Election minus three weeks

A Senate poll, and reporting on the Coalition’s struggles to identify a pathway to victory.

Now that the public holiday period is past, hopefully the floodgates will open on opinion polling very shortly. Certainly we can expect a Newspoll, presumably tomorrow evening, and surely an Essential Research to boot.

What we have for now is the rarity of a Senate poll, courtesy of the Australia Institute. This is part of a quarterly online survey conducted through Dynata, on this occasion targeted 1945 respondents. Nationally, the poll has the Coalition on 30% (35.2% in 2016), Labor on 34% (29.8%), the Greens on 10% (8.7%), One Nation on 7% (4.3%). The United Australia Party is only credited with 3%, though that may be because it hasn’t captured a recent surge in support. Based on these numbers, the Australia Institute’s overall assessment is that the Coalition will win 14 to 17 seats (plus 16 ongoing), Labor will win 15 (13 ongoing), the Greens five to six (three ongoing), One Nation one to four (one ongoing), the Centre Alliance zero or one (two ongoing). Derryn Hinch isn’t predicted to win, with only 3% support in Victoria (I wouldn’t be too sure about that myself, given the small sample here), and Jacqui Lambie is only a maybe (ditto). Cory Bernardi, we’re stuck with.

Latest horse race calling in the news media:

• Despite its cheerful headline (“Written-off Liberal back in the fight”), a report on Liberal internal polling in Victoria by John Ferguson of The Weekend Australian is almost all bad news for the Liberals, with a party source quoted saying “not much has changed since the start of the campaign”. The best news the report has to offer the Liberals is that Sarah Henderson only trails in Corangamite by “about three percentage points” (the recent ReachTEL poll showing the Liberals with a 54-46 lead was “highly unlikely to be right”), and that the Liberals believe themselves to be in front in Deakin. Elsewhere, the report restates the now established wisdom that Labor will win Dunkley, which neither leader has bothered to visit; says the Liberals will “struggle to hold” Chisholm, which is at the more favourable end of recent assessments for them; and implies they are behind in La Trobe, and perhaps also Casey. Furthermore, there is “increasing concern” about Greg Hunt in Flinders, and double-digit inner city swings that place Higgins “in doubt”. Josh Frydenberg is reckoned likely to surivive in Kooyong, but clearly not very convincingly.

Aaron Patrick of the Financial Review reports the Coalition’s strategic reading of the situation as follows. Chisholm (Liberal 2.9%, Victoria), Dunkley (notional Labor 1.0%, Victoria), Forde (LNP 0.6%, Queensland) and Gilmore (Liberal 0.7%, NSW) are conceded as likely losses. Seats that are “must wins”, in the sense of being gained from Labor or independents, are Labor-held Herbert (Queensland, 0.0%), Lindsay (New South Wales, 1.1%), Bass (Tasmania, 5.4%) and Solomon (Northern Territory, 6.1%). This gets them to 76, if they can hold all the seats on a “must retain” list consisting of Corangamite (notional Labor 0.0%, Victoria), La Trobe (Liberal 3.2%, Victoria), Petrie (LNP 1.7%, Queensland), Dickson (LNP 1.7%, Queensland), Reid (Liberal 4.7%, NSW), Robertson (Liberal 1.1%, NSW), Flynn (LNP 1.0%, Queensland), Banks (Liberal 1.4%, NSW) and Capricornia (LNP 0.6%, Queensland).

Eryk Bagshaw of the Sydney Morning Herald reports the Nationals have “all but given up hope” of holding off Rob Oakeshott in Cowper. In neighbouring Page, internal polling is said to show Nationals incumbent Kevin Hogan with a lead of 52-48 “in a worst case scenario”. Remarkably though, Hogan “has left the door open to sitting on the crossbench if Bill Shorten wins”.

• Going back nearly a week, Annika Smethurst in the Sunday Telegraph reported that “Labor and Coalition strategists admit the opening days of the federal election have hardly shifted a vote”. Both sides also agree that, thanks to his attack on Labor opponent Ali France in the first week of the campaign, Peter Dutton is “in serious strife” in Dickson.

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.

685 comments on “Election minus three weeks”

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  1. Lincoln @10:34. “Now, I don’t know a single person over 60 who would vote for the ALP “

    I’m one. Every year when I do my tax return I get a few thousand dollars in refunds of tax I didn’t pay. I’ll be voting to end those. Meanwhile Scott Morrison is presiding over the most disgusting campaign in 2019 which is scaring the hell out of 1,000,000 sick and elderly Australians by lying through their teeth about a “Retirement Tax”. A blatant lie.

    The Coalition will dismantle Medicare as soon as it becomes politically feasible, just like the Fraser Government did with Medibank over 5 years. It won’t be in one hit, they’ll gradually wind back services, allow more and more of the system to pass into the hands of private insurers and other rentseekers and starve what’s left of the public system.

  2. sprocket_ @ #638 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 10:36 pm

    The 9 for Others would include the growing number of Liberal-Lite Independents running, most of whom are concentrated in Coalition held seats.

    How many Liberal lite indies are there?

    Of the top my head there are; Wentworth, Warringah, Indi, Farrer, Flinders, Curtin, Kooyong, Mallee.

    That’s 8, have I missed any?

  3. Funny how primary vote is now the most important polling figure in Murdoch papers. Indeed generally the spinning is heroic, with a one per cent deficit for the Coalition on cost of living being, apparently, a great result. This from the party that “owns” economic issues.

    The reality is after we’ve all been fed the line that Shorten’s had an awful first two weeks and Morrison has been heroically leading his side to victory all on his own, the Coalition is exactly where it started. The extra primary vote has come from One Nation’s collapse.

    Labor is steady and it is only today we are starting to see positive coverage of Shorten et al, in the AFR, for example. The Palmer preference deal is also starting to go pear-shaped for the Coalition – and for what? Never count your chickens but a solid announcement on a Federal ICAC plus a stronger focus on health spending and education can help Labor carry this forward.

  4. Lincoln

    Have a look at Bludgertrack – above right.

    According to the polls (which are the only objective evidence we have) Labor is on track to win 18 seats. It only needs to win half of those to form government, which leaves a lot of slack. At present, 51% would see a comfortable win for Labor.

    It might not do it – things happen – but the evidence (as opposed from feelpinions) is that it will.

  5. Question- undoubtedly Lincoln “regurgitates his/her opinions as fact” – as do many contributors here. The fact than Lincoln’s opinions happen to be ones that you don’t share (nor do I) doesn’t make his/her blurring of opinion and fact any worse than when partisans of other stripes do it.

  6. Darren Chester MP
    ‏Verified account @DarrenChesterMP
    4 Jun 2014

    Are you coming to work tomorrow @CliveFPalmer – Parliament is sitting again in Canberra in case you intend to represent electorate #auspol

  7. Lincoln @ #640 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 10:34 pm

    Wow… most of the people on this blog act like they are in some kind of cult.

    You seriously love the Labor party THAT much?? What kind of lives do you have in the real world?? You sit in here and fire off partisan rants to all and sundry whilst being nauseously sycophantic for that party, the vile Get Up organisation and assume you know everything about a poster simply because she or he (rightly) condemns the ALP?

    Bill Shorten presided over the most disgusting campaign in 2016 which scared the hell out of 1,000,000 sick and elderly Australians by lying through their teeth that the Coalition was dismantling Medicare. A blatant lie. Now, I don’t know a single person over 60 who would vote for the ALP and rightly so. In here though, you seem to endorse every action of the party, and Get Up by simply bagging out the Coalition. That is not a moral response. That forms no rational argument. That does not assuage the guilt of acting like complete psychotic bastards doing whatever it takes to get into power.

    … yet you seriously think the sun shines out of the ALP’s arse??? Wow. Just Wow. You people seem really disturbed.

    More delusional is that you have no concept that this election is not over. I don’t particularly care who wins but it would be lovely to see the Coalition triumph… if only to send the message that liars and bottom-dwellers who stoop to the kind of muck that Get Up does, simply to have their ‘team’ win are the scum of the Earth and bitterly deserve the disappointment of electoral failure.

    I love you too Lincoln – back to your G@T and profiteering from clothes industry exploitation. Say hello to Peter and John for me. Better move to the Cayman’s for at least 6 years. Your Liberal brethren are f**ked and you know it.

  8. Isle

    It’s not 9 seats to indies, it’s 9% vote for indies. And there’ll be indies in nearly every seat (but most of them will poll a couple of per cent only).

  9. Isle of Rocks

    I’d include Oakeshott in Cowper as a Liberal-Lite, and definately ex Turnbull staffer Alice Thompson in Mackellar

  10. Darren Chester MP
    ‏Verified account @DarrenChesterMP
    3 Apr 2014

    Go back to the shallow end of the pool Clive – completely out of your depth. Money can’t buy everything #lateline


  11. Steven Ciobo
    ‏Verified account @StevenCiobo
    13 Nov 2013

    Around half a dozen votes already in the Chamber on day one of the new Parliament and Clive Palmer hasn’t turned up for a single one yet.


  12. lol

    Matthew Canavan
    ‏Verified account @mattjcan
    10 Nov 2013

    How embarrassment RT @krauset: Clive Palmer slept in. That was his excuse for not showing up for #mtp10

  13. 52-48 is looking very good for the ALP!

    Bear in mind, this poll was taken before the full effect of watergate and the Clive preference deals has been felt.

  14. Really I think we should expect Shorten to run a professional campaign and be an ok PM. The thing is Shorten now has years of experience leading his party and already fought an election as leader. That certainly makes him the most experienced contender. New ground for Scomo.

  15. Confessions:

    Lady Gaga was brilliant in A Star is Born. I admit I’d not really listened to any of her music before, but she got me in this performance.


    Bradley Cooper must a be a fairly down-with-it guy, and not at all fearful of powerful women:
    – out acted (multiple times) by Jennifer Lawrence (Olivier)
    – out sung by Lady Gaga
    and goes back to do it again…

  16. If Palmer gets into the Senate, he will either have to turn up a lot more votes or his abstention will effect the outcomes of many votes. Such is the Senate with no majority for anybody.

  17. Ven:

    Mike Carlton tweeted on twitter that he has a sinking feeling because ALP losing the campaign. Why is he saying that?

    Carlton Draught? Last one of the three left…

  18. Whoa Lincoln, you sound very angry for someone who doesn’t care who wins. Getup try and influence elections for the good of ordinary people and the environment, whilst the shock jock right wing commentators of who there is a never ending supply are all for the owners of capital retaining and increasing their share of the nations wealth. Political bias is obviously a thing but coming here to complain about it while exposing your own rabid bias is to put it mildly quite pathetic.

  19. Another poll with Labor in front.

    Another poll with low a low primary vote for the LNP. Is it just me or is that really reminiscent of the Victorian State polling?

  20. GetUp isn’t quite my cup of tea – I’m signed up on their mailing lists, and I attended some of their earlier climate change rallies, but of late they seem to be focusing on things that are not really aligned with my views – but honestly, they really are a grass roots organisation made up of the people who can be bothered to get out and take a stand. What great ‘evil’ they represent I can’t see beyond the fact that they aren’t aligned with the reactionary/conservative side and take issue with the LNP/Murdoch viewpoint.

    It’s as if having a bunch of ordinary people actually motivated to be engaged in our political debate is a problem – nay, a scourge on society! – for the LNP/Murdoch side. Who woulda thunk it?

  21. So Bill, how does one get ‘un-banned’? don’t know wh at all the fuss was about anyway, as the junta used to pile onto bemused at every opportunity and I never read anything offensive from him

  22. Well, on most online fora, it involves apologising to the administrator/moderators and promising not to do the offending behaviour again, and hoping they accept the apology. This tends not to work on large forums, but generally it takes a special effort to get banned in the first place.

    TLDR? It’s between bemused and William.

  23. grimace says:
    Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Poll Bludger Federal Election Seat Count Sweep

    I forecast 82 seats six weeks ago and there has been nothing since to change my view. So 82 is my entry. I hope that it is closer to 90.

  24. Question @ #644 Saturday, April 27th, 2019 – 10:40 pm

    Has Lincoln ever debated policy, or does it just continually regurgitate opinion as fact?

    It is not really important what he says here, he is only here so he can tell ‘Daddy’ and ‘Momsie’ that he had a ‘real’ job before moving into the ‘business’ with Daddy 0r Momsie or one of their friends.

    A bit of work experience prodding the 99%.

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