BludgerTrack: 53.6-46.4 to Labor

Tony Abbott’s standing continues to sour on both personal ratings and voting intention, but a recent improvement in Bill Shorten’s ratings also appears to have been short-lived.

After three new polls this week – from Newspoll, Morgan and Essential Research – the BludgerTrack poll aggregate comes in at 53.6-46.4 to Labor, with Labor picking up one each on the seat projection in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. However, the movement is partly down to a methodological tweak involving Morgan, for which bias adjustments are now based only on the pollster’s track record within a year of the poll in question, and not as before over the entirety of the term. The same change was made for ReachTEL a couple of weeks ago. Over the long term, the effect of these changes is neutral – but in the short term they’re favourable to Labor, as both these poll series appear to have leaned less to Labor lately than they did earlier in the term. Newspoll and Essential also reported leadership ratings this week, which have had the effect of furthering Tony Abbott’s decline, while also stymieing Bill Shorten’s gains over the previous fortnight.

Two further snippets of recent attitudinal polling:

The Guardian relates a Lonergan Research poll had a 57-43 split in favour of taking in more refugees in response to the Syria crisis, although there was a 54-46 split in favour of “Operation Sovereign Borders”, namely boat tow-backs and related policies. The results suggest these were “forced choice” questions, in which the only alternative to jumping off the fence was to hang up on the call – which Kevin Bonham has his doubts about. The poll encompassed 1109 respondents and was conducted on Tuesday night.

• The Australia Institute has conducted online polling (note the self-selecting kind) on extra funding for ABC regional news services, which was found to have 59% nationally and 64% in rural and remote areas. Further polling on the same question specifically targeted the electorates of Eden-Monaro, New England, Wide Bay, Sturt, North Sydney and Wentworth.


• The loudest of hosannas are in order for David Barry’s election results resource, which features – in the most streamlined, intuitive and accessible fashion imaginable – aggregate and seat-level results for all House of Representatives elections since federation, including preference distributions and preference flow data; facilities to explore data as bar charts, line charts and scatterplots; and interactive results maps which, on top of anything else, mark the first time all historical federal electoral boundaries have been brought together in one place.

• A Liberal National Party preselection process is under way to choose a successor to Bruce Scott in the remote Queensland seat of Maranoa. The Chronicle reports that David Littleproud, a manager of a Suncorp bank branch in Warwick, and Cameron O’Neil, a Maranoa councillor who works for the Queensland Disaster Management Committee, are “joint favourites”, while the Warwick Daily News narrows it down to just Littleproud as favourite. Other nominees are Lachlan Douglas, southern Queensland regional manager for Rabobank; Alison Krieg, a grazier from Blackall; and Rick Gurnett, a grazier from Charleville. Maranoa mayor Robert Loughnan was named earlier, but would seem to have dropped out of contention. The preselection will be conducted by a postal ballot, with the winner to be announced on October 23.

• Liberal MP Andrew Southcott last week announced he would bow out at the next election, after 19 years as member for the Adelaide seat of Boothby. Labor came close to toppling Southcott at its high-water marks of 2007 and 2010, but the 2013 landslide boosted his margin from 0.6% to 7.1%. Southcott is 47 years old, and speculation about his motives in pulling the plug have rested on two factors: his recent failure to win the Speakership, and the threat posed to his seat by the Nick Xenophon Team, notwithstanding that it is yet to announce a candidate. It is expected that the Liberals will be keen to field a female candidate. Sources quoted by The Advertiser suggest potential contenders include Carolyn Habib, a youth worker and former Marion councillor who ran unsuccessfully in the marginal seat of Elder at the March 2014 state election; and Nicolle Flint, a columnist for The Advertiser; and Caitlin Keage, a staffer to Senator Simon Birmingham. Labor has already preselected Mark Ward, a teacher at Urrbrae Agricultural High School, Mitcham councillor and narrowly unsuccessful candidate at the Davenport state by-election in January.

Mark Kenny of Fairfax reports numbers from the Tasmanian Labor Senate preselection that has seen incumbent Lisa Singh dumped from third position in favour of John Short, state secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. Singh outpolled Short in the rank-and-file half of the vote, which respectively gave 221, 123 and 110 to the incumbents, Ann Urquhart, Helen Polley and Lisa Singh, with Short on 74 and another 14 voters scattered among various also-rans. However, Short closed the gap when the half of the vote determined by unions and conference delegates was added to the total, by 158 votes to 154.

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.

3,499 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.6-46.4 to Labor”

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  1. “@yasminparry: BREAKING: @mscott has announced via email to staff that he will be leaving his post as managing director of the ABC in mid-2016”

  2. Shellbell

    [I’m not taking X too seriously until we see his candidates. He’s got form with dismal running mates, mainly Bressington.

    Your time to step forward has come.]

    Actually I know a few people who know him well but I’ve never met him.

  3. guytaur

    [Gay men for example can suffer the same and they are the same gender.]

    Um, yes. Pointing out that men are more violent than women covers gay men as well….


    Bemused – I’ve been wondering whether, because the UK has a first-past-the-post non-compulsory voting system, having someone like Corbyn could, if the times suit him, be a huge plus because (a la the Tea Party in the US) there are huge benefits having a radicalised base that actually votes. In the UK, you don’t need to appeal as much to the centre. You just need to get 35% or more of those who actually vote.

    I will watch in fascination as it unfolds.

  5. zoomster

    What about Lesbians then. They are not men. They too have violence in their relationships.

    Just condemn the violence don’t make it about the gender.

  6. [I’ve been wondering whether, because the UK has a first-past-the-post non-compulsory voting system, having someone like Corbyn could, if the times suit him, be a huge plus because (a la the Tea Party in the US) there are huge benefits having a radicalised base that actually votes. In the UK, you don’t need to appeal as much to the centre. You just need to get 35% or more of those who actually vote.]

    Would it be more likely that the radicalised base would be more concentrated in certain geographic areas? I would’ve thought so. This would likely mean that there may be higher turnout in places where the party needs it least.

  7. The best thing for Labor is if the leadershit comes to nothing. Everyone should vote on online polls for Turnbull NOT to challenge.

  8. 49 mins in and Tones can’t help mentioning abolishing the Mining Tax, another proud achievement from the start of the term no one now needs to be reminded of ad nauseum. How long can it before we get a “We stopped the Boats”

  9. ltep #3407
    From coverage of the 2015 General Election, I heard that the constituents Labour needed to win the election were centred around electorates that were historically Labour-friendly (like Newcastle-upon-Tyne, so having a radicalised base concentrated in certain geographic areas could be advantageous to Labour.

    One other thing to note is that Dave Cameron has already ruled out a third term as PM, and the candidate for the top spot who has the best chance of being the heir is George Osborne, who seems to be part of the Tory Right Faction.

  10. Abbott has developed a slimy technique under Bronny and still pursues it. Continues to shout slogans/insults after Labor rises to make objection. (Speaker should turn his mike off.) Then before Labor is called to state objection, says he’s finished his answer and sits down with a smirk. A failure of Speaker control.

  11. [@BevanShields: Bronwyn Bishop twice refuses to say whether she still backs Tony Abbott]

    Oh what delicious fate it would be, what a complete overdose on shadenfreude it would be if that withered hagraven were to sink the stiletto into Abbott after all the skin he needlessly lost trying to save her sorry arse.

    Abbott wouldn’t be facing this juncture if he didn’t do stupid things like defending Bishop for three weeks after anyone with a brain knew she was gone. Sometimes you’re almost tempted to feel sorry for the poor dumb animal. At least until that microsecond later when you remember what a vile piece of work he is himself.

  12. zoomster@3317

    It would be rather fun if the ALP addressed all their QT questions to Turnbull, with the preface – “As the next Prime Minister of Australia, do you…”

    “As the next unelected Prime Minister of Australia, do you…”


  13. The 2005 survey found:

    •Just under half a million Australian women reported that they had experienced physical or sexual violence or sexual assault in the past 12 months.
    •More than a million women had experienced physical or sexual assault by their male current or ex-partner since the age of 15 (some women may be counted twice if they experienced both physical and sexual assault).
    •37.8% of women who experienced physical assault in the 12 months before the survey said the perpetrator was a current or previous male partner and 34.4% said the perpetrator was a male family member or friend. Most incidences of physical assault against women in the 12 months prior to 2005 were committed in a home (64.1%).
    •33.3% of women had experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
    •19.1% of women had experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
    •12.4% of women had been sexually abused before the age of 15, compared with 4.5% of men, between 1996 and 2005. There was an increase in the reporting of sexual assault to police from 14.9% to 18.9% between 1996 and 2005 and there was an increase in the reporting of physical violence to police from 18.5% to 36%.
    •64% of women who experienced physical assault and 81.1% of women who experienced sexual assault still did not report it to police. The proportion of women aged between 18 and 34 who reported experiencing physical violence has decreased but the proportion of women who reported experiencing physical violence after 45 increased over the same period. The percentage of women who reported that their children had witnessed partner-related violence either from a current or ex-partner was lower than in 1996.
    •The majority of violence against men is committed by other men. Of men who reported that they had experienced physical violence in the 12 months before the survey, 73.7% said that the perpetrator was a male.

  14. Stopped the MRRT.

    Why do the Liberals/Right wing support the PRRT and not the MRRT? Support even goes as far as agreeing with extending the PRRT to onshore projects.

    Is it about donations to the Liberal Party and/or membership of the IPA puppetmasters

  15. ROTFL…. Shanahan in The Australian:

    [Here we go again. Leadership speculation swirls around another prime minister, polls are driving destabilisation campaigns, MPs are backgrounding journalists, the media is reporting leadership crises, Ministers are being asked if they support the leader and there are calls for potential contenders to put up or shut up.

    The pattern has become so familiar over the last eight years, as the Liberal leadership changed three times and the Labor Party removed two sitting Prime Ministers, that there’s a script for every possible scenario. ]

    You forgotScenario #6, Dennis: “… and Dennis Shanahan is predicting nothing’s happening.”

  16. guytaur, I think Zoomster has a point.

    One of the underlying causes behind the high rate of domestic violence deaths perpetrated by men against their female partners is our hyper-masculine culture that teaches young boys to repress their emotions, as being emotional is seen as ‘feminine’.

    This in combination with the general objectification of women in popular culture teaches young men that women are objects that they are entitled to access (hence sexual assault). In addition to this, the repression of their lifetime of anger, shame, guilt and alienation leads them to take out their anger on their partners, which again they’re taught that they entitled to do so, because women a objects.

    I suspect domestic violence perpetrated by men against male partners would have slightly different causes, but would no doubt be grounded in internalised homophobia in combination with a lack of emotional maturity and connection.

    The solution is comprehensive sex and relationship education in school. Pretending that boys and girls can be taught this kind of thing in a gender-neutral way is silly, as there are different needs and causes that need to be addressed.

  17. Guy Rundle points out some home truths about what the public think of neoliberal economic policies.

    The right in the UK, Australia and elsewhere have drunk their own moonshine. They think the right-voting public is in love with privatisation, marketisation, free labour movement, foreign wars and mild social liberalism. They think their base agrees with the tiresome five leader articles The Economist publishes each week, in which 27-year-olds in blazers tell you how the world is. The Great Public does not. The public remains nationalist, statist, collectivist and semi-nativist in many aspects of their lives.

  18. The leadership argy inside the Liberals may cost them Canning but will enable Abbott to (at least try to) allocate the blame to Turnbull for an historic defeat.

  19. guytaur

    [ “@yasminparry: BREAKING: @mscott has announced via email to staff that he will be leaving his post as managing director of the ABC in mid-2016” ]

    Mission accomplished?

  20. Jimmy

    My point to zoomster was about going overboard not denying the reality.

    That is not make the response gender based but gender neutral.

    Failure to do this discriminates against those victims of violence that do not fit the model.

    Just as bad as setting up a policy based denying men do violence in the first place.

    The culture can be addressed in education and art. That is culture. No more you are a big man for having big muscles a gun or whatever. The problem is that Hollywood needs to do this but they like their box office model too much.

    The issue of police responding to and the justice system can be dealt with by treating allegations of violence seriously. Not dismissing because the victim might be vexatious (seemingly vexatious could be lack of proof) a woman a gay man a black man or whatever.

  21. TBA

    I paid for my car, the Government just allowed me to pay less tax this financial year.

    Totally different from a Government hand out like what Holden and Ford get.

    So as I understand it.

    You got a tax cut, which increased the deficit & bought an imported car, increasing balance of payments problem,

    Well done you & your mate JOE

  22. Just Me@3435

    Take note, Corbyn critics:

    Romping home in the first round with 59% of the vote, Corbyn’s victory was emphatic – the biggest electoral mandate of any party leader in British political history. There aren’t enough Trotskyists, entryists, devious Tories and random renegades to explain such an overwhelming victory.

    Yes, as I posted @ 3387, but well worth repeating.

  23. “@SamDickfos: David Speers reports Julie Bishop is being asked by Turnbull supporters to be involved in the tap on Abbott’s shoulder. #auspol”

  24. [3433


    Meanwhile Abbott will continue to preside over a divided party]

    Yes, this is his special talent…fomenting division and spite wherever he goes.

    Abbott is setting this up so that if they lose, Turnbull will be blamed. If they win – even narrowly – he will be hailed as one can win in spite of every obstacle.


    We will win the seat. Abbott will keep his job…for the moment 🙂

  25. Abbott is handing Canning to us…blowing $1 million…using Turnbull as a whipping boy (again). Good. This will be the first of dozens of seats Labor will take from the LNP.

  26. [Just condemn the violence don’t make it about the gender]

    But gender relations are a massive part of this violence.

    Not everything, and not all cases. But a big part of it.

  27. “@yasminparry: BREAKING: @mscott has announced via email to staff that he will be leaving his post as managing director of the ABC in mid-2016”

    & the ABC board will select a sucssor , Lochlan Murdoch is unavailable so,they are considering offering James Murdoch the position.

  28. Martin B

    I did not say ignore. I said make it gender neutral. Way to do is to treat every victim seriously and the same no matter the gender.

    Laws need to be framed to protect the victim not punish the perpetrator. Punishment is only a tool to prevent violence to others in future after all.

  29. the ABC board will select a sucssor , Lochlan Murdoch is unavailable so,they are considering offering James Murdoch the position.

    I’m available and totally non-political

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