Mark Kenny of Fairfax reports the latest Nielsen poll, conducted from Sunday to Thursday from an unusually large sample of 2545, shows the Coalition leading 53-47, up from 52-48 in the previous poll a fortnight ago. On the primary vote, Labor is down two to 35%, the Coalition is up one to 47%, and the Greens are steady on 10%. Kevin Rudd’s lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister is down in the poll from 50-42 to 48-45. Rudd’s personal ratings continue to deteriorate, his approval down five to 43% and disapproval up four to 51%, while Abbott’s are stable with approval down one to 44% and disapproval steady at 52%. Full tables including state breakdowns from GhostWhoVotes.
Then there are these local polls:
Yesterday’s Lonergan poll of Griffith just got a little less fanciful with Newspoll publishing a survey of 500 respondents, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, which corroborates its finding on both two-party preferred (Liberal National Party candidate Bill Glasson leading Kevin Rudd 52-48) and the primary vote (48% for Glasson and 37% for Rudd).
There is also a combined Newspoll result from 1382 respondents covering eight LNP-held Queensland marginals (Brisbane, Forde, Flynn, Longman, Herbert, Dawson, Fisher and Bonner) showing the LNP ahead 60-40, suggesting a swing of about 7.5%. The primary votes are 32% for Labor (compared with 36.5% in the relevant seats in 2010) and 54% for the LNP (45.6%), with Tony Abbott leading as preferred prime minister by 49-39.
ReachTEL automated polls of about 550 respondents from each of Tasmania’s five seats show Labor with an insignificant 50.6-49.4 lead in Franklin and well behind in Bass (58.4-41.6), Braddon (56.6-43.4) and Lyons (55.8-44.2), with Andrew Wilkie looking set to romp home in Denison with 43.7% of the primary vote.
Nielsen also has a question on best party to handle paid parental leave has Labor leading 49% to 37% among women and 45% on 42% among men. On this point, Laurie Oakes relates Labor internal polling from UMR Research showed the Liberal scheme had 34% approval and 45% disapproval on Thursday, which exactly reversed the numbers from polling conducted just four days earlier.
BludgerTrack has been updated with Nielsen and its attendant state breakdowns together with the ReachTEL results, and it finds no let-up in what for Labor is a terrifying linear trend to the Coalition which had lift-off shortly before the election was called. It finds Labor continuing to shed seats in New South Wales, and in negative territory for the first time in Western Australia. However, the BludgerTrack endeavour is being confounded somewhat by a disparity between national and local-level polling, of which the latter is not accommodated by the model most conspicuously in Queensland, where the BludgerTrack projection of two gains for Labor is entirely out of whack with the impression given by the headline-grabbing local polls. As Kevin Bonham notes in comments, this echoes the presidential election when Barack Obama did much better in state polling than high-profile national polls, the former of which collectively proved nearer the mark.
Despite the American precedent, I would be very wary about concluding that the glut of electorate-level polling we’ve seen recently is more likely to be correct than the major national polls, which have long established and generally very good track records. This was particularly easy to argue when the overwhelming majority of the electorate polling had been of the automated rather than live interviewer variety. However, this gets a lot harder to square now that we have Newspoll conducting a very robust-looking survey of Queensland marginal seats pointing to a swing against Labor of over 7%. By contrast, state breakdowns from national polling persist in suggesting Labor is holding its ground or better in Queensland while the game slips away from them elsewhere.
To illustrate the point, here’s a list of the Labor two-party preferred results and swings indicated in recent polling of various kinds from Queensland. As noted, it’s only the statewide polling that’s going into BludgerTrack. All results from Newspoll, Galaxy and Nielsen are live interviewer phone polling, ReachTEL, Lonergan and JWS Research are automated, Essential is online and Morgan is multi-mode (face-to-face, online and SMS).
SAMPLE 2PP SWING Griffith ReachTEL 05/8 702 46 -4 Forde ReachTEL 08/8 725 46 -3 Forde Lonergan 15/8 1160 40 -9 Forde JWS Research 15/8 568 40 -9 Brisbane JWS Research 15/8 607 46 -3 Eight marginals Newspoll 20/8 1382 40 -8 Griffith Newspoll 22/8 500 48 -10 Griffith Lonergan 21/8 958 48 -10 Statewide Nielsen 7/8 280 47 +2 Statewide Galaxy 8/8 800 44 -1 Statewide Morgan 10/8 743 48 +3 Statewide Newspoll 10-17/8 550 46 +1 Statewide Morgan 17/8 876 46 +1 Statewide Lonergan 18/8 345 48 +3 Statewide Nielsen 20/8 504 45 0 Statewide Essential 27/7-17/8 741 49 +4