BludgerTrack: 51.2-48.8 to Coalition

The recent trend to Labor in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate levels off this week, after a stronger result for the Coalition from Ipsos.

An above-trend result for the Coalition from Ipsos this week has halted the long run of momentum to Labor in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate – although it hasn’t reversed it, partly thanks to a stonger result for Labor from Essential Research. Technically there has been movement in Labor’s favour for the seventh week in a row, but the movement on this occasion was inside 0.05%. Perhaps not surprisingly, this has not resulted in any change on the seat projection. The Ipsos poll also provided leadership ratings which, as BludgerTrack interprets them, were perfectly in line with an overall trend that shows Malcolm Turnbull in freefall, and Bill Shorten improving modestly.

Preselection bits:

• The latest federal MP to announce their retirement is Teresa Gambaro, who held the seat of Petrie for the Liberals through the Howard years, then made a comeback in the seat of Brisbane in 2010. Gambaro said she wished to spend more time with her family, but unnamed party sources complained to the media that Gambaro was engaging in a “dummy spit” over her failure to win promotion in recent reshuffles, and that the late hour of her announcement meant she was “all but handing it to Labor”. There was a short-lived flurry of speculation that the preselection might be contested by former Premier Campbell Newman, after his biographer, former Cairns state MP Gavin King, told ABC Radio he was “weighing it up”. However, Newman promptly knocked the idea on the head, and Cameron Adfield of Fairfax reports the preselection is likely to go to National Retail Association chief executive Trevor Evans, who was talked out of pursuing a challenge against Gambaro last year by then Prime Minister Tony Abbott. It is also expected that Robert Cavallucci, who won the state seat of Brisbane Central in 2012 and lost it again in 2015, will nominate.

• Labor’s candidate to succeed Melissa Parke in Fremantle is Chris Brown, whose CV as listed in The Australian includes 29 years as a wharfie, ten months as an organiser for the Maritime Union of Australia, and ownership of small businesses in Fremantle. Brown’s victory was owed to factional arrangements that secured him overwhelming support in the 75% of the vote determined at head office, including all but unanimous support from the union delegates who account for half the overall vote. This easily negated his 155-110 defeat in the local party ballot at the hands of Josh Wilson, the chief-of-staff to Melissa Parke and deputy mayor of Fremantle. A full account of the results is provided by Gareth Parker of The West Australian.

Joe Kelly of The Australian reports that New South Wales Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells faces a threat to her preselection from Jim Molan, a former senior army officer who was heavily involved in the government’s efforts against unauthorised boat arrivals. Fierravanti-Wells is said to have lost support among the Right for telling journalist Niki Savva she had confronted then Prime Minister Tony Abbott over perceptions he was having an affair with his chief-of-staff, Peta Credlin. It was earlier reported that factional moderates were organising a challenge by Richard Shields, a former ministerial adviser and manager with the Insurance Council of Australia, but the threat appeared to subside when Fierravanti-Wells was appointed to the ministry.

• The Liberal preselection for Bronwyn Bishop’s seat of Mackellar has been set for April 16.

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.

3,122 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.2-48.8 to Coalition”

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  1. WWP
    If you as an ALP person are happy to preference One Nation and Family First or even the LNP ahead of the Greens that is your democratic right.

    It does however give greater justification for the Greens actions, since if we assume there are many in the ALP who think like you, then the Greens have cause to worry about the vagaries of GTV. The fact that the ALP have preferenced FF ahead of Greens from tme to time suggests that there are many in the ALP who find themselves more akin to FF than the Greens.

    However for the Greens, the voting propensity of people such as yourself is a matter of concern and it remains to be seen what impact it will have on their electoral success. In Qld it will make little difference if the vote is the same as in 2013.

    I strongly advise you before making that decision to not preference Greens you think long and hard about the policy you outcomes if you elect a third LNP ahead of a Green or a Shooter insead of a Green.

  2. [I can confirm that it is true the other way around as well. Many Greens voters I know would now rather exhaust preferences than support Labor. ]

    That was always the point of OPV from the greens point of view, we hadn’t missed it – nothing to do with democracy at all. Still difficult how you lot accept something that moves to process closer to FPTP and disenfranchises minorities is improved democracy it is ridiculously stupid a position.

  3. [I don’t think anyone gives a crap about local elections in Queensland. I didn’t even know they were on until I saw it in here.]

    Nor did I. I just laughed and scrolled on when I read that the Greens Senate shenanigans had influenced some numpty local govt election however. Some people really do need to get a grip.

  4. @Colton

    505,877 votes counted so far in Brisbane city election and more to come. In the words of Antony Green: “Brisbane is the largest local government body in Australia with a population larger than Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory combined.”
    Elections are full-on party campaign elections with voting booths, posters, HTV cards, volunteers and advertisements so this isn’t your typical shire council.

  5. Colton

    Stop showing your ignorance. There are half a million voters at least in Brisbane. Those figures are just a tiny fraction of the votes – some electronic issues I think with the Mayoral ballot, not the ward ballots.

    The Greens candidate in just one ward got 5,618 votes not counting absents and postals still to come.

    There are 26 wards each with about 20,000 voters. so 520,000 voters. Pretty close to half a million eh what!

  6. [ Many Greens voters I know would now rather exhaust preferences than support Labor. ]

    They are working for the election of a Liberal Govt then. Do they self flagellate as well?

  7. BC
    [As for company tax cuts, good luck selling that one. I’m not sure the idea that it leads to higher wages stacks up in the real world.]
    It doesn’t. It’s “trickle down economic theory”, or as John Quiggin calls it, Zombie Economics.

  8. @WeWantPaul

    Well having to take seriously the views of people who don’t give you their first preference actually seems like a pretty healthy incentive in a plural democracy. Ridiculous to say it is like FPTP, especially because you can win those preferences back simply by making Green voters happy and not constantly antagonising them. Likewise, Greens can win and lose Labor preferences through their own behaviour.

  9. Confessions

    You too are showing your ignorance of the Brisbane City Council. This is understandable, because when I lived in the South I had no idea how big a council it is and of its range of functions.

    You cannot call in numpty, given it has a buget and population biggert than Tasmania, NT and the ACT combined. There are some 6-7 Federal electorates in the BCC area, so it is not too much smaller than the whole of SA and half WA.

    The range of functions is very large (although less than they were) but they include responsibility for major infrastructure, operating a huge fleet of buses and until recently full repsonsibility for water supply and sewerage. They used to operate several national parks but now this is joint with the state government.

  10. Sorry Phoenix Green, read zoomster’s post @3085 to see why the polling washout from the senate shenanigans won’t have had any effect (yet) on how people are going to vote at the next federal election.

    A poll on the weekend won’t reflect anything at all on what was only wrapped up on Friday morning.

    In the long run, it may have had no effect at all on any party’s figures. We shall see in due course.

  11. Dtt,

    Ok, I stand corrected. I was looking at the wrong figures.
    I was wrong.

    Your point is still patently stupid.
    Local govt elections are in no way representative of federal voting intention.
    Anyone who thinks they are is frankly an idiot.
    Greens supporters are more likely to vote in local govt elections because they are more the nimby type who want to stop a particular development etc.
    The greens have many councillors here in WA in many of the local govt. areas but that does not translate in to support state wide or federally.
    So my overall point about the stupidity of your argument most definitely stands.

    On a personal note, you should perhaps stop mentioning what a strong ALP stalwart you are in nearly every single post.
    It is starting to sound like the grumpy old men we so often hear during elections who ring up the radio station and preface their comment by saying wtte I have supported Labor my whole life etc then go on a tirade criticising every labor policy, achievement and politician for the last 50 years.
    You keep telling us all how there is nothing wrong with the greens so why not just wear your real affiliation proudly.
    You are not fooling anybody.

  12. Dtt,

    I would also note that even though the Brisbane local govt. area is huge am I right in assuming that it is still optional to vote?
    How you can take a piddling increase in the greens vote in a local govt. election that has non-compulsary voting is truly baffling and only increases my suspicion that the Greens supporters such as yourself are a little bit concerned about how they are travelling after this week.
    Talk about trying to spin gold from shit.

  13. @Dan Gulberry

    Sure, we’ll wait for some more polls before making any final judgements, but the indicators so far have completely debunked the more hysterical claims about Greens voters abandoning the party and this being some kind of “Meg Lees moment”, and I think it shows that Labor’s slimy attacks have had minimal if any effect.

    It would, on the other hand, be hilarious if the Senate stuff damaged the LNP but left the Greens intact and set the crossbenchers up to support Labor all in one fell swoop. In that case if anything Labor should be thanking Di Natale for a job well done.

  14. Colton
    As I seem to need to patiently explain i will try to do in in simple words.

    The Brisbane City Council is very very big.

    Elections for the Brisbane Council are like State elections. There are people handing out HTV. There are street stalls and campaigns.

    There are absentee and postal votes.

    The parties all run candidates.

    It is NOT like a Sydney council election which is pretty tin pot or numpty to use Confession’s term. It is three times BIGGER than an election in the ACT and 4 times as big as in Tasmania.

    Think Greater London Council rather than Botany Council.

    Yes, there is a local element of Nimby which stregthens greens at a local level. However it is not as significant as in most councils.

    I repeat I make no secret of my position. I am a left wing ALP person with strong Green leanings. There are many others like me. There was a time when the left was strong in the ALP and people like me could influence policy outcomes. This has been dwindling in recent years. The Greens now occupy the policy space once the province of the left of the ALP.

    However there are many issues which the Greens give highest priority and which I find a big yawn. On every vote compass I sit halfway between the ALP and Greens. I have chosen to stay in the ALP, however I am happy when the Greens do well because I hope they will put pressure on the ALP to do the right thing and once again act as a progressive party.

    Fortunately I have never been placed in a conflicted position re v

  15. Fortunately I have never been placed in a conflicted position re voting, never having been in an area where Greens candidates were serious contenders.

    Should I ever find myself conflicted then I would rethink my membership.

  16. Phoenix,

    [It would, on the other hand, be hilarious if the Senate stuff damaged the LNP but left the Greens intact and set the crossbenchers up to support Labor all in one fell swoop.]

    I’d love to see that as well, but we shall have to wait and see.

  17. daretotread@3076


    I can only assume the greens are ecstatic about yesterdays results. It is clear that the senate fracas has not damaged them in terms of PV.

    Check out the following:
    Gabba ward – jump from 17% to 33% – probably a win
    Walter taylor up 1.5% to 21.7%
    Central steady at 21%
    Enogerra – up 4% to 15%
    Pullennvale up 8% to 21%
    Paddington up 7% to 27%

    Only one ward the Gap went backwards for Greens by 4%, but this was because of an exeptionally Green focussed ALP campaign with a very well known local boy and son of the former federal member.-Got a positive 16% swing.

    Thank you for sharing that bad news.

    Is there any good news about how Labor went?

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