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John Lord’s Election Diary No. 9: With just 18 days to go I refuse to believe Newspoll

Wednesday 1 May 2019

Monday 29 April 2019

1 “The Australian” published its latest polling results 51/49 to Labor. To gain a better understanding of what the results mean you would be well advised to read the analysis of William Bowe at the Poll Bludger.

His most important words are his very last.

“The bottom line is that extrapolating two-party preferred from primary votes in the current environment unavoidably involves an uncomfortable degree of guess work. For better or worse though, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate will continue to be guided by previous election results in allocating preferences – and, notably, the addition of the Newspoll numbers has had almost no effect on it.”

What William Bowe is saying is that individual polls mean little. It is only when you marry them all together over a period of time that they do.

With just 18 days to go, I refuse to believe Newspoll.

How do I justify that conclusion? Well, I do so by applying bucketfuls of faith in the Australian people.

I believe that a majority of people are sick to death of the putrid governance they have had to endure over the past six years.

I believe that the majority of Australians are fed up with all the arguments about climate change and want something done about it. The extraordinary first day turns out for pre-poll voting would suggest that this is the case.

I believe that Australians will put better health, better schools and better-aged care before their hip pocket. Including help for those with cancer.

I believe the same goes for Childcare and dental services.

“One of the oddities of political polling is trying to understand how 49% of the voting public would willingly return a party that has governed so abysmally.” (John Lord)

Am I to believe that the Australian people don’t give a stuff about how the Coalition interfaces with each other, and that they can change leaders at will.

Am I to believe that 49% of voters couldn’t care less if the Liberal and National parties don’t have an energy or environmental policy.

Am I to believe that these same voters believe the Liberal lie that they are the better money managers? Take a look at the stats in No 2. Three times this morning I heard Simon Birmingham in an interview on News24 say “we will be able to pay back Labors debt.” 

I find it impossible to imagine that the Australian people would be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that has performed so miserably in the first two.

Most of what is happening in the body politics, seems to laconically pass by the general populace. Truth is no longer fashionable and in politics, conservatives have overwhelmingly legitimised lying as a genuine political election contrivance.

It’s as though we have reached the point in politics where truth is something that politicians have persuaded us to believe alternative facts rather than truth based on factual evidence, arguments and assertions.

2 Government debt: was $534 billion last Friday compared with $501 billion in June 2017, $420 billion in June 2016, $369 billion in June 2015, $319 billion in June 2014 and $273 billion at the 2013 election. And the government is promising huge tax cuts.

3 Mark Butler and other tweets

Angus Taylor won’t do any interviews and he won’t debate me in public. All he’s got are tired, old, baseless scare campaigns from Tony Abbott’s playbook. Australians are sick of it; they want real action on climate change.

Paul Bongiorno.

Just a thought watching an excellent @InsidersABC. How come after 6 years of a government of better economic managers we have a weakening economy with the RBA tipped to go lower than Joe Hockey’s economic emergency interest rates?

Sally McManus

Fantastic policy announcement extending free dental care for pensioners and seniors. Labor created and built Medicare. Liberals underfunds and cuts it #ausvotes

Stephen Kouk

Now let’s see how this goes; A massive boost to childcare & dental care for seniors, both fully funded versus a cap on refugee intake and claims of being “back in the black” I think I know which is more important.

Tuesday 30 April 2019

4 It’s a strange world. One Nation loonies go to the US to solicit funds to water down our gun laws and the redhead thinks it’s acceptable but visiting a strip club isn’t. Yes, it’s a strange old world.

5 More tweets overnight.

Leigh Sales

Making the point of fairness. Fixing unfairness in our system.

Hey @CliveFPalmer – how about an interview on #abc730 tonight? Surely the Australian people deserve a chance to hear you on prime time television answering some questions about your track record and your election promises.

Paul Bongiorno

After watching the leaders’ debate I would advise @ScottMorrisonMP not to do any more.

Dr Karen Bagley/Phelps

Both of my kids were glued to the #leaders debate with great interest.

9 year olds sum it up: ‘so that one cares about hospitals 🏥, schools 🏫  and climate change 🌳 and that one cares about money 💰’. #ausvotes

Sally McManus

Imagine being so stuck in the past you think childcare is communism smh.com.au/national/turnb… via @smh

Michael Pascoe

#leaders debate either Morrison doesn’t understand franking credits or he’s happy to lie to the nation. No prize for guessing which one.

6 The Essential Poll comes up with the same result and the same problems in distributing preferences.

The Guardian reports the fortnightly Essential Research poll has followed Newspoll in recording the Labor lead narrowing from 52-48 to 51-49 – and also in doing so from primary votes that you would think more likely to convert to 52-48. Labor are actually up two points from an unusually weak result last time, from 35% to 37%, while the Coalition are up a single point to 39%. The explanation for Labor’s two-party decline must lie in the two-point drop for the Greens, from 11% to 9%, and the attendant weakening in their flow of preferences. One Nation are up a point to 6%; no response option has been added for the United Australia Party, and there is nothing to suggest their ascent in the combined “others” tally, which is down a point to 9%.

7 Now about the debate. For me, it was much to do about nothing. It was enlightening to the point that it gave the two protagonists the opportunity to further clarify what we already know. For the Prime Minister, it was about two things: A) Bill Shorten and B) economics. For the Opposition leader Bill Shorten it was all about: A) Policies,  B) How they affect people and C) a resulting fairness.

Morrison spoke with his usual overbearing bully talk that borders on arrogance whereby Shorten was with a much more personable persona.

25 audience members declared Mr Shorten the winner; only 12 voted for Mr Morrison and another 11 were undecided.

For me, it was a bland affair that didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.

For those who don’t follow politics, it may have managed to spell out the differences the voter faces although in saying that I think the first thing the voter should ask him/herself is: “Based on the government’s performance over its past two terms, does it deserve another?” 

Then you can examine their policies. Good luck with that.

The debate ranked 29 in its time slot meaning very few people watched it. It could also mean that people have made up their minds and tuned out.

8 I was looking through some old stuff and found this from 2016.

An ABC Fact check: Did abolishing negative gearing push up rents?

The claim: Treasurer Joe Hockey says abolishing negative gearing could push up rents, because that’s what happened in the 1980s.

The verdict: During the period negative gearing was abolished rents notably increased only in Sydney and Perth. Other factors, including high interest rates and the share market boom, were also contributors to rent increases at the time.

Mr Hockey’s claim doesn’t stack up.

In the same period Liberal Member for Bennelong John Alexander who headed the Housing Affordability enquiry said:

“Some have said we are on track to becoming a kingdom where the Lords own all the land and the biggest Lord will be King and the enslaved serf tenant is paying rent to the Lord to become wealthier.”

It might sound a bit dramatic but it’s not far from the truth.

Greg Jericho writing for the Guardian:

“Negative gearing: a legal tax rort for rich investors that reduces housing affordability.”

Peter Van Onselen writing for The Australian says that six Coalition members, including the PM, own 99 investment properties between them. (Link unavailable).

My thought for the day

“It’s difficult to imagine how a person of such little character is again a force in Australian politics. No matter how small it is powerful. That a party founded by Menzies would be doing deals with a person of such ill repute and ratbaggery is incomprehensible.” (John Lord)

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30 comments

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  1. ChristopherJ

    Thank you for doing this, John. I just can’t bear it, particularly to listen to our interim and pretend PM.

    Our election is being heavily influenced by the US and one citizen in particular. How the fuck do we allow this to happen? It was never in ordinary Australians’ interests to allow any foreign ownership of our media, let alone what we have today as well as the concentration of ownership.

    Our governments have sold Australia out, every one since I first voted in the 70s. I stand ready to expect more of the same.

  2. whatever

    The LNP have deliberately morphed into OneNation, and they think the average, moderate Liberal Party voter will just go along with that.
    As regards Newspoll, or most of the polling….I think a lot of people answer the question “Who are you voting for?” as though they were asked “What kind of voter are you?”. Hence, the common garden-variety Liberal voter will answer “Liberal” to a survey, but they will not automatically vote that way.

  3. Alcibiades

    Short version: Both the Newspoll & Essential poll were manipulated to allow for ’rounding down’ to manufacture a 51-49 result, to support the desired ‘narrative’ of a ‘tightening’ race. The recent Newspoll, compensating for anomalous aberrant manipulation against previous methodology norm, is in all probability ALP 52.3 v 47.7 LNP & this Essential approximately ALP 51.9 v 48.1 LNP.

    The Coalition going into bed with One Nation & Clive Palmer will cost more votes nationally than it will benefit in limited second preference flows. IMV, the conduct & strategic actions of the Coalition campaign demonstrates an objective of attempting to lessen the loss, having given up any hope of a ‘win’.

    News Corp: Democracy’s greatest threat – The Monthly

    PS The Graunds ‘Live’ coverage of the farce of the Venezuelan pathetic non-coup d’etat is revealing … if ever there were any doubts.

  4. Kronomex

    Thank you LNP, UAP, and ON for creating more of the ongoing farces and stupidity that we have seen abound during the election campaign so far –

    https://www.news.com.au/national/federal-election/federal-election-2019-live-coverage-of-day-21-on-the-campaign-trail/live-coverage/49419e9f1ed25fdc9c353df86c1ef311

    Jeez, another bloody racket imported from the US –

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/blue-sky-to-fund-200th-anniversary-renos-of-hyde-park-barracks-20190429-p51icz.html

    To put it bluntly, I have no sympathy at all for her –

    https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/sick-of-it-pauline-hanson-breaks-down-in-tears-on-a-current-affair-20190426-p51hpt.html

  5. Alpo

    William Bowe has criticised the Newspoll alleged 51% for the ALP on the grounds of the assumptions used to assign preferences and rounding up of fractions. He argues that the 2PP is closer to 52% for the ALP.

    The Libs will use all the propaganda they can master to try to swing as many voters in their direction as possible. However, so far, all the tactics have failed, quite miserably. The fight at this election will be, more than in any other previous election, at the seat-by-seat level, where progressives have unleashed not only ALP volunteers but also GetUp! and ACTU activists, alongside with the financial resources of all of the above to pay for ads, etc. When the fight is seat-by-seat it’s enough to win a seat with whatever margin (ultimately, even one vote advantage will do the trick!), if you win enough seats in that way (or with much bigger margins per seat) then you win the election, even in a landslide as far as a majority in parliament is concerned. In conclusion, don’t be too worried about that apparently slim 51% advantage for the ALP, it’s rather misleading.

  6. Alcibiades

    Alpo,
    Misleading indeed, simply manufactured. And now the ground campaign for the remaining ~24% who hadn’t already made up their minds long ago is now in play.

  7. Terence Mills

    Interesting comment on Q&A by a man asking about Negative Gearing changes and how he got his start by property investment and was hoping to encourage his kids to do the same but changes to Negative Gearing will, according to him, exclude them from this avenue of investment.

    As was patiently explained by Chris Bowen, this attitude completely ignores the fact that investors under the new arrangements would be encouraged to invest in new houses and apartments rather that churning existing housing stock.

    In other words the misinformation being peddled by Morrison is actually fooling some people to believe that they will not get tax concessions and CGT discounts on property investment. You will, it just has to be new builds and thus you are contributing to increasing the stock of housing available for rental and that’s a good thing.

    Another punter obviously didn’t understand the changes to franking credits [the retiree tax according to the coalition] – although his wife did – but again Bowen carefully explained that the whole system of franking credits was to avoid double taxation not the anomaly that we now have where zero tax is actually being paid.

    I thought Bowen was good on Q&A but Fifield very shifty as he insisted that ‘pensioners’ would be hit by the franking credits changes on their investments, which, of course they aren’t.

  8. Bert

    Never underestimate the Australian voters propensity to vote against their and the countries best interests. Its been done time and again but I’m hoping this time they don’t.

  9. MöbiusEcko

    Bert @ 8:58am

    You have hit it in one. I’ve railed on here and on other forums about how for one, the rural constituency overwhelmingly vote Nationals or conservative, even though time and again at all levels of government, they do worse under conservative governments, and for two, and worse as they now make up a sizeable chunk of the voting block, how pensioners and the older constituency unerringly vote Liberal in the mistaken belief they are safer and better off under the Liberals, which is demonstrably false.

  10. New England Cocky

    Jenny Brocky on SBS last night (300419) had the audience detail their concerns about the impact of LNP misgovernment policies of selling off electricity poles & wires as causing often severe financial hardship, especially among low wage families.

    Then farmers are getting sick of being taken for granted especially with water supply, or lack of it, thanks to the “free market” now dominated by foreign owned international mining corporations that may purchase temporary water rights at extremely high prices, so pushing agricultural enterprises out of the market.

    Check out articles about the Farrer electorate presently held by Susan Ley, who stood down from the Ministry because of the Cairns investment property purchase while on government business.

    So why is Barnyard exempt from similar corrective actions????? Was it a large donation from Aunty Gina to the unelected political hacks who control pre-selection in the Nat$ that made the difference???

    The question remains,”What am I doing to ensure that the Lazy Nasty Party misgovernment is removed from the Treasury benches?

    Have I volunteered for a shift on a pre-polling booth, or volunteered for a shift at a polling day booth, or made a cash or kind donation to my preferred (non-LNP ) candidate, or volunteered to scrutineers the count?

    Without these actions we may just get stuck with the same poor political choices that are making Australia the worst third world economy in the OECD.

  11. Peter F

    Having spent a weekend with relatives who said that ‘ the ALP doubled the deficit left by the previous Government, so I will never vote for them’ , I realised that any further discussion was not possible. The fact that debt has doubled under the Coalition would have been rejected.

    Don’t for one moment believe that the voting public actually care about facts.

  12. Diane

    I was braced for an incredible deluge of LNP dirty tricks towards the end of their campaign attacking Labor, but with the stuff blowing up today about whether or not LNP MPs Andrew Hastie and Ian Goodenough paid some incredibly dodgy Nazi-type to stir up racism and particularly attack Sam Dastyari, it all seems to be going the other way.

    One Nation also seem to be disintegrating before our eyes, and apparently umpteen of the UAP candidates may be either ineligible due to S44, or just live miles away from the electorates they are standing in – some even in different states!

    And yet still the polls show it as being very very close – even the betting odds are closing. I can’t help thinking the LNP have some underhand plan to somehow fix the election – I’m probably just being paranoid but I really hope the AEC keep a very close eye on things.

  13. whatever

    Yes indeed, we need United Nations election observers.

  14. wam

    40% of adults don’t believe in equality why would you not expect 9% more to believe climate change is natural when 100% of scientists do?
    As for neg gearing what do you think
    ‘…were also contributors to rent increases at the time.’
    means? Does it not confirm hockey’s increase????

    billy did well on the debate but will need to be carefully prepared for the next. He might find out about the couple spouting pension lies on sky there could be a question there?
    hastings is a nasty the equal of anning and there could be a question there.
    Conservatives can be fierce, my page has people angry for the man who is traumatised because he was not allowed to blow a man’s brains out?

    ps anyone hear narrownose today?

  15. RomeoCharlie29

    You think that people couldn’t possibly be stupid enough to give the Lying Nasty Party another go, and then you see the Vox pops around places like Manly and get the blue rinse matrons or the old white men and you realise they haven’t got a bloody clue, all they have is a visceral dislike of Labor because…..unions, socialism, communism blah blah blah. The Monthly article linked by Alcibiades is long but well worth a read. As a retired journo but still on the MEAA list it makes me sad that some of my fellows can write the shit they do. I would note though that many of the garbage writers would not be Alliance members, and therefore would not feel bound by the code of ethics.

  16. Kronomex

    With apologies to Star Trek.

    Backstabbing the final frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the LNP Stuffupship “Trainwreck”. It’s neverending mission to implode on every journey. To suck up to the rich people and corporations. To boldly make sure no woman will ever become PM.

    Todays episode –

    Another crewman will be removed after pissing on the deck of the Trainwreck –

    https://www.news.com.au/national/federal-election/federal-election-2019-live-coverage-of-day-21-on-the-campaign-trail/live-coverage/49419e9f1ed25fdc9c353df86c1ef311

  17. Alan Austin

    Excellent work, John. Thanks.
    Let’s wait and see if there are reports in the day or two just before the election claiming “Poll shock! Late swing to Labor.”
    These serve to disguise the fact that throughout the election campaign the pollsters manipulate their results to make the Coalition look electable.
    Victoria last November was a good example. Most of the opinion polls bore no resemblance to the actual election result.

  18. RosemaryJ36

    In any legislation, care is taken to define the meanings attached to various terms.
    For many people, ‘pensioners’ are those whose entire or at least part income is derived from the government Age Pension, while for others it means any retiree living on income derived from invested savings such as superannuation but not necessarily eligible to claim for a par Age Pension. But because income from Allocated Pensions or similar is tax-free, they may well have substantial gross incomes.

  19. Kronomex

    Searches hurriedly for bucket to throw up in –

    “As for Palmer, the candidates describe his as “ humble”, motivated only by “doing good for Australia”.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/02/clive-palmers-candidates-required-to-pay-400000-if-they-win-seat-but-leave-party

    The high quality of some The Blimps candidates is astonishing. I’d hate to see the lower end of the spectrum –

    https://www.theguardian.com/global/video/2019/may/02/clive-palmers-candidates-filmed-making-the-same-awkward-election-statement-on-facebook-video

  20. Alcibiades

    Suggest almost certainly unenforceable against an elected Member. An attempt to do so could potentially result in charges being laid against Palmer re attempted coercion/corruption via such an instrument, the contract deemed null & void(unenforcable), let alone a blatant ‘Contempt’ of Parliament under S49 of the Constitution … OTOH:

    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/House_of_Representatives/Powers_practice_and_procedure/Practice7/HTML/Chapter20/Acts_constituting_breaches_of_privilege_and_contempts

    “And we need to get rid of the Murray Darling Basin plan, move to a Bradfield solution to get a flow of water through NSW and Queensland. Once we make our land fertile and rich with water, people will see how wealthy we can be as a nation.”

    As for Palmer, the candidates describe his as “ humble”, motivated only by “doing good for Australia”.

    Pass me that bucket !

  21. Kaye Lee

    The humble guy who said on morning tv “I’ve got 4,000 million and I don’t care what you think so there ner ner” or something like that.

  22. Kronomex

    Aww, poor ickle Prince Precious, one of the nastiest politicians we had in years is unhappy with at the awful people who are picking on him. Waah,waah.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-02/federal-election-tony-abbott-angry-about-obscene-posters/11073196

    This clown sinks himself deeper into the mire of his idiocy every time he opens his mouth –

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/02/leyonhjelm-tells-defamation-trial-he-cant-remember-hanson-youngs-exact-words

  23. Paul Davis

    Bill Shorten described the BEA report on the economic impact of Labor’s climate initiatives as “propaganda”. In my very humble opinion he was being extraordinarily polite. It would appear that the BEA is just another of the multitude of right wing conservative squawkboxs funded by industry as scientific or economic ‘experts for hire’. Among the descriptions i have found for the ‘renowned and highly qualified’ expert of the report, Brian Fisher are “climate change denier” and “paid shill”.

    In a previous life i was involved in local government waste management, recycling and environmental issues which brought about my first contact with an industry funded lobby group, the Litter Reseach Association. The group was funded by the packaging, plastics and associated industries with, it appeared, a strong aim to discourage regulation on kerbside recycling, beverage container deposit taxes etc. This was the 1980s and we were getting the second wave of scientific warnings on climate change. I remember attending a climate conference at Macquarie Uni and the objections and poo pooing by mining and manufacturing industries was obvious. The thing that has changed as of today is that the entrenched conservatives are now better organised and financed to the point where their obfuscation and lies have the government in their pockets.

  24. Stephen Tardrew

    Love it John another great read. Been busy so am behind. doing a big art project. Lots of love and best wishes.

  25. Kronomex

    And so the LNP Stuffupship “Trainwreck” suffers more engine failures and exploding torpedos in the weapons bays as it tries to fly past the moon on it’s way to an infinity of farces and failures.

  26. Josephus

    N E Cockie, miners don’t pay huge sums for water . They not only get big discounts on power costs, Adani has been promised 66m litres of free water, while NT fracking will get carte blanche even if Labor wins. Meanwhile nearby towns may expect water rationing; nationally, those in rural mining areas find their bores depleted, or their rivers poisoned.

    Re public stupidity: many buy and read only The Telegraph. Its exposure of corruption applies only to eg Labor Councils!

    How can we think we live in a democracy when journalists are one eyed, while big miners get their water for nothing at the expense of everyone else?

    Finally, why isn’t Labor nationally consistent in its environmental policies? The Telegraph’s perceived need to foment anger against that Party seems to be tribally based, rather than on a wish to preserve our water, our food producers, our wildlife.

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