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”

Comments Page 2 of 13
1 2 3 13
  1. Question: which polling organisation is considered the most reliable?
    Interesting thought: the budget bribes haven’t been that effective for the Howard Government, so far at least. And, it’ll be hilarious if the Liberals still don’t retain Braddon after Howard’s intervention this week.
    Time will tell, as they say!

  2. Aristotle – thanks for that. These figures say it all really. Where’s this trend back to the government people keep mentioning?

  3. Gary Bruce – you will see the trend in action on election night! The Man of Steel will come storming home, and the left will be left struggling to come up with some flimsy excuse as how he managed to beat them yet again. Stay tuned for that inventive excuse – it should be absolutely hilarious ! So says Cerdic Conan.

  4. Maybe the media and a lot of naturally pessimistic Labor supporters(well, at least me) are too afraid to believe Rudd is that far ahead. I just can’t believe the ALP is going to win this time, and I keep thinking there’ll be another Tampa or a terrorist attack to save Howard yet again.

  5. This poll could mean something. I have though even though people agree a bit with the Haneef thing, it’s not really that much of a vote changer that Tampa was in 2001.

  6. Evan,

    You got it in one:
    “a lot of naturally pessimistic Labor supporters(well, at least me) are too afraid to believe Rudd is that far ahead”.
    Many Labor supporters cannot see the evidence before their eyes because John Howard has been given a supernatural reputation for stealing victory from the jaws of defeat.

    In the Victorian election, the polls gave the following results:
    Newspoll predicted ALP 45, L/NP 37 (LP 32, NP 5), Greens 9, Others 9
    Morgan predicted ALP 42.5, L/NP 40.5 (LP 36, NP 4.5), Greens 12.5, Others 4.5
    ACNielsen predicted ALP 42, L/NP 41 (no breakdown), Greens 11, Others 6.
    As at 1.42am on the Sunday, the voting was:
    ALP 43.6, L/NP 39.4 (LP 34, NP 5.4), Greens 9.6, Others 7.4.
    It changed a little with the final figures, but the overall conclusion is that the polls are reasonably accurate, but not infallible. But all those with a serious interest in elections know this already.

    I believe that next week’s Newspoll will show a swing to the ALP, say 56-44 Labor’s way. I say this because the last one had swings to John Howard on national security and the economy which were large enough for me to conclude that the sample was a little skewed – within the margin of error – towards the Liberals. To put it another way, there has been no budget bounce to the L-NPs.

    I repeat my predictions that Labor will win 22 seats from the coalition this year, it will pick up more seats in the 2008 double dissolution, in which the Greens will win the balance of power in the Senate, and it will win again in 2011. John Howard has shown no cohesive strategy for turning the tide, while Kevin Rudd is in no way finished with his taking of the initiative. You are underestimating Mr Rudd if you think he has fired all his shots.

  7. Gary there is a trend from the high point of the ALP vote in March, but as has been mentioned on this blog before, trying to draw trend lines from such data can be very difficult, because it is very reliant on which point you start from.

    So, as was shown on a previous thread, if you applied the same “trend” analysis to the 1996 election, where in March 1995 the votes were ALP 36,
    L/NP 52.5, but by Aug they were ALP 41 L/NP 46; continuing that trend through to March 1996 had the ALP ending up with a vote of 47 and the L/NP 38 ! An easy victory for PJK not JWH !


    2nd lot of 13 polls (March/Apr) ALP 50.1 L/NP 35.5 Others 14.4

    3rd lot of 13 polls (May/mid June) ALP 48.9 L/NP 37.9 Others 13.2

    Why lots of 13? Because there have been 52 polls, 4 lots of 13 = 52.

  8. Cerdic, don’t waste your time please. I don’t even read your contributions. I’ve seen your work on other blogs. Not a pretty sight.

  9. Arrggghhhh! Please do not feed the trolls! If you’re not posting about the topic you’re not really contributing (me included). “Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience.”

    However, given the steady state of the polls over the last, err, six months or so there’s not a lot to talk about…

  10. Bungs – it’s a free country, isn’t it? So says Cerdic Conan.

    Since you ask: no, it isn’t.

    I don’t know who told you that it is.

  11. One example to bear in mind is that in recent months Bertie Ahern, the Prime Minister of Ireland was taking an absolute beating in the opinion polls month after month, but at the recent election he came storming home to win again.

    Another example that those of us who are old enough to remember can give – in 1987 Margaret Thatcher was trailing consistently in the opinion polls, and the Thatcher-haters had convinced themselves that she was going to lose for sure (see any parallels here?), but on election day she won a solid victory, and loony left were all crying into their beer.

    So says Cerdic Conan.

  12. If a pollster ever asks me whether I think Australia is headed in the right direction, I am going to say that GPS measurements show that Australia’s movement is headed 35 degrees east of north.

  13. Chris, I’m always interested when someone mentions a double dissolution. I would have thought that, in the event of the coalition holding the senate with a Labor victory they would bend over backwards to avoid a DD. With the smaller numbers required for a quota don’t we then have the minor parties taking firm control of the balance of power for at least two senate terms? Or have I got something very wrong?

  14. Cerdic, I meant don’t waste your time responding to me. By all means keep expressing your opinion, just leave me out of it.

  15. Gary Bruce – it is Cerdic Conan’s mission to educate lefty loonies and point out inconvenient truths to them. I never consider it a waste of my time! So says Cerdic Conan.

  16. Andrew, I would think Labor would prefer the minor parties holding the balance of power in the Senate. At least in that way they would have a chance of getting contentious legislation through.

  17. Chris, the Newspoll swing to Howard was in comparison with a Newspoll in mid-March, which was at the high point of Labor’s lead; at that stage, Labor had a 61-39 lead.

  18. One for Antony Green.
    I recall Gary Morgan, commenting on the 1992 John Major phone polling blunders, that the results were skewed to Labour because Conservatives were more unwilling to be phone polled. Is there any evidence anywhere of Left/Right willingness/unwillingness to be polled (either F2F or phone) or are other factors at the time more important and whether the current govt is Conservative or not?

  19. Gary Bruce Says:
    August 3rd, 2007 at 3:55 pm
    Andrew, I would think Labor would prefer the minor parties holding the balance of power in the Senate. At least in that way they would have a chance of getting contentious legislation through.

    They probably would, at that, but am I right that thinking the minors would pick up more seats in a full senate than a half senate election? It would also depend on the size of their majority. Would it be valid to expect a Labor gvt calling a DD election to lose seats?

  20. Evan said ‘And, it’ll be hilarious if the Liberals still don’t retain Braddon after Howard’s intervention this week.’

    I reckon there’s a good chance of it Evan. I know (and love) Devonport and the Northwest coast of Tasmania well. By pumping cash into the Devonport hospital Howard might pick up a few votes, but the trouble is that boosting the Devonport hospital poses a threat to the viability of the Burnie hospital (40ks away) also in Braddon. There’s just not enough doctors, nurses and patients to justify two major hospitals on the Northwest coast of Tasmania. Any votes Howard gains in Devonport he may well lose in Burnie.

    There’s also the fact that this is such a blatant attempt to buy votes, that it’s likely to have a negative effect on anyone who does not live in Devonport. It doesn’t exactly make Howard look like a responsible financial manager.

  21. TofK Says:
    August 3rd, 2007 at 4:01 pm
    Andrew A, who said that quote? Its as delicious as ironing!

    I’ve never found out 🙁 I’d have listed the originator if I knew who they were. A real favourite of mine is

    “What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what ‘the stars foretell,’ avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable ‘verdict of history’ – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” – Lazarus Long (Robert A. Heinlein)

  22. Gary and Aristotle, if you want trends have a look at the Ozpolitics site. You can see a slow but steady erosion of ALP support from March onwards. 5 months ago, they were polling at around 60-61% TPP, now they’re polling around 55% TPP. The numbers speak for themselves.

    The comparisons to 1995-6 don’t cut it in my opinion. The evidence shows one rogue 50:50 newspoll and remarkable stabillty for the duration of the year. In contrast, the ALP’s vote this year has been drifting south ever so slowly. Is Howard going to win? Who knows… I’m pessimistic about his chances… Nonetheless, the Coalition can find some solace in their rising vote as this suggests that they still have a chance. So says A-C.

  23. I wonder if the mythology surrounding Howard – that he can pull any election victory out of the jaws of defeat – is really helpful. He came close to losing in 98 when it should have been a no contest. Used the once in a century events of 9/11 to appeal to the dark and narrow side of electrate – and then he was gifted Latham.

    It seems to me that Howard “genius” is just that he wins in the same way a two-year old wins an argument – they are prepared to behave anyway do anything to get their way. It works for a while with toddler but parents eventually set limits. I think the electrated has howard pegged now and a major time out is on the way.

  24. I think it is wrong to draw conclusions between countries with different systems to ours. The major difference is that we have compusory voting whilst GB and Eire don’t. Are the polls there taken from cohort who will actually take time of work and go and vote? As I understand it, both these contries have mid-week elections. Imagine non-compulsory voting here with Workchoices? No sorry, you can’t take time off to vote, it’s not in your contract!

  25. William Bowe Says:

    August 3rd, 2007 at 3:51 pm
    J-D, you need to use rather than [ and ]. I have corrected it for you.

    Thanks, William!

  26. Cerdic Conan, in my lifetime Australia has had sixteen Federal elections. In eight of those a majority of Australian voters voted for Labor, and in eight a majority voted for the Coalition. Do you consider all those people who voted Labor to be lefty loonies? That’s a lot of loonies.

  27. Andrew A and TofK
    I seem to remember that quote in a Dilbert Cartoon, but got no idea whether it had a life prior to that.

  28. Andrew A,

    For the coalition to bend over backwards to avoid a double dissolution, it will have to agree to rip up WorknotcalledChoicesanymore. I just can’t see that happening. If Kevin Rudd avoids the challenge on this issue, all hell will break out inside the ALP.

    The minor parties, probably the Greens, will get the balance of power for one term. After that, who knows? They may end up with all the short-term Senate spots and be out after three years.

  29. Interesting:

    In the Oct/Nov 2004 Morgan F2F poll, respondents were asked the “who do you think will win the election” question. The results were: 56% Coalition to 28% ALP. The latest Morgan F2F has it 58% ALP to 26% Coalition.

    Perceptions do seem to carry weight.

  30. I think Morgan’s reputation was destroyed at the last election. In the last two weeks it was obvious that the Coalition was in front. Not only did Morgan indicate that Labor were ahead but Gary Morgan came out a day or two before election day saying The ALP will definitely win. As they had been around for a long time (years and years) – this got me very excited – its why the media generally ignore Morgan these days.

    I think these results are consistent with the previous result (last Morgan ftf poll), appearing in the same ballpark as News and Galaxy so maybe they have modified their polling methods.

    This then Leaves ACNielson as the outlier as 58 / 42.

    What really gives me joy is a Newspoll in June which indicated that 57% of ALP voters had locked in their vote while 31% said their was a only a very small chance that they would change their vote – proprtions were similar for the coalition. So 88% had committed their vote already. It left the coalition having to claim approximately 9% of the remaining 12% of uncommitted voters.

    I’d suggest that this figure is uncommittd figure is now lower than 12% and therefore the Coalitions task is just that much harder.

    There also seems to be this conventional wisdom that Labor needs 51.5% of the 2pp however aother Newspoll indicted that likely swing to Labour is much greater in Lib marginal seats and “Safe” Coalition seats than in safe Labor seats which suggests that Rudd could win with less than 50% 2pp.

  31. Hang on, I think Cerdic mounted an argument by example up there somewhere. ‘Ahern won from behind, so did Thatcher. Therefore Howard will also.’ Ignoring the logical difficulties of being so smugly certain about an outcome based on two examples out of dozens, there are some key differences in UK elections because of non-compulsory voting. The result can be skewed away from the opinion poll predictions by an effective campaign to ‘turn out the vote’. I know the parties in the UK these days go door-knocking known supporters on election day to make sure they’ve gone to the polling station. I can’t say if they did this in ’87. Perhaps the Tories did and Labour did not.

    It is true though, that polls measure voting intention at the time they are taken, and people do change their minds. That’s why we watch the trends, thank you Aristotle et al. You can believe, Cerdic, that Howard will turn things around once the election is formally called. But he has little past form in doing so. Bryan Palmers graphs tell the opposite story, in fact.

  32. Andrew, if Labor wins this election that would mean the Libs were really on the nose surely. How much more on the nose would they be 18 months down the track when half of them will have retired and a new leader at the helm? This would IMHO ensure a swing again to Labor. Yes, the minor parties in the Senate would find it easier to be elected, a lower quota is required. I’m not sure what that is off hand. Being a double dissolution Labor will have ahd “trigger” legislation to bring the DD on. After such an election Labor could then hold a joint sitting to get this legislation through, even if they still didn’t have a majority in the Senate.
    A DD would be the way to go IMHO.

  33. It doesn”t matter what the poll says- it’s how the community perceives the message which the poll sends. Business and media perceptions have a snow ball effect on these things especially in Victoria.

  34. A-C, do you believe these polls are predictive? Many will argue they are not. They just record what has happened and is happening out there now. If the answer is no any talk of a future trend is futile.

  35. Gary is it a good thing if “the Libs (are) really on the nose”? I thought a great centrist like yourself, would not want to see a weak and divided Opposition to a Rudd Government.

  36. J-D – there have also been 16 federal elections in my lifetime. I’m not sure how you’re counting them, but I count a total of 7 won by the ALP (2 by Whitlam, 4 by Hawke and 1 by Keating), not 8. Which of course means that the Coalition won the other 9. I do not consider everyone who voted Labor to be lefty loonies. I may even vote Labor myself under certain circumstances, i.e. if Labor was a better alternative than the Coalition. This has not happened in my lifetime, but if I had been alive and of voting age in 1943, I would have voted for John Curtin. Likewise, if I was British and living in Britain, I would have voted for Tony Blair (at least in 2001 and 2005). So you see I judge parties, leaders and governments on their performance and the outcomes they are capable of delivering.

    In 1972 Whitlam appeared to the elctorate be a better alternative to McMahon, and so he was narrowly elected. This turned out to be a mistake and Whitlam proved to be even more incompetent as PM than McMahon. In 1974, with growing evidence of his incompetence, he still seemed to be a better alternative to the bumbling Billy Snedden, and so he was even more narrowly re-elected. This turned out to be another mistake, and the Whitlam Government’s incompetence increased until it spiralled into oblivion.

    In 1983 Hawke appeared to be a better alternative to Fraser, as Fraser had led Australia into recession, and so he was elected with a sizeable majority. In 1984 he was narrowly re-elected because he seemed a better alternative to the inept Andrew Peacock (a situation repeated in 1990). In 1987 Hawke was narrowly re-elected against John Howard. He seemed a better alternative that year because Joh’s machinations had successfully split the federal Coalition and the National Party, and Peacock’s ambitions were dividing the Liberal Party and undermining Howard’s leadership. Hawke also proved a mistake and led Australia into the worst recession since the Great Depression. In 1993 Keating appeared to be a better alternative to the inept and bungling Dr. Hewson, and so he was narrowly re-elected. This too was a mistake, and the Keating government continued its disastrous policies until the electorate took baseball bats to his government.

    The point I am making is that large segments of the Australian electorate made reasonable errors in judgment in those particular elections, because the alternatives seemed even worse, but that doesn’t make those electors lefty loonies. Electors who just mindlessly and blindly vote Labor in every single election without any regard to their performance I would classify as lefty loonies. And I would also classify as lefty loonies people who are so biased as to be totally unable to credit the Howard Government (or other conservative governments for that matter) with any successful or positive outcomes whatsoever.

    Think about which category you fit into ….

    So says Cerdic Conan.

  37. People do tend to go with winners. The perception is that Labor will win and the punters believe so too.
    To have polls like this in August does not presage well for John Howard.
    The campaign has been in full swing for months, more so than previously, so the figures may well have hardened prematurely.
    The ALP will make much of John Howard’s age in the advertising campaign before the election. He is about to become a grandfather, has just had his 68th birthday and “should be thinking of retiring and spending time with his wife and grandchild”.
    If he deep down believes he will lose it may show at some time in the campaign with subtle hints.
    The ALP campaign is not likely to be kind to John Howard and will concentrate on his age, his interest rates promise as well as AWAs.
    Really the ALP have all the campaign aces at this stage.
    Kevin Rudd has not exposed himself to a wedge.
    The closest to it is the Devonport Hospital which may come back to haunt the Coalition. Already Peter Costello is already dampening down expectations of more of these.
    When the facts about the Devonport Hospital are examined it is clearly a mistake and makes no economic or health sense at all.
    Labor could well stir up trouble around the country by encouraging other communities to put up their hands all over the place and then being disappointed.
    Let’s see what the Reserve Bank does on Tuesday. The markets have settled down a bit now and that will be much less of a consideration for the Bank. They could even go for a short sharp shock of half a per cent as a shot across the bows of overconsumers.

  38. David I wasn’t commenting on what I want, I was commenting on what I believed would/should happen if Labor wins the next election. As a matter of interest how do you conclude I am a centrist? A centrist is?

  39. Richard, I’m not sure about the age thing but I think you’ve nailed it on the other points. Already many hospitals have called for help. Just wait when they are denied any extra funds. They won’t be happy Jan.

  40. David, a centrist would be hoping for at least 6 years of a divided, inneffective conservative opposition to allow for the moderate Rudd to restore the pendulumn to the centre.

  41. you fools.
    is it not obvious that while you smugly anticipate a Rudd victory, that the vicious little runt in the lodge is slowly pegging back the lead and will win at least another three terms to drag this country down even further into the image of his own dismal little universe.
    john howard knows. australia is his. anybody who thinks otherwise is a fool.
    the most dishonest and profoundly corrupt moral and ethical criminal ever to hold the highest office in this land will be carried out of the lodge in a pine box in about 10-15 years.
    and you all act like a labor victory is a foregone conclusion.
    australia gets what it deserves.

  42. Gary, I don’t imagine that the ALP campaign would be so blatant as to say “John Howard’s too old”. That would put off the many voters who are older than John Howard and who have full-time jobs, run businesses and have very full lives. There are very many like that. Rupert Murdoch is one outstanding example. It’ll be somewhat more subtle than that!
    He himself is saying that being there for so many years is a great handicap and this election will be the most difficult since 1987, which of course he lost. That may be one of his first admissions that he feels he has lost this one. He’s also saying that his legacy will not be determined by this election and then hastily adding that anyway he’s going to win.
    Those sort of hints and admissions do not go down well wth voters. They want to vote for a winner. They want to be on the winning side.
    Anyway, I see the latest inflation figure is three times June’s and looking quite shocking. The RBA will be forced to act.

  43. Still working on the scenario where Labor win but don’t get the senate, if it took a year and a half to get the trigger for a DD and then call an election it’s possible that the coalition – then rid of much of it’s current senior team – could mount a credible campaign against a Rudd government that may well have shown that there not the panacea people were expecting or hoping for.

    My view would be much would depend on which way the media decides to play it. Another reason for Labor not to force a DD but possible a counter argument to my view above that Coalition would avoid a DD.

  44. Just announced on the ABC News that the Libs have not indorse Towke as their candidate for Cook.

    The question now is who will the get to stand for this seat.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 2 of 13
1 2 3 13