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. The British negotiating team, and May herself, made repeated attempts at dividing and conquering the EU during the Brexit negotiations.

    Despite some very strong anti-EU currents in several key EU nations, and despite the Brexit damage being unevenly spread across the EU, this ploy has failed completely.

    This is a remarkable outcome, IMO.

    In terms of projecting, there are two basic models.

    The UK was a powerful player inside the EU and wielded considerable internal influence, the impact of which was magnified by the far greater total power of the EU.

    Whether the UK acting on its own will have the equivalent power is an extremely complicated set of things to work through.

    There is considerable debate about the potential economic outcomes for the UK. My view is that it is extremely difficult to predict outcomes over time.

    Third nations are generally going to want to cut a trade deal with the EU before they cut a trade deal with the UK. This is because the EU market is around 10 times the size of the UK market and the EU market is one single market.

    Once you are in, you are in for 600,000,000 consumers.

  2. Last week during Question Time, Mr Porter warned the new rules on medical transfers could see alleged criminals sent to Australia.

    But when pressed by ABC host Barrie Cassidy today on whether the government knows how many people detained on Manus and Nauru have actually been convicted of murder and rape — a line often touted by the Liberal Party — Mr Porter couldn’t give an answer.

    “You know for a fact that there are people who have been convicted of murder or rape and they’re awaiting sentence?” the host asked.

    “We don’t have every single criminal record there,” he said.

    “So you don’t know that?” pressed Cassidy.

    “What we do know is that there are people who have been charged and who are awaiting trial for serious sexual offences. We know that —’

    Cassidy interrupted: “Charged, not convicted? You’re the Attorney-General, do you know the difference between guilt and innocence?”

    Mr Porter said there are asylum seekers who have “been charged with serious offences including sexual offences”, but would not confirm any of them had been convicted of such crimes.

  3. An interesting look at national emergencies over the last 40 years in the US.

    President Trump’s plan to divert military construction money to fund a border wall is an unusual use of emergency powers. Just once in the last four decades has an emergency declaration authorized military action: in 2001, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (Some declarations were subsequently amended to include a call for military action.)

  4. GG
    I noticed a picture of a boat on the orange flyer behind Geo Ringa. I will give the Liberal party a tip. That ship has sailed!!

  5. Boerwar,

    The UK’s new trade deals are proving elusive.

    Despite frenetic efforts by ministers to ensure the continuity of international trade after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March, the international trade secretary, Liam Fox, has so far only managed to secure deals with seven of the 69 countries that the UK currently trades with under preferential EU free trade agreements, which will end after Brexit.

    They may well be right that negotiations typically go down to the wire and a flurry of agreements will emerge by Brexit Date, but my hunch is they won’t get there at this rate. I also read somewhere recently that shipping is already affected because travel times put arrival dates after March 29. And of course this would also weaken the UK’s negotiating position with the EU.

  6. Greensborough Growler @ #3002 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 2:15 pm

    Is there another Downer running for mayo?

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    Really! One simply cannot get good help these days. I told Daddy not to use that dreadful Ashby creature, but he’s so distracted by Nigel Farage and his Russian friends that he just doesn’t listen. Now I’ll have to die my hair red and pretend to be friends with George what’s-his-name, that dreadful Toad of Toad Hall man…

  7. BK @ #911 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 2:29 pm

    Morrison has hit out at Labor over its policy to keep two pandas in Adelaide, saying the animals should not be a priority during national emergencies such as north Queensland’s floods.
    Truly, he’s lost the plot . . . and for a devout Pentecostal that’s really saying something.

    It just proves that Labor can walk and chew gum at the same time. And Morrison is monomaniacal.

  8. It is a bit concerning the Adelaide Pandas have not bred in 10 years. Could be they are a bit depressed living in Adelaide. Maybe they could be relocated to Melbourne, might lift their spirits. They could stay at Albert Park, where the Grand Prix is. 😛

  9. It has become clear that Labor had to plan a break from the government on asylum seeker policy carefully.
    Many in Labor have wished for a more humane policy. But remember:
    Labor isn’t in government, so having a more progressive policy earlier wouldn’t change anything.
    Changing when the Liberals are in a minority, made sense only when all (but one) if the crosse benchers were on board made sense as leglislation could be passed that would make a difference.
    While Labor would always face a scare campaign from the government, this is now much weaker due to their loss of credibility.
    Having a different policy out earlier would take media coverage from other issues like education, the environment and tax changes.

  10. Morrison has hit out at Labor over its policy to keep two pandas in Adelaide, saying the animals should not be a priority during national emergencies such as north Queensland’s floods.

    Well, is his priority aid for Nth Qld or opening CI? ScoMo will have to work on this a bit if he wants to considered clever enough to be an elected PM!!!

  11. Nath: “It is a bit concerning the Adelaide Pandas have not bred in 10 years. Could be they are a bit depressed living in Adelaide. Maybe they could be relocated to Melbourne, might lift their spirits. They could stay at Albert Park, where the Grand Prix is.”

    I’m trying to imagine a panda mating with Jeff Kennett in a Ferrari.

  12. nath @ #924 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 2:37 pm

    It is a bit concerning the Adelaide Pandas have not bred in 10 years. Could be they are a bit depressed living in Adelaide. Maybe they could be relocated to Melbourne, might life their spirits. They could stay at Albert Park, where the Grand Prix is. 😛

    Maybe there is something in the Adelaide water – or not in it as the case may be.

  13. steve davis,
    Thanks for the Pedalo video because it reminded me of something else that is different now, in 2019, to what it was in 2001 when the Tampa hove into view and saved Howard’s political bacon.

    Social media.

    It’s a lot more prevalent and entrenched now and willing to take the piss out of po-faced politicians.

  14. Remember when Howard vowed to save the Orangutan?

    I guess it’s okay when Coalition politicians make those sort of promises, just not Labor.

  15. I do like Shorten’s thriftiness on this occasion though. The Coalition tries to buy S.A with a multi-billion dollar sub building extravaganza and Shorten tries to buy them by saying, ‘look I will let you keep your pandas’.

  16. I’ve always thought a mixed force of Pandas/crocodiles would be our best line of defence. Panda’s to distract enemy troops with their cuteness, and then release the crocodiles!

  17. Lake Argyle, created by the Ord River dam and irrigation whatchamacallit contains enough frontline crocodiles to defend the nation.

    Originally around 350 freshwater crocodiles lived in a few waterholes in the Ord River and now their population is roughly estimated at 35000

  18. Some interesting developments in Europe …

    Some people have realized that it is no use waiting for the generations that caused the problem to fix the problem …

    “This is the first movement that really addresses the older generations for being responsible,” said Mathias Albert, a youth researcher and political-science professor at the University of Bielefeld. “What these young people see is that it is obviously difficult for parts of the older generation — especially those who have specific economic interests — to change their ways.”

    Good on them. Protest first. Then civil disobedience. Then …

  19. Here’s an unrolled thread by Roman Quaedvleig about Asylum Seekers:

    Roman Quaedvlieg
    3 hours ago, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter

    I’ve noticed some commentary on the differences between asylum seekers (AS) arriving by boat in Australia versus those arriving by plane; so I thought it might be useful to put out a thread to help clarify and inform the debate.
    We don’t have land borders, so (AS) seeking haven in Australia only have two options: by air or by sea, the latter really only starting in the mid 70s when people were fleeing Vietnam after the civil war.
    AS arriving by air have always had a wide composition of nationalities by virtue of the global nature of the aviation sector, while those arriving by boat were historically from countries closer to Australia due the long distances by sea.
    The last two waves of boat arrivals (mid 2000s and mid 2010s) have seen an increase of nationalities arriving via this mode. The next tweet lists the nationalities of AS arriving by boat roughly in descending order of numbers.
    Sri Lanka
    Mode of arrival is not a reliable indicator of wealth. For e.g many Iranians arriving on boats are relatively wealthy, while other nationalities arriving by plane are poor. Nationality is a more reliable indicator of wealth. For e.g Myanmarese are usually penurious.
    Numbers of AS arriving by air were stable between 2008 & 2015 growing from around 5000 to 9000 p.a. They have doubled & trebled respectively on those numbers in the last two years as follows.

    2016-2017: 18290
    2017-2018: 27931
    The highest recorded number of boat arrivals in Australia was in 2012-2013 at 25173, less than last year’s number of air arrival AS.
    AS arriving by boat are more likely to have been ‘in transit’ longer before making the final leg to Australia, often spending months/years in transit countries like Indonesia. They are also more likely to have registered (or found to be refugees) with UNHCR than air arrivals.
    Contrary to popular opinion, boat travel is not cheaper than air travel. Average berth from Java-Xmas Island is btw $5K-$10K; whereas a flight from Tehran- Sydney is around $1500. Boat AS have also spent much money (often by air) to get to transit countries & embarkation points.
    AS arriving by both air and boat mostly have identification documents, especially passports. It is not uncommon for air arrivals to be travelling on a false passport/visa but carrying their real passport with them, produced when they claim asylum.
    There was a time when smugglers were advising boat arrivals to destroy passports to increase prospects of getting asylum, especially when their countries of origin do not have a record of persecution or human rights abuses. This didn’t work so the practice has largely ceased.
    Air arrivals provide more layers of structured control for Australian authorities to identify, assess and respond to AS. Controls include incoming pax manifests, boarding points, the primary line, travel documents etc. ‘Turnaround’ decisions are more easily made.
    AS arriving by air have averaged 76 per day in the last year in a daily pax inflow of 52000 across 8 airports, mostly in a 24/7 operating context. It’s roughly the equivalent of one boat arrival every day of the year.
    Each air arrival AS claim is dealt with individually by ABF & Dept at the local level, with trends scrutinised by executives in Canberra. Boat arrivals on the other hand are dealt with as cohort involving deployed teams of asylum claim assessors.
    Mode of arrival is irrelevant to the legality or validity of a claim for asylum, which is enshrined in both the Refugee Convention and in domestic law as being perfectly legal.


  20. Dan Gulberry @ #836 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 10:42 am

    I recommend bookmarking this site:

    Also worth bookmarking are:

    The last one does a whole range of streaming services, including Stan, ABC, and SBS.

    I recommend dedicating some time to go through the entire catalogue and add all the stuff you want to watch to “My List”.

    Netflix have hidden category codes that can be very useful for browsing, and also helping to bypass their algorithm ‘suggestions’.

    Do a search for ‘Netflix category codes’. There are a bunch of sites that list them.

    (There can be a lot of overlap between categories.)

  21. “What were you thinking Bridget McKenzie ??”

    Coalition Politician thinking??

    Seriously Reg…they are too deep into the reactionary panic stage of this election cycle to be accused of “thinking”. They are going the whole “distract by rapid rolling fwarkup” strategy that has worked so well for them to date while awaiting some kind of black swan event to save them and ramping the fear meter up to 11.

  22. All Dolphins are drug addicts!

    Pufferfish release a toxin when they puff out that is meant to impair the attacker. This doesn’t work on Dolphins in the same way. It gets them high. So they purposely inflate them and pass them around to their dolphin friends for f

  23. Funny, that. Not sure when he said it, but I didn’t hear it. All I heard was his screaming at Shorten…

    Jonathan Lea

    PM @ScottMorrisonMP on Christmas Island.
    “I want to make something very clear about Christmas Island. It was the recommendation of the Dept of Home Affairs that Christmas Island be reopened.” #auspol @10NewsFirst

  24. Tangential to the BOATS(tm) fiasco, I can recommend the extended Philosopher’s Zone/Minefield podcast of Martha Nussbaum and Saul Levmore in conversation with Scott Stephens on the moral minefields of aging. Nussbaum and Levmore are co-authors of Aging Thoughtfully: Conversations About Retirement, Romance, Wrinkles and Regret talking about things like older bodies, intergenerational resentment, and a certain Shakespearean geriatric of relevance to the STC.

    Please bear with me. This is an eliptical thought process on a sunny Sunday afternoon in doGsown country – but it does come back to BOATS!

    Nussbaum raised the point of National Service as something that has gone missing from US civil society.

    This, the recent accusations of the excessive compassion of Doctors from acknowledged experts like Tony Abbott, and the apparent bewilderment and fear that volunteering to undertake unremunerated medical assessments induce in the Rupertariat, made me start to wonder how we medicos got to be so like our spouses, and so terrifying to the spivs. Most of medicos come from overtly privileged backgrounds, even if we now have an insufficiency of mediocre males for an LNP branch, and it’s not for nothing that it is our spouses, not us, who are notorious class traitors, while we polish the Porsche and reduce our handicaps by increasing others. So why the fear and loathing of Doctors by the GRASPers?

    I think it is because we (and other Health Care workers, like Nurses and Allied Health workers) do a form of National Service: we all take part in State run services with no economic barriers to access as an essential part of our training, the vast majority of it in Public Hospital systems. Even in the US, the last bastion of Antisocialist Capitalism, the ideals outlined in Atul Gawande’s excellent essay shine through. Doctors can’t be trusted not to express compassion. Hooray.

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