BludgerTrack: 52.5-47.5 to Labor

Public relaxation over summer, the quirks of a shallow pool of poll results, actual improvement in the government’s standing – whatever the cause, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate has again recorded movement in favour of the Coalition.

Week two of BludgerTrack for 2015 adds only the latest Essential Research result to last week’s numbers from Essential and Roy Morgan. This is pretty thin gruel so far as poll aggregation goes, but nonetheless, let it be noted that BludgerTrack finds the latest result to be a lot more like the Morgan poll than Essential’s strong result for Labor last week, and thus shifts a little further the Coalition’s way. The 0.4% move on two-party preferred translates into three gains for the Coalition on the seat projection, namely one seat each in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. Nothing new this week on leadership ratings.

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.

2,676 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.5-47.5 to Labor”

  1. Amid leadershit speculation, public anger and further policy chaos, Bludgertrack records a gain the other way. Who’s behind the numbers? What shadows lurk in the back room? Do we really know who pulls the strings? Is he sober?

  2. rates Analyst,

    Certainly true. But, the important thing coming out of that article was that “no one expected it”.

    I’d also note that our interest rates are much higher than the Canadians already. With growth sluggish at best, the flavour du jour is stimulus.

    Negative interest rates in Switzerland and the Europeans about to start their QE programme combined with the zero rates in the US and the forces for lowering are quite overwhelming.

    The Reserve needs to be alert and active right now. Mismanagement now will put us in to recession.

  3. It appears that for once Greg Hunt wants to do the right thing. I hope he isn’t overruled. There must be lots of developers (no doubt generous Liberal donors) casting envious eyes on the site. Sites like this are as rare as hens teeth this close to a major city. It would be a spectacular national park.

  4. RA what is the thinking? Presumably the couple predicting or saying the RB should cut interest rates think the economy needs some encouragement and that a rate cut would actually provide that encouragement?

    Those against the rate cut what is their thinking? They’d like a recession? A rate cut wouldn’t actually stimulate the economy, or it would just stimulate the housing market which is probably too stimulated already?

  5. GG,

    I don’t disagree. I expect the RBA to be cutting rates shortly. But there’s actually a certain amount of credibility at stake here. On December 12 the Governor made the point that the stability of policy was, in part, designed to improve consumer and business confidence.

    Nothing like a surprise rate cut to put the wind up the general public. They’ll change the wording substantially in February and then cut rates in March or April most likely.

    Though GG, despite all that stimulus in the rest of the world the AUD was flirting with a 5Y low this morning. Nearly down through 80. Stimulsus is happening locally too, just from the currency not the bank.

  6. Re Malabar

    Given the record of promises, commitments, undertakings, vision statements etc from this government expect the malabar site to be sold later in the year.

    Circumstances change, Hunt will say, and it’s all Labor’s fault

  7. [I don’t disagree. I expect the RBA to be cutting rates shortly. But there’s actually a certain amount of credibility at stake here. On December 12 the Governor made the point that the stability of policy was, in part, designed to improve consumer and business confidence.]

    Difficult to imagine a worse reason not to cut rates. Ego of the board.

  8. rates analayst
    Assuming that the US, China and Japan have all been printing money and europe is playing catch up on the oney printing/currency wars… what are the implications of Aussie dollar?

  9. [Hunt is a discredited, hollowed out shell whose words are usually empty. I don’t trust him either.]

    That description applies to almost everyone one in the Abbott Cabinet. Bishop perhaps is an exception in that she came hollowed out.

  10. WeWantPaul

    Yes and no. If that was the only reason it would be poor. But its not.

    Credibility of the Central Bank is actually about the best things the RBA has gong for it. Changing the cash rate does remarkably little to the economy. The public losing confidence in the system has a lot more impact.

    But you could add the 0.2% fall in unemployment in the last two months into the reasons “not to cut rates”. And the comparatively decent performance of the labour market was one of the reasons the RBA said “period of stability” so it’s not all ego by any means.


    The US stopped printing in October. The Japanese are and the Chinese aren’t. The EU has been for a while, but massively ramped it up last night.

    Anytime any Central Bank prints money it weakens the currency of the bank that is printing. So against the USD, EUR and JPY the AUD is artificially stronger than it would other wise be, subject to timing provisos above.

    And the AUD is still falling pretty fast – nearly so fast that the speed of the fall would become an issue. We don’t want it to fall any faster.

  11. [The plea deal was that he would be convicted in the US of providing material support for terrorism but would be allowed to return to Australia and serve a seven-month prison sentence. He was also gagged from speaking for one year.]

    I had always assumed the Australian Government had a hand in this in that the 1 year gag would only really benefit them.

  12. The Parrot’s spin on the defo action

    [Sydney radio broadcaster Alan Jones is being sued for defamation by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney.

    Papers for the lawsuit have been lodged in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.

    Jones confirmed the court action while speaking on Brisbane radio 4BC.

    “I have been waiting to hear from Campbell Newman for a long time – goodness knows how many times I’ve communicated with him on a range of issues and those communications have been unanswered,” he said.

    “So imagine my surprise yesterday when I did receive correspondence running to 35 pages from him and his sidekick, Jeff Seeney.

    “The correspondence though doesn’t address any of the concerns that I have been raising, it takes the form of a claim and statement of claim for defamation filed in the Queensland Supreme Court yesterday relating to comments I made about Mr Newman in relation to the Acland stage three coal mine.”]

  13. [Yep cando and his deputy have sued Jones for defamation]

    What a couple of pathetic sooks, but luckily for them the Chief Justice is particularly indebted to them.

  14. Re WWP @72: David Hicks was a ‘barnacle’ that was beginning to hurt the Howard Government, which for the previous 6 years had been happy to allow the Americans to do what they will with him. Specifically, I had always assumed that the one year gag was included at the request of the Australian Government to take it past the 2007 election.

  15. PB Labor tragics (to whose number I do not belong) should not be too disheartened by the BludgerTrack numbers. First of all, they are strongly influenced by Morgan (adjusted for bias) and Essential Research (which is a bit of a maverick). If the next Newspoll and Galaxy polls show the Coalition at 52-48 or better, then this perhaps would be grounds for you to become disheartened.

    In any event, we saw under Gillard a tendency for the polls to drift a bit back towards an unpopular government during periods when the parliament is in recess and/or the PM is overseas. In particular, the 2012-13 summer was quite a good period for her, which was completely destroyed by Roxon and Chris Evans announcing their resignations in early Februrary.

    And, as young Hamlet put it, there’s the rub. A tendency to become more popular when you are less noticeable is of no great benefit to a government, given that people vote at the time when they are paying the most attention to politics.

    Unless Abbott can lift his game, or is replaced by someone who can deliver a better performance, I find it hard to see how he can claw his way back. I guess the Coalition will be somewhat heartened by the apparent swing back to Newman during the current election campaign, but Newman – while he is an unappealing public performer who has done some things which have upset his constituents – at least has always looked reasonably in control of the situation.

    The electorate has shown that it will always give a second chance to governments that do nasty things, but look like they they know what they are doing. But the current Federal Government has been all over the place since the beginning of 2014: that’s what they’ve got to try to fix.

  16. psyclaw@33

    Summary of Abetz: we know nothing, we think nothing, we have handed IR over to the Productivity Commission and Fair Work Australia, it has nothing to do with us, we are innocent.

    Sounds like lines he might have had handed down from Great Uncle Otto from around 1945. 😐

  17. Reading Mark Kenny highlighted how bad the LNP are at negotiating.

    When negotiating, you don’t tell your opponent what you’re prepared to concede before you start.

    Your opponent will adjust their starting position to reflect what they now know you will concede.

    Surely your starting position is the proposed legislation and you go from there.

    Pyne has already stated (contrary to Joe) he will give up the budgetary savings if they agree to deregulation of fees.

    I think a tax paid funded trip to the markets of Asia or the Middle East would be money well spent as an education in how to haggle and barter effectively.

    But the LNP are the party of business, so who am I to question their tactics.

  18. [The electorate has shown that it will always give a second chance to governments that do nasty things, but look like they they know what they are doing. But the current Federal Government has been all over the place since the beginning of 2014: that’s what they’ve got to try to fix.]

    It is really a lot worse than that. They have already got the carbon price killed and something else they promised was it the end of the MRRT. In any event they pretty done what they promised.

    They have done a few things they didn’t promise as well but they have gone down poorly. They still haven’t passed most of last years budget and they should be softening us up for this years budget. By not getting their cuts through they will have less (perhaps none) candy to sweeten us up with.

    They are promising to take both tax reform and IR reform to an election. Is there anyone in Australia stupid enough to think this mob could be trusted with either tax reform or IR reform? Yet they have promised to take both to an election.

    Finally on the senate. I don’t remember Abbott excusing Rudd because he had a much worse senate than Abbott has, I don’t remember Abbott excusing Gillard because she had a really tough HoR, but last night he was whinging about how tough the senate was for him. It is filled with people he should easily be able to get on board for a right wing agenda, but he is such an idiot he hasn’t really even tried. And Lambie was an easy mark when she landed, if they had bought out clive and negotiated with a couple of the maniac senators they could have had most of their agenda through before she woke up and wised up.

    It is clearly the stupidest government ever. Makes Bush in the US look like an intelligent policy heavy weight.

  19. Apparently Abetz has backflipped and has ordered a completely new review of penalty rates and of the minimum wage. Abetz has announced that the review panel will consist entirely of workers who are being paid the minimum wage and of workers who receive penalty rates.

    When asked to explain this remarkable decision Abetz replied, ‘What would plutocrats, ideologues and cigar smoking treasurers know about life at the edge?’

  20. Did I miss something re Queensland?

    Heard on Fairfax news radio an item to the effect that a “new” Queensland poll had only 1% difference between LNP and Labor with “Labor narrowing the gap” wtte.

    Did anyone else pick this up? If so, what poll was this as I can’t see any report anywhere else. Maybe I just have not looked in the right place.

  21. [Apparently Abetz has backflipped and has ordered a completely new review of penalty rates and of the minimum wage.]

    Yeah I’m pretty sure the productivity commission will find that slavery is the way to get most productivity out of the economy. Not a perfect solution for those enslaved but really are they leaners or lifters, some chains and a good beating will do marvels for productivity and workforce moral.

  22. WWP
    [I had always assumed the Australian Government had a hand in this in that the 1 year gag would only really benefit them.]
    The 1 year embargo was to prevent him talking before the 2007 election was done and dusted.

  23. Why isn’t more being made of this Warner/Abbott issue?

    It involves at least three lies from the PM’s office, together with the suggestion of improper use of a position of power to favours for a mate.

    And for the trifecta, it comes hot on the heels of Warner’s “speak English” effort.

    The media should be demanding answers. Instead, nothing.

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but imagine if it was Gillard. It would be beaten up into the biggest story of the century.

  24. Boer – I wasn’t aware of that article but you do hear rumours.

    But actually a tiny bit of QE here and there would have very little bearing, given the Chinese FX regime.

  25. Did anyone seeing the clip of Abbott on 3AW yesterday where a Lib supporter took him on notice that he did the “wink and smirk”again.

    No wonder he is referred to as a joke and a moron.

  26. GG:

    [Here’s what just happened in Canada.]

    Yeah, but they’ve had one of their major export commodities more than halve in value over the last 6 months… oh, wait.

    But really, RA is on the money. At least at this stage. Our falling dollar is taking a hit for us, making our exports more attractive, so interest rates can stay relatively high for now.*

    At some stage, the real income effects of this fall take hold, while the pile of private debt remains high, and at that point, well, all bets are off. Are you familiar with the term “gapping”?

    * When 2.5% interest rates are considered ‘relatively high’ there is a problem, which is both broad and deep.

  27. Itep@90

    Thanks for that. I have just waded through the Qld thread and noted the discussion between the various gurus.

    Would seem, with reservation, that the general view is a LNP victory come the election.

    Some are picking a hung parliament as an outside chance.

    While a Labor win would be nice, I wonder whether a much reduced LNP majority, as a consequent loss of heaps of seats, and both toxic Tony and Newman still in power, is really all that bad for Labor come the next Federal election?

  28. Interest rate policy is vastly overrated as a macroeconomic tool. Fiscal policy is far more influential on employment, output, and the general price level. But both major parties have absorbed a neoliberal exhortation for governments to tie their hands on fiscal policy. It’s a shame. As Bill Mitchell says, a currency issuing government chooses the unemployment rate, whether it recognizes this fact or not.

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