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. Itd be nice to see the pollsters start doing more/larger samples.
    I’m more inclined to believe Essential under these circumstances than Reachtel, because Essential has a good record of following the trend and not responding to day-to-day media.
    Obviously if Labor is to win, it needs to see more 51/52 polls in the next week or so.

  2. Rummel,

    The extremists in the Liberal Party have it all figured out. They won’t kill of Medicare. They’ll simply poison it slowly in the hope that people will eventually get used to it.


  3. Guytaur,

    I wonder why Uhlmann did that? Did he confer with ABC management/Lib HQ and decide that people needed reminding that the Libs will win and they might as well stop thinking about it?

  4. Bluey Bulletin No 80 Day 86 of 103
    Bluey notes that dairyfarmers don’t want free trade agreements, concessional loans, drought subsidies and subsidised irrigation infrastructure. In fact they don’t want to operate in the market at all. It turns out Dairy Farmers want to milk consumers by way of a floor price. Oh, and they want a Royal Commission into the Industry.
    Oh, and angry dairyfarmers are not going to vote for the majors, so there. Bluey notes that, when he was a gleam in his daddy occies eye, Australia was full of dairyfarmers. They average farm size was around 50 acres, a missus in the kitchen, thirty cows in the dairyshed, a dog, a grey Fergie, five kids and a school bus stop. Now, there are only 2300 dairyfarmers left. Not a whole lot of vote power.

    Once again the Coalition, despite having spent squillions on protecting our borders, has let in a hate fomenting homophobic bastard. Farrokh Sekaleshfar proslytised his hate in Orlando. Did Mateen cross his tracks? Turnbull’s excuse? ‘We did not know he was in the country’. Well, Mal, it is your job to KNOW he was in the country. You have billions of dollars to know this sort of evil shit. Court gives the Islamophobes a slap-down. Bendigo mosque to go ahead. Bluey has spent a bit of random time in mosques o/s and trusts that Australian mosques use the superlative architectural and decorative traditions of Islamic architecture. Bluey reckons it would be like pizzas and Thai red curry dishes. It would enrich Australian life.

    Does a vid showing himself shooting people. Cute.

    Bluey has always been totally mystified about why anyone would give Switowski any other job than digging trenches for copper. He is, in Bluey’s view, a serial dud. His most infamous misjudgement related to his early comments when Fukushima came to the world’s attention. Switowski’s view was that there was nothing much to it. 150,000 people remain displaced by Fukushima. Switowski has now broken Caretaker Conventions. In spades. Naturally Turnbull is lying doggo on this one. No Ticker.
    Bluey reckons that after what he has done to the NBN in cahoots with Turnbull, Switowski is for the high jump if Labor get in.

    Turnbull is also doing a bit of ducking and weaving on Parakeelya. So far, Omerta.

    Essential within the MOE except for the personals which are, once more, moving in Shorten’s favour and in Turnbull’s disfavour at rates beyond the MOE.
    The poll of 842 Cowper residents, released on Wednesday, showed sitting Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker on a primary vote of 39.4%, compared with 24.8% for Oakeshott, 13.2% for Labor and 8.2% for the Greens.
    In the 2013 election Hartsuyker won 53% of the primary vote and 61.7% of the two-party preferred vote.
    Faced with serious questions about the role of the NSW force in the Lindt Café, we have a terrism arrest! The kid apparently suffers from aspergers. Bluey reckons talk about lucky timing for the plods!
    BREXIT polling = around $30 billion wiped off the ASX. But Bluey reckons that anxiety during election campaigns tends to favour the incumbents.

    Business conditions have apparently ‘improved’. But business confidence is back down to where it was before Turnbull took over.

    The day after Bowe referred to them as predator parties, Plibers gives the Greens a well-deserved and hard-earned caning . The Rev Nile! Bluey looks forward to the Greens being pizzled by a float right after the Nile float in the Mardi Gras queue. Bluey notes that Morrison and Turnbull are spending a lot of time on the likelihood of a Labor/Greens government. Bluey asks the Greens why would Morrison and Turnbull be doing that, if the Greens are good for Labor?
    Labor is writing to the Auditor General to investigate the scam. Speers was honest about it on Sky today. Bluey notes that Turnbull’s line about Parakeelya being the same as something that Labor has is, of course, a lie.
    Joyce did his nana. Now Robert has done HIS nana.
    Turnbull is back to trying to Malsplain his super reforms. Bluey reckons he should just STFU about it. In his own interests. Bluey reckons that Turnbull can’t Malsplain his way out of a wet paper bag.
    The 2013 Nationals Senate Candidate is running for Mr X. Then there is some sort of weird thing going on with a dreadlocked Indigenous candidate who has jumped from the Greens to run for the Liberals. Bluey reckons that Abbott is probably having a fainting fit at the thought.
    The SA Nationals’ 2013 Senate candidate, James Stacey, is now running for Mr X in the seat of Barker.
    And some Greens guy called Jim is rooting for Abbott in Sydney.
    Verdict for the day: Evens
    Cumulative Tally: Labor 51 Liberals 34

  5. Tony Windsor chatting with Rob Oakeshott on twitter

    @RobOakeshott1 What have you done to upset the Australian ? Try Sorbent it actually records what occurs .

  6. Good evening all,

    Plenty of time to go in this campaign.

    I have posted more than once that labor has had its campaign ready to go for months and the campaign team is experienced and very very capable.

    The Libs are the party running around with amateur attack advertising and its leader having to gee up the party in WA with ” we will win ” rhetoric not labor.

    Does labor look panicked ? Is Shorten running around screaming the sky is falling ?

    I have seen no evidence of it at all.

    I have no idea what the true state of play is. One poll here and there and different results flowing from each. Who really knows ?

    Perhaps we shall get a better feel this weekend. Time will tell. The current bludger track is ” top heavy ” with one Reachtel and we will have to wait for it to wash through and a fair few more polls to be added before any real sense of this election can be made.

    Anyway, a great night to all.

  7. That’s odd. The Lib Parakeelya release forgot to mention that Parakeelya is being used to hide money laundering of taxpayers’ funds.

  8. I missed this. Oops.. A retweet from 21 hours ago.

    LukeBazMort: LNP elder statesman John Hewson: ‘Chris Bowen is obviously more competent than Morrison. Unlike Morrison he’s a trained economist’ #ausvotes

  9. Sadly I had to let my Foxtel subscription lapse.

    If I still had it, I could now be watching Andrew Bolt interview Pauline Hanson.

  10. Turnbull wont be able to so easily dodge questions about NBN and Parakeelia on QandA Monday, hopefully they remain an issue till then.

  11. Brandis and X were both questioned on Parkeelia on RN tonight. Carvel las even declared it a fort despite what the others said.

  12. Boerwar
    “Now, there are only 2300 dairyfarmers left. Not a whole lot of vote power.”
    WOW, as few as that. Fonterra co-op in UnZud has 13,000 .

  13. “Turnbull wont be able to so easily dodge questions about NBN and Parakeelia on QandA Monday, hopefully they remain an issue till then.”

    You are assuming that such questions will be allowed through the vetting process.

  14. Sounds like it’s a well known legal rort that has been used for a long time. Shorten may have been best to stay quiet rather than exaggerate the issue.

  15. Adrian,

    Yes I was wondering about the Q+A vetting process, given the ABC’s agreement with Turnbull to never mention the NBN.

  16. poroti
    whoops. There were around 22,000 in 1980 and there are around 6000 now. I saw the figure of 2300 the other day… but it might just relate to either Fonterra or MG suppliers.

  17. DWH

    Labor has sent a letter to legal authorities like they did with Ashby affair. Exaggeration seems to be key LNP talking point while ignoring that point.

  18. Pollsters who poll every week (i.e. Morgan and Essential) get their weighting halved so they don’t end up counting twice as much as those that poll fortnightly (i.e. Newspoll). On top of that, Morgan and Essential get marked down for being “different”.

  19. (From old thread)

    Just watched the 7:30 item on the Lindsay focus group. They were disappointed by Turnbull, who they said hadn’t really done anything. When it came to Bill Shorten, focus group members simply parroted Liberal-Murdoch memes. They must get all of their information from the Daily Telegraph. There would be lots of voters across the country just like them.


  20. I must say, William, when I looked at the close grouping of the final polls for the Queensland election, it didn’t convince me that polling in this country is legit. Rather, it looked to me as if it is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. I reckon they finished up just doing a bit of an average of the polls and put that out.

  21. Malcolm Farr reckons the statement is from Turnbull?

    Malcolm Farr
    27m27 minutes ago
    Malcolm Farr ‏@farrm51
    PM responds to Shorten on Parakeelia.

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