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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

crunch time approaches « Previous | |Next »
November 8, 2007

It's close to crunch time isn't it. if Howard and Costello don't get traction soon, then the best they can do is stare just defiantly at defeat. Imagine what some of the Liberals are thinking now--what its going to be like in Opposition? Who wants to be leader of the Opposition? Which faction is going to be purged? Will it be a decade on the opposition benches? Why bother.

These are late night thoughts. The early daytime thoughts are much simpler--where is the lifeline going to come from?

Alan Moir

The swing is on---amongst the stars in Queensland and South Australia, but returned to earth in New South Wales and Victoria. Queensland looms as the key battleground for this year’s federal election, and that's why the Coalition is looking for a lifeline. They don't have much time to find one as the national polls are suggesting a comfortable win for Labor.

How will the Coalition defend its stronghold in Queensland? This is the state of bedrock conservatism, despite having a Labor state government.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:56 AM | | Comments (23)


Costello was on Radio National breakfast this morning. His line was that rates have gone up, but that is no need to shift your vote to Labor. The ALP, he said, will put even more pressure on interest rates. The economy, he intoned, is delicately balanced at the moment and Labor is too inexperienced to manage it.

Ho hum.

the trouble with making fun of pollies is they are the people's choice.

in a sense. if by choice you mean: put a gun to each mugs head, and say:"do you prefer hagar, or attila?" some choice.

Those who are borrowing up to their eyeballs to buy houses on a modest income are more likely to be pushed by the market into an outer-suburban area where they are more exposed to rises in fuel prices. So these households pay more for their petrol, mortgages and their groceries.

Of course, these concerns are dismissed as Wingeing Wendies going on ad naseum about housing affordability. On any economic indicator--- employment, real wages, living standards, car ownership--things have improved under the Coalition.

Cheap money is a curse, not a blessing. It causes people to gamble on taking out mortgages they cannot really afford. The bleeding hearts want us to sympathize with --even assist--- these people, who are little more than speculators.

The Wingeing Wendies argument is that of John Stone, former secretary to the Treasury --1979-84. He claims that serious economic policy indicates that we need much greater tax cuts and higher interest rates.


John Howard has been reduced to pork barrelling in his own seat. Malcolm Turnbull has made a (tiny weeny) concession to the pink lobby in his seat regardless of preference deals with Family First and support from the Exclusive Brethren and Hillsong.

You have to suspect that internal polling is even more scary than the published ones.

It'll be on for young and old from this weekend with the Liberal launch, then the Labor one during the week (Wednesday or Thursday I think). If the Liberals have anything at all they'll have to produce it before the Labor launch to set the final agenda.

Maybe they'll produce Elvis? Or John Lennon?

All we are saying, is give Pete a chance.

Both Queensland and New South Wales have been the bedrock of the Howard government's majority.If there is not much of a swing in NSW--a couple of seats, say Lindsay, Macquarie Eden-Monaro---then that leaves Queensland, Labor's weakest state at Commonwealth elections.Labor holds six of the 29 seats.

So what do we know? Bonner and Moreton have swung to the ALP. Has Bowman?

All of the Coalition's other Queensland seats sit on a margin above 5%. Are seats in the range 5-10% in play in the 2007 election? If so, then which ones? Blair? Petrie?


I promise, you'll drive yourself mad trying to work it out.

The Qld marginals are Bonner, Moreton, Blair, Herbert, Longman, Petrie, Flynn, Hinkler, Bowman and Dickson. All of them would fall if the state swing is uniform, which it probably won't be.

Leichhardt and Ryan would need more than a 10 point swing but it's looking as though that's been achieved.

Even the Gold Coast Forde and McPherson are looking iffy at this point.

When Possum fiddled with the Crosby Textor leak and demographic data, Fadden (which would need something like 13 points) looks like a huge swing if not a win.

Nobody ever mentions Moncrieff because Ciobo is always touted as a dead cert for the Libs, but you hear people singing the Labour guy's jingle at building sites everywhere. Who knows?

The local headlines have not been kind to the PM today over the rates rise and the fastest growing region in the country (anything within a 2 hour drive of Brisbane central) is a gigantic mortgage belt.

Qld is also hard because it had the worst reaction to Latham, but is showing the best response for Rudd. That makes swings and marginals pretty much meaningless up here.

Modern history suggests that any opposition at the national level does about 9 years in that role.

do you have indications of how things are going in the Queensland marginals? Has the Coalition sacrificed some---eg., Bonner and Moreton--- and is defending the line in the 5-10% marginals, as is being done in Adelaide.

The Brisbane-Courier is not much help. I did a quick scan and came up with nothing--other than Andrew Bolt calling it for the ALP.

Since it is the battleground there must be polling in the marginals being done. Or is it all private party polling with little by way of leaks.

if the Coalition loses, which is looking a distinct possibility, then the Liberals will tear themselves to pieces. Power is what held them together. Without they are going to look a rabble willing to sacrifice their leaders at any opportunity.

Some will take to reading Bataille, as they will be driven by a Romantic longing for pre-modern times, peopled with integrated, ‘virile’ beings whose lives revolved around the myths and rituals through which the sacred is made manifest.

This will not go down well with the public centre of Australian political life.

Three points.
First, any one game to comment on Peter's comment concerning the former arch eco rationalist Stone and his policy of high interest rates /tax cuts? Is it genuine economics or just ideological jizz?
Secondly, Lyn's comment regarding Nan's "baking" or "hatching" of the election result. Might not ever happen- "a watched election never happens". I can't presume "regime change" is a lay-down misere.
Finally, a time in the wilderness may focus the Tories marvellously. Within a few years a new round of state elections will eventuate and there are some ALP state governments almost as decrepit as Howard's. These are currently free of scrutiny through (rightful) elector attention in the direction of Howard.
But the light of day ought to give the Tories a "coat-hanger" back into the main game, when attention eventually reverts to state performance.
Like Labor now, perhaps they will be eventually become humble enough for power by the time an opportunity comes 'round again. The only shame is, it takes politicians of all shades such a LONG time to have the conceit and b.......t knocked out of them, so they can be again of some use to even themselves, let alone anyone else.

Btw, the character depicted on the Moir cartoon will NOT relent in a perverse refusal to face facts and think of people other than self, even if his(er)finger and toenails are dragged out simultaneously whilst being "hot-collared" and water-boarded at the same time while electrodes are fired off below the "nether regions".
Howard by 5 seats, after a massive tax payer-funded fear campaign.


I can't find anything specific on Qld marginals other than the likely outcome of a state-wide uniform swing, which is unlikely. Graham Young is apparently working with one of the polling outfits on something, but I haven't seen anything published yet.

The most visible Lib marginal campaigns have tried to use the amalgamations an election issue but don't seem to be having much success. That's mostly Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane stuff where the Qld equivalent of Byron Bay type wealth resides.

The Your Rights at Work mob have been everywhere. Very effective given service industries, tourism and hospitality. And Hansonites as well.

As for the firewall strategy, I've seen little evidence of it. Howard stumped up for an Ipswich motorway bypass (is that Ryan? Not sure) but it just made the locals angry.

As you said, few leaks from internal polling and nothing much else yet. If Andrew Bartlett's right, the coalition's largely given up. So far anyway.


A massive taxpayer funded fear campaign is not on. We're in caretaker mode and they have to rely on their own party funds. In the past they have used taxpayer money for campaigning during elections, but Labor pretty much neutralised the possibility by drawing so much attention to the money they spent in the lead-up.

I see that Samantha Maiden, the political correspondent for The Australian, characterizes the left-of- centre blogosphere that reads the psephologists blogs such as Poll Bludger, Mumble, and Posssum's Pollytics as:

a subculture infested with Labor-loving pessimists who have spent the year dreading the Newspoll that shows the Coalition is back in the game.

Across the blogosphere, there's a fever that grips the online society on Monday evenings as they begin to speculate over the latest results.

Each Newspoll is greeted with fear, trepidation, excitement and furious reinterpretation. The Australian's analysis of the result is always wrong.

The title of the op-ed is 'Blogged down in pessimism of the Left', and it seems that Maiden doesn't much care for DYI interpretation of political events that is proving to be so popular and innovative.

Maiden adds that:

But now the blogs are starting to call that a comeback may be on for the Government - the great fear they have spent the year furiously denying.

It is forming into The Australian versus the lefty blogs conflict.

you can find some commentary on Samantha Maiden's attack on lefty bloggers over at the ABC's Club Bloggery which is run by the gatewatching crowd for ABC Online.

What we have in play is a reflection on political events that is different to broadsheet Murdoch and FairFax press and so an enlarging of the political debate. That has to be good for democracy, even if the Australian is piqued that its authority is being questioned. it shows The Australian's ambivalence about democracy.

the ABC's Radio National Breakfast discussed Ryan this morning. What's meant to be a safe Liberal seat has become 'in play ' as they say. The proposed free way is causing a lot of angst.


Yes I thought it was Ryan. Bordering on Hanson territory geographically speaking. Old fibro houses, knock em down, build a freeway, nobody will care. Somehow they missed the news footage we've been seeing all year of Ryan residents in fibro cottages getting kicked out for all sorts of reasons.

Howard and Rudd have both been to Boothby recently. What's going on there? I thought the hopelessly blonde but nevertheless wet t-shirt competition winning Labor candidate had doomed their chances there? Or have I got my seats and wet t-shirts mixed up?

Latham called Maiden "the Beast".
Remember his corrective, palliative tome of a couple of years ago ( he will increasingly consolidate in the group consciousness as a half of an anomolous if even visonary pairing with his metaphysical twin, Hewson ).
I digress.
When you think of it, ALL the Murdoch hacks had runs early at the Advertiser during the eighties and nineties, when it was still a dominant Adelaide force yet to be broken by legislative and techno change and the egregious, outrageous and resented John Olsen.
It's still, despite an interim diaspora, a Hitler- Youth, Eastern Suburbs, Young Liberal Preppy "flying squad" and therefore, about as useful and relevant in a Real world.

Lyn, you refer to Nicole, local media identity and wife of footballing legend Graham Cornes.
The seat is liberal eastern subs and was always going to be difficult for Labor.
Labor's Cornes' announcement created a flurry of interest, since this local "wolf couple" represent Labor's "New Aspirationalism"; the Cornes' are not far from (local) high profile "glam".
They should have spent a lot more time nurturing the candidate, who's heart is in the right place and actually comes from a working class background. She started work young yet is not surely that dull, given what she's acheived in life from a humble start.
A far more likely Labor candidate has been Mia Hanshin, a ( reasonably ) high profile journalist out of the Stott Despoja/ Plibersek mould, but she is contesting an even harder seat and might just miss, also.
Nonethe less the Labor tactics captured the attention of Adelaide and were not totally disastrous, therefore.
As Christian Kerr mentioned in passing, the Liberal campaign for Kate Ellis' Adelaide seat ( my local ) has been little short of terrible, btw.
Labor has created a better image, so thelocal press is trying to get at the feds by attacking the state Labor government, instead (yawn!).

you are right re Boothby being the seat for the hopelessly blonde but nevertheless wet t-shirt competition winning Labor candidate who has doomed their chances there. Nicole Cornes has star power cos of the Cornes name, and probably better than preselecting a union thug/branch member with no profile.

From what I can make out It was hoped that this association with the Adelaide Crows would have lifted Corne's political profile. It has ----but in the way you interpret: blonde bimbo. Cornes is a candidate who doesn’t need to have tens of thousands in establishing a profile, and get one that get’s lot of free media. The ALP tactician---Kevin Foley?--- may think brand power is everything but the electorate want some policy nous from blondes.

The fact that Boothby is still in play in spite of the negative reaction to Cornes, The Advertiser's hostility to Cornes, and large slabs of Boothby being blue ribbon Liberal voters for generations, indicates the degree of the swing in SA.

Sad to say, but as policy is run out of central office (leaders) in the ALP, so the backbench MPs are footsoldiers who as they are told and who ensure they control their branches. So electing a blond bimbo would do no harm.

SA had developed into a bastion for Howard, serving up most of its seats and a disproportionate number of ministers in each of his ministries. The Liberals hold eight of the state's 11 federal electorates, having strengthened their vote at each of the past three elections.

The Advertiser poll records a 6 per cent swing to Labor in Kingston, 5 per cent in Makin and 8 per cent in Wakefield. here is a mood for change in SA and the ALP are eyeing Sturt.

Paul is right about Mia Handshin in Sturt, which is being defended by Christopher Pyne. By all accounts he will retain his seat. He works his electorate well, has fought off a number of contests and has an incumbency factor of 2 or 3 per cent.

Sturt is a slice of leafy residential suburbia in the Adelaide's northeast, and it will need a swing at the higher levels of recent poll results for Handshin to win. However, polling by The Advertiser has her in striking distance, having whittled down Pyne's once safe seat margin of 6.8 per cent to 2 per cent, a feat that could push the count to preferences on election night.

The main battleground is Queensland. Or so says Anthony Green, the ABC's election analyst. Is Blair in the bag for the ALP? Or is it one seat where the battle is being intensely fought? Any Qld bloggers writing about the Qld marginal seats and the state of play in the battle?

Graham Young over at Ambit Gambit is not saying much.


I haven't seen anything that suggests Qld bloggers know any more than anyone else. Blair is a weird demographic. It's a mix of the old redneck Qld and new developments in the northern part (big and growing mortgage belt), and small country and the tree change set in the south. The amalgamation thing was a big deal in the south, but I don't think it is any more.

The rate rise and WorkChoices will be big issues there and the bypass won't have helped. Hanson's not around anymore to queer the pitch. I wouldn't be surprised if Labor's claim is right.

The Australian Financial Review is saying that Robertson and Dobell on the central coast of NSW are in play and part of the battleground.

Is Nan's suggestion that there is not much of a swing in NSW--a couple of seats, say Lindsay, Macquarie Eden-Monaro would shift to the ALP too pessimistic. Pollster Sol Lebovic thinks NSW is the key state. "Labor has to win six in NSW," Lebovic says. "The state with the next highest number of seats Labor needs to win is South Australia."

Can Labor win six in NSW. Do you know which seats are in play? Dobell? I'm only willing to grant Lindsay and say that the ALP has a chance in Macarthur, Dobell and Eden-Monaro, but I doubt they could pick up more. I would not include Robertson.


I agree.

The Gold Coast Bulletin published a poll of McPherson today which is causing a ruckus at Poll Bludger. 57-36 to Liberal is just not on. The 18-24 age group made up 5% of respondents and 60 plus were 37%, assuming they even managed to get that right. They've either stuffed up or it's downright dishonest.

That tells me the Libs are in trouble in a seat where they've got a 13 point margin. The swing here, whatever it really is, is likely to be running through the NSW coastal areas as well with similar demographics.

It makes you wonder whether the marginals are where the real action is happening.