BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor

Three new results give Labor and the Greens a lift in this week’s reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate.

Three new polls this week have collectively taken the shine off the Coalition’s recent recovery in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, and returned Labor to absolute majority territory on the seat projection. Labor is recorded as gaining six seats, including two in New South Wales and one each in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania. Its primary vote is little changed, but there’s an intriguing uptick for the Greens – something Essential Research contributed to, as well as the widely noted three-point lift in Newspoll – which quite possibly has something to do with major party bipartisanship on Iraq. Meanwhile, Palmer United is recorded as heading the other way, falling to a five-month low. Newspoll and Essential Research both provided leadership ratings this week, which have brought Bill Shorten nearer to parity on net approval, levelled off the positive trend to Tony Abbott, and left preferred prime minister much as it was, with Abbott narrowly in front.

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.

1,807 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor”

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  1. Lizzie

    Finally! Yes that is a relief. This road was going to cost Victorians half a billion dollars a year for thirty years to pay for, was still not going to fix the gridlock in many places, and the train system still needs the City tunnel. There are many legal grounds to can it, with varying amounts of compensation, from zero to tens of millions, but all vastly less than the cost of the roaad.

  2. I have harped here many times about the parlous state of Australian universities and their administration. This study confirms the problem – we are the most expensive in the world but by no means the best.

    The problems are bloated bureaucracies, overpaid executives (actual academics get far less) and grandiose building programs. Academic junior staff turnover is now high, even with tenure, while here at Adelaide Uni the administrators outnumber the researchers and lecturers combined. Admitting sub-standard students under the guise of “equity of access” requires a lot of teaching resources for them. Meanwhile academics spend an inordinate amount of time applying for a too small pool of research grants. Waste, in every area.

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Conservatives love laws – unless they themselves are affected.
    Jaqui Maley calls “Stumps!” after yesterday’s TURC hearing with Julia Gillard.
    And Michael Gordon calls out the TURC for what it is.
    Lenore Taylor – surely this must now be the end of the Gillard saga.
    Michelle Grattan – Plenty of digging but no dirt.
    Peter Wicks – Attempts to trash Julia Gillard’s reputation fail in every respect.
    Julia Gillard testifies at the TURC. Next up Elvis Presley and Bigfoot!,6884
    Laura Tingle says that Abbott, with these plainly political witch hunt RCs has set a terrible precedent.
    Chris Bowen will be at the NPC today to deliver a broadside at Hockey.
    The budget has hurt consumer confidence.

  4. Bludgertrack moves back from minority into majority government territory but just.

    I guess PUP lost votes for prioritising Clive over populist votes.

  5. Section 2 . . .

    Mark Latham – another march of folly with the US.
    Coca-Cola Amatil demonstrates what the Coalition means by “productivity”.
    More trouble for the darling company of the Libs, Brickworks.
    Fair Work Australia confirms serial rorting of 457 visas just as Morrison further loosens the rules for them.
    Chainsaw says that NSW is facing a severe gas shortage.
    Independent Australia – Time for Abbott to stop fudging on his citizenship issue.,6882
    The ACT wants its powers back to legalise voluntary euthanasia.
    Victorian Labor rolls the dice and commits to scrap the questionable East-West Link.
    Tony Fitzgerald bemoans the state of Queensland politics.

  6. Section 3 . . .

    It’s milking time for the Coalition as AFP raids roll out.
    Is Morrison going to give us a major backflip?
    Poorer women will bear the brunt of Abbott’s budget cuts.
    Old coal plants blamed for electricity oversupply.
    Prissy Pyne backpedals on the education reform process with weasel words aplenty.
    John Oliver’s satirical take on US tertiary study debt has relevance here in Australia.
    Here are this year’s Eureka Prize winners.
    Elizabeth Farrelly has a good look at the culture of corruption in NSW.

  7. Socrates @6

    Adam Bandt yesterday highlighted that the Federal Labor was willing to tear up the contract for the Japanese submarines if they win government after it was signed and has encouraged Vic Labor to make the same pledge to rip up the E-W tunnel contracts.

  8. So it’s good that they have finally followed up with it.

    I can’t imagine they’d lose much votes on accounts of this, and risk bleeding votes to the Greens based on inaction.

  9. Regarding Abbott and renouncing his British citizenship, I wonder if he did not do so until after he was a Howard government minister? If so, would some of his ministerial actions have been invalid?

  10. Further to the EW link tunnel promise to tear up the contract, no actual construction work has started. Labor could promise to reimburse the cost of wages worked on the project by the contractor to date of cancellation – no more – as an out of court settlement. That would be reasonable, and cost far less than a court case and compensation. The risk of any business backlash would then be zero.


    [Beyond this, by finding a way out of any contract, Labor is forcing the Coalition to keep talking about a road that simply isn’t that popular. From now until the election, the government will be spending much time talking up the sovereign risk argument, but to mount its case it will need to keep talking about a road that, rightly or wrongly, many Victorians don’t seem to want.]


    [Macfarlane, who oversees a large portfolio that includes energy, skills and science, said he is irked by criticism of Tony Abbott’s decision to not appoint a dedicated science minister.

    “I’m just not going to accept that crap,” he said. “It really does annoy me. There’s no one more passionate about science than me, I’m the son and the grandson of a scientist. I hear this whinge constantly from the precious petals in the science industry.”

    Australia had a dedicated science portfolio in cabinet since the 1930s until Abbott’s decision to fold the role into Macfarlane’s purview.]

  13. Socrates @18

    In project management, we call it sunken cost, regardless of whether a project proceeds of not.

    Of course, a good project requires preliminary studies into preparing a business case for it and will cost money to first determine if the project is worth doing. No matter which way you proceed, you can’t avoid the time, effort and money into preparing for it.

  14. As per article

    [But the bold move could leave Victoria exposed to compensation claims potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The legal advice warned even if the contract was rendered unenforceable, this would not protect the state from litigation.
    “None of that is to say that there is no remedy for harm that might be caused to the contractors …” the memorandum concludes.
    Treasurer Michael O’Brien earlier this week told The Age the government was determined to sign the contract before the onset of the pre-election caretaker period. He said failing to honour the contract would “send a shocking chill” through the business community.]

    Read more:

  15. The Vic state election is in November. Barely two months away. The Napthine govt have no reasonable excuse to sign contracts before the election. Should they win, contracts can be signed the next day.

  16. Soc

    I have never, not once, said that it would be illegal to tear up the contract.

    I have consistently said that it’s unwise to promise to do so without sighting the contents.

    In this case –

    (i) Labor looks like having the numbers to block the contract in Parliament now, so it’s highly doubtful a contract would be signed before the election;

    (ii) The article makes it clear that the legal action ALREADY taken against the project is likely to make any contract signed invalid.

    (iii) Andrews has repeated that Labor would honour any valid contract, but the legal advice is that this one – if it was signed between now and the election – would not be.

  17. Raaraa

    I agree, all those costs should be covered, but they might be tens of millions, not hundreds or billions, and it would avoid a long court case.


    If Abbott was still a British citizen while a Howard minister then what does that mean about his use of ministerial powers? Surely his actions as Health minister would be invalid? So the Libs may have given us a leadership conflict within the one leader 🙂

    Have a good day all.

  18. Socrates

    The only curious thing is that FOI to ascertain this re Abbott’s citizenship has been blocked. What is the big deal if there is nothing to hide?

    Anyhoo have a good day

  19. Raaraa @12

    And did they?

    I’m still waiting for someone to provide me with an example of an Opposition party promising to renege on a contract and then actually doing so as an incoming government.

    Result so far: nil.

    I don’t want to keep hammering this nail, but I also won’t accept being verballed.

    I have never said the contract CAN’T be ripped up. I have never said it would be illegal to do so.

    I have said that it is exceedingly rare for an Opposition party to promise to do rip up a contract and then do so in government, and that there are good reasons why this is so.

    I actually haven’t argued any of the facts in the specific case of the E-W tunnel, because I don’t know them (you’d be surprised how little it registers as an issue in rural Victoria – CityLink did, on the other hand), but have argued on the general principle.

  20. I would have thought it improper for the Govt to sign pretty much any contract with an election so close.

    Wouldn’t they effectively be in caretaker mode?

  21. Michael Gordon conclusion in his SMH column linked by BK above:
    [“The bigger question is one not covered by his terms of reference: whether all the resources that have been marshalled to pursue Ms Gillard could have been deployed for a higher, more productive purpose. You don’t need a royal commission to know the answer.”

    Read more:

  22. Even though i’m not a Victorian, I too salute the Victorian ALP’s ostensible inclination to cancel the EW link project. By any reasonable standard, it would have been a dreadful expenditure of public money.

    I suspect that if the ALP win the next election, we will see a fair bit of evidence of NSW-style skullduggery emerge around the contract process.

  23. [confessions

    There are still people who believe Obama really was born in Kenya or wherever, so I’m guessing there’ll still be people who continue to believe Gillard is guilty of fraud.]

    These tend to be the same people who believe the world is cooling, that there are jihadists under the bed and who take every word uttered by Ray Hadley as the gospel truth.

  24. Yep jon faine talking about the EW Link

    Btw just heard excerpt of comments by Abbott last night at a function

    As a journalist, I was a frustrated politician.
    As a politician, i am a frustrated journalist.
    As a trainee priest, just frustrated.

    Report ends with Toolman saying wtte, i know how that feels

  25. citizen:

    These politically motivated RCs and witch hunts really are becoming non events for everyone other than the crazed loons at the fringes.

  26. It does seem that Labor federally (submarines) and state (E-W road link) have decided to adopt the Abbott approach (carbon etc) of uncompromising opposition to government policies of the day.

    On this basis, we might see promises of royal commissions into Wheat/Iraq, Ashby and Liberal funding. Also Labor looks set to contribute as much as it can to Senate obstruction of government legislation.

    The main question – will they adopt three word slogans?

  27. I wish that we had the equivalent of Jon Faine in Sydney. The morning show here deals mainly in trivia or superficial treatment of major events.

  28. The main question – will they adopt three word slogans?

    There’s surely some scope:

    “Stop the lies”
    “Stop the crap”
    “stop the clowns”

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