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”

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  1. virtualkat

    You are right. There is also some demonising of mothers who ‘stay at home’ to care for their children.

  2. Murdoch’s Daily ToiletPaper has been emboldened by the apparent success of the shrieking hyperbole in the UK franchise. This from their website now

    [Budget 2015: Comrade Bill Shorten says ‘nyet’ before even reading Joe Hockey’s handiwork]

    this headline sadly does not come with a photoshopped Billy into a Soviet era uniform

  3. Humpty Dumpty & all that…
    The word “signature” isn’t what it once was. Does it now mean anything? The list of things cheapened & destroyed by this hideous man goes on & on.

  4. [ George Zimmerman Suffers Gunshot Wound In Orlando

    George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the 2013 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, has, according to WESH Orlando, been shot in Orlando, Florida.

    The shooting involved two men and happened on Lake Mary Boulevard, police said. Officers at the scene said it appeared Zimmerman suffered a minor gunshot wound, Bracknell said. “He walked normally into the ambulance, so he wasn’t being helped or nothing,” said witness Ricardo Berrare. ]

  5. [ Uber Is Now Valued Higher Than 80% Of The S&P: Closing In On General Motors And Ford

    Putting Uber’s latest valuation in perspective, according to CapIq there were just 95 companies in the S&P500 with a market cap over $50 billion, suggesting Uber which did not exist when Lehman filed for bankruptcy, now has a market capitalization greater than 80% of S&P stocks.

    Specifically, at a $50 billion valuation, Uber is more “valuable” than FedEx, Marck, Deutsche Bank, General Dynamics, Nissan, Time Warner, Yahoo, Credit Suisse, Heineken and many other companies. ]

  6. When I read stuff like this, I wish we had a decent media who would actually explain things —

    [the government has lost $17 billion since the last budget as iron ore exporters pay it less tax. However, all other things are not equal. The dollar has slid from US93¢ to US79¢. Meanwhile, iron ore exporters churn out more product, and the net effect has been to drain the budget of revenue.]

    Surely selling more iron ore at a lower price means that the income drop isn’t the same as it would be if we were selling the old amount at the lower price? (I realise that there would very likely still be a revenue drop, but this suggests it isn’t as bad as the $17 billion quoted).

    And I thought a drop in the Australian dollar was meant to be a Good Thing for the economy?

    So how do these two things add up to a drain to revenue? Surely the concluding sentence should read ‘So the drain to revenue is not as great as the drop in the price of iron ore alone would lead one to expect”?

  7. [The word “signature” isn’t what it once was.]

    The word signature in and of itself hasn’t lost its meaning, just that anything bearing Abbott’s signature can now be considered to be next to worthless!

  8. “@bellfrances: .@AWU_Victoria’s Ben Davis has told @774melbourne Alcoa is closing its Anglesea Power station in August #springst”

  9. “@political_alert: Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler will hold a doorstop interview here in Canberra at 11.15am about the Renewable Energy Target #auspol”

  10. You pipped me by one BK.

    I bombed badly on defence spending. They must be including the cost of Iraq in the foreign aid budget.

  11. ABC article mentioned at 2315 & after.
    Liberal press release.
    It’s where they intend taking the ABC & they’re well on the way.
    Use its “credibility” to distribute their propaganda.
    Just like the until now benificiaries of the PPL, the ABC can be discarded if & when required.

  12. Before i head out. This on twitter

    [‘We will give people $850mn to help look after their kids, but only if we take $3.5bn from people looking after their kids’ #budget #auspol]

  13. “@srpeatling: OL SHorten: “I don’t trust a man who says poor people don’t drive cars to know what fairness is.””

  14. “@joeobrien24: Shorten says Abbott and Hockey out to create “bleaker meaner narrower” Australia. On @abcnews24 now addressing Caucus

    Speech is over

  15. fredex

    [ That ABC article you quoted is straight Liberal propaganda. ]

    Has the ABC gone into election mode again?

  16. He’s doing it again! ‘This year and every year thereafter.’ You’d think he’d learn. But he can’t take credit for it.

    [Although Mr Hockey refused to put a precise figure on the deficit, he said the sum would beat market expectations this year and every year thereafter.

    …Chris Richardson said news of a better bottom line than expected was welcome but down to an improvement in the iron ore price in recent weeks.]

  17. Again the accountants will win. Is this the Abbott jobs plan? :/

    [Crowe Horwath partner Paul Bakker said reinstating accelerated depreciation rules for small business should have “a turbocharge effect” on the economy compared to dropping the tax rate which is a more long-term play.

    It was just over 12 months ago that the government repealed the $6500 depreciation write off for small business legislated by the Rudd government in the wake of the global financial crisis.

    “This sort of mixed messaging does not help confidence,” said Mr Bakker.]–budget-to-deliver-a-windfall-for-accountants-20150512-ggzca8.html

  18. A journo’s comment in the Age this morning.

    [And why, I hear you ask, was Mr Hockey holding a press conference out the front of Parliament House?

    Doesn’t the Treasurer traditionally speak outside the ministerial wing of Parliament House?

    Ah yes but that was in the good old days before the Coalition government decided to invest in bazillions of new bollards and poles and ropes and security upgrades which all have the happy side effect of keeping the media away from politicians.]

  19. [ Doesn’t the Treasurer traditionally speak outside the ministerial wing of Parliament House? ]

    Scrot Morrison is already ‘using’ that location ?

  20. In the past two weeks, under first-past-the-post voting, two parties have won parliamentary majorities with only 41% support from those who actually bothered to vote.

    In Britain, the Scots gutted Labour in two ways:

    1. By handing Labour’s Scottish seats to the SNP
    2. By scaring English voters into voting Tory.

    A subterranean vibe generated by the vicious non-stop Murdoch and Tory press campaign against Ed Miliband delivered the coup de grace.

    In the conservative Canadian province of Alberta, the New Democrats (akin to Labor) sensationally ended four decades of Tory rule through an unusual alignment of the planets.

    For a start, the cities of Edmonton and Calgary had been trending slightly to the left in recent times. Then, crucially, the governing Progressive Conservatives and their even more right-wing opponents, Wildrose, cut each other’s throats by polling almost identically in many ridings, enabling the New Democrats to overtake both of them. Finally, the traditional party of the left, the Liberals, did very poorly and won only one riding.

    These factors enabled the New Democrats to romp home, with Wildrose edging out the Conservatives as the official opposition.

    What will happen in the general election later in the year is anybody’s guess, but at least the Canadian left does not have to contend with the malevolent Murdoch.

  21. […Chris Richardson said news of a better bottom line than expected was welcome but down to an improvement in the iron ore price in recent weeks.]

    Chris Richardson is for some reason the ‘go to’ economist for the ABC, but has a reputation for usually being wrong with his predictions.

  22. Should be a WADA result by Christmas if all goes well.

    ASADA are a joke. They now welcome WADAs appeal despite caving in themselves.

  23. [ Chris Richardson ……has a reputation for usually being wrong with his predictions. ]

    Yes lavish with his praise for last years budget which turned out to be a dog and which large chunks of which still haven’t been passed.

    It was also a budget credlin claimed – “She would be happy to take to an election”

  24. [More ABC cuts tonight ?]

    If so, when will they ever learn?

    Also notice how the various business lobby groups have constant access to the ABC over and above other views.

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