BludgerTrack: to Labor

With only one new poll to go on, the weekly BludgerTrack aggregate finds the trend to Labor that kicked in around November still hasn’t abated.

It’s been a disappointing week for poll junkies, with the phone pollsters including Newspoll evidently waiting until after the Australia Day long weekend before ending their New Year hibernation. Since this is an off-week in Morgan’s fortnightly cycle, that just leaves Essential Research. All told, there have only been three poll results published so far this year – two from Essential and one from Morgan – so you’re more than welcome to take BludgerTrack with a bigger-than-usual grain of salt for the time being. For what it’s worth though, the one new data point has driven the Coalition to a new low of 39.3% on the primary vote, and pushed Labor’s two-party lead to a new high of 52.5-47.5.

That might seem counter-intuitive given that the one new poll had the Coalition leading 51-49, but there are three factors which have made it otherwise. First, in adjusting the pollsters for their house biases, a unique approach has been adopted for Essential Research to acknowledge that its bias is in favour of stability, rather than one party or the other. For example, Essential overshot on the Labor vote during the election campaign as momentum swung towards the Coalition, but it’s been doing the opposite since the Coalition started heading south in November. So rather than the usual method of determining bias with reference to past performance in late-campaign polls, I’m plotting a trend of Essential’s deviation from BludgerTrack so its bias adjustments change dynamically over time. With Essential stuck at 51-49 to the Coalition while other pollsters are being fairly unanimous in having Labor leading 52-48, you can pretty much work out for yourself what the Essential bias adjustment currently looks like.

The second point is to do with rounding. While Essential’s two-party result was unchanged this week, the primary vote had the Coalition down two points, Labor down one and the Greens up one. Most of the time that would mean a one-point shift to Labor on two-party preferred, but this is one of those occasions where the shift went missing after the remainders were pared away. However, BludgerTrack doesn’t actually use pollsters’ published two-party results, instead determining primary vote totals and deriving a two-party result from them using 2013 election preferences. So the Essential result looks like a slight shift to Labor compared with last week, so far as BludgerTrack is concerned. The third point is that Essential’s numbers are a two-week rolling average (though last week’s result, being the first from the year, was a sample for that week only), so any change that occurs in a given week is a bigger deal than the published numbers suggest.

So it is that BludgerTrack gives Labor a 0.5% gain on the two-party preferred projection and a boost of three on its seat tally. The state relativities haven’t changed much since last week, so the Labor seat gains are evenly spread, with one each provided by Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Full results as always on the sidebar.

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.

2,463 comments on “BludgerTrack: to Labor”

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  1. Ooops sorry for posting without editing.
    Posted Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink


    My wife likes the colourful scarfs and I do think they look good.
    Talking about scarfs, I probable shouldn’t point this out, but boy some of the Muslim women look good in their scarves. It would be something if that was a fashion that caught on in the west. Really screw with a bogan’s mind.

  2. Just to be clear, I don’t want to in any way stop people from being able to discuss the Rudd-Gillard thing on PB, to death if they so wish.

    Just want them to stop cluttering up the main active discussion with what I see as an increasingly repetitive discussion about an increasingly irrelevant historical issue.

    I have my views on that issue, and have made them known in the past here. But by any practical standard deposing (or at least, neutering) Abbott and the hard right is without doubt the main political game now.

  3. If all we have to talk about are ‘style wars’ would someone like to comment on the professionalism or not, of our current foreign Ministers outfits?

  4. Julie Bishop’s clothes are highly professional, but very very expensive.

    They certainly do not offend BUT there is something a bit too stiff about them.

  5. ‘Outage’ is a clumsy Americanism. The correct term in Australia is ‘black-out’.
    How the hell do you get a noun from the word ‘out’ by putting ‘age on the end? Ludicrous!

  6. Another Coalition brain-fart.
    Aged Care facilities are mostly profit-making enterprises (even the church ones, in their own way).
    Free gardening, maintenance and painting services being donated forcibly by Newstart recipients is not appropriate.
    If the facilities want these services, they should pay full commercial rates for them, like any other business.

    This is another scheme which will cause much more in administration plus red and green tape than the dubious benefits gained, other than buying a few middle class votes.

    Though I suppose the dole-bludgers can use the litter pickup days to case houses for later break-ins, or spot suitable preppy teens for future drug sales. (sarcasm)

  7. [
    But we found the study participants tended to be more rational and ‘colder’ in their problem-solving when using their second language — in this case English.”

    The study backs up the findings of a 2012 University of Chicago study which also found that using a foreign language reduces decision-making bias.

    “We propose that these effects arise because a foreign language provides greater cognitive and emotional distance than a native tongue does,” said the authors of that study.

  8. Another brainfart from the LNP:

    [ The ACTU has lashed the federal government for planning an “enhanced” work-for-the-dole program, warning Holden workers facing the loss of their job could end up picking garbage.

    The peak union body’s president, Ged Kearney, said the plan to expand the work program for unemployed people would not necessarily provide pathway back into the workforce.

    The Coalition government is looking to start its ”enhanced” work-for-the-dole program in the next financial year, with a focus on young unemployed Australians.

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