Morgan phone poll: 55-45 to Coalition

Three new poll results from Roy Morgan, if you please. Despite its modest sample of 543 and high margin of error of over 4 per cent, the phone poll conducted over the past two nights is the most interesting, both for its currency and for the fact that phone polling has a clearly superior track record to Morgan’s Labor-biased face-to-face polls. Averaging Morgan’s phone poll results back to May gives almost the exact same result as for Newspoll, although the smaller samples mean Morgan has been more erratic from poll to poll.

The latest result is within the margins of recent results from other pollsters, although slightly at the Coalition end of the scale: their two-party lead is 55-45 compared with most others’ 54-46, with primary votes of 31 per cent for Labor, 46.5 per cent for the Coalition and 12 per cent for the Greens. The phone poll does not replicate the issue I keep going on about of Morgan’s face-to-face polling producing wildly different results according to whether preferences are distributed as per the result of the last election or according to respondents’ stated intentions. It instead gives us 55-45 on respondent-allocated and 55.5-44.5 on previous-election, and thus chimes with this week’s Nielsen which in fact had Labor’s share of preferences slightly higher than at the election.

Speaking of which, Morgan has published not one but two sets of face-to-face figures. Normally Morgan either publishes results from its regular weekend polling the following Friday (or occasionally Thursday), but sometimes it holds off for a week and publishes a result a combined result from two weekends. This time they have held off for a week and published separate results for each weekend. The earlier poll, conducted on January 28/29 (Australia Day having been the preceding Thursday), was remarkably positive for Labor: not only did they maintain their lead on the previous-election (51-49) method from the result published a fortnight ago, they also opened a lead on the respondent-allocated measure (50.5-49.5), which for once looked similar to the previous election result. The primary votes were 39.5 per cent for Labor, 41.5 per cent for the Coalition and 10 per cent for the Greens.

However, the polling on February 4/5 told a somewhat different story, with the Coalition up four points to 45.5 per cent, Labor down one to 38.5 per cent and the Greens down half to 9.5 per cent. This panned out to a 53.5-46.5 lead to the Coalition on respondent-allocated preferences and 51.5-48.5 on previous election. The polls individually had a sample of 1000 and theoretically a margin of error of around 3 per cent. However, the more telling point is how much Morgan face-to-face results continue to differ from other series which have consistently proved nearer the mark. In 2011, the average primary vote for Labor in Morgan was 35.9 per cent, compared with 34.1 per cent for Essential Research, 30.7 per cent for Newspoll and 29.5 per cent for Nielsen. The gap between Essential and the latter two is partly accounted for by Essential having a consistently lower result for the Greens: on two-party preferred, Essential and Newspoll were fairly similar.

For a look at the bigger polling picture, Possum surveys a landscape of flat calm 54-46 polling going back to November.

UPDATE (13/2): Another week, another 54-46 Essential Research result. After losing a point on the primary vote over each of the two previous weeks, Labor is back up one to 34 per cent, with the Greens down one to 10 per cent and the Coalition steady on 47 per cent. Essential’s monthly measure of leadership approval finds both leaders’ personal ratings essentially unchanged – Julia Gillard down one on approval to 36 per cent and up one on disapproval to 53 per cent, Tony Abbott steady on 35 per cent and up two to 53 per cent – but Gillard has nonetheless made a solid gain as preferred prime minister, her lead up from 39-36 to 41-34. However, only 31 per cent expect her to lead Labor to the next election against 47 per cent who said they didn’t (hats off to the 22 per cent who admitted they didn’t know); while for Tony Abbott the numbers were 47 per cent and 25 per cent. A question on government control of media ownership has support for more control and less control tied on 24 per cent, with 34 per cent thinking it about right. There’s also a question on the impact of Gina Rinehart on the independence of Fairfax newspapers, which I personally find a little odd – the issue would mean little outside of New South Wales and Victoria. I also had my doubts about the question on whether Australia is “fair and just”, but the question asking for comparison with other countries is interesting: Canada and New Zealand are seen as Australia’s main partners in freedom, the UK does less well, Japan and France less well again, and the United States worse still. China however sits well below the rest of the field.

We also had a teaser last night from Newspoll, which had Abbott favoured over Gillard for economic management 43 per cent to 34 per cent, and Wayne Swan and Joe Hockey in a statistical dead heat for preferred Treasurer (38 per cent to 37 per cent).

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.

4,682 comments on “Morgan phone poll: 55-45 to Coalition”

Comments Page 2 of 94
1 2 3 94
  1. I’m surprised no one’s bellyaching that Morgan chose not to run with their “Labor in front” face-to-face poll last week, but instead held it over to today where they’ve buried it under two other results.

  2. The quarterly state breakdowns articulated by Poss are very interesting. The highest ALP gains from the Sept to Dec quarters have been in:

    1. SA
    2. Regional Aust
    3. Qld

    Fascinating. Aside from SA results, the other two defy msm media reporting of Labor’s vote as far as I can recall.

  3. William,

    Labor bellies do not ache over minutiae (well, sometimes they do).

    Surprisingly, there is some really interesting discussion about policies going on.

  4. gusface

    Do you suspect that the question asked of the ABC reporter was not a gemuine question from tneir ABC, but a request from another source?

  5. William,

    Personally I’m surprised Morgan releases their polls at all anymore. I can’t imagine anyone here takes Morgan particularly seriously what with their wacky methodologies, weird results, the whole compare-f2f-to-phone, preference allocation and his bizarro editorializing every now and then.

    But hey, it does give us something to talk about.

  6. [I’m surprised no one’s bellyaching that Morgan chose not to run with their “Labor in front” face-to-face poll last week, but instead held it over to today where they’ve buried it under two other results.]

    I’m not surprised by any spin the pollsters and/or their media shills choose to put on their reports of their polls these days.

  7. Laocoon,

    Tell it to the aboriginal punch-bags.

    If you don’t trust me, have a chat to Rod Hagan. Might be interesting what His Budgieness would have to say.

  8. “Chris, now you’re being absurd…” – PM.

    Prime Minister, you are being far too kind, he has been absurd for a very long time. What a terrible interview, though I did love the PM calling him out a few times…

    How have you all seen the PMs performance this week? I think she’s been very strong, her smack-down of Julie Bishop in QT was a sight to see…

  9. victoria
    [Do you suspect that the question asked of the ABC reporter was not a gemuine question from tneir ABC, but a request from another source?]
    That it may have been has been alleged in an article published by the Herald Sun, the nation’s highest circulation newspaper.

    The ABC, as far as I have seen, has not refuted this allegation

  10. William Bowe

    [I’m surprised no one’s bellyaching that Morgan chose not to run with their “Labor in front” face-to-face poll last week, but instead held it over to today where they’ve buried it under two other results.]
    Nah, I still say that this poll is worth sfa. When you say “margin of error of over 4 per cent” what is the confidence level of the 4 % ,how many standard deviations to get to 4% ?

  11. William 53 the thought crossed my mind but I eventually came to the conclusion that Morgan would have been embarrassed to post the result.

    Basically we are stuck at 54/46 and any results that vary materially from that have to be taken with a high degree of scepticism.

  12. vic

    dont verbal me

    ***************************

    I am merely intrigued as to:

    why it took 2 weeks to actually reveal the interviewer, the exact assignation of an abc RADIO journo by abc parl house to a abbott lifesaving presser with the express purpose of asking that Q, which was the FIRST Q- abbott answered word perfect- no umms ahhs errs etc

    the original smokescreen and subsequent look over ther routines is interesting

    Jholmes even didnt know it was the FIRST Q asked

    aamoi JG was not asked

    all i think any reasonable person wants is answers

    🙁

  13. The PM‘s put-downs have not been reported in any media, fifth estate excepted, that I have seen.

    I’m sure the backroom Labor boys have updated the ledger.

  14. Gus:

    You didn’t answer my question earlier. Did the PM hold a press conference that day before Abbott?

    If so it’s fair to ask why she didn’t get the same question, but if not, then you can’t use it as a point of differentiation.

  15. [I’m surprised no one’s bellyaching that Morgan chose not to run with their “Labor in front” face-to-face poll last week, but instead held it over to today where they’ve buried it under two other results.]

    What’s the point, William – we’re resigned to the fact that Morgan wouldn’t deign to have his polls taken seriously.

  16. Did the PM hold a press conference that day before Abbott?

    Why would the PM hold a press conference in front of Abbott? Second thought, might be a good idea: take Tone’s blood pressure from start to finish.

  17. Confessions the press would have been less likely to get a controversial response from the PM and I suspect that reporter received a less controversial response from Abbott than expected. However that did not prevent the press from reporting the response they expected in any case. The rest is history.

  18. Laocoon

    The herald sun turkeys, bolt and Blair, hinted at government interference – an absurdity which the abc did not need to refute.

    The other proposition, a lib plant, alrhough not put to him squarely, has been implicitly refuted by Jonathan holmes on twitter.

    Put those together with the news coverage of the anniversary on the abc, particularly in Canberra, leading up to Australia day, and you have a big bowl of nothing in particular.

  19. The other proposition, a lib plant, alrhough not put to him squarely, has been implicitly refuted by Jonathan holmes on twitter.

    Explicit: “neither side” IIRC.

  20. Just watched Uhlmann’s interview with JG and she kicked his arse. She stayed on message beautifully and swept aside all of his silly gotchas – including the last one, which was wtte that if she didn’t achieve the surplus would that be evidence that people cannot trust her promises.

    She also talked straight through his attempts to interrupt her, which was great to see. I recommend that anyone who hasn’t seen it go to the ABC site and watch it there.

  21. shellbell
    [Put those together with the news coverage of the anniversary on the abc, particularly in Canberra, leading up to Australia day, and you have a big bowl of nothing in particular.]
    Perhaps.

    But that is what I have put to them directly and have not had any response.

  22. William with respect
    because reading your analaysis of polls is like reading a legal docoment
    show me where the poll is that had us in frontin the above

  23. Darn,

    The PM was very obliging and very courteous. However, if CU had not been wearing the chastity belt he would have been left clutching his had-beens at the end.

  24. [Just watched Uhlmann’s interview with JG and she kicked his arse. She stayed on message beautifully and swept aside all of his silly gotchas – including the last one, which was wtte that if she didn’t achieve the surplus would that be evidence that people cannot trust her promises.

    She also talked straight through his attempts to interrupt her, which was great to see. I recommend that anyone who hasn’t seen it go to the ABC site and watch it there.]

    Its also worth noting that she barely mentioned Abbott at all, even when Uhlmann unsubtly tried prompting her towards the end.

  25. DavidWH:

    The sticking point seems to be that the PM wasn’t asked the same question that Abbott was. It’s helpful at this point to therefore establish whether the PM held a news conference that day, esp before him. Her website indicates that she gave no press conferences that day.

    My own view is that the ABC was doing a special report of the tent embassy anniversary, hence the directive from ABC parly house to their reporter in Abbott Land to get his views on the matter. It’s likely that had the PM also held a press conference there would similarly be an ABC reporter at her presser asking the same question of her, but there is nothing I can see at this point which suggests collusion between the ABC and ABbott’s office.

  26. Uhlmann was appalling tonight, or should I say more appalling than usual?

    Enjoyed seeing the PM kick his arse so well.

    Unfortunately, most voters won’t see the interview, just like QT, and so will have no effect on voting intentions in the future.

    More’s the pity.

  27. [Victoria if you were that reporter would you want to fess up given what subsequently transpired?]
    Agree – plus, it is rather in the interest of the ABC for this whole aspect of the day to be buried.

    The commentary that was directed to Abbott’s judgement and responsibility in making that answer on that day, could quite easily have transfered to the media’s judgement and responsibility in making that question on that day

  28. Also, did you notice that Uhlmann now refers to JG as “Prime Minister” as opposed to his disrespectful “Julia Gillard”.

    Perhaps the MSM are getting the message.

    We live in hope.

  29. [96

    Space Kidette

    Posted Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Just heard on TV something about Gillard, documents, Kevin and outer ministry.
    ]

    Kev’s place at the Cabinet Table – joke of a veat up from Mark Reilly.

  30. Just heard on TV something about Gillard, documents, Kevin and outer ministry.

    You just tuned to the ABC?

    Stop yawning, it’s not good for you.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 2 of 94
1 2 3 94