Morgan phone poll: 53-47

The first opinion poll of the Tony Abbott era has turned up a surprise: Labor’s two-party lead is a modest 53-47, and the Coalition is in front on the primary vote 43 per cent to 41 per cent. However, there are all sorts of reasons to treat this with caution. The poll is a Roy Morgan mid-week phone poll, which have a rather erratic record, and the sample was a very modest 597 respondents. The normal weekly face-to-face poll, conducted last weekend while Malcolm Turnbull was leader but considered unlikely to remain so for long, had Labor’s two-party lead steady at 58.5-41.5. Labor was down a point on the primary vote to 47 per cent, the Coalition was down half a point to 35 per cent and the Greens were up half to 9.5 per cent.

The phone poll has also produced questions on preferred Labor and Liberal leaders, which find Kevin Rudd coming down off previous highs and Tony Abbott enjoying a new-found legitimacy that hasn’t been quite enough for him to overhaul Joe Hockey. Rudd also has a leads as better prime minister of 60-25 over Abbott, 55-31 over Hockey and 64-25 over Turnbull. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Abbott did not perform notably worse among women than men.

Couple of other things:

• The Wentworth Courier reports Steven Lewis, Slater & Gordon lawyer, anti-high rise activist and members of the Jewish Board of Deputies, will contest Labor preselection in Wentworth. Former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps has been mentioned as a contender in the past, but declined to comment when approached by the Courier. The Australian reports barrister Mark Speakman, University of NSW deputy chancellor Gabrielle Upton and “most of the losers from the Bradfield preselection” would be in the running to succeed Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal member. The Courier throws Arthur Sinodinos into the mix. Speakman, Upton and Sinodinos have all been mentioned as possible successors to outgoing former state leader Peter Debnam in the corresponding state seat of Vaucluse.

• It was reported on Wednesday that NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal might seek to assume the premiership by entering the lower house as member for Wollongong, whose sitting member Noreen Hay would then take his place in the upper house. This plan has presumably been overtaken by events, at least in the short term.

• The Liberals are pressuring Labor to drop Wanneroo mayor Jon Kelly as the candidate-presumptive for the marginal Perth seat of Cowan after a Corruption and Crime Commission report spoke of “dealings” between Kelly and Brian Burke, without making adverse findings against him. Kelly has long been associated with the Burke-linked “old Right” faction, and ran as an independent against Margaret Quirk in the state seat of Girrawheen following the split that created the latter’s “new Right” faction.

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.

424 comments on “Morgan phone poll: 53-47”

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  1. Thanks for that Vera. So Kev will have a bit of time here to see Abbott’s ‘honeymoon’ polling!!

    I was supposed to get my satellite bb a couple of weeks ago but had too many trees in the way so now waiting on a different satellite mob to use different angle. Your piccies will download in a flash then.

  2. [i didnt see howard getting the blowtorch as you put it whilst he was in government]

    I thought we did, on the ones you now accuse of changing to the dark side anyway.

  3. [ i didnt see howard getting the blowtorch as you put it whilst he was in government]

    [I thought we did, on the ones you now accuse of changing to the dark side anyway.]

    That’s pretty weak even by your usually low level style comment Bop, I mesn Bob! 😉

  4. [ i didnt see howard getting the blowtorch as you put it whilst he was in government]

    [I thought we did, on the ones you now accuse of changing to the dark side anyway.]

    That’s pretty weak even by your usually low level style comment Bop, I mean Bob! 😉

  5. Crikey, time for a new PC I think.

    Sorry about that William. You can delete the first post if you like.

    Bob would like you to delete the second one too! 😉

  6. Psephos @300

    Totally agree with your 2010 scenario. The natural Labor – Green synergy needs to be nurtured for this Labor-Green alliance to form in the Senate. PB is a good place to start this nurturing. No more flame wars between our sisters & brothers in Labor & the Greens.
    Save the energetic vitriol and direct it where it needs to go, the ultra hard right party of Abbott, Minchin & Joyce. 🙂

  7. Vote1Max..

    [Save the energetic vitriol and direct it where it needs to go, the ultra hard right party of Abbott, Minchin & Joyce.]

    Heartily agree. The National Times (per SMH) are having a lovefest with Abbott today. Hartcher, Wright, and Carney so we need to stop arguing if we are to get anywhere with CC. Abbott speaks with forked tongue on it.

  8. [The new Opposition Leader will harness discontent in the community over the emissions trading scheme and turn the Coalition into an obstructionist force prepared to block Labor’s agenda at almost every turn.]

    Oh goody. Just what we need.

  9. [300
    Psephos…..

    OK back to federal politics:

    My scenario for 2010: After a brief honeymoon over the summer, Abbott makes a total ass of himself once Parliament resumes. He crashes in the polls, and as the July-August DD season looms, Turnbull deposes him in a party room coup. Rudd does not take the DD option, but calls a regular election in September. Labor gains ten seats in the Reps and two seats in the Senate, creating a Labor-Greens majority. The new parliament passes the CPRS after a deal with the Greens: the compensation provisions are untouched but the minimum target is raised to 20%. Turnbull is deposed by Hockey after the election.]

    I’m not so sure that Abbott will stuff up, but even if he does, Turnbull will find it impossible to take the leadership. His PPM rating dropped to 14% this week and his leadership was associated with the worst period of division in the Opposition in living memory. Even the CC activists will want to find another option, and, of course, there isn’t one. I think we will find the O’s take an ever harder line next year and the pressure will be on Labor to argue the case for its CPRS/ETS. It seems to me the Liberals and Notionals would rather go down fighting Labor than fighting each other. 2010 is going to be a momentous year in Australian politics.

  10. Smooth line from Costello when asked how it felt to not vote for himself in Higgins -“When I voted for myself I was always confident I was voting for the best candidate. Now that I’m voting for Kelly I’m confident I’m voting for somebody even better.”

  11. Tony Abbott is far from secure as leader.

    Apart from last week’s vote being 42/41 and if Fran Bailey had been there 42/42, Turnbull has not gone anywhere and he’s not planning to. He will wait for an opportunity to come back and take it away from Abbott. Most likely after the next election especially if the Libs get smashed. But he may not have to wait that long.

    If today’s by-elections are disasters for the Libs i.e. big swings or even lose Higgins, then Abbott would be already terminal.

    The person watching the results most closely tonight will be Malcolm Turnbull. He may not have judgement but he’s as tough as old boots and he did not like being humiliated by Abbott and Minchin. Turnbull will be fired up by revenge.

    I guess the commentariat were right, Turnbull is better suited to the ALP, his hatred of Abbott and Minchin would match any internal hatred that has been fostered in the ALP in the last 100 plus years, state or federal.

  12. Not that I’m pessimistic about Labor’s chances of defeating a rightist Opposition. 2010 will be a watershed in Australian politics because the local is going to be linked with the planetary in a way that is without precedent. The country is going to have to come to terms with the reality of CC and with the necessity to respond to it.

    It goes without saying that whether the rightists or Labor can succeed will depend on their respective abilities to get their message across to the people. But even more than this, the national response to the facts of climate change will be a test of character: will Australians fall for the populist, the demagogic, the cynical? Or will they accept that CC is real and demands an urgent national and multinational response? I have my money on the good sense of the people.

    The role of the greener-than-thou party is also going to be important. Will they continue with their strategy of trying to strip votes off Labor? Or will they make common cause with Labor and take aim at the denialist right? It would be a terrible tragedy if the 2010 election cycle results in a split of the green voices and improves the chances of the reactionaries of the right.

  13. briefly,

    I think the Greens are highly likely to continue to try to “strip votes” from Labor AND Liberal.

    And if Labor proposed some real action on climate change they would get Greens support in the Senate.

  14. Abbott has the same problem Nelson and Turnbull had. Almost half the party would prefer someone else.

    If he promotes Bronwyn Bishop and Kevin Andrews to the front bench, he is failing to bring new blood to a policy tired party. 2010 will be an interesting year, because it is an election year.

    Rudd will have new policies (Henry tax review, health reform etc.) Abbott will be a “conservative” and press for no change on anything.

  15. OK back to federal politics:

    My scenario for 2010: After a brief honeymoon over the summer, Abbott makes a total ass of himself once Parliament resumes. He crashes in the polls, and the CPRS will be rejected twice again.

    Rudd will go for DD in Aug/Sept. and smash Abbott. Labor gains ten seats in the Reps and two seats in the Senate, creating a Labor-Greens majority. The joint sitting will pass the CPRS. Meanwhile back at the Liberals, Turnbull will ride back to proclaim it’s time for a new progressive Liberal and Abbott is sent back to his hole and Hockey lost North Sydney.

    The battle with the Greens continues. 👿

  16. If Abbott puts any of the following onto his front bench it will say volumes for their sane, ethical and forward-looking standing –
    Bishop, B
    Tuckey, W
    Ruddock, P
    Andrews, K
    Mirabella, S
    Stone, C
    Joyce, B
    Minchin, N

    Any more shockers PBers?

  17. I believe in climate change. The climate is always changing! Answer this simple question – How is it that the global temperature was around 7 degrees hotter during the Cretaceous period, (144 to 65 million years ago) ???

    Who was ‘polluting’ the atmosphere? Dinosaurs?

    Global warming is the biggest hoax ever perpetuated……………

  18. The budget could be fun with Abbott. He keeps going on about the need to cut government funding and reduce our FRIGHTENING debt. Why not cut spending on wealthy private schools? Nothing to reduce teaching; jsut a crackdown on million dolalr gyms that can get used by parents on teh weekend; that sort of thing. It was all quite terrible when done as a stimulus 🙂

  19. BK I highly doubt anyone who resigned from the front bench prior to MT’s overthrow will not be returned to the front bench (most likely with a promotion).

    Bronwyn Bishop returning would be a bad sign for the Liberal Party. I still wonder whether Joyce will make the move to the House of Representatives and risk the Nationals losing a senator in Queensland.

  20. [How is it that the global temperature was around 7 degrees hotter during the Cretaceous period, (144 to 65 million years ago) ???]

    The amusing thing about post like this is – how do you KNOW it was so hot in the Cretaceous Period? Oh, that’s right, you’re relying on scientific experts in the field of paleoclimatology. Funny how you believe them, isn’t it?

  21. Adam and Finns,

    From memory, the Liberal party rulebook requires a leadership vote after an election loss. No motion for a spill required, no agitating or white-anting necessary. A free kick for the closest challenger against a leader who just orchestrated a loss

    Turnbull won’t want to jump the gun and regain the leadership just before the election.

    Unless we hear that Turnbull is retiring from Wentworth, we can expect him to challenge Abbott after the election loss.

  22. DF

    You are referring to the period when there were no ice caps at the poles and the sea level was over 70 metres higher than now? Wasn’t the position of continents different, affecting ocean circulation, and with no ice caps making it stable but much hotter? Global CO2 was 2 to 4 times what it is now, so it hardly disproves the CO2/global warming link. Couldn’t happen now of course due to the different continental positions, unless we are stupid enough to keep putting CO2 in the air.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/cretaceous.html

    You raise a good point with that example; if we let this get out of control the planet may not change back. Thanks for the warning.

  23. Briefly
    Agree. It seems to me that the Libs, in concert with the right wing shock-jocks, the Murdoch empire, and a few individuals like Bolt and Devine (sometimes conspiring, sometimes not) are attempting to emulate the US scene, in which the right generates support not through engagement in rational political debate, but through;
    attitude; smear; sneer; hyperbole; wedging; polarisation; lies; demagogery; slogans and bumper stickers; racism; religion; faux nationalism; and opposition without principle.

    It remains to be seen if the Australian people are capable of swallowing that approach, as exemplified on Fox in the US. I know we should never underestimate the stupidity of the voting masses, but I suspect that it won’t go down here. The CC debate will be a good test.

    Regardless, the government must immediately launch into a cogent and unrelenting factual education campaign on the science and the economics of emissions control imperatives to pre-empt the sceptics’ picnic about to be laid out by Abbott and his monks.

    I think of the huge HIV campaign of the 1980s as a bit of an example to follow in many respects, but with more key speeches, Q & A’s, full press conferences, discusion papers, mail-outs etc. from Rudd, Wong, Garrett and others (except Ferguson of course 🙂 ).

  24. [How is it that the global temperature was around 7 degrees hotter during the Cretaceous period, (144 to 65 million years ago)]
    LOL! And there was about 6 times more CO2 in the atmosphere then, hence it was so much hotter!

    There was a lot more volcanic activity and not as many plants to use the CO2. But none of us think that you’ll actually bother educating yourself.
    [Global warming is the biggest hoax ever perpetuated……………]
    No, you are.

  25. Scorpio

    How on EARTH could I miss that one?

    Also let’s throw in –
    Cormann, M
    Cash, M (Have you ever seen this nasty piece of work speak in the Senate?)
    McGauran, J
    Boswell, R

  26. Interesting article in todays dead tree version of AFR by former ALP senator, John Black, now the CEO of Australian Development Strategies, a demographic profiling company.

    [Australian Development Strategies has been profiling Australian elections since 1966 and knows that the Greens voters are fairly clearly defined and strongly clustered in the top income quartile with secure jobs and inner-city lifestyles

    …Green senators confuse what they what in their ideal world, with what they can achieve via the political process.

    For instance they think they did the right thing by blocking the ETS. But why would ETS supporters vote for the Greens in a double dissolution over the ETS, if re elected Greens are going to oppose it again?

    Winning Australian elections has always been about gaining more than half the votes (after preferences) in more than half the seats. But the Greens votes tend to be bottled up in the top family income quartile of seats which are held safely by Labor or Liberal MPs.

    The battlefield is in the other 75% of seats where the real Australians live.]

  27. [He keeps going on about the need to cut government funding and reduce our FRIGHTENING debt.]
    Well actually he says the government should reverse all its means testing of welfare payments, which the Treasury estimates will cost $3 billion a year.

    I don’t understand that Abbott advocates tough love for Aboriginal people, but if your household earns $200,000 a year in Vacluse, then you should be eligible for government hand outs.

  28. SO

    Beat me to it. The reason there was much more volcanic activity was that Pangea was breaking up then. There was also a lot of SO2.

    That’s a great big shot in the foot. In fact, I think your whole leg comes off with that one. I’m glad that you now accept that higher CO2 levels lead to higher temperatures.

  29. Desert Fox

    “I believe in climate change. The climate is always changing! Answer this simple question – How is it that the global temperature was around 7 degrees hotter during the Cretaceous period, (144 to 65 million years ago) ???”

    Wikipedia is your friend here.

    CO2 levels were MUCH higher, well over 1000ppm. There was substantilly more volcanism during the Cretaceous (compared to now) – most likely this is the source.
    The distribution of continents was also more ‘favourable’ for warm conditions, with ocean currents better able to distribute equitorial heat.

    “Global warming is the biggest hoax ever perpetuated”

    Really? When did they disprove the radiative properties of CO2?

  30. [Rudd does not take the DD option, but calls a regular election in September. Labor gains ten seats in the Reps and two seats in the Senate, creating a Labor-Greens majority. The new parliament passes the CPRS after a deal with the Greens: the compensation provisions are untouched but the minumum target is raised to 20%.]

    A regular election in September 2010 would mean that the new Senate with enhanced Labor and Green Senators would not start until July 2011, unless you are suggesting that they will pick up 2 additional positions in ACT and NT. So the Senate could still obstruct the CPRS until mid 2011. I don’t think Rudd would let this delay occur. A DD in September 2010 and immediate passing of the CPRS by the new Senate based on Copenhagen agreed limits would be the way to go.

  31. I find it very pleasing and reassuring that no matter how many dumb questions the Deniers can come up with, that climate science is always able to answer them.

    Science is a beautiful and wondrous thing. 🙂

  32. DF

    Thanks for raising the Cretaceous period – it really is an excelent proof of the CO2 link to climate change. In the early Carboniferous period the CO2 level in the atmosphere was even higher than now (over 1000 ppm) and of course it was hot – rainforest on Antarctica.

    The reason why CO2 is lower now than then is that the Carboniferous period and Cretaceous saw huge amounts of carbon taken out of the atmosphere by forests and laid down as what are now coal beds. Which explains why we are so stupid burning up all the coal now – we wind up with a carboniferous/cretaceous era atmosphere, and consequently climate. Another explanation here:
    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

    Thanks for raising this excellent proof of the reality of CO2 and global warming. Its good to see that not every coalitionista is a complete moron on CC science. Good on you DF.

  33. [ He keeps going on about the need to cut government funding and reduce our FRIGHTENING debt.

    Well actually he says the government should reverse all its means testing of welfare payments, which the Treasury estimates will cost $3 billion a year.

    I don’t understand that Abbott advocates tough love for Aboriginal people, but if your household earns $200,000 a year in Vacluse, then you should be eligible for government hand outs. ]

    Thats right SO. Really its a continuation of howards position. He really wanted to stop Medicare and a lot of welfare but couldn’t do so AND get elected. The *solution* was to make sure high income earners got a huge share of such programs.

    If labor then wanted to reduce these benefits, which have become structurally unsustainable in budgetary terms, it would have to do some very heavy and unpopular electoral lifting.

  34. [I think of the huge HIV campaign of the 1980s as a bit of an example to follow in many respects]

    The HIV thing is not a bad analogy, and in fact Australia did much “better” with HIV education and decreased transmission than the USA.

  35. What was Keating’s line about calling Mahartir “recalcitrant”? “That will send him reaching for a dictionary”. I think we have sent Desert Fox running for an encyclopedia 🙂 (Don’t bother with Conservapedia DF, it won’t help debating with people who passed their uni course.)

    DF, you should complain about the low quality of the anti-CC talking points you have been given.

  36. Desert Fox
    Right on cue – an example of the sort of ‘argument’ being encouraged by the deniers and Minchinists.

    Conditions in the Cretaceous period were rather more extreme than those of the North African Desert in 1944, General. It didn’t matter though because that was 143.5 to 64.5 million years before Homo Sapiens evolved. Some members of your own particular family were probably already thriving however.

  37. JV

    The Cretaceous is probably a golden era the Liberals hark back to – when lizards ruled the earth and nobody cared about melting ice caps.

  38. [The Cretaceous is probably a golden era the Liberals hark back to – when lizards ruled the earth and nobody cared about melting ice caps.]

    Bronny and Ironbar were probably walking with dinosaurs at the time.

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