Morgan phone poll: 51-49 to Coalition

Morgan has published results from a phone poll of 561 respondents conducted over the three previous nights, which suggests the recent flood levy debate has been one more episode of sound and fury that has no substantial effect on voting intention. The Coalition leads on the primary vote 42.5 per cent to 35 per cent, with the Greens on 12 per cent. After distribution of preferences as they split at the 2010 election, the Coalition has a two-party lead of 51-49. Morgan however has used the less reliable method of respondent allocation for its headline figure of 50.5-49.5. Also featured are results on leaders’ personal ratings, and here there has been significant movement: Tony Abbott’s approval rating has slumped eleven points since December to 39 per cent, with his disapproval up seven to 46 per cent. Julia Gillard is down three on approval to 46 per cent and up four on disapproval to 42 per cent. On preferred prime minister, Gillard’s lead has widened from 46-39 to 49-36. Since this is a phone poll, none of the usual qualifications about Morgan face-to-face polling’s bias to Labor apply. However, what does apply is a fairly substantial margin of error of about 4 per cent, owing to the small sample size.

The poll also canvassed opinion on preferred leaders of the major parties, finding Julia Gillard with only a modest lead of 31 per cent to 26 per cent over Kevin Rudd – well down on the 13-point lead Morgan recorded in a phone poll on December 8-9. While the sample on both polls was small, a question on preferred leader other than the incumbent suggests Rudd’s popularity has recovered since a post-election dive: his 36 per cent response is roughly where it was in July and August, but up nine points on December. That Gillard has lost so much ground in the head-to-head to contest with Rudd over time points to her own decline in absolute terms. The order of also-rans runs Stephen Smith (12 per cent), Wayne Swan (11 per cent) and Bill Shorten (9 per cent).

The same set of questions with regard to the Liberal Party shows Tony Abbott slipping to third place, though this is due to a gain for Joe Hockey (up four points since December to 25 per cent) at the expense of Malcolm Turnbull (down three to 28 per cent, though still in front), rather than a significant move in Abbott’s rating (down one to 24 per cent). On the question of preferred leader other than Abbott, Turnbull leads Hockey 35 per cent to 32 per cent, with no others in serious contention.

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.

2,046 comments on “Morgan phone poll: 51-49 to Coalition”

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  1. [Disappointing, this:

    … in the key State of Queensland, which swung heavily against the Gillard Government at the recent Federal election, Abbott (47%) is clearly preferred to Gillard (36%) — the only State in which Abbott is regarded as the ‘Better Prime Minister.’

    There you go. In the one state Abbott has campaigned to politicise their own tragedy the most, they love him.]
    How many people are we actually talking about in this sample?

  2. [Gillard approval down 3 dissaproval up 4 and Kev breathing down her neck in preferred leader]

    Doesn’t surprise me. Firstly, there is dissatisfaction with the Labor leadership. Rudd is most well known name of any “alternatives.” Secondly, he impressed many people with his actions during the flood.

    Make no mistake though, if they dumped Gillard in favour of him, the Devil himself would be able to lead the opposition to an easy victory.

  3. [Really? You think they’ll get behind Hockey? Robb? Bishop? Any of those three will trot out the same lazy lines Abbott’s giving us, given little twists to suit their personalities (Hockey – bluster; Bishop – bizarre; Robb – zzzzz).

    Abbott’s an idiot. But then who isn’t over there? Put any of them in the spotlight for long enough and they’ll have a string of gaffes as long as your arm. Plus, none of them look keen to take responsibility for anything. Hockey, the most palatable by default, is a classic buck-passer. Loves his rhetoric, leaves the details for someone else to sort out.

    Turnbull might have a shot. But these voters who are backing the party under Abbott won’t find Turnbull’s approach nearly as palatable. He’ll lose a lot, gain a bit. He’ll have the climate change nay-sayers on the wrong foot for a start.]

    Best way to think of it is they need a Rudd to bring them there, yet run the risk of appointing a Latham. Either way, right now they have a Beazley.

    Never underestimate sudden appeal a new leader can acquire just by hiring some new policy advisors and improving their publicity.

    Remember, most frontbenchers are barely known, if at all, by the average voter. Whereas we may see someone as a disaster, regular joe just sees them as a Lib politician that they know nothing about.

  4. [Assuming they got population relativities right, about 110.]
    BB, you’re an intelligent person can’t you see the silliness in making too much of these figures?

  5. [Tone is getting crap ratings (good one!) but Jules isn’t exactly hitting the heights

    Gillard approval down 3 dissaproval up 4 and Kev breathing down her neck in preferred leader]
    Still fighting the factional war Vera?

  6. [For the Libs to switch leaders they would now have to think that Abbott is a break on their vote.]

    I’m not saying one phone poll should be the straw the breaks the camel’s back (although the trend was emerging late last year) but if this kind of stuff continues, then he is a brake on their vote.

  7. BB, you’re talking about 110 respondents there. The margin of error on those figures is about 10 per cent.

    You cheered me up William.

    It’s been a week of firsts.

  8. [Still fighting the factional war Vera?]
    Nah, just haven’t got me head up me bum pretending everything is sunshine and roses in the good ols ALP 😉

  9. Yeah, but I plagiarised it from Lizzie, Cuppa.

    BB, I reckon they omitted the results from another 500 who were polled after Tony gaffed himself.

  10. [Wanna see someone carrying a torch for a politician, you should’ve seen how insufferable Howard Dean supporters (US politics) were in 2004.]
    Don’t forget us amigos, we still carry a torch for Hillary 😀

  11. Apparently Robb is again championing IR laws/changes.

    NEW ALP AD — to be run NOW! (any Labor insiders are free to pass this on) Simple and to the point — no chance of being misconstrued:

    {Scene: an ordinary Aussie — blue collar — outside his local school}

    “I’m an ordinary Aussie. I kept my job during the GFC because Labor understands what is really neaded to keep our country working.”

    {Scene: a girl working in a coffee shop}

    “I’m an ordinary Aussie, and I got this job during the GFC because Labor understands what was really needed to keep our country out of recession”

    {Man in suit in an office}

    “I’m an Aussie businessman. My business stayed afloat during the GFC because Labor understood that cooperation between business and govt. was the only way we’d thrive in adverse conditions”

    {Teenager with tatts and earrings standing alongside a plumber’s van}

    “I’m an ordinary Aussie. I got my apprenticeship during the GFC because Labor understands that we need workers not just now, but also in the future”

  12. Vera just yesterday someone was suggesting I effectively have a mental illness or I wouldn’t be an alp member but I’ve got to be honest since election night 07 there has been precious litte sunshine (tho the apology was a bit) an our roses smell like they have just come out of a cow.

  13. [Morgan did poll on 561 respondents. Do you know spread of numbers Newspoll use?]

    I can’t recall.

    I mean one will have to wait until a few polls come out before starting to draw any conclusive trends.

    I only comment on this one because it is reflective of things we have been seeing.

  14. [Apparently Robb is again championing IR laws/changes.]

    They all champion it, and always will. It’s in their DNA, their reason for existence as an anti-labour party.

  15. Victoria, a normal Newspoll will hit about double that. When Newspoll publishes state-level breakdowns, it does it by accumulating three months’ worth of polling so the results are credible (though not as timely as you’d like). They wouldn’t be caught dead pretending results from samples of about 100 are meaningful, as Morgan is all too happy to do.

  16. jenauthor

    [Apparently Robb is again championing IR laws/changes.]

    He won’t give up, will he. He’s a snake. And his idea that he could make a PM is soooooo ludicrous.

  17. I don’t think the Libs will dump Abbott unless the MSM turns on him, after all, thats all he’s got but it has been powerful enough to make him apparently competitive. A lot of the Fibs may see their only chance for power soon as being dragged along on his media greasy coat-tails.

    They should dump him, but with all the ho hah about how he did much better than expected in the 2010 election (and i’ll admit, that while he’s a toad, he did not self destruct as i had anticipated. A tame MSM got him through and rough spots) they wont dump him quickly.

    If they want to be competitive in 2013 then i think they will have to go to Turnbull. Hockeys an economically illiterate joke, Robb is a party machine man who doesn’t project well at all, and Bishop is a nasty bimbo who has demonstrably either stuffed up or been ineffective in every portfolio position she’s every held.

    If Abbott were dumped Turnbull is probably the only one who can turn around some of their more stupid policy positions (such as on the NBN) and still retain any credibility.

    Wonder if Abbott’s “loyal girl” would snuggle up to Turnbull??

  18. To Speak of Pebbles,

    [Make no mistake though, if they dumped Gillard in favour of him, the Devil himself would be able to lead the opposition to an easy victory.]

    And it could probably be just as accurate to say that Rudd would bolt it in!

    All supposition and we will never know! In the beginning of 2010, would you have picked that Labor’s fortunes would collapse like they did and we would see such a close election with someone other than Rudd leading Labor to a fingernail width win.

  19. Roast Free Range Chicken seasoned with tarragon infused butter, garlic, olive oil.

    Pan roasted baby potatoes in the chicken fat with added duck fat.

    Lightly caramelised sliced carrots in butter garnished with chopped parsley.

    Steamed broccoli garnished with dry roasted pine nuts.

    Sauce of deglazed pan juices and stock, brandy and white wine, finely chopped shallots, fresh tarragon, double cream finished with swirl of butter.

    Strawberries, macerated in fresh orange juice, blueberries and icecream.

    Coming for dinner, anyone?

  20. WeWantPaul

    There’s never much joy in supporting the ALP. It’s a battle of good over evil. Just remember that you are on the side of the angels and keep on keeping on. (Was going to say the “right” side, but that doesn’t compute 🙂 )

  21. Paul Keating is wanted – who is that other guy (sounds vaguely familiar was he one if those dopes that knifed Rudd from outside caucus) but the real Paul is more presidential than a mere leader these days. Heir apparent to the mantle of senior labor statesman.

  22. Looking at the poll it appears to have been taken on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night.

    I was wondering how much of Victoria is still flooded or in the clean up stage ?

    Large parts of Queensland had other concerns on Wednesday and Thursday nights as well.

    Would these issues have any effect on samples ? Areas surveyed etc?

    I have no idea, just wondering.

    Anyway, for what the poll is worth I think the PPM and satisfaction figures may have taken some noise away from the fact that since the last morgan phone poll labor pv has Increased by 4% and coalition pv has gone down 3.5%. This trend is also reflected in the last two or three face to face polls. Labor pv is on the increase.

    Perhaps they are doing something right.

    Anyway, another few polls are needed I think before we can make any really worthwhile analysis of trends.

    However taken as is , I can’t see this poll as being bad for the government.

  23. [Don’t forget us amigos, we still carry a torch for Hillary]

    Amigo Vera, just a quickie, ha ha ha ha :kiss:

    Still celebrating Chinese New Year. Off to a function in a friday night traffics 😥

    Our Hill has been very forceful with Mubarak where as Obama has been rather pissweak

  24. [And it could probably be just as accurate to say that Rudd would bolt it in!]

    How so? You seriously can’t see what a suicidal blunder it would be to say “Oops! Our bad! We shouldn’t have dumped Person A for Person B. We’re now gonna dump Person B in favour of Person A, again”

    The opposition rhetoric would write itself. The govt would look like it has no idea what the hell it’s doing anymore. It would piss off everyone.

  25. [jenauthor

    are you able to repeat some of PVO comments?]

    Off the top of my head, he was basically playing devils advocate and giving Julian Leeser talking points.

    The Labor guy got in a few really good points … but Leeser basically tried to talk over him at every opportunity.

    PVO also commented that Leeser always get too much talk-time and never let’s the Labor guy talk.

  26. Tsop agree with you completely – one omg we were wrong this guy we made leader an you elected pm oops we stuffed up – was terrible – twice would be insane.

  27. No matter how good a labor man Kevin is, he is “damaged goods” for all the reasons put forward by TSOP at @90.

    I know some may disagree but I really don’t think there will be any change of labor leader before the next election.

  28. Dee

    Well, if it is a hatchet job, Tone will start wagging his tail and being over-confident, and that’s not always a plus for him. And Julia will have plenty of time to put it behind her before it really counts.

  29. Dee,

    I fear that 4 Corners program is going to be a hatchet job on Gillard.]

    If it’s anything like the job they did on Labor with the Batts, then JG’s PPM and approval figures could take a solid hit!

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