Galaxy: 56-44

The latest Galaxy poll, published in today’s News Limited tabloids, shows Labor’s lead easing imperceptibly to 56-44 from 57-43 last month. There has also been a one point exchange on the primary vote, with Labor down to 46 per cent and the Coalition up to 40 per cent.

Sept 24
56 44 46 40
Aug 27
57 43 47 39
July 30
54 46 44 41
July 2
55 45 46 41
June 4
53 47 44 42
May 14
57 43 49 39
April 23
58 42 49 37

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.

548 comments on “Galaxy: 56-44”

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  1. Galaxy was the most accurate of the four main polling companies in predicting the 2004 election result. All their polling this year have had the ALP ahead on both primary and 2PP support and their polling in Bennelong has had Howard trailing McKew.

    If they’re right this year, then Howard is heading for (involuntary) retirement come Christmas. Oh well, at least he and Janette will have plenty of time to spend with their grandson. Or perhaps they’ll travel overseas to visit their good friends George and Laura.

  2. All the polls are showing movement back to the Coalition, and, when the election is finally called, they will get a 4-5 point bounce when voters realise that the real poll is coming up.

    The tortoise creeps upon the sleeping hare bit by bit……

  3. Glen, no personal attack intended, but it is clearly hypocritical to say “the ALP should stop asking for the election to be called” because it is up to the Govt. (PM) to decide on a date while at the same time repeatedly asking for the ALP tax policy to be released!!!

  4. Nostradamus,

    You can hardly call the Libs a tortise. more like a greyback gorilla. This poll showes the continuation of voting trends since April. In fact it is one of their better ones. In the publics eyes the election has started. The government ad’s are for the Libs, that’s what the pub debates are concluding and they are sick of seeing their money done on them.
    The next poll is going to be tarnished by the “gay” minister in one way or another so, unless there really is a rabbit on Howard’s hat (and it better be a good one), he is done for.

  5. Hey everyone – I have enjoyed reading this blog today. I am telling many of my friends and work colleagues to have a read too.

    The postings from Coalition supporters are the best comedy they’ll read all year!

    Keep it up everyone!! – Especially the Howard Huggers!!! 🙂

    As for the poll (our topic) I am not surprised in the least. The trend seems to be very consistent.

  6. 18
    Dyno Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 12:42 am
    I suspect there’ll be no Labor tax policy till the election campaign. Which is probably another reason not to wait much longer, if you’re Howard.

    Dyno, you are right. Rudd and/or Gillard said as much several weeks back. Words like these – “won’t release tax policy until the proper point in the campaign”.

  7. My prediction for the Labor tax policy.

    Wait for the government to announce big tax cuts during the campaign and then match them.

    Can’t be painted as irresponsible, inflationary etc when the other sides done it first!

  8. The ALP doesn’t have to do anything outlandish at this point in the way of policies. They showed this with the recent announcement to keep the Medicare safety net. No need to scare people. Lead with good policy to show they are forward thinking, but on the big ticket items such as taxation, play it safe. They have a commanding lead and they’re smart enough not to squander it.

  9. Last week’s Newspoll was down due to a sympathy spike. Last week’s Morgan was down a bit due to sampling error IMO (fewer people expected Labor to win than before over the weekend it was taken, even though the bookies had gone to Labor). Polls taken this week will be a better reflection, and a 56-44 in Galaxy is excellent. The main thing to come from last week was Labor saying that the govt does do smear campaigns, which it seems people believe.

  10. I am on the Daily Telegraph website here in Sydney this morning. Yeah, I know it is a conservative newspaper, but I like to check in every now and again to see what they are up to. On their election page, they have a list of questions the reader can vote on. Amongst those is “Will knowing Peter Costello could be PM influence your vote?” There are 3 no answers and 3 yes answers. The yes answers – Yes. He’s no John Howard, he’s arrogant; Yes. I’d prefer Rudd over Costello any day; Yes. I don’t want a Victorian as PM.

    It is 2007 folks. Will NSW ever get that chip off of their shoulders? Just curious. Fraser was a Victorian. For those who lived in that era, did NSW feel similar about a Victorian PM at that time?

  11. If I were Rudd I would sitting on my tax policy too.

    Why put it out there before chicken little {Costello} digs into the surplus he got from cutting Government spending to key policy areas over the past decade and cut income tax again etc and then just copy and paste it to Labor’s tax policy and move on. Rudd is being clever about it.

  12. 6 Glen:

    Traditionally about 45% of the votes were rusted on Labor votes, 45% rusted on Liberal, 5% swung and 5% were random .

    Clearly something has changed, rusted on Liberal voters are abandoning the party, it was a slow process. After children overboard and until this election I voted Green with preferences going back to the Liberals, I was disgusted with what was happing to the Liberal party, understood the voting system and couldn’t bring myself to vote Labor. This election I will be voting (1) Labor . The first time is the hard one.

    We are weeks from an elections and the right wing thugs smear a sitting Liberal member. These people care about taking over the Liberal Party, they don’t care about winning, they don’t care that the result is going to be a party that is unelectable. If things continue as they are the Liberal party is going to become the right wing rump of Australian Politics the Labor the party middle ground and the Greens the left wing rump.

    This is not going to be good for Australian Politics, there is not going to be a viable opposition.

  13. RE Grey
    On current boundaries it would be very hard for Labor to win
    but if there is a 10% swing plus in SA and the loss of Mr Wakelin’s
    personal vote which I suspect could exceed 7% then anything is possible
    each sitting MP for this seat has had a personal vote in the past

  14. Ryano at 48:

    “…desperate moves suggest the Liberal Party’s own polling is as bad or worse than published polls meaning the Government faces a wipe-out in seats not even classified as marginal.”

    This suggests that Downers quip on Skynews a couple of weeks ago wasnt actually Dolly getting tongue tied, but actually speaking the truth before he realised what he was saying and quickly modified it.

    This was the exchange:

    ““PRESENTER: So Minister just finally, what’s your message to your colleagues – should they stop the speculation, the consideration of ‘what if John Howard went? Should they now all lock in behind the Prime Minister?

    MR DOWNER: Look I don’t think you should be harsh on people thinking about all of our options during a time when they are concerned that our polling is not going as well as, the public polling, is not going as well as they might hope. But on the other hand, I think at the end of the day, they really see John Howard as the best option for the country and the best option for the Liberal Party.”

  15. Poor little Johnny. Damned if he calls the election and damned if he doesn’t. Even the Government Gazette has given up on trying to spin a 1% move in the polls as part of a trend back to the LNP. (Well except perhaps the Glens of the blogsphere)

    Can’t win a trick with the SerfChoice ads because some of the actors turn out to have criminal records or have ripped their own workers off.

    Reduced at present to begging retiring members not to retire (a message there somewhere); slagging Ruddy which doesn’t work and trying to pretend he has cred on global warming among others.

    And he ain’t seen nothing yet with a slick ALP campaign which is IMHO going to nail the coffin lid shut on the most disgraceful 11 year period of Australian politics ever, and for Howard personally it will destroy his so called legacy.

    I am so looking forward to see Johnny paying for his own ads and sucking LP coffers dry.

    But please Mr Rudd, do not avoid the economic credentials Labor made in the Hawke/Keating years. Johnny takes credit for the boom times denying all the micro economic reforms that made it possible. Nail that one down in the coffin as well, for all time.

    I look forward to election night and Glen burying this little phrase in his German mutterings:

    Howard ist kaput

  16. Glen (31), why would Howard ever have called a DD? There is no way he would have kept his senate majority, why risk such a prize before you need to? And before you’ve done what you always wanted to do with it? That is ridiculous.

  17. ABC radio this morn headlined: ‘Government catching up in latest poll.’ Crawled out of bed thinking there was a story. ABC Online had Libs up 2%. Then I see the real figure. Now it’s too late to recover that sleep. May have to sue Aunty.

    I don’t think the ALP really cares when the election is, aside from being itchy like everyone else involved. All Rudd’s doing is trying to paint the PM as ‘clever’ by hedging on the date for months… We tend to take this little prerogative for granted, but its one of the greatest incumbency benefits and in years like this it’s not a good look for the PM. What used to be a sovereign power at a time when administrations came and went every few years, in a Westminster that developed long (5 yr) terms is now an unnecessary and pointless rort in a v.stable, 3 year term.

  18. Those thinking of a battle between the sizes of tax cuts will be disappointed. Neither side can offer major tax cuts (despite the surplus) because of fear they’ll force the Reserve Bank into lifting interest rates.

    Any tax cuts will be very, very targetted. Except something more along the line of a direct handout or some sort of “working bonus” – particularly for married women or those facing large effective marginal tax rates.

  19. Here is the article on Howard trying to get retiring Coalition MPs to change their mind (including some commentary on Grey) from the Fairfax papers

    After months of polls suggesting a landslide Labor victory, the Prime Minister and others have tried to convince some popular, long-serving and high-profile MPs to stay on. The Liberals fear they will lose a string of seats – even some held by wide margins – without the strong personal profile of the incumbents.

    But the effort has proved futile, suffering another setback late yesterday as an attempt to reverse the retirement decision of the South Australian MP Barry Wakelin hit a brick wall. The Herald understands Mr Howard yesterday rang the Liberal candidate for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, told him of the parlous Liberal position in the seat, and urged him to step aside.

    Others have resisted overtures to stay: Jackie Kelly, who holds the marginal Sydney western suburbs seat of Lindsay; Warren Entsch (Leichhardt, Queensland), Kay Elson (Forde, Queensland), Geoff Prosser (Forrest, Western Australia), and Trish Draper (Makin, South Australia).

    The fight to retain Mr Wakelin, who holds his giant outback seat by a 13.9 per cent margin, is an indication of the concern within the Coalition. It is the second safest Liberal seat in the state but the party’s internal polling showed it would lose it to Labor unless Mr Wakelin reversed his decision to retire.

  20. If the Libs are worried about Grey, things must really be crook. I find it a little hard to swallow though.

    Speaking of hard to swallow, the gay smear story was leaked by a Lib, according to Laurie Oakes.

  21. And it could have been sooooo different. If only he had stepped down 12 months ago, of his own volition, undefeated, and forever enshrined up on a pedestal in the conservative pantheon.

    If only he had followed Mark Taylor’s humble lead, in willingly retiring his highest scoring innings, just short of breaking the Don’s record.

    But, perhaps inevitably, ’twas not to be. Gollum-like, his being consumed with power lust and hubris, and the terror of irrelevance, he clung on, all the way to the grim and shabby Shakespearean fate that befall all who can’t let go.

    We moved on, and he didn’t.

    Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

  22. Another week begins, and still no sign of the much vaunted great Howard comeback Glen, Nostrodamus and the various hacks at the Government Gazette have been predicting. What if the polls don’t tighten, even after the Rodent finally calls the election, presumably after the footy finals? Considering that Howard isn’t a great election campaigner, it’s possible Rudd’s lead could even widen over the course of a campaign.
    Howard trying to persuade a retiring MP from a supposedly safe seat to change his mind and stay on – a sure sign at least in SA, the Liberal Party is headed for a trainwreck.

  23. 14 Glen Says: September 24th, 2007 at 12:37 am

    Why doesnt labor stick to policy and give us a tax policy

    why doesn’t howard call the election? Then he can get a tax policy.

  24. Nostradamus has been predicting a come back for almost a year now. I’ll feel very embarassed for all the Liberal supporters if the government is turfed out this year as they can’t seem to quite grasp the concept that it could possibly happen.

  25. 31 Glen Says: September 24th, 2007 at 1:04 am

    We’ll see if the press give Howard a fair go over his environment policy…

    You mean the half-baked ‘policy’ of setting targets that he has no intention of meeting?

  26. Glen (31), why would Howard ever have called a DD?

    Getting a government controlled Senate to reject a bill twice to become a DD trigger and then having an election based on campaigning against your own Senate would have been interesting politics to say the least.

    Although I’m sure Beattie could have pulled it off if he had had an upper house to worry about 🙂

    On a more minor note, a DD election would have had to have been called earlier than mid-May, so with a minimum 3 month interval between introduction of the DD trigger bill, the timing would have been pretty tight.

  27. Ho hum, more of the same, giving yet more evidence that the bulk of voters made up their minds some months ago. The law of inertia is a useful one for politics – things will continue in the same vein until an external force acts upon it. This is why the polls haven’t changed since about February – nothing the government has done has worked, and there have been no events from left field to help the government. The problem for the government is that the longer this state of affairs continues, the bigger the force required to change it becomes. At this point it will take something monumental for the government to get back into the game.

  28. for grey to change hands the labor vote will have to come from the main regional towns
    i can’t see the small towns voting en mass for labor
    i still reckon liberals will hold grey but it has the chance of becoming a marginal seat which will be good for it’s constitutency as the government of the day will spend a bit more money in it

  29. The Piping Shrike @ 66: The reason the tax issue is on here, is that Glen thinks Labor needs to put it out now rather than during the campaign. The Libs are getting played by their own game from 96, where their tax policy wasn’t out until about day 22 in the election campaign. We can thank Keating due to this, because when Hewson put out the GST the Libs got slammed and ever since then neither side has put out their tax policy until the election campaign.

    Labor has said they have a tax policy, and I know it was mentioned they have been doing modelling on it. My guess will be they will do final modelling once they get the final figures from Treasury, not before. Releasing the policy before will allow Costello to come around and say that it’s not funded properly and that Labor hasn’t used Treasury figures and that is a sign they’re not good for the economy.

    So ignore Glen with his constant banter about Labor needs to release their tax policy.

  30. Will I don’t think 93 was the only election with a bad tax policy that impacted negatively on a campaign. From memory it also occurred for Howard in ’87.

    No Opposition can have a credible and well-thought out tax policy without the help of departments. However, they need something there that’s not scary to the electorate. I suspect it’ll be a basic ‘me too’ with a few slight populist differences.

  31. In the aftergloom of the 2004 election, my brother made the comment that what Australians probably needed to wake them out of their political slumber was “a really good dose of Liberalism” right up the backside (as he put it). Then came Howard’s unexpected senate majority, quickly followed by the full sale of Telstra and the introduction of Workchoices (both completely against the expressed wishes of a large majority of Australians and without any real debate in the senate).

    Since then all the major polls (confirmed again by this latest Galaxy poll) have shown that the backsides are indeed beginning to hurt.

    Good call Gaz. Unfortunately for John Howard it is his own derriere that is going to be hurting the most when the numbers are finally up on polling day.

  32. The tactic generally used in elections is a policy a day, that way by the time the opponents get into detail to refute it, the news cycle has moved on. Promises are supposed to be costed by the treasury but the big items are held until the last moment so that treasury can’t do a proper costing.

  33. I think it was Copernicus who argued with a student over the perception that the Sun revolved around the Earth. “But it looks that way”, the student argued. Copernicus replied, “And how would it look if the Earth revolved around the Sun?”

    And so while the point or two drift back to the Coalition looks like normal MOE bounce-around, I ask how would it look if there was a point or two drift back to the Coalition?

    Heh heh. I toss that in only because I’m in a bad mood, and Call the Election Please seems to be cheerful today and there needs to be at least one voice of gloom.

    But I really think things are locked in. We need only fear an onset of Sudden Acute Recession Syndrome in the US, which might change the dynamic.

  34. booleanbach #44 Interesting article. It reinforces Possum’s analysis

    The IR issue is a negative for the government. This seems to be stuck in voter’s minds, and the article in the Age explains why that is, and explains why the government is on a hiding to nothing if they keep banging on about it. So how do you lib voters feel at having your tax dollars being burned up to stoke the ALP vote?

  35. I suggested on this website some months ago that Grey could be a “smoky”, for these reasons:

    1. The Liberal sitting member is retiring.
    2. Until comparatively recent boundary changes, it was a traditional Labor seat.
    3. The Nats are running a candidate.

    Throw in the prevailing anti-Lib swing in SA and perhaps a bit of a campaign by Labor which has been missing in recent times, and anything could happen.

  36. 86
    Crispy Says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 9:53 am
    I think it was Copernicus who argued with a student over the perception that the Sun revolved around the Earth. “But it looks that way”, the student argued. Copernicus replied, “And how would it look if the Earth revolved around the Sun?”

    Copernicus was very careful not to commit himself to saying that the Earth actually does go round the Sun. He was afraid of the Church.

    _Ludwig Wittgenstein_ is said to have asked a colleague why people said that it was ‘natural’ to assume that the Sun goes round the Earth. The story goes on that the colleague suggested that ‘it looks as if the Sun goes round the Earth’, and Wittgenstein then asked the question you have attributed to Copernicus.

  37. [Getting a government controlled Senate to reject a bill twice to become
    a DD trigger and then having an election based on campaigning against
    your own Senate would have been interesting politics to say the least.]

    That is what Malcom Fraser effectively did for the 1975 double dissolution.
    Of course, he didn’t lead the government when the bills were rejected by
    his party in the senate, but he did use that rejection as the trigger.

    That strikes me as giving the bird to the constitution.

  38. Thanks J-D. I had a feeling it wasn’t Copper Nickers but didn’t have the two hours spare to trawl Google or my bookshelves to nail it down.

    Fancy finding an inaccurate attribution in a blog! As rare as typos.

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