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. td @ 597

    Yes. I think that will be Labor’s policy. To the extent that Fran and the Greens are right that there are better angels in thinking of Australians to appeal to, that will be a winner. The Liberals actually have painted themselves into a corner by dumping the increase in the humanitarian intake – even though they signalled they might increase numbers a bit in the future. Labor can address the primal fear of invasion (by unarmed asylum seekers on unseaworthy boats -LOL) while still saying we can do more for the world’s refugees.

    Especially as the Coalition has dragged our foreign aid down to such extraordinary low levels. Under them we have become the Ebenezer Scrooges of the world.

  2. [519
    TPOF

    Just Me @ 514

    I read this after posting my screed. Absolutely spot on. ]

    Ta.

    There are two equally important imperatives here: stopping the boats (literally or in effect), and doing so in an acceptable manner.

    A bastard of a task in the current political climate in Oz. But big points will flow to the side that can do it.

    Apart from any other reason, our refugee ‘problem’ in recent times is just the tiniest taste of the mass human movements likely to start up within a decade or so around the world as climate change and resulting ecological and political instability kicks in.

    If we are freaking out about a few thousand a year now, imagine the hysterical conniptions across the land if it becomes a flood of several hundred thousand people with nothing left to lose, and coming in ever increasing numbers.

    What then? A line of heavily armed gunboats, gunwale to gunwale, across the entire northern border, with orders to shoot to kill?

    It is a working regional political solution or forget about it.

    [574
    TPOF

    Boats are a distraction from that core issue – not the main game.]

    Agree, which is why it must be killed as an issue, it is just taking up far too much of the precious political debate space.

  3. [
    565
    Gecko

    Politically, the people have had a gut full.

    The solution is not for Labor to rinse twice and repeat.]

    Agree. There is a real opening here to take the whole political discussion in a new direction.

  4. jm @ 603

    It has always been the social disruption that has worried me more about climate change than the changes to the environment per se. Humans are adaptable and can adapt to changes in climate. But with maybe hundreds of millions of people or more forced out of their homes and off their land as landscapes and weather changes irrevocably, the question of what these idle, hungry, desperate people do is a really fearsome worry.

    And the bunch we have in Canberra think that balancing the budget ASAP will bring endless vistas of sunny futures for all of our children here in Australia. Makes me want to gag.

  5. jm @ 603

    [Agree, which is why it must be killed as an issue, it is just taking up far too much of the precious political debate space.]

    I should add, though, that boats will never be killed as an issue. As long as we are surrounded by water and have better lives than those who can get here by boat. And when I say ‘better lives’ I am talking particularly about freedom from fear, rather than economic benefits.

    In modern times we have had waves of Vietnamese, Cambodians, Chinese, Iranians, Afghans, Iraqis and Sri Lankans. Somewhere, some time, another conflict or crisis will arise and the passage to Australia will be tested again. After trying the kinder and more decent way in 2007, the best that Labor can ever hope to do is to neutralise the issue. Which is what it is doing now – concentrating on the brutal, secret behaviour of the government of a democratic country towards these people, rather than on the ‘right’ of these people to embark on unauthorised voyages to Australia.

  6. @ Just Me, 603

    Let those seeking asylum fly here on commercial airlines, then process them on-shore and grant asylum (to those found to be legitimate refugees) with the condition that they take English language tuition (to be repaid through a HECS-like arrangement) and live in a place of the Government’s choosing (eg. a regional community) for a specified period of time (1-2 years?).

    Asylum seekers no longer traumatised by Nauru, Manus.
    People smugglers permanently out of business.
    Cheaper, safer and better for the economy.
    Australia’s human rights record restored.

  7. I almost missed this…
    [
    News of the approaches to Ms Bishop and Mr Turnbull comes after Fairfax Media revealed on Friday Mr Abbott approached The Australian newspaper’s foreign editor Greg Sheridan – who has described the Prime Minister as his “best friend” in university days – take up the plum role of high commissioner to Singapore after the 2013 election.

    One cabinet minister labelled the offer “completely bizarre” and expressed shock the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell – a friend of Mr Abbott – confirmed to Fairfax that he had dissuaded Mr Sheridan from moving.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/turnbull-and-bishop-approached-to-take-leadership-as-senior-ministers-rally-support-for-the-pm-20150130-132baq.html
    ]
    my bold

  8. It is not all that hard to imagine, in say 50 years, when Indonesia has a population well in excess of half a billion people and, decreasingly able to feed them, that the government of the day loads a hundred people per wooden boat and sends over a hundred thousand boats. All on the same day, say.

    It would not be Indonesia’s first mass transmigrasi program foisted on unwilling recipients. So there is a precedent.

  9. Sheridan could probably do the Ambassador job better than most non-Foreign Affairs wannabes.

    What is wrong-headed about it is that it is so obviously a jobs for the boys thing.

    From the text, it looks as if Sheridan supported the idea.

  10. Being betrayed by Brough is almost an honour. You’re nobody in conservative politics until Mal has stabbed you in the back.

  11. While we are distracted by our prime klutz we still have two wars on our hands.

    The Iraq one, despite optimistic mouthings by Kerry in the past couple of weeks, just went backwards, with ISIS defeating local pashmerga forces, and advancing towards Kirkuk.

    I doubt whether they will take Kirkuk but it does rather make the point that Abbott is such a bad prime minister that we are taking our eyes off the ball elsewhere.

  12. [Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    @ Just Me, 603

    Let those seeking asylum fly here on commercial airlines, then process them on-shore and grant asylum (to those found to be legitimate refugees) with the condition that they take English language tuition (to be repaid through a HECS-like arrangement) and live in a place of the Government’s choosing (eg. a regional community) for a specified period of time (1-2 years?).

    Asylum seekers no longer traumatised by Nauru, Manus.
    People smugglers permanently out of business.
    Cheaper, safer and better for the economy.
    Australia’s human rights record restored.]

    Are you thinking of a total upwards limit, or an annual limit, or is it come one come all?

  13. @ Boerwar, 616

    I’m not thinking of a limit.

    If we have a policy of not putting asylum seekers through emotional and physical torture for years on end in some malaria-infested hellhole and of actually giving them opportunities to become productive, integrated (tax-paying!) members of Australian society, then there is no need for a limit.

  14. [confessions
    Posted Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 4:05 pm | PERMALINK
    Jesus, when I suggested Mal Brough as a dark horse for the leadership I was joking!
    ]

    Fess, if this actually happens you will be unanimously acclaimed as a visionary extraordinaire by all your PB colleagues, joke or no joke.

  15. Further to my 617:

    The number of legitimate asylum seekers that will come to Australia seeking asylum is generally a function of PUSH factors in other countries, not PULL factors in Australia.

    The number of people illegitimately claiming asylum is a function of PULL factors, but these would not be granted asylum under my proposal and would be deported back to their countries of origin.

  16. [ Jesus, when I suggested Mal Brough as a dark horse for the leadership I was joking! ]

    The Libs dont do really do humor Fess. Only poor slapstick. 🙂

  17. [ Jesus, when I suggested Mal Brough as a dark horse for the leadership I was joking! ]

    He or someone else are just to get the spill started.

    Mesma, turnbull, robb etc will then declare as candidates.

  18. Indonesia’s population is currently projected to peak at 326m people in 2067, and then begin declining.

    Sorry, Boerwar, you’re going to have to come up with someone else to scaremonger about.

  19. Goodness me!

    Syd Walker ‏@SydWalker 2 mins2 minutes ago
    Sounds like there’s a late anti-LNP swing in Queensland. For first time, @Kieran_Gilbert suggesting entire LNP Govt may fall #qldvotes

  20. AS @ 619

    [The number of people illegitimately claiming asylum is a function of PULL factors, but these would not be granted asylum under my proposal and would be deported back to their countries of origin.]

    Do you have any idea how difficult it is to determine if someone is ‘illegitimately’ claiming asylum? Especially if they do not have genuine information and have been coached in what to say to engage protection obligations? And bear in mind that non-refoulement obligations put the onus on the state to decide an asylum seeker is not a convention refugee, rather than the other way. Even genuine refugees are coached in what to say (and what not to say) to maximise their chances of being accepted.

    That’s not to say any individual is or is not a refugee. Just that the system will always be gamed by people who will seek out and work on every loophole. It is ferociously difficult.

  21. CTar1

    Now that you are here. Forgot to ask after Sir Prince laughter took over but what sort of planes conducted the low level “bombing/strafing runs” on Canbra that morning ?

  22. @ TPOF, 627

    Of course, but there’s no other reasonable option on the part of the Government than to engage the process of determining the veracity of a person’s asylum application in good faith. We cannot simply reject asylum seekers out of hand because some people claiming asylum might not be legit.

    In what way is my proposal not better than the shambles we have at the moment?

  23. [Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    @ Boerwar, 616

    I’m not thinking of a limit.]

    Well, that is entirely consistent with the Greens open-slather approach. There are around 50 million refugees extant.
    Given your preferred policy settings, how many of that 50 million do you think Australia should take?

  24. @ Boerwar, 632

    The Greens’ position is big on emotion, scant on detail. That is the one criticism I have of it.

    If you’re suggesting that all fifty million of those refugees would come to Australia, even with the most “open” policies on our part, I have no other adjective to describe you than “deluded”.

  25. CTaR1

    I think you will find that they were Hawks.

    They ruined some bird photography I was trying at the time. OTOH, they flushed lots of interesting birds…

  26. @bhockings: Extraordinary result to our exclusive @9NewsBrisbane Galaxy Exit Poll! You won’t believe these numbers – revealed 5PM #qldvotes

  27. AS @ 631

    Not arguing against it – just pointing out that it is complex and incredibly time-consuming. Your post made it sound simple.

    Ideally, we would make all the inquiries and determinations while the applicants are in refugee camps or other locations overseas. It is cheapest and we can select those who will settle best in Australia, as well as being more certain about the genuineness of their refugee claims. That said, there have been plenty of errors, some politically motivated from Ministers and Governments in Australia, in selecting refugees from overseas.

    In a world where we would have no possibility of ever accommodating all genuine refugees who would want to settle in Australia there are no easy answers. The easiest answer is to do what Scott Morrison was doing – but that was also the most cruel, brutal and vicious.

  28. CTar1

    Military planes definitely built without care for noise minimization alright. Hell noisy in Darwin when the biennial “Operation Pitch Black” is on. Military and civil share the airport which is right in town. As you can tell from the name it is about night time operations . Much disturbed sleep.

    Heaven for plane spotters though.

    [Air Force exercise Pitch Black takes off over Darwin and Katherine, residents brace for noise

    Up to 110 aircraft from the air forces of the United States, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates will fly in the skies between Darwin and Katherine for the 22-day biennial exercise which officially started today.]
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-01/residents-brace-for-noise-as-pitch-black-takes-off/5640390

  29. If “open-slather” policies resulted in every refugee in the world coming to Australia to claim asylum, we would have had 50 million “boat people” under Labor, not 50 thousand.

  30. [Arrnea Stormbringer

    I’m not thinking of a limit.]

    Afraid you are going to have to come up with a workable algorithm on this one, that delivers a finite number, as fairly and efficiently as possible.

    The choices are none or some. All isn’t an option, practically or politically.

  31. @ Just Me, 640

    That supposes that every single refugee in the world will beat a path to our door under “open-slather” policies. As the period under Labor before the return of offshore processing showed, that is absolute rubbish.

  32. [Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    If “open-slather” policies resulted in every refugee in the world coming to Australia to claim asylum, we would have had 50 million “boat people” under Labor, not 50 thousand.]

    So, since the Greens’ policy is open slather on 50 million refugees, how many do you suggest we take a year?

    one million
    five million
    ten million
    or the lot?

  33. [Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    @ Just Me, 640

    That supposes that every single refugee in the world will beat a path to our door under “open-slather” policies.]

    I assume that the Greens would foot the bill for the air fares? After all, refugees are refugees regardless of their ability to pay air tickets?

  34. @ Boerwar, 643

    They can pay for their own airfares.
    It’s much, much cheaper than getting on a boat (it’s safer, too).

  35. To those like me who will be watching the election on 24 and have tabs with Williams updates; Antony Green and the Queensland Electoral Commission. I suggest playing Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust.

  36. TPOF

    On AS the principle can be simple. No matter which way you go the implementation is politically fiendishly difficult.

    However that can be decided in government. What Labor has to work out is what it is going to do so it has a strong position when the inevitable attack from the right comes.

    I think linking to broken promises is the best as the LNP have not stopped the boats.

    I am happy for any to come up with a better attack especially those that believe the boats have stopped.

    The best way for Labor to get AS out of the election campaigns is to discredit the LNP using it to attack Labor.

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