New results from ReachTEL, Essential and Morgan have finally put some meat on BludgerTrack’s New Year bones. However, their entry into the pool has had very little impact on the voting intention numbers, which hopefully means the model was doing its job. Both major parties are up a bit on the primary vote after being down a bit last time, but only Labor has made up the difference, the Coalition still being 0.8% off their starting point. With the ups and downs of the minor parties amounting to minor statistical noise, two-party preferred stays exactly where it was following Labor’s half-point gain a week ago. Things are calm on the surface, but the infusion of new data has helped smooth out the eccentricities of recent state-level projections, most notably the extravagant swing to Labor that was showing up in Queensland for a few weeks there. That shaves three off a still ample tally of Labor gains, suggesting Bill Glasson has his work cut out for him at next Saturday’s Griffith by-election. The seat projection has the Coalition down this week a seat each in New South Wales and Victoria, which taken together with the Queensland adjustment makes a net gain of one seat nationally.
ReachTEL had personal ratings this week which I’ve yet to remark on, and can finally little to say about now that I am because the charges are very slight. The best headline writers could do was talk up a 1.8% increase in Tony Abbott’s very good rating and a 2% drop in Bill Shorten’s. The latter might be part of a trend, but there’s little reason yet to think that the former is. ReachTEL doesn’t get included in the BludgerTrack leadership polling aggregates, as its five-point scale and compulsory answering mean it can’t readily be compared with other outfits. Nonetheless, there has been a change in the BludgerTrack ratings this week, not because of new data, but because I’ve implemented a means of standardising the polls to stop the trendline blowing around in response to the house bias of the most recently reporting pollster. This has had the effect of moderating the downward turn in Bill Shorten’s net approval rating, which continues to hang off a single Essential Research result, the only leadership poll rating to emerge so far this year. Presumably that will be changing very shortly as the bigger polling outlets emerge from hibernation.