Morgan: 55-45

The latest Roy Morgan fortnightly (I think) face-to-face survey of 1772 voters has the two-party vote steady at 55-45, with the Coalition primary vote remaining at 40.5 per cent and Labor down 0.5 per cent to 47 per cent. There are also supplementary figures on strength of voting intention, which at first look like splendid news for the Coalition – their vote is 34 per cent “strong” and 6.5 per cent “soft”, compared with 30 per cent and 17 per cent for Labor. However, I am slightly dubious about the method here, which involved asking respondents if they felt Australia was “heading in the right direction” and marking their Coalition support as “strong” if they said yes. For what it’s worth, the survey records a sharp rise in expectations of a Labor victory.

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.

618 comments on “Morgan: 55-45”

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  1. Greensborough Growler said: “Every credible poll says you and your mates in the Liberal Party government are up the creek” etc etc.

    “Credible poll” is an oxymoron. But you’ll find that out for yourself later this year.

  2. Steven says “You mean the same Tony Abbott who cycles for charity and is a volunteer firefighter? I’d say that one of the most nauseating political exercises in recent years has been the denigration of Mr Abbott by people who are fully aware of all the good works he does for the community.”

    Steven there is too many “o” in your spelling of good.

  3. “Alternatively, William could instal an “ignore” function, as many chat sites have, so that we could just not see persistent trollers (that’s you Cerdic). Is this technically possible?”

    Hmm. Something like this is probably pretty easy to do as a Firefox/Greasemonkey extension…. Damn, now I have a whole new area of procrastination to work with… :^\

  4. Swatting again Steven.

    The oxymoron cliche just don’t cut it any more.

    You missed that one anyway. Your beloved leader Howard doesn’t fart without checking with his pollsters. If Howard didn’t have polling data to decide what to do he would be naked in public.

    A truly ugly sight.

  5. If Cerdic is allowed to call Rudd “Kevin Dud”, I’ll happily keep on describing Howard as a liar and a rodent.
    My oh my, the Liberals are getting very stupid and desperate. If it’s a bad Newspoll for them tomorrow, maybe Costello might make a move against Howard?

  6. Adam, with respect to your 3.53pm post, bit rich don’t you think? At times, you have been one of the most partisan contributors. I also recall you have told other contributors that they are “idiots”, “stupid” and all manner of other things. Pity really because when you stick to matters psephological, your posts are great to read.

    Newspoll prediction: 57-43

    Why are all you Laborites so convinced about the margin narrowing? No doubt that will happen closer to election day, but the Government is now fairly and squarley in panic mode and its showing. And I think the usually disinterested electorate know it

  7. Adam, qui bono is as correct as cui bono. Check it. I prefer the original latin! Amazing how useful latin is all these years later.
    My, we are bitching here. I suppose we are all impatient to see what the latest Newspoll brings.
    I checked out the Telegraph today and they used very unkind photographs of John Howard – made him look old and grumpy.
    David, how could you? Your editorial didn’t assuage your Liberal friends either.
    It’s interesting how, in almost every photo of John Howard, he looks grumpy and stressed and in almost every photograph of Kevin Rudd he has an open mouthed smile.
    There were five photos in the Telegraph – three of John Howard being grumpy and two of Kevin Rudd happy, with one of him surrounded by attractive young women.
    These photos continually reinforce the image of John Howard as a grumpy old man. He’s also often angry and snappy too. He is putting his previous supporters off.

  8. Glen questions why Labor has not released a tax policy. It would be wrong to assume Labor doesn’t have one. A tax policy is very important and would be released, in most cases, during the election campaign proper, possibly even during the campaign launch speech. At this stage, it is too early for either side to know exactly how much money will be in the kitty come election time, and how much (if any) can be devoted to tax relief. I’m sure the Government has more tax policies to release as well, in the run-up to the election.

    We have yet to see any really major health and education policies rolled out by either side yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be. Few could have predicted, a fortnight ago, that right now we’d all be arguing about the merits of funding a small hospital in Tasmania. No doubt there’ll be another issue, which no-one has predicted yet, that will be dominating the blogs next month.

    I would expect the debate to really take off if there’s an interest rate rise this week. It will put the focus back on the economy.

    By the way, am I the only person who thinks that it’s a bit odd that the Reserve Bank is specifically charged by the government to keep inflation within a specified target range. I know rising inflation is a very bad thing, but aren’t there other economic indicators that are also important, like creating jobs, productivity growth, balance of payments etc? Setting interest rates higher or lower can affect all these important things, so why focus exclusively on inflation?

    It’s all part of the joy of the political process.

  9. For the general edification of everybody:

    Cerdic Conan Says:
    August 6th, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    is an example of a troll

    Adam Says:
    August 6th, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    is an example of someone being successfully trolled.

    Cerdic Conan Says:
    August 6th, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    is an example of a troll trolling a second time after having success with an earlier attempt at trolling.

    The best response to a troll is no response.

  10. ABC news just reported that the latest Newspoll had “little or no good news for the Prime Minister”

    Sounds like good news to me…

  11. ABC reports “little or no improvement” for Team Rodent in tomorrow’s Newspoll.

    No surprises there.

  12. You might be pretty close, Kiwipundit. Tonight’s ABC-TV news suggested that the Newspoll will show “… essentially no change…”. Nothing’s getting any traction at the moment.

    To Glen, Steven, CC et al: whatever points you may be trying to make, they’re wasted on us who are pretty well rusted-on. You need to be reaching that 10% to 15% who have changed their voting intentions since the last election.

  13. Grensborough said
    “You missed that one anyway. Your beloved leader Howard doesn’t fart without checking with his pollsters. ”
    I think you might be wrong on that one.

    Stunkrat said
    The difference seems to be that the ALP leaks their internal polling to discredit the Government, while the Liberal Party leaks their internal polling to discredit the Government. Wait a minute…

    That is very funny!

  14. 53-47. Bet ya

    I’m sure they leaked it. They know everybody hates em, they dont care. They also know everbody loves watchin Johnny come from behind, especially the media. They leaked it and they know that newspoll tonight is gunna be better then last time, so the media will jump on the “here he comes” bandwagon.

    Bet ya

  15. There’s been a few comments re 1996 vs 2007 so I thought it might be helpful to supply some Newspoll polling data for comparison.

    1st four months of leadership of Howard 95 and Rudd 06/07

    1995 ALP 38.8 L/NP 48.4 TPP 45.5/54.5

    2007 ALP 46.5 L/NP 38.5 TPP 55.2/44.8

    2nd four months of respective leadership

    1995 ALP 39.6 L/NP 46.9 TPP 46.8/53.2

    2007 ALP 48 L/NP 37.9 TPP 56.2/43.8

  16. I think that there is a phenomenon that I will call the vitriol principle. The effect comes into play when people are more willing to be vocal in their dislike of a political leader. Some have noted that there is a level of dislike of Howard that transcends what could be considered normal.

    As a result, rather than the usual Australian reticence, people will make anti-Howard comments to people who they don’t know.

    This leads to a reluctance by those who intend voting for Howard to voice their opinion (the silent majority). This effect is most pronounced when dealing with a face-to-face question by a left-wing uni student in jeans trying to make a few bucks by working for Roy Morgan and to a lesser extent when asked over the phone where the person on the other end might think you heartless if you support the Libs. I suspect this effect is more pronounced in country areas where they fear being considered hicks if the mention National Party.

    People will answer the questions one way and then walk into the booth and vote another, remember this affect need only affect 3% of the population in order to have a huge impact.

    In the 2004 election the effect was 2.8% on Newspoll and 3.8% on Roy Morgan (the difference between final polls and election).

    If the level of vitriol is higher than 3 years ago, then you would expect the effect to be greater.

    Naturally, we expect the current gap to narrow, we are experiencing unprecidented prosperity that people are taking for granted, as the election approaches some will move to the government rather than risk losing whatb they have.

    The work place campaign was started too early by the unions. Having been told for the past 12 months that people were going to be sacked, lose holidays etc, many will start questioning their claims,

    I also wonder if interest rates are a little like a giffen good in economics. A small rise in rates actually helps the Government as it is perceived as a better economic manager. Higher rates focuses the attention on the potential impact of poor economic management.

    The election campaign will see claims that workplace relations will destroy the economy but that is what was claimed about the GST.

    Lastly, wait for the ultimate election question
    “Can you trust ….’s judgment, he thought Latham should lead the nation”

  17. I don’t like watching him come from behind, Bet Ya.

    Status quo with Newspoll would be 55/45. If it’s 53/47 chooks will indeed squawk about the comeback king, but as we very well know that’s within the margin of error. It would fit Bryan Palmer’s trend line pattern though.

    I wishfully predict 56/44.

    Labor is running dead with IR at the moment. I expect they’ll get a poll bounce when the campaign starts again and the serious ‘get ready for Workchoices 2’ blitz starts.

  18. Don Wigan said: “To Glen, Steven, CC et al: whatever points you may be trying to make, they’re wasted on us who are pretty well rusted-on. You need to be reaching that 10% to 15% who have changed their voting intentions since the last election.”

    Huh? Not being a staffer or member of either of the Coalition parties I have no need or desire to change anyone’s voting intention. No, I’m just here patiently waiting for the apoplexy that will greet the PM’s election win later in the year. Please don’t disappoint me.

    Richard Jones said: “It’s interesting how, in almost every photo of John Howard, he looks grumpy and stressed and in almost every photograph of Kevin Rudd he has an open mouthed smile.”

    Not that interesting. The photos you see in a paper are actually very carefully chosen to have an impact. Just shows how out-of-his-depth little Penberthy is; Krudd comes along and wines and dines him and plays pool with some of his hacks and all of a sudden he’s Labor’s new propagandist. Silly boy – I hope PM Howard engages in some payback before retiring in early 2009.

  19. Bill for once I agree with you entirely, yessir, 57-43 for Newspoll according to my crystal ball/s ?

    As for the leak of Liberal research- people within the party with a long term view (ie can see the writing on the wall this time around) are (just a theory ok) giving Howard the death knell and preparing policy speeches for the member for Wentworth (Malcolm Turnbull) as the ‘new’ Opposition leader at the next election.

    Strop stopped in at his local caffeine fix shop on the way to work at Centre-wink today and saw this splashed across the front page of the Courier Mail in huge black letters: LIBS SECRET DOSSIER..John Howard is seen as increasingly rattled not responding well under pressure.

    In that moment Strop said to himself ‘There’s the Obituary: Howard is Gone. I am going to frame that front page of this mornings paper and keep it for posterity because, for me, that was the moment I was convinced it was all over for John Winston Howard.

    How could he possibly come back from that: unless he can reinvent himself overnight and put in a massive performance in the HOR this week, he is going to be absolutely creamed at the coming election.

    It is rediculous, of course, to call it this far out, but my gut tells me the fat lady is singing her little heart out now and no-one and nothing will save JWH now- He is gonneeeeeeeeee !!!

    57-43 for Newspoll and the same on election day I reckon.

  20. Oh Steven,

    Hit me with a warm lettuce leaf.

    The difference between you and me is that I believe that qualitative and quantitative polls have some use in ascertaining the mood of the electorate.

    You, on the other hand, are determined to put your fingers in your ear and sing”Ting a ling a loo”. because you don’t like the the results.

  21. Can anymore name the Labor Party’s alternative industrial relations policy, i mean straight off the top of your head…..give up….Fair Work Australia.

    My point, I would bet the average punter out there couldn’t tell you – a key policy area and noone seems to care. Rudd at this point can sit on his hands and say just about nothing and watch the fire engines doing rotating shifts out of Coalition Central…APEC is around the corner, Howard is going to look like a scared rabbit in the HOR beforehand.

    When will Rudd have to actually say something substantial about something ? Not before the election is called and even then very little.

    I dont like it either, I want an ALTERNATIVE I can respect, choose, nominate with some rationale’ -All I have now is a negative- Ive had enough of Howard.

    It is an indictment on the future of Australian politics and our future if we have another 4-5 term Govt born primarily out of a strong distaste for the Incumbent (Keating-Fraser).

  22. Blacklight Says:

    August 6th, 2007 at 7:53 pm
    yup id say bugger all change for the next poll, whatever it may be.

    I also predict 83 seats to labor. HUZZAH

    Dats what I said Blacklight. Wonder what the bookies have to say about that ?

  23. Strop,

    You got to feel the Vibe.

    No-one elected Howard on detailed and articulate policy.

    No-one will dis-elect him for the same reasons.

  24. Michel de Nostredame Says:

    August 6th, 2007 at 9:01 am
    Crosby/Textor are notorious as push pollers and their data should be discounted. The report’s leak by faithful Howard supporters is clearly a ploy to shore up our dear leader’s support in the face of the spineless front bench and backbenchers who have neither the bottle or the brains to mount any sort of challenge even in the face of electoral oblivion.

    Another cracker Michel: well done.

  25. Cerdic (August 6th, 2007 at 11:58 am),

    As several contributors have remarked more than once, this site is not for debate on policy so much as for discussion of elections, so I will not provide a detailed response to your implication that the states do not have a good story to tell or your extraordinary claim that they have failed on just about every performance measure there is.

    This claim is often made but rarely supported. I refer you to my post on for a few details of Victorian Labor’s achievements. I refer you to my posts on for a contrasting list of the damaging things done to Victorian education by the Liberals and to my posts on for some quotations of the abuse of teachers used as part of the softening up process by the Liberals and their allies.

    The so-called failures of the states and territories have not stopped Labor winning 21 elections at that level or the Liberals losing them. Politically speaking, the attack on the states has not worked at the federal level either so far. There is some possibility that a $70 billion debt may scare some voters even though borrowing to invest in infrastructure is a rational idea, the same in nature as borrowing to buy a home. Let’s see how Kevin Rudd handles it.

    As I said on 3/8 on this thread:
    ‘I believe that next week’s Newspoll will show a swing to the ALP, say 56-44 Labor’s way.’

  26. William your blog so your prerogative. Fair enough – them’s the rules.

    Apparently some offensive comments are created more equal than others (ie witness Adam at 7.51pm tonight).

    Therefore I exercise my prerogative too! Not much point in a dialogue of the deef, partisan and bias.

    Adios Companeros, C U in November.

  27. William,

    How can a fellow as moderate as I be put into moderation? I haven’t inadvertently included inside a word the name of a substance I have never heard of word again, have I?

  28. I have uprooted a string of comments which had degenerated into bickering. In these circumstances I find myself deleting some comments which are reasonably inoffensive, but there’s no point removing one without removing them all. However, I have left intact ESJ’s moving farewell, for posterity.

    Neither Chris or STROP are in moderation – it happens if you use more than one link, or sometimes for other innocent reasons.

  29. I see that Labor gone tit-for-tat with You tube commercials. They bring up the point that rates were at 22% under Howard as treasurer. The whole thing looks like that the Libs are getting desperate.

    How often does AC Nielsen come out? When is the next one?

    My prediction for Newspoll: 56-44 ALP. I don’t think the Libs have made ground this fortnight.

    Will lateline get the figures wrong again?

    Date update re election. Both the Japanese and Canadian PMs have addresses to parliament scheduled in Australia (Canberra) on Sep 11 and Sep 12 respectively. Nothing will be called until after then. I still think it will be a late Nov election.

  30. William, I have been lurking here for weeks and just wanted to say I LOVE your work.

    For what it’s worth, I think the level of moderation is spot-on: I enjoy the exchanges, including the heated, infuriated ones, and a bit of slagging off is probably inevitable when political passions are aroused. All the arguments are just colour and movement.

    This site is a brilliant source of insight into the polls and the intricacies of the electoral process.

  31. Will the govt attacks on the State Govts cause them to respond and defend their reputations? If so, will that defence be with Govt money?

    Maybe the coalition has bitten off more than it wants to chew!

  32. [Will lateline get the figures wrong again?]

    They didn’t really get the figures wrong, they just weren’t given the figures. They were told that there was “little change” so they showed the figures from the previous poll

    [Will the govt attacks on the State Govts cause them to respond and defend their reputations?]

    Well they have, Brumby pointed out that Victoria’s debt level is the lowest in 50 years. Iemma pointed out that last week Howard criticised the Tasmania government for not spending enough, whereas now they are saying they are spending too much. He used the great line “they should come up with one lie and stick to it”. Iemma also send Howard sounds like he is “losing it”. Rann also had something to say, but I can’t remember the detail.

  33. SirEggo,

    AC Nielsen comes out every 4 weeks. There will be one due on Monday. The last Nielsen showed 58/42, it will probably narrow to 56/44 although if rates rise on Wednesday, maybe it will stay at those levels.

  34. Thanks Simon… great lines from Iemma!

    Team Rodent has become so arrogant, they think these lamearsed serial wedge attempts are clever.

    When in fact, they’re getting slapped down in about ten minutes these days ….. fair dinkum, its like shooting ducks in a barrel since Sino left.

    Again, I tell you – Howard has become Latham. All tactics, no strategy.

  35. Thanks Adam, I’ve fixed that … it was occurring where I wasn’t removing from the count the candidates elected through elimination of others.

  36. This is my first posting to this site, although I have been following with some fascination the way recent threads have developed.

    One element I am bemused has not developed further is the outcome of the Senate poll in the ACT. The outcome of that poll can have the greatest impact of any single seat in the upcoming election.

    If the Greens or indeed the ALP win the second seat, it will remove the ability of the Coalition to control the Senate for the first six months of a Rudd Government. While the Coalition would maintain a blocking position they would be unable to control votes.

    I am not aware of any local polling in the ACT but would be amazed if there were not a material deterioration in the Liberal vote. The public servants are being left to carry the can for policy making on the run and I suspect resentment is building. In addition the Canberra population resents interference in local affairs of which there has been an increasing tendency.

    All up I am not convinced the ALP Liberal split of the Senate vote is the foregone conclusion many expect.

  37. Lateline reports “More bad news for the government in tomorrow’s Newspoll…”

    “Labor moving even further ahead…”

    ALP 56 – Coalition 44

    Bye, Bye Johnny.

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