Galaxy: 51-49 in Queensland marginals

The Courier-Mail has published a Galaxy poll of the Queensland marginals Bonner, Moreton, Longman and Herbert, which shows a collective Labor lead of just 51-49. Based on results in these seats in 2004, Adam Carr calculates a swing to Labor of 5.1 per cent – enough to reel in Bonner (0.5 per cent) and Moreton (2.8 per cent), but not Longman (6.7 per cent) or Herbert (6.2 per cent). Also just outside the range is Blair (5.7 per cent). The Courier-Mail refers to a 5.6 per cent swing in Bonner, but no seat-by-seat breakdown appears to be available online. This is the most encouraging poll to appear for the government since June, when Galaxy showed a Labor lead of 53-47 result nationally and Westpoll had the Liberals on track to gain a seat in Western Australia. The poll was conducted over the weekend, from a combined sample of 800, so it’s conceivable that Labor’s political difficulties of last week might have been a factor.

In other news, this blog will be moving to new premises reasonably shortly, which partly explains why my reaction to the election announcement has been less dynamic than it might have been.

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.

78 comments on “Galaxy: 51-49 in Queensland marginals”

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  1. From the article, does it appear that they’re directing FF preferences back to the Coalition? It’s quite a confusing article.

  2. The numbers are very weird. He’s miles ahead on PPM but still only 51/49?

    ‘Mr Rudd is still more popular than Mr Howard, with 54 per cent of those surveyed naming him as their preferred prime minister, compared with 38 per cent for Mr Howard.’

  3. [From the article, does it appear that they’re directing FF preferences back to the Coalition? It’s quite a confusing article.]

    It seems they assume most of FF will go back to Coalition. The problem is this is a sample of 800 voters in 4 seats, so on average 200 per seat. That is a margin of error of about 7%!

  4. I don’t get what the big fuss is over QLD. In terms of the 15 most marginal liberal held seats, only two of these come from QLD.

    Infact of the most marginal the 3rd queensland seat doesn’t arrive until number 22.

    Sure, everyone expects Rudd to do better in some QLD seats because he’s from QLD, and I reckon this may well be true, however its quite plausible for him to win government only picking up 2 QLD seats.

    SA is far more important with 3 Ultra marginals at under 1%. Of course QLD will likely be more interesting, since those 3 SA marginals are expected wins, whereas QLD has a few seats a bit further out that may move if Rudd goes well.

    I’m sick of hearing those moronic lines in the MSM about Rudd needing some huge number of QLD seats to win.

  5. Quite dissapointing really for the start of a campaign where the Govt might recover a little.

    A reaction to McLelland’s stuff up and the Govt making it look as though they supported the Bali bombers? Or simply MOE.

    If the Newspoll continually confirms a 55/56 then there must be some severe business going on elsewhere.

  6. I think Adam was just abstracting the 5.1% from the headline figure of 51/49. The 5.6% is probably their exact figure swing.

    The huge differences between national polling and seat-by-seat polling are quite bewildering.

  7. [Once the labours ads start rolling the polls could move further Labours way.]

    Do you think so? I think adverts just keep people onside, I don’t think they really switch votes.

  8. “Mr Rudd is still more popular than Mr Howard, with 54 per cent of those surveyed naming him as their preferred prime minister, compared with 38 per cent for Mr Howard.

    Almost half of those surveyed are happy with Mr Howard’s performance, while 71 per cent like Mr Rudd’s work.

    Labor’s dominance in national polls appears to have penetrated the voters’ conscience, with 61 per cent believing Labor is on track to win the election, compared with 26 per cent who back the Coalition.”

    Doesn’t make a lot of sense against a TPP 51/49. Do they ask everyone all the questions?

    How much did the minors get? Seems many must be preferencing Labor.

  9. While these are underwhelming numbers for the ALP in Queensland, I do agree with James @ 7 – the ALP really only have to win Bonner & Moreton to be on track. And there are other seats in Queensland which may prove to be of interest (Blair & Ryan for starters).

  10. I’m not convinced by this Galaxy Poll. There are too many doubts and questions. 200 per seat is very questionable. The other figures stated don’t match the voting intention result.
    I’m also mindful of the role Galaxy likes to play in keeping John Howard in the race. Briggs is a big Howard supporter.

  11. neither labor nor the unions have been running ads and theres been a blast of government ads, adding to that there was the death penalty bugga up and the labor camp has been fairly quiet with no big announcements, now it’ll be all stops out and Rudd can dole out his ammunition a bit at a time to get momentum, he’s in a much better position than Howard.
    the Galaxy pollster must be getting a feel for whats happening for him to say Howard has only a 10% chance of winning– i’d take Rudd’s 90% chance any day.

  12. Why would Briggs say “Howard has only a 10% chance of winning” when he publishes these figures and puts so much emphasis on Queensland as to Labor’s chances of winning?

  13. Rudd-v-Howard

    Newspoll: 48 – 39
    Galaxy: 54 – 38

    Newspoll: 60 – 47
    Galaxy: 71 – 49

    A great many more of the Galaxy respondents prefer Rudd to Howard but are apparently masochists. Almost no contest!

    Newspoll 56/44
    Galaxy 51/49

    Hmmm…I think the preferences should go 90% to Labor then.

  14. One last thought before hitting the sack – where are both major parties’ primary votes? It may be sleep dep, but they do not appear to be there. Hmmmm…


    Galaxy Polling took a poll of 4 Marginal Seats.

    It found that COMBINED that Labor was polling 51% TPP to Libs 49%.

    Then the author goes on to say that “this is a swing to Labor of 5.1%”.

    BULLSHIT. This is an 8% swing to Labor from the 2004 Queensland results.

    They then go to claim this: “enough to reel in Bonner (0.5 per cent) and Moreton (2.8 per cent), but not Longman (6.7 per cent) or Herbert (6.2 per cent).”

    BULLSHIT. If you take a poll of marginal seats, and then find Labor gets 51% of the TPP, how can you then go and say there is not enough “swing” to pick up the seats you JUST POLLED?!

    It’s wrong on the swing. It’s wrong on the analysis. It’s wrong in it’s assumptions.

  16. Yeah, this Galaxy poll just does not seem right. The PPM and Satisfaction numbers are streets ahead of the 2PP. What’s going on there?

  17. The Galaxy has to be taken to mean that Qld MAY not be a happy hunting ground for the ALP this year with only 5.?% swing. So what?? If they get 5% swings in NSW, Vic and SA they are well into government. Don’t think Qld is any more important that SA in this election, possibly less so. Anyhow, I think it will be won and lost in NSW / Vic.

  18. Calm down, LaborVoter. The 5.1 per cent figure came from paid-up ALP member (correct me if I’m being presumptuous here) Adam Carr, who I presume added together the results from the four seats in question. Whereas I gather you are comparing it with the overall Queensland result (correct me if I’m wrong), which I don’t think you should be. The four seats have margins of 0.5 per cent, 2.8 per cent, 6.2 per cent and 6.7 per cent. It is entirely reasonable to conclude that the Coalition would still hang on to the latter two with an even 51-49 result.

  19. This Galaxy seems to be saying that even when Queenslanders know someone else is better and they prefer them they still wont change sides.

  20. Well, the MOE is about 3.5% on this poll, so for all we know it could be at the bottom of the range. Very intriguing pair of polls to start the election!

  21. LaborVoter, it’s not a poll of Queensland, it’s a poll of Bonner, Moreton, Longman and Herbert. The average margin in those electorates on the new boundaries is just over 4 per cent. Therefore, a combined result of 51-49 is a swing of 5 per cent, not 8 per cent.

  22. Okay but how does he then come to the conclusion that getting 51% of TPP from 4 seats they polled shows Labor NOT winning all 4 seats?

    Without knowing how many people were polled from which electorate, and without seeing the results from each electorate do you agree that the author is making the assumption that the vote was increased by exact equal amounts in all 4 seats?

  23. LaborVoter, by “the author”, I believe you mean me. Unless you are referring to the writer of the Courier-Mail article. Yes, of course the author/the Mail is making an assumption that the vote increased by an equal amount in all four seats. What other assumption would you suggest? That it happens to be more heavily concentrated where Labor would like it to be?

  24. #32
    If Bonner polled 55 ALP as the Courier Mail stated, the others could be 52,49 and 46. This averages as 51. Still only two of the four seats changing hands. This still fits with the swings being larger in some of the notionally safe seats.

  25. [Okay but how does he then come to the conclusion that getting 51% of TPP from 4 seats they polled shows Labor NOT winning all 4 seats?]

    Good question.

    If it is 800 for all 4 seats, and assuming an average of 200 per seat, then that makes the margin of error 7% _per seat_, which is almost to big to draw any meaningful conclusions from.

    If the ALP primary vote is 45, and Greens are on 7, then the ALP 2pp should be _at least_ 51 (45 + 6 = 51), but probably even more because the Liberals wouldn’t be getting 100% of the Family First preferences.

    Even if the Liberals are getting 75% from Family First, that would be another 1 or 1.5% for Labor (5% X 0.25 = 1.25%). So I think they are on 52 or 53 rather than 51.

  26. This will all be academic anyway. I’m tipping Antony to call the election by 6.55pm anyway. I Think it’s GST and monthly mortgage repayments. Does anyone (dis)agree?

  27. I am wondering if they ask all the questions of everyone or include answers where the respondent won’t answer all the questions.
    ie some people revealed who they liked but not who they would vote for.

    The satisfaction ratings and PPM if it were a Newspoll [consistent correlation all year] would indicate a TPP in excess of 56/44. In fact Newspoll has never had approval and PPM ratings this high.

    The only way to explain it is if there are a very high proportion of minor party voters preferring Rudd. I feel this particular poll must surely be 51+ with a bullet.

  28. [This will all be academic anyway. I’m tipping Antony to call the election by 6.55pm anyway. I Think it’s GST and monthly mortgage repayments. Does anyone (dis)agree?]

    I’ll call the election before any mainland results come in if the swings to Labor in Bass and Braddon are in double figures. 😛

  29. William,

    As a fellow Sandgroper, what’s your thoughts of Howard’s donation to Telethon and how he was trumped by the State Govt’s donation ?

  30. I would be interested to see if the poll results were significantly different in Herbert. It’s a North Queensland seat so there would be a lot of opposition to council amalgamations. The sitting member, Peter Lindsay is also the parliamentary secretary for defence and Townsville has a high military population.

    It woud be interesting to compare with Leichhardt. Particularly as Warren Entsch is retiring.

  31. Same goes for Longman. Mal Brough is the man of the hour. Is Howard really this clever? Methinks that St Kevin is going to pick up a few roughies in QLD….might be worth a visit to sports bet…Johnny is fast running out of fingers to plug his dyke with.

  32. Fear not Laborites, this poll is nowhere near the reality up here in sunny QLD, but I would not be putting any money on Mal Brough losing Longman.

    The reality, even in those four that got our attention, is much closer to the 56/44 Newspoll published on the National scale.

    Bonner, Moreton, Herbert and Blair [4] are not affected by the amalgamations issue, whereas Longman, Petrie, Flynn and Dickson are.

    That leaves us with Bowman, Hinkler and Ryan.

    Bowman has two factors going in Labors favour: it is the 28th highest mortgagee seat in the country (33.9%) and there will be some image damage to the sitting member (Dr. Andrew Laming) who was caught up DPP investigations for misappropriation of printing funds and a ‘ghost staffing’ investigation, not prosecuted due a lack of evidence.

    Ryan is a high middle income earner mortgage belt seat dominated by wet liberal professionals and large families with a keen interest in the RBAs next meeting on Nov 6th.

    If mortgage rates go up in November I would put both Bowman and Ryan in the possible surprises basket, although Ryan is nothing like an outer suburban mortgage belt seat where you would normally look for the above average swing if there is one on in a given State. And I wouldn’t be writing off Hinkler altogether.

    IMO Labor have some hope of doing much better than the 2 seat gain this article and poll would want us to beleive will be the outcome in Queensland.

  33. Looking at these seats from the 2004 election, we have ALP 2PP votes of:

    Bonner 49.5
    Herbert 43.8
    Longman 42.3
    Moreton 45.8

    Average 45.4

    As already noted, a 51-49 in these seats represents a 5.6% swing overall. That’s a fairly big swing. 51-49 margin is not “stratospheric”, as in 57-43 or similar, but the swing is quite large, considering just these seats.

    My question to Galaxy is this: why weren’t the following seats polled?

    Bowman 40.9
    Dickson 42.2
    Hinkler 45.2
    Petrie 42.1

    Average 42.6

    Bowman has a large swing required (9.1%) but was an ALP seat in 1998 and 2001, and thus is very volatile and susceptible to going back to the ALP. Hinkler has a margin of less than 5% and the other two are about the same as Longman.

    An interesting poll, but it could have gone further.

  34. In Hinkler, where I have been doing street stalls for Gary Parr, the internal polling shows that the ALP vote is solid and the coalition vote has collapsed. It is showing however a 30% undecided, up from 10% on previous elections this close to an election.
    If Gary Parr can get 20% of those undecided, would give him a primary vote of about 45% and a winning lead.

  35. Once again the phenomenon of Labor’s vote in marginal seats far less than the national polls would suggest it should be. And this in the home state of Rudd and Swan. It has to be a worry for Labor.

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