Morgan: 56.5-43.5 to Coalition

At some point in the previous fortnight, I resolved to abandon my practice of reporting Morgan face-to-face results by highlighting the previous-election measure of two-party preferred, rather than the respondent-allocated method favoured by Morgan. For those not familiar with this issue, there are two methods pollsters can use to determine how minor party and independent voters would allocate preferences: asking them, or making a distribution according to how voters for the relevant parties divided between Labor and the Coalition at the previous election. While the former would appear to pass the common sense test, it is in fact the latter which has consistently given more reliable results. It would seem that asking respondents places them in a position which is not replicated in the polling booth, where many follow how-to-vote cards or otherwise contrive to avoid engaging mentally with how they order their preferences – the significance of which many would not appreciate. As a result, the previous-election method has come to be favoured by every company other than Morgan, with Newspoll having adopted the practice after its final pre-election poll in 2004 was broadly accurate with regard to the primary vote, but awry on two-party preferred. My policy of favouring the previous-election measure was adopted for the sake of consistency in a period when Morgan seemed to be jumping around from one method to the other. However, Morgan has since settled upon the respondent-allocated measure, despite its poor track record. Highlighting a different result from Morgan’s was thus creating confusion, notwithstanding that I believe it to be the superior method.

Today Morgan has published its first face-to-face poll results since I made this decision, and they have rather awkwardly produced the biggest divide yet between the two measures. The respondent-allocated figure highlighted by Morgan has the Coalition with a thumping 56.5-43.5 lead, much the same as the 56-44 result from the previous poll (which was conducted on the weekend of July 9/10, with the carbon tax announcement coming on the latter date; the current poll combines the weekends of July 16/17 and July 23/24). However, the previous-election method gives the government a far happier result of 53-47. The primary votes are in fact little changed: Labor is up a point to 34.5 per cent, the Coalition down one to 47 per cent and the Greens up half to 12 per cent. What has happened is an exacerbation of the recent trend where Labor’s share of minor party and independent preferences has gone in the same direction as its level of direct support. However, I remain unconvinced that this will be replicated on polling day. The Morgan figures for non-major parties are essentially identical to those recorded from the previous election, when the Greens polled 11.8 per cent and others 6.6 per cent (compared with 12 per cent and 6.5 per cent). If we take the Morgan respondent-allocated figure at face value, this suggests Labor’s share of all non-major party preferences has slumped from 66 per cent to 49 per cent. Since nearly two thirds of these voters are Greens supporters, this seems very hard to credit. The question nonetheless remains as to why poll respondents who favour minor parties and independents have become so much less likely to nominate Labor than the Coalition, to which I don’t have an answer – but keep in mind that the solid swing against Labor in the 2010 election was not reflected in the share of preferences it received.

Nonetheless, the record should note that Morgan has published a figure of 56.5-43.5, and has done so using a method that other pollsters were happy with until about half a decade ago. Equally though we should note that the alternative and apparently more reliable method has produced a result solidly more favourable to Labor than other pollsters have been producing of late. This brings us back to the old issue of the strong lean to Labor which has traditionally been evident in Morgan face-to-face polls, which the recent anti-Labor trend of respondent-allocated preferences has obscured. This point is illustrated by a chart I produced last month showing how Morgan face-to-face results (along with Essential and Nielsen) have differed from Newspoll since the start of 2009. As you can see from the two measures provided by Morgan, the issue of which preference method used was largely academic until the start of this year, when the present gap began to open. On this basis Morgan had become less favourable to Labor than Newspoll using the respondent-allocated method; its previous-election results remained more favourable, though only to the tune of about one point rather than the traditional three.

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.

2,646 comments on “Morgan: 56.5-43.5 to Coalition”

Comments Page 53 of 53
1 52 53
  1. [latikambourke Alert just in ‘A short statement will be made regarding Kevin Rudd’s aortic valve replacement…..’
    5 minutes ago]

  2. [2597 jenauthor
    Posted Monday, August 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
    Essential has not improved by the sound of things. Sigh.]

    i think they take a few weeks something about rolling weeks in to weeks.

    but yes sigh

  3. [jenauthor

    Could have been worse ]

    Its going to take a while to turn around. All Labor can do is keep working hard and getting the message out, and Gillard has been realistic to say that its not going to turn around overnight. Of course, reading about the US insanity again reminds me that things here comparatively are nowhere near as bad. Yes we have Abbott and his TeaParty style politics, but he has way less influence in the system than his American brethren, for various reasons.

  4. [2556 William Bowe
    Posted Monday, August 1, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink
    If The Australian thought the deletion of a comment by Bushfire Bill on PB was page five news, I would hope that they’re clearing their front page for this.]

    , but then do we want this type of language out there, so scary i would say the BB office would know about it but , shouldnt the afp investigate ever thing like that.

  5. [gordongraham #Essential Sending asylum seekers to Malaysia: Support 31% (-9) Oppose 53% (+14) #auspol
    3 minutes ago]

  6. my say

    [but thenon the other hand its not 40/60 or somthing like that

    so 10 points is ok at the moment]

    Ten points BUT only 5% moving makes it 50-50 . Moving 5 people out of a hundred does not seem too impossible a task. A couple more 1% moves and Tones may start to get some funny looks from his own party .

  7. ess. are rolling and one percent difference is niether here nor there.

    they send out about 100 emails, i have been getting emails every day about other polling from them to do with products, i have only bothered with ONE<
    so see what i mean its who fills in the forms.

    of course if i see a political one i will be onto it.
    but the last one i felled out took me 30 minutes, and it was so boring

  8. [JuliaGillard RT @cefgovau: What a #carbonprice means for you: download the booklet here #CEF #auspol #climate
    3 minutes ago]

  9. [gordongraham #Essential Sending asylum seekers to Malaysia: Support 31% (-9) Oppose 53% (+14) #auspol
    3 minutes ago]
    Then what in the hell DO they want?

  10. [gordongraham Gordon Graham
    by geeksrulz
    #Essential 2% of respondents trust the media to handle their personal information appropriately #auspol

  11. [BK

    How did the burning go?]
    We had to call it off due to a howling wind.
    Later in the week perhaps. Got all the cleanup done though.

  12. BK

    There is no good solution with asylum seekers. At least if there were bi partisan agreement, it would help the situation. I cant see that happening anytime soon.

  13. yes Paroti and while he is away i think you will see a difference, so it a good time for them to have come back.

    so i would like to see the break down now being a phes, person of course i am guessing but it would only be greens or some labor perhaps who dont like the malaysian deal

  14. [gordongraham #Essential the decline in support for the Malaysian deal comes mostly from LNP voters which indicates Abbott’s been successful on it #auspol
    3 minutes ago]

  15. thats ok jen. as i said and william knows better of course they are rolling
    polls not sure what that means though
    but as i explained they send out all those emails, and its who bothers to fill them in.
    100th of them and you have to get them back by a certain time and date.

    as i said i am getting them daily now re other marketing. so boring

  16. Polling for Abbott usually improves when he is out of the picture. Does that mean in a fortnight, it will be 60/40?

  17. [mostly from LNP voters which indicates Abbott’s been ]

    do they know what he is successful with or anything, u have to laugh if you where to ask them bet the dont know

  18. and the trend is there, 12/ 10/ 10/ 12 and morgan what ever being only6 in real terms, so take in to the accout the fraction of error

    and 6 could be your number.

  19. BK

    How did the burning go?
    We had to call it off due to a howling wind.
    Later in the week perhaps. Got all the cleanup done though.]

    Pity. As a youngster on the farm my father never had to ask me twice to burn a patch of gorse. Gorse fires are most satisfying for the inner pyromaniac. All those small dead spikey leaves built up under the green go better than petrol !

  20. [gordongraham #Essential the decline in support for the Malaysian deal comes mostly from LNP voters which indicates Abbott’s been successful on it #auspol
    3 minutes ago]

    Looks like “Nauru, or bust”.

    At least it indicates that all the “we want genuine asylum seekers” guff was not a heartfelt belief.

    They just don’t want Muzzies,and now it seems Burmese as well, here.

    Lifeboat Australia… hit ’em with an oar if they try to get on.

  21. poroti @ 2615:

    [Ten points BUT only 5% moving makes it 50-50.]

    I was at a footy match yesterday & at half-time the conversation turned to politics.

    A Labor supporter said that a 10 point lead could never be clawed back.

    I suggested Labor only needs to get back 5 points to be competitive but he insisted that what was needed was a full 10 points to make it 50:50.

    Having consumed a number of beers by game’s end, he admitted his mistake.

  22. The truckies convoy is heading towards certain failure. Whilst out this morning I happened to go past “Berts Balloons For All Occasions” shop. A quick check revealed that if I cant get a brown balloons and brown streamers in Newcastle what chance if there that I could buy them in Hall Creek for C…sake.

  23. i think a nice bread and butter policy this week something self absorbed would like
    a little icing on the cake for them , while abbott the robot rabbit is away.

    that will get joe and julies bishop something else to think of , somthing thats hard
    arithmetic would do the job

    seriously we need another policy to discuss at the moment, i know they cannot do it yet but a dental plan or something like that or who knows any one got any ideas/ of a nice little policy

    that would take the fancy of the self absorbed

  24. Juts heard a law prof on NewsRadio say that the draft ETS bills have been written in such a way that the ETS could only be stopped by passing another bill!

    The Government has had almost everything written into the bills, rather than relying on regulations.


Comments are closed.

Comments Page 53 of 53
1 52 53