BludgerTrack: 51.7-48.3 to Labor

Aggregation of poll results continues to record a slow improvement in the Coalition’s position on voting intention, and a much quicker one for Tony Abbott relative to Bill Shorten on leadership ratings.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate swings back to Labor this week, following an improved but still below par result from Newspoll, and softer results for them from Morgan and Essential Research. Together with the previous week’s strong result for Labor from ReachTEL washing out of the system, the result is a 0.7% move to the Coalition on two-party preferred and an improvement of three on the seat projection, including one seat each in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. With the further addition of Newspoll numbers to the leadership ratings, there’s still no let-up of the emphatic trend in favour of Tony Abbott relative to Bill Shorten since immediately after the Liberal Party spill vote at the beginning of February, with Abbott now being credited with the lead on preferred prime minister for the first time since October.

Electoral reform news:

• Heath Aston of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that “speculation is rising that the government will attempt to pass measures that would effectively sign the death warrant for micro parties immediately before calling the next election” (while further speculation reported by Laurie Oakes says that election may be rather soon). However, the task of achieving that is said to be complicated by splits in both Labor and the Greens. Among those in the Labor camp raising concerns are Penny Wong, Stephen Conroy, Sam Dastyari and “a number of unions”, who reportedly consider that micro-parties are mostly winning seats at the expense of the Coalition, and believe the proposal to abolish group voting tickets through a move to optional preferential voting would advantage the Greens (although Gary Gray and Alan Griffin, both Labor members of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, stand by the committee’s recommendation to that effect). The Greens nonetheless appear divided on both the reform’s likely impact on their prospects, and whether that should be their primary objective in any case. It is said the reform could starve the Greens of preferences required to win seats in Queensland (understandably), South Australia (understandably only for as long as Nick Xenophon’s on the scene) and Western Australia (not understandably, as far as I can see). At the same time, there is concern about how the party membership would react if the party cut a deal with the Coalition, which might involve a compromise of maintaining group voting tickets but imposing a 4% primary vote threshold.

Daniel McCullogh of the Launceston Examiner reports that Labor in Tasmania is grumbling about the state’s quirky Legislative Council system, in which the chamber’s 15 electoral districts face election over a staggered six-year cycle. Labor complains the low-key campaigns result in depressed turnout and an unfair advantage to incumbents. Labor is also unhappy about the tight $15,000 spending caps for Legislative Council elections.

Preselection news:

Sharyn O’Neil of the Morning Bulletin reports that Peter Freeleagus, a Moranbah miner and former Belyando Shire mayor, will again seek Labor preselection in Capricornia, the central Queensland seat where he narrowly failed in a bid to succeed retiring party colleague Kirsten Livermore. The seat has since been held for the Liberal National Party by Michelle Landry, who won the seat by a margin of 0.8%. The report also says Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow had been planning to nominate, but is no longer.

Stephen Smiley from the ABC reports it is generally expected Christine Milne’s resignation as Greens leader yesterday is to be followed in the not too distant future by retirement from the Senate. The leading candidate to fill her vacancy would appear to be Nick McKim, who holds a state seat for Franklin and was the party’s state leader until after the March 2014 election. The best-placed Greens candidate to win McKim’s state seat from recounting of last year’s election looks to be Huon Valley councillor Rosalie Woodruff.

• Labor has preselected Mike Kelly to attempt to recover the seat of Eden-Monaro which he narrowly lost to Liberal candidate Peter Hendy by a margin of 4.8% in 2013, a result that retained the seat’s bellwether status going back to 1972.

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.

2,436 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.7-48.3 to Labor”

Comments Page 49 of 49
1 48 49
  1. [Every lower house federal MP in the country is to be allocated $150,000 for investment in local infrastructure projects under a new “Stronger Communities” fund to be unveiled in the federal budget.

    The new money – $45 million over two years – will be handed out in equal proportions and awarded to projects regarded as addressing the greatest local need and likely to provide the longest term benefit to the nearby community.]

    looks like a slush fund payment to me. this seems to go against good governance – giving parliamentarians a budget to buy votes in their areas. abbott is bribing backbenches not to oust him by giving them funds to bribe their communities.

    now which party has the most MPs and will therefore get the most funding? which party has many very angry and now marginal regional seats in Qld and NSW where $150,000 could buy more important votes than urban seats? I’ll bet approvals for funding in LNP seats will be process free/automatic and those in ALP and other seats will get delayed due to process and delayed until after the election.

  2. [ It’s targeted at the public service, where workers over the years have foregone wage increases in lieu of other conditions, including maternity, and more recently paternity, leave. ]

    From watching Lateline last night and the references to how the actual legislation to do with the current PPL specifically includes what the Libs are labelling “double dipping”, i’m surprised that the Libs didn’t frame this differently.

    IF they had proposed to limit the Govt scheme availability so that the max paid leave (employer and Govt funded) had a limit of say 26 weeks, then they would not have had such a toxic reaction. It would be re-framing the taxpayer component as a fall back / top up scheme.

    They are idiots.

  3. Guytaur:

    [That’s what I meant the other day by Morison got sucked in. By selling the budget over the last week his name is associated with it.]

    You might be right on that. He does ooze hubris and arrogance.


    [They are idiots.]

    You are a charitable soul 🙂

  4. The PPL debacle destroyed any good news about the taxing of multinationals. Due to the former even the Canberra Press Gallery was sceptical and did not do the positive write ups the government may have expected.

    No Hockey or Abbott headlines of the St George Knight slaying the tax dragon of the multinationals.

    A bad sales job on top of bad policy.

  5. Guytaur

    It was hard to do a positive write up on the childcare changes when the plan has been picked apart within hours on Sunday.

    And it was just the usual suspects from Labor saying it was a dog which the Press gallery could have igored

  6. Correction

    …Wasn’t the usual suspects from labor saying it was a dog and could be ignored.

    Respected people in the industry rubbished it and today we have business leaders expressing their doubts.

    Hockey just said they were wrong. Standard Tory answer, no facts, just you are wrong.

  7. [guytaur

    Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I think we should be calling papers like the Advertiser sportspapers not newspapers. Herald Sun springs to mind as another contender

    Advertiser, Herald, Telegraph, Mercury the names say it all.

    Now increasingly redundant function.

    Now redundant form of employment.

    Now redundant form of communication.

    Now redundant dog.

  8. [looks like a slush fund payment to me.]

    What was that rural pork barrelling fund the Nats presided over from the Howard years? It looks just like that. Totally lacking in transparency and accountability, and an utter waste of taxpayer’s money.

  9. [How far does $150k go in a big rural electorate?]

    it’ll buy lots of small grants and photo ops. it is not about doing anything more than that. $2-5k grants to sporting and community clubs, childcare centres, local libraries, churches, schools, tree plantings, etc. $150,000K of grants in regional electorates will buy a lot of community goodwill and local media – it is pretty easy to get on WIN, on local ABC and into local papers.

  10. [ How far does $150k go in a big rural electorate? ]

    You can buy a lot of flagpoles (with Australian flags) for $150k.

  11. This budget will be the beginning of the real turn around for Tony.
    His play it safe routine in the last few months has worked to tighten the polls and the tax cuts for businesses will help the narrative that the Coalition is good for the economy.
    The cuts to mothers will blow over and most stay at home mums are numpties that can’t think for themselves anyway.
    I expect the Coalition to be level with the ALP by July.

  12. More from the Guardian blog from Senate QT.

    [Senator Wright is asking a supplemental: Why does Tony Abbott use the phrase “death cult” in reference to Isis? Is the government more concerned with polling data than making Australians safer?


    We make no apologies for calling these evil elements a death cult. When you line of Christians and behead them on video, when you rape women and say it’s ok…you know what, that is a death cult. And I don’t think any Australian would disagree with the use of that terminology.

    Didn’t a SBS sports journalist recently get fired for tweeting about these same things in regards to some past Australian servicemen.

  13. Of course ‘death cult’ is so much easier for the Lib’s to remember and it’s transferable so you don’t have to remember all those nasty, tricky foreign names.

  14. Bernard Keane on Essential Research:

    [On voting intention, the Coalition is up a point on its primary vote to 41%, while Labor remains on 39%. The Greens, post-Christine Milne, are up a point to 11%, for a a two-party preferred outcome of 52%-48% in Labor’s favour, down from 53%-47% last week.]

  15. Abbot just said they are building on last year’s budget. The media better play that on high rotation if they want any semblance of credibility of not being LNP propaganda arms.

  16. Bingo .Bludger’s comment earlier that the “double dipping” re PPL was Abbott putting the boot into civil servants was on the money. No doubt about it after that reply in QT.

  17. Joe Hockey has learnt the golden rule in politics: if you can’t deliver, first lower expectations. So this budget will be a “success” if the deficit is lower than 440 billion “market expectations”. Great going Joe!

    1. What happened to your election promise surplus Joe?
    2. What happened to all the other promises, including PPL?
    3. Who says market expectations are a $40 billion deficit? That was one firm.
    4. What were your own debt promises even since the election Joe? Will they be met?

    I think PromiseTracker is a better guide to assess this budget.

  18. I can’t find any recording or footage of hockey’s 2012 national press club budget response when he said “we will deliver a surplus in our first year and every year after that”. if it exists and you have a link please post it here and send it to media outlets because it should be on high rotation.

    hockey repeated and defended this claim and abbott backed him in 2013.

    early this year labor called hockey on this and he said WTTE ‘I never said that, labor said I said that, people thought I said that, but I never said that’. obviously he thinks saying ‘based on these numbers’ as a preface is enough of a qualifier to claim he never repeated promised to deliver this.

    the speech is still on the lib web site. I’ll post it here to see whether some of the trolls here really do work at Menzies house and want to destroy the evidence.

  19. “@annajhenderson: Shadow Treasurer @Bowenchris raises the increasing #budget2015 deficit. PM @TonyAbbottMHR says it’s “Labor’s legacy” @ABCNews24”

    I don’t think that one will fly

  20. Sorry about the typo – “success” was lower than a $40 billion deficit.

    Incidentally soimeone should ask Joe Hockey if he expects to have any “success” in reducing unemployment, poverty or social inequity? Secondary issues, I know.

  21. Colin

    This government can only achieve such a feat if the economy gets out of its rut, this will require the government to start developing a positive narrative, based on past performance I question if this government can do that.

    Hockey lacks Costello’s delivery and Tony lacks Howard’s political smarts.

  22. MB
    [Hockey lacks Costello’s delivery and Tony lacks Howard’s political smarts.]
    You could reverse the order of the words there and still be right.

  23. “can’t find any recording or footage of hockey’s 2012 national press club budget response when he said “we will deliver a surplus in our first year and every year after that”. if it exists and you have a link please post it here and send it to media outlets because it should be on high rotation.”

    Here, at 0:25 –

  24. [Hockey lacks Costello’s delivery and Tony lacks Howard’s political smarts.]

    they also lack the-first-term-gov-after-13-years-of-labor-and- keating factor (& even then howard lost the popular vote in 1998) and Tampa and 9/11 in 2001. howard is hailed as a political genius by some, in truth he was very lucky – he also had he had the boom that followed hawke-keating reforms, his sell off of major assets, and his massive tax increases to bribe his way to victory through unsustainable middle and upper class welfare and tax loopholes. Hockey is living with these now. the economic histories of the nation will not be as kind to costello and howard as they have been. they not only wasted the boom, they created a tax system with major structural flaws in non-boom times.

    the election is labor’s to lose and if the libs dump abbott (& I still think they’ll get howard to gently tap him on the shoulder and – I now think – put morrison in) and head to an early election they could romp it home. part of me suspects that abbott is getting ready to scapegoat hockey if they don’t get a bounce in an attempt to save his own skin.

Comments Page 49 of 49
1 48 49

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *