Newspoll, Nielsen, Westpoll

So …

• GhostWhoVotes reports Nielsen has Labor ahead 52-48, from primary votes of 39 per cent for Labor, 41.5 per cent for the Coalition and 13 per cent for the Greens.

The Australian reports the 2500-sample Newspoll we were shown two-thrds of yesterday panned out to 50.2-49.8, the decimal place being a feature of Newspoll’s final polling since about two years ago.

• Westpoll/Patterson Market Research has polled 400 voters in each of Canning, Hasluck, Swan and Cowan, putting the Liberals narrowly ahead in each: 51-49, 52-48, 52-48 and 53-47 respectively. Canning aside, where Alannah MacTiernan is clearly doing exceptionally well in narrowing down a 4.3 per cent Liberal margin, the figures point to a swing against Labor of about 2.5 per cent within a margin of error of under 3 per cent.

UPDATE: Newspoll state breakdowns show the shift they have recorded against Labor has been driven by a collapse in Queensland, where their two-party vote is down six points on last week to 42 per cent, and New South Wales, where they are down four to 48 per cent. This points to election-losing swings of 8.4 per cent an 6.2 per cent. And yet the poll also finds Labor climbing still higher in Victoria for a swing of 3.7 per cent, maintaining their 3.6 per cent swing in South Australia, and recovering four points to their 2007 level of support in Western Australia. After appearing to reverse her decline last week, Gillard’s disapproval has shot up five points to 43 per cent, almost equal with her steady 44 per cent approval. State results vary from plus-22 net approval in South Australia to minus-16 in Queensland. However, Tony Abbott’s disapproval is also up four points to 50 per cent, and his disapproval down one to 42 per cent. Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 50-35 to 50-37.

UPDATE 2: Kevin Bonham in comments notes that the Queensland result looks very much an outlier, and if it was replaced with the state’s trend figure the national result would be 50.8-49.2 in favour of Labor. This of course would normally be rounded to 51-49.

UPDATE 3: While a nation waits in breathless anticipation of the result in Boothby, The Advertiser offers … a poll of Hindmarsh. This predictably has Labor well ahead, although the size of the margin – 62-38 from a swing of 7 per cent – is interesting.

UPDATE 4: Roy Morgan has done a very strange thing – recontacted the 187 undecided voters (fair enough) and Greens voters (huh?) from their recent poll to check if they had made up or changed their minds, and reassigned their vote choices accordingly. Their figures thus record Greens votes shifting to other parties, but not other votes shifting to the Greens.

UPDATE 5: A late situation report.

New South Wales. The final Newspoll has the swing at 6.2 per cent, and while this seems to be what Labor is bracing for in western Sydney, the result is well clear of what is expected statewide. Nielsen and Morgan both have it at 3 per cent. A swing of that size in Sydney alone would cost Labor Macquarie, Macarthur and Bennelong, and the expectation that these seats will indeed be lost has become almost universal over the past few days. There is also an emerging consensus that two further Sydney seats on much larger margins, Lindsay and Greenway, are being swept away on a late surge to the Coalition. However, Imre Salusinszky of The Australian suggests the backlash against Labor ends at the city limits. Robertson is rated “the only regional seat in NSW where Labor regards itself in deep trouble” (Gilmore evidently doesn’t count), and even there the result is 50-50. Labor is thus expected to retain Eden-Monaro, Dobell and Page, and if this proves wrong they can kiss the election goodbye. There would also remain the vague hope for Labor of a boilover in Liberal-held Robertson.

Victoria. Meanwhile, the swing to Labor in Victoria is at the very least holding firm: Newspoll has it at 3.7 per cent, Morgan at 0.7 per cent. Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald quoted a Liberal source talking of a stronger-than-anticipated swing driven by “resentment in the southern states towards the almost-maniacal focus on western Sydney and Queensland”. Certainly Labor is expected at a bare minimum to win McEwen, and are generally rated favourites to take La Trobe. Beyond that pickings in Victoria are slim, though there are dim hopes Dunkley or Aston might prove a bolter. Conversely, Labor are by no means a foregone conclusion of retaining Corangamite, which looms as a must-win for them in every sense of the term. Labor are all but giving away Melbourne to Greens candidate Adam Bandt, who could find himself in a very interesting position over the coming week or two.

Queensland. Newspoll has set a cat among the pigeons by showing a lethal swing against Labor of 8.4 per cent and a primary vote below 30 per cent. However, this is sharply at odds with Nielsen’s 3 per cent and Morgan’s 4.4 per cent. Should it come in at the lower end of expectations, Labor could yet save quite a bit of furniture. I believe Peter Brent is overselling his point in saying “sophomore surge” means the Coalition is more likely to lose from a majority of the vote than Labor, but there’s no question this phenomenon warrants more attention than it has been given. At the 1998, members of John Howard’s class of 1996 facing re-election for the first time experienced an average swing 1.1 per cent lower than the overall swing in their state. Similarly, the 19 Labor MPs ushered into the Victorian parliament by the Steve Bracks landslide of 2002 out-performed the statewide swing by 1.4 per cent at the 2006 election. Should that pattern be repeated this time, it would be an enormous boon to Labor in Queensland where sophomores are defending eight seats, including six on margins of 4.5 per cent or less. Labor could thus be confident of holding back the tide in a couple of seats with margins under the statewide swing. The consensus is fuzzy about individual outcomes, with seemingly only Leichhardt and notionally Labor Dickson on everybody’s list. Most feature any or all out of Flynn, Dawson, Longman and notionally Labor Herbert. Speaking on The Drum, Annabel Crabb noted Labor had been surprised how little attention the Liberal National Party had been paying to Bonner, Petrie, Brisbane and Moreton, but of these it seems only Moreton is entirely safe.

Western Australia. The best guess is that Labor will suffer frustrating defeats in every WA marginal, with Canning, Hasluck, Swan, Cowan and Stirling all emerging in the 0 to 5 per cent zone on the Liberal side of the pendulum. The seat most likely to buck the trend is Canning, which speaks volumes for Alannah MacTiernan’s performance given its 4.3 per cent margin. Labor would still be holding out hope of an upset in Swan or Hasluck. The latter if not the former can probably be relied upon to closely track the statewide swing, which the late polls can’t agree on: Newspoll says 0.3 per cent to Labor and Nielsen says 4 per cent to the Coalition, while the result from Morgan’s small sample came in at 1.2 per cent to the Coalition.

South Australia. Newspoll has the Labor swing in South Australia at 3.7 per cent, which seems on the high side, but we also have an Advertiser poll for the seat of Hindmarsh putting it at 7 per cent. That should make both Sturt and Boothby highly winnable for Labor, but there is a near universal view that Christopher Pyne’s expensive campaign for the former has paid dividends. Boothby on the other hand is expected to go down to the wire.

Elsewhere. There is limited local polling data available, but it is very widely expected that Darwin-based Solomon will be lost to Labor. In Tasmania, a big ticket campaign promise earlier this week suggested the Liberals have not given up on Bass, but most expect Labor to again obtain a clean sweep of the state’s five seats. Certainly they can afford nothing less.

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.

980 comments on “Newspoll, Nielsen, Westpoll”

  1. [ABC24 newsreader just said ‘former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, er I mean Prime Minister….”]

    Disgusting, absolutely disgusting.

    Decommission this awful rubbish. Even Murdoch is better at hiding its shameless bias than their ABC.

    [ABC? No thank you]

  2. ABC24 has negligible viewers (figures from Thursday below) – it could have been me as I’m hooked up up to Nielsen’s people meters and watched the replay of the Brisbane town hall meeting. ABC24 has no resonance or meaning in the real world and is an indulgent waste of taxpayers money

    Digital: A win for GO with 5.4%, from ABC 2 and 7TWO tied on 2.8% each, with News 24 next on 0.9%, ONE on 0.8%, ABC 3 on 0.5% and SBS TWO, 0.4%. That’s a total of 12.6%

  3. Just logged in so catching up with comments.

    jj @ 236. You can be sorry for saying it on PB but I must admit I totally agree with your opinion!


    I heard you on Geraldine’s programme. I broke my promise to myself never to listen to Radio National but she is no Fran Kelly, thank goodness. I thought you went very well. Sally-Anne blathered on a bit about the view from her riverside apartment and some fixation with runners – lucky her – but, apart from that is was a good allround panel discussion IMO.

    my say:

    All the best for today! My sister said to say thank you for the Mary McKillop site. Much appreciated.

  4. [Centrebet just moved into further Labor win:

    2010 Election

    1. AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY 1.38 (1.39)
    2. COALITION 2.92 (2.90 I think)]

    The media should be paying attention to these things as much as the polling. But of course they won’t.

  5. [The media manipulation is ridiculous. Manufacturing this concept of a “surge”. Honestly.]

    I think that Labor are still having to fight against a very strong voter perception that Tony will lose. (Seem to remember seeing Newspoll figures maybe, where the intention to vote was split 50:50, but something like 55% were expecting Labor to win vs. 33% for coalition.)

    News reports of “late surge to Liberals” might actually help people to decide against putting in a protest vote for the Libs.

  6. Tony has really been a crusader out there, slogging those marathon 36 hours, while Julia is passing by in Lindsay to convince old folks to stick with the ALP. Remember 1993 ? It´s just going to be the other way mates.

  7. [ALERT: Possible fraudulent Libs HTV masquerading as Greens HTV

    Is this unlawful?]

    It’s sneaky but it’s definitely not unlawful. It’s similar to the bogus Family First HTVs issued in the SA election and numerous other cases. It is only unlawful to mislead an elector in relation to *the casting of their vote* – which basically means the formalities of rocking up at the right place and voting formally for the candidate of your chosen party. Putting out stuff that says if you like party X you should preference party Y is completely fair game even if that is not party X’s stated preference. If party X doesn’t communicate clearly about its preferencing intentions to its supporters by itself then too bad!

  8. @ Imputation – Howard was our greatest PM of recent times, so try to show some respect to a bloke who win 4 elections in a row… oh, it´s true, the ALP also won with good ole Bob 4 elections… yep, but poor Bob was executed like Kevin… ALPers are just pathetic.

  9. [1. AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY 1.38 (1.39)
    2. COALITION 2.92 (2.90 I think)]

    Yes, if Brittany, La Trioli, Crabby Annabelle et al are so convinced Mr Rabbit will win, why haven’t they bet their houses yet?

    Talk’s cheap!

  10. Using Possums Monte Carlo implied probability chart there is

    41% chance of Labor outright (76 seats plus)

    11% chance of Lib outright (76 seats plus)

    Which makes a 48% chance neither will form a majority Govt.

  11. [thought markets would be closed]

    In-play betting is allowed in Australia for all “sports” including politics 🙂 , but the bet can actually only be placed over the phone.

  12. Jen @638 The election came up at work drinks last night. Four workmates – ..– said “I haven’t really thought about it, will work it out in the morning”. A lot of people do this.
    “The good thing is that these people also don’t really pay attention to what the press are saying.”

    I’ll second that. Maybe we should have faith in the die-hard non-swinging voting majority, who have voted the same old way every election since they were old enough. Especially the ALP voters who would vote for an ashtray as long as it had ALP next to it.

    I’ve even heard people say stuff like “Jules got my vote, just by calling such a short campaign. I always switch everything off for the entire campaign”.

  13. the betting situation is interesting. If the media are saying it is neck and neck, and libs are surging. Why is not all the money going on the Libs. The return would obviously be much greater?

  14. Exit polls are certainly risky things to go on through the day because voters of different parties may not vote at uniform rates; the devoted old tories tend to be up earlier than the young slacker leftie louts and so on.

    William, was 79 your final prediction or did you revise it downwards and if so to what?

  15. Above I suggested class action under Trade Practices Act against MSM (including ABC but with particular reference to News Limited) for their scungy role in this campaign. Try this for size, lawyers. Section 52 of the Act says: “Misleading or deceptive conduct
    (1) A corporation shall not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct
    that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.
    (2) Nothing in the succeeding provisions of this Division shall be
    taken as limiting by implication the generality of subsection (1).”

  16. [What disappoints me most about the thanklessness of the Aussie electorate and nastiness of the MSM is that we will likely see the loss of some really good people from our parliament if Rabbott does win.]

    Err I think you mean the thanklessness of Gillard, Arbib, Shorten, Feeny, Howes the guys that made their power grab irrespective of its effect on Labor and assuming they could ride on Rudd’s work to an election with the novelty of having a woman.

    If Labor lose there is nobody to blame at all except this group. Because they would have snatched defeat from the near certain victory Rudd would have had. And even if it is close the same can be said.

    Then people should turn and look at their own blind acceptance of the dirty transition and the subsequent Liberal Lite chameleon performance of Gillard.

  17. [the betting situation is interesting. If the media are saying it is neck and neck, and libs are surging. Why is not all the money going on the Libs. The return would obviously be much greater?]

    Probably because the betters don’t actually believe it. It could be 53-47 and the media would be saying it was close and the other side was coming back.

  18. Jon @ 277

    Wasn’t it the other woman on the panel who said that? I think her name was also Sally. I faintly recall Geraldine mixing them up for a couple of questions. I am willing to stand corrected as my memory seems to be going (age – you know 🙂 ) and it was a few hours ago (plus I’ve just had a large glass of red with lunch!)

  19. Jeez, 45 minute queue for voting this morning in our shiny new BER school hall (Oxley). I heard the queues were 2 hours long earlier.

    Wimped out again on my daydream of staring cold and hard into the eyes of a lib HTV person and growling my fave Aneurin Bevan quote:

    [No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.]

    Guess I’m too sane. Maybe I should just put it on a t-shirt.

  20. Just voted in the seat of Canberra. I suspect Labor might just hold it 😉

    There was only 1 Liberal poster, lots of Gillard ones, and a collection of Hatfield Dodds posters.

  21. Thanks jenauthor. I just saw some comments further up suggesting William might have shifted to hung parliament land and wanted to see if this was true or not.

  22. William stated on ABC Radio National this morning that his latest prediction was for a hung parliament. He prefaced that by saying wtte he was reluctant to make a prediction.

  23. I continue to notice the smugness on this board regarding Gillard´s apparent, inevitable win… The race is simply too close to call, the betting can indicate an ALP win, and you may discuss the decimal points, but they have made mistakes in the past, ladies and gentleman. Let me remind you Victoria state election 1999… and it´s not the only case. Mark my words, the Coalition will emerge with more seats than the ALP tonight and tomorrow morning.

  24. [I personally think JGs only major campaign blunder was being seen anywhere near the NSW Premier.]

    The NSW Premier herself is reasonably popular … It’s her Government that is unpopular.

    And it would have looked really weird to make a transport announcement without the State Premier present.

    I just don’t buy into the mass media meme of the link announcement harming federal labor. Even if people have doubts about whether it’ll actually be built, when going in to vote, they’ll still compare a government willing to spend money on improving public transport vs. opposition unwilling to do so.

  25. [No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.]

    Bevan is obviously a wise philosopher!

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