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With another two weeks to go before the break in the festive season polling drought:

• The closest thing we’ve had to a new poll over the break has been a ReachTEL survey of Tony Abbott’s electorate of Warringah, conducted for the Australia Institute. The automated phone poll of 743 respondents was conducted on December 17, and found support for the Liberals at 62.1% (up from 60.9% at the September 2013 election), the Greens at 16.1% (up from 15.5%) and Labor at 14.6% (down from 19.3%). The poll also found 50.9% believed Tony Abbott should retire from politics, with no time frame specified, while 35.4% preferring that he remain. When asked if his departure would make them more likely to vote Liberal, 36.7% said it would, compared with 17.5% who opted for less likely. A hike in the goods and services tax from 10% and 15% recorded 39.4% support and 46.5% opposition, whereas support for “gradually transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy by the year 2030” was at 77.2%, with 16.7% opposed.

James Robertson at Fairfax reports that the factional warfare engulfing the New South Wales Liberal Party is posing a threat to Craig Kelly, Liberal member for the seat of Hughes in Sydney’s outer south. Kelly would appear to have been undermined by a redistribution proposal that excises the Liverpool end of the electorate, reportedly home to two branches loyal to him and the arch-conservative tendency he represents, and adds a moderate-controlled branch at the Sutherland end of the seat. The most likely challenger is said to be Kent Johns, an influential moderate who sits on Sutherland Shire Council, followed by Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun. Further complicating matters is a membership recruitment drive that conservatives have been conducting among the Macedonian community, which led the party’s moderate-dominated state executive to freeze membership at the Liverpool branch.

Sarah Martin of The Australian reports on “heightened speculation” that dumped minister Jamie Briggs may be set to vacate his seat of Mayo at the election. The report says that Right faction MPs were meeting to discuss a possible successor, amid fears his ongoing presence could exacerbate the threat posed in the seat by the Nick Xenophon Team. The NXT has fortuitously preselected a disaffected former staffer to Briggs, Rebekha Sharkie.

Daniel Wills of The Advertiser reports that six candidates will seek Liberal preselection for the seat of Adelaide, held for Labor by Kate Ellis, at a ballot of 500 party members to be held on February 6. Houssam Abiad, deputy Lord Mayor of Adelaide, had been attracting the most attention, but the report says the “front-runners” are David Colovic, a partner with HWL Ebsworth Lawyers, and Beth Loveday, a dentist. The report identifies the other contenders as Shaun Osborn, a policeman, Kent Aughey, a commercial consultant, and Emma Flowerdew, a small businesswoman.

Matthew Dixon of the Ballarat Courier reports two candidates have nominated for Liberal preselection in Ballarat, held for Labor by Catherine King: Nick Shady, a farmer and mental health advocate, and Sarah Wade, a lawyer. The report also says the Nationals are planning to field candidates in all Labor-held Victorian regional seats, which is to say Ballarat, Bendigo and McEwen.

UPDATE: Channel Seven in Adelaide has results of a ReachTEL poll from Jamie Briggs’ electorate of Mayo, with better results than he might have feared: a Liberal primary vote of 43.9%, compared with 53.8% at the 2013 election, with Labor on 17.2% and the Nick Xenophon Team on 15.4%. This probably includes an unallocated undecided result of around 8%, suggesting all concerned would in fact be a few points higher – with Briggs close enough to 50% to get him home, even if the NXT got ahead of Labor. A two-party Liberal-versus-Labor result shows Briggs leading 59-41, compared with 62.5-37.5 at the election.

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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2337 comments

2,337 thoughts on “New year’s news snippets

  1. BK

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Barnaby Joyce reckons he’s ready to be Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister but we certainly don’t!
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/im-ready-to-lead-barnaby-joyce-to-become-deputy-pm-but-not-everyones-happy-20160106-gm0e9n.html
    It looks like Chris “Swinging Dick” Gayle might have played his last BBL game.
    http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/big-bash/chris-gayle-faces-expulsion-from-big-bash-as-officials-probe-claims-he-exposed-himself-to-woman-20160106-gm0imo.html
    Elizabeth Farrelly says Turnbull taking out of the trash is a job only half done.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/taking-out-the-trash-is-a-job-half-done-for-malcolm-turnbull-20160105-glzw8f.html
    “Dear Uncle Malcolm. If you really respect women sack Dutton now!” John Passant doesn’t pull any punches here.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/prime-minister-turnbull-if-you-really-respect-women-sack-dutton-now,8549
    The “born to rule mentality still shines brightly.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/sydney-private-school-reddam-house-accused-of-underpaying-employees-20160106-gm06rc.html
    The current el Nino is doing a hell of a job on our weather!
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/record-hot-end-to-2015-for-australia-as-giant-el-nino-dominates-20160105-gm02c7.html
    I think Leyonhjelm may have been looking in the mirror when he composed this tweet.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/id-call-you-a-c-senator-david-leyonhjelm-drops-the-cbomb-on-twitter-20160105-gm03xj.html
    “Who will benefit most from the demise of Dick Smith?” asks Catie Low.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/jb-hifi-the-biggest-beneficiary-of-any-dick-smith-store-closures-20160106-gm0bid.html
    Albo is putting the pressure on the Coalition’s infrastructure spending by calling for an independent investigation in the wake of a scathing ANAO report.
    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jan/06/labor-asks-for-audit-of-all-infrastructure-spending-after-east-west-link-findings
    Will Bill Cosby get away with it?
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/why-the-jury-will-not-hear-everything-the-public-does-about-bill-cosby-20160105-gm031t.html

  2. BK

    Section 2 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Here’s a great case for removing the anachronistic taxation benefits given to organised religion.
    https://newmatilda.com/2016/01/05/no-more-tax-loopholes-its-time-for-faith-groups-to-render-unto-caesar/
    How can you identify sexual harassment?
    https://theconversation.com/we-need-to-do-more-about-sexual-harassment-in-the-workplace-52817
    The double standards of the Turnbull government have been exposed by recent events.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/clamp-chris-gayles-balls-jamie-briggs-hasnt-got-any–dont-blush-baby,8550
    IS has become dangerously innovative as this video shows.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/01/06/islamic-state-driverless-car-bombs_n_8920460.html?utm_hp_ref=uk
    And how will Potato Head handle this one in the long run?
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/06/six-year-old-refugee-allegedly-sexually-assaulted-on-nauru
    Our aged care sector is not running well. For the residents that is.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/aged-care-leader-here-20160105-gm0425.html
    Ouch! David Pope looks a t gun control at the high end of the market.
    http://www.smh.com.au/content/dam/images/g/m/0/i/o/m/image.gallery.galleryLandscape.940×628.1t3j0.png/1452060123132.jpg
    Roy in the Herald Sun joins in on US gun control.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/f6a0dee1b622e2d34f82180f135adf52?width=1024&api_key=zw4msefggf9wdvqswdfuqnr5
    David Rowe with North Korea thumbing its nose at the UN.
    http://www.afr.com/content/dam/images/g/m/0/k/5/4/image.imgtype.galleryLandscape.620×414.png/1452072278922.jpg

  3. lizzie

    Erasmus

    Thanks for the link. No need to study any more. Google and Twitter are all we need. 😉 😀

  4. phylactella

    [An intersting article on the propgation of ignorance]

    There is a difference between those who propagate errors with a political program – like Murdoch, Plimer, Monckton, and those who are naturally ignorant, like Kennett and Cam Newman who simply are too stupid to know how little they know.
    I use a private measure I call the “opinion/knowledge ratio”. Kennett was off the scale!
    All journalists should understand the Dunning-Kruger Effect!

  5. lizzie

    phylactella

    The misplaced use of ‘balanced reporting’ has also been used to deliberately lead us astray, particularly over climate change

  6. TPOF

    Thanks BK

    Erasmus – great article.

  7. Socrates

    Morning all. Thanks BK. Interesting to compare the Chris Gayle and Jamie Briggs sagas. Both seem to have acted like prats while operating in blokey cultures.

    Both offenders have a past history or reputation for poor behavior. Both complainants had their complaints backed up by peers. Both offenders made half hearted apologies.

    One is fined $10k and now possibly dropped entirely within days of his behavior becoming very public, despite being a star performer. His gaff was on live TV. The other was dropped from cabinet weeks later, only when news was about to reach the public. But he stays on in public office, despite being anything but a star performer. We still don’t have much detail of his behavior, which was public, but not on TV. Does either organisation come out of it all looking good?

  8. lizzie

    Hi Socrates

    What’s your opinion of the ‘development of the North’?

  9. Socrates

    Lizzie

    Hello :). Not sure of the context of your question? If you mean further northern sprawl of residential Adelaide into suburbs like Buckland Park and areas north of Gawler I would say it was pointless, resulting in high infrastructure costs and potential environmental damage, for little economic gain.

    If you mean large undeveloped area of northern WA and NT in some kind of Ord River scheme Mk II, I would give the same answer 🙂

  10. Socrates

    Regarding that story on Albo and the ANAO audit, Albo is correct. We are wasting billions on building very expensive roads for which the demand case is unproven, while still not spending far smaller sums fixing our existing public transport systems, which are bursting at the seams.

    The beneficiaries of things like WestConnex and EW Link are Leightons shareholders, not commuters.

  11. Socrates

    Erasmus, phylactella

    Thanks that article on the spread of ignorance is good. If anything I think it is understated/too polite. It seems to me we are not talking about “ignorance” as in not knowing. We are talking about the spread of deliberately false notions, by people who know they are false. At some point the word “lying” must become relevant to the process.

    Philosopher Harry Frankfurter wrote a small very readable book with some relevant thoughts a few years ago called “On Bullshit”. I think that term is closer to the mark than “ignorance”.

  12. lizzie

    Socrates

    I’ve lost the ABC linked story. Frydenberg is going to bring in legislation to allow govt loans for development of tropical north. Says it’s been wanted for a long time. Privatisation of the north?

    [pointless, resulting in high infrastructure costs and potential environmental damage, for little economic gain.]
    I agree, especially with this govt in charge.

  13. Socrates

    Have a good day all.

  14. Socrates

    Lizzie

    Agree. If the projects are viable the loans are not needed. If they are not viable the loans are a waste. I have worked in the north. The costs from weather, flooding etc are always underestimated. Must go.

  15. zoomster

    Soc

    yes, I’m becoming increasingly concerned by the absolutely false information which pops up on my facebook page.

    Well presented, reads well (in the ‘if I use long words, even if I don’t know quite what I mean, it sounds good’ genre) and totally made up.

    Usually it’s about Muslims trying to impose their evil ways on decent hardworking Australians.

    One was that a shire in Queensland had banned Christmas lights at the behest of the local mosque. The said shire got on to that one pretty quickly, and pointed out that not only hadn’t they banned Christmas lights, they didn’t have a mosque.

    Another was that Muslim parents had asked a local shire to take ham off the school canteen menu*, with a rousing call to arms to all patriots from the mayor to resist such nonsense. Problem is, the shire doesn’t exist, and in Australia shires don’t have any control over school canteens anyway.

    So this stuff is deliberately made up and distributed by people who know it is false. Its aim is obvious.

    It intrigues me – who goes to the time and effort to do this?

    Even more disturbingly, I get these things even though I have assiduously tried to remove any idiot who is likely to send me such shite from my facebook list (I issued a warning I was going to do this and always message the person to explain why). In other words, good people are spreading this stuff because they believe it and trust the source.

    *Just realised that this suggests it was copied from an American site.

  16. zoomster

    I think we’ll find that development of the tropical north is like nuclear power – the reason that there is no significant agitation for it to happen is that no one is really interested in doing it, because in the end it doesn’t stack up.

  17. Erasmus

    Can someone tell me how I can continue being logged in on PB with an Ipad? Never had problems with a PC and the Ipad is ok to lurk without logging in but it is a pain having to log in each time i want to post. Am I missing something?

  18. zoomster

    I’m obviously missing something about the etiquette of selling stuff.

    I advertise items at what I see as a reasonable price. If someone rocks around to have a look at whatever it is, and puts forward a bit of an argument, I’m happy to knock the price down a bit.

    But what gets me is people who ring me up or email me and ask, “What’s your lowest price?” without even bothering to inspect the item first.

    How are you expected to answer that one? “Oh, half of what I’ve advertised it for, I was just trying it on?”

  19. Bushfire Bill

    I like the way that Elizabeth “Malcolm-Turnbull-Will-Be-PM-Forever” Farrelly puts it:

    [When the Turnbull government waited a month to dump ministers Mal Brough and Jamie Briggs in the silly season…

    Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/taking-out-the-trash-is-a-job-half-done-for-malcolm-turnbull-20160105-glzw8f.html#ixzz3wVDkPq61 ]

    The Turnbull government didn’t wait a month. Turnbull himself waited a month.

    Nice try.

    As for the rest of the column, it’s gratifying to see she now is talking about “tests” of her hero’s judgement and “whether IQ can be turned into leadership.”

    Being the brightest person in the room doesn’t necessarily qualify you as the best leadership candidate. If you believe that, you’re very naive.

  20. Erasmus

    I understood the article on ignorance to be of deliberate propagation….used by tobacco but am sure adopted by anti-gun control lobby, etc.

  21. Bushfire Bill

    [How are you expected to answer that one? “Oh, half of what I’ve advertised it for, I was just trying it on?”]

    It’s the most difficult thing in sales, and I can’t claim to be an expert, but the trick is to have a lot of cheek and to put it to the customer like it was an auction. Pretending that there is only one price will get you nowhere unless it’s a commodity like gold you’re selling.

    The cheek comes in when you admit that your price was a try-on. Call it “an approximation”, or “testing the water”, or “getting a feel for the market” and you can usually get away with it.

  22. Question

    [daretotread 5454 end previous thread

    Turnbull is stuck with Dutton. He has not got the numbers to mash him. He knows it.

    Just like Shorten could not sack Albo or Kim Carr. It is factions. Surely you understand that as ALP leaning people. I have no problems with Penny Wong going tut tut (It is good politics) but it is a bit of a yawn on PB.]

    A yawn is RGR or ALP/GRN, this is a current issue which goes to the heart of the problems with the LNP.

    Since Turnbull PM we have some posters on PB promoting the idea that he will get rid of the hard right in the LNP. Pedant recently suggested it is best for Australian politics if the LNP win the next election so Turnbull can fix them.

    Yeah, let’s fix a broken party by voting for it, works every time!

    As if the hard right can be made to disappear, and as if realising they need the centre is a lesson they can’t learn in opposition.

    The idea that Turnbull hasn’t got the number’s, and knows it, is hardly a yawn.

  23. bemused

    From previous thread.
    Peter Fuller@5461 on Newspoll quarterly breakdowns | The Poll Bludger

    Bemused, you indicated your unfamiliarity with John Harms, when BK mentioned him as a sportswriter worthy of attention. He is the son of a Lutheran Minister, born in Victoria but largely raised in Queensland (Darling Downs and then U/Queensland).
    He is a published author, with a biography of Steve Renouf and a trilogy of his sport watching experiences – cricket, horse racing and Australian football. He runs a lively sports website, footyalmanac.com.au, where the primary focus is football, but it ranges widely across sports and more general subjects.
    John was also resident fellow at Manning Clark House for a year (his Ph. D. is in history).
    You probably saw some of his articles when he had a regular weekly column in the Age sports section some ten years ago.

    Thanks for that information. It identifies the source of my lack of knowledge.

    Harms writes on topics which are of zero interest to me and I never read the sports section of a paper.

  24. Greensborough Growler

    z,

    Quote them double the asking price.

  25. bemused

    phylactella@6


    An intersting article on the propgation of ignorance


    There is a difference between those who propagate errors with a political program – like Murdoch, Plimer, Monckton, and those who are naturally ignorant, like Kennett and Cam Newman who simply are too stupid to know how little they know.
    I use a private measure I call the “opinion/knowledge ratio”. Kennett was off the scale!
    All journalists should understand the Dunning-Kruger Effect!

    At last!

    Someone whose disdain for Kennett matches my own.

  26. AussieAchmed

    Allegations that union officials ripping off union members money – $60mn Royal Commission.
    Dick Smith ripping goes broke ripping off workers entitlements – that just business.
    Hypocrisy is in the Liberal DNA

  27. bemused

    zoomster@22

    I’m obviously missing something about the etiquette of selling stuff.

    I advertise items at what I see as a reasonable price. If someone rocks around to have a look at whatever it is, and puts forward a bit of an argument, I’m happy to knock the price down a bit.

    But what gets me is people who ring me up or email me and ask, “What’s your lowest price?” without even bothering to inspect the item first.

    How are you expected to answer that one? “Oh, half of what I’ve advertised it for, I was just trying it on?”

    Try a line I once used.

    “I have two strict policies.
    1. I don’t give discounts.
    2. I don’t accept tips.” 😀

  28. bemused

    Erasmus@21

    Can someone tell me how I can continue being logged in on PB with an Ipad? Never had problems with a PC and the Ipad is ok to lurk without logging in but it is a pain having to log in each time i want to post. Am I missing something?

    Nope!

    But I don’t think you are being victimised, it does it to me as well.

    I am using Chrome on my iPad but have tried other browsers.

  29. lizzie

    bemused

    [Someone whose disdain for Kennett matches my own.]

    I don’t feel disdain for Kennett, it’s much deeper. I loathe him. Can’t bear to look at him or hear him speak. His contemptuous treatment of everyone was shocking and I never understood wht he was given a second term.

  30. psyclaw

    Erasmus

    How are you shutting down your ipad between visits, or not?

  31. psyclaw

    Erasmus

    I assume you are ticking the “keep me logged in” box.

  32. daretotread

    Question

    It is not the issue as such, just the sort of naive comments on PB (who should all be old hands). Factional reality in the LNP shows Turnbull does not have the power to sack Dutton. Rather than saying what he should do let’s try to work out why he cannot.

    I do not agree with Pedant’s wishful thinking. However I would like to know which of the MPs in marginal seats are in the Abbott/RWNJ camp and which are moderates. We only now know of Craig Kelly.

    I am actually NOT sure that Turnbull waited excessivley long to get rid of Briggs. You have to go through due process. The event happened on a Friday, so file note the following Monday. It would only have come to the attention of senior people mid week at earliest (2-3 Dec). They were in the UK or something, so I very much doubt that Turnbull would have had time to question Briggs etc until second week of December. Might have made parliament on the last day, but if he needed to have a 6 person committee, I would say it was probably week three of December before there was any resolution. So Turnbull waited 2 weeks into the silly season to announce it. Yep I would have too.

    If it had been Julia Gillard removing Thomson or sacking Kim Carr etc and the timing was mid December I would also have waited until the silly three days between Xmas and NY. As political observers we need to at least try to separate emotion/partisanship from our judgements.

    Mind you in this particular case I do not think it has worked for Turnbull. It underscores how many enemies he has – in Parliament and the media.
    Mind you I do not

  33. Greensborough Growler

    William,

    I thought you may have included the on again/off again Senate candidacy of Julian Scheezel who has returned to being COS after finally pulling the pin.

    Liberal colleagues are reportedly describing the tilt as being as successful as the “Bay of Pigs” invasion.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/kelly-odwyer-staffer-julian-sheezel-quits-senate-race-less-than-one-week-after-confirming-tilt-20160106-gm08dj.html

  34. WeWantPaul

    [Try a line I once used.

    “I have two strict policies.
    1. I don’t give discounts.
    2. I don’t accept tips.” 😀
    ]

    I hate selling techniques. As a customer I can’t always achieve it but I try to have the same policy but in reverse:

    I will judge your product by the list price, if you routinely give discounts but maintain a much higher list price I will consider your business to be a con, and you as the seller while not a criminal to be no better than a fraud.

    While I will give you accurate solicited feedback as a customer, I will generally tell you if I am happy unsolicited, I will tell as many others as I possibly can if I am not.

  35. Steve777

    I use Safari on my iPad, which keeps me logged in to PB. Seme for my iPhone, although posting from there is a bit like mowing the lawn with nail clippers.

    On my PC, I use Chrome. I have to log back in each time I open PB, but then it keeps me logged in until I close PB or log off.

  36. Steve777

    I hate haggling over prices. If I’m interested I’ll buy it. If I’m not I can’t be persuaded. If the price is too high I’ll shop around or go without.

  37. Question

    [Mind you in this particular case I do not think it has worked for Turnbull. It underscores how many enemies he has – in Parliament and the media.]

    I agree with your conclusion. The way it was handled was too transparently Machiavellian (rather than well executed Machiavellian.)

  38. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    QUESTION – Yup. Anyone who votes to give Malcolm a mandate to clean up his OWN party is certifiably insane (I mean that). The best way to make the Libs reform is bench them for as long as it takes.

  39. AussieAchmed

    daretotread

    Posted Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    [Question]

    so what’s the question?

  40. pedant

    Question @ 26: “Pedant recently suggested it is best for Australian politics if the LNP win the next election so Turnbull can fix them.”

    daretotread @ 37: “I do not agree with Pedant’s wishful thinking.”

    I don’t actually keep a record of everything I post here, so maybe I didn’t word what I had to say earlier especially well. But my memory is that I suggested that it was arguable that a win by Mr Turnbull would be more likely to see the Abbottistas vanquished than a win by Mr Shorten would. And I certainly see a benefit in their being vanquished.

    That having been said, I expect to be voting for the ALP at the next election, not least because they have a first class candidate in my seat.

  41. Question

    Stacking all the bad news in one day (Gonski cuts and the removal of 2 MP’s), just one day before your own political witch-hunt distraction is released, was all a bit too cute… fodder for the cartoonists.

    It might have worked, but Dutton instantly reverted attention back on Briggs. And then Gayle amplified the attention.

    I think the Gonski type stuff you can bury in the holidays, not so much the salacious stuff.

  42. Erasmus

    Thanks for the responses re my logging out issues. Am using Safari and will see if the ‘remember me’ works.

  43. Question

    [I don’t actually keep a record of everything I post here, so maybe I didn’t word what I had to say earlier especially well. But my memory is that I suggested that it was arguable that a win by Mr Turnbull would be more likely to see the Abbottistas vanquished than a win by Mr Shorten would. And I certainly see a benefit in their being vanquished.]

    Appologies Pedant, that may well be what you meant. I won’t be trawling back for selective quotes to contradict you with your own words.

  44. Question

    [Appologies Pedant, that may well be what you meant. I won’t be trawling back for selective quotes to contradict you with your own words.]

    Although I will say the impression I have been getting from you about Turnbull has been unrealistically rosy.

  45. Question

    Have to do some shopping…