BludgerTrack: 50.4-49.6 to Labor

It’s now been four weeks since the last poll showing the Coalition in the lead, and Labor has now poked its nose in front on the BludgerTrack aggregate’s two-party preferred measure.

The only new poll this week was the weekly Essential Research, owing to the poll glut last week and the Anzac Day public holiday on Monday. The Essential result was an eye-opener, with the normally sedate series lurching two points in favour of Labor, who have opened up a 52-48 lead. The primary votes are Coalition 40% (down two), Labor 39% (up three) and Greens 10% (down one). Other questions found 40% approving of a double dissolution election, up one from two weeks ago, with opposition up four to 28%; 42% expecting the Coalition to win compared with 28% for Labor; 35% saying Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership has made them more likely to vote Coalition, compared with 23% for less likely; and 67% saying they would view their vote as one in favour of the party they supported, compared with 21% saying it would be against the party they opposed. On next week’s budget, respondents anticipated it would be good for business and the well off, bad for everyone else, and neutral for the economy overall. The poll also found that 45% would sooner see Helen Clark as secretary-general of the United Nations compared with 21% for Kevin Rudd.

Single Essential Research results tend not to knock the BludgerTrack poll aggregate off its axis, but this result was forceful enough to drive a half-point shift on two-party preferred, which tips the balance in favour of Labor. However, the gains from last week to this have tended to be concentrated in states where they are of little use to Labor on the seat projection, which only ticks one point in their favour through a gain in New South Wales, leaving the Coalition with the barest possible absolute majority. That would be a little less bare if I started crediting Clive Palmer’s seat of Fairfax as a Liberal National Party gain, which I really should have been doing since a Galaxy poll of the seat in January credited Palmer with 2% of the vote. I’ll implement that one next week. Nothing new this week on the leadership ratings.


Other news:

• The WA Liberal Party’s state council has endorsed Matt O’Sullivan as the party’s candidate for the new seat of Burt in the southern suburbs of Perth, formalising its overturning of a local party ballot three weeks ago. O’Sullivan is closely identified with mining magnate Andrew Forrest, as the chief operating officer of his GenerationOne indigenous youth employment scheme. The earlier ballot was won by Liz Storer, a Gosnells councillor who had backing from the Christian Right. Storer defeated O’Sullivan with 13 votes out of an eligible 25, but the state council ruled three weeks ago that the number of preselectors was insufficient, and that it would take matters into its own hands.

• The Central Western Daily lists four candidates for Saturday’s Nationals preselection in the rural New South Wales seat of Calare, to be vacated at the election by John Cobb: Andrew Gee, the state member for Orange; Alison Conn, a Wellington councillor; Sam Farraway, owner of the Hertz franchise in Bathurst; and Scott Munro, a butcher and Orange councillor.

• The Blue Mountains Gazette last week reported that a ReachTEL poll conducted on April 19 for the NSW Teachers Federation had Liberal and Labor tied in the Blue Mountains seat of Macquarie, which Louise Markus holds for the Liberals on a margin of 4.5%. Markus has secured the Liberal preselection for the seat after the withdrawal of a challenge by Sarah Richards, a local party branch president.

• It escaped my notice four weeks ago that The Australian had ReachTEL results commissioned by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union from the Liberal-held Adelaide seats of Hindmarsh and Sturt. Results in the report are incomplete, but they appear to credit Christopher Pyne with a 5% margin in Sturt, down from 10.1% at the 2013 election, and also have the Liberals leading in the difficult seat of Hindmarsh. Only modest support was recorded for the Nick Xenophon Team, at 14.5% and 11% before exclusion of the undecided. A good deal has happened in the month since the poll was conducted, with Coalition support continuing to plummet nationally, and the government this week seeking to staunch the flow in South Australia specifically by committing to have the $52 billion submarine construction project built in the state. I have also obtained ReachTEL polling conducted early last month for The Australia Institute, which has the Nick Xenophon Team’s support in South Australia at 16.1% in the House of Representatives and 24.8% in the Senate – keeping in mind that polls like this have form in overstating the distinctions between House and Senate results (or at least, they did before the Senate vote went haywire in 2013). There are also Queensland results inclusive of the parties of Clive Palmer, Glen Lazarus, Nick Xenophon and Jacqui Lambie, which have their Senate support ranging from 1.6% (Lambie) to 3.4% (Xenophon).

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.

925 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.4-49.6 to Labor”

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  1. ratsak
    Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Excellent post. Between you and Waleed, I think Bluey is going to have start roping in some other occies to have enough tentacles to measure the daily decline of the LNP.

  2. Morning bludgers

    I had posted this last night. Worth reposting…..

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 10:47 pm
    Someone mentioned this earlier……..
    3h3 hours ago
    #TheProjectTV ‏@theprojecttv
    Negative gearing shut you out of the housing market? Is it time we #ShutThisPartyDown? By Waleed and @twhittyer.

  3. That is interesting, 4 weeks since a poll last put the coalition ahead.

    The budget expectation figures are interesting, I think similar to previous coalition budgets.

  4. Morning all. It would be fascinating to see a state breakdown, to see what electoral joy the coalition bought in SA for $50 billion?

    Meanwhile despite joking that yesterdays’ CPI deflation figures (normally indicating recession) were a “triumph” of economic management, one journo has actually written that they are good news! How embarrassing! The only reason our economy is “growing” at present is population growth. In per capita terms we are going backwards.

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Waleed Aly on The Project rains on Turnbull’s negative gearing parade.
    Jess Irvine on why deflation could be good news.
    Michael Gordon says it’s time for Turnbull to chart a new course on asylum seekers.
    Michelle Grattan thinks they will play for time over Manus.
    David Donovan on the government’s bedfellows with the scrapping of the RSRT.,8930
    Sean Nichols looks at Arfur’s non-appearance at the Senate inquiry. Is he in contempt of the Senate?
    George Pell’s credibility is on the line as the Catholic Church fights back says David Marr.
    Lenore Taylor pulls apart the government’s climate change scare campaign.
    Trump promises the world on foreign policy but gives no details in his speech on the subject.
    By the time question time arrives the issue of the closure of Manus Island will be nice and ripe.

  6. Section 2 . . .

    David Crowe in The Australian describes this as Turnbull’s “Tampa moment”. Google.
    It’s game, set and match for Ashby.,8926
    Stephen Koukoulas on why the budget deficit is largely irrelevant.
    Creationists are history!
    Nikki Savva on Morrison’s impossible task. Google.
    Peter Martin compares the Victorian and federal treasurers.
    Little Chrissy just can’t help himself.
    These sorts of things make the ABCC look like chicken feed.
    And this!
    Elizabeth Farrell complains that WestConnex is a war on inner Sydney dwellers.
    Could the Canadians show how neoliberalism can be beaten?
    Our gun laws are under attack.

  7. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    David Pope on asylum seeker policy after the PNG decision. (Look at the bowsprit)

    Ron Tandberg at a house auction.

    Beautiful work from John Spooner about the anti-vaxxer film that has just been released.

    Mark Knight with Turnbull and Morrison pondering over their revenue problem.
    David Rowe and Shorten’s renewables policy.

  8. Thanks BK! Arthur “the bagman” Sinodinos avoiding the Senate inquiry into political donations is strange behaviour from a man who has nothing to hide?

    After NSW the Senate would do well to investigate the Victorian Liberals and ask whether any money changed hands over that disgraceful Melbourne EW Link project. $2 billion in Commonwealth money for a road with no business case but a $1.2 billion success fee?? Why would you want to fund that? Who gave what to whom?

  9. Sam Maiden of the Daily lala, tweeted this yesterday. I fail to see how this turn of events is a potential blessing for the fibs. Labor support offshore processing.

    Samantha Maiden
    15h15 hours ago
    Samantha Maiden ‏@samanthamaiden
    High Court decision in PNG could prove election blessing in disguise for Coalition if it elevates asylum seeker issue back onto front pages

  10. It’s not often that Lawyers’ Weekly makes the Dawn Patrol, but here’s a quote from this morning’s issue:

    “When every other industry has to be compliant with the law, it does bring it home that we’ve got this entire sector where there is complete lawlessness and it needs to be reigned in and there needs to be increasing enforcement powers,” he said.

    Which is this industry with complete lawlesness across the entire sector? Banking? Well no, the quote is from a lawyer on an employers’-side workplace law firm, so of course it’s building and construction. But show the quote to any of the victims of the banks’ scams and they might assume banking, mightn’t they?

  11. victoria @ Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Sam Maiden of the Daily lala, tweeted this yesterday. I fail to see how this turn of events is a potential blessing for the fibs. Labor support offshore processing.
    Samantha Maiden
    15h15 hours ago
    Samantha Maiden ‏@samanthamaiden
    High Court decision in PNG could prove election blessing in disguise for Coalition if it elevates asylum seeker issue back onto front pages

    The Daily Terrorgraph are calling it Turnbull’s Tampa Test.

    So they aren’t completely onside.

  12. It’s time for a complete over haul of refugee treatment, with a REAL conversation, as the Gillard government tried to do, but we won’t get it now, because
    Turnbull will be afraid that he’ll lose more votes if he changes anything
    Labor ditto.
    The Greens are guaranteed spoilers in this.

    Yet Turnbull, as PM, should have the power to lead a change of minds on this.
    I doubt he has the courage.

  13. Last one before I shop.

    Good to see in the Essential breakdown that Labor are taking PV off the Coalition AND The Greens.

    People coming to their senses. 😉

    (Runs away laughing maniacally)..

  14. Victoria

    Thanks. We live in Sturt and sure enough got two landline calls around 7 last night, just as we were sitting down for dinner. Those must have been the robocalls. Having leanrt long ago that that time is telemarketer time, we did not even answer them, as per our standard practice. People who know us call later. People who need to call us use our mobiles. I am sure we are not the only household who use such tactics to avoid cold callers.

    The coalition can take comfort knowing that our opinion of the honesty, charm and intellect of Our Man, Chris Pyne, has not changed after the $50 billion.

  15. The comparison between two treasurers is not really between Pallas and Morrison, it’s Pallas and Costello.

    Here’s how Pallas explains his determination to continue to raise a bit more, even though Melbourne’s real estate boom is showering him with a record $6 billion a year in stamp duty: “You’ve got to be prepared to show that you can defend your bottom line by taking decisions about revenue, whether or not you need to. That’s how you get a AAA credit rating, mate, and that’s how you keep it.”

  16. Socrates

    It certainly does feel as if the 50 billion dollar subs deal was a vote buying exercise.
    And I do wonder if SA going to forgive the coalition for killing the car industry?

  17. I think this is worthy of a Wow!

    The Today Show Verified account 
    Dutton says he knew about Manus Island closure since 2015, in contradiction with PM’s comments. #auspol #9Today

  18. Good Morning

    Dutton really has no clue. Doing this will make things worse for Nauru and may even get the so far compliant Nauru government offside as civil disruption grows the last thing they want as they suppress opposition.

    ABCNews24: .@PeterDutton_MP says @Republic_Nauru has room for 850 men who must be moved #asylumseekers #auspol #ausvotes |

  19. Victoria

    Yes subs were buying votes. The truth is the car industry was dying anyway – a worldwide problem in high wage countries. Labor in government did not have the honesty to admit this. The money given to assist car companies would have been better spent assisting workers to retrain.

    Where the libs have lost votes in SA eas in what came after. The car industry assistance money saved was not used to help people adjust. It was pocketed by Hockey for his bottom line. Meanwhile a rail project here that was employing people was canned just as the mining downturn hit. And then David Johnston said ASC could not build canoes!

    So we had a terrible economic trifecta of job killers hitting SA in one year (2014/15). The Libs were responsible for two out of three, and they will deservedly cop an electoral backlash for that. If they think the subs will save them they are dreaming. The money and jobs for the subs will not start for years. They do not even sign the contract till 2017.

  20. amworldtodaypm: “He should front the Senate committee and give a full and comprehensive account to the Senate of his actions”: @SenatorWong #Sinodinos

  21. rhwombat

    BK @ Dawn Patrol 2:
    Interesting link in the IA article on Slipper’s victory over Harmers: Abetz and the Exclusive Brethren.

    Howard and the Libs were a ‘matey’ with the Exclusive Brethren for a while. Seemed an odd lot for him to have anything to do with. Especially as they do not vote.

  22. Victoria @ 8:08
    The subs will make for 2800 jobs, many of them already in place i suspect.
    The cars will lose 28000 jobs; many of those people will know their time is fast running out and be very very anxious- so i think the subs will not make up for the cars in voter’s minds at the election.

  23. Julie Bishop sighting.

    Appropriately its to do with ice. No worrying about PNG Aust relations after Court decision for her.

    political_alert: Environment Minister Greg Hunt & Julie Bishop will make an announcement regarding Australia’s new icebreaker at 9:15am, Hobart #auspol

  24. In a testy exchange with The Today Show’s Karl Stefanovic, Mr Dutton insisted Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling and Papua New Guinea’s subsequent decision to close the facility “hasn’t taken us by surprise”.

    But he was unable to explain why the government had no immediate solution for the 905 men left in limbo on the island, more than half of whom have been assessed as genuine refugees.

  25. Morning all.

    From Katharine Murphy on Facebook:

    Katharine Murphy
    56 mins ·
    Interested to hear last night that there were lots of robocalls from the prime minister last night in South Australian seats, like Mayo, Sturt and Hindmarsh, plugging the recent submarines decision.

  26. victoria

    Goodness me. Do these people even talk to each other!!

    Dutton has never shown any initiative, or planning ability. Also, as one of the monkeypods, I suppose he wouldn’t want to assist Malcolm to do his job by giving him a teensy weensy headsup.
    Teamwork? A big joke.

  27. Tempers are getting frayed. Sinodinos not happy on RN Breakfast this morning. Bet he regrets agreeing to that regular spot on Thursdays

  28. From the ABC article on Sinodinas refusing to appear before the Senate committee:

    “I am not available on either of those dates [Thursday and Friday] — a fact with which my office could have acquainted the committee had I been afforded the courtesy of an inquiry before the dates were set.”

    That excuse has been busted since the school to which he had invited himself on Friday told him he was not welcome.

  29. William, Would it be possible to put headings on the BludgerTrack graphs, please? It is not clear what the y axes represent.

  30. [amworldtodaypm: “He should front the Senate committee and give a full and comprehensive account to the Senate of his actions”: @SenatorWong #Sinodinos]
    Given the senate’s lack of ability and courage generally it would be great if Labor finally agreed unequivocally to a Federal ICAC because Arthur.
    I think linking him to it is enough, they could limit its terms of reference to prospective matters, ‘this is about cleaning up the future not a political witchhunt into the past.’.

    Some careful thinking would be needed but you’d want to exclude the classic reference to ICAC political stunt, perhaps by excluding ICAC from investigating matters that are raised in the political frey.

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