BludgerTrack: 53.8-46.2 to Coalition

Malcolm Turnbull and his government take a bit of a knock on this week’s poll aggregate readings, while remaining in a well and truly commanding position.

The Coalition loses a coat of paint or two in this week’s reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, as last week’s strong result from ReachTEL washes out of the system and only relatively modest results from Newspoll and Essential Research emerge to take its place. The two-party trendline shown on the sidebar is now pointing downwards for the first time on Malcolm Turnbull’s watch. However, this has only made one point of difference to the seat projection, with Labor making a gain in New South Wales. There are new results on leadership ratings this week from both Newspoll and Essential, the former of which was fairly soft for Malcolm Turnbull by his standards. That causes a slight dip in his net satisfaction reading, although there’s no movement on preferred prime minister.

Preselection news:

• The Fairfax papers report that Bronwyn Bishop remains determined to seek another term as member for the blue-ribbon Sydney seat of Mackellar, despite her 73 years and downward career trajectory. The report says that the party’s hard Right faction has “abandoned Mrs Bishop over her perceived treachery against Mr Abbott, but it has little sway in Mackellar and it remains to be seen whether the left and centre right factions will use their numbers to protect her from challenge at preselection”. She appears likely to face a challenge from Jason Falinksi, chief executive of a health care supplier and a former Warringah councillor, whose party activities included the then-important job of campaign manager to Malcolm Turnbull when he first ran in Wentworth in 2004. Others mentioned are Jim Longley, who held the state seat of Pittwater from 1986 to 1996, and whose name comes up intermittently in relation to a possible comeback; Paul Nettelbeck, marketing director at Southern Cross College; and the one confirmed starter, Bill Calcraft, a businessman and former national rugby union player.

• The ABC reports the Nick Xenophon Team has unveiled its first tranche of five candidates for the next election, and taken the advantage of the opportunity to emphasise the national scale of its ambitions. Only two of the five are seats in South Australia, the only state where it stands to be seriously competitive. Matthew Wright, an emergency physician at the Flinders Medical Centre, will run against Christopher Pyne in Sturt, while Mayo MP Jamie Briggs will have to face one of his former staffers – Rebekha Sharkie, who has also worked for state Liberal MPs Isobel Redmond and Rachel Sanderson. The other three are Marie Rowland, a psychologist and counsellor, who will run in Tony Abbott’s Sydney seat of Warringah; Nancy Bassett, a consultant to Challenge Mining, who will run against Kelly O’Dwyer in the Melbourne seat of Higgins; and Josie Townsend, a “former publicist who now runs a marketing business specialising in start-up businesses”, who will run in the Toowoomba-based Queensland seat of Groom against Ian Macfarlane, who recently defected from the Liberal Party to the Nationals, although both are under the Liberal National Party umbrella in Queensland for electoral purposes.

Rick Wallace of The Australian reports seven candidates have emerged for the Labor preselection to succeed Kelvin Thomson in the inner northern Melbourne seat of Wills: Mehmet Tillem, who held a Senate seat in 2013 and 2014 and now works for Victorian Small Business Minister Philip Dalilakis; Josh Funder, a funds manager and former Yarra councillor; Anna-Maria Arabia, policy director to Bill Shorten; Peter Khalil, a former SBS executive; a funds manager and former Yarra councillor; and two Moreland councillors, Lambros Tapinos and Meghan Hopper. I had a good deal more to say about the situation in Wills in a piece for Crikey last week.

• Also from me in Crikey: a post-match report on the North Sydney by-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.

2,015 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.8-46.2 to Coalition”

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  1. It’s a pretty staggering choice, isn’t it. Obviously, Turnbull is tired of being kicked around by Rupe and is now licdking his hand like a cur.

  2. Sick to death of hearing about the Lindt cafe seige and hearing Bambi Baird prattle on about Sydney ‘coming together’.

    Sure two people were killed, and that is regrettable, but because the shit for brains who did this waved a pretend ISIS flag it suddenly gets blown out of all proportion.

    [On 19 December 2014, at 11:20 a.m., police were called to a home in the Cairns suburb of Manoora in Australia, where eight children were found dead. The victims were aged between 18 months and 14 years.]

    The above children were killed by their mother, but I bet the anniversary of this won’t beget the same song and dance, even though the issue, family violence, is far more pervasive and kills a lot more Australians than bloody ISIS.

  3. Let me guess… the ABC news division will be essentially gutted resulting in ABC scrutiny of parliament being minimized while Sky news ramps up… ?

  4. For what will happen to the ABC the BBC is a good guide.

    However be warned its journalism that will suffer as their will be less resources for scrutiny. No need to change bias at all as long as you have a compliant ceo who will go along with budget cuts

  5. Bronnie – the gift that keeps on giving….

    [A potential new candidate to succeed Bronwyn Bishop in Mackellar has emerged amid rising factional angst at the former Speaker’s determination to resist retirement and contest another election.

    Natasha Maclaren-Jones, an upper-house state Liberal and former NSW Liberal Party president, is being viewed as a potential compromise candidate to keep the northern beaches seat in the hands of the centre right faction.]

    […Ms Maclaren-Jones is the wife of Damien Jones, Mrs Bishop’s chief of staff when she was Speaker and her chosen successor in Mackellar.]

    [..If there is a factional fix it could entail Ms Maclaren-Jones exiting Macquarie Street for Canberra and Mr Jones entering state parliament via the casual vacancy she would create.]

    [..Her unwillingness to consider bowing out after nearly three decades as a Senator and an MP has frustrated some Liberal powerbrokers who believe the NSW ranks are ripe for renewal.

    Treasurer Scott Morrison and “father of the House” Philip Ruddock are among names who could be called upon to urge Mrs Bishop to reconsider her future.]

    Ruddock is lecturing people to leave Parliament in the name of renewal? Umm….

    [The situation in Mackellar is further complicated by Mrs Bishop’s determination for Mr Jones to inherit her seat.

    Bronwyn Bishop’s former chief of staff Damien Jones.

    But he sustained potentially mortal damage due to his involvement in the “choppergate” expenses scandal that led to Mrs Bishop’s relegation to the backbench.

    He helped organise the infamous $5000 helicopter ride between Melbourne and Geelong. In the midst of the scandal it emerged that Mr Jones’ best mate Andrew Gibbs, a political lobbyist, had arranged the chopper charter.]

    Yeah, he’s not suitable to be a Federal member, so let’s give him a State seat instead.

    However, his wife apparently is suitable, despite —

    [Her detractors say she has not shown ministerial potential since entering state parliament in 2011 and should not be rewarded with a plum federal seat.

    After the 2010 federal election Mr Abbott tried to engineer her removal from the party president role, blaming a poor campaign and election result in NSW on his failure to steal a clear-cut victory from Julia Gillard.]

    Gee, if this is the state of the NSW Liberals, NSW Labor is worse than even I thought.

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  6. K17

    [ It’s a pretty staggering choice, isn’t it. Obviously, Turnbull is tired of being kicked around by Rupe and is now licdking his hand like a cur. ]

    Just imagine – in a year’s time we will be looking back on the reign of Mark Scott and reminiscing about “the good old days” of the ABC!

  7. “@RDNS_TAI: Breaking:Just days after Paris agrees to ambitious emission reductions Qld Land Court says worlds largest export coal mine go ahead #auspol”

  8. So, to pay for their spending, they’re going after the poor. Joe and Tones must be bemused at the sheer effrontery of it. Does anyone seriously think this mob are going to close any loopholes for the rich, ever?

  9. Cotmomma – Darcy Byrne would be great. He’s done politics in the area for so long – he really deserves his chance. Fingers crossed.

  10. @SwannyQLD: The austerity sledge hammer the Libs took to confidence is a prime cause of lower growth & higher deficits #auspol #MYEFO

  11. @SimonBanksHB: Over the 4 years, #MYEFO revises both growth and employment growth DOWN

    What was that about “growth and jobs” @ScottMorrisonMP?

  12. @political_alert: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen will hold a press conference in response to #MYEFO, 2:30pm, Sydney #auspol

  13. Is the media asking about replace revenue stream. Its revenue stream loss from commodities that has caused the blowout not spending

  14. “@naomiwoodley: $52.5 million is being cut from #arts funding in #MYEFO, including the scrapping of the Book Council of Australia.”

  15. “@political_alert: Australian Greens treasury spokesperson Adam Bandt will respond to the release of #MYEFO at 3pm, Melbourne #auspol”

  16. Essential Poll
    TPP L/NP 52 (+1) ALP 48 (-1)
    Primaries L/NP 45(+1) ALP 35(-1) GRN 10(-1) PUP 1(0) OTH 9(0)

    Bernard’s analysis
    [Essential: year ends well for Turnbull, and Greens = Grinches?
    Bernard Keane | Dec 15, 2015 1:39PM
    Voters end the year more optimistic than over the last two years, and the Coalition rounds off 2015 with a sound lead, Essential report shows.

    The Turnbull government is ending the year strongly, with Australians more optimistic about 2016, but the performance of Treasurer Scott Morrison remains a big question mark for voters, today’s final Essential Report of the year shows.

    The Coalition has moved up a point on its primary vote to 45%, while both Labor and the Greens are down a point to 35% and 10% respectively, for a two-party preferred Coalition lead of 52%-48%.

    On Malcolm Turnbull’s performance, 15% of voters rate him as “very good” and 35% rate him as “good”, while only 2% of voters rate Bill Shorten’s performance as “very good” and just 12% as “good”. Over 40% of voters rate Shorten’s performance as “poor” or very poor” — with just under a quarter of voters in the latter category. Scott Morrison also fares poorly: 4% rate his performance as “very good” and 18% as “good” while 25% of voters rate his performance as “poor” or “very poor”.

    Voters are slightly more positive about 2015 than they were about 2014 or 2013 — 23% say it was a “very good” or “good” year for the economy while 34% say it was “poor” or very “poor” — a net score of -11, slightly better than for 2013 or 2014. A net 41% of voters say 2015 was poor for Australian politics in general — but that’s better than the -62 and -53 of the last two years. The only worse score was whether it had been a good or a bad year for trade unions, with a net score of -27. And 40% of voters say the year was good for them and their families, compared to 19% who say it was poor — well up on last year’s 3 point net score.]

  17. “@themarkjacka: Morrison, can you clarify one thing? When you blame the previous Govt for current economic crisis, do you mean the Abbott Govt? #auspol”

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