BludgerTrack: 53.4-46.6 to Labor

The latest weekly poll aggregate reading all but wipes out the Coalition’s gains over New Year, for which the Prince Philip debacle can offer only a partial explanation.

The New Year polling drought has come to an end with three new results this week, and the promise at least of Ipsos returning in the next weekly cycle. This of course comes at a particularly interesting time, in view of the Prince Philip idiocy and subsequent ramping up of leadership speculation. However, this week’s batch of polls when taken together offer only a partial account of the impact of an announcement that was made on Monday. To deal with them in chronological order:

Essential Research surveyed from Friday to Monday, but even without much scope for the Prince Philip issue to affect the result, its fortnightly rolling average produced what by its standards was significant movement to Labor. After moving a point to the Coalition last week, Labor’s two-party lead was back to 54-46, from primary votes of 41% for Labor, 39% for the Coalition and 9% for the Greens. As always, half of this result comes from the previous week.

Roy Morgan deviated somewhat from its usual practice in providing a poll of 2057 respondents in which the field work was conducted from Friday to Tuesday, in contrast to its usual practice of combining two weeks of results and surveying only on the weekend. In other words, a substantial part of the survey period came after the Prince Philip disaster. Compared with the poll that covered the first two weekends of the year, Labor gained a point on the primary vote directly at the Coalition’s expense, leaving them at 37.5% and 39.5% respectively, while the Greens were up from 9.5% to 12%. That left Labor with formidable two-party leads of 56.5-43.5 on respondent-allocated preferences, up from 54.5-45.5, and 55.5-44.5 on previous election preferences, up from 53-47 to 55.5-44.5.

• The Seven Network sent ReachTEL into the field on Tuesday evening to gauge the impact of Sir Prince Philip, and all things considered the result could have been worse for the Coalition, who trailed 54-46 from primary votes of 40.1% for Labor, 39.7% for the Coalition and 11.3% for the Greens. Things got uglier with questions on Tony Abbott’s leadership, which you can read about at the link.

When all that’s plugged into BludgerTrack, the model’s reaction is to move the two-party preferred result 0.9% in favour of Labor, translating into gains on the seat projection of two in New South Wales and one each in Queensland and Western Australia. One suspects there will be more where that came from over the next week or two. However, as you can see from the trendlines on the sidebar, the model does not read this as movement to Labor over the past week, but has rather retrospectively determined that the movements being recorded over New Year (Coalition up, Greens down) hadn’t happened after all.

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.

793 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.4-46.6 to Labor”

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  1. Out of curiosity, how much is the sophomore effect worth in the BludgerTrack model?

    PS: I ask because the 8.5% swing for WA doesn’t seem to be knocking off Christian Porter’s 8.06% margin in Pearce – the only thing I can think of is the sophomore effect.

  2. Steve Ciobo interviewed on ABC Newsradio thinks the Government is doing very well but just needs to explain itself better. He seems to be reasonably intelligent so he can’t possibly believe that.

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Mark Kenny with the sound of Liberal leadership jungle drums. Interestingly he makes the point that Abbott can’t announce any uncanvassed changes when he speaks at the NPC next week.
    More from Kenny on Abbot’s running of the cabinet and respect for due process. Now where have we heard this sort of comment before? Oh yes – Kevin Rudd.
    Waleed Aly says that Abbott’s problems started before the election. A very good article as usual.
    Abbott faces a battle to avoid self destruction opines Michelle Grattan.
    The New Daily says the knighthood fiasco is bordering on fatal for Abbott.
    Dangerous days for Abbott as his backers get the wobbles.
    Buckingham Palace has gone very quiet over the Sir Phil issue.–buckingham-palace-maintains-silence-over-knighthood-bestowed-on-the-duke-of-edinburgh-20150129-131kfb.html
    “He’s kicked himself in the nuts!” say the locals at a pub in the bush.–the-locals-will-be-honest-20150129-131ghg.html
    Greg Jericho uses Queensland a s a case study for austerity politics.
    Newman may have said “sorry” for the last time.

  4. Section 2 . . .

    The CFMEU forces an investigation on $4/hour foreign workers, What a disgrace!
    This coal mine approval for the Liverpool Plains has not proven to be popular for Baird.
    Stephen Koukoulas – Australia faces a housing glut.
    The 20 worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    Kristina Keneally talks of her development as a Catholic feminist.
    Is it time to buy bank stocks for yield?
    David Rowe with American (Electronic) Grafitti.

    Bill Leak with Abbott and friend.

  5. Not a bad analysis from Mark Kenny, but he’s left out another poor “decision” by Abbott: allowing Bronnie the Speaker, as well as Credlin, to attend Cabnet meetings. Abbott might admire all things Westminster, but he hasn’t the backbone to insist on due process and doesn’t seem to understand why it’s necessary.

    [The longer-term result is invariably bad, as Tony Abbott and his now bewildered colleagues are discovering. Yet they might as well look to themselves, for just as Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin has been granted too much power by her boss, the Cabinet has ceded too much power to Abbott. One automatically flows from the other. In a succession of dud decisions, their PM’s gone quietly rogue, unburdened by the normal checks against gross error built into the system.

    As he lurches from one captain’s pick to another, they lament his poor judgment, his tin ear. Prime ministerial apologies stack up, as do promises to consult more. But structurally, little changes.
    . . .

    The gold standards are Bob Hawke and John Howard. While dominant figures in their own right, both knew how to run a cabinet, and rarely departed from due process. And both lasted a lot longer than any prime minister since. Hardly a coincidence.]

  6. Morning all

    Everytime Abbott Needs a boost, Margie and the kids are wheeled out. Havent seen them around the place yet. What gives?

  7. SK

    I suspect Margie and the kids may attend Abbott’s NPC address on Monday.

    Meanwhile vanbadham on twitter. This is precisely what team Labor need to remind the electorate over and over again.

    [The Right are setting up Abbott to take the fall for the unpopularity of the *policies* they all support.
    #Knightmare is a decoy.

  8. [Leadership dramas are continuing for the Coalition Government as former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced he will be running for the leadership of the Liberal Party if a spill is called.]

    Anything is possible with our Kevin.

  9. [The gold standards are Bob Hawke and John Howard. While dominant figures in their own right, both knew how to run a cabinet, and rarely departed from due process.]

    One of those observations always made in retrospect…

    [The traditional position of a prime minister as primus inter pares has been rendered obsolete; certainly no minister believes that Howard is merely first among equals in the exercise of power. The convention that big decisions must always be taken by the cabinet no longer applies.]

  10. William

    Thanks. The bludgertrack puts it in perspective. Abbott was playing catch-up politics before the knighthood absurdity.


    That one from Grog about the Qld economy is very good. I have friends living there and they confirm the same thing – the economy is dead and there are no other jobs to go to for those who lost work in mining. Rather than cut spending Newman should have increased it. He has turned Qld into a mini Greece.

  11. [The gold standards are Bob Hawke and John Howard. While dominant figures in their own right, both knew how to run a cabinet, and rarely departed from due process.]
    I worked in the Canberra during the Howard government and that was NOT my experience of the Howard government. The PMC controlled everything, and there were many departures from process. Think AWB and many other trade decisions. Abbott as health minister was even then a serial offender at ignoring process – remember the RU486 decision.

  12. Victoria

    [Meanwhile vanbadham on twitter. This is precisely what team Labor need to remind the electorate over and over again.

    The Right are setting up Abbott to take the fall for the unpopularity of the *policies* they all support.
    #Knightmare is a decoy.

    it does look remarkably coordinated, Abbott faltering, JBish wined and dined in NY with Rupe and Minchin, Murdoch tweets, his goons pile on…

    This smells of a Murdoch campaign, and he certainly knows how to run them. After he realised that Abbott was incapable of “filling the chair”, and the risk of a one term LNP government increasing with a fool as PM, the levers were pulled.

    I also notice Malcolm was in US this last week. Wonder if he had time to stop by the NY penthouse?
    If one was a conspiracy

  13. sprocket

    Of course it is a co ordinated campaign. Whilst non tories shrugged their shoulders and merely laughed out loud about the knighthood, the tories went feral. They know Abbott cant win the next election and they need to get rid of him asap

  14. From BK link at #6 re the workers being paid $4 per hour.

    The company is Manildra – again.
    Owned by John Howard’s mate, the bloke Howard gave millions of tax dollars to as a favour, and then some of it came back to the Libs in donations.

    Royal Commission into corruption links between corporations and the Liberals needed.

  15. Re Greece:

    Excellent summary of the situation from Krugman. It seems that Greece could default, and stay in the Euro, if the ECB doesn’t withdraw its temporary liquidity to the Greek banks – an act of bastardry Krugman doesn’t think they would try.

  16. Socrates

    [The gold standards are Bob Hawke and John Howard. While dominant figures in their own right, both knew how to run a cabinet, and rarely departed from due process.

    Kenny has selective memory. Hawke granted 10,000 Chinese students residency post Tianamen square by press release (a worthy deed, but no Cabinet process) and JWH was legendary for pulling rabbits out of the hat when things were crook.

    A classic example was $10b water buy backs on Murray Darling costed on the back of a beer coaster

  17. LIZZIE – Kenny doesn’t point out that collective decision-making doesn’t help very much if everyone sitting around the table is a dud.

  18. Briefly, if you are about…

    Eslake this morning on RN talking up housing market for 2015, little prospect of interest rate movement till next year, unemployment about to peak and possible rate rise early next year.

  19. Those Greeks/Greens – simply wizard at running an economy:

    From the Business Review:

    “The market is pricing in a restructuring of some form,” Richard McGuire, a fixed-income strategist at Rabobank, said.

    “Eventually we think a compromise will be reached with the Troika, but you’d need a very strong stomach to buy into Greek markets at the moment, “ he said.


    What is this all about? Well, the Greek stock market dropped another 9% and the bond rate is up to 16.5%. SYRIZA’s immediate series of announcements about how it is going to reverse structural reform and spend OP’s money like crazy is apparently not impressing the OPs with the money.

    I liked the comment of Briefly’s Aussie greek mates (reported in the last thread) who laughed at SYRIZA’s election: the greeks have tried to trick themselves.

    Nice Grong Gron pub type summary.

    Apart from that I thought that t-D’s linked (in the last thread) Economist article was pretty good in summing up the various Gordian knots the greeks have created for themselves, and just about everyone else, by deciding for decade after decade that life without taxes is more fun.

  20. shellbell
    Good move, IMHO, but is the subbie right?

    How can an alledged rapist ‘prove’ that a victim gave consent? It looks more like this is about the accused arguing that the woman was capable of giving consent (not blotto) or that the circumstances were such that had she wished to do so she could have given consent (not frightened speechless), or not, as the case may be?
    I am a bit confused about this.

  21. K-1-7

    [Kenny doesn’t point out that collective decision-making doesn’t help very much if everyone sitting around the table is a dud.]

    Well, at least they all have to take responsibility.

    You make a good point, though. How many Cabinet members are capable of creating wise policy.

  22. confessions

    Ah. We are back to tests for the PM. Coorey’s ‘six months’ is a generous test, IMHO.

    Richardson opined that the NPC speech on Monday was a big test.

  23. @danielhurstbne: “I’m sorry; I’m not trying to be rude. I just can’t; I can’t do it” – Newman after 97.3 quiz where he couldn’t spell Palaszczuk #qldvotes

  24. Boerwar:

    [Under a contingency plan being actively discussed within senior ranks of the Coalition, ministers and ­backbenchers are willing Mr Abbott to succeed. If not he faces being replaced, possibly by Julie Bishop with ­Malcolm Turnbull as deputy leader and treasurer.

    “There’s deep concern among the backbench,’’ said a senior member of cabinet.

    “The question is ‘can Tony turn it around?’

    “He has got to tell us how he will turn this around. He’s got to be given the opportunity to turn this around.’’

    Irate MPs fearful of losing their seats are being counselled by senior colleagues to give Mr Abbott clear air ­internally so he can recover. This involves not agitating for a spill, not counting numbers nor promoting rival leadership tickets.]

  25. K-1-7

    The Krugman article is OBE.

    In particular, the unilateral decision by SYRIZA to spend money the Greek Government does not have has reset all the equations. In particular it has pushed the bond rate up to 16.5% and has ensured that no-one will lend the Greek Government a single quid.

    In terms of EU banks cutting off the Greek banks… why would the clearing functions continue if the Greek Government is not going to Greek debt seriously?

    Krugman needs to re-write his screed to take into account greek bad faith.

  26. I love the justification of one Lib backbencher in Coorey’s article for not dumping Tony: we can’t make it too sudden. The public has got to be part of the process. “It must be abundantly clear we didn’t rush this…”

    What an ejit. If he’s no good, the public will respect you for dumping him, not letting him mess things up further.

    Don’t under-estimate the power of the bodyguard of f…wits that Tone has brilliantly surrounded himself with. Sweaty Joe, Conman, Erica, Chrissey – they all know that under a new leadership they are toast.

  27. confessions @ 40

    Senior colleagues begging for ‘clear air’?

    By golly, what goes round comes round.

    Where did we hear pleas for clear air before?

  28. fess

    The last thing Abbott should be given is “clear air”. That’s what they’ve been giving him for months. He needs a good talking to and a straightjacket.

  29. Any backbench MPs listening to “senior colleagues” are idiots, because those senior colleagues are solely interested in protecting their seats in Cabinet.

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