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. [Carey Moore
    Posted Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
    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.]

    I completely agree with you. If an election was held yesterday and you forced me to bet on a TPP I would have said 54:46.

    The point is this government is on the nose. A good decisive decision, an international visit, am Abbott misspeak will all give little blips of happiness for ALP supporters but the central message has seemed pretty clear to me (and many others here) for the whole year. The government is in dire trouble and has internal divisions that are unresolved.

  2. Gillard should have included Rudd more in the ALP conference. He is foreign affairs minister for god’s sake, what is really the third most important position in cabinet.

  3. [my say
    Posted Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Permalink
    I should of known u would appear

    Like ghost in the night hiding behind a door waiting to gloat]

    I come whenever there is a new poll.

    You keep being surprised My say, but its really not that hard to figure out.

    And by the way, I was here posting when the ALP surged to 54:46 on the Newspoll and humbly took it when GG claimed I had misread the trend……knowing I would have my revenge soon enough (He he 🙂 )

  4. the polls have definately moved in the the coalitions direction again. disappointing. for what its worth i think its cos Abbott has been very quiet

  5. [If Labor doesn’t recover in the polls until then, a uniform swing of 12% (in a 61/39 2pp result) would wipe out everything down to Lytton, leaving them with only 12 out of 89 seats, which would be even more embarrassing than NSW in March. ]

    Doesn’t mean much here really. only a couple of years before labor was in government for 20 out of 22 years, it was down to a cricket team of just 11 members.

    Only a few years ago the libs were down to just three.

  6. Mod Lib, completely agreed. Chasing “the little things” actually makes a side look desperate. The ALP should be fixing how they appear, big picture-wise, not going for cheap shots. (Observe that when Abbott makes cheap shots against Gillard or Labor, it doesn’t alter polling either)

  7. Centre

    [He is foreign affairs minister for god’s sake, what is really the third most important position in cabinet.]

    Politically that isn’t true. The top four issues are

    1. The Economy (which is really number 1 and 2)
    2. Health
    3. Jobs
    4. Education

    No-one really cares about FA.

  8. My say:

    I agree, I stuffed up the wording, so here it is corrected:

    Since July there have been 4 polls with ALP TPP at 46, or 47, and 35 polls with ALP at 45, or lower.

    I think the ALP TPPs of 46 and 47 might be the outliers actually….particularly since two of them were after the Qantas strike.

  9. Carey

    [ You are very cheap. I gather it’s 30K minimum.

    I have no idea, to be honest. I was just guessing 😆 ]

    So was I.

    cough cough

  10. Centre:

    Rudd needs to go. If not from parliament then at least from Cabinet. It would stop the leaks.


    Interesting when the ‘knifing’ term is turned around. Perhaps the Rudd Cultists might appreciate their continued use of the phrase and what it actually means….

  11. [Gillard should have included Rudd more in the ALP conference. He is foreign affairs minister for god’s sake, what is really the third most important position in cabinet.]

    TBH, The government should know how the media react to things by now and taken that into account with the ALP leaders of past montage.

    JG should swallow her pride and acknowledge some of the merit of PM Rudd. I realise it would open up the question of “why did you dump him?” but prepare for that and give a non-offensive response. It works better than pretending that the period never existed.

    Disclaimer: This is not intended to be a pro-Rudd or anti-Rudd statement.

  12. Um Diogs, it should be, especially in the modern world and definitely given the Euro zone crisis.

    wRONg again like usual, good to know things are normal here at PB 🙂

  13. [U and abbott suit each other are u friends or a stuff member]

    If that was a question for me then No, never met him and have no desire to do so.

    Again, I have said many times before, he is not what I want in a PM. The point of disagreement between us (and me and many here) is that I am not falling for the Gillard spin either.

    They are both hopeless, as are their treasurers. The worst quartet I can ever remember in the decades I have been following Australian federal politics.

  14. yes Carey, the leaving out of Rudd, whilst in the context of previous governments may be understandable, was such an obvious gift to the media/opposition

  15. A Nielsen poll that shows the Coalition ahead further than any other poll? I am shocked. This has never happened before. I guess its time to slash my wrists and be done with this cruel world…

    [I think the ALP TPPs of 46 and 47 might be the outliers actually….particularly since two of them were after the Qantas strike.]

    Luckily outliers never go other way.

  16. Generally speaking, the top echelon of a cabinet is:


    Followed by who is in charge of:

    Foreign Affairs
    The Law (ie AG)

    Health and Education also are strongly relevant to most modern cabinets too.

    It should be noted that in Parliamentary government, these are usually stepping stones to the leadership.

  17. Connie, no, Rudd does not need to go.

    He is far more experienced in foreign affairs than Gillard.

    And there are valuable seats in QLD that must be won.

    Stick to the cooking 😆

  18. daretotread,

    [ BW

    Get over yourself you paranoid bore ]

    There seems to be a competition between BW & Fess as to who is the more paranoid.

    Both are extremely boring with their Anti-Ruddisteration or whatever it is! 😉

  19. [They are both hopeless, as are their treasurers. The worst quartet I can ever remember in the decades I have been following Australian federal politics.]

    Australia is doing very well due to this PM and Treasurer you dislike. You seem a tad angry at things going well.

  20. I can’t see that leadership speculation is worse now than at ay other time of the year. If there is a movement back to the coalition, I think its because the wrong things are in the news. Everything from MP pay rises, to a bunch of stuff at conference that does nothing to boost ALP vs LNP amongst swinging voters.

    FFS, I hope the next year is all about the Economy, Jobs, Health, Education etc. I understand that’s the plan. They need to not get distracted.

  21. 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’.

    I was with nearly ten journalists in a pub and I swear we all heard him say exactly that. No, really.

    Then someone offered to sell him an old Ford, but he said, “F*ck the Futura”.

    He’s got a strategy, you see. He’s going to blab stuff to News Ltd journalists in a bar to make himself look petty and vindictive, and ride that wave all the way to the Lodge. He knows how to get the ALP members on-side. It is, as Boerwar puts it, a “gambit”. A really smart one. Far too clever to be dreamt up in News offices.

  22. [They are both hopeless, as are their treasurers. The worst quartet I can ever remember in the decades I have been following Australian federal politics.]

    ModLib, I do appreciate your jokes because we all happened to live through the Howard Costello regime and their twelve years of endless stupidity.

  23. A very bad poll. Difficult to explain – putting aside the Ruddstoration I think it is possible that two issues are currently hurting the Government with what used to called the blue collar vote. Firstly the Conference decision on gay marriage (while perfectly reasonable) is unlikely to garner many extra votes from those who support it (I know a number of gay strong Liberal voters who will not change their vote on this issue) but it is extremely likely to lose some socially conservative voters who should be voting for Labor. Secondly the Government is getting murdered in the tabloid press, the shock jocks and even the MSM generally as each additional boat arrives.

  24. I think we should all take a deep breath.

    Bad poll, ok.I believed that people had turned off politics and the Rudd thing. However, it must now be considered as being part of the reason for this poll.

    I do not think the conference as a whole was bad, just the free hit the PM gave the MSM over Rudd. I think we now have to accept that it was a own goal. It was not a good look. The MSM made the PM look petty. His reaction, also not good. Blame all round.

    PV and PM satisfaction will be interesting to see if she has taken a personal hit from this.

    Prepare yourself all for a week of navel gazing from the MSM over this and Rudd to challenge up and running again.

    One thing, the PM is a quick learner.

    Just remember Newspoll went up to 57/43 and then back to 54/46.

  25. [ 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.]

    Dio, the ACL interview with Julia Gillard is @

    (BTW, I don’t agree with the PM’s stance on SSM -I strongly support SSM as a universal civil right – though I do with the conscience vote.)

    Marriage is mentioned c 12.12mins in from the beginning. The PM’s statement about Labour Policy, as adopted by the “last” Labor National Conference, starts c12.45mins, with the main statements about the Policy as adopted by the National Conference & her involvement in it is c13.15mins onwards. That’s the policy and she will absolutely implement it.

    That’s exactly what she did, even voting against SSM at last weekend’s National Conference.

    However, Dec 2011’s National Conference voted to change the policy – which, as a Labor PM, she is bound to implement. She did manage to get the Conscience vote through; moreover, the legislation is being introduced as a Private member’s Bill; therefore, it is NOT a government Bill, and Labor Senators and MPs can vote as they wish.

    No way the ACL can claim that what the PM, at any time, said anything like there’ll be no gay marriage under the government I lead. What she said was she would “absolutely” implement Labor Policy as adopted by labor’s National Conference.

    BTW, I went through every ACL in the Media release from the day Julia Gillard became PM, until Election Day 2010. NO reference to Julia Gillard’s having made any election promise that could possibly be reported as there’ll be no gay marriage under the government I lead.

    The PM made no such Election promise.

    The self-styled Christian saying she did either has very poor comprehension skills, or is lying.


    [New blood in Cabinet reshuffle
    by: Phillip Hudson From: Herald Sun December 12, 2011 12:00AM

    NICOLA Roxon is set to become the nation’s first female Attorney-General under a Cabinet shake-up to be announced today by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

    Junior ministers Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek are also set for promotion under Ms Gillard’s plan to expand the existing Cabinet of 20.]

    more in the article

  27. [The world has just agreed an “historic” new climate change deal in Durban but what does it mean for you?]

    Ah, Leroy. One of the smirky thought that keeps popping into my head …

    All Abbott’s crap about ‘not leading the world’; only a few nations have signed up to it (and that does not include USA), and the CP/ETS won’t work because only a few nations have signed up to it, and they don’t include our main trading rivals …

    Egg all over Abbott’s ugly mug, Mates! All those who elected him LOTO – snookered! Stuck with promises to repeal the CP (and not initiate ETS) – promises he & the L-NP can not now possibly keep!

    If Libs had kept their Wong-McFarlane bargain in 2009, they’d have part-ownership of policies to which the whole world has now agreed and give legal status. This year, Abbott deliberately dealt the Opposition out of any of the Committees developing the CP Bills; refusing its core constituencies any share in decision making.

    Shockjocks, NewsLtd, Shckjocks, Nutter Truckers and the far right – egg all over their ugly mugs, too.

    Yeah. There’a a hellava lot of triumphalism round here tonight!

    Any Bludgers having smirkier thoughts than those, plz share them!

  28. [Ghost has found an article up early.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s revenge in cabinet reshuffle
    Simon Benson The Daily Telegraph December 12, 2011 12:00AM]

    Has the PM actually announced it?

    I can’t imagine Julia Gillard choosing to announce a Cabinet Reshuffle via the DT at deepest, darkest Midnight.

    Has someone in Cabinet leaked it- to the Daily Telegraph of all papers – and did the HS get the same leak, or just run the DT story?

  29. If today’s the day Ministers are told, some would go back and tell their staff if they’re moving on, some MPs may talk to journos etc, and they start to piece it together. So the accounts seem to agree on some details, but leave some details vague or “expected”.


    [Reshuffle shows us Julia Gillard’s the boss
    by: Dennis Shanahan From: The Australian December 12, 2011 12:00AM

    JULIA Gillard’s ministerial reshuffle is bigger and bolder than expected, surprising some of her colleagues, as the Prime Minister pulls the final lever in 2011 to establish authority and credibility for her leadership.

    Gillard’s shuffle is an exercise in prime ministerial power at the moment she feels most confident since the election last year.]

    More in the article


    [Julia Gillard stamps her authority with new-look team
    by: Sid Maher From: The Australian December 12, 2011 12:00AM

    JULIA Gillard will today announce a ministerial reshuffle promoting Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten, as she moves to inject fresh blood into an expanded cabinet and increase the focus on key economic and social policy priorities.

    The Prime Minister yesterday discussed key portfolio positions in a series of telephone calls with senior ministers as she moved to reshape her line-up for next year.]

    of everyone, Sid seems more upfront about the fact he is getting conflicting reports


    [Nations agree to climate deadline
    Ben Cubby
    December 12, 2011

    THE world’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitters, including China and the US, have forged a plan to unite all major nations under a legally binding pact to slow climate change.

    The last-ditch deal, reached yesterday at the end of the United Nations climate conference in South Africa, is the first time developing nations such as China and India have agreed to work towards emissions reduction targets that have ”legal force”.

    Australia’s Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, called the agreement ”a significant breakthrough in tackling global warming”.]

  33. OPT 1227
    [UNFCCC chief Christiana Figueres was exultant.

    Citing the words of Nelson Mandela, she said on Twitter: “In honour of Mandela: It always seems impossible until it is done. And it is done!]

    What a noble quote from a truly noble figure!

    Thanks for passing it on OPT.

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