BludgerTrack: 51.0-49.0 to Labor

This week’s two new poll results have left the Coalition in its strongest position on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate since the May 2014 budget.

This week’s Morgan and Essential Research polls have prompted a solid move to the Coalition on the weekly reading of BludgerTrack, putting the government in its strongest position since last September on voting intention. Its standing is stronger still on the seat projection, as the movement since that time has favoured it more strongly in the more important states of New South Wales and Queensland than in the marginal seat dead-zone of Victoria – potentially leaving into minority government territory, given that three of the seats credited to “others” are naturally conservative. The six-seat change on last week’s result includes two gains in New South Wales and Queensland, and one each in Victoria and Western Australia. The new leadership ratings from Essential Research cause Bill Shorten’s net approval rating to slip below Tony Abbott’s, though the trendlines for both remain sharply downwards, and Abbott hasn’t quite recovered the lead he lost last week on preferred prime minister.


• The government is preparing to reintroduce to parliament next month a bill to extend to trade union officals standards of disclosure and financial behviour that apply to company directors, which was rejected by the Senate in March. With the requisite period of three months having elapsed since, a second rejection of the bill would establish a double dissolution trigger on terms that would suit the government’s agenda of associating Labor with union corruption. The only existing double dissolution trigger currently available to the government is its bill abolishing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the it’s debatable as to whether that counts as it was blocked before the Senators elected in September 2013 took their seats in mid-2014.

• Labor has preselected Leisa Neaton, principal of Frenchville State School, as its candidate for the central Queensland seat of Capricornia, which Michelle Landry won for the Liberal National Party in 2013 after the retirement of Labor member Kirsten Livermore. Austin King of the Morning Bulletin reports that Neaton prevailed with 85 votes ahead of 60 for Peter Freeleagus, a Moranbah miner and former Belyando Shire mayor who ran unsuccessfully in 2013, and 41 for Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow. Capricornia is featured in the Seat of the Week post directly below this one.

• The Cairns Post reports Norm Jacobson, state secretary of Together Queensland’s prison officers branch, has been preselected as Labor’s candidate for Bob Katter’s seat of Kennedy.

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.

3,108 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.0-49.0 to Labor”

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  1. Barnaby is courting former WA Nats leader to run in Durack apparently.

    [Mr Grylls fuelled speculation about a switch to Federal politics yesterday when he backed Mr Joyce to lead the party if 66-year-old Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss opts to retire.

    He said criticism from within Liberal ranks over Mr Joyce’s opposition to a Chinese-backed coal mine on farmland in NSW showed why he was the right man to lead the party after Mr Truss.

    “It is exactly why I’d like to see Barnaby Joyce as the next leader. There is no point having a leader who kowtows to the Liberal Party on every decision and I don’t think he has damaged the Government by telling the truth,” he said.]

  2. The cynicism of the Abbott Coalition. Nothing counts except the votes (not the voters). This is Windsor on Barnaby.

    [Philippa Clark ‏
    Started reading @TonyHWindsor’s excellent book. Doesn’t take long to find evidence of how useless the Nationals are. ]

  3. confessions

    Hunt had the power of being Environment Minister. Remember the days when we could rely on the EM as the final arbiter to knock back destructive projects?

  4. lizzie:

    It always comes back to the minister being the fall guy for when decisions go pear shaped. Collegiate, Cabinet decision for good news, lone wolf minister’s discretion for not so good news. Hunt’s hollowness just takes it to the extremes!

  5. victoria:

    I recall that someone reported Slipper to the authorities before he had a chance to repay it, thereby setting in motion the legal process. Perhaps someone should do the same to BBishop.

  6. Fess

    Slipper”s expenditure was during 2010. It only came to light when he resigned from the LNP and became Speaker. It was get Slipper time

  7. Morning all.
    In the Rowe cartoon of Bishop, who is on the bed, as a lapdog, is it Barnaby.
    I saw the front page of the Australian , all about Shorten’s carbon tax ambush

  8. [The chief problem remains her conduct in the chair itself.
    The numbers speak volumes. As of last month, she had ejected a record 400 MPs from Parliament – 393 of them from Labor.

    Many of them probably deserved to be booted. But so did many Coalition MPs who were shown leniency.

    Bishop is a conservative warrior just like her Prime Minister, and they have a mutually beneficial relationship. He gave her a $341,000 job with all the trappings of office but without all the bother of a portfolio; she does her best to shield him from proper scrutiny.

    Speaking of trappings, Bishop does like the finer things in life – as her latest expense report makes clear.

    Of course, Speakers need to do some international travel. But taxpayers should not be expected to pick up a $90,000 bill so Bishop can swan around Europe in pursuit of a plum new job.

    Nor should they be expected to pay for a $5000 charter flight so she can save a few minutes between Melbourne to Geelong. And they really shouldn’t be expected to cop it when she point-blank refuses to explain why she didn’t just drive.

    All within with the rules, her office says. It said the same thing when Bishop was caught hosting Liberal Party fundraisers in her office last year. Which just goes to show, once again, that the rules need to be changed.]

    Read more:

    Worst. Speaker. Ever. Not just in terms of her Speaker duties, but the disrespect she is bringing to the office.

    She really ought to resign.

  9. Too funny

    [Tony Burke
    Tony Burke – Verified account ‏@Tony_Burke

    Picture the majesty of the scene as Madam Chopper descended from the clouds to set foot on the green meadow. #madamchopper #auspol]

  10. [Peter van Onselen ‏@vanOnselenP 4m4 minutes ago
    I don’t understand attacks on Labor pricing carbon by the Coalition given it is spending billions of taxpayers dollars on Direct Action? 1/2

    Peter van Onselen ‏@vanOnselenP 3m3 minutes ago
    2/2 who do they think provides the billions they spend on direct action? Fairies at the bottom of the garden???]

  11. TS @ 46

    [Why the hell does Shorten need to be so defensive.

    Why not chuck it back to the COALition e.g.]

    I didn’t think Shorten was being defensive at all. The discussion paper was just that – a draft that looked at options for policy.

    However, if Shorten ignored the allegation and did what you suggested, the ONLY thing that would be reported by the Media is “Shorten refuses to deny Carbon Tax plan’.

    I hate the fact that the media report things this way. But I have seen it too often in my life – and its gotten worse recently – to think it would be any other way.

  12. TPOF

    I didn’t say that he should deny reinstatement of the Carbon Tax.(Provided there is emissions trading and a cap on emissions – as he stated).

    He could have said what he said then attacked.

  13. [Actually I didn’t lie I was using the dates Q&A listed for Bills appearances from their own website. ]

    I know you don’t actually follow politics closely TBA ( just regurgitate RW web site material ) but surely the “Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services” would have given you a clue that this was a panel list from a very old show you were using. Perhaps you can tell us why you were using this particular panel list when newer ones are also on the ABC site?
    I think as your intention is to deceive, liar is the right description.

  14. Abbott is very good at framing an argument in simplistic emotional terms. This is what Shorten needs to learn – but instead of a frame based on lies, as with Abbott – he must be able to back up his arguments with facts.

    e.g. Tony’s Carbon Tax where the polluters are paid in tax payer dollars replacing a Carbon Tax where polluters paid

  15. TPOF @77

    Fair point.

    He could have said “Not only will there be no carbon tax under Labor, but we will throw out Tony’s Carbon Tax where polluters are paid to pollute. Labor policy is to set a cap on pollution, while joining with other nations in international carbon trading.”

  16. I really think Shorten needs to own the carbon tax bill. Don’t try to discount it. It has support among the people and evidence has pointed out that the impact on the people was minimal at worse, but showing positive results in reducing carbon production.

  17. Required Shorten embellishment.

    (Say it at least three times.)

    Tony’s Carbon Tax where we pay polluters
    Tony’s Carbon Tax where we pay polluters
    Tony’s Carbon Tax where we pay polluters

  18. kj @ 79

    [I think as your intention is to deceive, liar is the right description.]

    Either that, or it is so irredeemably stupid that it simply accepts any piece of ‘info’ that suits its inane beliefs. Is it a malefactor or a tool. Hard choice. I’ll take both.

  19. [Katharine Murphy
    Katharine Murphy – Verified account ‏@murpharoo

    Madam Speaker should not ask the taxpayer to pick up the bill for a helicopter ride to a party fundraiser. Current position unsustainable.]

  20. [ Tsipras’ steers bailout reforms through parliament, but now he faces a revolt within his own party

    Greek MPs have passed a bill that will implement major economic reforms in return for a bailout, although many MPs from the ruling Syriza party have voted against it.

    The passing of the bill, which amounts to a parliamentary agreement to capitulate to Eurozone leaders’ demands, passed by an overwhelming majority in the Greek parliament.]

  21. Basic sales advice: always sell your weakest point as if it’s the best. Carbon pricing is what the world needs. Please don’t be shy, Labor

  22. BCassidy with JFaine just now. He reckons election in first half of next year revolved around Industrial Relations ie attached to the Unions etc.

  23. Talk about a big beat-up. First take Abbott’s opinion, then the denials.

    [Labor has been shaken by the leak of a confidential climate proposal that the Abbott government says reveals a “catastrophic” rift in the party’s upper ranks and a plot to destabilise leader Bill Shorten.

    Mr Shorten and senior Labor MPs scrambled to play down the damaging leak on Wednesday, rejecting suggestions the plan amounted to a “carbon tax” and stressing the party’s climate action policy has not been decided.]

    Read more:

  24. I like this. Go Combet.

    [Could you call Direct Action a carbon tax? @CEFCAus architect & fmr Labor minister Greg Combet says you can]

  25. lizzie @ 90

    The absurd thing is that the report is not even about carbon tax or carbon pricing; it’s about the leak. And then the journalists will dutifully report or even bemoan the fact that we don’t discuss anything of substance any more in politics.

  26. lizzie

    I agree, but it is question of framing. TPOF made a valid point @75 in that you need a strong grab if you are going to get effective media coverage.

    We do need carbon pricing – emissions caps, a carbon tax, emissions trading are all forms of carbon pricing in one way or another. If the carbon tax had been left in place, it would now have moved to an ETS in any case.

    By all means defend the success of the original carbon tax, but I would start with an attack on current policy and then make the point “emission reduction is what the world needs” rather than trying to support the original carbon tax up front.

  27. Trog

    [I would start with an attack on current policy and then make the point “emission reduction is what the world needs”]

    Sorry, I should have been more specific. The “Carbon Tax” will be attacked by Coal, so I agree it needs to be reframed by Labor and then pushed hard as a “new look”, much more effective than the expensive Direct Action, paid for by voters.

  28. [Labor also has to pull a Tony trick and use their biggest weakness and make it a strength. They should repeat endlessly “who got the money?” And who did the mine pay? Follow the money etc to drive home the existing perception that mine permissions are corrupt. Hit the bastards hard.]

    Unfortunately, for whatever reason. Labor lacks the ability to hit ‘the bastards’ hard, or even quite hard.

    Being on the defensive seems to be the default position for Labor these days. Scared of your own shadows guys and gals?

    Such a pity when it’s apparent to all but the most arrant of idiots (TBA, ESJ) that this putrid government stinks to high heaven. So much material for a politician like Keating to work with.

  29. who do they think provides the billions they spend on direct action? Fairies at the bottom of the garden???

    No, the Reserve Bank credits the Treasury Department’s account and the Treasury Department credits the accounts of the recipients.

    The reason why Direct Action is dumb policy is that it pays polluters for taking token steps that they would have taken anyway. It doesn’t make it worth their while to make real changes to their production processes.

  30. IR is great ground for a brave labor – weak ground for a cowardly defensive labor.

    They need to do a GST rise to 12.5% – everyone expects it – it is largely factored in – Abbott will look a clown if he opossums it – if labor doesn’t libs will take it to 15% or higher and discredit labor in the meantime. Yes it is lazy, yes it is regressive but no economic platform of labor will be credible without it.

    Also they must do neg gearing, super

  31. @Riley7News: Hockey drops Speaker in it from a great height. Doesn’t pass the sniff test. Not a good look. She needs to explain the matter. #choppergate

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