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. If Howard or Howard and his successor happen to win this election, it will be the end of the polls as a predictor more than say a month before any election in future.

    I cannot believe that some Greens are contemplating giving their preferences to Howard. It’s John McEnroe stuff. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

    If the Greens voters are serious, fair dinkum, they could’nt win a veggie tray at the local pub.

    They just do not know how to win.

  2. On Iraq, Rudd’s policy is not immediate withdrawal, but rather for “a staged, planned phaseout in consultation with our allies.” That is code for a withdrawal in tandem with the US, who as everyone knows will be pulling out in stages after the current “surge” ends sometime early next year. The Republican Party wants the US well out of Iraq by next November, and we will withdraw as they do. This is a very conservative policy when you consider the highly anti-Bush and antiwar views of most Labor voters, and indeed of many others. Rudd is as pro-US alliance any PM Australia has had. If a Democrat wins the White House next year, as seems likely, Australia and the US will again be in perfect concert, and it will be the Libs who will be out in the cold. Howard’s attack on Obama was very stupid politics from that point of view.

  3. did i read correctly?? glen not happy with something JWH did (meeting
    exclusive brethren)? This, along with the Oz writing a critical editorial, what’s happening to the right wing???!!!

    come to mention glen and steven kaye, can anyone recall a few months from the 1996 election, were ALP supporters defending Keating, predicting a comeback, disbelieving the polls etc etc like the Libs are now???

  4. and steven kaye re: IR, get over it, workchoices is a dog, rudd got as positive a response as he could have expected eg. BHP said they could live with it, Oz editorial was complementary etc. If you really think IR is a loser for Rudd and a winner for Howard, you may as well plan your opposition line up from now

  5. 146
    John Withheld :

    It is Hardly WorkChoices lite – it achieves the fundamental and most important goals

    1. collective baragaining for those that need it most [ie workers are no longer bound hand and foot and gagged when negotiating conditions and wages – the real reason Workchoices was unacceptable]
    2. Unfair dismissal laws

    Other things can be easily dealt with later and in degrees to achieve the ultimate ends. The fundamental change is what it is about.

    People should look at this battle in the long term not just in the light of election conditions.

    Rudd’s is a clever strategic policy.

  6. Opposition Shadow Ministry 2009:

    Leader of the Opposition: Wilson Tuckey
    Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer: Bronwyn Bishop
    Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs: Bill Heffernan
    Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations: Sophie Mirabopoulos
    Shadow Minister for Defence: Ross Lightfoot
    Shadow Minister for Environment and Nuclear Power Stations: Dennis Jensen
    Shadow Minister for Handouts to Farmers: Alby Schultz
    Shadow Minister for Everything Else: Danna Vale

  7. For celebration and commiseration alike:Pol Roger NV: simply superb. Or Gosset, if you can track some down. If you want to blow the bank, Krug. Leave DP, Moet, Cristal and Veuve (especially Veuve!) to others.

    To deal with the topic: Has Morgan been within 55-58 most of the year?

  8. Nath @ 148

    That’s a BS – ” the centre of Australian Civilisation … ” but after living in Sydney for a coupla years after Melbourne, I’m inclined to agree.

    Is Iran Howard’s rabbit from the hat? If so, the punters won’t wear it. Another war, another scare campaign? Besides which, we do not have the military capacity.

  9. ” 160
    Adam Says:
    August 31st, 2007 at 9:10 pm
    Opposition Shadow Ministry 2009:”


    I would have thought that Bill Heffernan would get Shadow Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues

  10. I don’t doubt that it’s strategic.
    I do wonder if it’s clever.

    It’s certainly a first step in the right direction away from WorkChoices, but there’s no indication that there will be a second step.

  11. I of course forgot:

    Leader of the Nationals and Shadow Minister for Ports and Rorts: Barnaby Joyce
    Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Shadow Minister for Health and Fitness: Ron Boswell

  12. Why does Morgan bother, seriously? Interestingly, in NZ his is the one poll that is taken seriously. Is it because Morgan has a different survey methodology over the Tasman or because NZ lacks other credible pollsters?

  13. On Monday, the Adelaide edition of Today Tonight is running a puff piece on Nicole Cornes. She is the ALP candidate for Boothby, and wife of famous Green voting, Vietnam Veteran, AM radio host, Advertiser columnist, former SANFL footballer/AFL coach, Graeme.


    This one is funnier:

  14. Re comment 131 above – I am awake, and it took me only a few seconds to find that comment 131 is pretty much a copy of a post dated 26 Aug at What ruawake neglected to tell us here is that two responses were posted in the same thread (on 27 & 31 Aug) which rebut the claims. The second of these provided this link to a very credible non-conspiracy explanation.

  15. Pi

    Now Peter Garrett for Indigenous Affairs would be outstanding. He has a great heart for Social Justice and at the moment, his choice for a spot on the bed inside with a muzzle seems to have been a mistake, when good old Peter could have been barking like mad from his own leaky kennel outside… Bob Brown, maybe your wisdom should have prevailed here…

    I like Peter and one day he will do remarkable good. He is a visionary.

    To all and Sundry

    I don’t make a lot of this poll (or many others) lately. Only us tragics really care, I think the whole electorate is getting election fatigue and it hasn’t even begun yet (officially).

    The IR issue is intriguing. Certainly a dead weight for the coalition, yet Labor, being Labor 2007, has not been able to capitalise on it. The electorate has swung right since 1996 and Labor has skewed to catch the swings but the end result of the IR alternative is perhaps a little too messy for the electorate.

    Remember the Hewson lesson: Joe Punter does not like detail. Julia Gillard came perilously close to lighting candles on a birthday cake with Tony Jones on Wednesday night about AWA’s. I barely understood and I track it daily!

    If the electorate gets really bored and thinks that the two majors are too similar, we could get a 1998 breakout like Pauline got with disenchanted voters feeling the “sameness” of the big two. Greens, FF and (especially) Dems might be beneficiaries. This is unlikely to change to lower house but may affect the upper.

    I’d like a pseph here to recalibrate some TPPs not on preferences from last election but current likely preferences weighted by voter support (by party) for HTVs.

    In other words, I wonder what it would look like across the Senate with this current (fairly stable) Labor margin, but with Greens on open ticket (perhaps), FFP preferencing Labor (quite possible), Dems preferencing Labor and all weighted by HTV obedience (say on the last Federal election)??

    I think there would be (of course) an excellent chance of Labor in HOR but perhaps even, shall we say, a non-coalition controlled senate.

    (If you wanted it even more realistic, factor in a poll margin shrink aggregated on the last four feds)

    Any takers?

  16. Paul K, doing what I asked you not to do does not amuse me. I have just deleted some tinfoil hat conspiracy theorising from ruawake (which I glazed over the first time I read it – thank you for alerting me, Canberra Boy) and an utterly off topic comment by Kina (who was doing this last night as well).

  17. Kina (133)

    I can see it all now. Crash in Late October, Rudd takes office in early November.

    Then the conservatives start with their bulls**t and tell us it was Labor’s fault.

  18. I don’t think the electorate is ‘bored’ with Howard and am not sure that they have taken much notice of things yet except to think Howard’s various BS has annoyed them enough times in the past as to want to get rid of him. They are probably also thinking the China boom is why the economy is good. AND Rudd looks sort of OK and has some good sounding ideas and is getting rid of that terrible WorkChoices.

    Bored is the concept the Govt supporting commentators invented to not face the fact that it is the things the govt has done that has actually put them on the nose. Abbott’s ‘sleep walking’ statement does the same, ignores the various things they have done in the past that has left an indelible negative impression. Denial.

    It is only those taking a closer interest in things that are getting frustrated with this long ‘election’ campaign.

    The average punter will tune in more once the election is called. The only thing happening at the moment is that they are getting used to Rudd being around and probably accepting him more. AND to that end much of the govt’s natural advantage has been eroded – economy, interest rates and security [not to mention that unpleasant Bush guy].

  19. George Bush thinks Howard might win the election. With an endorsement like that, I guess, it’s all over for Rudd. Labor might as well pack up their bags.

  20. Paul k George Bush merely pointed out the obvious that Howard has always been behind in the polls leading up to an election bar 1996 and has come from behind to win…anyway of course Bush would want the Man of Steel to be elected…and Rudd will be more anti-American than Big Kim would have been because there are alot of hard left wingers on his front bench Gillard included…

    I think APEC will be a plus for Howard…Rudd will be on the outer whining about how its an irrelevant body while Howard makes a concerted effort towards an agreement on a shared goal for emission targets…It also reasserts his stateman like image to the public…i cant see APEC being a positive for Kevin Rudd except for the old line that he’ll stand up to Bush…there goes more votes from the Greens lol.

  21. There is no way Howard will significatly delay calling the election after APEC.

    – His 3 years is virtually up. Everybody knows it.
    – The public are sick of the phoney campaign. Since February.
    – Delaying the election makes him look like “Mr Araldite”.
    – The media will go crackers with frenzied speculation on dates and this will make the PM look tricky by postponing what everybody wants.
    – The ALP can smear the PM as a desperate old man who doesn’t want to give up power and face the people.

    There is nothing in it for the PM to hang on. Especially when has said in recent days that he doesn’t think the polls will change until the campaign proper begins.

    Consider an announcement shortly after APEC. A six week campaign for an election date of October 27th. A extra week of campaigning may offset some of the focus paid to the boring football finals in late September. (Sorry, but footballers are a bunch of arrogant poncing prima donnas wrapped up in their own imagined self-importance).

    The benefits for Howard calling the election soon includes:
    1. Keeping the element of surprise
    2. Clearing the air and neutralising bad publicity
    3. Facing the inevitable with decisive action
    4. Avoiding a possible interest rate increase in November
    5. Avoiding any disruption to holiday plans centered on the wonderful racing carnival in Victoria. People may also start to question possible incompetence within the ministry resposible for quarantine management.

    See, I’m not completely anti-sport. Anyone for tennis?

  22. 71
    Kina Says:
    August 31st, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    ” I reckon some of these political commentators must live in a vaccum or believe that corrupt government doesn’t bother people. They dont face the fact that maybe this government deserves to get booted out and that many of the people think so too”

    I share your sentiment Kina, but the last 3 elections indicate a government that is “corrupt” and probably “deserves to get booted out” has not been evicted from office.

    The impressive list of evidence substantiating your view could be 1000 pages long {I thought of quite a few myself}.

    Unfortunately, I take the sad but realist view that the hip pocket nerve {wallet/purse} and the well being of those within eye shot of our disengaged world view will be the subjective motivator of our ‘vote’ at elections.

    I think this is primarily so because we live in an imperfect, competitive world where my gain will too often be at your expense.

    The Howard battlers may well be concerned about and very aware of the corrupt and inexorable list of Howard’s failings and even the pork barrelling I keep reminding us about.

    However, I still beleive many will vote for Howard again if they think he is the safest bet on economic security and Rudd’s IR policy is either poorly presented by Labor or infused with enough doubt and fear that it becomes too much of a gamble for them.

    Still, I would like to think that some will have had enough, that Howard has gone too far with his morally and ethically bankrupt pork barrelling and the youth vote and those of their parents will get Rudd across the line.

  23. that 54.5 for Rudd on this Morgan poll is way too close to the 53-47 2PP cdomfort zone I was/am hoping can keep ahead of, at least until the wash out of APEC has had its run in the polls.

  24. Glen, it’s S C U L L I N.

    The fate of the Scullin government will no doubt be on Rudd’s mind. Scullin came to office facing an economic crisis and a hostile Senate. He was urged to go for a double dissolution in 1930, but he lacked the nerve, and as a result the Senate rejected Theodore’s Fiduciary Notes bill, the world’s first attempt at a Keynesian counter-cyclical response to the depression. Who knows what might have happened if Scullin had taken the plunge? This lesson was not lost on Whitlam, who at the first whiff of Senate obstructionism in 1974 went straight to Yarralumla for a double dissolution. I’m sure Rudd will be aware of these historical lessons, and if he isn’t I’ll remind him.

  25. Shoud read

    That 54.5 for Rudd on this Morgan poll is way too close to the 53-47 2PP comfort zone I was/am hoping Rudd could keep well ahead of at least until the wash out of APEC has had its run in the polls.

  26. Some right wing Laborites just don’t get it. A right win Labor government will differ only marginally from a Howard government. I would bet that Kevin Rudd would also have gone into Iraq if he had been PM at the time.
    It’s politically convenient now to make noises like American Democrats.
    What is the point in Greens giving preferences to a conservative Labor Party which differs so little from the Howard government? Wouldn’t it be better to preference the Liberals, knowing John Howard will go anyway in a year and be replaced by someone more moderate than Kevin Rudd? It may be worth keeping Kevin Rudd out so that we can get someone who actually cares for the environment, as opposition leader and then PM.
    Bob Brown won’t need to advise Green voters to preference other than Labor. Voters will make up their own minds. It might just bring Labor back to the middle ground.

  27. Keen on thoughts about Beattie and the council amalgamations.

    Local issues have cost Wayne Goss the Premiership in 1996, Rattled Noosa in 2006 and will they have any impact on Federal voting intention in 2007?

    We know that Queensland is quite bipolar with State and Federal voting… any impact here? What is Beattie playing at??

  28. (Kevin Rudd would also have gone into Iraq if he had been PM at the time)

    Rudd may have made a token contribution just like Hawke did in the first Gulf War but I doubt he would have gone in boots and all like Howard did.

  29. Clap Clap Adam wow i couldnt remember how to spell the name of a Prime Minister who last took power more than 70 years ago…its nice to have people to point out innocent spelling mistakes where would we be without you…

    I’ve said ideally Howard needs to be 53-47 behind the ALP to have enough time in the campaign to pull back support…Morgan’s numbers are encouraging if you call a landslide victory to the ALP encouraging from my point of view of course not…Nevertheless im sure we’ll all be waiting on the next polls and they are likely to show a swing back to the government as the last polls were in the middle of the Costello Dinner/Book affair…

    Rudd should be very wary of a concerted L-plate campaign against him because i am almost certain one is in the pipe works…God even Latham ran a council (unsuccessfully) Rudd’s not run anything and his leadership or lack of leadership experience will be the one thing the Coalition has to hit on in its advertising if its to have any chance of stopping a Labor victory…

  30. “What is Beattie playing at??”

    Didn’t Beattie and Goss have a falling out in 1994?

    Wasn’t Rudd the chief of staff for Goss in 1994?

    Could be some personal history between them.

  31. Is anyone else watching the athletics on SBS? Have you noticed how many Howard government progoganda ads they are running in the commercial breaks? Is the head of SBS a paid up member of the Liberal Party?

  32. Some say it would be advantagous for Rudd to get the ‘2 strikes’ on IR and have a DD election because ALL the senate seats are up for grabs and on current trends Labor might actually grab a senate majority and not have to play footsies with the likes of Katter.

    With that advantage he could shove a heap of reforms through both houses and construct them so well that they can not be substantially deconstructed by the Coalition when they get back in, taking a leaf out of their own book.

    But there is that annoying HOR and half senate election to win first; damn it.

  33. Who cares (well for tonight at least), South Sydney have just made the finals for the first time since 1989 and may even finish as high as 4th!!!

    Go the Rabbitohs.

    HH, they are running lots of Workchoices ads on C9 as well during the Rugby League broadcast as well.

    So glad John & Peter are spending our money so wisely.

  34. Why would Rudd be guaranteed a Senate majority if he had a DD election??? It didnt work for Fraser why should it work for Rudd what would happen if the ALP still couldnt get any policy through… Governor General – Major-General Michael Jeffery might have to send Rudd packing and install another Malcolm to power…

    I just think it would be fool hardy and a waste of money to have a DD election also if the result was so close Rudd could lose power like Canadian Progressive Conservative Joe Clark did after winning office in 1979 as a minority government then lost a no-confidence motion and then lost badly in 1980 against the Liberals…thus a DD election after a closely fought Federal Election would be dangerous for Rudd people may feel like they’ve got rid of Howard but want the Coalition back running things…

  35. There you go again Glen, playing the man and not the ball. 1 rational, almost balanced post followed by 50 repetetive, baseless rants. Boring !

  36. I think all commercial channels are in Howard Propaganda mode atm, and no doubt will increase next week as footy finals get into full swing.

    Also, those workchoice ads have a Barbara Bennett sound-alike voice-over as well, no doubt the original ads with her on them got pulled cos of the controversy of having her as the face of the ads.

  37. Glen that was 30 years ago mate, get real please. Fraser is not Howard and Rudd is not Gough.

    Then again, the way things are going all Rudd will have to do is campaign right ‘You cant just spend, spend, spend ‘ {Malcolm Fraser} and drive a wedge between the electorate and big spending JWH on economic sobriety and it will be all over. Rudd is not stupid mate, you under estimate him too often.

  38. Ollie,

    I don’t buy the DD theory. I reckon the Libs will negotiate with Rudd to pass Labor’s legislation. Consider the following:

    1/ Howard will be gone and his IR policies will get a large chunk of the blame.

    2/ Will the new Leader of the Opposition really want to take on Rudd, possibly in a Honeymoon period on an issue like IR again? If he loses the DD election the knives will be out.

    3/ The Libs will want to dump Work Choices as it’s a loser’s policy. The Libs hate Medicare but they’ve changed their position on it as to oppose it would be suicide. Same with Rudd’s IR policies. The Libs will hate it but they’ll swallow it because they have to.

  39. Ollie i could call your Howard bashing posts boring or repetitive but i dont mate…I am merely pointing out that a DD election is no guarantee for success…i think there’s been enough Howard bashing on this blog to last a lifetime so i dont think im playing the man compared to others…

    I’m not underestimating Rudd at all i dont think he’s stupid or he wouldnt be 10 points ahead of an 11 year incumbent government with a good economic record…Rudd will break the record books by beating Howard…even i know he’s no Latham which makes it all the more difficult for Howard to win…

    Wonder when Newspoll will be out next??

  40. Glen I didn’ t ascribe to the theory, I stated “some say” and I didnt say Rudd would be guarenteed a senate majority anyway, I state he MIGHT. If you are going to debate people try reading their text carefully first mate, it might give you some base of credibility from which to build an argument.

    Here ends the lesson.

    Good night all.

    PS Paul K, an interesting alternative perspective.

  41. People seem to forget the make up of the Labor party and, that it is not simply Rudd though he has his head during the election campaign. You will quickly realise that there are green friendly people making up the party and they are not passive whimps. It nonsense to suggest that Rudd will follow a psuedo-Howard right-wing line based on what you are seeing in the election period. The idea that Greens may as well preference Howard is a vote for a nuclear industry, fake Climate Change policy, WorkChoice part 2 and nothing particularly green friendly if it is opposed to business intersest. How quickly the nature of Howard and Co is forgotten.

  42. Hmmmm………

    [JOHN Howard has dramatically intervened in the Tasmanian pulp mill debate to reassure the timber industry that the $2 billion project “can and will be built”.

    The statement appeared to pre-empt the decision of Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull and came as sources told The Weekend Australian the Prime Minister was among senior Liberals pushing Mr Turnbull to approve the mill quickly.

    Instead, Mr Turnbull — under pressure from an anti-mill campaign in his marginal Sydney seat of Wentworth — has expressed “grave concerns” about the massive Gunns project, and has extended his assessment by six weeks to seek the opinion of Chief Scientist Jim Peacock.

    Mr Turnbull has even said he is “not unsympathetic” to calls to relocate the mill from the Tamar Valley wine and tourism region, in the marginal seat of Bass, to a less sensitive site.

    There appear to be growing tensions within the Coalition on the issue, as federal Labor for the first time yesterday promised to impose new restrictions on the mill, including greater use of plantation timber.

    But as federal Labor environment spokesman Peter Garrett was toughening Labor’s stance, Mr Howard made it clear he wanted the mill built.

    “I still remain very optimistic that this pulp mill can and will be built,” the Prime Minister said. “It is very important for jobs in Tasmania and I am pro-jobs. I demonstrated three years ago (in the 2004 forestry election policy) that I’m a better friend of the workers in the timber industry in Tasmania than anyone in the ALP.” ],25197,22343218-601,00.html

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