BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor

The government’s position weakens further in the latest weekly poll aggregate reading, as two new polls find a surge in support for the Greens.

The two-party preferred reading on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate has ticked 0.5% in Labor’s favour for the second week in the row, on the back of a solid improvement for them in the latest fortnightly Morgan result, and a smaller shift on the weekly Essential Research numbers. In fact, the outstanding feature of both polls was the best result in years for the Greens, such that both major parties are little changed on the primary vote, and Labor’s two-party preferred improvement is received second-hand as preferences. Labor is back in majority government territory on the seat projection, thanks to single-seat gains in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania.

There is also a new set of leadership ratings courtesy of last week’s small-sample Morgan phone poll, which I now see I neglected to link to, but you can read all about here and here. The BludgerTrack tables show how the results have changed since “last week”, but since the poll was conducted last Monday to Wednesday, it might be better understood as a revised reading of the previous result than a current state of play. In particular, if the Labor national conference made any change to Bill Shorten’s position for better or worse, this poll will not have captured it. In any case, the result adds incrementally to the headlong plunges of both leaders on net approval, but doesn’t make much difference to preferred prime minister.


Cameron Atfield of Fairfax reports that a preselection challenge against Teresa Gambaro, the LNP member for the federal seat of Brisbane, has been called off after the intervention of Tony Abbott – which would seem to be rather big of him, as Gambaro had been one of his most vocal critics. The putative challenger was Trevor Evans, chief executive of the National Retail Association and chief-of-staff and campaign director to Peter Dutton during 2010, who was said by an LNP source quoted by Atfield to have “had the numbers”. Not only has Evans been persuaded not to run, he will also serve as Gambaro’s campaign manager.

• The winner of a Tasmanian Greens vote to choose a Senate successor to Christine Milne will be announced today, and the Launceston Examiner for one deems that the party’s former state leader, Nick McKim, is “heavily favoured” to emerge the winner from a field of about ten. Milne has not yet set a date for her departure, but in the final week of the last parliamentary sitting she gave what she said was to be her final Senate speech, so presumably it will be soon. The Greens preselection process has been covered in very great detail by local observer Kevin Bonham.

• Two dubious claims of internal polling to relate, if only because I didn’t want the above items to look lonely. Speaking on Sky News earlier this month, Victorian Liberal Party state president Michael Kroger claimed that “current polling” had support for Jacqui Lambie in Tasmania in the low twenties. The CFMEU also claims polling it has conducted finds a “Nick Xenophon-backed candidate” in Christopher Pyne’s Adelaide seat of Sturt would poll 38% of the primary vote, compared with 30.8% for Pyne and 17.4% for Labor.

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.

968 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor”

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  1. It is no longer the travel, it is the apparently blatant lying about the purpose of the travel that is the problem.

    If she is really sorry she needs to explain in much greater detail, together with supporting documentation – if necessarily appropriately redacted.

    If she really was short of time in getting to Geelong then she needs to explain, by reference to her itinerary, why she was short of time and when the helicopter was thought to be appropriate and who suggested it.

    Very witty AC.

  2. [Abbott forces Bronwyn Bishop to apologise-numbers being done to roll him Aug 10.Within 2 weeks we’ll have a new PM & speaker Yeehah! #auspol]

    No damnit. Stick solid Libs. Hold the Abbott and the Bishop close. Stand behind them and let them lead you to your reward at the next election.

  3. Bernard Keane in yesterday’s Crikey:

    [In fact, Labor is in the unusual position at the moment of having a smorgasbord of agenda items that suit it: if we’re not talking about women MPs or same-sex marriage, we’re talking about embattled Speaker Bronwyn Bishop, now so bloodied that she’s more or less on political death watch, and the longer she hangs on, the better for Labor and the worse for the government.

    The flipside of the problem for the government is, what do they want to switch the agenda to? The economy? Hardly. Tax reform? Abbott has made that dependent on the states. The deficit? That’s now covered by a de facto Official Secrets Act. There’s only terrorism. More terrorism.

    What if this is as good as it gets for Tony Abbott’s recovery? Bill Shorten has survived everything the government has thrown at him so far. Now Labor is shaping the agenda. This is a very dangerous period for the government, and more particularly for Tony Abbott. He needs to find something else to put on the agenda, and fast.]

  4. It is more than a bit disappointing that Gray and Labor have squibbed a Federal ICAC. Today would have been a gloriously good one to be out amongst the media discussing it’s benefits.

  5. [She said wtte that it was the only way she could get there on time.]

    How can you be late to a Liberal fundraiser if you are (presumably) the star attraction?

  6. The nub/rub for Chopper (Abbott?) is that she can’t make up her mind if she has done something wrong or not.

    If she did it all according to Hoyle, why the need to pay the money back?

    If she was naughty, did she know about it or not? If not, back to ignorance is bliss.

    The stark matter is she probably knew her actions were at the edge but did not think it mattered.

    She has been found out, wants to pay back as an act of contrition and move on.

    Trouble is she has painted herself into a corner but such is her sense of entitlement and arrogance that she is “not for resigning” – hoping the Thatcher approach will see her through.

    I have no truck for Thatcher but she at least had some runs on the board.

    Bishop has none.

  7. There hasn’t been much actual government business for almost 2 years Lizzie. Anything they have done is all secret squirrel stuff on boats or teh muzalims. Most of the rest got lost in the Senate.

  8. As the aviator said to the Bishop, when he landed his chopper on the first green of the Clifton Springs Golf Club:

    “I feel I’ve let (the Australian people) down…”

  9. [There hasn’t been much actual government business for almost 2 years]

    Oh, come on, it takes a heck of a lot of behind the scenes work to successfully unravel an economy and a society.

    Credit where credit is due.

  10. [Oh, come on, it takes a heck of a lot of behind the scenes work to successfully unravel an economy and a society.

    Credit where credit is due.]

    The sheer force of their overarching incompetence is doing it without effort. When it comes as easily as breathing to them you can hardly call it work.

  11. BCassidy will be doing his segment shortly on ABC774. Wonder how lame his take on the state of politics is going to be

  12. Good Morning

    So Bishop is indeed digging her heels in despite the outcry. She truly is the partisan warrior and can so no wrong in how she is behaving in the Speaker’s role.

  13. [Saw this on twitter. Somewhat optimistic. 😀

    straya maaaate
    straya maaaate – ‏@strayamaaaate

    Abbott forces Bronwyn Bishop to apologise-numbers being done to roll him Aug 10.Within 2 weeks we’ll have a new PM & speaker Yeehah! #auspol ]

    There IS numbers counting going on. Marginal seat holders are organizing it. They are very indiscreet about it, telling anyone who’ll listen, literally strangers. All they have to do is ask. Makes we wonder whether the indiscretion isn’t as much of a tactic as the counting.

  14. Bronnie’s excuse about running short of time is clearly ridiculous.

    She is asking us to believe that once she realised she would be late she took less than the driving time from Melbourne to Geelong to:

    1 Workshop a faster way to get to Geelong
    2 Find out where to charter a helicopter
    3 Drive to the place she needed to board the helicopter
    4 Get out of the car, walk to the helicopter with her bags and board the helicopter
    and, presuming the helicopter was ready for take-off anyway
    5 Fly to Geelong.

    As someone who has had to organise things for MPs and VIPs I can tell you that the further “off the wall” the request, the harder it is to organise it quickly, because you don’t already have a set procedure around it or a go-to person for such a request.

    My money is on this flight having been pre-booked. The only question is, how does anyone prove it?


    So Eddie Obeid to name one the LNP like to highlight is not a crook

    “@shalailah: Immi minister Peter Dutton tells @2GB873 that “there are no crooks in politics” and that Bishop did the right thing by paying back money”

  16. [ratsak
    Posted Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 9:07 am | PERMALINK
    It is more than a bit disappointing that Gray and Labor have squibbed a Federal ICAC. Today would have been a gloriously good one to be out amongst the media discussing it’s benefits.

    I agree – and I can’t understand why Labor has passed up such a golden opportunity. Unless they have their snouts so far into the trough that it would just be embarrassing to them it should have been a guaranteed vote winner in the present climate.

  17. “@NewsTalk2UE: NOW: Labor’s Waste Watch Spokesman @PatConroy1 joins Stuart Bocking – Is Bronwyn Bishop’s mea culpa enough?”

  18. “@ABCNewsBrisbane: #BREAKING: South-East Queensland residents have been rocked by a suspected earthquake this morning #earthquake”


    For the idiots in the LNP…from one of the world’s best thinkers about the market economy, risk and opportunity…

    [(B) Irreversibility

    Disturbingly, some changes look likely to last forever. It was recently announced, for example, that the Thwaites Glacier4 in the Antarctic has “gone irreversible,” as I like to say. It will apparently collapse in the next century (or several centuries if we are lucky) even if we never burn another gallon of gas. Fortunately, the sea level rise from this event may take up to hundreds of years, but it just might be much quicker. It should be noted that this is explicitly not accounted for in the United Nations’ reports (IPCC). There is something especially disturbing about irreversible events, and other dangerous, irreversible or self-sustaining changes are likely to occur: When arctic sea ice melts, the dark ocean absorbs more sunlight than reflective ice had and therefore more ice melts, etc. Potentially far worse, the melting of frozen tundra gives off methane, which in the near term (20 years) is over 80 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. And the ultimate worst is the possible melting of the frozen undersea methane clathrates, notably on the Siberian continental shelf. These deposits are said to contain as much greenhouse gas potential as all fossil fuels combined. This could, at worst, make for a very finite lifetime for our very favorite species, homo not so sapiens.]

  20. “@ABCNewsBrisbane: Geoscience Australia said it was a 5.2 magnitude at a depth of 35 kilometres offshore of Eastern Queensland in the Coral Sea 1/2”

    “@ABCNewsBrisbane: ‘That’s preliminary information and that’s likely to change,’ the Geoscience Australia spokeswoman said. 2/2”

  21. BCassidy says apology not going to make any difference for Bronnie. She should resign.

    Anyhoo. Anyone interested in hearing what JKennett had to say on matter

    ABC Radio Melbourne
    43m43 minutes ago
    ABC Radio Melbourne ‏@774melbourne
    #BronwynBishop #choppergate

  22. BB
    [Makes we wonder whether the indiscretion isn’t as much of a tactic as the counting.]
    Me too. Wearing 2 hats. Or 2 faced? They know the bigot vote is as important as the small ‘l’ liberal vote.

    Abbott does appeal to a certain demographic whose vote these MP’s are happy to take.

  23. And BCassidy said that Abbott’s loyalty to BBishop is not a strength, he is leader of country and loyalty to a friend whose role is speaker parliament, shows his weakness

  24. Labor are just as much in on travel rorts as Bronnie is.

    This is all just a desperate attempt to get rid of her as speaker.. I hope the Libs hold the line and fire on the ALP come 1st sitting day

  25. “@ABCNews24: .@NickMcKim: It is a massive honour to be chosen by the membership of the Greens to replace Chris Christine #auspol #politas”

  26. 82

    Abbott, Bishop and Co will have the view that they didn’t come so far by taking backwards steps. They believe only one thing counts – to never, ever give in.

    It’s obvious that if they will not freely relinquish office then it will simply be taken from them. But they will not see it that way. They will believe they can persevere and win.

    Let’s hope this rolls on for months and months.

  27. [This is all just a desperate attempt to get rid of her as speaker.. I hope the Libs hold the line and fire on the ALP come 1st sitting day]
    You didn’t give slipper the same out.

  28. “@AustralianLabor: “Labor believes her position is untenable.” @billshortenmp #auspol”

    “@latikambourke: “Mrs Bishop is apologising to save her job. Mrs Bishop is not apologising because she thinks she has done something wrong.” OL Bill Shorten.”

  29. Interesting that BB is following her leader’s modus operandi to the letter. Do something naughty, find every excuse possible when caught out and if all else fails seek forgiveness.

    Apparently she never noticed that it almost cost him his job six months ago – and with any luck it will now cost her’s.

  30. Darn

    What has surprised me about choppergate is that no matter how disengaged from politics, everyone knows about the helicopter ride!

  31. TrueBlueIdiot strikes again:

    [This is all just a desperate attempt to get rid of her as speaker…]

    TBI, she’s a lousy Speaker. She’s partisan to a disgraceful degree, and admits it, even revels in it.

    She’s a pompous snob who lectures other office holders on how they should behave, and then does worse herself.

    She has only a passing knowledge of the standing Orders, and is easily flustered, and often wrong if a complex situation comes up.

    And now we find out she’s not only been rorting the public purse, making helicopter processions as befits her magnificence, but she’s a cheap cheat as well.

    Incredible as it may seem, she couldn’t even stump up a few hundred dollars to attends friends’ weddings without raiding the taxpayer’s cash register.

    So what do we have? A very poor Speaker, egregiously partisan, hypocrite, snob, petty rorter and all-round self-admirer with her snout in the trough.

    THAT’S why she has to go. She’s unfit for office.

    It’s no wonder Labor is agitating for her to go. Forget your wild ideas about diversions, or unicorns, trying to deflect well-earned criticism etc. etc. from the TURC and the failed, trainwreck etc. etc. Labor Conference (What Conference? Oh, that Conference?).

    Bishop’s antics are a symptom of the small-time venality that infects politicians from time to time, and which affects Liberal politicians more than Labor. They get tickets on themselves and think they are more important than they really are, or could ever be.

    They can’t just go to a wedding, or a fund raiser. They have to do it by sponging off the public, even for piddling amounts. When they get pulled up on it, they tell that same public it’s none of their business. It’s “within entitlement”.

    At the same time they’re telling other, less fortunate members of the public that THEY should shuck off their Entitlement Mentality. They don’t even bother to use synonyms. They use the very words they employ to bludgeon others to justify and pamper themselves.

    If you think this is a diversion you are dead wrong. Bronwyn Bishop is the main game.

    The Marginal Seat Hombres aren’t organizing against Abbott, citing Bishop, to help Labor. They’re doing it because neither Bishop nor Abbott have a clue what governance and decorum is about. Give them a responsible job to do and they screw it up, always, every time.

    If you can’t see that, then you truly are an idiot.

  32. with information direct from the source WWP News can announce something that has shocked the PM and caused great surprise through the entire LNP leadership:

    “Russia votes against political stunt to embarrass Russia.”

    A source close to the PM confirms that no one in the PM’s office or to their knowledge the entire LNP leadership had even contemplated the possibility that Russia would vote against this stunt aimed to improve the domestic standing of the Abbott

    “Sure the tribunal was just a domestic political stunt, completely unsupported in the history of the UN, and yes of course the outcome condemning Russia was predetermined, but none of us considered for a minute any outcome other than Putin surrendering to The Hague and pleading guilty.

    WWP news found one junior staffer in the office of shattered foreign minister Bishop who noted that it wasn’t as all bad as it seems. Although it was a ridiculous domestic political stunt that failed completely it will look tough with the base – so all is not lost.

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