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Queensland Politics

Mar 10, 2016

BludgerTrack: 51.3-48.7 to Coalition

The bottom falls out from Malcolm Turnbull's personal ratings, early federal election speculation mounts, early Queensland state election speculation sprouts, and preselections abound across the land.


The Coalition’s downward odyssey in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate enters its sixth week, although the movement on voting intention is slight this time, since all three pollsters this week (Newspoll, Roy Morgan and Essential) essentially repeated the results of their previous polls. Nonetheless, the 0.2% shift has been enough to bag Labor gains on the seat projection in New South Wales and Queensland. There is even more encouragement for Labor from the leadership ratings, on which Malcolm Turnbull is tanking rapidly, albeit that his head remains above the waterline in positive net approval. Bill Shorten’s trendlines are pointing northward, although he still has a very long way to go. Kevin Bonham had the following to say about the Newspoll leadership ratings, a day before they were corroborated by Essential Research:

Turnbull is still far more popular than Bill Shorten, but he’s dropped 35 points in the four polls taken since last November. This loss of 35 points in three and a half months is exceeded only by Paul Keating in 1993 (43 points in just over three months), John Howard in 1996 (36 points in six weeks) and Howard again in 2001 (38 points in six weeks). The 1996 Howard example comes with a big asterisk too, because Howard was falling from the career-high +53 netsat he had jumped 24 points to reach in the immediate aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre. It is not at all normal then for a PM to lose this much popularity this fast, but then again it is not that normal for them to have it in the first place.

Electoral matters:

Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review sees the two possibilities as the much-touted July 2 double dissolution, or a normal election in mid-August, either of which would leave time for a same-sex marriage plebiscite to be held by the end of the year. He also relates that the government is “exploring the logistics” of bringing down the budget on May 3, rather than the scheduled date of May 10, which is one day before the deadline for calling a double dissolution expires. Among other things, this would allow the government time to attempt to get its legislation reinstating the powers of the Australian Building and Construction Commission through the Senate. Its reject would confirm its currently contestable status as a double dissolution trigger, which the Greens sought to retain by having the government agree not to reintroduce it during the current session as part of its deal to legislate for Senate electoral reform.

• Amid talk of a possible early state election, Queenslanders go to the polls next Saturday to vote on a referendum proposal that would render such a thing impossible, by introducing fixed four-year terms with elections set for the last week in October. The referendum has been timed to coincide with local government elections, which also means that the big partisan prize of the Brisbane lord mayoralty is up for grabs. According to a Galaxy poll of 540 voters conducted for the Nine Network, Liberal National Party incumbent Graham Quirk holds a 53-47 two-party lead over Labor’s Tim Harding. This compares with his winning margin of 68.3-31.7 at the 2012 election, which was held a few weeks after Anna Bligh’s government had been decimated at the polls. The Galaxy poll also found Brisbane voters favouring the referendum proposal by 48% to 35%, but Steven Wardill of the Courier-Mail, offers that “regional Queenslanders are expected to be much more sceptical towards the proposal”.

Preselection matters:

• The Liberal preselection to anoint a successor to Victorian Senator Michael Ronaldson has produced a surprise winner in James Paterson, the 28-year-old deputy executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs. Paterson will shortly fill the casual vacancy to be created by Ronaldson’s imminent retirement, and will head the party’s ticket in the event of a normal half-Senate election. It had been generally expected that the position would go to Jane Hume, a superannuation policy adviser who had the influential backing of Michael Kroger, president of the party’s state branch. Hume had earlier won preselection for the number three position on a Coalition ticket that allocates second place to the Nationals. Also in the race was Amanda Millar, who filled a casual vacancy for Northern Victoria region in the state upper house in August 2013 but failed to win re-election in November 2014; and Karina Okotel, a legal aid lawyer.

• Labor’s preselection in Fremantle will be conducted over two days on Sunday, when a ballot of local members determining 25% of the total result will be held, and Monday, when the rest is to be determined at a meeting of state executive. The two nominees are Josh Wilson, chief-of-staff to outgoing member Melissa Parke and the local deputy mayor, and Chris Brown, a Maritime Union of Australia organiser and former wharfie. Observers say that Wilson will dominate the local party ballot, but factional arrangements are likely to tip the balance in Brown’s favour at state executive. The winner will face recently preselected Greens candidate Kate Davis, solicitor for tenants’ rights organisation Tenancy WA.

• Tim Hammond has been preselected without opposition to succeed Alannah MacTiernan as Labor’s candidate in Perth. Hammond is a barrister specialising in representing asbestos disease victims, one of the party’s national vice-presidents, and a member of the Right. It appears that the Brand preselection will go the same way, with no other contenders standing in the way of Madeleine King, chief operating officer of the international policy think tank Perth USAsia Centre. Other confirmed Labor candidates in winnable seats are Matt Keogh in Burt, a commercial lawyer and president of the WA Law Society, who ran unsuccessfully at the Canning by-election in September; Anne Azza Aly in Cowan, a counter-terrorism expert at Curtin University and founder of People Against Violent Extremism (as seen here last week in Seat of the Week); Tammy Solonec in Swan, an indigenous lawyer; and Bill Leadbetter in Hasluck, executive director of an obstetric practice and occasional history academic. Aly and Solonec both have a past with the Greens, Aly having been endorsed as a candidate for the 2007 federal election before withdrawing from the race, and Solonec having held an unwinnable spot on an upper house ticket at the 2013 state election.

• The New South Wales Liberals are preparing to determine their Parramatta preselection through a trial plebiscite of local party members of more than two years’ standing. A push to make such ballots the norm was rejected at the party’s state conference in October, to the chagrin of the religious Right faction in particular, but a compromise deal backed by Mike Baird has allowed for trials to be held in a small number of federal and state electorates over the coming years. Kylie Adoranti of the Parramatta Advertiser reports 278 local members are eligible to participate, together with the members of the state executive and further representatives of the state council and the Prime Minister, collectively accounting for 28 votes. Nominees include current Parramatta councillor Jean Pierre Abood; former Parramatta councillor Andrew Bide; Charles Camenzuli, a structural engineer and building consultant who was the party’s candidate in 2010, and also sought preselection unsuccessfully in 2013; and Felicity Finlay, who also contested preselection in 2013, and appears to be a school teacher.

• Labor’s national executive has taken over the preselection process in the New South Wales seats of Barton and Hunter, initiating a process that will be resolved on Friday. The beneficiary in Barton will be the state’s outgoing Deputy Opposition Leader, Linda Burney. National executive will also determine her successor in the state seat of Canterbury, where a by-election now looms. In Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon is to be confirmed as candidate for a seat that effectively merges his existing seat of Hunter with Charlton, which has been decommissioned in the redistribution. The intervention enforces a deal in which Hunter remains secure for the Right, who have been frozen out in Barton by the endorsement of the Left-aligned Burney.

• Labor in New South Wales also has normal preselection processes in train for ten other seats, including two in the Hunter region: Shortland, where Jill Hall is retiring, and Paterson, which the redistribution has transformed from Liberal to marginal Labor. Shortland looks set to be the new home for Pat Conroy, whose existing seat of Charlton has, as noted above, been rolled together with Joel Fitzgibbon’s seat of Hunter. Conroy says he insisted on facing a rank-and-file ballot. Nominees in Paterson include Meryl Swanson, a local radio presenter, and Robert Roseworne, decribed by the ABC as a “Port Stephens community campaigner”. Both preselections are scheduled to be resolved the weekend after next.

• Nationals MP John Cobb has announced he will not contest the next election, having been member for Parkes from 2001 to 2007, and Calare henceforth. The front-runner to succeed him as Nationals candidate in Calare appears to be Andrew Gee, member for the state seat of Orange, although media reports suggest opponents may include Wellington councillor Alison Conn, Bathurst businessman Sam Farraway, Orange councillor Scott Munro, Bathurst mayor Gary Rush, Lithgow councillor Peter Pilbeam and Bathurst region farmer Paul Blanch, who was the Liberal candidate in 2004.


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2,734 thoughts on “BludgerTrack: 51.3-48.7 to Coalition

  1. frednk

    which the Greens sought to retain by having the government agree not to reintroduce it during the current session as part of its deal to legislation for Senate electoral reform.
    The Liberals seem to be putting a lot of effort into doing over the Greens.

  2. John Reidy

    Kelvin’s comments re approval ratings are very interesting, to put it into a historical context

  3. rummel

    They deserve a first term booting they way they are going.

  4. BK

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Rudd at his worst never behaved as badly as Tony Abbott says Nicki Savva. She is defending herself very well. (Google search this string).
    Mark Kenny reckons the Coalition is hoping for a resources led recovery.
    Oh oh! Iron ore prices just dropped 8.8%.
    Peter Martin says we are becoming a nation of landlords and serfs. How politics took over sane discussion.
    “View from the Street and Peter “Duffer” Dutton’s $55m flight of fancy and the return of Barnaby’s nemesis.
    Heath Aston looks at the potential trouble Barnaby Joyce could face at the election.
    Jeff Kennett’s attack on Turnbull.
    Don’t tell me! Campbell Newman may run for federal parliament.
    Curbing negative gearing could be good for banks.
    More on the collapse of Dick Smith.
    Sydney’s heatwave is going to be longer and even more uncomfortable.

  5. dave

    dave@1719 on Newspoll: 50-50; Morgan: 53-47 to Coalition | The Poll Bludger


    Coalition hopes for resources-led budget recovery

    The federal government is cautiously eyeing a windfall gain from soaring iron ore prices in recent days, fuelling hopes of billions of extra dollars flooding into Canberra, but the financial improvement is not being matched by a rise in political certainty.


    Right on queue –

    Iron ore tumbles 8.8pc on supply reality check

    Read more: http://www.afr.com/business/mining/iron-ore/iron-ore-tumbles-88pc-on-supply-reality-check-20160309-gnf0sp#ixzz42RDuHYhw

  6. BK
  7. BK

    Section 3 . . . Cartoon Corner

    David Pope has Tony Windsor pondering his comeback.
    Ron Tandberg is unimpressed with Crown Casino.
    And John Spooner is unimpressed with the banks.
    Mark Knight has some fun at Eddie McGuire’s expense.
    David Rowe goes to Mississippi with Donald Trump.

  8. C@tmomma

    Campbell Newman in Brisbane!?!

    The Ego has landed!

  9. guytaur

    Good Morning

    Campbell Newman in Brisbane!!

    Thats a Labor win then. A seat whose demographic is not friendly to Newman at all.

  10. guytaur

    stephendziedzic: Opp Leader @billshortenmp is about to speak to @BreakfastNews

  11. C@tmomma

    In another hung parliament Tony Windsor’s position, should he beat Barnaby Joyce, could again become pivotal. 🙂

    That David Pope cartoon reminded me of this because the Shenhua Watermark mine on the Liverpool Plains will be the battleground on which he will fight with Joyce to be sure.

    Thus if he wins, if there is a hung parliament and if Turnbull just scrapes over the line, lots of ifs I know, he will need to be bought off and so then it might be a good form of insurance for the people of New England to vote for Tony Windsor.

  12. dave

    Thanks as always BK.

  13. guytaur

    stilgherrian: Underdog! @billshortenmp https://t.co/gQxX1KnYy3

  14. guytaur

    AMEQUALITY: Nick Greiner has urged the parliament to legislate for #marriageequality & drop the plebiscite https://t.co/gD89rURbiA

  15. guytaur


    Trioli asks Shorten if Newman return in Brisbane will kill Labor optimism.

    Shorten: No

    I actually believe Shorten in this case. However what a stupid question the answer was always going to be no.

  16. poroti


    Campbell Newman in Brisbane!?!]
    Campaign slogan being “CanJoh for Canberra”

  17. lizzie

    [judywilkins ‏@judyfree10 · 19m19 minutes ago

    Campbell Newman considering nominating 4 Gambaro’s Bris. seat @RadioNational dear Fran says he “has the pedigree” cos his parents served WTF]

  18. guytaur


    Promoting the parents as credentials when the candidate was previously Premier says it all as to thinking of Newman performance as Premier 👿

  19. CTar1


    “CanJohNew for Canberra”

  20. TPOF

    [dear Fran says he “has the pedigree” ]

    He might have the pedigree, but he’s still a dog.

  21. lizzie

    Don Watson on Turnbull

    […the joy is so palpable at the Lodge that the whole country seems a bit in love – even if he’s the proverbial daffodil on a dunghill. Even if the once great silken party is now so torn by factions that the new leader has to tell them they don’t exist and then weather their guffaws. Even if he will soon have Barnaby Joyce filling in for him whenever he goes abroad or takes a holiday. Even if he’s obliged to deny his own beliefs and make the case for reactionary causes against which he has defined himself and devoted part of his life to overthrowing, and must appease the authors of them. Even if he has inherited the rubble of his predecessor, and even if he knows that he will be stalked forever by the Revenant, grim and rictus, himself his own dungeon, keeping his wound green and feeding his thirst for retribution.]


  22. Raaraa

    The Daily Terrorgraph using its front page to scare New England voters off Windsor. Not sure how much effect the DT have in rural NSW.

  23. guytaur

    ABC News Breakfast claiming to have news on Windsor after the break.

  24. guytaur

    michaelkoziol: Paul Bongiorno on @RNBreakfast: Rumours that seat of Brisbane could be Peter Beattie v. Campbell Newman #auspol

  25. Alex L

    Michael Ronaldson actually resigned as a Senator on 28 February, and James Paterson was appointed to the casual vacancy by the Victorian Parliament last night (9 March).

  26. guytaur

    nytimesbits: A lack of broadband at home takes a harsh toll on students caught in a “homework gap,” President Obama said https://t.co/xaE3PoKQJK

  27. meher baba

    The Fairfax crusade against negative gearing continues to gather momentum. Not just another standard Peter Martin article on the subject, but also this rather strange effort from “Clancy Yeates, Banking Reporter”.


    It makes some out there claims, eg:

    “Few dispute that the combination of concessions on capital gains tax and negative gearing – allowing investors to deduct their interest payments against their overall income – has helped fuel the boom in property investor lending.”

    Those tax arrangements (or earlier “concessions” on capital gains tax, including its non-existence prior to 1985) have existed for many decades. You wouldn’t find an academic economist in Australia – including all those who want to get rid of negative gearing and the CGT concession – who would agree that these have “fuelled the boom”. What has fuelled the boom is consistent low interest rates in the 2010s – the lowest since banking deregulation – and intense competition among the banks around fees and first year concessional rates. This included, until recently, the removal of the historic premium that investors paid on loans relative to purchasers.

    The article also claims that the banks might secretly prefer to reduce the proportion of their lending to geared investors, and are therefore being deliberately quiet during this debate. I doubt this very much: I suspect it’s far more the case that the banks are unsure (as is everyone) of the likely impact on the market (and thereby on them) of Labor’s policy, which is the only negative gearing policy on the table at the moment. It probably won’t hurt them much, so they don’t care.

    Sadly, the article had a really good point in it which got drowned out by the Fairfax anti-neg gearing drum. That is, that there are a lot of highly-geared investors in the housing market who will be at great risk if conditions suddenly change: in particular, if interest rates begin to rise again. This won’t so much hurt the banks – they are protected by the mortgage insurance that they have made such investors take out – but it is a large risk to the sorts of investors who have been steadily expanding their portfolios on borrowed money.

    One of the reasons I really like the British idea of limiting individual taxpayer deductions is that it would protect these over-geared investors from themselves. And it would be much more equitable than the current Labor neg gearing proposal. Alas, it appears that Turnbull has chickened out on this.

    If this article had focused more strongly on that question – the possibility ungrasped by many commentators (but espoused by many reputable financial advisors) that all these people madly investing in neg gearing might be making sub-optimal choices, it would have been a great article. Perhaps we’ll see one on this subject soo.

    On the surface, the Fairfax crusade against neg gearing is quite surprising. Fairfax readers, along with ABC viewers and Guardian readers, would probably be the most likely media consumers to own neg geared properties. I suspect there’s a sort of self-hatred thing going on here: something I’ve often encountered with the latte left. It’s really easy, if you’re inclined to be cruel, to stir latte lefties up about why – as they almost inevitably do these days – to send their kids to a top private school. Because, deep down inside, they hate themselves for having done so.

    Perhaps something similar is going on with neg gearing, and Fairfax has cleverly tapped into it. In which case, well done to them.

  28. guytaur

    24 news was the Buckingham potential run and how prefernces would favour Windsor.

  29. guytaur

    Singer/Actor Jon English has died. Complications from surgery.

  30. guytaur

    BreakfastNews: Actor and rock star Jon English has died at the age of 66 https://t.co/UlnNEFoSiv

  31. John Reidy

    Martin also makes the point that owner dwellers are also much more stable compared to investors with multiple geared properties.

  32. shellbell

    [Nationals MP John Cobb has announced he will not contest the next election, having been member for Parkes from 2001 to 2007, and Calare henceforth. The front-runner to succeed him as Nationals candidate in Calare appears to be Andrew Gee]

    Good bloke

  33. meher baba

    Re William’s very interesting post re preselections: in historical terms, the MUA and Freo go together like coal mining and Eisteddfods. But contemporary Freo is a different kind of place and, if I were the Greens, I’d be pretty excited at the prospect of going up against an MUA official. I’d have thought that Melissa Parke’s COS was a much, much safer proportion for Labor.

  34. meher baba

    Oops! I meant “proposition”!

  35. Seth

    If Campbell runs for Brisbane, I suppose we can chalk it up as a gain for Labor haha

  36. guytaur

    MarkDiStef: I should say, my favourite bit today was Andrew Bolt referring to Tony Abbott as Peta Credlin’s “pussy whipped boss” https://t.co/k5oWTHB6LU

  37. shiftaling

    Did Fran Kelly say that about Newman’s “pedigree”? Unbelievable. She was also spruiking Turnbull’s “agility” agenda pap in a totally unrelated introduction to an interview with a breast cancer researcher. So transparent.

  38. guytaur

    CUhlmann: The battlegrounds for the 2016 federal election https://t.co/DIrs70TPy8

  39. meher baba

    That’s no good re Jon English. He was always full of fun.

  40. Trog Sorrenson

    The Tasmanian government bends over for the fossil fuel lobby.


  41. TPOF

    meher @ 27

    [Fairfax readers, along with ABC viewers and Guardian readers, would probably be the most likely media consumers to own neg geared properties. I suspect there’s a sort of self-hatred thing going on here: something I’ve often encountered with the latte left.]

    Meher, this is pretty cheap for you. You are usually much better than this.

    As someone who owns investment properties and still gets a benefit from negative gearing, but who supports Labor’s actions, your comment includes me, although I suspect you were looking at some two dimensional person rather than me.

    Let me spell it out for you. First, someone can take advantage of a legitimate opportunity in the tax system to build wealth without becoming an unthinking support of that opportunity. I have set out a number of times why I think that negative gearing – when combined with the tax rates and margins as currently set up – does not benefit the public interest, which is to ensure that reasonably priced rental housing is widely available without the need for expanded investment in public housing. It’s not self-hate; its being realistic in a real world where you may not like what is going on but you would be a fool to simply turn your nose up at it. Like ethical investing, everyone has a different view of where you draw the line.

    By the way, all of my investment has been in new properties – it was necessary in my case because the cash flow was essential. So Labor’s new policy on negative gearing would not affect my investment strategy if I were minded to buy investment property again. However, the change to the capital gains regime would. That said, at the time Costello changed it to a straight 50% discount it was nowhere near as generous as it now appears because inflation rates were very much higher then. I don’t think a 50% discount in an era of 2% pa inflation is reasonable; although when inflation is 5% or 6% it is.

  42. Steve777

    We seem to be losing a lot of music greats lately, many too soon.

  43. CTar1


    A dust diseases guy:

    [Tim Hammond has been preselected without opposition to succeed Alannah MacTiernan as Labor’s candidate in Perth. Hammond is a barrister specialising in representing asbestos disease victims, one of the party’s national vice-presidents, and a member of the Right.]

  44. Player One

    meher baba

    [ t’s really easy, if you’re inclined to be cruel, to stir latte lefties up about why – as they almost inevitably do these days – to send their kids to a top private school. ]

    I assume you have some evidence for this ridiculous assertion?

  45. meher baba

    Player One@44. Only personal experience. I will admit my comment might be a bit Tassie-biased, as top private schools are a fair bit cheaper here than in, say, Sydney. And there are no selective public schools down here.

    But I mix with a lot of active Greens members, and they don’t tend to send their kids to State schools.

  46. Player One

    meher baba

    [ Player One@44. Only personal experience. I will admit my comment might be a bit Tassie-biased, as top private schools are a fair bit cheaper here than in, say, Sydney. ]

    So in other words … no.

  47. CTar1

    meher is treating -ve gearing as if it’s the single issue in the current political tussle and seems happy to push his opinion 24/7.

  48. guytaur

    Joyce not having a good interview in his campaign at moment. The look on his face 😆

  49. adrian

    [Meher, this is pretty cheap for you. You are usually much better than this.]

    On the contrary, it seems standard operating procedure to me.

  50. shellbell


    Both lawyers, of course, but a parliament with Hammond and Gee in it is a better parliament.


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