Morgan: 58.5-41.5

Morgan’s fortnightly face-to-face survey of 1667 voters has Labor significantly widening its two-party lead, from 55-45 to 58.5-41.5. The Coalition primary vote is down from 40.5 per cent to 36.5 per cent, while Labor’s is up from 47 per cent to 49.5 per cent. In all respects, this represents a return to the state of play from the early part of the year after two relatively good results for the Coalition in July, when their primary vote topped 40 per cent for the first time since November.

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.

439 comments on “Morgan: 58.5-41.5”

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  1. I wonder if anyone can shed light on something:

    Yesterday, (Friday), the Morgan Poll gave a significant boost to the ALP. The move to the Labor was, I believe, significantly higher than the move to the Coalition had been in the last Nielson Poll. That move to Howard had been the lead story in most of the TV news reports. Looking forward to a nice dish of schadenfreude, I tuned into the news on 7 (Prime), 9 (WIN) and the ABC news at 7pm, as well as Lateline. (Yes, I have no life). Not a mention of the Morgan Poll anywhere. I couldn’t see any mention of it in today’s Australian (the SMH wasn’t available where I live due to a newsagent stuff up). It also hasn’t been mentioned on the Googgle news page.

    I was wondering if anyone knew why this is? Is it the reputation of the Morgan F2F, or is it only deemed newsworthy if the polls indicate a Howard comeback? I don’t mean this cynically, I can understand that after months of very little change another poll indicating the coming Ruddslide isn’t seen as worth reporting.

    Has anyone seen this poll mentioned? Or any thoughts on why it isn’t?

    PS – my gratitude to William for this site – without this and the sites you link to, getting my fix of polls and discussion of same would be much more complicated. Much appreciated.

  2. William re: neocon and muslims…

    My post was in response to Andrew, and the question as to why leftys support fundamentalist muslims. With Pauline now going into the election with a policy of reducing muslim immigration, and the subsequent fallout with the national vote in QLD because of it, the questions are going to become more and more common.

    I’d prefer questions like that weren’t asked at all…


    This is the last fortnight I believe that Howard can make a huge poling impact before APEC. I predict he will start the election campaign 10 points behind. Has anyone ever come from that much behind at the start of a campaign.

  4. How far was Keating behind Hewson when the 1993 campaign began?

    I vividly remember a feeling that Keating was going to “nut” Hewson and win the election from the moment Hewson exempted food from the GST prior to xmas 1992.

    But I didn’t think Keating hit the front until those famous Hewson rallys, shrieking “Labors’ got to go”, just 2 weeks before polling day. This was after the famous birthday cake interview with Mike Willesee.

    I reckon Keating was a fair way behind until the election campaign.

  5. Scorpio,

    It’s worth reading Caroline Baum’s article:
    “Bernanke Finds Lessons in the Great Depression”

    The final paragraph is worth noting!

    “It is perhaps fitting that Bernanke used the occasion of Milton Friedman’s 90th birthday to assume institutional responsibility for the Great Depression. He said: “I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

    He meant it. He won’t.”

    This is why he reduced interest rates and is pumping the market with billions of cash.

    The conditions between now and 1929 are eerily similar.

    One or two very bearish economists were talking of more than just a recession. He’s determined it won’t happen.

    We will all know in a week or two if he can manipulate the market sufficiently or whether the deep levels of indebtedness, the over-leveraged hedge funds, the $1.3 trillion dollars worth mortgages in arrears and those $400 trillion worth of derivatives overwhelm his efforts.

    My betting is he will succeed and will be backed up by the Europeans.
    Nevertheless there has to be a severe period of adjustment.
    There has to be genuine regulation of lending requirements and disclosures in the US.

    The UK property market has also gone beserk and I can see that coming back severely as well as other overpriced markets.

    There will be a tightening on credit and some large well-known companies will go under, perhaps not this year or next but not much beyond that.

    We have all forgotten the collapse of the Quintex group in 1989 and also Bond Corporation with five billlion worth of losses – borne by shareholders, creditors, bankers and the rest. Look what the 1987 crash did.

    After 87 there was a real estate boom but the conditions then were quite different.

    Every few years you see similar headlines “First Homebuyers Priced Out of Market”,”Rents Rocket”,”Good Time to Buy Real Estate” “Is It Better to Rent Than Buy?”

    It’s a constant cycle. In a couple of years or so it is likely that first home buyers will indeed be able to buy in, not waterfront perhaps, but a good affordable place.

    Sure we do need to keep up the supply and perhaps immigration will fall off when the labour supply eases.

    Incidentally even in the Great Depression real estate prices rose.

  6. “Neil: How far was Keating behind Hewson when the 1993 campaign began?”

    In mid February 1993 at the start of the campaign Newspoll had the Coalition at 53.5 TPP. Three points were knocked off that in a couple of weeks, then things steadied at even stevens, but on polling day the Libs managed only 48.5. So that was a 5 point clawback during the campaign. The birthday cake and the rallies certainly helped – Howard will need Rudd to make even bigger mistakes this time around, it seems.

    You can search the Newspoll archives for this stuff if you’re keen.

  7. Richard,

    THE repercussions of the subprime loan crisis in the US keeps widening. Not only has it been the catalyst for the large falls in the Australian sharemarket, such as the extreme drop in value of the newly listed RAMS Home Loans, it is also adversely affecting financial markets globally.

    One of the biggest Australian casualties has been Basis Capital Funds Management.}

    My big concern, and I bet Howard & Costello are watching closely, is that much of the cash used by the alternative lenders like Rams etc is either sourced in the Us or in US dollars.

    With the hugh increase of the US dollar to the Aussie, those loans are going to blow out for the Aussie lenders. Could get nasty & I notice both Howard & Costello are talking the Aussie market up with Costello making veiled warnings to the Reserve Board not to raise interest rates here.

    I think the Govt is worried that this could be another nail in their coffin.

  8. Aristotle, the three month averages you quote in the link above for ’93… are they just Newspoll, or an all-poll agregate?

    You are the master of the quarterly agregate… but of course we’re into the last three months now. I guess we have to surf the weekly troughs and peaks from here on in…

  9. Crispy and Aristotle.

    Many thanks. It’s amazing how sometimes, with the passage of time, the old memory embellishes reality. I really thought Keating was a lot further behind than he really was.

    Having said that a 5 point swing in the TPP, during the recession, was extraordinary. Of all the elections I’ve witnessed 1993 was the ultimate cliffhanger.

    It was the only election I can recall where both side of politics appeared utterly unelectable. Hence the payback massacre in 1996.

    Barring something unbelievable 2007 appears to be all over bar the shouting. Unless the polls are wrong. You never know!

  10. {I’m wondering what our ‘future fund’ was invested in.}

    Now that is a worry! There is every chance that it has already slipped up to 20%.

    If the US firm managing it has invested badly, then a substantial portion might be gone permanently.

    You won’t hear anything much about it from the Libs . We might have a better idea after the election.

  11. Another reason the big banks are more secure is that small competitors such as RAMS won’t be able to compete. The mortage market has been cut-throat with squeezed margins. You’ll note that Peter Costello has been saying there’s no reason to increase rates (eg. CBA, Westpac,NAB etc, now that you can, with less competition). Mortgage rates are going up at a higher rate than the quarter per cent increase by the Reserve Bank and not just to cover extra costs.
    The Reserve Bank won’t pay any attention at all to Peter Costello. He knows that. He’s just posturing.
    If the US Reserve Bank moves work then it is highly likely rates will go up again November 7th and then probably again February and again May.
    By that time, the market will have certainly been slowed and demand curtailed. We will be on the brink of recession.
    You look at buying real estate in June or July 2008 in the middle of the winter of discontent.
    You buy shares of big cap blue chips when their price earning ratios fall below 11:1 !
    You’d need to be fairly disciplined to do that but that is how to secure your family’s future!

  12. Yes, Neil, as Tony Abbott loves to point out, we’re all asleep, or just idiots, and we’ll come to our senses by polling day. Or we’re still pulling Howard’s leg, just having a laugh. How could we possibly contemplate chucking out such a lovable bunch of lawyers and affable businessmen and replace them with toadies and Union Bosses? The polls must be wrong.

    Aristotle’s work is worth perusing… he posts a lot at Oz Election 2007. He considers big chunks of poll data at once to smooth out the individual poll noise effects… and according to his numbers it does seem the ALP primary vote has been through the roof since Rudd came in, and steady as a rock for nine months now.

    If you like that sort of news, that’s the sort of news you’ll like.

  13. I feel quite sorry* for all the rather rich people in June who took out million dollar loans to throw into their super before the 30th (there was a noticeable spike in lending figures). They’ll be watching the million invested in super (presumably in shares, mostly) heading south somewhat, while the repayments on the loan have shifted north. Will these poor bastards have to sell a couple of Whitely’s to cover themselves?

    *quite sorry = not very sorry really

  14. {The prime minister and the treasurer were out talking up the economy, reassuring Australians that the impact of the turmoil in global share markets will be mitigated by the strong domestic economy.}

    If the US market continues to go south & the Fed. Reserve has to continue to try & prop up the US money market, then look out for Howard to panic and go early to try & avoid getting trapped in a resessional trend.

  15. It is hard to believe all the pollsters are wrong. But 16 seats is still 16 seats.

    Jeff Kennett’s loss in 1999 proves that anything can happen.

  16. Crispy, yes indeed many people borrowed money to top up their super prior to July 1st. Many of those may have been holding assets they couldn’t sell in time. They could have transferred shares over to super but not real estate or other assets. Many could be in trouble now.
    Scorpio, John Howard really doesn’t comprehend, in my view, what this is really all about. The sub-prime mortgage disaster was a symptom not the cause of the crash. If he really understood he wouldn’t have made those comments.
    It’s all about a grossly under-regulated free market which has gone way beyond the limits. Debt has been piled upon debt and packaged and sold all over the place like little parcels of mad cow disease. We really can’t tell how far it will go or how long it will last. It can’t be quarantined. Even what should be perfectly healthy companies will be infected.

  17. It’s 10.30 at night, I’ve been watching the footy (Eagles won),m I’ve had a bottle of wine (thinking about what I will celebrate the end of the rodent with) – I get on here and think “What will I do when the election is over?”

  18. Hoots 351. Yes, it’s the reputation of the Morgan FTF which means it’s basically not taken seriously. if you’re interested, head over to Possum Poyltics for some discussion about whether this is fair or not.

    Neil 372. I think people’s fixation on 16 seats, and which they might be, distracts from a key point. Under the Poll Bludger’s Reuters poll trend post I suggested that there are about 35 seats which, under the right conditions, could be won by the ALP (post 287). It is speculative rather than predictive, but shows that a big swing will bring a lot a seats into play.

    I don’t have the figures to hand , but Australian changes of government at the commonwealth level tend to be won in “landslides”. If the ALP wins 51.5% of the TPP (for example), they are highly likely to win – individual seat issues will on average be swamped by the general trend. Personally I think they’ll win on 51%+, but less is likely to result in a coalition return.

  19. Richard Jones @ 329

    In the meantime, John Howard is upturning sackfuls of cash in every marginal like some demented Santa Claus. Every sack he empties adds pressure on interest rates. Treasury must be rolling their eyes. No wonder some conservative Liberals are going for the conservative Kevn Rudd. He makes John Howard look profligate.

    Could this be the ‘triangulation’ wedgie ? Rudd says “We will spend less of the budget surplus (alleged) than JWH in our election promises”, thus shifting toward the Right (small spending Govt’s traditionally associated with Right Wing Coalition policy) in a pre-emptive (clever) strike.

    Rudd knows Howard can’t go further to the right because he has to buy his way out of trouble in key marginal seats.

    In fact, he has to go left and become Whitlam, a big spending Government (in marginal seats) like “Santa Claus” on steroids. Sure, he is doing it from a surplus budget base, not making promises and then having to go overseas to borrow the money to pay for all this stuff. But , but will the electorate notice or care about the difference?

    Will this “scare the horses” into thinking his pork barrells are going to push interest rates up again, before or after the election and, hey presto, the ‘Howard battlers’ start to think he is a bigger economic risk than Rudd ? If Rudd capitalises on this madness, it is game over. Surely ?

  20. Can someone tell me why the Coalition keep paying for Labor advertising -that is reinforcing people’s concerns about WorkChoices by shoving it in peoples faces on the TV and radio still when even their own research shows that the Workplace Ombudsman Ads are ‘scaring the horses’ away.

  21. [In the meantime, John Howard is upturning sackfuls of cash in every marginal like some demented Santa Claus. Every sack he empties adds pressure on interest rates. Treasury must be rolling their eyes. No wonder some conservative Liberals are going for the conservative Kevn Rudd. He makes John Howard look profligate.]

    They’ve shot themselves in the foot again on spending. Last week they were saying state borrowing is pushing up interest rates, but now Howard is telling the S.A. government to spend another $170 million that they don’t have in order to upgrade the southern express way. This will be ‘matched’ by 100 million of government money.

    Morris Iemma is right, they need to think of one lie and stick to it.

  22. ‘Nutha Lindsay Voter Says:
    August 18th, 2007 at 6:28 pm
    “By contrast, Liberal candidate Karen Chijoff’s 2 offices are brightly coloured and stick out somewhat like dog’s b@lls. . .”

    Yes,this is the same Karen Chijoff who was defeated 55%-36% on primary votes at the last state election in NSW in 2007.That certainly says she has electoral appeal doesn’t it.!
    A prelude to the vote she is going to get for the PM in Lindsay.?I hope so .

  23. Hey Michael at 10.42pm – know where you’re coming from – watching Rage and old/new clips (Romeo Void – haven’t seen that clip in years!) drinking beer and scotch in honour of a good friend and colleague just passed away (doing the work of changing the world) and think “more of the same” – changing the world that is, perhaps less beer and scotch…(oh god now they’ve put on X-Ray Spex…flashbacks…flashbacks)… …

  24. “By contrast, Liberal candidate Karen Chijoff’s 2 offices are brightly coloured and stick out somewhat like dog’s b@lls. . .”

    Yes the one in Queen Street, St Marys is located between a brothel and a pawnbrokers office. It was opened for the candidate by Tony Abbot but she hasn’t been seen since.

    I would have thought that after the redistribution that Lindsay was a lost cause for the Liberals which is perhaps why Kackie Jelly called it a day.

    It will be recalled that Ms Kelly’s success in 1996 was a great surprise – especially to her. She had only been a member of the Liberal party for a very short time and she hadn’t even bothered to either to take leave of absence from her job as a Squadron Leader in the RAAF legal branch during the campaign (which meant that she was in receipt of benefit from the crown) or renounce her New Zealand citizenship. (Hence the successful challenge by one of the independent candidates in the Court of Disputed Returns and the subsequent special election a few months after the general election.)

    She is a friend of a friend and I was at the time told that privately she was a bit miffed as she was before the election the youngest ever RAAF Sqd Ldr and having a “ladishly” good time and felt that she could go into lucrative private practise at the end of her enlistment.

  25. I wonder if this is the story that was rumoured on Crikey that was supposed to “blow Rudd out of the water.” If this is it, big deal. That picture of Rudd is hilarious. If it had been Howard, it would have been too creepy for words, but I reckon this could indeed make Rudd seem more appealing. There is the risk that it could be used to make him look “un-prime ministerial” (man, I hope that is not a word). The government will try to spin this as about Rudd lacking judgement, but this should be pretty easy to paint as government desperation and wowserism. Go Kev!

  26. A storm in a tea-cup by a bloke who has his own problems with the drink. The government needs to be careful with this one. I wonder how far Labor’s vote will rise this time? I wonder if people remeber a PM who used to drink hard and womanise. I think ge was PM for about 7 years.

  27. Let me see we had Bob Hawke and Malcolm Fraser.

    The sad thing is you would never see Howard in a strip club unless there were votes in it and then he would pork barrel it [with money] I wonder what type of strip club he would prefer?

    I doubt that this will do much if any harm and suspect this will add to his character. Rather than being monotone, plain and sexless all the time he shows he does have some spirit in him. I suspect some of the women might like this.

    If they govt tries to make something of it that will be interesting because every other time they have tried to attack Rudd it has cost them votes I believe.

    Given that Rudd has made a statement (and hopefully a press conference with his wife) if Howard and Co or the press try to make something of it it may well back fire again. More votes in this for Labor.
    Did labor break this story I wonder…hehe

    Sure is joke someone like Milne breaking this story..hahahaha.

    I guess he will have to face some probing questions about being appropriate for a leader etc.

  28. Big freaking whoop. Whatever handful of votes Kev might have lost from the wowsers, he will easily pick up from from people who prefer a human being for a PM.

  29. Oh well, the comments at the Courier Mail, Herald Sun, Adelaide Advertiser and the voting at those places favour Rudd pretty well.

    Well, you cant have an insipid whimp as a PM.

  30. Yep, latest poll results.

    Do you think Kevin Rudd’s behaviour will hurt him in the polls.

    Yes 33% (51 votes) No 66% (101 votes)
    Total votes: 152 votes so far

  31. Neil @372

    16 seats isn’t that huge a number.

    Looking at the years there were changes of government:

    The Coalition picked up 29 seats in 1996
    Labor picked up 24 in 1983 (on top of 13 in 1980)
    The Coalition picked up 30 seats in 1975
    Labor only picked up 8 seats in 1972 – but had collected 18 in 1969

    Also, the ALP picked up 18 seats in 1998.

    I guess the point is that 16 seats is not really that many if change is in the air. The real question is where those seats are going to come from.

  32. Not quite sure about anyone else but if you are a male and have never been to a strip club, what a wowser you are. As someone has siad, this will probably even further consolidate the battler vote – he is getting more and more like them all the time. Has a few too many drinks and has gone to a strip club – what a bloke.

  33. “Crispy Says:
    August 18th, 2007 at 9:53 pm
    Aristotle, the three month averages you quote in the link above for ‘93… are they just Newspoll, or an all-poll agregate?”

    Newspoll only, no-one else publishes data before 1996.

  34. I really can’t imagine John Howard ever going to a strip club. I can’t really imagine him have a good time of any sort. He always looks so grim. It appears he eats, sleeps, thinks, dreams politics.
    When he leaves the House he might find it useful to go on a Buddhist retreat to find the meaning of and path to happiness.
    If he goes to one in Thailand, he could also benefit from a number of those two hour massages to relax him. And I don’t mean the ones where “I love you all night long for five dollars”. Although, come to think of it….
    Really, this revelation is not going to harm Kevin Rudd at all. He might actually gain a swag of votes. Hundreds of thousands subscribe to X rated CDs from Canberra. Many people are far raunchier in private life than they appear in public.
    I doubt if John Howard is one of them.
    A few prune-faced fundamentalists will narrow their eyes and purse their lips into even tighter sphincters , but they’re not going to vote for Kevin Rudd anyway.

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