BludgerTrack: 53.8-46.2 to Labor

A lurch back to Labor in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, plus further polling tidbits and preselection news aplenty.

The addition of this week’s Newspoll and Essential Research polls have ended a period of improvement for the Coalition in BludgerTrack, which records a solid shift to Labor this week. Labor’s two-party lead is now 53.8-46.2, out from 53.1-46.9 last week, and they have made two gains on the seat projection, one in New South Wales and one in Queensland. Despite that, the Newspoll leadership numbers have resulted in an improvement in Scott Morrison’s reading on the net approval trend. Full results are available through the link below – if you can’t get the state breakdown tabs to work, try doing a hard refresh.

National polling news:

• A poll result from Roy Morgan circulated earlier this week, although there’s no mention of it on the company’s website. The primary votes are Labor 36%, Coalition 34.5% and Greens 12.5%, which pans out to a Labor lead of 54-46 using past preference flows (thanks Steve777). Morgan continues to conduct weekly face-to-face polling, but the results are only made public when Gary Morgan has a point to make – which on this occasion is that Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party is on all of 1%. One Nation doesn’t do great in the poll either, recording 3%. The poll was conducted over two weekends from a sample of 1673.

• The Australian had supplementary questions from this week’s Newspoll on Tuesday, which had Scott Morrison favoured over Bill Shorten by 48-33 on the question of best leader handle the economy – little different from his 50-32 lead in October, or the size of the lead consistently held by Malcolm Turnbull. It also found 33% saying the government should prioritise funding of services, compared with 27% for cutting personal income tax and 30% for paying down debt.

• The Australian also confused me by publishing, together with the Newspoll voting intention numbers on Monday, results on franking credits and “reducing tax breaks for investors” – derived not from last weekend’s poll, but earlier surveys in December and November (UPDATE: Silly me – the next column along is the total from the latest poll). The former found 48% opposed to Labor’s franking credits policy and 30% in support, compared with 50% and 33% when it was first floated in March (UPDATE: So the latest poll actually has support back up five to 35% and opposition down two to 38%). Respondents were instructed that the policy was “expected to raise $5.5 billion a year from around 900,000 Australians that receive income from investments in shares”, which I tend to think is friendlier to Labor than a question that made no effort to explain the policy would have been. The tax breaks produced a stronger result for Labor, with 47% in favour and 33% opposed, although this was down on 54% and 28% in April (UPDATE: Make that even better results for Labor – support up four to 51%, opposition down one to 32%).

With due recognition of Kevin Bonham’s campaign against sketchy reports of seat polling, let the record note the following:

Ben Packham of The Australian reports Nationals polling shows them in danger of losing Page to Labor and Cowper to Rob Oakeshott. Part of the problem, it seems, is a minuscule recognition rating for the party’s leader, one Michael McCormack.

• There’s a uComms/ReachTEL poll of Flinders for GetUp! doing the rounds, conducted on Wednesday from a sample of 634, which has Liberal member Greg Hunt on 40.7%, an unspecified Labor candidate on 29.4% and ex-Liberal independent Julia Banks on 16.1%. That would seem to put the result down to the wild card of Banks’ preference flows. There was apparently a respondent-allocated two-party figure with the result, but I haven’t seen it. UPDATE: Turns out it was 54-46 in favour of Greg Hunt, which seems a bit much.

• The West Australian reported last weekend that a uComms/ReachTel poll for GetUp! had Christian Porter leading 52-48 in Pearce, which is above market expectations for him.

• Another week before, The West Australian reported Labor internal polling had it with a 51.5-48.5 lead in Stirling.

Preselection news:

• Following Nigel Scullion’s retirement announcement last month, the Northern Territory News reports a field of eight nominees for his Country Liberal Party Senate seat: Joshua Burgoyne, an Alice Springs electrician, who was earlier preselected for the second position on the ticket behind Scullion; Bess Price, who held the remote seat of Stuart in the territory parliament from 2012 to 2016, and whose high-profile daughter Jacinta Price is the party’s candidate for Lingiari; Tony Schelling, a financial adviser; Tim Cross, former general manager of NT Correctional Industries; Gary Haslett, a Darwin councillor; Kris Civitarese, deputy mayor of Tennant Creek; Linda Fazldeen, from the Northern Territory’s Department of Trade, Business and Innovation; and Bill Yan, general manager at the Alice Springs Correctional Centre.

Andrew Burrell of The Australian reports Liberal nominees to succeed Michael Keenan in Stirling include Vince Connelly, Woodside Petroleum risk management adviser and former army officer; Joanne Quinn, a lawyer for Edith Cowan University; Michelle Sutherland, a teacher and the wife of Michael Sutherland, former state member for Mount Lawley; Georgina Fraser, a 28-year-old “oil and gas executive”; and Taryn Houghton, “head of community engagement at a mental health service, HelpingMinds”. No further mention of Tom White, general manager of Uber in Japan and a former adviser to state MP and local factional powerbroker Peter Collier, who was spruiked earlier. The paper earlier reported that Karen Caddy, a former Rio Tinto engineer, had her application rejected after state council refused to give her the waiver required for those who were not party members of one year’s standing.

• The Nationals candidate for Indi is Mark Byatt, a Wodonga-based manager for Regional Development Victoria.

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.

1,132 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.8-46.2 to Labor”

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  1. Ipsos poll: Support for Labor falls after clash over refugees and border security

    Financial Review-Ipsos poll: Coalition closes in on Labor 51:49

    The Ipsos poll was taken over the same period (late last week) that Galaxy showed a move to federal labor in Queensland. Can’t be both right, although they could be equally wrong in opposite ways.

  2. Kevin Bonham crunching the numbers..

    My aggregate post-#Ipsos 53.0 to ALP (last-election), 52.4 (2016 preferences). ALP reduced by 0.7 based on that. But if #Ipsos is right based on last week’s events it will quickly come down more sharply with more polls.

  3. Ipsos , the only poll they publish that is accurate is the last one prior to an election. That’s the only one that had real world correlation

  4. The Libs/nats combined primary vote trend and

    decline in seats as the primary vote declines

    2013 federal election Libs/nats combined primary vote was 45.6% =90 seats

    2016 federal election libs/nats combined primary vote 42.5% – 76 seats

    2019 federal election – hypothetical libs/nats combined primary 38% – 58 seats

  5. Aren’t polls the pits?
    It seems just 5 minutes ago that a poll in Queensland showed a deadly death spiral for the LNP in Queensland – AFTER all the Boat stuff – now we have this Ipsos showing the LNP breathing down Labor’s neck……….and some crowing from some LNP supporter that it is “game on”…..
    I have no doubt there is some floating voters out there who are onto the boat thing, but if the the LNP get up on this issue when there are just so many more important issues to look at, then one might just as ignore all opinion polls.
    I note from the Sunday Times (West) that even some of the rusted on LNP supporting journos pointed out that the scare factor is not the same this time around.
    No doubt Morrison and Dutton will press on regardless.
    Goodness, if they get up from here then maybe elections are just a damned raffle!
    With an MOE of nearly 3% I just wonder what value the Ipsos is in any event?

  6. According to Ipsos poll the coalition are coming back to retain government

    But I hope Morrison does not as it will be bad for the country

  7. dave @ #1062 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 3:50 pm

    This isn’t a bad US Streaming site –

    Most of the main US News outlets etc etc

    Will stream to your PC. Cast to TV if you want etc.

    Dan Gulberry @ #1083 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 4:36 pm

    I already have this on bookmarked –

    It seems to do much the same thing, but just for newws channels, plus it adds adds UK channels as well as Al Jazeera..

    Thanks x 2. 🙂

  8. Wayne

    If Morrison comes back on the back of this BOATS hokum then the electorate deserve every bit of shit the Coalition will serve up to them.

  9. Wayne says:
    Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 6:26 pm
    According to Ipsos poll the coalition are coming back to retain government


    The lib/nats need over 42.5% to retain office

    If on election night
    Libs/nats combined primary vote is 38% , the libs/nats will lose comfortably , i would not be surprise to see Labor called the winner at 7:45pm on the night of the election .


    In fact i will make this an in stone statement

  10. ScoMo and the forces of darkness (I really like that name btw.). woke the sleeping lazy GenZ giant with the Marriage survey.
    The floods, the fires, the Telsla battery, the corruption etc.
    The coal don’t have a good story to tell anymore. And we’ve been talking about boats for almost 20 years. Vision is lacking.
    I expect Shorten will heat things up with talk about an advanced manufacturing vision, esp in the solar and battery space as the election kicks off.
    Now is just the time in between, where everyone is waiting and Scott has the next move.
    We’re all waiting for a drive to government house.

  11. Tony Abbott ran on Terrorism to revive his ailing prime Minstership he would get a spike in his polling and then it would sag back down. The coalition won’t be able to sustain this till May.

  12. William Bowe and other poll bludgers

    If the libs/nats combined primary vote is 38% , give or take a few decimals

    I expect Labor to be declared the government at 7:45pm on Federal saturday night election

  13. Well, too bad about health and education. Too bad about rogue banks and other rogue corporations that haven’t been exposed yet. Too bad our wages will continue to stagnate. Too bad we have to lose Medicare and the ABC. And tough luck for the unemployed and disabled, which could include ourselves in future.

    But we’re scared shitless of brown people on boats.

  14. If Morrison wants to talk boats till the election I say bring it on.

    Labor will talk about the things that matter. Jobs, health, education, welfare, the environment …

    The Tories have 73 seats now. To govern in majority they need to win three they don’t have and not lose one, a single one.

    Can’t see that happening with a primary vote starting with a 3.

  15. Go home Ipsos: you’re drunk.

    That’s the third time I’ve written that concerning their national polls. I’d be stunned if essential or Newspoll show anything like that. Greens on 13%? Pfft!

  16. I appreciate that people see things differently. Some people favour free markets and a low social safety net. Some, like Morrison, follow authoritarian strains of Christianity.

    But the man is so obviously a bombastic, blathering imbecile, his bloviating over the recent Medivac bill is so obviously concocted, so obviously over the top, I’m surprised that so many could believe it, even if they like the IPA-religious right vision for Australia.

  17. I can’t put up with another 3 years of dysfunction and disunity…

    If Morrison get back in I will be moving overseas till he is kick out of government

  18. lizzie @ #743 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 10:48 am


    I’ve asked The Kouk to confirm source but he’s under no obligation to respond to an unknown Tweep.

    $5.20 is the current Betfair Lay price. Labor is $1.26. These are fair dinkum, put their money where their mouth is, prices. As opposed to bookmakers’ “how many punters can we scam ” prices.

  19. Rex Douglas @ #1118 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 5:36 pm

    Neumann should be replaced by someone who can sell a message.

    Get Ged !

    I agree that Neumann needs help, but the help he needs would be better off coming from the parties and independents who supported Phelps’ bill. If their passion is real on this issue they should be banging the drum 24/7 to highlight the lies and misdirection of the Libs. They should be fighting this issue as if their political lives depend on it.

  20. A few thoughts on the Paladin contract.

    Professionally I sit at Finance Manager level in a multinational construction and industrial services company and have been at that level for 12 years. In that time, I’ve dealt with construction and services contracts with state & federal governments and companies from reasonably small, right up to the then largest company in the world. The biggest contract I’ve been responsible for had a value of just short of a billion dollars.

    The Paladin contract stinks to high heaven:
    • When dealing with large companies there is an extensive tender prequalification process which ensures you have suitable experience to be able to successfully execute the contract and that you have the resources to take it on;
    • It takes months and thousands of work hours, not six days to work your way through tender prequalification, tendering and final negotiations;
    • Unless it’s a panel arrangement for which you’ve already been though tender prequalification and contract negotiation the tender process is open, not closed and tender process for the panel was open to begin with;
    • A contract of either $90m or $423m would be signed off at the highest level (ministerial/cabinet/international board of directors) and there would be extensive discussion with them about your ability to undertake the contract;
    • When you submit a bid for a tender of either $90m or $423m it takes months for it to be assessed by the organisation which issued it and they request extensive clarifications on a range of matters within your tender;
    • Any sort of doubts around your reputation or business practices are generally terminal to your prospects of being a tier one contractor on such large tenders, and;
    • Payments in advance on contracts are very unusual are very unusual and impose very onerous obligations upon the contractee.

    For a real-life example, the company I work for has recently won a contract with a government business enterprise (GBE) valued in the low tens of millions. They have worked for this GBE for decades on a separate contract of similar size for related services and have previously provided the tendered services to them. From expression of interest to contract award took just over two years and the final contract had to be signed off by the full board of the GBE.

    On this, Dutton and some senior people in his Department will be living in mortal fear of Labor’s ICAC and preparing themselves to stick their heads between their legs and kiss their backsides goodbye

  21. Maybe the Paladin contract etc should be taught as an under graduate purchasing degree to show a bad example of what not to do

  22. I read a story once by Mr R Dahl about a book shop that had nothing to do with a black mail enterprise..; remind you of Paladin

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