BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Coalition

The poll aggregate moves in Labor’s favour for the fourth week in a row, this time rather sharply in the wake of Newspoll’s surprise result.

Newspoll’s surprise this week has caused a minor landslip in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which moves 0.8% to Labor on two-party preferred, while delivering only a modest gain of three on the seat projection (one each in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia). The leadership results from the poll have also caused Malcolm Turnbull’s net approval rating to continue its downward trajectory, and given a very slight impression of Bill Shorten pulling out of his slump. Also in the mix this week were results from Roy Morgan and Essential Research, neither of which recorded much movement, although the former found Labor hanging on to a big gain the previous fortnight.

In other news, the big story at the moment is obviously the introduction this week of Senate reform legislation to the Senate, for which there is a dedicated thread here for you to comment on, together with my paywalled contribution to Crikey on Tuesday. Then there’s preselection news:

• Nominations for the hotly contested Liberal preselection in Mackellar closed on Friday, with seven challengers coming forward to take on Bronwyn Bishop. Joe Kelly of The Australian reports the field includes the widely touted Walter Villatora and Jason Falinksi (see this earlier post for further detail), along with Bill Calcraft, a former Wallabies player described by the Sydney Morning Herald as having “returned to Australia after a long career in business in Europe”. For what it may be worth in well-heeled Mackellar, Calcraft has the support of talk radio broadcaster Alan Jones, who coached him when he played for Manly in the 1980s. The other candidates are Campbell Welsh, a stockbroker; Vicky McGahey, a school teacher; and Alan Clarke, founder of Street Mission.

Sarah Martin of The Australian reports that while Craig Kelly no longer faces opposition from Sutherland Shire mayor Kent Johns in the Liberal preselection for Hughes, two other local party members have nominated against him: Jeffrey Clarke, a barrister, and Michael Medway, noted only as the candidate for Werriwa in 2004.

• The Liberal preselection to replace Andrew Robb in Goldstein, which was covered here in detail last week, looms as a contest between Georgina Downer and Tim Wilson, after another highly rated candidate, local software entrepreneur Marcus Bastiaan, ruled himself out. Christian Kerr of The Australian reports on a move by locals to throw their weight behind Denis Dragovic, a “former hostage negotiator, academic and global development worker”. Also expected to nominate by Kerr’s Liberal sources are Jeremy Samuel, chairman of the party’s Caulfield electorate committee, and John Osborn, director of economics and industry policy for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

• The Liberal preselection to replace Bruce Billson in the outer south-eastern Melbourne seat of Dunkley has been won by Chris Crewther, a Frankston-based business consultant. Steve Lillebuen of Fairfax reports that Crewther won in the final round over Donna Bauer, who held the state seat of Carrum for the Liberals from 2010 to 2014. Crewther unsuccessfully attempted to win the rural seat of Mallee for the Liberals when Nationals member John Forrest retired in 2013, but was defeated by Nationals candidate Andrew Broad.

• The retirement of Warren Truss creates a preselection vacancy in the Nationals stronghold of Wide Bay in central Queensland. Among those to express interest are Jeff Seeney, who entered state politics in 1998 and served as Opposition Leader from March 2011 to March 2012, and as Deputy Premier through the period of Campbell Newman’s government from March 2012 to February 2015. Also said to be in the mix is Tim Langmead, a former adviser to Truss.

• Also vacant is Ian Macfarlane’s Toowoomba-based seat of Groom, where the state member for Toowoomba South, John McVeigh, has confirmed he will seek Liberal National Party preselection.

Sally Cripps of the North Queensland Register reports four candidates have nominated for Liberal National Party preselection in Bob Katter’s seat of Kennedy: Michael Trout, who held the state seat of Barron River from 2012 to 2015; Shane Meteyard, grazier and owner of Milray Contracting; Jonathan Pavetto, economic advisor for the Alliance of Electricity Consumers; and Karina Samperi, a Cairns management consultant. The narrowly unsuccessful candidate from 2013, Noeline Ikin, has withdrawn after being diagnosed with cancer.

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.

3,221 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Coalition”

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  1. Peg@3163

    [ Essential has just shown us that a higher percentage of Labor voters back the reforms than do Greens voters:

    Hilarious isn’t it. Perhaps Greens voters have succumbed to the Labor scare campaign more than its own voters.

    Perhaps Labor voters are more cynical and knowledgeable about how its party’s powerbrokers and factional hacks operate behind closed doors.]

    Actually, I do not agree. Labor voters, like Greens voters make up their own mind, and on the merits of individual pieces of policy/ proposals. You will find no love for Sussex Street among Labor branch members.

  2. Lenore Taylor – the only one in the media so far to have used the word revolt by the tories against their leader.

    The MSM need to go deeper on all of this, Turnbull is being pinned like a bug on what he can or can’t do – if he wants to keep his job.

    With Polls turning against him – he not vunerable from attack, if not a challenge from abbott.

    [ Tony Abbott has confirmed the obvious. The backbench “revolt” over the Coalition’s tax policy has really been about trying to corral Malcolm Turnbull into repeating his predecessor’s rejected budget policy.

    Because of course if Turnbull goes along with the “revolters” and rejects options to reduce tax concessions for the very rich, he will be left with the only other way to pay for anything he wants to do, without increasing the budget deficit. Spending cuts.

    Which is exactly what Abbott urged him to do in the party room on Tuesday – in a sugar-coated exchange in which Abbott espoused Turnbull’s “brilliance” in attacking Labor’s negative gearing cuts – and then said that was exactly why the government should not be introducing any of its own. That and the “truisms” that “we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem” and “you can’t cut taxes by raising them”. ]

  3. [It was a pleasant surprise to see the Essential poll results, but I just can’t get the feeling that Labor is anywhere near the brink of government just yet.]

    Having witnessed federal politics so far this year I can’t believe it’s only 50-50… although as we keep saying… there is a lag.

    Morgan face to face in particular goes with the mood. Once it becomes common knowledge that Turnbull is no longer in fashion, I expect it will move heavily back to the ALP.

  4. [ It was a pleasant surprise to see the Essential poll results, but I just can’t get the feeling that Labor is anywhere near the brink of government just yet. ]

    No time for hubris, but…something to enjoy anyway. 🙂

    If the ALP go to an election in a range @ 48 / 52 ahead or 52 / 48 behind then its fighting chance territory and i’ll be happy with that.

  5. Darn@3193

    Not hearing much criticism of Shorten any more. Rex and ESJ, two of the main protagonists, seem to have vanished. Probably feeling a little foolish right now. The Lorax has apparently seen the light – no more talk of lemmings.

    What a difference a few months makes.

    Alias in a witness protection program ?

    [ alias
    Posted Friday, October 2, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I still get a special little heart flutter when I remember Turnbull is PM ]

  6. Looking abit down and out me thinks:

    andrew meares ‏@mearesy 20m20 minutes ago

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison during question time

  7. [ Having witnessed federal politics so far this year I can’t believe it’s only 50-50… although as we keep saying… there is a lag. ]

    Are the doGs good enough that a poll “lag” may continue to express itself into the beginnings of a DD election campaign?? 🙂

  8. [Tricot
    Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 3:27 pm | PERMALINK
    It was a pleasant surprise to see the Essential poll results, but I just can’t get the feeling that Labor is anywhere near the brink of government just yet.

    They’re not. But they are moving into a position where they can win back a swathe of seats this time around and finish the job with a crushing win in 2019. That’s how I see it anyway.

  9. [ Tricot

    Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    It was a pleasant surprise to see the Essential poll results, but I just can’t get the feeling that Labor is anywhere near the brink of government just yet.


    True – one swallow does not a summer make

    However I would rather be Bill – with a UNITED team ….that Waffling Malcolm with a bunch of angry, delusional, disillusioned, homophobic, economic midget pack of convivial arseholes ……

  10. [A Dixer allowing the foreign minister to crow about Fury Road winning the technical Oscars yesterday. The Dixer was asked by Fiona Scott, the member for Lindsay.]

    Gee, which one of the slave wives was Julie Bishop?

  11. Re. 3216… I put that post in because I wanted to test the “Posting too Quickly” algorithm.

    I think it’s got at least something to do with when you type the last character you type in a post and when you hit the “Post Comment” button.

    If you wait 10 seconds, (i.e. let the cursor blink 10 times) it doesn’t seem to ping you.

    Tested it on this post and the diea seemed to hold up. Tried posting this several times before 10 seconds and it didn’t work. But now that I’ve waited… bliss!

  12. [You will find no love for Sussex Street among Labor branch members.]

    Particularly those of us who don’t live in NSW!

  13. Interesting result. I stand corrected.

    William any chance you could update the graph you did on Sunday? Charting the raw essential figures against Bludgertrack?

  14. Some timeless wisdom from Ray Davies caught my attention as I dead headed the roses. If only they printed more money everything would be cool hey Nick?

    [Those economic vultures
    Stole our dreams and told us tales
    Then they towed away our culture
    To their depot in south Wales

    Corporations get the tax breaks
    While the city gets the crime
    The profit’s going somewhere
    But it isn’t yours or mine

    Still we blindly trust in the divine
    Let’s sing for the old country, come on, one more time

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