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. So am I correct in thinking that according to Riley the Liberals privatising Medicare is both an inevitably AND nothing but a dirty Labor scare campaign?

  2. Rob Oakeshott ‏@RobOakeshott1 · 12h12 hours ago

    Automated phone messages saying “Protect Medicare-vote Oakeshott” r now happening.I might agree, but it is not me.Whoever it is,please stop.

  3. ratsak @ #51 Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 8:46 am

    So am I correct in thinking that according to Riley the Liberals privatising Medicare is both an inevitably AND nothing but a dirty Labor scare campaign?

    His thinking must be Labor is running scare campaign about something that will be brilliant so the dirty scare campaign is wrong.

  4. Age pensioners and welfare recipients will pay for the coalition’s election grab bag of tennis courts, toilet blocks and closed-circuit television cameras.

    The headline is a very bad look for the govt. Wouldn’t it be great to see this cost some marginal Libs their seats just like those single parent households did to Brough in 2007.

  5. Few people appreciate that political journalists don’t really have any special insights to the public mind. They’re guessing as much as anyone, just as financial journalists tend to talk about what has already happened in the market as if it is a guide to what happens next.

    Events can occur. Polls can change. The public mood is not singular or simple. People’s appreciation of issues as they affect them is often much keener and deeper than many journalists give them credit for. But reporting depth and nuance and complexity is hard. It’s much easier to host a half-hour of thumb-sucking “analysis” of the latest Newspoll.

    Keep that in mind next time you hear some smartarse on TV telling you it’s all over.

  6. Good morning all,

    The Courier Mail has the polling story on its front page. It refers to a poll of 400 taken in the Brisbane seat of Petrie over the weekend.

    Irrespective of the reliability of such single seat polling internal polling is released to serve the purpose of the particular party. So it could be to promote the underdog meme or it could be for some other agenda. Who knows but it is always done for a particular purpose. So no need to get our knickers in a knot.

    Re the state of play with polling. Fairfax/ Ipsos , Newspoll etc will all be with us very shortly so until then nothing is set in concrete. So once again until we get a look at those polls no need to get our knickers in a knot.


  7. While I assume that labor has rerleased the bad poll for a good reason, I have to say that here in Brisbane I am not getting a positive vibe. It truly is like 2010 revisted. i do not know why. Mind you it is possible that the Libs atre also getting poor vibes so it is a “hate them all” sort of mood.

    I am hoping that the country areas are much, much stronger for Labor.

  8. Doyley

    I think that Petrie is one seat that could be heavily affected by the “sophomore” effect. Remember that in 2010 Yvette D’Arth managed to hand on against the odds and only just lost in 2013. I think that there was a huge personality factor working here so that Petrie is actually NOT as marginal a seat as the raw pendulum suggests. D’Arth is now Qld Attorney General (and seems to be very, very good).

    I am not counting on Petrie for a Labor win. On the other hand Flynn which was once way down the list may be a very real hope.

  9. ABC Current Affairs
    1h1 hour ago
    ABC Current Affairs ‏@amworldtodaypm
    “Brexit shows what happens when you have the conservative side of politics divided.” – @AlboMP

  10. As revealed by Fairfax Media last week, the party inappropriately used Ms Turnbull’s position as the head of a NSW Government planning body, the Greater Sydney Commission, to promote a $3000-a-head women-only boardroom lunch hosted by Senator Michaelia Cash and and another event in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

    Both events billed Ms Turnbull in her planning role which is apolitical. Ms Turnbull said at the time she believed she had been invited to the lunch as the Prime Minister’s “consort”.

    “I’m not here in my role as a public official,” she told Fairfax Media minutes before the $3000-a-head boardroom discussion on gender equality with some of Sydney’s most influential businesswomen.

    Attendees included Diane Smith-Gander, the former head of detention centre contractor Transfield.

    The Liberal Party has ignored a number of enquiries about how much was handed over to St Vincent de Paul as a result of its public apology to Ms Turnbull and its promise not to use the fundraiser proceeds for political purposes.

    But the charity has welcomed a $40,000 donation.

  11. Having private businesses provide services to government is not privatization. The ADF in the past three decades have many things now done by private organisations that used to be done by ADF personnel – no one is claiming that the ADF has been privatized.
    Getting the best value for the taxpayer’s dollars is in the interest of the vast majority (except the CPSU) and private business is much better at being efficient than the government.
    If Australia is to maintain a government funded health care safety net then given the rate of inflation of health care costs there is an imperative to ensure that the most efficient and effective means are used to deliver that safety net. Protecting CPSU and ANF holy grails imperils the public safety net . Not doing so will mean that there are less service at a higher cost.
    The Hawke-Keating government knew this and their HECS reforms in Education Funding have been critical in ensuring a sustainable Higher Education Funding model – although it clearly now needs further work to improve both efficiency and effectiveness.

  12. I don’t understand how the Coalition’s numbers keep going up on the BT when if anything they seem fairly stagnant (and dropping in places)?

    Ah well. Saturday shall reveal all.

  13. victoria @ #61 Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 8:59 am

    ABC Current Affairs
    1h1 hour ago
    ABC Current Affairs ‏@amworldtodaypm
    “Brexit shows what happens when you have the conservative side of politics divided.” – @AlboMP

    And they are still bitterly divided, one Tory leave MP accused a Tory remain MP, who addressed Pro-EU protesters today, of being drunk because she had come out of a bar. Division in parties can take a long time to heal, it can fester and reappear again very quickly.

  14. I believe the final Newspoll for 1993 had it 50.5-49.5 to Hewson but the final was 51.5% to Keating. If Fairfax still has ALP in lead this week and we have essential then it will be two for ALP & two for the Libs. Could go either way but where the leaders are in next 3 days will give an indication. Shorten in Gilmore yesterday which needs much more than current NSW swing maybe a pointer.

  15. Good Moring

    I see briefly is copping some flak for being abusive. I do not find this so. I have very very robust arguments with him on the Greens and some other issues.

    However we disagree on those issues he is still a gentleman and we can and do agree on other issues.

    This is how it should be. As many have said an echo chamber benefits no one.

  16. More bad news for the govt! I too don’t understand why the polls keep strengthening for them.

    West Australian doctors say regional after-hours clinics face closure from Friday, warning they are not financially viable in the wake of Federal Government funding changes.

    In July last year the Federal Government abolished 61 Medicare Locals — regional primary healthcare organisations — replacing them with 31 Primary Health Networks.

    During this overhaul a funding provider, known as the Practice Incentive Payment (PIP) Program, was tasked with subsidising after-hours services.

    For the past 12 months the health networks have been providing additional funding to services, but from July 1, this assistance will permanently stop, and services will be forced to rely solely on the PIP program.

  17. victoria
    Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Oh FFS! Albo isn’t that stupid so it must be one of his teenage staffers tweeting. The fact is that it was UK Labour voters who got Brexit across the line.

  18. Victoria, the UK Labour Party has been divided for a while, they never truly united behind Corbyn and now they have the excuse they needed to revolt. Corbyn partially named a new shadow cabinet but now that has started resigning as well. He is going nowhere and there is still a chance he will be reelected as leader.

  19. brexit might be tampa of this election – the looming threat that causes economic xenophobia … although i hope not – finally bill is not memorable or engaging enough, although his steadiness might have own strength – no leaders’ debates..

  20. FWIW Katharine Murphy’s POV via her Facebook page:

    Malcolm Turnbull is vulnerable on the marriage equality plebiscite. The divisions between the Liberals are on display in this final week, giving voters a less than reassuring glimpse of the future. This is a very serious fight, and if voters are looking closely they will register that it’s not just a testy conversation about a single issue, it’s a proxy fight about the exercise of power post-election. If Malcolm Turnbull wins on Saturday, he’d better hope the victory is emphatic.
    Bill Shorten is vulnerable on a few fronts: a story has surfaced in The Australian which records him supporting a marriage equality plebiscite two years ago (and his explanation for this on Radio National just a little while ago wasn’t particularly compelling given surely the explanation (if you are telling it straight) is surely dead simple: I’ve changed my mind; but his biggest vulnerability in my view is not one newspaper story but his loss of momentum in this final week. While Turnbull is narrowing and simplifying his final pitch to voters, Shorten is bouncing between a bunch of fragments.

  21. Compact Crank

    Do you even understand how Brexit came about? Cos if you did, you would know that it was David Cameron promising referendum to appease those within his party and right wing nj leader of UKIP. Then having his right hand man and supposed friend Boris Johnson campaigning to leave.

  22. victoria @ #72 Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 9:09 am

    The word is Derryn Hinch may not be eligible to run for senate due to his prior conviction

    If that is the case then why was his candidature accepted by the AEC and why was he put on the ballot paper?
    Would it mean the Victorian senate election is invalid and would have to be redone?

  23. Albert Twoman
    Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 9:04 am

    What were the results of the No Confidence motion for Corbyn?

    I heard he was trying to recruit a cat that lives at Westminster to his Shadow Cabinet.

  24. Of course the Liberals will replace Turnbull in a flash if he doesn’t perform as well as they expected – which already is the case.

    Logic has nothing to do with it.

    For starters, the only reason that he was made leader was that he was popular with the electorate. If the empty chair was a viable challenger for Abbott, it was also a symbol that the party room preferred an empty chair to Turnbull.

    His popularity was sliding before the election, and taking the Libs down with it. The election, which effectively meant Turnbull wasn’t having to do any of that governing stuff, has caused this to plateau. After the election (win, lose or draw) the slide will resume, and Turnbull would lose his only asset.

    As for keeping him as a figurehead, why should they? If you’re going to tolerate an unpopular Prime Minister, then it may as well be one who thinks like you do, not one just going through the motions. An unpopular ScoMo or Abbott versus an equally unpopular Turnbull would be a no brainer for most Libs, particularly as they will ‘reason’ that it was Malcolm’s leftiness which lost them votes.

    We may well see the federal Libs change leaders more than once – certainly that will be the case if they’re on the Opposition benches.

    There isn’t the unity or the discipline in Coalition ranks to stop any of this happening.

  25. Albert Towman

    Agreed that Labour was already divided before the Brexit vote, but now the flesh wound has become a big gash

  26. Would it mean the Victorian senate election is invalid and would have to be redone?

    Hinch was on the WA Senate ballot paper as well.

  27. I see that Marriage Equality is biting. Someone probably from ACL leaked a video of Mr Shorten saying he had no problem with a plebiscite. Mr Shorten has today said yes he has changed his mind and outlined why.

    Big own goal. Voters have made the same journey. This says to them Mr Shorten is like me.

  28. I canno0t say that I follow the UK Labor Party closely but it seems a dangerous game to over rule the members. assuming the members (of this I am not sure) broadly represent the mood of thir electorates 9or the labor voting portion), to over ride them may cause disaster.

    Think about Scotland where the Labour MPs stuck fast against independence, leading to a total collapse in support and indeed probably the complete destruction of the Scottish Labor Party. I fear that Brexit may be a similar issue where the Labour MPs just misjudge the mood of their electorates.

  29. compact crank @ #78 Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Albert Twoman
    Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 9:04 am
    What were the results of the No Confidence motion for Corbyn?
    I heard he was trying to recruit a cat that lives at Westminster to his Shadow Cabinet.

    172 for the no confidence motion, 40 against, 4 abstained, 13 did not vote. The last is believed to have included some of his new partial shadow ministry.

  30. zoomster

    My view is that the coalition are holding it together for dear life until election is over. Will be fun and games all round in the next few months

  31. zoomster:

    The Senate is also a huge wild card. If it’s as or even more unwieldy than the one just dissolved it could well be a massive headache for the governing party to deal with. We know Abbott doesn’t have the skills to negotiate, odds are Morrison doesn’t either, and as you said Turnbull never really had to govern once he became leader, so who knows how he’d perform.

  32. ‘Would it mean the Victorian senate election is invalid and would have to be redone?’

    I don’t think so. A Pauline Hanson Senate candidate won a seat and then was found to be ineligible, and what happened was that the second person on the PHON ticket took her place.

  33. If its any consolation, i dont think there is any practical difference between the Coalition winning 75 seats and them winning 85 seats. In both cases, ALP within striking comfortable distance for 2019.

    I do think Shorten’s effort over the last 3 years is deserving of getting ALP to 65 seats at least just as a symbolic recognition of where he’s taken them from the debacle of 2010-13. I dont know what kind of performance puts his position in danger as a failure… I’d always thought of par for him at 62-63 seats or thereabouts, but this is all academic.

    One or two surprises (well probably 5 actually) both from ALP and non-majors to bring Coalition to 72-74 seats would be very welcome – but this is <20% probable if not even less imho.

    On the plus side, even if a majority in the Reps this Senate could be total madness and is really what increasingly matters. Coalition will need NXT and hopefully at least 2-3 more to pass anything and so the hope is that the rightish micros are not psychotic right (Hanson, FF) but the likes of Lambie, Lazarus who could oppose lots of stuff as they have already done. This alone will make it hard to govern remotely effectively and set things up nicely for Shorten in 2-3 yrs.

    The idea of ALP needing Green + NXT/right micros to pass anything really fills me with dread. Frankly i think it will do more long term harm than good to squeak out some minority governing situation this time around.

  34. Regarding Hinch

    I assume that while Hinch may not be able to be elected whoever is his second person on the ticket can take the spot.

    Labor had better take a very, very quick look at that person and consider if HTVs need to be reprinted. Hinch may be one thing but who the hell are his running mates.

  35. If the Labour MP’s continue ignoring the members then no matter who becomes leader the Labour party is dead.

    Remember the Chilcott report is coming out and supporting Blair is not a winning position.

  36. I laughed at Cameron’s quip in the HoC re’ welcoming a new Labour member for Tooting to the House – WTTE ‘You should keep your phone switched on as you may receive an offer to join the shadow ministry during the afternoon’.

  37. confessions
    Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 9:11 am
    Really? Is that it? Less than 3% of the population are LGBTI and only a minute percentage of them want to marry at any time so the SSM issue really is an extremely low order issue. I’m not sure SSM even gets into the top ten issues voters care about.

    So the ALP are hoping to win on SSM – which Shorten has now been shown to be a complete hypocrite with regard to Plebiscites on the issue – and Mediscare?

    Add to that their woeful budgetary outcomes and is it no wonder that Turnbull is making Shorten’s campaign look as effective as Gillard’s 2010 effort.

  38. Trying to find the most recent poll on bludgertrack graph. It seems to be ALP 2PP 48.5 ish.
    Am I to assume William adjusts the Essential by that much or hasnt it appeared on the graph.

  39. zoomster @ #88 Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 9:21 am

    ‘Would it mean the Victorian senate election is invalid and would have to be redone?’
    I don’t think so. A Pauline Hanson Senate candidate won a seat and then was found to be ineligible, and what happened was that the second person on the PHON ticket took her place.

    Thank you

  40. victoria
    Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I am fully aware of why and how the Referendum came about – the Wet Conservatives were threatened by the true conservatives and they tried to buy them off.
    Johnson has never been Cameron’s right hand man.

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