March 2014


What's big, doesn't exist and eats Tasmanian Premiers

The release of Mercury-commissioned ReachTEL polling about the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill and its impact on state election voting seems a good time to write something I've been meaning to put up here for some time.  There's a view doing the rounds, among some of the green and gullible, that the last time this proposal was about, a huge body of credible polling showed very strong opposition to it.  As well as discussing the current poll, this article takes a little trip down memory lane and points out why we never knew as much about public views of the pulp mill as some of its more ardent opponents told us that we did.  It also includes a few of my own thoughts on the "issue" of the proposed pulp mill.

Anyway, here is the new pulp mill poll result:

I'm not totally at ease with the question design for this one.  I would have preferred "the proposed pulp mill", because the actual question design might load in favour of the assumption that the pulp mill is a real thing with very tangible prospects, which might in turn favour a "more likely" response.  A tiny percentage of respondents might not even realise this is about the former Gunns Bell Bay proposal, and might think it is about some other pulp mill; one that actually, er, is real.  So I think the question is just a teensy bit conducive to a positive response, but I've seen worse.  Much worse, in fact, as we're about to see. [Read More]

Comments (0)


February 2014


Jeremy Rockliff is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition.  He's also the Member for Braddon.  If you believe this ad, north-west coasters love farming A LOT and they’re very proud of their area.


Jeremy Rockliff is about as safe as you could be going into a Hare Clark election.  He's the Deputy Leader, controversy free and his party is on the cusp of a strong result.  He's going to be returned.

My guess here is that he wants to top the poll.  In 2010 he was narrowly beaten for the most first preferences by Labor's then backbencher, Bryan Green overall, but still polled highest for the Liberals.

But with the ever-popular Adam Brooks cashed-up and ready to push for a senior Ministry, my only guess as to the reason for this kind of election spend is that he wants to make sure he's top dog in Braddon.

I don’t know Rockliff at all, but I’ve never met a politician without an ego when it comes to these matters.

The Ad

Damn this looks expensive.  As #politas' number 1 newsman Alex Johnston said, this looks like Spielberg has been brought in to film the pitch.

The cost is unknown.  I've put together a few political ads in my time, but none with a budget of over $5,000 and none with even close to the amount of work in it that this baby has.  It's actually quite astonishing and takes you in a completely different direction to every other ad you'll see.  It contrasts particularly well against the cheap and nasty (although effective) Palmer United ads.

I reckon this is a winner.  It's refreshingly different to the dozens of other election ads we're seeing on commercial television to date. 

But bloody hell would this be expensive.  I first suspected he might have simply bought the flyover footage of the northwest coast second-hand, but he's got shots following his Liberal Party marked truck driving down the dirt roads so I’m assuming he hired a helicopter (maybe it landed on Brooksy’s chopper pad in the outtakes?).

I'm no fan of spending caps so I don't really mind how much he spent, but if you were assessing a value for money proposition between this and other ads that mostly only cost a few grand, you might have to question it.  That’s about all I can find wrong with it though.

It might have zero policy in it, but I think it’ll work.  I go all warm and fuzzy watching it, and I’m up to take-10.

The full ad goes for a minute.  Again, that's different to anything else. 

It actually gives a bit of a shiver down the spine with how beautiful the scenery is, so I've booked a trip to Burnie next week.

The intention is to associate the north-west's pride its history with Rockliff.  I think it works a treat.

This could be campaign ad of the election for mine (unless Besty has brought in David Boon this year).

Concept:  9/10

Production:  10/10

Delivery:  9/10 (can you speak up a bit please, Jeremy?  Use your 'Parliament voice'.)

Humour:  0/10

Likely success of this ad:  8/10



Comments (0)


February 2014


This ad is playing a lot on television at the moment and was online here:  http://vimeo.com/84998844


If you have a copy or are in fact David Llewellyn dialing into the interwebs, please contact me @deanwinter4 and tell me where to find it.

The David Llewellyn ad is amazing.

It features the 71-year old former Member for Lyons being endorsed by the comparatively spritely, 64-year old outgoing Member for Lyons, Michael Polley.


Look, I don't know. 

The first question one must ask is "WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING RUNNING FOR PARLIAMENT???"

David Llewellyn was a highly respected former ALP parliamentarian.  He was in Parliament for 24 years, held all sorts of portfolios and was a nice enough guy. He's even since been acknowledged for his service to the Tasmanian Labor Party with a life membership. 

Not to mention the huge payout he would have received following his forced retirement from public office.

In 2010, newbie 20-something, Rebecca White knocked both David Llewellyn and Heather Butler off to claim a win for the under-60s and take the coveted second Labor seat in Lyons with Mr Polley.

She did so with a clever campaign that still incenses the three former incumbents of Polley, Llewellyn and Butler.  White used a Polly waffle wrapper to being placed in the bin to innocently send a message to the electorate that it was time for a change.

Message received. 

White didn't get close to Polley, but easily beat Heather Butler and just pipped David Llewellyn in a result that secretly gave great joy to many in the ALP despite an otherwise horror result.

Unfortunately Llewellyn isn't a listener and still hasn't quite heard what the good peeps of Lyons have been puttin' down. 

Message not received. 

Llewellyn farcically enters the race for the second Labor seat in Lyons.  Sadly, the Rebecca White ad has been taken down, but the story lives in the Mercury archives here.  You should tweet at @bec_white and ask her to put it back up though.  It was the best television ad of the 2010 campaign inside the best rounded campaign of the election.

I've talked to experienced campaigners who predict a Llewellyn victory on the back of his own popularity and his strategy to directly move Polley voters across to himself.  I say it won't work. 

If I'm wrong, I will dip my hat to Mr Llewellyn and his campaign team. 

For mine, the ad completely misses the mark and serves only the highlight Llewellyn's weaknesses:

  • He's 71.

  • He's basically running on the Liberals' forestry policy (nothing wrong with that but if you like the Liberals' forestry policy you're going to vote Liberal aren't you?)

  • He's 71!!!

The only chance Llewellyn could possibly have of winning this campaign is through:

  • The huge campaign support being thrown behind him by the Labor Right (at the expense of young, enthusiastic prospects with little or no help from the ALP machine I might add);

  • The low profiles of his fellow ALP candidates going for the second ALP seat in Lyons (which may or may not actually exist anyway).


Michael Polley is a superstar of Tasmanian Politics.  He's basically politics' version of Slim Dusty.  He has had such a long career no one can remember when he started and you couldn't hope to put together his best of.  ALTHOUGH, have you heard the one about the time he found his ethics and morals under Peg Putt's table in Salamanca?  Or about the time he established a shooters club in a national park as Environment Minister?

The ad could be easily mistaken as an ad for Michael Polley himself as he strolls around the towns and suburbs of Lyons.  But I think this is the completely wrong message for Llewellyn.

The image of Polley and Llewellyn standing there at the end almost brought me to tears (of laughter) when I first saw it.  It's like being taken back to watching Grumpy Old Men

And Llewellyn clearly IS angry. That's why I don't like this ad.  It's clear he hasn't got over the Rebecca White campaign and his subsiquent absense from the Parliament.  I don't think you have to be an avid #Politas tweeterer to know that.

The whole idea of this ad is wrong.  Llewellyn is counting on the ad converting voters have been voting Polley for the past 40+ years (some would never have supported anyone else in their life) to votes for himself.  In fact that's his whole campaign strategy.  I don't think it'll work.


Concept:  0/10

Production:  5/10

Delivery:  6/10

Humour:  8/10

Likely success of this ad:  1/10

Comments (0)