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”

Comments Page 19 of 20
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  1. Blueskies

    Is there an LNP-focused political blog/chatroom you might be able to offer your wisdom to?

    It’s preferable to have a statistics-based discussion here, rather than try to use it as an outlet for your emotions.
    Good luck in the counting later on. As I posted yesterday, after analysis – and not due to wishful thinking – I believe Labor will be returned with 77 seats. Feel free to refer back to the reasons and refute them with logic and analysis.
    Paraphrasing yesterday: data isn’t derived from anecdotes.

  2. That youtube from Japan is the most certifiably freaky thing i have seen in a long time.

    Tony Abboot with the Speedos, crucifix, and AK47!!!!

    No wonder they are so sure they will stop the boats.

    Off to do my bit with the HTV’s. Looking forward to tony’s concession speech this evening.

  3. [Luckily, with Tony Abbott, we have a VISION and a MISSION.

    The VISION: a more prosperous, a fairer and egalitarian Oz.]

    Now I know you’re mad — a definite contradiction in terms. Abbott’s vision is a catholic country where women cook and sew and generally stay at home to suck their master’s …. toes. Haven’t you twigged about the PPL? It is to get women out of high-paid jobs that hold power! Are people such dills they don’t see that?

    [The MISSION: Remove incapable blokes from making more mess out of anything… your little train promise in NSW is such a cliché.]

    The only incapables are the shonks and nasties of this world who see a government program as a way of making a fast buck. Trouble is, if you ask them they’re not going to admit that are they.

    Such ridiculous statements are beyond the realms of common sense, even for a diehard Lib!

    Adios, ALP and Julia Gillard !

  4. Harking back to what to do re how to vote cards; my dear grandad used to take one of each with a smile, and on the way out return one to each with the same smile. He just made sure they were the wrong cards for the person/party.

    For some reason grandma hated voting with him.

  5. Jen Author

    There’s nothing ‘thinking’ about reverting to bland cliche’s like ‘forget it its history’ re labors recent screw ups.

    Try this for another cliche: those who ignore the lessons of history are bound to make the same mistakes.

    Whether you like it or not, a lot of labor supporters are gutted by recent events and mightly p’d off that they’ve allowed a bottom dwelling goon like Abbott who 2 months ago had zero political capital to get within an inch of the lodge. Thats something we’re all going to have to live with.

    THe recriminations are going to be huge if they lose.

  6. Did the deed at Cambewarra public school

    Labor on one side of entrance with a table and trailer covered in Julia photos and ones of evil looking Tone accompanied by dire warnings!

    About 4 Libs with table and a couple of posters of Jo Gash and one Green together on other side of the entrance.

    Labor sat at table and ignored us as we walked in, Lib and Green shoved their HTVs at me.
    I said no thanks, I’ll save a tree instead 😉 Lib said ‘good idea’ and on the way out same Lib told me to have a good weekend.

    Us country folk are such a polite lot even to our enemies
    Unlike that Bushfire Bill 😆

  7. [Such ridiculous statements are beyond the realms of common sense, even for a diehard Lib!

    Adios, ALP and Julia Gillard !]

    Meant to cut that last line folks! Should be “Adios Mr Rabbitt” — we are too aware to fall for your brown stuff.

  8. 904 jenauthor and 901 blues buffett:

    Jen, first, I must say it´s funny that at the end of your entry you too, you bid barewell to our interim PM.

    FYI: Tony Abbott is not the reincarnation of the Devil ! He is not the Beast !

    P.S. Neither is Julia, but it´s only commonsense. Please explain to me why, after 3 years of Labor, polls are too close to call regarding the reelection of an ALP government… how is it possible that we have gotten so tired of you in such a short timeframe ?

    My dear Blues Buffett:

    Yes, just as everybody else I have read the analysis of 77 to 79 seats for the Do-nothing party. However, as we all know, these are simply projections. Even though, I am quite a Liberal fan, from Menzies throught Howard and Fraser, I can tell you that here in Greenway, I didn´t see any ALP canvasser, which did surpise me… after all, we are not so marginal.

  9. Times like this, ask yourself where would you rather be odds at $1.39 or $3.50?
    No hits on baseball watch (MSM doesn’t count).

  10. Ryan Young Libs obviously worried that the Green preferences will flow to sacked LNP now Independent Michael Johnston. They must be worried to try pulling a stunt like that in broad daylight.

  11. I just created an account to thank everybody here for keeping me sane during the past two weeks. I’ve really enjoyed the banter and I’ve learnt a lot by lurking.I’ve just voted in Sydney and the Greens workers are saying that many Greens voters are voting ALP because they hate Abbott so much. I cant see the Greens vote getting above 10% and I think the ALP Primary vote will see a corresponding rise..Anyway, just my two cents, I really just wanted to convey my gratitude and admiration for the regulars here.

  12. [Whether you like it or not, a lot of labor supporters are gutted by recent events and mightly p’d off that they’ve allowed a bottom dwelling goon like Abbott who 2 months ago had zero political capital to get within an inch of the lodge. T]

    Yes, they’re so gutted they’re willing to hand the lunatic the keys in order to make a pint? Give me a break. The time for carrying on about it is after the ALP wins. It is bigger than KR or JG. That is why I want people to get over it — we are a land of party politics, we’re not America where we can actually vote directly for our leader.

    Fine, bear your grudge, but don’t make it a weapon for the enemy!

  13. [ALP 51 LIB/NAT 49 was done via SMS.]

    That would be a bad sign then as the younger population would be more dominant in that sample. You would expect higher support for Labor from an SMS poll.

  14. [P.S. Neither is Julia, but it´s only commonsense. Please explain to me why, after 3 years of Labor, polls are too close to call regarding the reelection of an ALP government… how is it possible that we have gotten so tired of you in such a short timeframe ?]

    Do try and keep up blueskies, it happened to Peter Beattie, John Howard, the list is endless of leaders who found it toughest at the end of their first term.

  15. does anybody expect this thing to be settled tonight? this torture could stretch out for days, waiting for recounts, postals, etc.

  16. Last night the Roy Morgan recontacted 187 ‘undecided’ and Green voters from the 7News Morgan Poll of 1,872 electors conducted on the evenings of Wednesday and Thursday August 18/19, 2010. Just over half the ‘undecided’ voters gave a preference marginally favouring the L-NP on a Two-Party preferred basis. Of Green voters, more than 80% confirmed their intention to vote Green, the others split 2:1 in favour of the L-NP on a Two-Party preferred basis. Taking these factors into account the primary voting intention is recalculated as ALP 39%, L-NP 42.5%; Greens 11.5% and Independents/ Others 7%. However the Two-Party preferred vote is unchanged at 51% cf. 49% according to the Morgan Poll update conducted last night (August 20, 2010).

  17. cupidstunt

    in the uk election they media said hung parliament but betting said cameron would be pm unequivocally and so proved right again.

    ‘Ang on there a mo. Cameron didn’t win the election, unequivocally or otherwise. Though he won the highest number of seats, he fell short of a majority & is currently governing with the support of the LibDems- who stomped on 2 proposed policies in the short time I was there, and expressed vocal opposition to others.

    I didn’t read anything about betting on how long after the referendum (on method of voting – May) the Coalition holds, but rank & file LibDem support for the Coalition is reported (almost daily &, in some cases, very vocally) as shaky.

  18. WTF!

    Bookies are still betting on the election!

    There is absolutely one thing for sure as at 2.15pm, this is REAL close! There won’t be any increased majority, that’s for sure!

    As horrific as it sounds, you can’t rule out the possibility of Abbott becoming PM.

  19. [That would be a bad sign then as the younger population would be more dominant in that sample. You would expect higher support for Labor from an SMS poll.]

    heh heh, gotta love the libs, ‘only youngsters have them there cordless phones these days’

  20. Just returned from voting with daughter who has voted for first time. Never seen our polling booth so busy. Was told that it had been busy from early in the morning.

  21. I agree with an earlier comment. If Rudd was still PM then victory wouldn’t be in doubt and if Turnbull were Opposition leader now, the Libs would have a clear victory over Gillard.

  22. BlueSkies #919

    Do nothing party?

    Three things:

    1. Who made the critical structural changes to the Australian economy that have allowed us to grow to where we are today?

    2. What did Howard do to the Australian economy in 11 years besides the GST and showering the electorate with tax cuts which raised private debt, inflation and interest rates?

    3. A quick quiz from John Clarke and Bryan Dawe:

  23. 924 Jenauthor,

    As my parting statement, as I have to meet the Divisional secretary of the LPA in a while here in Greenway, rally our troops sort of thing, what the f… do you mean with “the enemy” ?

    We are all Aussies !!! C´mmon, my world won´t end if your lame duck Julia is elected… and neither will yours if visionary Tony wins ! We shouldn´t split our country in that manner. It´s regretable.

    We are a peaceful democracy with alternation of parties in power. Both our leaders made their cases in the last 40 days, and the Australian electorate is speaking today.

    I just want to wish you good luck, starting from next week as your party will be seated in the opposition benches to the Federal Coalition Government under Prime Minister Abbott. Godspeed to you !

    P.S. I´ll be back in a while, reminding you why the ALP has been the minority party the last 7 decades.

  24. BlueSkies — corrected the previous mistake earlier.

    As to Abbott not being the Beast — one has to be familiar with belief systems to understand that term.

    As I am familiar, from an academic point-of-view at least, I have to say he does does resemble the biblical beast. His statements and actions are generally at odds. He has deeply held convictions that do not leave for any form of egalitarianism.

    I am one of those political nerds who does pay attention — who listens to parliament and looks at the speeches, inside and outside the house. And I repeat — the ultra right wing element he represents is dangerous. TOXIC to a country of such ethnic and religious variety. I shudder to think what the degenration will be like in the next 3 to 6 years if he attains power.

    If you are a believer — you’d better pray to your version of deity that he doesn’t get hold of the keys!

  25. [Kevin Rudd was asked to stand down and he did so for the good of the party.]

    That is crap. Rudd faced a sudden challenge, knew that win or lose that challenge it was fatal to his PMship. He had no choice. It was a knifing for the sake of a power grab and nothing else.

    If Labor lose then anybody who thinks they are a Labor supporter should turn their focus on Gillards greed and selfishness that she put over party and country. But they won’t of course, they will squeal about everything and anything else.

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