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 52 of 53
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  1. Obama is just part of the same club that created the situation in the US. The whole system and its major players are totally corrupt. Watch “Inside Job” to get a glimps of how they all tie together.

  2. This little black duck @ 2300:


    Cocktails are for the Happy Hour: 1 AM to 6 AM.]

    That’s a hell of a long hour.

  3. [IMO, Obama should do a national address & state that had he not made some concessions to the Repugs the US economy would have collapsed.
    Now is the time for Obama to lay the blame where it squarely belongs whilst the Repugs are celebrating ‘their win’ & owning the deal.
    They held the nation to ransom.]

    I didn’t hear what he said but he did an announcement on TV.

  4. Socrates

    [-none of the major players from causing the GFC have stood trial; most will now get off
    (also none of the major players from Gitmo, torture renditioning have stood trial – torture is a crime under US military and civilian law)]

    Hmm, forgot about that.Might consider withdrawing my conceded pass.

  5. poroti,

    And what did Obama do? Remember, he had Democrat control in both houses.

    He squibbed it – everytime pressure was brought to bear on him, he negotiated back to a position that Republicans a few years ago were comfortable with.

    No courage – he has never been prepared to put his Presidency on the line on a matter of principle.

    If he had courage, I think he could have taken the country with him – his oratory skill is good enough – and made a real difference to the US. He could have been the new FDR, instead it looks like we have the new Carter.

  6. WeWantPaul
    [I didn’t hear what he said but he did an announcement on TV.]
    I didn’t see or hear an announcement but admittedly only had the tv on for an hour.
    OH, said he heard the Repugs are claiming the deal as ‘their win’.

  7. farrm51 Malcolm Farr
    Tony Abbott scoffs at Julia Gillard for not pushing carbon plan 24-hours a day. Then goes on holidays.

    He made the claim knowing he was about to take his “long-planned” holiday.

    davidlen2 davidlen
    @TonyAbbottMHR you attack the PM then jet off on holiday, hypocrite mean anything to you? NO NO NO!!!! Do us all a favour don’t come back !

  8. BigBob

    [He could have been the new FDR, instead it looks like we have the new Carter.]

    And gawd help them if the new Carter is followed by a new Reagan. Your critique of Obama has an uncanny similarity of one that could be written about one Kevin Rudd.

  9. [And gawd help them if the new Carter is followed by a new Reagan. Your critique of Obama has an uncanny similarity of one that could be written about one Kevin Rudd.]

  10. As long as the “temporary” Bush tax cuts remain America is stuffed.
    As long as the Tea Party has a presence America is stuffed.
    As long as FoxNews, Rush Limbaugh, etc have ascendancy America is stuffed
    As long as there is insufficient regulation America is stuffed.
    As long as the overtly religious hold sway America is stuffed.

    Going well, aren’t they

  11. [Makes you sort of think what it would be like to have someone in charge who could actually negotiate difficult legislaition through and not just give pretty speeches….]

    BigBob – can I mention someone who negotiated a difficult ETS/carbon price policy recently!

  12. smithe @ 2304:

    [Working their butts-off for people they wouldn’t shake hands with in polite company.

    Slightly presumptuous question but did you do crime (past tense as I recall earlier you said you’d the pulled the pin)?

    Working their butts-off for people they wouldn’t shake hands with in polite company.

    Sorry charlton…I was off watching SBS.

    Yes. I did a bit of general criminal work especially in my early years. More latterly it was personal injuries with a fair bit of OHS for a period. I also had a number of friends doing commercial work and some of the stuff they were called upon to do was apparently a bit ripe. Legal, of course, but ripe.]

    Inexplicably I found the criminal client to be a class above the civil law client insofar as their expectations weren’t so high and they were less demanding.

    If they did the job they’d usually accept the wrap and generally the only expectation was to get them as lenient a sentence as possible.

    Enjoy your retirement.

  13. This little black duck @ 2321:


    You have not earlier comments.

    Barrie Cassidy did not talk about same sex marriage; he just let others rave on. He is a total waste of air space.]

    I wasn’t referring to myself & readily admit there have been occasions where I have ‘rushed to judgment.’

    The question of Barrie Cassidy really boils down to a matter of opinion.

  14. victoria – thanks for the 39Mins link. Heard a bloke on Bush Telegraph (ABCRN 11am) talking about the live trade and the cruelty to sheep in the ME. Seems as tho there will be more trouble afoot about that.

  15. BK,

    I know the headline act is the debt crisis but the real issue is the dysfunctional US economic situation, exacerbated by dysfunctional politics. My read is that the US has a big fall ahead of it and along, dark crawl back from the brink.

  16. [NineSortJam Martin C. Jones
    by geeksrulz
    Thank you, America, for making me feel (briefly) better about Australian politics by delivering up your own dog turd of a compromise policy.

  17. BK

    Michelle Bachmann represents all that is wrong with US politics.]

    I would change that to “Michelle Bachmann represents all that is wrong with US politics and the media”. Reality has indeed become optional in US politics and media.

  18. [I would change that to “Michelle Bachmann represents all that is wrong with US politics and the media”. Reality has indeed become optional in US politics and media.]
    Fair enough, poroti.

  19. [Obama is just part of the same club that created the situation in the US. The whole system and its major players are totally corrupt. Watch “Inside Job” to get a glimps of how they all tie together.]

    Inside job is a must see for ANYONE who wants the real story on why our world nearly collapsed.

    And still nobody has been indicted.

  20. Thanks for all PB’ers information, links and opinions about the US debt ceiling standoff this morning.

    This post is not in response in any earlier posts regarding the nature of the Republicans “victory” over the Democratic Party and Obama—-I have a lunch meeting soon so won’t be able to add further comments on the topic until tonight or tomorrow.

    The spike in government debt created mainly by the Republican Congresses during W. Bush’s presidency set up the both the 2010 election to Congress of many Tea-Party extremists as well as their potency to embolden most of business wing of the Republican Party into a refusal, thus far, to cut a deal with the Democrats.

    The fact that only 87 million Americans voted in 2010 contrasted with over 130 million voting in 2008 Presidential ballot is seemingly of no importance and never mentioned by USA’s MSM. The Republican House of Reps vote in 2010 was only 10% below what it received in 2008, but 40% of those who voted for the Democrats in 2008 didn’t bother to vote last year and now will be the ones copping the worst of the debt reduction burdens.

    Thus far, the only debt reduction bill which has actually been passed by either chamber is the extreme right-wing bill pushed by Speaker Boehner through the House of Reps. All the House Democrats voted against this bill, which was immediately defeated 59-41 by the Senate Democrats and Indies, obviating Obama’s need to offically exercise his presidential veto.

    Consequently, any bill which gets passed now will be nowhere near as extreme as Boehner’s House bill, guaranteeing that the Tea-Party folk are going to be “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” (Peter Finch, speaking as the unhinged newsreader in “Network”).

    About 6 months from now hundreds of enraged Tea Party candidates will be running against the old “corporate” incumbent Republicans in House and Senate primaries across the country. And Republican Presidential candidates will need to adopt a fair swag of Tea Party policies and rhetoric to have a chance of winning the party’s nomination. We’ve seen how this can happen here when Pauline Hanson’s One Nation could wield hugely disproportionate impacts on our political discourse.

    Que sera sera.

  21. spur212

    [The media say Tony Abbott is copying Sarah Palin …

    I think he’s copying Michelle Bachmann]

    Maybe Bachmann is copying Tony Abbott ? MB – “The American people are looking for someone who will say, ‘No’,”

  22. Democrats and Republicans different sides of the same coin.

    I do recall in a documentary there was a copy of a letter from an earlier generation of a banker pretty much saying they were getting both sides to create an emotional issue out of something to create the conditions for them to do something else. In other words the Repubs Democrat dance routine can sometimes be banker choreographed kabuki.

    Most recently a retiring Senator has himself a nice new job with Goldman S. There is also a conveyor belt of job swapping between regulators and Goldman.S

    US financial and regulatory system is systemically corrupt. The inmates have taken over the asylum as it were and they are driving this car toward the cliff with no brakes. They will bail out at the last and leave the rest to plummet.

  23. Atticus,

    One wonders what is happening/not happening in the US Budget setting processes and practices that allows the current situation to occur.

  24. LoL

    there will be no cuts for the immediate future. But there will be a single $2.4 trillion debt ceiling raise (based on a Joint Committee green light, LOL) just as Obama desired. And of course, there will be no tax hikes. Bottom line: there will be about $40 billion in actual, real spending cuts until the next, $16.7 trillion debt ceiling limit is hit some time in Q1 2013, at which point it will have to be raised to $20+ trillion. But no really, they are cutting spending and all that.

    Unfortunately Europe is in a similar boat – how will they handle it?

  25. Wonder if Tony Abbott is taking the family on a boat cruise for their holiday?

    At each port of call Tony will get out of his cabin and rush up to the captain just as they are about to dock and yell out “STOP THE BOAT”.

  26. [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. ]

    100% in agreement, I have tweeted

    davidlen2 davidlen await MSM to report on this, probably wishful thinking is a disgrace

    4 minutes ago

  27. [If The Australian thought the deletion of a comment by Bushfire Bill on PB was page five news]

    Anyone have a link to that?

  28. [If The Australian thought the deletion of a comment by Bushfire Bill on PB was page five news]

    Does this mean I’m famous? Even an ikon, maybe?

  29. victoria @ 2525:


    Boerwar may not see your post. He has gone away for three weeks.]


    I’ll repost on his return.

  30. [my say: You’re a Pinup Gal for Internet and its power to open doors to “new worlds” of international communication, information, education, media, merchandise and activism in national and international political and media affairs – as PBers who’ve shared your journey from your first tentative posts will agree.]

    thats very kind of you , well not sure about other people wanting know about me.

    they may say i am up my self.

    but yes i have done quite a lot of things in the above and other artistic areas, as i hate the word craft, since joining pb,

    but now sure william would approve of me talking about it here.

  31. latikambourke Latika Bourke
    Alert just in ‘A short statement will be made regarding Kevin Rudd’s aortic valve replacement…..’

  32. [ Does this mean I’m famous? Even an ikon, maybe?

    BB, what was it all about?]

    A parody article (about the Christchurch Earthquake, I think) that I wrote under the name of Matt Franklin, criticising Abbott (from memory), that Matty got so upset about he complained to Caroline Overington, who then complained to Crikey, who then complained to William, who then deleted it.

    Meanwhile the Oz wrote it up in their dead trees version.

    Made quite an impression, or so it seems, but not exactly for the right reasons.

    Can’t remember any more details except I thought it was funny, but They Who Must Be Obeyed at Crikey disagreed with me.

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