BludgerTrack: 52.8-47.2 to Coalition

For the third week in a row, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate detects movement away from the Coalition.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate this week mostly splits the difference between a strong result for the government from ReachTEL and a weak one from Ipsos, translating into a 0.3% shift to Labor on two-party preferred and a two-point change on the seat projection, with Labor picking up one each in New South Wales and Victoria. The Ipsos poll also furnished one set of leadership ratings for the week, the impact of which on the trend measures is fairly minor.

On top of that, I’ve got an avalanche of new material to treat you with this week, most of which has been hived off to a separate post dealing with preselection news. There are two further poll results I’ve so far neglected to cover:

• This week’s Essential Research moves a point in favour of the Coalition on two-party preferred, who now lead 52-48. The primary votes are Coalition 43% (steady), Labor 33% (down two) and Greens 11% (steady). Further questions find 28% reporting the Malcolm Turnbull prime ministership has been better than expected, 22% worse than expected, and 41% as expected; a very even divide on the issue of babies born to asylum seekers in Australia, with 39% wanting them sent to Nauru and 40% believing they should remain in Australia; 34% believing conditions for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island are good, versus 40% for poor; and 64% disapproving of suggestions the administration and payment of Medicare, pharmaceutical and aged care benefits should be outsourced, with only 17% approving.

• The Galaxy Queensland poll that provided state results for the Courier-Mail on the weekend also had a federal voting intention component, which had the Coalition’s lead in Queensland at 57-43 (unchanged from the 2013 election), from primary votes of Coalition 49% (up 3.3% since the election), Labor 30% (up 0.2%), Greens 10% (up 3.8%) and Palmer United 1% (down 10.0%). The poll was conducted last Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 869.

Other notable news:

• The federal redistribution process for the Australian Capital Territory was finalised last month, leaving undisturbed the draft proposal from September. The Fraser electorate, which covers the northern part of Canberra, is to be renamed Fenner, with the Canberra electorate continuing to account for the capital’s centre and south, along with the unpopulated areas of the territory’s south. The two seats are respectively held for Labor by Gai Brodtmann and Andrew Leigh. Around 10,000 voters are to be transferred from Fraser to Canberra, leaving Labor’s two-party margin in Fraser unchanged at 12.6%, while increasing the Canberra margin from 7.0% to 7.4%.

• The process for a redistribution of the Northern Territory and its two federal electorates has commenced, but with a final resolution for the process being scheduled for early next year, the new boundaries will not take effect at the next election.

• The Northern Territory parliament has voted to change the electoral system from compulsory to optional preferential voting, so that voters will be required to do no more than number a single box, as is the case at state elections in New South Wales and Queensland. The bill was passed with the support of cross-bench independents in the face of opposition from Labor.

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.

2,149 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.8-47.2 to Coalition”

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  1. B.C.@2087

    Re the Thomas Piketty oped on the rise of Bernie Sanders, I have a theory that from the early eighties the rich in the US (and the UK) forgot the lessons of WW2 and started getting greedy again.

    Actually they never ceased being greedy and never will.

    The problem was that the restraints were loosened too much.

  2. [Given quite a few PBers have argued for fixing bracket creep, I’d be interested to see what people think of this:
    afford”. Photo: Jonathan Barrett

    A proposal to lift the $80,001 marginal tax bracket to fix the problem of bracket creep would help the wealthy up to 10 times more than average wage earners, according to an analysis of Treasury data.]

    just lifting the 37c threshold to 100k would be one of the most hopeless things they could possibly think of. Of course the rich would love it to bits as they get a nice little tax cut, but the vast majority of workers (median wage is much lower than the average of $78k) would get zip.

    [We need bracket creep to claw back structurally the overly generous tax cuts based on the mining boom receipts that never eventuated. At best, there should be an adjustment at the bottom end, so that any cut back disproportionately benefits those who most need it – the lowest income earners.]

    We have been for 7 years. It is getting to about time to put a stop to it. If you only give tax cuts to the lower end you end up with the problem we used to have of the rates cutting in much earlier along the income distribution. What we have now is reasonably fair. Average income at around the 2nd top rate means much more than half workers are on the 3rd highest as their marginal rate.

    If the move to change the 37c threshold to 100k only costs $1.7bil then I’d love to see what moving all the thresholds up 2.5% to account for inflation each year. It would probably be a fair bit more, but probably still affordable. If the Libs come out with something as poorly targeted and inequitable as this proposal Labor would smash them with simple rate indexation.

  3. Sorry JaR, what did I miss?….”I’d be absolutely for the death penalty…………….etc”.

    Your seeming iron-clad condition of absolute guilt does not cut it with me.

    I actually take the view that sending one innocent person to the gallows is a greater evil than taking the chance of getting say, 6 out of 7, to punish the 6.

    I bet Lindy Chamberlain would be with you one this one…not.

  4. Further to my comment at 2099: I should have made it clearer that in relation to s.92 of the Electoral Act, it’s the process of habitation reviews that has long gone: the standing appropriation is still there, but it’s no longer supporting major one-off updates of the roll involving expensive field work. Instead, the AEC moved to what it called continuous roll update, and then to direct update of the rolls based on data received from other trusted agencies.

  5. [
    Posted Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    frednk @ 1998,

    ‘ I only found out today that Baby Asha is in hospital with burns suffered as a result of a cooking accident on Nauru. So of course it would be wrong to send a one year old burns victim back to an atoll in the middle of nowhere and without a proper Burns Unit.

    I am sure you can harden your heart a little more and declare it acceptable.’

    That’s really nasty.
    I am glad you think so. And I appoligise. There are comments on the Age site along the line “The mother thru the water on the kid deliberately”. Children overboard!

    I am no green supporter “they develop policy in secret” and are well aware there is a range of views in the Labor party with branch resolutions supporting the refugees.

    It is the labor parties ovenness in developng policy that I find attractive.

  6. I was at the Perth Writers Festival again today and in the audience for the panel featuring Clare O’Neil, Richard Denniss and Laura Tingle. Denniss mentioned how Morrisson likes to mention our average income of $80,000 when discussing bracket creep. However, Denniss said the median household (not individual but household) income was around $70,000 (IIRC). So despite the talk of average Australians most Australians don’t have to worry about bracket creep.

    For reference, according to the average Australian household’s income in 2014 was $145,000.

  7. On forgetting the lessons of WW2, this is a comment by Baron Carrington:

    However, as the young Peter Carington was beginning his life in politics, it was uncertain whether Churchill’s political career was already over. “He must have been very wounded when he was voted out in the landslide election in 1945. But I certainly understood why Labour was voted in. The public simply didn’t believe that the Conservatives could be trusted. Anyone who lived through the 1930s, who witnessed the Jarrow marches, understood that. There had been such terrible poverty.

    “I remember serving alongside men in my tank during the war, and hearing their thoughts. These were young men who had joined up in the hope of getting a square meal. Most had been unemployed before the war. In my squadron, not one single man voted Conservative in 1945.”

  8. Bracket creep was a problem when inflation was stuck on 7-10% year after year for two decades. Now that the inflation dragon is, if not dead, at least resting (or comatose), it’s a 9th order issue.

    So why are the conservatives banging on about it? Same reason they wanted to increase the GST: reduce tax on that part of their income they can’t hide.

  9. B.C.@2107

    I was at the Perth Writers Festival again today —

    Has there been any mention of the death in the last few days of two great literary figures, Harper Lee and Umberto Eco?

  10. daretotread@2112


    No but I heard him on the radio. it is just that in Syria ans Iraq the evidence is that ISIS is under pressure

    Then you don’t know what he was saying about the situation in Afghanistan.

  11. Triton, I think the Lindy Chamberlain case is a perfect example of why I could never say the prosecution had convinced mne to 0% doubt that the accused was guilty. OK?

  12. B.C.

    [average income of $80,000]
    The use of average is bullshit. If Gina walked into the local bar then the average wealth of people in the pub would be in mega millions. The median is the go. It is the 50% mark and in 2011 for full-time workers, the median was $57,400 . So half of all full time workers earned less than $54,700 . However in that year the “average” wage was $74,800 . Quite a difference.

    As for bracket creep 😆 Bracket creep needs wage/salary increases.

  13. Probably not too many gamers on PB but I bought a game today at a trash and treasure. Seems it is with something called Steam. Even though it hads the product key it cannot be activated.

    Have I done my dough (all $2)

  14. Steam is a game shop and copyright protection system, I presume you have installed it?

    If the game looks a bit suss it may be the activation has already been used.

  15. DTT,

    Yes, they should have given you the Steam account it was activated with. I think you can swap or share games to different accounts (not sure about that) but you need to have the steam account it was activated with to do that.

  16. Tom, 2125

    From the same article:

    [The ABC has been told Joe Bullock is considering an early retirement and that jostling has begun to fill the expected vacancy.

    The former union secretary was controversially placed number one on Labor’s senate ticket last time around, which meant Louise Pratt missed out on being re-elected.

    Senator Bullock declined to respond to the speculation.]

  17. Newspoll

    50-50 2PP

    Coalition 43, Labor 35, Greens 12

    Turnbull: Satisfied 48, Dissatisfied 38
    Shorten: Satisfied 28, Dissatisfied 57

    Better PM Turnbull 55, Shorten 21

    1807 sample, 18-21 Feb

  18. frednk @ 2106,
    I accept your apology with open arms. 🙂

    What I didn’t add but will share now is that, as a survivor of a bad burn due to boiling water, I knew exactly what that poor child must be going through.

    Now the correct outcome has been achieved. The child will be in the community with it’s parents and able to access Outpatient care for it’s burns. 🙂

  19. Mark Di Stefano ‏@MarkDiStef 3m3 minutes ago

    Mark Di Stefano Retweeted Troy Bramston
    Troy Bramston Verified account

    #Newspoll 2PP: L/NP 50% ALP 50% Primary: L/NP 43% ALP 35% Preferred PM: Turnbull 55% Shorten 21% @australian #auspol

    *whispers into shirt cuff*
    ahhhh it’s on.


  20. So…

    LNP Primary down 3%, Turnbull’s approval down 5, disapproval up 7. Shorten up 3 on approval and down 3 on disapproval.

    PPM Turnbull down 4 and Shorten unchanged.

    The LNP’s return to earth continues.

  21. Abbott and Credlin have leapt out of the jacuzzi.

    Abbott (tripping over a box hedge): We’re getting the band back together!

    Credlin: Aye aye Captain Bligh!

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