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

A new phone poll corroborates Newspoll. Or does it?

NOTE: Apologies for the difficulties we are experiencing with comments while the new design is being implemented. They are being attended to. Please note that the site is experiencing broader problems in some browsers. If the background to the site is grey, try viewing it in another browser.

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. [There is exactly as much advertising as there always was].

    Bullshit and it hasn,t been 5 years since the last redesign disaster,’When did you know it was going to happen or is that cabinet in confidence?

  2. William:

    Yes I’ve just noticed that.

    On a positive note, I don’t need my glasses to read the Facelifted Crikey. That’s a win!

  3. Page 2 shows exactly the same comments as page 1. What happens when we get to page 70?

    Clearly the Crikey tech heads didn’t factor PB into their Facelift plans.

  4. Re the Morgan Poll.

    Any satisfaction figures for Abbott and the PM and PPM ?

    I clicked on the Morgan link above but could not see any.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. lyne lady:

    I have supersized text in the Facelifted environment!

    Failing that pressing CTRL + keys will give you larger text on screen.

  6. Bullshit

    There’s a banner ad at the top, a big ad at the top of the sidebar and a small ad at the bottom, just like there was this morning. If you’re determined not to believe the evidence of your own eyes, I doubt there’s much I can do to disabuse you.

    and it hasn,t been 5 years since the last redesign disaster

    Remove the word “redesign” and you’re on solid ground – but as it stands, wrong again (perhaps not five years, but certainly a good many years – I’m not sure exactly).

    When did you know it was going to happen or is that cabinet in confidence?

    I knew the redesign was coming, but the basic function of the blog hasn’t changed (with the arguable exception of the placement of the comments box, which I didn’t know about) – and to the extent that it has, it’s because of teething problems that will be ironed out.

  7. [BK
    Posted Friday, September 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm | PERMALINK
    So long Tone. Shut the door on the way out.]

    A long way to go yet BK.

  8. [Hopefully the small font will be less bothersome on a white background.]

    I am seeing a white background using chrome on Windows 7.

  9. [Hopefully the small font will be less bothersome on a white background.]

    I’m seeing a white background. Using Chrome at the moment.

    Perhaps the grey background is browser-specific?

    lyne lady:

    I don’t know about you, but the new font seems to have greater clarity.

  10. [There’s a banner ad at the top, a big ad at the top of the sidebar and a small ad at the bottom, just like there was this morning. If you’re determined not to believe the evidence of your own eyes, I doubt there’s much I can do to disabuse you.]

    What about the 5 adds at the bottom . Anyhow had my say I just think it was poorly executed

  11. Ah yes. White background in Firefox. Much better. In fact, I actually think it looks very nice. Once we get comment pagination working and the comments box in a more convenient place, I reckon it’ll be a winner.

  12. [confessions
    Posted Friday, September 21, 2012 at 8:23 pm | PERMALINK
    lyne lady:

    I have supersized text in the Facelifted environment!

    Failing that pressing CTRL + keys will give you larger text on screen.]

    TY for that tip

  13. Fix the pagination and the comments box and things will be excellent.

    William congratulations to the design team. Other than the two things mentioned they have an easy to navigate and read site.

  14. So, having said I would wait, I have weakened!

    Is is me, or does page 1 have 50 posts but on page 2 goes 51 to 129 – at the point of writing this?

    Before each pages seemed to have about 50 posts a page.

    The sharpness of the Avatars is not all that good either in some instances.

    However, patience is a virtue and while the Morgan -for what it is worth – is on the up and up, a small price to pay.

  15. WB

    I am using XP, in firefox the background is white, the font reasonable but the green writing is very hard to read. Comment box is at the top of the page.

    In Chrome on same computer, the font is pale and hard to read and I haven’t got a comment box at all.

    The green and change of font is making my eyes water.

  16. Socrates at 43
    [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?]
    Abbott’s worst rating on Newspoll, a few surveys ago, was 30% approval/61% disapproval/-31% net

    Howard LOTO #2 was never as bad. Worst was 37%/49%/net-12%

    Howard LOTO #1 was worse: 28%/63%/net -35%. That time around he was replaced by Peacock

  17. BK,

    [ Was ANY testing done on this roll out? ]

    That’s what’s happening now. We’re the guinea pigs. 😉

    Hope it isn’t as painful and takes as long as last time!

  18. Deblonay, I’m guessing you’ve got the grey background, like I’m getting when I use Internet Explorer. The background is supposed to be white, in which case the green bits are not a problem.

  19. I am having this “discussion” with this Bloke on another blog.
    According to him, the present government is sending us down the same road as Greece or the US, economically. When I pointed out to him that the US’s problem was that their Government has repeatedly cut Taxes to the high income earners, he told me that I was being an Economic illiterate idiot as the Rich have their money “tied up in businesses that create jobs and therefore shouldn’t pay Tax.
    So, If I have got this strait, he decries the position that the US is in, yet advocates that we adopt the same measures that the US took and go into massive debt.
    He says it with a strait face, without a hint of understanding the contradiction of his argument.
    How do you reason with these “tea-party” morons ?

  20. [BK
    Posted Friday, September 21, 2012 at 8:49 pm | PERMALINK
    Swans. Please! Please finish them off!]

    o dear just looked swannies to the gf

  21. William

    Feedback. On iPad, the background is as white as it ever was. (somewhat glaringly, but that is iPad itself)

    The font is a definite improvement. Much more readable. Text and sidebars much more defined.

    And as I said, comment box to bottom of page, already on your to do list.

    Cannot test links and like stuff.

    No problem with ads and whatever.

    Looks like the ‘jump’ problem for iPad may be solved. Coincidence or not.

    Page 1 never ends, though a 2 is there. Cannot be selected.

    I would love it if pages contained 75 to 100 posts, not 50. Too much is lost in the wash.

    I have this idea that earliest Pollbludger was 100 comments per page.

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