BludgerTrack: 51.7-48.3 to Labor

New state-level data finds a narrowing in Labor’s advantage, but also suggests the Coalition’s recovery has been too little, too late.

Since last week’s post dedicated to the current reading of BludgerTrack (which is being updated with new polling data as it becomes available), its measure of the situation is that Labor’s two-party preferred lead is effectively unchanged, but that it has gone backwards on the seat projection due to the distribution of the swing between the states. As ever, this reflects the intense electoral sensitivity of Queensland, which punches well above its weight in terms of marginal seats.

Last time I sounded a note of caution about its reading that Labor stood to gain eight seats there, which was quite out of line with the expectations of both major parties. Since then, we have had two pieces of state-level data that have taken the edge off – the Queensland-only poll by YouGov Galaxy for the Courier-Mail last week, which showed the Coalition leading 51-49, and the Newspoll state breakdowns that had the Queensland result at 50-50. This has moderated the situation to the extent that Labor is now credited with only five gains in the state. Nonetheless, this is almost single-handedly sufficient to get them to a majority.

The encouragement for Labor doesn’t end there, because the Newspoll numbers have further boosted their reading in Victoria, where they are now projected to gain three seats from the Coalition, together with the electoral gift of the new seat of Fraser in their western Melbourne heartland. However, BludgerTrack is now showing a remarkable recovery for the Coalition in New South Wales, where they are actually projected to pick up a swing on two-party preferred, though without gaining any new seats. This is a little more favourable for them than the general impression, which is that they are likely to lose Gilmore and Reid while perhaps gaining Lindsay.

BludgerTrack also suggests the worst danger for the Coalition has passed in Western Australia, where they are now projected to lose only one seat. It also suggests the Liberals should be able to maintain the status quo in South Australia – or arguably slightly improve it, given it is Labor who will be wearing the cut in the state’s representation from 11 seats to 10. This notion was further encouraged by yesterday’s YouGov Galaxy poll showing the Liberals maintaining a lead in Boothby, which is state’s strongest prospect of a gain for Labor.

However, it must be acknowledged here that there are a few holes in the BludgerTrack methodology, specifically relating to Tasmania and the territories, and non-major party contests. State-level data is only available for the five mainland states, so BludgerTrack has nothing to offer on the much-touted prospect of the Liberals gaining either or both of Bass and Braddon in the state’s north, where it is simply assumed that the swing will be in line with the overall national result. The same goes for the Darwin-based seat of Solomon, which has been the subject of optimistic noises from the Coalition throughout the campaign. Whether such noises are justified remains anyone’s guess.

As for minor parties and independents, BludgerTrack simply assumes a status quo result, with Wentworth and Clark (formerly Denison) to remain with their independent incumbents, Indi to go from one independent to another, and Melbourne, Kennedy and Mayo to respectively remain with the Greens, Katter’s Australian Party and the Centre Alliance. I had hoped that media-commissioned seat polling might offer guidance here, but only in the case of Mayo has such a poll emerged. The consensus seems to be that Wentworth will return to the Liberals, that Indi could either stay independent or go with one or other Coalition party, and that the other seats should remain as they are.

The full BludgerTrack results at state-level, together with leadership rating trends and a database of poll results, can be found through the following link:

Not featured in BludgerTrack is the Roy Morgan series, which I decided came to party too late for its form to be properly calibrated. However, its latest weekly result is interesting in being the first national poll of the campaign period to record a move in Labor’s favour on two-party preferred. The poll now has Labor leading 52-48, up from 51-49 last week, from primary votes of Coalition 38.5% (steady), Labor 35.5% (up 1.5%), Greens 10% (down one), One Nation 4% (steady) and the United Australia Party 3.5% (steady). The poll was conducted face-to-face on Saturday and Sunday from a sample of 1265, which is larger than its other recent polls, which have been around the 700 to 800 mark.

Also today: Seat du jour, covering the Queensland seat of Forde.

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.

1,540 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.7-48.3 to Labor”

  1. michael … it’s two days out from the election, there are going to be tons of bullshit spouted both ways about this seat or that. These things are backgrounded for a REASON. Look back at coverage from 2016 or 2013…

    I’m not directing this at you – but by the way some of you are going on it’s like this is your first election, lol.

  2. The Australian: “State bypassing Labor for a fourth time”

    Extraordinary, it is hard to see how 36% PV translates to a win and less than 35% in QLD.

  3. Andrew Bolt in the Herald-Sun


    If Tony Abbott loses his seat on Saturday, the Liberal Party will lose their most potent conservative warrior, Australia will change and militant activists everywhere will be emboldened

    If that doesn’t fire people up to vote him out, nothing will!

  4. Why should religion be off limits? As voters, shouldn’t we know what is going to drive candidates decisions? If X is going to do Y because of their belief in Z, isn’t that relevant?

    The hell question was stupid though, as there no policy either party can implement that would stop it happening, on the odd chance hell were a thing and the God up there was so inclined.

  5. No, Howard is in the wheelchair. You can tell by the eyebrows. The heads on sticks are Trumbull, and Rudd (I think)

  6. I thought the electronic media blackout starts from midnight tonight. However, I note Morrison and Shorten will be on 7.30 tomorrow

  7. Boy oh boy
    Reading pages back, if the rest of Australia votes the LNP back in, I suggest the state of Victoria unfederates
    Seriously the majority of Vic’s would have bugger all in common with the rest of Aus
    Maybe we become the west (part) island of NZ
    At least we could go back to ship building at Williamstown ( which seems to have been cancelled so that pork can be spread to WA and SA)

  8. Some were talking earlier about the seat of Lilley.

    I had the unfortunate experience of meeting the LNP candidate once during an election. A dumber, nastier, more menacing piece of excrement have I never before or since met. A tree lopper challenged for IQ by the limbs he lops.

  9. I do love that Rowe captured the Free Little Library Abbott discovered on his campaigning in the seat he’s held for 25 years.

  10. ‘Diogenes says:
    Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    The journalist was trying for a headline and got one.’

    Curses be to that journo.

    Global Warming and the Anthropocene Extinction Event and the idiot wants to sidetrack to whether someone thinks gays go to hell.

  11. Jaeger

    It is Mal and Rudd. The rodent is in the wheelchair. The third head should be Gillard but it looks more like a roast chook. 🙂

  12. My sources are also telling me Blaxland may be in with a chance for the LNP and is a bit of a sleeper seat.

    See how easy it is just to make up stuff? The LNP won’t win Lilley and Longman when they are likely to lose Forde and Petrie and struggling in Bonner and Dickson

  13. The infiltration of cultural Marxism even infiltrates our TAFEs.

    I have heat that chefs have a special unit on Al-fresco meat preparation.

  14. The whole “Hell” thing was a throw-away line by Bill Shorten in response to being told of a prevaricating non-answer by Scott Morrison about whether he believes gay people go to Hell, which he probably does. Bill simply expressed his own beliefs on the subject. The media then went on to beat up “Hellgate”.

    If Shorten wants to avoid being attacked and misrepresented by the mainstream media he would have to hide and say nothing (like Melissa Price). Then he’d be attacked by said media for hiding and saying nothing.

  15. Less than 96 hours before the polls shut.

    The polls from here (for better or worse) should be highly predictive. I think quite a few people have said QLD always disappoints in the end.

    One scenario (bludgertrack) – is treat QLD as 2016 status quo with Labor winning nothing and swings everywhere else- Labor would then get 74 seats and obviously form minority government with Wilkie, Bandt and Oakeshott.

    Note – how often has Shorten been in QLD in the last 2 weeks – travel movements suggest it has been written off?

  16. Douglas and Milko

    The Italian cooking section is where the real hard liners are .They are adherents to the philosophy of Al Dente .

  17. I am hearing that Cook is in play. Scott Morrison is a goner. Some are saying he is Cook..ed
    😀 😀 :p :p

    See how easy it is to make this stuff up. Stop believing everything you hear.

  18. blobbit

    the footballer comments – damning all sorts of people to hell – is hate speech, and not to be tolerated in public domain. just because someone holds sincere relgious belief in something does not mean it is excused in public life. if islam preacher said all white australians were going to hell what would happen? there is no such thing as unconditional religious freedom, and certainly not in state funded or subsided entities. folau should be punished twice – once for breaching workplace agreement and then fined for breaching laws of hate speech. he is also a poor biblical intepretant. he is deliberately controversial and needs to take consequences of acts not depict himself as victim. there is a big anti labor church based campaign being run – morrison whould know and whistle this – using folau as figurehead. it is low point in relgious life and church state relations

  19. Exactly – the Prime Minister ACTIVELY prevaricated on a simple question. Shorten reacted to the stupidity of the situation (and on an issue he’s been VERY consistent on) and the media decided this was a story.

    Shorten did the right thing, even if it was a distraction.

  20. OK

    Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to the release order of the ten Newspoll swinging seats tomorrow?

    I need to go back to the list and work out an order and maybe hazard ten guesses on margins.

  21. “if islam”

    I’d actually like to know for every candidate how their religious beliefs, if any, will influence their decision making.

    The hell question though wasn’t really trying to do that, or was just a gotcha moment.

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