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. Tristo its the needless evaluation and punishment.

    If you want to reform the welfare system towards a UBI one step is to raise Newstart to the level of DSP so that there is no distinction and remove a lot of the needless “mutual obligation”.

  2. ajm @ #252 Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 – 2:05 pm

    meher baba @ #236 Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 – 12:56 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!)

    I’m not sure of the details in relation to these states but I think different states have different ways of deciding their representatives to the Electoral College – some are proportional and some are winner take all. Perhaps (I don’t know) some do their count by House district and then allocate all their “house district” electoral college votes to the party that won the most number of house districts, rather than the majority of the state vote. In that case redistricting could be relevant.

    Most states distribute their Electoral College votes in the same “winner takes all” fashion as Michigan. However two states, Maine and Nebraska, apportion their electoral votes by congressional district.

  3. @Cud Chewer

    Many DSP recipients (under 35) already are subjected to “mutual obligation” style requirements, they aren’t as harsh as those on Newstart.

    I was proposing just one payment with appropriate adjustments, as opposed to the gaggle of payments we have at the moment. It would result much less bureaucracy.

  4. Silent Majority

    My sister wouldn’t apply for a DSP because that meant something was wrong with her.

    Also the UBI can replace having a tax free threshold. Beyond that you pay tax and you adjust the system to recover more tax at the higher end. You also reform company tax.

    After all a UBI shows up as private spending so it flows through companies.

  5. ‘sprocket_ says:
    Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 3:12 pm


    A bit unfair on Scotty, you have missed his triumph on Bunnings sausages’

    That is the difference between Abbott and Morrison. Abbott ate his onions raw. Morrison likes his cooked and on top or underneath.

    The back story of Morrison’s Major International Diplomacy Onions Announcement in Singapore is that Morrison is absolutely desperate for Australians not to notice that he damaged our national interest for party partisan purposes during a by-election that he lost anyway. Lose. Lose.

    That is why we sent Morrison to Singapore: to talk about snorkers and onions?

  6. ‘Cud Chewer says:
    Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Tristo I believe a UBI needs to be implemented by stealth, starting with reforms to welfare.’

    That would take some stealth.
    Like no-one is going to notice that the Government has an extra line with somewhere between $400 and $600 billion in it.

  7. “More to the point imacca, in a well designed UBI, the likes of Gina are going to be paying more by other mechanisms.”

    My inner bitch likes that. 🙂

  8. I think the whole of the Pro Mo government are losing the plot!

    Stephen Koukoulas

    Verified account


    This is jaw-dropping.
    If banks, who are always keen to make a dollar, will not lend to a particular small business, it must be for a good reason – ie, the risk is too great, not a great business etc. Now the govt wants to step up & lend to these very marginal businesses? What!

  9. The focus should be on the fact that we currently have a government which presents its DNA as “reducing taxes” to address the disincentive to achieve.

    Instead of this, frankly, bullshit being presented on here perhaps you could address the elephant in the room – and attack this right wing ideology driven government hostage to trickle down economics, the most effective form of regulation being self regulation and attacks on workers including those who work on a Sunday whilst prosecuting tax cuts, tax cuts which see our Corporate icons sacking staff aka Telstra, NAB and ANZ just for starters.

    Menzies, remember, increased Company and personal tax rates (to an upper marginal tax rate of 60 cents in the $1-) and increased the Aged Pension.

    Stiglitz, as per usual, hit the nail on the head today.

    In 1980, I accepted an offer to transfer to Melbourne – despite the fact that in regards the salary increase I was only receiving 40 cents in the $1-

    Perhaps I should have said the tax rate was a disincentive, and stayed in Adelaide.

    As I say, bullshit.

  10. JimmyD: “And you still haven’t answered my questions: why do you think that forcing marginalised people to “engage” in society by forcing them into low-paid precarious work is a better outcome? Why is low-paid precarious work the metric by which we judge whether a marginalised person is or isn’t sufficiently engaged in society?”

    The two best forms of preparation for scoring a secure, lucrative job are 1) participation in training and 2) engaging in some form, almost any form, of paid work.

    You can imagine a wonderful alternative universe in which the first job offers that long-term unemployed people get are wonderful, rewarding, permanent positions. That’s just not going to happen.

    What does happen is that refugees and other migrants come to Australia and take up any employment they can get, find a foothold in society and then move on to better paid jobs, opening their own businesses, etc. Meanwhile, the Australian-born long-term unemployed complain about having to fill in lots of forms, being forced to do jobs where they have to make an effort to look presentable or behaviour in anything other than a surly manner, etc, etc. That attitude isn’t going to take them to anywhere good in life.

    OK, let’s just pay them sit down money, get them out of the labour force altogether, and stop trying to get the employers to take them on: they’re more trouble than they’re worth anyway. Let’s just bring in more migrants, who generally have a much better attitude to work. They’ll be happy: no more forms, no more “victimisation”, no more “stigma.”

    You’d find 99.99% of employers would support the above proposition. Perhaps I’m naive in trying to imagine something better.

  11. SM
    Universal means that everyone gets it. Regardless.
    If it is not universal it is not a UBI and nor is it something ‘similar’. It is something different.

  12. There is a lot of unused real capacity in the Australian economy. Right now the federal government can increase its spending without raising taxes and without causing accelerating inflation. If the economy were at full capacity – everyone who wants good paid work has it; all factories and equipment and buildings are being used to the full; there is no accumulated business inventory (because sales are so strong) – THEN if the government wanted to increase its own spending it would need to delete some of the private sector’s spending power (via tax increases) to make non-inflationary space for the government’s spending.

    But right now the economy is far from full capacity.

    There are 700,000 unemployed, 1.1 million underemployed, probably 200,000 discouraged jobseekers who have dropped out of the workforce.

    There is a large amount of unsold inventory.

    Businesses are not using all available equipment, buildings, and factories to the maximum extent.

    The constraint on federal government spending is real resource availability. There is no financial constraint on the Australian Government buying real stuff that is for sale in Australia dollars.

    The government can increase the minimum wage and the pension very substantially without raising taxes and without depreciating the dollar. It should go ahead and do that.

    The “debt and deficits” mantra in Australian politics is economically illiterate.

  13. In all but two states, electoral votes are ‘winner-take-all’. The candidate winning the popular vote normally receives* all of that state’s votes. Maine and Nebraska have adapted a different approach. Using the ‘congressional district method’, these states allocate two electoral votes to the state popular vote winner, and then one electoral vote to the popular vote winner in each Congressional district (2 in Maine, 3 in Nebraska). This creates multiple popular vote contests in these states, which could lead to a split electoral vote.

  14. So, we DO have a national bank; two actually. $2 billion for small businesses and $3 billion for farms.
    So, the capitalization is around $5 billion.
    And the national banks lend only to non-commercial risky small businesses and to risky farms.

  15. Most states distribute their Electoral College votes in the same “winner takes all” fashion as Michigan. However two states, Maine and Nebraska, apportion their electoral votes by congressional district.

    Also of interest is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compat ( ) in which a group of states agree to allocate all their Electoral College votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote, once sufficient states join the Compact to allow it to determine the outcome of the election.

  16. steve777…”“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”

    a minimum level of unemployment is actually fixed into the capitalist system. It is an essential component without which wages and inflation would explode and bring down the whole economy. When a capitalist system has around 5% or more of the workforce out of work, the employers have bargaining power, and that power acts as an effective break on wage growth. The logic is simple – employers say to their employees “take this crap pay I’m offering you, otherwise I’ll simply hire another guy who needs a job”. Whereas if the employment rate is close to or at 100%, employees have the bargaining power and wages will blow out.

    The point is, since a certain number of unemployed is essential for a capitalist system to work, the system therefore owes that small sector of society. Furthermore, not only is it in the system’s interest to sustain that sector, it needs to sustain them well. It needs to provide enough for them so that they are fit, trained and skilled enough to re-enter the workforce at any time. We therefore have it completely arse backwards when we have the mentality that unemployment benefits should be so meagre as to act as a stick to force people to find work. The mentality needs to be that the unemployed exist as a necessary component of our economic system, and therefore need to be compensated, as well as supported for when their turn comes to re-enter the workforce.

  17. Exackerley!

    Grunta (Grant)


    It’s become the norm at #ABCNews to do an interview in the morning (today was Frydenburg)
    allow him to spruik a bunch of BS & lies all unchallenged then replay edited versions of the said BS & lies in every bulletin all day on loop as if they’re fact.

  18. What needs to happen as regards UBI is, in the “national interest”, 🙂 ….for a small amount of grant money to be thrown at a few poor starving postgrads (of which there are plenty out there) to start working scenarios and analysis on how we could restructure our economy, tax and transfer system to implement it.

    Taps into some big questions about our society and where we may want it to go along the way. Research worth doing that really would not cost much, and i think pretty much the only way we are ever going to get a properly informed debate on this.

    And, in the completely fwarked situation where the Trump / Abbotts can hold influence by exploiting peoples dissatisfactions to the point where they will actually vote for a wrecker like him, i think examining the concept of BIG restructuring of our economy over time is applicable and very much needed. Wont happen overnight and shouldn’t…..but needs to be thought out.

    Good first interim step would be raising Newstart to a level that actually makes it fit for purpose.

  19. I couldn’t care less what you call it.

    Here’s what a 55 year old I know has to do to survive.
    He owned a pizza bar for the last 12 years.
    Eventually business slowed since the boom but his costs have gone up every year as usual.
    He sold out to his brother who payed out the debts.
    He works there 7 days a week for nothing and is on the dole.
    He had to access some super to buy a jalopy to get from his mortgaged home to work.
    He has to look for 20 jobs a fortnight & now they want him to do work for the dole.

    He should just get the dole without question and all the hangers on like the work for the dole people & the Jobsearch people (Who are obliged to breach you) should be disposed of.

    There. I’ve just saved the budget billions and boosted the economy at the same time.

  20. One thing that often gets ignored with regards to UBI is how much easier it will be to start a small business:

    – people will be able to access and finance small business loans far more easily when they have a guaranteed level of income, irrespective of the performance of the small business
    – people will be able to sustain a business loss for considerably longer
    – a small business failure will not be as financially catastrophic for the individual, meaning that it will more attractive to learn from mistakes and try again

    Given the inverse relationship between the cost of robotics/AI/3D printing and their level of sophistication, it is not inconceivable that most small businesses will only employ 1 or 2 people, meaning that one of the biggest costs of small business, labour, will disappear.

    It is also not inconceivable that the most labour intensive, and the most entry-level, industries, retail and hospitality, will become almost entirely automated. Many billions are being spent on doing so. Packaging, warehousing, and transport are already in the process. The latest cruise ships have robotic cocktail makers, we have rudimentary automated barista machines, and entrepreneurs educated at MIT and Stanford are experimenting with fast food made by machines, as well as robotic chefs, and in some cases are producing superior results than if they were made by a person.

  21. Further to my previous post, I just recently read that on the latest cruise ships they have installed machines that are operated by a single person and which can fold an entire day’s worth of fresh linen in one hour, when it used to take seven people seven hours to do by hand.

  22. Watcha is still monitoring PB in accordance with his self-granted Divine prerogative to do so. Watcha prevails despite Nath’s attempts to usurp this prerogative.

    Stick to your political and economic skills Nath, and leave the monitoring of conduct to an expert, ably assisted by Divine wisdom.

    General behaviour probably rates about 7/10 over the last week. The result has been some interesting political and psephological comment, which has been enjoyable to follow. Even the expert ad-hominemers have toned down somewhat, doubtless as a result of Mr Bowe’s assistance.

    I notice that in the past week or more BB has found a new cause célèbre which he is addressing with gusto. Clearly not an expert in comprehending the dynamics of sexual harassment, assault and abuse, BB is busy providing copious opinions from the perspective of the patriarchy about the devious motives of ladies who do not proceed immediately to the local cop shop after alleged events.

    The current Barrenjoey Road series on ABC will undoubtedly have reduced Bill to an apoplexic frenzy, because during the current 2018 investigations by Neil Mercer and the ABC lady, 10 women now aged around 60 have come forward (40 years later) and added their names to the existing 1970s list of 14 other women violently raped around Barrenjoey Road at the time of Trudy Adam’s disappearance. And even 10 out of the 1970s fourteen did not come forward till Trudy went missing in 1978, having been raped 4, 5, 6, and 7 years earlier.

    One can only guess the motive of the 2018 ten in coming forward till now, but as Bill will undoubtedly point out, it is likely to be devious.

    In this morning’s contribution about Ms Maley’s article, Bill admirably points out how women misconceive the honourable intentions of men who wish to casually touch/hug/pat them in public social settings. Women often have a name for men who do that habitually …… sleazy.

  23. The media is now just taking the piss out of Morrison.

    To be fair to Morrison, he was asked that question by a journo and responded. It was not an announcement at a press conference.

    It says a lot though that a journo would have such utter contempt of Morrison and all he represents, to have the temerity to ask that question of him at an international forum, and for Morrison to be such a jackass as to give a response.

    Morrison is politically dead in the water.

  24. ‘JimmyD says:
    Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    But ALL small businesses would have to be paying 60-70 cents in the dollar tax to pay for the UBI.

    more than likely not true.’

    Good point. Probably a gross underestimate.

  25. It is true that a lot of employed people today don’t like their jobs.

    Some jobs are not very meaningful and interesting to the people doing them.

    Some jobs don’t appear to be socially useful (or may even harm society) yet are highly paid. Anthropologist David Graeber refers to these as “bullshit jobs”.

    Many workers are underpaid, victims of wage theft, exploited, and endure disrespect and even abuse at work.

    To a large degree these problems stem from an economy that is far short of full employment.

    Right now there are 3 or 4 job-seekers for every job vacancy.

    There are 4 or 5 job seekers for every entry level job vacancy.

    This situation makes workers desperate and it enables employers to get away with bad practices.

    But when there is more than one suitable job vacancy for every job-seeker, a lot changes.

    In THAT economy it is the employers who have to compete desperately for workers. So employers have to offer lots of entry level jobs.

    Employers have to pay workers to learn on the job instead of expecting people to have a Master’s degree and five years of experience before they even get a foot in the door.

    The best economy is one in which employers are working hard to design jobs that are as interesting, meaningful, and satisfying as possible.

    When employers are scrambling for workers, there are powerful incentives for them to make their workplaces welcoming, inclusive, safe, supportive, and fun places to be.

    That is why full employment is so important to improving the quality of paid work.

    Other issues like corporate governance, industrial relations, more democracy in the workplace (not just in elections), lower entry barriers to setting up cooperatives and other worker-owned production arrangements – these too are part of the picture of how to make paid work better.

    Public sector job creation can take the lead in widening our imagination and concept of what a good workplace can look like, what good paid work can be, what role should paid work play in a balanced and fulfilling life.

    There are many ways to make paid work better.

    And it is possible to make good paid jobs available to all who want them.

    We should not give up on the concept of paid work.

    We should not demonise paid work.

    We should not make alarmist and unsupported claims that automation is destroying our jobs. (the productivity statistics do not bear that out).

    The nature of paid work has changed a lot in the 240 years since the first wave of the industrial revolution (the steam engine revolution of the 1780s and 1790s).

    Paid work will continue to change. And we have a lot of influence, via our federal government and our cultural norms, over the direction that these changes take.

  26. ‘Alice Workman

    Verified account

    1h1 hour ago
    Here’s the video of Nationals senator Barry O’Sullivan saying he is declaring his gender “to be a woman” so the left-wing people can no longer “attack” him over his anti-abortion views.’

    Obviously I haven’t attached the video!

  27. ‘Some jobs don’t appear to be socially useful (or may even harm society) yet are highly paid. Anthropologist David Graeber refers to these as “bullshit jobs”. ‘

    One assumes that this irony-free. But one can never be sure.

  28. N

    Many workers are underpaid, victims of wage theft, exploited, and endure disrespect and even abuse at work.

    To a large degree these problems stem from an economy that is far short of full employment.

    IMO, to a large extent there is an unwillingness to treat wages theft, conditions theft and Super theft as jailable crimes.

  29. Has no one told Senator O’Sullivan that it’s possible to be a woman AND to be anti-abortion?

    Might be a bit dangerous though… his head might explode.

  30. According to the Center for Independents the Green’s Universal Basic Income proposal would cost an extra $230 billion a year. Taxes would have go considerably up, Income, Company and the GST in order to fund it. I do wonder if that calculation was done on the basis that all existing Centrelink benefits would be abolished if a UBI was introduced.

  31. It’s all very simple.

    Normal people are lazy useless bludgers who wouldn’t work if they weren’t one pay packet removed from penury.

    Meanwhile, the movers and shakers are lazy useless bludgers who wouldn’t get out of bed unless they received grossly inflated incomes or if they had to pay tax.

    Meanwhile, property speculation is sacred.

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