Morgan phone poll: Gillard approval slump

Roy Morgan has published leadership ratings from a phone survey of 680 respondents conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it shows Julia Gillard taking a solid hit. Gillard’s approval is down 12 points to 46 per cent and her disapproval up 10 to 37 per cent, while Tony Abbott is now equal on approval with Gillard, having risen four points to 46 per cent, and down eight on disapproval to 40 per cent. Abbott has also narrowed his preferred prime minister deficit from 58-29 to 48-33. The shifts are compared with last week’s phone poll, which showed what seemed an excessive 55.5-44.5 two-party Labor lead. While the consistency in shifts towards Abbott and away from Gillard seems consistent with the idea that sampling issues at least partly explain the size of the change, it should be noted that Monday’s Newspoll also showed significant falls in Gillard’s personal ratings. There has been chatter about a looming 50-50 two-party result from Morgan, which would seem consistent with the figures provided.

My federal election guide will be unveiled in all its glory today, work on which has prevented me from providing more than sporadic coverage of late. Hopefully that will now improve.

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.

842 comments on “Morgan phone poll: Gillard approval slump”

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  1. Psephos

    (*sigh* such a fool you are Diogenes.)

    I take it from that lack of an argument or any attempt at a rebuttal that you have been caught out BSing yet again. 😀

  2. [Despite substantial gains in the electorate’s perception of the ALP as the best party for health services and hospitals, needs of families and a fair workplace and employment relations, Julia Gillard has lost ground personally …]

    This is where the election will be won or lost and Labor have hardly begun to campaign on these issues yet.


  3. Is it true that Morgan says the polls are tightening (suggesting its not 50/50), and will CONTINUE TO DO SO?

    Is he Nostradamus??

  4. Rua

    True, seeing more of the Workchoices ads which is good.

    Hope to see more of Abbotts statement made after Workchoices passed.

    A bad boss is better than no boss.

    What sort of person makes that statement?

    The harshest most onesided workplace laws ever passed and Abbott effectively tells employers go for it, you can do what you want.

    At the same time telling employees, you are on your own, don’t come crying to us about your conditions and pay.

    Says a lot about him.

  5. Isnt the publics response to Gillard yesterday important to gauge? Why rush out a small sample poll rather than poll over the next few days? You wouldnt want to maximise the negative for Labor would you Mr Morgan?

  6. Labor are without doubt holding their fire. The Libs are going for it- annoucing an expensive tax cut that got drowned out by Gillard yesterday. I assume if Labor thought it was in trouble they would ramp up the campaign

  7. Morgan will probably release a f2f and phone poll this week with different figures. Then explain how they are perfectly consistent.

  8. It’s all a matter of timing..

    Health Education etc blitz will come soon

    and last week – mhand and hand with Rudd in queensland. 🙂

  9. Ru

    You were asking about SAs response to Gillards visit re water. I think the front page of the Tiser tells the story.


    What about our river?

    Of course Abbott has no plan either

  10. [Labor are without doubt holding their fire.]


    I smell a “rope a dope” campaign, like the last Qld State election.

  11. The one positive about tightening polls is that it makes voters look more closely at the alternative. Abbott and Hockey looked like the dodgy brothers yesterday. Their figures look rubbery, and they seem to be using up their savings, which is going to make it harder for them to have a bigger surplus. This will end in tears

  12. I dont buy the theory that the polls will tighten at the end of the campaign. I think the incumbency factor is very important, particularly with undecideds. Howard was outcampaigned by Rudd, there was an interest rate rise, yet Howard went from 56/44 to 52.7/47.3 on voting day.

    Aussie voters are conservative, Abbott needs to convince voters that Gillard shouldnt be given another term

  13. These ‘bombshell’ polls are so ridiculous. The problem with such high numbers early on in the campaign (55-45 TPP and +30 on Preferred PM) is that there is, realistically, only one way for them to do – down. We all know that 55-45 was not really correct. The only thing you can take out of this Morgan “bombshell” is that people are disappointed with Gillard’s stance or lack thereof on Climate Change policy (let’s be honest). Which we knew already.

    If it’s 50-50 TPP then that’s massive. If it’s 52-48 or 53-47 then as Officer Barbrady says: “Nothin’ to see here, move along”.

  14. glory, there have been 50/50 and 52/48. Morgan says tightening polls, which would suggest 52/48, the same as Newspoll and Galaxy pre-this week BTW

  15. rua, as in the last campaign, you can read alot into the leader’s movements. The libs are in trouble in Victoria, but there are only a few marginal seats. Are seats with bigger margins in play??

  16. [Morgan will probably release a f2f and phone poll this week with different figures. Then explain how they are perfectly consistent.]

    He’s already started by seeding his release with ‘After the debate’. The face to face would’ve been done on the weekend most likely, before the debate. This will give him an easy out to explain vast differences between 2 polls.

  17. What is The Age on about?
    We can’t stop the leaks: Swan the front page screams. As Shaun Carney pointed out on another page, “The truth is that the government has no effective way of combating this.” It’s a statement of the bleeding obvious that the paper plucked out of the middle of an interrogation by KO. It’s not a revelation.

  18. glory, I see what you’re saying but Abbott has already visited Victoria multiple times compared to single visits for other states. I’m not sure he’s been to South Australia yet has he?

  19. Murdoch and Fairfax are toxic and “your ABC” feeds off them ravenously. No wonder Gillard is slipping.

    There is probably a simple explanation for the leaks which are setting the agenda. The leaks in themeselves do not amount to much. It is the leaking which is the issue. They give the impression of a government which is deeply divided and riddled with disloyalty.

    The conspiracy theory suggests that one or more disaffected Ruddites are leaking to embarrass Gillard while someone opposed to Rudd retaliated with a leak of his/her own.

    This may be so. Or it may be far from the truth. Many people are close the centre of power in Canberra. There are MPs of many complexions, staffers, government officials, security officers, lovers across party lines. A loose tongue here, a keen observation there, and the gossip can soon begin to flow.

    When Oakes asked his question about Gillard’s alleged reneging on a deal with Rudd, he seemed nervous and uncertain, as if he did not quite trust his source. It was not much of an issue anyway. Rudd thought he had a deal, Gillard checked with her supporters and realised the whole thing was untenable. But there were more than a couple of people involved and plenty of opportunity for fringe players to pick up what had gone on.

    The next leak, alleging Rudd had not taken national security seriously, is seen as tit for tat. Equally, it could have been part of a anti-Labor conspiracy plan by a security officer, say. Who knows?

    The next anti-Gillard leaks, alleging she opposed pension rises and maternity leave, were not the lead to Oakes’s TV expose (according to what I read on this log). This would suggest that Oakes was still a little unsure about his source. Hartcher of the SMH was reported as saying the leak came from an MP, though I’m not sure if he said a Labor MP.

    Among the suspects are people unhappy with the Labor succession, perhaps a disaffected MP on some other axe to grind, maybe a Liberal operative with Labor contacts or even some other more sinister source.

    Because of the weakness of the leaks themselves and Oakes’s apparent hesitations, I suspect it is not someone in the inner sanctum but more likely the result of loose lips and perhaps a bit of pillow talk.

  20. I will be a little suspicious if Morgan doesn’t release the 2PP from this latest poll. Is it his agenda to publish the parts that he thinks assists the opposition and bury the part that shows Labor with the lead?

  21. Abbott in melbourne could mean he thinks Qld is safe enough so try and pick up seats in Victoria.

    Or he realises focusing attention on Qld is doing more harm than good with the LNP candidates they have there?

    As for last week campaigning a lot of swinging voters make up their mind on the day and one of the most effective ads was the ALP one on poll day of Howard saying he’s going mid-term what’s the point.

  22. Newspoll and these others are so predictable.

    Newspoll put out the 55/45 poll result immediately after Gillard became PM in order to be able to do the 52/48 ‘Abbott closing the gap’ spin.

    Look out for a 50/50 result’on a knife edge’ for the election eve result or possibly ‘Voters desert Labor in droves’ that they put out on Queensland’s election day morning in huge headlines in the Courier Mail.

    There’s no doubt that this serial offending technique does sway voters and helps Limited News steer elections.

  23. [I will be a little suspicious if Morgan doesn’t release the 2PP from this latest poll.]

    Well Channel 7 commissioned the poll so they will be given the opportunity to release the results. They’ll probably do it in tonight’s news or tomorrow night’s.

  24. This morgan highlights a thought I’ve had brewing for a while.

    Despite the gender gap in the polling data, I don’t think women will vote for Julia G on the day, just because she is a woman.

    If polled, I could well imagine some women identifying with her success, but when the moment of voting comes around, when they are alone with a pencil and a ballot paper one election day, they will ditch her and ‘the vibe’ and make a hard-nosed decision.

    I’m not saying she will lose, I think she will go into polling day as preferred PM, but I think the gender gap will narrow

  25. I dipped into the water and listened to Alan Jones this morning!
    Believe it or not, he was actually complimentary towards Julia, and praised her performance yesterday – I almost fell out of bed in shock! 😀
    Jones too thinks that Rudd is innocent, his sources in Labor tell him that Tanner is the more likely culprit for the leaks.

  26. [My blood is boiling.]

    So are a few others judging from the comments.

    As one commentator aptly put it after the church offered advice before, when did the clergy win back the right to start giving us advice and directions?

  27. Ltep they kind of buried the 2PP last time, but I’m sure they’ll spruik it as its narrowed. And toorak, fairfax is as bad as murdoch press now. Swan gave a very positive and assured performance last night and the Age has given it the most negative spin it can. Shameful

  28. Channel 7 and Sunrise in particular wouldn’t have much love for Julia Gillard, and David Koch is a good friend of Rudd’s.

  29. [admonition to his gullible flock to vote against Gillard. The respect of secularism by his oppostion Protestant counterparts is illumnating.
    My blood is boiling]

    dont worry pk these days most will go the other way with that type of thing
    especially the younger catholics that is the ones under 60

  30. DAMN! Once again the pollsters are conspiring to deliver results that actively assist the Coalition win government!! WHAT EVER SHALL WE DO?!!


  31. Ltep

    Abbott hasn’t been to SA and Gillard did very little yesterday. It’s highly unlikely any seats will change here and if they did, the election would have been decided elsewhere.


    Hartcher said his sources were members of the Labor Govt.

  32. [clergy win back the right to start giving us advice and directions?]

    no body takes any notice as i said its not the 50s although may think its
    most live in in time zone towers and just think its just the same time past them by years ago

  33. [So are a few others judging from the comments.]

    Yes why does the w a papers in sist you log in and be a member of yahoo
    dont you people in the west like comment it makes it to hard

  34. julia should make her way south to hobart we are the only capital she has not been
    to and the murdoch press had a two page spread on that

  35. My say

    US research shows that Americans take a lot of notice of what religious leaders say and value their opinions highly. I don’t know if the same is true in Oz though. I suspect it is less but is still important.

  36. [DAMN! Once again the pollsters are conspiring to deliver results that actively assist the Coalition win government!! WHAT EVER SHALL WE DO?!!]

    i hated the thought of 24/7 but in some ways if you see the actual person and not a commentator it helps perhaps we should encourage people to watch it for now.

    This i think with a internet will be the future no papers just community things in them and the real stuff will comes straight from the mouth of the person speaking and we listen with out cuts.

  37. mr squiggle, never underestimate the power of the woman’s weekly. Was in Safeway a short time yesterday, and saw 3 women buy it!

  38. Ruawake.

    It is interesting that Abbott is focusing on Melbourne. I am inclined to think that Labor will actually do better in this State. Mainly due to Gillard being a Melbourne girl.

  39. Now’s the perfect time for the ALP to do a Howard 2004 “who do you trust?” moment and turn a negative into a positive: run an ad on parental leave and pension increases, noted that Abbott et al had 11 years and never did either.

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