BludgerTrack: 51.1-48.9 to Labor

Weak polling for the Coalition from Newspoll and Essential Research reverses the recent poll trend, and puts Labor back into a winning position on the BludgerTrack seat projection.

The BludgerTrack pendulum swings back to Labor this week following moves away from the Coalition in both Newspoll and Essential Research – although not Roy Morgan, which was little changed on what for it was an unusually strong result for the Coalition a fortnight ago. Newspoll in particular was a surprise packet, but it should be noted that Labor once again appeared to get the better of rounding on its two-party result. If a simple application of 2013 election flows is made to Newspoll’s rounded primary vote numbers, the result that comes out is 52-48 rather than 53-47. Even so, Newspoll has driven a shift of 1.0% on the BludgerTrack two-party preferred and caused six seats to flip on the seat projection – two in New South Wales, and one each in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

I say “moves away from the Coalition” rather than “moves towards Labor” advisedly, because this particular crop of polling actually found a degree of softness for both major parties. Both are down on the primary vote, the balance being absorbed by the Greens and especially “others”. The “others” result from Essential this week was at an equal high since it began reporting Palmer United separately last November. Newspoll’s didn’t change, but it was high in absolute terms – something it’s been making a habit of lately, as Kevin Bonham explains.

The other manifestation of collective major party weakness came from Newspoll’s leadership ratings, which have caused fairly substantial shifts to the relevant BludgerTrack readings. The uptick to Tony Abbott that was showing up in recent weeks has well and truly been blunted, and a weak result for Bill Shorten has also caused his upward trend towards parity on net approval to disappear. With both leaders down on net satisfaction to about the same degree compared with last week, there is little change this week on preferred prime minister.

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.

1,018 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.1-48.9 to Labor”

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  1. Is anyone else getting an ad for highly priced Cartier watches on this page?

    I swear I am not a customer, never likely to be, nor have I any interest in them, nor have I searched for similar ‘luxury’ items, so I cannot imagine why google is serving them up to me.

  2. I’m ignoring the “free plug” for his restaurant, but on whose authority is Robb a “best-performed minister”?

    [Mr Robb, who is widely regarded as one of the Abbott government’s best-performed ministers, declares a half ownership of two unnamed cafes and a wedding reception venue in his Register of Members’ of Interests entry.]

    Read more:

  3. Scoot Morrison starting to display a megalomaniacal streak, trying to muscle in on his fellow minister’s turf. Now these off the record Ministers are backgrounding the ABC

    [They said Mr Morrison flagged that a hard-lined quarantine approach could be best run by his existing Operation Sovereign Borders team.

    One minister told AM the Immigration Minister’s approach is “annoying everyone on the National Security Committee because he’s not across all the facts on Ebola”.

    “He doesn’t have access to what the chief medical officer is advising the Health Minister,” Mr Morrison said.

    A source familiar with the Cabinet discussions said the Immigration Minister was frustrated by the approach of the chief medical officer and the way Health Department was advising the Government.

    Another senior Coalition source said Mr Morrison’s behaviour was “out of control” and his “ego” was “getting in the way of his judgement”.

    In recent weeks, two ministers have publically pushed backed on incursions into their portfolios.

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop made it clear she would fight any attempt to cut the foreign aid budget and scotched an idea to develop a homeland security department championed by Mr Morrison.

    Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, meanwhile, was adamant he would not let responsibility for biosecurity leave his portfolio.]

  4. sprocket

    Lovely to see a bit of “pushed backed” against Morrison. It seems that superior smirk seen in pressers is the real Scott.

  5. lizzie

    in a week when I didn’t hear or read about him, Pyne was said to have had his best week as Minister, so I think the answer might be that if they’re not saying or doing anything, they’re performing better than their colleagues who are.

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Will Abbott try to make political hay out of this incident do you think?
    Hartcher’s a bit late coming up with this conclusion.
    ”Stop the Waste!”? Sure Tone!
    The head of ASIC upsets Cormann.
    This government is determined to wreck the renewable energy industry.
    Labor and industry reject this stance.
    Did Morrison have an orgasm when issuing these certificates?
    Where does this mob get off?
    Author Peter Carey calls the Abbott government “inhumane”.
    Abbott’s signature PPL policy stalls. Conveniently?

  7. [don
    Posted Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 6:55 am | PERMALINK
    Is anyone else getting an ad for highly priced Cartier watches on this page?

    I swear I am not a customer, never likely to be, nor have I any interest in them, nor have I searched for similar ‘luxury’ items, so I cannot imagine why google is serving them up to me.]

    Have you Googled “Its Time” recently?

  8. Robbie Buck, all purpose airhead, was putting about the idea this morning that in NSW there’s talk at government level about smoothing the path to random culling of fruit bats. Apparently the Minister for Destroying the Environment, Greg Hunt is already tossing about the term ‘One-Stop Shop’.

    Doubtless people randomly shooting at fruit bats will have to show they can distinguish Lissa-virus carrying fruit bats from lissa-free ones. Either that, or they will have to use those bullets developed since the latest Iraq campaign that can do the same. It seems that having done ‘Stop the boats’ we’re dropping a vowel and doing ‘Stop the bats’. It goes well with stop the sharks, stop the muslims, capture the metadata, run away from ebola, swallow the coal, ignore the climate and use subs as suppositories of wisdom.

    All jokes aside, this big epidemiological challenge in this country is the emergence of acute stupidity, irrational fear and hatred amidst officialdom — and they are hoping to spread it more widely.

  9. John Warhurst’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald highlights the obstacle to major parties reforming themselves:

    There is little evidence that the major political parties really believe deep down that their internal operations and those of their closest supporters are in need of reform. While the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption continues its revelations in Sydney and the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption does likewise in Melbourne, the major parties remain relaxed and comfortable about their internal culture.

    Both major parties continue to defend their own. They do so for two reasons. The first is that those who benefit from the present system are in charge and want to remain so. The second is that in an adversarial system to admit internal dysfunction gives an electoral advantage to your opposition. It is more rewarding to defend yourself by switching the focus of attention to the opposition’s troubles.

  10. Morning


    J Bishop has informed via 24 Parliament Security will be reviewed again.
    Fair enough too. Its mad gunman syndrome until nore information comes to light. Canada has the problem of NRA nation as a neighbour.

    Scary to think of what Speaker Bishop will do.

  11. Nicholas

    A good example of an article which paints both parties as the same for the sake of balance.

    The Liberal party doesn’t seem to have reformed a thing for years.

    In the past year, Labor has reformed the way it selects its party leader.

    As I pointed out to you last night, Labor operates as a series of state branches. The only way reform can be forced up on these is through a Federal Conference. The next one is due next year.

    So major Australia wide reforms can’t be introduced until then (unless, of course, you want reforms imposed instead of democratically accepted).

    In the meantime, however, various States have taken steps to reform preselection processes and others have indicated that they will in the near future.

    Labor has made far more reforms, federally and State, over the last decade than the Liberals or the Greens, so it seems a little strange that our party continues to be the focus of cries for reform and others aren’t.

  12. Morrison should go direct to West Africa and tell Ebola victims face-to-face that if they try to get past his ambition to become Prime Minister he will make them suffer.

  13. Fran

    I started a little discussion on ‘courage’ and ‘gutlessness’ a few weeks ago in relation to Australia and it was not a popular topic, even on Bludger.

    Apparently we are still a courageous nation that punches above its weight.

  14. Those of us who were comparing the relative risks of domestic terror as opposed to jihadi terror in Australia will, no doubt, be comparing the coverage of one shot dead in Ottawa and three shot dead in Victoria.

  15. zoomster

    I agree that the ALP has, with deep reluctance, done some valuable reforms in the past year. Kevin Rudd deserves a lot of credit for forcing the issue. It took someone outside the factional system to reform it. There is still a long way to go.

    The Liberals, by contrast, have done nothing.

    The Greens have long been the nation’s gold standard in party democracy so there isn’t as much scope for reform. A Rolls-Royce jet engine is the best in its class. But like Rolls-Royce the Greens have teams of engineers at the top of their fields working tirelessly to squeeze even better performance out of a marvellous machine.

  16. Mind you, this is the Political and International Editor of the august Sydney Morning Herald writing.

    A friend to Prime Ministers, someone who offers Tony Abbott free advice, Hartcher’s word is holy writ around the editorial desks and the radio and TV panel shows. No doubt, young journalists wish they were him, and not their inarticulate selves.

    Indeed, this is the man of whom the Editor of the SMH said, “Whatever Peter wants to write, he can write, and I’ll put it on the front page”….

    “Pessimists have outnumbered optimists for eight consecutive months,” the Westpac Melbourne Institute consumer confidence index found in its October report.

    “That had followed sixteen months where the index had registered above 100” – a majority of optimists – “on all but one occasion.”

    At the same time, Newspoll shows that the Abbott government has been consistently behind Labor for the last six months, since the government delivered the budget.

    Could the two be connected?

    Read more:

    Jesus wept.

  17. GG

    [The MSM will be disappointed if it is not an Islamist attack.]

    If you are referring to what occurred in canada, it has already been established that the people involved in both incidents were on a watch list

  18. Zoomster, the Greens are centuries ahead when it comes to internal party democracy, so far ahead that I think media attention would be embarrassing for Labor. Policies, candidates, strategy – all through consensus decisionmaking (Need agreement from every voter to pass, or two-third majority for urgent proposals) and it works astoundingly well to prevent alienation or faction-forming, because everyone is involved in every decision.

    You’re correct that Labor has seen far more reforms to their internal democracy than Liberals or Greens – but that’s because they’re so far behind and desperate to catch up. I do hope that trend continues, but (Leader selection excepted, but that’s not worth much) I don’t think Labor can hope to beat the Greens democracy without some kind of instant electronic referendum for every division in parliament.

  19. Nicholas

    [The Greens have long been the nation’s gold standard in party democracy so there isn’t as much scope for reform. ]

    A lovely bit of totally partisan blindness.

    Apparently you accept that your party is perfect, I accept that mine isn’t, and that makes you the unbiased and objective commentator.

    All parties, like all human organisations, need reform on a constant basis. No one has achieved perfection.

    That comment of yours, more than any other, reveals your true agenda.

    I would argue, for absolute starters, that the Green should look at their preselection strategies more closely. SHY, for example, was simply too young and too inexperienced for the role she was forced to assume. If she had been made to wait a few more years for a parliamentary position, she would have made a far better politician. As it is, she has established a persona now that she will have difficulty walking away from.

    (Having a limited number of members trying to cross all portfolios means it’s not possible for the Greens to let someone sit it out for a while whilst they gain experience, so I understand the problem).

    The Greens parliamentary responsibilities could also be better handled. They should concentrate on mirroring the major party Ministers, rather than having absurd and self indulgent portfolios such as ‘Palestine” and “Tibet”.

    This scatter gun, populist approach to allocating portfolios can’t help when it comes to formulating coherent responses on issues.

    I’d also argue that the Greens could look at fine tuning their internal party workings. There have been plenty of reports, for example, that the Greens membership (or at least a considerable proportion of it) support a rise in the fuel excise. On issues like this, where the parliamentary Greens oppose something which appears to accord with their own policy positions (agreed to democratically by the party members) surely the parliamentary team should go back to the membership for advice?

    The Greens also seem to have a rather clunky system for resolving disputed internal elections. In the Labor party, if a result is close, the POSC makes the final ruling. That makes for a quick and inexpensive resolution to the issue.

    In the Greens, they have to hold the election again. (I assume that, if the same results are returned, they do it again again and so on ad infinitum until the right person gets elected).

    The Greens also need to decide on their role as a party. If it’s simply to get influence in the Senate then they would be wise, like the Democrats, to focus simply on that. If they want to win Lower House seats, then they need to be far more strategic about the way they campaign.

    People with planks in their own eyes shouldn’t bang on about the splinters in other’s….

  20. PG

    ah, thanks – I forgot this one —

    [Policies, candidates, strategy – all through consensus decisionmaking (Need agreement from every voter to pass, or two-third majority for urgent proposals) and it works astoundingly well to prevent alienation or faction-forming, because everyone is involved in every decision. ]

    Which is why some issues never get resolved – the famous ‘no position on windfarms’ which certainly existed for quite some time, simply because there was no way of resolving the internal divisions on the subject.

    Where Greens are silent on an issue they should be speaking out on, on most occasions it’s because of this clunky (but endearing) aspect of their policy formulation.

    And, of course, the parliamentary team blithely ignore these democratically arrived at decisions when it suits.

  21. GG

    It seems that there were indeed police “watching”, but their target seemed innocently parked in a carpark and suddenly accelerated into the victim. They said there was nothing they could do to prevent it.

  22. “@SenatorLudlum: This morning, I notified Christine Milne that I am seeking a change in the Greens leadership. Thanks to everybody for their support.”

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