BludgerTrack: 53.5-46.5 to Labor

The weekly poll aggregate reading suggests the Coalition has recovered only to the extent of restoring its position before Australia Day, with Tony Abbott’s personal ratings remaining in the doldrums.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate finds the Coalition retaining last week’s big gain without significantly adding to it, except to the extent of a 0.4% increase on two-party preferred and a gain in New South Wales on the seat projection. Coming after this week’s unexpectedly strong result from Ipsos, Coalition-supporting readers of this blog (I know you’re out there) might have been hoping for more. There are two reasons they don’t have it, the first being that Ipsos has had the Coalition tracking solidly higher than its rivals over its four published federal polls, and a bias adjustment is being applied to account for this. So far as BludgerTrack is presently concerned, the Ipsos poll had Labor on 52.5%, rather than the published 51%. The second factor is this week’s Essential Research result. As is so often the case, Essential’s published fortnightly rolling average recorded no change this week. However, BludgerTrack is privy to Essential’s weekly numbers, and while I ordinarily don’t give anything away about them, dedicated observers of BludgerTrack could ascertain for themselves that a stronger result for Labor was concealed by fortnightly smoothing and possibly a little rounding.

It’s a different story on the leadership ratings, where Ipsos’s numbers have caused a particularly large movement in Tony Abbott’s favour on net approval, albeit from a disastrously low base. There are also two data points now to indicate that things might be going a bit awry for Bill Shorten, who long seemed to be tracking just below parity, but is now approaching minus double figures. Abbott has accordingly made up ground on preferred prime minister, which reflects voting intention in being back to where it was before Australia Day. But so far as net approval is concerned, Abbott remains well south of his previous low point after the budget.

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.

1,925 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.5-46.5 to Labor”

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  1. The company tax rate in Australia has been 30% since 2000. It used to be in the 40s:

    I see no compelling reason to reduce it while the Government claims to be unable to meet its obligations regarding health, education, Medicare, pensions and other welfare; and while it is unable to collect anything like the full amount of tax that should be paid by multinationals because of legal (or defensible in the courts if you outspend the ATO) tax avoidance. Once these have been secured, maybe we could consider a reduction.

    Company tax is only payable on profits. A company that would be doing well with a 25% rate on the income it can’t hide would still be doing well if the rate were 30% or, for that matter, 33%. It’s not going to pack up and move to a low tax country.

    Many countries which have low rates generally have a poor welfare system (e.g. in Asia) and/or are economuc basket cases (e.g. Ireland).

  2. More barnacles dropping off the ship.

    [The Abbott government has proclaimed “a new relationship of engagement” with Indigenous Australia.

    The government will on Thursday end months of anxiety for 112 Aboriginal health services, by extending their funding for a further three years at a cost of $1.4 billion, and will deliver also funding certainty to more than 1000 organisations delivering services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said the approach would set future governments up to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage by simplifying reporting requirements and involving communities more in program design and delivery.

    Confirmation that $860 million had been allocated to almost 1300 projects ends months of uncertainty that has eroded the confidence of Indigenous leaders.]

  3. [Steve777
    Posted Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 8:52 am | PERMALINK
    Our economy cannot provide work for everyone now, certainly not the legions of young people who finish their education each year, and it’s getting worse. Why do we need older people to keep working?

    In theory so they can support themselves for longer and stay off the pension. Or at least so they can be thrown onto Newstart for a few years which is cheaper than the pension.

    Lucky for Joe, with his considerable wealth and inflated taxpayer provided parliamentary pension to retire on, he doesn’t have to worry about things like that.

  4. lizzie

    RN also mentioned that in 2010 climate change was the greatest threat to our sustainability. The luddites have made that disappear. Also mentioned that the expert group that could give a state of the play re our environment had been disbanded by Abbott.

    They truly are barbarians.

  5. Pyne’s attempts to blackmail the Senate should be responded to by the Senate deferring consideration of supply bills the next time they come up.

  6. Pyne’s attempts to blackmail the Senate should be responded to by the Senate deferring consideration of supply bills the next time they come up.

  7. poroti

    Yes. I am very angry this morning. So much disturbs me. Abbott is now repeating that ‘above all, he cares for the nation’.

  8. lizzie

    If we won we would have to host. Somehow I think the organisers want Australia to do well and not win.

    So choosing a guy who has not won World Idol makes sense

  9. I agree guytar@29, however this government really wants to lower company tax for their constituency. It will be interesting to see how they argue this.

  10. BCassidy with Jon Faine on ABC just now. In a nutshell. The two latest polls saved Abbott’s hide. Cassidy reckons that the poll boost has given Abbott all the confidence in the world and Abbott is clearly on top of his game. Apparently, Abbott is still on notice and it all depends how things go after the budget.

  11. Since coming to PB a couple of years back I have always been impressed by the wisdom of many commenters. The range of human experiences which is collectively “known” here is immense.

    After a while one can almost guess the ages of particular commenters based on their manifest wealth of knowledge, and many are obviously of fairly ripe ages ….. they have surely travelled many many kilometres of life to accumulate their wisdom.

    Clearly one of the results of having been on the earth for many decades is an ability to appreciate that life is full of nuances. Things are rarely exactly as they appear on the surface.

    Reading the comments last night about the Bali Two, I may be wrong, but I couldn’t help but think that Matt and Arrnea Stormbringer are setting out on life’s jorney as “youngsters”. There ability to appreciate nuances appears very limited, despite protestations to the contrary.

    Here are a couple of classics from Arrnea:

    “At the very minimum, I think people who are in prison should be put to hard labor” (Fantasy. Unenforceable nowadays when prison guards cannot use physical coercion)”

    (about a child of his being executed ….) “I would feel grief at the loss, but it would still have been a circumstance he brought upon himself” (Fantasy. For some children their life path is pretty well settled the moment they are born into a particular family)

    “Incorrect. They’ve gone through the extent of the legal system in Indonesia already” (Not so. Judicial processes are still pending)

    “The only people who have any business opposing these executions are people who consistently oppose the death penalty” (Rubbish. One can support capital punishment but still disagree about a particular case and its lack of due process and other circumstances)

    “I have no sympathy for Chan and Sukumuran – they knew what they were getting into when they decided to smuggle drugs in Indonesia” ( Simplistic nonsense ….see nuances below)

    And from Matt

    “No, they’re being killed because they committed capital offenses” and

    (Australia’s anger should be aimed ….) “ not at Indonesia, which is simply enforcing its own laws as written” (No. The President is executing people in the interest of his own domestic politics, unlike his predecessor who had no such need to do so)

    Here are some of the well canvassed nuances of this case, which youngsters (and rednecks) seem not to grasp.

    • the role of the AFP
    • the relevance of this President’s domestic political circumstances
    • the President’s failure to actually consider clemency (His public statements that anyone on the list dies)
    • the remorse and excellent rehabilitation of the two men
    • the highly valued roles they play in prison, lauded by prison officials
    • the fact that the drugs were exiting Indonesia, not entering
    • the fact that these two men are not high level organisers
    • the silliness of youth, and the decisions they make to enter the drug scene as users, then as low level suppliers

    These nuances scream out one fact, loud and clear ….. this was never a simple case of two mature guys freely and rationally making a choice to risk taking on the Indonesian Customs service, and then having been thoroughly afforded due process.

    In fact I would be very interested to know just how strong is the Indonesian Customs screening of departing passengers. I suspect that but for the AFP, the Bali 9 now ten years later would be lining up for parole from an Australian prison.

  12. JR@63

    I wonder if floating the idea of the company tax rate being inversely liked to the unemployment rate will fly?

    The higher the rate of unemployment the the higher the company tax rate…the lower the rate of unemployment the the lower the tax rate….The neocons can consider it a ‘market based’ approach!!!

    The only issue then is clearly defining what actually is unemployment….not one hour of paid work a week…

  13. I had assumed that with all this talk of JB quietly negotiating in the background that a prisoner swap or some other trade had already been offered, and rejected.

    For it to be occuring now, after all the public chest beating from Abbott and other Australians?

  14. Psyclaw, perhaps if you’d read my posts more thoroughly, you’d have realised that I’ve addressed quite a few of the nuances you raised.

    Calling my opinion on a child of mine being in Chan and Sukumuran’s position “fantasy” is quite arrogant and your attempt to suppose age as a reason for my alleged poor grasp of the situation is quite frankly offensive.

    I will have no truck with such vacuousness.

  15. victoria@64

    Cassidy reckons…. Abbott is clearly on top of his game.

    Yeah and all the backflips of this Government, the like of which would have been thrown in Labors face for years get brief mention in regard to abbott.

    Lets see how the IGR goes yet ongoing calls for big money for further tax cuts are massaged away by many in the media.

    Slug the mugs is the answer as usual – less services more tax for them.

  16. Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt on Pyne’s standover tactics —

    [That is the choice that the minister has made. This is money that every country on planet Earth spends and to suddenly think that we are not going to spend it I think is not wishful thinking on the part of the minister, it’s hazardous thinking.]

    [..Ultimately, this is not the way a grown up country behaves. It’s very childish and it’s having a profound impact on something that is going to increase the productivity of the nation. We are looking at the intergenerational report today, it’s talking about a key aspect – productivity of the future – this is a way you are going to get productivity and in the next couple of weeks we are looking at dropping our productivity of the future. Not raising it. ]

  17. The long term issue is not getting more people into “work”. We are rapidly automating many aspects of work and the ones that are likely to be left will be very high skilled.

    The issue is going to be how to distribute income when only a small fraction of the population need to “work” to keep the economy ticking over at a level that potentially provides enough goods and services for the whole population to live what amounts to quite luxurious lives.

    The last half of the 20th century actually concealed this by incorporating a lot of previously “off economy” things like child care, aged care, food preparation etc into the “economy” and thereby generating jobs as a way of distributing income. We may be coming to the end of the ability of this sort of shift to take care of the income distribution problem.

    I don’t see any signs of this issue being seriously addressed in political discourse. If anyone is aware of solutions being proposed I would love to hear of them (serious request).

  18. Re the Intergenerational Report – according to the Peter Martin at the SMH:

    [“The report includes a special chapter on what Labor’s policy settings would have delivered, the first time such calculations have been included in an Intergenerational Report. It will be used to build the case for further spending cuts in the May budget on top of those introduced as a result of the last budget.”]

    The report has been held back by 6 weeks, probably so that it could be rewritten to add the ‘Labor’ chapter and to generally say what the Government wanted it to say, to be used as a political weapon (that’s my take, not Peter Martin’s).

    I think that I think that this year’s rewritten Intergenerational Report will have as much credibility as last years ‘Commission of Audit’ Report, which was prepared by a hand-picked panel of Liberal mates. The Senate needs to go over the process of producing the report, especially why it was delayed, with a fine tooth comb.

  19. ajm

    I am no expert on the economy, so I’m just running this up a rather shaky flagpole. But it seems that every time experts suggest that technology has advanced so far that there will be big changes in the workforce, things happen that they didn’t forecast. Think of the ‘paperless office’, the ‘people will be able to work from home’, the idea that more will be able to take early retirement…

    Seems to me there will always be room for those with more practical skills.

  20. Lizzie

    Ah the paperless office …

    In my old industry I saw paper use balloon over the decades. I think one manager angered at the costs at one stage threatened to remove the printers and copiers from the floor!

    He didn’t and people just kept on hitting the print button on the computer

  21. Lizzie

    [Think of the ‘paperless office’, the ‘people will be able to work from home’, the idea that more will be able to take early retirement…]

    Think of the things I mentioned:
    The economy could have been organised so that parents (perhaps both) could have taken time out to raise their children. The economy could have been organised so that people could take time off (years or decades, not months) to look after aged or disabled relatives.The economy could have been organised so that everyone got home mid afternoon and was able to (leisurely) prepare a meal.

    None of these happened but why? Whose interest was served by commodifying these activities? Certainly not the interests of the people who missed out on time with their children, aged relatives, etc. It was in the interest of those who ended up owning the businesses that provided them.

    But how can this continue ad infinitum? As I said, serious question and it isn’t really addressed by “something has always come up”. That “something” is not guaranteed to be in the interests of the bulk of people.

  22. I recall reading that it would be possible in theory for those in the West to live a 1950s lifestyle working 20 hours a week, but that we have collectively chosen more wealth – electronic toys, bigger houses and so forth. It woukd mean that predictions made back then about the future of wirk were, to a certain extent, true.

    There are some obvious flaws in that argument. The price of housing appears to have increased to soak up much of the increase in wealth, even after we take into account that the houses are bigger and filled with more stuff. And of course no one wants to go back to 1950s medical and health technology.

    But with these reservations, I think that there is some truth in it.

  23. ajm

    [None of these happened but why? Whose interest was served by commodifying these activities? Certainly not the interests of the people who missed out on time with their children, aged relatives, etc. It was in the interest of those who ended up owning the businesses that provided them.]

    I agree, but they’ll never give up.

  24. The paperless office may not have emerged in the past, but it’s certainly emerging now. A hospital I attend keeps just about all its records on “the system” and many businesses now operate pretty much 100% electronically.

    How long since you signed for a parcel on a paper document rather than a portable terminal carried by the courier? Why the drama about Australia Posts’ falling mail volumes? I now get almost all my bills by email and rarely print them. Just because some of these predictions didn’t come true immediately doesn’t mean that they aren’t still in the pipeline.

  25. BSA Bob@74

    dave @ 71
    Soon ’twill be that the last 12 months never happened.

    Bob – so much of what abbott etc are trotting out is ground hog day redux from the reagan era – same conservative NJ ideology that delivered the US into the mess they are in now – in so many ways.

  26. Jam

    I am sure it is coming, but as I say it went the opposite way where I worked

    But what about that guy who fools everybody I to thinking he is busy by walking around the office with a piece of paper on his hand?

  27. ajm@76

    The long term issue is not getting more people into “work”.

    The long term *issue* for the RWNJ’s is decreasing the size of government, ie services, health, education etc so that business and the weathly can stop making their current level of contribution to those services.

    Yet again reagan ran with the same stuff – Just watch a minute or so of this – its Scoot Morrisons attack lines – written all those years ago – Reagan’s Welfare Queen – located –

  28. [70
    Arrnea Stormbringer]

    Most of what you wrote just misses the point. The killing of the Bali Two will take place because it pleases the President. Blood is his thing. You’re allowing it to be made yours too.

  29. ajm@76

    An interesting observation and I largely agree…

    However the form of work is also changing….we becoming increasingly specialised and narrow in our skill sets…in the past a plumber or tiler would plumb/tile then complete the task with caulking/grouting etc….now you get specialist caulkers…grouters…I find the same in the IT industry where I work

  30. Morning all. Some of you may remember that a few days ago Andrew Bolt begged his readers to start harassing journalist to stop them writing negative reports about Tony Abbott. Idiotic, I know. So I thought I might test Mr Bolt’s willingness to follow his own advice. Here’s my letter to him:

    [Andrew the other day you implored your readers to contact journalists directly to demand they stop their Jihad against Tony Abbott. I ridiculed the idea based the evidence of my own history with you and your unwillingness to stop your various Jihads against refugees and asylum seekers, Muslims, Labor, climate sciencists, facts, the truth and so on.]

    [Despite my misgivings, I’d like to see if you can prove me wrong and assist efforts to get the Abbott government to reverse it’s cuts to science bodies and scientific research and development. I’m sure you’ll agree that good science is the critical foundation that all modern economies are built on. Be it geo sciences, telecommunications, materiels, space science or theoretical physics. Many scientific endevours have no obvious practical application. It’s only once the science is done and our brightest minds get access to the latest discoveries do we see the true value of science. What Abbott is doing is absolute madness. It’s based on an irrational, ideologically driven anti-intellectualism. An idiotic distrust of those and that which he cannot personally understand. We are seeing our future prosperity severely undermined by the ludicrous decisions being made by this government.]

    [So please Andrew, take off your partisan blinkers and use your privileged access to Abbott and the Liberal Party to make them see sense and stop their Jihad against science. It’s not just the future of Abbott’s Prime Minustership that is at stake.]

    I’d encourage you all to do the same and ask Bolt to help fight some of the idiotic policies of Abbott’s terrible government and maybe even suggest that he stops his Jihad against Bill Shorten and Labor in general.

  31. sceptic@12

    Link to Guardian article

    Is it a typo?

    Typo, repeated several times.

    [More than 10,000 refugees have been saved in the Mediterranean north of Libya in the past two days but 10 people died at sea, Italian officials have said.

    A flotilla of rescue vessels, including from Italy’s coastguard and navy, and three cargo ships saved 941 people in seven separate operations on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the coastguard and two cargo ships rescued 94 migrants whose motorised dinghy was in distress 40 miles (65 km) north of Libya.]

    this gives a total of 941 plus 94 which is greater than 1000.

  32. This whole idea that ipsos has saved Abbott is quite sad really, especially if you think that obsessing over polls is anathema to good governance. The sadness of the situation is compounded by the fact that the jury is still out on the lean of ipsos.

  33. briefly
    [The killing of the Bali Two will take place because it pleases the President.]
    Well no, that’s just the last in sequence of choices.

    Do you dismiss the Two’s own personal responsibility? The decision of the AFP to gift them to the Indonesians? The introduction and keeping of the death penalty by the Indonesian people?

    There is an accumulation of responsibility, the latest being Widodo’s.

  34. The LNP pushed through TPVs by blackmailing the Senate and Pyne now hopes to do the same with University deregulation.

    The coupling of $150M of science funding to the University legislation is contemptuous of the projects reliant on that funding. It really is a further illustration of the “if we can’t get our way we will wreck the joint” attitude.

    IIRC Ricky Muir expressed serious discomfort and displeasure at being put in the position of supporting TPVs in order to release children from detention (a matter about which the LNP now brags – oh the hypocrisy).

    Senators in this instance can afford to call Pyne’s bluff. The LNP cannot afford politically the fight against science funding they are pretending to embark on and the LNP propensity to backflip is now the norm.

    More importantly Senators cannot afford NOT to call Pyne’s bluff. If the tactic is successful a second time the Senators are simply making themselves a target for policy blackmail hereafter.

    Finally, that Pyne feels the need to resort to blackmail demonstrates either his own lack of belief in the merits of his Higher Education funding proposal or his lack of confidence in being able to sell it. We have had 2 ministers sacked for incompetence (“Canoes” Johnston and Duds Dutton). This tawdry policy sell demonstrates (if his past abysmal failures did not) Pyne must be removed.

  35. ajm@85

    The paperless office may not have emerged in the past, but it’s certainly emerging now. A hospital I attend keeps just about all its records on “the system” and many businesses now operate pretty much 100% electronically.

    How long since you signed for a parcel on a paper document rather than a portable terminal carried by the courier? Why the drama about Australia Posts’ falling mail volumes? I now get almost all my bills by email and rarely print them. Just because some of these predictions didn’t come true immediately doesn’t mean that they aren’t still in the pipeline.

    Me too. My school used to have paper reports for students, now it is all on the electronic system.

    The principal used to criticise handwriting. We had to become skilled at forging teacher’s signatures when they only came in once a week for special classes and the report was typed up (on a typewriter) after a mistake was corrected.

    You made one mistake on a hand written report, you had to rewrite the damned thing. Drove me barmy.

    All gone, thank goodness. And not possible to lose reports, and the head of dept can check who has done their reports, and give them a hurry up if not. A much better system.

  36. AJM

    Things are about to speed up. The last time I pointed out 3D pringing was a revolution in manufacturing which would decimate employment in those industries world wide was before we heard about the 3D printed jet engine.

    Then there is the fact that the driver less car is not just science fiction but is now science fact and its only working out of bugs to make it safe and commercially practical. How many drivers jobs are going to go?

    Just two areas that are going to see soaring job losses as they are made redundant

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