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246 responses to “Doom or salvation for Rudd Labor?”

  1. john

    I agree, but im not sure about your references to Queensland politics. Anna Bligh won the election because the other choice was Bjelke-Petersen’s party, and is unpopular because of privatisation.

  2. john

    I agree, but im not sure about your references to Queensland politics. Anna Bligh won the election because the other choice was Bjelke-Petersen’s party, and is unpopular because of privatisation.

  3. FMark

    it seems even less clear to some that a second preference vote is not equivalent to a first preference where the party receiving the second or later preference drops below a certain level of primary. In a hypothetical electorate where the Liberals poll 43%, Labor 36% and The Greens 10%, the Libs would be favoured to win, even with a strong preference flow towards Labor…

    Okay, I’m owning up to being one of those confused people.

    In your hypothetical seat, and simplifying matters such that 90% of Greens preferences went to Labor, wouldn’t that result in a TPP of 45% to Labor vs 44% to Liberal, with the remaining 9% of primary votes deciding the matter?

  4. FMark

    it seems even less clear to some that a second preference vote is not equivalent to a first preference where the party receiving the second or later preference drops below a certain level of primary. In a hypothetical electorate where the Liberals poll 43%, Labor 36% and The Greens 10%, the Libs would be favoured to win, even with a strong preference flow towards Labor…

    Okay, I’m owning up to being one of those confused people.

    In your hypothetical seat, and simplifying matters such that 90% of Greens preferences went to Labor, wouldn’t that result in a TPP of 45% to Labor vs 44% to Liberal, with the remaining 9% of primary votes deciding the matter?

  5. Mark

    @1 – Yes, and the response to that unpopularity has been a heap of guff about “showing strength”, wearing a hard hat, keeping that rictus grin at all times, and pointing to opposition divisions. There were other ways of responding, as I’ve argued before.

    It was also the case that Springborg was so obviously a rather vacuous figure from Nationals central casting that enabled Labor in the last days of the election to sow doubt about his accession to the Premiership. The LNP probably would have won with a better leader from an urban seat.

  6. Mark

    @1 – Yes, and the response to that unpopularity has been a heap of guff about “showing strength”, wearing a hard hat, keeping that rictus grin at all times, and pointing to opposition divisions. There were other ways of responding, as I’ve argued before.

    It was also the case that Springborg was so obviously a rather vacuous figure from Nationals central casting that enabled Labor in the last days of the election to sow doubt about his accession to the Premiership. The LNP probably would have won with a better leader from an urban seat.

  7. FMark

    Okay, I’m even more confused than I thought, since I can’t do basic arithmetic. I meant to say the remaining 11% of primary votes deciding the matter?

  8. FMark

    Okay, I’m even more confused than I thought, since I can’t do basic arithmetic. I meant to say the remaining 11% of primary votes deciding the matter?

  9. Mark

    @2 – Fmark, 90% is very high. It depends a lot on the seat, but in my experience in marginals 60-70% is more likely. A lot also depends on the order in which candidates are eliminated, and preferences distributed. If the Liberals’ primary vote is sufficiently ahead of Labor’s, and candidates from very minor parties and independents are knocked out first, they start to get very close to 50% + 1 before The Greens’ preferences are counted, and then can go over the top with Greens preferences to the Libs.

  10. Mark

    @2 – Fmark, 90% is very high. It depends a lot on the seat, but in my experience in marginals 60-70% is more likely. A lot also depends on the order in which candidates are eliminated, and preferences distributed. If the Liberals’ primary vote is sufficiently ahead of Labor’s, and candidates from very minor parties and independents are knocked out first, they start to get very close to 50% + 1 before The Greens’ preferences are counted, and then can go over the top with Greens preferences to the Libs.

  11. Mark

    Elsewhere: Bernard Keane:

    As for Labor, while everyone inside and outside the government is blaming poor communication for much of its current predicament, no messaging, however brilliant, is going to cover the gaping hole where the CPRS used to be. It needs a new, convincing climate change policy, and not just one built on half-baked energy efficiency measures that at best simply fund businesses to save money for themselves and at worst repeat the ludicrously costly per-tonne emissions abatement measures achieved under the Howard government’s many “greenhouse challenge” programs.

    This is a view shared by a number of government MPs. Particularly given it has not escaped notice that 2010 is on track to be the hottest recorded year yet. Climate change may yet feature strongly in the election, and not just as the reason why Lindsay Tanner might lose his seat to the Greens.

  12. Mark

    Elsewhere: Bernard Keane:

    As for Labor, while everyone inside and outside the government is blaming poor communication for much of its current predicament, no messaging, however brilliant, is going to cover the gaping hole where the CPRS used to be. It needs a new, convincing climate change policy, and not just one built on half-baked energy efficiency measures that at best simply fund businesses to save money for themselves and at worst repeat the ludicrously costly per-tonne emissions abatement measures achieved under the Howard government’s many “greenhouse challenge” programs.

    This is a view shared by a number of government MPs. Particularly given it has not escaped notice that 2010 is on track to be the hottest recorded year yet. Climate change may yet feature strongly in the election, and not just as the reason why Lindsay Tanner might lose his seat to the Greens.

  13. Zedar

    The trouble with Labor at the moment is that there are very few reasons to vote for them. They’ve dumped pretty much every policy they have which might generate some enthusiasm among potential supporters. Personally (as a leftie) I will be voting against Abbott, not for Labor, which has done nothing to earn my vote apart from being the lesser of two evils. In 2007 Labor easily got my vote with all it’s progressive talk, I’d like to see that party resurface.

  14. Zedar

    The trouble with Labor at the moment is that there are very few reasons to vote for them. They’ve dumped pretty much every policy they have which might generate some enthusiasm among potential supporters. Personally (as a leftie) I will be voting against Abbott, not for Labor, which has done nothing to earn my vote apart from being the lesser of two evils. In 2007 Labor easily got my vote with all it’s progressive talk, I’d like to see that party resurface.

  15. AmishThrasher

    While there is some misunderstanding in the public mind about the operation of preferences, it seems even less clear to some that a second preference vote is not equivalent to a first preference where the party receiving the second or later preference drops below a certain level of primary. In a hypothetical electorate where the Liberals poll 43%, Labor 36% and The Greens 10%, the Libs would be favoured to win, even with a strong preference flow towards Labor. If current polling were replicated on election day, there’d be quite a few of those about.”

    Just to make one thing clear, in a HoR seat, if your candidate doesn’t recieve enough first preferences to win, your second preference counts as one full vote.

    No “not equivalents” about it.

    In your hypotehetical example, if the Libs are on 43%, the ALP on 36%, and the Greens on 10%, then it would depend obviously on who the remaining candidates are! I mean, if the remaining 11% are socialist and left leaning independent candidates then the ALP would be favourites to carry the seat. If the remaining candidates are family first, LDP, and from the right then even if all the Green prefs went to the ALP, they’re still at 46% of the vote. But then again, if it was just an ALP candidate there, they’d be on 46% of the vote, so no difference!

  16. AmishThrasher

    While there is some misunderstanding in the public mind about the operation of preferences, it seems even less clear to some that a second preference vote is not equivalent to a first preference where the party receiving the second or later preference drops below a certain level of primary. In a hypothetical electorate where the Liberals poll 43%, Labor 36% and The Greens 10%, the Libs would be favoured to win, even with a strong preference flow towards Labor. If current polling were replicated on election day, there’d be quite a few of those about.”

    Just to make one thing clear, in a HoR seat, if your candidate doesn’t recieve enough first preferences to win, your second preference counts as one full vote.

    No “not equivalents” about it.

    In your hypotehetical example, if the Libs are on 43%, the ALP on 36%, and the Greens on 10%, then it would depend obviously on who the remaining candidates are! I mean, if the remaining 11% are socialist and left leaning independent candidates then the ALP would be favourites to carry the seat. If the remaining candidates are family first, LDP, and from the right then even if all the Green prefs went to the ALP, they’re still at 46% of the vote. But then again, if it was just an ALP candidate there, they’d be on 46% of the vote, so no difference!

  17. FMark

    @Mark 5.

    I agree that 60-70% is more likely, and thus that mid-thirties primary numbers are thus a worry for Labor.

    What I don’t understand is why the order in which the candidates are knocked out in this scenario is important. Assuming that under all orderings Labor and Liberal candidates are the last two remaining (as in most seats), I don’t understand why the order matters.

    Sorry for being off-topic, but I am thoroughly confused!

  18. FMark

    @Mark 5.

    I agree that 60-70% is more likely, and thus that mid-thirties primary numbers are thus a worry for Labor.

    What I don’t understand is why the order in which the candidates are knocked out in this scenario is important. Assuming that under all orderings Labor and Liberal candidates are the last two remaining (as in most seats), I don’t understand why the order matters.

    Sorry for being off-topic, but I am thoroughly confused!

  19. Andrew Reynolds

    Mark,
    Just to back up your figures. Typically (at least in my experience) Greens preferences only flow about 65 to 67% to the ALP, no matter how the Greens “direct” them. The only exception to this seems to be where a Liberal or Labor candidate has gone out of his or her way to annoy the locals on green issues.
    .
    Zedar,
    I think you will see “that” ALP re-emerge. Expect to see a lot of “progressive” talk around election time, followed by a lot of inaction after it.

  20. Andrew Reynolds

    Mark,
    Just to back up your figures. Typically (at least in my experience) Greens preferences only flow about 65 to 67% to the ALP, no matter how the Greens “direct” them. The only exception to this seems to be where a Liberal or Labor candidate has gone out of his or her way to annoy the locals on green issues.
    .
    Zedar,
    I think you will see “that” ALP re-emerge. Expect to see a lot of “progressive” talk around election time, followed by a lot of inaction after it.

  21. Fine

    Labor needs to get Kevin Sheedy on board. From Q&A.

    KEVIN SHEEDY: Well, look, I think that the one thing I tend to feel that people forget is Kevin Rudd has taken us through a global economic area that we feel like we haven’t been touched in Australia. I don’t think we’ve appreciated what this government actually has done in regard to keeping us away from what’s happened in most of the rest of the world. So I don’t think he’s got very many ticks on that at all. So I’ll be voting for Kevin next so away you go.

  22. Fine

    Labor needs to get Kevin Sheedy on board. From Q&A.

    KEVIN SHEEDY: Well, look, I think that the one thing I tend to feel that people forget is Kevin Rudd has taken us through a global economic area that we feel like we haven’t been touched in Australia. I don’t think we’ve appreciated what this government actually has done in regard to keeping us away from what’s happened in most of the rest of the world. So I don’t think he’s got very many ticks on that at all. So I’ll be voting for Kevin next so away you go.

  23. Mark

    @8 – it’s much more likely that ‘The Others’ vote is a collection of right wing parties and independents than, say, Socialist Alliance, who run only in a tiny proportion of seats where they get a tiny proportion of votes. And I think your comment still seems to assume that there’s a high transfer of preferences from Greens to Labor, almost automatically. The sorts of claims that Labor + Greens = centre-left vote just don’t add up. The likelihood is that Labor loses votes to the Liberals which, by definition, don’t return, and therefore if the Labor primary is low enough, a deficit can’t be made up via Greens preferences.

    Note that I’m not talking in terms of “full equivalents”, which I find quite misleading as a description of how preferential voting operates or can operate in practice.

  24. Mark

    @8 – it’s much more likely that ‘The Others’ vote is a collection of right wing parties and independents than, say, Socialist Alliance, who run only in a tiny proportion of seats where they get a tiny proportion of votes. And I think your comment still seems to assume that there’s a high transfer of preferences from Greens to Labor, almost automatically. The sorts of claims that Labor + Greens = centre-left vote just don’t add up. The likelihood is that Labor loses votes to the Liberals which, by definition, don’t return, and therefore if the Labor primary is low enough, a deficit can’t be made up via Greens preferences.

    Note that I’m not talking in terms of “full equivalents”, which I find quite misleading as a description of how preferential voting operates or can operate in practice.

  25. TerjeP

    Tony Abbott was unwise to dismiss climate science as total crap but very wise to dismiss the proposed ETS. It is an expensive policy that achieves nothing of value.

  26. TerjeP

    Tony Abbott was unwise to dismiss climate science as total crap but very wise to dismiss the proposed ETS. It is an expensive policy that achieves nothing of value.

  27. Mark

    Elsewhere: Ben Eltham on the “Not Happy, Kevin” effect and an excellent piece by Possum analysing Greens preferences.

  28. Mark

    Elsewhere: Ben Eltham on the “Not Happy, Kevin” effect and an excellent piece by Possum analysing Greens preferences.

  29. FMark

    Thanks for clarifying your meaning. I took you to mean that if I vote [1] Greens and [2] Labor in a seat where the Greens have no hope of winning that this is more likely to elect a Liberal than voting [1] Labor.

    I agree with your aggregate analysis of Green’s preference flows.

  30. FMark

    Thanks for clarifying your meaning. I took you to mean that if I vote [1] Greens and [2] Labor in a seat where the Greens have no hope of winning that this is more likely to elect a Liberal than voting [1] Labor.

    I agree with your aggregate analysis of Green’s preference flows.

  31. Mark

    @9 – Fmark, if The Greens are knocked out before another non-major party candidate, then such of their their preferences as are not 2s for the majors don’t go immediately to a major party if the major party is listed below that other candidate. Does that make sense?

  32. Mark

    @9 – Fmark, if The Greens are knocked out before another non-major party candidate, then such of their their preferences as are not 2s for the majors don’t go immediately to a major party if the major party is listed below that other candidate. Does that make sense?

  33. Mark

    @15 – no problems, Fmark.

    I guess what I should have made more clear is that a loss of Labor primary to The Greens is usually accompanied by a loss of primary to the Coalition as well, and that’s where it becomes potentially deadly territory for the ALP.

    This is most likely to happen in suburban and regional marginals, which is what has the ALP worried at the moment.

    As always, it’s the distribution of the vote across seats that is important in close elections. Some of the media commentary seems to suggest that The Greens’ surge is all disillusioned Labor voters in Lindsay Tanner’s seat, or the like. That’s just not so.

    There will be a stack of marginals where The Greens are improving their vote, but the Libs are too.

  34. Mark

    @15 – no problems, Fmark.

    I guess what I should have made more clear is that a loss of Labor primary to The Greens is usually accompanied by a loss of primary to the Coalition as well, and that’s where it becomes potentially deadly territory for the ALP.

    This is most likely to happen in suburban and regional marginals, which is what has the ALP worried at the moment.

    As always, it’s the distribution of the vote across seats that is important in close elections. Some of the media commentary seems to suggest that The Greens’ surge is all disillusioned Labor voters in Lindsay Tanner’s seat, or the like. That’s just not so.

    There will be a stack of marginals where The Greens are improving their vote, but the Libs are too.

  35. adrian

    If I read that friggin’ word ‘backflip’ again, I’ll scream. Eltham only uses it 567 times!

  36. adrian

    If I read that friggin’ word ‘backflip’ again, I’ll scream. Eltham only uses it 567 times!

  37. Lefty E

    Yep, the polls are practically screaming the following.

    “Rudd: give the left something to vote FOR, not merely against.”

  38. Lefty E

    Yep, the polls are practically screaming the following.

    “Rudd: give the left something to vote FOR, not merely against.”

  39. Mr Denmore

    It’s funny I had just finished reading that Van Onselen and Franklin piece in The Australian warning Labor that it risks its voter base by “moving to the left”. This from a newspaper that has spent the past six months accusing Labor of trying to steal Coalition votes from the Right.

    Aside from the fact that the Left-Right axis doesn’t mean much these days (except in the minds of those on the Murdoch payroll), what Labor most needs to do is show that it stands for something. As Zedar @7 said above, Rudd has burnt support by trying to please everyone. That’s a legacy from his success in Opposition playing the small target game.

    He’s going to have to accept, belatedly, that he is going to piss some people off to achieve any sort of meaningful reform. It’s just a shame is he is now trying to do this through the RSPT months out from the election when he could have achieved the same thing a year ago by backing Garnaut. And, then, he would have been at least fulfulling an election promise.

    Hopefully if he gets through this scrape, he sacks his advisers and chooses people who don’t spend their lives inside parliament house reading Newspoll and the Daily Telegraph.

  40. Mr Denmore

    It’s funny I had just finished reading that Van Onselen and Franklin piece in The Australian warning Labor that it risks its voter base by “moving to the left”. This from a newspaper that has spent the past six months accusing Labor of trying to steal Coalition votes from the Right.

    Aside from the fact that the Left-Right axis doesn’t mean much these days (except in the minds of those on the Murdoch payroll), what Labor most needs to do is show that it stands for something. As Zedar @7 said above, Rudd has burnt support by trying to please everyone. That’s a legacy from his success in Opposition playing the small target game.

    He’s going to have to accept, belatedly, that he is going to piss some people off to achieve any sort of meaningful reform. It’s just a shame is he is now trying to do this through the RSPT months out from the election when he could have achieved the same thing a year ago by backing Garnaut. And, then, he would have been at least fulfulling an election promise.

    Hopefully if he gets through this scrape, he sacks his advisers and chooses people who don’t spend their lives inside parliament house reading Newspoll and the Daily Telegraph.

  41. joe2

    Bernard Keane makes some useful points about the Green vote. It is a shame he has to spoil everything by the following comment not mentioned in the quote above @6.

    Which, of course, begs the question whether this mob are even half competent, a question that might take considerable time to resolve.

    The government has shown itself to be more than competent in very many areas and such a throw away line, while it might get him brownie points amongst the blind of the media pack, is not based on even a ‘just fair’ appraisal.

  42. joe2

    Bernard Keane makes some useful points about the Green vote. It is a shame he has to spoil everything by the following comment not mentioned in the quote above @6.

    Which, of course, begs the question whether this mob are even half competent, a question that might take considerable time to resolve.

    The government has shown itself to be more than competent in very many areas and such a throw away line, while it might get him brownie points amongst the blind of the media pack, is not based on even a ‘just fair’ appraisal.

  43. CMMC

    I wonder by how much the polling is skewed by the old land-line telephone.

    An instrument not used by the information-rich electorate, phone polling almost guarantees only an insight into the uniformed.

  44. CMMC

    I wonder by how much the polling is skewed by the old land-line telephone.

    An instrument not used by the information-rich electorate, phone polling almost guarantees only an insight into the uniformed.

  45. Liam

    CMMC, it’s called non-response bias. It’s a problem in that phone polls do tend to poll older people rather than the young and homeowners rather than renters but that doesn’t correlate to informed and uninformed.

  46. Liam

    CMMC, it’s called non-response bias. It’s a problem in that phone polls do tend to poll older people rather than the young and homeowners rather than renters but that doesn’t correlate to informed and uninformed.

  47. David G

    Let’s face it, when voters go to the booths and picture in their mind Abbot, then Rudd, they’ll shake their heads, say, “Fuck it,” and vote for Rudd.

    Abbot was the most ridiculous choice for leader the Liberals could’ve made. Wilson Tuckey has more appeal than him.

    If the Liberals brought back Turnbull in the next few weeks they might still stand a chance though it would be a long-shot!

  48. David G

    Let’s face it, when voters go to the booths and picture in their mind Abbot, then Rudd, they’ll shake their heads, say, “Fuck it,” and vote for Rudd.

    Abbot was the most ridiculous choice for leader the Liberals could’ve made. Wilson Tuckey has more appeal than him.

    If the Liberals brought back Turnbull in the next few weeks they might still stand a chance though it would be a long-shot!

  49. Howard Cunningham

    If Rudd had just dealt with the Greens on the ETS, he would be avoided this growing narrative that he cannot get anything done effectively, without fatalities or incredible government wastage. After turning right, he could have then turned left, but chose not to. I have no idea why he didn’t.

    The die was cast with Turnbull, as it is now with Rudd. The only thing in Rudd’s favour is Abbott’s propensity to say something galatically stupid and offensive. Other than that, it will be unpredictable right up to polling day.

  50. Howard Cunningham

    If Rudd had just dealt with the Greens on the ETS, he would be avoided this growing narrative that he cannot get anything done effectively, without fatalities or incredible government wastage. After turning right, he could have then turned left, but chose not to. I have no idea why he didn’t.

    The die was cast with Turnbull, as it is now with Rudd. The only thing in Rudd’s favour is Abbott’s propensity to say something galatically stupid and offensive. Other than that, it will be unpredictable right up to polling day.

  51. mediatracker

    This election we will probably see an even larger roll-call of candidates from new parties and the pre-election dealing on preferences will take weeks to sort through with goodness knows what on offer for second preferences. A check of the electoral site from the last election, particularly for the Senate, gives some indication of the double-dealing arrangements that took place.

    If some of the polling is fairly accurate then to my mind there is something going on beneath the radar rather than above it to account for it, although at this point I’m still happy to put my money on Labor.

  52. mediatracker

    This election we will probably see an even larger roll-call of candidates from new parties and the pre-election dealing on preferences will take weeks to sort through with goodness knows what on offer for second preferences. A check of the electoral site from the last election, particularly for the Senate, gives some indication of the double-dealing arrangements that took place.

    If some of the polling is fairly accurate then to my mind there is something going on beneath the radar rather than above it to account for it, although at this point I’m still happy to put my money on Labor.

  53. myriad74

    I really think people massively underestimate Abbott to their peril. I think of him versus Rudd as being rather similar to the Dubya vs Gore. The latter too smart by half and initially liked by the electorate who then got turned off by his smarts; the former great at spitting out completely nonsensical drivel littered with the word ‘folks’ that is apparently charming -rather in the same way Abbott spouts ‘home truths’ complete with lashings of political incorrectness and that’s somehow attractive.

    just my small take.

  54. myriad74

    I really think people massively underestimate Abbott to their peril. I think of him versus Rudd as being rather similar to the Dubya vs Gore. The latter too smart by half and initially liked by the electorate who then got turned off by his smarts; the former great at spitting out completely nonsensical drivel littered with the word ‘folks’ that is apparently charming -rather in the same way Abbott spouts ‘home truths’ complete with lashings of political incorrectness and that’s somehow attractive.

    just my small take.

  55. patrickg

    Myriad, your take doesn’t account for the fact that voting is compulsory here – if everyone in America voted, it’s likely Republicans would never be in power again. Never mind the massive electoral fraud that happened in that election…

  56. patrickg

    Myriad, your take doesn’t account for the fact that voting is compulsory here – if everyone in America voted, it’s likely Republicans would never be in power again. Never mind the massive electoral fraud that happened in that election…

  57. myriad74

    I’m not really looking at the detail patrickg, I’m just musing on electoral appeal. I think that people like Abbott who seem so unsaleable etc. are frequently underestimated. Or should I say misunderestimated.

    Of course another key difference is that Abbott is much smarter than Dubya – although arguably almost as good at hiding it.

  58. myriad74

    I’m not really looking at the detail patrickg, I’m just musing on electoral appeal. I think that people like Abbott who seem so unsaleable etc. are frequently underestimated. Or should I say misunderestimated.

    Of course another key difference is that Abbott is much smarter than Dubya – although arguably almost as good at hiding it.

  59. patrickg

    I still disagree:

    Mark Latham,
    Brogden in QLD,
    Debnam in NSW (a plethora of hopeless lib leaders, actually),
    Downer,
    etc etc

    It’s not possible to gain leadership from opposition when you are the electoral equivalent of radium, at least in Australia.

    Shit, Howard was in a much worse position and say what you like about Beazely he wasn’t anywhere near as noxious as Abbott (to the electorate), yet Howard still fought back twice against him, and once against Latham where he was also down.

    The advantage of incumbency is not to be overlooked, especially against a widely-perceived “risk”.

  60. patrickg

    I still disagree:

    Mark Latham,
    Brogden in QLD,
    Debnam in NSW (a plethora of hopeless lib leaders, actually),
    Downer,
    etc etc

    It’s not possible to gain leadership from opposition when you are the electoral equivalent of radium, at least in Australia.

    Shit, Howard was in a much worse position and say what you like about Beazely he wasn’t anywhere near as noxious as Abbott (to the electorate), yet Howard still fought back twice against him, and once against Latham where he was also down.

    The advantage of incumbency is not to be overlooked, especially against a widely-perceived “risk”.

  61. patrickg

    Sorry that should be Brogden in NSW, Springborg in QLD.

  62. patrickg

    Sorry that should be Brogden in NSW, Springborg in QLD.

  63. Tyro Rex

    “If Rudd had just dealt with the Greens on the ETS,”

    Not this shibboleth again. How would they have got the extra two votes to pass the bill?

    On the other hand, if the Green had held their noses and voted for the bill, there would be a bill already passed. Two Liberals voted for the ALP bill.

    The Greens defeated the bill.

    This they may like to ponder if myriad74 is right and Abbott turns out to win at the next election.

  64. Tyro Rex

    “If Rudd had just dealt with the Greens on the ETS,”

    Not this shibboleth again. How would they have got the extra two votes to pass the bill?

    On the other hand, if the Green had held their noses and voted for the bill, there would be a bill already passed. Two Liberals voted for the ALP bill.

    The Greens defeated the bill.

    This they may like to ponder if myriad74 is right and Abbott turns out to win at the next election.

  65. John D

    Mark is right to say that “Labor’s current plight is not just about messaging or communication, but also about policy.” (And the details of policy such as the RSPT.)

    However, we part company when Mark says:

    I agree that outlining a path back towards an ETS would be a very good start.

    It is a mistake to assume that people would be mollified if Rudd sis another backflip and brought forward the date when he promised to consider ETS again. He would still be caught with the problem of explaining why something as turgid as the CPRS is a better way to go would be better than some form of direct action that people can understand.

    What people want is some serious action on climate change, preferably starting before the election. Serious action means a plan setting out what is going to happen when and what effect it will have on our emissions. Part of Rudd’s problem is that he seems to believe that ETS is the only option. As a consequence he had,t thought through the alternatives and had nothing to offer when he decided the CPRS was just too hard.

    It wouldn’t take too much effort to come up with a more convincing direct action plan than what Abbot has on the table at the moment.

  66. John D

    Mark is right to say that “Labor’s current plight is not just about messaging or communication, but also about policy.” (And the details of policy such as the RSPT.)

    However, we part company when Mark says:

    I agree that outlining a path back towards an ETS would be a very good start.

    It is a mistake to assume that people would be mollified if Rudd sis another backflip and brought forward the date when he promised to consider ETS again. He would still be caught with the problem of explaining why something as turgid as the CPRS is a better way to go would be better than some form of direct action that people can understand.

    What people want is some serious action on climate change, preferably starting before the election. Serious action means a plan setting out what is going to happen when and what effect it will have on our emissions. Part of Rudd’s problem is that he seems to believe that ETS is the only option. As a consequence he had,t thought through the alternatives and had nothing to offer when he decided the CPRS was just too hard.

    It wouldn’t take too much effort to come up with a more convincing direct action plan than what Abbot has on the table at the moment.

  67. adrian

    What most people actually want is serious action on climate change as long as they don’t have to sacrifice much to make it possible.

    In the current political climate of confected mass outrage on all sides, and politics played as a spectator sport by the media, I’m afraid that it’s just not possible to get serious action. The CPRS may have been turgid to you, but at least it was a start. Thanks in part to the Greens we have nothing but a vague hope for serious action. Some hope that will be if Abbott gets elected.

  68. adrian

    What most people actually want is serious action on climate change as long as they don’t have to sacrifice much to make it possible.

    In the current political climate of confected mass outrage on all sides, and politics played as a spectator sport by the media, I’m afraid that it’s just not possible to get serious action. The CPRS may have been turgid to you, but at least it was a start. Thanks in part to the Greens we have nothing but a vague hope for serious action. Some hope that will be if Abbott gets elected.

  69. Fine

    What would be very interesting is if the Libs are elected and the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate. What a barney that would be.

  70. Fine

    What would be very interesting is if the Libs are elected and the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate. What a barney that would be.

  71. Lefty E

    “The Greens defeated the bill.

    This they may like to ponder if myriad74 is right and Abbott turns out to win at the next election.”

    The Greens (quite reasonably, from their perspective) reasoned this dud, turnbull-approved, watered down bill would be greatly improved if passed after they held sole BOP, following the 2010 election.

    The Greens could hardly have predicted Rudd would suddenly dump the whole agenda, one of his main pitches since 2006, when Abbott said ‘Boo’.

    Neither did the Oz public, judging by the current polls. That was a decision he and the ALP cabinet made alone.

  72. Lefty E

    “The Greens defeated the bill.

    This they may like to ponder if myriad74 is right and Abbott turns out to win at the next election.”

    The Greens (quite reasonably, from their perspective) reasoned this dud, turnbull-approved, watered down bill would be greatly improved if passed after they held sole BOP, following the 2010 election.

    The Greens could hardly have predicted Rudd would suddenly dump the whole agenda, one of his main pitches since 2006, when Abbott said ‘Boo’.

    Neither did the Oz public, judging by the current polls. That was a decision he and the ALP cabinet made alone.

  73. Jacques de Molay

    From the VO article:

    Strategist Bruce Hawker, whose Hawker Britton counts Labor among its clients, said concern about Labor’s left flank and its response to Mr Rudd’s shelving of plans for carbon emissions trading was not the government’s greatest problem. “At the end of the day people who are concerned about Rudd’s policies on the CPRS (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme) and are now parking their votes with the Greens are going to struggle to give their votes to Tony Abbott, someone who has described climate change as absolute crap,” Mr Hawker said.

    This quote here essentially sums up why I’ll be voting for the Greens this time and then preferencing the Libs ahead of the ALP. The Rudd Government continue to take the piss out of the Left in their move to the Right and it’s sad to hear they plan to move even further to the Right. Like I’ve said before this has all been going on with the SA Labor party for sometime. Move to the Right in a bid to steal right-leaning voters from the Liberal party assuming the Left will always in the end vote Labor.

    The problem with this mind numbing logic is that rusted on Liberal Party voters will never vote for the ALP. The Rudd Government could come out tomorrow in their endless pursuit to beat up on the most vulnerable people in society and say they plan to lock up all unemployed/single parents/disabled on welfare after six months and shoot boat people on arrival and hardcore right-wingers still wouldn’t vote for them (the mandatory internet filter is just a blatant grab for the right-wing Christian vote).

    Hawker and the other gimps advising this pathetic Rudd Government have destroyed the credibility of the SA Labor party and clearly are trying to do the same at federal level. Yes, in SA Hawker and co ran a ‘great’ (dishonest doesn’t even begin to describe the shit they got up to) marginal seat strategy to gift the ALP government despite losing the majority vote with major swings against the ALP in safe Labor seats but at what cost? All the ALP stands for these days is the pursuit of power.

  74. Jacques de Molay

    From the VO article:

    Strategist Bruce Hawker, whose Hawker Britton counts Labor among its clients, said concern about Labor’s left flank and its response to Mr Rudd’s shelving of plans for carbon emissions trading was not the government’s greatest problem. “At the end of the day people who are concerned about Rudd’s policies on the CPRS (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme) and are now parking their votes with the Greens are going to struggle to give their votes to Tony Abbott, someone who has described climate change as absolute crap,” Mr Hawker said.

    This quote here essentially sums up why I’ll be voting for the Greens this time and then preferencing the Libs ahead of the ALP. The Rudd Government continue to take the piss out of the Left in their move to the Right and it’s sad to hear they plan to move even further to the Right. Like I’ve said before this has all been going on with the SA Labor party for sometime. Move to the Right in a bid to steal right-leaning voters from the Liberal party assuming the Left will always in the end vote Labor.

    The problem with this mind numbing logic is that rusted on Liberal Party voters will never vote for the ALP. The Rudd Government could come out tomorrow in their endless pursuit to beat up on the most vulnerable people in society and say they plan to lock up all unemployed/single parents/disabled on welfare after six months and shoot boat people on arrival and hardcore right-wingers still wouldn’t vote for them (the mandatory internet filter is just a blatant grab for the right-wing Christian vote).

    Hawker and the other gimps advising this pathetic Rudd Government have destroyed the credibility of the SA Labor party and clearly are trying to do the same at federal level. Yes, in SA Hawker and co ran a ‘great’ (dishonest doesn’t even begin to describe the shit they got up to) marginal seat strategy to gift the ALP government despite losing the majority vote with major swings against the ALP in safe Labor seats but at what cost? All the ALP stands for these days is the pursuit of power.

  75. myriad74

    Patrickg, when Dubya was picked as the republican choice people howled with laughter, thought he was the equivalent of radium to the electorate and couldn’t possibly be taken seriously as a threat etc etc. the parallel is underestimating the enemy.

    Tryo Rex I’m not saying Abbott will win, I just worry that if too many people continue to underestimate him, he will.

    And speaking of shibboleths, looks like pot calling kettle black re: Greens and the ETS. If you really don’t understand why the bill wasn’t even supportable with the nose held, you can read all about it here.

    It’s also been explained here ad nauseum that a) there was actually a quite real possibility of getting the two extra votes required if the ALP had worked with the Greens, but they never even tried.

    - and b) it never ceases to amaze me how much people have forgotten or don’t understand what the weight of public opinion in terms of pressure on the opposition could have achieved, yet was never utilised by Rudd, despite having polls that showed overwhelmingly the public wanted real action on climate change. Difficult legislation has made it through very diverse senates before, with Greens in the mix along with Harradine. The ALP never even tried to seriously utilise the cross-bench. That much is obvious from their non-record of negotiating with us for starters.

  76. myriad74

    Patrickg, when Dubya was picked as the republican choice people howled with laughter, thought he was the equivalent of radium to the electorate and couldn’t possibly be taken seriously as a threat etc etc. the parallel is underestimating the enemy.

    Tryo Rex I’m not saying Abbott will win, I just worry that if too many people continue to underestimate him, he will.

    And speaking of shibboleths, looks like pot calling kettle black re: Greens and the ETS. If you really don’t understand why the bill wasn’t even supportable with the nose held, you can read all about it here.

    It’s also been explained here ad nauseum that a) there was actually a quite real possibility of getting the two extra votes required if the ALP had worked with the Greens, but they never even tried.

    - and b) it never ceases to amaze me how much people have forgotten or don’t understand what the weight of public opinion in terms of pressure on the opposition could have achieved, yet was never utilised by Rudd, despite having polls that showed overwhelmingly the public wanted real action on climate change. Difficult legislation has made it through very diverse senates before, with Greens in the mix along with Harradine. The ALP never even tried to seriously utilise the cross-bench. That much is obvious from their non-record of negotiating with us for starters.

  77. Lefty E

    Why doesnt Rudd just say – “if the coalition wont pass it now under Abbott, despite all their prior negotiations with is, we’ll negotiate a new one with the cross benches after the 2010 election. ”

    “Ive been listening, and I now appreciate 2013 is too long to wait for concrete action. That was wrong, and I take full responsibility for the breach of faith. But we have had to adjust from a bipartisan approach – and in that process had to reevaluate. We will set the country on a path that is flexible enough to match world action in the mid-term – but we will start next term. We therefore ask for your support in this coming election”

    or similar… Come on, this is not that hard to spin.

  78. Lefty E

    Why doesnt Rudd just say – “if the coalition wont pass it now under Abbott, despite all their prior negotiations with is, we’ll negotiate a new one with the cross benches after the 2010 election. ”

    “Ive been listening, and I now appreciate 2013 is too long to wait for concrete action. That was wrong, and I take full responsibility for the breach of faith. But we have had to adjust from a bipartisan approach – and in that process had to reevaluate. We will set the country on a path that is flexible enough to match world action in the mid-term – but we will start next term. We therefore ask for your support in this coming election”

    or similar… Come on, this is not that hard to spin.

  79. Labor Outsider

    Nice analysis Mark

    I was looking through the history of Newspoll’s net satisfaction figures this morning and found it quite interesting. In of itself, Rudd’s negative net satisfaction of -18% isn’t an outlier for PM’s over the past 25 years. Howard had long streches in 97, 98 and 2001 with much larger net dissatisfaction than Rudd has now, while Keating’s net satisfaction was below -20% for almost his entire premiership (the only time it was close to even was during the 93 campaign and then election). Even Hawkey had worse figures than Rudd has now during the early 90s recession.

    However, if I were an ALP strategist I would still be concerned for the following reasons. First, in 2001, Howard benefited from both Tampa and 9/11. It seems unlikely that a similar event will benefit Rudd on this occasion. In 1993, Keating was able to campaign hard against Fightback. Again, there is no similarly unpopular coalition policy to campaign against this time.

    Second, on many occasions where PM’s experienced large net dissatisfaction in the past, the economy was in trouble and unemployment heading up. Hawkey never had a large net dissatisfaction rating until the recession hit, and even then the leader of the opposition was vastly more unpopular. Rudd on the other hand has seen his net satisfaction crumble during a healthy economic recovery.

    Third, while Rudd’s unpopularity right now is not unusual, the speed of the transformation in the way the electorate sees him is unusual. At the beginning of October last year, Rudd enjoyed a net satisfaction of 43%! So that is a 60 percentage point turn-around in 8 months. There is no precedent for this in the history of Newspoll. Howard was very popular in the first few months after the 96 election, but that faded much quicker than Rudd’s initial popularity, and then the slide into relative unpopularity was slower. Rudd should be concerned as much about the trend in net satisfaction as the level.

    All of that said, there is of course still hope. A large net dissatisfaction rating now doesn’t imply that there won’t be a change by the time the election comes around. In 1998 Howard pulled himself out of a bigger hole and with a far more popular opposition leader to contend with (the coalition did lose the 2pp vote though).

    But I would be wary of this “people won’t elect Abbott” line. Compared to many past opposition leaders Abbott isn’t either particularly popular or unpopular. While there will be more focus on the opposition during a campaign, a government and PM with an image problem need to be wary of a protest vote. Not only are they communicating their policies badly, but the policy formulation itself has been poor. Junking, or appearing to junk core committments that the electorate thought were the key to your political identity is a dangerous thing to do.

  80. Labor Outsider

    Nice analysis Mark

    I was looking through the history of Newspoll’s net satisfaction figures this morning and found it quite interesting. In of itself, Rudd’s negative net satisfaction of -18% isn’t an outlier for PM’s over the past 25 years. Howard had long streches in 97, 98 and 2001 with much larger net dissatisfaction than Rudd has now, while Keating’s net satisfaction was below -20% for almost his entire premiership (the only time it was close to even was during the 93 campaign and then election). Even Hawkey had worse figures than Rudd has now during the early 90s recession.

    However, if I were an ALP strategist I would still be concerned for the following reasons. First, in 2001, Howard benefited from both Tampa and 9/11. It seems unlikely that a similar event will benefit Rudd on this occasion. In 1993, Keating was able to campaign hard against Fightback. Again, there is no similarly unpopular coalition policy to campaign against this time.

    Second, on many occasions where PM’s experienced large net dissatisfaction in the past, the economy was in trouble and unemployment heading up. Hawkey never had a large net dissatisfaction rating until the recession hit, and even then the leader of the opposition was vastly more unpopular. Rudd on the other hand has seen his net satisfaction crumble during a healthy economic recovery.

    Third, while Rudd’s unpopularity right now is not unusual, the speed of the transformation in the way the electorate sees him is unusual. At the beginning of October last year, Rudd enjoyed a net satisfaction of 43%! So that is a 60 percentage point turn-around in 8 months. There is no precedent for this in the history of Newspoll. Howard was very popular in the first few months after the 96 election, but that faded much quicker than Rudd’s initial popularity, and then the slide into relative unpopularity was slower. Rudd should be concerned as much about the trend in net satisfaction as the level.

    All of that said, there is of course still hope. A large net dissatisfaction rating now doesn’t imply that there won’t be a change by the time the election comes around. In 1998 Howard pulled himself out of a bigger hole and with a far more popular opposition leader to contend with (the coalition did lose the 2pp vote though).

    But I would be wary of this “people won’t elect Abbott” line. Compared to many past opposition leaders Abbott isn’t either particularly popular or unpopular. While there will be more focus on the opposition during a campaign, a government and PM with an image problem need to be wary of a protest vote. Not only are they communicating their policies badly, but the policy formulation itself has been poor. Junking, or appearing to junk core committments that the electorate thought were the key to your political identity is a dangerous thing to do.

  81. Liam

    Myriad, your link’s busted.
    In shibbolethology: if you’re willing to countenance the possibility that Abbott will win, why aren’t you willing to articulate the fear that the Greens won’t get the balance of power? It’s probable I grant you, but elections throw up all kinds of nasty surprises.
    The Greens’ negotiating strategy was based on getting a better deal next time. If Abbott wins there’s no next time.

  82. Liam

    Myriad, your link’s busted.
    In shibbolethology: if you’re willing to countenance the possibility that Abbott will win, why aren’t you willing to articulate the fear that the Greens won’t get the balance of power? It’s probable I grant you, but elections throw up all kinds of nasty surprises.
    The Greens’ negotiating strategy was based on getting a better deal next time. If Abbott wins there’s no next time.

  83. Mark

    @40 – thanks, LO, and that’s a useful addition to the historical perspective.

    I’d agree, as I said in the post, that more needs to be done than just pointing to Abbott’s unsuitability for office. It only takes you so far. Again, while I think the hesitation before going for Springborg was decisive in the Queensland campaign, it only succeeded because Bligh had a good positive story to tell. The fact that her performance since re-election has so contradicted that story has explained much of her own precipitous decline in approval. Rudd could learn a lot from that example, correctly understood.

  84. Mark

    @40 – thanks, LO, and that’s a useful addition to the historical perspective.

    I’d agree, as I said in the post, that more needs to be done than just pointing to Abbott’s unsuitability for office. It only takes you so far. Again, while I think the hesitation before going for Springborg was decisive in the Queensland campaign, it only succeeded because Bligh had a good positive story to tell. The fact that her performance since re-election has so contradicted that story has explained much of her own precipitous decline in approval. Rudd could learn a lot from that example, correctly understood.

  85. adrian

    “The Greens’ negotiating strategy was based on getting a better deal next time. If Abbott wins there’s no next time.”

    Exactly, particularly if people like Jacques de Molay think it’s a great strategy to preference the Libs 2nd.

  86. adrian

    “The Greens’ negotiating strategy was based on getting a better deal next time. If Abbott wins there’s no next time.”

    Exactly, particularly if people like Jacques de Molay think it’s a great strategy to preference the Libs 2nd.

  87. myriad74

    let’s try this then

    Liam, the Green’s negotiating strategy was based on ‘this legislation is so bad it takes us backwards so there’s no point in voting for it, it’s irredeemable’.

    I wasn’t aware I was being unwilling to ‘articulate a fear about the greens not getting balance of power’, in fact until you just brought it up I wasn’t aware it was being discussed.

    So to answer – of course it’s a possibility. I think what you’re not getting is that it really did come down to ‘this legislation is unsupportable’, not some sort of cunning calculus. We’ve discussed enough here the polls showing that the CPRS debate was such a dog’s breakfast that the public didn’t understand it and even a fair swag of green voters didn’t understand the green’s position. I think that makes it pretty self-evident that this was a decision based on a piece of legislation that really was the definition of ‘when something is worse than nothing’ and we’ll have to wear the consequences of sticking to that.

  88. myriad74

    let’s try this then

    Liam, the Green’s negotiating strategy was based on ‘this legislation is so bad it takes us backwards so there’s no point in voting for it, it’s irredeemable’.

    I wasn’t aware I was being unwilling to ‘articulate a fear about the greens not getting balance of power’, in fact until you just brought it up I wasn’t aware it was being discussed.

    So to answer – of course it’s a possibility. I think what you’re not getting is that it really did come down to ‘this legislation is unsupportable’, not some sort of cunning calculus. We’ve discussed enough here the polls showing that the CPRS debate was such a dog’s breakfast that the public didn’t understand it and even a fair swag of green voters didn’t understand the green’s position. I think that makes it pretty self-evident that this was a decision based on a piece of legislation that really was the definition of ‘when something is worse than nothing’ and we’ll have to wear the consequences of sticking to that.

  89. Sacha

    Anyone who thought the legislation was worse than nothing could not have understood it.

  90. Sacha

    Anyone who thought the legislation was worse than nothing could not have understood it.

  91. Mark

    I’m not exactly saying it’s off topic, but the question of why the ETS failed has been rehashed again and again, and I’m not sure much further light will be shed on it. I’m more interested, in this post, in discussing how things will or should evolve from here, though I do recognise that can’t be discussed except in the context of how we got here.

  92. Mark

    I’m not exactly saying it’s off topic, but the question of why the ETS failed has been rehashed again and again, and I’m not sure much further light will be shed on it. I’m more interested, in this post, in discussing how things will or should evolve from here, though I do recognise that can’t be discussed except in the context of how we got here.

  93. Mark

    @40 –

    Third, while Rudd’s unpopularity right now is not unusual, the speed of the transformation in the way the electorate sees him is unusual.

    Yes, it is, LO.

    I think what’s happened here, in terms of its significance, ties in with the current disillusionment with politics as usual (which we also saw in a different register in the British election). Rudd’s very high levels of popularity were founded on a sense that he was someone genuinely aware of and concerned about a raft of problems politicians typically refused to tackle (not just climate change – also a heap of issues around what influences daily lives). That’s why the ETS backdown was the killer, not so much for the merits of the issue.

    Abbott’s strategy sought to pull him back to the pack of politicians and was supposed to be countered by a claim that he was less ambitious about what politics can do. That bit hasn’t worked, as people still have the same sentiments they had in 2008 – that they want politicians to focus on the really important issues (and here all the micro-announcement media cycle stuff probably has worked to Rudd’s disadvantage). Abbott has succeeded in blackening himself, and the regard for the poltical system and confidence in any politician being able to get to grips with our problems, as much as he has dented Rudd.

    I might develop this further at a later point, but in short, I think that’s what explains the quick and huge turnaround.

  94. Mark

    @40 –

    Third, while Rudd’s unpopularity right now is not unusual, the speed of the transformation in the way the electorate sees him is unusual.

    Yes, it is, LO.

    I think what’s happened here, in terms of its significance, ties in with the current disillusionment with politics as usual (which we also saw in a different register in the British election). Rudd’s very high levels of popularity were founded on a sense that he was someone genuinely aware of and concerned about a raft of problems politicians typically refused to tackle (not just climate change – also a heap of issues around what influences daily lives). That’s why the ETS backdown was the killer, not so much for the merits of the issue.

    Abbott’s strategy sought to pull him back to the pack of politicians and was supposed to be countered by a claim that he was less ambitious about what politics can do. That bit hasn’t worked, as people still have the same sentiments they had in 2008 – that they want politicians to focus on the really important issues (and here all the micro-announcement media cycle stuff probably has worked to Rudd’s disadvantage). Abbott has succeeded in blackening himself, and the regard for the poltical system and confidence in any politician being able to get to grips with our problems, as much as he has dented Rudd.

    I might develop this further at a later point, but in short, I think that’s what explains the quick and huge turnaround.

  95. adrian

    Quite honestly, I don’t know what can be done, because whatever Rudd does will be portrayed in a negative light. As Patricia and others have noted, the depth of anger seems out of all proportion to the reality of the government’s achievements.

    Maybe they should start aggressively selling the positive achievements of the government (Rudd does seem a bit reticent to do this) as per this list borrowed from Poll Bludger (hope the poster James Bodentown doesn’t mind me copying it, but I think it needs repeating):

    Kevin Rudd’s real report card
    2008, 2009, 2010

    Fight off recession – A+++++++++++++
    Best performing economy in developed world – A+++++++++++++
    Biggest infrastructure development in Australian history – A+++++++++++++
    Low unemployment – A+++++++++++++
    Lowest debt in developed world – A+++++++++++++
    Fastest growth in developed world – A+++++++++++++
    Scrapping Workchoices – A+++++++++++++
    Upgrades for every school in Australia – A+++++++++++++
    Biggest school funding injection of all time – A+++++++++++++
    Giving tens of thousands of extra computers to schools in need – A+++++++++++++
    A National Curriculum – A+++++++++++++
    Emphasis on early childhood education – A+++++++++++++
    Biggest health and hospitals reforms since medicare – A+++++++++++++
    50% increase in hospital funding – A+++++++++++++
    Majority Federal funding for health and hospitals – A+++++++++++++
    Cancer centres – A+++++++++++++
    Dozens more GP Plus Super Clinics – A+++++++++++++
    $35 billion Road, Rail and Port funding – A+++++++++++++
    Thousands more doctors and nurses – A+++++++++++++
    1,300 more hospital beds – A+++++++++++++
    Reduced emergency waiting times – A+++++++++++++
    Improved GP After Hours access – A+++++++++++++
    Trades Training Centres – A+++++++++++++
    Simpler tax returns – A+++++++++++++
    Biggest investment in renewables in Australian history – A+++++++++++++
    Ratifying Kyoto – A+++++++++++++
    20% renewable energy target by 2020 – A+++++++++++++
    Strengthening ties with Asian neighbours – A+++++++++++++
    Maintaining strong ties with US – A+++++++++++++
    Increasing overseas aid – A+++++++++++++
    Long term planning for defence – A+++++++++++++
    Massive investment in border security – A+++++++++++++
    $12 billion national water strategy – A+++++++++++++
    Huge pension increases – A+++++++++++++
    Better pension indexation – A+++++++++++++
    Humane approach to asylum seekers – A+++++++++++++
    Cutting income tax for 3 years in a row – A+++++++++++++
    Cutting company tax – A+++++++++++++
    Making miners pay their fare share – A+++++++++++++
    Developing infrastructure for the future – A+++++++++++++
    Increasing the superannuation guarantee – A+++++++++++++
    Massive university funding – A+++++++++++++
    Developing High Speed Broadband for all Australians – A+++++++++++++
    Concessions for small business – A+++++++++++++
    Massive investment in social housing – A+++++++++++++
    Cutting red tape – A+++++++++++++
    Doubling child care rebate – A+++++++++++++
    First paid parental leave scheme ever – A+++++++++++++

  96. adrian

    Quite honestly, I don’t know what can be done, because whatever Rudd does will be portrayed in a negative light. As Patricia and others have noted, the depth of anger seems out of all proportion to the reality of the government’s achievements.

    Maybe they should start aggressively selling the positive achievements of the government (Rudd does seem a bit reticent to do this) as per this list borrowed from Poll Bludger (hope the poster James Bodentown doesn’t mind me copying it, but I think it needs repeating):

    Kevin Rudd’s real report card
    2008, 2009, 2010

    Fight off recession – A+++++++++++++
    Best performing economy in developed world – A+++++++++++++
    Biggest infrastructure development in Australian history – A+++++++++++++
    Low unemployment – A+++++++++++++
    Lowest debt in developed world – A+++++++++++++
    Fastest growth in developed world – A+++++++++++++
    Scrapping Workchoices – A+++++++++++++
    Upgrades for every school in Australia – A+++++++++++++
    Biggest school funding injection of all time – A+++++++++++++
    Giving tens of thousands of extra computers to schools in need – A+++++++++++++
    A National Curriculum – A+++++++++++++
    Emphasis on early childhood education – A+++++++++++++
    Biggest health and hospitals reforms since medicare – A+++++++++++++
    50% increase in hospital funding – A+++++++++++++
    Majority Federal funding for health and hospitals – A+++++++++++++
    Cancer centres – A+++++++++++++
    Dozens more GP Plus Super Clinics – A+++++++++++++
    $35 billion Road, Rail and Port funding – A+++++++++++++
    Thousands more doctors and nurses – A+++++++++++++
    1,300 more hospital beds – A+++++++++++++
    Reduced emergency waiting times – A+++++++++++++
    Improved GP After Hours access – A+++++++++++++
    Trades Training Centres – A+++++++++++++
    Simpler tax returns – A+++++++++++++
    Biggest investment in renewables in Australian history – A+++++++++++++
    Ratifying Kyoto – A+++++++++++++
    20% renewable energy target by 2020 – A+++++++++++++
    Strengthening ties with Asian neighbours – A+++++++++++++
    Maintaining strong ties with US – A+++++++++++++
    Increasing overseas aid – A+++++++++++++
    Long term planning for defence – A+++++++++++++
    Massive investment in border security – A+++++++++++++
    $12 billion national water strategy – A+++++++++++++
    Huge pension increases – A+++++++++++++
    Better pension indexation – A+++++++++++++
    Humane approach to asylum seekers – A+++++++++++++
    Cutting income tax for 3 years in a row – A+++++++++++++
    Cutting company tax – A+++++++++++++
    Making miners pay their fare share – A+++++++++++++
    Developing infrastructure for the future – A+++++++++++++
    Increasing the superannuation guarantee – A+++++++++++++
    Massive university funding – A+++++++++++++
    Developing High Speed Broadband for all Australians – A+++++++++++++
    Concessions for small business – A+++++++++++++
    Massive investment in social housing – A+++++++++++++
    Cutting red tape – A+++++++++++++
    Doubling child care rebate – A+++++++++++++
    First paid parental leave scheme ever – A+++++++++++++

  97. Mark

    @48 – it might have been better to link to that, adrian.

    I can see two problems with it:

    (a) A lot of the claims don’t look so convincing to those actually aware of the detail. I’m sure I’m not the only one working in the university sector who would think “Massive university funding” is a complete joke, and give the Rudd government much lower than an A+++++++++++++! That’s not to say I don’t recognise what they have done, and the contraints and problems they’ve faced, but this sort of partisan hyperbole really has reached a point of diminishing returns;

    (b) That takes me to the related point – governments don’t get “credit” in the same way they did for past achievements, even if those are genuine (and it is absolutely true to say that Rudd has kept most of his promises, except the ones it was most important to keep). That’s because voters now engage in something of a dialectical calculus between what their present circumstances are and the needs of the country into the future. The sort of “report card” style politics, first pioneered by Tony Blair in the 1990s, and taken up with abandon by State Labor governments has passed its use by date.

    And I’d return to the point made in the post, and it was interesting to see Keane reporting today that some Labor MPs are aware of it – the government’s problems go beyond communication, messaging and a hostile media. That should be a given in discussing where to go from here.

  98. Mark

    @48 – it might have been better to link to that, adrian.

    I can see two problems with it:

    (a) A lot of the claims don’t look so convincing to those actually aware of the detail. I’m sure I’m not the only one working in the university sector who would think “Massive university funding” is a complete joke, and give the Rudd government much lower than an A+++++++++++++! That’s not to say I don’t recognise what they have done, and the contraints and problems they’ve faced, but this sort of partisan hyperbole really has reached a point of diminishing returns;

    (b) That takes me to the related point – governments don’t get “credit” in the same way they did for past achievements, even if those are genuine (and it is absolutely true to say that Rudd has kept most of his promises, except the ones it was most important to keep). That’s because voters now engage in something of a dialectical calculus between what their present circumstances are and the needs of the country into the future. The sort of “report card” style politics, first pioneered by Tony Blair in the 1990s, and taken up with abandon by State Labor governments has passed its use by date.

    And I’d return to the point made in the post, and it was interesting to see Keane reporting today that some Labor MPs are aware of it – the government’s problems go beyond communication, messaging and a hostile media. That should be a given in discussing where to go from here.

  99. Labor Outsider

    Shorter Adrian – the government is brilliant – everything they have done deserves an A+ rating – it is completely unfair that those rotten voters don’t see things the same way – it must be the media’s fault.

    Rudd enjoyed a massive net satisfaction rating as late as October last year Adrian. He held that rating despite an often highly critical media. Do you seriously believe that all or even most of the transformation over the past few months can be explained by an intensification of parts of the MSM’s campaign against government policies?

  100. Labor Outsider

    Shorter Adrian – the government is brilliant – everything they have done deserves an A+ rating – it is completely unfair that those rotten voters don’t see things the same way – it must be the media’s fault.

    Rudd enjoyed a massive net satisfaction rating as late as October last year Adrian. He held that rating despite an often highly critical media. Do you seriously believe that all or even most of the transformation over the past few months can be explained by an intensification of parts of the MSM’s campaign against government policies?

  101. Mark

    @50 – While I agree with you, LO, I would note one material and concrete way the MSM campaign has affected Rudd – through provoking some of the famous ‘backflips’ – particularly on the pink batts. Here, I think part of the problem was Garrett’s inability to prosecute a political argument rather than defend his own integrity in a lawyerly way. I think they should have held their nerve in the face of the onslaught, much as Gillard has in the face of all the distortions and rubbish in the anti-BER campaign.

  102. Mark

    @50 – While I agree with you, LO, I would note one material and concrete way the MSM campaign has affected Rudd – through provoking some of the famous ‘backflips’ – particularly on the pink batts. Here, I think part of the problem was Garrett’s inability to prosecute a political argument rather than defend his own integrity in a lawyerly way. I think they should have held their nerve in the face of the onslaught, much as Gillard has in the face of all the distortions and rubbish in the anti-BER campaign.

  103. CMMC

    Brogden is my cousin, born and raised in Leichhardt, NSW.

    Seriously, all this hand-wringing and doubt regarding Kevin Rudd just reminds me of the (brief) Whitlam era.

    He was the devil incarnate according to the right-wing media and a capitalist sell-out according to the left.

    And guess who won? Well, you don’t really have to guess.

  104. CMMC

    Brogden is my cousin, born and raised in Leichhardt, NSW.

    Seriously, all this hand-wringing and doubt regarding Kevin Rudd just reminds me of the (brief) Whitlam era.

    He was the devil incarnate according to the right-wing media and a capitalist sell-out according to the left.

    And guess who won? Well, you don’t really have to guess.

  105. Andos

    Adrian @ 48: people seem to have a very poor idea of the actual goings on in Parliament over the last few years.

    That is a good list, although I would hesitate to grade everything A+. I cannot fathom why Labor isn’t selling their achievements. It seems like something they’ve had trouble with from the beginning (although that could be just me). Maybe this is where the media is really winning its battle; there are no positives.

  106. Andos

    Adrian @ 48: people seem to have a very poor idea of the actual goings on in Parliament over the last few years.

    That is a good list, although I would hesitate to grade everything A+. I cannot fathom why Labor isn’t selling their achievements. It seems like something they’ve had trouble with from the beginning (although that could be just me). Maybe this is where the media is really winning its battle; there are no positives.

  107. Tyro Rex

    I think that the suggestion that Rudd should cop a mea culpa, Beattie style, for the ETS fuck up, and then commit to negotiate a better response in the next parliament, is a good one. In fact I think he could do that without actually committing to a particular course of detailed action. And I think he should do it within the month.

    Furthermore, they should get on the front foot over the RSPT, with a couple of simple sound bites, and then position this in the field of a first step in a range of greater tax reform. The mantra, simple, simpler, simplest should apply to the tax system if you ask me.

    A big tertiary education reform package (not just funding – reform) for the election campaign, with a simple four word catchphrase that clearly sums it up and doesn’t sound like marketing goobbledegook, would also be a very good thing too.

  108. Tyro Rex

    I think that the suggestion that Rudd should cop a mea culpa, Beattie style, for the ETS fuck up, and then commit to negotiate a better response in the next parliament, is a good one. In fact I think he could do that without actually committing to a particular course of detailed action. And I think he should do it within the month.

    Furthermore, they should get on the front foot over the RSPT, with a couple of simple sound bites, and then position this in the field of a first step in a range of greater tax reform. The mantra, simple, simpler, simplest should apply to the tax system if you ask me.

    A big tertiary education reform package (not just funding – reform) for the election campaign, with a simple four word catchphrase that clearly sums it up and doesn’t sound like marketing goobbledegook, would also be a very good thing too.

  109. Labor Outsider

    I didn’t say that the media haven’t had an effect. What I find amazing is Adrian and Joe2′s unwillingness to reflect more on the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the government. Why a lot of voters may not see things the same way without resorting to a highly simplistic assessment of bias in the media. I’m an ALP member, like a lot of the commenters here. But that doesn’t mean we can’t reflect critically on a Labor government’s performance. And ultimately, the Adrian view is self-defeating. I mean, if the blame can largely be placed at the feet of the media, and the media aren’t about to change, then what can be done to turn the fortunes of the government around? What would be the point of improving policy, the communication strategy or the government’s processes if you don’t think the electorate are capable of seeing through parts of the media’s spin?

  110. Labor Outsider

    I didn’t say that the media haven’t had an effect. What I find amazing is Adrian and Joe2′s unwillingness to reflect more on the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the government. Why a lot of voters may not see things the same way without resorting to a highly simplistic assessment of bias in the media. I’m an ALP member, like a lot of the commenters here. But that doesn’t mean we can’t reflect critically on a Labor government’s performance. And ultimately, the Adrian view is self-defeating. I mean, if the blame can largely be placed at the feet of the media, and the media aren’t about to change, then what can be done to turn the fortunes of the government around? What would be the point of improving policy, the communication strategy or the government’s processes if you don’t think the electorate are capable of seeing through parts of the media’s spin?

  111. Lefty E

    On the general alienation from politics theme, I wonder if the sleeper factor is that the greater publics of the west are starting to intuit the limits of our national political systems in dealing with transnational issues – which are now among the most important affecting us: climate change, the global nature of debt shocks etc.

  112. Lefty E

    On the general alienation from politics theme, I wonder if the sleeper factor is that the greater publics of the west are starting to intuit the limits of our national political systems in dealing with transnational issues – which are now among the most important affecting us: climate change, the global nature of debt shocks etc.

  113. Mark

    @55 – yes, I agree with all of that, LO. There is a point about how appalling the media is, but the government’s not perfect either, and the appallingness of the media isn’t going to change. The only thing that would impact on the media game at the moment would be to cut Rudd’s head off, and that wouldn’t last for long, as they’d discover a few new themes about party disunity and the evils of the left wing Gillard to make hay with.

    In any case, I’ve always thought as a partisan myself, it’s better to give your own side a bit of an idea about the lay of the land and how perhaps to alter it, rather than just bemoan their travails.

  114. Mark

    @55 – yes, I agree with all of that, LO. There is a point about how appalling the media is, but the government’s not perfect either, and the appallingness of the media isn’t going to change. The only thing that would impact on the media game at the moment would be to cut Rudd’s head off, and that wouldn’t last for long, as they’d discover a few new themes about party disunity and the evils of the left wing Gillard to make hay with.

    In any case, I’ve always thought as a partisan myself, it’s better to give your own side a bit of an idea about the lay of the land and how perhaps to alter it, rather than just bemoan their travails.

  115. Mark

    @56 – I think that’s almost certainly right, Lefty E. We’re only now seeing the real electoral impacts of globalisation. The defensive Island Australia crap about asylum seekers and ‘we’re only x% of global emissions’ is the flip side of that same coin.

  116. Mark

    @56 – I think that’s almost certainly right, Lefty E. We’re only now seeing the real electoral impacts of globalisation. The defensive Island Australia crap about asylum seekers and ‘we’re only x% of global emissions’ is the flip side of that same coin.

  117. Ken Lovell

    As I wrote over at Public Opinion, it’s possibly misconceived to go looking for the reason/s why people are abandoning Labor. If one regards the 2007 election as an outlier, they may simply be reverting (in rough terms) to the consistent voting patterns of 1996-2004. In other words we are simply witnessing a reversion to the norm and it was 2007 that begs for an explanation.

  118. Ken Lovell

    As I wrote over at Public Opinion, it’s possibly misconceived to go looking for the reason/s why people are abandoning Labor. If one regards the 2007 election as an outlier, they may simply be reverting (in rough terms) to the consistent voting patterns of 1996-2004. In other words we are simply witnessing a reversion to the norm and it was 2007 that begs for an explanation.

  119. jack strocchi

    Mark quotes Bernard Keane:

    As for Labor, while everyone inside and outside the government is blaming poor communication for much of its current predicament, no messaging, however brilliant, is going to cover the gaping hole where the CPRS used to be. It needs a new, convincing climate change policy, and not just one built on half-baked energy efficiency measures

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the ETS is a dogs breakfast, invitation to financiers, idustrialists and lawyers to rort to their hearts content. “Trading Scheme” sounds dodgy enough. When combined with “Carbon”, an invisible substance, it is asking for trouble.

    No wonder the government could not develop a coherent simple CPRS policy, it had to square circle of rent-seeking politics with carbon-constraining policy.

    If the ETS is ineffective then this scuttles public interest in climate change. People are only interested in something that they can have a material effect. The ETS looks ineffective at climate control then why believe in climate change?

    Thats why the public turned off the ETS, AGM and finally the ALP. The whole thing becomes a gigantic Potemkin village. And Rudd could not even get that flimsy structure erected.

    The only effective CPRS is a carbon tax, which short-circuits the politics and is a crude, but effective, policy. I have been chanting this mantra for some years now. On 10 SEP 2009 I predicted that the carbon trading scheme would at some stage give way to a carbon taxing system:

    I will also make another prediction: that AUS will introduce a carbon tax will at some stage as the inherent rortablility of carbon trading becomes apparent. I dont have a clear sense on how long it will take the public to realise that carbon trading is likely to be scammed. But, going by the enourmous concessions in all these CPRS bills, it wont take all that long.

    We have been stuffing around with the design of an ETS for 13 years now and it still doesnt work properly. Time to ditch the whole thing and go with a Carbon Tax.

    The Swedes have got one up and running. Now it appears the GREENs are considering it, once they get BoP in the Senate.

    Minchin’s Martyrdom Operation may have done us all a big favour by putting this dog out of its misery.

  120. jack strocchi

    Mark quotes Bernard Keane:

    As for Labor, while everyone inside and outside the government is blaming poor communication for much of its current predicament, no messaging, however brilliant, is going to cover the gaping hole where the CPRS used to be. It needs a new, convincing climate change policy, and not just one built on half-baked energy efficiency measures

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the ETS is a dogs breakfast, invitation to financiers, idustrialists and lawyers to rort to their hearts content. “Trading Scheme” sounds dodgy enough. When combined with “Carbon”, an invisible substance, it is asking for trouble.

    No wonder the government could not develop a coherent simple CPRS policy, it had to square circle of rent-seeking politics with carbon-constraining policy.

    If the ETS is ineffective then this scuttles public interest in climate change. People are only interested in something that they can have a material effect. The ETS looks ineffective at climate control then why believe in climate change?

    Thats why the public turned off the ETS, AGM and finally the ALP. The whole thing becomes a gigantic Potemkin village. And Rudd could not even get that flimsy structure erected.

    The only effective CPRS is a carbon tax, which short-circuits the politics and is a crude, but effective, policy. I have been chanting this mantra for some years now. On 10 SEP 2009 I predicted that the carbon trading scheme would at some stage give way to a carbon taxing system:

    I will also make another prediction: that AUS will introduce a carbon tax will at some stage as the inherent rortablility of carbon trading becomes apparent. I dont have a clear sense on how long it will take the public to realise that carbon trading is likely to be scammed. But, going by the enourmous concessions in all these CPRS bills, it wont take all that long.

    We have been stuffing around with the design of an ETS for 13 years now and it still doesnt work properly. Time to ditch the whole thing and go with a Carbon Tax.

    The Swedes have got one up and running. Now it appears the GREENs are considering it, once they get BoP in the Senate.

    Minchin’s Martyrdom Operation may have done us all a big favour by putting this dog out of its misery.

  121. Fran Barlow

    And let’s face it Mark@50, Garret was/is inept. He was never suited to politics as he simply lacks the ability to think on his feet. It’s all very well singing lyrics but really, you need to have put together a view of the world that intersects your responsibilites and objectives.

  122. Fran Barlow

    And let’s face it Mark@50, Garret was/is inept. He was never suited to politics as he simply lacks the ability to think on his feet. It’s all very well singing lyrics but really, you need to have put together a view of the world that intersects your responsibilites and objectives.

  123. Lefty E

    Yep Mark: compensatory rhetorics of ‘national control’ (over meaninglessly small numbers of helpless people) to offset anxieties over unregulated capital flows, democratic deficit, totally inadequate transnational governance, totally mismatch between the level we can vote for and the problems we face, and all round general helplessness!

  124. Lefty E

    Yep Mark: compensatory rhetorics of ‘national control’ (over meaninglessly small numbers of helpless people) to offset anxieties over unregulated capital flows, democratic deficit, totally inadequate transnational governance, totally mismatch between the level we can vote for and the problems we face, and all round general helplessness!

  125. Mark

    @59 -

    If one regards the 2007 election as an outlier, they may simply be reverting (in rough terms) to the consistent voting patterns of 1996-2004. In other words we are simply witnessing a reversion to the norm and it was 2007 that begs for an explanation.

    I don’t know, Ken. The consistent polling patterns of 1996-2004 was usually Labor ahead, Coalition behind. Perhaps we will see that it is very difficult for Labor to win elections under current conditions, but at the moment if we take incumbency as the measure, then the conclusion would be that it is very difficult for an opposition to win elections under current conditions.

  126. Mark

    @59 -

    If one regards the 2007 election as an outlier, they may simply be reverting (in rough terms) to the consistent voting patterns of 1996-2004. In other words we are simply witnessing a reversion to the norm and it was 2007 that begs for an explanation.

    I don’t know, Ken. The consistent polling patterns of 1996-2004 was usually Labor ahead, Coalition behind. Perhaps we will see that it is very difficult for Labor to win elections under current conditions, but at the moment if we take incumbency as the measure, then the conclusion would be that it is very difficult for an opposition to win elections under current conditions.

  127. Mark

    @61 – Fran, in Garrett’s defence, framing the issue in terms of his purported personal responsibility for avoidable deaths probably did force him to react in the way he did. I wonder if the opposition played a smarter political game than we realised at the time.

    @62 – Lefty E, yep, and that’s where I think Rudd’s appeal also drew strength – the idea that this was a guy who knew how to deliver results internationally for problems beyond the scope of Australian government action alone. I’m sure that was in his mind through all the G20 GFC stuff and at Copenhagen.

  128. Mark

    @61 – Fran, in Garrett’s defence, framing the issue in terms of his purported personal responsibility for avoidable deaths probably did force him to react in the way he did. I wonder if the opposition played a smarter political game than we realised at the time.

    @62 – Lefty E, yep, and that’s where I think Rudd’s appeal also drew strength – the idea that this was a guy who knew how to deliver results internationally for problems beyond the scope of Australian government action alone. I’m sure that was in his mind through all the G20 GFC stuff and at Copenhagen.

  129. Tim Quilty

    Sorry to go back to the start, but Mark, I don’t think the lower house preference system works the way you think it does. It isn’t the senate. The only thing that matters is whether you number Labor above the Libs or the Libs above Labor.

    If more people preference the Libs above Labor, the Libs will win. And if more people preference Labor above the Libs, then Labor will win. Until the Green’s votes exceed one of the majors, that is all you need to know. Talking about the increase in the Green primary vote and green preference flows, or the order of candidate elimination is just so much nonsense.

  130. Tim Quilty

    Sorry to go back to the start, but Mark, I don’t think the lower house preference system works the way you think it does. It isn’t the senate. The only thing that matters is whether you number Labor above the Libs or the Libs above Labor.

    If more people preference the Libs above Labor, the Libs will win. And if more people preference Labor above the Libs, then Labor will win. Until the Green’s votes exceed one of the majors, that is all you need to know. Talking about the increase in the Green primary vote and green preference flows, or the order of candidate elimination is just so much nonsense.

  131. Mark

    @65 – No, it’s not, Tim. Some preferences are never counted. The aim is to get 50% + 1 based on either primary votes or primary votes and preferences, not to get the most primary votes *and* preferences.

  132. Mark

    @65 – No, it’s not, Tim. Some preferences are never counted. The aim is to get 50% + 1 based on either primary votes or primary votes and preferences, not to get the most primary votes *and* preferences.

  133. Tim Quilty

    Um, yes. So, tell me again why the order of candidate elimination is important? Or the size of the Green primary vote?

    I say again, all that matters* is where people rank Labor and the Libs. The rest is fluff.
    ————-
    * Yes, in those rare instances where someone is outpolling the majors it is marginally different, but that doesn’t happen enough to worry about for this analysis. With a large field and fragmented primary vote, order of elimination might matter, and someone could surf a wave of preferences into parliament. Doesn’t happen with our two party state. Forget about it.

  134. Tim Quilty

    Um, yes. So, tell me again why the order of candidate elimination is important? Or the size of the Green primary vote?

    I say again, all that matters* is where people rank Labor and the Libs. The rest is fluff.
    ————-
    * Yes, in those rare instances where someone is outpolling the majors it is marginally different, but that doesn’t happen enough to worry about for this analysis. With a large field and fragmented primary vote, order of elimination might matter, and someone could surf a wave of preferences into parliament. Doesn’t happen with our two party state. Forget about it.

  135. Tim Quilty

    Tip – if someone gets to more then 50% of the vote without all the preferences being counted – then more then 50% of the voters preferenced one of the majors ahead of the other. Or else someone needs to have a serious chat with the electoral commission staff….

  136. Tim Quilty

    Tip – if someone gets to more then 50% of the vote without all the preferences being counted – then more then 50% of the voters preferenced one of the majors ahead of the other. Or else someone needs to have a serious chat with the electoral commission staff….

  137. adrian

    I suppose it would be too much to ask that people like LO would actually read what was posted. I wasn’t endorsing all of the report card I copied, but suggesting it as a basis for a strategy. And I don’t know about joe2, but I’ve acknowledged government weaknesses in the past.

    Anyway all this pointless navel gazing is giving me a headache.

  138. adrian

    I suppose it would be too much to ask that people like LO would actually read what was posted. I wasn’t endorsing all of the report card I copied, but suggesting it as a basis for a strategy. And I don’t know about joe2, but I’ve acknowledged government weaknesses in the past.

    Anyway all this pointless navel gazing is giving me a headache.

  139. Corin

    On LO’s historical analysis, I think the danger is different than for Howard in 1998. Howard lost votes to One Nation in 1998. He bled votes back to the ALP on the regulatory right of politics. Rudd is bleeding primary votes to the Left but if he tries to stop this, he could start feeding swingers in outer-suburbs directly to Abbott. Does he secure the centre-right vote and sacrifice even more votes to the Greens? Will this strategy only highlight coalition strengths – say welfare to work, aboriginal intervention, refugee hardline etc etc ..

    Further does this not simply repudiate what Labor would want to campaign for longer term.

    BTW – Mark, I agree that this is about the ETScombined with wider problems created by rhetoric in 2007 over grocery prices. People thought Rudd ‘was going to do something about grocery prices’. It has bred cynicism …

  140. Corin

    On LO’s historical analysis, I think the danger is different than for Howard in 1998. Howard lost votes to One Nation in 1998. He bled votes back to the ALP on the regulatory right of politics. Rudd is bleeding primary votes to the Left but if he tries to stop this, he could start feeding swingers in outer-suburbs directly to Abbott. Does he secure the centre-right vote and sacrifice even more votes to the Greens? Will this strategy only highlight coalition strengths – say welfare to work, aboriginal intervention, refugee hardline etc etc ..

    Further does this not simply repudiate what Labor would want to campaign for longer term.

    BTW – Mark, I agree that this is about the ETScombined with wider problems created by rhetoric in 2007 over grocery prices. People thought Rudd ‘was going to do something about grocery prices’. It has bred cynicism …

  141. Mark

    @67 – Tim, in a sense, in a single member preferential system, every seat is won with 50% + 1 vote. In that sense, it’s no so different from a Senate election, except that there is only one candidate to be elected and the quota is a half of the total formal vote, not a smaller percentage. So that’s why we have the concept of a notional 2 party preferred vote. In actual elections, the counting stops when someone wins 50% + 1. In an electorate where one candidate wins on primaries, the 2PP is purely notional – sometimes the AEC will distribute the preferences, or a sample of the preferences, as if they mattered, or it might just be on an inference from what scrutineers have observed or on the results in similar seats.

    So where a candidate outpolls The Greens, and the major parties have a fair bit of distance between them, not all of, or none of The Greens’ preferences may be counted at all, if there are sufficient second or effective second preferences to elect the Liberal over Labor. There are other possible circumstances where votes are simply not the same as first preferences, particularly when they are lower order preferences that might have to pass through other candidates not yet excluded from the count.

    Anyone who’s scrutineered in a tight seat knows that it’s not as simple as most people believe.

    I’ll repeat – a HoR election is not a contest between two candidates, if there are more than two candidates running. Effectively, all votes after a candidate has reached 50% + 1 are worth 0, as the count no longer progresses.

  142. Mark

    @67 – Tim, in a sense, in a single member preferential system, every seat is won with 50% + 1 vote. In that sense, it’s no so different from a Senate election, except that there is only one candidate to be elected and the quota is a half of the total formal vote, not a smaller percentage. So that’s why we have the concept of a notional 2 party preferred vote. In actual elections, the counting stops when someone wins 50% + 1. In an electorate where one candidate wins on primaries, the 2PP is purely notional – sometimes the AEC will distribute the preferences, or a sample of the preferences, as if they mattered, or it might just be on an inference from what scrutineers have observed or on the results in similar seats.

    So where a candidate outpolls The Greens, and the major parties have a fair bit of distance between them, not all of, or none of The Greens’ preferences may be counted at all, if there are sufficient second or effective second preferences to elect the Liberal over Labor. There are other possible circumstances where votes are simply not the same as first preferences, particularly when they are lower order preferences that might have to pass through other candidates not yet excluded from the count.

    Anyone who’s scrutineered in a tight seat knows that it’s not as simple as most people believe.

    I’ll repeat – a HoR election is not a contest between two candidates, if there are more than two candidates running. Effectively, all votes after a candidate has reached 50% + 1 are worth 0, as the count no longer progresses.

  143. Tyro Rex

    I’ll repeat – a HoR election is not a contest between two candidates, if there are more than two candidates running. Effectively, all votes after a candidate has reached 50% + 1 are worth 0, as the count no longer progresses.

    I don’t understand this either Mark. Everywhere I’ve scrutineered, state and federal, QLD and NSW, the count in the booth was always;

    1. count first pref all candidates

    2. phone these numbers through to the campaign office

    3. distribute preferences to lab or lib whichever was marked higher.

    4. phone 2pp through to campaign office

    now, i’ve never done scrutineering in a booth that’s won before preferences; nor in one where the fight was anything other than coalition vs labor. but i’ve never seen anyone ever bother to eliminate the candidates one by one distributing through the full ticket. they just get all the minor candidate ballots and see which was marked higher, labor or liberal, and put on the appropriate stack.

  144. Tyro Rex

    I’ll repeat – a HoR election is not a contest between two candidates, if there are more than two candidates running. Effectively, all votes after a candidate has reached 50% + 1 are worth 0, as the count no longer progresses.

    I don’t understand this either Mark. Everywhere I’ve scrutineered, state and federal, QLD and NSW, the count in the booth was always;

    1. count first pref all candidates

    2. phone these numbers through to the campaign office

    3. distribute preferences to lab or lib whichever was marked higher.

    4. phone 2pp through to campaign office

    now, i’ve never done scrutineering in a booth that’s won before preferences; nor in one where the fight was anything other than coalition vs labor. but i’ve never seen anyone ever bother to eliminate the candidates one by one distributing through the full ticket. they just get all the minor candidate ballots and see which was marked higher, labor or liberal, and put on the appropriate stack.

  145. Tyro Rex

    I should point out, as a scrutineer, i watch the AEC staff do the count; my job is merely to ask to look at ballots as necessary and try to have any that might be a unintelligible scribble that voted for the other mob to be declared informal and if they voted for my mob to get them declared formal. for me to actually touch the ballot paper is illegal.

  146. Tyro Rex

    I should point out, as a scrutineer, i watch the AEC staff do the count; my job is merely to ask to look at ballots as necessary and try to have any that might be a unintelligible scribble that voted for the other mob to be declared informal and if they voted for my mob to get them declared formal. for me to actually touch the ballot paper is illegal.

  147. Mark

    @72 – yeah, but that’s the booth by booth count, Tyro Rex. The AEC does a full count based on all the returns. Otherwise it makes no sense, because you could have a non-major candidate ahead of another in one booth but not across the electorate.

  148. Mark

    @72 – yeah, but that’s the booth by booth count, Tyro Rex. The AEC does a full count based on all the returns. Otherwise it makes no sense, because you could have a non-major candidate ahead of another in one booth but not across the electorate.

  149. Mark

    @73 – I should add that the purpose of phoning through the primary from different booths is so that someone can put all the pieces together as to what the primaries are for candidates across the seat, and therefore which gets eliminated first, etc. Normally this information can be synthesised fairly quickly, and a good projection made.

    By necessity, you can’t get a complete picture of what’s happening from a single booth, and what the party headquarters needs is the indicators to form that view quicker than the necessarily slower AEC processes.

  150. Mark

    @73 – I should add that the purpose of phoning through the primary from different booths is so that someone can put all the pieces together as to what the primaries are for candidates across the seat, and therefore which gets eliminated first, etc. Normally this information can be synthesised fairly quickly, and a good projection made.

    By necessity, you can’t get a complete picture of what’s happening from a single booth, and what the party headquarters needs is the indicators to form that view quicker than the necessarily slower AEC processes.

  151. Fran Barlow

    And Tyro, in the last by-election in Bradfield where I scrutineered for The Greens that is exactly how it was done for all 24 candidates, including the multiple CDP people.

  152. Fran Barlow

    And Tyro, in the last by-election in Bradfield where I scrutineered for The Greens that is exactly how it was done for all 24 candidates, including the multiple CDP people.

  153. Labor Outsider

    Corin

    I wasn’t suggesting that Rudd’s predicament now is perfectly analogous to Howard’s in 1998. There are obviously many different factors at play, not least of which was the fact that Howard enjoyed a much greater buffer in the marginals than Rudd does now because of Howard’s trouncing of Keating in 96. However, I wouldn’t say that Rudd is in greater danger now than Howard was in 98. the dangers are just different. Beazley and Labor were far more highly regarded going into the 1998 election than Abbott and the Coalition are now. And opposition parties rarely win elections with purely negative strategies unless the government of the day is extremely unpopular and the electorate have considerable confidence in the opposition leader’s ability to lead the country.

    I also don’t think it is necessary for the government to swing to the centre-right any further because, RSPT aside, they are basically there. The issue is not which part of the spectrum they are pitching themselves to, but making sure that wherever they pitch themselves in the broad centre of politics they do so with well designed, targeted policies that they can explain simply to the electorate. They also need to do a better job of selling their success stories, such as the economy’s out-performance over the past two years, re-establish their credibility as a party that can be trusted to follow through on core committments, or at least try harder to follow through on them.

  154. Labor Outsider

    Corin

    I wasn’t suggesting that Rudd’s predicament now is perfectly analogous to Howard’s in 1998. There are obviously many different factors at play, not least of which was the fact that Howard enjoyed a much greater buffer in the marginals than Rudd does now because of Howard’s trouncing of Keating in 96. However, I wouldn’t say that Rudd is in greater danger now than Howard was in 98. the dangers are just different. Beazley and Labor were far more highly regarded going into the 1998 election than Abbott and the Coalition are now. And opposition parties rarely win elections with purely negative strategies unless the government of the day is extremely unpopular and the electorate have considerable confidence in the opposition leader’s ability to lead the country.

    I also don’t think it is necessary for the government to swing to the centre-right any further because, RSPT aside, they are basically there. The issue is not which part of the spectrum they are pitching themselves to, but making sure that wherever they pitch themselves in the broad centre of politics they do so with well designed, targeted policies that they can explain simply to the electorate. They also need to do a better job of selling their success stories, such as the economy’s out-performance over the past two years, re-establish their credibility as a party that can be trusted to follow through on core committments, or at least try harder to follow through on them.

  155. Mr Denmore

    A lot of the problems discussed here arise because no-one is yet focusing on what an Abbott government would look like, what would it represent and how would it function.

    Rudd governed for most of his first two years as if the opposition didn’t exist, so divided and shell-shocked were the coalition forces after the defeat of Howard. My theory is that he sub-consciously forgot that it was a two-horse race. Like a boy pulling the wings of flies, he was enjoying too much the predicament of his opponent than worrying about his own agenda.

    Then when Abbott grabbed the opposition leadership, albeit by the skinniest of margins, Rudd became defensive and began to act as if Howard was back in the saddle. Rudd retreated to his pre-election small target strategy, dumping policies that he perceived were a deadweight and making grovelling and self-basing apologies for what in reality were minor stuff ups..

    Of course, this only served to embolden Abbott and put Rudd even more on the defensive. The more he tried to defuse issues, the bigger they became, and the more the media smelled blood. Huge mistake in media management.

    What he should have done is stood his ground – on the insulation saga and on the ETS. As Mark observed above, Gillard did this fairly effectively amid the storm over the BER. She didn’t walk away from the fight. Most people aren’t across the detail anyway. All they see is Gillard remaining composed and calm, rebutting opposition points and creating confusion about the other side’s case.

    But Rudd has this knack of running away from fights. And that’s fitted quite nicely into the media’s casting of him as the bookish, nerdy and ineffective wonk against Abbott’s hairy-chested man’s man. Not surprisingly, the public concludes that Rudd is a wimp who’s afraid of a stoush. He’s trying to make up for that now with the RSPT, but it seems many voters have already given up on him.

    Labor’s only hope now must be to seal a deal over this bloody resource tax (even though it has merits as an economic reform) and set to work on making Abbott and the Coalition the issue for once. But they’ll need to toughen up and Rudd will have to stop wanting everybody to like him.

  156. Mr Denmore

    A lot of the problems discussed here arise because no-one is yet focusing on what an Abbott government would look like, what would it represent and how would it function.

    Rudd governed for most of his first two years as if the opposition didn’t exist, so divided and shell-shocked were the coalition forces after the defeat of Howard. My theory is that he sub-consciously forgot that it was a two-horse race. Like a boy pulling the wings of flies, he was enjoying too much the predicament of his opponent than worrying about his own agenda.

    Then when Abbott grabbed the opposition leadership, albeit by the skinniest of margins, Rudd became defensive and began to act as if Howard was back in the saddle. Rudd retreated to his pre-election small target strategy, dumping policies that he perceived were a deadweight and making grovelling and self-basing apologies for what in reality were minor stuff ups..

    Of course, this only served to embolden Abbott and put Rudd even more on the defensive. The more he tried to defuse issues, the bigger they became, and the more the media smelled blood. Huge mistake in media management.

    What he should have done is stood his ground – on the insulation saga and on the ETS. As Mark observed above, Gillard did this fairly effectively amid the storm over the BER. She didn’t walk away from the fight. Most people aren’t across the detail anyway. All they see is Gillard remaining composed and calm, rebutting opposition points and creating confusion about the other side’s case.

    But Rudd has this knack of running away from fights. And that’s fitted quite nicely into the media’s casting of him as the bookish, nerdy and ineffective wonk against Abbott’s hairy-chested man’s man. Not surprisingly, the public concludes that Rudd is a wimp who’s afraid of a stoush. He’s trying to make up for that now with the RSPT, but it seems many voters have already given up on him.

    Labor’s only hope now must be to seal a deal over this bloody resource tax (even though it has merits as an economic reform) and set to work on making Abbott and the Coalition the issue for once. But they’ll need to toughen up and Rudd will have to stop wanting everybody to like him.

  157. Tyro Rex

    Mark:

    @72 – yeah, but that’s the booth by booth count, Tyro Rex. The AEC does a full count based on all the returns. Otherwise it makes no sense, because you could have a non-major candidate ahead of another in one booth but not across the electorate.

    However, as far as I know, it’s the only 2PP distributed on the night itself. In tight seats, yeah I guess they count them back at head office or wherever the ballots go after the booth’s returning officer is done with them. So while they have a full first preference count for every candidate, after then all they have is the booth’s 2PP, and it seems to me that by the time I get to the candidate’s booze up it’s already clear who has won or lost. Even Ryan, in 2007, we knew that was already not a gain (and Johnson’s margin’s now what … 1.5%?) so I went to a friends election night house nearby rather the Ryan ALP party which was way off in Ashgrove or somewhere inconvenient for me.

  158. Tyro Rex

    Mark:

    @72 – yeah, but that’s the booth by booth count, Tyro Rex. The AEC does a full count based on all the returns. Otherwise it makes no sense, because you could have a non-major candidate ahead of another in one booth but not across the electorate.

    However, as far as I know, it’s the only 2PP distributed on the night itself. In tight seats, yeah I guess they count them back at head office or wherever the ballots go after the booth’s returning officer is done with them. So while they have a full first preference count for every candidate, after then all they have is the booth’s 2PP, and it seems to me that by the time I get to the candidate’s booze up it’s already clear who has won or lost. Even Ryan, in 2007, we knew that was already not a gain (and Johnson’s margin’s now what … 1.5%?) so I went to a friends election night house nearby rather the Ryan ALP party which was way off in Ashgrove or somewhere inconvenient for me.

  159. Tim Quilty

    I hate to labour the point, but give me one scenario where changing the order of the elimination of the minor parties will change the ultimate result. The AEC can fluff around all they want, you can talk about quotas and distributing preferences through candidates, but in the end it comes down to where people place the Libs and Labor on the ballot.

    Sometimes we get exciting three corner contests – “Will the Libs nudge out the Nats in Farrer? News at 11″. Maybe, one day, “Will the Greens nudge out the ALP?” Sometimes we have to make do with “Will the LDP candidate ever break the 4% mark?” Theoretically it could be different and all, but actually it isn’t.

    So going back to the original post again. It is irrelevant in terms of ultimate result whether people preference the Greens first and Labor second, rather then Labor first. Likewise, for the smaller percentage that preference the Greens first and the Libs second, rather then the Libs first. The mistake you seem to be making is thinking that the people who make this second action are somehow confused by the preference system and really meant to vote Labor or smomething, and maybe if you shake their preferences hard enough, it might fall out right.

    I don’t think so.

  160. Tim Quilty

    I hate to labour the point, but give me one scenario where changing the order of the elimination of the minor parties will change the ultimate result. The AEC can fluff around all they want, you can talk about quotas and distributing preferences through candidates, but in the end it comes down to where people place the Libs and Labor on the ballot.

    Sometimes we get exciting three corner contests – “Will the Libs nudge out the Nats in Farrer? News at 11″. Maybe, one day, “Will the Greens nudge out the ALP?” Sometimes we have to make do with “Will the LDP candidate ever break the 4% mark?” Theoretically it could be different and all, but actually it isn’t.

    So going back to the original post again. It is irrelevant in terms of ultimate result whether people preference the Greens first and Labor second, rather then Labor first. Likewise, for the smaller percentage that preference the Greens first and the Libs second, rather then the Libs first. The mistake you seem to be making is thinking that the people who make this second action are somehow confused by the preference system and really meant to vote Labor or smomething, and maybe if you shake their preferences hard enough, it might fall out right.

    I don’t think so.

  161. Tyro Rex

    Labor’s only hope now must be to seal a deal over this bloody resource tax (even though it has merits as an economic reform) and set to work on making Abbott and the Coalition the issue for once. But they’ll need to toughen up and Rudd will have to stop wanting everybody to like him.

    Do they need to do that? Can they do that? Why would the miners come to an agreement with a party if they know that if they hold out and cause trouble the whole thing will go away when Abbott gets elected? In other words, to cut a deal now sounds like that Rudd is not arguing from a position in strength, and either he will cut a weak deal (on noes the backflips again!) or the miners will just go bolshie in anticipation of bringing him down completely.

    I think Rudd has no choice now but to tell the miners they are fucked, and bring it on pal. In other words, pick a fight.

  162. Tyro Rex

    Labor’s only hope now must be to seal a deal over this bloody resource tax (even though it has merits as an economic reform) and set to work on making Abbott and the Coalition the issue for once. But they’ll need to toughen up and Rudd will have to stop wanting everybody to like him.

    Do they need to do that? Can they do that? Why would the miners come to an agreement with a party if they know that if they hold out and cause trouble the whole thing will go away when Abbott gets elected? In other words, to cut a deal now sounds like that Rudd is not arguing from a position in strength, and either he will cut a weak deal (on noes the backflips again!) or the miners will just go bolshie in anticipation of bringing him down completely.

    I think Rudd has no choice now but to tell the miners they are fucked, and bring it on pal. In other words, pick a fight.

  163. Ron

    I had a “debate” with a ALP ‘strategist’about th false perseption that Rudd had abandoned CPRS causing ALP voting decline

    He went back & forth about what i damn already knew ie Rudd introduced 2 CPRS Bills (one Labor Polisy) twice rejected , and later on a 2nd CPRS Bill with Turnbull amendments and both were defeated strategist says therefore Rudd didn’t abandon ETS and I agree , and that th Greens & Libs were ones who abandoned co2 mitigation Strategist says and I agree , thus Rudd had no ETS to fight on ( ie first one public disowned so he could negogaite with Turnbull , and 2nd one becvause it was no longer bi-partisan , in reverse Libs now say its a great big new tax )

    However I kept arguing yes thats rite , but by Rudd deferring FOR th above legit reasons it is th public perseption (not knowing these intricit politcal logics) that he had abandoned CPRS , and an apathy public do not see nuanses that othr 2 partys caused CPRS being wrecked I kept suggesting a CC circuit breaker

    It seems if Rudd had NOT persued CC polisy (by talking to Turnbull for a 2nd CPRS Bill) , and instead thought politcs and not CC polisy ….then he would hav ceased CC legislation action after his first CPRS Bill was double rejected…..that would leave Rudd CC rosy to public …and left Greens to blame for there uneconamic 25% cut demands and left Liberals with there stupid CC deniest stanse….I beleive Keating and Hawke wuld do this , but Rudd chased a CC polisy outcome and th blame perseption is wrongly now reversed in Public’s eyes

    Paradox is most world Leaders corect see Kevin Rudd has a firm World leader for climate Control

  164. Ron

    I had a “debate” with a ALP ‘strategist’about th false perseption that Rudd had abandoned CPRS causing ALP voting decline

    He went back & forth about what i damn already knew ie Rudd introduced 2 CPRS Bills (one Labor Polisy) twice rejected , and later on a 2nd CPRS Bill with Turnbull amendments and both were defeated strategist says therefore Rudd didn’t abandon ETS and I agree , and that th Greens & Libs were ones who abandoned co2 mitigation Strategist says and I agree , thus Rudd had no ETS to fight on ( ie first one public disowned so he could negogaite with Turnbull , and 2nd one becvause it was no longer bi-partisan , in reverse Libs now say its a great big new tax )

    However I kept arguing yes thats rite , but by Rudd deferring FOR th above legit reasons it is th public perseption (not knowing these intricit politcal logics) that he had abandoned CPRS , and an apathy public do not see nuanses that othr 2 partys caused CPRS being wrecked I kept suggesting a CC circuit breaker

    It seems if Rudd had NOT persued CC polisy (by talking to Turnbull for a 2nd CPRS Bill) , and instead thought politcs and not CC polisy ….then he would hav ceased CC legislation action after his first CPRS Bill was double rejected…..that would leave Rudd CC rosy to public …and left Greens to blame for there uneconamic 25% cut demands and left Liberals with there stupid CC deniest stanse….I beleive Keating and Hawke wuld do this , but Rudd chased a CC polisy outcome and th blame perseption is wrongly now reversed in Public’s eyes

    Paradox is most world Leaders corect see Kevin Rudd has a firm World leader for climate Control

  165. Tyro Rex

    I just want to add to Ron’s poorly-spelled but otherwise salient point.

    How do we even know that the “abandonment”, i.e. deferral, of the CPRS bill is the cause of the ALP primary vote decline? It occurred around the same time, but is correlation the same as causation? I think there are other deep-seated issues at play.

  166. Tyro Rex

    I just want to add to Ron’s poorly-spelled but otherwise salient point.

    How do we even know that the “abandonment”, i.e. deferral, of the CPRS bill is the cause of the ALP primary vote decline? It occurred around the same time, but is correlation the same as causation? I think there are other deep-seated issues at play.

  167. Andrew Reynolds

    Ron,
    May I suggest you use a spell and grammar checker on your comments before you put put them up? While commenting on blogs is not an exercise in ensuring everything is perfect, I do find your comments very difficult to follow. More than a few sentences probably cross over into the incomprehensible, IMHO.

  168. Andrew Reynolds

    Ron,
    May I suggest you use a spell and grammar checker on your comments before you put put them up? While commenting on blogs is not an exercise in ensuring everything is perfect, I do find your comments very difficult to follow. More than a few sentences probably cross over into the incomprehensible, IMHO.

  169. Lefty E

    Ron, why then didn’t (doesn’t) Rudd take his original bill (pre-Turnbull) to the 2010 election then? There was nothing stopping him.

    Plus he can say the Libs had their chance to participate, but they got taken over by a denialist.

    I suggest its because Rudd blinked when Abbott ran the “new tax” line.

    Again – there’s just no one to blame but Rudd and his Cabinet.

    Me, I think he just go a Carbon tax at this point. Start low with a nominal figure, use it to compensate householders, build it up over time in scale with international action.

  170. Lefty E

    Ron, why then didn’t (doesn’t) Rudd take his original bill (pre-Turnbull) to the 2010 election then? There was nothing stopping him.

    Plus he can say the Libs had their chance to participate, but they got taken over by a denialist.

    I suggest its because Rudd blinked when Abbott ran the “new tax” line.

    Again – there’s just no one to blame but Rudd and his Cabinet.

    Me, I think he just go a Carbon tax at this point. Start low with a nominal figure, use it to compensate householders, build it up over time in scale with international action.

  171. Corin

    LO, I agree and I accept you weren’t being simplistic. I also would argue that Rudd can’t go further right and retain credibility. My own view is that Rudd’s ‘crisis’ is perhaps bigger than Howard’s, because Howard had a natural majority in 98 if you assume that One Nation were his fellow travellers. An argument for why Howard’s 98 tpp vote was so low are two fold: 1) One Nation preferenced all sitting members last (so for Howard that was a lot of seats); 2) GST induced strong ALP vote in safe ALP seats.

    In some ways you can argue – given Abbott’s 40+ % fpv that this natural majority still haunts the political landscape. I do think that demographic change and economic boom times have made a progressive majority equally viable and perhaps more so … but it is tough for Rudd given that he has nearly burst this possibility with the ETS backflip.

    I think Abbott and Rudd can win and I wouldn’t have said that even last week!

    I have long argued that Abbott will run policy shy and this can work if he runs more on government cuts than policy change. I’m not sure this can work but it has a chance. Perhaps even a good chance. Policy delivery versus policy talk would be the politics.

    BTW – I think (my own politics) is that Rudd’s backflip on the ETS is just weird as this was a well supported and necessary change medium – long term.

    PS. The Greens can win seats now – I wrote about this in a discussion with Mark some weeks ago: Tanner, libersek and others will be staying in their seats and campaigning that’s for sure.

  172. Corin

    LO, I agree and I accept you weren’t being simplistic. I also would argue that Rudd can’t go further right and retain credibility. My own view is that Rudd’s ‘crisis’ is perhaps bigger than Howard’s, because Howard had a natural majority in 98 if you assume that One Nation were his fellow travellers. An argument for why Howard’s 98 tpp vote was so low are two fold: 1) One Nation preferenced all sitting members last (so for Howard that was a lot of seats); 2) GST induced strong ALP vote in safe ALP seats.

    In some ways you can argue – given Abbott’s 40+ % fpv that this natural majority still haunts the political landscape. I do think that demographic change and economic boom times have made a progressive majority equally viable and perhaps more so … but it is tough for Rudd given that he has nearly burst this possibility with the ETS backflip.

    I think Abbott and Rudd can win and I wouldn’t have said that even last week!

    I have long argued that Abbott will run policy shy and this can work if he runs more on government cuts than policy change. I’m not sure this can work but it has a chance. Perhaps even a good chance. Policy delivery versus policy talk would be the politics.

    BTW – I think (my own politics) is that Rudd’s backflip on the ETS is just weird as this was a well supported and necessary change medium – long term.

    PS. The Greens can win seats now – I wrote about this in a discussion with Mark some weeks ago: Tanner, libersek and others will be staying in their seats and campaigning that’s for sure.

  173. joe2

    May I suggest you use a spell and grammar checker on your comments before you put put(sic) them up?

    Thanks for the laff, Andrew.

  174. joe2

    May I suggest you use a spell and grammar checker on your comments before you put put(sic) them up?

    Thanks for the laff, Andrew.

  175. Lefty E

    “The Greens can win seats now”

    My word they can. They are the only party currently promising serious action on the *demonstrably popular* issue of reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

    Puzzling, given Rudd’s 2007 election priorities – but true.

  176. Lefty E

    “The Greens can win seats now”

    My word they can. They are the only party currently promising serious action on the *demonstrably popular* issue of reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

    Puzzling, given Rudd’s 2007 election priorities – but true.

  177. Corin

    Lefty E, I wouldn’t say it is ‘demonstrably popular’ when the cost of action is also considered, but I’d suggest it is part of building a progressive concensus for governing Australia for a long time. When Turnbull got rolled for Abbott I thought the Government couldn’t lose with that situation, however what has occurred is that the anger that could have been directed at Abbott over the ETS deferral has landed on Rudd! Strange thing politics.

  178. Corin

    Lefty E, I wouldn’t say it is ‘demonstrably popular’ when the cost of action is also considered, but I’d suggest it is part of building a progressive concensus for governing Australia for a long time. When Turnbull got rolled for Abbott I thought the Government couldn’t lose with that situation, however what has occurred is that the anger that could have been directed at Abbott over the ETS deferral has landed on Rudd! Strange thing politics.

  179. Andrew Reynolds

    joe2,
    “While commenting on blogs is not an exercise in ensuring everything is perfect…”

  180. Andrew Reynolds

    joe2,
    “While commenting on blogs is not an exercise in ensuring everything is perfect…”

  181. Jacques de Molay

    Tyro Rex @ 83,

    I think it was a combination of the backflip on the ETS & the 25% price hike on packs of cigarettes, in an election year too. He’s getting some truly shocking advice.

  182. Jacques de Molay

    Tyro Rex @ 83,

    I think it was a combination of the backflip on the ETS & the 25% price hike on packs of cigarettes, in an election year too. He’s getting some truly shocking advice.

  183. Ron

    lefty E

    “Ron, why then didn’t (doesn’t) Rudd take his original bill (pre-Turnbull) to the 2010 election then? There was nothing stopping him.”

    you a Green so you wont agree , but once you publicly disown as Rudd had to to justify negotiate with/agree to Turnbull 2nd one , there is no credible politcal way back to first CPRS Bill….had Rudd know 2nd CPRS one was to lose by a mere 2 Lib Party Room leedership votes then he’d hav stayed with his first CPRS Bill !! and been better off now politcaly !

    Rudd later explored in Jan for a deel with Greens Party on a Carbon Tax , but Greens wanted too much , and no politcal benefit anyway to Greens in that If you dont think Greens not used CC for 12 months at Labors expense for politcal votes then geez

    “They are the only party currently promising serious action on the *demonstrably popular* issue of reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Yeah ? is it STILL a Greens 25% co2 cut polisy by 2020 that they used as pretext for rejecting both 5% CPRS Bills , and where’s th modelling ?

    Jacques de Molay
    yes cigs tax not good idea but needed for govt Debt reduce , but then Labor been under seige for 12 months over Insulation program , Schools program , ETS CPRS , Paid Maternity Leave Bill , Nat Hospitals Reform , Health Insuranse Bill , & now Mining Supa Tax…from BOTH far left progressives and right Liberals , and MSN….all core left reform principals

  184. Ron

    lefty E

    “Ron, why then didn’t (doesn’t) Rudd take his original bill (pre-Turnbull) to the 2010 election then? There was nothing stopping him.”

    you a Green so you wont agree , but once you publicly disown as Rudd had to to justify negotiate with/agree to Turnbull 2nd one , there is no credible politcal way back to first CPRS Bill….had Rudd know 2nd CPRS one was to lose by a mere 2 Lib Party Room leedership votes then he’d hav stayed with his first CPRS Bill !! and been better off now politcaly !

    Rudd later explored in Jan for a deel with Greens Party on a Carbon Tax , but Greens wanted too much , and no politcal benefit anyway to Greens in that If you dont think Greens not used CC for 12 months at Labors expense for politcal votes then geez

    “They are the only party currently promising serious action on the *demonstrably popular* issue of reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Yeah ? is it STILL a Greens 25% co2 cut polisy by 2020 that they used as pretext for rejecting both 5% CPRS Bills , and where’s th modelling ?

    Jacques de Molay
    yes cigs tax not good idea but needed for govt Debt reduce , but then Labor been under seige for 12 months over Insulation program , Schools program , ETS CPRS , Paid Maternity Leave Bill , Nat Hospitals Reform , Health Insuranse Bill , & now Mining Supa Tax…from BOTH far left progressives and right Liberals , and MSN….all core left reform principals

  185. Nickws

    Abbott is just so nice and juicy a target to get stuck into. He has a paper record that, thanks to his belief in conviction politics, should yield all sorts of nice lines of attack, as he’s a ridiculously proud man who never changes his mind easily. I expect the negative campaign against him to include the first American-style series of ads to hit Australian media, ads where the politician is held responisble for everything they’ve said in their career before being elected. I see an actually successful version of the ‘Gillard was a revolutionary socialist’ campaign the Libs have tried before, I really do.

    I would like to get ahead of things, and posit a future hypothetical: Possum Pollytics still has, as there quarterly projection, Labor winning releection and taking 6 seats off the Lib/Nats. (I still think that Labor has a good chance not only of winning, but of repeating the success of almost every recent state ALP government by increasing their majority at their first reelection. These recent opinion poll results are really all to do with the fact that federal politics is the political arena in this country that generates all the sound and fury—I just don’t see the volatility continuing to go the Coalition’s way all the way to election day. That’s so implausible.)

    Just what happens then? The Liberal Partyroom looks back at the trajectory of 2010 and decides what?

    Me likey the idea that a sizeable portion of them decides they were robbed of a certain election victory by Labor dirt and meeja bias. Even better, Turnbull goes for the Monk’s jugular on the basis that he (the baron) would have avoided all the unfortunate gaffes that Abbott will almost certainly pull out on the hustings.

    They lose this election after a good series of polls they will be driven nuts. The whole born-to-rule mentality will come back in spades to torment them.

    Oz conservatism isn’t the side that adapts well to political volatility, IMHO. Not these days.

    If Rudd gets reelected with an increased majority then he bloody well better use his new found lease on life to follow through on things, narratives be damned. If he gets reelected with a slim 1990-style majority then he should plan his imminent retirement, and hope his successor has a good political honeymoon in order to be able to do things.

    It seems if Rudd had NOT persued CC polisy (by talking to Turnbull for a 2nd CPRS Bill) , and instead thought politcs and not CC polisy ….then he would hav ceased CC legislation action after his first CPRS Bill was double rejected…..that would leave Rudd CC rosy to public …and left Greens to blame for there uneconamic 25% cut demands and left Liberals with there stupid CC deniest stanse…

    We would never have known just how out of touch the Coalition is with this issue if Rudd hadn’t sent Wong to negotiate with them in good faith. Now we know they have a head-in-the-sand attitude, possibly worse than Labor had with Cold War policy orientation under Evatt and Calwell (that’s my favourite analogy anyway, as it works out to be nice and devastating if you know the history).

  186. Nickws

    Abbott is just so nice and juicy a target to get stuck into. He has a paper record that, thanks to his belief in conviction politics, should yield all sorts of nice lines of attack, as he’s a ridiculously proud man who never changes his mind easily. I expect the negative campaign against him to include the first American-style series of ads to hit Australian media, ads where the politician is held responisble for everything they’ve said in their career before being elected. I see an actually successful version of the ‘Gillard was a revolutionary socialist’ campaign the Libs have tried before, I really do.

    I would like to get ahead of things, and posit a future hypothetical: Possum Pollytics still has, as there quarterly projection, Labor winning releection and taking 6 seats off the Lib/Nats. (I still think that Labor has a good chance not only of winning, but of repeating the success of almost every recent state ALP government by increasing their majority at their first reelection. These recent opinion poll results are really all to do with the fact that federal politics is the political arena in this country that generates all the sound and fury—I just don’t see the volatility continuing to go the Coalition’s way all the way to election day. That’s so implausible.)

    Just what happens then? The Liberal Partyroom looks back at the trajectory of 2010 and decides what?

    Me likey the idea that a sizeable portion of them decides they were robbed of a certain election victory by Labor dirt and meeja bias. Even better, Turnbull goes for the Monk’s jugular on the basis that he (the baron) would have avoided all the unfortunate gaffes that Abbott will almost certainly pull out on the hustings.

    They lose this election after a good series of polls they will be driven nuts. The whole born-to-rule mentality will come back in spades to torment them.

    Oz conservatism isn’t the side that adapts well to political volatility, IMHO. Not these days.

    If Rudd gets reelected with an increased majority then he bloody well better use his new found lease on life to follow through on things, narratives be damned. If he gets reelected with a slim 1990-style majority then he should plan his imminent retirement, and hope his successor has a good political honeymoon in order to be able to do things.

    It seems if Rudd had NOT persued CC polisy (by talking to Turnbull for a 2nd CPRS Bill) , and instead thought politcs and not CC polisy ….then he would hav ceased CC legislation action after his first CPRS Bill was double rejected…..that would leave Rudd CC rosy to public …and left Greens to blame for there uneconamic 25% cut demands and left Liberals with there stupid CC deniest stanse…

    We would never have known just how out of touch the Coalition is with this issue if Rudd hadn’t sent Wong to negotiate with them in good faith. Now we know they have a head-in-the-sand attitude, possibly worse than Labor had with Cold War policy orientation under Evatt and Calwell (that’s my favourite analogy anyway, as it works out to be nice and devastating if you know the history).

  187. Fine

    I think the government has been extremely unlucky to be elected at a time when they’ve had to face the GFC and climate change at the same time. Two huge global problems that every country is facing now. As well, they’re got an Opposition who are bloody-minded wreckers and a MSM which seems happy to cheer the wreckers on.

    The government has also done itself no favours. The Great Week of Tossing Policy Overboard just made the Opoosition look as though they’re right. Great moral challenge one moment – we’ll do something bout it in a few years, the next. The Government should have laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Opposition for this. Instead, I’ve never seen a Government prosecute an argument so weakly as they did with this one. It was horrifyingly bad.

    Rudd and Gillard needs to engage Abbott on policy as much as possible. The Opposition don’t have any. Rudd and Gillard need to hammer home the government’s successes in the economy, education and health.

    The second-stringers, such as Albanese and Combet, need to get down and dirty, reminding the electorate just what sort of person Abbott is. But Rudd shouldn’t touch this. Just clear, articulate policy for him. And whatever happens he’s got stand his ground against the mining companies. But the next huge problem coming up is that the world economy is looking distinctly wobbly again. It will be a disaster if things start looking really bad here at the same time an election is occurring.

  188. Fine

    I think the government has been extremely unlucky to be elected at a time when they’ve had to face the GFC and climate change at the same time. Two huge global problems that every country is facing now. As well, they’re got an Opposition who are bloody-minded wreckers and a MSM which seems happy to cheer the wreckers on.

    The government has also done itself no favours. The Great Week of Tossing Policy Overboard just made the Opoosition look as though they’re right. Great moral challenge one moment – we’ll do something bout it in a few years, the next. The Government should have laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Opposition for this. Instead, I’ve never seen a Government prosecute an argument so weakly as they did with this one. It was horrifyingly bad.

    Rudd and Gillard needs to engage Abbott on policy as much as possible. The Opposition don’t have any. Rudd and Gillard need to hammer home the government’s successes in the economy, education and health.

    The second-stringers, such as Albanese and Combet, need to get down and dirty, reminding the electorate just what sort of person Abbott is. But Rudd shouldn’t touch this. Just clear, articulate policy for him. And whatever happens he’s got stand his ground against the mining companies. But the next huge problem coming up is that the world economy is looking distinctly wobbly again. It will be a disaster if things start looking really bad here at the same time an election is occurring.

  189. Tim Quilty

    An interesting link from Antony Green on preferential voting, touching on our discussion last night. An interesting historical example of preferences mattering with a fragmented field…

    The Corangamite by-election two months later on 14 December 1918 was the first Federal poll conducted under the new system. In a field of five, Labor again led on the primary votes, future Labor Prime Minister James Scullin polling 42.5% of the vote. But a tight exchange of preferences between four competing conservative candidates saw Scullin’s vote rise to only 43.7% after preferences. The Victorian Farmers Union candidate coming from 26.4% on primaries to win with 56.3% after preferences

  190. Tim Quilty

    An interesting link from Antony Green on preferential voting, touching on our discussion last night. An interesting historical example of preferences mattering with a fragmented field…

    The Corangamite by-election two months later on 14 December 1918 was the first Federal poll conducted under the new system. In a field of five, Labor again led on the primary votes, future Labor Prime Minister James Scullin polling 42.5% of the vote. But a tight exchange of preferences between four competing conservative candidates saw Scullin’s vote rise to only 43.7% after preferences. The Victorian Farmers Union candidate coming from 26.4% on primaries to win with 56.3% after preferences

  191. Tim Quilty
  192. Tim Quilty
  193. Nickws

    That is an interesting piece by Antony Green, Tim. The operative sentence, I think: “Green preferences almost always flow more than 70% to Labor, and the higher the Green vote, the stronger the flow to Labor.”

    Continuing my cynical analysis, I wouldn’t be displeased if the Coalition strongly blame the electoral system and the Greens for a defeat this year. After all, the ALP never actually got anywhere by just saying they hated the DLP—they had to reach out to the needs of DLP voters who felt the Coalition had already given them something, policy wise. That’s better than any vein hope that backbencher Baron Turnbull is one hundred time the salesman for the CPRS than any Rudd minister could ever be (a popular belief around here).

  194. Nickws

    That is an interesting piece by Antony Green, Tim. The operative sentence, I think: “Green preferences almost always flow more than 70% to Labor, and the higher the Green vote, the stronger the flow to Labor.”

    Continuing my cynical analysis, I wouldn’t be displeased if the Coalition strongly blame the electoral system and the Greens for a defeat this year. After all, the ALP never actually got anywhere by just saying they hated the DLP—they had to reach out to the needs of DLP voters who felt the Coalition had already given them something, policy wise. That’s better than any vein hope that backbencher Baron Turnbull is one hundred time the salesman for the CPRS than any Rudd minister could ever be (a popular belief around here).

  195. Mark

    @80 – No, Tim, I’m not suggesting that people don’t know what they’re doing when they vote 1 Greens, 2 Labor. What I am pointing out is that there are or could be some situations where that doesn’t translate into a Labor win in marginals – either because there’s some other candidate or candidates who propel the Libs over the line first (as with your example by analogy), and/or because the Labor primary vote is low enough that the Libs enjoy a substantial lead on primaries.

    I guess what I’m really warning against is complacency – a situation, where as I said, Labor’s primary vote falls markedly is likely to be one where part of it is going direct to the Libs, and more Greens preferences flow to the Libs than normal. If The Greens’ vote does come in higher than 10%, I would expect more of those voters to be protest voters than usual (I don’t think there were a lot around last time because Rudd presented a plausible alternative to Howard, and on the issues that moved people and in previous elections those votes tended to go to Democrats or others). I’d be surprised if the preference flow to Labor is much higher than 65% – if the election mirrored the way the polls are now – and I think Bob Brown knows that, too – based on his recent public statements.

    I guess my main point is that I’m not sure that we can make the assumption – which Newspoll makes because of its method of allocating nominal preferences – that Labor with a vote around 35% would win with a strong Greens primary. I think the Nielsen figures, based on actual polling of preferences, are much more likely to represent the state of opinion at the moment.

    In other words, I think progressive people who would not like to see an Abbott Coalition government have to recognise the true state of affairs at the moment, which is not fantastic.

    I hope that makes sense – I was commenting and writing in the midst of marking essays and exams, and I recognise I haven’t argued my case as clearly as I might have done!

  196. Mark

    @80 – No, Tim, I’m not suggesting that people don’t know what they’re doing when they vote 1 Greens, 2 Labor. What I am pointing out is that there are or could be some situations where that doesn’t translate into a Labor win in marginals – either because there’s some other candidate or candidates who propel the Libs over the line first (as with your example by analogy), and/or because the Labor primary vote is low enough that the Libs enjoy a substantial lead on primaries.

    I guess what I’m really warning against is complacency – a situation, where as I said, Labor’s primary vote falls markedly is likely to be one where part of it is going direct to the Libs, and more Greens preferences flow to the Libs than normal. If The Greens’ vote does come in higher than 10%, I would expect more of those voters to be protest voters than usual (I don’t think there were a lot around last time because Rudd presented a plausible alternative to Howard, and on the issues that moved people and in previous elections those votes tended to go to Democrats or others). I’d be surprised if the preference flow to Labor is much higher than 65% – if the election mirrored the way the polls are now – and I think Bob Brown knows that, too – based on his recent public statements.

    I guess my main point is that I’m not sure that we can make the assumption – which Newspoll makes because of its method of allocating nominal preferences – that Labor with a vote around 35% would win with a strong Greens primary. I think the Nielsen figures, based on actual polling of preferences, are much more likely to represent the state of opinion at the moment.

    In other words, I think progressive people who would not like to see an Abbott Coalition government have to recognise the true state of affairs at the moment, which is not fantastic.

    I hope that makes sense – I was commenting and writing in the midst of marking essays and exams, and I recognise I haven’t argued my case as clearly as I might have done!

  197. Lefty E

    “The Great Week of Tossing Policy Overboard just made the Opoosition look as though they’re right.”

    Exactly, Fine. It was a monumental stuff up. Let’s hope they can claw their way back.

  198. Lefty E

    “The Great Week of Tossing Policy Overboard just made the Opoosition look as though they’re right.”

    Exactly, Fine. It was a monumental stuff up. Let’s hope they can claw their way back.

  199. derrida derider

    Well, I was initially undecided on the question:

    Does preferencing Labor ahead of the Libs always have the same effect as just giving Labor first preference, in any contest where only Labour or Liberal can win?

    But Tim has won this one hands down. It’s nonsense to claim that the order of counting of the minor parties makes any difference – as a little algebra will show.

    So the low primary vote for Labor is only a problem for them if the primary votes they’ve lost are going either directly to the Libs or are preferencing the Libs ahead of them. Since those lost primary votes are people disgusted at Rudd on climate change, they’d have to be frankly irrational to then preference the Libs.

    There may be a few who are so irrational (see JdeM@47), but I’d bet that the new Green voters preference Labor much more strongly than existing Greens do. This means the 60-70% of Green preferences that are notionally allocated to Labour when estimating TPP is an underestimate. Labor’s actual TPP will be a bit higher than the pollsters think, even if the measure of primary voting intention is accurate.

    On the big issue my money’s still overhwelmingly on Labor to be re-elected. Certainly they need to reassess their strategy on environment issues – they’ve wedged their own supporters with what should have been a terrific wedge to split the Tory vote (look at the 1990 election, where Graeme Richardson oversaw a calculated strategy that did precisely that). But there’s no reason for them to panic yet.

  200. derrida derider

    Well, I was initially undecided on the question:

    Does preferencing Labor ahead of the Libs always have the same effect as just giving Labor first preference, in any contest where only Labour or Liberal can win?

    But Tim has won this one hands down. It’s nonsense to claim that the order of counting of the minor parties makes any difference – as a little algebra will show.

    So the low primary vote for Labor is only a problem for them if the primary votes they’ve lost are going either directly to the Libs or are preferencing the Libs ahead of them. Since those lost primary votes are people disgusted at Rudd on climate change, they’d have to be frankly irrational to then preference the Libs.

    There may be a few who are so irrational (see JdeM@47), but I’d bet that the new Green voters preference Labor much more strongly than existing Greens do. This means the 60-70% of Green preferences that are notionally allocated to Labour when estimating TPP is an underestimate. Labor’s actual TPP will be a bit higher than the pollsters think, even if the measure of primary voting intention is accurate.

    On the big issue my money’s still overhwelmingly on Labor to be re-elected. Certainly they need to reassess their strategy on environment issues – they’ve wedged their own supporters with what should have been a terrific wedge to split the Tory vote (look at the 1990 election, where Graeme Richardson oversaw a calculated strategy that did precisely that). But there’s no reason for them to panic yet.

  201. Lefty E

    “Lefty E, I wouldn’t say it is ‘demonstrably popular’ when the cost of action is also considered…”

    Agree with the rest of your comment Corin, but Ive never found this line remotely convincing – people will ‘oppose’ all prospective costs on principle, but they accept them quickly once they’re fait de accomplit – especially if its for something they support. Thats what leadership is about.

    In any case, power companies jack up their prices constantly – for no good reason at all. I’d prefer one price rise to be for a good reason – for a change.

    PS Possum reckons the ciggie tax has hurt Rudd.

  202. Lefty E

    “Lefty E, I wouldn’t say it is ‘demonstrably popular’ when the cost of action is also considered…”

    Agree with the rest of your comment Corin, but Ive never found this line remotely convincing – people will ‘oppose’ all prospective costs on principle, but they accept them quickly once they’re fait de accomplit – especially if its for something they support. Thats what leadership is about.

    In any case, power companies jack up their prices constantly – for no good reason at all. I’d prefer one price rise to be for a good reason – for a change.

    PS Possum reckons the ciggie tax has hurt Rudd.

  203. joe2

    “PS Possum reckons the ciggie tax has hurt Rudd.”

    Not as much as the people who do not take the hint and give up smoking.

  204. joe2

    “PS Possum reckons the ciggie tax has hurt Rudd.”

    Not as much as the people who do not take the hint and give up smoking.

  205. Mark

    @100 – I don’t think that we know that the surge to The Greens is explicable by people protesting against Rudd on climate change, derrida derider. In fact, as I’ve suggested, I think that would explain only a portion of the swing.

  206. Mark

    @100 – I don’t think that we know that the surge to The Greens is explicable by people protesting against Rudd on climate change, derrida derider. In fact, as I’ve suggested, I think that would explain only a portion of the swing.

  207. joe2

    And good on you Ron, in the face of petty rudeness, for attempting to relate the complicated sequence of events and circumstances around the failure of all ETS legislation and where we are now with easy parrot like sloganeering such as “Rudd backflipped, Rudd backflipped”.

    When the scapegoat could not have tried harder to get something up on climate change and the bloke they would have him replaced with thinks it’s all crap.

  208. joe2

    And good on you Ron, in the face of petty rudeness, for attempting to relate the complicated sequence of events and circumstances around the failure of all ETS legislation and where we are now with easy parrot like sloganeering such as “Rudd backflipped, Rudd backflipped”.

    When the scapegoat could not have tried harder to get something up on climate change and the bloke they would have him replaced with thinks it’s all crap.

  209. Mark

    Just on the question of preferences, Paul Kelly is right on this:

    When Rudd ditched his ETS, some Labor advisers said any votes lost to the Greens would return via preferences. This is a false assumption. The point is revealed by ACNielsen polls this year that asked voters about preferences. A February 2010 poll showed a 10 per cent Greens primary vote with Labor winning 80 per cent of Greens preferences (the same as the 2007 election). In June, with the Greens primary vote leaping to 15 per cent, the share of Labor preferences fell to 68 per cent.

    Stirton says in this June poll the difference for Labor equates to a fall of 2 percentage points in the two-party preferred vote. That matters.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/brand-rudd-is-damaged-but-not-terminally/story-e6frg6zo-1225877204595

  210. Mark

    Just on the question of preferences, Paul Kelly is right on this:

    When Rudd ditched his ETS, some Labor advisers said any votes lost to the Greens would return via preferences. This is a false assumption. The point is revealed by ACNielsen polls this year that asked voters about preferences. A February 2010 poll showed a 10 per cent Greens primary vote with Labor winning 80 per cent of Greens preferences (the same as the 2007 election). In June, with the Greens primary vote leaping to 15 per cent, the share of Labor preferences fell to 68 per cent.

    Stirton says in this June poll the difference for Labor equates to a fall of 2 percentage points in the two-party preferred vote. That matters.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/brand-rudd-is-damaged-but-not-terminally/story-e6frg6zo-1225877204595

  211. Mark

    Anyone who hasn’t read Possum on Greens preferences really should! This is a salient bit, but you need to see the charts to follow the full argument:

    First off, the ALP Protected Left Flank Hypothesis.

    This is the theory that the ALP can lose primary votes to their left (the Greens) because they ultimately get them back via preferences. This theory relies on the assumption that there are a fixed number of left leaning voters that nearly all give the ALP their two party preferred vote. According to the theory, as left voters move from the ALP to the Greens, the ALP primary vote goes down, the Green primary vote goes up and the rate of Greens preference flows to the ALP increases as a result of these ex-ALP-come-Greens voters sending their two party preferred preferences back to Labor in very substantial numbers.

    If the ALP Protected Left Flank Hypothesis was happening in any meaningful manner, we would expect to see the Greens pref flows to ALP vs. Labor Primary Vote chart to look something like this:

    leftflankhypo

    As the Labor vote goes down, the Greens preference flow to the ALP goes up and vice versa.

    However, this is the complete opposite of the observable polling reality that has occurred over the last 6 months or more.

    According to Nielsen data at least, what we’ve seen is that as the ALP vote has decreased since November, the Greens preference flows to Labor have also decreased – which makes the ALP Protected Left Flank Hypothesis mostly piffle at the moment. If it is happening, if it does exist among some voters, it’s a dynamic so small that it is getting completely washed out by “Other Big Things”.

    Secondly, as the Coalition primary vote has increased, so too has the size of the Greens preference flows to the Coalition – from a low of 15% in November through to a high of 32% this month. In functional terms, the observable relationship between the Coalition primary vote and Greens preference flow is the same as the relationship between the ALP primary vote and Greens preference flows – as the generic popularity of a major party increases (measured by the size of their own primary vote), the size of the preference flow they receive from the Greens increases as well.

    The only real difference between the ALP and the Coalition in this regard is the actual base level of Greens preference flows each party starts off with as a minimum level – with Labor probably starting from a minimum of around 60% and the Coalition starting from a minimum of around 15%.

    A substantial number of Greens voters – at least around 20% – appear to be swinging voters in terms of their preference allocations, behaving just like voters that swing between the major parties, except they do so with their preferences.

    This makes things slightly tricky for Labor at the moment, as on the one hand any seat held by around a 2% margin or less can be lost if Greens preference flows are delivered in the 60 percents.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/08/labor_green_preferences/

  212. Mark

    Anyone who hasn’t read Possum on Greens preferences really should! This is a salient bit, but you need to see the charts to follow the full argument:

    First off, the ALP Protected Left Flank Hypothesis.

    This is the theory that the ALP can lose primary votes to their left (the Greens) because they ultimately get them back via preferences. This theory relies on the assumption that there are a fixed number of left leaning voters that nearly all give the ALP their two party preferred vote. According to the theory, as left voters move from the ALP to the Greens, the ALP primary vote goes down, the Green primary vote goes up and the rate of Greens preference flows to the ALP increases as a result of these ex-ALP-come-Greens voters sending their two party preferred preferences back to Labor in very substantial numbers.

    If the ALP Protected Left Flank Hypothesis was happening in any meaningful manner, we would expect to see the Greens pref flows to ALP vs. Labor Primary Vote chart to look something like this:

    leftflankhypo

    As the Labor vote goes down, the Greens preference flow to the ALP goes up and vice versa.

    However, this is the complete opposite of the observable polling reality that has occurred over the last 6 months or more.

    According to Nielsen data at least, what we’ve seen is that as the ALP vote has decreased since November, the Greens preference flows to Labor have also decreased – which makes the ALP Protected Left Flank Hypothesis mostly piffle at the moment. If it is happening, if it does exist among some voters, it’s a dynamic so small that it is getting completely washed out by “Other Big Things”.

    Secondly, as the Coalition primary vote has increased, so too has the size of the Greens preference flows to the Coalition – from a low of 15% in November through to a high of 32% this month. In functional terms, the observable relationship between the Coalition primary vote and Greens preference flow is the same as the relationship between the ALP primary vote and Greens preference flows – as the generic popularity of a major party increases (measured by the size of their own primary vote), the size of the preference flow they receive from the Greens increases as well.

    The only real difference between the ALP and the Coalition in this regard is the actual base level of Greens preference flows each party starts off with as a minimum level – with Labor probably starting from a minimum of around 60% and the Coalition starting from a minimum of around 15%.

    A substantial number of Greens voters – at least around 20% – appear to be swinging voters in terms of their preference allocations, behaving just like voters that swing between the major parties, except they do so with their preferences.

    This makes things slightly tricky for Labor at the moment, as on the one hand any seat held by around a 2% margin or less can be lost if Greens preference flows are delivered in the 60 percents.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/08/labor_green_preferences/

  213. joe2

    Maybe it’s a sophisticated strategy by some Green voters to gain attention when called by polling companies.

    Because Labor takes them for granted so, ‘stuff it let the bastards know votes can go elsewhere’. I kind of like it, if that is what is happening. Maybe Labor will get the message and slip green rather than right.

  214. joe2

    Maybe it’s a sophisticated strategy by some Green voters to gain attention when called by polling companies.

    Because Labor takes them for granted so, ‘stuff it let the bastards know votes can go elsewhere’. I kind of like it, if that is what is happening. Maybe Labor will get the message and slip green rather than right.

  215. Malcolm

    I wrote a long post about this on Mumble so I’ll only briefly reference it here

    Essentially I think the main problem for Rudd is that he and the government’s poll numbers are disintegrating so late in the election cycle. If you look at the trends in past elections where governments have been re-elected (at least the ones I can remember after having started following elections at the age of 12 in 1993), the government’s approval ratings are quite often very low at the beginning of the year leading up to the election but this time in the election cycle -in the post-budget aftermath -is usually when the government’s polling numbers start to recover and it starts to regain some of its earlier lost momentum. Rudd’s problem is that he’s experiencing these abysmal figures closer to the election date when there is less time to recover.

    Furthermore Rudd may not have the option of delaying the election date until later in the year or early next year due to issues involving the state elections in NSW and Victoria -therefore only narrowing the timeframe which Rudd has in which to act in order to turn things around.

    Rudd’s greatest asset is Abbott and the way he is perceived in the electorate. But even here he has to be careful -an overly negative campaign against Abbott may backfire in the same way that Howard’s attempts to smear Rudd did in 2007 (on the other hand it worked when Howard did it to Latham in 2004 and Abbott does remind me a lot of Latham).

    It will be interesting to see what happens

  216. Malcolm

    I wrote a long post about this on Mumble so I’ll only briefly reference it here

    Essentially I think the main problem for Rudd is that he and the government’s poll numbers are disintegrating so late in the election cycle. If you look at the trends in past elections where governments have been re-elected (at least the ones I can remember after having started following elections at the age of 12 in 1993), the government’s approval ratings are quite often very low at the beginning of the year leading up to the election but this time in the election cycle -in the post-budget aftermath -is usually when the government’s polling numbers start to recover and it starts to regain some of its earlier lost momentum. Rudd’s problem is that he’s experiencing these abysmal figures closer to the election date when there is less time to recover.

    Furthermore Rudd may not have the option of delaying the election date until later in the year or early next year due to issues involving the state elections in NSW and Victoria -therefore only narrowing the timeframe which Rudd has in which to act in order to turn things around.

    Rudd’s greatest asset is Abbott and the way he is perceived in the electorate. But even here he has to be careful -an overly negative campaign against Abbott may backfire in the same way that Howard’s attempts to smear Rudd did in 2007 (on the other hand it worked when Howard did it to Latham in 2004 and Abbott does remind me a lot of Latham).

    It will be interesting to see what happens

  217. Patricia WA

    Musings of a political hack.

    I sense an election
    coming on
    Or do I mean erection?
    No, that recalls
    A long ago affection
    Ruined by a
    Casual connection
    Resulting in
    An STD infection,
    Followed by
    Inevitable rejection.

    No, these days
    All of my reflections
    Are political,
    About defections
    And policies,
    Monitoring directions
    Left or right,
    Judging imperfections
    Of articles
    Which need correction,
    Editing and
    Pencilling objections,
    And I’m the one
    Delivering rejections.

    Now it’s time
    For pre-selection
    Of candidates
    With all their
    Varied predilections,
    Listening to
    Their voice projection,
    Subjecting them
    To close dissection.
    But after
    Careful circumspection
    For most of them
    There is rejection.

    Finally today’s
    The day of the election.
    After all
    That national introspection
    There’s been the
    Ballot box collection.
    Some scrutineers
    Show disaffection.
    Wait! Ours show joy!
    The Party’s had a resurrection!
    Oh perfection!
    The others now can have rejection!

    And yes, I do believe I feel it!
    At last, a real erection!

  218. Patricia WA

    Musings of a political hack.

    I sense an election
    coming on
    Or do I mean erection?
    No, that recalls
    A long ago affection
    Ruined by a
    Casual connection
    Resulting in
    An STD infection,
    Followed by
    Inevitable rejection.

    No, these days
    All of my reflections
    Are political,
    About defections
    And policies,
    Monitoring directions
    Left or right,
    Judging imperfections
    Of articles
    Which need correction,
    Editing and
    Pencilling objections,
    And I’m the one
    Delivering rejections.

    Now it’s time
    For pre-selection
    Of candidates
    With all their
    Varied predilections,
    Listening to
    Their voice projection,
    Subjecting them
    To close dissection.
    But after
    Careful circumspection
    For most of them
    There is rejection.

    Finally today’s
    The day of the election.
    After all
    That national introspection
    There’s been the
    Ballot box collection.
    Some scrutineers
    Show disaffection.
    Wait! Ours show joy!
    The Party’s had a resurrection!
    Oh perfection!
    The others now can have rejection!

    And yes, I do believe I feel it!
    At last, a real erection!

  219. Nickws

    Malcolm: Rudd’s greatest asset is Abbott and the way he is perceived in the electorate. But even here he has to be careful -an overly negative campaign against Abbott may backfire in the same way that Howard’s attempts to smear Rudd did in 2007 (on the other hand it worked when Howard did it to Latham in 2004 and Abbott does remind me a lot of Latham).

    Here’s something to consider—Abbott is the only Liberal leader who could have got his side to the point where they can exploit a ‘perfect storm’ against Rudd Labor. No, no, really. How on earth would Turnbull wedge the government on climate change, and how would Nelson have won support on the back of attacking the cigarette excise rise? How would Costello have put himself forward as a fresh face that the low info viewers of Australian Story and 60 Minutes could be intrigued by? Hell, how does Costello shit all over the mining tax that originated from his ex-departmental head without drawing the ire of the press gallery? All those problems only come together for the Opposition leadership of one man.

    Tony Abbott is presiding over a bubble, his winning edge is a bubble. Too many actual concrete things are going his way, and there isn’t some intangible weakness or tiredness in the PM he is beating right now, not like there was an unspoken reason we all ‘got’ for why Latham bet John Howard for so long during 2004.

    Give Rudd one good policy victory over the Coalition and it all starts to fall down for the Monk. He won’t even have ‘Rudd fatigue’ to fall back on.

    I hope Labor doesn’t have to wait until the campaign proper (i.e., the point where the Libs have to release details, costings) before they can bounch back off the ropes against the dope, to misuse a boxing term. That would be cutting it a bit too fine.

    Latham just wasn’t as lucky as Abbott is. And I feel that preelection Abbott has more of the proud, wilful loser about him than Latham ever suffered from, at least during the time before the then member for Werriwa was forced into rehab hospital.

  220. Nickws

    Malcolm: Rudd’s greatest asset is Abbott and the way he is perceived in the electorate. But even here he has to be careful -an overly negative campaign against Abbott may backfire in the same way that Howard’s attempts to smear Rudd did in 2007 (on the other hand it worked when Howard did it to Latham in 2004 and Abbott does remind me a lot of Latham).

    Here’s something to consider—Abbott is the only Liberal leader who could have got his side to the point where they can exploit a ‘perfect storm’ against Rudd Labor. No, no, really. How on earth would Turnbull wedge the government on climate change, and how would Nelson have won support on the back of attacking the cigarette excise rise? How would Costello have put himself forward as a fresh face that the low info viewers of Australian Story and 60 Minutes could be intrigued by? Hell, how does Costello shit all over the mining tax that originated from his ex-departmental head without drawing the ire of the press gallery? All those problems only come together for the Opposition leadership of one man.

    Tony Abbott is presiding over a bubble, his winning edge is a bubble. Too many actual concrete things are going his way, and there isn’t some intangible weakness or tiredness in the PM he is beating right now, not like there was an unspoken reason we all ‘got’ for why Latham bet John Howard for so long during 2004.

    Give Rudd one good policy victory over the Coalition and it all starts to fall down for the Monk. He won’t even have ‘Rudd fatigue’ to fall back on.

    I hope Labor doesn’t have to wait until the campaign proper (i.e., the point where the Libs have to release details, costings) before they can bounch back off the ropes against the dope, to misuse a boxing term. That would be cutting it a bit too fine.

    Latham just wasn’t as lucky as Abbott is. And I feel that preelection Abbott has more of the proud, wilful loser about him than Latham ever suffered from, at least during the time before the then member for Werriwa was forced into rehab hospital.

  221. Ron

    Mark’s preferencing opinion may be turned partly in reverse seeing AC Neilson’s Poll record in 2007 at 57/43 on electon eve was shocking vs othr 3 major pollsters

    As a start , Adrians post #48 detailing Labor’s actual record of acheivement so fully ,

    does shows Labor has been a respnsible Govt delivering core left Reform polisys including Climate Change with an ETS , DESPITE th dishonest Bob Brown & Tony Abbott “spin” and despite MSN’s 24/7 frenzy bias

    However comunicating those acheivements when MSN focus is so anti Labor in this new age total 24/7 News cycle so unrelentin is new , and at same time as this historical politcal first of BOTH far left AND right wing both concurently knocking Labor every day , via Liberals & Greens false cherry pickin to whinge

    Any Govt in this position is a sitting duck to see its base so eroded , and suspect a sharper communicator such as Julia Gillard wuld make some but only marginal differense to primary vote erosion

    Perhaps a more bullish approach exposing extremism of Abbotts Liberals and th flawed & econamic stupidity of Greens polisys would assist This seems ore a comunication issue , and think Labor should stick to its existing worhtwhile core left Agenda reforms approach

    Clearly 85% of oz voters dont like Greens econamicly iresponsible and 1/2 thought out polisys Also Liberals undr Abbott it seems has reached a tipping point where any more voters ar unattractable because of his character & right wing polisys

    ……and suspect Greens increase represents undecided voters and not Greens intending voting voters , ie voters diectly affected by biased anti Labor MSN naratives and Brown/Abbott sniping but not prepared to vote for Abbott , so place there vote for moment in Greens knowing they will never form Govt because they do not yet need to actualy vote

  222. Ron

    Mark’s preferencing opinion may be turned partly in reverse seeing AC Neilson’s Poll record in 2007 at 57/43 on electon eve was shocking vs othr 3 major pollsters

    As a start , Adrians post #48 detailing Labor’s actual record of acheivement so fully ,

    does shows Labor has been a respnsible Govt delivering core left Reform polisys including Climate Change with an ETS , DESPITE th dishonest Bob Brown & Tony Abbott “spin” and despite MSN’s 24/7 frenzy bias

    However comunicating those acheivements when MSN focus is so anti Labor in this new age total 24/7 News cycle so unrelentin is new , and at same time as this historical politcal first of BOTH far left AND right wing both concurently knocking Labor every day , via Liberals & Greens false cherry pickin to whinge

    Any Govt in this position is a sitting duck to see its base so eroded , and suspect a sharper communicator such as Julia Gillard wuld make some but only marginal differense to primary vote erosion

    Perhaps a more bullish approach exposing extremism of Abbotts Liberals and th flawed & econamic stupidity of Greens polisys would assist This seems ore a comunication issue , and think Labor should stick to its existing worhtwhile core left Agenda reforms approach

    Clearly 85% of oz voters dont like Greens econamicly iresponsible and 1/2 thought out polisys Also Liberals undr Abbott it seems has reached a tipping point where any more voters ar unattractable because of his character & right wing polisys

    ……and suspect Greens increase represents undecided voters and not Greens intending voting voters , ie voters diectly affected by biased anti Labor MSN naratives and Brown/Abbott sniping but not prepared to vote for Abbott , so place there vote for moment in Greens knowing they will never form Govt because they do not yet need to actualy vote

  223. Corin

    Mark, I think under the white heat of a campaign I’d be surprised if Labor couldn’t get more than 68% of Green preferences but I take your point. I think the ETS deferral pushed some primary vote to Abbott as well. I also think the Cigs decision when seen in the context of the cost of living facing low and middle income families is a slap in the face even if it is potentially good policy. I think the rush to surplus has meant there was overreach on the RSPT which would in my view have been popular if it wasn’t retrospectively applied (or in the alternative there was a much bigger cut in the company rate of tax than to 28% but over a couple of terms) and was simpler in design. I think the main problem is strategic – Howard always sought his so-called ‘natural majority’. Rudd seeks this as well and actually I think he needs to push Australia toward a progressive majority. Hawke did this very well over a long-ish period of time. Relying on a WorkChoices scare is not the same thing.

  224. Corin

    Mark, I think under the white heat of a campaign I’d be surprised if Labor couldn’t get more than 68% of Green preferences but I take your point. I think the ETS deferral pushed some primary vote to Abbott as well. I also think the Cigs decision when seen in the context of the cost of living facing low and middle income families is a slap in the face even if it is potentially good policy. I think the rush to surplus has meant there was overreach on the RSPT which would in my view have been popular if it wasn’t retrospectively applied (or in the alternative there was a much bigger cut in the company rate of tax than to 28% but over a couple of terms) and was simpler in design. I think the main problem is strategic – Howard always sought his so-called ‘natural majority’. Rudd seeks this as well and actually I think he needs to push Australia toward a progressive majority. Hawke did this very well over a long-ish period of time. Relying on a WorkChoices scare is not the same thing.

  225. codger

    So Mark we still vote the blonde rodent back in then dump him…is that still the game?

  226. codger

    So Mark we still vote the blonde rodent back in then dump him…is that still the game?

  227. Jack Strocchi

    One momentous thing that has happened as a result of Minchin’s Martyrdom Operation is that politics has suddenly become interesting again.

    A few years back I published a blog with the portentous title of “the Great Convergence”. In which I suggested that the homogeneous nature of the polity combined with the technocratic and managerialist style of politicians was generating a powerful policy convergence between the major parties.

    Not, I know, a radically innovative theory. Its been doing the rounds of political science since Robert Michels “Iron Law of Oligarchy”, Anthony Downs “Economic Theory of Democracy” and Catley & Macfarlane’s “Tweedledum and Tweedledee”.

    But the convergent moment seemed to have finally come to pass once Beazley caved into Howard on the Tampa. And Howard started to throw money at “working families”.

    The election of Rudd only vindicated the major party convergence theory. Here was a guy whose policy positions were virtually identical to Howard in all except a few areas of token symbolism.

    Minchin changed all that. By sabotaging the ETS he de-railed the careers of the Parliament’s two most successful and moderate men: Turnbull and Rudd. He also elevated the careers of the Parliament’s two most militant ideologues: Abbott and Brown.

    Rudd’s response was to tack sharply to the Left to win back ground lost to the GREENs through the defection of pinkish ALP supporters. There was no chance that the Abbott L/NP will play me-too to that tune.

    Welcome to the Age of the Great Divergence. (At least until Abbott & Co get flogged a couple of times for their Righ

  228. Jack Strocchi

    One momentous thing that has happened as a result of Minchin’s Martyrdom Operation is that politics has suddenly become interesting again.

    A few years back I published a blog with the portentous title of “the Great Convergence”. In which I suggested that the homogeneous nature of the polity combined with the technocratic and managerialist style of politicians was generating a powerful policy convergence between the major parties.

    Not, I know, a radically innovative theory. Its been doing the rounds of political science since Robert Michels “Iron Law of Oligarchy”, Anthony Downs “Economic Theory of Democracy” and Catley & Macfarlane’s “Tweedledum and Tweedledee”.

    But the convergent moment seemed to have finally come to pass once Beazley caved into Howard on the Tampa. And Howard started to throw money at “working families”.

    The election of Rudd only vindicated the major party convergence theory. Here was a guy whose policy positions were virtually identical to Howard in all except a few areas of token symbolism.

    Minchin changed all that. By sabotaging the ETS he de-railed the careers of the Parliament’s two most successful and moderate men: Turnbull and Rudd. He also elevated the careers of the Parliament’s two most militant ideologues: Abbott and Brown.

    Rudd’s response was to tack sharply to the Left to win back ground lost to the GREENs through the defection of pinkish ALP supporters. There was no chance that the Abbott L/NP will play me-too to that tune.

    Welcome to the Age of the Great Divergence. (At least until Abbott & Co get flogged a couple of times for their Righ

  229. CMMC
  230. CMMC
  231. CMMC

    Daily Kos abandons pollster “data” as Nate Silver ranks the rankers.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/6/9/874403/-Polling

  232. CMMC

    Daily Kos abandons pollster “data” as Nate Silver ranks the rankers.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/6/9/874403/-Polling

  233. Fine

    Here’s a pretty good, but despairing article, from John Hewson.

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2923280.htm

  234. Fine

    Here’s a pretty good, but despairing article, from John Hewson.

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2923280.htm

  235. Razor

    I am suprised the betting markets remain so wide. I wonder how much worse the polls need to get for Rudd before they narrow significantly.

  236. Razor

    I am suprised the betting markets remain so wide. I wonder how much worse the polls need to get for Rudd before they narrow significantly.

  237. Neil

    To all the young voters worried about the big bad workchoices. Do some research, Kevin Rudds wife had the worst AWA’s in Australia. He also tried to tell australia that his wife inherited them. His wife admitted drafting them herself.

    Your precious Kevin Rudd lied to you all with a smile on his face. Just like the RSPT, Yes they pay like 20-30% Tax + the same amount in royalites.

    Labor are Spend Spend Spend Tax Tax Tax.

  238. Neil

    To all the young voters worried about the big bad workchoices. Do some research, Kevin Rudds wife had the worst AWA’s in Australia. He also tried to tell australia that his wife inherited them. His wife admitted drafting them herself.

    Your precious Kevin Rudd lied to you all with a smile on his face. Just like the RSPT, Yes they pay like 20-30% Tax + the same amount in royalites.

    Labor are Spend Spend Spend Tax Tax Tax.

  239. BilB

    Neil, all of those young labour voters are voting Green. This is by far the best choice of all. They get a world that is worth living in, they get a real coalition, Green and Labour, with an emphasis on people, and they keep Howard’s “has been” crazies in the background where they belong.

    This is shaping up to be a good election. I think that we can look forward to a Gillard/Milne government in the near future.

  240. BilB

    Neil, all of those young labour voters are voting Green. This is by far the best choice of all. They get a world that is worth living in, they get a real coalition, Green and Labour, with an emphasis on people, and they keep Howard’s “has been” crazies in the background where they belong.

    This is shaping up to be a good election. I think that we can look forward to a Gillard/Milne government in the near future.

  241. Marks

    Razor @ ,

    Maybe the answer is that the betting odds are from people who have a real stake in getting it right.

    It is one thing to ask someone how they might vote, but their minds would focus really well if they were told they would lose $$ if they were wrong and gain $$$ if they were correct.

    Most other people have no skin in the game, or even an interest in obfuscation.

    (For example, for the media generally, a big margin is boring as hell and sells no newspapers, a slim margin and a real race sells. So the media have an interest in evening out contests to make them ‘real’.

  242. Marks

    Razor @ ,

    Maybe the answer is that the betting odds are from people who have a real stake in getting it right.

    It is one thing to ask someone how they might vote, but their minds would focus really well if they were told they would lose $$ if they were wrong and gain $$$ if they were correct.

    Most other people have no skin in the game, or even an interest in obfuscation.

    (For example, for the media generally, a big margin is boring as hell and sells no newspapers, a slim margin and a real race sells. So the media have an interest in evening out contests to make them ‘real’.

  243. Terry

    BilB @ 120, current trends won;t produce a Greens/Labour coalition. They will produce a LNP Coalition government without a majority in the Senate, albeit a senate with more Greens in it.

  244. Terry

    BilB @ 120, current trends won;t produce a Greens/Labour coalition. They will produce a LNP Coalition government without a majority in the Senate, albeit a senate with more Greens in it.

  245. Katz

    I am suprised the betting markets remain so wide. I wonder how much worse the polls need to get for Rudd before they narrow significantly.

    Weight of money will do that. Where is the money?

    Maybe the money thinks that Rudd will be removed.

    Or maybe the money thinks that the punters will refuse to swallow Abbott.

    Both of these are real possibilities that explain the apparent descrepency between answers to the two questions:

    1. Who would you vote for today?

    and

    2. Who are the punters likely to vote for in some months’ time?

    Unlike Razor I’m not surprised at all about the ability of gamblers to distinguish between the answers to these two questions.

  246. Katz

    I am suprised the betting markets remain so wide. I wonder how much worse the polls need to get for Rudd before they narrow significantly.

    Weight of money will do that. Where is the money?

    Maybe the money thinks that Rudd will be removed.

    Or maybe the money thinks that the punters will refuse to swallow Abbott.

    Both of these are real possibilities that explain the apparent descrepency between answers to the two questions:

    1. Who would you vote for today?

    and

    2. Who are the punters likely to vote for in some months’ time?

    Unlike Razor I’m not surprised at all about the ability of gamblers to distinguish between the answers to these two questions.