6 May 2022

Momentum with Pocock as new poll points to Senate upset

| Ian Bushnell
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David Pocock

Independent David Pocock made an impression at Region’s Senate debate. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A surging David Pocock appears to have momentum in the ACT Senate race two weeks out from the 21 May federal election, according to a new poll out today.

The Redbridge robo-phone survey of voting intentions for the Climate 200 group shows Liberal Senator Zed Seselja is in danger of losing his seat on preferences in what would be a major upset.

It shows Mr Pocock increasing his primary redistributed vote to 21 per cent from 13 per cent in a similar poll a month ago to overtake the Greens’ Tjanara Goreng Goreng, who has slumped from 15 per cent to 11 per cent. It puts Pocock in striking distance of Senator Seselja and Labor’s Senator Katy Gallagher.

Mr Pocock appears to be taking votes off Labor and the Greens, and convincing undecided voters, with Senator Gallagher joining Senator Seselja below quota.

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A month ago she looked home and hosed at 35 per cent, but the new poll has her still leading at 27 per cent, just 2 per cent more than Senator Seselja who has picked up a point since last month to 25 per cent.

But second preference intentions suggest big problems for Senator Seselja, who could only muster 13 per cent, compared with Mr Pocock’s 24 per cent and Senator Gallagher’s 23 per cent.

Fourteen per cent of those surveyed said they would give their second preference to the Greens.

The saving grace for Senator Seselja may be the 6 per cent intending to allocate their first preference to the United Australia Party candidate James Savoulidis, whose preferences could get him over the line.

The other Independent, Kim Rubenstein, has held her primary vote at 6 per cent.

Labor has preferenced independent candidates Mr Pocock and Professor Rubenstein ahead of the Greens. The Liberals are not directing preferences.

The Greens have listed Professor Kim Rubenstein’s party (Kim 4 Canberra) second, Mr Pocock third and Labor fifth.

It is understood Mr Pocock will suggest voters preference Professor Rubenstein. He has encouraged people to vote in line with their values.

Climate change and the environment remained the most important issues for those surveyed, followed by integrity and trust in politics and cost of living.

ANU Emeritus Professor of Politics John Warhurst said the poll gave Mr Pocock a real chance with Senator Seselja’s primary vote down to a level that put him in danger.

“I would probably put Pocock the favourite now for that second seat,” he said.

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Preferences would be the key, and the poll suggests the Greens and Kim Rubenstein’s preferences would have to be very tight for Mr Pocock to get up, Professor Warhurst said.

“It also shows that the United Australia Party result is not an insubstantial number and Zed will be hoping to pick up second preferences from them and the other smaller candidates,” he said.

While these type of polls have a large margin for error and should be treated with caution, Professor Warhurst said it was better to be in Mr Pocock’s position than Senator Seselja’s.

Professor Warhurst said it was a huge task to oust Senator Seselja but this was the most substantial challenge he has faced.

He said it needed to be seen in the context of the general Independent challenge to Coalition candidates across the country and the nature of Senator Seselja’s politics.

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Previously successful Independent campaigns in Warringah against Tony Abbott and in Indi against Sophie Mirabella benefited from the polarising nature of the incumbents, much like Senator Seselja.

“Even if people aren’t reading about the Senate contest in the ACT, they are reading about the teal Independents, about climate action, corruption commissions, all of the things the Independents are running on here in the ACT,” Professor Warhurst said.

But he believes that Senator Seselja will only be beaten if Prime Minister Scott Morrison loses power.

“If there is a really strong Labor vote and push to get rid of the government, that makes it more likely that Zed will lose,” Professor Warhurst said.

“I can’t envisage a situation where Scott Morrison wins the election and Zed loses. There is a connection between them.”

In 2019, Senator Seselja brushed off the Greens’ challenge despite the Liberal vote again dipping below quota, to 32.4 per cent, but there were plenty of preferences to get him home comfortably.

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What a joke. China produces the most emissions in the world and they are not changing anything. Anything Australia does in relation to emissions won’t make any difference whatsoever, so it’s much better to focus on things that actually DO make a difference like stopping the cruel killing of animals for religious reasons, and preventing constant rubbish (including those hideous disposable masks that the ACT govt makes people wear and that are causing so much waste and problems for wildlife)

Cont’d 1.3% of the world’s carbon emissions … so how can we expect China, India and Brazil to do anything when they correctly point the finger back at us? Perhaps less listening to Alan Jones on your part and listen more to what the test of the word is saying about Australia

I usually don’t bother with how to vote cards but I see one for Pocock that ensures preferences don’t go to Zed, I’ll take it.

Once Pocock gets that $200k salary, plus allowances, he’ll be like every other snout in the trough pollie

@Futureproof If you think the only reason people get into politics is the money then you really are a sad ill-informed cynic. Many othe current federal politicians could make 2 or 3 times the salary they draw from the public purse away from politics. While most if not all have an agenda in running for public office, the money is definitely not the prime motivation.

The Redbridge poll is faulty, based on an unrepresentative and self-selected sample. Redbridge says “Telephone numbers were provided by the client”
So Redbridge conducted a poll for Climate200, of telephone numbers supplied by Climate200. People giving Climate200 their telephone numbers are highly likely to be members of or sympathetic to Climate200 so asking them who they would vote for is going to result in a Climate200 candidate bias.
Unfortunately lazy members of the media fail to analyse the methodology of these polls, which have proven to be consistently unreliable.

HiddenDragon6:30 pm 06 May 22

Almost as interesting as the eternal question about what happens with the second ACT Senate seat is the fall in Katy Gallagher’s first preference vote in the most recent poll – a drop of 8% in one month is surely more than just an error in polling methodology.

KG did actually know the RBA cash rate and the unemployment rate, and hasn’t done anything thus far in the campaign to earn an 8% drop in support, so maybe this is a sign of a less than inspiring national campaign by Labor having an impact even here in ever-reliable (for Labor) Canberra.

On the Right / Left spectrum, I’d place Mr Pocock to the left of the ALP, but to the right of the Greens.

I’d be a bit surprised if many Conservative voters, would vote to the Left of the ALP. I think discontented Lib voters would be more likely to vote UAP or One Nation.

I think that Mr Pocock will pick up votes from both the ALP and Greens.

Lot of hate here for Zed. Anyone would think he was Putin. But, well, it IS Canberra, full of lefty public servants. As it’s been said: ‘Canberra, looks like Toorak, votes like Melbourne Ports’

Just what we need. Another Thugby player, usong his sport popularity to get into politics. Tiddly winks players next, I guess.

Pocock was the best Australian breakaway since Simon Poidevin

Capital Retro5:48 pm 06 May 22

Except Pocock played in the flanker era.

The irony is, if the Juniorburger does lose, no-one will know the difference. Like Canberra’s road repair gangs, you only ever see him around election times (Federal and Territory).

RiotACT, give us a break from dodgy polls. UnionsACT commissioned a poll before the 2019 election which put the Liberal primary vote at 22%, and the combined primary vote for Green and Independent at 31%. That poll was very wrong, so why would this Climate200 commissioned poll be any better. How about a story on why the polls for ACT candidates in Senate elections are so wrong. Also, how about some comments from a different professor for a change, as both stories from 2019 and 2022 quote a same professor with the same warning.
Link to the 2019 story –

Capital Retro2:20 pm 06 May 22

I wasn’t polled and neither were 20 people I contacted.

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