Morgan: 56.5-43.5 to Labor

Morgan has published its first face-to-face poll conducted on Julia Gillard’s watch, other recent efforts having been phone polls. This one combines polling conducted over the last two weekends, and it shows Labor’s two-party lead up from 53-47 in the last poll under Rudd to 56.5-43.5. Those of you who have already looked at the Morgan press release might be surprised to learn this, as the headline figure is 55-45. This is because Morgan has apparently decided to switch from the “preferences distributed by how electors voted at the 2007 election” measure to “preferences distributed by how electors say they will vote”, and as has been widely noted this is less favourable for Labor. The Morgan headline’s statement that Labor has picked up a 6 per cent swing is based on comparison with last week’s anomalous phone poll result. Interestingly, the poll reports the opening of a huge gender gap, with Labor leading 60.5-39.5 among women and trailing 50.5-49.5 among men. The primary vote has Labor up 4.5 per cent on the last poll under Rudd, with the Coalition down three points to 38 per cent and the Greens down two to 10.5 per cent. Curiously, the sample was only 299 for the first of the two weekends, immediately after the leadership change, which explains the lack of a face-to-face result last week. The more recent weekend’s sample was a more normal 879.

A bit of federal news:

• South Australian Labor Senator Annette Hurley, who had the top position on the Senate ticket for the coming election, has instead announced she will retire. Her Right faction must now decide who will replace her as candidate for one of the two unloseable positions, the other of which is held by Left faction incumbent Anne McEwen. Another incumbent, Dana Wortley of the Left, is expected to remain in third place (UPDATE: I am informed Wortley is now in the Right, which has mostly absorbed the “Duncan Left” sub-faction of which she formed part).

Denis Atkins of the Courier-Mail last week quoted a “senior Queensland LNP campaign official”. Herbert and Petrie in particular are nominated as seats Labor is now likely to win.

• Andrew Wilkie will be making yet another bid for parliament, this time as an independent in Denison. He narrowly failed to win one of the five Denison seats at the March state election, polling 8.4 per cent of the vote.

New South Wales news:

• State Greens upper house MP Sylvia Hale has failed to win her preselection bid for the inner-city seat of Marrickville, which the party is expected to win at the election in March. They have instead nominated the candidate from the 2007 election, Marrickville deputy mayor Fiona Byrne. The NSW Greens have also been struggling with the revelation of Lee Rhiannon, currently in the state upper house and endorsed to run in the Senate at the coming federal election, has used state parliamentary resources on her federal campaign. Bob Brown has called on her to resign her upper house seat sooner rather than later, but she is insisting she will resign when the election is called.

• The Wentworth Courier has published a list of Vaucluse Liberal preselection hopefuls which includes former Malcolm Turnbull staffer Anthony Orkin, together with previously noted “PR professional Mary-Lou Jarvis, Woollahra mayor Andrew Petrie, Woollahra councillor Peter Cavanagh, restaurateur Peter Doyle”.

• The Daily Telegraph reports on nightmarish opinion polling for the NSW Labor government.

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.

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