Morgan: Turnbull 70, Shorten 24

A snap SMS poll finds Malcolm Turnbull with a resounding lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister, while Essential Research offers its final poll of the Tony Abbott era.

The first nugget of polling of the Malcolm Turnbull era is impressive even by the usual honeymoon effect standard, with Roy Morgan finding Turnbull enjoying a 70-24 lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister, including a 50-44 lead among Labor supporters. The poll was conducted today from a sample of 1204 respondents.

Also out today is a now-redundant final reading of voting intention under Tony Abbott from Essential Research, which shows the pollster’s usual steady form in having the Coalition on 40%, Labor on 38% and the Greens on 11%, with Labor leading 52-48 on two-party preferred – none of which is changed from last week. Most of the remaining questions concern refugees, including a factual question on Australia’s refugee intake that produced fairly unremarkable results, with the highest response being for the broadly accurate total of “about 15,000”. Nor did Essential find evidence that opinions dramatically differed between a sub-sample that was advised of the actual figure and the other sub-sample that wasn’t.

Regarding the 12,000 additional Syrian refugees, Essential recorded 19% saying the number should be higher, 36% opting for lower and 30% saying it was about right. Forty-eight per cent expressed support for Australian involvement in air strikes on Islamic State in Syria, with 29% opposed. Other questions found 38% saying the unions’ take on the China free trade agreement, specifically that it fails to protect Australian workers, to be more credible than the government’s line that the agreement contains adequate protections; and 38% saying the coal industry should continue to expand with 33% saying it should not do so, which is a more positive result than you usually get concerning non-renewable energy sources.

Other polling intelligence of recent times that remains of at least historical interest:

Liberal internal polling reported by InDaily had the Nick Xenophon Team, which is yet to announce candidates, ahead of Labor in the South Australian seats of Barker and Mayo, and ahead of the Liberals in Adelaide and Kingston – suggesting the NXT would very likely win the seats on respective Labor and Liberal preferences.

Labor internal polling reported by the Herald-Sun suggests the Greens are a big show in the blue-ribbon Melbourne seat of Higgins, held for the Liberals currently by Kelly O’Dwyer, and in the past by Peter Costello, John Gorton and Harold Holt. The poll had the Greens on “between 24-26 per cent” with Labor on 24%, panning out to 50-50 in Liberal-versus-Greens two-party terms if the Greens did indeed finish ahead of Labor.

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.

1,190 comments on “Morgan: Turnbull 70, Shorten 24”

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  1. From other thread

    Every issue counts. Malcolm Turnbull will give a big boost to LNP in opinion polls simply because he is not Abbott. However the more he keeps the same policies the more the gloss will be coming off. He doesn’t have the political capital and time to make slow changes. ALP will highlight how he is another version of Abbott every chance they get. Having knifed his leader and party deeply divided Turnbull won’t have much room to move.

    SSM and climate change may not be big issues in the community but they are the things that differentiated Turnbull to Abbott.

    On economy, things will continue to get worse with last coalition budget guaranteed to have some nasty numbers.

    ALP had a huge boost when Rudd was installed again. Turnbull may follow the same path. No doubt he has revived Coalition’s chances though.

    Shorten’s task got much harder. However should he win the next election he will have a huge mandate, having killed off two PM’s, taken out a treasurer (Joe will most likely go) and a speaker. Where as cruising into victory with Abbott would of made people think he just won because he wasn’t Abbott.

    If you win because you are not the other guy you will have no honeymoon and little political capital to push your agenda.

  2. This poll is not the news Bill Shorten would’ve liked to kick off his battle with Malcolm.

    The next few polls are crucial to Labor’s electoral fortunes as it’s unlikely Shorten will be replaced.

  3. Gorkay King

    Yes, its an accumulative effect, its like in 2007, whilst workchoices was the main issue, the government was defeated due to a range of issues the voters didn’t agree with, 1996 was another example of an election where there were countless issues that came together.

  4. What was the results to Morgan’s follow up question?

    “Will your support for Turnbull as PM cause you to now vote Coalition instead of Labor?”


    No follow up question!!!!!

  5. Abbotts final press conference one of total hypocrisy ever single phrase of it
    He gained power by doing the exact opposite of what he said today
    Good riddance

  6. Guytaur

    I would substitute family for person as I suspect pretty much everyone who has been out their front door would know a gay person.

  7. @ REX

    If you look at 2PP trend on the right hand side you can see the massive jump ALP got when they installed Rudd again. We will probably see the same thing.

  8. I’m speechless. I was expecting a honeymoon, but not at this level. Even adjusting for Morgan’s flakiness (which tends to overstate Labor’s vote), this is an extremely impressive result for MT.

  9. I suspect many here don’t quite realise how very fundamentally the game has changed for Shorten.

    Abbott was Shorten’s dream opponent. Inarticulate, widely-despised, inept, an international embarrassment.

    Turnbull encountered big problems as Opposition leader, but he is smart – he will have learnt from those mistake, and he now of course has far more staffing and other resources behind him to ensure mis-steps like Godwin Grech never occur. In fact, as PM he doesn’t need the Godwin Grechs of this world. He’s where he always wanted to be – in command.

    In that regard, as in many others, Abbott and Turnbull are polar opposites. Abbott was a very strong wrecking Opposition leader and a woeful PM, probably Australia’s worst ever. Turnbull was a deeply flawed Opposition leader but I suspect he will prove to be a very stong PM, as he has many traits better suited to power than to seeking power.

  10. [I’m speechless. I was expecting a honeymoon, but not at this level. Even adjusting for Morgan’s flakiness (which tends to overstate Labor’s vote), this is an extremely impressive result for MT.]

    Or demonstrative of how loathed Abbott was and how underwhelming the ALP under Shorten is.

  11. First Gillard as PM Newspoll in 2010

    Gillard 53 Abbott 29 Undecided 18

    TPP 53 – 47 to ALP

    Mind you, its hard to compare Newspoll phone polls to an SMS poll. I suspect by their nature undecideds respond less at all to a text message poll.

  12. People want to start taking a stab at the 2PP results to come in?

    I’ll start

    2PP average for all data to come in for the next week: 52-48 to the coalition (Except Essential, which should be more around 50/50 due to 2 week rolling average)

    2PP for data coming in around a month: 50:50

    My prediction, 52-48 to the coalition, taking into account William’s ‘bias adjustments’ as normal.

  13. When media have been having trouble finding someone in Warringah who supports Abbott for vox pop a Morgan poll like that is not surprising.

    Thats a we got what we wanted poll

    Future polls a whole different result. The amount of the approval indicates how hated Abbott was.

  14. To those saying marriage equality doesn’t matter to voters, I offer this insight from a small business owner in Manly:

    [Jane confesses: “We’re probably the biggest anti-Abbott supporters you could come across.”

    I venture that that’s surprising – the Abbott government was unashamedly in favour of small businesses like theirs. “Well, we’re pro gay marriage, he was anti gay marriage, even though it ran in his family,”]

  15. [ alias
    Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I suspect many here don’t quite realise how very fundamentally the game has changed for Shorten. ]

    Gottliebsen put a different view this morning –

    dave@68 on Malcolm Turnbull form guide | The Poll Bludger


    Shorten has a plan to tackle Turnbull

    When Bill Shorten was planning his ascension to the Labor leadership he forecast that the 2016 election would be between himself and Malcolm Turnbull — not Tony Abbott.

    Accordingly, Shorten already has a plan to tackle Turnbull.

    A key to the Shorten plan is the fact that when Turnbull was opposition leader he didn’t run a good cabinet. That’s why he was dropped.

    Whether Turnbull can win the next election as PM depends on whether he has learnt how to run a cabinet.

    When he announced his challenge, Turnbull went to extraordinary lengths to underline his belief that, this time, he would run the cabinet in the same way that John Howard managed his cabinet. Turnbull contrasted Howard’s brilliance in running a cabinet with Abbott’s mistakes.

    Now that Turnbull is to become Prime Minister, the first thing he needs to do is to refer to the magnificent agenda the Coalition put before the Australian people to win the 2013 election.

    …The tax system modernisation plan will therefore not be exactly the same as the original Coalition agenda but it will almost certainly include:

    A change in superannuation pension arrangements — perhaps adopting the ‘Shorten super proposal’ (or at the least the original plan that lifts the tax on super funds when individual income was above $100,000)

    Increasing the GST as an arrangement with the states

    Turnbull needs to find a way to delicately suggest to the Japanese that they pull out and to then take either the French or German proposal, which both involve substantial work in the Adelaide shipyards. The silly idea of getting the Japanese involved came from a small group of people in the PM’s office led by Peta Credlin.

    In the original Coalition plan, the Commonwealth envisioned saving billions by rationalising Commonwealth and state activities in health, education and other areas. But the poor ministers in those areas allowed themselves to be snowed by the public service and the cost-saving plans were pigeonholed.

    Turnbull needs to brighten up Australia’s environmental policy and give Minister Greg Hunt the authority to really market it.

    Turnbull also needs to make peace with the ABC and Fairfax. He might not bring them to the coalition side but it’s very dangerous to have them as bitter enemies.

    Turnbull will probably put in the too hard basket a move to crack down on cartels between the large builders and the union movement that boost the cost of Australian infrastructure and city building.

    and –

    [Bill Shorten’s plan is to create chaos in the Liberal Party on the basis of this split and any deviation by Turnbull from these matters will almost certainly result in the Labor leader becoming in the next prime minister.]

  16. Thanks William – so not as overwhelming a result as for Turnbull in this Morgan Poll, but a similar trajectory, and also offering as little insight as the Morgan as to whether Turnbull will turn out to be a successful PM.

  17. Woah.

    It’s clear that Malcolm will get the honeymoon bounce Abbott could only dream of. And then some more.

    But the question now is, how long will it last?

  18. dave

    That is why Labor is attacking through policy on character. Don’t trust Turnbull don’t trust him to be fair with raising GST and other economic measures.

  19. davidwh

    [ Labor voters prefer Turnbull over Shorten? Couldn’t be right. ]

    I doubt it is. Most likely some of them are LNP supporters pretending to be ALP – same as I pretended to be an LNP supporter whenever I was polled about Abbott 🙂

  20. Scott

    Yes I agree – a 5% boost in the LNP is what I would expect, so 51/49 is my prediction.

    If Turnbull does not make any mistakes he will romp it in against Shorten.

  21. Dave,

    I hope you are right, but I fear you are not.

    I suspect that for all his failings, Abbott will be true to his word and will not be a wrecker. The Libs will learn from Labor’s terrible mistakes after the Gillard coup. And most tellingly of all, Shorten is completely defanged on the question of driving home the case over the Libs dysfunction, having been so central to Labor’s.

  22. [I suspect many here don’t quite realise how very fundamentally the game has changed for Shorten.]

    I suspect some here don’t quite realise how prepared Shorten & team are for a leadership change in the government.

    We shall know soon enough. I hardly think the polling for the next month or so is going to be indicative of any election result 12 months hence. Gonna need some time for undoubtedly widespread and genuine relief that Abbott is gone to wash through the system.

    Labor should stay steady and true to the path they have been tracking for the last two years.

  23. Player One #36
    I disagree. I think they were ALP supporters – currently experiencing a massive sugar rush to see the end of Abbott.

    Let’s see how long it lasts.

  24. [25
    Can’t see Amanda Rishworth losing Kingston ..very popular local member..

    Given that Rishworth came within a whisper of winning Kingston on the primary vote alone (she got 49.2% of the PV) in 2013, it’s difficult to take the NXT polling seriously, which makes me question to veracity of the results in the other seats.

  25. Millenial

    [ I disagree. I think they were ALP supporters – currently experiencing a massive sugar rush to see the end of Abbott. ]

    Could be – I know how they feel!

  26. I know the drill about trends and swallows not making summers etc, but out of interest does anyone have info as to when was the last time there was a 70% figure for PPM?

  27. On the basis of today only, I am not confident about Shorten.

    Plibersek did well I thought , but Shorten was wooden. His one down, one to go (has he been reading PB) was quite frankly pathetic.

    Still it is early days and mistakes this week will not matter much.

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