BludgerTrack: 54.2-45.8 to Labor

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate wraps up business for the year (I think) showing the Abbott government in worse shape than ever.

Unless ReachTEL has something up its sleeve in the next few days, this week’s BludgerTrack reading is the last for the year, and it finds no indication that the rapid momentum away from the Coalition is tapering off. Indeed, the current output of the model has the Coalition in a worse position than at the height of the budget backlash, when Labor’s two-party vote peaked at 53.8%. Now it’s at 54.2%, following a 0.3% shift since last week that has also delivered seats in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia on the seat projection. Palmer United is also showing no signs of bottoming out, a remorseless downward trend since the mid-year Senate changeover having sent it from 6.3% to 2.3%.

A new set of leadership ratings from Newspoll this week knocks the froth off a recent improvement for Bill Shorten, and in doing so reverts his trendline to its remarkable picture of stability throughout the year, interrupted only by some particularly strong ratings in the immediate aftermath of the budget. Tony Abbott’s net rating slips slightly further, but this is due to the momentum of the trend rather than the effect of Newspoll, which was no worse for him than last fortnight’s. Newspoll also suggests the surge to Shorten on preferred prime minister is levelling off, albeit that he retains what from Abbott’s perspective is an alarmingly big lead by the normal standards of an Opposition Leader.

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.

1,672 comments on “BludgerTrack: 54.2-45.8 to Labor”

  1. dave,
    [The wealthy can protect themselves from inflation (the stockmarket, property etc) but Bank’s are terrified of deflation – the world’s central Banks have been doing all they can to get inflation started again.]
    bingo!

    Don,
    One model of money in an economy goes like this:

    1. Banks create money by issue loans. If you take out a loan, new money is created, and typically you give it to someone else.

    2. Someone else gives it to someone else gives it to someone else….typically for a productive good or service.

    3. Some of the people who handle the money created by your bank pay of their own loans, thereby destroying money. And eventually, as much money as is created is destroyed, roughtly speaking.

    4. This is complicated by businesses that fail to earn sufficient profits to cover their loans. The short story is, banks have to hand out more money each year to cover their outstanding loans because sometimes people can’t repay.

    Inflation (more money in the system) happens as a fairly natural by-product of this process, whenever the banks issue more loans than they need to to cover their existing loans, which they regularly do.

    Yes, it sounds circular – it is a big feedback loop.

    One problem is that as more loans are issued, more of them are issued to “not-so-good” businesses, which don’t provide the level of returns required. So now the banks have to issue more loans again, at lower interest rates, in order to stay solvent.

    And this is where it get poolitical. Banks that can’t cover their own costs should be allowed to fold, like any other buiness. However, they play an important and central role in the economic investment cycle. They can use their position to apply political pressure to alter govt policies to keep themselves afloat. Which they did in the 1980s, 1990s and in 2006-8.

    So we now have macroecconomic policies in place almost world wide that are designed to keep insolvent banks afloat, and screw the rest of us*. Yippee!

    Hope that helps 😉

    *Iceland is a notable exepction, and to be fair, the USA did let one big bank be devoured in the GFC.

  2. Dio

    Psychosis is very common. In fact, you dont have to be a long term user to have psychotic episodes. The wider public needs to be educated about this. And from my personal observations, users come from all walks of life and more often than not, very supportive and caring families

  3. Re productivity. Lower wages per hour/more hours per worker typically does not equate to more productivity, but it can do (eg, where people whose job is to supervise the operation of machinery or some other automated process have to work a bit longer before penalty rates kick in).

    Restricting access to penalty rates for some service industries lowers costs per hour, but it’s hard to judge if productivity increases because the productivity of workers in this sector is notoriously difficult to measure.

    The most effective way of improving productivity is to increase new technology in combination with changed work practices which maximize the financial benefits of that technology. This enables the employer to produce more output per worker. The overall skill requirement of the workforce tends to increase and the employer needs to be prepared to be generous in paying their workers more: that is, in sharing some of the benefits of improved technology with the workforce. A rising toed lifts all boats.

    Even without technology improvements, employers can improve productivity by trading off pay rises for restrictive workplace conditions (eg, penalty rates, manning requirements, etc) for generalize pay rises. Under this scenario, the employer can expect to receive little or no financial benefit in the immediate term, but to get productivity benefits over time.

    The current government’s philosophy is that workers should give up restrictive conditions and get little or nothing in return. As with so much this government tries to do, it is about fighting a war with their enemies: in this case the unions. Paradoxically, this approach is unlikely to achieve a great deal other than to give union memberships a boost.

    That’s not to say (being more right-wing than of you) that I don’t like the idea of getting rid of restrictive work conditions; many of them represent a serious impediment to our economic growth (have a look at coastal shipping for a particularly egregious example).

    But, unlike this government, I support win/win approaches to industrial relations which actually work.

  4. [Compare and contrast with another local MP, who failed to win the seat he wanted first time around – you couldn’t go anywhere for the next three years without tripping over him, ]

    That’s pretty much what the Liberals did to win back O’Connor.

  5. Vic 1349

    I agree, the thing is prospective uni students have brothers and sisters or friends with brothers and sisters that are in the current system. They’re not idiots and will compare the debt they have and realise they are getting a raw deal, if the changes go through. The ads seem to be targetted at the wider public who don’t interact with the higher education system. But why would they care?

  6. [1330
    victoria

    The drug ice is an absolute shocker in every sense.]

    I used to be in the legalise all recreational drugs camp, until I saw the effects of amphetamine and cocaine derivatives like ice and crack.

    Some drugs should never be legal. They are just too inherently destructive.

  7. NathanA

    I believe the ads are to garner general support so that the pressure is brought to bear on the xbench senators to change their minds and support the amended legislation

  8. The Market seems fine to me. All the various market theories do.

    They just have the wrong species as the medium through which the market needs to operate in.

    No matter what system of economics you put in place the powerful will work ceaselessly and mercilessly to control it in order to maintain and increase their relative wealth and power. Why would they want to compete on a level playing field? Thats for dummies.

    I always get a laugh when I see the words “Corporate Ethics”. I roll around in stitches at the thought of Corporate Social Responsibility. Dont get me wrong, it exists, but drowned in a rising sea of greed and ambition (group megalomania).

  9. Perhaps Bronny could take up a ministry in addition to being the speaker, should could do any further damage tot he office of speaker and she couldn’t be a worse minister than she is a speaker …

  10. Just me

    Fortunately, my immediate family have not been affected by any of these drugs in any way.

    I have friends whose children have been affected by the drug ice, and it has devastated their families. “Ice” fries your brain.

  11. Meher

    It is NOT about being ugly per se, but about exuding a personality that is attractive – or if not attractive then strong and secure. Sexual attraction is part of it, because like it or not we humans are programmed to regard sexual attractiveness as a proxy for competence – or perhaps powera and competence adds to sexual attractiveness.

    Let us look at PMs since Menzies (I do not recall the others personally)

    Menzies was a VERY attractive older man and had a voice to make old ladies feel flustered.

    Holt was an average sort of a man but not unattractive

    Gorton had a special way with women despite his smashed in face –

    McMahon was a very sexually unattractive male (for men or women). He lost the election

    Whitlam was a VERY attractive man, again with a voice to cause hot flushes.

    Fraser exuded strength and “fatherliness” and was a good looking guy.

    Hawke was regarded by jounos as the “demon lover” giving many a woman the same warm glow that Heathcliffe engenders.

    Keating has an attractiveness of a special kind but physically he is not off-putting

    Howard – OK the pattern starts to fall a bit here – he is NOT a physically attractive man in any way.

    Rudd – very appealing in a boyish “Tin Tin” sort of way – not sexually but still nice looking, even features and comfortable to look upon.

    Gillard – as the first women new rules MAY apply, but Gillard is good to look at. While she has some quirks they are not in any way off putting and her face is nice.

    Abbott – hmm!!! Yuck.

    OK so of PMs we have

    VERY Good looking/attractive: Menzies, Whitlam, Hawke 3

    Good looking: Fraser, Keating Gorton Rudd 4

    Average or better: Holt, Gillard, Howard 3

    Below average: Abbott, McMahon 2

    ie ration of 3:4:3:2 or Good looking: Average or below 7:5

    If we look at those who won elections we remove McMahon and Gorton and we have:
    3:4:2:1 or 7:3

  12. zoomster

    I know of students who are contemplating higher education for 2016 when the proposed changes take place. They are in a wait and see mode re the fee structure as to what type of course they will pursue.

  13. [I wondered if the ad blitz re Universities is actually a reaction to falling enrolment applications.]

    This government would celebrate falling uni enrollments …

  14. Victoria

    They may be better off starting a course in 2015 and even doing EXTRA units and enrolling in Summer semesters to minimise the cost.

  15. WWP @ 1366

    I’ve heard from contacts in higher ed that enrolments are falling across the board in many streams. Melbourne University let go 500 staff just two – three weeks ago and are very concerned about some schools actually closing down.

    TAFE also have suffered huge drops in enrolment and interest PRIMARILY due to the fee increases.

  16. Libertarian Unionist

    [ Banks that can’t cover their own costs should be allowed to fold, like any other buiness. However, they play an important and central role in the economic investment cycle. They can use their position to apply political pressure to alter govt policies to keep themselves afloat. Which they did in the 1980s, 1990s and in 2006-8.

    So we now have macroecconomic policies in place almost world wide that are designed to keep insolvent banks afloat, and screw the rest of us*. Yippee! ]

    Depositors should be protected as far as possible by Central Bank’s, by mergers of insolvent bank’s with more solvent ones with limited financial or other market incentives. Our RBA has successful used this approach in the past.

    A consequence of this would be to totally wipe out shareholders of the insolvent Bank’s and holders of Bank debt, ie bonds – or huge haircuts – they took the profits on the way up and need to take the losses on the way down.

    All Captains should be made to go down with their ships.

    During the GFC the US Bank’s successfully threatened Financial Armageddon if Bank Shareholders or Bondholders were wiped out. Some were but mainly smaller Bank’s, Lehman was one of the Big US Bank’s which was an exception.

    Ireland was also out of the blocks very quickly to say that the taxpayers would cover losses and that flowed to other countries. Not Iceland as you say.

    The US Fed needed an Chairman like legendary Paul Volker at that time but sadly didn’t.

    I don’t know if the US Bank’s in particular will be so well treat next time though.

  17. meheb

    I have worked in some large multinationals. They were not interested in productivity, efficiency, better quality service or innovation. Their attention was predominantly focussed on sidestepping open tender processes to ‘win’ big government projects Arthur Sinodinos style or big private projects through enhanced marketing techniques.

  18. WeWantPaul@1291


    The practice of law may not be particularly helpful in Parliament, but the actual degree certainly would be. Perhaps a law degree should be a prerequisite to running for political office in Australia?

    I would use it as a basis for exclusion.

    Lawyers already ‘own’ the Judiciary exclusively.

    They can leave the Legislature and Executive to the rest of the population.

  19. The biggest hurdle to increased productivity is the lack of investment in improved/better machinery and technology by big business.

    While demanding better productivity corporations still provide old stuff.

    And the government with its NBN mish-mash of technologies some dating back to the early 20th century is not aiding any improvement.

    It’s shameful that the benefit to manufacturing has not come from any well thought out government policy but through the dollar falling

  20. [1362
    victoria

    I have friends whose children have been affected by the drug ice, and it has devastated their families. “Ice” fries your brain.]

    Both the degree and the irreversibility of the damage among the reasons I don’t want these drugs around, along with the psychotic violence they bring.

    Legalise the manageable ones, like cannabis and opioids. Spend the resources saved on cracking down on the actually dangerous ones.

  21. Simon –

    [ No matter what system of economics you put in place the powerful will work ceaselessly and mercilessly to control it in order to maintain and increase their relative wealth and power. Why would they want to compete on a level playing field? Thats for dummies. ]

    That Keynes quote –

    [ Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

    John Maynard Keynes]

  22. Meher B

    the sad thing was, most of the staff were interested in innovative workplace relations options especially if they opened up work/life balance options and security of employment.

  23. There is a group that looks into market dysfunctionality. Paul Wolley? I went to a talk he gave once. I kept feeling he was trying to cut down a tree with a whip.

  24. [I would use it as a basis for exclusion.

    Lawyers already ‘own’ the Judiciary exclusively.

    They can leave the Legislature and Executive to the rest of the population.]

    Blasphemy!

  25. Government is outsourcing the Aust Govt Solicitor.

    More consultants positions for mates.

    Leaves the door wide open to only selecting those with the “proper” political leaning. Information etc will be biased rather than independent

  26. Samantha Maiden ‏@samanthamaiden · 3m3 minutes ago
    @vanOnselenP you could do a mega families portfolio taking in childcare and PPL & women and put it in cabinet under Ley. But I’m just spec

  27. [among the reasons]

    = are among the reasons

    [1374
    Simon Katich

    I have worked in some large multinationals. They were not interested in productivity, efficiency, better quality service or innovation.]

    I briefly worked for one of the largest resource companies in the world some decades back, a company with a quarterly turnover in the tens of billions (in early 1980s money). One end of the office didn’t know what the other was doing, let alone head office in another country knew what we were doing as a branch office.

    It was a farce, and a real eye opener. I didn’t last long.

  28. [Lawyers already ‘own’ the Judiciary exclusively.

    They can leave the Legislature and Executive to the rest of the population.]

    Isn’t that a bit like saying we’ve had professional chefs cook the entree lets just get the waiters to cook the mains and dessert? I guess if you want 2 minute noodles and canned rice cream it would work ok.

  29. Just Me

    [I briefly worked for one of the largest resource companies in the world some decades back, a company with a quarterly turnover in the tens of billions (in early 1980s money).

    One end of the office didn’t know what the other was doing, let alone head office in another country knew what we were doing as a branch office.

    It was a farce, and a real eye opener. I didn’t last long.]

    BHP lost over $4 Bn on their purchase of Magma Copper in the 1990’s.

  30. AussieAchmed 1376

    The biggest hurdle to increased productivity is the lack of investment in improved/better machinery and technology by big business.

    I have an article showiung exactly that – demonstrating that workers’ productivity has improved, but not management/capital’s. I will try and find it.

  31. It is one of the ultimate unfairnesses of our system that when a company fails, the people who suffer most are not those who made the wrong decisions but those who had to carry them out.

  32. Apart from Abbott, Hockey is the next most influential member of the government’s policies. Agree?
    If Abbott leaves him in his present position in this reshuffle I think he will be in there until the next election or just before. As others have said, Abbott had a big say in the formulation of the last budget, he will continue to ride over the weak Hockey as he has done for years past. If this reshuffle is a minor one it will be more pain for the less well off.

  33. [1351
    Libertarian Unionist

    Inflation (more money in the system) happens as a fairly natural by-product of this process, whenever the banks issue more loans than they need to to cover their existing loans, which they regularly do.]

    LU, don’t you think this is an unhelpful definition of inflation? There are massively more financial assets in the system than ever and yet there is no generalised price inflation. There is generalised deflationary pressure.

    In their efforts to stem deflation, central banks have created huge financial reserves, but they have not been channeled through the system to higher-risk borrowers. They have pretty much remained locked up in very low risk assets or bound in markets (such as commodities) where players can hedge their risks (at least, they can in theory).

    Banks use their mastery of financial markets, their capacity to “financialise” transaction flows of all kinds and their role in the payment and settlement systems to absorb cash from the household and business sectors. Rather than expanding the resources available to these parts of the system, the banking sector effectively “taxes” the entire real economy.

    Perhaps it is this process of financial gouging – now carried out on a truly epic scale – that is responsible for under-consumption, under-investment, under-employment and consequently for deflationary impulses in the global economy.

    Perhaps we should think back to feudal times when the capacity of monarchs (and churches) to extract nearly all the surplus income from the population prevented the accumulation of private savings and retarded the development of the economy. This was especially visible in Tsarist Russia, where the natural resources and technical means certainly existed for economic development to occur, but the economic suppression of the peasantry (“Households”) meant the economy remained terribly “backward”.

    We can see a similar “backwards” movement occurring in industrial economies over the last 30-40 years. Even though the resources exist and the technical means are available for real economies to be far more dynamic, households and their economic siblings, small businesses, have been losing their share of output flows in almost all economies while the share of the economy represented by finance has grown very steadily.

  34. Ley was on a fast track to promotion under Howard – and Mirabella was going nowhere.

    In the pre Abbott era, some of a malicious bent (so not me!) used to make a point of commenting to Sophie how well Ley was doing.

    As Sophie beat Ley in the preselection for Indi, and Ley was subsequently elected to the neighbouring electorate across the border at the same election, any hint that Ley was a better performer was, of course, anathema for her.

    Mirabella’s career improved after Howard – with every change of leader, she advanced a step.

  35. Libertarian Unionist@1351

    Don,
    One model of money in an economy goes like this:

    Thanks for the explanation!

    But you make it sound (to me) as though the banks do not make a profit on their lendings, which scarcely seems possible.

    Surely banks charge a rate of interest above and beyond inflation, to not only cover costs, insure against bad debts, and make a profit for their shareholders?

    Banks have been a pretty good investment in Australia for quite a while, I would have thought.

  36. Ice has become a particular scourge in lots of rural communities, a much bigger problem than they had with heroin. This seems to be the case in the USA also. I asked someone who is dealing with the effects of this in the outer East of Melbourne (and nearby towns) whether this is a “supply-side” issue. That is, I wondered if because it can be more easily made locally it needs less of a distribution network.

    He said that most of it isn’t made in those local communities, and the problem is just its highly addictive nature, something to do with absolutely overloading pleasure type receptors in the brain.

    But he is also involved in dealing with the rage and violence associated with its use, much different to what they deal with as far as heroin.

  37. Peter van Onselen ‏@vanOnselenP · 39s39 seconds ago
    Today’s a good day to hide your number (dial 1831) when calling Lib MPs on their mobiles. They will answer for sure, hoping it is the PM…

    For the mischievious

  38. Dave – re Picketty.

    OK, I will get it as a present for someone and skim read it at their BBQ parties 😉

    Re BHP. I have some experience with them and it appears (and I have heard from other sources) that they are getting their corporate act together…. a restructure that actually is achieving something, cleaning out some spivs to.

    Speaking of spiv cleanout – would have been interesting had P.Keating been in charge during 2008.

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