BludgerTrack: 50.5-49.5 to Coalition

The Coalition pokes its nose in front after a strong showing in Newspoll and close results elsewhere.

Four new poll results have been added for the BludgerTrack aggregate this week, with Newspoll handing Labor a relatively weak result and ReachTEL, Essential Research and Morgan recording little change. The force of Newspoll has pulled the two-party preferred total 0.4% in the direction of the Coalition, which nets it a handy three seats on the national projection. The high yield is testament to the sensitivity of Queensland, where Labor’s projected gain of six seats from last week has been halved by a 1.8% shift on the two-party vote. Some soft polling for Labor in Tasmania has also brought them down a peg in that state, but this is cancelled out by a gain in New South Wales, where the model continues to have them on the cusp of 25 and 26. The projected total still leaves us in hung parliament territory, but with the Coalition able to govern with help from Bob Katter.

Newspoll especially has been keenly scrutinised for the effect of Friday’s asylum seeker policy announcement, but this would seem a fraught endeavour at this stage. The asylum seeker issue played badly for the government throughout last week up until Kevin Rudd’s move to seize the initiative on Friday evening, news of which would have taken a while to filter through. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to note the latest polls are solidly better for the Greens than a particularly weak batch last week, and that Labor’s primary vote is down correspondingly. This of course will mostly come out in the wash on preferences, but a refugee backlash could nonetheless be of considerable consequence in the Senate.

Usually the six Senators returned by a state at a normal half-Senate election split evenly between the parties of the left and right, but Labor’s polling under Julia Gillard was bad enough to allow for the possibility of four right, two left results in as many as three states (or perhaps four, depending on what view you take of Nick Xenophon). Now it appears that Senate battles will proceed along more familiar lines, with Labor comfortably winning two seats and fighting it out with the lead Greens candidate for a third. Labor’s starting position in such contests is its surplus vote above 28.6%, which can generally be expected to leave them in about the 7% to 10% range where the Greens vote is fluctuating at present. So while Labor’s western Sydney MPs might have cause to cheer the Prime Minister’s new policy direction, its number three Senate candidates (including incumbents Ursula Stephens in New South Wales, Mark Furner in Queensland and Lin Thorp in Tasmania) will feel less pleased.

BludgerTrack arrives with some new toys this week, starting with a new set of graphs on the sidebar which plot the polling over the four weeks since the restoration. These look a bit threadbare at present, but they will have a story to tell soon enough. The Gillard era model remains preserved for posterity at the bottom. In between is another new feature, which projects the likelihood of seat outcomes under the present BludgerTrack results. This is done by simulating 100,000 election results from the ALP seat win probabilities I have been using to determine the seat projection totals and observing the frequency of each result. The chances of majority government are currently put at 42.8%, which increases to 50.4% if you take the view that Labor will win Melbourne from Adam Bandt. Labor’s chances of holding on with the support of whoever ends up representing Denison and Melbourne are put at 28.7%.

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.

3,515 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.5-49.5 to Coalition”

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  1. G’day Bludgers.

    G’day Kinkajou.

    Not much to find yet – swamped by baby news – but this may qualify Kevin Rudd debate headlines a night of democracy

    [See Prime Minister Kevin Rudd take on his Liberal National Party opponent for the seat of Griffith Bill Glasson; former treasurer Wayne Swan up against Rod McGarvie, and LNP member for Brisbane Teresa Gambaro up against Labor challenger Fiona McNamara.

    Here’s the full program for the night:

    5.30pm in the Visy Theatre: The seat of Brisbane – Teresa Gambaro (LNP) v Fiona McNamara (ALP).
    6pm in the Rooftop Theatre: The seat of Lilley – Wayne Swan (ALP) v Rod McGarvie (LNP).
    6.30pm in the Main Theatre: The seat of Griffith – Kevin Rudd (ALP) v Bill Glasson (LNP).
    7pm in the Visy Theatre: The seat of Oxley – Bernie Ripoll (ALP) v Andrew Nguyen (LNP).
    7.30pm in the Rooftop Theatre: The seat of Rankin – David Lin (LNP) v Jim Chalmers (ALP, TBC)
    8pm in the Main Theatre: The balance of Power – The Greens v Katter’s Australian Party vs Palmer United Party.
    8.30pm in the Visy Theatre: The seat of Moreton – Graham Perrett (ALP) v Malcolm Cole (LNP).

    It’s free to attend and, importantly, you get the chance to ask questions.]

    Though the real questions are “Will LNP contestants be allowed to attend? If so, will they have any policy to discuss?

  2. This from Brisbanetimes (which doesn’t appear to be paywalled & carries main SMS & Age national etc articles Attack puts Abbott right into no man’s land

    Do I detect more than a hint of smirk in Michael Gordon’s article?

    [Almost a week after Kevin Rudd’s PNG bombshell, Tony Abbott can’t quite decide whether he’s for it or against it – and is in danger of simply reinforcing the image of Mr Negative.

    There are many questions to be asked about this venture, but Mr Abbott isn’t asking most of them. Instead, his main focus is to question whether Mr Rudd has the will to follow through on his radical plan to send all new arrivals to PNG – forever.

    John Howard designed the template for shock therapy to stop the boats, and the complaint is that Mr Rudd isn’t applying his variation with the same uncompromising ruthlessness and rigour.]

  3. Morning All

    Interesting new tracks William – obvious question for me is when will Kevin go to Tassie and what will he do for them???

    Heard an “interesting” interpretation of the Newspoll result by Paul Murray last night before I switched off. Apparently there were 21% undecided on Kevin’s satisfaction in the previous poll. This time there is only 17% and the 4% all went to the dissatisfied column. A terrible sign for Kevin apparently

    Disturbing stories of what’s been happening on Manus Island – I guess things like that are, sadly, inevitable


  4. Also on AS PNG policy is harsh, but it’s the right way forward: As a former refugee, I believe boat arrivals rob spots from others the UN is processing.

    and Mark kenny’s PNG deal may be expanded to other countries

    [Immigration Minister Tony Burke has revealed the PNG asylum seeker deal could be replicated for other South Pacific countries heavily reliant on Australian aid money.

    With the ink hardly dry on the new ”Regional Resettlement Agreement” under which PNG will take all sea-borne arrivals and resettle those found to be refugees, Mr Burke said Canberra would expand the arrangement if requested.

    ”We’re not out there actively, you know, selling it to other countries or anything like that,” he said.

    ”From time to time the countries come to us wanting us to assist with different things, particularly countries where we’ve had a significant foreign-aid history.

    ”Our starting point is that any nations that would want to be involved in an arrangement like this would have to be signatories to the Refugee Convention.”

    But Mr Burke said no countries were in such negotiations.]

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Overnight I had a disturbing thought. Could you imagine George Brandis with ASIO as his playting?

    I just hope this, and other inquiries and resultant actions, get to nail the institutions responsible for all this. It’s shameful!
    Surely there are legislative or regulatory measures – not necessarily of taxation nature – that could be brought into retaliative play.
    SMH political editor Michael Gordon can’t work out where Abbott is coming from on AS.
    Almost there. It will essentially leave the redneck rumps exposed.
    This repesents a signal change by allowing the chain of military command to be gone around.
    David Rowe shows a rather desperate Abbott here.
    Ron Tandberg gets it! Abbott shown for just what he is! MUST SEE!
    And so does Aln Moir. ALSO MUST SEE!

  6. good to see the Catholic schools have signed up to the plan formerly known as Gonski – excellent the majority of students are now covered

    early start again today – have a great day all

  7. And from the Land of the Free –

    I think this BBC reporter was underwhelmed with the royal baby.
    The Repugs in Virginia coming under fire for their attempt to return the law to the bedroom. The ladies on The View arc up.
    Some good cartoons on the arrival of the royal baby.
    MUST SEE! A great video parody on George Zimmerman types.
    This is a disgusting kick in the guts to democracy.
    Is America a Christian nation?

  8. Oz Pol

    Thanks for the link to the article by Danijel Malbasa, former refugee, about his views on the PNG policy. His story graphically illustrates the equity points I have raised:
    [However, I do believe in fair and equitable processing of asylum applications. The UNHCR estimates there are 40.1 million refugees languishing for decades in refugee camps in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and south-east Asia, many living in the same deplorable conditions I endured in Serbia.
    But nonetheless, these people are following fair and due process waiting in transit for a spot to open up to come to countries such as Australia. It is unfair and unjust for these refugees to have their spots taken by those who risk their lives and the lives of their children by forcefully making their way onto Australian soil by boat.]

    He also calls for Australia’s refugee quota to be raised to 27,000 a year or higher, citing past shares we take of refugees as “negligible”.

    A PNG policy, combined with aid to PNG and an increased refugee quota, is ethically justifiable IMO.

  9. I caught some of Kitchen Cabinet last night and was interested that Jenny Macklin has been the unacknowledged engine (writer?: creator? researcher?) behind such reforms as the Pokies legislation and the Apology .
    Somehow we had gained the impression that Kev wrote it himself. Jenny M said she didn’t need acknowledgement. Tt was important for the PM of the day to make the apology.

  10. lizzie

    Jenny Mack’s electorate borders mine, and she is held in high regard in her local community. One reason why I am kind of surprised by Greensborugh’s assertions that he has not yet decided to give his vote to Jenny Mack at the election, in light of the return of KRudd.
    Jenny Mack is a very hardworking MP

  11. BK thanks for the links, especially to the problem with multinationals not paying tax. So much for Google doing no harm. They need to be taught the ethics of acts of ommission.

    If Rudd wants to go populist, and do some good for the economy at the same time, start here.
    [Mark Zirnsak, director of the justice unit and a member of a Treasury taskforce, said the Australian government could do more to improve transparency in the tax system.
    ”If Google was required by Australian law to disclose, on a country-by-country basis, what it reports, then you would find out where it had shifted profits,” he said. ”If company is shifting money off to a tax haven somewhere, this doesn’t do anything at all. If you know you are doing something that’s dodgy, and it’s exposed, then it’s going to act as a deterrent.”]

  12. Morning all.

    [ Overnight I had a disturbing thought. Could you imagine George Brandis with ASIO as his playting?]

    Almost as bad as the Member for Indi with the CSIRO and the manufacturing industry as her playthings.

  13. victoria

    I always knew she was valued as a hard worker. She didn’t seem to want any glory for herself, just “get the stuff done” for the good of the community. Hope she gets in again.

  14. ive always liked jenny., there is just something that tells you she would be a great aunt, mum and friend
    there when you need her.

  15. Kohler on the launch of Pamela Williams book on Fairfax –

    [ Killing Fairfax, or making it unwell
    Alan Kohler

    Yesterday in Sydney, I helped launch a book called “Killing Fairfax – Packer, Murdoch & the Ultimate Revenge”, by Pamela Williams, Editor at Large of the Australian Financial Review.

    It’s about how Fairfax Media lost classified advertising to three companies backed by James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch – Seek, REA and Carsales – and it opens with the two men having lunch on an “early spring day” in August 2012, at Rockpool in Hunter Street, Sydney.

    It’s true that Packer and Murdoch saw what was happening early and acted decisively to take positions in them, but it was Greg Roebuck and Wal Pisciotta (Carsales), Paul and Andrew Bassett and Matthew Rockman (Seek) and Karl Sabljak and Martin Howell (REA) who created and drove those businesses and munched through Fairfax’s lunch.

    As they lifted their glasses in a toast, James Packer said: “Fairfax didn’t see any of this coming. They thought it was all beneath them. They thought we were idiots. You know, I think we killed Fairfax”.

    “I think so,” said Lachlan Murdoch.

    Well, they didn’t kill Fairfax because it’s still alive. But it’s definitely unwell.

    Pam Williams’ book is a story of, on the one hand, mismanagement and hubris on an epic scale, and of fantastic entrepreneurship on the other.

    Those three businesses are now worth a total of $9.4 billion; Fairfax is worth $1.2 billion. Not long ago it was the other way around.

    …Newspapers began with classified advertising on the front page and even when the ad listings went inside, they were all one business. Classified ads were the revenue; journalists were the cost. Some papers, like the Trading Post, had no journalism and just classifieds, but the real money was in the combination of the two.

    But when they went online, the classifieds were always going to be “pure play” as they became known, whoever owned them. That’s because the marriage of journalism and classified advertising was a one-way street. Journalism needed classified advertising, but the reverse did not apply, and competitors no longer needed to buy printing presses.

    Even if Fairfax had owned them and remained a publishing behemoth, the real estate, job and auto listings would still have had be “pure play”, with no journalists adding to the costs, because otherwise its prices would have been too high, making it vulnerable to online competitors who employed no journalists.

    So from the moment the World Wide Web was invented, journalism was always going to have to pay its own way through display advertising and subscriptions. ]

    Read more:

  16. Australia has a duty of care to ensure that people being assessed for refugee status are safe. A reasonable threshold would be how safe people are in Australia itself.

    That is, IMHO, bottom line.

    Some of them suffer stress because they are economic refugees and their hopes for a better future are stuck in the never never. Some game the system by indulging in self harm, hunger strikes and so on and so forth. Others are prepared to use under age relatives to try to game the system.

    Some proportion of asylum seekers suffer PTSD from whatever drove them out of their homelands, from the trip over, and/or from living in artificial social environments.

    If the consequence of the tactics of the asylum seekers and the external stressors is heightened levels of physical aggression towards their keepers, their built environment and each other, then Australia has a duty to increase the investment in inmate safety.

    The result will be that camps will evolve into jails. The evolving architecture of the Christmas Island facilities is a case in point.

    The issue is that not all boats will stop and also that we have the current mess to address. Who will fill these jails if people will not all be resettled in PNG?

    (1) those currently in the pipeline before the cutoff
    (2) those who are continuing to arrive as we post
    (3) those already arrived who have been deemed to have refugee status but who are deemed unsafe for resettlement for security reasons and who cannot be sent back to their home countries because the latter will not accept them
    (4) those who do not meet refugees status but whose home countries will not accept them.
    (5) those who are cleared for resettlement but without suitable resettlment opportunities being ready in PNG.
    (6) those who have committed crimes pending refugee assessment and who have sentenced to prison terms. I imagine that PNG will not accept such people.
    (7) those who are clogged in the system pending various legal challenges

    In the short term 1-7 will continue to number in the thousands and possibly in the tens of thousands, depending on how quickly the bottlenecks are cleared.

    In the long term they will certainly number in the hundreds at the very least and quite possibly in the thousands.

    The latter will, in effect, be ‘lifers’: stuck in jail with no prospects of release.

    When RuddAbbott wins the election he will have to address the issue of the lifers. Apart from anything else, systemically setting up the arrangements for wrecking the joint in Nauru @ $60 million a pop is not good policy.

    Managing our lifers is going to be an expensive business.

  17. [The son of one of WA’s top health officials is considering suing a prestigious Perth restaurant after guests at his wedding reception, including his bride, became sick within hours of eating pork.

    Christopher Geelhoed, whose father Gary is the State’s chief medical officer, said yesterday he was disappointed with the response from Fraser’s Function Centre in Kings Park after nine of the 110 guests reported gastroenteritis after the $18,000 reception last October.

    _The West Australian _has obtained results of a Health Department investigation which found a statistical link between guests becoming ill and having pork.]

    Fraser’s is one of Perth’s top restaurants and isn’t cheap to eat there. Lucky for it that no evidence was found because WA Health names and shames food outlets and restaurants (and their staff) convicted under the relevant legislation.

    If evidence had been found and convictions given, Fraser’s would’ve been up there with the Hungry Jacks, McDonalds and cheap Asian takeaways that dominate the public register.


    I tweeted and facebooked your link, I think its one story that is needed to be read

    it reinforces also what my OH family had to do wait
    although migration was faster at the end of ww2

    this is one area I wonder about, can it be speeded up.

    and when people who have waited arrive why not, media coverage of families, and then follow up.

  19. dave:

    The simple reality is that newspapers never really adjusted their operating model to accommodate the internet and our increasing reliance on it.

    They are also being outflanked by the growth of social media. I was surprised to learn the other day that more and more 20-somethings get their ‘news’ from their Facebook timeline.

  20. [Four years after they were mailed out to save the economy, 47,000 stimulus cheques remain uncashed ready and waiting to be spent.

    Figures obtained by The West Australian show there is about $39 million in cheques stuck on fridges, attached to pin boards or hiding in shoeboxes.]

    Who actually received a cheque? I had my money deposited into my bank account, as did everyone else I spoke to about it at the time.

  21. Socrates, I agree that Australia’s refugee quota to be raised to 27,000 a year or higher, especially “Higher”.

    Given that, with legislation passed 1946-9, 7 million Aussies agreed to absorb an average of 100,000 refugees/ homeless/ migrants each year for 10 years – including:
    * Middle Eastern refugees, some who’d supported, some fought against Oz troops in the ME campaigns;
    * Germans (Afrika Korps & Luftwaffe vets in high numbers); * Italians & Nazi supporters/ sympathisers from other European countries;
    *+ White Russian Refugees fleeing Mao’s victory;
    *+ mixed race Dutch Indonesians fleeing Independence;
    *+ some Mainland Chinese “Family Reunion” refugees, also from Mao;
    *+ plus “war brides”, inc from Japan;

    damned if I can see why Abbott, Morrison etc are throwing such tantrums over a several thousand refugees a year who want to come here for exactly the same reasons 1949-59’s Million refugees did – to build a better life & future for their children And, yes! They did bring out hordes of family members too.

    It was against that background of a welcoming Nation’s growing tolerance that the first steps were taken (1946 onwards) towards junking the WAP.

    Where did Oz go wrong? Why, one must ask, are we importing OS labour on 457 Visas, when we could be retraining genuine refugees (prepared to risk death at sea to reach Oz for the same reasons 1949-59’s migrants did) to fill those positions? Do most 457 Visas make any sense when so many million refugees need resettlement?

    Was it that GenX (inc Morrison) was the first C20 generation to grow up without a devastating war, in 2 of which (WW2 & Vietnam) Aussie men were conscripted; but GenX (& Y, Z) knew that, if Oz were involved in another war, they were unlikely to be conscripted?

    Is it that the influx of new evangelical USA-Deep South versions of “christianity” & their far RW (Tea Party) politics poisoned tolerance? The mechanisation of rural Oz, and its consequent depopulation & loss of opportunities & services?

    Or is it all down to Pauline Hanson’s Pandora-like behaviour & its success; leading to Howard’s terror, after almost losing Election98, that the OpPolls were right & he really would lose Election01? Or Abbott’s staunch belief that his “Boats” policy was an election winner?

  22. Up to 60 people are feared dead or missing after the sinking off the coast of Java. It was reported that the boat was full of Sri Lankan and Iranian asylum seekers.
    The Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed that it was aware of the incident and the search and rescue operation was being led by Indonesian authorities.

    Read more:

    And so it continues….

  23. victoria

    Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink


    Here is advertisement re FIbre to the Home as explained by the Council of Europe. Perhaps we should have a similiar one for Oz

    Good little video.

    The question: “When will you be getting connected?”

    Labor Govt – 3 years (based on current address and roll out time table)
    Lberal Govt – never

  24. zoomster:

    Yes, that was the other thing I was wondering. Surely govt cheques have an expiry period after which they cannot be cashed in.

    Funny how Labor’s leadership change has suddenly brought these long-ago issues to the fore again.

  25. confessions

    I dont see what the issue is re stimulus cheques not cashed. If the recepients werent interested in cashing their cheques in, so be it.

  26. BK

    Actually, the fact that asylum seekers continue to board these boats, enhances the case being made by Team Labor. After all, Abbott is advocating turning back boats which are very likely to sink as well

  27. confessions

    The hysteria is unfounded re the cheques. It just means 39 million dollars the govt forked out during the stimulus

  28. vic
    I am appalled at the positions of both Abbott and Milne and their cronies.
    Neither of then has a concrete proposal to manage the situation.
    “Turn back the boats” and “Open our doors” do not cut the practical mustard!

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