Open election thread (Newspoll… ho hum edition)

OZ07Probably time for another one of these. Discuss anything here to do with teh campaign. If anyone’s still interested in it, that is.

Newspoll comes in at 54-46 – looks like a bit of Labor primary bleeding off to the Greens, or perhaps they’re finally measuring the Greens vote more accurately as we get closer to the finishing line. Don’t forget their assumptions about preference distribution are probably wrong – there’s not some law of nature that says they always break the same way and 2004 was a bad year for Labor so you’d expect more to go this way than using the figures from last time would indicate.

Shorter Newspoll: in the same territory we’ve been in all year. More interesting is a McNair poll showing Hockey and Labor’s candidate more or less tied in North Sydney. And I wonder if John Howard really should have said re-electing the Coalition would be the only way to ensure IR reform sticks. Hasn’t anyone told him that’s why he’s on the nose? Lots of Liberal brawling and the Howard and $weetie double act on tabloid tv to discuss as well – if anyone’s still paying attention to this tawdry show.

Actual policy stuff? Not much of that in the news today, peeps.

Our open thread for generally amusing/fascinating stuff remains our weekly Saturday Salon.

Posted in federal election '07
77 comments on “Open election thread (Newspoll… ho hum edition)
  1. tyro rex says:

    i’m a bit concerned about the “18 seats less two in W.A.” scenario. one slip up in somewhere like bennelong or wentworth means howard hangs on by a nail.

  2. David Rubie says:

    I thought the Liberals would melt down by last Wednesday or Thursday. It’s impressive, in a sickie burp in the back of the mouth kind of way, they’ve held it together for 5 weeks.

    My prediction of a 100 seat ALP victory is not looking good – it relied on a very public stoush between Costello and Howard to break out.

  3. CK says:

    Well Mark, I’m not sure what Poss & Pollbludger are saying about the marginals, but it seems to me that the sample sizes in each seat are so small, and the MOE so big, that they’re meaningless.

  4. mbahnisch says:

    Or not. I think Labor will easily win 18 seats without Bennelong and Wentworth. The swing’s more likely to be on in some not so marginals. Take a look at which seats Kevin07 has been campaigning in.

  5. mbahnisch says:

    CK, Galaxy is nonsense, I think, because they’ve picked the wrong seats to look at and I think they always get the Labor vote too low. The Newspoll marginals one with 18 seats in the sample (I think) is probably a reasonable indicator for the “officially” marginal seats in general.

  6. CK says:

    Fair point. No sign of the Crodent in Tasmania. It’s all QLD, WA, and SA.

    Let’s have some predictions!

  7. Gaz says:

    Let’s have some predictions!

    The sun will come up in the morning.

  8. CK says:

    Mark, I agree about Galaxy. It’s all outliers, dumb questions, bizarre results, and Feedening on Teh Narrative. Should be completely discounted I reckon.

  9. silkworm says:

    I predict 97 seats to Labor. I predict Howard, Turnbull and Hockey will go. I predict Abbott will stay on, but cannot associate too closely with Costello, the new leader, otherwise the new Abbott-and-Costello party will be seen as a laughing stock.

  10. tyro rex says:

    mark, i would say those ones which K07 has been campaigning in are the one which labor are ‘hopeful’ of picking up, e.g. ryan, where i’m a voter and naturally, alp campaign drone (I’ll be on the split booth (brisbane/ryan) at rosalie most of saturday). maybe K07 is playing some sort of mind game with rodentia. i’m optimistic but i think our realistic chance here is that we’ll turn it into a marginal – perhaps winnable next time. 10.4% is a big ask even with the moggill bypass issue.

  11. mbahnisch says:

    Don’t forget, tyro, Ryan’s gone Labor once before. I wouldn’t minimise the degree to which Johnson being a porkchop will be a factor as well. I’ll be a little surprised if he holds it. To some degree it makes sense for Labor to have Kevin07 in seats where they’re only “hopeful”, but on the other hand, where he hasn’t been suggests most of the marginals are already in the bag, and there are quite a few in the 6-10% bracket where having a realistic chance means that if only a third fall Labor’s way, it allows some leeway in the supposedly closer ones. In fact, I expect things to be rather more hopeful than that on Saturday night.

  12. mbahnisch says:

    Silkworm, you must be the only person in the country apart from Costello himself who thinks he’ll be the leader. Unless they decide to give it to him as a poisoned chalice that is.

  13. mbahnisch says:

    Let’s have some predictions!

    I said in April that on balance Labor would probably maintain a large poll lead all the way to voting day. I’m sticking with that! Those of us who comprise the “Crikey commentariat” have been asked to submit some predictions on Friday, but as is well known from my stoushes with the Strocchimonster, I’m generally very down on predictions. So I haven’t decided whether I’ll write anything, and if I do, what I’ll say.

  14. gandhi says:

    Today was the day when Howard had to DO SOMETHING. And this is it, this is all he’s got? No rabbit, folks. He’s gone.

    I don’t think the perception of a “Narrowing” (real or otherwise) will hurt Rudd – if the polls were too far in Labor’s favor people might vote Coalition just to limit the landslide.

    Turnbull is the big story today. Howard only endorsed Costello to put an end to the speculation coming from the Turnbull camp. And now Turnbull’s been caught out giving $10 million to a company (part owned by a nephew of Murdoch) that has strongly supported his fundraising campaign. Then there was the Tim Flannery endorsement – WTF?

    Finally, via the GG, here’s a scary thought to keep you awake: what if Howard loses Bennelong, and Turnbull wins Wentworth? A showdown with Cossie for the leadership?

  15. mbahnisch says:

    Turnbull would be a much, much better Liberal leader than Costello.

  16. gandhi says:

    Re that scary thought from the GG, it was (of course) assuming the Coalition wins…

  17. gandhi says:

    Turnbull would be a much, much better Liberal leader than Costello.

    But that’s a bit like saying Darth Vader would be a better leader than Piglet.

    To me Turnbull is just waaay too Big Business. I think given the chance he would make Howard look like a centrist. Just guessing, mind you: Turnbull has been assiduously courting the media for so long, nobody really knows where he stands on anything.

  18. Paul Burns says:

    54%, if its true, is landslide territory.
    As I noted on another thread the Libs are imploding a little bit. Whether they’ll loke being told who to have as leader from the grave after the election is another questions. Firsat Howard had control of the wotld, a seat at Bush’s table and us in his power, now, he is back to only having power in the Liberal party and sat Kirribilli. The snippets I saw of the performancxe of Howard and Costello on 7 were pitiful – its like they’re living in some sort of parallel universe that has nothing to do with an election campaign.
    I even feel a bit sorry fore Costello. But Howard is getting everything he deserves. More humiliation for the man, please.

  19. mbahnisch says:

    I think Turnbull’s probably more clever as a populist than Howard – and is going to look a lot more in touch with this century, Gandhi. If you don’t think Howard and Costello have leant over backwards to advance the big end of town’s interests, think again! Every Liberal leader would. Anyway, I hope Cossie does get the job from a partisan point of view as I think he’d be appalling. Or we could have Dolly again. Or Abbott.

  20. mbahnisch says:

    Turnbull’s also put a bit of strategic distance between himself and the stinking carcass of the Howard/Costello years, which could work in his favour.

  21. Gaz says:

    “And now Turnbull’s been caught out giving $10 million to a company (part owned by a nephew of Murdoch) that has strongly supported his fundraising campaign. Then there was the Tim Flannery endorsement – WTF?”

    I expected the net in meltdown over this nothing!I hope the Labor Party picks this up, it is a scandal in the making.

  22. gandhi says:

    I totally agree that Turnbull is a more LIKELY choice, but like your good self, Mark, I am not going to make predictions about who would be “better”. Surely the Libs can find someone else from outside the Conga Line? EG: go dig up Menzies and stick a pipe in his mouth.

  23. gandhi says:

    I expected the net in meltdown over this…

    Yeah, there have been a few stories disappear into the ether because the media (and even Ozblogistan) is chasing the election. EG that Tony Tran story…

  24. mbahnisch says:

    EG: go dig up Menzies and stick a pipe in his mouth.

    Snedden or Gorton might be more fun.

  25. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    I predict that the parliamentary Liberal Party in the Federal Parliament of Australia as of 1 December will fit in a 1965 model VW sedan. (Not counting Senator Eric Abetz who wouldn’t be let in.)

    Anthony Green was bitchily dismissive of Galaxy tonight on Lateline. He suggested, sotto voce, that it was very peculiar that Galaxy had minor parties at much higher level than any other previously published polls, ever, anywhere in the known universe, and that this cast doubt on its accuracy and Galaxy’s sanity – if they got that so wrong then they get other things wrong also, he surmised.

    The Morlock press oscillates between `Howard is gone for a Burton’ and `there’s hope in the marginals’. Tony Jones put that notion to Green but the latter gave it short shrift saying that he couldn’t see the marginals bucking the overall swing trend. Why, he asked. Never happened before.

    Oh, and one more prediction from Sir Henry: Howard will suffer greviously from what he regards as his birthright, to wit, those cushy, scones, double cream and strawberry jam safe Liberal seats, where newborn kiddies are christened Robert Gordon and Patricia. Ahem, we’ve had Reagan Democrats and Howard’s Battlers, now stand by for Blue-ribbons for Rudd.

    BTW: Anyone seen Jack Strocchi?

  26. kimberella says:

    Yeah, there have been a few stories disappear into the ether because the media (and even Ozblogistan) is chasing the election. EG that Tony Tran story…

    I had a post on Tran, gandhi.

    The thing is that Andrews has gone to ground on it and there’s nothing really more to say for the moment. It was a freakin outrage and it stinks to high heaven, but I’ve said that once, and I don’t see how in the absence of new developments, it would be productive for me to repeat it day after day.

  27. kimberella says:

    BTW: Anyone seen Jack Strocchi?

    Very good question, Sir Henry…

  28. Paul Burns says:

    Actually Menzies would be a lot of fun. He wasn’t known as Buck Menzies for nothing.The reason why the Fairfax press was so agin him from time to time was because Sir Warwick caught him in flsgrante delecto with Mrs. Fairfax.He also liked a bit of a tipple.

  29. mbahnisch says:

    They should have put some of that in the Curtin tv show last year, Paul!

  30. silkworm says:

    Here’s a link on the Turnbull rainmaking-funding scandal.

    The SMH headline – Turnbull’s $10m for ‘rainmakers’ with no proof – is misleading. It is not true that there is no proof – the technology is partly proven. UQ scientists and Turnbull’s National Water Commission conducted a promising trial in SE Qld in May this year.

    Turnbull’s sin is twofold:
    a) the trials, though promising, were incomplete, and he announced funding prematurely;
    b) he announced the funding during the pre-election caretaker period.

    Turnbull may have broken the law, but it’s a desperate attempt to attract the Green vote.

    The trials should continue under Labor next year.

    Turnbull will probably be voted out in a week. If he thinks the technology works, he should continue pursuing it in a private capacity. If it does work, Turnbull will be seen as some kind of prophet.

  31. gandhi says:

    Not blaming you for the Tran situation, Kim!

    But normally the media would keep pushing such a story from every angle, digging up news, etc. Not while there’s an election campaign going on… and particularly when Rudd has not chosen to make it a bigger story right now.

  32. kimberella says:

    Agree that it would be desirable that it be vigorously followed up, gandhi.

    I guess it does make sense that our focus tends to narrow during a campaign. How many of us are paying any attention to international news at the moment, for instance?

  33. kimberella says:

    Silkworm, that wasn’t the impression I got from the 7 30 report story. The guy from UQ said they were presented with a guy talking in Russian and a heap of untranslated Russian papers. All the people they interviewed were deeply sceptical – one said there was no scientific evidence at all, just a patent.

    The impression I was left with was that it was a boondoggle for a crony of Turnbull’s.

  34. kimberella says:

    Remembering of course that I could patent Kimberella’s Perpetual Motion Powered Time Machine, and it wouldn’t mean that it would work, or that teh government should give me 10 mill to make it work.

    If it does, though, I’ll let you know – I note on Dr Who you can normally still get a good mobile phone signal 80 000 years in the future.

  35. jo says:

    kimberella, ten thousand dead in bangladesh cyclone. what a really poorly situated country with millions of people living in marginal circumstances. what a struggle it must be to survive the poverty, let alone all the natural disasters, they cop.

  36. kimberella says:

    jo, the Australian government is giving $3 million in aid. Mark Vaile has just announced a grant of $3.7 million for a “surfing hall of fame” in a marginal seat.

  37. jo says:

    australia – the stingy country.

  38. silkworm says:

    Kim, I saw the 7.30 Report too. I did a Google search on “Australian Rain Corp”. I got an excellent article here:

    I also followed the links to a SMH article. The 7.30 report made it sound dodgy, but the above article shows the trials in May produced rainfall significantly above the monthly average, enough to warrant further trials.

    The real problem is with the timing of the funding. I’ve just been to Pollbludger and found out that the major shareholder of Rain Corp, Matt Handbury, is also is a contributor to the “Wentworth Group” which funds Turnbull’s electoral campaign.

  39. mbahnisch says:

    There’s a prediction fest at Oz Politics:

  40. kimberella says:

    The stuff about Handbury featured heavily on the 7 30 report, silkworm. He’s Rupert’s nephew, too. Apparently.

  41. Paul Burns says:

    That Curtin sahow was very deisappointing. They ended it before all the political controversy actually occurred – the Brisbane Line, MacArthur’s attempted political blackmail of Curtin. Quite truncated. Though McInnes gave a wonderful performance.

  42. mbahnisch says:

    Yes, he was very good.

  43. Graham Bell says:

    Kimberella et al:


    A terrible outrageous dangerous stunt on, or just before, the election – mightn’t be able to stop the election but just might frighten the voters into fleeing back to Howard.

    Hope and pray that I am wrong.

  44. gandhi says:

    The point with Rain Corp is that CSIRO scientists recommended further investigation but said it was not worth spending a lot of money until it was further proven. There are of course many other worthy projects desperate for funding, but not so well connected.

  45. Katz says:

    Dolly has some ‘splaining to do!

    AUSTRALIA’s former top Middle East trade official has broken his silence on AWB’s kickbacks to Iraq, saying the Howard Government’s claim it was unaware of key elements of the scandal is unbelievable.

    Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer last year said no minister or public servant had heard of Alia until the United Nations began to investigate rorting of its oil-for-food program in Iraq in April 2004.

    But Mr Finnin, who was not questioned by the Cole inquiry and resigned as Austrade director for Europe, Middle East and North Africa last year, said reports of his September 2003 meeting in Jordan with Alia’s owners — the al-Khawam family — and the former head of the Iraqi Grains Board should have been cabled to Canberra as a matter of course.

  46. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Here is the “outrageous stunt” by Howard:

    Work Choices is a key reason for the Coalition’s unpopularity, but Mr Howard tried to turn it into a vote winner. He told a sympathetic audience that Work Choices would go under Labor.

  47. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Outrageous stunt no.2:

    Mr Howard appears on Today Tonight with Peter Costello and announces: “I like Peter as a bloke”.

  48. Peterc says:

    Here is my prediction. The election will be very close – it will be won by 1 or 2 seats. Not sure at present who will win. Liberals / coalition smells bad – particularly with the pork barelling report out and Vaille flailing around trying to pretend all is OK. Them playing the person rather than the ball is a sign they are in trouble.

    Howard might be assisting his demise, with a mood for change around his comments about a “Labor Greens alliance” reflect what a lot of people want:,25197,22788091-601,00.html

    Many will be happy to see the end of Howard’s extreme ideology (masquerading as “socially conservative) being rammed down our throats.

    Any more rabbits? At least two I suspect, but they are unlikely to work now. The ferrets smell blood and are on the loose and the bunnies (e.g. Turnbull) are now running for cover.

    The scariest thing for me is the the Liberals believe their own BS about “turning the corner on climate change and now taking real action”! I jest not. I think there is a climate friendly faction in the Liberals that will seek ascendency over Howard and his coal industry sycophants (greenhouse mafia et al) after the election, if Howard loses. There will be a purge of these dangerously misinformed people, and there needs to be.

  49. Mindy says:

    Shock horror in the Tele today – blue collar worker in Labour Workchoices ad is, wait for it, an actor! Who would have thought. When does the political advertising have to stop?

  50. Paul Burns says:

    Prediction. Either a hung parliament with Independents holding bop, or Labor to win by 5-10 seats.
    Equally interesting, at the moment is what’s happening in foreign affairs.
    a)Both sides not really wanting to talk about the political/diplomatic consequences of the Balibo 5 findings.
    b) waiting fpr Labor to send the Navy to Antastica if/when it wins Government. That they will do but what will the navy do once it actually reaches the Japanese whalers?
    c)Dolly assiduously trying to avoid any mention of the Iraq war, despite the Get-up petition. (Coversation between JEH, PC and Dolly. “Global warming’s f***ing bad enough. We don’t want that!’
    e) ditto for AWB.
    f) And what are they going to do about

  51. Helen says:

    For what it’s worth: the (extreme) youth opinion on KRudd (from Girlchild):

    He’s so cute!
    He’s like a… teddy bear!!

    Unfortunately, she is still just a couple of years off the vote.

  52. Katz says:

    Ratty and $mirker cosying up to each other last night reminded me of pictures of Molotov and Ribbentrop declaring eternal amity and shaking hands over the prospective corpse of Poland.

    I wonder if Mrs Costello ordered $mirker to scrub himself all over before sliding between the connubial sheets.

  53. joe2 says:

    The Queensland Government, under the leadership of Anna Bligh, gifted 500 cans of pineapple to Liz and Phil for their diamond wedding anniversary it was revealed ,this morning, on A.M.

    Howard may well spin this, in the last few days of the election campaign , in the perpetual war agin spendthrift Labor Governments… not the rabbit out of the hat but the unexpected slice out of the can.

  54. Antigone's aunt says:

    Has Costello got the right stuff to see out ‘the wilderness years’? Hardly, on what we’ve seen of him so far. I suggest that he’ll be looking for a secure sinecure before everyone forgets who he is.
    Presuming Turnbull loses his seat, I predict that Dolly will be dusting off the fishnets for a caretaker role, as he seems about the only one in the mob capable of putting group interests ahead of his own – other than maybe Abbott who will only have a chance if suicidal desperation is in the air, because he surely would be as polarising as Latham.
    Amanda Vanstone is laughing like a drain.

  55. Evil Zarquon says:

    Bored now.

  56. Anna Winter says:

    When does the political advertising have to stop?

    Tomorrow’s the last day, I think!

  57. joe2 says:

    “Tomorrow’s the last day, I think!”

    Wednesday is it, Anna and thank Jeebus, Buddha and all the other saints.

  58. Paul Burns says:

    Some really nasty National Party Ads up here about State Labor (Iemma) and about Labor, the Greens and dtugs. They smack of desaperation, but thewy could unduly badly influence Senate vote. The lower house will go to Windsor, no problems.After the National Party cretin that succeeded Sinclair, nobody will take a chance on another one.

  59. Pollytickedofff says:

    “The Queensland Government, under the leadership of Anna Bligh, gifted 500 cans of pineapple to Liz and Phil for their diamond wedding anniversary it was revealed ,this morning, on A.M.”

    I believe that is also what the Qld government gave them when they got married!

  60. LuckyPhil says:

    They,re gonna try and win it in the courts.

  61. Helen says:

    BTW: Anyone seen Jack Strocchi?

    Very good question, Sir Henry…

    He’s over at JQ’s place with the other guy JG, pestering the good folks there.

  62. John Ryan says:

    Meanwhile in the switched on state of WA Howard Sattle raises the Henier affair,as per Piers Ackerman,gawd hes only 1 month behind the time.
    Fair dinkum you gotta wonder

  63. The Rockstar Philosopher says:

    Paul Burns: I think the point was more to show the “Australia Looks To America” moment, ie. a major turning point in Australia’s history, as opposed to a biography of Curtin.

  64. joe2 says:

    Subject: ‘pineapplegate’ via Pollytickedofff.

    “I believe that is also what the Qld government gave them when they got married!”

    You are not suggesting PTofff that the poor, rich buggers, have been left in the lurch since 1947 without a proper supply of pineapple circles? With all their hungry children, I do not know how Phil and Liz have survived.

    Queensland says ‘sorry’ with another 500 cans, but it is far too late!

    How could that hard pressed women ever have managed the Chicken or Pizza Hawaiian over the obvious intervening years of drought?

  65. Su says:

    Mark said: “Possum on the Libs’ rainmaker”.

    The perfect video for this is Kate Bush’s cloudbursting, about William Reich’s cloudmaking machine. I would like to see the JHo’s serenade Turbull with a verse or two.

  66. mbahnisch says:

    Kate Bush is always the perfect, Su!

  67. Tim Hollo says:

    Awww. Kate to complement the extraordinary ‘rainmaker’ story. How perfect!

    I can’t quite believe so few people have picked up on that story. It seems to be a big one to me. Turnbull + possible fundraising scandal + weirdo environmental technofix to me adds up to media story. Can’t quite fathom why it flopped…

  68. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    He owes me a brick. Or is it a 50?

    Meanwhile, Outrageous Stunt no. 3: The Liberal Party releases a “legal opinion” which says that 13 Labor candidates are ineligible to stand for election and will challenge them in the courts. Outrageous Stunt no 4: Tony Abbott, desperate to retain Warringah even with an 11% cushion, has now pledged $9 million to help refurbish Brookvale Oval after a week long campaign against him by rugby league supporters in his electorate. Talk about piss-weak. This is after two years of telling them it was a state matter.

  69. Paul Burns says:

    Ah, yes, the 13 ineligible Labour candeidates. Preszumably they are all in the marginals. I will put this next in upper case so anyone surfing through, as well as the LP regulars get it loud and clear.
    Can a Government or a Prim,e Minister get any more corrupt than that? I doubt it.

  70. David Rubie says:

    Normally, I don’t watch JHo on the TV as it causes me to throw things at it (note to self: no LCD or plasma screens, best stick to the good old glass tube). Tonight, the 7:30 report was extra irritating, not because of JHO but Red Kerry. I can see why the right hate him, he was just rude rather than incisive. He could easily have let JHo hang himself by his own words with just a bit of needling, but went the whole boot. So annoying – such an opportunity missed because he thought he might not get another go at the silly old bugger.

  71. Paul Burns says:

    Pity I missed it. Though I don’t warch JWH for the same reasons, David.Watched swinging voters on SBS.
    Howard can’t have done anything newsworthy as he wasn’t reported much in the bulletins.
    Barnarby whoever was on latline.What a ramble. Was everybody else ataying off the air in case they stuff up too close to the election? Afraid of being the polly who causes the jolt that changes voting intentions, asd rhey put it on SBS?
    Three more days and no more Howard, I hope.

  72. CK says:

    Just saw 7.30 Report. It’s the great bowing out. Particularly liked Kerry’s ‘Thank you and goodnight, Prime Minister’.

  73. mbahnisch says:

    Barnaby was positively soporific. Uncharacteristically. Almost fell asleep.

    Couldn’t be bothered watching Howard. He’s already history as far as I’m concerned.

  74. FDB says:


  75. mbahnisch says:


  76. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Okay, Outrageous stunt no. 4, he, he, kind of backfired this one (in Lindsay).

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