BludgerTrack: 55.8-44.2 to Coalition

The only national polls this week have been the regular weekly Essential Research and Morgan, which respectively moved a bit to Labor and a bit to the Coalition. The BludgerTrack poll aggregate is accordingly little changed.

Little change in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate this week (see the sidebar for details), though what’s there is enough to send the Greens to a new low and “others” to a new high for the current term. The only new additions are the latest numbers from the two weekly pollsters:

Essential Research has moved in Labor’s favour, their primary vote up one to 36% with the Coalition down one to 47% and the Greens steady on 8%. On two-party preferred, the Coalition lead is down from 55-45 to 54-46. The monthly personal ratings record very little change, with Julia Gillard down one on approval to 37% and steady on disapproval at 54%, while Tony Abbott is steady on 40% and down one to 49%. Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister shifts from 41-39 to 40-39. Pleasingly, further questions concern campaign finance and find 29% support for public funding of political parties against 47% who think they should be funded only by donations; 65% support for donation caps against only 17% for unlimited donations; and only 5% opposed to public disclosure of donations (Institute of Public Affairs, take note). Thirty-six per cent supported the $1000 disclosure threshold originally proposed by the government, 26% favoured the $5000 agreed to under the doomed compromise with the Liberals, and only 17% supported the present $12,000 threshold. Other questions concerned tolerance (69% rating racism a large or moderate problem in Australian society) and Pauline Hanson (58% think it unlikely she would make a positive contribution to parliament against 30% for likely).

• The weekly Morgan multi-mode poll has Labor down half a point to 31%, the Coalition up half to 46% and the Greens steady on 9.5%. Both previous election and respondent-allocated preference measures of two-party preferred are at 56-44, compared with 55.5-44.5 and 55-45 last week.

Further polling:

• The Sunday Fairfax papers carried results from a ReachTEL automated phone of 3500 respondents in six Labor seats, which found Jason Clare on 48% of two-party preferred in Blaxland, Peter Garrett on 49% in Kingsford Smith, Bill Shorten and Wayne Swan on 53% in Maribyrnong and Lilley, and Jenny Macklin on 57% in Jagajaga. Also covered was Craig Emerson’s seat of Rankin, but here we were told only that he was trailing. The poll also inquired as to how people would vote if Kevin Rudd was returned to the leadership, which had Labor improving 4.5% in Kingsford Smith, 8.4% in Blaxland, 3.6% in Lilley, 11.8% in Rankin, 3.1% in Jagajaga and 8.6% in Maribyrnong.

• Roy Morgan also published a phone poll of 546 respondents on Friday which found 21%, 16% and 16% of respondents would respectively “consider” voting for Julian Assange’s Wikileaks Party, Katter’s Australian Party and the Palmer United Party. The Australian Financial Review also reported that Labor pollsters UMR Research had found 26% of respondents “would be willing” to support Assange’s party. Personally, I don’t find questions on voting intention of much value unless respondents are required to choose from a limited range of options.

Preselection news:

• Martin Ferguson’s announcement that he will bow out at the coming election has unleashed a preselection struggle for possibly the safest Labor seat in the country, the inner Melbourne seat of Batman. The vacancy was immediately perceived by Julia Gillard and Bill Shorten as a chance to accommodate Senator David Feeney, a Right powerbroker and key Gillard ally who has been stranded with what looks to be the unwinnable third position on the Victorian Senate ticket. However, Feeney is meeting fierce opposition from the local Left and those who believe the seat should go to a woman after Tim Watts was chosen to succeed Nicola Roxon in Gellibrand. Penny Wong and Jenny Macklin are in the latter camp, while Julia Gillard’s intervention has been criticised by Brian Howe, the Keating-era Deputy Prime Minister who held the seat from 1977 to 1996. The early talk was that Feeney might be opposed by ACTU president Ged Kearney, but she soon scotched the idea saying she wished to remain in her current position. Support is instead coalescing behind local Left faction member Mary-Anne Thomas, executive manager of Plan International. Two early starters have withdrawn to give her a clear run: Tim Laurence, the mayor of Darebin, and Hutch Hussein, refugee advocate and former national convenor of Emily’s List. Brian Howe has come out in support for Thomas, while Martin Ferguson is backing Feeney despite his long association with the Left. Stephen Mayne and Andrew Crook of Crikey have an extremely detailed review of the situation in the local branches.

Ed Gannon of the Weekly Times reports the Victorian Liberal Party has defied Tony Abbott and angered the Nationals by resolving to field a candidate in Mallee, which will be vacated by the retirement of Nationals member John Forrest. The Nationals candidate, former Victorian Farmers Federation president Andrew Broad, said any opponent fielded against him would be “another Liberal Party muppet run out of Melbourne”, which Liberal state director Damien Mantach said was a “shrill outburst … unbecoming of someone who is aspiring to be a local leader and elected to high office”.

• Katter’s Australian Party and the Palmer United Party have unveiled high-profile Senate candidates in country singer James Blundell and former Western Bulldogs AFL player Doug Hawkins, who will respectively run for the KAP in Queensland and the PUP in Victoria.

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.

4,070 comments on “BludgerTrack: 55.8-44.2 to Coalition”

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  1. Peter Van Onselen gets early insight into NewsPoll, and the have been out in the field since Monday of this week.

    So this little snippet from his column tomorrow

    [JULIA Gillard’s long-time nemesis, the opinion polls, may offer surprise salvation for her this coming fortnight if enough voters feel sorry for her given the increasing attacks she has had to endure.
    It would of course be a false rise rather than a genuine sign of recovery. This Prime Minister’s goose is well and truly cooked. But that doesn’t alter the political significance even a statistically insignificant rise in the polls might have on the Labor leadership.

  2. Sprocket

    Unless I’m missing something PvO is merely speculating on a possible sympathy rise in the polls, given Julia Gillard’s rough week, rather than offering any insight into how the poll result is shaping up.

  3. alias

    I think the party should have to endure its wilderness years in the Tarkine, and put up with all the D9s and general noise and destruction they have caused for the sake of some idiot ‘loyalty’ to short-term AWU jobs over long term economic benefit.

  4. [Peter Van Onselen gets early insight into NewsPoll]

    He is just covering the bases if the next poll hits the low end of MOE.

  5. The Murdoch beat-up has all the hallmarks of a bunch of nervous editors who, on seeing some of their fellow editors’ heads on pikes, don’t want theirs to be next.

  6. Heath Aston is in the poll futures market again:

    [Both Rudd and Gillard know the media cycle is short and no amount of public sympathy for the outrageous fortune that befell the PM this week can avert the showdown that will happen during the last sitting fortnight of the 43rd Parliament.

    Especially when caucus flies back to Canberra on Monday to be greeted by a Fairfax/Nielsen poll that will confirm more than half of them will not be returning to work after September 14.


  7. Looks like all bases covered between Heath Aston and PvO.

    If the polls are good it’s a sympathy vote.

    If the polls are bad, well… we told you so.

  8. [Peter Van Onselen gets early insight into NewsPoll]

    I doubt whether he gets ANY insight into them. He seems to spend as much time talking about polls that haven’t been run yet as he does about polls that HAVE been run.

  9. 3988 TP dont be so stupid. of course there is nothing at all to gain in labor losing. ill take your other option – 80$ bet so far with 5 to 1 odds – for labor victory, as delusional as everyone I know thinks. I think that is win-win for labor

  10. William ….4004….and others re OnSELEM RE NEWSPOLL

  11. o well another dynsfuctional day in oz pol

    julia talks to children now, safer than public (although children can throw sandwiches) … she talk to 8 years old about being a woman … she seeks to protect herself under a sexist blanket but plays it a bit hard for reality sakes. anyway we all know that. time to bed. less than two weeks to change

  12. I get amused by this tough meme on Gillard.

    Much of it I am afraid is involuntary toughness in the manner of Pinata. When you are bound up unable to go it isn’t so much toughness but trying to avoid the bigger hits.

    It also bespeaks how out of touch she is and how much she values her pride over Labor that she wont resign in order Rudd return and inevitably improve Labor’s lot….but then again I guess they are all like that…rather captain a sinking ship than not be captain.

    Ironically the best things for Gillard’s reputation would be voluntarily step down than lead Labor into possible record destruction where she will be the center of the circle of blame.

    This pinata is hanging by a thread.

  13. [julia talks to children now, safer than public (although children can throw sandwiches)]

    At this juncture, I’d like to point out that my son didn’t throw any sandwiches at Gillard today when she visited his school.

    We kept him home sick.

  14. @Geoffrey/4029

    Actually that Elephant will be sitting on everyone if Coalition Party comes in and takes over.

    1 Party running the country.


    The same could be said about the attitude thrown at Gillard because the Rudd Supporters didn’t get their “chance”.

  15. julia has inviolate logic – she cannot stand down for a man that would succumb to sexism. this verges on the delusional (phyric politics) – i hope she lives up to her best instinct talent and intelligence and does the right them and stands by ….

  16. zoidlord

    that wont happen comrade have no fear. too late to argue (both for the day and the year) blessing to the truth starved multitude. and may the medical system yet be fully regulated

  17. Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Tony Blair are godparents to Murdochs kids.

    I kept telling my wife Hugh Jackman wasn’t up to much.

  18. Peter Hartcher lets his Julia-hatin’, Abbott-lovin’ slip show in today’s SMH.

    Very long piece about nothing. Full of innuendo, simplistic analysis and idiosyncratic Hartcherisms.

    Read if you dare.

  19. OK so Rudd will only serve if drafted unanimously and Gillard at present will only go if blasted out. So if it stays like that, perhaps Rudd needs to run a stalking-horse who wins, serves as Prime Minister for fifteen minutes, then resigns so that Rudd can take over. 🙂

  20. Thomas Paine,

    Kevin Rudd will be PM within 2 weeks.

    Seeing Kevin Rudd and Conroy together has sealed the deal in my mind. Before that i would have thought Gillard would have went to the election.

  21. @Sean/4040

    I was willing to give you guys another chance at the Rudd stuff, but it didn’t happen today, so no hope for me.

  22. 4041


    I have seen billboards around Melbourne for PUP/Palmer himself.

    I expect he will run plenty of ads in the media.

  23. [Seeing Kevin Rudd and Conroy together has sealed the deal in my mind]

    Cats mating with dogs. End times!

    I think Rudd *should* apologise to his former Ministers. He didnt give them enough free rein. Thats indisputable.

    And then …. hug it out! The posse rides at dawn. Go down swinging you bastards. Bring the Ruddstorm.

    Come on! *lleyton headpoint*

  24. BB

    It is all very hard to argue against, with a fine example being the section on the abortion gambit. No, not pro-Abbott; just anti-hollowness.

  25. BB
    That isn’t the point. Neither party has a position on Madigan’s bill, for example. What Gillard has done is risk the current settled and satisfactory abortion position, either at the shoppies’ bidding and/or as a desperate but doomed wedge tactic. Just abysmal.

  26. @JV/4047

    If you think that neither party has not a position in it, then why is Gillard trying to push the issue?

    We know Abbott isn’t pro-abortion.

  27. zoidlord

    Can’t quite grasp your point there, but the outcome is that Gillard has given hope to the anti-abortion lobby for totally unsound reasons.

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