Galaxy: 53-47 to Coalition

A lot has happened since Galaxy’s last federal poll in mid-June – enough on this evidence to have lifted Labor three points, while still leaving them well short of the two-party parity recorded by Newspoll. Tony Abbott also cops the troubling finding that even Coalition voters now prefer Malcolm Turnbull.

GhostWhoVotes reports a Galaxy poll shows the Coalition leading 53-47, a three-point gain to Labor since the last national poll conducted by Galaxy, which was conducted in the Labor dark age of mid-June. The primary vote figures give Labor 35%, the Coalition down two to 47% (still well up on the other phone pollsters) and the Greens on 11% (down one). A question on preferred Liberal leader gives Malcolm Turnbull an advantage over Tony Abbott of such order (60% to 29%) as cannot be easily dismissed, with Turnbull even leading 51-45 among Liberal voters. Julia Gillard also trails in competition with Kevin Rudd 49% to 34%, which is the narrowest result in a head-to-head poll between the two since March last year. Most encouragingly for her, the improvement has been driven by Labor voters, among whom she leads 57% to 39%. However, only 25% said they believed her account of the 2010 leadership coup against 63% who said they did not believe her.

The following chart shows the results of head-to-head polling between Gillard and Rudd since the beginning of last year, as conducted by Nielsen (eight polls), Galaxy (six) and Newspoll (three).

UPDATE (5/11/12): Essential Research will not be reporting until Wednesday, but we have today a Morgan face-to-face poll derived from the last two weekends of surveying which shows a sharp improvement for the Coalition on a depressed showing last time. The Coalition primary vote has moved over three surveys from 43% to 38.5% and back to 43% – Morgan is selling the latest shift as a negative response to the mini-budget, but a far likelier explanation is that the previous result was simply an aberration. Labor is down two points to 35.5% and the Greens on 10%, down 2.5% from an unusually good result last time. On two-party preferred, the Coalition have a 52-48 lead on the previous election measure compared with a 52.5-47.5 deficit last time, while on respondent-allocated preferences a 50.5-49.5 deficit has turned into a lead of 53.5-46.5.

UPDATE (7/11/12): While attention was elsewhere, Essential Research published what by its standards was a solid move to Labor: they are up one point to 37%, with the Coalition down two to 46% the Greens steady on 9%. This amounts to a one-point drop in the Coalition’s lead on two-party preferred, which is now at 53-47. The poll also has 20% of respondents approving of Christine Milne’s performance against 33% disapproval; 17% holding the Greens as having done a good job against 47% poor; and 53% thinking them too extreme against 26% as representing the views of many voters (remembering that Essential has become quite a tough series for the Greens recently). Further questions find respondents are all in favour of Asia, but divided 41-41 on expanding uranium mining and broadly wary of nuclear energy.

Some reviews of recent electoral events. Firstly and more recently is the Sydney by-election of last Saturday, October 27. This gave a clear win to Alex Greenwich, the independent candidate endorsed by the involuntarily departing Clover Moore. Labor did not a field a candidate in order to give Greenwich a clear run, but it hardly seems likely he would have been troubled had it been otherwise. Turnout was poor, in keeping with the recent trend of state by-elections.

October 27, 2012

					#	%	Swing	2PP	%
Alex Greenwich (Independent)		17,687	47.3%		21,283	63.7%
Shayne Mallard (Liberal)		11,543	30.9%	+5.3%	12,120	36.3%
Chris Harris (Greens)			6,616	17.7%	+4.9%
Glenn Wall (Independent)		825	2.2%
Robyn Peebles (Christian Democratic)	724	1.9%	+0.8%
Labor							-11.3%

Formal					37,395	97.2%	-0.6%	
Informal				1,062	2.8%	+0.6%
Enrolment/Turnout			61,428	62.6%	-21.3%

Secondly, the result of the ACT election of October 20 was resolved on Friday when the sole remaining Greens MP, Shayne Rattenbury, threw in his lot with Labor in a deal that will bring him into the ministry. The Liberals emerged from the count with the frail bragging right of a 41-vote win on the aggregate primary vote, but Labor achieved equality on seats, having gained a seat from the Greens in the five-member region of Ginninderra. The Liberals gained seats from the Greens in the five-member region of Brindabella and the seven-member region of Molonglo.

October 20, 2012

				Seats	#	%	Swing
Liberal				8 (+2)	86,032	38.9%	+7.3%
Labor				8 (+1)	85,991	38.9%	+1.5%	
Greens				1 (-3)	23,773	10.7%	-4.9%
Others				0 (-)	25,376	11.5%	-3.9%

Formal					221,172	96.5%	+0.3%
Informal				7,953	3.5%	-0.3%
Enrolment/Turnout			256,702	89.3%	-1.1%

Another feature of the election to be noted was the poor performance of the only published opinion poll, conducted by Patterson Market Research and published in the Canberra Times during the last week of the campaign. Patterson has a creditable track record with its large-sample polling, despite lacking the match fitness of outfits like Newspoll and Nielsen. On this occasion however the poll was by orders of magnitude in every direction, overstating Labor and the Greens at the expense of the Liberals and “others”. Cathy Alexander at Crikey reports the Liberals are greatly displeased about the poll, which they believe blunted their momentum. Pollster Keith Patterson defended his work in Saturday’s Canberra Times, and while he is commendably revealing on the question of methodology, the argument that the poll might have been brought unstuck by late shifts in voting intention, possibly initiated by the publication of the poll itself, is not entirely convincing.

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.

3,686 comments on “Galaxy: 53-47 to Coalition”

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  1. [Another factor for the future in Wester Sydney has been the damage done to Alan Jones and his credibility. Not just the loss of advertising, but the fact checker preventing hate campaigns getting off the ground. Remember the Juliar nickname was coined and promoted by Jones. With fact checker not possible.]

    Well, I laughed at the fact checker too.

    But what it has done is put a chilling effect on a lot of Jones converts who were a significant influence in their social circles. I think also now people are going to be more skeptical of the sorts of things Jones might say – about the NBN – about renewables. Etc.

    Hopefully there’s a lot of people in Western Sydney telling their mates whilst listening to Jones that they are right turkeys.

  2. On the site, but seemingly how it would appear in the Ciurier mail. Note the different headline, may be some differences in the text as well.
    [Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s support plummets with Malcolm Turnbull preferred as Coalition head
    Simon Benson
    The Courier-Mail
    November 05, 2012 1:00AM]

    And in The Advertiser, by way of the Oz (gets confusing with these News Ltd sites mirroring each other, but some going live earlier)
    [Poll shows majority of voters prefer Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull rather than Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott
    by: Simon Benson, Canberra
    From: The Advertiser
    November 05, 2012 12:00AM]

  3. Interesting that the Courier Mail emphasised the fall in Abbott’s support, and rearranged the article to put that at the top. The Advertiser mentions both grass-is-greener leaders in its headline, and the Daily Telegraph is the most anti govt (as you’d expect).

    Good example of how journos articles are play things for the editors, no telling how they’ll come out. I suspect that Simon Benson’s original is closer to the DT version.

  4. C@tmomma@1074

    I just watched ‘Dangerous Remedy’ and it was amazingly well-acted and well-scripted. If it doesn’t win awards left, right and centre, then there is no justice. Except if next week’s effort, ‘Deadly Dust’, about Asbestos, is as good or better.

    I don’t know who is the Head of Drama at the ABC now, but they sure are doing a heck of a job in getting high quality work to screen.

    As for the poll, well all I’ll say about that is that if Kevin Rudd keeps up with his supportive words for JGPM, as he did today in an interview on Sky, from Beijing, then the negative energy will dissipate more rapidly, and there will naturally be less pining for the Rudd fjords.

    Also, good to see the Labor Party keeping in touch, at 53-47. I really did not think there was a major surge underway, after the 50-50 Newspoll. Motto: ‘Keep on, keeping on.’

    OK, goodnight all.

    It was a brilliant drama and should be compulsory viewing. I am definitely watching ‘Deadly Dust’ next week.

  5. Before anyone gets too worked up about this poll (either way), you have to put into (wait for it)…….

    …. context.

    From this piece by Simple Simon Benson: “An exclusive poll conducted for The Daily Telegraph

    Make what you will of it once you have that Essential (psephological pun intended) piece of information.

  6. leone,

    unfortunately that article ends with the comment that the budget is still chasing a surplus.

    Does anyone know to what extent the government is able to view month to month the figures and know well ahead of time if it needs to take evasive action?

  7. Pleased to see Nate Silver saying much the same things about early voting numbers as I was yesterday:

    Nate Silver ‏@fivethirtyeight

    Basically early voting data seems consistent with polls. Drop-off for Dems in IA & NV, but they still lead. Ohio more similar to 2008.

    Nate Silver ‏@fivethirtyeight

    Also, only a modest decline for Dems in early vote numbers in NC & FL. But Obama barely won those in ’08 so a small decline could flip ’em.

  8. Midnight here.

    Happy Birthday to you

    Happy Birthday to you

    Happy Birthday dear Scorpio

    Happy Birthday to you!

    Oh, the old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be,
    Ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be.
    The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be,
    Many long years ago.

    Every good wish, Scorpio dear. Stop the Mirrors!

    Congratulations and especially enjoy Eli. A gift of love and meaning if there ever was one.


  9. fredex – I’ve always assumed Galaxy poll slightly better for the Coalition than the average, but Possum probably couldn’t check that given how infrequent they are.

  10. crikey whitey,

    [ Midnight here.

    Happy Birthday to you

    Happy Birthday to you

    Happy Birthday dear Scorpio

    Happy Birthday to you! ]

    Thank you for that good friend. still 8 minutes to go here.
    I’ll e-mail you the latest picture of Eli.

    Off to bed now. Big day tomorrow. Night all.

  11. The AAP summary of the poll, which goes out across various online news sites outside News Ltd.
    [Abbott, PM still on the nose with voters
    November 4, 2012 – 11:58PM

    Tony Abbott will be seeking reassurance from Malcolm Turnbull that he doesn’t want his job, after a poll showed overwhelming support for Mr Turnbull to return as leader of the opposition.

    The Galaxy Poll published by News Ltd found 60 per cent of voters believed Mr Turnbull would be a better choice as leader than Mr Abbott, who could manage just 29 per cent support.

    The news was just as bleak for Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has to keep Kevin Rudd at bay.

    The poll also showed 49 per cent of voters want Mr Rudd leading the Labor Party compared to 34 per cent for Ms Gillard.

    However, Labor keeps making inroads in the coalition’s lead in the primary and two-party preferred votes, according to the poll of 1003 people that was conducted over the weekend.

    The poll found Labor’s primary vote firmed four points to 35 per cent since the last poll in June while the coalition’s support eased two points to 47 per cent.

    On a two-party preferred basis the coalition held a winning lead at 53 per cent to 47 per cent, which would result in the minority government losing 20 or more seats if an election were held now.

    Galaxy boss David Briggs said apart from speculation about another leadership challenge, Ms Gillard’s other problem was the lack of trust.

    Sixty three per cent of voters did not believe her claims she was only recruited on the day Mr Rudd was overthrown as prime minister in 2010.]

  12. @Leroy/67

    I don’t think the lack of trust is the issue imho, it’s the fact that Abbott’s carbon scare campaign hasn’t worked.

  13. Interesting that there does not appear to be a PPM figure or satisfaction stats for the PM and Abbott.

    Would these not be a better determination of being “on the nose” than the rubbish being used ?

    Perhaps they should have asked “do you care about the leadership change in 2010? ” because it appears labor voters do not if you check the sttas for the PM and Rudd.

    I think this is a good poll for labor.

  14. From Leroy’s quote at #67
    “The news was just as bleak for Prime Minister Julia Gillard….”
    Hmm – ..just as bleak ..”?
    Thats a bit of an exaggeration.
    Turnbull :Abbott is 60:29. Negative 31 from Abbott’s POV.
    Rudd:Gillard is 49:34. Negative 15 from Gillard’s POV – half as bleak.

  15. Oh dear! Fox News talking about Benghazi to “KT” McFarland, a national security expert for Henry Kissinger and the Nixon administration. Watergate parallels everywhere, apparently.

  16. The LNP primary of 47%? Poppycock!

    The greens vote 11%? Double Poppycock!

    I would say that the more accurate ESTIMATE of the present state of play is as follows:

    – Labor 37%,
    – LNP 44%,
    – Greens 9%,
    – Any undecided with half a brain will not side with the Coalition if they have not already done so,

    – 2PP 50/50.

  17. This poll is another slap in the face to Abbott.

    Turnbull is more prefered than Abbott among Liberal voters by 51/45.

    Gillard is more preferred than Rudd among Labor voters by a CLEAR 57/39.

    That’s the end of Abbott and the end of Ruddstoration.

    Next election will be Gillard vs Hockey or Julie B

    Mesma has a great chance of getting the nod ahead of Dopey Joe 😎

  18. By the way, The Turnbull figures of 51/45 more preferred than Abbott among Liberal voters is not good enough for Turnbull ahead of the unpopular and incompetent Abbott.

    Turnbull is also not popular within the Liberal Party.

    I think Hockey or Julie B would get a fair honeymoon if either became leader.

    The big difference between Julie and Hockey is that she is a lot sharper than him.

  19. I would expect Turnbull backers in the party to start making some mischief to push things along if the media don’t do it themselves. He won’t want to, but, like Rudd, surely he’s only still there to become leader again.

  20. How ABCNewsRadio’s editorial policy justifies the lead “news” story being a private sector forecast of the budget deficit to be known in about 9 months time, is beyond me

    Perhaps they should have a “news” section, then have a “speculation” section

  21. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Annbel Crabb writes a very good article today contrasting US and Australian voting systems and oversight. I couldn’t agree more with what she says!
    Catherine Murphy’s take on how Gillard is hitting her stride.
    Cathy Wilcox on the Asian Century.

    Pat Campbell on the hurricane and the US election.

    CLASSIC MELBOURNE CUP/ABBOTT CARTOON FROM DAVIDE ROWE. Look at the saddle cloth. And the horse’s bone structure!

  22. People continue to say for the Gillard Government to be a chance to win the election it needs to be in the mid 30’s at the end of the year

    Where exactly where they are

  23. On November 24th, the government will be able to ram home the point that Abbott’s wistful harkening back to the days of Howard will be precisely 5 years old.

  24. Coupled with the 5 year anniversary of the defeat of Howard on November 24th, on January 18th, Gillard will have been PM for longer than Rudd.

    On that day it will also have been 8 years, 3 months and 9 days since the Coalition won an election.

    Worth a bottle of cheap bubbly on any of ’em.

  25. Mega leaving The Australian.

    Absolutely no reason to read it now — well, apart from the LOLs provided by Shananahahan and Sheridan.

  26. Katharine Murphy:

    [Possibly there’s a bit of this storyline bias in Canberra at the present time – a sensation of transition. A clear improving trend for Labor, culminating in a major opinion poll finding that the major parties are neck-and-neck. The Prime Minister with an obvious spring in her step. The Opposition Leader looking uncharacteristically subdued in Parliament. The government cracking leadership gags about the opposition in the chamber, and people laughing because it’s funny, not absurd. Imagine that happening a month or two ago?

    The dynamic in national politics feels different, looks different, smells different; like the build of summer rain.

    But is it different?

    Truth is, no one knows.


    Another way of saying “Your guess is a good as mine.”

    As, indeed, it is.

  27. [This won’t help Abbott –

    Banks will bear a lot of the Abbott tax slug which they will recover through increasing interest rates.

    Tomorrow, cup day, we should see the rba cut rates again, in Howards day the rba increased rates on cup day for a record 10th time in succession.

    Is that what Abbott means by returning to the glory of the Howard years.

  28. If youse think you’ve heard whingeing from the business lobby so far, wait until they get thier thinking gear around this lot:

    [THREE of the Coalition’s tax policies will cost Australian businesses an extraordinary $4.57 billion in their first full year of operation, a Treasury analysis has found.

    The three policies identified by Treasury are

    * the Coalition’s commitment to impose a 1.5 per cent tax levy on big firms to fund paid parental leave,

    * its decision to axe instant asset write-off and other tax breaks for small business funded from the price on carbon, and

    * its decision to axe the ability for businesses to “carry back” losses and obtain refunds for tax already paid funded from the mining tax.


  29. rishane, the memory of rudd going the acceptance of the
    pm taking over, there will always be the bemused of this world
    had some say to me o but i voted for rudd i said
    no you didnt, look on face, well i said he is not in your electorate and did you say that when keating took over from hawke, no of course not, was the answer and another light bulb moment,


  30. [Mega leaving The Australian. ]

    Indeed a sad day. Meggsie’s been there for years, starting out as a cub reporter.

    And, my God… look at who’s left!

  31. happy birthday scorpio, i bet i know what your best present is
    babies health,

    end you some photos.but my tablet is no more so dont have your address on this new contraption.

    as you remember we could of lost gearge now he is one
    and what bouncing baby boy he his
    i thank god every day for our blessing

  32. [I’ll repeat what I’ve been saying for 2 years now. Labor needs to go out clobber a bunch of bad ideas. It needs to hire more people to get out there and communicate. It needs more real advertising.]

    C, gee that’s great, keep saying.

    While i have been doing it for 2 years –

  33. BB.
    welll if he does his own thing. its agreat thing
    hope we have not lost him to another area though.

    there may be something in the wind a new site or something else, let hope

  34. “If youse think you’ve heard whingeing from the business lobby so far, wait until they get thier thinking gear around this lot…”

    I think a lot of people, probably including business leaders, believe that the Coalition will not actually implement the parental leave policy. Abbott is already positioning himself to defer (abandon) his spending promises. I expect him, on becoming PM, to claim a gianormous black hole bigger than the combined deficits of Greece, Spain, the US and the Galactic Empire and drop any inconvenient promises.

  35. If they’re getting rid of Megalogenis they must be in dire straits.

    He’s been one of their treasures. He write fair pieces, does his research, and provides balanced and informative analysis.

    Oh, wait a minute….

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