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. TPOF @ 2299
    Polls prior to the election showed that people liked Labor’s initiatives but trusted the Coalition relatively more than Labor to deliver them.

  2. DN @ 2301

    They may have trusted the coalition more – but that did not mean the coalition was trusted. By the end of Abbott’s scorched earth approach to opposition, there was no trust in either party, just a vague hope that things would improve. Of course, they didn’t. And they are still not improving.

  3. From the Guardian’s live coverage of parliament:

    Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson has moved an amendment to the China-Australia free trade agreement implementation bill on investor state dispute clauses. These are the little suckers that allow corporations to sue governments for laws that affect their profits.

    The motion would call on the government:

    to negotiate any future articles relating minimum standard treatment and expropriation in the China-Australia free trade agreement

    (a) within the terms of current international law;

    (b) to exclude investor losses due to changes in government policy or regulation; and

    (c) to ensure that governments can change policy and regulate in Australia’s public interest, without legal recourse from another party.

    The intent of the motion is to try to limit what the ISDS clause covers in the future.

  4. If you have italicised everything, DN, we’ve got a lot of posts to go…

    As I’ve said before, the Liberals best strategy was always to promise to deliver Labor policies but to do so more effectively.

    (Not saying that was going to happen, but they would have had an easier message to sell…)

  5. It wasn’t just about Labor’s internal squabbles.

    One of the Coalition’s narratives going back all the way under Rudd, uncritically relayed by the msm, was that Labor could not be trusted to manage the delivery of any programs. Pink batts, school halls, etc, the NBN, even more etc.

    Initiatives: liked
    Management: Coalition preferred to Labor

    [Federal Labor will target 11 Liberal-National Party seats in Queensland at the 2016 election, just over half the 21 seats it needs to win back from the Coalition and reclaim government.
    Since the switch from Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull, the ALP has sharpened its focus on the Sunshine State and greater Sydney, in part to compensate for the Coalition’s improved standing in South Australia and Victoria.]

    All 11 seats named in article.

  7. My gut tells me that Labor has a good chance in Capricornia and Herbert and Forde and probably Bonner. Petrie is possible

    I am inclined to think theat Entch and little Wyatt will hang on. Also Gambaro in Brisbane.

    Flynn is a big ask.

    I am not sure about Dickson. The area is gentrifying, with the housing commission homes sold off to upwardly mobile types. It is becoming more urban and less fringe country.

  8. Longman could be interesting. There was a big swing in the area at the state election back to Labor. Wyatt is already sucking up to us oldies 🙂

  9. ALP candidates in SE Qld are in election mode already. Campaign teams set up, door knocking, street stalls, media events etc.

    Never seen them so organised, so far out from an election.

  10. Hope the ALP has come up with a better choice for Longman than what they have lumbered us with at state level. Just in case the youngster loses his seat 🙂

  11. “Tony! Where the bloody hell are you?”

    In the best tradition of Mao, Castro and Ho Chi Minh, Tony is regrouping in his wildness stronghold, preparing for an assault on the capital with his loyal comrades, and the eventual overthrow of the nasty new Emperor.

  12. [“Victoria@2316,
    Terri Butler’s expression is, “what a smarmy creep”.”]


    “He’s so Dreamy….”

    Look like school girls with the new hot boy in the classroom.

  13. [“My gut tells me that Labor has a good chance in Capricornia and Herbert and Forde and probably Bonner. “]

    And the last time Labor won Herbert was….

    Your gut is lying to you.

  14. TBA,
    Does Tony know that you think Malcolm is ‘dreamy’? I’m trying to imagine the cat-fight between the two over your affections.

  15. Had a nice chat with Kelvin only the other day – he rang up personally to apologise because he wasn’t able to get up here for a fundraiser. He’s a really nice person.

    Nobody likes a name-dropper, zoom.

    Tom Hanks told me that when I called to congratulate him on Bridge of Spies.

  16. [Does Tony know that you think Malcolm is ‘dreamy’? I’m trying to imagine the cat-fight between the two over your affections.]
    Dreamy? More like soporific these days.

  17. [“TBA,
    Does Tony know that you think Malcolm is ‘dreamy’? I’m trying to imagine the cat-fight between the two over your affections.”]

    No.. Terri Butler and the other girl look like school girls melting as they watch Malcolm Turnbull based on the picture on buzzfeed.

    How anyone comes to any other conclusion shows their agenda

  18. [ TrueBlueAussie
    Posted Monday, November 9, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Terri Butler’s expression is, “what a smarmy creep”.”


    “He’s so Dreamy….”

    Look like school girls with the new hot boy in the classroom. ]

    Not what you said –

    [ TrueBlueAussie
    Posted Monday, October 12, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Secretly I hope Abbott is sharpening the knives for a come back.

    Turnbull is turning into a bit of a dud ]

  19. So am I the the person who was found dead outside the Christmas Is detention centre was a refugee, with mental health issus, who the Government wanted to send back to Syria (that land of peace and prosperity)?

    That is disgusting.

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