BludgerTrack: 53.3-46.7 to Labor

A solid move to Labor in this week’s reading of the poll aggregate, although its concentration in Victoria means it makes no difference to the seat projection.

New results this week from Newspoll, Essential Research and YouGov cause the BludgerTrack two-party reading to bounce back in favour for Labor, who did particularly well this week out of Essential. There was also a new set of Queensland numbers from Galaxy, which, together with the similar poll last week from Western Australia, means the model has fairly robust data to work off at present from each of the four largest states. Last week I warned against reading too much into a slump in the Greens’ national vote and a swing to the Coalition in Victoria, and that’s borne out on both fronts this week: the Greens are the big mover on the primary vote, such that Labor’s two-party gain comes largely in the form of preferences from them, and the pendulum now leans back the other way in Victoria, albeit that it’s still Labor’s weakest state in swing terms.

Despite the Labor surge, there’s no change on the seat projection, which is down to the fact that the Coalition did relatively well out of the Galaxy result from the crucial state of Queensland. This results in them picking up a seat there against the overall trend, cancelling out the solitary gain Labor made from its big two-party improvement in the strategic wasteland of Victoria. The Coalition are also up a seat in Western Australia and down one in New South Wales.

Newspoll and Essential both provided new sets of leadership numbers, which have yielded some slight change in what has been a remarkably static picture since the wake of last year’s election. The change is that both leaders have recorded an uptick on net approval, although Malcolm Turnbull has slightly widened his lead as preferred prime minister.

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.

716 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.3-46.7 to Labor”

  1. TPOF @ #647 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:30 pm

    briefly

    The ABS cant exercise powers it does not have…and the AEC cannot spend money is does not have. It is no solution to give money to the ABS to serve as a proxy for the AEC. The AEC just cannot delegate its powers and the ABS cannot exercise them as if it were the AEC. The Statistician is not the Electoral Commissioner.
    —————————————–

    Yes, that’s sort of what I was trying to say to Bemused. The ABS can contract the AEC to get the benefit of its knowledge, skills and experience in conducting ballots, but not its legislative powers and the practices and procedures that can only apply within the AEC’s legislative envelope.

    The ABS’s powers, on the other hand, are ill-suited to this task, even when various Criminal Code anti-fraud measures are bolted on.

    I am in furious agreement.

  2. All the young people I’ve spoken to about this plebiscite are organising themselves something fierce to go to the barricades, well, the letter box, for their LGBTQI mates.

  3. bemused
    briefly @ #636 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:24 pm

    So?
    What I read /heard/saw was that the ABS would get the funds because the Govt has a mechanism to do so without legislation and it would then contract the AEC to do the work, using the funds received from the Govt to pay the AEC.

    I understood the survey would be conducted by the ABS and that the AEC would release its rolls to the ABS… that the functional stuff – sending out forms, compiling and counting them – would be done by the ABS.

  4. Bemused:

    ‘I don’t know what the rationale is for the ABS calling it a survey. Could it be because surveys are what ABS is empowered to conduct and it is just a survey in name only?’

    ————————————————

    That’s pretty much it. As I recall, the instructions from Scomo to the ABS were to 1) count the number of voters who returned the survey questionnaire as a percentage of all eligible voters and 2) count how many of those, per state and electorate say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

    The ABS has not been authorised (and therefore not funded) to extrapolate those figures into the likely percentage of the Australian voting public who support and oppose ME. Therefore, it does not have the power to ask and process the additional questions needed to actually weight the results.

    Of course, the Government has never otherwise shown interest in finding out the actual percentage of voters who return their survey questionnaire. This part of the direction is just a patently obvious subterfuge to validate this exercise as a legitimate ABS statistical data gathering exercise – another point which could well be considered by the High Court in deciding whether Cormann is acting ultra vires.

  5. briefly @ #629 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:18 pm

    It could be done, but it may require individuals to be identified, at least in principle; illustrating that returns are not “votes” and the process is an electoral hoax.

    Even this could in theory be circumvented (if desired) by something like the following method:

    * Have all personal information on a detachable flap on an envelope containing the survey form (this is the standard method for resolving identification issues with postal voting in Tasmanian local government elections, though I suspect there are others).

    * On the envelope containing the survey form, print a code that corresponds to the basic demographic data necessary for scaling, but that is not detailed enough to be reverse engineered to determine any individual.

    * After determining the demographic makeup of all votes, select a random but representative sample of (say) 20,000 envelopes, subject them to a thorough jumbling process and then count each against the demographic codes.

    * Then apply weighting formulae.

    It’s not going to happen but it could be done.

  6. All the young people I’ve spoken to about this plebiscite are organising themselves something fierce to go to the barricades, well, the letter box, for their LGBTQI mates.

    Sounds hopeful. No doubt there are 19 year old Tony Abbott’s, Peter Duttons and Bronwyn Bishops out there, but hopefully a tiny minority.

  7. <iKevin Bonham
    briefly @ #629 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:18 pm

    Even this could in theory be circumvented (if desired) by something like the following method:

    Cheers, Kevin.

  8. C@tmomma

    All the young people I’ve spoken to about this plebiscite are organising themselves something fierce to go to the barricades, well, the letter box, for their LGBTQI mates.

    ——————————————-

    This is one of those unique characteristics of this issue at this time that throws conventional political wisdom on its head. While many young people are, rightly or wrongly, totally alienated by the political system as it operates now in Australia, they are furiously active and committed supporters of LGBTQI rights, even when they are not personally affected. It’s an attitude that simply does not correlate with the way many of their parents and grandparents approach political issues (mainly through the hip pocket and fear).

  9. bemused @ #636 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:26 pm

    oh you can engage in any hypothetical manipulations you like. But they will be essentially meaningless.

    From what perspective? What in contrast are you considering meaningful and why?

    Note that I am not personally intending to do any scaling on the result – I am just correcting incorrect claims about it not being possible.

  10. https://theconversation.com/using-the-abs-to-conduct-a-same-sex-marriage-poll-is-legally-shaky-and-lacks-legitimacy-82245

    Good read…

    Also worrying is that the postal vote will take place without the usual protections of election law. Campaigners will be able to circulate unauthorised material – including posters and pamphlets with harmful messages about same-sex couples and their families – without fear of legal consequences.

    And, if the result is close, there will be no clear process for resolving claims about the formality of votes and other contentious administration issues.

    Of course, this is not a “vote”.

  11. bemused @ #646 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:31 pm

    What I read /heard/saw was that the ABS would get the funds because the Govt has a mechanism to do so without legislation and it would then contract the AEC to do the work, using the funds received from the Govt to pay the AEC.

    Concerning “it would then contract the AEC to do the work”, where did you read/hear/see this?

  12. TPOF @ #635 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:25 pm

    Player One

    cud chewer @ #610 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 9:46 pm

    BB. Absolutely. Tony is very clever.

    I don’t think he’s clever … but if there’s one thing he excels at, its ‘NO!’

    A ‘yes’ outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion.
    —————————————–

    Indeed. In fact, moment by moment I am becoming more convinced that the High Court will kill it stone dead. If it doesn’t, though, I think it is more likely than not that there will be a ‘yes’ outcome for the reasons I gave in my response to Bushfire Bill. But Abbott is the master of ‘no’ and if anyone is capable of finding negative nastiness that resonates with the ugliest demons of our nation, it is Abbott.

    Abbott v Shorten?

    We already know how that one plays out.

  13. Kevin Bonham
    bemused @ #636 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:26 pm

    oh you can engage in any hypothetical manipulations you like. But they will be essentially meaningless.

    ooohhh, KB…bemused is just indulging in some gratuitous nocturnal sledging, as is his custom before retiring…some bay at the moon, others scowl at the bludgers…

  14. Kevin Bonham @ #667 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:53 pm

    bemused @ #636 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:26 pm

    oh you can engage in any hypothetical manipulations you like. But they will be essentially meaningless.

    From what perspective? What in contrast are you considering meaningful and why?

    Note that I am not personally intending to do any scaling on the result – I am just correcting incorrect claims about it not being possible.

    OK, for the purposes of conducting what is meant to be a plebiscite it is not meaningful.
    We don’t do it in elections with those who don’t bother to turn up to vote. It would be analogous to doing that and would attract a similar public reaction.

  15. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/bigfoot-sighting-was-me-dressed-in-animal-skins-says-north-carolina-shaman-a3609176.html

    The 36-year-old was dressed in a suit made from raccoon skins performing a shamanic ritual when he was mistaken for the creature.

    Members of Bigfoot 911, a Facebook group with more than 5,700 members, spotted the beast in the woods of Pisgah.

    Mr MacGregor said he was taking part in a “sacrament” of “wearing of hair-covered animal skins and wandering in the forest.”

    A whole new meaning is found for the term “sacrament”….very funny

  16. Kevin Bonham @ #669 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:56 pm

    bemused @ #646 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:31 pm

    What I read /heard/saw was that the ABS would get the funds because the Govt has a mechanism to do so without legislation and it would then contract the AEC to do the work, using the funds received from the Govt to pay the AEC.

    Concerning “it would then contract the AEC to do the work”, where did you read/hear/see this?

    That’s the damn trouble Kevin. I don’t recall. When I did encounter it I didn’t have any particular reason to take note, expecting it would soon be well reported.
    Since I have not seen further reference to it, perhaps it will turn out to be mere speculation. There is a lot of that going on.

  17. briefly @ #671 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:56 pm

    Kevin Bonham
    bemused @ #636 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:26 pm

    oh you can engage in any hypothetical manipulations you like. But they will be essentially meaningless.

    ooohhh, KB…bemused is just indulging in some gratuitous nocturnal sledging, as is his custom before retiring…some bay at the moon, others scowl at the bludgers…

    Projection.
    I am not sledging anyone but engaging in serious discussion.
    Try it yourself sometime.

  18. cud chewer @ #634 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:25 pm

    briefly its possible to have a fully scientific survey including demographic questions and not compromise privacy.

    And who is expecting to fill out a demographic questionaire when they receive their ME survey in the mail?

    I hope the High Court kills off this abuse of power by the executive to thwart the authority of Parliament to approve appropriation of consolidate revenue to approved purposes.

  19. Even this could in theory be circumvented (if desired) by something like the following method:

    * Have all personal information on a detachable flap on an envelope containing the survey form (this is the standard method for resolving identification issues with postal voting in Tasmanian local government elections, though I suspect there are others).

    * On the envelope containing the survey form, print a code that corresponds to the basic demographic data necessary for scaling, but that is not detailed enough to be reverse engineered to determine any individual.

    * After determining the demographic makeup of all votes, select a random but representative sample of (say) 20,000 envelopes, subject them to a thorough jumbling process and then count each against the demographic codes.

    * Then apply weighting formulae.

    It’s not going to happen but it could be done.

    Kevin,

    This would be a superior method to having to ask the person to answer the relevant demographic questions. But it would have to be explained well. I would hope that the experts will lobby for something like this to be done.

    That way we can have both the raw count and a properly weighted result.

  20. TPOF @ #664 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 10:49 pm

    C@tmomma

    All the young people I’ve spoken to about this plebiscite are organising themselves something fierce to go to the barricades, well, the letter box, for their LGBTQI mates.

    ——————————————-

    This is one of those unique characteristics of this issue at this time that throws conventional political wisdom on its head. While many young people are, rightly or wrongly, totally alienated by the political system as it operates now in Australia, they are furiously active and committed supporters of LGBTQI rights, even when they are not personally affected. It’s an attitude that simply does not correlate with the way many of their parents and grandparents approach political issues (mainly through the hip pocket and fear).

    Yep. If it rocks their world they are moved to get involved. Independent of all else and everyone else. And in their own way, for example with memes, such as the one I linked to earlier.

  21. Its time. for the purpose of achieving some degree of accuracy you don’t need everyone to answer any or all of the demographic questions. Just a large enough group that the statistics can be done (like tens of thousands).

    Besides, see Kevin’s idea of coded demographic groups on the envelope.

  22. I hope the High Court kills off this abuse of power by the executive to thwart the authority of Parliament to approve appropriation of consolidate revenue to approved purposes.

    I do too, but even so, the end game is a parliamentary vote on SSM. The best way to achieve that is to vote yes in the plebiscite.

  23. cud…I can see the advantages of carrying out a demographically valid sampling…but this sham is being touted as a ballot. Ballots are uniform, plain, simple, secret but also individually authorised forms. It might well harm participation if people felt it were something other than a ballot…that it would be used for statistical as well as electoral purposes.

    Two quite different sets of protocols are being conflated. The result will be a process in which no-one will have confidence.

  24. 99.9% of eligible voters will be expecting a “ballot paper” in the mail on which they expect to “cast their vote” on the issue of marriage equality and mail it back – near enough to a normal postal vote. Anything with a demographically coded return envelope and a final count being sampled and statistically adjusted is not the outcome expected by these people. It would be a farce in fact and perceived by all as such.

  25. confessions @ #684 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 11:24 pm

    I hope the High Court kills off this abuse of power by the executive to thwart the authority of Parliament to approve appropriation of consolidate revenue to approved purposes.

    I do too, but even so, the end game is a parliamentary vote on SSM. The best way to achieve that is to vote yes in the plebiscite.

    If this absurd mechanism is killed off by the High Court then maybe the Lib “rebels” go back to pursuing the private member’s bill route.

  26. It’s Time
    99.9% of eligible voters will be expecting a “ballot paper” in the mail on which they expect to “cast their vote” on the issue of marriage equality and mail it back – near enough to a normal postal vote. Anything with a demographically coded return envelope and a final count being sampled and statistically adjusted is not the outcome expected by these people. It would be a farce in fact and perceived by all as such.

    I wonder what measures will be taken to prevent multiple “voting”, “vote” stealing and/or the forging of returns.

  27. It’s Time:

    I’m sorry, but I believe the days of the Lib rebel acting (like actually voting with their feet) in the interests of either common sense or the national interest died with those 2 Lib Senators who crossed the floor to support the CPRS retired.

    Today’s Liberals are locked and loaded behind a reactionary platform.

  28. confessions @ #689 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 11:43 pm

    It’s Time:

    I’m sorry, but I believe the days of the Lib rebel acting (like actually voting with their feet) in the interests of either common sense or the national interest died with those 2 Lib Senators who crossed the floor to support the CPRS retired.

    Today’s Liberals are locked and loaded behind a reactionary platform.

    I wouldn’t doubt your assessment of current day Libs in most circumstances but maybe this particular issue is significant enough for some of them to find some ethics and courage. Entsch may be prepared to be the lightning rod. Regardless, we would be in the same position if the survey comes up with a “yes” or the survey is killed off by the High Court – it would be back in Parliament’s court.

  29. [cud chewer
    Its time. for the purpose of achieving some degree of accuracy you don’t need everyone to answer any or all of the demographic questions. Just a large enough group that the statistics can be done (like tens of thousands).

    Besides, see Kevin’s idea of coded demographic groups on the envelope.]

    Personally if the ABS ends up having to proceed I think Michael Maley is onto the best answer.

    Look at the form of the directive from Corman it specifies what information the Government wants and when it wants that information by.

    This is entirely correct and proper, the ABS, as the experts, should then choose the best methodology to gather the information required and report.

    In this case with the Government saying what methodology should be used, (even though it doesn’t appear on the directive,) this is potentially compromising the ABS’s ability to perform the task asked of it.

    I think, the ABS should discard the Government methodology and proceed with the best methodology that fits the task.

  30. It’s Time:

    Entsch is off on a parliamentary junket for 3 months so his vote can’t be counted on during that time.

    Dean Smith talked the talk but failed when it came to brass tacks. Ditto Wilson and Zimmerman. I guess at the end of the day actions speak larger than words, and the Liberal crop of so called moderates have failed when it mattered.

  31. Has Swamprat posted about what a homophobe Bob Brown is since he joined Bill Shorten in crapping on the process but promising to campaign for ‘yes’?

  32. Puff, I liked this tweet on the Denise Allen feed.

    The lead in to the survey question,

    Ben Jenkins‏Verified account @bencjenkins Aug 9
    More
    Dunno what the *exact* wording of the plebiscite q should be, but it should definitely start “Not that it’s any of my fucking business, but”

  33. Just another day on PB ends with bemused complaining about other posters saying his behaviour is not acceptable.

    “I see the gangs all coming together again.”

    Even one poster is a ‘gang’ (sorority / coven) now.

    “I mocked Adrian for his stupidity and lying”.

    Yep that’s right –

    Mocking
    Adj.
    1. derisive, gibelike, jeering, mocking, taunting abusing vocally; expressing contempt or ridicule

    You called Adrian a stupid liar.

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