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

the week after last week « Previous | |Next »
November 5, 2007

Assuming that the election campaign keeps trundling along its current course, the programme this week will include the Melbourne Cup tomorrow, which will give commentators lots of opportunities for corny horse racing analogies. Policy and pork barrell announcements will be treated as a side issue while the hot topic will be which horse Howard and Rudd back in the race.

Funding for South Australian roads is due to be announced tomorrow as well, but that could be held off until Wednesday to generate some noise over the interest rate rise. Howard is already in full spin mode on this, but it wouldn't be too surprising if that spin ends in time for Thursday's messages.

Alexander Downer has already been wheeled out this week, playing the heavy hitter role Tone the Abbott miffed last week. Pakistan, South Australia and whatever gems he's uncovered in his friendly chats with refugee and Muslim groups promise a heady mix. It seems logical that if one of the Liberals' two strengths, the economy, isn't working very well they'll go for the other one - national security. So it's likely we'll be blessed with Al's company on the evening news all week.

Saturday is pencilled in as the big campaign launch. This will be the last opportunity the Liberal Party has to access public funds for political purposes without violating any of the caretaker mode conventions, if I understand things right. We'll be going for growth until our senses bleed.

Working families everywhere will suddenly realise the error of their ways and start telling pollsters they were only kidding, or sleepwalking, or not paying attention. Badly educated postmodern youth will understand that this is about the future and, logically, vote for Howard. Environmentalists will understand that job creation can continue unabated in a global toxic swamp.


| Posted by Lyn at 5:54 PM | | Comments (6)


on the thread of the Newspoll post at Poll Bludger Dinsdale Piranha makes the following comment:

I have made this point before. I’ll say it again. The national 2pp is a statistician’s nicety. It is meaningless because there isn’t one election happening, there are 150. The 2pp only means something in the seats themselves.

Secondly, a nice way of thinking about the primary figures for the ALP is that it represents an average primary vote for all of the 150 elections going around the country. There will be high 50s and low 30s that make up this number, which we can anticipate to be in the mid- to high 40s.

From what we know, the primary vote surge has been concentrated in several states, and in particular types of seats. One thing that is ominous for the coalition is most of the surge has NOT been in safe Labor seats, but in the marginals and in “safe” coalition seats (I suspect in the band of seats with 6-12% margins).

So, in reality, a “narrowing” means very little. One explanation for it, if anyone cares, is an improvement for the coalition in the 6-12% seats. “Annihilation” may have been avoided, but not the loss.


Is it safe to assume you came across that via Mark Bahnisch? He made some very intelligent observations about the absence of sociological analysis of what's going on, where it's going on and who it's going on with. That's one of the reasons I think Possum's analyses of poll and demographic data are so interesting. It still doesn't explain why we're seeing what we're seeing, but at least we know who and where.

To confuse things further, there will be booth by booth differences within electorates. Still, the narrowing myth has been put out of its misery and about time too. Even Shanahan has given up on it.

Did you notice that the volatility myth is still going strong, but not for the right reasons? Most of the movement is happening in the minor party vote and preference flows, which should make the senate quite interesting. Should. One would hope.

It's exciting, isn't it?

Howard should be worried about the political consequences of higher rates —if it happens, as everybody expects, then it would be the sixth rate rise since his 2004 election promise to keep rates at record lows.

Will Howard be able to spin it by dodging responsibility for rate rises, highlighting higher rates under Labor, and saying that when comes to managing the economy the Coalition are a better bet than Labor?

Will their message, that the Coalition is best placed to manage economic risks that lie ahead, such as inflationary pressures and further impacts from the US subprime crisis, be persuasive?

Still, the terrain is the economy--Howard's strength.

yes I read Mark Bahnisch's article in New Matilda about the ‘national polling vs seat polling’ narrative. It reinforced my view that the key is marginal set polling ---about which we, as the public, know so little.

The Interest rate increase will play differently to different groups---eg., new home owners and self-funded retirees.

I accept Mark's point that there are a lot of sociologically distinct groups move in different directions during federal elections; and that in this election year, it’s been more like them moving in the same direction — Labor’s — at different speeds.

Have the oldies actually moved to the ALP? Does anybody know?


I suspect that Howard lost the rates rise debate back when Rudd first held up five, count them, five, fingers on the issue. According to the latest polling people don't believe government has any control anyway. So Howard's apology for the rise just confuses the issue even further. He must be kicking himself over the effectiveness of the Keeping Interest Rates Low message last time around.


The oldies are as safe for the coalition as they've ever been. They're not as big or strong a bloc for the coalition as young people are for Labor, but there's a lot more of them.

If you're watching marginals you need to be a bit careful. Labor has most of them in the general swing, pretty much anything within 5 points, which is why they've been campaigning hard in seats held by up to and over 10 points by the Liberals.

There's another thing I'm enjoying about this election. Never before have I seen so many learning so much about our own society. If it turns out that's the only purpose the ozblogosphere serves it's a good one in my opinion.

The Australian Government is considering setting up a 'consultation blog' to give the public a chance to have their say on public policy and proposed legislation.

If you'd like to help shape this blog then do this quick survey here

It only takes a couple of minutes and could lead to something that really makes a difference.