Morgan: 56-44

At last, a second poll to back the notion that Labor has taken a hit in recent weeks. The latest Roy Morgan face-to-face survey has Labor’s lead at 56-44: healthy enough in absolute terms, but down from 61-39 last week and 60.5-39.5 at the previous regular fortnightly survey. Labor is down 4.5 per cent on the primary vote while the Coalition is up 3.5 per cent (CORRECTION: up 6 per cent) to 38.5 per cent. The Greens are down 1.5 per cent to 8 per cent; not sure where the remainder went. The normal Morgan poll release is not available yet, but it can be assumed that this is based on last weekend’s polling of a sample of about 1000. The numbers can be seen on Morgan’s Poll Trends page. Thanks to sharp-eyed/well-informed readers for pointing this out.

UPDATE: Morgan’s poll release informs us that this is one of those occasions where Morgan also unloads a mid-week poll conducted on the back of an unrelated survey. This one has Labor’s lead at just 52-48 – but the sample is only 573. The sample size of the face-to-face poll turns out to have been 874.

UPDATE 2: Jamie Walker and Lenore Taylor of The Weekend Australian inform us of a Newspoll survey of 1847 voters conducted this week across six Queensland marginal seats: “the Brisbane-based Liberal seats of Bowman and Dickson, Labor-held Longman to the north of the capital, Flynn and Dawson in central Queensland, also with the ALP, and the Liberal electorate of Herbert, centred on Townsville”. What we really need here is a table, but between them the reports inform us that:

• Support for Labor “has lifted 2.9 per cent since Mr Rudd was elected two years ago, against 6.2 per cent Australia-wide”.

• Two-party support for Labor in Dawson in Flynn has increased almost 3 per cent since the election, despite hostility in those electorates towards emissions trading.

• Satisfaction with Kevin Rudd’s performance as Prime Minister ranged between 46 per cent in Flynn and 61 per cent in Herbert, and averaged 54 per cent.

• “Mr Turnbull’s best results were in Bowman, in Brisbane’s east, and Herbert, where he scored 38 per cent approval; his worst was 27 per cent in Longman, lost to Labor at the last election by former Howard government minister Mal Brough. Satisfaction with the Opposition Leader averaged out at 34 per cent.”

• Preferred prime minister reflected the national situation, with Rudd leading 63-22.

• Overall, “only 26 per cent of voters across the electorates like what (Rudd) is doing with Telstra, only 27 per cent think he is doing a good job with asylum-seekers and 56 per cent think he’s being too soft on them”; however, “sixty-one per cent of voters in the six electorates thought Labor was doing a good job in handling interest rates”.

Other news:

The Mercury reports former state Labor MP Kathryn Hay has pulled out of her comeback bid in Bass citing health problems. However, her media statement has made a point of telling us she “did not rule out” standing for Labor again, prompting suggestions she might yet seek to replace Jodie Campbell in the federal seat. Alison Andrews of the Launceston Examiner says Hay’s exit “provides the opportunity for newly elected Launceston City Council alderman Rob Soward to rethink trying for state politics”, after he failed to win one of the six positions in the recent preselection vote. For what it’s worth, a commenter on the Mercury article said he had it “on very good authority that Lisa Singh is also looking to jump the sinking Bartlett ship with an eye on Duncan Kerr’s Federal Denison seat”.

Peter van Onselen in The Australian reports that Labor’s preselection politburo wishes to install social worker Louise Durack as its candidate against Liberal front-bencher Michael Keenan in the Perth seat of Stirling, which has a notional margin of 1.3 per cent after minor redistribution adjustments. Durack failed to carry the highly marginal new seat of Ocean Reef at the September 2008 state election. Another aspirant, Balcatta Senior High School chairwoman Janet Pettigrew, is reportedly being pressured to withdraw.

James Massola of the Canberra Times reports the ACT Greens are likely to preselect Sue Ellerman for Canberra and Indra Esguerra for Fraser on Monday, but the more interesting question of their Senate candidate will not be resolved for a few more weeks.

• George Megalogenis of The Australian observes that “safe Liberal electorates have borne the brunt of the Rudd government’s clampdown on family payments”. All of the 15 electorates identified as most heavily affected are Liberal seats, including Wentworth, Curtin, North Sydney and Warringah.

Andrew Crook of Crikey reports the Prime Minister is weighing up whether to stick with Belinda Neal in Robertson or “install a political cleanskin untainted by the saga surrounding the notorious events at Iguana Joe’s”. The opinion of local branch members is unlikely to have much to do with it.

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.

1,553 comments on “Morgan: 56-44”

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  1. So I take it you’re suddenly paying attention to Morgan now bob. It’s good to see you’re a believer now. Aristotle will be pleased.

  2. [But Bob! No one takes Morgan seriously!]

    Indeed they don’t. So with Morgan showing one thing last week and another thing this week, let’s sit back and watch in amusement as the CLLRs attempt to figure out how to respond to it without being in a contorted contradictory mess!!! 😀

  3. Regardless of the absolute number, the change relative to previous polls is significant.

    It will be very interesting to see what the next Newspoll is, assuming they don’t find an excuse to hide two in a row.

  4. [So I take it you’re suddenly paying attention to Morgan now bob.]

    By saying simply “interesting”?

    Wishful thinking on your part 😉

  5. Newspoll will probably be a 60:40, just to confound the picture even further LOL
    I’m sure Rudd would happily take 56-44, a uniform 2PP swing of 3% costs the Coalition 20 seats or so.

  6. [Newspoll will probably be a 60:40, just to confound the picture even further LOL
    I’m sure Rudd would happily take 56-44, a uniform 2PP swing of 3% costs the Coalition 20 seats or so.]

    However, Morgan always overstates the Labor margin.

  7. Bob, the focus of “Labor rusteds” like me is on winning the coming election. As I’ve said a dozen times, polling is not an exact science, polls move around, etc etc. I don’t think anyone really believed a 2PV of 61%. A Labor 2PV of 56% is a swing of 3 or 4% to Labor and a gain of 10 to 15 seats. We Labor rusteds will settle for that quite happily. If the voters were unhappy with Rudd, they would not be giving Labor a 3% swing. The Libs have gained some traction on the asylum seekers issue, with a lot of help from their friends in the media, but not enough to do Labor any real harm. Coming up we have two weeks of sittings in which the focus will be on the CPRS bill and the totally shambolic state of the Opposition on this and all other issues. We will go into the Xmas break well pleased with our position. So you can whine and carp and call us silly names all you like. You are but a squashed bug on the windscreen of history, pal.

  8. These polls are great news for the CLLRs. We sometimes need to step back, the National ALP vote is in the stratosphere.
    Rarely, do governments get 1% swings to them, let alone 2-3%. The COALlusion had there best shot with the asylum seekers, a combination of community maturity, bad PR by Alex the Tamil, and good hard work by the rudd team has done the job. I actually feel that they have worked a nice position.
    The bigger issue is that the COALlusion have totally lost any credibility in the Global Warming CPRS area and it strikes me that its permeating across them like a bad odour.
    Every time Tuckey and Hills Hoist open their mouths the ALP hard nuts must just rock back in their seats and send each other emails of the ‘Thanks for the Rabbits type.
    From the Greens perspective, difficulty is that the opposition are allowing the ALP to get away with too much. \
    In Vic this was summed up nicely yesterday when chatting to a staffer from the COALlusion I made the point that they had done well with the COAL lobby lunch thingo. Her response was that they got back into the office, the phone went mad (Coal and Gippsland MPs) and they have decided to drop it. OMG they are a joke.

  9. I hope by next week that OV & asylum seeker issue will be replaced by The Issue of the Century – Climate Change.

    I’m getting more optimistic when I read stories like the one below in the lead up to Copenhagen:

    Copenhagen summit
    Brazil pledges deep emission cuts in ‘political gesture’ to rich nations

    Brazil will take proposals for voluntary reductions of 38-42% by 2020 to the Copenhagen climate change conference next month, chief of staff says

    Puts the Libs recalcitrance on a piss weak 5% into perspective.

    I sure that in the future Climate Change Denial will be a crime just like Holocaust Denial. It would be sweet justice for Deniers such as Minchin & Joyce to be serving long sentences in prison as bitches to a couple of bikkie crims. 🙂

  10. I said last week I didn’t believe the 61% and Labor with a 50% plus PV. So this poll to me a closer to the mark representation of what really is. It confirms Nielsen.

  11. Bernard Keane has a crack at new techniques to buttress compulsory voting in NSW in today’s crikey:

    [“These changes will ensure people with busy lives, young people and those who move to NSW are not disenfranchised by the current rules,” Rees said in his press release. In fact, this is about finding new ways to enforce a law that can’t be enforced effectively at the moment. But if you listen to Rees, you’d think it was for The Kids. Rees pointedly referred to the Board of Studies as one of the agencies that would be compulsorily providing personal information to the Electoral Commission. It’s characteristic of this shabby government that it would use an educational body as a means of law enforcement.

    It’s disappointing to see the allegedly progressive GetUp mob not merely endorsing this shameful encroachment on basic rights but calling for it to be universal. Director Simon Sheik wants it to be applied at the Commonwealth level. “Australia has a proud tradition of compulsory voting and citizens have a responsibility as well as a right to vote to make sure that our parliaments are truly representative.”

    Rubbish. Compulsory voting is a blatant encroachment on basic rights and the Rees government is now using its citizens’ private information, never intended for the purpose, to enforce it.]

  12. [I said last week I didn’t believe the 61% and Labor with a 50% plus PV. So this poll to me a closer to the mark representation of what really is. It confirms Nielsen.]

    I think the AS has caused a 1-2% hit.

    the polls to return to 58-42 post AS

  13. The problem for Bernard Keane is that not everyone agrees that compulsory voting is not a ‘shameful encroachment of basic rights’.

  14. vote1maxine, Brazil’s decision is commendable.

    However it should be noted that, as they say, it is a political gesture to nominate a voluntary objective that it appears will not be termed a ‘target’ for the purposes of the agreement, and thus we may assume will not be subject to any monitoring regime that the agreement may create to oversee the meeting of those targets.

  15. That’s why I introduced ‘rolh’ for bob. (‘Rusted on Labor hater’)

    It’s even catchier if you call him THE Rusted on Labor hater or trohl

  16. […or why people who say they don’t think Morgan is worth commenting on then carry on about it….]

    Oooh, but apparently saying “Interesting” is taking no interest at all 😉

  17. Automatic enrolment is the natural corollary of compulsory enrolment which in turn is the natural corollary of compulsory voting.

    Enfranchising the citizenry does not infringe a our rights, it enhances them.

    GetUp is right. This should be universal.

    My only concern is that the apparent partisan motivation for these changes means they’ll probably be overturned by the next state Coalition government.

  18. It would make much more sense to abolish electoral enrolment and just print out a list of Australian citizens. If you’re an Australian citizen, you should be able to vote.

  19. Automated enrolment in this case is achieved through the centralized storage of personal information shared by different government agencies in order to make bureaucracy, in this case the NSW electoral commission, more efficient.

    Hasn’t that been the policy basis for proposals for identity cards such as the Australia Card and later iterations?

  20. It’s not unusual when Morgan releases two poll results from two consecutive weekends to get as much as a 5% variation in results.

    His normal releases are fortnightly, and I suspect he prefers this to reduce the variation in results.

    If you were to aggregate the last two weeks, the ALP TPP would be 58.5%

    And when you consider these are Morgan’s FTF results since August, it looks entirely in place.

    58, 61, 62, 59.5, 60, 60.5, 58.5.

    Consider also Nielsen since August.

    56, 55, 57, 56.


    57, 55, 55, 55, 58, 58, 59, 52


    59, 60, 58, 58, 60, 61, 59, 58, 59, 60, 58, 58, 59, 59.

    When you just look at them as numbers it becomes clear that there’s just not much going on.

  21. Psephos@44:

    [It would make much more sense to abolish electoral enrolment and just print out a list of Australian citizens. If you’re an Australian citizen, you should be able to vote.]

    Fair enough – but I wonder if there is such a list? Maybe it could be extracted from census data?

    Are (non-naturalised) Brits still allowed to vote in Oz elections?

  22. [Oooh, but apparently saying “Interesting” is taking no interest at all 😉 ]

    So if one takes interest in a poll, it means they endorse it?

    Oh how I love the twisted logic of CLLRs!!! 😀

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