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 thoughts on “BludgerTrack: 51.5-48.5 to Coalition”

  1. Morning all.

    So all JBishop’s had an about-face on foreign aid after all that carry on in opposition? Or is these cuts just another sop to the reactionaries in the party for nobbling Tone?

  2. GG

    Yes I think that sums up the real attitude quite well. They often have a similar view of catholic teaching on wealth distribution (one of the few bits of catholic doctrine I still agree with). It tends to remain an aspirational target for them.

  3. socrates

    [ I suspect they will find an excuse to disagree with the new pope]

    The former,Pope Benedict was nicknamed the Green Pope for his stance on climate change and all things environmental.

  4. Turnball trying to improve the Liberal party’s standing with Women. A very good move as this was one of the biggest soft points for the Liberals under Abbott and probably the best way to solidify his honeymoon bounce.

  5. [28 seat change….well done Turnbull]

    Shame for Turnbull that there’s no election tomorrow. Mind you, if the Liberals had dumped the Prime Minister two weeks before the election I doubt it would result in a 28 seat change in favour of the Liberals. I doubt that very much.

  6. ModLib – it looks like Turnbull will continue to support Nauru/Manus.

    Of course, you’re probably still sticking with the blind faith option – “He’d change it, really he would, if those nasty Liberal party members would let him.”

  7. [ Tackling tax leaners needed before GST change

    Though the Abbott and Hockey regime had insisted “everything is on the table” when it came to tax reform, “everything” had soon become known as code for GST.

    Some $50 billion in superannuation concessions, concessions which overwhelmingly favour the rich, were no longer on the table.

    Negative gearing flickered as a dim, meanly-lit candle on the table of tax reform for a while, but was soon snuffed. Too hard. So too, significant transparency measures for large corporations.

    Most of the A-team either have trusts or have plenty of close friends who have one, so these were never on the table, let alone in the same room as the table.

    ….Tax fairness has come to the fore as an issue of public interest.

    Politically then, it will be hard for the government to pull off a rise in GST without doing more to capture a decent whack of income tax from multinationals and wealthy superannuants.

    Justifiably, the “lifters” will cry foul if they are hit with higher taxes when the likes of Google, eBay, Apple, big pharma, oil and gas majors Chevron and Shell, News Corp, Australia’s largest bookmaker William Hill, American Express and a host of other “leaners” fail to pay their fair share and the authorities fail to do anything about it.

    …So it is that the advent of the white paper seems like it has been delayed. It needs to be reset. If the GST is the centrepiece rather than one major element of a broader and deeper reform package it will be hard to sell.]

    Read more:

  8. Speaking of dodgy reporting and the environment, this Guardian article gives an excellent in depth run down of the rise of diesel engined cars as a “solution” to CO2 emissions.

    It puts VW’s shameless cheating in context. It does not let VW off the hook – what they did was very deliberate and dishonest – but the obvious question is how many other manufacturers are doing something similar. At the risk of sounding smug, I am glad we bought a hybrid. I could never work out how they managed to produce hefty cars that were more economical, lower emissions and still fast performing. Turns out they couldn’t. Car emissions is simple chemistry: the more fuel you burn, the more CO2 you emit (and other health nasties like NO2 in the case of diesel). The only way to make a car low emissions and still fast is to make it small and light.

    Hopefully this VW fiasco will lead to a shakeup of standards and testing. Have a good day all.
    Still looking forward to some policy substance, Malcolm 🙂

  9. [Despite a softening of rhetoric on Wednesday morning, the new PM was later at pains to hose down any prospect of changes to the hardline border policy]

    Sad to see Malcolm burning his bridges with Happiness so quickly.

  10. [28 seat change]

    Mumble reckons the polling will get better for the coalition before it normalises and evens out so plenty more excitement yet to come if he’s right.

  11. vic,

    I saw the Morrison interview.

    It’s starting to look more and more like a good leadership change that has lost it’s way!

  12. Good morning Dawn Patrollers and a big salute to lizzie and her assistant mari.
    Hopefully I’ll be out of here this morning.
    VW’s arrogance that was on display last year with its attrocious handling of its DSG transmission problem has now come to the fore big time!

  13. [Hey WWP. Big game this weekend.]

    Sorry I missed you Jules, yep there is the game on Friday and the massive game Saturday – go the mighty high flying eagles!!!!

  14. WWP

    [Sorry I missed you Jules, yep there is the game on Friday and the massive game Saturday – go the mighty high flying eagles!!!!]

    Agreed. Hope Jules enjoys his last game of the season!

  15. [vic,

    I saw the Morrison interview.

    It’s starting to look more and more like a good leadership change that has lost it’s way!]

    Good summary GG, could not agree more, bad government replaced by no government while they figure out what to do, after two years the public should just not stand for this. Turnbull has probably wedged himself he needs to either go to an election quick (hoping to bank that narrow poll lead he has) or actually do something, but i don’t think he actually wants to do anything before the election, so for example the prospect of Morrison bringing down a budget next may is very very small.

  16. WWP

    Yes, but if Turnbull doesn’t do something he’s opening himself up to some really nasty questions in the campaign along the lines of “What did the Liberals actually achieve in the last term of Government?”

    If the answer is “We stopped the boats and removed the carbon tax” it’s not going to look good.

    My personal explanation (untested) of why recent opposition leaders have made such poor PMs (Rudd and Abbott mostly) is that the news cycle lends itself to reactiveness in the Opp Leader. They then try to either lead or react to the news cycle as PM. However, the actual post of PM requires actual Governing, not just three-word slogans (Abbott) or Killer Charts (Rudd). That’s one reason why Howard seemed so successful. As well as doing daily PR, he actually governed in the medium term by changing and improving things. Ditto Hawke/Keating. You could point to what they actually changed.

    Abbott did essentially zero actual Governing. He removed a couple of ALP things but changed nothing substantive for the better. That’s a combination of not trying to and not being able to because of the Senate.

    If Turnbull doesn’t have at least some positive piece of actual Governance he will find the election very hard. “We’re not the ALP” isn’t going to fly and “Our PM will serve a full term” is simply laughable.

    Turnbull needs something substantive.

    My guess is that the Tax White Paper hasn’t been cancelled, it’s been suspended so it can be redirected into the areas Turnbull wants it. And he will either implement it, or use it as a massive policy announcement for the next election (or bits of both).

  17. Previous thread, re Morrison on 7.30
    E. G. Theodore@1364

    jules @1363

    It’s about the order in which questions were asked, not the set of questions asked.

    A barrister that proceeded with questioning in that order would get nowhere, as happened.

    I thought the order worked. The first part on what Morrison said pre-challenge was short, so get it out of the way and spend the rest of the time on the economy. Changing the order would have made no difference to the answers of an experienced politician such as Morrison. There’s no resemblance between him and an intimidated defendant on trial.

    I thought Leigh should have pressed him once more on why he didn’t mention directly to Abbott what he’d claimed he’d said to the “PMO” (whoever that was), since it does seem quite odd that he wouldn’t. But Morrison cleverly gave a long answer to her last question on the subject and veered at the end of it onto the economy. It was just enough that I think Leigh gave up and moved on.

  18. John Brumby former Vic Labor Premier just spoke with Jon Faine. He believes 15% GST is inevitable. With compensation for those on pensions and low income, it is going to raise enough to fund the shortfall to fund the states etc

  19. OOI, who is the Bludgertariat’s tip for who should be Treasurer? Hockey was obviously a failure and Bishop failed in the shadow role?

    Cormann from the Senate?
    Take it himself, first PM since Chifley to do so (for more than a few days)?

  20. Fess

    Favourably. As mentioned previously, Victorians did not warm to the Abbott govt. Relief now that he is gone.
    And the response by Turnbll today re domestic violence will also boost support for him

  21. vic:

    No surprises he’s chosen to start campaigning in the coalition’s worst states.

    I wonder what the reaction will be to him over here. I don’t think he ever made it here during the by-election campaign.

  22. Vic and federal Labor do not currently support an increase to the GST. Yet Ken Henry, former premiers, and SA Premier reckon it is the way to go

  23. [who is the Bludgertariat’s tip for who should be Treasurer?]

    I wonder if Swan will send a farewell card to Smokin’ Joe Eleventy, who lasted only two failed budgets and presided over the two worst deficits and the highest debts.

  24. Joe’s fibs described as rhetorical flourishes. That’s fine as no one actually believes them, but peeps such as our fav troll certainly do.

    [Ms Halton also revealed as Health Department secretary she “had words” with Joe Hockey, when he was shadow treasurer, about factually incorrect claims he made regarding alleged federal-state duplication.

    In 2012 he was often quoted as saying “there’s a Department of Health in Canberra with over 6000 employees – not one of them is a doctor or not one of them is a nurse treating a patient”.

    In fact the number of public servants was not as high as 6000 and a number of them were doctors.

    “I think it was a rhetorical flourish,” Ms Halton said.]

    Read more:
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

  25. Based on observed economic literacy, not factional considerations, I think the best Treasurer would have been Robb.

    But you’re right, it’s slim pickin’s.

    Hockey was an active laughingstock in financial circles.

    Ciobo seemed reasonable when I saw him speak but not impressive.

  26. Some of the world’s most prominent companies are expected to set a long-term target on Wednesday of powering their operations entirely with renewable energy

    [Thousands of corporate leaders, environmental activists and financiers are now gathering in New York for Climate Week, an annual showcase tied to the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. The gathering is meant to elicit stronger action from companies while putting pressure on governments to step up their own efforts on climate change.

    This week’s event comes just ahead of an address to the US Congress by Pope Francis, who is expected to reiterate his strong stand on the issue, and two months ahead of a meeting in Paris where negotiators will try to strike a broad new global deal to limit the emissions causing the planet to warm.

    Companies have realised that cutting their energy use can save money. But they are also under pressure from consumers, particularly younger ones, to take action, and many companies have begun to see their environmental efforts as a core part of their business strategy.]

    Read more:
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

  27. victoria@77

    John Brumby former Vic Labor Premier just spoke with Jon Faine. He believes 15% GST is inevitable. With compensation for those on pensions and low income, it is going to raise enough to fund the shortfall to fund the states etc

    Vic, brumby is in the fortunate position of not having to convince voters of “inevitable”.

    Pity he wasn’t asked to nominate the overall level of tax to GDP percentage that he thinks OK. Its already 26%.

    If the tories are concerned about bracket creep, they could change that by immediately by indexing tax brackets.

    If a GST is all about “funding the shortfall to fund the states etc” why all the talk of tax cuts ?

    Why not some effort to cut back the $50 billion in superannuation concessions, concessions which overwhelmingly favour the rich.

    Why not do more to capture a decent whack of income tax from multinationals and use of offshore tax havens.

    If that happened tax cuts may well be able to be made.

    Tax fairness came to the fore as an issue following the 2014 budget disaster and there is no sign of that changing soon.

  28. Victoria @76:

    [Whilst Turnbull and Co are looking quite ordinary, i am pleased they finally have come to the funding party re Domestic violence]

    It’s good that the government is finally taking DV seriously, I just wish Labor had been out in front of the issue long before this. I contacted a few Labor MPs, including Albo and Shorten early last year and begged them to come up with a comprehensive domestic violence policy and call for a national summit so government is making good evidence based policy and not simply reacting to headlines.

    Did Cash mention something about GPS tracking in the press conference just now? I thought I heard something but I didn’t catch the detail, if any fellow Bludgers can provide a bit more info that would be much appreciated.

  29. Thank you Mari and Lizzie will stick around and pipe up. Currently listening to Hadley (it’s on at work). He’s going on about Swan being in New York etc etc

Comments Page 2 of 48
1 2 3 48

Leave a Reply

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