tip off

BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0

On the back of the Coalition’s best poll result since November, the BludgerTrack aggregate finds Labor’s two-party lead evaporating and the Coalition back in charge on the seat projection.

The slump in Labor support recorded in the year’s first Nielsen poll has been exactly enough to erase a two-party lead in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which it had enjoyed since mid-December. This was despite a strong result for Labor from Essential Research, which appears to be maintaining its curious status as a lagged indicator. On the state breakdowns, the biggest movement is in Victoria, where Nielsen had Labor’s lead at a well below-par 52-48. This has helped cut the Victorian swing on BludgerTrack from 7.9% to 4.3%, and reduced Labor’s projected seat gain from five to two. Elsewhere, Labor is down one seat each in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. The overall projection is now for a Coalition absolute majority, providing another indication that the BludgerTrack model considers the electoral terrain to be weighted in the Coalition’s favour. Leadership ratings from Nielsen provided further evidence of diminishing support for Bill Shorten, who is now only fractionally ahead of Tony Abbott on net approval. Abbott’s lead of about 10% as preferred prime minister has nonetheless been stable since early December, as has his slightly negative net approval rating. Full results as always on the sidebar.

  • 51
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Scoott Morriscum


  • 52
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink


    Dorothy has given us more today.

    She shows how big business has bought [cheap at twice the price] the 2 big parties [Laberal 1 and Laberal 2] to enact the policies they want.

    But this piece in ZDNet, Lobby pushing for Australian piracy crackdown donates millions, which explains how policy-making works in Australia, deserves as wide a circulation as possible:
    “As Attorney-General George Brandis looks to clamp down on online copyright infringement, one of the main members of the recently renamed content industry lobby group, the Australian Screen Association (ASA) has been revealed to have donated close to AU$4 million to the Liberal and Labor parties since 1998.”

    Bugger the public.

  • 53
    Simon Katich
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    fess’ 47

    The sadness of it ‘fess is that I couldnt figure it out at first (and still not 100% sure) if it is sarcasm.

  • 54
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Special Qanda tonight

    Thursday, 20 February
    Christine Lagarde – Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

  • 55
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Wages growth is around the 2.6% figure, about the same as inflation if not less.

    Hardly a wages breakout or out of control

    More Abbott lies

  • 56
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Phillip Coorey
    Imagine if the ABC blamed the Navy

  • 57
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Good Morning

    I think spur summed up the situation really well.

    Though to be fair this government has been such a smorgasbord of incompetence he Labor theme of attack is as specific as it can be to date.

    I expect the SPC failed deal exposed about lower wages is going to refine that attack.


    I add my praise for your patrol. I had trouble keeping up on the reading of it. Your collation efforts are great and very very much appreciated by me.

  • 58
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    “@david_manne: About to be on @774melbourne with Jon Faine”

  • 59
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Wages growth is around the 2.6% figure, about the same as inflation if not less.

    Wages are .1% less than inflation.

    Workers wages are going backwards.
    Particularly for those below that magical and mystical statistical concept called ‘average’.

  • 60
    Simon Katich
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    aussieachmed 55
    Jericho often takes a swipe at the Sloan types and wages.

    Here is one article…

  • 61
    Simon Katich
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    AA 55

    this article was gold, not exactly about wages but…


  • 62
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Special Qanda tonight

    Gawd, surely once a week is more than enough Qanda!

  • 63
    Simon Katich
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Me too on the work by BK. I share it extensively. Thanks!

  • 64
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink


    Its not going to be a good QandA for Abbott and Hockey. All the myths about austerity are going to be exposed.

    The Murdochracy will be reduced to attacking credibility. The credibility of the head of the International Monetary Fund.

    As a result Murdoch’s mob will take another circulation hit as more people wake up.

  • 65
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Abbott’s dream!

    @abcnews: In case you missed it: Scientists use computer chips to link two monkeys, allows one to control the other’s movement http://t.co/hNfpz9234Z

  • 66
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Shorten is doing a Melbourne Press Club address at 1pm

  • 67
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    guytaur @66

    Murdoch was way ahead of them .

  • 68
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Simon – great article.

    Shows Abbott is still lying.

    Perhaps there should a look at the truths Abbott and his inept government have told.

    It would be short

  • 69
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    A wages breakout is impossible without a centralised wage fixing system which was abolished in the 1990’s in Australia by Keating.

    All the talk about it is merely political positioning by the Coalition to conflate Fair Work Australia with comparative wage justice to the business community. There are fossilised parts of the ALP that want to do the same thing in order to “get back the base” … I used to think this sort of thinking was more widespread in the ALP. Now I know it’s mostly due to the ALP’s inability to articulate the key differences between enterprise bargaining and WorkChoices

  • 70
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    David Rowe takes us into Abbott & Co’s jobs and “transferees” factory.

    O the irony – how many of those effected put abbott in so that he could do this to them. He doesn’t even need to give it all a label like Work Choices.


    Commiserations to the others.

  • 71
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Oh dear the US has one

    @PoliticalTicker: Palin backs Abbott after Nugent appearance, endorses Sessions’ challenger http://t.co/ttBGh2R98w

  • 72
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink


    They have already done the experiment with humans, linking Rupert and Abbott

  • 73
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    With any cuts to Medicare, watch carefully how women respond to such a policy or proposal to do such a thing. That is all

  • 74
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    “@political_alert: The PM is in Sydney this morning and will attend the launch of NAB’s 2014 Reconciliation Action Plan at 10.30am #auspol”

  • 75
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    ” Attempting to close down information on how this is being done is a very small price we uninformed citizens pay to know that there are people stuck helplessly and indefinitely in Indonesia who would otherwise be drowned. Sure, part of the small price we pay is that we do not know the extent to which our relationship with Indonesia has deteriorated courtesy of our own border incursions (and dog knows what else), but we know it has thanks to Marty saying so. Funnily enough Julie can’t see any deterioration which informs about her understanding of the price we pay. Nor can the full cost of a deterioration of our relationship with Indonesia ever be known. So best to ignore it.”

    Windhover, shutting down communications is not about ‘operational matters’ but rather letting the government controlling the discourse on the subject. If ‘drownings’ were a major concern for the LNP, and they truly believed shutting down media on the issue was important, why didn’t they suggest the approach while they were in opposition? i.e, they could have opted for a bipartisan approach to help save lives. No, instead they opted to exploit the issue for political again. Abbott, in opposition, constantly invited the media to press conferences, presented a billboard counting boat arrivals, and essentially goaded asylum seekers to come to Australia because the ALP were ‘soft.’ If the ALP did the same now, they would be accused of compromising a military operation. The LNP asylum seeker policy is about winning votes. Period. Only a fool thinks that Morrison is upset by the drownings at sea.

    Is the policy working? 1) We don’t know due to secrecy of the government; and 2) The ends should not justify the means (if we started torpedoing boats, I am sure they would stop – a intelligent response would be to find a humane approach to dealing with the issue, it is politically cowardly to suggest that one cannot be reached).

  • 76
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    “@Thefinnigans: Former Indo FM Hassan Wirajuda said formal communications between Aust and Indonesia has reached a DEAD-END – how more serious can it get?”

  • 77
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Age of Entitlement still exists for mining companies

  • 78
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    @Thefinnigans: http://t.co/YDhojphfws – Hassan Wirajuda: Komunikasi Formal Indonesia-Australia Buntu

  • 79
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink


    Maybe satire to you, but a good slab of the Oz voting public, actually think this is the way to go with Morrison.

    On talk-back radio, I have heard it said “Shoot a few on the beach and that will get the message across” without one tut-tut from the presenter.

    The attitude towards AS, for a goodly number, is driven by fear, envy, loathing and racism.

    You have to hand it to the conservatives for tapping into this concern and getting it to be a plus for them.

    Even one of our more right-wing Labor hacks here talks of “orderly processes” to manage the AS issue.

    Whether this is a thought-out view or tinged with fear and loathing is to be guessed at.

  • 80
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    For Sydneysiders

    If you have time eh?

    83 Clarence St
    Sydney CBD

    APparently, he is having tea with the Refugee Review Tribunal, a couple of blocks form Wynyard.

    The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, eh?

  • 81
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    @abcnews: IMF issues warning to G20 on dangers of stimulus withdrawal http://t.co/QDmK2bKIXw

  • 82
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    And Mortlock@75, said something similar.

    The rank hypocrisy of the conservatives shouting to all those they wanted to hear about boats while is opposition, now playing the national security angle to keep it all behind a veil of secrecy, does not seem to cut much ice with Joe Public.

    Reason being, of course, that many of the Oz public just want the “boats stopped” and at this point do not seem to care what is done in their name by the Oz government to make it happen.

    There is/was a good article in Crikey yesterday on the tough call Oz has to make between being seen as compassionate on the one hand, and tough on the other.

    According to the piece, we are making a poor fist of doing either.

  • 83
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    @mashable: The Future of Google Fiber: Why the Search Giant Is Betting on Broadband http://t.co/p43gds0OQx

  • 84
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink


    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:28 am | PERMALINK
    Shorten is doing a Melbourne Press Club address at 1pm

    Will this be televised?

  • 85
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink


    Was mentioned on 24 so expect so
    Hockey on 24 now

  • 86
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Thanks guytaur

  • 87
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Mark Kenny writes:

    Yet this is the country Kevin Rudd, in his second desperate incarnation as prime minister, decided should assume Australia’s international obligations to protect and permanently resettle asylum seekers arriving by boat. With this week’s fatal riots at the Manus Island immigration detention facility, the abject moral bankruptcy of that decision has been laid bare.

    Labor’s muted response to the crisis engulfing the Manus Island facility and the policy under which it was established reveals another harsh reality. Brutality is a bipartisan position.

    Manus Island is not just part of Operation Sovereign Borders, it is its linchpin. Without it, the whole offshore thing crumbles.


    There is another lynchpin: in order to make sure boats that are turned around are safe, we have to breach Indonesian territorial waters to allow the release of boats closer to shore.

    This is why the Abbott government’s policy was ultimately bad: although we were warned against Indonesia’s reaction, we had to risk it in order not to commit murder. And we had to put the remaining people in a hell-hole to deter others.

    The entire process of “stopping the boats is based on two dangerous, risky practices that are beginning to fray around the edges. Abbott and Morrison are playing a dangerous game of chicken with our international relations, the lives of others, and ultimately the opinion of the Australian people which, last time it was tested with reality, finally faltered on the fundamental injustice of what was happening in the camps and contributed to the downfall of the Howard government.

    Labor is too “soft” to stop the boats, and the Liberals can stop them, but at a huge moral and diplomatic price.

    Where is the middle ground?

    Indonesia could help, but they don’t want the boat people either, and Jakarta can’t control the petty corruption of provincial police forces, each a law unto themselves.

    People smugglers remain relatively unmolested because they pay-off the local Indonesian cops.

    The poor souls they smuggle are lied to, and that’s when anything is said to them at all, Mostly they are ignorant of the real situation.

    If we put the asylum seekers into better digs than the dongas we provide now, the rednecks and shock jocks go to town about “luxury motel accommodation”. Callers phone in to “report” swarthy men in new clothes living high on the hog just down the road from them.

    If we make their life a misery, the Lefties take off.

    And all of the above assumes that we can slow down or stop the trade. What if we can’t?

    What if the pressure from those wanting to come here is so great that nothing will stop a few (and eventually thousands) from taking the chance they can slip through the net?

    I am not one who believes that all asylum seekers are genuinely fleeing from political oppression directed against them personally. It’s clear that many have relatives already in Australia who are in regular contact with them, and who urge them to try their luck.

    Many of them are obviously economic refugees. We have an immigration process for economic refugees. It involves filling out forms, waiting in queues and taking turns. It involves the presentation of bona fides and then more waiting. It is an orderly process. The people who come on boats have been told there is a faster way, more dangerous, and sometimes you can get killed, but one that eventually works.

    It involves criminals and corrupt police in Indonesia, well worn supply paths, looking the other way, organized crime, and an Australian immigration and legal system that gives them a hearing (which may be more than they would get in their own countries).

    Where the chain is broken or should be broken is beyond me. I am simply glad that it’s now the turn of a Liberal government to take the heat for what will inevitably follow.

    At the nub of all this is that Australia is no longer an isolated country. GPS, accurate to the metre, now allows even the most unsophisticated fishing boat skipper from an Indonesian village to get to Christmas Island.

    This was never the case before. The Vietnamese had to sail to Darwin, a far larger target on the mainland. Hard to miss. But Christmas Island is just a flyspeck on the map, now turned into a virtual “continent” by modern technology.

    Times have changed. The trip is shorter and the overwhelming majority of candidates make it through.

    Morrison is right on one thing: we DO need to protect the integrity of our sovereign borders.

    Australia as a nation state has that right. And we are permitted to use force to do so. All this is clear. If we allow economic immigrants too poor or too impatient to go through channels, people smugglers and corrupt Indonesian officials to decide our immigration policy, we are in deep trouble. We can’t solve all the world’s problems. Unfortunately it’s a buyer’s market, so Australia can pick and choose.

    It’s just solving the problem that’s the hard part. I’m really glad it’s Abbott’s baby now.

  • 88
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink


    Rudd was pursuing a real solution to the AS problem. Manus was a stopgap not the whole solution.

    The only solution is the one Labor and the Greens have long recognised.
    A negotiated Regional Solution.

    Labor has taken the approach that politics demands stop gap to get rid of the political noise.

    The Greens just want to go straight to negotiation and let the boats flow in the meantime.

    This is why Manus is a trap for the LNP. They have missed the point that Manus is stop gap not final as the numbers building up will see many more violent outbreaks as the pressure cooker boils.

  • 89
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:25 am | Permalink


    Australia have to stop pretending

    Withdrawing from the Refugee convention is the only logical step in light of the current policies

  • 90
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I recall clearly that speech of Rudd’s in June 2010 just after he was replaced as PM when he said we must not allow ourselves (the government) to be dragged to the right on border protection. The fact that we can accept what happened on Manus and still maintain bi-partisan support for the Manus facility shows how right Rudd was to warn of that danger.

    It’s a disgrace and a shame on on Australia.

    Under the old Westminister values for ministerial accountability Morrison would have resigned by now given the three major problems in his area of responsibility – the privacy issue, the Indonesian border issue and now the events on Manus. The fact that he won’t or be asked to is a sad indictment on contemporary politics. The possibility he may even receive greater public support for stopping boats despite these three issues is hard to accept.

    Basically the state of things political in Australia at present is appalling.

  • 91
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink


    It is appalling. All Barrie Cassidy could say in his segment on ABC radio was that Scott Morrison has not had a good week.
    BCassidy should just f off and give someone else a go

  • 92
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Look at the mealy mouthed weasel words from Dutton, and the ABC news department, in this ABC news item.

    Health Minister Peter Dutton has flagged an overhaul of Medicare, suggesting Australians who can afford it should pay more for their healthcare.
    Mr Dutton has used a major speech to declare he wants there to be a frank, fearless and far-reaching discussion about the health system.
    He says the current system is unsustainable and he wants to “modernise and strengthen” Medicare.
    “One important job of the Abbott Government is to grow the opportunity for those Australians who can afford to do so to contribute to their own healthcare costs,” he told the ABC’s 7.30 program.
    “If they have a means to contribute to their own healthcare, we should be embarking on a discussion about how that payment model will work.”

    flagged, overhaul, who can afford it, frank, fearless and far-reaching, modernise and strengthen, means to contribute.


    Oh and BTW, just listening to ABC RN news and there was no mention of:
    .Manus and the unravelling of Morrisson’s scenario
    .Tony’s Renewable Reporter Dick Warburton being investigated by AFP
    .Tony’s attempt to slash SPC workers’ income.

    Whose ABC?

  • 93
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    This asylum seeker issue is a disgrace.

    Equally disgraceful is hearing that Abbott wanted the SPC workers to take a 40% pay cut.

    Poor fellow my country!

  • 94
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink


    I disagree with you re the ABC the Guardian is breaking many of these current stories.

  • 95
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    @Wendy_Bacon: In letter to Lab’s Marles, @labor4refugees1 calls for closing #Manus. Condolences to those affected.Time to listen

  • 96
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    @SwannyQLD: Treasurer’s keynote #IIFSydney address about growth. Pleasingly free of partisan politics #G20

  • 97
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    MTBW – Yep, don’t tell the peasants that they will have to make sacrifices for the hard-up rich. I strongly suspect that SPC is so pissed off with the government that they gave the unions the green light to reveal this information.

  • 98
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Holy Kahunas. I was thinking about selling my Fairfax shares yesterday at 70c, bought for around 50c. The (once again) breathless stories of declining circulation etc

    Today with results released, including surging digital revenues (I must say their iPad app is very good), the shares are up a whopping 26% to 90c.

  • 99
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    David Hurley interviewed by Uhlmann on ABC radio this morning. Here is the audio


  • 100
    Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink


    I bet you are right!

    What is also interesting is that the public is voting with it’s feet and money buying SPC products.

    And let’s not forget Sharman Stone’s efforts in speaking out against her own party and Abbott.

    If she had not spoken out the story may have died.