BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate records the Coalition level with Labor on two-party preferred, and with an absolute majority on the seat projection, for the first time since the budget – and also points to an ongoing recovery in Tony Abbott’s personal ratings.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate continues to trend the Coalition’s way, to the extent that it reaches two milestones this week: parity with Labor on two-party preferred, and an absolute majority on the seat projection, albeit by the barest of margins. Three new polls were added to the national figures, those being Galaxy, the regular weekly Essential Research, and the fortnightly Morgan (fortnightly in the sense of publication, although the poll is conducted on a weekly basis). Also out this week was the Newspoll quarterly aggregates, which have been factored into the state breakdowns, along with the regular state breakdowns from Morgan (published) and Essential (unpublished). The combined effect is to add seat each to the Coalition tally in New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia, while removing one in Victoria and Tasmania.

The quarterly Newspoll is a big deal for BludgerTrack, which is never better serviced for state data than it is immediately after being fed with three months’ worth of state-level Newspoll results. To this end, later today I will get around to publishing my own detailed quarterly state breakdowns for BludgerTrack, the previous instalment of which can be seen here.

BludgerTrack is still in the position of being slightly more favourable to the Coalition than any single published poll result, due to a variety of factors. Perhaps this could be best explained if I run through each of the pollsters:

Nielsen of course closed up shop a few months ago, which was significant in that BludgerTrack deemed it to be the most Coalition-friendly pollster, and the only one which adjusted for any substantial bias to that effect. Now that it’s gone, the model has a clear tendency to skew to the right of what a straight polling average would tell you.

Newspoll is rated as neutral by the model, but it hasn’t reported for a fortnight. When it did report, it gave Labor a 51-49 lead when the primary vote numbers looked a lot more like 50-50. It’s the primary votes that BludgerTrack goes off, so this was a 50-50 poll as far as the model was concerned. Clearly Labor got rounded up in the Newspoll result – it follows that they also got rounded down in BludgerTrack.

Galaxy is taken very seriously by BludgerTrack, and receives next to no bias adjustment at all. This week it gave Labor a lead of 51-49, although putting its rounded primary votes into the model produces a result of 50.6-49.4 going off 2013 preferences (as BludgerTrack does). If not for this poll, the Coalition would have moved into the lead.

ReachTEL’s last poll a fortnight ago had Labor leading 51-49, and BludgerTrack adjusts this pollster slightly in favour of the Coalition.

Morgan is reckoned to have the biggest bias in the game, that being in favour of Labor. Its result on respondent-allocated preferences this week was 51.5-48.5 in favour of Labor, but the more telling point so far as BludgerTrack is concerned is that it was the Coalition’s best result since February.

Essential is noted for being slow to respond to changes, and for this reason, BludgerTrack treats its bias in a unique way, by dynamically adjusting it according to how its deviates from the model over time. Since it’s stayed stuck with Labor on the cusp of leading 52-48 or 53-47, while the other pollsters have moved to the Coalition, a Labor bias adjustment is increasingly being factored into its results.

The other development in BludgerTrack this week is that Morgan published a set of phone poll numbers on leadership ratings, and they were relatively very rosy for Tony Abbott, who wasn’t too far off parity on net approval and had a pretty solid lead on preferred prime minister. This has a pretty sharp effect on the BludgerTrack leadership ratings, which aren’t exactly spoiled for data and are always pretty sensitive to the most recent result, even if the poll in question was from a rather small sample, as was the case here.

UPDATE: As promised, here are the detailed state-level breakdowns featuring primary vote numbers and charts tracking the progress of the primary and two-party votes in each state. Crikey subscribers may enjoy my analysis of these results in today’s email, assuming it gets published.

I also promised two weeks ago that I was going to start tracking betting odds in these mid-week BludgerTrack posts, then forgot about it last week. Now that I’ve remembered again, I can inform you that there has been movement to the Coalition over the part fortnight in Centrebet’s federal election odds, with the Coalition in from $1.50 to $1.45 and Labor out from $2.55 to $2.70. Centrebet’s price on Campbell Newman being re-elected in Queensland has also shortened from $1.36 to $1.28, with Labor out from $3.15 to $3.65. There has been a very slight move to Labor for the Victorian election, with Labor in from $1.23 to $1.22 and the Coalition out from $4.00 and $4.10 – which sounds a bit generous to Labor for mine. The Betfair market evidently thinks so, as it has the Coalition in from $4.10 to $3.40 and Labor out from $1.48 to $1.59.

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.

1,009 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0”

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  1. DG 996

    Unfortunately it doesn’t get much cheaper when retailers all pass on a standard wholesale price.

    Of course, the consumers have smartened up and decided to get solar instead, thanks to RET grants.

  2. [Of course, the consumers have smartened up and decided to get solar instead, thanks to RET grants.]

    That’s another great market mechanism. Switch to another product and let the polluters become redundant.

  3. The main problem with Labor’s carbon price, as far as the LNP was concerned, was that it was working. It was simple, effective at reducing emissions, economically low-impact, easy to replicate in other jurisdictions, coherent and transparent.

    But that would never do!

    The LNP operate on the premise that anything Labor achieve must be destroyed or, if that’s not possible, stolen and given a new identity.

    The very idea of Labor achievement is an abhorrence to the LNP because it means the LNP themselves have been wrong. And since this is a logical impossibility, anything attempted by Labor, no matter how brilliant, must be obliterated.

    [Support for Palmer United Party plummets, poll shows
    October 12, 2014 1:00AM
    The Sunday Mail (Qld)

    CLIVE Palmer’s support is disappearing faster than a packet of Tim Tams in the self-proclaimed billionaire’s hands, a new poll has revealed.

    Conducted exclusively for The Sunday Mail and Channel 7, the poll shows the Palmer United Party’s vote base has more than halved in just three months, with people increasingly turned off by his antics.

    Most Queenslanders believe Mr Palmer’s party will win seats at the next state election, due in March.

    However, it appears the PUP’s poached duo in State Parliament thought otherwise, both quitting as the slide set in.

    With Mr Palmer’s dream of crushing Premier Campbell Newman all but over, the election is now shaping up as a two-horse race between the LNP and Labor, with minor party preferences likely to have little influence.

    According to the Reachtel Poll of 1471 Queenslanders, the Newman Government’s attempt to keep a low profile, interrupted in recent days by Moggill MP Bruce Flegg’s ousting and the finalised privatisation plan, has so far failed to improve their appeal. Primary support for the LNP was at 40.9 per cent, almost unchanged since last month, while Labor had inched forward to 36.6 per cent.

    Mr Palmer’s party has been the biggest loser, falling from a peak of 15.4 per cent in July to 7.2 per cent in the ­latest results.]
    [LNP in for election fight in Cairns and Barron River at Queensland election according to ReachTEL survey
    Nick Dalton
    The Cairns Post
    October 11, 2014 5:10AM]

  5. @GhostWhoVotes · 1h 1 hour ago

    #ReachTEL Poll QLD State Primary Votes: LNP 40.9 (-0.3) ALP 36.6 (+0.6) PUP 7.2 (-2.3) #qldpol #auspol

    GhostWhoVotes @GhostWhoVotes · 1h 1 hour ago

    #ReachTEL Poll QLD State 2 Party Preferred: LNP 51 (0) ALP 49 (0) #qldpol #auspol

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