Crikey



Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor

The second Newspoll of the year is a wildly off-trend result that has no doubt made life difficult for a) whoever has been charged with writing up the results for The Australian, and b) anti-Murdoch conspiracy theorists. The poll has Labor leading 54-46, up from 51-49, which is the Coalition’s worst result from any poll since the election of the Abbott government. The primary votes are 39% for the Coalition (down two), 39% for Labor (up four) and 10% for the Greens (down two). Despite that, the personal ratings find Bill Shorten continuing to go backwards, his approval steady at 35% and disapproval up four to 39%. However, things are a good deal worse for Tony Abbott, who is down four to 36% and up seven to 52%. Abbott’s lead on preferred prime minister shrinks from 41-33 to 38-37.

Elsewhere in polldom:

Roy Morgan is more in line with the recent trend in having the Coalition up half a point on the primary vote to 41%, Labor down 1.5% to 35.5%, the Greens steady on 10.5%, and the Palmer United Party steady on 4.5%. Labor leads by 50.5-49.5 on both two-party preferred measures, compared with 52-48 on last fortnight’s respondent-allocated result and 51-49 on previous election preferences. The Morgan release also provides state breakdowns on two party preferred, showing the Coalition leading 52.5-47.5 in New South Wales and 55-45 in Western Australia, while Labor leads 54.5-45.5 in Victoria, 52-48 in Queensland, 53.5-46.5 in South Australia and 50.5-49.5 in Tasmania.

• The Australian National University has released results from its regular in-depth post-election Australian Election Study mailout survey, the most widely noted finding of which is that Tony Abbott scored the lowest rating of any election-winner going back to 1987. The survey asks respondents to rate leaders on a scale from zero to ten, with Abbott scoring a mean of 4.29 compared with 4.89 for Julia Gillard in 2010; 6.31 for Kevin Rudd in 2007; 5.73, 5.31, 5.56 and 5.71 for John Howard in 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2004 respectively; 4.74 for Paul Keating in 1993; and 6.22 and 5.46 for Bob Hawke in 1987 and 1990 respectively.

The Age reports that a poll of 1000 respondents by UMR Research, commissioned by the Australian Education Union, finds Malcolm Turnbull (a net rating of plus 12%) and Joe Hockey (plus 2%) to be rated more favourably than Tony Abbott (minus 8%).

UPDATE (Essential Research): The weekly Essential Research has Labor’s lead steady at 51-49, with the Coalition up a point on the primary vote to 42%, Labor down one to 39% and the Greens up one to 9%. Also featured: “government handling of issues”, showing neutral net ratings for the government’s best areas (economic management, asylum seekers, foreign relations) and strongly negative ones for welfare, service provision and industrial relations. Worst of the lost is “supporting Australian jobs”, at minus 19%. The existing renewable energy target is broadly supported (39% about right, 25% too low, 13% too high); opinion of Qantas has deteriorated over the past year (11% say they have come to feel more positive, 25% more negative), and there is support for the government buying a share of it or guaranteeing its loans; and opinion on government moves to crack down on illegal file sharing is evenly divided.

UPDATE 2: The West Australian reports that a Patterson Market Research survey conducted before last week’s High Court ruling from an undisclosed sample size suggests the micro-party vote would wither if a fresh Senate election was held. The poll has the Liberals on 45%, up six on its Senate vote at the election, Labor on 32%, up five, and the Greens on 12%, up three. The Palmer United Party collapses from 5% to 1%, with all others halving from 20% to 10%. However, one wonders how good polls are at capturing the sentiment that causes indifferent voters to plump for micro-parties at the last minute.

Categories: Federal Politics 2013-

1845 Responses

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  1. Outstanding numbers!

    Bring on the budget Joe.

    One term Tony.

    by silentmajority on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:21 am

  2. UPDATE: 03:24:00 25/02/2014 —- Nett_NEWS++™ @ http://bit.ly/1aQcqOy #auspol http://bit.ly/OtLVd4

    by Otiose on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:28 am

  3. Back in 2010, Abbott said he was going to do this:
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/abbott-targets-welfare-payments-20100223-p0p5.html

    Also found this too, UMR Poll:
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-trumps-tony-abbott-in-poll-20140220-334c3.html

    Mainly focused on Gonksi.

    by zoidlord on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:41 am

  4. How would Einstein analyse this poll?

    J + M = X

    X > B

    Translated:

    Jobs and Medicare are of greater importance than boats to the people of Western Sydney.

    POPPYCOCK!

    However, Medicare could be the ONE.

    If Labor could get the message across that it is the beginning of the end of Medicare (which it really is) without the scare campaign, and that the Medicare tax will go up in the years and decades to come to the point where there is no longer a Medicare – a dream of the Liberals – then they’re in with a shot.

    In the meantime, the poll is an outlier.

    by Centre on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:15 am

  5. So how many numbskulls are now calling for the sacking of Shorten?

    So what if we did what those numbskulls were asking and got rid of Shorten – do you think this poll would be 54/46?

    Can you appreciate what high level numbskulls some of you really are?

    Should I name them? :twisted:

    by Centre on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:25 am

  6. It’s about incomes and jobs. Real wages are still falling. On a wider measure – real per capita disposable basis – incomes are falling. Full time employment is falling, which notably affects adult males. Abbott and Hockey are saying wages have to fall further and faster. Not only will they seek a three-year wage freeze for public servants, they are proposing to cut penalty rates for other workers. They have also mooted other steps (to medicare and childcare) that would reduce real incomes while also visibly failing to defend jobs.

    The LNP are failing where it most counts for voters – on incomes and jobs.

    by briefly on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:30 am

  7. Morning all

    While it is possible that this poll goes a bit too far Labor’s way, it’s consistent with a view I have heard around the place that the last Nielsen Poll got a dud sample in Victoria (ie, an historically inconsistent pro-government sample).

    All the Victorians I know – even the more right-wing ones- are seeing the Abbott Govt as coming from NSW and being for NSW. The Holden-SPC-Toyota saga is surely toxic for the Libs in Melbourne. And Victorians don’t care anywhere near as much about stopping the boats as do Sydney people.

    So, taking into account the current feeling about the Federal Libs in the southern states, plus Qld and WA coming off the boil a bit, I doubt that 46-54 will be too far off the mark.

    And it could get worse. The Government seems to be intent on delivering a horror budget for reasons that they might struggle to articulate at a time when global recovery seems fragile at best and the rate Chinese growth is showing signs of slowing down a bit.

    The only thing they have going for them at the moment is the boats, where all publicity is to a certain extent good publicity. But, even here, Morrison’s confused stories about Manus are a negative.

    Talk about “narrative” in politics has become a cliche. But it’s true that the Coalition needs a better one than it currently has. It’s all a bit too smug Sydney at the moment. The government people we mainly see on TV – Abbott, Hockey, Morrison, Turnbull – might all come from Sydney, but the majority of Australians still live elsewhere: and the value of their family homes hasn’t risen like those of Sydneysiders over the past year or so. They are feeling economically vulnerable and might even be yearning for an “entitlement” or two.

    by meher baba on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:40 am

  8. Morning all. The WA Senate should be interesting on these numbers.

    They illustrate what observers of Abbott always knew. People were distracted from looking at Abbott in the past by two things – Labor leadership and boats. Without those issues to hide behind, Abbott can be seen to be a very negative, very uninspiring person. He is a bully who got lucky, not a leader.

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:36 am

  9. Half of Morgan was taken on the 15,16th of Feb, may explain the difference a week makes.

    by ruawake on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:45 am

  10. Full Newspoll tables

    http://resources.news.com.au/files/707/892/98178868-9d50-11e3-8d06-ee68f907182a..pdf

    by ruawake on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:47 am

  11. I do not see how the news has got any better for the Libs since. Hockey has used our prime position at the G20 to say they will go for growth! Really? How exactly? I thought they were going for recession, after recent policy decisions.

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:47 am

  12. Ruawake

    Thanks for the tables. Abbott’s numbers are not great. There are not many uncommitted voters left to sway back. A drovers dog….

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:51 am

  13. Why on earth are still doing a Rudd/Abbott comparison for preferred PM?

    by meher baba on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:54 am

  14. Why Morrison must go. Bad enough he presented what he knew was dodgy as solid fact he used those “facts” to smear and demonise the AS.

    Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he knew a week ago his initial statements about a fatal brawl at the immigration detention facility on Manus Island were likely to have been wrong but has refused to say why he waited to correct the record until Saturday night

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-knew-he-was-wrong-on-brawl-death-20140224-33d5f.html

    by poroti on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:55 am

  15. Why on earth are still doing a Rudd/Abbott comparison for preferred PM?

    Did I mention perceptions of Abbott and distractions?

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:59 am

  16. The political coffee shop talk I hear in my daily visit. Boats and AS has never gained a mention apart from the goings on in Manus (“What a way to treat people!”). The great majority of talk is centered on the way the government is going to personally affect them. Potential changes to medicare, pensions, schools and the potential for a recession (Unemployment is already high in this area). Labor could be in a better position but events are powering along with little need for the opposition to cut through on a driving subject. Has any mention been made by the press on the missing ministers?

    by pom on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:00 am

  17. meher baba

    Apart from News not being able to let go it is a typo. Like the table for Shorten’s satisfaction being labelled as “ABBOTT’S/SHORTEN’S PERFORMANCE” .

    by poroti on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:01 am

  18. No wonder QANTAS were so firm in saying rumours of 3,000 job losses were rubbish. Looks like there are 5,000 to go.

    by poroti on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:03 am

  19. Wow, Mark Kenny on fire ….

    Consider his words: ”I can guarantee their safety when they remain in the centre and act co-operatively with those who are trying to provide them with support and accommodation. When people engage in violent acts and in disorderly behaviour and breach fences and get involved in that sort of behaviour and go to the other side of the fence, well they will be subject to law enforcement as applies in Papua New Guinea.”
    ”Guarantee their safety … [if they] act co-operatively … [but not if they] get involved in that sort of behaviour”?

    Such comments were prejudicial at best. With diminishing evidence of their own moral position, Morrison and Abbott are pleading with Australians to be granted the benefit of the doubt – a benefit they quickly denied the powerless souls in their care.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbotts-plain-speaking-on-scott-morrison-descends-into-nonsense-20140224-33d5h.html#ixzz2uGv76kdN

    by Rossmore on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:07 am

  20. The Qld Newman government is also “going for growth”…. In taxpayer funding of its election campaigns.

    The government has been given the all clear to scrap donation and expenditure caps and up the disclosure threshold by a LNP-chaired parliamentary review committee.
    But the government has been urged to rethink raising the electoral public funding threshold from 4 to 10 per cent, with concerns it could “be too high” which could hamper independent and minor party candidates.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/donation-and-expenditure-caps-removed-in-electoral-reform-20140224-33dbc.html#ixzz2uGvonNyl
    The slide towards feudalism continues. Rejoice fellow serfs!

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:09 am

  21. Poroti

    Qantas is due to announce its losses on Thursday to the ASX. If ever a board deserved to be sacked… Remember that Qantas domestic was not long ago one of the worlds most profitable airlines. Only the international bit was losing money. But the board had to wreck both in pursuing its IR agenda.

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:15 am

  22. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Mark Kenny goes after the “suppository of decency” Morriscum. And has six questions for the toy soldier.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-knew-he-was-wrong-on-brawl-death-20140224-33d5f.html
    And more from Kenny on the same subject.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/tony-abbotts-plain-speaking-on-scott-morrison-descends-into-nonsense-20140224-33d5h.html
    Tony Wright has a lash as well. He also reckons Marles isn’t up to being a good inquisitor.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/no-wimp-morrison-a-man-of-few-words-in-manus-death-climbdown-20140224-33d5c.html
    Now, about all that wasteful spending!
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/second-george-brandis-bookcase-costs-15000-after-first-was-too-big-to-move-20140224-33cm1.html
    This entirely misses the root cause of the problem. There is simply insufficient distance between the seats.
    http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/i-am-a-prisoner-passengers-angry-rant-on-seat-reclining-20140224-33cth.html
    An interesting insight into the difficulties faced by ASIC.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/intelligent-investor/why-asic-lets-the-big-fish-go-20140225-33diw.html
    Yes, he is highly respected.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/cardinal-george-pell-named-by-pope-francis-to-head-vatican-finance-ministry-20140225-hvdn3.html
    George Williams on the dangers of releasing Cabinet documents.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/killing-cabinet-confidentiality-destroys-democracy-20140224-33cbl.html
    With all these jobs to go from Customs just what services and protections will have to be foregone?
    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/customs-may-cut-hundreds-of-jobs-after-minister-says-no-to-deficit-20140224-33d4v.html
    Big Alcohol is under the spotlight in this report. I’m sure Fiona Nash will look after the children.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/report-slams-tv-alcohol-ads-20140224-33d55.html

    by BK on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:17 am

  23. Section 2 . . .

    Lenore Taylor casts light on the difficulties ahead for the Direct Action Plan.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/24/banks-and-big-business-warn-direct-action-will-lift-costs-and-deter-projects
    Alan Moir has a nice one on Morriscum and Popeye on Manus.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/alan-moir-20090907-fdxk.html
    Cathy Wilcox with an example of having to work until 70.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/cathy-wilcox-20090909-fhd6.html
    David Pope gives us Brandis and his new bookcase. And who is the lapdog?
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0.html
    MUST SEE!! David Rowe with a candlelight vigil for Scott.
    http://www.afr.com/p/national/cartoon_gallery_david_rowe_1g8WHy9urgOIQrWQ0IrkdO
    Ron Tandberg says it all.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/ron-tandberg-20090910-fixc.html

    by BK on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:17 am

  24. Tough News Poll.

    by rummel on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:20 am

  25. The information that Morrison knew he was wrong and shut up for 5 days means he really HAS to go because he was deliberately misleading the public.

    Now I am going to speculate a little and wonder IF Angus poodle” Campbell bit MorriSCUM (he now really the moniker) on the bum. ie Campbell was not prepared to lie and perhaps was really shocked at what he saw. Morrison made his statement a few hours or so after Campbell returned I think.

    Alternatively (or as well) Peta explained that Scummy could not lie to Parliament so he had better come clean.

    Bill the Boy should be saying that when back in government there will be a Royal Commission into AS deaths in custody.

    by daretotread on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:32 am

  26. And from the Land of the Free -

    Is this what Abbott means by “green tape”?
    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2014/02/24/scotus-hear-gop-plea-allow-chemical-poisoning/
    South Carolina – a great place to work.
    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2014/02/23/nikki-haley-job-kick-unions-out-of-south-carolina/
    This might just work for the Democrats.
    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/02/can-getting-medicaid-state-ballots-save-0
    Trouble at Walmart?
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/24/1279989/-No-one-wants-to-drive-out-to-Wal-Mart-stores-anymore
    Arizona is bloody mad!
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/24/1279934/-Will-Arizona-Gov-Brewer-sign-bill-allowing-businesses-to-turn-away-gay-customers

    by BK on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:33 am

  27. That Pope Cartoon is priceless.

    Labor should try to get Eric Abetz maximum exposure. He looks like the villain from every movie and cartoon.

    by daretotread on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:39 am

  28. Further on Qantas, I recommend the many good articles by Crikey blogger Ben Sandilands on how Qantas management has been running the airline down for five years, Joyce is the David Hill of airline CEOs.

    Several matters yesterday give rise to doubts about the fitness of Qantas under the Joyce/Clifford management to get any assistance from Government.

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:42 am

  29. WWP

    I get sick of people who want politicians of the highest calibre, policy outcomes of the very first order, all the expense and stress of running in elections and being in the public eye, and well lets pay them so little only already wealthy people can run. You want a good democracy you got to pay for it.

    Indeed.

    Someone posted this quote on twitter last night:

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

    (I did counter with “Tea, two sugars – Gandhi” because I’m getting rather tired of ‘deep’ quotes, but this one IS on the money…)

    by zoomster on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:43 am

  30. This is an illegitimate government!
    This is an incompetent chaotic government!
    The people want a new government!
    Election now!

    by cud chewer on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:45 am

  31. morning bludgers

    I did a vox pox this morning on the casual observers of politics in my household. My OH amd two kids 23 and 21 yo. I asked what has been the main take out for them in their observation of politics at the moment.

    One word

    “job losses”

    by victoria on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:46 am

  32. Sorry I meant the Rowe cartoon. It is bloody brilliant

    by daretotread on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:46 am

  33. Good Morning

    @prestontowers: Wait, George Pell is not going to be the Archbishop of Sydney anymore? He’s dealing with money, not people? Now there’s a savvy Pope.

    by guytaur on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:46 am

  34. While I’m certainly not against polls not being reported in news bulletins in favour of pretty much anything else, I was surprised they avoided reporting Newspoll in favour of a bank robbery in the suburb I’m in making national news. Especially since under Gillard we were bombarded with every single poll.

    by Bugler on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:50 am

  35. Btw, do we know anything about state breakdowns? Is this swing coming from QLD? Or is NSW starting to budge?

    by cud chewer on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:51 am

  36. Again LNP turns political advantage into a vote loser. This time Thomson before privileges committee

    “@wendy_harmer: Reducing the solemn gesture of a Parliamentary Apology to political payback. Insulting to the mothers who had their babies stolen #shamelss”

    by guytaur on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:52 am

  37. Wwp

    I get sick of people who want politicians of the highest calibre, policy outcomes of the very first order, all the expense and stress of running in elections and being in the public eye, and well lets pay them so little only already wealthy people can run. You want a good democracy you got to pay for it.

    That is the same argument corporate executives use to rip off shareholders for larger bonuses. Utter nonsense. There is no evidence salaries more than double the average wage attract better quality applicants to any profession, including politics.

    Most backbenchers are making a higher income than in their former day jobs. Cabinet members even more so. Many ex politicians are appointed to highly paid government positions, that they would have had zero chance of earning on their pre-political career CVs.

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:53 am

  38. Further to 136, all you do by raising salaries to very high levels is increase the tendency to attract people purely interested in financial reward and with no conviction on any issues. Want more Craig Thomsons or Eddie Obeids in parliament? Raise MP salaries.

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:55 am

  39. Have a good day all. I will not hold my breath waiting for detailed discussion of this poll on talkhack radio.

    by Socrates on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:57 am

  40. @firstdogonmoon: SO CYNICAL RT @sspencer_63: @BernardKeane strange how last week’s Nielsen led ABC news, but Newspoll doesn’t get a mention. Busy news day?

    by guytaur on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:57 am

  41. I see little evidence people want policy oriented politics. The amount of times I’ve had to point out to people they’ve misunderstood something, gone for the partisan talking point or the media angle and they get annoyed when you talk about whether its a good idea or not. Its especially difficult when you take the Liberals “side” on something.

    by Bugler on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:58 am

  42. The second Newspoll of the year is a wildly off-trend result that has no doubt made life difficult for a) whoever has been charged with writing up the results for The Australian, and b) anti-Murdoch conspiracy theorists.

    Love your work William. Two birds with one stone.

    by madcyril on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:58 am

  43. Right, Soc.

    At the present rate of pay, we’ve ended up with such a depleted range of talent on the Liberal party front bench that Peter Dutton is Health Minister.

    If you don’t think pay is going to attract a better class of MP, then what will?

    Or do you think the current mob is the best we can hope for?

    by zoomster on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:00 am

  44. zoomster

    I think Socrates has a point. Just look at the talent you get in volunteer organisation.

    No talk of cutting wages except to bring retirement package in line with the average with for example go into a job no package you are not retired.

    by guytaur on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:06 am

  45. 24 banner for political segment

    Tony Abbott has forecast cuts to health and education as part of government strategy to boost growth

    by guytaur on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:08 am

  46. Zoomster

    The dud packed front bench of the coalition is a result of politics rather than pay rates.

    by poroti on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:11 am

  47. I have another take on this.

    Listen to the audience in last nights Q+A. Overwhelmingly the thing they responded to was the fact that the Liberals don’t actually have a plan for the future.

    People want to see the government actually make life better, build infrastructure, improve things. Not just make cuts. Everyone knows the Liberals will make cuts. But there’s probably a lot of people who just trusted them on faith when they casted their ballot and presumed that they’d be an ok governmnet and go ahead and do something constructive.

    Now people are aware that this government really doesn’t have a clue about nation building and they’re starting to worry about it.

    I also think the NBN is a sleeper issue that little by little, bit by bit, ordinary people are starting to wake up to.

    The Liberals approach to broadband was ultimately built upon ignorance of the fact that the copper network is ageing and failing and that FTTN is at best temporary. They sold people the idea that FTTN would replace FTTH and not merely forestall it. Now, little by little, people on the street are hearing the whispers, realising that fibre is the only viable future option, and wondering why the Liberals are so hell bent on wasting billions on something that will have to be replaced.

    Its the dawning realisation that the Liberals don’t just stand for cuts, its that they stand for nothing but cuts is what is causing this swing.

    by cud chewer on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:12 am

  48. Most here have declined to put “boats” into the mix in relation to the latest Newspoll, but I’d attribute some of this shift to that. Really, the news has been dominated by this issue over the last couple of weeks.

    I’m not suggesting that there has been a substantial shift in attitudes. I’d be surprised if attitudes to the entry of substantial numbers of poor non-westerners to Australia are much different in scale or composition by demographic than they were in September last year. And of course “boats” are a longstanding source of existential angst amongst those who with some imprecision can be called “traditional Australians”.

    It seems to be more likely the case that the regime is suffering from what afflicts entertainers who trade too much on one interesting idea. Sure the line was funny and the tune was an earworm, but what else can you do?

    Those who feared the boats wanted, basically two things. They wanted the boats stopped and they wanted to stop hearing about them — hence the regime’s approach of using the shield of “on-water operations” to decline accountability and the attempt to turn Manus into some sort of hermit kingdom. Until recently, the regime had managed, with some minor cock-ups, to pull that off. The press was largely supportive and the right wing populists had what they wanted. ALP folk were running dead. Substantively, the LNP were implementing their party’s policy after all, albeit in a much friendlier media context.

    Yet the last two weeks have failed the second standard. It’s all over the news and now it seems there’s going to be a lot more news about it. Also, some of the costs of the policy are beginning to be shoved in their faces. With all the talk of the end of entitlement and harsh budgets, the idea of spending 10 times what SPCA wanted on servicing Manus seems out of kilter. Now too, people are wondering how our regime has been implicated in covering up what was very probably a murder. So there are some misgivings. Moreover, aid to foreign governments has always been a somewhat iffy thing for populists and PNG has a standing amongst them not much higher than Indonesia, and unlike Indonesia, which is large enough to cause us some mischief, the right doesn’t have to observe manners with PNG.

    I suspect that as memories of Rudd-Gillard fade, this issue is beginning to underpin the idea that the new regime came to office by default, and without a lot of sense at what it needed to do. Its response to the burned hands matter was to attack the patriotism of the ABC which continues to be widely seen as evenhanded. Since that time there has been little but unconvincing dissembling and now this.

    The regime seems indifferent to the idea of local jobs — which for populists remains a key metric — one of the reasons they want to keep out boats after all. Abbott’s glib “jobs come and go” wouldn’t have played well at all. Helping out QANTAS in the middle of this would have looked odd. Abbott attacking Medicare while saying that he wanted to be its best friend again looked like nonsense. Attacking renewables — the most local and thus the most authentic form of energy there is — would also have miffed many of the populists. A royal commission into unions while attacking penalty rates? A little obvious really.

    So both directly, and indirectly, I’d say that “boats” at least for the moment are a net loser for the regime in that it makes the regime appear to be out of control and clueless on its special subject.

    If that’s not worth 3 points on primary, it’s hard to know what would be.

    by Fran Barlow on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:15 am

  49. MPs pay should be enough for them to be able to live comfortably and not need to seek alternative sources of income (it is a full time job, after all, with sometimes intense hours) but not too obscene that it lures people away from the private sector just because the pay rate is better, despite them having minimal interest in actually serving the community.

    Really, it’s the perks that are the problem. Expenses should be better regulated with tougher penalties for violations and other privileges should be reduced.

    by Carey Moore on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:16 am

  50. NewsRadio did start 0700hrs news with Newspoll saying words to the effect that both major parties had drawn even on 39% each. Only later was it mentioned (en passant) that the TPP was 54 – 46. I believe the news reader was Marius Benson.

    by A Good Lurk on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:21 am

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