Morgan: 59-41

Roy Morgan’s first poll in two weeks is from a face-to-face survey of 1690 voters conducted over the past two weekends. It shows a slight widening of Labor’s two-party lead to 59-41, with the Coalition primary vote down from 37 per cent to 36 per cent and Labor’s up from 48 per cent to 50.5 per cent.

UPDATE: The outstanding Possum’s Pollytics, whose absence from this site’s blogroll is keenly felt (to be corrected when I overhaul the site in about a month or so), produces some interesting data on variations between Newspoll and Morgan results.

UPDATE 2: And Andrew Leigh has an easy-to-follow run-through of the Portlandbet electorate odds that have everybody talking.

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.

268 comments on “Morgan: 59-41”

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  1. I still think it will be an extremely close election with Howard scraping in, but a primary vote over 50% for Labor. That’s … wow.

    But, if I allow myself to deviate from my normal prediction, here is narrative:

    1. Howard calls the election at his regular time (there’s no “good” time he can pick at this rate)
    2. Labor wins in a landslide but with a bare majority (and not the senate)
    3. Howard retires/turfed out of Bennelong
    3.5 Democrats face agonising wait on one seat that drags out for weeks.
    4. Double dissolution within 18 months
    5. Libs lose control of senate (but Labor doesn’t gain control)
    5.5 Everyone surprised when Democrats fluke a seat in the new senate

  2. I’m curious as to Morgan including the ‘is Australia heading in the right direction’ question. Am I right in surmising this is an American import? Isn’t it used in relation to presidential approval?

    As someone commented on another thread, I might think Australia is robust (or conversely be headed down the gurgler) but be a partisan for any party: so Morgan is quixotic to use it as a measure of ‘softness’ of party support. Each side of politics has a hard core base of about a third of the electorate.

    Further, couldn’t Labor voters, in the context of being polled on political issues, think we are headed in the right direction because they have heard of dozens of polls showing the government is headed for defeat?! (Especially given 50% of Morgan’s sample repeatedly now thinks that election outcome is likely).

  3. The 58% who didn’t believe Howard was genuine about the NT intervention lead me to believe he does not have enough political capital to turn this around. It also strengthens the case that Howard is the problem rather than the solution to the problem.

    The Coalition need a sizable move back to them soon if they are to avoid defeat, and that does not seem evident at the moment. It is also hard to see, outside a major opposition errror, which issue will deliver them that momentum they sorely need.

  4. Spot on, Graeme, last paragraph. It is quite plausible that many Anyone But Howard types believe that Howard is gone.

  5. Exactly, Graeme. If I was asked ‘Is Australia heading in the right direction?’ I’d reply – ‘You bet. We’re heading for a change of government’ without even thinking about it.

    Using such a nebulous question as a marker of ‘softness’ is ludicrous. Morgan really is a worry sometimes.

  6. Forget right track, who’ll win, only one question actually worth paying attention to – Primary votes!

    Takes me back to my earlier post – union scare campaign is playing into Rudd’s hands. Punters have elected eight state/territory Labor Governments and have seen the blue with unions when required – far too many examples to list here. This just isn’t scary enough for any more! Get back to the economy and you’ll stay in.

    As demonstrated over decades, white, suburban Australia is very removed from the plight of indigenous Australia. Of course they want it fixed and indeed expect Governments to do it. Not so sure they’ll credit a Government for doing what they expect them to do in any event.

  7. What is the breakdown of the Coalition vote? If the Nats are on 5-10% that means the Liberal party vote could actually only 28-29% That is a shocking figure. Considering the Greens might get 10% of the vote…

  8. Another great result for Labor, though correcting for Morgan bias meanss its probably “only” 57-43 Labor 2PP and 48.5-38 Labor primary. Under this, we can say it matches with the Galaxy poll at about a 56-44 Labor 2PP. This result is after two months of govt domination of the national agenda, yet there’s only been about a 2% movement back to the govt. If the agenda switches back to Labor issues, we will probably see Labor widen the lead. I won’t call it until election night, but I will say the prob of a Labor victory is now 80+%.

  9. Even galaxy shows the government like 10 points behind Labor in the polls. Howard is not going for an early election for sure, an election in November is most likely.

  10. dembo, I’d much rather hear why you believe Howard will get back. What is the “rabbit” that will turn this around?

  11. The primary vote for the ALP must be putting the fright into Liberal Central at the moment. Anything above 45% must be curtains for them. When it is this high it can only be nightamre territory. The 60-40 blip might be back on the agenda.

  12. I think the bigger fright for the Libs, more than the latest primary and 2pp results, is the fact that for the last 6 months, nothing has worked for them, and that there doesn’t seem any new cards to play.

    The theory that a majority of swinging voters have stopped listening to the Howard Government, has already made their mind up and nothing Howard does will make a difference to most of this crowd, is looking more and more concrete as each political stratagem Howard tries falls flat.

    If we start to hear Coalition members of marginal seats break the party line and speak ‘off-message’ then we’ll know for sure that the Coalition also thinks it’s heading for defeat.

    What we’re looking at now in Federal politics is a vice slowly closing on the Coalition with each poll, and crushing it to what looks like inevitable political death.

    Interesting times for John Howard & co.

  13. I think it is reasonable to expect the Coalition to gain 5% in the 2PP when and election is called and during the campaign. That puts the result 51/49 – a close election and in a close election in Australia I would favour the incumbent

    Not just that, but Rudd and Labor need a fairly large swing to win. On any other figures it would be a two-election job for Rudd to defeat Howard but credit to Rudd he is making it look like a 1 election job. I feel sorry for him if he falls just short. To fall just short would be an amazing achievement, but will probably be painted as failure.

  14. Dembo, this only happened in 2004 when Latham was Labor leader. Labor will simply have too many people on the ground and too much money for the Libs.

  15. Wishful thinking Dembo.

    If you do some research you’ll discover that the 5% poll bounce upon election calling is more the exception than the rule.

    Give me some concrete reasons why 5% will change their mind on Rudd overnight and I’ll reconsider. But you should take on board the fact that rudd is not behaving like Latham and instead is rock solid on his messages and looking very much like a PM in waiting.

  16. Morgans 59-41 in ALP’s favour, along with monday’s Galaxy, represent a renewed shift back to Rudd. This is yet to be confirmed by nielsen and newspoll though.
    Considering the governments largely positive domination of the media cycle, as well as its ongoing ‘information’ campaign to personalise employers as caring, loving philanthropists, such a noticable swing back to Labor is telling.
    Howard is faltering, even when he is on the front foot. Widespread cynicism has accompanied his recent initiatives, cancelling out their political capital.
    Rudd has avoided the wedge, played constructive politics and released policies that have further flat footed the govt. If he can regain the initiative and run, rather than follow, the agenda, this gap will increase.

  17. If we carry on for 13 weeks like the last couple of months it seems more likely to me that Howard will have no bunnies left, and Rudd will have a few up his sleeve.

    My mail says the gravy train is going to open its doors on marginals (where it hasn’t already) but I can’t help but speculate that bribes wont work, people expect them now.

    I’m not sure why it is reasonable to expect Howard to make 5 points in the election campaign. He losses some of the gloss of office and has to fight out a campaign. I think it would be more reasonable, more logical, to expect the election campaign to be a nil all draw. So Howard has until it starts to make up most of the ground.

  18. This poll looks a tad suspicous.

    41 is too high, especially with a primary vote of 36% for the liberals.
    I cannot accept that one in three Australians are considering voting for them.

  19. Um, Dembo, even if a 5% campaign swing back to the government is reasonable, and I see no argument as to why that would be so, the split is still 54/46 on today’s figures. Very comfortable win for Labor. Or are you one who automatically deducts three points from Morgan?

    Looking at the last three election campaigns, (graphs at the OzPol site) the govt made up no such ground. In 2001 they lost ground. In the other two they clawed back two points, which is within the error range anyway, so who knows?

  20. Rudd, despite making mistakes and several of them, is doing a pretty good job overall of not scaring the horses. Latham scared the horses.

    Last time around, there were some people who wanted Howard out but couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Latham. This time around, there are even more people who want Howard out but even fewer who are scared of the Opposition Leader. I believe this is the single most important reason why nothing that Howard has tried on Rudd has worked. The polled punters have essentially given Rudd a suit of armour because they want him to be good enough.

    If Rudd betrays that faith he will be in serious trouble but until that day he will sail along relatively comfortably, as we have seen in the polls for the entire year despite a drift back to the govt under circumstances favourable to the latter. The govt has been controlling the agenda lately and their electoral stocks have risen in that time but don’t forget there is some nasty business ahead eg. Qld MPs, Minchin… If Labor regains control of the agenda the polls will shift again.

  21. Arbie it is more than a 1/3, a third is 33.3333% there is like one in three and a few extra… lacks credibility you are right, the Australians I meet are much smarter than that. They tell me they are sick of incompetent and dishonest government.

    Have a great weekend, too early to put it on ice, but we should be ordering the champaigne in bulk!!!!!!!!!

    Fonzie we were going to the same election night party right? Wasn’t the loser supposed to wear something revealing, leather, didn’t you say something about a leash and collar?

  22. Even though they could be wrong or right, you have to take these polls how you see them unless they prove you wrong.

    I can’t believe what’s happening in them at the moment though!

  23. arbie jay

    that anyone with an iq over 50 would vote liberal surprises me!!!!

    Silent -what is this about liberal party uniform and Happy days????

  24. The only thing that stops me calling the election definitely for Kevin Rudd is that I was certain Labor would win in 2001 and it did not. If we could grab the Doctor and the TARDIS and go back and delete the year 2001 from the calendar and our memories, I would now be certain that the Liberals would lose this year. Labor has been way in front in every poll. Every Liberal tactic against Kevin Rudd has been mindless. The one positive thing the Liberals have done, their initiative on Aborigines, which reveals the public as a whole to be even more cynical than I am, has made no difference. Mr Rudd has had the initiative almost the whole year and is about to regain it. The tax cuts are just what we believe we are entitled to. The Pay Commission’s $10 below-inflation increase (being spun as an above-inflation increase by not counting the waiting period) has revealed its true colours. WorknotcalledChoicesanymore Mark II is around the corner, festering in Nick Minchin’s mind. Brendan Nelson has linked Iraq to oil (and no, I’m not one of the conspiratorially inclined that thinks oil was the reason at the start).

    Adam, surely you are now feeling confident. Remove 2001 from your memory. (Scientists say that this is now medically possible.)

  25. Arbie Jay – you are so cruel, you wont even allow the govt 41%. Anything much less than that at election and the Greens will out number them.
    Hmm the Greens as the next major political party with Libs a minority? Wouldnt that be funny.

  26. Not so unlikley Kina, the demographic of the Lib voters is heavily in the 65+ catorgary while The Green voter is somewhat younger.
    This means in 10 years, the Liberals will be much sicker, if not already dead.
    If Greens continue to attract young voters like they do, their vote will esaly dubble.
    Soon the voters find out LIB/LAB is same/same, this will put The Greens into the picture as serious contenders for government.
    The thing is can we wait that long?

  27. I will repeat – if the government is still 14+ points behind come August with an election in November, we are looking at an ALP win. Howard would have to produce something that has not been seen in his time for him to claw back that support. A primary of the ALP near 50 is landslide territory.

  28. Sideline said “I think the bigger fright for the Libs, more than the latest primary and 2pp results, is the fact that for the last 6 months, nothing has worked for them, and that there doesn’t seem any new cards to play.”

    Agree. The usual tricks haven’t worked. The more nasty JWH gets, the worse it goes for him in the polls. I think the ALP has found JWH’s measure, and Rudd is ‘playing with his mind’. Also, there is an increasing sense that after 11 years Australians are awake to his tricks in enough numbers to matter.

    There may be a drift back to the govt on polling day, due solely to natural conservatism, but not much of a drift. So as long as the ALP can hold together, and as long as Rudd isn’t caught with his pants down, I’d say he has it won. JWH has nothing left to offer.

  29. Adjusting for the usual Morgan wackiness, we get the following primary votes: Coalition 41%, Labor 45%, inside that 6 point band I predict will last until August. Once again, ignore the 2PP figure, it’s just a gimmick.

  30. it really is looking as though JWH’s career of stretching the truth is finally starting to rebound on him. After years of treating the Australian electorate with cynicism the electorate is retuning the favour.
    The analysis by Possum’s Pollytics suggests that since at least 2004 there has been a signicant group of people looking for an excuse to vote Howard out and perhaps they have found it.

    There is no great enthusiasm for Rudd – yet. His great advantage is that he is not JWH and he is not Mark Latham.

    The other issue is one of history – JWH has the baggage of the past 10 years on his back and it is getting harder and harder to deny for him to nedy that he has some association with the events of the past 10 years.

  31. Excuse typos above should read:

    The analysis by Possum’s Pollytics suggests that since at least 2004 there has been a significant group of people looking for an excuse to vote Howard out and perhaps they have found it.

    JWH has the baggage of the past 10 years on his back and it is getting harder and harder to deny for him to deny that he has some association with the events of the past 10 years.

  32. Am a ‘newie’ to this site, for which I am most appreciative. I would have thought that if Possum’s analyses of the polls( most impressive statistical understanding and analysis I’ve come across in a long time, wow!) anyway, if the roughly 20% who were looking to an alternative to Howard have in fact shifted, the coalition are in serious trouble. Hopefully, listening to Downer on Rudd on PM this evening, terminally. The 2% for the lowest paid certainly won’t help – more like salt in the wound, I would have thought.

  33. Steven Kaye, check Possum’s site (linked at the top) for a (quasi) quantification of “Morgan wackiness”. The real primary vote figures are ALP 94%, Coalition 2%. I use the same method as you do, ie. pull numbers out of my arse until I get some that align with my prejudices.

  34. cynic,

    If only we were all intelligent marxists like you eh? Socialism has failed over the last century but that proves nothing! Liberals are all dumb. Viva la Ruddulucion!!!

  35. frank

    actually i am a deconstructionalist and as such the reduction to the lowest common denominator produces a result
    voila my iq rating re Liberal sic persuasion
    but what has Happy Days got to do with politics i wondered aloud

  36. Chilli’s Restaurant

    Sit around and wait to start you shift if it’s not busy enough.
    If a customer does a runner it comes out of your pay.
    Bring your own float. It’s a tool of the trade.
    If you speak up you get the sack.

    These facts brought to you by AWA’s.

    And people are amazed Howard is behind in the Polls.

  37. “It really is looking as though JWH’s career of stretching the truth…”

    That is putting it politely. I would have said his complete contempt and reckless disregard for the truth.

    “There is no great enthusiasm for Rudd – yet.”

    So how do you explain Rudd’s consistently high personal approval rating?

  38. dembo, I’d much rather hear why you believe Howard will get back. What is the “rabbit” that will turn this around? I realise you tried to answer this earlier but just talking about a 5% turn around without reasons is not answering the question. WHAT IS THE “RABBIT” THAT WILL TURN THIS AROUND FOR HOWARD?

  39. Howard’s never used ‘rabbits’ in the past, so why would he need one now?

    The ‘rabbit’ business is just silly media nonsense, arising from the silly media delusion of the master politician outmaneuvering his foes and getting back because he’s really clever. All rubbish.

  40. Regardless of any number of dubious opinion polls, Howard is likely to follow the centrebet odds, and make this a VERY close contest.

  41. by the way J-HO was in my electorate today announcing another bloody pipeline (his has announced it 3 times already)
    maybe he thought he was in Iraq

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