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Responsibility for election comment on Tasmanian Times is taken by Lindsay Tuffin.

Use TT as your portal to the widest possible coverage of the August 21 poll. No Monoculture Media here. For Breaking News and links to local, national and international election and general news click on News on the Navigation Bar under the TT masthead and a drop-down menu gives you Local, Regional, and Global news. For links to wide-ranging political coverage click on Links on the Navigation Panel. Apart from links to online news media there is specialist Political Analysis links to national specialists like TT favourite Antony Green’s Green Guide, Poll Bludger or Possum Politics.

Then there is Tasmania’s foremost election analyst, Dr Kevin Bonham (Dr Bonham’s brilliant Election 2010: A pre-and-post-Rudd primer is HERE) and Tasmanian Politics’ Peter Tucker

Your can comment on specific articles quoted and linked on TT, such as Wilkie, Greens rule out Denison preference deals, HERE, or Unbelievably misleading, HERE, or for any general observation or a quick spray, Comment Below …

Picture HERE

Breaking news:
The Age, Saturday, July 31: Blow to Labor as Abbott surges.
The Oz, Monday, August 2: Tony Abbott boost puts poll at 50-50
ABC Online, Saturday August 7: Labor claws back ground as Rudd returns
The Oz, Saturday, August 7: High Court decision could change election result
Sue Neales, Mercury, Saturday, August 7: Schism threatens Libs:
Sunday, August 8: Libs’ Launch: Abbott calls for end to Labor spin
Monday,August 9: Labor edges ahead, thanks to Greens
Tuesday, August 10: Focus groups and factions tear heart out of Labor: The NSW Right faction leader Mark Arbib both secured and destroyed Rudd’s leadership. Win, lose or draw, Arbib will go down in history for his catastrophic political role. His part in the anti-Rudd manoeuvre was all the more extraordinary because he was the architect of the disastrous policy backflip that caused Rudd’s spectacular collapse. Having built his political persona firmly on the foundation of fighting climate change, Rudd recklessly threw away his credibility by postponing the emissions trading scheme. His reluctant volte-face, under intense pressure from Arbib and co, caused a precipitate plunge in Labor’s primary vote. But Julia Gillard advocated an even more hardline position: the abandonment of the ETS. That makes Gillard’s present non-policy on climate change incomprehensible. If Labor loses the election, this blunder will be as pivotal as Arbib’s role.
Wednesday, August 11, Town Hall Debate: Details HERE
Wednesday, August 11, Oz: Labor struggling in key states
Saturday, August 14: ABC: Labor takes lead one week from Poll. Oz: ALP fights back in key marginals. Age: Surge for Labor. Coalition vote falls
Sunday, August 15: Papers back Julia Gillard, voters want Tony Abbott: AUSTRALIA’S Sunday newspapers have backed Julia Gillard to win the election, saying Labor deserves a second term.

But voters don’t seem to agree, with the latest opinion poll suggesting Tony Abbott will win the 17 seats he needs for an election victory.

Although most of the sundays criticised Labor for its poor performance at state and federal level, they were willing to give Ms Gillard an opportunity to show what she could achieve as Prime Minister.

Suprisingly, the paper that has hit Labor the hardest, The Sunday Telegraph, praised Ms Gillard as someone who could make the “big calls” and would not be “cowed by the news polls”.

Queensland has been urged to give Tony Abbott a chance, with the Sunday Mail saying the Government has squandered its goodwill and confidence.

However, a Galaxy Poll of 4000 voters in 20 marginal seats in five states has Mr Abbott’s Coalition in front of Labor, 51 per cent to 48.6 per cent.

The survey comes only a day after polls by Nielsen and Newspoll suggested Ms Gillard was within a whisker of winning power.

The Galaxy Poll, published in today’s News Limited papers, predicts devastation for Labor in Queensland, where a potential swing of 5.4 per cent against the Government could cost it 10 seats.

In NSW, polling in Eden-Monaro, Gilmore, Macarthur and Macquarie found a swing of 2.4 per cent against the Government, while the coalition was likely to win all the seats polled, plus three others if the swing was statewide.

The Coalition is also in front in Swan and Hasluck in Western Australia, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

In the Prime Minister’s home state of Victoria, the Galaxy Poll found a swing in Labor’s favour of 1.6 per cent.

But the average swing across the five mainland states is 1.7 per cent to the Coalition.

Editor-at-Large (South America) James Dryburgh: Voting: It’s more advanced in Tasmania ...

For the recent Tasmanian elections we had no problem voting from overseas, everything was easily done electronically. It would appear Tasmania is more advanced than Australia, as to vote in the national election we have send a letter to the Electoral Commission and wait for one in return.

This makes voting impossible as we are on the move with no reliable address and no idea of how long post will take.

If that backward, bigotted Abbott, who would likely make me as ashamed of Australia as Howard did, gets in by two votes I think we´ll have to stay here!

Sunday, August 15: EXAMINER: Labor set to sweep Tassie seats

BY ANGUS LIVINGSTON CHIEF POLITICAL REPORTER
15 Aug, 2010 08:33 AM

LABOR will sweep all five Tasmanian seats on Saturday, maintaining the hold it has had on the state since 2007.

The Examiner’s exclusive EMRS poll predicts Labor’s Geoff Lyons will take Bass and incumbent Sid Sidebottom will hold Braddon.

The two-party-preferred numbers show the stark reality of the political landscape in Tasmania.

Labor’s vote sits at 60 per cent - with a strong preference flow from the Greens - while the Liberals sit at 40 per cent.

They are virtually the same percentages as the March 20 state election, with Labor and the Greens winning about 60 per cent of the vote.

In Bass, Mr Lyons has 39 per cent of the vote, with Liberal candidate Steve Titmus on 36.

In Braddon, Mr Sidebottom can count on a 40 per cent vote, with a 13 per cent Green vote surely enough to get him over the line again.

Denison newcomer Jonathan Jackson has walked into a safe Labor seat and should have no problems holding off the Greens.

In Franklin, the Green vote has almost topped the Liberals’, but Labor incumbent Julie Collins will be safe.

Lyons incumbent Dick Adams also looks set to hold his seat comfortably, with the highest primary vote of any candidate in the state.

The EMRS poll was conducted between Wednesday, August 11, and Friday, August 13.

Full story HERE

And,

Examiner: Bass: Preferences make hard work for Libs
ABC Online: Poll boosts Labor across Tasmania
Monday, August 16: Labor clings to narrow lead in latest Newspoll
Labor launches re-election bid

3. Essential’s state-by-state breakdown: a minority Coalition government?
Crikey’s  Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane writes:

BERNARD KEANE ON THE FEDERAL ELECTION 2010, ESSENTIAL REPORT

New data from Essential Research suggests Labor faces its worst swing in NSW, not Queensland, with the potential loss of 10 seats and a hung parliament.
Essential has crunched state-based data from the second through fourth weeks of the campaign, finding a big swing against the government in NSW—6.7%, which on a state-wide basis would see the Coalition pick up seats like Page, Bennelong, Eden-Monaro and even Lindsay.
Queensland, where the Coalition holds a 10-point primary lead, saw a swing of 3.4%, enough to ensure the Coalition retains notionally Labor seats like Dickson and Herbert and handing it seats like Flynn, Longman and Dawson. A much smaller swing to the Coalition in WA—where Essential’s sample size is too small to offer concrete data—would deliver them Hasluck.
The loss of seats in NSW and Queensland is only slightly offset by a small swing to Labor of 0.7% in Victoria, enough to deliver McEwen and La Trobe. An even smaller swing, 0.6%, in South Australia would dash Labor hopes of picking up the seats of Christopher Pyne and Andrew Southcott. Essential’s Tasmanian data is also too small to offer a relevant sample.
Plugging those state outcomes into Antony Green’s election calculator, that would leave a hung parliament with the Coalition on 74 and Labor on 73 seats—assuming Labor can hold off the challenge of Adam Bandt in Melbourne.
The only good news for the government is that Essential’s data is sourced from two of Labor’s worst weeks of the campaign. Essential’s polling is yet to record the small trend back to Labor that appeared in other polls last week (it hasn’t shown up in either its rolling fortnightly sample or last week’s weekly figures). That might indicate the worst outcome Labor faces is a hung parliament, but the fact that NSW appears poised to swing so hard against Labor is surprising.
NSW also looks bad for the Greens, with a primary vote of only 7%, far short of the high level Lee Rhiannon needs to reach a quota on the slim flow of preferences she’ll get. There’s a much higher level of support in Victoria (11%) and South Australia (12%), suggesting both those states will produce new Greens senators. Queensland and WA are polling at 10% for the Greens.
Send your tips to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or submit them anonymously here.

RELATED LINKS
Essential: Flight to the Liberals narrows the gap |  Essential: Labor drops but still holds a handy lead |  Essential: Labor holds, Abbott further adrift
Wednesday, August 18: Robocall tips Labor to scrape home.
Final Showdown.
Electrical Trades Union bankrolls Greens:
THE Greens have received their largest-ever political donation with a disaffected Victorian blue-collar union giving $325,000 to help the party win the seat of Melbourne and its first Victorian Senate spot.

The Electrical Trades Union’s Victorian branch - which until last month was affiliated with Labor - recently gave $125,000 to the campaign to elect Greens candidate Adam Bandt in the marginal seat of Melbourne.

A further $200,000 has been donated to help Richard Di Natale become the first Greens senator for Victoria.
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The donation dwarfs previous amounts given to the Greens - in 2007-08 its national office declared total donations of just $170,000 - and comes as the party has won support from other blue-collar unions. It is believed the Victorian branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has donated about $50,000 to the Greens’ Senate campaign.

ETU state secretary Dean Mighell said the support was due to the Greens’ better industrial relations policies and their strong support for abolishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

‘‘The only party that is on the side of our members is the Greens. They have an absolute commitment to abolish the ABCC and restore workers’ rights,’’ he said.

Mr Mighell said his union would make small donations to the marginal-seat campaigns of Labor’s Mike Symon in Deakin and Darren Cheeseman in Corangamite. In the 2007 election campaign, the ETU spent hundreds of thousands to get those two candidates elected.

The donation to Mr Bandt, who has done work for the ETU as a lawyer, sees the union oppose former ACTU senior industrial officer Cath Bowtell, who is the Labor candidate for Melbourne.

Wdnesday, August 18: Wayne Crawford, Mercury: Enemy within stalks Labor

Thursday, August 19: Gillard carves out victory in Wednesday roast.
Bob Brown lays out the Greens agenda ...

Greens back steeper tax on mining
Carol Nader and Tom Arup
August 19, 2010

THE Greens will push for a higher mining tax as one of their top priorities to raise an extra $2 billion to go into public schools and universities.

But Greens leader Bob Brown says even if negotiations with Labor fail to return the mining tax to its original 40 per cent, the Greens will not block Labor’s current version.

He said Labor’s policy, which would raise $10.5 billion over two years, was better than the Coalition’s ‘‘zero’‘. The Coalition is vowing to rescind the tax.

‘‘You don’t have to be Einstein to know that the Greens will be going with the Labor Party alternative,’’ he said. ‘‘We will negotiate strongly, inject better ideas into the mining tax proposal Labor has and I think we will get a dividend.’‘

But Labor is unlikely to agree to the changes proposed by the Greens. A spokeswoman for ALP campaign headquarters referred The Age to comments previously made by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in which she ruled out a deal with the Greens on the mining tax.

The Coalition is vowing to dump the tax. At last night’s community forum in Brisbane, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said Senator Brown would be an ‘‘unofficial’’ cabinet minister in a Labor government.

Speaking at the National Press Club yesterday in his last major speech before Saturday’s election, Senator Brown said the Greens supported the ‘‘mining super profits tax’’ as it was originally proposed by the government. As a first step in Parliament, the Greens would negotiate an adjustment so that it raised an extra $2 billion to boost public school and tertiary funding.

This included checking all indigenous children to ensure they did not lose their hearing to middle ear infection.

Senator Brown said to help address teacher shortages, another $320 million over four years would be spent on a teaching scholarship program, providing 3000 teaching scholarships worth $5000 a year for up to five years. In return for a scholarship, recipients would be required to work in a public school of ‘‘high need’’ for three years.

Other measures include boosting funding to universities and TAFE, an Asian languages program, teacher mentoring to support young teachers at risk of leaving the profession within the first five years of their careers, and to employ more teachers at trial schools to reduce the workload of first-year teachers.

Senator Brown, whose party is almost certain to control the Senate, also flagged higher tax rates for millionaires.

Ben Jensen, director of the schools education program at the Grattan Institute, said the most important issue in education at the moment was improving teacher quality, and the Greens’ proposals as part of its tax promise did not necessarily deliver that.

Labor’s initial mining tax package, recommended by the Henry tax review, proposed a 40 per cent tax on mining profits over a return of 5 per cent. After a bitter public debate a deal was struck between Labor and mining giants BHP, Rio Tinto and Xstrata last month, lowering the tax rate to 22.5 per cent on profits over a 12 per cent return.

Senator Brown also put forward two other proposals, a parliamentary budget office to provide economic advice to Parliament and an international ban on the manufacture of asbestos.

He also used the speech to hit out at the major parties for inaction on climate change, and reiterated the Greens’ support for gay marriage and a national dental healthcare scheme.

Full article HERE

In Their Own Words: What Bob Brown and the other parties say
Friday, August 20: Poll puts leaders neck and neck. All Murdoch papers bar the Advertiser back Abbott. Fairfax backs Gillard .... Wrong TT: Mercury’s editorial also backs Gillard, saying it’s Not Time.
Saturday, August 21: Down to the Wire ...
We will work with winning party, Greens say
Bussiness Spectator’s Poll Position: Both leaders face a grim dawn