ReachTEL: 54-46 to Labor

An automated phone poll by ReachTEL finds Labor maintaining a strong lead, but a small-sample Morgan phone poll shows worrying signs for Bill Shorten.

The Seven Network brings us a ReachTEL automated phone poll of federal voting intention, which was conducted on Thursday from a sample of 2532, showing Labor’s two-party lead unchanged at 54-46, from primary votes of 39.8% for the Coalition, 39.3% for Labor, 11.9% for the Greens and 2.2% for Palmer United. Further questions find strong support for increasing the tax rate on superannuation contributions for high-income earners, at 57.2% with 22.1% opposed, but an even balance of 30.7% support and 31.8% opposition for removing negative gearing on future property purchases. The poll also records 56.1% support for imposing the GST on purchases from overseas companies with 22.3% opposed. Leadership approval questions find a shift for Tony Abbott from “very poor” to “satisfactory”, with Bill Shorten’s numbers broadly unchanged. Hat tip to Leroy Lynch.

There’s considerably less good news for Bill Shorten in a Morgan phone poll on party leadership, which shows Tony Abbott leading him 44-39 as preferred prime minister – the first poll to show Abbott in the lead since November. Tony Abbott’s personal ratings are little changed since the last such poll conducted in mid-January, before the Prince Philip knighthood and leadership spill vote, with his approval steady on 37% and disapproval up one to 53%. Bill Shorten, however, is respectively down three to 34% and up eight to 48%.

With respect to preferred Labor and Liberal leaders, Morgan finds Shorten losing his lead over Tanya Plibersek, who now has 23% support (up five) to Shorten’s 21% (down four), with Anthony Albanese up three to 13% and Wayne Swan steady on 10%. Tony Abbott has lost still more ground in comparison with Malcolm Turnbull (up two points as preferred Liberal leader to 38%) and Julie Bishop (up one to 27%), with his own rating down two to 12%. Scott Morrison is up three to 5%, putting him level with Joe Hockey, who has fallen heavily from favour since the government came to power.

UPDATE (Essential Research): The weekly Essential Research result has Labor gaining a point on two-party preferred, putting their lead at 53-47. The Coalition and the Greens are both down a point on the primary vote, to 40% and 10%, while Labor is steady on 39% and Palmer United is up one to 2%. Other findings:

• The poll shows 40% support for changes to the Senate electoral system to make it harder for micro-parties to get elected, with 33% opposed. Forty-two per cent said minor parties in the Senate were good for democracy, while 35% favoured the alternative proposition that they made government too unstable.

• Fifty-two per cent say they are not confident the government is on track to return the budget to surplus, with 36% confident; 31% believe doing so is very important, 40% somewhat important, and 14% not important.

• Seventy-seven per cent approve of government measures to withhold benefits from parents who do not get their children vaccinated.

• Seventy per cent say the gap between rich and poor in Australia is getting bigger, only 5% say smaller, and 17% say it is about the same.

UPDATE 2: Greens supporters on Twitter are taking umbrage at the wording of the following Essential Research question:

The Coalition, Labor and the Greens all support changes that would make it harder for small parties to be elected to Senate. Would you approve or disapprove of such changes?

And I agree to the extent that I don’t think they should be providing partisan respondents with cues as to what their party’s position is.

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.

1,475 comments on “ReachTEL: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. briefly

    [I should add that I’m highly mistrustful of Nationalist politics. They are all too frequently the arena for chicanery, bigotry, violence and other enmities.]

    Yes but all polotics can be like that.

    The SNP is not racist but “civic” nationalism. It supports increased immigration.

    It merely wants self-rule, like Denmark has. 🙂

  2. Tom

    [Scottish Labour are going to have reason regret not supporting the Alternative Vote at the referendum.]

    Yes the SNP (which strongly supports PR) has been hamstrung by the Westminster system as its voters are spread widely and not concentrated in areas. It meant that their many votes delivered few seats.

    Now the crazy single-member FPTP system means their surge could give them most of the seats with 50% of the vote.

    The irony!!

  3. Substance abuse should be construed as an issue in personal and community health. Prohibition simply creates scarcity and therefore an opportunity for profit, in turn leading to the corruption of politicians, law enforcement organs and other public agencies. Prohibition also makes it intrinsically difficult to reach and offer treatment to drug-users, meaning both the consumption and production of drugs are veiled with violence, fear, risks of retribution and exposure to the criminal justice system. How is it possible to handle the physical and mental health consequences of addiction in a context of actual or threatened violence?

    Really, until the threats of violence are removed, there will be no solution to the misuse of drugs and all the attendant grief.

  4. 1454

    Single member electorates favour parties with geographic concentrations of votes. The SNP would still be facing a big win under preferential voting, just not as near to unanimous as they are being predicted to get under FPTP.


    [West Ham South was a parliamentary constituency in the County Borough of West Ham, in what was then Essex but is now Greater London. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first-past-the-post voting system.

    The constituency was created under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 for the 1885 general election, and abolished for the 1918 general election.

    It was re-established for the 1950 general election, and abolished again for the February 1974 general election.

    Members of Parliament

    MPs 1885–1918

    1885 Joseph Lynn Leicester Lib-Lab
    1886 George Edward Banes Conservative
    1892 Keir Hardie Independent Labour
    1895 George Edward Banes Conservative
    1906 Will Thorne Labour
    1918 constituency abolished

    MPs 1950–1974

    1950 Frederick Elwyn Jones Labour
    1974 constituency abolished]

  6. Briefly

    Yes, prohibition ie the “war on drugs” has been going full steam for 50 years and has utterly failed.

    Yet interestingly 2 lawyers here, WWP and GG still advocate that approach. I wonder if they make their dosh out of drug war cases ie cases involving small fry.

    I sat through the 1995 Wood RC in NSW. One of the major investigations in the RC was into the ops of the Gisford drug squad. They revelled in the drug scene as drug dealers and as tourists, plying their trade all over the country.

    This is one of the major problems with the war on drugs. Prohibition ups the price so very high, and as it is a cash based industry all players fom both sides of the fence are sucked into the easy dollars laying around all over the place. It is therefore difficult to actually maintain a clean investigating force.

    There are other issues of course that also contribute to the fact that the war on drugs can never succeed, including demand, and the widespread involvement of skilled organised crime systems.

  7. Re #1440, the “opportunity cost” argument against indefinite imprisonment only works if the cost of permanent imprisonment is higher than the cost of capital punishment. However given that a reasonable appeal process for a person sentenced to death will often extend over several years of imprisonment and be extremely expensive in terms of the bureaucratic, legal and security requirements, it is far from clear that this is so.

    I’m against the death penalty partly because there’s no convincing evidence it works as a deterrent or saves money (compared to life-means-life imprisonment), mostly because the risk of executing innocents is much too easily underestimated. We’re finding out more and more all the time about how many innocent people have likely been executed.

    But there’s also an element of emotiveness in it in that even when I’m sure someone’s guilty of a horrible crime, I still feel sympathy for that person as they know that they are about to be killed with no chance to fight and no possibility of escape. Even if they have imposed the same on someone else.

  8. [1458


    Yes, prohibition ie the “war on drugs” has been going full steam for 50 years and has utterly failed.

    Yet interestingly 2 lawyers here, WWP and GG still advocate that approach.]

    Is GG a lawyer? I thought he was a money-broker. Still, I doubt that we should blame lawyers for this particular blight. They have to deal with the consequences of human weakness every day.

    I’m concerned about drug taking among young people, especially among the poor and the generally marginalised, among whom drug abuse, mental illness and violence seem to come as triplets. Saddest of all, there is a high incidence of these among young aboriginals – among the same populations that experience very high rates of arrest, repeated imprisonment, unemployment, suicide and other exposures to violence and repression.

    It seems to me that it is simplistic to attribute this to drug trafficking and therefore cannot be changed simply by policing measures. We need to change our minds about all this and start again.

  9. psyclaw@1458


    Yes, prohibition ie the “war on drugs” has been going full steam for 50 years and has utterly failed.

    Yet interestingly 2 lawyers here, WWP and GG still advocate that approach. I wonder if they make their dosh out of drug war cases ie cases involving small fry.

    How on earth did you get the idea that GG was a lawyer?

  10. Briefly

    As you probably know the human brain deteriorates withage, especially vis a vis memory.

    I had it tagged somewhere in the darker neural recesses that GG was a lawyer, but I am happy to stand corrected.

    If I am wrong then the law profession is a little “stronger” than I thought.

  11. [1460
    Kevin Bonham]

    For mine, if we assent to official killing we fall into a regress in which we all become killers. We necessarily become that which we purport to reject.

    Such a regress is bad enough, but there is more. Because we have a common mortality and consciousness, we understand what is at stake. We have no escape from this knowledge. Knowing also the imperfections to be found in each one of us and in our society, we also have to accept that a reason could be forced by which any one or all of us could be put to death.

    This being so, then whether we live or die is an essentially arbitrary matter, a fluke of circumstance, position or power. At this juncture, we are all equally helpless. This is the abyss where consciousness has to subsist with an incessant grief.

    The only exit is to to declare that if we are going to spare any one among us, we must spare all. This is the only choice that is consistent with human equality and dignity. It follows we must find the resources of courage, submission and penitence; of reconciliation, forgiveness and redemption; and we must place them above both revenge and reparation.

    Of course, it is possible to construe all kinds of reasons why killing might be permissible or even compulsory. But this is simply to deceive ourselves and to create pretexts for killing. Such pretexts are invariably political. To act on them is to carry out exemplary killing; to allow the powerful to sacrifice the powerless for their own purposes. Unchecked, they permit every atrocity of which we know ourselves to be capable.


    [Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in the 2016 race for the White House, called for the widespread use of police body cameras and an end to excessive prison sentences in the aftermath of the Baltimore riots.

    “We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America,” Clinton said in a speech at New York’s Columbia University.

    “There is something wrong when a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes,” she said, calling on Congress to help “end the era of mass incarceration.”

    Clinton addressed the violence in Baltimore, where rioters looted stores and burned buildings to the ground on Monday after the funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died after suffering injuries while in police custody.

    “There is something wrong when the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve breaks down as far as it has in many of our communities,” she said.]

  13. The world has just completed its hottest 12 month period ever.
    Or to put it another way:
    April 2014 to March 2015 was the hottest 12 months ever recorded world wide.

    The previous hottest 12 month period was …wait for it …. March 2014 to Feb 2015.

    As for calendar years [Jan to Dec] well the hottest ever recorded globally for that period was …2014.


    Prof Paul Krugman decounces what he calls the “austerity delusion”…saying that since the GFC the economist of the Right have preached the cult of the defecit which has been proved a terribly wrong ideology…and wrought much harm and hurt to millions …and as he says even a child could spot the error in saying that the economy will recover if less money is available…just as was once done in the 1930ies

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