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. Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink
    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 disc]

    may be timor perhaps.

  2. [ShababLibya LibyanYouthMovement
    BREAKING: It has been confirmed by a few sources and now also Al Manara, Khamis Gaddafi has died today, as a result of burns #Libya #Feb17]

  3. Doyley
    Well all this departmental work is going nowhere then:

    THE government is exploring options to extend “community detention” for thousands of asylum seekers languishing in detention centres while their refugee claims are completed.]

    A real shame if that isn’t happening – this is more “Lindsay test” decision-making. And we continue to trash our reputation on human rights.

  4. [Think Big
    Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink


    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.]

    Evan 14 has done a sterling job in the past.

  5. [DMaxSamson David-Maxime Samson
    RT @shabablibya: Reports the revolutionaries may be overcoming G forces in the city after a very very serious attack on Misrata #Libya…]

  6. Doyley
    Well all this departmental work is going nowhere then:

    THE government is exploring options to extend “community detention” for thousands of asylum seekers languishing in detention centres while their refugee claims are completed.

    A real shame if that isn’t happening – this is more “Lindsay test” decision-making. And we continue to trash our reputation on human rights.

  7. [vp
    Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
    Patsy Biscoe! I have her double LP. The kids loved it]

    yes us to, she came back a few times from sa and played and sung at the school.

    actully i must check it out to see if it s now on dvd for the granchildren

  8. Some people have been saying for some time that nothing at all is going to come out of the Bali Conference.

    So, thre will be some egg on faces if it does.

  9. J>V yes i read that at the bottom of the abc screen so thats what it about.

    well there could be still something happening then may be this a red hearing.

  10. [kev was alluding to the regional framework

    apparently indon has signed off on the leste solution]

    well that was my first thought.

  11. This Q & A was a better one. Lachie Harris had the luxury of being able to tell the truth, and his shot about it being an opinion cycle rather than a news cycle is valid.

    Devine was her usual Lib shill self.

    Clare stayed on message but came across mostly as genuine.

    Milne again overstepped …but she is helping to differentiate Labor from Greens which helps.

    Pyne …poor prissy. He truly cannot win and shoots his own feet more than the govt’s.

    Overall — Harris’s comments on Carbon Price being the BEST thing JG has done (and having wrested the agenda from Abbott in the process) resonated well.

  12. looks like we have to complain first to the relevant radio station regarding bias in the climate debate.

    I will be doing emails to them tomorrow

  13. Gusface

    We really need Indonesia to sign on to the Convention. Who knows if or when anything will be underway in Timor. I can’t see it in this parliament, so the government should remove the discrimination in the meantime. It really is unacceptable. What have boat refugees done to deserve this? What has happened on CI over the past week is the direct result of a cruel policy. We’re better than that in Aus – or we were. Bring back Fraser!

  14. jenauthor

    Mr Harris spent a fair bit of the time not actually answering questions. The answers I did find interesting were, wtte:

    (1) I did not do the leaking
    (2) I don’t know who did do the leaking.

  15. jv @3163,

    Chris Bowen has confirmed today that this will not be government policy.

    I am interested in the statements put out there from time to time about Australia “trashing its reputation on this issue”

    Trashing our reputation with who ?

    Are there any ” final destination countries ” that do not detain AS for health and security checks ?

  16. vp

    scuttlebutt at this stage

    tho there is the carrot of an extra 600mil a year for indon

    the msm aint following the FA measures

    ps indon said in jan it was a partner in principle to the leste solution

  17. Malaysia was making friendly noises. They want a free trade agreement. If Indonesia is onside, excellent. That would leave Timor l’Este. I have no idea how the internal politics are going there.

    Managing a concentration camp for 6,000 people (on current figures) might not appeal to people who have only recently come out from under tyranny.

  18. [Paul_J

    Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    looks like we have to complain first to the relevant radio station regarding bias in the climate debate.

    I will be doing emails to them tomorrow

    They prefer it to be Snailmail or via the complaint form on the Website.

    Though 2GB have the compliaint link well hidden and vwery hard for their average listener to submit.

  19. [vp
    Posted Monday, March 21, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink
    my say,

    I can copy to CD and send you.]

    can you do that an you that would be great thank you will can give you my email address being as she is an old girl of the school and now my little grandson goes there and soon my grandaughter , i think patsy was head prefect i must find that out for sure but i seem to remember something about that.

    perhpas the kinder teacher could play the cd
    thank you.

  20. Not a bad qanda all up.
    Jason Clare is intelligent and sincere and gave a good gee up up at the end but like a lot of these new labor pollies seems to lack a bit of mongrel, which rightly or wrongly is needed when dealing with the current libs. Needs to be more prepared to go the knuckle.
    Milne was ok, a bit extreme which wont hurt labor. Devine was her usual smug self and Rudd’s ex advisor was alright i suppose. Pyne was pyne, silly and shrill but in his own way quite comical at times. He can at least laugh at himself, which is what everybody else does anyway.

  21. Newspoll prediction? 54-46 to the bad guys. The situation to me seems to be stabilizing and will turn slowly over time. But turn it will!

  22. I wouldn’t bother complaining to 2GB or 2UE or MTR – the management of those radio stations condone the behaviour of their presenters.
    2GB especially has aligned themselves with the Liberal Party – I know that John Singleton has become a personal friend of Abbott.

  23. 6000 people is a lot tohave together, i dont think i fancy that,

    may be a couple of areas. but they must work quicker to move people in to the country on visa,. i think thats what us labor people should be writing about, why the hold up.

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