BludgerTrack: 51.9-48.1 to Coalition

After a weak result from Newspoll took a bite out of the Coalition’s poll aggregate reading last week, a strong one from Ipsos causes it to rally this time around, while Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings continue to soar to new heights.

New results for the poll aggregate this week from Ipsos, Essential Research and Roy Morgan, with the Ipsos result being the pollster’s first since the leadership change. It’s this result that’s resposible for a solid 0.7% shift in favour of the Coalition, since the other two pollsters both produced results consistent with their established Turnbull era form. I’ve now changed the state-level calculations from a weighted average to a trend measure, the effect of which is to boost considerably the Coalition’s score in New South Wales while reducing it somewhat in Queensland and Western Australia. The Coalition is accordingly up two this week on its seat tally in New South Wales but down one each in Queensland and Western Australia, adding up to no net gain despite the improvement on voting intention. Ipsos provided new leadership ratings this week, giving Malcolm Turnbull a big boost on his already strong personal approval. Ipsos’s numbers for Bill Shorten were similar to what he’s been getting from other pollsters but well below his past form from Ipsos, and his net approval rating accordingly takes another hit.


• The Herald-Sun reports that Helen Kroger, who won a Victorian Senate seat in 2007 but lost it in 2013 after being demoted from second to third on the party ticket, will seek preselection for the lower house seat of Bruce in south-eastern Melbourne. The seat is to be vacated at the election by the retirement of Alan Griffin, who has held the seat since gaining it for Labor on the back of a favourable redistribution in 1996, but retained a margin of just 1.8% in 2013. However, Kroger is said to face a “bitter preselection battle” from the party’s candidate for the seat in 2013, Emanuele Cicchiello, a former Knox councillor and teacher at Lighthouse Christian College. Labor’s new candidate for the seat is Julian Hill, an executive with the Victorian government’s Department of Economic Development and former mayor of Port Phillip, who won preselection earlier this year uncontested.

David Johnston of the Border Mail reports that two candidates will contest the Nationals preselection for the northern Victorian seat of Indi, which independent Cathy McGowan won from Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella in 2013: Wangaratta businessman Martin Corboy, and former Yackandandah publican Gregory Lawrence.

• The South Australian government has introduced a number of electoral and constitutional reform bills to parliament, the latter of which will require passage at a referendum to be held in conjunction at the next election. The electoral bill proposes an end to preferential voting for its Legislative Council, with the existing system to be replaced by the straightforward Sainte-Laguë closed list system for allocating seats in proportion to aggregate vote shares. The constitutional bills propose removing the Legislative Council’s power to block the regular annual supply bills, and introducing a double dissolution mechanism very like the one in operation federally.

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.

1,223 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.9-48.1 to Coalition”

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  1. Good morning.

    Health Minister Sussan Ley introduced the plan to merge two Medicare Safety Nets into Parliament on Tuesday. The changes will lower the spending thresholds required for patients to access benefits, but cap the benefits payable for individual medical services once this has been reached.
    Big projects such as a high-speed rail link between Sydney and Melbourne, benefits the whole country, but our short-term leaders cannot plan long-term infrastructure.
    Gordon. Joe Hockey’s farewell speech helps explain why he is so well-liked across the political divide and why he failed to make the transition from capable minister to successful treasurer, and even prime ministerial contender.
    Australian authorities searching for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have missed the wreckage as they canvassed search sites off the coast of Western Australia, American deep-sea investigators have claimed.
    In a sudden acceleration of the reform process that risks inflaming tensions with religious conservatives and most Nationals, the Prime Minister has indicated that the plebiscite, while technically non-binding, would itself be the decider of the controversial reform.
    Maurice Blackburn lawyers will argue in a state or federal court that poker machines are in breach of consumer law for misleading and deceptive conduct.
    “It’s hungry country that’s traditionally old gold mining country … And I think you’ve got in there some of the driest country in Victoria.”
    Mr Trudeau is cut from the mould of what national leaders tend to look like. Male, tall (188 centimetres), fit and equipped with that magnificent mane, he had all the right ingredients to take high office. Being the son of a former prime minister certainly didn’t hurt, either.

  2. Australia’s top Defence official has made the startling acknowledgement that the relationship between Defence and the arms industry is vulnerable to ethical breaches because of the steady flow of staff between the two.
    The Indian company that plans to develop Australia’s biggest coal mine has registered its interest in a taxpayer funded scheme to help build its infrastructure, a Senate estimates hearing has heard.
    The Coalition’s new family payments package has been met with caution and criticism from Labor and the crossbench, suggesting its passage through the Parliament is not guaranteed.
    Pascoe. To mangle Shakespeare, nothing in Joe Hockey’s treasurership became him like no longer being it.
    The usual purloining of the quote concludes “like the leaving it”, but Hockey’s farewell speech was largely rubbish, confirming that he had never been up to the job.
    The most common call for major reform is ending the Howard/Costello capital gains tax discount which, combined with negative gearing, set off the 1990s explosion of real estate investment. Negative gearing isn’t so compelling without the CGT discount – expenses deducted at the taxpayer’s full marginal rate, profits taxed at half that.
    Biden cast the decision in personal terms, saying that his family had only recently regained its feet after the death of his eldest son, Beau, from cancer in May.

  3. A modern diesel car pumps out more toxic pollution than a bus or heavy truck, according to new data, a situation described as a “disgrace” by one MEP.
    Images harvested from social media sites such as Facebook could be part of the latest counter-terrorism measures, the attorney general’s department has confirmed.
    UV filtering chemical is killing off baby coral around tourist resorts, particularly in the Caribbean and Hawaii
    Both men denied seeing the notice to produce evidence until at least the following day, and insisted nothing of relevance was thrown out anyway.
    “In France, it is forbidden to define someone by his colour; in Brazil, that’s not the case. Everyone can claim his skin colour and be proud.”
    Oh, and we’re not directly funding climate denial anymore! Your news of the day, reduced to a snarky rant.

  4. Thanks Lizzie. Between decisions on the ME plebiscite, family payments and health benefits, there is a noticeable dialling downof the amount of right wing craziness in our government since the Abbott reign ended. I have to say I find it refreshing. It will also help the Liberal vote a lot. The question is, will Turnbull survive amoung his own fellow MPs?

  5. Oh no! Surely not?

    [Bruce Billson may leave politics at the next election after being dumped as small business minister
    Liberal MP Bruce Billson says he may leave politics at the next election after being dumped as small business minister when Malcolm Turnbull took over as prime minister.

    Mr Billson was offered the new cities portfolio, but has told The Australian he considered the offer a demotion and raised the prospect of quitting with Mr Turnbull.

    ‘I said to him … I can’t guarantee to you that I will recontest the next election under those circumstances,’ he said, adding that he will consider his future over Christmas.


    – See more at:

  6. sprocket

    The only thing Billson knows is small business and he doesn’t see that a talented minister (think of Shorten who was ‘downgraded’ to disabilities) would make a good fist of any position. Also, cities cannot be called insignificant in the present circumstances.

    Silly little energizer bunny.

  7. I think I agree with you, Sprocket. Look at the expression on Abbott’s face. I think the appropriate adjective is ‘gormless’.

  8. [‘I said to him … I can’t guarantee to you that I will recontest the next election under those circumstances,’ he said, adding that he will consider his future over Christmas.]

    Huge sense of entitlement, much?

    The trouble with threats like this is that you have to be certain your loss will be felt…

  9. lizzie

    A modern diesel car pumps out more toxic pollution than a bus or heavy truck, according to new data, a situation described as a “disgrace” by one MEP.]

    Some dodgy work by the MEP . NOx – nitrous oxides. Their problem relates largely to the formation of acid rain. The real killer with diesel are carbon particulates (soot) and the polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are attached to them. They get deep into the lungs and are carcinogens.

    Older diesel engines pump out far more of these due to their lower combustion efficiency. Any propensity for modern diesels to emit more NOx will likely be the result of higher temperatures and greater efficiency of combustion.

    A bit from Wiki. A bit easier to read than the academic stuff on the topic 🙂
    [Diesel combustion exhaust is a source of atmospheric soot and fine particles, which is a fraction of air pollution implicated in human cancer, heart and lung damage, and mental functioning.Diesel exhaust also contains nanoparticles, which have additional health effects, and are as yet poorly understood.

    Mortality from diesel soot exposure in 2001 was at least 14,400 out of the German population of 82 million, according to the official report 2352 of the Umweltbundesamt Berlin (Federal Environmental Agency of Germany]

  10. Lizzie

    Thanks also for the links. I second the recommendation on Pascoe’s article on Hockey’s many faults as treasurer. Hockey will go down as the worst I have seen in that job in my lifetime.

    I also heartily endorse Elizabeth Farrelly’s article on (the evils of) professionalism. It is a recipe for doing evil in your work, and applies to too many “modern” jobs and work styles. My own profession of transport planning is not immune to the criticism. Many have complained about “errors” in toll road forecasting. They were not errors because they were not random. They were financially incentivised distortions to give false predictions, enabling the financial engineers behind the projects to fleece investors. They have embarrassed my profession, and I wish Engineers Australia had done something to discipline them. In the last year four of the firms responsible have paid out of court damages, one reportedly in excess of $100 million.

    I fear we have too many “professional” politicians and media advisors too. Have a good day all.

  11. Good to see SA pushing for constitutional change – I’d reject the removal of the power of the upper house to block appropriations, but it’s sensible for there to be a deadlock mechanism and adopting the Federal one wouldn’t make the upper house worthless.

    In terms of the Entsch bill, it’d be interested to see how it would be drafted. I presume it’d just be with a commencement date set for after a plebiscite had passed by a set criteria or upon proclamation. Would it also provide for repeal in the case of a no vote? Note that in either case the Act could then just be amended by a future parliament to remove the requirement for a vote of the people and just provide that it commence immediately.

  12. Morning all.

    [It was revealed yesterday that in one of his final acts as education minister Mr Pyne axed the funding for Dr Lomborg to establish an Australian climate research centre, abandoning what was alleged to be a “pet project” of former prime minister Tony ­Abbott’s office.

    The decision was made just days after Mr Abbott was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull, but before a reshuffle in which the education portfolio was allocated to Simon Birmingham.

    The Australian understands the funding proposal had been driven by Mr Abbott’s office and was championed by his chief of staff Peta Credlin.]

    Lomborg complaining this is somehow a curtailing of academic freedom is hilarious. Why should taxpayers foot the bill for some fraudster looking to run interference on a universally accepted scientific theory?

  13. Poroti

    Actually the major problem with NOx is NOT acid rain (it can contribute), you are thinking SOx.

    NOx is one of the KEY ingredients in urban “photochemical” smog formation – you know the haze that settles over the cities and causes “smog alerts.” When combined with organic material (VOCs)(from petrol fumes, paints and even eucalyptus) they form smog which is most of the brown haze you see settled over the cities. Vehicles are the MAJOR source of NOx.

    Most of the FANTASTIC advances made to motor vehicle emission controls of the 70s-90s focussed on NOx (and CO).

    I have not read the MEP report but will comment later as to whether it is accurate or not.

    But unless you really know your stuff do not attack it.

  14. It was only a matter of time before the employers started getting referred to the police/DPP

    Construction industry identity George Alex could be referred to the DPP to consider charges for bribing a union heavy to keep using his labour hire companies.

    The submission also argued Mr Alex’s claim he had ISIS terrorists Mohamed Elomar and Khaled Sharrouf at his house for boxing training was “not credible” and in fact they “formed a protective and somewhat intimidating protective circle around Mr Alex”.

  15. fess @ 21

    One by one, the ministers seem to be tacitly admitting that the PMO made far too many policy decisions, subsequently backed by Abbott, and they were forced to knuckle down.

  16. I’m encouraged to see the Greens vote drifting back up. We’re still waiting to see what Turnbull does on climate change but the executive decisions taken so far are encouraging: the CEFC has been unshackled and Bjorn Lomborg cut loose.

  17. lizzie:

    Yes, Abbott’s tenure as PM represents an extraordinary period in federal politics. Unelected backroom operators making almost all the decisions of the federal govt.

  18. Diddums. Truffles better sort out his right wing nut jobs

    [So this morning, conservatives are rallying, huffing and puffing.

    Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz has just told the ABC this is a “thought bubble and an ambush to boot.” Abetz says the position of the Coalition partyroom is clear: there will be no change to the party’s position on marriage in this term of government. A plebiscite will be held after the next election, and the parliament will respond with a free vote. Abetz says of the renewed push, these are not actions that will help party unity. He’s noted that his colleague Warren Entsch “spends an inordinate amount of time on this issue and good luck to him.”

    Abetz has been joined by LNP senator Matt Canavan and ACT senator Zed Seselja. Both Canavan and Seselja say the present parliament should not pass legislation binding a future parliament. But unlike Abetz, his senate colleagues are both signalling they’ll ultimately accept what the voters decide. In principle at least.]

  19. [Rowan
    Rowan – ‏@MalSplianing

    Poor old @SenatorAbetz says marriage equality will create disunity within the Gov. Once again proves the right own @TurnbullMalcolm
    2:52 PM – 21 Oct 2015

  20. Richard Koser,

    It is still govt policy to abolish the CEFC and I for one wont fall for Turnbull’s nods and winks as he tries to play both sides.

    A football analogy, keep your eye on the ball (policy) not the man (Turnbull’s words or hints)

  21. If Jamie Briggs can’t remember when he injured his leg, how can we be sure his memory isn’t faulty when it comes to when he left the party?

  22. daretotread

    Oops ,yes more SOx re acid rain, it was amazing how high the sulphur levels in diesel used to be back in the day. In (very slight)mitigation you can get some nitrous acid formation. For the reasons you mentioned I am surprised there would still be any NOx emission issues. Particulates I would have expected to be the bigger problem now.

  23. Both Canavan and Seselja say the present parliament should not pass legislation binding a future parliament.

    I suppose they only mean the Parliament should not pass legislation “binding a future parliament” on matters they disagree with?

  24. Energiser bunny is such a good description of Bilson, I thought the same of Morrison the other day in QT but it’s much better suited to Bilson. Remember how much Tony used to enjoy Bilson’s little rants, he luved the “even my blood type is positive” gag. I can still hear that inane laugh of Abbott’s, shan’t miss that.

  25. Dont know who Faine is speaking to. It is re tax reform. This person believes that Turnbull is a great communicator and he will be able to deliver tax reform. Also reckons Morrison is a terrific person and will be a great treasurer.

  26. Poroti

    Actually if we are talking NOx it is not to do with combustion efficiency and in fact it is probable that the poor NOx performance is a trade off made to get greater greenhouse gas efficiency.

    At the highest oxidation rates (ie burning efficiency) NO2x is formed while CO is turned into CO2. There is a conflict, especially in diesel vehicles between two competing goals – oxidising organics and CO2 and reducing NOx to N2.

    What the Norwegians and Londoners are saying is that the modern Euro vehicles are NOT doing as well as the big trucks.

    It seems that the growth in the diesel SUVs has court the regulatory authorities off guard. The focus was on the big trucks and they have forgotten about the domestic SUVs.

    Now here is something that Labor, the Greens AND Turnbull could work contructivley together for. Let’s tighten vehicle emission standards – worlds best practive.

    Oh!! I know CO2 is a problem long term but smog KILLS NOW, right NOW if you are over 65 and with a heart condition, stay away from smog because it KILLS.

  27. [David Johnston of the Border Mail reports that two candidates will contest the Nationals preselection for the northern Victorian seat of Indi, which independent Cathy McGowan won from Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella in 2013: Wangaratta businessman Martin Corby, and former Yackandandah publican Gregory Lawrence.]

    Missed this (it’s CorBOY, btw, William).

    The Nats only chance was to run a star candidate in Indi. Marty Corboy has got a few fails under his belt already (I know, pot, kettle) and I’ve never heard of Gregory Lawrence (and I would have, if he’d been star material).

    So now all they’ll do is act as a funnel to take votes from McGowan and send them to Mirabella via preferences.

    I have no idea whether this is a death knell for McGowan or not and make no predictions – but it certainly weakens her position, given the strong support she got from the Nats last time around.

  28. Abetz speaking on Sky right now

    [Sky News Australia
    Sky News Australia – Verified account ‏@SkyNewsAust

    Abetz: Very pleased the PM has not fallen for that which Mr Entsch is pushing. Clearly it would be a breach of promise.]

  29. [Sky News Australia
    Sky News Australia – Verified account ‏@SkyNewsAust

    Abetz on same-sex marriage: If the plebiscite is clear then the Australian people will have made their say and made their determination]

  30. Pascoe in form today on hockey –

    [ Is the Member for North Sydney being paid to go, or did he bargain his resignation?

    After this lamentable farewell speech, his suitability for a major post must be doubted.

    F…who could be precious (or so deluded) as to claim he had made the greatest political speech of the past two decades? Joe Hockey says his end of entitlement speech back in his opposition days apparently had “unprecedented impact”.

    …Now that he’s apparently off to the Washington cocktail party circuit, he says superannuation rorts and negative gearing need to be curtailed.

    Funny, I can’t recall him saying that when he had the power to do something about it. Whatever happened to just “get a job that pays good money” to solve housing affordability?

    …The reality is that Hockey failed as Treasurer before he got the job, when he was still in opposition, when winning at any cost was put head-and-shoulders above responsible policy.

    All that feigned outrage and scowling about debt and deficits.

    …all the important things that he knew had to be done, such as broadening and increasing the GST and the aforementioned super and negative gearing reform, were stopped by someone else.

    Who? When you’re Treasurer, the only superior power is supposed to be the Prime Minister. So, at the end of his show, Joe Hockey effectively dumped it all on Tony Abbott. Yes, he really was a dud PM – he stopped Hockey saving Australia. ]

    Loved the punchline –

    [ As Treasurer, affable Joe would have made a good Minister for Sport and Rec. And that’s what Liberal Party types have told me. ]

  31. dtt

    climate change kills now, too.

    Higher temperatures kill.

    More people died due to the heat wave preceeding the Black Saturday fires than died in the fires themselves (and, of course, the ferocity of the fires can be attributed to climate change as well).

  32. Poroti

    If you had asked me before the VW case I would also have thought particulates, especially fine particles were the problem (nano particles). It seems that the diesel makers have been cutting corners and a NOx problem has emerged.

    What is galling is that the big TRUCKS have installed emission reduction technology but this is NOT on the SUVs (or is not maintained).

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