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Federal Politics 2013-

Aug 27, 2015

BludgerTrack: 53.1-46.9 to Labor

Further improvement for Bill Shorten in this week's aggregated poll readings, but some of the gloss has come off the sizeable lead Labor opened up last week on voting intention.

Another bad Newspoll this week has kept the pressure on Tony Abbott, but the latest reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate has taken some of the edge off the formidable lead Labor opened up last week, thanks to softer results from Roy Morgan and Essential Research. The 0.7% shift on two-party preferred results in five seats changing hands on the seat projection, including one in every state except Western Australia. Despite that, the leadership ratings record further improvement for Bill Shorten, since Newspoll is the only one of the three to have provided a new result. Shorten has now opened up a small but clear lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, and there has been a solid uptick in his net approval rating while Tony Abbott continues to flounder.


• Keep an eye on this post for all your Canning by-election news needs, including a fresh batch of snippets posted just now, and a fairly intensive account of yesterday’s slightly perplexing ReachTEL result.

• Tasmanian Labor Senator Lisa Singh has been dumped to a theoretically unwinnable fourth position on the party’s Senate ticket, behind incumbents Anne Urquhart of the Left and Helen Polley of the Right, and – most contentiously – non-incumbent John Short, state secretary of the Left faction Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, who is set to take third place. The elevation of Short ahead of a factionally unaligned woman front-bencher (Singh is shadow parliamentary secretary for the environment, climate change and water) has not been well-received, but Bill Shorten says he will not seek to have the decision overturned by the party’s national executive. It’s worth noting, albeit just barely, that Tasmania is the state where it is least implausible that below-the-line voters might trump the order of the party-mandated Senate ticket, owing to the smaller number of candidates and voters’ familiarity with choosing between party candidates under the Hare-Clark system in state elections. This was known to happen in Tasmania in the decade after the present Senate electoral system was introduced in 1949, but it hasn’t come anywhere near occurring since the above-the-line voting option was introduced in 1984. The below-the-line voting rate was 10.34% in Tasmania at the 2013 election, compared with 3.51% nationally.

• The Greens in South Australia have suffered the embarrassment of having candidate interview reports for its Senate preselection leaked to the media. The contents suggest that the front-runner for a preselection to be determined on September 6 is Robert Simms, an Adelaide City councillor who was rated as “highly recommended” owing to a “combination of experience, vision and political skills”. Bension Siebert of InDaily reports that the remaining contenders were ranked into two categories, the more flattering of which was headed “competent”. This included “former Greens state parliamentary candidate Matthew Carey, state Hindmarsh Greens branch convenor Rebecca Galdies, and former federal Greens candidate and environmental lawyer Ruth Beach”. Then came “needs further development”, which applied to Sam Taylor, media adviser to state upper house MP Mark Parnell, and Adelaide Hills councillor Lynton Vonow. The report was the work of a panel including Mark Parnell and three other figures in the state party.

Tom Richardson of InDaily reports that Jo Chapley, in-house legal counsel for Foodland supermarkets, has “firmed as a Labor frontrunner to take on Christopher Pyne in Sturt”. However, the report also says that “other party figures are reluctant to push her for the Sturt pre-selection unless they can guarantee a lavish warchest from Labor’s national head office to run a genuine ‘marginal-seat-style’ campaign”.

• Steve Georganas has been confirmed as Labor candidate for the Adelaide seat of Hindmarsh, which he held from 2004 until his defeat at the hands of current Liberal member Matt Williams in 2013, after the withdrawal of his sole preselection rival, Delia Brennan.

• My recent paywalled contributions to Crikey offer an account of the recent recovery in Bill Shorten’s personal ratings, and early impressions of the Western Australian federal redistribution (despite what the headline says).

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lefty e

I guess “I don’t read me emails either, your Worship” is all these Trade Union officials need to say from now on.

Douglas and Milko


[@nickrirving: I’m a historian of protest and this may have just become the most effective protest I’ve ever seen. #BorderFarce

This post comes long after your posting of this tweet, but I am very impressed with the protest in Melbourne today. I think it is up there with the stopping of the Mosley fascists in the East End of London in 1936: The Mosley fascists march on the East End

I was really busy today, and only caught up with the news after 7pm. I was gobsmacked, and so glad to be able to go to Poll Bludger and see the day as it unfolded – the last time something like this happened in Oz was whe de Groot cut the ribbon to open the Sydney Harbour Bridge before Jack Lang could do it, in 1932.

I thought Abbott had the capacity to do something like this, but thought that saner heads in the Liberal party would prevent it.

Thank dog for the Australian people, who really do know when it is time to take the piss, and also do a very serious and effective protest.



What if you’re an Australian citizen and are stopped? I don’t have a visa because I was born here. How would I prove my citizenship without having to carry around a birth certificate or passport?

Is this really the country we’re becoming?!

Write to your local Federal MP:

[ Dear Mr Joyce

I am very concerned about the reported intention of the Border Force to stop people at random and ask to see their visas.

I am an Australian citizen, born in Brisbane Qld, and I do not normally carry my passport. I would normally carry my drivers licence, but I believe that there is no reason why I should be required to.

I regard this as a very unwelcome invasion of not just my rights, but those of other citizens of Australia, and indeed visitors to our shores from NZ, USA, Europe, and elsewhere.

This is a fascist development. Have we really got to the stage of the blackshirts demanding papers of everyone who crosses their path?

I hope that you can make your coalition partners see sense.

I look forward to your response.

Yours Sincerely ]

Martin B

[Dunkley is most definitely winnable. It is only held with a 5.5% margin, which is not far above La Trobe which is held by 4%. Labor is putting a lot of time, money and effort into Dunkley this time around.]

Ye-es, but it’s also been a remarkably un-swingy seat. Apart from 2004, the Lib PV has varied by less than 3% in the last 20 years.

But as I say, Abbott keeps at it like this and it will fall, no worries.


Re Border Farce, it reminded me of this well known Voltaire quote:

[I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.]


Re Operation Fortitude: Anyone being asked to “show their papers” should say they’ll only to do after Tony Abbott shows his…


Bill Mitchell appears ignorance of the role financial markets play.

Their primary role is to allow capital to move around, this enables investors and business or an asset to come together.

Sure there is a speculative element and its partly rigged but only in the sense that its rigged towards the bigger players.


Glenn Stevens said some fatuous things at the National “Reform” Summit. Bill Mitchell offers a perceptive rejoinder:

If one doesn’t agree with this ‘free market, light regulation, growth oriented vision’ where governments aim to run fiscal surpluses but avoid discussing “when will we get back to surplus” and, instead, concentrate on getting “more growth”, then one is unreasonable.

There is no mention as to whether the pursuit of fiscal surpluses itself is a ‘reasonable’ goal for any currency-issuing government to pursue, however, that pursuit is framed. It is just taken as gospel that it is a reasonable goal and that the public just needs that pursuit to be framed differently because then we will accept austerity as good.

The unwillingness of these elites to engage in conversations about what a fiscal balance actually means is telling.

They want to suppress a broader understanding of the monetary system and, certainly, do not want the general public to appreciate the capacities that a currency monopoly that most national governments possess have to advance public purpose and welfare.

They know that if we all understood that the unemployment rate, for example, is a policy choice and that a currency-issuing government could virtually immediately eliminate it through clever public sector job creation, then the wage suppression function of mass joblessness would be lost and real wages would have to grow more in line with productivity.

That would deprive the elites of the ‘gold mine’ where they can get workers to put in more “work effort” for less real wages growth – which has the consequence of redistributing the growing pie increasingly towards profits.

After all, the financial markets, which largely do nothing productive to advance societal well-being, need the largesse redistributed through real wage suppression, for their gambling chips!


NSW trying some one-upmanship, but had to retract.

[The Abbott government is under pressure to explain why the Australian Border Force ruined a complex police-led operation in Melbourne by implying people would be randomly stopped for visa checks, prompting a public backlash and forcing the event to be cancelled.

It did not say if the Border Force planned to conduct similar operations in future, in Melbourne, Sydney or elsewhere.

NSW Police Minister Troy Grant was asked if Sydney could expect to host such joint operations in future. He said the Border Force “already engages in NSW … so it’s just Victoria catching up”.

After the operation was cancelled, Mr Grant’s office clarified that he was referring only to joint raids of premises such as brothels that have been carried out by NSW police and immigration officials for many years.]

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Tom Hawkins

Those who overstay their visa in Australia?

1. UK passport holders
2. USA passport holders

According to ABC drive time radio today.


The facists have a problem; Australians do not carry their papers with them and it would seem they are not keen on the idea.


Reachtel better PM

Abbott 45
Shorten 55

Abbott 39
Shorten 61


LNP 47
ALP 53


[@WeTheVoters2013: There’s growing pressure on the PM with a 7 News Reachtel Poll showing his popularity continues to slide. #auspol ]

Yep, people’s minds about Abbott are already firmly made up.



Yet I think its fair to say that the current state government is performing better than the Bracks government was going into 2002


Reachtel preferred PM, with no dont know option

@WeTheVoters2013: There’s growing pressure on the PM with a 7 News Reachtel Poll showing his popularity continues to slide. #auspol


True Blue

It is possible to station immigration officials at Dover and check people as they cross the channel but that is different than stopping people in the Melbourne CBD, very few if anyone would be walking around with their visa papers on them.


TrueBlueAussie – the UK also had a simple parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage. You’re rather cherry-picking what you think Australia should emulate aren’t you?

shea mcduff

Is this dinkum and for today?
I ask cos it seems to have elicited zero attention.
[GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 1m1 minute ago

#ReachTEL Poll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 47 (0) ALP 53 (0) #auspol]