BludgerTrack: 52.5-47.5 to Coalition

The upward swing to the Coalition continues, with the BludgerTrack poll aggregate now recording the Coalition improving on their 2013 election performance in New South Wales.

This week’s reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate again records a fairly solid shift in favour of the Coalition, although it’s only yielded them one extra seat on the seat projection – that being in New South Wales, where the Coalition is now being credited with one more seat than it won in 2013. The aggregate is back to being determined through a trend calculation, using only the polling from the Turnbull era (note that this isn’t the case on the charts shown on the sidebar, which suggest a much higher result at present for the Coalition). However, the bias adjustments for Essential Research and Roy Morgan are still being determined in a very crude fashion. This is particularly an issue for the latter, given its idiosyncratic Turnbull era results. Both pollsters have been determined simply on the basis of the flurry of polling that emerged the week after the leadership change, the benchmark being provided by Newspoll, Galaxy and ReachTEL, which remain subject to the same bias adjustments used in the Abbott era. The adjustment to the Labor primary vote for Morgan is particularly pronounced (over +5%), which also means it’s getting a very low weighting in the trend determination. These bias adjustments will be recalculated as new results from the other pollsters become available to benchmark them against.

Also worth noting:

Heath Aston of the Sydney Morning Herald reports it is “all but certain” that Joe Hockey will be succeeded as the Liberal candidate for North Sydney by Trent Zimmerman, factional moderate and the party’s New South Wales state president. Hockey’s support for Zimmerman is said to have sealed the deal, although it is also reported that he had earlier approached the state Treasurer, Gladys Berejiklian. Other mooted candidates are Tim James, chief executive of Medicines Australia, and John Hart, chief executive of Restaurant and Catering Australia. James is a member for the Right, and is also mentioned as a potential candidate to succeed Tony Abbott in Warringah, or Jillian Skinner in the state seat of North Shore.

• The issue of Senate electoral reform could be heading towards a compromise more conducive to minor parties than the proposal of straightforward optional preferential voting above and below the line, as was proposed last year by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. Key to the argument is whether group voting tickets should be abolished, a path favoured by Nick Xenophon but fiercely opposed by the micro-party Senators, the most active being David Leyonhjelm. Xenophon has approached the government with a proposal that would require above-the-line voters to number at least three boxes, and below-the-line voters to number at least 12, resulting in a greater flow of preferences to smaller players. Antony Green also argues that the resulting increase in the number of live votes in the final stages of the count would reduce the chances of the final seat being decided in a random fashion. Leyonhjelm has sought a middle path by proposing the retention of group voting tickets and one number above-the-line voting, while relieving the burden on below-the-line voters by requiring that they number a minimum of six boxes – very much the same as applies for the Victorian upper house, except that the minimum number of boxes there is five. At the November 2014 state election, 94% of voters went above-the-line in the upper house, helping to elect two members of Shooters & Fishers and one each from the Sex Party, the DLP and Vote 1 Local Jobs.

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.

1,636 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.5-47.5 to Coalition”

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  1. Newspoll will probably convince Abbott to stay on in the hope of reclaiming the leadership.

    I am bemused (sorry) by the view that he is just waiting for Turnbull to offer him some plum overseas job,

    Abbott has been a political warrior all his life. The idea that he will fade away and join the cocktail set in some diplomatic posting is fanciful. His appearances on the world stage (G20 et al) reveal a man who isn’t comfortable making small talk to world leaders (except Canada’s Harper) much less his fellow ambassadors.

    Like Peter Costlello he will find that the corporate world won’t be beating a path to his door with directorships and I can’t see him as a success on the international speaking circuit like Howard and Gillard.

    No, he will sit on the back bench as a reminder to the anti-Turnbull forces that he is ready to take up the cudgels again.

  2. The reason I mentioned the Greens getting +1 in this Newspoll was because there had been talk that Mal’s influence would be detrimental to the Greens’ support but this poll does not seem to suggest that, perhaps even the opposite.
    Early days but if I were Mal and his mates in the NSW Liberal Party this result would be unnerving.

  3. [ Newspoll will probably convince Abbott to stay on in the hope of reclaiming the leadership.]
    And so it should because we all know that Tones single handedly got the Libs into government

  4. [
    And so it should because we all know that Tones single handedly got the Libs into government
    I thought
    It was Credlin 😉

  5. Actually its a good poll for the government, its more believable than a 55-45 poll, most Australian elections are pretty close in TPP terms.

  6. Oh dear….just popped in to see what was happening before bed and I seem to be the flavour of the night.

    Yes a good poll result for Shorten: 50:50 off a primary vote for the ALP of 35% (vs 43% LNP).

    Given Turnbull leads Shorten 57% to 19% and Shorten is 50% behind on net approval ratings when compared with Turnbull, Im not sure a 1% change in TPP is much to get excited about.

    Bludgertrack will show a slight reduction fro the 87 seats for the LNP but I don’t imagine it will be that large a shift.

  7. [Shorten played Abbott like a matador plays the bull.]

    it was even better than that. shorten simply refused to be matador to abbott’s bull – he refused to come at the bait abbott tried to pick fights with and abbott could not handle it. in the end abbott knocked himself out shadow boxing. I think shorten showed maturity and strategy in just not playing abbott’s games and it worked. with turnbull, shorten can welcome the debate, and subtly point out that turnbull is a windbag. honestly, I’ve heard turnbull a few times that though he sounds like a waffley rudd – i can’t believe how bad he is because I thought he was much better. Although it is lovely to have PM who is actually thinking as he speaks, turnbull obviously feels the need to show he is the smartest person in the room. he talks down to people and he rambles – he sounds like a toff. this is a weakness that labor needs to exploit. the best thing is – they’ll be able to get bolt, hadley, jones and other rightwing tools to spread the word. I think shorten could say “I don’t know about you, but I sense the PM thinks he’s a cut above most of us. He talks down to people as though he regrets they’re never going to be as brilliant as he thinks he is. Despite what he seems to think, Australian’s aren’t stupid, and ….(know that the liberal government wants to cut services, cut wages and working conditions, and run the country for the interests of their mega-wealthy donors and mates”.

  8. 1596

    Calling an election now would be messy in New South Wales and WA.

    They redistributions currently underway would not apply but the change in seat numbers that caused them would and thus hasty redistributions would need to be done. The 2 lowest population contiguous seats in NSW would be amalgamated and even more messily the 2 highest population contiguous seats in WA would be divided into 3.

    The WA redistribution is due to be determined on the 19th of January next year (and then gets tabled in Parliament).

    And the NSW redistribution is due to be determined on the 25th of February (and then gets tabled in Parliament).

    Thus an election is unlikely to be called before the 25th of February and extremely unlikely to be called before the 19th of January. This means a DD would likely be in early April, unless the budget was brought forward.

    I think a DD is likely because of the need to reform the Senate voting system and not have potentially 6 angry Senators seeking revenge for over 3 years.

  9. [ Everything
    Posted Friday, April 11, 2014 at 7:26 pm | PERMALINK
    So, 7 million Australians wanted Abbott to be the Prime Minister of Australia, the most votes ever achieved by an Australian government I would think, and not a single poster here can post a single positive comment.

    ….and yet you are apparently a balanced crowd, eh? ]

  10. paaptsef

    Thanks for reminding me of my wit over the years.

    I stand by all of those comments still. We had “Peak Abbott” for about 5 years before he was eventually rolled, if memory serves me correctly! :devil:

  11. The importance of the polls atm have nothing to do with whether or not the Liberals might win the election or not, but whether or not Turnbull can make the changes needed to shift the government’s course.

    The right wingers who held their nose and voted for Turnbull weren’t looking for a 50/50 result. Neither were the backbenchers in marginal seats.

    Turnbull’s unspoken promise to them was that he could get better results than these (and he may still). If he can’t deliver, then the party won’t unite behind him.

    Worse still (for him), it is clear that there is very little respect for him within party ranks. His only chance of gaining any at all is by putting them in a winning position (which is why Abbott was given free rein). If it looks like they’re losing anyway, then they have no reason to pretend to like him or his leadership.

    It is irrelevant what the PPM figure is if the Liberals don’t look like heading for a thumping win under Turnbull.

  12. [ Thanks for reminding me of my wit over the years. ]
    Fuck mate I’ve only been posting your quotes over a period of 2 or 3 days

  13. Zoomster

    True, however at this stage the government hasn’t done very much to justify a big poll lead, its a bit of an egg & chicken situation for them.

  14. Margin of error on Newspoll (sample size about 1,600) is about 2.5%, so I wouldn’t get too excited about 1 point shifts this way and that.

  15. I think 50-50 really sets the cat among the pigeons.

    Talcum will realise not being Abbott is good, but not enough to guarantee victory: Abbott’s LNP is also the problem. This will set him to reforming LNP policy even further, which will piss off large chunks of the backbench.

  16. [ Fuck mate I’ve only been posting your quotes over a period of 2 or 3 days ]
    will check if you ever got over your Abbott love

  17. let’s hope bernardi and co are emboldened by this poll, and lead the liberal split that inevitably needs to happen.

  18. [paaptsef
    …will check if you ever got over your Abbott love]

    Pointing out that you are an Abbott hater doesn’t mean I am an Abbott lover.

  19. classic comments
    [ Acerbic Conehead
    Posted Friday, April 11, 2014 at 7:28 pm | PERMALINK

    I challenge any of the PB masses here to say anything positive about Abbott.

    Positively he’s a dickhead. ]

  20. zoidlord

    [Happyness is hyperventilating “Peak Abbott” now I heard everything!]
    Especially as there has only ever been “Nadir Abbott”

  21. [zoidlord
    …Happyness is hyperventilating “Peak Abbott” now I heard everything!]

    When you hear Happiness you hear Everything….remember?

    BTW: You may not have been following, but paaptsef’s posts were about Abbott hating and loving, that was what my “Peak Abbott” comment related to.

    When you read a response, you need to consider it in relation to the original post.

  22. classic comments
    [ Everything
    Posted Friday, April 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm | PERMALINK
    Very good answers, Dio, he is personable and fitness conscious.

    See…..that wasn’t so hard, chaps and chappettes, was it? ]

  23. I reckon a March election. MYEFO will be used to convince the public of the need for a raft of fiscal changes for which Turnbull will seek a mandate.

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