Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in Bennelong

The government is not about to face any respite from those bad poll headlines: News Limited papers are today carrying a Galaxy poll which shows the Prime Minister heading for defeat in Bennelong, where he trails Labor’s Maxine McKew 53-47 on two-candidate preferred (a similar poll three months ago had it at 52-48). The Labor primary vote is at 47 per cent, compared with 28 per cent at the previous election (when much of the anti-Howard vote was harvested by Greens candidate Andrew Wilkie), while the Liberal vote is down from 50 per cent to 44 per cent. No quibbling with the sample size this time, either – there were 800 respondents, double the amount Westpoll used to gauge an entire state.

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.

298 comments on “Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in Bennelong”

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  1. Is there any reason to make a bet on the election now rather than a few days before its called when you can make a more educated guess?

  2. Mike #189, that would be very annoying, I want Howard voted out. And wouldn’t Costello be safer than Turnbull?

    But as Arbie Jay #175 points out the movement in odds mentioned by Swing Lowe #177 have also seen Turnbull shorten as the next leader. It looks at least like a rumour is brewing.

    I’m not sure why such a rumour would cause the Liberal odds to shorten so quickly. Turnbull would get a bounce, but could easily make things worse.

  3. Molotov, you could bet now and make some big money. Even with the polls like this I’d be putting money on the Coalition to win in the chance to make big money (as it’s the most likely circumstance). That’s if I were a betting person.

  4. If Turnbull did challenge and won the leadership but it resulted in no or little movement in the polls what would be the consequences?

  5. I find a good poll for Howard after last week hard to believe. The Turnbull rumour theory is quite fun. But it may be nothing more than some big bets.

  6. If, hypothetically, Turnbull managed to pull off a spill and gets the leadership this week, it would defuse what has become the biggest issue: Howard.

    This would still, I think, be pretty meaningless unless he repealed WorkYouSerfBastards, which would have to be tough to get support for in the party and would make the Government as a whole seem pretty wasteful and inept, given the dramas over the advertising campaigns and general heartache of the last 12 months.

    Today’s movements in the betting markets could be just the usual contrariness of your average degenerate gambler. If it is being driven by inside knowledge, it would surely be more likely that rumours of a challenge was leaking through rather than the opinion poll being leaked.

    Unless the last Nielson was aberrant, it seems hard to believe that Howard could get a bounce, given the smell of incompetence he has been exuding all week.

  7. I’d rather just believe it’s a bad poll and be pleasantly surprised if it’s not. To say I don’t have much faith in the Australian public would be putting it mildly.

  8. Pondie, I know what you mean. To me, its not the current recognition of Howard’s contemptability that is surprising, but rather the fact that ANYONE that wasn’t ignorant, evil or retarded could have ever contemplated voting for him

  9. No Tobe, I seriously doubt it’s big bets. Check 194. This is definitely a swing to Howard in the Nielsen or less likely a leadership challenge or handover.

    If Turnbull takes over the market will be temporarily cautious. Then it’s either up or down for the coalition until the election. Maybe it’s a risk the liberals are now prepared to take.

  10. Yes Molotov. If you wanted to make big money and really believed the ALP were going to win it wouldn’t make much sense to place bets on them right now. However, if you suspected there to be a good chance of a Coalition win this would be the perfect time to place your bet.

    If you’d made a bet for the ALP to win a day after the last election you’d be looking at some good money now.

  11. If Turnbull got up next week and immediately pledged to scrub workchoices and bring the troops home from Iraq by Christmas, the polls would go into meltdown, the bookies would all have nervous fits and immediately reverse the odds.

  12. Hoots that’s funny. A degenerate average gambler would have as much chance of moving the betting market as a share price on a blue chip on the stock market.

  13. He’s got the money to do it.

    The prodical sun returning home to save the Coalition and a hero’s welcome.

    Loved for all time, a legend in Liberal history.

    Look out Mr Rudd. Totally blindsided. Didn’t see it coming.

  14. I’m pretty sure the party leaders get briefed on poll results the night before they’re released. This is probably the reason for the market change. Other Coalition MP’s have probably heard of the result, passed it onto staffers etc.

  15. IF Turnbull did challenge what would happen to Costello,who would be the deputy?
    Would the electorate at large buy it?
    Would it give the government a look of total desperation and a party in dissarray.?
    If a spill occurs would Howard resign.?
    Would that make Ms McKew even more favoured to win Bennelong?

    A very interesting time in Aus politics.

  16. The Nielsen poll shows much variation between states. Labor leads on a two-party basis 62-38 per cent in South Australia, 57-43 per cent in Queensland, 56-44 per cent in NSW, and 51-49 per cent in Victoria. In Western Australia Labor trails 44-56 per cent. The WA finding is in contrast to a Westpoll last week showing support surging for Labor.

  17. Yes Kina,

    Doesn’t explain the betting market. But hopefully it will be just enough to put the Turnbull rumour to sleep:). I want to see Howard go to the poll.

  18. Workchoices is Howard’s “Bridge too Far”.

    It won’t matter what spin they put on it in their adds, it will always stink.

    It doesn’t matter how many “hundreds & thousands” you put on a “turd” it is still a turd and it is impossible to get any one to swallow it.

  19. Kina I wonder if they polled more than 400 people in WA? I’d doubt it. Either result could be more accurate. I’d say it’d be closer to 48-52 either way.

  20. sondeo Says:

    “Would the electorate at large buy it?”

    They’re not buying it now. Look at the polls.

    “Would it give the government a look of total desperation and a party in disarray.?”

    You can’t say with any credibility that they currently are not desperate and are most certainly in disarray.

    “If a spill occurs would Howard resign.?”

    He would have no choice, if he stood in a ballot for the leadership in a spill he would have no chance and would in any case quit at the end of the term so that could announce another candidate for Bennalong.

    He would want to keep some semblance of a dignified exit intact.

  21. I reckon this poll is dodgy. Look at the state breakdowns:

    SA: Labor leads on a two-party basis 62-38 per cent. Consistent with other polls.

    QLD: ALP leads 57-43 per cent in Queensland. Way too high for my liking. The government could lose a dozen or more seats if true.

    NSW: ALP leads 56-44 per cent. Consistent with Newspoll.

    VIC: ALP leads 51-49 per cent. Utter bull. Victoria’s result is skewing the total result. JWH is political poison in Victoria. The ALP have just incresed their presence & funding in the marginal seats of LaTrobe and Deakin.

    WA: “Labor trails 44-56 per cent. The WA finding is in contrast to a Westpoll last week showing support surging for Labor.” What is going on here? This can’t be right.

    This poll is a shocker. Qld, Vic & WA look very strange.

    The ALP should be happy that their best 3 states – NSW, QLD & SA are where all the winnable seats are located.

  22. Peter Hartcher states ” It may seem implausible that there could be a shift in sentiment towards the Government in the days immediately after the much-publicised rise in interest rates announced last Wednesday.”

    It seems obvious in my opinion that the previous AC Nielsen poll overstated Labors support so I think the proposition he puts remains implausible. Newspoll, Morgan face to face and Nielsen are now all in allignment which suggests more of a correction from Nielsen than a movement back to the government.

  23. Gaynor, I think you’re right.

    The Westpoll sample would have been bigger in that state, and the Victorian figure doesn’t make any sense.

  24. James J that figure isn’t really surprising at all isn’t it? I’m an ALP supporter and don’t believe rates would be lower under Labor. They’d be around the same.

    At the end of the day, though, it’s pointless to dissect one poll so much. We’ll do what we always do… say we can’t conclude anything and we have to wait for the next polls. Utter junkies.

  25. I agree Gaynor,

    Vic looks wrong. But the total sample looks about right (perhaps a point or 2 on the low side of the margin given last week’s headlines). I would have expected something less than 55% TPP for the betting to change so pre-emptively. Perhaps the Labor bets have been drying up with the recent odds?

  26. So the ACNielsen poll falls in line with the other polls and all of a sudden Howard’s on the come back trail. What a joke. Labor would still win in a landslide according to this poll. Did anyone really believe the last ACNielsen poll?

  27. If the QLD TPP is correct the government would lose 19 seats on the back of a 14% swing.

    In otherwords Nielsen is showing the national TPP tightening but the ALP would win government in QLD alone.

    Does anyone believe this?

  28. If the figures are wrong then that is great for Labor supporters. The government thinks they are making headway then another poll comes out that is different. All this hope then dashed hope must be killing their nerves and keeps them guessing on leadership challenges etc.

  29. As has been pointed out before, don’t take much notice of the state-by-state breakdowns of just one poll. They have tiny sample sizes and thus huge error margins.

    In theory these huge errors cancel out, to some extent anyway. The oversampling of Labor voters in Queensland balances the oversampling of Coalition voters in Victoria.

    So the overall result is not invalid.

  30. I’m sorry David, but if the state breakdowns are dodgy then the national results must be questioned.

    Clearly their samples in the states are not representative.

  31. Gaynor, I’m not surprised by the Queensland figure whatsoever.
    A correction is overdue here with the Coalition holding quite a few seats here the last two elections on very small margins.

    One Nation, Greens and National Preferences saved the bacon for quite a number of Liberal country seats.

    The Libs have been on the nose quite badly since early last year and that hasn’t changed as far as I can see here.

    I agree about the figures for Victoria and WA. They don’t agree at all with the latest “Marginal Seat” polling although I feel the West poll was a little high.

  32. With all the damage Howard has sustained for over a week now, serious damage, I believe that poll should have been at leas 60/40 @PP.

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