BludgerTrack: 51.5-48.5 to Coalition

Not much happening in terms of national polling this week, but a privately conducted poll finds Sophie Mirabella has little hope of recovering her old seat of Indi from independent Cathy McGowan.

The Easter weekend has meant the only poll this week has been the usual weekly reading from Essential Research, which records a tie on two-party preferred for the fourth week in a row. Both major parties are steady on the primary vote – the Coalition on 43%, Labor on 38% – while the Greens are down a point to 9%. There is accordingly not much change on the surface of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which records a gentle move to the Coalition that yields nothing on the seat projection. However, there’s a lot going on under the BludgerTrack bonnet, as I’m now doing it in R rather than SAS/STAT, and relying a lot less on Excel to plug the gaps. Now that I’ve wrapped my head around R, I can probe a lot more deeply into the data with a lot less effort – commencing with the observation that the Coalition’s two-party vote would be around 0.5% higher if I was using a trend of respondent-allocated preference to determine the result, rather than 2013 election preferences. I’ve also done my regular quarterly BludgerTrack breakdowns, featuring state-level primary votes based on results from Morgan, Ipsos, Essential and ReachTEL, together with the breakdowns published this week by Newspoll.

Further polling:

• The Essential poll found 44% would approve of a double dissolution election if the Senate blocked the Australian Building and Construction Commission bill, with disapproval at only 23%. Respondents also showed good sense when asked the main reason why Prime Minister might wish to do such a thing: 25% opted for clearing independents from the Senate, 30% for getting an election in before he loses further support, and only 14% for actually getting the ABCC restored. Other questions recorded an unsurprising weight of support for income tax cuts (62% more important, 61% better for the economy) over company tax cuts (16% and 19% respectively). Results for a series of questions on which party was best to manage various aspects of economic policy were also much as expected, though slightly more favourable to the Coalition than when the questions were last posed a few weeks before the 2014 budget. A semi-regular inquiry into the attributes of the Labor and Liberal parties allows an opportunity for comparison with a poll conducted in November, shortly before the recent improvement in Labor’s fortunes. Labor’s movements are perhaps a little surprising, with extreme up and moderate down, and “looks after the interests of working people” down as well. The Liberals are down vision, leadership and clarity, and up on division.

• The Herald-Sun has a report on ReachTEL poll commissioned by the progressive Australia Institute think tank in the regional Victorian seat of Indi, which Sophie Mirabella hopes to recover for the Liberals after her defeat by independent Cathy McGowan in 2013. The news is not good for Mirabella, with McGowan recording a lead on the primary vote of 37.3% to 26.9%, while the Nationals are a distant third on 10.6%. The report says a 56-44 two-candidate preferred result from the poll allocated all Nationals preferences to Mirabella, a decision that was perhaps made in ignorance of the level of support McGowan received from Nationals voters in 2013. The primary votes as reported would more likely pan out to around 60-40.

Preselection latest:

Andrew Burrell of The Australian reports the Liberal preselection for the new Western Australian seat of Burt is a tight tussle between Matt O’Sullivan, who runs mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s GenerationOne indigenous employment scheme, and Liz Storer, a Gosnells councillor. Storer is supported by the state branch’s increasingly assertive Christian Right, and in particular by its leading powerbroker in Perth’s southern suburbs, state upper house MP Nick Goiran.

• The Weekly Times reports that Damian Drum, state upper house member for Northern Victoria region and one-time coach of the Fremantle Dockers AFL club, will nominate for Nationals preselection in the seat of Murray, following the weekend’s retirement announcement from Liberal incumbent Sharman Stone. The front-runner for Liberal preselection looks to be Donald McGauchie, former policy adviser to the then Victorian premier, Ted Baillieu.

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.

3,289 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.5-48.5 to Coalition”

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  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Mark Kenny on the mixed reception of the state income tax proposal.
    This SMH editorial outlines seven tax headaches for the dynamic duo of Turnbull and Morrison.
    Lenore Taylor says that Turnbull’s state income tax proposal is just a distraction from Abbott’s $80b cuts.
    More from Lenore.
    Michelle Grattan on what’s in front of Turnbull with his state income tax.
    Quentin Dempster says that Turnbull is either a courageous leader or a political mug.
    It is quite possible (likely?) that state income taxes would start a race to the bottom.
    Jennifer Hewitt in the AFR reckons Turnbull’s latest tax idea is destined for the bottom drawer. (One for Google).
    “View from the Street” has worked out the state income tax proposal and says Barnaby’s had a bit of luck from up north.
    Michaelia Cash has headed for the Senate cross benchers to sweet talk them on the ABCC legislation. I don’t think charm would come naturally to her.
    Bob the Builder blows Turnbull’s credibility on the ABCC.

  2. Section 2 . . .

    Unions call for a $30 increase in the minimum wage.
    Five things we learned on Malcolm’s attempts to not be Tony.,8823
    The report from the Victorian Royal Commission into family violence is highly praised. What will happen as a result of it may be revealed in the budget to be announce on 27 April.
    The RPA is bursting at the seams. And the outlook is quite a lot worse.
    The remaining Republican candidates leave their loyalty oaths in tatters.
    And now Trump says there should be some form of punishment for women who have abortions! Where does this dangerous clown get off?
    This proposal to better manage the chronically might have merit.
    Another step down the slippery slope for Anus Taylor.
    Andrew Street on the subject of daylight saving.
    Twenty years of homophobia from the religious right.

  3. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Is it just too hard to be PM in 2016?
    A Credlin/Keneally face-off on SkyNews might prove to be interesting.
    The oil company that bribed the world.
    Ron Tandberg turns the tables.

    David Pope has worked out how the state income tax proposal got on the table.

    Mark Knight with a welcome to The Footy Show for its new panel member – a woman.
    David Rowe and Scotty’s restaurant.

  4. Good posts in the previous thread by TPOF an cudchewer, Labor still has selling to do and may not win, but the campaign (not withstanding Bluey), hasn’t started yet.
    The recall of parliament and the campaign will be interesting, Turnbull has plans but no detail, think SSM, tax, state income taxes and most likely cities, the stock answer will have to be
    Details will be revealed after the election
    This is not good enough
    The budget will probably also be sparse with measures to be revealed later.

  5. BK

    I am very disappointed with this morning’s offerings.

    You have neglected to post a link to The Canberra Times Letters To The Editor page. The reason this is a sad ommission is because one of the published letters is from…


    (It’s the one headed Turnbull Turn-off towards the bottom)

    Yes, that is my real name and where I live (Morley is one of Perth’s north eastern suburbs, not too far from the CBD)

    PS I was only joking about being disappointed with your post(s). You do a sterling job, and I, along with everyone else, appreciate your efforts.

  6. Yesterday afternoon on Sky, David feeney did a segment which apparently was supposed to have Sinodinos as the opposing voice. Commentator said wtte that hopefully Sinodinos will be back next week. From that I gathered that Sinodinos is currently in witness protection program!

  7. Is this a good time to introduce a Financial Transfer Tax (FTT)? This would allow to remove all other Tax. The technology is now available for collecting a FTT as most money is now transferred from A/C to A/C digitally.

  8. Christian Porter currently being interviewed on ABC radio. He is being asked about the states raising their own taxes, i cant believe that they are seriously floating this stupid idea

  9. BK runs a very disciplined outfit. We are all thankful to him. Malcolm would die to have a person like BK in his team, – he will be a very focussed player in a shambolic team.

    Surely at Government level, MT and his ministers should be talking more about the company bribes than anything else including the Unions?

  10. O! M! G! Turnbull has gone the Full Monty on his State Income Tax plan this morning on radio and s basically championing the breakup of the Federation because he is advocating for the States to go to their people and get them to pay for Welfare! As well as Health and Education!

    I hope Andrew Nikolic and Brett Whitely from Tasmania have enjoyed their brief stint in federal parliament, as well as Christopher Pyne from SA his long one. I’d also hazard a guess that unless WA’s employment situation improves markedly soon then they are going to be looking askance at the Liberal Party too.

    And Turnbull was being soooo condescending about it all on the radio too.

    I don’t know what else to say. I’m stunned!

  11. c@t

    I only heard excerpt of Turnbull on newsbreak. Following which was Christian Porter. I had to switch off. I truly cant believe it myself. Instead of wishing to strengthen Australia as a nation, this mob want us to devolve into the lowest common denominator. It is indeed gobsmacking

  12. vic,
    Can you imagine the States of Tasmania and South Australia paying their own Welfare Bills!?! Tasmania would have to chop down every tree and sell it for woodchips to Japan! Then what!?!

    Not every citizen in every State and Territory is as wealthy as Turnbull, Porter, O’Sullivan and Taylor. etc. etc.

  13. It’s interesting reading the Oz headlines at the moment – they seem to be torn between supporting the Turnbull Liberals just because they are Liberals and really lukewarm about the double tax idea.

    [PM’s state income tax gambit
    Malcolm Turnbull is struggling to overcome objections to a radical plan to give states power to impose income­ taxes.

    The most revealing chapter yet
    It is Malcolm Turnbull’s biggest idea as Prime Minister and the most dangerous in political terms.

    Turnbull, Morrison muff lines
    The PM had barely ­revealed his grand plan for tax ­reform before he was at odds with the Treasurer

    Big ideas given short shrift
    Malcolm Turnbull has floated the greatest reforms to federation in ‘generations’, but was not given due respect by Labor.
    (my comment: this sounds like a plaintive cry to be nice to poor struggling Malcolm)

    Libs nuts to preference Greens
    Boosting the far left and undermining Kevin Rudd to spite Labor would be poor strategy for the Coalition.
    (my comment: what year is Sheridan living in with his reference to Rudd?)]

  14. C@t

    What I can imagine is SA and Tasmania becoming ghost states. People will be leaving in droves. How on earth could they afford to pay the extra taxes for such services.
    It is a big fat joke which begs the question, what are the govt hiding at moment to throw this big red herring which is truly embarrassing on so many levels!!

  15. When you think about it, Malcolm doesn’t have much choice, really. There is method to his madness – though it is certainly madness. The Liberal Party has morphed into the No New Taxes Party. That’s its only core ideology (apart from doing whatever donors want). So his only option is to force the States to take responsibility for more and more services. I think this “thought bubble” is going to run a lot longer than people expect. For the Liberal Party it is the only way to square the circle.
    So, basically, this is all about preserving internal party unity and has zero to do with accountability or anything else.
    Of course, Malcolm let the cat out of the bag when he said that the States might be allowed to “raise” taxes. But Morrison held the purist line with there could be no “raise”.

  16. As a Victorian I think Victoria would be better separating from Australia so that we don’t pay any federal taxes because all they are used for is
    Defence – do I fear a penguin invasion
    Border Farce

    If the states have to fund health, welfare, education, emergency services and police what do we need federal government for?

    NSW could go it alone also but WA, Qld, NT, SA and Tas need federation

  17. BILLIE – That’s the core objection to Turnbull’s brainfart. It will see a war between states and the end of us as one nation – one people.

  18. victoria

    [ there is no point to a federal govt whatsoever under these circumstances, Turnbull and Co should just resign now ]

    Maldemort is just channelling his inner Abbott. The only legitimate functions of the Federal government are STOP THE BOATS!, AXE THE TAXES!, UNIONS BOO! and TERRORISTS!

  19. We could totally de-nut the Commonwealth and just have a ‘co-operative’ scheme to fund the military and border farce.

    WA & the NT could pay 95% of the co-op cost because they’re the most vulnerable. The ACT, Tassie & SA could pay zilch because no one would want to invade them …

    That’d work.

  20. [the end of us as one nation – one people]

    Completely overblown in my view given the situation in countless other federations worldwide. We don’t argue there are 52 USAs, 11 Canadas, 16 Germanys…

  21. [there is no point to a federal govt whatsoever under these circumstances]

    Again, overblown, the point of the Commonwealth level of government is enumerated in the heads of power laid out for it under the Constitution.

  22. ITEP – We have become a political, and not a racial or social construct. We don’t have the same glue as a place like Germany. And last I saw, the US was falling apart.

  23. Heard on ABC24 this morning:

    […just another thought balloon floated by the clowns masquerading as the Australian government.]

    Well played Andrew Leigh.

  24. The LNP/IPA government is only just realising that the majority of their fellow citizens regard health care and education as rights, not privileges. They will lose the next election because of it.

  25. The problems with the US aren’t brought about by its federal nature. There are other areas of reform that may benefit it, as well as a cultural shift.

    I don’t see us as more of a ‘political construct’ than, for instance, Canada.

  26. The LNP/IPA have been touting this user pays crap for decades

    I remember an emotive discussion with a Vic state Liberal who repeated that if the patient, my friend, couldn’t afford the cancer treatment , bad luck

    They don’t think of poor people as people who deserve anything

  27. Turnbull’s double tax proposal has nothing to do with redefining the the nature of Australia as a federation.

    It is solely because these clowns stubbornly refuse to address massive tax avoidance by those at the big end of town and the super rich.

  28. As no journalist is asking it Mr Shorten or Mr Bowen should ask why not go down the Kevin Rudd route of a Federal takeover of health that makes sense as the Federal government has the resources to address the horizontal fiscal imbalance.

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