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Opinion Poll Opinion

I know the mainstream media is only interested in polls owned by Rupert and any other opinion poll, however obscure, they can dredge up that has a bad outcome for Labor. But there are other polls for those who look. I’ve found a credible, representative opinion poll which I don’t think has got anywhere near enough attention. It’s this one by Essential Vision, from January 14, 2013. In a scathing review of Abbott’s popularity amongst his party’s supporters, approximately 1 in 5 Liberal voters responded that they don’t know who their preferred Prime Minister is, out of two options, Gillard or Abbott. It does beg the question, what exactly would this man, Tony Abbott, need to do to have a negative story about him and his unpopularity in the mainstream press? So far he’s Mr Teflon. But writers from independent media like me, who don’t have a vested interest in a Coalition victory, and who have free and unfettered access to facts, rational analysis and our own ideas, are now able to publicly provide an alternative opinion of opinion polls. Here’s my analysis of the reason why, amongst all left-wingers and a surprisingly large number of right-wingers, Abbott is as popular as a wet fart in a lift. And why his popularity is only going to get worse as the election gets nearer:

Abbott doesn’t play fair

Australia, being a sporting obsessed country, hates cheaters and bad sports. And bad losers are the worst bad sports of all. When Julia Gillard beat Abbott in the 2010 election negotiations to form a minority government, Abbott’s response has been the longest, most melodramatic toddler-like sour grapes dummy spit the political world has ever seen. When every opportunity for bipartisan support of policies that have widespread community benefits has been stomped on and rejected, Abbott is left looking like someone who has taken his bat and ball home. In other words, a bad loser.

With this ‘bad sport’ perception already permeating through the electorate, the last thing Abbott needs is for more evidence to come to light that his team has not been playing fair in their mission to overturn the Labor government and to cause an early election. Of course, most of the required evidence for public outrage has already come to light in the behavior of Mal Brough in regards to the Ashbygate/Slipper affair. Remember the Judge Rares statement that Abbott didn’t read? However, for the time being, the mainstream media is going to great pains not to investigate who exactly was involved in the conspiracy the judge described. But surely the facts won’t remain hidden for much longer? Not when so many excellent independent investigators are hot on the heels of the story. I can’t help but think of that Cricket game in 1981 when Trevor Chappell bowled underarm to stop the New Zealanders hitting a six and winning the game. The New Zealand PM said at the time that it was:

“the most disgusting incident I can recall in the history of cricket”.

This line would work quite well to describe how the Australian public will feel when the full details of Ashbygate are revealed. I wonder if Abbott wakes up every day wondering if today is the day that a rebel journalist, or an independent media outlet, will finally break the full details of his colleagues’ involvement. And perhaps his own covert trickery as well. Tick, tick, tick.

Ten steps forward, twenty steps back

A recent post by conservative blogger, Iain Hall on the AIMN, outlines what it is to be a conservative. Hall explains:

“conservatives like me don’t totally disavow social change but we do want any changes to be slow considered and incremental.”

There is no doubt that Abbott is the most conservative Opposition leader Australia has ever seen. But I don’t think Hall’s description does justice to just how right-wing Abbott really is. Instead of promoting beneficial social change in a ‘slow and incremental’ fashion, Abbott is instead going after anything that looks like a progressive social reform, and taking to it with a chainsaw. It’s as if he decided from the outset of Gillard’s 2010 election win that her time as Prime Minister would be totally erased if he were to gain power in 2013, or earlier. As if to accentuate his view that the Labor government has been illegitimate, he’s promising to ‘axe’, ‘repeal’ or ‘turn back’ every beneficial policy that Labor has, against the odds, delivered, or is working to deliver. The Carbon Tax. The National Disability Insurance Scheme. The National Broadband Network. The Mining Tax. The rise in the tax free threshold. The Gonski education funding reforms. I could go on.

I must admit that I’ve never met a true conservative, as Hall describes, who is even willing to entertain the notion that social change needs to happen at all, incrementally or not. In my experience, conservative right-wingers are hand-breaks. They have either been born at the top of the social ladder and feel it’s therefore their right to kick the ladder down to stop anyone below climbing up it. Or they’ve managed to climb someway up the ladder and are sabotaging the rungs as they ascend. Either way, their main objective is status quo – keeping things pretty for themselves and ensuring no one else can come up to meet them. But Abbott isn’t just content with status quo. The hard fought progressive wins of the Gillard government, in Abbott’s ideal scenario, will be nothing but dead, buried and cremated.

It’s quite obvious that I am appalled by Abbott’s plans to put the country into reverse gear, but what does everyone else think? I know it’s unorthodox to report on polls that have anything to do with policy. It’s just that I figure policy is kind of important when it comes to an election. Crazy, I know. The Essential Vision poll from this week, which again, I have not seen reported in the mainstream media, shows that 55% of those polled approve of the Mining Tax. In this poll from November last year, 69% of those polled support the NBN. And in the poll from October, 58% support the NDIS. So with all this democratic support for policies that Abbott promises to get rid of, it will be very interesting to see how voters’ policy opinions influence their decisions come September.

And what about the policy which is supposedly the most ‘toxic’ for Labor: the Carbon Price? Again, the not much heard of Essential Vision poll from January 29 shows that 50% of people oppose this tax. This obviously still does not put the policy in a winning position. But when you consider the millions of dollars spent by vested interests to fight the ‘Carbon Tax’, the bullshit biased reporting of the policy by the mainstream press and Abbott’s permanent stunt-inspired and fear-inducing strategy of spreading negativity and mistruths across every corner of the country, this poll shows the Carbon Price is nowhere near as unpopular as most would believe.

There is also a giant elephant in the room when it comes to Carbon Pricing that Abbott will be hoping is going to be ignored over the next few months. That is President Obama’s intentions to implement a market for carbon in the United States. Obama’s plans vindicate Labor’s reasoning that their policy would be a trailblazer for larger economies to model their plans on. The President’s policy announcement also shows that, were Abbott to repeal the Carbon Price, Australia would be lagging behind one of our most important allies in taking worldwide action to reduce the catastrophic effects of climate change. When the world’s mega economy, China, is also looking at implementing a carbon price amongst other environmental policies, it makes Abbott’s scaremongering over Australia’s policy look even more backward and self-serving. Who wants to be a follower and not a leader? And worse, who wants to be an ex-leader who took ten steps forward and twenty steps back? It is my prediction that the 50% who oppose the Carbon Tax will at least have cause to consider when they see other large nations, including China, the US and South Africa, implement their climate change policies.

I know ordinarily if Abbott were worried that he was headed for a bad poll, he’d put on a high vis vest, pick up a shovel and wheel out Margie plus two of three daughters. His current strategy seems to be of the hide and run away kind. The mainstream media have been working a treat, publishing every fluff piece Peta Credlin produces, focusing on unfounded Labor leadership tensions and generally turning Labor bashing into a national sport. But I just don’t think the electorate will be fooled for much longer. Call me delusional, call me an optimist. I don’t care. I stick by my prediction that Gillard will win the September election. There is plenty of evidence to show that Abbott’s popularity has peaked, and that is why I think it’s all downhill from here for the mainstream media’s favourite horse. Whether Rupert and Gina like it or not.


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  1. Teddy Sea

    You are an inspiration to stand up for truth, justice and the Australian way. Keep it up you good thing!

  2. jeremy

    Thank you – so much sense.

    Another survey you might quote is a survey of how many people think polls are accurate – a tiny percentage voted ‘yes’ and I can only presume this was the journalists who have written about nothing else for the past week or so. I can’t remember where I saw it.

    Although we hear so much about Labor having a large Media staff, I do wonder at their direction. For example, apart from the carbon ‘tax’ myth, there’s now an apparently entrenched belief that ‘Julia Gillard screwed single mothers’, whereas the switch to Newstart was a policy brought in by the Howard government and the recent modification was supported by both ALP and LNP, a rare event in this Parliament. I’d far prefer publicity to be correcting the misinformation that’s rampant even among people who read as much as they can.

    I’ve seen articles lately talking about Tony Abbott being the ‘new positive’ Tony, but I see no evidence of that. He slips into criticism as he always did and I don’t think many would see destruction of existing legislation as ‘positive’ or much more than a waste of Parliamentary time and tax-payers money. I don’t quite share your optimism, but do feel that with other new countries now introducing carbon pricing, Abbott is going to look increasingly silly trying to reverse it and there are months to go before the election.

  3. Joy Cooper

    Wonderful blog, Victoria. Teddy Sea is correct, you are an inspiration. As JohnLord2013 said you have nailed it. We are lucky to have writers such as yourself to express our views with such cogency. Thank you.

    The 60% opposition to the carbon pricing puzzles me as there hasn’t been any discernible detrimental effects, so far, to our household budget. Of course the LNP state governments are trying to blame their price-gouging electricity cost increases on it but hopefully that will stop. If press bias allows it that is.

    Still I digress. Shall await the right wing posters attempts to tear this well-written & erudite analysis to pieces

  4. Joy Cooper

    Oops the 60% should read 50%. We are in the middle of a thunderstorm & I can barely see my keyboard. Sorry.

  5. johnlord2013

    I think you nailed it. Exactly my sentiments although I am inclined to think the biggest hurdle for Labor will be the 100% media bias now that Fairfax and the ABC have turned right.

  6. Jagman48

    Victoria what an inspiration. At last the truth. Like Min I love the bad sport take. Keep up the great work.

  7. Truth Seeker

    Victoria, thanks for a great article, and your common sense approach.

    I think you have hit a number of nails on the head, and as I pointed out myself how could the last polls show such a jump for Abbott, when all he announced was withdrawing support and services, in the week prior to the polls?

    I have just posted my own take on “Abbotts Policies, The Story So Far” as my way of bringing the debate back from the madness that is the MSM approach to political discourse

    Abbotts Policies, The Story So Far.

    Keep up the great work Victoria, you are, as Teddy Sea so rightly says, and inspiration. 😎

    Cheers 😀 😎 😀

  8. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    Min, I read somewhere just recently (can’t remember which site, read many of them) where the ALP actually had the higher voter recorded. If this is true, how can the LNP keep on bleating about being robbed.
    Does this mean that somehow the electoral boundaries have been manipulated so as to get the LNP across the line?

  9. Robyn Taylor

    You forgot to mention his pursuit of the ‘redneck’ vote with “Stop the Boats”.I agree with your conclusion. Sooner or later he will have to open his mouth.

  10. Min

    Victoria, on the “bad sport” theme..excellent observation. I was thinking that an example of this was Abbott’s “we were robbed” theme, that the election result was all a huge mistake. On the surface of it, that might seems to be bad sportsmanship, but Abbott was successfully able to have the public consider (by repeating it over and over) that perhaps Abbott was right..he was in some way robbed. The evidence for this is how many of the public stated “We demand another election”.

  11. Mike Wilkinson

    Excellent, concise and accurate analysis!

  12. andyrob

    Great piece Victoria.

    I allways wonder how the MSM polls have been loaded but those ones are straight forward and to the point. Have bookmarked the site..

  13. Fed up

    Sandra. Abbott not only cheats, he makes up his own rules, especially after he loses..

    I have read on more than one occasion, the Labor vote ended up 30, 000 more.

    The number of votes matters not. It is the ability to get the numbers on the floor of the lower house that matters. He cannot do that, therefore he lost.

    Under the Constitution, we do not elect PMs or parties. Each electorate elects one MP. These MP’s have a mandate that they exercise on the floor of the lower house.

    That is how governments and the PM is created.

    Each MP is equal. That is whether they are Green, Labor, LiberaL independent or ar any other party.

    Mr. Abbott is no more than a bad sport, who is unable or unwilling to accept wish of the electors. One who has no respect for the laws or conventions of this nation.

    Along with VIctoria, I suspect the polls could be amiss.

    We need to look at what Italy has done, ban opinion polls 15 days before an election. I would rather she this at least a month, or when the writs are issued.

    They provide no useful purpose, and could be used to manipulate public opinion, as they now do. Opinion polls in great numbers we have now, have become the political debate in itself. They are being given an importance they do not warrant.

  14. helen browne

    Keep up the good work Victoria. I agree with everything you write.The public do not seem to think sensibly at all as the only people who may benefit from him getting in are the better off people in the country.He is only interested in himself and no one else.Thank you.

  15. Chris Oaten

    Good work and a great read. 🙂

  16. mrharmony60

    excellent as always Victoria. But it won’t be the informed voters deciding the outcome of the election, it”ll be the swinging voters who don’t bother considering policies. Perception trumps facts every time. For eg, a very smart 75 yr old I know insists Gillard is always lying, but couldn’t name any specific ones bar the “carbon tax” lie. This lady admitted she didn’t follow politics closely. So Abbott’s constant assertion of Gillard lying took root in her mind. The old propaganda dictum of asserting something often enough will ensure it becomes “the truth”. I’d like to take this opportunity to express how glad I am that there is now alternative media available to comment on politics, coz of late, its been truly depressing.

  17. Fed up

    Victoria, they seem to be saying the PM ; lacks judgement because she is attempting to take on difficult tasks.

    A effective leader has to be willing to do that,

    When one attempts to reform, you always upset many that are comfortable with the status quo.

    Many of these are in powerful positions to protest. Most worthwhile reforms take more than one attempt. GST for one.

    We have Abbott going around the country, telling all what they want to hear, and making many promises seem to have no connection. An gladbag of goodies.

  18. Iain Hall

    firstly thank you for citing my essay even though I feel you confuse what are the social reasons and issues that underlay my conservatism with the eternal struggle for a place in our economy in your ladder analogy in my experience all of those who are ambitious to make lots of money are indifferent to those they brush aside in their worship of Mammon no matter what sort of political ideology they espouse.
    That said I am amused by your devotion to the Carbon tax and its efficacy in having any affect on our climate, In fact your faith in Obama’s talk about creating such a scheme in the USA is both Sad and naive because his party has a majority in neither house of the US legislature which means the prospect of him actually bringing such a scheme to fruiting are rather less than zero, even if you assume that he has the backing of the entire democratic party which is not the case anyway. As for China well they just don’t care enough to clean up the pollution in the air of their cities and you think that they can get their act together on a Carbon price?
    Please get real

  19. Victoria Rollison

    Iain, if every politician who faced a challenge to achieve progressive reform just gave up because it’s all too hard, where would our world be? Back in the middle ages. Obama has a fight on his hands, but I commend that he’s not backing down and letting vested interests destroy his vision. To say ‘even if he says he can do it, he won’t’ is defeatist and the attitude of someone who has never fought to overcome obstacles.

  20. Fed up

    Great leaders take risks. Very few have success every time.

    If they do not win this time, maybe the next will bring results.

    It is called guts. the guts to know and do what is right.and go after it.


  21. Fed up

    Well, it is better than the Opposition leader, who is afraid to let interviews go ahead, in case he slips up in the answers.

  22. Iain Hall

    There is hard to do reform and then there is impossible to achieve pipe dreams, Obama’s “carbon pricing” scheme very definitely in the later category. He must love this issue because it is the ultimate “noble battle”, to save the entire planet and the beauty of it is that he won’t have to actually deliver anything tangible by way of results. Its great political window dressing but nothing more than that.
    I an endlessly amused by the way that you use “progressive” as a positive accolade when it begs the question of just how positive any “progress” really is.

  23. mrharmony60

    Iain, Victoria is right, where indeed would our world be without politicians fighting for progressive reform? Women would not be able to vote, nor Aborigines, no one would have superannuation, we wouldn’t have Medicare, we wouldn’t have marine parks like The Great Barrier Reef, nor Kakadu National Park. What astounds me about conservatives is that they think they can cocoon us from change. But change is inevitable. Thats why we now get around in cars instead of a horse & buggy, why we don’t send telegrams anymore and use the internet instead. Conservatives like Abbott promise more motorways. Progressives promise super fast broadband so regional centres can trade with the world. Progressives articulate a vision for the future. Timid conservatives promise a return to a rose tinted glasses past.

  24. sulphurcrested

    Another great article, Victoria.
    Perhaps I should say oracle as well, I think your optimism and prediction are spot on.
    It seems to me the PM is and has been holding a steady course for most of her time in the top job. I hope, and no doubt she hopes, that the Australian people will not be fooled, and taken in by the propaganda and machinations of the right and their minions in the media. It must be so tough for her at times. But if the people do vote for the right, then neither she nor us on the progressive side are to blame.
    It would be the will of the people, somnambulant though many of them may be.

    I think holding a steady course is a wise thing to do. She is in her job to be a Prime Minister, and for the good of all and the country. If she does her job to the best of her ability, and I have no reason to doubt that she does, then at the least she can sleep at night and look back in the future without regret.
    She is not a superhuman and cannot work miracles with the situation as it is now. But she is very strong, and continues to show how strong she is. For me to do and be what she is and has done would feel superhuman in my terms.

    I think people appreciate steadiness too. Especially in times of rapid and multiple changes. The hope is that enough others will see this, as well as the other evident qualities in her person and her government’s legislation, with their own eyes and not through the smoke and mirrors of Abbott and the OM.

    Obama’s 2nd term gives even greater cause to hope.
    I came across an old bookmark of an article in the SMH (which I no longer read) in Nov 2010. An interview with Murdoch is mentioned where he gets it so wrong about Obama. And I’m not up to the minute on BSkyB, but didn’t he lose out on that after the phone hacking skullduggery et al came to light?

    “..Among the musings in an interview in Sydney last week is that after losing the mid-term elections, Barack Obama will turn left, rather than right as Bill Clinton did in a similar situation. “And that will mean one term.”

    He said that News would start a new paper in the US in six weeks’ time, called The Daily and available on tablets only. It will be staffed only by journalists and a few technicians, cost $1 a week and DC comics wasn’t amused at plans to call it The Daily Planet.

    And he’s confident of getting his take-over of British pay TV operator BSkyB through the authorities as the law “is on our side”, but said the Europeans, who have to approve it, “like to interfere with everything”.”

    Ha! The “law is on our side” indeed. Sheer arrogance, which is like building on sand.

  25. Iain Hall


    I agree that “change is inevitable” however moulding or forcing change to fit some utopian ideal often produces less than scintillating results.

    Which I why I in favour of caution and incremental change rather than constant reinvention of everything.

    Sadly when it comes to attempts to “mitigate” climate change most of the proposed schemes have a far bigger element of “wishful thinking” and ” gesture” politics than they have of any relationship to producing tangible results. If climate advocates were realistic then they would be advocating mandating targets rather than creating further derivatives trading schemes that do only one thing. which is to enrich a whole new generation of Spivs and shysters.

  26. Fed up

    One would not expect you to see.

  27. Fed up

    Polls must not be working. They are bringing the big guns out tonight. Mr. Howard turning up on NBN.

  28. Iain Hall

    In essence mrharmony60 you are wrong about rose coloured glasses being the foundation of conservatism, its actually about not throwing out too many babies with the bath water as you “progressives” seem to keep doing on the altar of constant change.

  29. sulphurcrested

    Another excellent article, Victoria.
    Perhaps I should say oracle, too. How wrong the arrogant can be. Here is an example in this article from the SMH in Nov 2010, quoting an interview with Murdoch:

    “Among the musings in an interview in Sydney last week is that after losing the mid-term elections, Barack Obama will turn left, rather than right as Bill Clinton did in a similar situation. “And that will mean one term.”

    He said that News would start a new paper in the US in six weeks’ time, called The Daily and available on tablets only. It will be staffed only by journalists and a few technicians, cost $1 a week and DC comics wasn’t amused at plans to call it The Daily Planet.

    And he’s confident of getting his take-over of British pay TV operator BSkyB through the authorities as the law “is on our side”, but said the Europeans, who have to approve it, “like to interfere with everything”.”

    Ha! The law “is on or side” indeed. What arrogance. Akin to building on sand.

    The PM appears to me to be holding a steady course. She is in the top job to govern for the good of all Australians and the country. I have no doubt that she recognises and keeps this before her.
    People appreciate steadiness, especially in times of rapid and multiple changes.
    She is not a superhuman and cannot work miracles (although doing what she has done and is doing would be superhuman in my terms).

    I have no reason to doubt she is doing the best she can. At least she can sleep at night knowing that, and in the future look back at her own effort without regret.
    But if people do vote in Abbott and Murdoch and the rest of the gang, neither she nor progressives will be to blame. It would be the will of the people, somnambulist though many of them may be and grossly misinformed by the smoke and mirrors of the opposition and OM.

    Obama’s second term is cause for even greater hope that people will see things for themselves without being ultimately distracted by the spectres jumping up and down in front of them, trying to mislead and scare them away.
    I have great respect and admiration for Julia Gillard, which has increased over time. And just like Obama’s greater substance, governance and character triumphed, I feel Julia Gillard’s greater qualities and good governance will too.

  30. sulphurcrested

    Oops! Posted twice as thought I’d lost first post. Please delete second post. Thanks.

  31. paul mitford

    Murdoch pays his hacks to write codswallop on toilet paper which he uses to wipe his hairy arse then wipes their faces in it. Fairfax is a load of useless, jewish crap not worth the analysis of serious readers. Paul Mitford. Sydney.

  32. Tom R

    its actually about not throwing out too many babies with the bath water as you “progressives” seem to keep doing on the altar of constant change.

    Carbon Price -> COMPLETELY GONE
    Mining Tax -> COMPLETELY GONE

    yea ian, right 😉

  33. Tom of Melbourne

    Paul makes such a rational case for media reform!

    “Blame the Jews media”

  34. Iain Hall

    I see lots of bathwater there but very little baby (well none actually) Tom R so what is the problem with throwing out Gillard’s foul effluent?

  35. Pussykins

    Great article Victoria, and I also appreciate Iain’s input. However, I disagree with him. He seems to be saying change is okay, but only when it suits him. He defines this with terms like “incremental change”, but who’s to say carbon pricing isn’t an increment change from pricing garbage disposal or industrial oil spillage cleanup.

    Regardless of how you define progressive versus conservative, Abbott is little more than an opportunist devoid of moral compass, in charge of a party of similar. The funniest thing to me, is the traditionally oddball Nationals now look more reasonable than the federals Liberals.

    Here’s hoping your optimism is well founded and next election sees anyone other that awful Abbott in the Lodge.

  36. 730reportland

    l agree with the cartoon.
    How come nobody thinks people won`t tell fibs to the noise-poll mob.?

  37. Kelly Day

    Hi i thought this was a well written piece. I do understand the need to redress some of issues regarding balance (esp. Murdoch press) but i felt this piece was as off the dial anti Abbott as some of the pro Abbott ravings in the msm. Still looking for the unbiased happy medium unfortunately.

  38. Miglo

    Hi sulphurcrested, for some reason you comments have been caught up in the spam folder. I have no idea why it’s happening. 😳

    My apologies.

  39. spiral (@spiridonis)

    Thank you for a level headed contribution.Not only do i agree with you that Gillard is likely to win the election,but i can back it up by stating what i garnered recently upon a visit to a mainly womens page..The page is not political and open to all comers.Whrn a girl asked who would you vote for Abbott or Gillard,the result was overwhelmingly in Gillards favour by what seemed to me 20 nto 1..Although i did not count it exactly,it seemec that way..Today i have also read a post from a woman in Freo,,who stated that there is huge support for Gillard Out here..I believe the huge majority of women will vote for Labor and Gillard in spite of what the msm are trying to foister..And if she does win ,,it should be poetic Justice, I think.

  40. Peter

    “I know the mainstream media is only interested in polls owned by Rupert and any other poll, however obscure, they can dredge up that has a bad outcome for Labor. “.

    By “obscure” you mean the four major polling organisations in the country – Neilsen, Morgan, Essential and Galaxy. And by “dredge”, you mean the reporting of their results which have been commissioned and released every two weeks by the major news outlets for years – and some for decades.

    I keep forgetting, *all* the polls are either a) wrong, b) biased c) manipulated d) statistically unsound e) not relevant. It makes you wonder why the political parties themselves, spend so much money on their own internal polling, doesn’t it.

    @Spiral. Reality check: “Labor holds only three of 15 Federal seats in WA and the party is bracing to defend the southern suburbs electorate of Brand, held by Special Minister of State Gary Gray with a slim margin of 3.3 per cent.”

  41. sulphurcrested

    Thanks Miglo. What a mystery. Must be gremlins.

  42. helen browne

    Why does Tony abbott have lunch every week with news limited rulers of th msm .Very suspect.So much for good journalism. Not that there are many decent journalists around now.Online is much better including you and others.

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