Some opinion polls

The Fairfax papers yesterday published a state-by-state voting breakdown from the past three monthly polls conducted by ACNielsen, a similar exercise to Newspoll’s quarterly geographic and demographic surveys but with smaller samples. Labor’s two-party preferred vote in the ACNielsen results for June to August compares with Newspoll’s results for April to June as follows:

Election ’01 Newspoll ACNielsen
National 49.0 51 53
NSW 47.9 50 53
Vic 52.2 55 53
Qld 45.3 50 52
WA 48.4 50 49.5
SA 45.9 49 49.5
Capitals 51.4 53 55.5
Regions 45.5 49 47

Newcomer Galaxy Research has today redeemed itself slightly with a new federal poll after its roguish-looking effort of a fortnight ago, though its results continue to favour the Coalition by about 3 per cent compared with its more established rivals. Last fortnight it found that despite Mark Latham’s FTA coup the Coalition primary vote lead had blown out to 47 to 36 per cent, putting them ahead 54-46 on two-party preferred. This time the Coalition are on 43 per cent against Labor’s 39 with a two-party preferred dead heat.

Steve Lewis of The Australian reported yesterday that polling conducted by Irving Saulwick for the Australian Democrats had their Senate support at a surprisingly high 10 per cent, although it appears respondents were first reminded of the party’s existence with a series of questions about them (very few being able to identify Andrew Bartlett as the current leader, despite the unfortunate incident on the floor of the Senate in December). Perhaps for this reason, Lewis reported it was "hard to find anyone within the Democrats who actually believe Saulwick’s polling is an accurate gauge of the public mood". Also hard to credit was a reported Greens vote of 12 per cent; unfortunately no other figures were provided.

Also worth noting is a McNair Ingenuity poll of 516 voters in the electorate of Parramatta published in the Sunday Telegraph, conducted in the immediate aftermath of Liberal member Ross Cameron’s self-inflicted wounding. The poll had Labor’s Julie Owens ahead, by 47 to 43 per cent on the primary vote and with 52.5 per cent of two-party preferred, but not by the margin that might have been expected after reports that Liberal internal polling showed Cameron’s support slumping by 10 per cent.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.