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. D&M
    You are right. Dan Kildee is a Democrat. I don’t know why I thought he was a Republican.

    And yes, he was certainly passionate and eloquent with his anger.

  2. What is Xi’s priority?
    Some economists talk as if they know that it is Xi’s reputation and the negative economic consequence therefrom.
    Recently there was a major multi-lateral deal involving, inter alia, China and… Australia.
    The EU has just signed a mega trade deal with China.
    The UK will be hot on their heels.
    Where is the reputational damage?

    But what if Xi’s priority is to conquer Taiwan?

  3. and Dave, losing his ‘voice’ must have been hugely important – Twitter, Facebook, et al blocked him.

    I see a big Trump blimp balloon blurting farts into nowhere land as it deflates careering around an empty void.

  4. boerwar @ #4112 Thursday, January 7th, 2021 – 8:04 pm

    What is Xi’s priority?

    But what if Xi’s priority is to conquer Taiwan?

    The CCP aim for “Heavenly Peace”.

    The form of words go back to the days of the Emperors I believe.

    Which means anyone. ANYONE who opposes or objects, insults, questions CCP which IS Xi etc – will be dealt with.

    Of course conquering Taiwan is a priority, maybe closer then we know.

    A weakened US will just make it so much easier.

    EU so called trade deal is another coup for Xi. Cream on the cake and a finger to ‘others’.

    If you can listen through or just jump to the 5 minute mark, Chris Hayes points out there have been successful coups in the US. He lists them and says, “You don’t learn about them because they were successful.” It reinforces why we should also try to remember the shameful stuff we do.

  6. These two posts taken together illustrate just how far Morrison and the LNP have moved in the direction of the ratbag right. Morrison has an ego as big as Trump’s and just cannot imagine how far he himself has moved from the centre. Like Trump, Morrison gives free rein to those espousing extremist views, encouragement even. Also like Trump, he enjoys the benefit of Murdoch’s malign interventions.

    Morrison is obviously remaining loyal to Trump to the bitter end, to the detriment of Australia as a whole but that obviously does not currently seem to bother him one iota. Perhaps he does sometimes reflect on what the American people did to Trump but there is no evidence of that at the moment.

    guytaur says:
    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 7:08 pm
    @SwannyQld tweeted an hour ago.
    The Trumpification of the Liberal Party under Morrison has accelerated as his refusal to condemn Trump and his supporters confirms #auspol


    Simon Katich says:
    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 7:08 pm
    F me. 137 House Republicans have objected to the legitimate vote in PA. Only 64 supported the legitimate vote. So, about 2/3rds of the party just opposed democracy.
    The Repugs. An authoritarian regime in waiting.

  7. Can the Dems amalgamate existing states?
    Why not join Wyoming and Montana as well as creating new states of DC and Puerto Rico?
    That cuts two GOP senators while adding 4 Dem senators.

  8. guytaur

    Bad news for Putin and Xi. The United States has retained its democracy

    It was an excellent day for them. The ‘gleaming democracy’ of Murika has splattered itself with a fair amount of faeces over the past year.

  9. lizzie @ #3744 Thursday, January 7th, 2021 – 6:18 pm

    Tao de Haas
    I gave myself permission to take the day off and be glued to CNN. Boy, compared to their political commentators we are really badly served here. With a few exceptions, ours are most vanilla.

    I’ve been glued to CNN, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, too! It’s 4.30am over there and they’re still going!

    Fyi, Trump has finally released a statement promising an orderly transfer of power to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Only after the Electoral Votes were tallied.

  10. BW

    The new/change to State constitutional provisions is something I’ve looked at before, in the context of California splitting into 2 or 3. This and adding a new State is easier than combining 2 existing states, who all have to agree

    Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1:

    New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.


    They include mandatory mask use on all domestic and international flights.

    I suggested that months ago.

    Travellers from the UK will be required to undergo rapid testing pre-flight and post-flight that would deliver a result within hours or even minutes.

    I suggested this also many months ago and was scoffed at.

    Queensland hotel quarantine staff will now be tested every shift rather than every week

    And why didn’t NSW implement this months ago as Victoria did? What is it? Four quarantine breaches in a month? And instead of me being able to go safely to Sydney right about now, I’m going to have to put it off for more months. Fuck you Gladys and your miserable “risk management”.

  12. * Trump lies, even when he sometimes doesn’t.
    * Trump is always transactional.
    * Trump only ever cares about Trump.
    Remembering that helps when parsing this.

    “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”

  13. Americas hangover

    The telephone blasted Peter Fallow awake inside an egg with the shell peeled away and only the membranous sac holding it intact. Ah! The membranous sac was his head, and the right side of his head was on the pillow, and the yolk was as heavy as mercury, and it rolled like mercury, and it was pressing down on his right temple and his right eye and his right ear. If he tried to get up to answer the telephone, the yolk, the mercury, the poisoned mass, would shift and roll and rupture the sac, and his brains would fall out.

    Tom Wolfe


    CCTV footage, Opal cards, EFTPOS cards, even your “rewards” card.. all used to track you. All of which I approve of. They don’t mention the fact that anyone who uses Google apps is being tracked and its pretty easy to find your own movement history.

    The “app” that Scomo milked as a marketing excuse to prematurely ease restrictions in May. Instead of merely handshaking with other phones, what it should have done is not communicate at all with other phones. Instead what it should have done is simply log your location moment to moment and store that locally on your phone. No one gets to see your location log until you explicitly press a button to send it and also it could have downloaded exposure site data and alerted you automatically.

    I should get paid more..

  15. “ Why not join Wyoming and Montana as well as creating new states of DC and Puerto Rico?”

    Why stop there?

    You could merge all of the Mississippi drainage basin into one (republican) state and Appalachia into another. Huzzah!

  16. ‘Threat to democracy’: World leaders appalled by storming of US Capitol

    Leaders around the world have expressed shock at the storming of the Capitol in the United States, a country they once relied upon for global leadership.

    But Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stopped short of criticising Mr Trump for inciting the violence, saying “it is not for me to offer commentary on world leaders”.

    How lucky are we?!

  17. Morrison will drop any association with Trump with ease. Deny, obstruct, dismiss, with the media falling into line. The Australian dilemma, Morrison’s chosen best pal diplomacy with Trump and Morrison’s big mouth. A reckless combination.
    China will conduct the puppet strings with agility, the Australian exporters will react with anger and the Australian economy will deteriorate.
    Biden well advised to show support for Australia and well advised to avoid the marketeer.
    Albanese will look much more attractive to both the China trade and a considered Biden.
    Morrison will be very reluctantly call an early election. Typical smartarse is Morrison.

  18. I think making DC and Puerto Rico into new States is a simple majority in both houses, which Biden now has. And they get 2 Senators each AFAIK

  19. CCTV footage, Opal cards, EFTPOS cards, even your “rewards” card.. all used to track you. All of which I approve of. They don’t mention the fact that anyone who uses Google apps is being tracked and its pretty easy to find your own movement history.

    All of which was (as I pointed out) completely bloody obvious to anyone but the girly-men, Trotsky tragics, and un-reconstructed hippies here, reliving their undergraduate glory days when The Pigs were stalking them and logging their every subversive movement as they went about plotting the end of the latest Fascist Liberal government.

    THEY thought that in 2020 ScoMo gave a shit that they went to Bunnings twice in one week.

    He didn’t, and he doesn’t.

  20. If you are a spiv politician in canberra these days – that relatively new (and costly) fence around our parliament would be looking good value and well timed atm in case the locals get restless ?

    Mind you the gates/ doors always open to convoys of the incontinent etc to ‘ditch witches’ etc etc… or banjo music and their followers.

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