BludgerTrack: 56.1-43.9 to Labor

This week’s poll aggregate records the government in an ongoing downward spiral in the days before Monday’s spill motion.

The flurry of pre-spill polling leaves BludgerTrack engorged with new data, offering a high-resolution picture of how things looked immediately before Monday’s Liberal party room meeting. The result isn’t quite matching Julia Gillard at her worst, but it comes awfully close – particularly on the seat projection, since the swing has bitten deepest in the especially sensitive state of Queensland. There has been a straight one-point shift from the Coalition to Labor on the primary vote to add to the two-point shift recorded last week, with other parties remaining stable. Labor is up four on the seat projection since last week, courtesy of gains in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

The leadership ratings are if anything even more remarkable, with new numbers added this week from Newspoll and Essential Research. The collapse in Tony Abbott’s personal rating from an already low base is particularly something to see. It moves more sharply this week than preferred prime minister, since it had only one data point to react to last time rather than two, last fortnight’s Galaxy poll having provided on the latter. The y-axis on the net approval chart formerly ran from plus to minus 40%, but I’ve had to widen it to accommodate the depths presently being plumbed by Abbott. Bill Shorten’s rating softens a little, thanks to a somewhat off-trend result this week from Essential. Full results, as always, are on the sidebar.

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.

2,925 comments on “BludgerTrack: 56.1-43.9 to Labor”

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  1. Re. an early election to preempt a spill, – before last week I didn’t think Tone was that crazy, now I would not rule anything out.
    If a spill happens, a factor would be when a reps + half senate election could be run which is 6th August 2016. From the a href=’’>wiki page
    [writs for a half-Senate election cannot be issued earlier than 1 July 2016. Since election campaigns run for a minimum of 33 days, the earliest date for a normal House and half-Senate election is 6 August 2016
    Which is in my mind not that early.

  2. OK

    I am going to be outrageous here and stir the possum but:

    I have always had a sneaking suspicion that “utegate” was partly a Swan set up to get at Rudd, but that Rudd for whatever reason kept an email trail which led back to Grech and exonerated himslef.

    Just a thought, at the time and reinforced by the events of June 2010.

  3. sohar
    We know who Abbott is and he’s easy to understand. I think what you see is what you get. You just have to pay attention to what you see and not what you hear :P.

  4. On an election. It will only happen if Abbott admits he has lost support of his party and can then beat the spill sneaking off to the GG in the meantime.

    The practicalities of lining up houses for elections will not matter in that circumstance.

    Abbott will be doing destruction worrying about the consequences for Labor or LNP enemies will not be a concern

  5. Wakefield re Inheritance tax etc – BIG yes from me!

    Guytaur, great repost of Windsor tweet. I loved how it simply read “doesnt walk” full stop.

    I think Turnbull underestimates himself (steady, I know what you are thinking). But I do believe if he walked a bucket load of well respected right leaning centrists would follow. Windsor being one of them. Go one Malcolm, do it.

  6. JR
    It might not have been predictable, but it’s not out of character. If someone had predicted it before it happened, you’d think it totally plausible.

  7. The Liberal plans for making it easier for Aged Pensioners to sell their family home

    Evidently Kelly O’Dwyer has spoken about this topic to the Centre Independent Studies, she stressed that current pensioners will not be effected. You bet she did as most of her electorate are older people living in established homes bought 40 years ago.

  8. “@ABCNews24: Andrew Wilkie: We shouldn’t allow another dollar to be gambled on #GreyhoundRacing until we can have confidence in the industry #auspol”

    “@ABCNews24: Andrew Wilkie: Governments need to get involved and hold these monsters to account #auspol #GreyhoundRacing #livebaiting #4Corners”

    “@ABCNews24: Andrew Wilkie: What we saw last night is a systemic problem, this is not a few isolated instances #GreyhoundRacing #livebaiting #auspol”

    “@ABCNews24: Andrew Wilkie: The whole industry has to be looked at and cleaned up #GreyhoundRacing #livebaiting #auspol #4Corners”

  9. fredex@2797: I think you overstate your case a bit. If true, Utegate was a pretty serious allegation against Rudd: for instance, I would argue that it was a fair bit more serious than the allegations about loan commissions that Whitlam used to force Cairns to resign as Treasurer in 1975. For a prime minister to insist on a businessman being given a favourable decision under a government program and for it to turn out that this businessman had given some sort of private benefit to that prime minister would be a case of corruption, pure and simple.

    It wasn’t just a case of normal interaction with constituents. Maybe a businessman buying lunch or dinner for a pollie is ok: if it wasn’t, we’d lose around 90% or more of our current parliamentarians. But being given use of a motor vehicle seems to me to be of a different order. And Grech, a very senior public service whistleblower, had “evidence” to prove that this had occurred. So it wasn’t mere slander and innuendo either: it appeared to be proven.

    But – and the media should have picked up on this far earlier than it did – it was also highly unlikely. If a Prime Minister is ever going to sell himself/herself out in this way, it surely is never going to be simply for the use of a run-of-the-mill ute.

    If you read the Parliamentary and ANAO inquiries into Utegate, you can see from various email exchanges that Grech was an extremely weird dude. Turnbull simply didn’t seem to pick this up, nor did Abetz (unless one is to believe that he was playing an Iago-type role to undo Turnbull).

    Of course, extremely weird people can still be truthful whistleblowers. But, surely, the combination of weird dude and unlikely form of corruption should have rung some alarm bells in Turnbull’s mind.

    Hopefully, if he is going to become PM, he has learnt something from this experience.

  10. [2763


    It was the same story. The one you posted from Reuters blamed Greece by implication while the BBC one did not.

    That is the bias.]

    You’re imagining this. Neither account assigns blame, though they go to different lengths.

    The essence of the reports is the same: the parties were meeting to discuss and extension of the bail-out for six months; the EU proposed an extension on the current terms; Greece found that unacceptable; the talks broke off without an agreement.

    If there’s any bias to be found, it is reader bias – yours!

  11. “So… anyone else actually excited about next week being a sitting week?”

    Not that much, as I think it is Senate only, and it’s Estimates, meaning no question time.

    However, there might be some interesting hearings in Defence (submarines), Foreign Affairs and Trade (submarines and relations with Japan) and A-G’s (human rights commission, the use in parliament of the evidence from the terrorist videos), etc.

  12. briefly

    Your Reuters post had Greece default.

    My BBC one had Greece willing.

    The way the story is presented shows bias.

    Same facts same story different bias and its not in my reading of it it is in the way it is presented

  13. lizzie

    “I bet Turnbull was pleased that none of the questions concerned Fraudband.”

    That’s because those that care about it aren’t interested in Malcolm’s rubbish so don’t have any questions

  14. meher
    No, I understated the case against Mal, Eric, Steve and the media.
    The key, as I said before, is in your word “IF ….”.

    At no stage was anything mildly substantive produced that suggested anything unethical on the part of Wayne and Kev.
    Lots of shouting by Mal, lots of smear and innuendo and use of “IF …” by the media but never at any time were Mal’s assertions actually tested by the media.
    Instead there was a an overarching presumption of guilt directed at Wayne/Kev and no examination of Mal.
    He should have been fried by the media well before rech emerged.

    At one stage the Murdoch rags actually put a fake and incorrect facsimile of the ‘alleged’ e-mail on the front pages despite the fact the bloody thing didn’t exist outside Grech’s computer.
    They were actively complicit.
    From ‘go’ onwards the media were doing the ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ smear.

    And it blew up in their faces.

    So they tut tutted and went on to repeat the process down the track and some people, you for example, still repeat their bullshit today.

  15. Guytaur @2766:

    [Morrison ruled out means testing homes on ABC radio this morning]

    So we’d best brace our parents/grandparents for it to happen, then. We all know what a Liberal denial is worth.

  16. That was actually directly stated by someone at the time Dan – I forget who.
    It was also noted that he avoided censure by the Senate and
    basically escaped unscathed from the whole mess.
    As did … the Murdoch journo who was in it up to his eyeballs – I forget his name, I reckon I know who it was but I’m too bored to check.

  17. The matters revealed by Four Corners on the ABC last night are disgraceful and disgusting. It seems to be a case of everyone at all levels in the ‘industry’ knew what was going on and either lied about it or where deliberately blind. And the regulators didn’t know what was going on. Yeah right.

    This needs prosecutions and for those found guilty, heavy fines, jail time and businesses shut down.

  18. Sorting out the problems with pensions and assistance for seniors in Australia needs to be a bit rational. Playing scare tactics against Liberals is probably not a good strategy.

    Why would progressive people in Australia be defending the current inequities where benefits to well-off seems to be the guiding policy?

  19. 2821

    Even if Greece was depicted as being more “unwilling” than the EU to agree, how does mean they are being “blamed”, even indirectly?

    Agreement is a possible but not a necessary outcome of negotiation. Sometimes it’s better if negotiations do not result in agreement. This may be one such process.

    The situation appears to be one where neither side is willing or able to agree to the others’ terms, at least not at this stage. In that respect, neither side is to “blame”. Considering the extent of the differences between Greece and the EU, it seems to me their meetings have been more about finding a mutually respectable way to part company than to come together.

  20. Re. A possible early election
    Pre-spill I agree Abbott would do whatever.
    Post spill, I expect a more considered decision would be made.
    What do people think have we reached peak Abbott, I am about to do a supermarket run, and may order the jumbo popcorn pack

  21. On the subject of walking, Windsor is right, Turnbull has to look like a man with a plan or his current opportunity will quickly fizzle out.

    If he gets in because the party hand it to him, and then his plan is “why don’t the ALP tell us what they want to do” he will look completely limp.

  22. John Reidy @2802:

    Abbott has a double dissolution trigger…although it depends upon how compliant Cosgrove is feeling if/when Abbott asks for one. Having said that, I don’t recall the last time a G-G refused a double dissolution request.

    And some of those requests were pretty cynical in their calling of the DD – Hawke’s urge to capitalize on “Joh for Canberra!” comes to mind, as does Fraser’s desire to call an election while Bill Hayden was still the ALP leader. They were still granted.

  23. briefly

    Its the same facts. Its the same story. Repeating those facts and story do nothing to address the bias of the way the story is presented.

    The way the story is presented gives you your bias. The way words are used instead of others to say the same thing is the bias.

  24. Abbott would be mad to go for DD or anything other than a by-election in a seat as safe as Mitchell right now. He’d be out on his backside in a heartbeat.

  25. dave

    It seems to me that Tsipras and Vamoufakis repeatedly verbal euro officials, and repeatedly state multiple greek ‘positions’ some of which are mutually incompatible.

    The germans (and others) must be thinking that this shower have no integrity, and that they will only stick to any agreement they might make if they feel like it on the day.

  26. interview with Joe

    Colleen Ryan found that some of the interview’s exchanges “do not meet the impartiality guidelines to treat the interviewee ‘with civility and respect unless there is a compelling reason not to do so'”.

    For Ryan the answer as to why she is wrong is right there in her statement..unless there is a compelling reason not to do so

    Joe was talking crap all Sarah did was not put up with it. A Compelling reason I would have thought.

  27. [That was actually directly stated by someone at the time Dan – I forget who.
    It was also noted that he avoided censure by the Senate and
    basically escaped unscathed from the whole mess.
    As did … the Murdoch journo who was in it up to his eyeballs – I forget his name, I reckon I know who it was but I’m too bored to check.]

    The Murdoch journo was Steve Lewis. He doesn’t appear to be with Newscorp anymore. Does any one know what happened there?

  28. enjaybee
    from National Press Club site

    Steve Lewis is a senior adviser with Newgate Communications and has been reporting politics from Canberra since 1992. He regularly writes for media outlets including The New Daily and appears on Sky News as a political commentator. Along with the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann, Lewis penned the best-selling political novel, The Marmalade Files. Their latest release, The Mandarin Code, will be published on August 1 2014.

  29. Burgey @2841:

    You seem to be missing the point. If Abbott is tapped on the shoulder – if he is reliably informed that he’s going to lose a spill – then what has he left to lose? He’s the kind of person to take down as many as he can with him, even if they’re his nominal allies.

  30. To fredex and other posters who are so dismissive of Turnbull’s actions over Utegate.

    Let’s invent a fantasy scenario in which, tomorrow, a senior public servant clandestinely approaches Bill Shorten tomorrow and tells him of an email that shows that someone in a senior minister’s office had intervened in a government grants process on behalf of a friend of that minister: a friend who, say, made his beach house regularly available to that minister and his family. And the senior public servant invites Shorten to arrange for senators to ask him questions about this issue at Senate Estimates. Never mind about the Prime Minister, let’s just imagine that it’s any Cabinet minister.

    You’re saying that the correct response from Shorten would be to say to that public servant: “this is a nasty smear, I’m not going to have anything to do with it.”


  31. I think that the history with early elections has been that provided the letter of the law is met, the Governor / Governor General would accede to the Premier’s / Prime Minister’s request, including for a double dissolution. The trigger for the 1987 was the long forgotten ‘Australia Card’, which sunk without a trace before the election campaign and no attempt was made to revive it after Labor won that election (although the less controversial Tax File Number was established).

    When a Government was travelling reasonably well, the early election speculation always used to start about 12 to 15 or sometimes 18 months out from the 3 year anniversary of the previous election.

  32. With Utegate Turnbull lost because he and his party together pursued smoke without any evidence of fire.

    The mistake was going on attack as it the smoke was fire rather than waiting for evidence there was fire and not just smoke.

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