BludgerTrack: 55.4-44.6 to Coalition

Nielsen captured headlines by showing the Labor primary vote slipping below 30%, but this week’s poll aggregate shows a continuation of Labor’s slight improving trend.

The biggest head-turner to emerge from the latest batch of polls was Labor’s sub-30% primary vote in Nielsen, but the BludgerTrack poll aggregate in fact records a slight improvement this week for Labor, who appear to be trending back to equilibrium after last month’s leadership crisis. As well as Nielsen, the aggregate has been updated with results from Galaxy, Morgan and Essential (there was also last night’s ReachTEL poll for Channel Seven, but I haven’t included this as I don’t yet have enough data for ReachTEL to determine bias and accuracy weightings). Nielsen’s breakdowns have also allowed for the state relativities to be revised.

Speaking of which, I thought it might be illuminating to plot how the mainland states have been tracking relative to the national polling since the 2010 election. The following charts do so with reference to Labor’s two-party vote. Keep in mind that this measures the states’ deviance from the national result, and not simply the level of Labor support – so a flat line tells us not that support for Labor in that state has been steady, but that the ups and downs have closely matched the national results (as they usually do).

The most obvious point to emerge is that Queensland is the odd man out on account of its volatile trendline. This relates to the “smooth” function displayed at the top left of each chart, reflecting the smoothness of the line which most meaningfully represents the scattered data points (in the estimation of my stats program, going off something called the AICc criterion). Where the trend is either consistent or non-existent, as it is for the other four states, the smoothing parameter is high and the line fairly straight. But where there is a distinct pattern to the variation, as in the case of Queensland, the number lowers to produce a line variable enough to follow the trend (different smoothing parameters also explain why the Coalition’s primary vote trendline on BludgerTrack is smoother than Labor’s).

The Queensland exception is down to a fairly clear 3% sag for Labor from March to July 2012, which happens to be coincide with the immediate aftermath of their devastating state election defeat. This seems to suggest that temporary static from Queensland state politics added over half a point to the Coalition blowout in the national result at this time, which can be clearly observed on BludgerTrack. It should be noted that this week’s Nielsen result is the only data point for Queensland since last month’s Labor leadership crisis, and it’s solidly lower than anything recorded since November. BludgerTrack will need more than one 350-sample result before it draws any conclusions, but the Nielsen result may point to a downturn the Queensland trendline is yet to catch up with.

Something similar may also be happening in South Australia, where Labor’s downward turn since late last year would be much sharper with a lower smoothing parameter. If forthcoming results for this state remain poor for Labor, their already weak projection will deteriorate fairly rapidly.

Other news:

• Barnaby Joyce had a clear 150-10 win over local IT businessman David Gregory in the Nationals preselection for Tony Windsor’s seat of New England, conducted after the withdrawal of Richard Torbay. The LNP will now have to choose a (presumably Nationals-aligned) candidate to fill Joyce’s casual Senate vacancy when he resigns to the contest the election, with the winner to serve out the remainder of a Senate term that will end in mid-2017.

• WA Labor has determined the order of its Senate election ticket, the top two positions going to Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Assocation state president Joe Bullock and incumbent Louise Pratt, in that order. Bullock takes the seat designated for the SDA from the man he succeeded as the union’s state secretary, Mark Bishop, who bowed out of the race on Monday in recognition that he faced certain defeat. Bullock’s success in securing the top position was the contentious fruit of an arrangement between the Right faction SDA and the largest Left union, United Voice, which secured the state lower house seat of Fremantle for United Voice faction member Simone McGurk at the expense of Adrian Evans of the insurgent Maritime Union of Australia. Pratt’s demotion from top of the ticket in 2007 is more than symbolic, as there are fears Labor’s vote in WA is so weak it can’t be guaranteed a second seat. Former state upper house MP Jon Ford, who is associated with the United Voice’s main Left rival, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, complained that the SDA-United Voice deal very nearly led to Pratt being excluded altogether.

• Also determined by the Labor state executive was the Senate vacancy created by the retirement of Chris Evans, which will stay in the United Voice fold by going to Sue Lines, a WA-raised but Sydney-based official with the union.

• Labor’s state executive also chose candidates for four lower house seats, three of which would be winnable under normal circumstances. Hasluck will be contested the aforementioned Adrian Evans of the MUA, whose partisans reportedly account for a quarter of the state party’s membership after a recruitment drive swelled their numbers from 150 to 850. There will be more on Hasluck in Friday’s Seat of the Week. The other candidates are lawyer Tristan Cockman in Cowan, Victoria Park deputy mayor John Bissett in Swan and, in the safely conservative regional seat of Durack, Fitzroy Crossing musician and party activist Daron Keogh.

• The Liberals have a new candidate for the Melbourne hinterland seat of McEwen after their initial nominee, Ben Collier, withdrew due to “unforeseen family circumstances”. The party’s administrative committee unanimously chose as his successor Donna Petrovich, a member of the state upper house for Northern Victoria region and former mayor of Macedon Ranges. Sue Hewitt of the Northern Weekly was able to confirm that ReachTEL had earlier conducted a poll of the electorate on behalf of an undisclosed client gauging name recognition for Collier and Petrovich. Petrovich will relinquish her seat in the upper house on June 30.

• John Ferguson of The Australian reports Liberal internal polling has them leading 56-44 in the Labor-held Melbourne seats of Chisholm and Bruce, with the primary votes at 29% for Labor’s Anna Burke and 48% for the Liberal candidate in Chisholm, and 32% for Alan Griffin against 48% for the Liberals in Bruce.

• Former Victorian Farmers Federation president Andrew Broad has won preselection to replace retiring Nationals member John Forrest in Mallee. The other candidates were Swan Hill councillor Michael Adamson, Buloke mayor Reid Mather, Horsham farmer Russell McKenzie and Mildura resident Anne Webster. Swan Hill deputy mayor Greg Cruickshank was a late withdrawal. The Liberals are yet to determine whether they will field a candidate.

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.

1,788 comments on “BludgerTrack: 55.4-44.6 to Coalition”

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  1. Still don’t understand the connection between the previous names we had for the suspects, including family details on the one of Indian background, and now they are two chechen brothers, one at least with an islamist youtube channel. If all this is true it takes us right back to our (my) first considered assumption – Arab and/or Islamic terrorism.

  2. [1679


    Where are these lefties? I suspect they dwell only in the imaginations of Mick and CC.

    If only. Seriously briefly, the vitriolic hatred against Jews (yes Jews, nothing to do with politics) by the far left, in coordination with the activist muslims on campuses here, USA, Canada and particularly UK is frightening and reminiscent of the Nazi era. Many Jewish students experience real physical fear and many dare not wear skullcaps if they are religious. The university authorities are a mixed bag when it comes to controlling the radicals and the islamic hate.]

    Anti-semitism must be condemned, Mick, as, indeed bigotry, violence and hate crimes of all kinds must be rejected, including those justified on the grounds of sexuality and gender.

    By the way, are you Jewish?

    You single out “university authorities” for criticism. I am completely mystified by this. Universities in Australia – and as far as I am aware, across the world – are hardly cauldrons of dissent and violence.

    Besides, what are you seeking to control? The expression of opinion? Or “the radicals”? Which radicals are you talking about? The radical mathematicians? The radical engineers and physicists? The radical primary school teachers and nurses?

    Are they Leftist? Rightist? Islamic? Hindu? Buddhist? Secular? Or are they all these things…all generically “radical”? Where is the evidence for your claims? As far as I can see, there is no sign of militant, violent, racist radicalism on universities that comes into public view.

    Really, at best these are products of your imagination; or, worse, you have adopted the worst tactics of the racists you purport to deplore. Instead of speaking truthfully, you have taken up defamation and, most spurious, seek to establish guilt by association.

    This brings nothing but shame to the LNP and disgrace to you.

  3. Worst reporting goes to Bolter who put up a photo of a suspect next to Tripathi and told us they were the same person despite looking completely different. He has now deleted that photo.


  5. Dio:

    Why you continue to take anything Bolt says with any seriousness is beyond me.

    Haven’t you learned by now that he is running an agenda?

  6. fess

    It’s purely for amusement. I am always looking for a good laugh. And it teaches you what the nutters on the other side are thinking.

  7. Psephos, Mick makes showy claims about racism directed against jews. Yet he makes highly bigoted remarks about others. He is not sincere about any of it. He is a racist in drag.


  9. [Psephos, Mick makes showy claims about racism directed against jews. Yet he makes highly bigoted remarks about others. He is not sincere about any of it. He is a racist in drag.]

    I haven’t seen Mick make a racist remark, but then I’m not here 24/7. An example please?

  10. Not at all Mick @ 1710. I have been involved in campaigns against racism most of my life. I just doubt your sincerity on the basis of the views you express, which rely on the use of stereotypes and contain defamatory assumptions and inferences. The allegation of bigotry is not made lightly, but is well-aimed in your case.

  11. FWIW I don’t think either briefly or Mick are racists and I don’t think it’s terribly profitable to go down that road.

  12. Psephos, the linking of non-specific “radicalism” with “islamic hate” with “leftism” on “uncontrolled” universities is itself an attempt to link students, scholars, his political opponents, and educated Muslims with violence and racism. It is just defamatory. There is no basis for the inferences he is raising.

    His approach to gays and lesbians is similar. He professes to defend homosexuals, yet, implicitly, considers heterosexuals to have more authentic “feelings” and to be more capable of “commitment”.

    He is a fraud. Beyond that, I’m not going to waste more time on him. He casts slurs where he purports to be strewing roses.

  13. [1716

    I think you’ve been outed for what you are.]

    You are either just misguided and are deluding yourself, or you are a hypocrite – in this as in other things.

  14. Psephos:

    [I don’t think Islamism has anything to do with left or right,]

    On the contrary, Islamism is a kind of clericalism — a classically conservative authoritarian form of rule.

    [Some of its tenets, like {…} like hatred of the US and Israel, align with the western far left.]

    The far left, such as there is such a thing, doesn’t ‘hate’ America. It opposes American imperialism. It doesn’t hate Israel or Jews, but opposes Zionism. That makes the far left different from Islamists.

    The far left seeks the unity of the working people of the planet and secular governance. The Islamists, seek theocracy and purdah and the rule of mores from the 7th century. There’s no alignment at all, save that the far left solidarises with bona fide resistance to colonialism and imperialism even when this resistance is not from leftists. In Central America for instance, some resistance to the US-backed puppet regimes came from catholics, including nuns. That didn’t mean that far leftists were keen on catholicism or nuns.

  15. From the Boston tv feed –

    Tthey were in US a lot longer than a year – they went to high school back in 2011.

    described as ‘normal’ American kids?

  16. And if they are Islamist then that may explain the reported comment on CNN that the deceased person wrote that he had no American friends and didn’t understand them.

    I say that for Boston is a pretty strong liberal city and uni being uni wouldn’t be a fun place for a pious person from another culture.

  17. [The far left, such as there is such a thing, doesn’t ‘hate’ America. It opposes American imperialism. It doesn’t hate Israel or Jews, but opposes Zionism. That makes the far left different from Islamists. ]


  18. 1712

    He has made some rather suspect remarks about Arabs, but because the show all comments option no longer exists, I cannot be bothered looking bake through the last couple of threads as it is to much tediousness.

  19. The relationship between the far left and the Islamist is an interesting one for the left surely would be totally opposed if someone recommended the introduction of Taliban type government here.

    This also goes to the heart of why a world government would be unworkable.

  20. [comment on CNN that the deceased person wrote that he had no American friends and didn’t understand them. ]

    Boston local CBS saying totally the opposite from people who knew them – they mixed at school and were normal American kids who did all the usual things ?

    Stand back from the spin – whoever is doing it – let it all settle.

  21. Whoa whoa guys, nuance, subtlety? Come on, don’t try to add complexity to their fantasies of an islamo-commie-fascist enemy!

  22. In other news and i am not sure if its been mentioned but i thought the comment in the NZ Parliament was one of the best backhanders i have heard

    The MP was talking to a Pirist who was saying that SSM was wrong for it is an unnatural act but the MP explains that his response was that is funny coming from someone that has taken an unnatural to commit to be celebrant

  23. Dave

    Interesting, that is part of the fun of 24/7 news channels when they try and fill in the unknown by adding bits and pieces but the reporter claimed his comments were based on the dead person website

  24. 1727

    India shows it is possible to democratically govern vastly different groups of people, with no internal migration controls, because the Democratic process forces enough compromise to make it work. India has many different religious groups, ethnic groups, levels of development and many other factors and yet it is not about to fall apart.

  25. mexicanbeemer@1732


    Interesting, that is part of the fun of 24/7 news channels when they try and fill in the unknown by adding bits and pieces but the reporter claimed his comments were based on the dead person website

    Wow – a conclusion reached in 3 minutes.

    Wadda guy.

  26. [Bwahahahaha Poor old Turncoat:

    #fraudband having unravelled in hours, Turncoat “may roll out more FTTP”,turnbull-may-build-more-fttp.aspx lying bastards these Libs! Desperate too!]


    Turnbull also said that 6 Mbps is fast enough for residential customers and that only businesses will need speeds of 1Gbps.

    6 Mbps is slower than what I get now on ADSL, is that what the libs are now promising,slower speeds unless you are a business.

  27. Diog 1718
    [FWIW I don’t think either briefly or Mick are racists and I don’t think it’s terribly profitable to go down that road.]
    I agree with every word you wrote, except for the part about briefly not being racist. It’s his call – have a look at his rant on 1703 after I outlined to him the situation for many Jewish students on uni campuses in many Western countries.
    And Tom tfab 1726
    Try again. Plenty of comments about Arab and Islamic terrorism and Islamism but I have never generalised about Arabs or Muslims, because I don’t believe that. My references are to “extremist”,”activist” and “jihadist” groups in their midst. They are the ones that the Extreme Left seem to find so attractive.

  28. 1736

    We are to developed for a Taliban style Government (of any religion) to get in to power here. There is too much technology, gender equality and other things to allow it. The far left, at least in Australia, would oppose it.

  29. Yes Tom that is all true except Afghanistan in the 60s and 70s wasn’t the backwater that it became after the Russian invasion.

  30. Mick, his so-called “rant” said nothing about Jews, other than to ask if you were one. It’s your own assumption that he’s asking it because he wants to confirm his own negative prejudices about Jews. The rest of it was to defend what he sees as your own stereotyping of education institutions.

  31. mexicanbeemer@1740


    I haven see the reporter before so its hard to pass judgement on their normal way of reporting.

    Really – you had no problem forming a selective conclusion previously –

    [ that is part of the fun of 24/7 news channels when they try and fill in the unknown by adding bits and pieces but the reporter claimed his comments were based on the dead person website]

    Still making it all up as you go.

  32. Dave

    You seem to be misreading my comments

    I wasn’t suggesting anything, i only quoted one of many CNN comments and you kindly pointed to the Boston local media which was reporting different information.

    I have not seen the CNN reporter before so i am not sure of the person normal way of reporting.


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