Morgan: 61-39

Nobody believed the size of Labor’s lead in last week’s Morgan poll, but it’s now widened further, from 60.5-39.5 to 61-39. Both parties are down fractionally on the primary vote, Labor from 54 per cent to 53.5 per cent and the Coalition from 36 per cent to 35.5 per cent. For what it’s worth, the balance has gone to the Australian Democrats, up from 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent. This was a face-to-face poll with 894 respondents.

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.

377 comments on “Morgan: 61-39”

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  1. Glen,

    I’m not trying to have a go at you but you need to be careful about cutting and pasting entire articles. There are copyright laws. Better to put the link up and just quote part of it.

  2. Harry,
    I would personally want a cordial relationship with the Greens, and I don’t like Fielding’s philosophy or his party. However, at a strategic level, Labor is better placed if there are multiple non-coalition parties represented in the Senate. The Hawke-Keating years were manageable with a Senate minority, because Labor was able to negotiate with the Democrats and/or Greens.
    The real-politik argument is surely “treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen”.
    Without giving it much consideration I hadn’t thought Labor had any prospects of a Senate majority on its own, and would struggle to get the Libs/Nats down to 38 let alone 37, at this election. However, I note that Peter Brent is arguing that if there is a landslide in the Reps, that the Senate will move decisively as well.
    If there is a DD (which I had also assumed was likely within 2 years) Labor should be pushing for a maximum vote, and a Senate majority or as close to it as possible. That might also involve some deals that would cause sensitive souls like me to hold our noses.

  3. [Looks like Hockey was right!]

    Sorry? That taking $75 – $100 a week off people is good for them? No, I think that is the opposite of right.

    He’s just a boss of the Australian Politicians Union thugging his way around, trying to shift everyone in site onto AWAs

  4. What a load of Manure re Brand.

    [As anticipation grows over when the federal election will be called, one of the seats to watch is that of former Opposition leader Kim Beazley in Western Australia.

    On paper, Brand is a safe Labor seat, but a number of factors have made it particularly interesting.

    There has been a steady flow away from Labor in the last two elections. Labor’s hope for 2007 is the party’s former national secretary, Gary Gray, while the Liberals are putting up popular local councillor Phil Edman for the second time.]

  5. Abbott has completely stuck his foot in it, accussing Gillard of “lacking broader life experience”. Which of course can be construed as an attack on her not having children.,22606,22538411-5006301,00.html

    This will just blow up in the government’s face, in exaclty the same way as what occurred when Heffernan called Gillard “barren”.

    Evan Abbott realises he has screwed up big time, he has attempted to retract his commments by saying:

    “I never intended to attack (Ms) Gillard. I should not have said anything that could be construed by anyone as a personal attack on Gillard,” Mr Abbott said. “To the extent that I have said anything, I retract it and apologise for it.

    “Knowing Gillard as I do, I do not believe that she in any way lacks capacity to relate to ordinary Australians.”

    This is obviously an attempt to try and get everyone to forget about the comments. But it looks like never News Ltd tabloid is giving it a run today, and it will likely appear on TV and radio.

    Abbott realises this is the worst thing to do so close to the election announcement, it will just cloud over whatever policy the government wants to release this weekend.

  6. [What a load of Manure re Brand.]

    Wasn’t there a poll done about a month ago showing Gray ahead 55/45? I can’t remember where I saw / read it though.

  7. And here comes Abbott onto the field, about to tackle Gillard and it looks like, oh no, he’s slipped up. He fallen flat on his face ladies and gentlemen and ended up with his foot firmly in his mouth. And here comes the apology but it’s not enough, that foot is firmly stuck in his mouth once again.

  8. Peter,

    i get what you are saying but when Labor were dealing with both Greens and Dems, they both had multiple seats.

    where are FFP going to get multiple seats to make them a “dealing option” in the Senate.

    i am presuming if Labor deal with FFP it will probably only be in Qld and SA and they would only be very slim chances.

    by far the most probable makeup of the senate this election is a Green block making them the balance.

    why piss them off and make them your enemy if you want to get rid of things like workchoices?

    could it be because Forward with Fairness is closer to Workchoices than the Green policy of ripping up Workchoices?

  9. Peter Fuller,

    There’s not much strategic value in having a diverse cross-bench, when a Labor govt would need every single minor party vote.

    It’s much easier to deal with just one minor party, than it is with two or three.

  10. It’s amusing to add the names of just which Coalition MPs would be in the Reps if Antony’s @58 calculator turned out to be 100% accurate. (* = present Minister/Parliamentary Secretary). Imagine Question time or the allocation of Reps shadowing functions with the following Coalition caste:

    * Philip Ruddock – Berowra
    Margaret May – McPherson
    Stuart Robert – Fadden
    * Julie Bishop – Curtin
    Bronwyn Bishop – McKellar
    Mark Coulten – Parkes (Nat)
    Sophie Mirabella – Indi
    Sussan Ley – Farrer
    * Brendan Nelson – Bradfield
    * Ian Macfarlane – Groom
    Alex Hawke – Mitchell
    Steven Ciobo – Moncrieff
    Patrick Secker – Barker
    Wilson Tuckey – O’Connor
    Kay Hull – Riverina (Nat)
    Bruce Scott – Maranoa (Nat)
    * Sharman Stone – Murray
    John Forrest – Mallee (Nat)

    I don’t want to be drawn into a discussion of MOE etc of Morgan etc., or whether this is likely. I merely wanted to add some names to Antony’s calculator to give bludgers some extra tang and zest. (I don’t normally post at close to 2am but we are just back from the most tedious teetotal dinner party and I wanted to put my brain back into gear.)

    Antony: It’d be nice if the ABC gave you some extra dollars to include details along the above lines to your calculator (ie, declared candidates names, ministers highlighted etc.)

    William: We are all indebted to you for this fabulous and addictive website. I hope that people with more clout than I have (eg Antony) can nominate you for a pro-democracy award. Seriously though: if any of you people blogging on this site have any genuine influence, then I suggest you/we do something serious to recognise and applaud William’s efforts.


  11. ALP election ads:

    1. “I don’t know, I wasn’t told anything about it” – John Howard, at the AWB Royal Commission.
    “The buck with healthcare stops at my office” – Kevin Rudd, upon delivering ALP health policy.

    2. ALP – an independant public service. No more coverups! No AWB Mark II!
    Coalition – Muzzled, gagged public servants. “It never reached my office, right boys?”

    3. John Howard to farmer: “I’ll pay you $150,000 of taxpayers money for abandoning your unprofitable farm and starting another.”

    John Howard to small business owner: “I’ll give you some red tape, some GST accounting, a vastly expanded Tax Code and some deregulation so that big business can squeeze you out of operation. But never trust Labor – they have those evil union bosses!”

    4. John Howard on Hospitals

    Mercey Hospital (in a marginal electorate) – “I’ll pay over $40 million of public money and create havoc for the state health plan, if you vote for my candidate.” Number of patients: 70,000. Nearest equivalent public facility – 30 minutes away.

    Perth Dental Hospital (in a safe Labor electorate) – “If you can’t operate financially, then you should close”. Number of patients: at least 250,000. Nearest equivalent public facility – 40 minutes away on a crowded freeway.

    Just a few examples of why the Rodent deserves to be booted out. Anyone who thinks that the Libs can win the election is whistling in the dark. Even in WA, the swing is on.

  12. All this business about the left, the greens and Al Gore just makes me appreciate the Australian preferential system even more than ever – what a different Nation the US would be with the possibility fo following your heart AND being able to be pragmatic too!!

  13. The poor old ALP “power at any cost” attitude of the old guard,
    is ample evidence of the moral decline they have stooped to.
    The direction this thread has taken shows how the growing vote for the Greens has unnearved the the Labor Party.
    I thought it would take a few years of Howardlite for voters to realise the LIB/LAB duopoly must be challenged, as only the Green have done.
    Now, at the dawning of the Labor era, some in the ALP, as evidenced in their histerical reaction and illogical preferancing of Family First and DLP, have been spooked.
    Remember this for every one Green voter there are five ALP voters.

  14. AC Nielsen has provided a six-month amalgamation of its monthly national polling for April to September to the SMH & The Age.

    It shows a 9.8% national swing, and State swings of 9.9% for NSW, 7.9% in Victoria, 12.3% in Queensland, 14.9% in SA & NT (combined), and 5% in Western Australia.

    The results seem to be pretty consistent (that is, within the margin of sampling error) with the most recent Newspoll quarterly figures, which showed 8.8% nationally, 9.2% in NSW, 11% in Victoria, 9.1% in Queensland, 9.4% in SA, and 4.4% in WA.

    The higher Nielsen figure for SA&NT may explain the recent Coalition panic about the seat of Grey.

  15. Arbie Jay, #132: “18 seats for the libs, actually 14 when you counts the Nats, is actually a good result. It will clean out all the extreme right nutcases in the liberal party and hopefully lead to a rebuilding of the liberal party that Menzies vison for it was. Not his present insulated, racist, xenophobic cabal.”

    Will it clean them out, though, Arbie? Out of Parliament, certainly, but the rampant branch stacking by the right wing (in NSW, at any rate–I don’t know about other states) and the takeover of the Young Liberals by the right suggests that for some time to come, any candidates for future elections will be even more insulated, racist and xenophobic nutcases he the current lot.

    With Rudd owning the centre of politics, the Liberals will become essentially unelectable as a result, and that will be a dreadful consequence for Australian democracy. We’ll end up with the sort of situation we’ve had in NSW: a lazy, complacent, arrogant government being repeatedly re-elected because the opposition is even worse.

  16. Paul K, #263, “In America Al Gore could have won the Presidency if the left hadn’t have taken votes away from him with Ralph Nader. They lefties remained politically pure but Bush became President.”

    That’s comparing apples and oranges, Paul. They don’t have preferential voting in the US, and we do. Our system makes it hard for third parties to get traction, but in the US, it’s impossible.

  17. Good morning all!!!!
    Another little story for you all,just to confirm to one and all why Howard et al are going down the gurgler.
    I have these friends who live in urban Pine Shire,just north of Brisbane.Typical mortgage belt family with two kids,who are swinging voters.But for the past few elections have backed Howard.It’s made for interesting arguments at BBQs I can tell you,LOL!!!
    The wife recently injured herself in the company car on work time and has been off for the month on workers compensation.Guess what????
    The company called her at home yesterday morning and sacked her and used Howard’s laws to cloak their actions.She’s been with them for six years!!!!
    She got on to Barabara Bennetts crowd and got the bums rush,sorry lady we can’t help you,they have the right to get rid of you and there’s nothing we can do.
    As you can imagine they are devastated!!!!
    The impact on their immediate future is huge.
    I’ve advised her to go to the media about this and of course to see their MHR,Teresa Gambaro.
    Funnily enough,their tast of Howard’s Workchoices in action has somewhat coloured their view of his electoral future.
    This sort of thing is happening all over Australia,probably every day,to the point where many of us know people who’ve experienced Workchoices firsthand.
    This is the reason why the polls reflect such huge swings and why Howard is finished.

  18. But Damien, this idea [abolish negative gearing] would not necessarily help: it may lead to less investment in housing (less supply). This would make housing scarcer and increase prices.

    Everyone in real estate and home mortgages I’ve ever heard on this subject has nominated neg gearing as the main driver of escalating prices because it enables investors to outbid ordinary home buyers who don’t have the government picking up a substantial part of the tab.

    Nor apparently do first home buyer rebates help much. Builders soon absorb them into the cost of new homes.

  19. Howard’s End will be available from Monday 8 October from the CFMEU at the bargain price of $10 per bottle.

    Thanks for the heads up, I’m buying a case and will personlly deliver it to my local MP’s electoral office first thing on the Monday after what I hope will indeed be a massacre!

    I hope the Member for Mayo chokes on it! 🙂

  20. Just for fun, I’ve used a spreadsheet to amalgamate the two quarterly Newspoll reports for their polling over the April to September period with the Nielsen figures for the same period I quoted at #317. I weighted the swings by the relative size of the three sets of polls.

    I have to note some reservations – such as using Nielsen figures for combined SA&NT with Newspoll details for SA, and the possibility that the Newspoll amalgamations included the same July polling in both quarterly reports.

    Here then are the results of all Newspoll & Nielsen polling for the last 6 months: national swing 9.5% (ie implied 2pp of 56.7 to 43.3%), NSW 10.5%, Vic 9.1%, Qld 11.4%, SA 11.9%, WA 5.0%.

    I suspect that there may be statistical doubts about whether combined results of multiple polls have the same error margin as one big poll, but both Newspoll & Nielsen report their results as if that is the case. If so, the error margins for the above figures would be roughly: national 0.67%, NSW 1.2%, Vic 1.3%, Qld 1.6%, SA 2.3%, WA 2.2%.

  21. Lom @ 319

    A clean out of the libs at the federal level will benfit libs at the state level.

    The reasons why the looney right has risen to power is due to Howard, who is backed by far right organisations such as the Exclusive Brethren and HR Nicholls society. Clean out and purge the federal libs and the moderates will get control again and be able to reform the state branches

  22. General Wenck @ #225
    LOL. Made my day.

    As to Kelly criticising others for their lack of analytical skills..
    hmm…. Pot…. Kettle….

  23. Re Paul H @ #312

    As an agnostic there is one thing that would convince me of the existence of a god. That would be if Sophie Mirabella were to lose her seat. I could die happy convinced of the existence of an afterlife.

  24. Barney,
    as a candidate for Greens running against Sophie (I’m on the senate ticket, but live in Indi) I swear to you we will do our utmost to give you a religious experience.

  25. Lom

    Power at the branches comes from the federal and state members who can appoint the branch members to paying jobs such as staffers.

    The fed libs have more influence over the branches due to them being in gvot and being more of them, purge the fed libs and you purge the branches.

    People despaired over the looney left in Victoria and the ACT, but intervention and a good purge saw competant labor parties reemerge and win government.

    Same can happen with the libs, they moved to the extreme right because they believed they had unchallenged power and a non-existant opposition. A good clean out of them will give control back to the moderates and promote them as a viable opposition.

    I don’t see why the lib party in NSW couldn’t defeat labor at the next state election if they got rid of the extremists and attracted the decent people back to the party. Iemma shouldn’t have been elected, but what was the alternative. You had the right wing nutcases in the NSW liberal party more intent on destroying Brogden and the other moderates in the liberal party rather than organising and presenting themselves as a viable alternative government.

  26. 322
    Ian Says:
    October 6th, 2007 at 8:45 am
    …” hope the Member for Mayo chokes on it!”

    It’s cloud fantasy land, I know, but wouldn’t it be nice if it were the FORMER Member for Mayo who was choking!

  27. It’s cloud fantasy land, I know, but wouldn’t it be nice if it were the FORMER Member for Mayo who was choking!

    On election night, during his concession speech.

  28. [ Lomandra Says:
    October 6th, 2007 at 8:30 am

    That’s comparing apples and oranges, Paul. ]


    I used to live in the USA so I know very well that they have a different system to our own. My point was not about the systems it was about the attitude and of those who voted for Ralph Nader and the consequences of their subsequent actions. You don’t have to have similar political systems to have the same attitudes.

  29. The old discussion point of Labor’s preferences helping in the election of FF and DLP candidates has resurfaced. Adam has explained it clearly on this thread and I have on others, so while I would love to bang on about it, I will restrain myself to a few points.

    The deal worked both ways. DLP preferences went to some ALP candidates in the Victorian Legislative Council, as well as the other way around.

    Neither the DLP nor FF are extremist parties as any perusal of their voting records will show. There has never been anything reactionary about the DLP, which was simply part of the moderate social democratic and anti-communist wing of the ALP, which was expelled because Doctor Evatt thought it would give him power, leading to an unelectable left-leaning ALP in the wilderness for a generation.

    The Greens are not Labor’s friends or allies. They are rivals.

    From a pragmatic point of view, Labor is better off having a choice of partners for specific proposals in the Senate and the Legislative Council rather than being dependent on one. Thus, if both Labor parties combine, they have 20 votes in the Victorian Legislative Council and can defeat any Opposition move, but 21 votes are needed to carry anything, so the ALP would prefer 2 DLP MLCs and 2 rather than 3 Greens.

    This is all obvious but some cannot see it because they look at the DLP and FF through an ideological prism that cannot see them as legitimate political parties like the others.

    Labor’s task is to win government, not determine who gets the balance of power in the Senate and it will do the deals that it thinks will help it win government. It would exclude totalitarian parties like the Nazis and the Communists, if they still existed, but there is no logical or moral reason for it to be compelled to do what the Greens want.

    If the Greens have any sense at all, they will cop whatever the ALP dishes up and wait for the almost inevitable double dissolution election for the lower quota which would in all probability give them the balance of power. For them to even indirectly assist the return of the Howard Government is not in their interests because there will be no double dissolution in that case and no Greens holding the balance of power.

    Showson (224),

    Kevin Rudd’s father voted for the Country Party; his mother voted for the DLP.

    Gippslander (281),

    You say that you are almost as right-wing as Adam and would prefer the Greens to the DLP and FF. It’s a funny world because I am certainly not as right-wing as Adam, but I would prefer the DLP and FF to the Greens, but naturally enough I prefer the Greens to the Liberals, about whom Frank Knopflemacher said, “You hold your nose with your left hand as you mark your second preference with your right.”

  30. Adam

    How on earth did Jacinta Collins get recycled as the number 1 on the ALP ticket in Victoria? She was a dead loss last time and frankly her views on a lot of things mean she would be closer to members of the Lyons Group like Kevin Andrews than most of the ALP.

    Her views on civil liberties, abortion, stem cell research, state aid to Catholic and other religious private schools, the teaching of creationism etc are an absolute disgrace.

  31. Harry and Barney-
    thanks guys!
    We’ve had great response so far – from both former labour and lib supporters. And today I have had people of all political persuasions expressing their digust at the pilp mill decision. I read Adam and co’s “politics is all about pragmatics” line, but I think they don’t get much chance to talk to the average punter.
    Just waiting for the Fundies attack….

  32. …” hope the Member for Mayo chokes on it!”

    It’s cloud fantasy land, I know, but wouldn’t it be nice if it were the FORMER Member for Mayo who was choking!

    If Lab has put a better known candidate and put some effort into the seat who knows what could have happened given the polling in this state.

    Downer may still be darling of the Aldgate/Crafers/Stirling/Bridgewater set, but he’s far less popular in the rapidly growing, mortgaged up to the hilt, eastern towns.

    Even the Courier doesn’t seem to think much of him these days, though they still won’t print any of my letters containing the words “war criminal”. ;(

    Lab should endorse a live wire, preferably soon after this election, and let him/her do Lexy slowly for 3 years. They might be surprised at the result.

    BTW-has anyone else noticed that at every new interview he gives, Downer seems to have become even more unhinged (and full of himself) than the one before? If the team leader doesn’t call the election soon they might have to put Lexy in a straightjacket, or at least muzzle him.

  33. Chris Curtis @ 334
    You are one of a chorus who are convinced of “the almost inevitable double dissolution election” if Labor wins.
    I haven’t yet seen any cogent arguments to support this being of long term benefit to Labor…
    Let us into your reasons for this being Labor’s aim.

  34. beedle,

    A double dissolution is not Labor’s aim, but the only way out of the political situation that this election will almost certainly create. I have been through this before, but I am happy to do so again for new posters. I believe that, as all the opinion polls suggest, Labor will win the election. I believe, for reasons expanded upon exhaustively on previous threads, that Labor will not control the Senate. Even a Senate with 39 for the anti-WorknotcalledChicesanymore parties (Labor, Greens and Family First), which would be the minimum for its repeal, is unlikely. The consequence of this is that Labor will be prevented from repealing WorknotcalledChoicesanymore. I cannot see the Liberals accepting Labor’s mandate on this issue because the cancelling of the last century is so central to current Liberal belief. Labor cannot afford to accept the repeal being blocked because the repeal of the Liberals’ IR laws is central to Labor’s being and to its success in the polls. That means the only option is a double dissolution. The consequent election must focus on IR and will therefore see Labor re-elected to government with the balance of power in the Senate probably held by the Greens and possibly also by FF; i.e., either Labor plus FF or Labor plus Greens will have the numbers; there will not be any need for Labor plus Greens plus FF to make up the required 39 votes to get anything through. To make that clear, a result of ALP 38, Coalition 32, Greens 5, FF 1 – not a prediction, just an illustration – gives Labor two options for getting legislation through. The advantage in all this is that Labor ends up with a more co-operative Senate.

    I have been predicting a Labor win since May. Based on the narrow Labor win in 1999 in Victoria and the subsequent two landslides to Labor in 202 and 2006, I also predicted that once Australians got used to another federal Labor Government, they would swing in greater numbers to Labor in the double dissolution election. However, Labor now seems so far in front that there will not be a further swing to it in the next election. But, I see no risk of Labor losing in the double dissolution election.

  35. Never underestimate self preservation, when faced with passing legislation or an election, I am sure some coalition senators will see the mandate argument. 🙂

  36. Chris Curtis,

    FFP are not a representative Party. They are a 1 constituent Party with little hope to grow and every chance to shrink.

    The only way of them being any use to the Labor Party is if they get that single number of 38 seats. any other number makes FFP irrelevant.

    The Labor Party are going to have to deal with The Greens in the Senate more and more in the future.

    They better get used to it.

  37. A DD in late 2008 early 2009 would produce at least 6 Greens senators with the outside possibility of 7 with two getting up in Tas seeing as the Greens would probably get at least 1.5 quotas.

    However a question: couldn’t the ALP regulate Work Choices out of practical use?

  38. HarryH,

    Family First would also be relevant with 37 ALP senators because 37+1 = 38, which is sufficient to block any proposal in the Senate. It is also the case that if there were 36 ALP senators and 2 FF, FF would be relevant for the same reason. If we go the other way and speculate on 39 ALP senators, both FF and the Greens become irrelevant in a voting sense. I agree that, outside of a double dissolution election, it would be very difficult for FF to win another Senate seat, but it is possible in a DD election. The ALP would get used to dealing with the Greens in the Senate, just as it has in various Legislative Councils. But it has to get into government first.

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