Morgan: 58.5-41.5

A Roy Morgan phone poll of 589 respondents, conducted over the previous two days, has Labor on 58.5 per cent of the two-party vote, down 0.5 per cent from the previous such poll a fortnight ago. Both major parties are up 1.5 per cent on the primary vote, with the Greens down 2.5 per cent and others down 0.5 per cent. Also featured is yet more polling on whether the country is “headed in the right direction”.

Other news: sadly, independent Calare MP Peter Andren has been diagnosed with cancer, and has abandoned his plans to run for a seat in the Senate.

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.

127 comments on “Morgan: 58.5-41.5”

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  1. David Charles, I suspect people are speaking of “locked in” voters, well at least it’s my reading of it, because the polls have been in roughly similar territory on primary and TPP over about nine months. Aristotle could correct me, however, from memory of something I read from Aristotle, the sample is now above 11,000. I’m not sure whether Aristotle included all polls in that analysis.
    Terrible news about Peter Andren, someone of genuine integrity, hope he survives.
    Isn’t it going to be interesting to see what evolves from the mix of people standing for Labor, if enough of the really interesting ones get over the line? I’m sooo wanting Maxine to do him.

  2. Also note tomorrow’s Westpoll (published in the West Australian newspaper) has an ALP/LP of 54/46. This is a 7.5% move up for the ALP and a 7.5% move down for the Coalition since the last poll taken.

    This would result in the Coalition losing 2 seats (Hasluck and Stirling).

  3. Hi all first post from a long time viewer.

    That is a 10% turn around from the last election (LP/NAT=55.4, ALP=44.6)

    That puts Kalgoorlie, Canning and Forrest in Labor’s sights.

  4. That hasn’t stopped our Piers from using it! He used the last one to say Howard was storming back and that it legitimately portrayed public perceptions to WorkChoices.

  5. A coalition win would be a disaster for Australian democracy on so many levels. The executive would remain unchecked to trample upon as many checks and balances it can subvert in its favour, public debate would be impeded by a government that abuses the publics right to FOI, industrial relations will experience further pro-business reforms to the detriment of employees, our foreign policy will continue to be tied to the Iraqi debacle and the Bush experiment pt11 (the first part was far better!), global warming will NOT be addressed as an issue of extreme importance, nuclear power stations will be constructed across the nation-creating unnecessary risks of radiation and leaving a millenia of toxic waste, and our health, education and infrastructure will continue to suffer cutbacks as the government fails to invest in our countries’ (and children’s) future.
    This is just scratching the surface of what is a party that has no coherent agenda to deliver a sustainable and prosperous future, and cant even manage to mount a credible election campaign that doesnt just stink of pork!

  6. a) The polls are all crap and always have been and always will be.

    b) The people are asleep and will come to their senses and vote for JWH when they finally have the little pencil in their hands.

    c) JWH is a campaigning genius and will claw back all the support he needs just in time.

    Which of these camps are you in, Tristan Jones? Just curious.

  7. Very sad to hear about Peter Andren, a decent a gutsy pollie who had the courage to question politicians superannuation benefits.. I wish him a speedy recovery.

  8. Tommorrow’s Westpoll would aslo deliver Kalgoorlie. Explains why the PM campaigned in Kalgoorlie and Moore during his last visit.

    Then again as a poll watcher in WA for many years – I’ve come to expect big, strange fluctuations in Westpoll.

  9. Following up on Tristan Jones… I personally think it’ll be harder to wrest control of the Senate from the Coalition than the House of Reps. They only need to win 3 seats in each State, and could probably do that with around a 42% primary.

    Most Coalition voters in the lower house vote Coalition in the upper house as well and conservative voters are more likely to number above the line.

  10. Good news in WA; if that poll’s on the money, it’s actually a 9.5% swing to Labor in WA vs the last election, and they would definitely gain the 2 marginals and possibly Kalgoorlie.

  11. Pondie

    Those Westpoll figures would give labor Hasluck and Stirling plus Kalgoorlie, they also place Canning and Forrest in reach.

  12. Ah, Tristan J, hope springs eternal in the human breast, however, it’s just possible that a Labor win will bring together a useful and interesting mix of people to address some serious problems this country and the world face, and that the Party previously known as the Liberal Party might take the opportunity to take a good long hard look at itself, figure out that allowing one person to have too much power for too long and come to believe they are born to rule without question, then figure out how to learn to listen to people again, might be a good thing. Renewal is always necessary.

  13. I wouldn’t wish cancer on any of our politicians, but if it had to strike it is particularly tragic that it is on one so decent and committed as Andren.
    feral sparrowhawk

    Hear, hear. My condolences to Andren and his family, and I wish him all the best.

    Despite the great polls Labor will need every bit of wind in its sails to get over the line.
    Kina (36)
    No doubt about that Kina. There’s still a lot of fear to be thrown around yet.
    Pi (37)

    Dunno about that, I think Howard has used up all his fear mongering tactics, the electorate have wised up. It is now at the point where it has become counterproductive for him to keep playing that card. One thing punters do not like is being repeatedly taken for mugs.

    Secondly if the Coalition wins the election and I think they will, they could very well keep it’s senate majority. All they need is to win 3 out of 6 senators in each state.
    Tristan Jones (46)

    I will be utterly amazed if the government holds on to the senate. The most bankable prediction in this election is that they will lose the senate.

  14. Forrest could be the surprise of the election.

    A few months back the Financial Review reported that internal Liberal polling has placed Forrest in the marginal bracket. Combine that with an invisible Lib candidate a strong ALP candidate and a Independent that could poll 20% some good viewing may be ahead.

  15. Westpoll has fluctuated over recent times, however this bounce for the ALP cannot be considered to be completely noise, the most recent newspoll on the 31st July showed the same 2PP figures and a 5% jump in ALP primary since Jan-Mar.
    Clearly, there has been a shift to the ALP in WA at the same time as there was a slight shift away in other states. Perhaps the fact that WA generally opposes centralised governance like Howards intervention dogs breakfast, and the Burke affair has died down, but I’m in NSW and largely ignorant WA affairs.
    Any thoughts as to what has driven the swing to Labor?

  16. With respect to Canning, given how hard it swung last time (9.2% if I’m reading the table correctly), if a portion of that swing can be put down to candidate issues, as opposed to demographic changes (which were significant and have continued) or Don Randal’s charm, then Canning is significantly in play.

    I don’t need to believe it – and really I don’t, but a 10% uniform swing would put Moore and Tangney within reach. It is just a Westpoll which previously I’ve tended to ignore, but would scare the Nosty’s of the world who are confident of keeping Stirling and Hasluck, and looking lustfully at Cowan.

  17. From bryans site
    You have asked about the likely election outcome if Labor won 58.5 per cent of the polity-wide two-party preferred vote. That would be a uniform swing for Labor of 11.24 percentage ponts.

    Under this scenario, Labor should win 114 seats. That is sufficient to form majority government.

    close to my march prediction i suppose


  18. [Any thoughts as to what has driven the swing to Labor?]

    Howard went through a period where he used the W.A. mining industry as an example of how good AWAs are. However, most workers in metro areas earn much lower incomes, and thus have more to lose. It could be another example of just mentioning WorkChocies and AWAs reminds people how much they hate the idea.

  19. I wish I knew what drove the change, and I wish I was sure it was real. I am assuming the polling was too early to be influenced by the interest rate rise, I am dying to be sure it is a net negative to Howard, contrary to mumbles well constructed thesis to the contrary.

  20. The Westpoll is a rogue, and with WA locked in behind the PM and Queenslanders associating Rudd with the truly loathed Beattie, Labor’s election hopes are officially dashed.

  21. Just Me,

    I think it is time to repost my comment of 8/7 re the impossibility of Labor winning the Senate and the extreme unlikelihood of Labor plus Greens winning it:

    As it is almost impossible for Labor to gain a Senate that will pass its legislation, it must concentrate on winning government – which is always the main aim of a major party. It will therefore use Senate preference deals to boost its chances of winning House seats and deal with the Senate later.

    The quota for the Senate is c14.3 per cent. Two quotas need 28.6 per cent; three, 42.9 per cent; four, 57.2 per cent; five, 71.5 per cent; six, 85.8 per cent. In the following exercise, I am making up results for Victoria, not making predictions. If Labor polls around 44 per cent, it will have three quotas in its own right. If the coalition polls around 38 per cent, it will have two quotas in its own right. Then preferences will come into play.

    I can imagine that once the 71.5 per cent of the vote required to elect three Labor and two coalition senators is taken out of the count, the remaining 28.5 per cent could go as follows: Greens 9, coalition 9, Family First 4, DLP 2, ALP 1, others 3.5. It is unlikely that the others will do a Western Victoria 2006 and propel the DLP ahead of FF, so I will put them aside for the moment.

    FF plus DLP is 6 (or 7 if the ALP goes to FF). If the others push FF ahead of the Greens and the coalition or ahead of one but not the other, then whichever group is third will determine the result: if the coalition is third, its preferences will elect FF; if the Greens are third, their preferences will elect the coalition. If the others leave FF behind both the coalition and the Greens, FF preferences will elect the coalition.

    For the Greens to win, they would need a higher primary vote and/or a higher Labor surplus and Labor preferences. They will poll a higher primary vote in Tasmania, but I am not sure about the other states.

    If Labor believes that recommending Senate preferences to FF will get FF to recommend House preferences to it, it will be prepared to face the unlikely prospect of a stronger FF presence in the Senate. It will obviously take account of any Green reaction to such a decision as it would like to have Green preferences in the House as well. It has to determine whose preferences are of more use, which will involve a consideration of not only how many extra it will get if each group “directs” preferences, but also the resulting effects on the margins in the seats in which preferences are “directed”.

    In summary, the Senate result is of almost no importance to Labor. It will act to maximise its House seats.

  22. If Howard is losing seats in the supposedly rich state of WA, he is stuffed! If the ALP is winning a seat like Forrest, it’ll be a Liberal/Coalition bloodbath on election night.

  23. There have been too many polls to deny the truth. There will be a change in government. Now the Westpoll seems to suggest the government’s last line of defence, ie. WA, is also withering away.

    Very sad to hear about Peter Andren. He’s a decent man and a good man. Cancer is a bastard. It has touched all of us either directly or indirectly.

  24. jasmine: The poll was conducted on 6-7 August, so yes it was before the interest rate rise.

    margin of error is about 5% i think?

  25. That’s sad to hear about Peter Andren. I’m not in NSW but from what I heard down here in Victoria, he seemed an honest and well-intentioned person. Sad to hear a decent man has been struck down. I sincerely hope he recovers quickly.

  26. I am not surprised that this poll shows a strong swing to Labor in WA. It may be true that a lot of people are earning loads of money on AWAs in the mining industry. But people with standard jobs and wages (teachers, nurses, police, public servants) are finding rents and mortgages soaring sky-high, and what was the cheapest mainland state for housing not so long ago is now the most expensive. Accommodation is virtually impossible to find in the mining towns, and people are paying huge sums to live in converted shipping containers or tents in caravan parks in places like Karratha. Those who didn’t own or buy a house early in the mining boom have been left like shags on rocks, and even those who did buy houses, at rapidly escalating prices, are now facing a slight fall in property values, as the WA housing boom comes off the boil. A rise in interest rates will hit very hard there. And high petrol and food prices won’t help in a state with such huge distances.

    I also think Rudd’s promise to guarantee some of the Federal resources taxes go back to WA would have gone down well. It’s a sensible policy when that state has contributed so much lately to the national prosperity. They also have a popular state government.

    I suspect Labor’s replacement of local boy Kim Beazley with Mark Latham may also have helped the coalition at the last election, and there’s scope for a bit of a swing back on this score.

    I’m not from WA, and the poll is a small sample, so I may be wrong, but these are my gut feelings.

  27. Although i will miss Andren, I won’t be sad to see Nettle go – a Trotskyite and not much to show for six years in the Senate.

    Once Brown retires, the far left’s “NDP”ing of the Greens will be even easier.

  28. Who is this strong independent in Forrest? The Libs have had candidate troubles there so if there is a swing in WA an upset might be possible. Chris Curtis will doubtless recall that Labor last won Forrest in 1969, when the DLP preferenced the Labor candidate, the late Frank Kirwan, who was both a Methodist minister and an ETU official.

  29. Steven Kaye Says:
    August 10th, 2007 at 8:02 pm
    The Westpoll is a rogue, and with WA locked in behind the PM and Queenslanders associating Rudd with the truly loathed Beattie, Labor’s election hopes are officially dashed.

    Best go and have a good lie down, Steven.
    There’s another AC Neilsen Poll out on Monday and with the increase d interest rates fresh in peoples minds, it may go back over 60% 2PP.

    That’s bound to make your headache worse and won’t do too much for the mental state of the now very nervous John Howard and the Coalition members.

    Besides that Steven, most Queenslanders except some Coalition supporters quite like Mr Beattie. His approval rating is well above Mr Rudd’s.

  30. Saw this line on Paul Kelly’s blog and thought it good for a run.

    After the election there will be a number of people who voted for Howard who’ll feel like they just got out of bed with a prostitute.

    Yeah, they will probably wake up with an awful itch and wonder what the hell caused it.

  31. Adam, Marino’s site seems to work OK from

    You had an erroneous ‘.’ lodged at the end of the url.

    But there is still not much info on the page except foir a liberal logo and Session SiteID = ”
    Page not recognised. Oh and Black text on a Blue Background is’nt a good look either.

  32. Yes, that’s what I mean by a not-working website. Nola better rattle her dags if she wants to be an MP, because:

    Breaking news: ‘Gropers get with the program

    Poll looks good for Labor in the west
    10th August 2007, 18:01 WST

    Federal Labor stands to win at least three Liberal seats in Western Australia, the latest opinion poll shows, dashing coalition hopes of gaining ground in the west.

    The Labor surge in the Westpoll taken this week as interest rates rose shows West Australian voters are turning their backs on Prime Minister John Howard and his government.

    The poll, to be published in The West Australian on Saturday, shows a huge eight percentage point swing to the ALP, delivering it 54 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.

    An election result of 54-46 to the Labor Party would not only ensure it retained the marginal seats of Swan and Cowan, but it would sweep up the Liberal seats of Hasluck, Stirling, and Kalgoorlie.

    The government has been hoping to hang on to Hasluck and Stirling, and believed taking either Cowan or Swan would give it enough of a buffer to offset expected Labor gains in Queensland, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia.

    But this poll suggests West Australian voters, like their east coast counterparts, are rapidly ditching Mr Howard and the Coalition.

    Labor’s primary vote has soared back to 43 per cent, where it was earlier this year soon after Kevin Rudd took over as opposition leader, according to the poll.

    The Coalition’s primary vote is down eight points from the July Westpoll at 38 per cent.

    In the 2004 election, Mr Howard hammered the ALP with a two-party preferred vote of 55.4 versus 44.6.

    An almost 10 point turnaround, indicated by the latest Westpoll, would put the safe Liberal seat of Forrest almost within reach for Labor.

    Pollster Keith Patterson said it was clear the attitude of WA voters had hardened against Mr Howard and his government.

    “I think the people are saying that they are over John Howard, and they’re looking for a regime change,” he said.

    “I can’t imagine anything short of a Tampa that will bring him back.”

    The poll follows Mr Howard’s comments to his backbench earlier this week, in which he said the party could win Swan and Hasluck while holding Stirling and Hasluck.

    One of the biggest concerns for the Liberal Party is that the poll shows just four per cent of those surveyed are undecided about how they will vote.

    It appears the interest rate rise, after the Liberal Party’s pledge at the 2004 poll to keep rates at record lows, has dramatically hurt Mr Howard’s standing among WA voters.

    Mr Rudd has overtaken Mr Howard as preferred prime minister, with the Labor leader gaining seven points from his July poll reading and Mr Howard down nine points.

    It was the lowest such reading for Mr Howard this year, while Mr Rudd is back close to where he was in March.

  33. I think the expectation of an ALP win could start to snow ball. More regular, state, and marginal seat polls could just reinforce the impression that the government is going to lose. They need to stop stuffing around with token intervension policies, and actually announce something more substantial. Howard’s announcement of the internet filtering is a good example of this. Sure it is basically a reannouncement of what they announced last year, sure it is $200 million spent on something that probably won’t work, but at least it gives an impression of governing the country.

  34. Adam (33)

    Yes, politicians salaries is a populist wank, completely agreed. However, coming into the previous election, Calare was the second safest seat in the country, and at the 2004 election I think he got 71% of the 2pp. He might have been taking the populist view, but we didn’t care in Calare. We still voted for him in droves.

    I am also aware 2pp when independents are involved can be inflated from major party preferences, but he was a local, and he did a good job. The only time he actually lost the 1st preference count was in 96 I think (help me out here)

    Politics will be all the poorer for his absence

    God…I’m starting to sound like one of the partisan posters on here (uppercut to self)…better stop now.

  35. I’ve got some bad news for Steven Kaye too. Don’t believe the hype about the Queensland situation. With 750 experienced, conservative councilors about to become redundant, and the Queensland Liberals badly bruised over the council amalgamation in the Queensland Parliament this week. A huge band of Independent candidates could roll the Conservative Parties in Queensland into near oblivion.

  36. For those ALP supporters who think that high expectations will help the opposition then they should be wary. Swinging voters who think the election result will be a landslide may decide to stick with the government. Kevin Rudd needs to be very careful and reinforce the difficulty of winning 16 seats.

    Lindsay Tanner certainly did this on Lateline tonight. He’s a talent that man, certainly should be shadow treasurer. Ironically if the Liberal vote collapses in the seat of Melbourne he could be at risk. The Greens best seat in terms of primary vote is in Melbourne. I reckon some Liberal voters may vote tactically. Every election springs a surprise and Melbourne will be one to watch.

    At the end of Lateline Virginia Trioli questioned both Tanner & Hockey about their plans on the evening of Friday 9th November. Both smiled and joked that they may be pre-occupied. What do they know or what have they heard? Has something been revealed that we don’t know about?

  37. If Tanner hadn’t been so silly as to join the Socialist Leftovers, he would be shadow Treasurer and might one day be a leadership candidate. It’s puzzling because his views on most economic matters are Thatcherite.

  38. Barrie Cassidy made reference to November 10 on Insiders a few weeks ago. He highlighted the symmetry of election dates with JWH’s hero Ming the Merciless.

    Menzies won the 1949 and 1955 elections on December 10th. Maybe, the theory goes, Howard will try and win both 2001 & 2007 on November 10th.

    If this is the PM’s logic then he really has become unhinged. Fancy using superstition to pick an election date. What next? Tarot cards.

  39. “Lindsay Tanner certainly did this on Lateline tonight. He’s a talent that man, certainly should be shadow treasurer. Ironically if the Liberal vote collapses in the seat of Melbourne he could be at risk.”

    Huh? Time to add more water, Neil.

  40. Adam (93)

    Priestley does not have the profile that Andren had in 96, simply becuase he is not on our TV every night like Andren was.

    However, there are several factors in his favour:

    *He is from the largest city in the “new” Calare – Orange (could be countered by the fact that the ALP candidate is also from Orange)
    *He has Andren’s backing – could be even more important now that Andren has withdrawn in these circustances – gets a higher profile
    *No one likes the coalition at the moment. There are a lot of new houses going up in Orange at the moment, as a result of the goldmine nearby. The mortgage belt factor definitely could come into it.
    *The fact that it is National running and not a Liberal. In the last election, in the “old” Calare, the Libs outpolled the Nats. May be a factor, but you might know a bit more about the Lib/Nat relationship.

    Since I know the area (and I went to uni in Bathurst), I can also comment on Macquarie, which has a fair bit of the old Calare in it (Bathurst/Lithgow). It seems (and you will know a fair bit about this, pull me up if I’m wrong) that there were two ends of the old Calare, the conservative end (Orange) and the labor end (Bathurst (uni) and Lithgow). Now the labor part have gone to Macquarie, I think that is it for Kerry Bartlett. One thing against this could be that the ALP candidate (Debus) is from the Blue Mountains, and not from the Central West. On the other hand, the incumbency factor could be lost for Bartlett in the Central West

    I know this is all extensive, but I hope it helps


    Macquarie: Debus (ALP) to beat Bartlett (LIB) in a rout
    Calare: Cobb (Nat) to win, but I disagree with all the pundits saying it will be an easy win. I think it could be close. Priestley is a smokey chance of pinching it on preferences.

    Have any more questions, just ask

    PS I now actually live in Greenway (new Greenway that is), Every one is saying Libs will win, but if there is a huge swing on, it may go (11% needed I think). However, I think the Libs will win the new Greenway

    OK, I’ll stop typing now…

  41. “Huh? Time to add more water, Neil.”

    Have a look at the 2004 result in Melbourne. The Liberals polled 25% primary vote, The Greens polled 19%. It would take much for The Greens to leap frog the Libs and then benefit from their preferences.

    Then consider the rapidly changing demographics in that seat, with older traditional Laor voters being replaced by trendy yuppies and university students. Especially around Parkville, Richmond and Carlton.

    Anything is possible. In fact it’s quite logical.

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