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. Jackol – I’m quite surprised at the resistance amongst republicans in both houses of congress over the wall.

    While the history of the wall is one of toxic politics, based on fear and racism, as a policy outcome it ranks well below the Supreme Court and tax cuts on the scale of toxicity. Well below Trump’s other immigration initiatives as well. Most countries have hard borders. Before Trump’s 2016 campaign it had been long identified that the hard border with Mexico was quite lax and that a number of measures to improve the existing physical barriers ought be taken. In fact ‘build the wall’ grew out of frustration that many recommendations had been kicked into the long grass as part of budget wrangling over the years.

    For the life of me, I can’t see why republicans didn’t just fund the damn thing – it is actually one of Trump’s saner policies (especially if it was massaged back to something like what had been long understood by all sides as desirable): Republicans in areas with large Latino voting blocks could point to the fact that what was finally agreed upon was consistent with previous plans and that border security was not inconsistent with support for legitimate immigration programs into the future (I.e. allowing republican latinos to sponsor their relatives to lawfully migrate).

    It’s not like Trump cares for the detail – any outcome that allows him to claim that he built the wall would allow him to claim victory. This should be a win-win for Republicans. How did they so royally frack it up?

  2. Barney

    I appreciate your concern over that. In my defence it should be noted that Santa is not affiliated with any religion and os another pagan tradition that organised religion hasn’t been able to stamp out.

    Also my 79 year old mum goes on regular “girls nights out”.

    All that aside it would’ve been better if it had said “naughty women” instead of “naughty girls”.

    I will defer to the judgement of the girls/women posters if they find it offensive or not. If so, I will ask William to remove it.

  3. A_E – I don’t think the Republicans were/are specifically anti the Wall – some are probably less enthusiastic than others, but I agree that it’s not something they would have chosen to get into a fight with the President over; I don’t know about previous funding bills, but it is the Dems’ threatened filibuster that has pulled funding for the Wall right now – if the Dems rolled over the Republicans would vote for funding the Wall.

    What the Republicans are clearly worried about is blowing up the process of Congressional negotiation and the power of the filibuster threat when they lose their Senate majority and having the Dems get stuff through without having to negotiate with them.

    Senator Orrin Hatch (retiring, but still a vote right now, and probably at least a little representative of establishment Republican thinking):

    “I’ve long said that eliminating the legislative filibuster would be a mistake. It’s what’s prevented our country for decades from sliding toward liberalism. It’s inconvenient sometimes, but requiring compromise is in the interest of both parties in the long term.”

    Senator Jeff Flake (yes, I know he almost doesn’t count now as well, but for the next few weeks he’s still a number, and is on paper a Republican):

    The Senate filibuster is about the only mechanism left in Washington that brings the parties together. Deploying the nuclear option would blow that up. I will not vote to do it.

    (Flake was responding to a specific Trump instruction [ie tweet] to nuke the filibuster):

    Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you!

    And McConnell himself in all his anodyne glory:

    McConnell rejects nuclear option for wall funding vote

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected Donald Trump’s call to use the “nuclear option” of ending the filibuster to pass funding for a border wall.

    “The Leader has said for years that the votes are not there in the Conference to use the nuclear option. Just this morning, several Senators put out statements confirming their opposition, and confirming that there is not a majority in the conference to go down that road,” said McConnell communications director David Popp, according to the Hill.

    (these extracts taken from a stale Guardian liveblog; not sure how well links will hold up)
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2018/dec/21/trump-government-shutdown-border-wall-latest-live?page=with:block-5c1d1e3ae4b072dc52e61dae

    So, yeah, I’ll have to revise my opinion that the nuclear option is even on the table … if Flake and Hatch refuse to go there – and given their retirement you wouldn’t think they would care about any blowback, although there is talk about Flake being a candidate in 2020 – then it wouldn’t seem to be an option. So either Trump backs down, the Dems roll over, or the US government remains shut down for a bigly time. I can’t see Trump backing down tbh.

    And all over the Wall, which I agree is not that big of a deal for anyone really, apart from its symbolism.

  4. It’s not like Trump cares for the detail – any outcome that allows him to claim that he built the wall would allow him to claim victory. This should be a win-win for Republicans. How did they so royally frack it up?

    They didn’t, it’s the analysis that’s off.

    They’re probably aware of one or more of the following:

    1. Trump’s base of 35% loyal nutjobs aside, the electorate despises the man and is ready to vote in wave after wave of democrats until he’s gone. If Republicans go nuclear now, they cede their ability to run interference when the next election takes their senate majority.

    2. Like any government project, the costs of building the wall will blow out massively and embarrassingly. And they’ve already blown a hole in the budget with Trump’s tax cuts.

    3. Some places where the wall would need to be built are all but impossible to build on, so even if approved the project would likely never be completed.

    4. If someone builds a 30 foot wall then people will just start bringing 31 foot ladders. Build a 100 foot wall and they’ll dig tunnels. The wall can never be effective at its stated purpose unless it’s crammed full of sensors and actively patrolled along its entire length. Which makes it a recipe for embarrassing and high profile failures.

    5. The actual promise re the wall was that Mexico would pay for it. You can’t campaign on keeping promises if you make the US taxpayers do it.

    6. It will motivate the democrats even further (if that’s even possible), and erase whatever inroads the GOP had made among minority voters.

    7. Voters in the states that the wall would run through don’t even want the damn thing. Even in Texas they don’t support it. The people who most strongly want the wall are in Appalachia and similar. Places where the GOP doesn’t need extra votes to take the electoral college. But if they piss off Texas, it’s all over.

  5. The wall is a dumb idea. The resourceful Mexicans have already shown that they can tunnel like a boss to get their contraband in, and I have seen some elaborate subterfuges created which weren’t detected for years by the authorities. Walk down any street in one of the border towns and I bet you wouldn’t be able to pick out which house, in which street, has an elaborate tunnel dug beneath it. It’s a nice little earner for the impoverished locals. Just keep going about your daily life and let a guy in every now and again, when instructed. Too easy.

    Besides, if they build the wall what are they going to do when boats start? The Coast Guard couldn’t keep the Cubans out.

    Then what? Make the damn wall look like the Israeli abomination, with guard towers manned by snipers!?! May as well build one on the Canadian border as well and turn the US into one big gulag.

    Sure, strengthen border security, within reason, but be reasonable about it. Which is not what Mr Trump has in mind. Despoiling the beautiful environment down Mexico way, is.

  6. Dan Gulberry @ #2003 Tuesday, December 25th, 2018 – 9:25 am

    Barney

    I appreciate your concern over that. In my defence it should be noted that Santa is not affiliated with any religion and os another pagan tradition that organised religion hasn’t been able to stamp out.

    Also my 79 year old mum goes on regular “girls nights out”.

    All that aside it would’ve been better if it had said “naughty women” instead of “naughty girls”.

    I will defer to the judgement of the girls/women posters if they find it offensive or not. If so, I will ask William to remove it.

    I thought it just highlights how time changes things and what wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow a decade ago, now has a much darker interpretation as well.

  7. Merry Xmas everyone. I am just chilling under the air-con. Food will be cooked later when it is cooler.

    Bill and Chloe won the Christmas Message Stakes. Scomo was left back around the bend.

  8. Dan, you asked yesterday if I watched that movie on Josephus – yes I did. While the hypothesis is plausible, the presentation reminded me of one of those shows you get on the history channel — kinda saccharin … if you get what I mean? Designed to satisfy the hypothesis without srutinising the opposing argument with any depth.

    I am far more convinced by Richard Carrier’s presentations — he puts both sides and is SO thorough in his research it puts many to shame. I am probably showing my bias though, my areas of study when doing my history degree, deliberately focussed on belief systems and he appears to do the same — so his ideas kinda reinforce what I already thought but couldn’t articulate as well as he does.

  9. The other thing about Carrier is he uses linguistic scrutiny — which is another of my ‘hobbies’. Years ago I read a book about the first 5 books of the Old Testament and showed linguistically how they were ‘amalgams’ of a number of authors … that set me off on years of study!

  10. For Trump it is the show that counts, and Trump’s wall has many showy inspirations.

    (I had an image ready to link to, but not today. Search for “Wall Gaza”, and you’ll see what I mean.)

    He’s not a career politician. He doesn’t care about the long term. He just loves the attention. A large, ugly, offensive, expensive, and literally divisive wall would be perfect for him.

  11. Happy Holidays All!

    You’re right on the Xmas message stakes Puffy. While Bill still has trouble being ‘fluid’ in set pieces – Chloe is a big asset with a genuineness of expression that really comes across. The way they look at each other shows a genuine affection as well, something that cannot be faked —and where they were, showed how Labor is more interested in the ‘little guy’ (and yes, of course it was staged) but they thought about it — thought about who most needed the backup/encouragement this message would bring.

  12. Good point

    Craig Hill
    ‏ Dec 22

    The Australian government are pushing for migrants to relocate to rural area and integrate into the local community, but when one Tamil family successfully did that in Biloela, @PeterDutton_MP decided to use his Ministerial discretion to deport them. #auspol

  13. Donald Trump, answering phone call from 7-year-old on Christmas Eve: “Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it’s marginal, right?”

  14. jenauthor,

    If the Trump Wall goes ahead it will work like the Berlin wall, only this time the non-American side will have the ironic and hopeful graffiti painted on it. It will become a powerful symbol of US oppression and be a stark contrast with the times 30 to 60 years ago. And a symbol I hope they will tear down quickly.

  15. He just loves the attention. A large, ugly, offensive, expensive, and literally divisive wall would be perfect for him.

    I feel like this overlooks the casual racism component.

    Trump loves attention, sure. He also hates brown people. The wall gives him points on both fronts.

  16. Just another Trumpian lie: pretending to work.

    Brandon Friedman
    ‏@BFriedmanDC
    36m36 minutes ago

    1. This afternoon, Trump said he was in the Oval Office for a “Christmas Eve briefing.”
    2. Reporter says it may not be true–it doesn’t appear Trump was in the West Wing today.
    3. Zoom in. Sure enough, the newspaper on Trump’s desk is the Sunday paper.

  17. a r, I was including “racist” under “offensive” but sure, subtle is one more thing Trump isn’t.

    A large, ugly, casually racist, generally offensive, expensive, and literally divisive wall would be perfect for him.

  18. Lizzie
    The worst POTUS ever.He is a danger and liability to their own people more than anyone else.The sooner his 4 years is up the better for the whole world.

    Michael Moore even said that Trump could be the last POTUS.

    Michael Moore: Trump May Be Last President; “Dangerous” Because He Has A Complete Lack Of Ideology.

  19. Large businesses would love a larger immigration intake so that they can grow their profits merely by dint of the market growing. That is easier than having to innovate better products and know-how.

    They would love the immigrants to be in a precarious position – illegal or temporary employer-sponsored visa – so that employers hold the whip hand in the employment relationship.

    It isn’t wrong for the US to enact a lower intake of migrants (both legal and illegal combined).

    A high intake can only be justifieis once the US is doing phenomenonally well on environmental sustainability and workers’ rights.

  20. A certain POTUS has polluted the language, just by his name. I was scanning the boats (sorry, yachts) entered in the SHYR and spotted “Trumpcard“. I thought who could possibly name their boat after the current POTUS? So I clicked on the name and learned this boat was built in 1985 and that is it’s name. “Trump card” used to mean something else. Horrible man.

  21. Wow. Trump managed to knock another 650 points off the Dow with his Xmas-time ranting. The GOP’s wealthy donors must be having fits.

    I just hope the Koch brothers get exactly what they deserve. They are the ones that made Trump happen.

  22. We had our family christmas lunch as yum cha at a local Chinatown restaurant. Plenty of shops and restaurants open today, but this place was packed. There were even queues of people who hadn’t booked waiting for a table!

  23. lizzie says:
    Tuesday, December 25, 2018 at 3:29 pm
    stever davis

    Wouldn’t it be rather frightening to live in a country where you are never sure whether your president is lying?

    I think the people can be sure Trump is lying.

  24. Peter Stanton says: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Wouldn’t it be rather frightening to live in a country where you are never sure whether your president is lying?

    I think the people can be sure Trump is lying.

    ************************************************

    The Washington Post Fact Checker keeps a “running total” on Trumps lies and misleading statements

    As Of December 21 :

    President Trump has made 7,546 false or misleading claims over 700 days

    The numbers are astonishing.

    Combined with the rest of his presidency, that adds up to a total of 7,546 claims through Dec. 20, the 700th day of his term in office, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/21/president-trump-has-made-false-or-misleading-claims-over-days/?utm_term=.4a50c2333516

  25. I think the idea that Trump would be the last POTUS was that if congress does not shackle him to the law soon, he could try to be elected for life like the Chinese president … thereby becoming a despot.

    Also – POTUS had attributes that this one has abandoned, therefore cannot be a true POTUS and anyone who follows, might behave in the same way i.e. the term POTUS is now tarnished beyond repair

  26. Well we just finished a Cranberry and Macadamia nut stuffed Free Range roast chicken with Roast Veggies, including Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Garlic cloves and Pumpkin.

    For dessert later on we have a pudding which I bought from Coles.
    😀

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