Morgan face-to-face: 53.5-46.5 to Coalition

The final Morgan face-to-face poll for the year is a surprisingly good one for Labor, producing a set of primary vote figures that scans out to 50-50 on two-party preferred if minor party and independent preferences are allocated in the same proportions as per the 2010 election result (the method used by all pollsters other than Morgan, with good reason). Labor’s primary vote is unchanged on the previous poll at 36.5 per cent, but the Coalition is well down from 46.5 per cent to 43 per cent, with the Greens up three points to 13 per cent. The poll was conducted over the past two weekends, from a combined sample of 1950.

Morgan’s headline two-party figure of 53.5-46.5, which is obtained by asking minor party and independent supporters to whom they would direct their preference, is quite a bit less impressive for Labor, and underscores a very odd feature of Morgan’s face-to-face polling this year: their respondent-allocated preferences have been splitting about 50-50 between Labor and the Coalition. Not only is this entirely unlike any election result in recent history, it also flatly contradicts the other pollster which publishes a respondent-allocated two-party result: Nielsen, which has given Labor a mid-60s share of minor party and independent preferences in each of its last five monthly polls, consistent with what election results would lead us to expect.

For this reason, Morgan’s 50-50 result is obviously a more meaningful extrapolation from its primary vote figure. However, this brings us to Morgan’s other problem: that those primary vote figures appear to be consistently biased to Labor. Labor’s 36.5 per cent in both the past two polls compares with 29 per cent from the most recent Nielsen, 31 per cent from Newspoll and 35 per cent from Essential Research (which tends to have Labor higher and the Greens lower than the phone pollsters – the limited evidence available suggests it is Essential which is more accurate).

Finally, the Poll Bludger will be going into hibernation from Christmas Day until January 8 inclusive, which is to say the site will still be accessible but comments will be closed. Thanks to all (well, almost all) who have contributed throughout the year, and I look forward to hearing from you again in a fortnight or so.

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.

2,200 comments on “Morgan face-to-face: 53.5-46.5 to Coalition”

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  1. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    Michele Bachmann said she wants to be the new Margaret Thatcher, Does she know that “Thatcher fought Delors and Delors won”
    5 minutes ago

  2. Well, whatever the allocation of preferences is more meaningful, I’m just pleased to see the govt end the year with a more positive poll.

  3. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    Where is the Headline? “Gillard Govt ends year with A Big Bang 50-50 with Coalition according to the latest poll” #auspol
    15 seconds ago

  4. Reposted from end of previous thread
    I think an agreement will come about between Labor and LNP and it won’t do either any harm. Abbott beats his chest and proclaims they were right all along, Gillard explains how she was prepared for many compromises to save lives. But Labor MUST then turn the spotlight on the Greens as the party of lunacy who refused to compromise and provoked tragedy. If Gillard does so (but unfortunately she won’t IMO) then watch some of that Greens PV coming back to Labor. I doubt that an agreement will change LNP PV by much, may even reduce it. In summary win-win for Gillard, lose-lose for Greens, the real enemy.


    [Jobs catastrophe claim ‘complete rubbish’
    December 22, 2011 – 12:59PM

    Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan has rejected claims of a looming jobs crisis.

    Mr Swan says a newspaper report that Australia is on the brink of an unemployment catastrophe is “complete rubbish”.

    The reaffirmation of Australia’s AAA credit rating by ratings agency Moody’s demonstrates those talking down the economy are wrong, the treasurer said on Thursday.

    “Our economy has strong fundamentals, we have low unemployment, we have strong public finances, we have trend economic growth and we have a huge investment pipeline,” Mr Swan told reporters in Brisbane.

    Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reports Australia is on the brink of an unemployment catastrophe with up to 100,000 jobs set to be slashed in the months after Christmas.

    Not so, according to Mr Swan.

    “The Liberals have been talking our economy down. But we have also got the Daily Telegraph today running a story which is simply exaggerated nonsense.”

    Mr Swan said neither advertisers or their customers would appreciate the economy being talked down just before Christmas.]

  6. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    @SpaceKidette Yes, there will be job crisis in 2012. Inside #NewsCorpse Empire and DT
    53 seconds ago

  7. Okay if Wayne Swan is right then why is there so much talk about business being flat, the white collar professions are talking about next year being a tough year with dropping business demand leading to increasing unemployment.

  8. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    Abbott demands PM Gillard come back from holiday to talk with him. he is just jealous because nobody wants to go on hols with him #auspol
    55 seconds ago

  9. Face to face has to have more “herd mentality” in the answers, rather than more anonymous phone and absolutely anonymous privacy of the ballot box.

    1950 is an impressive sample, though school holidays has the wealthier already jetting off to Whistler. Hope there is no more polls, so the 50/50 can be happily quoted throughout the summer

  10. the one thing JG has in common with :mrgreen: is that when they are off the scene, their approval rating goes up.

    The Brains Trust should keep her in cotton wool and off the airwaves for a while longer, and let :mrgreen: implode

  11. William

    [Thanks to all (well, almost all) who have contributed throughout the year, and I look forward to hearing from you again in a fortnight or so.]

    And thank you to you for hosting this site and making it available to us all.

  12. William,
    Thanks for the site. It has helped keep an Old Phart marginally sane. It’s the best political bog site in Australia. A pity it reaches only the tragics. But that’s life! Looking forward to 2012 – it will be like no other.( The most important political story will come out of Washington in November). Compliments of the season.

  13. Reading that Guardian story I had an evil thought the PM should say

    Hey Tone Lets pass my AS Policy and I will off-set that with a campaign to open our immigration program to Europeans wanting to live here.

    Cheers Jules o Tone don’t work too hard over Chrissy xx

  14. Thanks William for a unique site, and your psephological wisdom. And thank you also for a forum for meeting like-minded people, many of whom I have come to consider friends.

    Merry Christmas! (I hope you have been put on the ‘Nice’ list!)

  15. Finns

    [BW, are we still profiting from other people’s miseries?]

    The Indonesia-Australia One Way Tourism Division has expressed concern that the Government seems to be intent on insourcing the asylum seeker trade. We have patented TPVs just in case.

    Our money printing operations in the US and EU are wearing out the Gestetners so that is a nice little growth earner. The pesky citizens are miserable about copping it in the neck about all this, but they should consider their votes a bit more carefully before the banks make them homeless again the next time.

    Patenting the reindeer genome was a ripper of an idea by the Science Division. They got it to a litigable stage which mean we had Santa by the short and curlies on the timeline thing. He could either pay us through the nose or miss the chimney run for 2011. Fortunately for our bottom line, he has a big nose.

    So, ‘Greed is good with a heart of gold and Inner Growth through the suffering of others’ is still looking solid.

    The Marketing Division have not been sitting on their arses, either. They have come up with:

    ‘Tis the season of greed is goodwill with a heart of gold.’

    They reckon that by the time the punters figure that one out we will have skun them good and proper.

  16. [latikambourke Latika Bourke
    Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan says the Govt is happy to sit down and talk about all the options re offshore processing with the Oppn.]

    Imagine had Abbott actually agreed to sit down instead of carrying on like he has? We might even have a result!

  17. william – the site is fun! Thanks.

    Space Kidette – I’m sure under that ‘Political Science’ Doctorate aspirer heart lurks some units of psychology so William possibly has a ‘hatchet job’ final paper planned on some mass herd agreement combined with strategies used to banish the unbelievers.

    Joke! Festive season here – enjoy!


    [No sweat, let the good times roll: Australians saving for travel
    BY: JAMES GLYNN From: Dow Jones Newswires December 22, 2011 1:13PM

    THE most popular reason cited for increasing household savings in Australia in December wasn’t fear of looming unemployment, or the need to slash debt.

    Instead, Aussies have their hearts set on leveraging the power of their strong currency and are saving up for travel, according to research by economic think tank the Melbourne Institute.


    It also supports the idea the widely reported retail sector slump is at least due in some part to leakage of discretionary spending overseas. Travel is taking money out of the country, so too is a trend toward internet shopping which threatens the very survival of bricks and mortar retailers.

    To be sure, debt reduction and saving for a rainy day also polled highly, but the data overall suggests the mood of the Australian consumer is a little more upbeat than some polls suggest.

    But there is some joy for retailers, with respondents citing the need to save for Christmas presents high on their list too.

    Fewer households reported a problem with debt in December, compared with the previous survey in September. ]

    More in the article

  19. So is Morgan


    Thank you William

    If the break from Pb,,
    Gives your mum some more
    time with you,
    I am all for. It,

    Thank you again, personaly I would go nutty if I had to look after us lot.
    But you help us keep our sanity
    May we all have good health,
    And may the pm and her loyal troops have an easier time next year.

  20. [Finally, the Poll Bludger will be going into hibernation from Christmas Day until January 8 inclusive, which is to say the site will still be accessible but comments will be closed. Thanks to all (well, almost all) who have contributed throughout the year, and I look forward to hearing from you again in a fortnight or so.


    and congratulations from me on a great blog, even handed adjudication and all the best for the break. I’m sure there will be a battle to have “the last word” before you suspend the posts.

  21. [The Indonesia-Australia One Way Tourism Division has expressed concern that the Government seems to be intent on insourcing the asylum seeker trade. We have patented TPVs just in case.]

    BW, yes, i have heard that from Chris Bowen’s COS (stunning, stunning person 😉 ).

    I am preparing a submission to the Board of PT Finns & Boerwar Indonesia Bersama that we take over Christmas Island.

    In addition to the lucrative business of profiting from more of the AS miseries, that could also be our Xmas Holiday resort for our families, and maybe certain Fav Bludgers eg: Horsey. OK, we will also invite Bilbo.

    In addition, i have been told at certain time of the year, the Crabs are absolutely fantastic and plentiful. i took this picture while i was doing the inspection tour:


  22. MY Say @ 31 – Grab your turkey and do Christmas. Next year is just another year. I’m sure we will al, survive.

    Can George help – What’s he like on stuffing?

  23. JV

    Link to the comparative graph 2010 and 2011 (in Keane article in Crikey the other day):

    Did you like this bit?

    Insistence on onshore processing is a non-policy. It substitutes personal morality for public morality, and fails to recognise that when governments act, there are impacts far beyond those immediately advantaged or disadvantaged in a way that is never the case with individual actions.

  24. Just noticed this from the previous thread (thanks to triton):

    The sad story of Wrongway Wawan (as told by SH-Y):

    [Wawan was a fisherman who often travelled for work. His mother suggested that he go to Sumba to fish for octopus. In Sumba, on this occasion, he was sitting in a coffee shop when he was approached by a man called Mohammed, who asked if he would be interested in taking a boatload of passengers to go diving in Kupang. Wawan agreed, thinking that this was a way to make money, more money than fishing for octopus would bring. When the passengers arrived, Wawan was surprised to see that none of them were Indonesian. However, he did not ask any questions as Mohammed was his boss and he knew to just do what he was told.

    When they set off there were about 40 passengers on board the boat as well as another Indonesian man who had been recruited in a similar way. Mohammed followed in a larger boat and after two days he came aboard Wawan’s boat and handed him a compass, telling him to continue to sail at 180 degrees. Mohammed then turned around his boat and headed back towards Indonesia. Wawan had never used a compass before; however, he still believed he was heading to Kupang, so he continued to follow Mohammed’s instructions. Wawan and the other Indonesian man followed Mohammed’s directions for another two days until they were intercepted by the Royal Australian Navy off the coast of Western Australia.]

    I can’t let this one go.

    Lemmie see….Wrongway is a fisherman who “often travels for work” and presumably knows how to sail a boat, but has “never used a compass.”

    Right. A sailor who has never used a compass. OK.

    Big Bad Mohammed turns-up and offers Wrongway a nice little earner, ferrying a boatload of passengers to Kupang. Now Kupang is about 300km due east of Sumba. Christmas Island is due west and Continental Australia due south.

    Now I dunno about you lot, but it seems to me that even the thickest of sailors ought to be able to tell east from south. I mean, you don’t need a compass for that. You sail towards the rising sun and you’re heading east. Keep on going and you hit Kupang.

    If you hang a right and keep going, you hit Australia.

    It’s not rocket science.

    SH-Y reckons poor old Wrongway, a professional fisherman, got all muddled-up. He fair dinkum had no idea he was sailing south.

    How gullible can you get?

    All I can say is that if SH-Y is right, then it’s a wonder Wrongway the fisherman ever came home from his regular trips on the sea with a catch for his poor old mum at all.

    I mean, with his sense of direction every time this guy cast-off he’d never have known where he was going to end-up, let alone be able to find his way home.

  25. Interesting scenario now with negotiations with Abbott

    Say labor negotiate a return to Nauru and PNG with indefinite detention (nudge nudge, wink, wink) and TPV’s and slowly leak and drip feed the details to the public.

    They then go to the greens and say we’ll go with the ‘Abbott’ plan or we could have a malaysian solution with a sunset date (say June 2013) and no TPVs, what do SHY, Christine and Bob say.

    Interesting to see whether they could maintain party discipline if they said yes – doubtful.

    With 42 votes on the floor Julia can probably now pass her bill if either Katter or Crook support Oakey & Windsor.

    I think green purity would opt for more deaths at sea rather than try the Malaysia solution

  26. Best wishes for Christmas to everyone, enjoy yourselves.

    A big Thank You to William for such a great site and for providing the opportunity for some (mostly) sane discussion.

  27. [BW, are we still profiting from other people’s miseries?]

    Boerwar, Finns,

    At the risk of intruding into a boardroom discussion, I have to say I have been following the progression of your various enterprises. Most impressed! If I may be so bold: All branches appear to be firmly in hand. Do you intend to list?

    You’re on a dead-set winner here! Misery is the new black.

  28. Gary and Steve regarding the discussion on the previous thread and your questions to me I simply do not have a solution to stop people risking their lives to travel to Australia because they perceive the threat in their homeland is greater than the risk of travelling here in suspect boats. I doubt anyone in the thousands of years people have been risking their lives to flee poverty and threat has had an answer either.

    I just find it morally wrong to send people back if they are indeed genuine refugees and so can’t support any deal that trades 800 people.

  29. A nice little Christmas present to Labor from Morgan.

    All the best for Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year to everyone, regulars & lurkers alike from all us here in Capricornia.


  30. I just find it morally wrong to send people back if they are indeed genuine refugees…

    Once again, a Liberal supporter tries to spread misinformation, as the obscuring of reality is the only hope his side ever has.

    You try to imply that these people would be sent back to the life-threatening places that they initially fled (eg: Afghanistan, Burma). Wrong, as you well know- and thus a lie.

    They would, under the Malaysia Plan, be sent to Malaysia and NOT to the countries that they fled. Additionally, even those sent to Malaysia under this plan will then be in a REAL, FAIR, existing queue (even if they are at the back of that queue) that Labor’s plan will have created FOR THE FIRST TIME.

    Stop the Liberal lies!

  31. 2GB running the line that Bowen may allow Nauru as “an interim measure” (I think this is their spin-off of this mornings “bowen says” spin-off in the OO).

    Also reporting that Tony “Mr. Flexibility” Abbott saying “No”. It’s Nauru, exactly on his terms, a return to the precise Howard government solution, or nothing.

    But of course he’s willing to discuss anything, as long as Labor completely caves into him.

    2GB also saying this was eminently reasonable and gracious of Abbott. “Our one true statesman”.

  32. Thank you for keeping up this brilliant blog, William. Since I started visiting last year, I’ve learned so much about how the Australian government works and the electoral system, and have developed an interest in studying elections.

    I’ll be doing some research over summer regarding past state election results (surprisingly difficult to find individual seat results pre-1990, aside from NSW) and I’ll probably put them up on Wikipedia when the chance arises, seeing as university is out until late February.

  33. I never suggested they were being sent back to their country of origin and if they were going to a country of final settlement I wouldn’t have a problem with the policy. However we have a legal and moral obligation to accept genuine refugees and not sacrifice then to satisfy some political agenda.

  34. [ I have to say I have been following the progression of your various enterprises. Most impressed! If I may be so bold: All branches appear to be firmly in hand. Do you intend to list?]

    Scringler, make us an offer we cant refuse. but please, no Horsey head.

    BTW: We do have an opening in Europe. Boerwar being an old Dutch hand, we are thinking of opening our newest division in Old Amsterdam:

    CV Finns & BoerWar East Indies Rijstaffel – There will be alot of miseries in the coming years in Europe. We want to position ourselves to hugely profit from them miseries.

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