Morgan: 57.5-42.5 to Labor

Polling conducted over the past two weekends finds the Abbott government not unexpectedly going from very bad to worse.

I wouldn’t normally lead with a Morgan poll so soon after a Newspoll result, but today of course is a special occasion (for future generations who might happen to be reading this, Tony Abbott today beat off a spill motion by the unconvincing margin of 61 to 39). After conducting an unusual poll last time in which the field work period was extended and the surveying limited to a single weekend, this is back to the usual Roy Morgan practice of combining face-to-face and SMS polling from two weeks, with field work conducted only on Saturdays and Sundays, with a sample of around 3000 (2939 to be precise about it). So the poll was half conducted in the knowledge that a spill was imminent, and half not.

On the primary vote, there has been a straight two-point shift from the Coalition to Labor since the previous poll, which was conducted from January 23-27, with Australia Day and the Prince Philip knighthood having landed on January 26. This puts Labor on 41.5% and the Coalition on 35.5%, with the Greens steady on 12% and Palmer United down one to 2%. A slightly better flow of preferences for the Coalition blunts the impact a little on the headline respondent-allocated two-party figure, on which Labor’s lead is up from 56.5-43.5 to 57.5 to 42.5. The move is a little bigger on previous election preferences, from 55.5-44.5 to 57-43. Tomorrow’s Essential Research should complete the cycle of pre-spill opinion polling, and I’m well and truly back in my old routine of updating BludgerTrack overnight on Wednesday/Thursday.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Essential Research’s reputation for stability emerges unharmed with another 54-46 reading this week, with the Coalition up a point to 39%, Labor steady on 41%, the Greens up one to 10% and Palmer United steady on 3%. It’s a different story on the monthly reading of Tony Abbott’s leadership ratings, with approval down eight to 27% and disapproval up nine to 62%. However, Bill Shorten’s position has also sharply worsened, with approval down six to 33% and disapproval up five to 38%. Given this is nowhere reflected in other polling, one might surmise that Essential has hit bad samples for Labor over consecutive weeks. Shorten’s lead as preferred prime minister is nonetheless out from 37-35 to 39-31.

Other questions find 59% approval for the government dropping its paid parental leave scheme versus 25% for disapprove; 59% support for same-sex marriage, up four since December, with 28% opposed, down four; 26% saying support for same-sex marriage might favourably influence vote choice, 19% saying it would do so unfavourably, and 48% saying it would make no difference; 44% favouring a negative response to government retention of personal data and information against 38% for a positive one; and a suite of questions on privatisation that do a fair bit to explain what happened to Campbell Newman.

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.

1,707 comments on “Morgan: 57.5-42.5 to Labor”

  1. Sir Mad Cyril @1582:

    [“But what of the SBS’s attacks on Abbott – attacks made by using taxpayers funds? In exchange for our taxes, SBS has a duty to be balanced.”]

    That would be ‘balanced’ in the Fox News sense.

  2. Matt – Yes it’s regressive which I why I mentioned offsets to the disadvantaged.

    Confessions – I know what you mean but this is the moment to seize the moment. The Coalition will be completely on its knees by the next election. Labor can take this bold, daring action or become bogged down in hopeless dog fights over the various new ways it will come up with to save money. Remember the debacle over changing the tax deductibility of company fleet cars at the last election? For a miniscule saving, Labor got clobbered. For every saving it can come up with, the Coalition is getting clobbered. This step transforms this endless dog fighting overnight. I think it’s a must-do move for Labor, even though the unions will resist it.

  3. we seem to have an increasing number of pollies who need to have a crew of minstrels playing Deliverance/Oh Brother where art thou style banjo every time they open their trap.

    FFS it is a food certification scheme akin to Kosher, certified organic, or biodynamic.

    the saddest thing is that where Hanson was dis-endorsed for this sort of ignorant bigoted shite, the LNP now has these sorts of attitudes going all the way to the top. It’d be fascinating for someone to ask Morrison whether he support this – I’ll bet he would. Let’s hope it gets blasted out of parliament, but it would not amaze me to see both the LNP and ALP support it to garner the xenophobe vote. The greens should seek to amend it to ensure that collection plate funds from churches are fully declared and never used to support pedophile priests, their legal fees, or hush money payouts.

  4. [1597

    Briefly @1594: Perhaps by the general population, but what about the party room?]

    It seems his colleagues don’t much love him. Maybe it’s envy. Maybe it’s just not yet possible to openly organise to depose a leader, even one as hopeless as Abbott.

  5. privi izumo.. You’re right there is no debt problem, but you would know very well there is a structural problem in terms of the huge bulge of baby boomers about to crash like a monster wave onto the far small proportion of tax-paying younger folk – and expect aged care nursing homes especially for those among the dementia epidemic and all the other associated costs.

    frednk : Agreed on the ETS. Shorten is politically locked into this, and it’s morally and financially absolutely the right thing to do.

  6. Alias @1602:

    First, “offsets” never seem to quite catch up to the cost hikes, particularly for families not quite poor enough to get cash assistance.

    Second, why balance the Budget on the back of the poor? Why not balance the budget by going where the money is?

    Third, for Labor to propose such a deeply, nastily regressive tax hike on the poor will (a) probably keep the Coalition in Government for another term, and (b) Give the assorted minor- and micro-party vote a huge boost!

    If you want to see a nationwide Greens vote of >15%, by all means keep proposing a hike to the GST from Labor. The Budget doesn’t need urgent fixing (Australia’s debt/GDP is one of the lowest in the Western world), a GST hike won’t fix it anyway (it all goes to the States), it leaves the rich largely alone and punishes the poor.

    Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!

  7. rossmcg,

    I’m just trying to figure out what it takes to be called a Tony Abbott #FirstClassCitizen. It sort of seems like a bar you have to go under instead of over. Kind of like limbo.

  8. alias, most of Australia’s baby-boomer issue can, again, be dealt with in other ways. Unlike the countries that are suffering (or are going to suffer) the most in the contraction, Australia has large migration. If you want to solve the debt problem, build infrastructure for people to live in (good jobs) and then people live there (larger tax base).

    Australia’s population isn’t going to be decreasing for many many years, unlike China, Japan, or Northern Europe.

  9. Alias @1607: The aging population will stress finances, but it won’t break them. Why not?

    i) Our aged population is, and will be, significantly smaller than other Western nations due to our high immigration rate (immigrants tend to be younger people);

    ii) We’ve had compulsory superannuation contributions since 1992 – combined with a means-tested pension, the expenditure per senior citizen will be significantly lower than somewhere like, say, England.

    Go to the ABS’ Population Projection tool – run it all the way to 2061, and you’ll notice one thing: The largest single category of people is always, always working-age.

    And – once again – if you feel the need to shore up the Budget against future retirees’ demands for stuff (of all kinds), why do it by punching the poor? As opposed, for instance, to capping tax concessions on superannuation contributions, or cracking down on multinational tax evasion, or limiting negative gearing rorts?

  10. I disagree Matt

    Labor takes this once in a generation chance to do something bold because by the next election the Coalition will be so politically crippled they cannot possibly win. And as I say, they are already on record as supporting a GST rate rise if Labor agrees. So Labor basically ambushes the Coalition at the outset of the next election campaign.

    Another attractive aspect of this strategy is that it leverages off the endless bleating by the Coalition about the financial problems that lie ahead. Labor can say: “The problems are nowhere near as nasty as the Coalition pretends, and we don’t have to introduce paid GP visits or $100,000 uni degrees to address these issues, but we will take a step that will secure the nation’s finances for another generation, while at the same time more than compensating disadvantaged Australians for the GST rise.”

  11. confessions

    Yes indeed. He certainly doesn’t owe Abbott any loyalty. I suppose we are just going to have to wait and see how it all plays out. He may still get there in the end. If Abbott and co keep cocking things up at the rate they are at the moment, we may not have to wait too long!

  12. Matt@1561

    Bemused @1554:

    Enjoy the perpetual Coalition-majority Senate, then – The last time the ALP had a Senate majority was 1951.

    Or will you blame that, too, on the Greens?

    Is thee nothing you Greens won’t try to claim credit for? 😀

  13. My own view is that Mumble is great when he sticks to the numbers and the data. He asks interesting questions, clearly has an inquiring mind, and frames his psephological analysis in an interesting way – no doubt helpful when writing for the ‘masses’.

    But he often gets himself into difficulties when he allows his opinion to stray into the politics and atmospherics – hence the Rudd the great campaigner view while simultaneously claiming the 2007 election was Labor’s regardless of who led the party.

    He probably needs to emulate William or Antony Green a bit more by withholding his subjective opinion, or contextualising his views around the objective evidence.

  14. Alias @1613:

    Are you even reading what I’m saying? I’ll put it in isolation so you can’t pretend to not understand:

    There is nothing “bold” about proposing to hike the GST!

    It won’t help the Budget.
    It won’t address the social ills of growing inequality, or the hollowing-out of the middle class.
    It won’t help Labor’s prospects for (re)election – no matter when it’s raised or how.
    It won’t make the taxation system more progressive, to bring it into line with the income levels.

    It’s not “bold” or “visionary” or anything of the sort. It’s a way to guarantee another term in office for the Coalition, and it also sucks on the policy merits! It’s an all-round bad idea, and you really should reconsider it!

    Bemused @1615:

    Now you’re just making no sense at all.

  15. alias:

    I guess what I’m saying is that Labor could make its own bold, big plays based on its own broad policy framework. Addressing AGW for instance, esp now we have the evidence that carbon pricing drove down GHGEs, and was the most cost effective way of mitigating carbon pollution.

  16. Just catching up with Tony Abbott’s whopper of the day – that an open tender might lead to Australia ending up with Russian submarines:
    [“Do you know about an open tender? Anyone can compete. What the leader of the opposition wants – he wants anyone to be able to compete to provide Australia’s next generation of submarines. He might want the Russians to compete; the Putin-class subs is what we will get from the leader of the opposition.]

    Rubbish. In an open tender you can specify performance requirements that might rule silly options out. For example, require the new sub be compatible with existing Australian and US warships. That would rule out any non Nato submarines without communications and other systems that talk to each other. Besides, the Russians have large nuclear and small conventional subs. They do not make the sort of large conventional submarine we are after. Once again, Tony Abbott makes stuff when he is desperate. He is shameless.

  17. poroti@1616

    The thang is the baby boomer bulge is just that, a bulge. It will decline just as rapidly as it rose.

    It’s a load of bs as there are just so many people over 50 who want to work but can’t get a job.

    Put them to work and problem solved.

  18. Alias

    The GST is a disincentive to employ people. The GST is a value added tax; to operate the value added has to cover wages as well ia inputs. The inputs get discounted by 10% for GST payed the wages do not.

    The simplest way to avoid GST is to import and keep your local costs to a minimum.

  19. 1620

    Japan is not in the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation. I get you point about it being a western alliance issue but pedantry is necessary here.

  20. Tom @1620:

    Japan’s military technology is NATO-compatible. Russia’s isn’t.

    It’s really that simple.

    Bemused @1621:

    Put them to work….doing what, might I ask? There are already 4 unemployed people for every job opening in Australia!

  21. Matt@1627

    Tom @1620:

    Japan’s military technology is NATO-compatible. Russia’s isn’t.

    It’s really that simple.

    Bemused @1621:

    Put them to work….doing what, might I ask? There are already 4 unemployed people for every job opening in Australia!

    The argument re aging population is that there won’t be enough people in the workforce to support the rest.

    Older people WILL be able to get jobs in such circumstances.

    I am sorry this is too difficult for Greens to comprehend.

  22. Steady on there Matt. Yes I’m reading what you’re writing though there may have been a couple of instances where our posts crossed – that is we both posted as the other was doing so.

    I think it would indeed be bold for Labor to do this, as it would be so unexpected and, in a sense, counter-intuitive.

    On your various points:

    It won’t help the Budget.// But surely it would. This would allow the Commonwealth to restore the various cuts to the states in health and education.

    It won’t address the social ills of growing inequality, or the hollowing-out of the middle class.// If, as mentioned above, the improved public funding position were directed at social services and other worthy programmes this this would be self-evidently not the case.

    It won’t help Labor’s prospects for (re)election – no matter when it’s raised or how.// My very point is that Labor is so far ahead of the game ahead of the next election that it is, in these unique circumstances, doable – especially when the Coalition would be wedged into supporting the move.

    It won’t make the taxation system more progressive, to bring it into line with the income levels.// I think, in fact, it would enable the federal government to reverse the significant impact of bracket creep, for instance. Also, the offsets to the disadvantaged would, naturally, be progressive measures.

  23. 1613

    A 2.5% increase in GST won’t accomplish the things you claim for it. At the moment the GST brings in about $50 billion:

    [In 2013‑14, the States will receive $51.2 billion from the Commonwealth in total general revenue assistance — $50.3 billion for GST and $1.0 billion for other general revenue assistance.]

    Increasing the rate by one-quarter will bring in an extra $12.5 billion or so.

    The deficit will be running at about $100 billion pa by next year.

    We will need to do a lot of things!!

  24. All this starting anew stuff from Mr Abbott has reminded me of a comment said to have been made by Huey Long in a meeting with Louisiana businessmen: “Those of you who come in with me now will get big pieces of pie. Those who come in with me later will get smaller pieces of pie. Those who don’t come in at all will get Good Government”.

  25. I fail to see how rejecting a Russian tender after getting their technical documents to analyse could possibly be a bad thing…

    They are, of course, not stupid and would not bid.

  26. I know why Australia does not want Greece to exit the Euro leading to a breakup. Currency wars would go nuclear.

    Also we just got into Eurovision.

    On the 7:30 vacancy. Bob Elllis would be entertaining 😉

  27. Abbott is in trouble over the East West link. No due diligence. Infrastructure Australia would not have ticked off on the rate of return of investment.

    Heard on What the papers say with Tony Delroy from the Melbourne Age.

  28. Some positive news from numptyville WA.

    [WA’s Water Minister has slapped down the Water Corporation over attempts to force renters to seek financial assistance through their landlord if they cannot afford their bills.

    The State-owned utility had been pushing for changes to its hardship policy that would have required tenants to notify the owner of a property if they were unable to pay their water charges.

    It would have then been up to the landlord to apply to the Water Corp for help on their tenant’s behalf.

    But in a rebuff of the Corporation, Mia Davies criticised the plan as unacceptable and said she had ordered the utility to fix it.

    “I am not satisfied with the current policy and I have asked the Water Corporation to work with the ERA to resolve the issue,” Ms Davies said.

    The comments come after the State’s economic watchdog intervened on renters’ behalf this week to reject the Water Corp’s plans.]

  29. Sprocket @ 1565

    Just as likely that Cormann and Pyne trying to talk him round, but not necessarily succeeding. I don’t trust Clive as far as I can throw him, but he seems to follow a pretty clear approach.

    If opposition to the Government policy is popular he makes a big noise opposing it. If the policy benefits him personally though, he will fold after claiming some spurious victory. If there is no benefit to him, he maintains the popular opposition (at no personal cost).

  30. sprocket @ 1590

    One incredibly dodgy aspect of the Government’s behaviour over the East West Link that has had virtually no attention was the handing over of $1.5 billion to Victoria in June 2014.

    The Victorian Government did not need the money at that stage as very little preliminary work had been done and the main contracts not signed.

    The only reason for handing over the money at that stage was to include it in the expenditure for the 2013-14 financial year and load it into the debt and deficit figures that Abbott and Hockey keep blaming on Labor.

    Dishonest lying bastards.

  31. Interesting Briefly. I’ll admit I had imagined the figure was higher. That implies the total value of all good and services for which the GST is applicable is $500 billion a year, which strikes me as a surprisingly low figure.

  32. If we’re looking for savings to balance the budget, here’s a few:

    1) Scrap negative gearing for existing rental properties (keep it for new housing construction).
    2) Cancel the F-35s.
    3) Cancel subsidies for fossil fuels.
    4) Means-test the private health insurance rebate.
    5) Cap, or otherwise reduce superannuation concessions to high-income earners.

    Do these five things and the Budget will be strongly back in surplus and debt will start to be repaid. As a sweetener for the electorate and a sign of good faith, the salaries of all MPs should be immediately slashed by 30% or so.

  33. [Tom the first and best

    Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 9:55 pm | Permalink


    So those who are saying Hockey uses elecventy are saying he is like Tolkien?

    Do they think Hockey will end up being useful to New Zealand?

    No, Tolkien created an imaginary world that we can escape into for our enjoyment,

    while with Hockey’s imaginary world he wants to recreate and impose it on us for purely ideological reasons and to hell with the adverse consequences.

    New Zealand is welcome to him but I don’t believe in deliberately harming other sentient beings.

  34. [4) Means-test the private health insurance rebate.]

    I was of the understanding this had already happened via the former govt. Is this not the case?

  35. @ confessions, 1647

    It was my understanding that the Coalition government had undone any changes Labor had made to the rebate.

    If I am incorrect, then I apologise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *