Essential Research and Morgan quarterly breakdowns

The weekly Essential Research result, released yesterday a day later than usual, pooped Labor’s party a little in failing to replicate the shift to them detected by other pollsters over the past fortnight. Labor, the Coalition and the Greens are all steady on the primary vote, at 32%, 49% and 10% respectively, although rounding has ticked the two-party result a point back in Labor’s favour to 56-44. The poll also finds 22% expecting the economy to get better over the next year against 45% worse, essentially unchanged on May; 29% and 37% ditto for personal finances; 47% concerned and 37% not concerned about job security, likewise little changed; and 30% thinking they will be better off and 32% worse off under a government led by Tony Abbott. There are also complex questions on the manufacturing sector, and to my mind rather loaded question on public sector job cuts.

We also have an entertaining release from Roy Morgan which replicates Newspoll’s quarterly exercise of breaking down accumulated federal poll results (in this case its face-to-face polling) by state, gender and age. The only substantial differences from Newspoll are that separate results are provided for each month, rather than just a single aggregate for all three, and figures are provided for Tasmania. I gather the monthly sample size would range from around 1100 in the case of New South Wales to barely 100 for Tasmania. Combining the three at least produces a reasonable number for Western Australia and South Australia, while the monthly samples for the larger states are large enough to be useful in their own right.

Tossing aside Morgan’s peculiar respondent-allocated two-party preferred results and using the preference flows of the 2010 election, we see Labor’s two-party result up from 46% in July to 47.5% in August in New South Wales (rounding as Morgan does to half a per cent); from 49.5% to 50% in Victoria; and, interestingly, from 38.5% to 44% in Queensland. Despite the small sample of about 300, the combined three-month result for Tasmania is worth a mention, as I believe it’s the first published result of federal voting intention in Tasmania since the election. It roughly bears out the reported Labor internal polling from Mark Riley of Channel Seven in showing an averaged swing over the period of 14% – enough to cost Labor all four of its seats if uniform, although the margins in Franklin and Lyons would be within the 6% margin of error.

Hopefully Morgan will make a habit of this, as it will at least allow us to see if Morgan’s apparent skew to Labor is more pronounced among particular cohorts, to the extent that this can be accurately measured through comparison with Newspoll. This will require many, many more observations than we have at present, but to get the ball rolling I have looked at the differences between Newspoll’s April-June quarterly result and the June and July figures from Morgan, figuring they should be close enough to comparable due to the poll trend during this period. The only cohorts which buck the trend of Morgan being roughly 2% better for Labor are Victoria, where Morgan produced a quirky 55-45 to the Coalition result in July; Western Australia, where Labor rated 6% higher in Newspoll, which can be written off for the time being given Morgan’s small sample; and among those aged over 50, where Morgan had Labor 4.5% higher.

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.

2,327 comments on “Essential Research and Morgan quarterly breakdowns”

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  1. The trouble with Carney is that he stopped watching politics a long time ago. He only ever refers to polling and reports from focus groups. There’s not much point reporting on politics if you’re just telling people what they already think. People do that already. It renders you redundant, and you’re never going to see what’s happening or what’s likely to happen that way.

    At the moment, it mostly goes:

    Political trend happens -> People pick up on it -> Journalists notice it.

    Whereas if he had a press that knew how to do its job, it would go:

    Political trend happens -> Journalists notice it -> People pick up on it

    I can’t remember the last time Carney was on top of anything, or successfully picked up on something that was brewing. Focus groups won’t tell you that sort of stuff; by the time they’ve noticed it, it’s happened.

  2. rosemour, I don’t have it but I think she might have made the promise more than once. Sometimes it’s quoted as “…under the government I lead” (Abbott) and sometimes as “…under a government I lead” (others). I used to think that Abbott had it wrong because my recollection was the latter version, but then I found his version somewhere.

  3. Anyway, I think Gillard has an image problem rather than a trust issue. This is anecdotal, but it rings true;

    A friend of mine – slightly left-leaning but with little interest in politics – told me the other day that even though Abbott is horrible, Gillard is very dry and dull and has no rapport with the electorate. I told her the story about that Red Cross function earlier this year, wherre Gillard said it was appropriate both she and Abbott were there because “I’m red and he’s always cross”. She laughed her head off.

    Somewhere in there is a big disconnect. Gillard’s warm personality is just not getting through.

  4. Careful, Bolty, or Possum might be hunting you with that calculator again…

    [Labor seized on last week’s Newspoll, showing Labor on 47 to the Coalition’s 53 per cent 2PP, to build a story of Julia Gillard’s comeback.

    Trouble is what’s happened since.

    In the Northern Territory election on Saturday, Labor was flogged.

    In Monday’s Nielsen poll, federal Labor was still eight points behind – 46 to 54 per cent.

    And in yesterday’s Essential Media poll, Labor is even further behind – 44 to 56.

    Is Newspoll exaggerating Labor’s vote? ]

  5. Aguirre

    Fairfax papers will be lucky to surive Another few years. With the repetitive drivel being spewed by the likes of Carney and Hartcher, is it any wonder?

  6. Was delightful watching the nomination of Mitt Romney, with all the states and territories having a pissing match over who is most Republican at heart. Then, when it was over, watching a convention full of people awkwardly dance to music to celebrate. GOP conventions are always a bit cheesy. Not exactly the most hip bunch of people.

  7. More appearances on fluffy shows like The Project would help her, I think. The media don’t want to portray her as likeable, but she’s more than able to do it herself if she has to. She can win the charm offensive in a canter if she puts her mind to it.

  8. [I found it even more interesting. It was spot the minority for me!]

    Pretty much just the delegates for the territories!

    I also found it amusing while most state spokespeople focused on how richly Republican they are, Rhode Island and Vermont (understandably) avoided that topic. The former focusing on the features of its state and the latter, quite nobly, expressing concern for the residents of the gulf who may be affected by Hurricane Isaac.

  9. [Since when has Bolt been interested in Essential?]

    Ever since it has had a bigger Lib margin than Newspoll, so for quite a few months.

    The wingnut brigades from both sides have been very silent on why Newspoll seems pro-Labor and ER pro-Lib.

  10. I’m really over the ‘Abbott is a boxer so….’ line. I seem to remember it was dragged out as a reason why he would win a debate against Julia Gillard – wtte ‘He’s a boxer so he’s good at thinking on his feet’. Well, since then we’ve all learnt that one thing Abbott is abysmal at is thinking on his feet. If he doesn’t have a carefully prepared, well rehearsed script of three word slogans he’s toast. But his msm fan club seem to have missed that. They keep on pushing the boxing imagery. This despite the known fact that Abbott the boxer was more your head down, charge in, flail around like crazy and hope you land a punch type boxer than one who relied on skill, tactics and fancy footwork to win. Every act of bastardry, every misogynist remark, every gaffe is airily dismissed. ‘Oh’, they say, with a dismissive wave of a hand, or a shrug, ‘he’s a boxer, so of course, he’s used to being hard-hitting’.

    It’s been thirty years or more since Abbott got into a boxing ring so why keep on dragging up this crap?

    The only good thing that could come out of this particular msm-bestowed excuse for ‘Tony acting like a bastard again’ is a clever Labor ad campaign showing Abbott in boxing gloves KOing every Labor policy that people like. The NDIS – knocked out. The NBN – gone. Gonksi – knocked out. And so on. It might work.

  11. rosemour

    [JULIA Gillard says she is prepared to legislate a carbon price in the next term. ]

    [“I don’t rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism,” she said of the next parliament. “I rule out a carbon tax.”]

    In the context of the time, there was a specific carbon tax put forward by the Greens, which is what she was ruling out.

    That that was accepted by the time is shown by the fact that no journalist suggested her statement was contradictory – that is, they accepted that a carbon price and a carbon tax were two different things.

    What they’ve done since is say that a carbon price is ‘effectively’ a tax because of its flow on effects.

    Now we can speculate all we like about why the msm decided that two things they had previously viewed as different suddenly became exactly the same, but there is no doubt that they did that.

    Which is why recent cries from journalists (e.g. an episode of ‘The Insiders’ recently) that they’re mystified as to why Gillard ‘let’ it be called a carbon tax when it isn’t is so infuriating.

  12. triton
    apparently there is more to the statement she made than just the …’no carbon tax’ bit.
    I read last week in a comment thread that she went on to say..’but let me be clear, I am determined to put a price on carbon’ and this last part of the statement is always left out.

  13. If I was a Liberal staffer, I’d be very interested in this story. It could be very instructive to use FOI and find out what the mortality rate for heart operations is like at the RAH and compare it with other states.

    [HEART operations at the Royal Adelaide Hospital stalled for 11 days because of a dispute between surgeons and intensive care doctors.

    The trio also engaged a lawyer, Nick Iles, who said the surgeons stopped operating by August 17 because they felt they could not guarantee the safety of cardiothoracic patients on the general ICU ward.

    “Reluctantly, the surgeons feel it is unsafe to operate,” Mr Iles said.

    “They cannot guarantee that their patients will receive the level of post-operative care that they believe to be essential.”]

  14. It is bullshit and pure dishonesty to say that Rabbott alone has had a successful strategy.
    The media, if honest, would have reported the differences between a carbon tax, one which Rabbott proposed and a price which the PM stated to the Australian she would pursue.
    The media has succeeded in demonising the PM on the issue of trust, not Rabbott.
    Rabbott has acted merely as a puppet.
    Does anyone truly believe that Rabbott under honest scrutiny would be where he is today?
    Of course, some will lambast those of us who state the obvious.
    It is an unpalatable truth!

    On another note!
    Rabbott has always been a protected species.
    Who provided a gaggle of prominent silks against indecent assault charges?
    Why did he not get charged with smashing glass doors at uni?
    Why was he not charged with destroying public property?

    Conversing with some on twitter who attended uni with Rabbott there is so much more to Rabbott’s past that goes to the core of his character.

  15. zoomster
    [What they’ve done since is say that a carbon price is ‘effectively’ a tax because of its flow on effects.]

    What they’ve done a lot more is pretend that the carbon tax we have now is the carbon tax she ruled out, when it’s only a fixed-price transition to the ETS. The phoneyness of the whole debate is illustrated by the almost complete lack of discussion of the ETS that follows the tax. Jones and Hadley never rail against that. It’s all about the broken promise, not the actual policy.

  16. The media is revisiting what is a carbon tax precisely because the Greens agreed to dropping the floor price which means the whole carbon tax meme is dead.
    The Greens have done a face saver but they have done a backflip.
    In my view in the long term national and planet interest.
    So I credit the Greens for that. It enables the PM to unravel that media meme about trust. Of course it will take time. However now the “tax” component is “axed” from 2015 you cannot go running around talking about a “tax” destroying the economy.

  17. rosemour, yes I got that. My point was that there might be more than one speech or statement or interview to look for in which both the promise and that extra material might be contained.

  18. Well, I’m off for the day.
    Dissecting opinions of journos salivating over Kid Wonder or the Teflon Man as OH describes him is depressing.

    Yes, yes, I know, I’ve used a dangling participle! 😉

    btw, laptops are great for convenience but the touch pad is sooooooooo frustrating.

  19. @jasonakerr: Shocked to learn Labor will preference Living Sydney second and Liberals ahead of Clover Moore in the council elections. New conservatives!


    ney Writers’ Festival artistic director Chip Rolley has been appointed editor of the ABC’s online opinion site The Drum.

    Texan-born Rolley has worked as a magazine editor, literary project manager, journalist and freelance writer, according to the ABC statement.

    The managing director of the ABC Mark Scott said Rolley had a wide range of interests including domestic and international politics, arts and culture and a track record in attracting a variety of voices.

    Rolley replaces journalist and founding Drum editor Jonathan Green who has moved to present Sunday Extra on Radio National.

    Rolley is the long term partner of author and feminist Anne Summers.

    The Sydney Writers’ Festival announced the departure of its director on its website today, s

  21. Perineal fave young Timmy Wilson was on ABC Breakfast this morning doing the front pages. Unsurprisingly, the ETS linking was a baaaad thing, but he seemed to be arguing this was because of the “uncertainty” created. ie. business will not be able to plan because the price may go up or down. Seemed a rather strange position for a rugged free marketeer to be taking. Did anyone else catch this, and if so did I read it right?

  22. Aguirre, spot on. The PM is far warmer than she appears. I do not know whether it is nerves, or fear to show herself as more relaxed, but she usually presents as quite cold

  23. I expect to hear lots of media outrage about this story:

    [A LIBERAL heavyweight and close friend of Premier Ted Baillieu has stepped aside as the head of the Urban Renewal Authority amid an investigation into a failed business venture. ]

    So, firstly, Ballieu’s given a job to a mate.

    From memory, even the slightest suggestion that Bracks or Brumby might have done anything similar generated a number of excited newspaper columns…

    [The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has alleged in court that Mr Clarke and other former directors of Australian Property Custodian Holdings had improperly used their positions to approve a $33 million payment to a managing director]

    Just as well there’s no accusations that he used his credit card at a brothel.

    [Mr Clarke is a former vice-president of the Liberal Party in Victoria and a friend of Mr Baillieu, and sought pre-selection to become a state MP.]

    Well, of course.

    So I’m expecting masses of media coverage of this story, with demands for tighter regulations on businesses, and questions about Ballieu’s judgement for appointing this man to high office.

    How naive am I?

  24. well having decided not to comment

    i think you men have no idea about warm and cold.

    woman are not gushy and if they smiled and where gushy you would say she is to familar.,
    i suggest you men get over yourselves

  25. [Yes, yes, I know, I’ve used a dangling participle! :wink:]

    But, Dee, prefacing it with “My” (or “your” in this sentence of mine) would seem pedantic. Blogs are classified as informal communication (inc normal oral conversation in writing); so only a pedant would give a stuff. 😀

  26. my say

    Nah it’s woman that are the worst in this kind of thing. Of course the negativity is wrong. “Cold” was seen as tough for Howard. Its just a media/Spin meme to slam a Labor PM.

  27. Carey

    I’m told the SA Lib staffers and politicians are basically lazy and don’t do their homework. They don’t dig so no one bothers leaking to them.

    My theory is that they actually prefer being in opposition as no one expects you to do anything. It’s a bludge.

  28. leone
    [I’m really over the ‘Abbott is a boxer so….’ line.]
    How about “Abbott is a boxer so dementia pugilistica is a possibility.” ?

  29. One thing that really shits me about Labor’s “inability” it get its message across regarding the CPRS (and other things) is that I have a very distinct recollection of the weeks and months after the hugely unpopular GST was introduced.

    The media devoted reams of newspaper and hours of television and radio to informing the public about what it meant for your average punter. The government’s compensation package was discussed at length; pensioners in particular were assured by the media that they would not be worse off.

    Now, just to be clear, we aren’t just talking about government advertising. This was on top of paid government advertising. “What the GST means for you” stories, highlighting the positives and glossing over the negatives.

    Much of the media discussion was also about what a good idea it was and how it simplified the tax system. Basically, once it was introduced, the media was no longer interested in any complaints from vulnerable people who were genuinely impacted. It was suddenly “nothing to see here”, or “it’s in now, get over it!”.

    Compare and contrast to the “Carbon Tax” debate of today. It’s exactly the polar opposite, with the media refusing to report the positives and instead only highlighting the negatives. When was the last time you read an article by a climate change expert, explaining WHY it is needed and spruiking the positive environmental benefits (of which there ARE many, despite what the sceptics say)?

    Even now, they are playing along with business’s “hundred thousand dollar” increase in electricity bills arguments and running the Liberal Party line about Carbon Pricing being to blame – which is demonstrably incorrect.

    I get really annoyed when the media try to downplay their role in the public’s perceptions of what is happening in the world around them. They spend months uncritically assisting the Opposition in its fear and misinformation campaign, then turn around and complain that consumer confidence is tanking. They spend months uncritically assisting Tony Abbott and politically partisan local businesses to trash-talk the economy and the government and then wonder why said businesses suddenly suffer a huge drop in their patronage. Or get a visit from the ACCC.

    Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a media that gives us just the facts; a media what acts as a conduit between people who are experts in their chosen field and us mug punters – the general public who need to be informed? What we have instead is wall-to-wall rantings from the scandal-mongers, gossip-merchants and the generally ill-informed. Any government information is labelled “spin” and consigned to the dustbin. Any Opposition information “raises serious questions” and it used as an excuse for another round of scandal-mongering and/or ridiculous political speculation.

    Australia has well and truly been dumbed down. Take a bow, Press Gallery. It’s your handiwork. But it is also in your hands to fix it and the PM has shown you how.

    STOP WRITING CRAP. It can’t be that hard. Can it?

  30. Diog

    that was my impression of Ballieu & co prior to the last Vic election…and probably explains why they’re proving to be so hopeless at governing…

  31. [Aguirre, spot on. The PM is far warmer than she appears. I do not know whether it is nerves, or fear to show herself as more relaxed, but she usually presents as quite cold]

    I’ve been told her diction and stance (facing the videocam) facilitate lip-reading. I can’t confirm that claim; but having taught in a school with an integrated deaf unit and students who lip-read, I find it very easy to believe.

  32. [Ashleigh Gillon‏@ash_gillon

    Government about to make a major dental health announcement worth billions (new money not included in budget) More details @SkyNewsAust soon

    Big news?

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