Morgan: 54.5-45.5

Roy Morgan’s fortnightly face-to-face poll comes in at the lower end of market expectations for Labor, whose two-party lead has narrowed to 54.5-45.5 from 58.5-41.5 a fortnight ago. Labor’s primary vote is down from 49.5 per cent to 46 per cent, and the Coalition’s up from 36.5 per cent to 41 per cent. This is from a sample of 1271 voters, which is unusually small for a Morgan face-to-face.

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.

230 comments on “Morgan: 54.5-45.5”

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  1. May be get a first comment?

    Seems weird because it is such a big change from previous Morgan F2F, and out of step with other recent polls: Newspoll and Galaxy. Does that mean this is more likely a rogue poll?

    On the positive side, may be it will encourage Howard to call the election earlier, ie soon after APEC, and we can get it over and done with: the faux campaign has gone long enough!

  2. wonder if this willl get any press (although Morgan rarely does) as it is a 4 point improvement for the govt (as opposed to Galaxy’s 3 point ALP improvement). Despite the volatility the vote looks rock solid at around 55/44

  3. Last Morgan F2F probably overstated labors lead, this one understates it. The average of the two is 48/39, which is in line with recent Gallaxy and Neswpolls. No Change

  4. What this poll might suggest is that the previous Morgan overstated the ALP vote, whereas this one understates it. Net result: More of the same.

    However, if we are to read more into this than statistical noise, it does lend some credence to the theory that economic troubles might conversely help the government. But it’s also worth pointing out that Labor is still a mile in front and has been for 8 months.

  5. Morgan’s been volatile the last two months. Looking at the year’s graph for 2PP the last Morgan and the one in early July now seem to be outliers… the long trend line points to today’s result, or about 55/45 anyway. Still solid for Rudd, but I think the trend would encourage Howard to wait until late November now.

    Damn, I was hoping he’d really go for it and we’d get Oct 20.

  6. Hugo, Galaxy has moved 3 points the other way which kind of kills the economic troubles theory. That being said, neither side should get excited about either poll, its the trend that matters and next week’s Newspoll will be instructive

  7. The previous Morgan obviously overstated Labor support and if you take out that poll then allow for moe, then this aligns with the previous three Morgan face to face polls as well as most the other published opinion polls.

  8. I’m amazed that Newspoll can put the Green vote at 4.5-5%, Morgan at 6.5-7.5% and Galaxy and Nelson close to or at 10%. And they’re all so consistant with their minor party numbers, I don’t understand.

  9. A very good friend of mine who works for Ian McFarlane said that unless a big event happens Howard wants November 3 to avoid a potential interest rate rise on November 6 mid-election campaign.

  10. Pretty much the same as Newspoll 17-19 August.

    “This latest face-to-face Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention was conducted on the weekends of August 18/19 & 25/26, 2007″

    91 seats to Labor

    (sorry about the duplication).

  11. AC

    It is the best poll for the coalition since July 21/22 & 28/29, 2007 45.5 54.5

    Next best was July 7/8 & 14/15, 2007 45 55

    Very similar reslts nothing is happening.

  12. Yep, so the polls demonstrate that Labor has around an 8-10 lead going about 2-2.5 months from an election. This means the Government has to claw back around 4 points in that time to pull through. Can it happen? Since they’re the incumbents, anything is possible. If they were in opposition, they’d may as well give up the fight.

  13. Strangely enough, a poll like this is sobering for those Laborites celebrating prematurely and getting carried away with predictions of landslide victories(regardless of whether or not it’s accurate). This will be a bloody hard election for the Ruddster to win, and one can never underestimate Howard. Newspoll next Tuesday will confirm if this reflects a definite move back to the Coalition.

  14. Dunno: Early November risks pissing off punters whose Melbourne Cup etc have been ruined by Team Rodent’s slashing of customs and quarantine resources.

    I note Kroger favors October or December.

  15. Note the sample size of only 1271 over two weekends, when the normal sample size is around 1700. Also, note that the Labor “think will win” is down 5% since the last poll, and 3% since late July, when Labor had the same 2PP. The last Newspoll had Labor “think will win” at 57%. The sample size may indicate that they had some sample problems; maybe they didn’t sample enough Labor areas. After being stable since March, this poll has been all over the place since the end of June.

  16. Yep, it ain’t over till its over. Rather be Rudd though!

    And Id say this: Ive been watching various polls all year, and ALP Primary drifts between 46 and 49; Coalition’s between 39 and 41. As with this poll.

    If those low 46 and high 41 are rusted on, and they may be, its going to be pretty damn hard for Howard to hold on.

    He’s going to have to do better than that.

  17. Melbourne cup might not be on…

    Anyway, sorry to repeat from another thread but: (copy/paste)

    A question. I am going overseas for a few months to a remote area where I won’t be able to cast an overseas vote, but I expect the election to be called before I leave.

    For pre-poll votes, how would that work. Will an AEC office just spring up in my electorate or do I get a postal vote from the post office or somewhere?

    Thanks in advance.

  18. HH, this poll was taken over the same two weekends when Newspoll had Labor up 55-45 and Galaxy had Labor up 57-43. It’s also the same period when Morgan ph had Labor up 60-40. I do agree that Newspoll will be interesting now, but I expect a swing to Labor, due to interest rates and Labor’s IR policy.

  19. The last 4 Morgans read


    Looks like stability around 55 with a random lurch last fortnight. But that’s really odd, because that’s what ACN, Galaxy and Newspoll are showing as well… and normally Morgan is at least a point or two to the left.

    Colour me puzzled. Has Gary changed his ‘secret recipe’ of weightings in such a way as to eliminate his historical ‘bias’ and just failed to mention it to anyone?

    Also, I don’t know for sure, but I won’t be surprised if once Bryan Palmer whacks this one onto his Morgan ‘chicken entrails’ graph since May, it actually looks better for the Coalition than the other 3. Which would add to the general bizarreness of recent Morgans.

    There have been a number of 3-4 point movements in the polls (bar Newspoll) over the last month. Just noise, or is there some sudden skittishness in voterland generating these gyrations? Probably the former.

  20. I was involved in a Morgan face to face poll a few years ago(2003 or 2004) – I had to fill out a ballot paper and put it in their ballot box, as well as answering a whole lot of questions. I live in a safe Liberal electorate.

    Phil: I presume you can apply for a postal vote already?
    I’d try the aec website.

  21. I agree with Drop By. The most likely scenario is that the previous Morgan FTF was a slight outlier. The current results continue a general 55-45 trend over the past couple of months.

    Also, don’t forget that last week’s phone poll was conducted AFTER the start of this latest FTF poll. In other words, this poll might be influenced by something that was happening before the phone poll.

    I’m quite pleased with this result, because if people think the government are still in the game, then they are less likely to do a protest vote against Labor having a big win. Then again, most people will never know about this poll because the media pretty much ignore Morgan!

    Next week’s Newspoll will be very interesting to see if it goes the way of Morgan or Galaxy…

  22. Can’t believe it, but i think i agree with Michael Kroger’s assesment last night on Lateline – 1 December for polling day.

  23. I have a problem with Morgan’s conclusion:
    “The recent financial scare on the Australian share market has pushed some swinging voters back to the Coalition. The scare, which was sparked by concerns with the US sub-prime mortgage market, was looked upon by many as a long overdue correction; however, it concerned the large number of ‘mum and dad’ investors, who in a few days saw a significant drop in the value of shares and the Australian dollar.

    The financial scare happened in and around August 15 but the subprime scare has been feeding through the system for about 1 month. So I find it hard to see this conclusion as explaining the drop.

    The phone poll last week was supposedly tracking voter reaction to the strip club visit. This F2F poll is supposedly tracking an event which also happened around the same time but with opposite conclusions? Go and figure.

    The figures are whatever they are based on the polling methodology used and within their margin of error. Not sure there is necessary any single event that stands out which explains everything. The reality is normally a lot more complex than this.

  24. dembo

    This poll shows a 7.24% swing to labor since the last election. No matter how anyone spins it, it is another shocking poll for the Coalition.

  25. I think 1 Dec would actually be a very good polling day (from Howard’s perspective). It gives him time to gain some momentum and claw back Rudd’s lead. It also occurs around a month after a possible interest rate rise which would surely alter the dynamics of the race. In that period of time it may be possible for him to spin a rate rise into something more favourable: ie. “a tightning economy requires the guidence of a more experienced team at the helm.”

  26. Lefty E @19

    Yes, I was wondering when the cuts to resources thing would crop up. Staff numbers? Perfect op for a whistleblower.

  27. A-C,
    indeed, i agree. Surely with the virtual standstill in the polls, the P.M is motivated to go longer in waiting to call the poll. Anything after 1 December would likely tick off holidaying punters – I suspect he’s waiting/hoping for at least a little shift (firmly reflected in at least a couple of polls) back toward the coalition before starting a relatively long campaign period which will focus heavily on attacking Rudd as leader. I’m not ready to drop the rabbit in the hat idea just yet. A 1 December poll would give the P.M the two October sitting weeks to try out a couple more tricks (writs would need to be issued by 29 October)…maybe even have Abbott launch an outrageous slur against Rudd under the protection of Parliamentary privelege – who knows what might get tossed out there? The Government is looking increasingly desperate and I can’t see any advantage for them in not waiting until late Nov / 1 Dec. Any negative economic news (as you’ve said A-C) could likely be spun in the Government’s favour as cause for caution on changing teams. I suspect there might be people in the Coalition advising Howard that he needs to get himself and his team looking more like a Goverment that is in control and on the move etc….the additional sitting weeks in October might just be an opportunity to try that out.
    Just a thought.

  28. yo friken yo

    58 was silly 54.5..erm

    lets say 55.5. ans say no more

    next is newspoll, then morgan phone, then another newspoll, ac nielsen, galaxy…

    finally a big poll of 13 million voters in 150 electorates.


  29. Let’s not forget that polls are only a guide. The polls will become more reflective of the actual outcome of the election THE closer to the election.

    It cannot be denied that Rudd is in a very strong position to be our next PM. How could any swinging voter be serious about voting for the liberals where they do not even have a plan for their own leadership in the next term of office. All this talk about Howard where we don’t know if he will be there or not? Honestly it’s BLOODY RIDICULOUS.

    So how does Rudd truly stand at the moment judged by the opinions of the people who are in the business of getting it right, and the many people who are prepared to put their money where there mouth is:
    Corporate Bookmakers – ALP 1.55 / LIB 2.48.
    Betfair – ALP 1.60 / LIB 2.50.

  30. BigPictureGuy (35) – I agree with the fact the Morgan’s reasoning behind the shift is suspect. It could be any one of a number of factors.

    We have to be careful of reading too much into this. Yes it is a blow for ALP supports, as much as the last Galaxy poll was exciting for Labor supporters. However, two factors are important about ALL of these polls:

    1. Margin of Error
    2. Overall trend

    This poll could have been understated due to the MoE, as much as the last Galaxy could have been overstated. The reverse could even be true – that the Galaxy was understated and this one is overstated. Or this one is accurate and Galaxy was overstated. Or any combination thereof.

    I also disagree with Morgan’s method of calculating the “soft” votes. he says a soft ALP vote means a voting intention for the ALP, couple with a Yes answer to the “Country is headed in the right direction” question.

    I say that people who responded this way could most certainly be saying “I like where Australia is going, but I want the ALP to keep it going that way” or words to that effect.

    A sobering poll to be sure, for ALP supporters, but far from definitive.

  31. Scotty (43)

    Yes the Morgan soft voters concept is a pretty useless.

    I myself would say ‘yes’ to the country heading in the right direction if only because for the last 8 months the polls have all been pointing to a change of govt at the end of the year. You cannot get a better direction than that IMO.

    A Liberal voter like Glen would also say ‘yes’ to the same question as he thinks Howard has done a good job and the direction is right.

    So talk about a flawed and soft concept…

  32. Centrebet also currently has Maxine at $2.50 in Bennelong. I think that was $2.15 a few weeks ago.

    Are we seeing some pre-election tightening of the vote at the moment?

    I still wouldn’t be the Coalition for all the tea in China, but it does appear as if a few subtle changes are afoot.

  33. What about that idiot (Dubya) trying to tell Rudd what to do.

    Who is really the Man Of Steel?
    The one who licks your arse or the one who uses common sense, acts in the best interests of our nation and the planet, and has the courage to disagree with your stupidity?

    Should be a positive for (a truly strong leader) Rudd in the next set of polls.

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