Morgan phone poll: 50.5-49.5 to Coalition; Seat of the week: Bonner

A new phone poll corroborates Newspoll. Or does it?

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Roy Morgan has published a poll which, so far as the headline figure goes, is extremely interesting in that it a) is consistent with the Newspoll result, and b) was conducted by phone, and thus cannot be anticipated to suffer the pro-Labor bias typical of Morgan’s face-to-face polling. However, the headline figure to which I refer is from respondent-allocated preferences, which for so long have been flowing to Labor in confoundingly weak proportions in Morgan’s face-to-face polls. In this poll however they have flowed to Labor inordinately strongly. If using the measure which allocates preferences according to how they flowed at the previous election, which I and all other pollsters recommended, the Coalition has a somewhat more comfortable lead of 52.5-47.5. The primary vote results are striking in being high for both major parties: 39.5% for Labor and 47% for the Coalition, against 8% for the Greens and a very low 5.5% for others.

The poll was evidently conducted from Monday to Thursday (despite some confusion in Morgan’s heading) from a sample of 668, with a margin of error of about 3.8%. Other questions were also posed by this poll, so stay tuned for more detail.

NOTE: As you may have noticed, Crikey has a new look and its implementation is characteristically being accompanied by teething problems – most seriously the failure of comments thread pagination, which has caused the previous 5000-plus comments thread to not work terribly well. Presumably this one should be okay though, for at least as long as it remains fairly short.

UPDATE: Further findings from the Morgan poll are that Julia Gillard recorded a fairly solid approval rating of 40%, with disapproval of 51%, which represents changes of 3% and 6% since Morgan last posed the question in January. Tony Abbott meanwhile is respectively down four to 32% and up four to 60%. On the question of better prime minister, Gillard has remained steady on 45% while Abbott has dropped four points to 37%. Abbott has also lost further ground to Malcolm Turnbull on the question of best leader for the Liberal Party, the former down three to 19% and the latter up five to 42%. That leaves Abbott nearly level with Joe Hockey, who is down one to 18%. Julia Gillard continues to trail Kevin Rudd as preferred Labor leader, with Gillard up three to 22% and Rudd up one to 34%.

And not forgetting …

Seat of the week: Bonner

To commemorate Labor’s improved position in the polls, Seat of the Week takes its first excursion to the Coalition side of the electoral pendulum.

The Brisbane electorate of Bonner extends south-westwards from the bayside Wynnum-Manly area to Mount Gravatt. It was created at the 2004 election, and has remarkably been left unchanged by the two redistributions conducted since. The seat is also remarkable for having changed hands with each election, starting with the Liberals’ success in overhauling a 1.9% notional margin in 2004. The defeated Labor candidate was Con Sciacca, a Keating government minister who held Bowman from 1987 to 1996 and again from 1998 to 2004. Sciacca took the safer option when the transfer of Wynnum-Manly to the new seat left Bowman with a notional Liberal margin of 3.1%, but he was unable to withstand an adverse swing of 2.4%. Labor appeared to be especially hampered by the loss of Kevin Rudd’s personal vote in those areas of the electorate which had previously been in Griffith.

The inaugural member for Bonner thus became Ross Vasta, a staffer to Senator Brett Mason, former restaurant owner, and the son of noted Brisbane barrister and Bjelke-Petersen era Supreme Court justice Angelo Vasta. Vasta’s main source of publicity in his one term in parliament was his involvement in the scandal surrounding misuse of electoral printing allowances, for which he was cleared by the Director of Public Prosecutions shortly before the 2007 election. He was always going to have his work cut out defending the Coalition’s most marginal Queensland seat at the 2007 election, and duly fell victim to a 5.2% swing which compared favourably with a statewide swing of 7.5%.

Bonner was then held for a term by Kerry Rea, previously a Brisbane councillor representing a ward that included the area around Mount Gravatt. Vasta meanwhile returned to his old job with Brett Mason and unsuccessfully contested the Wynnum-Manly ward for the Liberals at the 2008 Brisbane council election. The newly constituted Liberal National Party then gave him the chance to recover his old seat, which did not seem a likely proposition in the political climate of the time. While that had certainly changed by the time of the 2010 election, Vasta’s victory on the back of an emphatic 7.4% swing was a serious disappointment for Labor, making Bonner the “safest” of its nine notionally held Queensland seats to fall to the LNP.

Labor’s preselected candidate for the next election is Laura Fraser Hardy, an associate with Hall Payne Lawyers.

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.

1,563 comments on “Morgan phone poll: 50.5-49.5 to Coalition; Seat of the week: Bonner”

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  1. Sorry, I’m outa here until this format is changed.

    Can’t be bothered scrolling through ever lengthening comments to make a comment and then find it again!

    Good luck to everyone else.

  2. We shall see about how long the “teething” problems last.

    As it is, the first paragraph cuts out half way through then starts again to a conclusion.

    Good luck to all who sail in the Good Ship PB for the next little while!

  3. Wow, new look. Gonna take me a little while but I am sure I will adapt to it quickly enough 😉

    As for the poll, while Morgan is definitely on the lower end of my trust scale, it certainly up the “narrowing” theme of late!

  4. [This telephone Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention was conducted over last weekend, September 17-20, 2012]

    Er is the weekend Mon-Thurs? Mr Morgan why do you make such simple errors?

  5. More pressure for Abbott from this poll – even if it is a small sample Morgan offering, it is consistent with the recent Newspoll and the general trend back to the ALP over the last 2 months.

    No more talk of a ‘rogue’ Newspoll from the usual suspects on SkyNews, one would think, but to quote from the Swan Songbook, the cranks and crazies can still be relied on to tell us that black is, in fact, white …

  6. Why is the comment box at the top of comments? It’s okay when there are few comments, but once we get to 20+ it’s going to be most annoying.

  7. So after slamming the Newspoll as a likely rogue while releasing a poll that confirmed it, Morgan now releases a poll that appears to confirm the Newspoll but actually doesn’t fully. F2F can be Labor-skewed so the two polls are actually pretty consistent with each other in pointing to narrowing but not yet equality.

    What is interesting here is that we are still getting a netsat of only -11 for Gillard in a poll that has a -28 netsat for Abbott.

  8. [Destroying the Joint ‏@SpaceKidette

    Dear Crikey, when implementing systems changes it is best practice to notify the users as to the changes BEFORE you implement. ]

  9. William Bowe

    [The failure of comments pagination under the new format will of course be rectified.]
    What about the barfness green that seems to be the default decor ?

  10. William,

    It seems that there are a lot of users on Twitter who only see a blank page. People on Firefox seem ok but Safari users are definitely having trouble.

  11. Andrew Elder ‏@awelder
    Anyone wearing StKilda colours (or a NAB work uniform) on way to #aflswanspies would look like a fencesitter</blockquote?

    😆 I have a friend who works at NAB and she told me once someone actually walked into the bank to complain that the NAB was biased against the WA teams because of their uniforms.

  12. Okay, so blockquote HTML doesn’t work in the new environment.

    Out of curiosity, what were the mooted benefits of the facelift?

  13. Like any online media outlet, Crikey is going to get redesigned every five years or so (granted that we’re well above the market average in teething problems when such things occur). There is exactly as much advertising as there always was.

  14. Regardless of debates over the preference allocation and the true 2PP, this is another terrible result for Abbott. -28% approval?

    How many times have LOTOs got results this bad and still recovered to later become PM? Did Howard ever do it?

  15. William

    The comments box is definitely the main issue. I do hope your lobbying effort to have the comments box restored to its rightful place is successful

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