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NT Politics

Mar 20, 2013

BludgerTrack: 54.7-45.3 to Coalition

The Poll Bludger's federal poll aggregate has recorded little change since the previous result a week ago. Also featured: preselection argybargy, changes to electoral legislation, a new Chief Minister for the Northern Territory, and a by-election result.


In recognition of the quickening tempo as the federal election draws nearer (let’s continue to presume it will indeed be on September 14), my mid-week update to the BludgerTrack 2013 poll aggregate will henceforth get its own thread. This means that in the normal course of things there will be three more-or-less evenly spaced federal politics post a week: one hanging off the main poll release on Sunday or Monday, the regular “Seat of the Week” on Friday or Saturday, and the BludgerTrack update in between.

The latest update throws the latest results from Nielsen and Essential Research into the mix, producing little change after the slight recovery for Labor last week. However, the state relativities have changed slightly with the addition of data from Nielsen, one of only two pollsters which provides state breakdowns with any consistency. The swing recorded for New South Wales is now higher than for Victoria, as most commentary suggests it should be. As noted in the previous post, the weekly Morgan result is being excluded from the calculation for the time being until there is enough data from its new “multi-mode” methodology to allow for a credible bias measure to be determined with reference to the overall polling trend.

Other news:

• Four nominees have emerged for the Labor preselection in the Sydney seat of Barton, to be vacated upon the retirement of former Attorney-General Robert McClelland. They do not include former NSW Premier Morris Iemma, who may have had his factional association with Eddie Obeid to consider, together with the extreme difficulty any Labor candidate will face defending the seat. Paul Osborne of The Australian reports the contest is effectively between Shane O’Brien, Rockdale mayor and NSW Public Service Association assisant secretary; Kirsten Andrews, “former state and federal ministerial adviser”; and Steve McMahon, former Hurstville mayor who “made a name for himself when he sold the mayoral car to build a children’s playground”. O’Brien is “widely seen as the frontrunner”; Another nominee, state upper house MP and former Rockdale mayor Shaoquett Moselmane, withdrew his nomination after two days, choosing instead to make headlines with a parliamentary attack on Israel. Murray Trembath of the St George & Sutherland Shire Leader earlier reported that Moselmane’s run was thought to be “a lever to seek a more secure position on Labor’s upper house ticket for the next election”. The Liberals have endorsed Nick Varvaris, accountant and mayor of Kogarah.

• A day after the Financial Review reported he had received assistance from Eddie Obeid as he sought to enter parliament in 1999, independent state MP Richard Torbay has dropped a bombshell by announcing his withdrawal as Nationals candidate for Tony Windsor’s seat of New England. The Nationals’ state chairman, Niall Blair, confirmed Torbay was asked to stand aside after the party received unspecified information “of which we were not previously aware”. Barnaby Joyce has expressed interest in the past in using the seat for a long-desired move to the lower house, and there were immediate suggestions he might take Torbay’s place.

Troy Bramston of The Australian reports Tim Watts, Telstra executive and former adviser to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and former Victorian Premier John Brumby, is the front-runner to succeed Nicola Roxon as Labor candidate for the safe western Melbourne seat of Gellibrand.

• With John Forrest bowing out at as member at the next election, the Nationals preselection for Mallee has attracted 10 candidates. Those named in an ABC report are Horsham farmer Russell McKenzie, former Victorian Farmers Federation president Andrew Broad, Buloke Shire mayor Reid Mather and Swan Hill deputy mayor Greg Cruickshank. Liberal party sources quoted by Terry Sim of the Weekly Times said the Liberals were “unlikely to field a candidate”. Labor has endorsed Lydia Senior, chief executive of the Lower Murray Medicare Local.

Megan Gorrey of the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser reports Laurie Ferguson effortlessly saw off a preselection challenge from Damian Ogden, by a margin of 132 to 11.

• Legislation which completed its passage through federal parliament earlier in the month has raised the bar for prospective election candidates by increasing nomination deposits (from $500 to $1000 for the House of Representatives and $1000 to $2000 for the Senate) and requiring of independent candidates more supporting signatures on nomination forms.

Top End corner:

• The Northern Territory had a change of Chief Minister last week, with Adam Giles emerging as the first indigenous leader of an Australian government. Terry Mills, whom Giles ousted as leader just seven months after he led the Country Liberal Party to victory at the polls, was informed of his ill fortune by text message while on government business in Japan.

The present leadership crisis began a fortnight ago when deputy leader Robyn Lambley stood aside for Giles with a view to healing a long-standing rift, only for Giles to up the ante by indicating he would move to replace Mills as leader unless further conditions were met. In this he had hoped for support from Alison Anderson, the most senior of the CLP’s complement of indigenous MPs, but she instead publicly blasted Giles for refusal to accept the deputy leadership and threatened to take her “bush coalition” of four MPs (the cohesiveness of which is disputed) to the cross-benches or even into coalition with Labor. The turmoil coincided with the period of a Newspoll survey for the Northern Territory News targeting 437 respondents in the CLP-held seats of Sanderson, Blain and Brennan, which showed a 22% against the CLP on the primary vote and 14% on two-party preferred. Mills’s personal ratings were at 26% approval and 67% disapproval, compared with 39% and 38% for Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie (whom Mills nonetheless led 38-37 as preferred Chief Minister).

The situation was transformed the following week when Anderson and the bush MPs were persuaded to put the previous week’s acrimony behind them and throw their support behind Giles, with Anderson telling Amos Aikman of The Australian the decision was made to forestall a rival challenger she declined to identify. The victory for the Giles camp was confirmed when his key supporter, Fong Lim MP and former federal Solomon MP David Tollner, was installed as deputy leader and Treasurer. Mills meanwhile is widely expected to head for the exit in fairly short order, promising to initiate a challenging by-election in his seat of Blain.

• All of which nicely leads into my belated results summary for last month’s Wanguri by-election, which delivered a bloody nose for the CLP and a morale-boosting result for Labor, which had suffered a 7.7% swing in the seat when Paul Henderson contested it as Chief Minister at the election on August 25.

February 16, 2013

				Votes 	% 	Swing 	2PP 	%	Swing
Nicole Manison (ALP) 		2,428 	65.2% 	+8.2% 	2,585 	69.4%	+12.4%
Rhianna Harker (CLP)		1,059 	28.4% 	-14.6% 	1,139 	30.6%	-12.4%
Peter Rudge (Independent) 	237 	6.4% 			

Formal 				3,724 	96.4% 	-1.6% 		
Informal 			86 	3.6% 	+1.6% 		
Enrolment/Turnout 		4,984 	77.5% 	-11.6%


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6,394 thoughts on “BludgerTrack: 54.7-45.3 to Coalition

  1. centaur009

    56/44 will be the end result as it was at the Latham election.

  2. Kinkajou

    Good morning then? Can hardly wait to see what today, no Friday brings…another glorious day in the service

  3. Kinkajou

    Of course it will be. While you’re on the telephone to God can you find out if Barnaby will win NE?

  4. centaur009

    Let me qualify that- I believe that that figure represents the hard vote of the ALP which will most likely occur with the current leader, as occured when Latham ran and people deserted in droves (+ one steve Fielding bonus foor good measure)

  5. centaur009

    Of course Barnaby will win NE…it’s a no contest

  6. Kinkajou

    Sounds like you should be heading to the turf accountant to put your money on it then

  7. Kinkajou

    [The Fairfax report that Foreign Minister Bob Carr had also lost confidence in Gillard was met by a denial so enthusiastic Carr claimed he had never held any discussion with his colleagues about how the government was going.
    This failed the laugh test, and the laugh is on Carr. His caucus colleagues know the report was correct and that he has complained long and loud to them about Gillard’s misjudgments.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/confidence-is-name-of-game-for-survival-20130319-2gdo6.html#ixzz2O1FvNLtl%5D

    Hartcher commenting on hartcher

  8. sprocket_

    for those who haven’t seen the front page of the Opposition Organ today, here it is suitably framed


  9. sprocket_

    Hearsay Hartcher has been banished to p8 of the SMH today after yesterday’s bollicking. Still licking his wounds, and plotting his revenge.

  10. guytaur

    Turnbull doorstop

  11. guytaur

    “@latikambourke: Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull – ‘absurd farce’ we’re debating a bill the Govt is still negotiating. #ausmedia”

  12. guytaur

    Turnbull using Rubicon. Same river used in UK debate

  13. guytaur

    @tim_chr: According to @LatikaMBourke, Kevin Rudd has ruled out challenging, even if Julia Gillard steps aside. https://t.co/uUyAynyUCq #auspol

  14. guytaur

    “@latikambourke: Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull ‘there are so many mad ideas swirling around the Independents and the Govt.’ #ausmedia”

  15. guytaur

    “@latikambourke: Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull ‘is this the way to legislate? To consider laws in this sort of helter-skelter way?’”

  16. sprocket_

    I don’t think Twitter’s block function is all that effective.

    Latika Bourke has blocked me, and I have blocked Latika Bourke.

    However by going to her Twitter URL via the web I can see all her tweets. Which reminds me why I blocked her.

  17. guytaur

    “@latikambourke: Independent Andrew Wilkie – rumour is that the Govt will cut out the Public Media Advocate’s authority over the Press Council. #ausmedia”

  18. guytaur


    The block does stop the interactive part of twitter.

  19. The Finnigans

    Gee @TurnbullMalcolm – i prefer the “backroom grubby deal” anytime between the elected Govt & the Indies rather than the unelected #MSM

  20. guytaur

    @vexnews: Tony Windsor tells AM programme there’s a 70% chance of the public interest media advocate being adopted with amendments #auspol #ausmedia

  21. guytaur

    @MayneReport: When Jeff Kennett was trying to destroy The Age, the Herald Sun did not lift a finger to counter a political assault on press freedom.

  22. guytaur

    Abbott on 24 now

  23. guytaur

    Abbott finished speaking. Some clapping, which sounded to me as half hearted.

  24. zoomster

    [His caucus colleagues know the report was correct and that he has complained long and loud to them about Gillard’s misjudgments.]

    Um, complaining about the boss’ performance is not the same as saying that the government is doomed and needs a change of leader.

    As I said earlier, we all bitch about the boss. That doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t think they’re not the best person for the job, or we think our workplace is Doomed because of them….

  25. dave


    @tim_chr: According to @LatikaMBourke, Kevin Rudd has ruled out challenging, even if Julia Gillard steps aside. https://t.co/uUyAynyUCq #auspol

    Speculate early, speculate often is LB’s motto.

  26. mari

    Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 8:19 am | PERMALINK
    Abbott finished speaking. Some clapping, which sounded to me as half hearted.’

    Where was TA when this bit of clapping occurred? Surely not a presser?

  27. guytaur


    An address on Indigenous education

  28. guytaur

    @MrDenmore: Since when did press freedom become the freedom to just make stuff up? Good read from @MikeSeccombe in @TheGlobalMail http://t.co/BSS4AgawVN

  29. mari

    Thanks Guytaur guess that is why there was half hearted clapping then.
    \Interesting 6am ABC news almost slobbering with excitement about the prospect of Rudd returning 7am first item Nationals in New England and very quiet for them about PM and Rudd, 3 down what is happening was it that tweet of Latira’s that has been linked above. OR Windsor on AM saying 70% chance re media laws??

  30. Greensborough Growler

    Mark Travers ‏@mark_travers 2m So @TonyAbbottMHR publicly backs Torbay, Brough & Sinodinos. How’s that ‘judgement’ thing going for you Tony? #auspol

  31. guytaur


    On Rudd there has been lots of ridicule directed at the press gallery over last 24 hours. Some of it from people the press gallery respects.

    I suspect this is having an effect.
    Also yes the 70% chance of public interest advocate is also having an impact. ABC Staff reacting to being able to report fairly and still have job prospects elsewhere at at guess. Note guess only.

  32. guytaur

    @PMOPressOffice: After describing Torbay as ‘outstanding candidate’ @TonyAbbottHMR today walks from media when asked about endorsement http://t.co/W7qO1e2Edh

  33. guytaur

    @PMOPressOffice: NSW Nats have call @warrentrussmp judgment into question. He knows why Torbay dumped or faceless men overruled him http://t.co/DEjuzIoBX9

  34. guytaur

    @tom_watson: I’m v. sorry for not responding to questions on the DWP and Royal Charter, been offline. @LiamByrneMP explains here: http://t.co/9Bvug7wpIy

  35. guytaur

    @vexnews: Crossbench MP and media victim Peter Slipper wants even tougher media laws than Conroy has proposed #ausmedia #auspol http://t.co/qIFx0MC8hg

  36. zoomster

    Monckton attracts a grand total of 30 people to a talk in Albury..


  37. guytaur


    Wow. Abbott base shrinking dramatically.

  38. Kinkajou

    2 months of total media shock and awe and the COALition is still only 55-56? How much does the population know this is all shite and how little will it take once Abbott is allowed out and fuacks up again. One sucker punch. One glass jaw…but its important for him to make it to round 7

  39. guytaur

    Good to see this.

    @AnnaPattySMH: Plan to abolish right to silence in NSW under threat as opposition Labor and Shooters MPs oppose it http://t.co/blRlTXtRVN #nswpol #auspol

    For once I am supporting the shooters party.

  40. Kinkajou

    The Shooters Government you mean

  41. muttleymcgee

    After watching QT several times lately I am of the opinion that any MP ejected from Parliament under Sec. 94A (?) or for any other similar reason should forfeit that day’s salary and allowances so they get no money at all for that whole day.

    I see no reason for financially supporting those whose behaviour prevents them from doing what we pay them for – representing us.

    Behaviour would surely improve.

  42. triton


    Latika Bourke has blocked me, and I have blocked Latika Bourke.

    My knowledge of Twitter is not too good, but I thought that unless she tweets you directly (unlikely), it is superfluous for you to block her.

  43. Psephos

    fran kelly‏@frankellyabc4m
    Real momentum for leadership vote before the week is out. Keep your ears open for a caucus meeting today or tomorrow.

  44. confessions

    Morning all.

    [@PMOPressOffice: After describing Torbay as ‘outstanding candidate’ @TonyAbbottHMR today walks from media when asked about endorsement http://t.co/W7qO1e2Edh ]

    Too funny. Isn’t it odd that none of the candidates Abbott backed for preselection are finding their way to preselection.

  45. McFly Marty

    As a liberal: thanks labor for the new media control powers you’re going to be handing us in September 

  46. Player One

    [ Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/confidence-is-name-of-game-for-survival-20130319-2gdo6.html#ixzz2O1FvNLtl

    Hartcher commenting on hartcher ]

    Ah! Good to see Hartcher showing his usual impeccable circular logic:

    Gillard has stepped up her combativeness! So a spill must be imminent! I mean, if it wasn’t, why would she?

    As Boerwar is wont to say “You know it makes sense!”

  47. guytaur


    😆 You show your ignorance of the media laws.


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