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. Leigh Sales on GST – ‘Labor scare campaign’. She might as well be Turnbull’s media spokesperson the way she goes on. No analysis – just straight race calling determined with reference to pre-existing views.

    She really must have the hots for Turnbull too. I bet she never talked about Tony Abbott’s ‘scare campaign’ over the carbon price – when it really was a scare campaign with projections that had no contact with reality. Then, 7.30 and the ABC news reported the daily lies with no criticism whatsoever.

    I saw QT today and it’s the same old waffle, waffle, waffle from Waffles.

    He might think it is clever, but I think as long as he insists everything is ‘on the table’, he is going to have to put up with what the consequences of leaving that stuff hanging out there.

    One final point. We tend to forget that people like Leigh Sales are paid shitloads of dough. Whether they align with a political party or not, the fact is that their world is the kind of world where people earn hundreds of thousands of dollars and have plenty of spare cash. A world where a 5% increase on the cost of the luxury items they buy is nothing, but a 1c in the dollar decrease in their marginal tax rate is worth thousands. So why would they be sympathetic to people who have to spend every dollar they have on basics?

  2. Got to say TBA certainly makes the Bludger site very unpleasant.
    Adrian, you’re quite right. I really ought not have tried anything in relation to TBA.

  3. [Adrian – William should ban him because he does ruin this blog, sucking up huge amounts of oxygen and wasting everyone’s time.]

    Not going to happen unfortunately.

  4. bemused
    [Seems time to spray a bit of Roundup in Wills to get rid of those Greens weeds!]

    Nice metaphor 😉 What a pleasant chap UR.

  5. [Leigh Sales on GST – ‘Labor scare campaign’. She might as well be Turnbull’s media spokesperson the way she goes on. No analysis – just straight race calling determined with reference to pre-existing views.]

    I had to leave the room at that point – the same line had been trotted out on the news, with no ALP representation at all.

  6. It’s ironic having two left wing noxious toads like adrian and K17 demanding that their counter balancing right wing noxious toad TBA be banned from contributing to the site.

  7. You’d know all there is to know about noxious toads GG, just by looking in the mirror. Guess you’re on the piss again old man!

  8. [
    Last post 7:06.

    Anyone out there]

    I had to go out for some air, something I read here made me feel ill.

    I come back and now it’s name calling

    [Australia’s human rights record is set to be scrutinised by the United Nations overnight as part of the four-yearly review undertaken in Geneva.

    The periodic evaluation by the UN Human Rights Council coincides with an outbreak of violence in one of Australia’s immigration detention centres on Christmas Island, where detainees set multiple fires and destroyed facilitates after the death of an Iranian refugee.

    It also comes less than two months after the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants cancelled a planned visit to Australia amid concerns over the restrictions on reporting abuse within offshore centres.

    In a submission to the periodic review, Human Rights Watch called on the UN to enforce an end to Australia’s policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers.]

  10. Adrian,

    How was the meeting with the local chapter of the Westboro Baptists.

    Tell us again how much you hate the world and all it’s people.

    [Joe Bullock resigns from ALP right faction
    Gareth Parker State Political Editor
    November 9, 2015, 4:54 pm

    Senator and political warrior Joe Bullock has resigned from the WA Labor Party’s Right faction he helped found 31 years ago because of what he described as a failure of leadership in internal party matters.

    Bullock, who stepped back as the leader of the Right last Christmas, said the faction had been “missing in action” in internal party contests allowing the Left to dictate terms in major party decisions including the selection of the new State Secretary Patrick Gorman and pre-selection matters.

    A staunchly socially conservative Anglican former head of the shop assistants union, Mr Bullock, 60, cited “foolishness” including an aborted attempt by Australian Workers Union State secretary Stephen Price to unseat Margaret Quirk in Girrawheen, the blue collar Left unions’ failed shafting of Gary Gray and United Voice’s push to install Pierre Yang rather than Matt Keogh in Burt as evidence of the Right’s decline.

    His resignation from the faction comes as the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association he once led considers at a national level reversing its opposition to gay marriage, a push that is being spearheaded by the WA branch.


    Mr Bullock said he had no intention of resigning from the Labor Party and said he would continue to serve as factionally unaligned Senator. He entered the Senate last year from the no.1 spot on the ticket after acrimonious negotiations that split Labor’s Left and saw Louise Pratt, from the Metal Workers, miss out from the no.2 spot after the largest Left union, United Voice, backed Mr Bullock.]

  12. Joe Bullock resigns from the faction that put him there over Louise Pratt. Amazing. 10/10 crap Senate dealings (on the plus side at least we’ve got Penny Wong instead of Farrell)

  13. [Tell us again how much you hate the world and all it’s people.]

    Just the ones too stupid to use apostrophes properly. Another characteristic that you share with TBA!

  14. That’s one of Elder’s better efforts:

    [How little it took for the veneer of civility to fall away. How little remains once it has fallen. There’s no better time to can a stale program that has failed to meet even the modest objectives set by its host, whose mask of dimply cake-bearing effusiveness has cracked to reveal a snarling diva who simply will not be questioned by the lower orders.]

  15. Liberal Party ‏@LiberalAus 5h5 hours ago

    Under the Coalition Gov’t there will be no changes made to the tax system that are unfair to people on lower incomes #qt #auspol


  16. [For one who can’t even capitalise their name, you are not in any position to critique grammer.]

    Not doing well tonight old man! Spot the spelling error this time…

  17. fess,

    I see it as another miss. Crabb’s an easy target. As he said, he has the perfect right not to watch. Maybe he needs to exercise that more often.

    Elder seems to have lost his mojo since the demise of Abbott.

  18. William in today’s Crikey on Greens-Liberal preference deals:

    [The Greens’ sensitivity about what could potentially be achieved with help from Liberal preferences is made all the more acute by the fact that their most obvious targets — Anthony Albanese in Grayndler and Tanya Plibersek in Sydney — are without peer in the Labor Party in terms of their popularity with the inner-city left.

    Di Natale took to Twitter on Saturday to offer an indignant response to suggestions the party might seek to unseat Albanese and Plibersek through a Liberal preference deal, but he did not unequivocally dismiss the idea when pressed in an interview on ABC News 24.

    While he stressed that the party has “never preferenced the Liberals ahead of the Labor Party” (which is almost but not entirely true), and that he did not imagine this was about to change, the temptations will be substantial.]

    William concludes:

    [Greens support in Sydney and Grayndler was in the mid-30s at the state election but barely 20% federally, whereas Labor’s federal primary vote in both seats was in the mid-40s — more than 8% higher than the state election result in Grayndler, and as much as 15% higher in Sydney.

    That would have been enough to have kept both Albanese and Plibersek secure in 2013 even if the Greens had overtaken the Liberals to finish second, and even if the Liberals had directed their preferences to the Greens ahead of Labor, neither of which was the case.

    The numbers suggest Tanya Plibersek will be on a pretty strong wicket in Sydney at the next election come what may.

    But it could be a very different story in Grayndler if Albanese opts to put the Greens threat behind him for once and for all by pulling up stumps and moving south to the seat of Barton, as reports suggest he may.]

  19. GG:

    As I said the other day, I think it speaks volumes about priorities that ABC is shutting down regional newsrooms while fluffy nonsense programs like Kitchen Cabinet remain on air.

  20. Before people hit the outrage button too hard, it’s worth remembering that a large number of prisoners, esp indigenous ones, commit suicide in our own jails every year.

    The Outrage-ometer doesn’t hit eleven every time it happens.

  21. The farce that is Leigh Sales and 7.30 is trending near the top on Twitter. Obviously a lot of people are not deluded about this trashy show.

  22. Diogs,

    Very true.

    You only have to recall the drowning death of that toddler that shanghaied around the world and probably started to change attitudes here regarding AS.

  23. Diogenes@2439

    Before people hit the outrage button too hard, it’s worth remembering that a large number of prisoners, esp indigenous ones, commit suicide in our own jails every year.

    The Outrage-ometer doesn’t hit eleven every time it happens.

    The same fate befalls other mental health patients, often inexcusably so.

  24. @2438

    I would be surprised if the costs of Kitchen Cabinet would even pay for the cost of one person in a regional newsrooms.

  25. For those bemoaning the fact that some who come here are here just for the stir, I don’t think that much has changed over time.

    However, I have to say what when one or two (or more) of these souls hog the discourse, I seem to have to scroll over hectares of words to get to something sensible.

    There are times to bail out and times to dip in…..

    Not much point asking for this mob to be banned as this place has often enough been accused of being a left-wing echo chamber in any event.

    The t’other mob actually serve to prove the validity of the other point of view.

  26. The cost of poor competition & managment continues in Australia.

    Qantas executives said the booking fees they charge per passenger, which range from $7 to $30 on Qantas and offshoot Jetstar, recover only about 80 per cent of the full cost per booking. The majority of the booking fee cost is merchant service fees the airlines are charged by banks per credit card transaction but also includes IT costs, fraud losses and other administration costs.

    “Qantas recovers less than its total cost of card acceptance,” said Andrew Parker, group executive government and international affairs.

    These are all on costs to running a business,does Quants managment seriously state that credulity card charges should apply because it covers the cost of their IT as well… FFS no IT no business.. how long did they go to Uni to think that one up.
    Maybe they should apply to Mal for a government advisory position, eminently qualified.

    They almost make Ticketek look professional, I paid $6 fees on a $40 Melbourne cup ticket to Randwick … never again Mr. Packer

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