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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  1. bemused

    Yes I don’t have this Labor group think. I don’t see the Greens as allies for the LNP as some Labor people do as is evidenced by blog posts unless you want to contend they are actually LNP trolls

  2. What Turnbull doesnt understand about technology is that it is a wealth concentrator.
    Automation reduces the distribution of wealth from corporations, so government has to take more active steps to intervene and dampen or reduce the increasing wealth divide.

  3. There’s obviously an issue with calling out the SDA as a quasi-employer union rather than a legitimate employees union. I’m at loss to work out why that is. Can someone enlighten me? They are in bed with the large companies like Coles & Woolworths and have a history of pissing away workers rights for very little in return.

  4. @ Toorak – the latest change in BludgerTrack is +0.2 to Labor. I would hardly call that moving to the Coalition.

    In terms of the WA polling, I believe the first preferences on BludgerTrack are roughly correct. This is because I have experienced the sheer incompetence of the Barnett Nahan government and am aware that voters do not really understand the difference between federal and state. The last few elections in WA have been very favorable to the Coalition – Barnett’s sugar hit was more acceptable during the boom, and Abbott’s shrill cries that the Mining and Carbon tax would destroy WA were ringing in people’s ears.

    What I do not believe in WA is that past election preferences will be an accurate reflection of this election preferences. When there is a huge change in 1st pref, one would expect the distribution of preferences to move in the same direction. So yeah, I believe that Labor will pick up 5 in WA (including the new one that is notionally Labor). 1st pref might be slightly lower than BludgerTrack currently, but more favorable preferences will make up for it.

    The only things I would say I don’t believe on Bludger Track are the total seats given to minors, but that will mostly be Coalition held seats anyway.

    SA is meant to account for 0 of Labor’s 15 seats gained. The fact that you aren’t seeing much election advertising is hardly relevant – the impact of this advertising will already be included in the state polling data that BludgerTrack relies on. Maybe, if Labor had as much money as the Liberals then they would be up a couple of seats in SA.

  5. sorry i should have added the prospect of Windsor possibly beating Barnaby also… anything else i am missing? also have i got it right that Barton, Dobell and Patterson are automatic ALP pickups unless there’s a coalition swing because they are notional ALP seats now?

  6. windhover @ #46 Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Thank you for the dawn service BK.
    The “terrorist” excuse used by Hockey to justify secrecy over his cabcharge rort is unacceptable.
    The rationale for exemptions from usual laws that make special provisions for terrorism is generally accepted. These exemptions are contrary to usual practice because they are seen as being anathema to a free and open society.
    So when a fat ugly bastard who has spent the majority of his adult life sucking on the public teat whose ostensible ideology is a libertarian “freedom of the individual”, “no entitlement – you earn what you gets” abuses the exemptions that are there to protect legitimate terrorism concerns, it is particularly galling in its hypocrisy.
    The suggestion of a need for secrecy to protect Hockey from acts of terrorism is so outrageously an abuse it is not possible to have any confidence in him in any public office. And certainly not as our Ambassador to the USA. Imagine what further abuses Hockey might inveigle to achieve under the protection of terrorism secrecy exemptions in that role.
    As the attempt at secrecy by the misuse of terrorism exemptions was deliberate on his part, it is quite irrelevant for him to apologise. His commission must be terminated immediately.

    Any bona-fide terrorist with any brains would want to protect Hockey.
    He does more damage to Australia than they are likely to be able to do with their traditional methods.

  7. rhwombat

    No idea what you mean.

    The topic relates to Ebola and “panic” about infectious diseases. The bizare thing is that you attackme when with MOST epidemics that have the press all in a tizz and the public in panic mode, I would 100% agree with you. I thought (and still do) that Ebola had the potential to be rather different.

    I did not have time to finish re Hendra virus. Frankly we dodged a bullet there as anyone who DOES understand virology will know. Luckily, unlike its close cousin measles, it does not spread very activly via droplets, so does not have the same infectivity rate. We were lucky, because in a population with zero immunity and a very, very high (more than 50%) mortality rate. On the other hand because it has a very wide range of host species (bats, cats, dogs, horses, rats I am sure of) had it spread it would have been very, very hard to eradicate. As I know I have posted before but not sure if you were around, I do have a little insider knowledge of the Hendra outbreak and have nothing but strong respect for the Health Department official who quickly suspected the link between the death of horses and the illness of Vic Rail. He had enough sense to send his team to scrub with disinfectant the area where the vets had been doing autopsy leaving blood and guts everywhere. this prevented the infection getting into the rodent population. There seemed to be some evidence (not proven because animals had been incinerated by local vets) of some infection in cats in the area.

    As I say we were lucky with Hendra. However as you will understand the capacity for viruses to mutate is high so we can NEVER be secure. Sensible, precautionary public health policies are the only safeguards, but I rather think that compacency by the medical profession will leave us open for an epidemic to get out of hand at some time.

    Sadly RHwombat, and I am not trying to be offensive, you seem to reflect that more general complacency.

  8. Gees, TT you are a real Job’s comforter. Your prognostications on what will happen in the elections may or may not be correct, but I always get the impression you tend to look on the bleak side. There are those who, if and when a cure for cancer is found, would probably bemoan the fact that the funeral industry will hit hard times.
    I doubt whether anyone here does not recognise that Labor has a real hill to climb but to harp on a negative outcome merely states the bleeding obvious – Labor might not win government. I think we all get this.

  9. Windhover:

    Completely agree. The amounts he claimed far exceeded those wrongly claimed by Slipper as well so where is the AFP investigation?

  10. Guytaur:
    [Labor people have blamed the Greens for the failure of the Malaysia policy when its the LNP that support off shore.]

    Your point is a good one, as far as it goes. Yes, the Greens have always opposed off-shore solutions and were, and are, perfectly entitled to continue to hold that policy position. The LNP as you say have a more compromised position so that a high level of political expediency and hypocrisy attended their “heroic” stand against Malaysia because it was not a signatory to the UNHCR and might, contrary to the agreement with Malaysia, lead to the refoulement of those at risk of persecution. (An hypocrisy only increased when one considers the turn-back policy seems to have achieved just that outcome for certain Sri Lankans).

    But from the ALP point of view, whether the Greens were motivated by high policy ambition or base political conniving is irrelevant. What matters from the ALP POV is that the Malaysian solution was blocked.

    Once it is accepted as you must that the Malaysian solution was defeated because the Greens joined the LNP in blocking it, then it must be right that the Greens share in the “blame” (from an ALP POV) or alternatively the “success” (from a Greens/LNP POV) for that defeat.

    That you seem to be backing away from involving the Greens in the failure of the Malaysian solution, perhaps it is because even you now realise what a terrible policy price the Greens “success” has actually managed to achieve.

  11. I can see NXT picking up seats in SA. If they finish second in the primary count (assuming first is under 50%) they will win seats on the back of preferences from those who vote for the majors; ala Clive in Fairfax. Could this be one reason why C.Pyne has been quiet on the national stage?

  12. Windhover

    I know the ALP point of view its been said here ad nauseum. However it does not change the fact it is the LNP not the Greens to blame for the Malaysia solution.

    Blaming the Greens is Labor looking for an easy scapegoat when its obvious its the LNP to blame.

  13. Rhwombat

    Bats well er yes obviously!! That was really my point. Sorry I did not spell it out in detail. Thought it was obvious from my post. Bats seem to be the only native host species (I said seem because I have not checked in detail). Rabies spreads in other parts of the world because of the reservoir in species that have close contact with humans and domestic animals. The animals that fill sthe same ecological niche as squirrels or monkeyus etc here in Australia are marsupials. However I have no time right now to check the capacity of marsupials to contract rabies, but may do so later (it is interesting). Any way it was just a theory as to why Lyssa virus is not possibly as much of a risk as it is in the rest of the world. The other explaination (which would contadict your Qld needless panic theory) is that Lyssa is a newly arrived virus from Now Guinea and has yet to get a hold. I prefer my panic free theory.

  14. Guytaur, I am a bit confused by your response:
    [Blaming the Greens is Labor looking for an easy scapegoat when its obvious its the LNP to blame.]

    Surely from your perspective there is nothing to blame. Surely it is just a wonderful thing that the Malaysian solution was defeated and we have the Greens (and LNP) to thank. Without the Greens joining the LNP there would never have been that nasty Malaysian solution . . . oh, Nauru, Manus . . . oh wait.

  15. bug1 @ #52 Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 9:35 am

    What Turnbull doesnt understand about technology is that it is a wealth concentrator

    This is quite obviously not necessarily correct. If technology had this effect we would have been better off remaining tech-free, as in pre-industrial. Very, very clearly, real incomes have have risen incredibly and inequality has fallen since, say, the end of the 16th century.

    The inequality we experience is not because of tech. It s because of cheating.

  16. victoria

    I was speaking from a Labor view that wants off shore. Don’t blame the Greens for voting for their policy. Blame the LNP for voting against theirs.

    ITs pretty simple really no matter how Labor people try and spin it as all the fault of the Greens. Its not. The fault of the Labor motion being defeated was all the LNP. Its they not the Greens that voted against their own policy.

    The Greens stayed true to what their voters want which is on shore and the Greens are just not voting for on shore.

    Your post is just part of the Labor group think blaming the Greens when it was all the LNP voting against their own policy

  17. But guytaur, what you’re pointing to is the problem I was referring to, and also the danger with the Greens holding balance of power.

    The Greens put ideology first, no matter what the realities confronting them.

    That lack of flexibility creates problems, it doesn’t solve them.

    Having a party which doesn’t deal with the real world is fine if they’re on the fringe, and their actions have no consequences.

    That kind of mindset gave us the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witchtrials, and fuels the modern day opposition to abortion and gun laws – all driven by people who put their ideological purity above reality.

  18. It really saddens me that I’m having to STFU several people on this blic because they can’t go an hour without restarting this stupid Green/ALP spat. FFS! Yu guys are like a couple of 2YOs fighting over the last lolly!

  19. zoomster

    Reality. Off shore breaks treaties Australia has signed. The indefinite off shore is only possible because off shore exists.

    I don’t agree with the Greens on this I am just pointing out how I think they see it.

    I was asked a specific question and I answered it. The response from the usual crowd against that is very revealing that Labor supporters are indeed thin skinned on this point.

    The facts no matter how you spin it remain. Reality is the Greens policy is against offshore. The LNP policy is off shore. It was the LNP’s fault that they voted against their own policy not the Greens fault.

    Labor does not like the result blame the LNP for voting against their own policy

  20. lizzie

    I agree with onshore but not the non detention part.

    I think a form of community detention like a parole system is needed.

    However I was asked a specific question as to why Greens have a particular attitude and this is it.

    They held true to their policy the LNP voted against theirs yet Labor people blame the Greens. Thats why the Greens have the attitude they do.

  21. Things are really entering bizarro territory in some US states.

    The Obama administration really blew it when they decided to allow a religious exemption for contraception coverage, because conservatives are now demanding religious exemptions for everything.

    Oklahoma is in an economic crisis with their state budget $1.3 billion in the red, so Republican lawmakers there got right to work with several important pieces of legislation: One, according to Reuters, was to approve a bill “that would make abortions a felony punishable by up to three years in prison for doctors who perform them” (since vetoed by the governor). And the other calls on Oklahoma’s representatives in Congress to impeach President Obama for violating good Christians’ rights to pee and change their gym shorts without any he-shes around.

    You know, because of all that stuff in the Bible forbidding hormone injections and gender-reassignment surgery.

    If, with all the problems in your state, your priorities are locking up doctors who provide reproductive healthcare services to women and impeaching the President for suggesting gender isn’t binary, aren’t you less of a political party and more of a radical religious enforcement organization?

  22. Guytaur, I am even more confused.

    [Your post is just part of the Labor group think blaming the Greens when it was all the LNP voting against their own policy]
    My post pointed out that (those supporting the) Greens should be applauding the Greens for their undoubted success in blocking the Malaysian solution. What do you think?

  23. Windhover

    No doubt they did and do. Those people are still fighting and will win as the Pacific solution is now dead and Labor has to decide what to do with the refugees on Manus if the LNP lose and Labor just like the LNP will have no choice but to settle those people in Australia unless they have already got third countries signed up.

    Its that simple. The AS unravelling is happening and the first case of that in court is happening in June so the LNP will be caught out and unable to blame Labor for it

  24. Guytaur
    [No doubt they did and do.]

    Thank you for answering my question. I now have another.

    If those supporting the Greens did and do applaud the Greens for their undoubted “success” in blocking the Malaysian solution, then:

    Why can’t those who did not support blocking of the Malaysian solution not criticise the Greens for the same thing Greens supporters can applaud them for?

  25. Windhover

    For a simple reason. The blame lies with the party that supports the policy the Greens voted against that also supports off shore.

    If you are for off shore blame the party that is for the policy voting against the policy not the party that is against it.

  26. How many bloody times do we have to put up with the hatred of the Greens?
    They are a legitimate party and we live in a democracy.
    Move on people and remember that hatred gets you nowhere.

  27. “FFS! Yu guys are like a couple of 2YOs fighting over the last lolly!”

    They simply can’t help themselves. Don’t seem to care that they’re driving people away from this blog with their self-centered naval gazing.

  28. C@tMomma,

    Yesterday you likened the Greens party to IGA….more like Aldi.

    Aldi has become the most profitable major supermarket in Australia and is well positioned to win a price war against the reigning duopoly of Coles and Woolworths.

    A new report from UBS claims the lean German groceries machine, famed for low prices and no-frills stores, has become “a force to be reckoned with” and is picking up shoppers – particularly wealthy ones – at an accelerating rate.

  29. Guytaur, you say

    [If you are for off shore blame the party that is for the policy voting against the policy not the party that is against it.]

    If you don’t mind, I will blame the party(s) who voted against the legislation enabling the Malaysian solution for the simple reason THAT IS THE WAY THEY VOTED.

    I regret to say if find nothing simple in your construction “The blame lies with the party that supports the policy the Greens voted against that also supports off shore.”

    Its convolutions demonstrate precisely the sort of “thinking” that needs to be undertaken to not blame those who opposed.

  30. I was feeling rather dispirited yesterday after the Essential figures came out. The Essential poll usually moves at glacial speed, if it ever moves much at all from week to week and 2% off the Labor pv seemed to be a tectonic shift by comparison – and coming just at a time when we were all congratulating ourselves that the Liberal attacks on AS, boats and Labor’s spending seemed to having no effect on the polls, it was a bit hard to take.

    I had visions of three or more seats going back to the Liberals on bludgertrack. But lo and behold, out comes William’s update this morning and Labor have actually gained a seat in Tasmania and the Libs on 76 are just one away from minority government. Just the lift I needed.

    I am still a little apprehensive about what that Essential result may signal in terms of the trend, but I am heartened by William’s comment that the shift was not as dramatic as the headline figure suggests. The Newspoll and ReachTEL results at the weekend will now be especially important in that regard.

  31. “Watching Bill Shorten on ABC24 honing his key election messages – doing quite well IMHO”

    Don’t know if “quite well” is good enough at this stage.

  32. Not wanting to join in throwing shade on the Greens, but…..

    “Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson wants a sniper to be installed on a beach at Stanley, after a dog apparently killed 14 penguins #

    From ABC journalist

  33. A record number of Australians look set to skip election day voting on July 2, with experts predicting as many as a third of voters could cast early ballots or postal votes.

    And with so many voters making early decisions, parties have had to change the way they campaign, making announcements and splashing out on advertising long before the polling day climax.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

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