Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

State of the Polls.

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 2, 2007

Dead would be the closest description.

We’ve had the big combined Newspoll at 56/44 to the ALP with primaries running 49/40 to the ALP

ACN is out with 55/45, and primaries at 48/41 to the ALP

Morgan is out with 57.5/42.5 and primaries running at 49/38 to the ALP.

This has been the state of the polls since February.


The ALP primary is rock solid at 48, the Coalition is creeping up a couple of points, but at the expense of the minors/independents, which are declining.

Smells like more business as usual.

Over at the Advertiser , there’s one of their cute polls for the SA Liberal marginal of Wakefield having it 58/42 to the ALP.

Halfway through the campaign and the result is, well, just the same has it has been since February.

Meanwhile on Skynooz, their current SMS poll is running at 53% of people thinking the ALP wont win the election. I guess they’re special people over there. I guess you’d have to be to put up with some of the stark raving mad nonsense that get’s on Agenda.

In other News, Briggs from Galaxy chucks a tanty over Newspoll, saying that ” Newspoll has essentially lost the plot” and it’s all their fault the Coalition had a bad week. He’ll probably be on Agenda shortly.

On the subject of foot stomping – over at the ABC site Unleashed, David Barnett turns into a sad old Mr Grumpy Pants with a bitter streak. You might know David from such works as John Winston Howard – A Hagiography, or from his regular fawning columns in the Canberra Times.

His (thankfully short) article is titled “Rudd vote will weaken West“, and is quite a hoot if you enjoy seeing silly old twits turn into a parody of their own rhetoric.

He states, “There’s a lot more turning on the elections later this month than the future of Australia. It is also a plebiscite on George Bush’s fight against the terrorism that has plagued the civilized world for 60 years. A vote for Kevin Rudd is a vote against Bush’s very significant ally, John Howard, and accordingly, a vote that will further weaken the resolution of the Western world.

Yep, that’s right folks, silly us for thinking that this is an Australian election when its actually a plebiscite on G.W Bush. If he starts spreading that message around, the Liberal Party is likely to lock him in a cupboard for the next 3 weeks. They cant afford their vote to get any lower.

Anyway, the bitter old goose continues:

We have suddenly lost two soldiers in Afghanistan, one to a roadside bomb and the second in an ambush.

Perhaps it is merely coincidence that this has occurred during the first couple of weeks of an election campaign. However if we lose more men over this month, we shall be entitled to wonder whether Al Qaeda is endeavouring to influence the Australian elections.”

Those swarthy bearded types are probably sitting in their Afghan caves perusing my graphs as we speak.

You can see where this horseshit is going – A vote for Rudd is a vote for Terrrristss, terrrism and all things terrrfying.

And then he pops the question like one pops a fart in polite company – as innocently as possible:

Does Kevin Rudd, who has undertaken to end the combat role of Australian soldiers in Iraq, also enjoy the support of Muslim terrorists?

I loved the way this putrid dog-whistle is framed as a question.

Disgraceful old dingbats like David Barnett are a blight on the media landscape.

I don’t quite know what the ABC “Unleashed” with this idiots drivel, but I feel the need to wipe it off my shoe.


And this wasn’t me!

No… honestly, it wasnt you disbelieving souls.

I’m much cuter!

George has sent in the ACN series with margins:


Some have asked for a 1996 comparison.






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100 Responses to “State of the Polls.”

  1. kwoff.com said

    State of the Polls. « Possums Pollytics

    Dead would be the closest description.

    We’ve had the big combined Newspoll at 56/44 to the ALP with primaries running 49/40 to the ALP

    ACN is out with 55/45, and primaries at 48/41 to the ALP

    Morgan is out with 57.5/42.5 and primaries running at 4…

  2. NB said

    Possum. Thanks, I needed a good laugh this afternoon. As good old Smirkerama says: “you will all die”….

  3. codger said

    Tzu-Narr-Moi Possum btw any thoughts on Mr Morgan’s caveats:
    “As I’ve been saying for months, the election will be much closer as voters finally decide whether they will vote out the Government which has Australia experiencing an economic boom.

    “Why will the election be closer? Simple:

    “Electors will vote for which party that will benefit them the most and they will see more benefit to them in tax cuts versus promises or changes in education, health, housing, etc.

    “While the ALP must be the favourite to win the election and win many L-NP seats, the gap will close and the number of L-NP seats lost will be fewer than the Morgan Poll shows today.

    “But much can happen in three weeks and an interest rate rise next week will reset the agenda again.”

    That McMahon is getting draftier, no longer wafting gently…

  4. pondie84 said

    The story states:

    “Despite the occasional dips and bumps, all the major polls now basically agree: the ALP’s two-party preferred vote ranged from 53 per cent (Galaxy) to 54.5 per cent (Morgan).”

    Well not anymore! They now range from 53% (Galaxy) to 57.5% (Morgan).

    Funny how with all the polls out we get the same pollsters at the extremes. I’d be willing to be the real result is in the middle, but closer to Galaxy. (55%)

  5. hergs said

    Is is possible that an interest rate rise might actually have the reverse effect, in that it could bring voters back to the coalition? I know Possum analysed a recent poll question with regards to this, and didn’t some voters say they would change their stance based on this? Please correct me if I am wrong.

  6. steve_e said

    The outcome for the House of Reps is clear. 10 months of solid consistency can withstand the next 3 weeks – what ever happens. The Coalition is not just dead in the water, they are drowning.

    For the Senate, if Labor receives the 2nd or 3rd preferences of the Greens, et al then they have a chance of picking up the last Senate seat in the Eastern states.

  7. Kirribilli Removals said

    Ooh, not only is Julia a commie fifth columnist, but Kevin07 is really part of a sleeper cell of Mandarin speaking jihadists!

    What with all that Union Buggery they keep warning us about, we should all be so very, very afraid!

    Possum, you’ve made my afternoon.

  8. Andos the Great said

    This result is a clear move towards the Labor party. Obviously, ordinary voters are now paying attention to the election campaign, after the circuit breaker of the election date being set. This swing back to Labor, which they’ve been waiting for since the start of the year, puts them right back in the game. If this trend continues, Labor can still win this election.


  9. GS said

    I’m sorry Pos, a biometric facial analysis of the news.com possum compared to the one on yr site confirms its you. Shame.

  10. pondie84 said

    hergs, interest rates have gone up how many times since the last election? Yet people don’t feel so at danger they need to vote Coalition now. Why would one more interest rate rise make people decide to vote Coalition?

    My impression is it won’t change the outcome at all.

  11. steve said

    Here is a look at Blair by Mark Banisch


  12. KC said


    Sure no relation to the other possum on news? it is also trashing antiques?

  13. barney said


    I wrote elsewhere that the ravings of Flint have given me an insight into the multiple universe aspect of quantum mechanics.
    The more i see of the ravings of Barnett and Pearson and Ackerman et al, the more apparent the alternative universes that they inhabit become to me.

  14. Ratsak said


    Are you prepared to undertake a DNA test and a polygraph? Have you ever been to Moruya?

    I know it was a Al Cuddly Possum sleeper cell, waging a counter-strike in the Rodent’s History Wars.

    BTW can we get that lovely graph above shown with it’s 96 counterpart?

  15. CL de Footscray said

    Thanks Possum, I was wondering whether the T word would make it into the campaign. Although D Barnett would be the one …

    As someone else said, what do you make of Morgan’s ‘soft ALP’ gibberish? Given the state of the primaries, this is surely hogwash. Sol L however appears to be backtracking a bit on his claims about soft vottes and so on. Is Morgan buying himslef insurnace? Or does he really believe that stuff?

  16. helen said

    Another member of Possum’s family was in the news last night being popped out of a womans blouse in Brisbane to show to kevin. I think his name was Sugar Glider … any relation to you poss?

  17. The Keegan said

    You bewdy Poss, another ripping smack down of the luntic fringe (or is that lunatic core) of the MSM, keep em coming!

  18. Stunkrat said

    Is it possible for anyone to accompany their research with a steamier pile of gobshite and arsebisuits than Gary Morgan manages?

  19. Batman Centrist said

    Why do I get the feeling that David Barnett probably was shaking his rather large and pendulous jowls in a fit of moral repugnance?

  20. Aristotle said

    Moruya is my home base, and I can vouch for him, it wasn’t Possum Comitatus, it was Trichosurus Vulpecula, or the Common Brushtail Possum.

    No regression, just destruction.

  21. seajay said

    i have taken to savouring David Barnett’s column, from the way he looks, to the silly old Colonel Blimp pomposity and his wonderful disdain for simple facts it is all a joy. Just imagine how much fun he will be over the next three weeks. Perhaps we should have a little competition – ‘Guess the dogwhistle’; women (or even worse Lesbians)? catholics? Left-handers (46% of the ALP frontbench are cakkyhanders – this must cease! )?
    And to think he is married to Pru Goward – delicious.
    So don’t complain – lie back and enjoy.

  22. Crikey Whitey said

    Possum. It is well known that possums do not move from their territory, and even return to it if removed by force. I think an alibi may be in order here, to curtail this impugning of your reputation. Do you live at any distance from the scene of the crime? And weren’t you at home with bunny?

  23. Gazzard said

    Morgan’s interpretation of that stupid “heading in the right direction question” is stupid.

    The question is stupid, the “australia heading in right direction + Labor = soft votes” equation is, well, stupid.

    I’ve said it before, but has it ever occurred to them that people might actually think that the equation is more like:
    “looks like labor is gonna win + Howard is a goner= australia heading in the right direction”?

    Morgan’s inability to grasp that seemingly simple concept gives me little faith in their numbers, as much as I’d like to beleive them…

  24. Kevin Brady said

    I think this column is simply an effort to distract attention from the real news here…

    I read about that pesky possum wrecking ancient fossils, and I could only think about you and John Howard.

    We need a swab!!

  25. RobertBe said

    As Peter Brent has said in today’s Mumble, with poll results so solid at this stage, a dog whistle “people not like us” issue is now a racing certainty to emerge/be engineered next week (to bury the interest rates news cycle) or early the following week. The Barnett freak show Possum properly skewers here is OTT but shows the general thinking that Howard will be drawing on.

    Today’s revelations about Kevin Andrews and the Haneef case fallback operation show us how some of the tactical ground war might be conducted. My bet : a security threat that comes to light from intelligence that can be alluded to but not specified due to “security reasons” with some sort of spurious link to Labor policy.

    With any luck Kevin will do his usual side step and such a tactic will crash to the ground. But, it’s going to be important that those in a position to do so take the sting out by highlighting the obviousness/ruthlessness of the tactic, ahead of time for preference.

  26. Possum Comitatus said

    Codger and Pondie – the way Morgan is going at the moment, the ALP could win 103 seats and Morgan would still have to narrow to hit the result 🙂

    Hergs – there is an argument around that an interest rate rise would force focus back to the Coalition and, through some mysterious process of electoral osmosis that no one has ever adequately explained , the Coalition will improve their vote.

    I can only go by the data I see, and I can’t say I’ve seen a great lot… or any coming to think about that supports that view.

    KC, oh very witty :mrgreen:

    Ratsak, can do.

    CL, I dont make a lot of it. It’s good for generating headlines though, which may well be the point of the exercise.

    Helen, every family has some riff raff among their members, but those pervy sugar gliders that hide in womens blouses, nope. That family is from the other side of the tracks! 😉

  27. Leinad said

    This obviously needs a drastic upscaling of rhetoric on hte part of the Liberal Party. I await Costello brandishing scientific papers culled from relible (online) sources predicting a total implosion of the Sun into a universe-swallowing black hole should union bosses come within fifty yards of the front bench…

  28. Possum Comitatus said

    A Union Singularity!

  29. coota bulldog said


    Your friend David Briggs will be on Meet the Press on Sunday morning.

    Something for you to tune into and throw pieces of crockery at the telly…

  30. Possum Comitatus said

    Coota, since I’m apparently a celebrity now, cracking the tough ABC local radio market in SA and all.. I think I might get my butler to throw the crockery for me :mrgreen:

    James… James!

  31. Andos the Great said

    You’ll have to get a transcript for us, Poss.

  32. Possum Comitatus said

    Andos – I dont actually do radio or TV interviews, Matt Abraham and Tony Wright were talking about me this morning over the polls or something on local SA ABC radio apparently.

  33. Andos the Great said


  34. Bruce said

    Hi Poss,
    I’ve given up on pen names for now. I put Newspoll and ACN polls since early March in a single binomial model using an indicator variable to allow ACN to be measuring something quite different from Newspoll.

    First result:
    There is no evidence that ACN and Newspoll are measuring a different underlying primary ALP support or 2PP (p=0.33 in a Likelihood Ratio Test). SO I pooled the two polls.

    2nd result:
    The ALP primary support is best modelled as constant (i.e. NO TREND) since March.
    For ACN48.3% +/- 0.8%
    For Newspoll

  35. Kay said

    Possum, you also got mentioned by Paul Bongiorno and Fran Kelly’s ABC Breakfast – the panel discussion after 8.05.

  36. Kay said

    Possum, you also got mentioned by Paul Bongiorno on Fran Kelly’s ABC Breakfast – the panel discussion after 8.05.

  37. Ratsak said

    Thanks Poss,

    Don’t those two graphs tell a story.

  38. George said

    It certainly does Ratsak…. I can just hear Howard reading the polls and listening to Ray Charles…

    “Oh, it’s cryin’ time again, you’re gonna leave me
    I can see that far away look in your eyes
    I can tell by the way you hold me darlin’ Oooh
    That it won’t be long before it’s cryin’ time”

  39. Possum Comitatus said

    If Peter R of “Having a yap” fame is reading, my email doesn’t seem to get through to your end.You might have a filtering system or something on your side.

  40. Possum Comitatus said

    Thanks Bruce, that’s interesting. I also liked the regression you ran in the last thread. Good stuff.

  41. Possum Comitatus said

    And apparently Peter Garret told Steve Price at the airport words to the effect “our me-too policy doesnt matter because after the election we can change it at will”

    I’m convinced Peter Garret is well meaning, but a well meaning lightweight and it’s why celebrity candidates should be a no go for any side.

  42. Bruce said

    Sorry didn’t finish that – here it is again:

    I’ve given up on pen names for now. I put Newspoll and ACN polls since early March in a single binomial model using an indicator variable to allow ACN to be measuring something quite different from Newspoll.

    First result:
    There is no evidence that ACN and Newspoll are measuring a different underlying primary ALP support or 2PP (p=0.33 in a Likelihood Ratio Test). SO I pooled the two polls.

    2nd result:
    There is no evidence of a trend in ALP primary intention (p=0.51). The ALP primary support is best modelled as constant since March.
    For ACN 48.3% with MOE of 0.8%
    For Newspoll 48.7% with MOE of 0.7%
    Combined 48.5% with MOE of 0.5%

    3rd result:
    There is evidence of a linear trend in 2PP voting intention (p<0.001) away from Labor at 1.9% times there current 2PP support per month.
    Although there is no evidence that ACN and Newspoll are measuring something different (see above), I’ll give seperate predictions based on Newspoll, ACN and the combined result:
    For ACN 54.2% with MOE of 1.6%
    For Newspoll 55.2% with MOE of 1.3%
    For Combined 54.8% with MOE of 1.0%

    When you combine the results the MOE declines.
    This corresponds to the following range of Labor seats in parliament based onm a uniform swing using Antony Green’s calculator:
    ACN: 79 to 95 with 91 the most likely.
    Newspoll: 87 to 101 with 94 the most likely.
    Combined: 87 to 97 with 92 the most likely.

    Again the usual caveats regarding systemmatic bias apply – whether you can trust polls. I’ve also ignored any autoregressive behaviour, which would increase the MOE for the predicted outcome. I’ll assume AR can be ignored.

    So with those caaveats, and barring a dramatic turn of events I would predict the ALP will win between 87 and 97 seats (92 +/- 5).

  43. Enemy Combatant said

    Coming soon to a plasma screen near you…..

    “The Waterboarding of El Rodente”

    (trombones, trumpets and tuba):


    Male announcer with impossibly deep bass voice which plunges with deepest inflection after EVERY phrase:

    “The sad and sorry saga of a vainglorious Rat King
    whose Hyacinth decided that he do himself slowly,
    for the good of their nation,
    their Party
    and herself;
    lest the forlorn hope of a force majeure,
    or a reasonable mirage thereof,

    Is Hyacinth a Tammy Wynette?…..a Magda Macbeth?…..You Be The Judge!”

    MA 15+, some scenes show graphic pictures of uncontrollable lip sniggering, effusive blubbering, and tears enough to drown a family of SIEV-X survivors.


    1. LABOR 1.28
    2. COALITION 3.70

  44. George said

    yeah, agree Poss (regarding Garret) – they [Labor] just don’t need silly stuff like that to deal with. Although, is it possible that Price is crapping on?

  45. Bruce said

    Hi Enemy Combatant
    Those prices (LABOR 1.28, COALITION 3.70) give an implied probability of 74% for a Labor win.

  46. Mark said

    Barnett is cracker, (these guys actually believe this stuff). Latest addition to Unleashed (YOUR ABC) is an article by Andrew Petrie where he wipes Malcolm Turnbulls bottom.

  47. Enemy Combatant said

    That’s my kind of implied probability, Bruce!

    And let’s not stand on ceremony, soldier.
    Friends call me Enemy…… EC’s fine too.

  48. Refried Noodle said

    Hey Poss:

    Paul Bongiorno’s (sp?) election aticle on Ch10 News copied your cashrate and labor primary vote graph.

    Along with Me Megalogenis’ article this morning where is the credit?

    Credit where credit is due!!!

  49. Peter R said


    Peter R here. Got your last email and yap (finally). There must be a possum catcher on my server, which I shall remove forthwith! Thanks for the yap!

    BTW (and this is probably not on thread – sorry), I just finished reading Andrew Charlton’s ‘Ozonomics’. A great read. Can’t help but think that most of Rudd et al have read it or had it drilled into them by their minders etc so as to argue against the myths of the economic ‘superheros’ in Howie & Cossie.

  50. Bruce said

    Hi Peter R,
    I’ve also read Ozonomics. Not just a great read (for non-economists too), but I think he’s right. He really points out the BS in Howard and Costello’s claptrap.

    When professional economists talk about significant reforms they mostly point to the Hawke-Keating era. Making the Reserve independent was Howard’s biggest reform. The GST was mixed – good for everyone except small business who have to do the bookkeeping.

    Whether Workchoices is a reform, neutral or economically damaging (and an attack on workers) depends very much on the economists politics, but none think it’s very significant economically.

  51. jo said

    it’s hard to believe garrett would make such a stupid comment to price, whose wife btw. works as a staffer in hockey’s office.

    price was the creep who announced an interview with penny wong last week, with a comment along the lines of “you wouldn’t want to be married to her”.

    i’ll wait to see what the wash up is on this one. i’m not prepared to take price at his word.

  52. Possum Comitatus said

    Refried Noodle (cracker of a name BTW), if you look at the fine print of the graph in the treeware edition of the Oz, you’ll see “possum comitatus” given as the source. That’s the first time I’ve seen an anonymous blogger used as a source in that way on a broadsheet(apart from Henry Thornton – but he isn’t exactly anonymous).

    Mr Bongiorno appears to be a regular reader – not only is it good to see that he has discerning tastes with his blog reading, but more power to him for using the graphs :mrgreen:

    Peter R, good to hear!

  53. Steve_S said

    Paul Bongiorno has gone one step further on Channel Ten News Melbourne; he also included your “Cash Rate vs Opposition Vote” graph.
    Good to see that the MSM are finally recognising the value of commentary on the political blogs particularly this one.
    Well done Possum

  54. Possum Comitatus said

    Bruce, that’s good analysis. The primary votes seem to be the only real figure that’s worth modeling at the moment because of the way the volatile minor party vote is playing with the TPP. Newspoll and ACN have been twins for years in their polling series, only really differing on preference allocations on most occasions. It’s not surprising to see them so close on the primary vote, it reinforces what I’ve been measuring, athough in a completely different way.

    Thanks muchly.

  55. Bruce said

    Garrett’s statement on the SMH site:
    “On radio today, Steve Price related a short, jocular conversation which occurred at Melbourne Airport this morning,” Mr Garrett said.

    “Notwithstanding what was said, there is no doubt things would change under a Labor government.

    “We would launch an education revolution, we would get rid of Work Choices, we would deliver a high speed broadband network across Australia, we will end the blame game on hospitals.

    “There is nothing remarkable about that.”

    Garrett’s statement is an attempt at spin. It’s not a denial or a claim he was taken out of context, which would be plausible under the circumstances. He is saying it was intended in jest, but this seems a strange way to manage it.

  56. jo said

    thanks bruce – jeez, making stupid flippant comments to the likes of steve price!! don’t these people have minders?

    jeff kennett had a platoon of minders with him 24/7, by the time of the ’92 campaign, he was a walking headline without them.

    and thanks possum, for your all work as always.

  57. jo said

    for all your work…. cup of tea time, i reckon.

  58. Possum Comitatus said

    Being in Qld, where we are only 19 years and 1 hour behind with that damn curtain fading daylight saving that goes on in Mexico, Paul Bongiorno was a very nice fellow and actually put “source:possum comitatus” on the bottom of the channel ten interest rate chart.

  59. paradiseenough said


    And this wasn’t me!

    No… honestly, it wasnt you disbelieving souls.”

    and then…

    “Mr Sewell said some of the items damaged – including… vintage beer bottles – were invaluable to the museum.”

    Oh Possum!

  60. Crikey Whitey said

    # 32 “Andos – I dont actually do radio or TV interviews, Matt Abraham and Tony Wright were talking about me this morning over the polls or something on local SA ABC radio apparently”.

    Yet, Possum, yet.

  61. Possum Comitatus said

    I’ve been offered plenty of times CW, I turn them down. The last thing I want to turn into is one of those vacuous political talking head famewhores that populate the media space, and seem to have a 10 second answer for everything, none of it worth listening to.

    Not my cup of tea – I like to rant!

  62. SJP said

    hi possum
    i heard Matt and Dave this morning on 891. Matt was saying how great you were. They talked about how your analysis of last two new polls showed coalition were cactus and Tony Wright even called the election for the labour party on the result of your polling collation, which the Australian hadn’t been brave enough to do :)They even called you by your proper name Possum Comitatus BUT they said you wrote for crikey, they didn’t mention you had your own blog.
    fame awaits you!

  63. Crikey Whitey said

    Yeah, but Possums are cuter than say, rodents.

    What about an anonymous spot on animation, say Creature Comforts.

  64. Crikey Whitey said

    And SJP. Would you share my view that MattnDavenTony are usually pretty hostile to Labor?

  65. Ratsak said

    Congrats to the Mathematical Marsupial on the growing fame outside of the blogsphere. Just shows the lack of considered intelligent analysis in the MSM I suppose.

    Anyway hi to Paul, George and all of the other media hacks (it’s a term of endearment, honestly) who are popping in.

  66. Kirribilli Shredders said

    The third party at the Price-Garrett exchange was Richard Wilkins from Channel 9. Interviewed on 9 news tonight he categorically stated that Garrett was pulling his leg.
    Needless to say the impartial MSM is putting the spin on it.

  67. greggowa said

    Possum I’d like to see state of the poll graph overlayed on the 2001 graph you reproduced a week or so ago.
    Will you do that?
    And thanks for the laugh with David…. (whatever). It’s like the abc has taken the most self parodying (sp??) goose and gave him plenty of rope! Or is he a plant from the Chaser team………

  68. dkindon said

    why are people agonising over the words of a shock jock whose word means nothing?

  69. Samuel K said

    The Australian website leading with the Garrett story is simply pathetic. I love politics, but the media are clearly going mad with boredom this week to find this “news” so exciting. Booorrrinnnnggg….

    Can’t wait for the interest rate decision to get something of substance back on the front pages.

  70. CookElector said

    My house was polled for the Morgan survey last weekend. They wanted young people, because the youth were hard to find at home on Saturdays, so they interviewed my under-18-year old daughter. They asked how she would vote if she were old enough, and then the “Australia heading right direction?” question, as well as lots of other consumer questions.

    Afterwards, I asked my daughter about the “right direction” question. She said that Australia wasn’t a third world country and wasn’t about to become one, although she did think we might be better off under Labor – so she had answered “yes”.

    So she never saw the question as asking whether *the government* is leading us in the right direction. After all, many people out there don’t see the government as being all that relevant to everyday life. They can imagine their lives getting better (e.g. better consumer items in the shopping malls, a promotion at work, a win at sport) without attributing it to the government.

  71. Martin said

    quite a convoluted lead in the Weekend Oz…Shanahan says marginal seat analysis of the latest Newspoll gives Howard “new hope”, but the published tables on p6 show 24 seats in Qld,NSW,Vic,SA falling to Labor.

    he brazenly states Bennelong “would appear to be safe”, offering scant evidence in support

  72. Martin said

    while stating in the p1 lead Bennelong is “safe”, it is included in a table on p6 of seats that would fall to Labor on current polling…go figure

  73. Rod said

    What on earth is Shanahan using? Whatever it is , it clearly messes with his mind! Send in the army, I reckon. There is clearly more need for an intervention at The OZ than in the NT if his latest post is anything to go by (I guess many people have suspected this for some time! 😉 )

    “Talking things up” is one thing, but flying completely in the face of reality is not going to get his beloved Libs over the line!

  74. George said

    And for Howard’s next trick, over to an SMH report:


    “REAL pay has gone backwards under the Howard Government’s new wage setting system, with some workers on award pay rates now more than $15 a week worse off in the past 12 months.

    Recent higher inflation has overtaken the modest pay rises handed out by the Australian Fair Pay Commission last month, pushing most of the 1 million workers covered by award rates into the red, according to new figures.”

    And Rod @73, agree, Shanahan has lost the plot. I guess I’d also have a hard time trying to sound credible if someone asked me to write about how delicious 3-week old roadkill tasted.

  75. George said

    And this one by Shaun Carney on John Stirton (of ACN) has discovered that “the figures suggested that campaigns for the most part did not appear to have a large influence on the outcome”.

    Wow Poss, and here I thought you had already analysed this a dozen times. Nothing like the same analysis in a MSM report so that we can finally believe in the same conclusion 😉

    “Stirton had heard this theory tossed around so much that he decided to test it” – now where the heck do ya think he “heard” this theory???


  76. JustAlarmed said


    I’m sure you have already started analysing this, but apparently, Newspoll have released marginal seat results:
    under the headline “Chinks appearing in Labor’s lead”

    Sounds dodgy…

  77. George said

    JustAlarmed, the title of the article doesn’t make any sense when you read the text – it’s all over the place.

  78. JustAlarmed said

    I’m with you George. I can’t make any sense of it, but wondered if Possum could…

  79. The Steel Golem said

    My Farther recently reminded me about one of my first political observations. When I was about 8 I asked him why we didn’t get some sort of a vote for the president of the USA (afterall he was the most powerful man on earth and affects of lives som much)…Well it appears we do as a Vote against Howard is a vote against Bush…seriously the ALP could use that as a campaign slogan.

    BTW nice work Poss…have been sending some links to the ALP campaign here in Ryan…the Libs seem like they’re going to lose Ryan (which they won with about 10.4% in 04)

  80. Pancho said

    Hey Possum, sure you’re way ahead of me on this, but The Age claims you make

    ‘all sorts of fascinating and persuasive political arguments based on the evidence of figures turned into graphs.’


  81. SJP said

    hi crikey whitey
    i think matt is hostile to everyone who has a political leaning one way or the other but i suspect he has a particular dislike of Rudd, he is far more respectful to Howard in interviews. i think Tony Wright is an idiot – he drivels on and on, but have heard him be just as critical of the pm. As for David Bevan-he’s a laugh!

  82. JP said

    JustAlarmed @ 76:

    Yep, the headline writer hasn’t read the article.

    In the four states polled, Labor’s lead is 6-8% TPP **in seats currently held by the Coalition**, by an average of around 2%. Which would make the swing in these marginals 8-10% – slightly higher than the national polling is showing.

    That’s not a chink in Labor’s lead, that’s Labor winning 90+ seats easy!

  83. JP said

    Too much looking at numbers has addled my brain to not see the bleeding obvious.

    The key fact in the story is that in 18 Coalition marginals, Labor is leading by a country mile. Labor only needs to win 16 seats to win the election. Game over.

  84. Evan said

    Thanks for the ’96 comparison graph.

    This year looks strangely like an inversion of ’96.

    BTW, loved the story Possum running amok.

    While it may not have been you, there are curious similarities: “For a really small possum, it did a lot of damage….”

  85. stevet said

    In the circles I move in Dennis Shanahan’s nickname is ‘Shithead’ because of the pure drivel that he comes out with when he tries to defend his dear leader. Hwen you take a closer look you realise thta the polls have the Government on track to lose 25 seats, and that doesn’t include Tassie, WA or the NT. If you include those it could be as high as 30. Sol Lebovic (who could never be accused of being a leftie) is much closer to the mark whe n he says there is no joy in the figures for the Coalition at all.

  86. Neil Cammack said

    On the seemingly reasonable assumption that the numbers are unlikely to move by more than a smidgin over the course of the campaign I’m guessing that Labor’s 2PP vote will be in the range 54-56%, which on a uniform swing would deliver at least a 24-seat majority (including Bennelong). The only alternative at this stage seems to be accepting the “narrowing” dogma, which seems to be a matter of faith rather than science.

    And I’m taking Peter Garrett’s outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease into account. By now I expect that he’s been parachuted into the Tasmanian wilderness with a backpack, and with luck will emerge (maybe with Tony Abbott in tow) by November 24.

  87. Martin said

    or confined to a dungeon deep in the bowels of Norman Park…any attempt to capitalise on the latest Garrett gaffe will be drowned out by Derby/Cup days, tomorrow’s embarrasing Galaxy poll in Bennelong and Wednesday’s interest rate rise. no damage done, but Pete needs a spell

  88. Stig said

    Warning – this post contains disturbing mental imagery.

    This is sort of on-topic… I was polled by Galaxy here in Bennelong a couple of nights ago; this seat-specific poll can be expected out in the next couple of days I think. Anyway, as you’d expect one of the questions was which candidate would you vote for, and then because I answered one of the minor party candidates, the followup was basically about whether you’d eventually preference McKew or Howard.

    One of the later questions was do you think you could change your vote before the election, which I answered positively. Now, this is going to be interpreted by Mr Briggs as that I might end up preferencing Howard – which is about as likely as Piers Ackerman and I wearing nothing but sheer pantyhose, and then running down George St while holding hands. However, I was answering truthfully, as I may change my vote to a different minor party, or to the ALP. So, when Galaxy comes out, and there’s talk about the ALP vote being soft, just think about how the way a question is constructed can distort the answer that you receive.

    That is all. Apologies if I’ve turned you off your dinner.

  89. George said

    “Piers Ackerman and I wearing nothing but sheer pantyhose, and then running down George St while holding hands”… well, I guess you did warn us!

  90. Enemy Combatant said

    Great oil and analysis, Stig. And it’s probably best if you avoid any novels by “known fantasist”, Thomas Pynchon, lest you be led deeper into moral turpitude.

    “Apologies if I’ve turned you off your dinner.”

    Not necessary. Laughter is a most efficacious digestive.

    “Piers Ackerman and I wearing nothing but sheer pantyhose, and then running down George St while holding hands.”

    You conjure the dancing hippos in tutus from Disney’s Fantasia.
    A chorus line of sidewalk Ackermans hoofin’ frantically for alligator action.
    My, how that man can move! He has a natural sense of rhythm. What is that, born right in him, I guess? The way he choreographs his gesticulations on Insiders is simply breathtaking.

  91. GS said

    A bit off-thread – or mebbe not – but does Shanahan believe his own spin do y’think? Is it just market niche positioning under orders or just backward-looking sheer bloody mindedness? Reading him I get the sense that he’s a rabbit in the headlights of Rudd’s SUV…

  92. Rod said

    So what about that ballot position draw, then? Doesn’t do Labour any favours in Victorian seats like McEwen and McMillan, unfortunately.

    Howard Govt Minister Fran Bailey is doing her damnedest to try to look like a Pinko Greenie Community Independent in McEwen. Big pink posters with no mention of the Liberal Party in letters big enough to see as you drive by (the party name may appear in the very small print at the bottom in the mandatory endorsement information, but I couldn’t see it while driving). All focused on doing things “locally”.

    Two personally addressed items in the letter box so far, one of which was on green paper with, again, no mention of Liberal Party or John Howard. The second was a a lurid pink flyer called “Working Together with Fran Bailey” on one side and “McEwen News” on the other, with no party identification whatsoever. Inside it has a list of everything from mowers for the Wattle Glen Cricket club to ADSL 2+ broadband upgrades for Hurstbridge (where, just by the way, we don’t actually have access to ADSL 2+ broadband and aren’t actually expected to in the near future either!). It never SAYS that Fran had anything whatsoever to do with acquiring any of these things, of course, but it certainly implies that she did. Fran has quite a reputation in the local area for claiming credit for other people’s work!

    But I guess the main point here is that when even Howard Government Ministers are pretending that they have nothing to do with the current government, and don’t even mention the fact that they happen to be members of the Liberal Party on their advertising, you can get some idea of how much “on the nose” the current mob really are! Looks like she might need every bit of the donkey vote that unfortunately has landed in her lap!

  93. Craig McGarty said

    Let’s see Newspoll polled 18 seats in four states. The result suggest that currently the LNP is looking at losing 17 of those 18 seats (let’s forget the other seats that weren’t polled for a moment).

    Possum as the representative of the alternative MSM (i.e., marsupially supplied msuings) we expect you to obey the protocols. Have your marsupial-in-chief ring Dennis Shanahan and tell him you are going to “go” him.

  94. Stig said

    Yeah EC, Piers can really move those feet. I’m also guessing he uses a lot of body oil to squeeze through the tight spots in his arguments, combined with keeping his chutzpah honed to a fine edge. Poetry in motion.

  95. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Bob Hawke on Howard’s rabbits in the hat – “The rabbits have all gone down their burrows and the chickens have come home to roost, to mix metaphors.”

  96. Bert said

    Is it not obvious? All the strange manifestations and musings by these now close to hysterical and in total denial ‘journos’ are pointing to only one future!

    The last time I felt so sorry for someone else was, when I saw John H clutching a half dozen cans of light beer in the driveway of a bottle shop on the eve of the 1983 election.
    He assured the interviewer he was going home to celebrate!

    I am sure he will be celebrating the same way on the 24th of November 2007!


  97. Enemy Combatant said

    Seems Garrett’s goof-off has been factored out as significant by punters despite the media frenz-a-thon.

    LABOR 1.29
    COALITION 3.60

    Btw, something weird is happening over at The Bludger. There’s a newly formatted layout that won’t allow comment access.
    I’m gonna quit this shit on Nov. 25. Walk away clean, master of my own destiny. Well maybe just a couple of days strictly for post-mortems, and then cold turkey. Easy peasy. Just like that! No problem at all.
    Wonder who’s on Insiders tomorrow?

  98. mate said

    yea EC, ME-2! 🙂

  99. amused said

    At the risk of sounding a bit Colonel Blimpish myself, I thought Barnett’s article was disgusting.

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