Morgan: 60-40

Roy Morgan has caused a disturbance in the force by releasing its weekly poll a day early, perhaps hoping to strike while the Strippergate iron is lukewarm. Conducted over the last two evenings, the phone poll of 633 voters shows an intriguingly strong result for Labor, whose lead has widened to 60-40 from 58.5-41.5 at the last comparable poll a fortnight ago. Separately published leadership approval figures are remarkable enough to raise suspicions about the sample: the Prime Minister’s approval rating is at its lowest level since he was elected, his disapproval rating (up nine to 51 per cent) shooting past his approval rating (down nine to 44 per cent), while Kevin Rudd’s approval rating has reached a Bob Hawkeian 74 per cent (up 2 per cent). Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has widened from 51-44 to 52-38, and 87 per cent of respondents profess them unconcerned about the incident in New York.

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.

336 comments on “Morgan: 60-40”

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  1. Don’t worry liberal supporters, you still have APEC to turn things around in the polls, where Howard will be seen all over news media with his mate Dubya (George W).

    aaaHaaHaa LOL.

  2. [face it polling is not credible unless its done by at least 1000 people]

    Nah, you really mean polling isn’t credible unless the survey is 1000 Liberal party members.

  3. A poll from left field.

    Has someone whom found Medicare Gold to be a joke, this policy is way superier for the only way Medicare Gold could have worked is if the Feds had taken Health over from the States.

    So therefore I give Health policy a tick at this stage.

    I think its fair to say the Governmet has been found to be slack in its policy approach for way to long and now is having to play catch up.

    I’m still tipping a 53-47 ALP election win.

  4. Glen, you said: ‘the last newspoll of the 2004 election had it 50/50 and Howard won 53-47 face it polling is not credible unless its done by at least 1000 people and by reputable organizations like newspoll’.

    Are you saying: ‘no polling is worth a cracker (see how newspoll got it wrong last time)’, or ‘any poll is susceptible to a late swing (either way)’ or ‘all polls fall within a 3% MoE’?

  5. Thanks for that reminder of baseless Liberal speak Glen. What have you got to say about the actual purpose of this blogspace, THE POLL RESULT.

    Oh I see, because its MORGAN you say its baseless and a small sample. I wonder if that is what you say when NEWSPOLL or GALAXY or AC NEILSEN or WESTPOLL put out a result you don’t like ?

    Oh, I remember now, you completely ignore the POLL result and turn this blogspace into a debate about policy or Rudd being inexperienced or anything you can imagine to deflect your attention and others away from THE POLLS and a sound analysis of what might be driving them in one direction or another. You know, psephelogy !!

    Please, just for once, have a balanced, reasonable ‘crack’ at explaining why this poll (putting aside your biases if you can against Morgan and any other negative result for the Coalition) says 60-40 Glen.

    No sprays about this or that fault in Rudd and/or the ALP, no ‘leftard’ attacks, just a simple opinion (balanced please) on what you think may be behind this 60-40 result. You just can’t do it can you…give it a try.

  6. Odd how these polls keep polling “lefties” and “leftards” when according to some the silent majority are Howard huggers. Why can’t they find the silent majority yearning for Johnny H to be our PM for life?

    Where have all the right wingers gone? Where have all the Liberal voters gone? Gone to vote for Rudd every single one.

    Bad luck Glen and co.

  7. What will be interesting Graeme is the polling by YouGov that is starting up soon does anyone know when they’ll be bringing out polls….

    Rudd is the master of the stunt…

    Today he gave no detail about how he’d stop duplication…gave no indication as to how he’d take over the health system proper…his speech was full of empty platitudes as usual and not a word from the would be Health Minister…

    Rudd has no substance face it…

  8. Steven Kaye, all the comments re: the Rudd Health policy are coming from Abbott and they are getting a lot of ridicule. Where is Howard? Is he so unpopular that the libs need to hide him? Or is it the lack of any long term coalition health policy place Team Rodent in a position that they need to announce a new “visionary” (read short term. knee jerk and reactionary) policy next week? Obviously with the standard Team Rodent fanfare that the ALP has no policy in this area…


  9. “Again you misrepresent reality Steven. Rudd did not say he would take over the health system -He said he would IF the State’s don’t get their act together by 2009. Have your views, but try to fabricate them on the grounds of some semblance of reality.” – Strop

    Well, duhh, Strop! That’s why it’s nothing more than a flimsy stunt. Thanks for pointing out how insubstantial it is.

  10. Rudd did NOT say he would categorically take over the health system Glen…more LIES. He said he would IF the States dont shape up, different.

  11. Come on Glen, shouldnt take you that long to switch your information and switch back to Steven , no Glen.. no…oh CHITT. BUSTED.

  12. Rudd did NOT say he would categorically take over the health system Glen…more LIES. He said he would IF the States dont shape up, different.
    Strop 61

    And he also said it would be via a plebiscite.

  13. Abbott flagged taking over hospitals two years ago, now he says it’s a stunt and a silly idea.

    Howard’s font bench is fast becoming an acrobatics troupe, masters of the back flip; instead of landing on their feet, Howard’s troupe land flat on their faces.

  14. 61
    STROP Says:
    August 23rd, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    Rudd did NOT say he would categorically take over the health system Glen…more LIES. He said he would IF the States dont shape up, different.

    That means Rudd will put his neck on the line on HEALTH at the next election Steven/Glen , that is make himself accountable to the electorate, a nice change from a Government that has more often than not waited until AFTER they get elected to introduce radical policy and stitch it up so well that most of it can not be repealed by the time the next election comes around……DUHHH indeed.

  15. Rudd is so gutless that he said it would be separate plebiscites on Federal take over of the health systems and not a constitutional referendum…wow how good would that be half the states in and half of them out…

  16. I gotta go, meantime Glen/Steven please respond to my posting at 55 when you figure out which id you want to use to respond to it with.


    Have a good evening, its only politics after all.


  17. Meanwhile Ch 9 in Perth are spinnig the howard line on takeovers being a stunt. they only played Carpenter’s concern about federal takeovers, but IGNORED his general praise of the plan.

    Talk about selective editing.

  18. Its simple, Labor has the four top issues. IR with over 70% of people against the laws. No nuclear power stations, again over 70% of people are against them. Global Warming for the trifector of over 70%. Then comes Iraq with 60% of the people against the war. The economy comes in at the mid 50’s somewhere. Which is counter balanced by the 5 rises in interest rates. So my question is why isn’t Labor further ahead.

  19. Look, I really think that if Howard had come out and we’ll that his government would give two billion dollars to the states to fix the problems in the health system, and if they didn’t co-operate with reform, the Feds would take over the system, the Lib supporters on this blog would say it was a great policy.

    And the Labor supporters would have accused Howard of trying to “wedge” Rudd or create a fight with the states or something.

    Let’s analyse the policies before spouting all this party propaganda. I actually Rudd’s policy is sensible. But I’d like to know the following things…what are the general proposals for reform? Is two billion dollars enough? And can the Federal Government logistically manage the health system, if required, or is Rudd’s threat a bluff? These are good starting points for a debate.

    I think Rudd’s health policy will help him in the polls, because it’s easy to understand, is directed at a genuine problem, and is not pork-barrelling. But he’ll need to flesh out the details, or it may unravel.

    And it takes the attention away from Strippergate! I must say, I expected a big policy from Labor this week, for that reason.

  20. I think I’ve previously identified myself as a liberal voter…for the purposes of this post, I’d like to repeat it to give the right context to my point

    What I find increadible about these polls is why so many left leaning psephs are encouraged by the results of the question ” Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mr Rudd is handling his job as Leader of the Opposition?”

    If someone phoned me up tonight and asked me that question, I swear I would say Mr Rudd is doing a great job as opposition leader. No hesitation whatsoever….

    I’d say he is doing a #@#!!!! brilliant job as oppostion leader.

    In fact, I’d day he’s so good at it, I hope he stays opposition leader for the next six years!!!

    I’ll never vote for him though

    There must come a point in this trend line when people realise that its not an intention to vote for the guy…its just an appreciation of KR, after suffering under latham and cree-an. A good opposition leader helps make a good PM……

  21. Oh I forgot. John will be seen with the most unpopular American President ever. His figures in the USA for the unpopularity poll is wait for it you guessed it the magic figure of over 70%. I believe in Australia its worse. American TV shows call him President shit for brains (Bill Maher) see You Tube link

    PS If you don’t know who Pat Robertson is try this link first it explains everything, but hes sorta like the Bretheren.

  22. Steven Kaye says:

    Ouch – you know your shiny new health policy is DOA when even your biggest media booster runs this headline: “AMA says Rudd’s hospital plan flawed.” – ABC news online.

    Honestly Steven, do you think that everything the media says is through some sort of biasometer? This is straight reporting. The AMA said it. The ABC reported it. The ABC also reported what Rudd, Howard, Abbott and each Premier had to say about the plan, plus the views of some assorted experts.

    The rest of the media has done the same. The newspapers will do it tomorrow, and present and range of analysis and opinion of Labor’s health plan. This is a good thing. This is the free exchange of information in a democracy. Get real.

  23. Mr Squiggle: Latham had v.high approvals as well. I agree the question is potentially cooked, and as Peter Brent argues usually misleading as to voting trends.

    Your jocular line about wanting him to stay opposition leader though is a mirror of lefty arguments here about the responses to ‘is Australia heading in the right direction’.

    Curiously, ‘right direction’ and ‘leader approval’ seem to be used in the US as fundamental indicators. Maybe they are as an indicator of incumbent prospects in a Presidential system.

    Are we in a Presidential system? On the surface we are, given Howard’s dominance of his party and the dumbing down of the media. Indeed your comment about people ‘voting for the guy’ (ie Rudd) shows how Presidentialised we have become in our language. But I’d argue we are still a long way from such a system: our parties are strong both institutionally and as distinctive ‘brands’. Most floating voters won’t be voting ‘for Rudd’ (or ‘Howard’) but ‘for change/fairness etc ‘ (or ‘for the status quo/flexible economy etc’).

  24. Don’t know about the magnitude but I think the trend away from the coalition is quite credible. Howard’s anti-state strategy is a political disaster, he is effectively stepping off the national stage only weeks before a national election. I also think the interest rate movement was bad news, not so much because it went up but because it has revealed that Howard has no control over it whether it goes up or down. Not only is it in the hands of the RBA, but according to him in the hands of the states as well. His attempt to get back onto a national agenda with ‘aspirational nationalism’ is a joke.

    More fundamentally, his constant humiliations at the hands of the judiciary over Haneef are a serious sign he is losing his grip. I could imagine that worse is to come.

  25. ps – who is with me in calling for a constitutional referendum to ban the term, if not the idea, of ‘plebiscites’?

    Howard latched onto them for his local government stunt, now Rudd mimics him in suggesting them for hospitals and Howard backflips by following Vaile’s promise of them on nuclear reactors.

    This is populist ad hocery at its worst. Are punters so enamoured by daft knee-jerk, online polls, that they want them on every issue of public policy? I doubt it: the CIR debate flared around the time of Hanson Mk 1, then died a natural death.

    Neither Howard nor Rudd believes in direct democracy, or has a comprehensive proposal for it. This country would be in a right mess if it went down that path.

  26. So Mr Squiggle, when the question is: “who do you think would make the better prime minister” and the people declare Rudd 46-39, then it must clearly be a wish for who the people want as prime minister.

    I personally don’t know of anyone who seriously thinks about the satisfaction / dissatisfaction ratings of the opposition leader as being anything other than a rating of his work now. I don’t think people see it as a de facto better PM question.

    What the latest newspoll shows us according to the questions is that:
    – more people would have voted for the ALP than for the coalition if an election was held on the weekend;
    – more people are disatisfied with JWH doing his job than are satisifed with it
    – more people are SATISFIED with Rudd doing his current job; and

    -MORE people prefer Rudd to Howard as PM (at the moment).

  27. Howard’s take over of his one Hospital helps legitimise Rudd’s hospital policy in what is a super reverse-wedge.

    Downer’s Rudd smear fails, Howard’s ‘Aspirational Nationalism’ both confuses and scares the horses, Costello’s extra surplus calms any fears on the economy, Howard’s bad looking meeting with the EB, and then Rudd’s big Hospital’s policy, with strategic support from the States, gives the big good feeling and good look to the public. AND if the polls were strengthening for Rudd this would help solidify that feeling of support in the voter.

    The series of events in the end worked all to Rudd’s favour and may have improved his position even further or atleast helped hang onto a few voters.

    60/40 is fairly consistent with their phone polls for the year.

    Whilst it might not represent the real vote it surely implys continuing steadiness in the level of vote. The F2F has been steady all year as well – except for those two 55s against a stream of 58-60s

    At the very least their vote is still steady. At worst more of their vote is getting rusted on.

  28. Graeme – I think JWH has opened a can of worms he may not like with his idea for plebisicites. However, his call for them is limited to issues relating to local areas – local government in QLD and nuclear reactors in your local area.

    Interesting point for these plebiscites is how local do you go?
    Should you look at State? electoral division (federal or state) or local government area?

    This is such a way to rort the system – design a nuclear reactor for the edge and deny the vote to all the people affected by it.

  29. Glen, it shows how little you have when all you can do is criticise a policy announcement because the shadow minister didn’t make it. You seem to have taken quite a few large blows to the head recently…

  30. Chris 75

    Thanks for the link! It was great viewing.

    I encourage others to watch as well. I lived in the US for 9 years, including the last presidential election where I was astounded that they voted Bush back in. Boy what a mistake that was.

    I agree with others here who’ve said his visit will harm Howard’s image.

    What a long way we’ve come from those heady days of JWH’s visits to the US, being feted at the ranch in Texas, and other similarly sickening events. Soon to be put in the past, so we can all move on. Well, most of us, anyway.

  31. I thought the most amazing figure in the Morgan Poll today was the ALP on 51% of the primary Vote. It certainly opens up a lot of possibilities for how to run the campaign if they can attract and keep support at those sort of levels.

    It’s about time that we saw a serious questioning of Australia’s strongest Union, the AMA as most of Howard’s failed policy was written and directed by the AMA.

  32. Dario, Roxon would have to manage such an ill thought out policy if Labor won so we deserve to hear what she has to say…instead Rudd pulled another Stunt a speech full to the brim of semantics and then had Peter Garrett on hand to make good with the TV crews so you’d have smiling faces of the hospital employees…

    If you dont think opposition shadow ministers should express their views if not announce major policies then you’ve got rocks in your head Dario…it just shows Labor is a one man band and that is so devoid of talent that they hide behind Rudd’s smirky smile.

  33. [It’s about time that we saw a serious questioning of Australia’s strongest Union, the AMA as most of Howard’s failed policy was written and directed by the AMA.]

    And an there needs to be an inquiry into the operations of the National Farmers Federation as well, another militant union.

  34. Thanks Michael and Graeme,

    This is a key stat for me…..Michael Proud highlights KR’s 46-39 better PM.

    I think this Morgan poll shows KR at 52-38 as better PM (although the undecided is highest for 12 months).

    However, his current approval rating as good opposition leader is a stratopheric 74%.

    That’s 22% of opp leader approval rating that disappears when the question becomes who would be a better PM.

    That’s a huge amount of positive feeling to disappear just because a question asked you to shift your thinking from good opp leader to good PM.

    I wonder what would happen to positive feeling when the questions you get asked are “can I have your name please,” can I have your address”, and “have you voted before at today’s election?”.

    Mr squiggle

  35. How about we have an inquiry into every single Trade Union in the country…

    You know one bright politician in Germany had some good policies about dealing with the Trade Unions…and didnt do such a bad job Simon…

    The Unions talk about standing up for workers but what happens when they strike like in Melbourne recently forcing thousands to go without work and pay because they are so lazy that they are costing the livelihoods of their fellow workers what does Sharon Burrows have to say about this.

  36. Just a small point about margins of error:
    With a sample size of this size and a result of 60 – 40 the margin of error is 3.9% meaning that the TPP result for the ALP would fall 95% of the time between 56.1% to 63.9%.
    With this result, If you had a poll of 2000 voters the margin of error would be only 2% or 1200 voters would be 2.8%. So sample size matters.
    However, The margin of error is also decreased by increasing the split of the two options (that is the glory of TPP; is there is only two options). If the same poll had of shown a 50 – 50 split, the margin of error would have been 4%. Alternatively, the magin of error on the question of Kevin Rudds behaviour not worrying people (split being 87-13) is only 2.6%.

    The formula is approx ~ 2*(n(1-n)/p)^.5 where n is the result, 1 – n is the opposite result and p is the sample size.

  37. [The Unions talk about standing up for workers but what happens when they strike like in Melbourne recently forcing thousands to go without work and pay because they are so lazy ]

    Those workers VOTED to go on strike! You seem to have an issue with the democratic process.

    Under Labor’s industrial relations policy it would’ve had to be a secret ballot. Surely that is something you will endorse?

    [You know one bright politician in Germany had some good policies about dealing with the Trade Unions…and didnt do such a bad job Simon…]

    That wasn’t a democracy, if you support those sorts of anit-democratic polices, then I have no idea why you are contributing to a blog concerned with “Reflections on democracy at work in the greatest country on Earth”.

    Joining a union is a democratic right, not joining a union is also a democratic right. You seem to have no idea what democracy is, or you have a hatred for democracy.

  38. Morgan has always overestimated Labors vote. he is working on the fact that of the voters think it is a show in then they will take the flutter and vote elsewhere. I tend to find newspoll and Acnielsen to be more on the mark. There was an earlier comment that you should not take polls into much consideration in senate vote. I disagree. I have found that the polls are particularly useful when assessing the Senate. Over the HTV cards are registered you can use the polls to determine the various thresholds (pivot points) that will determine the outcome. This couples with details of the previous senate below the line vote gives you a very good idea of the outcome. We new well in advance that the likely outcome of the Senate results. It was just a matter of waiting to see what the magnitudes turned up. In Victoria for example the polls showed that the Greens and the ALP were both below par. fact was in the end the Greens indirectly helped Family First over the line in Victoria…

  39. Thanks BS for the range of 56.1-63.9 for labor and 43.9-36.1 for libs.

    I was concerned that 40% could consider Howard but seeing that it could be around 36% and trending lower I feel somewhat better now.

  40. Thanks Shrike for steering discussion back into cause & effect. I suggest anyone else interested in that have a look at Possum’s site, & the stats breakdown of the interest rate rise effect.

    The movement in Howard’s personal ratings is jaw dropping, and hard to believe. If it is true, it suggests that his personal credibility is rapidly falling apart. The breaking of the implied interest rate “promise” may well have been the final straw with the electorate.

  41. Simon 92#

    “Those workers VOTED to go on strike!” Yes but their irresponsible actions have threatened the jobs at the manufacturing plant for Ford which has cost thousands their pay for an indefinite period = Unions dont give a toss about the workers.

    “Labor’s industrial relations policy”…we’d have ‘good faith bargening’ and ‘right of entry’ and job destroying ‘unfair’ dismissal laws back in town…boy the Union thugs must be watering at the mouth with the prospects of a Labor victory!

    “That wasn’t a democracy, if you support those sorts of anit-democratic polices, then I have no idea why you are contributing to a blog concerned with” Actually Simon he did get democratically elected so your argument falls to pieces to begin with…

    Guess which Austrian said this Simon “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed”…

    Rudd is running the lie that Australians are worse off when they’ve never had it so good…he’s running with that lie and hoping that it’ll win him the election and it wont.

  42. The question is: Is 60/40 more likely to be a real result or an artefact?

    In my view two issues in the last fortnight could have resulted in some further swing to Labor: The Government’s ham-fistedness with the nuclear power option and the “strippergate” smear.

    The first was a pretty obvious error. Howard first announces that “business” will decide where the reactors go. Not a smart thing to say, given that the overwhelming majority of the population oppose nuclear power in the first place and everyone (even those who support nuclear power in principle) is almost certainly a nuclear NIMBY. Perhaps this explains today’s backflip, with the PM hastily assuring the public that every community will be entitled to determine, by plebiscite, whether it wishes to have a nuclear power station built locally.

    The problem is that he hasn’t been hasty enough.

    Having laid-down that business will make the decisions as to reactor placement, he left that statement hanging in the breeze for a good three days before realising the enormity of his error and coming out with the: “But you’ll have a say” line. Too late. Three days is plenty of time for people to get all steamed-up about the prospect of some twat from Pacific Power deciding to build Three Mile Island just down the road from thir home.

    This must have impacted, and pretty heavily too, I would think.

    Next is the strip joint slur. The Libs, especially Downer, have been pushing this all week, using it it to question Rudd’s character.

    Now call me stupid, but if there is one thing people have made their minds-up about by now, it’s Rudd’s character. They like him. This is part of the reason the earlier character attacks of March/April failed so miserably (that, together with the fact that they too were transparent smear campaigns). Now if someone likes a bloke, it’s no good trying to tell him that he’s wrong. Try it sometime and see what happens.

    All you end-up doing is annoying the person you’re trying to convince. That person gets pissed-off with you for questioning his feelings and dismissing his judgement.

    So. What do the figures mean?

    For me they suggest a small but real move further toward Labor.

    The previous Newspoll was 55/45 2pp and the previous Morgan FTF, 58.5/41.5 2pp.

    Sure, 60/40 is well within the Morgan FTF MOE, but I reckon if I’m correct in my assessment of people’s most likley reactions to the two major issues of the past week, there cannot but have been some further increment in the Labor vote.

    If I’m right and the trend holds, the next Newspoll should be in the order of 57/43.

  43. Shorter Glen – Nyah, Nyah , Nyah. Can’t see me. Can’t hurt me. Or whatever that translates to in German.

    But Steven’s grammar and spelling is immaculate. Hoo Hah! Stevo!

  44. Glen Says: What you’re all forgetting about Rudd dud of a policy today is that this ‘major’ 2billion dollar announcement in health and guess what… Not a single word from Nicola Roxon on the TV…a 2billion dollar health policy and not one word from the alternative minister for health…

    Funny. I don’t remember Tony Abbott announcing the Tasmanian hospital buyout. Yet another (and another and another and another and…) case of you not thinking before you apply your one-eyed logic.

  45. A poll of 633 is not that convincing. completely useless when it comes to the lower house and I am doubtful you can give it credence in the senate either if that is an Australian wide results. The polls never ask voters to distinguish between the upperhouse an the lower house. Something they should have done in Victoria 2006. Morgan should ask his clients to spend more or he should work on reducing the costs of his service.

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