BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0

Magnifying glasses required to separate the two parties, or to pick the difference from the 2010 election result.

The weekly BludgerTrack update erases the 0.5% edge the Coalition gained in the wake of last week’s Newspoll, and finds Labor the tiniest fraction more likely than the Coalition to win a majority of seats. Labor has made a net gain of two on the seat projection, Queensland again showing its sensitivity with a two-seat shift on the basis of a very small vote change and a second gain projected for Labor in Western Australia (though I’d be a bit careful with the smaller state results at the moment, polling at that level having become leaner recently). This has been counterbalanced by a one seat move to the Coalition in New South Wales, where the Labor score remains on the cusp of 25 and 26.

The primary and two-party vote results are all but identical to the weekend’s Galaxy poll, which is the weightiest of the new data points. Included as always are Morgan, which was unusually soft for Labor this week, and Essential, which retains its slight lean to the Coalition relative to the rest of the field but has perhaps been trending slightly to Labor over the past few weeks. The one very bad new poll for Labor, the weekend’s ReachTEL result showing Labor to lose three of its four Tasmanian seats, has been included in the state relativities calculation. While its inclusion has weakened Labor’s two-party vote projection in the state by nearly 3% in relative terms, the model is not persuaded that Lyons will be joining Bass and Braddon on the casualty list.

The trendlines on the sidebar now paint a picture of monotonous consistency since the Rudd restoration, the so-called “sugar hit” having endured long enough to offer the Coalition real cause for alarm. However, very close observation of the primary votes provides some indication of movement beneath the surface. A poll aggregator like BludgerTrack presumes to have a margin of error of a bit over 1%, and while this is founded on dubious assumptions, it at least gives a rough pointer to the size of movement that should and shouldn’t interest us. One move outside the range concerns the Greens, who opened their account under Rudd at around 9%, sagged nearly a full point by the time of the asylum seeker policy announcement (remembering the margin of error diminishes the further a result gets from 50%), and have now recovered back to the starting point.

The other noteworthy change involves the “others” vote, which started the year at around 10%, increased to 12.5% as Labor bled primary vote support in the last six months under Julia Gillard, snapped back to around 9% when Rudd returned, and has trended downwards over the past four weeks to its present 7.5%. Part of that may have been absorbed by the Coalition in a general trend resulting from the media losing interest in some of the minor players, but it seems intuitively likely that a greater share comes from Labor leaners who have been won over after initial hesitancy by Rudd’s political initiatives. There may have been some deflation in the Rudd honeymoon balloon going on concurrently, with the Coalition primary vote at least holding level and perhaps rising slightly, but Rudd’s evident political successes have at the very least cancelled it out.

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.

3,191 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0”

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  1. Carey Moore@44

    So, after Sean accused us the other day of being desperate for asserting the polling trend was essentially 50-50, Bludgertrack confirms it.

    Menzies House has a major recall on, then reprograming, buttheir hearts are not in it.

    Losing another unloseable as a real possibilty is slowly sinking in.

  2. [I’d guess the US Democrats are here to add Obama’s very successful social networking & “Get out the votes” strategies.]

    It started years ago, it isn’t new, so I don’t know why people are so anxious about this, much less why the SMH are leading with the story as some kind of big scoop.

    Getting young people to enrol to vote this election is essential for all parties, and I would be surprised if Labor isn’t emulating the Democrat strategies of getting people out to vote.

    This, from last year shows how long the ALP has been flirting with Team Obama:

    [In 2008, Obama — using BSD — managed to corral over $200 million in donations and 1 million Facebook friends. The technology was recently employed in Dilma Rousseff’s triumphant campaign for the Brazilian presidency and is being used by Obama again this year.

    In 2009, BSD founder Ben Self consulted with then-PM Kevin Rudd on how to best harness social networking.

    And in 2010, Allen was a key player — alongside Hawker — in designing the party’s campaign website buttressed by initiatives like an “ideas incubator” and Twitter and Facebook links. ]

    So chill out people, and stop jumping at shadows. 🙂

  3. I would assume that the democrats know more about the

    tea party than we do, I doubt the flag waving American style will be part of the scene, just good sound advice about the tea party lot.


    now if he didn’t do that or as some love to say thinks he

    knows everything,,,got no help
    then there would also be complaints


    I opened one of bks links the juno from somewhere or other
    wtte thinks rudd better have the election because something about the economy turning sour, wtte.

    the last few days I have noted the Kouk and there has not been much bad data around.

    typical negative,, line so if there was bad economic
    news this juno thinks hockey would be better I suppose ,

    u have to laugh at the media

  4. WOMBLE – I’m amazed at how lacking in ambition the Greens are. We should be taking at least 40,000 refugees a year.
    But I suppose the low figure is a smokescreen because Milne knows that with open borders we’ll be getting 100,000 per annum before you know it. Saying 30,000 is her way of saying there isn’t really a problem.
    For “won’t necessarily stop the boats” I read “won’t stop the drownings”.
    Don’t the greens understand that, as Doogie Cameron points out, unless there is an orderly queue, the Australian population will jack up about taking more asylum seekers.

  5. [ How strange! Nothing on ABC 7.00am news about Tollgate.
    And tent city was such a big story for them yesterday morning… ]

    Blowflies on manus are more newsworthy ‘apparently’.

  6. [Doesn’t low interest rates mean the economy is rooted?]

    Well, it certainly means it’s rooted for me, but self funded retirees are hated on bludger.

  7. victoria:

    I can’t see how he can hang on when all around him are dropping like flies.

    I suppose we’ll just have to wait to see what the report reveals.

  8. Big business wants to increase GST, cut income taxes, introduce industrial ‘reforms’ [sic], change productivity [presumably not of the managerial class] ….

    This is a real challenge for the ALP.
    A real challenge.

    The boss of the bosses, the head of the Business Council of Aust has met with Rudd.
    I hope Rudd is aware that when you sup with the devil you use a long spoon.

    Will the ALP/Rudd tell him and his mates to go jump or will we see the govt wimp out when facing their major opposition?

    “The Conversation” has the details, via Grattan of all people.

  9. [Menzies House has a major recall on, then reprograming, buttheir hearts are not in it.

    Losing another unloseable as a real possibilty is slowly sinking in.]

    I’m sure Sean’s spin will be that at “peak Rudd” we can only get 50-50, so we’re finished. Or something like that…

  10. PoK

    I am sympathetic to SFR. Not sure if I will soon be one of them or not – depends but it is a big issue that all parties need to address.

  11. Another point about MSM hyperventilating about the Obama campaign team helping Labor.

    The reports make Labor look good to the voting public just reading the headlines. President Obama campaigning seen as a success.

  12. Carey

    [So, after Sean accused us the other day of being desperate for asserting the polling trend was essentially 50-50, Bludgertrack confirms it.]

    Ah, WS Gilbert, in HMS Pinafore, nailed Sean & other political mouthpieces – probably the most cheerfully blighting depiction EVAH of the way rich time-servers are promoted way beyond their competence:

    [And I always voted at my party’s call,
    And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.

    (Chorus) He never thought of thinking of himself at all.

    I thought so little, they rewarded me …]


    Hysterical (in every sense) editorial in the AFR today saying that the business community is desperately disappointed that Abbott won’t be getting a big majority to spend two terms introducing sweeping reform.
    Isn’t that an oxymoron putting “Abbott” and “sweeping reform” in the same sentence. Are they totally unhinged? Well, yes.
    What a scummy right-wing rag the AFR has become.

    That’s Stutchbury’s AFR for you. Isn’t Abbott’s vision for the country “competent government”?

  14. victoria:

    My brother used to play footy with Hird before he went to Melbourne and mum used to teach him at school.

    They both speak highly of him as a person, so I was shocked to hear of the text messages he and Reid (???) and Robinson were reportedly exchanging.

  15. Well, it certainly means it’s rooted for me, but self funded retirees are hated on bludger.
    so with respect does that mean fully funded.

    we are not fully funded, but now find it impossible to save.
    delving more into our supper, little thing come up , like the vet this past week, 600, dollars

    ( love our dog so much it could be 2000 and we would still pay it}
    then seems like my root canal that cost me 2000 in fed

    is on the way out .
    so I know what u mean,,,, 4 percent in the bank not much better in super, have some in bonds and a gold aussie shares.

    then there is staying in private cover which we have done so I get really annoyed with people here when complain about long waiting lists and they actually work.

    but JUST THINK IF the libs where in
    we are on a lot of pension and then super,

    but then we know of people who are complaining to have two rentals, and boats and seaside shacks

    so I suppose we cannot have it all ways, we only have our family home which is not included in assets.
    and two cars, there is no way I am parting with my independence and only having one car.

    so all in all we are not that badly off,
    my thoughts are that the children have
    big business loans and if it turned nasty and IT WOULD WITH ABBOTT LIKE BACK TO 12 PERCENT INT. RATES IT would cripple the young people and we would be helping them
    so all in all it balances out.

  16. Another policy!

    [Union officials would face the same penalties for criminal offences as company directors, under a coalition anti-corruption policy to be unveiled by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott today.

    The Opposition has long railed against the legislative discrepancies underpinning the oversight of union bosses compared to company chiefs.

    Under the Fair Work Act, registered organisations and their officers are only exposed to civil penalties with the potential for comparatively modest fines of up to $10,200, whereas company directors can be subject to criminal penalties including personal fines of up to $340,000 and up to five years imprisonment.

    Since mid-2012, Fair Work Australia has launched well over 20 new inquiries and investigations into alleged breaches of compliance rules by registered organisations and 13 of them are currently ongoing.

    Mr Abbott has promised that a coalition government would move swiftly to improve the standard of registered organisations, introducing legislation in the first sitting week of the next Parliament.]

    Gee, moving on from boats so soon?!

  17. Morning all.

    I don’t want to offend anybody but if low interest rates help put roofs over peoples heads verses a decent return on an investment I would have to say I support the former.

  18. The plane leaving CI for Manus Island has been delayed by bad weather.
    “You can’t trust the BOM! The government has strong-armed the meteorologists”, says Abbott.

  19. Hopefully the LNP will do over reach on this

    “@joeobrien24: NSW ICAC report due out sometime after 1030 .. stay with @abcnews24 for the latest with reporter @JamelleWellsABC”

  20. The business councils ‘demands’ are in AFR, Fairfax and Bus Spectator today – the same old, same old entitlement mentality.

    Pity is, they think they can pull the same stunt as the miners did last election, but their problem is Labor owe them nothing.

    The business council have, as usual backed the tories to the hilt while undermining consumer confidence against their own self interest for over 3 years. Think buffoons like gerry harvey.

    Now they think they deserve a tax cut at others expense.

    Swan had the correct reply – tell us what deductions you are prepared to give up in return and just forget about increasing the GST or a return to work choices.

    They will be left out in the cold if Labor win unless they building bridges and quickly.

    rudd has made some reconciliation noises but they have to get away from their entitlement mentality, eg article in fairfax estimates they want $12 b in tax cuts.

  21. guytaur

    I wonder if Rudd is going to visit the GG after the ICAC report is released this morning. Nothing like a distraction……….

  22. I’ve never seen a Union go bankrupt and destroy the lives of shareholders and employees.

    I’ve not seen a Union award themselves 30% pay rises while the “business” has had a$150million dollar loss and then tell workers to take a pay cut or the business will close.

    Unions don’t do things like the Board of a national airline. No dividends to shareholders for 2 years while they spend $420 million buying the company shares to use as bonuses for the Board.

    Or the company that accepted millions in federal funding to keep it operating only to have the Board award themselves up to 60% pay rise, close the company in Australia and re-open overseas. The pay rises the Board awarded themselves would have funded a redundancy package for the workers of around $30k per worker.

    Or the CEO who declares company bankrupt with shareholders losing their life savings while the CEO continues living a millionaire lifestyle.

  23. VICTORIA – I strongly suspect that if it wasn’t for the report he would have already visited the GG. He’ll give it a couple of days to wash out of the system, then visit the GG.


    My Say – that article was put up on the ABC website last last night – over 11 hours ago so they can say they ran it.

    The salient point is it never made the main bulletins last night.

    Today is shaping up to be NSW Labor @ ICAC ‘poison’.

  25. victoria

    I actually think its going to be October. If he thought he could I suspect PMKR would go for November.

    I do think the pick of September 14 was for important reasons by PMJG and thus I do not think it will be earlier than that.

    The team is being assembled as we read. The team has to have time to work. The Obama campaign social media strategy was always long not short term.

    So I see the signs pointing to later rather than sooner

  26. mike MIKE

    we had 12 percent and up to 15 we had to pay in interest our sons ( one son in law it s dutch custom to call them both sons}

    have pharmacies, now they don’t as yet own them but hats off to them for at such a young age going in to business

    I don’t want my daughter ( NO daughter in law yet wish there was] so does son by the way.

    have the worries we had, I still get tears when I remember moving out or out beloved home ,

    and being told by a nasty nasty liberal senator\

    frazer gov. I never have any empathy with frazer and what he says now, and to cap that off he was army minister when

    oh won the raffle for national service

    so when I see people here write about nice mr frazer

    well enough said

  27. Today’s Chris Hadfield is Ferrara, Italy.

    Interesting photo. Thanks, Fess.

    BTW, for crime/detective fiction fans, Ferrara is home city of (sub-titled) Inspector Soneri – the gloomy, fog-shrouded, urban reverse to sunny Sicily’s Montalbano; but with the same problems – those both share with their Scandinavian & UK equivalents, and ours; including AS, illegal immigrants, drugs & crime “barons”.

    Though, as with Montalbano, coffee, food & vino play significant mouth-watering roles (I wish those cooks would emigrate here. Now! To have that sardine/ clam/ crab spaghetti, sauces etc available just down the road …), as does the inevitable phone call as soon as the Inspector starts eating.

    Short of a substantial Lotto win, I’ll probably never get back on an OS Jet Plane (I can’t get health insurance), so I treasure video-tourism’s revived memories & new experiences my detective series’ phreak “fixes” provide. 🙂

  28. guytaur

    Going to an election in October, would necessitate a return to parliament on August 20. Not a good move for team Labor in my view. Rudd’s strength is campagining. Returning to parliament with the minority govt in the HOR is not wise

  29. victoria

    Yes I know the argument about parliament. I do not buy it.

    Parliament is the major weakness for the LNP and I think the cross bench support for Labor will be stronger.

  30. guytaur

    I disagree. The coalition will accuse team Rudd of being scared to go to an election, and go with the meme of chaos in the govt. too risky in my view

  31. victoria

    Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink


    Going to an election in October, would necessitate a return to parliament on August 20. Not a good move for team Labor in my view. Rudd’s strength is campagining. Returning to parliament with the minority govt in the HOR is not wise

    be an interesting tactic to have Parliament sit before the election.

    Introduce legislation to remove the carbon price and move to ETS. How would Abbott vote? Against the legislation and keep the “big bad tax”?

    It would funny to watch him twisting and turning so much he’d look like a pretzel

  32. Victoria

    I just cannot see an election on 7 September. The G20 is then and while normally this might be missed Australia takes over the presidency and the next one is in Brisbane. It would be quite insulting NOT to be there, as well as very difficult for our public servants.

    I guess the GG could go but it would be pretty bizzare and we could not even send a Deputy PM or Treasurer given they both will be trying to hang on to semi marginal seats.

    September 21 is MORE likely and Rudd invites Abbott to Summit.

  33. The ABC might have caved in on Tollgate last night, but it must have been a dark cave as there is zilch, zero, nothing from the ABC on the story this morning.

    The West has touched upon it but more in terms of the general new “tent policy” for Nauru rather than the insider stuff. In part of this article it was noted that a Channel 7 cameraman went but that he had paid his way to the island.

    Incidentally, the AFR business writer (Hewitt?) now claims that Rudd “has always wanted to go late” though his colleagues might want to go earlier.

    For as much as her speculation is worth any more than anyone else’s she is speculating late September. Will be interesting to see if the new “popular” date of September 7 comes and goes.

    All the news in Perth is about the new local government boundaries which has essentially blotted out everything else.

  34. AA

    Not worth the headache in my view. We shall see what team Labor decide to do, but delaying the election until October will be counterproductive

  35. I applaud the GRNs new policy on funding the regional UNHCRs and taking from those newly created queues in our annual offshore quota.

    Ive been arguing for this approach for years, and unlike the populist slop dished up by both our majors, this is not only the right thing to do, but will be far more effective in slowing unauthorised boat arrivals by the 90% who are refugees with nowhere else to go (as opposed to the 10% who are economic migrants).

    It gets rid of the peverse incentive to take boats that the LNP and ALP have created over years by not demonstrating clearly that patience, and a UNHCR refugee status determination, will actually get you somehwere evenutally.

  36. [Going to an election in October, would necessitate a return to parliament on August 20.]

    Not necessarily. Writs issued around that date can enable an election as late as 12 October.

    And there’s also proroguing parliament too (although it’s rarely a good look)

  37. The ALP would be wise to subtly replicate this (adjusting numbers if they want) as it make their other measures look like they are actually working.

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