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. Bernard Keane’s rant is absurd. Compulsory voting is fundamental to real democracy (putting Australia ahead of most other alleged democracies). Any measure which will integrate the electoral roll with other government identity information is a positive step. I’ve moved four times in the past ten years, and the need to notify several government agencies separately has been a major source of irritation (the electoral roll always comes first as I don’t want to miss out on my chance to vote).

    There should be a single Commonwealth Government facility to which one can go to show that one has changed address, and this agency then disseminates the information to all others (state and federal).

  2. It would make much more sense to abolish electoral enrolment and just print out a list of Australian citizens.

    Except that there is no such list, is there?

    Otherwise sounds like a great proposal. 🙂

  3. [22 candidates in Bradfield including 9 Christian Democrats. Talk about abuse of the nomination process.]

    Indeed. And 22 candidates was the record set at the Wills by-election for the most candidates contesting a House of Reps seat.

  4. [22 candidates in Bradfield including 9 Christian Democrats. Talk about abuse of the nomination process]

    Is there a minimum number of signatures you need to run as a candidate, and is it different for by-elections as opposed to full elections?

  5. And now a word fom TGNT (The good news troll 😛 )
    [Sydney’s Wayside Chapel says it has been saved by a multi-million-dollar injection from the Federal Government.

    The Uniting Church’s centre near Kings Cross offers meals, counselling, education and advice on emergency housing to thousands of people a year, but nearly 40 per cent of the building has become unusable.

    The Federal Government’s decided to chip in $3 million dollars from its economic stimulus fund for an overhaul.

    The pastor, the Reverend Graham Long, has told government ministers it is the most important day in the chapel’s 45 years.

    “Earlier this week I threatened that if the feds came good with $3 million we’d call this place saint Kev’s,” he said.

    “I got myself in a bind. I don’t know whether to give you a dollar back.”]
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/11/13/2742173.htm?site=sydney

  6. Rewi:
    [would you extend that argument to supporting the centralized storage of all personal information in a single Commonwealth database?]

    I would, but I know that would probably be too much for many people.

  7. [Is there a minimum number of signatures you need to run as a candidate]

    You need 50 signatures of those entitled to vote at the election.

  8. Well, it seems like a few of the punters out there are taking this boat people business seriously.

    I’m not saying Rudd has done anything particularly wrong, but it has lingered on a bit.

    This Morgan poll might be a gentle “hurry up” to him.

    Sure, there weren’t a lot of options, especially as the voters last election voted for Labor to ameliorate the refugee processing processes (it was a pretty clear election promise). The Liberals and Nat certainly thought it wasa hot potato when the vote came up in Parliament, as they let it through – even in the House – on the voices. Only the hotheads (TTH: this mean you and your fellow drongos) thought we could send in the troops while the vessel was within Indonesian waters.

    Whether we like it or not, the punters seem to want action. They don’t like “queue jumpers” , especially queue jumpers who jump even the queue jumpers’ queue. They seem to see the long delay in resolving the OV situation as a bad precedent. Defensive sounding statements like, “This is the same as Nielsen” are beside the point. There has been a big drop for the government, in one week.

  9. [You don’t need any as a registered party. That’s why I call it an abuse of the system unless all the candidates got nominators.]

    That’s ridiculous!

  10. don @ 47,

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

    The law change wasn’t retrospective. So the Brits who were here before then (1984?) are still allowed to vote in Australian elections.

  11. Malcolm McKerras reports in today’s crikey that New Zealand will conduct a referendum on its electoral system:

    [On October 20 (of 2009, of course) the minister in charge of electoral matters, Simon Power, announced the Cabinet’s decision. In conjunction with their 2011 general election (likely in November) there would be an electoral referendum at which the people will be asked two questions: “The first will ask voters if they wish to change the voting system from MMP. The second will ask what alternative they would prefer from a list of options”. Later the statement reads: “If a majority of voters opt for a change from MMP, there will be second referendum at the 2014 general election. This will be a contest between MMP and the alternative voting system that receives the most votes in the first referendum.”]

  12. StephenD @ 51,

    [Compulsory voting is fundamental to real democracy]
    I wouldn’t go that far. I’d say universal franchise is fundamental to democracy. Anything that stands in the way of that – e.g. closing the rolls a month out from election day – is an affront to that ideal.

    Bernard Keane seems to view automatic enrolment as bureaucratic meddling. But I would view an incomplete electoral roll as bureaucratic inefficiency.

  13. Abolishing electoral enrolment would require creating a central database of Australian citizens. That could presumably be done by pooling the data of the state births and deaths registers, the ABS, the immigration dept and/or the ATO. Most European countries have ID cards and these are simply presented at the polling booth. If it wasn’t for the stupidity of the Liberal Party in blocking the Australia Card in 1987, we would have had ID cards for 22 years now and we could do the same thing.

  14. William, I’m intruiged by your take on this poll. We seem to ignore Morgan when it suits us, then see it as significant when it doesn’t. Morgan did NOT show change over the same period as the Newspoll 52/48. That poll is still a rogue regardless of what this one says

  15. Polls are an inexact science. An election is not going to be held tommorrow. In modern day politics, the PPM figures provide the best guide to an election outcome.

    In my opinion, the true voting intention of the electorate for the next election is 55/45. If boat people is an issue, then it’s 53/47. If not, the Coalition are on track for a record.

    Oh and another thing – the Greens vote will fall!

  16. From the AAP:

    [Former West Australian premier Geoff Gallop
    has been admitted to a Sydney hospital after a suspected heart
    attack.]

  17. Australia has a lot of territory in Antartica- surely some could be used to build asylum seekers housing and a processing station.

  18. I don’t get it. Won’t all their votes end up with the lib? Don’t they have to poll 3% to get their money back and start earning?

  19. I presume they think they can trap more people into voting for them overall and can usher preferences so as to increase their chances. Or perhaps this is some sort of divine intervention.

  20. [William, I’m intruiged by your take on this poll. We seem to ignore Morgan when it suits us, then see it as significant when it doesn’t. Morgan did NOT show change over the same period as the Newspoll 52/48. That poll is still a rogue regardless of what this one says]

    It is unclear to me why you’re telling me this.

  21. I wonder if there will be 22 people handing out HTV? That would be funny, please take pics if it happens. ASP if you’re reading all you have to do is hand out HTV with VOTE 1 SEX and you should outpoll all these fairytail believers.

  22. vortex, they are old figures from May this year I believe. Others with more dedication than I have tried to bring this to their attention to no avail.

  23. Bradfield conservatives will have the luxury of at least 12 different candidates to choose from – 9 CDPs, Liberal, One Nation and DLP. Plus they have “CCC”, which I think is “conservatives for climate change” or something like that. Then there’s “environmentalists for nuclear energy” (who I might well vote for if I was in Bradfield). Then there are five independents of unknown affiliations, although Brian Buckley once wrote an admiring biography of Phil Lynch so he’s probably a conservative too. Lefties only have the Green to vote for.

  24. [Maybe there are nine different mad fundy sects in Bradfield and they each insisted on their own candidate.]

    This is the sign outside my local St. John Anglican Church at Bradfield: “Only the Christians give Jesus a bad name”.

    Herr Doktor, maybe this is one of the nine?

  25. William sorry if i misinterpreted your analysis, but your take on it suggested a “see the 52/48 Newspoll was right” spin to it, which I suspect someone from News Ltd will run with. And BB, see Aristotle at 46 re: Morgan

  26. I would give my vote to Simon Kelly the independent against safe seats, then the ASP because she’s hot, the green, DLP, all the CDP last for being mincers

  27. Thanks for clearing that up. The poll you refer to in May has a different PPM to the one on the page vortex referred to. Was there another 55/45 with the PPM 56/24??

  28. I hadn’t heard of ‘Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy Australia Incorporated’ before. Why Are the young Nationals a seperatly registered political party?
    [ • Australian Democrats
    • Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party
    • Australian Greens
    o The Greens – NSW
    o The Australian Greens – Victoria
    o The Greens – WA lnc
    o Queensland Greens
    • Australian Labor Party (ALP)
    o Australian Labor Party – NSW Branch
    o Australian Labor Party – Victorian Branch
    o Australian Labor Party – QLD Branch
    o Australian Labor Party – WA Branch
    o Australian Labor Party – SA Branch
    o Australian Labor Party – Tasmanian Branch
    o Australian Labor Party – ACT Branch
    o Australian Labor Party – Northern Territory Branch
    o Country Labor Party
    • Australian Sex Party
    • Carers Alliance
    • Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
    • Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
    • Climate Change Coalition
    • Communist Alliance
    • Country Liberals (Northern Territory)
    • Democratic Labor Party (DLP) of Australia
    • Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy Australia Incorporated
    • Family First Party
    • Hear Our Voice
    • Liberal Democratic Party
    • Liberal Party of Australia
    o Liberal Party of Australia – NSW Division
    o Liberal Party of Australia – Victorian Division
    o Liberal National Party of Queensland
    o Liberal Party – WA Division Inc.
    o Liberal Party of Australia – SA Division [PDF 46KB]
    o Liberal Party of Australia – Tasmanian Division
    o Liberal Party of Australia – ACT Division
    • National Party of Australia
    o National Party of Australia – NSW
    o National Party of Australia – Victoria
    o National Party of Australia – WA Inc [PDF 47KB]
    o National Party of Australia – SA Inc
    o Young National Party of Australia
    • Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting)
    • Nuclear Disarmament Party of Australia
    • One Nation
    • Pauline’s United Australia Party
    • Senator On-Line
    • Shooters and Fishers Party
    • Socialist Alliance
    • Socialist Equality Party
    • The Fishing Party
    • What Women Want (Australia) ]

  29. Psephos @ 88,

    [Bradfield conservatives will have the luxury of at least 12 different candidates to choose from – 9 CDPs, Liberal, One Nation and DLP. Plus they have “CCC”, which I think is “conservatives for climate change” or something like that. Then there’s “environmentalists for nuclear energy” (who I might well vote for if I was in Bradfield).]

    I believe you’re thinking of Conservatives for Climate and Environment, who according to wikipedia has become the last party you mentioned: Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy.

    CCC presumably refers to the more left-wing Climate Change Coalition, the party of Patrice Newell.

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