BludgerTrack: 53.0-47.0 to Labor

Not much doing in the world of federal polling this week, but there’s quite a bit to report on the preselection front.

It’s been as quiet a week as they come so far as federal polling is concerned, with only the reliable weekly Essential Research to keep us amused. Newspoll and Roy Morgan were both in an off week in their fortnightly cycles, and neither Galaxy nor ReachTEL stepped forward to fill the gap, presumably because their clients at News Corporation and the Seven Network blew their budget on double-up polls during the Liberal leadership excitement in early February. Since the Essential Research result landed well on trend, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate has recorded only the most negligible of changes on voting intention, with the marginal exception of a 0.3% lift for the Greens. Labor also makes a gain on the seat projection, having tipped over the line for a seventh seat in Western Australia (do keep in mind though that the electoral furniture there will shortly be rearranged by the redistribution to accommodate the state’s newly acquired entitlement to sixteenth seat).

If an absence of polling is a problem for you, you can at least enjoy yesterday’s semi-regular state voting intention results from Roy Morgan, based on SMS polling of samples ranging from 432 in Tasmania to 1287 in New South Wales. These have Labor leading 56-44 in Victoria, 50.5-49.5 in Western Australia, 53-47 in South Australia and 55.5-44.5 in Tasmania (not that two-party preferred means anything under Hare-Clark). However, the recently defeated Liberal National Party is credited with an improbable 51-49 lead in Queensland. New South Wales is not included in the mix as the result was published a day before the rest, which you can read all about on my latest state election thread.

In other news, federal preselection action is beginning to warm up, spurred in part by the possibility that Liberal leadership turmoil might cause the election to be held well ahead of schedule. Troy Bramston of The Australian reports that Labor “has ordered its state and territory branches to urgently preselect parliamentary candidates by the end of June”, with exemptions for New South Wales and Western Australia owing to their looming redistributions (the latter process is presently at the stage of receiving public suggestions, which may be submitted by April 10). Some notable happenings on that count:

• Labor has conducted local ballots for preselections in the three Victorian seats it lost to the Liberals in 2013. Darren Cheeseman appears to have failed in his bid for another crack at Corangamite, where the ballot was won by Libby Coker, a Surf Coast councillor and former mayor who ran in Polwarth at the November state election. Also in the field was Tony White, an economic development manager at Colac Otway Shire and former adviser to various ministers and premiers in Bracks-Brumby ogvernment. In La Trobe, former Casey councillor Simon Curtis outpaced the rather higher profile Damien Kingsbury, the director of La Trobe University’s Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights. The vote in Deakin was won by Tony Clarke, of whom I can’t tell you much. It now remains for the state party’s public office selection committee to determine its 50% share of the vote total, but the talk seems to be that Coker in particular is home and hosed.

• Joe Ludwig, who has held a Queensland Senate seat for Labor since 1999, has announced he will not seek another term at the next election. He is set to be succeeded by Anthony Chisholm, the party’s state secretary from 2008 until 2014, when the Left’s unprecedented success in scoring majority control at the party’s state conference caused the position to pass to Evan Moorhead. Chisholm was given the short-term and now-expired role as director of the state election campaign, and also has Left faction support to fill Ludwig’s position, which remains in the hands of the AWU/Labor Forum faction. A potential rival contender was Chisholm’s predecessor as state secretary, Cameron Milner, but AWU support consolidated behind Chisholm in part because he had the backing of Wayne Swan, which reportedly led to a falling out between Swan and Milner. For more on both Swan and Milner, see further below.

• There is also a widely held expectation that Ludwig will shortly be joined in the departure lounge by the Left faction’s Jan McLucas, the other Queensland Labor Senator due to face the voters at the next half-Senate election. The favourite to replace her is Murray Watt, a Bligh government minister who lost his seat of Everton in the 2012 landslide, and more recently a lawyer with Maurice Blackburn. However, Michael McKenna of The Australian reports this could raise affirmative action issues, with Townsville mayor Jenny Hill mooted as an alternative contender if so. Another aspirant mentioned in McKenna’s report is Michael Ravbar, state secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union.

Michael McKenna of The Australian reports that Wayne Swan and Bernie Ripoll are “being stalked as targets of possible preselection challenges”. In Swan’s inner northern Brisbane seat of Lilley, the aforementioned Cameron Milner is said to be “considering” a challenge to the former Treasurer. On the western side of town in Oxley, Brisbane City Council opposition leader Milton Dick is “preparing to roll Mr Ripoll”, and has “cross-factional support” to do so.

The Australian reports Sophie Mirabella is keen to run again in Indi, which she famously lost in 2013 to independent Cathy McGowan. However, the report says the party is “deeply pessimistic about the chance of regaining the seat, and the contest is complicated by the Nationals being able to contest it”.

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.

3,093 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.0-47.0 to Labor”

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  1. [Mining tax a factor in the decline in employment in the Mining industry. Thanks Labor]

    No that is just a stupid lie.

  2. [Gillard agreed to pay State Royalties, thereby ensuring that the States increased their Royalties.

    The tax was drafted by the Mining companies, and they ended up paying bupka.

    She’s a schmuck as I said at the time.]

    You are right too, but that is bad politics and irresponsible state liberal governments as much as a bad federal govt.

  3. [The QandA audience is certainly looking like it aint happy with the Coalition]

    It’s a very rare occasion where the audience is actually pro Labor/Greens rather than coalition.

  4. [WWP

    Yes its a lie. Falling commodity prices are the cause of the job losses in the mining industry.]

    Falling commmodity prices certainly are a factor, but jobs in the mining industry are very precarious if the company can cut a job they will and they will cut deep and fast.

    I’m sure I read that the mining industry cut very fast and very deep at the first sign of the GFC and then had the gall to try and tell us they saved us.

  5. The government making stupid decisions in an industry and trying to suck more money out of an industry is obviously going to have a negative impact on a rich person deciding whether or not to invest mega billions in the industry here (as opposed to some other mining industry investment in Asia or South America for example).

    It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it, it just means you need to be aware of the human factor of dissuading investment when you interfere in any way in an industry. So it is quite possible that the Gillard fiasco cost jobs.

  6. Warm Gun@2980:
    Yes, run along, little liability. Be careful not to go too close to the Peta Lair on your way out: between being locked in the basement for the last month, Toady’s onion breath and Ms Fluffy’s eye rolling at JoHo, she’s likely to be a bit tetchy. Probably hasn’t had a live backbencher in weeks.

  7. [WeWantPaul
    …You are right too, but that is bad politics and irresponsible state liberal governments as much as a bad federal govt.]

    Why is it irresponsible for a State Government to increase Royalties when the Federal government promises to pay Royalties for the miners?

    It would be irresponsible for a State Government NOT to increase Royalties in that situation.

  8. On a mining tax, imagine if Howard’s govt had introduced a resource rent tax as a way of shielding our economy from the inevitable mining downturn instead of pissing the profits away on baby bonuses (aka cash for plasmas) and other vote bribers.

  9. WWP

    Oh sorry I thought you were talking recent job losses. You are right about the mining industry easy to employ easy to fire as income fluctuates.

  10. [confessions
    Posted Monday, March 23, 2015 at 10:10 pm | PERMALINK
    On a mining tax, imagine if Howard’s govt had introduced a resource rent tax as a way of shielding our economy from the inevitable mining downturn instead of pissing the profits away on baby bonuses (aka cash for plasmas) and other vote bribers.]

    So you are arguing that Howard didn’t raise enough revenue?

  11. WHY WHY WHY are conversations about rural Australia always about farming? The majority of people living in regional Australia are not farmers and do not work on farms.

    In our shire – described as ‘rural’ – over 50% of people live in the towns. Less than 10% are employed in agriculture (or connected industries).

  12. Foreign aid cuts are a good thing. Most of the money goes on corruption and dodgy jobs for australian contractors/do-gooders. Good on the libs for shutting down this rort.

  13. [So you are arguing that Howard didn’t raise enough revenue?]
    I’m arguing that Howard pissed away what precious revenue we did raise. Yeah Rudd fluffed it by locking in Howard’s tax cuts when he should’ve gone all OMG on the structural deficit Labor inherited from Costello/Howard.

    But that was Rudd, always so eager to please everyone lest he be viewed as the bad guy.

  14. Re QANDA tonight:

    The audience composition taken from twitter:

    [Half of tonight’s #QandA audience comes from Rural Australia: Nats 16% Libs 21% ALP 29% Greens 18%]

  15. [ABC Q&A @QandA · 2m 2 minutes ago
    “There is no profit in farming” says @SenatorNash. We have to give people a positive view of agriculture #QandA ]

    So it’s a lifestyle choice then?

  16. Look at Kenya and Singapore they had the same GDP in 1960. One got lots of aid one didn’t in the intervening 55 years.

  17. [confessions
    ….I’m arguing that Howard pissed away what precious revenue we did raise.]

    ….and you are arguing that he should have raised MORE by introducing a mining tax. That suggests that you think the problem was lack of revenue.

    I am just trying to work out what your criticisms of Howard actually are. If you don’t think he needed to raise more revenue but needed to spend what he did raise more wisely then say that. What you discussed was raising more.

  18. re ESJ @ 3015

    [Most of the money goes on corruption and dodgy jobs for australian contractors/do-gooders]

    I could ask ESJ what evidence she has for this claim – specific evidence which goes to the word ‘most’ (i.e., over 50%)

    Sadly, the real issue is how many people on the right take this claim as the gospel truth without any evidence whatsoever other than the fact the claim accords with their prejudices.

  19. zoomster:

    Be interested to know if the audience raises the future of rural/remote indigenous communities and their place in the Australian landscape. Or whether as you say, rural Australia is all about farmers and that’s it.

  20. 3016
    Howard andcostello left a future fund which is predicted to soon reach 100 billion in value. It is also expected to deliver 7 billion to the budget annually after 2020 forever. That is not pissing money away.

  21. That’s easy TPOF , name the country that’s been lifted out of poverty by foreign aid? Look at PNG it’s just thriving after 40 years of australian “aid”

  22. [confessions
    ….Be interested to know if the audience raises the future of rural/remote indigenous communities]

    When the QandA topic went to foreigners buying land there was a tweet saying wtte:
    “I wonder what the Indigenous people would say about that”!!!!

  23. [I am just trying to work out what your criticisms of Howard actually are]

    I don’t know why, given I’ve laid it out for you twice. Howard spent too much at a time when the govt didn’t need to, and for the sole purpose of securing his govt’s re-election.

    It would’ve been great if the supposed superior economic managers in govt had actually managed the economy instead of their re-election.

  24. [confessions
    ….I don’t know why, given I’ve laid it out for you twice.]

    Twice repeating an inconsistency doesn’t make it consistent.

  25. Whilst being sympathetic to criticism of the history of foreign aid, using Kenya and Singapore in a comparative analysis of the virtues of aid is easily the silliest thing I have read today.

  26. ESJ

    As usual you over simplfy
    Singapore is 700 square kilometres , Kenya 600,000 square kilometres.
    Climatic, population differences & the colonials kept raping & pillaging Kenya’s resources even after they left.
    Suggest you keep advising the Menzies House, they need all the help they can get.

  27. 3033

    There’s no inconsistency. Howard wasted a once-in-a-century windfall, sold the public’s assets at a discount, watched on while the private sector accumulated record debts and wrecked the tax system.

  28. silmaj @ 3024

    Whatever the views regarding the sale of Telstra, it is probably the only time a conservative government has sold off a valuable public asset and actually reinvested it in a new income earning asset. What is being proposed now in states which want to sell off poles and wires is selling valuable assets to produce assets, such as roads, which will depreciate from the moment they leave the design table.

  29. Did labor invent foreign aid in 2007?

    My shaky memory tells me that prior to that there was bipartisan support to increase Australian aid to meet some international target .

    I guess foreign aid is like debt. Labor aid bad, Tory aid good

    Though the Tories seem to be changing their mind on debt lately.

  30. ESJ @ 3025

    There is nothing statistically rigorous in responding to a question for evidence by trotting out yet more unsubstantiated prejudice. You might be right. But you have provided absolutely no evidence (not prejudice) to support your argument.

  31. [Twice repeating an inconsistency doesn’t make it consistent.]

    Except it isn’t inconsistent. If you think that introducing a mining tax that favours the mining industry is bad policy, then introducing social policy with taxpayer funded handouts (not just the baby bonus, but a whole plethora of social policy across the spectrum) that benefits those households which don’t need it is equally as, if not more regressive. And has given us the budget circumstances we now have.

    John Winston Howard: the last of the great spenders.

  32. “@GhostWhoVotes: #Newspoll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 49 (+4) ALP 51 (-4) #auspol”

    “@GhostWhoVotes: #Newspoll Primary Votes: L/NP 41 (+3) ALP 37 (-2) GRN 11 (-1) #auspol”

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