BludgerTrack: 51.9-48.1 to Labor

Another slight narrowing of Labor’s two-party lead on the poll aggregate, which also finds increasingly worrisome personal ratings for Bill Shorten.

Three new polls this week, from Newspoll, Ipsos and Essential Research, all of them featuring leadership ratings as well as voting intention. As was widely noted, there was a big gap between the results from Newspoll and Ipsos, which has contributed to something of a two-track trend in polling, with one clump of results around 54-46 (Ipsos and ReachTEL) and another around 51-49 (two Newspolls and a bias-adjusted Roy Morgan). The middle ground plotted by BludgerTrack now has Labor’s two-party vote down to 51.9% – only a small change on last week, but enough to shift two seats on the seat projection, including one in New South Wales (which has done a lot of the heavy lifting in the recent Coalition poll recovery) and one in Victoria.

Leadership ratings are starting to look increasingly alarming for Bill Shorten, whose net approval has dropped a full 10% from the stasis it was in through most of 2014. Tony Abbott has now recovered to where he was before Australia Day, and while that’s still a bad position in absolute terms, the gap between himself and Shorten is rapidly narrowing. The same goes for preferred prime minister, on which Shorten’s double-digit lead after Australia Day has narrowed to about 3%.

Two polls warranting comment:

• I neglected to cover this on Tuesday, so let the record note that this week’s Essential Research result ticked a point in the Coalition’s favour on two-party preferred, putting Labor’s lead at 52-48. Primary votes were 41% for the Coalition (up one), 39% for Labor (steady), 10% for the Greens (steady) and 2% for Palmer United (steady). Also featured were monthly personal ratings, which found Tony Abbott up two on approval to 31% and down five on disapproval to 56%, Bill Shorten up one on both to 34% and 39%, and Shorten’s lead as preferred prime minister down from 39-31 to 37-33. Other questions related to asylum seekers, with 43% nominating that most were not genuine refugees versus 32% who said otherwise. However, a separate question found 49% allowing that asylum seekers arriving by boat should be allowed to stay if found to be genuine refugees. The government’s approach was deemed too tough by 22%, too soft by 27% and just right by 34%. In response to Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus leaving the Palmer United Party, 41% said those in their position should leave parliament and allow a new election to be held for their seat, with 19% favouring a new member nominated by the party and 24% saying they should be allowed to remain in parliament.

• Roy Morgan has published one of its semi-regular rounds of SMS state polling, finding the newly elected Coalition ahead by 54.5-45.5 in New South Wales, and Annastacia Palaszczuk’s newly elected Queensland government up by 52.5-47.5, after last month’s result and the weekend’s Galaxy poll both had it lineball. Labor governments are credited with leads of 54-46 in Victoria and 51-49 in South Australia, while it’s 50-50 in Western Australia. A 56-44 lead to Labor is recorded in Tasmania, which is more than a little hard to credit.

Preselection news:

• Murray Watt is set to win preselection for Labor’s Queensland Senate ticket after securing the endorsement of the Left faction at the expense of incumbent Jan McLucas, who entered parliament in 1999. Susan McDonald of the ABC reports that Watt’s position will likely be at the top of the ticket, reflecting the Left’s new-found ascendancy within the Queensland Labor organisation.

• It’s a similar story in the lower house Brisbane seat of Oxley, where Labor’s Bernie Ripoll has announced his retirement following reports he stood to lose preselection in any case to Milton Dick, Brisbane City Council opposition leader.

• Crikey’s Tips and Rumours section recently offered details on the Labor preselection in the marginal eastern Melbourne seat of Deakin, which has been won by Tony Clarke, manager of Vision Australia and unsuccessful state election candidate for Ringwood. His main opponent was Mike Symon, who won the seat for Labor in 2007 and 2010 before being unseated by current Liberal member Michael Sukkar in 2013. Symon narrowly defeated Clarke in the local party ballot, but this was overwhelmed by support for Clarke in the 50% of the vote determined by the state party’s Public Office Selection Committee. It was reported in Crikey that the Left abstained from the POSC vote, as it wished to let “the Right factions fight out between themselves”. For more on Deakin, see today’s Seat of the Week post.

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.

1,367 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.9-48.1 to Labor”

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  1. [If we really believe what we say about ANZAC, then why aren’t we spending that money looking after the soldiers right here and now?]

    An excellent question.

  2. [ If we really believe what we say about ANZAC, then why aren’t we spending that money looking after the soldiers right here and now? ]

    Where are the votes in that?

  3. I know it’s been quoted often before, but
    [Johnson: Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.]

    We are closing our borders, sending soldiers off to war again, draping ourselves metaphorically in flags, whipping up a frenzy of patriotism…

    When I say ‘we’ I mean Dear Leader, of course.

    This is not the Australia I want to know.

  4. Tones never gets it quite right –

    “It’s critical that we stop Australians going to places where they’ll be killed”.

    I would rate stopping Australians going to places where they illegally kill other people as the first priority.

  5. I suspect if we examined ANZAC days over the last lots of years something cyclical would turn up.

    At the time when “The One Day of the Year” was produced the Anzac Day remembrances came in for a bit of stick.

    One old guy I knew a at that time, who had been at Gallipoli, (seem old to me at the time) never wanted to talk about it and never wanted to march.

    As all these chaps are now gone and most of the Second World War lot are fast fading, Anzac Day is moving from living history (or at least remembered personal history) to myth, legend and perhaps fantasy.

    It seems to go that a generation which has never seen real war and its impact seems to develop some kind of amnesia regarding just how truly dreadful war is.

    I often think that those young men/women showing so much patriot fervour in the UK, German, France and wherever in 1914 had not experienced a serious war in Europe for the best part of 50 years. They too had forgotten how terrible war can be.

    I just wonder how much of what we are seeing right now is faux patriotism – the waving of the flag and indulging in sentimentality over events which gloss over the death on a grand and purposeless (in my view) scale.

    The fact that some in business want to make a quid out of it should surprise nobody.

  6. [
    Ataturk abolished the fez by hanging people that chose to wear one in public squares. Not really a hero in my book.]

    Taking fashion police to a whole other level!

  7. [

    Posted Monday, April 20, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I just wonder how much of what we are seeing right now is faux patriotism – the waving of the flag and indulging in sentimentality over events which gloss over the death on a grand and purposeless (in my view) scale.

    The fact that some in business want to make a quid out of it should surprise nobody. ]

    Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
    Eagle with crest of red and gold,
    These men were born to drill and die.
    Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
    Make plain to them the excellence of killing
    And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

    Stephen Crane

  8. rossmcg

    My Mum was ninety when she died in 2013 I still talk to her in my head when I want to.

    They were a great generation who saw not only the First World War but the Second as well and of course the Depression.

    They also taught us how to be good people above all else and we hope we were.

  9. MTBW

    Indeed. I don’t think it is coincidence that many of the people from both sides of politics who make dumb decisions these days really have no knowledge of hardship caused by the depression and war.

  10. Anzac Day coverage is wildly unbalanced. We are getting all the stuff about “heroes”, and nothing about the villains – on our side, George V and General Haig among others. OTOH, WWII coverage is much more about the villains!

  11. [rossmcg

    Posted Monday, April 20, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Let me join the chorus in decrying the commercialisation of Anzac Day.

    My 90yo mum doesn’t get wound up about much but we had a long chat about this the other day. And she was cross.

    She was one of the first young women hired to join the WA state Treasury to replace men going to war. She saw plenty leave, never to return.

    She saw those who returned that were never quite the same as before.

    She used the watch the parade on TV, often recognising men she had known as they marched with their units. Then she stopped watching as the March became a shuffle and now there are hardly any of her generation left. And they certainly not marching.

    She does t need commemorative coins, souvenir hats or newspaper magazines to remember.

    Or to see politicians draping themselves in the flag.

    Keating had the right idea about Gallipoli. Asked if he had been there he told Red Kerry: Never have, never will.]

    Similar story here. My 89yr old mum, while watching the latest jingo on the news tonight, said she was sick of this commercialisation & over-hyping of ANZAC commemorations. I think many of her generation have seen enough of the effects of war not to celebrate it.

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