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Startling news from the polls

February 5th, 2012

In a piece that pretty much writes off Julia Gillard as PM, Laurie Oakes reports

ALP polling has produced a finding that has startled those around the prime minister.

It shows that, while only 30 per cent of voters plan to vote for the Gillard Government, 38 per cent describe themselves as Labor people.

The conclusion drawn from this is that the Government has to be seen as ‘more Labor’. It has to show more concern about, and become more identified with, things that are regarded as `Labor issues

Wow, how could anyone have predicted that?

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  1. Doug
    February 5th, 2012 at 15:47 | #1

    I am surprised the proportion of “Labour people” is not somewhat higher.

    On the other had it does raise the interesting issue that 30% of Australians think the Gillard Government is a Labor Government.

  2. BilB
    February 5th, 2012 at 17:31 | #2

    I think that you are missinterpreting the result. The 8% is the Green factor, and not a loss to Labour. Actually 38% of people calling themselves Labourish is not that bad a result.

    The suggestion that Crean might consider himself an electorate magnet is a bit of a stretch considering that he has near zero public profile, and for good reason.

  3. February 5th, 2012 at 18:10 | #3

    Pr Q quotes unnamed ALP sources:

    while only 30 per cent of voters plan to vote for the Gillard Government, 38 per cent describe themselves as Labor people.

    Perhaps you are referring to the disenchantment of so-called “Rainbow Labor”. Well they can go take their votes and shove them where the sun don’t shine

    So, say 4% of “Labor” voters are giving their primary vote to the GRNs rather ALP, 80% of which are returned to the ALP’s two-party preferred column. Whats the big deal?

    I would be more worried about the other 4% of former Labor voters giving their primary vote to the L/NP, 0% of which goes back to the ALP’s two-party preferred column. Those turnaround votes are worth nearly double to the other side of politics.

    I am disgusted with the attitude of Leftists towards the Gillard government which has done more actual good for working families than all the process-obsessed, feel-good symbolism of Rudd’s late, unlamented premiership. As if Rudd represents salt of the earth Labor values.

    Just yesterday the Gillard government achieved yet another victory for working families with its successful championship of a pay rise for workers in the community service sector. Add that to the successful passage of CPRS and MRRT legislation that Rudd squibbed or flubbed. One might have thought that outcomes matter more than fine sounding phrases or endless pointless negotiation.

    More generally Gillard been applied the brakes on the insane “Big Australia” open borders policy, the bipartisan conspiracy of Left- and Right-liberals, has inflicted enormous damage and disaster to the real economy and ecology of this country. Just today another report on this slow motion car-wreck of a policy, Brace yourself for highway to hell:

    MELBOURNE is on the road to a congestion crisis, with an extra 101,500 cars forecast to clog the city’s freeways within five years…Traffic experts have warned the projections – which do not include trucks or motorbikes – exposed the growing threat of city-wide gridlock.

    RACV spokeswoman Thanuja Gunatillake said the State Government had no strategy in place to deal with the growing chaos on Melbourne’s freeways and said the future was “dire” for motorists commuting to the city.

    The data was released by VicRoads under Freedom of Information laws after a four-month campaign by the Sunday Herald Sun…The RACV estimated congestion cost the Victorian economy $3 billion a year and would continue to sky-rocket as roads became more jammed.

    I would be more inclined to take these periodic navel-gazing, hand-wringing, finger-wagging exercises if media-academia progressives addressed themselves to the real world concerns of Labor voters. Rather than indulge in a never-ending attempt to undermine one Labor leader who at least does.

  4. Sam
    February 5th, 2012 at 18:24 | #4

    I’ll second Jacks’s sentiment here, especially the bit about the “process-obsessed, feel-good symbolism of Rudd’s late, unlamented premiership.” His population policy alone is enough to disqualify him in my view. I’m a bit puzzled by JQ’s championing of Rudd, though I certainly share his disappointment with Gillard.

  5. Peter Smith
    February 5th, 2012 at 18:46 | #5

    Good God, I agree with Jack Strocchi!
    I accept that Gillard has image problems, but her government has achieved a great deal under difficult circumstances. She came to power too soon in her personal development, but seems to be catching up well.
    If she goes, who would replace her as PM? Rudd has demonstrated he has zero political skills, apart from campaigning ability (persuading people to believe his fantasies). Shorten and Combet don’t have enough experience yet – and we see how that works.
    On the other side there is Turnbull, but he doesn’t have a party to lead.
    Perhaps Labor should try to recruit Fraser? Or persuade Keating to come back?
    Honestly, who would you like to have managing your government? As far as I can see, Julia is the only possible in the present crop.

  6. Peter Smith
    February 5th, 2012 at 18:53 | #6

    Steven Smith perhaps? (No relation).

  7. February 6th, 2012 at 03:45 | #7

    As I predicted back on 23 JUL 2012 Gillard has made a strong recovery from her abysmal position of mid-2012 and has now gotten back to a poor but not impossible 47-53 2PP result in the polls. She has also edged ahead of Abbott in preferred PM stakes. The Age reports on latest Nielsen poll results:

    JULIA Gillard has received a boost in Labor’s vote and leads Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister for the first time in nine months, in an Age/Nielsen poll that will give the embattled leader some relief as the government reels from intense speculation about her future. Labor’s primary vote has risen 4 points to 33 per cent since December, while Ms Gillard’s approval is up 5 points to 40 per cent. Her preferred-PM rating has increased by 6 points to 48 per cent, ahead of Mr Abbott’s 46 per cent, which was steady. The government has improved its two-party vote by 4 points to 47 per cent, but trails the Coalition on 53 per cent, down 4 points.

    .

    There is an unholy alliance between the Right and Left to unseat Gillard because, rather than in spite, of her successful championship of mainstream values and interests. It should be fought bitterly. The Centre must hold!

  8. February 6th, 2012 at 03:47 | #8

    Not forgetting the presses appalling role in all this, circling like vultures at the first sight of a wounded animal. The trek to 2013 is long and arduous. Its time to circle the wagons folks.

  9. February 6th, 2012 at 03:54 | #9

    The press gallery is full of such revolting specimens, particularly Milne, Grattan and Oakes. None of them have ever had an original thought in their lives, they just cultivate highly-placed sources who put them on the drip feed to push their own agenda of “whipping up leadership speculation”. Talk about dysfunctional co-dependency. They all need to take time off to go to rehab whilst the rest of us get on with real jobs.

  10. Ken Fabian
    February 6th, 2012 at 07:56 | #10

    As for Highways as the real world concern of voters – they are regularly used and visible infrastructure. Our reliance on them exposes us daily to their limitations and that’s manifested as emotionally powerful frustrations. Our love of our pieces of mobile personal space blind us to how unsustainable, environmentally costly and inappropriate they are for a primary form of mass transport.

    Once again our political system lets us down; popular press-button politics uses it as a powerful emotive issue to drive voter sentiment. Hit the emotional buttons and well thought out, longer term thinking is short-circuited. Traffic jams and frustrating delays are the clubs to whack political opponents with, new bigger better motorways the visible signs of success to build support upon. Long term infrastructure that is ultimately inappropriate is further entrenched into the way we live and the opportunities of the present to use forethought and planning to treat future costs and consequences seriously are foregone.

  11. BilB
    February 6th, 2012 at 08:28 | #11

    Well, this morning’s news polls tell a very different story to the one in the header.

    What a difference a day makes.

    Now we see a steady climb by labour to a commanding position.

    The newly launched Global Mail has a feature about Autralia’s “Prime Minister in Waiting”…..Malcolm Turnbull. I think that all of the leadership speculation is about to turn around as well. Tony who??

    Cheers

  12. Troy Prideaux
    February 6th, 2012 at 08:48 | #12

    @BilB
    As I recently stated here, there’s much internal tension in both the major parties.

  13. Ian Milliss
    February 6th, 2012 at 09:14 | #13

    Oddly the SMH and #theirABC late last week seemed to be winding up to some fantasy spill on Sunday. Perhaps they new that it wasn’t Gillard’s leadership that was slipping away, and this was the last chance for their puerile fantasy of bringing down the government. Eventually they will just have to settle for bringing down Tony ‘The Boxing Bantam” Abbott. Incidentally I can’t help thinking that much of their hatred of Gillard is based on the fact that no-one leaked to them about her takeover. Everyone else might think Rudds not a team player but as far as they are concerned she’s the one that’s not the team player, in their game at least.

  14. Chris Warren
    February 6th, 2012 at 10:14 | #14

    This post is propaganda. There are no startled people around the Prime Minister. This is the figment in the imagination of a media trouble-maker.

    The attempted white-anting of Gillard is contradicted by:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-06/nielsen-poll-sees-gillard-overtake-abbott/3812718

    The task is to defeat Abbott.

  15. Rob
    February 6th, 2012 at 11:22 | #15

    Hehe… Perhaps the pollsters should introduce a “generic Labor candidate”?

  16. may
    February 6th, 2012 at 12:03 | #16

    who pays the pollster pips the polls?
    oh dear,monday and already into grump overdrive.

    here in the west barnett is consistently described as “popular”.

    the current state govt is formed by a majority of one bought by the rorts for regions,sorry,”royalties for regions” from what used to be called the country party.
    though his efforts to bring in stop and search legislation was stymied by one country vote.

    if the conservative coalition was polled separately how would they stack up against the present fed govt?independents,greens and labor.

  17. derrida derider
    February 6th, 2012 at 13:19 | #17

    Much as I am disappointed with this government, I’m more and more thinking that its electoral prospects aren’t as dire as I and others thought. 53-47 means you only have to persuade 1.5% of the punters to switch to you to get back (actually slightly less may do because of electoral boundaries). And if things go right for Gillard in 2012 that’s doable.

    I think the current media frenzy is Rudd’s last attempt to get his old job back – he must know its now or never. But even if the ALP get desperate and dumped Gillard they wouldn’t go for Rudd. The plain fact is that some MPs WOULD resign and bring down the government down there and then – hatred of him is that strong (and with some reason). All the hardheads must know that.

    OTOH his behaviour has given him a good chance of becoming party leader again – as Leader of the Opposition.

    Oh, and what Ian said about those petty fools in the press gallery. Seeing politics done at close quarters is disillusioning enough – seeing how it is reported is much more so.

  18. rog
    February 6th, 2012 at 13:36 | #18

    The blowback for Abbott is, if you accept his spiel that the Gillard (aka Browns b1tch) led govt to be the worst since adam was a boy why is it that Abbott can’t bounce Gillard in the polls?

    Considering all the alleged horrendous debacles of NBN, home insulation, carbon tax, MRRT etc you old think that there would be riots in the streets.

    And the debt, which was such an issue, now seems like money well spent.

    All the contentious issues have been laid to rest and Abbott will struggle for another issue to wrangle with.

  19. Charles
    February 6th, 2012 at 20:34 | #19

    Under this government it looks like we are going to get disability insurance. I would rank that as a significant social policy.

  20. February 6th, 2012 at 21:20 | #20

    Charles @ #19 said:

    Under this government it looks like we are going to get disability insurance. I would rank that as a significant social policy.

    If you think that will sway Pr Q you are sadly mistaken. He hopped onto the Press Gallery bandwagon on Gillard. The media-academia complex have written off Gillard because she is behind in the polls, don’t you see thats the only thing that matters?

    It wouldnt matter that she has delivered on CPRS and MRRT, whilst her predecessor didnt. Or that she has pushed through a massive pay rise for community service workers and kicked off a national disability insurance scheme. Or that she has put a brake on the madness that is “Big Australia”.

    And at least tried to do something sensible about the mass drownings of unauthorised and unseaworthy asylum seeker boats. BTW, thanks GRNs for proving my point about the Left-liberal compulsive preference for moralistic symbolism over moral substance.

    None of this matters. The media-academia scent blood in the water because the PM is not as popular as she might be and they need something to write about. Honestly, what a bunch of simpering school girls the Press Gallery come across as. Gossiping and bitching like the schoolyard in-crowd clique.

    I think the ALP can win the election, with either Gillard or Rudd. But I strongly prefer Gillard because she gets things done and because the ALP like her, even or perhaps especially the true believers. Contrary to Pr Q’s point, Gillard is more popular among solid ALP voters than Rudd.

    More importantly, Rudd is a squib. He is constitutionally unable to close major deals. Like many diplomat bureaucrats he has good policy ideas and is great on options. But he can’t make political decisions, as proven by the debacle of his first CPRS and then MRRT.

    To make big political decisions you have to get your allies to love you and generate hatred within the enemy camp. Whitlam had this in spades, Keating also and of course Howard. Even Gillard has a hint of this greatness.

    But Rudd’s allies in the ALP despise him and his adversaries in the L/NP really like him.

    That says it all.

  21. Freelander
    February 7th, 2012 at 13:57 | #21

    @Jack Strocchi

    I’m afraid I have to agree with Jack about the ‘revolting specimens’. Although most journalists seem to be journalists due to some burning desire for fame, very few have anywhere near enough talent to get to their goal honestly. If they had an ounce of honor they might walk that well trodden path and release a s*x tape of themselves on the internet. Seems to have done wonders for Ms Hilton, although don’t seem to have heard much about her lately.

    As for Rudd there is nothing there worth recycling. And Gillard has shown herself to have almost as little integrity as Toxic Tony and the rest of the Labor party have shown themselves to be as integrity challenged because not one of them have walked on any of her acts of treachery.
    (Note that the so-called stabbing of Rudd in the back is not one of her sins; the only knife in that assassination was wielded by Rudd himself.) As for Rudd post-disposal behaviour, amazing the antics the Labor party is willing to put up with just to stay in government.

    Among Kevin Oh Heaven’s stupid moves when he was the nation’s “dear leader” was his giving various posts to recently retired ratbags like Downer. No doubt Kevin considered himself clever (considering himself clever one of his many flaws) but, sadly, from Downer and co, fat lot of gratitude there. Another major mistake was his failure to quickly get rid of the various coalition appointees who have continued to work hard to undermine the Labor administration. But then, the real purpose of the Labor party nowadays seems to be the individual advancement of those who have schmoozed their way to the top. The welfare of those silly fellows who voted for them doesn’t seem to be a consideration.

  22. Fran Barlow
    February 7th, 2012 at 14:26 | #22

    @Freelander

    While I agree that “stabbing Kevin in the back” (bloviation !) was no crime (it was a blunder, but that is now moot) I don’t see that he “wielded any knives”). I also don’t agree that he has been anything other than a team player since. There’s simply no evidence at all that he is directly encouraging briefing against the regime — which is not to say that he isn’t a pole of attraction for those who for some reason wouldn’t prefer a change to something else than Gillard.

    At this stage, we merely have the #murdochracy to rely on, and so, this side of some reliable evidence to the contrary, I’m putting this under the heading of nonsense.

  23. Troy Prideaux
    February 7th, 2012 at 15:25 | #23

    Fran Barlow :
    @Freelander
    I also don’t agree that he has been anything other than a team player since. There’s simply no evidence at all that he is directly encouraging briefing against the regime

    Indeed; I haven’t seen any publicly recorded evidence to support these claims. I was absolutely appalled of the media’s reporting after watching his appearance on Q&A last year which he simply answered questions directly and honestly producing headlines asserting his new push for the PM’s job. Making an appearance on national television was construed as initiating a campaign for the job. It’s just sad that someone in his position is forced to hide in some cave to avoid such controversy.

  24. February 7th, 2012 at 16:51 | #24

    Although I am not obsessed with periodic polling results (“the only poll that matters…”) the Nielsen polls over the past six months show a striking recovery of the ALP’s fortunes from its mid-term slump. Back in JUL 2011 the Nielsen poll reported the ALP-L/NP spreads as follows: primary 26-51; 2PP 39-61. Fast forward to FEB 2012 and Nielsen poll reports ALP-L/NP as follows: primary 34-45, 2PP 53-47. Thats an improvement of 31% on primary and 26% on 2PP in the space of six months. Similar, although smaller, changes are evident in preferred PM, although this “beauty contest” measure has less predictive utility,

    Pretty impressive, even unprecedented recovery. Although we should perhaps wait for other polls and a few more periods to confirm this trend before popping the champagne corks.

    Call me unsurprised. Throughout 2011 I predicted a strong recovery in Gillard-ALP’s vote, based on the waning of the mid-term slump plus failure of the sky to fall in the wake of CPRS. I have also firmed in my prediction that the ALP (whether Gillard or Rudd) will win in 2013.

    One thing I can be absolutely certain of: never in AUS political history has the gap between a government’s worthwhile policy achievements and its diabolic political aggravations ever been greater. Perhaps this is the fault of the government, “failing to sell its message”. More likely it is the fault of media-academia acting as unwitting stooges for the vaulting ambition of a man not up to the challenge.

  25. February 7th, 2012 at 17:07 | #25

    As Clint Eastwood would put it, its half-time for Julia. And her second half has just begun.

  26. Freelander
    February 8th, 2012 at 08:22 | #26

    Unfortunately, the political sideshow is becoming increasingly irrelevant. I doubt whoever we get, the current circus, toxic tony, or some new vaudeville act, the avoidance of the obvious and important, and increasingly the “too late to do anything much” will be the factors determining our fates over this decade. Nothing much has been done about derivatives post-GFC, and credit default swaps are currently an important but not sufficiently talked about factor in the European crisis, and it is all is getting rapidly worse on the climate change front with the increased global humidity making the 2011 torrential year simply a taste of worse to come.

    Are we entering an era of ‘government irrelevancy’? A just released PNAS paper would suggest that the (economic) impacts of climate change may have been grossly underestimated.

    http://m.pnas.org/content/early/2012/02/03/1120177109.abstract?etoc?etoc?etoc

    These political warm-up acts might be followed by a horror story main act.

    But, of course, nothing to worry about, as we know that climate change is just a greeny conspiracy by a coalition of greedy scientists after research funding, attention seeking wannabe celebrities, and red-green tree-huggers intent on a one world government!

  27. Ken Fabian
    February 8th, 2012 at 16:14 | #27

    I don’t expect our mainstream media to be sympathetic to Labor under any leader – although I think they’d become even more harsh and relentless critics should Labor be stupid enough to imagine a leadership change could help them. Being more active and less reactive, able to stick to something, any at all, (beyond trying to keep their poll numbers up), would help.

    But ultimately they are going to continue to look like Liberal Light to me, at best pragmatic and practical managers for, one hopes, interests a bit broader than the real Liberal’s narrow corporate interests who are all take with just a little trickle for PR purposes. That rather than driven by deeper principles.

  28. February 8th, 2012 at 18:35 | #28

    FTR the forthcoming 2013 election is the most consequential contest for a generation, since Fightback 1993. The political story of partisan contests from the nineties through noughties has been slow and steady policy convergence, with plenty of political splicing and dicing of electoral demographics.

    But Minchin’s Martyrdom Operation changed all that, opening up a major partisan policy divergence on the fundamental issue of carbon costing and in effect deposing both Turnbull and Rudd. It also revealed a remarkable difference in political styles, the introverted policy-focused and outcomes-oriented Gillard versus the sound-byte oriented, oppoositional attack dog that is Abbott.

    It has also sets the stage for a truly memorable “half-time for Julia” comeback, if the ALP caucus can hold their nerve and if the disenchanted ALP voters can come to their senses. There is always a deal of ruin in the nation but you can’t complain about the political plot twists.

  29. Jill Rush
    February 11th, 2012 at 12:41 | #29

    There is no way that Rudd will be restored as PM. If he was impossible to work with last time then imagine how he would be if he was to return and feel absolutely impregnable. While the media like leadership instability and in fact helped destabilise Rudd for months before the night of the coup they are up against the fact that; there is no obvious successor; the independents will not support an alternative; and any change would lead to a quick election which at this point would not be in their favour. Not only that while Gillard has had trouble being accepted by the electorate she appears to be able to maintain loyalty where it counts – in caucus and has even had recent support from the Greens. She does face misogyny from the media pack and also from men who are conservative in their views but has managed to stand up to this attack.

    Her main weakness is in not seeming to have a moral compass to stand by – but in this she is no different to Tony Abbott who has trashed Liberal Party values fairly comprehensively as well as those values he has espoused in the past. Neither of them are to be trusted on policies where there are big, influential players likely to lose.

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