BludgerTrack: 53.3-46.7 to Coalition

The Coalition has moved still further ahead in the regularly weekly reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate. Also featured: post-redistribution preselection friction for Labor in both New South Wales and Western Australia.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate moves half a point in favour of the Coalition this week, which is presumably to do with those long lost 50-50 results fading out of the system, because there was no real movement from either Essential Research and Roy Morgan this week. With this they chalk up another two on the seat projection – one in Queensland, and one in Western Australia – and surpass their currently parliamentary tally of 90 seats. Nothing new this week on leadership ratings.

A beefy selection of preselection news this week:

• With its preselections to be determined next weekend, Labor’s struggling Western Australian operation is undergoing an imbroglio encompassing two of its three sitting members, and its yet-to-be-determined candidate for the state’s most marginal Liberal seat. Gary Gray, who has held the seat of Brand since 2007, has been refusing to sign a pledge that binds nominating candidates to the state platform and state conference as well as their national equivalents, and commits them to “obey the directions” of the state secretary in campaigning for their prospective office. As far as I can tell, fealty to the state platform is a not unusual feature of pledges required by Labor’s state branches, but it is generally phrased it in a way that places a higher premium on caucus solidarity. However, obedience of the state secretary appears to be peculiar to the Western Australian branch. The pledge is not new, but Gray objected to signing it on this occasion because the state platform opposes uranium mining and coal seam gas development, and struck out the offending sections on submitting his form. Consequently, the state party administration ruled the applications inadmissible. Complicating the matter is that Perth MP Alannah MacTiernan likewise made amendments to the pledge on her nomination form. Gray is taking his stand in the face of a united front of Left unions who want him to make way in Brand for Adam Woodage, described by Andrew Probyn of The West Australian as “a 28-year-old fly-in, fly out electrician on the Gorgon project”. However, the party’s national executive, including its most powerful representative of the Left, Anthony Albanese, is having none of it. As well as ordering the state branch to accept the nominations, invoking legal advice that the state pledge is inconsistent with national party rules, it has made clear it will intervene on Gray’s behalf if the matter is pursued any further.

• The Left unions in Western Australia have also irritated the party’s national heavyweights in pushing for Gosnells councillor Pierre Yang to take the nomination for the newly created seat of Burt in Perth’s south-west. This would involve the defeat of Labor’s Right-backed candidate for September’s Canning by-election, Matt Keogh, and the wastage of a lot of effort the party put into promoting him to voters in Armadale, which stands to be transferred from Canning to the new seat. Andrew Probyn of The West Australian reports there are “expectations” within the party that the national executive will also intervene here if Keogh is not selected.

Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reports that the New South Wales draft redistribution has resulted in two Labor heavyweights eyeing off neighbouring seats. One is Anthony Albanese, who is said to be looking at moving south from Grayndler to Barton. Barton was gained for the Liberals at the 2013 election by Nick Varvaris, but the new boundaries turn a 0.3% Liberal margin into a notional Labor margin of 7.5% by detaching Liberal-voting Sans Souci and adding southern Marrickville from Grayndler. Albanese’s exit would present a golden opportunity to the Greens, who now dominate the area at state level but have never looked like overcoming Albanese’s personal vote federally. Heath Aston of Fairfax reports Jim Casey, state secretary of the Fire Brigade Employees Union, is seeking Greens preselection for the seat. Bruce Knobloch, said to be aligned with Senator Lee Rhiannon and her hard Left tendency, reportedly had designs on the Grayndler preselection but will now seek to run in Sydney, which would pit him against Tanya Plibersek.

• At the other end of town, Chris Bowen is reportedly looking at moving on from his western Sydney seat of McMahon, where the loss of the Labor stronghold of Fairfield has cut his margin from 5.4% to 2.1%. Fairfield is set to be transferred to Fowler, which is held for Labor by the rather lower-profile figure of Chris Hayes. However, Hayes is reportedly reluctant to make way for Bowen.

• The Liberals in South Australia have preselected Nicolle Flint, a former columnist for The Advertiser, to succeed Andrew Southcott as their candidate for Boothby when he retires at the next election. Sheradyn Holderhead of The Advertiser reports Flint has “worked as an adviser to state and federal Liberal leaders as well as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry”. There were six nominees for the preselection, of whom Flint’s most fancied rival was Carolyn Habib, a youth worker and former Marion councillor who ran unsuccessfully in the marginal seat of Elder at last year’s state election.

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.

2,492 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.3-46.7 to Coalition”

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  1. Good morning.

    The Select Committee into Health is inquiring into health policy, administration and expenditure. It will provide a final report to the Senate in June 2016.
    The Great Aussie Sickie is falling out of favour, with absenteeism levels dropping to seven-year lows of 8.6 days a year for each worker.
    Plotting the rise and fall of selenium over 600 million years, the researchers found that when selenium levels fell to the critically low level of one to two parts per million, a mass extinction event occurred.
    Lifting the GST to 15 per cent would hit low-income households hard but its negative effects would go almost unnoticed by those at the top end of society, new modelling of the proposed changes has revealed.
    The Racial Discrimination Act has only a “limited” ability to protect Muslim Australians, because “religious identity” is not covered under the act.
    People with disabilities are either heroes or tragic figures. They are either an inspiration to, or a burden on society; they cannot just ‘be’.
    Firefighters are called on about twice a month to help paramedics move an overweight person or to pull patients from tight spaces such as toilets.
    “The government is trying to demonise firefighters, based on claims that were made under the Napthine government, which were clearly ambit claims”
    Mr Shorten said fossil fuels were still part of the world’s energy mix.

  2. Martin Ferguson is pushing for visa changes to allow more foreign workers as a report predicts a “skills drought” across Australia’s booming tourism industry.
    Around three million Syrian children have been forced to leave school due to conflict.
    It exposes the pious hypocrisy of adults who censured the lad for expressing an elitist view they harbour themselves.
    Random audits for small and medium businesses and individuals would help produce a more informed estimate of tax evasion, including that associated with the cash economy and over-claimed deductions.
    The company is known as a “department store killer” overseas and mid-market department store chains Myer, Target and BIG W may have more to lose than specialty stores.
    The Dallas Zoo could be headed for a legal showdown over “no guns” signs posted at its entrance.
    Parliament will jointly consider two pieces of legislation both calling for different deadlines for the end of mining on North Stradbroke Island.
    The Electrical Trades Union has criticised Mr Gray for supporting the China free trade agreement and the use of foreign workers on resources projects.

  3. Taylor. CSIRO study upends assumptions about domestic cost of tougher action on climate change, finding reducing emissions a ‘win-win’ for environment and economy
    When the company failed in October 2013, more than 1,000 subcontractors were left unpaid.
    And how much bullying do children deserve, would you say? Your news of the day, reduced to a snarky rant.

  4. Only the other day I was saying to my son that many of those who presently avoid gluten free foods are faddists rather than genuine sufferers.

    [In one of the best examples of science working, a researcher who provided key evidence of (non-celiac disease) gluten sensitivity recently published follow-up papers that show the opposite. ]

    […Although experts estimate that only 1 percent of Americans – about 3 million people – actually suffer from celiac disease, 18 percent of adults now buy gluten-free foods. ]

    …so a huge number of people are avoiding gluten for no reason. Why is this so?

    Apparently they’re not (consciously) faking…

    So, to cut it short: people who identified as gluten sensitive were given three different diet regimes (high gluten, low gluten and placebo) over a period of time. All other known allergins were removed.

    The subjects reacted exactly the same way to every meal, regardless of its gluten levels.

    [In the end, all of the treatment diets – even the placebo diet – caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree. It didn’t matter if the diet contained gluten..]

    It’s a bit like wind turbine syndrome. You tell yourself a situation is bad for you and that you’re going to suffer certain reactions – and so you do.

    When they started fluoridating the water up here, with an announced date, sure enough, on the announced date there was a spate of people suffering nausea, complaining the water tasted funny, etc etc.

    During the drought, one town’s local water supply (non fluoridated) ran out, and water was piped from a nearby (fluoridated) supply. No announcement was made about either the date the water source changed or that the water supplied was fluoridated. Not a single complaint about anything to do with water was registered.

    People didn’t know the water was fluoridated so they didn’t notice anything different.

  5. The cartoons for today.

    David Rowe for today. I tried to find the David Holmes painting that Rowe acknowledges, but no luck:

    Mark Knight on a similar theme:

    Fantastic Alan Moir:

    David Pope with a good one also on the GST:

    Don’t forget your health checks guys:

    Our solemn and revered national anthem:

  6. zoomster @ 4

    Seems to me that many people have poor digestions and search for an explanation that will remove the discomfort. Without an elimination routine, or a period of abstinence from the suspected food, it is extremely hard to discover the cause.

  7. The Turnboost is in full swing……for the first time Bludgertrack shows a swing to the government since the last election.

    Well done Turnbull….keep the right wingers under the thumb!

  8. Permanent storage of nuclear active material already occurs in Australia at Maralinga. A lot of the debris from the atom bomb explosions has been buried in large pits (as well as stored in the bones of Australians who where children during the open air explosions.).

    The dirtiest material was created when dirty bombs were set off. One particular bomb involved 3 kilograms of molten plutonium being blown up with dynamite. It spread the material in three plumes across the country side.

    The topsoil along with the highly radioactive plutonium was bull dozed into pits along with the bulldozers, with clean bulldozers brought in to cap the pits. The scraping of these plumes can be seen from google earth.

    There are concrete markers at each corner of the pits telling People to leave the pits alone for the next 260,000 years. When one remembers that homo sapians have been on the planet for only about 110,000 years, one wonders how if people can even read the warnings in 260,000 years time.

    One good thing about area around these pits is that they should be a ideal place to put other nuclear waste as the place is already compromised and any extra material will present no additional risk.

  9. Crikey is so dependable when it eats posts regularly for its 8am breakfast. 🙂

    [The Liberals in South Australia have preselected Nicolle Flint, a former columnist for The Advertiser]

    Wasn’t Nicole Flint the lass who made a dog’s breakfast of some interviews when running as a candidate previously? Or have I the wrong person?

  10. Lizzie, that was Nicole Cornes, wife of successful ex footballer Graham. She was preselected for the ALP in Boothby in 2007, but did a pretty crap job, making Southcott seem sensible in comparison

  11. ABC Sydney breakfast guy, Robbie Buck, was this morning reading out excerpts from newspaper articles on the TURC credit cart rort.

    The “tut-tutting”, and “dear, dear, dear-ing” and “This is gob-smacking” was painful.

    It looks like some unionists may have rorted their credit cards, a brother and sister effort is alleged.

    Yes, naughty people, but why doesn’t the ABC read out the daily court cases of people in private industry doing exactly this? Someone at the NUW is alleged to have obtained a tatoo (Oh dear, dear, dear). What about the $30,000,000 that the ex-CEO of Jeep Australia was alleged to have rorted? Why no “tut-tuts” there?

    Rorting credit cards is a very common offence. The courts are full of people who breach trust when offered the plastic keys to the petty cash box. All use the money for the same things: trips, gifts, spa club memberships and yes, tattoos.

    Big deal.

  12. To be fair to Carnes, she got the kind of media attention which is usually only reserved for government Ministers (who have had many years of media management under their belt before they get close to that kind of scrutiny).

    I stuffed up my first media outings spectacularly (totally froze in front of a TV camera, and only friendly editing saved me). It’s not an uncommon experience for first time candidates (another I know did a whole radio interview in a whisper) but usually it doesn’t matter because it’s only local media.

    Most of us would melt down in an interview with Tony Jones.

  13. To be fair to Carnes, she got the kind of media attention which is usually only reserved for government Ministers (who have had many years of media management under their belt before they get close to that kind of scrutiny).

    I stuffed up my first media outings spectacularly (totally froze in front of a TV camera, and only friendly editing saved me). It’s not an uncommon experience for first time candidates (another I know did a whole radio interview in a whisper) but usually it doesn’t matter because it’s only local media.

    Most of us would melt down in an interview with Tony Jones.

  14. Major debate-shifter from the CSIRO: stronger climate action promotes stronger economic growth.

    Welcome to the death of the “economy versus environment” crap that deadbeats like Abbott made a career of.

    That position will soon be one held only by fringe political dinosaurs, hurtling towards political extinction with that loser Abbott.

  15. The Hutchens/Kenny/Massola article on GST in The Age this morning maintains the very low standard of economic reporting in Fairfax these days (Gittins and, to some extent, Irvine excepted).

    Most of the article discusses a scenario of an increase to 15% and/or broadening of the base with no compensation for low income households. Nobody, nowhere is proposing such a policy. Even Cassandra Goldie says ACOSS is relaxed about a GST increase because they know there would be compensation.

    So why headline a policy that nobody is proposing.

    It’s the same unfair, stupid sort of beat-ups that were published again and again under Gillard about carbon tax, deficits, school building programs, etc.

    It’s the sort of mindless, sensationalist reporting that facilitated the rise of Abbott to the PM.

    Fairfax needs to grow up or get out. I find the Guardian a bit too left for my taste, but it’s becoming a far better paper.

  16. Its true actually: the Turnbull swing has gone beyond being a threat to the ALP (who will bounce back sooner or later) – its an existential threat to the LNP right – who may not recover.

  17. zoomster

    I once did an interview promoting birdwatching. Had to be in the open in a Park (of course). All went well and I stretched my brain to make all the right points for what seemed many minutes. Pause. Then the interviewer said, “Good rehearsal. Now let’s do it.” All my adrenaline drained away and I couldn’t remember the excellent points I’d made. They should have used the original. 🙁

  18. presumably to do with those long lost 50-50 results fading out of the system

    Ahhh, remember when the Turnbull honeymoon had “peaked” at 50-50? Now we’re looking at a swing to the government from the 2013 election and ALP frontbenchers having to shift seats to survive. No doubt the redistribution would not have been an issue if Abbott was still PM.

    When sitting MPs in safe seats are starting to worry about their own survival, a leadership contest is never far away.

  19. [To be fair to Carnes, she got the kind of media attention which is usually only reserved for government Ministers (who have had many years of media management under their belt before they get close to that kind of scrutiny).]

    I thought at the time it was mostly the combination of blatant sexism and typical nasty LNP types.

  20. Morning all

    [ and a tough sell for the Coalition #GST
    12:18 PM – 4 Nov 2015
    ABC The Drum
    Political karma? Cost of living and the GST
    Three quarters of people believe that the cost of living is getting worse, a perception which the Coalition previously encouraged. That’s not going to help the Government now that it’s considering a…
    Photo published for Political karma? Cost of living and the GST View on web]

  21. I have three geese (no gander) who have decided to go broody at the same time.

    Nothing unusual there – except that they are sharing the same nest and eggs.

    Usually all three of them sit on the nest together. Two at a time will take feeding/watering breaks, but there’s nearly always one left on the nest (and not always the same one).

    It’s a pity the eggs are infertile – it would be interesting to see if and how they shared parenting of the goslings.

  22. lizzie

    Can totally relate to that. Had a cosy chat with an interviewer off air while we waited for some songs to finish. On air, he asked me exactly the same questions – and I totally stuffed it.

  23. Lorax

    The swing polling has little to do with the changing seats option. Albanese actually now LIVES in the electorate of Barton. In fact any swing towards the Libs makes Graynler a safer seat for Labor, because it reduced the chance that the Greens will poll second. The 2.5% swing to the greens is more of a concern, but Albo was considered safe in Grayndler.

  24. Too true

    ODD ANGRY TWEET – ‏@OddAngry

    The GST compensation can be readily removed at any time by the LNP but the GST will stay fore ever THINK ON THAT for a bit
    12:58 PM – 4 Nov 2015 from Hobart, Tasmania]

  25. Turnbull has still failed to nail down any specific proposals in his speech in Melbourne despite a big splash on page one of The Australian suggesting “markers” would be laid down today. Jon Faine will tackle him hard on this.

  26. Me thinks Landeryou (formerly vexnews) is suggesting that these journos have done it again

    [Andrew Landeryou
    Andrew Landeryou – ‏@landeryou

    Last time @benschneiders & Roycey Millar illegally poked around ALP data they admitted their crimes in court #auspol #secondoffence #uhoh
    2:41 PM – 4 Nov 2015]

    Reply to @landeryou

  27. Morning Bludgers.

    Thanks for the Dawn Patrol Lizzie.

    I think Turnbull should be very careful to address excessive superannuation benefits, negative gearing, CGT & tax evasion by major corporations before considering increasing the GST otherwise he runs a significant risk of putting the cart before the horse & blowing his political capital.

    This decision alone may well shorten (pun intended) his honeymoon if poorly handled.

  28. guytaur

    Agree. That was the first full i.v. of Turnbull I have listened to. Verdict – a very hesitant way of speaking, going back and rephrasing his answers as if editing himself all the time. Sounds relaxed, but gives no actual answers.

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