BludgerTrack: 51.2-48.8 to Coalition

A weak result for the Coalition from Newspoll this week delivers a corrective to the Turnbull honeymoon in the latest reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate this week records a strong move back to Labor, which partly reflects the Coalition’s soft Newspoll result this week. However, it’s also indicative of how sensitive the model is short-term fluctuations now that it’s using the start of the Turnbull era of year zero, and thus only has a small number of data points. The story on the primary vote is that the Greens have recovered some of the ground they lost over the previous weeks, with the Labor primary vote remaining steady. The difference all this makes to the seat projection is rather modest, with the Coalition dropping two seats in New South Wales and one in Queensland. The leadership ratings from Newspoll give a further boost to Malcolm Turnbull’s already strong net approval rating, but the other indicators are essentially unchanged. Preferred prime minister and Turnbull’s net approval are still being determined through weighted averages of all polling since the leadership change, rather than trend measures.

What’s more:

• The meeting of the New South Wales Liberal Party’s state council on the weekend, chiefly noted for the heckling delivered to the Prime Minister, saw the demise of a proposal for all preselections to be conducted by plebiscites of party members, in place of the current system where the vote is divided between branch delegates and head office. This was despite just such a reform being advocated by a post-election review conducted by a panel headed by John Howard. However, a compromise resolution will see plebiscites conducted in one federal seat before next year’s election, two for the subsequent federal election due in 2019, and two for the next state election, also due in 2019.

Tom McIlroy of the Canberra Times identifies Christina Hobbs, a United Nations World Food Program program officer, as a possible starter for the Greens’ Senate preselection in the Australian Capital Territory. However, the report also cites a party source saying its resources were likely to be concentrated elsewhere, particularly on “potentially difficult fights in Queensland, NSW and South Australia”.

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.

2,178 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.2-48.8 to Coalition”

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  1. Good morning

    The federal Coalition is considering new measures that would crack down on dodgy bosses who exploit foreign workers, including introducing bigger fines and beefed-up law enforcement measures. Changes to the Fair Work Act could also follow
    The Environment Minister’s is still playing Abbott-style politics and his transport proposals ignore fiscal realities.
    Lowering the control order threshold age is likely to be viewed favourably.
    If Monique Toohey needed proof of the point she was making when she met a group of Labor MPs on Wednesday, it came within seconds of Tanya Plibersek tweeting a picture of the encounter.
    Community leaders are hoping a trial that restricts welfare payment spending will curb the harm caused by alcohol, drug and gambling addiction.
    A bitter power struggle has opened up among the eight powerful Senate crossbenchers over the thorny issue of voting reform.
    Australians subjected to “control orders” on terrorism grounds, which can restrict their movements and communications, could be denied access to some of the evidence against them for security reasons under changes proposed by the Turnbull government.
    Coalition voters have been clearly more optimistic than Labor voters in the Westpac Melbourne Institute survey ever since the election of Tony Abbott. Until now.
    Singtel-Optus has signed a new deal with the hugely popular streaming video on demand service Netflix in an effort to ramp up broadband sales during the crucial Christmas shopping season.
    The Associated Press count is more than double Saudi Arabia’s official tally of 769 killed and 934 injured in the September 24 disaster in Mina

    “I’m giving you good advice – you are in danger,” Tong Yanchun told me through the closed door. “We are being monitored.”
    This month, work started on the foundations of what will be the southern hemisphere’s tallest apartment building.
    Australian Council of Social Service and Australian Council for International Development to offer the government a road map to the release of children
    Lenore Taylor: The opposition knows the prime minister has almost certainly done nothing wrong, but it is hoping voters will decide he is ‘not one of us’
    Card designed to restrict spending on alcohol and gambling will be trialled in three sites as Labor says it has had assurances addressing its concerns
    Human rights chief condemns language such as ‘swarms of refugees’, saying it is deployed by those seeking to make political capital from the crisis
    Shukee Begum went to Syria with her five children to be with her jihadi husband Jamal al-Harith, a former Guantánamo Bay detainee

  3. Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey critically ill in deterioration that shocks experts
    Letter to singer, who called the plan ‘idiocy’ and actor, who said it was ‘animal genocide’, says feral cats have caused the extinction of 27 native species
    The move to remove nudes from the magazine has more to do with business than progress
    Australia could start work on a free trade agreement with Europe before the end of the year, after the European Commission announced on Wednesday it will seek permission to open formal negotiations.
    A woman whose complaint about a planned burn in hot weather was described as “rubbish” by a Victorian government bureaucrat has said she will not be “shut up”.
    Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was open to potentially increasing the time terrorism suspects may be held without charge, following a push by NSW Premier Mike Baird.
    And the new Social Service Minister gets ready to sort out those greedy, grasping disabled people. Your news of the day, reduced to a snarky rant.

  4. This was maroonnnned on the last thread.

    TPOF – I can’t think why you would be uncomfortable about Labor pursuing the PM’s Cayman adventure. Quite essentially, a PM must have the moral authority to ask other Australian’s to pay their full share of tax. Thus his tax arrangements are a matter of legitimate scrutiny. Questions have been asked. Bullshit answers given. I don’t think Labor has to do much more.
    If this means that it’s harder for a rich bastard to become PM than a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, so be it.
    You must remember about Malcolm Turnbull that he has spent his WHOLE life in the relentless pursuit of money. It has totally obsessed him. Frankly, that’s not the sort of person I want as PM.
    Finally, I note that he said that all “income” has been declared in Australia. What about “profits” Malcolm, or even “annual profits?” How much is being retained in these funds.

  5. K!&,

    And you seem to have spent your whole life relentlessly conflating envy, ignorance and aggression.

    Turnbull is famous for things other than making money including the Spy Catcher trial, being head of the Australian Republican Movement and ten or so years as an elected politician and Minister.

  6. [Opposition spokesman on communications Jason Clare has indicated Labor will ramp up the number of homes connected using fibre-optic cabling as part of the $56 billion national broadband network if it wins the next federal election..]

    [..”Fibre to the node will be gone,” he said. “It’s not a question of if this will happen, it’s when it will happen and how it will be done.]

    Read more:

  7. K17,

    You say that as if it is a bad thing.

    “Self made millionaire has done many interesting things with his life” is an inspiration to many aspirational Australians.

    Your snarkiness isn’t going to bring Turnbull down.

  8. An important ruling by the High Court on implied freedoms in the Constitution in the McCloy vs ICAC developer donations case

    [The second significant aspect of the case was the joint judgment’s re-writing of the Lange test, breaking down its elements into a number of more precise tests. Emphasising their importance, the new tests were set down in the second paragraph of the joint judgment. The analysis started with a summary of the nature of the freedom, being a ‘qualified limitation on legislative power’. The freedom ‘may be subject to legislative restrictions serving a legitimate purpose compatible with the system of representative government for which the Constitution provides, where the extent of the burden can be justified as suitable, necessary and adequate, having regard to the purpose of those restrictions.’ From this summary, the test was then broken down into its elements.]

  9. Lizzie

    Of course. In any event, Turnbull has to keep those coalition voters happy by showing them that Abbott was great and he will continue his work. On the flip side, he has to show everyone else that he is a progressive forward thinking reformist. Good luck with that I say!

  10. K17
    As a general rule I think that ad-hominem attacks are a bad idea. They often backfire. They often fail to have the impact .

    I think that attacking Turnbull on his investments will backfire. People KNOW he is rich. That is one of the REASONS he is popular (as for Rudd). Wait until he DOES something hypocritical and then go for him. This Cayman Island attack is premature.

  11. Thanks lizzie

    Turnbull delivers a breath of fresh air to Australian politics, but shares a major weakness with Abbott; the propensity to speak with a forked tongue. One day Direct Action is a “fig leaf” and now it “is working’. One day Tony Abbott is an incompetent leader who need to be deposed, and now he is one of “great achievements”.

    With Abbott the reptilian fork tonguiness was a product of his ideology, with Turnbull it is a product of his self belief and hubris.

    Turnbull expects the plebs to believe whatever he says because he is Turnbull, but he will have to continue to deliver conflicting messages as he speaks to both the right of his party and to voters at large. Does not seem to be a supportable long term position.

    The polls will be critical here. If Turnbull can’t get some polling daylight between the Coalition and Labor, the hypocrisy will continue and the honeymoon will be over.

  12. Over at the ABC news website, the headline is:

    [Member of Labor’s finance team won’t confirm if super is invested in tax haven, following attack on Turnbull]

    But buried deep in the article is the critical point:

    [“There’s a world of difference between putting your money in a super fund and letting them choose their investment, and deliberately choosing to buy in to particular structured investment vehicle in the Cayman Islands,” he said.]

    It’s still their ABC.

  13. Trog

    Aren’t you just describing politics? Turnbull does have a rabid RW base and the Libs are far more upset by Abbott’s removal than I would have predicted. His is a hard path to negotiate.

    However so too did Gillard on the Carbon Tax or on refugees. “Compromise is the art of politics” but sadly makes everyone a hypocrite and a sell out to some extent.

  14. In any event, i believe team Labor had workshopped the cayman islands investment ages ago. Where the strategy goes from here is anyones guess

  15. I think you might all be surprised by the number of relatively ordinary people with Cayman Island investments. I only know of one such and they are NOT wealthy. Indeed now probably struggling.

  16. victoria

    The Cayman issue is done. It is out there ready to be remembered by voters if the Libs start slugging the less well off. All part of painting him as a bit out of touch with the average voter.

  17. daretotread

    There is a difference between compromise, or changing your mind on an issue, and making blatantly conflicting and unqualified statements to different audiences.

    Turnbull gets a lot of points for being prepared to expound on issues rather than just trot out slogans but he is also a master at sounding reasonable and analytical while justifying a lie.

    There are too many bloody lawyers in politics.

    Hunt is another one – a master of obfuscation and deception.

  18. daretotread

    [. I only know of one such and they are NOT wealthy]
    So they are shirking as well then. The Cayman’s is all about avoiding paying your share. I don’t care who does it, it is bludging.


    ….a PM must have the moral authority to ask other Australian’s to pay their full share of tax. Thus his tax arrangements are a matter of legitimate scrutiny. Questions have been asked. Bullshit answers given. I don’t think Labor has to do much more.

    You must remember about Malcolm Turnbull that he has spent his WHOLE life in the relentless pursuit of money. It has totally obsessed him.

    I note that he said that all “income” has been declared in Australia. What about “profits” Malcolm, or even “annual profits?” How much is being retained in these funds.

    He has said “Full Australian tax has been paid”

    That again can mean anything or nothing.

    If for example he is using a legal tax minimisation strategy and after that “Full Australian tax is then paid” then he would lose credibility with those who get get their tax deducted before they even see their wages.

    If he tries to increase/ broaden the GST or reduce Sunday wages he has a huge problem.

    Those same people will not miss his ducking and weaving on this issue.

    Some on his own side will be enjoying it all as well.

  20. There isn’t much basis for the claim that MT is popular partly because he owns $200 million. It’s really because he is reasonably articulate and has street cred from respectfully disagreeing with the party line during his time in the Communications portfolio. He’s seen as having a brain, a backbone, and dignity. People don’t like it when politicians say things that are obviously different from what they really think. When Bill Shorten fell over himself to express agreement with Julia Gillard without even knowing what Julia Gillard had said, he embodied the brown-nosing phoniness that people find so off-putting in politicians. MT’s brand is to be somewhat different from the standard mass-produced politician.

  21. Trog,

    While I take your point about Turnbull being given credit for being able to expound on issues, the other side of this is that he has a tendeency to waffle. As z pointed out earlier in the thread, Turnbull runs into trouble when he over explains or talks on too much. His ego encourages him to perceive himself as the smartest person in the room and it often manifests itself with him over explaining or going for one too many debating points.

    As for saying one thing and doing another. This is politics. Turnbull is managing policy change in his own party by saying nothing has changed. It’s a time honoured tradition.

  22. Todays cartoons – a smallish crop, although as usual, the Fairfax ones are from yesterday. We may get more on the Cayman islands once today’s bunch go up on the website.

    David Rowe great as ever:

    Westpac raising of interest rates really is a bit rich!

    Moir on the newly minted backbenchers. I love the look on Morrison’s face.

    Really great stuff from David Pope mixing MH17 and the conflict in Syria:

    You have to do something to while away all that time sitting through question time on the back bench:

  23. GG

    My main point was not Turnbull’s ability to expound on issues, it was his ability to sound reasonable and analytical while justifying a lie. I do not deny the political necessity for this in Turnbull’s current situation, but I doubt it’s long term viability.

  24. reposted from previous thread, regarding the Basics Card.

    What the hell is anyone trying to do by taking cash off the poor, and denying them the dignity of having cash? What a mob of arrogant paternalistic wangkers? If you are worried about the poor spending money on poker machines, do the right thing and ban the b’stards, if it is alcohol and cigs, fund the programs to reduce addiction and tax tobacco so it costs $1OO per packet.

    Having some bloody cash in the wallet/card once a fortnight, and maybe a bit of it building up in a Xmas club account, vet care account or paying off a layby of a lawnmower or paying the Avon rep for some make-up, is a good feeling some people get once a fortnight. Here we have people who can toss $20 bills around like $2 coins telling others how to spend their money.

    Some people need a good kick in the crotch to make sure they still know how to recognise a feeling.

  25. [Political Alert
    Political Alert – ‏@political_alert

    Opposition Leader @billshortenmp, @ALeighMP and @edhusicMP will visit the University of Canberra at 9am #auspol
    2:49 PM – 14 Oct 2015]

  26. This is top of the news on ABC radio

    [There are concerns at the highest levels of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) about the lease of the Port of Darwin to a Chinese-owned company.

    The Northern Territory Government has signed a $506 million deal with Landbridge Group to lease the port and facilities of East Arm Wharf, including the Darwin Marine Supply Base, and Fort Hill for 99 years.]

  27. And banning poker machines is easy. Just do it. If people have invested money in these parasitic, damaging and psychologically dangerous machines, then they deserve to lose their dosh. Pubs and clubs can go back to their core business, victualing people, and employing kitchen staff instead of gamimg-attendants.

  28. [Edwina StJohn
    Posted Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 6:43 am | PERMALINK
    Smells like Labor failure, bye bye goggle eyes!


    Your failed predictions are becoming a laughing stock around here. If you were to predict that the sun will come up tomorrow I would have very serious concerns about the future of the planet.

  29. So now we are supposed to be cowering under our beds in fear of 12 year-old kids?

    Get knotted, as an Australian my family never cowered from anyone, and I am not starting now. The fear-mongering politicians can go and get royally rogered.

  30. Trog,

    Pollies are the oil that lubricates the political system.

    Circumstances change, evnts occur and popular notions become less popular very regularly.

    Successful Pollies are adept at reverse ferretting.

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