BludgerTrack: 50.8-49.2 to Coalition

The Turnbull government has resumed its downward trajectory in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate after this week’s remarkable result from Newspoll.

After a few weeks where it appeared the trend to Labor had tapered off, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate records a solid nudge to Labor this week on the back a Newspoll result crediting it with a 51-49 lead. BludgerTrack doesn’t go quite so far, but it does have the Coalition losing a full point off the primary vote since last week. This translates into a surprisingly mild net gain of one for Labor on the seat projection, with gains in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania being balanced by losses in Queensland and the Northern Territory – the latter being the result of a methodological tweak (I continue to have very limited faith in my Northern Territory projections one way or the other). Newspoll also provided a new set of data for the leadership ratings, which have maintained their existing trajectories – headlong downward in Malcolm Turnbull’s case, and steadily upwards in Bill Shorten’s.

Two further items of polling floating around in the past few days:

• The Australian has a second tranche of results from Newspoll, relating to the Liberal leadership. The poll finds 57% believe the Liberals were right to depose Tony Abbott, down five since October, with still only 31% opposed, up four. A question on preferred Liberal leader found Malcolm Turnbull leading on 35%, Julie Bishop on 22%, Tony Abbott on 14% and Scott Morrison on 8%. This suggests only modest change since an Essential Research poll in mid-March which had Malcolm Turnbull on 39% (down from 42% in December), Julie Bishop (down one) on 13% and Tony Abbott on 9% (steady), along with high “someone else” and “don’t know” components. Roy Morgan got a very different and much stronger result for Turnbull in October, presumably because respondents were asked who they would favour if they were Liberal or Nationals voters.

• A poll conducted by Research Now by the progressive Australia Institute think tank found 63.4% of 1412 respondents felt Tony Abbott should retire, compared with only 26.3% who preferred that he remain.

Much preselection news to report this week, largely thanks to the Western Australian Liberals, who have conducted a number of important preselection ballots, results of which remain to be confirmed by the party’s state council this weekend:

• The Liberal member for the Perth seat of Tangney, Dennis Jensen, suffered a resounding preselection defeat on the weekend at the hands of the party’s former state director, Ben Morton. Morton’s winning margin in the ballot of local party delegates was 57 to seven. This was the third time Jensen had lost a local preselection vote in a parliamentary career going back to 2004, earlier results having been reversed by the intervention of John Howard in 2007 and the party’s state executive in 2010. Jensen concedes he is unlikely to appeal this time, which would surely be futile given the scale of the defeat and the enthusiasm for Morton among the party hierarchy. Jensen has claimed to be a victim of “dirty tricks” from the Morton camp after news reports emerged last week concerning a novel he had written containing a graphic sex scene, which he says was designed to damage his standing in the eyes of religious conservatives. He has also launched defamation proceedings against The Australian over a report on Friday that he had moved out of the family home to live with his girlfriend at a property located outside the electorate.

• A second WA Liberal preselection on the weekend, for the new Perth seat of Burt, was won by Liz Storer, a Gosnells councillor and staffer for two state MPs prominent in the southern suburban “Christian Right” – upper house member Nick Goiran and Southern River MP Peter Abetz, who is the brother of Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz. Storer’s win came at the expense of Matt O’Sullivan, who runs mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s GenerationOne indigenous employment scheme. Another preselection vote for the Perth electorate was won by employment consultant Jeremy Quinn over a field that included Darryl Moore, the candidate from 2013; Leona Gu, a property developer and real estate agent; and Trudi Lang, who has recently had roles in France and Switzerland with the OECD and World Economic Forum.

• Liberal MP Nola Marino has seen off a preselection challenge in her seat of Forrest, which covers south-western Western Australia. Marino ultimately enjoyed a 51-16 winning margin over Ben Small, a Bunbury businessman who had “worked in commercial shipping and as a property developer”. Small had the support of Marino’s precedessor, Geoff Prosser, and there were suggestions he was serious threat. However, The West Australian also reported this week that the party’s state council would be “under pressure to rescue Mrs Marino” if Small carried the day.

• The ABC reports there are four candidates for the Liberal preselection to replace Sharman Stone in the regional Victorian seat of Murray: Duncan McGauchie, former policy adviser to the then Victorian premier, Ted Baillieu; Emma Bradbury, Campaspe Shire councillor and chief executive of the Murray Darling Association; Camillus O’Kane, an urban planner; and Andrew Bragg, policy director at the Financial Services Council and an unsuccessful candidate in the Victorian Liberals’ recent Senate preselection.

• Ninety-six preselectors will vote in the Liberals’ Mackellar preselection next weekend, drawn equally from local branches and head office. Contentiously, the former contingent includes four of Bronwyn Bishop’s own staff members. Heath Aston of Fairfax hears Bronwyn Bishop and Jason Falinski are approaching 40 votes each, with 10 to 15 backers of Walter Villatora set to decide it for Falinski on the second round.

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.

1,635 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.8-49.2 to Coalition”

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  1. Interesting that the downwards jog in the last bludgertrack has been revised away.

    William, I never fully understood the methodology but my crude understanding was that the primary votes were massaged according to an assessment of the various polls relative to each other that gets updated periodically.

  2. WOWEE. J-curves on Shorten’s graphs. Mal’s approval in free-fall. Just look at those trends.

    Someone should be kind and supply all of those marginal Libs with plastic sheets. Maybe someone with some equity in the British Virgin Islands or the Caymans could oblige. It is probably tax deductible here if you know a *good* accountant.

    The few percent that follow politics (all persuasions) can see what is happening. They are the ones who have been dropping off the Turnbull lib effort so far.

    Then there is the lag effect when the disengaged start to pick up on the vibe from their influencers.

    That will continue to influence in coming weeks unless something drastic happens(in a positive way for the Libs I mean). Their biggest problem however is that it kind of looks like they hate each-other.


  3. Good morning.

    In a sign paid parental leave will once more be an election battleground, Mr Porter has signalled the Coalition will look again at restricting PPL payments if it is re-elected.
    In 2016, like 2013, the Liberal Party is tipped to select Mathias Cormann as an official campaign spokesman. For Labor, Penny Wong is again in the frame.
    “Well I can’t give you water but Angus, Polly, would you like to accept this book?” the former PM asked, his upward inflection dripping with hope.
    Though neither the Liberals nor Labor consider the party a serious threat, Liberal MPs confirmed the party was stealing “rank and file” members
    Question. When is libertarianism not liberating? Answer: When it’s really a feudalistic patriarchy, a trompe l’oeuil of birds and flowers hiding a hardhead pile-driving agenda.
    A confidential internal corruption inquiry report, that included bribery claims involving Thiess and a top Indian politician, remained buried.
    Dozens of scientists have lodged a formal complaint against alleged bullying behaviour by chief executive Dr Larry Marshall.
    Almost four decades after lodging a claim for a huge tract of land on the Cox Peninsula, west of Darwin, surviving traditional owners joined with politicians to announce the terms for settlement.

  4. The government proposes turning its back on the schools where most Australian children get their education.
    Education experts have accused the Turnbull government of using “incredibly flimsy evidence” to support its claim that more schools funding does not deliver better student results
    This story has been hijacked by anti-capitalist campaigners who think all our earnings should be handed over to the state to be redistributed.
    The student loans program will grow from around $60 billion now to $180 billion by 2026 – a surge it attributes largely to the Coalition’s policy to allow universities to set their own fees.
    “We promised that we would get kids out of detention and we have delivered on that promise.”
    Does your employer unfairly favour staff who are married with children over those who are single and/or childless?
    There are young people who have never worked, with hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting in “their” accounts.
    NSW Health has issued a community alert after four people with measles are known to have been in close contact with large groups of people while they were still infectious but before they were diagnosed.

  5. Fairfax Media can reveal that Rooty Hill RSL last year ignored a key recommendation in the guidelines designed to ensure the neediest community groups benefit.
    A cartel conduct case against Moses and Paul Obeid was brought to a halt after a banker giving evidence in the proceedings confessed he was “sleep deprived” from working on a late-night deal
    The environment minister, Greg Hunt, claimed recently that Australia’s total greenhouse emissions had “peaked” in 2005.
    French MPs finally approve divisive legislation that will criminalise customers rather than sex workers
    The survivor of a terrifying near-miss involving a semi-trailer in Victoria’s south-west that was caught on dashcam has told of her ‘close shave with death’.

  6. Government investment in capital works in regional Australia is almost non-existent now. I’ll believe that Labor is really in front when I see the Bludgertrack pass the 51/49 mark for Labor. But…

    Wouldn’t surprise to see that a couple of seats on 10% or so are currently under threat. It is often the way when there is a swing. Would love to know where that is most likely.

  7. As a bank employee for over 37 years, I find it a bit rich of our PM as a former merchant banker having a dip regarding our profits and social responsibility given we are in one of the most competitive industries, pay our fair share of tax. It is so easy to bash us and I’m proud to work in the industry.

    He should spend more time chasing those that don’t pay their fair share of tax – both individuals and companies!

  8. Morning all the IPA think tank article in Lizzie’s list is worth a read, written by Farrelly and very perceptive,not withstanding with ’emperor for life article last year ‘.

  9. John Reidy

    Yes, I think we should forgive one emotional outburst. I particularly enjoyed the phrase “the charisma of wealth”.

  10. Morning bludgers

    Thanks Lizzie.

    I too was pleased to see Farrelly report on the IPA. It has been obvious to many bludgers for a very long time re the agenda of the IPA. I had posted the 75 item list during past week, because as Farrelly also points out there is quite a number on that list that are being seriously looked. Of course, quite a few have already been acted upon.

  11. Also find it quite amazing that we are being inundated with so much alleged corruption. Heck even the WA. State Transport minister is now being investigated re a possible breach re insider trading re infrastructure project.

    The whole ABCC argument by Turnbull and co is quite jarring.

  12. Edwina St John @ 2,

    It’s time!

    Yep. Time to change the federal government back to Labor!

    Thanks for the endorsement, ESJ. 🙂

  13. Breifly,

    I’m a bit confused by your stance on land tax.

    [I have been at pains to point out that while land tax is levied on titleholders, it in fact falls on tenants… The income derived from tenancy is the source of the revenue used to satisfy the tax obligation.

    Land tax is in fact a tax on income….the income of tenants.]

    This is not really the case, which you can see by considering the counterfactual case of no land taxes of any sort levied. You (and I) would still pay the same rate of rent, as the market for rentals is set independently of the market for capital (ie. for IP funding). We went through this dozens of times regarding negative gearing changes.

    As such, the land tax applies to and reduces the flow of rents from a tenant to anyone with rights on the land – usually the title-holder and often also a financier. It is they who receive less rent, not the tenant who pays more, under a land tax.

    A land tax should also affect the demand for IP loans, as banks see less available flows to service loans and reduce what they are willing to lend to buyers accordingly.

    In the case of an owner-occupier without a mortgage, the tax is taken out of imputed rent paid to themselves.

  14. Re the Panama leaks.

    Quite some time ago, an anonymous source contacted journo in Germany re same. Once documents leaked, an international alliance of journos which included ABC fourcorners were invited to investigate the documents.

    My view is that team Labor had the heads up on this investigation somewhere along the way.
    Hence, setting the scene re multinational tax evasion/avoidance, and Turnbull and the Cayman Islands.

    I am curious to see what is Labor’s next step

  15. Norwester I agree the track needs to be a solid 51/49 for Labor, the trend is good but there is a long way to go.

    It was good politics for Turnbull to attack the banks last night, that is the Turnbull Labor should fear, however the proof will be action, not nice words or a ‘review’.

  16. Waleed Aly skewers Malcolm Turnbull over NBN rollout

    WALEED Aly has taken aim at the so-called “man who virtually invented the internet in this country” — aka Malcolm Turnbull — calling out the Prime Minister over the Federal Government’s delivery of the NBN in his “age of innovation”.

    During Wednesday night’s ‘Something We Should Talk About’ segment, The Project co-host brought up the delayed rollout of the network which will deliver a slower speed than Labor’s, despite increased costs, to the tune of about $10 billion.

    “First, Malcolm Turnbull invented the internet in this country as much as I invented longwinded TV rants in this country. We didn’t invent it but we don’t mind accepting praise from people who think we did,” he said, poking fun at his recent Gold Logie nomination.

  17. [There is a strong need for regulatory reform of the environmental approval process in Australia. Existing state and federal decisions are failing to take global climate imperatives into account. The decision to approve the Carmichael mine and the ensuing release of 4.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the world’s atmosphere is a crucial environmental decision and should therefore attract focused, higher-level environmental approval processes.]


    [McAvoy has, in fact, drafted a charter for an Assembly of First Nations people in which he envisions that it will create a truly representative body that will debate and pass resolutions in much the same way as the United Nations General Assembly. Indeed, it would be appropriate for this body to be the negotiating body on behalf of First Nations people in forming a Treaty with the Government.

    Tony McAvoy drew from his legal strengths in clarifying what model a Treaty would need to take, as he narrowed it down to four main heads of agreement.

    An acknowledgement that:
    •Australia was not settled and that First Nations people are sovereign peoples;
    •there must be land reform
    •there must be reparations, compensation and equitable benefit sharing; and
    •there is the need for structural reform.

    The packed audience was in agreement with Tony McAvoy’s approach to Treaty.

    He closed by saying:

    “The dilemma which confronts us is how we create the environment where the economic and cultural imperatives that saw us through millennia can be maintained in the western world in which we now live.”

    Tauto Sansbury conceded he is not an expert in the legal and political machinations of achieving a Treaty, but said he is determinedly against Constitutional Recognition. Sansbury referenced the South Australian experience with Recognition and how very little it had achieved beyond the “feel good” symbolism in which government could pat themselves on the back. He referenced the continued poor performance of social indicators and said that this change is not achievable without action in the place of symbolism.]

  19. This must be where Birmingham is getting his latest theme:

    But as usual, the government is cherry-picking.
    [Mr Spratt said ACSSO “heartily endorsed” Labor’s long-term commitment of $37 billion over 10 years for school education.

    But he still thinks a review would make sure the money is being spent in line with the recommendations made by David Gonski in his inquiry into school funding.]

  20. Cartoons. Almost the same list as last night:

    hree David Rowe’s:

    Summit time and the livin’ is easy

    David Rowe on Panama

    And some more

    John Kudelka also on the Caribbean:

    Alan Moir on Turnbull’s strategic genius:

    Mark David on Turnbull, man of action:

    Cathy Wilcox on funding for the states

    Cathy Wilcox on Kevin Andrews:

  21. I’m loving the major networks and Murdoochracy s&$/?!$ themselves over Ali getting the Logie nomination. A short ( make it very short) look at “A Current Affair” and the decline of current affairs reporting on the commercials will be brought into shop focus.

  22. Abbott speech to the IPA at the anniversary dinner

    [So, ladies and gentlemen, that is a big “yes” to many of the 75 specific policies you urged upon me in that particular issue of the magazine]

  23. Thanks lizzie, one of the main reasons I come here is to be brought painlessly up to date with what the media has to offer.

  24. The quote of Abbott’s on the IPA list is gold, I am sure Turnbull, given his background and behaviour since becoming PM subscribes to the same list.

  25. [WALEED Aly has taken aim at the so-called “man who virtually invented the internet in this country” — aka Malcolm Turnbull…]

    It’s not what Aly is saying, so much as that he’s saying it.

    He, along with Elizabeth Farrelly at the SMH were BIG Malcolm fanboiz and girlz. It’s a “Sydney” thing to love Malcolm.

    My prediction is that Malcolm will chuck a spazz at someone, some time soon, as the pressure builds. He always does when he can’t get his own way. News will leak out, and more “rumblings” and “murmurings” will be reported from inside the Liberal Party walled compound.

    The Libs are faced with several insurmountable problems.

    There’s too much time until the election. And they have telegraphed their punches to their enemies. It’s like one of those WW2 movies, where the plans for D-Day fall into the Germans’ hands after a courier’s plane accidentally lands on a Swedish airfield in a storm.

    There may be too much time until the election, but there’s not enough time to replace Turnbull or install another PM.

    Abbott will be making mischief too, along with his compadres.

    All this is what happens when you’re running a sham outfit that’s trying to look organized. History will probably record that the Liberal government was finished as far back as Australia Day 2015, or perhaps even by the 2014 Budget.

    Even the SMH has deserted Malcolm. It seems you just can’t innovate your way out of the quicksand he’s willingly jumped into. Elan is a slippery substance.

  26. ph_RED
    I saw your dig at Adelaide last night.

    Now, firstly, talking smack about Adelaide is my gig.
    Secondly, I am not from hereabouts. I am a Sydney lad.
    Thirdly, you are just still cranky at me because I didnt like one of your jokes. Try this one…..

    [A beautiful woman walks into a cocktail bar and asks the waiter for a Double Entendre.]
    [So he gave her one.]

  27. Thank you Lizzie for your editorial links. I particularly enjoyed the Phillip Johnston whine ending as follows:

    [But this story has been hijacked by anti-capitalist campaigners who think all our earnings should be handed over to the state to be redistributed. They simply cannot understand the aspirational instincts that drive most people, and they never will.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook]

    One has to laugh at the expression “aspirational instincts” which is a delightful pseudonym for “greed”, an “instinct” even “anti-capitalist campaigners” are not immune to, let alone ignorant of.

  28. Victoria

    Listened to interview with Nick Nehamas of the Miami Hearld talking about the 11.5 million documents & 400 journalists working on Panama Papers, appears to be whistle blower leak similar Ro Snowden leak
    Nick said it will be huge.
    The US may not be too involved as their Delawre State tax haven is larger than Panama Setup

  29. Thanks Lizzie and D&M

    From BB @ 34

    [History will probably record that the Liberal government was finished as far back as Australia Day 2015, or perhaps even by the 2014 Budget.]

    In fact, the Coalition government was finished before it even got elected, because it did nothing to prepare itself for doing the job; only getting the job.

    No political party can outsource its policy to a think tank. By their very nature think tanks come up with ideas by thinking about them. The job of politicians is to interface with the people who will be affected by those ideas if implemented and test, adjust or abandon as becomes obvious. The Liberals completely failed to do this prior to the 2013 election.

  30. Interesting times. Faith and trust in religion has been taking a big hit over recent years. Is this the beginning of people now waking up to conservative rule. Self interest, Warlords and spin.”Watch what the do not what they say” Maybe a new way of looking at our Emperors as they shed there clothes

  31. Just as the Panama story of big business money laundering takes hold, the government and Murdoch resurrect the “dole bludger” theme. DT headline:

    [Quarter of dole recipients skip interviews
    MORE than a quarter of all dole recipients are living up to the ‘dole bludger’ stereotype because they’re skipping job interviews or failing to accept decent work, new data reveals.]

  32. [No political party can outsource its policy to a think tank. By their very nature think tanks come up with ideas by thinking about them.]

    In the case of the IPA, I think you are being overly generous.

  33. Turnbull decrying “a culture of greed”” is about the most flat-out hysterically funny statement I have ever heard.

  34. [MORE than a quarter of all dole recipients are living up to the ‘dole bludger’ stereotype because they’re skipping job interviews or failing to accept decent work, new data reveals.]

    That’s because they are all in the BVI or the Caymans or Panama looking after their wealth.

  35. One thing that I don’t get about the Panama papers is how come overseas entities and individuals can apparently be named and shamed, but here in Australia names are being withheld, apart from a few obvious extreme cases.

  36. News Corpse hates Aly because they hate it when anybody else grabs the microphone in the public space, particularly when they’ve got a line-up of decrepit never-wassers like Paul Kelly, Gerard Henderson, etc etc. I can see its influence waning fast, and hates that fact.

  37. I agree BB it is significant who is now criticising Turnbull.
    Also good to see his ‘innovations’ policy is getting buried under the NBN.
    For him to launch that policy after the NBN and CSIRO cuts is rank hypocrisy.

  38. citizen

    I know you’re reporting, not supporting…

    My son was with a work provider a couple of years ago. He told them on day one that he could not do manual labour, as he was still recovering from a sports injury which had affected his back (he had medical certificates to support this, and had failed a medical for one job already).

    He was rung up and told to go and pick cucumbers.

    Being conscientious, he went; within a couple of hours, I got a call to come and collect him, because he could hardly walk.

    The employer was still very impressed with his work ethic, but my son should never have been referred to the job in the first place – and a less conscientious person would have (quite sensibly) simply not turned up.

  39. [Tad Slufinski
    Posted Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 8:47 am | PERMALINK
    Interesting times. Faith and trust in religion has been taking a big hit over recent years. Is this the beginning of people now waking up to conservative rule. Self interest, Warlords and spin.”Watch what the do not what they say” Maybe a new way of looking at our Emperors as they shed there clothes]

    This looks to be the start of the inevitable community reaction to the actions of the rich and powerful who care only for themselves to the detriment of others.

    Unfortunately for the Turnbull government, the emperor is starting to lose his clothes during an extremely long election campaign.

  40. Adrian

    On 4 Corners there was mention that many of the Australians named were already under investigation by the ATO.

    It is possible that names were not named so as to not stuff up the investigations eg by giving the targets a heads up.

    You say that OS individuals are named ….. maybe if you source that info, Australians may be being named OS ??????

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