BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor

The Track is back – but with only two new poll results to go on, and no sign so far of any change since before the break.

With the return of Morgan and Essential Research, the weekly BludgerTrack poll aggregate is also back in business, albeit that it’s on a fairly shaky footing at present given the shallow pool of new data. However, since both polls show little change on the situation as they were recording it before the break, there’s nothing in national figures that should arouse any controversy. Both major parties and the Palmer United Party are down slightly on the primary vote, with the slack taken up by the Greens and others, and there is no change at all on two-party preferred. The seat projection nonetheless ticks a point in the Coalition’s favour owing to the vagaries of the latest state-level data. Full details, as always, on the sidebar (to those wondering why there are three data points after the break rather than two, the Morgan poll has been broken down into two results to account for it having been conducted over two weekends).

The monthly personal ratings from Essential Research also allow for an update to the leadership ratings, but this should be treated with even greater caution given that there’s only one result available from the past month. So while it may be that the air is indeed going out of Bill Shorten’s honeymoon, you would want to see more than one data point from Essential Research before jumping to such a conclusion, which is essentially all the model is reacting to at present. This points to a broader difficulty with the BludgerTrack leadership rating methodology which I aim to address in due course, namely the lack of any adjustment for each pollsters’ idiosyncrasies. There will thus be a tendency for the numbers to move around based purely on which particular pollster happens to have reported most recently. When enough data is available, I will start tracking each pollsters’ variation from the aggregated trend and applying “bias” adjustments accordingly.

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.

2,049 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor”

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  1. The Coalition was careful not to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs during the term of the last government by opposing action which might have stopped the boats.

    So is it in their best interests now to do so?

    If they ‘Stop the Boats’, then in a couple of years time, fear of boats will have subsided and the focus for the issue – if there is any at all – will shift once again to the treatment of detainees.

    Without ‘the boats’ to distract them (and ‘boat people’ to blame for taking their jobs, causing traffic jams, forcing Coles to sell halal meat, stealing disabled parking places and whatever other Bad Thing boat-detesters have experienced this week) people are going to be looking – and journalists reporting – on other matters to do with the government’s performance.

  2. A blast from boats past.

    [Sri Lankan refugee Nimal is coming to Australia. This may not seem a newsworthy event, except that, in 2009 and 2010 this man played a leading role in one of the most extraordinary events in the annals of asylum-seeking.

    Nimal was one of a group of 254 Tamil asylum seekers heading to Australia by boat when then prime minister Kevin Rudd, alarmed at a sharp rise in arrivals, phoned Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to ask a favour. Dr Yudhoyono deployed his navy, which brought the little boat back to the West Java port of Merak]

  3. [The State Government has failed to introduce key recommendations stemming from the Keelty inquiry into the 2011 Kelmscott-Roleystone fire that destroyed 71 homes, including tougher planning laws and fire mitigation strategies, the former president of the Emergency Services Volunteers Association says.

    In the wake of another destructive blaze, John Iffla said he was frustrated that necessary changes had not been implemented to reduce the risk in bushfire-prone areas.]

  4. [A tiny drawing of a kangaroo curled in the letters of a 16th-century Portuguese manuscript could rewrite Australian history.
    The document, acquired by Les Enluminures Gallery in New York, shows a sketch of an apparent kangaroo (”canguru” in Portuguese) nestled in its text and is dated between 1580 and 1620. It has led researchers to believe images of the marsupial were already being circulated by the time the Dutch ship Duyfken – long thought to have been the first European vessel to dock in Australia – landed in 1606.]

    Read more:

  5. [Don’t worry, folks – global warming is just part of the natural cycle (ordained by God and thus not subject to causation).

    A few thousand years after we’ve gone extinct, the climate will cool again.

    (Totally true – if we go extinct, it will).]

    I don’t know God may be planning to save two of each animal in an arc, or perhaps he is building a new planet for us somewhere!

  6. victoria

    Quite amazing to me that the Portuguese were trading sandalwood , spices etc with places as far away as Timor 500 years ago.

  7. Zoomster @54 – if asylum boat arrivals remain at very low levels through to the next election I expect that the Coalition will dial up the issue again, especially if there’s a lot of other stuff happening then that they don’t want to talk about.

    The Liberals will want to claim credit for ‘stopping the boats’ and loudly proclaim that they will keep them stopped. That the people of Western Sydney in particular have bigger things to worry about – unemployment, the cost of education and health care, climate change – all of which are made worse by the Liberals – will see the ‘boats’ issue get a big run.

    The dogwhistle has proved invaluable for the Liberals. They will want to use it at every opportunity.

  8. We see Abbott’s true character today. No attempt to match SA Premier Wetherill on shelter from the heat in Federal Government Buildings.

  9. zoomster@47

    Don’t worry, folks – global warming is just part of the natural cycle (ordained by God and thus not subject to causation).

    A few thousand years after we’ve gone extinct, the climate will cool again.

    (Totally true – if we go extinct, it will).

    My favourite quote along those lines is:

    ‘All pollution and global warming would cease if everyone on earth just held their breath for ten minutes.’


  10. guytaur

    Where is Abbott? Why do we keep hearing from the “Deputy PM”?
    Truss seems to be flashing in and out of the media like the Cheshire Cat.

  11. lizzie

    very good question. To me it says a PM not interested in governing. The reason I think most of Labor’s legacy will survive.

    As we know ven repeal of the carbon price is not certain.

  12. Tony Abbott’s leave arrangements were over Xmas period where he went skiing in Switzerland – flying economy class which suprisingly “was noticed” – perhaps also a breif visit to a “health clinic”

    And also the week we are currently in, so Truzz acting. So the key questions are:

    1. Why did Abbott show up at the PM’s X1 game on Tuesday?
    2. What Abbott stunt will be “exclusivley revealed” in this weekends Murdoch press?

  13. Pretty sure Abbott is back from leave as he has been doing his usual belly rub interviews with the RW shock jocks recently.
    I think he is adopting the small target approach.
    Suits me, the less i see and hear his his mumbling and bumbling the lower my blood pressure.

  14. In my inbox

    [On February 8, voters in Brisbane’s electorate of Griffith will go to the polls for a by-election. It’s going to be a close contest, and the whole country will be watching the outcome.

    Even more important is this: despite promising that Medicare was safe before the election, Tony Abbott’s government plans to charge Australians to see a bulk billing GP. Local Liberal candidate for Griffith – former AMA head, Bill Glasson – supports a tax on doctor visits and it could be policy as early as May.

    Want to put a stop to this Medicare attack before it goes any further, and send the Liberals a message they can’t miss? Click here to throw your support behind Medicare and Labor, and chip in to help the Griffith campaign right now.


    Your donation will have a real impact – putting Save Medicare signs on major roads all across Griffith and distributing Save Medicare t-shirts to volunteers campaigning on the ground. It costs nearly $10 for every sign and $15 for every shirt that gets made.

    With your help, we’re hoping to order 500 signs as well as 400 shirts to show Australia what’s at stake nationwide, and to stop this insidious attack on Medicare before it goes any further.

    If we do nothing, we could soon see the foundations of our health system undermined. The most vulnerable Australians will be forced to pay to see a GP.

    If that happens, it would be the beginning of the end of Medicare as we know it. So we have to demonstrate that any threat to Medicare will cost the Abbott Government too much politically. Chip in now to send a message they can’t miss: take Medicare off the table.

    Thank you – this is important.


    PS: We’ve got a great candidate in Griffith, Terri Butler. She believes in Medicare, in great public schools, hospitals, 21st century broadband, effective climate action and quality, affordable childcare. Right now the polls are incredibly tight, and we know Terri will be outspent by her Liberal opponent unless we help. Thanks for pitching in what you can today.]

  15. poroti@72

    And, I see from an ad in the West yesterday, that Shorten is coming over to Perth to address some kind of business forum.

    Clearly, the days of “We don’t want Gillard/Rudd here” or ‘youse is scared to come’ have passed by.

    It is a wonder we have not seen Wonder Man Abbott, Fire Fighter Extraordinary over here doing his gig as a quiet and unassuming volunteer – in the recent fires up in the hills.

  16. [Griffith Qld ‏@GriffithElects 40m At least 9 parties plan to contest #Griffithvotes ALP, Greens, LNP, KAP, Secular, Population, Pirate, Family First, & one Indp @NoFibs]

  17. Henry

    [Suits me, the less i see and hear his his mumbling and bumbling the lower my blood pressure.]
    Probably why he is keeping low. Their 2PP vote drops every time people hear him speaking 🙂

  18. Where’s Wally?

    According to Hockey, when you don’t see him, he is “Flat out running the country” don’t you know?

    His invisibility is part-manufactured (lowering the political heat after the election was a strategy straight out of the Malcolm Frazer book on managing the post-election period) and part deliberate avoidance of scrutiny.

    When even your propaganda sheets, such as the Murdoch press, admit that “Tony knows he is not popular” and says so quite openly, what options do you have?

    Very hard to be liked and even more difficult to be respected. Might as well just be as invisible as possible.

    Why should anyone be surprised? He and his supporters keep claiming they have a “mandate” but that does not include open and accountable government. Who thought it would?

  19. The Australian people voted for Abbott and Morrison to stop the boats and turn them back to Indonesia and that’s exactly what they are doing as their mandate governs.

    Not sure why the left are complaining about Abbott keeping his election promised unlike the previous Rudd/Gillard/Rudd circus.

  20. “@profsarahj: 1/2 There’s a War on peoplesmugglers, basically proxy for a war on asylumseekers. “War” footing used to justify opacity & exceptional powers”

    “@profsarahj: 2/2 which is such BS as, um, THIS IS NOT A WAR!”

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