Do most voters really want the independents to support Labor?

The election outcome is causing all sorts of silliness. First we had the ‘voters decided that they didn’t want either party’ line, which was transparently silly but widely repeated. Now we have the ‘more voters want the independents to support Labor’ line based on a Fairfax poll.

The poll had 37% wanting The Three to  support Labor, 31% wanting them to support the Coalition, and 26% wanting another election. The 26% is the issue. What percentage of these guys would vote for the Coalition on a 2PP basis?

It seems very likely that Labor and Greens voters would prefer not to have another election because they think they will lose. Current polling says they would. The Greens in particular would probably prefer to lock in the protest vote — there are no guarantees they’ll do as well next time. It’s also far more embarrassing for Labor to lose after they risked so much. Tony Abbott can happily sit in opposition and bask in the glory of his massive swing.  If Gillard is turfed she will earn a place amongst the great embarrassments of Australian politics. She may not even get another go.

It’s not that I care — I don’t hold a brief for the Coalition. In any case forming government will probably seem like a very bad idea in a year or so when the power goes to Katter’s head and he loses it completely. I just think political debate is poor enough without this kind of dishonest interpretation of polling.

15 thoughts on “Do most voters really want the independents to support Labor?

  1. The reality is they want a libertarian world (leave me alone, lower my taxes, what about my rights) but funded and legislated to their whims like a national socialist world (it ought to be illegal, where’s my money?).

    It’s up to us show them that this in unfeasible, and banning gays and socialising healthcare won’t make them free or wealthy, or healthier.

  2. Mark – you are spot on. I’m a libertarian and I have twice stood for parliament as part of a libertarian party (the LDP). However when I go to P&C meetings at the local public school and we discuss funding issues for building refurbishment etc I routinely ask whether we are getting what we are entitled to from the state bureaucracy. I encourage the P&C to put pressure on the bureaucracy for more funds because I don’t want the school to be short changed. When people suggest that it might be rude to keep asking for more and more I say don’t be damn stupid it’s our money their sitting on and if we don’t put the pressure on they will give it to somebody else. Of course all this pressure no doubt finds it’s way back to parliament which ultimately pushes more cash into the system or resists cutting back on funding. Sane people making sane decisions within an insane system.

  3. Oh, NO!!! Not you, TerjeP! Not you pedalling the geriatric line, “Do it for the kids!” That is the magic sentence used by all politicians to bedazzle us into handing out more money, or allowing more laws! NO NO NO!!!

  4. Nuke – sorry. I do mention that we should get the money because we pay so much tax. Rather than we should pay so much tax so we can get the money. However people hear what they want to hear.

  5. I know what you mean. I often get statist / socialist types claiming I’m a hypocrite for advocating less welfare then accepting the baby bonus or family tax part B.

    My standard response is that, all things considered, I’d rather pay a whole lot less tax and not have the middle class welfare, but seing as paying less tax isn’t an option, I’ll take back what I can get and don’t see anything hypocritical in that.

    If I really want to wind them up I’ll go on and say that they DO have the option of voluntarily handing over more money to the government, so NOT doing so is actually far more hypocritical.

  6. So long as you’re sincerely sorry, T, I’ll try not to wince when taxes go up next time, because of all the demand for government ‘services’.

  7. Come to think of it, and while I don’t want to make the tax system even more complex than it already is, maybe that’s a taxation reform that the government could consider.

    Put a space on the tax return allowing individual taxpayers to voluntarily pay more tax, and specify what it should be spent on. You could choose how much extra to pay, either a fixed amount or by surrendering a percentage of your refund, and choose from a ‘shopping list’ of things you want it spent on, such as more welfare for refugees, a new hospital, public education, transport etc.

    I don’t know what the take-up rate would be, but it would give socialists and other do-gooders a chance to put their money where their mouth is. If the take-up rate is extremely low, what does that say about our opinion of the government’s ability to spend money wisely?

  8. The election outcome is causing all sorts of silliness. First we had the ‘voters decided that they didn’t want either party’ line, which was transparently silly but widely repeated

    Don’t see anything “transparently silly” about this. Informal votes were at an all time high. The Greens recorded their largest ever vote. Seems obvious to me that mostly voters weren’t very keen on either party.

  9. There seems to be a great deal of speculation as to what the figures mean and if they are even right. At first glance there is a remarkable correlation between these figures and the raw vote, Liberal, (not counting LNP, NP etc) vs. Labor, 30.4%, (31%) to 37%, (38%) although this is probably irrelevant. I have to assume the poll was valid.

    My read is there are probably a large group of Liberals who realise that Katter and Co have no real alignment with liberalism and would in fact be a disaster waiting to happen. While I think that Abbott could accommodate them and would if he got the chance, the wish list these people have presented is more consistent with Labor. Windsor and Oakeshott favour a mining tax, and ETS. While Katter opposes these, he would have to rely on Labor to get his ideas of restricted market share for Coles and Woolies, 22% ethanol fuel, centralised marketing boards, and devaluing the Dollar.

    He has some policies that seem reasonable, such as, recreational rights, abolish ‘Wild Rivers,’ secure property rights, etc, but I am inclined to think Windsor and Oakeshott are probably at home with Labor, Katter should probably stay on the cross benches. The Liberal Party would have to be pretty desperate to govern to accept these idiots into their team, and some Liberals understand this.

    These Liberals are probably the ones more committed to liberal philosophy rather than power and as such are probably damn good targets for LDP recruitment if we can find a way of identifying them.

  10. Lets face it. 2 of the 3 liberals are closer to communists than they are to liberals.

    They want government to subsidise their telecommunications. They want australias to pay more for forign food so we buy their food. They want ETS. They want to increase social welfare and health systems. They even want minig tax? WTF I am now almost convinced they will side with labor, even though I thought that this would be political suicide for them in their electorates (maybe it still will be). I think some of these guys are getting in over their head. I hope that at least one is smart enough to go independant and refuse to back either.

  11. The more you look at these pricks the more insane they seem.

    They are working from a grab bag of populist feel good policies. There is no basic philosophy behind them especially in the case of Katter’ as to believe in one lot of his policies you would have to be logically diametrically opposed to the rest.

  12. The nationals have always been populists with no love of anything remotely resembling a free market. This is hardly some new development.

  13. Looks like they’re supporting Labor. Which could be good news for the Libs, if this stitched-together alliance turns into a poisoned chalice. I wonder what the miners will do now that the tax is here to stay?

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