BludgerTrack: 50-50

Essential Research corroborates Newspoll in recording Labor retaining its 51-49 lead, but there’s nothing in it so far as the BludgerTrack poll aggregate is concerned.

The addition of Newspoll and yesterday’s Essential Research result to BludgerTrack leave nothing between the two parties to the first decimal place. Observers of BludgerTrack’s form will know that actually translates into a small Coalition majority on the seat projection, which has the Coalition up one on the seat projection in New South Wales and down one in Queensland. I haven’t updated it with Newspoll’s leadership ratings yet, but will get around to doing so tomorrow. I haven’t yet covered the Essential Research result, which was once again unchanged in having Labor leading 51-49 on two-party preferred. On the primary vote, both parties were down a point – the Coalition to 41%, Labor to 37% – while the Greens and Nick Xenophon Team steady on 9% and 3%.


The Australian has also been treating us to a series of supplementary results from the weekend Newspoll over the past few days that echo the further questions posed by Essential Research this week, to wit:

• The latest in Essential’s occasional series on leadership attributes finds Malcolm Turnbull deteriorating between five and seven points over the past three weeks on “out of touch”, “arrogant” and “understands the problems facing Australia”, without suffering much change with respect to capacities such as “intelligent” and “good in a crisis” (although “hard-working” is down five). Bill Shorten’s numbers are little changed, leaving him rated lower than Turnbull on most attributes, with the singular exception of being out of touch with ordinary people, which is the largest point of difference between the two. Similarly, The Australian today has Turnbull ahead on a series of measures, but with Shorten leading on “cares for people” and “in touch with voters”, while Turnbull has lost all but two points of a ten-point lead on “understands the major issues” from February.

• There has been a whole bunch of “best party to handle” results in the past few days. Amid an overall predictable set of results, Essential Research finds Labor increasing leads from 4% to 11% on health, 6% to 13% on protecting local jobs and industries, and 4% to 10% on housing affordability, the latter of which has only recently emerged as an area of Labor advantage. The Seven Network last night had further results from Friday’s ReachTEL poll showing the Coalition favoured 55-45 on economic management, Labor favoured 61-39 on health. Newspoll framed the questions in terms of the leaders rather than the parties, and had Malcolm Turnbull favoured 55-29 over Bill Shorten on the economy, 48-25 on asylum seekers and 43-38 on the cost of living, 46-33 on tax reform, 50-27 on interest rates and 42-38 on unemployment, while Shorten led 47-40 on health, 47-41 on education and 41-36 on climate change.

• When it asked if respondents expected Labor to keep or change the government’s asylum seeker policies, Essential Research found 28% opting for keep, 38% for change, and 34% for don’t know.

• As recorded in the chart below, the three betting agencies have been consistent in offering odds on the Coalition to form government that imply a probability of between 70% and 80%, although the one most immediately responsive to the actions of punters, Betfair, seems to have recorded a bit of a dip over the past few days.


• In further horse race news, Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reports Labor is having trouble landing the swing where it needs it, with Labor margins that were cut fine in western Sydney over the past two elections set to blow out again. Coorey had earlier reported one Liberal strategist saying the election was “genuinely close, but at this stage, the retention of the government is more likely”, while a Labor counterpart concedes they were behind, but concluded: “We haven’t put our cue in the rack.”

Local matters:

• Labor is scrambling for a new Senate candidate in the Northern Territory after Nova Peris today confirmed she would not be seeking re-election, with widespread reports she is to take up the position of senior adviser for indigenous and multicultural affairs with the Australian Football League. Trish Crossin, whom Julia Gillard forced out of the seat to make way for Peris at the 2013 election, told ABC Radio yesterday that Peris had presented Labor with a “selfish distraction”, and called on Gillard to admit she made a mistake. There are as yet no indications as to who Labor might preselect to replace her.

• Both major parties have now lost their first choice candidates for the seat of Fremantle, after Sherry Sufi resigned as Liberal candidate, after local newspaper the Fremantle Herald reported he had been recorded in 2013 doing an unflattering and profanity-laden impersonation of his then boss, state Mount Lawley MP Michael Sutherland. There had been news reports in the preceding days about articles Sufi had written in opposition to same-sex marriage and an apology to the stolen generations, which had actually been in the public domain for some time, and rather technical allegations he had provided an inaccurate account of his employment record on his candidate nomination form. The Liberals have rushed to endorse previously unsuccessful preselection candidate Pierette Kelly, an electorate officer to Senator Chris Back.

• Pauline Hanson’s prospects for a Senate seat is the topic of the hour, having been canvassed by me in Crikey last week, Jamie Walker in The Australian on Saturday and a Courier-Mail front page yesterday. Antony Green told ABC Radio’s World Today program yesterday had “some realistic chance”. Kevin Bonham is a little more skeptical, but doesn’t rule it out.

Phillip Hudson of The Australian reported on Monday that Labor is seeking to exploit talk of a preference deal between the Liberals and the Greens in Victoria to shore up working class support in two low-income regional seats: Bass in northern Tasmania, and Dawson in northern Queensland.

Matthew Denholm of The Australian reports that Jacqui Lambie is advocating that her voters give their second preference to the Nick Xenophon Team, and put Labor ahead of the Liberals.

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.

1,123 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50-50”

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  1. I don’t know how anyone with any moral fibre left could support a party that endorses thugs including the CFMEU and MUA. Criminals, absolute criminals. Of course, the ALP doesn’t have a problem with criminality, nor unethical behaviour. The appalling (and hollow) ad hominem argument it used continuously about Dyson Heppell roundly ignored unethical behaviour by attempting to malign the judge running the inquiry. You see similar appalling behaviour at children’s sporting fields all over this nation every Saturday. Excusing the breaking of rules and poor sportsmanship by maligning the referee. It sets such a bad example to children.

    Likewise, when unions strike and intimidate those who do not agree with the strike or refuse to join unions, they model the behaviour of bullies to their children. When teachers carry on like this in schools and victimise staff who do not support industrial action, again, they reinforce the culture of union intimidation and model it to our children.

    Is it surprising, then, that those of the same political persuasion seek to intimidate all and sundry with whatever their views are, from gay marriage, to the ‘Safe Schools’ propaganda, to blinkered, tax-based solutions to climate change use the same Modus Operandi of coercive “consensus”, straight out of the union playbook? We can never be free of bullying in our society when the second largest political party in our nation institutionalises such behaviour and models it to younger generations.

    Of course, I fully expect the intimidation to roll here, after this, since most on this forum have the same form with insults in place of argument, brutal intimidation of those with opposing views and ignoring the pathetic behaviour of unions crucial to the financial and political support of the ALP with puerile retorts and ‘look over here’ tactics. Will anyone, ever, once, in this room admit that the Australian Labor Party has a problem with some of its union behaviour and an endemic culture of bullying?

    Not even ONE of you?

  2. Yes indeed.

    And 7.30 has breaking news about someone in LABOR being charged by the electoral commission.

    Never thought that 7.30 did the breaking news thing normally…

  3. adrian @ #1006 Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Yes indeed.
    And 7.30 has breaking news about someone in LABOR being charged by the electoral commission.
    Never thought that 7.30 did the breaking news thing normally…

    Former NSW Secretary, Jaimie Clemens (?) and he was referred to the NSW Electoral Commission by the ALP.

  4. Bluepill

    Would that be the same “criminals” who keep having their charges dropped and/or almost literally laughed out of court? I’m surprised a Liberal would even want to mention TURC anymore given the procession of dropped charges that has followed it.

  5. This would be why dickhead clements is in the shit.

    The boss of Labor’s party machine in NSW, Jamie Clements, ­is ­alleged to have arranged for a staff member to access the electoral roll to give details of a name and address to the head of a powerful union dynasty who wanted the ­information for personal reasons.

    Mr Clements denies the alle­gations and says he is the victim of a smear campaign.

    Mr Clements is accused of giving the details to Derrick Belan, then an influential union chief and one of his key ALP allies.

    Mr Belan resigned in disgrace as chief of the NSW branch of ­National Union of Workers in late October before unrelated revelations at the royal commission into union corruption about alleged union credit card abuse by him and relatives.

    It is claimed Mr Belan used the electoral roll name and address provided to him by Mr Clements to help a friend and financial ­associate in a personal matter.

    Lucky the ALP nuked him months ago.

  6. Bluepill

    The appalling (and hollow) ad hominem argument it used continuously about Dyson Heppell roundly ignored unethical behaviour by attempting to malign the judge running the inquiry. You see similar appalling behaviour at children’s sporting fields all over this nation every Saturday. Excusing the breaking of rules and poor sportsmanship by maligning the referee. It sets such a bad example to children.

    Dyson Heppell, the shaggy-haired footballer currently suspended in the Essendon supplements scandal? I think you meant Dyson Heydon, the woolly-headed retired judge who should have suspended himself in the scandal that was Tone’s union witch hunt Royal Commission…

  7. From the 1999 film The Matrix. In the film, the main character Neo is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill. The blue pill would allow him to remain in the fabricated reality of the Matrix, therefore living the “ignorance of illusion”, while the red pill would lead to his escape from the Matrix and into the real world, therefore living the “truth of reality” even though it is a harsher, more difficult life.

  8. P1,
    You are far too modest.
    There is no one else of any perspicacity that could reach those conclusions so quickly.
    You are a wonder to behold.

  9. jacquie just called bernardi an asshole who just has a silver spoon up his ass,

    She just went up a notch in my estimation. 🙂

  10. Personally I preferred the trolling of ESJ to this new windbag. At least there weren’t paragraphs to scroll past.

  11. Matt 31… right on cue. See, completely ignores existing criminality of the CFMEU . Not only that but the ‘standards’ used are the lowest common denominator… actual criminality in a court of law. Ethical behaviour, at a level above this, simply doesn’t exist. As far as you are concerned, if they didn’t go to jail they might as well be saints.

    Puff: typical, exclusion bullying. I am used to it from you. Anyone who disagrees with you ought not be allowed in the same room, right? You have been justifying the ALP and its abhorrent practices for a long time here.

    Again, typical of the ALP sycophants that have survived in the dank, moist, dark environment of PB for years, you all seem to have perennial polarised vision. Just because I criticise the ALP ‘therefore’ I MUST be a supporter of the Libs… It is always the way that a partisan thinks. You have all, always been wrong on that front. I am no member of ANY party and I have voted for five parties in my lifetime, so partisan ‘barbs’ about me being some kind of party hack for the Libs have ALWAYS fallen way short of the mark.

    You just can’t handle it that someone might be able to see ALL points of view here but still, objectively, see that the ALP has a problem with its member unions.

    Not one person here honest enough to acknowledge it. Ever.

    Your party deserves its demise.

  12. Hahaha Corporate… you are, perhaps the hundredth bludger to ‘solve’ the mystery of my moniker. Wow… the Matrix! Who’d have thought. Yet none here have ever unravelled the irony of it. Partisan minds won’t see it. Just like those in the matrix 😉

  13. Corporate_misfit

    The Matrix connection is why I have a great suspicion BP is taking the piss. Performance art rather than reality.

  14. Will anyone, ever, once, in this room admit that the Australian Labor Party has a problem with some of its union behaviour

    On occasion. Like business big and small, Unions and unionists are not without sin. However, the problems are not so great that I would sacrifice medicare, crush the young with education debt and defund health and education, just as the existence of shonks and spivs in the business world doesn’t turn conservatives into socialists.

    …and [the ALP has] an endemic culture of bullying? I am not a member of any political party. Someone else may comment if they wish. I am not aware of any such culture. In any case, for bullying, Google Paul Sheehan’s article on how Scott Morrison won Liberal endorsement for Cook on his second attempt.

  15. Rabbit… you are, of course, quite correct, hahaha!

    I have perhaps revealed my preferred code of football here, if not the team I follow. I did mean Dyson Heydon, thanks for the correction.


  16. Poroti you are certainly onto something there… 🙂

    I don’t take myself, nor any of you here, too seriously.

    I have disagreed with you over the years, Poroti, but you have demonstrated yourself to be an excellent thinker. 🙂

  17. Bluepill

    You wish it has a Matrix connection. We all know the Blue Pill is about a particular male difficulty don’t we Mr V 🙂 Hope they work for you.

  18. Bluepill

    I don’t take myself, nor any of you here, too seriously.

    Online that is probably the most sensible approach.

  19. If it wasnt for unions we would still be on $2 an hour, have no working entitlements and be slaves to the elite.

  20. Steve 777
    Same thing, you assume that taunts about your (apparent) enemies, the Libs/tories/coalition will somehow cause me to reconsider my criticism of the unions and the ALP? Again ‘look over here’ arguments are hollow. There is more to this nation than EITHER Unions OR Business, LNP OR ALP… These are false dichotomies borne of partisan thinking. Thinking that the ALP is better than ‘THE alternative’ is a valid justification of improper, unethical and immoral behaviour is simply fantasy.

    Doesn’t the ALP aspire to be better than that, not because of the LNP but because it is the right thing to do???

  21. Poroti… yeah the Viagra connection is about as old as your handle on PB, hahaha… and, no, that certainly was not in mind when I chose it! 🙂

  22. The New South Wales Greens party has broken out into civil war in the middle of the election campaign following Carole Medcalf’s ousting as the party’s executive officer.

    The party’s long-term treasurer, Chris Harris, has resigned over Ms Medcalf’s treatment, and in an email to members he has accused the party of acting like a major bank trying “to shaft their customers”.

    I’m beginning to wonder if Di Natale is even going to be leader of the Greens once the election is done and dusted. The hits to his supposed authority just keep on coming.

  23. Talking about seat polling – the analysis of the Indi poll by Morgan is worth William putting some comment on. To assume a whole swag of Nationals voters, some of whom helped unseat Mirrabella last election, would be gladly following a party line to direct preferences to Mirabella sounds delusional. zoomster might also have some comment on the poll showing Libs outpolling Nats 4 to 1?

  24. Labor/Union corruption? How does that claim stand against the Liberals?
    Liberal MP’s forced out of Parliament
    NSW – O’Farrell, Driscoll, Spence, Webber, Edwards, Cornwell, Owen, Baumann, Bassett, Ficarra
    WA – Buswell
    Qld – Dowling
    MP’s sacked from executive government
    Pearce Gallacher, Hartcher, Briggs, Robert
    MP’s stood aside
    MP’s “assisting” Police with enquiries

    2.5 years of Liberal Government.
    2 Prime Ministers
    2 Treasurers
    2 Deputy Prime Ministers
    17 port folio changes
    Departure of 6+ Ministers
    3+ Ministers forced to stand down

  25. Bluepill
    Compered to the tax avoidance; bribery scandals, the money wasted destroying the NBN and general raids on the treasury; anything the union movement can come up with is petty crime.

  26. I thought it odd that Di Natale was at the regional ag ministers mass debate yesterday. It did lower his standing.

    His ag spokesperson could have done the same job with the same result and Di Natale could press his claim to be included with Bill and Mal.

  27. Confessions – do you think Bill Shorten’s leadership is under threat after the election because he has a dysfunctional ALP branch in NSW

  28. If the ALP looses the election all leadership positions are vacant, if they win Bill is PM. Nothing can save Di Natale.

  29. Wakefield
    I made some comments about the state of play in Indi before the poll data was posted here. Basically, I’m tipping the Nats.

    I noted that the Morgan poll has the disclaimer that the candidates weren’t named. I would imagine that many people who would volunteer themselves as Liberal voters wouldn’t give the same answer if they realised Sophie Mirabella was the candidate.

  30. Confessions, Di Natale cannot go quickly enough for my liking. People may have considered Milne to be grating/sanctimonious/etc. etc., but at least she didn’t live like a Liberal while claiming to be a Green.
    Between his self-destructive behaviour and the hypocrisy inherent to his running an undeclared farm with underpaid au-pairs (then claiming corruption to be a major-party problem only), I’m seriously peeved with him.

  31. His ag spokesperson could have done the same job with the same result and Di Natale could press his claim to be included with Bill and Mal.

    Yes that was definitely status lowering, as zoomster noted at the time.

  32. By any standard, today was not a good day for Labor, thanks in no small part to that idiot Feeney (no, not me).

    IIRC, Feeney was one of the party hacks responsible for knifing Rudd, and then later knifing Gillard to allow Rudd’s return.

    He is a time-server in what was a safe Labor seat of sorts; now he may be causing the party to implode despite the great efforts of Shorten and his team.

    How long can this fool be allowed to spoil the great Labor Party and its dedicated supporters?

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