BludgerTrack: 53.2-46.8 to Labor

Sketchy though it is, the polling evidence so far this year suggests a turn for the worse for the Turnbull government.

BludgerTrack is being heavily determined at present by the two new year data points from Essential Research, but for what those data points are worth, they suggest the government may have entered a new phase in its polling fortunes. The latest result has wrenched two-party preferred almost a full point in favour of Labor, although this has only yielded a gain of one on the seat projection. The change is a straightforward result of Labor taking primary vote share off the Coalition, with One Nation failing to gain further ground for the first time in a while.

In other news, two by-elections loom in New South Wales:

• Mike Baird’s departure from the premiership and the parliament will result in a by-election for his seat of Manly. Labor is not competitive in the seat, which corresponds with Tony Abbott’s federal seat of Warringah, but it was held by independents for 16 years until Baird unseated David Barr in 2007. Potential Liberal preselection nominees identified in media reports include James Griffin, KMPG director and former Manly deputy mayor; Alex Dore, NSW Young Liberals president and management consultant; Natalie Ward, a private legal practitioner who relinquished a job as a political staffer in 2013 amid controversy over her marriage to David Begg, a co-principal of the lobbying firm associated with moderate powerbroker Michael Photios; Ron Delezio, founder of a hospital charity and father of Sophie Delezio, who suffered horrific injuries when a car crashed into a childcare centre in 2003; and Walter Villatora, a local party identity and advocate for preselection reform.

• The second New South Wales by-election will follow today’s resignation by Health Minister Jillian Skinner as the member for North Shore, ahead of her anticipated demotion to the back bench. North Shore neighbours Manly to the west, and is similarly solid in its conservatism. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Liberal preselection contestants may include Felicity Wilson, a former Property Council executive, and Tim James, former chief of staff to Energy Minister Anthony Roberts.

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.

2,217 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.2-46.8 to Labor”

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  1. Another Russian turns up dead

    John Schindler retweeted
    olexander scherba
    5h5 hours ago
    olexander scherba ‏@olex_scherba
    #Bolotov, separatist leader who recently blew whistle on #Russia shelling residential areas around #Luhansk, suddenly dies in #Moscow. #LNR
    Embedded image

  2. OK

    I sometimes wonder if some of you have any political grasp at all.

    I am not going to sing praises for Trump, but those of you carrying on about his folly re the ‘fake” votes, seem not to fully understand what a clever tactic it is/was. By this simple, seemingly silly act, the Trump forces have undermined the Democrat’s “its the Russians.” Now there will be an inquiry. Both parties will lose some skin but it will ultimately fizzle out.

    You can argue as to whether it was an accidental tweet that had or will have a beneficial effect for trump or some cleverly planned strategy. I opt for somewhere in the middle. Trump like all showmen has an instictive grasp of what works politically. Not clever or strategic but cunning.

  3. dtt

    ‘I am not going to sing praises for Trump…’

    Well, that would be a nice change.

    ‘Trump like all showmen has an instictive grasp of what works politically.’

    Ah, didn’t last long…

  4. …anyhoo, I don’t think anyone here commented on the subject from the view of whether or not it was smart politics, but more about what it shows about Trump’s fragile ego, his poor grasp of priorities, and his lack of discipline and focus.

  5. [Fulvio Sammut
    Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 9:48 am
    I unreservedly apologise for that weak pun.]

    Grudgingly accepted.
    Personally I didn’t think the Waterford glass jaw had the right ring to it.

  6. What is Trump to do? He is being told by his own party that he can’t cash the cheque for Putin

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan are drawing a hard line against easing sanctions on Russia, issuing stern warnings ahead of President Donald Trump’s first official communication with Vladimir Putin since his inauguration last week.

  7. Since we know (fact!) that Trump lies ~70% of the time, Theresa May and the 100% behind NATO promise from Trump should be taken with a 70% grain of salt.

  8. I give May credit for making Trump re affirm the statements he made to her in public. Not necessarily a guarantee that he’ll stick by them, of course.

  9. Not sure how to link it but there’s a cute pic of the Queen wearing one of Trump’s red caps with the words “Make America Great Britain Again”.

  10. Guytaur @ 10.09 am
    I don’t know so much……nobody on the right that I have read makes the nice distinction between “neo” Liberalism and Liberalism. This lot just talk in terms of Liberalism. The instance of the Russians aiming to throw away protection of women to so-say strengthen the family from within, is that according to some Russian parliamentarian this morning on BBC, is that he/they did not believe in the “liberalism” of the West. To them it is one and the same………at least at society level. His words could have come from some single-minded Republican from the Deep South of the US. The way they chime the same tinkle to me suggests they see liberalism as their enemy whether looking West from Moscow or North from Texas.

  11. ‘I sometimes wonder if some of you have any political grasp at all.’

    Figures. A brave iconoclast, refusing to bow to mediocre mainstream thinking, will never succumb to the groupthink of lesser mortals.

  12. Sorry guys – but the ‘sweeping statements’ about how others feel is a bit OTT.

    Unless DTT is a member of the ALP and works actively in the organisation, I think I’ll take Zoomster and C@t’s opinions over yours.

    From what I hear … which I admit is more limited than Zoom’s and C@t’s few within ALP are complaining about Shorten even if they don’t personally like him.

    That journo’s comments about Shorten on ‘health and education’ must have been asleep between 2010 and 2013 where Shorten did very good work on both those fronts.

    I am not fussed on who is Labor leader tbh … I just want someone who is articulate and possesses the qualities to instill unity within Labor. Shorten has done that. If he becomes PM I will not be ashamed to have him speak on the world stage.

    And apart from the zingers (which don’t bother me as they are meant to be like ‘dad jokes’) Shorten comes across as knowledgeable, articulate and a damn sight more authentic than Mr Schmooze Turnbull.

  13. Zoomster

    As evidenced by McCain, McConnell, and Speaker Ryan, they are basically telling Trump that any attempts by him to go off the reservation, will be met with more than an idle threat.

  14. Adrian

    Quite. Sometimes group think is correct. Sometimes sound like Monty Python’s dead parrot.

    In the simple single case I mentioned there were many carrying on a bloody treat about how silly it was. Certainly it was repetitive and blustery, but the ONLY measure that matters is the political impact.

    It seems to me that many, indeed most here on PB have a stock standard Labor/Democrat mindset. Fairly progressive socially but centre right economically. Gays and wimmin is good, religion bad. Market good, socialism bad. USA good, Russia bad. If it does not fit the stereotype they fall into “don not compute” mode.

  15. I t appears that DTT is going to devote the next four years to finding ways to rationalise Trump’s erratic, right wing, buffoonery. She is going to be very busy 🙂

  16. Oh FFS DTT, when are you going to stop with the generalisations?

    Seriously, can you not think beyond labels? Can you stop trying to pigeonhole everyone here according to your perspective? Can you not understand that ‘thinking outside the box in your assessments’ does not make your arguments more valid.

    I recommend a book – Malcolm Gladwell’s “the Wisdom of Crowds”

  17. Jen

    I am a member of the ALP and have been actively involved for some 45 years and connected for 10 years before that.

    Cat is a fully paid up member of the NSW right faction and as such sees everything from that perspective. GG is proudly of the Victorian right. Zoomster, although an independent has very close ties with Stephen Conroy who in turn has close ties with Shorten.
    Certainly their opinion is worth having, but it is still all a voice from the right wing of the ALP.

    There is also a left, of which I am a member. Although now very outdated, my connections were once top of the line – practically the very top so I do have a pretty good feel as to how the LEFT think. Which is precisely what I was saying.

    I think as it happens, Shorten is doing a pretty good job but that does not mean that the entire Left thinks the same. I have not recently heard any disquiet, but as I say I am a bit out of touch. My comments relate to the 2012 period, when there is no doubt whatsoever that Shorten was widely distrusted by the left.

  18. DTT

    You dress it up. However there is NO DOUBT. The Labor left is not in despair. Looking like you are winning and have a good chance of sitting on the Treasury Benches tend to inspire hope.

  19. Abbott with yet more helpful advice for Turnbull:

    Senate gridlock is making Australia increasingly resemble Italy, former prime minister Tony Abbott believes.

    Mr Abbott is proposing a constitutional referendum be held to enable governments to govern, so a joint sitting of both houses can take place to pass deadlocked bills without a double-dissolution election.

  20. dtt

    ‘ Certainly it was repetitive and blustery, but the ONLY measure that matters is the political impact.’

    No. That is not the only measure that matters. If you think that, you are far, far more blinkered than many of the posters here you’re dissing.

    ‘Gays and wimmin is good, religion bad. ‘

    I admire people of faith. I just don’t have it.

    Gays and wimmin – like any group ignorant people stick labels on and then talk as if they’re homogenous – are sometimes good and sometimes not. Generalisations are useful tools but should be used carefully (like all tools).

    ‘Market good, socialism bad.’

    Sometimes the market is good, but it is best tempered with socialism. Many of our bedrock services – unemployment benefits, aged pensions – came about as a recognition of this. That those who live by the market still accept these (even if they want to reduce them) shows how sensible and essential that approach is.

    ‘ USA good, Russia bad.’

    Haven’t believed either since I was very young. I wrote a scathing assessment of US foreign policy when I was about fifteen, and I probably wouldn’t change a word of it. I’ve had a mixed attitude to Russia for most of my life – my father couldn’t return to his home country because it was under Russian rule, but I do recognise that my grandparents (who, for that reason, I never met) had a better standard of life under the Russians than they did with self rule.

  21. DTT

    There is also a left, of which I am a member

    Haha…I bet your fellow left members aren’t aware that you are a Trump apologist.

  22. dtt

    ‘Certainly their opinion is worth having, but it is still all a voice from the right wing of the ALP.’

    No, it is not. Because I am independent, I have friends from all factions. Thus I deliberately referred to my LEFT friends opinion of Shorten.

    ‘My comments relate to the 2012 period, when there is no doubt whatsoever that Shorten was widely distrusted by the left.’

    Left MPs – that is, those who actually knew him and worked with him – broke ranks to vote for Shorten, even though it meant a backlash from their own faction.

    That doesn’t justify Waterford’s assertion, which you were arguing for. No leader of any party probably ever gets 100% support from every party member. The assertion by Waterford was that there was wide distrust of Shorten across factions. If there is SOME distrust of Shorten in one faction, Waterford is obviously wrong.

  23. Jen

    Simple answer NO

    If people behave in a group think way I will call them out for it. If you do not like being pigeon holed, fly the coop.

  24. …let alone, any reference to the situation within the party in 2012 is scarcely relevant when assessing whether a writer’s claims about the party NOW are accurate.

  25. PHON kicks out third Queensland election candidate,leaving him very unhappy:

    A ONE Nation candidate whose website posted a conspiracy-laden article alleging the Port Arthur massacre and the death of a Syrian toddler who drowned at sea were fabrications, has been dumped by the party.

    Peter Rogers was dumped as the party’s candidate for the seat of Mulgrave on Friday night, two weeks after the controversial post came to light.

    As well as claiming the Port Arthur massacre was a hoax, the blog post also alleged the three-year-old Syrian refugee who washed up on a beach in 2015 was alive and well.

  26. Zoomster

    Why do you have to always personalise things. My comments were not in fact directed at you or only in passing. I do not see you as especially a group thinker.

    I specifically noted you are an independent. The trouble with any Victorian saying they have colleagues on the left, the obvious question is which particular sub-faction of the left are we referring to.

  27. dtt

    ‘Why do you have to always personalise things..’

    Um, I didn’t; I’m responding to your statements about me. And, like you, if something appears incorrect to me, regardless of who makes the comment, I think it should be challenged.

  28. Zoomster

    Why also do you take every comment out of context and wildly exaggerate what I say. I was simply pointing out that Waterford was talking a line about Shorten that rang to me as typical of the sort of comments made in 2012 and 2013. In the same post I commented he was old. Taken together these two give a context – I was implying that Waterford was talking the line that was current in 2013, but perhaps is now faded and that he is possibly out of date. His comments sounded pretty much like the ones I would expect to hear from Waterford’s older ALP contacts in the ACT. I am thinking of one or two people in particular I might add, however I have lost contact with them so I cannot really be sure their current views.

    I am well aware that some of the Left in Caucus supported Shorten. Because I am a bit out of touch not sure why. However I agree with you that it was a positive sign for Shorten being an effective leader.

  29. Zoomster

    the obvious question is which particular sub-faction of the left are we referring to.

    I’ll continue to be suspicious unless you tell us the sub-faction, the sub-sub-faction and the religious beliefs of all involved.

  30. “I sometimes wonder if some of you have any political grasp at all.”

    “Why do you have to always personalise things. ”

    A serious question: do these two statements contradict each other?

  31. Zoomster

    That is my point

    The comments were NOT about you – or only very indirectly. I said many if not most here on PB have a group think tendency. I did not name you, nor indeed was I thinking of you in that context. Both you and Bemused are a bit too maverick in your thinking to be in that category.

  32. dtt

    ‘Why also do you take every comment out of context and wildly exaggerate what I say.’

    It is clear from the rest of your post that I was right to do this. Nowhere in your original post do you make any of that obvious; it’s only because I questioned you that you have now provided the context necessary to understand where you’re coming from.

    If you had done that to begin with – “I’m only going by one or two people…” (wow, and didn’t I get a spray from you because I use anecdotes!!) “..this was the view a few years ago” – then that would have been fine.

  33. Ctari

    Do not be a bloody ass.

    The ALP is faction ridden, that is obvious. The Victorian left was very split further, but since I am not in Victoria my knowledge is patchy. If Zoomster’s “Left contact” is from the Carr wing, they will love Shorten. So too will the members of the Ferguson left and those who coalesced behind Gillard, if a bit more muted. Those who were on the Tanner wing will probably be closer to the NSW left position. Mind you again this is all a bit dated and there may be 25 new groupings by now.

  34. dtt

    ‘The comments were NOT about you – or only very indirectly.’

    OK, so avoid sweeping statements. If you generalise, then any one of us has the right to take what you’re saying personally. If you want to avoid that, then either have the courage to name names or accept that you’re likely to be misunderstood.

  35. DTT

    You are relying on evidence of a discredited journalist.

    Labor is not in despair. Labor is not split and in chaos or anywhere near it. There will be no repeat of the RGR wars which is what Waterford is setting people up to think with his reference to the past.

    Debate on issues is just that. Debate especially as part of a leadership process.

    However thanks to Labor having a more open debate on the conference floor not the totally stitched up result has resulted in more unity behin the policy conclusuins.

    The Right of the media and politics hates a united Labor party. Labor united wins more often than not.

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