BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0

On the back of the Coalition’s best poll result since November, the BludgerTrack aggregate finds Labor’s two-party lead evaporating and the Coalition back in charge on the seat projection.

The slump in Labor support recorded in the year’s first Nielsen poll has been exactly enough to erase a two-party lead in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which it had enjoyed since mid-December. This was despite a strong result for Labor from Essential Research, which appears to be maintaining its curious status as a lagged indicator. On the state breakdowns, the biggest movement is in Victoria, where Nielsen had Labor’s lead at a well below-par 52-48. This has helped cut the Victorian swing on BludgerTrack from 7.9% to 4.3%, and reduced Labor’s projected seat gain from five to two. Elsewhere, Labor is down one seat each in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. The overall projection is now for a Coalition absolute majority, providing another indication that the BludgerTrack model considers the electoral terrain to be weighted in the Coalition’s favour. Leadership ratings from Nielsen provided further evidence of diminishing support for Bill Shorten, who is now only fractionally ahead of Tony Abbott on net approval. Abbott’s lead of about 10% as preferred prime minister has nonetheless been stable since early December, as has his slightly negative net approval rating. 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.

2,335 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0”

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  1. I don’t normally watch Micalleff but last night the show was actually vaguely amusing.

    There was the obligatory anti-union piece, featuring some archetypical union crime boss doing mafia schtick, but the piece satirising hackneyed phrases in politics (“shock waves”, “tsunamis”, “tides”) was pretty good.

    Spicks and Specks after it was also fun — loved the section reading the “lyrics” from a calculus text to a Divinyls music track.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. There’s a lot to read today.
    All “stakeholders” are rushing for cover as eyewitness information comes out. It’s worth reading if only to see the Cathy Wilcox cartoon in it.
    Well done Morriscum! Now, tell us about the precedence surrounding ministerial responsibility in the Westminster system.
    And speaking of ministerial responsibility there’s a bit here for both Johnston and Morriscum And how does the toy soldier sit in this?
    Mark Kenny seems to suggest that Rudd has left Abbott the ultimate poison pill with the PNG/Manus solution.
    Lenore Taylor gives us an overview of the untenable situation in Manus.
    I hope Campbell can find the place!
    How long before Brandis gives this lady the chop?
    Is Australia being ripped off by Big Mining?
    MUST READ! The lid gets lifted off the federal government demands on SPC to slash wages.
    Elizabeth Farrelly posits that private schools should be abolished.

  3. Section 3 . . .

    Alan Moir examines our navy’s apparent navigational prowess.
    MUST SEE! David Rowe takes us into Abbott & Co’s jobs and “transferees” factory.
    Cathy Wilcox sums up Craig Thompson’s mindset.
    And David Pope joins in on Thompson.
    Ron Tandberg introduces Dick Warburton.

  4. And from the Land of the Free –

    Prisoner rehabilitation Repug style.
    Look at this damning chart that shows how much of a do-nothing Congress the Repugs have presided over. What a disgrace.
    Great “philanthropy” from Maccas!
    Legislative priorities on full display in Wyoming.
    Texas’s insane abortion laws in action.
    The Young Turks looks at CC coverage.
    This guy seems to be perfect for the DA job in Texas.

  5. Some polling in the US red states gives hope for Hilary Clinton

    [According to PPP, “All the Republican contenders for President lead Hillary Clinton in hypothetical contests, but the margins are closer than they’ve been in the state since her husband was on the ticket. Christie leads her by just a point at 44/43, Jindal’s up 2 at 47/45, Paul leads by 4 points at 47/43, Huckabee has a 5 point advantage at 49/44, and the strongest Republican with a 7 point edge at 50/43 is Jeb Bush.”

    Hillary Clinton’s numbers represent the best showing for a Democratic presidential candidate in the state since her husband Bill Clinton won Louisiana by 5 points in 1992 and 12 points in 1996. George W. Bush won the state by 8 points in 2000, and 15 points in 2004. McCain beat Obama by 19 in 2008, and Mitt Romney defeated the president by a margin of 18 points in 2012.

    Former Sec. Clinton would not only be the most competitive Democratic nominee in the state in 20 years, but she would reverse a trend of growing Republican margins of victory. The fact is that Mrs. Clinton has a chance to turn Louisiana blue. Polling in states like Texas and Georgia has revealed that Clinton could also turn those states blue.

    If Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination in 2016, her party will have a nominee that is capable of winning in almost every state. She would never win every state, but she would have the capacity to be competitive in each state.

    Republicans are on the verge of becoming a regionalized political party. It is very possible that Hillary Clinton could cut into the red region that is the heart and soul of the GOP. Mrs. Clinton is the Republican Party’s worst nightmare, and it’s very possible that she could plunge a blue dagger into the heart of red state America.]

  6. Every day, probably without exception brings a fresh example, maybe 2 or even more, of incompetent bastardry from this government.
    Today its bullying of SPC workers , news that their climate sceptic appointee to the renewal energy report [how totally ludicrous is that] is under investigation in relation for international bribery and Morrison’s bungles with revealing private data and the unravelling of his story about the locals and guards attacking asylum seekers on Manus.
    Stupid nasty incompetent government that doesn’t give a damn about people, Australians included.

  7. Even Chris Kenny joins the chorus.

    [The irony is almost too rich.

    The federal minister best known for withholding general information that most would regard as harmless has inadvertently released genuinely sensitive personal information – data that should never see the light of day.

    A massive data leak from Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison’s department has reportedly revealed the names and addresses of up to 10,000 asylum seekers held in Australia’s detention system.

    The leak has potentially prejudiced the physical safety of untold refugee applicants and their families in the countries of origin, while also incidentally revealing some ”operational” details of the ultra-secretive Operation Sovereign Borders.]

    Read more:

  8. I was delighted to see Peter Dutton reduced to a blithering idiot by Sarah Ferguson on 7.30 last night. His reversion to his “Labor bad” mantras failed badly.

  9. Bruce Haigh commentary today encapsulates precisely what we blugers have been expressing from the get go

    [Without any help, Morrison has taken the relationship with Indonesia to its lowest point since the mid-1980s. He appears to understand nothing and listens to no one.
    Edward Snowden and the Indonesian spy allegation have not helped. However, intelligence agencies and the governments they work for understand the spying game and the byzantine rules governing operations.

    It is the issue of boats and the lies and deception surrounding their return, together with the arrogance of Morrison and Tony Abbott in dealing with the Indonesian governing elite, that have caused the rupture, accompanied by anger and resentment that will find expression to Australia’s cost.]

    Read more:

  10. [ victoria
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Good to see It is not just we bludgers who reckon Morrison should reaign

    …. and how that store dummy military stooge Angus Campbell can stand alongside Morrison is beyond my comprehension ????

  11. Meanwhile, in Victoria, Lindsay Fox has more influence than the govt, it seems.

    [Mr Tee called for a review into the saga and said Mr Guy was ”backtracking from his commitment at a million miles per hour”.

    ”There needs to be a review into how this appalling decision was made, why the minister said he was never informed, and what steps should be taken to ensure this never happens again. It’s a disgrace that sets an awful precedent.”

    A Liberal source said they believed the Titles Office decision was made on Christmas Eve to avoid scrutiny.]

    Read more:

  12. Abbott would like all “workers” (eg unionists) to work for lower wages, while his women of calibre are paid to have babies.

    [Three union officials told Fairfax Media they had meetings with SPC Ardmona managing director Peter Kelly before Christmas in which Mr Kelly said he was being pressured by the Abbott government to put workers on the award if the company wanted a $25 million subsidy.

    Moving workers on to the award would have dramatically cut living standards for hundreds of people at the Shepparton plant, with pay cuts of $20,000 to $30,000 a year for many. Other sources involved in the restructure have separately confirmed to Fairfax Media the Abbott government’s pay push at SPC Ardmona. Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane refused to directly answer questions on the issue.

    The government has been pushing struggling companies such as Toyota and SPC Ardmona to overhaul their workplace agreements as it has repeatedly warned about high wages, which has become a key political issue. That is despite the wage price index growing at just 2.6 per cent last year, the slowest growth in the 16-year history of the series.]

    Read more:

  13. badcat

    The term Operation sovereign Borders should have been enough for Angus Campbell to run a million miles away from.
    It is a parody.

  14. Putting on a tin foil hat, I wonder whether there is any connection between the riots on Manus Is and Julie Bishop’s announcement of “conditions” on foreign aid.

    It crossed my mind that PNG would not be happy when I say her last interview ??? cannot recall when but last week some time and low and behold trouble on Manus.

    Just a thought!

  15. Lizzie@24. This is the Abbott who whinged long and hard about hard he found it to make ends meet in 2008 after his salary was cut from $300k+ as a Cabinet a minister to slightly under $200k as a backbencher.

    This SPC story this morning is extraordinary.

  16. Chip Le Grand of the Australian on ABC suggesting huge drop in number of refugee arrivals into Indonesia.

    The Aus suggests it’s the success of “stop the boats”.

    The biggest likely cause is that the Indonesian Govt. stopped VOA’s (Visa on arrival) from key countries at the request of the then ALP Govt..

    Now the asylum seeker has to go to the Indonesian Embassy in their home country and apply for an advance visa for themselves and their family.

    This makes them targets for surveillance long before they attempt to escape persecution.

    But, no, it has to be “stop the boats”!

  17. Morning all.

    Big thanks to BK for putting in the hard yards with all that reading! I don’t know how on earth you do it at such an early hour. But thanks anyways.

  18. I’m not expecting much movement in the polls until the arse falls out of Abbott’s leadership. Right now we’re sort of in that paralysed period where nothing much is happening which allows the incumbent government a bit of room to move.

    The major problem the ALP have right now is they don’t seem to know how to take the blowtorch to Abbott. They’re heading in the right direction with the jobs theme but it’s too broad a focus. Their communications needs to be very specific

  19. One of the side effects of intense public sector scrutiny, combined with high profile fraud and misconduct cases: an increasingly risk-averse, small target public sector.

    [Public Sector Commissioner Mal Wauchope made the observation while saying WA’s public accountability framework was arguably Australia’s most complex, a reflection of recent history flowing from the WA Inc royal commission and the more recent CCC inquiries.

    “For the public sector to fulfil its purpose of providing for the needs of government and the community, it is important it has the confidence of the community, government and Parliament,” Mr Wauchope said in a recent lecture at the University of WA. “My basic tenet is that most public sector employees try to do the right thing most of the time.

    “When problems arise, more often than not, someone has not thought through their decision and it is a matter of poor judgment rather than malicious or negligent.”

    He said misconduct and fraud did occur in such a large workforce but was rare in the context of hundreds of thousands of daily actions.]

  20. Spur

    The interesting thing will be to see how voters react to the seriously worsening unemployment figures. Rationally it should give a boost to Labor, but I am just not sure it will.

  21. meher baba

    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Lizzie@24. This is the Abbott who whinged long and hard about hard he found it to make ends meet in 2008 after his salary was cut from $300k+ as a Cabinet a minister to slightly under $200k as a backbencher.

    He took a $700,000 loan to maintain his household.

    And did as many pollie bikes rides etc as he could to have the taxpayer funded travel allowance make up the difference


    Dorothy shows how the Murdoch mob do propaganda.

    First show the digital page of the SMH with Dorothy’s observation :

    [It’s an obvious angle on a story that demands attention.]

    Then the Australian’s version of the ‘news’.

    Complete with a front page story, front and centre even, about how wonderful a bloke Tony is, but ignoring the bad news [Manus] and, up on the top of the page, add a nice little spin to a story to paint ‘their’ glorious government as successful.
    Ignore painful facts.

    Australia’s problem is that the Murdoch media sets the political agenda – see ausdavo #28 above – “Chip Le Grand of the Australian on ABC ..” as the ABC continues with its cowardly obeisance to Murdoch.

  23. I think PBers are very tough on Scott Morrison. He has done a simply fantastic job in saving people from drowning at sea by stopping the boats. Attempting to close down information on how this is being done is a very small price we uninformed citizens pay to know that there are people stuck helplessly and indefinitely in Indonesia who would otherwise be drowned. Sure, part of the small price we pay is that we do not know the extent to which our relationship with Indonesia has deteriorated courtesy of our own border incursions (and dog knows what else), but we know it has thanks to Marty saying so. Funnily enough Julie can’t see any deterioration which informs about her understanding of the price we pay. Nor can the full cost of a deterioration of our relationship with Indonesia ever be known. So best to ignore it.

    And, although we know that there are people dying on Manus Island (some quicker and/or more noisily than others) I also consider their deaths a very small price to pay for the knowledge that people are no longer drowning at sea by taking that dangerous boat trip. This benefit cannot be overestimated.

    And now that the department Scotty, ahem, is responsible for has released the names of 10,000 asylum seekers this is a simply brilliant tactic to stop people from drowning at sea. Again, I think the consequences for these asylum seekers (and their families still in their home countries) will be a very small price to pay for the knowledge that people are no longer exposed to that dangerous boat trip.

    Carry on Scott. You have been simply brilliant on every possible metric.

    PS: I wonder if Scotty has ever considered using the Navy to blast one of these boats out of the water. Sure there would be deaths but few if any need be by drowning at sea. And if it were videoed I reckon it would go viral and this would definitely ruin the people smuggler’s business model. Maybe we should withdraw from our Refugee Treaty obligations, blow up the boat and then we could apologise (the Abbott government is good at that) and recommit to the Refugee Treaty without the need to ever be tested on our commitment ever again.

  24. [The senior businessman appointed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to review Australia’s renewable energy target has been the subject of a secret internal investigation into his role as a former director of a firm involved in Australia’s worst foreign bribery scandal.

    The investigation findings were sent earlier this month to the Reserve Bank board and deal with Dick Warburton and his fellow former Note Printing Australia directors’ knowledge and handling of Note Printing Australia’s sanctions-busting trip to Iraq in 1998.


  25. Some of the comments below this article appear to come out of Liberal centra

    [Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has increased the number of security guards at the centre by more than a third, following days of violence that left one asylum seeker dead and scores of others severely injured.]

    Read more:

  26. [I think PBers are very tough on Scott Morrison. He has done a simply fantastic job in saving people from drowning at sea by stopping the boats.]

    I know this was meant to be sarcastic, but Morrison has done precisely what was expected of him, both by voters and his Cabinet and partyroom.

    Unless things in his portfolio deteriorate, rather than resigning, he should be expecting to be promoted away from the poisoned chalice portfolio.

  27. [In a speech in Brisbane on Wednesday, the minister flagged a greater role for the private sector and private insurers in primary care as the government wanted to “grow the opportunity for those Australians who can afford to do so to contribute to their own healthcare costs”.]

    This is rich after the long and loud complaints about class warfare when Labor means tested the private health insurance rebate.

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