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. Doyley – good post, they lost the vote in parliament and and spinning it as a win

    To be honest the discussion exhausts and frustrates me when there is so much more to discuss …..the tax system, funding for victims of domestic violence, education, health etc

  2. Morning all. We do indeed live in dystopian times under ScumMo. Over $400 million to Paladin, on top of $400 million to a mysterious Great Barrier Reef “research” group that looks like a front for mining execs. So this government has given away nearly a billion dollars to highly suspect groups with no credible tender process. We really need that Federal ICAC, and it really needs retrospective powers.

  3. Had an interesting conversation with a group of PHON supporters yesterday down down at my local. These guys are stereotype grumpy old white males who hate foreigners and adore Pauline.

    They are mad at Shorten for the franking credits policy & furious about the medical transfer bill, which they reckon should make Shorten lose the election but think it probably won’t because Morrison is such a f**kup, Turnbull was as bad and only Abbott could get the Libs over the line.

    I found it strangely reassuring that even this group of RWNJs couldn’t see Morrison winning an election.

  4. So that’s settled, Morrison is authentic when it comes to asylum seekers and boats.

    Glad we’ve cleared that up.

    That would make him an authentic arsehole.

  5. mick Quinlivan

    I was out in Western NSW at the end of last year for a few weeks and the anger against the NSW government and the Nationals in particular was huge. Mostly about the management of the Darling and the Menindee Lakes – and this was before the recent fish kills.

    So maybe the Nats could lose Barwon. 49 Primary last time – I expect this to be maybe 40 this time.

  6. So it looks like the Coalition are going to go all out on the politics from now till the election. Losing the ‘Big Stick’ legislation will be another. Apparently the Coalition will take that loss as a badge of honour and prosecute the case in the electorate that that means Labor are not interested in bringing down power prices.

    It doesn’t have to have a grain of truth to it but they will go full bore in screaming it up hill and down dale from now until the election anyway.

  7. I see Morrison’s latest stunt is to make a video telling asylum seekers if they come to Australia by boat they will never be settled here. Rudd tried that in 2010 and it did him a lot of good didn’t it? Pathetic really.

    I heard a grab from it on the 3aw news this morning and the truly disgusting part is where the lying bastard refers to the drownings at sea and pretends that he really cares about that. The truth is he would like nothing more than for an armada of boats to appear on the Australian horizon just before the next election. Scumbag is too good a word for him.

  8. Confessions @ #619 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 9:17 am

    On Insiders the Young Liberals are again in the news for lewd behaviour online.

    Yes. On Tinder. Acting like Wombats (eats, roots and leaves), but not before recruiting ‘potatoes’ to the Liberal Party! 😯

    They truly are the grubby party. Even lower than a snake’s belly because they live in the dirt!

  9. Listening to the prat Porter on Insiders l wonder how him and the rest of the mongrel bred bastards look at themselves in the mirror?

  10. “The minister can override’. How difficult is it for Porter to agree with that. Rhetorical.
    Cassidy is actually laughing at him.

  11. Bert says:

    Listening to the prat Porter on Insiders l wonder how him and the rest of the mongrel bred bastards look at themselves in the mirror?

    In Porter’s case no problems. His difficulty would be taking his eyes off the fabulous person he is looking adoringly at.

  12. CI is being opened purely as a signal to people smugglers to gear up again. It’s just that the govt can’t openly admit that.

  13. So the Government isn’t interested in answering conditional questions labelling them, hypothetical, but seems more than willing in using them to demonstrate some nonexistent need or threat. 😆

  14. Cat
    “So it looks like the Coalition are going to go all out on the politics from now till the election.”

    It is pretty clear they have given up on governing. (Sorry I tried to post a photo of ScumMo refusing to shake hands with Bill Shorten but it did not work.)

  15. Shorten really should do a ‘zinger’ and ask why Morrison isn’t getting the airlines to show a message about asylum seekers on every flight into Australia seeing as there are about 500 per week arriving via plane.

  16. Unless you are a rusted on Lib i do not know how you could argue ‘Christian’s’ interview on Insiders could not be perceived as a train wreck

  17. C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 8:30 am
    An Indigenous Man is more Australian than any of the White Men and Women in the Coalition government who think they are supreme!

    Has anyone asked Bess Price, Jacinta Price, Ken Wyatt or Warren Mundine what they think about the Coalition government wanting to deport an Indigenous Man to NZ?


    I can see where you are coming from, but I don’t agree that an indigenous man is any more Australian than any white man (or woman), any more than they can be more Australian than him. If we want Australia to be built on the notion of equality we can’t start making exceptions to the rule.

  18. Good point, Mark Kenny. The law has NOT fundamentally changed for people in the villages wishing to hop on a boat to Australia. It HAS changed wrt the people on the islands of Manus and Nauru.


  19. Socrates
    Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 9:32 am
    Comment #675

    Your picture Sir.

    A really excellent photo. What is that on the ladies wrist and Mr. Morrison’s tailor has done excellent work – the bolt through the neck barely shows ❓


  20. I think skewering is the word for what Insiders is doing, carefully, factually and clearly, to this rotten Govt.

    (minor grammar edit)

  21. Darn,
    I see where you are coming from but the point I was trying to make was not that I am not seeing all Australians as equal but that there are those in the government that appear to be saying it.

  22. I think skewering is the word for what Insiders is doing, carefully, factually and clearly, to this rotten Govt.

    Much mirth is evident from the journalists.

  23. C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 9:44 am

    There should be a word for vocal flatulence because the Coalition, and especially Scott Morrison, are full of it.

    I thought there was;


  24. Good to see Scaremo thrashing around looking for an “authentic narrative”.

    Others are probably on to this already but I’m thinking a youtube with Scaremo as the Devil who has successfully snuck in through the Hillsongters and is now destroying God’s work in the Liberal Party. The sort of nonsense that a lot of LNP supporters seem to get off on.

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