Morgan state polling: March 2016

Monthly state polling from Roy Morgan has Labor up across the board, while the Nick Xenophon Team reaches ever more incredible heights in South Australia. Also featured: a trend measure of all Western Australian state polling in the current term.

UPDATE (4/4/16): Now Essential Research has state voting intention results (excluding Tasmania), which are compiled, Newspoll-style, from an aggregation of its regular surveying between January and March. The results broadly concur with Morgan’s in the three biggest states, with the Coalition leading 56-44 in New South Wales, and Labor leading 53-47 in both Victoria and Queensland. However, the Western Australian result is more favourable to the Liberal-National government, which is created with a lead of 52-48 (a particularly stark contrast with a ReachTEL poll conducted a fortnight ago showing Labor ahead 56-44), and the South Australian result is more favourable to Labor, who lead 54-46, and less favourable to the Nick Xenophon Team, which is at 15%. Sample sizes were rather large, ranging from 803 in South Australia to 3220 in New South Wales.

Roy Morgan has unloaded its monthly batch of SMS polling on state voting intention, and just as its other such polls in recent months found conservatives surging in tandem with their federal counterparts, so has the pendulum swung back amid softening support for Malcolm Turnbull. The Coalition government’s seemingly permanent lead in New South Wales remains intact, but this month’s reading of 55-45 isn’t quite as imposing as last month’s 59.4-40.5. The lead for the Labor government in Victoria is out from 53.5-46.5 to 55-45, its counterpart in Queensland has reversed a 52-48 deficit last time out, and it’s back to level pegging in South Australia after the Liberals led 53-47 a month ago – although the big news here remains the Nick Xenophon Team, which with 24% of the primary vote (up 3.5%) is mixing it with both Liberal (down 5.5% to 30%) and Labor (unchanged at 27%). For those who care to follow the link, there’s also a small sample result from Tasmania which, as usual, looks far too favourable for Labor. The polling was conducted last Monday to Thursday, from samples ranging from 648 in South Australia to 1116 in New South Wales.

Then there’s Western Australia, where the result (from 603 respondents) doesn’t quite replicate the 55-45 lead to Labor recorded by ReachTEL a fortnight ago, but still has them drawing ahead 52-48 after a hard-to-credit result of 54.5-44.5 to the Coalition a month ago. With the election now less than a year away, I’ve taken the trouble to put together a poll aggregate derived from Newspoll, Morgan and a few stray results from ReachTEL and Essential Research. The current output from the model has Labor leading 52.4-47.6 (compared with 57.3-42.7 at the election), from primary votes of Labor 38.8% (up from 31.1%), Liberal 36.7% (down from 47.1%), Nationals 6.1% (steady) and Greens 13.1% (up from 8.4%). It should be noted that the first poll in late 2013 came well after the government’s re-election in March, and most of the Liberals’ lead had already worn away by that point.

The primary vote chart has the Liberals in blue, Labor in red, the Greens in dark green and the Nationals in cyan. Bias adjustments have been applied to the sometimes wayward Morgan poll by benchmarking it against a trend measure of the other pollsters. The two-party results allocate three-quarters of Greens preferences and one quarter of Nationals preferences to Labor, with “others” determined through a function that causes a party’s share to rise in accordance with its overall share of the major party vote, so that Labor’s share is now at 43% compared with 33% at the election. Newspoll’s quarterly results – the next of which should be with us very shortly – have been broken into three and distributed as monthly results over the period of the poll.



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.

12 comments on “Morgan state polling: March 2016”

  1. Turnbull must be running out of schemes to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich so I expect his polling will improve shortly.

    But innovation is his thing. He may yet surprise me.

  2. Tasmania’s economic activity is slowing down and unemployment is going up, there have been some shocking stories which have led the news bulletins on the state of the health system, Tasmania is the midst of an energy crisis with empty dams and diesel generators being bought at great expense to keep the lights on with the Energy Minister under fire for an underwhelming response, and our Premier recently told the Labor leader in the parliament to “slit his wrists”.

    “as usual, [ the result ] looks far too favourable for Labor”

    No – the rise to a modest 33% is probably right. But if you don’t follow Tasmanian political developments I guess it’s easier to just repeat that type of line even though you don’t have any basis for saying it. Lazy reporting.

  3. barnet has been riding the mining wave for too long.

    saw an article on how much had been spent on port headland from royalty for regions.

    stories of plans for population to hit 50,000 , now declining from 20,000 to 17,500 and still heading south

    house prices halved from, empty and half finished estates.

    appears they had so much money from royalties did not know how to spend it.

    expecting 50,000 population around port headland was truely dreaming and can only think it was used to sell the money invested in the estates.

    only winners were the developers.

    and at the same time hospitals in perth are in crisis.

  4. hi coast

    previous polling shows lower labor support than morgans.

    kevin botham has good info on the tassie polling, there is a link at the side

    agree libs have stuffed up hugely on power, they were warned early last year about problems and brushed aside concerns as scare mongering.

  5. In WA it looks like Labor has a chance of winning back government, but the stark reality is that it will inherit the woeful state of the economy. Not sure what kind of promises either parties will make at the next election.

  6. The Tasmanian polls would look more realistic too if it translated the swings to each constituency rather than publish a TPP (though it acknowledged that the TPP is not applicable).

  7. Boris ( #3 ) yes, I always check in on Kevin Bonham’s blog. Most of the drama in Tasmanian politics has happened in recent weeks, and the media for the first time since the Libs came to power have gone in hard. Hodgman’s suicide jibe to the Labor leader would have had an effect in propelling Labor upward, but it’s been one of many Lib misteps and foolishness.
    EMRS poll next month.

  8. I have the following estimates of Morgan’s skew:

    Average for all polls since series started: Lib -4.5 ALP +1.3 Grn +3.4 Other -0.2

    Weighted average for eight most recent polls: Lib -4.9 ALP +0.2 Grn +5.6 Other -0.9

    I am cautious about whether Morgan is really underestimating the Others vote though, because I suspect that EMRS is overestimating it by more now than it did at previous elections. The main point is that Morgan in Tasmania seems to skew massively against the Liberals and to the Greens. That the Greens would really have well above 20% support while they are still licking their wounds from the forest peace deal and with two new low-profile incumbents is simply rubbish.

    33% for Labor at the moment in Tasmania is quite plausible. I previously had them at 30.7 and the issues mix (states tax proposal, energy crisis, health system issues) is entirely favourable for them.

    They could well go up further. Getting free kicks all over the place. This week we had Energy Minister Matthew Groom calling for consumers to save energy after he had rubbished such calls from Labor as alarmism a few weeks earlier.

  9. Clarification re #9 – those skew estimates were for Tasmania only of course, not applicable to other states.

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