BludgerTrack: 55.0-45.0 to Coalition

A poor showing for Labor in the latest Morgan poll combined with a static Essential Research result have halted the weak momentum to Labor in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate.

A relatively quiet week for national polling, with two new results available for the BludgerTrack update:

• The weekly Morgan multi-mode poll, this time enlisting 3418 respondents from its combination of face-to-face, online and SMS polling, recorded a sharp uptick for the Coalition, up four on last week’s primary vote result to 48% with Labor down two to 30.5% and the Greens up half a point to 11%. That came out particularly bruisingly on Morgan’s headline respondent-allocated two-party preferred calculation, which showed the Coalition lead blowing out from 54.5-45.5 to 58-42. The result on 2010 election preferences was a milder 56.5-43.5, compared with 54-46 last time.

Essential Research is perfectly unchanged for the second week in a row, with Labor on 34%, the Coalition on 48% and the Greens on 9%, with the Coalition lead at 55-45. It finds a seven point drop since last June in respondents who think the economy is heading in the right direction, to 36%, and has 38% expecting the budget to be bad for them personally against 12% good and 38% neutral. Respondents were also asked about preferred revenue-raising measures, with “higher taxes for corporations” towering above the pack on 64%. Reducing tax breaks for higher income earners was net positive (45% approve, 38% disapprove), but reductions in the baby bonus and family tax and any spending cuts were rated negatively. It was also found that 45% believed population growth too fast, 37% about right and only 5% too slow.

The impact of the new Morgan multi-mode series on the current BludgerTrack modelling is still very slight, although this will begin to change as more data becomes available for assessing its performance. For now the result on national voting intention is little changed on last week, bringing an end to three weeks of movement to Labor. The availability of new state-level data from Essential Research has sent Labor back two on the seat projection by weakening their position in New South Wales and Western Australia.

Two doses of preselection news:

• The Australian reports on four contenders to fill Barnaby Joyce’s Queensland Senate vacancy, which he will formally create at the start of the election campaign period to facilitate his run in New England. The candidates are Barry O’Sullivan, who has stood aside as the treasurer of the LNP while he considers whether to run; David Farley, Australian Agricultural Company managing director, who caused a brief stir last August when he suggested the Prime Minister was a “non-productive old cow” who might be put to use at an abattoir he was spruiking; Larry Anthony, famously well pedigreed former member the north coast New South Wales seat of Richmond; and Ray Brown, mayor of Western Downs. Mentioned elsewhere were Theresa Craig, a down-list candidate on the LNP Senate ticket; Susan McDonald, “daughter of former National Party president Don McDonald and a member of a family cattle dynasty”; Kerry Latter, chief executive of Mackay Canegrowers; and Julie Boyd, former mayor of Mackay. The preselection will be held on May 25, despite the view of some that the matter be left until after the election to give unsuccessful lower house candidates an opportunity to run. Steven Scott of the Courier-Mail reported “senior members of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s team” were of a similar mind, although his public position is in line with that of the LNP state executive.

• Anna Patty of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Labor in New South Wales is “under growing pressure to intervene in the preselection of a candidate for the federal seat of Throsby”. Head office has apparently held off so far to give incumbent Stephen Jones a chance to shore up his local numbers, but the upper hand has remained with local Right forces associated with state Wollongong MP Noreen Hay. This grouping now wants the seat for one of its own, something it has long been denied by a centrally enforced factional arrangement reserving Throsby for Anthony Albanese’s “hard Left” faction. This time however, state secretary Sam Dastyari has been insistent in promising a local ballot. Andrew Crook of Crikey hears the local rebellion is opposed by more senior figures in the Right, who have been “hitting the phones to demand Hay forces back down or face brutal retaliation in the form of damaging media leaks that could cut short the Wollongong MP’s controversial career”. The putative challenger is John Rumble, a local nurse and son of former state MP Terry Rumble. Stephen Fitzpatrick of The Australian reported a fortnight ago that Rumble had not definitively secured the crucial support of Hay, who suggested a third candidate might emerge. Former state Kiama MP Matt Brown, who was sacked as a state government minister in 2008 over an affair that involved him dancing in his underwear in his parliamentary office, told The Australian he had been asked to stand by “branch members”.

Finally, the final results are in from the Western Australian election, with indicative Liberal-versus-Labor two-party preferred counts completed for seats where other parties or candidates made the final count in the formal preference distribution. This reveals that the final two-party preferred vote for the Liberals was 57.2%, a swing in their favour of 5.4%. It should be emphasised that the two-party preferred concept is complicated in Western Australia by the large number of highly competitive contests involving the Liberals and the Nationals, which raises the question of whether Labor-versus-Liberal or Labor-versus-Nationals counts should be used for the electorates in questions. The AEC’s practice has been to use the Nationals count where the party wins the seat, but the WAEC favours Labor-versus-Liberal counts which tend to be somewhat more favourable for Labor. Antony Green has used the Labor-versus-Nationals count for Pilbara to preserve continuity with the calculation for the 2008 election, at which no Labor-versus-Liberal count for Pilbara was conducted. The two-party preferred numbers cited below are entirely from Labor-versus-Liberal counts.

March 9, 2013

			#	 %	Change	Seats	Change	
Liberal			559,917	 47.1%	+8.7%	31 	+7	
Nationals		71,694	 6.1%	+1.2%	7 	+3	
Labor			392,470	 33.1%	-2.7%	21 	-7	
Greens			99,437	 8.4%	-3.5%		
Independent		34,467	 2.9%	-1.5%		-3	
Australian Christians	21,451	 1.8%	-0.8%		
Family First		7,039	 0.6%	-1.4%		

			#	 		%	Change
Formal			1,184,475		94.0%	-0.7%
Informal		75,577			6.0%	+0.7%
Enrolment/Turnout	1,412,533   		89.2%	+2.7%

Two-party preferred
Liberal			677,231			57.2%	+5.4%
Labor			506,623			42.8%	-5.4%

			#	 %	Change	Seats	Change	
Liberal			583,500	 47.6%	+8.0%	17	+1  	
Nationals		59,804	 4.9%	-0.4%	5	-   	
Labor			398,260	 32.5%	-3.6%	11	-   	
Greens			100,624	 8.2%	-2.9%	2	-2  	
Australian Christians	23,877	 2.0%	-0.3%
Shooters & Fishers	21,765	 1.8%		1	+1  	
Independent		20,633	 1.7%	+0.2%
Family First		16,760	 1.4%	-1.1%

			#	 		%	Change	
Formal			1,225,223	 	97.2%	0.0%
Informal		35,706		 	2.8%	0.0%
Enrolment/Turnout	1,412,533	 	89.3%	+2.7%

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.

2,781 comments on “BludgerTrack: 55.0-45.0 to Coalition”

  1. [ But I don’t think you can deny that they moved abuser priests around and gave them cushy administrative jobs or generous retirement payouts because they honestly have an extremely progressive and christian attitude towards sinners. They empathised with and forgave the abusers for their human struggles with temptation and sin.]

    Oh I think you probably could deny that.

  2. Judith Sloan must be running for a lib seat.
    Glammed herself up dramatically tonight on LL.
    I’m reminded of Obama and lipstick on porcines…

  3. parts of the alp but really really really really hate kr.
    anything but kr. they will savour his downfall or own rectitude for years to come. nothing else to do. jg would have got away with 2010 if she succeeded – but she didn’t, and that was risk she took – she takes no responsibility, win or fail is it still successful leadership. there could be an election in two weeks, with v good chance indeed certain of alp victory. before deficit talk gets serious. parts of alp must really really really hate kr. o for those really really bored with this contribution, please tell me what else to talk about? what is plan B?

  4. [Ironically one of their mistakes was making a typical progressive’s error in caring more about the perpetrator (as a victim themself) than the actual victim, in this case children.]

    I would describe looking after the perpetrator and therefore the organisations reputation while vilifying the victim as sociopathic behaviour, not a progressive’s error.

    And progressives like transparency, rather than hiding things away.

  5. Steve777, I think it is a generalisation to say

    [To big business and to corporate executives, labour is an input like raw materials whose costs need to be minimised]

    The problem for businesses is always the same: work will not do itself. Every firm from the least to the greatest depends on their workers for their effectiveness. This is the starting point in every organisation. Any manager or owner with any insight knows they must understand, motivate, organise and effectively direct their workforces or they risk failure and may cease to exist.

    Further, because the operating environment for firms is changing so quickly and in so many ways, firms also depend on the ability of their workers to learn, adapt and cooperate with each other. If firms and workers do not do this successfully, firms will necessarily die. This means workers and their organisations must co-operate with each other around their mutual interests. They have no other real choice.

    There are always centrifugal forces operating on individuals and on social structures such as workforces. These forces act to repel people from each other and to deter cooperation. Sometimes these forces can be internal, and they can be the result of external shocks, such as changes in the economic environment. This is a real issue in some Australian industries at the moment – in ,any parts of manufacturing in particular, which has been under intense pressure since 2008.

    However, there are also powerful centripetal forces acting as well – forces that bring people together and enable cooperation, trust, learning and cohesion. Well-run firms will find ways to harness these forces not just because they are good in themselves, but also because they enable superior performance. I can think of several examples among firms I deal with in manufacturing, banking, transport, logistics, distribution and marketing where these characteristics are deliberately fostered.

    It is a truism to say that because competition is intense in most areas, firms usually have to approach their labour resources as assets rather than simply as costs. I’m sure this varies with occupations, firms, industries and cultures, but in general firms must invest in their workers and commit resources to managing them effectively.

    Uniquely among the productive factors a business may draw on, workers have the ability to learn, to adapt, to cooperate with and motivate others and to change their own properties and performance. This means workers are the key to business dynamism.

    In knowledge-intense industries – say, especially, in manufacturing, design, IT, media, communications, marketing, in technical and scientific research, and even in “old” industries such as agriculture, viticulture, forestry, mining, engineering, construction…the list is endless…workforce skills, knowledge and adaptability constitute basic competitive advantages.

    Since firms must have some kind of competitive advantage in order to survive, workforce quality is far more important than simply its cost. It is for this reason that well-run organisations put so much energy into attracting, recruiting, training and managing their labour force, and why firms will pay to retain their skilled workers – that is, to prevent them being poached by their competitors.

    Obviously, costs are an issue for any business. But the biggest issues really are workforce stability and quality, and the effect that the loss of a workforce has on the ability of firms to operate effectively.

    This was reflected in the behaviour of firms during the GFC, when there was very little job-shedding even though demand was crashing. Businesses found all kinds of ways to ration work without sacking people while the shock passed and demand recovered. A similar though far less pronounced thing is occurring in the labour market now, where business conditions and labour demand have been relatively weak, but job-shedding (so far) been muted and unemployment has been fairly stable.

    I also think this has a lot to do with capital/labour ratios in Australian firms, which is typically quite high. This means that to obtain adequate returns on capital invested, firms MUST attract, recruit, train and retain the best workers they can find. This also creates labour-force “stickiness” – without the right workforce, capital invested in machines, information technologies, management systems and other fixed assets will under-perform.

    Really, it is all a lot more complicated than the old shibboleths about labour/capital relations suggest.

  6. geoffrey@2755

    there could be an election in two weeks, with v good chance indeed certain of alp victory.

    I take it you mean there could be a successful no-confidence motion followed by a normal-length campaign starting in two weeks.

  7. [I would describe looking after the perpetrator and therefore the organisations reputation while vilifying the victim as sociopathic behaviour, not a progressive’s error.]

    The thing is Dio, they look after the perpetrators even after it ceases to have any reputational advantage for them. In fact they look after the abuser priests when doing so actually causes their reputation great harm (not to mention financial costs).

    At some point the easiest (and smartest) thing for the church to do with various priests and bishops is to disown them and throw them to the wolves. But the church is extremely reluctant to do this. And that is because it actually cares about them.

    It seems a great paradox – that they can treat victims so atrociously, while at the same time moving heaven and earth to care for the abusers, but this is just a part of the perverse progressive morality – which despite its “conservatism” infects the catholic church – which considers the perpetrator a victim too.

  8. For those that missed it do watch the Lateline Kouk v Sloane.
    On website or Iview
    Sloane does not do well at all.

  9. kevin i left out ‘have’ … could have been an election if leadership change organised earlier this year. fairly reliable what if. as realistic as any other scenario going.

  10. Dio and othert
    This great New Yorker article fleshes out my summary of The Dreyfus affair

    The best of a number of books I have read is by Michael Burns..”Dreyfus;A Family Affair”: but there are several other listed in the article below ( even recently an opera)

    One of Dreyfus’s ..grand-daughters died in Auchwitz camp…and
    One of the keading anti-Dreyfusards ,Charles Maurass was sentenced to life imprisonment after the Liberation in 1944 for his collaboration with the Nazis..and said as he

    Dreyfus had died in 1935 and never saw WW2 …but several other grand-children fought in the resistance

  11. ST…U never heard of ..or seen rickets I assume?

    For some kids that 1/3 pint of milk (more if they could cadge/steal it off the ‘well off’ pupils) …was the only sustenance they got until lunchtime (if their parents could afford the ‘dinner-money’)

    …I was one of those kids, and my dad was sole income earner …mum was too busy having 10 kids (+ two miscarriages) …she was a Catholic convert.

    ..Thatchers mean spirited/penny-pinching decision had virtually NO effect on the budget bottom-line …but it brought untold misery (& rickets) on the heads of hundreds of thousands of poor kids….

    …But, why the heck should YOU care …the poor only have themselves to blame after all!!

    …What a miserable low life piece of work you are …

  12. Abbott has nailed his colours to the mast. Telling Fairfax media he will NOT let Same Sex Unions happen in a Parliament while he is Prime Minister.

  13. Battle Turkeys @ 2763

    I also think a lot of the reactions to sexual offences derives from feelings of shame, which frequently lead all those involved into various evasions, denials, feelings of complicity (even if completely unjustified), errors of judgment and moral obfuscations. Shame is just about the most powerful emotion we can experience, and we can be motivated by it to do the strangest and most contradictory and destructive things.

    The combination of betrayal, sex and violence which lies at the heart of clerical abuse has created feelings of contamination for nearly everyone, from those most intimately involved, to their confessors, witnesses, prosecutors and healers. They will encounter so much shame that for many it will be impossible to tally or even properly comprehend – poor people who will meet anguish every morning.

  14. Briefly @ 2760

    yes, that is some food for thought. Indeed, you describe a path to a win-win situation.

    It is a lot more complex than the old shibboleths, but given the prevalence of outsourcing, unilateral winding back of conditions and unpaid overtime, much of corporate Australia seems to regard their workforce as a cost. Further, the sort of training that used to be provided on the job is now left to individuals to arrange and pay for.

    We can’t go back to the world of the 70’s but much of Corporate Australia and their tools (like the ‘Liberal’ party) seem to be, at heart, Thatcherite.

  15. Diogenes @ 2745 – so Jesus was what would be described by the Right as a ‘bleeding heart liberal’, with ‘liberal’ being in the USA sense. The Right seem to prefer the God of the Apocalypse – ‘no more Mister Nice Guy’. Or perhaps Matthew ‘To him that hath shall be given, to him that hath not will be taken away’. A perfect description of the ‘Liberals’ policies regarding superannuation, education, paid parental leave and private health. Or perhaps the ferocious, vindictive God of the Old testament, who makes Moloch and Zeus look like a couple of wimps.

  16. Steve777, I’m sure the things you mention create problems for workers. Australians work relatively longer hours, take fewer holidays and have fewer benefits than workers in other countries. But they also tend to be among the best paid – a reflection of many years uninterrupted expansion in the economy. We also have a highly capital intense economy and this contributes to high worker incomes.

    The thing I always bear in mind when thinking about these things is that if reducing wages were the key to superior performance, then Bangladesh would be the strongest economy on Earth. Of course, in Bangladesh, wages are so low that firms do not need to substitute capital for labour, and they remain trapped in relatively low margin, highly labour-intense industries.

    Obviously, the converse is actually applicable to us. If wages are high, businesses will tend to substitute more capital in order to improve productivity. But increasing capital intensity is also associated with scarcer, more specialised and higher value labour too. So businesses not only have to make investments in their fixed assets, they have to invest in variable inputs such as labour resources.

    In the end, in a capital intense economy labour resources become at least as valuable as fixed assets. This is partly because they do not depreciate. They actually can increase their own value because they can learn, adapt and “re-tool” themselves. And it is also because fixed assets are useless without the right labour force to run them.

    So the key to strong labour returns are all the intangibles – access to capital, access to technology, quality of management, access to markets, availability of skills training, labour mobility (in all directions), the availability of complimentary skills, and worker health, fitness, confidence and longevity. These are all inter-related.

    We are reasonably good at a lot of these things, on the whole, and this accounts for a lot of our success. The labour force and our investment framework determine our economic destiny in my opinion. We should never cease trying to improve them.

  17. good on you Briefly ….. kudos. …… and a tangential finger to those control freaks who cannot/will not co-operate, a great big fuck-off to their contrarian co-offenders …..
    Meguire Bob, you Champion …… more power to you, bloke !

    Be-mused ……. AAAaaaaahahahahahaaaaaa ! …… more anguish to you, flakester.
    …..izatso ?, out.

  18. Gillard’s inability to make credit for a highly positive positive policy fall directly to Labor where it belongs proves beyond all doubt that in an election she will be a massive disaster.

    She some how managed to involved Abbott in the whole business and let him share the credit for the policy. In her attempt to play a political game she stupidly muddied the waters and gave Abbott a chance to look good, when it should just have been Labor all the way without reference to the Coalition. Let them take the discredit should they then come out blocking and negative.

    She has no political skills that are not office politics.

    Being unable to sell even the simplest and most positive feel good of all policies Gillard just failed the last test of a leader, among many failures as leader.

    Coming into an election campaign Labor must be terrified of what damage Gillard may inadvertently do, that she could turn a big defeat into an obliteration. She is so poor at leading that she has made Abbott look like a reasonable and preferable alternative.

    The controlling faction has already decided to maintain their power over the party by keeping out Rudd and keeping Gillard. And are knowingly risking a massive disaster by keeping Gillard going into an election.

    All for the sake of protecting their power over the party.

    So as they madly steam straight into an iceberg at full power, many MPs about to lose their jobs just sit their like a deer in a headlight, mutely awaiting their execution. Too scared to rebel against their factional captors, but all the while knowing their careers are finished for a long time.

    They are cowards, living in inappropriate fear of being dumped when the Australian public will certainly dump them anyway.

    Any Labor MPs out there think Gillard is going lead Labor to some sort of a recovery during an election campaign, after witnessing her tin ear and total lack of ability to be a PM to the public? Do Labor MPs think Wayne Swan is going to win the day for them?

    You cowards are dead meat, too scared to do the one thing that may save your backsides, and probably help save the party from is mafia like management.

  19. Bottom line folks is that I think that people in general really dislike Julia Gilliard… started with the way she became PM and now its just general/personal. Dont think they are huge Tony Abbott fans, but will take him over Julia. Its not about substance/policy at all.

    Labor made a huge mistake not going to a DD when the Libs killed the ETS and Abbott became leader… whilst knifing Rudd might have been the right thing to do for the party, there is no denying that Julia was at the heart of every decision that he made, and her case for the job is essentially one of personal style only… might work for the ALP, but definitely hasnt with the general population.

    At this stage, would think if Labor can keep above 60-63 seats in the next parliament then it will have recovered very well from what has been deeply entrenched landlslide loss (<55 seats) territory for most of the last 2 yrs. I do think the big Coaltion lead is soft, but i think people have stopped listening to Jules in terms of letting her try and make the sale that they are actually a decent government.

    The irony is that the people will/would listen to Rudd, but i cant believe his return is tenable – would smack of desperation/cynicism ie being willing to return to that which you hate just to improve an election result.

    Wonder if ALP have a "break in case of emergency" plan to install Shorten come June or so if Gilliard cant get the polling to improve -it might work saving some furniture. The really important issue is whether the Coalition can control the Senate as well… that would be the signal of a total electoral disaster for the ALP.

    But if ALP go into June/July still 55-45 down then they have no chance. They have to improve at least 2-3 pts going into the election campaign to have any chance, which in theory should be definitiely doable… but dont think Julia herself can do it because she is disliked so much and so decisively out there – people simply arent open to being convinced by her. Abbott seems to be doing enough to contain his negatives for the time being, waiting for him to bomb tick is not a great strategy to rely on.

    Its such a strange combination of politics / personalities and substance at play (dont think many dispute that the ALP have it over the Coalition on policy substance, but suck ass at the politics/judgement/style) – given that state of play, the most rational strategy is……?

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