BludgerTrack: 52.1-47.9 to Labor

A slight gain for Labor on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate for the second week in a row, with four pollsters this week producing highly varied results.

It’s been a big week for federal opinion polling, with Ipsos adding its voice to the regular fortnightly Newspoll and Morgan and the weekly Essential Research. The results are sharply polarised, with Ipsos and Morgan coming in weak for the government and Newspoll and Essential being fairly strong. The BludgerTrack aggregate reads this a slight move to Labor, which consolidates a shift in their favour last week. However, there has been no change on the seat projection this time around, with gains for Labor in New South Wales and Victoria counterbalanced by losses in Queensland and Western Australia. Newspoll and Ipsos both provide new numbers for leadership approval, on which both Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten record substantial downturns for net approval. However, since this was driven by somewhat peculiar numbers from Newspoll’s swansong, I’d reserve my judgement on that for the time being.

BludgerTrack’s current two-party preferred reading of 52.1% for Labor is a bit lower than the other players in the poll aggregation game just at the moment, with Kevin Bonham and Phantom Trend both having it at 52.4%, and Mark the Ballot being even further out at 52.7%. Our relative weightings for Newspoll and Ipsos may have had something to do with this, but another factor will have been that only BludgerTrack has Essential Research’s weekly samples as separate data points, since Bonham and Phantom Trend have only the published fortnightly rolling average, and Mark the Ballot drops the pollster altogether. You may infer from that that this week’s result was on the strong side for the Coalition.

Also of note:

• Draft boundaries of a redistribution for the Northern Territory parliament have been published, which Antony Green considers in detail. The big change is the effective abolition of the Alice Springs seat of Araluen to make way for the new seat of Spillett in the north of Darwin’s growing satellite city of Palmerston. This has already had political ramifications, as Araluen MP Robyn Lambley cited it as one of her reasons for quitting the Country Liberal Party yesterday to sit as an independent, having intimated that the redistribution has singled her out for special treatment.

• The Lowy Institute has published its annual poll encompassing attitudes towards a wide range of foreign policy issues, which was conducted between February and May from a combined sample of around 6000 respondents by Newspoll and I-view, the latter being a part of Ipsos. Among many other things, respondents were asked to give the government marks out of ten across eight issues, producing a strong 7.1 average for “maintaining a strong alliance with the United States” (if that be deemed a good thing), a fairly healthy 5.9 for “responding to the threat of terrorism”, a perhaps surprisingly soft 4.9 for “handling the arrival of asylum seekers by boat”, another 4.9 for “managing Australia’s economy”, and a low 4.0 for “managing the issue of climate change”.

• The Lowy poll also found concern over climate change at its highest level of 2008, the potential electoral ramifications of which I considered in an article for Crikey yesterday. I had another subscriber-only Crikey piece on Friday which took a careful look at Essential Research data concerning perceptions of Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten.

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.

3,875 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.1-47.9 to Labor”

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  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    According to Mark Kenny the government is in disarray over the citizenship stripping issue.
    The upcoming Labor conference could be a difficult for Shorten to handle.

    Greg Barnes on how the Abbott government is a law unto himself. There is nothing conservative about this PM he says.
    Gay Alcorn says Abbott’s rhetoric on Muslims is damaging and dangerous.
    This Victorian uni study shows Hockey’s budget forecasts are too optimistic and hide a black hole. So here’s some more to be labelled as clowns.,7838
    The 38 worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    All is not well in the Department of Agriculture.
    Why shoppers are fleeing Woolworths for Aldi and Coles.
    Ouch! Samsung phones have a major security vulnerability.

  2. Section 2 . . .

    With all these “productivity” improvements are we are heading to a US style workplace?
    And another snake seemingly gets away with it.
    Fairfax is really going after Shorten.
    More uncovered over the high seas pay off.
    George Brandis unites the cross bench in votes against the government.
    And it leads to a potential Senate standoff.
    Elizabeth Farrelly dissects Abbott’s stance on wind farms.
    Meanwhile Leyonhjelm and Abbott might get into bed over noise restrictions for wind turbines.
    “View from the Street” says no-one loves George Brandis anymore.

  3. Section 3 . . .

    Alan Moir on high seas pay off alternatives.

    John Spooner on the ethics of the pay offs.

    I love this little one from Matt Golding.

    Nice work from David Pope as he channels Cinderella after the ball.

    Mark Knight has a frightened Bill Shorten in bed.

    There’s a lot to see in the angry mob in this effort from David Rowe.

    John Kudelka very well captures the valid concerns surrounding citizenship stripping.

  4. Morning all. Mark Kenny is correct. Labor’s “Tweedle Dee” strategy over RET and boats is both cowardly and reduces the differences between them to the point where their vote will decline.

    I do not dispute that some of this (boats) may be rational in the world of opinion polling. The RET deal is probably unpopular, and but economically (lots of jobs per dollar in renewable energy) but probably appeases a big union.

    The strategic problem with all this positioning is that it makes it really hard to believe what Labor (and Shorten) stands for? Climate change has gone from the greatest moral challenge in our lifetime to a bargaining chip in a Senate deal. Likewise boats. Can Shorten not see that this allows his opponents to portray him as the flip flop man at the next election? They will be correct.

    Maybe Shorten’s first wife still trusts him, but I do not. As I have said before, this is a very uninspiring leadership choice, between a man always bent on mindless attack of his foes, and a manipulative back room operator. The lion and the scarecrow vie to be Wizard of Oz. Have a good day all.

  5. Socrates @7,

    I am afraid your blinkers are blinding you to the real facts surrounding the deal on RET made by labor.

    It was not done to “appease” some union but it was done with the support of the industry especially the clean industry council.

    Labor fought for a higher total but in the end the governments refusal to participate in any realistic negotiation was leading to the slow demise of the whole industry as investment slowed. To put a end to the bleed the industry relucently agreed to the total of 33000 and on that advice labor supported the deal.

    The industry was ground into the dirt by the government and labor only agreed to the deal to ensure the industry survived.

    Labor has been in deep consultation with the industry and a big policy announcement will follow at or before national conference in relation to RET and the targets labor will take to the election with the support of the industry.

    In simple terms all decisions re the RET target have been taken in consultation with the industry itself to ensure the survival of the industry and not in any shape or form to “appease” some union.

    Please get your facts right before letting your bias cloud your otherwise good judgement.


  6. Socrates

    Which is why I am now Greens member.

    Neither Labor nor the LNP have the underlying philosophy and scientific and economic acumen to move this country forward in a time of rapid economic, technological and environmental change.

    Abbott is a major threat to the country. It would be overstating the case to compare his impact with that of Hitler on Germany, but there are similar forces at work. The politics of fear and nationalism.

    Shorten seems to lack a political compass. His statements on the environment, rising inequity and managing technological and societal change are weak and indecisive. Forceful public statements seem to be left to his shadow ministers.

    if Labor votes – such as my former one – bleed over to the Greens, I think we have a much better chance of moving the nation forward, with strong policies based on science and the latest economic theory.

    Maintenance of the current status quo will surely deliver Keating’s banana republic, with either weak minded or tyrannical leadership.

  7. The SmearStralian has turned into the ShortenSmearStralian today with 3 of the lead 5 stories on their website being in their Get Shorten Campaign.

    The Shanahan piece is classic Murdoch smear. Compares Shorten with Rudd’s compulsion to win the evening news cycle, darkly hints at bullied staff and/or associates, and catalogs every current issue with muttering from sources how badly Shorten is dealing with events and being owned by Abbott (unlike that nice helpful man DiNatalie)

    Shanners one saving grace is that he doesn’t claim “ALP sources” as everyone knows who his source is. The Liberal Party Dirt Unit.

  8. The Coalition having sneaked the wood-burning into the RET legislation, hust to be bloodyminded, I am very angry with the numbnuts on the crossbench who are running interference and providing ‘negotiation opportunities’ over windfarms.

  9. William – not sure what you mean by the statement “You may infer from that that this week’s result was on the strong side for the Coalition.”

  10. Morning all.

    Thanks BK for today’s links. You’re right that Rowe offered a lot to look at today in the forms of very angry thuggish Liberal ministers.

  11. While it does seem strange that a business has paid large sums to a union to receive what appears to be a special industrial deal I think the issue is best left to the RC to review. However even Paul Bongornio said this morning Shorten needs to explain the deal now rather than later and you can hardly call Bongornio a Liberal hack.

  12. victoria

    because some posters here backed Albo.

    Of course, not being Labor members, most of them didn’t actually vote for him, but that, apparently, is a mere quibble.

  13. lizzie

    Numbnut obstructionism will not survive long. There are major economic forces coming into alignment which will prove these stupid little emperors to have no clothes.

    Pervasive solar energy disrupting business models of dirty energy companies.
    Divestment of fossil energy stocks.
    The impact on the jobs market of disruptive technology becoming evident.

  14. The Popes’s environmental encyclical to be released today.

    Just another nail in Abbott’s coffin. Not the final one, but a good solid 2″ stainless steel.

  15. fess

    The Liberals do this cone of silence thing during preselections – no one is meant to be commenting publically.

    Last time they held them up here, when Mirabella was first selected, I had about five people from inside the room (most of whom were preselection candidates) updating me regularly on how the voting was going.

    Alas, as there are now no moderates left in the Indi Liberals (having decamped over the years due to the famous Mirabella charm) my sources have also dried up!

  16. zoomster

    I was quoting the Fairfax editiorial. Wtte that Shorten needs to consider his future cos his position is becomimg untenable and growing pressure. I havent been quite up to speed the last few days, but what pressure?

  17. victoria:

    The divisions within Cabinet have far greater potential implications for the country than Shorten’s period with the AWU. But we always knew the media would eventually start going after the LOTO, irrespective of who it is.

  18. Fess

    As far as i know, all workplace agreements are ratified. These agreements were not a secret, so i fail to understand what Shorten is answerable to

  19. zoomster:

    It’s unfathomable that the simply awful Mirabella could be preselected again! If the Liberals go with her, knowing she did sweet FA for the electorate in the 10 years or so she was their local member, then what on earth is there left to say.

  20. The right wing “bashing” of Shorten over alleged deals that provided (allegedly) to corporations that would be seen as right wing donors.
    The faux outrage by the right about workers shows how low they are prepared to sink for a political advantage.

  21. Thanks for the links BK.

    My marks out of 10 for the Government on some issues surveyed in the Lowy Institute poll:

    – “maintaining a strong alliance with the United States” 6/10
    – “responding to the threat of terrorism” 0/10, marked down for overreaction, reinvolving us in the Middle East mess and politically exploiting the issue
    – “handling the arrival of asylum seekers by boat” 0/10 – dogwhistling, demonisation and mistreatment of asylum seekers, likely illegality, stuffing our relationship with Indonesia and politically exploiting the issue.
    “managing Australia’s economy” 3/10
    “managing the issue of climate change” 0/10 – in fact, probably should be negative as the Abbott Government is dismantling and obstructing measures that might be effective.

  22. victoria

    I think it’s code for ‘we’re running out of things to write about, the Liberals don’t look like dumping Tony, and a nice bit of leadersh*t wouldn’t go astray”.

  23. zoomster

    I get that, but for an editorial to suggest that Shorten’s leadership is untenable, and he basically should step down now is beyond the usual muckracking

  24. Mind you i think the fairfax journos who have conucted this “investigation” are the same ones who got into trouble for hacking into the ALP database

  25. The SMH appears to believe its “investigations” should trump the legal process of a Royal Commission.

    Its so easy to attack someone via untested allegations ..but this is cowardly behaviour by our intrepid fearless media, which knows full well Bill Shorten is waiting to explain his actions to the RC.

    The media is acting like an unacountable ‘kangaroo court’ ..if it has any hard evidnce of wrong doing by anyone should hand it over to the appropriate authorities to investigate/ prosecute..

    Fairfax should leave the smear campaigns to NewsLtd & the Liberal Ministry for Dirt..

  26. [In the face of tough questioning on the BBC’s Hardtalk program in London overnight, Ms Gillard refused to directly answer questions about whether cash had ever been paid, possibly for intelligence under her government.

    “Did you ever authorise payments to people smugglers to take their cargo away from Australia?” host Stephen Sackur asked.

    “We didn’t have the same policy about turning boats around, so no,” Ms Gillard said.

    “It is now asserted, I don’t know for sure, it’s all media reporting that you’re relying on so we didn’t operate the same policy that is under discussion in the Australian media,” she said.

    “Your intelligence chief at the time says there were major disruptions activities aimed at people smuggling – what were they then?” Sackur pressed.

    “Absolutely we worked to try and prevent people smuggling,” Ms Gillard responded.

    “This is an issue in Australian domestic political debate today and one of the things I’ve tried to do since leaving politics is not get myself in the middle of contemporary issues”.]

  27. Steve777

    [“managing Australia’s economy” 3/10]

    Why so generous on economic management Steve?

    They have set the economy back in terms of being able to respond to major technological change by killing off hi tech manufacturing and disrupting research and innovation.

  28. markjs

    Fairfax could publish the workplace agreements made at the time which would clearly set out everything in detail. There was no secret deal

  29. Yep. How coincidental not

    [Capt Magna Crook retweeted
    Anthony Bieniak
    11m11 minutes ago
    Anthony Bieniak ‏@Bienie
    Has there been a week, perhaps since Utegate, that the pressure has shifted from Gov to Opposition so quickly?]

  30. victoria:

    TBA isn’t the only one who rushed judgement on Gordon. I recall several accusatory articles in the Oz and associated Murdoch media at the time.

  31. So Gillard clearly answered the question – no, we didn’t pay money to turn boats around; yes, we were involved in disrupting the trade.

    I don’t actually see a direct question asking her whether or not money was paid for intelligence, or indeed for disrupting the trade.

    True, she didn’t explain what her government did to disrupt the trade, but it doesn’t look like the journo pressed her on it, either.

  32. Shock horror!
    Chloe Bryce Shorten and Margie Abbott both wore a similar-style off one shoulder black dress to the Ball.

    Black was apparently the colour of the night (except that JulieB wore silver encrusted with ?jewels) but Bronnie showed her ‘independence’ with black and white stripes.

    I thought you’d all like to know what’s really important today.

  33. victoria..

    I’ve read the disgraceful editorial in today’s SMH.. I cannot fathom what they are suggesting Bill Shorten has done wrong. He apparently negotiated an industrial agreement which was beneficial to his workers & the business. Any payments the business MAY have made to the AWU ..went to benefit workers, NOT Bill Shorten. What is almost never acknowledged is that the Union IS the workers. Any funds accrued by Unions is spent on advancing the wages/conditions of workers.

  34. markjs

    After all this govt has done in the last few weeks, the SMH reckon it is Shorten who needs to step down. This has truly got me flabbergasted

  35. lizzie

    Truly a shocking failure. These are both reasonably wealthy women. You’d think they could get their acts together and come up with some original attire.

    Mind you, in Margie’s case she may have limited fashion options owing to the family’s mortgage stress.

  36. I should add that Shorten today should direct the SMH to the agreements as ratified at the time and ask them why they see a problem with them

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