

    That is what CGRPT’s offered, an alternative market place for Housing and accommodation. Labor refuses to talk about this solution. As far as I am concerned Labor is a failure.

  17. Bilb, if I had time to do something on CGRPT I’d do it now, but I’m up to my navel in alligators, and people who might listen are rather distracted at present. I’m told there is an election going on.

    The time for looking at new ideas is after the election is one or lost, not now.

  18. Tonight I attended a meeting hosted by Jonty Bush, our local state Labor MP, with the Labor candidates for Ryan and Brisbane, the electorate which her seat intersects.

    Peter Cossar for Ryan and Madonna Jarrett for Brisbane spoke briefly on climate, before the special guest, Chris Bowen, shadow for Climate and energy.

    Bowen was meant to be there, but was banged up COVID, but did Q&A via Zoom after a brief introduction.

    I’ll say for things.

    First, he is a man on top of his brief. Up with how aeroplanes will fly by 2030, the technology of grid transmission etc etc. Over Easter I watched in full his National Press Club address.

    Not bad at all. He was good on his feet tonight with some probing and somewhat unhappy questioners.

    Second, he is working with Mark Butler, with whom he swapped portfolios, to bring out a health/climate/environment statement. It won’t be done in a day.

    Third, Labor is saying that their policy is to build renewables, to 700% of existing power usage, to make stuff here, creating 604,000 jobs, 4 out of 5 of which will be in the regions. Coal and gas will go, including mining, but they are not going to stop anything that has environmental approval, and has finance.

    His view is that both will fade without being pushed. It’s up to environmental regulatory authorities and the market. He points out that 70% of our trading partners have espoused net zero by 2050.

    Not everyone was pleased with that.

    Fourth, he was asked about the “toxic” relations with the Greens.

    He rejected the term. He said if there were good ideas around that he could use, he would use them, but it would be Labor’s policy he was implementing, no-one else’s.

  19. I’m told by someone who would know that half the people at the meeting hosted by Jonty Bush were Greens. Bowen probably knew that, which is why he was circumspect.

    It’s kinda like them to waltz in and take over the podium!

    Dennis Atkins has a piece Close but no cigar: Why it’s most unlikely we’re headed for a hung parliament based on Kevin Bonham’s Poll Roundup: Federal Hung Parliament Club Edition.

    Atkins piece is probably misleading. Bonham picks his way through the recent polls with great expertise. Present polling indicates a less than 50% chance of a hung parliament, with a Labor outright win the most likely outcome, but from here, just about anything is possible.

    He has specific and interesting comments on the Greens and the senate.

    I think our seat of Ryan will go, but I can’t say whether the Greens or Labor will win.

  20. Brian: “I’m told by someone who would know that half the people at the meeting hosted by Jonty Bush were Greens. Bowen probably knew that, which is why he was circumspect.” Was the meeting open to the public?
    In Richmond the Greens have got 1500 posters up so far with more coming.

  21. Was the meeting open to the public?

    John, I think it was organised as an ALP party event. Information would only have gone to party members. You had to RSVP for catering purposes, as food and coffee were provided.

    As we entered there were people registering you at a table, but if you had booked they waved you through. So no-one was kept out. I have no idea how they knew – probably through friendship groups.

    True to form, they sounded as though they knew everything, wanted everything done yesterday, and were free in telling Bowen when they thought he did not measure up.

    I haven’t seen any corflutes here yet, but there are floods of letterbox stuff from the LNP and Greens.

    More than usual from us too, and it’s a class above the rest, if I may say so. I believe we are getting some paid mailouts, but my dearly beloved is hoofing around her little patch.

    We had a Green knock on the door. Asked if we were flooded, whereas if she had any awareness of where she was standing she would have known we were not.

  22. Brian: “We had a Green knock on the door. Asked if we were flooded, whereas if she had any awareness of where she was standing she would have known we were not.”
    On our side of Mt Coutha run-off thru yards was a problem.
    Just hope Grns or Lab win Ryan.
    Ditto for Richmond. Must say though that, after all theses years I do enjoy living in a shire with two Greens councilors, a Green state member and a good chance of a Green federal member.

  23. John, I saw some corflutes today for Peter Cossar, plus all three at the garage opposite the roundabout in Kenmore. My brother says the signs keep getting knocked down by persons unknown, and he keeps on standing ours up.

    He reckons the BCC have instituted a regulation limiting corflutes to 150 per electorate, and you have to register each sign with them. They can fine unauthorised signs, but I’m betting they wouldn’t.

  24. AFR-Ipsos has a poll dated 20-23 April.

    In the article Phillip Coorey says:

      The Coalition’s belief it will hold all or most of its seats in Queensland has been buttressed by the latest poll which shows it is the best-performing state for the Morrison government at this stage.

    He’s wrong. In 2019 the LNP blitzed Labor 58.4/41.6.

    Whichever way you cut the latest poll it’s pretty much even, which would have to mean something in terms of seats. They have been acting like a bunch of crazies.

    Meanwhile the Greens would be encouraged by their 14% showing, compared to 10.3 at the last election, although the margin of error tempers any conclusions that might be drawn.

  25. Too many links to put in right now, but in Newspoll the Labor vote has now been 53/47 in front for four weeks in a row.

    I think Morrison is worried.

    Jim Chalmers said today in the National Press Club debate with Frydenberg that cost-of-living had become the defining issue of the election. He is supported in this by the latest Essential Report.

    Not surprising when so many struggle for a roof over their heads and food on a plate.

    The most likely outcome does look like a hung parliament with, leaving Katter to one side, 10 or a dozen Greens and independents.

    This puts a big focus on climate change. On checking the Greens site, they have now posted a substantial policy document Powering past coal and gas.

    Will do a piece if we get the rain that is forecast.

  26. Albanese did a brilliant job on Q+A tonight (5 May)
    He was on about why things would be done with linking to his personal story.

  27. Thanks, John. I have to fess up I watched the Broncos trounce the Rabbitohs!

    I’m told David Speers raised this rubbish about gotchas:

    The real problem with the gotcha is that Albanese was at a clean energy forum with Chris Bowen on tow, and the media missed the opportunity to ask him about that.

    Tomorrow I’ve booked in for a debate being held by The Australia Institute. Angus Taylor is a ‘no show’ so I expect Bowen will be interrogated by the moderator.

  28. I might get back to the debate later, but Chris Bowen did well, as he always does.

    The debate hosted by Channel 9 is due to begin. The AFR-Ipsos poll is out with Labor steams ahead with two weeks to go: poll:

    Labor’s primary vote has inched up 1 percentage point to 35 per cent and the Coalition’s has fallen 3 points to 29 per cent.

    The Greens remain steady at 12 per cent, One Nation is on 4 per cent, the United Australia Party is on 3 per cent, others are on 10 per cent and 7 per cent are undecided.

    This gives Labor a two-party preferred lead of 52 per cent to 40 per cent for the Coalition, with 8 per cent undecided.

    Morrison and his mob are becoming pretty desperate, so lots of flyers with attacks on Albo, barefaced lies. I think it’s going to be really ugly from here on in.

  29. On the debate, K Murphy has it about right – a train-wreck brawl and a genuine sh*t blizzard.

    The format was designed to make it turn out the way it did, and in their reflections after the debate the panel congratulated themselves on how it all turned out.

    We all need to vote tomorrow, get under a doona and wait for this to pass!

  30. Would it be a bit over-simplistic if, given the polls that suggest voters were most concerned about climate, Labor were just to declare a strong “gonna take it on” policy and win the election?

  31. Watched last nights debate. (8/5) Poorly controlled with Morrison tried to talk over everything Albanese said. Even so Albanese got his messages across despite the bluster.
    My mother had a talent for successfully picking election winners. Morrison’s effort last night would not have made my mother pick him as a winner.

    A quote from Albo:
    “[At the leaders’ debate last night] I got two questions to the Prime Minister, one of them I thought was pretty easy, which is should people be paid the minimum wage.
    “You know what he said? ‘It depends’.
    “He couldn’t even say that Australian workers should be paid the minimum wage.” Another reason to put Labor and the Greens ahead of the LNP for social justice reasons.

  32. John, I think that “It depends” comment was one of the critical points when Morrison showed his true colours. He followed it moments later by wanting to distinguish whether agricultural workers were Australian or not.

    Apparently the audience was around 800,000 which is not huge, and many of them would have turned off before the end.

    The next debate on Channel 7 is going to have just three people in the room, and they are going to connect to 25×7=175 so-called swinging voters in pubs around Australia.

    Sounds like a different way of being farcical. Not sure I’ll watch.

  33. I’m done. Voted this morning so now I can pretty much ignore the next weeks of shite.
    I was calculating the cost of the voting place. There were masses of cardboard fences and of course the voting booths. Each voter got a 75mm pencil and a massive voting paper that would make the olden-days butcher’s eyes water.
    That said, it was well run, and I think it took me a tad over ten minutes even with a good number of voters.

    Interesting move by the Democrats in the US. They are introducing a Bill promising access to abortion. Whether it passes or not, it will force the Republican politicians to declare, by voting, where they stand on women’s reproductive rights.

  34. Geoff, the big focus of my day was a flat tyre!

    My wife answered a phone poll just now. It was definitely on behalf of the Liberals, worried about their precious member Julian Simmonds. She was asked about what she thought about him and Labor’s Peter Cossar. Her opinion on other candidates was not considered relevant.

    I think they are crapping themselves.

  35. Brian: “I think they are crapping themselves.”
    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke like Simmonds. Deserves to lose in his own right.
    Have Greens hopes faded in Ryan or simply not being reported?
    Voted today while working on prepoll. Mandy, our candidate for Richmond worked really well at the polling booth. If she gets elected the federal parliament won’t know what has hit them.

  36. John, the Greens are alive and well in Ryan. There aren’t as many corflutes as usual. There has been a torrent stuff in the mail, more than usual, especially from LNP and the Greens. It is quite noticeable how they are outspending us.

    Labor doorknocking has been very positive.

    While there was one poll that showed a Green surge (Resolve) I don’t think the sample was big enough, and the methodology was new, so needed replicating.

    All the talk today is about the YouGov poll posted in the Oz. You can read about it at Poll Bludger here, and here. For Queensland it says:

      In Queensland, Coalition 39.1% (down from 43.7%), Labor 29.7% (up from 26.7%), Greens 11.9% (up from 10.3%), United Australia Party 4.5% (up from 3.5%) and One Nation 8.8%.

    They see Brisbane as a gain by Labor, with Longman and Ryan too close to call. They see Griffith as being retained by Labor.

    Their methodology is unusual, and I think is likely to underestimate unique seat features.

    Mark paid for entree into the innards of the survey, and says that a perhaps under-recognised factor elsewhere, which they picked up, is how much of the vote is going to move directly from the LNP to Labor. So for example in Griffith the vote was LNP 41, Labor 31 and Green 23.7. It seems that what could happen is that votes from LNP could put Labor in front with LNP second, and the Greens, in spite of gains, third, giving Labor a 60/40 win.

    It’s also possible the Greens will win by a comfortable TPP margin.

    I think Ryan, Brisbane and Griffith are too close to call.

    YouGov projects Labor to win a clear majority of 80 seats, with the Coalition to win 63, the Greens one and others seven with the addition of two ‘teal’. That is only the midpoint case. Labor’s worst case, according to them is 76. If they are wrong, they may have missed 2-3 ‘teal’ and maybe 5 Greens.

    It looks increasingly likely Labor will form government, and even if in the minority, without teals. However, I don’t think they will bargain with Adam Bandt over confidence and supply. They will say, if you want to kick us out, please do.

    However, there will be talk and compromise on individual bills, but not on the Greens tax proposals. So we’ll have to see whether they play chicken over that.

    The good news is that Morrison is unlikely to be PM unless he finds a way of bringing up some huge knock-out scandal at the end, or something. Also YouGov think Frydenberg is gone. That would make me happy.

  37. Life goes on here in Leichardt. Warren Ensch will likely hold his seat and I expect him to retire after this parliament. He claims to have won electric power to the Daintree area via a series of microgrids. So far, nothing on the ground. The provision of Daintree power will be interesting. Apparently, the plan is to run power outside everyone’s gate, and owners can take it or leave it.
    Some homes are rigged for 12 or 24 volts and 240 volts would be dangerous. Those folk can set a transformer at the gate to deliver low voltage to the houses – if they want it. I can’t guess the uptake rate, but it will give businesses a sporting chance now.
    Our gut feeling is that the LNP will take hiding here in QLD but might survive. Nationally I suspect there is a fair chance he will be tipped out.

  38. Bilb2 good question.
    I suspect that decades of inbreeding in both major parties have ruined the prospects of an outstanding leader being selected. Unless he/she has kissed the rings of so many and has somehow retained the qualities of a Statesman.

  39. Brian: “However, I don’t think they will bargain with Adam Bandt over confidence and supply. ” I believe Adam Bandt has already said that he will guarantee a Labor government confidence and supply. He didn’t want uncertainty in this area to help the LNP.
    I don’t know how many people vote strategically. If I were a LNP supporter I would be inclined to vote Green in the hope that Greens holding the balance of power would be a problem for a Labor government.

  40. Geoff, I think the swing in Qld is about 4%, but that still leaves it 54/46 in favour of the LNP, which is traditionally more than a comfortable win.

    Warren Entsch in Leichhardt is on 54.2, so that should make it line ball, so we’ll see. Seems no party other than Labor will come close.

    Which is why if Morrison goes, it will be mainly through seats won elsewhere.

    John, the Greens problem in “pushing” Labor, is that what they want Labor would mostly like to give, but it starts to cost significant bucks. However, we are stuck in a small government rut at present, so in practical political terms their revenue raising proposals will fail.

    Of interest in Ryan, the ABC took a look at it via Lexy Hamilton-Smith’s piece. She was wrong in saying:

      As in other inner-Brisbane seats, there has been a substantial rise in Green first preference support (20.3 per cent in 2019) at the expense of Labor.

    In fact Labor’s vote increased by 1.5%, the Greens increased by 1.6% and the LNP decreased by 3.5%. She got it right further down.

    Then she refers to Peter Cossar as an “actor”. His website says he is an “actor, teacher and producer in the performing arts industry”. He recently resigned as a lecturer at QUT so that he could have a decent crack at the election.

    The TV segment mentioned Labor as an afterthought .

  41. Brian: The LNP has got so nervous in Ryan that they have brought in John Howard to help.
    For what it is worth, at the Ballina (Richmond) prepoll the Greens candidate (Mandy Nolan)looked calmly confident as she chatted up the voters. Justine Elliot (ALP) looked stressed and angry. Mandy has more support in Byron and Ballina shires with Justine more favoured in Tweed shire. (Our state Ballina member is Green with that electorate covering Byron+Ballina) I live in hope for both Richmond and Ryan.

  42. John, on Richmond, the ABC’s Antony Green says:

      41 of the 56 polling places used at the 2019 election recorded Labor two-party preferred majorities.


      What was critical to Labor’s victory was that Labor finished second in 47 of the 56 polling places.

    He also said:

      The increased local Green vote is overwhelmingly due to Green support in Byron Shire, where affluent retirees and alternative lifestylers have flooded into what was once a rural shire.

    That’s you, kind of, if I’m not mistaken.

    Richmond is technically a marginal seat with a 4.1% margin. However, it has never been mentioned as a Greens target seat that I’ve seen and with the votes 36.9 Nat, 31.7 Labor and 20.3 Green, NSW Labor probably did not see it as a seat they needed to defend.

    I know from experience that if the party does not back you then you do it with the merest smell of an oily rag.

    Jody might very well feel as though she has been ambushed.

    Ryan will similarly be determined largely by demographic changes, I think.

  43. Brian: The Greens campaign in Richmond is massive and has a candidate who is good at raising money, attracting attention and campaigning. (At least in Byron and Ballina shires.) Justine (ALP) is considered to be more effective in Tweed shire but I have no real feel for what is going there.

  44. At state level the Tweed area appears to be divided between the National party and the ALP but I didn’t check where the various boundaries were. At state level Tamara Smith is the state member for the Ballina and Byron shire areas. Mandy comes from Byron shire

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