Morgan phone poll: 57-43 to Coalition

Roy Morgan has simultaneously published phone and face-to-face poll results. The phone poll was conducted from Tuesday to Thursday from a modest sample of 697, with a margin of error a bit below 4%. This tells very much the same story as other recent phone polling: Labor on 30%, the Coalition on 47.5% and the Greens on 11.5%. As is generally the case with phone polling, the two-party result is much the same whether determined by respondent allocation (57-43 to the Coalition) or applying the preference distribution from the last election (56-44).

The phone poll also gauged opinion on global warming and the carbon tax. On global warming, 35% believe concerns exaggerated, up three on October last year; 50% opted for “if we don’t act now it will be too late”, up six points; and 12% chose “it is already too late”, down eight points. Support for the carbon tax was at 34.5%, down 2.5%, with opposition up two to 59%. Support for the Coalition’s promise to repeal the tax if elected was up four points to 49% with opposition down five to 43%.

The face-to-face poll combines results from the last two weekends of Morgan’s regular surveying, with a sample of 1770. On the primary vote, this has Labor down a point on the previous survey to 31%, the Coalition up two to 46.5% and the Greens down half a point to 12.5%. As usual with these polls, and in contrast to the phone poll result, the difference between the two measures of the two-party result is cavernous (though terrible for Labor either way): 55-45 using the previous election method, but 59.5-40.5 using respondent allocation.

UPDATE: Spur212 in comments points out the following fascinating finding on the question of “who do you think will win”, which I normally don’t even bother to look at. Since the last Morgan phone poll in early February – before the Kevin Rudd leadership challenge – expectations of a Labor win have plummeted from 31% to 14%, while the Coalition has soared from 57% to 76.5%.


• The ABC reports that Dean Smith, a lobbyist and former adviser to former WA Premier Richard Court and federal MP Bronwyn Bishop, has been preselected for the third position on the WA Liberals’ Senate ticket at the election, behind incumbents David Johnston and Michaelia Cash. This makes it likely, though apparently not quite certain, that he will fill the casual vacancy created by the death on March 31 of Judith Adams.

• The Liberal member for Hume, Alby Schultz, has made long-anticipated announcement that he will retire at the next election. This sets the scene for what promising to be a bruising contest for the seat between the Liberals and Schultz’s bitter enemy, the Nationals. Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports relations between the two have fractured over the Liberals’ moves to preselect candidates ahead of time in anticipation of a potential early election. The Nationals say this dishonours an agreement that preselections would wait until the two parties had reached their agreement determining which seats would be contested by which parties and the order of the Coalition Senate ticket, which has not left them of a mind to leave Hume to the Liberals. The most widely mooted potential Liberal candidate has been Angus Taylor, a 45-year-old Sydney lawyer, Rhodes Scholar and triathlete. Taylor is said to be close to Malcolm Turnbull, and to have the backing of Schultz. For the Nationals’ part, it has long been suggested that Senator Fiona Nash might try her hand at the seat, and The Australian now reports that Katrina Hodgkinson, state Primary Industry Minister and member for Burrinjuck, might also be interested.

Imre Salusinszky and James Massola of The Australian further report that friction between the Liberals and Nationals in NSW might further see the Nationals field a candidate in Gilmore, where Liberal member Joanna Gash is retiring (and where one of the Liberal preselection candidates is Alby Schultz’s son Grant), and Farrer, which Sussan Ley gained for the Liberals when Tim Fischer retired in 2001.

• The Liberal preselection for Gilmore will be held tomorrow. Notwithstanding the aforementioned candidacy of Grant Schultz, The Australian reports it is “considered a close contest between local councillor Anne Sudmalis, who is close to Ms Gash, and education administrator Andrew Guile, who is supported by local state MP Gareth Ward”.

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.

3,538 comments on “Morgan phone poll: 57-43 to Coalition”

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  1. What on earth is going on with the Liberals this week? Are we witnessing a Liberal version of the Rudd scenario playing out: that senior members of the party have concluded they just can’t work with Tony Abbott? There has also been a noticeable sharpening of media scrutiny of the opposition as a result, and consequential criticism of Abbott. It is a pity that there are no Liberal insiders posting on this blog, who may be able to shed light on the situation.

  2. We seem to have moved from around 55/54-45/46 to 56/57-44/43 and it seems to be somewhat sticky now. One of those rare occasions when there is simultaneous consistency across all the polling organisations. It will be interesting to see what happens with the next lot of Newspoll and Nielsen probably due out in around two weeks unless one of them decides to go a week earlier or later so they don’t clash.

    Regarding the aged-care announcement there are some positive signs that this may be an area where we get some scarce bi-partisan support for the policy providing the detail matched the announcement. That’s encouraging.

  3. Outsider #1 you can expect some confusion when Abbott’s first instinct is to find something wrong with a Labor announcement when occasionally it may be prudent to actually study the policy before finding something to oppose. Abbott seems to be backtracking from his original position which is at least encouraging.

  4. [Regarding the aged-care announcement there are some positive signs that this may be an area where we get some scarce bi-partisan support for the policy providing the detail matched the announcement. That’s encouraging.]


    The policy is basically the PC report released a few months ago without the reverse mortgage and asset test free bank accounts. The Liberal party has had months to read and understand it, so to find that they have not got a clue about it proves to me they are too lazy to do policy.

    Plus they could not get a cohesive reply to the policy even though its announcement has been telegraphed for weeks.

  5. dwh

    [Abbott seems to be backtracking from his original position which is at least encouraging.]

    Just another example of Mr Abbott’s multiple policy disorder.

  6. For reasons I outlined on the other thread,I honestly don’t think the polls are going to make much difference to what is happening within the Liberal party.

    The division is between the win at all costs faction who favour government largesse even if it requires business to foot the bill and those who see themselves as custodians of more traditional small government Liberal values.

    The latter’s focus is not just on winning the election, but what winning means to the long-term direction of the party.

  7. Outsider
    Some of them hate each other with a venom you would not believe. They hang together like a gang of thieves but sooner or later the thieves will fall out and then just watch out…

  8. 55-45 using the previous election method,
    I love the way the moderator says how terrible
    When we all know howard had these figures through numerous’ stretched
    Over 11 years,

  9. I know William doesn’t cover the “Think Will Win” question on Morgan polls, but the result of this phone poll tells a story

    Think Will Win:

    ALP 14.5 (-17) L/NP 76.5 (+19.5) since the last phone poll in February

  10. roaldan1000
    Posted Friday, April 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    The latter’s focus is not just on winning the election, but what winning means to the long-term direction of the party.

    Yes thats right.

    If they win they will just blame the usual suspects why their promises cannot be kept.

    And people will believe them as usual.

  11. To misadapt Hirohito’s surrender speech, “the poll situation has developed not necessarily to Labor’s advantage”.

    Still there are a few good straws to grasp at – a new, good policy on aged care, and the coalition starting to bicker and sing-off key.

    It’s up to the Labor government to make the most of it, especially with the Budget and the formal introduction of carbon pricing coming up.


  12. [Dear ru,

    Today I announced Labor is delivering a new aged care system where people are no longer forced to sell their family home.

    We’ll give older Australians and their families more options for in-home care so people can stay living independently in their own home for as long as possible.

    Often decisions are taken out of the hands of families when, after a sudden illness or a fall, the only option for their loved one after hospital is long term residential care.

    All too often, families are forced to sell their home quickly, to raise money for a bond which can be up to $2.6 million.

    Labor will ensure more people get to keep their family home and no one will be forced into an emergency sale if urgent residential care is required.

    The system will be fairer, so contributions to the cost of aged care will be based on a person’s capacity to pay. There will also be annual and lifetime caps on care costs.

    Importantly, the Government will invest heavily in better quality aged care options and better skilled staff, so families will have the peace of mind their loved one is getting the best care possible.


    PS. The 1 million older Australians in the system now won’t pay a cent more for the home or residential care they already use. ]

    Thanks Jules. 🙂

  13. ru

    Is this for real? Not the fact of a bond, but the price?
    [All too often, families are forced to sell their home quickly, to raise money for a bond which can be up to $2.6 million.]

  14. victoria

    Just think the aged care package is going to filter to the average voter for the next few weeks. As more people feel better about retirement. Hearing Nursing representatives call the package amazing as I just did on News 24 will have an impact.

  15. my say #17 for all of us. It would be refreshing if the Coalition gave support to a policy badly needed and a long time coming.

  16. le of 697, with a margin of error a bit below 4%. T
    Now how can any one know
    So’lets add 4 percentage points on to labor
    Or 4 percentage points off liberal
    Take your pick w here is the science in this.
    Bit like economics

  17. Just guessing, but perhaps what we’re seeing is the Liberals concluding that they’re going to win the next election, and starting to wonder exactly what they’re going to do when they get there. Seems a few of them like the idea of getting their hands on the controls, but have different ideas about how to use them than the ones Abbott’s putting out there.

    It’s an interesting source of tension, because strong poll figures are probably going to make the party less stable internally. It’ll be an absorbing battle between Abbott’s just-say-anything approach (which is obviously working) and the somewhat longer-term thinking of others.

    I don’t think you can see Hockey’s speech and LL interview as anything other than an attempt to paint a long-term picture. There are no immediate gotchas for the ALP in any of it. I can only view it as an attempt to make him and his party look like they’re onto the policy side of things and, you know, fiscally responsible. Unfortunately for him, of course, it came across as “look at this great idea!…. which I haven’t thought through….”

    I don’t know if it signals any upcoming attempts at a coup within the Liberals. It does highlight that they’re not talking to each other all that much, and agreeing with each other even less.

  18. victoria

    My 70+ year old dad’s mates have heard about welfare choices and have a similar view on it as we do. So that will add disapproval to the liberal side.

  19. victoria & guytaur

    For me, nothing’s changed since last year. I thought then polls would not really pick up until late this year. Its all about the carbon price scare campaign, always has been.

    The problem with getting demoralised by polls is that they are way too frequent. Every week one or more come out. Forget the short term focus.

  20. My view is the ALP need to survive as long as possible. This is a hung parliament and things are unpredictable and the longer the price on carbon is in place and becomes more entrenched in the economy, the more complicated and complex things will get in regards to Abbott’s platform.

  21. guytaur

    As I have said in past, my mum is an aged pensioner and she says this govt has done more for aged pensioners, than Howard ever did in twelve years. She is one pensioner who appreciates this govt. we need more of them to have this view!

  22. leroy

    I agree regarding frequency of polls and short term focus. My point here is that I am surprised by things I think will improve polls before the carbon price scare campaign deflates. However I do think part of the change in tone is a reaction to that scare campaign deflating a little already.

  23. Cando gets a policy right?

    Corinne Grant ‏ @corinne_grant
    QLD premier abolishes the Office of Women & moves it into the Disabilities portfolio–who’s running QLD? The cast of Mad Men?

  24. O vic. its not whst is on the top lineits what William
    He chooses to put at the bottom line
    Howard had 10 points differrnce, then we go on to read 4 percentage for error
    Really.and then its 600 plus people

    Dont under stand what spur means

  25. Leroy

    I am taking the long view. It just would be nice if the electorate could see the good policy direction the govt is taking reflected in the polls

  26. MTBW @ 3811 previous thread


    I not only think but I am certain that you have a soul and a good one.

    Being a Liberal is fine with me differences of opinion are what makes the world go round. We all learn from each other. None of us is all knowing. You are a good man!

    I cannot but agree.

    The only mystery to me is why on earth davidwh insists he is a Liberal?

    He is much to good to be associated with that lying, uncaring lot.

  27. my say

    Spur says that the poll asks who will win next election. Only 14% reckon Labor and nearly 80% for the coalition.

    [The cost of key renewable energy technologies is falling more rapidly than thought, with wind already competitive with fossil fuels in many major energy markets, and solar like to achieve grid parity with conventional fuels on utility or wholesale costs in the second half of the decade.

    The forecasts from global banking giant HSBC accord with some of the predictions made by the US, Chinese and Indian governments in recent months, and the outlook within the EU. But HSBC says the cost falls appear to be even more rapid, and will coincide with a carbon price that will become a “global phenomenom” in the second half of the decade.]

    Provides 2 graphs to compare costs as predicted by HSBC and the draft Energy White Paper.
    [While this one shows where HSBC expects power generation costs (again in Euros) to be in 2015 – just three years away. The difference between these and the estimates included in Australia’s draft Energy White Paper, which contends that solar PV will still be twice as expensive in 2035, is startling.]

  29. Another great poll to cement Abbott in his position. Another great poll to Araldite Gillard to the PM’s chair.

    17 months left.

  30. [Corinne Grant ‏ @corinne_grant
    QLD premier abolishes the Office of Women & moves it into the Disabilities portfolio–who’s running QLD? The cast of Mad Men?]

    That is seriously stupid. I wonder what the GG thinks of that one.

  31. For what it’s worth, Abbott’s line to Chris Smith on 2GB earlier today was that he welcomed the Aged Care reforms (especially the reform which allows the aged person to keep their home, rather than have to sell it), but that he “feared” Labor woud stuff it all up, just like Pink Batts, School Halls and …. Craig Thomson!

    So, his verdict: pretty good, but Labor will ruin it because Labor ruins everything.

    Upbeat, eh?

  32. [QLD premier abolishes the Office of Women & moves it into the Disabilities portfolio–who’s running QLD? The cast of Mad Men?]


    Remember can’t do is doing nothing controversial until after the local govt elections.

  33. [Corinne Grant ‏ @corinne_grant
    QLD premier abolishes the Office of Women & moves it into the Disabilities portfolio–who’s running QLD? The cast of Mad Men?]

    Women suffer from the disability of being women, much the same as other minorities do.

  34. However it really annoys me this figure on thr top re lurkers and liberals
    55 45 Better than ess. And newspol in real terms

    Its the physcology of it, that number on the top

    Why does morgan do that. Has william bothered to ask his company
    lsuppose not, its a reasonable question to ask them as they are the odd one out

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