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”

Comments Page 53 of 54
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  1. Mexicanbeemer

    Go back and read AA in the previous page. More informative and based on real facts.

    You’re being a concern troll at this time of night, it’s late!

  2. AA

    We know all that but many people are not seeing the evidence.

    I suggest you visit places like Melbourne’s outer north.

    We can tell one another our much better Kevin is over Tone (which isn’t hard) but there are many that done see it hence the current polls.

    Although thanks to the gaffe-a-thon from Tone and a solid first week from the government we might start to see the polls narrow.

  3. AussieAchmed
    Posted Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 10:50 pm | PERMALINK

    Posted Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Mexicanbeemer @ 2459

    Just what is it that the government hasn’t delivered exactly?

    Low inflation
    Low official interest rates
    Low unemployment
    Murray- Darling Agreement
    Million houses with solar panels
    Since 2007 economy has grown 13%
    Construction of NBN commenced
    Disability Care
    Better Schools Program
    Gonski (cant recall new name)
    190,000 extra University places
    Dental Reform
    $60 billion invested in infrastructure
    Lower taxes
    Productivity growth
    Increased number of small businesses
    Computers in Schools
    Fair Work Act
    Managed Australia through the GFC.
    Low debt to GDP ratio

    this should be a scrolling list on a labor ad.
    with some fruity male actor reading.
    but i love the negative ads coming out.

  4. Lynchpin@2575

    Bemused, yes, I am doing what I can – street stalls and some phoning.

    I think it is seat by seat. Smart targeting of the marginal. In this seat we need to pull back 900 votes from the last election.

    Uhlman analysed the marginals tonight and came up with ALP having only 63 seats. Not sure what polling he was using though.

    Still a lot of the campaign to go and a lot of people are still making up their minds. I even struck a couple tonight who did not even know when the election was! 😮

    I missed 7.30 making phone calls so will catch up with it on ABC24 at 11:30 tonight. Abbott cannot keep avoiding exposure for ever.

    I agree, with some qualifications, with what TP has been saying about policies not being important. The average voter has no idea of the details of each party’s policies.

    What is coming through in my calls is concern about the economy and job security. If Labor can win the argument that it will manage the economy better, it will win the election. A lot of this will come down to confidence in Rudd and his team vs confidence in Abbott and his team.

  5. [Regarding the polls, there is no point being defeatist, as Bligh proved in the Qld election. That will make it worse.]

    I agree. Labor supporters should work their butts off to prove me wrong. If just to prevent a potential blowout. No matter how obvious a loss is, a party should never concede an election before polling day. Not because they might win but, rather, to avoid telling all of your hard working supporters not to bother any more.

  6. Bugler@2577


    I live in Bruce but am working on the Latrobe campaign, making phone calls on behalf of Laura Smyth. The reaction has been encouraging.

    Many questions about the Maccas in Tecoma? Had to ask (I have friends who work at the Lilydale McDonalds. Apparently people call them up and abuse them over the matter).

    Not one.

    Either it doesn’t rate or people see it is not a Federal Govt issue.

  7. one has to be heartened after 7.30 – the most dismal dishonest and understandably rare one on one interview – how can journalist or public take this one seriously? he intends to release evidence of economic management just before media black out. whether or not this has been done before is irrelevant to his own carping about economic whatever -and his treasurer saying costings just bore the public. one knows the enemy better this evening, and they are without honor.

  8. mexicanbeemer
    Posted Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 11:29 pm | PERMALINK

    True, it is a nice list, could be good in an ad

    yes labor does need to stand on its proud collective record – correct the terrible misrepresentations. greens too should be better collaborative case instead of exaggerating and bagging ‘old parties’ all the time – esp labor. FFS who do they think they are?

  9. GC 2591: “Extensive marginal seat polling in The Oz tomorrow”

    Not sure if related, but Reachtel polled our house in Coragamite tonight. Automated. 4 questions.

    Primary Vote ?
    Preferred PM ?
    Best to handle Asylum Seekers ?
    Is Abbott sexist ?

  10. Mick, Rudd may be a phony but the substance of most Labor and Liberal policies are completely different. Perhaps Labor supporters should be thankful that Rudd is a phony and that the apparent shift towards each other of the two major parties is his illusion – though I believe such an illusion is to Labor’s disadvantage.

    Perhaps I should have added another group whose belief that policies matter is being proven wrong by reality :P.

  11. mexicanbeemer

    Posted Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink


    We know all that but many people are not seeing the evidence.

    I suggest you visit places like Melbourne’s outer north.

    The weather is sh*t compared to the lovely north west of WA
    and airfares are very high at the moment.

    Fly Broome to Perth costs more than Perth to Melbourne.

    (Between you and me I think the lower fare to Melb is to try and get people to go there)

  12. Maybe i am just getting frustrated that someone that is as policy lazy as Tone can even be even let apparently along in front.

  13. Simon Baker@2554

    Lynchpin – NO, Morgan had a Coalition 52% PV on Monday and Tuesday and 57% on 2PP, so Nielsen would be down on that. It seems earlier polls this week for some reason (notes?) were terrible for the ALP, but as I said the gay marriage gaffe was only made yesterday and the sexist gaffe on Tuesday so neither would have filtered through yet. The trend will not be clear until Monday when all the week’s vents will have filtered through.

    Just because Gary Morgan claims to believe the notes thing could cause a 5-point blowout doesn’t mean anyone else has to. Things like bickering about debates, gaffes about SSM and so on have nowhere near the impact on voting intention that some people invest them with. They are virtually always things no-one much cares about bar those who had already made up their minds. The sexist comment thing I don’t think will have much impact either.

  14. Is everyone here doing primal scream therapy? A few thoughts: (1) about 13 million people will vote at the election; (2) they are getting their political information from a more diverse set of sources than ever before, which makes it harder than ever before for people to even know which “campaign” those voters are experiencing; (3) the main reputable polls show a reasonably close split of the electorate, leaning, at the moment and for some time past, to the coalition; (4) there may be other polling being done, of which some commenters here may be aware, but I can’t claim to know of it; (5) some people might claim a unique insight into the likely behaviour of swinging voters, but that’s not much different from divining water with a stick; (6) the parties all seem to be saving up their money for a blitz in the final weeks. Put that all together, and one would be foolish to bet the house on either side.

  15. Bemused,

    [Not one.

    Either it doesn’t rate or people see it is not a Federal Govt issue.]

    I’m almost disappointed. I’ve personally been surprised by the veracity of the opposition initially, wondered if they’ve considered getting the feds in, or making it an issue.

  16. One last thing

    Labor and Liberal have stated they will not deal with minor parties in a hung Parliament

    Labor and Liberals may one day need to form a Coalition to keep the minor parties and Independents from forming Govt…

  17. glory consequence – It depends entirly when the sample range was, only next week will all this week’s events have been included fully

  18. [What is coming through in my calls is concern about the economy and job security. If Labor can win the argument that it will manage the economy better, it will win the election. A lot of this will come down to confidence in Rudd and his team vs confidence in Abbott and his team.]

    Absolutely: people know times are pretty good, albeit with real cost of living pressures for many, but they also sense uncertainty ahead.

    Job security matters. Labor can win this argument. More important even than Abbotts cuts

  19. Job Security is key, if the ALP can and it has started to highlight the alternative.

    The business community even is starting to say that it expects things to be challenging under a Tone lead government due to the size of the purposed budget cuts.

  20. Sean

    Kept Australia out of recession during a period of a globally severe economic downturn.

    Created Super

    Are just two things.

  21. I will admit, even though I’m a morale officer by nature, that the Morgan was hard to blot out..

    But it only takes one poll that reinforces to what I think is still par – LNP around 51 or 52 – and that Morgans a rogue!

    Either way – campaign tll the 7th. You can whinge and moan- or celebrate – when it’s over!

  22. As I posted yesterday, look at the Morgan site. Even Morgan don’t believe the 57-43 result, which is why they buried a couple of pages down it under ‘For the Poll Nerds’. Especially since a Morgan poll of over 3,000 a few days previously was 50-50.

  23. Seriously, has anything noteworthy happened this week in the campaign? I have literally not heard a single person discuss the election this week.

  24. [Seriously, has anything noteworthy happened this week in the campaign? I have literally not heard a single person discuss the election this week.]

    It has been very yawn. Abbott is a moron as usual, press report him as if he were a credible candidate.

  25. Dennis Shanahan in The Oz. Though I don’t know if this is a Newspoll marginal seats poll, a report on internal polling, or what:

    [LABOR faces a wipe-out on the NSW central coast where Kevin Rudd’s popularity has crashed below his already flagging national personal support and Tony Abbott is clearly the preferred prime minister. Labor support in the seats of Robertson and Dobell has fallen seven percentage points since the 2010 election on a two-party-preferred basis, which would put Liberal MPs into both seats. If the swing in the two marginal electorates were repeated in other NSW marginal Labor seats, it would be catastrophic for the Rudd government, handing the opposition up to seven other seats, not including New England and Lyne, which the Coalition is expected to pick up after the retirement of independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott.]

  26. Ah, here we go:

    [According to a Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian in Dobell and Robertson last weekend, Labor’s primary vote was 35 per cent, eight percentage points down from the 2010 election, and the Coalition primary support was 50 per cent, up eight points since the last election. On a two-party-preferred basis, based on preference flows at the 2010 election, Labor’s support is down seven points to 46 per cent and the Coalition’s is up seven points to 54 per cent.]

  27. “What has Labor ever done for me??”

    It has saved you from growing up in a country that resembles a derelict state of the USA… you abject moron

  28. Steve777@2635

    As I posted yesterday, look at the Morgan site. Even Morgan don’t believe the 57-43 result, which is why they buried a couple of pages down it under ‘For the Poll Nerds’. Especially since a Morgan poll of over 3,000 a few days previously was 50-50.

    I think it is more that that poll was primarily a PPM/approval poll and that voting intention was not its major purpose. I’m not even sure they have always published the voting intention results for those.

  29. GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 2m

    #Newspoll Seats of Dobell & Robertson 2 Party Preferred: ALP 46 LIB 54 #ausvotes

    GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 2m

    #Newspoll Seats of Dobell & Robertson Primary Votes: ALP 35 LIB 50 #ausvotes

    GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 57s

    #Newspoll Seats of Dobell & Robertson Preferred PM: Rudd 41 Abbott 47 #ausvotes

  30. [Seriously, has anything noteworthy happened this week in the campaign? I have literally not heard a single person discuss the election this week.]

    The worst part is it hasn’t been boring because of a lack of superficial sideshows or anything, but rather there has been little substance in the whole thing. I realise campaigns last 5 weeks and parties usually unveil their big stuff later in the campaign but it still has been rather shallow, even compared to 2007 and 2010.

  31. Mod Lib, you need to get out there and start convincing more NSW voters that they’re being lazy with their cricket bats :P.

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