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)”

  1. As an example of how inept the Greens and Burnside are: imagine if say, 6 months ago Burnside launched a public campaign to open up the Savage club to women membership. What has turned out to be an obvious blunder would have been a profile lifting positive. Just saying. …

  2. Ryan StruykVerified account@ryanstruyk
    1h1 hour ago
    Brand new 2020 poll from @CNN and @DMRegister in Iowa:

    Biden 27%
    Sanders 25%
    Warren 9%
    Harris 7%
    O’Rourke 5%
    Booker 3%
    Klobuchar 3%
    Bennet 1%
    Bullock 1%
    Buttigieg 1%
    Castro 1%
    Delaney 1%
    Inslee 1%
    de Blasio <1%
    Gabbard <1%
    Gillibrand <1%
    Hickenlooper <1%
    Swalwell <1%

  3. Ryan StruykVerified account@ryanstruyk
    1h1 hour ago
    Only 38% of likely caucus-goers in Iowa say they would be very/mostly satisfied if their nominee were a straight, white man. 21% would be very/mostly dissatisfied. 40% say not sure via new @CNN poll.

  4. Andrew_Earlwood, it’s true what you say that there’s no free rides in politics and if he was a judge-whispering lawyer I would agree. However Burnside has had his head above the parapet of public debate for 20 years. There is a gear shift when going from public campaigner to political candidate we’ll see how he handles it but generally I think we should encourage more high profile non-politicians into politics. (I mean, he’s still a lawyer but oh well)

    I am envious the good burghers of Kooyong will have a solid set of candidates to choose from. Yates looks bright too. They’ve even got the treasurer in the form of Frydenberg as an option. If only every contest in the country was of that caliber. cough-Hughes-cough

  5. I kinda like the idea of Cormann going.

    Not least because it would be an admission that his ideology and scheming has come to nothing.

    I also want to see the preselection battle which I suspect would see the dominant Christian faction in the WA Libs serve up one of their own.

    The more of them the Tories send to Canberra the better. Just helps underline how far removed from mainstream Australia they are and should help consign them to a fair spell in opposition.

  6. “Biden should just endorse a Bernie/Klobuchar ticket and get out of the way.”

    I’m tempted to say that that ticket might actually work, but I’m about to compose a longer post that says shenanigans to both Biden and Bernie.

  7. nath

    Last Victorian State election, the Greens vote declined. This was the first time they’d gone backwards since 1999.

    Present bludgertrack has the Greens federally on a decline.

    At a time when environmental issues are at the fore, particularly connected with climate change, you’d expect a different trajectory.

    As I said, there’s a missing issue in peg’s list.

  8. Luke says:
    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Yeah Upnorth, I would have said inertia will get LNP across the line this time in NSW but in the Internet age inertia is not what it was…

    C-momma, I agree he is master tactician but that’s also been Shorten’s problem: historically he’s been all means and no ends. But to his credit (and the leadership rule change instituted by Rudd which is a massive part of why ALP is stable at the moment) he has teased out a fairly comprehensive platform that does not look bolted on to him, it even kind of suits him.

    Voters in NSW will not want a minority government and will not want more of what they’ve been getting from the LNP. Labor should win.

    As far as Federal Labor is concerned, the party is unified around policies and values. Leadership is not an issue. The emphasis is on team-work….on cohesion and mutual support. In this, Labor is unlike every other political outfit in the field. This cohesion will deliver a strong government. There’s no doubt about that in our minds.

  9. Cormann should go before the election… I’m a completeist and I want the whole set of ministers to resign from Morrison like the wings and fuselage peeling off a plane as it disintegrates on approach, cause that’s what it looks like

  10. I think the crazy guy would have a chance of a second term if Sanders was the Democrat nomination. He’s probably a bit too left for the US.

  11. “free travel on the Opal Network“ sums up Greens incoherence in one policy.

    Reduce revenue, increase use of the network already stretched to breaking point, create more room on the roads to get filled by more traffic. Cripple the rail network assuring user dissatisfaction.

    Greens never understand good policy, the idea is invest in the network & planning then attract the punters.

  12. Here’s a thought I just had. It has been said on here (by me as well as others) that both Biden and Bernie are too old to serve out a full 8 years as POTUS.

    What about one of the old timers (either Biden, Bernie, or even Warren) running on a ticket with a young(er) up and comer where the old timer only serves one term, and then hands the reins over to the newbie. The newbie will then have both experience and name recognition to run and serve for the full eight years.

    What do others think about this scenario?

  13. Some thoughts on the Iowa poll.

    Jake TapperVerified account@jaketapper
    53m53 minutes ago
    Four thoughts on this poll: (1) Some will say this is just indicative of Sanders and Biden having strong name ID — that may be part of it but both men are also largely known quantities so it’s not just name recognition, people know who they are.

    Jake TapperVerified account@jaketapper
    53m53 minutes ago
    (2) In such a crowded field it’s entirely possible to win a nomination with plurality support as GOP 2015/2016 showed.

    Jake TapperVerified account@jaketapper
    55m55 minutes ago
    (3) it’s early, yes. But by July 2015 Trump was in the lead among GOP candidates and he never gave that up. So it’s early — but it’s not necessarily that early.

    Jake TapperVerified account@jaketapper
    55m55 minutes ago
    (4) Lastly, IMHO neither Sanders nor Biden have ever have front-runner level scrutiny and opposition research the way I suspect they may experience this time. So who knows what that might mean if anything.
    End of transmission.

  14. As I said, there’s a missing issue in peg’s list.

    I ignored your comment at the time but you think you are on a roll here.

    omg in a post among many I didn’t list all the issues Burnside is running on.

    In the public domain, Burnside is known as a human rights lawyer who has represented asylum seekers and refugees so shoot me for highlighting this in one post of mine.

    In another post I linked to https://burnside.greens.org.au/page/issues where he talks about climate change when I pushed back against BW’s mistruth Burnside has not gone after Frydenberg.

  15. peg

    You obviously listed the issues you thought were important for a Greens candidate.

    The environment shouldn’t be an afterthought.

  16. z

    But once again I appreciate your new found enthusiasm to hang whatever you can on me in your ongoing (10 years and counting) and increasingly forlorn efforts to create a narrative about me that exists in your mind only.

  17. “Biden 27%
    Sanders 25%
    Warren 9%
    Harris 7%
    O’Rourke 5%
    Booker 3%
    Klobuchar 3%
    Bennet 1%
    Bullock 1%
    Buttigieg 1%
    Castro 1%
    Delaney 1%
    Inslee 1%
    de Blasio <1%
    Gabbard <1%
    Gillibrand <1%
    Hickenlooper <1%
    Swalwell <1%”

    It seems clear to me that Biden and Bernie owe much of their frontfronter support purely to name recognition. On the other hand there are just so many newcomers that each are effectively cutting each other’s grass and are struggling to cut through. Even Warren and Harris.

    That said, I think this will change the closer we get to Primary Season proper. If we get down to a race of Bernie and Biden (if he runs) plus 4 others, then the name recognition advantage will start to dissipate and the septuagenarians will likely struggle to maintain momentum.

    Of the above list, anybody currently sitting on 1% or less is in real strife. I also think that Klobuchar is in the death zone: her numbers need to climb towards 10% by summer to have any chance. I’m not persuaded that Beto (if he runs) is capable of sustained adult behaviour, so I’d be prepared to rule a line through him now. I think Warren will struggle to attaract support outside a niche, which leaves the following to take on the septuagenarians:

    Harris
    Booker, possibly
    Klobuchar and
    Warren.
    No doubt Tulusi will stick in the race to the bitter end as a vanity project, perhaps hoping to pick up the crumbs from Bernie, should he fail.

    Ultimately I want both Bernie and Biden to stand aside for a new generation. I think a good ‘progressive’-‘moderate’ ticket can be found without relying on the ancients.

  18. Luke@1:23pm
    Then who got humiliated and resigned from Savage Club because Greens did not do proper vetting?
    It is not Ven
    It is Burnside.
    It doesn’t matter whether he meets my standard or not. He has to meet the standards of Greens

  19. “What do others think about this scenario?”

    Both Dole and McCain tried that. It didn’t work and I think folk will be hesitant about giving an old timer a go, just so he can groom a youngster. Sounds entitled.

  20. The Gs have been running an alt-Labor business plan for nearly 30 years. It’s premised on attracting Labor-positive supporters by posing just out of Labor’s reach and then fulminating against Labor all the time. It’s an internally illogical project that has passed it’s use-by date. It’s illogical because it’s now really very obvious to Labor-positive voters that if they shift their support to the Gs, they harm Labor. That is, they harm the party that they are broadly affiliated with and from which they expect good government. The result is G support has been stagnating or declining. As long as this marketing plan is applied by the Gs, they should expect to get the same results.

    It’s worth noting that this is all entirely of the Gs’ own making. They have chosen this course. It has not been imposed on them. They chose many years ago to set up as an alt-Labor outfit. They will find it very difficult to re-model themselves, which in turn suggests they will slowly decay. They have been out of step with the times for many years – years in which political action has been occurring on the Right. This is still continuing. Right-looking voters have been disengaging themselves from the LNP for at least 20 years. Very few of these migratory voters have attached themselves to the Gs. Nor are they likely to.

    This contains an existential dilemma for the Gs. They have ceased to be able to attract Labor-positive cohorts. Indeed, they have aroused very deep hostility in Labor and among Labor supporters. They are also incapable of attracting support from the ‘political refugees’ now separating from the Right. For ideological reasons they are incapable of rewriting their political/marketing plans. They will soon be displaced numerically in the parliaments by the various Indy voices, who have shown they can run and win in contests in LNP heartlands.

    Whither go the Gs?

  21. I’m not persuaded that Beto (if he runs) is capable of sustained adult behaviour,

    Watching his antics since the election last year I’ve gone right off him. He is incredibly self-indulgent and I think he’d be crucified on the national stage in a campaign.

  22. Greens hired a man only club but peg just rants on about what burnside positives… This is called Distractions, did Greens learn this from the Liberal National Party?

  23. kevjohnno says:
    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 1:35 pm
    ” Our star candidate, Townsville Mayor – Tony Mooney”

    I think I see the real problem right there Upnorth. I can remember one election when the LNP decided not to run one of their “independents ” against Mooney a common view in Townsville was that they didn’t need to, as the already their man in the job.
    ———————————————————————————-
    The Liberals always ran candidates against the Labor Townsville City Council Team except in 2004 when they ran as Independents (but identified as Liberals).

    Mooney followed Mike Reynolds who followed Perc Tucker as successful Labor Mayors. Labor controlled the Townsville City Council from 1975 until the City was amalgamated with Thuringowa at the election on the 15th March 2008. Then Thuringowa Mayor Les Tyrell (backed by the LNP) defeated Mooney and all of his team except current Mayor Jenny Hill. Tyrell and Campbell Newman then proceeded to put Townsville to sleep by sacking public servants and reducing services to the now amalgamated City. Townsville still has not recovered.

    Mooney then ran (unsuccessfully) in Herbert for the Labor Party as part of Julia Gillard’s team in 2010. I’m told by friends that he hands out Labor HTV’s at every election and provides advice to Labor candidates during the campaigns.

    You should stop listening to Tories kevjohnno

  24. Sanders is likely to struggle to lift his rankings simply because there are so many candidates competing in the same space. He has done some things to try to widen his appeal. He’s joined the Democratic Party. He’s made moves to better connect with and represent African Americans and Latino voters. He’s conspicuously identifying against sexism and in support of women’s rights. No doubt this will help him. Nonetheless, like his counterparts here on the pop-left, he does campaign ‘against’ his Democratic peers rather than ‘for’ values/policies. He has yet to learn that you do not draw voters to you by attacking them. You only succeed in driving them away. I think Sanders will not win unless he can present himself as a unifying figure rather than as a polarising one. America has a deeply polarising POTUS. The Democrats need to choose a candidate that is NOT-TRUMP and, in particular, that is capable of defusing the enmities and the contumely that Trump continually stokes up.

    It really remains to be seen if Sanders can do this. There are many other candidates who will be trying to take vote share away from him. He has a more difficult run to the nomination this time than in 2016, when he had no competitors at all in Red-States, where Clinton was so deeply unpopular.

  25. Simon² Katich® says:
    Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Just thinking I was a little tired of the word Burnside….. While slurping on a pho at Burnside.

    I’m more of a dinner pho person, it’s too hot at lunch and pho for breakfast is just wrong.

    Anyway aren’t you in Burnside? 🙂

  26. She was bumped to make way for a higher profile candidate.

    Was she given the decency of being able stand aside before the announcement?

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