BludgerTrack: 55.0-45.0 to Labor

With nothing much doing in polldom this week, the momentum to Labor established by the post-budget results carries over into this week’s BludgerTrack poll aggregate reading.

With just about every pollster in the game taking the field last week to gauge budget reaction, there is a corresponding lull this week, the trusty weekly Essential Research being the only new data point nationally. Since this of itself doesn’t bear much weight in the model, the change since last week is more to do with pre-budget polling fading from the system than any recorded shift from last week to this. The trendlines instead move a little further along the trajectories set for them last week, with Labor up a further half a point on the primary vote, the Liberals down correspondingly, and a lift for the Greens boosting the two-party preferred shift to 0.8%.

There has been one substantial new poll result this weak, and that’s been a relatively mild result for the Coalition in Galaxy’s Queensland-only poll (which, interestingly enough, was exactly replicated in the small-sample Queensland component of this week’s Essential poll). However, the BludgerTrack model only uses state-level polling to determine the manner in which the national vote is apportioned between the states, so the effect of this result has been to soften Labor’s numbers in Queensland while fractionally improving them everywhere else. Since Queensland’s is the mother lode when it comes to marginal seats, the swing in the national result has yielded Labor little gain on the total seat projection, as gains of one seat each in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia have been counter-balanced by a loss of three in Queensland.

The other BludgerTrack news for the week is that the retrospective poll tracking charts have as promised been extended to the start of the Howard era, the results of which you can see on the sidebar. There is no new data this week on leadership ratings, so the results on the sidebar remain as they were a week 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.

1,869 comments on “BludgerTrack: 55.0-45.0 to Labor”

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  1. 10% swing in South Australia.


    9% in WA is equally impressive. To see Hasluck, Swan, Cowan and /Pearce/ fall to Labor would be quite the sight.

    Can’t say I’d be sad to see any of those MPs go though.

  2. Tony Abbott’s latest blunder, stripping money from the RC into child sex abuse to protect his Church mates and further his witch-hunt into the HIP certainly won’t help him in the next batch of polls.

  3. After a day in Bosnia come back into Croatia to these figures no wonder I am happy. Flying to my beloved Greek Isles tomorrow

  4. “The other BludgerTrack news for the week is that the retrospective poll tracking charts have as promised been extended to the start of the Howard era”

    This is very nice except my side bar only goes back to 2004?

  5. @william Bowe

    Ahh it works now

    There seems to be a few patterns. I would love to see if these patterns hold further back in the past

    1. the incumbents lowest 2pp aggregate before the election year starts (i.e. look at poll aggregates from the start of a term to 12 months before the election) is a very good predictor of who will win government despite how much happens in politics. The 01 seems exceptionally good for the government which is probably due to 9/11. Every other government, if the government dropped below 50 before the election year the government lost.
    2. The 2010 election were also exceptional in a bad sense for the incumbent. This was surely due to the sacking of a prime minister. Every election apart from the 01 and 2010 election, the incumbent’s worst 2pp aggregate before the election year is within 3 points of the election result.

    3. The incumbent usually suffers a swing against it in the first few months of an election year and then claws back support

    4. there seems to be between 2-3 points to be gained in the last couple of months before the election. If you need more than 3 points to win 3 months out from an election you are probably dead in the water

    It seems oz politics is more predictable than people make out. I conclude that Abbott may genuinely be in trouble here despite it being so far out from the next campaign

  6. forgive the multiple posts.

    Possibly the strongest predictor seems to be to look at the lowest primary vote aggregate for the incumbent before the election year. With the exception of the 2013 election this always gets you to within a point or two of their final primary vote at the election (often it gets you dead on). Even the 2013 election is within 3 points.

    It’d be interesting to see if these patterns are true in the Hawke/Keeting era

    I’d be surprised if the coalition can get their primary vote above 41 at the next election. Could they win with a 41 primary?

  7. @ graham white 9

    I’d be surprised if the coalition can get their primary vote above 41 at the next election. Could they win with a 41 primary?

    Depends on where Palmer and Labor primary votes are. If Palmer’s is 10-15 nationally and Labor’s is well below 40, it’s possible.

  8. hmmm
    the only pattern for a challengers primary vote I can discern is that it tends to go in a uniform direction one way or another (or flat). It also tends to increase. It’d take another 12 months to discern the direction of Labours primary vote. The challengers primary vote seems a poor predictor of electoral success.
    The best indicators seem to be the worst incumbants pre election year 2pp and the worst primary vote for the incumbant. A week indicator is the direction the incumbants primary vote is going in (challengers doesn’t seem to matter). If the incumbants primary vote has a downward trend up to 12 months before an election you are probably going to lose seats. This seems to suggest that we vote governments out rather than vote governments in.

    All indicators seem to suggest that Abbott may be in trouble already.

  9. There are five political airhead things about Pyne’s venture into grave robbing policy on the run:

    (a) it is confirmation bias about how nasty they Coalition is when it comes to grabbing money
    (b) it initiates discussion about another Coalition tax with an easy tag: death tax, grave tax
    (c) even though it is targetted at heirs it upsets the older voting segment
    (d) the Coalition does not even seem to be seriously considering it as a policy option.
    (e) it is a tacit acknowledgement that the Coalition accepts they are intent on turning Australians on to debt bondage for life.

  10. Hmmmm.. Fascinating dining companions in a Canberra Chinese restaurant last night.

    Malcolm Turnbull, Treasurt head Martin Parkinson (boned by Abbott) and The Professor himself. Tagging along it would appear was the Daily ToiletPaper.

    Mr Palmer did not let on that he was heading to the real power dinner of the night. “This is the life of a politician, I have to go and give a speech to the party faithful,” he said as he walked out. “We have thousands of members all over the country.”

    Certainly the power that Mr Palmer holds through his independent seat is of great interest to the Abbott government right now as it battles to push through a controversial Budget.

    The Queensland billionaire left his dining companions waiting at the Asian restaurant on the newly developed Kingston foreshore, close to Mr Turnbull’s Canberra penthouse.

    Mr Palmer anxiously paced around the front of Parliament House as his driver raced to get his silver Bentley from the carpark to pick him up.

    “I have six minutes to get there,” he said, at least 10 minutes before he left.

    Earlier in the day he had asked for the government to provide him with the same number of staffers as The Greens. It might have been the bargaining chip the government was waiting for.

    Or it could just have been a nice dinner of “fine Asian cuisine” among very rich friends.

    Senior ministers last night were surprised to hear of the meeting and even more curious about the presence of Dr Parkinson.]

    Clive has a penchant for encouraging disgruntled politicians to join PUP.

    Surely he wouldn’t be inviting Lord Buffering of Wentworth? Surely not.

  11. I can see why Pyne is pushing for a HECS Death Tax

    [Changes to higher education including fee and interest rate rises could see students straddled with debt for the rest of their lives, new research has found.

    The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education made calculations based on various HECS-HELP debts, lifetime earnings, and interest rates and found that someone with a A$50,000 HECS debt would have to earn over A$80,000 a year to pay off their HECS debt before retirement, in which case it would take 43 years.

    Students earning less than A$80,000, or with higher HECS debts – which is possible in a deregulated environment – may not pay off their HECS debts before they retire. At that point, pension payments would not be enough to keep abreast of interest payments and the debt would start to build up again, according to the report.

    The calculations were based on an interest rate of 3.75%, but under the legislation it could be as high as 6%.]

  12. Morning all. The graverobber policy Pyne has proposed is clearly absurd. At some point in any loan scheme you have to write off some loans as bad debts. This is no different. Changing the law to create a new special class of debtor looks quite vindictive. Meanwhile resources to pursue corporate criminals and tax cheats are being cut…. Oh yes, that burden is being equally shared!

  13. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Seemed like a nice lad.
    I wouldn’t put anything past this mob!
    I don’t think Rolf will wobble out of this.
    Joe must be an “adult” now.
    Mike Baird supports the RET. Well done.
    The IPA strongly supports Brandis’s 18C changes. All the more reason to resist it, I’d say.
    No doubt the gutted workforce in the ATO will be able to get right onto this.
    Whatever the outcome these allegations must be properly investigated and the facts brought to light. So far Dutton has not substantiated his serious claims.
    The school chaplains program’s religious mandate continues to ruffle feathers and strengthen the odious Access Ministries outfit. Psychologists get bumped by witch doctors. What a scandal.

  14. Sectio 2 . . .

    This Senate Committee seems to be doing good work.
    And it doesn’t help the FoFA legislation argument either.
    The ACCC is going after cartels. Egg producers are in its sights.
    Vindictiveness and secretiveness runs very deep in the Liberal Party.
    David Pope with the Inquisition.

    Alan Moir shows us Joe Hockey readying himself for another day at work.

  15. And from the Land of the Free –

    A Repug Senate candidate from Nebraska shows his splendid characteristics.
    The father of one of the slain Californian youths continues to speak out against guns.
    TYT’s Anna Kasparian weighs in on the above shooter’s apologist.

  16. BK

    Yes I would be careful if Pyne ever claimed to score a century in cricket, or if he said his policies had majority support.

    My personal preferred word for Pyne’s claims is “Lies”. Have a good day in our brave new country, with its newspeak government. Or is it Newsspeak?

  17. Arrnea @1: Pearce isn’t actually safer than Canning – Don Randall just got a weirdly huge swing last time, and Judi Moylan retired. However…

    That 9% swing in WA won’t take into account the new seat to be created at the next redistribution. My guess is it’ll be in the southern suburbs, based on Cockburn and running from about Kwinana to Armadale – that can’t fail to be a Labor seat (even in bad times). That would push Canning out of the Perth metro area to be more of a Mandurah/Peel-based seat (to take all the bits chopped out of Forrest), and Hasluck further north or east. Meanwhile, the five NOR Perth seats (Curtin, Perth, Stirling, Cowan, Moore) need to lose about a third of an electorate between them to Pearce, which would then have to lose either the Avon valley (safe Lib/Nat) or Midland (fairly safe Labor). Either way, Pearce is going to end up very different, and one of the AEC’s biggest problems is going to be making it less of a weird bits ‘n’ pieces seat. That could make it either a lot safer for Christian Porter, or make him wish he’d stayed in state politics (Pearce could be another Wakefield).

  18. Meanwhile, in SA, have you lot noticed this?

    Ex-Lib leader Martin Hamilton-Smith has quit the party and accepted a ministry in the Labor govt. That makes even Vince Catania’s jump from Labor to the Nats look mild. Yay red team, but I’m not surprised his office got vandalised. There’s a dirt file at SA Lib HQ getting pulled out right about now.

  19. Morning

    Just wanted to add my voice to the consensus of disgust regarding Abbott stripping funds from the RC into child sex abuse to fund his witch hunts.

  20. Bird
    But MH-S has already fired a shot over their bow saing WTTE that he hasd plenty more on them that he wouldn’t hesitate to put out if they try that stuff.

  21. Be interesting to see Malcolm’s standing in the next preferred leadership poll, if he is further in front of Abbott, the backbench will really be nervous

  22. An alarming development.

    [Doctors are worried more WA parents are refusing to immunise their children, despite the overwhelming evidence about the benefits of vaccination.

    The latest Australian Childhood Immunisation Register figures for the end of March show 4267 children under seven years old have been registered by parents with a conscientious objection to immunisation.]

  23. BoP@23

    You have correctly reminded us that WA will not be the quite the same WA now in terms of the composition of electorates.

    While there is a lot of anger at the budget – based on day to day scuttlebutt – the election is still over two years away and we have two budgets to go. The final one before the election will be an all out attempt to offer a bit of sugar to the electorate – which may or may not work depending on how much sugar is left to dispense.

    Historically, Labor has always struggled to get more than 5-6 seats at the best of times, and calling some of the WA seats into the Labor side of the ledger just now, is a bit optimistic in terms of ‘what if’.

    However, given there will be quite a redistribution it is anyone’s guess whether this will improve Labor’s chances of more seats here or not.

    In any event, elections are more often won and lost in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

    The rest of us go along for the ride I suppose.

  24. Clive was interviewed earlier and he confirmed that the dinner with truffles and the head of treasury has not changed his mind about the budget

  25. Oh gawd, talk about cheesy!

    [But Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosed down fears Peppa Pig was headed for the abattoir.

    “If Peppa were at risk, and she is not, then I would lead the charge to save her bacon,” he told _The West Australian _.

    “With crackling dialogue like Peppa’s, how could she be given the chop? Peppa’s is one snout we are happy to have in the ABC trough.”]

  26. I heard snippets of Abbott’s speech to the Mining Council last night.

    He sounded quite a bit desperate.

    And, having to falling back on “It is the right thing to do” as support for his government’s actions, seems to request us to forget three solid years of negativity, false promises and outright deception.

    He may just get away with it as long as the economy does not sour. He is entitled to have some faith in the very short-term memories of the Oz electorate as this has saved the bacon of many a political party over time.

    The fact that the local Liberals have managed to hose down the whole of the Buswell affair with most here shaking their heads in amazement that he has “got away with it by the look of it” serves to underline how quickly the political/media caravan moves on.

  27. I know I’ve made “Fat” jokes about Joe Hockey, but did I just hear Joe Hockey make a “Fat” joke about Clive Palmer?

    (on ABC-24… “He looks like he has more than one meal a night…”)

  28. Tricot

    I heard Some of Clive’s interview this morning. Whilst i do not trust him for one second, he is doing his bit to disrupt Abbott and his agenda. There is still much to play out

  29. confessions

    As the attack on the ABC by the LNP is over current affairs especially News 24 its very smart of Scott to say the pig gets it.

    He can keep it up too. Dr Who is another that springs to mind

  30. Tricot @32: I’d hardly call 1998 “the best of times”, but Labor managed to win 7 seats out of 14 then (that became a notional 8 out of 15 after Hasluck was created). Cowan, Canning, Swan, Stirling and Hasluck were all Labor seats during a Liberal govt.

  31. And before I vacate the field for most of the day, I must confess it always puzzle me when pollies who just don’t jump ship but actually sign up with their opponents.

    This kind of thing has happened since politics has existed but I find it hard to get inside the head of a person who is elected holding a set of values and beliefs – often strongly contrary to their political opponents – then, down the track, putting many of these key beliefs and values to one side, join the “enemy” as it were.

    One then is entitled to question the integrity of such people as if such views were held so strongly and so deeply, just what did all that mean before they jumped ship?

    While I know nothing about MHS, the honourable thing would have been to have gone to the cross bench and become and independent. Even more honourable would have been to have resigned both from the party and the seat.

    Guess I live in some weird world these days to expect this kind of behaviour.

  32. [He may just get away with it as long as the economy does not sour.]

    It’s already soured in my part of the economy. I’m selling more stuff in America than in Australia at the moment.

    [He is entitled to have some faith in the very short-term memories of the Oz electorate as this has saved the bacon of many a political party over time.]

    I think this time it’s “… won’t get fooled again.”

    A choice pointing-out by Labor that he’s made lots of promises before and not kept them, arguably (I think “certainly”, but let’s concede “arguably”) never meant to keep them, and do we really want to employ lawyers or similar to go over his every word parsing them for loopholes shouod do the trick.

    In my view, it’s time for Labor to stop “He lied” and start “He always lies”.

    Gillard may have been highly disliked for allegedly “lying” over the Carbon Tax, but only few thought she was “an habitual liar”.

    If Abbott gets tagged with the “habitual liar” label he’s finished.

  33. ABC-24 finds itself in a pretty situation this morning.

    After Mattias Cormann’s comments regarding ABC-24 – that it amounts to an unaffordable indulgence by the ABC – they had the choice this morning to rebut it.

    Sadly, they are supposed to remain “balanced” on matters political, even when those political matters concern their very existence.

    So, true to form, they reported Cormann’s comments and then replied to them by discussing… Peppa Pig.

  34. [Prime Minister Tony Abbott has quashed suggestions the Government will collect higher education loan debts from dead people’s estates.

    Reports this morning suggested the Government was in favour of the move.

    This morning Treasurer Joe Hockey said recovering HECS debts should be no different to any other loan.

    “It’s only against the estate of the individual. It’s not going to go across families and so on,” he said.

    “Look, that’s the same as any other loan, any other mortgage we have in our lives.”

    But shortly afterwards Mr Abbott said there would be no change.

    “I want to make it absolutely crystal clear this Government is not going to change the existing rules,” he said.

    “And the existing rule in respect of university debts, fee help debts, HECS debts, is that they cease, they cease, on decease, as it were.”]

    Further embarrassing utterances from the Libs. Pyne, Hockey and Abbott couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.

  35. BofP@42

    I did not actually pick a date when Labor did exceptionally well, but given the meagre number of seats held by Labor now, it is very optimistic, with the current distribution, and with the Coalition riding out a gale, for Labor to win more than 2 extra seats.

    Landslides aside, the demographics have not helped WA Labor. Miners no longer go down the pit with candles in their lamps, have dirty faces and vote Labor.

    As Vasse demonstrates in a more rural area, with Buswell, even if the Lord Buddha himself stood as a Labor candidate, the locals would still opt for Buswell or a Liberal replacement

    Inner city/industrial suburbs – once the home of Labor voters – are being vacated to ‘young professionals’ in their apartments while the dorm suburbs are quite often populated by tradies who once, as union members, may have voted Labor, but now see themselves as in business and see the Coalition as more supportive of their life-style.

    It may well be that a redistribution could help Labor but I guess we will have to wait and see.

    Mandurah is a bell weather as it contains some of the most affluent areas around the canals but has some of the more serious social problems anywhere in the Perth metro area.

  36. The whole good budget just before the election works when you have not attacked Medicare. When you have not saddled students with debts that follow you into the grave. The list goes on.

    Pensioners are screaming already and the cuts to concessions have not hit yet. The fuel excise etc are ongoing costs. Just like the GST. The GST still causes resentment now which is why its so hard to get support for an increase of broadening.

    All these ongoing costs that eat away at peoples cost of living and thus quality of life will be entrenched by the time of the next election.

    Unless the budget measures are blocked. Then it will be government in chaos unable to even get a budget passed. So the 2nd budget will be to repair the damage from the failure of this one. Thus the budget before the election will not have much room to move and in fact if sticking to ideology will mean it will actually be another tough one as they try and get the co payment HECS or whatever passed.

    All of this while trying to reverse the polls from what they are today.

  37. Can anyone believe what the Lying Friar says anymore?

    [But shortly afterwards Mr Abbott said there would be no change.

    “I want to make it absolutely crystal clear this Government is not going to change the existing rules,” he said.

    “And the existing rule in respect of university debts, fee help debts, HECS debts, is that they cease, they cease, on decease, as it were.”]

    I understand his lips were moving.

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