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. K17 @ 46

    [News Corpse hates Aly]

    I tracked down the offending article and read it. It seemed to me to be a dry satire on the reported insider grumbling about these nominations. Clearly, it was too dry for many people. In Australia, it does not do to make satire too dry or subtle.

  2. citizen

    Desperate times for Rupert and his fellow plutocrats that he feels the need to bring up that old chestnut. “Single mothers” must also be due for a run. What with them living the high life and being the root cause of delinquent yoof. The old bugger will find it doesn’t work like it used to. Meanwhile I hope he and his mates catch a nasty case of ‘Panamanian Blight’.

  3. [http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2016/04/07/worry-grows-over-sa-steel-jobs.html?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=57058a7204d3014112a783e9&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter]

    OMFG! Did Pyne really blame management for Arrium’s problems.

    Chris, surely one or two of the workforce are in a Union. WTF are you doing son? Do want to be excommunicated? The Poodle must really be panicked if he can’t find a single unionist to blame.

  4. Since Labor gave the Gonski barrow a push yesterday I haven’t heard too much from the Libs trying to counter.

    Birmingham made a half hearted and half arsed effort, but when the National Party Education Minister makes the crack ‘if funding is not important why to parents spend $30k a year to send their kids to Sydney Grammar’ you don’t have anywhere too much to go.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Shorten and Ellis appearing with Piccoli on the campaign trail somewhere.

    Has Malcolm confirmed he was passionate about the idea of funding only private schools yet?

  5. Re cold places from last night….
    Crookwell is cold. But I learnt about ‘cold splits’ working around a mine near Lithgow.

    Lithgow is a cold hole.

    And thanks Boerwar for explaining why Crookwell got its name. You wanna tell me why the moon follows me around at night too? There is no magic anymore.

  6. Regarding dole-bludger stories, I can fully recommend subscribing to the Unemployed Worker’s Union feed on Facebook – the stories that you read of people’s treatment within the system indicates to me that many of this supposed “bludger” group that are putatively rorting the system and refusing to attend job interviews may actually be people who are being bullied by the various private and public agencies involved. I wouldn’t trust the figure to be honest.

    I’m lucky enough to have a full time job but I am certainly not above considering how easily it can happen to any of us that, for whatever reason, we could simply be pushed down to the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

  7. You’re probably right psyclaw.

    Tony Bourke did well on AM this morning, as Michael Brissenden quite inexplicably found his inner mongrel, deciding to interrupt constatntly, and directly blame Labor for problems with the HECS loan scheme.

    I expect normal service to be resumed when a Liberal minister is on tomorrow.

  8. When Malcolm Turnbull attacks the “culture of greed” you know that Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t see Malcolm Turnbull in the mirror every morning.

  9. William, you give the seat breakdown as LNP 81, ALP 64, other 5. However, NEWSPOLL in the Australian gives seat breakdown as LNP 65, ALP 80,other 5. Why is this?

  10. Did anyone else catch Channel 7’s beat up story on Tuesday night about “asylum seekers champing at the bit waiting for the government to change”.

    It was apparently aired in all capital cities and it ran straight after news of the change in in Newspoll showing a possible change in government.

    [Item – New polls show a change in government is likely

    Follow up item – if the government changes eleventy bazillion boatloads of Muzzie refo’s are going to launch their crafts towards Australia. Be afraid, oogie boogie, don’t change the government or else]

    It was the most disgusting piece of yellow journalism I’ve ever witnessed and I’ve complained about it to Media Watch.

  11. Also, some chatter last night about Kasich. I heard he pulled back in Wisconsin to give Cruz clear sails against Trump. Good move – contested convention now likely. Bad move, as he is now in dead calm waters and needs rabbits and hats in Pennsylvania.

  12. [Simon Katich

    Posted Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Re cold places from last night….
    Crookwell is cold. But I learnt about ‘cold splits’ working around a mine near Lithgow.

    Lithgow is a cold hole.

    And thanks Boerwar for explaining why Crookwell got its name. You wanna tell me why the moon follows me around at night too? There is no magic anymore.]

    The moon is following you around at night for a very good reason. The moon will get you One night when you are sound asleep and completely defenceless.

    Enjoy.

  13. BW
    [The moon will get you One night when you are sound asleep and completely defenceless.]
    I am very Doris Day about it.

  14. Good Morning

    DG

    I saw that appalling story pretending to be journalism. Despite their narrative the takeout I saw and hopefully other viewers is that the AS are still trying to get to Australia.

    Turning back boats has not stopped that flow. All it has done is create a new bottle neck in a neighbouring country who will not be too happy at the increasing numbers they have to house.

  15. I’m intrigued by your comments re the NT, William. Is the problem with your projections, as you suggest , or the polling itself? Find it hard to imagine that adequate polls could be undertaken in the NT without a huge amount of face to face legwork.

    Surprises me, too, that your projection suggests one less ALP seat there. Were you predicting an ALP clean sweep there before?

  16. Twitter has picked up on the IPA story and is running with it.

    While it is a great story – it is a little over the heads of the average person with its language. Hopefully the twitter interest will see its main points filtering through to those who need t understand

  17. ABCNews24: Antonio: We have lost our car industry, lost Holden, we can ill afford to lose #Arrium. That cannot be allowed to happen. #auspol

  18. Steel from OS turned up on recent project. Spotted as steel out of Australian mills has a slightly different profile. Also suspect slightly more deflection over long spans, not that that means anything but you have to worry about compliance with our standards. Not a huge project either so it’s definitely freely available.

    Welcome to the world of free trade agreements.

  19. political_alert: Shadow Minister for Families & Payments Jenny Macklin & Matt Thistlethwaite will hold a doorstop at 11:15am in Sydney to discuss PPL #auspol

  20. victoria & lizzie

    Re: IPA

    John Roskam is a good mate of Bill Shorten. One of many reasons why I’m not a fan of Bill. I’ve never trusted him since he burst onto the national scene in the Beaconsfield mining disaster, when I found out that Richard Pratt (the cardboard king convicted with anti-competitive behaviour) let Bill freely use his private Lear Jet to commute from Melbourne to Tassie on a regular basis whilst the trapped miners were being rescued. There is no free lunch with the Big End of Town.

  21. vote1julia@72

    victoria & lizzie

    Re: IPA

    John Roskam is a good mate of Bill Shorten. One of many reasons why I’m not a fan of Bill. I’ve never trusted him since he burst onto the national scene in the Beaconsfield mining disaster, when I found out that Richard Pratt (the cardboard king convicted with anti-competitive behaviour) let Bill freely use his private Lear Jet to commute from Melbourne to Tassie on a regular basis whilst the trapped miners were being rescued. There is no free lunch with the Big End of Town.

    You have fingered part of the source of my reservations about Shorten and why I did not vote for him as leader.

    However, I cannot fault his performance since he has been in the job and have set aside any reservations.

  22. Yes, TPOF (@ 51) – I wondered whether that piece at
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/six-reasons-why-waleed-aly-should-not-win-gold/news-story/b2ea6713f4f78a20878930c40f7c41aa
    was intended as a satire of the anti-Aly arguments. I think Victoria’s problem was that some of the anti-Aly people are in the Murdoch empire and she didn’t want to lay it on too thickly, so it ended up looking satirical in some paras and just diffuse in others. For the views of the white execs of the commercial channels, that I guess she was sending up, see this non-satirical article:
    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/logies-waleed-aly-and-lee-lin-chin-are-ruffling-feathers-because-they-dont-follow-the-rules-20160406-gnzka8.html

  23. I’m not convinced that a dole bludger meme will fly in the current climate. Such things have played very well here in WA for the last 15 years, as the resource construction boom has allowed the semi-skilled to delude themselves about how their irreplaceable skills, faultless work ethic and brilliant business acumen will ensure that they have a well paid job for as long as they want it.

    Thing is, over the last year or so, partly thanks to the downturn, MrsBogan and I have spent a fair bit of time at Centrelink and at our Job Network parasites and it’s been very noticeable how many of their clients have, very clearly, been in very unfamiliar territory. We’ve also noticed quite a reduction in the number of obvious public indicators of surplus money that used to be so common here.

    So, based on my entirely unscientific observations, a goodly number of those once so contemptuous of dole bludgers may be getting a first hand taste of life at the whim of a government agency.

    I’m not that sorry. In spite of the downturn’s effect on my own circumstances I don’t think it’s any bad thing that WA is getting a smack with the reality stick. It got really quite ugly here for a while.

  24. But surely, with the Carbon Tax gone, the future of Whyalla is one of unicorns and rainbows for the rest of eternity?

  25. Re the piece on Aly.

    This is a piece on the daily tele’s rednezview, which brings us articles like “Dogs bark, get over it’ and “Life lessons from reality TV” and “I entered a Chili eaing contest and it was not pretty”.

    An attempt at satire. Possibly. A nothing article written for ‘hits’, definitely.

  26. [Media going feral on LNP Ed Minister Birmingham presser]

    About time. He manages to combine the charm of Brandis with the intellect of Dutton.

  27. vote1julia

    [[John Roskam is a good mate of Bill Shorten. One of many reasons why I’m not a fan of Bill. I’ve never trusted him since he burst onto the national scene in the Beaconsfield mining disaster, when I found out that Richard Pratt (the cardboard king convicted with anti-competitive behaviour) let Bill freely use his private Lear Jet to commute from Melbourne to Tassie on a regular basis whilst the trapped miners were being rescued. There is no free lunch with the Big End of Town.]

    My feelings about Shorten as well and then there was the planning of the Rudd coup. Ambition writ large.

  28. Doesn’t it say something good about Shorten that he can be friends with an arsehole like John Roskam? I know I wouldn’t have the strength to do that. But if he can be friends with someone like that, while maintaining his principles, he’s the sort of Prime Minister we need.

  29. political_alert: Opposition Leader @billshortenmp and Member for Griffith @terrimbutler will hold a doorstop in Brisbane today at 12:15pm #auspol

  30. Satire in an area like racism has to be done carefully. You have to tailor it to your audience, even if it was planned as satire, it fails because of the context and how it misjudged the audience.

  31. What makes them mad is that Aly didn’t play by their rules. He did not politely work his way up the rungs of commercial television (though he did work hard). Salam Cafe on SBS and Big Ideas on ABC? Pfft. Everyone knows that to score a decent gig, you must first host a woeful “light entertainment” series in which faded celebrities humiliate themselves, each other and our nation. When it bombs, you will have “paid your dues”. Only then can you present a show you actually like.

    Aly didn’t follow the script. Instead, he barged into The Project and began spouting his opinions. Unapologetically.

    The man does not even have a Twitter account. This makes rival TV executives’ brains explode. Surely that’s illegal.

    To make matters worse, they notice the intense vitriol Aly cops for his editorials on The Project, and his columns in Fairfax Media publications.

    They become confused. Isn’t this what they tried to avoid? They coached their stars to walk a fine line between taking a stand – but not being too provocative. Between using social media – but to make banal platitudes of the “why can’t we all just get along?’ variety.

    http://m.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/logies-waleed-aly-and-lee-lin-chin-are-ruffling-feathers-because-they-dont-follow-the-rules-20160406-gnzka8.html

  32. ‘My feelings about Shorten as well and then there was the planning of the Rudd coup. Ambition writ large.’

    Good luck with finding a candidate for PM without immense ambition.

  33. Bemused Comrade

    At the time of Beaconsfield, Shorten was a sprog of 39 years. Like you and me, he knew everything then, just as we did when 29,and 19. One of life’s lessons is that tomorrow we are all wiser than we were today and ditto for yesterday. Unfortunately when today turns in to tomorrow, the die is cast for today …. today’s history is fully and permanently writ …. the history record is done …. there is no going back.

    Bill Shorten today is 10 years wiser. Possibly you see that in him, hence your softened view of him.

    Then, he was an up and coming union boss and aspiring politician and happy to accept help from wherever it came. No doubt his adrenaline was rushing all through the Beaconsfield saga, as was his sense of self importance, on a day by day basis as the saga unfolded. Riding in on the Pratt jet would have boosted his self importance.

    What all this says is that he was a 39 year old human. I certainly won’t cast the first stone at him, since I once acted as a 39 year old human too.

    I have no doubt at all that when he lays awake at night today’s Shorten probably suffers a flush of embarrassment, maybe even a flush of guilt about his stupidity in aligning himself with Pratt in any way (if in fact he did). Regrettably my reflections on some of the stupidities of my past cause the same temporary pangs of anguish. You too ???

    One of Shorten’s strengths is as a negotiator. We praise him for this. But negotiation requires a preparedness and competence and experience in making relationships with “the other side”.

  34. MTBW

    [and then there was the planning of the Rudd coup. Ambition writ large.]

    Which had very little to do with Shorten, and in fact started with the Victorian Left (not his faction).

  35. MTBW #85

    Fair dinkum you are so predictable.

    I haven’t done an accurate count but I reckon about 80% of what you write about Labor issues here is negative and often appears to me to be bitter.

    I have researched Shorten’s role in the Rudd demise, and Gillard’s too. In both cases the media and folklore greatly exaggerate both their roles as prime movers.

    Both entered the fray after others had got the ball rolling. There were elements in the behaviour of Gillard and Shorten which were clearly aimed at cleaning up a mess that had been orchestrated by others, and making the best out of a bad lot.

  36. Today ABC 24’s doing ‘crosses’ to ministers that are either –

    * Telling us stuff that they think is great. They haven’t noticed that we don’t want it, or don’t understand it’ or didn’t know it existed. Example Birmingham.

    * Explaining in a very long winded way to the Press , with about a thousand conditions/qualifications, that they are not going to answer questions. Example Payne (and she is a).

  37. Dan Gulberry

    Even Fraser left the Liberal Party as it was becoming too right wing even for him. Roskam & the IPA want to take the Libs even further to the right.

    K17

    One could say the same thing about a police commissioner and a mafia boss. It is about perception. It is not a good look.

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