The headline figure might not look anything to write home about, but the latest Morgan face-to-face poll offers Labor a relatively encouraging result: their primary vote is up 3.5 per cent on the previous fortnight to 35.5 per cent, their best result since May. The Coalition is down 1.5 per cent to 46.5 per cent and the Greens one to 10 per cent. To any Labor supporters who might feel like reaching for the champagne bottle, it has to be said that due caution is required for any poll which is half conducted over a long weekend that included grand finals for both major football codes.
Using the industry standard measure of allocating minor party preferences as per the result of the previous election, the Coalition lead is down from 55.5-54.5 to 53.5-46.5, which is only Labor’s best result since late July and early August (when consecutive polls had their primary vote at 34.5 per cent). The bad headline figure for Labor is a result of the highly idiosyncratic results Morgan is getting on respondent-allocated preferences. This poll has nearly 60 per cent of minor party and independent voters directing preferences to the Coalition, a result without any precedent since at least the mid-1990s. The other pollster that publishes respondent-allocated figures, Nielsen, has also shown Labor’s preference share declining since the 2010 election, but not to anything like the same degree.