BludgerTrack: 51.2-48.8 to Labor

The only poll this week was Labor’s best result from Essential Research in nearly four years, but it hasn’t made much difference to the weekly poll aggregate.

Easter followed by the Anzac Day long weekend has resulted in a lean period for polling, with Newspoll very unusually having gone three weeks without. In an off week for Morgan’s fortnightly publication schedule, that just leaves Essential Research for this week, which I have so far neglected to cover. The poll has Labor’s lead up from 51-49 to 52-48, which is Labor’s best result from Essential since two weeks out from the 2010 election. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down a point to 40% and Labor up one to 38%, while the Greens are on 10%, losing the point that brought them to a temporary peak last week. Palmer United is steady on 5%, which is two points higher than four weeks ago. Other questions in this week’s Essential survey were to do with political party membership (26% say Bill Shorten’s proposed Labor membership rules would make them more likely to vote for the party versus 6% less likely and 59% make no difference; 72% say they would never consider joining a party versus 15% who say they would; 60% won’t confess to having ever engaged in party political activity), the fighter jets purchase (30% approve, 52% disapprove), republicanism (33% for and 42% against, compared with 39% and 35% in June 2012; 46% think a republic likely one day versus 37% for unlikely; 54% approve of the idea of Prince William being King of Australia versus only 26% who don’t).

As for BludgerTrack, Essential Research has had next to no effect on two-party preferred, and none at all on the seat projection, either nationally or any particular state. However, there is movement on the primary vote as the effects of Nielsen’s Greens outlier of three weeks ago fade off. That still leaves the Greens at an historically high 12.0%, but it still remains to be seen if they are trending back to the 9% territory they have tended to occupy for the past few years, or if they find a new equilibrium at a higher level. The Coalition is also down on the primary vote, which is beginning to look like a trend (it is only by the grace of rounding that its score still has a four in front of it). This cancels out the effect of the Greens’ drop on the two-party preferred vote for Labor, whose primary vote has little changed. Palmer United’s slight gain to 4.6% puts them at their highest level so far this year. There haven’t been any new leadership ratings since Nielsen, so the results displayed are as they were a fortnight ago.

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.

2,311 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.2-48.8 to Labor”

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  1. 11am at Sydney. Town Hall today, the State Funeral for Neville Wran.

    PJK set to give the eulogy, will probably be swamped by other events, but will be worthy of close inspection.

  2. “@political_alert: Greens Leader Christine Milne, who chairs the Senate Inquiry into the govt’s Commission of Audit, will respond to the report at 3pm #auspol”

  3. [Helen Sykes
    Posted Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 6:55 am | PERMALINK
    Thank you, Bushfire Bill, for expressing so beautifully what so many of us feel.
    Many of our fellow Australians, sadly, have yet to wake up. They actually belief the debt and deficit disaster rhetoric. People in my electorate of Lindsay – people who will be badly hurt under Abbott – tell me that Australia was ‘going down the gurgler’ under Labor. The rhetoric has triumphed over the facts. I’m not sure how we get them to see the facts when the msm still conspire to protect those who believe themselves born to rule.

    Don’t worry. A good sustained dose of Liberalism is all they need to cure them of that and that is what they will be getting. A lot of ordinary working people fell for John Howard’s carefully crafted weasel words until he hit them with workchoices.

    And don’t forget, on present indications Labor only needs about two percent more of them to switch back to it and Abbott is gone. With the self made problems he now has trying to get his magic pudding to work that shouldn’t be all that hard to achieve.

  4. liyana@33

    So the rumours are that the audit report suggests giving more Commonwealth power to the states. Considering recent revelations at ICAC that suggestion is completely insane…

    Particularly as abbott won’t want to ‘adequately’ fund the functions he wants to rid himself of.

    Ha – suckers who voted for this bunch of utter pricks – you used the baseball bats on yourself. Now take whats coming….

    You too ABC!

  5. Briefly

    “The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has just released its 2011-12 Taxation Statistics, which once again revealed Australia is a nation of loss-making landlords, with 15% of taxpayers owning rental properties declaring a combined $7.86 billion of losses.”

    I guess it just goes to prove 85% of tax payers supporting the “age of entitlement” .

    The slogan you will never hear from any political party….


  6. “@political_alert: Apologies. Greens Senator Richard Di Natale chairs Senate Inquiry into Commission of Audit. He’ll be speaking with Milne at 3pm. #auspol”

  7. From latika

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says a deficit levy is needed because spending cuts would hurt lower income earners only. @amworldtodaypm

  8. victoria@34


    I watched the talking heads on sky last night. They are all liberal partisan hacks, but i enjoyed listening to their distress at their dear leader and party. From what i gleaned, Abbott’s leadership is tenuous

    Plus the really nasty stuff in the budget still hasn’t seen the light of day.

    CoA release later today may mark the way though.

  9. From Latika

    Cormann: only way we can effectively ensure..higher income earners..[pay] is through well targeted time limited measures system

    So #deficitlevy looking more and more likely. The internal response within the Govt will be fascinating to observe, if it happens.

  10. Just heard a comment from a caller on ABC.

    He said that Private Public Partnership is code for corporate welfare. Boom I say.

  11. [Does anyone seriously believe that Labor would win two seats from the Libs in WA right now?

    by Psephos on May 1, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Would depend in part on whether they put up someone like bullock or not.

  12. Love this from Jeff Kennett —

    [JEFF KENNETT: Well I don’t know whether those leaks have come from Canberra. I don’t know whether they’ve been created in the mind of the Government’s political opponents, or God help us, the ABC. I have no idea.]

    Right. So in Kennettworld, the Opposition (or the ABC) ‘invents’ a tax hike, which the PM then confirms.

    Of course, that’s far more likely a scenario than a Liberal MP leaking factual information.

    [The public would much rather endure a period of short pain to return to prosperity quicker than actually fiddle away at a splinter for the next five years…]

    As proved by your term in office in Victoria, right, Jeff?

    Not only did the public get rid of you with reasonable speed, but the shadow you left helped Labor stay in government for a decade…

    [Tony Abbott, was a very good leader of opposition, but the jury is out, in your opinion, as to whether he’s a good Prime Minister?

    JEFF KENNETT: No, no, I think he is a terribly honourable man…]

    Right. So a crap Prime Minister, then.

    […I would have said, “Enough’s enough. We’re facing a $40 billion deficit. We’re going to stop this. This is what we’re going to do. We’ll do one of these two options with the GST. I know I said we weren’t going to touch it, but I need to be pulling all levers. And I’ve got to do it so that you, my community, can return to a good place, a fully-employed good place, as quickly as possible. If I don’t do that, then I’m afraid this community is going to be buffeted and a lot of pain felt for many, many years to come.”]

    Right. But when Gillard did the same sort of thing, she was lambasted for breaking promises (as Kennett does at the start of this interview — an interesting disconnect with his premise that leaders must put the public interest first and lack the courage to do so)

    There’s also an inherent contradiction here – Kennett repeatedly says that the Coalition knew they were inheriting a mess (his take on affairs, not mine), says they shouldn’t have made promises they couldn’t keep, and then says that Abbott should have bailed up the party room and said that they had to break promises because of the state of affairs…

    If the Coalition knew that the economy was on the rocks, knew that people wanted action to fix the problem, knew that people would bear a little pain in order to achieve this, then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have been upfront with the public in the years prior to the election.

    [So in Victoria when we put the reforms in, we had a four-year term and it was only after about 2.5 years that the public started to see that our rhetoric behind why we were doing things was starting to work and that led to our re-election.]

    Actually, you poor deluded pumpkin, it led to the biggest swing against a first term government in Victoria’s history (to that point).

    [TONY JONES: I’m going to ask you the obvious question ’cause a lot of people will be listening to this thinking this is a very articulate case for change.]

    If articulate means contradictory and confused…

    [JEFF KENNETT: Because of what I explained before. They’ve made these silly – everyone’s made stupid bloody promises not to do things.]

    But you just said that that wasn’t an excuse….

    [Tony should have come to office with every lever available to him. He should have had the courage…]

    Ah. I think we’re getting down to tin tacks now..

    [And as I said to you earlier, what do you think the vision for Australia is in 2020 or 2050 under this government or the previous government?]

    Like Kennett, I’m stumped as to the present government. The previous one had a vision where all Australians had access to high quality education (in decent buildings), had world class technology and infrastructure, was pulling its weight on carbon emissions reduction (and thus being a good global citizen) and where the disabled were treated with respect and dignity…just for starters.

    [TONY JONES: They probably won’t take you up on your idea of – your old idea of joining Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania into one mega state, will they? But …

    JEFF KENNETT: No, they probably won’t, but what a wonderful idea! What a wonderful idea!

    TONY JONES: There are so many; we can’t deal with all of them.]


    Kennett as visionary?

    [I’ve always believed that leadership is not difficult, but leadership requires simplicity, good people, a vision, a strategy and a bit of effort to deliver and … I’m worried, terribly worried.]

    So Kennett is saying that the Federal government isn’t providing any of those things? (I’d give them marks for being simple…)

  13. I’m wondering if abbott’s game plan is to use the ‘budget emergency’ and ‘belt-tightening’ budget to go to an early election saying he needs a mandate to make the changes so he doesn’t ‘lie’ to the public – he’ll combine some sweeteners and focus on gutting and filleting the federal public service (this will be electorally popular outside of the ACT – particularly if they get the states to promise to maintain or even boost health and education funding as a result – in the short term). He’ll time his triggers and the election so that the royal commission into unions is hitting labor hard.

    I suspect the ‘wealth levy’ was a ploy to get people’s attention – now he’ll drop or water it down, say ‘he’s listened’ and say ‘well if we can’t have they we need to do away with federal agencies and give the funding to the states’. the funding to the states will evaporate soon after.

    would he be crazy brave enough? he’d have murdoch and the ARF’s backing, as well as massive corporate backing. I think he could probably full this off, and even if he doesn’t drag debate so far to the right that he’ll have a goldwater ‘victory’ in the longer term. labor’s challenge is whether they move right or left in response.

  14. An iron ore glut looms…

    [Vale’s iron ore selling prices during the quarter were “materially below our and consensus estimates”, says UBS analyst Andreas Bokkenheuser. “As iron-ore prices continue their decline, we expect Vale’s earnings and share price to come under further pressure in the coming quarters”.

    Vale also warned of an oversupply in the iron ore market, as more production goes online, particularly in Australia.

    “For the first time in these last 10 years, we’re experiencing a different situation, in which supply has surpassed demand,” Vale’s head of ferrous metals and strategy, Jose Carlos Martins. “At the same time, demand has risen slower than expected.”

    Up to 150 million metric tonnes of additional iron-ore supply could hit the global market this year, with even more additional production expected in following years….]

  15. [
    As per latika’s tweets, Cormann is out and about. Where is Hockey?

    Isn’t it tradition that the Treasurer tends to disappear in the lead up to the Budget? You know, they are hard at work preparing it etc. Or have I made that one up.

  16. Sir Mad Cyril@73

    As per latika’s tweets, Cormann is out and about. Where is Hockey?

    Isn’t it tradition that the Treasurer tends to disappear in the lead up to the Budget? You know, they are hard at work preparing it etc. Or have I made that one up.

    If the majority of the budget isn’t locked in by now they are having major problems.

    A few items might be still up for grabs, but they are running out of time.

    Think I read of some meeting tomorrow to sort out the final stuff.

    CoA release today – nicely in time for a NewsPoll weekend along with the deceit tax etc.

  17. They can’t drop the debt tax now because they’re selling it!

    It’s not the tax in and of itself that will be the issue but the relationship between Abbott and his base and how that plays out in terms of how the public views it all. This could reignite the pyrotechnics from 2009

  18. Before i head out. Fran Kelly who is filling in for BCassidy, gave a summary of politics on ABC 774 earlier.

    In a nutshell, Abbott is struggling to find support for his PPL and this proposed increase in taxes for incomes over $80,000. This has damaged Abbott. Labor will repay him in kind for broken promises etc, but Abbott was brilliant in boxing Labor in opposition. He may be able to convince the voters that this is the budget bottom line is all Labor’s fault

  19. Zoomster

    TONY JONES: They probably won’t take you up on your idea of – your old idea of joining Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania into one mega state, will they? But …

    JEFF KENNETT: No, they probably won’t, but what a wonderful idea! What a wonderful

    Didn’t Geoff ( bless his heart) propose to get rid of all State Governments ?

    Just have Local & Federal

  20. So I wake up to find that the Commission of Audit is a Fraud, and that we demand that it is invalid, and call for a new election based on Fraudsters?

  21. zoidlord

    I don’t want an immediate election. I’d prefer that the voters start to understand the reality of Coalition rule. They need time to reverse their thinking. It’s too soon.

  22. Alternate realities really do exist or Greg Hunt is teling lies.

    Here’s comment on UNESCO’s draft decision on the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status.
    [UNESCO has recommended the committee consider adding the reef to the World Heritage in Danger list in 2015, unless the Government further protects the reef]


    And here’s Grunt’s take on the draft decision – either he has read an entirely different report, he is telling huge porkies or he really is living in an alternate reality.

    Here is the report – it’s very long, 72 pages, I haven’t read it yet.

  23. [Prof. Peter Doherty ‏@ProfPCDoherty 11m
    Interesting article in the Monthly about the inner group in our current government: some of the best minds of the mid 19th century?]

  24. “@political_alert: Greens Finance Spokesperson @AdamBandt has called for a ‘bank levy’ after the ANZ’s record $3.5b half-year profit announcement #auspol”

  25. Tony Windsor ‏@TonyHWindsor 11m

    Ross Gittins knows this stuff backwards but politicians unable to explain hence all this rubbish about budget crisis

  26. Gottliebsen –

    [ A retail red alert for Hockey’s budget

    Step back and look at what is happening across our country. What you will see is not pretty.

    The fall in the share prices of Woolworths and Wesfarmers (Coles and Bunnings) over the last few days is the first sign that the market realises that the dramatic events taking place in Canberra are going to hit already sluggish retail spending.

    It’s the first whiff that the market understands what is about to take place.

    Whether it is a tax levy on middle-income Australia, a cut in welfare or slashing government spending in particular areas, we are going to see measures that will reduce people’s spending power and/or create job uncertainty.

    This squeeze on the economy comes just as we are about to lift shift allowances and penalty rates in retail as part of a decision made four years ago which cuts in on July 1.

    That’s a very nasty retail combination — higher wages and reduced demand. And what’s happening in retail will spread through the economy.

    Right now this underlying problem is being masked by higher house prices….buying on the expectation of higher rents.

    In normal circumstances there would be a further fall in Australian interest rates to boost consumer demand and lower the dollar. But the current low rates, fanned by lower lending standards, are driving money away from bank deposits into investment properties.

    In previous tough times we have received a ‘get out of jail free card’ via higher commodity prices, but there is no joy in iron ore, coal or gas prices at the moment. Indeed the price of each of these key export materials is under pressure.

    ….we have a situation where there are a series of decisions being made in government, housing, banking, wages and investment that are at odds with each other.

    The government knows that it faces major employment problems with the end of the mining investment boom and the close of auto manufacturing, plus the switch from store-based retail to online retail.

    I am not sure Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey fully understand what is ahead. ]

  27. @dave/91

    We know from experience, and in UK’s experience is to not mess with people’s payments on Centerlink.

    “For example, we know from recent research that more disabled jobseekers cite employers’ attitudes as a bigger barrier to finding work than transport difficulties. To tackle this, we recently launched a two-year campaign to support businesses to become more confident about hiring disabled people.
    A more inclusive business isn’t just about doing the ‘right thing’ – it makes good business sense, with the purchasing power of disabled people worth around £80bn a year. Inclusive employers tap into this potential. ”

    So why is it, that our politicians cannot realize the purchasing power of those on Centerlink ?

  28. guytaur@89

    “@political_alert: Greens Finance Spokesperson @AdamBandt has called for a ‘bank levy’ after the ANZ’s record $3.5b half-year profit announcement #auspol”

    Abbott’s creature of No! No! No! is coming back to bite him on the bum.

    He destroyed any attempt of reasonable reform in the country’s interests and has fired up reflex resistance to anyone who tries reform or to reduce anyones circumstances – irrespective of their level of wealth.

    Enjoy it abbott… had it coming.

  29. mikehilliard

    What a shambles.]
    I like the 2012 word of the year coined by the UK political comedy The Thick of It . Omnishambles.

    [Omnishambles. British informal. noun: A situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.]

  30. Another thing that seems to have been allowed to slip very quitely under the radar – yesterday the NSW Tories sold the Port of Newcastle – one of our busiest ports to a company 50% owed by the Chinese Government.

    Baird was very briefly on TV last night gloating at the price he got.

    I’m positive the Chinese see it the other way around – that they secured a long term asset at a more than acceptable price.

    Now if Labor had sold such a foundation asset to the “Red Chinese Communists” – imagine the outcry………

  31. Tony Abbott, the Victor Frankenstein of Australian politics, is now in deep electoral trouble. The Monster of the ‘Great Big New Tax’ he has created now stalks the land and the hapless villagers are in open revolt, torches ablaze as they pursue him and his lumbering Golem into the hills.

    It is an exquisite irony that Abbott is now stymied by the incipient terror he himself has created of the very thing he now espouses. Despite the need for some progressive changes in our tax arrangements to make the wealthy pay more of their fair share of the burden, the political reality engendered by Abbott’s relentless fear campaign about debt, deficit and the horror of any new taxes conducted over the last 4 years means he cannot now credibly propose any tax increases without breaking his explicit and oft repeated promises to the electorate, the very thing he bitterly condemned the former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard for over hill and dale, in every forum, at every doorstop since 2010.

    For good or ill, the currency of all politicians is their credibility, and what little of this commodity the Prime Minister may have possessed is now draining away.

    The windmill is on fire, and Abbott is now set to perish electorally in the political conflagration he caused along with dreaded creature he created.

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