Morgan: 56.5-43.5

Morgan’s now-weekly face-to-face poll, from a sample of 844, shows Labor’s two-party preferred lead narrowing from 59-41 to 56.5-43.5. The Coalition’s primary vote is up from 36 per cent to 39.5 per cent, and Labor’s down from 51 per cent to 49.5 per cent.

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.

828 comments on “Morgan: 56.5-43.5”

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  1. It looks like this is in agreement with this week’s Newspoll. Labor is down from an astronomical lead, to just a really, really big one.

  2. A good result for Labor. It creates the perception of the election still being a genuine contest, whilst Labor retains a landslide winning lead.

  3. A amazing primary vote of 49.5 is still in the stratoshpere. And this is before the Smeargate on Rudd backlash has even been factored in.

  4. Agree.

    I was told yesterday by a senior MP that he expects Howard to call the election this weekend or next, with the date to be 10 November – a long campaign in the hope of wearing Rudd down.

  5. Given the polls, it might be time for the Libs to start carousing us. Here’s a chorus out of an old Glen Campbell song.

    My one and only prayer, is that some day you’ll care,
    My hopes, my dreams come true, my one and only you
    No one will ever know how much I love you so
    My prayer, my hope, and my schemes, you are my every dream
    But it’s o-only make believe

  6. I watched yesterday’s performances from the gallery and I thought it was a draw. Rudd defended himself well, and Costello and Abbott went too far as they always do. I’m not sure however that the whole exercise was a good idea from the Labor point of view. I think the floating voters will only see “more politicians abusing each other ho hum.”

    I agree it will be a long, brutal and dirty campaign. The Liberals have a towering belief in their own entitlement to rule, the Nats know that another stint in opposition will probably be the end of them, and Labor is desperate to get them out before WorkChoices 2 totally destroys the labour movement.

  7. Mr Lacton Sir,

    Firstly Mr Rudd has made ‘insipid’ the central hallmark of his leadership, if he were to die tomorrow of a heartattack, and Howard were to win the history books would wonder what exactly was happening over the 9 or so months. So if insipid is supposed to be an insult it is an insult that has had him in land-slide territory all year.

    Secondly, yesterday in Parliament he was dare I say it ‘passionate’ but in a pretty controlled way and he said naughty things everyone in Australia knows is true, I Costello didn’t have the courage of cabinets convictions to challenge the PM.

    Not as exciting as naked girls in New York I’ll grant you, but yet another human face, a strong human face you can trust with your economy and your national security. Insipid + strippers + actually human (grumpy) seems a pretty good recipe.

    I think the campaign will be marked by a lack of nastiness. Even liberals like Glen will get pretty soon how hopeless a strategy it has been, and we will have policy. Probably vague useless policy from both sides but policy never the less.

    love and kisses

  8. I see my faith in the liberals is much greater than Adam’s and he knows them a lot better than me, so tip of my hat to Adam and bring it on dirt unit of Howard and co.

  9. I can’t wait Adam, do you think any of it will help the Government? Is Kevin actually a woman? did he murder his dad? has he invested heavily in pig farms?

  10. Agree Adam [8].

    I also thought it was a draw. But I also thought Rudd would have been better served maintaining his customary calm and confident demeanour during the Lib’s tirades to highlight the difference between the two sides. One being the politicians most people are tired of and the other being the fresh new face above the gutter tactics.

  11. #15 – I agree. I think Rudd is not served by being seen as just another brawling polly. However, in the circs he had to defend himself and show some ticker and he did.

    I thought the Queanbeyan tax slip-up was actually a worse sign for Rudd. Not because he doesn’t know the tax scales by heart, but because he allowed himself to be baited and taken off-message. He wasn’t there to talk about tax. He should just have said “our tax policy will be announced when we’re good and ready.” This was a sign of Rudd’s over-confidence – not over-confidence about winning, but over-confidence in himself.

  12. [I watched yesterday’s performances from the gallery and I thought it was a draw.]

    A draw, but with the rules rigged so Labor couldn’t make any points of order when the P.M. was speaking! That’s how much faith Abbott has in Howard, he doesn’t think he can win a debate fair and square.

    Plus I thought it was ironic that Costello went on and on about Rudd not defending himself, when the questions were directed to the prime minister. Thus Howard should’ve led the debate, but again, Costello knows that Howard’s best debating years are long gone.

    Can’t wait for the TV debate when Howard can’t assign Costello as his hitman, and can’t hide behind stupid parliamentary motions.

  13. I think the more the Libs smear Rudd, the more Labor’s vote will go up. Brutally attacking someone who has a 65% approval is not a good look.

  14. Simon I agree. Rudd will pick Howard apart in the TV debates. Our PM just isn’t a great public speaker really. I mean Latham took him to task in the last debate, but great deal of good that did him.

  15. I thought Julia calmly, assertively and authoratively cut Howard up, hung him out to dry and generally made him look like a sneaky little boy caught with his hands in the wrong place.
    His ‘averted eyes’ trick was embarrassing to behold.
    She clearly has the measure of all the Coalition fellas.
    No wonder they are scared of her.

  16. I agree. For all the attempts to demonise Gillard as a sort of shreiking socialist harpy, she is actually very controlled, calm and disciplined, and also (these days) realistic on policy. The IR policy which the far-left unions dislike so much is mostly her doing.

  17. The tax gaffe is worse for Rudd than the heart problem, but hasn’t got very much publicity due to the heart business. I agree with Glen that it is an own goal, but the Tories have kicked lots of those this year. Labor’s done the right thing in making the public aware of the smear campaign, and the public hardly cares what goes on in Parliament anyway.

  18. Adam wrote:


    I was told yesterday by a senior MP that he expects Howard to call the election this weekend or next, with the date to be 10 November – a long campaign in the hope of wearing Rudd down.

    Nooo! Melbourne Victory plays Sydney FC at the Dome that night!

    More serioulsy folks, I agreed with Rod Cameron that even when the ALP polls were extremely high he said that it was a 50/50 chance that Labor or the Coalition would win this election. But he added that at this stage he would rather be in the ALP’s position than the Coalition.

    I am sorry, but as someone who would like the end of the Howard government all these comments in the blogosphere that ‘Ratty is stuffed’ ‘Howard has lost and he knows it’ irritate me somewhat.

    Unlike some people here, I am no expert in polls, but I am a bit distrustful of polling that shows that a large percentage of people are now committed to vote for one person or another. They may change their minds the morning of the elections, or Rudd makes a huge clanger a la Hewson with his Birthday Cake who knows?

    Elections are notoriously difficult to win in Australia and really I can’t see it that it is in the bag just yet.

    I always thought that the level of support in the polls for the ALP were unrealistic, and a drift back to the Coalition would be inevitable.

    Whether this drift will get Howard back into government remain to be seen.

  19. Morgan is irrelevant – always has been. ( And his commentary is simply the wishings of a Liberal stalwart). Is their a Neilsen before the next Newspoll on Tuesday week?

  20. Rudd shows he lacks any ticker actually…

    Firstly he doesnt ask the question he gets Macklin and Albanese to ask them his stooges and then has a long stint when standing and sessional orders were suspended and then had no proof of any dirt unit and any involvement of the Liberal Party in the heart-taxgate….

    Rudd cannot get angry at the dispatch box because he looks like a nerd trying to act tough but looks stupid when he tries…it more likely to cost him votes than for people to think he has any ticker!

  21. Glen, the little nerd with no ticker at least took a massive political career gamble and fought and won the Labor leadership. Compare that to that backstabbing, dutch courage tip with no iceberg. And this gutless coward is the best the Libs have to offer for the future. There is no prize without sacrifice. Power is not given, it has to be taken. The quicker, wusses like Cossie are tossed aside for the real fighters with passion and vision, the better for the country. Costello could have if he would have and shoud have. He is the couldabeen champion of Australian Politics. Glen open your eyes mate.

  22. Actually Adam i listened to it online….

    Rudd did use the Abbot quote regarding a ‘smear unit’ but cmon i bet each party has people looking into the character/record of people in politics its nothing new…

    Rudd’s PR did a really good job i thought now nobody is talking about the gaff and have sympathy for Rudd…this is a tactic by Rudd to continually say the Government will go negative and that they have a smear unit will try and offset whatever negative ads the Coalition have in store for Rudd…

    I dont think the Coalition no matter what many think of them are so stupid as to spike their own story when they had Rudd by the short and curlies by wednesday arvo…

  23. Pauline unfortunately for Costello he’s never had the numbers you can bang on about deputy dawg, all tip, dutch courage but the fact is he’d not only destroy the party’s electoral chances if he challenged and lost but he’d never win…Rudd could take the step because Big Kim was done!

  24. You are obviously talking the micky aren’t you?
    11 unfortunate years for Mr Dutch Courage. I feel so sorry for him. It must have been really tough backgrounding all those journos about what he would if only he had the numbers. In the meantime he was all nice and comfy in his cosy little job. And when he finally did have the numbers 2 weeks ago, he felt warm and wet in his pants! What a bloody hero!!!

  25. “I am sorry, but as someone who would like the end of the Howard government all these comments in the blogosphere that ‘Ratty is stuffed’ ‘Howard has lost and he knows it’ irritate me somewhat.”

    I agree. However, I am also irritated by insistent assertions (which have close to zero evidence) that the polls will definitely magically narrow and the Coalition will win. I tend to take things as they come – the polls may narrow, but I’ll pointlessly pontificate about it when/if it actually happens.

  26. Glen
    the problem is that the Government dirt unit is taxpayer funded and given the record tax take that can make it very well resourced indeed…

  27. [Pauline unfortunately for Costello he’s never had the numbers]

    You are in dreamland! Costello had the numbers LAST WEEK, if he had the guts to challenge. Howard only had 2 votes in cabinet (Ruddock and Abbott). If cabinet loses support in the P.M. then the rest of the party would follow. If not, then that means the backbench has given a vote of no confidence in cabinet, which would just mean more instability.

  28. [the problem is that the Government dirt unit is taxpayer funded and given the record tax take that can make it very well resourced indeed…]

    Hey, be fair, this is the highest taxing govenment of all time, they’ve got to spend all that money on SOMETHING! 😛

  29. Once the govt calls the election, they lose the advantage of being the incumbent govt, and thus have to use Lib party funds. According to Possum, Labor’s been getting much more donations than the Libs this election year, so Labor will be able to spend much more during the actual campaign. That could certainly drive up Labor’s vote.

  30. No Glen, Costello’s “why would we spike our own story?” defence, which you echo, doesn’t stand up. The first call to Rudd’s office about the heart operation was made hours before Rudd went to Queanbeyan. What’s your next line of defence?

  31. Adam, why on earth would they risk being hit by an interest rate increase going on November 10th? It may be that the chance of an interest rate increase on November 7th is less than 50%, but it is still a risk. Surely Nov 3rd is far safer for the Coalition.
    On the question of ticker, obviously Kevin Rudd has a better ticker than Peter Costello. It takes real guts to go for the leadership.
    When Peter Costello actually had the numbers, he wasn’t up to the task.
    I would imagine that Labor would make a point of this weakness in their forthcoming campaign.
    I don’t think the income tax gaffe is that important. Hardly anybody knows the various rates. If he didn’t know the price of a litre of milk or a loaf of bread, then that would show he was out of touch with ordinary Australians. These things come and go and it will be forgotten next week.

  32. The most interesting development in the campaign in the last couple of days has been the public announcements from two significant employers that they have given up on AWAs because they can’t meet the “fairness test”.

    After his initial grumble, Peter Hendy has gone quiet on it too. It is very clear to me that if Howard gets back in, the employers will be on his door step demanding the test be dropped (if they haven’t already got the agreement, in return for keeping stum).

    If the ALP doesn’t run with this , they are mad.

  33. Guido @ 23

    Rod Cameron says it’s 50-50 but at this stage he’d rather be in the ALP’s position? Why would he prefer one to the other if he really believes it’s 50-50? The two statements are inconsistent. If he says he’d rather be in the ALP’s position, it must mean that he thinks the ALP’s position is better, but that’s meaningless unless it means that the ALP’s chances are better (than 50-50), even if only marginally.

    I think the ALP’s chances are better than the Coalition’s, and more than marginally, but of course not 100 per cent. There are still two possible winners, if you want to call that 50-50, but one is clearly ahead of the other at the moment.

  34. Worthwhile comparing the state-by-state breakdowns in Morgan today (in the “soft-Labor” poll) with that published by Newspoll in the Australian.

    They are very, very close to each, and suggest that at least on the primary vote, both Morgan and Newspoll are measuring the same sort of movement towards the ALP and away from the government.

    Shows that WA is still the only place putting a smile on the Government’s face, although Morgan suggests this is also largely bush-based, with ALP in front in Perth.

    However, Lib members in WA have had some briefings this week on Crosby-Textor polling which suggests they are still well within the game.

  35. Richard, re the date: I merely report what I was told. I still think 3 November is the more likely date.

    Re Queanbeyan: the point is not that Rudd did or did not know the tax scales. The point is that he thought he did, and couldn’t resist the temptation to show that he did, even thought it was off-topic.

  36. I was playing around with the swingmeter graph on Antony Green’s new ABC election site, and I came up with this prediction:
    ALP 79 seats
    COALITION 69 seats
    INDEPENDENTS 2 seats
    Seems like a likely election result if the polls stay roughly where they are.

  37. HH we can only hope…

    I suppose we’ll have a better idea come mid-way through the campaign. Until then I’m remaining pessimistic.

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