BludgerTrack: 50.2-49.8 to Labor

Wherein recent movements one way in ReachTEL and the other way in Essential Research and Roy Morgan cancel each other out in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate.

Essential Research and Roy Morgan have both reported over the past few days, in accordance with their usual weekly and fortnightly schedules, giving BludgerTrack a completed weekly cycle’s worth of polling results to play with. The results indicate no real change on last week, with the recent ReachTEL, Essential and Morgan results exciting the aggregate neither collectively or individually. ReachTEL and Essential in particular recorded less week-on-week movement than their headline figures might suggest. The seat projection has ticked a point in favour of Labor, the gain coming off Tasmania in response to a fairly radical result in the Morgan breakdown this week. The only new data on leadership ratings since last week is from Essential Research, and it’s strengthened the impression that Malcolm Turnbull’s polling plunge has levelled off at a net value of zero, while slightly blunting Bill Shorten’s recent trend upswing.


• Today’s Essential Research records an unusual two-point shift to the Coalition on the fortnightly rolling aggregate, reversing its 51-49 deficit from recent polling. On the primary vote, the Coalition is steady on 41%, Labor is down two to 35%, the Greens are steady on 9%, and the Nick Xenophon Team is up one to 4%. A monthly reading of leadership ratings finds Malcolm Turnbull up one on approval to 41% and down three on disapproval to 39%, Bill Shorten respectively steady on 34% and up one to 44%, and Turnbull leading 40-27 as preferred prime minister, down from 43-28. The poll finds a reasonable level of awareness about politics and the election, at least from their own sample, in that 77% corrected identified it as being held in July, 50% knew it would be for all seats in both houses, and 64% were able to identify Scott Morrison as Treasurer. This week’s component of the online survey involved 1007 respondents, polled from Thursday to Sunday.

• The latest fortnightly result from Roy Morgan has the Coalition up a point to 37.5%, Labor down half to 32.5%, the Greens down 2.5% to 13% and the Nick Xenophon Team steady at 5%, and otherwise remains remarkable for the size of the non-major party vote. The headline respondent-allocated two-party measure has Labor leading 51-49, down from 52.5 last time, but the shift on previous election preferences is more modest, from 52-48 to 51.5-48.5. The poll release also informs us that the Nick Xenophon Team was recorded at 26.5% in South Australia, ahead of Labor on 25%, with the Liberals on 31%. The poll was conducted over the past two weekends from a sample of 3099.

• Roy Morgan has a poll, sort of, from the Victorian seat of Indi, which Sophie Mirabella seeks to recover for the Liberals following her defeat by independent Cathy McGowan in 2013. However, the result is compiled from the entirety of its face-to-face surveying in the electorate since the 2013 election, and the voting intention result relates only to the generic question on party-based voting intention, so its finding that the Coalition has a 51-49 lead over “independent” is unlikely to mean very much. In recognition of this, the Morgan release mostly focuses on most important issue results.


• Labor has preselected Malarndirri McCarthy, member for Arnhem in the Northern Territory department from 2005 until her unexpected defeat in 2012, to replace Nova Peris as its Northern Territory Senate candidate. McCarthy prevailed from a field of five indigenous women, including Ursula Raymond, former chief-of-staff to Peris; Denise Bowden, chief executive of the Yothu Yindi Foundation; and Cathryn Tilmouth, a former ministerial adviser. Amos Aikman of The Australian reports McCarthy and Raymond respectively had backing from the Left and the Right. McCarthy has lived in Sydney since 2012, where she has worked for NITV and SBS, and her membership of the party had lapsed.

• The New South Wales Liberal Party has finally resolved the order of its Senate ticket, putting hard Right incumbent Connie Fierravanti-Wells at number four and centre Right newcomer Hollie Hughes to the unlikely prospect of number six, number five being reserved for the Nationals. The top three positions have gone to Marise Payne, Fiona Nash of the Nationals, and Arthur Sinodinos. Retired major-general Jim Molan, who was heavily involved in the government’s efforts against unauthorised boat arrivals, could only manage seventh place. The decision was made at a meeting of the state executive held after objections were raised about an earlier process of “faxed ballot” sent through by email.


Troy Bramston of The Australian reports Labor sources saying the party has “all but given up hope” of David Feeney retaining Batman from Alex Bhathal of the Greens, and that Anthony Albanese is under serious pressure in Grayndler. Labor is “almost certain” Tanya Plibsersek will be returned in Sydney, and “quietly confident” about Peter Khalil retaining the inner northern Melbourne seat of Wills, which would be threatened if the Liberals directed preferences against Labor. However, it is noted that polling young inner-city voters is difficult, invoking Labor internal polling before the New South Wales state election which wrongly pointed to Labor wins over the Greens in Newtown and Balmain.

James Massola of Fairfax reports the seats of greatest concern to Coalition strategists are Barton, Dobell, Lindsay, Robertson, Eden-Monaro and Macarthur in New South Wales, Dunkley and La Trobe in Victoria, Petrie and Capricornia in Queensland, Lyons in Tasmania, and Solomon in the Northern Territory. However, they remain hopeful of picking up the Melbourne seats of Bruce and Chisholm, both of which are set to be vacated by sitting Labor members. Labor strategists are said to be keen to add to their list of potential gains Hasluck and Burt in Western Australia, Hindmarsh in South Australia, Banks, Paterson and Page in New South Wales, Braddon in Tasmania, and Bonner in Queensland. Cowan in Western Australia is curiously absent from either list, and it’s unclear if the Liberals weren’t counting Paterson on the basis that it’s a notionally Labor seat after the redistribution, as indeed are Barton and Dobell.


• The latest campaign car crash victim is Chris Jermyn, the Liberal candidate for the highly marginal Labor-held seat of McEwen on Melbourne’s northern outskirts. Jermyn and some supporters gatecrashed Bill Shorten’s visit to a health centre in Sunbury, but Jermyn evidently hadn’t reckoned on being asked basic questions about health policy by a News Corp journalist at the event, which he proved unable to answer. Jermyn refused to answer questions posed to him as he left the event, saying: “This is why I hate journalists.” The seat is held for Labor by Rob Mitchell on a margin of 0.2%.

• Former Australian Idol host James Mathison is running against Tony Abbott in Warringah. Mathison’s pitch seems to be that Abbott’s deep conservatism leaves younger social liberals in the electorate with no one to vote for.


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.

1,210 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.2-49.8 to Labor”

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    Renewable energy surges to record levels around the world

    For the first time, emerging economies spent more than the rich on renewable power and fuels.
    Over 8 million people are now working in renewable energy worldwide.
    For a number of years, the global spend on renewables has been increasing and 2015 saw that arrive at a new peak according to the report.
    Falling costs key
    About 147 gigawatts (GW) of capacity was added in 2015, roughly equivalent to Africa’s generating capacity from all sources.

    Fossil fuel production is falling while renewables expand. 165 years…renewables will almost completely displace fossil fuels.

    Professional denialists such as Compact Crank should take note. They are the next dinosaurs.


    Swiss miner Glencore will close its Tahmoor coal mine in NSW by early 2019, blaming continued low prices in global coal markets.
    Glencore, one of Australia’s largest coal producers running 18 mines and employing some 7650 workers, said it had started consultation with the 350 employees at the mine.
    A spokesman said the first redundancies wouldn’t occur for at least 12 months.
    “We’ve tried to give


    as much notice as possible … so we can give our people as much time to plan as possible,” a spokesman said.
    “We do our best to look for redeployment opportunities for them elsewhere within out business and at other mines in the industry.”
    The underground mine, in the southern highlands of NSW about 75 kilometres south-west of Sydney, has been operating since 1979 and last year produced 2.1 million tonnes of metallurgical coal used in steel making.

  3. From a purely political point of view I’m beginning to wonder if Shorten would have been better served by attending the ceremony for the fallen soldiers. There is widespread criticism of both he and Turnbull for not being there.

    A countervailing argument put by Price and Bolt and one or two others, is that without Turnbull there as well it would have been seen as a cynical move on Shorten’s part. It has also been suggested that Shorten was probably not invited and could not go anyway.

    I actually agree with those who have said that it was appropriate for the GG to represent the government. But it still would have been interesting to see how it played out if Shorten had attended.

  4. Having read up about the Direct instruction teaching method following the Cape York issues, i was surprised to realise that I in fact must have been one of the very first in Australia to have EVER used it, having had a trial of the readin program in a NSW state primary school way back in 1964.

    I recall my parents were very hostile to the program and thought it a silly USA based idea. I think the trial must have been a failure, because it only lasted one term. I recollect that the program I used had us each colouring in our “level”with a specific colour for levels achieved. Needless to say many kids were rather creative with their colouring, which I at the time found puzzling as I remember follwwing the program meticulously.

    So when reading up on Direct Instruction I smiled at the “SRA Reading Laboratory”, and recalled my childhood experience.

    While I did not mind the program, the text were very, very US specific, although i do recall one intersting one about the plight of an endangered American bird – a crane I think.

  5. Briefly

    Why this guy is popular with leftists I have yet to understand. Didn’t he make some comment about women having a “place in society” last year as well? Genuinely bizarre. You get more progressive views from the Arab monarchists – maybe we should idolise them instead. They certainly run more liberal autocracies than his role ever did
    Erudite musings from an erudite and definitely not senile feudal apologist

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