BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0

The Coalition lead in Newspoll causes the two parties to reach parity on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, while Tony Abbott pulls ahead of Bill Shorten on net approval.

New results from Newspoll, Essential Research and Morgan has put BludgerTrack back to the position of two-party parity it was at three weeks ago, after which Labor was up to 51.8% and then 50.9%. They have also ironed out the brief slump recorded by the Greens last week, who have progressed from 11.3% to 8.9% to 10.4%. This week’s gain has come entirely at the expense of Labor, with the Coalition vote unchanged. On the seat projection, the Coalition is back in majority government territory, the meter having ticked in their favour by two seats in New South Wales and one each in Queensland and Western Australia. After a quiet spot last week, new leadership figures have emerged from Newspoll and Essential Research, and they find Tony Abbott with a rare lead over Bill Shorten on net approval, although preferred prime minister remains in the stasis it assumed in early December.

Also note that coverage of the Western Australian Senate count is ongoing on the dedicated thread, with a Liberal victory in the final seat looking increasingly likely.

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.

2,173 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0”

  1. Hi Vic.

    Further to our conversation last night, which somehow ‘drifted’ to discuss the so called end of capitalism.

    But was not what we were discussing. Others took the conversation that way.

    We were discussing the declining US middle class and how that is a ticking time bomb for the US, viz –


    …The huge ticking time bomb are those who used to be the US middle class who now are working poor on minimum wage doing 2 or 3 jobs just to survive.


    [ victoria
    Posted Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    i dont believe these people were ever middle class.

    I know they were most likely indentified as such, but in my view If a person has to provide his/her labor in exchange for money, than that person is working class. ]

    Well on the above definition probably 95% plus of working age US people would be “working class”? Plumbers to Wall Street traders etc all ‘sell’ their labor and many would have regarded themselves as middle class.

    There many many US sources that accept and discuss the decline of the US middle class. Some even call it the extinction of the middle class.

    A recent survey by Pew Research found –

    [ Despite a slowly recovering economy, the proportion of Americans who identify themselves as middle class has dropped sharply in recent years.

    Today…..(44%) say they are in the middle class {down from 53% in 2008}, according to a recent Pew Research Center/USA TODAY survey. ]

    The link below provides a list of reasons why the “death of the middle class in America has become so painfully obvious” –

    But the following example (detailed in the link) shows the type of person I’m talking about – an excerpt from an open letter to Barack Obama from a woman with a Master’s degree and 30 years of work experience.

    It details what this formerly middle class lady is having to endure because of the state of the economy –

    [ Dear Mr. President,

    I write to you today because I have nowhere else to turn. I lost my full time job in September 2012. I have only been able to find part-time employment — 16 hours each week at $12 per hour — but I don’t work that every week.

    For the month of December, my net pay was $365. My husband and I now live in an RV at a campground because of my job loss. Our monthly rent is $455 and that doesn’t include utilities. We were given this 27-ft. 1983 RV when I lost my job.

    This is America today.

    We have no running water; we use a hose to fill jugs. We have no shower but the campground does. We have a toilet but it only works when the sewer line doesn’t freeze — if it freezes, we use the campground’s restrooms.

    At night, in my bed, when it’s cold out, my blanket can freeze to the wall of the RV. We don’t have a stove or an oven, just a microwave, so regular-food cooking is out.

    Recently we found a small toaster oven on sale so we can bake a little now because eating only microwaved food just wasn’t working for us.

    We don’t have a refrigerator, just an icebox (a block of ice cost about $1.89). It keeps things relatively cold. If it’s freezing outside, we just put things on the picnic table. ]

    The article concludes –

    [ This is not the America that I remember.

    What in the world is happening to us? ]

    My same reaction, shaking my head.

    The lady writing that letter is the type of person I was referring to, who was clearly middle class but is now lower working class on a generous assessment. That group has reduced from 53% to 44% since 2008.

    Sorry for the long post but a final point.

    [ A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey found about 260,000 people who had a college or professional degree made at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 {per hour} last year.

    …”The only jobs that we’re growing are low-wage jobs, and at the same time, wages across occupations, especially in low-wage jobs, are declining,”]

  2. Everything@1847

    Yesiree Bob
    …..By paying them to stay at home.

    Oh…kay…, so that’s not welfare then ?

    Only if you consider sick leave and annual leave as welfare.

    Do you?

    Totally different, unlike the Paid Parental Scheme (funded through taxation), we are not paying for those entitlements

  3. Trickle down economics is one of the greatest deceptions.

    It is a proven failure in the USA. And only an idiot would think it could work in Australia.

    The idea that by having the Government provide more money to the wealthy and to corporations the poor will benefit…is a con. They should be sent to prison for the con trick

  4. [AussieAchmed
    Posted Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 10:49 am | PERMALINK
    1975 68seats 127 seat Parliament. After providing Speaker need Coalition to maintain a majority]


    67 seats, 1 speaker, there are 59 other seats. Why do they need the Nats?

    [1977 67 seats 127 seat Parliament – see above]

    See above

    [1996 75 seats 150 seat parliament – see above]

    It was 76 seats. In other words 75 Lib, 1 Lib speaker, 74 other seats = 75 to 74 on floor

    [2004 75 seats 150 seat Parliament see above]

    Why do they need to provide the Speaker? They give the speakership to the Nats and they have Majority government.

  5. E

    How many votes did Pup take from the LNP in WA?

    I don’t tend to agree with ESJ on a lot of things. However I do believe a proportional voting system is the way to go.

    European countries have shown it works well.

  6. Just read the last few posts from last night.

    Deblonay, someone with myself who do not see politics eye to eye, actually has a serious point with the dangerous divide between rich and poor in the US.

    Capitalism could well be heading for destruction in the US?

    The prosperity from the wealth creation of capitalism must be distributed and shared fairly and deservedly among those who contribute to it.

    Do you know where the US could well be heading?

    You can find a clue with the movie Back To The Future with Michael J Fox. The fat baddy gets his hands on all the sports results in the future (could have contacted Centre but never mind 😀 ), goes back to the past, backs all the winners, and becomes the richest bloke in the US.

    Take note of the society that then ensued around him?

    The makers of that movie had some economic sense 😉

  7. [1846

    The arithmetic is inexorable. The non-LNP vote has been growing more divided and more susceptible to decay in the last few years.

    Yes, the ALP vote is being cut up with multiple recipients.

    The reason is that the ALP is not standing for anything, other than power and saying or doing whatever it takes.]

    I think it is a lot more complicated than that. Even if it were an explanation for Labor’s loss of support, it is no more true of Labor than the LNP, who have been prepared to lie their way into office as a matter of course.

    It is more pertinent to argue that Labor did too little of the necessary things and too many self-destructive things to hold on to its vote.

    In general, there are very many issues connected to the distribution of incomes, demographics, environmental politics, consumer politics and political communication that Labor has failed to come to terms with. They have been – and remain – vulnerable to vote raiding by their opponents, the Greens and the LNP.

  8. Well, I will give you a little time to double check your maths AA :devil:

    I am off to enjoy the day….enough mischief here methinks!

    Enjoy your Sunday Bludger-balance-roonies

  9. I FULLY support the PPL zoidlord, for reasons I have outlined here many times over many years.

    It is supported by real feminists all over Australia, just not the ones who use feminism just as a means to barrack for their own football team!

  10. zoidlord:

    Again, you appear to be struggling to follow. I support the PPL. When you support something, that means that you agree with it and want it to happen.

    I don’t support a whole range of other Coalition policies (like mandatory detention, offshore processing, the direct action scheme) and I have criticised them and not defended them at all here…unlike others who simply support EVERYTHING of their party and criticise EVERYTHING of the other party (hence my football team analogy- its quite a good one, isn’t it?)

  11. Mod Lib supports welfare for the rich.

    The PPL achieves two objectives; 1)returns taxpayer funds to the rich, hence lowering their tax contribution, and 2)breeds more rednecks therefore lowering the need for immigration.

    It’s true, call it the way it is!

  12. dave

    I guess what constitutes middle class depends on how it is defined.

    If achievement of tertiary education.and holding professional qualifications, regardless of their wealth means you are deemed to be middle class, fair enough.

    As i posted last night, the failure in growth of real wages during the past thirty years in the US has resulted in the “working poor”.

  13. Yeah sure, you support the only policy that will cost us $5.5 billion per year to drive up more debt in the long term (which would have helped pay for other polices, where Abbott & Co say they can’t afford it).

    The fact that you continue to boast about how liberals are doing better by this morning posts, shows the lack of criticism.

    Hence my criticism of liberal supporters here.

  14. How anyone support the PPL is beyond comprehension. Welfare for the wealthy? Yes. Good social policy? No.

    Says it all about OTT. The economic credentials of a gnat!

  15. Z,

    Not only does it cost $5.5b but the average tax payer will wear the cost!

    Redirection of funds towards the rich, like abolishing the MRRT when we are no longer in the investment phase but the revenue generation phase. Madness but that’s OTT and Jolly Joe.

  16. I agree with ML on border protection, direct action and the PPL although I think it should be means tested at $100k and the levy to fund it more widely spread across business. I actually support the CPRS as long as the Green inspired fixed price is removed.

    The one area I do support the Coalition on is getting the budget position back under control but have reservations on how they plan to do that. The budget should provide some clarity on that.

  17. victoria@1869


    As i posted last night, the failure in growth of real wages during the past thirty years in the US has resulted in the “working poor”.

    Yes Vic and many of the now working poor were previously middle class with the education, assets and lifestyle that go with being middle class. They also had a middle class level of debt like many here in Australia and elsewhere in in the western world.

    All fine until the music stops, no job and no way to service their obligations etc. Then the slide begins with many ending up on minimum wage etc.

  18. PPL does not achieve what Abbott claims, its just another deception.

    He claims it will increase productivity and improve engagement and re-engagement with the work force. This is a load of bull excrement.

    Paying a high PPL will not increase productivity. I scratch my head in disbelief when I hear people espouse this nonsense. No-one can explain how, but they just run of at the mouth like good little robots.

    The only way it increases engagement is more women taking on higher paid work to increase their payments while they are on PPL.

    Re-engagement will not happen unless there is a good, robust child care program that provides properly and fully for the needs of the child. Less women will return to work because of the Abbott Plan to reduce child care to a form of “warehousing” of children while parents work.

  19. At $5.5 billion per year, it would help pay for NDIS, Gonksi and NBN with a nice split of $1.83 billion per year.

    To Further this, to pay for Labors NBN alone, the PPL policy would pay for that, $5.5 billion x 10 years = $55 billion.

  20. We need to be cautious when discussing the “middle class” in the USA because the terms do NOT equate in Australia.

    In Australia we would normally restrict the term “middle class” to white collar, professional and administrative workers, to master tradesmen (ie business owners) and to shop/business owners.

    Employees who work in trades, retail, hospitality AND manufacturing would normally be considered (and consider themselves) working class.

    In the USA the term middle class covers just about everyone who has a permanent job and a reasonable pay rate

  21. Davidwh

    You agree with Mod Lib on border protection, direct action and the PPL yet you want a balanced budget.

    Some stupidity has no bounds 😛

  22. The ALP continue to thrash about navel-gazing their way to oblivion.

    The answer simply gets back to exercising common sense, which unfortunately isn’t very common at the moment.

    The ALP policy areas of the last 6 years or so are largely good, but lack of common sense and moral fibre has seen those areas weakened which has resulted in an electoral backlash.

    Forget about re-inventing the ALP wheel and get back to focusing on common sense decision making.

  23. [1862

    @gabriellechan: Greens need internal reform to win more federal seats, says Christine Milne via @guardian]

    Whichever party best democratises their policy-making, candidate selection and electioneering can make very significant gains among urban voters – voters whose party affiliations are weak and who feel disconnected from the political process.

    The biggest single issue in Australian politics is the undemocratic character of the political parties and the need to reform them along democratic lines.

  24. victoria@1880

    Hey Sloppy, I know 45 year olds who are struggling to find work at present.

    The mantra didn’t last long –

    – You can trust us.

    – No lies

    – No excuses

    – No surprises

    – Improved accountability

    – Improved transparency

    – Less taxes more expenditure and a surplus.

    – Climate science is crap but we are going to spend $3 billion
    on it anyway.

    – We will put downwards pressure on the COL.

  25. Usual nonsense and attempts to misrepresent what was said. Typical ignorant troll behaviour.

    I have no problem with paid parental leave. In fact I was on the Executive of one of the Unions that introduced the idea into Awards and EBA’s. Well before employers or Govt took ownership or responsibility.

    My comment was about how Abbott was yet again deceiving the people with his lies about what his PPL would achieve

  26. ESJ

    [Of course AA, crazy to give women money for doing something that comes naturally eh ?}

    Going to the toilet comes naturally so do you apply the same rules to that?

  27. [GENERATION X Australians may have to keep working until the age of 70, Joe Hockey has warned.

    In another indication that a further rise in Australia’s pension age is on the cards, the Treasurer, 48, said his contemporaries may have to keep working until their eighth decade.]

    Does this mean just the aged pension, or are they intending to meddle with people getting access to their superannuation?

  28. The point about the Liberal PPL scheme is that it uses taxpayer money to benefit those who don’t need it at the expense of those who do.

    It’s regressive, ridiculous, a waste of public funds, and if the Liberals had any intention of backing their rhetoric about being good economic managers with meaningful action, they’d ditch it.

  29. Not only are the Liberals cutting pensions and increasing the age when a person can get the pension they are reducing the amount of superannuation a person will have at the time of retiring by stopping the increase in the Superannuation Guarantee.

    Everything to make sure the lower classes are reduced to serfdom.

  30. [ Does this mean just the aged pension, or are they intending to meddle with people getting access to their superannuation? ]

    ‘Fess – I think the age you can access your super will also rise with the pension age.

    There were some exemptions but they may get plugged as well, eg redundancy you could fully access your super – but the rules keep changing.

  31. dave:

    That doesn’t surprise me at all. I also hate that they keep fiddling with the rules on super, it’s so hard to keep track of it all.

  32. Abbott’s PPL will result in one of the most significant increases in the cost of living.

    Abbott and Hockey in particular rant about the need to reduce all types of welfare because of a reducing revenue.

    Then sets out to reduce revenue by repealing the MRRT and the Carbon Price legislations.

    They continue to support the FBT rorts at the cost of $1.9 billion per year to the revenue. And cut the taxation on superannuation earnings over $100,000 at the cost of billions to revenue.

    So to make up for this cut in revenue the plan is to attack pensioners and the disabled.

    What a bunch of mongrels this Abbott Govt are.

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