After a gruelling two-and-a-half years refereeing Australia’s rowdiest non-parliamentary slanging match, Bryan Palmer has exited the battlefield. That just leaves one psephological punter mug enough to operate a comments facility. For anyone out there who wants to argue the toss about recent opinion polls, the following have come through since the last episode of Idle Speculation two very long weeks ago:
Roy Morgan yesterday released a survey of 556 voters which has Labor at 46 per cent on the primary vote and 55 per cent on two-party preferred. These are the softest figures Morgan has produced for Labor since January. There’s also a bunch of attitudinal guff that has the Prime Minister doing quite a bit worse on every measure than when these questions were last asked a month before the 2004 election. A possibly interesting exception is, Who would be best for minimising the tax you pay?
Speaking of attitudinal guff, Galaxy‘s venture on to this turf last week raised a few eyebrows, including those of polling mavens Irving Saulwick and Denis Muller. Writing in Crikey on Tuesday, Saulwick and Muller described the wording of one of Galaxy’s questions Which of the following concerns, if any, do you have about the prospect of Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party running the Australian economy? as a disgrace. Nonetheless, there does not seem any particular reason to be dubious about its finding that Labor had very modest leads of 1 per cent on the primary vote and 4 per cent on two-party preferred.
Monday brought another poll from Galaxy, this time of 800 voters in Queensland. It showed that Labor’s lead had narrowed from 7 per cent to 1 per cent since its last such poll in February, and from 55-45 to 52-48 on two-party preferred.
A Westpoll survey of 408 voters in Saturday’s West Australian produced a very encouraging result for the Coalition, who led 50 per cent to 38 per cent on the primary vote and 56.3-43.7 on two-party preferred. That amounts to a 0.9 per cent swing to the Coalition from 2004.
Since Westpoll escapes notice on the eastern seaboard, I might also note Tuesday’s poll of state voting intention, which I gather was from the same sample as the federal poll. It has Labor up to 42 per cent from 41 per cent in April, the Coalition up from 38 per cent to 40 per cent, and Labor’s two-party lead narrowing from 54.5-45.5 to 52.3-47.7.