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. caf

    [Crikey, if Eric Abetz is saying you’re being too harsh then maybe a moment of quiet reflection is called for.]

    Very good comment!

  2. MB

    Did turbull ever apologise to rudd for trying to fit him up without valid evidence ?

    Turnbull certainly made all sorts of accusations under privilege.

  3. “@smh: Fairfax has spoken to Indonesian AG, who says executions are not being delayed, but transfer is. Bali 9 duo will get more time with families”

  4. [Shorten mentioned pensioners who live in modest homes that have since increased in value. Do we expect them to sell their home so that they are able to do the weekly shopping]

    No… but equally, do we expect the state to provide a pension so that their heirs can inherit a windfall gain?

    Maybe things could be arranged such that if your family home is valued above the asset limit, the value of the pension received is accrued and reclaimed in the form of an special duty, either on the property if it is sold or on your estate when you pass on.

  5. Anyone else think the tories are ‘flying kites’ like they did in the runup to the Budget last year?

    Dutton denied medicare co-payments multiple times before the budget and there was otherstuff as well.

  6. “@ABCNews24: Coming up: @George_Roberts live from #Bali 3pm AEDT following the postponement of the transfer of #AndrewChan & #MyuranSukumaran #Bali9”

  7. Re Ratsak @2881: imagine if it had been a hypothetical child of Kevin Rudd or Julia Gillard receiving a $60,000 scholarship to study Science or Economics in similar circumstances, from a company involved in clean energy or the carbon trading market. The whistleblower would have been a Newscorp hero, the matter would have been added to the Murdoch symphony for the remainder of Labor’s term in Government, Asbestos Bishop and Fathead Brandis muttering darkly under parliamentary privelege that the PM’s freedom is at risk, Poodle Pyne purple in the face screeching across the chamber of the House of Representatives. In 2013, a newly elected Abbott Government would have instituted a Royal Commission into it.

  8. Dave @2907, good point it was a year ago when every week or so up would up a new kite.
    Several of them, e.g. The Medicare levy were denied…
    Having said that I could see a lot of nasties the Libs would do before they hit the family home
    I am thinking of some corporate concessions (like the R&D tax offset), something in super and benefits.
    Offset by a shiny new child care package.

  9. Involving the family home in the pension system would be impossible.

    You could not sell it electorally and it would be as complicated as hell. the wide range in values of homes for starters would create problems in setting thresholds.

    Removing some tax concessions on superannuation on the other hand would be easy and efficient.
    People like Ross Gittins and Peter Martin come up with great ideas for Hockey almost daily. It’s a pity he is too stupid to follow some of them.

  10. As of the middle of last year there were 417 suburbs around Australia that had a median house price of more than $1m. That figure would have only grown since then.
    Of course most of these suburbs are in Sydney or Melbourne.

    If the threshold is raised to $2m then the figure drops to 25 (or just over).

  11. [I agree with Meher that it was an allegation that Turnbull couldn’t ignore – he had to follow it up – but the due diligence process was seriously deficient.
    That I think is the legitimate criticism of Turnbull in regard to the affair]

    The worst thing about Turnbulls conduct with Utegate was that it showed neither he nor any of his staffers read PollBludger as we picked the email as a fake straightaway.

  12. FWIW (because I know it’s not usually much use arguing from facts here), the interview with Gillard that fredex posted a link had Gillard rightly defending Swan’s role in utegate in terms of his responding for a request for advice from a constituent. All that Gillard said in relation to Rudd’s role was 1) he had denied the allegations and 2) Turnbull had not yet produced any concrete evidence.

    I think Grech’s forged email was leaked to a newspaper soon after the interview with Gillard. Then, a few days after that, the police raided Grech’s home and found evidence that proved that the email had originated in Grech’s workplace rather than the PMO.

    Basically, Turnbull allowed himself to be conned by Grech. I think he was so certain that Grech was telling the truth that he thought he was only going to have to breathe on Rudd to bring about a resignation. Hence the ill-judged comments to Andrew Charlton at the Midwinter Ball, and Turnbull’s smug behaviour in Parliament, along with Abetz’s also rather ill-judged approach towards questioning Grech at the Senate hearings.

    Turnbull and the Libs truly believed that, by raising pressure in these ways, they would see Rudd instantly crumple and resign.

    That’s because Turnbull and the Libs believed it was true. And, in some ways, they were entitled to do so. As far as I know, it’s the only instance in Australian political history of a senior public servant approaching the Opposition with something that looked like a smoking gun in the hands of the serving PM.

    They didn’t quite understand that Grech’s promotion to senior levels in the public service was one of those accidents of history, one of those instances in which – in the words of someone whose rise to the top might also be seen as something of an accident of history – “s#@t happens”.

  13. meher

    Interestingly, both Turnbull and the media showed they had poorer political antenna than PB.

    As Diog says above, within hours of The Question being asked by Abetz in Estimates, PB had figured out what was going on. (Speculation, it is true, but subsequent events showed we’d got it pretty spot on).

    It took both Turnbull and the media a couple of more days.

  14. While the Abbott Government would be happy to trash much of what we might call ‘the Australian Compact’, I think that including the family home in the pension asset test is almost certainly a step too far. It would upset far too many voters, including the Liberal / National base and swinging voters. Even if it was limited to a value over, say, $1,000,000 or some higher amount, for which a case could be made*, that would go very much against the Liberal grain I would have thought. If Labor tried it on it would excoriated as “class warfare”.

    * obvious complexities in Sydney and Melbourne

  15. Diogenes@2916: I assume your point is that, even if it had been genuine, most PBers would have immediately picked it as a fake?

    BTW, I think the Freya Newman revelations re the Whitehouse/Frances Abbott stuff were scandalous and embarrassing for all involved, but you can’t really draw a line from any of that stuff to a decision made personally by the PM in relation to a government benefit. If you could do so, then it would be on a par with what Rudd was incorrectly alleged to have done in Utegate. And I am certain that Shorten would have gone in boots and all: but hopefully after checking the validity of his sources far more carefully than Turnbull seems to have done.

  16. …the bottom line being, of course, that it was simply inconceivable that either the PM or the Treasurer could be bought so cheaply, therefore they could not have been bought, therefore the story was untrue.

    Malcolm fell for it because he thought that the PM and Treasurer COULD be bought so cheaply (which provides an interesting insight into his own world view).

    It makes one wonder if Malcolm would make a good victim for a Nigerian email scam.

  17. Hewson states the blindingly obvious:

    [TONY Abbott’s team has turned out to be surprisingly unprepared for the reality of government, former Liberal leader John Hewson says.

    DR Hewson says the federal government won office on “dot point” policies but desperately needs to flesh them out to stay in charge.

    “I think a lot of damage has been done to a new government which has burnt an enormous amount of political capital,” he told a Brisbane conference…

    Dr Hewson predicted the lack of political vision would persist.
    “It’s not just, in my mind, simply a question of changing the jockey – the horse is crook,” he said.]

  18. zoomster @ 2918 and 2921: As I suggested in my response to Diogenes, you would have to confess that there was a bit of a “monkeys typing Shakespeare” element to the PB response to Utegate. Many PBers would perceive any allegation made by the Libs against any Labor politician to be automatically a lie: look at the tenor of most of the posting about Craig Thomson over several years (with some even now believing that he was set up).

    When Utegate came up, most PBers jumped to the conclusion it was a concoction. They turned out to be right. I don’t recall anyone on PB suggesting that Turnbull did indeed have an email from Charlton to Grech asking on the PM’s behalf for the ute owner to receive assistance, but that this was a fake concocted by Grech himself after he had told Turnbull he had the email and then discovered he didn’t because perhaps it was only a phone call and he didn’t take any notes and etc, etc. Perhaps someone did suggest this and you will remind me.

    I don’t know that it’s fair to say that Turnbull, Abetz et al assumed that the PM and the Treasurer were that cheap. More like that they had assumed that Rudd and Swan both had some sort of a friendship with this guy and that Rudd had accepted the loan of the ute and then Rudd and Swan had pressured the public service on the guy’s behalf, but hadn’t put two and two together that this might be seen as corrupt.

    It was something like this that led to Jim Cairns’s demise. One document at the bottom of a pile of thirty he was given to sign over a weekend had him providing a benefit to someone who he (or was it his son?) had had some involvement with outside politics. I’ve heard a conspiracy theory that the document was strategically given to him this somewhat camouflaged way by officials who wanted to see the end of him (an even darker conspiracy theory has it the officials were encouraged to do this by Whitlam or other members of his government, or even – as I once heard alleged by the late Ted Wheelwright – by the CIA).

    Turnbull and Abetz might also have assumed that Grech had helped the process along a bit in a similar way as was done to Cairns: maybe had encouraged Charlton to put the request in an email.

    By the way, the fact that there was said to be an email should also have rung alarm bells. No official worth even a minute fraction of his/her salt would ever put such a request on paper or in an email. Plausible deniability and all that.

  19. New matilda’s take on utegate at the time

    [The orchestrated media campaign was music to the ears of Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull — if he could damage fatally the Rudd-Swan team then a voter recovery suddenly seemed possible, especially if there was an early election as widely predicted. The aggressive ambition of Turnbull plus the zealotry of the regime-changers in the editorial chairs at News Ltd made a toxic combination.

    There was, of course, one small snag in this breathtaking power play: the sole piece of evidence upon which the political assassins were relying — an email sent by a senior member of Rudd’s staff to a Treasury official named Godwin Grech — was a fake, a concoction, a fraud.]

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