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Federal Politics

Jul 31, 2013

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The weekly BludgerTrack update erases the 0.5% edge the Coalition gained in the wake of last week’s Newspoll, and finds Labor the tiniest fraction more likely than the Coalition to win a majority of seats. Labor has made a net gain of two on the seat projection, Queensland again showing its sensitivity with a two-seat shift on the basis of a very small vote change and a second gain projected for Labor in Western Australia (though I’d be a bit careful with the smaller state results at the moment, polling at that level having become leaner recently). This has been counterbalanced by a one seat move to the Coalition in New South Wales, where the Labor score remains on the cusp of 25 and 26.

The primary and two-party vote results are all but identical to the weekend’s Galaxy poll, which is the weightiest of the new data points. Included as always are Morgan, which was unusually soft for Labor this week, and Essential, which retains its slight lean to the Coalition relative to the rest of the field but has perhaps been trending slightly to Labor over the past few weeks. The one very bad new poll for Labor, the weekend’s ReachTEL result showing Labor to lose three of its four Tasmanian seats, has been included in the state relativities calculation. While its inclusion has weakened Labor’s two-party vote projection in the state by nearly 3% in relative terms, the model is not persuaded that Lyons will be joining Bass and Braddon on the casualty list.

The trendlines on the sidebar now paint a picture of monotonous consistency since the Rudd restoration, the so-called “sugar hit” having endured long enough to offer the Coalition real cause for alarm. However, very close observation of the primary votes provides some indication of movement beneath the surface. A poll aggregator like BludgerTrack presumes to have a margin of error of a bit over 1%, and while this is founded on dubious assumptions, it at least gives a rough pointer to the size of movement that should and shouldn’t interest us. One move outside the range concerns the Greens, who opened their account under Rudd at around 9%, sagged nearly a full point by the time of the asylum seeker policy announcement (remembering the margin of error diminishes the further a result gets from 50%), and have now recovered back to the starting point.

The other noteworthy change involves the “others” vote, which started the year at around 10%, increased to 12.5% as Labor bled primary vote support in the last six months under Julia Gillard, snapped back to around 9% when Rudd returned, and has trended downwards over the past four weeks to its present 7.5%. Part of that may have been absorbed by the Coalition in a general trend resulting from the media losing interest in some of the minor players, but it seems intuitively likely that a greater share comes from Labor leaners who have been won over after initial hesitancy by Rudd’s political initiatives. There may have been some deflation in the Rudd honeymoon balloon going on concurrently, with the Coalition primary vote at least holding level and perhaps rising slightly, but Rudd’s evident political successes have at the very least cancelled it out.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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3191 comments

3,191 thoughts on “BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0

  1. Mod Lib

    “The milk of human kindness doth overflow”

    Tell the people smugglers that. Maybe you can donate some money for a boat with a hull?

  2. alias:

    As I said, you remind me of me 3 years ago.

    In 2010 we were all saying the same thing about parents walking into school yards to vote and bursting with pride about the school hall and this translating to the ballot paper.

    It didn’t translate to votes in 2010 when voters walked past the signs erected in the school yard, and it won’t happen in 2013, 6 years, no schoolyard sign, and 3 years of denigration of the stimpac later.

  3. davidwh@3150


    Dave I agree we aren’t trying to emulate the US and Europe however those are the economies our politicians love to compare us to.

    those are the economies tory politicians love to { try} to compare us to.

    Unsuccessfully.

  4. Mod Lib@3148


    It sucks this happened but for as long as people choose to get on boats their kids will be drowning.


    The milk of human kindness doth overflow

    If they get on boats in another country, then there is nothing that can be done directly to stop them.

    Either you approve of effective deterrence or you approve of drowning.

    We all know you are on record as approving drownings.

    Shame on you Mod. 😡

  5. absolutetwaddle@3149

    New2This

    “I know the facts. I was sending letter after letter during HIP asking questions of garret and Rudd. No reply to this day.”

    Maybe they were too busy responding to the same ridiculous talking points in parliament. Look at Hansard.

    Yeah, they get a lot of ‘crank’ letters from obvious nutters and cannot respond personally to all.

  6. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/parents-worried-about-abbott-plan-to-make-public-schools-go-independent-20130802-2r454.html

    push by a federal Coalition government to turn public schools into independent schools could impose a heavy burden on staff and parents and lead to a “two-tiered” government system, according to an alliance of parent groups in NSW.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/parents-worried-about-abbott-plan-to-make-public-schools-go-independent-20130802-2r454.html#ixzz2aotPSjqA

    read more lots more

  7. Actually, Confessions, there are schoolyard signs in my area. All three schools I walk past every day still have BER signs up. And like I say, I’m in a highly marginal Labor held electorate.

    I just think that if Abbott makes a huge deal out of Rudd’s alleged lack of capacity for “implmentation” that the stark reality of school halls that saved Australia from a devastating GFC recession might whack them between the eyes.

    Yes, I get that all this happened a few years ago, but sometimes reality takes a while to seep through.

  8. The BER sign is still up at my local primary school too. I’m in Melbourne Ports.

    The classrooms look great, by the way. Better than the rest of the school!

  9. davidwh@3156


    Both sides of politics Dave although for completely different reasons.

    Tories are wRONg. You know it.

    Cline knows it. International Bankers know it.

    Tories know it, And they hate it.

    Voters know the tories are talking crap about it.

    Abbott knows it – gutless to debate rudd.

    People will vote soon on it.

  10. Bradbury MP ‏@DavidBradburyMP 1 Aug
    @MRowlandMP @edhusicMP and I tonight at the Teachers Federation candidates’ forum. Shame Fiona Scott didn’t show. pic.twitter.com/LRFaq0roD0

  11. [Actually, Confessions, there are schoolyard signs in my area. All three schools I walk past every day still have BER signs up. ]

    The signs are up in my area as well, and have been for the last few years.

    [I just think that if Abbott makes a huge deal out of Rudd’s alleged lack of capacity for “implmentation” that the stark reality of school halls that saved Australia from a devastating GFC recession might whack them between the eyes.]

    I don’t know if you’ve seen the news tonight, but Abbott and the coalition have me-tooed on Gonski and education reform. Education is therefore null and void unless the govt can pull something out of a hat to counter. Doubtful given the budget situation.

    I say again: please don’t hang your hat on voters rescuing the govt on school halls, because it’s most unlikely to happen, regardless of how many signs you have up where you are.

  12. bemused

    “Yeah, they get a lot of ‘crank’ letters from obvious nutters and cannot respond personally to all.”

    Years back I sent a polite and rather lengthy letter off to Stephen Conroy opposing ISP-level mandatory filtering. I got a reply.

    So long as you try to be civil and provide a return address you’re pretty likely to get a reply. I think it’s safe to assume New2This sent a snarky and oddly punctuated screed to Garret that was put in the office loony bin.

  13. [I don’t know if you’ve seen the news tonight, but Abbott and the coalition have me-tooed on Gonski and education reform. Education is therefore null and void unless the govt can pull something out of a hat to counter. ]

    Except that Abbott is still opposing all the revenue and savings measures that Labor has announced to pay for Gonski. Abbott’s “commitment” therefore has no credibility because he has no clue how to fund it. Education is therefore far from null and void.

  14. [Education is therefore far from null and void.]

    I sincerely doubt the press gallery will call Pyne/Abbott on their announcements today.

    The issue isn’t null and void in the same way Liberals want boats to be null and void.

  15. [Education is therefore null and void unless the govt can pull something out of a hat to counter. Doubtful given the budget situation. ]

    Isn’t the obvious thing that the tories stand for nothing on this – after sneering and snarling about these reforms are going no where, are not required etc – all of a sudden they ‘Agree’ – great idea.

    Lets see how it plays out. Tories doing the same on other stuff ?

  16. I love that Labor supporters are now spouting the benefits of stopping the boats after a decade of ridicule, angst and deriding of Howard for doing exactly that.

  17. [I love that Labor supporters are now spouting the benefits of stopping the boats after a decade of ridicule, angst and deriding of Howard for doing exactly that.]

    Not me, pal.

  18. I left this morning saying something must be worrying LNP people with Cranky, baby Sean etc plus the fence sitter Rummel in full throat, came back this afternoon after a most enjoyable day in Edinburgh riding the buses with my little grandsons, and what do I find scrolling through PB the abovementioned still going strong(what constitutions) plus joined by New To It (what a misnomer of a name) Silmjah? and of course the perennial Mod Lib. Who is missing assuming Natalie and assorted family members will turn up next :devil:

  19. [3103
    Compact Crank

    Zoidy @3085 US and Australian economies are fundamentally different. We cannot safely carry the same level of debt that the US can.]

    Despite this, the debt:gdp ratios in the US and Australia are roughly the same – that is, total system debt is around 260% of the economy in each case. The difference is that in Australia the debt is held mostly in the private sector, where it is a threat to financial stability; while in the US
    the Government share of total debt is much higher, and poses no risk to stability at all. The accumulation of excessive private sector debt is the lasting consequence of mismanagement by the Howard/Costello duo.

  20. Evening all, cricket going well (495/7).

    Anyone care to comment whether this is news or just guesswork:
    [Kevin Rudd plans to visit the Governor-General on Sunday or Monday to seek approval for an election on September 7.
    Sources have told Fairfax Media that Mr Rudd has now settled on the date and will fire the starter’s gun on what promises to be one of the most intense political contests in memory.]
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/pm-decides-election-set-for-sept-7-20130802-2r4x4.html#ixzz2ap2HZT4J

  21. [Evening all, cricket going well (495/7).

    Anyone care to comment whether this is news or just guesswork:]
    I think this is believable. He was clearly being put under a lot of pressure to go early and the football finals makes later weeks hard.

  22. Socrates

    “Anyone care to comment whether this is news or just guesswork…”

    It’s from an anonymous source which means it came from Rudd which means it’s probably true.:p

    Looks like I’ll be seeing Abbott’s concession speech earlier than first expected!

    *popcorn*

  23. [SO, zoidlord

    Thanks, so not confirmed but plausible.]
    And there are other clues apparently, such as the Labor media unit is now at a HQ in Melbourne rather than at Parliament House, it was shifted earlier this week.

    The government made a bunch of statutory appointments this week which would have to be made before an election is called.

  24. Still not sure of the sense of the govts bank deposit levy.
    All it has done has given the opposition and the right wing media another opportunity to bash the “big taxing” labor govt.
    It would have been better to just scrap the guarantee completely; it’s not like the banks are going to fall over any time soon.

  25. @Henry/3181

    Apparently Coalition Party was planning for one anyway, so that wouldn’t make sense.

    http://www.news.com.au/money/banking/banks-to-fork-out-protection-levy-in-move-proposed-by-the-council-of-financial-regulators/story-e6frfmcr-1226689723575

    However Mr Hockey could not rule out adopting the levy himself if the Coalition won government at the upcoming election.

    “We want to speak to the banks about it,” Mr Hockey said.

    “We want to find out exactly if they are going to pass it on in full to their customers.”

  26. [Still not sure of the sense of the govts bank deposit levy.]
    A tiny tax on the world’s most profitable banks. I see little political damage from it and it only underlines the lack of any explanation from Abbott on how he will pay for his own unfunded policies.

  27. [Is a Snap election possible? and can that be called upon during the weekend?]

    A September election would hardly be a “snap election,” since 21 August will be the third anniversary of the 2010 election. Rudd can see the GG any time that’s convenient for her and can announce it whenever he likes. Sunday evening would seem the logical time to dominate the Monday morning media.

  28. Just past 2am AET and except for William not a peep out of PBers, sleep well you will need all the strength you can muster for the following couple of months. Naturally I leave a few off my hopes for a peaceful night sleep. wonder who they are?? :devil:

  29. Crank

    Very true Australia and the U.S are vastly difference, whilst there is room for the Australian Government to improve structurally but overall Australia is a better run country than the U.S

    This can be put down to the efforts of both major parties in the policy settings that they have followed.

    Australia hasn’t got a debt problem, it has issues but when compared to the U.S ours are more to do with process and perception whilst the Americans have a serious mis-mash.

  30. Mod Lib 3005

    Yes that is an interesting graph but part of that debt reduction during Howards years was achieved by shifting debt to private hands.

    Side note, looking at that graph I am not impressed that it seems to indicate debt heading towards 22% of GDP.

    Sure every business carries some levels of debt but that GDP to debt ratio needs to be brought down.

  31. 3147
    zoidlord
    [ http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/we-have-a-debt-problem-says-nab-chief-20130801-2r29e.html

    ”Most investors around the world are up to their eyeballs in northern-hemisphere government paper. We have a unique window, as a AAA nation, with strong demand for AAA debt, to issue that debt and divert it to productive infrastructure.”

    things like NBN etc.]

    If ever there was a textbook case for grabbing that rare chance of ultra-low interest money and making major public investment in physical infrastructure, it is with the NBN.

    And keep the damn thing in public hands too. Don’t sell it off.