Poll showing primary vote collapse puts Zed in ‘danger territory’

Ian Bushnell 6 March 2019 169

Senator Zed Seselja: this could be his toughest fight.

New polling on the coming Senate vote in the ACT would have set the alarm bells ringing in Zed Seselja’s office, according to political observer John Warhurst.

Polling conducted for UnionsACT at the end of January and released at the weekend shows the Liberal vote collapsing and Senator Seselja at risk of losing his Senate seat.

The ReachTEL poll shows the Liberal party Senate primary vote is at a record low of 22 per cent (a quota is 33 per cent), with 58 per cent of ACT voters disapproving of the senator, and more than 65 per cent not believing he has done enough to deserve re-election.

UnionsACT is conducting a ‘Dump Zed’ campaign and will launch a massive TV and community campaign in March, to remind voters of Senator Seselja’s key role in promoting Peter Dutton’s failed bid to become Prime Minister, as well his failures on climate change, penalty rates, and marriage equality.

Emeritus Professor of politics at the ANU, John Warhurst said that despite it always being a steep challenge to unseat a Liberal senator, Senator Seselja would not want his primary vote to be languishing down at 22 per cent.

“That’s danger territory for him,” he said.

In 2016, Senator Seslja relied on preferences to be re-elected but his primary vote was closer to 30.5 per cent.

Noting the entry of independent candidate businessman Anthony Pesec, Prof Warhurst said the key would be to what extent dissatisfied Liberal voters, when it came to the crunch, voted for someone else and to whom they gave their preferences.

He said all preferences would likely be distributed and it would be crucial how that panned out.

“Even the Green preferences don’t go any more than 85 per cent to Labor,” he said.

Senator Seselja had a high profile and name recognition but possibly for the wrong things in the eyes of many ACT voters.

“He got a lot of publicity over the Turnbull thing, opposing same-sex marriage, and being accused of not representing the views of the ACT,” he said.

Prof Warhurst said the apparent drop in support would be due partly to the general swing against the Government around the country and a bigger swing against the Liberals in Canberra, following Senator Seselja’s support for Peter Dutton and his high-profile role in the Turnbull coup.

“It may be more personal towards him in the Senate and not more generally with the Liberal candidates in the ACT,” he said.

But the other candidates, especially the Greens’ Penny Kyburz, may need a perfect storm to topple the Senator.

“It’s just an extremely difficult thing for opponents of Zed to pull off because of the fact there’s only the two Senate seats to get the Liberal vote after preferences down below a third [of the vote for a quota],” Prof Warhurst said.

“You have to have a combination of circumstances, and I would say that would be a very strong Labor vote, anti-government vote overall and also an anti-Zed vote on top of that.”

And while Prof Warhurst expected Labor to win come May, he did not think the voters are waiting with the baseball bats ready.

“It’s not all done and dusted. I think Labor will win but whether it’s squeaking over the line or like in the Victorian election a really really decisive victory I’m not too sure and that would make a difference to the ACT,” he said.

So much was going wrong for the Government with resignations and the like but it has put out a positive message with new climate change policies for example, as well as the negative fear message.

“Morrison is very active but whether he’s cutting through I doubt it,” Prof Warhurst said.

For Senator Seselja, the weight of evidence would be that he was likely to get back ”but the alarm bells would be ringing and he would be reading that poll and getting worried and getting ready to really campaign hard”.

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169 Responses to Poll showing primary vote collapse puts Zed in ‘danger territory’
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Gavin Mingay Gavin Mingay 7:41 pm 04 Mar 19

Headlines you will never see - “Poll conducted by UnionsACT shows Labor vote dropping...”

    Mal Briggs Mal Briggs 9:14 pm 04 Mar 19

    Gavin Mingay only because they don't release it. The coalition are commissioning polls right now too, but they aren't releasing the results... I wonder why.

Anne Willenborg Anne Willenborg 7:38 pm 04 Mar 19

Zed who???

Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 7:37 pm 04 Mar 19

Anti Canberra

Hugh Mungus McLauchlan Hugh Mungus McLauchlan 7:36 pm 04 Mar 19

Excellent! Can't happen too soon!

    Carlie Lorraine Carlie Lorraine 9:56 am 05 Mar 19

    Your a TOP fan 😂

    Carlie Lorraine Carlie Lorraine 10:10 am 05 Mar 19

    Hahaha your dp does not go with you political views 😂😂

    Hugh Mungus McLauchlan Hugh Mungus McLauchlan 10:29 am 05 Mar 19

    Carlie did you just assume my views?

Charlie Karmenu Flask Charlie Karmenu Flask 7:36 pm 04 Mar 19

Good riddance

Michelle Knight Michelle Knight 7:30 pm 04 Mar 19

Liberal ministers/leaders, supporting convicted Paedophiles was the last straw for me

    Andrew Lynes Andrew Lynes 10:41 pm 04 Mar 19

    Michelle Knight How about not representing the will of Canberrans by abstaining from the same sex marriage vote?

    Douglas Roth Douglas Roth 2:19 am 05 Mar 19

    the what?😟

Kunal Chaturvedi Kunal Chaturvedi 7:28 pm 04 Mar 19

He doesn't deserve to be representing Canberra. Deviates from the core values of Canberrans too much.

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 7:59 pm 04 Mar 19

    Ben Medway More progressive than Zed.

    Jason Ezra Jason Ezra 11:14 pm 04 Mar 19

    Ben Medway not arguing that people should have the right to harass women using legal reproductive services under the aegis of free speech...

    Douglas Roth Douglas Roth 2:11 am 05 Mar 19

    really, I think I will attempt to take off votes and see what the AEC makes of it. They have to interpret votes these days, rather than outright reject anything because it wasn't filled out entirely properly.

Christopher Rumley Christopher Rumley 7:27 pm 04 Mar 19

Duttons little apprentice, nodding his head every time Pete spews hatred and division out. He is so unrepresentative of the people in the ACT.

    Andrew Mair Andrew Mair 7:57 pm 04 Mar 19

    Christopher Rumley you mean Darth Dutton’s Sith assassin

    Stephen James Stephen James 12:15 pm 05 Mar 19

    Christopher Rumley the way elections generally work is that not every candidate will represent every single person in their constituency. As such, Zed doesn’t represent the people who voted for the other guy who got in. He represents the people (granted in Canberra it is a minority) who voted for him. If he ceased doing that, he won’t get elected next time

Darren Rodrigo Darren Rodrigo 7:20 pm 04 Mar 19

Yes please.

Ian Greed Ian Greed 7:15 pm 04 Mar 19

Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad 🤗

Remember he has clearly shown that he values his own faith above the ACT's rights🤡🤢😱

Karma 🌈😹😎

    Douglas Roth Douglas Roth 2:06 am 05 Mar 19

    which in my *personal* value system, makes him no believer in anything at all.

    Douglas Roth Douglas Roth 2:09 am 05 Mar 19

    ...the more he puts himself first, I will always put him last -- sometimes I wish you could take off votes. I still seriously wonder if we have branch stacking or voter fraud, in the ACT. I never met a single person that would vote for him.

    Ian Greed Ian Greed 6:31 am 05 Mar 19

    Douglas Roth

    Well said!

Noni Doll Noni Doll 7:11 pm 04 Mar 19

It's been a long time since I saw a Facebook comment supporting him to ANY degree on any non-biased page, so maybe this poll is onto something, even if it is funded by Unions ACT... 🤔

Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 7:11 pm 04 Mar 19

Hopefully he’s gonski

Rob Long Rob Long 7:11 pm 04 Mar 19

Would be great but doubt it

Kerri Hallas Kerri Hallas 7:10 pm 04 Mar 19

Not to worry, I hear they are looking for another “Wiggle” interviews to follow.

Cary Elliot Johnson Cary Elliot Johnson 7:06 pm 04 Mar 19

42% still approving of him is still a scary thought.

Peter Mackay Peter Mackay 7:06 pm 04 Mar 19

Reminds me of Malcolm Turnbull saying ARM polling showed the republic referendum romping home.

Mazzie Woodward Mazzie Woodward 7:04 pm 04 Mar 19

What 😳 UnionsACT did polling that showed a drop of support for a Liberal! Shock horror 😏

    Stephen Esdaile Stephen Esdaile 8:51 pm 04 Mar 19

    says the lady who probably swears by News Corp polls....

    the difference is that the UnionsACT poll is probably right. I'll put five bucks on it.

    Mal Briggs Mal Briggs 9:07 pm 04 Mar 19

    Mazzie Woodward not long to go until we find out the accuracy of the unions poll...

    Dave Cavill Dave Cavill 5:42 am 05 Mar 19

    Mazzie Woodward My thoughts are Murdoch polls are dodgy as, and it should be against the law to vote for a coalition person.

    Jonno Belmonte Jonno Belmonte 8:50 am 05 Mar 19

    Dave Cavill there are a lot of countries where it is illegal to vote for the other party -Zimbabwe May be more your style?

    Jack Stafford Jack Stafford 9:46 am 05 Mar 19

    in other news Donald trump did a private poll that showed Hillary Clinton is the least popular vote.... I’m not even sure why the RiotACT posted this?

Christopher Stuart Veilands Christopher Stuart Veilands 7:04 pm 04 Mar 19

Really, conducted by the Unions, no doubt with GetUp backing.

Fake news

    Jackie White Jackie White 7:44 pm 04 Mar 19

    ...and here we have an example of a Zed voter.

    "fake news"? Really? How is reporting something that actually happened 'fake'? Do you consider the results 'fake' because the poll was done by unions? Or do you consider the reporting of the poll 'fake' because it's telling you a FACT that a union did a poll, the results of which you dislike?

    Do tell - I'm interested to know.

    Ben Stanton Ben Stanton 7:50 pm 04 Mar 19

    Christopher Stuart Veilands fake news? Perhaps. Fake Politician? Fact.

    Jackie White Jackie White 8:14 pm 04 Mar 19

    Tony Morris So what? The RiotACT reporting what a union did is not 'fake news'. The union telling the RiotACTthe results of its poll, whether conducted only with members or not, is not 'fake news'.

    Andrea Lloyd Andrea Lloyd 8:48 pm 04 Mar 19

    Tony Morris and most of us are sensible and put Seselja last!

    Chris Reynolds Chris Reynolds 8:52 pm 04 Mar 19

    Note that it was polling conducted for the unions, not the unions themselves doing it.

    The union commissioned it but it was done by ReachTel.

    Christopher Stuart Veilands Christopher Stuart Veilands 8:53 pm 04 Mar 19

    Its fake if the people running the poll have an agenda.

    Do we know the people they polled? Where they all CFMEU thugs?

    So if i conducted a poll and asked 'Do u like dogs?, then reported that a poll conducted reported that 0% of people liked cats.

    Would u not ask questions

    Mal Briggs Mal Briggs 9:12 pm 04 Mar 19

    Christopher Stuart Veilands they commissioned ReachTel to do a poll. They aren't telling anyone how to vote, what would be the point in creating a fake loaded poll on something like this?

    Nothing you are saying makes any sense.

    You are lashing out because reality doesn't look the way you want it to. Cool your jets and vote the way you want to. Democracy will tell us if this poll was accurate.

    Stephen Esdaile Stephen Esdaile 10:06 pm 04 Mar 19

    "Fake news" is the cry of the denialist, the conservative, the ignoramus who clings to the non-core promises of their overlords who offer soothing religious mantras in their ears, while industriously picking their pockets.

    Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 10:41 pm 04 Mar 19

    Zed stood by and said nothing when Barnaby moved a department to his own electorate to buy votes. A senator should represent his own state or territory and Seselja has failed miserably.

    Douglas Roth Douglas Roth 2:15 am 05 Mar 19

    ok, so if Zed has a personal agenda based on belief system that is all about himself that is patently meaningless...spent too much time in America last time you visited Christopher?

    Douglas Roth Douglas Roth 2:16 am 05 Mar 19

    but has he ever said anything meaningful?

    Douglas Roth Douglas Roth 2:32 am 05 Mar 19

    Yeah, that's true, Unions are so unsophisticated the last I heard they didn't even have computers. I think they were using stone tablets. Strange in this day in age but each to their own. Clearly this is fake being in Wikipedia, even with the links to the actual sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Literary_Digest

    TL;DR: the reason for polls is for tactics and that goes for all parties, unions, institutes, even the IPA.

    Christopher Stuart Veilands Christopher Stuart Veilands 12:28 pm 05 Mar 19

    Sorry to disappoint but the last time i was in the US was in 2000 for 3 days i Hawaii. So close but no cigar.

    And im pretty sure before the last couple of elections the polls have said he wouldn't be returned. The Greens have tried a number of high profile candidates, and yet he's survived

    Hans Dimpel Hans Dimpel 2:22 pm 05 Mar 19

    Christopher Stuart Veilands I'm hoping that like you, Seselja dismisses this poll as fake news and that he continues trying to make abortions illegal, keeps hating gays, keeps standing aside when National party Ministers try to move departments to their electorates, keeps supporting Dutton, keeps promoting coal as our future.

    Douglas Roth Douglas Roth 9:13 pm 05 Mar 19

    That's not a disappointment at all. It makes me wonder, though, why you would see things this way. I like the mystery.

James Camera-On James Camera-On 7:03 pm 04 Mar 19

Great news

Mac John Mac John 7:00 pm 04 Mar 19

Put Senator Seselja last

    Andrea Lloyd Andrea Lloyd 8:45 pm 04 Mar 19

    Mac John z always comes last! 😁

    Douglas Roth Douglas Roth 8:56 pm 05 Mar 19

    Have to read into this but if you only number to 12, the minimum, can the preferences flow any further? I can't see a way that can make sense but a lot of voting systems don't make sense. I think ours does but...

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