Election guide and BludgerTrack review

The Poll Bludger’s guide to the 150 House of Representatives electorates is now in business. Also featured: a closer look at the BludgerTrack poll aggregate’s movements since the start of the campaign.

The Poll Bludger’s federal election guide is now live and accessible from the link on the sidebar. Featured are profiles of all 150 House of Representatives electorates, in one shape or another. Comprehensive profiles are featured for Labor seats up to around 12% in margin and Coalition seats up to around 3%. Much of the content will be familiar to those of you who have been following Seat of the Week over the past year, although ongoing political tumult has required a considerable amount of revision. Things remain to be fleshed out for some of the safe Labor seats and a lot of the non-marginal Coalition ones, but at the very least each page comes equipped with candidate lists and graphics showing census results and voting history.

A review of BludgerTrack is in order while I’m here, as we now have a full week of campaign polling after yesterday’s slightly delayed publication of Essential Reserch. It’s clear that the evenly matched polling which followed the return of Kevin Rudd, and which was starting to look alarmingly sticky from a Coalition perspective, has unpeeled over the past fortnight. Close observation suggests this has not entirely been a phenomenon of the election campaign, the Coalition having already pulled ahead over the weekend of an election date announcement which came on the Sunday, after much of the polling had already been conducted. Aggregating the polling over the period has the Coalition already a shade over 51% on two-party preferred, to which they added perhaps a little under 1% over the first week of the campaign. The Greens seem to have made a neglible dividend out of the government’s harder line, their vote being stuck in the 8% to 9% range on BludgerTrack since the beginning of June.

Looking at the progress of state breakdowns over that time, the outstanding change is a 4% swing away from Labor in all-important Queensland, consistent with the notion of a “sugar hit” that got added impetus from a home-state feel-good factor, and is now fading across the board. After showing as many as six gains for Labor in Queensland in the weeks after Rudd’s return, Labor’s yield on the BludgerTrack projection is now at zero, and briefly fell into the negative. So it’s not hard to imagine that Labor strategy meetings last week might have been spent contemplating ways to hold back the Queensland tide, and easy to understand why the name of Peter Beattie might have come up. The most recent data points suggest this may indeed have improved Labor’s position by as much as 3%, but it will be a bit longer before this shows up on BludgerTrack, if indeed it doesn’t prove illusory.

Elsewhere, Labor support looks to have come off to the tune of 1%-2% in New South Wales and South Australia and perhaps slightly less in Victoria. The interesting exception is Western Australia, where there has essentially been no change on a result which has Labor well in the hunt to poach two Liberal seats. The main political story out of the west over this period has been hostile reaction to a post-election state budget highlighted the a bungled cut to an excessively popular solar panel subsidy scheme. This has made the Barnett government the target of public attacks from federal MPs who have been open in their concern about federal electoral impacts. It may perhaps be worth noting that Western Australia is the only state without a daily News Limited tabloid.

A Newspoll result on best party to handle asylum seekers has been the most interesting item of attitudinal polling to emerge over the past week, since a point of comparison is available from a few weeks ago rather than the pre-history of the Gillard era. Whereas the Coalition fell on this measure from from 47% to 33% after the government announced its Papua New Guinea solution, the latest poll has it back up to 42%. Labor has nonetheless maintained its gain from the previous poll, having progressed from 20% to 26% to 27%, with the slack coming from “another party” and “don’t know”. Even so, the re-establishment of a solid double-digit lead to the Coalition is interesting, and a challenge to the notion that the recent poll move away from Labor has entirely been down to a “fading sugar hit”.

UPDATE (Morgan phone poll): Morgan has a small-sample phone poll of 569 respondents conducted on Monday and Tuesday night which headlines results on personal ratings, but if you burrow into the detail there’s a wildly off-trend result on voting intention with the Coalition leading 57-43 on two-party preferred from primary votes of 52% for the Coalition, 31% for Labor and 9% for the Greens. Reflecting what was obviously a bad sample for Labor, the poll has Kevin Rudd’s lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister narrowing to 46-43 from 52-36 at the last such poll a month ago. Rudd is down five on approval to 40% and up nine on disapproval to 49%, while Abbott is up four to 42% and down six to 48%.

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.

2,674 comments on “Election guide and BludgerTrack review”

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  1. Re: The LNP preferencing the Greens after the ALP …

    1. That suits me fine. Every preference from a Liberal to a Green is a repudiation of Abbott … We will see how many LNP voters follow Abbott.

    2. It only becomes effective when a Liberal finishes behind a Green on primaries. There are very few seats where that occurs.

    3. There would be no point in the ALP following suit (see reason #2 but sub “Labor” for Liberal. I’m not even sure there is such a seat.) More broadly though, it would imply that the ALP regards the LNP as less of a threat to good governance than The Greens which claim would contradict their claim that one must vote ALP to protect programs such as the NBN, carbon pricing, the MRRT and support Same Sex Marriage etc. That would imply that ALP voters should ignore the preference guidance, since The Greens are certain to support these. The Greens would simply say that such a policy affirms that the ALP sees its loyalty to the political duopoly as more important than ideas and policies it claims were important.

    On a side note, the claim by the ALP (on a poster in Denison, apparently) that if you vote Wilkie you get Abbott (presumably in a positive sense) simply makes the ALP appear foolish. Abbott would be on much stronger ground making the opposite claim, since in the last parliament, Wilkie gave supply to Gillard and voted consistently with the regime. He even knocked back a huge porkbarrell from Abbott to build a new hospital in Tasmania preferring a more modest offer from the Gillard regime on governance grounds.

    The irony of this is that if Liberals in Denison believe the claim, they are more likely to preference Wilkie above the ALP. I don’t doubt that some ALP voters, offended by the transparent stupidity of this claim, will do likewise.

  2. [It only becomes effective when a Liberal finishes behind a Green on primaries. There are very few seats where that occurs]

    Only all the seats the Greens hoped to win.

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    George Bludger on Abbott’s problem with sex appeal.
    This is from Labor’s Emily’s Kist spokeswoman. ‘This is what women have to look forward to if Tony Abbott becomes PM – a man who will only give you the time of day if you float his boat. He will be, as George Bush Junior was for the United States, an international embarrassment for modern Australia if he is elected.’
    Jonathon Holmes on Rudd’s NewsCorp attack.
    Caroline Wilson on the interim annoncement by the AFL on Essendon.
    Mark Kenny starts on Abbott and Hockey and their refusal to expose their costings and how they will overcome the $58b of forecasted cumulative deficit over the next four years.
    Jack Waterford with a good article on what will motivate Aussie voters.
    GREAT ARTICLE: Laura Tingle on the ramifications of PEFO and what it means to the Coalition’s commitments and costings.
    I have a horrible feeling that Abbott’s gutless intransigence will win out here.
    This is hardly surprising.
    A very good piss take on Abbott after his “suppository” slipped out.

  4. Section 2 . . .

    Alan Moir with Popeye’s reaction to the release of the PEFO.
    MUST SEE: David Pope on Hockey’s performance on costings.
    MUST SEE: David Rowe with an unseemly look at the Coalition’s response to PEFO. (and check out the signature RM Williams boots in the far cubicle).
    Ron Tandberg also has a go at Abbott on costings.

  5. And yet this is still not the worst part of this story of the gap between the media and the news. One of the chief reasons Abbott was in Penrith was to announce an initiative for a community sport centre associated with the Panthers rugby league club. Problem is, it was something the local member for Lindsay, David Bradbury announced in June this year, along with Anthony Albanese

    This out and out stealing and rebadging of a Government initiative has gone unreported and unnoticed by the embedded media. And also by Phil Gould, the General Manager of the rugby league club, who probably should have known the truth of this matter before tweeting that it’s Abbott who supports the community and Panthers, rather than the initial people responsible for funding the initiative.

    The media train will continue to blandly report what is being said by the candidates, looking for amusing gaffes and the like, while actual news is left unreported and actual people are excluded. This is why our media coverage of this election will be as trivial, self serving and narrow as it ever was in previous elections. All spin, all press release, little substance.

    it turns out one journalist did get it right about the fact the Liberal Party is indeed just matching the Government’s commitment. It was a story by local Penrith Press journalist, Kevin Cheng that pointed that out.

  6. Fran at 1

    I would hope that the ALP has enough sense to preference the Greens ahead of the LNP in every HOR seat and every senate contest.

    Similarly one would expect the Greens to reciprocate.

    We often forget that across most of Australia there are two parties representing the Conservative side of politics but rarely are their separate popularities shown in Opinion Polling. If the question was asked and reported it would show that the Libs on their own are only marginally ahead of the ALP.

    The Greens are generally more popular than the Nationals except in Queensland.

  7. Morning All

    Seems a vote for the Liberals is a vote for Labor – seeing as there is very little difference between them in many ways so will it really matter? Adam Bandt is the Greens only real chance of winning anyway and can do it at any rate.

    Wonder what Abbott’s gaffe will be today???

    Great article by The Kouk on how Howard wiped out the debt – i.e. high taxes, selling assets and no infrastructure. Seeing as Abbott is promising lower taxes and building infrastructure (read roads) the only way he can reduce debt is to slash services – a worry

    Good to see Essendon, Hird etc charged – I hope the book is thrown at them. The lesson must be learned that what they’ve done isn’t on. Looks like ASADA is struggling to work out who took what so will keep looking. Most frustrating is Dank – he needs to be punished

  8. And tone continues with women are sexy.

    [Abbott said later on Tuesday that he was simply being “exuberant” when reporters asked him about Ms Scott.

    “She’s a mate of mine, I was exuberant,]

    Yeah sure tone says that about all the male candidates too.

    And Pru gets in on it.

    Pru Goward sees nothing wrong with drawing attention to a candidate’s sex appeal.

    “I think a lot of politicians are described as sexy,” she said. “I mean, I didn’t think Bob Hawke or Paul Keating were particularly sexy. “I liked them but I didn’t think… their sex appeal was often said.

    “I think it’s not unsurprising that people who want to take on leadership positions have a bit of pizzazz… a bit of charisma.”

    Did any journo ask what she thought of howies sex appeal.

  9. The Rudd bounce bubble is still deflating, and the next round of polls will see the Labor vote fall further.

    All over red rover, the bariatric* lady is singing….

    *When we get a Conservative government we won’t have to use politically correct language.

  10. ‘1. That suits me fine. Every preference from a Liberal to a Green is a repudiation of Abbott … We will see how many LNP voters follow Abbott.’

    Yeah great, we’ll see how many LNP voters follow Prime minister Abbott.

    The point being.

    Christ is this what we’re left with?

    Is this all there is left, really?

  11. ‘*When we get a Conservative government we won’t have to use politically correct language.’

    So you haven’t been listening to the right wing filth on radio then?

    I agree it’s all over and I hope with all my being that Abbott fucks you all over.

  12. Voters are being prepared for Tony Abbott to emulate Premier Colin Barnett and backflip on numerous election promises, according to high-profile WA Labor candidate Alannah MacTiernan.

    Mr Abbott’s federal campaign hit a speed bump today, when Liberal backbencher Don Randall said the coalition may have to consider going back on election promises given the poor state of the national budget.

    After Mr Abbott publicly chastised the MP for Canning, Ms MacTiernan claimed the comments were a sign of things to come, pointing out that during the WA election campaign, Mr Abbott had cited Mr Barnett as one of his political idols.

    “Mr Randall is setting the scene – even before the election – for Mr Abbott to be walking away from his election promises,” Ms MacTiernan said.

    “Mr Abbott has said he wants to model himself on Mr Barnett, and that would be a pretty frightening prospect after the last couple of months have seen a complete betrayal of the (Barnett election) commitments.”

    Model himself on Barnett, then he said Newman and lastly Kennett.

    Which Abbott will we if he is elected.???

    All three of his models lied to voters, went back on election promises and effectively introduced austerity models

  13. Morning all.

    That Daily Show clip was hilarious! Thanks rummel for posting that.

    Only quibble I have is the Diaz interview can clearly give an impression to the unknowing that that particular interviewer is representative of Australian journalists across the board – something the Daily Show host assumed.

    Americans might be surprised to learn that Aussies were just as gobsmacked at the man’s follow through with questions as they were!

  14. Rosemour or Less

    Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    ‘*When we get a Conservative government we won’t have to use politically correct language.’

    So you haven’t been listening to the right wing filth on radio then?

    I agree it’s all over and I hope with all my being that Abbott fucks you all over.
    If Abbott is elected he won’t only “f**k over” the Liberal voters, the rest of us will also suffer.

    We just won’t have egg on our faces from voting for an economic moron

  15. I still have trouble with the constant lies from the Liberal about “the poor state of the national budget”.

    Low unemployment albeit going up but it will still remain one of the lowest among developed countries
    Low debt to GDP ratio, and debt is being reduced
    Low inflation
    Low official interest rates

    If the national budget is in such a “poor state” and according to Abbott and Co in “emergency” – how can the Liberals afford to cut over $5 billion in revenue by reducing company tax.

    How can they afford to cut the revenue from the carbon price and the MRRT? But still afford the $4.5 billion in tax cuts and compensation?

    Cutting red/green tape does not make for savings or revenue to Government, it saves business money not Government.

    Sacking 12,000 public servants over a 3 year period does not provide $4.5 billion in savings.

    Whatever savings are made by a reduction(sic) in the numbers of asylum seekers held in detention is soon lost in the extra costs of having the Navy and Customs increasing patrols and conducting rescues/tow backs to “stop” the boats. (USA has had a “turn the boats back” policy for over 40 years…the boats have not stopped)

  16. Morning all. Election or not, this story is bad, far worse than Abbott’s gaff, and must be one of the most serious conflicts of interest to emerge in recent years:
    [The Queensland government has quietly appointed the wife of shadow treasurer Joe Hockey to the QSuper Board.
    Sydney-based Melissa Babbage, a self-made millionaire and former senior executive at Deutsche Bank, was appointed to the $45,000 position at the state public servant super fund without fanfare in June.]

    Q Super is the super fund holding money set aside for Queensland public servants superannuation liabilities. It is huge – over $50 billion. Babbage’s appointment is very inappropriate. OTOH she is the wife of the likely next Federal treasurer, who still has not explained where he will get tens of billions needed to pay for his unfunded promises. OTOH she now has control over how tens of billions, supposed to be for workers retirements, gets spent!

    Consider too Qld Premier Campbell Newman’s penchant for dreaming up expensive toll roads that then go bust. Will he now blow public servant’s super on them, with his mate’s wife to sign off the deals?

    Private investors are still angry at the collapse of Newman’s last round of PPP deals collapsing. Rightly so, they were bad deals. So no private financier wants to put money into them without government taking the risk. How do we pay for the next lot? Simple, take the money out of Qld public servants retirement savings.

    Q Super has been a very well performing fund, and previously not politicised. I was already getting good returns. There was no reason to bring in outsiders like this in the first place. With a lot of public servant being sacked by Newman, there might soon be calls by some to get their cash out.

    This conflict of interest is bad even compared to the cronyism Newman has shown in other appointments. This one involves HUGE amounts of money. The people involved have an obvious motive to use the cash for political ends.

  17. Tones view on women

    [Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.]

  18. [Q Super has been a very well performing fund, and previously not politicised. I was already getting good returns. There was no reason to bring in outsiders like this in the first place.]

    Abbott wants the industry super funds handed to the private sector, looks like Newman is showing him the way.

    Jennie George enraged Howard over the waterfront dispute when she said you may have got our jobs but you won’t get your hands on our super.

    Abbott is determined to correct that.

  19. Listening to some commentary re the Bombers this morning and it’s sounding like a very long shot that it will all get wrapped up on the 26th 🙁

    Off to court they go

    Bloody Bombers should just cop it sweet imo – when you play with fire and get burned you seek treatment not throw on some more petrol

    Anyways – off to work, enjoy day whatever we’re up to – bring on another gaffe!!!

  20. [The coalition must find at least $16 billion in new spending cuts or back tax increases to stop the Budget going further into the red.

    Although the Opposition has already identified $17 billion in savings – including cutting 12,000 public servants and delaying an increase in the superannuation guarantee – new figures from the departments of Treasury and Finance show the coalition needs to cut even deeper to prevent bigger Budget deficits.]

    Let’s hope the media increases its pressure on the coalition to reveal its costings.

    (P.S the photo in the article is another of Abbott holding his daughter’s hand – creepy. She’s an adult, not a primary schooler)

  21. Victoria @41

    Because the policies of the Greens are so extreme and unreflective of the general community that they deserve to be put last.

    Labor never had any qualms about putting One Nation last, behind the Coalition. Your double standards and holier-than-thou attitudes are boundless.

  22. How laughable

    [.@newscomauHQ Tony Abbott said he won’t do deals with minor parties, except the Nationals, and Katter, and Palmer. #AusVotes]

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