Labor's support in free-fall


Gillard on Q&A

And this is before the carbon tax was announced:

LABOR’S support has slumped to a record low, with the Coalition sitting at all-time highs as Tony Abbott extends his lead as preferred prime minister over Julia Gillard.

In the two-week lead-up to Sunday’s announcement of the carbon tax details, Labor’s primary vote fell three percentage points to a record low of 27 per cent, while the Coalition’s support rose three points to 49 per cent for its highest primary vote since the Howard government in October 2001.

Even with a steady Greens vote of 12 per cent favouring Labor on preferences, the Coalition recorded its highest two-party-preferred vote of 58 per cent and the ALP its lowest of 42 per cent based on preference flows at the August election last year. The Coalition’s two-party-preferred vote is the second biggest in Newspoll history, with the previous record of 63 per cent to 37 per cent set by Kevin Rudd’s Labor government during its honeymoon period in early 2008 over the Brendan Nelson-led Coalition.

All the gory details are here.

I forced myself to watch Gillard’s address to the nation, but I refuse to watch Q&A – an audience stacked with lefties, a left leaning panel and a lefty presenter (Tony Jones) makes it the media equivalent of a quick turn in the Colosseum for anyone even vaguely to the right of the far left. Here’s Andrew Bolt’s take on Gillard’s solo performance last night:

On Q&A last night, Julia Gillard:

  • dodged a question about her duty to seek an electoral mandate first before imposing this huge, risky and controversial tax.
  • dodged again a question on how her tax would affect the climate, and whether the effect was so small as to not be worth the effort.
  • again adopted her fatally patronising pitch, even suggesting we should be embarrassed at being beaten by those pesky New Zealanders who had (a very small) emissions trading scheme already. (“Just joking,” she trilled.)
  • got picked up even by warmist Tony Jones on her deceit at pretending China was cutting its emissions, when it is actually replacing small coal-fired power stations with huge ones, sending total emissions soaring.
  • was appealed to by a believer who captured the conceit of both of them by begging Gillard to use “simple” language so her “dear old mum” could be persuaded.
  • repeatedly used the deceit of calling carbon dioxide “pollution” without once being corrected by Jones.
  • twice dodges an invitation to debate Tony Abbott on the science of global warming.
  • again falsely claimed Margaret Thatcher backed what she was doing.

Gillard also claims there’s not enough respect for “the scientists”. Like this one?

Ah yes, but according to Gillard, there should only be respect for the scientists that agree with Labor’s policy. All the others are just filthy deniers funded by Big Oil. Surely you must have grasped this by now…

Carbon tax a "brazen fraud"


Bad for Gillard

Andrew Bolt’s column on the carbon tax announcement sums up the frustration and disenfranchisement many of us are feeling this morning:

JULIA Gillard’s carbon tax is the most brazen fraud perpetrated by an Australian government.

Warming believers should be outraged that the tax is so useless. Sceptics should be outraged it’s so pointless.

It offends the intelligence of everyone and threatens the jobs of thousands.

For nothing.

The Prime Minister yesterday claimed “the science is in” and man’s gasses were heating the planet dangerously.

But not even Gillard dares to claim that the tax she’s finally unveiled will stop any of that warming, or change the climate in any way – because it won’t. It can’t. (source)

News.com.au runs a poll on the carbon tax, and the results aren’t pretty. However, GetUp has obviously been mobilised to vote on this, as the results are far less dramatic than they were yesterday evening, but they are still damning (see graphic):

ANGRY Australians have vowed to vote Julia Gillard from office at the next election after today’s controversial carbon tax announcement.

Scores of voters rejected the plan soon after details of the $24.5 billion package to tackle climate change were revealed, with more than 80 per cent who voted in a national online poll saying Australia shouldn’t have a carbon tax.

Almost 100,000 votes were cast by more than 25,000 people across four polls in News Limited’s “Carbon Tax Plebiscite”, with 87.1 per cent saying they planned to change their vote at the next election in light of the tax.

More than 70 per cent of voters, or 15,866 people, said they now planned to vote for the Coalition at the next election while just 8.51 per cent said they would support a Labor government.

Just 13 per cent of voters said they wouldn’t change their vote at the next election. (source – vote at the link)

Industry is unimpressed:

CANBERRA’S grand carbon tax reform package will only raise the growing alarm in the business community that the Gillard government just doesn’t understand the meaning of the bottom line or the pressures facing industry and the economy.

It will be hard enough to convince highly sceptical voters that the carbon tax is an important economic and environmental reform that won’t leave most of their budgets worse off.

But most of the business community, already coping with massive structural changes, will be even less persuaded that this scheme has merit, let alone that it deserves the title of major reform. The $23 a tonne tax is high enough to increase costs on business but not sufficiently high to do what the government promises it will — drive substantial change in energy use, provide investment certainty or reduce global warming.

What it does produce is the churning of billions of dollars in and out of Canberra, intrusive and inefficient regulation and a (hopefully) modest drag on economic growth just when the non-mining sector feels so weighed down. (source)

Tim Blair takes Gillard’s address to pieces:

“Most Australians now agree our climate is changing, this is caused by carbon pollution, this has harmful effects on our environment and on the economy and the government should act.”

Most Australians don’t want a carbon tax.

“The first Australian government to announce a plan for a carbon price was John Howard’s back in 2007.”

And look where it got him. And Kevin Rudd. And Malcolm Turnbull. Gillard is shooting for a climate change four-peat.

“A lot has happened since then; the debate has been difficult and divisive. But we have now had the debate – 2011 is the year we decide that as a nation we want a clean energy future.”

Whoa! The debate is over now? The Prime Minister’s powers evidently now extend to public opinion.

Frankly, she could do with a little more practice on her own cabinet first.

“Now is the time to move from words to deeds.”

Several words from which the Prime Minister dearly wishes we could move: “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.”

That sentence didn’t survive as fact for even one year. (source)

Jo Nova:

“Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.” Henning Webb Prentis, Jr., President of the Armstrong Cork Company 1943

The quoted passage from Prentis is known as “the fatal sequence”, and the only good news is that we don’t have to stay on the road to bondage. The message about the real science and economics is spreading from BBQ to BBQ, dinner to dinner, through letters to the editors, and through phone calls to radio stations. Information is our friend, and when it comes down to it, we can do it without the lamestream media, and the ABC. They can rubber-stamp the government PR, and union sponsored activists can try to cancel speeches that might reveal the truth, but these distant messengers don’t come between family and friends.

Word-of-mouth spreads the story with an exponential growth curve. There’s a one way stream of people leaving the “carbon faith” and shifting to skepticism, there’s  virtually no flow the other way.

Sooner or later the hard rock meets the immovable force and when 70% of the country know that the tax is a lie, based on deceit, wallowing in corruption and plastered with vested interests it will be all over — all over for the tax, all over for Labor Party credibility, all over for the witchdoctors who think they can change the weather. (source)

Letter from Viv Forbes:

Carbon Tax Mark 4 is flimsy but dangerous.

Because of public opposition to a new tax on everything, the tax has been gutted. The PM hopes to buy public support by giving exemptions to almost everyone and offering widespread bribes to voters. It is now feeble and ineffective.

But the Green-Gillard coalition is desperate and such people cannot be trusted. They will say or promise anything in order to get this new tax introduced.

Once on the law books, the exemptions will be whittled away, the tax rate will increase and the tax bribes will disappear. It is a stealthy cancer in the gut of the Australian economy.

The cost of electricity, food, fuel and travel will increase, but few people will recognise the root cause. Politicians will blame “Woolworths, power suppliers and Big Oil” for the pain.

This new stealth tax is the thin edge of the wedge.

It will have no effect on the climate, but is a fiscal weapon too dangerous to be left in the hands of green extremists.

Leaving Bob Brown loose with the vast powers of a carbon tax is like leaving the grandkids alone in the hayshed with a box of matches.

“Abolish the Stealth Tax” will be the next election slogan. (source)

As everyone now knows, the tax will do nothing for the climate, and even warmist Adam Morton from the Sydney Morning Herald acknowledges that fact. And points out what many commentators miss, namely that Australia will have to buy permits to reach even the modest target set for 2020:

ONCE you can get past the extraordinary compensation packages – some justifiable, others less so – the real test of the carbon price package is pretty basic: will it cut Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions?

Beyond that, will it set up the economy for potentially even deeper cuts down the track?

The answer to the first question is probably yes, though it depends on how you define a cut in emissions.

What does all this mean for emissions? It depends on your perspective. Treasury modelling suggests Australia’s emissions will rise slightly in the years ahead before starting to fall in a couple of decades.

They will quickly be significantly lower than they would be without a carbon price, or under most analyses of the Coalition’s ”direct action” policy. But it also means Australia will only reach its targets by buying international carbon permits – 101 million tonnes worth in 2020, and many more by 2050. (source)

With such lukewarm support from one of Gillard’s cheerleaders, it looks as though the tax will annoy everyone. Not enough to please the Greens, and too much for everyone else. And we hope voters have long, long memories.

Abbott overtakes Gillard as preferred PM


Ahead

It keeps getting worse for Julia Gillard and Labor. I wonder why? Is it possibly because she LIED about a carbon tax before the election, and now intends to introduce one without giving the electorate the chance to vote on her backflip? Just a crazy, wild guess. [UPDATE: or perhaps being compared to children who won’t eat their vegetables? How patronising can you get? – Ed]

JULIA Gillard has sunk below Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister for the first time and is now the most unpopular modern prime minister since Paul Keating at his worst.

Voter satisfaction with Ms Gillard has sunk to a record low, along with her support as Prime Minister against the Opposition Leader.

According to the latest Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, satisfaction with the Prime Minister last weekend was down two percentage points to 28 per cent, her lowest since becoming leader a year ago and a fall of 22 percentage points since she announced the carbon tax.

Dissatisfaction with Ms Gillard has leapt to a high of 62 per cent, up seven points in the past two weeks.

On the question of who would make the better prime minister, she slipped below Mr Abbott for the first time, after falling two points to 39 per cent as Mr Abbott’s support rose two points to 41 per cent.

On the first anniversary of the removal of Kevin Rudd as Labor leader and Ms Gillard’s first year as Prime Minister, the government’s primary vote has dropped to a record low for Labor of 30 per cent. The Coalition’s support remains at 46 per cent, with the Greens on a steady 11 per cent.

Based on second-preference flows at the last election, the Coalition has maintained its clear election-winning lead over Labor of 55 per cent to 45 per cent.

One thing’s for sure, the Australian electorate do not take kindly to being lied to.

Read it here.

Support for "climate action" falling fast


Sinking fast

The ABC reports this (through gritted teeth, naturally):

New research shows support for taking action on climate change is falling steeply.

The Lowy Institute’s annual poll asked about 1,000 people for their opinions on a range of topics, including climate change and the war in Afghanistan.

The poll shows that there has been a steep fall in the number of Australians who think climate change is a serious problem which needs addressing now.

It says 41 per cent of respondents want to see action even if it means a significant cost, down 27 percentage points since 2006.

Thirty-nine per cent of poll respondents said they would not be willing to pay anything extra on their electricity bill to help tackle climate change.

Read it here.

Abbott to push for plebiscite on carbon tax


Interesting times

It could be an interesting day in Parliament today:

AUSTRALIANS would be asked to vote on whether they want a carbon tax under a radical plan by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to be put before parliament today.

Mr Abbott will lodge a bill to force the government to a plebiscite on the carbon tax in a move which, if successful, could force Julia Gillard to junk the tax or go to the polls to seek a mandate.

In what would be the first full national plebiscite since the conscription votes of World War I, the question to be put to the Australian people would ask: “Are you in favour of a law to impose a carbon tax?”

Motions for a bill to enable the vote, drafted by the parliamentary clerk, will be introduced simultaneously in both the senate and the house of representatives at 10am today. The bill has been deemed constitutional by the clerk, preventing the government from rejecting it for a vote in the senate.

If passed by both houses, the government would have 90 days to call the plebiscite, requiring all registered voters to cast their verdict on the tax.

While not binding on the government as are referenda, Mr Abbott said a “no” vote would have such moral authority that Ms Gillard would be forced to either dump the tax or go to an early election to seek a mandate. Mr Abbott, who has effectively pitched his leadership against the PM’s on the result, told The Daily Telegraph he believed the independents would support the bills in the interests of democracy.

“I think if the PM had any integrity she would seek a mandate at an election for her tax. Clearly she is not going to do that,” he said.

“The independents don’t want an election … this gives them a chance to have a vote without having an election. It gives them a chance to respect democratic principles.”

We’ll see. The independents haven’t shown themselves to be particularly principled in the past, but we can only hope. An opinion poll on the plebiscite proposal is currently running at 90% in favour.

Read it here.

"Horror poll" for Gillard


Is Kevin sharpening the knife?

The Sydney Morning Herald tries valiantly to put a favourable gloss on this (see here), but in the end, it’s lipstick on a pig. Gillard is sinking faster than a Pacific island. And to add to Gillard’s woes, Kevin 747 is almost twice as popular, demonstrating that it has become a case of ABJ – Anyone But Julia:

SUPPORT for the Labor government has fallen to 27 per cent, its lowest point in almost four decades, while Julia Gillard’s personal ratings have collapsed to levels not seen for a prime minister since John Howard introduced the GST more than 10 years ago.

The latest Herald/Nielsen poll also shows that a week away from the first anniversary on June 24 of Kevin Rudd’s dumping as prime minister, twice as many voters prefer Mr Rudd as Labor leader to Ms Gillard.

The poll, taken from Tuesday to Thursday night, contains a sliver of good news for Labor in that support for putting a price on carbon has jumped 4 percentage points in a month to 38 per cent.

But the government is in dire straits. A little more than one in four voters would choose Labor first should an election be held today, and almost 60 per cent disapprove of Ms Gillard’s performance.

She urged her colleagues to hold their nerve, suggesting that unlike Mr Rudd a year ago, she had a strategy to turn things around.

”We’ve got a plan which we are working through to deliver, which we did not have at the start of my prime ministership,” she told the Herald.

Since the last poll a month ago, Labor’s primary vote has fallen 4 percentage points to 27 per cent – the lowest primary vote for any main federal party in the poll’s 39-year history and the first time a major party has fallen to less than 30 per cent.

The Coalition’s primary vote rose 2 points to 49 per cent, giving it a two-party preferred lead over Labor of 59 per cent to 41 per cent.

This represents a 9-point swing towards the Coalition in the 10 months since the election and is the Coalition’s biggest lead since May 1996, two months after John Howard trounced Paul Keating.

Read it here.

Majority oppose carbon [dioxide] tax


Resounding "no"

Despite all the hype and media spin of yesterday’s “rent-a-bunch-of-Lefty-lemmings” demonstrations in favour of a carbon dioxide tax, the majority of Australians are firmly against it. Furthermore, they believe that Julia Gillard has no mandate for such a tax and should call an election. And they believe it will do nothing for the environment. Funny that, it’s what we’ve been saying on this site since it was announced in February:

AUSTRALIANS are demanding Julia Gillard call a fresh election, saying she has no mandate for a carbon tax.

With less than a third of all voters now claiming to support the tax, the federal government is facing a nationwide backlash if it proceeds.

An exclusive Galaxy poll commissioned by The Daily Telegraph has revealed 73 per cent of people claim they will end up worse off under the tax. Just 7 per cent believe they could end up better off in some way.

More fatal for the Prime Minister, however, was the overwhelming support for an election to be called on the issue – confirming widespread anger over her broken election promise not to introduce a carbon tax.

A total of 64 per cent said they wanted a fresh election. Only 24 per cent believed the PM had a mandate.

And in a growing sentiment that the tax would not help solve the climate change problem, 75 per cent believed it would have only a minor impact on the environment – or no impact at all.

The devastating poll results, showing total opposition now at 58 per cent, confirm the government has so far failed to make an effective case for its tax.

They also reflect Liberal Party internal polling showing support for Tony Abbott’s campaign to force the government to an early election, despite analysis showing the Coalition’s alternative direct action plan would be even more costly. (source)

When the crunch comes, Australians are thankfully far too sensible to have the wool pulled over their eyes. Those at the pro-tax rallies yesterday are the deluded ones, out of touch with reality and the wishes of the vast majority of the population.

Survey results spun to fit warmist agenda


Lots of spin

The Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC are spruiking a new survey that they claim shows scepticism is on the way out. Take this from the Herald:

Climate change sceptics are an endangered species in Australia, a national survey shows.

The survey of almost 3100 Australians found 74 per cent believe the world’s climate is changing.

When asked a different question about the causes of climate change, which removed the reference to personal beliefs, 90 per cent of respondents said human activity was a factor.

Just 5 per cent said climate change was entirely caused by natural processes.

Overall, less than 6 per cent of respondents could reasonably be classified as true climate change sceptics, the study by Griffith University researchers found.

“It’s clear that people want the government to do something about climate change and they also feel they have a personal responsibility to act,” environmental and social psychologist Professor Joseph Reser said. (source)

Or this from the ABC:

A national survey reveals most Australians believe in, and are concerned about, climate change.

The study by Queensland’s Griffith University surveyed more than 3,000 Australians across the country and found 74 per cent believe the world’s climate is changing and 90 per cent believe human activities are playing a role.

The research found less than 6 per cent of Australians are true climate change sceptics.

Griffith University Professor Joseph Reser says the results show public opinion has been greatly misrepresented in the media. (source)

What they have sneakily done here is to redefine the word “sceptics” to mean only those who believe humans have no influence whatsoever on the climate. This, of course, is utter nonsense, as the vast majority of sceptics acknowledge that human activity has some effect on climate. So before we even start, commonly used terminology has been misused to make it appear that sceptics are dwindling – phew, say Herald and ABC editors.

And when you look at the actual results, they also tell a very different story (as always). Here is the key question from the original report (source – 1MB PDF):

Q9. Thinking about the causes of climate change, which, if any, of the following best describes your opinion?

  • Climate change is entirely caused by natural processes: 4.9%
  • Climate change is mainly caused by natural processes: 12.6%
  • Climate change is partly caused by natural processes and partly by human activity: 45.8%
  • Climate change is mainly caused by human activity: 27.6%
  • Climate change is entirely caused by human activity: 4.2%

Which would I be in? Somewhere in the middle of the 12.6% that climate change is mainly caused by natural processes and the 45.8% who say climate change is partly caused by natural processes and partly by human activity. So according to the Herald and the ABC, I’m not a sceptic – and I run a climate sceptic blog! Hilarious.

So without our warmist goggles on, let’s interpret the results a different way, shall we?

  • Less than a third of the population think that climate change is mainly or entirely caused by human activity (31.8%)
  • Almost twice that number think that climate change is mainly or partly caused by natural processes (58.4%)

So in reality, the survey shows a healthy scepticism of the claim that human activity is predominantly to blame for climate change. But that doesn’t fit the warmist agenda does it?

Another result was that 85% of respondents were either fairly or very concerned that electricity would become unaffordable in the future. But strangely, that result didn’t make it into the Fairfax or ABC articles…

Labor ship hits iceberg – sinking fast


Goodship Gillard

She’s holed below the waterline, Cap’n. Six compartments are flooded and it is a mathematical certainty that she’ll be heading to the bottom of the ocean in no time at all. But not to worry, the carbon tax lifeboat will save the government, just you wait and see…

SUPPORT for Julia Gillard has plunged after voters gave their lowest rating to Labor’s fourth budget, the overall worst reaction in almost 20 years, leaving the Prime Minister’s personal standing below that of Kevin Rudd when he was removed as leader.

Voter approval of Ms Gillard is the lowest it has been since she became Prime Minister last June. Tony Abbott is as close to her as preferred prime minister as he has ever been and closer than he ever was to Mr Rudd.

According to the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian at the weekend, the Coalition’s primary vote rose to a six-year high of 46 per cent to Labor’s unchanged 33 per cent, giving a two-party preferred calculation of 54 to 46 per cent.

Satisfaction with Ms Gillard as prime minister dropped to a record low for her of 34 per cent compared with 38 per cent before the budget, and dissatisfaction rose six points to 55 per cent, her highest level of dissatisfaction. (source)

Radio Operator – send out an SOS.

Newspoll's questions mislead the media


Dodgy wording

In the same poll that showed support for Julia Gillard’s carbon tax at a laughable 30%, it has been reported that over 70% of voters believe climate change is man-made. This is a gift to Labor, since they can point to that and say “Look, people believe man-made climate change is real, but (unlike us) they don’t want to take the tough decision and do something about it.”

Here is the Newspoll question (PDF here):

DO YOU PERSONALLY BELIEVE THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS…?*

  • entirely caused by human activity: 14%
  • partly caused by human activity: 58%
  • TOTAL CAUSED BY HUMAN ACTIVITY: 72%

Now even I, as a writer of a climate sceptic blog, would have to be included in that 72% (actually the 58%), because I consider that man has a partial effect on the climate, like virtually everything else on the planet: plants and animals and buildings and cities etc etc. We can live with a modest 1 degree of warming – there may even be benefits from that warming, and from the increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

So the question that should have been asked is whether people believe that the effect that man has on climate is dangerous and requires action to reverse that effect. In other words, that the modest warming from increased CO2 is amplified by positive feedbacks (as the models would have you believe) into something that is dangerous.

I would bet the figure would be closer to the 14% that believe natural climate change doesn’t exist (the hardcore “natural climate change deniers” who apparently haven’t heard of Ice Ages) than the 72% figure quoted in the media.

And that must be the more important figure – if people, like me, believe that climate change is partly man-made, but that the magnitude of the change caused by man is small and does not require action to reverse it, then a carbon price is similarly not required.

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