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. See, I think people like Glenn, Cerdic Conan et al are actual Labor operatives sent out to consolidate resistance to the Liberal government. They’re so extreme and out of touch that any reasonable onlooker would be turned off the views and the party they espouse. Good on you Glenn, Cerdic et al – every day you’re helping to firm up that supposedly soft Labor vote.

  2. John… unfortunately, your belief that there is a coherent argument in the coalition these days is misplaced. At the last election I was arguing with coalition supporters that were trying to convince everyone that ‘bracket creep’ was a tax introduced by the Keating government.

    Fear, bigotry and lies is all they stand for, and all they understand.

  3. John Rocket i can assure you we are not Labor operatives…or crabpeople but we are centre-right people who disagree with ya’ll but that dont mean we can’t debate policy or polls on this here site.

  4. Well, the way the polls have been going this year, the main determining factor has not been how well a particular side has been portrayed in the MSM, but rather how MUCH (or how much exposure) it has gotten in the MSM.

    When Rudd was in the media constantly at the beginning of the year (whether it be for positives, like the broadband plan, or negatives, like Brian Burke or Sunrise), his polling was high. Ever since Howard began announcing policies (such as NT intervention) and thereby getting more attention in the media, his polling has improved. This explains why the Coalition wasn’t “hurt” by the various Costello-Howard issues that have been raised over the past couple of months, as it has allowed the Coalition to hog the media headlines.

    I think Strippergate was mildly useful for Labor in that it got Rudd back into the headlines instead of Howard – the fact that it was over NY strippers was not the point. Similarly, the announcement of Rudd’s health plan itself (rather than the merits of the plan) should help Rudd. However, it should be remembered that most headlines for the past month have been about Coalition plans (such as the Devonport hospital or the mill in Eden-Monaro).

    Anyway, what I’m saying is that, for this election, it seems that “Any publicity is good publicity” – whether it’s supposedly positive or not.

  5. Hi Glen, please do William a favour and stop dominating the blog. Scrolling back from 197 to about 100, every screenful contains posts from you or to you or both. I apologise to everyone that I really couldn’t be bothered reading

  6. If you mean Howard the Coward you are kidding, right? As the Morgan and other polls are showing, the leadership and credibility trend is well down for Howard? Why?? Because people have worked him out! He is at the front of all sporting stars and winners. He is in front of the Army when they go off to war without him. He is taking all the credit for low interest and the good news etc etc.

    When the news is bad, high interest rates, Iraq, AWB, Children Overboard, Dubai Operation etc etc etc… he is the nowhere man. No one told me. No one corrected the record. It was the best information available at time. ETC People all know the script all too well and are no longer listening.

    What do you call him again??? Coward, right?

    So the polls are telling a story. It just happens to be story you don’t like.
    If the polls today were reversed you would arguing forcefully how 600 is a reasonable sample etc etc.

    Glen please correct me if I’m wrong – you like leaders who have conviction, guts and charisma…as in Hitler???

  7. “The AMA have come out against Rudd’s plan so quickly it’s hard to understand where they had the time to do any serious analysis.” – Paul K

    That’s probably because it wasn’t a serious policy in the first place. Just a cash injection and then some waffle vaguely promising something that’ll never eventuate.

    “What I find incredible 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” – Mr Squiggle

    Exactly. Of course an Opposition Leader who’s been in the job less than a year is going to get huge approval ratings – that is, he should if he’s doing his job properly. All he has to do is swan about the place feigning concern and promising to make the world a better place. What’s much more remarkable is a PM who’s been around 11 years registering an approval rating of around 50%, as Mr Howard did in the last Nielsen. Even this stinky old Morgan poll has his approval rating at 44% – truly phenomenal. Indeed, of all the issues the media is burying in order to make Rudd look as good as possible, the PM’s continuing popularity may turn out to be the most significant of them all.

  8. Geez, it’s like the Battle of Stalingrad in here, complete with German quotations from the beleagured right-wingers.

    How about a bot of on-topic posting?

    I mean, if it’s not too much trouble……..Ooops. Duck!

    Here comes another grenade.

  9. [The Australian reporting tomorrow –

    Wentworth falling to ALP based on new polling .]

    TOTALLY dope. I hope this is a special Newspoll, often I think “internal party polling” is just propaganda to make people scared.

  10. Phew. Have spent a solid hour hour zooming through the debate. I do think we need a ‘Do Not Feed the Glen’ rule… it will save us all a lot of time. And yes, shades of Ozpolitics I’m afraid. At least Nostrils has stayed in his coffin for days.

    And does no one honour Godwin’s Law around here? Nazi references everywhere, which means Glen lost.

    All that notwithstanding, Glen, I do not recall any 1980s Coalition support for the FBT, CGT or compulsory super reforms. Quite the opposite. The FBT was bumper-stickered into the ‘Farewell Bob Tax’. But I doubt you were out of nappies then.

    The relentless march of the national polls aside, I would dearly love to see how things are going in key marginals. I have heard some mutterings of defeatism from Labor circles because they believe getting over the line in 16 marginals is ‘tough’. I would’ve thought a 53/47 result, as seems possible, would sweep all before it, but maybe this is not correct.

    I know the pork barrelling is probably going down badly in the cynical wider electorate, but is this countered by the fact that it DOES work in the targetted electorates? I would love to see some figures for Braddon now, for instance. Has the hospital move bribed enough people? Will similar moves in another twenty electorates work their magic, even if they enrage other voters in electorates where a bigger swing doesn’t matter?

    My apologies for turning ‘bumper-sticker’ into a verb.

  11. ” Exclusive Brethren attacks Rudd
    Sid Marris | August 23, 2007 – The Australian

    THE separatist conservative Christian movement, the Exclusive Brethren Church, has accused Kevin Rudd of unwarranted and inaccurate slurs against its members. ”

    These dills are going to keep the issue alive which won’t do the government any good.

  12. Galaxy curiously somewhat below the others

    Previous Galaxy April/May/June/July/end July
    Total Coalition …………………… 37 39 42 41 41
    ALP …………………………………… 49 49 44 46 44
    The Greens ………………………… 9 9 10 9 10
    Another party or an
    independent candidate …………. 5 3 4 4 5

    Newspoll 25-27 May 35 52 3 10
    Newspoll 15-17 June 39 46 5 10
    Newspoll 6-8 July 35 48 4 9
    Newspoll 20-22 July 40 47 4 9
    Newspoll 3-5 August 39 48 4 9
    Newspoll 17-19 August 39 46 5 10

    Neilsen April/May/June/July
    Labor 50 48 48 49
    Coalition 37 39 39 39
    Democrat 1 1 1 1
    Greens 7 7 8 7
    Independent 3 3 2 2

  13. [I would’ve thought a 53/47 result, as seems possible, would sweep all before it, but maybe this is not correct.]

    If the 2pp figure comes in 53/47 and the ALP doesn’t win, then we need electoral reform. I realise in our system that occassionally a government will flop over the line with only 48.5 or 49% of the vote, but if an opposition gets 53 and doesn’t win, then that means there is something terribly wrong with our electoral system.

    [simon have you got a link to that? or was that on lateline or something?]

    I was just quoting what “ph” wrote at the top of the page. The Australian updates all its pages in 1 hour from now, so I’m expecting it to be up then. No doubt they did this as a follow up to Mr Cousins, mate of P.M. Howard, and government appointed Tel$tra board member starting a campaign against Turnbull.

  14. [Galaxy curiously somewhat below the others]

    Yes. Galaxy is repeatedly low, Morgan is repeatedly high, Newspoll and A.C. Neilsen are always in the middle. Who knows, maybe Morgan is the one that best gels with reality, but my guess is it is Nielsen and Newspoll that are closer, just because they are in the middle.

    My proposal is that if even Galaxy start recording swings away from the Government, then they will start to realise they are totally screwed, and will probably revert to a “save the safe seats” strategy.

  15. The Exclusive Brethren has as much credibility as Paris Hilton: Rudd needn’t worry! A CURRENT AFFAIR is doing a nice hatchet job on the Brethren, and Howard’s connection to them was highlighted tonight.

    So Moneybags Malcolm is in trouble in Wentworth? George Newhouse is a damn good Labor candidate, so you never know, he could be one upset winner on election night.

  16. Willst du wohl gefälligst den Mund halten?! Das einzig interesseante an deiner Lebensgeschichte ist, wie du aus dem Versuchslabor entkommen bist.

    I don’t know any German but guessing from the rough translation, I’d say it’s this:

    Will you shut your mouth! The only thing interesting about your life is how you managed to escape from the lab.

    I believe these are common German insults.

  17. Wentworth being seriously in the frame reflects all the mainstream polling. This businessman running against Turnbull can only make that even more serious.

  18. Actually I wouldn’t like to see Malcolm lose in Wentworth. It’s good for a democracy to have a strong opposition and if the Libs get belted in the election they’ll need guys like Malcolm to rebuild and take the fight to the new Rudd government. I suspect that without Howard’s influence Malcolm may actually turn out to be a pretty good pollie.

  19. I contend that this ‘special newspoll’ is highly dubious in nature and that Wentworth’s real margin is more than 7% than the 2.5% as reported in the media…the reason for this has been explained in length but it was Peter King’s candidacy in the 2004 Election which shifted 16% of the vote away from the Libs on primary…i would assume more than half of that vote will return to Turnbull…so i believe he will hold his seat…and i apologise for posting too much i was debating an irate Pi so i am sorry for that and will try to keep my posts to a minimum…

  20. Again, asanque, the PM had an approval rating of 50% in the last Nielsen, and, yes, a 44% rating in a ludicrous anti-Howard Morgan poll is a very good showing. Very good. Ignore it at your peril.

    “The relentless march of the national polls aside, I would dearly love to see how things are going in key marginals. I have heard some mutterings of defeatism from Labor circles because they believe getting over the line in 16 marginals is ‘tough’.” – Crispy.

    Those mutterers are correct. The Coalition has made an artform of marginals campaigning, burrowing down deep beneath the national stratum and structuring their campaigns around incredibly focused research.

  21. [So Moneybags Malcolm is in trouble in Wentworth? George Newhouse is a damn good Labor candidate, so you never know, he could be one upset winner on election night.]

    ALP private polling had it LIB 47, LAB 42, GREENS, 10.

    Which is actually line ball if you consider that 75% of those greens preferences will probably flow to the ALP.

    That was before this Geoffrey Cousins announced his campaign against the government. I don’t think he is running as a candidate, he is just going to run advertisments, and hold community meetings attacking Turnbull’s role in approving the Tasmanian pulp mill.

    He is a former advertising executive, so he probably has a decent idea in how to change opinion. Turnbull could really be coming up a against a perfect storm, squeezed between the Greens and a good ALP candidate.

    Yesterday’s Australian had a good story here:,25197,22290468-11949,00.html

  22. Glen says : debating an irate Pi

    Irate? Just putting you in your place kid… you guys are a dime a dozen.

    Regardless of what the current swing required is, if a poll in Wentworth comes out TPP 54/46, its going to mean Turnbull losing his seat. The margin at the 2004 poll has no relationship to the actual voting pattern as it stands today, except as a guide to analyse how much of a shift has occurred.

  23. [I contend that this ’special newspoll’ is highly dubious in nature and that Wentworth’s real margin is more than 7% than the 2.5% as reported in the media…]

    Stop doing this! You keep demonstrating your ignorance of polling.

    They are asking the people NOW “Who will you vote for”, Peter King splitting the conservative vote has NOTHING to do with the 2007 election!

  24. If the Liberal Party loses and doesnt have Turnbull in its ranks i’ll be shattered even though he’s a republican he could be a good future leader and it would be ashame to lose him to a Ruddslide if that were to occur…

    Still his margin is far higher than 2.5% and i expect he should be returned…

  25. Big Picture Guy are you a German person or an Australian scholar on Germany?

    Are there any decent online translators incidentially?

  26. ” Still his margin is far higher ”


    I think his margin went to the same place that the budget bounce and the end of the Rudd Honeymoon went.

  27. Strangly I think Glen has a point. Both Bennelong and Wentworth are special cases where the tory vote was split in the last election on a protesting independants.

    However this does mean that if they are even 50/50 in these seats it implies plenty of damage elsewhere.

  28. Albert F i believe you’re right New South Wales could deliver hits on the Coalition thankfully they hold the majority of their seats by a wide margin and could weather a swing of 6-7% but that would lose Parramatta, Macquarie, Lindsey and Eden-Monaro definately some the Coalition will struggle in if the swing is uniform…

  29. Glen,

    I think the flip side of the margin on Bennelong and Wentworth being too narrow is that a lot of the apparently “safe” seats are quite vunerable. If the ALP is currently ahead in Wentworth then anything under 10% is fair game.

  30. Pi, just one point – Labor did not make the key reforms re the Reserve Bank….Costello did. Costello created an agreement whereby the bank was wholly independent and had an inflation target of 2-3%. Keating did neither.


  31. Albert F…what will be interesting in Bennelong is whether the Greens vote holds up or not they polled about 16% with Wilkie granted the preferences were probably split 80-20 to the ALP but because the ALP’s primary vote was so low that will be worrying for them and the main reason why Howard is still in the hunt…but on the other hand if his own primary goes well then so does his seat…

    Albert F perhaps but that would only be the case were it a landslide victory to Rudd on the proportions of Howard’s 1996 victory in which safe ALP seats fell to the Coalition…Clearly Howard has a lot to lose in New South Wales…it may go under the radar and prove decisive…nevertheless it is clear that the ALP will make at the minimum 3 gains in South Australia and at least 4 gains in QLD that’s 7 then they only need another 9 to come from NSW/TAS/VIC/WA/NT now whether or not the Coalition can pick up Swan and Cowan in WA and hold Stirling and Hasluck may be crucial i think the Libs should focus hard on WA because on the back on bad results in the East the West could prove the king maker…

  32. [i think the Libs should focus hard on WA because on the back on bad results in the East the West could prove the king maker…]

    Well, in that article on the Wentworth polling it said the Liberals are now considering 40 seats as marginal!

    If they spread their resources that thin then many will fall anyway.

  33. Also,

    re wentworth, the report also says the Libs say their polling has Turnbull well placed. I happen to know (from some party sources of mine) that that is correct…. which is to say that is what their polling shows…. so maybe the parties’ polling really is just showing different things…certainly the method Labor used (ie without candidate names) is dodgy.

  34. Simon don’t forget that Labor have 23 marginals the same number we do based on the 2004 election…the ALP will have to defend many of them…if they get complacent and lose 1 or 2 it could prove a disaster for Rudd and Co.

  35. Glen, yep, yep,

    The ALP’s key problem is the sheer number of seats they need to win. It means the coalition can adobt a targeted defense.

    To me this explains why a party polling 55+ all year can be only lukewarm favorites with the bookies.

    Of couse if the much anticipated shift back to the coaltion fails to appear all the targeted pork in the world won’t help.

    My best guess on the range of outcomes is:

    25% chance – complete rout of coalition – gone for a decade
    35% chance – modest ALP Victory
    40% change – with targeted pork and a late rally the tories scrape back in

    Its this range of outcomes that make this election an absolute cracker.

  36. I’m not tipping a rout i think the Coalition will scrap back in…but Rudd could win in a squeaker we have a ball game…

    I’m sure we’ll all have an 8 hour tape or DVD ready to record the ABC’s election night coverage with Antony Green et al…and the bewdy of it is you can tape over it the next day if your side loses lol.

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