BludgerTrack: 50.9-49.1 to Coalition

Daylight has finally opened between the two parties on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, without quite freeing the Coalition from the risk of a hung parliament.

What would normally be the regular weekly reading of BludgerTrack, conducted after Essential Research completes the weekly cycle, finds a late break in favour of the Coalition, who have recorded a stronger result from Newspoll and two successive above-par showings from ReachTEL. The latest numbers also incorporate the Newspoll state breakdowns published on Monday by The Australian, together with state-level numbers from Essential and ReachTEL. The former were chiefly notable in finding a weaker swing to Labor in Western Australia than polling earlier in the campaign indicated. BludgerTrack now records a 5.5% swing in WA with two seats falling to Labor, which finally brings it into line with what both parties say they are anticipating.

The national seat projection now records the Coalition at 80, with gains since last week of two in New South Wales and one each in Victoria and South Australia. However, since this is a two-party model, it fails to account for the threat the Coalition faces from non-major candidates in New England, Cowper and at least three South Australian seats under threat from the Nick Xenophon Team, and hence can’t be seen as definitively pointing to a Coalition majority. Full details at the bottom of the post, together with the latest reading of Coalition win probabilities on the betting markets, which seem to have resumed moving upwards after a ten-day plateau.

The final reading of the Essential Research fortnightly rolling average has the Coalition down a point on the primary vote 39%, but is otherwise unchanged on last week with Labor on 37%, the Greens on 10% and the Nick Xenophon Team on 4%, with Labor leading 51-49 on two-party preferred. There was also a follow-up question on preferences from those who voted for minor parties and independents, with Greens voters splitting 86-14 to Labor (83-17 at the 2013 election) and others going 52-48 to Liberal (53-47 last time), but high “don’t know” results limit the usefulness of these figures.

The poll also records Malcolm Turnbull gaining two on approval since a fortnight ago to 40% while remaining steady on disapproval at 40%, while Bill Shorten is up three to 37% and down one to 39%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is unchanged at 40-29. Of the remaining results, the most interesting for mine is that 50% think it very likely that a Liberal government would privatise Medicare, with only 34% rating it as not likely. The poll also records 30% saying Turnbull and the Liberals have run the better campaign, 28% opting for Bill Shorten and Labor and 8% favouring Richard di Natale and the Greens; 39% expecting a Coalition majority versus 24% for Labor and 16% for a hung parliament; and that 63% would support “phasing out live exports to reduce animal cruelty and protect Australian jobs” (a bit leading, in my view), with only 18% opposed.



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.

2,080 comments on “BludgerTrack: 50.9-49.1 to Coalition”

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  1. rogue scholar @ #1001 Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 3:49 am

    Summary- If Labor finishes with less than 72 seats


    , they cannot form a minority Government unless the Coalition drops to 71 seats


    If the Coalition finishes with 75 seats


    , Katter will support a Coalition ‘minority Government’.
    74-70 -6 Labor can not form a minority Government
    If the Coalition finishes with 74 seats


    , they will need Katter and ONE ‘other’ to form a Coalition ‘minority Government’. Bandt and Wilkie would not, but McGowan, Oakeshott, Windsor or Xenephon could.
    74-71-5 ` Labor can not form a minority Government
    If the Coalition finishes with 74 seats, they will need Katter and ONE ‘other’ to form a Coalition ‘minority Government’. Bandt and Wilkie would not, but McGowan, Oakeshott, Windsor or Xenephon could.
    74-72-4. Labor can not form a minority Government
    If the Coalition finishes with 74 seats, they will need Katter and ONE ‘other’ to form a Coalition ‘minority Government’. Bandt and Wilkie would not, but McGowan could.
    73-72-5 Either the Coalition or Labor could form a minority Government
    If the Coalition finishes with 73 seats


    , they will need Katter and TWO ‘others’ to form a Coalition ‘minority Government’. McGowan, Oakeshott, Windsor or Xenephon could. However, IF Labor has 72 seats


    , they could also form a ‘minority Government’ with the support of Bandt, Wilkie, McGowan and Xenephon.
    73-73-4 The Coalition can not form a minority Government
    If the Coalition finishes with 73 seats


    , they will need Katter and TWO ‘others’ to form a Coalition ‘minority Government’. Bandt and Wilkie would not . However, IF Labor also has 73 seats


    , they could form a ‘minority Government’ with the support of Bandt, Wilkie and McGowan.

    I think with a wafer thin margin, the Coalition will be reluctant to do a deal with Katter and will prefer courting the other independents first as Katter will demand some unpalatable concessions for his support.

  2. A.Blot is pimping John Stone’s Del-con voting guides again. Stone seems to think with Tony at the helm they would be increasing the number of seats won, rather than losing them. Stone seems particularly certain that LNP will prevail so the baseball bats are out for those LNP MPs who support SSM.

    “Let us come then to our voting muttons. With few exceptions, Del-Cons don’t wish to see the government defeated, because (as The Spectator Australia editorialized last week) a Shorten-led Labor government is too horrible to contemplate. Since however there now seems no reasonable likelihood of that, Del-Cons can safely vote in pursuit of their objective. Doing so does not automatically mean “putting the Liberal last”; that only applies to those with the Mark of Cain upon them, who voted to oust Abbott last September (see ). There were originally 56 Liberal (including Liberal National Party) members in that category, but nine have since left the Parliament; in those latter cases one needs to examine their pre-selected replacements closely. In Mackellar, for example, the new Liberal candidate, Jason Falinski, is even further Left than Turnbull; so put him last.

    To recap, then, those “Rules of Engagement”, first for the House: (1) vote National wherever a National Party candidate is standing; (2) if your Liberal Party member was among those betraying their leader last September, put that person last – and last means last; but if not, then vote for him or her as usual. In the Senate, the same principles apply but, because of the different voting system, must be activated somewhat differently: (3) most importantly, vote below the line, filling in 12 squares but excluding anyone in the Coalition lists who betrayed Abbott. To illustrate, in NSW I propose to give my first four votes to the four Nationals listed on the joint ticket; then to three Liberals, but excluding Marise Payne, Arthur Sinodinos and (for other reasons) Hollie Hughes; and then to Family First, Christian Democrats, Australian Liberty Alliance, Liberal Democrats and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. Easy; just follow the Rules.”

    And the list of the LNP MP’s in Stones sights:

    It will be interesting to see what kind of impact this strategy has, if any.

  3. The Murdoch organ Courier Mail has an odd polling story, with dubiousness dripping from it. Would they publish misinformation?

    LABOR faces the horror prospect of failing to pick up any extra seats in Queensland and may even go backwards as nervous voters return to the Government after the Brexit economic shock.

    The Liberal National Party is likely to hold its most marginal seat in the country, the north Brisbane seat of Petrie, according to Labor-commissioned polling that shows a 3 percentage point swing away from the Opposition.

    The poll, conducted by Galaxy and commissioned by Queensland Labor, surveyed 400 voters in Petrie by phone on the weekend as the global economy reeled from Britain’s shock decision to leave the European Union.

    Labor’s primary vote has slumped by three per cent with most of this shifting to bolster the LNP’s support base.

    Minor parties attracted about 20 per cent of the vote, with Family First and the Greens the biggest winners although preferences from these parties may cancel each other out.”

  4. To the average punter like me, “$5 million, 20-strong public service taskforce set up to plan the outsourcing” of Medicare payments is serious effort. Why so many bums on seats for this? Mal dismissed it with a wave of his hand to counteract Shorten. Money wasted now, but perhaps saved in the long run.

    The US experience in private billing of public medical services offers a chilling warning of how the private sector can plunder the health budget if given the chance, Ms Faux has written on health blog Croakey.

    Plans for a private player to take over Medicare, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and even some Veterans’ Affairs payments date back to 2014, and were well advanced until being dumped this month by the Coalition, under pressure from Labor’s claim the Turnbull government was bent on full privatisation.

    It remains unclear what will happen to the $5 million, 20-strong public service taskforce set up to plan the outsourcing.

    Prior to dumping the plan, the Coalition argued the payments system was not related to patient care and outsourcing would not affect the core functions of Medicare.

    But Ms Faux, founder and managing director of one of the largest medical billing companies in Australia, is dismissive of those claims.

  5. The SmearStralian has its Gotcha, with Bill Shorten in a 2013 video saying he was relaxed about a plebiscite. The Liberal Party Dirt Unit are but a shadow of the past – I was expecting the dirt files to be emptied today – maybe tomorrow?

    A few unions boo stories.

    And in a marvel of Murdoch lies and deception, the Smear has calculated that Labor has spent 10 times more than the Coalition on the election. No wonder it is still close

  6. SPROCKET – What does a “Labor strategist” look like? Do they wear a special jacket. Sounds like a unicorn to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if polling on Brexit weekend showed a move to the Libs (e.g. the 2 per cent jump in newspoll as nervous “Others” shifted into the Lib column (or others who were ALREADY going to preference the Libs slipped into the Lib column). However, the question is whether they have held onto those gains as things calmed down. Got ma doubts.

  7. It occurred to me that, if the result goes the way it is looking, Labor will have won one election since 1993. It couldn’t win on a GST scare campaign, it couldn’t win on a “A vote for Howard is a vote for Costello” campaign, it couldn’t win on a work choices scare campaign and it couldn’t win on a medicare scare campaign. It won its big victory on a positive message and “its time for a change” type message.

  8. The two parties just the same? Who’s kidding?

    The Australian Conservation Foundation has eviscerated the Coalition’s environment policies, giving the Government just 14 out of a possible hundred points going into election day.

    The Coalition’s fail mark is less than a quarter of Labor’s score of 62, and around one seventh of the Greens leading score of 95. With less than a week until polling day, the Foundation will now refocus its efforts to “let Australians know where the parties stand,” saying it will send 50,000 text messages on election day.

    Commenting on the release of the scorecard this morning, ACF Chief Executive Officer Kelly O’Shannassy hit out at the Government for running a “small target strategy” on climate change, and noted “its mark of 14 is well below a pass”.

    To arrive at the scores, the parties were measured against the 40 points in the Australian Conservation Foundation’s National Agenda. The Coalition were definitively the least environmentally friendly party, and the only one which scored less than 50 points.

    Two crossbench groups which may prove influential after the election were also scored, with Glenn Lazarus receiving a score of 71, and the burgeoning Nick Xenophon Network bagging a mark of 54.

    The independent scorecard comes as the Coalition revives the carbon tax scare campaign and aggressively smears Labor’s environment policies, claiming the Opposition has been “infiltrated” by green activists.

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. There’s a hell of a lot to look at today!

    Overnight there was a suicide bombing attack on the airport in Istanbul airport killing at least 10 people. All flights have been suspended. Cue “BOATS!”.
    Lenore Taylor tells us that at the election campaign’s 11th hour sneaky tactics are trumping credible arguments.
    Michelle Grattan says the Coalition is squeezing the welfare lemon again.
    More from Lenore on the things that haven’t been getting too much attention during the campaigns.
    The PM pushes the panic button to protect Pruneface from Oakeshotte.
    Kate McClymont rakes over the coals of the once powerful but now convicted Eddie Obeid.
    Another SMH sleuth Michaela Whitbourne writes on Obeid’s prospects of doing porridge.
    The SMH editorialises that Obeid’s conviction is a victory for ICAC and the voters.
    The EU parliament heckles the hubristic and nasty Nigel Farage.
    Meanwhile the devastation of the share prices of European banks continues. Google.

  10. Section 2 . . .

    Ross Gittins tells us that the differences between the two major parties are nowhere near as stark as they would want us to believe. You have to get to the last paragraph to find the jewel.
    Peter Martin says that Morrison just played his get out of jail free card of unspecified savings from cracking down on welfare.
    Mark Kenny on the great effort of Shorten go get to where he is with this election.
    Affordable housing is a key election issue says the Anglican Primate of Australia.
    Rob Burgess in the giant contradiction in the PM’s economic plan.
    Morrison demonstrates why we are all so cynical about the SSM plebiscite. And so does Mesma.
    Here’s more on the SSM split in the Coalition. Looks like Peta Credlin’s on the money on this issue.
    Labor will not support a bill for the SSM plebiscite if in opposition.
    This is the sort of support that Bob Day is getting. Just imagine what this mob will come up with in the event of a SSM plebiscite! Google.
    “View from the Street” gets into the act about the culture wars about to be waged. My man Jamie Briggs gets a serve too.
    Yet another price reduction by Murray Goulburn puts the banks on debt watch for dairy farmers. Adele Ferguson calls for a clean out of the company’s board.

  11. Section 3 . . .

    Roger Corbett has quit his advisory role to Woolworths as it was taking up much more of his time than anticipated. Hardly surprising give the company’s track record in recent times.
    “Star” Liberal candidate and all round good guy Chris Jermyn faces criminal investigation by the AEC.
    A medical billing pioneer says that privatising Medicare claims processing would be a “licence to steal” for big companies.
    Waleed Aly takes aim at negative gearing and backs Labor’s policy on it.
    Ben Eltham has written that Brexit is a mark against scaremongering, not democracy.
    Bill Shorten makes an interesting point about Brexit and the roots of its success at the poll. More from Michelle Grattan.
    We have a mini-Brexit in SA as the large Marion Council votes to leave the Local Government Association. Google.
    Peter Wicks looks at O’Dwyer’s chances in Higgins.,9170
    Why it is right to legalise physician-assisted death.
    It’s time we stopped giving mothers a hard time over breastfeeding.
    Air Services Australia’s staff get gutted even further.

  12. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir and the battle of the porkies.

    A ripper from David Pope on the “stability” of the Coalition.

    Cathy Wilcox with Poptatohead responding to the alleged corruption within Immigration.

    Ron Tandberg and the Brexit hangover.

    Mark David and Turnbull’s trickle down economics.

    David Rowe takes us to see circus performer Scott Morrison.

    Just to show the tenor of The Australian during the election campaign have a look at this thing from Bill Leak.

  13. Shorten doing ok on RN. very calm not yelling although Fran Kelly is yelling at him.
    Geeez she loves to yell
    Can not believe this election is down to the wire ……budget is worse under the Coalition AND there would be investment in services Health and education, a better economy and services fairly clear choice.

    Just because you say there are doubts does not mean there are doubts – well said Bill, have to say to me he has been impressive through this campaign

  14. How banks issue loans:

    Richard Werner (Professor of International Banking, University of Southampton) has for a decade or two made it quite clear that banks don’t receive deposits and then pass them out as loans, rather they make the loans first, out of nothing. See his short video interview: Banking and the Economy and this one: Who creates the Money Supply?

    Now the Bank of England has admitted this is just what happens and in the latest Quarterly Bulletin 2014 Q1: Money creation in the modern economy spells it out, also repeating the message with a video from the gold vaults of the Bank.

  15. Morning all. Thanks BK for your usual thoroughness and clarity. Shorten is correct to highlight the reasons people voted for Brexit. Many are also conflating events to exaggerate Brexit’s impacts. There are problems with the solvency of Italian banks. They are not due to Brexit, but due to bad loans in Italy. I suspect every piece of bad economic news out of Europe in the next two years will be blamed on Brexit. We might as well blame the Wallabies losing if our dollar falls.

    Shorten has run a good campaign but it is not quite over the line. Let us hope for minority government and a new Senate balance to block the more evil of Liberal cuts, and to get SSM through when the Liberal far right try to block again in parliament what they hope to put off by a plebiscite.

  16. So Mark Riley on Sunrise says the privitisation of Medicare is inevitable? Seriously? No it’s not, we don’t want an American health system. Perhaps, just perhaps, some of those in business paid their fair share of taxes (yes, I work in one of the big banks and see lots of tax and financial returns) we as a society would be better off.

  17. Raaraa
    Why do you think there could only be 4-6 minor party/indie MPs? I think
    Katter, Bandt, Wilkie, McGowan, Oakeshott, Windsor and up to 3 Xenephon are all possible, plus two low odds chances of a second Green. I would say we will have at least six, probably more. X is strong odds for at least two in SA.

  18. So, trying to cheer myself up by clutching at straws, we have:
    The possibility of picking up extra seats in Tasmania;
    The combined margins of error in the 4 polls;
    A late swing in the last few days;
    Improved minor party preference flows;
    Better boots on the ground on polling day.

    Of course any of those could go the coalition’s way too.
    I figure I can only influence the last one, so I’ll be handing out HTVs in Parramatta on Saturday.

    One negative I can see is the changes to voting for the senate – I wouldn’t be surprised to see a higher informal rate in the house, just due to general confusion.

    Put me down for Coalition 79, others 6, Labor 65 and hoping like hell I’m too pessimistic.

  19. Morning all

    Bludgertrack is a real downer! Hope my overnight dream comes true. I dreamt last minute poll was 53/47 to team Labor!

  20. Goodness me…..meanwhile in UK politics

    Margo Kingston retweeted
    Thomas Penny
    5h5 hours ago
    Thomas Penny ‏@ThomasWPenny
    Being leader of any party is about holding together a coalition. Corbyn has failed to. If he runs again and wins the Labour Party is over.

  21. I think a lot could still happen between now and Saturday, but I will say Coalition 75, others 8, Labor 67. Unfortunately, with Katter right wing and Wilkie having been betrayed by Gillard over reigning in the gambling industry, I expect that will be enough for Turnbull to form a narrow but stable minority government.

  22. Victoria – Bludger tracker is based on a three or four pollsters who, if their methodologies are wrong repeat the same mistakes over and over. If Essential is right (and maybe Morgan – where is Morgan?) Labor is heading for a thumping win. If preferences from “Others” break labor’s way it will also be very interesting. I’m going to wait and see. Way too close to call.

  23. Needless to say, I take more comfort from the likely Senate than the HoR. There I think the Liberals DD plans will have backfired, as William’s analyses suggest. I suppose I can forget about any funding for the LRTtram extensions in Perth and Adelaide now, or the badly needed heavy rail tunnels in Brisbane and Melbourne. Pity, those projects make a lot of sense. Have a good day all.

  24. K17

    I havent given up yet. Still believe whatever happens Turnbull is toast and the coalition will be anything but a stable govt aftet the election. It is currently a house of cards ready to topple

  25. Would Labor be releasing that internal polling to claim underdog status? Also what’s the possible impact of the “anyone but Turnbull” stuff that’s doing the rounds on the fringe of the right wing?

  26. Victoria
    Gillard led a relatively stable government that passed a lot of legislation, despite Murdoch press fulminating to the contrary. I think Katter and Wilkie will give Turnbull the same. He may not pass much legislation, but he will stay PM. On these polls, Abbott will not be coming back, thankfully. Adieu.

  27. Victoria – Sprocket has already covered that above. It’s based on one 400 respondent galaxy poll in petrie. Interesting that is the ONLY poll that labor released. They are presumably trying to rally support by saying it’s backs to the wall. But if they are, why not polls from a lot of other seats.

  28. Shiftalong – Mark Riley reckons this is an underdog attempt. Ausdavo has been on here suggesting that it is quite possible that a lot of Abbott-supporters might spoil their ballots rather than vote for the the evil one.

  29. K17

    As said, marginal seats could go either way. Labor is no doubt rallying as much support as possible as the finish line approaches

  30. Oh, and as I said above, the poll referred to in the Courier Mail was taken when Brexit was at its peak. Of course voters who are phone polled and have to make a quick decision would have that on their minds. I think that also infects the latest Newspoll. But that is washing out of the system.

  31. I actually think that if Turnbull scrapes back in he will survive. It really depends on Sco-Mo’s ambition. Otherwise, why would they replace him? He’s now a walking talking puppet for the right wing. He’s the only one remotely credible front man (which says a lot). But his credibility will be shot and he will basically be a lame duck with a hostile senate.

  32. Morning all.

    Bludgertrack shows the coalition winning 80 seats, which gives them a clear majority. Will Turnbull survive as PM though? I’m not as confident as Socrates that Abbott won’t be back as we’ve seen hints from him recently that he intends to do everything he can to come back.

  33. Could edible food packaging be part of the solution to the problem of waste?

    We meet inventor David Edwards of Le Laboratoire and Café ArtScience in Cambridge, MA, who has developed and commercialized a form of edible packaging that keeps yogurt or ice-cream contained for fifty days, even after being rinsed under the tap.

    In this episode, we explore the science behind his invention, but also the challenges that mean that, for now, his edibly packaged products are still sold in a box. And, with listener help, we explore the burgeoning “unpackaged” movement, in which individuals and small businesses are trying to reduce waste by reinventing the process of grocery shopping.

  34. If bludgertrack is on the money with 5.5% in WA then the Shorten Campaign in WA would be a massive fail. 9.5 / 10 and talk of stirling being in play were a little unrealistic I thought, and labor has clearly being running completely dead in both Pearce and Stirling so they didn’t believe that kind of number for a second but really 5.5% in WA off that base in these conditions is abysmal. You would almost think the clowns that run WA labor were in charge.

  35. Let me rephrase that: logic would suggest that, if Turnbull scrapes back in, he should remain as leader. However, logic will probably have nothing to do with it!
    However, Parliamentary gridlock will suit the libs. They will be able to sit back and watch government decay, as they have always wanted.

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