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. [Player One

    However, I will point out again that 30-40% of the population disagree with your views on SSM. It is those people you have to win over if you insist on participating in this ridiculous opinion poll.]

    My views are therefore shared by 60-70% of the population and hence a significant majority, so any advocacy of abstaining can only be seen as attempt to suppress the “yes” vote so it does not reflect the overwhelming majority of our Society.

    The “yes” case in no way have to win over those relics of the past, the support is there without them.

    People like you advocating abstaining is one of the few tools the “no” campaign have to win this sham.

  2. GG

    The ‘noplace for sheep’ rainbow sheep pic a classic.

    I notice the poster of that says –

    my main objection to marriage is the entirely unwarranted privilege it is accorded in our society, a discriminatory privilege currently available only to heterosexuals.

  3. Quote from a friend on facebook:

    “Does anyone remember the debacle when the ABS had us respond to the census on-line and when it went pear-shaped, claimed that their system had been hacked when it was really just a total cluster of monumental proportions? I do! Now the same government department will be conducting the same sex marriage plebiscite. “WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?”

  4. ratsak

    I don’t think it’s going to go ahead though. The parallels with Bowen’s failure at the HC to be able to declare Malaysia a safe destination for refugees simply because he said it is are going to kill it I hazard (an admittedly uniformed) a guess.

    ———————————

    My guess is a bit more informed – and this is spot on. The High Court (other than Dyson Heydon) did not accept the Minister’s ‘just because I said so’ judgement there because the legislation sets down a threshold before the Minister can exercise his power. The Minister does not necessarily have to demonstrate the threshold has been met, but the High Court, as a matter of statutory interpretation, will look to see if it prima facie meets the threshold. In the Malaysian case it concluded that it didn’t meet the threshold. It may conclude otherwise here, but it certainly will not give the Commonwealth carte blanche to the Minister just because the Minister said so.

  5. CTar1 @ #199 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:27 pm

    Your usual abuse …

    Apologies for the ‘idiot’ label. You try my patience when you continually question my motives.

    If you are interested in the process why are you consistently advocating boycotting the plebiscite thereby trying to effect the outcome.

    Because the process is so dangerously flawed. I have posted my (and Michael Kirby’s) reasons for thinking this. Why don’t you go read his article and respond to that, instead of continually attacking me for simply reflecting views that are quite widespread outside the echo-chamber that PB has become on this particular issue.

  6. P1

    “It’s embarrassing watching Mal wallow, but the reality is that Shorten is much, much smarter than he appears to be.”

    ———————————————————–

    Shorten has the incredible ability to learn from his mistakes – and to take the right lessons at that. The fact that he has ensured that the Rudd/Gillard war is ancient history as far the current Parliamentary Labor Party is concerned is evidence of that.

  7. The only people who will abstain from such a vote are people who believe human rights shouldn’t be subject to a vote. Those people are already of the opinion that marriage as an institution is a human right and will therefore most likely be voting yes. Therefore abstaining will only cancel out yes votes. Anyone who argues for abstaining is most likely a homophobe waving a red cloth in front of their bigotry.

  8. So what is it we are hearing at 3:30 re: high court? presumably not their ruling. Is it just a preliminary injunction to delay that we are expecting?

  9. Player One @ #207 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:37 pm

    CTar1 @ #199 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:27 pm

    Your usual abuse …

    Apologies for the ‘idiot’ label. You try my patience when you continually question my motives.

    If you are interested in the process why are you consistently advocating boycotting the plebiscite thereby trying to effect the outcome.

    Because the process is so dangerously flawed. I have posted my (and Michael Kirby’s) reasons for thinking this. Why don’t you go read his article and respond to that, instead of continually attacking me for simply reflecting views that are quite widespread outside the echo-chamber that PB has become on this particular issue.

    Payer one
    Yes the process is dangerously flawed. If this succeeds the next stop will be euthanasia in Victoria and WA, then after that any issue the RWNJ happy clappers camp feels it has a right to involve itself, using this process
    Yes this is a “sh*t sandwich” (I think I channel Bill here), but I have seen this tactic used in the RWNJ workplace to constitute discussion for an attack on workers rights.
    If the LGBTI community wish to boycott then I understand but I am going to vote to shove it up the RWNJ.
    It still hurts from the republican debate, but I am not letting this mob do it again. Then again, then again, then again …………..

  10. I have divided emotions.

    On the one hand I really hope that the High Court invalidates this appalling vox pop questionnaire process in the interests of the whole political process as well those people who will hear the most hurtful things said about them by the religious conservative rump.

    On the other hand, so much is set up to go technically wrong in this appallingly hastily cobbled together Frankenstein’s monster of a process that it will destroy the shit ship Turnbull and all that sail in her.

    Either way, it is the greatest mistake that that suit full of piss and wind has ever made.

  11. BC

    “Anyone who argues for abstaining is most likely a homophobe waving a red cloth in front of their bigotry.”

    ———————————————-

    I don’t think that is fair at all. For some, including myself, the very idea of putting questions like this to this sort of ridiculous process of random collection of public vox pop is utter anathema.

    I still have not made up my mind whether to send back a spoilt ballot or submit a ‘yes’ vote for the reasons that Bill Shorten and Penny Wong set out yesterday. If the LGBTIQ community advocates taking part, I will probably send a valid response, though reluctantly. But this sort of process is utterly contemptible in our political system and I feel very unclean being forced by circumstance to take part in it.

  12. Grumps @ #217 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:47 pm

    Yes the process is dangerously flawed. If this succeeds the next stop will be euthanasia in Victoria and WA, then after that any issue the RWNJ happy clappers camp feels it has a right to involve itself, using this process

    Absolutely. The best possible outcome is that the HC puts a stop to this nonsense. The next best outcome would be a successful boycott. The worst possible outcome is that this process succeeds (either way – i.e. whether ‘yes’ or ‘no’ wins, which is then repeated in the parliamentary free vote).

    Otherwise, we will be fighting this battle again and again – “First they came for the queer community, but I wasn’t queer, so I said nothing … (etc)”

  13. Well I hope we all enjoy putting on a performance to entertain Tony Abbott, in the hope he may generously allow our Prime Minister to do his job.

  14. [Player One
    Barney in Go Dau @ #201 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:28 pm

    People like you advocating abstaining is one of the few tools the “no” campaign have to win this sham.

    You mean people like the 15% of the queer community who advocate a boycott? I’m happy to be numbered amongst them – we obviously ‘get’ it. You apparently don’t.]

    You’re really gasping for air now.

    As I said before,

    The LBGTI community and individuals have every right to vote or boycott this sham as it’s a direct insult towards them.

    However 15% is a small minority and the majority will vote ‘yes’.

    So, you wish to discount the view of 85% of the LGBTI community and take a position which conveniently reinforces the chance of a successful “no” vote.

    Sad!

  15. [Greensborough Growler
    Barney in Go Dau @ #210 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:40 pm

    P1,
    You like to quote Kirby but he has said he will vote “yes”.

    he also sees the process as fundamentally flawed and an abomination.]

    Don’t we all.

  16. I find it very interesting that NSW is slowly but steadily becoming one of the weakest states for the Coalition. That’s a very bad sign for them – rich swing seat territory, an increasingly unpopular state government, a PM from NSW, a broke state party – it’s all bad for them. How can they improve?

    People should also know that Shorten is quite popular in Western Sydney, which may surprise some.

    Another 1.3 percentage point move brings Reid into the Labor column, and given the shit-fight over marriage equality and climate change, I suspect it won’t even take that much to swing Reid. That means that Labor could well win Reid, Banks, Gilmore, Page and Robertson without too much effort, and that’s on top of an excellent performance in 2016.

    I also would not discount Labor’s chance in Cowper. They came agonisingly close to winning the seat in 2007, and it’s even more of an urban seat now. If Labor can win another six seats in NSW and Labor only needs ONE seat in any of the other states to win government – surely Queensland and WA will yield at least that, probably more.

    One thing bludgers can be sure of – 2018/19 will be another election fought mostly in NSW and Queensland with perhaps the addition of WA.

  17. Voice Endeavour

    So what is it we are hearing at 3:30 re: high court? presumably not their ruling. Is it just a preliminary injunction to delay that we are expecting?
    ———————————

    It may just be a directions hearing or preliminary argument. We are a long way from this playing out in the HC. I doubt if an injunction will be given at this stage as it is so early in the preparation and the ABS won’t even be able to begin implementing it until next month.

    The High Court will probably decide at this point, if an injunction is sought, to not grant it on the basis that on the balance of convenience the ABS should be able to proceed with preliminary actions on the possibility that the Court will not find against the Government.

    The key point at which an injunction will be granted, I think, is where it would be necessary to stop the actual mail-out commencing.

  18. There’s this great pic going about where some wag has flipped Trump & Kim’s hair do’s, very funny. Wish I could post it.

  19. P1

    The best possible outcome is that the HC puts a stop to this nonsense. The next best outcome would be a successful boycott.

    ———————————————-

    Which pretty much summarises my position – except that I will not take part in a boycott unless there are good prospects for it to be ‘successful’.

  20. TPOF @ #232 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 1:01 pm

    P1

    The best possible outcome is that the HC puts a stop to this nonsense. The next best outcome would be a successful boycott.

    ———————————————-

    Which pretty much summarises my position – except that I will not take part in a boycott unless there are good prospects for it to be ‘successful’.

    That’s a reasonable approach.

  21. [Player One
    Barney in Go Dau @ #223 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:55 pm

    Sad!

    Your arguments have collapsed around your ears, and this is all you can manage?]

    I suggest you look again.

  22. Player One

    Re’ the process is flawed.

    I doubt anyone would dispute this.

    However as 65% to 70% percent of people polled are in favour of saying Yes to SSM/ME even the imperfect process should result in a solid ‘Yes’ vote.

    Do you advocate not voting in elections because not every eligible person has been enrolled before the required date just as an example?

    That non-participation in a ‘vote’ because no process is perfect seems a formula for no advance on anything.

  23. This is not a vote or an election in any sense.

    It’s a performance that Tony Abbott is making us put on so that maybe he will stop holding people’s rights to ransom.

  24. JimmyDoyle @ #227 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:58 pm

    I find it very interesting that NSW is slowly but steadily becoming one of the weakest states for the Coalition. That’s a very bad sign for them – rich swing seat territory, an increasingly unpopular state government, a PM from NSW, a broke state party – it’s all bad for them. How can they improve?

    People should also know that Shorten is quite popular in Western Sydney, which may surprise some.

    Another 1.3 percentage point move brings Reid into the Labor column, and given the shit-fight over marriage equality and climate change, I suspect it won’t even take that much to swing Reid. That means that Labor could well win Reid, Banks, Gilmore, Page and Robertson without too much effort, and that’s on top of an excellent performance in 2016.

    I also would not discount Labor’s chance in Cowper. They came agonisingly close to winning the seat in 2007, and it’s even more of an urban seat now. If Labor can win another six seats in NSW and Labor only needs ONE seat in any of the other states to win government – surely Queensland and WA will yield at least that, probably more.

    One thing bludgers can be sure of – 2018/19 will be another election fought mostly in NSW and Queensland with perhaps the addition of WA.

    By the by, your post yesterday was excellent.

    I especially liked the comment about not allowing people to vote on other people’s rights.

    Well done.

  25. CTar1 @ #235 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 1:03 pm

    Player One

    Re’ the process is flawed.

    I doubt anyone would dispute this.

    However as 65% to 70% percent of people polled are in favour of saying Yes to SSM/ME even the imperfect process should result in a solid ‘Yes’ vote.

    You need at least 70% of people to vote to get to 50% of the electorate saying ‘yes’. Anything less than this and the government would be able to say there is no convincing mandate one way or the other. Which of course they would.

    Do you advocate not voting in elections because not every eligible person has been enrolled before the required date just as an example?

    This is not an election. This is a self-selected opinion poll – i.e. the worst kind for accuracy.

    That non-participation in a ‘vote’ because no process is perfect seems a formula for no advance on anything.

    I already voted for my local member. Now all I want is for him and his colleagues to do their job!

  26. CTar1
    However as 65% to 70% percent of people polled are in favour of saying Yes to SSM/ME even the imperfect process should result in a solid ‘Yes’ vote.

    Hopefully. It would be a cause for concern if it was only young people that recorded support for ssm, IIRC pretty much all polls show under 65s supporting ssm in considerable numbers, and a number of polls have shown majority support in all age groups, although polls vary considerably with over 65s.

  27. AB2

    Thanks for that article – interesting. Note also that Rupert Murdoch’s old man was every bit as malign a political influence in his day as his son is in ours.

  28. GG

    did you see my post from earlier today re the front page of the Herald Sun? Was wondering if you had seen it. Something about a Vic State Labor MP.

    Headline was wtte

    He’s a Syrian Liar.

    Do you know anything about it?

  29. JimmyDoyle @ #227 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:58 pm

    People should also know that Shorten is quite popular in Western Sydney, which may surprise some.

    It strikes me that Shorten’s manner and forthrightness appeals to the more rough cast aspects of the NSW political character. At the same time, he’s a Victorian and that will attract the parochial vote in that state.

    So Labor has ended up with a leader with strong positive aspects in the two most populous states. What’s not to like?

  30. Grumps

    If the LGBTI community wish to boycott then I understand but I am going to vote to shove it up the RWNJ.

    Excellent, we are thinking the same thing.

    I think if this goes ahead that will be the reaction of a large number of people.

  31. Thank you GG, I really appreciate your saying so. We may disagree vehemently on ssm, but I appreciate your contributions to the blog – even if that may not always be evident in my posts lol.

  32. [Player One
    CTar1 @ #235 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 1:03 pm

    Player One

    Re’ the process is flawed.

    I doubt anyone would dispute this.

    However as 65% to 70% percent of people polled are in favour of saying Yes to SSM/ME even the imperfect process should result in a solid ‘Yes’ vote.

    You need at least 70% of people to vote to get to 50% of the electorate saying ‘yes’. Anything less than this and the government would be able to say there is no convincing mandate one way or the other. Which of course they would.]

    I think that’s quite a clear attempt to moving the goalposts.

    You have no shame!

  33. Player One

    Anything less than this and the government would be able to say there is no convincing mandate one way or the other. Which of course they would.

    And you seem to be hell bent on giving them the chance to say this.

    Enough for me for today on this subject.

  34. @ P1

    Just remember that if turnout was 0% amongst people aged 54 or below, and was 100% amongst over 55s, and all those over 55s who were undecided voted no, ME would still pass if you voted for it.

    In the 55+ age group, 50% support and 39% oppose the move.

  35. TPOF @ #212 Friday, August 11th, 2017 – 12:41 pm

    P1

    “It’s embarrassing watching Mal wallow, but the reality is that Shorten is much, much smarter than he appears to be.”

    ———————————————————–

    Shorten has the incredible ability to learn from his mistakes – and to take the right lessons at that. The fact that he has ensured that the Rudd/Gillard war is ancient history as far the current Parliamentary Labor Party is concerned is evidence of that.

    I think a lot of his low netsats are driven still by media coverage in the early days of his leadership that was overly negative (we just got Abbott up, and Albo would make for more fun), and which until very very recently has steadfastly refused to acknowledge the way he has grown into his position (in stark contrast to the two PMs he’s faced), and how much of the government’s problems have been directly driven by or at least masterfully exploited by him. Add on the lingering anger at R/G/R that his opponents and their spruikers never fail to tie him to and his relative unpopularity is explained. None of it is driven by reality as the popularity of the policies he stands for and the stable position of the polls attests.

    The ‘Zinger Bill’, ‘Backstabber Bill’, and ‘Unions Boooo!!! Bill’ memes were always simplistic caricatures designed more to hide the substance of the man and his policy depth than to illuminate anything. We were in a world of Personality Politics and our media couldn’t cope with a Personality that was at ease working behind the scenes as working the crowd in the town hall, but wasn’t one for the three word slogan nor the puffed up preen in a leather jacket.

    The utter vacuousness of Personality Politics is starting to register with the media (some time after the public started getting it of course).

    Shorten’s ‘courageous’ decisions on policy are now starting to pay their dividends. I’m sure his low netsat has been a drag on Labor’s primary (or perhaps it’s the other way round?). But the longer Trumble bumbled from one clusterfuck to the next the more certain that Shorten’s consistency and policy leadership would eventually gain traction and bring the waverers firmly into the tent.

    I think this week will accelerate that process. Surely this is the capitulation too far for Trumble. The reaction of the media certainly seems to hint that his second chances are spent. The lack of a ‘but Labor is bad too’ square up in the media excoriations of the Libs this week is new. Indeed the coverage I’ve seen has contrasted Bill favourably with Trumble without hedges. It has taken 4 years of his leadership to get this from the media when it was deserved within months, but it’s here now and our media are nothing if not a living embodiment of the power of inertia. There is no reason beyond inherent bias to assume the media will en masse return to the old norm (News will hedge – they like to be on the winning side in the end). Certainly nothing Trumble does is likely to change the dynamic. Reinforcing the perception of weakness and incompetence seems to be his true calling.

    The fun of the Abbott insurrection and the hopeless fantasy of the ‘Real Trumble’ are over for the media. Many are lamenting where that has brought us (whilst studiously ignoring their role of course) and are crying out ‘where is our saviour?’. It’s getting harder and harder to deny the boring union hack they’ve been deriding for years has made the most compelling case for leadership in decades.

    I think we’re at an inflection point and the stasis of the past year is going to get a shake up. Perhaps not so much on 2PP, but Shorten and the ALPs numbers are set to solidify whilst Trumble’s numbers will crumble as people finally write him off as a dud.

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