BludgerTrack: 50.8-49.2 to Coalition

Powered mostly by Nielsen, but with other stronger polling for Labor also in the mix, the weekly BludgerTrack poll aggregate records its first significant shift since the election.

Supplemented with a bumper crop of new results, from Newspoll, Nielsen, ReachTEL and Essential Research, plus a brace of new state-level data, this week’s BludgerTrack poll aggregate records its first big move since the election. As shown on the sidebar, Labor is up nearly 2% on two-party preferred in just one week, driven by a significant increase in the their primary vote. The Nielsen poll of course has been a major contributor, but the 50.8-49.2 two-party split lands right on the ReachTEL result and isn’t far different from Newspoll once accounting for its preference distribution method that was probably slightly unflattering to Labor. On the seat projection, Labor gains five seats in Queensland on last week together with three in New South Wales, one in Victoria, two in Western Australia and one in the territories, which can only mean Solomon. The odd man out is South Australia, where Labor’s state-level data for this week was notably soft, although only small sample sizes were involved. Here Labor has actually gone from a projected gain of a seat to a projected loss.

Elsewhere around the site, there’s updates on Queensland’s two looming by-elections, at federal level in Griffith and state level in Redcliffe, and posts on new state polling in Victoria and Queensland. Further to which, two electoral reform news nuggets:

• A package of electoral reforms before the Queensland parliament may offer a litmus test for the federal government’s future plans, particularly after its position in the Senate strengthens in the middle of next year. Most pointedly, the bill contains a provision to require voter identification at the polling booth, having been foreshadowed by Liberal federal director Brian Loughnane’s post-election complaint that “you can’t go and hire a video without a card that requires a photo ID, but you can turn up to present to vote and just assert who you are”. This is perhaps the first entry into Australian politics of what has emerged as a flashpoint issue in the United States, where Republicans have invoked the ease with which malefactors can impersonate others in the absence of identity requirements, and Democrats have responded with complaints of “voter suppression laws” designed to create obstacles for the poor and minority groups in the name of a problem which appears barely to exist in practice.

Despite the Queensland government’s penchant for radicalism, the measures proposed in its bill come with a very substantial safety net, in that voters who find themselves unable to provide identification can lodge a signed declaration vote. The vote is later admitted to the count if election officials deem the vote to be bona fide, which they can presumably do by checking the signature against the voter’s enrolment form. The measure nonetheless promises to make life a lot more complicated on polling day, and to impose a further burden on the Electoral Commission as it conducts an already torturously cumbersome vote counting process. More on this from Peter Brent of Mumble, and a report on community radio current affairs program The Wire which features the redoubtable Graeme Orr.

Other measures in the Queensland bill include the abolition of caps on donations and campaign spending which the previous government introduced before the last election, setting the Newman government on a different course from the O’Farrell government which further tightened donation rules and spending caps in 2011. The bill likewise abolishes the increase in public funding which was introduced to compensate political parties for donation caps, and reinstates the old dollars-per-vote public funding model while setting the minimum vote threshold at 10% rather than the more familiar 4%. The threshold for disclosure of political donations, which Coalition governments would prefer be at least ten times the level favoured by Labor, will revert to the CPI-indexed $12,400 established at federal level by the Howard government, after the Bligh government slashed it to $1000. The bill has been referred to the parliament’s legal affairs and community safety committee, which is scheduled to report by February 24.

• As to what the new federal government might have planned, that should become clearer with the looming establishment of the new Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters and the commencement of its inquiry into the conduct of the recent election. The committee will consist of five government members including the chair, four opposition members including the deputy chair, and one from the Greens. Andrew Crook of Crikey reports the chair and deputy are likely to be Alex Hawke and Alan Griffin, while Lee Rhiannon will take the Greens’ position.

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.

760 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.8-49.2 to Coalition”

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  1. lyndajcla

    and I’m not going to do a Tony Abbott and say that I understand what you’re going through because I’ve got two sons…I don’t. But knowing how precious mine are to me, and that I’d crawl across broken glass for either of them to spare them the least bit of pain, I can begin to imagine it.

  2. paaptsef

    Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    why are the government too ashamed to provide a First 100 days report? Even Newman did one

    Ashamed? Embarrassed? Humiliated? Caught out? Failures?

    Already more broken promises than in 6 years of Labor. Surprisement almost daily.

    Failed policies. No budget emergency. International relations disasters.

    A 100 day report card would be priceless…

  3. lyndajcla

    Has your son used marijuana or any other drugs?

    They are a major cause of the onset of mental illness in those who are vulnerable.

  4. Hey zoomster Im in Amanda Millars upper house seat, once held by Donna Petrovich, not in Indi. Preselection is now on for Macedon and Donna is likely to put her hand up.She slandered my husband in parliament.

  5. Bemused my son smoked dope once and it had an adverse effect. He doesn’t use any drugs and drinks with his friends once a fortnight. He is quite conservative really. Alcohol really depresses him. He must learn it, we cant teach it.

  6. Award for Contributions to Technological Advancement to 21st Communications Infrastructure #Walkleys #fakewalkleys


  7. Did NEWS LTD get the award for kissing Abbotts bum,did they present an Award for collaboration to the ABC and Fairfax,they also should have given Murdoch Jnr an award for stuffing up Ch 10.
    Brandis would have got the Award for the Bolt amendment to the racial discrimination act,NEWS would have won the World Wide phone hacking award,for their sterling effort in UK.

  8. “@ABCNews24: The 2013 Gold Walkley Award goes to Joanne McCarthy from the @newcastleherald #Walkleys”

    Result of stories Royal Commission into Child Abuse started.

  9. Psephos, I must say I was somewhat disappointed in your contribution on Sino-US relationship tonight. I think you are better than what your posts reflected.

    Firstly I am not sure why you persistently simplify the Sino-US relationship as a us vs them, democracy versus dictatorship issue. It is much more complex than that and you know it. While there is no argument with the political systems of either countries, it saddens me to see someone like you seemingly falling into the trap of “democracy great, communist evil”. Do you really think the currently Chinese government does not represent where most Chinese people actually stand on these territorial issues?

    Secondly I don’t understand why you seem to think Australia has to take a side in this potential conflict. Both China and the US are important to Australia. Australia can be neutral on this issue and let the two countries, both of which command much more clout than us, sort out their own differences, one way or another. It is not like Australia’s involvement would tip the scale. You mentioned expansion of US military presence in Northern Australia making SEA “friends” happy. Well, if these “friends” are so keen for the US to have an even bigger presence in the region why don’t they establish/expand bases for the US forces on their own soil?
    Thirdly, you hardly need reminding that this great democracy to which you offer support has a history of invading other countries based on extremely suspect evidence, with thinly veiled purpose of securing resources, destablising regimes it does not like, or misguidedly attempting to force fed so call democracy (only when the outcome suits them of course). Separately, the current escalation of Sino-Japanese tension started when the previous Japanese government, in its dying days, clumsily and bizarrely attempted to purchase ownership of the island from the alleged private “owner” of the island. It is really sad to see you of all people standing hand in hand with this bunch of pretenders who currently occupies out federal government.

  10. 721

    The Chinese Government is stoking territorial claims for domestic political unity, a well used tactic by regimes and (to a lesser extent) democratic governments around the world over the centuries. Most people in China would not even have heard about the issue apart from being told about in by the Chinese Government.

  11. Working on pollster ratings for the 2013 election. This should be up on my site by the morning at the current rate of progress. In three categories: quality of final poll, quality of 2PP tracking, quality of seat polls.

  12. [lyndajcla
    Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm | PERMALINK

    Kezza2. I wonder too if my ability to cope has affected my son. My dad died 10 years ago and I lost my mother 20 tears earlier and I was depressed for a period. My son also fell in a hole after being dumped by a first girlfriend after a 2 week relationship and was inconsolable. That was only 6 months ago. In the end we are doing the best we can but when I sit with other parents whose only complaints are about their children not getting an A or not excelling in their sport music etc their succeeding is about their parents. So when your child doesn’t shine you are a failure. I realise I am alone with them and they don’t even notice my discomfort.]

    lyndajcla, may I call you lynda?

    I so empathise with the loss of parents, although strangely enough after the death of my father, I felt free to be whomsoever I wanted, for the first time in my life. (Mum died 10 years ago and I certainly didn’t feel like that then).

    But, isn’t it funny how most folk pretend nothing is happening in their perfect lives. Prick the balloon, and it all comes tumbling out.

    We’ve all got something to handle, and it’s usually something to do with our children.

    It’s the lack of honesty in our lives. Kids see us lying all the time. Who can they trust?

    I’m sorry for not replying sooner, but I just had a call from my youngest son, from Munich. Phew. Hadn’t heard from him for a week.

    He just spent that week in Portgual and France. He travelled by himself most of the time. And he is sounding very positive and confident.

    Best of all, he has plans for the future. He gave me a semi-detailed hope to live in Italy, not near his brother, in Germany.

    Sometimes, all is not lost. Earlier this year, he went to Germany for three weeks, came back sort of hopeful, but then fell in a heap again because he had no plan for the future.

    This time, he has been out by himself, had to trust in himself, rely on himself, to convey the simple message of wanting food and housing. He’s met some terrific Portuguese (and French) locals.

    And met some confidence in himself. I hope it works for him.

    And, don’t think we’re wealthy enough to send him off, willy nilly every time there’s been a hitch, we’re not.

    We used an inheritance, some contacts, some obligations, to reset his clock. Hopefully.

    In the meantime, a calm household helps. And I say that from a position of knowledge where an anything-but-calm household didn’t help.

    Hugs to you and your kid.

  13. Kezza2 You dont know what your words mean to me…. He might choose life and anything can change…thankyou for your kindness and others here who have expressed it too. I have company tonight and I am grateful for it

  14. What will Abbott say when asked about the Papal statement.?
    ..and the next startement which he plans and is said to be about the dangers of Global Warming

    The question is not “Is the Pope a Catholic” but is he a Green or a Socialist..ands what does Abbott do ?

  15. Interesting fact.

    There were more illegals in the first 7 days of Rudd 2.0 than there was under the first 100 Days of an Abbott Government.

    Now hows that for a success?

  16. [ There were more illegals in the first 7 days of Rudd 2.0 than there was under the first 100 Days of an Abbott Government.

    Now hows that for a success? ]
    2 boats in the last two weeks compared to 17 boats in the first 2 weeks of Abbott

  17. China and those off shore islands
    Until Japan took them after the Sino-Japanese war of 1895 the uninhabited peaks and rocks were seen as Chinese
    In 1945 when the Japanese empire collapsed places like Tai awan (Formosa) which had been under Jap rule for more than 50 years returned to China…now the Japs seek to provoke China and are suported by the US and some allies like Australia

    Hugh White tonight locked at the possibilities tonight for a major clash between China and Japan

    where do we stand then ?
    who wants their kids to go off and fight for Japan?
    We have a lot to remember about the Japs and their past behaviour

  18. I think the Liberals attitude towards Japan goes right back to Pig Iron Bob vs Unions and they haven’t really given much thought to it beyond that for fear of admitting a major flaw in their history

  19. Lynda, thanks

    You must be so tired, so exhausted, constantly keeping a vigil to keep your son alive.

    I can’t tell you the amount of nights I’ve done the same.

    I tried to work out why my son’s life mattered so much to me when life seemed so superfluous to the rest of the warmongering world.

    In the end I talked to him about philosophy, about concepts, not about my own experience, and it seemed to awaken a beast in him. He can’t get enough of it. He finally had a passion.

    You can’t die when you have a passion.

    I didn’t tell him I had come to the conclusion that I had to let go of him forever or lose my sanity, nor did I tell him that I had to rid myself of him to let him make his own way. And let the cards fall where they may.

    I didn’t tell him if indeed it was his desire to end his life, then so be it. I had done all I could to help.

    I started to tell him I trusted his judgement, that I thought some of his (hare-brained) ideas were worthy. And that I had plans for my future.

    Once he saw that I wanted to continue to live, so did he see a future.

    And so continues my guilt as a parent.

  20. Oops. I think I’ve said too much (e’en though I meant every word of it).

    Check you all next week, but.

    Take care out there, y’all.

  21. Another broken promise, they just keep piling on, while the reviews are there to trash NBN.

    “NBN Co’s technical advice says completion of the second stage of the rollout by 2019 ‘‘could be achievable’’ but could slide past 2019 if there was not significant progress on 12 issues soon.”

    There you have it, from the blue book, that was suppose to be released, but were not.

    All in all, another lie, hidden, from scrunity.

    Now it’s time for the Coalition Party, to keep the current policy intact.


    2013 Federal Election: Best And Worst Pollsters

    My assessment of the best and worst performed pollsters at this election.

    Also up:

    2013 Federal Election Results Finalised … Finally!

    And updated based on the new data:

    Early Abbott Era Polling Roundup

    Think that’s enough from me for one night!

  23. The pivot to Asia…responses of regional powers:

    [How Asia Reacted

    On the reaction of countries other than China, my first point is a simple minded one: different Asian states responded to American rebalancing in different ways. Take, for example, the announcement that the United States would rotate Marines through Darwin in northern Australia. Close U.S. allies like Japan welcomed it. So did friendly countries like India. They said it would contribute to regional stability. But other countries voiced caution or anxiety because of how China might respond. Thus, the Indonesian foreign minister’s initial comment noted the danger of “a vicious cycle of tensions and mistrust.” The Malaysian prime minister worried about increased tensions. Even Singapore’s Foreign Minister observed that ASEAN states want to avoid getting “caught between the competing interests” of major powers.

    This shouldn’t be surprising. Different Asian countries have different interests. They will respond in different ways to the moves of the major powers. Northeast Asia has a different dynamic than Southeast Asia, and various ASEAN countries view the regional reality differently and depend on the United States to different degrees. Japan has a rather dire view of China’s long-term intentions but has not taken particularly robust steps on its own in response. So its dependence on the United States to deter both China and North Korea is rather high. Cambodia is probably at the other end of the spectrum, aligning itself closely with Chinese interests.]

  24. Re the Qld electoral changes, another novel aspect is that they are removing all eligibility requirements for postal votes – now anyone who wants one will be able to get one (s114(1)(a)). They are also removing the legal requirement that a postal vote application be signed (s119(1)), so presumably they are contemplating online applications.

    It will be interesting to see how many people take up the option. If a large proportion do as happens in America I think, it will give the parties less influence over preferences via how to votes. So maybe fewer come from behind victories. It will also mean a few more seats where we’ll have to wait to be sure of the result after polling day.

    It’s difficult to criticise these moves. Even if they have partisan motives (as postal voters skew conservative), anything that makes it easier to vote is a good thing. However, I will observe that consequent on removing the requirement that a postal vote application be signed, there will also no longer be a legal requirement that the signature on the postal vote itself be checked against the request (s125(2)(c)). So they are actually reducing the scrutiny of postal votes while increasing scrutiny of ordinary votes. If they were genuinely concerned about voter fraud, they wouldn’t be doing that.

    Peter Brent’s blog has the current law and the proposed bill:


    [The fundamental reality is that all Asian countries want to have good relations with the United States and with China. Regarding China, they want the benefit of economic engagement and a reduction of tensions. From the United States, they want a security hedge should ties with China go sour. So where did South Korean president Lee Myung-bak and Japanese prime minister Noda go after President Obama’s November swing through the region: to Beijing. Whom did Thailand and Vietnam welcome for a visit in December? PRC vice-president Xi Jinping.

    Asian countries may not want to get crushed in the nutcracker of U.S.-China competition, but they do want a balanced competition to continue. One reason that Burma has been willing to engage Washington is its needs to create a greater balance with China. For the rest, however they define their interests, the last thing they want is for Washington to take itself out of the game. At the same time, they want us to be smart in the way we serve our counterweight function.]

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