Morgan: 57.5-42.5

Roy Morgan has released results from a “special” phone poll of 600 respondents conducted yesterday and on Wednesday, which has Labor leading 57.5-42.5 on two-party preferred and 47.5 per cent to 37.5 per cent on the primary vote. The former figure is 1.5 per cent better for the Coalition than last week’s face-to-face poll. Some cute observations from Gary Morgan in the accompanying release:

Australia is lucky that we publish ‘voting intention’ more frequently than all other public opinion polls and Australians must be relieved they have, in addition to the traditional Australian media, an Internet news media which keeps everyone quickly, accurately and independently informed. All pollsters know voting intention is the real guide to how electors will vote. They also know it is hard or nearly impossible to measure how ‘preferences’ will be allocated at the ballot. We (the Morgan Poll) only ask approval ratings occasionally because Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Ronald Reagan and Helen Clark were all behind as the ‘preferred’ leader with low approval ratings a few months before being elected! All poll watchers need to read or re-read what I wrote on Wednesday, namely: ‘Can the Coalition win the Federal Election? The answer is…’

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.

150 comments on “Morgan: 57.5-42.5”

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  1. Nostradamus Says:
    July 14th, 2007 at 4:15 am
    “The Howard Government WILL be re-elected, don’t you worry about that. And Howard didn’t even need to commit to a full-term, such are his achievements and status that he can now leave office when he wishes to remembered as perhaps the greatest statesman in the history of the Asia Pacific. He has ushered in a new era of prosperity, security and morality.”

    That has got to be a urine-extraction.

  2. Thanks Lurker. Interestingly this reveals that Rudd is killing Howard in the marginalson preferred PM – with significant movement towards Rudd in recent weeks. But Shanahan has resisted putting this on the front page, no doubt due to his long held conviction that PPM is of little significance.

  3. I’ve got the Oz with me right now. In marginals, Labor leads by 59-41; in Coalition safe seats, Labor leads by 52-48 (!!!) In Labor safe seats, Labor leads by 66-34. Marginals are here defined as held by 6% or less. It’s from the same sample as yesterday’s state-by-state breakdown over Apr-July. Since Jan-March, Labor is up 1% in marginals, up 2% in Coalition safes and down 3% in its own safes. Since the last election, Labor is up 9.3% in marginals, 14.6% in Coalition safes and 4.1% in own safes. The swings are happening where Labor wants them; on these numbers, the Coalition would be absolutely obliterated!!!

  4. It’s all over red rover. This week has been appalling for John Howard, possibly the worst of the campaign. Iraq raised its ugly head, JWH’s “senior moment” received blanket coverage, the supermarket play received headline coverage, global warming is back in a big way and the plane refit bungle had people gasping.
    It wouldn’t be surprising to see the polls nudge even further away from the Coalition in the next couple of polls. There’s been no reason for them to go the other way.
    The story about Rudd leading in the marginals becomes a self fullfilling prophecy. People tend to go with a winner.
    Watch for John Howard making a graceful exit when he actually realises he is leading his party to a massive defeat.
    If he doesn’t jump, others may well destabilise him to the point where there is a leadership spill.
    There’s still four months for a new leader to make an impact.

  5. Sample sizes are 2203 in marginals, 3263 in Coalition safes and 1491 in Labor safes. On primaries, Labor leads 51-36 in marginals, 44-43 in Coalition safes and 56-29 in own safes.

  6. Adam – re your Rogues Gallery: although I note you have added a number of Greens, I think you should also add those candidates who also might have a chance of election (beyond the “1-in-a-million” type chance) – Adam Bandt in Melbourne and Michael Organ in Cunningham

  7. Note that Alan Ramsey in his discussion of polls this morning did not mention Morgan Polls, not even to explain why he wasn’t using them in his article.

  8. Re my conspiracy theory above.
    The front page of suggests there may be technical difficulties associated with their relaunch.

    I have another conspiracy theory though.
    The WestPoll took a measure of Federal Voting Intention on July 2-4

    I have seen the state voting intentions reported online but has anyone seen a report of the Federal figures (in hard copy or online)? Are these only reported when they are favourable for the government (and yes I know the sample size is execrable anyway).

  9. Howard is in Tasmania trying to prevent a complete collapse of the coalition vote. The most recent poll that I saw for Tasmania was showing a massive shift towards Labor, somewhere in the 60s on a two-party-preferred basis.

    But I can’t help thinking that Howard’s efforts are rather like trying to stop a boat from sinking after it springs a whole heap of leaks.

    When he discovered the large shift away from the coalition in QLD, Howard was up there claiming he was more of a Queenslander than Rudd, and did the usual splash out of money. But while he thought he patched that leak, suddenly NSW goes gangbusters and opens up a huge lead for Labor. Now he is in Tasmania trying to another patch job, again splashing the cash. It will back up to NSW to do the same, and now… he’s got leaks opening up across a wide swathe of marginals and even in his own safe seats. I don’t think Howard has enough fingers to plug all the holes in this boat – it looks like it’s going down.

    He has four months, and although anything can happen, and sure, lots of people might change their minds, the actual *politics* is not looking good. Howard has betrayed too many Australians to make forgiveness an easy thing to do.

    Also, interesting that The Australian didn’t report the results of the marginals online today. I wonder why? For those who have the paper version, did it make front page news?

  10. Can anyone tell me if there was a swing back to the government during the election campaigns of 1972, 1983 and 1996? I choose those elections because a change of government took place. If a swing is on and it is away from the government is there a history of a late swing back to the government of the day close to the election or is this myth?

  11. Tell me Edward with the polls as they are and the issues as they are what could see such a massive swing back to the government over the next 4 months as you suggest could happen? Let’s leave aside a catastrophe such as terrorist attack on Sydney or some such – personally I’m not sure how that would play out anyway.

  12. Good question Gary. I’m not sure about the other elections, but in 1996, there didn’t seem to be a swing back to the government on primary voting intention. For the 6 months leading up to the election, Labor was running at around 40%. A week out from the election, they were on 40.5%, and then ended up with 38.7% on election day.

  13. oakeshott country Says:

    July 14th, 2007 at 10:44 am
    Morgan was right. Hewson’s GST election was 1993.

    So it was Oakshott.. doh . teach me not to say too much that feigns as intelligent dialogue before 10am on a weekend; thanks for the correction.

  14. lurker speaks out Says:

    July 14th, 2007 at 11:34 am

    but has anyone seen a report of the Federal figures (in hard copy or online)?

    Havent seen anything on WA FEDERAL voting intentions either…maybe our fellow bloggers living on the other side of the rabbit fence (WA) could did something up.

  15. Australian federal elections are supposed to held every 3 years. Any delays beyond the 2nd weekend of October 2007 will be, as far as I am concerned, clinging to power.

    Given the quasi-campaigning Howard & Rudd have been waging all year, and the higher than usual proportion of electors who have “locked in” their vote (according to a NewsPoll from several weeks ago), any perception of “clinging to power” could lead to extra punishment for Howard at the ballot box by voters fed-up with his face invading their TV screens over a continuous 12-month period. They might not be amused by by a PM hanging on in the forlorn hope of some ALP-devouring cataclysm materializing.

  16. GB,

    Not sure, is a “if” question.

    If the support for Rudd is soft – swing back
    If people focus on elections as they get closer and revert to preference
    If people havent got a “set in concrete” view of Rudd and they settle on a less appealing view
    If people arent as concerned as alleged about WorkChoices or “its time” factors

    I could see Howard picking up the 3 or 4 per cent he needs to be competitive quite easily. I dont think there will be a “Tampa” as such nor does Howard need there to be one.

    As I said previously the Sawford formula (2 out of 3 on interest rates, unemployment and inflation) dont suggest Howard is going down – it says Line ball given 1 is down 1 is up and 1 is basically even but maybe going down.

    I’d discount the Newspoll January to July averages too, if you look at Mumble’s site the averages for 2004 polling for Qld in particular very excellent for the ALP and as we know not so hot in the actual poll. He makes the very valid point that Rudd’s strength in Queensland will be extremely interesting on the night.

  17. A lot of “ifs” there Edward. What about this “if”, if people are still listening to Howard and believing what he says. If people are not focussed on the election now why would they automatically go for the government when they are? Why not just discount every poll and assume everything is ok for the coalition?

  18. “As I said previously the Sawford formula (2 out of 3 on interest rates, unemployment and inflation) dont suggest Howard is going down – it says Line ball given 1 is down 1 is up and 1 is basically even but maybe going down.”

    I think it is running at 2 out of 3, not 1 out of 3. Interest rates are up and although the official inflation rate is stable compared to the 2004 election, the actual LIVED experience of many of those out there in the electorate is that inflation is high – all the household essential stuff has gone up significantly in price since 2004, such as petrol, groceries, childcare, healthcare, and of course, housing. It is the fall in electronic goods that masks what is otherwise an increase in the inflation rate.

    When people vote, they pay far more attention to their EXPERIENCE than the official figures on inflation, etc. In the past, the Sawford formula has had some credibility because the official figures were probably reflecting the electorate’s actual experience, but this time around, I’m not so sure. People ARE talking a lot about the rise in prices and the drop in their standard of living, some of whom also received a double whammy as Workchoices reduced their take home pay.

    So, Sawford formula says that if 2 out of 3 from unemployment, inflation, and interest rates, go up during the term of a government, then the government is voted out, then I would say, yes, it seems likely that Howard is gone. The Sawford formula itself might need a bit of a tweaking after this year’s election though when it comes to the inflation measure.

  19. I think it has reached a point where a lot of voters simply think Howard is too old. I actually think it would be in his (and his party’s) interests to set out a time table for when he will retire. Tony Blair did the same thing, because he must’ve known that many people wanted to retain a Labour government, but didn’t really like the current prime minister. Blair diffused this by specifying the fact he wasn’t going to seek another term. Howard could do the same by saying he will retire on say Australia Day 2009.

  20. Ophuph Hucksake – the Constitution talks about the length of parliaments being three years and that a parliament expires 3 years after a parliament first sat. Therefore the 3 years ends on 16 November 2007, 3 years after it first sat after the 2004 election.

    An election can be held between 33 days and 68 days after the close of parliament so the actual latest date constitutionally is in January 2008.

    Since 1955, only 2 elections have not been held in October – December or March. The 1974 double dissoution and the early winter election of 1987. It would be normal for our election to be held in any of these months without seeming odd or late. January would seem late and clinging to power. The last late election was 1983.

  21. Stewart, my gallery
    includes every candidate who (a) I know is running and (b) I have a photo of.

    The Greens have been slow announcing their candidates, as I have said here before (but of course they are not trying to win House seats so the candidates don’t matter much). The three Greens I have are the only ones who have sent me their photos. I have seen no definite report that Organ is running. If you can show me one I will add his photo.

    The Democrats have announced no House candidates at all. The Libs have only announced a few of their candidates in safe Labor seats, whereas Labor has announced almost all their candidates in safe Coalition seats.

    Prominent candidates I can’t find photos of (despite requests):
    *Nola Marino (Lib Forrest)
    * John “Wacka” Williams – Nationals Senate NSW

    Whoever does the WA Libs’ websites should be sacked

  22. 1983 was 6 months early – Fraser was the turkey who called for an early Christmas. I think the last late one was 1972. The House first met on 25 November 1969 and the election was 2 December 1972.

  23. The English experience is toattly different to that we have here for many reasons but the one that comes instantly to mind is Brown – Costello. Hmm

  24. i wouldnt be suprised if howard did hang on as long as is legal. he is obviously attached to the power of being pm. and he just might hope something turns up to swing voters back. i for one cannot think of anything dramatic enough for that to happen short of the entire labour front bench caught having unatural relations with the animals on old Mcdonalds farm and maybe not even that. if he does stay on it will just look like the act of a desperate man but he is that thick skinned he will probably like to have one last new years eve with the best seat to view the fireworks in the land.

  25. 8th grade

    If Howard did that it would give major political boost to the fixed election timetable argument. Which is good.

  26. Only one federal Parliament has ever reached its formal expiry date: the one elected in December 1906. Deakin put the election off until April 1910, the last legal date. It didn’t help him – Labor won with majorities in both houses.

  27. “The ALP’s ahead is safe Liberal Seats”

    I’m not surprised by this for the 2004 Election saw many normal marginals become safe, Living in a safe Liberal seat I see no campaigning whatsoever from the sitting member if the polls are right his seat will be line ball come Election night.

    Maybe he has given up!!

    To be fair to Costello, I recall reading his quote about his mother saying you have nothing to fair from the truth and a seal is a deal, I thought at the time while the Liberals were a long way in front that would be the turning point for Howard has done nothing to justify another term, his done plenty which deserve his sacking.

  28. There is nothing to be gained, if I was JWH, in saying anything about my retirement plans. Costello has his chance last year- he meekly stood in the corner and cursed at someone or something under his breath whilst JWH smiled and refused to answer the retirement question, again.

    Smart move for Howard, maybe not so smart for the Coalition. But again I say its only JULY, Howard has no reason to call early, and its only JULY now- in horse racing parlance they havent come into the straight, yet.

  29. In 1998 Labor did find its vote was bottled up in safe seats. In 2007 Labor probably will waste votes in Lyons, Holt, Calwell etc. But the obverse of Labor’s vote being bottled up is that the Libs vote is spread more thinly hence more marginals, thus if Labor’s vote was above 54% might they reap massive rewards as upper-range Lib marginals came into play?

  30. Adam said

    Costello must read articles like this and grind his teeth with frustration
    But it serves him right for his gutlessness last year

    Read the link Adam and agree with all, Costello’s and the libs best chance was a change before the budget.
    Costello could have presented it as his own budget, then modified Work Choices and lost the smirk in the process, would have come across as a new government with a new direction.

  31. John Ferguson, in the Herald Sun, (a fair and balanced political commentator in my view) says that inside the Canberra beltway most journalists believe Rudd will fail to get the 16 seats needed to beat Howard. Given the polls and the issues, and that the journalists are meant to be the gurus in this area, why on earth do they ignore what is in front of them? Is it they just don’t believe the polls (all 4 of them)? Are they just so insulated from reality they fail to see what is going on out there? Or do they believe Howard is truly the miracle man? 16 seats has been easily obtained by parties in elections before whether there has been a change of government or not. Besides whether or not it has happened in the past is surely irrelevant.

  32. * Lyons won 30 seats in 1931 (in a House of 75, the equivalent of 60 seats today)
    * Fraser won 30 seats in 1975 (in a House of 127)
    * Howard won 29 seats in 1996
    * Hawke won 24 seats in 1983 (in a House of 125)
    * Beazley won 18 seats in 1998
    * Whitlam won 18 seats in 1969 (in a House of 125)
    * Curtin won 17 seats in 1943 (in a House of 74, the equivalent of 35 seats today)
    * Scullin won 15 seats in 1929 (in a House of 75, the equivalent of 30 seats today)

  33. Hi everyone whats new in the world of election predictions? Did anyone put their credibility on the line and state who will win and by how many seats?

  34. it is long overdue that there be a uniform system for elections through out
    Australia should include …. fixed terms, optional preferential,votes are
    formal as long as a voters intention is clear and probably other things
    I have’nt thought of. this exists for most states but does not exist for federal
    elections. This would end the speculation as to when elections are held
    and the advantage of timing which goes to the incumbent

  35. Alan Ramsey in his column today revealed Rudd has been holding secret meetings with the editor of Sydney’s DAILY TELEGRAPH – is Howard’s favourite newspaper about to desert him?

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