Morgan: 61.5-38.5

Morgan has released the first federal opinion poll of the new year, showing the two-party honeymoon gap widening to 61.5-38.5 from 60.5-39.5 from the previous survey in early December. Labor’s primary vote is up 2 per cent to 51.5 per cent, and the Coalition’s down 1 per cent to 33 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.

178 comments on “Morgan: 61.5-38.5”

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  1. We have entered a new epoch in Australian politics.

    Voters have had enough of the petty, partisan political divide. In a testament to his utter genius, PM Rudd has successfully guaranteed that we will not see a conservative party encroach the treasury benches within the next 25 years.

    The Howard era was a mere interregnum, a blot if you will on the development — the maturity of Australian voters. We have always been a compassionate, caring, progressive lot.

    The 2007 federal election demonstrated that a vast majority of Australians have a fond attachment to our consequential labour movement. The vast majority of Australians have shown that the environment – global warming in particular, is now *the* single most important issue that we now face. The so called “war on terrorism” has rightly been relegated to the ash-heap of history. Australians registered their unhappiness with the former government’s use of this so called “war” as an excuse to trample our civil liberties. Australian’s made clear their disgust over the former government’s hostility towards multiculturalism. Australians have also shown their complete disgust over the illegal and immoral escapade into the Middle East which was essentially just an excuse to harness and protect our oil-suppliers.

    The opening months of Rudd’s esteemed leadership have further underscored the talent of the man and his parliamentary team. The new government has dazzled friend and foe alike with its competence. After being elected on the promise of keeping down the cost of living, the recent price rises on all fronts are merely temporary. When the government abolishes Howard’s draconian IR legislation, re-regulates our labour market and bans plastic shopping bags, prices will inevitably stabilise.

    Following the undoubted success on the economic front, PM Rudd will be able to focus his government’s efforts on our environment, due to the fact that the impending global environmental apocalypse has made it supplant the “war on terrorism” as the main area of international concern.

    Within the next six years, members of the Liberal and National Parties will undoubtedly sense the dawning of a new era in the Australian political setting. They will soon realise that the public has moved beyond the quixotic two party processes thus making a merger between government and opposition inevitable.

  2. AC writes ‘Australians have a fond attachment to our consequential labour movement’

    I while I firmly believe the Union moment have a place at the table, the one exception is the rat invested CPSU

  3. I’m sorry AC but if, as you suggest, if “the environment – global warming in particular, is now *the* single most important issue that we now face” then your beloved Rudd governemnt is letting you down. They are not addressing the issue, they are simply better than the Howard Government. Nothing the Rudd government has committed to will reduce our carbon emissions. They are currently awaiting a report to see what economical impact enviro reforms will have – it all sounds very familiar to me.

    (Coal miners should be retrained or join the whalers in the dole queue)

    Since coming to power they have endorsed the desal plant in Wonthaggi, Port Phillip Bay dredging and the Tamar pulp mill. It is delusional to think they are going to address this country’s horrendous impact on global warming.

    What they will do well is give the perception they are addressing the problem. In fact, like the Howard government, they will probably spend more on spin than action.

  4. Kevin Rudd’s first three months have been quite good, the only issue is the handling of the Japanese Whaling issue where a ship that was supposed to be out monitoring appeared to still be sitting in harbour and Wayne Swan is showing why Lindsay Tanner would make a better Treasurer.


    The less said about the Liberal Party the better

  5. Deano I don’t mean this personally it is a general comment, but one thing the extreme right wing movement did really well was publicly praise each step Howard made in their direction, work for extra steps behind the scenes and tut-tut ever so softly if he made a step in the wrong direction.

    It worked beautifully for Howard and pretty damn well for them.

    What the far left is absolutely dreadful at is having a basic understanding of what is in their own best interest assuming they are right. I can tell you one thing sweetheart if the lefts criticism of Rudd helps lead to his defeat in 3 years I’ll bet my house he wont be replaced by a Government even further to the left.

    Now don’t come back with Labor people being to precious for criticism we can handle it well. If you really believe in a cause I’m suggesting the best course of action is not to shoot at your last best hope – or alternatively accept that the far right are much more politically savvy than you and enjoy the irrelevant self-righteousness for as long as you like.

  6. A post budget bounce should make it ALP 65 – Lib nats 35.

    It will be an interesting budget for the Government said it’s going to cut $10 Billion yet there really isn’t the need from a bottom line point of view.

  7. Oh Jasmine, my most sincerest apologies for suggesting the labour government should do the right thing. But I am not sure how electors, if convinced the current government are not addressing global warming, will make the quantum leap to the dark side???

    Your true sweetheart, Mr Rudd, failed to thank the Greens for their efforts in his victory speech. Without us you would have still been in opposition.

    Meanwhile enjoy this stinking hot summer, and a remember that future summers will only get hotter and drier because people will accept that this government’s enviro policy is “good enough”.

  8. Deano, do you reckon this government won’t address the so called global warming issue.

    I’d wait and see what comes out of the Garnaut Report first.

    I believe that the world will enter a new stage…”The Sustainability Revolution.”

    I’m sure Bob will be on board.

  9. AC at #1, I can’t tell whether you are being tongue-in-cheek, but your loving paean to the new government sounds eerily similar to the victory crows of coalition supporters in 2004, who claimed Howard vanquishing Latham meant that we were entering a new epoch in Australian politics, that it proved Australians were at heart a conservative lot all along, that the result proved that Iraq and Kyoto were not vote-changers, that the limitless competence of the Howard team would ensure eternal prosperity, inflation and interest rates you could count on one hand, and that this would be the end of the opposition, etc. etc…

    But time showed that they were only talking to their own mirror-image. A bit like your spray, which I’m still thinking might have been written with tongue firmly in cheek?

  10. Once again, I bemoan the lack of an irony/sarcasm tag, as it seems people insist on taking AC seriously.

    On another note, Deano: you can pontificate all you like because, as Jasmine said, your self-righteousness is irrevocably linked to your irrelevance in producing and implementing policy in this country.

    Further, don’t think we haven’t been watching the state branches of The Greens with horror as they continue to vote with the Liberal opposition. One example that springs to mind is the blocking of the expulsion of Shelley Archer in WA. Despicable.

    Until you win government, or at least oust the Liberal party as opposition, you can keep your self-serving outrage to yourself.

  11. BMWofVictoria Says:
    January 18th, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    A post budget bounce should make it ALP 65 – Lib nats 35.

    We are still waiting for the one from last may, surely that will help the liberals?

  12. Basil Fawty

    I’m not sure that collectively, they have one ball.

    But it would be surely interesting if this is the case.

  13. Just downloaded some data from AEC on final TPP, there are 14 seats held by Tories with margins less than 2.5%.
    Separate note, another leadership challenge in Queensland, it’s Groundhog Day, it’s Groundhog Day, Springboard is challenging Seeney for the Nats. Why would he bother, he is a loser from way back, the most uninspiring dolt, and that’s saying something for the Qld Nats. I reckon Bligh will reign for a thousand years the way things are going. As a matter of interest she is a gggg granddaughter of the Gov Bligh of Bounty fame evidently, no signs of mutiny yet though!

  14. Hmm, so far PM Rudd has;
    – ratified the Kyoto Protocol,
    – strengthened powers to the ACCC to monitor petrol prices,
    – set in place plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, and
    – allocated the states with stacks of cash to start reducing hospital waiting lists.

    Yes, most certainly, one of Morgans more accurate polls. 🙂

    Gusface I agree. The massacre will come at the next election, 110+. Unless Costello takes over the liberal leadership from a position of strength as opposed to a position of weakness which would have been the case straight after the election. Then we would be looking at 95+.

  15. “On another note, Deano: you can pontificate all you like because, as Jasmine said, your self-righteousness is irrevocably linked to your irrelevance in producing and implementing policy in this country.

    Further, don’t think we haven’t been watching the state branches of The Greens with horror as they continue to vote with the Liberal opposition. One example that springs to mind is the blocking of the expulsion of Shelley Archer in WA. Despicable.

    Until you win government, or at least oust the Liberal party as opposition, you can keep your self-serving outrage to yourself.”
    The Greens are in a curious position. Preference the Libs = they’re criticised by Labor. Preference Labor = ignored and accused of voting with the Libs in a mass conspiracy and, of course, ‘We never needed their votes anyway’ (though that’s what won Labor the election)

  16. The only danger facing Rudd is the emerging crisis in the US where I read in today’s Wall Street Journal something like $100 Billion has been written off as a result of the Sublime Mortgage situation.

    The Liberal Party is a joke at State level and nationally they are not any better, the sonner Turnbull rolls Nelson the better.

    While three years remain until the next election I’m expecting Rudd will be returned, if recent history is a guide that should be with a swing.

  17. Bull Butter what do you expect from Morgan but Bull Butter ‘when it comes to’ polling and anyway who can blame them sticking with a new Government…considering the honeymoon they’ll get for the first few months in office…

    Still i hope these polls get Nelson and Truss to bloody well get off their behinds and start seriously thinking about setting up a Single Conservative Party before its too late!

  18. Andos the Ok, It has nothing to do with pontificating and righteousness, I just simply know what needs to happen to address global warming. The Greens will continue to grow as long as governments refuse to address this issue. Then the “irrelevence” of the Greens will dissipate as the realities of global warming sink in. Thier stance and lead on the debate on the war in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, detention centres and the environment will hold them in good stead in the upcoming years. The Libs, i’m not so sure about.

  19. I agree with Glen about just having one Conservative Party, I mean Indi and Murray are both held by strong Conservative Women yet one is a Nat and the other is a Liberal.

  20. It is not a honeymoon that we need but an engagement. We must make sure that the Rudd government is successful not just popular. We need to work out ways to engage constructively with Labor governments across the country. Let’s not waste the unique opportunities in this unprecedented situation.

  21. The first Q.Time will be unmissable with the new sitting arrangements. I could never be a politician. If I was on the labor front bench I would burst out laughing, especially at Downer, Abbott and Costello.

  22. Good thing is they will have to spend all their money on the state elections first. As they are their best chances of winning. Without patronage the coffers will be pretty empty come the big federal election.

    Plus so many of their mps are old and will retiore soon.Joanna Gash born 1944 Gimore, Danna Vale born 1944 Hughes, Alby Schultz, 1939 Hume,Alex Somlyay 1946 Fairfax. Paul Neville 1940(Will probably be over 70 next election so without him and a non contraversial candidate well), Barry Haase ,1945, Kalgoorlie, Fran Bailey(that hag) 1946 McEwen and Mal washer Moore 1945 ( to name a few). Some if not all will retire in the near future and could reduce the feeling of loyalty the electorate has to them. I can’t speculate what will happen in them as for the redistribution and distance from election.

    But should prove interesting in the not too distant future 🙂

  23. Glen as I’ve said elsewhere, it is naive to think that joining two parties will impress anyone. In Qld where it will effectively mean the takeover of the Libs by the Nats it may well be the end of both. Such a move here will disenfranchise the Libs and usher whats left of their support into the arms of Labor. What they need is leadership and ideas, not a pooling of assets.

  24. FG do you know how much duplication there is, Liberals fighting Nationals i mean with one party you pool your resources quit fighting your own side and start having a coordinated effort at Labor. Starting up a new conservative party would hardly push more people towards Labor but offer a more credible alternative of course they need leadership and ideas, but Kevin Rudd won the election by telling the people he’d be a mini Howard and copied much if not all of Coalition policies and was the most inexperienced leader to become PM and yet this was achieved. FG your assessment is IMHO very naive, having one Tory party will boost revenue, get a national system of organisation that already exists under Labor, no more 3 way contests (QLD/WA) or fighting over seats and without these problems that arise with 2 separate parties i believe we can present along with new leadership and policies a far more credible alternative to the myriad of unpopular yet entrenched State Labor governments.

    Just as Kevin Rudd copied the Liberals in choosing his Front Bench, so too the Liberals and Nats should copy the ALP’s centralised organisation which is clearly the smarter way to go.

    FG im not talking about a merger im talking about starting up a New Conservative political Party in Australian politics made up of former Nationals and Liberals MPs. Im sick of duplications, im sick of the conservative side of politics being separate, im sick of worrying about if or when they’ll be a Coalition formed in State politics. IMHO it is an absolute joke in a Westminster system to have 2 conservative parties that are so alike and when the country regions are more represented by a National Party the Liberals than the Nationals. Also the more the sea and tree changers that move into the bush the less the Nats are going to be relevant to them and something has got to change.

    For heavens sake, there is one conservative party in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Greece ect and yet here in Australia there are 2 major conservative parties and as far as im concerned the Tories can be much more successful if they are One Party and they can then start the long road home.

    So says Glen

  25. One wonders about these ‘honeymoon’ results. Perhaps it is simply a matter of, we’ve changed it now, let’s let it rest. Or not particularly wanting to think about change. Or, “What do you mean, ‘If an election were held tomorrow,’ we just had one?” Or maybe, a change of government now could only mean political turmoil. That is, confusion of cause with effect. Whatever it is, it’s hard to read too much into it.

  26. Glen. When you call for the Nats and the Libs to disband and reform as a single Conservative conglomerate, you display a complete lack of understanding of the political beliefs of the Nats, and the basis of their formation in the first place.

    The only conservative platform that the Nats believe in is social conservatism, ie the Monarchy, Nationalism, anti gays, anti feminism, etc. They have a completely different idea on other matters which the Libs hold dear. For instance, the concept of socialism is held dear by the Nats, except that they refuse to recognise it by that name. They held out for the AWB single desk market against agrarian Libs like Wilson Tuckey. Various agricultural marketing boards still exist and are the last refuge for cooperatives.

    The Nats have different views on the ABC (the radio and TV of choice in the bush), and Telstra. They have been bludgeoned into line by Howard and the lure of the trappings of power in the past, but those days are over.

    The membership of the Nats, still the largest of the partys in Aust (and the oldest), will not allow the party to drift into Lib/Conservative economic rationalism whilst in opposition. They will demand policies of the Joyce/Katter style, and have the money and resources to ensure they get what they want.

    Economically, the Nats will be the left wing opposition for the forseeable future, in tune with the Kim Carrs and the Greens. The Libs will go further and further to the right in all policy fields, under the eminence grise Nick Minchin.

  27. Deano at 26: I whole-heartedly agree with you. I would much prefer that the Greens had more influence than the Liberal party, because that would pull Labor to the left on environmental issues.

    However, until that happens progressive Australians need to work with the Labor government to hold them accountable and to make sure that they are a successful government, as Kevin Rennie said at 28.

    From what I’ve seen so far, it looks like Kevin Rudd is eager to engage the community in order to formulate evidence based policies for Australia’s future.

    Sniping at the Labor government for perceived failings, while not engaging in a constructive fashion, only serves to increase the chances of the return of a conservative government in Australia, something none of us can afford.

    I agree that Green’s preferences helped some Labor candidates get elected, but this is politics; do you really expect the leader of the Labor party to single out, in praise, the achievements of an opposition party? Seriously, that would do nothing but weaken his standing and negotiation position before his job had even begun as the new Prime Minister.

    If the progressive side of politics in Australia decided to work together instead of undermining each other, this country would be a much better place for it.

  28. A Lib-Nat merger is an incredibly bad idea. The Nats would quickly die off and it would just pave the way for another rural interest party (Australia will always have one) to sprout up. This new party might even be more receptive to Labor than to the Liberals.

    I should also add that rank and file party members are opposed to this move as well.

  29. Glen@34
    actually i was advocating such a thing back in feb 07 onwards (esp. after p costellehllofalot refused the leadership on a platter).
    since then the bare soul of the Current Libs has been exposed-and it aint very pretty (personal experience has shown that the”old’ libs are pretty well gorn,replaced by wheeler-dealing born again yesmen/women).
    so i actually agree to an extent that a new party should form(some bloke called menzies had roughly the same idea when confronted with the rabble the uap had become).So short of forming a new party why not have a purge instead.
    my two cents worth.
    1.get rid of the idea that a seat is a fiefdom:both internally ie branch etc and externally ie more engagement with community and Listenening to real people
    2.establish an arms length relationship with business and business union groups:
    allow for independent policy and research Not the vested interest of a narrow minority.
    3.reconnect with the principles that allowed someone like one p georgiou to represent his electorate AND his own moral code at the same time.and be respected from all sides for doing so
    ps also get rid of loonies like the elusive (sic) brethren

  30. Andos the slightly better than OK, I have no confidence in this Government’s ability to tackle climate change. Peter Garrets OK’ing of one of the world’s biggest desal plants in Wonthaggi put rest to that theory.

    Therefore it is up to the Greens and other progressives to keep real action on climate change as a major issue. As the issue becomes more pressing then it will only make it harder for the current conservatives. Sad but true, sniping is all the rage in our 10 second a week press exposure – but we want the constructive debate. We know the more engaged the voter is in policy, the more likely they will vite Greens.

    One thing that did come from the last election is the need for The Libs to reinvent themselves. Highly unlikely under Nelson, so that puts them years away from where they need to be to win an election.

    On the “merge” issue, I think it is in the Libs best interests to have a viable National party. The country vote, via the way of preferences and the numbers of elected members strengthen the Libs position immensely. If they were to merge there will be a reduced flow of voters to the conservatives particularly if a new country emerges with no historical loyalty with the Libs.

  31. You may well be right about global warming Deano, you might be right to abuse a desal plant (after all we don’t need water in our society if it doesn’t rain lets go without).

    Up to the greens – yeah that is my point you need to stay relevant to acheive anything and I’m suggesting the green movement shooting a Labor Government, whether or not the shooting is deserved is stupid politics. Unless you are anticipating replacing the Rudd Government with a more left wing Government. Perhaps you imagine the greens did so well they will be the leading party in a Greens / Labor coalition govt in 3 years time. … that is my point I’m not disagreeing with your view, you may well be right, but your politics contrasts nicely with the far right wing groups that had so many wins over the Howard years.

    Unlike them and their demonstrated political savvy you keep working against the Government and you’ll have plenty to moan and whinge about, but you’ll not come very far at all with your purported aims. One might begin to think the greens reason for existence is not so much positive change as wallowing in irrelevant moaning.

    Makes me grumpy particularly when the greens seemed to slumber meekly bar the odd media grab from a reasonably wise Dr Brown, during the Howard years but now find lots of courage to work against, rather than with the current Government. Just doesn’t make any political sense to me at all.

  32. Deano-
    you are spot on.
    Rudd/Garrett sanctioning the dredging of Port Phillip bay, supporting desal plants etc while we still flush our toilets with drinking water, and the crudest of all: supporting a dioxine producing, native-forest dependant pulp mill in the Tamar Valley is environmental vandalism. This undermines their envionmentally responsible credentials despite ratifying Kyoto.
    It is not about attacking our best hope. It is about holding them accountable for their decisions and using electoral pressure to bring about necessary change. That is what The Greens do well, and must continue to do.

  33. Jen

    Like you and Deano, I’m not impressed with the sanctioning and don’t understand this behaviour at this point.

    I believe The Greens should put energy in not only conservation, but rehabilitation and the development of sustainability in a responsible manner.

    Who will hold the balance of power in the Senate in July?

  34. Agreed scaper –
    if you read the various position papaers on The Aus Greens website you will probabaly pleased at the emphasis on sustainability and development, despite all the bad press to the contarary.

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