BludgerTrack: 54.7-45.3 to Labor

After a dire result from Newspoll, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate is hardly better for the Coalition than it was immediately after the leadership coup.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate has been updated with this week’s Newspoll and the YouGov Galaxy poll from Queensland, the effect of which is to add another half a point to Labor’s two-party preferred vote for a gain of only one seat, that being in Western Australia. The Queensland poll, which was a relatively good result for the Coalition, negated the effect of Newspoll in that state. Newspoll’s leadership ratings resulted in little change in the trend readings – no doubt it would have been a different story if I had a net satisfaction series for Scott Morrison, who did particularly badly in Newspoll, but there is still too little data for that to be feasible.

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.

995 comments on “BludgerTrack: 54.7-45.3 to Labor”

  1. The cost won’t be as outrageous as it currently looks when the robot slaves are leveraging our wealth.

    My concern is all that wealth will be leveraged into the pockets of people who can afford the capital cost of robots.

  2. Figures for calculation.

    $1,586.20 Average weekly earnings.
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6302.0

    12.614 Million people employed
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0

    281,157 million currently in income taxes
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/5506.0

    12.6144 * 1 million * 1586.20 * 52 * .45 – 281,157 million = 187 billion extra dollars for a UBI

    https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/government-spending-on-community-services-and-housing-is-revealed/news-story/a0059b8319777f909aecf07d91d5f83a

    108,800 billion for non-disabiliy welfare

    Nearly 300 billion for a UBI can be done by removing non-disability welfare and changing to a flat 45% tax rate.

    @Zoidlord
    A couple would have two lots of UBI instead of just 1.

  3. Question @ #196 Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 – 12:07 pm

    ajm,

    That makes sense, but we will need to have sorted out a UBI (or something approaching it – for the puritan’s) so that we all reap the benefits.

    I would really urge anyone interested in this area to read Tim Dunlop’s book – it is very well argued (which, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean it is totally correct) and is written from an Australian perspective. He has another one out now called “The Future of Everything” which I’m working my way through – and no, I’m not on commission! They’re each available as eBooks for less than $15

  4. Anne Summers’ assessment of Trump’s chances in 2020 are worth taking seriously:

    In Australia, hardly a global leader, 32.9 per cent of Federal Parliament is female.

    But the most heartening result for those worried about incipient fascism was the decisive return to blue of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

    In Michigan, 57.5 per cent of registered voters, the biggest voter turnout since 1967, went to the polls. In the Wisconsin suburbs the affluent Republicans who had kept the odious Scott Walker in the governor’s mansion turned their backs on him – and Trump. In Pennsylvania the Democrats picked up three seats and a governor with almost 60 per cent of the vote.

    These are the three states that enabled Trump to win in 2016. Now, with Democrats in control of their redistricting and with 46 Electoral College votes between them, they will ensure he cannot win in 2020.

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/donald-trump-is-cornered-and-he-knows-it-20181109-p50f0a.html

    Also, an interesting couple of sidelight results from the Mid Terms that was previously unknown to me was this one:

    The election of the first black person to Newt Gingrich’s old seat in Georgia: won by Lucy McBath who happens to be the mother of a child shot in a hate crime.

    And,

    The defeat of dozens of candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

    The NRA, it seems, has well and truly overplayed it’s hand.

  5. Boerwar
    says:
    Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 1:21 pm
    Gina Rheinhardt would get the UBI.
    So would Scott Morrison.
    And James Packer.

    And Lachlan Murdoch, who apparently is more of a right wing-nut than his old man 🙂

    UBI like universal health, doesn’t discriminate… so it can’t be stigmatised.

  6. Question: “I suppose if we all get used to the robots doing everything, then labour may become something we do in the same way people go to the gym for exercise”

    – Supply and demand: Robots do supply, but don’t do demand.
    – So one ends up with demand being (so to speak) in short supply; which if unaddressed would lead to a contraction in saleable supply and everyone loses.
    – UBI (etc) is a crass approach to increase demand.
    – In fact things turn on their heads – whereas now (and ever previously) people’s economic value was principally related to their supply capacity and capability, this will change so that in most cases people’s economic value will relate entirely to demand capacity and capability
    – Markets currently over time generate a supply of better goods and services, as substandard goods and services eventually cease to be saleable (and hence cease to be supplied)
    – How can this work purely on the demand side? The robots can produce anything-including absolute crap-in bountiful supply. How do we get to a situation where people’s freely conceived demand is for excellence in goods and services, thus causing the robots to supply same? Should people be paid (more) for the quality of their demand, as currently they are for the quality of their supply? and if so how is this determined?

  7. ‘Catprog says:
    Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    @Boerwar

    Which will mean the Gina, Scott and James would be advocating for it to stay or be increased.’

    At $20,000 a head the gross cost is $400 billion.
    At $30,000 a head, the gross cost is $600 billion.
    Whatever else Gina, Scott and James are, they are NOT that stupid.

  8. @Boerwar

    As shown in the post above, $300 billion is found by changing the tax rate to 45% for everyone and removing the non-disability welfare all together

  9. “The cost won’t be as outrageous as it currently looks when the robot slaves are leveraging our wealth.

    My concern is all that wealth will be leveraged into the pockets of people who can afford the capital cost of robots.”

    That’s more or less what happened in the early industrial revolution. Those with the money to invest in the new technologies kept all or most of the benefits for themselves. And that is what’s happening now.

  10. Employed people would get the UBI on top of their wages.
    ____________________________

    Which, of course, could be clawed back by less generous tax rates and concessions as we go up the earning scale.

    I’m agnostic on the UBI. I support it in principle but, like others, I am concerned that it can work economically.

    What is clear, though, is the high degree of moral panic around the current welfare and income support system and future systems has to stop. We have to stop investing huge resources in beating up people who dare to seek welfare payments that are, often, insufficient to barely live on. Equally, I don’t give a fuck if Gina Rinehart gets a piddling payment that resembles a drop in the ocean for her. Any more than I was concerned that a tiny handful of cheques were sent to dead people when Labor addressed the huge risks of the GFC.

    Basically, the question for me is how can we ensure that our human resources are best used for the benefit of the nation. At the moment I don’t because the system is designed to actually lock people into poverty cycles, especially at a time when the only work available to many is intermittent, dangerous and very poorly paid and those wanting social welfare and to keep it, have to navigate a constructed jungle that would defeat Dr Livingstone.

  11. “My personal view, which is probably not shared by too many on this blog, is that Trump is going to be incredibly hard to beat in 2020. The Dems’ best chance is probably that he might decide at some point during the Republican primaries that he’s had enough fun and announce that he’s giving it away.”

    My personal view is that Trump is very beatable, but only if the democrats have a lazed like focus on Trump’s actual strengths and weakenesses. He has proven, even though generally unpopular, that he can bring out enough of the white-male-old-rural-uneducated ‘base’ to be really competitive in both the potential pathways to securing the electoral college – the so-called rust belt pathway (winning most of the following states – Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) and the sun belt pathway (winning most of North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Arizona).

    Ther is a paradox – Trump is hated, like he is elsewhere, in the urban areas of each of these pathways BUT loved in the rural areas. Plus, his potential voters are more likely to turn out and actually vote than their urban counterparts.

    I don’t see any of the septuagenarians who are contemplating a tilt at the democrat nomination – not Bernie, not Biden or Kerry or Bloomberg – as having a massive draw power across the relevant socio-economic groupings to bring out the urban vote in sufficient numbers to counterbalance Trump’s ability to get out the rural vote. I reckon Hillary is actually the best Septuagenarian bet to actually do that BUT she has already failed and it would be a massive risk to permit her another tilt (as much as I would like it).

    On the other hand something like a Beto O’Rourke – Sherrod Brown ticket would very likely smash Trump in nearly every battleground state. I’m hoping the democrats take a bet on the future, not the failed past.

  12. Interesting E. G. Theodore,

    Robots are about to turn a lot of concepts about our society on its head. That’s why I’m not concerned about the big scary numbers on the UBI, I can see how robots can pay for that.

    It could all end up in some futuristic utopia, or the bulk of us could become unnecessary waste.

  13. UBI like universal health, doesn’t discriminate… so it can’t be stigmatised.
    ________________________________

    Agree. It might also free up a number of people to do serious voluntary work, which would reduce the current public cost of subsidising not for profit organisations.

  14. “Antony Green
    ‏@AntonyGreenABC
    2h2 hours ago: My upper house calculators will be out today. From testing, my view is that it is disgraceful that Victoria still uses an electoral system where votes from people are sent on a magical mystery tour across the ballot paper to elect candidates nobody has hear of. #vicvotes”

    The prevailing view on Poll Bludger a couple of years back was that this was a terrific system, at least as it applied to the Senate. Antony should seek out Sam Dastyari, who I recall having had some very strong views about the matter.

    I have consistently had the same view on this as Antony. I believe that in the forthcoming election the smart alecs of Labor HQ have preferenced some candidates from the elephant killer party and from the “stop shagging men” party ahead of the Greens. Shame on them.

  15. Boerwar
    The difficulty is that, whatever figure you end up with, you have to multiply it by the adult population.

    No you don’t. Your characterisation of the costs of UBI are false.

    For a start, you calculate the cost simply by multiplying the basic income by the number of people. Then you compare it to the current total budget. These are flat out wrong.

    One, you are not comparing apples with apples. About 40% of the federal budget is comprised of welfare spending. A UBI is meant to entirely replace this spending.

    Two, A UBI is only a cost to the budget when it is not being covered by taxes. With our current tax system, a person earning $85,000 a year would pay enough tax to cover their own UBI of $20,000 a year. If a person earns $150,000, they would pay enough tax to cover themselves and another person.

    Then there is additional revenue from company tax, taxes on income from interest,a potential land tax, and the GST.

    I do however agree that our current economic system does not justify a UBI of this scale. However when the vast majority of blue collar jobs, as well as many white collar jobs, are replaced by robotics and/or artificial intelligence, the exponential increase in economic production will allow for a very generous UBI.

    Question is 100% right that starting with a very modest UBI e.g.$1,000 to $5,000 per year and very gradually increasing it over time would be a very sustainable way to implement it.

  16. meher baba @ #223 Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 – 12:43 pm

    “Antony Green
    ‏@AntonyGreenABC
    2h2 hours ago: My upper house calculators will be out today. From testing, my view is that it is disgraceful that Victoria still uses an electoral system where votes from people are sent on a magical mystery tour across the ballot paper to elect candidates nobody has hear of. #vicvotes”

    The prevailing view on Poll Bludger a couple of years back was that this was a terrific system, at least as it applied to the Senate. Antony should seek out Sam Dastyari, who I recall having had some very strong views about the matter.

    I have consistently had the same view on this as Antony. I believe that in the forthcoming election the smart alecs of Labor HQ have preferenced some candidates from the elephant killer party and from the “stop shagging men” party ahead of the Greens. Shame on them.

    As I’ve said in the past, the best course is not to be “smart” with these sort of systems but simply to put in what the party ACTUALLY prefers in terms of policy positions of the minor parties. In most case this will also deliver the best electoral outcome and where it doesn’t you’ll at least be able to justify it your grandchildren.

    The number of “smart” preferencing frameworks that have gone pear shaped must be way in excess of those that actualy “worked”.

  17. I think Trump is a moron, but I admit to being seduced by the argument that he was a moron-whisperer, a kind of political idiot-genius.

    My concern going into the mid-terms was that he could moron-whisper his way past the poor polling he was getting.

    It turns out, that on the general projections by the likes of 538, my faith has been somewhat restored. If Trump is going to win in 2020 then the likes of 538 will more than likely say so.

  18. E. G. Theodore (AnonBlock)
    Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 – 1:28 pm
    Comment #212

    – The robots can produce anything-including absolute crap-in bountiful supply.

    Now, if these robots can be made to more or less replicate well fed, self satisfied appearing ladies and gentlemen – then

    Oyez – Oyez – Oyez – clang – clang and that klaxon sound ❗

    Ladies and gentlemen allow me to present the Prime Minister of Australia.

    Sorry about that Chief. Muriel pull the first slide – quick.

    Back to the Womens T20 Cricket. 😇

  19. A Basic Income should be provided to retirees and to working age people who cannot or should not be working for whatever reason.

    But providing a basic income to everyone regardless of income, wealth, or labour market status would be a big mistake.

    A UBI would be macroeconomically unstable. A UBI’s bias towards accelerating inflation would be far too high to accept. There would not be a direct link between UBI spending and production.

    A UBI is contradictory: it seeks to sever the link between production and income while relying on a sufficient number of people to continue to engage in monetized productive activity despite the punishingly high taxation that would be necessary to render a UBI non-inflationary.

    A UBI is culturally unsustainable because it violates the deeply ingrained norm of reciprocity that is common to all human societies on record. People are willing to share output with other people who are seen to be contributing in accordance with their capacity to contribute. There is a willingness among human beings to provide output to support people whose capacity to create output is constrained by their age or other circumstances. But very few people will tolerate high tax rates to enable people who are capable of work to avoid work.

    Instead of demonizing work, we should be widening the definition of paid work to encompass social value, environmental sustainability, meaning, purpose, and belonging. People have a deep-seated desire to contribute, belong, and have positive relationships with other human beings. Paid work that is meaningful and relevant is one important way in which people can realize this normal desire. The federal government should ensure that everyone who wants meaningful paid employment can get it whenever they want.

    A UBI is based on an impoverished understanding of what it means to be human. A UBI betrays a severe lack of imagination and boldness. People don’t want to be mere consumption entities. They are and want to be social beings. They want to contribute, belong, serve their families and communities. In a monetary economy, paid employment is an important (albeit not the only) way of realizing that aspiration.

  20. “We already have the worldwide problem that wages are not keeping up. We need to get creative about making sure that capital isn’t the only thing that determines well-being.”

    I see UBI as being a possible component of dealing with that. Getting the benefits of productivity improvements better distributed.

    That said UBI not going to work in the current tax and transfer system…so……much research and modelling to be done on what sort of tax and transfer system we would need to support it. Individuals and corporates paying more tax is fine if the individuals and corporates shareholders all benefit. A fairer and more equitable society has a lot of benefits for everyone. And, services like health and education.

    There will be MUCH opposition, mainly from business / corporates who are doing obscenely well out of the current, complex system. But i reckon its a way that needs proper investigation and should not simply be dismissed.

  21. Question @ #226 Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 – 12:48 pm

    I think Trump is a moron, but I admit to being seduced by the argument that he was a moron-whisperer, a kind of political idiot-genius.

    My concern going into the mid-terms was that he could moron-whisper his way past the poor polling he was getting.

    It turns out, that on the general projections by the likes of 538, my faith has been somewhat restored. If Trump is going to win in 2020 then the likes of 538 will more than likely say so.

    Trump has been made to look artificially strong the last two years by the double GOP majority (House and Senate) and the unwillingness of the GOP to do anything to restrain him (their reasons aren’t important for this argument). From now on he will face much more balanced political situation and I reckon he’ll (continue to) crumble.

  22. Re TPOF @1:37PM

    I am also agnostic on UBI. I am open to persuasion.

    “We have to stop investing huge resources in beating up people who dare to seek welfare payments that are, often, insufficient to barely live on. “

    Absolutely agree. This Government seems so have a puritanical ‘work house’ view of the unemployed and unfortunate: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workhouse

    And while we’re about it, get private rentseekers out of the mix.

    “Equally, I don’t give a *#!^ if Gina Rinehart gets a piddling payment that resembles a drop in the ocean for her.” Especially if she can be made to pay something approaching her reasonable share of tax. It would become for the wealthy in effect, a tax rebate, a bit like the tax-free threshold.

  23. c@tmomma: “These are the three states that enabled Trump to win in 2016. Now, with Democrats in control of their redistricting and with 46 Electoral College votes between them, they will ensure he cannot win in 2020.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that redistricting was irrelevant in a Presidential election. Or is Summers suggesting that the Dems are going to play hardball with things like the electoral rolls? (ie, find some way of excluding Republican voters from the rolls: that’d be a major turnabout!)

  24. meher baba @ #235 Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 – 1:56 pm

    c@tmomma: “These are the three states that enabled Trump to win in 2016. Now, with Democrats in control of their redistricting and with 46 Electoral College votes between them, they will ensure he cannot win in 2020.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that redistricting was irrelevant in a Presidential election. Or is Summers suggesting that the Dems are going to play hardball with things like the electoral rolls? (ie, find some way of excluding Republican voters from the rolls: that’d be a major turnabout!)

    meher baba,
    It could be the opposite. That the Republicans will no longer be able to play hardball with Voter Suppression.

  25. “A UBI is based on an impoverished understanding of what it means to be human.”

    Have you ever considered expressing yourself in less pompous fashion??

  26. @meher baba

    The way I have been hearing things(mostly republicans playing hardball with the rolls) even just being fair is an advantage to the Democrats

  27. Well its good to see an actual discussion on the UBI.

    I’m agnostic on the UBI. I support it in principle but, like others, I am concerned that it can work economically.

    What is clear, though, is the high degree of moral panic around the current welfare and income support system and future systems has to stop. We have to stop investing huge resources in beating up people who dare to seek welfare payments that are, often, insufficient to barely live on. Equally, I don’t give a fuck if Gina Rinehart gets a piddling payment that resembles a drop in the ocean for her

    TPOF I pretty much agree with you here.

    I also support a UBI in principle. And while I don’t have a total grasp of the detail I’m absolutely certain that it is possible to implement.

  28. “Equally, I don’t give a *#!^ if Gina Rinehart gets a piddling payment that resembles a drop in the ocean for her.” Especially if she can be made to pay something approaching her reasonable share of tax.”

    Agreed. 🙂

  29. When, or if, you hear the federal government caroling on about today’s Wages growth figures, keep this in mind:

    Median realised pay for an ASX100 CEO rose 12.4% in 2017, according to analysis from the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, while workers got average pay rises of 2% — at or below inflation.

    I think today’s yearly figure came in at 2.3% for workers.

  30. A UBI is based on an impoverished understanding of what it means to be human. A UBI betrays a severe lack of imagination and boldness

    Now you’re fucking pissing me off with this shit, Nicholas.
    I don’t mind you pointing out that conventional economy theory is wrong.
    But do you have to resort to this kind of absolute stupidity?

    The simple fact is Nicholas, that its not necessary to diss a UBI in order to support a JG. The two can co-exist.

  31. Catprog – It would depend on what the spending priorities were. Proponents have suggested there could be top-up payments in addition to the UBI for people with disabilities and/or health complications.

    All the other expenses would still be covered by taxation. Increased taxes would definitely be required to fund a UBI, but given that Australia is considered a low tax country, we definitely have scope to raise additional revenue to cover our other expenses.

  32. Agree that Trump has been given a huge advantage by holding both houses, allowing him to ponce around pretty much doing whatever he likes. As far as I can work out his only operational tactic is division and that’s going to get him absolutely zip nowhere with a Dem House & Repug Senate.

  33. AE: “I don’t see any of the septuagenarians who are contemplating a tilt at the democrat nomination – not Bernie, not Biden or Kerry or Bloomberg – as having a massive draw power across the relevant socio-economic groupings to bring out the urban vote in sufficient numbers to counterbalance Trump’s ability to get out the rural vote. ”

    I’m no fan of the guy whatsoever, but I think you are underestimating the appeal of Bernie to these voters, as well as to a large group of younger voters who would otherwise stay at home.

    “On the other hand something like a Beto O’Rourke – Sherrod Brown ticket would very likely smash Trump in nearly every battleground state. I’m hoping the democrats take a bet on the future, not the failed past.”

    I can’t see O’Rourke getting any further than a V-P nomination: his cv is just too light on. (Obama’s was thought to be pretty lightweight in 2008, and he’d achieved a hell of a lot more than O’Rourke has done.)

    From my perspective, Sherrod Brown is just a younger version of Kerry and Biden, and perhaps even a bit further to the left.

  34. Nicholas. What about the robots?

    I suppose I should do some work (where is my robot?)

    The future is a fun topic because it is unknown. Meanwhile I think it is about time we stopped slagging off the unemployed. Plenty of valuable souls aren’t made for holding down a job.

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