BludgerTrack: 50.1-49.9 to Labor

Labor pokes its nose ahead on two-party preferred in the latest reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, but a stronger showing in Queensland finds the Coalition keeping its head above water on the seat projection.

The flurry of national polling conducted after the budget for release at the onset of the official campaign has been followed this week by a lull in new results at national level, but with Galaxy and ReachTEL making sizeable entries in state-level federal polling from Queensland and Tasmania respectively. The only national results were the regularly weekly Essential Research and the first campaign poll from Roy Morgan, the latter of which was strong enough for Labor that they have moved back into the two-party lead by the barest possible margin. However, the strong showing for the Coalition in the Galaxy Queensland poll causes them to register 1.2% higher this week in that acutely sensitive state, translating into two extra seats to partly cancel out losses of one each in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. Essential Research has provided new numbers for leadership ratings this week, and these seem to suggest Malcolm Turnbull’s slump is levelling off.

Some of you will no doubt be looking askance at that swing currently projected in Western Australia, and I don’t blame you. There are seven data points in the model from the past three weeks with a combined sample of 1048, which individually have the Coalition’s primary vote in the state ranging from 35% to 44%, compared with 51.2% at the 2013 election. However, I suspect that if you look back in a week or two, you will find the projection moderating somewhat. It’s also worth observing that the model is now crediting Palmer United with all of 0.1% of the national vote. The only pollsters who are still tracking the party are Ipsos and Morgan, with both ReachTEL and Essential having swapped them in their questionnaire for the Nick Xenophon Team. The last five data points for Palmer United are all 0%, and the previous ten were evenly divided between 0% and 1%.


News snippets:

The Advertiser reported yesterday that a privately conducted ReachTEL poll had produced an encouraging result for Matt Williams, Liberal member for the marginal Adelaide seat of Hindmarsh. Williams was credited with 41% of the primary vote, compared with 25% for Labor candidate Steve Georganas, whom Williams unseated in 2013, 14% for Nick Xenophon Team candidate Daniel Kirk, 8% for the Greens, and 7% undecided.

• Nick Xenophon told the ABC’s Lateline his party’s strongest lower house prospect, Mayo candidate Rebekha Sharkie, was polling in the twenties. How formidable that makes her would depend entirely on how much of it was gouged from the vote for Liberal member Jamie Briggs, who recorded 53.8% of the primary vote in 2013.

• Labor has hit trouble in a sensitive spot in the inner Melbourne seat of Batman, after it emerged that David Feeney had failed to declare a negatively geared $2.3 million property in Northcote on the register of members interests. The news media is now applying the blowtorch to other aspects of the real estate portfolio of Feeney and his wife, and bringing unwelcome attention to his once close association with controversial ex-Health Services Union identity Kathy Jackson. Feeney is under pressure in Batman from Greens candidate Alex Bhathal, who outpolled Liberal candidates in her previous runs for the seat in 2010 and 2013, respectively finishing 7.9% and 10.6% behind Labor at the final count.

• A week after Labor dumped its candidate in the seat, there have been headlines about the contentious views of Sherry Sufi, the Liberal candidate for the Western Australian seat of Fremantle. Sufi’s conservative positions on matters such as same-sex marriage and the stolen generations apology had been well known, but Malcolm Turnbull contrived to make an issue out of them when he visited the electorate on Monday to spruik a local shipyard’s contract to build naval patrol boards, and neglected to invite his candidate. There have also been questions raised about the accuracy of Sufi’s employment record as presented on his candidate nomination form. Also absent during Turnbull’s shipyard visit was Premier Colin Barnett, whose leadership is increasingly coming under pressure amid deterioriating opinion polling.

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.

1,731 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.1-49.9 to Labor”

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  1. Another tollway disaster about to be built? Traffic predictions are untrustworthy. (A long read.)

    Last week, Sydney Motorway Corporation began sweeping away scores of homes, trees and open space across the inner western suburbs of Haberfield, Concord, and Homebush to make way for construction sites for the M4 East stage of its controversial 33-kilometre system of WestConnex tollways.

    WestconnexMAPLIt intends to destroy more hectares of Sydney Park and St Peters in a couple of months, after already compulsorily acquiring hundreds of homes and businesses.

    The NSW Baird government has handed responsibility for each stage of WestConnex to a consortium of companies. But two names stand out among the corporate crowd: Leighton Contractors (now officially called CIMIC but known as Leightons) and AECOM (previously Maunsell).

    Leightons has been awarded the largest share in all three of the Baird Government’s WestConnex construction tenders, worth more than $8 billion. But not before the NSW Government made a mockery of the process created to ensure environmental checks and balances – the NSW Department of Planning assessed and approved an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) after the contracts were awarded.

    Leightons and AECOM have connections in the tollway business going back to 2006. The story of AECOM’s association and the corporate disaster that followed their involvement in the North-South Bypass Tunnel (NSBT) in Brisbane, which became known as the Clem7 tollway, is infamous, and shines a spotlight on their current involvement in WestConnex.

  2. From previous thread:

    steve777 @ #1342 Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Temperate rainforest near Sydney: Illawarra?

    No, the Angophora Forest of the Central Coast of NSW. When it rains it pours here and so the trees get really big! Gorgeous!

  3. Well, I just heard that Bill is going to be announcing that he is going to unfreeze the GP Medicare Rebate today!

    I imagine that The Greens will pipe up and try and surf on the coattails of this announcement by saying if you vote for them they’ll demand Labor introduce their one and only Health policy, Denticare, just so they can take the shine off Labor. As usual.

    And the Coalition must be ruing the day that they gave Labor $48Billion to play with via their handout to Businesses.

  4. Is one of the states a mistype?
    ‘Galaxy Queensland poll causes them to register 1.2% higher this week in that acutely sensitive state, translating into two extra seats to partly cancel out losses of one each in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland’

  5. Dutton/Turnbull’s merging of refugees taking ‘our jobs’ with the remnants living on welfare ticks nearly all of the Daily ToiletPaper’s gutter boxes.

    Murdoch’s goons are peobably disapointed that Dutton/Turnbull didn’t add the kids of these low-lifes are prone to becoming Jihadists.

  6. Mutton Dutton would be better served leading his department properly

    “A network of Australian border security officials is allegedly working for organised criminals, including drug and tobacco smugglers, in the most serious corruption scandal to ever hit the nation’s border agencies.
    A Fairfax Media investigation has uncovered multiple cases of alleged corruption involving staff from the Australian Border Force and the Department of Agriculture, along with maritime industry employees with government clearances.

    Read more:
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  7. This looks wrong or I am missing something.

    Alex Bhatal, who outpolled Liberal candidates in her previous runs for the seat in 2010 and 2013, respectively finishing 7.9% and 10.6% behind Labor at the final count.

    Bhatal received 26.4% of the primary vote in 2013. Feeney got 41.29%. How is this difference 10.6% behind, it is 14.89%.

  8. C@Tmomma
    There is a great temperate rain forest just south of Wyong if you drive on the Pacific highway. If you wind down the windows you can hear the bell birds. I remember reading about 20yrs ago that a lady who lived there, was so upset by the bell bird call that she moved. She moved to Mascot must like the sound of bigger birds.

  9. Re Briefly’s posts on the other thread in the small hours (Sydney time). I am sure most thinking voters agree with Briefly, but these ‘dead cat’ tactics are not aimed at thinking voters (for either side). Briefly has more faith in the common sense and good will of disengaged voters as a group than both myself and the L/NP strategists . Labor needs a counter strategy which can’t be wholly dependent upon logic and common sense.

  10. Warren Peace – Bell Miners (bellbirds) do not live in rainforest. They frequent sections of wet schlerophyll eucalypt forest, and their presence results in the death of their chosen section, as they drive off the “little brown buggers” which normally eat the lerps, which suck sap from the eucalyptus leaves.

    Angophora forests are also not rainforest. They do not display the closed canopy, which is an identifying characteristic of rainforest.

  11. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. As expected, Dutton gets a fair old run this morning.

    The SMH editorial says Dutton’s dog-whistle demeans all Australians and demand repudiation.
    Peter Martin writes on how schools and pensions suffer from the same policy failure. The excess monies given to wealthy private schools is a scandal and neither side wants to talk about it.
    Mark Kenny on how Labor will unfreeze the Medicare rebates. This would be a real point of difference and dovetail nicely into the AMA’s campaign.
    Turnbull backs the “outstanding” Dutton.
    Michelle Grattan says that if he wins the election Turnbull should dump Dutton who she describes as a menace to multicultural Australia. The lady is quite pissed off.
    Paul Bongiorno describes how xenophobia has been the latest weapon to be rolled out for the election.
    Michael Gordon says the PM’s damage control doesn’t cut the mustard. He gives Poptatohead a decent working over.
    “View from the Street” on what Dutton threw the dead cat on the table.
    Tony Wright asks Dutton to remind us who built the Snowy scheme. ” An ugly anti-immigration dunderhead from the 1950s could barely have found a more pointed construction of words”, he says.
    A continuing reduction in wage rate of growth is bad news for workers.

  12. Section 2 . . .

    Lenore Taylor on Hunt’s sticking with the Direct Inaction policy.
    Will new disruptive business models take away the hard fought for protections and rights for low paid workers?
    The full story on company tax cuts and your hip pocket.
    Bill Shorten is looking more prime ministerial as the malign Murdoch media attacks disadvantaged Australians according to Dave Donovan.,8999
    It’s not only small suppliers that the supermarket duopoly takes to the cleaners.
    Hunt has the gall to talk about “toxic politics” surrounding climate change policy!
    Malcolm Maiden knows why the banks are really concerned at the prospect of a Royal Commission.
    The Coalition has been stung into action after the 7-Eleven and other scandals,
    Over to you, Potatohead! And Barnaby!
    The ever-precious Andrew Bolt is upset with the “War on Christianity”. The headline is hilarious. Google.
    Bolt should read this.

  13. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Waleed Aly opens up about his own son’s medical condition and why e is so strident against the anti-vaxxers.
    The holy trinity of cultural crises continue under Malcolm Turnbull writes Paul Daley.
    The New Matilda has some insider emails that shine a new light on WestConnex and other big infrastructure projects.

    Ron Tandberg on THAT comment by Dutton.

    More on the subject from Ron Tandberg.

    David Pope at yesterday’s NPC debate on environmental policy.

    And from David Rowe.

    Mark Knight with a fright for Dan Andrews.
    Mark David and the many hats of Malcolm.

    First Dog on the Moon gets into the act on Dutton.

  14. Steve777

    I read overnight (and can’t find it again) that the Libs did not send Dutton out to give the message that he did, so Turnbull may have been trying to save the furniture yesterday. However, a ‘lawyerly approach’ in which he praised Dutton before translating his words into a more’ acceptable’ message has not pleased the journos. Dutton of the Monkeypods is dragging Turnbull down.

  15. Turnbull may have won I said may have with Dutton’s statement but with Duttons’s Department and Border Force mixed up in smuggling and being involved with smuggling and organised crime, not sure how long their smile will last.

  16. Hit this one before, ru – seems to be a modern political journalism thing.

    The figures they’re talking about from the ‘final count’ are the ones after preference distributions – that is, when, after several rounds of preference redistributions, there are only three candidates left in the count.

    I would have thought it was a fairly meaningless figure – there are reasons we look at primaries and 2PPs, rather than going ‘when only five candidates were left in the race, FredNurk was on 20%”.

  17. Yabba88 15 7:26
    I’m no expert on the types of forest it’s just that I noticed a lot of tree fern in the dense bush.

  18. WarrenPeace
    Lots of bellbirds aren’t a Good Thing.
    They kill trees and drive off other birds.
    A forest filled with bellbird song is one which is dying, and where there are no other birds.

  19. Ron Tandberg on THAT comment by Dutton.

    Perhaps if he has self-doubts on his competency, he is afraid that someone illiterate might take over HIS job.

  20. ABS show that 44% of Australian adults don’t have the literacy skills they need to cope with the demands of everyday life and work.

    I wonder if Dutton will attack them?

  21. Obviously there’s a long way to go, but on these figures you can only see Labor being anywhere close to winning if the Bludger Track figures for WA are accurate, and they are truly going to win six seats there. I accept that they will win some seats, because the economy in WA is not terrific at the moment. But six seems to be rather a lot.
    If I were Labor, I’d be very disappointed that they don’t seem to be making much progress in Western Sydney: a seat like Lindsay ought to be a litmus test for their hopes for re-election, but (all things being equal) they wouldn’t be close on these figures. If the negative gearing policy was going to have any impact it would do so here.
    I notice that Labor has been rather quiet about negative gearing this week, which suggests to me that they might have received some internal polling that shows that it doesn’t play at all well with the aspirational swingers: which is what I’d always believed, but had assumed that Labor might have some good reason to believe otherwise.
    I think we might also have seen that penalty rates aren’t playing well with the aspirationals: that’s the only explanation I can give for Labor’s weak position on them this week.
    Now Labor’s going to make a big song and dance about Medicare, which would only be a vote-swaying issue if the Libs were making a stronger attack on it than they are. (Again, most aspirationals are of an age where they are too busy/basically too healthy to go to the doctor very often, except in relation to their children, who will probably continue to get bulk-billed. So the end of bulk-billing for themselves- which many aren’t getting anyway- is only going to be a minor irritant to them.)
    My sense is still that, notwithstanding the Government’s clumsy campaigning and the reasonable polls, that Labor’s position is very soft and could easily crumble away in the next few weeks. I know that puts me at odds with many on here, but that’s my sense of the situation.
    Of course, the Government isn’t exactly a tower of strength either, so a hung parliament can’t be entirely ruled out. But I’m thinking it’s more likely that the Government will be returned with a single digit majority.

  22. Just a reminder.

    As the election approaches, Labor is talking again about funding the full Gonski, the expensive one where private schools don’t lose a dollar. I’d hoped for more, but then I’ve yet to meet a Labor MP whose children aren’t in private schools.

    The Coalition seems not to have a policy at all, at least not yet.

    Unless one of the parties develops a policy that’s actually thought through, we’re likely to drift into the next election with private schools more heavily government-funded than government schools and no-one thinking its at all unusual.

    Read more:
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  23. In my back yard Thirty years ago I had Silver eye’s; blue wrens; fairy wrens; Willie wag tails; and various other native birds. then came the Indian myna birds then the noisy myna’s now I’m lucky to see an occasional parrot or magpie. No need to tell me Wrens are very promiscuous.

  24. Also, William, when you wake up: your state by state figures show Labor winning back a total of 11 seats, but your overall total shows them winning 14 seats. It also seems to show Labor winning a seat off an “Other”, but I’m struggling to see how that works out: the only “Other” I can think of who is likely to lose their seat is Clive Palmer, and I can’t see Labor taking his seat in a month of Sundays: they are far more likely to win Wentworth!

  25. Hey Melbourners
    I know it is an inner city property etc but $2.3 million???????????
    It can ONLY be as a development site. No one in their right mind would pay $2.3 mill for that house, unless they planned a huge block of units.

  26. Oops! Sorry, scrap all that: Your tracker must assume that Labor wins 3 seats in Qld (and the Libs claw one back by winning back Fairfax), 6 in WA, 2 in NSW, 1 in Vic and 1 in NT (which you don’t show individually). I still can’t work out where the 14th seat comes from.

  27. ‘Are we really breeding a servant/serving underclass.’

    No. The Australians with the poorest literacy rates are the oldest.

  28. Apropos of nothing in particular, why is Bali always referred to in the media, including our venerable ABC, as a ‘holiday island’. Lots of people go to Tasmania for their holidays but we don’t call Tasmania a ‘holiday’ island. I always thought that the term was demeaning to a country within Indonesia that is home to over four million people and a unique and ancient culture.

    Hamilton, Great Keppel and maybe Rottnest are ‘holiday islands’. Bali, like NZ, Tasmania and Ireland, is a lot more.

  29. we’re likely to drift into the next election with private schools more heavily government-funded than government schools and no-one thinking its at all unusual.

    Education and school funding is an important area, and I’m all in favour of strongly tipping the balance back towards public education.

    But this kind of erroneous statement doesn’t help anything. I assume the author is talking about Federal funding of public/private schools, but the statement isn’t qualified and it simply isn’t true (and won’t be true) that “private schools more heavily government-funded than government schools” when you include all government funding.

  30. ABC has just picked up the Border Force corruption story. It concludes with a quote from Frydenberg, “We don’t politicise…”. Sure, I believe you!

    Government frontbencher Josh Frydenberg said the allegations were not new.
    He also defended the Prime Minister’s decision to visit multiple Border Force facilities during the election campaign.
    “We don’t politicise that particular part of our border protection policy at all,” he said.

  31. dtt

    I believe Feeney’s property is in kew. $2,300 sounds right. substantial homes in that area can fetch well over 6 mill

  32. Ken McNeill: “Are we really breeding a servant/serving underclass.”
    Looking at where I live in Tassie, the problem is that the nature of available work has changed significantly and, where people who didn’t finish school and had low literacy skills might have once have earned pretty good money in forestry, fishing, working for the Hydro or the zinc works, etc., most of the jobs they once did are now increasingly mechanised.
    So the bar for “literacy skills they need to cope with the demands of everyday life and work” has been raised significantly. There are plenty of servant/underclass jobs available, but – and I can’t think of a nicer way of putting this – your traditional Anglo Australians are not very competitive in this space compared to newly-arrived migrants. Which is why migrants who arrive in Australia with no English whatsoever can quickly find themselves doing much better than a huge cohort of the population who grew up and were schooled her.
    This underclass is very visible in Hobart where I live. They are a substantial presence in a large geographical area that begins a few kilometres north of the city centre: beyond a point that is known locally as the “latte line” or the “flannelette curtain”. While there are of course many hard-working people who live in this district (many of whom are newly-arrived migrants), it’s a world also featuring long queues at Centrelink offices, high consumption of alcohol, ice and poker machines, bikie gangs, you name it. The northern suburbs of Adelaide are quite similar, in my experience. (It’s less visible in Sydney and Melbourne because of the high proportion of newly-arrived migrants living in the poorer areas, and the interspersing of public housing and McMansion suburbs).
    I have absolutely no idea what the solution to this problem is. Contrary to what silly right wingers say, I believe the education system – both state and private – is much more effective at teaching these kids than it once was. The kids are mostly average intelligence or better, but their attitudes and those of their parents are often unhelpful. If the smarter kids can be gotten into apprenticeships then they have a future. The cleverest ones (again, often the children of migrants) go to uni. And some highly-talented ones can make it in sport. But the rest…?
    It’s really not that different to what happens in outback Aboriginal communities, although out there the focus on making it in sport is greater and the interest in apprenticeships and uni less so.
    In my observation, you can invest as much as you want in education: two to three times what we invest now, but the attitude problem is still going to be there. I think the best solution is a career planning/case management approach for each individual: but this costs lots more money than governments want to spend.

  33. “Note that, in 2006, 55% of people aged 15 to 24 had adequate literacy skills, whereas only 27% of those aged 65-74 did.”
    Hmm would be good to correlate that with LNP support…..

  34. When we visited Queenstown in 1994, Mrs Shellbell and I were asked at the local store if we wanted to sign two petitions:
    (a) Queenstown jobs for Queenstown people;
    (b) the reintroduction of the death penalty.

  35. WarrenPeace

    Ppty values especially in blue ribbon suburbs such as Kew, increase substantially over the short term.

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