Richard Farmer’s chunky bits
The declining Labor brand. With WA out of the way I note that in none of the last nine federal, state and territory elections has Labor’s primary vote managed to reach the 40% mark. And in all of those elections, except for the ACT, the Labor primary vote declined.
WA 33.6% (March 2013; -2.3 percentage points)
ACT 38.9% (October 2012; +1.5)
NT 36.5% (August 2012; -6.7)
Qld 26.7% (March 2012; -15.6)
NSW 25.6% (March 2011; -13.4)
Vic 36.3% (November 2010; -6.8)
Federal 38.0% (September 2010; -5.4)
Tas 37.1% (March 2010; -12.1)
SA 37.5% (March 2010; -7.8)
That surely tells us something about the Labor brand. And that something points to problems far more fundamental than the popularity, or lack of it, of a federal party leader.
No change in the Crikey Indicator. Neither the Prime Minister’s week out west nor the WA election has influenced the assessment of the markets. The Crikey Election Indicator still has the Coalition as an unchanged 83.3% chance of winning the federal election.
Well, thank you, Dennis. Congratulations to Oz columnist Dennis Shanahan for keeping the leadership issue alive. A mighty effort on Saturday to take so many words to reach the conclusion featured below.
A worthy winner of our Labor Leadership Beat-Up Award. And another honourable mention to Samantha Maiden, who can be relied on to give us some leadership speculation every Sunday in the News Ltd Sunday tabloids.
The ABC also re-entered the contest with its website this morning deciding that the most significant feature of the WA election was the comment of a “senior” (?) ALP figure that the PM should resign. The story ”’Gillard factor’ blamed for Labor’s election loss“ was top of the site’s most popular list.
Wives, children, babies and now a sister. Our campaign picture portfolio kept growing over the weekend.
Votes of the day and gun stories. In the Coos Canyon Schoolhouse at 6.30pm Maine (US) time today, Monday, March 11, the residents of the small town of Byron will take part in a New England institution where townspeople vote “up or down” on municipal proposals. Before them will be a recommendation from all three members of the town’s Board of Selectmen suggesting gun ownership in Byron be made mandatory.
The article asks, “Shall the town of Byron vote to require all households to have firearms and ammunitions to protect the citizens?” Says Head Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds, also a police officer in nearby Dixfield: “We’re hoping that the town will get on board with us but will accept whatever the town wants.”
The Maine Sun-Journal reports Simmons-Edmunds said Byron’s proposed mandate was initially done as a tongue-in-cheek article, but she is quite serious about it now.
“She surmised that just about every household in this community, population 140, north of Rumford, probably has at least one firearm.
“The town had a resident who sought and received a federal permit to own a machine gun, just because he enjoyed shooting it, she said. But since he passed away, she didn’t know whether that weapon was passed down to his son. Another resident legally has a .50-caliber machine gun.
“We’re trying to prevent someone from coming into our town and trying to restrict our rights, “Simmons-Edmunds said. “It’s time to tell the government,’Enough’s enough. Quit micromanaging us.’”
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