Morgan: 53-47 to Coalition phone poll; 51-49 to Labor face-to-face

Roy Morgan has published two sets of poll results, one a face-to-face poll combining a fortnight’s worth of its regular weekend polling, the other a small sample phone poll targeting 519 respondents. Neither are good for Labor: the face-to-face poll has their two-party lead on 51-49, using the more reliable method of distributing minor party preferences as per the previous election, while the phone poll has the Coalition leading 53-47. Given the face-to-face series’ normal lean to Labor, that’s a below par result for them, although it’s essentially unchanged on a fortnight ago. Labor is up half a point to 39.5 per cent, the Coalition is steady on 43 per cent and the Greens are down a point to 11.5 per cent, with Labor down half a point on two-party to 51 per cent. The phone poll has Labor on 36 per cent and the Coalition on 45.5 per cent: very unusually for a phone poll, it has the Greens vote on single figures at 9.5 per cent, comparing with 13 per cent in Newspoll and 12 per cent in the previous week’s Nielsen. The phone poll is more obviously unhappy for Labor, but with a margin of error approaching 4.5 per cent a grain of salt is required. Taken together though, they constitute evidence Labor is still bumping along below 50-50, rather than popping above it as Essential Research and Newspoll suggested.

The phone poll also inquired into leadership approval, and it turns up an anomaly in showing a disastrous plunge for Tony Abbott which isn’t reflected in voting intention. Abbott’s disapproval is up ten points on three weeks ago to 56 per cent, seven points higher than it was in Newspoll. Most of this came at the expense of “can’t say”, with approval down a relatively modest three points from 39 per cent to 36 per cent. Since early December, Morgan has had Abbott’s net approval go from plus 11 to minus 20. Allowing for the very small samples, the gender gap has blown wide open: where three weeks ago Abbott’s net approval was minus seven among men and minus six among women, the respective figures are now minus 13 and minus 28. However, Julia Gillard’s personal ratings are less good than in Newspoll. Her approval rating is 46 per cent (four points lower than Newspoll and level with Morgan’s previous figure), her disapproval 40 per cent (a point higher than Newspoll and two points lower than the last Morgan), and her lead as preferred prime minister is 51-35 (compared with 53-31 in Newspoll and 49-36 in the last Morgan).

The phone poll also asked about preferred leaders for the two major parties, and it backs up Essential Research in finding Julia Gillard performing unconvincingly relative to Kevin Rudd, whom she now leads as preferred Labor leader by just 29 per cent to 27 per cent. This compares with 31-26 last time, and 52-21 a month after she took the job. Given that Gillard’s current net approval ratings compare with minus 19 for Kevin Rudd in his last Newspoll as prime minister, it would seem his absence has made hearts grow fonder. For Tony Abbott the situation is even worse: only 20 per cent favour him as Liberal leader (down four from last time), with Malcolm Turnbull up six points to 34 per cent and Joe Hockey up one to 26 per cent. Abbott enthusiasts would point to the fact that Turnbull is particularly favoured, and Abbott particularly disfavoured, among Labor and Greens voters.

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.

3,972 comments on “Morgan: 53-47 to Coalition phone poll; 51-49 to Labor face-to-face”

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  1. [Why are the opposition running useless censure motions that are just going to be defeated? Maybe they are trying to stop the government from answering their questions, considering it is a wipe out for the Oppos most of the time.]

    The theme I got from all this is the line “why doesn’t the PM go to the people to get a mandate?”

    He wants the govt to have a DD so they can a) win and b) get a better senate count.

  2. I said earlier today. The PM should challenge Abbott to a television debate on climate change policy. Much like the debate Rudd had with him. If Abbott has something to argue, he can debate it with proper questions being asked of him.

  3. [jenauthor. Thanks for that – I didn’t see him. Does this suggest that he is not in agreement with the proposed policy or has he said that already and I’ve missed it?]

    Have no idea, Allan — just saw Katter get up from a bench on the govt side when the vote was over.

  4. If Katter sided with the Oppn in the censure motion then we know which way he will go on the carbon tax vote.

    La Grattan tweeting that Bob Brown should remember what happened to Meg Lees. lol

  5. Jenauthor,
    That sounds accurate, and is delusional. There is no way the government will go to the polls early and the Indies have much to lose if they do. I take it that Abbott and his backers are going rabid at their imminent nightmare, a Greens BOP in the Senate.

  6. [Why are the opposition running useless censure motions that are just going to be defeated?]
    It’s about the only bit of grandstanding that an opposition can do in parliament. It gets their side 2 speakers in a row to rant and rave on the theme of the day and the government only one chance to reply before it is killed off in the predictable vote result.

  7. [There is no way the government will go to the polls early and the Indies have much to lose if they do. I take it that Abbott and his backers are going rabid at their imminent nightmare, a Greens BOP in the Senate.]


    The thing is: Julia is up for a fight. The Greens are up for the fight — Bob Brown going off right now in Senate.

    Like most bullies, Abbott is all bluster. He will shortly drop to the ground, curl into a ball and cry for his mummy.

  8. Benji

    [No the Essential Poll is only over one week from Tuesday Feb 22]

    The TPP and primary vote is definitely a two week average. It says on page 3 of the survey.

  9. [First effects of Carbon Tax: Coalition up 3% 2PP Essentia Media Report. Hope to see new thread soon.]
    Enjoy because it won’t last.

  10. [Gweneth
    Posted Monday, February 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
    And I would be interested to hear your opinion, ML, on TAbbot’s statement that they will ditch the plan if they win an election. He knows he can’t do that without the Senate without a double dissolution and a landslide. That is two elections]

    You know I think Tony is a fiasco! How many times do I have to repeat that? Given you all agree (Truthy/GeeWizz being absent), it amazes me that so few of you have accepted the fact that this means Julia either drawing with him or being beaten by him in polling is a catastrophic result (for PPM believers, she is hardly ahead at all on that front either, so I wouldn’t get too excited by her lead on that!).

    The simple fact is that the ALP has squandered its huge political capital from 2007. Accept it or reject it, fine with me, its an opinion after all. They shouldn’t have gone to water on the CPRS the first time around, they should have worked on the Mining tax and consulted and implemented a workable option, she shouldn’t have ruled out a carbon tax and then introduced one a few months later.

    You disagree- fair enough.

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