BludgerTrack: 53.3-46.7 to Labor

This week’s poll aggregate finds early signs of a shift in favour of Tony Abbott and the Coalition in the wake of the MH17 disaster.

Three new polls this week provide an early indications of a slight revival in the Coalition’s fortunes after the MH17 disaster and, some might claim, the carbon tax repeal. However, this week’s BludgerTrack poll aggregate result differs only slightly from the one I published a week ago, for two reasons. The first is that a data entry error led an undercooked Labor lead last week of 53.5-46.5, which should have been 54.1-45.9. The second is that this week’s polls only imperfectly capture the effect of a news event which Australia woke up to on Friday morning. The earliest of the three was Nielsen, conducted from Thursday to Saturday, which showed no change to the recent trend in having Labor leading 54-46. Then came this week’s Essential Research sample which was surveyed from Friday to Monday, and caused the fortnightly rolling average to move a point in the Coalition’s favour. Most timely of the three was Monday night’s ReachTEL poll, which was the Coalition’s best result from the pollster since late March. After a fairly flat period since the budget, this makes next week’s Newspoll of particular interest.

Going off a corrected result for last week, this week’s seat projection has the Coalition up one in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania, but down one in Queensland. The last federal poll we will ever get from Nielsen provides this week’s only new contribution on leadership ratings, and it’s enough to produce an upward tick for Tony Abbott for the first time since the budget, and also to narrow the gap on preferred prime minister. Bill Shorten meanwhile maintains a slow descent that has been evident since a spike in the wake of the budget. 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.

967 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.3-46.7 to Labor”

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  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. I’m in a bit of a rush as I have to leave very soon for the Adelaide Oval for a big breakfast presentation so my contribution will be somewhat abbreviated.

    Harrowing evidence of mental illness on Christmas Island.
    Michael Gordon on the hostile reception of the budget. It’s all about fairness.
    Is this a “productivity improvement”? I don’t think so.
    The AMA is still putting the pressure on about the $7 copayment.
    The UN has launched an investigation into Israeli actions in Gaza.
    A win for Slipper late in the day in court.
    Mark Latham implores the NSW ALP to wake up and change.
    Abbott achieves the impossible – unity among economist (Judith Sloane excluded one would imagine).
    Is evidence based medicine broken?

  2. Good morning.

    A Transasia Airways plane crash landed in Taiwan last night while attempting to make a second try at an emergency landing in a storm. 47 dead.

    Also regarding the missing bodies from MH17, this can’t possibly account for all but in the aftermath of the crash, a video footage showed a massive explosion producing a thick black smoke. Come to think of it, the aircraft was barely through half the flight and is still fully loaded with jet fuel.

  3. guytaur

    Re house prices. I saw a chart of NZ house prices a couple of days back which made me realise what a problem house prices are. Until about 1983 house prices in NZ had bumped along at about 2 years of average earnings. Ducked just under about 1981. Dare say Australia followed a similar trajectory.

    Imagine how much lower wage pressure would be and the huge amount of discretionary spending available for small business if house prices had not rocketed so far ahead of earnings ? All that dead money just going to lenders.

    A feww years back I read an article pretty dismissive of Germany because their house prices have been stable for 20 years. The economist interpreted that as a sign of stagnation. Boy would a lot of countries like to “stagnate” like Germany.

  4. Great Wall of debt: China set to overtake US

    ….. a new report from Stephen Green at Standard Chartered argues that China’s aggregate debt level has reached 251 per cent of GDP, as of June.

    It has pushed debt to $26 trillion, more than the entire commercial banking systems of the US and Japan combined

    Read more:

  5. poroti

    Most people would regard the price of houses rising – preferably greater than inflation – as a Good Thing, because for most people their house is their main investment and asset.

    If their house is worth the same at the end of thirty years, when their mortgage is paid off, then they HAVE wasted a lot of money for no gain.

    People have a choice – they can pay rent (in which case ‘all that dead money’ goes to landlords) or they can take out a loan and buy their own home.

    Most opt for the latter, because – whilst a fair bit of money ends up with lenders – at the end of it they have an asset.

    Beats paying rent for fifty years and ending up with nothing.

    The problem with present house prices is getting into the market.

    (Interestingly, on that, I was talking to a loans manager at one of the local banks. He says he’s seeing at least four out of town families a week applying for finance – there are three other banks in town, and the population is around 3000, to put things in perspective – because houses here are so cheap — you can still pick up a decent home for around $200k, and a renovator’s delight for around $140k).

  6. William wrote (last night):

    [And yet Bill Shorten and the entire parliamentary ALP remain silent on Tony Abbott’s scandalous insensitivity.]

    It’s Abbott who is making the MH-17 matter a circus, not the ALP.

    Psyclaw said last night that he had changed his mind about the ceremony in the Eindhoven, as it was tasteful and respectful. It may have been. I saw no obvious crassness, but I personally thought that what seemed to be a full military honour guard with all the trappings was inappropriate.

    These people were killed senselessly, in a warlike activity, but they were not soldiers risking their lives for their country.

    In one way that’s the tragedy… the innocence of the victims… but in another it indicates that the militarization of the reception of their bodies was over the top.

    In itself it was a political act designed, in part, to send a message to Putin that he’s been involved in a bad thing and that we’re not happy.

    The “national grief” aspect of it has been orchestrated by the media and the government, turning the thing into a three ring circus. Accusations have been thrown about with little or no evidence. Blame has been sheeted home. Hatred has been expressed. National outrage has been whipped up.

    Right at the “perfect” moment we had Abbott introduce the possibility of “animals” chewing away at the unattended bodies. It was calculated and in terrible taste for him to say this. It stepped over the line.

    It is as obvious as dog’s balls that the right wing media are using this to boost Abbott’s flagging poll ratings. The story is being beaten up for all it’s worth with “Abbott” photographs (looking stern and “Prime Ministerial”) overlaid over just about everything. There is no question that Abbott’s spin and promotional team are joining in with equal gusto.

    There is a case for letting the Australian people (and particularly the families of the victims) know that their government is on top of things and respectfully dealing with the details of identification and repatriation of bodies.

    But what is happening now is starting to get close to cringeworthy. Abbott is a minor player in this. The Dutch and the Malaysians have a far greater concern with it. Yet our media is running the story as if Abbott, from his bunker in Canberra, is overseeing the whole show. Talk of sending troops to face-off against Ukranian separatists on their own territory is just stupid. What are they going to do if something untoward happens? Start shooting? It’s crazy.

    Make no mistake this is a show being run in part to assuage national rancour, in part to show respect and solidarity with the victims and their families, but also in part to boost Abbott’s poll ratings with sickly sweet jingoism.

    The only problem is that posts like this, and others of similar sentiment will be criticised as charmless poor taste, ironically by the very people who are supervising the REAL three ring circus that it has become.

  7. Morning all

    Denis Shanahan in the Oz today. All i can say is WTF?!

    [THE leitmotiv of Joe Hockey’s first months as Treasurer has ­become that of an aloof plutocrat puffing on a cigar, well-off, politic­ally distant from everyday life, indulgent and indulged.

    And that is just the view of some of his senior colleagues.

    His launch this morning of the authorised biography — Hockey: Not Your Average Joe — only confirms colleagues’ concerns and prejudices, reinforces the impression he is not concentrating on selling his first budget and gifts Labor more material to beat an already beaten government.]

  8. Abbott’s spin doctor team has increased by over 550 costing taxpayers millions while other Govt departments are being forced to cut numbers

  9. I read Latham’s piece linked by BK above on reform of ALP selection processes for the NSW upper house.

    I can easily agree with Clements that the 350,000 members of affiliated unions deserve a say in the selection of ALP candidates for the Upper House in NSW. I don’t agree that the current arrangements are anything but a caricature of that paradigm.

    The way to achieve this is to give members of affiliated unions a direct but discounted vote on the proposed candidates, or else as ALP members with a weighted vote that recognises the significance of the unions to the ALP. An ALP member who was a member of an affiliated union might have a ballot counted as being worth 40% more than a non-union ALP member. This would surely meet the end Clements says he wants, while preventing it from becoming purely an exercise in opportunistic horse-trading.

    It might also encourage greater membership of affiliated unions and greater membership by unionists of the ALP — which in theory, Clements should favour.

  10. Last night William took a swing at a couple of commenters for presuming to speak on behalf of the bereaved against Abbott for Abbott’s remarks on the condition of the human remains at the crash site.

    William’s point was fair. Those of us who are not bereaved ought to be very cautious indeed in presuming what those who are would want or not want said about the remains of those they have lost.

    The same could be said of course of Abbott, whose unseemly ambulance-chasing is unlikely to be the result of prompting by the bereaved. In such cases, less is often more.

  11. “@MikeCarlton01: Operation Bring Them Home ? Abbott handled this well at the start, but he has now begun to milk MH17 for political points. No scruples.”

  12. Agree with BB above and the poster last night who wondered why we have to send uniforms off for anything and everything.
    Another poster picked up on the rising tide of everything being an ‘Operation x, y or z…’

    Recently we had the bizarre spectacle, one hundred years after the event, of some of the descendants of some of the participants of Australia’s invasion of German New Guinea getting ‘medallions’ in commemoration.

    Conveniently overlooked was that the invasion fleet was delayed en route because of a strike by the crews of the merchant ships. I wonder if their descendants got ‘medallions’?

  13. zoomster

    Fine and dandy for those who bought before a price boom , not so good for those that follow when prices are increasing at a rate far higher than incomes. Certainly not good for small business as more discretionary spending gets gobbled up by housing. Or those at the bottom of the income scale.

    As for it being an investment. Yes it but perhaps putting part of the extra money into things like super to provide for retirement would be a better way to go ? Certainly cut back on those having to sell their home due to being asset rich but cash poor in retirement.

  14. I especially liked this bit by Shanas. You gotta laugh

    [That the budget has soured the Coalition’s public standing is an understatement, and that Hockey’s lack of preparation for the “end of the age of entitlement’’ was part of that souring is ­self-evident.

    What’s worse, with the revelations in a biography he authorised and is endorsing, Hockey is damaging Abbott’s authority just as it is recovering and seems not to fear having his chain yanked.

    In the smoking ruins of the budget sales job, not the budget ­itself, Hockey has made life more difficult for Abbott, drawn Credlin further into dangerous cabinet infighting and created sympathy for Turnbull, who is seen as being ostracised for lesser crimes.]

  15. A few observations

    I am disappointed that the year long glorification of WWs 1and 2 have been overlooked by the MH17 disaster taking precedence.

    And perhaps Abbott bunking down with AFP recruits, chatting and training with them, has given him the delusion that he is a global policeman.

  16. BB@14

    No criticism here.

    As I announced on the day of the MH17 tragedy I was going to avoid as much of the media as possible until enough time has passed for the issue to settle down. Thus, thankfully I have been spared the worst of it.

  17. badcat

    261%? 100% in the last five years? Australian prosperity rests on the solid foundation of $26 trillion of Chinese debt?

    You spoiled my breakfast with that one.

  18. From last thread


    When I first heard of GG Cosgrove going to Netherlands this morning I treated it with some derision.

    However after just watching the reception of victims ceremony as the first caskets arrived from Ukraine, and seeing the formality and dignity of it, including our GG being there with many other dignitaries including the King and Queen of Netherlands, I have changed my mind.

    This ceremony was highly formal, each of the caskets was unloaded separately and given utmost respect and recognition. In normal times the event would appear to have required months of organisation.

    It would appear to me that GG Cosgrove was there by formal invitation to represent Australia. IMHO even as an ardent disrespecter of Abbott, it was most fitting that he was there.

    I have absolutely no doubt that families of Australian victims would have been much comforted by what they will/did see in this reception ceremony. This was one event that cannot be criticised as a politicisation of the MH17 tragedy by Abbott.

    In fact the “polish” which characterised the welcome back to Netherlands of the victims defines it as an event which Abbott and his mob played no role in organising. It was too appropriate, too warm, too empathic, too respectful and thus beyond any capacity of the Abbotteers.

  19. MH17 & the new Abbott

    I think we have moved into a new era, Abbott with gravitas …

    Gone will be the speedos, running shoes & bike, to be replaced with…

    The statesman PM, learned replete with comb over greying hair, rimless glasses staring down at the camera from his lectern in front of Liberal blue background with tasteful Aus coat of arms.

    Chalk one more up for the focus groups & PR spooks.They would be using Leni Riefenstahl to direct if she were available.

  20. The Oz is on fire today. PVO has his say

    [IT’S not any easy thing uniting a party’s backbench, certainly not when a government is struggling in the polls. But, judging by the ringaround I did yesterday, Tony Abbott’s chief of staff has done it.

    The only problem is that those I spoke to are united in their critic­ism, not their praise, of remarks Peta Credlin made to Joe Hockey’s biographer.

    She told Madonna King the Treasurer has “got his head above every other contender” when it comes to leadership prospects. It didn’t take much prodding to get responses from Liberal MPs.]

  21. BB

    “Psyclaw said last night that he had changed his mind about the ceremony in the Eindhoven, as it was tasteful and respectful.”

    No, I didn’t change my mind about the ceremony.

    I hadn’t really contemplated the events by which the victims would be set down in the Netherlands till I saw it, but I was certainly impressed mainly because I think victim’s families would have at last seen proof that some one was going to treat their lost kin with respect.

    What I changed my mind about was my misunderstanding, gleaned from our pathetic media’s ineptness, that Abbott had had another brainfart and sent GG Cosgrove off on an Angus Campell type excursion, to garner ie milk political capital from all things MH17 related.

    The media had said WTTE “Abbott has sent the GG to the Netherlands” and made no mention of specific purpose or how it came about.

    I’m pretty sure I was wrong about my impression that the sending per se was Abbott’s initiative. I think Abbott merely chose GG Cosgrove on the invitation of the Dutch to send a high level national rep.

    My reasons for thinking that it was not an Abbott initiative are in the last paragraph of #27 above.

  22. I liked this bit. Lol!

    [While the Prime Minister has been praised for his handling of the MH17 disaster, another MP pointed out that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is also proving herself a worthy leadership successor: “Given the problems Joe’s having selling his budget, I’d say Julie’s stocks are going up minute by minute. She’s looking like a leader-in-waiting, and I get a vote!”

    Bishop is also Abbott’s deputy, making Credlin’s comments personally insulting.

    And what about former leader Malcolm Turnbull?

    One Liberal told me he thinks Credlin deliberately sought to poke Turnbull in the eye with her comments.]

  23. Well the Ruskies are certainly an extremely smart race.

    The Dutch authorities have confirmed that the black boxes have not been interfered with. They must be pushovers.

    What skill and deftness it must have taken Putin’s operatives to open the black boxes, fabricate the data, reseal the boxes and make them look as though they had just been found at the scene.

    All that remains is for the premature speculators, the conspiracists, to incorporate this in the story.

  24. They seem a mite worried about Hockey’s biography.

    Has there ever been an authorised biography released on a minister at this point of the political cycle?

    It’s obviously a preemtive leadership shot.

  25. Boerwar

    I haven’t seen your reply yet to my questions about your view that there was no evidence of an intense fire, or your views about why the body count might never match the flight manifest.

    Kinkajou and Slothy who also commented might be interested too.

    Perhaps it is a conspiracy.

  26. Right at the “perfect” moment we had Abbott introduce the possibility of “animals” chewing away at the unattended bodies. It was calculated and in terrible taste for him to say this. It stepped over the line.


    Yes, very poor taste indeed. Well said!!!

  27. “@ABCNews24: Next: @AusHumanRights says almost all children in detention on Christmas Island are sick. @GillianTriggs joins us in 5mins #asylumseekers”

  28. psyclaw

    There was an intense fire. There were a number of shota of the engines and a large chunk of the pane that had been badly burnt. A lot of the engine covers had melted away. Also in those shots amongst the charred debris were a number of white flags. It will need experts to comb through that to find out how many people were actually in that section.

    As for the missing bodies a couple of points. Apart from the fire the search was largely carried out by amateurs . They started marking out with white flags before the “pong” . In fields of wheat and sunflower it would need virtual shoulder to shoulder to search. When decomposition set in the stench was described as “pervasive” so with that and winds unless the body was isolated tracking down by smell would not be easy.

    Lastly the region is very very poor. A proper search would pretty much need their fields of wheat and sunflowers to be flattened. Fine for us but what will they live on over the next year. They won’t get compensation from Kiev and the rebels will not be able to.

  29. poroti

    You have to live somewhere. If you’re not paying interest to a bank, you’re paying money to a landlord. At least in the first case you end up with something at the end of it.

  30. …and having – albeit briefly – seen my super reduced by 30% almost overnight, I’m having doubts about it as an investment…

  31. “@ABCNews24: Sarah Hanson-Young: No child deserves to be locked up in a prison or to be treated as sub-human #asylumseekers #auspol”

  32. “@ABCNews24: Sarah Hanson-Young: All children deserve to be treated properly and to be protected by the Government #asylumseekers #auspol”

  33. In these times of debt and deficit it would surely be cost effective to combine our current paramilitary operations. Might I suggest Operation Sovereign Bodies as a suitable umbrella.

  34. It will be interesting to see how this exercise in hairy chestedness affects Abbott’s ability to deal with the ordinary, mundane, far less important matters, (such as getting his budget through the parliament)when he finally returns to civilian life. Will it make him even more belligerent towards the Senate or will his pathological need for confrontation have been satiated enough by his famous single handed defeat of Putin for him to now start showing his gentler side and his negotiating skills back on the home front?

    I know what I’ll be putting MY money on.

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