BludgerTrack: 56.0-44.0 to Coalition

Three slightly less bad polls for Labor have softened the post-leadership crisis slump in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate. Also featured: preselection news and some minor changes to electoral law.

The latest weekly BludgerTrack update accommodates results from Newspoll, Essential Research and Morgan’s multi-mode poll, with the latter looking like it will be a regularly weekly occurrence in contrast to the unpredictable schedule of the face-to-face series it has replaced. This is a somewhat better batch of polling for Labor than the previous week or two, gaining them 0.5% on two-party preferred and two extra on the seat projection. My latest bias adjustments for the Morgan multi-mode polling, based on comparison of its results with the overall poll trend, are +1.7% for Labor, +0.4% for the Coalition and -1.5% for the Greens, compared with +1.4%, +0.9% and -1.5% as I calculated them a week ago.

In other news, I have a raft of preselection action and a review of some minor electoral law changes:

• A bitterly contested preselection to replace Nicola Roxon in the rock solid Labor seat of Gellibrand in western Melbourne has been won by Telstra executive Tim Watts, running with the backing of Stephen Conroy, for whom he once worked as a staffer. His opponents were Katie Hall, a former adviser to Roxon who ran with her backing; Kimberley Kitching, former Melbourne councillor and current acting general manager of the Health Services Union No. 1 branch; Julia Mason and Daniel McKinnon. The 50% of the preselection vote determined by a local party ballot conducted on Monday saw 126 votes go to Watts, 105 to Kitching, 87 to Hall, 42 to McKinnon and four to Mason. Despite a preference deal between Kitching and Hall, that gave Watts a decisive lead going into Tuesday’s vote of the party’s Public Office Selection Committee, where the “stability pact” between the Shorten-Conroy Right forces and the Socialist Left reportedly assured him of about 70% of the vote. Andrew Crook of Crikey reports that Kitching, who had hoped to prevail with support from Turkish community leaders, was thwarted when the “Suleyman clan” (referring to an influential family in western suburbs politics) defected to Watts in exchange for support for Natalie Suleyman to take the number three position on the upper house ticket for Western Metropolitan at the next state election. A dirt sheet targeting Hall over her sexual history and involvement in the HSU was disseminated in the week before the vote, which has led to Kitching complaining to an ALP tribunal that Roxon had falsely accused her of being involved.

• Steve McMahon, chief executive of the NSW Trainers Association (as in thoroughbred horses) and former mayor of Hurstville, has won Labor preselection for the southern Sydney seat of Barton, to be vacated at the election by Robert McClelland. Much more on that in the next episode of Seat of the Week.

• Barnaby Joyce faces opposition at the April 13 Nationals preselection for New England in the shape of David Gregory, owner of an agricultural software business in Tamworth. Another mooted nominee, National Farmers Federation president Jock Laurie, is instead seeking preselection for the by-election to replace Richard Torbay in his Armidale-based state seat of Northern Tablelands.

• Tony Crook, who won the southern regional WA seat of O’Connor for the Nationals from Liberal veteran Wilson Tuckey in 2010, has announced he will not seek another term. The seat was already looming as a spirited three-cornered contest to match the several which had unfolded at the state election (including in the corresponding local seats of Kalgoorlie and Eyre), with the Liberals running hard and early behind their candidate, Katanning farmer Rick Wilson.

Jason Tin of the Courier-Mail reports Chris Trevor will again be Labor’s candidate for the central Queensland seat of Flynn, having won the seat when it was created in 2007 before joining the Queensland Labor casualty list in 2010. Nicole Hodgson, a teacher, and Leanne Donaldson, a former public servant in child protection, were reportedly set to take on the thankless tasks of Hinkler and Fadden.

A package of electoral law changes made it through parliament last month in the shape of the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Improving Electoral Administration) Act 2013, despite opposition to some measures from the Coalition and Senate cross-benchers Nick Xenophon and John Madigan:

• If a ballot box is unlawfully opened before the authorised time, as occurred at two pre-poll booths in Boothby and Flynn at the 2010 election, the act now requires that the votes be admitted to the count if it is established that “official error” was responsible. The AEC requested the law be clarified after it acted on contestable legal advice in excluding the relevant votes in Boothby and Flynn from the count, which were too few to affect the result. In its original form the bill directed that the affected votes should be excluded, but Bronwyn Bishop successfully advocated for the savings provision when it was referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.

• The Australian Taxation Office has been added to the list of agencies which can provide the Australian Electoral Commission with data relevant to enrolment. As usual with matters that touch on automatic enrolment, this was opposed by the Coalition, Xenophon and Madigan, but supported by all lower house independents and the Greens.

• Pre-polling will in all circumstances begin four days after the close of nominations, giving the AEC two more days to print and disseminate material to the voting centres. The Coalition took the opportunity to move for the pre-poll period to be cut from 19 days before polling day to 12, again with the support of Xenophon and Madigan. The change also eliminates a discrepancy where the date came forward a day if there was no election for the Senate, in which case the election timetable did not have to provide an extra day for lodgement of Senate preference tickets.

• Those casting pre-poll votes will no longer have to sign declaration certificates. A change in the status of pre-poll votes from declaration to ordinary votes was implemented at the 2010 election, allowing them to be counted on election night, but voters still had to sign a certificate. The AEC advised this was unnecessary, but the measure was nonetheless opposed by the Coalition, Xenophon and Madigan.

• The cut-off for receiving postal vote applications has been moved back a day from Thursday to Wednesday, acknowledging the near certainty that voting material posted to those who apply on the Thursday will not be received in time.

• The timetable for conducting electoral redistributions has been amended to allow more time for considering objections raised in public submissions.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,173 comments on “BludgerTrack: 56.0-44.0 to Coalition”

Comments Page 1 of 24
1 2 24
  1. [Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 1:17 am | PERMALINK
    To be concise, that reaction is not a fault in the Left]

    Puff, yes I have been here a while, I do get it now: NOTHING is ever the fault of the Left

  2. William I am a committed Camp 4 member.

    That post @ 5.59am – ummmm arrhhh my account must of been hacked by A News Limited reporter.

  3. [Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 1:07 am | PERMALINK
    Mos Lib,
    Yes, it is a shame Tony Abbott could not show the same class over the death of PM Julia Gillard’s Father.]

    That is my point: People are behaving exactly like Abbott, or the christian extremists who protest at the funerals of gay people, shouting ‘He is going to Hell”, or those in the middle east who went out into the streets and danced after terrorists killed Jewish civilians.

    Its wrong.

  4. Good Morning


    I think there is a difference between honest recollections by people like Senator Carr and the parties in the street.

    I do not agree with the parties in the street as I do think it is unseemly. Hate always is.

    I did think that the official representatives of the Left in the UK did themselves proud in Parliament the Ed Milliband example being a good one.

    I do think that despite a lot of policies that Thatcher had her contribution to peace in the world is wonderful without a shade of doubt.

  5. Mark Latham in good form…

    One of the amusing traditions of Australian politics is to watch right-wing commentators embrace Labor dissidents. A month ago Simon Crean and Martin Ferguson were bumbling, uninspiring, middle-ranking ministers. Today they are heroes of truth and foresight, having criticised Julia Gillard for not following “the Hawke-Keating model”.

    This ritual says a lot about the anti-progressive side of conservative politics. It has no philosophical structure of its own, hence its fascination with Labor ideology. Australian conservatism is anti-equality and anti-environment. Tony Abbott is the perfect leader of this “anti” movement – a politician so devoid of ideas he regularly poses for the media with a twee book of Liberal Party platitudes in front of him, like a child holding the class-board in primary school photographs.]

  6. What a load of idiotic phony sanctimoniousness from Julie Bishop. Really!

    Still, Bob Carr invited attack. His tittle-tattle about MT was the sort of pompous, name-dropping, “look at me” stuff that I’ve always seen as one of Bob’s main weaknesses: he has always wanted to be Gough Whitlam, but he hasn’t the true geavitas to carry it off (nor the record of achievement really: all those years as Premier and what is his legacy? Great guy perhaps, but not a high achiever.)

  7. [ML

    I think there is a difference between honest recollections by people like Senator Carr and the parties in the street.]

    Yes, I fully accept that. However, with Carr, who every now and then seems to forget that he is Foreign Minister and not just a roving intellectual, the issue is appropriateness. I would have had absolutely no problem with Carr discussing that conversation with Thatcher:
    1. WITH THATCHER. In other words, why did he not question her at the time? He admitted that he did not. So when someone says something that Carr felt was completely and utterly inappropriate, his reaction is to say nothing….stay silent for decades….then when that person dies, come out and bring up that conversation.
    2. During her life- you know, so the other party to the conversation has the chance to put their side of the conversation. I do not assume that Carr’s version is necessarily the correct one.
    3. When he is back in Australia. What strategic benefit is it for Australia for Australia’s Foreign Minister to discuss a comment by a former British Prime Minister while the Foreign Minister is in Asia?

    I did not see Julie Bishop’s comments, but if she said Carr was a coward and does not know what being a Foreign Minister is all about (as she has been reported), then I fully agree.

  8. ML

    Senator Carr gave an honest anecdote. He gave the Baroness the respect of being honest in doing this.

    He did this for the simple reason that the media around the world is asking anyone who has had contact with Thatcher of the recollection.
    eg Malcolm Fraser was asked too.

    Julie Bishop may not like the recollection because it exposes a sore point of her own. It in no way means that Senator Carr was showing disrespect in his honest recollection.

  9. I dont really care what Carr said about Thatcher, it his view and i really am sick of how everyone becomes a good bloke or girl when they die. Problem is though, when a member of the left die, no opinion in the negative is allowed.

  10. “@mumbletwits: This week’s Thatcher revisionism getting out of hand. Apartheid, gay rights .. Coming up: her fight for restoration of Chilean democracy.”

  11. guytaur:

    At the end of the day we are talking about opinions, not facts. In my opinion it was cowardly and inappropriate. I accept your opinion is different!

    Let me ask you this hypothetical. If a significant ALP leader died and a Liberal politician went to the media and said “He told me once that women were inferior beings that should stay in the kitchen” (or some other similar thing), would you honestly come here and say, “Well, that is fair enough, it is an honest anecdote and there is nothing wrong with talking about it now that x is dead and can’t defend himself”?

  12. @MrDenmore: So today’s fake outrage is over a comment by Bob Carr over what a dead UK politician said to him 20 years ago? Give me strength.

  13. he has always wanted to be Gough Whitlam, but he hasn’t the true gravitas to carry it off (nor the record of achievement really: all those years as Premier and what is his legacy? Great guy perhaps, but not a high achiever.)

    Superb summing up, meher.

  14. ML

    I do not believe Senator Carr is lying. He is relaying a comment made to him.

    I notice Julie Bishop did not say he is lying.

  15. To be frank I’m surprised Thatcher didn’t die of shame years ago. To paraphrase Australia’s next Prime minister.

  16. I guess we should be thankful that “the Left” are showing us that it is perfectly reasonable to be critical of a Female leader from “the Right” and it not being sexist! :devil:

    We are slowly getting there on PB!

  17. “@wendy_harmer: Another Bishop ( Bronwyn) upbraided me re: a public comment I made about Robert Askin because “he is not here to defend himself” Spare me.”

  18. With regard to Bob Carr’s recollection of Thatcher and whether the “Left” will similarly “attack” a prominent “left idol” when he or she dies.
    It will be amusing, amongst a very sad time, when the Silver Budgie finally retires to the Fjords. I suspect that there are millions of crass, mysoginist and boorish anecdotes to be told about him as well as the fine recollections of his accomplishments.

  19. dumb and dumber
    [Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey wants Australia to urgently begin issuing government bonds with a duration of as much as 50 years in a move that experts say could open the door to US-style multi-decade fixed-rate mortgages.]
    Urgently! Haha AFR is all too happy to spread the crisis meme; but, funnily enough, nowhere in this article mention that the longest main bond in the US is 30 years.

    Anyway, at least AFR quotes someone with expertise and provides some context (JACOB GREBER’s role presumably being somewhat like a stenographer)
    [UBS fixed income strategist Matthew Johnson welcomed the idea of issuing longer-dated bonds but questioned whether there was a need for half-century debt.

    “Extending the bond curve is a wonderful idea because yields are low and its good for taxpayers to have some risk moved to investors,” he said.

    “But extending to 40 years is a bit pie in the sky – it’s like shooting for Jupiter when you haven’t got to the moon yet.

    “Lets get a 20-year or a 30-year out there before we start talking about 50 years.”

    Mr Johnson said the sale of 50-year bonds would require making a commitment to investors that was potentially at odds with the Coalition’s goal of returning the budget to surplus and paying off all Commonwealth debt.]

  20. [ The first comment often sets the tone for the rest of the discussion; Please post intelligently … Posting First! gets you banned for life. ]

    What’s worse… being a “frist!!1!” poster, or carrying on a discussion from the thirtieth page of yesterday’s thread like there wasn’t even a shiny new change of topic to bother acknowledging? I’d really love to see a few folks talking about Tony Crook and the always-present WA Nats v Libs tussle (or some Vics talking about Gellibrand), but I imagine in another couple of hours it’ll be the bog standard 1000 posts per day of the usual shit. It’s a shame, seeing perfectly good interesting discussion topics buried under mountains of dross.

  21. Well i think it is now safe to say that the Libs will not release another policy until the campaign.

    I cant understand why they chose to unholster the gun and put it to their heads and pulled the trigger on Fraudband. Its was like they were being advised by the same people Gillard has working for her.

  22. To me more to the point comments about thatcher have been along the lines of the following in the the Guardian. First the writer talks about seeing her as a frail old woman watering flowers in London, but having to do it under police guard, then he gets to the flesh of his feelings –

    [ If you behave like there’s no such thing as society, in the end there isn’t.

    All of us that grew up under Thatcher were taught that it is good to be selfish, that other people’s pain is not your problem, that pain is in fact a weakness and suffering is deserved and shameful.

    Perhaps there is resentment because the clemency and respect that are being mawkishly displayed now by some and haughtily demanded of the rest of us at the impending, solemn ceremonial funeral, are values that her government and policies sought to annihilate.

    I can’t articulate with the skill why Thatcher and Thatcherism were so bad for Britain but I do recall that even to a child her demeanour and every discernible action seemed to be to the detriment of our national spirit and identity. Her refusal to stand against apartheid, her civil war against the unions, her aggression towards our neighbours in Ireland and a taxation system that was devised in the dark ages, the bombing of a retreating ship – it’s just not British. ]


    [ There is no such thing as society. – Thatcher, 1988

    There is no such thing as Thatcher. – Society, 2013

  23. sprocket_@9

    Mark Latham in good form…

    One of the amusing traditions of Australian politics is to watch right-wing commentators embrace Labor dissidents.

    Its good to see Latham once again in form and supporting Labor, but I cannot let his comment above go unanswered.

    Mark – you played the role of a very senior Labor dissident who was very very warmly embraced by right-wing commentators.

    Again really glad you are back batting for the Labor Team.

  24. Morning all. This story is a bit dry but highlights just how low the level of understandinf of economics has sunk in international monetary agencies. Thy can’t understand why printing more money now has not caused inflation? It is because half the OECD is unemployed and will take almost any wage to get a job. Idiots. Keynes worked all this out in the 1930s.
    [The IMF and most economists around the world would normally be bracing for outbreak of inflation.

    Mr Simon says, in terms of conventional monetary policy, it is a thriller.

    “The basic mystery is that during the Great Recession we’ve seen very large increases of unemployment and in the past when you’ve had something like that inflation has fallen quite a lot, really there’s been very little movement in inflation and the question is why was this?” he asked.]

    The only mystery is how they keep their jobs, or why anyone listens.

  25. Rummel
    Lib’s not to release any more policy after the Fraudband reception (or lack of).
    Interesting, but Our Tony exhibits all the symptoms of BSD syndrome (big swinging dick). He will not be able to resist showing that a man’s policies are far superior to a woman’s 😉

  26. cybercynic


    Im actually happy this has happened. The Libs need to improve or Labor will claw back ground as people realise Libs cant even write a pamphlet let alone a policy.

  27. RN Breakfast had a communications guy on who said that the node boxes under Turnbull’s plan would be thrown away when the network is upgraded to FTTH, since they are not needed. Therefore they have to last a long time with their limited bandwidth or they aren’t worth putting there. Effectively Turnbull has to build the NBN twice to get to FTTH in future.

  28. [ Urgently! Haha AFR is all too happy to spread the crisis meme; but, funnily enough, nowhere in this article mention that the longest main bond in the US is 30 years. ]

    Lao – is it the Japanese who recent issued 40 year bonds ?

    Didn’t the Japanese also have inter-generational home mortgages during the 1980-90 boom. Those would have worked out nicely :devil:

  29. Dave
    Indeed – big run last night. Bond yields up a bit though I saw – 10 year looks like a pretty defined up trend to me. Haven’t seen, but assume the earnings season is going OK

    At some point, it will end in tears. Thinking of pulling out of international equities exposure shortly. Perhaps there will, yet again, be some wisdom in the adage, “Sell in May and go away”

    Do you have any thoughts?

  30. Dave I think that 40 year JGB issues are not that uncommon – but the main benchmark is the 10 year.

    Yeah you just knew from the sociology of it that those inter-generational loans marked the peak of the property bubble. I do find it funny how over the last 3+ decades, the professionals have laughed at Mrs Watanabe holding cash: when it has been an outperforming asset class!!

  31. Hilarious

    [The Opposition Leader promised today that every Australian household would receive a free floppy disk drive and monochrome monitor under an Abbott-led government. Launching the Coalition’s long awaited response to the government’s National Broadband Network program, Mr Abbott denied that providing a floppy drive and monitor without the computing box to plug them into would leave Australian households with a second best solution.]

    Read more:

  32. Laocoon@45

    Indeed – big run last night. Bond yields up a bit though I saw – 10 year looks like a pretty defined up trend to me. Haven’t seen, but assume the earnings season is going OK

    At some point, it will end in tears. Thinking of pulling out of international equities exposure shortly. Perhaps there will, yet again, be some wisdom in the adage, “Sell in May and go away”

    Do you have any thoughts?

    Lao – US Bond yields dropped pretty sharply from about mid March but are up 9 points since monday and sure to go higher thanks to the Fed.

    Last night share market rally was reaction to Federal Reserve meeting minutes saying the easy-money policies would remain in place for a while longer.

    I’m a great believer in “Sell in May and go away” its one of the stongest influences on the market…enough times to watch it closely.

    But all the stuff I usually watch confirmed yesterday at our close that I should be in the market. It looked like it on tuesday, yesterdays close ‘confirmed’ it – if that the word.

    Mind you no one knows how far it will go or if its turns out to be a couple of day wonder, also US reporting season has really just started – plenty of opinion around that there will be disappointment – so who knows. Also they play the “beat expectations” game pretty well, again if they are the right words.

    I look at another bit longer term thing here which hasn’t yet produced a signal for our sharemarket so will see what happens.

    The best overseas exposure IMHO is the DOW – big multinational companies and deeply liquid stocks with world wide earnings etc – thats its real role these days.

    Probably the best way to get exposure to it maybe a DJIA ETF, but a currency exposure, comes with the turf.

Comments Page 1 of 24
1 2 24

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *