Dec 4, 2017

A respite in New England for Turnbull, but is it the circuit breaker he needs?

The trend of Australian leadership spills and swings proves that even the most innocent of byelections can bring down a government, writes political commentator Tony Walker.

Here’s a question at the beginning of what is scheduled to be the final parliamentary sitting week of the year (that is, unless debate over same-sex marriage legislation and citizenship issues spills over into next week):

Has Barnaby Joyce’s thumping byelection victory in New England (against little opposition) plus marginally better polling for the Coalition and, conversely, less good for Labor, provided a political circuit breaker for a beleaguered Prime Minister?

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12 thoughts on “A respite in New England for Turnbull, but is it the circuit breaker he needs?

  1. [email protected]

    Really, if you guys haven’t worked out what makes Crikey interesting or unique then you’re not going to be viable much longer. Ex pol editor of the fin review, establishment journalist, and what do we get. The first couple of paragraphs alone confirm Tony’s credentials – standard MSM politics as horse racing, the idea that in the flick of an eye or because Barnaby does what every one predicted and held his seat, Turnbull is suddenly potentially absolved of the train wreck that has characterised his whole period of governance. Do you really take the people for such mugs? Is 24 Newspolls all screaming the same message about Turnbull not enough??. Barnaby was always going to get a massive swing because of the Windsor withdrawal factor. And since when is a one or two percentage point move in the polls anything other than a margin of error irrelevance? Really, we can get this kind of guff in Fairfax or Murdoch every day of the week. That’s not why I subscribe to Crikey.

    1. gerald butler

      Well said- waffle dribble is waffle dribble whether in the gazette(Oz), the SMH or Crikey. Turnbull is a cynical, valueless, main chancer still liked by middle class journalists but worked out by the mob at least 18 months ago.

  2. klewso

    What would have happened had Hanson not run dead?

  3. bref

    New England was always going to vote National, because thats who they are. Labor & Greens were wise not to waste their money. With many younger, more cosmopolitan, and hopefully more progressive, people, Bennelong will be a better litmus test.

  4. Itsarort

    Whether it’s ‘hands in the till’ or a straight-up pork-barrel, Baahnaby Joyce is the man for New England; and the people know it.

  5. CML

    Regarding the so-called ‘rise in popularity’ of the Turdball government…I read somewhere that the margin of error for both polls is around 2.5 – 2.7.
    So possibly NO rise at all…just an anomaly in these particular polls?
    Either way, the Labor Party is still well ahead at 53% to 47% 2PP…an election winning position!

  6. Coral SeeNQ

    I am not seeing enough of the balance in the story of the political advisor working for Anderson who has together with the government put a career ending spin on a story that seems to be what many are doing in the on the same side of government. The M Cash story has disappeared the criminality of the govt using the security state to defeat its enemies, working people deserve a better defense of their political interests in the newspapers. The royal commission into banks would not be happening if the National party outlaws were the only ones upset. Pretty angry with lazy newspapers. For goodness sake the only pushback I saw last week was from S Maiden on behalf of Sam, who is an idiot but the hypocrites and criminals who take chinese donations hand over fist get a free pass.

  7. Dog's Breakfast

    The MSM regaled themselves as resident parrots regarding Barnaby’s win. It was not a thumping victory, there was no opposition. 60% with no opposition – doesn’t seem like a strong showing to me, why was it reported as such?

    The poll result, although better than 54 – 46%, is no different given the error margin, and is probably a tiny rounding up instead of rounding down. It is entirely within the range which started at 51-49 and has progressively blown out. This may look like a statistical reprieve, but it is nothing more than a rounding error, and the average journalists lack of numerical skills and a desire for rounded up numbers. It just confirms the continuing trend figures.

    The preferred Prime Minister rating is worse than useless, it is just plain misleading, and has no relevance at all to election outcomes.

    That’s not a go at you Tony, just my reflections on the general tone of reporting this weekend.

  8. Robert Garnett

    “Barnaby’s such a nice man, it wasn’t his fault” say the mums and grandmums of New England, “We’re not letting those pr..ks on the High Court telling us what to do, say all of the male cockeys and SMB’s. The whole thing was a gift to Barnaby; he really was the underdog being persecuted by the elites.

    Why is it that nongs like him seem to prosper when there are so many good solid people around like Windsor who can string more than three words together about real policy issues.

    When are these country people going to wake up to people like him who do nothing, but tell them what they want to here and do noting to fight for hings that would actually help them?

    Looking at the US and Trump I think the answer is never.

    1. bref

      Well, for one thing, Windsor didn’t run, and he might have lost anyway, cos New England is well, New England, as you pointed out.
      On another note :-), HERE is somewhere you are, HEAR is something you listen to.

    2. klewso

      He catches the gravy train the poor sods pay for.

  9. AR

    The rural vote won it for Baahnarby but both Armidale, uni so not surprising but also Tamworth were a great deal less than keen for the Kiwi blow-in.
    New England is changing and will soon be contested territory with the changing demographics – younger, better educated, helped by his moving of the pesticides authority (nice own goal!) and the continuing growth hi-tekkery.
    If only there were some sort of network or web thingy that people could use to communicate over long distances…

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