BludgerTrack: 51.1-48.9 to Labor

Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings lose their lustre, but the poll trend records no change on voting intention. Also featured: preselection action from Labor in the ACT and the Liberals in Tasmania.

BludgerTrack has been updated this week with new results from Newspoll and Essential Research, both of which provided leadership ratings as well as voting intention, and a Queensland-only federal poll result from YouGov Galaxy. None of this has made any difference to the two-party preferred reading, although both parties are down on the primary vote and One Nation is up. On the seat projection, the Coalition gains a seat in Victoria and loses one in New South Wales, with no change anywhere else. However, conspicuously poor personal ratings for Malcolm Turnbull from Newspoll have knocked the edge off his surge in the BludgerTrack trend. Full results from the link below.

Now on to two areas of intense preselection activity this week, involving Labor in the Australian Capital Territory and Liberal in Tasmania.

The former produced an unexpected turn this week when Gai Brodtmann, who has held the seat of Canberra for Labor since 2010, announced she would not seek another term. This leaves the Territory’s vigorous Labor branch with three situations vacant: the lower house seats of Canberra and Bean, and the Senate seat that was vacated by Section 44 casualty Katy Gallagher in May and filled by David Smith.

Smith is now seeking preselection in Bean, which early appeared to be lined up for Brodtmann. Sally Whyte of Fairfax reports Smith has been formally endorsed by the Right, which appears to consider that the Right-aligned Brodtmann should be replaced with one of their own. However, the Left is throwing its weight behind Louise Crossman, manager at the Justice and Community Safety Directorate and former federal staffer and CFMEU industrial officer. Also in the field are Taimus Werner-Gibbings, factionally unaligned staffer to Lisa Singh (and formerly Andrew Leigh), and Gail Morgan, business management consultant and former campaign manager to Brodtmann.

Apparently in retaliation to the Left’s intrusion in Bean, the Right is sponsoring a challenge to Left-aligned Katy Gallagher for the Senate seat, in the person of Victoria Robertson, chief-of-staff to Gai Brodtmann. The race for the Canberra preselection was covered here last week; only the lower house seat of Fenner will be defended by a sitting member, in this case Andrew Leigh.

The news from Tasmania relates to Senate preselection for the Liberals, who are in the happy seat of having a likely Senate seat to spare thanks to the vagaries of the Section 44 affair. When the Senate was carved into short-term and long-term seats after the 2016 double dissolution, the Liberals originally got two seats with six-year terms and two with three-year terms, based on the order of election in which the twelve Senators were elected. However, in the recount after Jacqui Lambie’s disqualification, her party won its seat at a later point in the count, and the Liberals gained a third six-year term at their expense. Given the likelihood of their winning two seats, this means their four seats will likely become five after the election.

Eight candidates have nominated for Liberal preselection, with top position reportedly likely to go to Richard Colbeck, the only one out of the party’s four incumbents required to face the voters. Colbeck initially failed to win in 2016 from his fifth place on the Liberal ticket, to which he was demoted after heading the ticket in 2013. This resulted from a purge of Malcolm Turnbull loyalists led by conservative powerbroker Senator Eric Abetz, and inspired a surge of below-the-line votes for Colbeck, though not enough for him to overhaul the top four candidates. As fate would have it though, number five effectively became number four in the recount held after Section 44 prompted the resignation of Stephen Parry in November last year.

Assuming Colbeck takes top place, that will leave a further seven candidates chasing number two, plus the outside chance offered by number three. A newly confirmed starter is Brett Whiteley, who held a state seat for Braddon from 2002 until his defeat in 2010, gained the federal seat for the Liberals at the 2013 election, lost it at the 2016 election, and failed to win it back at last month’s by-election. But with the party under pressure to balance its all-male parliamentary contingent, he seems likely to struggle against Claire Chandler, risk advisory manager at Deloitte Australia and former electorate officer to David Bushby, who reportedly has the backing of Eric Abetz. Also in the field are Tanya Denison, a Hobart alderman; Wendy Summers, political staffer and the sister of David Bushby; Stacey Sheehan, Davenport Chamber of Commerce and Industry president; Kent Townsend, whom I take to be a developer from Launceston; and Craig Brakey, an Ulverstone businessman.

Finally, two other bits of polling I missed:

• Last week I noted Greenpeace had published a ReachTEL poll that included Victorian state voting intention numbers. I missed the more interesting fact that they also had one on federal voting intention from a sample of 3999. It’s getting on a bit now, having been conducted on July 30, but let it be noted that Labor led 52-48, from primary votes of Coalition 36.9%, Labor 35.0%, Greens 12.0% and One Nation 8.1% (after exclusion of 5.2% undecided.

• The Courier-Mail had further results from last week’s YouGov Galaxy poll which, despite the newspaper’s best efforts to give an impression to the contrary, found respondents strongly opposed to the company tax cuts. Only 16% registered support for tax cuts for businesses with more than $50 million turnover, which the government has tried and failed to pass through the Senate. Twelve per cent favoured a response that excluded banks from the cuts, and 56% were opposed altogether.

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.

1,332 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.1-48.9 to Labor”

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  1. I personally love popcorn, especially homemade, fresh and warm.
    The particular variety of corn is vital, most corn makes bland popcorn with little flavour or texture. A local organic store has the best, but even there it varies over the year. When I get a good batch, I go back and buy a couple of kilos to last a while.

    Start with Ghee, from the local Indian store, when it reaches smoke point add a little coconut oil, changes the fragrance a lot. Add corn and pop.
    Plenty of salt and a little freshly ground pepper and it is unresistible.

  2. While we’re all wasting time waiting for news, has this happened to anyone else?
    I saw that C@tmomma had replied to boomy1, but I did not see the original comment by boomy1. I went looking. It wasn’t there. So I refreshed the page and it appeared, though numbered 1 higher than in C@tmomma’s Reply. I am running Opera, with ar’s fine C+ plugin.

  3. guytaur @ #1216 Sunday, August 19th, 2018 – 7:30 pm


    Yes. Labor owes Murdoch nothing.

    So I truly hope Labor brings in Canada style truth in media laws. No more of the crap we have had to put up with for years.

    Agreed. Serious media reform is one of the half dozen must dos for the next Labor government.

    One of the reasons I am relatively optimistic about the next election is that Labor has managed to stay clearly ahead in the polls despite an almost endless barrage of toxic shit flinging from Murdoch.

    If Labor can win without Murdoch, they are in charge. They should simply not return his calls nor ever mention him by name.

    One reason I am so angry about what happened to the NBN is because, done right, it will go a long way to democratising public debate space, which in turn will go a long way to defanging demented media plutocrats. Which, of course, is one reason why Murdoch needed it crippled.

  4. Stop Press: Malcolm has just announced that the NEG has finally be agreed at tonight’s dinner. Provisions include:

    – 100% of Australia’s electricity to be produced by coal by 2030.
    – New Coal-fired power stations to be built on current wind farms and solar energy energy collection arrays
    – Subsidies to be provided to enable householders to tear up home solar panels
    – Snowy 2.0 to be replaced by a new Coal Fired mega power station
    – New channels be dug through the Barrier Reef to enable coal exports to move more quickly
    – $2 billion to build a coal fired rocket to launch satellites to gather evidence proving that climate change is crap
    – $5 billion handed to Adani to build their mega mine, railway and whatever else they need, with a 20 year tax holiday
    – $20 billion to a consortium of Liberal mates for research into how we can suck the carbon out of coal before we burn it. If there’s a problem with the climate, it’s all sorted.

    The plan will be put to Parliament on Tuesday, with 10 minutes allowed for debate. Malcolm demands that Labor accept the plan unconditionally.

  5. Take your execution like a man you disgusting filthy louse.

    Turnbull won’t make the nutjobs happy unless he agrees to build the world’s biggest coal-fired plant on top of a mosque.

    During prayers

  6. Late Riser @ #1253 Sunday, August 19th, 2018 – 6:24 pm

    While we’re all wasting time waiting for news, has this happened to anyone else?
    I saw that C@tmomma had replied to boomy1, but I did not see the original comment by boomy1. I went looking. It wasn’t there. So I refreshed the page and it appeared, though numbered 1 higher than in C@tmomma’s Reply. I am running Opera, with ar’s fine C+ plugin.

    Yes that has happened to me previously too.

  7. Jon Kudlelka tweets

    Albo to defect to the libs and then roll Turnbull.

    Don’t tell me he gave another speech.

    I think Turnbull will announce money for coal plants and will attempt to get the emissions target back as a legislated figure, possibly even as an upper limit. He can’t withdraw from Paris and I think he can argue that to his backbench, but promise everything else.
    It is clear the Friday promise on a regulated emissions figure was a big mistake and only made things worse.

  8. Boerwar @ #769 Sunday, August 19th, 2018 – 11:20 am

    When mixing herbicides you may need to be a little bit careful between knock downs and systemics.
    With the systemic you may want the plant to go living while it carts the poison through its own system.
    Knock downs may not kill a plant but may leave it weak enough for it not to cart the systemics through the plant.
    Put I am sure that everyone has studied what the packets say with grim determination.

    I know it works and yes I’ve read the instructions and to top it off the mix I used was devised by experts in the field. Don, maybe you are not getting the ratio’s right. For a long a lasting effect I’d recommend what the Hydro use around their poles (at least I would if I could find out what it is). Another variation on the theme especially when it comes to fence lines or around stock yards etc. is a mix of diesel and sulfuric acid. I know people are going to jump up n down about that last bit but I’d rather do the job once in a decade as opposed to every friggin year. So now I’ll get back in my box. Be nice to each other people.

  9. Such a shame, Mal displaying such early promise, his personal indicia marking him out to be a Menzies.

    That it’s gone done hill ever since is his fault entirely, attempting to gel his brand of liberalism with the dark forces was never going to work.

    I’m unsure that the piss-up at the Lodge tonight is going to work – Faust!

  10. Poll Bludger Federal Election Sweep

    Update per request of IoM earlier today.

    Name Prediction
    Briefly 4/08/2018
    Taz 11/08/2018
    Tom 11/08/2018
    j341983 18/08/2018
    C@tmomma 25/08/2018
    Grimace 1/09/2018
    Confessions 1/09/2018
    Ophuph Hucksake 8/9/2018
    WarrenPeace 8/9/2018
    ag0044 15/9/2018
    Rossmcg 20/10/2018
    Dan Gulberry 27/10/2018
    Steve777 2/3/2019
    Mundo 2/3/2019
    Jeffemu 16/3/2019
    Hugoaugogo 4/05/2019
    Tristo 18/5/2019
    Ante Meridian 25/05/2019
    John Reidy 25/05/2019
    Asha Leu 25/5/2019
    BK 1/6/2019

    If you wish to join email your prediction to and your email will be deleted after your prediction is recorded. I’ll try to keep track of any predictions posted in the thread if you’d prefer not to email me, without a guarantee it’ll be included.

    All forms of cheating and capitalising on insider knowledge are encouraged. The prize is gloating rights.

  11. @Everyone, shouldn’t we all add Dutton as friends on twitter and encourage him on? I feel like he needs our support at this most important time.

  12. “Voters are rejecting us because we’ve hamstrung our moderate figurehead and become too right-wing! What do we do?

    I know, let’s be even more right-wing!”

  13. Donald Trump tweets
    The failing @nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type “RAT.” But I allowed him and all others to testify – I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide……

  14. Labor Senator Kristina Keneally said Labor could not make any commitments because it did not know what version of the NEG would come out of the Coalition party room on Tuesday.

    “The government is hopelessly divided, it is at war with itself,” she said. “I don’t care how many dinners they have, let’s hope there are no sharp knives there.

  15. a r @ #1274 Sunday, August 19th, 2018 – 8:58 pm

    “Voters are rejecting us because we’ve hamstrung our moderate figurehead and become too right-wing! What do we do?

    I know, let’s be even more right-wing!”

    That’s where you are wrong. I’ve got some friends who are Liberal party members, they think Turnbull is a commie. They really think the LNP polls are bad because Turnbull has taken the party left.

  16. GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    45s46 seconds ago

    #Ipsos Poll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 45 (-4) ALP 55 (+4) #auspol

  17. “The government is hopelessly divided, it is at war with itself,” she said. “I don’t care how many dinners they have, let’s hope there are no sharp knives there.

    KK is going great guns. Her work on the GBRF gift has been exceptional.

  18. Bevan Shields
    ‏Verified account @BevanShields
    3h3 hours ago

    Tonight’s cabinet dinner has moved from The Lodge to inside Parliament House. I believe there were some concerns about cabinet ministers having to walk/be driven through an expected media pack outside the PM’s home #auspol

  19. Confessions @ #1248 Sunday, August 19th, 2018 – 8:19 pm

    briefly @ #1228 Sunday, August 19th, 2018 – 6:06 pm

    Withdrawal from Paris??

    The LNP are choosing public self-immolation.

    They probably think Trump did it and didn’t suffer (much), therefore….

    Problem is they are facing an election sooner than Orange Felicia, and we have compulsory voting here. 🙂

    I really find it abhorrent that politicians stopped doing what what was best for the country and the world and started satisfying the vested interests who fund them instead.

    Money used to be donated to political parties because people or companies or groups in the community supported the positions that you took as a government. Nowadays that position has been reversed and political parties do the bidding of those who donate to them.

    It’s the wrong way around.

  20. [‘Labor Senator Kristina Keneally said…’]

    She’s prosecuting the case of the of the GBRF fiasco extremely well. She should be on the front bench.

  21. GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    25s26 seconds ago

    #Ipsos Poll Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 33 (-6) ALP 35 (+1) GRN 13 (+1) #auspol

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