BludgerTrack: 51.5-48.5 to Coalition

No signs of the trend away from the Coalition abating in the latest reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, following a particularly weak result in this week’s Essential Research poll.

The only new poll this week was the regular result from Essential Research, but it was enough to contribute to another sizeable cut in the Coalition two-party lead for the fifth week in a row. Sharp-eyed observers will note that the state seat tallies now account for redistribution changes, which have added a seat in Western Australia and removed one in New South Wales. These changes have seen the abolition of a Labor-held seat in the Hunter region of New South Wales, and the creation of the notionally Liberal seat of Burt in Perth. However, the overall effect is favourable to Labor since three seats in New South Wales – Barton, Paterson and Dobell – have become notionally Labor on the new boundaries, with respective margins of 5.2%, 1.3% and 0.4%. The swing currently being in Labor’s favour, the model rates them a certainty in Barton and better than evens in Paterson and Dobell, and more likely than not to win to win Burt.

The upshot of all this is that BludgerTrack has the Coalition down three seats this week in New South Wales and steady everywhere else, whereas Labor is credited with two gains in New South Wales and one in Western Australia. Note that the national and state-level figures on the chart showing seat change since 2013 will no longer align, since the baseline for the national result is as per the election (Coalition 90, Labor 55), whereas those for the state numbers are post-redistribution (Coalition 27, Labor 20 in New South Wales; Coalition 13, Labor 3 in Western Australia). The post-redistribution margins are as determined by myself, following very similar methodology to Antony Green. A full accounting of the calculations can be found here for New South Wales, and here for Western Australia.

Other news:

• A ReachTEL poll of 712 respondents in New England, “obtained by Guardian Australia” (who commissioned it is not clear), suggests Barnaby Joyce would have a very serious fight on his hands if former member Tony Windsor sought to run again as an independent, which he is neithe ruling in or out. The numbers cited are 39.5% for Joyce, 32.2% for Windsor, 11.2% for Labor and 4.6% for the Greens, with 5.1% undecided.

• The mass exodus of Labor’s Western Australian federal MPs continued this week, with Senator Joe Bullock announcing his decision to retire in protest over the party’s support for same-sex marriage. Bill Shorten promptly announced that Bullock’s vacancy would be filled by Pat Dodson, a leader of the Yawuru people from Broome and former chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. This scotched the ambitions of Louise Pratt, who was famously relegated to second position on the Labor ticket behind Bullock, then defeated at the April 2014 Senate election re-run following a collapse in Labor support. Many attributed this outcome to derogatory comments Bullock made about Pratt while speaking at a Christian function, which became public the day before the election.

• Labor has another indigenous parliamentarian lined up in the form of Linda Burney, who has held the seat of Canterbury in the New South Wales state parliament in 2003, and served as Deputy Opposition Leader since the defeat of 2011. Burney is running for preselection in Barton, which encompasses about half of her current electorate. The seat is currently held for the Liberals by Nick Varvaris, but Labor has been heavily favoured in the redistribution, which adds inner city territory around Marrickville and removes Liberal-voting Sans Souci. Burney has resigned as member for Canterbury to contest the preselection, which will result in a by-election.

• Mal Brough’s announcement that he will not seek another term has opened a Liberal National Party vacancy in his Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher. The party’s state executive had been withholding endorsement of Brough’s preselection pending the outcome of an Australian Federal Police investigation into his role in the leaking the diary of Peter Slipper, the then Speaker and his predecessor as member for Fisher. It was promptly suggested that Jarrod Bleijie, the controversial Newman government Attorney-General and member for the local electorate of Kawana, might be interested in the seat, but he has since ruled himself out. Amy Remeikis of Fairfax reports the seat might be of interest to James McGrath, who ran against Brough for the preselection in 2013 and has since found a place in the Senate.

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.

2,683 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.5-48.5 to Coalition”

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  1. William got me again!

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Wroe – A breathtaking breach of basic responsibility from an ex-PM.
    More from Wroe as Turnbull calls in the AFP to investigate the leak of Security Council documents.
    Mark Kenny with an exclusive on secret NBN trials of a much cheaper FTTH option.
    Judith Ireland on how Senate crossbenchers think that the Coalition is in “caretaker mode”.
    Peter Martin on the “game changer” GDP figures.
    Malcolm Maiden agrees, saying income growth is the missing ingredient.
    Peter Martin has a sneaky thought that Turnbull could think the TPP is a dud and wouldn’t mind if it fell over.
    Lenore Taylor has started it all off with her Turnbull = Rudd 2.0 article yesterday.
    Michelle Grattan on the Turnbull -Abbott conflict “going nuclear”.

  2. Section 2 . . .

    Calls for the Pope to act or for Pell to resign. There are several links to further article at the head of this piece by the winner of a Walkley Award for uncovering child sexual abuse in Newcastle.
    This lawyer can see a parallel between Pell and Hollingworth and says Pell should go.
    And another one from a religious school goes down.
    Bob Ellis has his say on Pell.
    And yet another NSW council office holder come to the attention of ICAC.
    Chris Christie thinks, “What have I done?”
    Super Tuesday plunges the Republican Party into crisis.
    Donald Trump may have to build a different wall. This one to the North!
    Remember the Fiat/Chrysler scandal in Australia?
    “View from the Street” farewells Bullock and weighs up DD chances.

  3. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Abbott swings into the tax debate as Turnbull’s options narrow. From Mark Kenny.
    New Liberal MP Trent Zimmermann hits the ground running and goes after George Christensen and his Neanderthal offsiders in the party.
    Peter Wicks on why the Australian Christian Lobby is so deservedly despised.
    Health insurers come under fire for selling “junk policies”.
    David Pope and the aftermath of Super Tuesday for the Republican Party.

    Ron Tandberg weighs up the Royal Commission.

    John Spooner doesn’t thing the pathology industry wil absorb Sussan Leay’s rebate cuts.
    Mark Knight welcomes back a US astronaut.
    David Rowe with more on the concerns of the Republican Party.

    First Dog on the Mon goes all the way with Pell and the church.

  4. It looks increasingly likely that Turnbull could soon cop some 48:52 national polls against him. At roughly that point his party support will fall off of him. Whoosh… Just like that. Popcorn supply topped up.

  5. From last thread
    The lasting significance of the RGR years now seems to be what the Liberals didn’t learn from it. 🙂 I am still gobsmacked at the rapidity with which the Libs are imploding.
    Abbott is the clearest case of projection I have seen, if, unprompted he says he is not something or will not do something you know down in his subconscious that is exactly what he has a burning desire to do.

  6. The sense of history repeating itself is only too clear.

    [A Liberal MP sees him as motivated by hatred of Turnbull and going “full bore” to try to destroy the man who destroyed him. “This guy is going to blow up the place,” he says. Another Liberal parliamentarian describes Abbott’s latest action as a “huge strategic blunder” by the former leader.

    The question now is how far Abbott is willing to go in his attacks on Turnbull – whether this has turned into a crusade for which the government will pay an increasingly high price in an election year. The cost to Abbott will also spiral if he persists – but what frightens some Liberals is that he may not care.]

  7. This bit from the current BludgerTrack I like a lot –

    Seats Last Week Election
    Coalition 83 -3 -7
    Labor 62 +3 +7
    Others 5

  8. Very assured interview on negative gearing from Chris Bowen on RN just now. Shame Bill isn’t have the communicator Bowen is.

  9. For anyone who wants a little relief from political wars: are birds smarter than some politicians?

    [Calling someone a “bird brain” is not usually meant as a compliment. But as research continues to reveal, birds are much smarter than was once thought.

    Australian birds are arguably among the smartest in the world. Some display complex behaviours such as problem solving, learning and tool use comparable to behaviours observed in great apes.

    …Magpies may belong to the few species worldwide that can play a meaningful game of hide and seek, comparable to the performance of 3-5-year-old children. Birds can express complex emotions, even showing empathy and grief.

    The lives of native birds are complex and depend on more than instinct to survive. This includes a superb long-term memory, minds capable of complex behaviour, extensive communication and good decision-making.]

  10. Really? I mean seriously!?! Secret Dodgy Brothers modelling done by BIS Shrapnel is being touted with a straight face by The Daily Terrorgraph, The UnAustralian and Scotty the Dog of a Treasurer Morrison as being proof positive that Labor’s Negative Gearing policy will crash the Property Market AND send Rents sky high!?!

    Which kind of doesn’t make sense or bear the weight of scrutiny because, if the Property market was crashing wouldn’t you take what you could get from a renter so long as you could sign them up to a lease and guarantee an income in order to ride out the shock waves? Which never last forever anyway because for every willing seller of property there is an enthusiastic buyer at the right price who is financially secure enough to be able to ride out those shock waves until things stabilise. And so it becomes that these opportunistic investors eventually stabilise the market. Not to mention the First Home Buyers waiting on the sidelines to get into the market when prices fall.

    Also, you, the owner of the house to rent become happy to get someone in to rent your investment property who may have otherwise waited around for said ‘crashing property market’ to drive rents even lower, aren’t you?

    Which goes to the point that a sane investment property owner wouldn’t sell into a crashing market but hold onto the property and get the tenants in to keep paying off the mortgage at least, as opposed to taking a loss upon selling the house at a price that has crashed through the floor compared to what you paid for it in a buoyant market.

  11. OH NOES! It’s the end of the world! Whyalla wiped off the map, $100 lamb roasts, wrack, ruin, and destruction of the very basis of civilisation! We’ll all be rooned I tells ya! ROOOOOOONED!

    Libs treating people like adults over Labor’s Negative Gearing Policy.

  12. Where are the msm headlines of dysfunction and chaos. Turnbull is at war with Abbott and barely talking to his treasurer

  13. An absolute p*sser of an interveiw between Morrison and Michael Brissendon on ABC AM radio.

    Won’t come across in the transcript, but Morrison sounded panicky and hysterical, speaking so quickly it was almost impossible to follow him at times, and Brissendon was openly laughing at him on at least two occasions (and there was a muffled snort during one of Morrison’s answers).

  14. OK, so further clarification about the BIS Shrapnel report has emerged via an interview with Kim Hawtrey of BISS.

    Apparently the report has been out for months and was done BEFORE Labor even released it’s Negative Gearing policy! Plus, it was based upon the assumption that if Negative Gearing was scrapped entirely what would be the outcome?

    Therefore, basically we have an open and shut case of News Limited papers lying to their readers about the effect of Labor’s Negative Gearing policy.

    They should retract and do it on the front page of tomorrow’s papers. Labor should demand it.

  15. [Shame Bill isn’t have the communicator Bowen is.]

    Once I figured out what you were trying to say I enjoyed the irony.

  16. Chris Bowen is happy to be Treasurer for about 10 years and then take over from Bill Shorten. Just like his idol and mentor, Paul Keating, did with Bob Hawke. 🙂

  17. Thank you BK.

    Keating, as always pinned the butterflies to the wall.

    Both Rudd and Abbott were doing ‘Gimme the job or I’ll wreck the joint.’

    Rudd virtually wrecked Gillard’s chances of becoming an excellent prime minister.

    Abbott is doing his miserable, hating, snarking best to destroy Turnbull’s chances of becoming an excellent prime minister.

  18. C@tmomma

    [basically we have an open and shut case of News Limited papers lying to their readers]

    Seems that to support the shonky Libs, their supporters always have to distort the truth. Nice to know, Cat. 😛

  19. lizzie

    A couple of days ago, I took my dogs for their daily walk along the river.

    They raced ahead of me, and when I got to the lagoon, they were in the water, chasing a duck.

    I thought the duck was making heavy weather of it, and expected it to take flight. But no – when the dogs got too close, it dived. The dogs swam around in circles – and then the duck popped up again, on the other side of the lagoon and CALLED so that he got the dogs’ attention.

    This game went on for something like twenty minutes, with the dogs so intent on it that they ignored my calls (not something I’m used to!) In the end, I had to strip off and swim out, grab one of them by the collar and drag her not just back to the bank but halfway home (at which point the other dog, who I thought I’d also have to go back and rescue, joined us).

    I’m not sure whether the duck was playing (I’ve seen them play in the rapids, zipping down and then flying back up to do it again), deliberately trying to exhaust the dogs, or just gaining time for its mate to hide, but there is no doubt it intentionally kept the dogs chasing it.

  20. victoria @ 27,

    ‘ Dont hold your breath’

    Well, if I found out about the Kim Hawtrey interview on Newsradio then I’m sure the FPLP will know about it by now as well. And they will at least use it to further embarrass the Economic Geography graduate, otherwise known as the Treasurer, today in Question Time. 😀

    News Ltd, on the other hand will probably go in harder to

  21. zoomster

    Pity you had to get wet!!
    There may have been a nest nearby if it was only one duck.
    Duck 1. Dogs 0. Zoomster -1. 😆

  22. lizzie,

    Nice to know ABC Newsradio were willing to go out and get the interview with Kim Hawtrey and that he was willing to clarify.

    Goodness me, this attempted attack on Labor’s Negative Gearing policy has collapsed at virtually Light Speed!

  23. C@tmomma

    It (faintly) amused me that Turnbull was attacking Labor’s NG policy as “rushed through without thought”.

  24. Rossmore,

    C@t do u have a link for that Kim Hawtrey interview ….

    ABC Newsradio haven’t updated their downloads of this morning’s interviews yet. It will probably be up sometime during the day.

  25. [Goodness me, this attempted attack on Labor’s Negative Gearing policy has collapsed at virtually Light Speed!]

    Unfortunately it will persist in newspaper banners and headlines – prominently displayed – for the rest of the day.

  26. BB

    As was their intention. Labor need to be out and about on the airwaves and television to slap this down. Also, Labor have to emphasise why the changes to negative gearing not only help the budget bottom line, but also help drive work in the construction side of things

  27. lizzie and z,

    There’s also that multi million dollar research programmes from a few years ago where they identified that crows killed around road kill on our highways were about 95% killed by trucks.

    Apparently, crows, like many birds, have a look out stationed around to watch for predators and other danger while they each take their turn at the road kill.

    The scientists concluded that the reason for the vast difference in crows being killed by trucks and not passenger vehicles was because they could only sqwark “Car! Car!” and not ‘Truck! Truck!”.

  28. What is ssooooo delicious, is that for all Abbott’s attacks on Gillard Govt as being in chaos (a perception for which he was partly if not mostly responsible for) the chaos is now occurring on his side of the fence … with the added bonus that his actions have virtually made the govt impotent to do ANYTHING whilst the Gillard govt continued to function.

    Pots and kettles and poetic justice! Oh, the irony.They saw themselves (both Abbott and Turnbull) as Aust’s saviours … but each, in turn, has become the one’s who need saving.

  29. The BIS report was done prior to the ALPs policy release on NG. It modelled the effects of the complete abolition of negative gearing for all residential property – far removed from the ALP NG policy.

    Morrison, News LTd: Egg. On. Face. Can’t even do a proper scare campaign now.

  30. Speaking of ‘rushed through without thought’ well, more appropriately ‘rushed through with thoughts only of getting past the finishing line of the election, there are reports today that Turnbull has hammered out a deal with the States to fund the last 2 years of Gonski and found $ for their Health systems.

    1. The States should never believe what a Coalition government offers them before an election because that rug can be pulled out from under them after the election.

    2. Why didn’t they just swallow hard and fund the excellent Gonski recommendations in the first place?

    3. I guess when you have a $1 TRILLION Deficit what’s a few more Billion between friends and enemies before a do or die election?

    4. It’s just another glaring example of the government in panic mode.

  31. Phillip Coorey ‏@PhillipCoorey · 8m8 minutes ago  Sydney, New South Wales

    BIS report “was written over the last few months before Labor released its policy and it wasn’t directed at any particular policy at all”

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