ReachTEL: 50-50

Malcolm Turnbull’s first opinion poll as Prime Minister records a strong bounce in the Coalition’s favour, without going all the way.

The first opinion poll of the Malcolm Turnbull era is a ReachTEL survey of 3278 respondents conducted for the Seven Network last night, and it has the two parties tied on two-party preferred, which is at the milder end of what I would have expected from the Turnbull bounce. It compares with leads to Labor of 53-47 in the last two polls under Tony Abbott. The primary votes are Coalition 43.3% (up 3.0%), Labor 35.9% (down 1.6%) and Greens 11.9% (down 1.5%). However, Malcolm Turnbull records a clear 61.9-38.1 lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister, whereas Shorten had consistently strong leads over Tony Abbott in this particular series – of 57.9-42.1 at the most recent poll on August 28. Shorten’s rating on the five-point satisfaction scale has also taken a hit, with his combined good plus very good rating down 4.6% to 18.9%, satisfactory steady on 32.5%, and poor plus very poor up 4.6% to 48.7%. Respondents were asked to rate “the performance of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister” rather than Malcolm Turnbull, and it found little change in his ratings at 27.8% for very good or good, 18.8% for satisfactory, and 53.4% for poor or very poor.

Also today, Roy Morgan unloaded its final tranche of polling conducted over the weekend, departing from its normal routine of accumulating two weekends of polling before publishing a combined a result. This poll also does not feature the usual SMS component, consisting purely of face-to-face polling, for a sample of 826 compared with its usual 3000-plus. Labor’s primary vote was up a point on the previous Morgan poll to 36.5%, with the Coalition down 1.5% to 35%, and the Greens down half-a-point to a still-imposing 16%. Labor’s two-party lead on respondent-allocated preferences blew out from 55-45 to 57-43, and rose from 55.5-44.5 to 56.5-43.5 on previous election preferences.

The BludgerTrack poll aggregate on the sidebar has been updated with the latest Essential and Morgan results to produce a concluding result for Tony Abbott’s prime ministership. This records a 0.2% shift to Labor on two-party preferred compared with last week, and credits Labor with single gains on the seat projection in New South Wales and Western Australia. There were, however, no new results on the leadership ratings.

Also of note: the Australian Electoral Commission published draft boundaries on Friday for a redistribution of the Australian Capital Territory’s two seats. This is chiefly notable for proposing that the electorate of Fraser, held for Labor by Andrew Leigh, be renamed Fenner, in honour of virologist Professor Frank Fenner. The rationale is that the name Fraser should be freed up for use in the next redistribution in Victoria, in honour of the late Malcolm Fraser. More substantively, the redistribution proposes the transfer of the city centre and the southern parts of Turner and Braddon immediately to the north, together with Reid and Campbell to the east. This involves the transfer of around 10,000 voters from Fraser to Canberra (which is held for Labor by Gai Brodtmann), leaving Labor’s two-party margin in Fraser unchanged at 12.6%, while increasing the Canberra margin from 7.0% to 7.4%.

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.

1,089 comments on “ReachTEL: 50-50”

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  1. I’ll repost:

    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).

  2. From previous thread…

    The difference between that ReachTEL poll’s PPM and TPP (estimated around 50.1 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?

    Though, I wouldn’t draw any conclusions on the state of play based on one poll.

  3. TPOF Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 6:02 pm @ 1142

    Can’t agree. Beazley was fine. And Brendan Nelson was quite normal, for all his lack of cut-through (or perhaps as a result of it). I also have heard nothing particularly bizarre about Bill Shorten to suggest he will not make the transition should he be elected.

    That’s why I said “the opposition leader at every federal election since 2004“.

  4. Gary Sparrow@1169

    Back to 50/50 and Turnbull hasnt done anything yet just you wait, he’s going to do Shorten slowly

    Well Glen, Shorten saw abbott off pretty quickly.

    The question now is whether the tories knife yet another first term PM ? Not a big call to say the RWNJ’s are sharpening their knifes already.

    Then turnbull being turnbull he may do himself in.


  5. Compare with the stellar sugar hit Turnbull has delivered on preferred prime minister. Much of the latter is the nation rejoicing at the demise of Abbott.

    But its not swinging votes the same way, because the Liberal party remains the Liberal party. LNP now back in the game, but do they have it in the bag? Not yet. Watch this space.

  6. It will be interesting to see how much momentum Bernardi, Bolt, shock jocks and similar types can maintain. They may ultimately fall in behind Turnbull but they could just as easily continue to destabilise the Liberals or at the extreme, break away to form a new party.

  7. I wouldn’t expect an early election.

    Watch Sinodinos on The David Speers Show, he was believable when saying they will develop a tax policy and take time in selling it to the public.

    Bowen and Leigh need to be ready for this with a fairer package for the less well off.

  8. leftye,

    You’ve got it pretty well right.

    Turnbull is a welcome change. But, the electorate remains deeply sceptical.

    All Turnbull has to do is engender confidence, appease the feral conservatives, embrace true reform and be for and against a whole bunch of social policies. At the same time, no one will be disadvantaged by the new policies and he must make progress by standing absolutely still.

    Should be a doddle.

  9. Bounces don’t tend to arrive at full size right away, they often build over a week or two. Still this is less than I expected right away.

    The Gillard bounce is actually a myth; it looks big if you just look at Newspoll but it actually was only worth about a point. The Rudd return bounce I have at 6.1 points.

  10. I see Turbull is still stupidly wearing a blue tie. That shows what he is at heart and it ain’t a moderate Lib.

    Same old reactionary as fool her replaced.

  11. That is a pretty good Reachtel for labor

    Turnbull’s water shift is I think a BIG mistake. let’s see how many others he makes week one ans it will set the tone for the rest of the year.

  12. Kevin Bonham,

    What interests me in the dynamics of polling is the rate limits of change. The correction after the Rudd “honeymoon” has a certain slope. I’m interested to see if the same thing happens with Turnbull.

  13. Kevin Bonham #15
    Looking at the circumstances prior to this Leadership spill, the return of Malcolm Turnbull seems closer to Rudd’s return than Gillard’s ascension, so I suspect the bounce in the polls will be closer to the Rudd’s bounce.

    (i.e. a bounce between 3 and 6 points away from the Abbott era)

  14. Oh sweet jebus. Steve Price just now on the Project. Too delicious. Remembering his wife his cos for Greg Hunt. Anyhoo, he has spoken to people in Canberra and he says fhe place is toxic. There are lots of angry people cos of what happened. He reckons Turnbull has his work cut out for him to unify the govt. Difficult task

  15. The mistakes Turnbull is and will make are only being noticed because Shorten and labor have grilled him over two QT’s and he has forced forced to state his position on a number of issues.

    Perhaps tomorrow labor will get Turnbull to state exactly where he stands on the Chafta.

    If Turnbull shifts at all it will put a huge hole in the arguments put forward by Robb and co so I would expect Turnbull to stand firm.

    More for labor to work with.

    Good move by Shorten to write to Turnbull in the spirit of bipartisanship requesting talks on the agreement.


  16. vic,

    Turnbull as a coat of white paint as far as Pricey is concerned.

    Unfortunately the ugly graffiti underneath needs more than one coat.

  17. [The mistakes Turnbull is and will make are only being noticed because Shorten and labor have grilled him over two QT’s and he has forced forced to state his position on a number of issues.]
    If Turnbull keeps standing up in parliament and repudiating policy positions that he strongly held just 3 weeks ago, e.g. a free vote in this parliament on same-sex marriage, then he is going to come across as a complete phony at election time.

  18. Excuse the grammar in my previous post but still coming to grips with my iPad.

    Anyway, meant to add that those in the MSM who are glowing in their praise for The performance of Turnbull in QT yesterday and today are full of shit.

    Labor has forced him to show his hand on several issues clearly showing it is just more of the same.


  19. You also have to account for the angry Lib voters saying they will vote Labor to spike Turnbull – might be worth a % or 2 in the short term. The Angry Tory effect.

  20. Rex,

    Tax reform is more than super reforms.

    The Libs are setting themselves up so that small changes are to be lauded as the best thing since bottled beer.

    Tax reform is a massive task and will not be solved piece meal.

  21. If Turnbull wants to stay loyal to his job application before the challenge, he must agree to talk to Shorten on CHFTA. In this, at least, he can differentiate himself from Abbott, who seemed to ignore all approaches.

  22. Oh dear

    [Stephen Spencer
    Stephen Spencer – ‏@sspencer_63

    Embarrassing performance by Turnbull at NBN showcase. Opens by abusing Labor MPs at non partisan event, causes instant walkout by half crowd
    12:57 AM – 16 Sep 2015

  23. GG

    If Sinodinos with Turnbull trundling behind can start a genuine conversation on tax reform (big IF), not just more cuts for the wealthy, that would be a massive improvement on the present situation.

  24. [Stephen Spencer
    Stephen Spencer – ‏@sspencer_63

    @arcadiagt5 happened about 5 mins ago. Footage will surface shortly
    1:04 AM – 16 Sep 2015

  25. [Embarrassing performance by Turnbull at NBN showcase. Opens by abusing Labor MPs at non partisan event, causes instant walkout by half crowd]

    Please, God. Make this true.

  26. ABC News doing a bit more than shrugging its shoulders.

    Huge graphic: Turnbull on the job, complete with flattering photo
    Newsreader: On his first day, has Malcolm Turnbull delivered?
    Toolman: Yes in spades…

    Then we have no doubt more promotion on 7.30, then a repeat of Kitchen Cabinet, with you guessed it, Malcolm Turnbull.

  27. 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.

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