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. Does a TPP of 50/50 increase or decrease the chances of a snap election i.e. do they go now thinking this may be as good as it gets, or do they think they can claw back more votes?

  2. That difference between that ReachTEL poll’s PPM and TPP (estimated around 50.3 to Labor according to primaries) seems to suggest a disconnect between Malcolm’s popularity and the Liberal Party’s popularity.

    Perhaps people like the Man more than they like his Ball?

  3. The PPM is irrelevant.

    Labor has only lost 2 points on primary and TPP only 3 points.

    Not a great return for the change to Turnbull.

    Anyone who thinks this is not a pretty good result for labor has blinkers as far as I am concerned or are letting political leaning or personalities get in the way.

    It is not the leader it is the policies. The Tories will learn at some stage that it is the substance not the selling.

    Lipstick on a pig and all that.


  4. I too am happy with 50:50 and 70:25. It will be all a downhill trend from here, although with a few false bright points for the LNP from time to time.

  5. I’m quite surprised Malcolm failed to take the lead in the 2PP. Wasn’t there a poll taken earlier in the year that showed that if Turnbull was leader, he would pull a majority of support for the Coalition on federal voting intention? If I remember correctly, the margin was around 52-48?

  6. SirGitOfSmeg@1161


    “You can’t expect to wield supreme power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!”

    Well, that was back before anyone knew how to read a voting slip. Wet swords seemed a good substitute.

  7. I think it unlikely that Turnbull (unlike Abbott) would call an election involving the Senate without GTV reform or a serious improvement in Crossbench relations. I do not see Turnbull calling a House-only election. Therefore I think it likely that we will get some notice of the election due to GTV reform.

  8. [Reachtel reported on chanel 7 just now.

    50/50 TPP and Turnbull ahead of Shorten 62/38.

    That’s not too bad from Labor’s perspective for a sugar hit.]

    Labor will be delighted with that. Of course as Kevin B warned it’s probably not until the second week that the honeymoon bounce peaks, but it will take a while for the message to get through that reTurnbull is just the same as the Abbott government in all important respects.

  9. 50/50 on Reachtell, with all the exuberance of the populace that Abbott is gorn is better than i expected. Remains to be seen exactly what the “anyone but Abbott” bounce will be but it will become very apparent over the next couple of poll cycles.

    [ Surely 50/50 is a bit of a disaster for the Coalition..? ]

    Worth a minor gloat perhaps. 🙂 I reckon the one to watch is still the size of the swing in Canning and the Libs reaction to that. If the best Turnbull gets credited with is as a “save the furniture” leader then that not a good look for an election in 2016 and the Libs may get a bit desperate heading into the 2016 Budget season. Fights between Turnbull looking to be seen as an actual leader and the RWNJobbie element of the Libs in the offing?? 🙂

  10. [Back to 50/50 and Turnbull hasnt done anything yet just you wait, he’s going to do Shorten slowly]
    Turnbull has done a lot, he has dumped most of the policy positions he has said he cares about, e.g. same-sex marriage, water rights, market price on carbon emissions.

    Come election day voters will have no idea who they are actually voting for.

  11. [If we are to take Mr Abbott at his word – and why shouldn’t we? –

    Chris Johnson
    Canberra bureau chief]

    It’s as though a cloud of extreme gullibility, naivete and stupidity descends on the commentariate when discussing Abbott.

  12. So Reachtel not much bounce from Honeymoon.

    More I see is an early election, 1-2 months down the track after new front bench been sworn in.

    Also LNP QLD trying to be revelent, by suggesting a few thousand dollars of undeclared money from unions.

    And QLD Labor returned fire with $100,000 undeclared money from LNP QLD.

    And of course naming calling ensued, instead of QLD LNP supporting the gov inquiry into the LNP (and few other things such as Domestic Violence).

  13. Thanks for reposting the link to the Pope cartoon millenial@1106 that is my favourite cartoon from the last month, bar none, the image it summons in my mind can’t be described.
    If I ever meet turnbull in person remind me to not shake his hand.

  14. I think that is a very good result for Labor. Also no significant leakage away from the Greens. From memory this falls a long way short of the bounce Labor received in June 2013 after Kevin Rudd’s return.

    I do expect things to get a little better for the Coalition over the next couple of weeks, and of course this is only one poll, but it does suggest what I have suspected; that people like Turnbull but that the Liberal brand has been severely damaged and it’s not going to be repaired quickly.

  15. dave@1148

    TPOF –

    My money (figuratively speaking) is on him remaining. Remember, Abbott really thinks he is a great campaigner. He will, no doubt, believe that Turnbull could so make a mess of things that they will turn back to Abbott to save them or, indeed, deliver them a famous victory.

    Its not only abbott – its the other RWNJ’s will be looking constantly to pickup the 4-5 votes to roll turnbull. Hard to believe that they accept this is all done and dusted.

    They ain’t going quietly into that good night. One thing you can bet on.

  16. MTBW @ 1155

    [Shorten down to 38%?]

    There are low expectations of Shorten. As you have expressed often. The expectations of Turnbull are very high. I cannot see how Turnbull can meet the expectations of so many people. Already, he is back-pedalling on climate change to keep the RWNJs in his party onside. He could, of course, have a grand strategy to double-cross the RWNJs and make a strike for the social centre of the national sentiment. But I don’t think he’s that good.

    Which brings me to Shorten’s 38%. I think there is plenty of upside there. People still have not made up their mind about him. Depending on when the election is and what twists and turns occur before then, there is mainly upside for Shorten and downside for Turnbull. Preferred leader is also far less significant than TPP. But today’s poll result has not much significance. There will need to be a trend established before we have a clear idea of the impact of Turnbull’s ascension.

  17. [1154

    Does a TPP of 50/50 increase or decrease the chances of a snap election i.e. do they go now thinking this may be as good as it gets, or do they think they can claw back more votes?]

    They will wait. Turnbott is not an unknown quantity, but there is always a stigma connected with leadership challengers. He needs to establish his own credentials and allow the shock to recede.

  18. I’m really chuffed by that poll. I would have settled for 48/52.

    I think the Liberal brains trust would be feeling a little disappointed with that.

  19. What a fantastic result!

    Even better – let’s have a repeat of it next week and the week after.

    It will guarantee that:

    A) Abbott sticks around;
    B) Abbott’s goon squad starts seriously leaking against Turnbull because they think there is more than half a chance their boy will make a comeback; and
    C) The RWNJ section of the media will keep baying for Turnbull’s blood, recognising (rightly) that the pain and damage done have not reaped the promised rewards.

    EXCELLENT (said in a Monty Burns voice)

    😀 😀 😀

  20. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink


    How did she get to be queen, I didn’t vote for her

    You do not vote for a Queen. You get given one. They train them from birth you know.]
    I liked the title of this article by Mark Steel.

    [To the Queen’s credit, she has worked her way up – there was a time when she was just a lowly princess ]–there-was-a-time-when-she-was-just-a-lowly-princess-10495535.html

  21. As I see it there is a MYEFO to come soon and it won’t be pretty. Also those 44 votes against MT are all strong, strictly, conservatives; and many of them will still be sitting around the cabinet table.

    Given that MT has stated he is a collegiate type of person he will have very little room to move on many issues that matter to the voting public.

    Who was it that said ‘Life is not meant to be easy’ ?

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