30 August 2018

First poll shows Zed in trouble, say Greens

| Ian Bushnell
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The ACT Greens’ Penny Kyburz at the party’s announcement of election candidates. Canberra hopeful Tim Rollo is at left. Photo: George Tsotsos

The first poll in the new House of Representative seat of Canberra has buoyed the ACT Greens, with the party edging the Liberals out of second spot in people’s voting intentions in the Senate.

The ReachTEL poll of 808 Canberra voters taken on the night of 27 August after the dramatic removal of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, also put the Greens in first place among voters 18-34 years of age.

Labor was well in front with 39.2 percent, followed by the Greens at 23.9 per cent and then the Liberals at 22.9 per cent.

Voters were asked: If a Federal election were to be held today, which of the following would receive your first preference vote in the Senate?

The Greens said the poll was a great start to the campaign to replace Liberal Senator Zed Seselja and to win the central seat of Canberra.

The party said it also showed that Senator Seselja’s public support of Peter Dutton and voting record against the views of the Canberra community were costing him support, even among Liberal voters.

“People in Canberra want to replace Zed Seselja in the Senate with a more progressive voice who will actually represent us,” said ACT Greens Senate candidate Dr Penny Kyburz.

“Most of our community is angry that Zed uses his position in the Senate to pursue his narrow conservative agenda, instead of representing the views of the vast majority of Canberrans.

“Zed’s public support for Peter Dutton looks like the final right-wing straw for many Liberal voters in Canberra.”

The Greens believe that having previously only targeted a Senate seat in the ACT, the Senate vote is a good guide to the potential Greens vote in the House.

In winnable House of Representative seats like Melbourne and Macnamara, the House vote for the Greens lifted to match the Senate vote, the party said.

Greens candidate for the seat of Canberra, Tim Hollo, said it was clear that many people in Canberra were looking for a better way of doing politics than what the major parties offer.

“Penny and I will be working hard to show that the Greens are the positive alternative for people looking for representatives who treat refugees with humanity, face up to climate change, and work with integrity in Parliament,” he said.

The Greens are expected to do well in the inner city Canberra electorate and whether that popularity can be extended to other areas of the ACT remains to be seen, particularly in Senator Seselja’s stronghold in the south.

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Seeing that I said some analysis of the voting patterns in the seat of Canberra’s new boundaries would be nice, I did a very quick tally up of the first preference senate votes cast at the 2016 election. Not including pre-poll votes as they’re difficult to allocate accurately, of about 53,000 votes Labor had 35%, Liberals 30%, Greens 24% and Others 11%. The figures from this poll by the Greens suggest they haven’t won any additional support, but the Liberals have lost 7%, with 4% going to Labor and 3% to Others. The increase in the Others may reflect people who normally vote Liberal being unhappy with Seselja, but not willing to vote Labor or Green. Some of those votes may well end up back in his column, but if most of the extra votes for Labor flow to the Greens, and that’s reflected in the other electorates as well, then he could struggle to reach a quota.

There are of course a lot of variables. Single seat polling often being unreliable, the possibility I missed one or more booths that are in the new Canberra boundaries and pre-poll votes potentially having a different distribution. Then there’s also the possibility that some people angry at the time of the polling may revert back to normal voting patterns between now and election day. However, the next election is looking like it could be the best opportunity the Greens have ever had to take the senate seat from the Liberals.

We can only hope. He showed his true colours when he trod all over a sitting member and we know how that was done. Being a member of the right he tried to be instrumental in the latest Prime Ministerial demise putting himself forward as a “numbers” man for Dutton and resigning his minor ministry when he thought Dutton would win the spill.
Talk about being in it for what you can get out of it we must sweep politicians like this from Parliment.

Capital Retro8:48 pm 01 Sep 18

For the benefit of the poster who shorted Zed about his former employment here is the full history:

“While attending university, he worked at Woolworths Supermarkets from 1995–98; at MacKillop Catholic College (now St Mary MacKillop College) in 1998 as a cleaner; at the Australian Fisheries Management Authority from 1998–99 as a legal assistant; and at the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services from 2000–04 as a policy officer, lawyer, and then a senior lawyer”

Much wider experience than your average ex trade union hack in the Labor party.

RiotAct needs a fact checker.

Be that all as it may, Capital Retro, Zed has done little for Canberra in either the Assembly or the Senate. He seems to think that he’s in the Senate to represent either a) himself or b) the views of ultra Christians, the latter a minority in Canberra. His vote in the Leyonhjelm debate made that shamefully obvious. About time he started listening to and representing the wider polity (many of them Liberal voters who do not agree with him).

Capital Retro1:24 pm 08 Sep 18

And what has the last Labor Senator done for Canberra apart from misrepresent herself as able to stand for election?

Capital Retro1:26 pm 08 Sep 18

It’s very difficult to “do anything for Canberra” when you are opposition leader.

petunia petal11:45 am 31 Aug 18

bizarrely, we have the youngest demographic supporting One Nation, the opposite of national trends…

Sean Sweetser10:44 am 31 Aug 18

Dr Penny Kyburz would be an amazing representative of the ACT. Her professional and entrepreneurial career grant her knowledge and experience that no other parliamentarian has. She is also a mother of two. When I read comments dissing the greens I know these people know absolutely nothing about this woman.

Capital Retro3:02 pm 31 Aug 18

With an active background in video games she would indeed be a perfect Green representative for the ACT: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/games-pioneer-shoots-down-sexual-stereotypes/news-story/a30e9fbe71c4d638a835af203f38ab80

You are missing the point, Sean. Just as there are ingrained Labor voters who will always vote for that party, a large section of conservatives will not vote for a Green candidate. Disagreeing with Dr Kyburz’s political ideology is not showing disrespect to the person or the party, it’s simply democracy at work.

While I can’t see the Green vote hurting Seselja the time is definitely ripe for a “Gary Humphries – backed” conservative independent to have a run against him. There are rusted on lib voters who would rather vote informal than vote Labor or Green. However a conservative candidate who promises not to impose their ultra right wing Christian ideology on the constituency and who undertakes to do what is best for ACT would be a very attractive alternative to disgruntled libs.

Crazed_Loner12:35 am 31 Aug 18

Or they could vote below the line for another Liberal candidate who was deemed acceptable.

Belconandonandon6:38 pm 30 Aug 18

Zed Seseljia is a terrible representative for the ACT. He’s far more focused on ideological crusades and internal party factionalism rather than actually representing the interests of his constituents. Hopefully Penny Kyburz can unseat him like Cathy McGowan unseated Sophia Mirabella.

Whilever the ACT Liberals keep pushing the hard right conservative candidates, they will not win elections in the ACT. Zed is a product of the system, he has done nothing for this city. LNP voters should strongly be looking at preferencing the second Senate candidate ahead of Zed Seselja. Everyone else should just put him last. Voting below the line is the only way these people (That applies to Labor also) will actually take note the electorate is not happy. I realise some people will never vote for the other party, but you should vote below the line and if the current member is doing a bad job, preference the other candidate first. You’ll still get your preferred party in, but you’ll also send a message that ignoring ones constiuents is not a good idea.

The poll was of inner city Canberrans so hardly representative of wider Canberra.

And even then, in their Canberra heartland, the Greens barely got a higher percentage than the despised Zed.

This, as with every other election gives the Greens two chances of winning the Senate seat.

Zero and None.

Yes, but what is interesting is that the Liberals and Greens together are outpolling Labor. Assuming the Liberal candidate is knocked out first, if Liberal voters where to give their preferences to the Green candidate he/she would have a good chance of winning over Labor. The prospect of this could discourage Labor from taking the seat for granted and prompt them to take Canberra seriously when handing out Federal money for infrastructure projects such as the light rail.

As well as the inner north that is Greens heartland and parts of south and east Belconnen that probably lean to Labor, the new seat of Canberra includes the inner south suburbs of Yarralumla, Deakin, Forrest & Red Hill which should be decent for the Liberals. Some analysis of senate voting from the booths in the new electorate in 2016 would be interesting to put these polling numbers into context.

The article in the Canberra Times included the results of the questions about voters being more or less likely to vote Liberal in the Senate as a result of Zed’s support for Dutton and his opposition to the ACT having the right to make its own decision on voluntary euthanasia. If voters actually carry through on their dislike of his decisions, he could be in trouble. It would only take about 2-3% to swing away from him and there will be some Liberal voters considering that a term with a Greens senator might be a price worth paying to get rid of Zed, especially if there’s going to be a Labor government anyway.

Exactly. The greens did their poll in one of the lowest liberal-supporter areas of Canberra (which is already a safe Labor/Greens city) and got the results they were after. Nothing new of course.

Also not particularly surprised that Canberras right is far more left than the rest of the country (just like Turnbull was a centre-left PM) or that a greens senator wants to blame Dutton for everything.

Belconandonandon6:50 pm 30 Aug 18

Around 1/3 of ACT voters live in the division of Canberra. It’s not just inner-city Canberra, it also includes parts of Woden and Belconnen, as well as the relatively Liberal-voting inner south.

Seat based polling tends to be pretty unreliable (they were way off in the recent by-elections) but if the Liberals’ support is actually around 23% there’s been a big swing against them. According to ABC, the Liberal primary vote in (what is now) the division of Canberra was around 33% at the last election.

All well and good but few people vote below the line. Most vote above where preferences go along party deals. They are also worth less than first preference votes too. The senate system is a lot more complex that one for one votes.

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