BludgerTrack: 51.9-48.1 to Labor

No change in voting intention, but Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is at its strongest in nearly two years.

The post-budget poll flurry prompted much confusion, amid divergent headline figures from Newspoll and Ipsos (more on that from me in a paywalled Crikey article), but it has made no difference to the two-party preferred reading from BludgerTrack. What has changed is the seat projection, which is entirely down to the Queensland-only Galaxy poll, which has boosted the Coalition by 2.9% and three seats in that state. Labor also loses one of its two gains from a quirky result in Victoria last week.

The other notable movement this week is the upswing in Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings, as recorded by both Newspoll and Ipsos. Turnbull’s net approval reading on BludgerTrack is up 6.0% to minus 13.9%, returning him to around where he was at the time of the last election. Bill Shorten is more or less unchanged, and Turnbull’s improvement on preferred prime minister is a relatively modest 2.9%, putting his margin over Shorten at 11.5%. Full results from the link below:

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.

872 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.9-48.1 to Labor”

  1. Libertarian Unionist @ #683 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 4:10 pm

    WWP,

    In Texas, a few <10yo coal plants have been shut down this year due to the amount of cheap and successfully-integrated wind.

    True. However, by far the largest source of electricity in Texas is natural gas. It is gas that is displacing coal – renewables are still a fair way behind.

    Texas is actually a good analogue for Australia. We are both rich in coal, gas and renewables – we should take a leaf out of their book and be displacing coal with gas, while waiting for renewables to be deployed at scale.

  2. “Texas is actually a good analogue for Australia. We are both rich in coal, gas and renewables – we should take a leaf out of their book and be displacing coal with gas, while waiting for renewables to be deployed at scale.”

    Well yes and no. They have massive amounts of really cheap domestically available gas, and they increased gas significantly over the last 10 years (saw a graph but can’t remember the exact detail) but the point is Australia as I understand it we can’t / won’t / shouldn’t have a ‘gas age’ because renewables are now the more sensible choice, essentially we missed the gas step in the transition because we were so busy trying not to transition at all.

    Isn’t it the gas in SA that is the high price driver? We are fundamentally different to the US in this respect, almost the opposite as I understand it.

  3. Caf

    Which one? There is two. The Wagners family in QLD is suing Alan Jones + Nic Cater for defamation over claims they caused the Grantham Flood. There is a scientist in NSW also suing Alan Jones for defamation over a reason I cant quite remember.

    GG

    I dont see the WA Branch having a proxy over contesting the byelections as that much of an issue affecting the timing.

  4. Player One @ #701 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 4:47 pm

    Libertarian Unionist @ #683 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 4:10 pm

    WWP,

    In Texas, a few <10yo coal plants have been shut down this year due to the amount of cheap and successfully-integrated wind.

    True. However, by far the largest source of electricity in Texas is natural gas. It is gas that is displacing coal – renewables are still a fair way behind.

    Texas is actually a good analogue for Australia. We are both rich in coal, gas and renewables – we should take a leaf out of their book and be displacing coal with gas, while waiting for renewables to be deployed at scale.

    So renewables require ‘deployment’ but gas generation plants just magically materialise instantly?
    Seems to be the logic.
    The difference is that for a given amount of coal generation capacity replaced, renewables cut CO2 output by 100% while gas cuts it by only 50%.
    Now given investment funds are finite, which course of action makes sense, gas or renewables?

  5. And thus is it coming to pass

    A year ago I predicted that the real issue for foreign influence would be Saudi and Israel.

    This is it coming to pass. Having found little in the Russian probe Mueller has been forced to switch to the ME. I have no doubt that this time he WILL find collusion – with little Donny and Jared almost certainly.

    Trouble is it will spread and while Donny and Co might be charged so too will a dozen others- Clinton (Saudi and Israel), Jeb Bush (Saudi), Cruz (Israel) as starters but probably many others

  6. And let’s face it, the pair of them did their best work when last in opposition: Pouring scorn on a Labor government. Neither mastered government but they certainly know how to master the attacks necessary from opposition to be politically successful.

    Both Joyce and Abbott are yesterday’s men politically. Everyone knows how they roll. These days it’s increasingly on flat tyres. Also, neither of them have been up against Bill Shorten PM.

  7. WeWantPaul @ #704 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 5:01 pm

    “Texas is actually a good analogue for Australia. We are both rich in coal, gas and renewables – we should take a leaf out of their book and be displacing coal with gas, while waiting for renewables to be deployed at scale.”

    Well yes and no. They have massive amounts of really cheap domestically available gas, …

    As do we.

    … and they increased gas significantly over the last 10 years (saw a graph but can’t remember the exact detail) …

    As did we.

    … but the point is Australia as I understand it we can’t / won’t / shouldn’t have a ‘gas age’ because renewables are now the more sensible choice, essentially we missed the gas step in the transition because we were so busy trying not to transition at all.

    It depends on what your goal is. If it is to reduce C02 emissions, we absolutely should be burning gas in place of coal. If it is to minimize cost, well sure – you are better off bypassing gas and just burning coal till you can deploy renewables at scale.

    … Isn’t it the gas in SA that is the high price driver? We are fundamentally different to the US in this respect, almost the opposite as I understand it.

    Our domestic gas price is artificially inflated to make unconventional gas extraction look economically feasible. Our cheap conventional gas is sold off overseas at knockdown prices. But an EIS and a gas reservation policy would fix that.

  8. DTT – it isn’t that Mueller hasn’t found that Russia had anything to do with it – it just isn’t as straightforward as some would like it to be.

    Russia is in it up to its eyeballs — sorry — but your wishful thinking will not ‘un-make it so’ — there are just many threads to the ball of wool (hyperbole and cliche deliberate!)

    Trump is equivalent to a mobster. He and his family have fingers in lots of pies, some connected directly, others tangentially. It’ll likely take another year or two to unravel.

    As the WAPO journos have stated, Mueller’s investigation is basically airtight – you will not know the extent of what his team knows until they choose to reveal it.

    BTW – you exhort others to watch/read the stuff you do. I dare you to watch Maddow … she is meticulous with referencing evidence … unlike some wowsers on the far left and right who make statements in the vain hope that others will have forgotten by the time truth comes out.

  9. Zoidlord – was thinking the same thing earlier today. The insufficiency of the Telstra network has been laid bare in recent times and Turnbull has assigned the past leaders of that incompetent company carte blanche on #NBN

    no wonder our broadband is so poor

  10. jenauthor @ #721 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 5:23 pm

    Zoidlord – was thinking the same thing earlier today. The insufficiency of the Telstra network has been laid bare in recent times and Turnbull has assigned the past leaders of that incompetent company carte blanche on #NBN

    no wonder our broadband is so poor

    I am not sure that is a correct diagnosis.
    The problem seems to be with Telstra’s mobile network which is independent of the NBN.
    I can understand Telstra reducing maintenance on any assets due to be replaced by the NBN, but that is their existing copper and HFC Cable.

  11. I am afraid I am unable to muster the requisite enthusiasm that the ABC appears to be hoping we will be possessed with when it comes to their annual stargazing extravaganza.

  12. DTT,

    There are quite a few errors in your post regarding the Special Counsel’s investigation.

    1. There is no evidence that Flynn has retracted his guilty plea. There is wishful thinking among Trump supporters and pro-Trump media as described here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/21/flynn-urged-by-supporters-to-withdraw-guilty-plea-as-judges-actions-raise-eyebrows.html, but alas no actual evidence. What is your source for this claim?

    2. The 13 Russian nationals indicted by Mueller were not “low level kids in basements”. They in fact all worked for or controlled Concord Holdings, which “is controlled by Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, who U.S. officials have said has extensive ties to Russia’s military and political establishment.” Prigozhin, also personally charged by Mueller, has been dubbed “Putin’s cook” by Russian media because his catering business has organized banquets for Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior political figures. He has been hit with sanctions by the U.S. government.” So these 13 Russians worked for Concord. In other words they and Concord work for the Kremlin and Putin.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-concord/russian-firm-tied-to-putins-cook-pleads-not-guilty-in-us-idUSKBN1IA1I7

    Also in the indictments of course is the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-backed troll organization.

    “If you’ve been following the discussion about how Russia meddled with the 2016 U.S. election, the Internet Research Agency is probably a familiar name. But if you haven’t been watching every congressional hearing and reading every report, Friday’s indictment of the Internet Research Agency (as well as two other Russian entities and 13 Russian nationals) offers a good opportunity to look at the Kremlin-backed troll organization—namely, how it attempted to manipulate U.S. voters and what we know about how it works.

    The Internet Research Agency is based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and has been at work since at least 2013 churning out memes, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, and Twitter accounts; pretending to be activist groups; and even organizing grassroots events in an attempt to sway with political campaigns and conversations around the world.

    The indictment is packed with new information about the Internet Research Agency, which allegedly has employed hundreds of people since it started operating from its main office in St. Petersburg. It alleges that the organization began targeting the 2016 presidential election in 2014. As time went on, according to the indictment, the agency compiled a list of more than 100 real Americans, including people associated with the Trump campaign, who had been contacted through by fake accounts made by the Russian trolls in order to recruit and unwittingly carry out requests. In February 2016, the indictment says, the workers at the Internet Research Agency were instructed to “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them.)” The indictment also supports the long-held suspicion that the agency attempted to sow resentment on the left as well as the right, though its support for the Trump campaign was significantly greater.”

    https://slate.com/technology/2018/02/what-we-know-about-the-internet-research-agency-and-how-it-meddled-in-the-2016-election.html

    Object of the Conspiracy

    28. The conspiracy had as its object impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of the United States by dishonest means in order to enable the Defendants to interfere with U.S. political and electoral processes, including the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

    Mueller’s indictment:

    https://www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download

    3. Pivotal moments in Mueller’s Trump investigation: 5 guilty pleas, 17 indictments and more.

    http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-mueller-investigation-one-year/

    Of course Flynn, Gates, Papadopolous and Van der Zwaan have plead guilty. Gates, the former Trump campaign assistant to Paul Manafort has flipped. Flynn and Papa are cooperating with Mueller.

    “Manafort is facing a raft of bank fraud, tax fraud and money-laundering charges that could land him in prison for the rest of his life, if he is convicted.” (This is huge leverage for Mueller against Trump.)

    Collusion/Conspiracy Investigation.

    “NBC News reported in March that Mueller’s team has enough evidence and is considering charges accusing Russians, including Russian intelligence officials, of violating U.S. of statutes on conspiracy, election law and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

    Such an indictment would lay out the Russian scheme to hack the Democrats and leak embarrassing emails, much as his previous indictment of Russians exposed an alleged conspiracy to manipulate American social media.

    That move would be important for two reasons. One, it would establish the crime at the heart of the matter, and make it easier to establish that Trump obstructed justice, if in fact there is evidence to prove that. Two, it would make it easier to charge any American who helped the Russians as a co-conspirator, even if they didn’t participate in the actual hacking and leaking.

    Then there’s Cohen.

    “Mueller is almost certainly sitting on some explosive secrets.

    The leak of a one report from the U.S. Treasury detailing payments to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen exposed what looked like influence peddling and payments from a firm linked to a Russian oligarch.

    That single Treasury document pales in comparison to the trove of financial records Mueller’s team is believed to have obtained on Donald Trump, including his tax returns, banking records and phone records, legal expert say.”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/mueller-s-first-anniversary-investigation-isn-t-ending-anytime-soon-n875126

    4. The FBI did not deliberately plant a spy in the Trump campaign.

    “F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims”

    “In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign. The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with one campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, according to people familiar with the matter. He also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page, who was also under F.B.I. scrutiny for his ties to Russia.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/us/politics/trump-fbi-informant-russia-investigation.html

    And further explained here by Vox:

    But as the Times notes, there is no evidence that the informant was a secret spy sent to infiltrate the Trump campaign, as Trump and his allies claim. More likely: Investigators were trying to figure out just what was going on between these Trump guys and Russia.

    “The notion of fully embedded government operatives inside a campaign is hard to imagine under these circumstances,” said Frank Figliuzzi, a former head of FBI counterintelligence, to NBC News. “What is easier to imagine is the FBI trying to flesh out information on Russian intelligence operatives by making approaches to campaign staffers if the reasonable suspicion was there and the approvals were in place.”

    https://www.vox.com/2018/5/20/17374098/trump-fbi-campaign-spy-twitter-justice-department

  13. Bemused I was talking about the incompetence of the people in charge and their decision-making … and the decision-making of the govt in awarding those idiots the contracts etc.

    Work done for Telstra, like #NBN, has become based on sub-contractors who are not competent (pink batts issue anyone?).

    We had one of their contractors come by not long ago, jump in the Telstra pit where the fibre cable was situated, broke the fibre cable (I ran outside the instant everything went down and asked ‘what did you do?’ Guy said ‘us? Nothing – will look and fix before end of day’ — they then took off and didn’t return— two days later a different team came at iinet’s request and told us the cable had been severed — they replaced and all was good a minute later).

    And that is not my ONLY hassle with Telstra and their contractors over the years.

  14. No way Tony Abbott will be returning to the Liberal party leadership if the Liberals enter opposition. Few in the Liberal party want a repeat of what he was like as Prime Minister.

    Depending on if Peter Dutton is re-elected, it is either going to be him, Julie Bishop or Scott Morrison who would become Liberal leader.

  15. Greensborough Growler @ #724 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 5:33 pm

    I’m sure someone on PB will appreciate this!

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    I love it. The hookup is wonderful.
    I assume this would be a prime example of government agility and innovation in action.

    Of course the whole production shebang has been privatised.

    The dude on the left of the picture is actually a robot. Notice the stiff legged gait and the way he can balance on one leg while leaning forward. 😇

  16. Trust – I’d love to see Pyne as Lib LOTO … can you imagine? Whiney Pyney would keep them out of office for a quarter century

  17. C@tmomma @ #723 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 5:28 pm

    I am afraid I am unable to muster the requisite enthusiasm that the ABC appears to be hoping we will be possessed with when it comes to their annual stargazing extravaganza.

    I don’t know, this was kind of interesting IMO:

    Astronomers have found the fastest-growing black hole ever seen in the universe, and they’re calling this one a monster with an appetite. It’s growing so fast it can devour a mass the size of the sun every two days.

    Researchers at Australian National University first discovered this supermassive black hole, also known as a quasar, when data from a telescope called the SkyMapper flagged it as an object of potential interest. Then they used data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite to determine how far away it was. They found that it took more than 12 billion years for the light from this massive black hole to reach Earth. It’s the brightest quasar that can be seen in visual or ultraviolet light.

    “The heat radiation from the matter falling into the black hole, which is the light we see, is a few thousand times brighter than our own Milky Way galaxy,” Christian Wolf, the lead researcher on the university’s team of astronomers, wrote in an email to CNN.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/16/health/fastest-growing-black-hole-trnd/index.html

  18. KayJay @ #729 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 5:44 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #724 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 5:33 pm

    I’m sure someone on PB will appreciate this!

    <a href="” rel=”nofollow”>” rel=”nofollow”>

    I love it. The hookup is wonderful.
    I assume this would be a prime example of government agility and innovation in action.

    Of course the whole production shebang has been privatised.

    The dude on the left of the picture is actually a robot. Notice the stiff legged gait and the way he can balance on one leg while leaning forward. 😇

    I did have you in mind!

    The guy on the horse looks like Bernie Sanders on holiday!

    Cheers.

  19. “Specifically, the analysis shows that once in every three years, approximately 200,000 households in NSW may experience power outages lasting five hours.”

    I love how scary they are trying to make that sound.

    If Liddell closes;
    and if AGL doesn’t build any of the things they plan;
    and if no-one else builds anything else in the next 4 years;
    and no-one bothers to run a demand response program, similar to the one AEMO ran last year;
    and if all the lost power is on households (who make up a small portion of energy use), then we still meet the reliability standard.

    1/3rd of years 1/10th of households will lose power for 1/1752nd of the year. That is an average failure rate of 0.0019%, which means residential would meet the reliability standard (and they are assuming commercial + industrial are receiving 0% outage rate here so the average outage rate would be around 0.001%).

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/government-switches-approach-after-agl-rules-out-sale-of-liddell-coal-plant-20180521-p4zgm4.html

  20. Voice Endeavour @ #733 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 5:48 pm

    “Specifically, the analysis shows that once in every three years, approximately 200,000 households in NSW may experience power outages lasting five hours.”

    I love how scary they are trying to make that sound.

    If Liddell closes;
    and if AGL doesn’t build any of the things they plan;
    and if no-one else builds anything else in the next 4 years;
    and no-one bothers to run a demand response program, similar to the one AEMO ran last year;
    and if all the lost power is on households (who make up a small portion of energy use), then we still meet the reliability standard.

    1/3rd of years 1/10th of households will lose power for 1/1752nd of the year. That is an average failure rate of 0.0019%, which means residential would meet the reliability standard (and they are assuming commercial + industrial are receiving 0% outage rate here so the average outage rate would be around 0.001%).

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/government-switches-approach-after-agl-rules-out-sale-of-liddell-coal-plant-20180521-p4zgm4.html

    We had power outages for 10-12 hours when the supplier was maintenancing the local power lines two or three time last year.

  21. A serious question – re power outages due to line maintenance, would it be possible to have temporary battery back up using truck mounted battery packs?

  22. a r,
    Astronomers have found the fastest-growing black hole ever seen in the universe, and they’re calling this one a monster with an appetite. It’s growing so fast it can devour a mass the size of the sun every two days.

    I strongly doubt that a new Black Hole will be discovered by the ABC crew this week. 🙂

  23. citizen @ #736 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 6:09 pm

    A serious question – re power outages due to line maintenance, would it be possible to have temporary battery back up using truck mounted battery packs?

    I imagine so. We always used to hook up a car battery to a small tv when the power went out.

    Though not being an electrical expert I could be wrong. My late husband used to do it. 🙂

  24. The largest known volcanic eruption was Lake Taupo in New Zealand, estimated to be 10x to 100x larger than Krakatoa

    ?zoom=2

  25. citizen @ #737 Monday, May 21st, 2018 – 6:09 pm

    A serious question – re power outages due to line maintenance, would it be possible to have temporary battery back up using truck mounted battery packs?

    On a small truck you could fit maybe one Tesla Powerpack (1600 kilos) and it would power maybe 20 houses for 2 hours.

    Not really practical.

  26. On battery power, I’m quite surprised at how much power is stored in the lithium battery in my power drill. It far exceeds the output of a nickel cadmium battery in a previous drill.

    I wonder when lead acid batteries in conventional cars will be replaced with something smaller and lighter.

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