BludgerTrack 2: electric boogaloo

A newly launched aggregate of federal polling suggests an election that may be coming this year will be closer than commonly presumed — if indeed the polls are to be believed.

As we move into what may very well be an election year, the BludgerTrack voting intention poll aggregate is finally cranked back into action. The model, which naturally picked a fairly comfortable Labor win on the eve of the 2019 election, is not quite what it used to be: there are dramatically fewer data points and less depth available in terms of breakdowns (pollsters have promised more rather than less transparency on this score, but thus far largely failed to deliver), which means there’s no point attempting state-level trends and seat projections as was done before.

Nonetheless, and for what it’s worth, you can now see voting intention trends on the sidebar, and in greater detail here. The lodestar for the model is Newspoll/YouGov: the results of the other pollsters, which really just means Essential Research and the occasional Morgan, are adjusted for bias as measured by the extent of their deviation from a Newspoll trend measure. As it happens though, these adjustments don’t amount to much: over time, none of the three pollsters has shown any particular tendency to favour any one party more than the others.

The trend shows a consistently close race through the current term, somewhat in defiance of media narratives, with Labor poking in front on two-party preferred in the wake of last summer’s bushfires but the Coalition maintaining a lead of around 51-49 for most of this year. This pattern is equally evident in the cruder but probably no less effective aggregate that Kevin Bonham knocked together for his comprehensive view of the year in polling. Part of this may be related to the fact that the new YouGov-administered Newspoll has maintained the pollster’s curious habit of being more consistent than the vagaries of random sampling should theoretically lead us to expect.

I’ve also gone the extra mile on the poll data archive, which now includes all of the expanded breakdown data that Newspoll is now providing in its quarterly aggregates (education, income, language and religion, on top of the traditional state, age and gender) and such two-party state breakdowns as Morgan has provided us, right down to two tiny-sample readings for Tasmania. The leadership ratings trends are still in business, though I’ve bumped them in favour of the voting intention trends on the sidebar.

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.

4,232 comments on “BludgerTrack 2: electric boogaloo”

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  1. Good Morning Bludgers! 🙂

    The Dawn Patrol is on its way. Probably more of a mid-morning patrol, due to a beastie, aka a mouse, in the kitchen, which we left the sliding door in the loungeroom open for so it would kindly p*ss off during the night, which then led to the loungeroom carpet getting drenched, and us up to close the door, at 4am!

    So, if ever I’m up then I always take a toilet break…which inevitably leads to me sleeping in. Never fear, I’ll get there in the end. And I predict it will still be morning. Close enough for a jug band, eh? 😀


    But back in October the Prime Minister was grossly misled about the affair and demanded that Holgate be stood down pending an investigation.

    Although commentaries by myself and others pointed out that if there was a mistake it was made by the board, not by the CEO, Morrison held his ground. The Maddocks report must have deeply shocked him.

    Mr. Morrison – a recent photo.

    Mr. Morrison appearing “deeply shocked”.

  3. SM talking through Jim Molan on AM say Australia should align with Taiwan and prepare for the worst case scenario. It’s ramping up conflict with China without knowing the new foreign policy of America.

  4. MELBOURNE (Reuters) – BP Plc said on Tuesday it has found no oil or gas at its Ironbark-1 exploration well off Western Australia, in what had been seen as a multi-trillion cubic feet gas prospect.

    The result marked a big disappointment for BP’s partners in the prospect, which had been seen as a potential gas supplier to the North West Shelf liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, where BP is a co-owner, within five to 10 years.

    “BP Australia can confirm that no significant hydrocarbons have been found at the Ironbark exploration well in Western Australia,” the company said in an emailed statement.

    It said the well, which was drilled to a total depth of 5,618 metres, will be plugged and abandoned, but had no further comment.

  5. Wuhan’s Covid Cases May Have Been 10 Times Higher, Study Shows
    Bloomberg News

    The scale of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan early this year may have been nearly 10 times the recorded tally, a study conducted by China’s public health authorities indicates.

    About 4.4% of those tested were found to have specific antibodies that can fight off the pathogen that causes Covid-19, indicating they were infected some time in the past, according to a serological survey of more than 34,000 people conducted in April by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The data was released late Monday.

    That ratio would suggest that with Wuhan home to about 11 million people, as many as 500,000 residents may have been infected, nearly 10 times more than the 50,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases reported by health authorities in mid-April, when the survey was conducted.

    China has been criticized internationally for its initial handling of the outbreak, which has spread around the world in a global pandemic in the year since the first cases emerged. The U.S. has raised questions about China’s accounting of the virus fallout in Wuhan, which was quickly eclipsed by larger outbreaks in Europe and North America. A number of revisions of the case and deaths data added to suspicions China was massaging the numbers.

  6. davesays:
    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 8:06 am
    New Covid cases in the UK for yesterday over 53,000. Deaths 414.
    Australian cases in total since the start of the pandemic: 28,000. Deaths 909.

    So the UK have done in 1 day what it took us a whole year to achieve with more to come. They are scary numbers and they are still on the upswing.

  7. Trump was so upset with Melania’s renovations at Mar-a-Lago that he demanded they be removed immediately: report

    According to a source speaking to CNN, President Trump was upset with renovations at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida — many of which were overseen by his wife, Melania.

    “He was not happy with it,” the source said, adding that the renovations didn’t appeal to the aesthetic that Trump prefers. Trump was reportedly so upset with the additions, which consisted of white marble and an abundance of dark wood, that he demanded they be removed immediately — which they were.

    According to CNN, Trump’s displeasure with the renovations may be due to a larger souring of his mood over developments coinciding with the waning days of his presidency.

    “If the kick-off to his last Florida sojourn as President was rough, the days that followed would be much of the same, with Trump appearing ‘moody,’ according to the source at the club, spending more time than usual behind closed doors and not mingling and conversing as much as he normally does with club members and senior White House staff, many of whom have in the last few years joined him there,” CNN reports.

  8. Good Morning Bludgers! Here is the Delta Dawn Patrol 😀

    In another area where their constituents tell the federal government what to do, ie shearing, and allow shedloads of cheap workers in to do the jobs Aussies used to do for good pay, Covid has bitten them on the sheep’s behind:

    If you’re reading this and you’re an Uber Eats delivery driver, thank your Union, the TWU and join it today!
    Uber has settled a legal challenge that struck at the heart of its business model and could have resulted in its drivers and riders being classified as employees, after three Federal Court judges savaged the company’s arguments at trial.

    This will fall on deaf Morrison government ears but anyway…
    Top economists want the dole permanently increased in 2021 and a closer review of the federal government’s wage subsidy scheme JobKeeper to determine the future of the $100 billion lifeline.

    Hotel Quarantine to continue for years, apparently. Time to factor it in to your holiday costs.
    The federal government is considering granting international travellers and returning Australians who can prove they have been vaccinated against coronavirus special entry into the country but experts are warning hotel quarantine arrangements may need to be in place for years.

    The start of 2021 will bring some welcome news for many Victorians, with many set to benefit from the introduction of new laws and regulations across the state.

    ‘A wicked problem’: Queensland health workers endure a rise in aggression. They are going to be issued with body cameras:

    In WA election news, former City of Melville deputy mayor and current Tangney Liberal Division president Matthew Woodall is set to take on the safe seat of Bateman from outgoing MP Dean Nalder.

    The lawyer was picked by grassroots members ahead of five other candidates – former MP Matt Taylor, former Australian Medical Association WA director of communications Robert Reid, Sky News commentator Kristy McSweeney and past candidates Pierette Kelly and Anthony Jarvis – at a meeting on Wednesday night.

    Gladys Berejiklian is alert AND alarmed at the cases of COVID-19 found outside the Northern Beaches and she will be directing the cops to go out on NYE to break up any big groups:

    Anthony Albanese has heard the frustrations of Labor members and has sent them all an email explaining himself. Good luck with that!

    Katharine Murphy believes we have six reasons to look on the bright side about Australian politics after a grim 2020.

    In news that should surprise no one:
    Never one to miss the opportunity a crisis presents, the treasurer has used the coronavirus pandemic to ram through changes to the way the Australian economy is regulated that will significantly shift advantage away from ordinary people.

    Paul Daley says we must go into the new year impelled by hope, because to dwell on 2020 and all its terrors and anxieties is to surrender to darkness.

    One for the engineers. The NSW government will have to overcome a series of impediments – including a lack of suppliers – before it can operate trackless trams in Sydney, an internal review of the technology by the state’s transport agency has found.

    In sad news, Pierre Cardin has passed away, age 98:

    Ross Gittins thinks we should take time to think in this gap year between Christmas and New Year:

    Latika Bourke explains how Britain’s health service is under “unprecedented pressure” officials said, as the country reported more than 53,000 cases, another record high.

    This will please sprocket_ :
    Sydney has held on to its beloved New Year’s Test after a desperate bid by the NSW government and the state’s cricket officials to keep the iconic fixture at the SCG.

    And, just in from America, a judge with a wry sense of humour:
    Iowa City: A federal judge in Iowa who has warned against political corruption is ridiculing President Donald Trump’s pardons, including those issued to convicted Republican campaign operatives and former members of Congress.

    “It’s not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals,” senior US District Judge Robert Pratt of the Southern District of Iowa told The Associated Press in a brief phone interview Monday. In a bit of humour, he said: “But apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer or a turkey.”

    Ultra short form reading, ie the cartoons:
    Matt Golding celebrating our dumpster fire of a year:

    Simon Letch

    And that’s yer bleedin’ lot! 😀

  9. CC,

    It’s not just that the cartoons aren’t funny, they are at the intellectual level of “Democrats = Bad.”
    Nothing about any policy discussion, nothing to distinguish who the payers are other than the brand Donkey or Elephant. There are no historical events, text references or anything that requires thought or knowledge. There’s no subtlety, no hidden roadbumps, potholes headlights or anything under the hood or as an ornament. I think they are indicative of the level of political discourse in the country and the outcomes that it produces when society is dumbed down.

  10. A major earthquake of magnitude 6.3 hit Croatia, killing at least seven people – including a 12-year-old girl – and causing widespread damage in a town near the capital, Zagreb.

    Firefighters rescued a man and a boy trapped in a car buried in rubble in Petrinja after buildings collapsed, leaving the streets littered with fallen bricks and covered in dust.

    Officials said a 12-year-old girl died in Petrinja, a town of some 25,000 people. Another six people were killed in nearly destroyed villages close to the town, according to HRT state television. At least 26 people were hospitalised, six with serious injuries, officials said, adding that many more people remained unaccounted for.

    “My town has been completely destroyed. We have dead children,” the town’s mayor, Darinko Dumbovic, said in a statement to HRT.

    “This is like Hiroshima – half of the city no longer exists. The city has been demolished, the city is no longer liveable. We need help.”

  11. LA is running out of Oxygen

    One of the myriad challenges facing Southern California’s medical system, which is overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, involves one of the most basic staples of any hospital.


    Officials are having problems getting the amount of oxygen needed by critically ill COVID-19 patients who are struggling to breathe as their inflamed lungs are being damaged or destroyed.

    Problems on Sunday caused at least five hospitals in L.A. County to declare an internal disaster, which closed the facilities to all ambulance traffic — not just certain types of ambulance patients, as is more typical.

  12. Day by day the SMH is carrying headlines such as this today “Coronavirus updates LIVE: Fears over outbreak threat in greater Sydney as mystery cases outside northern beaches revealed”.

    There is now a photo of a long queue in Wollongong awaiting testing.

    Slowly but surely, despite the low number of confirmed cases, the media (whether they realise it or not) are creating an image of the virus potentially spreading throughout Sydney and beyond.

    How should Gladys handle this? She is obviously scared to take the sort of action that Victoria employed for political reasons. But how long can she continue to read daily headlines about an increasing number of locations in greater Sydney and beyond being named as potential hot spots?

  13. citizen

    And a related question. Why does Gladys keep saying “those other states are being unreasonable”? It makes her look out of touch.

    I think she hates the fact that the public do see the sense in the border closures and do actually want the virus eliminated (when I’m sure Gladys and some of her advisers would have been happy if it just continued “circulating”).

  14. Cud chewer

    GladysB is doing deflection. Rather than acknowledge they have a problem. She makes the problem, the other states.

    She is disingenuous.

  15. Fess

    Michael Flynn is beyond disgraceful

    Also the Nashville bombing has a very big stench around it.

    The reporting has been very odd.

    Underplaying it so far.
    Lone wolf scenario of a person who was detached from society.
    Didnt want to hurt anyone yada yada.

    It was a huge explosion that caused very serious damage to infrastructure.

    I don’t believe this person acted in a vacuum in my view. I’m not buying the story being put out there so far.

  16. I was curious about Gary Varvel the US cartoonist. What fool thinks of Biden as “Socialist”?
    A self-described Christian, conservative, cartoonist.

  17. C@tmomma

    I think I’m doing well. I have a GP appointment this afternoon – scripts for new medication. I’m well up with mowing and vacuum cleaning today. A couple of appointments in due course.

    She’ll be right mate. 😇

    A very bright young doctor (with this last hospital admission) warily started to ask me about – revival – end of life stuff. I told him that I have documented my wishes and just “wave me goodbye” would be expectation.

    Back to vacuum cleaning. Toodles.

  18. @normanswan
    Every day NSW delays can be an added week to get out of it at the other end. Half hearted measures are not effective if contact tracing isn’t buttoning it down.

  19. Mr Denmore
    Who is on the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust? Last time I looked it included ex-Audit Commission chief Tony Shepherd (an architect of the infamous 2014 budget), the appalling Alan Jones and the combover conspiracy theorist Maurice Newman. There’s where the power lies.

  20. C@t:

    The Democrats tried to wedge Republicans on the $2000 payments. Tough spot for Mitch: how long can he hold things off for before he starts getting sniping and bitching from his within his caucus?

  21. President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday called President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic a “travesty” and vowed to fully use the federal government’s powers once inaugurated to speed the production and dispersal of vaccines and protective equipment.

    Biden said he would invoke the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of coronavirus vaccines. The law, enacted in 1950, gives the president the power to compel companies to produce and distribute supplies.–surge-speech/2020/12/29/47134920-49d3-11eb-a9f4-0e668b9772ba_story.html

    I read earlier that at the current rate of vaccination it will take 10 years for America to vaccinate 80% of its population. 10 years!

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