BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor

The Track is back, as Essential Research moves a point in favour of the Coalition.

The only new poll this week was the usual fortnightly rolling average result from Essential Research, which moved a point in favour of the Coalition on two-party preferrred, leaving Labor’s lead at 51-49. On the primary vote, the Coalition was up one to 40%, Labor steady on 36%, the Greens down one to 8%, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation steady at 6% and the Nick Xenophon Team steady at 3%. However, the big news so far as this post is concerned is the post-election return of BludgerTrack, which opens its account with 17 data points to work from – three from Newspoll, and 14 from Essential Research.


Each pollster is bias-adjusted based on the difference between the election result and a trend measure of their voting intention numbers at that time, with the results halved to account for the likelihood that they will tweak their methodology rather than persist in their existing errors. On this basis, the adjustments for Newspoll are +0.0% for the Coalition, 0.2% for Labor and +0.0% for the Greens, while those for Essential Research are respectively -0.7%, +0.5% and -0.1%. For the time being, results are being weighted according to a formula that gives each pollster equal weight over the full course of the present term, so that the more prolific a pollster is, the less weight its polls will be given. On this basis, the weighting for a single Essential poll is currently 0.071, while a Newspoll gets one-third.

This means the dominant data point so far as the current reading is concerned is last week’s Newspoll, which was published as 52-48 to Labor, but came out at 52.7-47.3 after 2016 election preferences were applied to the bias-adjusted primary vote. This is why the current BludgerTrack reading is a little more favourable to Labor than you might expect, given the run of recent polling. Preferences are allocated according to the results of the July election, there presently being no other option, but I will eventually move to a method that splits the difference between previous election preferences and a trend measure of respondent-allocated preferences, if and when Ispos and ReachTEL provide enough such data to make it worthwhile. Such an approach would have been almost perfectly accurate at the recent election, although the previous election method has generally performed better in the past. The leadership results go back to the start of Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership in mid-September last year – note that no change is recorded in the “last week” column at this point, owing to the lack of new results this week.

Further poll stuff:

• After numerous polls finding the public favouring a referendum to solve the same-sex marriage question, a follow-up result from last week’s Newspoll found 48% favouring a “politicians decide&148; options versus 39% for a plebiscite in February. This week’s Essential Research gave respondents an option between “the government should agree to a vote in parliament” and “the Labor Party, Greens and Xenophon Team should agree to a plebiscite”, with respective results of 53% and 24%.

• Both pollsters also asked how they would vote in a referendum, with Newspoll finding 62% to 32% in favour of yes, and Essential coming in at 58% to 28%. Essential also found 49% believed such a vote should be binding on parliament, with 26% preferring the alternative option of leaving parliamentarians with a free vote.

• Essential posed a series of questions on the National Broadband Network, which found 42% favouring “the Labor plan” and 27% “the Liberal government’s plan”; only 22% saying the NBN would “adequately meet Australia’s future Internet requirements”, with 47% saying it wouldn’t; and 88% agreeing the internet was “becoming an essential service”, with only 7% disagreeing.

• Fifty per cent rated the level of immigration to Australia over the past 10 years as too high, 12% as too low and 28% as about right, while 44% opposed the recently announced increase in the annual refugee intake, with 39% supportive. Relatedly, Essential recently released widely publicised results on Muslim immigration and Pauline Hanson from its survey of July 27 to August 1. This found 49% supporting a ban on Muslim immigration versus 40% opposed, and strong majorities supporting the propositions that Hanson was “speaking for a lot of ordinary Australians” (62% to 30%) and “talks about issues other politicians too scared to tackle” (65% to 28%).

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.

1,021 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.0-48.0 to Labor”

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  1. What a nice bunch of Bludgertracks to wake up to in the morning! : )

    I especially like the Net Sat., and the carafe-shaped ‘Preferred Prime Minister’ will do for the moment. Steady as she goes in a positive direction for the Red team for that one.

    Newspoll next week should be interesting, with an uptick for the Coalition in Essential, will we see it reflected in Newspoll, or will there be reaction to Turnbull’s apalling behaviour around the SA Storm and Renewables issue? Not to mention the indecent behaviour of Brandis.

  2. An analysis of trolls and what makes them tick, and what to do about them.

    The skinny, as most here know, is to ignore them. Sometimes hard, though.

  3. Thanks William.
    Nice, the seat projection is 79-66.
    At least this time the ‘sophomore’ effect is working Labor’s way.

  4. Morning all. I was right – the Underpants 9 got off with an apology and no conviction recorded. Not even a fine. This article saying their priveleged background did them no good completely misses the point. A British woman who stripped in a far less public spot a few years ago was convicted and served several days in jail.
    What will the 9 learn? That if they do something wrong, the entire foreign affairs department will be used to get them off any consequences.

  5. And the ABC have swung in behind the government again today, now describing Solicitor General, Justin Gleeson’s position as ‘untenable’.

    WTH! He’s the one who has told the truth!

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Quite a lot on the plate today!

    Michaela Whitbourn looks in to the mess Brandis has got himself into. Dreyfus has his foot on Brandis’s throat.
    Laura Tingle writes on Brandis getting no support from his staffers. Google.
    Mark Kenny writes about Brandis’s extraordinary ability to put himself in the dock.
    Tess Lawrence – Gleeson and Brandis at war. Well worth a read.,9565
    Tony Wright has some fun with the battle of the silks.
    Even the Coalition refused to swallow these banking excuses says Chris Johnson.
    Amy Remeikis nicely pulls apart the show trial that the banking inquiry was.
    And here is a short satirical review of the banking inquiry.
    Rob Burgess writes that the banks didn’t save Australia. They ate it!
    Banking executives could face accountability laws. Google.
    Eight things we learned from the banking inquiry.

  7. Section 2 . . .

    Woolworths can’t even get Masters to die properly.
    Victoria describes today’s COAG meeting as a stunt to sane Turnbull’s skin.
    Here’s Kristina Keneally’s take on the issue.
    I wonder what seat pitch JetStar has used to configure the aircraft.
    Paul McGeough on why some pundits say Trump is still in the running.
    Peter Lewis on how Turnbull’s NBN is unravelling. The article’s last sentence sums it up beautifully!
    A message for dickheads – pride and privilege only get you so far.
    “View from the Street” has a good look at the dickheads’ actions.
    Amanda Reade on ABC viewers going dark on Uhlmann’s effort on the SA blackout.
    Michael Pasco on how we do and don’t use credit card points.

  8. Sorry to hear that Rebecca Wilson sports commentator for the Daily tele has passed away. I always found her very entertaining.

  9. Section 3 . . .

    Greg Jericho has a good look at the latest report from the IMF.
    At last Pakistani women get some legal protection.
    A dose of leadership for the NSW Nationals.
    Another outsourcing decision illustrates the difference between price and cost.
    Richo points out that the failures of the two major parties is giving air to Hanson’s One Nation Party. Google.
    What is really going wrong with electricity.
    Trump has got FoxNews Republican boosters publicly arguing among themselves. delicious.
    The shady ACL spawns another organisation set up to fund legal action for SSM objectors.
    Careers Australia is another VET spiv outfit that has a legal fight in front of it.
    Jess Irvine steps in to support the concept of free trade.
    Kim Carr sets the record straight on the Ford Closure.

  10. Section 4 . . .

    The former Dick Smith CEO gets a bit vague at yesterday’s court hearing.
    Trump is right when he talks about America’s “third world airports”.
    The days of the Palmer United Party could well be numbered.
    Soon to be outgoing One Nation senator Culleton unloads a rambling attack on the judiciary after another court loss.
    The SMH editorial comes out and calls for the RSY president to set aside.
    This article says we do need to introduce a sugar tax to help fight the scourge of childhood obesity.
    How Australians justify stealing at supermarkets.

  11. Meanwhile there is a serious Hurricane bearing down on the coast of Florida. 1.5 million people have either been ordered to evacuate or recommended that they leave their homs.

  12. Section 5 . . . Cartoon Corner pt 1

    What a little beauty from Matt Golding!

    And another! This time on the plebiscite.

    David Rowe does a nice job on Brandis here.

    Sean Leahy has Abbott on an urgent diplomatic mission to Malaysia.

    And so does Roy Taylor.

    Alan Moir goes right off on the baking inquiry!

  13. Section 6 . . . Cartoon Corner pt 2

    Matt Golding passes on a message from the banking Big 4.

    They are all at it! Here’s Peter Broelman’s take on it.

    Andrew Dyson has a nice one too.
    Matt Davidson looks at the US election opponents.
    Mark Knight uses the cyclone descending on Florida to issue a Trump warning.
    John Kudelka on the installation of the new UN Secretary-General.

  14. The passing of Rebecca Wilson is sad. The suggestion that she was a trailblazer for women in sports journalism has some superficial appeal and may hark back to her days with Tony Squires on the Fat.
    Her later career, however, was NewsCorp deluxe. Anti-football as an example.
    Her final months, regrettably, involved guest sessions on Alan Jones’ program agreeing with whatever line he was pushing.

  15. Thanks BK. Regarding Brandis, his position does look weak, and not for the first time. But if he is a Turnbull supporter, can Malcolm afford to drop him? How close are the numbers, given Abbott’s statement in London?

  16. As for the banking “inquiry” BK and others have already said it. Farcical. It was a whitewash, with the government handing the banks the paintbrushes. Have a good day all.

  17. The untenable stuff is not the ABC view but this legal academic (yawn) as reported in AFR

    My point being, that the ABC has many sources it can use to form the editorial opinion, and it chose that one.

  18. Thanks BK – a plethora of riches. Or something.
    There are two intractable problems for the Coalition in the energy debate and Turnbull, Frydenburg and Co have put their feet right in both with their stupid statements about the roll out of renewables.
    1) The renewable targets set by SA, Victoria the ACT etc are completely achievable. Both, however, make the federal non-target on emissions reduction very bad.
    2) The grid, the absolute heart of energy security, needs to be upgraded and made more intelligent. Energy security will come from many distributed sources of renewable generation. Only problem is that the Libs have flogged the grid off. So if you thought the carbon tax was a big deal, wait until we have to start paying the offshore owners of the grid for the new development required.
    Kristina K nails it in her article:

    Second, “energy security” appears to be Frydenberg’s shorthand way of saying that Australia needs to ensure that its infrastructure – poles and wires and baseload supply in our national energy market – is sufficient to withstand major weather events. Sounds benign, doesn’t it?

    For example, a second interconnector in South Australia might have kept the lights on in part of the state during last week’s once-in-50-year storm. But at what cost? And who is going to pay for it?

    Remember that much of that infrastructure in SA and around the country now sits in private ownership – thank you, Liberal state governments.

    Either the Turnbull government stumps up the cash for these private sector companies (yeah, right) or it faces the wrath of voters when their electricity bills jump ever higher to pay for the upgrades the federal government requires.

    So much for Tony Abbott’s efforts to save households all that money on their electricity bills by removing the carbon tax.

  19. Pamela Williams’ story about photios a few days ago in the Oz is amazing – how photios was excluded from pre-selections (because he was a lobbyist) but voted anyway holding a proxy. Come on Massola. Show what a good journo you are. This is a wonderful story to get your teeth into.

  20. Shorter banks: OK, OK, we admit we’re foxes and we’re sorry we’re foxes, but now we’ve said that, you can trust us to clean up the hen house.

  21. Thank you, K-17 for providing a heads-up on that Photios story. It appears he is Turnbull’s Numbers Man. NSW Liberal State Conference should be an interesting spectacle as two worlds collide.

  22. Re the NBN.
    (I am just about to get fixed wireless NBN to replace Telstra mobile data which will save about $500/m,th in data charges.)
    If Bludgers agree the sale of the poles and wires was a bad idea, what about the proposed sale, down the track of the NBN?
    Planning ahead, I am launching a movement, and have thought of a catchy acronym.
    Short for: “There is no way you are going to sell the NBN to Telstra or any other spivs you arseholes”.
    If anyone can think of something catchier I’d like to here about it.

  23. FFS AM totally ignores the biggest political story of the week and does renewables yet again.

    Does anyone still not believe that the ABC political coverage is nothing other than a publicity arm of the government?

  24. It’s official. The AFL has been dragged kicking and screaming into admitting that the Flag is tainted by shit umpiring.

  25. Highest free kick differential by percentage in the history of the grand finals. Says it all, really.
    There should be a replay of the Grand Final to find out which team really is the best.
    This should be after Hannebury recovers from the knee that was wrecked after the umpires ignored persistent below-the-knee sliding free kicks (see AFL official Review) by Dogs players against Swans players.
    Given the tens of millions of dollars were gambled on the game there should also be an official investigation into possible links between one particular umpire out of the three umpires who was obviously the chief exponent of consistently perverse umpiring on the day.

  26. Rod Cullerton may devolve into these characters who hung around Queens’ Square for a time. Here is an account of Mr Wilson trying to arrest a judge in court.

    [I asked Mr Wilson whether he had any other applications. He asserted, “You are breaking the law and I will arrest you” and he moved forward towards the Bench. I said, “Very well. Remove him please” to a Sheriff’s officer in the vicinity. Mr Wilson ignored this and said, “I will arrest you” and then said to the Sheriff’s officer, “This fellow is breaking the law and you are aiding and abetting that offence”. I said, “Mr Wilson, go. When you have a proper application I will hear what you have to say”. Mr Wilson said, “You won’t hear anything. I will issue a warrant for your arrest Mr Adams”. I said, “There are rules (of conduct) in Court”. He said, “You are a fraud and a liar”. I mentioned that there were real matters to be determined. He said “A traitor and a fraud” and I directed his removal at which time Mr Wilson said, “I will issue a warrant for your arrest. Expect it.”
    During the whole of this time the Court was in uproar. The persons who had attended to
    support Mr Wilson and Mr Jury were yelling abuse at me and at the Sheriff’s officer.
    There were references also to their right to trial by jury, Magna Carta, the United Nations
    and so on. I have no doubt that for some who were lawfully in the Court it was a
    frightening experience. It was disgraceful conduct.]

  27. As the owner of two greyhounds, one of which was rescued, severely malnourished and scared if everything, from an illegal breeder and another surrendered because he wasn’t racing material, I find it upsetting that the NSW ALP is pushing so hard to defend the industry with little, as far as I can tell, resistance from within.

    I don’t think I can support the ALP if it wants to push Greyhound racing, and just adds to a huge list of issues I have with the NSW ALP and its leader. I’m glad I live in Victoria.

  28. Those St. Pat’s Strathfield boys sure know how to cause trouble.

    First the Obeids and their obese lawyer mate, then their nemesis at ICAC, Geoffrey Watson, plus a couple of others from the “other side” of ICAC, including a past school captain, the Fergusons, John Symonds, Craig Emerson, Tony Burke… and now Justin Gleeson.

    All the Old Boys mucking in on various sides of politics makes for an interesting alumni list.

    I remember Justin’s Dad, the very handsome and talented Gerry Gleeson Snr (himself no slouch in the public servant political interplay stakes) carrying me into my home from his car after footy one Saturday. Gerry had been “Designated Dad”, rounding up the team and taking them to and from the game. I was only little, probably about 10, and had twisted my ankle. Mum was extremely grateful. I was embarrassed as hell. Justin would still have been in kindy, if that. I’ve had a soft spot for that family ever since.

    All round good citizens, those Gleesons.


    Strange article. Reading between the lines, Hillary is in – but the author seems to bend over backwards to portray it as if she isn’t.

    I’ve said all along that there is an element in the reporting of the US election of “there really isn’t a contest here, but let’s pretend there is so we have something to write about.”

    For example, the article states that Trump’s main supporters are ‘likely voters’ versus Clinton’s being ‘registered voters’.

    In other words, his support is among people who ‘might vote’ versus hers being amongst those who ‘do vote’.

    He also comments that Trump’s vote has very likely maxed out (given the demographic he is appealing to) whereas Hillary still has a swag of potential voters to pick up…when she’s leading, anyway.

    Not so much reading between the lines as extrapolating out from some of the statements made, it would seem the Clinton strategy has been to get those who are traditionally reluctant to vote but lean Democrats (blacks, Hispanics) on board early and then, when everyone is really paying attention, to switch the target to the white, University educated, under 30 demographic (who are easier to both get on side and get out to vote) later.

    If that is true – and, as I said, I’m extrapolating, but it’s how I’m reading what’s going on from the information in the article – Clinton will make further gains as the election approaches and should win comfortably.

  30. Bugler
    The fact that greyhound rescue is a significant phenomenon here in NSW is a heck of a marker of a bad industry.
    I did some work for a poor example of greyhound rescue where the volunteer hoarded the unwanted animals. They would, if given the chance, rip each other apart.

  31. Just noticed that Gerry Gleeson Jnr (who was in my class at St Pats) is now Reverend Dr Gerry Gleeson, Vicar-General of the Sydney Archdiocese.

    A family of achievers, those Gleesons. Sporting a pedigree like that, I doubt whether Justin will have too much trouble with the toadlike pissant Brandis.

  32. For example, the article states that Trump’s main supporters are ‘likely voters’ versus Clinton’s being ‘registered voters’.

    In other words, his support is among people who ‘might vote’ versus hers being amongst those who ‘do vote’.

    Sorry Zoomster, it’s the other way round. Registered voters are people who are legally able to vote. Likely voters are a sub-group who expect to vote. Registered voters include both those who will vote and those who stay home.

    The point the author was making (from memory) was that Trump’s polling figures are largely made up of those who have decided to go out and vote for him. There is a pool of registered voters who might vote for him, Clinton, a third candidate or stay at home. These people are less likely to vote for Trump and are there for the taking by Clinton if she can enthuse them to come out and vote for her.

  33. SHELLBELL – Thanks for that. Reminds me of the crowd who say that the tax acts are all invalid because somebody didn’t use the Great Seal properly, or something like that. I’ve also seen a statement of claim in which it was pleaded that Magna Carta is part of Australian law because there is a copy of it hanging on the wall of Federal Parliament.

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