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. To add to William’s seat by seat commentary, in the oft overlooked seat of Charlton where Greg Combetbis retiring, the Liberal candidate Kevin Baker appears to have taken Tony Abbott’s “sex appeal” green light up with some gusto.

    [A LIBERAL candidate contesting former Minister Greg Combet’s seat has been forced to shut down a personal website after it was revealed that it had posted hundreds of lewd jokes about women and had links to pornography.

    Kevin Baker, a former council engineer contesting the NSW seat of Charlton and the owner of a car enthusiast web blog called Mini-mods -professed to engage in “Aussie banter”.

    Some of that banter, it has now been discovered, included jokes about the Pope being a paedophile, women having sex on pool tables and what Mr Baker himself calls “Tit-banter”.

    Mr Baker, whose handle on the site is “Baker” tells the joke of a “dishy blonde” in one post.

    The joke contains reference to a “stripper on my bucks night that I shagged on the pool table in front of all my mates while your mate whipped me with some wet celery and stuck a cucumber up my a…e?”

    Mr Baker, a former Australian Apprentice of the Year who now works as director of the children’s health charity HeartKids, boasted that there was no “swear filter”on his forum which he admitted on another social networking site he had owned since 2006.]

  2. Does Possum’s estimate of a few days (a week?) ago that Labor would win when you look at individual seats still apply?

    I trust Poss, but for Labor to win with these polling results would put all polls except much too expensive seat by seat polls into the useless class.

    I fear that we will have a LNP government come election night, after the victory speeches are over.

  3. Remember this from Abbott;

    when Mr Abbott delivered a major speech in London comparing Australia’s economic situation with that of Britain, the US and major European nations, emphasising in particular our low level of government debt – 8 per cent of GDP compared with 73 per cent in Britain and the US and 100 per cent in Italy.

    “On the face of this comparative performance, Australia has serious bragging rights,” Mr Abbott said. “Compared with most developed countries, our economic circumstances are enviable.”

  4. Approximately 2,500 employees at a Chilean copper mine have gone on strike against mining heavyweights BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) – which both own the mine – in search of higher pay and improved working conditions.

    At the beginning of this year, BHP’s and Rio’s respective new CEOs outlined the need to drastically reduce capital and operating costs in order to improve long-term sustainability. As a result, thousands of employees have lost their jobs and many have been forced to take pay cuts.

    Bet none of the Board/Executive lost their jobs or took pay cuts

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Speaking of unions . . .
    Nothing to worry about here. It’s only crap after all.
    Here iis windbag Tony Wright’s effort on the polls. Somewhat myopic with respect to the breadth of polls to which he refers.
    Michael Gordon calls Sloppy sloppy! And other things.
    A rather lame review of last night’s Q and A.
    MUST READ. Andrew Leigh with a good parody of Hockey’s costing methods. “You can’t repeal the laws of mathematics, Joe!”
    A very good article from Johm McTernan on how Labor can still win.
    The Essendon saga is taking on Blue Hills characteristics.

  6. And from the Land of the Free –

    An allegation that Chris Christie has been bought off by the NRA.
    Just as Orange Man Bohner endorses him for the Presidential run!
    Some cartoons on the Repugs’ difficulty in finding a suitable runner for 2016.
    The Repugs have some lovely women on board.
    Will this ruling on Plan B emergency contraception hold? Not given the proclivities of Middle American lawmakers.

  7. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 ‏@Thefinnigans 9h
    IMF has shown it was under Howard Costello the most wasteful and big spending ever #qanda

  8. Morning all. Thanks for the links BK as always. I did not see QandA, but I trust Bowen went well, as he has so far as Treasurer. Labor needs to stick to the same message throughout the campaign, both for appearing consistent, and because it is true. The opposition’s saving figures are a pack of lies.

  9. TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 ‏@Thefinnigans 14h
    @KRuddMP @AlboMP @SenatorWong “Premier Colin Barnett says Abbott’s deluxe PPL is too generous” – STOP the PPL


  10. [quote]I did not see QandA, but I trust Bowen went well, as he has so far as Treasurer. [/quote]

    I didn’t watch Q&A either, but apparently right-wingers think Hockey smashed Bowen, and lefties think Bowen smashed Hockey. I think they spent all night attacking each other, to be honest. Apparently they were both getting booed by the crowd or something

  11. BK
    It looks as if what Rowe is playing around with the old saying that the pen is mightier than the sword. In modern parlance, that the tank is more powerful than social media.

  12. Morning all.

    Assuming Labor do in opposition what they should, which is oppose all moves by the coalition to unwind its nation-building efforts in government, what is the earliest a DD election can be called by Abbott?

    I’m assuming the incoming Senate from July next year won’t be hostile to Labor/Greens. If it is a coalition-friendly Senate, then it will be harder to protect Labor’s reforms, but not impossible.

  13. Given the disproportionate rate of suicide among rural communities, this throwaway remark by a public servant is just awful.

    [A high-ranking State Government official is under pressure to resign after making a gibe about handing out razor blades to a farmer from a Wheatbelt community where there have been two suicides this year.

    Department of Agriculture and Food WA executive director Peter Metcalfe made the remark during a meeting in Perth last week to discuss the crisis in the eastern Wheatbelt.

    He issued a written apology to Narembeen farmer Murray Dixon late yesterday.]

  14. Good Morning

    The debate was a win for Bowen. Media today linking his remarks in the debate on costings with Mr Barnett’s comments of how unaffordable it is.

    Plus the revelation that fears were correct cuts for the ABC and SBS.

  15. [Plus the revelation that fears were correct cuts for the ABC and SBS.]

    Why should the ABC not be cut when Labor are cutting single mothers?

  16. The Supreme Court ensures the truth comes out about Barnett’s gas hub project. Now we know the environmental assessment process was tainted from the start:

    [Key to the Browse appeal was a claim the EPA’s recommendations were tainted because they had been influenced by board members who had conflicts of interests.

    All but one of the watchdog’s five-member board – Dr Vogel the exception – had to be removed from deliberations, but two of them continued to participate until just four months before the EPA released its final report in July last year.

    Chief Justice Wayne Martin agreed the EPA’s report had been unacceptably compromised and this meant that neither it nor the minister had validly discharged their duties.]

    The Barnett govt intends resubmitting its application for the project.

  17. Morning.

    As if things weren’t already bad enough, Tim Colebatch writes today that because of a range of preference deals there is a chance of Tony Abbott ending up with a friendly Senate.

  18. Oh and I would just like to laugh out loud at the greens for doing pref deals with Clive the not big dirty miner …..

    Talk about selling out

  19. [guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 7:48 am | PERMALINK

    We all here complain about the ABC and its coverage. An awful lot of that is due to cuts Howard made.]

    Still should not be exempt from cuts.

  20. triton:

    I observed only the other day that there seem to be more right-leaning candidates this election than in the past. If their preferences all lead (however round-a-bout) back to the coalition, then that an Abbott-controlled Senate is a real possibility.

  21. [guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 7:50 am | PERMALINK

    The Greens tell their voters to ignore the preference deals and to do their own preferences]

    I hope the greens do that…. Saying ta ta to SHY this election would be icing on the cake.

  22. “@latikambourke: PM Rudd asks if voters want Campbell Newman/Jeff Kennett cuts for Australia? Protestors ‘NO.’ #AusVotes”

  23. I agree with several comments last night – why did T Jones allow Hockey to interrupt the flow of every answer by Bowen? It’s the equivalent of acting as a spoiler for Labor. Its the Jones way in political interviews, OK, but it’s not appropriate for debates or panels.

    The Hockey interruptions are typical of every appearance by Libs. They can’t shut UP. Not in Parly, not on TV. Their smart-alec attitude is also transferred to Lib commenters on blogs. Rude and aggressive – but it has the desired result of their fans saying “Hockey (or whoever) won.” They can’t see that there is no real substance in the Libs.

  24. “@SamCD01: RT: “@latikambourke: The Coalition will hold its campaign launch in Brisbane this Sunday. #AusVotes” #ausvotes”

  25. [“@latikambourke: PM Rudd giving another fiery stump speech. Seems this is by far his best format. #AusVotes”]

    This does seem to be a good format for him, much to my surprise. I haven’t seen him this fired up since he and JBishop were mischief-making when she asked him about returning to Bougainville.

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