Morgan: 53-47 to Labor in Bennelong

Today’s Fairfax broadsheets carry a Morgan survey of 472 voters conducted in Bennelong on Friday and Saturday, which shows Maxine McKew leading John Howard 53-47 on two-party preferred and 45.5 per cent to 42.5 per cent on the primary vote. Under the circumstances, the Prime Minister would be greatly relieved – the result is no worse than most of the other Bennelong polls published this year, not a single one of which has had him in front. Indeed, it marks an almost significant narrowing from the 55-45 recorded by ACNielsen’s last such poll in February.

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.

416 comments on “Morgan: 53-47 to Labor in Bennelong”

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  1. Such a shift will be a correction from the last unbelievable poll. If it keeps Howard as leader I will be happy. I want to see him get his lumps.

  2. [In short, compulsory voting is, in my view, MORE democratic because everyone has to vote. It also greatly reduces fraud.]

    People think everyone has to vote, but this isn’t exactly true. Everyone registered has to attend, but it is impossible to stop someone from voting informally, or leaving the ballot blank.

    The fact people think they need to vote weakens our democracy more than making voting attendance voluntary.

    [The problem with this is that it also enables the opposite: parties preventing you from voting.]

    How would this occur? How is it any different from rigging the registration rules, as is the case now?

    [ I don’t believe it can do this democratically if it’s not chosen directly by all the people it is to represent.]

    But it isn’t. People under 18 can’t vote. People in prison for more than 3 years can’t vote.

    [Channel Seven has reported Newspoll will show a “significant” move back to the Coalition. No numbers.]

    That sucks.

  3. I would expect John Howard’s vote in Bennelong would be better
    than the liberal party vote in NSW. This is suggesting if correct that
    the 60/40 … 58/42 type opinion polls are accurate

  4. Yes, my guess would be 56-44. It may be a return from an outlier (last week), or perhaps a movement generated by a sympathy vote for Howard.

    Saying that, it is understandable that some people would express sympathy through their voting intention, but a stupid thing to do. Howard needs no sympathy for the mess he has created for the government and for the country. He needs to be voted out, so somebody more competent can take over.

    At any rate, this week’s poll will make sure that Howard stays put, something that many would be pleased with, if it means that he is voted out at the election and therefore forced to give a concession speech.

  5. “I’ve noticed a lot of people abusing Steveo earlier. It’s a democracy folks, he’s entitled to his view, whether or not you agree with it.”

    It’s a democracy, people are entitled to deride it.

    (Whether it’s civil/nice or not is another story)

    As for the Newspoll, I’ll say 55/45. It should quell the silly murmurings about the Libs leadership.

  6. “It was a random number I chose”

    *in awe, punters inhale as one*

    so sayeth our psephological diceman, Call the election please.

    CTEP, when it’s all over later this year, will you bravely re-badge yourself, “TYFTE” (thank you for the election)?
    At least that way you could partly avoid being left behind by the times.

  7. There really was only one way this poll could go after the last one. At least it has room to go up next time and scare the hell out of the government.

    And that’s before we get to Mr Shanahan LOL

  9. Not sure how seriously I’d take Channel 7 News as a source, but I suspect that the last few polls have been at one end of the spectrum, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the numbers slip back to where they’ve been since the beginning of winter, somewhere in the 55/56-45/44.

    I agree with CTEP, I think any sort of movement in tomorrow’s Newspoll towards the government will see Howard heading off to Yarralumla by the end of the week. On that basis, I’m guessing a 6 week campaign and election day on 3rd November.

  10. Re (278),

    {Is this “once-in-a-lifetime” offer on a “Send No Money” basis, and what’s the situation regarding steak-knives?}

    “There’s a bit of a shortage at present. Most of them are sticking out of Howard and Costello’s backs.”

    Scorpio, you forgot to add Turnbull to this list. His knives are courtesy of the Greens ;-D

  11. Re (282)

    Tom Says: ” When voting names should be marked of twice. Once when getting the ballot paper (as now). And another when putting in the ballot box. As an anti-electoral fraud measure to prevent bollot paper going missing.”

    I have worked at elections. The prevention from having the ballot papers walk out is the multiple folks usually posted at the doors. Can’t tell you how many we stopped in the NSW state elections in March.
    It isn’t pratical or logistical to write peoples names off twice. When you walk into your polling booth in a month or two, take a think about it.

  12. By the way i wonder what people think about changing our voting system in the Lower House to optional preferential…its bull crap that we have to ‘vote/preference’ a party that we dislike i dont know about you but ill be damned if i want my vote to support another group…i believe optional preferential in already in place in some states we should have it federally…

    Lol Rudd what a man full of hubris…’i demand 3 debates’…if Howard was smart he’d have no debates and let Rudd squeal from the sidelines…the Libs have to paint him as a puppet and irrelevant and inexperienced…the last thing the Libs want is to give Dr Death a platform…anyway Howard always loses the debates so why bother having one?

    Paul K
    Nein! Standartenführer Joachim Peiper will smash back the Ruddlings and split the Left vote by capturing Antwerp….lol.

    4 hours to go before D-day everybody wonder if Tony Jones will be back to deliver newspolls findings…

  13. I really can’t see Seven scooping News Ltd outlets. Are they talking up Gillard’s sympathy vote?

    Regional Qld here, Seven news just starting 🙂

  14. It’s quite possible one of the PM’s staff leaked the result to 7. They get contacted the night before the results are released.

  15. [It’s quite possible one of the PM’s staff leaked the result to 7. They get contacted the night before the results are released.]

    Or Shamaham, or more likely the Poisoned Dwarf, as he used to be 7’s Chief Political Reporter, but the more likely reason would be all media outlets getting the poll results which would’ve had an Embargoed until xxxxx on it which 7 ignored 🙂

  16. I’ve never believed Labor’s primary vote was 50% plus. I think it is about 46/47% and the coalition’s 40/41% and will be that at the election. I wouldn’t be surprised if newspoll showed this tonight. Which would be a significant drift back to the government, for those who believed the prevoius poll that is.

  17. Knowing how desperate the Libs are they may well have decided to jump on any sort of ‘good news’…time will tell less than 4 hours to go and anyway unless the polls somehow magically go back to 48-52 there should be no celebration for Howard huggers including myself at a 56-44 or 55-45 those are still terrible results for the Coalition…and even if they are 54-46 they are probably rogue because of the consistency of the polls so far…one poll isnt enough to say the Coalition are back in town they need everything to go right from now on in…

    Good evening, Herr GG…

  18. I think the mistake that many of you are making is to believe the government’s line that Australian democracy is riddled with corruption and fraud – this is patently not the case. Our system works pretty well (certain election results notwithstanding!) – when was the last time we had a situation a la US 2000? The answer is never – we have an independent statutory body to overseas our democratic processes, and overall, I think it works pretty well.

  19. {its bull crap that we have to ‘vote/preference’ a party that we dislike i dont know about you but ill be damned if i want my vote to support another group…}

    Glen, unless you vote for a minor party/independent candidate, then your preferences don’t count in any case (House of Reps.)

    In virtually every electorate, either of the two main parties will come 1st and 2nd.

    Preferences are then distributed from the remaining candidates to the two top candidates.

    So it’s most probable that your preferences won’t be counted. Unless you are in a regional electorate with a 3 corner contest and you vote for the party coming 3rd.

  20. 381 – Glenn, be careful, you may just convince me you’re a fair minded Liberal supporter. I find myself having to admit I agree with you. Sheesh!!!

  21. Can I add a point about Compulsory Voting.
    If you work in a small community, and your boss doesn’t want you to vote he ccould A) force you to work all day or B) stand at the booth , note who votes and penalise any of his workers who do vote.. why would he? maybe because he doesn’t want votes against Work Choice>
    This is just an example of the sorts of abuse that can arise under a non compulsory voting. Compulsory voting is the only way to even partly ensure a poll that is free from undue pressure.

    and a point about informal voting
    we have a law that says
    i) everyone must attend at a ballot box.
    ii) everyone must cast a valid Ballot
    iii) noone can disclose the contents of another’s ballot.

    Because of iii) noone can disclose whether you have cast an invalid ballot, & thus no proceedings can legally be taken under ii) which is thus a dead letter.

  22. We right wing neo-cons aren’t always full of crack pot theories…mind you regardless of how the newspoll is i hope steven or nostro come through with a pearler we all love them…i think you can count on their comments if the Libs get back a few points…

    Just wondering will Parliament sit after next week or is that shut up shop unless Howard goes for a December poll??

  23. The speech in Mandarin and Kevin Rudd’s exposure during APEC undoubtedly lifted him temporarily, so essentially the last Newspoll can be regarded as an outlier. I believe 57-43 is quite likely but it could well be 56-44. It’s not really a swing back. It’s an adjustment to the real situation.
    Anyway we’ll know before long.

  24. Watch the Govt run the “ALP supports Terrorists” line over this.

    [PETER Russo, the high-profile lawyer who represented former accused terrorism supporter Mohamed Haneef, is actively involved in fundraising for federal Labor’s election campaign.

    Mr Russo said he had been a member of the ALP since 2000, although he had forgotten one year to pay his membership.

    “I’ve never shrunk away from where my allegiances lie,” he said.

    The Brisbane lawyer was due to be the guest speaker at an ALP branch fundraiser tonight at the Narangba Bowls Club in the city’s outer north, within the federal electorate of Longman, held by Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough. ],21598,22433274-5005361,00.html

  25. [How is it any different from rigging the registration rules, as is the case now?]

    Not much different at all. Are you saying that is a good thing?

    [People in prison for more than 3 years can’t vote.]

    And that is a “bad thing” ™ too. Perhaps all the state parliaments
    should make membership of a conservative party punishable by a mandatory
    minimum of four years detention. 😉

  26. Greeensborough Growler(#341) wholeheartily agree with you on compulsory voting.
    Social responsibility is the fundamental key. Otherwise we become like the USA where a president like Bush can be elected by (approx) 30% of the voting eligble population.
    Everyone gets to weigh the issues & pass judgement even though some weigh the issues whilst standing in the polling booth filling out their ballot paper.

  27. Bah maybe Kerry is hosting a Liberal Minister tonight, we can be sure to be sure that Kerry will be voting for Kevin Rudd this year after all he was Gough Whitlam’s media advisor back in the day…wonder who’ll be on tonight…Turnbull could be good???

  28. Howard would be a fool to wait any longer to call the election. He will have a rush of good news stories this week based on Newspoll, and would be wise to capitalise on it, because in today’s climate, the good news for the coalition may not last long.

  29. Bah its just one poll paul k…and might i remind you based on this result Howard and several Cabinet minister would be up shit creek without a paddle…its still a terrible result for the Coalition…and still too far out for Howard to call he will call it when he’s below 10 points behind then he’s got a 50/50 chance of winning…

    Unless AC or Morgan or Galaxy for that matter and i think Galaxy will be out soon…show the gap below 55-45 i dont think Howard will call the poll…

    Now for the coveted Nostro Analysis…

    Taking in part the anti-bush bias and the anti-nationals bias and the anti-Howard bias of newspoll and because Howard’s personal approval rating is so high after being in power for 11 years we add 6 points more 2PP onto the total Coalition vote the Coalition is easily reelected!
    General Wenck has arrived in force der ‘fuhrer’ is saved!

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