"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Swing ... but Libs triumph. Tassie backs the wrong horse, ERIC bites the dust, RICHARD rises ...

Image for Swing ... but Libs triumph. Tassie backs the wrong horse, ERIC bites the dust, RICHARD rises ...

Guardian. Pic*. First published September 19
20.09.15 5:04 pm

Follow the Guardian’s Live Bog on the Canning by-election here

Or follow Dr Kevin Bonham’s analysis here ...

Nick Clark, Mercury: Malcolm Turnbull’s ascension marks a seismic shift in the Tasmanian power base … Tasmanian MPs have been staunchly behind former Prime Minister Tony Abbott since the 2013 election. Not only did four senators and the so-called “three amigos” — Mr Nikolic, Brett Whiteley and Eric Hutchinson — unanimously vote against a spill motion in February, Mr Abbott’s “near death experience”, but they spoke strongly against it. … The Turnbull win threw a scare into the Tasmanian division, which realised that, apart from Senator Richard Colbeck, it had backed the wrong horse.

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times: Classy Tasmanian MPs’ acts ...

• GUARDIAN LIVE: Eric Abetz is dumped as leader of the government in the Senate. George Brandis gets that gig.

Richard Colbeck: Ministry Appointment for Senator Richard Colbeck

Will Hodgman: Tasmania raring to work with new federal Cabinet

Politically Homeless: The right balance The Liberal right are convinced they can trash the Turnbull government in the same way that they trashed the Rudd and Gillard governments. They might just be able to do it, but if they do the Libral Party forfeits its position as a party of government.

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Legislative Council 2015: Windermere, Mersey and Derwent Live And Post-Count

Dr Kevin Bonham, http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/
02.05.15 12:18 pm

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Derwent: Polls Open Until 6pm. Mersey: Polls Open Until 6pm. Windermere: Polls Open Until 6pm Opening Post (midday): Welcome to my live comments on tonight’s three Legislative Council contests.  Three of the fifteen seats in Tasmania’s upper house will be decided tonight.  You can see my previews and form guides here ...

Derwent: CALLED: Craig Farrell (ALP) re-elected
Mersey: CALLED: Mike Gaffney (IND) re-elected
Windermere: CALLED: Ivan Dean (IND) will be re-elected on preferences

Kim Booth: Congratulations to Vanessa Bleyer as WINDERMERE member to be decided on Greens preference flows

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The revealing facts on bikie laws and crime in Queensland

Terry Goldsworthy, Assistant Professor, Criminology at Bond University.
26.01.15 5:00 am

Image for The revealing facts on bikie laws and crime in Queensland

Queensland’s Liberal National government has made law and order – particularly its anti-bikie laws – a key part of its re-election pitch. The government recently claimed that “Criminal Gang laws (are) keeping Queenslanders safer” and that they have driven a general decrease in crime. Yet when you compare those claims against Queensland’s crime statistics, something soon becomes clear: the spin and the statistics tell two different stories.

9MSN: Bikies snatch focus in Qld election Debate over policy is being overshadowed in the final days of Queensland’s election campaign following Premier Campbell Newman’s repeated claims of a link between Labor, unions and bikie gangs. Mr Newman has defended his allegations that ALP rivals were backed by unions linked to criminal motorcycle gangs, saying it’s a hot topic with Queenslanders. The debate has taken centre stage over the final weekend of the election campaign ahead of Saturday’s poll. On Sunday, Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk again called for Mr Newman to show some evidence to support his claims and stated she had “zero tolerance” when it came to criminal organisations.

Guardian: Bikies donate money to LNP to rubbish Newman claims

Guardian: LNP losing out in regional areas

Psephologist Dr Kevin Bonham’s latest analysis (Jan 15) here

MEANWHILE in elections elsewhere ...

Paul Mason, Guardian: Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites

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The Verdict: MLC for Huon and Rosevears

Dr Kevin Bonham. First pub: May 3
05.05.14 6:00 am

Image for The Verdict: MLC for Huon and Rosevears

Welcome to my coverage of the 2014 Legislative Council election counts.  There will be live comments tonight through the count.  There will be updates and analysis through following days as well.  Polls close 6 pm.  First figures may appear around 6:30-ish and based on past experience most booths will be in by around 8-8:30.  If Rosevears is close we may have to wait for the large number of early prepoll votes to be counted (I think this will happen on the night) and if it’s very close we’ll have up to 10 days of postals.

• Rosevears: CALLED. Finch (IND) re-elected. 7:46 pm: The magnitude of the drubbing in Rosevears is clear with all booths in and Finch winning the lot.  His current margin is a whopping 60:40 and that’s not going to change very much. … It appears that the Liberals’ voting-record-based attack on Finch almost totally failed, and while the risky nature of their tactics may have something to do with that, there’s a message that (to my surprise) voters just aren’t voting on the issues.  Kerry Finch it seems, like Andrew Wilkie, is seen as having a kind of integrity that the parties of the left are seen as having sold down the drain during the last parliament, if not before.  The strength of the Liberal win at the state election now doesn’t look like a positive endorsement for the ideas they went to the voters with - only a rejection of the Labor, Green and PUP alternatives,  and not for what they campaigned on in the first two cases so much as for trashing their brands by “selling out”.  Tonight’s result hardly speaks wonders for the Liberals’ mandate.

• Huon: Hodgman (Lib) leading narrowly on primaries but in serious danger from Armstrong (IND) or possibly Bell (IND) on preferences. 7:37 pm: Good news is that in Rosevears postals are being counted already, which means we’ll hopefully get the already-received postals in Huon tonight.  The cutup is then likely to be attempted tomorrow and they might be able to get a fair way up the tree without stalling, since the order of exclusion of Ruzicka and Dillon might not be clear but also shouldn’t matter.  7:26 pm: Hodgman has the lead back in Huon but it’s a meaningless one.  The smokie in the Huon count on current primaries is Jimmy Bell.  Bell is not far behind Smith.  If Bell can be over Smith after the preferences of Lane, Ruzicka and Dillon, Smith’s preferences will flow to Bell and put him over Armstrong.  Smith is less likely to win than Bell because conservative preferences from Armstrong won’t help her.  We’re not going to know the result of this one tonight.

• Ed: This item is now open for comment ... that is, general comment on results. Comments relating specifically to Dr Bonham will not be published; other than on his website

Rodney Croome: Finch re-election shows voters back politicians who back marriage equality

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The Bonham analyses

Dr Kevin Bonham, http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/
24.02.14 3:00 am

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Psephologist Dr Kevin Bonham has been hard at work bursting bubbles on his blogspot. Here are his latest analyses ...

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Judgment Day: Abbott triumphant. Rudd concedes, won’t recontest Labor leadership

Editor. ABC. First published Sept 7
09.09.13 4:30 am

Image for Judgment Day: Abbott triumphant. Rudd concedes, won’t recontest Labor leadership

At 10.15pm Tony Abbott claimed victory, saying: My friends… thankyou; thankyou so much. I can inform you that the government of Australia has changed for just the seventh time in 60 years. The Coalition has won 13 seats clearly with 10 seats still in play and the ALP is at the lowest level in more than 100 years. So tonight for the last time in this campaign it is my honour to address you, the people of Australia. I acknowledge Kevin Rudd’s service to the people of this nation. Looking forward to forming a government which is competent, trustworthy, and which purposefully and steadfastly and methodically sets about delivering on our commitments to the Australian people. Something very significant has happened today ... today the people have declared that the right to govern this country does not belong to Mr Rudd or to me or to his party or to ours but it belongs to you, the people of Australia. It is the people who determine the government and the prime ministership fo this country ... and you will punish anyone who takes you for granted… and that’s as it should be. In a week or so the GG will swear in a new government; a government that says what it means and means what it says, a government of no surprises and no excuses; a government that understands the limits of power as well as its potential. And a government that accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than its mere words. The carbon tax will be gone, the boats will be stopped, the budget will be on track ... and the roads of the 21st century will finally be well under way. Australia is under new management and is once more open for business ...

Kevin Rudd conceded at 9.40pm, saying: My fellow Australians, my fellow Queenslanders and fellow members of the great ALP. Today we have fought the good fight as the great ALP. Tonight is the time to unite as the great Australian nation. Whatever our politics we are first and foremost Australian ... and the things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us. This country can manage its differences peacefully ... that is why this is such a great country. Unity out of diversity… the great Australian miracle. A short time ago I telephoned Tony Abbott to concede defeat. As PM I wish him well now in coping with the stresses and strains of high office. I take responsibility. I gave it my all. Despite the prophets of doom we have preserved our Federal Labor Party as a viable fighting force for the future. And despite the pundits we appear to have held every seat in Queensland ... Ben Chifley’s light on the hill still burns bright across Australia. It is a flame that cannot be extinguished ... and he said he would not be recontesting the leadership of the ALP ...  saying he had retained Labor as a fighting force ... and it was time to unite under a new leader.

ABC Live overview 10 per cent counted: Coalition 61, Labor 27. ABC calls it for Nikolic in Bass, Whiteley in Braddon, Wilkie in Denison. Adams in big trouble in Lyons. Julie Collins keeps Franklin for Labor. Rudd is also back. 30 per cent counted: Coaltion 70, Labor 47.  Palmer to win seat. 43 per cent: Coalition 73, Labor 51. 50 per cent: Coalition 73, Labor 52 (Final prediction: 88 - 58). 60 per cent: Coalition 81, Labor 54 (Final prediction: 89 - 57). Adams gone. Independents likely to hold Senate balance of power. 70 per cent: Coalition 88, Labor 54 (Final prediction: 91 - 55, 1 Green (Bandt), 3 Other).

Dr Kevin Bonham, working for Mercury, here Wilkie is winning easily. Confident calling Braddon: Liberal (win). Ditto Franklin: Labor retain. Calling Denison: Andrew Wilkie (IND) retain. The Liberals can’t make second from here. I have been holding off on calling Lyons. It’s not quite dusted. Hutchinson’s lead is down to 51.7:48.3 and this is quite a diverse electorate. Firstly on Tas Senate before I check Vic - the Senate calculator is up at http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2013/results/senate/tas/ and on current figures the Palmer United Party has a chance of gaining a Senate seat in Tas off its superb primary vote result in the state.  The Wikileaks Party of Assange is on slightly less than 1% in Victoria.  The ABC calculator is currently showing a close race for the last two Tas Senates seat between the Greens, Liberals and Palmer United. While Palmer United currently “beat” the Liberals it’s not by a lot, and also the PUP team are at risk from below the line leakage. Long way to go there. The Greens are tracking up towards a quota. I believe Whish-Wilson will retain. Lyons is over now. You don’t write Dick Adams off while he has any chance but CALLED: Hutchinson (Lib) elected. Yes the Liberal vote is falling off the trailer in the Tas Senate as the larger urban booths come in. It is a really messy situation to project but PUP are looking much better in the last half hour.  Looking very clear Labor and the Greens will not have a blocking majority and the Coalition will be able to pass whatever it can get enough support from what could be a very messy crossbench from.  But I think most of the balance of power Senators will not be lefties. They will get a lot of stuff through: For Dr Bonham’s final comments, click here!x

Mercury wrap: Labor punished, Wilkie’s vote surges as Greens support slumps ...

ABC wrap: Liberals triumph after Labor bloodbath in Tasmania ...

Guardian Australia wrap: Tony Abbott declares Australian election victory for Coalition

Sky News:  Minor players set to hold power in Senate ...

The Poll Bludger, William Bowe (Crikey Live Blog) ... and they’re off! Scroll down from intro for live updates.

• Key Questions: * What happens with Wilkie? * Is Dick Adams still with us? What about the other Tas Reps seats? * Does Sophie Mirabella lose Indi (Victoria)? * Does Rudd hang on to his own seat? * Does Adam Bandt survive in Melbourne? * What is happening in the Senate, especially to the Greens in WA and South Australia? * What happened to Wikileaks?

Other Open Mouths ...

• Bob Burton’s picture essay of Judgment Day (Click on Read More) ...

Politifact Australia: Presenting the TOMmies: the best (and worst) of the 2013 election campaign

Christine Milne: Greens return to Canberra with increased numbers

ABC: State Liberals declare Labor’s federal defeat a slap in the face for Labor’s state Greens deal

Rodney Croome: Marriage equality advocates encouraged by election result

Bryan Green: Coalition urged to do the right thing by Tasmanians

Michael Mansell: Aborigines seek early meeting with PM elect on land returns

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If You Care About Gay Rights, Vote Below The Line In The Tas Senate ...

Dr Kevin Bonham, http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/ First published September 1
02.09.13 3:15 am

Image for If You Care About Gay Rights, Vote Below The Line In The Tas Senate ...

... And no, I don’t just mean same-sex marriage.  This goes way beyond just that. If you care about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights even to the smallest degree, and are considering your vote in the Tasmanian Senate, then I have the following strong advice ...

• Comments are not being taken on Dr Bonham’s article. If you wish to comment, do so on his website.

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ReachTEL (State): The Same Story Told Many Times

Dr Kevin Bonham kevinbonham.blogspot.com
25.08.13 9:30 am

Image for ReachTEL (State): The Same Story Told Many Times

It’s the same story that has been told in ten EMRS polls and three previous ReachTELs since the start of 2011 - that the Liberal Opposition is headed for majority government.  Every poll has projected to at least thirteen seat wins for the Liberals, and most have projected to more.  Each has told a slightly different story about the potential scale of the victory and the possible division of the Government’s seat losses between Labor and the Greens. This one sits pretty much in the middle of the fairway.  The overall picture is relentlessly consistent, and the clock is ticking down with only seven months to go.  Even a new Abbott federal government will have their work cut out to do something annoying enough for the Liberal Party to stuff this one up from here.

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The Anti-Wilkie Denison Billboard Stoush

Dr Kevin Bonham, http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/ ABC pic
14.08.13 5:00 am

Image for The Anti-Wilkie Denison Billboard Stoush

What is funny in this situation is that it is so reminiscent of this stoush ( http://www.tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/lib-preference-scare-labor-response-both-rubbish ) from the 2010 poll, except that Labor has switched from complainant to target, just as the Liberals switched from target to complainant when they attacked Hans Willink over his Nelson LegCo ads.

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ReachTEL – Tas Federal BaByLon Still Falling

Dr Kevin Bonham, http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/ First pub: July 28
29.07.13 4:49 am

Image for ReachTEL – Tas Federal BaByLon Still Falling

Furthermore the use of relatively heavy scaling in robopolls increases the effective margin of error of the poll somewhat.  So it is plausible on these results that Labor would actually win either Bass or Lyons (I suggest more probably Lyons since it seems unlikely Labor is really quite as far behind there as Bass.)  All the same it is not a good position for Labor to be in, and it shows that despite the return to Rudd, Tasmania is still a serious problem for federal Labor.  As the party patches up holes in other states, but without showing clear signs of winning a brace of seats anywhere, this is a problem that is only going to get bigger.

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ReachTEL - State Labor Back To The Lifeboats

Dr Kevin Bonham kevinbonham.blogspot.com
17.06.13 4:45 am

Image for ReachTEL - State Labor Back To The Lifeboats

ReachTEL (Tas State): Lib 52.5 ALP 19.7 Green 15.6 Other 6 Undecided 6.3
Interpretation: Lib 57 ALP 22 Green 17 Other 4 (Other perhaps higher)
Outcome based on this poll “if election was held now”: Liberal Victory (c. 15 seats)

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Federal Labor Getting Smashed All Over Tasmania

Dr Kevin Bonham. Pic: of Dick Adams
17.06.13 4:30 am

Image for Federal Labor Getting Smashed All Over Tasmania

A federal ReachTEL poll of all Tasmanian electorates shows a massive swing against the Gillard Government in Tasmania.  Based on the poll results ...

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Brenton Best Crosses the Floor!

Dr Kevin Bonham, http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/ Pic: of Brenton Best
27.05.13 2:10 am

Image for Brenton Best Crosses the Floor!

If Best is allowed to get away with this repeatedly, then that means there is a confidence-and-supply agreement between Cabinet Labor and the Cabinet Greens, but that backbenchers are free to cooperate with the Opposition on motions against Ministers as they like. So in theory any three backbenchers drawn from Labor and the Greens, in cooperation with the Liberals, could force the Premier to reshuffle Cabinet however they pleased.  The idea that a government backbencher can freely vote with the Opposition on a confidence vote against the Minister implies that the government delegates the formation of the ministry to the Parliament rather than relying on its own combined numbers to choose its ministry itself.

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Montgomery, Nelson, Pembroke ...

Dr Kevin Bonham, http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/
04.05.13 4:49 am


Dr Kevin Bonham live comments at http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/

• 8pm:
Pembroke: CALLED: Vanessa Goodwin (Lib) re-elected on first preferences
Nelson: CALLED: Jim Wilkinson re-elected
Montgomery: CALLED: Leonie Hiscutt (Lib) elected

• 7pm:
Pembroke: Goodwin leading strongly
Nelson: Wilkinson leading strongly
Montgomery: Hiscutt leading Fuller and currently in strong position.

Rodney Croome: Majority of Tas voters back gay marriage candidates

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What is an independent liberal?

Dr Kevin Bonham, http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/ First published Thursday April 25
25.04.13 4:59 am

Sam McQuestin, with State Libs Leader Will Hodgman

McQuestin is quoted as claiming “We have the strongest political brand in the state and in the nation and we take very seriously our responsibility to protect that brand”, and as saying the party was “prepared to consider all legal avenues”. They can consider all the avenues they like.  They’re all dead ends.

• Dr Bonham expects to have live election-night comments on all three LegCo electorates, from 6 pm 4 May. Details here

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Liberty, Abortion and the “Salamanca Declaration”

Dr Kevin Bonham
18.04.13 3:50 am

Mercury image: TT here

The Salamanca Declarers, in common with far too many (but by no means all) western Christians, seem to think that “liberty” is some kind of part-time philosophical mistress who they can have a flirty no-commitment ideological fling with whenever they just want to use her for their own satisfaction.  The rest of the time they’ll mistreat, criticise, abuse and ignore her without a second thought for her feelings, eager to keep her in her place lest she interfere with their existing (and amusingly, same-sex) philosophical marriage to Jesus/God.  Yet they not only expect she will run to their side whenever they need her, they insist on it.  Sorry boys (and yes, every signatory to this statement supporting limits on female reproductive rights was male!) but liberty is not that kind of girl. 

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Nelson Legislative Council polling

Dr Kevin Bonham, http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/ First published Wednesday April 10
11.04.13 5:00 am


And this is why the common practice of selective media reporting of unpublished polls is terrible practice.  If there are errors in the poll then there is no opportunity for analysts to scrutinise and correct them.  At least, journalists who do not have the expertise to check an unpublished poll they are reporting on for themselves should run it past someone who does, but ideally, this silly business of people commissioning polls and showing them to journalists without the poll ever being published should end.  Let’s not forget this stupid internal-poll-selective-results media/players game has recently been part of the process of removing an elected Prime Minister during his first term of office - it is not as if this is a trivial issue.

Yesterday on Tasmanian Times: Public opinion and the Mt Wellington cable car proposal

Tonight: Legislative Council Seat of Nelson candidate debate

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Public opinion and the Mt Wellington cable car proposal

Dr Kevin Bonham
09.04.13 5:00 am

Picture: Grant Dixon

Bold has claimed “without this robust sample size achieved, locals would otherwise likely continue to speculate over public sentiment”, but in fact the sample size provides no reason for anyone to stop speculating. The reason for this is that small sample size is but one of many factors that can impact upon the reliability of an opinion survey, and while too small a sample size means that a survey is unreliable, a large sample size does not demonstrate that a survey can be trusted. The main limitation of Bold’s survey, one that cannot be overcome by pointing to the sample size, is that it is an opt-in poll.

• Earlier on Tasmanian Times ...

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Boyce, Wilson, Johnson,  Hay/Thorne, Cica ...

23.03.13 12:23 pm


Rohan Wilson, who won the $5000 Margaret Scott Prize for the best book by a Tasmanian writer with The Roving Party, Katherine Johnson, who won the $5000 UTAS Prize for Best New Unpublished Work by an Emerging Tasmanian Writer with Kubla, and Tasmanian Book Prize winner James Boyce.

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Tasmanian Lower House: 25 or 35 Seats?

Dr Kevin Bonham
14.03.13 7:15 am


It is not correct to blame too many problems in Tasmanian politics on the 25-seat system since politics under the 35-seat system was also very turbulent and crisis-prone during its last two decades.

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