BludgerTrack: 50.5-49.5 to Coalition

Essential Research’s latest result records the gentlest of nudges in favour of Labor, but the BludgerTrack poll aggregate has gone the other way.

It’s been an oddly quiet week on the national polling front, though no doubt the coming fortnight will more than make up for it. Besides the regular weekly campaign ReachTEL poll for Seven, the only new result is the latest fortnightly rolling average from Essential Research, out a day later than usual due to the Monday public holiday. This records Labor with a 51-49 lead, returning it to its position before a sudden two-point shift to the Coalition a fortnight ago. The primary votes are Coalition 41% (steady), Labor 37% (up one), Greens 10% (steady) and Nick Xenophon Team 4% (steady). Also featured are personal ratings, which Essential usually does on a monthly basis, but it seems to have picked up the pace to fortnightly for the campaign period. Malcolm Turnbull is down three on approval to 38% and up one on disapproval to 40%, while Bill Shorten is steady on approval at 34%, but down four on disapproval to 40%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister narrows slightly, from 40-27 to 40-29.

An occasional question on the parties’ attributes records positive movement since March for Labor, whose ratings are up from three to nine points on favourable indicators (the biggest gain being from 30% to 39% on “has a good team of leaders”), and lower ratings on all the negative ones, with the exception of “will promise to do anything to win votes”. The movements for the Liberals are more of a mixed bag, with both positive and negative indicators going up. The one exception is “divided”, something the Liberal Party is now deemed to be by 52% of respondents compared with 61% last time. Other results from the Essential survey include a finding of 47% approval for the superannuation changes in the budget, with disapproval at 22%.

The only other bit of poll news from the last few days has been a Greens-commissioned Lonergan Research poll from the traditionally blue-ribbon Melbourne seat of Higgins, where the Greens appear to be giving Kelly O’Dwyer something to think about. The Greens were on 24.2% of the forced preference primary vote, which would put them in second place for the first time, with O’Dwyer on 44.6%, Labor on 18.5% and the Nick Xenophon Team on 7.9%. O’Dwyer leads 53-47 on respondent-allocated preference. The poll had a large sample of 1118, and unlike ReachTEL’s polls was conducted over two nights, on Friday and Saturday of the weekend before last.

The BludgerTrack aggregate records a reasonably solid tick to the Coalition this week, which is mostly down to a ReachTEL result that would have come out at 52-48 in favour of the Coalition if previous election preference flows had been used, as opposed to the headline result of 50-50. BludgerTrack now shows a more plausible result in Western Australia, although it’s still on the sunny side for Labor compared with what’s coming through anecdotally and in individual seat polls. Since last week’s reading, the Coalition is up two seats in Western Australia and one in Victoria, but they’re down two in Queensland. They are also recording a favourable swing in South Australia, which possibly just shows the two-party model isn’t working there any more. It’s worth noting that the Greens have been losing steam nationally over the past few months, presumably because some of the loose anti-major party vote is being gathered up by the Nick Xenophon Team.


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.

1,941 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.5-49.5 to Coalition”

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  1. Reachtel others are about 10% (according to my rudimentary maths . Where are those little buggers going. That’s the big question in this election.

  2. We seem to have conflicting reachtel info?

    It looks like the one published by ghost who votes is including the follow up for undecided, which was much more favourable to labor that the previous.

    @William – which of these do you use for bludger track?

  3. Roger Bottomley – I’m happy to be corrected by anyone who knows better, but I think the Reachtel TPP is calculated off the result of the second question (who undecideds are leaning towards).

  4. Bluey Bulletin No 82
    Beattie gave Turnbull a 10/10 for the IFTAR dinner at Kirribilli. Bluey concurs except for Sheik Shady Al-suleiman. Bluey does give the Sheik 10/10 for his second name. Not quite up there with Lee Bum Suk, but.
    England First. Allahu Akbar. And now some dickhead carrying a container of bleach in the general direction of Frydenberg. I trust that the Party that owns this nutperp disowns him at some length in public.
    Bluey reckons that this is the great hole in Australia’s social and economic fabric. Full time permanent jobs are disappearing. 40% of Australians are in insecure work. Around a million are underemployed. Real wage growth is tanking. The latest job figures simply confirm the trend. Women are disproportionately represented in insecure work. Bluey reckons that insecure jobs, 800,000 workers on some form of ‘special’ permits, and massive underemployment are the harbingers of Australia’s Under Class which will, over time, replace the Middle Class.
    Yet insecure work per se has been almost entirely absent from public policy discussions during the election.
    Bluey notes that end-to-end controls were designed to stop Australian cows being bashed to death with sledge hammers. Bluey notes that, once again, it was a third party that did what the Government is supposed to do.
    Bluey was disappointed to see Crean bruiting the beauties of Australia’s role in live cattle exports. Bluey notes that each and every case of cruelty has been accompanied by the announcement of an in-house investigation. Not a single report has been made public. Further, legislation has been enacted criminalising various third party behaviours in relation to discovery and publication.
    Bluey reckons make no mistake: Joyce is not interested in animal welfare except to suppress information and damp public discussion about it.
    Dick Armitage, a key player in the US/Australian relationship, has announced that he will not be voting for Trump. Bluey commends Shorten for his call on Trump. Turnbull, who is protecting his right flank from Aussie barking maddies is silent. The Australian and Sky, which spent a bit of time pursuing Shorten and Plibers on the ‘barking mad’ call, have gone very quiet on this one.
    Mr&Mrs Netanyahu spent $500,000 of the Israeli taxpayers’ ready during just five days in the Big Apple. That is $50,000 each per day. Bluey does not even know how you do that in theory, let alone in practice. Maybe Bronny is a consultant to the Netanyahus?
    Bluey does not get this. Bill was doing well but looks exhausted.
    Verdict for the day: Evens
    Cumulative Tally: Labor 52 Liberals 35

  5. When voters tell the pollsters that they are voting for “others” does that mean they are intending to vote for a specific party (e.g. family first; socialist alliance; martian independence, etc etc) or they are basically undecideds?

  6. ABC i-View is streaming this debate live. Not that anybody probably knows.
    Scheduling an event like this at 6pm on a Friday (a particular dismal one weather-wise in Melbourne, for instance) is virtually guaranteed to ensure a tiny audience. The only relevance of this debate will be if there is a major stumble.

  7. 7th answer
    Shorten sounding ignorant of his own policies, bad answer
    Turnbull not much better.
    No specifics, no real promises of money, just some nice words which mean nothing.

  8. For all the crap he got, Joe seems to be managing this pretty well – keeping them to their time and not deciding he knows what the questioners are asking more than the questioners.

    And some temporary delays in the broadcast.

  9. BK: I, and many other Australians, don’t have Sky News. I suspect that’s particularly true for young people.

    People have gone into Facebook expecting to watch and engage with a debate on Facebook. If you can’t even see or hear what’s being said then what’s the point?

    Labor strategists will be rubbing their hands with glee right now.

  10. 8th answer
    Turnbull clearly trying to separate himself from his own parties position, desperate attempt to not lose votes on this issue.
    Shorten has the public on his side so he cannot lose on this answer.

  11. This weekend’s AFL tips for what they are worth
    Friday 17.6
    North over Hawks
    Saturday 17.6
    Eagles over Brisbane
    Port over Fremantle
    Geelong draws Western Bulldogs
    Sunday 19.6
    Sydney over Melbourne
    GWS over Essendon

  12. Don, I have not found anyone to marry so I do not take part in immoral out of marriage sex so I am a virgin. This world is overly sex focused and promotes mass immorality.

  13. ReachTEL’s weekly marginal seat poll is a disappointing result for Labor,


    Fair dinkum

    If someone in newscorp made a dumb comment like William Bowe stating a safe liberal party seat of 56/44 a marginal sear

    as he did in the latest reachtel &IPSOS they would be hounded on this blog and twitter

  14. Wow, did you see that power handshake by Bill at the end? He invaded Talculm’s space, pushed Talc’s hand back and then the second handshake Bill gave him the two handed ‘gotcha you btard’ shake and Bill went into the crowd to talk to the audience and Mal was forced to follow.

  15. Shorten wins by a wide margin, but with all of perhaps 13,000 people actually watching that will mean bugger all.

    On strategy Turnbull wins by refusing to have a debate with Shorten in a high-profile venue that people will actually tune in to watch. Shame, really.

  16. 31.0 for Labor is abysmal… not looking good.

    Yet Labor insists that they will only govern by themselves, and do so legitimately and with due regard for the two thirds of the voters who don’t support them. I think they need a democracy infusion.

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