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Abbott is making a mistake by going for Gillard

1 Apr

Australian Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has gone on the attack by going after Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard after the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a mini-reshuffle to his Ministry.

Australian Deputy PM Julia Gillard

Abbott has claimed that Gillard is overworked and overstretched and should ha ve some of her many responsibilities taken off her. Gillard’s title is Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Education, Employment & Workplace Relations, Social Inclusion but I have no doubt the Deputy Prime Minister is one of the few people  who could actually manage such a large portfolio.

This is the latest in a long-runnning war between Gillard and Abbott, but I think Abbott’s attacks are misplaced. For starters, he is shooting down, which is always a mistake for a Leader. We all remember the criticism of Obama when the Democrats went after Sarah Palin during the 2008 Presidential Campaign. Abbott should be going for Rudd and Rudd alone and letting the rest of his team go for Gillard.

They have also attacked Gillard before on a personal level and it back-fired badly. Earlier in the year, Gillard questioned Coalition

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

statements about parenting, when Senator Brandis stated Gillard couldn’t understand the way parents think” about virginity because she doesn’t have kids.”

While that didn’t hurt Abbott too much as he was still well into his honeymoon, there was a fair outcry as to the remarks.

Finally, the Australian people like Gillard. In an Essential Report poll from the 22nd of March, Gillard beat Abbott 47-37 as preferred Prime Minister. The people also don’t like Abbott when he is being overtly confrontational, as was

shown in the results of the recent Health Debate, which the Prime Minister clearly won.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott

So Abbott has to decide if his strategies are right, because they’ve attacked Gillard before and it hasn’t worked. This is probably just a one-off attack to coincide with the PM’s mini-reshuffle, but the Coalition have to be wary.

Labour’s Australian sister party makes significant gains against Conservative Coalition

29 Mar

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Australian Labor Party has made significant gains against Tony Abbott’s Coalition in a recent poll.

Despite Abbott’s strong showing in an Australian Iron Man competition on the weekend (and you thought Boris Johnson looked silly on a bike), he hasn’t been able to keep up his momentum in political circles that at one stage saw Rudd’s lead down to only 4 points. In the Australian newspaper, according to the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian last weekend, Labor’s primary vote jumped four percentage points to 43 per cent and the Coalition’s primary support fell three points to 38 per cent, a clear election-winning lead on a two-party-preferred basis of 56 per cent for the Rudd government and 44 per cent for the Coalition.

This is a significant lead and is a clear indication that Abbott’s honeymoon may well be over.

Worrying trends in public perception of climate change data

16 Feb

The data below comes from a BBC poll into the public perception of the causes of climate change. This was published on the 5th of February and has had reasonably extensive coverage, but what is extremely troubling is that it similar to a trend seen in Australia.

The BBC data shows a huge increase in the amount of confusion about the cause of climate change and this probably has a lot to do with the mess the IPCC seems to find itself in and the debacle of the leaked climate change emails.

This is a quote from Dennis Shanahan in the Australian Newspaper today, which shows that there is some scepticism occuring quickly in Australia also;

There has also been a fall in the percentage of people who believe in climate change. In July 2008, 84 per cent of those surveyed believed climate change was happening and only 12 per cent did not believe it existed at all. Last weekend, the number who believed climate change existed had dropped to 73 per cent, down 11 points, and those who did not believe in it rose 10 points to 22 per cent.

This is overall pretty worrying. Two nations who need to lower its carbon emissions will soon have governments running very low on political capital on the issue.

New polling says it really is game on

22 Nov

There was some buoyant activists today in the Tooting Labour Party after the exciting news in today’s Observer regarding Labour’s improved showing in the latest opinion polls. The Conservative lead has dropped to just 6 points according to the latest Ipsos MORI poll. While 6 points is still a loss, it equals a hung parliament, which is obviously a better scenario than a complete Labour wipeout. But it could also be just the start of a fight back.

While I don’t think I can add that much more to the analysis of the result by Andrew Rawnsley and the UK Polling Report’s digestion, I can say that this is certainly going to lift the mood of the Labour faithful. This is going to lead to a more hopeful, and therefore more engaged Labour base.  Having people on the street, knocking on doors is vital and the more that come back to the fold because defeat is no longer inevitable, the better.

Hopefully, it will also lead to a more focused leadership, less rumours of a putsch and a more determined party overall.

 

Kevin Rudd improves in the polls

16 Nov

The Australian has released the latest polling figures for Kevin Rudd. They look good for the ALP and show that, for the time being anyway, the asylum seeker issue has run its course. This is also impressive considering that the polls were taken in 6 QLD marginals, if I’m reading my blogs correctly.  Let’s be honest, the Queensland ALP are slightly on the nose at the moment, so that means that the QLD public aren’t letting their issues with Bligh override their opinion of Rudd.

But lets face it, Rudd is currently very poll driven and his news drive after the negative figures came out last time could have made all the difference. Apologies separate, he has a mandate for change and it might be a stronger mandate come the election, so he really needs to use it to his advantage and push some high profile issues through.

It will be interesting to see how the results improve after the internationally positive coverage Rudd has received for trying to get the Climate Change talks back on track.

I’ll have a look at the Pollytics results this evening.

Here is the Australian article;

KEVIN Rudd is back in landslide territory if an election was held according to the latest Newspoll but the trend confirms a fall in two-party preferred support.

Malcolm Turnbull is also rebuilding trust with voters after the Utegate affair, recording the best result since his support crashed after he relied on a fake email to target the Prime Minister.

Newspoll, published exclusively in The Australian today has found two-party-preferred support for Labor is 56 per cent and support for the Coalition is 44 per cent.

That compares with a 52.7 per cent result for Labor at the last election.

The Prime Minister is still riding high with 63 per cent support on the question of who would make the better PM, unchanged from the previous Newspoll.

But Malcolm Turnbull has clawed back support from uncommitted voters, rising from 19 per cent to 22 per cent on the better PM question.

In the previous Newspoll primary vote support for Labor plunged by 7 percentage points, a result that appeared to spook the Prime Minister, who immediately undertook a saturation campaign defending the government’s border control policies on talkback radio.

Newspoll’s Martin O’Shannessy said the poll confirmed the trend picked up in the previous poll of a fall in two-party-preferred support for Labor since September.

“The interesting thing about Malcolm is he is rebuilding back to the levels before UteGate,” he said.

“But the Prime Minister’s support as the better prime minister has remained high in 11 consecutive Newspolls.”

What the Glasgow North East victory means for the General Election

13 Nov

Not much. I’ve noticed a lot of Labour activists getting excited and saying Labour is on its way back up. This may be true to an extent, but when you look at the details of the by-election, it isn’t that cut and dry. Willie Bain won with 12,231 votes which equates to a majority of 8,111. The SNP got silver with 4,120 votes. The Tories must be disappointed with just over 1,000 votes, the fact that they haven’t made a statement suggests they are trying to ignore it.

But regards to the importance of the outcome, Labour has more or less owned that seat for 74 years and the most recent 10 of those years have been effectively uncontested as Michael Martin was Speaker, thus the Tories and Lib-Dems didn’t stand against him. You couldn’t get more Labour heartland.

Also of interest is the turnout; a record low in a Scottish Parliament. We have no real way of knowing what the turnout at a General Election will be until we have one. This is obviously at the forefront of Labour thinking, Tom Watson MP has already tweeted that the no vote party were the clear winners of the day.

But the biggest issues that is of interest is that this was a battle between incumbents. Labour, who rules the roost nationally, versus the SNP who runs Hollyrood. Neither are particularly popular that is obvious, but this, in a way, was a referendum on one or the other. Labour won this round, as it did in Glenrothes. This suggests the SNP are on the nose of the local populace, more than Labour.

Potentially, this is good news for Labour as the Tories still aren’t going to be able to take that many seats in Scotland, no matter their showing in England. I’d also suggest Labour needs to base part of campaign on the fact that Cameron has said he wants to take away Scottish seats in Westminster. I don’t think the Scots would go for that without a promise of independence.

Scotland could appear to be a bit safer than it was about 12 months ago, which will mean Labour won’t have to spend its money and time trying to keep heartland seats at the expense of marginal seats in England and Wales.

Don’t get me wrong, Labour is going to have to work hard in Scotland and would be stupid to neglect it, but the fact that a Labour heartland seat didn’t fall to another party must be a relief to the electoral strategy team.

But, the fact remains, Labour still has a lot of work to do and according to the latest polls, they are still behind by 10 points, enough for a decent Tory majority in the House.

Is this the beginning of Labour’s revival, I struggle to see that it is and I think it is more of a realignment back to the status quo than anything else. I’ve said it before, I think the polls will come closer together, but let’s wait and see.

Thoughts?

Australian political polls – October

9 Nov

By Nick Osborne

I love political polling and electoral math, they make me happy, I don’t know why, especially when I hate normal math with a passion. Anyway.

I was on Pollytics this morning, which is an Australian blog that looks into polling and I thought I’d share some stats.

According to the media, Australian PM Kevin Rudd has allegedly taken a battering because of Australia’s reaction to the Asylum Seeker issue. But as you can see from the poll, little has changed and if there was an election, the Coaltion would be in severe trouble.

As Michelle Gratten states in her article, it only seems to be Rudd’s preferred leader numbers that have been hit and the ALP is only down 1 point in the two-partied preferred stats.

Essentially, people are saying, Rudd is being a bit soft, but Turnbull and the Coalition are nowhere to be seen, plus they were the party of Howard’s immigration policy

Love to know your thoughts on any of the other numbers.

Seat projections

Australian voting intention