BludgerTrack: 51.8-48.2 to Labor

Nothing doing on voting intention in the latest poll aggregate update, but Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership ratings are continuing to look up.

The only new poll result this week, from Newspoll, landed right on the existing results for BludgerTrack, which accordingly records only the slightest of movements in this week’s update. The biggest of these is a 0.4% increase for One Nation, who were up two points in Newspoll. The only changes on the seat projection result from the fact that my hypothetical election is now one conducted using mini-redistributions, giving Labor extra seats in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, and the Liberals losing one in South Australia.

The voting intention readings don’t offer much excitement, but Newspoll’s latest leadership numbers further contribute to an impression of rising popularity (or at least, falling unpopularity) for Malcolm Turnbull, which seemed to kick in two to three months ago. Turnbull’s net approval trend rating is now well clear of Bill Shorten’s for the first time since early 2016, and he has more than recovered from a slight dip in his preferred prime minister rating over New Year.

Full results:

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.

944 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.8-48.2 to Labor”

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  1. If UBI is the answer, what are the sensible, saleable intermediate steps to move us there in a comfortable broadly supported way. I seem to see only ‘dive right in’ and ‘we can never ever afford it’ and nothing in the middle.

    The same people advocating a UBI were the same people steadfastly defending Assange as some kind of freedom of speech fighter.

    They don’t talk much about Assange anymore, if at all.

  2. Confessions @ #849 Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 – 8:08 pm


    Yes indeed, that’s definitely true. They also tolerated his behaviour at late night Estimates where he’d return from the dinner break clearly inebriated.

    That should’ve been a warning to them that things weren’t quite altogether kosher with Barnaby.

    And how many times did he come back after a quick knee-trembler with Vikki? 😉

  3. grimace

    The national NFF were of course right into jack booting but Barry Court and his Pastoralists and Graziers were not. From this it appears the local NFF were not impressed with the national NFF either.

    Pastoralists and Graziers Association

    President is Barry M. Court, brother to the Liberal Party Premier. 60 farmers from throughout Western Australia have converged on Fremantle Port to develop a better relationship with the Maritime Union. The Pastoralists and Graziers Association hopes the two groups can create a relationship based on consultation rather than confrontation.
    (Source: ABC March 19)

    Western Australian Farmers Federation
    Has been critical of the NFF attitude

  4. Boerwar @ #843 Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 – 5:51 pm


    Australians are blessed with around about the highest quality, most abundant, most reliable, freshest, and cheapest food in the World. You don’t have a clue about what it is to starve to death or to go hungry.

    Not only that, but Australian farmers stave off starvation of tens of millions of people overseas.

    Where is your gratitude?

    Our farmers will get no gratitude from me.

    Our farmers need to learn to run their businesses efficiently, or they can sell it to someone who can.

    I have every confidence that if our farms can be run at a profit, and it’s a big if in some instances, that someone will be prepared to step in and give it a go. And if they’re a very large or multinational farming conglomerate they’ll do it better.

  5. Boerwar:

    I’m not going to defend the silence from Liberals about Barnaby’s drunken late night Estimates forays, but you have to give credit where it’s due that Liberals like PvO were never locked and loaded behind the Barnaby experiment to begin with. He’s always deferred to Howard’s judgement on keeping him outside the ministry, from what I can glean from his previous columns.

  6. Given all the shagging that has been going on in, under and around the House since Federation, IMO the best rule is still ‘Silence is golden’.

  7. “what are the sensible, saleable intermediate steps to move us there in a comfortable broadly supported way. ”

    To my knowledge, no one has done the research needed to lay out a viable program. That needs to be done and wargamed many times with different assumptions.

  8. Good evening all,

    A UBI is not targeted at those who need it most and it is not progressive as it supports those who do not need support at the same level as those who do.

    Target increased support for the unemployed, those on disability support and carers, full pensioners and single income single parent families to start with. Thst is where the unfairness in our society exists. Invest more in Medicare , public hospitals, and other services that support those on low incomes most. That is where we need to target instead of some kumbia ” everyone is a winner ” pie in the sky feel good load of bollocks that would cost billions and increase rather than decrease inequility in this country.

    Cheers and a good night to all.

  9. @Boerwar 7:40pm: I agree, the assumptions are the foundation of any argument for – or against – a UBI. Your points are all valid (some are highly insightful, in fact), but I think that the kind of radical rewrite of the tax system that this level of spend would require is, perhaps, a bridge too far for today’s politics. We seem to be stuck in a rut of “tinker around the edges a bit”, and that just won’t cover the structural demands for this kind of finance.

    Have you considered the alternative of a Guaranteed Minimum Income? It may alleviate some of those concerns, and still gain the benefit of greatly simplifying today’s cumbersome welfare bureaucracy. Yes, there’ll be a few “leaners”, but…I somehow doubt there’ll be many. The few places which have trialed either a UBI or a GMI (Manitoba’s trial comes to mind, as does Finland’s – which is more of a GMI, despite being called a UBI) have seen little reduction in workforce participation rates…and a significant increase in aggregates for population health (physical AND psychological), creative endeavours, small business startups and so on. While those were trials, which affects participants’ attitudes toward them, their results aren’t totally invalid.

    I’ve seen the idea of a Jobs Guarantee floated before, here and elsewhere, and…I don’t particularly like it. Not as anything but a stopgap measure – as automation progresses, more and more of the “guaranteed” jobs will have to be makework, and it won’t take long for participants to realize this and treat it like Work For The Dole is treated today. Not to mention that people putting in a full-time workload, even on makework, expect their pay packets to reflect this – the per cap. costs of a job guarantee would be significantly higher than either UBI or GMI (with the cost-reduction of fewer participants, of course).

    Each option has its upsides, its downsides and its costs – but I think we can agree that status quo continuus is not going to work for much longer. Not, as you noted, without creating a perpetual underclass, and one which will only grow with time.

    For the banking issue: Why would a Peoples’ Bank need to be subsidized on an ongoing basis? The Commonwealth Bank didn’t. Its rate of return on capital was significantly lower than private banks, but it did generate significant profits annually for the Government. And I think that the current Royal Commission provides ample evidence of the need for a publicly-owned alternative, one that isn’t run by greedheads determined to squeeze every last penny out of their “customers”. And the current 4+ banks all compete, with none of them getting all the custom, so I really see the “all the business” argument as a non-starter, I’m afraid.

    While I wish RDN would give some specific figures for us punters to work with, I’m going to have to disagree with your overall opposition to the idea. After all, additionally to the Commonwealth Bank, 4 States’ worth of State-owned banks worked out well (or at least acceptably) – NSW (SBNSW), Qld (QGSB, QAB), WA (R&I Bank) and Tas (Trust Bank) – which shows that it can be done well, without ongoing drains on the public purse.

  10. Matt

    Agree on jobs guarantee.

    Agree also that a UBI is politically (or financially) possible.

    Not sure about the GMI.

    It is just be bait and switch politics from the Greens.

    In terms of the People’s Bank, all we know is that Di Natale wants it to compete with the private banks for $2 trillion worth of business, including the home lending market (worth maybe $1.5 trillion).

    Until he provides anything more than a brainfart we will just have to assume the worst.

  11. And I have suffered the same fate as many before me. Put up a considered thought re the topic du jour, and… *crickets*


  12. Confessions @ #852 Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 – 6:09 pm

    the same people steadfastly defending Assange as some kind of freedom of speech fighter.

    You mean like Bill Maher? He’s not only defended Assange, he’s also defended Ann Coulter, Milo Shithead-opolous and Laura Ingraham. He constantly raves about free speech as if it’s an absolute. Even America where free speech is guaranteed by their constitution has laws for slander, libel and defamation.

    He was also a staunch “Bernie-bro”. He’s on record as saying he reluctantly endorsed Hilary only because the alternative was much worse.

    I still watch Real Time however it’s coming up to its use by date. Sometimes the panels devolve into the same sort of shouting matches that make CNN unwatchable. John Oliver offers a vastly superior product at the moment. A lot funnier and a lot more informative. Samantha Bee is also a lot funnier and sharper, current controversy notwithstanding.

    I believe there needs to be a rethink, reboot and redux done to Real Time otherwise it will lose ground to its competitors who are taking a fresh approach to doing the same thing, and fade off into irrelevance. It still has some time left, but not much.

  13. I’ll stick my hand up as someone who is, at least, intrigued by the idea of a UBI/GMI but who also thinks Assange is a narcissistic dickhead.

  14. The Intellectual Bogan

    Assange is a narcissistic dickhead.

    He is indeed but that does not mean what comes out through Wikileaks is not true or important. LOL how he instantly became the bad guy when instead of revealing dirt about ‘their side’ he revealed some dirt about ‘our side’ .

  15. I see that Compact Crack has been rather active today and there has been much heat, yet little light in the ensuring ‘debate’.

    A week ago -after he surfaced again (the last time I noticed him posting was during the 2016 Federal Election, but I could be wrong about that) I posited that he hated Australia, given his avowed membership of the Liberal Party, Johannesburg… I mean Perth Branch.

    That was met with some derision at the time. Besumed and Disavow All Empthany (surprise!!), but I was right. Saved time cutting to the nub of it. …

    It don’t mind conservative folk. I’m just waiting for one to debate who is not a huckster peddling some ponzi type scheme…

  16. Well, it was Assange’s selectivity that did him in in my eyes. You can’t say you’re all about transparency and then decide to hold things back just because it’s to your advantage.

  17. Rex Douglas says:
    Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Turnbull’s net approval trend rating is now well clear of Bill Shorten’s for the first time since early 2016, and he has more than recovered from a slight dip in his preferred prime minister rating over New Year.

    The dead weight of Bill Shorten keeping this destructive Govt within striking distance of winning another term.

    The liberal/Green alliance seem very keen to getting rid of Shorten; no doubt having the Labor parties interest central to their efforts.

  18. boomy1 @ #880 Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 – 7:55 pm

    Don’t give up Dan Gulberry.

    On Bill Maher? I haven’t. I just believe that better alternatives have emerged.

    It’s up to Maher and his producers as to what course they take. Do they carry on with the same old formula because it worked in the past, or do they evolve and take on the newcomers head first? Both courses involve an element of risk.

  19. “Frednk says:
    Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Turnbull’s net approval trend rating is now well clear of Bill Shorten’s for the first time since early 2016, and he has more than recovered from a slight dip in his preferred prime minister rating over New Year.

    The dead weight of Bill Shorten keeping this destructive Govt within striking distance of winning another term.

    The liberal/Green alliance seem very keen to getting rid of Shorten; no doubt having the Labor parties interest central to their efforts.”

    it been tragic how parts of left wing have closed ranks around bill, from day one of his ascent
    they interpret any criticism of his style, rhetoric, public persona as coming from opposition
    but discount honest constructive concern within their own followers

    this concern has been ongoing for a long time – it is not as if any conspiracy against bill is recent, or that any criticism is in fact conspiratorial

    bill might be a good leader of the party internally, but public perceptions are a different thing – after all, it was internal factions, not members, that brought him to his position

    the same people who hold out for next poll against turnbull or in support of alp, continue to rationalise a cumulative track record against bill that outweighs turnbull in leadership stakes

    what is needed from LOTO is articulate, poignant, frequent rebuttal and advocacy of public policies on many fronts – tunbull does not do this but barrister demeamour seems to polish the turd as far as ratings go

    i am happy to have shorten win – but the concern is recurrent that he unnecessarily skews and risks outcomes

    i will duck the missiles

  20. I meant keep on doing what you are doing.
    I want to see bullshit arguments ridiculed and destroyed.
    I want all voices to be heard even if some of those voices don’t know how to express themselves in ways that are widely understood.
    No worries.

  21. Classy win by Richmond over Essendon tonight. They look back to their devastating best. Look out Weagles!


    East Coast Low off the Central Coast of NSW. One stupid Freighter/Container ship sailing in it has already lost 82 containers overboard.
    Looks like we will be getting a lot of our Winter rain this week.


  22. Matt the DSP is a “scrimp and save” income provided you don’t live anywhere near a city and pay real rents. My sister lives on a DSP and her rental is over half her pension. In reality my mum pays some of her bills.

    I’d be happy with a UBI on the order of $20K or even less, provided housings/rental costs are dealt with as a separate issue.

  23. And on a personal note. I was born mostly blind. An hereditary condition that meant my eyes didn’t develop the usual complement of light receptive cells. I have “low res” vision. Relative to someone with normal sight anyhow.

    When my condition was diagnosed (I was about 2 at the time) my parents were told “don’t worry, he’ll get a job weaving baskets”. No I’m not making that up and that isn’t a euphemistic paraphrase. That’s literally what was said. Such was the attitude to the “handicapped”. You can guess who was in government back then.

    Its this I’m all right fuck you attitude that is behind my comments to Compact Crank that his view of human nature is fundamentally selfish and morally bankrupt.

  24. poroti @ #872 Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 – 9:42 pm

    LOL how he instantly became the bad guy when instead of revealing dirt about ‘their side’ he revealed some dirt about ‘our side’ .

    What zoomster said. Assange’s problem wasn’t that he leaked against a particular side. It’s that he decided that he would 1) only leak against one side, and 2) deliberately delay/time (and hype, on twitter) his leaks so as to produce the maximum political impact.

    The second thing has nothing whatsoever to do with facilitating transparency, and anyone who believes the first thing happened because there just plain wasn’t any dirt to leak about Trump/Republicans is certifiably insane.

    Assange stopped doing transparency and started doing politics instead. It’s fair to criticize him for that. Having an apolitical Wikileaks is necessary; Assange trashed a vitally important thing.

  25. The Tigers have Port, Cats and Swans next three rounds. Tonight was the first time they have beaten a top 8 team from last year, and Essendon barely count.

  26. The UBI concept, as Doyley suggests, solves a problem that doesn’t exist – poverty among the wealthy – and doesn’t actually deal with problems that do exist – deep, structural inequalities in income, wealth, opportunity, capital distribution (of all kinds), the costs of healthcare, aged care, education, training, child-care, the burdens of disability and illness and the failures in the labour market.

    My view is we should increase monetary and non-monetary social incomes. We should aim our efforts at solving real problems rather than just issuing income credits to all. At a certain level, the UBI is just insulting. It says to the unemployed or the institutionally-disadvantaged “Your problems are too great to be addressed. Here, take some money. Now get lost.” This is next to useless. We need institutional solutions to institutional problems and individual solutions to individual problems.

  27. Most leaders have negative net-sat ratings these days. This reflects very widespread disaffection with politics and politicians in general. This is hardly surprising, considering the conduct of so many political figures over so many years, and the recurring spectacles of politicians just behaving so incredibly poorly. It also echoes the oft-heard complaint that politicians are “all the same.”

    These negative sentiments could be exaggerated in the imaginations of voters. They are not nuanced. They are not based on close or first-hand knowledge. In this respect, they are not “real”. But these discounts exist. I think they should be seen as proxies for opinions about politics as a whole.

    It is also hardly surprising that the LOTO should be ranked below the PM. The LOTO-figure is the politician-without-power. They are necessarily a bit of an unknown quantity, and the discount applied to them will usually be higher than that applied to the politician-with-power, the PM.

    All in all, neither the low rankings assigned to the leaders nor the gap between them are surprising.

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