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BludgerTrack: 52.4-47.6 to Labor

A pre-budget polling slump for the Coalition expands Labor's poll aggregate lead, crediting them with an absolute majority on the seat projection.

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A barren spell for polling has ended with a vengeance over the past week, with results emerging from Newspoll, Galaxy, ReachTEL, Morgan and Essential – everyone indeed except Nielsen, who are presumably due next week. Each of the five polls sang from the same song sheet, and poll aggregation being the name of the game here, the BludgerTrack results on the sidebar do the same. On the primary vote, the Coalition maintains its downward trend while Labor perks up after a period in which it lost market share to the Greens. The Greens continue to fade after their Nielsen-driven peak of three weeks ago, but remain above the single-digit level they typically recorded throughout 2013. The big mover apart from Labor this week is Palmer United, which is at its highest level since December.

On the seat projection, Labor emerges in majority territory after gaining one each in New South Wales and Victoria and another three on an already hard-to-credit result in Queensland, for which I now have ten consecutive data points showing Labor with a two-party preferred, something it rarely enjoys in Queensland historically. Those who observe BludgerTrack closely will be aware that the “territories” result – which, it should go without saying, is based on a rather shallow pool of data – has long shown curiously strong readings for the Coalition. I’ve now addressed this with a bias correction measure, with a rather dramatic effect. This is a little crude methodologically, but I’m more confident in the result as it stands now, which closely reflects the national swing.

Of the many polls this week, only Newspoll furnishes useable results for the leadership tracking, and being the only leadership result of any kind for the past three weeks, the present BludgerTrack reading reflects it very closely. The result shows a sudden slump in Tony Abbott’s net approval, while Bill Shorten’s continues to settle in to the mediocre but by no means disastrous territory he has inhabited since the air went out of his honeymoon ratings over summer. Preferred prime minister remains on its steadily narrowing trajectory.

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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1514 comments

1,514 thoughts on “BludgerTrack: 52.4-47.6 to Labor

  1. Arrnea Stormbringer

    It’s a pity there’s not more polling done in the Territories.

    Open question:
    What do you figure is driving the huge swing on in Queensland, to the point where it’s hugely more than it is anywhere else? State issues bleeding over into federal voting intention?

  2. sprocket_

    Mark Latham seems to have beaten the Fairfax strike with this piece in the AFR

    [When the Prime Minister spoke to hundreds of Tory grandees at a Sydney Institute dinner last week, the audience reaction was as morbid as a Gerard Henderson comedy hour.

    Conservative politics is now based on a series of contradictions. Abbott’s supporters want him to be a small government man, but his election pledges were those of a big government liberal. He campaigned on trust but is now running an administration of broken promises and distrust.

    In Abbott’s home state of NSW, the Coalition went to the 2011 election on a public platform of anti-corruption, while privately its MPs and candidates were corrupting the state’s party-donation laws.]

    http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/tony_abbott_and_his_great_big_trust_vsSqjbx94pEGClwYULzMBM

  3. Arrnea Stormbringer

    William – do you know how many seats, on the current projection of BludgerTrack, are within a percent or two of falling either way?

    This might be a useful stat to tell people if the projection is on the edge of a bunch of seats all falling over in the same movement.

  4. jeffemu

    I think Kelly o’Bigmouth just pissed off two morning presenters on ABC24,

    Virginia and Michael looked more than impressed with O’Bigmouth.

    But what would one expect from “our” kelly

  5. Edwina StJohn

    Is Bill Shorten the messiah ? lol

    Has mark Latham come in from the cold ?

    deblonay manducat canis cibum

  6. Socrates

    Morning all. Normally governments leak the bad news before the budget, then surprise on the upside on the night. Is it a sign of the nervousness of the Liberals that they are now announcing some of the good news ahead of time?
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-08/government-to-detail-road-funding-and-detention-centre-closures/5437748?WT.ac=statenews

  7. BK

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    In most cases the Fairfax articles are written by people whose names I don’t recognise.
    The SMH shows the now symbolic deceit tax will raise peanuts and it points out far more effective and targeted ways.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/the-debt-tax-who-it-will-affect-20140507-zr6hb.html
    And Lenore Taylor agrees.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/07/the-one-election-promise-tony-abbott-should-really-break
    I wonder what the quid pro quo on this potentially concocted arrangement will be!
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/why-gyngell-took-a-fall-for-packer-20140507-37wks.html
    Another example of the inexplicable terror of theocracies.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/saudi-liberals-website-founder-sentenced-to-10-years-in-jail-1000-lashes-20140508-zr6kp.html
    Well worth a read – Mark Latham. He’s had enough.
    http://www.afr.com/p/opinion/tony_abbott_and_his_great_big_trust_vsSqjbx94pEGClwYULzMBM
    Napthine caught pulling strings he shouldn’t have been pulling?
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/premier-denis-napthine-accused-of-choosing-ballarats-mayor-20140507-zr65k.html
    This regressive taxation move would go down well with the punters!
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/07/drivers-excise-hit-cabinet-searches-budget-savings
    Perhaps the psychosexual assessment should be extended to a psychological assessment. The nobody would get in!
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/celibacy-not-a-factor-in-child-abuse-says-brother-20140507-37wkp.html
    Oops!
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/07/liberals-may-not-have-refunded-10000-donation-from-awh

  8. BK

    Section 2 . . .

    Can-Do gets his way and nobbles the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
    http://www.smh.com.au/queensland/crime-and-misconduct-commission-changes-pass-paving-way-for-crime-and-corruption-commission-20140508-zr6k8.html
    Abuse survivors hat back at the Vatican.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/07/abuse-survivors-reject-vatican-claim-about-australian-redress-scheme
    This issue just might be one the Coalition gets caught on.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/police-asked-to-investigate-asylum-seeker-boat-turnback-20140507-zr6gg.html
    And this is a terrible look.
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/07/asylum-seeker-lifeboats-stripped-of-their-safety-equipment
    Van Badham piles into Turnbull’s woeful NBN.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/07/slower-less-reliable-less-productive-this-is-what-turnbulls-nbn-looks-like
    An excellent contribution from Wayne Swan – “Abbott swings his wrecking ball”.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/demolition-man-abbott-swings-his-wrecking-ball-20140507-zr6by.html
    I hope this doctor gets his wish and finishes up in court.
    http://www.theage.com.au/national/health/another-doctor-reveals-he-helped-a-terminally-ill-man-die-20140507-zr6bx.html
    The unrelenting demise of department stores.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/comment-and-analysis/spare-me-stories-of-djs-doing-well-20140507-37w07.html
    A beautiful contribution from Cathy Wilcox. Oh so true!
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/cathy-wilcox-20090909-fhd6.html

  9. confessions

    Morning all.

    Thanks sprocket for the link to Latham. As usual he has his own unique way with words.

  10. BK

    jeffemu
    Yes, Virginia and Michael wer well and truly ready for Kelly O’Bigmouth and were justifiably pissed off.

  11. confessions

    This is not a good sign, esp with the WA govt set to increase utility costs further in the budget.

    [The number of families asking for help to pay their electricity bills is on track to be the highest on record this year after rocketing more than 500 per cent under the Barnett Government.

    Ahead of inflation-busting increases to electricity tariffs expected in today’s State Budget and a similar rise for water, figures have highlighted how thousands of households are struggling to keep up.]
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/23313735/utility-bill-battlers-hit-record-high/

  12. lizzie

    jeffemu and BK

    Wish I’d seen it, then.

  13. zoomster

    [The Abbott government will unveil a new $10 billion infrastructure package in its first budget offsetting the political pain of a harsh blueprint winding back social security, cutting family payments, introducing ‘user pays’ in health and education, and featuring increased taxes.]

    What is it with Tories and the idea that building things will take people’s minds off services going to sh*t?

    It’s the mistake Kennett made. Now Napthine – and apparently Abbott – are doing the same.

    The idea that someone who’s lost their job because of public service cutbacks will gaze proudly at a bridge and think that it’s all worth it is obviously bonkers.

    [$5 billion will be spent on a range of major projects to turbo charge their roll out, with those projects that will receive extra money expected to include the East West link in Melbourne, which will receive additional federal funding over and above the $3 billion already committed to stages one and two of the road.

    About another billion dollars will be committed to the $3.5 billion package already announced for roads and other infrastructure connected to the second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek.

    Other projects tipped for a funding boost include the South Road project in South Australia and the second range crossing in Toowoomba.]

    Wow. Roads. Which certainly I’ll never use, and I’d bet that goes for the majority of Australians.

    But I do use many of the services which are going to be cut, and in some cases I’ll notice that every day.

    http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/2267654/budget-tony-abbott-government-prepares-to-unveil-10-billion-infrastructure-package/?cs=12

    Of course, I suppose that the people who build roads are Tory mates, and they’ll be happy, so there’ll be some kind of trickle down effect where they being happy means that the hoi polloi are too.

    Bracks won an unwinnable election against a big infrastructure spending Premier, with the simple message that 70% of a government’s job is delivering services, and if you’re not doing that right, you’re not a good government.

  14. jeffemu

    Yes BK that they were. I think O’Bigmouth thought she was just going to go on morning TV and wave the new big blue book about onscreen and discuss the “Labor Mess” we all should of known already that has existed.

    They certainly shut her book launch down quickly.

    Loved how Virginia just said in the end “We are not going to get an answer to a question out of you are we”

  15. meher baba

    Gotta love Latho’s turn of phrase.

    The concept of a “Gerard Henderson comedy hour” had me all but choking on my porridge!

  16. victoria

    Morning all

    Zoomster

    Napthine Abbott and Co believe they are onto a winner with this road fujding.

    Also re the train line as mentioned yesterday

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/premier-off-track-on-location-of-new-montague-station-20140508-37ww4.html

  17. meher baba

    zoomster, you’ve summed it up perfectly. Cutting back on human services to pay for urban expressways and other such infrastructure goes down in the bush about as well as the proverbial pork chop at a bar mitzvah.

    But how many senior coalition figures know anything much about the sort of rural and regional areas where you live? Barnaby perhaps, but he’s not especially on the ball. Truss is from coastal Queensland, which is a different world to the inland.

    The real difference between Howard and this lot seems to be that Howard had a real feel for the country. These guys are city slickers: as you say, like Kennett.

  18. Socrates

    Zoom
    [$5 billion will be spent on a range of major projects to turbo charge their roll out, with those projects that will receive extra money expected to include the East West link in Melbourne, which will receive additional federal funding over and above the $3 billion already committed to stages one and two of the road.]
    even as one who plans and designs roads, the approach to delivery is troubling. Both sides have turned road funding into a political football. First high during the GFC, then way too low under Swan’s attempted recession inducing 2013 budget, now high again under Liberals. It is far less efficient than a steady rate of predictable funding.

    There are many problems with this approach. People leave the industry when times are tough, meaning prices get bid through the roof when work is ramped up again. Inflation in road construction has been well above CPI in the pat decade. Buy shares in Theiss or a plant hire company if this budget goes through. Planning processes get rushed, denying the public the opportunity to comment. And what if a rail extension made more sense? Too bad.

  19. shellbell

    The BOM records 45mm+ rain in Perth. I hope it has hit all the right spots given WA’s prolonged dry spell

  20. Socrates

    Further to 20, while I could not say. I am sorry to see some increase in infrastructure funding both personally (I have friends who lost their jobs in 2013) and economically (we are still running one of the highest population growth rates in the OECD, I do not support funding roads by cutting health and education either. It is callous, and robs the future.

    Have a good day all.

  21. WeWantPaul

    [Is Bill Shorten the messiah ? lol

    Has mark Latham come in from the cold ?

    deblonay manducat canis cibum]

    Abbott just makes Latham look good. On his worst day he’d have been a better PM than Abbott on his best.

  22. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Has anyone seen Joe yet? Maybe they should send out a search party for the Sweat Spigot.

  23. zoomster

    I will add that I’m an infrastructure fan – my basic take out is that, in bad times, governments should invest in infrastructure and that, in good times, governments should invest in infrastructure.

    (As Soc observes, ‘boom or bust’ is not a good approach).

    But I make the rash assumption there that governments can walk and chew gum – that if they can find the money for infrastructure, they can also find the money to keep services functioning.

    Governments which cut services with relish and then point to infrastructure spending as if that makes up for it are bonkers.

  24. lizzie

    zoomster

    It’s their version of the trickle down theory.

  25. confessions

    Well this is a surprise.

    [Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday wrote to the State Government confirming the shark kill program would need to be assessed properly and would not be given a once-over lightly approval.

    Federal environmental approvals are notoriously protracted and sometimes take years to clear bureaucratic checks.]
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/23313725/shark-kill-faces-federal-hurdles/

  26. WeWantPaul

    [Federal environmental approvals are notoriously protracted and sometimes take years to clear bureaucratic checks.]

    It will be reapproved before next summer

  27. daretotread

    Zoomster

    I am assuming that the whole point of infrastructure programs in Victoria and SA is to soak up the massive no of unemployed expected with the closure of the auto industry. I imagine some of the younger auto workers will get jobs in construction and a few components manufacturers cab switch to road, rail and bridge widgets.

  28. confessions

    WWP:

    Even though the report states there are no guarantees it’ll be reapproved before summer, I reckon it will be.

  29. Tricot

    Older style conservative politicians loved building dams.

    Now there are not so many spare, flowing rivers to dam, I guess the emphasis is on roads.

    I have nothing against better roads but whether another choked freeway is better than paying two and three times for the same medical service and still being out of pocket is something else.

    In Perth, all the grand promises from Barnett for railways to the airport, light rail and a line to Ellenbrook bit the dust in just weeks after the last election.

    Liberals, by and large, do not build railways – though they were happy enough to do so when it came to Alice Springs – Darwin. It also didn’t seem to bother JWH or Turnbull that no cost/benefit analysis was ever done on said line.

    You get what you vote for as the electorate will learn over the next week or two I suppose.

  30. Laocoon

    ‘fess
    We definitely needed that doppler radar last night 😉

  31. Tricot

    And yep, for those who asked – it has bucketed down in Perth since about last evening. Still pelting down. Real rain.

  32. poroti

    shellbell

    From the maps it looks like the agricultural regions should have got a decent dose of rain. More importantly it hit my lawn . Yaaaay.

  33. Laocoon

    Tricot
    [Still pelting down sideways]
    😀

  34. confessions

    Lao:

    LOL. Has it been very windy in Perth? I don’t think we’ve had much rain down here – hopefully later on today.

  35. citizen

    [Tricot
    Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 8:55 am | PERMALINK
    Older style conservative politicians loved building dams.

    Now there are not so many spare, flowing rivers to dam, I guess the emphasis is on roads.]

    Regarding dams, I’m pretty sure Abbott when in opposition was going to dam practically every river and provide infrastructure for a great food export industry in the north.

    No pre-budget leaks about this – or maybe the electorates that matter are not where the ‘dammable’ rivers are.

  36. dave

    jeffemu@16

    Yes BK that they were. I think O’Bigmouth thought she was just going to go on morning TV and wave the new big blue book about onscreen and discuss the “Labor Mess” we all should of known already that has existed.

    They certainly shut her book launch down quickly.

    Loved how Virginia just said in the end “We are not going to get an answer to a question out of you are we”

    Interesting how a number of media outlets are giving this latest booklet stunt a cold shoulder.

    When cormann launched it yesterday I expected it to be plastered all over the news bulletins last night – but not the case.

    abbott still in hiding though.

  37. Laocoon

    ‘fess
    wet and windy for sure!

  38. Sir Mad Cyril

    [
    Regarding dams, I’m pretty sure Abbott when in opposition was going to dam practically every river and provide infrastructure for a great food export industry in the north.
    ]

    I think that was his harebrained “100 Dams policy”. Which I gather has sunk without a trace.

  39. poroti

    citizen

    Yep Abbott was the 100 dam man.

    [Tony Abbott’s 100 dams policy is the Sharknado of Australian politics]

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2013/jul/16/tony-abbott-100-dams-sharknado-australian

  40. Greensborough Growler

    Perhaps Labor can counter the Libs book fetish with their own publication on the achievements of the Liberals Government. It would contain only blank pages.

  41. citizen

    The latest ‘little blue book’ was probably dreamed up and written well before Abbott and the audit commission started to scare the living daylights out of everybody.

    It probably sounded like a good idea at the time to blame the previous government for a tough budget but then their plan was seriously derailed.

    Now people just laugh at an untrustworthy mob trying to blame someone else for the hardship they will impose on Australians.

  42. bemused

    Wow! I sure am glad I left when I did last night before the rampant misandry got underway again!

    Time Puff and kezza2 put a sock in it. Gillard, what ever fine qualities she undoubtedly has, was not up to the job as leader. She lacked an important element of political judgement that let her fall into traps a seasoned politician should have avoided.

    It was not all just a male plot. Get over it.

    There was some musing last night about Plibersek as leader. Were Bill to fall under a bus or quit, I would be quite comfortable with Tanya Plibersek.

    It isn’t about gender! Get it? 😡

  43. dave

    [ Regarding dams, I’m pretty sure Abbott when in opposition was going to dam practically every river and provide infrastructure for a great food export industry in the north. ]

    Yep he was a regular little gonner – gonner do this and gonner do that – but mostly what he is doing is lying, back flipping, trying to re-define was a lie is – but above all he is demonstrating incompetence in his job.

    He is on a hiding to nothing next week – if he goes in too hard/ with the wrong sector/ segment of voters he is in trouble.

    If he doesn’t go in hard – it will prove he has just been calling wolf.

    The “its Labor’s fault” is of diminishing utility.

  44. Sir Mad Cyril

    [
    Latika Bourke
    ‏@latikambourke
    Treasurer Joe Hockey says PPL levy shows coalition never promised no new taxes in Govt: http://latika.me/1njUnKB
    ]

    That is a pathetically bad effort from Hockey.

    https://twitter.com/latikambourke/status/464184250288205825

  45. lizzie

    [A controversial expansion of one of the Hunter’s largest coal mines has been approved by the state government’s Planning Assessment Commission (PAC).

    Glencore Xstrata’s Mangoola mine near Muswellbrook will be able to ramp up coal production by a third, increasing its annual extraction rate from 10.5 million to 13.5 million tonnes.

    Employee numbers will rise from 300 to 540, weekly blasts will be more frequent, rising to six a week, and for the first the mine will begin releasing saline water into the Hunter River.

    Muswellbrook Council had raised concerns about possible impacts from the discharged water on downstream agriculture and horse studs.

    But the Planning Assessment Commission found the existing regulatory scheme controlling saline water releases from Hunter coal mines would be sufficient to protect the river.]

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-08/mangoola-mine-expansion-gets-green-light-from-pac/5437926

  46. lizzie

    [“I know that by the very nature of science not every single detail is ever totally settled or completely certain. Nor has every pertinent question yet been answered. But the evidence is mounting, it has been scrutinised as never before – and it leads inexorably towards a level of probability that the prudent would heed.”

    The demand for “proof” showed little understanding of how science worked.

    “For a start, what would be the controlled experiment? It would need our world plus a parallel planet the same as ours with all the variables except human beings?

    “Instead of waiting for the unachievable, scientists look for evidence from multiple sources, then check it, test it, debate it, replicate it and draw conclusions from it. And as the evidence accumulates, they may even notice some convergence – an anthropogenic influence on planetary warming, for example, And we could and should use all the information we accumulate to project ahead.

    “Instead of constructive discussions about how to get ever more evidence, or ever better models, we have the discussions about whether CO2 is a pollutant; or whether it is a poison; or accusations of group-think. And we are pressed to put the idiosyncratic alongside the expert, individual opinions against the weight of evidence and then to present them as equals, and to give them equal airtime or column inches.”]

    http://theconversation.com/chief-scientist-urges-corporate-chiefs-to-show-leadership-on-climate-change-26404

  47. lizzie

    [sortius ‏@sortius 1m
    .@GeorgeBludger one thing I’ve noticed is FTTN plan from 2005/6 were in $3-$5b ballpark, now $45b. Leaving things until later is not cheaper]

  48. guytaur

    Good Morning

    zoomster

    The word you are looking for is sustainable. Labor to its credit does a lot of infrastructure building. Yes on a federal level that includes urban trains.

    Infrastructure Australia set up by Albanese is a great example of this. Get the best bang for the buck by taking as much of the decisions out of politicians hands to avoid pork barrelling and the perception of same.

    This way you can plan the finances without it having to create a huge sudden lift in the spending of any one budget.

    The Libs have failed in Victoria because they cannot see spending big a few months before an election is a massive fail. Especially as it means money is taken from other areas.