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Federal By-Elections

Dec 5, 2009

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HIGGINS
# % SWING 2PP
O’Dwyer (LIB) 34764 54.4% 0.2% 59.6%
Hamilton (GRN) 20778 32.5% 22.2% 40.4%
Australian Sex Party 2084 3.3%
Liberal Democrats 311 0.5%
Australian Democrats 1455 2.3% 1.1%
One Nation 199 0.3%
Democratic Labor Party 2452 3.8%
Independents 1828 2.9%
TOTAL 63871
COUNTED: 72.5%
BOOTHS (OF 38): 38
BRADFIELD
# % SWING 2PP
Fletcher (LIB) 39159 56.3% -3.2% 63.8%
Gemmell (GRN) 17608 25.3% 14.4% 36.2%
Democratic Labor Party 1477 2.1%
Australian Sex Party 2222 3.2%
One Nation 450 0.6%
Liberal Democrats 561 0.8%
CCC 702 1.0%
ENE 719 1.0%
Independents/CDP 6646 9.6%
TOTAL 69544
COUNTED: 73.1%
BOOTHS (OF 40): 40

Tuesday. 3726 postals from Bradfield, massively favouring the Liberals (75.4-24.6 on 2PP).

Sunday (9pm). Turnout on ordinary votes was 88.8% of the 2007 election in Higgins and 95.9% in Bradfield, compared with 89.3% at the Mayo by-election, 93.2% in Lyne and 89.4% in Gippsland. So it was actually quite high in Bradfield and only slightly below par in Higgins. Part of the reason in Higgins might be that it’s not a growth area. We could equally get a high number of pre-polls and postals bringing the number closer to average. I suspect we’ve seen half the pre-polls counted so far (the rest should come in quite quickly) and a third of the postals (which should dribble in over the next week).

Sunday (7.30pm). 2938 postals from Higgins added. Error in my Bradfield table corrected.

Sunday (4.30pm). 5841 pre-polls from Higgins and 3765 from Bradfield added. These have been particularly strong for Kelly O’Dwyer, increasing her two-party margin from 8.3 per cent to 9.1 per cent. Special hospital team (about 500 votes) also added from Bradfield; not yet available from Higgins.

Sunday (early). The AEC has seen fit to publish booth results, so too late to be any use, I hereby reinstate the table. Also, here’s a revised version of my regional Higgins breakdown. I’ve abolished the distinction between the “pink-green” area of Prahran-Windsor and “red” Carnegie – notwithstanding that there’s some distance between the two, the figures were near identical. The other distinction is between “deep blue” Toorak-Kooyong and the “light blue” bulk of the electorate.

LIB CHANGE GRN LIB 2PP SWING
Light Blue 52.76% -1.2% 24.4% 58.5% 1.1%
Deep Blue 61.13% -2.9% 19.8% 65.3% -0.7%
Marginal 41.03% 2.1% 27.9% 48.6% 6.8%

And here’s the Bradfield breakdown, the “marginal” area being what I described previously as “pockets on the edges of the electorate in the north-west at Asquith and Hornsby and in the south at Chatswood and Willoughby”.

LIB CHANGE GRN LIB 2PP SWING
Deep Blue 58.0% -5.6% 25.2% 66.0% -1.7%
Marginal 48.4% 0.2% 28.9% 57.1% 4.1%

The general impression is that while the Greens absorbed most of the missing Labor vote across the board, some of it leaked either to the Liberals or to other minor parties (the DLP in particular polled 6.6 per cent in the marginal areas of Higgins, and scored double the vote in the marginal areas of Bradfield compared with the rest of the electorate) and thence to the Liberals as preferences. This counterbalanced a fall in the Liberal primary vote in the deep blue areas of both electorates, which proved nowhere near the magnitude required to put them in danger. It’s interesting to note that this fall was lower in Higgins than in Bradfield, which it’s tempting to put down to resistance to Clive Hamilton among those at the highest end of the income scale.

9.20pm. I’ve performed a similar exercise in Bradfield. There are marginal pockets on the edges of the electorate in the north-west at Asquith and Hornsby and in the south at Chatswood and Willoughby. These areas swung to the Liberals 4.7 per cent in two-party terms. However, the wealthy Liberal heart of the electorate, from Killara north through St Ives, swung 5.1 per cent to the Greens.

8.40pm. Psephos in comments notes the trend detectable from Higgins in the table below (which I’m continuing to update as the last few booths come in) is reflected in Bradfield: “Hornsby Central, Labor’s best booth in the seat: Liberal primary vote up 5.9%.”

8.20pm. I’ll keep that coming in tabular form. “Light blue” zone is the bulk of the electorate; “deep blue” the riverfront from South Yarra through Toorak to Kooyong; “pink-green” Prahran/Windsor; “red” the Carnegie area.

LIB 2PP SWING BOOTHS REPORTING
Light blue zone 0.9% 20 out of 21
Deep blue zone -0.8% 6 out of 6
Pink-green zone 6.3% 6 out of 6
Red zone 7.1% 3 out of 3

8.02pm. While I’ve been quiet, I’ve been calculating the Higgins booth results provided by Antony into four zones. While this has been happening the Liberal-Greens margin has blown out to 9 per cent. All four zones have swung to the Liberals: the normally Labor-voting area in the south-east around Carnegie by 9.3 per cent; posh Toorak/Kooyong has swung 1.7 per cent; pink-green Prahran/Windsor 4.3 per cent; and the middle-Liberal balance, from Armadale to Glen Iris and Camberwell to Malvern, by 1.1 per cent. That’s assuming my calculations are correct, which I can’t state with total confidence.

7.38pm. Twelve booths now in from Higgins, swing steady at 5.4 per cent, Kelly home and hosed. Props though to the 400 or so voters of Toorak West for the short-lived entertainment they provided.

7.32pm. Another booth pushes Liberal two-party lead in Higgins to 5.4 per cent. Antony has abandoned commentary, but if he hadn’t I’m guessing he would be calling it now.

7.30pm. No alarms for the Liberals in Bradfield: projected margin 12 per cent.

7.28pm. Antony nonetheless says Higgins “can’t be called yet”.

7.27pm. Antony Green has eight booths in from Higgins and 9.2 per cent counted – O’Dwyer with an almost certainly sufficient 4.8 per cent two-party lead.

7.22pm. Possum, who took about 10 seconds to call the US election for Obama, says on Twitter: “Shorter Higgins – Greens went well with wealthy Lib voters but not so good with middle income Libs. Failed with ALP voters. game over”.

7.19pm. I’ve abandoned the table – it is not possible to keep up with the furious number crunching I needed to do to keep track as each new booth reported. Head to the ABC for elucidation on what’s happening.

7.15pm. That Toorak West result looking quirkier after Gardiner booth reports, but it’s still close. Having trouble keeping up due to AEC failure to report individual booths, so double check anything you see above.

7.13pm. Better result for Liberals in Higgins from Kooyong Park.

7.05pm. Both the booths have 2PP votes in, so my 2PP figures are now less speculative.

7.02pm. First Higgins booth is super wealthy, super Liberal Toorak West, and it shows a very interesting plunge in the Liberal vote.

6.49pm. Unless I’m mistaken – please let it be so – the AEC are not providing individual polling booth figures, which means I might as well pack up and go home.

6.46pm. Lady Davidson Hospital booth in from Bradfield – only 293 votes, but no evidence of a remarkable result.

6.36pm. Still nothing. These are urban electorates so there are no small booths that report quickly; the large number of candidates, particularly in Bradfield, might also be slowing things down.

6.20pm. Until I get notional 2PP counts, my 2PP will be based on the following preference estimates:

HIGGINS: ASP 80-20 to Greens; LDP 80-20 to Liberal; Dems 70-30 to Greens; ONP and DLP 80-20 to Liberal; all others 55-45 to Liberal.

BRADFIELD: DLP 80-20 to Liberal; ASP 80-20 to Greens; ONP and LDP 80-20 to Liberal; CCC and ENE 50-50; all others 75-25 to Liberal.

# and % primary vote figures are raw; primary vote swing and 2PP figures are based on booth matching.

6pm. Welcome to the Poll Bludger’s live coverage of the Higgins and Bradfield by-elections. First figures should be in in about 20 minutes.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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1328 comments

1,328 thoughts on “Higgins and Bradfield by-elections live

  1. evan14

    Nobody can concern troll better than Bob! 😉

  2. dyno

    [Democracy has got a lot of problems, but at least it ensures (given fair elections) that governments that get comfortable, complacent and ultimately corrupt get kicked out.]

    Good point PC. Democracy isn’t just about a contest of ideas.

  3. Parramatta Centrist

    Democracy is a 3-4 year marketing campaign, leading up to a 1-day sale.

  4. jaundiced view

    Dyno
    [The ALP would cease to be recognisable to some of its most ardent stalwarts.]
    Good discusison point.
    It would, but I believe it already has. One cannot compare the policies of the current government to those of even a few years ago. The issue is as don characterised it earlier – each of the two major parties vying for the same middle-swingers. Each trying to bump the other further left or right to open up demographic ‘ground’.

    I know this will tire some of the regulars, but it is simply the result of our redundant and anachronistic electoral system of one member per district. You end up with two centrist parties, and everyone else – the smaller parties get no chance of taking part in government. Worst example at present: NSW. Thinking NSW voters would walk a long way for a different voting system so the real choice isn’t Lib or Lab at present.

    All of this discussion is further proof that the differences between the parties are narrowing, despite the ascension of Abbott. If the Libs lurch right, so does Labor, and the ‘middle ground’ is also moved further right.

  5. dyno

    [You’re not suggesting it could get worse are you?]

    Not worse than the NSW State Govt, I wouldn’t think, Wakefield. Ultimately there has to be a point at which the people will cry “enough”. Notwithstanding the uninspiring performance of NSW Liberals I think that point is going to come in March 2011. And I would like to think that Australians are sufficiently contrarian that we could never have one party araldited to the Treasury benches for as many decades as happened in Japan.

    Nevertheless, I think your point about the pursuit of power for its own sake is valid. This is a dangerous practice.

  6. Gusface

    [Nevertheless, I think your point about the pursuit of power for its own sake is valid. This is a dangerous practice]

    Its what ultimately got to Howard

  7. Peter Young

    Parramatta Centrist – 1226

    Your comments are spot on.

    NSW Labor is the Inconvenient Truth for Rudd and it seems he is in denial about it.

    Remember Kristina Keneally is nobody’s puppet (so we know cos she tells us so).

  8. dyno

    [Its what ultimately got to Howard]

    Possibly. Certainly a more dispassionate view in 2006 would have been “I’ve done all I can, time for someone else to have a go”. Bet he wishes he’d retired then!

  9. Dario

    [I think it’s quite interesting to ponder what a completely unassailable Labor Party could look like twenty years from now]

    Well, its unlikely they’d still be in power. Who knows really. It took only 3 years for the ALP to take power after the debarcle that was Latham, so anything is possible.

  10. mexicanbeemer

    Arin’t all polls interesting

  11. Dario

    [Makes for interesting reading, but … embargoed until midnight.]

    Guess I’m staying up then! 🙂

  12. Grog

    [Arin’t all polls interesting]

    “Interesting” is usually code for LNP improves.

  13. The Finnigans

    This is definitely more funny than Bob:

    [Tiger Woods on SNL Saturday Night Live skit on CNN with Wolf Blitzer]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBK5WCFTb4g

  14. crikey whitey

    For those of us interested in fairy dust, I just watched Heston Blumenthal on SBS, doing his interpretation of a Victorian menu, based on what he thought Alice in Wonderland and the Mock Turtle enjoyed. Reading old texts and so on.

    Including at the last, absinthe infused jelly, with appropriate vibratory effects, to overcome female hysteria.

    Which mention implies nothing at all, but the whole thing was hugely amusing.

    A pertinent diversion from the last few weeks.

    It seems that this was the first of a series of six.

  15. Gusface

    Dyno

    You well remeber the argy bargy before 2007 election,the one thing was the BH turning on howard.
    from memeory even the CWA was agin him.
    To stir up such passions aside from “worstchoices” was no mean feat.

    Arrogance,ignorance and obstinance were the 3 wise monkeys that undid him.

  16. Dario

    [“Interesting” is usually code for LNP improves]

    Wouldn’t surprise me in the least

  17. Grog

    [Wouldn’t surprise me in the least]

    50-50??

  18. jaundiced view

    Finnigans
    Excellent SNL clip. Gee, I wouldn’t want to end up like Tiger. …. Er, wait, I withdraw that 🙂

  19. Dario

    Nah. Maybe 54-46 ish.

  20. ShowsOn

    I wouldn’t really trust a poll after what has happened in the last 2 weeks. I think it would’ve been better to do it next Fri – Sun so that a week had passed since the leader ship change and internal turmoil.

    I suspect that Abbott’s personal ratings will have a big “undecided” group too.

  21. Grog

    I’m betting a BIG jump for the LNP. Opposition leaders generally do get one:
    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2008/09/18/what-size-a-turnbull-poll-bounce/

    it generally has little to do with their ability – heck Downer took the 2PP from 48 to 54!

    Guess any Labor “hacks” just have to be calm and patient…

  22. briefly

    [1232…..jaundiced view

    You end up with two centrist parties]

    Well j-v, I don’t think the Howard Government was centrist. Nor do I think you could characterize an Abbott-Joyce coalition as centrist.

    The two party system generates tension at the centre. While each contestant necessarily has to try to appeal to the electorally mobile centre, they do so in the hope of consolidating support for distinct, competing world-views.

    So there are countervailing pressures: competition for votes in the centre brings parties together, while the necessity to maintain distinct identities acts as a centrifugal force, continually re-creating new political polarities. This is a fundamentally creative tension, bringing the attention of parties again and again to the issues and events that effect the public at large and generating new responses.

  23. Dario

    [I wouldn’t really trust a poll after what has happened in the last 2 weeks]

    After Newspoll’s rogue shenanigans I don’t trust them any more anyway. However, being a sad, pathetic poll addict I am still staying up late for the result 🙁

    ACN is the new benchmark IMO

  24. Grog

    Peacock got a bounce, so did Downer, so did Latham…

    After 3 years of Rudd, the ALP side is still so damn nervous about polls!

  25. ShowsOn

    Turnbull’s ratings were so low that it was as if voters had just switched off. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Abbott’s preferred P.M. figure is substantially higher than Turnbull’s, simply due to the novelty of having someone new.

  26. Centre

    I agree, I reckon 54/46 or maybe even a bit more of a honeymoon for Abbott with a 53/47.

    But the real figures that I would be most interested in at this stage of the electoral cycle are the PPM figures. Around 60/20 for Rudd…sweet! 😉

  27. mexicanbeemer

    Well this run of ALP poll leads had to win at some point and i actually think Abbott may connect with the voters better than Turnbull, i think the Nationals should drop Truss for Barnaby.

    I was thinking about the claims about Abbott and his Womanfolk issues and i suspect he may go okay with Women for there are several things that women like in a man and Abbott ticks those boxes.

    Women like a man who create a feeling

    Women like a man who has a set of princlpes and has a view that he is happy to express

    Women like a man that is fit and healthy

    Women like a man that is successful

    Now Abbott ticks most of those boxes, the problem for Tony Abbott will be the first one for Women may react to his views with anger, hate or disgust and go towards the ALP, all they may find that because he is a man that speaks his mind then he may become popular.

    Now a few cavets Abbott could do a Latham and change his natural behavior and come off as fake, or we may see a repeat of the carry we saw in 2007 with Abbott was late to a debate with Nicola Roxon.

    Abbott will not be popular with younger liberal minded women but then again many of them live in Higgins and Bradfield and the the Women of rual and regional Australia tend to view the world differently than the women of inner Melbourne and inner Sydney.

    One other thing about Women and i have long suspected this and that is Women tend to be the bulk of the aspriantional voters and they tend to be the swing voters out there in marginal seat land.

  28. Dario

    [So I wouldn’t be surprised if Abbott’s preferred P.M. figure is substantially higher than Turnbull’s, simply due to the novelty of having someone new]

    Agreed

  29. briefly

    Abbott will probably score well. Even though he is depicted as “mad” and has certainly shown an intolerant streak, he does come across as real-life. His idiosyncratic quality may work well for him. After all, if there is a criticism of Rudd Labor that even supporters make, it is that Labor is too “well-controlled”, “well-tempered”, “managed”. I personally do not subscribe to these criticisms, but one thing you can say about Abbott is that he is not micro-managed.

  30. Kevin Rennie

    Your turnout percentages don’t tally with the AEC website according to my quick analysis.

  31. mexicanbeemer

    win = end

  32. Dario

    Abbott will get a bump, but once he has to start coming out with policy (particularly on CC) it will collapse in a screaming heap.

  33. Centre

    By the way, for those interested, Bob is NO Liberal. He is Greener than the grass on a football field on grand final day.

  34. Diogenes

    I’m sure all those people who are saying that whatever the Newspoll shows that you shouldn’t read too much into it are taking their own advice and going to bed early. 😉

  35. Thomas Paine

    If it hasn’t been done already…

    Wang1 Wang1

    This site can’t do characters but if you
    look up the pinyin wang1 here (it is an expanse of water)
    http://www.mandarintools.com/

    This is the sound
    http://www.mandarintools.com/sounds/wang1.aif

  36. jaundiced view

    briefly
    [This is a fundamentally creative tension, bringing the attention of parties again and again to the issues and events that effect the public at large and generating new responses.]
    Like dancers around a maypole. Same maypole, 2 sets of uniforms 🙂

  37. Dario

    [I’m sure all those people who are saying that whatever the Newspoll shows that you shouldn’t read too much into it are taking their own advice and going to bed early.]

    Addiction is a funny thing 🙂

  38. Grog

    [I’m sure all those people who are saying that whatever the Newspoll shows that you shouldn’t read too much into it are taking their own advice and going to bed early. ]

    Doesn’t mean I’m not interested in the result. This is poll bludger after all.

  39. briefly

    “1261
    Centre

    By the way, for those interested, Bob is NO Liberal. He is Greener than the grass on a football field on grand final day.”

    He seems to have a lot of Liberal DNA in his politics, Centre, reflected in his repetitious, disingenuous and entirely gratuitous snottiness towards those of a Labor persuasion.

  40. Keith is not my real name

    crikey whitey…

    I love it when you post, remind’s me of the old day’s ’round here’

    Hopefully the place will revert back to the good times. Although I expect the the “….” best not talked about types will win out for the next few months.

  41. Centre

    briefly, that’s Bob *shrugs shoulders*

  42. briefly

    [Like dancers around a maypole. Same maypole, 2 sets of uniforms]

    Morris dancers? Who gets to wear the bells and funny hats? Barnaby Joyce?

  43. Thomas Paine

    Well I understand that new leaders are meant to get a poll boost ‘honeymoon’ and the caution of bludgers go for 54. But the Newspoll Nielsen ER gave us 56 & 57 & 58 and since then there has been a bunch of liberal turmoil. Who knows how the general public viewed those goings on? What messages they took out of it and the defeat of the ETS.

    I can’t see why there would be a major change from last week given the chaos and if Abbott has always been the last choice as wanted Opposition leader according to polls I can’t see why he would make a major dent in the TPP of Labor.

    So I would predict a 57/58. And approval/disapproval rating for Abbott of 35/25.
    Just so I can be shown to be totally wrong.

  44. jaundiced view

    [Morris dancers? Who gets to wear the bells and funny hats? Barnaby Joyce?]
    Wrong period. They didn’t know what a propellor was in those days, and Barnaby would need one on any hat he wears 🙂

  45. briefly

    [Centre……..briefly, that’s Bob *shrugs shoulders*]

    I am unconvinced….perhaps he wears spray-on virtue.

  46. William Bowe

    [ACN is the new benchmark IMO]

    Why forgive Nielsen this rogue 52-48 result, but not Newspoll this one?

  47. crikey whitey

    Keith is not my real name 1268

    Excellent, Keith.

    A former partner of that real name earned my displeasure.

    You do not.

    An injection of levity never goes astray.

    I enjoy your appreciation.

    Mind, you are encouraging me!!

  48. Grog

    I think the Pollytrend is the new benchmark 🙂

  49. Dario

    [Why forgive Nielsen this rogue 52-48 result, but not Newspoll this one?]

    I haven’t forgiven ACN for that, but Newspoll’s rogue was the most recent 😉

  50. Thomas Paine

    A rogue is a rogue there is nothing to forgive. It is not the poll that is the problem but the way the media used what was most likely a rogue.

  51. ltep

    Nielson, of course, was also furthest from the mark for ‘the big event’.

  52. Dario

    [A rogue is a rogue there is nothing to forgive. It is not the poll that is the problem but the way the media used what was most likely a rogue.]

    In particular how the poll’s owner used and abused it

  53. Peter Young

    Trying to draw a consensus from the over 1,200 posts on the by-election results the best I can do is:-
    1. The poll results are inconclusive leaving it open for spin-meisters to put whatever spin they choose to put on the results.
    2. Spin-meisters have the choice of-
    a. A shocking perforance by the Greens/A brilliant result for Liberals, or
    b. A good result for the Greens/A disappointing Liberal performance.
    and
    c. A brilliant tactical decision by the ALP not to contest the seats, or
    d. The Rudd ALP are scared of the polls
    and

    e. The correct pronunciation of the Panda is Wang Wang, or
    f. The correct pronunciaton is Wong Wong.

    Have a nice day everyone. I am going to bed.

  54. Thomas Paine

    It is only news for a day or two then forgotten…Liberals elected replaced Costello and Nelson, news not that big for the general public.

  55. briefly

    lol j-v @ 1272.

    Barnaby is a beer-garden polly…..loud, exaggerated, the grog doing all the thinking…

  56. bob1234

    [He seems to have a lot of Liberal DNA in his politics, Centre, reflected in his repetitious, disingenuous and entirely gratuitous snottiness towards those of a Labor persuasion.]

    Are you really that ignorant that you’re yet to understand modern Labor will receive criticism from the left as well as the right? Jeez Louise..

  57. briefly

    I think criticism is only to be expected. It is just so tedious and destructive when it becomes [repetitious, disingenuous and entirely gratuitous snottiness].

  58. Keith is not my real name

    Mind, you are encouraging me!!

    I certainly hope so.

    Dull, these one eyed repeaters are

  59. Keith is not my real name

    Apologies for the formatting errors

  60. Keith is not my real name

    “William Bowe
    Posted Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink
    ACN is the new benchmark IMO

    Why forgive Nielsen this rogue 52-48 result, but not Newspoll this one?”

    Whatever William bets, I’ll go double 😉

  61. bob1234

    [I think criticism is only to be expected.]

    Indeed. That’s why this is Labor hackery rubbish:

    [He seems to have a lot of Liberal DNA in his politics, Centre, reflected in his repetitious, disingenuous and entirely gratuitous snottiness towards those of a Labor persuasion.]

  62. crikey whitey

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2008/03/17/newspoll-59-41-2/all-comments/#comments

    Seems to work. Checkers in will read some vigorous argument.

    I have not changed my mind. About Kev and stuff.

    Though now I wonder about Harry ‘Snapper’ Organs well being.

  63. briefly

    as I say, tedious

  64. Psephos

    Peter Young, are you the Peter Young who was the Labor candidate for Lowe in 1969? (I guess you’d be getting on a bit now.)

  65. dave

    [ Barnaby is a beer-garden polly…..loud, exaggerated, the grog doing all the thinking… ]

    Yep. But let him run with the rope. Lets just see where and how he goes.

    Let him hang himself. Doubt if it will take very long.

  66. Psephos

    Abbott will get a bit of a honeymoon over the summer (unless Rudd actually does save the world at Kobnhavn), but he will be cut to pieces next year when battle resumes. He’s shallow, careless, ignorant, undisciplined, intellectually lazy, and never knows to when stop until he seriously offends someone. He’s repeated this pattern over and over, and he’s too to change now.

  67. Psephos

    “and he’s too to change now.” = “and he’s too old to change now.”

  68. Diogenes

    Newspoll 56-44

  69. Diogenes

    Now you can go to bed!

  70. mexicanbeemer

    No differences

  71. Grog

    [Now you can go to bed!]

    Thank you I will!

  72. Frank Calabrese

    [Now you can go to bed!]

    Still 8.58pm in WA 🙂 The night is still young.

  73. scorpio

    The MSM might be trying to soften Abbott’s image with the female voter but two of the sisterhood aren’t going to give him an easy ride. Good thing too!

    Stephanie Peatling had this comment at the end of her piece and the second one is by Virginia Haussegger who presents ABC TV News in Canberra.

    [Nevertheless his minders would probably prefer if he didn’t repeat his comments to Sarah Murdoch after she launched Battlelines.

    The pair knew each other through their mutual support of the Manly Sea Eagles.

    Abbott said he asked Murdoch because at least one person on the platform should be attractive and because his daughters were more interested in seeing her than him.

    What happened next was a classic Abbott moment. He praised Murdoch for her many achievements, particularly her charity work. Then he thanked Lachlan Murdoch for “allowing” Sarah to launch the book.]
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/redrawing-the-battlelines-20091205-kbws.html

    [This is not a “red-fanged rage” against Tony Abbott, by “aggressively secular, paelo-feminists” as columnist Miranda Devine shouted. In fact, no one is shouting but her. This is simply a broad rejection by Australian women of old-fashioned patronising and a daddy-takes-charge style of politics. Daddy is no longer in charge. Nor is mummy, for that matter.

    What we have in political leadership circles now is an emergent understanding that a diverse range of women have taken a place at the top table. And they’re not all “working mothers”. They can be single, childless, lesbian, Asian and atheist. The world has moved on since the conservative chorus — with Abbott’s mindset — was in charge. Women know that. Pity the federal Liberal caucus hasn’t worked it out.]
    http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/politics/weve-moved-on-from-abbotts-conservative-chorus-20091204-kae1.html?comments=13#comments

  74. Peter Young

    Psephos – 1293

    [ are you the Peter Young who was the Labor candidate for Lowe in 1969? (I guess you’d be getting on a bit now.) ]

    Good no-god, that question is out of left field.

    Was he the guy who stood on the platform ” Billy I want your seat !”

    Unfortunately, the short answer to the question posed by you is NO.

  75. Dario

    That’s it? Gee, I should have gone to bed…

  76. jaundiced view

    [Barnaby is a beer-garden polly…..loud, exaggerated, the grog doing all the thinking…]
    I daresay- not that I have always avoided that convivial scenario out of hand…

    I think the difference between Barnaby and other beer-garden bombasts like myself is that Barnaby forgets to identify and marshall a few ideas BEFORE he gets on the grog.

    I’ve always thought that if you are a speaker on an issue and you reduce it to 3 key points then you can take it anywhere – even to the bottom of a bottle of Ron Zacapa XO without losing your cogency. (‘Ron ‘- That’s Caribbean for rum, not our erstwhile r/Ron.)
    Barnaby clearly can’t do that. He needs coaching in having, and holding, ideas. And also in expounding on ideas after a long lunch. Otherwise, he’s perfect for the front bench. 😉

  77. scorpio

    I thought this was a good comment on Virginia’s piece also!

    [Virginia – good article. I heard exactly the same from my wife when Abbott was elected. The squeeze and comment for Julie Bishop made my wife, who is not madly feminist, yell at the telly.

    She also made the comparison between Julie Gillard and Penny Wong and how well they handled their press conference.

    Only part of your article I disagree with his your description of Kevin Rudd. I agree with Professor Chris O’Brien who said before passing away that Rudd is intelligent, articulate and compassionate and he was proud to have Rudd as his PM.

    I think that goes for a lot of us.]

  78. ShowsOn

    LOL! So 56 / 44, which is about the average the polls have been for the last 2 years.

  79. bob1234

    It must be a rogue Newspoll.

    LOL

    😀

  80. bob1234

    Anyone else having trouble getting to http://mumble.com.au/ ?

  81. Rocket Rocket

    Captain Renault : “The Greens vote has fallen. Round up the usual suspects.”

  82. Thomas Paine

    I was thinking it would be a point or two worse than this, but will require a few polls to gauge anything.

    Least Tony will take something from it not leaping to 59/41.

  83. Tom the first and best

    1310

    Yes. And for once it is not the my wireless or internet.

  84. jaundiced view

    The Lib experience since Turnbull took over is a bit analogous to a start-up coffee shop. The first owner is meticulous in staff selection, training, customer service, and builds up the customer base over 12 months, eventually getting the figures up to, say, ’44 points’. Then the cafe is sold at its peak returns to a big-mouthed abrasive chap from out of town. How’s it going to go?

  85. coconaut

    Is this the first election where everyone loses?

    1. At an election where the Liberals are wondering if their new leader is any good, the Liberal booths swung away from them, an ominous sign for the next election.

    2. Labor turned out to be a bunch chicken-sh*t wimps and ran away from the good fight. I think they could’ve won.

    3. The Greens couldn’t crack it, despite favourable conditions and a high profile candidate, and ran an extremely lacklustre 20th century campaign.

    4. The Sex Party didn’t make 4%

    5. All the other minors were just that … minors.

    No wonder everyone is grumpy here today. After all that build it was most unsatisfying!!!

  86. john2066

    I dont understand this comment:

    “This counterbalanced a fall in the Liberal primary vote in the deep blue areas of both electorates, which proved nowhere near the magnitude required to put them in danger. It’s interesting to note that this fall was greater in Higgins than in Bradfield, which it’s tempting to put down to resistance to Clive Hamilton among those at the highest end of the income scale.”

    On the one hand you’re saying that the fall in the deep blue Liberal vote was more in Higgins, and then you say ‘its tempting to put down to resistance to Clive Hamilton’. But if the fall was greater in the Liberal vote, then it means that Clive Hamilton was more acceptable to these voters.

  87. William Bowe

    No, I’m saying the fall in the deep blue Liberal vote was less in Higgins.

  88. Desert Fox

    Now even Tim Flannery admits that the warming of the previous 25 years has halted and “there hasn’t been a continuation of that warming trend … (climate scientists) work with models, computer modelling, when the computer modelling and the real world data disagrees you have a problem …” Why will not Kevin Rudd admit the same thing?

    Now Abbott tells Macquarie radio, “Notwithstanding the dramatic increases in man-made CO2 emissions over the last decade, the world’s warming has stopped.”

    Wong’s response – “He is out there publicly talking about the world cooling when we have so many world leaders … going to Copenhagen because they are concerned about climate change.” In other words, she will not actually challenge what Abbott said! Surely if he was wrong she would have said so emphatically.

    Can’t wait for Rudd to comment as well.

    Also, how are Rudd and Wong going to distance themselves from the fraud-ridden IPCC when they play an integral part of the Copenhagen limo/lear jet festival?

  89. john2066

    Ok, but your comment says “this fall was greater in Higgins than in Bradfield” so the liberal vote dropped more in Higgins, which means more of these deep blue voters went to Clive Hamilton than in Bradfield.

  90. William Bowe

    Now I see the problem – I had that the wrong way around. I’ve corrected it now. Apologies for the confusion.

  91. Psephos

    [Labor turned out to be a bunch chicken-sh*t wimps and ran away from the good fight. I think they could’ve won.]

    Ho hum. It is now the established view in both parties that you do not contest Opposition held seats at by-elections when you are in government. The likelihood of a news-positive outcome (“Labor wins Bradfield!”) is very small, the likelihood of a news-negative outcome (“Setback for Rudd!”) is very high. That’s why the Libs didn’t contest Blaxland, Fraser, Holt, Isaacs, Cunningham or Werriwa when they were in office. Labor did contest Gippsland, and duly got a news-negative outcome when they failed to win a seat they’ve never won in 108 years since Federation. By-elections nearly always swing against governments, even popular ones. The notion that Labor should have wasted money and political capital contesting two blue-riband Liberal seats, seats which Labor has come close to winning, is absurd. There might have been a case for contesting Higgins had Labor known in advance of the Liberal meltdown, but of course they didn’t know that at the time the decision was made. Even with the Liberal meltdown Labor would not have won Higgins.

  92. Psephos

    [seats which Labor has come close to winning]

    Oops “seats which Labor has NEVER come close to winning”

  93. Rebecca

    Labor was never going to contest these seats in the circumstances as they were at the time of Abbott and Nelson’s resignations, for the reasons Adam states. If they had somehow had the psychic foresight to know that the Liberals were going to engage in the most spectacular implosion in recent memory in the meantime, they might have taken the risk. Without that, though, it would have been a stupid decision.

  94. bob1234

    So why did the Bradfield informal vote go up 5% when the 1992 Wills by-election saw no change in the informal vote despite fielding 22 candidates too?

  95. Daniel B

    testing [testing] testing

  96. Daniel B

    testing [ testing ] testing

  97. Daniel B

    testing [[testing]] testing