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. victoria@1953

    Leroy @Leroy_Lynch
    LNP MP found guilty of disclosing secret parliamentary committee business & then misleading QLD parliament about it
    6:57 PM – 17 Feb 2016
    Photo published for Qld MP found in contempt of parliament
    Qld MP found in contempt of parliament

    Qld MP found in contempt of parliament
    10 10 Retweets 2 2 likes

    Sounds like barely a slap on the wrist.

  2. Well, here we go again. Another day, another episode in the Reality TV show that is the Turnbull /Abbott Coalition government,

    ‘Downunder Abbey’.

    Today’s episode is entitled:

    ‘New Ministry Swearing In Part 3 & 1/2’

    We get to see lots of lovely Colgate smiles, the ladies in their finery, the men in their best suits, and all cracking hardy as the flashbulbs pop.

    All I can see is a bunch of ducks paddling madly trying to stay upright and give the impression of calm.

  3. Ha ha. Scott Morrison is now giving the line, ‘Vote for us and you’ll eventually get tax cuts’ a run.

    And if he wants to use cricketing analogies:

    Can’t run a country. Can’t run an Economy.

  4. [Labor’s tax reform plans announced on the weekend are good for the budget and housing affordability and will reduce inequities in our tax system while also addressing systemic risk.

    The Coalition has been left flat footed on economic reform, which doesn’t bode well for the country.

    With the Coalition all at sea with its own tax plans, Scott Morrison’s first media release criticising Labor’s plan was that the policies raise very little revenue.

    Given the Coalition recently abandoned its fiscal strategy of achieving a 1 per cent of GDP surplus by 2023-24, together with a budget deficit now $33 billion worse than when they came to power, this criticism can be best described as weak.]

    Read more:
    Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

    Simon Banks ‏@SimonBanksHB · 7m7 minutes ago  Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

    “Labor’s..plans..are good for the budget and housing affordability..will reduce inequities” @Bowenchris

  5. C@tmomma,

    For the increasingly nervous Morrison, staring down the barrel of having to deliver a Budget, it’s more like ‘Can’t run, can’t hide’.

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Mark Kenny says Morrison is aiming low in his first budget.
    The SMH was unimpressed with Morrison’s appearance at the NPC.
    Gareth Hutchens on the CEDA report on the potentially difficult economic future in front of us.
    James Massola writes about the failure of the Coalition’s workplace policies and the reactions from the usual boosters.
    Ouch! Mehajer gets a $10m kick in the goolies.
    Adrian Piccoli nails it again.
    Pater FitzSimons on cutting a mate’s lunch.
    And now it’s a councillor from Hurstvlle that shows why property developers should never be in local government.
    “View from the Street” wonders why the Greens are trying to kill themselves. Good question.
    Peter Martin tells us that there is more than one way to kill negative gearing. How we tolerate institutionalised dishinesty.

  7. Section 2 . . .

    Now there’s smoke around the relationship between Cunneen and Fred Nile.
    With a simple tweet Jeb Bush exposes the American nightmare.
    A heartfelt piece from Kristina Keneally on the Tim Minchin song about Pell.
    Some extraordinary results in blood cancer treatment give hope.
    Obama has faith in the US voters would ultimately make a sensible choice that will not be Donald Trump who, he says, simply does not have the temperament to do the job. He hits out at him in many ways.
    Peter Martin on the Productivity Commission’s proposal to include part of the value of pensioners’ homes in the pension asset test.–productivity-commission-chief-20160217-gmwrnk.html
    Paul Sheehan and a sorry tale of dealing with Telstra’s customer service.
    Why Bronwyn Bishop deserve to stay on in parliament. See what you think.

  8. Section 3 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir infers that Barnaby may not be a compliant companion for Turnbull.

    A sombre contribution from John Spooner.

    David Pope continues his good work with this one about Morrison’s budget development.

    Mark Knight and night time terrors for the Victorian Infrastructure Minister.
    David Rowe takes us into the operating theatre with Scott Morrison.

  9. William,

    Conscious of the fact that you’ve stayed up until after 5AM to post the new thread I’ve read through a couple of times and struggled, without result, to find any point in it to comment on.

  10. BK

    An amazing statement from Morrison admitting they’re a ‘do nothing government‘!

    [With the government moving towards an election later this year, Mr Morrison revealed existing programs would be spared the axe with “cuts” limited to proposed new spending.

    “The spending reductions that we would seek to achieve by controlling new spending is designed to deal with the deficit,” he stated.

    “What I have signalled is controlling new spending, that’s what I have signalled. I mean, you’ve described that as spending cuts. What I’m saying is we are looking to control new spending.”]

    Read more:
    Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

  11. Julia Gillard is a Wonder Woman. Too many men are unable to admit it.

    I hope she finds a way to counteract the entrenched sexism in many countries in Africa.

  12. C@t:

    Plus I love how she hasn’t let bitterness infect her. She just keeps on keeping on with those issues she’s passionate about.

  13. [“View from the Street” wonders why the Greens are trying to kill themselves. Good question.]

    Greens {fall} out of their tree.

    Nothing new to this.


  14. From Andrew Street.

    [More specifically: at a time when the environment is at the absolute forefront of global concerns, why are the Greens apparently cool with abdicating responsibility for fighting for it?

    After all, there’s no confusion about how seriously the government takes environmental concerns. They’ve been approving coal mines in agricultural areas, planning to expand coal shipping through the Great Barrier Reef, forcing the CSIRO to cut funding to climate monitoring, and prevent environmental and citizens groups from making legal challenges against developments.

    Oh, and they’re still hoping to axe the Renewable Energy Agency, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate Change Authority (who “Environment” Minister Greg Hunt has kept from doing anything useful, getting them to do an emissions trading review while merrily insisting that emissions trading “will not be back in my time, in our time, in my belief in the next 20 years while the Coalition has any say in the matter”).

    Given everything at risk, are the Greens seriously going to make themselves politically irrelevant as a toothless minority party while simultaneously giving the government carte blanche to do whatever irreparable harm it fancies to the environment for at least three years?]

    By concentrating on a wider spectrum of social concerns, are the Greens abandoning their fight for the environment and leaving it to local groups?

  15. Interesting to note that both The Age & Herald-Sun today have begun the process to bring down Daniel (Dan) Andrews with the Age even linking him to Rudd & Gillard

  16. The language of deception
    Although most politicians have no training in economics, and sometimes lack even the most superficial knowledge of how the Australian economy works, they are often highly skilled in using economic language to bamboozle or silence the public. They use words like productivity when they mean profit. They say things like “The economy is overheated” when they mean “The wages of low-paid workers are growing faster than I think they should.” Words matter.

  17. We all know that socialists took over the Greens as their preferred front vehicle du jour.

    The inevitable consequence is that the Greens lose focus on the environment and start edging towards the Revolution.

    And when that fails they pick someone who looks like a social democrat as front person (Di Natale) and you have a Labor Lite Party which is good for holier-than-thou and nothing else.

  18. BKH,

    It’s actually been going on for awhile.

    The Skyrail proposal is actually quite popular locally. Most residents can see the benefit of removing the rail crossings.

    So apart from the Nimbys egged on by the Libs and the journos, we have nothing much to look at here.

  19. [ CTar1
    Posted Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink


    An amazing statement from Morrison admitting they’re a ‘do nothing government‘!]

    Ahh, but this is the vital bit and the reason –

    *With the government moving towards an election*

  20. GG

    Yep, nothing but waffle.

    But as observed on this pages before, there are plenty of voters who will fall for it all over again for a third, fourth, fifth time etc.

  21. Bw

    di Natale seem to me to have a ‘bold plan’.

    Aiming to disagree with incumbent governments 54 out of every 100 chances: “Big-hearted defenders of the planet and the people”.

  22. [As a minister, she implemented a mandate that foreign defence contractors must have a large presence of local employees if they wish to win tenders. In the last few years of the Howard government she invigorated the backbench to get active on tax reform (with Senator Fifield), which forced the cabinet to back the reforms. Now she chairs a parliamentary committee hearing into the quality and quantity of local news services for regional Australia.]

    Read more:

    Wow, 25 years in Parliament, many of those as a Minister, and this is all that one of her fans can sheet home to her as achievements?

    Scarcely change-the-world stuff.

  23. I said as much as Andrew Street about The Greens last night.
    Some of their current policies, as much as they have any, are actually antithetical to the environment. For example, their Asylum Seeker policy, #LetThemCome. So what do you think will happen to the fragile Australian environment, especially under the sway of Climate Change, if we just let as many refugees as want to come to Australia? Not to mention the effect on the delicate balancing act that is Multiculturalism in Australia. Australia may be vast in size but not in habitable and arable land.

    Not to mention the fact that Mike Baird in NSW has introduced some horrendous Anti Tree laws under the guise of a Bushfire Prevention strategy that just allow the Coalition’s Developer Mates and Donors to level vast swathes of bushland for housing. Not a peep from The Greens about that.

    Another thing that really irks me about The Greens is that they haven’t raised a voice against Barnaby Joyce’s damn dam plans! I can remember when the Queensland State Labor government wanted to dam the Mary River. Every Green in the village came out and campaigned, rightly, against it. However, what do we hear from the federal Greens about Barnaby’s grand dam plans? *crickets*

    So what do they stand for any more except being fantasy Labor, without the sharp edges?

    I will admit though that the ‘Lock the Gate’ campaign seems to have been successful.

  24. @facepalm@

    [Katharine Murphy
    Katharine Murphy – Verified account ‏@murpharoo

    After months of bracket creep being end times, Cormann now says low wages growth & inflation means it’s not that bad @RNBreakfast]

  25. CTaR1


    And the other 46 times he disagrees with the Opposition.

    The real hoot is that not one word in their real policies has been changed since Di Natale hit his straps.

    He tried, just once, to inject a modicum of common sense into just one of the policies – those on GMOs.

    He got whacked big time and was dragged back onto the reservation pronto.

  26. [After months of bracket creep being end times, Cormann now says low wages growth & inflation means it’s not that bad @RNBreakfast]

    Turnbull’s been on the blower. “We’re making a (very brave) tactical retreat on this one lads…”

  27. Sinodinos? The same person who was managing the affairs of fhe Liberal party and Water Holdings Company who then purportedly had no clue of what was going on! Please!!

    [Mark Bailey
    Mark Bailey – ‏@mrkbly

    @phbarratt @A_Sinodinos as Treasurer after the election? There’s only so long MT can give ScoMo to get off the training wheels.]

  28. SUSC

    [change to benefit people who don’t drive often and charge those who do]

    The user pays principle? Depends what the other balances are. (Can’t access the link).

  29. [Another of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s investments is under scrutiny, with revelations he has a financial stake in the global parent company of the scandal-plagued 7-Eleven empire.]

    Oh dear. That could definitely grow legs.

  30. Good on Tim Minchin, but did the latest version of ABC Anti-Bias Pro-Balance software (v7.5.02) really require them to have both Gerard Henderson and Amanda Vandstone on air to attack Minchin?

    Admittedly Henderson’s always good for a laugh.

  31. I think The Greens are positioning themselves as a ‘progressive’ party without the taint of UNIONISM
    Ie not COALITION and not LABOR
    I think VftS is on the right track when he says the senate deal will destroy the party.

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