Ipsos: 51-49 to Labor

The Coalition narrows what was previously an unusually strong Labor lead from Ipsos, while Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings continue to surge.

The latest Ipsos poll for the Fairfax papers is a much better result for the Coalition than the last such poll four weeks ago, with Labor’s lead narrowing from 53-47 to 51-49. This is presumably the result from 2016 election preferences: Ipsos also produces a respondent-allocated result, but it usually takes a bit of digging to get hold of it.

The Coalition is up four on the primary vote to 39%, Labor is down one to 34% and the Greens are steady on 12%. Malcolm Turnbull also records strong improvement in his personal ratings, with approval up five to 55% and disapproval down six to 38%, while Bill Shorten is down two to 38% and up one to 54%. Turnbull’s lead as prime minister is out to 57-30, compared with 51-33 last month. Also featured are questions on best party to handle various issue areas, which have the Coalition leading 60-33 on the economy, 56-33 on interest rates and 45-41 on asylum seekers, while Labor leads 48-41 on health, 49-42 on education and 49-35 on the environment.

The poll of 1200 respondents was conducted Wednesday to Saturday from a sample of 1200.

See also the post below this one on Super Saturday by-election polling. You may also care to observe the post-redistribution electoral pendulum I posted over the weekend (and perhaps even to give the tip jar at the top of the page a workout, redistribution calculation being rather laborious exercise).

Super Saturday YouGov Galaxy and ReachTEL polls

Another brace of by-election polls records statistical dead heats in Longman and Braddon.

Today’s News Corp tabloids have YouGov/Galaxy polls with modest samples from four of the five seats facing by-elections on Saturday, conducted Tuesday to Thursday last week. These turn the knife by asking a supplementary on how respondents would vote if Anthony Albanese rather than Bill Shorten were leader, an exercise that rarely goes well for the incumbent. In roughly descending order of interest:

• In Longman, Liberal National Party candidate Trevor Ruthenberg is credited with a 51-49 lead over disqualified Labor member Susan Lamb, which turns into a 53-47 lead for Labor under the Albanese hypothetical. Primary votes are Labor 37%, LNP 34%, One Nation 18% and Greens 5% (respectively 43%, 33%, 15% and 4% under the Albanese scenario). With the One Nation primary vote so high, much depends on the flow of their preferences: respondent allocation of preferences in the poll suggest they will heavily favour the LNP, whose two-party lead compares with a 51.5-48.5 lead to Labor if the preference flows from the 2016 election are applied. Sample: 578.

• The poll in Braddon has primary votes of Labor 40%, Liberal 44%, independent Craig Garland 7% and Greens 4%, which comes in at 50-50 both on the previous election preferences and the published result. The Albanese question has Labor leading 53-47, and the respective primary votes at 44%, 42%, 6% and 4%. Sample: 504.

• Another poll showing Rebekha Sharkie well ahead in Mayo, by 59-41, from primary votes of Rebekha Sharkie 47%, Georgina Downer 35%, Labor 9% and Greens 7%. The Labor primary vote is at 12% under the Albanese scenario. This result also finds 69% of respondents area satisfied with Sharkie’s performance as member for Mayo, with only 16% dissatisfied. Sample: 540.

• Labor leads the Greens 66-34 in Fremantle, from primary votes of Labor 49% and Greens 22%. With Albanese, that becomes 68-32 and 52% to 21%. Sample: 541.

Separately, two electorate-level ReachTEL polls:

• Yesterday’s Sunday Mail had a ReachTEL poll of 770 respondents in Longman, conducted on Thursday. After exclusion of the 3.9% undecided, the poll had primary votes of LNP 39.4%, Labor 37.3%, One Nation 14.5% and Greens 4.4%. Here too, respondent allocation of preferences results in an LNP two-party lead of 51-49, which would reverse if 2016 preference flows were applied.

• A poll for the Australian Forest Products Association in Braddon had Labor leading 52-48, although I’m struggling to see how they get there from the primary votes and preference data provided. After exclusion of the 4.6% undecided, the primary votes are Liberal 42.7%, Labor 36.0%, Craig Garland 9.3% and Greens 7.0%. For Labor, this compares unfavourably with 2016 election results of Liberal 41.5%, Labor 40.1% and Greens 6.7%, which converted into a two-party result of 52.2-47.8, little different from the poll. The poll reportedly credits Labor with a 67.4% flow of respondent-allocated preferences which, while strong, is very similar to what they got at the election. The poll was conducted on Thursday from a sample of 810.

BludgerTrack: 52.0 to 48.0 to Labor

More of the same from the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, with the Coalition’s voting intention trend lagging behind Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings.

The two new polls this week, from Newspoll and Essential Research, were very slightly at the high end of the Coalition’s form, causing them to nudge up by 0.3% on the BludgerTrack two-party projection. Other than that, the main news in BludgerTrack is that the seat projections are now running off post-redistribution margins (which you can read all about in the post below), and the state data from Ipsos last week has been mixed in to the state calculations. Compared with last week, the Coalition is up one on the national seat projection, making gains in Victoria and Western Australia and dropping one in Queensland. Leadership numbers from Newspoll have added further emphasis to the upturn in his personal ratings, despite the apparently static picture on voting intention.

Full results through the link below.

Finalised redistributions and federal election pendulum

A full accounting of the electoral landscape as the boundaries for the next election are finalised.

Federal redistributions for Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have been finalised over the past fortnight, a development that removes procedural obstacles for the staging of a normal election for the House of Representatives and half the Senate. At the bottom of this post is a new electoral pendulum based on post-redistribution margins. This illustrates that the goverment has, notionally speaking, lost its majority, being reduced from 76 seats to 74 in a chamber that increases in size from 150 to 151. The Liberal-held Victorian seats of Corangamite and Dunkley move into the Labor column (just barely in the former case – others who calculate the margins might very easily fall the other way), while Labor also gains new seats in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, but loses a seat through the abolition of Port Adelaide in South Australia. That gives Labor 72 seats, assuming the cross-bench remains unchanged with its existing five members. All margins shown in the pendulum are Labor-versus-Coalition, except in the five seats held by minor parties and independents.

The main changes made from the draft to the finalised boundaries are cosmetic, in that Corangamite will retain that name and not be renamed Cox, and Batman will be renamed Cooper. Beyond that, minor changes were made to eleven seats in Victoria. The most significant change was to Deakin, costing it around a third of the 19,000 voters it was originally to gain from Casey in the east, and compensating it at the other end with more than 3000 extra voters in Vermont South from Chisholm. The electoral impacts are very slightly advantageous to the Liberals, boosting their margin in Dunkley relative to the draft proposal by 0.4% to 6.6%. There are no changes to the draft as far as I can see in South Australia, and only a minor and inconsequential one in the Australian Capital Territory.

The links below provide my full accounting of the new margins, both for the three redistributions just finalised, and the other three concluded since the last election.

Federal Redistribution of Victoria 2018
Federal Redistribution of Australian Capital Territory 2018
Federal Redistribution of South Australia 2018

Federal Redistribution of Queensland 2018
Federal Redistribution of Tasmania 2017
Federal Redistribution of Northern Territory 2017

The two-party results featured above are strictly Labor-versus-Coalition, which leaves some explaining required where this doesn’t apply. None of the three Melbourne inner-city seats where the Greens threaten Labor has been significantly changed. There is no difficulty counting a new Labor-versus-Greens result in Wills and the seat now known as Cooper, since neither gains territory from a seat in which no Labor-versus-Greens count was conducted. David Feeney held the Greens off in Batman by 1.0% in 2016, but I now make it at 0.5%, while Ben Raue at The Tally Room has it at 0.7%. However, given Ged Kearney’s succession to the seat in the March by-election, comparisons based on the 2016 election are rather academic. Labor’s margin over the Greens in Wills is unchanged at 4.9%. Cathy McGowan’s seat undergoes only minor changes, although territory gained from Murray (now Nicholls) now provides about 4% of its voters, which obviously cannot be used to measure support there for McGowan. This is not enough to significantly alter the position of McGowan, who held off Sophie Mirrabella in 2016 by 4.8%.

In South Australia, the Nick Xenophon Team reached the final count in four seats, winning Mayo from the Liberals by a margin of 5.0%, and finishing 2.0% and 4.7% short of Liberal incumbents in Grey and Barker, and 14.9% short of Labor in Port Adelaide. In no case can new margins be determined: Port Adelaide is abolished; Grey and Barker have both gained territory from Wakefield, respectively accounting for around 15% and 8.5% of their voters, where no Liberal-versus-NXT count was conducted; and Mayo gains territory from Kingston and Boothby, collectively accounting for over 17% of the voters, neither of which had useable counts.

Pendulum over the fold below. Seats whose notional party has changed are indicated with an asterisk. The “redist.” column records the effect on the margin of redistributions, where they have been conducted (i.e. everywhere but New South Wales and Western Australia). Margins shown for the five seats held by minor parties and independents are their winning margins at the 2016 election, with no change made for the redistribution.

Continue reading “Finalised redistributions and federal election pendulum”

Super Saturday minus eleven days

The LNP’s candidate hits a speed bump in Longman; One Nation goes on the warpath against Labor; and a poll suggests a close result in Braddon.

Latest news to relate from the by-election campaign trails, almost all of it relating to Longman:

• The Longman campaign has been hit by the bombshell of a Courier-Mail report that Trevor Ruthenberg, the Liberal National Party candidate, wrongly claimed to have received the Australian Service Medal in his state parliamentary biography. Ruthenberg claims to have innocently confused the award for distinguished service with his Australian Defence Medal, granted to those who serve for four years or more, as Ruthenberg had done with the Royal Australian Air Force. This offers an uncomfortable parallel with Barry Urban, the Western Australian state Labor MP whose false claims led to his resignation and the staging of the Darling Range by-election on June 30.

• The Liberal National Party and One Nation are denying a preference deal, but each has the other in seventh place on their how-to-vote card. Since both have Labor’s Susan Lamb placed lower, this is as good as second. One Nation has copped flak for placing Lamb behind Jim Saleam, Australia First candidate and former leader of neo-Nazi group National Action, in consequence of its decision to place Labor and the Greens last. Another distinction of the One Nation campaign has been the involvement of Mark Latham, who recorded a robocall message for the party in which he branded Bill Shorten a liar and urged a vote for minor parties.

• A report by Amy Remeikis of The Guardian relates the view of a Labor strategist that the One Nation how-to-vote card is unlikely to prevent Labor getting around 40% of their preferences, and that the party’s support is “overstated”. The report also reveals a straw poll of 100 people at a Caboolture shopping centre captured only about twenty who knew the by-election was happening, not a single one of whom could name either major party candidate.

• A ReachTEL poll of Braddon on July 6 recorded, after exclusion of the 6.2% undecided, a 38.7% primary vote for Labor and its Section 44 casualty, Justine Keay; 45.7% for Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley; 8.5% for independent Craig Garland; and 4.7% for the Greens. No two-party result was provided, but Kevin Bonham has applied 2016 preference flows to produce a result of 50.5-49.5 in favour of the Liberals. The poll was conducted for The Australian Institute from a sample of 700.

Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

A slight narrowing in the Labor lead brings Essential Research’s two-party result in line with Newspoll’s.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll for The Guardian has Labor’s two-party lead down from 52-48 to 51-49. Primary votes will have to wait for the publication of the full results later today. A series of findings on energy policy offer something for everybody. Eighty per cent favoured an inquiry into the contribution of power companies to high power prices; 63% thought energy companies should be returned to public ownership; 61% believing burning coal causes climate change; and 55% thought expanding coal mining would undermine efforts to address it. However, 47% thought coal-fired power cheaper than that from renewables; 40% supported the call by some Nationals for $5 billion to be spent on coal plants, with 38% opposed. Thirty-eight per cent thought the government should prioritise renewables over coal, 16% thought the opposite, and 34% thought they should be treated equally.

UPDATE: Full report from Essential Research here.