Morgan: 54.5-45.5 to Labor

Morgan offers the first federal poll since the Christmas/New Year break, and while the Coalition is up, it’s unclear if this marks an improvement in its position or a correction after a rogue result last time.

Roy Morgan breaks the New Year polling drought with its regular face-to-face plus SMS polling compiled from surveys over the two previous weekends, in this case with a sample of 2622 (Morgan typically gets about 3000, so this might be seen as an insight into the challenges of polling over the holiday period). It is a better result from the Coalition than the previous poll conducted in early December, which had a rogue-ish 57.5-42.5 headline lead to Labor, compared with 53.5-46.5 at the poll in late November. This time the Labor lead is 54.5-45.5, from primary votes of 38.5% for both the Coalition (up 3.5%) and Labor (down 2.5%), 9.5% for the Greens (down two) and 2% for Palmer United (steady). When preferences are applied according to the 2013 election result rather than respondent allocation, Labor’s lead is 53-47, down from 56.5-43.5 last time and back where it was in late November.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Certainly no sign of any Coalition recovery in the debut Essential Research poll for the year, which being the first deviates from normal form in not being a rolling average combined two weeks of results. The poll has Labor leading 54-46 on two-party preferred, compared with 52-48 in the last poll of last year, from primary votes of 40% for Labor (up two), 38% for the Coalition (down two), 10% for the Greens (steady) and 2% for Palmer United (steady). Also featured are Essential’s monthly personal ratings, and here at least there is better news for Tony Abbott who reverses a slump in December to be up five points on approval to 37%, with disapproval down two to 53%. However, Bill Shorten is up four on approval to 39% and down six on disapproval to 33%, so perhaps this is festive cheer talking. Shorten remains ahead on preferred prime minister, although his lead has narrowed from 36-31 to 37-35. Further questions relate to penalty rates, and bode ill for the cause of deregulation. Eighty-one per cent support penalty rates as a basic principle with 13% opposed, 68% would oppose cutting them with 23% supportive, and only 18% believe encouraging employment would be the more likely result of doing so, compared with 63% for business making bigger profits.

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.

1,970 comments on “Morgan: 54.5-45.5 to Labor”

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  1. I do sense there is a subtle but discernible drift back to the coalition out there in voterland. Largely because it’s summer, the holidays and Abbott has kept a relatively low profile and hasn’t offended anyone recently.
    Labor has also been very quiet, too quiet if you ask me. They need to get out there again soonish and loudly remind people of how the government is shafting them.

  2. Morgan’s state break-ups make interesting reading. Does anyone really believe that the Libs lead Labor in SA? Other than VIC it would be the least likely state I would expect to see the Libs ahead.

    I think the remnants of the Silly Season are still with us.

  3. The answer to Abbott’s improvement may have something to do with his knowledgeable cricket comments a week or two ago.

    He’s a “jack of all trades” and very much a “master of none”.

    By mid February he’ll be tanking again.

  4. davidwh

    I hope he comes to help out in Queensland.

    The result I would be hoping for is a hung parliament. eg LNP 42, ALP 38 Others 9.

    Queensland would get better government in such a scenario.

  5. ausdavo I understand why you want him to show up but I wouldn’t call it “help” from the LNP perspective. Surely there is some international crisis womewhere he could get diverted to?

  6. feeney

    [How do you know for certain “there aren’t any kids in hospital because of eating McDonalds”?

    I’m staggered by your comment.

    Perhaps I’m too emotional on these matters.

    So I’ll back off.]

    I can’t think of a childhood disease requiring hospitalisation which is due to fast food. I suppose there might be a very small number with type II diabetes that young but they wouldn’t need hospitalisation.

    There might be a few with morbid obesity who need surgery but that would be extremely rare in kids.

    There are innumerable adult ones though.

  7. Abbott lays low – Coalition improves slightly.
    Abbott goes on holiday for a while – Coalition improve more.
    Abbott stays away from Queensland – LNP lose many seats but get back.

    Eventually the penny will drop for many Federal Coalition members – Abbott is like an anchor, and needs to be cut loose. I predict November-December.

    Because any improvement will soon be overshadowed by the Budget in May (if they have ever actually got last year’s Budget going) – the problem will be the speculation about all the “nasties” coming back in Joe’s Budget 2015. And if they don’t, what was the urgent imperative for them in 2014?

    The only real bright spot for the Coalition this year will be a reasonably comforatble win in NSW I think. That and Queensland are the only two jurisdictions due for elections this year.

    NT, ACT, Federal 2016 so no states at all.

  8. WA would be the least likely. I can’t recall when Labor got more seats in WA than the Coalition

    But then Barnett is going a good job of alienating voters

  9. [Hebdo staff has prompted renewed calls to revive abandoned plans to change Australia’s race-hate laws.]

    Guess who? The delightful Cory Bernadi what a surprise!

  10. Henry, I am tempered to say perhaps the perception that the Coalition is on the rise is wishful thinking, but irrespective any movement will soon reverse once the Medicare changes by stealth and the GST on food etc etc etc kick in. I cant see how they could claim credit for cheaper fuel either but might try, time will tell.

  11. davidwh

    last week SA premier Jay W got a hiding in the press for not exempting CFS volunteers from the recently increased Emergency Services Levy. If Morgans polling in SA was predominantly the weekend just gone then it could have shown up in those figures (despite being a state issue).

  12. @sprocket___: Well who knew? The neatly cropped photos earlier alluded that the 40 leaders were leading 2 million people #auspol

    It’s amazing what you can do by a bit of cropping of a photo.

    I somehow thought that the leaders were at the head of a 2 million strong protest march!

  13. Dutton – gullible, unimaginative. Just how the hell did Tony think he’d make a good Health Minister? What does he owe him?

  14. A little bit of perspective about the Sydney ‘terrorist’ by Greg Barton.
    [These attacks are distinctly different in their mode and primary intention from other so-called loan wolf attacks we’ve seen around the world. They involved the cold, calculated, deadly use of military firearms by radicalised young men who had trained or fought with terrorists abroad, and they did not immediately seek the attention of the media. Sydney hostage-taker Man Haron Monis appears to have been motivated by a desire to secure media attention for himself and the Islamic State, or IS. Monis was evidently responding to a call from IS leaders to redeem himself by striking out against the “crusader coalition.” Imitating al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular, IS has published a slick, English-language online magazine Dabiq since July 2014; like Inspire, it has called on its readers to mount improvised attacks without wide consultation or elaborate plotting using whatever weapons come to hand.]

  15. sprocket_

    Photos of the toppling of the statue of Saddam all over again. Watching the video I thought WOW ! what a security nightmare. Your link explains why it was not so. I wonder how many people would be left in the wide angle shot if you removed security people. 🙂

  16. mind you, that is a 5 pt turnaround in SA from last Morgan.

    And how many of the 3000 would have been polled in SA? 200? Not worth analysing really.

  17. lizzie@21

    Dutton – gullible, unimaginative. Just how the hell did Tony think he’d make a good Health Minister? What does he owe him?

    whenever I see a photo of Dutton, I am always reminded of a line in the poem ‘The Man From Ironbark’.

    “Their eyes were dull,
    Their heads were flat.
    They had no brains at all.”

    Dunno why… 😀

  18. lizzie

    Re Dutton. Perhaps a sign that Abbott is at heart insecure. Wary of giving the truly talented a chance to shine in case they became a rival.

  19. Dutton is a classic example of why the Abbott Government is no good. Leaning aside of course that Abbott is the leader.

    Dutton sat the front bench for the years on opposition, shouting abuse like the rest of them and showing no interest in developing a health policy.

    And he had a few mates. Relics from the Howard era and a few rewarded for their role in bringing down Turnbull. Idealogues and empty vessels, they made a lot of noise.

    Then in September 2013 they found themselves in charge and they simply did not have a clue.

    I could put up with a Tory government if that is what people voted for. Lord knows I copped Howard for long enough. But if only they had some talent and a plan to make things better!

    This is the worst cabinet I have seen in my 40 years as a voter.

  20. I can’t recall when Labor got more seats in WA than the Coalition


    Thank you William.

    Figured it was a loonnnggg time ago…

  21. Ah the “security experts” so beloved by the meeja to tell us the bleeding obvious or whatever their obsession is . However for a good larf you can always rely on Rupert’s network.

    [Fox News mocked after ‘expert’ says Birmingham is ‘totally Muslim’

    Birmingham is a “totally Muslim” place where “non-Muslims just simply don’t go”, a self-proclaimed terrorism expert told the US Fox News channel, sparking a tidal wave of mockery.]

  22. Dutton – Shadow Minister for Health…..over 1,000 days and never asked a question regarding the Health port folio

    He took the extra pay as a Shadow Minister under false pretenses

  23. Pyne as Shadow Education Minister managed to get one of his staff to come up with three questions in 3 years.

    Another Shadow Minister who took the money under false pretenses…

  24. In opposition, Dutton and Pyne were secretly developing policies to dismantle Medicare and defund and privatise the delivery of health and education.

  25. Steve777 #41

    I doubt either have the intelligence to develop a bacteria in their fridge let alone a policy….

    More likely IPA or Menzies House pulling the strings

  26. In a nationwide sample of 2,600 voters, about 200 would be from SA. The margin of error would be about 7% so I don’t think you can draw any conclusions from a shift of a few percent.

  27. 41
    Posted Monday, January 12, 2015 at 7:22 pm | PERMALINK
    [In opposition, Dutton and Pyne were secretly developing policies to dismantle Medicare and defund and privatise the delivery of health and education.]


  28. Another question William. There was talk during the Victorian election that the preferences of the minor parties would split more heavily to Labor than they did at the previous election. Presumably this came from elector’s responses when they were asked who they thought they would give their second preference to.

    Did this in fact eventuate?

  29. Darn,
    According to Kevin Bonham, in the 2010 Vic election approx. 64% of preferences went to Labor, and in 2014 it was around 69%.

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