BludgerTrack: 53.2-46.8 to Labor

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate again records little change this week. Also featured: updates on important preselections for the Liberal Party, who are persistently butting their heads against gender issues.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate, updated with this week’s results from Newspoll and Essential Research, remains unimpressed with much of the recent opinion poll commentary, maintaining a slow trend back to the Coalition that appears to go back to December. The movement since last week on two-party preferred is negligible, with a weak result for the Coalition cancelling out a somewhat stronger one from Essential Research, converting into a one-seat gain for the Coalition on the seat projection. Newspoll provides new numbers for the leadership ratings trends, which are all but unchanged. Full details on the link below.

Other news:

The Guardian reports uComms/ReachTEL polls for GetUp! conducted on Thursday found independent Zali Steggall leading Tony Abbott 57-43 in Warringah, while Labor’s Ali France led Peter Dutton 52-48 in Dickson. The poll also found majority support for the medical evacuations bill in both electorates.

• Following Julie Bishop’s retirement announcement, Andrew Burrell of The Australian reports Bishop’s hope of anointing her own successor in Curtin is likely to be scotched by her opponents, most notably Mathias Cormann. Bishop has reportedly been pushing for Erin Watson-Lynn, 33-year-old director of Asialink Diplomacy at the University of Melbourne. However, a highly fancied rival has emerged this week in Celia Hammond, who resigned on Monday as vice-chancellor at Notre Dame University. Hammond’s social conservatism is noted in a further report in The Australian today, relating a speech from 2013 in which she “railed against sex before marriage and contraception, while arguing against ‘militant feminism’”.

• A Liberal preselection vote on Saturday to choose Michael Keenan’s successor in the Perth northern suburbs seat of Stirling was won by Vince Connelly, risk management adviser at Woodside and former army officer. This was despite the wish of local party heavyweights Mathias Cormann and Peter Collier, along with Keenan himself, for the seat to go to a woman – specifically Joanne Quinn, legal counsel at Edith Cowan University. Quinn was in fact knocked out in the early rounds, together with Georgina Fraser, business development manager with a subsidiary of Kleenheat Gas, and Taryn Houghton, manager with a mental health support not-for-profit. Connelly prevailed in the final round over Michelle Sutherland, high school teacher, Bayswater councillor and wife of former state MP Michael Sutherland. His win out of an otherwise all-female field of five excited much commentary about the Liberal Party’s deficiencies in preselecting women, including my own analysis in Crikey on Monday.

• Sighs of relief could be heard from the Liberal hierarchy the following day when the preselection to replace Kelly O’Dwyer in Higgins was won by Katie Allen, paediatrician and unsuccessful candidate for Prahran at the state election in November. Allen prevailed in the final round with 158 votes to 116 for a male rival, Greg Hannan, former state party vice-president and factional moderate who ran against Michael Kroger for the presidency. Excluded after the penultimate round was Zoe McKenzie, “a non-executive director of the NBN board and former chief of staff to Abbott/Turnbull government trade minister Andrew Robb”.

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.

2,270 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.2-46.8 to Labor”

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  1. I did read an article in which a barrister said that, after 3 days of deliberations the judge should have aborted the trial as, after that, it just became an arm wrestle. It’s not really about convincing dissenters, but beating them down. It’s a perspective.

  2. Ok Everybody. Let’s make a deal.

    As of midnight eastern, we will not talk about the Pell case, religion, Brexit or Trump unless something significant happens. OK.

    My scrolling fingers are feeling the pain.

  3. nath says:
    Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    How lies are spread:

    nath says:
    Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 12:45 pm
    I’m in favor of banning all religions. But I would settle for a castration. Take away the tax free status, their ability to control any education. Worship and charity, that is what I’d leave them.

    Bushfire Bill says:
    Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 7:29 pm
    ………Nath-thing’s remark this afternoon canvassing castrating Pell is a case in point. A truly disgusting performance, beyond merely obnoxious, and into the realm of sickening.
    Ha! it looks as if Bushfire Bill has been up to his old smear routine.

  4. grimace @ #2148 Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 – 5:56 pm

    One possibility for why we haven’t seen any Liberal campaign advertising is they are going to have a half senate election in May, and delay the HoR election until November.

    Would Pyne and Ciobo leave beforehand, triggering by-elections and further potentially weakening the govt’s position in the HoR?

    Personally I can’t see the x-bench going for it.

  5. I doubt they are crazy enough to try a half-senate election only. Their PV would drop into the teens. The country wants an election. If they were seen to be running away from the people, when time comes they would lose nearly all their seats. They would be absolutely insane to attempt it.

    Most of the country expects the LNP to lose. Most of the country hope to give effect to that in the usual way. Any PM that appeared to be afraid of the voters would hardly last a week.

  6. “It appears since LNP does not have money for campaigning they are shamelessly using tax payers money for it. That is the reason Morrison said he had lot of money for campaigning.”

    Can Labor complain (officially) about this to – I’m not sure, but surely using taxpayer money for what is blatantly partisan advertising violates something (other than ethics).

  7. beguiledagain 857pm

    As of midnight eastern, we will not talk about the Pell case, religion, Brexit or Trump unless something significant happens. OK.

    As far as I can tell the next polls will come out
    Sunday March 10 – Newspoll
    Tuesday March 12 – Essential
    Sunday March 17 – Ipsos

    So I fear “Pellbludger” will continue until then.

    I heard on the news that it was the hottest day ever recorded in March in ?Melbourne.

    I know St.Kilda played North Melbourne at Werribee in 38 degree heat.

  8. This would all have been so very different for the LNP if Turnbull had not been such a terrible coward. If he had gone to an election in October 2015 as soon as he’d been elevated he would have increased his majority and had the run of his Party. Instead he balked. He was the weakest link. Abbott’s craziness, Turnbull’s weakness and Morrison’s studipidity. They deserve the fate that awaits them.

  9. beguiledagain @ #2151 Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 – 5:57 pm

    Ok Everybody. Let’s make a deal.

    As of midnight eastern, we will not talk about the Pell case, religion, Brexit or Trump unless something significant happens. OK.

    My scrolling fingers are feeling the pain.

    And yet for some reason you refuse to lead by example? If you want the subject changed, then change the subject.

  10. briefly

    I well remember that period around Abbott’s fall – I was travelling for work around several states and the Turnbull vibe was very positive. I think he was enjoying basking in it, and did not want to ‘break the spell’ with campaign nastiness. And 2016 showed his campaign skills as leader were possibly sub par.

  11. grimace @ #2149 Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 – 8:56 pm

    One possibility for why we haven’t seen any Liberal campaign advertising is they are going to have a half senate election in May, and delay the HoR election until November.

    They be laughed out of Dodge if they tried that. It’s tantamount to admitting they can’t win. Anyway all of Morrison’s other tricky moves have blown up in his face like an exploding cigar.

  12. Gawd … so many opinioted and aggressive views on here…
    Me, just watched Pride on SBS on demand … what a wonderful modest, inspiring movie.

    Some on here could take a lesson from it…

  13. Thanks BK. Sounds like a fantastic community event. How are your numbers in winter? I ask because I’ve toyed with the idea of doing something similar to activate one of our local community halls during the winter months when things are slow.
    We don’t run them during the winter football season. We serve between 50 and 80 meals.

  14. briefly:

    Turnbull’s big problem was calling a DD election. That enabled the election of all those crazy micro party Senators which simply fueled the appearance of dysfunction and chaos.

    What he was thinking is anyone’s guess.

  15. Being less than a bush lawyer, prisoner pedophile priest Pell should take his medicine, owning up to that which he’s been convicted of. He, the church whom he represents, is as corrupt as the Holy See – his defenders on this site, elsewhere – eg, Howard, Abbott, Bolt – must take stock, a young man irrevocably affected, another dying of addiction.

  16. Fess – He thought he’d get rid of them, because of the new rules, but of course with the lower quota he ended up with probably a harder to work with crossbench than he had beforehand.

  17. Fess….Turnbull’s pretext for the DD was the ABCC bill. He was on an anti-union campaign….hopelessly misguided…the Liberals believe all their own anti-union propaganda….fatal mistake.

  18. RR:

    The rules were changed after the 2016 election IIRC.

    I can recall Bludgers saying at the time Turnbull called the election that he was simply inviting more cross bench madness by calling a DD election. I’d argue Hanson would never have been elected otherwise.

  19. No Fess the rules were changed for the 2016 election to pretty well match the NSW upper house system.

    In 2016 the Senate voting system was changed to remove the use of group voting tickets; and to require voters to allocate six or more preferences above the line or twelve or more below the line on the ballot paper. The 2016 federal election—a double dissolution election—was the first to be conducted under the new system.

  20. There is certainly a sense of anticipation now in the electorate…a sense that the political games are going to come to a crescendo. Voters will be starting to crystallise their intentions. Has to be bad for the LNP, as momentum runs Labor’s way….

  21. @samanthamaiden
    13h13 hours ago
    POLL: Genuine question. What is one piece of legislation or reform you will remember the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Governmment for? Give it a go and try not to be too cheeky have a genuine think

    737 replies 135 retweets 247 likes
    Reply 737 Retweet 135 Like 247 Direct message

    Replying to @samanthamaiden

    Senate voting reform.

  22. Michael@8:58pm
    Yesterday after nath posted another nasty post on Shorten, where based on photo nath opinionated Shorten harassed a Shopper, I posted a question
    “what is wrong with you? Seriously?

  23. briefly @ #2122 Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 – 5:28 pm

    grimace….I think Labor are confident about Pearce, Swan, Hasluck and Stirling; and have Canning, Forrest, Tangney and Moore on the list of possibles. I think Canning is a win. Great candidate. And all the issues that resonated in 2017 still bite the Fed-Liberals now.

    I’m doorknocking in Moore tomorrow…will report…

    I agree with you that Canning has moved into winnable range, with Pearce, Swan, Hasluck and Stirling being close to all over bar the shouting.

    I’d heard from a family friend of my wife’s, who is senior in the structure of the Nationals that Nationals internal polling had Forrest in play for Labor.

    If Forrest, Tagney and Moore really are in play for Labor then there would be a realistic prospect that a ruinous war would erupt between the Liberals and Nationals in Durak and O’Connor, causing the Liberals to have to devote enormous resources to defending vast and sparsely populated otherwise very safe seats.

  24. grimace….it would not surprise me one bit if Forrest were to fall our way. The SW economy has really slowed and climate change is very discernible across the region. As well, the State Government has been putting quite a lot of effort into job-creating projects, a fruit of Royalties for Regions monies being better directed.

    It would take a very big swing….but it’s possible.

    I think Moore is feasible. The coastal strip will be safe for the Lib, but everything east of Marmion Ave is swingable. Labor’s candidate, Tony O’Gorman, is well known, well-liked and has the support of the local Labor State members. Once again, a huge swing would be needed, but the Lib, Goodenough, is incapable of campaigning. He’s an upset waiting to happen.

  25. Anyone remember in 2007, the accusation of the misuse of office funds by Laming, Vasta and Hargrave?
    Apparently its now okay to use office funds to print campaign material.

  26. Hannah is a really good candidate…very personable, smart, great name recognition…should easily account for Irons, who is a political void.

  27. “remark this afternoon canvassing castrating Pell is a case in point.”
    nath’s remark was obviously metaphorical but there are quite a few countries where they let paedophiles out earlier if they voluntarily take medicine to chemically castrate them. It’s quite successful and reduces reoffending, which is a huge problem with paedophiles. In some countries, like Poland, it isn’t voluntary.

  28. The swings in the Perth marginals should all be 6-7-8-9%….maybe more in selected booths….on the State election swings of up to 20% were recorded in true swing localities. I think we will see A similar pattern in May. I think the Liberals expect this too…which is why they’re not campaigning but retiring.

  29. It seems to be a lot harder to come by those sort of swings over here in the East. Though the upcoming NSW State election should be instructive.

  30. Hannah is a very good candidate, C@t. She’s got energy, humour, warmth and a sense of purpose. She’s everything Irons is not too….a woman, young, active, smart…very much a good representative of WA Labor’s new MPs….

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