Since the five by-elections held last weekend, the Murdoch ‘ruperters’ seem to have lost their minds completely. They seemingly cannot believe their numerous ‘Kill Bill’ stories had little or no effect on these by-elections, with the Labor Party winning four (Braddon, Longman, Perth and Fremantle), with a swing towards them as is expected in by-elections. The other by-election (Mayo) was won by the Centre Alliance1.
One of the funniest pieces to come out of the Murdoch stable of ‘ruperters’ is one by Simon Benson and Geoff Chambers with the headline ‘Plotting ‘blows up in Albo’s face’’, and with the subtitle ‘Anthony Albanese’s leadership ambitions are in tatters following Bill Shorten’s clean sweep at the by-elections, say senior members’. They also referred to an ‘exclusive Newspoll release’ which showed that Albanese leads Shorten as preferred Labor leader by 11%. Then, laughably, they state that Shorten has majority support among Labor voters, while Albanese wins more support from Coalition and One Nation voters. If that is a criterion for being under threat, then Labor voters should be lobbying the Liberals to re-elect Tony Abbott as Liberal leader, while Pauline Hanson is just perfect as One Nation Leader. The ruperters referred to ‘some colleagues’ and ‘sources’ and ‘a senior Labor source’2. I suspect these sources are bogus.
Another funny piece, again by Simon Benson (is he a comedian, secretly trolling Murdoch?), is one in which he relates a Murdoch Newspoll which states that Malcolm Turnbull has maintained his commanding lead over Bill Shorten as the nation’s preferred Prime Minister. This despite Labor holding all its seats in the weekend’s by-election (sic). He then goes on to state that Shorten has now presided over the longest period of disapproval for an opposition leader since the middle to late 1980s (that was John Howard). However, in the fourth paragraph of the article, it does state that the two-party preferred split is 51:49 in favour of Labor. It is only in the seventh paragraph that Benson mentions the number of Newspolls in which the coalition has trailed Labor. It is now 373; more than the 30 used by Turnbull to justify the ousting of Tony Abbott from the leadership.
Lane Calcutt, of 9News.com.au, put up a prediction on Monday, July 23, that Shorten would suffer a crushing loss in the Longman by-election, relating a YouGov Galaxy poll finding, published in the Daily Bellylaugh, that Liberal candidate Trevor Ruthenberg was ahead 51:49 over Labor candidate Susan Lamb4. Lamb won the seat 54.5:45.5 (with 81% counted)1. That is a pretty big turnaround in 5 days. This does not augur well for 9’s takeover of Fairfax.
This is just another example of the constant lies and spin used by Murdoch ruperters to try to “Kill Bill”5and promote the Coalition at the expense of our democracy6,7,8. There is Russian meddling in elections, and there is Murdoch meddling. Both are equally dangerous.