Morgan phone poll: 51-49 to Coalition

For the second week in a row Morgan has published results from a phone poll of around 520 respondents, from which the only conclusion that can be safely drawn is that if you conduct small-sample polls you get erratic results. Whereas last week’s survey gave the Coalition a thumping 56-44 lead – about 2 per cent above the overall trend – this week it has it at 51-49, which is about 3 per cent below it. As always, I’m using the two-party figure which apportions minor party and independent preferences according to the results of the previous election, rather than how respondents allocated them. Labor’s primary vote this time is 35.5 per cent rather than 31.5 per cent, the Coalition is on 42.5 per cent rather than 47.5 per cent, and the Greens are 12 per cent rather than 10 per cent.

Whereas last week’s poll had opposition to the carbon tax at 57-33, this time it’s 54-38 – which is still quite a lot worse for the government than the 48-35 and 49-38 results from Essential Research over consecutive weeks. Last week Morgan found 72 per cent believing the Prime Minister had broken an election promise with only 19 per cent believing otherwise – this week the figures are 68 per cent and 23 per cent. Support for Tony Abbott’s promise to rescind the legislation is essentially unchanged, with 44 per cent (steady) in favour and 46 per cent (up one) against.

Morgan has also published phone poll figures on nuclear energy, and even though this one too is from Wednesday and Thursday evenings, for some reason the sample is 635 rather than 523. Fifty-nine per cent support the export of uranium for peaceful purposes with 34 per cent opposed, though it seems for many “peaceful purposes” doesn’t include nuclear power: with that qualification, only 44 per cent were supportive with 50 per cent opposed. Sixty-one per cent say they are opposed to the development of nuclear power plants in Australia with only 34 per cent supportive: figures provided from a poll in September 1979 are provided, showing 52 per cent support and 35 per cent opposition. Forty-nine per cent don’t believe other countries should build nuclear power plants either, against 37 per cent who believe they should.

UPDATE (Monday): Essential Research has the Coalition lead down from 54-46 to 53-47, with Labor’s primary vote up a point to 36 per cent and the Coalition down one to 46 per cent. Essential have also thrown Tony Abbott a curve ball by asking respondents where they believe he stood on climate change: 33 per cent believed the Coalition opposed any action, 36 per cent believed it didn’t and 29 per cent didn’t know. Opinion on the effectiveness of the carbon tax is perfectly evenly divided: 43 per cent believe it will make big polluters reduce emissions, 42 per cent believe it will not; 41 per cent believe it will increase investment in renewable energy, 38 per cent believe it will not. While 79 per cent believe a carbon tax will increase the price of electricity, 78 per cent expect it will increase anyway (though presumably not by as much).

The poll also records a slump in support for nuclear power, to 35 per cent from 43 per cent late last year, with opposition up from 37 per cent to 53 per cent – and strong opposition up from 16 per cent to 32 per cent. The level of support for a full withdrawal from Afghanistan is now up to 56 per cent from 47 per cent in October, a steady 30 per cent support the commitment at the current level, and only 5 per cent (down from 10 per cent) believe it should be increased.

GROUP SUBSCRIPTIONS UPDATE: We have now cleared 50 takers for our Crikey group subscriptions offer, so anyone else who wants to take part can now rest assured they can land themselves a year’s subscription (or an additional year on top of the one you’ve already paid for if you’re a subscriber already) for the outstanding price of $65. If you want in, drop a line to Jade Butler at

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.

3,249 comments on “Morgan phone poll: 51-49 to Coalition”

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  1. [David
    Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink
    Doyley didn’t I hear somewhere today Kevin Rudd suggest, as FA Minister, he had a surprise in a couple of weeks or so for the grossly unimportant Morisson?]

    gosh i wonder what that will be.

  2. Media watch was well worth it tonight. If there is a link to the script, it would be good to know. The bit I saw did a bit of a look around at the hugely disproportionate commercial radio representation of climate change deniers, the stupidity of their use of statistics, and their habit of interviewing Carter and Plimer rather than real climate scientists.
    The interesting bit was that the commercial stations are actually subject to the same ACMA Guidelines as the ABC.
    It is just that ACMA does nothing about it. There was a statement from ACMA, wtte, that it had no complaints in relation to climate change.
    So, folks, is it time for some complaints to ACMA about the treatment of climate change on commercial radio by the Deniers?

  3. [Mr Bowen has conceded Sunday night’s violent protest was sparked by security officers rounding up and handcuffing 10 detainees alleged to be ringleaders of the break-out.

    But he says most detainees do not condone the protests.

    “We have 1,800 people in this detention centre,” he said.]

    cannot some one tweet that divine woman

  4. Gus,
    Blue Poles: the most eerily beautiful, amazing breathtaking artwork I have ever laid eyes upon, ever. I have seen it once and want to see again when I can.

  5. [vp
    Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink
    my say,

    Christine is wearing a cream jacket, slit down the front. Lovely dark brown squiggelies.]

    no silk dangling scarf tonight then, its not that i dont mind them its just that i like the pashmina style of wearing them

  6. my say @3101,

    I am only making assumptions based on no facts but I believe the next round of regional talks are happening in the next one or two weeks in which regional solution(s) to AS issue are to be discussed.

    Perhaps something positive may come out of this round of talks.

    Once again only guessing but who knows.

  7. [Media watch was well worth it tonight. If there is a link to the script, it would be good to know. The ]

    to morrow on their sight

  8. Our SK on Twitter – and totally correct:


    SpaceKidetteSpace Kidette

    Julia Gillards opinion on gay marriage is as valid as any others. This is her personal belief oft stated not populist rhetoric. #qanda

    5 minutes agoFavoriteUndo RetweetReply]

  9. PTMD
    Blue Poles has not got a single horse, gum tree, Aussie war hero or even a sheep in it. Ergo, a waste of canvas.

  10. my say
    It is well worth a read. Astonishing that commericial radio is routinely flouting ACMA guidelines and absolutely nothing is being done about it.

  11. BW
    [So, folks, is it time for some complaints to ACMA about the treatment of climate change on commercial radio by the Deniers?]

    The problem is no-one reasonable can stomach listening to these stations to gather the evidence needed to support a complaint.

  12. Think Big
    Yeh. I was thinking the same thing. Maybe we have some elderly PBs who are prepared to become climate change samurais on behalf of the rest of us?

  13. This great straw man that the Do-nothings are touting is that Australia somehow has to single handedly lower global temperatures all by itself.

    Ridiculous and it is time someone called them out on it.

  14. [Boerwar
    Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Permalink
    my say
    It is well worth a read. Astonishing that commericial radio is routinely flouting ACMA guidelines and absolutely nothing is being done about it.]

    yes boerwar, and he was really asking us all to complain to the ACMA i wish some one would who is a lawyer perhaps, suppose its not worth it when this subject is beyond them they will move to the next one i wonder what that will be .

    Can you all believe pyne said there is no concessions on the table wtte, we both saw christine smile, did you all see that i bet she knows exactly what coming

  15. [3139 Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink
    On QandA, Tony Jones said, ‘Great big new tax cut.’]

    S u g a r he know finns

  16. [vp
    Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink
    my say,

    What do your girls say about Christine Milne? Different time?]

    yes it was a very different time but so did Helene chang and patsy biscoe

Comments are closed.

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