BludgerTrack: 52.6-47.4 to Coalition

Six new national polls have emerged over the past few days, animating much discussion about the relative merits of the various polling methodologies on offer.

The latest BludgerTrack poll aggregate update incorporates findings from no fewer than six national opinion polls which have emerged over the past 48 hours, with published two-party preferred figures ranging from 50-50 to 54-46 in favour of the Coalition. The latter figure happened to come from the highest profile name in the game, Newspoll, and was derived from an enlarged sample of 1676. Newspoll was one of two live interview phone polls out of the bunch, the other being the comparably authoritative (to my mind at least) Galaxy, which had the Coalition lead at 52-48. The others used different methods, and on balance had more favourable results for Labor. The weekly Morgan “multi-mode” poll, combining face-to-face, online and SMS surveying, had the Coalition leading 51-49 on its headline figure. However, this was derived from respondent-allocated preferences, the generally more reliable method of allocating preferences as per the previous election result concurring with Galaxy in having it at 52-48. Like Newspoll, this came from a larger than usual sample of 4515. Also on 52-48 was an automated phone poll of 1676 respondents from Lonergan, a new outfit whose managing director Chris Lonergan was formerly a research director at Galaxy, and previously worked at Newspoll and Roy Morgan.

The best results of all for Labor were both 50-50, and both came from online pollsters: the well-established Essential Research (976 respondents from this week, with the published figure being a two-week rolling average) and relative newcomer AMR Research (1134 respondents), which to my knowledge has now conducted three national polls. Throwing all these numbers into the trend and applying the usual weights and bias adjustments, BludgerTrack comes out at 52.6-47.4 in the Coalition’s favour, the general picture being that the Coalition has gained at or near 1% over three consecutive weeks. The state projections find Labor stubbornly clinging to its swing in Western Australia despite a general perception that the best it can hope for there is to gain the seat of Hasluck, and that even that looks doubtful.

The following is a very random aggregation of electorate-level snippets that I’ll shortly be using to update the Poll Bludger seat-by-seat election guide. See also the post below for reviews of the regional Victorian seats of Mallee and Indi.

Brisbane (Liberal National 1.1%): Laura Tingle of the Financial Review wrote at the start of the campaign that “both sides presume Teresa Gambaro’s seat of Brisbane will fall to Labor” (with two other Liberal National Party seats, Longman and Bonner, said to be “at risk”). That presumption has almost certainly faded since then, but Kevin Rudd has likely had half an eye on the seat in seeking to elevate same-sex marriage as an election issue. Patricia Karvelas of The Australian reports that Australian Marriage Equality has distributed 70,000 flyers in the electorate calling on Gambaro to declare her support.

Bennelong (Liberal 3.1%): Kevin Rudd has twice visited the seat famously lost by John Howard in 2007 and Maxine McKew in 2010, evidently hoping that his popularity among the electorate’s many Asian voters will lead to a boilover. During the first of these visits he promised to make Korean a priority language for the national curriculum. Labor’s candidate for the seat is Jason Yat-Sen Li, a businessman and high-profile figure in the Chinese community. In 1998 he ran as the lead Senate candidate of the Unity party, which was established to combat the rise of Pauline Hanson.

Bass (Labor 6.7%): Labor MP Geoff Lyons last week said he was “sincerely sorry• for telling an assembly of high school students that his Liberal opponent, Andrew Nikolic, has “misled” journalists about his role in the military. Lyons had claimed Nikolic had been a “bureaucrat” in Canberra for the last 25 years, a period encompassing his tenure as deputy commander of Australian forces in the early days of the Afghanistan war and commander in southern Iraq in 2005.

Solomon (Country Liberal 1.8%): Kevin Rudd last week made a contentious bid for support in the Darwin-based electorate by promising that within five years a “northern economic zone” would be established in the Territory, to which businesses would be lured through a corporate tax rate a third lower than the rest of the country. This looked notably similar to an idea the Coalition had floated earlier in the year with encouragement from Gina Rinehart, which had Lindsay MP David Bradbury contemplating “gold-plated footpaths in Karratha while people are stuck in gridlock in Sydney”. In a radio interview the following morning, Bill Shorten had to concede that the announcement had been news to him.

Macquarie (Liberal 1.3%): On August 10, Heath Aston of the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Liberal internal polling had the party gravely concerned about Louise Markus’s outer Sydney seat. As the report noted, Labor candidate Susan Templeman has been “conspicuous in Mr Rudd’s western Sydney campaign events”.

Hindmarsh (Labor 6.1%): Samantha Maiden of News Limited reported on Sunday that strategists from both parties expected this western Adelaide seat to fall to the Liberals, despite Labor member Steve Georganas’s solid margin. The report quoted a Labor strategist saying of South Australia: “If any seat is likely to fall it is Hindmarsh. The older voters and the Greeks don’t like the same-sex marriage stuff.” Internal polling was also said to have had the Liberals hoping to take Wakefield from Labor’s Nick Champion (margin 10.5%), with Kate Ellis’s seat of Adelaide (7.5%) and Tony Zappia’s seat of Makin (12.0%) “less likely to fall but still in play”.

Dobell (Labor 5.1%): Troy Bramston of The Australian reported on August 12 that Labor polling conducted at the end of July had them leading 55-45, with Craig Thomson recording a primary vote of 6%, but that the party was “more pessimistic now”. The contest has become slightly more complicated still with the entry of former test cricketer Nathan Bracken as an independent, running with financial support from colourful advertising mogul John Singleton.

Kennedy (Independent 18.3% versus Liberal National): Labor made a late substitution in Bob Katter’s seat after its initial candidate, Ken Robertson, was deemed to have gone overboard in accusing Tony Abbott of being a racist who wanted a return to the White Australian Policy. The new candidate is project engineer Andrew Turnour.

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.

1,097 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.6-47.4 to Coalition”

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  1. Stll haven’t got the correction Lefty E … all nouns get capitalised — hence Korrektion. Also, the honorific, Herr (which is also capitalised in English). 😉

  2. Now that I see some of the silly stuff Rudd said today (candidate name gaffes and so on), I reckon that too much time in the political company of Katter may be contagious.

  3. Kevin B
    [Now that I see some of the silly stuff Rudd said today (candidate name gaffes and so on), I reckon that too much time in the political company of Katter may be contagious.]
    And the hand gestures, the hand gestures, what about the juggler hand gestures!? Reminded me of “Liar Liar” where Jim Carrey plays a game with his kid and forms “The Claw” with his hand.

  4. Seems finally Abbott’s PPL Policy got to Labor HQ:

    Peter Martin ‏@1petermartin 11h

    A comprehensive account. Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave policy: high cost, low benefit, by @GrogsGamut: #ausvotes
    Retweeted by Senator Penny Wong

    Simon Banks ‏@SimonBanksHB 1h

    They just want hide @tonyabbottmhr’s plan to penalise self funded retirees to finance LNP #PPL @DrCraigEmerson

    Simon Banks ‏@SimonBanksHB 1h

    Apparently @theqldpremier backs slugging self funded retirees to fund @tonyabbottmhr’s #PPL 100%

    Malcolm Fraser ‏@MalcolmFraser12 1h

    Read this, retires pay for Abbott’s ppl scheme, no wonder he did not want to explain,
    Retweeted by Senator Penny Wong

    Whether or not they do anything about it entirely different thing :S

  5. @Mick77/1054

    I see to remember certain comments such as “shit happens” and other comments – from a certain alternative PM.

  6. Anyone here care to explain how a self funded retiree on say $50K a year derived from an Australian share portfolio with franking credits will be impacted by the 1.5% PPL tax?

  7. lefty e
    Someone must be reading your optimistic Ruddy posts.
    That was the shortest-lived top odds at sportingbet in living memory. Now 1.08/7.50 from 1.07/8.50 an hour ago or less. Or the rumour of the $100,000 bet was actually for the ALP.

  8. Rossmore
    [Anyone here care to explain how a self funded retiree on say $50K a year derived from an Australian share portfolio with franking credits will be impacted by the 1.5% PPL tax?]
    I’ll have a go. If we assume that 50% of income is from shares and all dividends are fully franked then currently on $25k of dividends there’ll be a franking credit of 30/70*25k, ie $10,714. If the company tax rate reduces (and we’re talking about 2-3 years time) then the factor becomes 28.5/70*25k or $10,178, so in this example a loss of $500 or so, or 1% of income.

  9. @Rossmore/1057
    “So a superannuation fund obtains a franking credit equal to the tax paid by the company. Those franking credits are currently calculated at a tax rate of 30 cents in the dollar. When the Abbott-Hockey plan is introduced the franking credits will be calculated on the basis of 28.5 cent in the dollar. They are worth less and so the retirees and those saving to pay for retirement cop the bill because Abbott and Hockey have simply swapped a tax for a levy aiming to lower the franking credit.”

  10. Sorry, should be 28.5/71.5*25k giving an extra $200 reduction in income. However, in theory the company can increase the dividend because it’s paying less tax so it could a smaller or no real difference in divd + franking credit.

  11. Oh – I’ve answered the other half of the question – the effect of the reduction in company tax because that’s the one that everyone’s asking. For the top companies there’ll be no potential for increasing dividend so the reduction in my post 1059 stands. For other companies the potential to increase dividend comes into play, as per post 1061. Most monies would be invested on the top companies however.

  12. @Mick77/1061

    I disagree, if there is no difference, then Abbott and Joe would not have done it.

    The fact they have changed it, means there is someone will get more somewhere down the line, and it looks like it’s certainly not the retirees.

  13. Rossmore@ 1057
    You got some tech answers. I would suggest a simpler one.Sweet F A. The reduction in franking credits will affect people who are in a higher tax bracket more than most self funded retirees.

  14. Lindsay classic

    [THE Liberal Party has scrapped a preference deal with the Christian Democratic Party in the must-win seat of Lindsay after a candidate described gay men as having a “lower life span” than heterosexual males. ]

  15. There are a lot of intelligent people on here, but perhaps not so much with tax advice.

    If you get paid a fully franked dividend of x then the tax office says your income is 1.3 times x and you have atax credit of 0.3 times x.

    Now if your marginal tax rate is 30% you have no more tax to pay.

    In the PPL world the tax office now as you have income of 1.285 times x and a tax credit of 0.285 times x. If your income is high enough that your marginal tax rate is 30% you now owe extra tax.

    That is ow the SFR loses under PPL

  16. @Vernula Publicus/1067

    Yup, which is why I said that Abbott and Hockey would not have changed it unless it would effect someone down the line somewhere.

    (like most policies to at some point).

  17. If PPL and the associated tax changes were a Labor idea the Murdoch-Liberal-National Coalition would not bother with calculating franking credits. They would simply declare that self-funded retirees and families and nurses and pensioners and anyone else they approve of bear the cost and trot out glum-looking families saying their grocery bill has sky-rocketed to pay for it. Repeat, repeat and repeat again and ignore or deflect any requests to justify their assertions.

    Of course, with PPL, the basic question is: why are people earning $150K being prioritised over other areas that could benefit from a $6 billion boon. To nominate government spending of which even Conservatives approve, Defence, handouts to private schools, bigger subsidies for private health insurance premiums or flagpoles for schools.

  18. I should add that the CLP guy was askde for his source for the comment on gay lifespan and couldn’t cite it.

    There is a study with shows homosexuals have an 8-20 year decrease in lifespan but its methodology has been criticised.

    When HIV was deadly and common, that might have been true but I imagine that isn’t the case anymore, although I know the rate of suicide amongst homosexual men is very high.

  19. Vernula 1067
    No – your post is rubbish. See the maths in my post 1059. The denominator is 100 less the tax rate.
    Furthermore self-funded retirees pay no tax on their retirement stream from a super fund (under 100k pa income) so the franking credit is paid to the retiree’s super account.

  20. Your probably right crikey. That’s probably the most vulgar post I’ve made. I’ll put it down to the drop in temp from Qld to SA and the barrage of electoral posters on every telegraph pole on the side of the road and the Sarah h young adds every 30 sec down here.

  21. hasn’t kevin won yet?
    this is ridiculous. i want more reform and do not want to waste years of life thinking about the liberal goons and economic vangle and ayn rand delusions.

  22. Mick77

    And hello to you. Don’t think we’ve met but I am impressed with your ability to immediately size up my abilities based on one post.

    In fact my maths is a precise description of the tax act – you have now introduced additional assumptions.

  23. 1071

    I think you mean the CDP not the CLP. It is not the Christian Lemocratic Party or the NT component of the Coalition.

  24. [THE Liberal Party has scrapped a preference deal with the Christian Democratic Party in the must-win seat of Lindsay after a candidate described gay men as having a “lower life span” than heterosexual males]

    I think I remember it being reported that Eric Abetz (who is apparently a smoker) was overheard joking that being gay was worse for your health than smoking.

    You quite often hear the family values types trotting out the “being gay is bad for your health and shortens your life-span” line. But what exactly is their point? You may as well say that being Aboriginal is even worse for your health. But people can’t stop being Aboriginal.

  25. Vernula
    You began yr post with
    [There are a lot of intelligent people on here, but perhaps not so much with tax advice.]
    and what you wrote is rubbish after your pompous intro, in regard to both how franking credits are calculated and how SFR are reimbursed. I did not sum up yr abilities but correctly said that yr post was rubbish and you should refer to my post 1059 which shows exactly what happens to a SFR for dividends from large companies subject to both 1.5% PPL tax and 1.5% tax reduction, assuming half of a SFR’s income is from dividends in large companies. Overall reduction in income is about 1.5%. In smaller companies the effect could be smaller because the potential to increase dividends exists. My advice is both free to PBers and correct!

  26. [lefty e
    Someone must be reading your optimistic Ruddy posts.
    That was the shortest-lived top odds at sportingbet in living memory. Now 1.08/7.50 from 1.07/8.50 an hour ago or less. Or the rumour of the $100,000 bet was actually for the ALP]

    Yeah that was me. They took an IOU on my two wives’ future PPL money.

  27. I hate to inject a sour note into all this argy bargy about the SFRs payng for baby policy but …

    As far as I can tell, even if some SFRs well off enough to have a tax bill are $1500 or so a year worse off, they will still have been the beneficiaries of extraordinarily generous tax treatment — so generous that even they would be shamed to protest.

    Now I continue to regard Abbott’s PPL as very poor policy, utterly at odds for example with Hockey’s remarks on “entitlement”. It would be delicious that in playing the populist middle class welfare card and trying to outflank the ALP on women, Abbott disrupted his hold on SFRs. But for anyone to say that this is “war on SFRs or the aged” is laughable.

  28. @Fran/1082

    How is having $1500 worst off not “war on the SFR or aged” ?

    $1500 is alot to older generation.

    They need alot of money as it is.

  29. 1082

    People do not get to have extraordinarily generous tax treatment by being too ashamed to to protest if the Government decides to reduce their benefit.

    They should be ashamed but they are, generally, not.

  30. Mick77

    And then again you could be right

    To rephrase my point – which may be your point in different language

    If dividend is x and fully franked then total income is taken to be 10/7 times x and tax credit is 3/7 times x. If personal tax rate is 39% then no more tax to pay

    In new world, dividend is x and total income is 98.5/70 times x with tax credit of 28.5/70 times x

    If tax rate is 30%then extra tax to pay.

    I think we are therefore in agreement.

    Next – where company pays for PPL there is tax cut for company and so nomossibity to pass on star dividend so above is true.

    For small company it is possible some of lower tax may be passed on to dividend but it could also flow into lower prices for the company’s products – so not clear that dividends go up

    You are of course right that the tax freeness of super income streams makes a lot of tis moot

  31. It seems the ‘man of the people act’ by Abbott and Rudd’s only in it for himself has gone done well with the punters. However, there’s more than one way to skin an a cat.

    I guess there’s the launch still to come so I would probably mention things like

    “it’s been humbling going round the country and meeting people who need a responsible and effective government…

    like the parents (or specific person) who want a needs based educational outcome for their child unlike the opposition who haven’t had an educational policy for 18 years(?), is that what is best for our country?

    like those who need a funded health /dental /hospital/ disability care system and the extra funded doctor/nurses places to prepare for an ageing population or the opposition’s cuts to front line services as we saw under the coalition state governments in Vic and Qld with x amount of nurses etc. sacked. is that what is best for the country?

    like the NBN which will unleash some people from their office, free some small businesses to compete worldwide, put regional Australia into a competitive position or the opposition’s plan for copper that will fulfill capacity in 4 years and have to be replaced? is that what is best for the country?

    Run through the whole policy gamut, that hasn’t been reported over the years.

    Then imo Rudd’s most effective line “it’s difficult to build things up, but very easy to tear them down”.

    Finish on future plans.

    Others mentioning that Abbott is a devout catholic who trained to be a priest is a fair idea.

  32. I wish voters were actually swung by good policy ideas and vision rather than platitudes, personalities, canards and campaigns that are literally run on the notion that investment in the nation’s future is to be avoided at all costs.

    Can anyone here actually believe that we’re about to elect a party that wants to repeal an Emissions Trading Scheme that is leaving people no worse-off while reducing emissions; to replace it with a scheme whereby the government spends our money paying polluting industries to pollute less?

    And then you find out that there’s a four billion dollar funding gap in it and that it wont even work.

    Doesn’t even get into the NBN v Fraudband mismatch… or the PPL/carbon-tax-compensation vote-buys, or the fact that they’re cutting taxes on corporations having invented a “public debt crisis” to flood the airwaves with.

    To be honest, I don’t think most voters even understand cause-effect.

  33. OK while you were all asleep I have been to the Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world here in Dubai 282 floors never have I been in a lift that travels so fast nor so many people, unfortunately a heat smog was not good for the sunset it was 43c today my poor tablet’s camera stopped this morning while I was out walking I was drinking water flat out 😀

  34. Nice Killerbees.

    I’d add reference to productivity gains and emmission reduction. These are certainties with the NBN, particularly for rural voters who don’t all need to be farmers, or have periods of the year or climate cycle when they could earn some cash with online ventures. Not having access to fibre from the home could prove a barrier to entry for many innovative online services, not to mention being prevented access to these new services by crap restrictive fraudband.

  35. As the election gets closer, the undecided voters are going to decide on the coaltion. Its been 6 years of failures and deceit and Australia deserves a lot better. People can see through the lies and negativity of the Labor Party. Even Politifacts came out and said the negative advertisements are “false”. Only very stupid people would give Labor and the Greens more chances. The polls are bound to get worse for Labor and the Greens as the election approaches!

  36. For a person to lose $1,500 in franking credits they would have to had received at least $100,000 in fully franked dividends from the companies required to pay the PPL levy and it’s not quite that simple as it depends on working out the overall tax impact of grossing up the dividends and applying the franking credits.

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