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. Essential, finally!!

    51.5% to 48.5%

    The final survey of 1,201 voters has Labor in front of the Coalition 51.5% to 48.5% on the two-party preferred measure, which is the same as last week. The Coalition’s primary vote is 38.5% (up from 38% a week ago) and Labor’s is 36.2% (up from 34%).

  2. Thanks Douglas & Milko

    Those stats have confirmed the demise of the worst six years of government in Australia’s political history.

    May we all rejoice!

  3. I think it’s just for the final poll. At least if they do that, rounding might mean they’re not so far from the final result. I know that MOE will be a bigger factor than rounding but in the game of perception (which polls were close and which far off) I suppose every bit counts?

  4. Been There,

    I am guessing this is Essential’s last poll before polling day. I know Newspoll always release their final poll with one decimal place.

  5. DG,

    Me too! I keep wondering who these “over 55″‘s are. I know plenty of people over 55, but not one of the would give Morrison the time day. And I have plenty of traditionally Liberal party voting friends.

  6. Kay Jay,

    Thanks for the front pages – it look’s as though News Corp is holding off on the “Shorten tortures puppies for fun” headlines.

    And I think tomorrow is too late for a “black swan” event that would change the election outcome?

    One seat could change hands because of some “black swan”event. I know in 2007 that Labor did not seriously think they had much chance in Bennelong, until Jackie Kelly’s husband and friend were caught putting unauthorised racist and bigoted pamphlets into letter boxes in St Marys on the Wed before the election.

    On the Thurs am, the local Bennelong Chinese newspaper had a split front-page – one side with Howard’s 1987(?) speech in parliament condemning Chinese immigration to Australia, and the other side with the picture of the black-ops Liberals caught handing out the poster. It dominated the news cycle, but probably only affected Bennelong.

  7. Regards the over 55s – my mum has over her lifetime done the reverse of the stereotype. She grew up on a dairy farm and was almost always a Nats voter (though at least once she just wrote “I’m not voting for any of you pricks” on the ballot) and back in the 70s was an enthusiastic Ayn Rand reader (my father’s fault). Over the decades she’s come round to the good guys… the Kennett era poisoned the Coalition for her, and she last week told me she was voting Labor as they had a “good Catholic sense of social justice”. Oh, and she was sick of rich boomers rorting the property market.

  8. Douglas and Milko @ #1520 Thursday, May 16th, 2019 – 5:23 am

    AB,

    Essential herding towards bludger tracker?

    Essential knows who the real master is 😉

    I will be oh so interested in just how well Bludger Track performs.

    I don’t much care for the vaguely slighting references to the over 55’s although it doesn’t apply to me as I am currently admitting to age 43 – with a bullet – as was said in prehistory. 😎

  9. Hmmm. Was hoping for a bit more of an uptick from Essential but steady as she goes is OK, provided it holds for the next 72 agonising hours.

  10. Over 55s – the biggest obstacle to progressive change it seems both here and elsewhere, notably the US. I was going to make a voluntary euthanasia crack, but discretion and sensitivity intervened just in time.

  11. I think you just did, Max.

    Good news about Deakin. I was going to make a fat joke about Sukkar but discretion and sensitivity intervened just in the nick of time.

  12. Someone posted elsewhere that Galaxy last night had Deakin 51-49 to Sukkar, but a 7% swing would have it with Labor ahead wouldn’t it?

    And all comedy aside – the rebranding of Morrison as “ScoMo”, to the extent that he started signing his name that way, is the biggest wank I’ve ever seen in Australian politics. Please slap anyone who gets suckered into calling him that. Marketing genius who thinks he can win as long he answers every question with “maaaate, how good are dogs.”

  13. I am 80, OH is 83, I am a long-time lurker on PB. Don’t be too quick to judge our age group when it comes to voting. Both of us are rusted-on Labor voters and so are most of our friends and family. Except for my sister..and yes I’m female. We voted below the line on the first day as OH has trouble standing around. We live in far-far north Qld but were born in NSW. The weather…raining, coolish (for us) but humid. Labor will win or I’m going to NZ.
    Ok, cut voting to 2 weeks, any day you like, and stuff those ads! LTL.

  14. Just had the joy of telling Scott Morrison (or a recording thereof) to f*ck off. Here in Pearce they obviously haven’t decided they are going to win and have moved onto more important battlefields.

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