BludgerTrack: 53.2-46.8 to Labor (still)

No new grist for the BludgerTrack mill this week, but there’s a Greenpeace-sponsored federal poll and some preselection news to relate.

There haven’t been any new polls this week, so the headline to this post isn’t news as such – the point is that a new thread is needed, and this is it. Developments worth noting:

• We do have one new poll, but it was privately conducted and so doesn’t count as canonical so far as BludgerTrack is concerned. The poll in question was conducted by uComms/ReachTEL for Greenpeace last Wednesday from a sample of 2134, and has primary votes of Coalition 38.8%, Labor 36.7%, Greens 9.7% and One Nation 6.1%. A 53-47 two-party split is reported based on respondent-allocated preferences, but it would actually have been around 51.5-48.5 based on preferences from 2016. The poll also features attitudinal questions on carbon emissions and government priorities, which you can read all about here.

• The Greens have landed a high-profile candidate in Julian Burnside, human rights lawyer and refugee advocate, to run against Josh Frydenberg in the normally blue-ribbon Melbourne seat of Kooyong. This further complicates a contest that already featured independent hopeful Oliver Yates, former Liberal Party member and chief executive of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

• The Liberal preselection to choose a successor to Julie Bishop in Curtin will be determined by a vote of 60 delegates on Sunday. Initial reports suggested the front-runners were Celia Hammond, former vice-chancellor of Notre Dame University, and Erin Watson-Lynn, director of Asialink Diplomacy at the University of Melbourne, which some interpreted as a proxy battle between bitter rivals Mathias Cormann and Julie Bishop. However, both have hit heavy weather over the past week, with concerns raised over Hammond’s social conservatism and Watson-Lynn’s past tweets critical of the Liberal Party. Andrew Tillett of the Financial Review reports that some within the party believe a third nominee, Aurizon manager Anna Dartnell, could skate through the middle.

Tom Richardson of InDaily reports moderate faction efforts to install a male candidate – James Stevens, chief-of-staff to Premier Steve Marshall – in Christopher Pyne’s seat of Sturt are prompting a slew of conservative-aligned women to nominate against him. These include Deepa Mathew, a manager at the Commonwealth Bank and state candidate for Enfield last year; Joanna Andrew, a partner with law firm Mellor Olsson; and Jocelyn Sutcliffe, a lawyer with Tindall Gask Bentley. However, Stevens remains the “overwhelming favourite”.

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.

2,867 comments on “BludgerTrack: 53.2-46.8 to Labor (still)”

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  1. BoerWar – The ALP hasn’t always been a doing party. At a state level in Victoria, Bracks/Brumby weren’t as much a doing government as Andrews has been already.

  2. Pegasus says:
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Describing the Greens as a party of the “extreme left” is one of the favourite memes of the political duopoly and their right-wing supporters who will engage in any tactic designed to maintain their grip on power and the status quo.

    As you might know, some of us have never accused the Gs of being extremely anything, nor do we consider the Gs to be “left”. From a campaign-content perspective, the Gs are Liberal outriders; Liberal facilitators. The Gs are a decoy act.

  3. The recycling crisis has come about not because we’re not collecting recyclables but because there’s nothing to do with them once they’re collected.

    Collecting more recyclables via a cash for cans systems just adds to the pile of recyclables we can’t get rid of.

    Not saying it shouldn’t be done, but it’s a bit pointless to introduce it until the end problem of disposal has been solved.

    On that note — in one NSW shopping centre we visited, there was a huge blue booth in the parking lot. It was an automatic recycling centre – you put your cans, bottles etc in and (I presume) it spat out the requisite cash return. It was very busy, so I couldn’t investigate it fully.

  4. GG

    You know all about about getting down and dirty in the playground sandpit.

    It’s obvious right-aligned forces from the political duopoly are united in their goal to smear and discredit a progressive Greens candidate.

  5. Fraudenboy is an idiot, but he’s not so much of an idiot that he doens’t know to scream anti-semite to get himself out of a tough spot if the opportunity arises.

    As with the hollering about the question of if he did indeed have Hungarian citizenship so with this Goering quote malarky. It’s dishonest, but it’s effective. Burnside has made a huge blunder by giving Josh the opening, and Josh is sure gonna run with it.

    Had Burnside been standing against some other candidate it probably wouldn’t have been so bad (although the RWNJ media would still have played up the Nazi angle), but he’s standing against a guy whose Jewish faith is a very well known part of his public persona. It’s going to hurt him.

    Tip for young players: Don’t quote Nazis, don’t compare people to Nazis, basically don’t mention Nazis at all. It rarely ends well.

  6. fess

    ‘I still remember that state election campaign video they published several years ago instructing how to talk to rural people.’

    A Green facebook friend put up a cartoon recently depicting the Greens as a drug pusher dealing in free education etc to shady looking youths. I commented that this wasn’t actually a good look and copped a torrent of abuse — apparently I don’t ‘get’ satire.

  7. I see the Labor right have jumped on the Greens are evil for daring to point out the LNP are using Nazi style propaganda. Jumping straight on board the LNP talking points.

    They then wonder why voters are cynical about Labor.

  8. zoomster @ #105 Thursday, March 7th, 2019 – 9:21 am

    The recycling crisis has come about not because we’re not collecting recyclables but because there’s nothing to do with them once they’re collected.

    After collection, shouldn’t they be…recycled?

    On that note — in one NSW shopping centre we visited, there was a huge blue booth in the parking lot. It was an automatic recycling centre – you put your cans, bottles etc in and (I presume) it spat out the requisite cash return. It was very busy, so I couldn’t investigate it fully.

    They’re quite common in the States, most major supermarkets have them. Not in the parking lot though, they’re usually just inside the main entrance to the building. In the “foyer”, I guess.

  9. “Extreme left” would be something like full-on communism. Mao’s China, for example. The regimes in Venezuela or Cuba might be the nearest we have to “extreme left” regimes currently in power. Locally, maybe parties like the Socialist Alliance, which have a very minimal impact. The Greens are to the left of Labor socially and economically, but are far from extreme.

  10. a r @10:01,

    I agree Burnside use of the quote was reasonable. Many Nazi quotes are instructive and should be used more often, but the right manage to scare people off using them by hyperbolically attacking their use as “hyperbolic”.

  11. ‘At a state level in Victoria, Bracks/Brumby weren’t as much a doing government as Andrews has been already.’

    Bracks and Brumby had a huge task in rebuilding the State after years of Kennett wrecking. The immensity of that task shouldn’t be underestimated – when we won Benalla, for example, the electorate office was trying to deal with issues which should have been addressed a decade beforehand.

  12. My missus works in waste at the local council.

    China not buying our waste anymore has thrown the entire recycling industry into turmoil. The collection contractors are desperately trying to renegotiate their contracts as they can’t sell the stuff they used to get good Chinese coin for.

  13. It is a bit rich of some of the precious ones on this blog to criticize Burnside for quoting a Nazi, all political parties, religions and advertising organisations in this country and around the world adhere to many of Goebbels’ rules, which are variants of these quotes:

    “The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it.” (If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it).
    “The cleverest trick used in propaganda against Germany during the war was to accuse Germany of what our enemies themselves were doing,” (Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty)


    Container deposit legislation (CDL) also known as a Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) is a scheme that was first implemented in South Australia in 1977 and over the decades has spread to the Northern Territory in 2012, New South Wales in 2017 and the Australian Capital Territory in June 2018. Queensland has announced it will pursue a scheme in partnership with NSW for implementation by 1 November 2018. Western Australia has also announced plans for a scheme commencing in early 2020.

    Attempts to introduce similar legislation in Tasmania and Victoria have been unsuccessful to date. Victoria did have a similar scheme in place in the 1980s called ‘Cash for Cans’ but was later rescinded. A Newspoll survey found a majority of people in Australia support a deposit scheme,[1] and a national scheme has also been proposed many times over the year.[2] The recent NSW scheme was strongly opposed by the beverage industry and highlighted their influence.

    Boomerang Alliance – Resource site for some facts on Container Deposit Schemes aka Cash for Containers, includes timeline of implementation (or attempts to implement):

  15. Question

    You are right of course. Its not hyperbole or Godwins Law to accurately describe the far right as Nazis or when those behaviours including propaganda techniques are being used by others.

  16. a r

    Indeed they should be. I assumed some level of knowledge – after all, it’s been widely reported – about the present problems.

    I’m assuming you genuinely don’t know, but until recently the bulk of our recyclables went to China, who is not longer taking them. So we basically don’t have recycling services in Victoria, and what you do put in the bins is often going to landfill.

    — recylcing is extremely labour intensive, which makes it hard to do cheaply (our local recylcer used to be – maybe still is – a guy in a small town who would spread the recyclable material out on a few trestle tables and then pick through by hand to sort it).

    Paying people money for recyclable material is not going to help with this. Ideally, of course, people should return their recyclables without being paid money to do so, so an education campaign (for example) or legislation requiring manufacturers to take responsibility for their end product might be better ways to go.

  17. I doubt anyone posting on PB is a Federal Candidate.

    Is that why Modlib stopped posting? I thought it was because she started to like us and ran off in confusion.

  18. ratsak 1010am

    If a nobody like me can be bangin on way back in the middle of last year that waiting for May 2019 was a bad idea for the Libs, wot with the obvious oncoming slow down in the economy ruining their economic myths, and the oncoming super heat wave summer destroying the last vestiges of respectability over denialism, then it really does illustrate what completely out of touch imbeciles that are (all the way down).,

    Seconded by nobody number 2 here!

    Morrison should have gone in December, and the absolute latest was March 2nd. He may even have kept various ministers on board until the election if he’d done that. And maybe helped Gladys B.

    I think he just liked the trappings of being PM.

    Self-interest ahead of his party’s interests, who would ever have imagined it?

    He has also, fortunately, enabled more of the fall in housing prices to occur on his watch – so much so that even the real estate boosters in the media are finally conceding there have been substantial falls in the two main markets, Sydney and Melbourne, and that these falls are likely to continue through 2019, or maybe even accelerate, with or without Labor winning the election and implementing their policies.

  19. I was on a policy committee which looked at the Cash for Cans idea very seriously. Initially everyone was in support. We had a few experts in the field address us and then we all agreed it wasn’t a good idea.

    It was over a decade ago, so I can’t remember off hand what the issues were, but they were huge.

    I’d guess that one of the problems was that the material collected was going to landfill, so the expenses were huge – paying the rebate, collecting and transporting the collected material, expanding the landfills. But (as I said) it’s a long time ago, and all I can remember is that we concluded it just wasn’t feasible.

  20. “In an attempt to crack down on specialists charging exorbitant fees, the Morrison government has pledged to create a website listing individual specialists’ fees.
    The website is voluntary and doctors will post their own fees. Patients will be able to compare doctors whose fees are listed, and the searchable website will have a special focus on the high fees in gynaecology, obstetrics and cancer services.
    The announcement, made on Saturday, follows the release of a ministerial advisory committee’s report on out-of-pocket costs, which the government has had since November.
    But while the website is a good first step, transparency alone is unlikely to be enough to ensure Australians aren’t forgoing care because of high costs.
    Read more: More visits to the doctor doesn’t mean better care – it’s time for a Medicare shake-up
    What’s the problem?
    A central problem is the lack of transparency around out-of-pocket costs. Patients are typically unaware of the full out-of-pocket costs they might incur at the time of referral and admission.
    The Consumers Health Forum’s recent report found Australian consumers face higher than average out-of-pocket costs compared to most countries. This translates into people often avoiding visiting a GP or specialist and failing to fill scripts due to cost.
    A report from the Grattan Institute using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows many people already miss out on health care because of cost: 5% skip GP visits, 8% don’t go to a specialist, 8% don’t fill their prescription and 18% don’t go to the dentist. This will happen more if fees go up.
    Those who avoid care because of cost are often those most in need, leading to concerns about equity of access. Delaying or foregoing care means when people do visit their doctor, their condition may be much worse than if they had presented earlier. This can affect long-term health outcomes and lead to higher costs over time.”


    Why is there so little comment on this site about what a crock Australia’s so-called “universal health care” system is.

    Surely the last election campaign demonstrated how important Medicare is to the Labor Party. Why on earth, given information such as above, doesn’t Labor go hard on making Medicare a real universal, single-payer system with NO “out of pocket costs” for physicians’ and hospital services. In other words, bulk bill everything. Call it “Medifair.” How was it that specialists were able to operate, for the most part, outside of Medicare.

    Get rid of co-payments, private insurance and private hospitals. The present system is a dog’s breakfast. As the article suggests it’s time for a Medicare shakeup. The first start would be for Shorten to promise a Royal Commission into health services with a view to making Medicare truly universal.

  21. What ratsak said at 10.23.

    I do enjoy the Greens supporters doubling down and defending Burnside’s political naivity (stupidity?).
    They are always so shocked when their words and actions are quoted accurately and used effectively against them.

  22. guytaur

    Yes, but we’re moving, it would seem, from a situation where recyclers were being paid for their material to one where they’re not, and can find no one willing to take it. Which means my putative guy – if he still exists – is not earning any money and his backyard is filling up with plastic.

  23. “The Greens are to the left of Labor socially and economically, but are far from extreme.”

    And yet, the meme persists propagated by the right-wing elements within both major parties and some segments of the MSM.

    Before every election, state or federal, the Coalition trots out memes using ‘guilt’ by association, thereby tarring Labor with the same brush.

    And who can forget, for example, Albanese railing against socialist Casey in Grayndler during the 2016 federal election.

    Rather ironic really.

  24. I thought for sure the L-NP would try to save the furniture and call an election before parliament resumed.

    That was obviously wishful thinking on my part. I am so bored of waiting.

  25. Zoomster

    All the more reason for government to support a local recycling industry.

    China’s ban just proves how lacking our government’s have been in offshoring for “cheap” options. Probably almost slave labour conditions

  26. SA has operated such a system for decades.

    The fact is only Victoria and Tasmania have resisted all attempts to commit to implementing a container deposit scheme. Why?

  27. Trump promised to shrink the trade deficit. Instead, it exploded.

    The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies — the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history.

  28. It is a seriously retrograde step to introduce two “wages”: a minimum wage and a living wage.

    That will open the door to accepting a minimum wage that pays people to stay in poverty.

    Australia’s minimum wage was, from the beginning, intended to be a living wage.

    Let’s keep our minimum wage but legislate that the minimum wage must always be a wage reasonbly ABOVE the poverty line.

  29. PvO trolling Morrison

    Peter van Onselen

    Why has the PM put himself on Christmas Island? I thought only refugees had to go there…

    Apologies if someone linked to his article already (I remember the last bit being quoted here I think), but it is a good summary – really Abbott surely has more basic problems in his disconnect with his own electorate than John Howard ever had with Bennelong.

    A “Zali Steggall” moment may prove to be a special time on election night – I hope.

  30. I don’t think anyone is being precious about Burnside’s quote. Merely pointing out that it really is a massive rookie error.

    Instead of talking about all that’s wrong with this government and why it in general and Josh in particular should be turfed, at least a part of the ‘conversation’ (FUDfest) will be taken up with ‘is it antisemitic to accuse a Jew of being a Nazi?’ bullshit. Burnside opened the door to that.

    It’s again why it’s easy to imagine ‘non-politicians’ are desirable, but usually end up not being very good at politics. I agree the quote is quite apt to the behaviour of the government. But I’m not planning on standing for election. I therefore don’t have to worry about things I say being (mis)used against me in an election. But when you are going up against masters of lies, distortion, fear and smear it doesn’t help your campaign when you give em such an obvious leg up to cranks the outrage machine up to 11.

    The Greens have clearly sought to gain an advantage from Burnside’s high profile advocacy for refugees. But where he clearly will delight and energise the Greens’ base, he is starting to look like a candidate who might really struggle to appeal beyond that base, especially in a blue blood Lib seat. He’s getting a hard lesson in how to do politics. I don’t think for a second there won’t be further hard lessons coming for him as Fraudenboy pulls every trick he and his support base can muster.

  31. Zoomster:
    Bracks + Brumby = good (especially Bracks first term).
    Andrews = better.

    Of the libs in recent times…
    Ted Baillieu was by the far the best Liberal premier because he achieved nothing (he didn’t wreck much)…

  32. SW

    Re minimum wage:

    The Greens party has proposed such a measure

    Australia’s 200,000 lowest-paid workers would have their incomes tied to 60 per cent of the median full-time wage, effectively creating a “living wage”, under new legislation proposed by the Greens.

    Greens employment spokesman Adam Bandt will introduce a bill that would direct the Fair Work Commission to phase in the boost to workers’ pay in the “earliest possible time”.

    The current minimum wage of $694.90 a week is 55.1 per cent of full-time median earnings. At 60 per cent, the minimum wage would stand at $756.66, according to today’s wage levels.

    The policy would give effect to a proposal from the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and seeks to wedge Labor, which has argued the “goal should be a “real living wage” but is yet to formally back the union movement’s ambitious minimum wage target.

    The FWC has previously rejected the union’s calls for large increases and a minimum wage target.

    Mr Bandt conceded the proposal took some control over minimum wage rises out of the commission’s hands.

    But he said lifting the minimum wage in tandem with the unemployment benefit Newstart would be more beneficial to those on low incomes than a tax cut.

    “If trickle-down economics worked, we’d all be drenched by now,” he said.

    “It’s time for the government to put its hands back on the levers.”

  33. ‘Normally a headline like “The hipster effect: Why anti-conformists always end up looking the same” would elicit much rolling of eyes here at Vulture Towers.

    However, it becomes more intriguing when one learns that the hypothesis described in the article was tested by a series of hilarious post-publication events that then further bolstered the paper’s findings…’

    ‘…Accompanying the article was an edited stock image of a generic millennial chap in plaid shirt and standard-issue beanie, or “trendy winter attire”, as Getty put it.’

    ‘..”We promptly got a furious email from a man who said he was the guy in the photo that ran with the story..’

    ‘…The stock photo giant checked the model release and lo! The guy in the image wasn’t even the same dude who was complaining. “He’d misidentified himself,” Lichfield said.

    “All of which just proves the story we ran: hipsters look so much alike that they can’t even tell themselves apart from each other.’

  34. Ratsak

    Pointing out the LNP is using a Nazi propaganda technique by using a Nazi quote is not a rookie mistake

    The mistake is for Labor people not to join in the laughter at the false outrage .

    This LNP got laughed at very quickly. People like Greg Jericho as an example

  35. I recall as a school kid, ahead of the Royal Show at Wayville dragging all the bottles out from under the tank stand, calling the “Bottlo” and pocketing the cash to spend at the Show


    Who has the Contract to sell (yes, sell) our recycled product to China and why did China renege from that Contract (obviously under Terms and Conditions contained in it as to quality)?

    I heard a presentation by the Real Estate Industry Association yesterday where Stamp Duty on Transfer was mentioned – noting that in Victoria at least First home buyers are exempt to $600,000-

    There was however no, absolutely zilch, mention of Agent’s Commission on Sales

    And no question asked

    Funny about that

    So “downsizers”, eligible for relief from Stamp Duty in Victoria to a repurchase consideration, receive absolutely no, like ziltch, relief from Agent’s Commission on the sale

    It is time such presentations were called out for what they are and on the basis of vested interest making them

  36. Re the Bankster and his stopping the tellers’ bonuses.
    his bonuses…..
    2017-$840,000 short term cash bonus
    2018- $480,000 short term cash bonus. (in wake of RC)
    Meanwhile those norty tellers’ bonus involved something like $500. Can’t you feel the trust returning already ?

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