July 11, 2007 | Graham

Flegg assassination attempt

Apparently the Liberal Party did a poll of federal voting intentions in Queensland in which they asked about the standing of State Leader Bruce Flegg. Today’s Courier Mail reveals that Flegg has a net negative 30 something approval rating (calculated by sub-tracting those who disapprove from those who approve). Apparently in the same electorates the sitting federal members have positive ratings, for example Gary Hardgrave on plus 20.
This poll appears to be the basis for yesterday’s story where the National Party were calling for the Liberal Party to replace Flegg. The Courier Mail’s take on this is interesting.
Flegg is said to be pulling the Liberal Federal vote down.
That’s interesting, because in our poll, taken somewhere around the same time, neither Bruce Flegg nor Nationals state leader Jeff Seeney were even mentioned in any of the 1,000 or so responses we took from Queenslanders.
Which raises the question as to why you would poll for Flegg’s standing in a federal poll, and what other questions were asked that allowed the inference to be drawn that he was pulling the vote down. For example, did they specifically ask whether Flegg’s standing was affecting voting intentions? And if they did, what was the figure on that (given that merely asking the question would have disposed some punters to blame him one would also have to allow for some in-built bias)?
Did they do the same thing for other personnel who might have adversely affected the vote? What was Santoro’s rating? What was Seeney’s?
Flegg says that party officials deny that the research exists, but others claim that it has been discussed at federal campaign meetings. These are not mutually incompatible positions if you’re plotting a coup.
The Brisbane Line blog carries the line that the kerfuffle is about positioning the National Party in the new seat of Flynn. I’ve also heard the story, and it included Leichardt as well. But it doesn’t sound likely. The National Party attack relies on polling that they can only have courtesy of the Liberal Party organisation, and if there weren’t some degree of organisational connivance, sitrring the Libs up is hardly the way to get them to vacate a seat for you. The National Party is also tring to entice the Libs into a joint senate ticket. These manouevres, if unwelcome, wouldn’t help there either.
Another theory is that it is linked to the “Printer-gate” investigations, in which Hardgrave is implicated, and where Flegg is alleged to have been happy to co-operate with the police investigations.
The Prime Minister is reported to be staying clear. Why he would do that is unclear. I’m sure if Kevin Rudd were confronted with something like this in a state branch of the ALP he’d be keen to show leadership and exercise his muscle. And he’s ahead.

Posted by Graham at 12:02 pm | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. You’re not coming over to the dark side are you Graham?

    Comment by Lyn — July 11, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  2. This from mumble.com.au
    “July 11 (pm) Casualties in the Newspoll wars
    I think Dennis Shanahan wrote this this morning (as opposed to yesterday). The “PhD” mentions refer, I believe, to me.
    A courtesy call from Editor-in-Chief Chris Mitchell this morning informed me that the paper is going to “go” Charles Richardson (from Crikey) and me tomorrow.
    Chris said by all means criticise the paper, but my “personal” attacks on Dennis had gone too far, and the paper will now go me “personally”.
    No, I’m not making this up.
    If they only get as personal as I get with Dennis, then it should be tame, as I don’t believe I’ve ever criticised anything other than his writing.
    And to think I described Dennis, in a chapter in a book being launched this month, as (with no sarcasm) “a fine journalist”.
    All very strange. And – I’d be lying if I didn’t admit – a little stomach-churning”
    All good Libs please dont let the party be destroyed-Howard and his cronies out NOW

    Comment by gusface — July 11, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

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