Galaxy: 51-49 to Coalition

The second poll of the Malcolm Turnbull prime ministership is the first since April last year to have the Coalition in front – albeit just barely.

A Galaxy poll of federal voting intention for the News Corp tabloids – the first such poll since May – confirms the impress of ReachTEL in recording a relatively modest bounce to the Coalition, who nonetheless peak their noses in front by 51-49 on two-party preferred. That makes this the first poll since a Newspoll in early April 2014 to have the Coalition in front. The primary vote numbers are Coalition 44%, Labor 36%, Greens 11% and Palmer United 2%.

Again, this tepid result on voting intention is defied by an overwhelming lead for Malcolm Turnbull over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister, in this case of 51-20. The poll also puts Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison head-to-head for preferred Treasurer, with Morrison prevailing by 41% to 16%, leaving 43% uncommitted. There is further salt for Hockey’s wounds in a finding that 48% believed Tony Abbott should have sacked him as Treasurer, with only 23% disagreeing.

The poll was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday from a sample of 1224. As best as I’m aware, it will have encompassed live interview polling together with online and automated phone polling, and included a small sub-sample of mobile phones. The Newspoll series conducted by Galaxy for The Australian involves only online polling and automated phone polling to landlines.

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.

3,308 comments on “Galaxy: 51-49 to Coalition”

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  1. Not too bad considering.


    Are not stellar figures for Turnbull’s return & not bad figures for Labor in the circumstances.
    Turnbull’s elevation to the Premiership hasn’t brought them back to the position they were in in 2013.

  2. From previous thread…

    Going by the primary votes from the Galaxy poll, the TPP is 50.5-49.5 to the L-NP; the first time the L-NP is in front on the TPP in any poll since April 2014.

    Just to compare, the last Galaxy poll conducted in the Abbott Era had a TPP (constructed using Galaxy’s primaries) of 53.8-46.2 to Labor.

    In relation to the new Galaxy poll of 50.5-49.5 to the L-NP, that seems to suggest a bounce of 4.3 points due to the Leadership change of Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull. To put that data into context; the leadership changes of Hawke to Keating recorded a bounce of 5.0 points, the change of Rudd to Gillard recorded a bonuce of 1.1 points, and the change of Gillard to Rudd recorded a bounce of 6.1 points.

    General appreciation…
    Great thanks to Leroy Lynch, GhostWhoVotes, William Bowe and Kevin Bonham for supplying this data, and for all poll data they provide for this blog.

    You guys are the best.

  3. I must admit to waiting for the other shoe to drop….50/50 (or thereabouts) seems a little tame for something like swapping Turnbull in. Or is it that the voting public might be finally cottoning on to “it’s the policies, stupid!”?

  4. I am not too worried about Turnbull post Abbott 51 or 52 TPPs. If that is the bounce then it looks as though it will settle at around 50:50.

    I don’t think Turnbull will risk an early election. His best chance is to try to consolidate his position. At least 40% chance he could lose if he went to a DD right now so I think he’ll aim for the longer game.

    Surely he will try to win at least one policy area where he is at odds with his party. Labor on the other hand need to look both switched on and relaxed while this unfolds.

  5. [I must admit to waiting for the other shoe to drop….50/50 (or thereabouts) seems a little tame for something like swapping Turnbull in]

    It could realistically go either way. It’ll be interesting to see how this all goes.

  6. [4

    Surely he will try to win at least one policy area where he is at odds with his party.]

    He will not take on his party. On the contrary, he will find an issue or two that he can use to attack Labor. This will bring his intra-Party critics into line behind him. As much as some Liberals may hate Turnbott, they hate Labor and the unions even more. If he can lead an attack on Labor, the Liberals will unite behind him.

    The reason Abbott failed was because his policies alienated the voters and played to Labor’s strengths. Turnbott will not likely be so stupid. He will play to Labor’s weaknesses.

  7. Just introducing myself been a long time reader but new to Posting Also would like to give this Blog a bit of balance as a long term non Labour Voter.
    Am buoyed by Malcolm’s Rise in the Leadership of the Liberal Party as Tony Abbott was headed for a certain One-Term Government.
    I think once the new Cabinet, Ministry and Policies are introduced the only way is up
    Also the talk of a quick election is Not likely to happen Gillard almost Lost the last time it happened and Newman lost for going early There must be a very good reason for going early

  8. I think Michelle Rowland sums up Turnbull quite well here.

    “I think the more that people see of a Prime Minister who talks to people like they’re idiots, who has a superior sense of self, who doesn’t believe in anything, who has no convictions and has put his name to exactly the same policies that brought down Tony Abbott, I think people will wake up to this person very quickly,” Ms Rowland said.

  9. So yeah, Turnbull has delivered a sugar hit to the coalition but long term, his sense of hubris, ego and air of superiority will eventually turn off a lot of voters.
    That air of Lord Malcolm of Wentworth is never far from the surface, particularly when his self confidence is up, as it obviously is now. Labor just needs to wait the honeymoon out.
    Don’t forget his approval ratings last time he was leader were dismal.

  10. Hi Damo, welcome to posting.
    Nice to see some consistency in these two polls.
    I think this and the Reachtel poll confirm that people like Turnbull but not the LNP policies.
    If Turnbull were able and inclined to do so, he could increase their vote by changing policies.

  11. Hello Damoa & welcome!

    [I think once the new Cabinet, Ministry and Policies are introduced the only way is up]

    Just a reminder that Turnballs said explicitly that he will sticking with all the current policies.

    He said they were good solid policies but the salesmanship of said policies have been a failure.

    There will be no reset!

  12. Welcome to posting, Damo. Out of the pan and into the ….

    [Just a reminder that Turnballs said explicitly that he will sticking with all the current policies.]

    I do not believe that for a minute. He will move subtley on the more extreme or silly policies so he doesn’t scare the horses. Climate change being the obvious one to start on. Once he has a few positive polls behind him, and he will get a few, he will introduce more significant changes.

  13. 14

    If he looks in any way like moving on climate change the Nats will desert him. The nats hate him.

    Folks, we are in for some trolling today. First published poll in 17 months. What are our predictions – ‘doing Shorten slowly’?

  14. Nappin

    So, as with Rabbott one cannot believe a word Turnballs says??

    I think, because Turnballs has all the appearances of being sane it’s more a case of wishful thinking on the part of voters that there will be change in policy direction.

  15. Exactly nappin @ 14

    Earth to one-eyed ALP supporters: The ALP is now behind or level pegging, but your leader is 30 points (or more!) behind as preferred PM.

    I have never voted LNP and probably never will, but Turnbull’s ascendency is a good thing for the quality of political debate in Australia, and puts enormous pressure on Shorten to either lift his game, or quit and give someone else a go. Personally I hope its the latter because I believe the ALP has much better communicators on their front bench.

    Turnbull may well blow up like last time, but if he can perform to anything like his potential he will win easily in 2016, even with Abbott’s policies. That’s how bad Shorten is. Right now the ALP is sleepwalking into a disaster of Ed Miliband proportions.

  16. Brilliant.

    Things going exactly to plan. Now lets see whether Turnbul has tempered the 10% swing that was evident in Canning….that will be the real test (votes not polls).

    My view:
    A swing 7-10% means hardly any impact
    A swing >10% means a nett negative impact

  17. From yesterday, worth keeping in mind.
    [Even if they wanted an early poll, Liberal Party is not ready
    The Australian September 17, 2015 12:00AM
    Rick Wallace Journalist Melbourne
    Mark Coultan State political correspondent Sydney

    A key barrier to any rush to the polls by Malcolm Turnbull is the mixed state of readiness of the Liberal Party’s state divisions as the party machine struggles to shrug off a fraud scandal, a series of abrupt departures and recent trouble filling vacancies.

    The Victorian division is moving to a battle footing but is still reeling from the $1.5 million fraud allegedly perpetrated by former state director Damien Mantach.

    Electoral redistributions in NSW and Western Australia loom as another hurdle should the Prime Minister be tempted to seek an early election. No preselections have been held in NSW because of the uncertainty of the redistribution. With the changing of the guard from Tony Abbott to Mr Turnbull, there is also speculation now of a clean-out of MPs in the party’s Sydney heartland.

    While the Coalition has the option of seeking to force an early election, Mr Turnbull has indicated his preference is to run full term — to the end of next year. “My assumption is that the parliament will serve its full term,’’ he said after winning the leadership.

    The problems facing the Liberal Party are nationwide, with the South Australian division operating without a state director and scrambling to finalise preselections.

    In Queensland, the president’s position is also unfilled, with a replacement for businessman Bruce McIver yet to be confirmed.

    The turmoil comes as debate continues over the future of federal director Brian Loughnane, with sources in the Turnbull camp suggesting he will be replaced even though an election could be held soon.]

  18. [If Turnbull were able and inclined to do so, he could increase their vote by changing policies.]

    Indeed – and so could have Abbott.

    This is one of the mysteries of the Liberals. At one level, they know what the public want – hence all those ‘no, we won’t cut that, yes, we’ll leave that in place’ promises before the last election, and Abbott’s recognition earlier this year about what he needed to say he was going to do in order to improve his polling – but on another, it’s like they don’t really believe it.

    “Oh, I know Gonski’s popular with voters and focus groups say don’t touch it, but no one will notice if we slash education funding…”

    “Oh, I know the ABC is sacrosanct and people trust it more than they do us, so I’ll say we’re not cutting it…”

    They don’t seem to be able to help themselves – and there’s no indication that any pennies have dropped more with Turnbull than with anyone else.

    We have been here before. We know how this plays out.

  19. Trand
    [Folks, we are in for some trolling today. First published poll in 17 months. What are our predictions – ‘doing Shorten slowly’?]

    Ha, ha.. 😆

    [New Labor Oppo leader by Christmas!]

  20. Dee, Turnbull sees Govt as a business and plays the games of business rather than of politics. That is why he has made some judgemental cockups. He has learnt a bit, hence is now PM, but fundamentally his head is still a business one. In that sense I think he will follow a common business approach – consult widely then make an autocratic decision. That will be his downfall, again.

  21. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    VERY GOOD READ! Waleed Aly on the beast that Turnbull must tame. Aly writes with great style – and substance!
    Peter Hartcher on the slow to move evicted tenants of the PM suite.
    Mark Kenny says that the left and the right have a common plan – get Malcolm Turnbull.
    Is Abbott’s empty chair in parliament a gift to his colleagues.
    Peter Martin on the additional $8b deficit blowout on Hockey’s 2014/4 budget.
    And Stephen Koukoulas steps in with this piece – Hockey’s debt and deficit disaster.
    There are some ominous signs emerging from the Australian Border Force and public service strike actions are likely to roll over the country.
    Michael Gordon asks if this cabinet leak could threaten Turnbull’s honeymoon hopes?
    Malcolm consultative? Since when?
    Turnbull’s new Liberal world is still a largely unknown country writes Michelle Grattan.

  22. Section 2 . . .

    This Senate Committee report accuses Brandis of using A-G staff as political tools to cover up mistakes made with Monis.
    Speaking with William Bowe on the Canning by-election.
    How the Australian Public Service “Grey Army” has grown.
    The hazards of a higher GST.
    Peter Wicks wonders whether Turnbull will remove Michael Lawler.,8172
    This meeting of Young Liberals brought their innate characteristics to the fore. Lovely types!
    And now Abbott’s pig-headedness on the local building of submarines has been exposed. Kevin Andrew throws a Hail Mary and supports Turnbull on it.
    Greg Sheridan cops some stick over his re-writing of the history of the Abbott years.,8173
    Donald Trump is an anti-vaxxer. What a dangerous idiot that seems to be going very strongly in his quest for Presidency. It’s tempting to say to the Yanks vote him in, you deserve him. But what would that do for the world at large?
    Vodafone’s response to the hacking of a journalist was “offensively inadequate”.

  23. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir has Shorten receiving news of the latest opinion polls.

    Ron Tandberg doesn’t think much of Joe’s chances.

    Nor does John Shakespeare.

    Bill Leak goes even further.

    Cathy Wilcox has an oblique stab at Abbott and his :febrile media” comment.

    MUST SEE! David Pope and a refugee’s guide to Canberra.

    Mark Knight has Shorten mourning the demise of Abbott.

    A nice cartoon in The Australian showing Morrison’s role in the change of PM.

    David Rowe takes us into Bill Shorten’s bedroom.

  24. Hey Happiness


    But, are you happy for Turnballs to stick with all the current policies?

    I’m off for the day…will catch up later..

  25. Denis Shanahan in the GG on gaping divisions in the Liberal Party, not yet ready to be lorded over by Malcolm

    [Tony Abbott has pledged not to “white ant” Malcolm Turnbull but some “massively angry” follower­s seem prepared to provide the sort of cabinet leaks used to destabilise the former prime minister.

    As indiv­idual Liberal Party members start sending seething emails organ­ising grassroots protests over Mr Abbott’s “dismissal”, Canberra­ insider gossip is emerg­ing about the early workings of the Turnbull government contradicting the Prime Minister’s promise of a new regime.

    Innocuous details of the first cabinet meeting of the Turnbull government on Tuesday are emerging; cabinet figures contradicting Mr Turnbull’s claims about promoting women have been leaked; some of Mr Abbott’s supporters have had meetings; and Liberals are complaining they were kept in the dark over the Coalition agreement Mr Turnbull signed with Nation­als leader, Warren Truss.

    The Australian has been told the Prime Minister’s first cabinet meeting lacked the expected inclusiveness after Mr Turnbull’s promise to restore proper cabinet processes and to be “collegiate and collaborative”.

    Opening the meeting, Mr Turnbull stressed the importance of “continuity of government” and thanked ministers for continuing to serve in their positions.

    But some MPs said it was a difficult situation given some knew they would not be coming back into the cabinet room after the ministerial shuffle next Monday.

    “It was a bit bizarre,” one Liberal told The Australian.

    Environment Minister Greg Hunt, famed for his graphic present­ations and multi-pointed arguments, suggested Mr Turnbull take some comments from those around the cabinet table. Mr Turnbull listened to the minister’s first point but closed discussion before he got to points two and three.

    He did not seek further comments from around the table and called in the outer ministry members. Mr Turnbull then addressed the full ministry and called for any questions. There were none and the meeting ended.]

  26. I dips me lid to Waleed Aly.

    [Abbott’s demise represents not merely the fall of a politician, but of a world view.

    Who will represent Australian neo-conservatives now? Those expressing such concerns overlook the most important fact – that it is these people who have had the keys to the kingdom for the past two years, only to see the palace crash down around them.
    . . .

    Every politics runs its course until its moment of crisis. For Labor it was in the aftermath of the Hawke/Keating reforms when the new consensus on liberal economics buried the Labor Party’s reason for existence – a reason it has not yet rediscovered. Now it is neo-conservatism’s turn.

    Left unchecked as it has been in Britain and New Zealand, this eventually takes the form of Donald Trump, offering nothing more than the celebration of naked prejudice as some kind of virtue. It will have its moments of frenzy, but not its lasting victories, and certainly not any proud legacy.

    Australia is a long way from there. The Liberal Party is not yet overrun. But even so, it is deeply unrepresentative. Turnbull is its most representative figure, and for that very reason is perhaps its most internally despised.]

    Read more:
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

  27. Some ministerial winners and losers from Murdoch organs. Good to see Mitch Fifield get promoted, one of the few talented Coalition senators. And poor old Connie FV – if she is dumped, it will embolden the NSWRWNJ faction to whiteant.

    [ Attorney-General George Brandis, who switched to support Mr Turnbull, is set to keep his portfolios and possibly take on the role of Government Leader in the Senate.

    Another senior Turnbull backer, Mitch Fifield, is set for a promotion that could include deputy leader in the Senate while Simon Birmingham is mooted for a Cabinet role as well as becoming government manager of business.

    At least three new faces are expected in Cabinet, with some ministers suggesting there could be an increase in the size of Cabinet. The number of women in Cabinet is likely to at least double to four, with Michaelia Cash and Marise Payne in the running for elevation.

    Kelly O’Dwyer is likely to become a junior ­minister.

    One of the pro-Abbott women set to be dumped from a junior role on the ­frontbench, is Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.]

  28. [ Stephen Mayne ‏@MayneReport 2m2 minutes ago
    Bolt claims a friend of his took Abbott to dinner last night & he’s coping ok. Sticking close to Bolt-Jones-Hadley was his biggest mistake. ]

    He made so many *big mistakes* a Smorgasbord of choice.

    Where to start – maybe the inability to tell the truth ?

  29. And, like Julia Gillard, Turnbull faces the risk of fighting two Oppositions – one formed by members of his own party.

    Some people – ousted Ministers, Senators with time to serve, backbenchers – don’t really care much whether their party is in government or not. Their take home pay will be unaffected.

    Moreover, they will see themselves as fighting for the soul of their party. Given that some of them have a strong religious (if not actually fanatical) bent, a Holy War will suit them right down to the ground.

  30. And apparently HoJo has asked for Defence, but been knocked back. Pyne is to be given the chequebook.

    One of the death blow Captain’s Picks for Abbott was promising Abe that Australia would buy $89b worth of subs from Japan. This terrible example of poor judgement is clear evidence of Abbott’s unfitness for office, and led to alienation of the Defence establishment and the threat of a wipeout in seats in South Australia.

    For what? So he could strut the world stage, get his FTA signed, and have a new “best friend” in Asia.

  31. [Attorney-General George Brandis, who switched to support Mr Turnbull, is set to keep his portfolios and possibly take on the role of Government Leader in the Senate. ]

    Although that’s up to the Senate Libs. Turnbull has no say, so it’ll interesting to see what they’ll do if that’s what he wants. However, if Abetz is no longer a minister they’ll probably go along with it because it would be a very odd situation otherwise.

    I hope it doesn’t happen. The Senate leader gets a lot of speaking time and answers all questions on behalf of the PM. Abetz and Brandis are equally disliked here, but as one who likes the theatre of parliament Abetz is a lot more entertaining than Brandis.

  32. Morning all

    Of course the Galaxy poll is top news in radio bulletins. First time in 16 months that Coalition have overtaken Labor etc etc. The other story is that Abbott staffers are yet to leave the digs and this is angering some liberals. Too bloody funny. They havent seen anything yet!!

  33. Zoomster – I think it’s fairly simple. The LNP are just flat-out ideologues. So they think that if they lie to the public to achieve their ends that is fully acceptable. Further, they have a divine faith in the ability of Rupert to save their bacon at election time.
    Indeed, the rise of Malcolm might make them even more obstinate because they think they’ve got a better salesman!

  34. Also Kevin Andrews wants to keep defence promising that most of the subs will be built in SA. Fmd this mob is so transparent in attempting to get voters back on side. Why they didnt think it mattered when they were making these decisions in the first instance is the real kicker

  35. Header of this thread…
    [have the Coalition in front – albeit just barely.]
    MSN say the Coalition “surges ahead of Labor”.

    I just cant figure it out for myself. I will trust the page with the least advertisements. That would be Pollbludger – albeit just barely.

  36. Kevin 1-7

    I heard Philip Coorey on RN say that the Murdoch Press, through their Sydney heads (not their CPG), have taken support for Abbott’s govt to a war footing with Fairfax, leading in the end to Dutton’s ridiculous accusation of a jihadi by Fairfax. He said that instead of reporting the lies and backflips after the first Hockey budget, News attacked any journo who tried to report the truth.

  37. The thing I will remember most about Joe Hockey’s term as treasurer will be the absolutely disgraceful way he got up in Parliament and goaded Holden into shutting its plants. I hope that Turnbull shows as much consideration and concern about his job.
    Sympathy – zero.

  38. I like the majority of Oz is relieved that Abbott was dumped. He truly was a wrecker and needed to be cut down. The fact that the Libs stuck with him from 2009 to 2015, says a lot about them too.

  39. And the fact that Abbott didnt have the good grace to show up to parliament even on the last sitting day, tells us all we need to know about him. He is a wrecker to the end

  40. From the AFR:

    [Sunday Night: Christopher Pyne had conversation with Abbot in Adelaide. Sources say he’d already decided the PM must go, but Abbott left the meeting sure he had his Education Minister’s support…]

  41. To those suggesting Shorten should go get over it. He’s staying. The government will live or die by what they say and do, not by what Shorten says or does. It has been that way since Moses was a boy.

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