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. Victoria @ #1043 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 5:04 pm

    This Paladin does need explaining………

    On Sunday the attorney general, Christian Porter, defended the home affairs minister Peter Dutton, who has said he had “no sight” of the tender process. Porter told ABC’s Insiders that “standard procurement processes are often at arms-length from the minister”.

    The host Barrie Cassidy put to him the contracts were unusual given it is a “little-known Singapore company with a registered address on Kangaroo Island” which is a beach shack at the end of a dirt road

    This is going to be pressed very hard this week by Labor.

    I’ve read all day that Dutton’s sister is part of the Paladin Group.

    My suspicions are that this about Manus Island and a slush fund for paying off PNG politicians.

  2. GG

    I’m not sure it’s more than coincidence that Dutton’s sister is part of the Paladin group, but wouldn’t it be loverly if she is. 😉

  3. There was a LinkedIn profile doing the rounds on twitter earlier today purporting to show Dutton’s sister working for Paladin, but a quick LinkedIn search of that company’s employees showed no sign of her. So I suspect it might be a fake.

  4. lizzie @ #1056 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 5:14 pm


    I’m not sure it’s more than coincidence that Dutton’s sister is part of the Paladin group, but wouldn’t it be loverly if she is. 😉

    Watch that space!

    Victoria @ #1057 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 5:14 pm


    Is it rumour or confirmed that Dutton’s sister is part of group?

    You could be right about that.

    There’s is Facebook profile of her with picture describing her employee and her position. Apparently, they have been removed today! I just don’t know if Karen Dutton is one of Peter Dutton’s sisters.

  5. There are some very weird stories doing the social media rounds about Paladin.

    I have no way of making a judgement about them other than that some of them are mutually exclusive, that others defy reason and that others have the odour of inventiveness about them.

    So, given Dutton’s form, they could even all be true.

  6. Dan Gulberry @ #1000 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 4:10 pm

    JM @ #945 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 12:14 pm

    Also worth bookmarking are:

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

    That site is a ripper. Thanks for the link.

    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.

    For those with android or other streaming boxes there are a number of pretty good free apk’s around for local/ overseas news/ movies/ series/ vod etc

    Yell out if interested.

    Bit of a learning curve involved but its straightforward enough.

    The android box just plugs into your TV via HDMI and picks up your home wifi etc as per usual.

    As is, where is and reliability comes and goes, but overall its not too bad.

  7. Mark Trade

    Seems @PeterDutton_MP and @ScottMorrisonMP have decided to remove the Palaidin Contract info from the Govt website. Dont worry heres a copy of the Contract, the @LNP dont want you too see. Corruption 101.

  8. Apparently, the Government has removed the Paladin Contract from the public record.

    Alex Turnbull

    21m21 minutes ago
    More Alex Turnbull Retweeted Mark Trade
    Hey @LiberalAus we’ve crawled all the pages and archived the lot. So nice try but this is breach of disclosure obligations and frankly just pathetic amateur hour trash. It’s less convincing than a 5yo with chocolate all over their face saying they didn’t raid the pantry. #auspol

  9. SK,
    You cut out an important part of the sentence when you quoted me. “…at this time.”

    Sorry Q, it wasnt intentional.
    I wasnt disagreeing with your statement. More that Trump ‘in government’ is likely to be less popular than Trump ‘in Campaign’. The midterms are traditionally unfavourable to the incumbent party and wasnt a full blown campaign for Trump. So yes, in the short term the midterms was a good baseline. But in the long term I expect Trump to improve his chances greater than that shown by his ratings (pending investigations)

    I would also add that the shutdown in this case was pretty clearly due to Trumps juvenile idiocy. One previous shutdown was semi related to the Affordable Care act and Obama but essentially caused by the Senate refusing to pass a bill the house kept approving. This time – Trump refused to sign a bill both houses had passed.

    My memory of that previous shutdown was that the public mostly blamed the Republicans. Not sure what it did to Obamas netsat.

  10. lizzie @ #1053 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 2:14 pm


    I’m not sure it’s more than coincidence that Dutton’s sister is part of the Paladin group, but wouldn’t it be loverly if she is. 😉

    If she is then it might explain why Porter went to great lengths to reinforce that Dutton was not part of the decision-making process for awarding the tender.

  11. Trade Unions are a part of the alp……….. the other is the sub branches the relevant influence is up to the party to decide via democratic processes

  12. BK says: Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    I missed David Rowe’s declaration of a state of emergency.


    Thanks BK – David Rowe is an absolute genius in both his painting just alone – let alone with exquisite cartoons material but the subconscious detail he puts into each and every posting ( are those McDonalds slippers he is wearing ??? ……. and the obligatory tiny hands )

  13. onfessions says: Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    BK @ #1067 Sunday, February 17th, 2019 – 2:34 pm

    Whose face is on the telephone?


    Is it Mc Connell ?????? ……. who has to translate Trumps orders, directions and dirty works to the spineless GOP Senate member sychophants to give Trump a positive vote ……..

  14. The bribery allegations against Naval Group have never been publicly addressed by the Government and they should have. Naval Group have history of employing consultants to pay bribes which makes the Liberal Party connections to the $50 billion submarine contract even more worrying.

    On the 1st of May 2016 I published an article titled “Bribery allegations against Australia’s $50 billion submarine contract winner” and wrote:

    Australia has just awarded a $50 billion defence project to build Submarines and even before the ink is dry on the contract hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars have landed in the pockets of Liberal Party crony and former staffer Sean Costello. To make matters worse the French company DCNS which has won the $50 billion contract is currently under investigation by a French court for bribing Malaysian officials to win their submarine contract in 2002.

    DCNS is alleged to have bribed officials linked to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and the corruption also involves allegations of murder. This is on top of other previous allegations of bribery against DCNS.

    Another suspicious element of the Australian tender is that DCNS employed former Liberal staffer Sean Costello as its CEO for the bid. Mr Costello was chief-of-staff for former Defence Minister David Johnston who was sacked from his position in 2014.

  15. Labor has suffered a sharp fall in popular support after a week of incendiary political claims over border protection, with the party leading the Coalition by 51 to 49 per cent in its narrowest result in more than six months.

    Voters have shifted against Labor in significant numbers amid the escalating row over the refugee medical transfer law passed by Parliament last week, cutting the party’s lead over the Coalition from the previous result of 54 to 46 per cent last December.

  16. Ipsos poll 51/49

    Phillip Coorey
    By Phillip Coorey

    The Morrison government has moved to within striking distance of Labor in the latest The Australian Financial Review-Ipsos poll, which shows the gap has closed to where it was before Malcolm Turnbull was dumped as prime minister.
    The poll shows the government trailing Labor on a two-party preferred basis by 51 per cent to 49 per cent, an improvement of 3 percentage points for the government since the last poll taken before Christmas, which had Labor leading by 54 per cent to 46 per cent.

  17. The latest survey shows Labor’s primary vote has fallen from 37 to 33 per cent over two months, an unusually low result compared to other published polls. The Coalition’s primary vote rose from 36 to 38 per cent.

    The survey of 1,200 respondents was conducted by telephone from Tuesday to Friday and has a margin of error of 2.9 per cent.

  18. x revenue and the prospect of more asylum seeker arrivals.

    The Prime Minister retains a positive personal rating among voters, in contrast to Mr Shorten, with the new poll showing the proportion of voters who approve of his performance rose from 47 to 49 per cent. The number who disapproved rose from 39 to 40 per cent.

    As a result, Mr Morrison’s net approval rating – the difference between those who approve and those who disapprove – increased slightly to nine points.

    The proportion who approved of Mr Shorten’s performance slipped from 41 to 40 per cent and the number who disapproved increased from 50 to 52 per cent.

    Mr Shorten’s net approval rating deteriorated from minus nine percentage points to minus 12.

  19. Labor’s vote has collapsed. Shows what happens when you side with the people smugglers, and provide them with funds to buy holiday houses. This election for May is now on. Thanks Bill.

  20. See ISPOS has put out ,their early rogue poll

    The libs/nats primary vote of 38% will not be competitive

    the trend why it is not close , the declining primary vote = seat loses for the libs/nats

    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 priaryvote 38% – 58 seats

  21. People don’t really listen to the detail in politics, so when Libs are shouting lies, and they are the govt who get the best coverage, it’s tough.

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