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.