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. Pyne telling journalists they are too stupid to understand what he said before the election was not support of Gonski will help him prosecute his lie

  2. dave – A problem domestically is that Virgin cancel a lot of flights at short notice. Qantas usually go regardless of flight loadings.

    Virgin has a ‘mythical’ BNE-CBR direct flight late on Monday mornings. I’ve never managed to catch it.

    1:40 is the fallback.

    I hate sitting around at an Airport.

  3. I have considered the situation over night, and am now prepared to make a judgement:
    Abbott is a bumbling fool who need a minder and Pyne is an arrogant little shit.
    :evil laughter:

  4. confessions@48


    Biden is essentially making the same comments as JBishop, yet the Chinese appear to let him off the hook.

    Yep. The comrades know exactly how to play it –

    [ Punish one and educate a hundred ]

    Robb v The Comrades on the FTA?

    What a giraffe. 🙂

  5. Mark Kenny’s reveals his wish list….

    He quotes Bill Shorten, advising him to put a noose around his neck:

    ”This is 10 weeks since the election and you can’t trust Tony Abbott … no one made Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott or the Coalition make a promise before the election,” {Shorten} continued.

    Expect to hear that a lot from now on. Shorten’s template is Abbott himself. His challenge is to show the same dogged persistence as Abbott even if it makes him personally unpopular.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/pynes-broken-promise-set-to-haunt-abbott-20131127-2ya8p.html#ixzz2lsu9F8TX

    After all the misery that arose from Abbott’s relentless negativity and slagging-off of anything to do with the government, all the economic consequences of trash-talking the economy, and the personal popularity price that had to be paid for it, not to mention the nastification of the nation, Kenny advocates “More of the same, please…Please!” so he can write up Bill Shorten as just another destructive, wrecking, cynical political hack… this time while he’s doing it, not after he did it, as was the case with Kenny’s analysis of Abbott.

    Coming from a hack who arrogates to himself the authority to decide who is behaving like a moron, and who is not, and have his assessment go national, if I was Bill Shorten I’d be careful in following his advice.

  6. victoria

    Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    AA

    The journos are no match for the Education Union and Premiers scorned.
    ==================================================

    It will eventually “sink in” to the journos head that he called them stupid and the Education Unions and Premiers will get good press and Pyne will have trouble getting any favourable press….I hope

  7. “How stupid does the Abbott government think voters are?”
    Well, we know how stupid – they elected them.

    [Labor’s move was itself a political statement – failing to sign up Western Australia and Queensland to the Gonski reforms, it decided to sweep the money allocated to the recalcitrant states back into consolidated revenue and make its accounts look a little less dire.

    The Coalition conveniently failed to notice that when it read PEFO, just as it, rather shockingly, failed to notice the ‘efficiency dividend’ cut-backs to the public service that it recently tried to claim were Labor’s “secret job cuts”.

    In both cases, to have been ignorant of these moves by Labor would be damning enough – the Coalition simply isn’t that incompetent – but to suddenly ‘notice’ them and use them as pretexts for policy backflips nearly beggars belief.]

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/28/politics/hockey-gambles-while-pyne-welches

  8. [dave – A problem domestically is that Virgin cancel a lot of flights at short notice. Qantas usually go regardless of flight loadings.

    Virgin has a ‘mythical’ BNE-CBR direct flight late on Monday mornings. I’ve never managed to catch it.

    1:40 is the fallback.

    I hate sitting around at an Airport.]

    Virgin did this to me, BOTH ways to and from Melbourne recently. I’ll never fly with them again, especially if I have a schedule at the other end.

    Four hours of meetings turned into a rushed hour and a half, with three out of four cancelled.

    It was the third time I’d had to endure a cancelled Virgin flight on atr least one leg of a one-day journey.

    It wasn’t that I’d paid cheap fares, either. Full fare paying passengers were given the boot as well.

    I spent more time on clogged Melbourne motorways than at meetings. Five hours in the terminals.

    Forget Virgin.

  9. [Labor’s move was itself a political statement – failing to sign up Western Australia and Queensland to the Gonski reforms, it decided to sweep the money allocated to the recalcitrant states back into consolidated revenue and make its accounts look a little less dire.]

    What should they have done with $1.2 billion?

    Put it in a drawer?

  10. Having stuffed up International relations with Indonesia, failed to turn back AS and delayed the roll out of the NBN by two years, the carnival of catastrophe known as the Abbott Government has now decided to bring their special magic to the economy.

    Be afraid little children. Be afraid!

  11. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-28/green-a-wrecking-ball-wont-help-you-in-government/5121528

    [The Keating comparison is salutary. Here was a prime minister and treasurer from a time in which politics were played hard, but more often than not in the service of ideas and programs. A time when leadership was the province of politicians driven by policy rich agendas, not something sublet to the calculating, policy neutral operatives of the backrooms.

    That’s the change we have seen, since the governments of Hawke, Keating, Howard and Rudd, the rise and rise of the machine and of simple political purity at the expense of the purposeful politics of conviction.

    And it might just be that we are now watching what we might reap from that transition: a government determined to play the games that served it so well in the airy bustle of opposition in the more challenging and suddenly concrete world of government.

    “There will be no change to school funding under the government I lead.”

    Guided by political instinct, placing the political imperative above consistency, good faith, or core belief, and in some fundamental way empty and fated because of it.

    It’s no way to either build capital or tackle the challenging future that might benefit from its careful investment.]

  12. [56
    confessions

    lizzie:

    We are certainly on the same page as the US over the disputed islands.]

    China’s moves in relation to these islands and the Spratly islands are a response to US strategic moves aimed at curbing China’s political, economic, diplomatic and military influence in its own region. The US has adopted a policy of containment and recruited this country as well as nearly all of China’s neighbours to its project. Understandably, China has been resisting this. These territorial disputes have been alive but dormant for decades. It is only US pressure that has animated them in recent years.

    We are being drawn into a competitive game between great powers. It is not a game that is in our interests and, rather than accommodating the US, we should be trying to dissuade them from pursuing it.

    We have had many decades of peace in our region – peace that the US is willing to jeopardise in order to maintain its monopoly on power in East Asia and the Pacific. This is not a policy of our making. It is a policy designed and built in Washington. China has every reason to reject it and so do we.

  13. briefly

    [ The US has adopted a policy of containment and recruited this country as well as nearly all of China’s neighbours to its project.]

    The f$ckin’ TPP ‘Game’.

  14. [The regulation of Qantas is back on the agenda after Treasurer Joe Hockey canvassed the idea of ditching ownership restrictions and even providing the national carrier with Government aid.]

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-28/hockey-flags-ditching-foreign-ownership-rules-for-qantas/5121404

    Emirates ‘come on down’.

    What the point of their interest in the ‘Strategic Partnership’ is access to Qantas Landing rights/’Slots’ at Heathrow rather than the majority of their London landings which happen out at Crawley/Gatwick – Considerably more inconvenient.

  15. Good Morning

    “@GMegalogenis: Indonesia. Britain. China. The Liberal states. Are their any other friends left for the Abbott government to argue with?”

  16. CTar1 @45

    Thanks for the link , “interesting” times coming up in the Sth China sea. Praise be that Mesma and Abbott are not negotiating their way through that political minefield.

    Re timing of any Su-35 sales.The progress of the Russian’s stealth Sukhoi PAK FA introduction would likely determine when it happens .

  17. dave

    [
    Punish one and educate a hundred

    Robb v The Comrades on the FTA?

    What a giraffe. 🙂
    ]

    Or as the supposedly Chinese saying goes.

    [Killing the chicken to scare the monkeys ]

  18. lizzie@63


    “How stupid does the Abbott government think voters are?”
    Well, we know how stupid – they elected them.


    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/28/politics/hockey-gambles-while-pyne-welches

    A good article Lizzie.

    I liked this bit from it –

    [ So on the one hand, Chris Pyne can’t possibly find $1.2 billion to patch up the raided Gonski funds, but Hockey can hive off $8.8 billion to ensure the government gets healthy dividends from the RBA for the last two years of its three-year term.

    …The ‘echo chamber’ wants to go back to SES funding and has found a pretext to justify the move.

    It is a very grave mistake – quite possibly Abbott’s ‘carbon tax moment’.

    And to make such a huge, unforced error at this point does not bode well for the remainder of this government’s term.]

  19. CTaR1

    cf Su35 and Chinese theft of Russian IP, yep.

    As Abbott would say, everyone does it.

    What really fascinates me is the stealth v conventional equation. The Su35 must have an enormous radar profile. To my way of thinking, with missile capability being what it is, 95% of destroying an aircraft is figuring out where it is. The other 5% is pushing the button to set the missile on its way.

  20. Re the Qld voter ID laws, both Peter Brent and Graham Orr (in the radio piece) suggest that declaration votes will be checked to see if anyone else has voted under the same name. I’m not sure how this would work. The AEC commissioner has said that when the rolls were scanned after 2010, about half of the apparent cases of multiple voting later turned out to be AEC errors (eg a booth worker marking off a name above or below the voter, making it look like one person has voted twice and one not at all). However, this was only established after writing to the relevant voters and waiting for responses. That couldn’t be done in the timeframe of a count.
    http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/aec_does_its_best_to_cut_voting_4trAtYTl67Z1Z0fH7YY0iL

    If there is a check for multiple votes based on the roll scan alone, then if you don’t have ID and have a common name you risk having your vote randomly excluded because of polling staff mistakes.

    Also, one possible reason Qld included the broad safety net despite their radicalism may have been to survive court challenge. The High Court ruled in Rowe in 2010 that you can’t disenfranchise someone without a substantial reason (or similar). It rejected voter fraud as a substantial reason in that case. It was talking about the Commonwealth constitution (relevant to what the federal Coalition proposes) but maybe Qld got legal advice that there was a similar right to vote at a state level. Or maybe it’s the thin edge of the wedge. This is about voter suppression in one way or another. For one thing, I suspect some ID-less people will get confused by the advertising and not turn up, or will look at the queue and walk out.
    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2010/46.html

    And the fact that, on average, it will take disadvantaged people longer to vote is not very fair.

  21. [73
    confessions

    briefly:

    Indeed. The US has been quite provocative in all this.]

    Bishop and Johnston attended the so-called AUSMIN ministerial meeting in Washington this month. Here is a part of the joint communique:

    http://foreignminister.gov.au/releases/2013/jb_mr_131120.html

    [The United States and Australia discussed their continued efforts to implement the U.S. force posture initiatives in a manner consistent with both countries’ regional security objectives, including the common goal of increasing practical cooperation between Australia and the United States and other regional countries.

    The two countries agreed to commence negotiations on a binding agreement to support future defense cooperation involving the U.S. rotational presence in northern Australia, including activities such as: joint and combined training, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and combined exercises in Australia and multilateral engagement in the broader region.

    The United States and Australia agreed to work towards full implementation of the U.S. force posture initiatives involving rotational U.S. Marine Corps deployments and increased rotations of U.S. Air Force aircraft in northern Australia, including substantial progress towards rotations of a full Marine Air Ground Task Force of around 2,500 U.S. Marine Corps personnel and equipment. They also agreed to continue examining opportunities for future naval cooperation in Australia.]

    We are on the path to the permanent basing of US forces in the NT. This is a very significant development in Australian policy and yet it has been mostly unremarked, still less debated. I for one am completely against it, fwiw.

  22. dave

    [Biden is essentially making the same comments as JBishop, yet the Chinese appear to let him off the hook.]

    Biden owns the B52s which have just spent an hour or two in a nyeh, nyeh exercise.

    OTOH, the only thing we own that could remotely bother the chinese are a very few submarines, half of which are tied to the dock, on-water but not operational.

  23. Compass

    “Unfair”. I agree. For some people, compulsory voting is a burden, not a privilege. Anything that makes it more troublesome will turn them off.

  24. briefly

    [We are on the path to the permanent basing of US forces in the NT. This is a very significant development in Australian policy and yet it has been mostly unremarked, still less debated. I for one am completely against it, fwiw.]

    Twenty years of war and consequent military creep into the civil have inured the Australian population to this sort of stuff. They tend to think it is normal before it even starts. Yet, the implications are profound.

  25. poroti

    [Thanks for the link , “interesting” times coming up in the Sth China sea.]

    The Yanks think it’s all missiles and drones and maybe they’re right but there is no mistaking that their maritime strike aircraft have become less capable.

    In the 70’s A-6

    Range: 2,819 nmi (3,245 mi, 5,222 km)

    Replaced by – F-14

    Combat radius: 500 nmi (575 mi, 926 km)

    Replaced by – F-18

    Combat radius: 390 nmi (449 mi, 722 km)for interdiction mission

  26. lizzie

    Not fiery yet. Conroy getting hard data out. Turnbull will not be happy.

    However of note. Estimates has worked out Kiama is not flu of uber geeks making it a silicon valley.

  27. poroti/Bw

    I posted one yesterday where some of the manufacturers of bits for JSF are saying to get it back on track they should decrease the ‘stealth’ requirements.

    So you end up with a ‘brick’ that anyone can do over?

  28. Bw

    [We are on the path to the permanent basing of US forces in the NT.]

    They’re not only there.

    USAF people at both RAAF Curtain and Sherger.

  29. [Mr Hockey said the coalition is considering a variety of options, which could include government subsidies, to acknowledge that Qantas is not fighting against rival Virgin Australia Holdings on a level playing field.]

    Crikey’s Plane Talking blog (Ben Sandilands) has a good post today saying that current Qantas management is basically responsible for the dire state of the company. They have let the condition of the Qantas fleet run down, ceded Qantas overseas routes to others, while engaging the Jetstar subsidiary in some ill advised forays into Asia.

    As a result the Qantas staff and passengers are suffering. Hockey to the rescue with subsidies? Not likely if he treats Qantas the same as the car industry.

  30. “@j_hutch: Conroy: “I don’t really care about your feelings, I care about you giving accurate information to this committee” #NBN”

  31. I think this could split the LNP

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/shaw-dictating-coalitions-agenda/story-e6frgczx-1226770014975#

    surely a minority government has a few genuine ‘wet’ liberals facing a loss at the election who could move to the cross benches or cross the floor to stop this drift to the tea party right.

    The LNP has been largely taken over by the DLP and tea party nutters – but something will have to give at some point, with the ‘turnbull’ (and even ‘kennett’) factions splitting from the party.

    Napthine is a conservative catholic, so is probably pretty open to revisiting abortion laws. If he was smart, he’d cut shaw loose – he is being extorted at present. I think some of shaw’s antics are trying to pressure the government to interfere in judicial processes. it hasn’t worked so far.

    thankfully the new federal senate will not have similar religious nutters with the balance of power or abbott do similar deals in a flash. unfortunately the new senate will want to sell all assets and privatise health and education, ignore all climate action, and make workchoices look moderate. I think abbott will put forward a legislative agenda that they will like. he will also move to disempower his opponents – I expect he’ll introduce laws that will make it hard for unions to donate to labor and restrict on-line organisations such as getUp.

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