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. in case rudd minder visits here: lines from rudd (and bowen)

    debt level is not short term problem – it can be easily serviced – debt, and deficit, need to be controlled and plateaued – all parties agree – but to drastically reduce debt say $40 a year through cuts is dangerous – will lead to unemployment, welfare costs, less revenue etc … a lot more than the $1.5 billion in interest payment on total debt that would be saved. the main liberal economic aim is flawed and economically dangerous. there is good reason for AAA rating – current debt levels, caused mainly by loss of revenue, as well as stimulus, are manageable and not cause for alarm that is being exploited by liberals. qed

  2. I’m still baffled as to why Andrew Leigh, a treasurer in waiting, was shunted by Rudd after he resumed office.

    As to the whole ASADA/Essendon thing I get the feeling that WADA will just come in over the top and go whack when the time comes. ASADA and the AFL are just amateurs.

  3. Bob Ellis is certainly a good drop this election

    “After today, when the wheels fell off paid parental leave, it became clear again that what I instinctively, telepathically felt six weeks ago, that Labor would win this with 56.8 percent, two party preferred.

    Or perhaps you disagree.”

  4. [@TheAviator1992: Abbott heckled at a photo stunt, which involved him looking at a pot hole #auspol #ausvotes]

    Honestly, the absurdity of things he’s spent time looking at in the last 3 years. And not one of them has led to any meaningful or constructive outcome for the country.

  5. Kevin – I said earlier Rudd seemed fumbly but showed more passion than he has recently. Shorten went hard at NPC defending Labor’s record and it was good to see.

    It’s a change of tack. Softly softly wasn’t work. Going hard night not either but at least it’s passionate.

  6. sean

    are you paid to hang around here 24/7 with your lazy short text bites recycled from liberal propaganda sheets? you get 50 times attention a piece of dessicated seaweed deserves – gracefully you will be one of a thousand items of detritus in weeks to come.

    tell me – why is 2 billion a year saving in interest worth the pain

  7. Bob Ellis is certainly a good drop this election

    “After today, when the wheels fell off paid parental leave, it became clear again that what I instinctively, telepathically felt six weeks ago, that Labor would win this with 56.8 percent, two party preferred.

    makes MB a pessimist.

  8. the australian economy is in great shape and labor have proven they can manage – only party to manage – through current difficult circumstance. 2003 it aint, and to cite howard is a delusion. refugees nos and type have also increased and changed – i yearn for considered controlled investigative journalism that gets beyond the slogans

  9. The sports station I listen to has newsbreaks which are usually spruiking Abbott and his cronies.

    I was shocked this evening to hear an excerpt of a woman telling Abbott wtte that he had no right ruining her shopping day by presenting himself in her electorate. That after his disgusting sexist comments, he was not fit for high office.

  10. battle turkey

    yes we struggle for word to describe – and poetry it aint

    “For better or for worse we are about to enter the age of old creepy and his discomfortingly misplaced modern machismo. A modern beast-man, a creature fit only to howl at the moon, stuffed inside an overly-exercised human skin, only the eyes offering a glimpse – as though through a dirty window – of the haunted monster within. Oh, we shall weep for our salvation.”

  11. Sean Tisme go back a page look at the comments about stock exchange v betting market.

    The voting public does not give a thought to the betting market.

  12. victoria:

    Abbott is a thoroughly disliked individual by a large number of people.

    They should be rejecting him and the coalition outright.

  13. Nathan Thomas ‏@MrPinkCarpet 1h
    At the Warringah candidate discussion and Arthur sinodinos is representing Tony Abbott and he has been heckled. This has never happened b4

    Pete Beaver ‏@petebeaver 1h
    @MrPinkCarpet @HyperBrendan because he is representing TA or because TA did not show?

    Nathan Thomas ‏@MrPinkCarpet 42m
    @petebeaver @HyperBrendan because @TonyAbbottMHR didn’t attend his own electorate debate. Crowd was fuming

  14. ST
    [The ALP have now blown out to 8 Bucks Fiddy on Centrebet]
    Where I’m looking, sportingbet, Rudd has cracked through the $8 barrier, now 1.07/8.50 – congrats to Rudd on the great achievement as he nears Gillard’s peak odds (9 or 10 bucks from memory).

    Kevin B
    [Got the impression from tonight’s news someone might have told Rudd to fire up more and show more passion.]
    Doesn’t look like it’s helping him yet but it’s good practice for juggling.

  15. Speaking of betting. I heard on the grapevine that there has been large single bets of $100,000.00 being put on the coalition to win

  16. During the period of the PS the world wide the number of people seeking asylum dropped, the number of refugees dropped. There approximately 23million.

    Since 2008 the number of people displaced has increased t around 45 million – now around 23,000 per day.

    Liberal ignore these facts like they ignore the fact that the GFC happened.

    They are living in delusion state of mind believing that if they win the election on Sept 7 on Sept 8 all will return to as it was in 2006. The world has moved and they have not.

  17. In fairness to Rudd, you’d expect the odds on the long shot to lengthen as the election approached. The probability of a game-changing event occurring diminishes together with the time left for it to happen.

  18. Still lots of fun at ask bolt

    @PositiveTony: How do I get Tony Abbott to buy me a new road, if I don’t live in a marginal seat?

  19. The closing down of the Pacific Solution was with bi-patisan agreement. The Liberals were members of Joint Committee

    “1 December 2008
    Government welcomes a bipartisan report on immigration detention The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, today welcomed the first report of the inquiry into immigration detention by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration.

    Senator Evans said he was pleased that the Committee, which includes senior Liberal MPs and the Shadow Immigration Minister Sharman Stone, has endorsed the Rudd Government’s abolition of John Howard’s inhumane approach to immigration detention.”

    Sharman Stone on the ABC:
    LEIGH SALES: Does that mean – sorry to interrupt, but I just want to pick up on that point. Does that mean then that we need to see the reinstatement of the TPVs, and the Pacific Solution?

    SHARMAN STONE: We don’t need the Pacific Solution now, that’s Nauru Island and Manus Island, because we have the Christmas Island centre completed. A very well structured and appropriate facility for people who need to be, of course, detained very, very, so I say humanely, so they very quickly can have their identities, their security, their character and health status checked. So we don’t need alternatives to Nauru and Manus island, we have Christmas Island.

    “So back in 2008 the Coalition fully supported Labor’s move to dismantle the Pacific Solution, Why ? Because PM John Howard had decided to spend $400 million upgrading the Christmas Island detention centre to a facility that would accommodate 800 asylum seekers. Why would he do that if the boats had stopped coming?

    Obviously John Howard was thinking “down the track”, he knew that the Pacific Solution was unsustainable, he realised that it was only a matter of time before the Pacific Solution would have to be scrapped because it was a very expensive and extremely inhumane policy to stop the boats.”

    Labor went to the 2007 election with the dismantling of the Pacific Solution as a key policy. Imagine the howls of outrage from all the Righties if they’d “broken yet another election promise”. And it wasn’t just the Left that cheered, it was the majority of Australians. The opposition supported it, News Limited editorials at the time supported it.

  20. Liberal Arthur Sinodinos is having to front up to the ICAC over his involvement with Obeid and Obeid operated companies.

    Looks like some Liberals were up to their neck in this stuff.

  21. will someone please explain what improvement the libs will brings in any area to this country? all i can see is risk risk risk and time wasting ideological trashcan ‘policies’. this party is out of step with the times, and dishonest in manipulation of media and public opinion to offer any form of true participatory democracy

  22. Atticus@1002

    K Bonham,

    What was that you posted about your political views?

    “Paulist” Libertarian, perhaps?


    As libertarians go, Ron Paul is a paleoconservative constitution-fetishist fake who gives oxygen to conspiracy-theory wackos and anti-abortionists.

    I’m not a libertarian. I do have leanings in that direction though – some very strong views on some personal liberty issues, and also on separation of church and state. And I have a general dislike for the tendency of politicians of all major parties to respond to issues in kneejerk fashion by banning or over-regulating things.

    On an average, I tend to side with the left on personal liberty issues but on economic issues I’m all over the place.

    In Tasmania at state level the Liberals lost any chance of my vote by all opposing same-sex marriage, and then Labor and the Greens lost any chance by pressing ahead with some anti-discrimination reforms that would have placed severe and unclear restrictions on political discourse. Next year I’ll vote for minor parties or indies and then exhaust my ballot in disgust.

    The “About” section on my site is long but useful for anyone who wants to know where I fit in (or more accurately, don’t fit in.)

  23. st

    go and have your argument with the new 40000 + unemployed your sweethearts will cause in the first year. who would vote for this nonsense. we need a soft landing not detonation.

  24. {After today, when the wheels fell off paid parental leave, it became clear again that what I instinctively, telepathically felt six weeks ago, that Labor would win this with 56.8 percent, two party preferred.]

    LOL. That’s awesome.

    I think the wird ‘telepathically’ gives it away. He just like flipping the bird at Tories. I can understand that.

    The other possibility is that he’s bananas.

    I havent ruled our an ALP win by any means – but I’d be shocked if it was a comfortable win.

    As the Germans say, Bob: Getten sie real.

  25. victoria@1024

    Speaking of betting. I heard on the grapevine that there has been large single bets of $100,000.00 being put on the coalition to win

    Maybe Malcolm found some loose change in his trouser pockets.

  26. Peoples Forum will be shown on 7-Two

    Why was Rudd whinging about it being hosted by Sky News and that free to air viewers wouldn’t get to see it or some such crap??

    I bet the ratings will suck either way.

  27. At least with this relentless campaigning Abbott doesn’t have time to respray the tan (or the hair) and certainly doesn’t have time for a botox shot. Looking very haggard.

  28. Dr Bonham,
    Many thanks for taking the time to answer my query.

    I’m genuinely interested in your perspective, but couldn’t find that biography page on your website.

    I’ll read it thoroughly now, and your “Political Compass” is a helpful indicator.


  29. Lefty E, absent a capitalised pronoun, I believe the imperative in “getten sie real” would be for them or her to get real, rather than someone you were addressing in the second person. So you would want either “Getten Sie real” (formal) or “Getst du real” (informal).

  30. [Speaking of betting. I heard on the grapevine that there has been large single bets of $100,000.00 being put on the coalition to win]
    Either someone has got more money than sense ($1.10 payout or less in a 2 horse race where extreme events could still play a part) or Clive Palmer said “$100,000 on the favourite” assuming naturally that it was his party.

  31. lefty e
    [Danke schon fur die ausgetzeichnetes Germlish korrection, herr Oberfeldbludger Bowe!]
    Only one error in this – it’s supposed to be all one word.

  32. Seriously, though, even with all its holes and general shamblosity, one can imagine PPL appealing to a lot of people.

    Im still hoping for a childcare BBQ stopper from Rudd to really make it interesting.

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