Morgan face-to-face: 55.5-44.5 to Coalition

The latest Morgan poll combines the last two weekends’ face-to-face surveying, and shows a slight increase to the Coalition’s lead from the previous poll. Their primary vote is up a point to 46.5 per cent, with Labor steady on 36.5 per cent and the Greens down two to 10 per cent. The headline two-party figure has the Coalition leading 55.5-44.5, up from 54.5-45.5. The usual caveats should be added: Morgan’s face-to-face polls have showed a consistent bias to Labor over the years, but in the case of the two-party vote this is more than cancelled out by the highly idiosyncratic tendency of Morgan’s respondent-allocated preferences to split about 50-50 between the two major parties. Applying the more reliable method of allocating preferences according to the result of the previous election, the Coalition lead has gone from 51.5-48.5 to 53-47.

Other poll news:

• The latest seat-level Queensland state automated phone poll by ReachTEL targets 369 respondents in Lytton, to be vacated at the election by the retirement of former Deputy Premier Paul Lucas. It shows Labor’s 12.0 per cent margin set to be erased by a swing of 23 per cent, following polls indicating swings of 27 per cent in Stretton, 15 per cent in Ferny Grove, 26 per cent in Ipswich and 20 per cent in Bundamba. The poll for Lytton has the primary votes at 26 per cent for Labor, 48 per cent for the LNP, 13 per cent for Katter’s Australian Party and 9 per cent for the Greens. ReachTEL’s imperfect two-party measure (“if you were forced to make a choice between the two following candidates who would you choose?”) has the LNP leading at 62-38. Standard caveat: ReachTel is a new outfit using a methodology which is yet to prove its worth, and all the swings indicated are well over the 13 per cent indicated by recent Newspoll and Galaxy polling. Labor will preselect its candidate for Lytton tomorrow, the contenders being Peter Cumming, a Wynnum-Manly ward councillor and Left faction member, and Daniel Cheverton, described in the Wynnum Herald as a former policy adviser to Rachel Nolan who now works for an engineering company.

• A poll conducted for Australian Marriage Equality as part of Galaxy’s online omnibus surveying finds 80 per cent support for a Coalition conscience vote on same-sex marriage, with only 14 per cent opposed. It also has only 25 per cent nominating Labor as the party that best represents its views on same-sex marriage, compared with 32 per cent Liberal, 3 per cent Nationals and 13 per cent Greens, with 17 per cent for “none/don’t know”. The poll was conducted from November 25-27 from a sample of 1051; see here for delightfully detailed tables. This follows a similar poll in August which had 29 per cent strongly agreeing that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, 31 per cent agreeing, 14 per cent disagreeing and 18 per cent strongly disagreeing. A striking gender divide was evident, with women twice as likely as men to strongly support same-sex marriage and men twice as likely as men to strongly oppose it, along with effects in the expected direction according to age and religion.

Despatches from last weekend’s ALP National Conference:

• The recommendations made in the post-election review conducted by Steve Bracks, John Faulkner and Bob Carr were mostly scotched, wih largely cosmetic exceptions. Most importantly, a plan to have a component of the National Conference be directly elected by the rank-and-filed has been referred to an implementation committee which the Left complains is unlikely to seriously progress it. Most of the 400 conference delegates are at present chosen by the state branches, which are responsible to state conferences which consist of 50 per cent union and 50 per cent constituency party representatives. NSW general secretary and Right faction figure Sam Dastyari had proposed the direct election of an extra 150 delegates – one from each of the 150 federal electorates – but the Left favoured a model in which half would be directly elected by party members and the other half directly appointed by trade unions (a presentation of the Right’s proposals is available from The Age). The resulting strengthening of the unions’ arm was widely criticised, although the Right was accused of using this as a pretext to scotch reforms which, in the view of a Right source quoted by Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald, “would have diminished the faction’s influence by diluting the factional balance among delegates”. Alternatively, VexNews presumably speaks for the Right in complaining that the postal voting proposed for election of Conference delegates would confer an advantage on the Left, while Graham Richardson in The Australian expresses alarm at the near-success of Left policy measures that would have “finished” Julia Gillard, and cautions against “the practical effects of electing conference delegates directly by the rank and file”.

• Also rejected were proposals to give the elected national president and vice-presidents voting rights on the 20-member national executive; for state and territory presidents and vice-presidents to be elected by the rank-and-file; for the party’s national appeals tribunal to be given greater independence of the national executive; and for national executive and state administrative committee interventions into preselections to occur “only as a last resort”. It will be left to state branches to decide whether to implement a proposal to have 20 per cent of the preselection vote in some seats to be determined by primaries open to those willing to register as Labor supporters. A Left’s-eye-view of the fate of the Bracks-Faulkner-Carr recommendations has been obtained by Andrew Crook of Crikey.

A solitary preselection nugget:

• The Weekend Courier Community newspaper reports the Liberals have again endorsed Rockingham real estate agent Donna Gordin as their candidate for the southern Perth seat of Brand, held for Labor by Gary Gray on a margin of 3.3 per cent.

Last but not least, the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has published its report on the funding of political parties and election campaigns, the conduct of which was part of the minority government agreements reached between Labor, the Greens and the independents after the 2010 election. It reiterates a number of measures which featured both in the government’s reform attempts in the previous term, which were thwarted in the Senate by the Coalition and Steve Fielding, and in the terms of the minority government agreement:

• The threshold for public disclosure of donations to political parties and third parties to be cut from $11,900 and $1000, reversing a radical change made in 2006 by the Howard government, with different state branches of the same party to be treated as the same entity to prevent multiple undisclosed donations;

• Disclosures of donations to be reported six-monthly rather than yearly, with the new report further suggesting donations over $100,000 be disclosed within two weeks;

• Public funding of parties and candidates who poll over 4 per cent of the vote to be limited to reimbursement of proved spending;

• Foreign donations and anonymous donations of over $50 to be banned, and harsher penalties imposed for various offences.

The new report also recommends that:

• Money from fund-raising events be treated as donations and disclosed accordingly;

• Administrative penalties rather than rarely pursued criminal prosecutions apply for “straightforward” offences;

• Options be explored to cap spending by third parties for a period before an election;

• Registered political parties receive public funding to cope with the administrative burden of the changes (which I would be seizing on right now were I a tabloid hack).

What the report doesn’t recommend is donation and expenditure caps such as those which have been introduced at state level in New South Wales and Queensland, or the Greens-backed proposal for a ban on donations from tobacco companies (which the Greens successfully lobbied for in NSW). The terms of reference also did not require consideration of the “truth-in-advertising” requirement provided for by the minority government agreement. A dissenting report from the Coalition members again disapproved of higher disclosure thresholds on the unconvincing grounds that it would “significantly impact the ability of individuals to give donations to political parties without the potential for intimidation and harassment”. It also called for a dedicated electoral fraud squad in the Australian Electoral Commission, to deal with an issue the AEC itself does not recognise as a serious problem.

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.

1,657 comments on “Morgan face-to-face: 55.5-44.5 to Coalition”

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  1. [Connie I think Plibersek is close to Rudd.]

    Plibersek was also extremely close to Beazley, backed him versus Rudd and was apparently upset to see him be toppled.

    Not saying she couldn’t have grown to love Rudd but, if that’s the case, she is adaptable.

  2. [If you any internal Party brawling, that’s what happens.

    This Gillard v Rudd shit MUST come to an end!]

    Totally. It’s time for Rudd to either go to the backbench, or if he won’t play team on the backbench, to leave parliament altogether.

  3. fredn,

    [Ecoticons are sadly lacking there should be one for the one finger solute.>/rant< ]

    Check with Kevin Rudd. According to the latest rant from the msm, he is quite good at them, especially in front of an audience of at least 10 journalists who swear to the truth of it! 😉

  4. [ Gillard 42 (-3) Abbott 46 (+1) #auspol]

    ha ha ha. Abbott has done really well the last week and has pulled back with strong policy 🙂

  5. @confessions – Being Immigration Minister these days takes a toll on each and every one of them regardless of their party. It’s not just the political stuff that is seen by the press and public.

    The actual direct exercise of the Ministers powers are required on a daily basis. Signing those bits of paper that directly effects the fate of individuals one by one is not easy. There is no other ministerial job like it.

  6. [Did Gillard really say “there’d be no gay marriage under the government I lead”.]

    NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.

    In the Australian Christian Lobby TV interview, she promised she would implement the policy adopted by the previous ALP conference, which was no change to existing legislation. BTW, she says this more than once, or twice. As PM, she would implement ALP policy – as decided by the ALP NatConf.

    I’ve posted this and the url of the video of the interview with Julia several times. BTW, it’s not an election promise.

    So the ACL is twisting the truth in claiming she said, “there’ll be no gay marriage under the government I lead”, because she said nothing of the kind.

    The policy has since changed. Her job as PM is to implement Labor policy as decided by the National conference!

    Enough to make one howl with cynical laughter, wot! 😉

  7. I assume an Essential Poll tomorrow, don’t know for how many more week it will go one. Perhaps there will be another Morgan Phone Poll this month as well.

  8. I’m actually looking forward to some December quarterly state polling for my beloved little duchy (SA). Hopefully the ALP will have a 2PP beginning with a 5. That would be nice…

  9. [I will happily buy any water front property for a cheep price from any person worried about see level rises.]

    rummel, somehow I doubt you could afford water front property, even “cheaply”

  10. It’s funny, after the election, the narrative was “Shorten is gonna challenge!” until the carbon tax polling slum (which incidentally brought lower polling than the worst under Rudd) then it became Ruddstoration. If the polling levels out in 2012, will it go back to Shorten (or whoever) challenge? 😉

  11. rummel,

    [QLD records ]

    I think the whole blankey lot of those figures you quoted are a long way out of date.

    I think the temperature record for Rockhampton airport is 51.9 degrees centigrade as of about 3 years ago..

    i think the rainfall ones you quoted are all crap also. Especially the 24 hours rainfall figures.

  12. Cf Neilson’ s polling, Mr Rudd’s strategy of give-me-the-job-or-I’ll-wreck-the-joint seems to be having some little ‘success’. It is the ‘F-k the future gambit.’ As someone pointed out, he needs bad 2PP figures to mount a successful challenge. And, as someone else pointed out, disunity is death.

    And Labor leadership has disunity at the top while Mr Rudd is manoevring himself to within striking distance.

    Any more bad news for Labor 2PP and everyone will be screaming for him to take back the job. To create, one must first destroy?

    The irony is that this initiative by Mr Rudd will almost certainly ensure that the other give-me-the-job-or-I’ll-wreck-the-joint person will get the job. Youse all know who I mean.

    Those of us with a genuine interest in good governance and good policy live in sad, sad times. As for the various vicious personal attacks on your good self, I content myself with the ancient, ancient saying: ‘A prophet is without honour in his own land.’

  13. If there is trend against the govt (pending seeing other polls), I would put down to the conference as well,, with maybe a bit of leadership speculation. Not because of any speeches, but the issues talked about (or covered, more was talked about) are not positive vote changers for most people. Uranium & Gay Marriage are not like Jobs, Health, Education etc.

    They’re necessary for setting up policy direction, but fortunately there won’t be another conference for another two years

  14. Why isneilson always bad for us,.
    This rudd thing why. Would it make people care who they vote for I dont get it

    Costeloo howard thing was’around for years

    Was this poll taken in qld. And nsw???

  15. scorpio

    [I think the whole blankey lot of those figures you quoted are a long way out of date.

    I think the temperature record for Rockhampton airport is 51.9 degrees centigrade as of about 3 years ago..

    i think the rainfall ones you quoted are all crap also. Especially the 24 hours rainfall figures.]

    Shall i rant on about the science and not trusting the high and mighty government departments like the BOM for which is where the information came from.

  16. [Shall i rant on about the science]

    Let me make another observation, rummel – you wouldn’t know “science” if it hit you on your pyrometer

  17. [BTW, it’s not an election promise.]


    [and that’s what you should expect to see from the Gillard Labor Government if we’re re-elected.]

  18. Funny I don’t see as internal brawling I see it as simply paper talk
    Still don’t get how this effects peoples this thoughts
    re policies,
    Love to know what the questions where before the 2pp question

  19. Connie, no that is wrong!

    Rudd is one of the most experienced ministers (especially in foreign affairs) this country has had.

    The Labor Party should act in the best interests of the nation and field its best in the cabinet.

    It’s time for all members of parliament in the ALP to put the Party first and foremost. The person who leads it, like the captain of a team is SECONDARY.

  20. my say

    [Love to know what the questions where before the 2pp question]

    The polling companies always ask the “who would you vote for” question first.

  21. my say

    All the polls are bad for Labor. There was a smidgen of hope when the polls were improving but they are about back to as bad as can be.

    How disappointment.

    Still, two years is a long time.

  22. Kevvie kisses Julia, polls go up.

    Julia and Kevvie fight, polls go down.

    Keep it up and we get this :mrgreen:

    If they give us this :mrgreen: they can all go jump!

  23. There is only one person in the whole of Australia that awaits each poll with intense anticipation, this far out from the election. Tony Abbott.

  24. [George, to be fair, I am a poll follower. ]

    Carey, we all are, but I did say “awaits each poll with intense anticipation” – these polls are his only lifeline

  25. Is neilson taken over a month,
    This is a bit like the previous new poll,
    Then it jumped about 7 points.
    But bugger sick of this

    But i don’t believe polls any way
    its who u ask on the day, u can say to your blue in the face
    its done on numbers of people
    But if. They all liberals that ar called by co incidence
    Well that’s wht they are


  26. [Carey Moore
    Posted Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink
    Don’t cry/celebrate too hard. Until other polling can confirm a trend, Nielsen is likely a rogue.]

    Since July there have been 4 polls with ALP at 54 (or better) and 35 with ALP at 55 or worse.

    I think the 53s and 54s might be the outliers actually. (Particularly since two of them were after the Qantas strike…

  27. When the clock strikes midnight on NYE, the PM celebrating 2012 will be Julia Gillard. The Opposition Leader doing so will be Tony Abbott.

    Don’t ever let one poll decide things. I’d argue the same if Nielsen was extremely generous to Labor.

  28. [zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink
    Sounds like the public don’t know want or who they want, thus the polling numbers go up and down like a yoyo.]

    They know exactly what they want: none of the above…

  29. Boerwar don’t be such a sad sack,

    If you look across to the right of your screen u will see some tht are 6 difference
    I don’t cal them bad,
    And boerwsr if only would shut up about kev,
    Well tomorrow. U will see dtt mtbw
    With all their gloom and doom
    I keep to my self till
    . Ess,

  30. Mod Lib, I do not think the ALP should celebrate by any means. If an election were held soon, it’d still be a clear Coalition victory. But it wouldn’t be a wipeout.

    Actually being around 52-54 is realistic for either side, 2PP-wise. 55+ is not.

  31. [Rudd is a self-indulgent self-promoter. It’s time he got knifed once and for all.]

    Rudd beat John Howard in the 2007 election. Something Gillard could not have done (given the massive difference on their respective campaign performances.

    Rudd did many good things. He was not to EXCLUSIVELY to blame for their massive turn around in their polling in 2010.

    It’s time to change the culture in the Party.

    Party FIRST


    Rudd stays, they work as a team, they regain some seats in QLD and they win the election.

    If not, get ready for this :mrgreen:

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