The diversion of Super Saturday meant I fell out of my habit of running weekly posts on the latest BludgerTrack numbers, although I have been updating them as new polls have come through. As no national polls appear likely this week, now is a good time to resume.
There have been three national polls since the last BludgerTrack post, each of which has registered some sort of improvement for the Coalition: the Ipsos poll three weeks ago had Labor’s two-party lead closing from 53-47 to 51-49, and its respondent-allocated preferences result was 50-50 (as it was in the Ipsos poll from early April); and, more modestly, last week’s Newspoll and Essential Research results both had Coalition up a point on the primary vote and Labor steady.
We also had yesterday a Western Australia only poll from YouGov Galaxy, which gratifyingly supported what BludgerTrack was saying already. On voting intention, it had the Coalition on 42%, down from 48.7% at the 2016 election; Labor on 36%, up 3.5%; the Greens on 10%, down 2.1%; and One Nation on 5%. The published two-party result is 51-49 in favour of the Coalition, which is presumably based on previous election flows, and compares with 54.7-45.3 in 2016.
Other findings of the poll: Malcolm Turnbull led Bill Shorten 47-32 as preferred prime minister; they were tied at 40% on who was most trusted to “change the distribution of GST revenue to ensure WA receives a fairer share” (which might be thought presumptuous wording, though few in WA would be likely to think so); and 36% supported and 50% opposed company tax cuts, in response to a question that specified beneficiaries would include “those with a turnover above $50 million a year”. The poll was conducted on Thursday and Friday for the Sunday Times from a sample of 831.
Together with the existing BludgerTrack reading, this poll tends to confirm that much of the air has gone out of the boom Labor was experiencing in WA polling through much of last year and this year. The BludgerTrack probability projections now have Labor likely to pick up Hasluck, but Swan and Christian Porter’s seat of Pearce are now rated as 50-50 propositions.
At the national level, recent polls have produced a movement back to the Coalition on two-party preferred, with Labor’s lead down to 51.1-48.9, its lowest level since late 2016. However, this has not availed them much on the seat projection, which actually credits Labor with a bigger majority than it achieved in 2007, when its two-party vote was 1.6% higher.
Partly this reflects continuing weakness in the Coalition’s ratings in all-important Queensland, consistent with the Longman by-election result. Labor has also made a gain in BludgerTrack against the national trend in Victoria, netting them two projected seats, which is balanced only by a one seat loss from a slightly larger movement against them in New South Wales. BludgerTrack is now registering a small swing in the Coalition’s favour in New South Wales, but thanks to adjustments for sophomore surge effects in all seats the Coalition could conceivably gain from Labor, it’s not availing them on the seat projection.
Ipsos and Newspoll both provided new results for leadership ratings, which have made a small further contribution to the existing improving trend for Malcolm Turnbull, both on net approval and preferred prime minister. Full results through the link below.