BludgerTrack: 52.4-47.6 to Labor

Poll aggregation records a slight trend in favour of the Coalition ahead of Tuesday’s budget.

Before we proceed, please note posts below on British and French elections, and a bumper post on Tasmania that encompasses newly published federal and state electorate boundaries, today’s three elections for seats in the state’s upper house, and a state poll result that provides good news for the new Labor leader, Rebecca White.

The only new addition to the BludgerTrack aggregate this week is the usual weekly Essential Research result, an all too common state of affairs in Newspoll’s off weeks that should finally be rectified with YouGov’s imminent entry to the Australian polling caper. The trendline is now doing something it hasn’t done since the election – bending back slightly in favour of the Coalition. The Coalition have also picked up two this week on the seat projection, one apiece in Victoria and South Australia. The other trend worth noting is that One Nation are down for the seventh week in a row. Nothing new this week on leadership ratings.

I’ve had two paywalled articles this week in Crikey, which is well worth your subscriber dollars if the state of the Australian news media is of concern to you, as it should be. One of these tackled Peta Credlin’s revisionism concerning the electoral gender gap:

In defiance of the conventional wisdom, Credlin sought not just to dispel the “myth” of the Tony Abbott “woman problem”, but also to argue that the charge could more properly be levelled at his successor. The implications of Credlin’s claim run well beyond the small matter of the Turnbull-Abbott rivalry, as gender has been the most volatile demographic element in the federal electoral equation since the knives came out for Kevin Rudd on June 23, 2010.

The other considered One Nation’s recent fadeout and its implications for the looming Queensland state election:

The One Nation renaissance is once again inviting comparisons to Groundhog Day, as the party faces the possibility of deregistration in Queensland over irregularities in its legal structure. The latest development adds to an accumulation of bad news not just for One Nation, but also for Queensland’s Liberal National Party opposition, which has been hoping that One Nation will provide the key to a quick return to office after its shock defeat in January 2015.

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.

1,881 comments on “BludgerTrack: 52.4-47.6 to Labor”

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  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Another early edition after waking at 0200 knowing I’d never get back to sleep in a hurry!

    Paul McGeough reports on the fawning coming together of Turnbull and Trump.
    The Liberal and National parties have proven repeatedly that budget repair is a slogan, not a policy. Their ideological attraction to cutting government spending means they can’t see the revenue problem writes Ebony Bennett from the Australia Institute. Quite a good contribution.
    Is this what, via Centrelink under a Coalition government, this country has become?
    The relief high-income earners gain from the debt levy being axed may be very short-lived as the Turnbull government considers higher health taxes. If Morrison legislates this it should have no trouble getting through the Senate.
    And it might fund the unfreezing of Medicare rebates.
    In quite a long article Laura Tingle says that Turnbull has reset the Coalition. Google.
    Karen Middleton writes that a less brutal budget may be the government’s last hope to wrest back public support and quieten questions over Turnbull’s leadership.
    And Paul Bongiorno writes ” On Tuesday night at 7.30 Treasurer Scott Morrison will preside over the burial rites for the economic belief system that has guided the Liberal Party for 25 years. Gone is the dogma that the market knows best and the national interest is optimally served by small government and budget surpluses.” As usual it’s well worth a read.
    Dutton has been ordered by a court to revisit the refugee application of a man he wanted to deport to war-torn Syria.

  2. Section 2 . . .

    Peter van Onselen writes that we have to do something about Tony. In a nice finish to the article he says that he “hasn’t seen the Catholic lobby this incensed by a government decision since Julia Gillard announced plans for a royal commission into institutional res¬ponses to child sexual abuse.” Google.
    Similarly Katharine Murphy writes that no sooner was Malcolm Turnbull out of the country than Tony Abbott bobbed up with the Gospel according to Tony.
    One of Trump’s pinup despots, Erdogan, has just had a third purge of judges and prosecutors.
    Jack Waterford has a good look at Gonski 2.0.
    The Turnbull government has ruled out doing special deals as it stares down the Catholic education sector – and Tony Abbott – over its schools funding package. The Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, and other cabinet members have rejected Mr Abbott’s claim the coalition is “on a loser” if its plan disadvantages Catholic schools. Tuesday’s party room meeting should be a beauty!
    The row with Catholic educators is hardly what Turnbull’s embattled government needs as it tries to rebuild its political fortunes with next Tuesday’s budget says Laurie Oakes. He tells us that this will test Turnbull’s tact and cunning. Google.
    And from Paul Kelly. “The policy and politics of school funding has just been put through the mixmaster with dramatic and shock consequences. Malcolm Turnbull has staged a political coup by stealing the Gonski brand, both the model and the man. The government has outsmarted Labor but the risk is that it has outsmarted itself.” Google.
    More than half the schools up for funding cuts are non-systemic Catholic schools, many of which do not appear to be overfunded writes former schoolteacher Frank O’Shea. Stand y for a good stoush.,10264
    Mike Seccombe looks at Turnbull’s war on universities.

  3. Section 3 . . .

    Why the US health care debate will never end.
    An analysis of the 13 largest foreign and Australian-owned alcohol producers shows five paid no corporate tax in 2013-14 and 2014-15, while two paid well below the statutory rate of 30%. How long can we put up with stuff like this?
    The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has reportedly backed Australia’s laws on plain tobacco packaging implemented from December 2012. The apparent decision marks the end of the last of three cases brought against Australia’s plain packaging; it will almost certainly open the floodgates and see other nations implementing the measure. Nicola Roxon should take a giant global bow!
    It’s all there in the video, painful and cringeworthy: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull finally meets US President Donald Trump and can’t stop smiling, despite being mucked around by Trump and put on hold like some contest-winning autograph hunter. Turnbull’s body language was awful.
    According to the latest polls Macron will walk it in on Sunday.
    The AFR looks at the big losers from yesterday’s decision from the ACCC on telco roaming. Tesltra and Optus are the winners. Google.
    Paul Krugman is quite a bit concerned about where Europe might be heading.
    A probe by federal investigators into sexual-harassment settlements made to certain employees at Fox News Channel is gaining steam, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. It’s getting to a very interesting stage now.

  4. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding on education funding.

    David Pope celebrates the latest (probably final necessary) legal victory on plain packaging.

    More from Pope on Australian values.

    Broelman with Trumble on the USS Intrepid.

    From Cathy Wilcox.

    David Rowe takes us to the Big Apple.

    As does David Pope.
    Nice work from Mark Knight on the Queen and Sir Prince Phil.
    Jon Kudelka sums up Turnbull’s trip to see Trump.
    David Rowe and school funding.

  5. It’s Official: Donald Trump Has Gone Golfing for the 21st Time Since Taking Office

    “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.” – Donald J. Trump, August 2016

    Trump’s behavior is hardly a ringing endorsement of either what he promised or what he has delivered, but then Donald Trump seems immune to charges of hypocrisy and dishonesty as he is to reality itself.

  6. once more with feeling, post got swallowed by Crikey:


    What’s your view of solar thermal with molten salt? I used to love this stuff but the problem is that solar PV modules have gotten so cheap that the basic value proposition of a solar thermal plant that mirrors are cheaper isn’t really standing up. Not once you include all the generation side of things. Still a really well designed solar thermal plant with molten salt storage and then gas as a backup source of heat seems to make sense. I just can’t get my head around the numbers.

    Solar thermal with salt batteries has been bothering me too. Why is it not taking off? It would seem that the numbers don’t stack up, for whatever reason.

    There was one proposed for Port Augusta:

    but I have not heard that it was anywhere near FID, or even completely designed and costed.

    And also the turbines fed by hot air in the middle of a plain somewhere (MIA ?), with a humungous tower. I remember seeing the concept drawings some time ago. Nothing since.

    But solar PV seems to keep setting new records for low price and investor uptake.

    Wind turbines seem to have a niche market, and may become more important when the costs for daytime electricity come down significantly with five minute pricing and with the peaks being flattened by solar PV, and night time electricity needs being supplied by wind turbines – but around here (northern NSW), the wind usually dies at night anyhow. For that purpose the turbines would need to be somewhere like the south coast of SA where you get sea winds a lot of the time.

  7. Don’t Be Fooled: Trump’s New Jersey Golf Vacation Is Costing Taxpayers $684,000

    The official White House line is that Trump is trying to save taxpayers money by taking his weekend vacation in New Jersey instead of Florida, but Trump’s golf outing in Jersey still costs taxpayers $684,000.

    If Trump wants to continue his lavish lifestyle, he should resign from the presidency and do it on his own dime.

  8. Ethics Complaint Filed Against Senate Intel Chair Richard Burr As GOP Russia Cover-Up Exposed

    An ethics complaint has been filed against the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) for obstructing the progress of the investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

    The Democratic Coalition Against Trump has called for an investigation into why Sen. Burr is impeding the Trump/Russia probe.

    An independent investigation that will take place outside of partisan politics is needed to get to the bottom of the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia.

  9. Keith Olbermann lays out evidence that a Trump-Russia grand jury has already been convened

    Keith Olbermann on Friday set aside his usual “hyperbole” to lay out new developments in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives—including that a grand jury may have been convened on the matter.

    Olbermann began his latest installment of GQ’s “The Resistance” by pointing out there is “strong reason to believe there is a grand jury sitting in the Eastern district of Virginia right now. hearing evidence about the connections between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russians.”

  10. Senate Asks Trump Associates for Records of Communication With Russians

    The Senate Intelligence Committee, seeking to accelerate its broad investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, has asked a number of high-profile Trump campaign associates to hand over emails and other records of communications and dealings with Russian officials and businesspeople.

    Among those who said they had received the requests were Roger J. Stone, an informal adviser to President Trump, and Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman, and Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, were also sent letters, said the officials with knowledge of the investigation

  11. Good Morning Bludgers 🙂

    It seems like, just in the same way that Donald Trump appears to be coated in the teflon of the supremely hypocritical who just don’t give a flying fig what people think because they are on the throne and you’re not, so it is that Malcolm Turnbull is learning the same tricks at the knee of the expert.

    It seems to me that, with a wave of an imperious hand, they can wipe away the truth when they feel like it, or the blatant hypocrisy of a former position being at contrast with the current one. Details, mere details, that pesky thing, the Truth.

    And they will be aided and abetted by the Media. They will hold the Opposition to account and whitewash with glowing praise their dear leaders.


  12. Just heard Malcolm on ch 2 re-writing history. He said Australia lead American soldiers into this battle at Fromelles in 1918. The battle of Frommelle occurred in 1916 well before America entered the war.

  13. ‘And they will be aided and abetted by the Media. They will hold the Opposition to account and whitewash with glowing praise their dear leaders.’

    Aint that the truth.
    Just imagine the cries of class warfare etc etc if Labor had proposed to cut funding to a handful of elite ‘private’ schools. The howls of outrage would be heard far and wide.

  14. ‘Wakefield
    Friday, May 5, 2017 at 9:47 pm
    With Boerwar full flight anti Le Pen and anti Left – the test would be if Melanchon had finished in a 2 way fight with Le Pen – would Boerwar have backed Melanchon as the anti FN candidate or found the “plague on both” don’t vote option?’
    No brainer.
    Of course I would vote for Melanchon over Le Pen.

  15. Excellent article by Mike Seccombe.

    In May 2013 the then-opinion editor for The Australian newspaper, Nick Cater, launched his book The Lucky Culture at a Melbourne function sponsored by the Institute of Public Affairs, the right-wing think tank with great influence in conservative political circles.

    The biggest response to Cater’s speech came when he noted that the number of people with university educations was climbing ever upward in Australia. The IPA crowd booed loudly.

    It was very revealing. The IPA is apt to portray its long advocacy of reform in tertiary funding through “the application of free market principles” – meaning full deregulation of university fees – as based on libertarian and meritocratic principles. Those boos, though, tell the truth: underlying it is the desire to restrict education to a wealthy and conservative elite.
    …The Howard government was notable for its attacks on the standards of public schooling. It responded by vastly increasing the funds allocated to elite private schools. Under the Kemp–Howard funding model, the money allocated to private schools increased six times as much as that for public schools between 1999 and 2006.

    Book learning is a real danger to conservative politics.

  16. Morning all. Thanks BK and sympathy on the loss of sleep. So it has only taken the coalition in offic efour failed budgets to finally admit they can’t deliver a surplus and will only hurt the economy trying? Quick learners.

    I agree the article by Paul Bongiorno is good. He is one TV journo who has really developed into a good writer.

  17. PeeBee

    Truffles, the smiling sycophant.
    He may be praised by diplomats, but he lost all dignity for Australia in his meeting with Trump.

  18. “It looks like climate change has almost become the Voldemort of health impact research and policy – it shall not be named,” he says.

    Seidel says GPs have to be bold enough to nominate climate change as a cause of illness and to campaign to have health policies “blueprinted” against climate change effects.

    A priority example, he says, is the federal government’s Closing the Gap report. While many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities are at heightened risk from climate change, he says the term is only mentioned once in the 2017 report – in reference to the number of Indigenous employees at the Climate Change Authority.

  19. Lizzie
    Climate change is also conspicuous from its absence in transport policy too. We are spending billions now building freeways that are designed to last 30 to 50 years, assuming car traffic continues to grow for the entire period (BITRE assumes traffic will keep growing to beyond 2046). Yet to get anywhere near our Paris/Kyoto targets we will need to be reducing car traffic by 2030 at the latest.

  20. Stephen Hawking is at it again, filling our hearts with optimistic predictions about humanity’s boundless potential. Just kidding. His latest estimation gives us about 100 years to leave the planet or die. Although, given the Trump administration’s latest attack on health care, a 100-year window to set ourselves straight seems pretty generous.

    Last year, the famous theoretical physicist estimated we had a solid millennium to avoid near-certain extinction. Facing threats of climate change, nuclear war, overpopulation, asteroid strikes, and a robot takeover, we do have the odds stacked against us.

  21. Tingle really does sound like she’s swallowed the KoolAid.

    ‘If ever there was a golden week in a political career for a politician this must be it for Birmingham, who has this week delivered for his Prime Minister the untying of not one but two Gordian knots.’

    Neither of these knots have been untied. Instead of slashing a sword through and solving the problem, Birmingham has put out a plan which is far from being implemented.

    Tingle ignores, as just one teeny tiny unimportant example, statements by Coalition MPs that this is yet to be discussed in the party room, let alone endorsed by them.

    And she fails to mention the 27 agreements that this package must overturn if it is to work. Those 27 agreements aren’t there because the Gillard/Rudd/Abbott governments thought it would be fun to get school organisations to sign up for them as some kind of shit stir. They are there because a wise government does not give money away without getting guarantees about how the money will be spent – and, in this case, whether any of the 27 organisations in question will continue to put in the same level of funding they do at present.

    The Gordian knots haven’t been untied; as students of history know, they couldn’t be. Birmingham has tentatively loosened a few threads, and Tingle mistakes talk for action.

    She then quotes an educational expert, who sounds quite hedgy, alluding the many ‘ifs’ around the package – but apparently she doesn’t examine that, but focuses on his assessment that if these ifs are dealt with, the package will be beneficial.

    Well, yes – but Tingle should at least acknowledge what the hurdles are, even if she doesn’t go into depth on how they can be hurdled.

    ‘But after years in which even the occasional good policy has rapidly sunk under the weight of under-prepared, badly thought out salesmanship, this policy launch was different.’

    The master stroke which transforms this policy launch from a disaster to a triumph in Tingle’s eyes is having Gonski there.

    For a start, I don’t think this is a first in the annals of political salesmanship. It certainly doesn’t seem to have deterred the policy’s main critics and probably over estimates how much phrases like “I give a Gonski” are about respect for a particular individual rather than shorthand for a series of principles.

    On Gonski 2.0:

    ‘. But it’s an issue that will have much more chance of success if it is prosecuted from the base of an independent review than if it just looks like an ideological attack.’

    Seriously, Laura? We had the independent review. It was then the subject of an ideological attack. You should be questioning why a second review is NOT a egregious waste of government money, particularly when the review is being done by exactly the same person who undertook the last one.

    ‘Birmingham was also utterly ready when inevitably missiles started getting lobbed, particularly from the Catholic school sector.

    This isn’t a bloke who fires back with rhetoric.

    Through press releases, Twitter and interviews, he kept just hitting back with facts…’

    I don’t doubt you, Laura, but it would be jolly to see you discuss some of these.

    ‘Labor is skewered: it is attacking the Coalition by saying that schools would get an extra $22 billion under a Shorten government, but education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek has pointedly failed to commit to actually spend that money.’

    Oh, Laura. When we’re talking about the $22 billion, we’re talking about the LAST election (that is, if we were under a Shorten government right now). It would be the height of economic irresponsibility (and possibly shortchange schools) for Labor to put in place what might happen if Labor was elected over two years from now.

    And you know this.

    Quite possibly, the Coalition is skewered, because Labor has plenty of time to out Gonski Gonski, rather than having to come up with an educational policy in a vacuum.

    ‘But already we can see that this year’s budget will embrace a series of policies that are striking for their less belligerent ideological tone and for policy rigour.’

    Good lord, you’re easily satisfied.

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  22. How unsurprisement
    The French won’t take too kindly to Mr Assange me thinks
    John Schindler @20committee
    Leading Presidential candidate hated by Moscow has emails hacked, then dumped online by a Kremlin front.

    This seems familiar somehow.

  23. Socrates
    I can’t see how people (including planners and politicians) will really begin to change their behaviour until they are forced to pay attention by catastrophe.

  24. @Confessions

    Most people would probably say ‘I will be dead by then so I wouldn’t care about it’, unfortunately.

  25. Germany goes after Russia on election hacking

    It will be interesting to see if the technological might of the Germans can thwart the Russians(who’ve had lots of practice by this stage), because the French have been unable to, only keeping them at bay until two days before the election:

    Funny how nothing has come out about Martinet Le Pen.

  26. People like the politicians only think what they want and only in short term.

    That’s why LNP and far right fascists win ultimately.

  27. Mike Carlton‏
    Mike Carlton Retweeted FOX & friends

    Oh fuck me. Trump and Murdoch’s great buddy Greg Norman on the golf-led, trickle-down economic theory. Are we all mad ?

    FOX & friends‏Verified account

    .@SharkGregNorman: The more things get deregulated, the more money people have in their pockets, the more they spend. It boosts the economy.

  28. Thanks BK
    There are problems for Labor if Turnbull appropriates Gonski and, overturning the moronic “all debt is bad” crap that has been the cornerstone of Coalition policy for ever, initiates important infrastructure projects lets fly an infrastructure pork-fest on marginal electorates.

  29. Victoria,
    I wonder when people are going to finally realise Assange is a first rate ar@ehole

    One of my sons has dabbled in the Alt Right (but now he thinks that both the Alt Right and the Left are tribalists and idiots 😉 ) , so he sometimes brings to my attention things of interest from the Alt Right sphere and so I can say, hand on heart, that Assange is viewed by them as one of their demi gods and no impartial fair dealer with data at all.

  30. Lizzie
    I only partly agree. I think normal people can, but it is the politicians and executives who will not. The planners do not get the power to make the decisions I assure you! The transport planners I know think what we are doing on infrastructure investment is nuts. They are not skeptics on climate change. Among engineers, only I category I encounter are skeptics – mining engineers. Among members of the public I deal with, especially those under 40, a clear majority are not skeptics on climate change, even in rural areas. The problem is the decision makers, whose actions lag public opinion as usual.

  31. George Takei‏Verified account @GeorgeTakei · 11h11 hours ago

    It should be noted, the GOP voted to give folks with preexisting mental health issues access to firearms but not insurance.

  32. PvO today:

    I am now convinced there is a clear pathway back to the leadership for Tony Abbott. Equally, without having spoken to him about it, I suspect he would be interested in pursuing it.

    Others have discussed ways in which Malcolm Turnbull could ease tensions with Abbott by returning him to the frontbench or finding him some other role that would be desirable to the former prime minister. None of these options, whether Abbott continued as a representative or moved overseas for a diplomatic post, is realistic however.

    The Prime Minister doesn’t trust Abbott and, rightly or wrongly, the feeling is mutual. Turnbull will never countenance putting Abbott into the ministry, believing that doing so would reward bad behaviour and go counter to the Prime Minister’s generational renewal drive.

    More important, Turnbull believes Abbott would facilitate leaking and therefore worsen the government’s problems.

    Goes on to say JBishop wouldn’t support a diplomatic posting, and the GG option is poorly timed given Cosgrove doesn’t finish until the end of this year. He says Turnbull won’t be replaced before the next election, and with Dutton out, Abbott becomes the most viable opposition leader (he is assuming Labor will win the next election).

  33. “A lifetime of golf does not an intellectual make.”

    At least he can’t start world war three on the golf course. I hope he plays a lot.

  34. C@t

    I know the alt right see him as their Demi God. I am talking about the left who believe he is a bastion of freedom and democracy.

    Put it this way, fox channel Is being investigated re sexual harrassment cover up. They are also in the sights of the intelligence agencies due to their engagement with Assange who is considered a hostile agent of the US. For eg Sean Hannity is crapping his pants at the moment. By his own account, he has now lawyered up.

    Talk later. Gotta run some errands

  35. Lizzie

    @SharkGregNorman: The more things get deregulated, the more money people have in their pockets, the more they spend. It boosts the economy.

    Read ‘things’ as taxes.

  36. Socrates

    I apologise for the insult to planners, who have to cope with political decisions makers. 🙂
    What is it about miners? Do their brains take on the characteristics of solid rock?

  37. .@SharkGregNorman: The more things get deregulated, the more money people have in their pockets, the more they spend. It boosts the economy.

    I would like to hear Norman explain how laissez faire economics(which is basically what he is advocating), plus the deregulation of environmental, financial and IR controls on business, will work this time, when it was a catastrophic failure the last time it was tried.

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