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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: selective opinion polling

Selective opinion polling. I'm something of "a-pox-on-all-of-them" person when it comes to taking notice of opinion polls 12 months before an election but I'm perverse

Richard Farmer

Crikey political commentator

Selective opinion polling. I’m something of “a-pox-on-all-of-them” person when it comes to taking notice of opinion polls 12 months before an election but I’m perverse enough to note that Roy Morgan Research slipped out what it described as a Christmas present for Julia Gillard this week, putting the two party preferred vote at Labor 52.5% (yes, that’s right, Labor 52.5%) to the Coalition’s 47.5%. The political journalists seem to have dismissed Roy’s efforts as being irrelevant these days but who am I to judge?

I’ll just stick with the assessment of the market.

A verdict on the Labor ministry. With a judgment that the government she leads has only a 25% chance or so of winning the next election, my end of year report on the performance of Julia Gillard would have to be a harsh one. Anyone who thought the Morgan polling team were anywhere near right would be far more generous in their assessment.

Far better that Crikey readers mark the ministerial report card than me so deliver your verdict.

Judgment day will be Monday’s final Crikey edition for the year so get those entries in.

Some guidance for tweeters. The UK’s director of public prosecutions has prepared a useful how-to guide for social media users wanting to prevent their harsh words resulting in criminal prosecution. The interim guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media is the kind of document Australian legal authorities should adapt (and publish) to cover our country’s legislation.

Going to the dogs. It was way back in the 1960s when I wrote a pitch for that great old advertising man Sim Rubensohn on how to get more people to go to race meetings and there have been countless more attempts at the same thing since then. And all to as little avail as my effort, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics delivering the bad news this morning. Not only is the proportion of Australians 15 and over attending a horse racing event at least once a year falling, but so to is the total number attending thoroughbred and harness racing events going down. Of the traditional gambling sports only the dogs are seeing more people coming through the turnstiles. Just further evidence of the truth of my long ago observation that the posher administrators make the grandstands the smaller the attendance gets.

The big winners when it comes to spectator growth clearly are Australian roles and soccer with rugby union the most notable losing code. And perhaps those small crowds at the Hobart test were just a sign of the continuing decline in cricket’s popularity.

The search for a winner. Muggins has blown it. Your official judge of the Pick Time Magazine’s Person of the Year competition failed to record the name of the Crikey reader who at 2.27pm on 29 November (just after our competition opened) selected Barack Obama as the magazine’s choice. So now I don’t know who to send the prize of a First Dog calendar!

I will have to rely on the honour system. If ’twas you, please send an email to [email protected] including a snail mail address.

Overall our readers were far less parochial than those Time magazine readers with President Obama being only equal sixth pick

A quote for the day.

Thomas L. Friedman in a New York Times article noting that the Google co-founder Sergey Brin and the pioneer of television at the RCA Laboratories in Princeton in the 1950s Vladimir Zworykin both migrated to the US from Russia.

News and views noted along the way.

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3 thoughts on “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: selective opinion polling

  1. Gavin Moodie

    The UK DPP’s interim guidelines on prosecuting cases
    involving communications sent via social media were indeed interesting, thanx. I note nothing specific on racial vilification.

  2. klewso

    Abbott is 3:1 on to win?

  3. tinman_au

    “Defending a head on a stick ”

    Just when I think I’ve become jaded about most things “US”, stuff still comes along that makes me /facepalm

    I love your “along the way” stuff Richard, thanks!