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.