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 thoughts on “Galaxy: 53-47 to Coalition”

  1. [Increasingly its obvious that he is terrified of stuffing up in these interviews.]

    I think it’s his minders who are more scared. Abbott thinks he can wing it, hence is inability to offer anything other than garbage when put on the spot.

    Whenever I’ve been interviewed, or have had to give a speech, I’ve always spent a good week or so preparing for it, and trying to anticipate every question that might be asked of me. I’m betting Abbott’s never done this, because all through his career he’s always had a more authoritative benefactor to clean up after him.

    The man is also bone idle.

  2. Please Tom.

    Australian political journalists were the only ones perspicacious enough to see through Gillard’s stirring, internationally-lauded oratory. They knew the (slippery) political conext, and that her attack on Abbott’s sexism and misogyny had no truth or conviction beyond that required to secure a single, mangey lower house vote.


    If intellectual sloth, long-lunch hubris and blathering parochialism could be bottled and sold as an antidote to irrelevance, this mob would be millionaires…

  3. Confessions,

    [I’m betting Abbott’s never done this, because all through his career he’s always had a more authoritative benefactor to clean up after him.]

    I couldn’t agree more, especially if “a more authoritative benefactor” = a grown up.

    To my mind, Mr Abbott and George W Bush share a certain characteristic: neither has recovered from being the cute li’l apple of his mother’s eye.

  4. ruawake@3466

    The man is a twit.

    True in a general sense. But on this issue he’s just boxed in. There’s nothing more he can say about electricity prices except “we’ll abolish the carbon tax”. Because if he says any more than that he knows the next question is going to be “How?” And there is no answer to that.

    He probably thinks he’s being a small target. In truth he’s just being evasive in a really obvious way. He’s lucky he wasn’t asked about abolishing the compensation packages and returning the tax threshold to $6000. Whenever anyone from the Coalition gets asked about that they always say the compensation isn’t necessary because there will be no carbon tax. So nobody’s better off under their plan.

    Which means their plan is great while carbon pricing is unpopular (ie. up until about 6 months ago), but absolutely pointless when it’s accepted.

  5. tlbd

    Such a relief to have ABC back to doing real investigations. 7.30 Victoria was good tonight, too.

    Says to me they’d be better staying away from politics altogether 🙂

  6. fiona:

    The grown up cleaning up after him really resonates with me. From what we know about Abbott it has always been thus. Hence he’s felt quite at liberty to disappear for days on end to participate in bike rides, marathons, iron man comps, even at crucial times leaving his colleagues to grapple with impending crises and so on, because he knows there will be someone who comes behind him and makes all the yucky stuff disappear.

    I have a complete lack of respect for him because of his brutish and cruel behaviour, but his arrogant laziness comes a very close second. As a nation we’ve been much poorer for Abbott’s time in federal parliament in my view.

  7. That Fox channel is a bit silly. Some silly woman was just saying the Loss to Obama was a bit like Hiter winning russia.
    WTF is a fiscal cliff?

  8. Our local meeja mavens assured us the the PM’s “sexist” speech was an epic fail and a mistake. Now we find the most powerful person on the planet gave it a thumbs up. How much more wRONg can the Grattanasaurus’ get ?

  9. Abbott is cactus on carbon. Fantastic for Labor that he keeps on about it.

    The simple response to Abbott saying taking the “10%” of the Carbon Tax off the price of electricity is a good start is obviously how does it help the people who lose the compensation?

    That’s before you get to wondering how ‘direct action’ gets paid for, or what price rises the throw money at rich mummies tax will cause, or all the other contradictions inherent in his stupid announced policies.

    He’s bet the house on an early election, and now he just has to suck it up as he’s closed off pretty much any plan B options. A long slow descent from irrelevence to object of ridicule couldn’t happen to nicer grub.

  10. dave@3462

    What IS new is that they are being increasingly, called on it, found wrong and are being mocked about it while their business model remains on a sure path to bankruptcy.

    The media controlled the microphone, so to speak for so long, they cannot believe their power and influence is ebbing away. Really its gushing away.

    Their credibility is shot to ribbons and the game is up.

    Now that their model is breaking down, we’re starting to see print media for what it really is. Newspapers are really just a highly organised way to filter news through an editorial stance. Probably always have been. If I ran a newspaper I’d do it the same way too.

    Expecting newspapers to reflect a complete diversity of opinion is a lot like asking a dictator to embrace democracy. Doesn’t matter how popular it is, he’s not going to do it. They all think they’re benevolent dictators, and some of them are. But they all still love the power, and they’re not inclined to relinquish it.

    I think that’s the main reason why newspapers don’t embrace social media, even if they do recognise that it’s the way things are going. They don’t like it, and it goes against everything they stand for.

    The internet really is an incredibly good thing. It’s revolutionising information and the ‘ownership’ of information.

  11. [ WTF is a fiscal cliff?]

    It isn’t just stupid Fox News carrying on about a fiscal cliff. The ABC radio news bulletin driving home tonight also talked about a fiscal cliff as if the term was common Australian vernacular.

    And I agree, WTF is a fiscal cliff is real terms?!

  12. [WTF is a fiscal cliff?]
    It’s journo speak for what happens on 1 Jan 2013 in the USA.

    Tax breaks for the rich are off and government expenditure is slashed, unless Obi and Boehner can get their act together.

  13. Confessions,

    Yes indeed. Another thing that both intrigues and horrifies me about Mr Abbott and his ilk is the professed desire for performance- (aka merit-) based pay.

    As we both know, the appropriate metric is difficult to determine, let alone apply, in almost every profession, given the dynamic interplay of so many factors. However, I’m beginning to feel that in one profession at least it would be comparatively easy to reach a decision. What’s more, Mr Abbott would be in for a swingeing pay cut.

    If nothing else, it would be some compensation to Australia for the damage he has done.

  14. poroti@3515

    Our local meeja mavens assured us the the PM’s “sexist” speech was an epic fail and a mistake. Now we find the most powerful person on the planet gave it a thumbs up. How much more wRONg can the Grattanasaurus’ get ?

    Wanna bet? Try November 2013.

  15. personal in school i suppose its the same australia wide
    reguire a police check to work these days
    even when i volunteered i n one of those catholic hospitals
    you know the ones you may need one day. i had to have a police check

  16. Victoria,

    Stay dry!

    I don’t know about you, but even though we have now had two and a bit years of decent rain, I cannot find it in me to complain about inclement weather. The alternative is so unpleasant.

  17. my say@3519

    little blalckduck
    what do you mean , handing their children over too

    I mean exactly what I said. If you send your child to a public school you have a fair idea of what the teachers will “do” to them. If you send them to a religious boarding school then you are left with just about zero control.

  18. joe6pack
    [WTF is a fiscal cliff?]

    It’s a name for a big scary THING that nobody can find a cure for. It’s the end of the financial world, but some people have said it’s not really that bad.


  19. Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has emerged from talks with senior officials in the United States warning it will be several weeks before it is known whether the US will avoid a financial disaster with implications for the rest of the world.

    Speaking to Fairfax Media on Thursday before flying home from Washington, Mr Swan said the so-called “fiscal cliff” was paramount in everybody’s minds in the aftermath of the US election, and anyone who thought Australia was immune from its implications was “kidding themselves”.

    The risks it posed had been “front and centre” in his talks with the US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde.

    Unless the re-elected President, Barack Obama, can break the impasse in Congress, the US will begin cutting spending and increasing taxes on January 1 with the aim of saving $US1.2 trillion ($1.1 trillion).


    It is estimated the effect of such savage cuts will drive the US economy back into recession, affecting the economies of other developed nations.

    The fiscal cliff was legislated last year when the Democrats and Republicans were unable to agree on measures to reduce the deficit. It was believed at the time that after the US election, the stalemate would end and a more sustainable path would be agreed on.

    However, the Republicans retained control of the US House of Representatives and the Democrats kept the Senate after Tuesday’s selection, and markets have plunged amid fears the deadlock will not be broken.

    Mr Swan, along with finance ministers from other countries, has been arguing for some time that the US needs to address the fiscal cliff as a priority straight after the election.

    But after his meetings in the US, he believed the world faced a nervous wait.

    “My own view is that we will not get any clarity on the likely path forward on the fiscal cliff for a few weeks yet,” he said. “But, for the sake of global confidence and global growth, it’s incumbent on all sides of the political divide to come together to resolve these issues as soon as possible.

    “If action is not taken on the fiscal cliff, the US economy could very easily fall back into a recession, which would be very damaging to the global economy.

    “Anyone who thinks Australia would be immune if the worst happened is kidding themselves.”

    The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, said today he had no qualms about working “very well” with Mr Obama, a Democrat, should the Coalition win government next year.

    “The Australian government, whatever its political complexion, is always the best friend of the American government, whatever its political complexion,” he said.

    “Our two countries work in the closest possible harmony – always have, always will.”

    Read more:

  20. TLBD,

    I’ve been batting me eyelashes for so long that they’re tangled. I won’t mention the lace-edged petticoat hitched above me suspenders, but jeez this weather’s tough on an old boiler like moi.

  21. fiona

    Agreed. We had so many years of drought. It was Extremely unpleasant.

    Imprinted in my memory, are the words i said to my kids almost daily when taking them to school during the drought. “When is Greensborough going to be green again?”

  22. TLBD # 3527

    Do you or anyone else here know who the Catholic Church in Australia’s insurers are? If I wre they I would be changing to my brown corduroys about now, and then sitting down to some serious discussions. Wonder if their shareholders could be brought to the same view.

    Possibly a more productive route to pursue than royal commissions actually …

  23. litleblack duck
    that means you have no idea what your talking about

    do you really believe that in this day an age
    well you obviously have no connection with
    private schools and how they are run
    and as my daughter teaches at a catholic school
    that is so insulting
    she would be mortified and so am i

    i am actully disgusted

    i think its time you paid a visit to you r local catholic school and found out about the working of employment
    its the same as any state school we come under the same laws

    i am speechless.

  24. my say,
    I will never need the services of a Catholic Hospital, probably until the day I die. And even then.

    I’m a rabid supporter of Australia’s Public Hospitals. Anyway, I object to Catholic Hospitals on ideological grounds. They refuse to perform abortions for women. Which is their right, as Private institutions. However, I don’t have to agree with it.

  25. TLBD @ 3540 and 3542,

    Gold, GOLD, GOLD!!!

    As for the witan, I will be in Canberra during the second week of December, with OH and our gorgeous girl in tow. At this point the only off-limit time is 11 December (my mum’s birthday), so if you have any suggestions I will do my best to organise my/our schedule appropriately.

  26. [Dr Wayne Chamley, a researcher with the child protection group Broken Rites, made the startling allegations against the Hospitaller Order of St John of God, which ran orphanages in Melbourne’s outer east from the 1960s to the 1980s.]

    I can’t get these poor little boys out of my head. The orphanage farm is in the area where I worked in the 1970s.

  27. MM,

    I have no idea about the formal “supervisory” structure of the CC. I rather suspect that the shareholders have zero say about the various boards.

    The CC appears to have two paras in their corporate goals and objectives:

    1. Keep up the canon fodder, and

    2. Croesus.

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