BludgerTrack: 54.3-45.7 to Labor

BludgerTrack ends a year to remember by showing a slight narrowing in the still-yawning two-party gap.

Ipsos and Essential Research closed their accounts for 2018 this week, and their combined effect has been to reduce Labor’s lead to 54.3-45.7 after a blowout to 54.9-45.1 last week. This is good for one Coalition gain on the seat projection, that being in Queensland. Full results through the link below.

We’re unlikely to see any more poll results until mid-January, although Newspoll should be unloading its quarterly state breakdowns in a week or so, and hopefully a few state voting intention results as well. Nonetheless, things should be pretty active around here over the silly season, as there’s a backlog preselection analysis to attend to, and I should finally get time to attend to my long-promised Morrison-era overhaul of BludgerTrack.

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.

2,141 comments on “BludgerTrack: 54.3-45.7 to Labor”

  1. “Ok, what is the cradle to grave cost of nuclear generated electricity?”

    It is real cheap and we won’t even have to pay for it ourselves the Mexicans will pay for us to build it.

  2. Confessions and others

    The Opal Tower’s structural issues at Olympic Park sounds pretty serious.

    Does anyone have the background on this building – shoddy materials, design ???

    Not a good time for the residents

  3. frednk says:
    Monday, December 24, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    C@tmomma says:
    Monday, December 24, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Fractals blew my mind and after that I have no clue what ‘infinity’ is or means!

    Engineering is an attempt to use science to predict the future. Works better than faith. Fractals prove there is no hope. Fractals are depressing.

    Back in the 1970s I worked in the planning area of a Public utility. Our job was to plan the next 10 years of expansion of the network . My boss was an old and wise engineer. I have known many old engineers but not many wise ones. He used to regularly say that “humans can predict anything except the future”.

  4. Greensborough Growler says:
    Monday, December 24, 2018 at 6:18 pm
    If everyone appreciates WB so much, how abouts you rattle his tin.

    Thanks for the nudge. I just did.

  5. Late Riser @ #1805 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 7:34 pm

    don @ #1799 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 6:20 pm

    frednk @ #1749 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 6:08 pm

    If there is only one infinity then all lines are circles.

    My understanding is that there are a whole bunch of infinities, some bigger than others.

    Evil man. 😉

    But a very good point and yet another reason that “infinity” does not and can not exist, in the commonly accepted meaning of the word “exist”.

    It seems that the closer you get to infinity, the further it is away.

  6. PeeBee @ #1797 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 6:17 pm

    P1, ‘This is simply not true.’

    Ok, what is the cradle to grave cost of nuclear generated electricity?

    You have to start by defining what you mean by “grave”, and I am not being pedantic here. Nuclear fission from power stations starts a cascade of lethality over geologic time scales.

    In the mid 1990s I was involved in a project to cost the “grave” part. As typical engineers we asked how long we should cost for. We were told 1,000 years. It took us 6 months, but we came up with an answer. “They” didn’t like it and asked us to do it again but for 10,000 years. (Think about that for a minute. A lot can happen in 10,000 years. It completely changed what we had to do.) But as a naive bunch of engineers we actually figured it out, with error bars. It took us nearly two years. But it was the wrong result, again. We were told “Not good enough”, and to do it again, for 100,000 years. We walked away.

    The problem is that fission daughter products last a very long time.

  7. ‘The problem is that fission daughter products last a very long time.’

    That is interesting, I thought the leftover products were ‘hot’, but didn’t last that long. Hence, it is possible to live in Hiroshima without any problems.


  8. Peter Stanton says:
    Monday, December 24, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    ..

    “humans can predict anything except the future”.

    He probable did simple things like predict the wire would not go up in smoke when it was loaded with the designed load. Science is a better at that than putting a wire in place and praying.
    Future network requirements; as you say a wise engineer.

  9. PeeBee @ #1809 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 6:54 pm

    ‘The problem is that fission daughter products last a very long time.’

    That is interesting, I thought the leftover products were ‘hot’, but didn’t last that long. Hence, it is possible to live in Hiroshima without any problems.

    It is worth considering just uranium. Uranium decays, but very slowly, and then that material decays again, until it reaches something we might call “stable”. Along the way, at each decay it emits a high energy particle or two. That’s what we mean when we say it is radioactive. That high energy particle is what causes us damage. (I am not a nuclear physicist, but I think uranium eventually decays into lead and along the way we also get helium.)

    Fission reactors create “daughter” products that decay much faster, and are therefore more dangerous. (Fast is a relative concept.) But that’s not relevant. What is relevant is how you define “safe”. Cosmic rays do a similar thing, and you’re exposed to those every day.

    Bottom line? It’s complicated.

  10. I have been making predictions of the most likely outcome of the Senate after the federal election and Labor plus The Greens won’t likely have the numbers to pass legislation. The balance of power could be held by One Nation, Center Alliance, Australian Conservatives, possibly one Shooters, Farmers and Fisher Senator from New South Wales, Derryn Hinch and possibly Fraser Anning.

  11. It is dangerously conceited to believe that every aspect of “the cosmos” (a simplifying human-invented abstraction to begin with) is knowable by human beings. It’s a very anthropocentric perspective on epistemology.

  12. Opal Tower

    Design by Bates Smart, looking at the onl9ne floor plans, it is a deep floor plate ,triangular shaped building , column free, so,from drawings it’s a safe bet the walls are load bearing concrete. 9 can’t find columns on any drawings )
    So it’s a full concrete construction & would be very stiff structurally.
    Total stable, even flying a plane into it wouldn’t result in a collapse.

    Media beat up is my prediction

  13. Are we capable of fully understanding the cosmos? We don’t fully understand it now, but is it possible in principle? I don’t know.

    Sometimes I’ve considered the question in relation to other intelligences – animals. Consider your dog or cat (or a pet known to you). They have intelligence of a sort. There’s a little dog or cat person in them. They have some knowledge and a basic understanding, but our world is incomprehensible to them. They will not ever understand quantum physics or income tax.

    Are we likewise limited?

  14. Steve777 @ #1816 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 4:24 pm

    Are we capable of fully understanding the cosmos? We don’t fully understand it now, but is it possible in principle? I don’t know.

    Sometimes I’ve considered the question in relation to other intelligences – animals. Consider your dog or cat (or a pet known to you). They have intelligence of a site. There’s a little dog or cat soul in them. They have some knowledge and a basic understanding, but our world is incomprehensible to them. They will not ever understand quantum physics or income tax.

    Are we likewise limited?

    Yes, everything is limited by their experiences, but we can break that limitation by continuing to ask questions and seeking the answers, which then raises more questions and so on. 🙂

  15. A playwright once wrote “When I hear the word culture , I release the safety on my Browning!” . ‘epistemology’ would make a suitable substitute for culture 🙂

  16. There’s a wonderful little philosophical and scientific treatise (150 pages) on the subject of science, inquiry, and the nature of knowledge. It is by a German philosopher and economist called E.F. Schumacher and it is entitled A Guide For The Perplexed. It is a masterly and beautifully written work that weaves together ideas expressed by ancient, medieval, and modern thinkers. The book is structured into ten short chapters. Each can be read as a stand-alone essay but all of the chapters cohere impeccably.

  17. Tristo says:
    Monday, December 24, 2018 at 8:14 pm
    I have been making predictions of the most likely outcome of the Senate after the federal election and Labor plus The Greens won’t likely have the numbers to pass legislation. The balance of power could be held by One Nation, Center Alliance, Australian Conservatives, possibly one Shooters, Farmers and Fisher Senator from New South Wales, Derryn Hinch and possibly Fraser Anning.

    We can assume the Gs will oppose Labor in almost all its endeavours. The best hope for Labor is that G prefs help elect Labor Senators and that the Gs disappear as a parliamentary entity. Labor can then make inroads into the remaining seats held by the LNP and the other demagogues.


  18. Sceptic says:
    Monday, December 24, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Opal Tower

    Design by Bates Smart,
    ….
    Media beat up is my prediction

    If it isn’t the shit is going to hit the fan. I wonder who the structural engineers are?

  19. Frednk

    How long before Morrison blames Shorten and the CFMEU?
    looks like the cops etc are in on the media beatup tho .
    “Fire and Rescue NSW and police attended the scene and after establishing the presence of a crack on Level 10 of the building, evacuated the remainder of the residents, setting up a 250m exclusion zone.

  20. Nicholas says:
    Monday, December 24, 2018 at 8:15 pm
    It is dangerously conceited to believe that every aspect of “the cosmos” (a simplifying human-invented abstraction to begin with) is knowable by human beings. It’s a very anthropocentric perspective on epistemology.

    As observed above, it’s well worth asking whether knowledge exists independently of knowers. I think the idea of “cosmos” is a good one. It certainly extends to matter and energy beyond that which is already discernible and “known”.

    It’s useful to think as well of knowledge as being a product of the cosmos. The sentiments you mentioned above are also products of the cosmos, as are the questions you pose. In a deistic formulation, things flow the other way; the cosmos is derived from deistic knowledge; a kind of special knowledge that would allow causality to be reversed or turned and off, and which would turn the arrow of time back on itself in an unpredictable fashion.

  21. PeeBee, for “levelised” costs of power from various sources as they have varied over the last decade (levelised meaning average lifetime cost including construction and operating), see
    (“Crystalline” meaning solar panels).
    Note nuclear was cheaper a while ago but is increasing all the time, and it’s not clear whether they have included the costs of keeping the waste safe for ages. Wind and solar getting cheaper all the time.

    See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source

  22. Late Riser says:
    Monday, December 24, 2018 at 7:34 pm
    But a very good point and yet another reason that “infinity” does not and can not exist, in the commonly accepted meaning of the word “exist”.

    In my reading of quantum physics a lot of commonly accepted things struggle to exist. I have been an atheist since I was old enough to think about such things but quantum physics has made me rethink the question. I based my atheism on the lack of evidence of the existence of a god and the need to just believe. I chose to accept science rather than belief. Quantum physics takes us into an area where we cannot see the evidence and require some belief. I still do not accept that there is a god but I am not as dogmatic as I used to be. Given that I have far more years behind me than I am likely to have in front of me I have simplified the question. I figure that Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews are likely to go to heaven and Kieth Richards is likely to go to hell. I would rather spend eternity with Keith.

  23. Nicholas

    It is dangerously conceited to believe that every aspect of “the cosmos” (a simplifying human-invented abstraction to begin with) is knowable by human beings. It’s a very anthropocentric perspective on epistemology.

    Are you Paul Davies?

  24. Douglas and Milko @ #1828 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 8:52 pm

    Nicholas

    It is dangerously conceited to believe that every aspect of “the cosmos” (a simplifying human-invented abstraction to begin with) is knowable by human beings. It’s a very anthropocentric perspective on epistemology.

    Are you Paul Davies?

    No, but he can copy and paste him.

  25. @briefly

    The Greens would support Labor at least on the negative gearing and capital gains tax reforms. I cannot say that for at least some of the potential members of the cross-bench.

  26. “Dodgy concrete would never have been used of course ”
    Absolutely not..
    Liability chain is too long, no concrete company would supply under strength concrete. Concrete is continually strength tested by indenendant labs when poured.

    From the plan there isn’t any particular strength zone in the design, that is loads are widely spread. The design is very conservative.

    Engineers commonly have a 3 times safety factor in the design.. 3 times stronger than required to do the job.

    My outside guess is the observed noise was due to concrete / structural shrinkage stresses being released at control joints.

  27. PeeBee @ #1798 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 7:17 pm

    P1, ‘This is simply not true.’

    Ok, what is the cradle to grave cost of nuclear generated electricity?

    Cost-wise, nuclear is quite competitive with renewables – it is more expensive than some, but cheaper than others. It is (for instance) cheaper than either biomass or rooftop PV. It is quite comparable with offshore wind, but it is more expensive than onshore wind or utility scale PV.

    But it is of course a strawman to argue only about cost. Which of course is why we always seem to end up there 🙁

    If you want to argue about total emissions (which is the only measure that the planet actually cares about) then nuclear has to be a substantial part of the mix in places like India and China.

    Without nuclear they would revert to fossil fuels, not renewables.

  28. Nicholas @ #1813 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 7:15 pm

    It is dangerously conceited to believe that every aspect of “the cosmos” (a simplifying human-invented abstraction to begin with) is knowable by human beings. It’s a very anthropocentric perspective on epistemology.

    How is it dangerous? What is “every aspect”?

    The trick is to ask the right questions. But questions need anchors. These are not them. We are still on the beach. (wtte Newton)

  29. A few years ago I was Googling “Beecroft” which was the suburb I used to live in in Sydney. What I didn’t know was that the spectacular cliffs of Point Perpendicular, on the northern end of the opening to Jervis Bay, are coincidentally the tip of the “Beecroft Peninsula”.

    And so I discovered Woollongong University’s Professor (of Geology) Ted Bryant. He is world renowned tsunami expert.

    What Professor Ted discovered was that some of the large boulders found at the top of the Beecroft Peninsula’s Point Perpendicular came from rock formations found only at the base of the 100 metre Point Perpendicular cliffs.

    This observation, alongside many others made at the base and in nearby topological formations, led Professor Ted to the conclusion that, at some time in the relatively recent past, a very large tsunami had hit the NSW coast, with what would have been catastrophic effects.

    The half-house sized boulders on top of the cliffs at Point Perpendicular, relocated from their base by almost unimaginable wave forces, were just the bullet points of the disaster, and Professor Ted’s theory.

    Put bluntly: green water had passed over some of the tallest cliffs of the eastern Australian coast, and that green water was tsunami.

    Professor Ted has retired now, but his studies revealed similar waves passing over The Gap in Sydney (with similar boulder displacements), and other formations in Queensland (to list just two). You’d have to be a geologist to understand them. I’ve always been amazed at how those guys could “read” a lump of rock, or an exposed road cutting, and tell a story with a provenance and span of millions of years.

    The waves Professor Ted postulated were probably separate events, indicating multiple tsunamis, from multiple causes: bolides, sub-surface landslides, but no earthquakes. We don’t have earthquakes in Australia (of a power big enough to cause tsunamis by main force). These waves came from something else entirely. And they could come again tomorrow. With no warning.

    Scenario: A hundred metre diameter bolide hits deep water in the Pacific 2,000 kilometres off Sydney, completely undetected. It’s entry speed is 25 kilometres per second – 90,000 kilometres per hour (completely unremarkable for an object from outer space).

    What effect does the tsunami wave that it generates have on a coastal area thousands of kilometres to the west of the impact point?

    Google and learn.

  30. Bushfire Bill @ #1838 Monday, December 24th, 2018 – 9:02 pm

    A few years ago I was Googling “Beecroft” which was the suburb I used to live in in Sydney. What I didn’t know was that the spectacular cliffs of Point Perpendicular, on the northern end of the opening to Jervis Bay, are the tip of the “Beecroft Peninsula”.

    And so I discovered Woollongong University’s Professor (of Geology) Ted Bryant. He is world renowned tsunami expert.

    What Professor Ted discovered was that some of the large boulders found at the top of the Beecroft Peninsula’s Point Perpendicular came from rock formations found only at the base of the 100 metre Point Perpendicular cliffs.

    This observation, alongside many others made at the base and in nearby topological formations, led Professor Ted to the conclusion that, at some time in the relatively recent past, a very large tsunami had hit the NSW coast, with what would have been catastrophic effects.

    The half-house sized boulders on top of the cliffs at Point Perpendicular, relocated from their base by almost unimaginable wave forces, were just the bullet points of the disaster, and Professor Ted’s theory.

    Put bluntly: green water had passed over some of the tallest cliffs of the eastern Australian coast, and that green water was tsunami.

    Professor Ted has retired now, but his studies revealed similar waves passing over The Gap in Sydney (with similar boulder displacements), and other formations in Queensland (to list just two). You’d have to be a geologist to understand them. I’ve always been amazed at how those guys could “read” a lump of rock, or an exposed road cutting, and tell a story with a provenance and span of millions of years.

    The waves Professor Ted postulated were probably separate events, indicating multiple tsunamis, from multiple causes: bolides, sub-surface landslides, but no earthquakes. We don’t have earthquakes in Australia (of a power big enough to cause tsunamis by main force). These waves came from something else entirely. And they could come again tomorrow. With no warning.

    Google and learn.

    Peter Weir’s “Last Wave”is about that very phenomena.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKvuUDBHipE

  31. frednk says:
    Monday, December 24, 2018 at 8:01 pm
    He probable did simple things like predict the wire would not go up in smoke when it was loaded with the designed load. Science is a better at that than putting a wire in place and praying.
    Future network requirements; as you say a wise engineer.

    The hard bit was predicting where the city would expand to. It required prediction the behavior of real estate salesperson, local government councillors and humans. Fortunately the real estate salespersons and councillors where more predictable and conspired to defeat the humans.

    Once we knew where the future cable was likely to be needed we could get it the plan close to reasonable. Then the accountants in treasury fucked it all up.

  32. Peter Stanton, I’m with you. I gave up trying to understand quantum mechanics using my culture’s Newtonian world view. None of us are truly Einsteinian, let alone into the world-view of Bohr, Schroedinger, et al. And a lot of us are still pre-Copernican. (Sun rise?) My philosophy now might be summed as “We haven’t a clue. We never will. So who cares? How can we? So lets try this, and this, and this. Just carefully. And take lots of notes.” It may not be as smart as possible, but it is pragmatic.

  33. There’s a wonderful little philosophical and scientific treatise (150 pages) on the subject of science, inquiry, and the nature of knowledge. It is by a German philosopher and economist called E.F. Schumacher and it is entitled A Guide For The Perplexed. It is a masterly and beautifully written work that weaves together ideas expressed by ancient, medieval, and modern thinkers. The book is structured into ten short chapters. Each can be read as a stand-alone essay but all of the chapters cohere impeccably.

    Schumaker also wrote a lovely little book called ‘Small is Beautiful’ . It discusses socialism and how it works naturally in small communities.

    He is a much underrated thinker.

  34. Late Riser

    Read an article recently that suggested there is a push back starting against the “if we have an equation it must be true” element of Quantum stuff.

  35. Bushfire Bill, geologists surpass astronomers in creativity and imagination, and astronomers are no slouches. I put it down to opportunity, but be that as it may, geologists possess a deep practical understanding of the workings of our planet. In another sense astronomers are just off-planet geologists.

  36. Murdoch is boosting Trump Jnr as a Presidential hopeful. Just what the world needs!

    Donald Jr wows millennials
    JOSH GLANCY
    His youthful fanbase sees him as the future and the word is that, if he wanted to, Trump’s eldest son could run for president. (Oz headline)

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