BludgerTrack: 51.5-48.5 to Coalition

The polling picture this week has been transformed by Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership coup, the effects of which are felt with little variation across all six states.

Five polls conducted since Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership putsch early last week have sung from the same song sheet by recording results of either 50-50 (ReachTEL and Essential Research) or 51-49 in favour of the Coalition (Newspoll and Galaxy), with the exception of a stray result from Morgan, which had it at 53.5-46.5 when using the equivalent two-party measures that assumes preferences flow as they did at the previous election. This results in a dramatic shift in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which has the Coalition in the lead for the first time since the very early days of the Abbott government. The BludgerTrack voting intention results shown in the tables on the sidebar are simply a weighted average of the five results after bias adjustment, rather than the usual trend calculation. There has not been a great deal of state-level variability in the Coalition surge, except to the extent that Queensland and South Australia have shifted a bit under 2% more than New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. On the seat projection, the Coalition is up nine seats in Queensland, seven in New South Wales, four apiece in Victoria and Western Australia, and two apiece in South Australia and Tasmania.

On leadership ratings, the only results on personal approval have came from Newspoll, which credited Malcolm Turnbull with a strong but not spectacular net rating of plus 18% – only slightly higher than where Tony Abbott was during his post-election honeymoon. However, Galaxy and Essential Research joined with Newspoll in publishing preferred prime minister results, which respectively recorded Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten at 31%, 36% and 34%. The change in atmosphere has had no discernible effect on Shorten’s personal ratings, which remain as they were a fortnight ago.

Other news:

• Postal votes continue to trickle in, but the swing in Saturday’s Canning by-election appears to have settled at 6.5%, leaving victorious Liberal candidate Andrew Hastie with a winning margin of 5.3%. There was an intruging regional pattern to the swing, which was approaching 10% in the low-income suburbs around Armadale at Perth’s south-eastern fringe, but little more than 3% in the coastal retirement of Mandurah. For more of my thoughts on the matter, here is a paywalled article from Crikey on Monday, and a podcast discussion with Natalie Mast at The Conversation. See also Seat of the Week immediately below this post.

The West Australian reports that Bill Shorten is lobbying to have Matt Keogh, Labor’s unsuccessful Canning by-election candidate, preselected for the new seat of Burt, which will encompass Armadale and similarly Labor-friendly territory to the north. However, it is also reported that the powerful Left faction United Voice union is keen to have the position go to Gosnells councillor Pierre Yang.

Mark Coultan of The Australian reports that Trent Zimmerman, factional moderate and acting president of the New South Wales branch of the Liberal Party, is the “early front-runner” to replace Joe Hockey in North Sydney, which he is generally expected to vacate to take on the position of ambassador to Washington. Major Liberal preselections very likely loom in Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah, Bronwyn Bishop’s seat of Mackellar and Phillip Ruddock’s seat of Berowra, but these will have to wait until the redistribution is finalised.

Daniel Wills of The Advertiser lists six nominees for the Liberal preselection in Boothby, to be vacated at the election with the retirement of Andrew Southcott: 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 Nicole Flint, a columnist for The Advertiser; Josh Teague, a lawyer and the son of former Senator Baden Teague; Nick Greer, a Mitcham councillor; Shaun Osborn, a policeman; and Ryan Post, a staffer to Andrew Southcott.

• The Advertiser report also relates that Liberal nominees for the seat of Adelaide, which is held for Labor by Kate Ellis, will include Houssam Abiad, the Lebanese-born deputy lord mayor of Adelaide (CORRECTION: Abiad was born in Australia, of Lebanese-born parents). Abiad’s run for preselection in the seat in 2010 had backing from both Christopher Pyne, a fellow factional moderate, and Alexander Downer, from the rival Right faction, but may have fallen foul of publicity given to anti-Israel comments he had made two years earlier.

• The Greens have a new Senator for South Australia in Robert Simms, a former Adelaide councillor and former adviser to Scott Ludlam and Sarah Hanson-Young. Simms replaces Penny Wright, who was elected to the Senate at the 2010 election, and announced her intention to stand down due to an illness in the family in July. Josh Taylor of Crikey has been reporting on ructions in the party over the transfer of the tertiary, technical, and further education portfolio to Simms from Lee Rhiannon, which has incurred displeasure from the party’s New South Wales branch (paywalled articles here and here).

• Last week’s leadership change has returned the moribund issue of Senate electoral reform to the agenda, after the newly appointed Special Minister of State, Mal Brough, said he wished to see reform enacted in time for the election. The Guardian reports the outgoing minister, Michael Ronaldson, had told Liberal MPs that legislation he had drafted was being held up in Tony Abbott’s office, and that Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm had been “more or less told” by senior ministers that the government had lost its enthusiasm for the project. Labor appears to be split, with Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters members Alan Griffin and Gary Gray standing by the recommendations of the committee’s report into the matter last year, but The Australian reporting that senior party figures believe reform would result in a “less progressive parliament”.

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.

2,389 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.5-48.5 to Coalition”

Comments Page 1 of 48
1 2 48
  1. William,

    Do you think that it would be best to separate the Bludgertrack data of the Abbott Era and the Turnbull Era into 2 different graphs; similar to how you briefly separated the Gillard Era and Rudd Era Mk II BludgerTrack Data into 2 different graphs just before the 2013 election?

  2. [Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is set to preside over by far the largest overseas aid cuts as a proportion of the nation’s income of any foreign minister in Australian history, a new report has found.

    The report by the left-leaning think tank The Australia Institute has charted the rise and fall in Australia’s foreign aid program since it was introduced by the Whitlam government in 1974.

    If the aid cuts projected in the most recent federal budget go ahead, Ms Bishop will oversee a massive 33 per cent drop in spending, which is nearly double that of the next most parsimonious minister Bill Hayden, who in the 1980s managed a drop of 17 per cent under the Labor Hawke government.]

    Read more:

  3. [Malcolm Turnbull will make Australia’s disturbingly high rates of violence against women his first order of business, declaring “real men don’t hit women” and that the scourge that has already accounted for 63 deaths this year has been “overlooked for too long”.

    The sharpened focus comes as he continues to reposition his government across policy areas as diverse as taxation, higher education reform, and potentially even the indefinite detention of asylum seekers.]

    Read more:

  4. [Labor will go to the next election pledging to introduce HECS-style loans for entrepreneurial university graduates who want to create their own start-up companies.

    The $5.5 million plan, to be announced by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in Sydney on Thursday, would create the option of a “start-up year” at the end of a degree similar to an academically focussed honours year.

    Labor is determined to seize back the initiative on technology and innovation after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made them central to his pitch for the Liberal leadership and emphasised these policy areas in his frontbench reshuffle.]

    Read more:

  5. [Franchisees at the troubled 7-Eleven chain are charging staff up to $70,000 to help secure Australian work visas for their staff as a sideline revenue stream to help plump up low income from their stores.

    Fairfax Media has uncovered evidence that some franchisees are running as one-stop recruitment shops providing a steady stream of heavily indentured students and other workers into 7-Eleven stores.]

    Read more:

  6. Written 10 days ago, but was Abbott really the Indigenous people’s best friend? Living with them every year could be judged as one of his stunts.

    [Yet, the prime minister spoke neither of consultation nor cooperation, sensitivity to connection to land, history nor kinship.

    Tony Abbott’s “prophet”, Noel Pearson, was less complimentary after those words. Abbott was leading a “deranged debate”, he was “disrespectful”, a man “casting fear” into people.

    Warren Mundine – Abbott’s “friend”, who took him on a personal journey of understanding – now reminded him that this was not about choice, like a coastal tree-change. This was about a people’s very essence, their very culture.

    Abbott has never fully appreciated the essence of Aboriginal culture, not if we take him at his word. This is the man who in 2014 said white settlement was Australia’s “defining moment”, the moment “this continent became part of the modern world”].

  7. What a sterling effort, Lizzie. Thank you so much. I’m addicted to BK’s morning offerings and very grateful to anyone who helps fill the gap.
    Thanks, Mari, for the link to my favourite cartoonist. Hope you’re feeling better soon.
    I do wish the juvenile and idiotic ESJ would go away.

  8. [Washington: Pope Francis on Wednesday urged the United States to help tackle climate change and called on Americans to build a truly tolerant and inclusive society, as he struck a political tone on his first visit to the world’s richest nation.]

    Read more:
    Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

  9. [Just watched the Morrison interview. At least he did smile at the end.]

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch Morrison last night. He’s just too over-the-top.

    Where his style was perfect, though, was in his interview (I use the word loosely) with Hadley.

    There you had a raving looney demanding that a soon-to-be senior government minister swear on the Bible that he’d… {I don’t really know exactly WHAT Hadley wanted ScoMo to swear to}… and Morrison gave him both barrels. He tore Hadley apart.

    It was probably all lies, but that’s the best way to fight back against a liar and a thug: with even more lies and thuggery.

    To hear the callers phoning in to Hadley to see if he was feeling alright was beautiful. It’s was like a special “RUOK? Day”, just for Ray. Hadley tried to make out that just as many callers were asking after ScoMo’s welfare, but that was just face-saving.

    Someone much wiser than I am pointed out yesterday that when you’re ordering people around, and then refusing to talk about it, or arguing with a thug, this is a good method of interlocution to apply.

    But not when you’re dealing with the complexities of an economy.

  10. BB

    Re Morrison

    [Speaking in tongues is the New Testament phenomenon where a person speaks in a language that is unknown to him.]

    Like Morrison talking economics.

    Turnbull’s honeymoon will be short.

  11. Over the years I have tried to fathom why Catholics, who hang on every word the pope utters have been at the forefront in denying climate change…

  12. If Turnbull’s intention is in fact to tackle the conservatives and wind back Coalition policy, he doesn’t have much time.

    Doing it gradually is not a politically viable option, as he exposes himself to allegations of hypocrisy by Shorten.

  13. Does anyone else recall that Morrison, when handed Social Services, went into retreat for a while to get huis head round the new portfolio (not his words). I think he should have done the same when he assumed the mantle of Treasurer. This has boosted his ego but he only saw the status, not the hard work.

  14. Lizzie, yes exactly re: Newman and Abbott. Attacking the BOM is a cynical case of attacking people for doing their job. They don’t even run climate change prediction models. They just collect the data and do the stats. When they observe it is getting hotter, it is a fact, not ideology.

  15. Lizzie –

    [Morrison, when handed Social Services, went into retreat for a while to get his head round the new portfolio

    I think he should have done the same when he assumed the mantle of Treasurer. ]

    Yes – very much so – he burnt precious political capital and some credibility last night.

    Many thanks Lizzie for your work on Dawn patrol – much appreciated.

  16. Dee

    It will be interesting for those catholics to decide between accepting or denying climate change, now that the new pope has said it is a reality. I suspect they will find an excuse to disagree with the new pope.

    In my experience ultra conservatives often use religion as the excuse, not the reason, for doing something. As Keating would say, I’d back the horse called self interest when betting on what really motivated then to deny climate change. I know lots (most) of engineers who accept climate change. Every denier I know works in either mining or building construction.

  17. Re the ongoing Credlin debates: I mentioned here some time ago the story I heard, second hand but from a completely reliable source, of a person who had applied for a job in the office of a very senior minister when they were all being filled back in 2013. During the interview, the PMO representative on the panel – whether or not it was Ms Credlin I don’t know – said to the applicant “Of course, you will be our eyes and ears in your minister’s office”. At that point the applicant decided, very wisely to pull out. Now this approach to staffing might have reflected the wishes of the PM rather than Ms Credlin. But either way, it was an appalling idea, which could only contribute to the breakdown in relationships and loss of trust which we’ve seen lately, in spades.

    But Ms Credlin has a point when she questions the backbone of ministers: any senior person worth his salt should have stood up then, and told the PM that a minister who couldn’t be trusted to pick staff also shouldn’t be trusted to run a portfolio.

  18. Socrates,

    With many of the CC deniers it is a matter of “Lord, make me believe in CC. But, not until after I extract every dollar!”

Comments Page 1 of 48
1 2 48

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *