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. Dio:

    My own opinion when it comes to reducing priestly pedophile behaviour is to simply increase the number and proportion of women clergy within religious institutions.

  2. Besides Socrates, are there any other PBers who have read “Cardinal”, by Louise Milligan, Walkley Book of the Year in 2017, the Civic Choice Award of the Melbourne Prize, and the Sir Owen Dixon Chambers Law Reporter of the Year?
    A worthwhile read
    for those who persist in posting about Pell.

  3. C@tmomma
    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.

    I think the swing in NSW to Labor at the federal election will be much greater than at the state election.

    Labor has made a petty poor effort at this state election.

  4. Confessions…the other measure that should be taken with the clergy is to massively reduce the interactions that clerics have with children. Novices are attracted to the clergy precisely because they expect easy proximity to children. This should be prevented quite deliberately.

  5. briefly @ #2200 Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 – 7:10 pm

    The Lib vote will fall from its high perch, C@t…. Perth voted Labor in massive numbers in 2017. They will do it again.

    Applying the state results to the federal seats would reduce the L/NP to 5 seats: Curtin, Tagney, Moore, Durack and O’Connor. I hope to see some green on blue action in Durack and O’Connor.

  6. briefly @ #2203 Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 – 7:19 pm

    Confessions…the other measure that should be taken with the clergy is to massively reduce the interactions that clerics have with children. Novices are attracted to the clergy precisely because they expect easy proximity to children. This should be prevented quite deliberately.

    Yes of course, that goes without saying. I have no idea whether clergy are required to have WWC cards and police clearances, but that would be a step in the right direction.

  7. I hope to see some green on blue action in Durack and O’Connor.

    Not gonna happen in O’Connor. The best you can hope for is a little Nat on Lib action here, the Nat candidate having announced his campaign during the last week or so, and has roadside banners up in various rural locations.

  8. If this were to happen it is certainly something worth hoping he is re-elected for.

    Which of course raises the possibility that Labor could inform the electors of Dutton’s electorate (whichever one that is) that if they vote for Dutton and re-elect him, that they may be facing a by-election. Wouldn’t that be evil? 🙂

  9. Why does WA have the massive swings to either party? It seems peculiar to WA.

    Does someone have a list of the retiring Coailition members?

  10. grimace:

    Rick Wilson has been busily making funding announcements all over the electorate the past few months. Plus he’s brought govt front benchers here for various events to which voters are invited and these are spruiked far and wide.

    He will be re-elected, of that I am confident. Irrespective of how the Nat candidate Hassell performs.

  11. Cud:

    I quite like the notion of a newly elected Labor govt acting as ‘silent assassins’. Terminating those coalition appointments of buddies to govt boards and the like, and post-election, referring people like Dutton and others like him (and from memory there are a few) to the High Court under S44.

  12. Looks like the ALP has dodged a bullet.

    Julie Bishop has dropped to the Murdoch tabloids that she would have won the election, in a canter.

  13. Here’s the calculus of it.

    Dutton would know that if he jumps to another electorate that will not help ScoMo’s chance of election. Dutton will also be aware that the chance of ScoMo winning is low regardless.
    Its in Dutton’s interests to move to another electorate even if that increases the chance of the Liberals losing the election because Dutton will also calculate that if they lose the election, ScoMo will be gone and he (Dutton) could be leader.

    Scary thought.

  14. My fear for Labor was that the Libs would switch to JBishop ahead of the election. Yes I think she could’ve made the result competitive and if not win, then save some furniture for the coalition.

  15. sprocket_ says:
    Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 10:45 pm
    Looks like the ALP has dodged a bullet.

    Julie Bishop has dropped to the Murdoch tabloids that she would have won the election, in a canter.


    Two statements which completely disregard just how abysmal Mesma’s performance was when she was last exposed to a difficult and high profile portfolio (finance). It’s easy to look good in foreign affairs, you have a department of people to tell you what to say and do, and when, it’s the job of the people you deal with to be (publically) nice to you, and, most importantly, nobody cares about your portfolio.

  16. Julie Bishop: I was Liberals’ best bet to beat Bill Shorten in Federal election

    Julie Bishop says she could have beaten Bill Shorten in the May Federal election — had her colleagues made her prime minister in last year’s brutal leadership fight.

    In an explosive interview with The Sunday Times Ms Bishop — who last week sensationally announced her retirement from politics at the May poll — said that not only did she believe she could have beaten Mr Shorten but Labor also feared she would defeat him.

  17. Bishop might well have been more competitive than Morrison, but she would have had to tackle the climate change, misogynistic and homophobic reactionaries in the Liberal Party. They would never permit her to win.

    There’s no place in the Liberal Party for even mildly reformist opinion or leadership.

    Bishop has effectively declared as much herself, as has Turnbull.

  18. I don’t understand why the liberals have no money for campaigning. Can someone enlighten me. Have Gina , the coal miners and the IPA deserted them?

  19. mog….there’s no point donating to the losers…donors give to the prospective winner or not at all. The $ has dried up for the Libs

  20. “Pellbludger” someone said: apt. But for those who are “over it”, maybe you don’t appreciate how huge a story this is.

    For so long, so many of us have had our true thoughts and feelings about Cardinal Pell, and the Church he has done so much to influence over the past three decades, stifled by the fear of being howled down for unfairly persecuting someone who has not been found guilty of anything. We had to hold our tongue for a further two months while we waited out a suppression order since last December.

    Well, now he has been outed officially as a convicted pedophile and sex offender, the gag has been removed from us and we can finally say our piece about him. I think it is not asking too much for us to be given as much time and space as we need to vent our disgust at this monster, and our disquiet at the bona fides of a Church, staffed by so many senior figures who have been directly promoted by that monster, and working under a redress model designed by that very monster.

    Further, it is absolutely pertinent to a political blog such as this to point out the moral and political implications of respected political figures continuing to defend a convicted child sex offender. John Howard came right out and said Pell had an “exemplary character” regardless of his conviction as a child sex offender! Surely this affects how voters will respond to any attempts the Liberals make to woo their vote by getting John Howard to campaign for them.

    Many may feel uncomfortable reading continual attacks on Pell, the Catholic Church, Howard, Abbott, Bolt and conservatives who don’t assertively disavow Pell. Well, trust me, your discomfort counts for absolutely nothing alongside the sufferings of the victims of abuse at the hands of Pell and other Catholic clergy. So I say, suck it up, snowflakes. You sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.

  21. ‘“I had commitments from a number of people,” Ms Bishop said of her colleagues.

    “When I say commitments, a number of people said ‘thank you for calling us. Yes we will support you’.

    “I couldn’t understand why those who thought that they would support me, decided not to.’

    Oh, dear. One of the first things I realised as a candidate was that people told you what you wanted to hear – sometimes just to make you go away – and that you shouldn’t put much stock in pledges of support until they were delivered.

    As one colleague put it – “Don’t believe the ones who tell you they’re going to vote for you. The only ones you can trust are the ones who say they won’t.”

    …cue a lot of repetitive sooking from Julie and then —

    ‘“I knew the level of support Peter Dutton had, I knew the level of support I had. I knew the level of support Scott Morrison had.

    “ Otherwise I wouldn’t have put up my hand.”’

    Well, obviously you didn’t know. Because, Julie, if you did, you’d be leader now, and you’re not.

    ‘“So, from that point of view it was a long shot because it was so late — Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton had been in the field for quite some time shoring up votes.”’

    Sorry, what? We go – almost seamlessly – from ‘I knew I had the numbers” to “I’d left it a bit late, so of course they had the jump on me…”

    ‘… the hugely popular Ms Bishop has announced she will retire from politics at the May election.’

    Hugely popular? I haven’t seen a poll suggesting this. Maybe amongst members of the press gallery…

    ‘Ms Bishop remains loyal to Mr Turnbull.

    “He compromised on a number of policies because of the pressure of some within the party, and yet they (Liberal MPs) were still not satisfied,” she said.

    “He was concerned that whatever compromises he made he would never satisfy them until they got what they wanted.’

    Right. So if compromise didn’t work, what was the other option? And why didn’t Turnbull implement it?

    Personally speaking, she’d have been better maintaining a mysterious silence…

  22. Just to be clear: too many children in this country will continue to be at risk of sexual abuse in this country unless the Catholic Church fundamentally changes its attitude towards the laws and norms of the civil society upon which it suckles. And the Catholic Church will continue to behave as a law unto itself unless good Catholic laypersons confront their clergy and demand they make themselves properly accountable to the laws and norms of our common civil society.

  23. It’s rather unfortunate that Morrison didn’t announce an election immediately after Australia Day, to be held March 2. In a parallel universe we might be celebrating a new Labor Government about now.

  24. Michael A, institutions will always have trouble with pedophilia as long as they offer close proximity to children in the duties of those they recruit.

    Organisations will have to change that and abolish the culture of protection of the guilty. They need to adopt a culture of protection of the vulnerable.

  25. “Wow! I knew Julie Bishop was narcissistic, but did she have to demonstrate it so spectacularly?”

    She must’ve been pissed off at Christopher hogging the limelight.

  26. Zoom….Bishop is popular among Libs-who-can’t-stand-Abbott.

    She’s always had tickets on herself…most self-admiring person I’ve ever met.

  27. I can’t help but wonder if Bishop is still considering the prospect, however unlikely, of being called upon to pull a Colin Barnett.

    Come to think of it, Morrison does have a sort of Buswell-ish way about him.

  28. Briefly, Mog:
    “mog….there’s no point donating to the losers…donors give to the prospective winner or not at all. The $ has dried up for the Libs”

    Losers don’t award lucrative contracts…

  29. Steve777

    Yes I was just contemplating how that would have been for us – especially with extreme anti-Labor relatives in town for family events!

    Morrison has zero political instinct – he should have gone for today, he would have done better than in May I think. In addition he may have helped his NSW colleagues avoid the contagion.

    By May 11-18 there may be many in his party thinking the same, and if Labor is in government in NSW, it may well destroy any chance he has of holding on to the Liberal leadership after a loss (though such a situation I woudl expect to last about one year like John Hewson).

  30. Wow.

    Bevin Shields:

    Julie Bishop unloads on Christopher Pyne, Peter Dutton and Mathias Cormann… #auspol

  31. If mesma “coulda (woulda, shoulda) beaten Shorten – why not stay and push for LOTO and show how its all done.


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