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Federal Election 2013

Aug 28, 2013

ReachTEL: 53-47 to Coalition

This morning brings a ReachTEL national automated poll consistent with the result of the last such poll a fortnight ago, and also with the overall polling trend.

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A ReachTEL automated phone poll of 3500 respondents, conducted on Monday and released today by Channel Seven, has the Coalition leading 53-47, unchanged from the last national ReachTEL poll on August 10. The only primary vote provided at this stage is that Labor is down 1.2% to 35.7%. The poll also finds the Coalition paid parental leave scheme supported by 30% and opposed by 48.4%, Tony Abbott leading Kevin Rudd on ReachTEL’s idiosyncratic preferred prime minister measure by 53.6-46.4, 41.9% believing Labor made the right choice in replacing Julia Gillard with Kevin Rudd against 40.5% for the wrong choice and 74% expecting the Coalition to win the election.

We also had yesterday a Galaxy automated phone poll of 575 respondents from the northern Adelaide fringe seat of Wakefield courtesy of The Advertiser, which is presumably treating us progressively to polling from South Australia’s most marginal seats. This one showed Labor’s Nick Champion leading his Liberal challenger Tom Zorich 55-45, suggesting a swing to the Liberals of between 5% and 6%. The primary votes were 45% for Champion and 35% for Zorich.

Further raw material for tea-leaf reading from The Australian, whose lead story yesterday essentially consisted of an account of where its reporters believe things to stand. This was consolidated into a “call of the card” laying out which seats might change hands and with what likelihood. Those of you who might wish to write this off as a contrivance of Murdoch propagandists can feel free, but since the aggregate findings sit pretty well with BludgerTrack, I’m inclined to regard it as welcome intelligence as to how the campaigns are seeing things.

UPDATE: BludgerTrack has since been updated with big-sample state breakdowns provided to me by ReachTEL, so some of the numbers cited below have changed quite a bit.

Where BludgerTrack presently counts eight losses for Labor in New South Wales, The Australian’s list sees six as likely if you include Dobell (which I do) plus one strong chance and two possibles. Aside from Dobell (margin 5.2%), the seats listed as likely losses are Labor’s five most marginal: Greenway (0.9%), Robertson (1.1%), Lindsay (1.2%), Banks (1.5%) and Reid (2.7%). However, the picture of a uniform swing breaks down with Werriwa (6.8%) being rated a strong chance and Kingsford Smith (5.2%) and McMahon (7.9%) as possibilities. So while Labor has fires to fight all over Sydney and the central coast, it appears set to be spared in its seats further afield, namely Eden-Monaro (4.2%), Page (4.2%) and Richmond (7.0%). There also appears to be inconsistency in Sydney to the extent that Parramatta (4.4%) and Barton (6.9%) are not listed.

In Victoria, The Australian’s assessment is well in line with BludgerTrack’s call of three Liberal gains in having two listed as likely (Corangamite on 0.3% and La Trobe on 1.7%) and another as a strong chance (Deakin on 0.9%). Labor’s next most marginal seat in Victoria, Chisholm (5.8%), is evidently considered a bridge too far. The only seat featured from South Australia is the “strong chance” of Hindmarsh (6.1%), but BludgerTrack is not quite seeing it that way, the swing currently recorded there being lower than what most observers expect.

Redressing all that slightly is a list of seats which Labor might gain, albeit that it is very short. Brisbane (1.2%) is rated a “likely Coalition loss”, and despite what published polls might say Peter Beattie is rated a strong chance in Forde (1.7%). The Western Australian seat of Hasluck (0.6%) is also listed as a possible Labor gain. However, a report elsewhere in the paper cites Labor MPs saying hopes there have faded, while Andrew Probyn of The West Australian today relates that Liberal polling has them leading 53-47 from 46% of the primary vote against 36% for Labor and 9% for the Greens.

Queensland and Western Australia also have seats listed on the other side of the ledger, especially Queensland. With Queensland we find the one serious breakdown with a BludgerTrack projection, one which in this case I have long been noting as problematic. The Australian lists Moreton (1.2%), Petrie (2.6%) and Capricornia (3.7%) as likely Labor losses, to which are added the strong chance of Blair (4.3%) and the possibility of Kevin Rudd indeed losing Griffith (8.5%). However, the latter seems a bit hard to credit if neighbouring Brisbane is to be deemed a likely Labor gain, and Lilley (3.2%), Rankin (5.4%) and Oxley (5.8%) left off the chopping block.

In Western Australia, Labor’s possible gain of Hasluck is balanced by a possible loss of Brand (3.4%). This tends to confirm my suspicion that BludgerTrack, on which Labor’s numbers in WA have soured considerably recently, is erring slightly on the harsh side with respect to Labor. Bass and Braddon are listed as likely Labor losses for Tasmania, with Lyons (12.3%) only rated a possibility and Franklin (10.8%) not in play. Powered by what may have been an exaggerated result from ReachTEL on the weekend, BludgerTrack is calling it three losses for Labor in Tasmania with only one seat spared. The Northern Territory seat of Lingiari (3.8%) is rated by The Australian as a possible loss, while BludgerTrack has it as likely.

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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1,413 thoughts on “ReachTEL: 53-47 to Coalition

  1. Edward StJohn

    Only 10 more sleeps to the day of fundamental injustice mk2

  2. sprocket_

    [ONLY half of Australia’s 12 million voters have decided who they are going to vote for.

    According to a new poll from Auspoll, older voters (60 per cent) outstripped younger voters under 30 (35 per cent) in having already made up their minds before September 7.

    The Coalition also had 65 per cent of its voters locked in while Labor had 56 per cent.

    The survey of almost 1500 people said only 51 per cent of all who responded had definitely decided who they would back.

    Auspoll senior research partner Darryl Nelson said those voters yet to make a decision generally settled outside the major parties.

    “Voters who are yet to decide at all who they will vote for are also most likely to be leaning towards a minor party (other than ALP, Coalition or Greens), and are also most likely to be doing so as a protest vote,” Mr Nelson said.

    “This disenchanted segment of people represents around 10 per cent of the electorate, and they almost certainly represent a key battleground for the rest of the campaign.

    “What the research highlights about this swing segment is that there’s a very clear desire among them to see which party leader can demonstrate the best vision for Australia.

    “This is a key reason they’re still waiting to make up their minds, which suggests both Mr Abbott and Mr Rudd still have the opportunity to take this election by the horns, show some much-needed leadership beyond all the petty politicking, and actually win this election – rather than simply hoping the other guy loses it.”]


  3. BK

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    How on EARTH can this expensive cash lottery create more jobs in a market constrained by opportunity? It is craziness in the extreme!
    It’s very easy to fix problems such as these. Just cut the schools loose from all government funding.
    We can’t wait to see you explain all this at the NPC today, Joe.
    Surely this is a valid concern. Not to nention the abilities and temprament of many of his motley team. Joyce, Miriabella anyone?
    If ever there was need of proof of disgusting temprament and judgement it is this.
    Ross Gittins exposes the widening gap in the financial situations of the rich and the rest.
    The Conversation posits that Australia can’t afford the Coalition’s Fraudband.
    Abbott could be in for a rough ride if he wins – all of his own making.
    This is a thoroughly sickening situation..

  4. BK

    Section 2 . . .

    Caroline Wilson wraps up the Essendon saga’s outcomes. And Mr Teflon Andrew Dimitriou escapes once again!
    David Pope with James Hird.
    Pat Campbell with a clever one.
    David Rowe – again with a nautical theme – indicates all that is apparently left in Rudd’s locker.
    Ron Tandberg on the electoral bake off.

  5. Gauss

    So Joe Hockey will release Budget Office costings today showing that the LNP PPL scheme will add $1.1B to the bottom line over the forward estimates.


    Parliamentary Budget Office costings for the forward estimates (2015-16/2016-17)

    GROSS COST of the leave scheme——————-$9.8B
    Removing existing Labor scheme——————-$3.7B
    Removing existing commonwealth/state schemes—–$1.2B
    Other adjustments to government spending/revenue-$1.6B

    NET COST of the leave scheme———————$3.3B
    Income from 1.5% company tax levy—————-$4.4B


    THE Coalition will today counter Kevin Rudd’s most potent political attack by releasing official Parliamentary Budget Office costings that show Tony Abbott’s controversial paid parental leave scheme will actually make money for the budget over the next four years.

    Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey will use a National Press Club debate with Chris Bowen in Canberra to release costings that show the scheme will add $1.1 billion to the budget bottom line for the two years it operates in the forward estimates. The costings also reveal the Coalition’s proposed 1.5 per cent company tax levy, which exempts small businesses, will raise $4.4bn towards funding the $9.8bn scheme in its first two years. The Prime Minister has repeatedly warned voters the “unfair and unaffordable” scheme would leave taxpayers $22bn worse off over four years, escalating the claim in a television interview last night that took aim at the Opposition Leader’s “temperament” and “judgment”.

  6. Meguire Bob


    newsltd stories about costings is as reliable as the coalition , they are likely to be lies

  7. CTar1

    BK – The Pope is good.

    I saw a film clip of Hird and his wife on AJ earlier.

    It looks like it has now penetrated that the gravy train is almost over and that he is marked as a drug cheat.

    Essendon will have him back in 12 months but 1 or so years after that the board will decide that he is no longer required and no other club will want him and no lucrative TV sports commentating either.

  8. Rosemour or Less

    Chris Bowen will need two pairs of undies today.

    Anyway, only 10 days to ALP Renewal Day.

    Finally free of the Rudd.

  9. troyski

    Gauss @5

    The media has been suckered in by the Coalition saying its policies are costed. There is no $4.4. Billion from the 1.5% levy when compared to the current budget and tax arrangements. It’s a levy that only keeps tax at Current levels for those companies. So how is the $4.4 billion being paid for? As well as the other fluffy $1.6billion from other savings measures. That’s $6billion per year that needs to be found to pay for this. I can just bet the lazy journos don’t add this up. Worse, Labor won’t be able to call it out for he nonsense it is.

  10. zoidlord


    It’s because it is.

    Wow adding $1.1 billion, while taxing both top 3000 companies and normal every day Australians.

  11. CTar1


    [Finally free of the Rudd.]

    And you seemed enthusiastic about him returning!

  12. Meguire Bob

    labor should replace bowen with kim Carr

    With Kim carr being capable of out bellowing hockey , it will at least put more pressure on hockey