Morgan: 56-44 to Coalition

Early post-coup trepidation is making way for a fully flowering Malcolm Turnbull honeymoon, if the latest result from Roy Morgan is anything to go by.

Roy Morgan’s second poll of the Malcolm Turnbull prime ministership is an even better result for the Coalition than the first, recording a one-point increase in the primary vote to 47%, with Labor down two to 27.5% and the Greens up one to 14%. On the headline two-party figure based on respondent-allocated preferences, the Coalition lead is up from 55-45 to 56-44. Based on preference flows from the 2013 election, it’s up from 53.5-46.5 to 55-45. The poll was conducted over the past two weekends by face-to-face and SMS from a sample of 3011.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Just as the leadership change appears to have cost Roy Morgan its long-established Labor bias, in the short-term it least, so it seems Essential Research has lost its trademark stability. That’s belied by headline figures for this week which show the Coalition’s two-party lead unchanged at 52-48, from steady primary votes of 44% for the Coalition and 35% for Labor, with the Greens and Palmer United both down a point to 10% and 1% respectively. However, the result of last week’s two-week fortnightly average included a 50-50 result from the previous week that is not included in this week’s result, so it follows that this week’s numbers failed to replicate those that caused last week’s sharp movement from 50-50 to 52-48.

Essential’s first monthly leadership ratings of Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership record his approval rating at 47% and disapproval at 17%, with a weighty 35% opting for don’t know. Bill Shorten enjoys an eight-point drop in his disapproval rating since a month ago to 42%, but his approval rating is up only a point to 30%. Turnbull leads 48-19 as preferred prime minister, which is down from 53-17 when the question was asked immediately after the leadership change.

Also featured are questions on which party is most trusted to handle various issues, which was also asked shortly before Tony Abbott was deposed. Only two results are significantly different: the Liberals’ lead over Labor for “political leadership” is up from 9% to 18%, while that for “treatment of asylum seekers” is down from 12% to 7%. The Greens are included as a response option here, which presumably has the effect of weakening the totals for Labor. Further findings have 42% saying private health insurance should be means tested compared with 44% who said everyone should receive a rebate; 56% rating it more important to expand public transport than to build roads and freeways, versus 33% for vice-versa; and 64% saying new roads and freeways should be built only if governments can pay for them without tolls, versus 24% who believe tolls should be charged as necessary.

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.

1,191 comments on “Morgan: 56-44 to Coalition”

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  1. The hapless Bill Shorten continues to put a Liberal frame on issues that should favour Labor. His flawed defence of penalty rates underlines the weakness of the man’s instincts and beliefs. The purpose of penalty rates is to compensate workers for working unsociable hours. What the worker does with their income is up to them and is irrelevant to the social utility of penalty rates.

  2. Penny Wong needs to seriously consider running for a lower house seat to assume the ALP leadership post-election.

    Can’t see Bill Shorten, or Tony Abbott, halting Malcolm’s momentum.

  3. Nicholas and Rex

    Thank you for your concern. I can see you are very concerned. We share your concern.

    Keep being concerned.

  4. Nicholas and Rex

    The use of “hapless” (amalgamation of several definitions) suggests unlucky, deserving of pity.

    I suggest that your theme is rather that Bill Shorten is making the wrong decisions.

  5. Helen Razer has a good article in today’s Crikey. An excerpt:


    He then made the point that frequent psychiatric appointments were unavailable to him.

    This point is clear to many, many people experiencing mental illness. It was also one largely absent in the week of Mental As. And for a week that purports to be in service to “awareness”, a lack of awareness about the lack of mental health services, or, indeed, of social policy programs that might actually stop people from becoming mentally ill in the first place, doesn’t just seem negligent to me — it seems bloody-minded.

    Like many Australians experiencing mental ill health, my friend cannot access regular care. It’s Just. Not. There. I shan’t shame him or diminish our intimacy by telling you just how spectacularly unwell he has been, but I implore you to believe both of us when we tell you: the resources that exist for him in no way address the severity of his condition.


  6. [Airlines

    Posted Monday, October 5, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Boerwar, 6

    Where is di Natale when we need him?

    Getting that 1pp increase for the Greens I’d assume]

    He’s hapless. 85% of the population don’t want a bar of him.

  7. Will Turnbull use this poll honeymoon to moderate further the RWNJ’s policies such as CC & SSM? Thereby setting up his Govt. for a March 2016 election?
    Will he put up a mini budget before Xmas to fully repudiate Abbottism and go the full term?
    I reckon a March election is on the cards as the economy is going down the toilet and it is too late to undo the the damage to the economy by two years of Abbottism.

  8. [AshGhebranious
    AshGhebranious – ‏@AshGhebranious

    Have the LNP or the Greens come out since Bill’s morning statement to put down private schools yet? Yeah. Didn’t think so. #auspol #unity
    11:44 PM – 4 Oct 2015

  9. [ Airlines

    Posted Monday, October 5, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Boerwar, 6

    Where is di Natale when we need him?

    Getting that 1pp increase for the Greens I’d assume

    He’s hapless. 85% of the population don’t want a bar of him. ]

    The vote’s going up under him so you can’t say he’s doing a particularly bad job

  10. I see both the local sour pusses are on their favourite theme of “Chuck out Shorten” as the panacea to fix all Labor’s ills.

    Not so long ago it was the LNP and their media cronies who were all for “Get Bill”.

    Those with an ounce of common sense recognise that Rudd- Gillard-Rudd all had nice little settle in periods before they actually had to make any decisions at all. I think Rudd was at 60-40 at one point…

    Just who these Jeremiahs think could lead Labor at the moment to a golden future – and just what any Labor leader could do – right at this very moment to tarnish the honeymoon – would be interesting to explore.

    Labor just has to grit its teeth over the next little while..the economy is in a precipice, the new Treasurer is untried and there are a lot of nasties to come…plenty of time yet for the gloss to rub off.

    Middle Australia is currently congratulating itself that is was right in wanting the political death of Abbott and until such time as their faith is shaken by Turnbull, Labor will just have to cop it sweet.

    The Canning by-election would suggest that things are somewhat closer in real politics than this current figure would suggest.

  11. mtbw, 17


    Of course he is so why would he go now to an election his polls will get better for him.]

    Because his honeymoon period will end and then he won’t get such a resounding majority

  12. And anyway, given that politics is about perception and comparison, it has to be said that Turnbull looks and sounds like and adult compared to juvenile Abbott.

    The electorate is still breathing a big sigh of relief that Abbott is gone, and I must say the fun has gone out of it as well for me as he was such a turkey – an obvious and easy target for disdain.

  13. Airlines

    I wouldn’t put money on it if I were you.

    There may be some closing of the gap before the election but my guess would be not by enough.

  14. People are mostly relieved that the PM is not longer a national shame. The Libs lost a lot of dead weight, both people and policies with the change.

    The new liberal party still needs to prove itself by implementing moderate policies. They time to change things before the election, and also to develop and agenda for the next term to take to the election. They have a lot to do, and their ministers are still on training wheels.

    The ALP has had time to prepare, they will have policies, they are stable, its going to be close. Its a bit like Victoria’s state election last year, they change the leadership a year before the election, it didn’t really change anything.

    The polls looks good now for the Libs but give it two months, give them time to do judge on them implementing their ideas.Then we will start to see where things stand.

  15. Now that Malware has found Abbott’s missing honeymoon period he should set his sights on finding the missing Malaysian airliner and then Harold Holt

  16. mtbw, 23

    [ Airlines

    I wouldn’t put money on it if I were you.

    There may be some closing of the gap before the election but my guess would be not by enough. ]

    I don’t think the ALP has any real chance at winning the election, but the current polling numbers would be electoral wipeout as opposed to comfortable victory

  17. So, the fix for Labor L @21 is to follow the Liberal’s lead and dice the leader?

    I would have thought, at this point, that would be the most stupid thing Labor could do.

    It begs the question of just who is there to take such leadership on? Just what it is there is to attack the government over right now, and how another execution by Labor might be seen by the electorate?

    I remember the prognostications when Shorten was elected leader. It was pointed out by some who think they know, that rarely is a LOTO who is voted in after an election still there to lead the party to the next election.

    It was also stated by these know-it-alls that Abbott was likely to be PM until the next election, into the next parliament and even one beyond that.

    So much for tea leaf reading.

    At the moment, based on the polls right, right now, I would suggest that the LNP will win the next election because Turnbull is the ‘people’s choice’ – bit like the shows on TV and the electorate feels vindicated that the Liberals rightly axed Abbott.

    It is also likely that this ‘new’ Turnbull lead government is being treated as a new, new government, as though we have had an election.

    The honeymoon is no surprise. The question is can it last?

    I doubt it, but I suspect, if Turnbull plays his cards right, he might just get the benefit of the doubt come the next election.

    Leaders of oppositions don’t tend to win elections, rather they tend to be lost by unpopular governments.

    On any score at the moment, the LNP is not unpopular.

  18. MTBW, 32

    At any rate, Labor will be in a good position to win a circa-2019 election, so it’s not all bad news, not all governments can be Campbell Newmanned

  19. Tricot

    I agree, except that Turnbull can’t put off all the awkward decisions until after the election, and he still has Morrison and Dutton, among others, ready, willing and able to screw things up.

  20. Great honeymoon poll for Turnbull. Shorten could promise the world at the moment without any effect. That’s the way it works. Governments lose elections, oppositions don’t win them. I see we still have some here who don’t grasp that concept.

  21. Re: the Shorten leadership debate

    It really looks like (at least the next) election is Turnbull’s to lose. Even a brilliant Labor leader (assuming Shorten is average) would not pull Labor past a Turnbull government unless Turnbull tries to enact multiple policies that severely rankled the middle.

    To do that the government would have to go far and above raising GST or curtailing penalty rates – as those that feel very strongly against such moves already direct their vote elsewhere.

    I think Wong and Plibersek are two politicians that could potentially do the job – and I’d be more likely to direct a vote to them than Shorten (especially Wong) but I do not think that a party they’d lead would do any better in terms of winning seats than under Shorten himself.

    To lead the part and win the next election the candidate must be popular within the party and appealing to the middle/swinging voter – thanks to the damage done to female leaders under Gillard (not her fault, just rabbit opposition and media rhetoric) it will be a while before a female led party would win an election rather than be handed it (as would happen when the public are tired of 2 or 3 Liberal terms).

    If I was Plibersek or Wong I’d be in no hurry to take the leadership, better to let Shorten lose one and then take up the mantle with a virtual guarantee that their side would be at least an even money bet at the next one.

  22. [20 points behind on primaries guys. Twenty. Where’s the drover’s dog?]
    Ooh, I’m so worried. I think i might slit my wrists. Whoa is me.

  23. Lizzie@35 – agree, have said as much earlier. Nasties around the corner, green-as-grass Treasurer and no real decision made to date.

    There is also the whole scenario that Abbott may just not slink away to the back bench and oblige Labor by doing his own impersonation of Rudd.

    There seems quite a bit of bad blood sloshing around in Liberal ranks at the moment.

    Short of an early election – something Turnbull has promised not to do, there is still a lot of choppy water for the government yet, including a Senate which may be no more in the mood to satisfy Turnbull than Abbott.

  24. I’ll listen to suggestions regarding penalty rates when I can call on a plumber or an electrician on Sunday morning at standard rates, when I can make an appointment with a medical specialist or solicitor at 9:00 PM and when football finals are played on Tuesday.

  25. [1

    …The purpose of penalty rates is to compensate workers for working unsociable hours. What the worker does with their income is up to them and is irrelevant to the social utility of penalty rates.]

    Sure. I’m sure that Shorten agrees with you. He would also recognise that very many families already decide to use their extra-time earnings to help educate their children….so it’s logical (except to the ideologically-pure) to link the commitment to education and wage protection.

    Once again, if penalty-rate payments are seen to be an issue only for the least-well-off, Labor will not be able to defend these payments. They will lose.

    Those bludgers who whinge about Labor should understand very clearly: the Liberals are utterly intent on destroying worker incomes in the lower tiers. This will have the effect of leaching incomes right through the scales. Retaining floor-rates in the labour market is a profoundly important social and economic issue. It is a key issue in arresting the casualisation of labour; in improving social mobility; and in retarding and then reversing the growth in unemployment.

    You would all do very well to climb off your ideological horses and volunteer to help a union – the CFMEU, the MUA, the AMWU, the ETU, the AWU, the SDA, United Voice or any other union – or Labor. Volunteer and help participate in contesting this issue where it will matter – in the marginals.

  26. While Turnbull is currently odds on, politics is as fickle as a sea breeze, blowing with you one minute and in your face the next.

    Labor can always win the next election, it is just that right now, the running is with the LNP.

    Changing leaders for Labor is about as stupid as it could get right now.

  27. If the issue of penalty rates is to strike home people need to realise it affects more than young people working in cafes on a Sunday.

    Yes people support hospitality workers getting more for working on a Sunday but how many of them would see it as a vote changer if the rates were taken away.

    “yes that terrible but it doesn’t affect me ” would be the response. It is essential that the issue is framed more broadly. People get involved once they realise it may affect them and that was what Shorten was doing today. A issue has to be relevant to a broad section of the community for it to bite and people need to realise what will be involved if rates are taken away from them.

    The use of the private school analogy has worked in getting people’s attention. It is not all about young people needing penalty rates to survive. Of course that is important but it is also about people working crap.hours to provide a better life for their families be it education or something else.

    Take the means to improve the lives of their kids away from parents and it hits home. Take away the means to provide better opportunities for their families and people will react.

    People do work,crap hours to pay for their kids to go to a private school. Rightly or not they see it as providing opportunity for their kids and they are prepared to work crap hours so they have the income from penalty rates to,pay for the opportunities

    I see nothing wrong with parents wanting better for their family and I see nothing wrong with Bill Shorten pointing out what is at stake and framing the battle around the lost opportunity that removing penalty rates would bring.


  28. It’s like some self fulfilling prophecy. Everyone thinks Abbott’s an idiot (which is true), large groups, mostly the media think Turnbull is the saviour. Turnbull knives Abbott, all is good.

    The single reason for the LNP poll bounce is Abbott’s gone, other than shelving some crap policy (he’s not axed the uni dereg) nothing else has changed.

    The punters just need a bit of time to wake up to it.

  29. [20 points behind on primaries guys. Twenty. Where’s the drover’s dog?]

    i don’t understand we’re bashing shorten as hard as we can

  30. As I said in the previous thread @ 2157
    [People are in shock at having a Prime Minister after not having one for the last 2 years. Abbott was merely the leader of a political gang.

    The gloss will wear off and things will get back to more normal figures.]

  31. briefly

    “Retaining floor-rates in the labour market is a profoundly important social and economic issue. It is a key issue in arresting the casualisation of labour; in improving social mobility; and in retarding and then reversing the growth in unemployment. You would all do very well to climb off your ideological horses and volunteer…”

    I can agree with much of this but would add that high wages (including from penalty rates) in our economy do act as a drag on employment in trade exposed industries.
    So it is a balancing act between the two.

    I think you’ll see the Liberal’s aim for policy such as limiting penalty rates to time and a half rather than double or triple time – I have already heard things mooted as such.
    I think they can win the argument when it is framed thus – it isn’t an argument about abolishing penalty rates at all but in making sure that they are reasonable and affordable.

    Now rather than let that stand on its own, I would also say that a far bigger impact on quality of life factors and our international competitiveness is the cost of property.

    If the focus were (properly) on affordable property we could have lower penalty rates, increased international competitiveness and MORE disposable cash in the hands of workers at the same time.

    We should look at the full set of influences on worker disposable pay and quality of life – I think win-win-win situations are possible here and may involve some movement on penalty rates so long as gains can be made in other areas.

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