BludgerTrack: 51.3-48.7 to Coalition

The nation has gone on election alert, but there’s not much to report from the latest weekly poll aggregate reading, other than a continuation in the headlong plunge in Malcolm Turnbull’s net approval rating.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate records essentially no movement at all on national voting intention for the second week in a row, although the Coalition has at least avoided recording its eighth fall in a row. Reasonable results for the government from Newspoll and ReachTEL balanced a particularly bad one from Roy Morgan, which stands out like a sore thumb on the sidebar charts due to the correction made for the pollster’s otherwise pro-Coalition form since Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister. The Greens are down a bit, which it might be tempting to impute to Senate electoral reform, but it would pay to wait another week or two to see if the movement sticks. Only the ReachTEL poll was conducted after Turnbull’s election strategy announcement on Monday, but it produced no obvious evidence that anything had changed. However, there is a bit going on this beneath the surface this week at state level, with the Coalition gaining two seats since last week on the seat projection, but losing one each in Victoria and Queensland. On the leadership ratings, Newspoll has caused Malcolm Turnbull’s net approval rating to dip ever so gently into negative territory, while Bill Shorten’s continues to slog laboriously upwards, having slowly gained about 10% since the start of the year.

I would normally append this post with a bunch of preselection news and such, but I’ll be changing by MO now the pace has quickened with the inauguration of the phony election campaign. From now on, the news snippets will get their own post at the end of the week – and there will be a very great deal to report so far as preselection goes, with certain tardy state party branches now hurriedly getting their acts together ahead of an assumed July 2 election date. Also, what was formerly “seat of the week” is now “seat du jour”, starting with the entry below for Shortland, since I aim to make these a daily feature from now on. Eventually they will all be rolled together into the regular Poll Bludger’s seat-by-seat election guide.

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.

832 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.3-48.7 to Coalition”

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  1. [What “problems” “in recent times” would Turnbull be referring to here I wonder?]

    Yes exactly. I can’t possibly think! 😀

  2. Imacca you really should watch or read the speech, your just stirring up trouble exactly what you say you don’t want to do with the Muslim population, except of course you do if it can get your guy up. “What ever it takes” right.

  3. briefly @ 742

    I agree with everything you say. But there is no overriding affection for the idea of Bill Shorten, the way there is for the idea of Malcolm Turnbull.

    What will happen is that there is increasing disappointment with Turnbull’s inability to assert authority and lead his party and the nation forward at the same time there is increasing, though grudging, realisation that Shorten actually is not as bad as people thought he was and that he probably would do OK as PM of a Labor government while the Liberals get their act together.

    Don’t get me wrong. As a close politics watcher, I think Shorten has actually demonstrated real fitness for the job. Especially the way he pulled together the case for the NDIS (which was actually a herculean achievement in the byzantine world where politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists intersect. And also in the way that Shorten withstood two days of utterly hostile interrogation by a QC intent on finding something to hang Shorten on. Turncoat can’t even get through a 10 minute interview with Leigh Sales without going off the rails, let alone 20 minutes with Tony Jones.

    But the public runs on images and ideas and think they know the person. And that will take longer to change than political affiliation.

  4. [Its starting to become a habit and it makes him look rattled and desperate to avoid hard questions.]

    That might work when the interviewer is intent on catching him out with gotcha questions. But when the interviewer asks questions that uncommitted voters want the answer to then it will be a disastrous approach. Much more damaging than the politicians’ usual trick of launching into a political speech unrelated to the question.

    Another reason why he won’t last the distance.

  5. [ but yet had to be put on the public record just before the Turc hearing is all fine, makes him above his own judgements of others. ]

    slimaj, what is it with you and your complete missing of the point?

    The only thing that is going to defuse this is IF the Libs say who the donors were AND IF they were not prohibited donors.

    The electoral commission has done the right thing here. They have the Libs on notice that they WILL comply with the law or be punished.

    The beauty of the situation is that if the Libs alleged malfeasance over this issue is proved (by themselves when they disclose the donors) it means they may get busted under another law for complying with this one and possibly their actual donors will be dropped in the shit as well. Cute huh??

    And all in an election year, actually just before an election.

  6. 755

    I agree.

    If you’re right, this election is about Turnbull. In this case, the Liberals will be in deep trouble. He has no substance and the voters know it.

  7. [Well good to here. So you would agree then that the porous border problem has made it harder to track down the terrorists?]

    North Korea does not have porous borders and it does not have a terrorist problem (unless you count souveniring a propaganda post as terrorism). So I figure you must be right.

  8. Kiera ‏@KieraGorden 10m10 minutes ago

    Oh my! Govt MP @JoshFrydenberg ALSO used parody slogan #ContinuityAndChange on Monday’s #Qanda. #AusPol @OfficialJLD

  9. silmaj @ 756

    I’m surprised you haven’t raised the Abbotsford home renovations saga of 1995. I mean, that was so important that it was necessary to have a $60 million royal commission to decide whether the Greek guy was paid cash or cheque.

  10. Rossmore another who didn’t watch the speech, unbafuckingleavable. The fact that some of you will bang on about something they haven’t seen is amazing, all of this exaggeration and borderline lies, unbafuckingleavable.

  11. [He has no substance and the voters know it.]

    There are more than a few who are finding it hard to get over the denial. Fortunately he has given them plenty of time to focus on illusion versus reality.

  12. [ “What ever it takes” right. ]

    Turnbull would know more about “whatever it takes” SteamSteely. We have seen him trying to put that on display quite a lot lately but he keeps Fwarking It Up. 🙂

    Remember, Blue Kool Aid into the Boiler mate.

  13. The labor party will come out with a viable alternative/option to the ABCC before the election if they are smart, the majority of the population want some sort of over site of the unions.

  14. i wish jones did some economic argument – i’d love to see turnbull debased on own ground altho im not sure shorten can do this, dont know who in labor front bench can do it well – play ideas not the man labor

  15. People have known for decades that the Free Enterprise Foundation was a money laundering operation. But up until recently, the purpose of the laundering was to protect the identity of those providing otherwise legal donations.

    The line that was crossed was when people started using it to launder otherwise illegal donations.

    Big big difference.

  16. Diogenes @757

    [The Madrid bombers were thought to be Moroccan and Syrian nationals.]

    They were al Quaeda affiliates; al Quaeda’s approach did indeed involve people coming into a country (but not as immigrants / asylum seekers, due to the uncertainty of that route). They were also highly Islamist (and usually Wahabist)

    ISIS / ISIL / Daesh is different and its actions in the West mostly involve people who are already in country (often citizens), and who are typically involved in crime, typically not particularly religious, not previously serious in their profession of faith but who can be persuaded to see “martyrdom” as a form of repentance in relation to their criminal activity. Also sub-par intellectually (highly correlated with criminality) which leads to idiotic failed attacks such as the recent attempted knifing in London.

  17. [ That might work when the interviewer is intent on catching him out with gotcha questions. ]

    Interesting, MalPM has actually committed to so little on any matter or issue that he doesn’t seem to actually get the gotcha attempts much?

    Wonder if that will change as the actual election campaign develops.

    funny 🙂 We have 4 sitting weeks to come, a Budget, much theatersports bloodbath ahead and we are already talking like the election campaign is in full swing .

  18. 763
    I would think that Turc would more bring to light what goes on currently. The last time I was on a start up construction sight the white board with 21 extra additional cost allowances that the CFMEU bragged about was mind blowing. From site travel to tool allowance to special site allowance to we got you this job so must join or don’t work here. I want these donations to political parties highlighted along with what happens on site.

  19. TPOF, Geoffrey

    If you heard Shorten at National Press Club he seems to me to have absorbed quite well the economic argument that equality enhances prosperity – on which Piketty, Stiglitz and indeed Leigh have written in more detail

  20. The labor party will come out with a viable alternative/option to the ABCC before the election if they are smart

    Shorten has already outlined Labor’s proposal:

    The measures outlined today by Mr Shorten would in some cases also cover employer and industry groups as “registered organisations” and include:

    Authorising the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which has, coercive powers, to deal with “the most serious contraventions of the Registered Organisations Act”. It’s funding would rise by $4.5 million. This will be in addition to the existing Fair Work Commission’s powers to investigate relatively minor cases of noncompliance.

    Extending electoral funding laws to include donations and expenditure related to all elections managed by the Australian Electoral Commission, such as those for union elections. Labor would also reduce the disclosure threshold for political donations from $13,000 to $1,000.

    The maximum penalties for all criminal offences under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act would be doubled and paid officials guilty of “the most egregious conduct” could be hit with fines of up to $216,000. Courts would be able to disqualify an official for serious contraventions under measures similar to those used against publicly listed companies under the Corporations Act.

    Giving union misconduct whistleblowers the same protection as exists in the public sector. These protections would be extended to the private sector, registered organisations and the not-for-profit sector.

    I linked the News Ltd story to avoid any “left wing bias” nonsense. Other sites reported it too:

  21. Steely @ 775

    No. I didn’t. As I said earlier. I am only going on what the Belgian ambassador, who was in the audience said. And, like Diogenes, I am glad that Turnbull is giving due credit to multiculturalism as a protection for our society. But he needs to be aware that western governments can no longer get away with crafting speeches for domestic consumption that conflict with speeches for international consumption.

  22. I saw one of the typos when I copied/pasted, but sheesh there’s a possessive “It’s” in there as well! That’s all literally from the News site nothing to do with me!

    Come back sub-editors, all is forgiven!


    Read the transcript SteamSteely. Dont just listen with half an ear while stoking your boiler. Turnbull directly links Brussels, struggling security apparatus, ISIL and Refugee crisis. 3 consecutive paragraphs.

    [ These attacks in Brussels are an unfortunate reminder of how violent Islamist extremism appears to have reached a crisis point in Europe.

    European Governments are confronted by a perfect storm of failed or neglected integration, foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria, porous borders and intelligence and security apparatus struggling to keep pace with the scope and breadth of the threat. Bernard Squarcini, a former head of France’s internal intelligence service, described these factors as creating a favourable ecosystem for an Islamist milieu.

    For all intents and purposes there are no internal borders in Europe, that has been a great achievement of openness, and the external borders are difficult to manage. Recent intelligence indicates that ISIL is using the refugee crisis to send operatives into Europe.]

    Then later goes on say how wunderful Australia is in this context.

    [ Australia, however, is better placed than many of our European counterparts in dealing with the threat of terrorism because of the strength of our intelligence and security agencies, our secure borders and our successful multicultural society; one that manages to be both secure and free.]

    The man is a tin eared diplomatic disaster. Not Abbott scale, but a very poor performer.

  24. [i wish jones did some economic argument – i’d love to see turnbull debased on own ground altho im not sure shorten can do this, dont know who in labor front bench can do it well – play ideas not the man labor]

    It is impossible to “play” nothing.

    Economics is not his “own ground” either, the ALP have a pile of policy out there. All Turnbull has said so far is that if we stop funding housing investments that are designed to run at a loss, we will all be doooooomed.

  25. 786
    Whether the abolition of negative gearing on all assets except new houses, As well as the capital gains tax increase will in fact just crush investment all together and make people decide to invest the trillions elsewhere. Then if that did occur would potential losses sweep out Labors pretend budget gains. Let’s face it if there’s no capital gain any more you’re going to get no tax revenue.

  26. silmaj @ 788

    Well, put like that, with such a wealth of detailed economic research and modelling, I suppose he had no answer and never will. By the same token, I suppose he has no answer to the claim that there is life on Mars in a parallel universe.

  27. Steely, 777

    [Nighty nite, happy Easter all, can I say happy Easter on a site like this..]

    Technically you can’t because it’s not a happy celebration until Jesus is resurrected midnight Saturday. 😛

  28. Investing in a house that has already been built is no different to investing overseas, it creates nothing. Any capital gains you make overseas will still be taxed, and meanwhile the rest of us haven’t had to subsidise you.

    AND a lot of it may go into business, which is why the Business Council likes it!

  29. 793
    Bring it on and see what happens. There will be time to adjust. My guess is that house prices will fall. Consequences to affect banks and superannuation. Construction to cease as although new premises are ok they are only new once and most construction companies sell gradually with renters as a backstop. The rush to avoid the grandfathering will distort. The losses will probably destroy labors budget gain by three to one. Labors so called 5o billion gains is on the premise that the 3.5 to 4 trillion property market carries on as normal. Good luck.

  30. [What i found curious was how Turnbull tries (and i have seen him do this before), to take the interviewer to task about what questions they are asking. That aspect was really on show tonight, and it came across like:]

    Yes it reminds you of what Turnbull must have said in private to get the ABC to never mention the NBN.

  31. [ New Zealanders enraged over money spent on flag debate
    Posted about an hour ago
    Regardless of whether they voted for the new flag or to keep the old one, many New Zealanders are angered about the $23 million spent on maintaining the status quo. ]
    OK for them to be outraged about spending 23 million on a lost cause when they never spent 56 Billion to build the broadband they already had

  32. 794,

    Lot of “if, maybe, probably” back of the envelope in all that SilMaj.

    Let me put it to you this way. IF the Australian economy is being held together by negative gearing alone, then MAYBE it is all just a big ponzi scheme, and we will PROBABLY all be dooooomed when it inevitably comes falling down.

    Meanwhile, to be innovative and agile, we need to stop paying people through BIG government to make investments that run at a LOSS and create NOTHING, and start behaving more like a clever country that invests in things that turn any kind of PROFIT.

  33. 798
    The labor policy is all investment. So if some investment required employees, finite. If your neighbor sells their house then there’s your value down. If you happened to use the equity for something then it’s finished. Any recent new homebuyers equity could instantly be wiped out. This policy will be probably reversed anyway by manor do don’t get to hard behind it.

  34. Goosh Goosh
    Posted Friday, March 25, 2016 at 12:49 am | PERMALINK

    That isn’t a problem, I personally am an atheist but still enjoy the time off work over easter

    —-atheism is not a belief it is not something one can be. this is richard hawkins first fallacy. intolerance is his second (john Locke took a lifetime to argue for that and that was 17th c) … there are more but this is political space

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